Friday, October 29
I'm going to share one that I've shared before but it is a favorite. This is a quilt that I made for the youth area of the Prior Lake (MN) Library. I like it because I thought of my kids and their friends as I made the fall side of the quilt that you see here.......
Wednesday, October 27
The tutorial for her block design can be found here . It's a fun and easy project to do. The cottages go together quickly, although "fussy cutting" the scenes for the windows adds a teeny bit of extra time. I changed one little thing in the block....... I put the window in the center of each side of the cottage instead of right next to the door. You'll see what I mean when you check out her tutorial. I made a set of Christmas Cottages for the swap that Nanette coordinated ... go here to see them ... and you will see that they are made as shown in her tutorial. For all the cottages, Christmas and Halloween, I added rick rack or trim along the edges of the roof. It doesn't show up in the photo above. Really need to get a better photo for you all. When the top is finally quilted, I will add tiny pumpkin and spider buttons for door knobs. :-) I'm also planning to add a ghost or two after the machine quilting is done. This is all I'll do on this one for this Halloween season, as I don't plan to do the quilting til I get a new machine. I'm hoping that will be soon. :-)
This next photo is just fabric and I didn't turn it into a quilt but instead I made an apron from this fabric. It's almost all finished except for a bit of hand-stitching. I'll post a photo when it's done and that will be soon.....I want it done in time for me to wear it to cook up some witch's brew this weekend. Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!
Before I get to any cooking, though, I'm going to stitch up this project that has been in the Halloween fabric pile for a couple years.
Monday, October 25
The year before that, I made this little sampler quilt. If you want to make one, too, you will find the pattern here . It's quick and easy. If you have any trouble printing the pages, just e-mail me for a pdf file.
Saturday, October 23
I loved that candy corn fabric that my swap partner Cheryl used in the totebag swap and got lucky enough to find the same fabric at JoAnn's. And that's when I thought........oh, that would look so cute with that 'Happy Jack's" fabric (by Alexander Henry) if I made it up in Pat Sloan's blog hop pattern "Wishing Well"......and that's what I did..........
It turned out so cute, that I think it's sweet as candy corn! I know you're not supposed to "crow about things" but I just love how this turned out! I found the perfect flecked orange and some scraps of a perfect vintage yellow in my stash and they look just like candy corn - almost good enough to eat! I love how this looks on my table and at Halloween, I'll replace the flowers with a big ceramic pumpkin filled with candy for the "Trick-or-Treating" kiddies.
I stitched this up last weekend. I was actually looking for fabrics for the tablerunner that I shared on my blog yesterday, when I got the idea to use these fabrics on Pat's pattern. It was super easy and I made it in just one afternoon/evening. The quilt is just "stitch in the ditch" because I wanted to see all these fabrics. Now if you want to make one, too, just pop over to Pat's blog and you will find a link on this post that will give you all the info on Pat's free patterns. Pat made her sample in a cottage rose print and come spring, I have some rosy-posy fabrics that would also look good in this lay-out. In the meantime, since Halloween will soon be over and Christmas is just around the corner.......I've pulled out the sweetest peppermint candy fabric that will be my 6-1/2" square on a Christmas themed table runner. When you see a post titled "A Peppermint Treat", you'll know it's finished!
I was going to show you an "in-progress" Halloween project but I have not really made much progress today. LOL! Some unplanned things called my name and I only got a wee bit of sewing done but that's okay because ....... tomorrow is just a day away. :-)
Happy weekend everyone!
Friday, October 22
Thursday, October 21
I know that some of you are participating in Michele's Quilting~Gallery swap. I designed the candlemat for her swap and had so much fun making the samples for the swap. With Halloween just around the corner, I decided I had to make one for a "candy dish mat". :-) I also wanted to simplify the project and that's what I did in the mat pictured in the photo above. If you compare the top candlemat to the original made from an "Adoring" charm pack from Moda (go here for the introduction post on the candlemat project), you can see these differences........
*I used only three fabrics in the candlemat pictured above.
*The narrow border that surrounds the center section is a solid color. I cut 1-1/2" x 8-1/2" strips instead of two 4-1/2" strips sewn together.
*Instead of 1-1/2" strip sets on each side of the mat, I cut a 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" strip for this section.
*I rounded the corners on the mat.
*I added rick-rack to the edge of the mat and then sewed the top, batting and backing together and then turned it inside out through a small opening on the edge of the mat. I slipstitched that opening and you can't really tell. I pressed the entire mat and then machine quilted it.
By simplifying the pieces involved, you can make a candlemat like this one in just a couple of hours. :-)
In the photo below, you'll see that this mat is very similar to the original mat. There are some differences........
*I used Halloween fabrics from my stash instead of a charm pack.
*I "fussy cut" the fabric that says "boo!" so that it would be on all the outside triangles of the center section.
*I used a single strip 1-1/2" x 8-1/2" of striped fabric for most of the border that surrounds the center section. For the corner sections of that border, I did some more "fussy cutting" and put a screaming ghost in the corner of each of the 3-1/2" corner squares.
The rest of the candlemat was made like the original. I machine quilted the piece and completed it in an afternoon of sewing time.
Wednesday, October 20
This is Michelle's pincushion base and you can see that winter is her theme. She stitched the snowmen to get the winter theme started. I am stitching a little something on here that reminds me of winter. Earlier tonight I felt like I could have used a pair of them while I was stitching. That's a hint. LOL!! We haven't turned the heat on yet but I think the time is coming soon. Anyway, when I finish what I am stitching on this piece, I'll show it to Michelle first and then share with all of you. Check out Michelle's blog here and also, her website Rocking~Chair~Stitches.
I'm meeting my good friend, Barb, for lunch today. She is not a quilter but she appreciates quilting and she faithfully reads my blog. :-) We worked together many moons ago as teacher's aides at an elementary school. Plus our kids went to school together. We'll have a great time catching up. We'll have a great day and I hope you do, too!!
Tuesday, October 19
We had to send goodies with our totebag......3 fat quarters, some sweet treats, a Halloween gift item and a spool of thread. I've already used the fat quarter with the bats on it and have plans for the Halloween cat fabric. My grandson loved the candy and I am going to use my cookie cutter for some pumpkin cookies at Halloween. Thanks so much Cheryl for a boo-tiful totebag swap!!
Here is the bag I made for Cheryl............
The photo on the right is taken just before I sewed the handles in place. This is a fun and easy totebag to make and I plan to do a tutorial on it come Spring. Yes, that may seem a long time away but there is good reason for that. The time will be right for this come spring. :-)
I tucked in three fat quarters, some packs of needles, the spool of thread and some Halloween buttons...........and then...........
I folded the bag very nicely and placed it on top of those goodies .........and added some sweet treats. I got lucky......Cheryl said Mallo Cups are her favorite and I had no way of knowing that. I just remembered that they were a favorite of mine when I was a kid so when I saw them at the store, I had to put them in her package. :-) She liked her totebag, too, so we were both very happy swap partners.
It's not easy to tell from the photos but this one is about twice the size of the one I sent her. You see, this is the first totebag I was making for her and I just started cutting fabric and stitching. I knew what I wanted to make but I was kind of doing two things at once and it didn't work. At the time I working on this, my husband was trying to solve some computer problems for me so my mind was divided between answering his questions and also trying to be at my sewing machine.
Monday, October 18
I love the fall leaves and so I made this table topper or wallhanging to celebrate autumn and it's colorful foliage. This quilt was made in 2003. I designed it, stitched it and my friend, Sara Peterson did the machine quilting. She used a variegated thread that really adds to the quilting design.
The design for the quilt came from little sketches I did when I used to work fulltime. :-) I was often on the phone with customers but would be put "on hold" and so I would "doodle" while I waited. I "doodled" a series of five quilts that are all about the same size - approximately 36" square. Once again, this was a project that I shared with my friends at church (I also taught it as a community education class). This is the project that I made reference to a couple of weeks ago as a "Mystery Series" that I taught. Some of my friends thought we should do a mystery quilt series, so I told them I had designed some small quilts that might work well for mystery projects. The first one was called "Winter Star" and you'll see it in December. The second was "Hearts in the Pines" and you'll see it in November. The spring version is "Spring Wreath" and then for summer comes "Patriotic Pinwheel". I had stitched them and knew what they looked like. I gave clues to what type of fabric to buy regarding lights, darks, prints, etc. However, the one thing about mystery quilts is that sometimes you might have chosen a different fabric and ended up with a quilt that you like a lot more. And that is exactly the case for most of the quilts my friends made. Granted some turned out just right, but others not so sweet. After this series, none of us were interested in any more mystery quilt projects. I have never put these patterns into "pattern format" but my friend, Marianne, is going to "test" my instructions so that I can make that happen. I'll be sure and keep you posted on progress on this project. :-)
A little over a week ago when I was home visiting my mother, there were signs of autumn every where you looked.......trees turning colors, harvesting in the fields, hay bales being put up for the long winter, and the sun going down earlier every day. On that Saturday after we had spent the afternoon shopping, we decided to spend our evening at the McQuire Bend United Brethren Church Supper and Bazaar. It's a little country church that was founded in 1890 and still serves an active congregation. It's a very pretty, very peaceful setting. Many of my family members attended church here in the 1940's and earlier.
And the crocheted doilies were just exquisite!! Double-click on the photo below and you can see the detail of some of them.
I also really liked this crocheted angel...........and if there was an item that I really wanted to stay and bid on, it was this rose quilt. It was one of three vintage quilts included in the auction. I wonder who went home with that quilt?
Behind the church lies the cemetary. I took this photo just as we were leaving and the sun was going down.
Sunday, October 17
Saturday, October 16
This is Jane Fournier. She was one busy stitcher because she was on a mission to finish a quilt top for a grandbaby! There is nothing like a deadline to get us to finish projects. Right?!!
I met Jane in 2003 when she came to our February retreat. She loved Villa Maria as soon as she came in the front door. It reminded her of her college days and her first teaching assignment. And Jane didn't know it when she arrived that day in February but she was going to meet someone who had influenced her as a young teacher. Here's what happened........
In the lower hallway at Villa Maria, there are pictures of the buildings, the Villa's history and the Sisters/Nuns who have taught or served at Villa Maria. Jane noticed a familiar face and said that it was a Sister who had helped her during a hard time in her early teaching years. She wondered where she was now. Well, I knew immediately this was Sister Marian, a little sprite of a woman who will all enjoyed seeing each time we came to Villa Maria. So, in reply to Jane's thought.....I answered........"why that's Sister Marian and she lives here at Villa Maria." Jane couldn't believe it. She had to find her, so we went to the lobby and asked the receptionist where Sister Marian might be. She replied that she was over in the other building (Ursline Hall) looking at all the ladies quilts. Jane could not get out the door fast enough and I can still see the look on her face and Sister Marian's when they first saw each other. A big hug followed and for the rest of the weekend, the two were together as much as possible. It had been more than 30 years since they had seen each other but if you have ever had a teacher that impacted your life, you know the joy it is to visit with that person.
Jane and Sister Marian got to "reconnect" at more of my retreats but this year, we were missing her. Sister Marian passed away in 2008 but she lived a long and very active, very caring life. I can remember that she would come into the room where we would be sewing or crafting and often sit and stitch with us. One year, she made fourteen little woolfelt valentine heart pins for her Sisters who were in care facilities. She was such a sweetheart and is dearly missed. But isn't it wonderful that she and Jane got to know each in those last years of her life? I just love it when those kind of things happen. :-)
Next up is Gretchen Hughes. She is a retired teacher who now enjoys spending lots of time quilting. She makes lots of big quilts and makes lots of them for family. Lucky family!
I can't recall exactly where I met Gretchen but I think I initially met her because she and Sandy Chapman are good friends. Gretchen and Sandy both came to the quilt retreat at Villa Maria in February of 2003. I think it was that same year that they hosted their first "Sew Close to Home Retreat". They had a nationally known teacher the first couple years, and then in 2005, they asked if I would be the teacher for their retreat and would I please design a project that could be done in a weekend.......really and truly? So I did. :-) And in 2006, they asked me back again and I designed another quilt top that could really and truly be stitched up in one weekend. I've not shared either one yet on my blog but they will make an appearance after Christmas (if not before).
We always take a group picture on the front lawn of Villa Maria. Look at the happy faces of all of us......................
I have just two more photos to share. Remember the gorgeous tree I shared in my first post about Villa Maria? Well, that one was taken on Saturday and this one was taken on Sunday, just before we packed up to return home. Isn't it gorgeous?