Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Lights

I finished my Christmas Lights quilt, a Bonnie Hunter Mystery, that was published in 3 issues of Quiltmaker magazine.  It's a beautiful, colorful quilt.  I used a different setting than the one that Bonnie published.  Another quilter on line suggested several alternative settings and I chose to use one of hers.. I still need to quilt it.  I have never done any hand quilting, but my husband and I are going to be wintering in Fairhope, Alabama, and I won't have my sewing machine, so I might use this as my first hand quilting project.
Have you ever participated in a Virtual Quilt Show?  Want to see what's involved and how to participate?  Visit this website and join in the fun:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Christmas Lights Mystery Blocks

I have been working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt "Christmas Lights" that was published in the last 3 issues of Quiltmaker magazine. All of the blocks have been finished for several weeks. I have been mulling over the setting for my quilt. The Cozy Quilter has provided several interesting settings for these blocks. I'm sure I will use one of these settings. I really like both settings 2 and 3, but I'm still debating which setting to use. Check back here in a few days, and I should have a picture of my quilt in its final setting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Carolina Crossroads

This afternoon I finished piecing my Carolina Crossroads quilt which is a pattern designed by Bonnie Hunter and is found in her book, Scraps and Shirttails.
The quilt top is made from 100% cotton shirts which I have found at thrift shops, rummage sales, garage sales, etc. It's a great way to make something useful without having to spend a lot of money on fabric.
There are over 2700 pieces in my quilt which measures 77" square. It was a fun quilt to make. Now I will have to wait until I visit my sister in Wisconsin, so I can quilt it on her long-arm machine.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Park City Girl is having a virtual Quilt Festival which is a lot of fun. Bloggers from across the world are posting pics of their favorite quilts for all of us to view and appreciate.
The Park City Girl, Amy, who's blog is here is hosting an online quilt show for those of us who can't get to Houston this week. Actually, she's hosting it for those who can get there too! It's not a competition. What you do is choose one of your quilts and show it and tell its story on your blog, put a link on her blog and that's all. Then you can follow all the links for an amazing on-line quilt show. Oh yes, and there are prizes too, which I think are won in a draw.

My favorite quilt of the year is Jacob's Train quilt that I made in May for my newest grandson, Jacob Scott. Since he is now enjoying the quilt, I don't have it to take more pictures. The quilt was made from a kit by Fons and Porter. It took 5 months to get the kit because it was on backorder month after month. I had almost given up on getting it when I finally received an email message telling me it had been sent. In the long run, it was worth waiting for!
I used machine applique to put the train pieces together, and there were lots of little pieces on each train car. The smoke coming from the engine stacks is small rickrack and the train tracks are a larger rickrack. I wish I had taken some close up photos of the individual train cars for you to see. Oh, well... I think if you click on the picture, it will open in a larger size so the details can be easily seen.
Now click on the bloggers quilt festival button in my sidebar and visit other blogs that are showing their quilts.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thrift Shop Shirts

It has been quite some time since I've posted anything on my quilting blog. That is because Steve and I have been on a 6 week trip to Oregon. While we were traveling, I didn't have my sewing machine; therefore, I didn't get any quilting done. However, I did visit thrift shops while in the Portland area. Goodwill had such high prices I didn't buy any shirts, but I did find several large pieces of fabric for 99 cents each. I quickly bought those.
I hit the jackpot at Value Village where everything with a purple tag was on sale for 99 cents that day. I found 9 very nice cotton shirts. The best thing about shopping in Oregon is there is no sales tax. So, my 9 shirts cost me $8.91. The total full price would have been $57, so I feel very good about having gotten a real bargain.
I didn't just shop thrift stores while in Portland. I also shopped at 2 wonderful fabric stores. Both of them are huge! The Mill End Store in Beaverton was great. I was able to match several fat quarters for a table topper that I intend to make. I found some great black print background fabric, too. The other fabric store was Fabric Depot in NE Portland. That is the biggest fabric store I've ever seen! It is several acres of fabric and notions. They were having a big clearance sale outside while I was there, and, of course, I found some great bargains on backing fabric. I love to find quality fabric at low prices when I'm looking for backings. Don't you?

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Year's Mystery Quilt

I made my first mystery quilt in the early days of the new year. This mystery was designed by Ann Smith over at the Yahoo group Fabricaholicsanonymous. It was a fun project to make. The blocks could be arranged in a variety of patterns. After playing with several different settings, I decided on this one. I really like it!
To add to the fun of this project, I took it along to my sister's house a couple of weeks ago and had my first experience of using her longarm quilting system. I quilted the entire 76"X76" quilt in about 3 hours using a meandering pattern. It sure was a lot of fun and very rewarding to finish in such a short period of time. I love doing the piecing for quilts, but am less enthusiastic about the quilting of them. Quilting a large quilt on my shortarm Elna is arduous for me.
Today I will finish sewing on the binding and the quilt will be ready to give to my mother-in-law for her 93rd birthday in August.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quilted Purse

This morning I went to the quilt discussion group meeting at our local public library. It was an enjoyable time. Everyone brought something to show and talk about - either a work in progress or a completed project or a favorite quilt book.
One of the ladies had a quilted purse that I admired. I knew that I had a purse pattern which I bought about a month ago and hadn't started, yet.
Our discussions also included talk about invisible thread. Since I have never used it in a machine quilting project, I decided to try it this afternoon on a quilted purse.
Here is a picture of one of the purse panels that I quilted onto cotton batting. I really like the quilted effect that is given by the invisible thread without the thread showing. Since there is a variation of dark, medium and light fabric, the invisible thread was perfect for this project.
I have probably already mentioned on this blog that I do not have a digital camera, so I often use my scanner to take pictures of sections of my projects. One of these days, I'll get a digital camera so I can take proper pics of works in progress.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jacob's Train Quilt

Back in December our son and daughter-in-law told us to expect a new grandson in early May. I immediately found this Fons and Porter quilt pattern and ordered the kit. In January, I received an email message saying the kit was back-ordered. In February, March, and April, I received the same message. I was getting frustrated with waiting, but I really wanted those fabrics for this quilt. Well, on the night that my daughter-in-law went into the hospital to deliver Jacob, I received the email message saying that the kit had been sent. While I would have liked to have finished the quilt before Jacob's birth, I did finish it in time for his baptism. Tracy thought it was worth waiting for, since it came out so beautiful.

I really am pleased with the final result. I have enough leftover fabric to almost make another one. I think all I'll need to get is fabric for the background panels. Maybe I'll make another one and donate it to our church dinner auction.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tea Dye Fabric

I've been collecting 100% cotton shirts to make some scrap quilts ala Bonnie Hunter. I find that many of the white shirts are just too white, so I've been reading about tea dying and decided to give it a try. I dyed 3 shirts by letting each one rest in the tea for a different amount of time. You can see the results in the picture to the left. The shirt that I left in the tea for 3 hours turned out a dark tan. The middle fabric was in the tea for about a half hour, and it is a nice off white. The 3rd shirt was in the tea for about an hour, and it is a nice light tan. I am very happy with the results of my first experience with tea dying.

To make the dye, I boiled 2 quarts of water and put in 10 tea bags. I put one of the shirts in a dish pan and poured the hot tea solution, including the tea bags, over the shirt. I added a bit more water to make enough solution to completely cover the shirt. When the water cooled, I gently massaged the fabric to be sure that the solution was completely saturating the fabric. Then I just left the fabric in the solution until I liked the color.
When all three shirts were dyed, I put them in my washing machine and ran a small warm cycle to wash out any excess tea dye. Then I dried them in my electric clothes dryer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

5K Training

When I was in my 30's, I was an avid runner. I faithfully ran every other day for about 8 years. In order to keep myself motivated, I kept a mileage journal. I found that I was running about 2000 miles a year. No wonder I kept wearing out my running shoes!
Then in the spring of 1989, I slipped on some ice and injured my back. This injury kept me out of commission for about 2 months. After my back healed, I simply couldn't get motivated to get back into my running routine. I tried off and on, but just wasn't consistent.
Last year I found myself becoming quite overweight, so I made up my mind to do something about it. I started by changing my eating habits. I cut out the between meal snacks and started eating half portions of my meals. At the gym I began working out much harder. I started pushing myself to increase my strength and endurance. Slowly the weight came off - about a pound a week. By the first of January, I had lost 35 lbs.
My goal for this year was to get back into shape so that I could run the Popeye 5K in September. At age 60 this is not so easily done. I've been running on the treadmill, and about once a week, I run through the neighborhood about 3 miles. My endurance has increased, but my speed is still not so good. Currently I can run 3 miles in about 34 minutes. My goal is to run the Popeye race in about 30 minutes. At this point I don't know if that is possible, but it remains as my goal.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bonnie Hunter Quilts

I really, really love Bonnie Hunter's quilt patterns. She has so many great ones on her website: . I plan to make many of these. I recently finished making a Cathedral Stars quilt to use in our RV. I love to snuggle up in this quilt while watching TV.
This is the first full size quilt that I've quilted on my new Elna sewing machine. It came out great!

I've also recently finished piecing Bonnie's Virginia Bound quilt which is found in her new book "Scraps and Shirttails". I made it from recycled men's 100% cotton shirts. I mainly used the collars and cuffs of these shirts; therefore, I call my quilt "Collars and Cuffs". I haven't done the quilting on it, yet, but hope to begin that process next week.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Little Fabric Baskets

I love these little fabric baskets! I found the pattern online. I need to go back and find the blog where I found the pattern (found it - Pink Penguin) so I can put a link to it here. I made these 5 baskets as Christmas gifts for the women on my list. They all seemed to love them!