Sunday, December 27, 2015

Preparing For 2016

This post will cover some thoughts I have as 2015 winds to a close.  Since setting up the new quilt room, I have looked at all the quilts that I have started, or planned to start, that are not finished yet.  This will be my goal for 2016.  

I also would like to make some baby quilts to have on hand, to enable me to gift a baby quilt without feeling I have a time schedule to get it done.  It would make me feel so organized to have some finished ahead of time.  Also, I was surprised at how much fabric I have that comes in "baby quilt" category.

Also, in 2016, I would like to give more information on the blog about how I make my quilts, as I often get questions about them.  For instance, Anita left me a comment about this table topper:  "What size are the blocks?"


I think I blogged about it before, but it is a free pattern from McCall's Quick Quilts.  It is available from www.mccallsquilting.com/free-christmas-quilt-patterns and is called "Peppermint Dash" by Darlene Zimmerman.

Darlene's pattern finishes at 47 in. by 55.5 inches with blocks that finish at 6 inches square.

When I made my table topper, I just divided all the instructions in half, and my squares finish 3 in. by 3 in.  I also made fewer blocks that the big quilt.  I have 20 churn dash blocks and the magazine directions have 30 blocks.  I would like to make the bigger version someday, maybe in 2016.hVE

This week I sorted the last large box of fabric, which was all scraps.  It took me a long time, and I have it now sorted into strips by color, and have just a small box of odd shaped pieces.  It was fun to look at all the pieces, and have them all sorted now.

The boxes of "projects" is a little overwhelming, but 2016 is a new start, with a clean quilt room, and all of the projects lined up for me to see.  I am open to how you tackle old projects that you want to finish......I've seen some ideas out there:

Put the names in a bowl and draw one out and finish that one before drawing another name

Prioritize them by which ones are the furthest toward finishing, and finish those first.

List them by order in which you love them.....I love them all, so that won't work.

Start with the easiest ones, and move more quickly.

Start with the hardest ones, and they will get easier as you go along.

Work on five at a time, and work on the one that interests you that day.

Besides all the projects I have in boxes, I am also starting new ones.  The new year starts with a challenge from Australia, The Ultimate Sampler, or the 365 Challenge.  There is a plan to make a quilt block every day for a year, to make a 90 inch sampler.  All the blocks will be rotary cut and machine pieced, which is what I like to do.  I also like the quilt, as it is shown on the website.  If you are interested in participating, the website it (Here)

We have had a wonderful Christmas and my dear husband have me the best Christmas present I could ever hope for!  He said I could get a yellow Labrador puppy this Spring.  And I can't wait!  He wrapped up a box filled with lots of paper, and inside was a book about raising Labrador Retrievers.  He knew how much I missed our dear Sally since she's been gone.  Here's a picture of us taken this afternoon at his sister's home:



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!  On New Year's Eve, I shall toast to a new year filled with finished quilts!  

My word for the new year is "focused".  I will be focused on completing the quilts I have started.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Quilt Room Tour

I am getting settled into the quilt room, and here are some pictures to show you how the room is organized.


Here is a photo from the doorway, looking into the room:








































The lovely antique kitchen storage unit that my wonderful Mother-in-Law gave me is where all of my stash is stored.  All neatly closed behind the doors:


Here is the second picture with all the doors open:  I used the moving company "book" boxes, which are sturdy and easy to cut down to the right size, to sort my stash into boxes.  I put a small label on the outside of each door, to tell me what is inside.  The categories are:

By color:
Red  (2 boxes)
Blue  (2 boxes)
Brown  (2 boxes)
Neutrals  (2 boxes)
Cheddar & Black (1 box)
Green/Purple  (1 box)
Pink (1 box)

And also by Type:
Baby (2 boxes)
Floral (1 box)
Christmas  (1 box)
Patriotic  (1 box)
Plaids (2 boxes)
Solids (2 boxes)








































The unit has four drawers and inside the drawers are: 

Binding fabrics and pieces of binding to use on small quilts. I like to use stripes and black and white checks:




Zippers, velcro, snaps, and misc. notions:



Triangles on a role, and other paper piecing aides:


 Rickrack, elastic, seam bindings, hem tape:



My sewing machine cabinet has only one small drawer, and I keep needles in there:


The cutting table is an old dining room sideboard, painted white.  I love it because it is quite high, and I'm a tall girl, so it's just the right height:  I am also blessed to have a lovely view of the woods behind our house.































The top drawer on the right holds all of the rulers:





On top of the antique kitchen cupboards are four metal tins with my spools of thread, and next to the tins are several old canning jars for button storage:




In the corner is an old tea caddy where my muslins are stored, and the cart is handy to wheel over beside the sewing machine, if I want to have some items laid out next to me as I sew:



The design walls are insulation board, covered with high grade flannel fabric, and there are two projects on there right now.
































The closet has batting and larger pieces of fabric in it.  Nothing exciting to see in there.  

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Giveaway Winner

There were 21 replies to the last blog post and I used a random number generator to select a winner from the 21 of you.  The lucky winner is Dee Fowler, and I will be mailing her Christmas table topper pattern to her today.  Merry Christmas Dee, and thanks to all of you for participating!

I thought you'd like to see some of the Christmas decorations at my house.

The front door has a swag of greens with two birds to greet you.



The second picture is of an old quilt that I display somewhere at Christmas time. This year, it's on the back of the couch, where you can see it from the front door. I love this old quilt that I purchased years ago.




The third picture is of a small churn dash doll quilt on the coffee table.  The knitting next to it is a cowl scarf that is my project right now whenever I am sitting in the living room.  I'm a slow knitter, but I enjoy it.

I thank you for your kind remarks on my blog.  They are appreciated very much.  Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Sewing and a Pattern Giveaway

Today I worked on the Christmas placemat that I'm making for my guild's Christmas party.  I can't wait to see all everyone at the party and see all the colorful placemats they have all made.  Here's mine, all from scraps leftover from other projects:

Placemat front:



Placemat back:

It felt good to make something all from things I have, and not buying anything to complete it.

The other Christmas project I'm working on is this little table topper that I've made two times.  One for me, and one for my friend, Dee.

I've had the snowman buttons for quite a while.  They were given to me by my friend Debra (MyLifeisaStitch.blogspot.com).  She was with me at a retreat, and had bought a packet of the snowman buttons, and shared some of them with me. Debra showed me a picture on the internet of the cute little table topper.

I copied the picture on the internet, guessed at how to make it, and made the table topper.  I liked it very much, and made another one for my friend Dee.   I used more modern fabrics from her stash and she chose snowflake buttons for her version.  I'm hoping Dee will be surprised when she opens the package this Christmas, as I took the fabrics from her stash earlier this year, with her permission.

Dee's Christmas present:









Mine:



 But one thing was bothering me.  I felt very guilty for making two table toppers without buying the pattern from the designer!  Yikes!!  So I looked on the internet some more, and found out the company who sold the pattern, and called them up.  I actually talked on the phone to the person who designed the pattern!  I told her I had made the table toppers without using her pattern and that I felt guilty, and now wanted to buy the pattern.  She was very kind, and forgave me.  She sold me a pattern and I told her I was going to gift it to someone who reads my blog - as a pay it forward gift to ease my guilt.  She laughed, and said that would be fine with her.  It is sold at "Red Button Quilt Co." and is called "Snowman Garland".

So if you would like this pattern for a cute table topper (snowman buttons included), please leave a comment on today's blog post, and I will draw a random number, and send the pattern to one of you.  And here's a lesson learned:  If I am going to use someone else's design - I am buying their pattern.  The guilt isn't worth it if I don't.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Christmas season.  We are working on our Christmas cards this weekend.  Merry Christmas to you!