Friday, October 31, 2008

Log cabins and baby carriers

I finished the 20 log cabin blocks on Tuesday but that is as far as I have gotten with that project this week. I played around with options for laying those out and there are some great designs. These are not 'traditional' log cabin blocks in that instead of using light and dark with all the same width strips, I used 1.5" colored strips and 1" black strips. You can see all of the layouts I came up with on flickr. It really adds a twist to the traditional! I need to make more blocks to get even a lap quilt but I don't know how big I want to go yet. Maybe until I run out of either my black or the blue centers. These blocks are 9" and will finish at 8.5".

Wednesday I spent almost the whole day running around. I got a lot done but not in the sewing room!

Yesterday I put together 2 baby carriers for a shower I went to last night for my friend Nadine's daughter. One carrier was for the daughter that is expecting her first in February and the other was for her sister who had her first in July (I wasn't able to go to her shower in June so I decided to make up for it). When she opened the gift she wasn't too sure what it was but I did a demonstration and they were both much more excited after that. I hope they get a lot of use out of them for these babies and any subsequent babies!

Today I am going to get my Out of the Darkness quilt in the mail to the quilter and then I think I will work on more log cabin blocks in between getting some bread made.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lest you think I am a slacker

Since the computer isn't in the sewing room anymore I am not as good about posting what I am up to in there!

On Saturday I got the borders on my daughter's king-size t-shirt quilt and got a back put together. I also got the back made for my Out of the Darkness quilt. I am mailing that off to my friend to machine quilt this week some time. The t-shirt quilt I will be machine quilting myself once I have a day that I can devote to getting it basted. That will involve laying it out on the great room floor when no one will be around to step on it!

I got the log cabin lap quilt machine quilted with my philodendron design on Friday and got the binding on over the weekend so it is a beginning of a stock pile of quilts for sale, gifts, etc. This isn't a great picture but it is what I have for now!

After I had the backs done on Saturday I started going through my scrap drawers looking for anything I could use for 1 1/2" strips for more log cabin blocks. I finished sorting and cutting on Sunday and had quite a pile ready to use. Yesterday morning I woke up with a plan for the next log cabin quilt and got going on 20 blocks. I had too many errands to do yesterday to finish them so I hope to do that today and then I can post a picture of those first 20 blocks. I will need to make more blocks for this project and then I still have lots of strips left for more log cabin options.

I am nearly done with the hand quilting on the SFRR2 quiltlet and once it is done I will wash it with the two log cabin quilts and then I can get two more swap items in the mail - WooHoo!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Phil O. Dendron

That is what I could name this quilt. As I was doing the quilting, I glanced over and realized that the quilting looked just like the looooong philodendron in my sewing room seen here and here.

Here is a close-up of one corner of the quilt so you can see the quilting a little better. I used a variegated tan/brown thread and achieved just the look I wanted. I added two wavy lines down the print stripe as it seemed too puffy. I got the binding finished last night so now I need to make a label, wash it, and get it in the mail. I am hoping to get the larger log cabin lap quilt quilted today.

I can post these pictures now of two of my October Mini Swap Quilts as they have been welcomed into their new homes. These were both for the 'theme' swap. This month's theme was Out of the Box - we could do anything so long as it wasn't square or rectangular. I had grand ideas before I got started but they all faded away when it came down to getting started. I was very happy with the results though. November's theme is 'words' and I have some thought about it but haven't finalized my plan yet.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I have decided that this will be my quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 5, unless I change my mind because I am not happy with the quilting. My plan is to do this vine pattern for the quilting:

Now mind you, I will not be using black thread for the actual quilting, I just did it to see how the virtual design in my head looked in thread! I am thinking I will use a tan/off white/ecru thread for the quilting as it will be in the neutral stripes of the quilt. If I think it needs more quilting then I will do the same vines in the print stripes using a darker thread. If the vines go well on the little quilt I will use them for the bigger log cabin quilt also so those could be done this week if time allows.

I sandwiched this little quilt along with the bigger log cabin and my SFRR2 quilt yesterday. I got started hand quilting the SFRR2 quilt and it is going quite well. I hope to be done with that one this week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm baaaaaack!

What an awesome time I had while I was gone!

First, I got to spend a few short hours with my grandbabies. The GS was so happy to see me and we had a good time reading and playing. The GD, at 3 months, is getting so vocal. She 'talks' and smiles and giggles whenever you talk to her. Holding her while she sleeps is just about heaven!

I got to the camp for our Cut, Crop and Quilt Weekend at about 12:30 after stops for gas, coffee and deodorant (the one thing I forgot to pack) and a quilt store I had never been to. I got all settled in and got my machine set up, etc. and then got started on that bag of 1 1/2" strips I got at the garage sale over Labor Day weekend. I cut some neutral strips and added them to the mix and put together 35 log cabin blocks using spruce green kona for the center square and making them as big as I could with the fabric I had. I got those together before my sister and I headed to bed at 2:15 am. In the morning I added a strip of the green around the blocks and then put together the rest of strips in Rogue River Log Cabin blocks and added them as a border and had my first project finished! A very short time later I had the top of a doll quilt done using the leftover border blocks! I think I will add a green border to that and will use it for DQS5. I have some fun ideas for the quilting.

The program director at the camp who was a big part of getting these retreats started had twins just a week or so ago - a boy and a girl. One of the quilters bought some fabric so that we could all work on a quilt for each of the babies. The quilts turned out so great as you can see and one of the grandmothers said that the quilts suit each of the baby's personalities perfectly! We were treated to a "Stroll by Viewing" on Saturday afternoon. We all kept our distance so as not to pass on any germs but it was hard!!!! I am looking forward to the next retreat in February when we might just get a chance to hold them!

I did three blocks for the ducky quilt and one strip for the bright quilt and then got to work on my scrap pile. I ended up making forty-seven 6 1/2" scrappy log cabin style blocks and my scrap pile did not seem to shrink at all! I am thinking that will be my project for the next retreat also if I don't get back to them here at home!

The room we use for quilting is in the process of undergoing a huge change. Each time we arrive for a retreat there are changes and improvements. The project is nearing completion and it is just beautiful! One of the first changes occured a year or so ago when they took out the old drafty fireplace and put 3 sliding glass doors on that wall so we could enjoy the view of Lake Coeur d'Alene. When the project is done there will be a patio outside the doors.

Here is the new alcove that houses a new efficient fireplace with lots of cozy seating hand sewing, reading, visiting and naps!

This last picture was taken after some quilters had already left and while others were packing up. We had the group of tables right next to the fireplace alcove. There were two 8 foot tables in the center that were raised up for cutting. The round table was used for laying out quilts and was used for the quilting on the two baby quilts. I think we had a total of about 30 ladies working in this room. Mostly quilters with a few scrapbookers too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Heading out!

Today I leave for the other side of the state which means I will not be online until at least Sunday and probably won't post anything until at least Monday. This evening I will spend the night with my daughter, son-in-law, son and grandkids. Let's face it though, I will really be focusing on the little ones and not the big ones so much! I will only be there overnight and then I head into Idaho for my twice yearly quilt retreat with my sister and other friends.

I have several projects packed into my basket so it will be interesting to see what I actually work on. It would be awesome if I ran out of things but that never seems to happen! I will have most of Thursday, all of Friday and Saturday and part of Sunday to sew and visit and eat, eat, eat! I don't normally eat three meals a day but it is so hard to resist the good food at the camp!

It will be interesting to see the building progress at the camp. They are in the process of remodeling the Chapel and the room we usually sew in is under the Chapel. The room had already changed quite a bit the last couple of times we were there. The biggest change was the addition of lots of windows looking out over Lake Coeur d'Alene! A great view to have out there when you look up from your sewing machine. I will take the camera and if the weather is good I will get some pictures to share next week.

Have a great 4 days and I will get caught up on Monday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two new toys

Or maybe they are tools, only time will tell...

I found an estate sale on my way to the mall today. It was at the home of my daughter's 3rd grade teacher. They are in the process of cleaning out her parent's home. At first I just found 4 books for the GS but then I noticed an old sewing machine. Again, at first I dismissed it until I saw the bobbins and then I just had to have it...don't you agree?

After paying for the machine I continued up to the mall and got my new cell phone. Hopefully, now we have things figured out with the various phone companies so we can get it down to 3 phones for 3 people! Well, beside the home phone, of course! After I got home I had the fun of putting all my friends and family into the new phone.

While I was out spending money, hubby was busy playing on his new project. I think he will enjoy the tinkering he gets to do on it! A little while ago he got the little stereo working and had the music playing loud enough for me to hear it in the house!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our new project

Isn't she pretty? We got her today off Craig's List. She is a 1976 Argosy by Airstream and is in awesome condition for her age. If we wanted we could take it out tomorrow. But we won't. We figure we will use it for extra space when we have lots of guests this winter and do some work on it. There are lots of little things to do and the biggest thing is new flooring. The carpet is pretty gross and really not the best flooring for camping I think! We will probably put down vinyl or marmoleum.

This model has two double beds so I will need to make at least 2 quilts to keep in it and I think I will also replace the curtains and upholstery. Since it is from '76 and has a brown/orange/gold striped awning I think we will go with '70s earthtones for the interior too. I think it will be fun!

Neither of us really thought we would ever own a trailer, but now that we have it we are warming up to the idea of hitting the road with it occasionally.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

3, 4 and 5 of 7 are done!

I have all my swap minis about ready to mail now. I think they turned out great but can't show pictures until they get to their new homes. It is hard to show just a peek of something that is only about 6-8" square as it is! I am also nearly finished with my SFRR2 border so I will have one large pile of packages to get to the post office sometime soon!

I did a little sewing this evening putting together a few more scrappy blocks. I ran out of one size of squares so I will have to stop at 27 blocks for now. I also worked on trimming down all my half-square triangles for whatever I do with them. I think they will be going with me to the retreat so I might have news in a week or so!

I am trying to decide what to use as the center blocks with these fabrics for log cabin blocks. One half of the blocks will be these prints, the other half will be neutrals. Traditionally red is used as the center of the block but several of the fabrics are pretty red so I don't think they will stand out as much so I was thinking yellow, or black, or even dark brown or dark green. What do you think?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just call me Crazy!

I took those little leftover half-square triangles from yesterday's blocks and made four smaller blocks from the same pattern, put them together, add a border and WA-LA!you have this cute little mini quilt! This is just 7 3/4" square and took most of the afternoon to make!

Tomorrow I must get serious and work on finishing some swap items!


I don't usually sign up for giveaways because I know I won't win but I found one I couldn't resist over here. Of course, this will probably negate those 16 pounds I lost painting the house but I think it could just be worth it!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Two of Seven done

I got to spend quite a bit of time in the sewing room today. I got started on my SFRR2 border but it needs lots of hand-sewing. I might be a little crazy but we will see. After that I moved on to my Fall Runner Block Swap. Came up with the design and made my 4 5.5" blocks. I really like the pattern and think I will use it sometime for a larger scrap quilt. Here you can see all four blocks I made and two possible setting layouts for the block.

I might get crazy and use the leftover half square triangles and make four smaller blocks - I know, these are 5.5" so how much smaller would they be? I am not sure as I haven't trimmed the little squares down yet, I will leave that for another day!

Friday, October 3, 2008

One of Seven Done

One of my seven swap projects for this month is done! This is for Another Little Quilt Swap 2. It is all washed and crinkly and ready to mail out next week. Tomorrow morning I think I will be getting some things done in the sewing room. I hope to finish the 2nd border on my next SFRR2 project and then I need to make 4 5-inch fall blocks for another swap so that should be pretty quick. Then I need to work on three minis for October. Two are for the 'theme of the month' which is Out of the Box which means they are not supposed to be square or rectangular. I have a plan for one of those and a possibility for the other. Then I also have a 'plain jane' mini to make so I will need to get cracking! My final swap projects is for DQS5. That swap is still open as of this moment so if you are interested in being a part of it follow the link and join up. That one I can't really get started on yet since I won't know who my partner is for a week or so. Also, the quilt isn't due to be mailed until December 1 so it is probably going to be on my November list too!

Had my yearly physical today. The best news is that I lost 16 pounds since last September. In actuality, I probably lost most of it painting my house the last couple of months! That can really take it out of you! I had a wart removed from my right ring finger (on the pad of the tip) so that is a bit painful. I might have to stop hand-quilting and work on my Cathedral Window again as it isn't quite as hard on the hands!