Sunday, December 27, 2009

1, 2, bag up my quilts, 3...

3 bags are a good start, believe me I could bag up more but it seems a little daunting right now.  I totally rearranged my sewing room - it all started because the cutting table was preventing me from taking pictures of the design wall staight on - next thing you know I've got my husband up here moving all the tables and furniture, forced some more organization though!
My projects in my January bag, that will be my Charming Girls January goals are:

1. Cut 162 10" squares for my Jingles rag quilt. (my first post)
2. Xavier's Dinosaur Courthouse Steps; finish blocks,
3. Add borders, send for quilting (reserve some time for me Carol : )

4. Start on the second quilt for my friend Nancy.  I made one for her brother last Christmas and I have all the strips and squares cut for piecing, I just need to cut the 5" squares for the HST from her mom's clothing and start working on that.  My January goal will be complete the HST and
5. The blue and white 4-patchs - there are over 200 of those (now I'm tired).  Below is the completed quilt and the strips cut for the second one.

6.  Cut and sew yo-yo's from Blossom yardage by Urban Chicks.  I have a Blossom charm pack and I don't like the yardage so much, but it is all circles so why not yo-yo's?
7. Sew charms quilt center.  Then I will add borders to applique vines and the yo-yo's but not in January!  I like change too much, gotta keep things mixed up.  Kelly - no counting the borders for January!!!

8. Block two from 2008, yes 2008 geez, Mystery quilt.  At least I will get it done.

And that's all so I don't end up like this:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Moving Toward New Year

Part of my 'end of year' routine is to get my new calendar ready for the coming year.  I take down the current year, get the new calendar, the school calendar (no kids at home but my husband is a teacher), my work holiday calendar, colored sharpies, and some stamping supplies.
I start with January of the current year and mark all the January birthdays and anniversaries for the coming year.  I pick a stamp for birthdays, one for anniversaries and use those with a different color ink for each month.  Then I mark the name (s) and for grandchildren, neices, nephews, etc. I write their age.  I note the year for each anniversary.  I mark all work and school holidays and my husband's conferences.  If I know the dates of vacations I mark them.  As I look through the current year calendar it is fun to read all the family get togethers, coffee with friends, vet visits, band concerts, football games - all the stuff of life that fill the calendar. 
Then for those who are not near me I make a small note when to shop each birthday based on when my paydays occur, the date to mail a box or card.
It is a fun ritual for me.
Next week I will work on my 2010 quilting projects

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Memories

Kelly at Charming Chatter has posted a Christmas Memories Giveaway.  Kelly, this is for you...
My favorite Christmas is always the one about to happen.  2007 was the year my daughter and her family were in New Zealand for an 8-month working vacation - we had Christmas memories made via web cams - the happy part of that was them coming back.  But I did want to make it special for my grandsons so they got quilts from Nana.   Chandler, on the left, was my design and had leaves quilted in an all over design.  Corbin's quilt, on the right, had his favorite - Orcas.  I made the orca design on a 5' x 5' piece of newsprint and appliqued the pieces.  I couldn't finish before they had to leave.  They went from Colorado to Minnesota (where my son-in-law is from) and Corbin's other grandma, pictured helping hold the quilts for pictures, finished the quilt by doing the quilting and binding.  She also entered in a quilt show there.

Christmas 2008 and they're back home - they've grown so much in a year - and another Christmas almost here for more memories - I love my family.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Secret Santa Gift

I received my Secret Santa gifts, thanks to Cathi Gainey of Shakerwood Primitives - how beautiful Cathi!  There is a wonderful Christmas wall hanging, so fun and already on the wall, a delightful Christmas ornament and a fabric bag in red and green, my favorite colors - it is going to be new lunch tote for work.  Madde is sitting next to them and looks innocent but she is really just waiting for me to leave the room so she can grab the ornament - she is pretty sure that came for her.
Thanks Joan for organizing the fun swap!

Winter Baby Quilting

I started the quilting on Liam's 'Winter Baby' quilt (below).  I have four plain blocks so I did some quilting in there, snowflake in two and meander with mittens in two.  In the four patch blocks I am just doing a grid pattern.  I have a fair amount of red border that I am not sure what to quilt in there, but I was thinking pine branches would be nice.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Santa

Twill be the night before Christmas quicker than you can twitch your little red nose - or is that Rudolph?  Either way, while you are getting your bag packed please toss in a Martinique Fat Quarter Bundle by 3 Sisters.  It won't be winter forever (down here anyway) and I will need to get a lighter weight quilt ready for summer - wouldn't Mrs. Claus love these fabrics?  You should probably throw in a bundle for her - you know, a little gift to make up for the extra time you've been away from the house lately - with all the work for the elves who do you think is cleaning up after those reindeer?  Probably better get her a few bundles.  I will leave some extra gingerbread men for your thoughtfulness, maybe you should take a few home to the Mrs.
Christmas Blessings,
Your favorite litlle helper, Kate

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Follow the Flannel Brick Road

Made the backing for little Liam's Winter Baby Quilt.  It is a large brick pattern using the Jingles yardage.  My next step is to quilt it - I am going to do a grid pattern, then I am going to rag the edges - rather than rag each block.  It should be a cozy naptime blankie.

I also finished a scarf for my friend at work, it is a short neck scarf in a rib pattern, it has a buttohole opening that allows you to pull the other side through instead of tying a knot.  It is great for the office, just the right size to wear with a top on chilly days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Baby Quilt

I finished the top of my first Jingles flannel quilt - Winter Baby - it is a play on words as my greanson is Liam Winter.  I haven't mastered taking pics of the full quilt - tips are appreciated.
I used the charms to create 4-patch blocks then laid them out 4 across and 4 down.
I want to break up all the little squares so I removed 4 blocks and inserted a plain block.

The 4 x 4 layout was only about 36" square and I wanted a quilt that would last into toddler naptimes. 
To make it rectangular I used the four blocks I removed to create offset cornerstones.  I like the result.  Next step is to piece the back - large brick path design.

Friday, November 27, 2009

2 Hour Table Runner

I needed an easy table runner as a gift for a friend.  I had Moda's Peace on Earth layer cake set - so I based the design off the 10" squares.  It went so quickly I made two, this one for myself, my friend's is below.
I laid 5 squares on point and cut 8 squares almost in half - .5" off center. The remaining portion went into my triangle remants for HST. Assembly was simple row piecing and I attached the backing pillowcase style to avoid binding.
Because it wanted it to drape more like a tablecloth I did not use batting.  I stitched around the edges and 1/4 inch from the seams for top stitching.

For fun I added Christmas fabric as the backing - no piecing, just a fun fabric that will make a quick buffet cover during the holidays.

My friends version has deeper coolers and I used browns of the layer cake set with red and green for hers, while mine paired the aquas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Sweets

Inspired by Sinta's post on her blog Pink Pincushion I am posting a recipe for one of my family's favorite holiday treats - Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls.  They taste just like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.


• 1 18-ounce jar peanut butter
• 2 pound powdered sugar
• 1 cup butter, softened
• chocolate almond bark [or melt 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips with 2 T shortening]


Mix peanut butter, butter [optional 1 tsp vanilla] with an electric mixer until well blended.

Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, blending with the mixer until all the sugar is mixed in. The dough will be slightly crumbly.

Form the dough into 1 - 1 1/2 inch size balls by rolling the dough between your hands. Set formed balls on a plate or cookie tray.

Mix all ingredients together except for chocolate. Shape into 1-inch balls. Cool in frig. Melt chocolate in microwave, or double boiler and dip balls in being sure to cover completely. Put on wax paper to harden.

Once they are cool you can put them in plastic containers in the refrigerator or freezer. They will keep for several weeks.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Inspiration for Rag Quilt

This is my inspriration for my flannel rag quilt.  My sister Carol made this from layer cake squares.  I love it on cold evenings as a lap quilt - my little Madde loves it anytime.  Carol did machine embroidery on one of the squares -- hmmm -- I hadn't thought of doing embroidery, but that would be charmin' for Liam's baby quilt.  Any ideas on what to embroider?  BTW - my daugter Elena did get her promotion and transfer back to Denver - hurray!  So we will have her and Liam and husband Jason back in Colorado January 11.  Ahh, I love my family.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sisters Christmas Quilt Project

Ready to start our Sisters Christmas Quilt - here are my flannel fabrics - all courtesy of my sister Carol.  I have a lot of yardage and 64 charms that I got with my birthday gift card.  I think I want to make a large rag quilt for myself and a mini rag quilt for new baby Liam.  For Liam's I will use the 5 inch charms and use the same process as the 10 inch squares of the larger quilt.  Goal for next Sunday - have all the10 inch squares and all batting squares cut - will post next weekend.  Below is a picture of Liam visiting with mom Elena two weeks ago.

It's fun to see my grandkids quilting.  The two oldest have done the most - here are four of them with log cabin pillows they made while spending an afternoon with Nana.

Quilt for a Friend

This is a quilt I created this quilt for my friend Nancy last Christmas. Her mom passed away and she wanted a quilt for herself and her brother made with fabric from some of her mom's shirts and tops. I created half-square triangles from background fabric and clothing. I set the blocks in a chain pattern and added appliqued oak leaves to the borders. My sister Carol quilted it and did a wonderful job. Nancy grew up in Louisiana and had many oak trees. Next I will be creating a version for Nancy - I hope to have that by the first of the year.

Fresh Start

I have gotten away from quilting and it doesn't make me happy.  So I have created this blog to be a 'sister' blog with my sister - hee hee - Carol's Blog.
We are going to watch each other quilting progress and communicate with friends at the same time.
This is dedicated to you, Carol - love you bunches!