Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sampler 19 needs a name

 I have been working on Sampler 19 off and on for a few months. I don't always work on them so long, since I usually have a deadline for finishing. But I needed a project for my retreat in Feb. so I finalized the design, grabbed some batiks and took them with. I knew I wouldn't be teaching it until June, but I also knew I had a hectic teaching schedule in Feb. and March, so it would be good to get it started.  I finished the last blocks a few weeks ago so bought these vibrant fabrics for the setting triangles.

I used both fabrics on the first border to finish the setting design. I have added the final border, but no picture yet...it's too big to hang in my doorway! Now to name it. I have a few ideas, but nothing is clicking yet. That is one of the hardest things for me to do. Any ideas?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday already?

I spent some time yesterday finishing the new sampler top....for some reason this one seemed to take forever, but I guess I had some starts and stops along the way. Now to get a backing fabric for it so I can get it quilted, and then write the patterns for it. I will begin teaching the new sampler in June.

These pictures are some that I've taken at recent sampler clubs. I offer these once a month clubs for people to build skills and work with a group. I have two groups working on this sampler right now.

After I finished the new sampler (it needs a name so I can stop calling it the new sampler!) I worked on a new design. I have two new projects in the beginning stages...one has to be finished before the other so that is what I will be working on next.

We've had some gorgeous spring weather the past week as well as some much needed rain over the weekend. It's really starting to green up outside. I am itching to visit the greenhouse and start planting tomatoes! It's time, right?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Scrappy Braid Workshop

 Yesterday's Scrappy Braid Workshop went well. Everyone is working on their own version of a scrappy braided quilt. Jane is using batiks from her stash and making a quilt for her grandson.
 Dianne is making a king size version for a gift for her brother. She is using fall colors and has a puppy border picked out.
Norma cut up lots from her Christmas collection. She is going to make a runner and then a quilt. 
Diana was given a jelly roll as a gift and is using it to make a twin size quilt.

There are lots of ways to use these half hexagons...after they had a good start on their braids I showed them how to sew them together to make hexagons. I made a small version of this last summer. 

We had our cup swap yesterday after class. When Becky came she and Diana posed for a twin picture in their matching shirts!

 I didn't think to take pictures of all the cups before the swap, but I will take pictures of the ones I ended up with later and post tomorrow. Hopefully others took pix of their own I can share.
My Scrappy Braid quilt
I want to get the last border on the new Sampler quilt today, then I may start cutting out a new quilt. It always seems like borders should go quickly, but they never seem to!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cup Swap ready...

A while back a friend wanted to do a cup swap, so she convinced nine of us to make cups to swap with her. We found a cute pattern on Fat Cat Patterns to use, decided on white backgrounds and set a date two months away to have them finished and meet to swap. 

Of course, that date is coming up this weekend, so I had to get busy last weekend and get them made (why do I wait til the last minute?). I decided to use this sewing patterned fabric for my cups that she had gifted me awhile back....and I love how they turned out. I can't wait to see what the others have come up with!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mystery quilt finish party

When I taught the Against the Tide Mystery quilt last month, some of the participants got the idea that it would be fun to set a date and meet to see each other's quilts. So some of them came last week to share their quilts. Cathy's turned out gorgeous in all purples.
Dianne's murky background and watery border really set off her pinks. 

Kelli changed the position of her blocks, and came up with a whole different design. We liked it too!

Lora didn't like one of her color choices, so remade some blocks and came up with this setting.
 Kathy made this one for her husband and he laid out the blocks himself, coming up with this arrangement. Hers is quilted already and ready for binding.

It was fun to see them and they all said that having that "finish party deadline" really encouraged them to get it finished. The quilt below was made by Kerstin, who participated in the mystery from Germany by testing the pattern for me. Hers is quilted as well.

 Here's mine. I will probably be teaching this again next fall, since there is usually interest after people see the finished mystery. Let me know if you are interested!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boy, am I behind....

 Here are some pictures from last week's UFO Saturday. Jane is making lots of cute campers. She is very creative when it comes to cutting out cute applique shapes.

 Dianne worked on her Miss Tess baby quilt...she is using all scraps.

 Isn't this a gorgeous LeMoyne Star? We figured out how to use a new ruler and she got one block completed.
 Brenda got her Easter wallhanging done just in time for the holiday!

 Dianne was there, but I didn't get a picture of her project. Not sure why. She was working on her coffee cups for the swap.

 I chose the fabrics for the setting triangles for the new sampler...I think they are going to frame the blocks nicely!
     I'm working on a pattern today...then back to work tomorrow. Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

I can't believe I've been MIA for a week. After I came home from Dad's birthday party last Sat. I got sick with the norovirus. I felt better by Tuesday and went to work, but honestly I shouldn't have as my stomach has still been iffy ever since. I don't get sick, but just feel slightly nauseous off and on every day. I can eat, but nothing really sounds good.

Dad had to come down for some tests Wed. night and was in the hospital until Friday afternoon so I spent Thurs. and Fri. at the hospital with them. Everything is ok at this point, just had to check some things out.

Hopefully this week will go a bit more smoothly. It's a gorgeous spring morning here in IA so that's a good start! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy 90th Birthday Dad!

We are celebrating my dad's 90th birthday tonight in my hometown, Earling, IA. His birthday was Wednesday, so he celebrated with the family that lives near that night, but we are having the official PaRtY tonight. Four of my five siblings will be there, as well as many nieces and nephews.  For some it's too far to travel for a weekend. 

My First Communion
 As I went through some old pictures to post for the occasion, I spent some time thinking about the "old days"...growing up on a farm in SW Iowa with four sisters and one brother. I'm the oldest, so I remember lots of funny stories about the others (which they really can't argue with since they might have been too young to remember). My dad farmed the land and raised cattle, hogs and chickens, so it was a busy life. We spent many hours playing outside under the trees in our small orchard. No AC in the summer, so that was the coolest place to be! I loved helping dad with chores and I remember walking around  with him, feeding the animals and talking. We had some awesome talks doing chores. He washed out 2 paint cans so I could carry feed too and really help.
Easter, complete with fancy hats
We also worked with Mom, gardening, canning, cleaning,  helping with my younger siblings so she could work on the many things that had to be done on a busy farm. Sometimes we were given the choice of taking the "little kids" outside to play or stay inside and work...well, we weren't stupid, you know what we chose!

As I grew older, I started helping around the farm with bigger buckets, learning responsibility along the way. I didn't realize at the time that that was what was happening, but I do now. Dad always says that I liked helping outside more than being inside, learning to drive the tractor (which I loved!) to help with the field work. One of my best memories is of going down to the hog house late at night to check the sows to see if they were farrowing. Dad could tell if one of them was close to delivering, so liked to check them to make sure everything was going ok.  It was warm and peaceful at night and sometimes we would witness the miracle of birth.
Dad with my daughter, Wendy
 We had trees to climb, a timber nearby to explore, and many adventures growing up on the farm. I wouldn't trade that childhood with anyone, even though sometimes we thought it was boring. I remember one summer day Dad came in from working in the fields for lunch and my sisters and I were complaining about having nothing to do...it was so boring living on the farm, why didn't we live in town (we thought that would be much more exciting!) so Dad said he had  something for us to do. He took us to a nearby field to cut out thistles. (I know if you are a parent, you are laughing right now. We've all been that route, right?) I don't think we complained as much about being bored after that.
Since his birthday is in April, we have celebrated it many years along with Easter. Here he is a few years ago with his bunny cake! He's had several bunny cakes...

Mom and Dad's 60th Anniversary Party in 2010
I am so lucky to be able to celebrate his 90th birthday with him. Happy Birthday, Dad...see ya later!
Summer 2012

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Eye candy and Colorwheel group

Marilyn came to last Saturday's Modern Cathedral Window Pillow class and brought some Circle and Spin show and tell with her. She was going to make a queen size quilt originally, but decided  she didn't like all of the colors in the same quilt, so made two throw size tops instead. They both turned out so pretty...these pictures don't really do them justice. I love it when people bring quilts from classes back to show me how they turned out!

 The Colorwheel Stash group met Tuesday night. I finally got the border on my Sunrise/Sunset quilt. This quilt is finished! It's funny because I'm still not sure I'm totally happy with this one...and I'm not sure why. Do you ever feel that way about your quilts? It's finished now, for better or for worse!

 Dorothy laid hers out on the tables and pinned and basted it so she can try machine quilting it. She hasn't done much quilting, but wants to give it a try. We talked about several different ideas she had about what she wants to do.
 Dianne was busy sewing down her shiny trims. She hoped to find some yellow/orange trim for the corresponding corner, but hasn't had any luck, so she came up with another idea for that spot.

I found the fabric I'm going to use for my setting squares and triangles on the new sampler, so I hope to get those cut out and made tonight. I'm excited to get it sewn together now!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Modern Cathedral Window Pillows

I had a great time Saturday teaching some eager students how to make Cathedral Windows using their sewing machines, no hand sewing. Some used other colors behind the windows...like Joann.
Some used the same color to frame the windows....either way there was a wide assortment of fabrics, all of them were shaping up to be winners!

You can make the windows out of just about anything, including holiday motifs.
Florals work well too, and Candy's batiks just shine!
Darlene used yellow behind the windows. She is using up some fabrics that she made a quilt with several years ago.

We all loved these florals!

Rachel had some coffee prints, so got a good start on her pillow. She posted on Facebook yesterday that she couldn't wait to finish it and here it is! They really are fast and easy to make. I will be teaching this class again on May 3, so if you've been wanting to learn this technique, that would be the time to do it!

I finished the new sampler blocks yesterday, so now I have to find two fabrics for the setting blocks. They will be simple half square triangles...very large ones. I am anxious to get this finished now!