Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa Block Exchange Quilt Show

Helen's block
 My small quilt guild decided to have another Santa block exchange this year.  We had one back in 2005.  We signed up by the January 2011 meeting to make 12.5" blocks that had a Santa in either the fabric, or, was appliqued.  The block had to be in traditional Christmas colors, and had to include the color green. 
Emily's block

Janette's block
 The blocks could be embellished in any way the maker wanted to embellish them.
Gwen's block

Kay's block #1
 Two of us signed up twice (two sets each).  That made a total of 10 sets of Santa blocks.  The blocks were to be exchanged at the July 2011 meeting. 
Kay's block #2

Thelma's block
The finished quilt top was to be shown at the December Christmas Party, which was last night.  One lady brought her quilt top to the November meeting, but, didn't bring it back to the December meeting, so, I don't have a picture if her quilt top.  She's in the middle of changing her quilt top.  She wasn't happy with her end results.  I thought it was pretty at the last meeting.  Since she also signed up for two sets of blocks, her quilt was HUGE!
Marilyn's blocks

My block #1
 Since I signed up twice, I received two of each block (Marilyn's blocks were done in two different color ways, same design).  That meant that I had 20 blocks, including my four blocks. 

Ladies of all different skill levels signed up to make the blocks.  These block exchanges are always a good way to learn new techniques.  I've seldom done applique before now.  I decided to make one of my sets of blocks applique.  The other set I wanted to use fussy cut Santa's and create a design around whatever size I needed to make the fussy cut part.  I dislike math, but, this was good for me to exercise my brain.  It was fun trying to figure out what I wanted to do.

Some of the blocks didn't quite turn out to measure at 12.5" square.  I decided to 'frame' my blocks, then, I framed them again and made them 'wonky'.  They finished at 20" square when I was done with them. 

Since the blocks finished at 20" after I was finished with them, I decided that that was plenty big enough, and didn't use my blocks in the quilt.  I have something else planned for my blocks.  I'll show them in a later post.

Well, the Christmas Party was last night.  Good food, fun quilts, and quilty gifts, too! (more on that at the end of the post).  Our usual 1 1/2 hour meeting turned into over 3 1/2 hours.  This is my favorite quilt guild.  It is a tiny guild (about 15 ladies in all), but, everyone gets along, and, since it is so small, no one gets 'lost' and newcomers are always welcomed (and welcomed and welcomed).  You have to be more creative with your meetings when you are small and don't have much of a budget for speakers.  We are always looking for new projects to 'demo'.  Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.  We can't bring machines very often, since several of the ladies just can't lift theirs into and out of their cars.  That limits us.
My block #2

My quilt top

I am planning on adding borders to my quilt top.  I'm going to add red to the top and bottom, and green to each side.  I think this will make the 'alternate' pattern show up better.  I think this quilt needs to be machine quilted, not hand quilted, so, since I don't machine quilt, I don't know when this quilt will be finished.  Oh well.

Thelma's quilt hanging #1
Thelma's quilt hanging #2

 Gwen (Thelma's daughter) decided to make wall hangings with her blocks.  When Thelma saw them, she liked them and copied the idea.  The extra blocks are on the back of the hangings, so that they can be turned over for a change.  Gwen didn't bring her wall hangings, so, I don't have pictures of hers.

Emily's quilt

Emily's 'pillowcase' with her quilt top

 Emily is sending her quilt and the pillowcase to a niece for Christmas.  All the other kids in her family have Christmas quilts.  I love her idea of using the extra block as a pillowcase.

Marilyn's 'Jewish' Santa quilt

 Marilyn is Jewish, but wanted to participate in the Santa block exchange.  She decided to add something 'special' to her quilt to make it fit her better.  She used some of her Hanukkah fabrics to make Hanukkah gift blocks in the center of her quilt.  I love the added 'stars' in her sashing, too.

Helen's quilt

Helen added the 'Merry' and 'Christmas' blocks to the bottom of her quilt.  She did some great stitching in the sashing, too.  It makes the quilt look like it has holly and berries on the sashing.  Sew cute!

I love that no one's quilt turned out like someone elses (with the exception of Gwens and Thelma's, but, that one was planned).  We quilters are a creative bunch.

We had a gift exchange, too.  We could spend $10 on a 'quilty' gift.  Below is what I got.

 I picked my package because of the cute snowman, bell ornament on it.  I'll have fun using these notions.  I love notions!  I could have used the Quilt block organizing hearts when I was putting the Santa blocks together.  I just used strips of paper instead. 

I hope you enjoyed my Santa block quilt show.  Now, to the dentist, then, back to my Santa blocks that didn't go into the quilt.  I'm occupying my sewing 'space' this week (since I don't have a sewing room). 

Occupy Sewing Room

 Check it out over at Cat Patches.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Life! and some finishes

 Life happens!  On Monday, the light over the kitchen sink decided to go out.  I changed the bulb, then realized that it still wouldn't work.  On Wednesday, while I was preparing some of the food for the Wednesday night meal for church, the overhead lights went out.  We replaced the florescent bulbs, but, it still didn't work. 
After driving to the store to get new bulbs (this was late Wednesday night, after the church supper) we found that new bulbs still didn't make it work.  Oops!

I set up some lamps on stools in the kitchen so that I could see to do dishes and cook until hubby could work on the lights.  On Friday, we found out that the 'balist' had burned out on the overhead light.  By evening, I finally had lights back in the kitchen.  We still aren't sure if the light over the sink will continue to work or not.  It just lit up, like magic, after my son wiggled it a lot.  The wires are tight, we did check.  Oh well. 

Santa block exchange quilt top
finished table runner
finished baby quilt
 My Santa block exchange quilt top is finally finished.  I have to have it for the guild meeting on Monday evening.  I did not add my blocks to the quilt.  I signed up to make 2 sets of blocks.  I received 16 blocks, and added borders, then twisted them to make them wonky.  Since the blocks finished at 20" square after the borders and trimming, I didn't really need more than the 16 blocks to make a large quilt.  I will be using my blocks for something else.  I'll show them (hopefully) soon.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to add some borders.  I'm thinking I'll add more of the red on the bottom, and more of the green on the sides, to match the 'pattern' I created when I made them wonky.  Yes, it was planned that way. I think a small border will make it plenty big enough. 

On the drive to Texas and back, I finished sewing the binding on the table runner and the baby quilt.  I will show these at quilt guild on Monday, too.  Then I'll give the baby quilt to the new owners.  Hey!  I finished BEFORE the baby has been born!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teapot Tuesday! and more stuff I'm working on

Santa block exchange blocks

Santa block exchange blocks
I love this little teapot.  The flowers are so cute.  I can't remember when I got this teapot.  I think I bought it for myself.

Last night I basted the Santa block exchange block so that I will be able to hand quilt them after Thanksgiving.  These were supposed to be put into the Santa block exchange quilt, but, I already have 16 blocks for that quilt that will finish at 20" square when I finish putting sides on them and making them 'wonky'.  These Santa blocks will be given as gifts for presents when they are quilted.  It's easier to baste them to one piece then quilt, since I don't like using hand frames.  I'd rather a standing frame.  I haven't used my Hinterberg frame since I purchased it a few years ago (I have several frames to use, lucky me).  This frame folds flat when not in use.  It doesn't take up much room at all.  It spins around, so that it will be easy to reach any part of the quilt top that I want, without me having to move.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finally some (almost) finishes!

fabric panel
 Finally, I have a few (almost) finishes to show.  It's been crazy busy here, and, I'm glad I have something to show for at least part of the crazy busy time.  I bought this fabric panel back in October, on a shop hop.  A couple in my church are expecting a baby girl in December.  I was just going to quilt the fabric panel, and put some borders on it, but, I changed my mind.  Since the blocks weren't 'square', I decided to make them 'wonky' and twist them so that they wouldn't show up as 'un-square' blocks.  Oh darn, that meant that I had to go buy some more fabric. 

quilt top #1
quilt top #2
 One of my quilt guilds had a 'sew-in' last Saturday.  I used the time to make these two baby quilt tops.  I also worked on my Santa blocks for the quilt top that is due Dec 5th.

(almost) finished baby quilt
I purchased some fuseable batting so that I wouldn't have to baste the quilt top before quilting, since I was going to try to machine quilt this top.  Well, the fuseable batting doesn't work.  I read the directions several times, then followed them, but, I just couldn't get most of the quilt to fuse, front or back.  After wasting half of Sunday afternoon on it, I finally pulled out my safety pins and pin basted the quilt. 
I used variegated thread and some cute stitches on my Janome and machine quilted this.  Since I don't machine quilt (I stink at free motion), I just quilted next to the seams and around the fake rick-rack on the blocks.  I tried some free motion around the dresses, just following the lines of the dresses and purses in the corners.  Not the best, but, not too bad, either.  I'll finish binding it over the Thanksgiving holidays.
basted table runner

I started this table runner last fall.  It was made on my first treadle, a 1896 Singer 15 Series treadle.  I wanted to make something on the treadle, and I'd never made anything 'Halloween' before.  I actually made three table runner tops, and several placemats like this, but, they aren't done yet.  After Halloween, last fall, I just put them aside and worked on some other projects instead. 

(almost) finished table runner

close up of hand quilting the spiderwebs
I've carried this poor table runner all over the place, trying to quilt a bit here and a bit there.  There are five spiderwebs quilted across the runner.  Well, my bit here and bit there finally became a finish (almost).  I'll finish the binding over Thanksgiving and maybe add some spiders to some of the spiderwebs, too. 
I'm hoping to get a chance to show off some of my treadles and hand cranks at one guilds quilt show in March, and, I need some examples of what I've made on those machines.  I'd better get a move on on the other projects from those machines. 

Sorry I haven't blogged much.  It really has been crazy busy around here.  I don't expect it to slow down until after Christmas.  I still have a few deadlines before then.  We'll see......

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Minutes for Me and a Win

I linked up to Marcia's Minutes for Me.  Check it out here

I won this great book from Moda Lissa here.  It arrived in yesterday's mail.  Yipee!  It's a great book.  I'd seen it before and wanted it (but I was being good and not buying anything that wasn't my 'list').  I guess being good paid off.  Thanks Lissa!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Weekend Adventures!

hand quilted from a panel
 My youngest son is VP of communications for the Area 7 Venturing council (part of Boy Scouts).  Venturing is co-ed, and, the venturers  are ages 14-21.  Well, this past Saturday was the first ever Area 7 Extravaganza.  My hubby and I are both leaders in my sons Crew.  I helped with the registration and stuff for over half the day on Saturday.  My son and hubby both camped out for 2 nights (did I mention that the temps were in the low 30's?) while I slept at home with my (warm) puppies (smart me). 
prairie points and buttons, from a panel

'Scrappy Ninepatch' hand quilted

pillow and box of sewing notions
 Well, on the way home, I passed a sign that said 'Auction Today'.  Well, I've always heard about auctions, but, I've never had a chance to go to one.  It was mid-afternoon, and I decided to see what was left.  I was hoping to find a sewing machine (no surprise there), but, there weren't any machines.  Most of the stuff was already gone, but, they still had stuff from the garage (boring) and two farm trailers full of things. 
doilies and table runner

two afgans
 I checked out one trailer, and found a box with two quilts in the top.  I quit looking and asked how to 'do' and auction.  After I signed up and got my number, I went back to my 'box'.  I didn't want to pull everything out, in case someone else saw what was in it and wanted to bid against me.  Near my box, I found another box of sewing notions.  Ok, something else I wanted. 
basket full of embroidery items

scissors from the basket
 The other trailer was full of crafty things, mainly tole painting stuff and unfinished wood items. LOTS of people wanted that stuff.  I saw a basket with some embroidery items in it, but, I couldn't dig around to see what was in it. 
cute little 'swan' scissors

Well, they FINALLY got around to the crafty trailer, and, no one bid on the basket of embroidery items.  Ok, I'll offer the $1 that the auctioneer was trying to get.  SOLD!  to me for $1.  I grabbed my basket and headed back to my 'box' of goodies. 

Well, they FINALLY got to my trailer.  On both trailers, if an item didn't sell, they'd add something else to it until someone made an offer.  Well, the lady knew that I had my 'box' that I wanted, but first, she wanted to sell a box with a lonely afghan in it.  I didn't want the striped afghan.  There was already a pretty cream afghan in my 'box'.  Well, since no one bid in the striped afghan, she added the box of notions to it, and placed the notions on my box of goodies, to make it all go at once.  My 'number card' shot into the air!  $1!  Any other takers????  SOLD! for $1!  Yipee!

When they assign you your 'number' they tell you that you will have to pay a 10% 'fee' on anything you win the bid on.  Ok, that means I pay $1.10 for each $1 I bid.  Cool!  I got all this for $2.20! 

I really wanted the Scrappy Ninepatch quilt and the cute panel quilt with the prairie points.  I also wanted the box of sewing notions.  Lots of cool things in there.  The rest was all 'bonus' items.  I didn't even show some of the items. 

I don't know what I'll do with the top quilt.  It's hand quilted, but, the colors don't really 'grab' me.  I also don't know what I'll do with the embroidery items.  Most of them have yellowed (maybe it's just dust), and I haven't learned how to embroider, yet.  I'm keeping all the cool scissors from the basket.  I figured that there would be 'something' hiding in that basket that I would want. 

If you have any ideas about what to do with the top quilt, and the embroidery items, let me know.  I'd be happy to pass them on to someone who would like them.
(BTW, my son has already claimed the striped afghan). 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teapot Tuesday! and a special gift, too!

Elephant teapot
 It was a busy week, last week, but, I found time to go shopping between things.  I saw the elephant teapot at an antique shop next to my LQS last week.  My mother collects elephants, so I just had to have this teapot (no, she doesn't get this one).  I think I need to find some fun 'elephant' material to make a 'teapot' rug for it to sit on.

'Stratford' teapot (England)
 I found the Stratford teapot from England at a thrift store.  I see lots of teapots at thrift stores, but, I don't buy them very often.  This one I wanted.  It has more flowers on the back.  I can actually make 'tea' in both of these teapots, unlike some of the ones I find.  Anyone want a 'cuppa'? 

Greist Decorative Zigzagger
The last picture shows a 'Greist Decorative Zigzagger' that arrived in my mail box Monday.  Yvonne contacted me last week to see if I had found one of these yet.  She had one, and, sweet person that she is, she mailed it to me as a gift!  Isn't she sweet!?!  THANK YOU YVONNE!  There are 5 different 'discs' that make different decorative zigzag stitches. 

Later this week, I'll post about my weekend adventures.  Just wait until you see my ten cent quilts!  I still have to take pictures.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!


I just had to show my dogs all dressed up to help hand out candy.  Katie is a Lobster.  She sat on my lap most of the evening.  We sat outside on the porch, with the chiminea  keeping us warm.  Padfoot (yes, named after the character in Harry Potter) was a yellow submarine.  I've been humming that tune all evening.  I don't usually dress my dogs up, but, once a year, on Halloween, they get to play along with the others who dress up. 
'Yellow Submarine'

I found a great costume this year, but, I got home too late to put it on.  I guess I'll get to be Snow White next year, instead. 

Hope you Halloween was fun, too!