"A very Merry Unbirthday to you, to you. A very Merry Unbirthday to you." from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Good For You To Know

Tomorrow, March 1st, SewCalGal begins accepting nominations for the SewCalGal Golden Quilter Awards 2011.  You may have seen her badge for the event on blogs you visit:
If you go here http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/golden-quilter-awards.html you will read all about it.  Today's post http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2011/02/final-curtain-call-for-2010-golden.html  lists the winners from last year, and I saw two names I've recently talked about on my blog;  Bonnie K. Hunter who designed the basket block I'm making and Eleanor Burns whose books I love and learn from. 
Visit SewCalGal's site on March 1st to read her post opening up the nomination process.  There are many sponsors, and you receive entries for their prizes by nominating and voting. 

Barb of Bejeweled Quilts http://www.bejeweledquilts.blogspot.com/ is celebrating her 32nd wedding anniversary and her son's birthday with a giveaway that increases whenever the comments increase by the amount of 32.  It began simply enough with a pattern for her turtle quilt, which alone is a great prize.  But now Barb has added a small island doll and a card of cocoanut shell buttons (she misses American Samoa where her husband was stationed but now they are in the U.S. again.)  Ends March 4th.

I'm up to 29.5 basket blocks.  I stopped sewing yesterday because I was ripping out too many seams, so time to put it down.  I crocheted instead.

The hosital wants the lapghans to be 40 inches and mine measures 36 now, so it needs more border rows.  I'm afraid the border might be too wide if I keep adding rows.  I may finish it and see if it looks ok, but if not take it apart. 

This antique cactus basket quilt dates from 1930 and was made in Iowa.  The pattern is in one of my Saver's books, Quilts Around the Year by Linda Seward.  What I took note of was that the blocks are not bordered but are sewn right next to each other.  It took 56 blocks. 

This quilt is in Patchwork Quilts Made Easy by Jean Wells.  I like the way the baskets are set.

This is nice too. 
I'm looking for ideas on how to set my blocks, if I ever finish them:)

I did listen to Joanne Fluke's latest, The Devil's Food Cake Murder.  If there are any other followers out there, what's happening with Norman?  He's so nice and Mike is a cad.  Hurry up and write another book, Joanne!

God Bless You.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More Basket Blocks

I've made 28 Basket Blocks and need 48 to make a quilt the size I want, so there's more work to do.

Here is the book I won recently from Pink Chalk http://www.pinkchalkfabrics.com/ .  It's One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.  I was surprized that it is a spiral book with patterns included, many of which I plan to make.  Thank you Pink Chalk.  Moxie loves deliveries, too, because it's something new to sniff.

I also won this beautiful pattern designed by Sherri K. Falls of This & That http://www.thisandthatpatterns.typepad.com/  Her blog is Little Bits of This and That.
I absolutely love this quilt and intend to make it.  I might start it now even though I want to complete the Basket Block Quilt.  Thank you, Sherri.

God Bless You.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Basket Blocks

I received the nicest tote from Cathi of Shakerwood Quilts for winning the Christmas Quilt Along quiz.  I love the fabric, the card, and even the mailing label, which was printed in the charming look of Cathi's website.  Thank you, Cathi.  It's going to get much used, I assure you.

The Christmas Quilt Along is so neat.  Next month I'll be better prepared.  I've been thinking of gifts to put together, and if I want to buy Christmas fabric, now is the time as there is still some available at very good prices.  I know for sure I'll have a quilt because I'm making Cathi and Sue's design. 

Now my basket blocks.  I took a series of pictures as I was making my blocks because I was so organized I was proud of myself.  It must have been all of the talk about Eleanor Burns on the SewCalGal site, and my rereading one of her books.

I cut the strips.

I cut the squares.

I matched background squares with  flower squares.

I cut the squares diagonally to make half square triangles, which is how I make them. 

Keep cutting.

Take the hst's to the sewing machine

and sew, sew, sew.

Then on to the ironing board.

Square up.

Repeat the process with the basket fabric.

Start sewing the baskets together.

And keep ironing, as well.

By Friday night I had nine blocks done.  Doesn't sound like many?  Well, there is life away from the sewing machine.  It hit the high 50's Friday, so I sat on the back stairs with my tea to enjoy.  Good thing, because there's snow tonight.

I stepped away from it all Saturday and Sunday, (the newest Charles Todd book will do it), but I played with fabric to try to arrive at the block border color.
The carpet's dark blue. Should I use the carpet?

Not pink.

Soft green is too soft.


A different blue. Better? 

A different green.  Better?

I don't know.  I'd like to put a narrow border on the basket blocks to make them stand out, and then use white sashing and the background fabric to give them an heirloom look.  I think I have to keep it soft.  I also thought about cross stitching a center panel of roses, but now I'm getting away from that idea.  Maybe pink isn't so bad.

And guess what!  Janet Wickell announced that the next scrappy block she gives us is...a basket block! 

God Bless You.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Good Week for Sewing

This must be some kind of record for me as this is my third post in five days, and I never gab this much.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I made a deal with myself to make better use of my subscriptions to quilting (or crochet) magazines and make something from each issue. To really get my money's worth I should make lots of things, but I'll take it one at a time for now.

I received my first issue of Quiltmaker on Friday.

I like basket blocks and decided to try the scrap basket block in this issue. EDIT: Bonnie Hunter is the designer of the block.
I began cutting fabric last night and sewed the block tonight.  It took me quite a bit of time to make one block, but hopefully the rest will go faster.  I know the block is soft in color.  I think it will still work.  There is some contrast in the size of the prints.  And these aren't baskets, but pots filled with flowers.   

I made a mug rug from the little block I made during the Christmas Quilt Along on Saturday.  So let's see, if I make a mug rug every month through November I'll have ten done before Christmas.  Not bad.

Hope you are having a good week with your crafting.

God Bless You.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Scatty Stars Quilt Block 1

As part of the Christmas Quilt Along that Sue and Cathi are hosting,  the participants can choose to make the Scatty Stars Quilt that the hosts designed.  Two of the first block were called for, and these are mine. 

Since we made two, I varied the backgrounds.  The dark really makes the star stand out, but the light is pretty too.

And lucky me, I won Cathi's quiz contest.   That's so neat.

God Bless.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February Edition of the Christmas Quilt Along Second Post

For me, this is one of those days that isn't going smoothly.  I got up late and wanted to join in the qal so I hurried to get something going.  I have made my little block, but it looks a little wonky.  That's okay, because when it's quilted it will be beautiful!  I don't intend to use it as an ornament, but to incorporate it into a mug rug or pin keep, something like that.

I'll be making another block reversing the colors.   I also have some cross stitch quilt block patterns that I want to make.  And I received the pattern for the first star block so I will enjoy putting it together this week. 

I'm stopping now for tea and to visit the other blogs.  I do have a recipe to share.  These are ricotta cookies.  I made them to use up ricotta, but they are so good, I'll be making them again.  They are not very sweet, but they can be iced, frosted, whatever you would like.  The link for the recipe is http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ricotta-Cheese-Cookies/Detail.aspx

One more thing I want to mention is that Linda from Stray Stitches http://straystitches1.blogspot.com/  is having a Think Spring giveaway of some lovely floral fabric in joyful colors.  The winner will be posted on February 21.   You'll enjoy Linda's blog posts so be sure to visit.

God Bless You.

February Edition of the Christmas Quilt Along

The Christmas Quilt Along that Sue of Quilt Times http://www.quilttimes.blogspot.com/  hosted last year was so successful that she has teamed up with Cathi of Shakerwood Quilts http://www.shakerwoodquilts.blogspot.com/  to host the qal every month starting today.  I really haven't planned my Christmas items yet, but Sue and Cathi designed a beautiful star quilt to share with those who participate in the qal.  So, I will sign in and get my first block today.  But while my computer was warming up I did get to start a small quilt block ornament that I  wanted to make.

I'm making the block on the right.  The pattern is in the book 50 Country Quilting Projects (one of my Saver's finds) published in 1990.  That doesn't seem so long ago (to me at least) but everything is by template, not measurements.  So, I am measuring the templates to know what to cut.  Yeah, I make everything harder for myself:)

Now to get my block plans.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Chubby Heart, a Mystery Quilt Guess, and Some Questions

If you receive the Sew4Home newsletter http://www.sew4home.com/ then you probably saw the chubby heart coaster tutorial in this week's issue.  (Their website has the best tutorials.) I like coasters and mug rugs because I always have a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of wine, so I have them all over the house.  I made a mug rug using the chubby heart pattern.  I embroidered some hearts on one side and made the rug reversible.

Since before Christmas I've been participating in the Christmas Mystery Quilt qal at Erik Homemade Ezine http://www.erikhomemade.typepad.com/  After this week's sewing I have a guess on what the design is of the quilt.  I think we may be making a quilt with a Christmas Tree.  This is all of the sewing so far:
The picture is dark but the only colors are cream, green and red. 
I think Erik will be leading a redwork sewalong soon.  I'll definitely be joining that qal.  

Late last year I was following the free motion quilting tutorial of Christina from A Few Scraps http://www.afewscraps.blogspot.com/.  I learned enough to give me confidence in doing meandering quilting and I love doing loops.  Well, I made this quilt last year but never quilted it, until now.  I've been working on each block separately, and have only two more to go. 

After this quilt I have another quilt top I made last year that needs to be quilted.  That one I will do in a very simple way. Then I won't have any unfinished projects needing quilting, and that's good because I'm involved in three qal's right now and hope to join in with Sue from Quilt Times in her mystery quilt.  And I'm sure that's not the end of my quilt making. 
Now for the questions.  When you are quilting the quilt on your sewing machine, what have you found to be the best way for you to control the fabric you are not quilting?  I have tried rolling it up, and it helps somewhat, but I'm wondering if there's a better way, other than sending out the quilt, which may be my next course.  Does anyone use the roller clips that are sold to hold the fabric together and do they work?  Are there alternatives?  I'm open to suggestions and appreciate your help.
My next question is on binding.  You may have noticed the lump on my mug rug where the ends of the binding meet.  How do I avoid the lump? 

Hope everyone is well.  God Bless You.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Purple Mountain Majesties and a Forest

McCall's Quilting March/April issue has part 2 of the quilt directions for Lynn Lester's design.  I haven't made all of the trees yet so this is just what I've completed so far. 

Katherine Lee Bates wrote the poem Pikes Peak in 1895 after a trip west.  When it was published it was retitled America, and then when it was set to music the title was again changed to America the Beautiful.  It is one of the most loved patriotic songs we have and it's great to sing.   Don't you just love the word grouping "purple mountain majesties"? 

Still plenty more  trees to put together.

SewCalGal http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com/ has a giveaway of an Accuquilt Go!  which ends on February 14th.  As I'm writing this there are 404 comments so I see my chances of winning becoming fainter, but I'm still trying.  Good luck to everyone who reads this and enters.

God Bless You.