Sunday, October 27, 2013

An October Quilt Challenge........

Finally, I completed a monthly quilt challenge with the on line small quilt group I belong to.  Now, I think I am only 4 monthly quilt challenges behind.  Someone in the group suggested she might complete the current challenge, then working backwards to catch up.  I liked her idea, and I completed our current challenge due for October.  Next, November challenge and September catch up!!

Our challenge for this month was to make a maple leaf small quilt/table runner/or whatever!   I really don't have enough things to display small quilts on, and   I always like to have a table cloth or runner on my kitchen table to "pretty" it up, so table runner it was.

This summer we had a couple of signature block swaps, totaling 100 blocks plus.  I was in both swaps, so my summer was pretty much spending a lot of time at my sewing machine to make the deadlines.  I was buying fabric for a couple of the past swaps, but never got to the cutting out part.  So, they are definitely on my UFO projects to get done before the end of the year.  Our on line group has decided to do a Secret Santa Swap, not to be left out of all the fun, I signed up for this also.  So, trying to get a couple of my UFO's done, SS swap, and lets throw in some secret sewing projects for family and friends...........I'm hoping for cold days to keep me inside wanting to sew?

But, back to my October small quilt challenge.  I am proud to say, I didn't have to buy any fabric for this project and found parts and pieces from my stash.  I don't have that large of a stash, but enough probably to keep me sewing quilts for a couple of years.:)  ..

Before I show you my completed October challenge...... let me explain that my least favorite sewing task is doing the binding on my quilts.  I don't know is just not that enjoyable for me.  Even though it doesn't take that long, it may be just the process of getting it on the quilt!

Now, I am embarrassed to admit this part, since I have been sewing long enough to know all the little quick time saving tricks.  Wrong!!!! For some reason, I would attach my strips one strip at a time, cut it from my machine, attach another strip, cut it from my machine......and so forth.  Well, dah,  another light bulb moment..........I just "string piece" my strips all at once now.   DAH, again.  I am sure most of you probably already do this, but, there may be a few like me out there that just need a light bulb moment every once in awhile.
Strips joined, marked and string pieced!

Now, just cut apart and trim to 1/4 inch where sewn.

Showing perfect joined binding to quilt top!

"Easy Peasy.".....

Now, I have been using a method of binding per the Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting book  for many, many years.  It  does comes out very well with their instructions, but, I always have to refresh my memory when it comes to this part, and  their diagrams & pictures of the closing binding is always a little confusing with all the twisting and turning it takes to do it.  Now, I use the method shown in Kathleen Tracey's small quilt books.  Her method is clear and the photos are easy to follow.  A big thank you to Kathy Tracey!!!!!

Drum Roll...................October's SQG.Challenge......."Dancing Maple Leaves on The Patio"

Not my best pictures.........odd angle to get a good picture.

Well, I am a happy camper right now.  Finally got a monthly challenge done, and one that I like a lot.

Now.....on to getting those UFO's done, one at a time!!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Light Bulb Moment!

Every once in a while, (which are coming more frequently as I grow older:), I have this "light bulb" go off in my brain.  This one was a real reality check.  To understand why this was a "what" moment for me, let me digress back "a few years".  LOL

My mom in no way was a craft lady, no sewing in any way.  She did have some artistic ability though, and could draw.  The only craft I think I remember her doing was making crape-paper flowers.  That was a big thing when I was a child.  What she did with them, I have no idea. So, where did I get my crafting, sewing genes?

I grew up in a very, very small country town.  In the days where you would let your 7 year old child wander the streets by themselves.........  I would head to my aunt & uncle's place a mile and a half away.  My uncle had been wounded in the war, WW I, so he wasn't very active, and for some reason, I really enjoyed his company.  We would just set and talk in our favorite place, the swing under the big maple tree in his front yard. We would have lunch, and every day at a certain time, he would head in and take his nap.  I would stay and play with the neighbor kids, in his yard.   Most of the time he sat in his favorite rocking chair, chewing his tobacco, and watching life outside his window.  It was my most favorite place to be.

Anyway, I digress again......  Now my aunt was the bread winner.  She and my mom did part time wall paper hanging at one point.  What else my aunt did, I do not remember.  She baked bread a couple times a week, because that was the only bread my uncle would eat.  I loved toasted homemade bread from the oven.  (Boy, I am betting the ones under 50 right now are thinking this lady writing this is really ancient?)  They did have chickens, not a farm, just chickens in their yard in town. LOL  Anyway, with chickens you bought chicken feed in "feed sacks".  Pretty feed sacks, which would become fabric for clothing.  I was the lucky one who would get outfits from these feed sacks.  Maybe, "lucky" isn't the word.  But I wore them.......they were made for me with love.  So, maybe I got my sewing gene from her?  Even though she wasn't the "blood relative".  My uncle was the blood relative, he was the brother of my great-grandmother.

Now, somewhere along the line I developed a skill for crocheting.  I was 7 when I learned to do this.  I would walk into town past this really nice "old" lady that used to set out on her front porch and crochet.  I remember her being about 90, or thinking she was, when I knew her. LOL  She made me a crocheted set of clothing for twin dolls, not more than 1 inch in size.   She made them attached together, and into a pin that I could wear!!  I still have them to this day, and I don't know how she did it.

So, back to my sewing abilities?  I can remember my aunt showing me a couple of times how to sew on her sewing machine.  I think at one point in time, I was using her treadle sewing machine.  Anyway, I am just thinking I never really sewed again until that dreadful course in Home EC class.  I didn't really learn anything much there, my teacher was big on making sure your pins were put perfectly in line in your seams.  My outfit was a "straight skirt and white Peter Pan collared shirt.  Can any of you identify with this?  LOL

From there over the years, I received a sewing machine in my early 20's, and I taught myself to sew.  I did some pretty fancy things.  When my girls were young, I made many outfits for them.  I really enjoyed sewing clothes, curtains, etc.

As a stay at home mom, but working from home in our business, I got into the wanting to learn how to quilt.  Now, I think this was sometime in the mid-late 80's......... see, I am old, but not quite ancient!!! (Even though some days, I sure feel like it:)  Those were the days of good talk morning TV shows.  A lot of crafting and sewing, and low and behold, they were talking about "quilting"?  So, I tried a few quilting classes, never completed anything.

We sold our business, children growing and graduating from school, it was time for me to get back into the work force.  Just to have something to do, and the money wasn't a bad thing either.  The best thing happened, I found a friend that was also wanting to learn to quilt, and we started taking classes.  Every once in a while, we still take a quilting class just for the enjoyment  (with my oldest daughter, she is a fantastic quilter).

Now the light bulb moment!!!!  It took a long time to get here, I hope you are still with me:)  The thing is, that you never stop learning, or is it, you sometimes can't see what is in front of your face?  So, I had this moment a couple of days ago.  I am in the process of working on a monthly quilt challenge for October, from our on line quilt group.  I needed to make triangles from a 2 3/8 inch square to make a maple leaf quilt block.  Now, the 1/8 inch cuts are doable, but time consuming for me.  I have many rulers, which I recently learned, that you shouldn't inter mix them in a project!!!!!!  I had to learn the hard way, their markings may be off.  Anyway, back to the ruler I have had and really never used much.  I'll say this in my defense of my "stupid moment".....  I cut out several squares to set up my string piecing, and for some reason, I needed another block of 2 3/8".  I am looking at this ruler, and what do you know?  there in plain sight, all nicely marked are all the 1/8 inch markings up and down the ruler.  DAH, cannot express that moment!!!  But I am the first one to laugh at myself, and not take me to seriously.  I just can't wait to see what other "light bulb" moments I am going to have.  Never to old to learn new things!!!!!!

Do you have any light bulb moments you would like to share?   I sure would like to read them.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Something Fun To Share

My friend, Char, and I attended a local guild's Quilt Show yesterday.  Lovely quilts!! All I can say is that there are many talented quilters out there making such beautiful quilts.   I just longingly look at them and think, how do they do this?

But, what I wanted to share with you is something that these ladies did............ and my husband wants one!!! This is not going to happen.

It had been raining, so I had to do my best to get some kind of pictures of this piece parked in their garage:)
Hope you enjoy this "out of the box" quilt LOL

Maybe you don't want to show these pictures to your significant others ..... they might also request one.

I'll keep my eyes open for some more "out of the box" quilts to share.  


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Not only is it really fall, but the Holidays are just around the corner.  I am not ready to deal with that one yet, so, I won't be making any type of list for awhile for holiday sewing. LOL

But, I do have to do some things that  have been on my list, because they sure didn't get done in September.

My daughter sent me the doll quilt I made for my granddaughter, Gennevieve, to fix.  For some reason, their sweat dog thought it was hers, and loved it a little to much.  It should be easy, or rather, fixable with a little thinking on her grandmothers' part.  I think I am going to come up with some totally different corner:)

Then, there is the quilt I made for my grandson, Andrew" (when he was 3 & now he is 4)  that I want to enter in an upcoming quilt show in November.  Everything has to be sent in by the end of this month.  Sounds like a lot of time, huh?  Me, I am a putter offer...  I need to send in the registration form, with a picture of the quilt, and the entry fee.  That shouldn't be to hard to accomplish in the next week.  Hopefully.  LOL  I have to make a 4 inch hanging sleeve for the show (which will be a removable one, so no fancy sewing there).   That may be the problem. I have already had this quilt for almost a month, nothing done on it.

I do know how to take a blurry picture, don't I?

The theme of the show is Reflections of Nature.  

We have to include a story behind the quilt for their booklets. (150 words or less).  Here is mine.

This quilt was made for my 3 yr. old grandson, Andrew, affectionately known as "Andrew Bear", and he was living in Tennessee.  At the time he wasn't thrilled at having his sisters play with his things; so when I saw these bears, and the fabric, NO GIRLS ALLOWED, it was a perfect fit!  So, hence the quilt name:  TENNESSEE BEARS ON THE RIVER.      I have bear paws for the corners!

Leave me an encouraging reply that you have faith in my ability to get this quilt done for the show. hahaha
I'm going to be checking to see if you have any helpful hints for the "putter offers"............