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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from the sunny south.

We are looking after a Jack Russell terrier for a few weeks.  She keeps us busy with walks.  After her walk, she has ball chasing time, racing after it around the house. 

I have finally finished a quilt.  The first in a long time.  I was "Queen" on my UFO list and had to finish so I could abdicate the throne without paying a penalty.  I made it just under wire.  This is from a swap of 6½" squares with my Wednesday group.  We swapped squares of fabrics that were from our stash and wondered 'why did I buy this?".  It finished at 58" x 70" and now I have a small stack of the light coloured squares left to get my final project done from this swap.  If you check out my post on May 27th, you can see a picture of my twister quilt which was the first project using these swap squares.

And, a week ago, I demonstrated my method of doing machine appliqué and this is the project finished.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Starting a few projects as weather cools.

The weather is cooling here in Arizona and tennis is slowing down over Christmas so I would like to get some projects started and some finished.

I am knitting a cowl... simple and close to being finished.  Would like it done while the weather is cool here.  We are looking after a Jack Russell terrier and early morning and evening walks are chilly.

I made some tea towels.  Well... I added some decorative fabric to some tea towels!  Finished.

Sadi, the Jack Russell we are looking after.  Sweet dog.

I made some more hidden wells or majestic mountain blocks.  I think another two sets and then it will be a good size for Quilts of Valour?
I taught a quick demo at the quilt group on Monday on how to do fusible applique so need to finish this up and will have a cute wallhanging.

Am in the midst of quilting this!  Need to just get it finished and bound!!

Some blocks that I started in the summer using some fat quarters that I have had for years.  The blocks are made, now I need to turn them into a quilt top and another good quilt for Quilts of Valour.

And there you have it.  Hopefully, the next post will show a finished quilt?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Always one step behind, trying to catch up

I did finally finish a project, just in time for Thanksgiving.  A table runner I started in early October.

Nothing else accomplished in my sewing room.  Sad state of affairs for me!

But, we do get to enjoy fabulous sunsets here in our winter home.

Myhouse is decorated for Christmas other than a few wallhangings that need to put up.  A few need hanging sleeves so I can use the neat hangers I bought.  Today I made Christmas cakes - a month late, but they are made and in the oven baking and kitchen is clean.  Smells wonderful!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting ready for U.S. Thanksgiving

We get to celebrate two Thanksgiving Days every year - does that mean we have twice as much to be thankful for?  I think and hope so!

I took time out today to play in my sewing room and managed to complete a couple of tea towels for Thanksgiving.  One for me and one for a hostess gift.

And my blocks are sewn, now trying to decide how to set them?  These are the 6½" squares that my Wednesday Diva group exchanged beginning in 2010, finishing up in 2011.  We chose fabrics that were in our stash that we no longer were in love with, cut squares (lots and lots of squares) and exchanged them for about 6 months? 

I showed one setting idea last post have since played with two other ideas.

I think this last one of x's and o's will win out as the preferred setting.  I still have another set to add the white corners to, the lighter squares, and will figure out how it will be set after they are sewn.  I am getting close to being Queen on my UFO group so need to get busy and get this put together and quilted and bound so I can have a 'finish'. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mid November

I made some steering wheel covers for our quilting group's table at the craft show this Saturday. 

I was given a bag with instructions and some covers all ready cut out and ready to sew.  I added in a couple of my own and still have more to stitch for the Spring craft show if these ones are a popular idea and get purchased.

We have been busy in our garden here in Arizona.  It seems funny to do fall planting of flowers but it is too hot here in the summer to have spring/summer flowers.

This is our bouganvilla shrub that we planted last spring and it was as high as the second row of bricks on the wall when we left in April so it grows quickly in the summer. 

We had planted another bouganvilla at the same time as the one above but it didn't survive the summer heat - probably not quite enough water or it was a sick plant.  Anyway, we have replaced it with another plant and have dug a trench to make sure it gets watered weekly on the automatic system.

Our pomegranate tree.  I had to google pomegranates to find out how to eat these things... very different but supposed to be very healthy for you.  You can see one of my planters with geraniums against the wall. 

More plants... I need to remember to water them daily!

And... finally... am sewing a little bit.  This is a hidden wells or majestic mountains quilt block.  The instructions are available for free from 3 Dudes Quilting and I made these to demonstrate to my Monday Quilt group.  Easy and simple way to use up strips of fabric.

I really need to work on my UFO... my name is getting close to the top of the list in my UFO group and so this has to be finished in order to move my name to the bottom and not owe a penalty. 

Cloudy here today so hopefully I can sew for an hour and accomplish something? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November in Mesa

Here I am, settled into my winter home.  My sewing machine has been serviced and I must say that I was really happy with Mulqueen's in Mesa - great service!  It is once again back on my sewing desk and I have been going through my various projects that I have here to work on.  First on the agenda is making some steering wheel covers for my quilting group's craft fair in a couple of weeks.  And, I have a fall table runner from early October that needs quilting.  It got layered today, ready for the next step. 
Pictures next time!  I promise!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No time for my machine.

I am sure my sewing machine is missing me but there is no time for me to sew.  Doing fall cleanup, putting things away and getting ready to switch homes for the winter months.

See you in a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

After Thanksgiving - a finished UFO and new projects

I need to catch up with ya'll.  My dh left on a hunting trip (moose) and so I had a week of running here and there.  I headed to Vancouver Island to visit with my family for a few days and met up with a cousin from N. Carolina while there.  Came home and worked in the garden for a couple of days since our weather is incredibly awesome for October.  Hard to get it ready for winter when everything is still blooming and growing beautifully. 

And I made an effort to finish up a few projects before we head south for the winter. 

Using the Quilts of Valour Stonehenge, O Canada fabric, I made a totebag.

And, I made a table runner.

The big project that I am really happy about is finishing a UFO that is about 3 years old.  It was a package of flannels that I made into a Yellow Brick Road - some from the defunct Quiltopia and some fabric from my stash.  Feels good to have this one finished and crossed off the UFO list!

And then I made a preemie quilt to donate to the Special care nursery in New Westminster.

This summer, a good friend Susan gave me some Eeyore fabric and I made my grand daughter a quilt for her 4th birthday. 
My friends came for a quilting day while hubby was looking for moose in the wilderness and this is the project that I taught them.  Mine still needs layering and quilting and binding but I think it might go to live in my 'other' house so will take it as is and finish it there.  Takes up less room in my suitcase this way.
And, last but not least, I have two quilt tops ready for quilting but won't worry about finishing them until next spring when we return from our other house.  Thus, they are destined to become UFO's but will be in that category for only a few months.  These were made because I demonstrated the ruler from Lazy Girl/Lazy Angle as well as a technique from Missouri Star Quilts at the last guild meeting as suggestions for ways to make quilts for donation using your scraps. 


Friday, September 28, 2012

Housecleaning is done

I have spent the last few days doing major housecleaning after finding signs of an uninvited houseguest with 4 legs.  My house needed a good cleaning as I discovered when I started moving things and finding debris from summer (dead flies and other yukkies).  And, I cleaned windows!  So, no sewing for me for most this past week and now I am working on getting hubby organized and ready for his hunting trip. 

However, before the cleaning spree began, I managed to get my star blocks put together but I think I need a small black outer border on this one. 

And I got my 10" bordered squares quilt put together, ready for quilting.

A couple of friends want to come and have a lesson (or two or three) next week while hubby is hunting so I played with this table runner idea. 

Now, off to the kitchen since I have had a request for home made bread for this hunting trip.  So, need to get out the breadmaker and see if I have any yeast on hand.  Clouds have definately rolled in this morning.  Rain predicted this afternoon so I may get some quality time with my sewing machine. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What's on my design wall

My design wall is busy.  First, I have been playing with the 6½" blocks that I collected from an 'ugly' fabric swap with my Wednesday quilting group.  Last fall, I made my Let's Twist quilt and figured out to create my own ruler since my squares were larger than 5" and didn't want to cut them all down. If you check out my blog from May 27, 2012, you will see the first quilt I made using the first half of the blocks.  We traded squares every week for months! 

And, I thought I would show you a picture of my latest 'gadget' that I am using to keep myself organized and on track.  A ridiculously expensive white board that is peel and stick and I absolutely love it. 

The blocks I have been working on for a couple of days are the scrappy strips, cut with the Lazy Angle ruler and then using some scrappy blacks for the side piece.  I have enough made for a perfect size for a Quilt of Valour and will get them sewn together this afternoon - AFTER I fill all my bobbins, dust and oil my machine and change the needle.  It is servicing time.  I do that after I have used 10 bobbins of thread and will fill those so I know next time it is ready for some TLC.

And last but not least, a girlie preemie quilt.  I had an email this week from Honour House asking me if I could provide two preemie quilts for twins born to a military family.  The twins were premature and are living in the special care nursery at Royal Columbian and mom and dad are staying at Honour House to be near their daughters.  My friend has a quilt that is girlie and I made a rail fence which needs to be quilted and bound in the next day or two. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting a few projects completed.

Placemats for my grandchildren are finished.

The project on my design wall is the same as one I just finished quilting and binding for Quilts of Valour.  I have another started - this is such a simple and easy quilt pattern thanks to Missouri Star Quilts. 

And two Hallowe'en pillowcases for my grandchildren are finished.

Fabricland has some great aboriginal fabrics in stock and I made a variety of pillowcases for my daughters and grandchildren for Christmas.  I don't think they read this blog so they won't know what is coming their way! 

Am close to getting a few other projects underway - keep watching!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

FabShop Hop

Abbotsford guild Quilts of Valour

I had some stacks of red maple leaves given to me, some fabrics, a stack of pillowcases and some quilts at the guild meeting on Tuesday.
Thank you to all who contributed to Quilts of Valour.  My cupboard is no longer empty!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Baker's dozen and two more finished quilts

I have made 13 blocks for the Hugs across the nation using Stonehenge, Oh Canada fabric.  Hopefully enough variety to motivate quilters in my guild to buy some fabric and make a few blocks.  Northcott is donating money from all fabric purchased in this line, to Quilts of Valour, so that is a good thing. 
There are two local shops carrying the fabric: Wineberries and Fabricana.  Wineberries had two full bolts last week of each fabric. 

I have a quilt finished and ready for show and tell at guild tomorrow.  This is one that used a block called "Mary's block" or Three triangles and a square and was a class I took way back in 1995 from Suzanne Tessier Hammond, based on her book, The Value of Value.   Thanks to Bonnie for quilting this top for me.

And one more quilt that I made using my Lazy Angle ruler.  A great way to use up some strips out of my scrap strip container.  And one more huge thanks to Bonnie for quilting this one as well.  Now I am ready for guild tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Two finished quilts

I have two finished quilts ready for show and tell at guild on Tuesday and to begin the process of replenishing my stash for Quilts of Valour. 

The first is a quilt that I have been making maple leaf blocks for over a year and also had some blocks given to me by a guild member.  This is the second quilt I have made using Marge's idea of the alternating hourglass block.  I had some hourglass blocks left from the last quilt I made so used them and added new ones. 

The other quilt I have finished is a current one that I played with this summer.  I saw an online video and watched and copied the ideas.  Was fast and easy to make but will be perfect, I think, for Quilts of Valour.  So two to add to my cupboard. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A little bit of cutting and stitching today.

Quilts of Valour Canada and Northcott Fabrics are promoting making quilt blocks with the theme Hugs across the Nation.  Only this line of fabric can be used and blocks need to be 8" finished so today I made a few with the fabric so that I can have a display at guild on Tuesday.  Too bad the fabric is so hard to find here locally but I managed to find a few of the bolts at Fabricana in Coquitlam on the weekend.

There is a fabulous moose fabric but it wasn't available and I might just have to order it online if I can't get the local quilt shops to carry this line of Stonehenge, Northcott, Oh Canada line? 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fishing, family and no quilting

We went on vacation for a week and I did a lot of reading a little bit of fishing while my hubby did quite a bit of fishing.  Not a lot of fish came home with us but we had a good time.  We saw Orcas, eagles, dolphins, cruise ships, and sea otters.  Sunsets were gorgeous and the boat we were guests on was comfortable and roomy. 

I had my grandchildren here for a few days and that is always a noisy adventure with lots of fun.  They got to choose their pumpkins and write their names on them.  Now they have to wait two months for Halloween!

And this afternoon, I introduced myself to my sewing machine and finished piecing a table runner.