Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Quilts

I did do a bit of Christmas decorating this morning. I put up my Christmas Sampler in the living room.
Believe it or not Tonya helped me pick out fabrics for this (which included a Mary Jo's roadtrip!) and Bonnie did the quilting...makes it a good friend memory quilt. Also it has lots of my favorite blocks...

This little table-topper was made from holiday fabric scraps. The blocks finish at 3/4 inch.

Right now I am trying to finish up an 2009 Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt. My color pallet is a bit clearer in this one. It will go well with my Pennsylvania quilts!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mystery Step Two!

This may be a first...I've kept up with a Bonnie mystery through the second step!

I'm using green where she used blue only because I had lots of green on the cutting board. Also I have a new name for mine. Bonnie's is based on a trip she took to Alaska. I've never been there. I have however hiked through Phinezy Swamp here in Georgia and last weekend there was a lot of black, green, and red (sounds awful abut it is beautiful in it's own way...) So that is the name for my mystery quilt!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It is still November....

Only a couple days after Thanksgiving and almost half the houses in my neighborhood are decorated for Christmas. Is it me or does that feel wrong?

Poor Macbeth is traumatized by it all. He is a sworn enemy of the inflatable snowmen (you know the kind that have a motor inside to keep them inflated and a light so they sort of glow...makes me think of the marshmallow giant in "Ghostbusters.") Then there are the mechanical deer whose heads bob up and down...Mac chooses to ignore them but I worry one of these days he'll have had enough - he'll slip his lead and we'll see him dragging one mangled mechanical deer down the driveway (the fact they are 10x his size has no bearing on the matter...he is a terrier remember!)

I am trying to clear away the autumn fabrics and found this Thankgiving one...been in my stash a long time. Not a lot of fabrics with printed in the USA on the selvage anymore.

Today I spent some time finishing up the Halloween quilt I started this year. I have been pulling some of the blacks and shirtings from the Halloween project box for the mystery quilt and it dawned on me I might need them for the H-project. (not that that has even happened to me before....whoops!) I think I am ok...all the half-squares are done and I only have to applique a couple more stars. I cut the fabric and am putting the whole thing somewhere safe (note to self - it is on the upper shelf of the spare bedroom closet.)

I have finished step two in the Bonnie's new mystery...I'll post my photos tomorrow. It was a quick step and my DH even helped take out the paper while we watched football last night. The paper is messy but the cats had fun with it! (With that read...really, messy!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quiet Friday

I successfully avoided the entire Black Friday hoopala...I stayed in gave my dog a bath and sewed. A nice quiet day...except for having to battle the cats for my fabric....

I am churning out some Christmas gifts and some "hostess" gifts.

I've made a few of these table runners ( and yes I made a Scottie one for myself!), a couple of stockings, and two aprons.
This holiday I may have formed a new addiction...pumpkin eggnog! I love this stuff. Favorite way to drink it is mixed with half milk and a bit of cinnamon then warmed up in the microwave...It is my latest substitute for coffee.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things I'm thankful for....the Diningroom is ready for the tablecloth and placesettings and of course the food! Do you have a "standard" for you Thanksgiving celebration? My DH insists on homemade pecan pie and New Orleans style dressing (has sausage, onion, peppers, mushrooms and apples...)
I finally gave up waiting for the painter/decorator to show up and went ahead and painted my front door yesterday...I am thankful it came out ok! (still have to do the frame but that is a post holiday project....)
And finally I am really thankful that I finished step one of Bonnie Hunter's mystery....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is another project...or two!

Does that stack of blocks look familiar? Yes, I started Bonnie's mystery quilt.

I had all these black fabrics still our from Halloween so it was sort of kismet...which is my way of saying it is easier to use them in the next project then fold them and put them away...Don't you just love this strip of millennium fabric I found in my scrap bin! I'm pretty sure this is the last piece but I can't swear to it! (My mystery is going to be red, black and green...goes with all the fabrics on my cutting table right now....)

I also am working on some Christmas projects...

I got this book, "Tis the Season," a few weeks ago. Love the fabric choices. For this project I am finally trying machine applique...not a huge fan yet but I am getting better and do like how much faster it comes together. For a quilt that will only be out a few weeks a year it does make sense...besides these trees would have been a real pain to needle-turn! There is a good chance I will have this done for Christmas (even with the mystery in-process...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Found it...thanks for your help!

At the end of the day...or of the little quilt...I ended up using a rose-purple inner-border and a grape purple outer border on the HST quilt. This finished up about 15x19.

A couple of you had suggested using double purple borders and so I had gone into the stash looking for that rose-purple. After checking out the bookcases where the fatquarters live, the basket on top of the cabinet where the backing yardage hides, and the closet shelves where yardage rests...not a square inch of rose purple to be found. Then I laid down for a nap and it hit me...there is a bag with purple applique pieces perfect for fruit hidden under the bed. (Don't we all have a bag of fruit applique hidden in somewhere in our house!) And there it was...the perfect rose-purple that had been put aside to use for raspberries...still enough left a pint or so...

Thanks for all the input! I want to get on to working on my Christmas projects but still have one more of these hst projects to finish up...still haven't made a dent in the bowl of hst! Elves must be replenishing the bowl at night....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Border Decisions...

That bowl of 2-inch half-square triangles I wrote about earlier this month is still full...even after making two more doll quilts/wallhangings. I am having a difficult time deciding on a border for this blue one...

a green border...

a blue...

or do a bit of contrast with a golden brown....

Any thoughts?

New Thought (thanks to first comment!) I've added a purple option...isn't it funny how in my mind this was the "blue" quilt and I had totally blocked the purple hst's...brain-freeze!)

I have another one done in blues, purples and golds with black accent blocks...that needs a border too but I think I have an idea for that one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rushing the year...

I know I should be getting ready for Thanksgiving but all I want to work on is Christmas things!

At the show in last month I picked up these Scottie ornaments. I don't usually support cutting up vintage fabrics but for Scotties I'll make an exception....
6 inch random pieced/crumb pieced blocks
I'm battling my autumn allergies. The first few days of taking the meds make me very sleeping so not too much done the last couple of days. I am working on making a few more little quilts and spending a lot of time doing some random piecing to reduce the scrap pile. Also a new Christmas wallhanging. Much brighter than my usual decorations...photos later....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Log Cabins...

Bill V. at willywonkyquilts blog is part of a quilt study group in Oregon. This weekend they are going to look at log cabin quilts. Try as I might I could not get facebook to post photos of my quilts in the right spot so he could see them...so irritating!

So as I try to figure out my new computer and finicky facebook all get to see them....

This is 1/4 of the quilt. What is interesting about this one is the half-square triangles used in the center block, the "frugal" piecing of the log strips (piecing together scraps), and the pieced border with the star blocks in the corners. The edge is finished front to back. The log cabin blocks have some very early fabrics and seem to be a bit earlier than the border fabrics. The quilt is in fair condition. I purchased it on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Courthouse steps baby quilt is circa 1900 and is from the Pennsylvania area.
This type of "quilt" is often referred to as a summer spread since it has not batting (so technically not a quilt.) Circa 1870, the red centers are wool and the log strips are done on a foundation fabric which are sewn together in the "quilt as you go" method. Everything old is new again...
This last top just screams Pennsylvania! At first I planned to use it as a donor top...providing fabric to do quilt restoration but then it grew on me....I could never cut into it! Bright and a little garish it is perfect to drape over the back of a chair at Christmas....

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Elf Day...

14x18 4-patch

It all started yesterday morning. Freda at Imprera Magna blog asked, "Want to help Santa out?" I mean really, who would say no? Besides she said it would only take 30 minutes...really Freda? Has any quilting project ever taken 30 minutes? That is right up there with "quilt in a day," and diets that let you "eat all you want and still lose weight..."

14x18 strippy

That aside, I put on some Christmas CD's (sorry Bonnie...but nothing like a Bing and Barbara belting out some holiday tunes to give me that elf in the workshop buzz....)
14x18 9-patch
So an hour and a half later I crawl out of my sewing/fabric room with an armload of fabric bits which include a basket of 1930's repro four patches, a bowl (don't ask...) of 2 inch half square triangles, and a Moda jellyroll that was too pretty to cut into and had become a sewing room decoration.
12x18 one patch

I gave myself permission to play and just tried to think of what a little girl would like her doll quilt to look like. Which made me want to include lots of colors...
Now one day later...I have finished 5 little quilt tops! So it was a bit over 30 minutes...but I had fun and knowing they will go to children who need them this Christmas makes it even better. So much fun I may just make another of the green and yellow quilts for myself...got to do something to make a dent in that bowl of HST's!
12x18 Half square

Monday, November 07, 2011

Fall cleaning...

CW block 45: Port & Starboard

Sorry I've been out of blogland for a few days while we got a new computer up and running. It is amazing how much faster this one is than our old one! It is however just enough different to make things awkward...
Also I have been helping a friend with her search for a new dog...a lab to more specific. She is adopting Cleo from a shelter in South Carolina. Going to these shelters breaks my heart...but I have to say the folks working in the Aiken shelter really do a good job with the animals. It is so hard for me not to bring home another dog or cat every-time I go...this time I only brought home the scottie dog dish towel. You can imagine the sigh of relief from my DH on that one!
I've also been sorting, refolding and reorganizing some of my antique and vintage quilts. Every few months I like to take them out and check on them. As I am changing out the bed linens from summer to winter it just makes sense to to this at the same time. This redwork quilt top always makes me stop and think how lucky we are to have such a wide choice of fabrics to work with...imagine doing all that embroidery only to have the sugar print still show...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

seeing stars...

The past couple of days I have been playing catch-up on some on-going projects...interestingly they all involved stars!Do you hold onto articles and patterns from old magazines? I've had a quilt by Georgina Fries on my idea board since December 2004! That means this has made it through two transatlantic moves. I had even started a box with bits of blues and greens and shirtings. The blocks above are for that project...it has moved from the idea board to the to-do list!This block is from the Halloween quilt I didn't quite finish for this year's holiday...only one more block to go so it is very likely I will have it ready for next year (as long as I don't pack the whole project up and let it hide in the closet!)

Above is the new donation quilt by my guild. The pattern is from "Quilts of Charm and Grace." The proceeds go to Camp Rainbow, a summer camp for children diagnosed with cancer. I printed off some photos for members of the guild.

I am so behind in my CW blocks! I did make this one though and if I can make one more before Saturday (when the next block comes out) than I am getting ahead of the game...I made a couple of 12 inch stars for a quilter in Tennasee who is collecting them to make quilts for the family and friends of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.