Sunday, February 23, 2014

And It Was Free!

Last June, when I attended the Grand Old Flag event at Country Sampler in Spring Green, I was lucky enough to win this door prize.
It's a stack of Fat Quarters of every fabric in the American Spirit line, which is designed by Jeanne at Country Sampler.  I was thrilled to win this!

One of our teachers for that event was Paula Barnes of Red Crinoline Quilts, and she gave a door prize of one of her patterns to each of us.  The one I chose was Second Hand Clothes.  After I got home from the event, I decided to make Second Hand Clothes from all the dark prints in this line of fabric.

This quilt is done and on the bed! 
It's a big quilt, and I couldn't get a picture of the whole thing.  This is a double bed, and it's plenty big for it.  I think it was 85" x 93".  I quilted it myself on my Juki, with a wool batting.  The quilting isn't perfect, but I love it anyway.  And it was free!  (If you don't count the muslin, batting, backing, and spool and a half of thread.)

This was a very easy pattern - it would be a great pattern to teach someone to quilt.  It's all just squares and rectangles, with triangles on the borders.  I had a great time making it.  Working with a nice line of fabric like this is just so pleasant!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

UFO #1 is Done!

The UFO for Country Threads' UFO Challenge for February was #1, which for me was My Favorite Things, the 2012 summer freebie quilt from Primitive Gatherings.  I'm happy to announce this quilt is now quilted, bound, labelled and hanging on the wall of my sewing room!
This was a fun quilt to make (but I guess I always say that.  You never see a finished product of the un-fun quilts).  We received the 12 blocks in the center each week with our Block of the Week order.  The finishing kit was a little different - it had the instructions and some of the motifs for the borders, but with the additional instruction to add our own "favorite things" to personalize it.  This is a challenge for me - I can follow directions just fine, but being creative is a stretch!  Nevertheless, I added the animals in the lower left, changed the top left and right motifs to spring and summer and added the tomato pincushion after the word "quilting". 
Here's a little shot of the corner with some of my personalization!  I see there is an extra thread that I didn't snip, so I'd better go back and do that.  I may still quilt something in the sashings - I left them plain, but they may need a wavy line or something.  I'll let it hang on the wall for awhile and see if it sags or anything.  So, I can check this one off my UFO list! 

The cold weather has allowed a fair amount of quilting time lately.  I also finished this pillow for my son's birthday.  It was actually supposed to be a Christmas present last year, but this works, too!
I found some fun comic book fabrics on one of my shopping trips, but they didn't have much - only about 1/4 yard, so I made this little reading pillow.  It has the comic book fabric on two sides, and a matching red fabric on the third side.

I thought these were just a cute shape when I saw the pattern in the store.  They have straps on each end; they were labelled as a travel/reading pillow, but I doubt it will ever travel anywhere.

My design wall has some of the blocks from the Tone It Down Quilt-Along from American Patchwork and Quilting.  I started this before Christmas but it keeps getting put aside for other projects.

I have ten blocks done, and parts of several other blocks.  These seem to take a lot of time to construct - all the small blocks are 1" finished and I'm making the blocks out of scraps, which always takes longer.  I've been working on all the sections, so once I get that done, the blocks will go together fairly quickly.  I've always wanted to make a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt, so this is it! This will be a pretty big quilt.

We are supposed to get 5" of snow tomorrow.  I'd love to take a snow day and work on this, but I doubt I can manage to pull that off.  Unfortunately for Wisconsin, 5" of snow isn't enough of an excuse to stay home!  Our road crews are just too efficient sometimes.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 1 Is Finally Here!

Is January finally over?  It's always been my least favorite month, but this year has been particularly trying.  I've had enough cold and snow to last for a long time!

One good thing for the cold, it allows for lots of indoor time for quilting.  When Primitive Gatherings had their after-Christmas sale, I bought a Juki 2010Q, and I've spent quite a bit of time trying to get the hang of it.  I really like it so far, but need a lot more practice on it. I started out my practice on a Soduku quilt.  The fabric for the top of this quilt was a giveaway at a retreat I went to several years ago, so it's good to get this one done.
This quilt top was more challenging than necessary due to the fact that I received only 8 of one of the fabrics, a fact I didn't discover till I was well along with piecing, so I had to scrounge through my stash for a substitute.  It's the floral in the center of the top row, and blends in amazingly well!  This is Charity Quilt #1 for 2014, and is about 55" square, so a nice lap size.  It also features "unique" quilting! LOL

The second quilt I practiced on is this Popcorn the Bear panel, also a Charity Quilt.  It was a lot of fun to quilt, with no seams to deal with.  I've always loved this print, so I'm glad I got to work on it.  I have another panel just like this one to make up someday.  If both of these quilts fit the criteria, I'm ready for the Hands 2 Help challenge.

We were supposed to get a snowstorm today, so I ran all my errands yesterday with plans to stay inside and sew today.  We only got 2" of snow, which at this point we hardly notice, but I stayed inside to sew anyway.  Every time I go to a retreat, I wish I had an iron caddy to bring the hot iron home in, so today I finally made two.

The one on the left is for the travel iron, and the other is for the regular size iron.  They match the snap bag I made a year or two ago, so now I have some great stuff to take to my next retreat!   (They really do match - it doesn't look like it in this picture, but they are made from fabrics in the same line from Buggy Barn).  I even found some cool old buttons in my Grandma's button box.  The caddy pad opens to an ironing surface covered with a reflective fabric.  There is also Warm Tater batting inside to protect the table from the heat.
These were fun and pretty quick to make, once I figured out the first one.  I can't wait for my next retreat so I can try them out!

I also had a couple quick pincushion finishes.
The pineapple pincushion was a pattern from Buttermilk Basin.  The bottom pincushion was the freebie kit at Primitive Gatherings' Christmas open house.  I've had both of these stitched for awhile, but had run out of walnut shells for the stuffing.  I bought a bag yesterday - the smallest they had was 12 quarts, which is a BIG bag.  Wonder how many pincushions I can get out of that?  I'm guessing it's a lifetime supply, but we'll see!

Country Threads picked #1 as their UFO for February, so now I need to get to work on quilting My Favorite Things. 

Hope you're staying warm!