Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bonus Quilt

Well, I finished my bonus quilt that I was going to use for the UFO challenge. I guess that is good, but I will have to pick out a new bonus quilt now. I decided to give it to a friend who could probably really use a quilty hug. I want to give her one of my queen ones for her new bed too. She said it was the first "new" bed she has ever gotten (her son bought it for her), she is 58. It won't be for Christmas, but whenever I get it done. It is done in civil war prints.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If anyone was wondering... that deer left the antlers in the feeder?

There he is, that little stinker. I guess I can feed him a bit for leaving us such a nice present. The feeder is about 5.5 feet off the ground, and in a different shot, he had his leg right in the feeder too. They have to be bedding down close to the house, since I went out to feed them and they came running AS SOON as I opened the garbage can of food. The dogs chased them off, but they didnt go far, they were back as soon as the dogs were in the house.
Of course, deer bring wolves, so every year we watch and worry a bit. But we ARE in the wilderness, so can't really blame them. And we ARE bringing THEIR food to us. So they happen to get a quick meal with a dog instead, I would feel horrible, but nature has it ways, and they were here before us. I can only hope and pray it doesn't happen.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Minnesota Quilt done

Believe it or not, it is a BQ pattern. Not till I finished the blocks did I realize the pattern doesnt work for directional fabrics, when you can't turn the blocks. All the stipes line up! No- that is WRONG! So, I added parts and pieces to jog it up and sideways. Bugger. It is a wedding present that was supposed to be done in July! Opps! Now it has to also get shipped to England. If you notice the dark brown squiggle on the top, that is a leach. I put a few on here, since I took them fishing and they would have nothing to do with them. Understandable, but you ARE fishing! now for the worst part-The LABEL. For some reason, I don't like doing labels....

UFO Challenge

So, over on Judy L.'s blog ( she is doing a UFO challenge, where once a month, she will pick a number 1-12, and we work on that UFO from our list, hopefully until it is done. I am going to give it a try. Of course I will have to work on other things also, but maybe this is a way to MAKE myself work on some of these. I might not get them done in the month, but if I stick with it, I will at least get a lot closer to being DONE with some of these projects that have been hanging around for a while. I am not going to count quilting, since I will do that as needed. I have no more space for finished quilts-yet. So, here it goes:
where to start?

#1-Homespun Charms-4 patches done, needs everything else!
#2-Morning Splash-Center done, needs borders (pic earlier on blog).

#3-Bill's Trip Around The World-Bill picked out the fabric. Strips are mostly made.
#4-Batik Circular-(looks like a cathedral Window)-some circles done, MANY more to go!
#5-Rhubarb Twist-(pic also earlier on the blog)-parts cut.
#6-Green and Purple Scrappy Toes-(Same as RWB one early on the blog!) strips cut.
#7-Sister's Choice-Strips cut
#8-Pinwheel Strings-Needs borders, one of them is a sawtooth....
#9-Shakespeare In The Park-this is it! Needs LOTS of work, probably one I won't get done in a month! But at least I will work on it! Fabric has been around for about 6 years as was the "plan". I still love it.
#10-Ancient History-parts cut. Free pattern from Andover, makes a 15" block. Only 12, so this should go fast! (Famous Last Words...Ha!)
#11-Carolina Christmas-most parts cut, some done.

#12-30's Pinwheels-blocks done, needs border blocks.

And as a Bonus-I got the HSTs for free, already done, so this is what I came up with. It was hard, since nothing was the same. 20-10" blocks-7 are done, do a border and donate. I will work on this if I get the others done for the month!

I still really like all of these, so that is good. It will make it easier. And yes, there are twice as much still there. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lucky Find #2

Well, our friend left us the other antler! and how convienient, right in the bird feeder. Thank you Mr. Buck. It's o.k., you'll grow new ones.....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Long Time-again...

I really don't know why it always takes me so long to get back here. It is not like I haven't been busy. I have spent many hours in the sewing room in the last few weeks. (Bill can attest to that, and WILL...) I have cut up 4 new projects, made a list of all of my UFO's (27, including the 4 I just cut up, since they WILL be UFO's in a few weeks...) trying to purge scraps and make things more "travel friendly" so I have projects to just grab and go, and just the piecing part. Dealing with cutting and borders is too much in motels and on the road.
I have played with some leather, (I LOVE working with leather) and made a couple of snap bags for my phone. This one is a bit large to make sure the "snap" worked easily and to fit my ear buds in the bottom. Might play with this idea a bit after the holidays.
I didn't want my phone to get all "linty" so I lined it with some tie fabric. Used heat and bond to fuse it to the inside of the leather. Days later, I went and washed my wallet which holds all my credit cards. It was in my pants pocket-oops! So, it must have been a time for a new one of those too!

I put a tie lining in this too. I like this, and it looks a lot more "finished". Found a new use for all those ties! (The pictures are going in sideways-not my fault!)
So, I have been busy. Haven't been getting in too much sewing. I have been working on this project-Rhubarb Twist, out of Fons and Porter Mag. M/J 2006 so I guess that means that is when I started it. Not my oldest UFO, but getting there. They are 8 inch blocks.

I cut up the parts for that too, and decided (when I started) that it was going to be queen size. But, ran out of yellow fabric, naturally. Found something else that will work for those alternate blocks, and shouldn't look like I didn't "plan" it that way! It has 72 blocks, but after trying to make everything "work", I will put it back in the box for now. I cut batting and put together backs for a few other quilt tops, and now hopefully in a couple of days, I will be back to show pictures of that. I am excited to have a new quilt for the bed!
Oh, one more thing. I looked out the window today, and found a present left for me at the bird feeder, probably last night.
And funny enough, just this second, that BIG boy was stealing more bird feed, I went the window, and he didn't even CARE. But the dogs heard him too, so they went out back in the kennel. Bet he's gone now! Maybe he will drop the other one! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finished Tops

I managed to finish a couple of tops that I did work on at retreat. One is a Blue Pineapple. Bonnie Hunter's pattern ( but the borders are mine. It is huge. I think it will be a "what was I thinking" moment. It fits the queen, but I haven't actually tried it yet. This one has been sitting around for awhile. I wanted to do a blue quilt. Now maybe a green one...
This pattern is called Roy Rogers, and was from Quilting World mag. April 2009. I am looking for patterns to use up some of my novelty fabrics, and looking for something that is not really easy, but not going to take forever either. This fit that well. I am not too thrilled with the fabric placements, but I ran out of the brown AND the gray that's with the brown. I wanted to use the horseshoe fabric (set in triangles), and the cheddar someplace, Maybe just not there...
One wonders where inspiration comes from...
I was in St. Cloud awhile back, and we got to go see the horses. Always good photo opps. Quilters see patterns and colors everywhere...

Been A While...

It is always busy here, and Bill is here, then I am gone, Bill is gone, I am here...on and on this year so far. So, for an update on the quilts.
Halloween weekend was our quilt retreat. It was fun, as retreats always are! Here are some shots:

This was the sewing area....on the other end of the building is a room almost this big for the dining room, with the kitchen and bathrooms in between. I WANT this building! I could LIVE here. The other end could be made into a bedroom/dining room, and Bill could have a big industrial kitchen! And of course, this would really be MY sewing room! Well, one can DREAM....
We (I didn't) did the "10 Minute Table Runners". Cute and easy, but I don't do table runners at my house. Flat surfaces are always covered in "stuff".

They did a Mini-mystery. I didn't do that either. I have so much to do, I usually don't do the "extras". But, I did make a Mojo Doll. They were fun.
It was supposed to reflect our personalities. They were crazy, and I believe they DID!

Mojo Deb. Dark skin, you ask?? Being day-glow all of my life, I wish my skin was darker. And, I only had some brown fabric. Works for me.

All the girls together....

I don't remember what was in them (vodka?) but they were yummy. and not too strong (thank you Michelle) or I would have been done for the night.

And of course there was show and tell, and great food, and we will do it again next year. Now onto the rest of the holidays...yuck. I bet I would like the holidays if I could wrap them all around a RETREAT! This might be a new tradition for ME.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Doing Binding

I am not an expert, and there is many ways to do binding, but this is the way I do it. I decided to do this, because my B-I-L is learning to quilt, and this is easy, but then thought maybe it might help someone else. My pictures are not great, but hopefully they are good enough to make it work.

-I cut my binding 2.5" wide. I like it to be a bit wider, more of a part of the "frame".  So, many times, I will stitch 1/4" from the edge, and it gives me more on the front side of the quilt. If it doesn't matter, I might sew 3/8" from the edge, as I did here.
I figure the length by: inches around the quilt, divided by 40, which is the width of fabric, 40 is a good average and easy to figure, sometimes it is 40", sometimes it is 42". I don't like to cut it close. That is the number of strips you will need. I round up to the next number: 7.4=8. If it is too close to that number, I add one. Say 7.9, doesn't give me enough for much fudge room, so I would cut 9, which is plenty. I save all of my extra binding and use it on my scrap quilts. In this tutorial, I have sewn the binding to the back, to wrap around to the front, and I sew it down with a decorative stitch. I also sew it to the front and wrap it to the back if I am going to sew it down by hand.

After quilting, straighten edges. Decide how wide you want your borders (I always make mine at least 1/2"-1" wider than I want, to allow for quilting, and straightening). Cut edges and square up. 
Sew binding strips together, end to end on the diagonal. (It is on the diag. usually so there isn't so much bulk when you fold it and sew it to the quilt.) I move the top piece over, so it is easier to see the bottom corner. One thing I do is lay out all the strips in a pile on my lap, take the first layer off, and sew the next 2 layers together, etc. and then I am sure not to sew a "loop" by accidentally sewing that first end of the strip to another one. But, do it once, and you probably won't do it again...!  
As the picture says, sew on the diagonal, from the inside corner top, to the outside corner on the bottom. Pin if you need to, but I never do.
You can use tape as a guide, or they make guides you can buy. Tape is easy. Sew all the ends into a long strip.
After you are done, make sure the whole string of binding is all going in the right direction, and that nothing is "looped together", and cut the extra to 1/4" from stitching. Iron seams open, and then iron the whole piece the long way in half, being careful to line up raw edges exactly. I roll my binding in a roll to keep it under control. Some people roll it onto empty tp rolls, or paper towel rolls, and can rig them to hang around their necks. And of course they make things you can buy...

Start to sew the binding on the quilt raw edge to raw edge. Never start at a corner, or even near the corner. I usually start about in the middle of one side. Leave a tail that does not get sewn down, start sewing about 8" from the end. 
When you get to the corner, stop sewing 1/4" (or whatever distance you are sewing your binding at) turn your quilt to sew down the next side, but sew OFF the quilt backwards.
Come off the quilt, and fold the binding up, making the miter, and then back down again, and continue sewing.
Sew to the next corner and repeat.
Now you have gone all the way around, and ended up back at the beginning. This is the tricky part, until you get used to it! Don't sew all the way, stop about 8 inches or more from where you started. Overlap binding at the started end. You will cut the binding at the overlap, (white dot for mine) the same distance that you cut the width of the binding. In my case, it was 2.5". (Hope this makes sense...)
Open binding, and pin the ends together, like you did with the other pieces in the beginning, except you put it exactly at the end, because this is your final measurement. Here you might want to use pins, as it is harder to muscle the binding now. This why you leave it unstitched at the end. If you feel like you don't have enough room, you can rip out some stitches either at the end or beginning to help.
Once you finish sewing the ends, DOUBLE CHECK to make sure that the binding fits, and that you have sewn it correctly and haven't twisted the ends before cutting the excess. Then, cut the excess and finish sewing down the binding, back stitching over both ends.

Iron the binding flat and the seam open all the way around. Roll the binding to the front side of the quilt, and stitch, (covering the back stitching) and stitch with desired decorative stitch. I just used a multi-stitch zig-zag.

When you get to the corner, make sure you get a nice fold, and then fold it down and then back up. You will know if it is right, if the points match when you fold it back up.

I stitch the corner down, even tho it doesn't look great all the time, but I have had them come unfolded, and then they don't look so great either.
Of course if you want to do this part by hand, that is o.k. too. I figure most of my quilts are going to be used to death, so function is more important than looks. I try to do it as nicely as possible, but doesn't always work the way we plan!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crumb Diamonds and a QOV

I finished my UFO, the crumb quilt, leftovers from paper piecing the crossed canoes on my header. There was just too much to throw away. I don't remember where the pattern came from, but it was interesting to do, sewing the diamonds, that is. I did it on telephone book paper. It is 45x50, I believe.
I was just going to stipple it and get it done, but I figure I always need practice on feathers (and still do!) and doing some "spacial" things (and still do!). I did some ferns in the blocks, since I know I can do those, and the WHOLE thing wouldn't be so "frustrating". So, just ignore the ugly feathers, and chock it up to PRACTICE, that's what I am doing!
I also finished a Quilts of Valor top. Now I just have to wait till I get some batting to finish it. It will have red binding. Maybe next month it can be in the budget. I am working on more and more stuff, and it sure feels good to get it out of my hair. I don't know how long the diamonds have been sitting around, but it was the usual, lose the template, don't know what book it came out of, discover it years later while cleaning, etc. That usually doesn't happen to me, so it was extremely frustrating every time I came across that UFO. 
Well, heading off to St. Cloud again on Thursday, need to figure out what to bring and pack. I get to take the new car-yippee! LOVE that car, but since Bill is driving it all the time, I don't get to very often!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


It is, sorry Dawn. I was close tho. That's what I get for trying to "remember" things...!

A Couple More Down the Hatch

I have been busy, mostly quilting. I finished a quilt for Ron, an uncle of a good friend, and our friend too. It was just fast, but he was whining about not having any quilts a few years ago, so Cindy made him one last year, and since I had all this fish fabric, I made him one also (he loves to fish). He will be up for deer hunting, so he will get it then. It has a flannel back.
I also got a baby quilt quilted. It was a fun one to quilt, as I used a new pattern by Dawn is great, and has great ideas. Highly recommend her DVDs. not only do I really like it, but it was FAST, and I am all about FAST. Get it done and MOVE ON! For the most part anyway...

I have another one on the rack that I hope to get done today, another possible baby one, and 3 or 4 more waiting in the wings. I hope to get them done soon as there are SO MANY projects I still want to do! I don't have any batting left tho, so I will have to wait for my next roll, so I don't have to go too fast.  I only have about another 20 UFO's to do, but have been getting them ready for quilt camp at the end of the month. Cant WAIT.
It is fall, and Cindy came over last week for the start of our annual weekly sewing days. It is usually on Thursdays, but it was just too nice out today, so it won't happen. Maybe next week. It is beautiful, 54 degrees, and sunny. windy, but not too bad. Maybe I will head out too....