Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What I've been working on ...

I am plugging away on Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery ... I'm behind, but plodding! I have all of my neutral background triangle in a square units pieced and am half done with my other pieces. As you can see, I am NOT using Bonnie's colors! I'm doing mine in patriotic colors so I can cut down on some of my stash in those areas ..
 I am almost finished with my challenge for my quilt guild. I made placemats out of the fabrics using the Lil' Twister ruler. I just have to bind the last two and we can use them :)
AND I made some ornaments for an ornament swap. I read and re-read the rules and am not sure if we were supposed to make ornaments for this swap or if it is OK to purchase some.  Since I didn't know (and I didn't want to go shopping in the cold!) I made ornaments. Here they are ready to package up and get into the mail tomorrow. This was the first time I used Hot Fix Crystals 
... pretty nifty!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday - after the storm :)

I was on a mini Quilt retreat over the weekend :) a lot was accomplished! On Friday I completed 80 blocks (no picture of that many today) and pulled out a long neglected UFO.  In 2006, when attended AQS Paducah, I took a class with Kimberly Einmo - Keuenhof Tulips. 
I had 2 1/2 blocks complete at the end of the class and put it away, never to see the light of day, until this past weekend. I now have SIX complete blocks and three ready to machine applique! I'm still loving the choices made for this quilt (who doesn't love batiks?). I might even finish this in time to get it hung up in the Spring (better not bury it again, eh?)

I finished up the Tie Quilt by sewing the buttons on over the weekend. There are shirt buttons in each of the cornerstones.
I took all the labels off the ties and put them on the back of the quilt, adding in some four patches from the shirt fabrics and my own label ...

 On Saturday, some wintery weather moved in ... visibility was low as seen in these pictures taken while riding from a quilt show to lunch:
 Thankfully, it cleared up by Sunday morning (picture off the porch of the retreat destination):
My drive home was uneventful *WHEW!*

For more inspiration in the form of quilter's design walls, check out Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Design Wall - Veteran's Day

 I'd like to wish you all a blessed Veteran's Day!
Here is my Army Guy, I will be going out to eat with my him later today(after he sings at a couple Veteran's Day ceremonies with his Barbershop group). He will be a cheap date as there are lots of places with free meals for veterans :)
I have more tie blocks up on the wall :) AND all of the blocks are finished! (there are 24 all together, they just aren't all up on my small wall) Now to get the sashing and corner blocks cut so I can get the top sewn together.

I'm still working on my quilting plan. It will not be as complicated as the last one I did, but still needs to be appropriate :)

My goal is to have this done before the weekend of the 23rd ... Thanksgiving at the latest.
I also have a start on my Iron Quilter Challenge ... I have four 4" blocks completed ... and 8 more arcs finished (not up on the wall). If I could only find the other charm pack, I could pop a few more of these NYB blocks out!

What is on your design wall? Check out more at Patchwork Times ...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Design Wall Monday with ties

I've been plugging away on the tie quilt ... I have 1/3 of the blocks sewn. The other two thirds have the fan arcs pinned down, just waiting for the center to be ironed and put on. All the ties and shirts were from the same person :)

For more design wall inspiration check out Patchwork Times!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shopping and Crafting last weekend

I spent a long weekend in the Chicago area, shopping with family on my mom's side :) We do this every year and have a ball! Some years we shop in other places, but we usually end up back on the north side of Chicago. Gurnee Mills Mall is a favorite for the group!

I spent most of my (limited) funds ... imagine that!

This year I was in charge of the craft. Yes, we craft on Saturday evening, in the midst of all our shopping. We made small feather/bottle style trees :)

First we painted the bases with various colors and used some stickers to mask off letters or shapes on our blocks.
 And while we waited for the paint to dry, we built the trees by twisting the wires
  To finish up, we hot glued the trees into the blocks. Some took the white paint and put snow on their branches. All of them are unique, and everyone was pleased with the results.
Some years the crafts aren't quite as successful ... we spent a lot of time reminiscing about one that caused LOTS of laughter a few years back :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

At least I didn't bleed on the quilt

I have been working on the "Izaak's Castle" quilt today :) Loaded on the frame, started quilting and things were going smoothly ...

Which means it was time for something to go wrong *sigh*

I ran the needle through my finger ... breaking the needle ... making holes in the quilt with the broken needle ... making it necessary to rip out a block segment and sew a new one in (thankfully I had extra ones left over from miscounting) ...
Can you see the gaping hole in the loose piece? I'll have to find some way to cover up the matching hole in the backing fabric *sigh*

While running up the stairs for assistance with bandaging my finger, my only thought was, "I hope I don't have to retime the machine!" And, I didn't.

So, two things to be thankful for, I didn't bleed on the quilt and I didn't have to retime the machine :) I'll try to focus on those things while I find typing to be awkward and my finger continues throbbing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

I've BeenBusy! or Design Wall Monday

 Last week was very productive in my Sewing Dungeon. I worked on my Christmas Fat Quarter Challenge for my quilt guild:
 We were each given a fat quarter and need to have something completed by our Christmas dinner meeting. My fat quarter is the bordering fabric in the upper right place mat. I will put a border on all of them, to (hopefully) make them look like a set!

 I've also been working on the Christmas BOM that Jennings Community Church sewing group has been working on this year. I have two borders sewn on and was laying out the second two borders when I realized I have a mistake in the left border and need to take it off *sigh* More seam ripping.

I've also been working on a quilt for the Boybarian. I know I've shown the blocks before on DWM, but now I've almost gotten the field sewn together :) I've got to get it done before winter ... and in MI, winter is getting closer all the time!

What projects are you working on?

Monday, September 23, 2013

On My Design Wall

I did little bits of things over the weekend while the Army Guy and the Boybarian were at the Mackinac Scout Rendezvous. They came home tired and had all kinds of fun things to share with mom ...

One of the things I got done was a set of blocks for a swap I'm hosting. The swap is for Bow Tie Blocks using 30 reproduction prints ...
I also wrote a guest post for another blogger (check it out at Quilt Centric).

What is on your design wall? See more design walls at Patchwork Times!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The gutting of ties ...

I have been commissioned to make a commemorative tie quilt for someone. This is not the first time, either :)

The first thing is the gutting of the ties ... the ties come apart very easily and you pull the interfacing out and get two piles larger than the original pile of ties (pretty strange, eh?). Here are the guts, laying on my dining table (my daughter was dissecting some jeans, too).
Now comes the fun of taking the pile of gutted ties and cleaning them so I can process them into quilt block pieces:
Though I most likely won't get to cutting them up until next week. I want to paint my guest room over the weekend!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Design Wall Monday

 On my design wall this morning is a twister quilt made with a William Morris Charm Pack :) I just love those fabrics!
And on my frame, is my mom's sampler quilt :) It is looking very good, but I found a fold in the batting and will have to un-stitch some of the quilting *sigh*
For more design wall inspiration, check out the links at Patchwork Times!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nothing on my design wall ... but ... !

I have not even been in the Sewing Dungeon for over a week. I was in PA helping get a daughter married off :)

I finished the Easy Street quilt just before I left, but had no place to photograph it at home ... so here it is, being held up in the church building where The Peanut married This Guy:
I am calling the quilt A Walk in the Woods as the colors are much more woodland than Easy Street would be!
Here is the happy couple sharing the quilt on rehearsal night (when I gave it to them).

For some design wall inspiration (at least for me!) check out Patchwork Times!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Working Diligently (at least I'm trying!)

I did not get the dress hemmed on Monday :( I ran out of horsehair braid when I was 24" from the start *sigh* So I waited until I had to take the Boybarian out for his Scout meeting and ran back to the store to pick up more braid. By the time we got home, I really had no energy to finish up the hem, so waited until this morning. 

Now I have just a smidge more sewing to do on the hem, fix a couple of items on the bodice and we are home free (well, still have a visit to the cleaners ...).
I do have new buttons sewn on the jacket of my dress :) The bottom button shown is what came with the dress, making it look more casual that I wanted. So I am beautifying the buttons ;)

I still have to hem the dress as it is a bit long. Thankfully, my dress is pretty straight forward, it won't take me hours and hours to get the hem right!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nothing New on the Quilting Front

At least, nothing to show. I do have my Easy Street top done, but have no place to photograph it to show you ... I'll work something out once I have it quilted :)

What I do have, is a wedding dress :) My daughter found a pre-owned dress that was just her style, but way too long, so mom gets to shorten it for her. She also wants a short train, not the big, long, heavy train that came on the dress.

So, my job for today is to get this dress rehemmed at the correct length and get it to the cleaners ...

And then I have a Maid of Honor dress to make, my dress to shorten and a quilt to quilt in the next 12 days ... I'm SO thankful that I didn't have to do the bride's dress from scratch :) It would be hard when we are 7 hours apart!

For some real design wall inspiration check out all the link ups at Patchwork Times.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I haven't been doing much to show ... adding borders to a wedding quilt (that I don't have any place to photograph). AND one block for a friend's quilt :)

So, on my design wall, I have the small quilt from a different week, a random NYB block and a bright, happy star block.
What is on your design wall? For more design walls, check out Patchwork Times.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What have I been up to?

Over the weekend I went down to Pennsylvania to deliver a sofa to This Guy's apartment (The Peanut's fiance) and attend a Bridal Shower for The Peanut. I had a great time visiting and getting lost in the suburbs of Pittsburgh (This Guy transferred to that area a short time ago).

On the way home, I stopped at Ikea :) It is close to the half way point, so I usually stop there. Have you ever shopped at Ikea? They have such cool stores! I always love the "complete home in XXX square feet" displays - so creative!

I picked up some Billy bookcases as I needed to do something different in the Sewing Dungeon. I had some plastic cabinets that worked great in our basement in PA. The basement there was damp and these helped keep my fabric dry (with DampRid containers inside). Here in MI, my basement is dry and those cabinets were not the easiest to access with the quilt frame so close.
It is hard to see to the back of the cabinets, the shelves are 18" deep and the doors are always in the way ... I was finding piles of unsorted fabrics were gathering in awkward places, just because it was hard to get them back in the cabinets.

I put together two Billy cabinets today :) The new shelves are 15" deep (meaning I gain about 5" of floor space as those cabinet doors are rounded out beyond the shelves!). They are white (hey, it was less expensive!) so the depths of the shelves are easier to see, and the shelves are a bit wider than the cabinets. AND they are taller :) I have more room in these shelves, even though they aren't as deep!

Now  I just need to find better baskets or some other solution for the small pieces of fabric. Those white tubs are just too narrow for these shelves ...

While this will look messier because the shelves are open, I am confident that I will be putting fabrics away much more and (I'm hoping) I'll be more inspired because the fabrics are in view!

Now to tackle the piles of stuff dumped in front of the quilt frame. I have several quilts that must be finished up in the next two weeks and that won't happen if I can't access the frame!

Monday, June 17, 2013

What is on My Design Wall Today?

not much :)

 I did get into the Sewing Dungeon this week :) And I have got borders started for this small piece that I did a couple of years ago. The field of the quilt is 12" X 15" ... and I think I'm going to miter the borders (something I've hardly ever done!).

I also made some fabric postcards last week for a swap. The theme of the swap was "What Makes You Happy" and I had a hard time narrowing it down! I chose to use Batiks, in Radiating Designs, with Swirls. Variegated Thread and using a lot of Blue, Pink and Purple. All those things do make me happy :)

What is on YOUR design wall? More design walls featured at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

At the Renaissance Festival

Last weekend I sold soap at a Renaissance Festival.Caterina of Castile was a popular soap as it has an orange/patchouli essential oil blend ... though Lavender, Good Queen Bess (white ginger and amber), Orchard Breeze, Spiced Honey Mead and The Herbalist were all favorites of the shoppers.

This was the first year for the Cadillac Renaissance Festival and I hope it can grow as it would be nice to have one in that area :) We all went in costume (guess who spent a lot of time over the previous week on those?) as vendors were required to have some sort of garb and the children wanted to dress up anyway.

The two teenagers had a lot of fun, but Princess Sunshine did beat The Boybarian at this battle:
She was ruthless ;)

The entertainment was top-notch (though I don't have any pictures of the jousting :( ) with lots of applause and laughter echoing through the grounds.Wish I had more pictures of all the acts, but being a vendor, I was limited in how far away I could wander.

At the end of the Faire, Thee Bluebeard and the other entertainers sent us on our merry way with dreams of further adventures in the Renaissance :)

May there be more frolicking in Cadillac!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Design Wall Monday - More Be Merry BOM blocks

I have 6 move blocks done for the Be Merry BOM that I'm doing with Jennings Community Church.
Next month will finish up the blocks and the month after that will be putting it all together :)

On these blocks, the stitching on the bow appliques still need to be finished up (forgot to bring my threads along). These sure are looking cute!

For even more design wall inspiration visit 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Design Wall Monday - and a sleepy Army Guy

I finally got my April blocks done for the Be Merry Block of the Month I've been working on with the sewing group at Jennings Community Church. It may not look like I'm done, but the snowman gets button eyes, etc after quilting.
 I have also gotten my May blocks all cut out, so I'll be ready to sew next week when we meet up again. 

I couldn't resist sharing this picture of how hard the Army Guy can sleep. He was wiped out Saturday afternoon and feel asleep on the couch. Not sure HOW the pillow ended up balanced on his head, but it sure gave Princess Sunshine and me a chuckle!
Be sure to check out Patchwork Times for more Design Wall inspiration!