Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back to 1-1-11

I’ve known for a while I wanted to address what I posted on 1-1-11. Overall, I’m happy with what I accomplished this year.

Here is what I’ve done with the stars and stepping-stones.
Earlier this year, I thought of doing some applique, but that just wasn’t happening. I really wanted to get this one out of the way so I decided to chop off some of that plain border and surround it with pinwheels. I finished it up this afternoon, but I see I need to add more pinwheels on the bottom. It measures about 68"x 84".  I'm concerned with how big it is getting and how hard it will be to machine quilt it. It is no longer a square and I'm happy about that. 

The only thing I’ve done with these New York Beauty blocks is put them on the design wall and take them off. Maybe next year.

Here is my progress on the Lone Star. Appliqueing it to the background worked and now I’m painstakingly making these diamonds for the border. I’ll make Lemoyne stars for the corners. This needs to be done and quilted by the end of February. I decided it fits the “diamonds are a quilters best friend” challenge of one of the quilt groups I belong to. I was determined to do something with pieced diamonds to show I can do it. I took apart the extra strip sets, cutting and sewing to make these 4 part diamonds. I found this ruler at Mary Jo's Cloth Store. I'm not sure I'm using it exactly as it is intended. I may have a few cut off points, but I can live with that.

These two projects were also old timers so I’m glad I at least have 2 finished tops.
I'm still thinking about adding a border to the star quilt so I can square it up. It measures about 33" square though there is variation of about 1/2". What do you think of this fabric for a border?

Quilting these tops is on my list for 2012. My next post will be about my other plans for next year. I'm planning to get a start on two projects tomorrow.

I was surprised to read the end of the post from 1-1-11. I’d kind of forgotten about that – the quilting in the moment bit, but I do think I’ve gotten better at it. I find I’m taking my time more and not worrying so much about other things. I took the time with the pinwheels for the stars and stepping-stones to trim them up before stitching them together. I knew I was supposed to do that, but often didn’t take the time. I’ve also done some challenging things – like the diamonds – that force me to take it slowly to even have a chance of it coming together correctly. I want to do more of that in 2012.

No parties for me tonight. I’ll probably spend most of the evening in my basement stitching away, maybe read a little (I Only Say This Because I Love You by Deborah Tannen), and watch a little tv with hubby. We’ve been catching up on The Big Bang Theory reruns.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

I’ve been thinking about posting for the past week and just didn’t get to it. I had to type up minutes for a quilt show meeting and draft an email for a 9-patch exchange I’m organizing with a friend for our quilt group. It’s been over a decade since my last 9-patch exchange and I’m really excited.

I’m repairing this bedspread for my parents. I posted about it here. Over the past few years I‘ve worked on it here and there and have really focused on it the past couple of weeks. I wondered if I would ever be done. The other night I realized it was taking me longer to find areas in need of repair. Yesterday, I laid it out on my bed to see it all at once. I think I will be done with it today and can give it to my parents tomorrow. Santa’s not the only one checking things off a list!

We went to 2 cookie baking parties last Saturday and came home with lots of cookies. My husband’s favorites are all gone so yesterday he made these date swirls. The recipe came from his grandmother.

Have you ever had these belly button snacks? They are just the right combination of salty and sweet.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place pretzels (I use snaps – you want a shape that will hold the candy) on paper and put 1 Hershey's kiss on top of each pretzel.
Bake for 5 minutes.
As soon as they come out of the oven, push 1 M&M into each kiss. If kiss isn't quite melted, wait a minute and they will have softened.
Freeze or refrigerate.

Early in November I showed my mom some of the knitted ornaments I’ve seen on many of your blogs and when I saw her on Thanksgiving she gave me these. So cute!

I’ve truly enjoyed this year of blogging and value all the kind comments and email exchanges we’ve shared. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I’m a Proud Mama

A couple weekends ago we attended the Bachelors of Fine Arts Exit Show at the University of Georgia. Our daughter is studying graphic design and here is her project.

“Threads is an organization that promotes awareness of and legislation against the unethical use of pesticides and insecticides, employment of sweatshop labor, and other issues pertinent to the textile and especially retail clothing industries”.

I thought this was amusing…

I didn’t know she knew how to make minor repairs to clothing. lol Notice the little mending kit.

Flowers from friends.

The show also included fabric designers-

And I liked the packaging for these seeds done by one of the other graphic design students-

While in Athens we visited this little craft market-

I purchased this cute owl for my tree-

We talked with a young woman who was busy sewing by machine. She repurposes clothes! Some of her creations were in the local thrift store and she had just sent some things to a shop in Arizona. Good for her!

This quilt was the backdrop in one of the craft booths.

I’m recovering from a head cold so I didn’t do much stitching last week. I picked up something mindless I had started before our Georgia trip. What else – half square triangles! I decided to finish this UFO by surrounding it with pinwheels. I think I will look back on 2011 as the year of the HSTs!

These young women inspired me to do something in regard to recycling fabrics. Last night I stitched together narrow strips of batting and quilted this pillowcase. I hope to visit the local animal shelter sometime soon to see if they can use this and whatever else I can stitch together to use as bedding for the animals.

I discovered beagles like old pillows in their crates. Len has been with us 9 months and I've only once seen him go in his crate willingly. Len watched me put the pillow in his crate, followed it and settled in for the next couple of hours. Wish I'd known sooner!

Hope you are enjoying this holiday season. Cheers!

Monday, December 5, 2011

And the Winner is…

Congratulations, Doniene. Send me your mailing address and I’ll send those fabrics off to you sometime this week.

Last Thursday my husband and I drove down to Athens, Georgia for our daughter’s graphic design school exit show. We stopped at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia, North Carolina. I told my husband to go find something else to do for an hour and I had a fabulous time checking out their notions and reproduction fabrics. I over did it a bit with my purchases. Their prices and selection were wonderful. I paid $6.50-$7.50 a yard. Fabrics at my LQS are over $9. I was looking for reds and couldn’t resist these other fabrics. Designers include Jo Morton, Paula Barnes, Judie Rothermel, and Faye Burgos.

My husband drove the whole way down and I stitched spools. I more than doubled my number of blocks. Some of them are a bit puckered. His little Subaru Impreza doesn’t have the smoothest ride.

My husband took a lot of photos at the art show and I’ll share some in my next post. I was tickled by my daughter’s project. Stitching was involved!