Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fat Quarter Birthday Swap Quilts

I hosted and joined a swap in the summer that had a due date of end of Novemeber. I figured it would be no problem and actually put my name in twice. I got my swapmates fabric in August and procrastinated until this weekend before I started working on the quilts. I brought the fabric and foundations (they are both paper pieced) with me to Korea (where I'm visiting my hubby) and was able to complete them both in 2 days. Luckily both of my swapmates chose to be easy on me. One wanted a 16" octagon table topper (that looked like a fall topper I had made previously) and the other wanted a 16" x 28" table topper. The fabric from the octagon one was a beautiful gold print from the Hearth and Home collection at connecting friends. As soon as I got it I went out a bought a bunch of that fabric line myself. I love it. The topper is pretty, I just wish she would have let me make it bigger. There were so many other beautiful fabrics in that line. The other table topper was for a bedside table and my swapmate gave me all the colors in the quilt on the bed and told me what she wanted as the focus fabric. She gave me my choice of blocks, but since her hame is Virginia, I decided to use the block called Ginny. I think both quilts came out pretty good. I used Korean batting and quilted them on the small Janome Jem sewing machine I brought with me. Even though I procrastinated, I worked hard over the last 2 days and was able to finish them both and will get them in the mail today -- which was the deadline for mailing. Life is Good!

When I get home I'll post pictures of what my swapmates made for me. I definitely made out in this swap. They were both very generous. And I got one gift in September and the other just before I left for Korea (so I had it for my birthday). I'm a horrible swapmate, I feel so guilt, but so lucky at the same time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finished my own Sunset at Sea

Carol Doak posted a beautiful storm at sea quilt in orange and blue on her Yahoo group. I fell in love with it and had to duplicate it. Hers looks better -- not sure if that's because it's scrappy, her contrast is better, or just because she's the master -- but I still love mine. She kept a simple blue border, I had to add orange. After all it is the best color on the PLANET!!!

Below you can see what it looks like without borders and the five simple little blocks it takes to make this beautiful design.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Need Help with Storm at Sea Layout

I'd like to make a storm at sea quilt but am not sure of the layout. I plan on using two units from Carol Doak's Simply Sensational 9 Patch Stars Book. Can anyone tell me if I have the layout right as far as where the light, medium, dark and white would go? Thanks!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Guild's Paper Pieced Birthday Quilt

My guild is celebrating their 20th birthday and challenged members to make something with 20. My small Paper Piecing group made 20 birthday cakes (from Carol's 300 PPQB book). I "designed" the quilt (picked the colors) everyone sewed the blocks. Another member put it all together. I did the quilting. All the small groups were asked to do some kind of presentation for 20 -- and we're doing the 20 top reasons to paper piece your quilts. All the quilt needs is the black border, but someone else is doing that part, so I had to take the picture now before I didn't have the quilt any more. The picture is kind of bad, but it looks cute in person -- not at all blurry like it looks. It's black on black so you can't really see it, but it looks good to me. I love practicing quilting, hopefully with more practice I'll get better.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crayon Challenge

My favorite on line quilting group had a challenge to use a crayon block in some kind of project. If you posted a picture by September 30, you were entered into a random drawing to win something. A couple years ago in a class I saw someone with this neat "thing" that went under their sewing machine and had pockets in the front for all their sewing "tools." I thought it was great because when you take classes you don't have a lot of room for your "stuff" so this is a perfect way to keep everything in reach and "mark" your territory in class. I used this crayon challenge as motivation to make one for myself. I had found crayon fabric at my favorite LQS and used that on one side, made a dozen orange crayons using the challenge block and used more of my favorite color (ORANGE) on the back side. It came out pretty good. I used the crayons as the pockets and quilted them a bit and made 2 smaller and one large pocket to stick my stuff in. I made a big pocket where I can put a cutting board or leave empty and roll up the tool kit to ship. Should be a good tool for my travels to classes. Here's a picture with my traveling sewing machine. The pockets are big so you can't really see the tools but they all fit in there nicely and stay handy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My latest project

Wanted to make a quilt for my brother's girlfriend who was having a special birthday -- I'll be having the same one later this year. I used Carol Doak's Rays of Hope quilt free on her web site. Joya's favorite colors are blue and purple (according to my brother). Hopefully she likes the quilt. I was able to get the whole thing done in a day, except for the binding. I added the binding the next day and rounded the edges (a first for me) and was able to get it all sewn and delivered when I met them for lunch before they went back to NY. Did the quilting myself and added hearts (since he said she liked hearts) to the corners as well. Came out pretty good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blue and Gold Table Topper

Almost 3 years ago I made my first block from the Simply Sensational 9 PatchStars Book. It was the first time I used blue and gold together. I fell inlove with it. I liked it so well, I decided I wanted a whole quilt in thatcolor combo and I started collecting fabric. When Carol started the BOM morethan 2 years ago, I decided I would do the BOM in 2 color ways - Red, Black and White for my son (still not done) and Blue and Gold for myself. I think I onlygot one other B&G block done before I decided that one BOM at a time was enoughfor me.As I was looking through my orphan blocks to see if there were any blocks thatcould be made into Table Toppers and donated to my guild, I found that firstblue and gold block. I had forgotten how pretty it was. Now it is a TableTopper and will be a prize in the October Quilt Bingo for my guild. I posted a picture in the September General Folder.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

First Christmas Quilt of the Year

Carol Doak designed this cute mini Holiday quilt for her Yahoo Quilting Group. She let me be the pattern tester and even though I wasn't feeling well, it didn't take long and went together easily. I was a little nervous since the blocks are 2" and 1.5" but I think it came out very well. It's so cute, I might have to make some for other seasons in the year.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Red, White & Blue Fat Eighth Blocks

I finally finished my blocks for my favorite kind of swap for my favorite Yahoo group. It's a great swap. You send in pieces of fabric that are about 11 x 18 and people make blocks for you, using your fabric (plus their own) and you receive those same size pieces of fabric from other people and make blocks for them. Each group has 5 people, so you're making blocks for 4 other people. I joined three groups, so I had to make 12 blocks. That means I'll be getting back 12 blocks (enough for a nice sized quilt) all using my fabric. I was kind of specific in my requests -- I gave a specific block and asked that my fabric be placed in a specific location on the block. If everyone complies I'm gonna have a GREAT quilt. Can't wait. The best part is I get to try out blocks I've never made and color combinations I may not normally use. All the blocks are Carol Doak designs from a variety of her books and this time the blocks had to be Red, White and Blue. You never know if your swap mates will like your blocks, but I always hope so. I really liked how some of these came out. Unfortunately I procrastinated quite a while before finishing these. They've got to get in the mail tomorrow so I'm not late with the deadline.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My new sewing chair

I saw the perfect sewing chair at a quilt show years ago. I never should have sat in it, no other chair could compare. My husband tried to get me one last Christmas but the manufacturer had gone out of business. I was surprised to see the same folks at the Quilt Odyssey this year. They changed manufacturers and still offer it as the Perfect Sewing Chair. It's expensive but well worth it. I got the premium version because my butt is quite a bit wider than the average person.

This chair is especially for people with short legs; it’s adjustable 6 ways. The seat position (distance from back of chair) is adjustable and you can of course change the height of the chair and the height of the back. And the tilt and the slant of the back of the chair are adjustable too. And if you want to pay a little more you can get adjustable lumbar support.
It comes with this tilting thing to put your sewing machine at an angle (I didn't get that, I got a custom color instead) and it comes with this foot thing that you put your sewing machine foot pedal goes on and it has another wedge shape and if you put both your feet on those it's supposed to keep your hips square and stop back pain. I did get that and I hope it works. It's supposed to make it so you can sit and sew longer. I like that idea.

It took me 3 years of sitting in it once a year at the show to convince me it was worth spending the money. I’m so glad I finally did. It’s great. Very comfy. And in case you didn’t notice, it’s ORANGE!!! You can read all about it on their web site:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mystery Solved

On my favorite online quilting group, we were challenged to complete a mystery quilt. At first we had to pick one multicolored print, one dark for the background and then a light, medium and dark warm and light and medium cool fabric. Then we were told how to cut the pieces. And then every now and then we got a block design and directions on how many to make in what color combination. Just three simple blocks made the quilt you see. It was my first mystery but won't be my last. It is currently my favorite quilt made to date -- the colors are very ME!

Friday, June 12, 2009

5000 Member Celebration Block

I belong to this fantastic Yahoo quilting group. We just celebrated our third birthday and a week later are up to 5,000 members. To celebrate our birthday/anniversary our leader, Carol Doak, designed a mystery quilt. I'll post pictures once it's done. But for our 5,000 members she designed a block for us for that too. Mom was visiting and I had a day off and Carol was nice enough to let mom and I be the first to see and try out the block design. I liked it so much I made four of the block and added a border. I love it!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Luke's Baby Quilt

When I saw these fabric panels in Texas I fell in love with them, had to have them. So .... I bought the panels and the coordinating fabric. Then I saw this adorable blue fabric that says "mommy loves you, daddy loves you, grandma loves you, poppa loves you," and a bunch of other loves you. It was so cute. So I put it all together and made a second quilt for my second grandson. Then later I found out the designer of this fabric is the same designer of the fabric I made for my first grandson's first quilt. How cool is that? Hope he likes it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I started a quilt for my newest grandson in March. Had anticipated getting it done by April. Well I just finished it this weekend. My daughter bought most of the fabric and we picked out the design together. Luke's room is blue and brown with lots of circles all over the walls and linens. This should go perfectly with his room. His big brother, Lliam, and mommy LOVE the Disney movie, Cars, so it should be loved by all. I was pretty happy with the quilting job around the border this time. That's usually the hardest part for me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I'm going to be teaching my first paper piecing class. My guild offers a class once a month and they asked if I would do one. It's scheduled for May 4. They asked me to make some samples to show people what we'll be making. I made four and I tried to make them very different color combinations so one is two-color, one has a black background, one a white background and one a print background. I still have to make step-by-step samples. That's next on the list. I hope it goes well. Carol Doak offers the pattern free on her web site as long as you use it to train others. She loves to share the joy of paper piecing. Me too. I hope we get a lot of participation.

More F8 Blocks

I finished the last two F8 groups. I had fun with this one. Most of the fabric was in colors I would never use. But luckily I had fabric to match in my stash. I can't decide which is my favorite -- I kind of like them all. I hate to have to send the blocks home.
This has been a really slow swap. By the time the deadline came and all the blocks should have been going home, I only had one group finished. The blocks have been coming in slowly. But hopefully I'll have them all by the end of the month.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

F8 Swap Blocks

I ended up joining four groups for the Fat Eighth Swap on my favorite online group - 16 blocks. I finished two groups so far, so I'm half done. Here's what the second group looked like. I have until April 15 to finish the other two. Should be no problem. Then I'll get back 16 blocks from my swap mates. The two blocks on the left were ones I had never completed. The top one was free on the site -- 4500 Member Celebration Block and the bottom left was the Spain block from the Carol Doak Mariner's Compass Stars Book. The two on the right are from the Carol Doak Simply Sensational 9 Patch Stars Book. This is my favorite swap. It's so much fun to try new blocks and new color combinations. Just hard to find the time since I have my daughter and two grandsons (under 2) visiting. But I'll keep working on that.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oops, missed my anniversary

I started this blog in January 2008 to record my quilting journey. I just took a look over the year and it's fun to see what I've done. But I realized I missed quite a few too. Like the quilt I actually made at Hershey in July isn't in here and none of my potted posies are in here and a few other BOMs are missing. If I can find the time I'll search them out and load them so we can all see what I reallly did last year. 2008 was GREAT!

But it's a new year and I need to get busy. I have plans to make a quilt for my grandson Lliam (Sponge Bob Square Pants) and for my grandson Luke (Mater from Cars) and for my friend Barb and her fiance Eddie (Fireman stuff) and still need to finish my son Ben's quilt (red white and black) and I have plans for at least 3 Hawaiian Table toppers. I have a ton more projects I've planned, just got to get busy and get them done. 2009 will be FINE!

No time

My daughter and grandson are visiting while we wait for Grandson #2 to make his arrival, so not a lot of time on my hands. Llliam is 18 months old and wears us all out. But I do spend a lot of time laughing. I've been very busy at my job as well. We're short two people. The boss found another job and one of my coworkers had some unexpected surgery. They sent me to Hawaii for a little work that ended up being a great 3 day mini vacation and I bought TONS of fabric (Hawaiian prints) while I was there. I have been doing a little bit of sewing to keep up with swaps on my favorite online group. I've made a bunch of little potted posies for one swap and I'm working on a Fat Eighth swap now. You get fabric from four other people and you make each one of them a block using their fabric and yours. You get back four blocks from four different people all with your same fabric in it somewhere. This year I was pretty specific about the block and where I wanted my fabric to be. It should be a pretty quilt when all is said and done. It doesn't end until April 15, so it'll be a while until I can show my blocks. Here's some of the blocks I've made for others. I stuck with very similar designed blocks. I wanted to get done quickly and all these swappers left it quilters choice. They weren't as picky as I was. Not sure how much time I'll have once Luke is born to sew, so I need to finish up the rest of these soon. This is one group -- I'm in four groups, so 12 more to come.