Friday, January 30, 2009

A Baby Quilt

I finished this baby quilt in time for the shower tomorrow. The baby is due in April and the parents and their family are long time friends of my family. The Mom-to-be is the best friend of our daughter Heather. When Heather and Gina graduated from High School in 1999 I made each of them turtle quilts as graduation gifts. I used this same pattern. I made three of the turtles and tried to include favorite colors and favorite things in the fabric of each quilt. When we found out that Brian and Gina were expecting their first baby Steve said that I had to make a turtle quilt for them. I thought it was a great idea.
I enjoyed a 3 day Quilter's Retreat this week with 12 of my fellow Guild members. We "retreated" at a members camp and had a great time. Time sure does fly as this was our 7th Annual Samp Camp. Thanks Sandy!! I decided not to take my sewing machine and just did hand work. It was very, very relaxing and enjoyable. I have been busy packing as I am going to a retreat next week for 3 days. It will be held at a hotel in Mackinaw City, Michigan and hosted by The Quilt House of Indian River. I plan to do some machine applique there on my Guild Block of the Month for this year and one that is about 4 years old. I got behind and am hoping to catch up during the retreat. I will also be attending a retreat scheduled for mid February. I would love to hear about retreats that you have attended.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sandwiching some quilts

Over the last few days I sandwiched 6 quilt tops. Steve built the 4 legs for my frame many years ago. Each leg is free standing and holds my frames. The frames are just boards with polyester fabric wrapped around them. The heighth is just perfect for me. I stretch each backing, batting and quilt top on the frame, then use many, many little brass safety pins to hold the layers together. Then I remove the quilt from the frame and I can either hand or machine quilt the quilts. The quilt shown here is my Spider Hexagon quilt from a class taught by Gyleen Fitzgerald here at Thunder Bay Resort last September. I am anxious to get this quilt quilted. I am very excited about the way that it turned out. Of the 6 quilts I pinned I plan to hand quilt one and machine quilt the others. Time and arthritis have made me realize that I need to be a bit more selective as to which quilts I hand quilt and which ones I machine quilt.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Cultural Event for Steve and I

Last Saturday evening Steve and I went on a date. It was the first time in a very long time that a date didn't include grocery shopping! We enjoyed dinner in Alpena. Then we went to the High School for a concert of Irish Folk Music by the group Rare Combination of the Kalamazoo area. The Celtic Path Dance Troupe from the Lansing area also performed. They were a group of girls ranging in age from 5 - 18 years of age. The music was great and the dancers were wonderful. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Block of the Month Quilt

Have you ever done a Block of the Month Quilt? I have been involved in several block of the month quilts and have truly enjoyed them. I made this block last night. It is part of folkart quilt we are doing through our Quilt Guild. The stars and moon are fused. The house and tree blocks are paper pieced. I feel that I need a lot of practice with paper piecing. I am proud to say though that with thse 2 small blocks I only had to "unsew" one time. Our Guild has a second Block of the Month going and I will post a picture of the January block later. I have it fused and plan to do some machine button hole stitching on it when I have some time. If you haven't particpated in a block of the month I urge you to check it out and challenge yourself. There are lots of Block of the Month quilts on the internet and in several quilt magazines.
I have challenged the members of my Guild to make the blocks as they are presented. They have to show their January block or blocks in February, their February block in March and so on. I will keep a list of names of those who have completed their blocks in the assigned time. Then we will have a drawing at the end of the year for a couple of prizes. I am also planning to give some small monthly prizes. I was thinking of small pin cushions and maybe some of the Ditty bags. Anyone have any suggestions for quick and easy gifts that I can make as prizes? I am looking for ideas. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quilt Barn project

A group of peoplpe in Alcona County have started a Quilt Barn project. Several area residents have volunteered to be host to a quilt block on a building on their property. I haven't taken the time to check out all of the buildings but I did see this one on Highway M-72 last week. I was in Harrisville for a needle turn applique class at Holly Hock Quilt Shop. (Thanks Barb for the great class). The shop has kits of all of the blocks that are out in the community and you can make a quilt with all of the blocks that are featured on the barns. I think that sounds like fun!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Baby Quilt

A very close friend of mine asked my to make a baby quilt for a new member of his family. Mom and Dad live in Minnesota and their baby girl is due to arrive in February. I used the Nine-Month Nine-Patch quilt pattern. The pattern uses 9 fat quarters and small amounts of yardage for the 2 borders and the binding. Fabric from the 9 fat quarters are used to make a large 9 patch for the backing. Although it is hard to see in the picture the background fabric has many colorful polka dots. I think the quilt is very girly-girl and can even be used as a reversible quilt.
As I have mentioned earlier I have decided that this is the year to finish up some UFO's and to do some organizing at home. I have also decided to do some journaling. Inspiration came from Mark Lipinski's Pickle Posse Yahoo group. Years ago I kept a diary of my quilting projects and that has been interesting to go back and look through. This years journaling includes my quilting projects, along with family information and activities and some personal "stuff". I am having fun with my journaling. I invite you to give it a try some time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Steve's Christmas Gift

This is a picture of the quilt that I made for Steve for Christmas. This quilt includes the names of 4 generations of his immediate family. I really enjoyed making it for him and he was truly surprised. I attached hangers on the back in case we want to hang it in the house some day. This is the second quilt I made in this style. The first one was a gift for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. They have it haning in their living room.

When I found this pattern in a catalog I told Steve that I was going to order the pattern so I could make the quilt for my parents for their anniversary party in 2004. His comment was that I didn't need a pattern, I had enough experience to figure it out. So I began the search for letter templates. I ended up using our grandson's alphabet magnets from the refrigerator. They worked well. Then I made up a graph on a very large sheet of paper and began writing the names in. I used a pencil because I did do some erasing. Once I had the layout of the quilt I began making the letters on individual blocks of fabric. I used a fusible web and then machine appliqued around each letter. Once I finished with the machine applique I followed the chart and began sewing the blocks together. I machine quilted both of the quilts. While we were in Houston in 2007 I found an alphabet template that worked really well for Steve's quilt. The letters are a bit bigger but they worked well. I traced all of the letters for Steve's quilt onto the fusible while I was visiting Heather and Allie on Mackinac Island in May. Then while at a Quilter's Retreat in Gaylord, Michigan in November I began the task of machine applique. I finished his quilt a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Monday, January 5, 2009

UFO #1

I hope everyone had an enjoyable New Years holiday. Our dinner party turned out real well. Then I totally enjoyed a 4 day weekend. The only time I left the house during the 4 days was to go to Church. I spent a lot of time sewing. As I stated in an earlier post I have decided that I have to work on my ever growing pile of UFO's this year. The pictures are showing the progress of my Broken Star Wall hanging. I purchased a kit while traveling in September of 2007. The designer is Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Edyta was a guest instructor here at Thunder Bay Resort last October. The wall hanging is about 44 inches by 44 inches. The log cabin blocks are 4 1/2 inches and made with strips that started out at 1 inch. There are 64 blocks in the wall hanging. I layed the blocks out on my portable design wall and it sure was a lot nicer than using my living room floor. While I had my design wall sat up I decided to lay out my Teddy Bear Blocks from an Internet Block of the Month from 2007. I discovered that I had to redo one of the blocks. So then I decided to lay my Flower Block of the Month quilt out that we did at Guild last year. Well, wouldn't you know that I trimmed down 2 of the blocks to the wrong size. So I plan to redo one of them and try to piece the other as I don't have enough background fabric to redo both of them.
I also decided that I need to get more organized at home. So every day I will pick something to clean and/or organize. So far I have the shelf above the washer and 3 of the 7 drawers in our desk cleaned up and organized. I plan to do that every day before I stat sewing. I am dreading cleaning and organizing my sewing room though. I would just rather close the door!!