"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Monday, December 26, 2016

They Do Wear Out.....

The quilts we work on so hard do eventually wear out if they are used like we want them to be.   Well, maybe I should say, as I want them to be.   I make quilts for friends and family that are meant to be used, and even "used up".   I don't make them to be a showpiece that just gets looked at once in a while and never used.   That hasn't always been true of my quilts.....but part of that is because I don't have anywhere to hang the quilts I've made for display.

I always tell my recipients that I want them to use the quilt, not just look at it.   If it wears out I can always make them another one.   How do you feel about the quilts you make - do you want people to "Use them up" or "Look at them"?

I do have one quilted project that I can honestly say I've "used up" because it is totally falling apart and I need to make replacement.

Made more than 40 yrs ago when I was in high school, I think this was about my first quilted project.   I used fabric that was available at the time and I think it was poly-cotton, with poly batting.  It only started to fall apart when I moved to Wyoming last year, so it did well over the years.  

Underneath is a pillow that my Granny made me from double-knit scraps that she had used to make pants for herself.  Not fun to sleep on but lots of memories in those scraps.  Not to mention they wear like iron!   When I take the cover off, I'll have to find the seam I've opened before so that I can add more foam stuffing before putting the new cover back on.

I think I know what fabrics I'm going to use to make the cover, but haven't fully decided yet.   My art quilt for the challenge needs to come first because that has a due date in February next year!

And the quilt under that is on my bed is a sampler quilt, one of the few I made from a pattern.  Lots of different fabrics were used in making it.   Assorted repro shirtings were used for the block backgrounds, and I raided my blue and red scraps (without making a dent them) for the rest of the blocks.   This quilt used the McCalls Big Blocks pattern that I'm finishing up now as a work-in-progress for an Am. Hero Quilt.


1. Warm weather for my parents who are out here visiting.

2. The long Christmas weekend.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Weekend Finishes - Gunn don't look! =)

Thanks to getting the commissioned t-shirt quilt mailed off this past Monday I've been able to finish up a few things I've been running late on getting done.

Finished up the tea cozy and snack mat for my niece today.   The polka dot material in the mat is also the lining fabric of the cozy.   I used insulbrite for the batting of the cozy to help keep her teapot warm.

Also finished this weekend were my first two blocks for December in the F2F swap.  the colors this month were bright blue, bright pink and yellow.   White could be used if needed.   I've one more block to make but am debating about what pattern to use.

Both blocks were me playing around with new pattern designs.

1. A warm roof over my head

2. Friends who are always there when needed.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Stitching Santa Goodies

I took part in the #StitchingSanta2016 Swap this year and have had lots of fun choosing things for the name I was given.   She hasn't posted yet about what I sent, so I can't post pics of what I sent.

But I can post about the wonderful goodies that I received from my Stitching Santa.

First up was 7 FQ's that I'm looking forward to finding a project for.  

Next up were two lovely stitched potholders.  These are hanging on my mantel at this point.   There was a cute zippered pouch and a yummy Ghirardelli peppermint bark candy bar.  

 Also in the package were four cute crocheted coasters, a crocheted banner, and some fun colors of embroidery thread.   The thread is currently in the pouch, and the banner will eventually end up hanging from the mantel once I find where I put the remaining hooks.

My thanks for all of the wonderful goodies go to Abigail who blogs here.

1. The many blessings that are present in my life.

2. For family near and far that I've been blessed with.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Finished and Mailed.....finally!

Finished the commissioned t-shirt quilt on Monday and shipped out that afternoon.  Soooooo happy to have it done.  And it will even be back to my customer in time for Christmas......YEAH!   Praying tho for no accidents to mail trucks to happen along the way like happened in Ohio this month.

Now to start working on several things that need to be finished this month.

1. Weather is warming up

2. While, cold here, it is still warmer than many parts of the US.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Progress on the t-shirt quilt

Finished all of the quilting on the latest t-shirt quilt this evening.   Yippee!

Have a few things left to finish up and it will totally be done -

  • Clip what seems like a bazillion threads (front and back)
  • Make the binding for the quilt
  • Sew the binding to the quilt
  • Hand-sew the binding down
  • Add a label on the back of the quilt
  • and finally, add the name tag to the white shirt block.
My aim is to get it done by the weekend, and then in the mail on Monday back via priority mail to my customer.  =)

1. Got a great end-of-yr gift from work today.   

2. A job that I like and am happy at, and that I'm appreciated in.

Musings and Page Views.....

I'm working as a Sr. Data Analyst, so one of the things I like to do with my blog is to keep track not only of how many people view my posts, but also where in the world it is being viewed from.

What I have found very interesting is the sheer number of page views from Russia, even more than from here in the US.  Gotta wonder what kind of quilting is going on there in Russia.  What do the numbers mean?   That I don't know, but I do find it interesting because I don't have any friends in Russia altho I do have a couple in Ukraine.

It almost makes me want to design a quilt or BOM with blocks that would correspond to the countries where the page views are coming from......... Maybe something like the word "Quilt" in each of the different languages ........

1. Company Christmas party is this Friday and we only work a half day...wheeeeeeeeeeee.

2. I'm almost done with the project I've been working on for work.

Goodies in the mail......

For the past few years I've been in an annual swap known as a "Shoebox Swap".   Basic rules are to fill a 'shoebox' with 12 FQ's in each of 2 different colors/themes chosen by the recipient, add a handmade item (ornament, needlebook, mug rug, etc), and add chocolate or other treat.   Everything is collected over the course of a year, and then sent off at the beginning of December.

 My shoebox arrived this past Saturday and contained lots of yummy goodness in it.   There was a wonderful selection of pink FQ's and batik FQ's in colors that I can use for block backgrounds.

And two types of yummy chocolate, one of them with a tin I can use for other things once the chocolate is eaten.  Cute socks, quilted coasters and a couple of cute embroidery patterns rounded out the box.

Thank you Marla for such great goodies!

1. No fog on today's drive to work.

2. I'm almost finished with quilting the t-shirt quilt!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Potential New Block of the Month for 2017

I have a commissioned quilt that I'll be working on starting after I finish the current t-shirt quilt up and get it shipped off.

This new quilt will have 12 appliqued teddy bear blocks in it.   I am considering writing those 12 blocks up as a block of the month for my blog and then at the end of the year putting them into a full quilt pattern that would be for sale.

However, before I do all that work I thought I'd run a quick survey to see what kind of interest there would in it.   To complete the survey, click on here -->   Take Survey

1. For the ability to design and create quilts

2. For the desk that I will be getting from work and being able to use it for my quilting.

Finishes and Almost Finishes

Almost done quilting the t-shirt quilt.   Just have the tie blocks to get finished tonite.  Would have done that last night, but supper didn't agree with me and I ended up going to bed early instead of sewing.  =(  Still need quite a bit of quilting over the tie sections so that they don't pull out when it is used.  Will have this finished this week, would love to have it back in the mail Friday but don't know if I can pull that off or not.

Next pic is of a little cross stitch piece I made while in Phoenix at Thanksgiving.   It will end up either in a quilted postcard or a mug rug.

Next three pics are of completed Christmas gifts.  Have two sets of snack mats and tea cozies finished up and an appliqued sweatshirt.

Sweatshirt here will go to DH of my GF.

Tea cozy and snack mat for one of my best friends.

Tea cozy and snack mat for her oldest daughter, one of my adopted nieces.

Still need one more snack mat/tea cozy set.   Pic of fabrics and completed mat that I'm thinking of is at the very bottom.   Both the fabric and the mat work for my niece, but I'm not sold on them all together.   At this point I may be either making a new snack mat, or finding fabric that goes better with it......can't decide.   What do you think of the combo?

1.  I'm not up in the upper Midwest with all of the winter weather and snow!

2. Christmas gifts are almost done - before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Quilts for me and plans for 2017

For a while it has seemed like I never have time to make anything for myself.  Between all of the commissioned quilts, scrubs, and other commissions and all of the items I make either for donation or for gifts there just doesn't seem to be anytime left over for me.

However, I did finally realize that I did get two quilts made for myself this year.  The first being the Row-by-Row quilt that I finished up in July and more recently the quilt I entered into the design contest.   While I didn't win either of the prizes for the contest it was entered in, I did for the first time really use some of the many fairy frost fabrics that I have collected for several years.

I do have one project in very slow progress at this point, and that is my quilt for the Stretching Art challenge for 2017.   The plan for it is finally coming together in my mind, now to get it into fabric and completed in time for the challenge.

So for the coming year I'm going to plan for a couple, maybe 3, projects for myself.

1. The first project I'd at least like to get the top together for is a butterfly quilt using hankies that were my paternal grandmothers.   Blocks that I'm thinking of includes ones such as in the pics below-

2. The second is a t-shirt quilt for myself using shirts I've had forever, some of them never worn, and most of them I can't wear now.   Will need to work out a  design plan for it first.

3. The final one I'd like to at least start is working on a quilt out of the snail fabrics that I've collected over the last 5+ yrs.  No design for this in mind tho, so it is last to be thought about.

In with all of these will also be the commissioned quilts as they come in and the scrub tops that need to be made and shipped off, along with anything else that comes up along the way.

1. I get to have dinner with an online friend who I've been participating with in a long-running quilt challenge for a number of yrs now this week.   =)

2. Winter is here!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Next Commission.....Pastel Teddy Bears

A long time friend has asked me to make her a teddy bear quilt (she loves them and collects them).   Design / Layout has been decided on.    Yes, I use the white board in my office at work to do sketches of quilts or blocks when something comes to mind.

Final quilt will be queen-sized, most likely about 88" square so that I don't have to pieced the batting I use in it.   Layout sketch is shown to the right.  The 12 blocks in the center will have 12 different appliqued teddy bears in them.  The background of the blocks will be an off-white (Kona PFD).   The remaining 24 blocks will feature an 8.5" square of the fabric shown in the pic below bordered with coordinating fabrics.

The blocks will finish at 12" and then will be sashed with 1.5" finished sashing and a 2-3" border all the way around.  Have not decided what color border I'll end up putting on at this point.

Thinking about whether I want to take the appliques as I create the patterns and using them for a BOM for next year.   What do think of that possibility?

1. It isn't supposed to get down to freezing tonite, so the rain won't become ice and make tomorrow mornings commute treacherous.

2. Family, near and far, all are dear to me.

T-shirt Quilt Top Finished

Finished the commissioned t-shirt quilt and really like how it came out.
The cornerstones were cut from the tie sections.  Final tacking (of the collar and name tag) on the shirt block will be done after the quilt is quilted.  Binding will be in the same dark grey as the sashing strips.

Next up - find my totes of backing fabrics so I can pull fabric for the backing from them.    Thursday evening I plan on pin-basting it and then will have a quilting marathon over the weekend.

1. Cold temps may be coming down here, but no snow or ice is on the horizon.

2. Fun at my small group Christmas party yesterday!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Making Progress......

Now that I'm back from vacation I've been able to make progress on the commissioned quilt.   Have all of the rows of the sashing together, and all of the rows of blocks as well.   Have managed to get half of the quilt together now.

1. Trip to Phoenix was a good one, and the driving was safe.

2. Was able to see a lot of friends while in Phoenix