Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Finishes - Free 2014 Patterns

Have you been working on your Block of the Month (BOM) quilts and keeping up.  Or, we are just finishing January, so there is still time for you to join us.  Several people have asked me for a reminder to check for the next month's block.  So here is your reminder quilters.  Tomorrow is the big day for February's blocks.

There are five quilt designs that are free currently.  They will not remain free forever, so if you are interested, print the pattern off now.

BOM 2014  
I had so much fun organizing last years block of the month club....that I decided to do it again! Wanting to be able to include all quilting levels I have decided it will be based on 2 1/2' squares and strips. This quilt will consist of 10 blocks, sections or strips, one a month. There is no paper piecing in this quilt, but there will be a little bit of machine applique and a tiny little bit of embroidery.  I will have a tutorial with the pattern included each month.  The monthly patterns will be FREE during the month that they are announced, after that they will be available for a small fee. In November we will piece the sections together and December will be saved for putting on borders and finishing touches.

Now here is the part that drives me crazy, in a fun way! Choosing fabrics..... everyone has their favorites.... have fun choosing fabrics!  But I will tell you, tone on tone fabrics will be best in this quilt.  You will be creating a 'scene' in this quilt, it's super duper cute! The 'Logo' on the top of the post is a huge clue! I will be using... fabric from Studio E's Silly Chilly Snowmates, Tried and True and Jingle All The Way from Bernatex, Hoffman Bali Handpaints, and bits and pieces from my fabric stash...
Finished size will be 70" x 84" (Twin Size)
Yardage.... this is an estimate with extra added in...

4 yards background (I am splitting this up between two blues)
1 yard white/cream
1/4 yard gold
1/4 yard dark green
fat quarter of 2 different medium greens
1/4 yard red
1/3 yard black or dark gray
fat quarter medium gray
fat quarter brown
fat quarter orange
fat eighth yellow
heat n bond
dark brown or black thread for machine applique
black DMC thread or pearl cotton
border #1- 1 yard
border #2- 1 1/2 yards
backing - 6 yards
binding - 3/4 yards for 2 1/2" binding
There's a flicker group!  Please join...Every month post photos of your Quilt Doodle BOM finishes in the BOM flicker group for a chance to win that month's prize! Woot woot!  
The first block pattern will be posted on January 1st!  The give-away for the January block will be announced on January 15th and a winner will be picked on the 31st....
Below is the first block's pattern.  You should be able to find some cute fabric on sale right now for this!
This Mystery was just revealed and all clues are posted on Bonnie's website:  Quiltville Celtic Solstice Mystery

Country Threads 2014 BOM (trust me as we go layout)

Aurifil Block a Month by different designers

 Pat Sloan free BOM called Globetrotting
I have been working on the snowmen heads for the Quilt Doodle Designs. 
 Here's a hint, don't sew the blocks together until you complete the stitching on the noses.  Also, if you are a beginner, don't sew on the eyes until after the quilt is quilted. 
I have also been working on the 2014 Country Threads BOM. I love this one because I am doing it totally scrappy.  I am trying to use up all my old Thimbleberries fabrics.  I am working on January blocks and discovered when making all the half square triangles I was getting a lot of bulk.  So I divided the HSTs in half.  One half I pressed to the dark(on the left).  The second half I pressed to the light(on the right.  (I won't tell the quilt police we broke the rule of pressing to the dark.)
This allows your seams to nest and gives beautiful points.

Another hit for the large 20" block on 2014 Country Threads BOM.  If you don't have 8 1/2" squares for the corner blocks, consider putting in four patch blocks in the corners.  I made a mistake cutting my fabric and now I don't have anything 8 1/2", so I have decided to put either a four patch or nine patch in the corners.  Sometimes, we just have to make-do since its a scrappy quilt.

Headed out to buy groceries as we are expecting a snow storm overnight.  My plan is to get groceries and get back home to quilt before everyone else decides to go shopping.  Have a great weekend and hope you are making progress on your blocks. 

I have linked up with the following blogs today - Confessions of a Fabric AddictLink a Finish FridayFreedom Fridays, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Yours in quilting,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vintage Thursday

I am not sure how it all started, but we tease our friends, Mary and Scott, about their super large master bedroom.  Its big enough to have a workout area for the tread mill but also teased that it would be big enough for a brass pole for pole dancing.  Pole dancing is such a good work out for your abs and arm strength. 

Scott and Mary enjoy shopping at garage sales, second hand stores, auction, etc.  On one of their trips they picked up this record album for me.  Isn't this a hoot!  Music of the Stripper and other fun songs for the Family!  Oh really, this is not what I think of when I think of family fun.  I can't find a date on the record or the cover.

I love the we have great friends that we can have fun with and some teasing, too.

Beautiful sunrise this morning.
The temperature is much warmer today, about 20 degrees already.  Headed to the basement to sew.
Today I am linking up with Suzann at Colorado Lady and My Quilt Infatuation.  Bloggers love to hear from their readers, leave us all a comment today!!
Yours in quilting,

Working on Wednesday - Cinnamon Rolls

I am tired of these sub zero temperatures.  Don't you feel like everything is an extra effort, i.e. starting cars, bundling up to go out, taking care of the animals, and cold sewing studio.  We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground.

So when its cold, I like to cook more.  One of the things on my bucket list is to learn how to make bread and pie crusts. Tuesday when it was so bitterly cold, -23, I turned on the heater in my sewing studio in the basement to try and warm things up a little.  Started laundry as the dryer helps warm things up also.
Then I started mixing up cinnamon roll dough using the Pioneer Woman's recipe, Ree Drummon.
She gives step by step instructions along with pictures which were good help.

Here's the first of four pans going in the oven.  It makes a large batch.

Mmmm.....frosted while warm.

Taste tested by the husband being goofy.  My husband was just so glad to get home after spending the night in a hotel so he could get to work.  He said the house smelt so good when he walked in.
Harry Potter (black and white) and Rascal, Yorkie, sleeping in the sun together.

May have cooked cinnamon rolls but ate a healthy salad for lunch.
Didn't even sew this day because of the cool temps. 
I am linking up with Sew Much Ado.  What have you been up to this Wednesday?
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Tip

It is -23 below this morning.  Dang, this is just crazy.  I don't remember these temps since 1980 when our pipes froze and lost our bathroom ceiling and walls.  Water damage is not a fun thing.
Our neighborhood has a nice layer of snow, probably about 8 inches.  Dogs are not spending much time outside.  Their feet hurt when outside.
You know you are getting older when you can't remember the tip you were going to write about, argh..
So while looking at other blogs and facebook  I found this great idea for thread storage.
Let me know what you think of her idea?  Are you going to try it?  I am sure my husband wouldn't be happy if I borrowed all his golf tees.
Last night my husband made it home safely from work and safely back to work this morning in the frigid temps.  He was glad to have a home cooked meal last night.  I have to laugh because I stayed up late working on my Country Threads BOM 2013 Sunday night.  Last night I laid down and passed out.  I didn't hear the dog barking when our son went to work.  I am surprised what I slept through last night. 
Today I have the heater turned on and the dryer running hoping I can go down and quilt in my studio.  Pretty chilly down there right now.  Stay warm and safe.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Design Wall

WooHoo, the husband is a away, we can sew all day!!  Really, I am not that excited to have my husband gone.  He works long hours with an hour commute, so I really treasure the weekends when we can be together.  Yesterday with the awful weather, I was just happy he was safe in a hotel and I didn't have to worry about his commute this morning.
This was my drive home from church yesterday.  Not fun!  We packed Rod's bags and a cooler for his lunches, and got him out to the Quad Cities before the blizzard conditions hit later in the day.  He felt he had wasted his time out there until the really bad stuff hit last night and then he was happy he was snuggled in and watching TV.

My son's employer closed last night and started late this morning.  Thank you to this reasonable employer for not making people risk their lives to come to work. 

Aaron was up and at it early this morning shoveling for us.  He had the back drive shoveled out when I came down to let the dogs out.  He moved out front and shoveled and started the truck for me.  We headed over the horse barn and fed Hoot.  I cleaned the stall and Aaron shoveled out the barn door.
I don't know why my camera does this, it makes magic snow fall in the picture.  Pretty cool!

Mother Nature had blow all this snow inside.  The drift outside the door was at least knee deep.
Rascal, Yorkie, lays in front of the heat vent.  Smart dog!
I got all the filler blocks made (all the HST blocks) and the rows sewn.  I just have to sew all four rows to each other and add the final border.  This is the Country Threads 2013 scrap quilt (a UFO).
I am so excited that all 30 signature blocks (since last week) are made for the 11 year old wedding quilt.  This baby is going to be bigger than I remembered.  The blocks finish 9" and will be set on point.  I hope to cut out the filler blocks and setting triangles today.  It maybe too cold to be down in the studio today.  I have the heater running so we will see how the temp improves.  Its only 59 degrees right now.  Today maybe a cutting, pressing, and pinning day, things that can be done upstairs.
This is what I have on the kitchen table already this morning.  Hot tea, the computer for blogging, and tracing snowmen noses on Steam A Steam for the first block of Quilt Doodle Designs 2014 BOM.  My blocks are made just need noses appliqued on.  Got to be ready for the next block on Saturday.
I have my blocks cut out for Country Threads 2014 BOM.  I planning to do it totally scrappy just like last year.  There is one problem, with last years BOM, I was really trying to use up my Thimbleberries scraps but the drawer doesn't seem less full.  Bah Humbug....
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times, visit over there to see everyone's Design Walls.

Stay warm and safe.  Hope to accomplish plenty of quilty work today. :)

Yours in quilting,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stash Report

I went out with my husband and the neighbors for breakfast.  I took the hubbie home to relax and I headed out to our little church in the country.  I promised Rod that if the roads were bad I would turn around.  They were a little slippery but not worth turning around.  I made it to church 5 minutes late, dropped off my casserole in the kitchen and headed up to the worship service already in progress.

At the end of the service, Peter the board chairman, got up in front of the church and asked us what we wanted to do.  While we were busy with the service, the weather had changed quickly.  Mother Nature was roaring in with winds blowing snow into blizzard conditions.
This picture is rather clear compared to what we really drove home in.  The congregation voted to go home rather than stay for Sunday School and the Annual Meeting that would take at least two hours.  Our church travels a large rural area to get there and home again, so it was best everyone got home safely.  The Annual Meeting is rescheduled for next Sunday.  This is the second time we have postponed the meeting due to weather.
I drove home and helped Rod pack.  Because he works over an hour away and it was predicted to get much worse, I encouraged him to go stay in a hotel close to work.  We got on Expedia and checked hotel prices.  He drove half way to the Quad Cities and then called me to tell me he was going to make it all the way there.  I booked his room on Expedia so all he had to do was check in.   As much as I hate having him gone, it was comforting to know he was safe. 
I went and took care of feeding the horse and cleaning the stall before it got dark. 
Then put a box of lasagna in the oven for dinner.  But even with best laid plans, I ate dinner alone.  My son's girlfriend was snowed in at a friend's home and my son slept through dinner.  I had fresh baked bread and lasagna while watching the Bachelor's Wedding and the Grammy's.

As for my stash report, I am very happy to tell you I did not buy any fabric and I have not used any fabric out of my stash.  I have been working on UFO's.  Will you show my progress in Design Wall blog tomorrow.

Stay warm and safe.  I am SO ready for SPRING!

Yours in quilting,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Finishes - Homespun

I am finally making progress on UFO's.  This week I quilted my Couch Quilt pattern by  This is the child size 45.5" x 60".

Its made from homespuns and one piece of flannel.  I was going to teach this class up at Pieceful Gathering in Fox River Grove.  We were trying to pick out "guy" fabrics.  It quilted up beautifully.  I just used a star edge to edge pattern and Robinson-Anton brown thread.  The thread was fairly linty but my tension was good.  I had lots of help during picture taking.  Indy in the bottom left and Rascal on the quilt.
When buying dog food last time, I picked up this big dog toy for our Aussies.  It even has a squeeker in it.  We needed something tough that they can chew on as well as retrieve.  All the dogs like it and wrestle for who is going to get it next.  See who wins?  The Yorkie runs the house.  The fact that he can jump up on the sofa with it is amazing.  Rascal only weighs 6.5 lbs.
The scrappy binding is made.  I just need to square up the quilt and sew on the binding.  This is my quilt.  Whoop! Whoop!  I finally quilted one of my own quilts. 
See anything wrong with this picture?  Yes, I loaded it wrong.  I had to take the top off and turn it so it would fit the backing and batting.  Thus, I am not perfect.  Next time, measure twice, load once!!
With this awful cold weather, I am trying to do most chores without my husband.  He is working long hours right now, with a long commute.  I am trying to be "Susie Homemaker" so all he has to do is walk in the door, eat, shower and relax.  So in the afternoon I have to run to the horse barn and clean stalls.  Meet Hoot, our quarter horse.
He had frost on his whiskers yesterday.  I let him run up and down the hallway of the barn to get some exercise.  Its so icy out the door of the barn, I can't take him out.  I can barely get out with the manure wheel barrow.  I have fallen once this year and don't want to repeat that. I now do chores in the daylight, because I fell at night in the dark and laid there looking at the stars.  It knocked the wind out of me.  Thankfully I wasn't hurt, just sore the next day.
Working on filler blocks for Country Threads 2013 scrap quilt.
One row together.
Since it was so frigid yesterday, I put on a pot of chili to simmer.  Made cornbread to go with and Mrs. Sipp's snickerdoodle cookies ( for dessert.  First time I have used that recipe and they are going fast.  Its a winner!
I finally got together with my sewing buddy, Cathy K.  This is what she made me for Christmas.  Its he hilarious.  It was filled with a bag of dark chocolate M & M's, my favorite.  This free pattern link was on Bonnie Hunter's blog.

 Also, Cathy K. loves making cute pin cushion.  Its so adorable.
Here is Cathy's own personal one.  She says it has a headache?  Wonder why?
I have been busily working on these blocks (30) for my dad's wedding quilt.  I have about 26 done.  I hope to start putting the center of quilt together this weekend.  I plan to report on it Monday on the Design Wall blog post.
Have a great weekend.  Since the weather is so cold, hope you are getting lots of sewing time!
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Tip

I finally I am finishing up putting away my Christmas decorations.  Part of putting away my Christmas related quilts and table runners is making sure they are clean.  My wall quilts get shaken off and then I use a lint roller to get any lint or pet hair off before storing them.

For table runners that have been around food, grease, and pets, they get rolled over by the lint roller and then delicately washed.  Make sure you store your quilts clean!  You don't want to encourage bugs or pets to chew on quilts.  You would be sick to open up your quilt next Christmas and find a hole or serious stain that had set in while being stored.

I roll my table runners to store them so there are no fold lines.  Large quilts I try to refold several times a year.

I ran over to my friend, Corry's, to drop off a cake mix to her.  Her cute grandson's were doing a craft project for pre-school.  They had to make snowmen out of three paper plates.  They were using Epson salts as snow.  Meet Kane and Keenan.  In the picture they were saying, "aren't our snowmen beautiful?"  Maybe they will be future quilters?
Today I am linking up with A Quilt Story and Connie at Freemotion on the River.

Yours in quilting,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Design Wall

I am finally making progress on some of the quilts that have been UFO's or hanging out on my design wall.  I went from the few blocks in the first picture to 49 blocks in the second.
I have been working on this Log Cabin quilt for over a year.  During sewing with my friends, I laid it out on the floor and counted blocks.  I am more than half way done.  We measured out the rest of the fabric and it looks like I will just have enough of the focus fabric.  The focus fabric is this the center block of the log cabin blocks and the outer border of the quilt.

Above are my seven snowman heads for the 2014 BOM at  This is the first block of the new year.  It will be a winter themed quilt.  Join us its not too late.  I still need to add my carrot noses by applique.

Above is a pile of blocks cut out and ready to piece and the second picture is the pile I have gotten sewn.  This is a UFO that has been lost for 11 years and I have pulled it out.  Its going pretty fast as I have been using it as leaders and enders.

I have a few quilts from others to show.  Here is Carol O.'s Easy Street.
 Love the outer board and lime green flange.
Susie M. finished her grandson's Bob the Builder quilt. 
Cathy K.  got her Celtic Solstice put together.  I didn't get a picture with her borders.  Love the teal, peach, yellow an brown.
I love this selvage quilt.  I have been saving selvages to make one and really like this design.  Yes, we discovered the mistake or humility issue with this quilt.  She reversed the halves when putting together the center seam. 

Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stash Report

Spent some time with a great group of ladies sewing.  I did pretty well controlling buying fabric and pretty much adhered my New Year's Resolution, which was to buy fabric only to finish quilts.  I dug out an old UFO which is a wedding quilt for my dad and stepmother.  Its only 11 years old and my dad has been reminding me that it needs to get finished.  So I bought fabric for the backing (7 yds)
and two fat quarters to finish the top.  I was able to cut out all the pieced blocks and have them all paired.  Now I am using them as leaders and enders, Bonnie Hunter style ( or chain piecing them.

Here's a finished block.

New fabric bought this week:  8.5 yds.
New fabrics bought:  23.5 yds year-to-date
New fabrics used to finish UFO's:  .5
Fabrics used out of stash:  4 yds, year-to-date

Yours in quilting,

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Finishes

I started out the week going great guns.  I loaded a quilt for a customer and finished it in one night.
WooHoo!!! love it when things run smoothly.
 Full view
View of the backing 
Closer view of side
The pattern was Clover edge to edge with Omni Sage Green thread.  This thread is a wonderful blender.

This is #5 of the 8 memory quilts I have been working on since Christmas.  Quilts 5 thru 8 are for the four daughters. 

Below is #6 of 8 memory quilts.

All the memory quilts are quilted with the Ocean Froth pattern by Anne and Navy thread by Omni.
This wonderful country quilt was brought to me by my friend, Meribel.  It is for her mother-in-law.

It is also quilted in the Clover edge to edge, chosen by her.  We used Goose thread by Omni.  It blended nicely.

My goal was to quilt 6 quilts this week.  I was able to finish four.  I am proud of what I got done and will be back at the longarm the first of the week to finish more. 

My other finishes were a batch of Aunt Peggy's Spoon Rolls.
Below in the upper left, is a batch of Butter Chewies (hubbie's favorite), and three Spagetti Pizza Casseroles.
I would call this a productive week.  Think I deserve a weekend of sewing with the girls. (Just heard we might get three inches of snow so we might get snowed in!) Will try to post my stash report when I get home Sunday.  I am positive I will have good pictures of progress for the Design Wall post Monday.
Yours in quilting,