Sunday, November 29, 2015

Allietare Week 1

32 half square triangles done - 262 more to go!

This is my third Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. I used Bonnie's color suggestions for the first two. For this one I am only changing the black to navy. I'm hoping for a patriotic feel. Except for the gray fabric, the rest comes entirely from my stash! 

Except for some Christmas fabric to make 7 stockings and some ornaments, I have pretty much stuck to my goal of no new fabric this year unless it was for borders, backing, or binding.  The only other fabric purchases were five fat quarters purchased while on vacation in Maine and three Kaffe Fassett charm packs. 

Don't forget to visit Bonnie Hunter's blog to see how far along everyone else is after this holiday weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Starlight, Starbright

It took a few months but I've finally finished piecing the Starlight, Starbright quilt top.The pattern is by Missouri Star Quilt Co. I hope to get this top basted over the weekend so I can get it quilted by the end of November.

This quilt will be a Christmas present for my father. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. Thank you for your service, Dad.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happpy St. Patrick's Day!!

Hello!  I hope you are having a very Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I made a new mini quilt to use for the month of March:

This mini is bigger than I typically make - it measures at 18 1/2 X 18 1/2.  Generally, my minis range anywhere from 12 - 16 inches.  For this mini, I started with the checkerboard border.  I used these units that were initially intended to be used in Grand Illusion, the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt this year:

Obviously, I ripped out the black fabric and replaced it with white.  Then I added a few additional blocks to make the units line up correctly as they went around the corners.  The borders dictated the size of the center.

For the shamrock, I traced three heart shapes and a stem shape onto green fabric, added fusible web to the back side and fused them to the center background fabric.  Then I used a machine blanket stitch to secure the shamrock to the background.  

I did outline quilting around the shamrock and diagonal lines in the border.  I'm very pleased with the way this mini turned out.  It's hanging on my cubicle wall at work.  

Normally, it's only the ladies that notice/comment on my minis but a few of the men have commented on this one!  

How are you doing with your resolutions this year?  Is anyone still keeping them?  So far, I am still hanging in there on my fabric diet.  The only fabric purchased in February was the backing for this mini (a very pretty green fabric with Celtic knot shamrocks), so I've still only purchased backings/borders/bindings and my total fabric expenditures this year are less than $20.  Woo hoo!

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Quilt for Amelia

My niece Amelia made her entrance into this world on March 2.  She's the first child for my brother Noah and his wife Jennifer.  Jennifer has two sons from an earlier marriage.

Noah is going to be an awesome father!

I knew they were going to have a girl, so the Grand Illusion mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter was the quilt I made for Amelia.  I finished it the week before she was born and got it in the mail to Noah and Jennifer just in time!

It's hard to see the individual fabrics in this picture, but I've used some "meaningful" fabrics in this quilt.

I used fabric with music symbols to remind her of her father, who loves music.

I used fabric with cakes and cupcakes to remind her of her mother, who loves to bake and decorate cakes.

I used fabric with snowflakes to remind her of her aunts, uncles and cousins in New York.

And I used fabric with scissors to remind her of the aunt who made the quilt for her.

Over the three months I worked on this quilt, I thought of my little niece-to-be and stitched a lot of love into this quilt.  I told Noah that I hope in 10 years there will be nothing but a few strings left of this quilt.  I want her to play with the dogs on the floor with it and take it outside for picnics with her dolls.  I hope she snuggles under it when she needs to be comforted and I hope it keeps her warm.

I can't wait to meet her, but until I do, she has a piece of my heart nearby in this quilt.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

World's Biggest Pincushion?

My friend and co-worker, Diana, celebrated her birthday in February.  She recently caught the quilting bug so I wanted to make her something sewing-related for her birthday.

I knew I wanted to make a pincushion and I knew I wanted it to have hexagons on it.  I found this pattern on the Moda site and thought it looked similar to what I had in mind.

I modified the pattern by not using the petals and by using a solid fabric for the side and bottom, but I did use hexagons for the top and I used the overall same size as the pattern called for.

Here's the finished product:

This pincushion is HUGE!!! It's 6 inches across and 3 inches high.  Diana can probably get 1000 pins in this pincushion!

Here's the pincushion from the top:

I added a package of  "button" topped pins from JoAnn's and one special "cupcake" pin made from polymer clay that I ordered online, but that arrived too late to photo before I had to give Diana the pincushion.

She loves it, so even though it's gigantic, I know it will get used.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Grand Illusion - an almost completed top

I'm nearing the finish on completing the piecing of the top for "Grand Illusion" the Quiltville Mystery quilt for 2014-2015.

When Bonnie posted the assembly instructions, I auditioned the blocks on the design wall and wasn't thrilled with what I saw.

When I look at Bonnie's finished quilt and some of the others I've seen in Blogland, they look softer, more like a watercolor painting.  Mine seems "in your face" bold.  I guess I'm just not that adventurous.  If I look at this picture in a very small size, or from a distance, I kind of get that watercolor feeling.

But up close and personal, I'm wasn't feeling it.  Since it's my quilt, and I felt free to change it up.

I omitted the green checkered sashing and substituted a variety of white tone-on-tone fabrics:

 It's a little more soothing for me.  Don't get me wrong - I love Bonnie's finished version and many of the others I've seen.  For me, I needed something a little more calm.  You may notice there's a mistake in the lower-left block - I've got one of the corner units twisted.  I didn't notice that until I was posting the pictures so I'll have to go back and fix it.

I made 1/4 of the required units that Bonnie suggested, so mine will end up a crib-sized quilt.  I still need to add borders at this point.   I think I will substitute pink for the narrow yellow border that Bonnie used.  I want to bring out more of the pink color since this will be for my soon-to-arrive niece.  I'm omitting the pieced outer border that Bonnie used (see below). I don't really want to make this quilt any longer - just wider, so I'm puzzling over what to do for the outermost border.  Do you have any suggestions?

 Most of those outer border pieces went into a small quilt for the little one to use with the teddy bears and dollies I'm sure she will have as she gets older.

I also plan to use those checkerboard units.  I think I might take out the black squares and use the remaining green and white units in some kind of March/Saint Patrick's Day quilt.

I read another blog where the quilter changed Bonnie's design (again with the sashing) and someone criticized her for doing so and discussing it on her blog.  That person thought it was disrespectful to Bonnie.
I don't think Bonnie would see it that way.  I believe she wants us to take the patterns she provides us and to make them our own.  I'm grateful that Bonnie did this mystery quilt - I am using all the units she designed, just not all in the same quilt! 

On another Bonnie related note - I was watching "Buying Alaska" on the Destination America cable channel last night and noticed a Celtic Solstice quilt on the bed in the master bedroom!  Bonnie's quilt design was on TV!!  I yelled out "That's Celtic Solstice! I have that quilt too" and I'm pretty sure my husband and son thought I was a nut job!

Don't forget to hop over to Quiltville and check out all the other Grand Illusion quilts.

It's February Already!

 How did it get to be February already?

January was a blur of activity - we had two different weekends of family gatherings and a third weekend  with friends. I did make a little progress on my 2015 goal list:

I spent a little time on the Adelphi Hotel cross-stitch - I'm a little further ahead than this picture shows:

That's only one-third of the hotel - will it ever be done?  Yes - someday!!!

I pieced a few more hexie-flowers but forgot to take a picture.

I finished two more monthly mini quilts.

"Let it Snow" for January:

and "Candy Hearts" for February, inspired by this picture:

I used the pre-programmed letter stitches on my sewing machine to simulate the stamped words on the candy hearts.

I also "fixed" my very first monthly mini quilt - the red hearts are from a pack of die cut hearts I bought from Keepsake Quilting back in the early 1990's!  I think I started assembling this in 2009 or 2010 and finished it in 2011.  Here's the way it looked originally:

 You'll notice the "blanket stitch" is backwards - it was my first time doing it in about 20 years and I forgot how!  I ripped out all the hand stitching and re-did it using the blanket stitch on my sewing machine:

Ah - now that's better!  I brought this one to hang up in my cubicle at work but I haven't gotten it put up yet since I'm home with bronchitis at the moment.  Hopefully, it will go up tomorrow.

As for the fabric diet - well that's going pretty well.  I only bought a total of one yard in January.  A half yard was for the backing of "Candy Hearts", so that doesn't count.  I also bought two fat quarters - peach and light green for "Candy Hearts" since I did not have solids in those colors.  So really, only a half yard of non-diet fabric!  Sew far, sew good! 

With one month in, how are you doing at your 2015 goals?