Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December UFO Done!

My UFO for December has been finished for a couple of weeks, but I kept putting off photographing it. I finally bit the bullet and pinned the quilt up outside--too dark inside for good photos! 
So this is it--my Edyta Sitar Exchange Block (the mostly blue ones, at least!) Quilt. 

For the exchange, we used a block from a book by Terry Atkinson (with her permission). The other rule was to use an Edyta Sitar (Laundry Basket Quilts) print for the star and one of her batiks for the background. All of the fabrics I added, such as the triangles around the star shown here, were Edyta Sitar fabrics from my stash. The only fabric I purchased to finish the quilt was the Edyta Sitar brown/green batik I used in the sashing and border.

I'm amazed at how the star looks so different when it's on point!

My original plan was to bind it with the brown/green batik, but I was one strip short--rats! I did have enough of the Edyta Sitar blue batik that I had bought for another project, although it didn't look so great next to the brown. That's why that little white flange is in there--lol!  

This was my life saver in making my quilt. If you ever have a pile of blocks and no idea what to do with them---you need this book--Setting Solutions by Sharyn Craig. It's out of print, but you may get lucky like I did and find it on eBay. It also looks like you can get it as a print on demand or an e-book at C&T Publishing.

This little photo in the book was my inspiration--although mine is a very simplified version. 

There isn't a pattern in the book for this design, so I did a simple mock-up in my EQ7 program to get the math worked out--that was soooo helpful!

I really love how this one turned out--now to figure out what to do with the rest of my exchange blocks!
Linking with A Lovely Year of Finishes HERE

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Scrap Happy...

Early last week, I finally finished up my last rosette applique. And a miracle occurred: I also finally pieced the borders that went in between borders four through nine--yay!!

Most of the borders were just a fussy cut strip, but then there's those diamonds on point--yikes!
Surprisingly, they went together a lot easier than I was anticipating (but were still a challenge!).
After that, another border of squares on point seemed like a breeze!

Now that the rosette border is on, there is a double diamond (or is it triple?) border coming up next--yikes.
 I think I'll be avoiding that for a while and just admire it the way it is on my design wall! 

This was a little project I've been wanting to get to for a while.
 I found an unfinished frame at Hobby Lobby and painted it with chalk paint. It's the perfect size for last year's Primitive Gatherings freebie pincushion (which I decided was way too adorable not to be framed). After I took apart the pin cushion (and used the insides for this year's freebie) I added a couple additional log cabin strips so it was long enough to fit the frame opening. 

I think it looks pretty cute hanging above a shelf in my sewing room and I can enjoy it every time I check to see if it's time to start dinner--lol!
Now that the rosette's were finished, I needed a new hand stitching project. It was about time I figured out the border applique for How Does Your Garden Grow.
My favorite border element of the pattern is the sunflowers, so I added even more of them. Hmmm--maybe overkill???

I had to change the size of the vase to fit the pieces of wool I had in my stash.
 I'm hoping it's all going to look okay in the end--I changed my mind a lot on the placement, and already see some things I'd like to move, but it's too late now--they are all fused down, so that's how they will stay.

The banner will be embroidered with the words "Live Gently Upon the Earth".

So this will be my Slow Sunday Stitching for this week--I hope you get some time to do some stitching too! 

Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE
Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Wow--I haven't posted since last Sunday--it was a busy week! 
We had our last sew-in for the year on Tuesday and I stitched up this pincushion:
The Primitive Gatherings Black Friday Freebie.
I did change out most of the fabrics in the kit because they were hideous.
Okay, there was only one blue and you know I'm all about the blues!

I got some super fun mail--this is from Janet O (Rogue Quilter).
I wish our computers had Smell-O-Vision--the soaps are so yummy--and handmade by Janet!
Spearmint Clove and Peppermint Pine---MMMMMMMmmmmmmm!
Thanks again Janet!

And this little tin came from Jan of Featherweight Quilt Company:
 Hexies-To-Go, so cute!

Friday was the final applique group meeting of the year. I was seduced into adding these fabrics to my stash because I was seated directly across from the rows of sale fabric!
Nope--no will power.
I even had a big delicious piece of Costco chocolate cake and a piece of melt in your mouth Almond Kringle that Anne had ordered from a bakery in Wisconsin. It was all worth every bite!!

In between finishing off sale bolts, I stitched up the final Buttermilk Basin Sew Along block. I plan to get his face and buttons on today, as well as finish my last rosette on Mrs. Billings. I really slacked on the hand sewing in the evenings this week, because I got caught up in a big piecing adventure that I may get around to sharing before the end of the year.
We are celebrating Christmas at my brother's house on Wednesday, and I haven't finished my shopping--not surprising since I didn't start until this past Friday. I've been a huge procrastinator this year!
See you after the holidays and happy stitching!!
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE
Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sew Slowly...

Things haven't been progressing too quickly this week. 
I lost an entire day doing my holiday cards. My address spread sheet disappeared when my MS Office expired, so I needed to create a new one in Google Docs to merge with a mailing label wizard. Of course, I could have hand written them in a quarter of the time all this took place, but I was determined to have those printed labels--doh!
If you have the time, make yourself a cup of tea and read Mike's ruminations on greeting cards HERE--hilarious! I subscribe to his blog posts A Bit About Britain, because I love reading about the British places I will never be lucky enough to visit in person. Very educational!
The Thimblecreek mystery top is all together and ready to quilt--hooray!
I just noticed you can see a little peek of another of Joe's designs hanging behind it--Ryokan. It also has checkerboard sashing, but a bit bigger--it's definitely his thing. Hopefully, it will get quilted in 2016--it's not looking like I will get to it this year! 
My current UFO will get finished as long as nothing dire occurs.
 I'm about half way through the quilting on this one.  

My Mrs. Billing's rosettes are almost all appliqued in place, and I should be able to finish them up tonight.
I hope you find time to do a little stitching today!
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE
Slow Sunday Stitching

Friday, December 11, 2015


I've been very proud of myself to not have joined any Sew Along's for a while--and you know I find it hard to resist a Sew Along
And there are plenty of them to resist!
I've resisted the Quilty 365 SAL (an applique circle each day), only because I've already done something similar. 
Several years back, Pat Sloan hosted a "strip" a day SAL for a year. I managed to finish that quilt in time to have it included in her book "Favorite Techniques".
That was fun, but it got a little difficult to come up with a new fabric that felt like a reflection of each day, so I started a Strip Search Box at our guild meetings. If you added strips, you could take strips. I don't think I could have finished the quilt without that Strip Search Box.

And how cute are those tiny blocks from Temecula Quilt Company's "We Wish You a Mini Christmas" SAL on their blog?? I will resist...

Then there's the Moda Block Shuffle. Okay, I have been saving the patterns in a folder on my desktop, but there has been no sewing yet.
  I swear.

And, of course there is the Mother of SAL's--Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery. Allietare has been the most difficult to resist because so many others are showing their progress and it uses scraps and I'm so weak....
I'm also embarrassed that I have two unfinished BH mysteries, so until those are completed, I won't let myself start the latest one--
no matter what....maybe...
But...check this out! The 365 Challenge SAL from Australia.
How about 365 labor intensive blocks--one a day for a year???
 I know some quilter's that have attempted this feat (yes, you Denise!!) but have fallen by the wayside before the year is out.
I know it's crazy, but I am soooooo tempted to give it a try!!
It's definitely a challenge and there is no way I would be able to complete all the blocks in one year, but it would be fun to give it a go, right???
 This SAL begins next year.
How it works HERE

Inspiration (alternate colorways)  HERE

The Facebook page HERE

Happy Birthday block (to be subbed for the daily block if it's your birthday)HERE

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December So Far...

Did you think I was working on my December UFO? 
You should know me better than that......
I have the attention span of a gnat.... 
I've been buried in tiny four patches trying to complete my Thimble Creek Mystery quilt.
All of the four patches are sewn, double counted and made into strips of the appropriate lengths.
And look--one half of the quilt is together! 

My favorite blocks are now the ones that don't need to be matched to the four patch sashing.
I don't think I've ever done so much pinning--extremely time consuming!

I had to do some "make do" sewing to complete the candy corn setting triangles, but you would be hard pressed to see where that happened--thank goodness. I'm very happy to use what I have--I'm going to empty that Halloween bin of scraps yet!
I was worried about using several different gray fabrics left over from the blocks to make the four patches, but luckily they are pretty much the same value. All the lights in the four patches are left over scraps from the blocks too. It got a little sketchy when I had to come up with 51 more four patches after the initial 500, but fortunately I was able to disperse them enough that they don't stand out--this is one scrap crazy quilt. 
I hope you've been able to catch the Great Holiday Baking Show on ABC--not quite as enjoyable as the Great British Baking Show (no Mel and Sue!) but it's fun to see the crazy concoctions being made with a holiday theme. And at least it has some Mary Berry cred. It almost makes me want to do some holiday baking myself (not!).

Linking with Scraptastic Tuesday HERE

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Getting There!

I have finished assembling my Mrs. Billing's rosettes, so it was time to piece the Border Nine background and glue baste them in place. I was dangerously close to not having any hand work to do--yikes!
Next Step: applique them down. These will be fun to work on for some Slow Sunday Stitching! 

Here's a little tip:
 The strips will be handled a lot as the applique is stitched, so I ran a very narrow bead of Fray Check along the outer seam allowances. I could "stay stitch", but the fabric would probably ravel up to the stitching and I've found this works very nicely! It's important not to use too much Fray Check or it will run beyond the seam allowance and may show on the fabric after piecing. When I start a new bottle of FC, I snip off the barest amount of the tip using a sharp craft knife so I can control the flow. I also lay out the fabric I'm treating on freezer paper (shiny side up) or plastic shopping bags to keep my cutting mat clean. Don't move the fabric until the FC is dry (that doesn't take long) so you don't get the FC on places you don't want it!
Happy stitching!  

Sew and Sow FarmSlow Sunday Stitching

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December UFO Hopeful....

This was a surprise--I thought I had just won the magazine during Quiltmaker's 100 Block Blog Hop, but a whole package of goodies arrived in the mail--fun!!

Most of my sewing this week has been getting the ThimbleCreek Mystery four patches sewn into strips and then sewn onto the blocks.

All fifty blocks have their side strips--now on to the long strips that go between the rows. Last night I realized that if my calculations are correct, there is a small error in the pattern and I need to sew 51 more four patches--hopefully I have enough gray fabric left!!

And here is my candidate for my December UFO finish. I divided up my swap blocks and got this put together in early November. I think I will just quilt an all over design on it.
You can see behind this top that I'm testing out some ideas for the rest of the swap blocks (as well as a few other projects--like those four patch strips--lol!).
Linking with A Lovely Year of Finishes, WIP's on Wednesday, and Let's Bee Social

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