Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anything Is Possible

I had been dreading making this block for a long time now. Shortly into my DJ project, I printed out the block and kept it in my notebook to study once in a while. I knew that I would have to use some sort of applique method or curved piecing and I dreaded the day I'd attempt it. This week I finally did.

This is "H-6, Pie Sale", an intermediate-level block that I rotary cut and used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method for the 3/4 circles.

After looking closely at the block, I decided to break it down into a nine-patch and quarter circles. I cut out the quarter circles and placed them on top of the nine-patch pieces and then sewed all the seams. That left me with having to sew down the outer edges of the quarter circles. No big deal, I had done that before with the buttonhole stitch around the raw edge. But what color thread? Dark thread would disappear on the dark fabric but be very obvious on the yellow. Vice versa for yellow thread. I certainly didn't want to change thread, so I decided to use monofilament with the buttonhole stitch. Not my favorite look, but it worked. I have other blocks that I made fairly early on in the quilt in which I used monofilament thread, so this won't be the only one.

After making this block, I think the remaining ones will be a breeze...

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Trickery

This is "J-5, John Jacob's Windmill", an intermediate-level block for which I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method.

Again I used stitching to make it look like there are seam lines on the background fabric. See Jane's original block below.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yet Another DJ Block

This is "I-5, Maria's Majesty", an intermediate-level block in which I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method. The darker fabric is all cut as one piece as explained here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tricking the Eye

This is "K-5, Passing Through", an intermediate-level block that I rotary cut and used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the diamonds. The light-colored diamonds are not separate pieces of fabric. I just stitched the outline of the diamond on the larger piece of the light fabric. It fools the eye into thinking it's a separate piece.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Sentiments Exactly

This is "M-6, Simplicity", an intermediate-level block that I paper-pieced and then used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method for appliqueing the center piece. Again, the appliqued piece was cut all as one piece of fabric; the placement of the stitching makes it look like 5 separate pieces.

The name of this block is perfect for this time of year. Remember, you (and your family and friends) will enjoy the holiday season much more if you remember to slow down and simplify.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cute and Quick

I finally discovered whose yummy treats I've been munching on at a few guild events over the last several years. My friend Dori recently shared her recipe for this quick and easy goodie.

Place one candy melting wafer on top of a square or mini pretzel on a cookie sheet. Place in a 200-degree oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add an M&M or other little candy on top.

Thanks Dori!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back In The Swing Of Things

Another easy paper-pieced looks like I forgot to clean off all the stray threads before I took the photo...

This is "K-6, Ann's Folly", an intermediate-level block. Number 153 for me...169 is in sight...

Perhaps I'll have time to make another block this weekend...No promises, though...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Movie Recommendation

If you have a blog or if you just love food and or/cooking, you must see this movie if you haven't already.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For Some Friends

I made a few of these ornaments for some of my quilting friends this year. They are from a tutorial found here. The tutorial shows two different methods -- I used the second one.

To see the ornaments I made last year, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All Dressed Up

This is what I contributed to my guild's Christmas party last night...two very nice fat quarters wrapped up in a cube tissue box cover....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I need to make a quilt for a baby due in early February, so I searched in my stash and found these fq's that I bought at O'Susannah's Quilt Shop in Watkins Glen, NY earlier this year. Now all I have to do is figure out a pattern to use...something I haven't made before...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Virtual Christmas Quilt Show

SewCalGal is hosting a virtual Christmas quilt show and I thought I'd join in. Here is my entry --

This started as a Thangles "buck-a-block" program at the Village Sampler quilt shop in Big Flats, NY in 2007. My friend Susan and I talked each other into signing up, even though the last thing we really needed was another quilt project. Neither one of us had a Christmas quilt at the time, so we decided to go with the green and white colorway, thinking that we'd add some Christmas fabrics in the end. I didn't really care for the sashing and setting that the pattern called for, so I just set my blocks on point and added the larger squares, the red sashing and fussy-cut poinsettia cornerstones. Then I quilted it on my HQ16 in mid-2008 and gave it to my husband's brother and sister-in-law as a thank you for being our hosts when we visited family for Thanksgiving that year.

I guess I still don't have a Christmas quilt...oh wait, maybe Susan is secretly working on hers to give to me?!

Go on over to SewCalGal's list of other bloggers taking part in the virtual quilt show -- scroll down the post to see the links for the participants. And maybe join in the fun yourself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Go Big Red!

It's proud mama time in our house (proud papa, too). Our son Nick just received word that he's been accepted for Cornell University's class of 2014!

I've promised him that I won't walk around Main Street in Wellsboro dressed like this...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

And The Winner Is...

...Trudy of Sewing With Trudy. Congratulations!

Look for an email from me asking for your mailing address.

A big THANK YOU to all who took the time to stop by and enter my giveaway.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Been Too Long

Today is the monthly gathering of the Laurel Janes (has a month gone by already?), so I had to make at least one block since we last met. This is "M-7, Junko's Rose Garden", an intermediate-level block for which I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method. The dark purple fabric (and it's really much prettier in person) was cut out as just one piece and then sewn on the background fabric (also much prettier in person) with my machine. Only about an hour's worth of work.

If you'd like to see how I do this, you can check this post here.

I realize that this is not "real applique", but I don't really care. This is my quilt and this method works for me, so if the applique police come around they can go bother somebody else. All I know is that I am enjoying making this quilt using the methods that work best for me and I know that in the end I will have a quilt that I will love, even with its "imperfections".

Friday, December 4, 2009

School Spirit

The quilt that I was making for my son's senior class for a raffle fundraiser is now finished. It's based on a tutorial that I found at Film in the Fridge. Two-color quilts are not usually my style, but I thought it would be appropriate to use the school colors of green and white. This one will be hard to give away -- I really like how it turned out.

You should be able to click on the photos to see a larger version. I see that Blogger has changed how to view photos (at least on my computer). When you click on the photo, it brings up another box on your screen -- just click "open" and then you should be able to see the larger version.

Here is a closeup of the free-motion swirly design that I quilted using my HQ16.

Here's a shot with some of the backing showing...

...and a closeup of the striped binding (thanks to my friend Peggi who found the fabric in her stash!). I was very pleased that all four corners turned out quite nicely...

And last, but not least, is the pillowcase that I made from the leftover fabric. You can see the quilt is folded up inside. The winner of the quilt gets the pillowcase as well.

The quilt will be on display and raffle tickets will be sold by the Wellsboro Area High School senior class starting tomorrow (Dec 5) at Wellsboro's Dickens of a Christmas celebration. Their booth is located outside of Carson's Finance on Main Street (right across the street from our favorite local quilt shop, Needles). If you're in town for the day, stop by the quilt shop and then go over to the senior class booth and support them by buying a ticket or two. It will be chilly so the seniors will be happy to sell you some hot chocolate as well. Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Giveaway Day!

Giveaway is now closed -- winner will be announced on Tuesday morning...

Edited -- for those who want to know how to make the napkins that I'm giving away, click on this link. Then scroll down the page a bit and you will find a list of a few tutorials. The napkins in my giveaway are made as a circle, but I've also made them using half-circles as well.

Today is Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway day and I'm participating! They have a couple of lists on their blog of oodles of other bloggers who are also joining in the fun. Everyone on the lists is giving something away -- either something handmade or supplies for handmade gifts.

My giveaway is a couple of Christmas tree napkins (made by me) and a hand-carved Santacicle ornament made by my husband. And probably a couple of other surprise goodies (including maybe some fabric pieces of some sort) thrown in.

Here are my rules --

1) You must comment on this post and this post only (one comment per person);

2) You have until midnight (east coast time) December 6th to comment;

3) You must have a way for me to contact you either by having your profile set up with a link to your email or leave your email address in your comment. Those who have their profiles set up for "no reply" and who do not leave an alternate way for me to contact them will be disqualified. Don't miss out on winning a giveaway because of this;

4) I will ship internationally (this is fun -- my last winner was from Portugal!);

5) I will use a random number generator to pick a winner.

Now start commenting...and then go over to all the lists at Sew, Mama, Sew and comment on more giveaways!

Good luck!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Feeling Good

Some of my blog readers may remember that when Ami Simms came to speak at my guild in June, the guild surprised her with 30 small quilts for her Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative charity. A number of the quilts were sold at auction on Ami's website and some others went with her to the Houston Quilt Festival in October, hopefully to be sold.

I recently checked the website and discovered that a good number of our quilts were sold in Houston, including mine (it raised $40). The quilts made by my fellow guild members are in the 3870 and up numbers.

It's nice to know that we played a part in raising some much-needed funds for this very worthwhile cause. Thank you to all who made the quilts and those who bought them.

Won't you take some time to make one, too?

Friday, November 27, 2009

All Dressed Up

The quilts in the last two posts are wrapped in pillowcases and ready for Santa to deliver them.

Now it's time to move on to the next project...or two..or three...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Presents Continued

For the three and a half-year-old twins...

These are the other two quilts (see previous post)...

Both are made from a variety of novelty fabrics that I collected over many years. The backs are pieced from various leftover pieces.