Friday, January 27, 2012

Sailing away with my Sailor

Happy Friday Everyone!

I finished the first of the four princess feather blocks for my Jubilee Quilt.  There are 69 stuffed berries.  I've gotten the hang of them now and they are going much faster.

Part of my Jubilee year, includes celebrating 25 wonderful years with my husband.  We were married at the Chicago Yacht Club on a blustery, stormy night.

February 14, 1987 (yep, Valentine's Day)

February 14, 1997 - vow renewal

Andrew (10) and Hanna (4).  It was so fun to have them be part of it.

July 21, 2011 - Greek Island Cruise

We're going on a one week cruise - alone.  It's our first week long trip without our children since our honeymoon!

Here's what I'm taking to work on.   Berries, lots of berries...

I'm going to force myself to finish this on this cruise.  I only have 2 rows to go for heaven's sake!

Let's try it again.  Last summer I took my machine in while I was away and it was there 6 weeks and wasn't cleaned or fixed.  I took it to a different shop and have all the confidence that it will be.

And last but, never least, coco finally had some snow last Saturday to play in!

I'm gong where colorful umbrellas adorn the beaches and the drinks ;)

Hope you all have a fun week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 UFO Challenge

Giants Win In Overtime - Superbowl XLVI
just had to get that out.

I met last week with Jill and Susan and instead of starting a new challenge project, we've decided to finish some UFOs this year.

We are also going to swap flying geese units every month.  We've decided to use bright, fresh fabrics and solids for fun.  I'll post when I've made my first sets.

Here in her own words is Jill's UFO project:

After Barb introduced me to English paper piecing, I have fallen in love with it, the accuracy which I could never attain otherwise and the relaxation of whip stitching together the prepared pieces.   Of course it is additional steps, with the basting and paper removal, but I enjoy the results very much.

I started this "star" project some time ago and picked this as my UFO for this Barb/Susan/Jill quilt-finishing deadline!   I have yet to come up with a nice setting design, so I am not sure how many star blocks I need.  I am thinking maybe six and as you can see,  I only have two finished, almost three.   I had better "put a fire under it"

 I also want to do a setting where the multi-colored stars seem to "float" on the black background and I also hope to come up with an appliqué design to add to either the center of the quilt and/or the border.   I love the combo of pieced and appliqué favorite.

Barb thinks perhaps the appliqué will be too busy, as it is already pretty colorful.   So I am rethinking that.  Right now I want to finish the six blocks,  put them on my design wall and try to finalize a plan.

Here in her own words is Susan's UFO project-

It was easy for me to pick my UFO challenge.  This quilt has been on my design wall for months....and months....waiting for the border.

"POTUS 1789-1901" is a quilt I designed with the quilting in mind.  It is a two block quilt.  The president block looks odd, silly really but placing a wreath stencil on top to show what the quilting will look like gives a better idea of where I am going.

The president images are from an old Windham line.  I thought there was a misprint at first because one president had two images.  A check of the facts showed that the printing was correct.  One president served two terms but not consecutively.  I love making quilts that include little bits of history.

And here is mine -

I started this quilt in 2009 to commemorate (again) the 2008 Summer Olympics.  I loved that the opening ceremony was on 8-8-08.  It would be great to finish this one before the 2012 games open in London!

I put this away when I started working on my Mother's Garden quilt and other projects for the quilt show last November.  I have posted on this quilt before and you can find them by typing "olympic star" in the search box.

I have the quilting area you see on the upper left hand side, then binding and labeling.

I will reporting back on these projects.  Our deadline is set for mid-April.

Are you currently finishing last years (or the last 5 years) projects?  It seems every year we quilters try to finish our UFOs.  Why is it so much more fun to start them?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ding Dong

Barb calling--

I took a drive out to Pennsylvania on Wednesday to visit my blog buddies Sujata and Kelly at Sujata's lovely home.

It was their regular small bee meeting and I was lucky enough to meet the group and see some of their work.  What nice and incredibly talented ladies.  Thanks for making me so welcome!

I decided to make a little treat to bring.  This is a recipe from an Illinois quilter friend, Pat R. of the Piecemakers.

It is simply called Orange Toast.  Sorry I don't have a "beauty shot", but this is what they look like.

Orange Toast 

(I'm giving a 1/2 recipe as I find it's the one I use most, you can double it)

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 T. Orange Peel (you find it in the spice isle at the grocery)
1 loaf Pepperidge Farm Very Thin sliced bread.

Cream together ingredients and spread on bread.
Cut bread slices into thirds.
Place on cookie sheet (I lined with parchment)
Bake at 250 degrees for check at 1 hour.  Should be golden.

They are good with Tea, Milk, Coffee and oh yea, wine :)

Hooray, Hooray!!  I ordered 2 bolts of Moda Solids from Thimbleanna.  She is so speedy and nice to work with - thanks Anna!

My plan is to make a quilt for my daughter each year she attends Miami University.  How lucky am I that the school colors are red & white?  She wants to be surprised, so I can't post until she receives it in May -

Household problem - SOLVED

Every morning before walking coco, I would have to dig around those 2 baskets for the right scarf, gloves, hat, etc.

But then I thought about how I "file" my flip flops, and viola'!
So I bought a shoe caddy and now we can see all our winter accessories easily.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I'm hoping for snow.

Go Giants!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

this, that, the other (again)

Thank you all so much for positive comments and encouragement on my Jubilee quilt.  It means so much to have a cheering section!

Several people commented on my Eagle quilt so I thought I'd review this quilt that I finished in 2008.

It's called "Obama For President" but I had to change that to "Olympic Eagle" (to be non-political) for the Vermont Quilt Show.  It is, to this day, the only eagle quilt I know featuring black eagles.  I named the quilt just after he spoke at the democratic convention...

It's a pattern from "antique quilts and how to make them".
I started it during the opening ceremonies of the winter olympics in Turin, Italy.  Another commemorative quilt?  yep. I guess it's one of my thangs.

I put an Olympic ring in each of the beaks and one of his tallons.

Here is a photo of me at the Vermont Quilt Show, 2008.  It was awarded a blue ribbon - very exciting!

So, what am I up to?
A little (more) of this-

And some of these-

And finally, how fun is this?  Beth is having a pincushion parade!  My pincushion cup runneth over!  Thank you to all my friends who have contributed to this collection.

Have a fun week!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Jubilee Quilt!

I've decided to make a "Jubilee Quilt"" to celebrate turning 50 this year instead of the Hawaiian appliqué.

Here is the partially finished first of four blocks:

I was inspired by a quilt that I saw at the Newark Museum during a December visit with friends.  All three of us were inspired and are considering making a version of this beauty.

As you can see I've changed it a bit from the original antique quilt.  Instead of the mariners compass blocks, I'm doing a ring of berries.

I really like that there are only 2 fabrics.  The red reproduction print was given to me be my friend Jill who had it in her collection -thank you Jill!!  The other fabric is just a unbleached muslin.  I feel this gives it that good soft, aged look, not unlike myself ;)

I'm also changing it into a 4 block applique.  Here is a neat trick; make a color copy of the inspiration and cut or fold it into your size or version.  I also marked out the 4 blocks to get an idea of placements.

I designed the berry ring around an eventual hand quilted feathered wreath that I will be doing.  I don't think I've ever seen this done before, making design decisions based on the future quilting design.  It is a great way to ensure a good circle and enhance hand quilting.  I'm excited to see how it works.

To challenge myself, I've decided to stuff the berries.  I know I will love the look, but it is challenging.  I'm making the berries as I usually do, (click here to see my method) then stuffing them and sewing them to the pre-marked circle to ensure a good smooth circle when appliquéd.

The final choice:

And here is a photo of this same quilt that I found in my files.  I have no idea who did it or at what show I saw it.  Isn't it funny how we are repeatedly drawn to something?

Barbara Brackman just did an article one the Princess Feather on her blog here.  Ann Hermes also just blogged about this quilt and you can see that post here.  Isn't it funny how the quilt muse works.  I often find the coincidences amazing!

Amaryllis update:  After constructing some "Suess-icle" looking scaffolding, the Amaryllis is still going strong!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this project.  Your support means so much to me and often keeps me going on these long term projects.

I hope you have found a new and challenging project for 2012!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy 2012!

Just popping in to say Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a peaceful (and pieceful) holiday season.

I'm enjoying a bit of a blog break while my birds are in the nest.  I look forward to catching up with all my blog friends and seeing what you are all up to.

My latest quilt was for my son's best friend, John.  He was surprised and thrilled.

Based on the photo, the size fits him perfectly.

My pal, Mary, popped over on Christmas Eve for our traditional fruit cake snack and champagne toast.  It was so great to see her and catch up.

I was welcomed home from Illinois by my blooming amaryllis.  It's a beautiful pink!  Thank you E for the lovely gift, it was well worth the wait.

This morning there were even more blooms.  It is a double, which means I'll have 8 blossoms.  What a lovely way to start out the year.

So now I'm wondering when the elves will come and pack christmas away.....good thing there is still a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to help me with the job this weekend :)

I'm working on my new long term applique project (not the Hawaiian as planned) and look forward to sharing it in my next post.

Happy New Year Sewing to you all.