Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last Quilting of the Year

First up is the next step in the Mystery quilt. It looks very similar to the last step - they are both four-square blocks, but this set uses the background fabric (grey) and the medium fabric (orange). Only 6 more steps/months until it will be a quilt top!

I also finished a quilt top by adding a border. I bought the border fabric in Toledo. Border fabric is allowed under the no-buy challenge rules. I also bought backing fabric for it. My original thought was to machine quilt this quilt myself, but it is a bit bigger then I originally thought.

The patter for this quilt was from the MODA Bakeshop blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New (Half) Year Resolutions

I have decided since I have a summer birthday my resolutions will be for the half-year and then I will have new/renewed resolutions starting in July.
So for the first 6 months here are my goals:

1.) Lose 10 pounds by May 20, 2011 (in time for Aaron’s and Barbie’s wedding). I will achieve this by eating more fruits and veg, minimizing the junk food (but not giving it up completely), and consistently going to the gym and otherwise keeping active – like hiking mountains when it get warm enough.

2.) Completely finish an already started quilting project before starting a new one. This may or may not diminish my list of things to finish, but at least it will keep the list from getting any bigger. By default this means I will be working on my machine quilting skills this year.

3.) On the professional front I would like to have another article published. The goal is to have at least a full rough draft done by the end of June.

Well 3 is a nice number so I will stop my list there. Sure there are lots of other things I could list that I want to do and achieve but these are the more on-going things that will need regular attention. I should keep track by doing monthly confessions on the progress with all of these to keep me honest.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post Holiday Wrap-Up

Well we are all dog-tired after the holidays. As you can see Ivan was busy hoarding all the new toys. But after that he was busy sleeping on the couch.

Damon and I prepared a few dishes and went over to our friends' Gina and Terry's for Christmas dinner. Then we all came back here for desert.

Being on a quilting fabric no-buy I was thrilled with all the quilting fabric and other quilting related gifts this year. Pictured here are some the fabric rolls and a quilting book that Damon got me. Aren't the colors fabulous! The second picture includes a rotary blade sharpener and a book and DVD on free motion quilting and even more fabric.

This along with the fabric from Tammy and the patterns from Gina should keep me busy for a while. Not that it should be much of an issue as the number of quilting UFOs (UnFinished Objects) is piling up around me.
When I was in Toledo I did buy a border and backing for a quilt top already in progress. Once those are set I will be setting up the sewing room for machine quilting that and one other quilt.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Group Quilt Done

Well the quilt is finally done! It has been about a year and a half, but our small quilting group (about 8 of us) have finished this quilt for Cheryl who is giving it to her mom for a raffle quilt for an organization she belongs to.
We all made a couple of blocks. Mine are the last 2 in the 3rd row. We also all contributed to finishing the quilt. I hand sewed the back of the binding on. So other than a label, it is now all done. This picture was taken in November so it still has the raw edges.
The blocks for this quit were taken from Rosemary Makhan's Biblical Quilt Block books.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Making Candy

The house smells wonderful tonight! Damon is busy making his second batch of Torrone. He has been experimenting with a variety of recipes the past few years, but has found the Martha Stewart Torrone Recipe to be the best for the type of consistency for the finished product. Although her recipe calls for Pistachios, Damon alters flavorings and nuts. Usually the flavors are Vanilla, Orange or Lemon and he uses Pistachios or Almonds.
The current batches are for family back in Toledo. I think we will be be doing a couple more latter in the month for us and for local friends.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mystery Quilt - step #1 Done

The first step in the mystery quilt was to cut strips of the background and dark fabrics and make 4-patches. For the queen sized quilt I am working on I needed to make 80 of the 4-patches.
I am happy to say that all my blocks are done and I am ready for the next step which we will get on Wednesday at the guild meeting.
80 blocks is a lot but I broke it up into small steps and smaller batches so I was rotating between cutting, sewing and pressing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ready for the Holidays

Here is this year's Christmas tree. I usually add some sort of garland, either ribbons or strings of poinsettias. But I decided just to leave it with the ornaments. I did add one big poinsettia at the top of the tree just under the star. So far everything is still intact, the dogs seem to be good about avoiding the tree, but just in case the lower branches have the not-so-breakable ornaments.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The latest quilting projects

First up is the 12 1/2 inch purple hippopotamus block. The quilt guild has a viewers choice contest for children's blocks at the December meeting. This is my entry for this year. I found the hippo by searching images of online coloring pages. (Always a great source for finding applique shapes.) I used four different purple fabrics to build my hippo.

Next up is the paper-pieced feathered star. Sandy (Damon's Aunt) bought me the pattern and bought one for herself in the summer of 2009.

I have been wanting to do a feathered star for quite a while, but if you know anything about quilting you will understand why it is a somewhat intimidating pattern to take on.

I paper pieced the individual parts at the quilting retreat in November and put together the parts and removed all the paper backing last weekend. I like my choice of fabrics - it gives off a nice frost look. I just have to figure out what I want to do with it. Feature this one block in a small quilt or wall hanging or do make more and make a bigger project?