Friday, December 31, 2010

I Need More Hands

I have several hand work projects and can't find a balance to get to them all. I'd love to know how you decide which hand projects to work on. Do you work on one a week? Or just work on it until you get to a certain place?

My poor Jane Stickle quilt languishing in the closet. I have the center and about 1/2 of one side of the triangles quilted. A good winter project, for sure.
My lovely wool crazy that hasn't been touched for awhile.
This is one of three little quilts that I want to hand quilt. I'll probably do a little machine work and hand on this one. It's all basted and ready to go!
Hand applique Beyond the Cherry Tree. It is slow going for me. It's small and portable so that's good.  I'm already behind and want to keep going on this, but not at the expense of the other projects. I put in about 2 hours a day in the evening working on hand projects.

Any great tips or ideas?
This has been a fun year of blogging for me. Thank you all for the wonderful inspiration and encouragement!
Let's bring on 2011!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Done Pouting!

I spent yesterday pouting that Christmas was over so fast and my kids had to go home too soon! We had a lovely weekend and I should feel blessed to have everyone at my house this weekend. (and I do feel blessed, but felt the need to pout a little too!)

I saw this adorable Swedish stitched bag at the Scandinavian festival earlier this month and was kicking myself for not picking it up. My son saw how much I loved it and went back the next day (after our Jingle Bell run) and bought it for me. Wow! Was I ever surprised!!
A few years ago we started a tradition of having Aebleskiver on Christmas morning. This is my one splurge that I really look forward to!!
Look at the visitor I found in my yard on Christmas day!!
We did a little of this....

We did a lot of this!
We also had a special visitor. My brother, his wife and her daughter were in the states for the holidays.(they live in China)  I found out earlier in the week that Helen's birthday was also December 25th! It was really fun to be able to share not only our Christmas traditions with her but our birthday traditions! She is very shy and her English is marginal but she really loved the attention and the big deal we made for her. The week before she had also became a US citizen!! What a fun way to usher her into the customs!!

My friend called and we are meeting today in Bend at a quilt store than going to lunch. I can't think of a better way or a better person to get me out of the post Christmas funk.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Today is going to be a quiet day, tomorrow, not so much. I've got a huge gathering coming for dinner. I'm looking forward to every minute of it.

Jesus is the reason for the season!! Have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Circle of Friends

Here's a project that has been on hold for a little while. I didn't have a lot to do today so I thought I'd start on it.
I'm not officially calling it Circle of Friends, but because this isn't my "usual" style I needed a little assistance.
An online blogger friend, who I'll name at a later date, hand dyed the fabrics.(gorgeous, aren't they?)  And another friend gave me some tips and tricks for piecing this. Thanks Paula!!

I guess it's been awhile since I paper pieced. I didn't even notice that I'd missed a whole section. It was only when I was putting on the fourth green piece I realized the points were supposed to be cheddar!! Ooops....
So, I paper pieced two halves, then sewed them together.  It's lookin' pretty good now.
My photo didn't turn out but I cut out the center circle from freezer paper and ironed the seam allowance over the paper. I used a lot of starch too, so it would hold really well. I removed the paper and laid the circle on top of the sun points and pinned it, ready to hand applique. As Paula pointed out to me, it gets difficult to applique under the points and still have them stay smooth.
I made freezer paper templates from the outer frame, adding a lot of extra fabric on the outside.
Sew the 4 pieces together. I lightly snipped  the inner circle and pressed under the seam allowance, using lots of starch. I removed the freezer paper at this point.

I set the center circle under the frame and pinned. Now it's ready to hand applique. Because I added the extra fabric I can trim it whatever size I want.

I'm off to the city today to help my daughter move! Who moves three days before Christmas?!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Roll Roll Cotton Boll- 600 HST!!

Here they are! 600 half square triangles ironed and trimmed ready for the next step!!!

 I used triangle paper which I happen to have on hand. My 1/4" seam is not reliable so it was terrific for me to follow the lines!!
 I watched a movie last night and tore off paper. I plan on making a bonfire in the burning barrel in a few minutes!!
I received this adorable nine patch pin cushion from Julie!! Although I didn't take part in the 9 patch swap I see her as the nine patch queen!! Thank you so much Julie!!

Hubby and I  had plans today for a date but he was called into work when one of our employees called in sick. We woke up this morning to a lot of snow that fell overnight, so it is just as well, I guess. I plan on making soup with leftover roast beef and veggies. A good day for that.

Make it a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rød og Grøn

I'm feeling rather Danish today so the title of the post is "Red & Green".

Kathie was generous enough to send me a little kit to make up this adorable red and green quilt.

I think it looks perfect right here even if it isn't quilted yet. That will have to wait until after the holidays.
I won these from Ann Hermes. They are the yearly publications publication of AQSG (American Quilt Study Group) and contain the papers presented at the annual seminar. Lots of interesting reading here and I plan on passing them on when I'm done with them.

My son and I went to a Scandinavian Festival in Portland earlier this month. It was so much fun and I plan on making this an annual event.

I picked up a Viking Ship ornament. It reminded me of the Viking museum we went to while in Denmark.

Another lovely ornament to add to our Danish tree.

Hubby and I were out of our work clothes ready for our employee party and I suggested a photo by our second tree. (that's Porter our dog) The Santa suit in the background was worn for many years by my FIL on Christmas Eve.

Glædelig jul!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

It seems like I'm running behind a bit this year, but we finally have our tree up and when I see my Nisse I know Christmas is close!!
I've kept my decorating fairly simple this year.
Here's the Santa I made a few months ago and the J-O-Y banner that we made at Thanksgiving.

This red and white bear paw quilt top was going to be used a rag!! My friend's cousin rescued it and passed it to the person she knows loves humble quilts!! It took a good soaking, then because it didn't bleed, a good wash, then a good spray with febreeze to get out the musty smell. I had planned on ironing it, but it is way too wavy even for the iron. I think I'll leave it as a top and enjoy it for the bright color is gives during the holidays.

We went shopping last week and I couldn't resist taking a photo of these cowgirl RUBBER boots! Are they fantastic or what?!
 Here's Chilly from Primitive Pieces by Lynda. It is supposed to be a door hanger, but before I gave it away it looked pretty cute hanging on my stair banister.
 A little surprise on the reverse.
Is anybody up for a doll quilt quiltalong after the new year? I pulled a few fabrics for it and hope to start sewing on it soon. You notice I can hardly resist that darn cheddar!?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just in Time

 I finished piecing and removing the paper last night on 60 string blocks for Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll Mystery quilt!! I see part 4 is posted....whew! I just made it!
Block 6 finished of Beyond the Cherry Trees.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Look at this gorgeous piece of fabric! Lisa from Stray Threads sent that to me after I commented on my blog that I wish I had a larger piece. Oh my! How will I ever cut into it?

Another blog reader, Cyndi from Maine found some of the red in her shop and there was no way I could pass it up. I'd like to keep both of these pieces fairly big as they will lose their impact if it's cut too small. Any ideas for me? I'm thinking maybe pillows or ???

I won this from Linda at The Quilted Pineapple. My first Schnibble pattern! It's even packaged like a mini!! The Wild Rose fabric by Moda is wonderful!! Thank you Linda!

I'm still plugging away on the mystery quilt of Bonnie's. I only have 30 string blocks done. According to my calculations it takes me 1 hour to do 5 blocks! That seems like a long time but it's 12 minutes a block so I guess that sounds right. My sewing room is a mess with strips and bits all over the place!!

After seeing a bit of inspiration online I've finally got the house decorated. It won't be complete until we get our tree, which will be soon, I hope.

Ami Simms emailed me after seeing my last blog post. She is the special guest on The Quilt Show highlighting AAQI. It's free so check it out! You can see the trailer at THIS LINK.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

I committed to making another quilt for AAQI before the end of the year. Here is my final 2010 quilt. It's called the Hobbit House and the pattern is from a class I took with Tonye Belinda Phillips last winter.

Did you know that AAQI raised $54,000+  at the Houston festival?! It's amazing and wonderful!!

What is also wonderful is that they were able to donate $140,000 to Alzheimer's research in 2010! Pretty darn good for a grass roots effort!!

This is from Ami's blog:

"Our treasurer Debbie Chenail wrote checks for three of those studies on the same day. I signed them, with very moist eyes. We had two volunteers here getting the 1,000 quilts ready for Houston and before the checks went into the mail (in priority mailers, of course) the four of us each held a corner of the envelopes and we wished them Godspeed.
For us, and for most of those involved with the AAQI, this is personal. We know someone with the disease and we know how horrid Alzheimer’s is. And we want so badly to find a cure.
The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative isn’t like other charities. We are all volunteers, we account publicly for every penny that we spend, and we hold impromptu ceremonies before we mail checks because we know what it feels like to lose someone we love one memory at time. And we know what it feels like to make a quilt and pray with each stitch that our work will help win the fight.
Isn’t that the kind of charity you want to support?"

I say YES!! For all of you involved with AAQI- those who have made a quilt or quilts, those who have purchased a quilt or quilts. Thank you!!!
Another quote from Ami's blog-
"If you think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've been doing a little of this in the evenings.......

Cutting a little of that during the daytime........
Putting a few machine stitches in this when I can.....
Keeping up with Bonnie's mystery quilt..................

The first day of Advent arrived on Sunday. Time to put a few projects away until January and focus on celebrating the birth of our Saviour.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Joy Joy Joy Joy

 I made this cute little joy banner yesterday morning before company arrived back at my house and before the kids got out of bed. I thought it might be a fun project to work on as a group that day. Everyone was game to give it a try.
 Surprisingly my mom started one too!! She is also taking a photo with her camera, but imagine one more lady in the chair. The youngest is my niece on the right who is 17 and my mom the eldest at 75. So this wonderful project by Kathy Schmitz really spanned all ages!!
 By the time we got to the section of buttonhole stitching the letters to the background my niece wanted to be done. I did hers on the machine. We didn't have all the supplies so we improvised and I think they turned out just as good.
 Paige is my son's college age girlfriend. She was determined to do all of hers by hand. I was impressed that she was stitching the buttonhole while playing a game!!
 6 hours later, with learning to do the stem stitch, back stitch, french knots and buttonhole stitch here she is with her finished project!!
 My sister made two of them, one for my niece (her daughter) who couldn't join us for Thanksgiving.
And here is the second one I made with the group. I gave this to my daughter when she arrived yesterday.
I'll work on my mom's today. She got all the letters stitched so it should take too long to finish it up for her.

Thanks for the wonderful project Kathy! This will be a memorable time for all of us.