Monday, September 27, 2010

Let It Snow

No, I'm not really ready for snow yet, but I am ready to get back to my Let It Snow quilt.  Let It Snow was the second of my two Christmas in July projects and now I have everything I need to finish it (hopefully before Christmas).

On Friday, I machine appliqued all the orange wool "carrot" noses and a few sets of black wool eyes (I'll be using buttons for the eyes in the remaining blocks, but they go on after quilting). 

Next step was marking.  I used the set of concentric circles I bought at the last weekend's quilt show to mark circles on each snowman block.  I'll do something yet-to-be-finalized in the borders.

Then I used my huge supply of safety pins to pin the backing, batting, and top together, a process that is a bit tough on the fingertips.

I've started quilting,  Three faces down, nine to go, plus borders.  Yes, it can be done by Christmas!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Find - Fabulous Ironing Board Cover

We quilters spend a lot of time with our irons and our ironing board covers tend to show it.  I just gave myself the gift of a new cover.  It is so cheery and bright, in a beautiful print from one of Amy butler's fabric collections. I got it from City Chic Country Mouse; you can find their Etsy store here.

City Chic Country Mouse is a mother-daughter business.  Their service was excellent; the cover arrived three days after I placed my order.  They tucked their business card inside, along with a hand-written Thank You on a paper doily - nice touch!  Now I''m looking forward to some ironing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When Projects Go Bad

My project with the Hoffman cardinal fabric and the Moda jelly roll is not turning out quite as I envisioned.  the photo above shows a few blocks.  It looks way too busy to me and the prints with the aqua background don't mix well.  What do you think?

I stopped working on it while I figure out what to do.  At this point, I'm leaning toward taking all the cardinal sqaures I cut from the Hoffman print and reserving them for a future project, maybe more like this design from Lake House Fabrics, except using red and green with the neutrals..

Then I could use the jelly roll pieces in another jelly roll project. 

In the meantime, I  think I'll go back to my snowman project and get that one finished up, now that I have everything I need for it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XVII - Part 2, aka "The Loot"

Yesterday, I told you about the "show" part of the quilt show.  Today is reserved for the vendors.  I shopped with a list, to help ensure I get what I need for upcoming projects.  And focusing on the list helps keep me from getting carried away by sudden enthusiasms.  I say "helps" because a few unexpected things always manage to land in my shopping bag!

At the top of my list was a set of concentric circle templates.  I need these to finish my snowman quilt.  I will use them to mark the quilting.

I was looking for Kaffe Fassett prints in the aqua/turquoise/green colors I've chosen for a still-in-the-dreaming-stage project.  These go very well with the 15 or so others I have in a large ziplock bag.

By October, 2011, this fabric grouping will become a Halloween wall hanging.  These fabrics were on my list and I actually have a plan - meaning I know exactly what I plan to do.  I probably won't start this quilt until next winter or spring though.

Not on my list but I am a pushover for Fig Tree fabrics and patterns in general so when you combine the two, I just can't say "no."  This pattern, Paper Roses, actually calls for a charm pack but the layer cake (Mill House Inn) was such a good deal.

I tend to come home from these shows with several new patterns.  Even if I live to 100, I will not be able to make all the patterns I have.  Snap Happy makes a little bag that closes securely without a zipper.  I think it will be good for a few little Christmas gifts.

This was a little gift for myself.  The vendor had patterns and kits for making these little pumpkin pincushions but was also selling her samples.  I decided to go with the finished article.

It was a fun day!  I hope you have an annual quilt show in your area that you can get to.  They are a great source of inspiration and of supplies.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XVII

On Saturday, I visited the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza show, held outside Philadelphia.  I don't have much eye candy for you because I neglected to take many pictures.  I enjoyed the show, though many of the quilts in the show were not to my taste.  Here are a few that did catch my attention.

This is Ring Around the Posy, by Elizabeth T. Miller of Charlotte, NC.  It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.  I especially like the border treatment. 

This is Midsummer's Heat, by Shirley Malia of Olney, MD.  It is beautifully quilted, which unfortunately you cannot tell from the photo.  I like the use of color.  I'd like to try something using this diamond shape.

The show included a number of quilts from Kaffe Fassett's various books.  This quilt uses the bowtie block, and I like the way the color is reversed for the border.  I'm considering this pattern for my own collection of "Kaffes."

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you my loot from the vendors at the show!


Friday, September 17, 2010

For Sale

About six weeks ago, my husband and I had our bedroom repainted for a fresher, updated look.  I decided to have the inside of the closets painted while we at it, which meant taking everything out of the closets.  You don't know how much you have until you have to empty your closets completely!  While I found a few forgotten treasures hiding in the back, I also found a number of things I no longer wanted.  Several bags went to our local thrift shop.  But a few things seemed eBay-worthy and I just listed them - designer handbags for the most part.  If you are curious, you can see all the listings here.

I decided to try one listing of quilt fabric.  It is a kit for a quilt top using Poetry Collection by April Cornell for Moda.  I bought this a few years ago but never made it and don't see myself getting to it now.  If you are interested, the eBay listing is here.

I know I'll be having a fun day tomorrow!  My quilty friend Sue and I are going to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza show in PA.  I'll report back!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fussy Cutting

My next project is another jelly roll project but it involves some fussy cutting.  The fabric is above, Winter Impressions by Hoffman.  I bought a couple of yards a few years ago in the post Christmas fabric sale, without a plan in mind.  I liked it and figured something would come to me someday.  Has this ever happened to you?

Well, "someday" arrived.  I've been cutting 4.5" squares using my fussy cut ruler.  The fussy cut squares will be the center of the final blocks.

The idea for this quilt design flashed into my brain when I saw a fabric collection by Moda called Woodland Holiday at The Old Country Store, one of the quilt shops I visited on my Gettysburg family vacation.  I saw this fabric and knew right away what I was meant to make with it.  And it came in jelly rolls, which was the perfect way to get the variety I needed for the plan I had in mind.  It is really amazing how well this Moda collection coordinates with the older Hoffman fabric.  The backgrounds are even the same mottled ecru color.

I've made a start with the fussy cutting part and can cut into the jelly rolls in the evenings later this week.  Come back to check on my progress.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jelly & Jam Blocks Finished

I finished my Jelly & Jam blocks on Saturday.  I'm putting them away for now because I don't feel any urgency to finish this quilt.  The blocks will make a good baby quilt someday but I don't have a recipient in mind now.  But most importantly, my muse is calling me to another project! 

I feel no guilt about this UFO!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Sale

My LQS, Pennington Quilt Works, started their annual "Back To School" sale today.  Nearly everything is 20% off.  So my attendance was mandatory; I'm sure you understand.

I went this morning with the objective of getting fabric I need for my Rural Jardin project.  I've had this FQ set for a while, and finally came up with a plan for using most of it.  Just need background and backing.

The sale at PQW did not disappoint.  They had exactly what I was looking for; cream with small blue flowers for background and the larger red floral for backing.  I probably won't start this project for a few months but now I have all I need for it.

Of course I found other things:  a couple of Kaffe Fassett fat quarters in the greeny turquoise color range I'm collecting for some unknown-as-yet purpose, and a new "ergonomic" seam ripper.

If you live in central NJ or Bucks County, PA, you might want to make your way over to Pennington Quilt Works for the sale.  A map with their location is here.  All the fabric is on sale, even the latest lines.  All things considered, I emerged relatively unscathed.  If I did not already have so many projects in the queue, I could have gone nuts!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jelly Roll Roundup

Some readers recommended their favorite jelly roll patterns when they left comments on my post about my jelly roll project.  So in case you are inspired to make a quilt using a jelly roll, here are some suggestions:

Vangie (no blog) recommends the book Jelly Roll Quilts and More by Kimberly Einmo.  This book does sound good; all seven reviewers on gave it 5 stars.  Vangie also recommends Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

Liz recommended a Fig Tree pattern called Jelly Parfait. This is another pattern that uses yardage in addition to the strips, so you get a good size quilt with just the one jelly roll.  Liz says your can buy this pattern at  In fact, FatQuarterShop has a lot of jelly roll patterns you can access by clicking here.

My favorite jelly roll project so far was Sweet Menagerie from Moda Bakeshop.  It is the pattern I used for my Blooms In The Snow quilt.  And I am liking Jellly and Jam, my current project.  I can see making it again sometime, using reds and greens for the  the Christmas version. 

Another future jelly roll quilt might be Jelly Rose, also from Fig Tree.  This one is unusual in that you would not think looking at it that is is made from a jelly roll.  But it uses 18 strips plus yardage for the stems and leaves, background, and sashing. 

I recently bought the pattern for Picnic Rollup from Thimble Blossoms.  When I bought this pattern for some reason I thought it called for a layer cake (10" squares) and planned to use one I had on hand.  But it requires 2.5" strips so now I'm waiting until the right fabric collection comes along.

Stepping Stones is an earlier pattern, not specifically for jelly rolls but it uses 2.5 inch strips.  You can make the throw size with  a jelly roll but will need additional fabric for enough strips for a larger size. 

I think my next jelly roll project will come from this book:  Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett.  This book has a lot of projects that can be made from jelly rolls or your own 2.5" strips.  I think it is well worth the price.  I already have the supplies for a project in the book called "Feed Sacks," though my fabric choice will make a quilt that looks quit different from that in the book. 

I hope you find some inspiration here.  And if you have another jelly roll pattern to recommend, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And The Winner Is...

I made some progress on Jelly and Jam over the weekend; a few more finished blocks and lots of sub-units.  It needs to be closer to completion before I show pictures, though.  In the meantime, the winner of the second jelly roll is...Vangie.  Vangie doesn't have a blog so I can't link you up to pictures of her quilting.  If she does something with her winnings, maybe she'll email me a photo and I can post in on my blog.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Five Things I Didn't Do This Summer

Labor Day marks the end of summer for me:  the swimming pool closes, kids return to school, the days get shorter and cooler.  I'm thinking about the things I meant to do this summer but never got around to doing:

  1. Lose a few pounds - My diet got off to a good start last winter but by June I'd lost my motivation so I put it on hold.  I meant to eat more fruit and vegetables, try some new lower-calorie recipes, what I call the effortless diet... oh, well, at least I didn't regain the pounds I lost earlier.  Time for the Fall Diet.
  2. Be a "regular" at the farmers' market - Our town has a farmers' market, open Fridays 3-7 pm.  I meant to be a regular, stocking up on fruit and vegetables (see above), but work got in the way and the two times I made it there, I bought pies.
  3. Come up with a plan for sprucing up our living room and dining room - Both rooms got a complete redecoration 13 years ago when we bought the house.  They look a little tired and dated now, though both my husband and I like the style and colors.  I need a way to give both rooms a fresher, updated look without spending a lot of money.  Thought I'd do some research and shopping this summer but it didn't happen.
  4. Plan a fall yard sale -  We have a large and easily accessible attic, making it all too easy to hang onto things we no longer need.  I meant to sort through all the "stuff" in the attic and basement and get ready for the town's fall yard sale day.  Some day...
  5. Hand sewing - I planned to make some progress on my dresden plate blocks and start another hand applique project.  But both will have to wait until a fall gathering of quilting friends.

I'll carry these projects over to the fall.  Along with a few planned quilting projects, they should be enough to keep me out of trouble.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hanging In My Kitchen

This is Water Garden, currently on display in the quilt hanger in my kitchen.  I have a series of wall hangings that rotate in this position, the one large section of blank wall space in our kitchen.

I made Water Garden in 2001, at the height of my watercolor phase.  My introduction to this technique was a picture in a quilting magazine of a quilt made by Deirdre Amsden.  I immediately bought her book, Colourwash Quilts, which I think is now out of print.  But grab a copy if you ever see it because it is the most amazing quilter's eye candy.  Watercolor Quilts, by Pat Maixner Magaret and Donna Ingram Slusser, was my next purchase.  I was busily cutting up my stash into 2" squares, and made a couple of small wall hangings.  I loved the look but the technique was so labor intensive!

Then I discovered Watercolor Magic, by Deanna Spingola.  Ms. Spingola combines the watercolor technique with strip piecing, increasing the odds that you will actually finish your project.  I made several wall hangings using the strip piecing technique then moved on to new things.

Water Garden can currently be seen over in Qulting Gallery's weekly contest.  Click here to see it and other watercolor quilts, and vote for your favorite.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More About Jelly Rolls and a Giveaway

I'm continuing to work away at my version of Jelly and Jam, a bit at a time.  My first jelly roll project was Mon Petit Chou, and I wasn't totally sold on jelly rolls after that experience.

My issue was that the strips had been cut a little bit off kilter, not exactly perpendicular to the fold of fabric, and were V-shaped.  If I had needed the full width of fabric, I would have been up a creek.  But I was making this hexagon pattern (using half hexagons) so it all worked out okay. 

My second jelly roll project, Blooms In The Snow, was more satisfying.  No problem with the strips, the quilt went together beautifully, and I had some experience under my belt and was more comfortable working with the pinked edge.  (Now, I hardly notice those pinked edges.)  This was a Moda Bake Shop pattern and I highly recommend it!

Of course, I'm not dealing with pinked edges in my current project since I cut the strips myself.  And I'm already thinking ahead to my next jelly roll project!  It will come from this book, Scrap Basket Surprises.  Lots of great quilts to make in this book.

If you would like to enter my giveaway for a jelly roll cut from my own stash, go here.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite jelly roll pattern and you will be entered for the Monday night drawing.