Saturday, February 27, 2010

Final February Finish!

This wall hanging will be my final February finish! I made several of these last year from odd fat quarters my sister had picked up for me over the years, and from green 3" squares from my gramma's stash. I started 10 of them and finished 7 of them last March. I ruined one of them by trying to stipple around the shamrocks, and it is still in a basket and every now and then I'll work on it by ripping out the tiny stippling stitches, I believe I have 1 1/2 blocks ripped out. I finished the last two this past week, the one above is mine, all the others were given away and in fact the other one I finished this week is now in Wisconsin (as is my husband) and today he will be visiting our former neighbor and giving her the wall hanging (with hanger). I haven't made much progress at all in binding the rail fence or the latest guild QOV. I've had the most annoying head cold since Tuesday and really feel blah, I need to pin on the next QOV and perhaps start it, then I think I'll just get in my PJ's and watch Jane Austin movies! I just checked out Mansfield Park from the Library last night, my daughter and I loved it!! Fortunately my son was at soccer so he won't get sick of it when I make my husband watch it when he comes back! I'd also better remember to email Kris with my finishes! Hope everyone has a clearer head than I do!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another February Finish!

Since I used the same fabric as the last border, its hard to see - but I finished the binding on the blue "Candy Cane Lane"! 7 yds of fabric used! Bought 1/3 yd of plain green for the binding on the rail fence, got the strips sewn and the binding on the quilt, now I just need to sew the binding down, I used 5 oz batting on it, so it's beautifully fluffy, but kind of hard to carry around, it may end up just being a T.V. watching project. I was naughty. I also picked up a fat quarter bundle that had the cutest kitties! Above is one of my kitties, Samantha, clearly approving of my selection ! Sunday I quilted another QOV. This one had a pretty wide top & bottom border so I did stars and loops instead of the simple meandering, gave it a little more oooomph - don't you think? Better run and sew the binding on it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mail Call !!

I normally don't post on the weekends, but this was too good to wait!! I received a very lovely and exciting package !! I was one of January's lucky winners in the OPAM challenge!! It was bundled up so pretty and such a nice letter along with it! It is just amazing how much work Peg and Kris put into this wonderful challenge. I am just so thrilled to be getting sooooo much done, and I am sooooooooo thrilled with this fabric! I just LOVE all of Sandi Gervais' fabric and I have some scraps, and perhaps even yardage leftover somewhere from her valentine's day line a few years back, yes, yes, even a WISP or two ! I believe I shall dig it out and see if I can't incorporate it all into an incredible finish!! Thank you, THANK YOU and THANK YOU LADIES!! You gals ROCK!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another finish, another LUCKY day !!

Thanks to staying up and watching the Olympic Coverage, I finished the binding on the Quilt of Valor quilt in time to bring it with me to the QOV workshop! About 13 other ladies were present, some sewing, ironing, cutting strips, borders, backings, counting or coordinating fabrics ! Plenty of different jobs, so not everyone had to bring their sewing machines. I sewed borders and backings, cut strips into blocks and ironed as needed. Two of the backings I sewed are flannel, which I LOVE, so once those two quilts were completely set and ready to go in the "just waiting on a quilter" pile, I couldn't resist and offered to take those two home to quilt. Now I have three to quilt and put the binding on before March 12th. (Next Guild) The good news is that there is a women in our guild who only likes to bind quilts, so as long as I sew the binding on, she will do the hand sewing part and sew it down. YAY!! I get sooo far behind on the bindings sometimes, it is nice to know that if I need the help, it is there! There was a drawing for a lovely "snap bag" filled with 4 fat quarters, and with the directions on how to make more snap bags (in 3 different sizes), and you guessed it - I won the drawing!! I was sooooooo surprised when they called my name whoo hooo! I made one of these at a Moda U class in Wisconsin a few years ago, but couldn't find my directions - so I am thrilled to have won this, and I am putting the directions in a binder right away! What a cute & handy way to use up bits of scraps - I will have to put these on my "to do" list. Now I'm off to JoAnne fabrics to get some plain green so I can bind the rail fence. I will be able to easily resist temptation as I have received 4 beautiful fat quarters without having to count them as incoming for my stash count!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not Much Done . . .

I turned in the completed Quilt of Valor, and picked up two more to quilt and bind! I just hate the thought of the quilts all put together and just waiting to be completed before being sent off. I quilted one of them and put the binding on, I stopped working on the binding for the blue quilt because I'd like to get the QOV done so that I can turn it in tomorrow, members of our guild and others (anyone welcome) are meeting to sew the signature blocks together so that they will be available for people to sign during fall festival. I realize that sounds like quite a ways away, but we like to have at least 2,000 of the squares available. Once I'm done with those two I am going to concentrate on completing MY Quilt of Valor quilt, It's been pieced since July, I finally sewed the backing together yesterday and now I am trying to figure out what I want to do for a label. I should have figured that out before I sewed the backing together, Now I remember why I was holding off on that . . . Oooops. Anyway, the picture is of a quilt that my grandmother and I worked on this past August, and of course that is my Gram. She is 97 years old and lives by herself in Western Massachusetts. She has many relatives who live nearby and help with snow removal, grocery shopping etc., but she is fiercely independent, tough as nails and my best quilting "buddy". She started quilting over 30 years ago after she broke her hip and was having trouble sleeping and had become bored with embroidery. A couple of years before I had my son, I took a quilting class from a local school when I lived in Pennsylvania. I completed a queen sized sampler quilt and was hooked. I then spent a week with my Gram that February, she was newly widowed and the winter was long and lonely. She taught me how to make a Barn Raising quilt using the Eleanor Burns method. She also taught me how to use the rotary cutter as well as all of the good habits that I have today, ironing as I go, picking off the threads as I go, pinning, marking the rows and not being afraid to rip it out (and boy, have we ripped it out over the years!!) Every year I would take a week off from work and go up and quilt with Gram, even after my children were born I'd just bring the babies along. Once my son got into grade school we switched to one week during the summer, although the last two years we go in the summer and also for a week after Christmas while the children are on their school break. Anyway (How I digress!!) in August, she made a king size rail fence using fabric from her stash, we still had fabric left so she sewed the remaining blocks into this rail fence and once I got home I added the borders. Using stash and 6 1/2" blocks she also made a twin sized quilt for her newest Great-great grandchild. When we sew together, she irons the fabric, I cut it, she sews it and I'll re cut the strips into squares, we'll lay out the quilt, pin it and she sews them together and I iron. We really can get alot done. So, I finally quilted it, I just need to get some plain green for the binding, I don't have much plain green left, and what I do have just doesn't go. The big question is, will I be able to resist getting anything else? Can I stay on my fabric diet??

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

QOV Finished!

The Quilt of Valor is completely finished in plenty of time before Guild meets on Friday! It wasn't too big or bulky so it was easy to take it along for DD's skating lessons and guitar lessons. This time of year & given our unusually cold/snowy weather, it's nice to have something warm on your lap to work on! The blue quilt WAS the stack blue strips on the dresser in one of the pictures from Feb 4th post. I finished quilting it last night and sewed the binding on today, it will be my next T.V./lesson take along project. I used very thin 80/20 batting, so it will be easy to work on during DD's lessons. The pattern is Candy Cane Lane by Marcia Lasher for Eleanor Burns' book Christmas at Bear's Paw Ranch. It's one of my favorite quilts to do because it showcases alot of fabrics, it's soooooo fast and easy and a GREAT way to use up my stash! I guess I won't adjust my stash count until it's an actual finish. Can't take credit for the fabric usage for the QOV - but it counts as a finish, right?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lucky Again! (Plus Another Finish)

I cannot believe my luck this year! I made it just under the wire in joining the OPAM, and now my name was picked for the drawing!! How exciting! As I emailed Peg, I already considered myself a winner for getting so much completed! I know I won't be able to complete the same amount in volume (fleece is all gone) but I am steadily chugging along. It was a lucky weekend for all of us in the Southern Virginia Peninsula regions as we received all rain Friday night, with it changing over to snow mid-morning Saturday. We received about 5-6" inches of wet snow, but with a gloriously sunny day Sunday the roads were bare and dry for school yesterday morning : ) !! We lost power Saturday morning, very early, I believe due to so much rain & flooding, but it was only for about 3 hours, so the house didn't get too cold before the heat came back on. With rain, ice & snow there was no reason to go anywhere, and once the power came back on there was no reason NOT to hunker down in the sewing room! On Friday night I finished binding a lap quilt I had pieced & quilted almost two years ago. It wasn't really earmarked for anyone, and I was trying to get other stuff done and getting ready to move so I just set it aside. Binding the quilts used to be my least favorite thing to do, I was very fortunate in Wisconsin and a dear friend did many of my bindings, so once I came here, alot of my quilts were just waiting to be bound. Now with this one done I was completely caught up, so on Saturday I quilted the red white & blue one for my guild. It is a "QOV" Quilt of Valor, and will go to a wounded soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq. The guild members make the blocks, take them to quilt/craft shows etc., people sign the blocks or write messages and then we meet to sew the blocks together and put a border around them, then volunteers quilt and bind them. Our next guild meeting is this Friday so I will have it bound by then. This New Years I also resolved to give a project to charity each month, last month it was the 3 doz mittens that I donated to ACS (Army Community Services) right before the big snowstorm. So the QOV will be February's donation. The three photos are just three of the blocks, I'll take a picture of it once it's completely Bound. The black, white and red quilt is the one I just finished binding.

On Sunday, before the Superbowl (YAY SAINTS!!!!!) I managed to get another lap sized quilt quilted, but I'll post more about that next time, now to find fabric to bind that one with!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February Finish!

The children are back in school, YAY!! even if it is only for a day. More ice and snow predicted for tomorrow morning, emphasis on ice, less snow. So much for living in the Southern part of the USA, at least in Wisconsin they know how to deal with it and are prepared. Anyway, I stuffed and sewed the bottom of the snowman pillow last night while watching TV w/DH. It is also my finished Christmas present of the month, as it is for my sister (only two years late). I can't believe how little I had left to do, just cut the lining, back and batting, sew layers together, turn right side out, stuff & sew. If only they all could be that easy! It was a WISP from an area that I took a picture of in an earlier post, you can see it folded in half. Above is a different area covered in WISPs and it's where I took the latest WISP from. I had cut all the fabrics for this lap quilt and had brought it with me to a quilting retreat 4 ? years ago and never got around to it. Since it was all cut out, and a pattern I have done at least 8 times, I worked on it this week while the kids were home and their friends running in and out, I can easily pick up where I left off without too much trouble. I only need to put on the last border, and then piece together a backing from my stash! I am so far behind in quilting that it is overwhelming to think about it. So I won't. At least not until tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No School :(

School was cancelled today, we were supposed to get icy rain this morning, then warm sloppy rain the rest of the day but it's afternoon now and not a drop of anything has fallen. Not getting much done in the way of sewing, but worked out for 1 hr 15 minutes today, and I needed it! Feel much more energetic now, guess I'll go organize and then take shaggy, I mean dear son for a much needed haircut! Above is Dear Daughter get good use of the fleece scarf and matching mittens! Didn't bother making her a hat, can't get her to wear one unless it's WELL below freezing - I'm lucky she had her coat zipped! She made the snowmen in our front yard. Happy sewing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland!

It snowed I don't know how many inches, Friday night & all day & evening Saturday. 9-15 inches were predicted, I'm not sure how many fell, because it takes alot of snow for it to even stick to the ground and roads. We had at least 7 at one point, but now it has compacted and shrunk a bit. Our snow shovel(s) are still in our garage in Wisconsin, but we kept our old fashioned wooden sleds with the metal runners - boy are they fast! DH took DD and one of her friends over to the school on Saturday, and DS went with his friends while I stayed home and did my work out and then sewed a little bit. I'm putting some backings together, I have ALOT of quilting WISPs to finish too! I may try to focus on that this week. The children had a scheduled day off today anyway, DH had a two hour report to work delay, and then around 11:30 we hear his truck pull in, they closed Fort Monroe today! No work! He and DD are sledding again, DS has a very deep cough so he's in for the day. We went to historic Yorktown yesterday to take pictures, its great having 4 wheel drive trucks, (his&mine). There still weren't many cars on the roads, all church services were cancelled, all libraries etc., closed, many stores were open, but on the riverfront in historic Yorktown it was hit or miss. It was fun taking the pictures of snow on the beach, I changed the photo on the blog to reflect a snowy landscape, same two kids, just older and wearing alot more clothing! I'll add a few more pictures, then I'll try to work in a little more sewing!