Friday, December 31, 2010

The last block of the year

I brought in the new year by sewing another radiant block. This will be my last block of the year. This one was originally from the first Block of the Month program Carol Doak offered for free on her Yahoo Quilting Group. Of course I had to re-size and add setting triangles to make it work for the king-size quilt I have planned, but I think it looks pretty good. Eight done so far, only 41 to go. Life is good!

Another Radiant Block

This time I used the block Carol Doak designed in 2006 to celebrate reaching 1,000 members on her Yahoo Quilting Group. I didn't like this one quite as much, but I think it goes well with the rest of them. On to another one. This is fun!!!

A modified radiant block

To make a king-size quilt, I had to add 13 "radiant" blocks to Carol Doak's Simply Radiant Blocks of the Month (12) and then I'll need to make 24 connector blocks. I found 13 other free blocks Carol designed that I thought would work, but they were all 12" blocks, so I shrunk them down to 8.25, figured out the new cutting directions, will add setting triangles to each so they are 12" blocks again. The first one I made is my favorite free block designed by Carol Doak. It was to commemorate her Yahoo group reaching 700 members. Now we have close to 7,000 members. Seems fitting to re-use this block in a different setting. I think it'll fit right in with the others.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December BOM

I skipped over this block because I didn't like it as much as the others. I have a hard time with those spikey kind of points. The skinnier they are, the harder they are to match up, and these ones were skinny. But got it done anyway. It came out pretty good -- was harder that I would have liked -- but no harder than expected.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

September BOM

Got another block done. This one took less than an hour and it's my favorite so far. Very neat design. And for once I think I put the colors in the right place. Loving it. Hopefully tomorrow I can get another done. The way I'm going I'll be caught up with the monthly blocks by the weekend and can start working on the extra blocks I'll need to make this a king-size quilt. In the end I'll need 49 blocks. Of those, 24 will be connector blocks or setting blocks - all the same. But I need to come up with 25 more stars to make this fit the bed the way I'd like.

October BOM

I finished the October BOM. This was really a cool design. If I would have paid better attention and been better at envisioning the finished product, I would have put some colors in different locations. But it still came out okay. Still plenty of blocks to make before I am caught up.

November BOM

Well I finished my second block of the month towards my king size bed quilt. This one was from November. I had a hard time with it. Lots of match points and I wasn't careful enough on my sewing, but it still came out pretty good. I'm going to try to keep the white centers and black backgrounds in these blocks, as well as the standard black scroll print on the setting triangles. I think it'll look great when finished.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Starting a new project

I haven't been in the sewing "mood" in a while, but a commitment that came due forced me back in the sewing room. Once I got started I remembered how much I loved it. I'm sure my blood pressure has gone down now. I've started a new project. This is the block of the month that started last June. I'm a little bit behind in some ways but ahead of the game in others: I got January's block done. Now I just have to do June - December to catch up. I've decided to use my hubby's favorite colors -- yellow, black and white. The first one came out pretty good. Hopefully I can get caught up quickly. If I make a block a night, it'll only take me a week. I'm on my way. Stay tuned for more blocks / posts.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I liked the Vermont Retreat quilt so much, I made a table topper using mostly the same fabric with the center block made from the June 2010 Block of the Month by Carol Doak. I was able to get them both quilted (by Peggy Graff and her trusty long arm) and finished the binding late tonight. They make the dining room look better, but the realtor will probably say it's too personal and make me take them down. Eventually they'll probably go to Jenny. They're more her colors than mine -- although they look great in this dining room. Who knows what my Texas dining room will look like. Here's a closeup of the quilting. Peggy does great work.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vermont Quilting Retreat

About 8 months ago I realized I had gone to quilt shows, quilt demos, shop hops, and quilt museums, but there were two things I hadn't done. I had never been on a quilting retreat and I had never been on a quilting cruise. I looked online and saw lots of choices for a retreat - in the pines, by the sea, in the desert - you name it. My guild was planning one as well, but it wasn't far from home and I thought if I was going to retreat I should retreat somewhere else. So I asked my favorite quilt teacher for a recommendation and she said she was having a quilt retreat in Vermont in April. So I signed up right away. I told some friends, it was announced on the Internet and it happened last weekend. This is something I'd like to do EVERY year. It was wonderful. I think it should just be called a treat the first time you go and then you get a re-treat every year after that.

I had taken the class before (it's called Fire and Ice) but I gave the quilt I made to my husband and when I visited him last November I saw it and had forgotten how pretty it was. I couldn't wait to make one of my own. When my friend and I went to a demo at a not-so-local quilt shop, we bought the fabric. I found this print (focus fabric) that I loved and picked colors from that. I tried to stay away from my normal selections. Thought I should make this something special since it was a first so I tried to go a bit outside my comfort zone.

I love the results. It wasn't exactly as planned. Carol, of course, changed my mind for me. But she knows what she's doing and it looks even better than I imagined. I was able to finish the quilt top at the retreat. [Only because I got up at 6 a.m. when everyone else was still sleeping.] I drove up to Vergennes, Vermont with a friend (we used to work together but she changed jobs) and met another friend from my local quilt guild and made about 18 other new quilting friends. We controlled ourselves and only stopped at one quilt shop on the way. I didn't even buy any fabric (been trying to cut back). We also stopped at a country store on the way where I got some cute signs for my sewing room (Quilting Queen, Going to Pieces, Measure Twice Cut Once, and Born to Quilt). We also went to the Vermont Country Store, but since I had already shopped there online, I was able to restrain from buying anything.

All I can say is Quilt Retreats are GREAT! Next year this time I'll be on a quilting cruise and I'll let you know how much I like them too. And hopefully next June I'll be going back to the Strong House Inn (bed and breakfast) and taking my mom with me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Year of Love Wreath

I figured out a "different" way to display my Year of Love scrappy hearts (shown in the last post). I used Ellen's block from Carol Doak's 40 Bright and Bold Paper Pieced Blocks book in 3" and 5" sizes. I added a black and white paisley border and stuck to solids and plain fabric blocks so that I could put my individual hearts in the center and show them off. I'll use velcro to hold them in the center of the wreath, but first I need to finish all the hearts. I'm gonna use my fancy stitches (that I never use) and try some embellishments to finish each one. But, right now I'm pretty happy that I found a way to display them - my genius idea. I didn't want to just stick them all together in a wall hanging. This way they each have their time and can stay up for a whole month. I might use some of my novelty stash to create some more. Tons of fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowing = Sewing aka A Year of Love

We have had the worst winter in Maryland since 1884. Over the last week I think we've gotten almost four feet of snow. I went to work on Monday (roads were not good), but stayed home on Tuesday and then they closed the post on Wednesday and Thursday. I took advantage of the unexpected 3 days of free time and sewed 12 blocks. Carol Doak designed a paper-pieced scrappy heart block for a swap I was planning on her Yahoo group site. The swap is called I Love the Holidays so I dug out all my holiday fabrics and started making swap blocks. I made duplicates because they were coming out so cute. Somewhere in the making of the holiday scrappy heart blocks I decided to make one for each month. I have finished and am calling them a Year of Love. I'm not sure what I 'm going to do with them, but they sure are cute and hopefully I can find the perfect project to put them in and really show them off.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Round 2 of the YTRR

We got our instructions for Round 2 of the Yours Truly Round Robin. I couldn't wait to do it and got it done right away. It's not exactly what I'd hoped, but I still like it. Our criteria for this round was to use only two colors, so I used blue and gold. You could use as many shades of those fabrics as you wanted and I ended up using 5 fabrics. The blocks were from Carol Doak's Designer Edition CD Block G66. It was originally in her Easy Stash Quilt Block book. It'll be a while til we get criteria for another round, sound I guess I'll try to work on those Christmas gifts I keep procrastinating on.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Round Robin

My favorite online quilting group is holding a no-mail round robin, called the Yours Truly Round Robin. We start with a center block and then each month we'll get instructions for what to do next and we will add a round according to specifications provided by our leader, Carol Doak. I'm still working on Christmas projects but decided to take a break. Here's my center. Blue/Gold, Blue/Yellow, and Blue/Orange are my favorite color combinations. I should love this quilt when done. I'm planning to make it 60" square but it could grow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting Finished Part 2

Managed to get three more quilted. Only have one more table runner and six placemats left for me to quilt. The other tablerunner and wall hanging will have to be done at the long arm quilter.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Finished Part 1

I made Christmas quilt projects for all my coworkers, but I got started late so I am just now getting around to finishing them up. The tops were done, but the quilting wasn't. So here are the first two finished projects. Very similar table toppers in the colors the recipients like. I like them both, but I think the fall colored one is my favorite.