Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Secret Santa Gift

One of my favorite quilting groups always does a Secret Santa swap in December.  I always like to sign-up for this activity because it is fun to make 'quilty' Christmas things for friends and also fun to be surprised by a gift from your secret friend.  This year my dear friend, Angela, had my name and she made the most beautiful  Christmas pillow.

The snowflake was made by hand tatting and then hand stitched to the beautiful poinsettia background.  If you look closely you will see tiny beads catching the light.  To me, it is like they are dancing around the pillow.  I just love it!  Angela was also generous in giving me a cute little bubble bath and lip balm, too ~ both will go to good use this holiday season.

I hope all of you are enjoying a very Happy Holiday Season!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Having fun with Holiday Ornaments

I really love this time of year.  There's a fresh new excitement in the air as we get closer and closer to celebrating the holidays with family and friends.  Each year I like to find 2 or 3 holiday ornament patterns to decorate our Christmas tree as well as share with my family.  For me, it is as much fun making them as it is sharing them.

This year, I found a neat pattern for making Origami Stars.  There are many elaborate origami stars out there, but I decided that simple is better. 

I added little jingle bells to the top of each star for fun.

Then, I found a really cute pattern for crazy patch stocking ornaments in Jinny Beyer's Christmas book called Christmas with Jinny Beyer. 

This is an older book that I've had for years and not sure if it is available anymore.  It has a lot of neat ideas in it for holiday decorating from quilting to knitting as well as other cute ideas.  Jinny's crazy patch stocking ornament pattern is pretty small so I decided to enlarge mine by 25%.  This turned out to be a nice size.  And, a good size for adding Christmas goodies.  I also embellished mine with little holly leaf buttons. 

This weekend, I plan to put of our tree!


Until next time . . .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Deals!

I love this time of year as it kicks off the holiday season here in the USA.  Today is known as Cyber Monday and online stores across the nation are offering great deals.  In addition to my regular holiday shopping for family and friends, I always like to check out some of my favorite online quilt shops for deals . . . not that I really 'need' anything!

Here's one of the first things I found today at a great price at Shabby Fabrics:

It's a cute little table runner kit for only $35!!  The kit includes everything you need to make the table runner, including a blue Micron pen.  I know I have tons to do, but my fingers are just itching to start this!  You can get to Shabby Fabrics web site by clicking HERE

The next place that has amazing Cyber Monday deals is Quilt in a Day.  The sales there are too numerous to mention so click HERE to check them out for yourself.  One of the best deals they are offering are 45 mm rotary cutter blades starting as low as $1.60 USD ~ this would be a great time to stock up for the year.  There are other amazing deals and it is worth the time to check them out!  REMEMBER:  This sale is only good through today, November 26th.

I also wanted to share Judy Niemeyer's sale on her website.  She is offering some of her beautiful patterns for only $3.00 USD!!!  What a savings!  To check out the deals Judy is offering click HERE
This is just one of Judy's beautiful patterns on sale ~ there are many to choose from.

Lastly is the sale at the Fat Quarter Shop.  Now through November 29th, they are offering 25% off your entire order.  Click HERE to get the promotion code.

Please know that I have no affiliation with any of the above.  They are just shops that I have ordered from in the past and have always gotten good service ~ so . . . . I wanted to share that with you today.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dutch Treat

A few months ago I started working on a quilt from the book titled Dutch Treat by Judy Garden.  The name of the quilt is Deft Delft and is made from reverse or recessed applique blocks that finish at 4-inches.  Some of them are very challenging and some not so much, but all are very enjoyable to stitch.  Here are some of the blocks I've finished in the last few weeks:

Cherries was pretty simple and then there was Napa Valley, which was challenging for me.

Napa Valley

When I first looked at Sunny Day, I thought it would be very challenging but once I started stitching it, I found that it wasn't difficult at all and a fun block to stitch.  I loved doing the embroidery work : )

Sunny Day
Here are two blocks that I really enjoyed stitching, first is Violets . . .

and second is Dandelion.
I think stitching any kind of flower design is one of my favorite things to do : ) 
Both of these were very easy and fun to stitch.  I really enjoyed the design of Singleton.
I've saved my most favorite block for last, and it's called Wooden Shoe
Wooden Shoe
There are several reasons why this one is my favorite so far . . . it has flowers and embroidery but probably the most important reason is that it is a symbol of my heritage ~ Dutch.  As I stitch these pretty little designs I am reminded of the pretty blue and white dishes my grandmother had as well as many vases and knick knacks around her home.  This is comforting to me.  And, this quilt, when finished, will always be treasured for this very reason.
Until next time . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!!

It's Election Day here in the United States of America!  I am very patriotic.  I love America.  Today's election is a very important one as it will change the course of history.  I can't stress enough how important it is to have your voice heard, America.  It's a freedom that I cherish. 

Please make sure you vote so your voice can be heard!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Garden Party

Well, it's not a real garden party but rather the name of the pattern I chose for my quilt using the Willow fabric by Riley Blake that I recently purchased at The Quilted Garden in Edwardsville, IL.  See my blog post below for more details about how I found this pretty fabric.

There have been many times that I've come across a fabric collection and immediately knew I couldn't live without it.  After falling in love with Willow, I had to find a quilt pattern that would show off this pretty collection in the best way.  The pattern I chose is called Garden Party by Quilted Garden Designs.  The ower of my LQS in Edwardsville, IL, also designs patterns and there are always many to choose from.

Once I got my fabric home, I immediately started pre-washing so I could start cutting out the shapes I needed.  This week I finished the first block:

In the pattern, there is a machine applique flower pattern for the middle of each block and while I liked that pattern, I thought it would be more fun to make tiny dresden plates for the middle.  I ordered the shapes for a 4-inch finished square from Paper Pieces here in Illinois and once I got them proceeded to start making my tiny dresden plates.  They are a lot of fun to make and because they are so small, really don't take too long to do.

This pattern is very unique in that once you get all 20 blocks together, they create an entirely different design than what you are seeing in one block.  In the next weeks, I'll show you what happens when you put several of these blocks together.

A little off topic but something I want to share is the latest picture of my granddaughter, Hannah.  She is the sweetest little girl and always has a ready smile.

Her expression here shows the way I feel when I find the perfect fabric and especially when I get the first block done : )

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cornucopia of Thanks Blocks

Getting back to my Cornucopia of Thanks BOM, I finished 2 blocks this month ~ the assigned block plus another as I'm making my quilt king sized.

Circle of Friends
Marti Michell, Designer
Cornucopia of Thanks, Pattern by Jennifer Chiaverini
I thought I would work ahead on this one and get some of the cornerstones and sashings done.  I'm really loving working with this pretty fall fabric line.  It is called Bittersweet by Nancy Halvorsen.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Love of Fabric

It comes as no surprise that quilters love fabric.  And although I have a large stash, I'm always tempted by the new fabrics that are introduced each season.  The other day I went to The Quilted Garden which is my local quilt shop and one of my favorites.  There were a few things I needed for a project I'm currently working on and before entering the shop had a talk with myself that I would only buy what I needed for this project. 

Well . . . . you know how it goes . . . . even though you have the very best intentions, it is just so hard to resist many of the beautiful fabric collections, especially when shops like The Quilted Garden have a way of displaying them that make them so appealing!

As I was at the cutting table with the batiks I needed for my project, I was visiting with Marggy about quilty things and as she started cutting, I noticed a very pretty, cheery group of fabrics by Riley Blake.

This line is called Willow, and I just love the softness of the yellows with the gray and cream, and because I recently redecorated my bedroom in these colors, I just knew I had to find a quilt pattern and take enough of these fabrics home with me to make a quilt!

Of course, I couldn't leave without getting some coordinating charm packs of this fabric line, too!

Sooo pretty!

I left the shop with not only the batik fabric I needed for my project but also a new quilt pattern and enough of the above fabric to make the quilt, which I'm happy to say that I've already started to cut and sew.

The moral of this story is that no matter how much I tell myself that I should only get what I need, there will always be something out there that I know I can't live without.

This little cartoon pretty much sums up me in a quilt shop

And when my husband is with me, I know he is probably thinking this very same thing . . . but never says it out loud.  If he did, however, I'm sure my response would be the same as the lady's in the cartoon : )

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Special Blocks from Special Friends

I belong to a Yahoo quilt group with some of the most special ladies I have ever known.  This group is appropriately named Friendship Block Swap.  We do various block swaps throughout the year as well as activities like a Secret Santa gift exchange, etc.  It's a very enjoyable group to belong to for many reasons.

One of the main reasons is the genuine friendship these ladies generously give.  Keep in mind that not to many of us have ever met face-to-face; yet, for me, many of them are my most special friends.  Every year we have a Signature Block Swap that I usually participate in.  I signed up this year prior to finding out that I needed to have cervical spine surgery.  Not knowing then how long I would need to recuperate, I thought I would have time to sew my blocks.  Unfortunately, I was wrong about that and had to drop out of the swap.

Last week I got a package in the mail, and I couldn't figure out what it was.  Then, I opened it and to my surprise were all of these beautiful quilt blocks signed by the maker.  Together they make a striking quilt.

This is just one example of how kind and caring these ladies are.  Even though I couldn't participate in the swap, they made blocks for me anyway and surprised me with them.  When I opened the package and saw what they had made for me, it brought tears to my eyes.  It's such a great feeling to know that in a world where there is so much fighting and hatred, that there is also kindness.  I am very fortunate to have found this group of ladies and have made many special friendships.  I am blessed.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Applique Progress

As fall has begun here in the USA, I've been doing more and more hand applique.  Several months ago, I started Sue Garman's Sarah's Revival pattern and decided it was time to get back to it.  This week I finished block 3.

It felt good to be working on these blocks again.  I had forgotten how enjoyable it is to just sit down and stitch without having to stop to add another piece.  With these Sarah's Revival blocks, all of the prep work is done in the beginning so once you start stitching you can just keep going ~ it's just so much fun!

I'm also working on another 2 fabric applique quilt, Judy Garden's Dutch Treat.  We are doing these blocks in my Yahoo group, Applique Boutique, as a block-a-week activity.  Every Monday 2 blocks are assigned and are due by Sunday.  This is a good way to challenge us and keep us motivated to get our blocks done.  We are all enjoying stitching these little blocks.  Here are the two blocks I completed this week:


As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of Kim McLean's patterns.  Every once in awhile I can't help myself and have to check out Glorious Applique to see what's new in both Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Kim's patterns.  Even though it is not a new pattern, I am really drawn to Stars and Sprigs mainly because it is a mix of both piecing and applique.  Well, this past week I broke down and purchased the pattern and so far have finished 3 star blocks and 1 applique block:
I'm having fun coordinating Kaffe Fassett's beautiful fabrics for the stars and sprigs and while I probably should be working on others things right now in my sewing studio, I just can't resist making a star or two every day!
Until next time . . .