Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Making Progress on UFO's

Last week I finished quilting my very old UFO. I think I'll name it Nine Squares, because that is what it is. Boom. I have now made the binding and machine stitched it on the trimmed quilt. So I have one more quilting waiting for the binding to be hand stitched.

So I need another hand quilting project....

I pulled out my Glitter (Jen Kingwell) quilt and basted it Sunday. You may remember I used scraps and stash in a controlled color scheme. This is not a big quilt - a nice lap or kids' quilt.

I had the perfect backing fabric in my stash! It wasn't quite wide enough, so I did a bit of creative piecing to make it work.

A skinny piece of orange brought the backing together to make it the right size. Glitter will be easy to quilt because I won't have to mark it - just straight lines sewn along the seams. I haven't started the quilting yet, but hopefull soon.

I finished the four applique blocks for Mathilde and started the hand pieced block. I spent a few hours Sunday making the first block. BIG mistake. The block is perfect, but I didn't take enough breaks and now my hand is a bit strained. I must have been holding the fabric with my left hand in a deathlock! So I have prescribed rest for my left hand for several days. I've had this condition before and I'll have it again. Overuse without breaks can do it. I have a drugstore hand brace that I pull out and wear once every year or two when this happens. No biggie. 

In a few days, my hand will be fine again and I'll resume my handwork: binding and hand quilting and hand piecing. I have to make TWELVE more of these little pieced blocks.....but next time I'll make one over the course of two or three days instead of speeding through in only one day.

I am able to cut fabric and I can still machine piece with no issues. So nine patches are still flowing. And I trimmed up the Bible blocks I got in the auction. 

This week will be a bit slower in the sewing since I'm taking time off from hand work. And that perfectly fine. I have no deadlines! Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Midweek Update! And Auction Wins!

The nine patches are still flowing! I spend about 20 minutes each morning making a handful of blocks - I usually average about five blocks per day. Those at the top will be to share and swap with friends. The bottoms are for me, for some future project. In the middle are parts and pieces leftover each day.  As soon as I get 10 in a stack, I take them off the wall and clip them together. By now I've made more than 40 in total, probably more. They add up fast!

Every morning after I finish the day's nine patches, I lay out more strips for tomorrow's nine patches.

Mathilde is coming along, too. I've finished 3 of these flower blocks and I'm working on the last of the group. I think by the weekend I'll be ready for the pieced blocks for this mystery. The magazine (Quiltmania) only comes out every other month. So I have until mid March to finish these.

Every once in awhile, Jo from Jo's Country Junction has an auction to raise money for the community quilts program she runs. She provides quilt tops from various makers to quilters around the country to finish and donate in their area. She uses the money for postage and to buy batting for volunteers. Because of Jo, hundreds of quilts are donated to good causes around the country. 

Jo had a recent auction that had a couple of items I wanted. Above are the Bible blocks. This is a set of 12 embroidered blocks depicting scenes from the Bible. With two young grandchildren, I knew I wanted this set of blocks!

There was already a pretty large bid in place. Hmmm.... What to do? I waited it out and watched. In the last 30 minutes of the auction, I checked in. No more bids had been placed. Well... I upped the bid by $10, deciding that they were worth it.  Boom! Yes, I won the bid. I'm thrilled. This will be a simple quilt with sashing and cornerstones. I'll put it aside for now, but it will be fun to finish it before long.

And then there was this item. a Seven Sisters hand pieced project. I've always wanted to make a Seven Sisters quilt. And you know I love hand work!

There are 45 (!) stars already pieced in these nice  (mostly) civil war prints.

And look! Tons more diamonds already cut and ready to go!

Also included were homemade templates. My heart...be still! This item wasn't quite as popular in the auction, so I didn't have to pay as much. But I'm equally excited about it.

And that's what I've been up to so far this week. I'm only machine sewing a bit in the morning (the nine patches), while Sadie is in preschool. And all handwork happens in the evening on a typical day. 

Last night we went out to dinner with some friends and had a fun time. Busy, busy, busy, but all is well. Enjoy the rest of your week!


Saturday, January 28, 2023

A New Quilt Started...

I guess it was inevitable, wasn't it? I've had this mystery quilt on my mind for a few months. I'd heard the Quiltmania 2023 Mystery Quilt was designed by Susan Smith of Australia. I've long been fan. 

Four years ago I started the 2019 Quiltmania Mystery, Marshal, designed by Jen Kingwell. And just finished the hand quilting a few months ago. 

Anyway, this quilt is called Mathilde. I had let my Quiltmania subscription run out after 2019, so I renewed late last year in anticipation of the mystery quilt. I just got my January magazine  recently and decided I was in! I'm using civil war reproduction fabrics that I have on hand, leftover from making the Courthouse Steps quilts last year. 
So for the first set of instructions, I have to make 4 of these appliqued flower blocks. I also have to make 8 pieced blocks  - I'll be hand piecing them. I made templates for all these pieces so I'm ready to go. Boom!

I'm still making nine patches. Lots of nine patches. By the year end, I'll have a PILE of them! Great to be using my stash!

Another project I worked on....getting my Bernina feet and accessories organized. I have this nice case Hubby bought me years ago. But I now have 3 Berninas, and my feet were all in a mess. So I laid them all out and put the duplicates away.

And one nice set of feet is now arranged in numerical order in my case. Doesn't it make you feel good to organize????

Here's another little project from this week. A good friend (thank you Carol B!) gave me  a nice bunch of little pillows when I had breast cancer. Little pillows are so handy after surgery! I could put them under my arms or anywhere for more support during recovery. I still use this one while I'm riding or driving in the car, tucked in between my chest and the shoulder strap seat belt. I feel protected if the airbags were to deploy. I don't want my implants to break in an accident! 

So the pillow was a lovely pink, but had faded over time. It was quick and easy to recover and give it a new look.

It's amazing how much sewing I can get done in little pockets of time. I love keeping the grandchildren and it's always my first priority, but I can still find time to sew!


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Busy, Happy Life!


I'm slowly hand stitching this binding for my cheddar bow tie quilt. I have two additional quilts that need binding when I'm done with this one. I don't know how my binding pile got so backed up!

And I'm still hand quilting this one - this is my current favorite project - so relaxing!

These 9 patch blocks are still coming together here and there.

A small group I'm in has decided to swap scrappy 9 patches with the darks aligned as seen above.  So these are now in progress, too. 

We had a fun guild meeting this week - celebrating the guild's 37th birthday. I got to know some new members who I'm sure will become friends.

Last night we went to the Auburn gymnastics meet again Arkansas. We are so lucky to have Suni Lee, Olympic All Around gold medalist here at Auburn for another year. This is Suni Lee above on balance beam. She is so much fun to watch. 

This is one of the home projects we've had going on. I've been looking for matching twin headboards for Sadie's room. I found these brass ones at our local Habitat for Humanity store and grabbed them. Once we added the bed frames (also from the Habitat store) and a piece of plywood for a base, we were all set. Hubby and I set them up and threw this quilt on Sadie's bed for now. The quilt was made by my grandmother, Sadie's great great grandmother.  Eventually I'll put white bedspreads on both of them and fold a quilt at the foot of the bed. 

We also had an electrician here at the house this week. He added LOTS of new lights in my sewing room! It's so bright now! The electrician and I became buddies - I'm going to teach his wife how to use her sewing machine.

We also had a renovation company come to look at our pantry - it desperately needs a remodel to maximize the storage. Can't wait to have that done! 

In other sewing news, I am really feeling confident in using the new Bernina embroidery software that I purchased. I monogrammed a little top for Sadie this week. AND I embroidered a label for a quilt. I'm so glad I've learned to do this. Hubby wants me to put his name on his golf bag, so that will happen in the near future. 

And that's the update for now. Some neighbors have invited us over for dinner tonight, so that will be fun. And we have plans to meet other friends for dinner later this week. We stay so busy and we love it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

All Blacks Are Not the Same!


When I put away a UFO, there is usually a reason. Several days ago I realized why this lozenge project was put on a shelf. I had used up all the black Grunge fabric. No wonder! 

I hadn't planned on buying any fabric for now. I have PLENTY! And I'm going to QuiltCon next month.  BUT, I really needed that black Grunge! I looked at the Hancocks of Paducah website and (OF COURSE!) there were SEVERAL Grunge black fabrics. It's hard to tell which is which on a computer screen. But I made my best guess and ordered 'Black Dress.' 

It came in yesterday and I guessed correctly! Yay!

So this morning I cut out lots more squares of Black Dress Grunge. I also cut more of the white Grunge squares - I still had plenty of this.

I had cut out tons of the large rectangles for the quilt before I had put this project on the shelf. I realized that now it wasn't just a UFO. It was a quilt kit, all cut out, and ready to sew! That got me thinking that I could pack it up and take it to our guild retreat in May. Boom! It all fit in a plastic bin. Yay!

Then I started thinking about what else I could take to the retreat. I dug out this project. These cute mid century modern houses have been put away for a few years. I have this quilt earmarked for one of my nephews. He'll be graduating with a degree in Architecture this Spring. 

So there's no better time to get this one back underway. So I gathered some fabrics and packed this one up for retreat as well.

I have 3 nephews and I want to give each of them a quilt later this year. One of them is getting a quilt-as-you-go quilt that I have already started. Another will get a black and white triangle quilt - this quilt is only a thought in my head. I think I'll make up kits for these quilts, too, and take them to retreat. 

And this is my zen project in the evenings. I'm LOVING doing this hand quilting! 

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Getting Into the Groove of 2023


I'm thinking it will be a nine patch year! I've started making them here and there, though I'm not sure what I'll do with them yet. I've got some ideas from Pinterest. But for now I'll just make them. 

I've figured out a 'different' way to make nine patches from one square and a strip as seen above. It's fun and I only end up with one nine patch instead of several from the same fabric pair. If interested, I can share how I do it.

I didn't make a list of goals this year, but I do want to work on a couple of WIPs. I pulled this one- I really like it and would love to finish it this year.

Since our move in September, I've gotten totally out of the habit of walking. In the last week, I've pushed myself to get back in the groove. Our neighborhood is really small...just one street. So I have to get out on the main road to walk. At least there's a nice, wide sidewalk. I can walk to several shops and restaurants. I could even walk to the grocery store. I'm getting used to my new normal route.

One day per week our golf course is closed and I can walk the cart path. I really like it when I can do this.

I got a Le Creuset dutch oven for Christmas.

Last night I made a new-to-me version of Chicken and Dumplings. It was really different, but so good. Hubby went back for seconds. It has apple juice in it! I wasn't so sure about it, but let me tell you, it is so delicious! Find the recipe HERE.

Here I am on our patio wearing a funny t-shirt that was amongst my Christmas gifts. I love it!

Enjoy your week! Are you getting back in the groove?

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year - 2023!


Let's get this new year going!!! But first, I'm looking back at my finishes from 2022. Here's Sadie's Christmas ornament, finished in the nick of time.

I made this fun project bag in a guild class.

A fun baby quilt for Noah - 1 of 3 quilts for him.

Noah's first Christmas ornament, made by me.

This was a biggy! After 4 years, I finished the hand quilting on Marshal. I'll always remember this quilt as my breast cancer recover quilt.

And I made this cute little macaroon pouch.

I learned to make feed sack totes, a fun project.

Noah's eye spy quilt! Quilt 2 of 3 for him.

This was another huge project! My cheddar bow tie! It is quilted and the binding is machine stitched on, but....I still have to do the hand stitching on the binding....

Noah's third quilt that matches his nursery.

I made this sewing bag which matches the macaroon bag - it was  bear to make!

Casserole! This was fun to make. It's quilted, but I still need to bind it.

And the finale...my favorite quilt of the year. I named it Swing High! This is the first time I've shared the finished quilt publicly. FYI...I've entered it in a competition...I'll keep you posted.

All in all, it was a very productive year. Plus we added our new grandson to our family. Noah is so sweet and cuddly. And Sadie continues to be a smart, strong girl who loves to learn and play. We have a lot for which to be thankful!

Cheers to a bright new year, with lots of hope and possibilities! Keep your glass half full and focus on kindness and positivity!