Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Up Wednesday: I went shopping!

Darn you Santa and your practical side!  I put this on the top of my Christmas list and even got an up close and personal look at it when I dropped off my current machine for it's first ever since getting the machine for I don't remember how many Christmases ago service.

Well, my machine works good as new after that service, and Santa is right in saying that a new machine is not needed at this time.  I was a good girl and didn't pout (much)....after all, I know what I am asking for when my 50th birthday rolls around ;-)

I haven't named my sewing machines like many of you do, but decided it was about time I did.  So, let me introduce you to Nina!  She and I spent some quality time together yesterday sewing two quilt tops.

I didn't participate in Black Friday, but took advantage of a couple Cyber Monday sales.  As much as possible, I am buying handmade gifts from local and/or small businesses.  I ordered this amazing stocking from my friend Shelly!  I have admired her boot patterns for a while now, and when I saw she had a boot stocking in her shop already made, I jumped on it!  I have seen Shelly at work, so I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was totally blown away at the quality of her workmanship on this stocking!  The stitching  is incredible as well as the attention to detail!!!!  Thanks so much Shelly....this boot stocking is destined for Montana ;-)

My daughter and I did some antiquing and found some great bargains.  How cool is this sewing machine pencil sharpener and tiny iron?!!!

I was so excited to find this typewriter, and it actually works!  Now, I don't know if replacement ribbons can be found or not, but my daughter (who wants to be an author) can be found banging away on it at odd times throughout the day (when she should be doing her homework).

I am still waiting for some of my handmade purchases to arrive, and there are other gifts that still need to be ordered.  Does anyone have suggestions for some great handmade gifts to be found online?  There are some blank spots on my gift list.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Family Photos

It's that time of year when families are gathering and mothers are taking advantage of the togetherness to get that all important group Christmas card photo.

Got Pink?, Horizons and Pina Colada quilts that now live in Mississippi
Maybe it's all those years of the kids complaining and rolling their eyes when I pull the camera out, or maybe it's because the quilts don't talk back, but whatever the reason, instead of taking pictures of family members I haven't seen in a while, I took pictures of quilts I haven't seen in a while!

SuperStar quilt now living in a college dorm room.
My son even let me borrow his dorm quilt for a good washing, even though he was quite nervous that I would not give it back somehow mess it up.  

The back of SuperStar...sideways.
I will say it was nice to visit with this quilt and cuddle up with it on the drive back.....oh, it was nice to visit with my son too, of course!

 I was happy to get some pictures of this quilt outside.  As is the case with family photos, I didn't get to take as many pictures as I wanted.  Everyone is always in a hurry to be done. 

Batik quilt for my mom made by my sister last Christmas.
My sister and her family were unable to join us for Thanksgiving (probably because she didn't want to be in my pictures!), but I visited with the quilt she made for my mom last Christmas!  Isn't it beautiful?!  I think this was one of about ten quilts she made last year, and she is cranking out a dozen more this year.  That overachiever....making me look bad ;-)!!!!!

All joking aside, I did take the obligatory family photo for the Christmas card, but I was told not to publish that picture here.  Max is the only one who doesn't mind having his face plastered on my blog!  For the family picture, we were dressed in white shirts and denim jeans.  Max is also dressed in white and denim, sporting a brand new denim bandana made by his mom!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Star

Here's my November Priority: Alzheimer's mini quilt for the Quilt-a-Month Club.

Christmas Star (AAQI #8827) measures 8.5" square. 

In the center of the wonky star is a little free-pieced Christmas tree.  The Kate Spain Flurry fabrics were part of the FTLOS swap package received from partner Jessica.  

The backing is a fun candy cane print from my stash.

Christmas Star is virtually headed to {Sew} Modern Monday and physically headed to AAQI headquarters to join hundreds of other art quilts up for sale or auction to raise funds for Alzheimer's research.  

Finished with your Christmas shopping?  No, you say.  Well, on this Cyber Monday, why not check out the plethora of lovely quilts on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative site.  You are sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone on your list, and for those hard to please hard to shop for loved ones, gift cards are now available!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

This week I have been (and still am) traveling and spending time with my family.... no sewing machine, no shopping malls, just lots of good food, time spent with family and time to ponder and count my blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving from Peaceful Dove!
Wishing all of you celebrating in the States, a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!  May you have many blessings to count, special time spent with family and friends, plenty of good food, and safe travels!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Finish

Yay!  I finished this quilt for BASICS Inc, and it should be received in plenty of time for their next quilt distribution day on December 1st!  I am so glad to help Victoria with this ongoing project.  If you are interested in learning more, check out the Basics Quilt Gather website.

As previously mentioned, this quilt top was made using the 1600 quilt method with a bali pop I hand on hand.  The orange batik used for backing and binding was leftover from my son's quilt.

I quilted straight lines using an orangey variegated thread (Mettler #9858) which is fun to see on the different colored batiks.  I didn't mark lines or use painter's tape, but instead used the edge of my walking foot and the seams as a guide.

Here's the quilt straight out of the dryer.  In searching for a good photo place, I noticed this tree full of oranges in our backyard.  Perfect!  This quilt shall now be named Orange Delight.
I hope this quilt makes someone feel warm, safe and secure.

 Head over to Amanda Jean's and Amy's to see other Friday finishes.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strips and even more strips

My sister first told me about the 1600 quilt.  She has made two already, that overachiever!   Since then, I have seen one pop up at the Bloggers' Quilt Festival and two more (here and here) at blogs I regularly follow.

Apparently, these are quite fun to make with a group of sew friends while racing to see who finishes first (or work on your personal best time to use racing terms...haha).  If you are unfamiliar with these fast, fun and jelly-roll friendly quilts, watch this video.

Here's my version made with a Mango Margarita bali pop.  How can you go wrong with such luscious colors?!  I have a large leftover piece of orange batik that is already pieced for the backing.

Now to baste, quilt and ship!

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Worries

At last this shoo fly quilt is finished!!!  You have no idea how happy I am to cross this off my WIPs.

Because of being highly skilled at multitasking, I managed to finish this shoo fly quilt over the weekend while one the road to visit  my son (husband driving of course) and tailgating!  My kids kept teasing me that I was thinking of my next blog post titled  "This is my kind of tailgating!"  They knew something was up anytime I ask to have my picture taken when I asked my husband to take a picture of me hand stitching the binding.
My husband has been fired as the family photographer!
For several reasons, some of which I hope are obvious (if not, ask and I'll explain) and a few of which are personal, I decided a while back to name this shoo fly quilt No Worries.  

Towards the end of the process, however, I do believe the quilting gods were laughing at this choice of names as I had plenty of worries with this quilt.  It seems no matter how many times I did the math, I never had enough pieces to finish all the blocks so I would cut more center squares then more print squares and so on; I also worked on piecing the blocks with three different machines depending on whether I was in Orlando, Montana or at the quilt retreat in Minnesota resulting in three slightly different block sizes which made squaring up fun; lastly, I had to use two different machines for quilting because with only eight blocks to go, my Bernina  had a temper tantrum stopped cooperating, so I pulled out the machine I take to Sew Days and quilted the last few blocks that way.

Again, practicing my free motion quilting skills using a variegated thread by Mettler (#9814).  I quilted hearts inside the center squares and the other solid blue areas, while quilting a meandering stitch in all other areas.  After washing and drying, the quilt measures 52"x72".  I am sure everyone recognizes the pattern by Malka from her Color My Cloth book (so want to make her oversize shoo fly block quilt).  I adjusted the block size, number of blocks and added a 5" border.

The recipient is a sweet young lady who has been waiting very patiently for this quilt without any complaints.  By now she is used to her aunt being a slacker when it comes to delivering gifts on time....even when they aren't homemade.  I hope she will think the quilt was worth the wait.  

I am linking up to Megan's {Sew} Modern Monday.  Head on over to see some great quilty projects!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sew & Tell Friday

Happy Veteran's Day, Corduroy Day, Vertical Day and Mini Quilt Challenge Friday!

When I heard Amy was having a Mini Quilt version of Sew & Tell Friday today, I put aside the Shoo Fly quilt (99.9% finished....yay!) and went to work on creating a new mini.

On my long list of quilts to make is RPQ's Bricks and Stones Quilt
(I already have the pattern and Hope Valley fabric), so decided a mini version would have to do in the meantime.  (Here's another mini version I saw on Flickr.)

This one is made using scraps and measures 13.5" by 12.25"....too big for AAQI but a nice size for our guild's upcoming swap.  Even the binding is leftover from another quilt project.  Love that!

Here's a picture of the back taken before I cut the thread tails.

Head over to the party and see what other minis have been created!
Have an amazing weekend!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I forgot to mention

a couple of newsworthy items!

At last week's guild meetingBeth won I came home with these liberated roses from our November block drawing!  Beth isn't a big fan of these blocks
Beth knew I wanted to win them, so after hearing her name called, promptly gave them to me after much whining from me, she caved and graciously handed them over ;-)

Pretty in Patchwork: Doll Quilts: 24 Little Quilts to Piece, Stitch, and Love

Lark Books donated the new Pretty in Patchwork Doll Quilts book to our guild which we gave away as a door prize at Wednesday's meeting.

I didn't win the Lark Book, so I consoled myself by purchasing these two books from the LQS right after the meeting.  I already have several projects in mind after browsing these.  The Modern Blocks book especially will come in handy for determining future BOMs...hmmm.....wonder if the guild can reimburse me for that one....

For tomorrow's Sew & Tell,  Amy is hosting a mini quilt challenge that involves giveaways!  Perfect timing as I need to make at least two minis - one for a swap and one for a challenge.

Off to the sewing room I go!
Have an amazing day!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

Blogging has been neglected as I was preparing for, and then recovering from, hosting two back to back parties.  Squeezed in there somehow was also a guild meeting, football game and stomach flu.

Throwing a surprise party a month AFTER the big day goes a long way in keeping the surprise party a SURPRISE!

Paella...not made by me.  However, I have been known to make a pretty decent paella a smaller pan.

Since my husband didn't know about the surprise party, I couldn't explain why having his office over to dinner the next night would be stressful for me.  I didn't have to cook, so what was the big deal, right?  Uh, well, I DID have to get my house in "show" condition which meant taking valuable time away from more important activities - like quilting!

STILL working on this quilt.  I'm almost done though, and now that the parties are over and (knock  on wood) the stomach flu has left my house, I should manage to finish this....soon ;-)

I did manage to finish the sample BOMs for to post instructions on the guild's blog....

So...what are you up to today?
Have an amazing day!