Friday, February 26, 2010

A brief break from quilting, but still sewing

Earlier this week I took a brief break from quilting to make some burp cloths. Our son Greg and daughter-in-love Rachel are expecting twin boys very soon. We have been very cautiously excited as Rachel has been having some very serious health issues throughout most of the pregnancy. Today the boys (did I mention they are boys?) are 32 weeks. We are very excited to meet the little fellows but also are hoping they will wait to make their grand entrance. I made up 11 burp cloths, using the small amount of flannel in my stash. I plan to buy a little more flannel to make up a few more. I am hoping to take big brother Cameryn shopping this weekend to help pick out a few fabrics.
I also made up 8 log cabin blocks for a charity quilt we are making at Guild. Last night I sat down and started hand quilting another quilt. The name of this quilt is Tilt-A-Whirl and the pattern was printed in a Fons and Porter magazine several years ago. I absolutely love hand quilting and right now I have a rather large pile of quilts waiting to be hand quilted.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boy Scout Blue and Gold Banquet

Steve (Papa) and I (Nana) attended our grandson Cameryn's Boy Scout Banquet on Sunday afternoon. I learned that Boy Scouts turned 100 years old earlier this month. The boys have a Dad and Lad cake making competition and then the cakes are auctioned. I was the lucky bidder for Cam's cake. Isn't he cute and didn't he do a great job with his cake? His troop did a couple of skits and in one of the skits he repeated A-F-L-A-C while holding a stuffed duck throughout the skit.

Combat Quilt Camp

I was very lucky to attend the 4th Annual Combat Quilt Camp last weekend in Alpena. The camp gets its name because it is held at the Combat Readiness Training Center a.k.a Air Force Base. We slept in the barracks and ate all of our meals in the mess hall. We had 80+ quilters there along with 3 vendors. I had a great time sewing, visiting with many friends and enjoying some quality time with my sister Carol. I worked on piecing together 3 of the blocks from our Guild's Block of the Month program. The blocks are very simple and made with 2 1/2 inch wide strips. I decided to use my collection of 1930's reproduction fabrics for this quilt. I had 4 blocks cut out but discovered I was missing one small piece from the 4th block. I also made a preemie quilt top for my favorite charity, Tiny Miracles. I had cut this top out many years ago and just never got it pieced. I am not sure the final result is what I had planned but it is put together. I also have been working hard at reducing some stash in my sewing room. I sewed together several 4 patche blocks using 2 inch squares. I used fusible web to make the alphabet blocks and then started putting together a scrappy teaching quilt. My great niece Tatum will be 3 in August and I thought she would enjoy this quilt. I still have to make a few more 4 patch blocks to complete the top. All of the 2 inch squares are cut so it won't take long to make up the blocks. Thanks to Pat, Jenny and Megan for a great camp.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Winter Olympics

I have to admit that I don't think I have ever watched the Olympics before. A couple of nights ago Steve was channel surfing and stopped by the channel showing the Olympics during some figure competitions. Last night I got the remote first :) and turned the Olympics on. I watched some more figure skating and some snow boarding. It is just amazing, the strength and the stamina those athletes have. While watching the figure skating and the choreography I couldn't help but remember our daughters days in High School Competitive Cheerleading. I also wondered if her 2 1/2 year old daughter Allie will be a cheerleader some day. I think so as Allie is very much a girly girl, she likes to talk and I think she would make a great cheerleader. The snow boarding also reminded me of our son's days of racing motocross and I am sure their sons will follow in their Dad's footsteps some day. I have great memories of attending many activities with our kids. Now we are attending basketball, baseball, Boy Scouts and pre-school activities with our grand children and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A little change in my crafting

During my recuperation from surgery last year I re-discovered crocheting. Before I started quilting I did quite a bit of crocheting along with a few other crafts. During my recuperation my eye sight affected my quilting. So I pulled some yarn out and found that I enjoyed crocheting again. My Mom gave me some odds and ends of skeins and scraps of yarn. I made these two scrappy afghans and have 2 more "in the works". Steve took these two afghans to the Homeless Shelter in Alpena yesterday and he said the people there were very appreciative. I have 2 more afghans going right now and once they are finished they will go to the Homeless Shelter too. I have also put a call out to my fellow Guild members asking for odds and ends of yarn from their stashes.
A weather update -- we have received a couple of inches of snow here so everything looks fresh again. The sky has lots of wierd colors so I don't know if that means we are in for a storm or not.
Fabric stash update - I bought 3 yards of fabric in the last 2 weeks. They will be used for two different gifts in the very near future. Since they are for gifts I can't elaborate right now. I haven't had much time for quilting lately. I did do some machine quilting on some preprinted fabric and once it is bound I will share a picture. I have also been working on fusing some applique blocks and the next step will be to machine applique them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Quilted Elk News

Have you had a chance to read the winter issue of The Quilted Elk News, for People with a Passion for Piecing? Included in the newsletter is the schedule for our 2010 retreats along with some helpful hints. If you would like your name added to our mailing list please let me know.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. And I also hope that you get some sewing time in. I have a busy weekend planned but hope to squeeze at least a little time in with my sewing machine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Birthday!!

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now the speed limit, local roads, not the interstate, thank you very much. I remember when my Gramdmother turned 55. Some of us cousins made up a silly song about being 55. Of course that silly song has been running through my head and no, I am not going to repeat it. I was sitting in my sewing room one day last week working on cutting up some of my fabric scraps and thinking about turning another year older. All of a sudden I heard an ad on the radio for senior citizen discounts at 55. So, maybe this won't be so bad after all.
PS - I sure got some wierd looks this morning when I took this picture just a short distance from my house.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Am Bored!!

OK - normally that word never enters my mind. But since I have been just cutting scraps I feel a bit bored. I have been going through all of my totes and pulling small pieces of fabric (anything smaller than a fat quarter)and cutting them for several quilts. I have decided that once this pile gets cut I am going to take a break from my rotary cutter and spend some quality time with my sewing machine. Maybe my shoulder will feel a bit better too. Now to decide which scrap project I want to start. I am thinking that at this point I may have been through 1/3 of my stash. For some reason I thought that this project would be a whole lot easier than it has been. But I am still not planning on making any fabric purchases for awhile yet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quilt #1 of my 5 Scrappy Quilt Goal

I have set a goal for myself to use up some of my stash and to make 5 scrap quilt tops this year. I have been spending a lot of time cutting scraps into various sizes and shapes for several quilts. I decided I needed to take a break from cutting and do a little sewing. I pulled out the fabrics that I needed to make one of these baby quilts. The name of the block is Savannah Stones and I found it in an older Quick Quilts magazine. Either there is a misprint in the pattern or my 1/4 inch wasn't very accurate for this project. I did a lot of fighting with the first 4 blocks so decided that was all I was going to make for a small baby quilt. I guess I really am a slow learner as I decided to cut down the center blocks and that made a world of difference. Then I moved on to making 9 more blocks and they went together very well. So now the small quilt has some issues in that the center blocks are just a tad too big. I have been told that those can be called A cup, B cup, C cup, etc. I have also heard that those minor imperfections can be "quilted out." Since I will just be doing a meandering quilting stitch I think I will give that a try. My first thought was to go back, tear the quilt apart and start over and then I thought, "No way, a little baby will never know that there was a problem with the blocks."
PS - Winter came back, well at least a little bit. After I finished my blocks yesterday I decided to take advantage of the temps in the low 30's and take a walk. It was very refreshing. We got just a skiff of snow last night and with the sun shining the flakes look like diamonds twinkling. Perhaps there will be another walk this afternoon!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quilts for our Grandsons

I believe that I have mentioned in earlier posts that we are expecting twin grandsons this spring. Our son Greg and our daughter-in-love Rachel are pregnant. We have been very cautiously excited as Mom has had some problems in carrying them. In fact as I write this she is hospitalized two hours from home as she started some contractions on Sunday. Right now all is well with her and the little guys. One of the babies is now 2 lbs., 14 ounces and the other baby is 3 lbs. 4 ounces. We had her baby (babies) shower on Saturday and she received lots and lots of very nice baby items. I made two quilts for the little guys. Greg is a mechanic at a local farm equipment dealership. He has also worked on several farms during high school, college and after college. When I found the tractor patterns on the Fat Cat website I thought they would be perfect for the quilts.