Wednesday, December 29, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I had a wonderful time with my family this Christmas, but I have to admit I'm happy to be moving on to the new year!  We have an exciting, yet busy year coming up and I'm ready to start it! 

I love the approach of the new year.  After the chaos that can be Christmas you have a week of calm to reflect on the past year and to look forward and make plans for the new one.  With that in mind I have decided to start 2011 off fresh as far as quilting projects go.  I have decided to not plan too far in advance and just work on the projects that I have and try to finish them before starting something new.  We'll see how long that lasts:)

While I am ready to leave the holidays behind me, I do have one lingering project I would like to finish this week so that I can say I made something for Christmas!  I started working on a small table runner based on the one I saw here earlier this month.  I am just using one charm pack of "12 Days of Christmas" by Kate Spain for the front and will use a print from the line for the back.  Mine won't be as big as the one Jennifer made, but I have a small dining room table, so it will be perfect for us! 

Here are a couple of the blocks in progress:

My most exciting work in progress:

I've started working on the Dr. Seuss quilt!  I love it!  I can't say enough good stuff about the Happy Hour pattern.  It has been so easy to put together!  The most time consuming part has been cutting out the blocks, but that could be because I am fussy cutting out the characters.  I can't wait to finish this one!

Here are a couple close ups of my favorite blocks:


I am going to take advantage of the rest of naptime to try to finish a few more blocks!  Hope everyone else had productive weeks!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quilting goals for 2011

I have spent the past week working on a list of projects and goals I want to accomplish in 2011.  Making this list has been very theraputic for me since I have completely lost steam since the Christmas season started.  Getting everything written down on paper really made me feel organized and re-energized for 2011!!

**Disclaimer**--I know that I am being a little over confident with my list of projects.  I am having a baby in March, and I think anyone with children will agree that newborns can be a bit of a time-suck!!  I will be lucky to finish half of this list, but Elizabeth set up a little linky, and what can I say?  I'm a joiner!!

1.  I have three quilts leftover that I really wanted to finish up this year.  My top priority quilt that I plan to start working on as soon as Christmas is over is the Dr. Seuss quilt for baby #2.  Instead of Christmas quilts, the red, white, and blue quilt and blue and brown quilt will become birthday quilts.  I blogged about the three of these here.

2. My Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt: As usual this project went immediately to the back burner once other projects became more interesting for me.  I am in no hurry to finish it, but I did think it was important to list it so that it isn't completely forgotten.  I think this will be a good project to work on after baby gets here.
Blogged about here.

3. For the past year I have been collecting blue and gray fabrics for a quilt for our bed.  I want to use a modified version of Denyse's What a Bunch of Squares.  The fabrics I want to use are a combination of a few Art Gallery, Riley Blake, and Michael Miller prints.  I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

4.  I also want to make something with my collection of Hope Valley fabrics.  I fell in love with the line as soon as I saw it and when it was available I went out and bought all of it.  Unfortunately, it has sat on the shelf ever since (except of course when I would take it down to pet it).  I am not sure what pattern I want to use, but I definitely want to try to do something this year!  Maybe a dresden plate?  That might be a little too ambitious...

Here is my beautiful collection in all its glory with some Kona Medium Gray I am thinking about using with it.

5.  I also want to make a quilt with my collection of Nicey Jane that I have been collecting since it came out.  I am thinking about using Amy Butler's Sexy Hexy pattern.  We'll see though...all those templates look time consuming...

I will probably have to do a little more collecting before I can officially start this husband will be thrilled!!

6.  I have two cousins that will be celebrating their three year anniversaries this coming year and I still haven't completed their wedding quilts!  If I don't hurry up I will be making quilts for their children before I have finished their wedding quilts!  I collected fabrics based on the colors for their weddings: one peacock colors and one autumn colors (but no orange, black or purple).  Here are the stacks of fabric below I am still deciding the designs I want to use.

7.  The last one I am listing is for my little man.  He has almost outgrown the baby quilt I made for him, so I would like to finally make the airplane quilt I wanted to make for him before he was born.  I will make it bigger though, so it will fit on his toddler bed.  I am going to use an adorable Michael Miller print with some Kona solids.  I want to use this tutorial to make paintbox blocks.

Those are the specific projects I am hoping to make happen next year.  I am sure some will be dropped from the list and others will be added, but I have renewed my interest and determination to get things accomplished this year!  Somewhere in the middle of all of these I want to make the Urban Lattice quilt, and I have two Bliss jelly rolls that are calling my name!  There is just never enough time to finish it all...

My goals are pretty simple:

1.  I want to practice, practice, practice my machine quilting.  I am getting more comfortable, but I still need a lot of work.

2.  I want to use up my old stash that I have had for over ten years, but it isn't really my style anymore.  I think I will try to use it for some charity quilts.  It is all good quality quilt store fabric it's just no longer my cup of tea.

3.  I learned my lesson this year about putting off Christmas projects until November.  I hope to start working on Christmas projects at the latest this summer.  I would love to make stockings for the four of us, a tree skirt, pillows, and a quilt.

4.  The most important goal I have for this year is to enjoy my hobby.  I don't want to get so caught up in finishing something by a certain time that I don't enjoy the process.  After all this is a hobby, not a job...

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else is planning for next year!!  Sorry for such a long post!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday (early) and a finish

I am a little early for the WIP Wednesday, but I thought I would take advantage of a quiet moment at the computer.  I don't have much to contribute this week because we have been so busy with all of our Christmas activities.  We've been so busy baking, visiting the National Christmas Tree,

and decorating our family tree

that sewing has taken a back seat.  It has been worth it though!  This is Hurst's second Christmas, but this year is much more fun than last year!  He is able to participate a little bit, and last year he was too little to do anything really, but nap.  This weekend we are taking him to see Santa and we are hoping he won't cry.  I have taken him on a couple of "test runs" to the mall to let him see Santa before he sits on his lap.  I hope this does the trick!

I was able to finish the baseball quilt this week just in time for the December 15th deadline.  Oh well, it might be last minute, but it is on time!  I finished up the scrappy binding earlier this evening and now all I have to do is figure out how to get it to Kate to be sent with the rest of the Guild's contributions!

I hope a little boy in the area gets some comfort and warmth from this quilt.  This was such a nice project in which to participate.  I hope to be able to do more with the DC guild in the new year!

I have decided to not stress myself out about the two quilts I wanted to make as Christmas presents.  The people they are going to will love them just as much on their birthdays as they would have for Christmas.  I only have ten days left, so they probably wouldn't be finished anyway!  I am going to continue working on my tree skirt and hope it's completed by Christmas, and then I think I am going to take a little sewing break and spend time with my family.  I hope everyone had very productive weeks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I have made really good progress this week.  I finally finished my Hushabye quilt and all three of us have enjoyed using it while sitting on our couch in our chilly basement.  I think next year I will have to make one that is a little more masculine for the boys!!  See this blog post for finished pics.

I am so close to finishing the baseball quilt and I am so proud of it!  I think I might be a new convert to FMQ, I love it!  It still isn't perfect, but it was much easier this time around and I finished quilting it in one nap time!  I think my next project I might try stippling and see how that goes, but this time around I played it safe and just did more of my wavy lines.  After Hurst goes to bed tonight I will finish the binding and I'm ready to move on to the next project.

I have decided to add a couple of new projects to the mix this week.  For years we have wrapped the trunk of our Christmas tree in a green blanket and I have decided this year that we need a tree skirt.  A quilted tree skirt of course!  I am planning on using this tutorial.  I feel in love with it last year as soon as I saw it, but with a newborn it just wasn't possible.  This year I'm going for it!  I am also thinking about making stockings for us too!  We will see how much I actually accomplish.  My major "W.I.Ps" for the rest of the week have to be laundry and housework, but this weekend I hope to spend a lot of time with my sewing machine.

Hope everyone else had productive weeks!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hushabye is finished!

I am so happy to have finally finished this!  I am so proud of it, and I'm mostly thrilled because I get to keep it!

Here it is, made from almost 6 charm packs.  Simple, but pretty!

Please pardon my little helper!  He gets very excited when Mommy gets the camera out!

Here's the back, pieced together from the leftover charm squares and white tone-on-tone fabric I have had in my stash for years!  It feels so good to use that up!

I wanted to do something a little different for the back, so pieced the strip a little off-center and I'm glad I did.  I think it gives the quilt a little more character!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as I did!  Now back to the grind...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I feel like a broken record with my W.I.P.'s.  I am still working on the same two quilts, the Hushabye and the baseball quilts.  I was able to make progress on both, but neither is finished.  I didn't have a lot of time to sew this past weekend due to traveling and visiting with family.  I'm not complaining of course because it was great to spend time with both my side of the family and the family I married, I just wasn't very productive.

The Hushabye quilt is coming along nicely.  I have attached the binding and just need to hand sew it to the back and then I'm finished.  I am so happy to be so close to finishing this one!  It is so pretty!

I am hoping to post a finished photo of this by the weekend.  It is going to be cold here so I'll need it!!

There is good news and bad news for the baseball quilt.

The good news, there is a finished top,

A pieced back,

Both of which are pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!!

The bad news:

What is with all these stinkin' loops on the back of my quilt!!  I decided to do "easy" organic straight line quilting for this one in order to meet the quickly approaching deadline for 100 Quilts for Christmas, but I keep messing up!!  I am so frustrated!!  The quilting on the front is perfect, the only problem is the loops on the back!!  I have tried adjusting the tension and cleaning the machine of dust, but nothing is working.  If anyone has any suggestions I could really use some help.  I have decided to FMQ this so that it will be finished in time (I never thought I would write that sentence).  Even though I have decided to change quilting methods I really am open to any advice.  I am so looking forward to the time when this quilting thing is a little easier!  While my piecing still isn't perfect I do feel comfortable doing it.  I used to have a problem with binding, but I seem to have worked through that process.  Quilting is always such a problem for me.  I know I need to practice, but I just get so frustrated!!

The only other update I can mention is I have started cutting out the red, white and blue quilt I am making for a Christmas gift.  I am hoping to get some serious sewing time in this weekend, but we'll see.  I also need to decorate for Christmas.  Hope everyone else had a very productive week!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I am sad to say, but I haven't made any progress this week on my projects.  I was really moving along, but things came to a complete halt when my son got sick this weekend.  Now that he is feeling better I would typically be able to pick up where I left off, but now the preparations for Thanksgiving have commenced.  Oh well maybe this weekend...

I'm so lame I don't even have pictures...Sorry next week will be better!!!

I hope everyone has a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Goals for this week:

Finish baseball quilt and turn it in for 100 Quilts for Christmas

Bind the Hushabye quilt

Start Christmas quilts (yikes!).

Friday, November 19, 2010

DC Modern Quilt Guild Sewing Lounge

Last night I had a great time at my first ever DC Modern Quilt Guild "meeting".  Everyone was so nice and welcoming, and I loved being around all those ladies sewing!!  I don't think I have ever seen so many sewing machines going in my life!!  By the time all of our projects are finished I think we will have made a large dent in our goal for 100 Quilts for Christmas.  See the event blogged about here.  I can't wait to go back on Saturday to help finish up! 

Here is a picture of my blocks.  I have four of the six finished.  I'm going to stop blogging about this quilt now and go try to finish it before my sweet little boy wakes up!!  I will post more as this project is closer to completion!

I love how this is turning out!  I can't wait to see it finished!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Why am I thinking about joining this quilt along?  Yes, it's pretty, it fits my skill level, and it would be super fun to sew along with my internet peeps but I don't have time!!  Christmas is just around the corner...

I have no self control!!  I will make a decision after I see how much progress I make after this weekend's sewing...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I'm a little late this week, but better late than never!!  I didn't make a whole lot of progress on my projects, but I completed my biggest goal!!  I finished free motion quilting my Hushabye quilt.  It took me many, many, many tries and I pulled out way more stitches than I ever dreamed I could, but it is done!  I am not going to pretend that it is the best quilting ever because it most certainly isn't, but I am so proud of myself for not giving up.  Sunday afternoon I decided to just get over myself and just quilt the thing and be done with it.  It turns out once I took the pressure off myself to be perfect I actually enjoyed the process which is the reason we quilt right?

I wasn't able to do the stipple quilting like I had originally planned, but I am happy with the random, wavy, vertical lines I used instead.  Like I said above it isn't perfect, but that's okay.  This is the first quilt I have ever FMQ, so it's okay if there are a few (or a lot) mistakes.  I am hoping that maybe next year when I am a quilting genius I will look back at this project and smile.  I know I will love snuggling under it with my boys!  I am taking a little break from it to work on other projects, but I do plan to bind it this weekend.  I will post a final picture when it's completely finished.

I didn't touch any of my other projects this week, but I hope to make up for lost time since my husband is taking all of Thanksgiving week off and I have been promised lots of sewing time!  Gotta love that!

I did add a new project this week.  I have finished cutting out the top for the charity quilt I am working on for 100 Quilts for Christmas.  I blogged about that here.

Now that Hurst is in bed, after I finish this post, these strips will be turned into a rail fence quilt top.  My goal is to have this finished by Saturday so I can turn it in with the rest of the guild's quilts.  Wish me luck!

My goals for this week are:

1. Finish binding Hushabye
2. Finish baseball quilt for charity
3. Cut out at least one of the Christmas quilts

Hope everyone has a very productive week!

Monday, November 15, 2010

100 Quilts for Christmas

I am so excited to be participating in this awesome sewing event.  It starts today, November 15th and lasts through the 15th of December.  The goal is to donate 100 quilts to children in your community (or other communites) this month.  If you can't find a charity in your area some suggestions are Margaret's Hope Chest and Project Linus.  To find out more details check out Kate at Swim, Bike, Quilt blog post.  If you do decide to participate you will be eligible for multiple fabulous giveaways!!  As if helping children in need weren't enough to get one excited for this event, there are prizes involved!!

On Thursday night the DC Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a sew in to make quilts for local kids in our community.  I can't wait!  It will be so much fun to get together with people who love to quilt and help out at the same time!  I will be sure to post details of the event later this week.

I have started cutting a baseball, rail fence quilt to work on Thursday night.  As I have said many times before I am slow, so I hope I am able to finish it in time!  Even if I can't it will still be fun to sew with everyone else! 

I would love to be able to say that I have made a large amount of progess on my other projects, but I can't.  I am still plugging away at the FMQ for the Hushabye quilt.  I am hoping to finish that up after I make the charity quilt.  I hope everyone else is having a very productive sewing day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday

I am so excited to join in the fun of Lee's W.I.P Wednesday!  Hopefully this will help me stay on track and give me an extra push to finish those Christmas presents!  I definitely need to get cracking!

My W.IP.'s:

The Hushabye quilt:

I blogged about this earlier when this was just a quilt top.  Here is the pieced back I made with the leftover charm squares and some basic white fabric.  Hopefully during naptime I can start quilting this baby.  This will be the first quilt I have free motion quilted, and so far it's not going so great :(  I am giving myself until Friday to make it work or I am going to just do straight line quilting instead.  The weather has definitely turned cool in these parts and I want my quilt!!  I don't know if I have enough patience to stipple it!

The Red, White, and Blue Quilt

So far this is just a pile of fabric, but eventually it will be a gift for someone very important.  I won't be able to show pictures of the finished product until after the holidays, but I will update every week on the progress.

The Brown and Blue quilt

Also, just another pile of pretty fabric, but this will hopefully soon be a quilt for another special someone.  Like the red, whilte and blue I can't show the final project until after the holidays, but I promise I will be working on it!  I plan to use this tutorial to make a double hourglass quilt.  I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

The Dr. Seuss quilt

This is the quilt I am most looking forward to completing!  My husband and I are expecting our second child (a boy!) in early March!  Needless to say, we are over the moon excited!  As soon as I saw the fabric I knew I had to make a quilt out of it for #2!  I plan on using a pattern out this book.  The trick will be making myself work on the Christmas presents and not jump right into this one!  This line of fabrics is just too cute!!

These quilts will be my focus for the next few weeks, but I reserve the right to take a break and make pillows,stockings and other Christmas projects along the way!  I am afraid that when it comes to quilting/sewing I have a bad case of ADHD!  That's why I am hoping this project will help me stay focused!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mary Mary, quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?

Very, very slowly!!  Just one little flower at a time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I can't believe it's over!  This year was so exciting because Hurst got to go Trick or Treating for the first time.  We didn't go to many houses, but we did hit a few!  He is still too little to say "Trick or Treat", but he was able to get out a word close enough to treat!

Here's a picture of the little fireman at his grandmother's house.  Good pictures were hard to come by because he didn't want to keep his hat on and he had a little bit of a sugar rush!!

We had a great time on Saturday picking out our pumpkins!

Picking up the straw was also a highlight!!

The best part was definitely the wagon!!  (Hope Santa was paying attention, this might be a good Christmas present!!)

Hope everyone had a very Happy Halloween!

I did work on a couple of small projects this weekend.  Will post them when they are finished!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baking and a little sewing...

This weekend was not very productive on the sewing front, but I did manage to make another hexagon flower for the GMFG quilt.

Gotta love those pink polka dots!!

I did, however, perform some magic in the kitchen.  Saturday morning I made pumpkin waffles that were to die for!!  If you are a pumpkin fan you MUST try these!

I also made my favorite sugar cookies from good ol' Martha.  The only changes I make to this recipe is I use 3 1/2 cups flour instead of 4 cups and I always add either lemon or orange zest to add a little more flavor.  This is the best recipe for cutouts.  They always hold their shape so nicely!  Since I didn't feel like pulling out the piping bags I frosted these with this delicious icing.  Of course the decorating wasn't as pretty as when I take the time to pipe royal icing, but boy these are delicious!  Since these cookies were just for us I think that's all that matters!

I am still plugging away on the "Hushabye" quilt.  I hope to have the backing finished soon.  First, I need to figure out what I am going to practice free motion quilting on.  Definitely don't want to just jump in and start on the quilt without practicing first!  I really need to get over myself and just quilt already!  I am always so chicken when it comes to trying something new.  Hopefully tomorrow during naptime I will get something accomplished!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sewing update

Unfortunately, there wasn't much sewing accomplished this past week.  I have had a great time playing with Hurst and hanging out with my fabulous husband, so I can't complain too much, but I do miss my sewing machine.  Tonight after the baby goes to sleep I have vowed to work on my Tula Pink "Hushabye" quilt.

Here is the quilt top in all its' wrinkled glory waiting patiently on the ironing board for me.  This will be the last of my works in progress to finish before I start on the Christmas projects.  I know it's a little early, but I'm slow so I should have started at least a month ago.  Oh well...

I will be so happy when this one is finished because it will be all mine!!  I made this out of six charm packs, and I think it will be the perfect size for snuggling under on the couch!  I know it is just another boring patchwork quilt, but I can't help loving it.  I am mostly excited (and nervous) because I am going to try my hand at free motion quilting for the first time with this quilt!  Tonight I am going to hopefully piece the back and then hopefully during naptime tomorrow I will baste it and start quilting!

I do have a long term project that I worked on a little this weekend.  When I say long term, I do mean very long term!  I estimate that so far I have been working on this quilt off and on (mostly off) for five years.  It is my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  This quilt pattern is the reason I wanted to learn to quilt.  Needless, to say it has been a lot of work and there is much more to come, but I can't imagine the sense of accomplishment I will feel when it is finished!

Here are the blocks I have made so far spread out on the dining room table.  I need 67 and so far I have 47.  Only twenty more to go!  Of course then I have to add the multiple borders, quilt and bind the monster, so I will be working on this for a long time!  It will all be done by hand, so it has been the perfect travel project.  My goal is to work on it at least once a week to finish it as soon as possible.  We will see how that goes!

Sorry for such a long-winded post!  Now I'm off to put a sleepy little boy to bed and then quilt.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baking and Sewing

Today was a very productive day.  On top of the usual housework and toddler care, I was able to do some baking and sewing.

Unfortunately, my husband and son don't share in my love of all things sweet.  Of course, in their defense, I do have one of the biggest sweet teeth around!!  The three of us do agree on one thing: pumpkin sweets are delicious!!  I made one of my go-to pumpkin treats this morning, pumpkin muffins.  I recently started using this recipe and I think it is perfect!  I cut down on the amount of sugar called for, but other than that I stay pretty true to the recipe as written.

They may not be much to look at, but these are perfect for breakfast with a glass of milk or tea in the afternoon!
On the sewing front, I made two blocks this morning for an exchange at my quilt guild meeting tomorrow night.  I am a new member, but so far I just love it.  It is so nice to have two nights a month where I am surrounded by people who all share my passion for quilting.  This group is filled with so many talented people!  I get inspired all over again everytime I go.  I really hope whoever ends up with my blocks likes them...I am a little nervous since I am a novice quilter!

We are using Bonnie Hunter's Happy Scrappy Houses pattern for exchange this year.  I was hoping to have at least three blocks for exchange this month, but no such luck.  While I think these turned out really good, the piecing was a little tricky for me, so I am thrilled to have these made!  I can't wait to see what I get in return.  So exciting!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ducky quilt for Hurst

I fell in love with Lizzie House's Red Letter Day fabric the second I saw it online and knew I had to have it for a baby quilt.  I thought I would make one for a baby shower gift, but my son had other plans.  As soon as I brought the fabric home from my favorite store Hurst started rolling around on it and giggling.  I knew then, even though his nursery is decorated in airplanes, that the Red Letter Day quilt would be his.  My husband was nice enough to entertain Hurst Sunday afternoon so I could sew on the binding.  I just absolutely love it!  I saw the quilt Faith of Fresh Lemons made for her son and thought it was the perfect design to showcase the fabric!  Hope she thinks imitation is the highest form of flattery!!

It was the perfect design for someone like me who is still learning to piece and quilt by machine.  I cut stips from each of the fabrics in various widths and then pieced them together.  It is quilted in lines that go straight across the quilt in various widths which is very flattering to the design.

I pieced the back together with leftovers from the front.  I just love the green and blue duck fabric!!  It is my favorite!

I love that I am finally finishing projects that have been waiting for a few months!  It feels so good to check this off my list, not to mention I think he really likes it!