Monday, January 27, 2014

Midwinter Blues Sew Along

Lori at Humble Quilts is leading us astray on another fantastic quilt along... Midwinter Blues.   (And I mean leading us astray in a GOOD way!)  Click here to visit her blog and read all about it... and then, join the fun!

I had just enough time this evening to select my fabrics and get 5 blocks cut and ready for piecing.  

Half the fun is ruffling through my fabric drawers for the chosen few... well maybe more than a few.   Narrowing the selection down is not so fun.   

There are some bloggers who have their completed blocks to show... I like them all!  Go visit here and here  to admire their work!    
Back to work in the morning at the real job, and maybe tomorrow night I can get these blocks sewn!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh My Stars!

It certainly has helped that the weather in central Iowa has been like a rollercoaster... I don't think I would be progressing so quickly on the hexie stars if January would be more "normal,"  whatever that is.  It's bitterly cold with high winds one day, followed by a rise of 30 degrees and a mild breeze the next.  Tomorrow we will be under a blizzard warning... not much snow is expected, but 60 mph winds will do a number on any possible outdoor activities.  Oh goodie... the perfect excuse to sew!

I finished the third of the five stars needed for "Stars in the Garden."  Each star is made with 73 hexies... 3/8" hexies.  A completed star measures just under eight inches at the widest point.
Did I mention that these little beauties are very addicting?

And I've chosen the fabrics for star number four... I'll bring a bit of brown and green with a pop of red for the very center hexie.  
So... let it snow, let it snow, let it blow!!!    I've made my Sunday stitching plans!!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Aimee... expect a phone call...

Aimee is my favorite local quilter... I do the cutting, piecing, sandwiching, and pinning, and then I happily hand off the project for Aimee to give it her magic touch... the quilting! 

A short work day allowed me to grab another 2013 UFO that is very close to completion.  This is my version of Hot Cross, a Schnibbles quilt by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  I love her patterns, and I would love to participate in the monthly Schnibbles quilt-a-longs that sweeps blogland every year!  It just isn't even practical to dream about it... I started this one in August of 2013.    I added a 2.5 red border to the original design to make it a bit larger.  Then I realized that I initially bought the red fabric for the binding... (really?  I'm going to have to start writing these things down and attach them to the pattern if I'm going to wait this long to finish these UFO's...)  Fat Quarter Shop to the rescue... lucky for me they still have the Historical Blenders fabric available.  (Yes, my nickname is Dizzy...) 

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A new necessity found it's way into my sewing room a few days ago. 
I've been contemplating this Oliso Smart Iron for awhile.  I like the idea of it lifting itself off its plate in the "resting" position.   I have a reputation for forgetting to stand my iron up.  (I also have a reputation for leaving the burner covers on my electric stove top, and turning the burner on to preheat... I've gone through a few of those covers.  You'll be happy to know that the house has never burned down... it's the funny smell that one notices before it gets to that point!)
Anyway, Leslie at the Cuddle Quilter recently gave us a glimpse at her new Oliso iron, and gave it great reviews.  I would have liked the yellow one...  it was more expensive, and has a higher wattage.  So far, this blue model is living up to the task... I like a good hot iron for pressing!    It's taking a little getting use to, but what doesn't these days?
Wow... two posts in two days... I could really get use to short work days!  I'm off to select fabric for my next hexie star... don't want to waste valuable planning time.  I promise to be prepared with pen and paper, so I won't forget what my original intentions are.  Check back in several months to see if it works!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Second hexie star...

I haven't stitched anything so addicting as these little 3/8" hexies in a long time!

It makes for a relaxing evening to sit in a comfortable chair with my feet up, connecting hexies together!  

About a week ago I sent a picture of the first star I completed to a stitching friend who is also working on this project.  A few days later, while talking on the phone to her, she mentioned that my star looked different than hers... perhaps I forgot to sew the 6 points on to form the star???  Sure enough!  I had made a flower... I needed to add those six hexies to shape it into a star!   I'm so happy she noticed!!!  How many times had I looked at the pattern and a picture of the star, and I still needed another set of eyes to help me out?!?!?


Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm addicted...

... to 3/8" hexies...

One of five stars is complete... 73 little hexies, happily connected together.   I took the threads out of the inside hexies, because I was so anxious to see how it looked without them!  The outer border threads will stay intact until all the stars and flowers are sewn together.  I've started on the first of eight flower hexies... it's lying to the left of the star.  It's made with 37 little hexies.   The background fabric pictured above will be the "sashing" hexies that will join the stars and flowers together.  

My goal... Stars in the Garden by Vicki Olson and Jill Shaulis
of Yellow Creek Quilt Designs
Primitive Quilts and Projects - Spring 2013 issue

Above is a picture of my work in progress.   The embroidery hoop, with just a scrap of white flannel, served as a good resting spot for the hexies.  The Extra Strength Tylenol was necessary as well... not because this was a pain to do.  On the contrary... I loved making these little guys multiply!   I wasn't about to let a root canal early Thursday morning get in the way of actually having some weekday time to stitch!  (Admittedly, a nap helped as well...)  A working girl must do what she must do!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Binding and buttons... a finish!

I would have never predicted that by this time into the new year, I would have two UFO's completed!   Never mind that both of them were 85% done when I rescued them from the "maybe someday" pile they were buried in!   Shhhhh... don't tell anyone!

Bless Your Heart by Cheri Saffiote
Indigo Junction, Inc.

With the binding and buttons sewn into place, my applique heart is a finish!  This 2001 pattern caught my eye in 2005... and my good friend Nor loaned me the pattern, and the #715  green Mettler thread for the applique!   Good thing she had already made her little quilts from the pattern... because 8 years later, I'm ready to return it to her.  (And I owe her a spool of #715!)  Having this completed is putting me in the mood to decorate for Valentine's Day... after all it's just one month away today...


And now I'm itching to begin something new.  A little over a week ago two of my stitchin' friends shared what they will be working on over the next several weeks.  (Well, maybe several weeks for them, but for me it will be several months!)   Yep!  It involves hexies... really little hexies... 3/8 inch to be exact!!!

If you have the 2013 Spring issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects, turn to page 92...

Stars in the Garden by Vicki Olsen and Jill Shaulis
of Yellow Creek Quilt Designs
Spring 2013 - Primitive Quilts and Projects

I completely overlooked this pattern when I got the magazine last spring.   And when these two over achievers showed me what they would be working on, it somehow looked very familiar... where had I seen these paper pieced stars and flowers?  Right HERE... on Gayle's The Middle Sister blog!!!  And I was smitten!  I knew this would climb to the top of my "to do" list!!!   I wasn't even aware that I had the magazine when I was drooling over Gayle's... (really... I'm not this spacey all the time, although my kids nicknamed me "Dizzy" quite a few years ago...).

So, the prep work begins...

A quick word... the pattern doesn't call for 2400 3/8" hexies... I ordered the bulk pack to split 3 ways... I'm not that crazy!!!  The straight pin laying on top of one of the hexies gives you an idea of how tiny they are.   What a great way to use up really tiny scraps!   Tonight's the night to get started... and that UFO stash gets a blind eye once again! 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday Night With Friends

It's Saturday afternoon, and I'm making progress on my applique heart that I posted about here.   I'm lovin' it!  Why on earth did I hide this for almost 6 years?!?

Pattern is Bless Your Heart by Cheri Saffiote -
published by Indygo Junction, Inc. 2001

Simple machine quilting... the solid, jagged
edged heart is wool.  All other fabrics
are cotton.

I decided to use the green stripe fabric for the binding, because I like stripes for binding.   I will have fun choosing buttons from my button collection for the center of the triangles that make up the border.   Amazing!  This will be done way before Valentine's Day!!! 

To see the Friday night handiwork of my friends all over the world go here, and click on the links of the listed participants.  Hope you have some spare time... there are lots of goodies to look at!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I think it's high time...

... for me to finish this project!!!

My best guess is that I started this applique project (my very first ever applique project!), in 2005.   It seemed to be the project that I would take to my monthly sew-in-meetings, year after year, until it somehow got buried in a basket of UFO's.   Fortunately I still have some large pieces of the pink and green fabrics for backing and binding.  The pattern is from Indygo Junction, Inc.  The copyright date is 2001!  The finished size is 12.5" x 16.5", and each of the triangles on the border gets a cute button centered on it.   So what's my excuse for not getting it done???  I simply don't have one!   With Valentines Day right around the corner, it's time to turn this cutie into a finished project!


 If you read my previous post you know that I travelled to Green Bay, Wisconsin with my daughter to attend the Packer/49er's playoff game this past Sunday.  Although the outcome of the game wasn't what the entire stadium crowd was hoping for, Kelly and I have no regrets leaving at 3am on Sunday morning, meeting up with my brother, donning several layers of warm clothing in the parking lot, stuffing foot warmers between our toes and hand warmers between our pairs of mittens,  high fiving every Packer fan in our seating section after a big play, singing along to "Roll Out the Barrel" during one of the many TV commercial breaks,  screaming our lungs out while the 49er's QB was calling the next play,  thanking the big fellows in the row ahead of us for being our wind breakers, and cheering on the team that I've been a huge fan of since I was eight years old!   No regrets what so ever... we can't wait to do it again someday!!!  
My daughter Kelly, and me!  We survived!!!


Time to return to needle and thread...  I have an applique project to finish!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year... New Project

Well, not exactly a new project.

As 2014 begins, I'm feeling guilty about all the 2013 projects that didn't get finished.   Several flimsies are folded neatly in baskets with the batting, backing, and binding that's needed to complete each of them.  And naturally there is a list of "to do" projects pinned to the bulletin board in my sewing room.  What's a girl to do???

When I walked into my sewing room this morning, I was bound and determined to finish one of those flimsies before embarking on a "new" project.  So, I picked up the basket with the smallest flimsy, sandwiched it in preparation for machine quilting, poured myself a diet coke, turned on my I-Pod tunes, and began... the... finish...

I pieced the blocks and sewed the rows together at retreat last September... 4 months ago!   When you consider the fact that the finished size is only 15" x 16.5" that's pretty sad!

Fabric is La Petite Ecole by French General
for Moda.

The fabrics are from a kit that I purchased in May of 2012 from Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI.  I sort of lost interest in the pattern that came in the kit.  So I used a Buttermilk Basin pattern, Hint of Fall.  (I made a mini quilt using this pattern in October, and it's one of my all time favorites... you can see it by clicking here.)  This little mini, by omitting the 2 borders the pattern calls for, fits nicely on the end table next to my couch... the very table that holds all my necessities for hand sewing while watching TV.  I still need to wash and dry the mini to give it that crinkly look that I like so much.

So yes!  I'm feeling pretty happy about finishing an oldie... maybe the guilt will be at rest for awhile... now where's that "to do" list????


Anyone that knows me well (or has read previous posts on my blog), knows that I live in Iowa, but have a strong attachment to my home state of Wisconsin, including being a loyal and fanatic fan of the Green Bay Packers.  The last several games of the regular season were particularly nerve racking... I could feel my blood pressure rising with every second ticking away in the last minutes of each of those games.  Last Sunday, when the Pack came back and beat the Chicago Bears in the last 38 seconds, I was hoping that my neighbors weren't home... that way they couldn't hear my screams and think maybe they should be calling 911. 

I've been given the opportunity to attend this Sunday's playoff game against the San Francisco 49'ers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  When the news came from my brother on this past Monday morning (he lives in Wisconsin), text messages between my daughter, SIL, son, and DIL went flying intensely for about 45 minutes... when it came down to a decision, it took my daughter about 5 seconds to convince me to make the trip with her... the two of us and my brother will be sitting among the other fanatic fans on metal bleachers, in temps that are predicted to be in the low teens!  But to us, it will be like heaven!   The way I see it, this is why hand and foot warmers were invented!!! 

Destination - Sunday, January 5th!

I find myself behind in reading my favorite quilt blogs... so that's what I plan on doing for the rest of this New Year's Day evening.  Happy 2014 to all of you!