Monday, December 30, 2013

Slow Stitch Monday

I've been sitting on the bed putting a few slow stitches into Easy Street. Yes, it lives on the bed and is in use but has not quite gotten all the binding sewn down. Hopefully over the next few days I can remedy that. See the cool binding clips I got for Christmas?

The rose is for all those up in the north with all the snow. This is a rose in bloom out front right now. I guess I didn't kill all the bushes when I hacked them all back in November. =)

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts to see some other slow stitching.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Quilting recap for 2013.

I decided to do a recap post of what I have finished this year. I know I have worked on a bunch of other things that are just in the block stage including the grandmothers choice blocks, the midget blocks, orange peels have been sewn into X and O blocks... so maybe those will be in the show next December as completed. For now, enjoy the mini quilt show of completed things this year.

Baby Quilt for Jordan - Irish chain. Aidan's PreK teachers baby girl born last January. She is walking now and getting into all kinds of mischief.

Aidan's Twinkle stars quilt - on his bed.

Easy Street -  On my bed and no, I still have not completed hand stitching the binding down. Maybe over the next week I'll work on that.

Pink Scrappy X - Gifted to Aidan's PreK Teacher Ms. Dawn.

Log Cabin Quilt - scrappy.

Pineapple Blossom Quilt -  Gifted to Ms. Tammy at the PreSchool.

9 patch and hourglass - Gifted to Ms. Tori Aidan's PreK teacher (and Emmy's this year too!)

Bricks and Cornerstones -  Given to my nephew Charlie.

Kaleidoscope - Graduation quilt for my niece Jillian.

Nabby's Dowry - sew along. My quilt from leftover HST's from a quilt a couple of years ago.

Boo Quilt. Made from cookie cutters and started last September 2012 when my Mom was down. Finally finished this year.

Strawberry pinwheels. Leftovers made into a little blanket for Emily's cow Strawberry. Hand quilted stars in the open blocks.

64 patch star given as a Christmas/birthday gift to Papa Andy. Made this year with the RSC Challenge.

 Checkerboard quilt - made last year with the RSC Challenge. Handy to have for a quick gift if needed for a baby to come.

Coin Quilt. Will be a baby gift in February.

Firecracker quilt - QOV gifted to a grandson of Papa Andy who was injured in Afghanistan this summer.

Apple Quilt - started in September with hand applique of the apples (from a coloring page). Hand quilted and finished today! Emily's feet are in the photo - she had to see what Mommy was doing.

 I guess those little bits of time sure do add up in the sewing room! Hoping that I am as successful next year in getting a few quilts completed and a bunch of new ones started.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A slow 'take it easy' day .....

I think today is going to be a slow and easy day around here. Presents are not wrapped, cards are not sent but... I think I have purchased everything I need except for food. I had a quick run to a Walgreens yesterday while at work to grab some water bottles for the work fridge and got the last few things for the kids. Guess I will have to brave the grocery store at some point today to get some food into the house. Never good when your frozen veggies are down to cauliflower and brussel sprouts and the kids don't like either of them! Christmas day will be just lots of snacks and appetizers at our house this year. Nice and easy. I'm thinking grape jelly and chili sauce meatballs, fried ravioli, salami roll ups, a cheese ball, veggie platter and maybe an artichoke dip or crab cakes. Maybe some shrimp will find a way to the house too. Prime Rib for New Years.... I can't wait. =)

Emily came down with a high fever on Thursday and was home the last two days of school. She curled up on the couch on Friday afternoon and took a 2 hour nap! I guess it was 'cozy'.

Daddy was taking the kids to Grandma's yesterday and made it about 12 minutes of the 45 minute ride before Aidan threw up. They turned around and got him home with a fever and whatever Emmy had on Thursday/Friday. He seems better today and is watching Finding Nemo in the living room. Emily is watching Tom and Jerry in the play room. Daddy is in our room napping... after he said he is starting to feel off. I had a little lay down earlier today but some Advil seems to be working just fine for me right now.

I put the last hand quilting stitches into the apple quilt on Friday night. I just need to trim it up and add the binding. I should be able to do that at some point today so I can work on the binding tonight. A few stitches need to be taken to fix a couple of the apples where the applique stitches are coming up - must not have done a good knot on the end. =(. It has been so fun working on this I am going to be so sad to have it end. It is so relaxing to take a few stitches here and there and just slow down and think during the day. Good thing I have one waiting in the wings all ready to start!
Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see some other great hand stitching projects.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Top - Snails Tail

I have to thank Nancy O. from up in Vermont for the inspiration on this one. She submitted a colorful snails tail quilt to the quilt show a few years ago and I knew someday I would make one. This year it was a great time to make a couple blocks each month with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I added another two blocks for an even 24 blocks and now have a nice 4x6 setting for a wonderful quilt top that measures 48x72 inches. A perfect throw size as is. I think this just needs some nice quilting of swirly loops and a scrappy binding to finish it off. I got the pattern here.

Head on over to SoScrappy on Saturday and see what other wonderful quilts are being finished off in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mid Week.....

I finished the binding on the coin quilt late on Sunday evening. So nice to have another completed quilt this year.

I've been busy cutting lots of little squares from my scraps. It does not look like much but there are 12 piles of 60 squares each so far. Yes, that is 720 squares. Only 480 squares left to go. Now the decision - I was thinking of doing a blue, green with a little splash of brown for my colors. I have the 40 blue and 20 brown's cut out already. I was thinking of 40 greens to make a nice 'nature' color scheme but ...... maybe I'll just stick with blue and brown? What do you think? These will become 12 - 100 squares blocks to go into a quilt I am pattern testing. So far the directions are wonderful and I can't wait to start the paper pieced borders soon.

The normal last week of school craziness is upon us. Both kids had their Polar Express experience at school this week. I worked at Emily's yesterday and ended up as the photographer and got lots of pictures of kids sitting on Santa'a lap. I just finished putting all the pictures onto a flash drive for the school this morning. Then she had a party at her speech session for round two of cookies and goodies yesterday. It was McTeacher night at a local McDonalds so we headed there for dinner last night and Aidan's teacher took our order. It was so fun seeing the different kids from Aidan's class there with their families. Their reaction when they see each other outside of school is so cute. Emily also got to see one from her school there as well so no one was left out. Our major incident for the night was Aidan picked up his meal and put it with his toy into the box and then threw it out.... before he opened the toy. I would not let him go into the trash can to get it. After quite a bit of crying and whining I caved and did a drive through at another one and just got him the ninja turtle toy. I should have just got another meal... it would have been about the same price!
Today is Aidan's party and gift exchange at school. Emily has speech this afternoon and then I have a whole week of HIPPY lessons to do with her today. Yikes. Another busy day at our house. While my floors are drying, I think I'll head to the local quilt shop and pick up my 'stocking' for Christmas before I get Emily. They did a stuff your stocking and I decided to participate this year. I can't wait to open it on Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A quilted Coin top..... ready for slow stitching.

I had a wonderful 3 hours in the sewing room today with my machine. Oh how I missed it!
I have my snail trail blocks sewn into rows. Maybe later tonight I'll sneak back in there and sew the rows together to make a top.
Then I threw the walking foot on the machine and did some straight lines on the coin quilt. Swapped to the open toe foot and made some fun swirly circles in the big open white spaces on this quilt and in the border.

I cut some fabrics that I used in the quilt to make the binding (I knew there was a reason I didn't put those fabrics away!) and got that sewn down to the top of the quilt. That leaves me with some nice binding to sew down this evening after the kids are in bed. I even remembered to make an 8x8 square that I folded in half and placed in the corner for a label while sewing down the binding.
It feels so good to have the energy to sew again.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other slow stitching projects are being worked on today.

Friday, December 13, 2013


I got a nice knock on the door yesterday morning while the HIPPY instructor was working with me and I got handed this nice vase of flowers. They just made me smile. Thanks so much to my parents and siblings and spouses for such a nice surprise.

This is where our Elf 'Chilly' landed this morning after coming back from the North Pole last night. I do wonder what those elves are doing in the middle of the night for such a crazy landing!

Mom - the house was a very chilly 67 this morning. It seems I forgot to turn the ac to heat last night when the outside temps got down into the 40's! Oops! It made for great sleeping though.

I have been thinking of sewing this week but have not managed to do much yet. I did a couple of peels yesterday while waiting in the kid pick up line at school. I also added another two strands of hand quilting thread into the apple quilt. A little progress is better than nothing at all! I have been doing lots of thinking of another project that I am working on this month. I am testing a pattern and have planned out my 'color scheme' for that. Blue, green and a touch of browns. I can't wait to start cutting some very tiny 1.5 inch squares for that project. Now to go save off clue 3 for the Celtic Solstice mystery so I can get back into that in January.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Tuesday update

I figured it was time for a midget update. I have all the papers off the back of the blocks and just need to  make a few fixes where the fabric was not quite big enough and pulled apart a bit when I tore the papers off the back. I still need to trim down the applique blocks to the proper size too but progress is being made. I did pick out this pretty blue print as my sashing print. Now the decision to make it a straight setting or go wonky and see if that helps 'hide' the different size blocks. Time will tell.

It has been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. I've been to way too many doctor appointments and spent much too much time laying down in bed. Last Thursday evening I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. WebMD has a good write up on it here.  The pain in the ear started on November 30th and progressed a bit each day until Thursday afternoon when I got the nice eye lid not closing and a slight droop on the left side of my mouth. The kids and Greg have been great and my MIL has been a great help coming over and watching the kids so we could do the Quick Care Thursday evening and then picking up kids and entertaining them yesterday afternoon for me while I was at the doctors again. I had to add another medication for nausea to the mix of things I get to take for a few weeks. So far today it seems to be helping. Much better than tossing your cookies in your daughters classroom bathroom when you drop her off to school like yesterday. She was a trooper when I picked her up yesterday. Keep in mind she is 4 years old. She told me to get in bed and pulled back the covers. Went and got her stuffed animals she sleeps with and tucked me in with them - buddy the dog, strawberry the cow and Minnie Mouse. Sang me a song and then read me a book and told me to sleep. Turned out the light and closed the door. It was too cute. Then she was 'picking up' the house. She decided to sweep and pick up the kids bathroom and sweep the kitchen floor for me. Since my eye gets tired easily I will take it easy and do as little as possible until I am feeling better. TV, Computer and reading all seem to bother it after a little bit so that really takes the fun out of things. I was only able to do about 30 minutes in the sewing room on Sunday afternoon before I needed to take a rest. I did get clue one of the Celtic Solstice mystery completed. I am just going to save off the rest of the clues and hopefully can start in again in a couple of weeks. I also sewed two rows of the snails trail together and then had to call it a day. Maybe I can try 10 minutes a day and see if I can make some progress somewhere on something. Hopefully after the 10 days of meds I will feel better and be able to get back in there and sew away.
If you read this far - thanks for sticking with me. I'll check in when I can and hopefully will be back to sewing up a storm very soon. =).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Celtic Solstice progress....

I finally managed to get all my parts cut out yesterday afternoon. That left this morning to start sewing them together. I have 15 of each finished at this point with more on the machine to go. I decided to go with Bonnie's colors this year so my units are orange and neutral with blue points. Head on over to Quiltville and check out the other progress on step 1. I should have all 188 of mine all finished before the next clue is released on friday. So far I am loving this and have a new ruler to play with and I love how it makes these units. It will come in handy when I make the Tennessee Waltz quilt sometime in the next few months.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday....

Today was our Thanksgiving meal with my father in law. The turkey and all the fixings came out great. My mother in law and her brother Charlie, who is down from Ohio for a few days, came over for some apple pie  and pumpkin moose (as Aidan calls it) this afternoon and to visit. A nice time was had by all and I think the kids did a great job of entertaining everyone. Aidan made a Christmas present for Uncle Charlie - a paper airplane which he wrapped up in a Christmas bag with a name tag and a bow. He was talked into letting him open it today and some paper airplane flying in the living room did happen.

Now it is time to sit and relax for a bit with my apple quilt.

Shrek is on tv and everyone will have a quiet evening I hope. The kids go back to school tomorrow and Greg goes back to work. It has been wonderful having everyone home since Wednesday...... but it will be very nice at 8:05 tomorrow morning when the house is peaceful. I have plans to go into my sewing room and sew on something. It may be the mystery, it may be quilting the coin quilt. I'll see what mood I am in tomorrow. Tuesday will be work - month end needs to get done but I will put it off for one day and enjoy some sewing time.
Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other slow stitching people are relaxing with today.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rainbow Scrap Challenge...

I have been working on these applique orange peels all year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The pattern is from 'Remembering Adelia' by Kathleen Tracy.  I have had so much fun making them that I think I will continue on with a rainbow scrappy peel border for this little quilt during the month of December.  A few months ago I decided to start putting four of them together into X and O's.... for my Kisses and Hugs quilt. Now to make it a wee bit bigger I think I am going to surround each X and O with a colorful little border to give me a bigger block and a bigger quilt.

I have two more moss greens to finish for that last block. I have this picture so I remember that it needs to be an X!

This has been such a fun thing to work on this year that I am going to be sad to see it finish. I do have another hand work project lined up for next year's challenge (Hexie time) so hopefully the excitement of that one will help things along.

It has been a busy day at our house again. I was awakened by the kids searching for their Elf on the Shelf named Chilly around 6:45 this morning. He returned and was on the top of the cutout between the kitchen and the dining room overlooking the Christmas tree in the front room (reading room Mom). Since I was up I decided to make a baked french toast with the leftover french loaf from Thursday. Then it was running errands and I'm sorry to say I was one of those people talking on the phone while shopping in Bells this morning. I had to call Mom and check on a size for something =). Then to Public's to get a few things for our Thanksgiving tomorrow. Giblets have been cooked off, apple pie has been baked, Knor spinach dip has been made, laundry is ready for folding and after this post is done.... I get to sweep and then mop floors and then vacuum, clean bathrooms and pick up the rest of the mess from the Christmas decorating yesterday. Greg is in charge of dinner tonight - fried ravioli - lobster and cheese. Yummy! I am going to really miss when vacation is over - I forgot how good a cook he is. It has been so nice to have the kids tagging after him and being where ever Daddy is.

Head on over to SoScrappy and see what the other Rainbow Scrap Challenge participants have been working on. Lots of pretty blocks and inspiration so be prepared to be adding things to your 'must do' list for next year.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Finish

I finished the binding on the 64 patch star quilt last night with two cats laying on the quilt as I was watching the Harry Potter movie on TV. They did not like when I had to tug the quilt to get to the parts I needed to finish but it all worked out with a completed quilt last night around 10PM.
This is Sophie this morning enjoying the snugly flannel backing while Greg is making waffles with the kids. Yes Mom, we do use our waffle iron occasionally!

Yesterday he made a pan of lasagna with a little help from the kids. I am really enjoying having him home the last couple of days all day long.

He is ready to go into work tomorrow..... but is not scheduled to go in until Monday!

We also had someone arrive this morning from the North Pole. Our  Elf on the Shelf arrived back to our house this morning. Emily was the first to find him hiding up in the popcorn cups above the cabinets in the kitchen. Since they were not very inventive with a name last year (Mr. Elf), they decided to rename him Chilly this morning. I think our Elf approved. Hopefully he will help us have some better behaved children over the next month as he fly's back to report to Santa each night. Now to remember to move the little guy around each night after kids are in bed. I remember a few times waking at 3AM and having to do some quick arrangement of things before the kids woke up and started the search for him in the morning last year.
As for me..... I plan to start on the first part of the Celtic Solstice mystery today in between continuing the Christmas decorating of the house. If I get a couple of hours... I did pin my coin quilt yesterday and hope to try some free hand circles while quilting that at some point this weekend.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wishing all those in the USA a very Happy Thanksgiving and those elsewhere a very Happy Thursday!

We will have a 'quiet' day at home (as quiet as you can get with two very chatty children who don't understand inside voices when they are excited) with a nice lasagna dinner prepared by my hubby. We will do our Thanksgiving feast on Sunday with my father in law and hopefully my mother in law and her hubby and brother will come over after for dessert.

As for me - I plan to make a couple loaves of french bread to go with the lasagna and then pin a quilt for quilting today. The kids are busy in the play room making construction paper garland for the Christmas tree.... which will get decorated today. We decided on a real tree this year and picked it up yesterday and it is in the living room. The first thing they both did this morning was check on the Christmas tree. We will also set up the artificial one in the front room. I fear it it going to be a long 4 weeks until Christmas with two very excited children.

As Kathy said today... one more sleep until the Quiltville Bonnie Hunter mystery starts. I can't wait...... Are you joining in?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Challenge completed!

I had issued a challenge to Kathy to get her quilt quilted and the binding on for a slow stitching binding post for this Sunday. I'm happy to say that I was able to get my quilt quilted on Friday afternoon. I worked today (Saturday) and then when I got home went out to eat for a date with hubby and then picked up one kid from Grandma's. We got home around 9PM and got Aidan to bed. Off to the sewing room for me. I didn't have a chance to hit Joann's for some fabric for binding after work since I knew we were going out to eat. I did a dive into the basket of fabrics where I knew I had tossed the trimmings from the last quilt backing. I had enough of this brown to make the binding, pressed it and then threw the walking foot on the machine and got it sewn down to the top of the quilt. Woo Hoo! I did it! 10PM finish.

For our cold snap tomorrow (highs in the low 60's - after being in the 80's today) I will have a nice quilt to snuggle under while I hand stitch the binding to the back. I'm sure a cat or two will be snuggling on this quilt with me. Sophie is already testing it out.

I did a free motion meander on the stars of the quilt. The outer border I did a loop and star as you can see here. 

I had only two issues with thread the whole time I quilted it. Not sure if it was the thread combo or the really soft flannel on the back but I am ready to pin another quilt and tackle it Sunday if I have time after getting some hedges trimmed and some carpets cleaned in the house.

Head on over to The Rainbow Scrap Challenge and see what other brown projects were worked on and then check out Slow Stitching Sunday for some great hand work in progress. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Challenge issued and a finish!

I got two quilts pinned last week and then the flu bug hit and nothing got worked on. This week I was able to run some machine and hand stitches in this little Halloween quilt and am going to call this one done for now.

I may add that spiderweb next year when I pull it out still.... and maybe some stitches outlining the Boo. I really liked how the stitches look around the ghost.

As for the challenge..... I seem to have issued one to Kathy to get a quilt quilted so that binding would be the slow stitching Sunday post. I really should have thought of this better since I kept a girl home from school Thursday - which was my 2 hours planned to quilt. Oh well, maybe I can meet this challenge - I didn't say when on Sunday I had to do my post =).  Hehehe....
This is the 64 patch blocks I was making this year in the RSC challenge. I added some big flying geese to make them into star blocks and then added a green border to get it a little big bigger. It is around 58x74 right now.

The cats are going to be disappointed. I have had this quilt back side out on the floor in the quilting room. The soft flannel is a hit with the cats- they keep going in there and sleeping on it! This is one of the 2.99 a yard flannels I got from my shopping spree. There are leftovers so I can see a green and blue dot rag quilt in my future. Another type of quilt I have never made but am going to give it a try.

The plan - to get this star quilt quilted and a binding made and  attached to the top by the end of the weekend. Think I can do it? I have doctor appointments Friday morning (normal yearly things) and then I am working on Saturday. I feel like the little engine that could... I think I can, I think I can.....

Patch Pals Collection....

I was wandering through the web and ran into this cute doggie pattern. Turn's out there are tons of cute little animals that make up into very cute baby quilts or wall hangings. I found it on amazon and since I had to order new batteries for the house phones, it just popped into the cart. It got delivered yesterday and I love looking through it. I can see this used in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge next year by color. Could grey and black come sooner than later so that elephant and penguin can get made? Emily already wants the dog. Aidan has not seen it yet, but I'm sure he will request one.

The title is Patch Pals Collection - Best of Quiltmaker.
Here is the cover.

The back with all the projects in it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sow Along Blocks.......

Way back last year I had started a sow along over at Randy's blog. I made 15 of the blocks and then they stayed in their part of the drawer with the three fabrics I was using. I figured I needed something 'easy' to do and was not feeling the applique blocks that are intimidating me still on the century quilt.
Since brown is one of the colors for this block and brown is the rainbow scrap color this month I decided to make some progress on these over the next little bit. I think these will be my Tiny Tuesday posts through the end of the year - they do finish at 6 inches.

This is the scrappy star block I added to them today.

All of my blocks so far.

Off to the doctors today so I'll grab my little baggie of orange peels and head out. Next Wednesday - my goal is to have that applique block for the century quilt done. We'll see how I do with that goal.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekend Post....

Wow, second week in a row that I missed a RSC Saturday post.
I did a little sewing on the FNSI - got two more of the peels made into my X and O block for the brown RSC challenge.

I also needed two more blocks for the snails trail blocks I have been working on all year for the RSC challenge. I went with a bright pink and a yellow block.

Earlier in the day on Friday I did get one of my quilts pinned and a backing created for a little Boo wall hanging and that got pinned for quilting too. I guess I did get a bunch done on Friday until the stomach bug hit at about 11PM. Today I am feeling better but plan to take it easy (as easy as you can with a 5 and 4 year old running around the house wanting help with things). The most I will do today is maybe some slow stitching on my apple quilt. I am making some progress... who know's maybe I'll turn another corner today!

For more inspiration - head over to SoScrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, Kathy's Quilts for Slow stitching Sunday and FNSI.