Friday, December 23, 2016

Last minute Christmas

It has been a tradition in my family for many years to make a home-made ornament to give to each family. I usually make more than one to try out which one will be my ornament of the year.
Here is this year's ornament.
I used wooden spools and buttons from my mom's collection. I wrapped the spools with colored paper, then overlaid it with musical note washi tape. The little snowy green bottle brush trees were decorated with red beads, a festival word and a star made from 2 sequins that I glued together. 
The button is on the bottom of the spool.
I also made this paper ornament from a pentagon shape. When you fold over the sides a star forms.
I then stamped a sweet little Christmas tree in gold. These are nice gift toppers that can be used as a ornament as well. 
I was so inspired by my creative blogger friend, Annie from Freeze Frame, by her beautiful money gift wrapping that I just needed to add some pizazz to my daughter's money gift. 
I used what I had in my craft room and hand cut the star and swirl. The letters are alphabet stickers and the Christmas saying was left from a photo collage kit. At times like this I wish I had a die cutter. 
It is by far the prettiest money gift wrapping I have done! 
Thanks for the inspiration Annie!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas 2016

While decorating the house for the Christmas holiday, I decided I needed another Christmas quilt. 
Adding another thing to an already busy time is nuts! 
But...I did it! 
I found a gift block pattern on Pinterest and started making packages from Christmas fabric scraps in my stash. Originally, I planned on just making a 4 x 4  lay-out but as I was playing around, this arrangement immersed. 
I'll try to find the link and edit this post later. 
The quilt is about 56" x 64". 
I straight lined quilted through the gifts to make like a Christmas tree. 
You can see better from the back, below. 
The background is FMQ in stippling. I love the texture that it gives to the quilt!
The backing and the background were larger pieces from my stash which I inherited as was the red and white stripe I used for the binding. 
I just love it when I use fabrics from my stash! 
My stash is quite extensive that I barely make a dent, or so it seems.
I also made a new garden banner from a Christmas panel inherited from my mom's stash.

Our annual Norwegian Christmas progressive dinner (we call it the Troll Stroll) was this past Sunday and the usual characters showed up for some festive activities and gift giving. 
Do you have some crazy traditions?

My wish for you is to have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year spent with family and friends! 
I'm linking up at Let's be social.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Finally done!

I have a finish!  
This quilt has been made over the year which makes it seem like it has been around a long time! The Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by SoScrappy announces a color of the month. You can choose anything to make or follow along. This year Angela designed a column quilt which I did not do but looked amazing put together. Maybe next year....
I choose to make a blocked based on the Soul Searching block. I changed the bar sizes so each block was smaller than the original. This would allow me to use more blocks hence more colors.
There are 12 colors even though the challenge was for 10 colors. I added an extra medium blue and an extra light green to round out my quilt. The background for the blocks is low volume prints. 
The backing fabric is from my stash. I pieced it with a column of 3 lanterns using printed fabrics that read as black for lantern's background.  
I made a scrappy 'piano keys' border using this technique I found on pinterest. 
I quilted using an organic straight line in the lanterns in the thread color of the lantern. In the low volume areas and in the border, I FMQ loops down each bar.
I'm naming this quilt Lantern Festival because it reminds me of the Chinese lanterns that fly in the sky at a lantern festival. This quilt finishes at 57" x 66".
I'm linking up to SoScrappy!

I have a few more projects hanging around my sewing room that I hope to find time to work on during this already busy time of the year.  
What have you been working on?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Yes, I have been distracted for the last 5 weeks or so! You may ask what could distract me for that long? Well, it certainly wasn't the political campaigns. 
In fact, my distraction was a great distraction from all the political nonsense! 
My distraction was is the Chicago Cubs! 
I have been a Chicago Cub fan since I was a little girl. Players like Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks were my childhood heros!
 Although I haven't personally waited 108 years for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series, I have waited all my life (which is quite long in itself). I still need to pinch myself to remind myself that it happened!
These players are so endearing. They are the good guys. They play with heart. They were very fun to watch (and a bit nerve wracking)!
As you can imagine, Chicago went crazy! 
Everyone was is much so that 5 million people were crowded downtown for the parade and rally. 
The crowds down at Wrigley Field are still there. On Saturday, late afternoon, we drove down to see the marquee but had to settle for a drive by. 
People are still crowded outside!

I did manage to do some knitting while watching my beloved Chicago Cubs and finished this lap blanket last night which will be donated to a local hospital. 
I found this chevron knitting pattern on Pinterest and wanted to try it using scrap yarn. 
Today I managed to finish quilting this baby quilt which has been a UFO for some time. 
My daughter and I made it together. We each pieced some of the row blocks and started quilting it but then she became super busy. I had other projects and so it sat for a while. Now all that is left is hand sewing the binding. 
I also have my RSC quilt ready to sandwich and another quilt that I have been working on almost ready. Hopefully, not to long before I can show some finishes!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Do you label your quilts? 
I have always documented and labeled my quilts with at least the name of the quilt, my name and the date. If it is a gift, I add who it is for and maybe the occasion. Sometimes I add my location.  
I also keep a running journal and of coarse photos of all the quilts I make and a short paragraph about each quilt, including size and finish date. 
Lately, I have fallen behind in labeling. 
Since I finished a baby quilt made for a gift, I knew I needed to get busy making some labels. 
I used Bubble Jet Set 2000 to set the ink from my printer on the labels.
It is easy to use. I take my muslin (my usual go to label fabric) and soak it in the solution. Ring out the excess and hang it to dry.
Once it is dry, I iron it and then cut it to 8 1/2" x 11". I also cut freezer paper to the same size and iron it on. 
At my computer, I search for free clip art that will go with each quilt. I make my labels with the important information on it and then print it out. Here are the ones I made yesterday.
Once they are printed, I iron them again to set and cut them out. I remove the freezer paper and iron under a 1/4" around the label.
The last thing to do is stitch them on! Here are the quilts I finally finished!
From left to right:
Yes, Baby Bear (Mod Bear Paw), Hunter's Star, Freedom of Expression, Pretty Patchwork, Diamonds in the Rough, and Fall Y'all!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A finish and the final Rainbow Scrap block

It is always exciting to have a finish! I really enjoyed quilting along with Lorna over at SewFeshQuilts on the MOD Bear Paw! Even though this quilt was time consuming with all the little pieces, the finish was so worth it!
I love how the Mama Bear is padding along through the grid of baby bear paws!
One of my favorite stories that I read my 3 girls when they were little was this book, Can't You Sleep Little Bear by Martin Waddell.
It goes perfectly with this quilt as I imagine this Mama Bear padding into Little Bear's room because Little Bear couldn't get to sleep. The illustrations in this book are beautifully done by Barbara Firth. 
Mama Bear is so patient with Little Bear and teaches Little Bear that he does not need to be afraid of the dark. 
The backing is a cute cross print in 2 different shades of pink.
I straight lined quilted around each baby paw and diagonally across the blocks. On Mama Bear, I FMQ stipples to give her texture. The binding is in a slightly darker shade of gray than the Kona silver I used in the sashing. 
This quilt finishes at 39" x 47". 
It is ready for the baby shower (baby due after Christmas) and of coarse, I needed to find a copy of this book to go along with the quilt! 
Thanks Lorna for this fun project! Linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social.

Another thing coming to an end is the 2016 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. October was the final month and the color is Yellowish Oranges. 
Here is my final finished block.
I will now be playing with the layout of all my blocks. 
Here are all my other blocks (not in any particular order) 
and whether or not I will add a scrappy border. What do you think?
I will be linking up to SoScrappy tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Progress Report

Before heading off for a few days of relaxing Fall days in beautiful Door County, WI, my goal was to complete the 26 blocks needed for the Mod Bear Paw QAL hosted by Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts.
As I stated in my last post, the blocks were a bit time consuming partially due to all the trimming of the small HST and the arthritis in my hands. 
I persevered through the 22 Bear Paw blocks and finally  started on the big bear blocks. Although there were some tiny pieces and some even tinier HST, these block went together faster. 
I did need to remake a few of these blocks as I realized a bit too late that I'd sewn and cut the diagonal in the wrong direction. 
Here they are! All 26 blocks finished.
When I get back in a few days, I'll be working on adding the sashing to complete the top! WooHoo! 
I'm loving this pink baby quilt version! 
I'm linking up to Mod Bear Paw QAL at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Quick Update

After cutting all the pieces for the Modern Bear Paw QAL, I started the piecing process this week. The blocks are a bit time consuming. All those small bear claws (HST) which are made oversized for accuracy purposes results in a lot of trimming! They add up to 16 claws per block!
The trimming and pressing does not bode well with the arthritis in my hands.
I do love these Bear Paws! 
I have completed 10 blocks (or 160 claws) and I have some more partially pieced together. 

Linking up at Sew Fresh Quilts


Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Pretty Finish!

Earlier this week I managed to finish up my Pretty Patchwork quilt! I wasn't able to get photos sooner partly due to the weather.  Kaaren over at The Painted Quilt called her version 'Stopped Me in My Tracks'. It certainly caught my eye!   Kaaren made hers a bit bigger and in yellow and white. She generously offered the pattern free on her blog. Head over here to see her version!
I had this pretty blue print in my stash not knowing what to make until I saw this pattern. It is a very soft muted blue with little yellow flowers. 
I straight line quilted a crosshatch pattern through the 49 square patch and in the 9 patch cornerstone units. I FMQ a braided rope pattern in the sashings. 
The backing is a striped blue, green, and yellow striped print from my stash. 
The binding is a soft yellow and white stripe. Also from my stash!
It feels good to make a quilt completely from my old stash with the 
exception of the Kona white background fabric, a staple in my stash. 
The quilt size is 53" x 69"
Linking to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story.

Before September is over, I needed to work on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge block. This month's color is rosy reds.
 Here are all the blocks that I have finished so far. 
Only 1 month left! What color will it be?
Head over to SoScrappy to see what others have been working on this month.

I finally got fabric and cut it for the Mod Bear Paw QAL. I'm a bit behind but hopefully will have some time to catch up. I now have a deadline for this quilt. 
Check it out over at Sew Fresh Quilts!

That's all folks!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What's Next?

When I finally finish a project, I ask myself what is next? 
Yesterday I put the last stitches to finish the binding on my modern black and white quilt I have been working on for a while. 
This is the quilt that was inspired by a ad I saw in a magazine in the spring for a bathing suit. I rustled with the original design that I drew up from the advertisement and set it aside for most of the summer. I deconstructed a bit of it to add more detail and now it is finished!
I renamed it Freedom of Expression. It has both some straight line quilting and FMQ. I took each section and practiced different quilting skills, many techniques from Lori Kennedy @ In Jaunt Box. 
The quilt is 53" x 62.5" ~ a good size lap quilt to snuggle under. 
The backing is a very busy black and white print that I bought for a different quilt but didn't end up using. Nice to use something from my stash!

I worked on a small remembrance quilt for a friend of mine that lost her mom in a car accident.

It is the size of a postcard. I found the paper pieced pattern here.

So you want to know what's next?
I sandwiched this quilt pretty patchwork! Originally, I found this pattern over at The Painted Quilt. Kaaren called it ~ Stopped Me in my Tracks.

And I am going to join a quilt~along! I haven't done one in awhile but I really like this one! 
It is called MOD Bear Paw QAL over at Sewfreshquilts. Looks like FUN!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Where Did The Summer Go?

It is only a week away from September and school had already been back in session for more than a did summer slip by so fast?
I felt that I did have some time early in the summer to get some sewing done but because we planned a late summer time was limited in August to a few days. 
We got home a week ago today and I started right back at school. 
My husband and I spent 2 weeks out west...8 days in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, 2 days in Rapid City and the Black Hills, a day in Sioux Falls, SD and 2 days in St. Paul, MN. 
As promised in my last post, I was bringing my fox quilt for a photo shoot...just had to take advantage of the beauty!
I renamed my version of Fancy Fox by Elizabeth Hartman, Foxy Baby!
  (First 3 pictures were taken at Yellowstone Lake)
The backing's large center is Outfoxed by Lizzy House. Perfect! 
A stray extra fox found its way to the back!

The quilting is basically FMQ straight line with a little leaf design along the strings. (Does that make sense?)

 These last 2 pictures are taken in The Grand Tetons.

Before leaving, I finished the Building Fun quilt (pattern by Geta's Grama) that I started many years ago but just didn't have a need for a baby quilt so it got put on the back burner. I called it Building Blocks. You can read about its start here.

I quilted with an all over stipple.

At the beautiful Grand Tetons!

 The backing is a cute stripe from my stash and the binding is Pezzy Prints by American Jane in multi colors.
(pictures at Yellowstone Lake)
Still no recipient in mind but it is nice to have a finished baby quilt on hand!

Also before I left, I deconstructed my Modern Black and White and reconstructed it with a bit more interest (a row of flying geese) but still giving a modern feel. You can see the original here.
This was the inspiration for this quilt. As you can see, I ripped it from an ad in a magazine. An ad for a bathing suit!

This happened last week!

AND...just before September rolls around and a new color is announced, I finished my August Rainbow Scrap Challenge block. The color was dusty purples but purple was a previous month so the suggested alternate color was gray. I do love gray as a neutral so I did have lots of gray scraps. 
Linking up to So Scrappy for the final Saturday post in August! Whew! Just made it!