Archive for December, 2007

Coins and Swirls

I’ve decided that my favorite quilted design on Chinese Coins type quilts are these Swirls from my Circle Lord template. (This is the donated Stashbuster top I showed yesterday draped across the longarm.)

Now that the Swirls are back on the table, I think most of January will be swirls or freehand quilts. ( I have 3 other Coins tops waiting for quilting). I know other people get bored doing the same thing but I like taking advantage of having the templates set up and as long as I do some freehand quilts in between I shouldn’t get too bored. I also need to decide which top to quilt the Wonky Feathers on and I want to try Dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD too.

More postcards?

I decided that the beaded postcard was done so I put a backing on it and stitched the edging. I also decided to start one more….I wonder who will get these two?

See those glasses in the photo? My eyes are getting old and I find I’m having to use glasses for detail work – serves me right for laughing at Deb years ago when she started wearing granny glasses (you guys do know she’s my OLDER sister don’t you?).

Here’s the next top to be loaded on the longarm. It’s one of two pieced by Sandra and contributed to by the Stashbuster group I belong to. Both quilts will be donated when finished.

Have you noticed my interest in crazy quilting?

Note: Marilyn asked what type of thread I use for crazy quilting. While most of the books suggest a variety of appropriate threads, my favorite is size 8 DMC Perle Cotton. I’ve also used size 5 (which is thicker) and DMC embroidery floss.

I had an old UFO – just 6 crazy quilt blocks that I made into a doll quilt earlier this year. I’ve had a lot of fun collecting and reading Crazy Quilting books and trying different stitches on this pint size quilt. My embroidery skills are improving as I go along. Click any of the photos to see a larger view.

Permission to play?

I’m having fun with the postcards but always feel a little guilty about working on them rather than one of my quilts. I guess it’s all those tops waiting for quilting. Tonight I could have been working on bindings but decided to make a postcard and try beading it.

Keep in mind this is my first attempt and that I’m not very artistic. I stitched the seams on the machine with the feather stitch thinking I’d just bead the tips but I quickly decided that would be boring so I decided to just play. I’m not sure if this is done yet – I’m going to go to sleep and look at it again tomorrow. Once I do the edging, I’ll also have to fill in some beads but I tried not to get to close to the edge since I don’t want to run over any beads with my sewing machine.

Click the photo to enlarge or maybe it would be kinder NOT to look too closely.

Since it’s 3AM I guess I can go ahead and report my accomplishments/stashbusting efforts for the week.
  • Assembled my boxed squares blocks and that top is finished – the blocks were from a Jelly Roll from stash
  • Quilted an ugly UFO – the top was all from stash back when I pieced it in 2006 and I used stash for the backing
  • No fabric purchases again this week

I did purchase books and beads but I’m focused on my fabric not my books and I’ll blame my current interest in Crazy Quilting for my desire to try some beading.

Boxed Squares

I had some requests for instructions for my Boxed Squares top. You can find them here on my site.

I drove in the snow today!

For the first time since moving to Minneapolis, I drove while it was snowing. Granted it was a light snow and the highways were clear but the secondary roads still had snow and ice on them. That’s a big accomplishment for this southern girl!

While I was out I also stopped at Michael’s to buy some beads. I want to try some beaded crazy quilting but I’m going to start on a small scale with some postcards.

I impressed myself!

I can’t quilt allover freehand feathers, I just can’t. I want to but have never been able to space them or get the shape right or something.

I finished quilting the blue/gold windmill quilt (ugly quilt#2) and had some space for practice at the bottom. Having watched Dawn Ramirez’s DVD ONE time 2 days ago, I decided I’d try some allover feathers. Aren’t you impressed?? Imagine what they’d look like if I’d actually practiced them on the whiteboard like she suggests! She calls these Wonky Feathers and they’re supposed to look goofy and wonky – I can do THAT! You can click the photo for a larger view.


The 28th is my 2nd year blogging anniversary and I’m officially calling this my first successful attempt at keeping a journal. Thanks to all of you who stop by and leave comments or email me. You help make it fun.

And on this anniversary, here’s my year end summary (a couple days early and you’ll note that I’m counting the windmill quilt as quilted. I loaded it tonight and the quilting will be done before the end of the year but the binding won’t).

My most important success with my UFO’s this year was not allowing any new starts to be set aside until the entire top was pieced. I don’t mind carrying tops over into the new year as UFO’s because I’m confident they’ll be finished not abandoned……it’s those quilts still in pieces that I struggle to finish once they’re set aside.

2007 Quilting Stats
62 Machine Quilted
· 18 of these were tops belonging to family members
· 2 were my quilts that were gifts for family
· 17 were tops that were pieced by others for HeartStrings
· 25 were my donation quilts
3 Hand Quilted
· Drunkard’s Path doll quilt
· Checkerboard doll quilt
· Holiday House wallhanging
16 UFO’s completed
18 New starts (includes 2 with Mom)
· 11 quilts were completed
· 7 are finished tops

UFO’s for 2008 – 25 on this working list (there are others that may be added as I come across them)
Needing Binding/Label
· Pink HeartStrings
· Red HeartStrings
· Blue/Gold Windmills
Donated HeartStrings tops needing quilting/binding/labeling
· QOV top pieced by Sue
· Stashbuster #1
· Stashbuster #2
· Annie’s top #1
· Annie’s top #2
· Barbara’s Chinese Coins
My HeartStrings tops and personal tops
· Green 4 Patch
· Crazy quilt (doll quilt)
· Half Square Hearts
· Christmas Lily
· Irish Chain
· Green Floral
· Dragonfly
· Pineapple
· Spiderweb
· Chinese Coins #2 (pieced by me from donated coins)
· Chinese Coins #5 (pieced by me from donated coins)
· Boxed Squares
· Lizard Strippie
UFO’s still in the piecing stage (started in 2006 or earlier)
· Flying Geese
· Homespun uneven SnS
· Grandmother’s flower blocks

Boxed Squares

This is an awful photo but I’m showing it anyway. I finished these blocks before going to Virginia from a Jelly Roll that Deb gave me for my birthday in June. Now the top is finished and it will go on the shelf while I catch up on some of my other quilting.

For those of you wondering, I got 40 blocks from the one Jelly Roll and the quilt is 48 x 60. I considered adding a border but with the fabrics being SO coordinated I don’t really have something in my stash that would work well. This is a very *warm* looking quilt so I’ll back it in flannel and it will make a nice lap size quilt.

Even though the fabric was a gift, it will be donated. I know Deb won’t mind – she knows that most of my quilts are donated. It will probably go for the Angle Tree at my Mom’s church next Christmas. She usually pulls the names of a couple senior citizens and I give her quilts or afghans to add to the present. This year we worked together on piecing two tops and I backed them in flannel and quilted them.

Just how much time can I waste on the computer?

update: I managed to spend a little time sewing this afternoon. In honor of the snow we’ve been having all week, another postcard for my journal project.

Make-a-Snowflake – Better Homes and Gardens

Continuing Education

The apartment is quiet, Keith, Chris, and Becky left for the airport and Chesty and I have a few days to ourselves. Since I’m still struggling with this cold(flu?) I don’t plan to work today so I watched a quilting DVD that came just before Chris and Becky arrived.

The Pajama Quilter Reloaded

I’ve been longarm quilting for 5 years and while I think my freehand quilting is decent, I’m not always happy with how it flows. I’ve quilted most of the elements on the DVD before so I’m hoping that I can use the information and inspiration to improve. For me, the DVD was definitely worth the cost.

Not much computer time

I haven’t been doing much blog reading since the kids have been here. I’ve limited my computer time but I wanted to share some more photos. After breakfast and before our traditional Christmas Eve picnic we took a walk down to the Mississippi River. It was quite cold but we stopped in at Panera for some coffee and a light lunch.

I tend to forget the difference in mine and Keith’s height until I see a photo of the two of us together. I’m 5’3″ and he’s 6’4″. Quite a bit of difference between the photo of Chris and Becky and this one of us.

Chris is hooked on making postcards and worked on several more today. Here are three tree variations he made. Becky and I were talking about knitting and crochet and I pulled out some knitting needles and showed her how to do the knit stitch. I think she might take a knitting class when she gets home.

Finally, Adam called us this evening. He’s at home in GA working and we really miss him not being here. I hate that he’s alone for the holiday.

Snow, lots of snow!

Keith and Chris drove to the grocery store to pick up my order and Becky and I walked downtown. Here she is in front of Macy’s and the Mary Tyler Moore statue.
They’re only calling for 2-4 inches of snow but it’s been coming down all day!

More photos

After brunch yesterday we took Becky to the Mall of America. Other than buying a couple Jim Shore figures, I spent my time in the bookstore. I found 4 new quilt books and a couple novels. In the end, I spent more than she did!

This morning, Chris decided he wanted to make a postcard.
With a little help, he made this one for the Redskin/Viking football game we’re going to tonight.

She likes it

Chris and Becky got here this evening and she got her belated birthday present. She was surprised so Chris didn’t spill the beans and she liked the quilt. I’ll be sorry to see it leave but at least it’s going to a good home!

The Uncommon Quilter – Autumn Leaves

I’ve been watching Jeanne Williamson’s blog since buying her book The Uncommon Quilter and she posted a link today to a video of the making of one of the quilts…very cool. I never thought about using YouTube to play a series of photos like this.

I feel better

OK, I’m still getting a cold but either I was a bit hungover from dinner Tuesday night ( in addition to champagne and beer, our Danish hosts served Akvavit) OR getting a massage, manicure and pedicure this afternoon was just indulgent enough to make me feel better than yesterday. At any rate I still have to clean the apartment but I’ll leave it for tomorrow.

Keith just ran downstairs to workout so I’m going to grab the pink HeartStrings top (the one on the machine in this photo) and work some on the binding. I quilted it back in November but other quilts have taken priority.

Chris called earlier to say he’d been in an accident. Luckily no one was hurt and it won’t interfere with their visit. They fly in tomorrow around dinner time.

Am I getting sick just in time for Christmas?

Keith, Deb, Mom, and other family members all came home from our reunion sick…I think Keith has finally shared his with me just in time for Christmas.

Not much accomplished today since I’m not feeling well but I did finish up some of the Christmas tree postcards I was making yesterday. Here’s the one I made for my journal project. I love the crystals – thanks again Vicki!

Fun with crystals

Along with my hand dyed backing, Vicki gave me a couple packets of crystals. Tonight before going to a Danish Christmas party (which was LOTS of fun) I played around with Christmas tree postcards.