Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Third One Done!

This afternoon I headed to the sewing room and finished quilting the third Ronald McDonald House quilt that I have.

I can finally get these off to be bound by someone else! I love the flannel turtles on the backing fabric.

I also finished cutting blocks for another RMH quilt, so now I have finished up all the RMH stuff I have at my house. I’m sure next week I’ll come back from the guild meeting with plenty more to do!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ronald McDonald House Quilts

I am the co-chair for the Ronald McDonald House Charity Quilts committee for our quilt guild, so I tend to bring home things (fabric, quilts, batting) from meetings and get-togethers to keep at my house. Many months ago, we had a RMH Sit and Sew where we basted a bunch of quilts tops. I took them to meetings each month and slowly but surely they have been taken by someone to be quilted. However, I still have three that I have lugged back and forth to guild meetings for a while now and no one has taken them to be quilted. So, I decided to get them quilted and (hopefully) out of my house.

Over the past couple of days I finished two of the three. The one on the left I just used a walking foot to do the quilting, primarily around the white (with dots) rectangles. The other quilt I did some quilting with the walking foot, then I did FMQ in the beige and blue-green areas, leaving the novelty squares unquilted. I had such problems with the tension while FMQ that it was getting pretty frustrating. I still don’t know what the problem was, but the quilt is done and now they are both ready to take to the guild meeting next week and hopefully someone will take them to bind them. There are several women in the guild who love to do binding, so we always like to have one or two quilts ready for them. Hopefully these will be ready to go to RMH soon.

Since I spent yesterday and today working on these, I think I’ll go back to my Halloween quilt this afternoon and work on it. I still need to get some strip sets cut into 4-1/2 squares for some more RMH blocks, so I’ll get that out of the way first. Then, back to quilting!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Good Monday Morning

I am ready for the new week. I got a few things accomplished in the sewing/craft room over the weekend. It feels good to get things done.

I have been neglecting my cross stitching and embroidery lately, but I have been doing a bit of crochet in the evenings. I’ve been working on this Sensational Scarf from Blooming Patterns.

It is such a simple pattern that I don’t have to think much while working on it. And I like the lacey parts of it. I’m using Judy’s Boiled Crawfish yarn from The Loopy Ewe. It is such a bright and pretty color – I love it. I have about 30 inches on this scarf so far, so I probably will do another 20-25 inches. We’ll see how long I really want it to be as I get farther along on it.

Other than that, I have still been doing some FMQ on the new Halloween quilt. I don’t think it will be done by Thursday, but I’m pretty sure it will be ready for Halloween.

Over the weekend I also went downstairs and did some work on the Sampler Quilt that is loaded on the long arm. I haven’t worked with the long arm machine for at least a month, so it was nice to get back to it. I hope to be able to work with it at least two or three times a week. I guess I should put it on my calendar!

This was also a Ronald McDonald House Quilts weekend for our quilt guild. Four of us met yesterday afternoon and got some blocks sewn and some strips cut for our Quilters Road Show in November. We will be making foundation blocks for RMH quilts at the Road Show, so we will need lots of strips! When I came home yesterday I started machine quilting one of the RMH quilts I have here at the house. Hopefully I can get it done and ready to give to someone at the guild meeting next week to bind. There are several ladies in the guild who really like binding quilts (not my favorite part of quilt making). So it is nice to be able to bring a couple of quilts ready to be bound. I’ll see if I can get more than the one done.

That’s about it from here. We missed the Supermoon last night due to clouds, so nothing to show of that. Today I will probably spend most of my time quilting (squeezed in around housework and laundry chores). Then tonight will be baked spaghetti for dinner. I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, September 25, 2015

ALYOF September Finish

I am pleased to say that I completed my September goal for ALYOF (I was #3 at the Goal Setting Party). I finished my Halloween table runner!

This is from the book My Runners Keep Going by Disa Designs. It is a quilt as you go design, so the quilting was mostly done when I pieced the center. When I top stitched the applique on each end it added a bit more quilting (and texture), and I used Nitelite Extraglow glow-in-the-dark thread from Superior Threads to quilt spiderwebs in the border fabric. And it does glow in the dark!

I finished this last week, so I have been able to enjoy it on my table for a little while already. I’m so happy it’s complete. I will be linking up with the Finishes Party at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts. Head over for some lovely projects.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome Fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year, and I’m excited it arrived early this morning. I have most of my decorations up and I’m ready for the cooler weather…though not raking leaves! Oh well. At least I’m still able to go out and rake leaves every other day!

I haven’t done a whole lot since last posting, but I did work a little on my Halloween cross stitch project over the weekend, and yesterday I did some quilting. I was able to get about four blocks quilted on the new Halloween quilt. Here is one of them…

I used a light green on this block to just meander a bit around the pumpkins. I’m doing each block separately, based on what’s in the block. Another block I did yesterday was multi-colored monsters with the words “SPOOKY” throughout, so for the quilting I just “wrote” the word “spooky” across the block a few times. Another one had some stars in the fabric, so I did an all over meandering star pattern. I think each block will give me a clue as to what to do in it, so I’m not too worried about coming up with ideas. The only blocks I may have problems with are the string blocks. I’m not really sure what to do with those yet.

I also started on the border quilting…

It’s a little hard to see, but these are swirls of bats on purple background. I’m using a shiny purple thread to quilt in the swirls. It’s actually working out better than I thought it would. I got one border on a long side of the quilt done yesterday, other than some half-swirls I will need to go back and quilt. Since I still have the purple thread in the machine, I will probably continue with that today until I’m done with the border.

That’s about it from here. I will try to get some refrigerator pickles made today…I can’t let the cucumbers sit in the fridge for too long before making them. I will also need to do some laundry and run the vacuum; other than that I’ll be able to hang out in the sewing room and quilt. I want to get this quilt done by next week!

Have a wonderful first day of Autumn!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Table Runner is Done!

I finished hand stitching the binding down on the Halloween table runner yesterday. It turned out pretty nice. This is my September goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, so I will be posting about this more next week. The biggest excitement…the glow-in-the-dark thread really works!

Last evening I also spent some time on the new Halloween quilt.

I used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch on both sides of the skinny black border and between all the blocks. I was thinking about leaving it there, but after chatting with the hubby this morning, I think I will FMQ various Halloween motifs in each block. I’ll wing it, so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can get the quilting done during the next week.

That’s it from here. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Almost Done…

It has been a couple of weeks since I turned on my sewing machine. I was able to get in there yesterday and today and finished with the top stitching and quilting on my Halloween table runner. Here is the top stitching done on one end of the runner…

I also put legs on my spiders in the middle…

I decided to try one of the decorative stitches on my machine for the legs. I obviously need a bit of practice, but I do like the hairy spider leg look.

Since this was a quilt-as-you-go pattern, there wasn’t much additional quilting I needed to add. I quilted some spider webs on the border…

It’s kind of hard to see from the front because I used a glow-in-the-dark thread for the spider webs, and it’s white and blends in. But here are some spider webs from the back side…

They turned out OK, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like in the dark.

Finally, right before I stopped for lunch, I got the binding machine stitched onto the front…

I’m using a black with small white dots fabric. I did not add a solid black flange like I had originally planned and as I did on the inside of the border. I think the polka dot fabric is dark enough that it will look fine next to the border fabric.

My plan is to spend the afternoon hand stitching the binding onto the back. Then I guess I need to consider some kind of label. I may just use a pen and write on the back…it’s a solid orange, so it will show up just fine. Or I may get fancy and make a label. We’ll see.

It’s a lovely day here in East TN, and it looks like it will stay that way for a while. It’s a nice day to have the blinds open and have lots of natural light while stitching a binding. I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday too!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Still Stitching

I’m still working on my Halloween cats cross stitch. I was able to get some done while camping last week, and yesterday I finished up the “pumpkin cat”…

I then started the center “ghost cat”…

This one is primarily back stitching, so it’s going quickly. I hope to finish this up today and get started on the “witch cat.” I think I might be able to get this project done by next weekend…fingers crossed!

That’s about all I have been able to accomplish this past week with camping, then coming home and unpacking and cleaning.

I will be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Head over for some lovely projects.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

I hope to get some more work done on this cross stitch project today…

I picked up the pattern off the “free” table on Tuesday at our quilt guild meeting and I started it on Wednesday. (I spoke more about cross stitch in this post earlier this week.) I have enjoyed working on it, and I hope to have it done and put into a project (Pillow? Wall hanging?) by Halloween. We’ll see. This is how far I’ve gotten on it…

I will probably get some more done on this today, and next week will be an “all hand work” week. We’ll be camping, so I will take this project, HocusPocusVille, and probably a crochet project to keep busy.

I’m looking forward to getting away for a few days. I hope all of you have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

I will be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

New This Week

It’s been a busy week this week, getting my daughter moved out into her own apartment, plus guild stuff, plus life stuff. I spent all morning out running errands and getting a haircut, so I think this afternoon and tomorrow will be “home time”.

I was able to do a little bit in the sewing room this week. I got a border put on my Halloween quilt…and it’s purple! Here is the quilt folded in half (I don’t have space to open it all the way up), and you can see the purple border on it. You probably can’t see the pattern, but they are swirling bats.

I also got the binding and backing fabric this week for this quilt. Here is what I will use for binding…

I really like this fabric! And here is what (I hope) it will look like as the binding next to the purple border fabric…

And here is the backing fabric…

It is actually black and quite a bit darker in real life than in the photo. It is flannel and 108 inches wide…so no piecing the back. Yay! Today I picked up some black batting for this quilt, so maybe by the weekend I can get it basted and ready to go. We’ll be off camping next week, so I won’t be able to start quilting on it for probably at least a week.

Tuesday evening at the quilt guild meeting I found this cross stitch pattern on the “free” table…

I have always loved these black cat cross stitch patterns and recently picked up a kit for the Autumn Cats pattern. I found another of these cat patterns on the “free” table of a winter theme with the cats sledding. Aside from learning to sew when I was 4 or 5 by sitting on my mom’s lap at her sewing machine, cross stitch was my first “craft” that I really enjoyed. I have always loved it and my first quilt was cross stitched blocks quilted together. I think since I’ve started really quilting the past 20+ years, cross stitch has taken a back seat, and I really do miss it. I’ve picked up embroidery again in the past year or so, and I think I need to make time for cross stitch too (so much to do!). So, I had everything I needed for this Halloween cat pattern, so I got it all together and worked a little bit on it yesterday. This is as far as I got…

I so enjoyed myself working on it and I think it will go pretty quickly. Though I remember part of my problem with cross stitch…this may sound weird, but I have arthritis in my shoulder and it flares up when I cross stitch (also when I crochet). I don’t understand it and I don’t know what it is about the motion…it’s not like I flail my arm around. But it does bother me when I cross stitch. I was diagnosed with it in my late 20s, and at the time I was BIG into cross stitch, and the doctor couldn’t explain it either. So, I think that’s why cross stitch fell by the wayside. But, I’m going to carve out time in my life again for cross stitch. I do have several cross stitch projects I have found in the closet to work on. I will probably spend some more time on this project this afternoon, and I will probably take it camping with me next week. We’re expecting some rain, so I may be trailer-bound for some of the time we’re gone.

That’s about it from here. I hope you have had a wonderful week so far!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal for September

I have a few projects I would like to finish in September, but I guess I need to get the Halloween projects out of the way first! So, my goal for ALYOF for September will be to top stitch, quilt, and bind this Halloween table runner.

This is from the book My Runners Keep Going by Disa Designs. I saw this runner made up in a local quilt shop and thought it was so cute. The pattern calls for black borders on the runner, but I decided to use my cute spider web fabric…

I used a black flange for a “stop border” and I will add another black flange to the binding, since it is a black and white chevron stripe. The runner is a quilt-as-you-go project, so the orange center is already quilted. I just need to stitch around the applique pieces and put spider legs on the black ovals in the center.

I picked up some Nitelite Extraglow from Superior Threads, which is a glow-in-the-dark polyester thread. I plan on using that to quilt spider webs in the border strips. Depending on how that goes, I may use it for additional quilting in the center of the runner or on some of the applique pieces.

Hopefully the completed runner will be on my dining room table by October 1.

I have a couple of additional projects I hope to complete as well in September.

First, I have a new Halloween quilt that I would like to get done. I made some string blocks sometime last year (I think), then last month I cut out alternate blocks from the various Halloween fabrics I have collected over the years. I finally put it all together last week. It has a narrow solid black stop border on it, then I will add a purple swirly bat print border to it. I also have a black print flannel for the backing. I would like it to be really snuggly. So my plan it to get the final border on this, quilt it, bind it, then use it in October! I'll post a photo of it when I get it finished.

Finally, my last high priority item for September is to quilt and bind this flannel 9-Patch…

Completing the top was my goal for August’s ALYOF…and I met my goal! So I would like to get this completely done in September. I have one more of these to finish before Christmas, so the sooner I get it quilted and off my “to-do” list, the better.

I will be linking up with the goal setting party for September’s ALYOF at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts. Head over to see what everyone is up to.