Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bringing In The New Year

This is my beautiful sewing space.  What you see below is the nice organized space when I first moved into my new room.  

I can't even show anyone what it looks like now.  (My head is hanging low, very low).  I might give you all a peek tomorrow before I dig in the cleanup.  Unfortunately, while making the seven quilts, microwave bowls, pillowcases and such for Christmas, the room became a whirlwind of clutter.  So, before the new year rolls in, I am going to get my wonderful sewing space back to clean and order.

Just a note, here are my sewing resolutions for 2015:

1.  Quilt at least two tops of completed project tops per month
2.  Work on the 58 BOM kits that I have in bins (true confession time)
3.  Only fabric purchases will be backing or background and only if really necessary
4.  Inventory of all fabric bought for specific projects  (working on this while cleaning up room)
5.  Share and teach skills to anyone wanting to learn to sew or quilt  (this is the most important resolution to me.  This craft is slowing dying, and anyone interested, I am willing to help in any way so that this most wonderful craft can keep going on into the future!)

Come and enjoy the ride all through 2015!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Post Christmas Pictures

Please note there are a lot of pictures.  I can finally post the pictures of all that I made for people this year.  If you remember, I did lots of pillow cases to use as wrapping paper.  The pillow cases matched the blankets I made.

These are for the three children that are a part of our family:

Here are the matching blankets

The pink and blue blankets were made with "Frozen" flannel and backed with matching fleece.  The black blanket is fleece on both sides, and it's matching pillowcase is an Army print, because his dad is in the Army, and it had the colors of the black fleece print.  I heard back that the kiddos went home and put them on their beds and asked to use them to have a "camp out" in the living room.  

The quilts that I gave my sons were received with awe and wonder too!  They both said they love each quilt that was specific to what they enjoy, and that it meant a lot to have something that will last and can remember for years and years.  They have all put them on their beds and are just delighted!

So nice to hear they not only liked them, but are wanting to use them all the time.  I couldn't have been more happy this year!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Clue 5 Done!

Grand Illusion

The fifth clue came out this last Friday.  I scurried around the house, cleaning and getting ready for guests this weekend, just so that I could spend a few hours in the sewing room to cut out and sew this next clue.

The reason I was able to get it done in a couple of hours, is because there were only 28 units to make, as opposed to hundreds of units in the previous clues.

As this mystery quilt keeps moving along, I am liking my choice of fabric (Thimbleberries) and I am hoping it will be as well liked when it all gets sewn up.

I will be linking up on Bonnie's blog on Monday.  Take some time to look at the others in the link up party when she puts it up on Monday morning.

Now, I'm on to  waiting a whole week for the next clue to be posted.  Sigh!


Thursday, December 25, 2014


Christmas is a great time of the year for Christians.  We get to celebrate the real meaning of the birth of our Lord and Savior.  It is a time for reflection of our lives as Christians and the hope we can find in Christ.  This is a short message wishing everyone who reads my blog to have a wonder Christmas celebrating Christ's Birth.

This is the view from my sewing room today on Christmas Eve.  It is raining steadily and about 50 degrees.  No hope of it being a white Christmas this year.  Although if we did have a white Christmas it would be atypical.  

This is our little tree, with the angel on top and the nativity scene at it's base.  I have had the angel and nativity scene for over 25 years.  I like that kind of tradition.   Oregon is one of the biggest states to grow and distribute Christmas trees.  We have several tree farms surrounding us locally, but the cost is still high and more than I want to pay for a tree, so we have opted for the artificial route.  

This is a fun little Christmas graphic for those of us who sew and quilt as much as I do.  Enjoy.



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Completed Projects

Bonnie Hunter is having a link up party of people showing off their project(s) they have done for Christmas.

Here are my Christmas Projects of past and current:

This is a Thimbleberries project for one of the clubs I participated in a quite few years ago.  I just love the rework of Santa on the rooftop dropping toys down the chimney.  I also like the colors used in the borders.  I have this hanging on my door that goes into my sewing room.

During 2014, I worked on many of the UFO's I have, and this one is from a Thimbleberries Club from 2003.  You can read about the whole club and process of making this here.  I have this hanging in my hallway for this Christmas Season, even though I took the picture of it hanging on the door to my sewing room.

Again, here is another Thimbleberries project for one of those past clubs I participated in that you can read all about it here.  This is hanging in my office corner that I have set up in my living room.  While doing computer work and paperwork, I reach up and run my hand over the quilt top.  I am so calmed when I do that to quilts.  Call me weird, it just works that way for me.

So there you have it, my three small projects that I have done in "Christmas" themed patterns that sprinkle some added decorations around my house.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Clue 4

Grand Illusion

Well, I have been working on the latest clue for the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.  As always, the clue came out on Friday, and this is what it looks like.  Look close, because the two half square triangle blocks are flipped between the two blocks.  We had to make equal amounts of each setting.

I sewed each setting completely, before working on the other setting.  This way I avoided confusion.

I clipped together the different settings, so they don't get mixed up when it comes time to put the whole top together.

And, there is the box of goodies so far, all waiting to be put together to make the quilt top.

I am also, once again, linking up on Bonnie's blog.  You can go here, and look at all the others who are participating and linking up their pictures.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Waiting for the Next Clue

While waiting for the next clue for the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt, I worked on the UFO Chocolat Legacy project and a custom order.

If you remember, the UFO Chocolat Legacy project is worked in the round, meaning it is started with  four center blocks and then the next set of blocks are sewn around them making a round, and so on.  I worked on the next to the last round of 36 blocks called "Churn Dash".  I am hoping to get them sewn together and sewn in the round of the quilt so far sometime next week.

I have a neighbor who has a recliner that is covered in the "leather-like" fabric.  He doesn't like the covering because it is cold and hot sit on, so he asked me if I would make a cover for him using a king sized plush blanket.  Not my first choice for taking on a customer project, but I did it anyway.

Here are some pictures of the finished product:

The seat piece is separate that includes the foot rest.  I put adjustable elastic halfway around the foot rest part to help hold it in place while sitting in the chair.

Back view.

 I did this picture to show how I did the arm rests.  I did them in separate elasticized pieces so they fit better, and can be taken off to wash.

I mulled over this project for almost three months (they were on a RV trip around the United States), and I managed to get it done the day before they arrived back.  I keep procrastinating this project, mainly because I didn't want to cut into the blanket and not have it work.  Finally I worked it out on paper and in my mind and bit the bullet and ta da!

I'll be back tomorrow with a post about clue 4 of the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Done, Done, and Done

I have officially completed all the projects I set out to do for Christmas this year!  I can say I achieved this by having a good idea of what I wanted to get accomplished early on (around the beginning of October), actually starting fairly early (around mid-November),  and setting out a schedule of what I wanted to get done when.

I made 5 quilts, 7 pillowcases (for wrapping paper), several microwave bowls, and lots of candy.  Yesterday, I put the final touches on the last quilt, i.e. stitching on the binding.

I am a big fan of striped binding.  I didn't quite have enough fabric to do this stripe on the bias, but once this was stitched down, I am really pleased on how it turned out.

Now back to my regularly scheduled sewing.  Mostly UFO's and older projects.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend of Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt

Grand Illusion

Clue 3 came early Friday morning for the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt, and by Friday afternoon, I was able to get started on this next part.  I gathered all the required materials.  Remember my blue is the green in Bonnie's color way.  This part calls for neutrals, black, and green (mine is blue).

Here you can see I have a strip already sewn together for the next step of cutting it in pieces the make the completed unit below.   

By the end of the weekend, I have finished all the units for this clue as seen below:

Facebook is still in a flurry of posts about this Mystery Quilt, and one person asked how we were all keeping our clues organized.  It was an eye opener that the majority of people working on this were not organized in any way.  I couldn't even begin to imagine not being organized!!!  I collect cardboard box bottoms that hold canned goods from grocery stores.  They are sturdy, and I use them like trays.  I have various sized that I can use for different sized projects.  They keep my project organized and all in one spot.  They are stackable,  can hold a complete project, and when and if it becomes broken down, it can be easily replace for free!

This shows how all parts of the Mystery Quilt so far and how it fits in this box.  From left to right clue 1, clue 2 and clue 3, with the remainder loose half square triangles that will be used later, and the bonus "mini" half square triangles that will be used in the end as a border all around the quilt.   Its all organized ready to go when the final assembly is ready to start.  Kinda looks like I will have to break out another box bottom for the rest of the clues coming up this month.

I have linked my post on this clue on Bonnie's blog, and if you are interested in seeing what others are doing in regards to this mystery quilt, click here to check out all the flurry of excitement!!

Just a note, if you have read all the way through my post, I have a brand new, never used book of an author that Bonnie sells on her web site.  It is called Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth, and has 20 scrappy patterns in this book.  I have since purchased Pat Speth's late book which combined this book and her other book "More Nickel Quilts" together in one book.  If interested in purchasing it, I have it as a listing on my ETSY site here.  


Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Few Activities This Week

I have worked on some other actives this week besides the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.

I have an older dog who is having a harder time eating dry dog food.  I don't want to start feeding her the boughten canned food, as it can get expensive.  So once a month, I make her my own recipe for soft dog food.  Basically, it contains, about a pound of meat (I used some older frozen meat that had started to get a little freezer burned.  This time I had a small baggie of leftover turkey, left over ham, and a couple of salmon patties), six cans of vegetables (I used some of my canned carrots from prior years) and enough cooked rice to hold the mixture.  Rice is very gentle on her stomach as well.  I scoop out about 3/4 cup size onto cookie sheets, freeze them, and then take out one a day for her evening meal.  Total cost is about $4.00 and about 2 hours of time.

A few posts back, I posted about a quilt I did for one of my sons that will be part of his Christmas present.  His twin brother is also getting a quilt for Christmas quilt that I posted about awhile back when I first started working on it.  I managed to get it quilted this week.  

I quilted it using what I call the straight line method by quilting lengthwise down the long prints and then quilting crosswise on the various different prints.  

This is a peek at the backing of this quilt.  I had do some piecing of the backing fabric, as I did not originally purchase enough to do a backing for this sized quilt.  I rather like the look of the stripe down the middle of this one.

This is just a close up of the fabric used on the backing.  Perfect for this son who is a avid fisherman. 

I also did work on the next part / clue #3 for the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt, but I will save that for my post tomorrow, so I can link up on Bonnie Hunters blog.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Remember Those In Need This Christmas

My son called in somewhat of a panic, asking if I had any blankets that I could donate to a cause that his work was doing for the homeless this Christmas Season.  He lives in Portland, which is the "hot spot" for teenage runaways.  Many reasons for this, first the weather is milder than a lot of big cities, and our social outreach surpasses all other cities.

I said that the only blankets I had were baby sized, and would they be taking those for donations.  He checked, and of course they would!

For many years, I work up baby blanket done in fleece with a crocheted edging.  I first began making these type blankets through Project Linus, making and donating several hundred over the years.  I buy fleece when on sale (usually this time of the year) and got my scrap pieces of yarn at Goodwill.  Each blanket costs about $2.00 to make plus about an hour of my time.  I keep several in the car to work on, because I can get one done on a trip to Portland and back.  Then I moved on to giving more local such as  our police and sheriff departments (they have them in the trunk of their units so if they come upon a baby in any bad situation, they have something new and clean to wrap them in)  and I have to an intake center for abused babies and children (same thing, the staff has something soft and clean to give comfort to these little ones).

I always keep about 10 on hand for occasions like this that come up over the course of giving and holidays.  Here are a couple of the seven I sent with him,  for his office's charity event.

We always need to remember the poor and this is just a small part that I can do with my talents.