Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Friendship Blocks & Pin Basting

It's been awhile since my last post and that is primarily because I have been working a lot of very long hours. Sometimes work just interfers with fun - I have got to learn to manage my time better so that does not happen anymore. We did swap our March blocks this past week and here they are. Carol made the Square in a Square block with the fussy cut flower center. I grabbed it up real quick before Cheryl even got a chance to see it. Cheryl did the crazy patch block - and a very nice job she did. I do think she needs to finish it though with all the embellishments and embroidery, hmmm Cheryl want it back? Actually I think it is very pretty just as is. And then mine is the Snail's Trail in Spring colors. I was feeling right Springy when I put these together, but believe me, by the end of the week I had slipped back into gloomy winter. Nothing that a couple days off work and some R&R won't fix.

I did a little work on my French Braid - one of my PhD requirements. I have read and seen in pictures how many of you spread your quilts out on the floor to baste them together. That just makes my knees and back hurt to think about it. So I thought I would just show how I do mine.

The first step is to brew a pot of coffee. That is how I start off most of my quilting projects. I'll take a little hazelnut creamer in mine, please.

Then I layer my quilt sandwich on my cutting table making sure that I have the layers centered. Using binder clips I clip the quilt to the table, making sure that all wrinkles are smoothed out.

Then for my all time favorite tool to use in pin basting. I don't know what this little gadget is called, but it is a finger saver for sure. If you don't have one, you need to get yourself one. I think I found this one on a clearance table for $1. Didn't even know what it was for - just thought it interesting. Then I saw someone using hers, and bingo...I have loved it ever since.

I pin baste when I am going to machine quilt and thread baste when I will be hand quilting. I have often thought about contacting a long arm quilter and seeing if they would just baste a quilt together for me to do the quilting on it - have any of you ever done that? Just wondered if professional long arm quilters do that.

Soon I can show you how I set up my work space to quilt a monster quilt like this. For now, I am going to enjoy another cup of coffee and read some blogs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Elijah's Quilt - DONE!

This is a work of art.....a beauty to behold....and wonder in and of may ask, huh? You see, this is an EMPTY project box. Now in my sewing room, an empty project box means just one thing - I finished something, and by tonight I can assure you, there will be something else in that box. But for now - isn't it lovely?
And what did I finish?? Elijah's quilt! Now he will not receive it until I have a chance to show it off to my friends and my guild, but maybe someday I will let him have it and take a picture of him on it. For now, it is mine to cuddle with.

The pattern is by Quilt Soup and is called Smooth Sailing. These patterns are fun to do and include a soup recipe. In honor of completing the quilt, I made the soup, which is Navy Bean Soup. It called for Hamhocks, which my store did not have, so I just used some ham slices. Hubby made his famous cornbread, and it was GRRRRRReat!

And lest you think I am not working hard on my PhD, I completed the March Redwork block at 1:45am this morning. Ah, the sleepless hours
and time involved in earning a degree.
Hope you all have a lovely day. I plan to spend mine doing some more work in the yard and hopefully I will have some pictures to show you by tomorrow of my efforts out there.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

PhD Challenge

Hey y'all..I am working on my PhD. Working at a University, it is very important that I have a Ph.D. in order to advance in my position, but I am not sure this one will count. Our guild is sponsoring a program, through the efforts of Carol, a 2009 PHD Challenge. In this program, we select PHD (Projects Half Done) that were begun in 2008 or earlier that we will complete this year. Then, if we get them all done by November, we will be awarded our PhD at the guild meeting. We will also display our projects at the November meeting. The program began in February and you are allowed to pick up to 7 projects, but you can do less - just have to be realistic.

Well there is nothing realistic about me. Of course, I had to pick some projects that will take a bit of doing to complete, but hey it is a challenge, and I would love to have these done by November. So here is my list:

  1. Complete hand quilting on my Fall Wall Hanging . Remember this one? I did minimal machine quilting just so I could use it this past fall. So now I am removing the machine quilting which really looked bad, and handquilting it.
  2. Machine quilt my french braid quilt. This one is going on the bed in our bedroom and I have some beautiful fabric to make a dust ruffle for the bed as well. We also have to paint the room, make a window treatment and get one new piece of furniture. So, this project is more than just finishing the quilt.

  3. Complete a crazy quilt project that my sister-in-law is helping me with. I made the crazy quilt blocks and she did the embellishing. She did a great job, but I have never finished the quilt. We had a great class on crazy quilt this past week at guild meeting which got me to thinking about this project. Someone at the meeting brought a crazy quilt block she had stretched over a wooden frame and used as a wall hanging. I just loved it - so that is what I am going to do. No picture of this one yet - but keep on the lookout, its a beauty and maybe just the thing to hang in our new bedroom.
  4. Complete the Redwork BOM being sponsored by QBee Quilts. I have four more blocks to do the stitchery on, then need to complete the quilt. I am thinking of tying this quilt to give it a real traditional look. Whatever I decide, I have to get 'er done by November.

So that's my four goals. Not to worry, I almost have Elijah's quilt finished, but it doesn't count as I started it this year. I also have not forgotten my friendship quilt, my Be Attitudes and my Kscope that I have been showing you all pictures of - but these will be for next year's challenge!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Levi!


Today is Levi’s birthday – his 6th one!

Happy Birthday! 

Love you bunches,


Monday, March 16, 2009

All hands on deck....

Here is the final deck hand - or Swabbie he is called. I have the quilt top finished and in the process of quilting it now and hopefully can show you the finished quilt in a couple days.
For those interested, the pattern is by Quilt Soup and it is called Smooth Sailing, if you want to take a gander at what it looks like...or just wait and you can gander at mine all you want in a few days!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thank you, Joann!

Isn't she just lovely! I received this beautiful angel in the mail yesterday from Joann at Pieceful Afternoons.

I think she is just so pretty in pink and I am blessed to receive one of Joann's creations. Be sure to click on the picture and enlarge her so you can see the detail better.
Thank you again for a lovely surprise and gift of friendship.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Elijah's quilt - First Mate

Like this little fella? Its the first mate for Elijah's quilt. Fun to make and just makes me smile when I see him.

Its been a great weekend. I couldn't have chosen better weather if I picked it out myself. Did a little shopping at QBee quilts and picked up my next redwork block, which I hope to show soon.

Next one is the Captain....stayed tuned (please).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Starting a new project....

I know, I know...I need a new project about as much as dog needs kitty litter, but none the less, I have started one. This time it is Lynette Anderson's Noah's Ark BOM. I have watched many of you showing your sweet blocks on your blogs and envied them all, and wanted to join the fun, but resisted until.....Cathi came along and said "let's do it!" And of course, being the strong, determined person I am...I said "OK!" So we have formed a group of Cathi, Cheryl, Carol and me to work on this together. So far we have had two meetings and this is what I have accomplished:
Picked out my fabrics.....

And my threads....

And my project box - got a deal on this one, $3.99 at Tuesday Morning - one of my favorite stores.

Got Organized...this box is so cool. One side has compartments and the other side has none and is just perfect for holding the pattern and hoop.

And yes...I made a block! This is block #1 - Rabbits. The stitchery block is only 2.5" square - probably the tiniest embroidery block I have ever worked on. I oversized the sashing strips so that I can trim the block down to size later.

Thanks Lynette for a great project and for sharing you wonderful talent with us!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!!!

I just love snow days. We don't get that many of them in South Carolina and today was really fun. This was the view outside my sewing room window this morning and I am so glad I got a picture, because by 2:30 this afternoon this was just about all gone. Gotta love snow in South Carolina. I got the day off work and spent most of it working on Elijah's quilt. I finished the first two appliques - the two sailboats. Hope you have all had a good day!