Friday, February 28, 2014

Craft Swap

This month I joined a Craft Swap at Sweet Potato Claire -- I thought it would be fun to broaden my swapping -- I've only ever participated in sewing swaps on Flickr.
My secret partner was Kerrie from wildmae.
I made her this little first aid zip pouch -- and filled it with chocolate.  :-)
Now I'm watching the mail to see what type of crafty goodness arrives for me!

Monday, February 24, 2014

City Sampler Quilt

I'm so happy that my City Sampler Quilt is finished!
This quilt is made up of 70 blocks from Tula Pink's book
  I started these blocks as part of the City Sampler Quilt Along at Sew Sweetness.  I put them aside before Christmas, when I was busy sewing up Christmas gifts, but then picked it up again in January. This quilt will be a gift for my husband's mother for her 70th birthday.
She has strict instructions not to look at my blog until after we celebrate her birthday -- so I hope she'll be surprised!

The fabrics for this quilt are Kona Snow (background), and Sugar Pop by Moda -- most of these are leftovers from my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, although I did order a little extra when I was running low, around block number 55!  I tried to use up the rest of this stash of fabric on the back of the quilt.
I quilted this myself, on my sister-in-law's mom's long arm machine, in an all over feathers pattern.
I'm so happy to have discovered a new spot for quilt photos!
Isn't it beautiful, with all of the snow?!



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Long Arm Quilt Report

I had the most wonderful weekend!
My birthday gift from my brother and his wife this year was to get to spend a weekend quilting with Patsy -- my sister-in-laws mom.  She has a beautiful, historic home out in the country, and a long-arm quilting machine!  So I spent the last three weeks busily sewing quilt tops together, but really had no idea what to expect when using a long arm.
 The learning curve was huge, and setting up the quilts on the long arm takes forever.  On the first day, I think it was 2 o'clock by the time I actually started quilting!  I'm happy to report that I quilted THREE quilt tops during the weekend (the second 2 went much faster, once I got the hang of the set up, bobbin loading, etc), and I'm so happy with how they turned out. 
For my City Sampler Quilt, I used a feathers pattern for the quilting -- the machine is set up so that you can move the handles to the opposite side of the long arm, and use a laser pointer to follow an all-over pattern.  It was really weird to be looking at the laser pointer and not at my quilt while quilting, but I just love the result.  I would never be able to free motion quilt in this intricate of a pattern on my machine.  For my next two quilts, I moved the handles back to the front of the machine, and free motion quilted my own designs.  It's harder than I thought!  But again, I love how it looks -- and these 2 smaller quilts were speedy -- finished in no time!


I'll be spending the next few days (or weeks?) sewing on binding!

(Linking up to WIP Wed at Freshly Pieced)




Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In Progress . . .

Here is a little peek at what I've been working on this week:
(Cross stitch sampler by Little Miss Shabby -- loving this!!!)

(a zip pouch and a paper pieced pillow)

I have also been trying to finish up some larger quilts.  I've had stacks of blocks sitting around for far too long!   Next week I'm going to spend two days with my sister-in-law's mom and her long-arm machine.  I have never tried a long-arm, and have no idea what to expect, but I can't wait!
(Road to Tennessee quilt blocks, tutorial here)
Any thoughts on how to quilt this one?
I've been thinking about it constantly, and just can't decide!

(Scrappy Sticks, tutorial here)
Hopefully by this time next week,
I'll be sewing binding on some finished quilts!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Spools, spools, & more spools!

DQS14 was such fun!  Here is what I made & sent out:
(Starburst Spools by Charise Creates)
 and here is what I received:
I just love it!
Jen (pinkbrain quilts) did a beautiful job with this little mini quilt!

It's the PERFECT addition to my sewing room wall, don't you think?!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Forts -- work in progress!

Our neighbors across the street built this AMAZING snow fort this year.
It's amazing for quilt photos, too --
this is my finished City Sampler Quilt Top.

We've been jealous of it for weeks, and so last weekend we had to built our own:


What do you think?  It's pretty scrappy -- maybe more "organic" than our neighbors?!  We need to wait for warmer temperatures to really reinforce it, and make it taller.  The girls are thrilled!
 These last few weeks I've been busy cleaning up my sewing room/office/guest room, and finally hung some things on the wall!  I'll show more of my progress soon.
This weekend (while the kids were playing in the snow fort) I pulled out these blocks that I've had stashed for awhile, and started sewing them together.  I have a fun plan for how to quilt this!
 
And this spot is perfect for cuddling after playing in the snow.  I finally decided to make this orphan Swoon block into a huge pillow.  It's so cozy, and our kitty really loves it!
Linking up to WIP Wed at Freshly Pieced.