Friday, November 29, 2013

A Day Late?

Not necessarily...Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my U.S. readers who celebrate. Yes, many of you had your big meal yesterday, but I know there are many who have family celebrations scheduled for the next several days. For various reasons, we don't all sit down to the Thanksgiving table on Thanksgiving itself.  And some do it for more than one day (mine included this year). The important thing to remember is that we all should spend time with those we love and those who love us. It doesn't matter when that is, as long as it happens. And please, please, please, don't make anyone feel guilty if they spend a holiday meal with their spouse's family. No one can be in more than one place at a time, so let's just be thankful that we see our loved ones whenever possible. I have been very fortunate that both my family and my husband's family don't feel that they "own" us for a holiday. We consider any family gathering to be a holiday, no matter the date.

And Happy Hanukkah to my readers who celebrate the Festival of Lights!

(The turkey chair in the photo was in the window of a wonderful quilt shop in Hammondsport, NY -- Lake Country Patchwork -- alas, it's closing soon after 18 years in business).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Easily Distracted

I was going to clean my house, but I was distracted by making this table topper....

Actually, it's just the top and hasn't been quilted and bound yet. But I don't think I will do too much quilting on it. Perhaps just some stitching in the ditch around the triangles; I'm not sure yet.

I'm afraid a few of the matryoshka dolls are a bit deformed where the triangle seams are, but the rest of it lines up well enough for me to be happy with it.

Here's what the fabric looked like before it was cut....

There are a couple of strips that remain with the troikas and they'll go back into my stash until I figure out what to do with them.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hard at Work

This in quilt top #4 that I've quilted since I made a vow to quilt two of my tops before starting the piecing of another one. It feels good to have surpassed my goal.

The pattern is a free one from Moda Bake Shop -- Marmalade Squares (Two!) -- you can find it on their website by clicking here. Note that there were errors in the original pattern, and the blog post now indicates that corrections have been made on the website but not on their PDF download. The initial directions called for one charm pack of 40 squares, but you really need a bit more than that. And some of the other cutting directions of the larger pieces initially had incorrect measurements.

Just free-motion waves as the quilting...

Here's the scrappy backing....

And my favorite part...striped bias binding....

The quilt measures about 44 inches x 48 inches and used up two yards of my pre-2013 stash (the lime green and darker pink were bought in 2013, but at thrift store and yard sale prices!). Oh yes, and the batting is pieced from three leftover pieces.

Now I give myself permission to start piecing another top!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane

While I was visiting my parents recently, I asked my mother if I could take a look at the sewing machine that she has had since at least the early 1970s, perhaps even the late 1960s. Although my mother is not a quilter, she still sews on it once in a while. It's a Singer Fashion Mate 237.

I spent many happy hours at this machine while learning to sew in the early 1970s. The quilting bug hadn't hit me yet, but I loved going to fabric shops (they used to have them in the mall!) and making a few of my own clothes. I don't make clothes now, but I still love going to fabric shops!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yes! Another Finish!

Started on Christmas Day finished about a week later...and I had the backing, batting, and binding cut and ready at the same time....

But then it hung around for almost two years before I finally loaded it on my mid-arm a couple of weeks ago and got it quilted. Nothing special, just some loopy meandering...

Candy-cane stripe for the binding...Perfect, right?

This uses up about six yards of pre-2013 stash and my pile of quilt tops to be quilted is getting quite a bit lower....which means I can start piecing another quilt top!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Still On Track

I'm still on track with quilting more of my quilt tops and not piecing new least for now.

approximately 50" x 66"

This was an experiment with making large half-square triangle blocks using a nine-patch block and a plain white square. I'm pleased with how it turned out; however, this technique cuts off corners of some of the squares and then seams don't always line up. It's not a big deal, since this is not a quilt that I made to be judged or hung in a show or to be given to an expert quilter. You can see some of the cut-off corners in the photo below (the corners are "neatly tucked away") as well as some of my wobbly "straight-line" quilting.

And here's a look at the backing and binding fabrics...

Although this quilt is now completed, I can't count it as using up any of my pre-2013 stash. The gingham fabrics on the front were from a fabric thrift store this year, and both the backing and binding fabrics were from a couple of quilt guild yard sales, also this year. I don't count white fabric as being used up because I buy it periodically just to have on hand and I have no clue how much of it I buy in any particular year.

Anyway, not counting the white, the fabrics for this quilt cost me a grand total of about $7. Not bad, huh?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Have The Bestest Friends (Part 2)

My good friend Peggi recently gifted me with this...

It's the foot pedal from an old treadle sewing machine. She had seen a picture that I had taken in the Bennington Museum of a machine with this kind of pedal, so she thought I might like one for myself...and she was right! I'll have to find just the right place to hang this in my quilting studio.

Thank you, I said, I have the bestest friends!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Have The Bestest Friends (Part 1)

My good friend Susan recently gifted me with these lovelies....

She made them to replace these lovelies that she gave me four years ago...

The reason she had to give me new socks is because of this...

I guess I loved my socks a little too much...

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful friend....(she still hasn't figured out that the reason I don't want to learn how to knit is because I want my knitting friends to keep gifting me with lovelies like this)...

Thanks again, Susan!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I Kept My Word

As I said in my previous post, I will not start another quilt top until I quilt two that are waiting to be quilted,'s one that I finished quickly. I don't have a photo of the whole thing because lighting just wasn't cooperating, no matter where I tried to take a photo. The floral nine-patches were too washed out in all the photos, so all you get is this. But it's just a simple top. I had nine identical leftover nine-patches that I had made more than five years ago for a block exchange in my guild, so I just quickly added them to some solid fuschia fabric, used the same floral fabric for the backing, and then added a fun green bias stripe for the binding. The quilt is now in the hands of my guild's Outreach chair, who will find it a good home.

This used up 2 yards out of my pre-2013 stash!

Now it's time to quilt another top!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Can't Help Myself

I have this's an addiction to piecing fabrics on my sewing machine...I can't seem to stop...

I may not be able to stop, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to control myself...My new rule is that I am not allowed to start piecing (or cutting) a new quilt top until I have quilted two tops that are in line waiting to be quilted! Hopefully, I'll get things taken care of in just a few weeks. Sew one, quilt one, quilt two....I just have to keep repeating that to myself.

So, I am stepping away from the sewing machine and moving over to my mid-arm...Really, I am...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Should Have Been Me

Darn -- the drawing for this quilt was this past Wednesday, and I was sure that I would get a call telling me I was the winner. After all, it was my birthday yesterday, so it would have been perfect as a gift for me!

Oh, well, I guess some other lucky person is the winner, but that's OK with me. The proceeds go to benefit the Tompkins County Friends of the Library, who sponsor a gigantic used book sale twice a year. You can read about the creation of this quilt in their newsletter here. And you can read about some of their quilting volunteers in their newsletter from Fall 2011 here.

Books and quilts -- a great combination!