Friday, December 27, 2013

Celtic Solstice Mystery Clue 5 (Bonnie Hunter)

I'm so excited . . .  I'm all caught up.

I came home from spending Christmas with family and had a marathon sewing session.  Thursday night I was able to finish all of clues 1 - 4.  I listened to a book on CD and kept going until 2:00 am.  I even checked to see if Bonnie had listed clue 5 before I headed to bed.

Friday morning I immediately checked for clue 5, then proceeded to get it together.  I finished all of clue 5 at 3;30 this afternoon.  I hadn't planned to sew it all today, but once I got started I just kept going.  Of course, this meant I didn't make my usual treadmill session at the gym.  Now I have to wait seven days to get the next clue!  This is worse than a child waiting for Christmas.
Clue 5 finished

All pieces from clues 1 - 5.
I had a nice visit with my family over the holiday.  Our big event is Christmas Eve.  Lots of children (9 months to 9 years) in the next generation so that makes it even more fun.  We have dinner, take a family photo, open gifts, then play games.  We do tend to get a little wild during game time.  I ended up with the final prize, but the gift bag was in shreds.  Christmas Day is what I call the "Left Overs".  All of us that don't have a second family we need to visit.  We have a quiet lunch together.  This year there were 14 of us for Christmas Day.

Thank you for looking.
Have a safe New Year's Eve celebration.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Celtic Solstice Mystery Clue 4 (Bonnie Hunter)

OK.  I'm behind.  I took Bonnie's advice and went on to clue 4 even though I haven't finished clue 3.  I have not finished clue 4, but with Christmas I'm probably as far along as I'll be by Friday.

Part 3:  I have all the half-square triangles cut for part 3.  They're all sitting together on a tray ready for me to sit and sew.  Mindless sewing for New Year's Day?

 Part 4:  I have all my strips cut and sewn.  I'm going to take them with me over the holiday so when things calm down I can go to a quiet place and cut.  Then they'll be ready for me to sit and sew.  This is my first Bonnie Hunter Mystery - How many clues will there be?

I finished my family Christmas ornaments Sunday evening.  I started this in 1981, making/purchasing ornaments for nieces and nephews.  Some years I purchased special ornaments to match their interests.  If I traveled they got an ornament from that country.  Eventually my sisters and brothers requested to be included.  I'm not sure at what point it became a big reveal.  The ornaments are now all made by me.  This year I made 26 to be distributed Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Celtic Solstice Mystery Clue 3 (Bonnie Hunter)

I'm going ahead and posting my progress on Clue #3 even though I am miles away from finishing.  I finally got started on my family Christmas ornaments and that needs to take precedence.  Like some others I too had to dig and find my easy angle. I'm not sure when I last used it. Thanks to Bonnie for "forcing" me to get out tools I had forgotten I had in my drawer.

Clue 3 laid out for scrap placement.

Clue 1 & 2 safely tucked away.

Santa ornaments in progress.  I can't show much more without giving
it away - not sure if any family members are watching.  I'll show the
finished ornaments after Christmas.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Guild "Sew a Thon" top

Last month our guild meeting was a "sew a thon".  We were in teams working on one quilt.  At the end of the evening one team member won what we were able to put together in that time period.  I didn't win that evening, but liked the pattern so I went home and made my own.

The pattern uses 2 1/2 inch strips.  I have several sets (they seem to keep multiplying like rabbits) so I went home that night and selected strips from a friendship circle exchange.  Of course I still ended up cutting more to make a pleasing arrangement.  The next day I had the center complete and even had a border fabric in my stash.  I wanted to have it done by the next guild meeting, but oh well . . .  I added the borders before Tuesday's guild meeting.  Last stitch at 5:50 p.m., left for meeting at 6:00 p.m. 

I can't quilt it right now.  I'm trying to keep up with Bonnie Hunter's 2013 mystery ( and I need to get my family Christmas ornaments done. (Actually I need to START!)

Thanks for looking.

Celtic Solstice Mystery Clue 2 (Bonnie Hunter)

I'm excited that I've finished clue #2!  People who know me well recognize this great accomplishment.  I sewed all day yesterday, late into the night, just so I could make this claim.  Of course, remember, I'm still only 1/2 way through clue 1.  That's me!
I'm trying hard to keep up because I really want to see how this turns out.

My colors:  pink, blue, orange, green, neutral = brown

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Material Girls and Challenges

Saturday was the semi-annual meeting of Materials Girls.  Many of the members meet more often, but those of us who have moved away try to make two special meetings a year.  Each December we come up with a challenge for the following year.  Our 2013 challenge was to make a quilt using the Dresden Plate pattern.  We had to include at least one complete plate.

The quilt below is my piece.  I also used it for a paint chip challenge for my guild last May.  The paint chip I drew required I use red, white, and two shades of yellow.  My added color was black.  I had to search for a border fabric, then found the perfect one.
Look . . . it's numbers!

Because of one quilt, two challenges; I named this quilt "One Equals Two".

Close up of quilting.  The feathers in the border don't show up. 
Each plate has a feather that spirals out from the center.
At our December meeting we also do a voluntary 12-inch quilt exchange. I made a piece incorporating some of what I learned at a Cindy Needham design workshop last September.

14 x 14 inches
Close up of quilting.

I've cut the fabric for clue 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery.  I need to sew them this week. 

I also need to start my family Christmas ornaments.  I'm having trouble settling on a design for this year.  That's normal for me.  Every year I say I'm going to start early, but I never do.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Celtic Solstice Mystery (Bonnie Hunter)

I'm participating in Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Mystery, Celtic Solstice.  My first! 

I was behind because I couldn't decide on fabrics.  When the first clue came out last Friday I had to get my act together.  I forced myself to concentrate and pull fabric from my stash. 

I'm off!!

My fabric choices.  The top fabric is
what I used to make color selections.

part 1, 1/2 done

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been enjoying an early holiday season by sitting at my machine and quilting!  I finished another quilt shown below.  I haven't started my Christmas ornaments, mainly because I can't decide on this year's design.  Too many ideas floating around in my head!

Using wool batt creates a
trapunto effect.

 Last weekend I was at our monthly Friday night sew . . . and didn't even get my machine out of it's case.  Several friends and I spent time using a die cutter to cut out Christmas trees and wreaths.  Of course I spent a lot of time figuring out a way to cut all the needed pieces using the least amount of fabric.  I finished one of my trees, shown below.

I had fun quilting this.  Meandering
feathers with a few "snowflakes" included.
I need more lessons on how to arrange photos in the post.  They never seem to stay where I want them.

Enjoy time with family and friends over Thanksgiving.  Take time to realize all you have to be thankful for and say "Thank you" to someone.

Thank you for looking.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Two finishes

I've had a busy week quilting and finished two quilts! 

37 x 53 inches

One is a panel, purchased last year, that I wanted to use for a fall quilt.  I added a wide black border with leaves cut with a die cutter and fused on. I then quilted around each edge and added veins. The quilting in the border is a swirl hoping to represent wind. I did some quilting in the panel, but I wasn't happy with my initial attempts so thought I'd wait and ask friends for some ideas.

Close up of quilting.
Back of the quilt.

I also worked on a small "baby" quilt.

Lots of feathers.  They spiral from the center, then go
aroung the outside "border" strips.
39.5 x 39.5 inches

I use quilts like this to practice quilting on my HQ 16 sit down machine.  I'm very comfortable machine quilting with my domestic machine but I'm trying to use the HQ more.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I finished!

Sunday morning I participated in a Half Marathon walk. 

That's 13.1 miles.  Time:  3 hours, 27 minutes, 41 seconds.  Much faster than I anticipated or expected.  My feet ached, my knee hurt, but I finished!!!!  Luckily I didn't have to walk anywhere Monday.  I may or may not attach a photo of the finish . . . . I know it will look pretty bad.  No hair, no makeup, exhausted look on my face.  I think I'll engrave my medal so future generations will find it and say "Look what our old, out of shape, aunt did.  Was she crazy or what?"

Now I'm home for a while so I plan to attack some quilting projects.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guild workshop

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a class from Bobbi Finley.  She spoke at our guild and presented a workshop on Tile Quilts.  She shared a lot of history regarding the technique and photos of quilts from the late 1800's and early 1900's.  She then showed her modern versions. 
She teaches needle turn applique.  I did mine on the machine since hand applique and I do not get along.  I finished my first block.  Now to decide . . . . make a pillow and call it done?  or make additional blocks and make a quilt?  More decisions!

The black and white fabrics are appliqued
to the red background fabric.
After guild today I went shopping at Macy's.  SHOES!!!   (mainly short boots)  Of course this was after I purchased fabric from the guild ways and means committee.  I have got to do something with all the strip sets on my shelf.  They're multiplying like rabbits.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

fun with my embroidery machine

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a class at Thimble Towne using my embroidery machine.  I learned how to do machine embroidery applique and multiple hoopings.  The class was great . . . well worth the 5 hour round trip!  I did some extra cuttings with the die cutter so I'm able to make up a few more pieces.  One idea from class was to use the design with thread only - not put in the fabric applique.  It looked great as well.

This week I have two guild meetings.  I always leave these meetings inspried to go home and QUILT!  Yea!!
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Just an update.

I've been piecing but haven't finished any one quilt.

I still have to do some beading and add the "eyes".
Just a fun little wall hanging for Halloween.
Last Friday I attended a Friday night sew.  I worked on the kit below AND covered the board I use as a pressing station.  I keep the board on top of a movable kitchen cart.  It works wonderful.

This was a kit I purchased during a shop hop in May.
Some of the pieces were cut reversed, so I had
to make revisions to the pattern placement.
Previously I just had a piece of canvas
laying over the top of a board. 
Now it looks professional!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Quilt retreat project

I need to learn how to crop the photos
 I want in the blog.
I attended a guild retreat last weekend and had a wonderful time with quilting friends.  I pieced the inside of a top that, to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd ever finish.  It was a kit I purchased during my move when most of my fabric was packed away.  I love the inside, but am not happy with their suggested borders.  The top is on the wall until I decide what it needs next.  I'm hoping it talks loud and soon!  At first I thought of adding a white then red border, but I'm beginning to think the border needs to be pieced as well . . . or will that distract from the center?  Suggestions are welcome. 

I finished the feathers on the top I started at Cindy Needham's design workshop.  I will be working on quilting the (dense) backgrounds.  I'll post a photo when I'm further along.

Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My first post!

Look at me I'm blogging . . . .  from a Cindy Needham workshop.  Having a great time and learning lots of new stuff to apply to quilting.

I'm practicing how to upload a photo.

My friend Barb from is helping me set this up.