November Review

It is a quiet day around here today, the last that I will have this week. Thursday through Sunday will keep me pretty busy, so I’m not sure how much stitching will get done.

November is coming to a close, so let’s see how I did with my to-do list for the month.

Quilt and bind the Quilters Madder top. Not done. Yet. I still have a few days, but I expect this will trickle over into December.

Finish the sampler I’m stitching. The top is done; I just need to quilt it (do you see a theme here???)

List out my Christmas gifts and assess where I’m at with them. Done. This is ongoing, as far as the assessing. I have a goal of either making gifts or buying them locally this year. I already have a few made and purchased.

Clean up scrap containers. Done! I actually have cleared out a bunch of tubs, so I am really pleased with this one.

Practice free motion quilting. Work in Progress, which will be ongoing. I’m waiting for a few supplies that will hopefully make this easier. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Finish one of my quilt tops. Done. I finished this little Christmas mini.

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Prepare the backing for two quilts to bring to Connie. On Hold. I have decided to wait to do this in January.

Finish November wool projects. Done! I even have the December block for one of the woolies done! I’ll post pictures of them at the end of this week.

I’m feeling pretty good about my progress, even with a week away from home and a busy holiday weekend thrown in!

I have a few other projects that I’m working on, but they are potential Christmas gifts, so I can’t show them here. I have also been pulling out UFOs and deciding what to do with them, so I hope to have a few of them to show you at week’s end.

Have a great day, all!

Wendy

 

Workin’ on It Wednesday

Well, honestly, I’ve not been working on any quilting today. However, I do want to show you two of my projects that I have been working on.

I finished the top of the sampler. This is a pattern I found while browsing through a quilt shop and it just cracked me up. This is definitely true in my little corner of the quilting world. If I had to change anything, I might’ve changed the third line to read “I don’t know what’s for dinner”, but it will work as it is.

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The fabrics I ended up using aren’t quite what I had thought I would use, but they are all fabrics from my stash, and now that it’s come together I really do like them. The gold scallops will have buttons in each of the scallops after the quilting is done. This will hang in my quilt room when it’s finished.

The pattern is called Stitcher’s Priority by The Birdhouse Patchwork Designs. The finished size is 13″ x 17″.

The other project I’m working on is my little trees. Here is where I’m at. I’m not sure where I’m headed with this. I’m still pondering whether I want to leave them as is, separate them and try something else, or what. So this will percolate a bit over the weekend.

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I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, whether it is celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, or just enjoying time with family and friends.

Linking up with Quilt Fabrication and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Pieceful Monday

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, so let me give you a peek at what I’ve been up to.

Part of my work these past weeks has been trying to figure out how to restock my quilt room. When I cleared it for the new flooring, I was determined that I would make it less cluttered. While I think that will eventually happen, I am now in the “Keep” “Give” “Find a Place for This” phase. I’d like to be done with it all, but I have a feeling it will be an ongoing process.

Meanwhile, BigJ had a conference in California and I decided to tag along. We thought it would be a fun deviation from the chilly Minnesota weather in November. Funny thing, we had extended warm fall weather right up to our trip, so we went from lovely mid-60 degree weather to beautiful 70-80 degree weather. We did our best to enjoy it anyway!

Morning coffee included these views.

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The view from our deck
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From a local coffee shop

We had a free day before the conference really got rolling, so we decided to take a drive on the Palm to Pine Highway. This is apparently the course for a popular bike race. The winding roads, no shoulders, and drop offs made me wonder why anyone would want to do that. Not to mention the climb, ending around 8,000 feet. I’ll just keep my foot on my sewing pedal, thanks.

We stopped off in a little mountain town, Idyllwild. Isn’t that a great name for a mountain town? We weren’t quite used to the time change (2-hour difference for us). We got up early and headed out, so we arrived at the town around 9:30 California time. Not many shops were open, so we just walked around the town. Soon we were ready for lunch, but it was only 10:30 (12:30 in Minnesota) — thankfully we found a place that was open, the Gastrognome. The food was delicious, and the name made us smile. Here’s a view from our table.

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Ignore the heater on the left and just look at the mountain scene 🙂 There were deer statues throughout the town, all painted differently.

Unfortunately I didn’t find any quilt shops in Idyllwild, but we did enjoy browsing in a few of the other shops in the town.

We finished our drive with views like this.

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Meandering back to the resort, we stopped at a quilt shop in Palm Desert — Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations. I was so busy looking at fabric that I forgot to take any pictures. It was a lovely shop and I impulsively found a few things. Look at these fun fat quarters!

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I amassing a library of free motion quilting books. Haha. This one is a good mix of reading and fun doodling.

There wasn’t much time for stitching during the trip, but I did manage to get my two woolies done.

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The block on the left is a Block of the Month from Woolen Willows. The block on the right is a mystery Block of the Month from Rivers Edge Antique and Quilt Loft.

We took a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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Beautiful views at the top

The last big highlight of the trip was a visit to Joshua Tree National Park. We went later in the day so we could see the sunset; it was worth it. What a beautiful place!

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Sunset at the lookout area
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View down below after sunset (unfiltered).

As much as I enjoyed the trip, reading your blogs had me itching to get back home and do some quilting. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Just before we left, I quickly stitched up these little 2″ tree blocks. They are paper pieced and I made 12 of them.

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I had to leave them at this point, so I was pondering what to do with them while I was gone. I have an idea in mind that I’ll be working on today.

I’m also working on my sampler. I had hoped to have it done so I could post it here today, but it didn’t happen. Part of the pattern included wool, but I didn’t have enough wool, so I decided to applique quilt fabric in its place. No worries, I like to do that. So I pulled up a movie, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (I was in the mood for an action movie) and got to work. Yesterday I sat down to finish the sampler, only to find that I had appliqued one piece twice and missed the other one altogether! Apparently I was more into the movie than I thought. Anyway, I should be able to get more done on it today. Here’s a teaser shot.

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Curious yet? I should have this done this week, hopefully!

We came home to a blizzard in the forecast. We didn’t get much snow, but those around us sure did. I tucked in and quilted anyway, while we were having thunderstorms and downpours.

I’m linking up today with Cooking Up Quilts and Em’s Scrapbag.

Happy Stitching!

Wendy

 

Friday Finish

This morning, I have the song California Dreaming going through my head. All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey . . .  The other day I noticed that the oak leaves just outside my kitchen window were the loveliest shade of rust. Today the tree is almost bare. Like the song, the leaves here are quickly turning to brown. Thankfully, today the sky is not grey but a pretty shade of blue. Our neighbor’s tree is still holding on to those lovely rust leaves, however.

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My hydrangea tree still has some lovely pink color amidst its changing to the cooler season. The breeze stopped just long enough for me to snap a quick photo.

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I began tidying up my scrap bins the other day. This is a tedious process, not to mention distracting.  While I was pulling the scraps out of the bin, I kept finding groups of scraps that I wanted to play with. So now I have a messier table with a few bundles dotting my sewing table here and there.

One little bundle managed to find it’s way into a mini quilt. It was easy to do from start to finish. It measures about 13.5″ square. The blocks are from my scrap bin; the border and backing are fat quarters from my stash. This will be a fun little quilt to tuck into a nook with some Christmas decor, for a sweet little candle mat, or possibly a gift.

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I quilted it using a spool of the Aurifil thread (50 wt) that I won recently. I was itching to dig into those spools of thread, so it was fun to find that I had a color that matched.

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I made the binding narrow, using a 1.5″ strip. The finished binding edge is about 1/4″-3/8″ wide. Having clips on hand to hold the binding down while stitching made this much easier.

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The back of the quilt is the same material as the binding. It’s from a cute little fat quarter that I was given last year.

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My other finish for the week is my Autumn table runner; you can read about that here.

California Dreaming is still singing in my head; might be because I’m heading to California soon?

Linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Wendy

Autumn Runner Finish

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but I do finally have a finish to show you.

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The process of getting my autumn table runner completed has been a good learning experience for me. I had ideas of doing some cool free motion quilting on the center of the table runner, but quickly came to realize I need to learn and practice more free motion rather than wreck a quilt. So I pouted for a few days.

I kept the quilting simple, stitching a cross hatch design in the center and stitching in the ditch on the border. I’m happy with the outcome. It’s done and I can use it for this season (yay!). The wool leaves, even though they are small, add a nice weightiness to the top. I anticipate that I will use this for years.

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While I’ve been finishing the autumn runner, I’ve been working on a little sampler. Here’s a peek, but I won’t tell you what it is until I can show you the whole thing. It’s really fun and makes me chuckle.

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Are you looking for clever items to make for Christmas gifts? Do you have a coffee lover on that list? My friend Bernie from Needle and Foot posted a tutorial for a french press cozy. Check it out; it’s a simple process and one I’m considering for one piece of my Christmas fabric.

Since it’s the beginning of November, here’s what I plan to work on this month.

  1. Quilt and bind the Quilters Madder top.
  2. Finish the sampler I’m stitching.
  3. List out my Christmas gifts and assess where I’m at with them.
  4. Clean up scrap containers.
  5. Practice free motion quilting.
  6. Finish one of my quilt tops.
  7. Prepare the backing for two quilts to bring to Connie.
  8. Finish November wool projects.

That should keep me busy. We’ll see how I do.

Here’s one last peek at the autumn table runner, all dressed up and ready for fall!

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Linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts and Quilt Fabrication.

Wendy