Sunday, June 29, 2008

Had to finish

I just couldn't stand it anymore. I had to get the top finished! I decided not to spend money on fabric for sashing when I had plenty of the coordinating fabrics to get it put together. I will probably come up with a border because I think it needs it but probably not this summer yet. But then, I didn't think I would get the blocks together this weekend either!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

20 blocks plus some

I have all 20 of the shop hop blocks done. This one is what I made in place of the ugly mouse they wanted me to make. This little guy is from the Bugs in Jars quilt pattern I used for my grandson's quilt. He is much cuter that the one on the pattern! He still needs his little eye and whiskers but that will only take a few minutes.

This next one is another I made 'instead'. This spool was much better than the cat they shop planned for the block. But I have to think of my grandchildren! That cat would have given them nightmares! I am not sure what some of the shop owners are thinking when they design their blocks!

And this is Martha Washington's Star - get it? Martha WASHINGTON? This pattern and the spool are on my block a day calendar that I never remember to change! Let's just say the spool is on January 10 and that is the one that has been showing for say about 6 months!

So if you want to see all of the blocks I made for this year's quilt you can go here. You will also find the quilts I have put together from previous hops.

And last, but not least, is all the leftovers from all the blocks. This baby is about 15" X 18" and might just end up on the back of the shop hop quilt - or maybe it will be a doll quilt. Right now, I am leaning toward part of the back.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Three more done

Here are some more of my shop hop blocks. This first one is from Undercover Quilts in Seattle. I didn't go to the shop but Tanaya did. She was one of those who were planning to go with me on Sunday but couldn't, so she sent me the two blocks she got from shops close to home and work. I like this block and its one I would actually do again.

This second one is from The Quilting Cottage in Rochester WA. It was paper pieced and they actually gave you the patterns printed out for all four sections. It was a downloaded pattern from which is a great resource for free patterns.

This block is from The Quilting Loft in Seattle and is the second one from Tanaya. It is really very simple to make and doesn't look like much on its own but I think it could make a great quilt, especially scrappy.

Doesn't seem like much has been accomplished since my last post but I have had lots going on around here. I am hoping to get the rest of the shop hop blocks done this weekend so I can set them aside to get some other things finished. Like a certain baby quilt. We have decided that we will head over there for the 4th and I will stay there until the 18th when I can hitch a ride with my sister back home. My darling son's comment to his sister was, "Have you done the math? She is going to be here for 2 weeks!" Gotta love the boy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Block

I really got three blocks done yesterday and this morning, but I won't bore you with all of the pictures. This is from Gee-Gee's in Yelm. Katie and I bought the finishing kit for this one because the lady said there was enough fabric to finish two blocks in the packet. This was true of everything except the maroon fabric which was the reason we bought the kit. So I switched the maroon with the green dot so I had enough to complete the block. That meant I also had to switch the pink and light green. It worked. Now I can get my extra maroon squares to Katie and she can do it the way it was supposed to be done if she wants.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Shop Hop 2008

Here are three more of my shop hop blocks that I got on Thursday. I had all 8 finished by Saturday night. This first block is paper pieced and came from Harbor Quilts in Gig Harbor. They forgot to give information on what colors to put where so I had to just guess at what I sort of remembered from my stop at the store. The second block was from Heirloom Quilts in Poulsbo. It was supposed to have a black sailboat appliqued in the center block but I didn't like their sailboat so I paper pieced one I found on the net. I know, I used to say I didn't like paper piecing but after forcing myself to practice it I am starting to like it.

Finally, the third block is from Esther's Fabrics on Bainbridge Island. I am not totally satisfied with this block, it was supposed to have a 10 appliqued in the center block (in tan) to commemorate the 10th shop hop. That doesn't thrill me so I add a flower out of pink and tan.

Unfortunately, neither of my internet quilty friends could make it on Sunday for some shop hopping so I got in touch with Katie, my niece. She was up for the hop and we managed to hit 10 more stores before closing at 5 yesterday. I sorted them out last night in the order I will probably put them together. I usually start with the easiest and most straight forward patterns and move to paper-piecing and applique and then finish off with those blocks that they either didn't give you much to work with or that are just hideous or not worth the effort as they designed them to be done. There were two of the last ones. One has a very involved applique design of an ugly cat in a boat with bolts of fabric. The cat is just hideous! I will probably do some sort of boat on it but who knows! The other is supposed to have a Japanese temple and gate on it with added beads and coins. This would require fusing to do the applique which is not something I like the results from so again I will do something else. Finally one was supposed to be a paper pieced crazy quilt block. I don't believe in paper piecing a crazy quilt block - somehow, crazy and paper-piecing don't seem to go together. I will make a crazy quit block but it will use leftover pieces from all the other blocks!

This morning I plan to spend awhile outside and then I need to clean up the kitchen and do some desk work and then I will work on yesterday's blocks. While we were shop hopping I saw some really great fabric I could use for framing the blocks (a great dark brown and black print) and for sashing (a nice teal and tan print) so I might have to go do a little shopping this week.

Last night I got the quilting finished on my Doll Quilt Swap quiltlet. I think the binding is just going to be folded over from the back so I just need to trim that down and I can get it finished up soon. I also need to get a label on my mini quilt so it can get in the mail tomorrow maybe. Then, my last remaining outstanding swap item is the Four Seasons Quilt Swap and I will get started on the quilting once I finish the other hand work.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Empty Nest

So the shed looks great though when the grandkid comes over we will have to get a few new balls, etc. for him to play with but we can enjoy the tidiness until then.

I got my mini quilt and its near identical twin finished except for a label, I am also going to finish the bonus thrifty mini quilt I made so it is ready to go to whoever it will go to someday. I almost finished quilting it while my oil was getting changed today. I will finish that tonight and maybe get the binding on too and then I will finish the quilting on the doll quilt and start quilting the Four Seasons Swap Quilt. I am getting close to having all of these done!!! Then I really need to buckle down and get the baby quilt done.

I am slightly distracted because it is Western Washington Shop Hop time. I went to my local shop on Wednesday after we took our son out for his last dinner while living at home. Then yesterday after doing a bunch of weed-whacking I decided to go to the rest of the shops over here on the peninsula. So I did 7 more. I have two blocks made so far. The plan was to spend Sunday with a couple of internet quilty friends who live in the area going to some more shops but one has had to beg off due to a very bad shoulder - I hope she gets better. I still have one person to go with and I am sure we will have fun. Not sure how many shops we will be able to hit but we will do our best!

The husband and I were having our chicken noodle soup and strawberries out on the deck - yes, the weather has finally warmed up appropriately for the first day of summer - when we heard a bit of a ruckus next door. It wasn't the neighbors, it was two crows fussing at a BALD EAGLE on the roof. Yes, right there on the roof! I think it was scoping out the neighbors chickens that were running loose in the front yard. Wish I had time for a picture but the whole thing literally only lasted a few seconds. I was glad when we saw the chickens over there or I might have thought he/she was scoping out Miss Lucy!

It is official now, we are empty-nesters. The boy moved out yesterday, heading for his sister's house where he will live during his first year over at WSU. He will spend a few weeks getting the hang of caring for his little nephew so that when the baby comes he will be able to handle being in charge of the little guy. I will head out as soon as there is news of something happening but I might not get there before they need to head to the hospital and she wants me to be at the hospital when the baby comes so someone needs to stay with the boy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Little Peek

Not a lot of sewing done yesterday but I did get the top of my Four Seasons Quilt Swap Summer Quilt finished. I also started on the quilting of the quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 4. I am very excited about getting both of these finished. This morning I hope to get my Mini Quilt ready for quilting at least.

My outside work for yesterday was cleaning out one of our sheds. Originally we added it as a home for bikes and other outside toys and games. Last year when we had 8 kittens from two moms, it was a 'cat house'. Since the kittens moved to their new homes it has mostly just gotten filled with 'stuff'. I hauled everything out yesterday and after Larry got home he got the pressure washer going for me and I cleaned the concrete floor and if it is dry today I will get things moved back in. We need to get it organized as a place for some gardening things and also as storage for games and toys for grandkids.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I had a very productive day today. After church, I had a quick lunch, changed my clothes and headed outside. First I roto-tilled my berry patch. The strawberries are just loaded and if we get some sunshine I could be busy picking and freezing. I transplanted my wonderberries down there also and got the whole shebang watered after Larry fixed my sprinkler. Then I cleaned out my raised beds again and replanted carrots and lettuce and added zucchini. We shall see if anything decides to sprout this time. I still had energy left so I did some weeding in the flowerbeds. There is still lots to do after the recent wet weather but it isn't too bad!

Well, that was enough outside work so I got cleaned up some and went to the sewing room. The obvious first project was the little doll quilt top that I had laid out on the ironing board. I couldn't really do much until that was put together. Don't you think it turned out nicely? I figured I still had enough pieces left to put together a back for it so that was my next project. It is pretty fun also! The doll quilt will be my offering for Doll Quilt Swap 4 and is 16" X 20". The back is a little bigger - possibly enough bigger that I will be able to use it for the binding also. We will have to wait and see on that one!

When I was done with the back there were still 55 pieces left and I decided to play with them and see what I could come up with. Here is the result using 54 pieces. There is still one left and I will use it as a part of the back for this mini. This little cutie is 9" X 12" and I will probably hold on to it and use it for the Mini Quilt Swap sometime when it is appropriate. Convenient that I have the top done already!

Now I need to get the Four Seasons Quilt Swap Summer quilt finished and also my June Mini!


I had an awesome time with my little grandson this week. He finally is saying my name but with his own unique emphasis. Many of his words have a particular pronunciation, hand gesture or facial expression that goes with them and Grammy is no exception! He is a busy little guy, that is for sure! He seemed to be happy spending most of his time with me while I was there so I didn't get any actual sewing done. Chelsea was working on organizing her office/sewing space so we did talk sewing some and she gave me some little pieces of fabric that I have laid out in a possible pattern to use for Doll Quilt Swap 4 which I need to get started on soon. Not sure if I like this well enough to go with it or if I want to maybe rearrange and try something else. Right now it is laid out on my ironing board so I need to decide soon so I can work on other things.

When I arrived home a package was waiting for me that contained my Spring Fling Round Robin Quilt. It is so cute in person but just is not very photogenic! As I watched its progress on the SFRR blog I was not too impressed with it because somehow the colors just don't play well together in a picture yet in person it is lovely. Thank you to Kathy, Laura, Nancy and Tami for the beautiful work they did on this project. Also, thank you to Margaret for being the one in charge of this round robin - not an easy task!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Sneak Peek

Here is a little peek at my Four Seasons Summer Quiltlet.

I am heading east to my daughter's for a few days so I might not get any posting done until Saturday or Sunday. Need some quality time with the grandson!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Secret is Out!

Today I am able to reveal the secret projects I have been working on for several weeks. Graduation quilts for my son and one of his friends. She is the oldest child of one of my best friends and she considers me one of her three mom's. The two also got quilts from our church for graduation but it is my practice to make a quilt for each of my kids as they graduate from high school so I decided to make Jakob his t-shirt quilt as a full size since he will have a full size bed when he lives with his sister this next year for college.

Then I suggested to my friend I could make one for her daughter also if she could get a hold of some of her t-shirts for me. She did and you see the results. I am thinking you can tell which one is Jakob's and which is Brittany's.

We also had a party here at our house for the two of them. It was lots of fun and at least there was no rain and the sun did show up briefly. Larry had his garage nicely cleaned out and brought a TV out there so they hooked up a Play Station and we played Guitar Hero. Let us just say that I will never make it in a rock band!!!!

After everyone was gone our two families had a simple BBQ dinner and now my house is mostly back to normal other than dishes that need washing. But that is a job for another day!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Graduate

I promised a picture so here it is. We left the house at about 4:45 and got home around 10 - all for a 1 3/4 hour ceremony! We stood in a line at least 2 blocks long to get in, struggled to find seats, sat through several speeches, songs and about 600 names, got in the ensuing crush to find our kid and then got in the line of cars to leave. Luckily, we were in the handicapped parking (we have handicapped plates for my husband and we also had a friend along who had knee surgery last week) so getting out wasn't quite so bad as for all those poor souls in the main parking lots! So, do you think I am happy this is my last required high school graduation ceremony for at least 16 years?!?!?!?!?

Friday, June 6, 2008

A flight? A flock? A bevy?

So what is a large group of hot air balloons called? How 'bout a not so large group? Here are 11 of the first 12 balloons I have done for the baby quilt. The 12th one was hiding under the background fabric. It is another little one. I have the paper ready to make a 9" one (these are 1.5", 3" and 6") and I plan to make a 12" one that will have the baby's name and birth info embroidered on it once we have that information.

Now I must got get ready for graduation this evening. If he lets me take one I will post a picture of the graduate tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Block One

I am officially started on the baby quilt and here is the evidence. I downloaded the pattern for 1.5", 3" and 6" blocks. This is the 6" size. I then scanned the 6" and stretched it to 9". I am also thinking I will just stretch the pattern lengthwise to have a longer (taller?) balloon. I still don't know how many I will make but I would like to make lots. I have lots of scraps I can use for these. I made this one a striped balloon but some will be I Spy type balloons and some will be plain, some will be ...

First Try

Here is my accomplishment from last night at Sally's. It is at least a part of my mini-swap quilt for Solidia. It measures about 5" side to side or 6" point to point. Still not sure where I am going with this but I am pleased so far. It is also my first try at English Paper Piecing. I do like how it turns out but it isn't my favorite piecing method - too many steps!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

One Item Off the To-Do List

I have my Spring Fling Round Robin project all finished and ready to put in the mail. Because it is craft night tonight it will go out tomorrow so I can do some show and tell.

Yesterday I ordered the Clover flower yo-yo makers and a couple of the circle ones as well so I can use them for my Summer-Four Seasons Quilt. That means that project is on hold until I get a package.

I added a fun green batik with trees to the bottom and sides of my Christmas Round Robin quilt so that is now going to be put away until I get a few other projects completed.

Now I think I will start on the baby quilt since I have my background fabric washed and ironed. I hope to get at least one block done today. I think I will also get the pieces cut for my English Paper Pieced Mini Quilt for June so I can do the hand sewing this evening at craft night.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I actually did something!

I am still quite tired! I did lay down on my son's bed and watched him working at his computer until I couldn't hold my eyes open anymore. I fell asleep. I snored. He woke me up because he said he couldn't work with me snoring!

So I got up, folded laundry and decided to look through my scraps and see if I might find something I could use for one of my swaps. Lo, and behold, there were a bunch of triangles just begging to be sewn together. So I listened and did just that and now I have the background for my Summer Four Seasons Swap Quilt made. I have been wanting to buy the Clover flower-shaped yo-yo makers since they first came out and I think I have my excuse! So that will be on the agenda for tomorrow or Tuesday I think! 


Relay was a success! It was lots of fun, very inspirational, but very exhausting! One of my co-captains and I were up all night Friday and it was cold! The low was somewhere around 43 degrees overnight. We bundled up in blankets and every hour or so got up and walked a lap wrapped in blankets to get the circulation going to get warmed up. Our team got an award for the Best Decorated Site with lots of Flamingos and pink balloons. 

I am taking it easy today and hope to get another good night's sleep tonight so I can accomplish much this week. I want to finish up the Spring Fling Round Robin quilt, get my June Mini Quilt started, get my Summer Four Seasons Swap quilt started and also get started on the baby quilt. Who knows, I might even finish one of the little swap quilts this week. Not sure if it was the lack of sleep or not but I signed up for the next Doll Quilt Swap last evening too!

I had a nice surprise yesterday when I got home. A promotional mailing from Fabric Depot in Portland,  OR that contained a fat quarter of a fuchsia batik. Don't know if it is a thank you for being a customer or if it is trying to get me to become a customer, but it is one of my favorite stores and I will continue to shop there!!!