Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Wedding Quilt

Chris and Becky are on their way here for the weekend to finalize the last details for the wedding. Since I'm going to give them the quilt to take back with them I can finally post a picture.

My Mom helped by piecing the blocks which I sewed together and then quilted. I think you can see the quilting better in the second picture - it's a pantograph but I think it suits the quilt.

I just realized when I went to post these pictures that I took them before I did the binding. I'll have to take a final picture before I let the kids take the quilt home.

Autumn top finished

I'm disappointed in this picture but I can't seem to get a one that's any better. There's not nearly as much contrast in the pieced border as it appears in this picture.

I love this top! It's going to be a beautiful quilt and it's a nice size at 65x83. Although I've been using stash to piece backs for all my recent quilts, I'm going to run out and buy some flannel for the back of this one.

I had intended to put this one on the shelf before quilting but I decided with a flannel back, this quilt will be perfect to take to Minneapolis for our temporary apartment. I've got another Autumn quilt at the condo that I finished last year that also has a flannel back so if I take both of them - Keith and I will both have toasty sofa quilts at the apartment.

Just in case someone hasn't seen the previous post about this quilt - it's based on a pattern at Bonnie Hunter's site called Pineapple Blossom. I made more blocks, didn't set mine with sashing and my borders are different but the inspiration and block are from Bonnie.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Checking things off my to do list

  1. My Aunt's quilt - only the side borders left to quilt which I'll finish up after I get off the computer tonight.
  2. Autumn quilt - 1st border is on, 2nd pieced border in process. This top should be finished in the next day or two.
  3. Catering arranged for the lunch at my house for the day of the wedding.
  4. 5 mile hike done this afternoon.
  5. Successfully unraveled my scarf back to an error and fixed it - yeah! This is the first time I've been able to unravel and then get all my stitches back on the needle without twisting or dropping any.
  6. Made arrangements for a temporary corporate apartment starting mid-November. We were lucky and found one right in Downtown Minneapolis.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Nancy's Nine Patch

I finally started quilting my Aunt's nine patch that I've been putting off. I usually quilt several tops for her each year and this is the last one I've got waiting to do for her. I got it loaded over a week ago but I wanted to piece my Autumn quilt so I hadn't started the quilting yet.

I also cut the fabric for the borders on the Autumn quilt. JudyL suggested purple but I don't have a shade that will work. I do have a pretty autumn red with leaves that I'll use and in between a narrow inner and a wide outer border of the red fabric, I'm going to piece a scrappy gold one with leftovers from my fat quarters.

I was out running errands this afternoon and decided to go to the yarn store. I wanted to buy more yarn to make a matching scarf for the blue/green hat I made the other day. I ended up buying yarn for a shawl, a hat, and the scarf.

I just donated two boxes of yarn that I wanted to get rid of before my move and I need to make sure I don't buy more yarn than I'm actually going to use. I also shipped off two hats and a scarf to my Mom. The blue hat is not nearly that bright in person - the camera flash is to blame I guess.

My dress for the wedding

Ok, I tried the dress on again this morning and I am going to keep it. These aren't the best pictures but you'll get the idea.

It's brown which I think is a perfectly appropriate color for a FALL wedding - what do you think? Here's a close-up of the top without the jacket.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My weekend

Not much going on here - we did watch the US lose the Ryder Cup and I was able to continue working on my knitting and crochet while watching. I finished a hat and scarf to send to my Mom - this one I like better than the chunky one I was making her.

I also got the blocks for my Autumn quilt sewn together. Just have to do the borders and that top will be done too.

We did a 5 mile hike yesterday and are supposed to get out for 10 today - we'll see if we get out early enough to get in the whole 10 miles.

Keith will be gone all week so I should make some progress on some of my projects. Chris and Becky come on Thursday night and there are some wedding preparations that need to be taken care of which will take up some of my time. I did find and buy a dress for the wedding yesterday. It was an impulsive decision and I've got to try it on again and make sure it's really OK. Keith liked it so that's a plus.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hats, scarves, & shawls

Having lived in Florida and Georgia for the last 17 years I don't have any hats and scarves so I decided I need to prepare for the move to Minneapolis by making myself some.

I've been looking for books and patterns for hats, scarves, and shawls and have had trouble finding simple patterns to knit or crochet. The ones I found were either ugly or too complicated.

In the last 3 weeks I've found 3 books that I love and in the last 4 days, I finished 2 hats and am halfway through a scarf (hats go SO fast I love making them).

This first hat is not from one of the books but is from a pattern I got at the yarn store and is more of a recipe than a pattern. It shows you how to make several variations of this hat in any size with any yarn.

This is the FIRST knitted hat I've ever made - it's knitted in the round on circular needles and then double pointed needles are used to shape the crown. I'm so PROUD of myself because it turned out great. I've got to go back to the store and get more yarn to make a matching scarf.

Just when I had given up on finding a crochet hat that wasn't ugly and bulky I found the book Crochet a Dozen Hats. This hat is crocheted in Lions Brand Homespun yarn and is cute and warm.

I finished making the Chenille hat and scarf for my Mom but I hate it - it's big and bulky. Since this turned out so nice I'm going to make another one like this for Mom rather than sending her the ugly one.

Here are the 3 books I found. I especially love the last book by Carri Hammett - in addition to great patterns she has wonderful *lessons* and tips.

Crochet A Dozen Hats
ByNancy Brown

Big Book of Knit Hats & Scarves for Everyone (Leisure Arts #4484) (Paperback)

Scarves and Shawls for Yarn Lovers: Knitting with Simple Patterns and Amazing Yarns
by Carri Hammett

Monday, September 18, 2006

Autumn Quilt

I finished my Autumn blocks this afternoon - I haven't started to arrange them yet. They're just laid out in the order I finished them.

I probably won't get the top put together right away. I've got lots of hiking to do this week, we're going to go up to Big Canoe for the weekend, and I really need to start quilting my Aunt's top too. For now I'll leave them laid out and start moving them around until I find a pleasing arrangement.

Not sure about an inner border yet either. I've pulled some fabrics from stash but so far nothing is quite right.

Adam was home briefly today. We had just enough time to meet Keith for lunch and to get him fitted for his tux for the wedding. He'll be Chris' best man.

For those of you who didn't read my previous post - this is a pattern from Bonnie Hunter's website.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Another 5 blocks finished on the Autumn quilt and the final 10 in process. Keith has a business dinner tomorrow night so I hope to finish the blocks late afternoon or early evening tomorrow.

Adam, my younger son, will be coming home to get fitted for his tux for the wedding tomorrow. He's just 2 and 1/2 hours away on the other side of Atlanta but he works ALL the time and we don't see him much. He's only got the day off so he'll drive home, go to lunch with us, get fitted for his tux, and head back.


On the topic of my trash, I had several interesting comments. Angie makes doggie beds and Eileen puts hers in a canning jar. I like the idea of a large jar or vase with the layers showing the different quilts I'm making. When the jar gets full - the scraps could go into a doggie bed and be donated. I have tons of batting scraps too so maybe Angie can tell me how she goes about making the doggie beds.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I LOVE my trash!

Strange I know but when I'm cutting and piecing a quilt my trash looks so pretty! And yes there are some small squares in the pink trash but I can't save every scrap!

The larger pieces in the Autumn trash are from the ends of strips. Bonnie's directions call for cutting strips to the length needed for each round but I'm a lazy log cabin piecer. I cut my strips the width I need them and then cut them to the right size AFTER sewing them.

I've got 20 Autumn blocks finished and 9 more in process so I've made good progress today. Keith just called and he's on the way home from the airport so I'm going to stop for the day.

Stashbuster's Weekend Retreat

I got an early start this morning - up and cutting out my Autumn quilt at 6:30AM. Very unusual for me because I usually sleep late (not just on the weekends either!) which is one of the wonderful things about not working.

I debated which pattern to use for this year's Autumn quilt - I really like Judy's October quilt for an hour pattern - Leaf Season but I've been wanting to do Bonnie's Pineapple Blossom for a long time too. In the end I chose to do the Pineapple Blossom because I think it will best with my fabrics. Do you see some purple in these blocks? Last year was the first time I'd used purple in one of my autumn quilts - trust me it works!

Keith won't be home until dinner time and I hiked 10 miles yesterday so today will be spent working on this top.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quilt Pink

I finished my top tonight - I started out making Judy's Quilt but as you see it became my Pink Quilt inspired by Judy's 1 hour Quilt. I had so much fun seeing everyone's version of this quilt and I loved playing along and creating my own.

Once it's quilted it will be donated to help raise money for the fight against Breast Cancer through Quilt Pink.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Copyright discussion

I'm going to add to the discussion I've been reading about on other blogs and on the Stashbuster list.

I bought two books last week in Virginia - Big 'n Easy by Judy Hopkins and Bundles of Fun by Karen Snyder and both books had a version of a half log cabin quilt. I also made a quilt using a half log cabin block last year. I posted a picture on my blog after some discussion on the Stashbuster list about a pattern called Bento Box which uses a half log cabin block AND Jeanne posted a picture of a Mystery quilt she did which was basically the same quilt.

So who gets credit for *designing* this quilt? Is everyone else (including me) guilty of *stealing* the design?

I am inspired by quilts in books, at shows, in magazines, and on the internet but 9 times out of 10 when it comes time for me to make a quilt I sit down at my computer, open EQ5 and design my quilt.

Tools of the trade

A new ironing board cover to go with my new iron - such a treat!

I don't think I mentioned it in my blog but my iron died a couple weeks ago and I replaced my Panasonic iron which I liked with a Rowenta iron that said it was anti-drip at low temperatures. With the automatic shut off I was getting some spitting as the iron was heating back up.

I've read a lot of negative feedback about Rowenta irons but I LOVE this iron. It's like the difference between a vacuum with great suction and one with not so great suction. You work a lot harder going back and forth over the same area if your vacuum doesn't have good suction. Well with this iron, one pass will do - you don't have to go back and forth over the seams or over the block or fabric. It's great!

On another note - I was having trouble sewing over seams in my 1 hour quilt - the seams were a little thick but nothing that should have been a problem. I adjusted my presser foot height but still struggled.

Finally, I opened up my bobbin case to clean it out and took a look at the feed dog area. I found a lot of compressed lint between the feed dogs. I'm really good about cleaning the lint out of my bobbin case but had never noticed it building up in this area before. I picked out the lint and my blocks are feeding through beautifully!
Chesty's found a new spot to sit when I'm piecing

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Piecing again

After a week or so away from my machine I managed to squeeze in a couple hours today to work on my 1 hour quilt.

It's veering slightly off course but that's pretty typical for me. It's not unusual for me to change a pattern as a quilt goes along. Sometimes it's a simple change in quilt size or in the borders, sometimes a change in setting. I think I'll leave you guessing for now since I won't post a picture until I have more blocks finished.

Since I didn't meet my goal of loading and starting the quilting on my Aunt's top before my last trip to Virginia I'll make that one of my goals for this week.

I'm sure you all have sticking points in your quilting - the one step that you put off - for me that step is loading a quilt on the longarm. Once it's loaded I quickly finish the quilting and if it's my quilt the binding gets done right away too. I don't know what it is about loading a quilt that stops my progress.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


No quilting this weekend. I got home from Virginia late Friday - we hiked 15 miles on Saturday and then went to a friend's house for dinner. Hiked 15 miles again today and after eating take out I started to work on a hat and scarf for my Mom. The hat is crocheted but I'm knitting the scarf.

Keith will be traveling this week from Tuesday through Saturday so I hope to get some quilting time in while he's gone.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I'm back in Virginia for the week and Mom had her 2nd cataract surgery this morning. It went well and we've just been sitting around this afternoon - I'm feeling lazy so I'm working on a knitted baby afghan rather than quilting.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

1 Hour Pink Quilt

It's Saturday night and we decided to come home after dinner rather than in the morning so I had a chance to get started on my 1 hour Pink Quilt.

I had two fat quarters with a white background and I debated whether there would be enough contrast to use them for the blocks. After sewing up one set of 1/2 square triangles I felt there was enough contrast to see the block pattern and since I have limited fabric choices for this quilt I decided to leave them in.

As you can see from the picture I used Thangles to make my half square triangles. I use them for block sizes 4 inches and smaller otherwise I use the square method - drawing a line and sewing on either side of it to get 2 1/2 square triangle blocks.

I also rummaged through my stash and found two light pink fabrics that can be combined for the backing - I was afraid I wouldn't have anything that would work and would need to buy more fabric. Since I piece almost all of my backs from my stash I was glad I had something that would work - after all my goal is to use what I have whenever possible!

Friday, September 01, 2006


We're up at Big Canoe until Sunday morning so I can't start my 1 hour quilt yet but I did do some knitting this evening watching TV. I've been working on this baby afghan a while since it stays here at the condo and I don't usually do more than a few rows at a time.

So many Stash Quilt members share their wonderful applique projects I thought I'd share one of mine. My favorite quilts to make are scrappy, pieced patterns but every now and then I like to do some simple applique. I've tried several methods but pretty much stick to one now - I pick large simple pieces, I use fusible web, and then I blanket stitch them by HAND. I dislike machine applique and I don't have the patience for intricate needle turn projects.

This quilt was made last year from one of the McCall's magazines and I gave it to my sister Ann. For some reason I don't have a picture of it with the binding on.