Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Presents -- TT Galore

I made a table topper for each of my coworkers. I asked what their favorite colors were and tried to accommodate those who gave me an answer. I used to just put boring backings on these until I found one I had gave a friend with the backing up -- she said she liked the front but got tired of it and really liked the paisley on the back so sometimes she used it back up. The quilting (luckily) looked pretty good. I always stitch-in-the-ditch on these. So now I spend more time picking the backing fabric and am a little more careful on the quilting. I'm posting pictures of the front and back of each of the christmas presents I made. Some came out better than others, but it's hard to pick my favorite. All the stars are Carol Doak designs. Most are from the 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars book but two are freebies from her Yahoo Group web site. Hope my coworkers like them. They sure were fun to make and design. I let my daughter and grandbaby pick the colors on one.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Table Topper

I love the colors in this table topper. Fall is my favorite time of the year, I just love the colors all around. I made two of these centers. I'm keeping one for myself. Don't know if it will be this one or the second one. We'll see when it's done. But here is the top of the first one. It's the Connecticut Block from Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars Book.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Latest Challenge

Sometime in July the online quilt group I belong to posted a challenge. We were given three different blocks and needed to use them to design and sew a quilt. I designed mine right away but never got around to sewing it. Well the challenge is over Oct. 31, so I worked this weekend on sewing the challenge. I wanted to use this great mushroom fabric I have and lots of bright colors, but I didn't want to use too much of my favorite fabric since I wasn't sure what I was gonna do with the quilt. It didn't come out great, but it's okay. The challenge has 3 prizes. One prize was for the quickest -- that wasn't me. Another prize is for viewer's choice. Everyone on the site gets a chance to vote on their favorite. I got no chance of winning that either. There are some beautiful quilts, far better than mine. And then the last prize is a random drawing. There's less than 20 people involved right now so the odds aren't bad. Sometimes more than a hundred participate. Don't think I'll win, but gotta give it a shot. It took me quite a while to do it, but there are only 32 blocks, I think. I took a close up of the mushrooms, they're my favorite part.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

November BOM

Our fearless leader posted the November BOM early. I made 2 again. One standard and one a little more fun. These blocks are only 7" finished so the finished quilt should be a cute wall hanging - about 28 x 36 - with borders. This one was geared towards labor day, so I made one with the flag, but then I made another with the leaves on the roof and a kitty in the window and a stray cat hanging around outside. Kind of like my house. Can't wait til December's block is ready.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bright Boo Boo

Mom and I went to the Quilt Odyssey in Hershey this year and Carol Doak offered 5 classes. Mom and I signed up for 3 and I got my fabric early, cut it all up, labeled it and had it in bags waiting for the class. Then mom came over and I was helping her get hers ready and we went back over the cutting instructions and I was doing things I didn't remember doing when I cut mine. So ... I go back and look at mine and it turns out I had made a slight boo boo. I had cut out the fabric for the Bright Stars class and we were in the Bright and Bold Spinners class. So ... I set it aside and promptly forgot about it. (Of course we had to hit Lancaster on the way to Hershey and I got all new fabric for the Spinners quilt there.) Then this weekend I was trying to "finish up" some projects and found it, so I put it together. I used the same border print as I did for the Spinners class. I love the bright colored mushrooms. It's got a bit more purple and pink than I would normally use, but it still looks pretty good.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Goodie

Every time I make a new table topper I like it better than the last one. I'm not sure if it's because I've gotten better at them and they're even more fun to make each time or if it's because I've spent a lot of time shopping for fabric and seem to find exactly what I want or if it's because they really are better. But this latest one is (once again) my favorite. This one is for a quilting buddy who (like me) has a cat for one of her best friends. If you can't read the words in the center it says "Never underestimate the power of a purr." I've just got to hand sew the opening and it'll be on its way. I even liked the back fabric on this one and took a close up so you could see how cute those kitties are.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halloween Fun

I saw some cute Halloween quilts and table toppers on my favorite online group and I got a sale flyer from Joann Fabrics that said all Halloween fabric was 50% off, so I went and bought some fabric and made myself a holiday table topper. It is even brighter in person and makes me smile everytime I see it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October Block of the Month

My favorite online group just started a new Block of the Month. This one is 7" on point scenic blocks. The first one is a tree next to a path. According to the designer it's supposed to be an apple tree next to a road. I made one like that but then I also made one as a fall tree with a stream next to it. I can't wait to see the rest of the blocks for this quilt. Looks like next fall I'll have two wallhangings ready for quilting.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Teacup Swap

Today I finished my blocks for the teacup swap on my favorite online group. I made 12 blocks but I only used three different color combos. Can't wait to see what I get back from the swap. I have some plans for most of them for a Christmas gift.

Paper Piecing Bee

I put off joining the local quilt guild for a long time because I just didn't think I fit in. The guild is mostly made up of traditional quilters who like traditional patterns, colors and techniques -- especially applique and hand quilting. That is definitely not me since I like bright colors, novelty patterns, paper piecing, and hate hand sewing of any sort. Someone suggested there might be others in the guild like me and said I should start a group. So at the last guild meeting I announced the startup of a Paper Piecing Bee and we've had our first meeting. There are only four of us now but I think there'll be at least two more soon. We'll be doing monthly lotteries, a few projects each year, and getting together for sit & sews.

Since I like the teacups so much, I made that our first lottery block. This is the one I made. It's even brighter in person. We'll get together in October and someone will win all the blocks made (right now only 4). Next month's lottery block is a jack-o-lantern. My favorite colors! I sure hope it all works out, it's a nice group of ladies and I hope to get them to love paper piecing as much as I do.


I hosted a teacup block swap on one of the groups I belong to. I only made 3 blocks so I put them together into a small wallhanging. It came out pretty good. I liked it so much I'm using the same blocks in a project for a small group I'm starting up in our guild. I'm hosting another teacup swap on another group. I'm making 12 blocks for this one so I can make a bigger wallhanging and I plan on adding a teapot. I hope it comes out good! They'll probably both end up as Christmas gifts. I have someone in mind.

Christmas Table Toppers

I recently joined the local quilt guild and they were having a silent auction fund raiser and needed donations, so I made two table toppers. I used the 4000 member celebration block from my favorite on line quilt group. They came out pretty good and were very easy to make.

Froggy Blanket

My daughter was complaining that my grandson kept dragging around the baby blanket I made when he was born and she said it was too big and he kept knocking everything over. So .... she wanted me to make him a smaller blanket that he could carry around. So I did -- and I fussy cut frogs and used a simple block. Then I found the cutest stuffed frog and attached a hoop to his butt and made it so you could attach the small quilt to the frog so he could carry both around easily. He loved it. And carried it around with him, but in the other hand -- he kept dragging the big baby quilt. Refused to give it up. We think he likes the silky blanket binding. I like the frog myself.

Where has the time gone?

Wow! It's been a while since I posted on this. My mom was here for about a month. We went to the Hershey Quilt Odyssey and took 3 workshops . So I'll post pictures of the blocks I made (as soon as I can find them). Then we went to my grandson's first birthday party. It was hot but fun. Then my hubby came home from Iraq. He was here about a month too. We went to Florida for a week with the whole family. Tons of fun and beautiful weather. Missed all the hurricanes. But now hubby is on his way to Korea, so my time is again my own and I can catch up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fall Mini Quilt

I tried to take the celebration quilt and use that design with a different block and make a miniature version. I was hoping it would end up a fall wreath but it didn't really. It was a lot of work since it includes 16 two inch blocks and 4 three inch blocks and each one of those blocks has 16 little pieces sewn together (some smaller than 1/4 inch) and it took longer than I expected to sew. But in the end it was worth it. I still like how it came out even though it wasn't what I expected. The pieced center is only 12 inches -- considered a mini -- but after I added the borders it doubled the size -- which kind of loses the mini status. The fabric is from Carol Doak's Royal Windsor line which was produced in 2004 by Timeless Treasures - I won all the fabric except the solid gold. I'm glad I finally found a project to use it on.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Birthday! Let's Celebrate

My favorite online quilting group celebrated its second birthday on June 3. The owner, Carol Doak, designed a special quilt for us called a Celebration Wreath. I made mine in very bright colors. It was pretty easy. I ended up staying up late (2 a.m.) to finish it. Still not sure if I like it or not, but it is definitely a bright celebration.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quilter's Tribute Round Robin

Robins are my favorite type of quilts. I must admit I like Row Robins a little better than Round Robins, but both are tons of fun. Carol Doak, the leader of my favorite on-line quilting group and queen of paper piecing, started us all on a no-mail round robin (called Yours Truly Round Robin) in January 2008. Every month for 6 months we were given instructions to follow for the center block and each round we added. The majority of the design was up to us but the challenge was to meet Carol's requirements as well.

Everyone who completed the robin and posted a picture by July 1 was entered into a random drawing to win a beautiful cherry wood keepsake box to display a quilt block. I was gonna make this quilt regardless but there came a time when the prize and the support of a fellow quilter (Thanks Birdie!) is the only thing that made me finish this challenge. I decided right away I wanted my YTRR to really represent Yours Truly - me. I decided to make a Quilter's Tribute. Quilting has been my saving grace over the last two years and I wanted to make something to help me remember. This quilt is my tribute.

My center block was my favorite free block off the online group site. It was a block Carol designed in celebration of the group reaching 700 members. Less than 2 years later we're almost at 4,000 members. I "fussy cut" cartoon quilters in Black, Red, Yellow, and Blue and surrounded each one in coordinating fabric. The center of the block was my favorite color -- ORANGE and I had some fabric that represented stacks of fat quarters that I used in the block. The block was a big one and almost 16 inches square. Lime green (another of my fave colors) brightened up the block and I also added a small lime green border to set off the first round.

The rules for the first round were easy all you needed were four paper-pieced corner blocks. I liked the idea of using free blocks but I wanted a thin round so I chose the mini quilt block design for the corners and used three blocks in each corner. The round was only 2 inches wide. I wanted to make each round a different color to match the cartoon quilters. The main color in my first round was black with orange corners and I finished it off with a small black border. To keep with the quilter tribute theme in the corner blocks are tiny little "fussy cut" quilt blocks that are less than 1 inch square. Too bad you can't see them in the photos.

The second round was easy too. All I had to do was use paper-pieced blocks with points. I decided to use LOTS of them. The main color in this round was red. I used another free block from the group site -- the star points from the September Block of the Month. The round had 44 points not counting the corners. This one was 4 inches wide. I used fabric with tomato pin cushions in the corners, but I didn't like it so I took that out and replaced it with Ellen's block (from 50 Bright and Bold Stars book) that had a black ribbon with a red heart in each corner. I liked that a lot better. The fabric didn't have any link to quilting except the heart fabric and hearts in the corners to show how much I love it.

The rules for round three said you had to use a paper-pieced rectangular block. I admit I took it easy on this round and only pieced 8 blocks. I used block 264 (from 300 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks book) on the sides and Unit 22 (from Simply Sensational 9 Patch Stars) in each of the corners. Inside each block is a "fussy cut" sewing machine to keep with my quilting tribute theme. Between the borders is a really cool striped fabric with very bright colors. I kept this round at 4 inches wide. The main color is yellow.

Round four seemed like it was going to be the easiest round but it was actually the hardest. The rules said we could only use two colors. We could use multiple shades but had to stick to two main colors. I used black and blue and that's how I felt after completing it -- like someone had beat me until I was black and blue. I used a very common quilt block called flying geese as a tribute to quilting. But because of the size of the quilt I needed to make 20 blocks and each block had 28 pieces and each corner block had 12 pieces but I modified it to match the other blocks and it ended up with 14 pieces. I used block PB13 (from Carol's Designer Edition CD) and the corner blocks from the October Block of the Month (free block) in the corners. This was a tough round and took me a long time to piece, but I loved the results. This was another 4 inch round, this time with a blue focus.

I have to admit I knew what fabric was going to be in my last round when I started this quilt. If it didn't conform to Carol's rules, I just figured I'd add another round. But lucky for me it fit and I was able to take it a bit easier on the last round. I was already late with the fourth round and only had 2 weeks to complete the fifth. It only took me three nights after work. Not bad at all. The rules said we had to make paper pieced blocks that incoporated all the colors that were used in the center. This worked perfectly for me since every other round matched the four main colors of the center block (black, red, yellow and blue) so this was a great way to finish it off. I decided to use another free block -- the 2000 member celebration block -- which is a kind of mariner's compass star -- but I only used it in the corners. It takes 8 sections to make a whole block but I only needed 3/4 of a block in each corner. So ... only 24 sections -- 12 x 6" blocks -- much easier than round 4. I made it with red and blue star points with an orange and yellow center and I used that same Fat Quarter fabric (from the center) in the background rays. This one was my fattest round -- 6 inches wide. In between these blocks I used another fabric with cartoon quilters - I've been waiting to use this fabric for a while -- I love how it came out. Actually it is two different fabrics but from the same line - one looks like a quilter's show and tell and the other is quilters shopping. And to finish the quilt off I am adding a lime green binding in the same fabric I used to surround the center block.

So that is the saga of my Yours Truly Round Robin (aka YTRR). This quilt was fun to make and truly a tribute to quilting. I love it and hope you do too. I plan on keeping it in my sewing room to keep me warm this winter. I may have to pay someone to quilt it. I wouldn't know where to start!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Father's Day Quilt

I wanted to make a quilt for my husband. It needed to be small since he's in Iraq and doesn't have a lot of room. I saw this in a book I had and LOVED it, so tonight I made it. It was really quick and only two colors and hardly any fabric -- less than a FQ of each. Hope he likes it -- he may see too many of these where he is, but probably none so pretty. Didn't get it to him by Father's Day but at least I got it finished and a picture posted.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Batman for Baby

My daughter's best friend is pregnant and asked me to make her a Batman baby quilt. Batman is dark and sinister but it's what she wanted, so I agreed to do my best. She bought the main fabric, I bought the coordinating fabric and my daugther picked the pattern. Hopefully she'll like it. I just have to add a yellow border, add the batting and backing, quilt it and add the binding and I'm done. But at least I got a good start on it today. Hopefully it doesn't scare the baby!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Speedy Spring TT

Today I challenged myself to see if I could make a tabletopper in a night. I usually spend a weekend working on them -- oneday piecing the top and the other day putting it together, sandwiching,quilting and hand sewing/finishing. Tonight I did it ALL in 5 1/2hours. I started after work at 5:30 p.m. I'm amazed! I finished at11 p.m., just in time for bed. It's probably not as good as I could doif I took my time but I really like this one AND I also took tons of pictures so I can make a step-by-step tutorial.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ben's Quilt So Far

I've got 17 out of 25 blocks done for my son's queen size bed quilt in black, white and red. This will be my first bed size quilt. Who knows how long it'll take though. Here's what I've got so far (in no specific order).

June BOM

We got issued a challenge with our June Block of the Month. Whoever got done first won 60 Fat Quarters of fabric. I was able to complete the block in less than 2 hours. I read the challenge at 4:20. I printed the block, picked out the fabric, cut it, pieced it and sewed it all together and posted a picture at 6:20. I was third. It's got a little too much white in the block and I really wish I used a different fabric in the corners. But here it is.

3500 Member Celebration Block

The online group I belong to recently reached 3500 members and our fearless leader, Carol Doak, designed a special block for us. Since it's a 12 inch block, I made it in the Black White and Red colorway so I could use it on my son's quilt.

Notepad Cover

I started a new job Tuesday so I wanted to make myself something useful and decided on a cover for my steno book I use to take notes at meetings. It came out pretty good, but not great. It took me a couple tries too. I think I'll stick with flat things.


I finished my May BOM just under deadline. It's another Black White and Red block for my son's quilt. Hopefully I win the random drawing. I think it's 60 fat quarters this month. Woo Hoo!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pretty Table Toppers

I've been pretty busy lately but I've done some sewing too. The coffee group I belong to at work had a farewell coffee and there were three other ladies leaving besides me, so I made farewell table toppers for them and a fourth one for a raffle we do at all the coffees. They are so much fun to do. The center blocks are from the 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars - MD, OH, MO and AL. Which one do you like best? I can't decide!