Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Easy Quilts" Spring ?

I just received by Fons&Porter's Love of Quilting Easy Quilts through my Quilters Club of America. I am a little confused because it says Spring, 2008, but no matter it has some terrific quilts in it, including one that is done with landscape fabrics.

I am just starting to pay attention to landscape fabrics, but they fascinate me. The one in the magazine has a large deer or elk in the middle and that really does nothing for me, but I do think there is a way to use these fabrics without any animal being involved.

Hancock's of Paducah has some landscape fabrics. I really like some of the rock, grass, and tree fabrics I have seen.

There are some other great quilt patterns in this issue of the magazine that I look forward to trying.

We have just about completed the projects we have been doing around the house to get it all cleaned up and ready for spring, so I hope to get back to my quilting soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quilters Club of America

Several months ago I saw a special ad for a reduced membership fee to the "Quilters Club of America" in one of my magazines. Even though I am just a beginner I thought the perks were just too great to miss for the price they were asking for a year's membership. I am so glad I joined.

For joining there were terrific little "gifts" that arrived in the mail. In addition, there are extra coupons and exclusive offers that come through emails, and access to online videos. I also like the extra 10% off at JoAnn's every time I go.

You can look into the benefits at

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An AHA Moment

I have been working on the hand quilting of the turtle quilt I am making for my 15 year old. Last night I was working on a block and I kept going back trying to make every stitch perfect and thinking about how I am never ever going to finish this quilt. I was not having fun.

This morning I got up and started working on it again, same thing as I finished up the block I was quilting last night...frustration. I kept thinking about stitch length and trying to get at the most 10 stitches per inch, the amount mentioned by several people I have worked with during classes. My frustration level was rising and I thought about getting out the tiger tape, but it really just makes me more frustrated. I was really working myself up into a frenzy until I set the quilt down, took a deep breath and took a good look at the quilt. Then I hit myself in the head and said what is wrong with you and just started quilting with ease.

This quilt is not going to be judged. This quilt is for my 15 year old son. The son that drags his down comforter from room to room wrapped around him like a sari because we keep the house so cold. (Although he never wears it into the kitchen.) The son who last night was sitting in front of his computer, wearing his comforter, eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking milk. The son that will come up when I am quilting and say "Hey that looks cool." rub his hands over the quilt and walk off He is not going to count the stitches. He is going to notice is I don't finish the quilt before he is 20.

So when I started the next block I eased up on myself. I am probably getting between 6 and 8 stitches and inch and it looks fine. In fact, it looks perfect for something that I know is going to be used by a 15 year old that just wants to be warm and will be happy that his mother thought enough of him to make him a quilt.

I am a beginning quilter. This is only the 3rd quilt I have pieced, and it is really only the first one I have really worked at hand quilting. The other quilt I have hand quilted on is the sampler I made in class, which I have not finished hand quilting, and may never finish, because quite frankly, I am not sure I even like it any more. I need to ease up on myself.

It was quite an "Aha" moment. This quilt has just become fun again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Manly" Gift Card/Money Holder

M's husband wanted a gift card/money holder like the one I made M for Christmas, only in a manly design. The only problem was I didn't have any manly fabrics except the flannel leftovers from the "Brick Around the World" quilt. I decided to go ahead and try the flannel and then if it did not work out I would go to the fabric store.

First step, find out his favorite colors and interests: Brown and Blue/ex-Marine

Next step, decide which blue and brown flannels I might use.

Those steps completed I decided to try and make a holder using denim and brown flannel. Big failure. Too thick to fold the flap over.

Today I put two of the brown flannels together with a flannel batting and tried again. Success. I wasn't able to hand quilt it, but I was able to use my machine to quilt along the lines, and make a little "x" in the blank spaces. There was one place where the fabric was too thick and I had a little bunching of the thread, but all it all I am pleased with the results.

The completion of this project takes off one of the projects on my upcoming project list.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Projects to Finish/Upcoming Projects

I have three projects to finish:

1. Make the back to my Blooming Nine Patch, press it, dethread it, and take it in for quilting
2. Finish quilting turtle quilt. 5 blocks completed. Hand quilting, so it takes a while
3. Finish designing and make the back to the Cat Quilt, sandwich, and start hand quilting

Upcoming projects:

1. Make another "good luck" money holder.
2. Secret project
3. Christmas table runners

I hope to complete the turtle quilt by the end of February. The cat quilt must be done by October, if not sooner.

I just need to set aside a day to ready the Blooming Nine Patch for quilting, probably after the oldest goes back to school.

I am going to complete the money holder before Tuesday, January 13th.

The Christmas table runners will probably be an assembly line project as I would like to make several for gifts.

The secret project is going to require quite a bit of designing and planning on my part.

I just hope I can complete all of the projects listed above before December 25th, 2009.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Bricks Around the World" Completed January 6, 2009

I finished the frayed edge "Bricks Around The World." It is perfect for a young man. I will be glad when all the lint and frays are gone. What a mess. I also do not think I could have finished it so quickly without the special scissors I bought,"Heritage Cutlery - 6 1/2 inch Rag Quilting Snips."

This quilt is 69" x 72".

I haven't labeled it yet, but I will. With one washing it is already so soft that I wish it was mine.

Here is the front of the quilt:

Here is the back: