Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cleaning Up

New Year's Eve finds me cleaning up the shop in preparation for our annual New Year's Open House.  I decided to tackle a really junky looking shelf and just had a big surprise.  I was innocently sorting magazines, baggies of buttons, folders of class hand-outs and miscellaneous, when I came across a BOX.  Oh no, look what was in it:
More selvages!  Where did they come from???  I went into the other room to gather up the selvages that I "knew" I had, so you could see them all together.  Now I need to come up with a really big project.  All of those cute selvage tree ornaments didn't even make a dent.  And now this!
I'm back at work on the "Shattered" project.  One day before Christmas, I cut the freezer paper stencils.
Tonight I finished quilting around the letters and ironed on the stencils.  I'll wait and mix paint when I'm past tomorrow's festivities.  After that, more stitching and maybe some beads.  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ideas for a New Year

My brain is overflowing with things I want to do!  I am currently  hand-quilting both the "Shattered" wall hanging and the "Phone Book" quilt.  Pictured is a close-up of "Phone Book".  I am using #12 black pearl cotton, sharp embroidery needle, and the thinnest Quilters Dream Poly batting.  I showed off the yellow vintage fabric on the back in an earlier posting.  As you can see, I'm combining tying and quilting.  When I finish with the stars, green squares and ties in block corners, I'll have to decide if that's enough, or if I need to add a few lines of stitching to the strippy parts.

This afternoon I cut and prepared the binding for the shop hop quilt (to be revealed here on February 5).

Next, I need to plan new shop classes for January and beyond.  Lots of ideas, so little time!  Here's one I'd like to explore.  Changing this:
Into this:
Of course, that's not a NEW idea at all!  Just marketed in a different way by yet another designer.  This is a miniature, only 11" x 12 1/2", from a pattern by Primitive Gatherings.  Other, similar designs are found in the book Square Dance, by Martha Thompson.

Another class I'd like to do involves re-visiting an old favorite of mine - the "Railroad Crossing" quilt.  It's very versatile and is a way to use up some accumulated scraps.
Last, but not least, I'm just going to give a peek at a fabric I have chosen to try out another idea.  This is just the fabric ... you'll have to wait to see what I'm planning to do with it!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Here's how the SHATTERED project went together.  I abandoned the new, smaller letters and went back to the original piece.  I liked how it was working and I realized something - even though it may end up a "little" bigger than it is supposed to, it is going to an UNJUDGED quilt show, so what are they going to do?  If I am disqualified from the "challenge" category, I'll just flip it into the "art quilt" category!  
Here it is with the borders on:
Here it is basted and ready to quilt:
I'm hand quilting with pearl cotton again.  Orange inside the letters and brown surrounding them.  Other embellishments to follow.

Here's today's picture of Baby:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Look What I Found

I TOOK THE DAY OFF, so don't have anything further to show on the "shattered" project.  However, while digging around in my stash, I found the perfect thing to use for the backing of the Phonebook Quilt:
I found this fabric at a quilt show on a table of odds and ends offered by the guild.  Mom and Dad were with me at this show and I remember that Mom wasn't nearly as charmed with it as I was.  The tag pinned to the yardage informs me that it is 4 yards, OLD, and cost $5.  It will definitely fit the mood of this quilt:
I've been thinking about borders for a while and I have decided that it would be more effective to finish  the quilt without borders.  I have plenty of the dark green for binding.  Since I've settled on the backing, I'd better get busy.  I think I am going to finish it with a combination of big stitch and tying.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Here's what I was trying to spell last night.  The quilt challenge due in April is titled "I Am ..."  We have had a number of "things" happen to us this year.  Not appropriate to dwell on them here.  Before you get too concerned with my mental health, please remember that I am also a HUGE Rolling Stones fan and that is the title of a favorite song, too.

I have a dilemma because, when I measured the piece shown above, it is approximately 30" long.  Then I got out the challenge guidelines (it would have been too logical to look at them before!).  The entire perimeter of the piece is not to exceed 80", therefore I have already used up 60" of it and the quilt can only be 10" tall!  Ha ha ha!
The original word may turn up in something else.  This afternoon I started piecing letters again.  Here they are on the ironing board, next to the first word.  I'm trying to make them smaller, but so far they aren't MUCH smaller!  I can narrow the H and the T's and keep width in mind as I add my spacers.  Maybe it will work out.

Meanwhile, look what was going on while I wasn't looking.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Word Play

Play time!  This afternoon I finally had time to fool around!  I have an idea for a quilt guild challenge, not due until April.  I haven't made any of Tonya's letters for a while.  I needed a large piece to use as background and found this green/gray/peach batik.  Then, I rummaged through my batik scraps to find a selection of oranges, golds and peaches with enough contrast.  Just COMMUNING with the batik scraps was a lot of fun!
I know where this is going, but I think I'll let you wonder.  Here is what I have so far ...
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sewing the free-form letters.  If you want to try some too, check out Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci.  You might also enjoy her blog "Lazy Gal Quilting".

Thursday, December 8, 2011

From Me To You

First of all, I'd like to share my recipe for chocolate peanut clusters.  Yummy and easy to make!
My recipe calls for only three ingredients: 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 12 oz. can of salted peanuts, and 12 oz. (half a pkg.) of almond bark.  Melt the almond bark and chocolate chips carefully, so you do not over-cook or scorch, either in the microwave or on top of the stove.  When you can stir the mixture smoothly, add the peanuts, stir them in, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet.    You will fill up at least two cookie sheets, approx. 100 peanut clusters.  I had excess chocolate today, so I may use a 16 oz. can of peanuts next time. 

Progress report on the craft sale:  The second (and final) craft sale starts tomorrow.  I finished stitching up my little zippered bags last night and added the beaded pulls.  No more craft sales until NEXT December.  Back to QUILTING next week!
When you "clean up for company", do you ever hide things in the bedroom?  I had several piles of fabric, patterns, misc. in progress and I dumped them on the bed temporarily to get them out of sight.  Cassie found them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone???

Preparing for two craft sales and working on Christmas gifts has kept me too busy to BLOG.  Oh, dear!  Did I mention an end-of-the-year sale at the quilt shop, too?  I am nearing the end of the list of knitted gifts I have planned - here's what I have so far.  Just one more scarf to go!
One craft sale down, and one to go!  Here is a sample of the little cosmetic bags I am stitching up for next weekend.  Each one will get a little beaded pull on the zipper, then they will be finished.
 Last weekend, a customer came in wearing a cute ruffled scarf.  I couldn't stand it!  Found the pattern, went shopping for the yarn (Starbella - check it out on YOUTUBE) and started to knit.  I have enough for two scarves.
I am itching to get started on some new SEWING projects.  People have asked about classes for the first of the year, so I had better get my thoughts organized and make some samples.  Oh, and I have two challenges to complete - one due in March and the other in April.  So far they only exist in my brain.  Lots to do ...