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.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Magic of Fabric Placement

At first glance, these two quilts look like they are made from two different patterns... ...however, they're both the Disappearing Nine-Patch pattern, just with different placement of the fabrics. In the first one, the solids were left as squares and the print fabric was cut into rectangles and vice versa in the second one. In the first, your eye is drawn to the squares, while in the second one, your eye sees the pinwheel. Cool, huh?
These will be Christmas presents for two of my step-grandchildren...I'll show the other two in a later post...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Comfort and Caring

Several of my quilting friends and I recently made this throw for another friend who was in need of a hug or two. It's shown here before the pretty green binding was added.

We gave it to the friend last week and she was quite appreciative. Makes our hearts all warm inside....

Friday, November 20, 2009

More From the Files

Continuing with my showing of my B.B. (Before Blog) quilts...this one is from August 2006.

This was one of my favorite ones to make. It was a bug jar pattern using 35 different bug fabrics. This quilt was on display during my guild's 2006 exhibit and it was sold to a local resident for his grandson. I quilted it on my HQ16 in a meandering pattern using variegated thread.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Did I Really Make This Many Quilts?

Today is my annual visit to the local elementary school to give a quilting talk/show-and-tell to the second graders for their Colonial Days celebrations. These are the quilts that I've packed up in my van to show. What's scary is that I have almost as many still in my house that are not going with me and I'm sure I've also given away a pile just as big!

I've done this for the last 4-5 years and they keep inviting me back, so I guess they enjoy the show. Technically, of course, I should have all hand-quilted items with me for Colonial Days. When the teachers first asked me to do this, I warned them that I'm not a hand quilter, so 99 percent of what I show is done on machine...they didn't care.

I do show them a hand-quilted WIP (well it's really a permanent UFO) in a hoop that I started at least 8 or 9 years ago. (Don't look too closely at the stitches, please). I never really liked the fabric, hate the batting and have no more interest in finishing this. But it's perfect to use for Colonial Days since I can show the students what a quilt sandwich looks like and what (imperfect) hand quilting is. If I finished it, it wouldn't serve its purpose. Great excuse, huh?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mission Accomplished

I recently wrote in my blog that I had signed up for a Pay It Forward challenge and that I had lost contact info for the person who had signed up for mine. Thanks to the suggestions from blog readers, Sara and I managed to connect again.Here is the PIF gift that I made for Sara...I put it in the mail early Thursday afternoon, and by late Friday afternoon I had an email from Sara telling me that it had already arrived. Can't complain about the post office with this delivery!

This is from a pattern called Charm Party Tote by Penny Sturges that was in the August 2007 issue of McCall's Quilting magazine. I've used this pattern at least five times in the past. Take a look here and here if you want to see the others. The fabric on this one is from a charm pack of Moda's Wildflower Serenade II.

Sara's birthday is today. Go over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

I couldn't have asked for better timing on the finish for this one...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Progress Is Being Made...

This is what my DJ quilt looks like now...

The picture below shows what it looked like the last time I blogged about my progress...late August sometime...

My plan is to sew the bottom half and the top half in sections and then I'll attach both halves to the center row...only 18 more center blocks to go...

Thanks to my support group, the Laurel Janes, as well as everyone in the blogosphere who encourages me, I'll just keep plugging away until it's done...

Friday, November 13, 2009

In A Blue Mood

My last three DJ blocks have all been blue...

This is "J-8, Anna's Anchor", an intermediate-level block that I chose to paper piece and again used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the pumpkin seeds... I now have enough blocks finished to put together another 3x3 block section of the quilt. Hopefully, I'll finish that up by the time I come home from today's mini-retreat at the lake house.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Charity Sewing Day

This is what I will be doing today...

There are a couple of things I do a bit differently than shown in this video...

1) I use a 2-inch piece of fabric for the accent rather than the 3-inch used in the video (that's just personal preference);

2) For the French seam, I sew a scant 1/4-inch seam, trim it a bit, and then sew the final seam as 1/4-inch rather than the 1/2 inch shown in the video. I just prefer less bulk in the seam.

Today's pillowcases will be going to ConKerr Cancer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting Ready for Friday

Continuing with yesterday's subject of high school...

...this is "J-9, Maury High School", a beginner-level block that I chose to paper piece and then used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the small melons (they look more like pumpkin seeds to me). Not perfect, but it gets me to 150 blocks completed!

I hope to get at least one more DJ block finished this week in time for my guild's Laurel Janes' mini-retreat on Friday and Saturday...

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Was Going To Ask For Opinions, But...

(UPDATE -- for those who want to know...this is a penny pocket.)

...I think I've made up my mind...well, maybe...

My son's senior class asked me if I would make a quilt for a raffle fundraiser, so of course, I couldn't say no.

I decided to use the school's colors of green and white and picked this pattern from Film in the Fridge.

But I'm not sure of which layout to use...

This one....

...or this one?
I've already used the first layout in another similar top that I blogged about here. I was kind of hoping to use a different layout, so I came up with the second one. I kind of like it except for a couple of things...1) I'll need to make one more green block -- that's not a big deal; 2) I have 8 leftover white blocks that I suppose could be used on the back; 3) I'll need to make setting triangles; 4) it's square and I don't like square throws -- although I could move some of the green blocks from one side to the bottom. But that makes for a throw that is a bit too narrow for my taste. Which means I'd have to add a border.

It looks like if I want to use the second layout, it means more work and more time and I really don't want to do that because I'd like to get this finished and handed off to the senior class ASAP and because of all the other projects that are demanding my time. What projects, you ask? Well, there is a Pay It Forward gift that I need to get in the mail this week, a binding to finish by the 16th, ten penny pockets to make and fill by the 21st, charity pillowcases to make on Wednesday, two other pillowcases to make by Thursday...and oh yes, a couple of Dear Jane blocks to make for our mini-retreat on Friday/Saturday.

I think I'll just go with the first layout...but I'm anxious to try the second one on another quilt. Perhaps on the baby quilt that I need to make by February...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009


You may remember that I recently won a couple of giveaways that I blogged about in this post. Of course, gifts require thank yous. So...

I made this postcard for Janice from the UK using selvages from the fabric I won in her giveaway.

And this one was for Brooke and Greg in Kansas, again using the selvages from the fabric they sent.

A tutorial for these postcards can be found on my sidebar.

Thanks again Janice and Brooke and Greg!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look What I Got!

A number of months ago, I won a giveaway from a fellow blogger at Yarn Hungry. She sent me some luscious hand-dyed yarn that I blogged about in this post.

Last week, my friend Susan (the one who I gave the yarn to) surprised me with a birthday gift of these wonderful slipper socks! I wore them earlier this week while sewing at the lake house with friends -- I've decided that the slipper socks are for special occasions like that!

These slipper socks feel so good on my feet that it almost makes me want to take up knitting...but the last thing I need is another fiber obsession...maybe after Christmas...

Thanks, Susan...and thanks Yarn Hungry...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Joy of Reading

My son Nick has been a voracious reader since first grade. All through elementary and middle school he read everything he could get his hands on. He's cut back a bit on the pleasure reading in high school due to the large amount of assigned reading that he's had to do, but he still finds time to get lost in an exciting tome once in a while. He has probably read every single Star Wars novel ever published and owns more than 100 (!) of them (he's always used his spending money mostly on books, computer software too). I bet you didn't realize there were that many Star Wars novels in existence...

I found this center panel at one of my favorite quilt shops when Nick was in middle school and finally finished it in the summer of 2006 when he was just about to enter high school. The books and lamp are paper-pieced; then I embroidered the titles of some of his favorite books on the spines and used several of the fancy stitches on my machine for embellishment. It's been hanging on the wall in his room ever since. You should be able to click on the photo for a closer look if you like.

(Here's where some bragging comes in...) I guess Nick's love for reading has paid off -- when he took his SAT's last spring, his score on the reading/English section of the SAT reasoning test was a perfect 800!
P.S. I guess I need to work on a math-themed quilt for him as well...last week he found out that his score on the SAT math subject test (a separate test from the "normal" SAT math section) that he took last month was also 800!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tired of Pillowcases Yet?

We will be visiting my stepson and his family over Thanksgiving, so I made these for their four cute kids (ages 9, 7, and 3 1/2 year-old twins). Before the twins were born, the two oldest had a year's worth of holiday pillowcases for their travel pillows, but lately they've been asking for full-size ones. How could I refuse?