Friday, December 28, 2012

Time to Plan and Dream

2012........ Almost gone!                                              2013.....  A new year!

My quilt room tip this month is:  Look for tools that make your quilt room fun!  This sand timer measures about one hour, and is fun to use.  I bought it from T.J.Maxx.  When little kids visit my quilt room, they love to turn it over and watch it.  Today I'm working with the timer in the quilt room, organizing and planning for 2013.  

One quilt I'm interested in making is a Philadelphia Pavement quilt.  It's a postage stamp squares quilt in a variation of a trip around the world.  Fons and Porter have a free pattern for one here:  Philadelphia Pavement Quilt  Wouldn't a Philadelphia Pavement doll quilt be cute?

Today I refolded and sorted all of my solid fabrics in preparation for starting.  Here is the now orderly stash of solids:

Also, in cleaning, I found some half square triangle blocks, and put them on the design wall.  Since I am trying to finish started projects, I will sew these blocks together, and finish the rest of the half-prepped blocks.  I'm sure there are other ways to combine these blocks too, so this may change.  Here's a picture:

What are your plans for 2013?  I've been looking at quilt room ideas on Pinterest and one of my goals is to have a place for everything (and then put everything in it's place).  Another goal is to choose an antique doll quilt each month and try to duplicate it.  I really enjoy planning.  No gliches happen in the planning stage.  Execution stage is another matter.  But also fun to problem solve in that stage.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy

The name of my Christmas Easy Street quilt will be "Easy, Peasy, Lemon Squeezy."  Why?  Because it's been an easy quilt, and I like the name very much.  I like how it sounds. Here's what I learned from the internet:

Easy Peasy
It comes from a 1970's British TV commercial for Lemon Squeezy detergent. A little girl points out dirty greasy dishes to an adult (mom or relative) and then the adult produces Lemon Squeezy and they clean the dishes quickly. At the end of the commercial the girl says "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy".

I may have heard the phrase before the movie, but it is now forever linked in my mind to the wonderful movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played", which came out in 2005.  The character Eddie Lowery, a caddie, frequently reminded his underdog golfer, Francis Ouimet, that a shot was "easy peasy, lemon squeezy".   

Check out everyone's Easy Street progress here: Bonnie Hunter's Blog

Speaking about easy quilt squares, here's what's on my design wall.   I have two more 8 inch blocks finished for the Grandmother's Choice quilt from Barbara Brackman's suffragette series, and they both went together with no problems.  The block for week 15:

15. Centennial:  New Zealand's Victory

and the 16th week's block:

16.  Capital T:  Sarah Pellet
If you want to see this block series, Barbara Brackman's site is here:  Women's Suffragette Block of the Week

We are now on block 17, out of 49.  I am thinking about sashing these blocks in a solid cheddar with black cornerstones.  The design wall is fairly empty right now, so I'll have to put some sashing up there with some blocks and see how it looks.  Please go to Design Wall Mondays to see what other people have on their design walls.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

AAQI Quilts for Sale, and In The Design Process

AAQI Quilts for Sale!

I just noticed that two quilts I made for AAQI are now up for sale!  I'm going to "advertise" them on Facebook too, so I hope they sell soon. 

The first one is called Ocean Waves Remembered, and is for sale for $40.  It's 9 X 9 inches square, and has hanging triangles on the back.  Click on the title under the quilt to go to the AAQI page.


and the second quilt for sale ($30) is #12672 named "Homespun Hope".  It's 6.5 X 6.5 inches and is made from leftover scraps from my friend Jill's quilt.  Jill sat next to me at the Dear Jane retreat in Shipshewana, IN and has provided me with scraps for more quilts for this great charity.  I love her plaids! Click on the title under the picture to go to the sale site.

These would make wonderful gifts, and can be used as wall hangings, or mug rugs. 

A friend here in Williamsburg, (Mary Jane Gantzler) gave me her little snippings from her blocks for East Street, and I have started working on them to make another little quilt for AAQI.   Here is a picture of the little purple hst's that will be part of a new little quilt to donate:

The donation quilts have to be 9 x 12 inches or smaller in size, so that is perfect for these little scraps.  These little hst's will finish at 3/4 inch square.  So cute! Thanks Mary Jane!

Here's a start on another little one, using some red and white scraps from my Easy Street blocks:

It would finish at 4.5 inches square right now, but I will be adding more so it will be larger.  I'll let you know when these are sent to the AAQI organization, and again when they come up for auction.  Such fun, and all for a good cause.

Merry Christmas everybody!  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Balm to Sooth My Soul

Amid the terrible news of the tragedy in Connecticut this week, I first watched the TV for a while - in dismay and disbelief.  Then I headed to the quilt room and tried to sooth my soul.  Quilting is such a comfort when I am troubled.  How about you?

Here is a little wall hanging that I finished yesterday:

Kathie's blog, Inspired by Antique Quilts, (Here) has a beautiful little quilt in her header (lower right side) and I loved it when she first made it.  (There are some blogs out there where I like everything they do;  Kathie's blog is one of them.)  I made my own version quite a while ago, but didn't finish the binding until just yesterday.  Thanks Kathie for allowing my to copy your version.  Mine is 12 x 12 in. and I put triangle hanging corners on the back, so I can hang it on the wall in December. The hst's are 1 inch, and the border is 3 in. on each side.

Today is design wall Monday, and also Quiltville's Easy Street Mystery linkup, so I have something to show for both sites:

Here's the Easy Street parts up through Part 4, and I have no clue what it will all look like when it is finished.  But that's the fun of a mystery!

You can see what the other peeps are working on at Bonnie's post: (Here)

Another picture of just Part 4:

On my design wall is a Barbara Brackman suffragette  block.  She is posting one a week at this site: (Here)  I have two more to make to get caught up with this project.
Bride's Knot for Invisible
I love design wall Monday, and like to see what other's are working on.  If you want to see what others have on their design walls, go here: Patchwork Times

We are entering the last week before Christmas, and I hope you take some time to sooth your soul in your quilt room.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Quilt for the Little Babies

Today I finished the little Christmas quilt that I made out of the extra cutting scraps from Easy Street.  Here it is:

Also, since I saw Mary Jane's little Raggedy Ann and her yo-yo quilt in the little Longaberger cradle, I ordered a similar cradle from ebay for my two little baby girls.  It came today, so they are now in their new cradle, under their new quilt:

I have named them Sophia Grace and Rosie, in honor of the young singing sensations on youtube.  If you don't know about them, just go to youtube and search for Sophia Grace and Rosie.  Rosie doesn't sing a word, but she does all the motions, and Sophia Grace sings with great enthusiasm.

Here are the insider details about this little quilt:

All the seams (even the half-square triangle seams) are pressed open, to reduce bulk. The whole quilt measures 9.75 X 9.75 inches and the center pinwheel measures 1 inch. The four pinwheel blocks each measure 3 X 3 inches.  I made the binding from straight grain strips cut 1 inch wide, and it is single fold.

Sophia Grace and Rosie and I wish you a peaceful week in this joyful Christmas season!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Easy Street, Part 3 and Party Serendipities!

Here's the latest part of Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery:

I will finish this step by Friday, and am having lots of fun seeing other people's version of this quilt.  So many of us!  Fun, fun, fun!

This week has been a party week!  At one party, my friend Mary Jane Gantzler, brought her doll to show to me, because she had seen my blog.  Her doll is a tiny Raggedy Ann, in a Longaberger cradle.  It has the smallest quilt I have ever seen!  She made this yo-yo quilt for her little doll in her lovely basket cradle. Mary Jane also made a nice little mattress, pillow, and sheet for her little Raggedy Ann.
Do you see how awesomely tiny this quilt is?  Well done Mary Jane!
The little babies are supervising my trimming up the small hst's for a future quilt for them.  I keep trimming the hst's, and hope they will like the quilt I make.  The little squares are trimmed to 1.25 inches.  I didn't show them the little yo-yo quilt picture, as they might like it better than the one I'm planning for them, and I don't want to think about making that.
At another party last night, a friend's daughter, Samantha showed me her little rabbit friends:
She liked my two little baby girls, and I really liked her little rabbits.

No parties on the calendar today, so I plan to head to the quilt room and play.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Easy Street - Part 2

I am linking up with Bonnie Hunter's site to show my progress on Easy Street and it is a lot of fun to see what everyone is using from their stash to make this quilt.  Mine will be of Christmas fabric, as I had some Christmas prints and yardage that I wanted to use, and here's my progress so far:
Part 1 (Green and White) and Part 2 (Red and White)

I've made 50 of the flying geese for Step 2.  Here is a picture of the rest of Step 2 that will be completed this week.  My method of flying geese is the one with cutting off the excess fabric under the sky pieces, because I like to make tiny hst's with the parts I cut off.  I know, call me crazy, but I like little.

These two little ladies are in need of a Christmas quilt to share.  The hst's will finish at 1 inch, and it will be fun to choose a design for a small quilt for them.

Aren't they cute?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Peppermint Churn Dash Doll Quilt and Other Play

The Peppermint Doll Quilt is finished and ready to show to you:

It will be a table topper on the living room coffee table this Christmas season.
The finished size is 17" by 21" and I used light cotton batting, and a striped fabric cut on the bias (single fold) for the binding.  The little churn dash squares are 3" finished size.  As I said before, it's a design by Darlene Zimmerman, called Peppermint Dash, and I downsized it to make it fit a doll bed.

Like a lot of others, I have started Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street quiltalong.  I am using up some Christmas fabric from my stash, and I have the first clue finished, which is making lots of four patches.  I'm trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit, so I photographed them as a wreath:

Here's a close-up so you can see the snowflakes and holly leaves:

The second clue came online at Bonnie Hunter's website this morning, but I have not worked on it yet.  I've been working on a baby quilt for a friend's first baby.  Here it is:

 It's from a free online pattern from Moda Bake Shop:

I put the prairie points on the outside edge and changed the borders, but I started with that pattern.  The nursery is painted a soft green.  The Baby Shower is tomorrow, but I am going to wait until the baby comes to add a label to the back.

I am also making Barbara Brackman's weekly blocks for the women's suffragette movement.  Here's the source:

The last two week's blocks:
Little Boy's Breeches
Everybody's Favorite:  Universal Sufferage

Here's the design wall with all of my cheddar and black print blocks so far:

Well, December is coming tomorrow, whether we are ready for it or not.  My goals for next week are part two of Easy Street and addressing Christmas cards.  I'll talk to you in December.  Take Christmas prep one baby step at a time, and it'll get done......and even if it all doesn't get done, Christmas will still come, just the same. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Doll Quilt

While I was at the Dear Jane retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana, I was making churn dash blocks that will finish at 3 inches, for a little Christmas doll quilt:

Several people stopped and asked me about it, so I thought I'd tell you about it here.  The pattern is a free pattern from the internet, from McCall's Quilting. 

I printed out the pattern some time ago:

It's designed by Darlene Zimmerman, and is called "Peppermint Dash". If you google Peppermint Dash and McCall's Quilting, you should be able to find the free pattern and print it out. It's for a larger quilt, and I halved all the measurements to make the doll sized squares, and also made only 20 churn dash blocks, to downsize it. 

The peppermint candy fabric has been in my stash for quite a while, and when I saw the pattern and the fabric the same day, it fit for a doll quilt.  I'm happy to be using this old fabric, but I think any candy print would look great in this quilt.  I shall add red borders and probably a peppermint striped biased binding.  If you make your version of this doll quilt, please let me know.  I will post more pictures of mine as I progress on it.

I will be back to my sewing machine in Virginia by tomorrow, and will be working on this doll quilt, plus a Christmas fabrics version of Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street quilt.  I can't wait!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend in Michigan

Some of you asked to see the "Third Weekend in October" leaf quilt on a bed: 
We are at the cabin and this king sized quilt is perfect for this rustic Amish made bed, don't you agree?

While preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to make three pies, 2 pumpkin and 1 apple.  But I have only two pie plates in my limited kitchen pans up there, so I made do with a square pan for the apple pie.  It tastes just as good as a round pie, and we had a great Thanksgiving dinner, with so much to be thankful for.  Here's a picture of the pies:


Have you ever made a square pie? 

I will leave you today with a picture of the mute swans on the lake in front of the cabin.  They are so beautiful, and I love to watch them as they plunge their heads under the water to eat and their tailfeathers tip up in the air.  Very peaceful and serene, just like our Thanksgiving dinner with family.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Retreat at Shipshewana, Indiana

I spent four wonderful days at the Dear Jane Retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana.  I worked on some fall doll quilts, and started a Christmas doll quilt.     There are so many great quilters there that it is a treat to walk around and see what everyone else is working on.  Here is a picture of one of my fall doll quilts in progress:

It is from a kit I bought at a quilt store and has tissue paper-piecing help for the little bear paws.  It will have another two borders before it is finished.

The retreat provides opportunity to see some vintage quilts up close and personal, and here are two that were interesting to me:

Interesting for three things:  1) We couldn't determine what the bird was holding in his beak.  Some thought it was a match.  I think it is a baton, and the pattern is one that was used to celebrate the country's centennial.  So it would be like a band leader's baton.  2) the bird's wings are appliqued upside down.  Why?  We don't know.  But other quilts very similar to this one have the wings on with the curved part at the top.  3) Most quilts similar to this one have a shield in the middle of the eagle.  This one has the main part of the bird as three appliqued pieces - tail, shield, and head, but they are all black, so the shield doesn't show up as it does in other similar quilts.

As I said, very interesting.  It was bought in Pennsylvania by my friend Susan Kraftcheck, and she brought it to show to everyone.  

The next quilt has such beautiful vibrant colors that I just loved to look at it:

Here's Susan's little Hitty doll admiring the beautiful colors.

This quilt is just loaded with beautiful fabrics, and the colors are so vibrant.  I wanted to take a picture of each square.  Lovely!  I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving week.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Motivational Tips - One Every Month

Every time I walk into my quilt room, I mentally say "you should put that should do should do that.....yada, yada, yada.  Do you talk to yourself like this too?  Well, I'm now beginning to motivate myself (and maybe others) by offering a monthly tip to keep us on track.  My goal:  completing more quilts and keeping my quilting areas tidy.  I work better when I am not mentally talking to myself about other things while I'm trying to quilt!

Today I worked on my cutting table:

Here's what happened:  I set the timer for 5 minutes, and put away as many things as I could before the timer rang.  

Here's a before and after picture with the timer setting routine:



I do confess it was 2 bouts with the 5 minute drill, but only 2!  After 10 minutes, doesn't that look better?  Just 10 minutes!   Let me know if you set the timer and played fast pickup at your house.

Now I can look up from my sewing machine and admire my clean work area.  Yes I can keep my room clean, Mom!

FYI, The two framed samplers are first embroidery attempts.  The one on the right was done by me when I was eleven years old, and the one on the left was done by my daughter when she was ten.  Here's a closer look at them.  These make me smile whenever I walk up to my cutting area.

These are "primitive" before primitives were fashionable.  LOL