Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm into scrappy...

One can do a lot on a slow Sunday afternoon.   I just messed around with fabric scraps and Pam Buda's courthouse steps block.   (You can find the foundation paper piece pattern here).

It will be a long and narrow runner when it's finished... much like what Pam made with the four free blocks she offered on her blog recently.   I opted to use four courthouse step blocks to make my scrappy runner.   You can see Pam's completed runner here.  Thanks for the inspiration Pam!!!
Wishing all of you a wonderful week of sewing!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday Night Sew In Meets Christmas Through the Year...

Ahhhh yes!  Nothing like checking off two February sewing events with one project! 

With a major snowstorm heading for central Iowa this past Thursday afternoon, my employer decided to send everyone home early.  How nice!  I was home and in my sewing room by 3:00pm... the snow began falling around 3:30pm... and fizzled out by 8:00pm.  The six inches that fell by morning was light, fluffy, picturesque, but certainly not "major."  Duped again by Mother Nature!   I won't complain... I was able to get an early start on prepping for Friday Night Sew In, and Christmas Through the Year!  

 I had three fat quarters, purchased while on retreat in Minnesota last fall, and a pattern, purchased last May in Wisconsin. 

Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda

The Centerpiece Tablemat -
A Tiny Treasures Pattern
from Sweet Treasures

Finished size - 21" Octagon

By piecing the backing with scraps from the 3 fat
quarters, I used just about all of the fabric!  I even
included a strip of the selvage... a no waste
of fabric project!

There was something about the fabric line that spoke to me... it's a little out of my usual taste, but I just kept carrying those 3 fat quarters around the shop with me.  It's difficult to see, but there are images of an old 1950's typewriter on one of the outer strips, and another strip looks like the keys of the typewriter.  My Dad had a typewriter like this...  I remember playing endlessly with it... inserting a clean sheet of paper in the manual rollers, banging away on the keys, listening to the ping of the letter molds slapping against the crisp paper... and when my written masterpiece was completed, I'd snatch the paper quickly out of the rollers, and let it sail to the floor... just like in the movies!   The typewriter still resides in my Mom's home.  My younger brother has dibs on it... maybe I could borrow it long enough for a picture of the typewriter on the octagon mat, and then the mat can live its life in Wisconsin, with my brother, and my Dad's old typewriter. 

I finished sewing the binding on Friday evening.  And now the pattern has inspired me to make smaller octagon tablemats, using civil war fabrics.   Hmmm...  more Christmas Through the Year projects, perhaps on future Friday nights!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hourglass Mystery Blocks...

   Step two of Darlene's Mystery Quilt Sew Along is complete...

I kept the four outer borders scrappy by using four different prints in dark shades of blue, my favorite color.  I love the hourglass blocks!
Thanks Darlene...  I'm enjoying this! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sneak peak and a mystery...

Where did the time go today!   I completely ignored housework, (well, I did run the dishwasher...) and spent most of the day working on a couple of fun projects. 

I can only show a little peak of the first project.  I'm one of seven ladies in a small quilt group... we call ourselves BOWTIES.  We meet the first Monday evening of the month, and in years past we usually just brought whatever we wanted to work on during our get togethers.  Last year, and moving into this year, we decided to spend more time trying new things, and challenging ourselves with group projects.  Last fall we decided to pick a medium sized quilt pattern that we would each make.  This was our choice.
Pieced Tree
Of course, we have rules...

We can use a layer cake, (pattern is designed for a layer cake), or we can use other fabric, as  long as the layer cake or the fabric we use is from our existing stash.  This includes backing, and binding.  Due date:   Our March 2013 meeting.

I pieced my blocks together in late December.  This morning I sewed the rows together.  I was lucky to find backing and binding fabric in my stash that will coordinate well with the quilt top, but I'm must make a run to my LQS for batting.  The finished size will be 51" square.  Here's a sneak peak!  I don't want to show too much... we like surprises!

Remembrance by Brannock and Patek - I purchased a
layer cake at the AQS Show in October of 2010!!!
Moving on...

I have been anxious to begin Darlene's Mystery Quilt step 2 every since  it was revealed on February 8th.  I always enjoy the process of picking and choosing my fabrics.  Today I made the 30 hourglass blocks needed.  They were time consuming, but I loved piecing them together!

5.5 inch squares - 15 light
15 medium/dark

They look so pretty grouped together!!!

Sewing the hourglass blocks into rows will have to wait until the upcoming weekday evenings.  It's always a joy to spend time in my sewing room after a day at work.   But no sewing tomorrow night...

...the two hour season finale of Downton Abbey will have my full attention!!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Happy Valentines Day to You!

A splash of valentine hearts wishing you and yours a Happy Valentines Day!

Enjoy the day with your loved ones!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Civil War Scraps Doll Quilt

February's selection for Kathleen Tracy's SmallQuiltTalk sew along is Civil War Scraps Doll Quilt, from her book titled The Civil War Sewing Circle.   I cut the required squares and half square triangles one evening last week.  I spent most of Saturday piecing it together. 
I used Windham Fabrics by Julie Hendricksen, Marcus Fabrics by Paula Barnes and Judie Rothermel, and Andover Fabrics by Jo Morton. 
I mixed and matched several combinations of four patches and half square triangles until they looked just right... to me anyway!

When all was said and done, my mini became this...

Civil War Scraps Doll Quilt
Finished size - 17.5" x 22"

I have always enjoyed making mini quilts... but for some reason I really  enjoyed putting this one together!   I'm especially proud of myself for staying as true as possible to the fabric colors Kathleen used on her model in the book!  (I'm famous for making color changes!)   I machine quilted very simple straight lines, using Aurifil 50, color #2370 (taupe) on the 5 center blocks, and Aurifil 50, color #1140 (cypress) on the navy triangles and the green top and bottom borders.   This was the first time I put overlapped binding on a quilt.  Kathleen's directions were excellent, as always.  I'm looking forward to March 1st, when Kathleen will reveal the March mini quilt!!!  To learn more about Kathleen's SmallQuiltTalk Sew Along, click here.

I hope the days ahead are happily filled with sewing time for all of you!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

A finished red Moravian Star!

I kept true to a promise to myself...  to finish my Moravian Star by the weekend!   Friday evening was spent sewing the two half stars together, to make one star!   At its widest point, it measures 8 inches.

 It's a bit difficult to capture its dimensions with just one picture.

For now my star will sit among a few other favorite things of mine.  I'm just hoping that Buddy (my one eyed, sassy cat) doesn't mistake it for a toy for him...

It's Saturday morning... time to head into the sewing room!  Today's plan is to piece together the Civil War Doll Quilt that Kathleen Tracy has selected for the February SmallQuiltTalk sew along.  

What will you be sewing this weekend?

Monday, February 4, 2013

A productive weekend!

I still don't think it's fair that we work five days and only get two off!  But I made the best of my weekend by finishing one project, and progressing on another.

It was worth the time I spent stitching the words a second time on this pincushion!  Using a darker shade of blue thread makes it so much easier to read what it says... and isn't that the point?   (see post dated 1-24-2013).

I'm making headway with my red Moravian Star. 

All the diamond templates that are needed are covered with fabric.  A few nights of hand sewing and maybe, just maybe, I'll have this done by this coming weekend!

Here's one more Moravian Star to share with you.  This is Nor's...

Pictures just don't do these beauties justice.  It's hard to capture the true dimensional appearance! 

Because I'm crazy and I don't have enough projects in the works, I joined Kathleen Tracy's SmallQuiltTalk Yahoo group.  Kathleen selects a mini quilt from one of her published books each month, for group members to make.  This has been going on for a couple of years, but this is my first go at it.  For more information visit Kathleen's blog here.  On her sidebar, click on "Love Small Quilts? Join my Yahoo Group."

For January, Kathleen allowed us to choose a quilt of our choice.  My pick was a free pattern (also available on her website), Scrappy Triangle Doll Quilt. 

Scrappy Triangles Doll Quilt - a quick and fun mini to make!
How did you spend your weekend???


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Simply Charming Sew Along - Something You Should Know!

Hey ladies... if you are participating in the Simply Charming Sew Along PLEASE READ BELOW...

I received an e-mail from Kimber, Heirlooms by Ashton House.  She was the editor of this book.  Kimber wants all participants to be aware of a few corrections to some of the pattern instructions.  These corrections affect the following pattern:  Mountain Pathways, Living Off the Scrap Basket, Stars Over the Mountains, and Hidden Treasures.

I thought it would be easiest to link you to Tara's website to read what changes you will need to make before beginning any of these darling quilts.  (Mistakes happen... but as quilters, we adjust!) 

Thank you Kimber, for bringing this to our attention.  And readers, you should also check out Kimber's blog!  Click here!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Simply Charming Every Other Month Mini Sew Along - Link Up!

If you are joining Darlene and I in the Simply Charming Every Other Month Mini Sew Along, you can link a photo of your mini quilt for February below!   You will have until March 10th to post a picture.  It's not to late to join us!  No pressure, just fun!  Make any mini quilt from this book every other month beginning in February.  By the end of the year you will have six mini quilts!  The book is available at, or ask you LQS to order it for you!  Join us, won't you?

Update - 2/16/2013    Ladies, when you link below, please link to the post on your blog that specifically features your finished mini quilt.  If you have questions on how to do this, just drop me an e-mail at sojoha3@gmail.comThank you!

Tabitha's Trinkets
 I omitted the two borders.
I used a mini charm pack of
Moda Metropolitan Fair
 and scraps of shirting fabrics.