Monday, February 18, 2019

My Valentine Quilts


I'm not sure where the year has gone.  It is mid February already, and January is a blur.   I'm getting ready to put my Valentine's quilts and table topper away for the year and thought I'd share them with you.

This is my Valentine String quilt.  I just made this one day while I was making string blocks out of my red and white scraps.  You can read more about this quilt and see my EQ drawing here.  



Here is the quilt after being quilted by my long arm quilter.  He quilted a heart design that I just love.


This is a smaller version of the quilt above.  This one has 3 inch string blocks.  You will read more about these in the link above.  Here is a link to my tutorial for making the heart string blocks in both the large heart quilt and the smaller one.  



If you don't enjoy making string blocks, you can achieve the same look with squares and half square triangles.  You can see my EQ drawing with this layout in my post here.  


You can see the two versions side by side.  They look pretty much the same.  

 

The next two photos are of my patterns.  The first one is Sunburst Dresden Table Topper.  I have one of these table toppers for every holiday.  It is a quilt as you go pattern and is pretty easy.  The patterns are available in my Etsy shop here.   They are also available at Back Door Quilts either in their shop or on their web site.  



This pattern is called Hexie Love.  Directions are included to either add a hanging sleeve to be hung on the wire table hanger as shown, or it can be made into a little quilt.  


This is English Paper Piecing and broderie perse.  The heart is done in EPP using quarter circles.  I'm not sure how this quilt will end up, but I loved doing the hand stitching on it so far.  


I had a wonderful Valentines.  My hubby got me a dozen roses, but I forgot to take a photo before they started to wilt.

I love each and every one of you that are taking the time to read my blog.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day to you!!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sewing in the Polar Vortex

We are just coming out of the Polar Vortex.   Schools here were closed both Wednesday and Thursday, and at one point our temperature was -10 degrees, and the wind chill was -41 degrees.   I just trusted the weather forecasters that this was bone chilling cold, and I stayed inside.  It's a bit warmer today, and we had some snow overnight.   It's not enough to completely cover the grass.  Before spring, I would just like one huge dump of snow.  And, I would like for it to snow during the day so I can watch it pile up.  I've stayed in and worked on some projects.   

This is the time of year when I'm very thankful that I have a warm home and all of the comforts that go with it.  This house has a gas fireplace, so with a flip of a switch there is warm air filling the family room.   I know there are  many others that are not so fortunate.

I've been spending days in my sewing room.   The photo below is quilts I've made to donate to Quilters United.  All of the quilts and items we make are donated to children.   I had some of these tops made before, and some I just put together this week.  Then I machine quilted all of them.   Today I plan to finish the binding.


To be honest, this is the time of year I take a look at all of the fabric, yarn and other "stuff" I have here and wonder, "What was I thinking?"    So I'm trying to use up some of what I have here.  And, yes I've had to buy more fabric for backing and batting to finish some of these things.   I guess it's two steps forward and one step back.   

I'm backing most of my charity quilts with flannel, so in a lot of cases when I trim the quilt after it's quilted there is enough flannel and batting left for a burp cloth.   I think this is 8 1/2 inches wide before it's sewn.  I had a half yard of wide blue flannel backing left from backing a quilt, so I bought this blue bird flannel.   OK.  I bought some pretty bright yellow solid flannel and some with yellow butterflies and flowers, too.  


 We have a Quilters United sewing day once a month, and one of the girls had the Paw Patrol and heart fleece left over, so I brought it home to crochet around.   Yep, I bought more fleece to put on the backs.


Then these two pieces of fleece were in the remnants, so I bought them to make another blanket.   As I write this, I see that I just might be buying more than I'm using.   To crochet around these, I have a skip stitch blade that fits in my rotary cutter.   You just roll it around the edges of the fleece, and it makes tiny holes that are big enough to get a crochet hook into.   Oh, I am using some yarn from my stash!


I saw a post on Instagram where someone was making Soap Sacks out of cotton yarn like the Sugar and Cream that you use to make dishcloths.   I had a bag (really a huge bag) of leftovers so I started making these soap sacks.  SACK stands for Serving a Community with Kindness.  This was started as a way to give back to your community's homeless shelters, food pantries or transitional housing centers.  There is a link in the About section of their web page to find places near you to donate.  The idea is that each sack is donated with a bar of soap inside, and the sack (which is all cotton) can be used as a washcloth.  There is always a need for toiletries at shelters and food pantries.  There are links to both knit and crochet patterns on their site, or email me if you are interested.   Now I have used up a lot of my leftover yarn for these, but there were some really pretty variegated yarns out there so I bought a few...…    The pattern for these is easily memorized.   Jennifer at fiberfluxblog.com has issued a challenge to crochet or knit 100 soap sacks in a year.   I have made a start with 20 so far



I've also been spending a lot of time on some of the Farmhouse Decorating blogs and Instagram pages.   There is just something that appeals to me about the neutral décor with the buffalo check and farmhouse accessories.  A lot of the photos show solid color knit blankets with big stitches.  I think most of them are done with finger knitting, but I bought a size 19 knitting needle and have been knitting on this.   This didn't come from my stash.   I bought this yarn, and there is a box of a pretty seafoam color waiting in the wings.


I also love to make knit dishcloths.  This pattern is easily memorized, too.  

  The pattern on the needles is:

Cast on 4 stitches.  K2, yarn over, knit across.   Repeat until you have 40-44 stitches on the needle.
Then:  K1, K2 together, YO, K2 together until you have 4 stitches left on the needles.  Bind off.

Some of this yarn was what I bought for Soap Sacks.  Naturally I had to buy enough to make both dishcloths and Soap Sacks.




We also have a jigsaw puzzle in the works on one end of the table.  This was the last one finished.  I admit that I haven't put many pieces in (ok...maybe none) because I'd rather be stitching.


If you've read the entire post, I'll show you where I sew.  It's a bit of a pit right now.  The edge of the white table you can see in front of the TV is where my cutting mat is.  I've cut and just shoved the rest on the floor, but I know there is fabric in there that can be used for burp cloths.  That table is full of strips cut for binding the quilts you saw in the first photo.  There is also a couple containers of thread there to match the binding colors for top stitching.  There is really no room for a table.  There is a closet to the left with part of my stash.  On the right is my bookcase and my machine is to the right of that facing the window.  This is what should be our guest room, but I love the light that comes in that big window and the arch above it so I sew here.  At the bottom of the photo, you can see Tiki our cat.  He's not sure he wants to venture in.  I'll post another photo when I've cleaned and sorted the piles.  Right now there is more sewing to do.  I'll post another photo when it's cleaned up (much later), and I'll post a photo of my UFO tops that need to be quilted.



Until then...……….

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Still Stitching Hexagons

Hello Everyone

Whenever I stop by someone's blog and they haven't posted for awhile, I always hope that they haven't just stopped blogging altogether.   I never mean to be away for quite so long, but one thing leads to another and before I know it, a month (or two) has passed.   

For Christmas I got a Microsoft Surface Pro so I'm trying to learn to use it.   It is lighter weight than my old laptop (and a whole lot faster), and the screen snaps off and becomes a tablet.  That makes it easier to take photos and get them into my blog.  There is a pen that is held on the side by a magnet, and I know I can do something with that.  Right now I know just enough to be dangerous, so hopefully it will all get easier.

What have I been up to?   I'm still quilting and have been doing some knitting and crochet.  I've been to Shipshewana a couple of times - once for the Jane Stickle retreat and the other time was to

Here are some of the projects I've finished since I last wrote.

This is two different versions of my 1797 Revisited quilt.  This is a reproduction of an antique quilt, and there is an Instagram group working on this quilt and sharing photos.  I bought the smaller paper pieces from Yellow Creek Designs in their booth at the Shipshewana Quilt Festival.  They measure 3/8" X 7/8".   After I went to the Jane Stickle Quilt Retreat in November and saw others using paper pieces 5/8" X 1 1/2" (also from Yellow Creek Designs), I came home and ordered a package of the larger size.   The 3/8" and 5/8" is the distance on the short side of the hexagon. That 1/4" sure makes a big difference in the overall size.   I have a lot of pieces prepped for both sizes, but I am really liking that smaller size.  I will probably end up doing something with both.

This is part of the top of the Rose of Kaleigh quilt.  I did this as a sew along on Sue Daley's blog.   This is a reproduction of an antique quilt, and the original has this part you see in the photo appliqued' to an off white fabric with a swag border around the outside.  This was a big project, and it will take awhile longer to finish it.  These are all 3/4" hexagons that were English Paper Pieced.


This is the Kingfisher Quilt done as a quilt along with bloggers Stitched in Color and Tales of Cloth.  They gave us the dimensions for the background diamonds, setting diamonds, and borders.  We did our own thing with the hexagons.  These are 1" hexagons that are English Paper Pieced.




This hexagon quilt was in the June issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.  The pattern is by Sherry McConnell of A Quilting Life blog.   The photo doesn't show it, but the backgrounds are scrappy, pieced four patches.  My friend Michele and I traded each other half of a layer cake so we both would have a lot more scrappy variety in our backgrounds.  These are also 1" hexagons that are English Paper Pieced.


I have worked on these pink and brown log cabin blocks during the last several retreats that I've attended.   I had a plan and did the math.  I multiplied the numbers instead of adding them, so you may see these pink and brown log cabin blocks for years to come...……

These are all just tops so there is a lot of quilting in my future.  There are more projects, but I need daylight to take photos.  


I've made postcards for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  



  We had a nice Christmas.  Our son treated us to Christmas at the Zoo.  It was beautiful but really cold.   The only snow we've seen here is that made by the artificial snow machine at the zoo.



Our Christmas decorations are still up including our outside lights.  We have two neighbors that still have their outside lights lit, so we will keep ours going until at least the weekend.  We've been playing games and working puzzles and just having fun.   Do you still have your Christmas decorations up?

I wish you all the happiest of New Years with good health and lots of stitching ahead.   This is a cross stitch that I did years ago.


Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

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