Saturday, November 30, 2013

Celtic Solstice-The Mystery!

Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt project made it's debut today. 
Angela and Kathy had this cake made especially for our event. Bonnie often uses paint cards to guide us in her color choices for her mysteries. A few quilters may opt to use their own color choices, but I think most will stick with Bonnie's.
 Angela organized this quilting sew-in to kick off the first clue in the mystery. The genial owners of "In Stitches" quilt shop in Goodyear AZ, volunteered the use of their classroom for our get together.
There was a plethora of food offered by the participants, some healthy food, some not so healthy but all delicious!
 Here we are all hoisting our invaluable rotary cutters, a tool that saves us hours of cutting time in prepping for piecing our quilts!
Here are some of the little blocks I completed for this first clue. Angela made the little stockings in Celtic Solstice colors, one for each of us and one for Bonnie. Thanks Angela both for this very thoughtful remembrance and for organizing the entire event. You rock!
 Another half dozen clues will be released, one each Friday until the "big reveal" when we hope to  meet up again to sew the final clue.
Meantime, follow along as we compete each new clue, her on my blog or one of many others participating, at Bonnie's blog "Snips and Quips", and also on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We Give Thanks……….

George Washington

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great
 Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

    George Washington

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Needlework Tuesday

I am linking up with Heather over at Needlework Tuesday
Just off the longarm, this beautiful Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Lazy Sunday, belongs to Andee. I love the fabrics she used, even the pieced backing.
Here you see the fabrics up close, so fresh and pretty!
Then the backing fabrics, just as sweet
I'm not sure, but these look as if they may have come from the same collection?
I am not very aware of collections but one of my readers probably knows!
Quilted with freehand edge to edge feathers.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cross Stitch Baby Quilt

This required some blocking but I was still unable to get it perfectly square because it has a piece of flannel attached to the underside which resisted stretching! So I added a Kona muslin border and quilted it avoiding too much stitching inside the actual cross stitching, just enough to hold it down.
 The backing is a pale blue flannel.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Velvet Pumpkins

A year ago I came across these adorable pumpkins on these  two blogs, both of which [and many others] have good tutorials. I will show you my process and how I plan to change it next time I make them!
 Last year this I time was very busy, we were in Colorado with friends from Australia and then I had those spinal surgeries………so, no pumpkins!
Today I pulled out the necessary parts and got to work to produce these 4 little pumpkins, they were super fast, why did I procrastinate so long?!
I saved stems from my pumpkins and squash last year and they were totally dried out, I wish the stems were longer but I will be searching for more this year!
You can use a variety of items to stuff the pumpkins…….
 Poly Pellets, a bit pricey………..
 beans, cheap!
 Or crushed walnut shells, they vary in price, cheaper at the farm stores. I used a combination but I wouldn't spend the money for the pellets, they were very hard to control and although I use the walnut shells for pincushions and they work well for those, I don't recommend the shells for this project. Stick with the beans and the poly stuffing!
Oh yes, you also need some polyester stuffing.
I purchased what was called "panne or crushed velvet" it's much less expensive than regular velvet.
These are 12" and 7" circles, they made quite small pumpkins so I would not make the circles any smaller.
 I used a heavy thread, buttonhole or carpet thread works or even dental floss!
I sewed the running stitch about 3/4 to an inch from the edge so it would fold the raw edge under into the middle, but next time I will sew very close to the edge and it will be hidden by the stem. Put the beans in first then fill to the top with the stuffing. Draw up the thread, tighten it as much as you can then tie it off and tuck the thread ends inside the center.
Some people talk abut using glue guns but I find they don't work well in this kind of situation, so I defaulted to the trusty Aleene's Glue 
Then I stuck a bag of beans on the pumpkins till the glue dried, it didn't take very long even though it's been raining here in Phoenix all day.
Here they are on my lovely granite island and I have decided that I will make some more to take to a friend's retirement party tomorrow, don't you think that's a cool gift?
And anyway I need a fifth pumpkin, Feng Shui says we should always use odd numbers, LOL!

BOM Month Eleven! Finished For Friday

These are the last four blocks for my 2013 BOM.
They are mirror images of the blocks from last month. Next month we get assembly and border instructions for the optional applique stars that for me really set off the whole quilt, they are the perfect finishing touch. I am not excited about the 2014 BOM so it's unlikely I will join in, there are many other designs HIMM [Hidden In My Mind] that I would rather make!
Meanwhile I have several tops awaiting the longarm but I before I tackle them I put on a practice piece last night to experiment with a different style of all over feathering.
Also awaiting some "Halo" Superior  metallic/iridescent thread for the blue Christmas quilt, I plan to McTavish the background with the thread above. I already have Superior silver metallic for the rest of the quilt.
Christmas is not so far off now so I will need to get busy on this- once it is quilted I still need to make 20 buttonholes on the tree to enable the LED lights to push through from the back!
Argh, buttonholes!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feathers, Feathers And More Feathers!

Linking up with Heather at Needlework Tuesday.
Smith Mountain Morning is done, even the binding!
 As promised it is all feathers, meandering in the body of the quilt
 and separate feathered borders. The binding combines the two main colors in this quilt, blue and brown.
I used Quilter's Dream wool for the batting, so light and soft and gives lovely definition of the quilting.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finished On Friday

This quilt is already on its way back to Linda in CO.
 I am struggling with color accuracy so I am wondering if my camera setting is off but I can't find the instructions!
 The background is a very dark navy, the sashing grassy green and cornerstones and stop border are purple.
The backing is a mottled grey/blue that appears simply grey here.
I used a grassy green thread that looks really pretty on the front and the back.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas tree Wall-Hanging

I am linking up with Heather for Needlework Tuesday
This quilt will have 20 tiny LED lights on the tree once it is finished and I am thinking of adding some bling to the border also. It was my weekend project, and it's ready for quilting, the embellishments are added after quilting lest they get caught up with the hopping foot. It is quite large, 44"x65"and I am not sure where in the house it will be displayed!
This past week was a very productive one for me, and today I am back at the longarm.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honoring Those Who Serve Us

In Thanksgiving for every faithful patriot who has served/is serving our great Nation, those in our own family, past and present, Wounded Warriors and Fallen Heroes, all who fight for Freedom.
May God bless you and all whom you love.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Celebrating My Own Smith Mountain Morning!

The borders are on, it's ready to quilt and I am super happy to have this done. Much sooner than I had expected but this week I was free to sew without distractions, no little boy and DH is away in Colorado!
It went together so nicely, all the outer border pieces fitted perfectly without a whimper and it's nice and square. I have another quilt that needs to go on the longarm first, I have been waiting on the backing, then I can mail it back to it's owner, but after that I will quilt SMM, maybe even later this coming week, woohoo, can you tell that I am excited about this one!
I went to Bernina Connection on Friday, they have a huge sale, so I picked up backing for SMM at 75% off.
And then just for fun a bit of this Goanna and Snake fabric to add to my Aussie fabric collection-truly I need to make a quilt with them perhaps this will inspire me!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Floorplan Quilt Has A New Home!

Today I delivered this to my friend who is facing major surgery in two weeks. I thought the colors were ocean like and she has an ocean/seaside theme in her living room and the Swirls I quilted on it remind me of ocean waves.
It's a comfort quilt to let her know that she is not alone.
This evening Smith Mountain Morning is together, tomorrow I will work on the pieced border. At this rate I do not have to worry about completing it before the new mystery begins! Might even get it quilted too.........
Somehow the camera never does justice to the colors, it's really much prettier!

Courthouse Steps Blocks For SMM

All 28 Courthouse Steps/Log Cabin blocks are done!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Progress on Smith Mountain Morning

I am linking up with Heather over at Books And Quilts for Needlework Tuesday.
To date, I have completed the 28 star blocks, 16 blue and 12 brown.
There are a total of 784 pieces in these 28 blocks, so you can see why this quilt is not made overnight!
Currently I am piecing the 28 Courthouse Steps/Log Cabin blocks and I thought they would go faster than the stars but it seems to be taking me longer, there are all those 1.5" squares to sew onto the ends of the strips. In addition I was distracted by my audiobook and mistakenly sewed the squares onto the wrong strips so I had to remove all 116 of them and now I am sewing them onto the correct strips. Argh, that was an hour or more of wasted time! These 28 blocks also have a total of 784 pieces so it really should not take longer than the stars. With any luck these will be finished today and I can begin construction of the top tomorrow.
And now I am off to the gym for an hour or so!