Finally Friday. This week has flown by and I have little to show for it. We got back home Tuesday evening. Wednesday came and went without a post. I played catch up the rest of the week. This post is late too. Some weeks are like that.
Quilty Inspiration is Everywhere
While we were in Milwaukee, we stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn . It was beautiful. Here’s a picture of the floor. Quilt inspiration, anyone?
It was a short stay, but I managed to get the little woolies stitched up while I was there. Now they just need finishing, which will be a backing for each and then stuffing. This is a Buttermilk Basin pattern, but I reduced the pattern by 75%. Originally, they finish at 11 inches, but I didn’t want them that large. Mine will finish about 7-8 inches.
Pieceful Monday, once again. I hope your weekend was relaxing and enjoyable. Here in Minnesota, we welcomed in our first snowfall of the year, along with wind and much cooler temps. It was a great weekend for staying home and stitching!
When you read this, I’ll be on another short trip with BigJ. So I’ll be doing a little exploring, but I also have some stitching and other things along to keep me busy.
Remember the Jolly Braid Tote Bag? I’m taking it with me on its first road trip.
I’m filling it up with a few things to take along.
So what’s in there? Well, a little stitching project, along with my zipper pouch full of thread, scissors, and other things I need to work on it. That’s a little wool project that may become a Christmas gift.
I also bring along some sketchbooks for quilt designs, a ruler and pencil, and two books to spark my creativity.
My Kindle will also get tucked in there, and I’ll leave room for a few things I may pick up along the way. And snacks — I’m sure some snacks will find their way in there too!
When I get back home, I hope to have some days to play with this happy mail I received this week. Look at all those solids! Yippee! Improv is calling!
These were sent to me as part of the #getyourquiltywishesgranted3 on Instagram. So much fun! It’s a good thing I sent a few quilty things to some other quilters so I have a little more room for this new addition to my stash!
So what about you? What do you take along when you go on a short roadtrip? Leave a comment and let me know.
I have an addiction to wool, the texture, the patterns in it, and working with it. See this little collection of pin cushions? I call little projects like this a woolie.
A friend stopped by the other day and commented about the little owl woolie. She likes owls, so I told her I’d make her one. It’s also the perfect time of year for digging into my wool stash and do some creating.
The pattern for the owl woolie is a Half Pints pattern from Buttermilk Basin. If you like it, they have both the pattern and kits available on their website (I’m not an affiliate, just giving you an FYI). It’s a bit difficult to find on their site; search under Woolen Pin Cushions.
I use a light table to trace the woolie pattern onto Steam A Seam Lite. Digging through my bin full of wool scraps for the little pieces is part of the fun, and I can make my larger pieces last longer. I fused the pieces together and used a blanket stitch as I stitched around each piece.
I use walnut shells for filling. It gives a little weight so it sits nicely in a corner (or a bowl). Polyfil can easily be used too.
What about you? Do you work with wool? What’s your favorite autumn project?
Stop back on Friday and I’ll show you the Autumn Calling quilt all finished. See you then!
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.
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!
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.
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!
On Friday I had hoped to be able to show you the finished table runner. Today I hoped to show you my progress on the Quilters Madder Quiltalong. Instead I spent the entire weekend laid low by a cold/flu bug, so there was not much sewing done.
Last Wednesday, a few of you asked about Madder prints after I posted my blog. Madder is a type of dye, and the color content of the dye varies with the soil and the weather. The madder colors are brilliant red, brick red, salmon pink, light pink, peach, buff, pink, lavender grays, medium brown, chocolate, violet, darker purple, and near black. Mordants used for the dye produce these results: weak alum – pink; strong alum – red; weak iron – lilac or violet; strong iron – black; mixture – various browns; copper – scarlet red. This information was given to me by Margo of Reproduction Fabrics. She has put together some fat 1/8 bundles of Madder prints; you can find those here.
I have managed to get the first blocks for the quilt along completed. Just a few simple four patches and two patches. I hope to get a little further along on the project later today.
Last night I began adding some stem stitching to the leaves on my table runner, adding some veins and a few outline stitches.
My goal for today is to get moved back into my quilt space now that I have new flooring. Then I hope to get some sewing done on the QAL blocks. I’ll continue working on the runner this evening.