Monthly Archives: January 2012

Some Days You Need Scraps

The other day I happened to look over at my scrap bins & I noticed that 2 of my 3 scrap bins were over flowing:

At first I just turned my back to ignore them, but a thought came to my mind.  “I’ve been doing so many intricately pieced blocks that require very precise cutting.  It would be lovely to cut the same piece 100 times.  Wait a second!  I can cut 5″ squares & strips of various widths from those bins!”

So that was my day, ironing, measuring, cutting all while listening to podcasts.  It was great.  And while it wasn’t at all what I *needed* to be doing- I did need some down time & this was the perfect project.

Here’s my nice pile of 5″ squares:

Just 200 more where those came from & maybe I’ll have enough to do some of the Nickle Quilts by Pat Speth I’ve been admiring for years…..

Too Much Good Stuff on the Internet

Lately I can’t stop finding awesome projects to start from the Internet.  Not sure if it’s my New Year mood or the fact that I’m following some great bloggers, but I have a serious case of “need to step away from the computer!”

So instead of starting all these projects today (which I really want to do!), I’d thought I’d at least share them with you! (And inspire you to start some more projects!)

Bargello QAL from Katie’s Quilting Corner– This looks like so much fun & I can’t wait for later today when I can pull out my blue batiks!  In the 3 week QAL, we will make 4 place mats & a table runner- perfect for our kitchen table.  I’ve also got some great quilting ideas for these- based on some awesome quilts I saw at AQS Des Moines

Leah Day over at The Free Motion Quilting Project is hosting Quilt Along WednesdaysWeek 1 is up & looking inspiring.  Leah always has great tips for mastering free motion quilting!

Then over on Eleanor Burns’ Quilt in a Day site, she’s releasing a new book on Tales of First Ladies and Their Quilt Blocks. I really like the idea of doing a patriotic quilt based on the First Ladies- I’m thinking of red, white & blue batiks w/ gold batiks for the eagles!

Lastly, pieceful kwilter is hosting a 1930s block swap!  The blocks aren’t due until March 31, 2012, so there’s plenty of time to participate.  I *love* the block she chose & can’t wait to see the completed quilts!

Whew!  I hope those have given you some inspiration- I for one can’t wait to get started!

Farmer’s Wife!

Probably a year ago or so, I picked up a copy of the Farmer’s Wife.

If you’re not familiar with this book, it’s based on a contest held in 1922 by The Farmer’s Wife magazine asking its readers the question: “If you had a daughter of marriageable ago, would you, in the light of your own experience, want her to marry a farmer?”  About 80 or so years later, the author, Laurie Aaron Hird, designed 111 blocks inspired by these entries.

Since I live in Nebraska, it’s an understatement to say this quilt has been popular 😉  A LQS is hosting a BOM & I joined in towards the end of the program so I could get all the months at once.  (Even though it’s not even possible for me complete this or any BOM in one month, or two- I dislike BOMs- I’d rather get the entire kit at once.)  Well, needless to say it just sat in studio until my friends (who are actual farmer’s wives) gave me the push I needed to get started!

We’ve been getting together every now & then to work on the blocks.  They measure 4″ finished (so yes, that’s small.  Really small)

Here are the 1st 9 blocks:
1- Attic Windows (this was deceptively easy- I should have known…..)

2- Autumn Tints (Didn’t have my book with me when I did this, so my 4-patches are actually off!)

3- Basket (Darn machine applique- that handle was not fun!  Need to improve that skill this year!)

4- Basket Weave (Amazingly enough with all my piecing experience, I seem to be incapable of following a pattern- thus, it’s my own version of a basket weave)

5- Bat Wing (Need to read the letter that inspired this block.  It’s got to be a story)

6- Big Dipper (That’s a lot of quarter square triangles friends.)

7- Birds in the Air (Just when I was gaining my confidence on doing 4″ blocks, they throw this at us.  Yeeash.  All I can say is there was a lot of nasty language.)

8- Bouquet (Easy peasy after that last block!)

9- Box (And suddenly I forget how to do half square triangles…….)

That’s the first “month!”  Stay tuned for more tiny block goodness!

Cookies!

This past Christmas I decided to make the family cookies.  We have a standing policy that all presents exchanged must either be consumable, or handmade- these met both requirements!

They were so incredibly yummy that I knew I wanted to share the recipes with all of you!

Starting at the top of the pic, they are as follows:
Chocolate Orange Cookies
Peanut-Pecan Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
Robin’s Nests
Hazelnut Shortbread Sticks
Split Second Cookies

Happy Baking!

Happy New Year!

I’ve debated whether or not to do a recap of my 2011 projects & in the end decided to just do a short list:
– Baby Quilts: 4
– Wall hangings/Table Toppers: 5
– Bed Quilts: 3
– Pin Cushion: 1 (hey, this counts, it’s made of 1-inch hexagons ala English Paper Piecing)
– Knitting: Per Ravelry, 31 projects- this ranges from a dishcloth to socks to shawls

Not too shabby of a list considering I had another job for the 1st three months of the year, went to Texas 3 times, and spent some time at Yellowstone for the great family camping trip.

Now for 2012. I’m usually not a “new year” goal setting kind of person, (I think goals can & should be made at any time of the year) but this year it just seems right. So many other things in my life are now wrapped up & for the first time in who knows how long, I actually *feel* like a new year is starting. So here’s *some* of what I’m thinking for 2012:

Quilting Goals:
– Quilt 12 personal quilts (that’s one a month, should be doable with a little focus)
– Finish about 6 flimsy’s (quilt tops) (This isn’t too strict of a goal, basically I just don’t want to forget about piecing my own quilts)
– Go through “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” & “The Artist’s Way” (Already reading the first book)
– Create 4 (quarterly) challenges for myself, encouraging me to expand my free-form quilting
– Learn a better way to machine applique (Have registered for Craftsy’s “Pictorial Quilting” class which should help me with this)
– Master feathers on the longarm (Have registered for 2 feather classes at MQS just for this!)

I’ve also got some other ideas in my head, but they will need some research before I can say anything :)

It’s gonna be a great year!

December Recap

Soooooo, it’s now January!  And I’m back in the land of the living.  I think.

Here’s a little recap of December:
– Made lots of costumes for the church’s Christmas pageant
– Bought lots of fleece for the Youth group to make fleece blankets for a local charity
– Made Christmas cookies for the family’s presents

– Finished some customer quilts in time for Christmas

– Finished J’s quilt for Christmas

– Made a last minute trip to Michigan
– Dealt with the death of 3 grandparents

Yeah, that was a month.  I’m quite amazed when I look at that list now- no wonder I’ve spent the 1st two days of the new year in pajamas sleeping on the couch.

In fact, I think it would be a good idea to get back to that!  Happy New Year!