Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January is Flying By....

I can't believe how fast January flew.  Maybe because I've been so busy.  I have a few projects to show you.

Another finish....  I started this last year, I couldn't even tell you when.  I hand quilted it using black quilting thread.  I really like how the quilting looks in the border.

I got all my blocks finished for my Henrietta Whiskers done and sewn together.  I'm really happy with the way it is looking.  Today I plan on adding the top and bottom applique borders.  Then I have to trace and baste the birds and stars on them.

The light wasn't too good for this picture.  It looks washed out.  But...would you believe I started another BOM.  This one is at Country Threads.  It is going to be a sampler quilt.  I found it on Pinterest.  It is my new favorite place to play.

Our dog Sammie is doing so much better.  She finally has her energy back.  Maybe too   Yesterday she ran around the house throwing her rawhide bone around.  Then she climbed up on the couch...

...and fell asleep with the bone in her mouth.

I hope you are having a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Hugs, Cathy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

The sun is shining, the snow is glistening but it sure is cold.  A good day to stay inside and sew.  

I got a much anticipated package in the mail yesterday.  My scrap bags from Homestead Hearth.  I was so happy...I kept fondling the fabric and and oohing and aaaaaahing.

I was so thrilled with the selection of fabric that I ordered 3 more scrap bags this morning.  It takes about 3 weeks to get them but they are well worth the wait.  I had to use some of them right away....

I pulled some of the fabrics and started working on the Temecula Quilt Co. quilt-a-long.  This fabric was perfect for it.  

Well I finally got my 8th block done for my Henrietta Whiskers Quilt.

I pieced the background for the 9th and final block and yesterday I basted the pieces on.  I'm hoping to get the applique done tonight.  Then I can start sewing the blocks together.  It has an applique border that goes on the top and bottom.  Not sure if I want to add it first or applique it first.  We'll see.

This is the photo in my header.  I've shown it before and I just love it.  The picture was taken last January at Lake St. Clair Metro Park.  The swans had found a little pool of open water. 

Well it's time to get a little sewing done.  Later today we are going over to my daughter Kelley's house for dinner.  She is having the whole family over.  I really do love spending time with my kids and grandkids.

P.S.  Just to let you know, Sammie is feeling much better.

Hugs, Cathy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Making Progress.....

I am making progress on projects I just started and on one project I started quite a while ago. 2 applique projects and one pieced. 

This is the January block for the Seasonal Applique BOM I am doing.  The pattern showed fusible applique but I chose to do needle turn.  The beak on the bird is satin stitched.  The block measures 12 1/2" unfinished.

Lori at Humble Quilts posted the next round for the Abundance Quilt quilt-a-long.  I really love this little doll quilt.  It finishes at 12".  In the next post Lori is going to show us how she quilted it.

Remember this?  It is my Henrietta Whiskers quilt.  I had put it up and totally forgotten about it.  Since my New Year's Resolution was to finish something before I start something (which I have broken) I decided to dig it out and work on it.  As you can see I have finished 7 blocks.

Here is block number 8.  I had the background all pieces and the applique pieces cut out and marked.  Last night I appliqued the house.  Today I hope to finish the pumpkin and leaves.  Then one more block to go and I can sew the blocks together and start adding the borders.  Some of which also have applique.

And you won't believe what I'm going to start working on....Well let's save it till next time.

BTW Today Sammie showed a little spunk.  She hasn't been feeling too good the last couple of days but today she actually wanted to play for a bit.

Stay's only 14 degrees out and it's almost noon.  However, the sun is shining so it looks beautiful out.  Have a great day.

Hugs, Cathy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2 Finishes and 3 Starts

My first finishes for 2013.....

I got the binding all sewn down.  This is my first finish....

I hand quilted and hand appliqued the birds on this one.  I really love how it looks hanging on my table quilt stand.  Finish number 2.

I mentioned some of the projects I have been working on.  The first one is the Hatchet Blocks.

I got the blocks all sewn together.  Next step is to sandwich it and machine quilt it.  It is 25" square and will make a nice table quilt.

The second project is....

This is the first block in the Sentimental Stitches Amish BOM.  I have chosen not to do the Amish Black background.  This block is not perfect but not bad for my very first time doing Y seams.

The third project is....

Lori at Humble Quilts quiltalong.  I really love how this is looking.  Right now it is approx. 8 1/2".  We have one more round to go and this adorable doll quilt will be 12" finished and I will have another quilt for my standing quilt hanger.

I have really started 4 projects.  The forth is the Seasonal Applique BOM from Sentimental Stitches.  I just started the first block and there isn't much to show.

In a previous post I told you about an app that I got called "Fitness Pal".  I have chosen Tuesday's as weigh in day.  3 weeks into my diet I have continued to loose 2 lbs. a week for a total of 6 lbs.  I just hope I can keep it up.

Yesterday we took Sammie in to be neutered, micro chipped, nails cut and booster shot.  She had a rough night....I didn't get much sleep either.  She decided she wanted a day on the couch.  She is not too steady on her legs today.  The Vet said not to let her be too active for 14 days.   I can do that today but once she is feeling better that will be hard.

Well I hope you enjoyed viewing my latest finishes and starts.  Be sure to come back soon.

BTW....Quiltmaker Magazine has just announced the 2013 Scrap Squad.  The new group consists of 8 quilters.  I can't wait to see their interpretations of quilts chosen.

Hugs, Cathy

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Where's My Thimble?

I walked in the living room with a little quilt I needed to sew the binding down on.  I looked for my thimble.  I have one of those Jell Thimbles.  Love these rubber ones.  However, it was not where I left it.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sammie (our dog) throwing something in the air and jumping to catch it.  You guessed it.  She found my thimble.  Luckily she didn't bite it.  Sorry I had to spoil her fun.

Here is the little quilt I need to sew the binding down on.

This quilt is made from the left over triangles from my hatchet blocks.  Once the binding is sewn down it will be my first finish of 2013.  I still haven't sewn the hatchet blocks together.  But I have been playing and came up with another layout.

It looks similar to the smaller one.  Still undecided.

Did you know that Cheri Payne at Quilts By Cheri had another sew-a-long this past week.  Well, even though I have things to finish I couldn't resist.  

After I finished sewing the squares together I had to audition border fabrics.

First I found the plaid...however it didn't sing to me.

I then tried this wide strip fabric.  I liked it but it still needed some thing else.

I added a black print inner border and I loved it.  This went together so quick. I just love her quilts.

Starting on Monday there are some more quilt a longs happening.  One at Humble Quilts .  Lori found a sweet little quilt and has replicated it for all of us.  Then Sheri at Little Bits of This and That is having another mystery sew-a-long.  I have participated in a couple of them and really enjoyed it.  Her mystery begins on Monday the 28th.

Sentimental Stitches is offering 2 new BOM's for 2013.  They are $5.00 each or if you sign up for both they are $7.00 a month.  I signed up for both.  I went out the other day and bought the main fabrics for both.  One is an applique seasonal quilt and the other is an Amish quilt, although I'm not doing mine in Amish solids and am using an off white background instead of black.  It looks to be a fun year.

Well that's it for now.  Since I have my thimble back I'm going to sew that binding and then go play in the sewing room some more.

Hugs, Cathy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Post is Up...

This morning Quiltmaker Magazine posted the blog on my final quilt as member of the 2012 Scrap Squad.

The quilt is called Caribbean Vacation.  Mine looks nothing like the Caribbean but I love how it turned out.

First I chose my focus fabric.

Next I went through all my scraps.  I keep all my scraps sorted by color in large plastic bags.  It makes it so much easier to find what I'm looking for.

I made a sample block to see if I was on the right track.

I was pretty happy with the way it was looking and started making more.  For this quilt I cut out all the pieces at one time.  It made it so much easier to put the quilt together.

I was so afraid that it would be too busy looking.  But after a couple of rows I saw a definite design.

The completed center of the quilt.  I wasn't sure how to finish the borders.  Because it was so scrappy I decided to just use my focus fabric.  I added a 6" border.

I am really happy with the way it turned out.  Can you guess....It's not quilted yet.  This one is going on the frame to be hand quilted.

This was such an amazing journey.  I really enjoyed working with Quiltmaker Magazine and especially Diane Harris.  Thanks for following my year long adventure. mind is spinning with so many projects to start and too finish.  I guess I should finish those I showed you on my last post.  

Hugs, Cathy

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Did You Make a New Years Resolution?

I did.  In fact I made 2. 

 The first was to loose some weight this year.  I started my diet on New Year's Day.  I have a free app on my phone called "My Fitness Pal".  You put in your current weight and your target weight.  I wanted to loose 2 lbs. a week.  The app tells you how many calories a day you can eat.  If you do any type of exercise it adds calories available for the day.  I enter into the program all foods I eat and it tells me how many calories are left.  At the end of the day it tells me if I continue to eat this week I will weight xxxx in 5 weeks.  So far so good.  In two weeks I have lost 4.8 lbs.  I'm hoping this is going to work for me.  I will let you know how it goes.

Now to the 2nd resolution.  I decided that I had to finish 2 UFO's before I started a new project....Yeah like that was going to happen.  I already broke that resolution.

I started 2 new projects and ended up with 3 new projects.

The first project is this...

I first saw this pattern on Pinterest.  Eventually I found the website.  The designers name is Marcie Patch.  She has had patterns published in magazines, including my favorite magazine, Primitive Quilts and Projects.

I decided to make just the center 4 blocks which would be 12" finished.  I am going to hang it on my table frame.  

I chose my usual Country colors.  The blocks are so sweet.  They are each 3 1/2" unfinished.

I decided to hand applique the birds rather than do the fusible applique the pattern called for.

I get my applique ready by first tracing the pattern onto freezer paper.  I then cut out the patterns on the drawn line.  The freezer paper pieces are then ironed on to the front side of the fabric.  Be sure to put the the freezer paper shiny side down.

I cut the applique pieces from the fabric approximately 1/4" from the edge of the freezer paper.  This is the fabric I turned under while doing my applique.  I then baste the applique pieces to the background square.  I  have tried to needle turn the fabric but have never had much success.  Instead I use a toothpick.  I keep just the tip in my mouth.  The moisture on the toothpick seems to grab the fabric easier while turning it under.  

As you can see by blocks are opposite of the pattern.  That's because the pattern was set up for fusible and the templates were backward.  I am in the process of sandwiching this little quilt and am going to hand quilt it.

My second project turned into 2 projects.

While on vacation last October I picked up a new ruler.

It is called a Hatchet template.  It was a little expensive (around $16.) but I love it.  Since charm squares are so popular and I have bought more than my share I needed something for a quick and easy project.

This works with 5" charms.  You lay the ruler on the charm square, matching up corners and then you cut 2 corners off using a rotary cutter.  What is so great about the template is they have written on it what size square to cut to turn this into a hatchet block.  A 3 /12" square cut diagonally in half.

There was an odd number of charms in the pack I used.  So I had 4 blocks left over.  They will go on the back.  I came up with 2 different layouts.  I am leaning toward the diagonal set.  It will be approximately 25" square and will make a nice wall quilt or table quilt.

Now here is where the next project came in.  When I cut the corners off when using the hatchet template I measured the straight edges of the corner (which were 2 3/4") and cut background squares that size, cut them in half diagonally and made half square triangle blocks.

I started laying out the blocks in a broken dishes pattern.  But you know I've made quite a few broken dishes quilts lately.  I changed the layout to a chevron pattern and am really happy with it.  When finished it will measure approximately 15" x 17".

The colors for these 2 quilts is a little out of my comfort zone as I usually use country colors and reproduction fabrics.  This year I am going to try and broaden my horizon as far as fabrics I use.  However, I still want to keep most projects scrappy looking.

So one resolution kept and one mishap.  After I finish these 3 projects I'm hoping to get back on track and finish some UFO's.  But don't hold me to it.

Let me know how your resolutions are going.

Hugs, Cathy

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Bittersweet Day

Today I wrote my last post for Quiltmaker Magazine as part of the 2012 Scrap Squad.  It has been a fantastic year.  I worked with some very talented quilters and the magazine staff is the best.  Diane Harris was a joy to work with.  I will miss her input.  As soon as my post is up I will let you know.

Last week my husband, Terry and I went to visit my son and his family in the Upper Peninsula.  It was also the first long ride (8 hours) for our new dog, Sammie.  She doesn't like the car.  She whined and cried for the first couple of hours.  By the time we drove home she would sleep most of the way.

We were lucky to see 3 of my granddaughter, Ashley's hockey games.  Her skating skills have really improved, not that she was a bad skater last year.

She was all over the place.  Unfortunately they didn't win but they had a great time and gave the other team a run for the money.

A few lighter moments were spent with Ashley and her Grass Head!

Don't ask me what it is.  But it is cute as well as Ashley.

Well I have some new projects that I am eager to share with you.  Hopefully next week.  Until then.....

Hugs, Cathy

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Okay, so I'm a little late.  Par for the course.  I am so looking forward to this new year, new projects and new places to visit.  Speaking of visits....

 We are in the Upper Peninsula visiting my son and his family.  It is so beautiful here.  The sun is shining and the temp is only 14 degrees but with the sun its not to bad.

This is the view outside his side door.  Later today we are going to watch my granddaughter Ashley play hockey.  She has 2 games today and 1 tomorrow.  Then we head home on Monday.

We brought our new dog, Sammie with us.  She didn't like being in the car at all.  She shook and whined for a while.  Once she got used to it she was fine. She curled up in the well of the back seat and slept.  She sure loves the snow.

I make some 12" quilts for the daughters, daughters-in-law and girlfriends as Christmas gifts.  I bought them each a table stand quilt hanger.  Her are the quilts.

I made a photo of each set of quilts and put their name under the description. That way when I make them future quilts I won't duplicate.  I think they were
pretty happy with them.

I am now finishing up my last quilt as part of Quiltmaker Magazine's Scrap Squad.  They will be announcing the 2013 Scrap Squad members soon.  I had so much fun this year.  Made a lot of new friends, tried new techniques and was kept very busy.  I look forward to new adventures in quilting this year and hope to show you many new projects and hopefully some old finishes.

Thanks for being loyal followers.  It is much appreciated.  

Hugs, Cathy