Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell to 2009

I, for one, am glad to see the end of this year. It wasn't my best year. Not my worst either, but still. . . So I'm looking forward to a better year in 2010.

With two major(ish) injuries this year (the tenosyovitis in my right thumb in the spring and then the broken arm in the fall), I didn't even come close to getting as many quilt projects done as I had hoped to. It's been a frustrating year for me. I had high hopes for finishing many of my UFO's. I got a few done, and also created some others. But my overall output was pretty low. I'm thinking that next year has got to be an improvement!

I'm afraid this is kind of a "catch-up" post today. I'm going to show all the stuff I didn't get to yet this month. Or most of it, anyway.

Above is one side of one of the placemats (she made 4) that my sister made for me for my birthday. (My birthday was in November, but that's not a problem for me. We're both notoriously slow at gift-giving - it's a tradition now!) I think these are fantastic! I love them! I couldn't wait to get the Christmas placemats off the table so that I could start using these!

This is the flip-side of the same placemat. They're all two-sided. I usually only have 2 placemats on the table at a time, because it's just DH and me, so I've put his placemat with one side facing up and my placemat with the flip-side facing up, so I can enjoy both sides at the same time. Clever, non?

My sister actually "shopped" in my quilt studio for fabrics for these. We figured that if I had already bought the fabrics, they're probably ones I like. I honestly can't tell which ones were mine and which ones she added. They all work together so well, and they're just what I wanted! Ya just can't beat that, can ya?

Here's my birthday present from my friend Karen. We went to the local quilt shop when I visited her in Oregon earlier this month, and she let me pick out what I wanted. This is the charm square pack of Authentic by Sweet Water for Moda, plus a yard of the black fabric from this line. I just love this line of fabric, which rarely happens for me. I usually only like a few fabrics from a line. I have no idea what I'll be making with this, but I just had to have it.

Here's what else I bought. And it was all on sale! The fat quarters in the front are shot cottons and I'm envisioning a small quilt done with them and the half-yard of blue/purple graphic fabric. And I can't pass up a polka dot that's on sale - heck, I can hardly pass up a polka dot anytime!

Here's a photo of a quilt that was hanging in the health food store we visited. I was glad I remembered the camera! There was no information on who made it, unfortunately.

Here's a closeup shot. You can kind-of see the quilting.

Here's a banner that was in the Unitarian Universalist church that I thought was very clever. Colorful and eye-catching. I like the idea of the "mosaic". Bumble Beans is making some tile blocks that are similar - you can see them here. I think hers are all hand-stitched down, where these appear to be done with fusible.

Here's a closeup so you can see the interesting fabric the maker used.

DH and I are staying home and having a quiet evening tonight. Just the two of us, with beef barley soup and homemade oatmeal bread. Lots of Christmas cookies too. We'll be watching the movie "Up!" for our entertainment. Nothing too exciting here! I'm also doing laundry and finishing up some putting away of Christmas and other chores so tomorrow I can pack my suitcase, as Saturday I'm off to Nevada for two weeks to visit my daughter.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and creative New Year. And a big Thank You to all my bloggy friends and everyone who visits my blog.
Happy 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Old Friends

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! We had a wonderful time. We had no drama getting to and from the airport this year (last year was tons of snow and ice and much drama). Went out to a wonderful Chinese restaurant for Christmas Eve, and discovered some new yummy dishes we'd never tried.

Christmas Day we went to DS's house for the day. Had a beautiful turkey dinner prepared by my DIL and a great 3-layer chocolate cake that she made for the first time! Got to play a little with the granddaughters and their new Wii game, and did OK. (I could play for hours with that! I want one now - it was so much fun.)

After dinner, DS, DH, FIL and I went out to see the movie Avatar in 3D. It was awesome! The 3D was the best I'd ever experienced. And the special effects were incredible - and seamless. On the way home from the movie, I had a good chat with my sister. It was a wonderful day.

I managed to get into the quilt studio for a little while the other day. I'm starting a new project, but no photos yet. It's still in too many pieces! But soon....

In the meantime, here's some "old friends" that I got to revisit on my recent trip to Oregon.

Here is a challenge quilt from quite awhile ago. It lives with my friend Karen at her home in Oregon. This was a project that we collaborated on.

The challenge was posed by our quilt guild in California, probably in the late 80's or early 90's. (I'm not entirely sure anymore!) We were given a set of 5 fabrics to work with. Those are the fabrics in the top, middle and bottom trees plus the two trees that are both touching the top and middle trees, if my memory serves. They were very traditional fabrics and who would've thought that the tropical fabric in the border worked the best with them! But the colors were perfect, so that's what we went with. It sure was out of our comfort zone at that time!

We also had to figure out this pattern by ourselves. We saw a quilt done with these trees at the local quilt store, but the store was all out of that particular pattern. So we did a quick sketch, then went home and figured it out. We also discovered that even though we had the same sewing machine and the same 1/4 inch foot, we had different-sized seam allowances! Another challenge. But in the end, it came out pretty well.

Karen did all the quilting by hand, because that's her favorite part. She didn't do tons of quilting, because we had a time deadline, and we were running out of time. Of course!

Here's another "old friend" that lives with Karen in Oregon. This was a Debbie Mumm pattern that I made for Karen for her birthday one year. It's all done with fusible, and I was inspired by the veggie fabric in the border and that Karen likes to garden. It's held up pretty well - only one fabric faded enough to notice. I still like this one!

If you like antique quilts, Laura at Pine Ridge Quilter, has been showing some wonderful antique red and green quilts on her blog. They're beautiful - go check them out!

I hope to spend a little more time in the quilt studio this week, inbetween the putting away of Christmas and getting ready for my trip to Nevada this weekend. I haven't had enough sewing time this month, and I need my fix!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Ho Ho Ho!
May your holiday be filled with all your favorite things!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another One Finished!

Here's my latest finish! This is one I've been working on for awhile. I posted about this one previously in this post. (I also show some of the blocks in closeup.) I've named this quilt "Carrie's Quilt". That was my grandmother's name, and this quilt reminds me of some of the quilts that she made. These are authentic 1930's fabrics (except the blue solid), and that was the time period that she was making quilts for her family. So, I thought that was fitting. This one won't get used a whole lot, as some of these fabrics are a little fragile.

I had the top all done, and sent it off to my long-arm quilter (Hi Shari!). It came home right around the time I broke my arm, so I wasn't able to get the binding done.

When my sister came to visit in October, she offered eagerly to take it home with her and put on a binding for me. I didn't even have any fabric picked out for the binding, but she seemed to have a plan. I just got this back from her last weekend. She did a wonderful scrappy binding, and I love it! Thanks, Sal! I think it "fits" just right!

My long-armer did an awesome job on the quilting. She did an over-all Baptist fan pattern that we agreed suited the quilt.

I've had kind of an extended absence here lately. I was visiting friends in Oregon last week, and now that I'm home, it's hectic to get ready for Christmas and my father-in-law visiting for the holiday from out of state. Plus, now I have a sinus infection that is slowing me down.

Fortunately, I'm mostly done shopping and I'm not the hostess for the big day. So, now I just have to wrap the presents, clean the house some (nothing too strenuous!) and bake cookies. No sweat, right? hee hee! I'm doing much better with the arm and am finally able to do some of the work around here.

The cats were traumatized with the stay at the kennel, so I have little "Klingons" to deal with. Lots of love required! Slows me down some, but I'm also enjoying the attention. It seems like every time I sit down, one of them wants to be picked up and loved (Shade) or played with (Dunkel).

Well, back to work! I'll hopefully be posting more often now. I've got lots more to show you!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

D9P Stage 2 in Progress

I have all my 9-Patches sewn now, and I got some of them cut up into quarters last night. I had to lay them out on the floor this morning! I think I'm liking this better now. Of course, the sunshine today helped! Now I can't wait to get the rest of the blocks cut.