We left Minnesota on Thursday afternoon and I felt like the overcast weather snagged onto our car and followed us. We drove in it all the way to Colorado, with only one break in Lincoln, NE on Friday morning. The next ray of sunshine came, in another form, when we stopped in North Platte, NE.
I have fallen off the proverbial blogging cliff the last couple of weeks. So, where have I been and what have I been up to?
It all began two weeks ago when the cold/flu bug went through our house, taking me with it. I slept more than I ever thought humanly possible, at least for me. Needless to say, there was little quilting going on at that point.
Now that I’m in recovery mode, I have gotten back to my quilt cave, so let me share a little of what I’ve been up to.
Remember that little basket of quilt squares for the commission quilt? The little squares are slowly disappearing from the basket and ending up as blocks on my design wall. Each finished block will be 8″ square. There are 53 pieces in each block. Unlike other quilt blocks, I don’t chain piece these because there are too many bias edges to get messed up. So I am taking my time. Once the blocks are done, there will be many intersecting places when I join the blocks together, so I’m keeping everything crossed that my blocks will match up well.
In the evenings, I’m keeping busy working on the finish of these little woolies. I have twelve of these blocks and I am stitching them onto this large piece of felted wool. I’m also going slowly with this, as it is difficult to stitch around the blocks with so much extra fabric. I attach the blocks first with a few strips of Steam A Seam Lite 2. I use a press cloth so I don’t singe the wool, and I use steam. So far it is working well as far as holding the blocks in place. This is the first of two wool quilts that I’m finishing. The second will be similar, but has more appliqué in the borders.
I’ve started another project with wool appliqué blocks, but this time the background is cotton fabric. It is a Norma Whaley pattern, and I’m very excited to see how it turns out. It has alternate blocks that are pieced. Here’s the first two appliqué blocks.
Other than that, I’ve just been piddling around in my quilt cave while I work on the commission quilt. I made this fun little mug mat with some very wonky quilting. I like the bright colors.
I’m linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
Happy Friday, friends!
It’s a two-cuppa-coffee morning here, as I sit and try to figure out what to share with you on this post.
While I’ve been productively quilting this past week, I’ve been working on blocks that I won’t be sharing until the project is done. I am trying to figure out how best to work on those blocks but also allow time to get things done that I can post about. I haven’t found a rhythm to that yet.
So here’s what I’m hoping to work on this weekend while I’m also working on the other project. In past posts, I’ve talked about some woolie blocks I’ve been working on. I have had two different woolie projects going. The blocks for both projects are now done. I have the finishing details for one set, and that is what I hope to get going this weekend. It will be good sewing for the evening as the blocks are set onto the background wool by hand. Here are four of the 12 blocks for this project.
The blocks are laid out on a felted wool background. They will be fused to the background, then I’ll handstitch around each block. A few final touches after that and the quilt will be done.
Today is First Friday Coffee with some of the ladies from church. We do this every first Friday of each month, hence the name. Clever, huh? It’s a good break from my work and gets me out of the house. Other than being gone all day Tuesday, I have not left the house this week. It’s time for me to see some friends face to face.
Anyway, the sun is peeking out, the sky is blue, and we have another day to enjoy. Thanks, friends, for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!
Well, here we are, February 1st. These months go by quickly, don’t they?
I’m keeping track of the blocks I make during each month this year. I have a specific page in my planner to note them. I thought I was keeping pretty good track until I reviewed the blocks this morning. I need to add to my total in my planner!
Here’s the review of what I accomplished during January.
182 Days of Winter Solstice Challenge – I am keeping up with this so far, having made 6 blocks this month.
Twirl Me Pillow – This pattern consisted of 16 paper-pieced blocks. I have completed this project. I will add a center button, once I decide on one.
Sundrops Quilt – I completed this quilt top this month, and it is now in the hands of Connie, who will do the quilting for me. This quilt had 39 blocks.
The 70273 Project – So far I have sewn 27 blocks for this project. These go together so quickly!
Little Wool Sampler Quilt – I finished the last of the nine blocks for this project. This was a Quilt Along, so I’m waiting for the final instructions on completing this quilt.
Commission Quilt – I began working on this quilt, which I am making at the request of a friend. I have completed 3 blocks. My goal is to complete 2 blocks per day, at least. I’ll keep you in the dark on this one until it has been given to the new owner.
If I tally up the block count, I have made 92 blocks this month.
I need to do this each month. I often finish a month, or even a week, and don’t feel like I’ve made much progress at all. Reviewing my month is really helpful for me.
Do you follow the progress of your work?
Happy stitching, friends!
I woke up this morning at 5:30. Those who know me well know that I generally don’t describe myself as a morning person. I am a night owl, definitely. I was thinking about that this morning, that right now I’m a night owl and an early bird. That combination often causes a mid-afternoon nap. Anyway, I’ve had two cups of really good coffee this morning, while looking at this lovely view.
We finally have some nice snow to cover all the drab brown and ice. I’m looking forward to a day of conversation with my sewing machine! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m working on a quilt for a friend. I’ve been cutting all the pieces for this quilt over the last week or so. It amazes me that in this little basket (6″ x 6″) are almost all the pieces for the top of a quilt! This is probably the last you will see of this project until the quilt is done and in her hands.
When working on a project like this, I can tend to get tunnel vision and work on nothing else. I get frustrated when I do that, because the work becomes mundane and I lose the joy of the process. So I’m learning to schedule time inbetween working on this project to play with something new. So here’s a peek at what I’ve been doing to take a break from cutting, especially when my lower back is tired.
I’m still working on X blocks for The 70273 Project. I currently have 17 blocks done. I’m all out of white fabric, so I’ll be replenishing that this week. I have friends coming on Friday to stitch some blocks with me. It should be a fun day!
I’m also keeping up with the Winter Solstice Challenge by Pat Sloan. She sends out a new block each Wednesday. Here is the block from 2 weeks ago, called Cobble Stone. I seem to be taking these names literally, since I looked for some scrap fabric that might look like cobblestones. This was a piece left over from a quilt backing. It’s not an easy fabric to blend, but it seems to work okay for me in this block.
And this is last week’s block, called Gramma Anna’s Basket. I used cotton fabric from Margo Krager’s line along with purple wool for the basket. I may add some embellishing at some point; the basket seems lonely . . .
I have now finished the blocks for two separate wool block quilt alongs. This is the last of the 9 blocks from the Little Woolen Sampler by Jenifer Gaston of Woolen Willow. I’m sorry to be done with this one; it was such fun to stitch these little blocks!
Last of all, this block is a work in progress. The original pattern, by Jan Patek, is a pillow. I’m not sure if I’ll go with a pillow or just make it a mini quilt. The top and right side of the block will have half-square triangles added to it. I’m also thinking I’ll add some of Sue Spargo’s fun stitches to the flower and heart, to add a little pizzazz and uniqueness.
Keep in mind that I haven’t done all these this week, I’m just not quite that productive! Sometimes I get so distracted I don’t feel like I make any progress at all. Little projects like these help me stay focused and provide a nice break from the slow work of cutting pieces.
I hope you enjoy a cozy day of stitches!
It was quiet around here last week. My birthday started the week off, and I decided to enjoy the week working on some quilt projects. We celebrated my birthday by going to see White Christmas at The Ordway, a fun way to really kick off the holiday season!
I spent most of my week doing the finishing stitches on some Christmas gifts and finally getting some Christmas decorations up. Here’s a peek at some of my decorating.
These little stockings and mittens were so much fun to make. They hang nicely over my patio window each Christmas. The reindeer you see above them are from my childhood. I have the full set, with Santa in his sleigh and, of course, Rudolph in the lead. Try as I might, I couldn’t get a full photo of them for you.
This is the top of my piano, which has my small collection of mercury glass along with my nod to my Scandinavian heritage. The St. Lucia was my mother’s. The Nutcracker Ballet has always been a favorite of mine; this handsome fellow was given to me by my parents when I was a teen. In the frame is a poem my son wrote when he was young that is a favorite of mine.
And of course, the tree was decorated. We rarely put the tree up before my birthday. That was a tradition when I was growing up, and continues now in my home.
Christmas blessings . . . to you and yours! I’ll post my most favorite decorations later this week.
After a fairly busy weekend, this is truly a peaceful Monday. I am pondering whether to quilt for the remainder of the day, or get my Christmas decorations up. The tree will be coming soon.
In my family when I was growing up, we didn’t put the tree up until mid-December. I am a December baby, so my mother wanted my birthday to be a separate event from Christmas. Not putting the tree up until after my birthday was one way she felt she honored that. My family has followed that tradition, although I truly would like the tree up earlier. I love having a twinkling tree to look at!
I had three activities this weekend, one on each day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Sunday afternoon I fell asleep in my chair for a very long nap.
While I enjoy cooking and putzing in the kitchen when I’m in the mood, sometimes I draw a blank when I need to bring something as simple as an appetizer to a party. However, this weekend I managed to pull it off, sticking with the principle of keeping it simple.
The theme for the weekend could have been “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. Not even a chance, really, for there certainly were meatballs. Tasty ones, if I do say so myself. Armed with frozen meatballs and my crockpot, I conquered those parties like a boss. However, I did not take pictures like a boss. I didn’t even think about pictures until after the last meatball was eaten! So I’ll provide you with a Pinterest link for one of the recipes I used and you can see photos there.
This is the recipe I used for the meatballs. She gives precise measurements for the sauce; I basically eyeballed it and it turned out fine. Rather than mixing the sauce in my crockpot, I heated it in a pan on the stove and then poured it over the meatballs. I used 3 lbs. of meatballs for the first run, and they were a bit dry. If I use that many again, I would make a recipe and a half of the sauce. I used 2 lbs. the second time and it was just right. You could easily use homemade meatballs as well, but I would brown them before adding them to the crockpot.
The other simple recipe I made is a favorite of our family. I will sometimes make them if we are having a movie night. The recipe is for sliders using King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls. I buy two packages of the rolls. Without separating the rolls, cut them apart from one end to the other with a bread knife. Because the rolls are on a sheet of waxed cardboard, this is simple to do because they stay put. I begin slicing on one short end and work my way to the other, holding on to the cardboard if need be to keep it from sliding. Lay the bun tops aside, and place the bottom halves into a 9 x 13 cake pan. You may have to snug them in a bit, but it will be just fine.
Layer meat and cheese of your choice on the buns. I’ve used ham and cheese, turkey and swiss; you could easily use shredded chicken, etc. Whatever appeals to you. Place the tops on, and brush them with melted butter. Sprinkle your favorite garlicky seasoning on top. I like Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle for this. Cover and heat them through in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
In the midst of all this, I have been stitching away in my quilt room. Much of what I’m making while likely end up as gifts so I can’t show them to you yet, but I can show you this little soon-to-be pillow that will be tucked into my Christmas decorations. I have had this book for years, and while much of the decor is outdated, I still find myself going back to it time and again for a cute gift idea.
This pillow is based on a project from that book and has been adapted to use wool for the lettering. I also added the heart and holly. I think several of the little projects could easily be updated with a modern flair, so I may try some of that this week.
The pillow is about 6-1/2″ x 15-1/2″. All that’s left is to sew the back and front together, stuff it with polyfil and it will be ready. I have had the background fabric for longer than I care to admit. Do you ever hang on to a particular piece of fabric because you just knew it was meant for something? That’s what happened with this fabric. Even though this pillow is nothing special, the fabric is just what I was looking for!
I also finished the November woolies, along with one of the December blocks. In these cooler months, I am really drawn to wool projects, so this makes me happy.
This week I’m waiting on an order of some supplies so I can complete some of these projects. I am still working on getting my quilt room organized, and I’m happy to say that I’m making good progress. So far I’ve managed to empty about 9-10 bins of various sizes. Pretty excited about that!
Not sure what I’ll be up to today, but I’ll at least try to take some pictures this time!
I’m linking up today with Cooking Up Quilts. Beth’s blog is one of my favorites, so pop on over if you have a few minutes!
Happy Monday, everyone!
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.
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.
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.
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!
There wasn’t much time for stitching during the trip, but I did manage to get my two woolies done.
We took a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is worth a visit if you’re in the area.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but I do finally have a finish to show you.
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.
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.
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.
- Quilt and bind the Quilters Madder top.
- Finish the sampler I’m stitching.
- List out my Christmas gifts and assess where I’m at with them.
- Clean up scrap containers.
- Practice free motion quilting.
- Finish one of my quilt tops.
- Prepare the backing for two quilts to bring to Connie.
- 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!
I spent most of Monday moving things back into my quilt room. In the evening, I continued stitching the wool leaves on my table runner. I’m using Valdani thread, 12 wt. for the stitching. Some are stitching with matching thread, others with a different color. I have done a running stitch outline on a few of the leaves as well. Here’s a few photos of them.
I was surprised and delighted when Susan of Quilt Fabrication highlighted my runner in her Midweek Makers post today. Thanks so much, Susan!
I’ve been thinking about how to quilt the table runner. I have some ideas and I’ll begin practicing some of those this week. I had hoped to have this runner done by now, but I want to take this part slow and enjoy the process.
I’m almost caught up with the Quilters Madder Quilt Along. I finished the second step last night. Today, I’ll finish the third step and be ready for the reveal on Friday. I’ve really enjoyed this and hope to do another QAL with Humble Quilts soon. Here are my Step 2 pieces.
One other highlight of the week was winning an Instagram drawing from Aurifil threads for their 20K Giveaway. I won 20 small spools of Aurifil thread! That should help with my machine quilting practice, since I’ll no longer have the excuse of not having the right color of quilting thread – haha!
I’ve partially moved back into my quilt room. It is now a workable space once again. However, there are boxes and whatnot that still need to be moved back, downsized, or gotten rid of. I’ll tackle that the rest of this week as well.