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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Some Vintage Cross Stitch


This is a Dale Burdett cross stitch booklet from way back when…1983. There is a story behind this project.

I picked up this pattern booklet in about 1985/86 and started working on the Calico Cats shadow box pattern…



I got the entire shadow box done, plus several of the cats, then it sat. I was working, got married, had a baby; all those great things. And this project sat by the wayside. Cross stitch has always been my favorite thing to do (until I started quilting), and this project has always been in the back of my mind. I started and finished several other smaller cross stitch projects in the meantime, but never got back to this. About ten years ago, during some major purge here, I got rid of the project and pattern. I knew I wouldn’t touch it again.

Then, about 5 years ago, I found the pattern again in a thrift store. I could not pass it up. I still had lots of cross stitch cloth and floss, so I started this project again. Then it sat. It has always stayed in the front of my sewing room closet so I see it nearly every day, but I just haven’t picked it back up until yesterday. Finally!

This is where is stands as of today…



I had decided to just do the shadow box part as I go along with the cats this time. When I picked it up, I had already started working on the second cat, so that’s what I worked on yesterday. I will sit down with this again today and hopefully finish out the one color on the cat, and move on to the second color. I think I will encourage myself to complete one cat per month. That’s not too much to ask of myself! I really, really, enjoy cross stitching and I’m sorry I have let it lapse for such a long time. But hopefully now I will keep it in the fore front of my crafting projects.

Other than that, I am still quilting the Collage Cat, and Thursday and Friday I knitted my first mitten!



I prefer crochet because it is quicker for me to do, and I haven’t knitted in several years. But this pattern was so cute, so I decided to give it a go. I am so happy with how it turned out. This is not quite completed (I have to do some embellishment), and it’s a Christmas gift, so once Christmas has passed I will show off the finished mittens. It was also great to know I can knit a mitten in just a couple of days. I plan on finishing the second one this upcoming week. Who knows – maybe I will do socks next!

Linking up with:
Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy’s Quilts
MondayMaking at Love Laugh Quilt


Friday, October 20, 2017

Whoop! Whoop!

Excitement in the sewing room here…

I finished the quilt top for the Collage Cat and I’m quilting it…



This is the type of project you can fiddle with forever and never know if you have it just right. I reached “just fine” and “I’m happy with it”, so it’s on to the quilting. So far, I have serpentine lines done on the background, and today I should be able to get to doing the bottom “grass” area, then on to the cat and flowers. I am pretty certain how I will quilt the rest of this, and I’m looking forward to a finish on this one soon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the class I took on this technique, and if you are interested, you can check out Laura Heine’s patterns at Fiberworks for more information. She has a little book on the technique (which I bought) and it was really helpful in answering any questions I may have had regarding pattern instructions (not that it was difficult to understand – it just clarified things in my brain.) I will definitely make another collage quilt again. In fact, I am starting to put together ideas of making one of our dog. It is pretty fun stuff!

I did get a non-quilting finish this week…the crochet Sunflower Afghan!



I’m so, so happy to have this done. This was about 6 months in the making, and it will be heading to its new home soon. It wasn’t difficult to make – though I did improvise on a few things and disregarded the pattern. Shh, don’t tell anyone! This was the first really big crochet project I have done, and I’m pleased with myself that I got it done in a timely fashion. Now I will have to start another knit/crochet project to have something portable to work on. I know exactly what I’m going to start, but it’s a gift, so I won’t show it for a while.

So that’s about it from here. Those are the only projects I have been working on lately. Soon, I can get back to other UFOs and WIPs. We will be busy this weekend prepping the house for the cold weather. We will be in the 70s this weekend, but will start hitting lows in the 30s this next week; and the first frost and freezing temperatures are probably going to hit in the next few weeks. We need to get the trailer winterized before that happens.

I will be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! Head over for some wonderful projects…and have a great weekend!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Quilt-Along and Other Things




This is the Poinsettia block, though I keep referring to it as a star. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out; I just really love this block. I think I might consider making three more to use in each corner of the 12-block quilt top, but that would mean dropping three of the other blocks. I will have to wait and see if I want to do that.

I have also been trying to figure out what to do with my collage cat. I have been auditioning different backgrounds for it, and trying to figure out exactly how I want it to end up. Right now, I’m leaning towards this…



But, I’m not entirely happy with the background…or the flowers at the top. I like the idea of the turquoise/aqua with the orange and black, but I'm terrible with color, so I'm not sure. I also have a solid light grey and a print turquoise/aqua fabric that I am considering. We have our final class Wednesday morning and I may just need to walk around the shop to see if any fabric jumps out at me. Part of the dilemma is deciding if I want it to be a simple project (without the flowers at the top), or the more embellished version. I guess I will make that decision Wednesday. Once that decision is made, I will spend some time this week (hopefully!) starting to quilt it.

The last item on my agenda this week is to finish up the crochet sunflower afghan. I am on the second to last border…



I can’t wait to get this done. Not in a bad way…I’m just excited to finish up this big project. Hopefully this will be shipped out in the next couple of weeks.

That’s it from here. The weather has finally turned fall-like, and I’m loving it! I have some things going on this week, but I should be able to spend some time on my projects as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Linking up with:
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Purrretty in Pink

I took a little time yesterday to put together a couple of pink Kitten blocks…




I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. I didn’t have any pale pink fabrics that really jumped out at me, so these will be bright pink Kittens. I just have a few more block to make for November, then I can start putting this quilt top together. It’s getting exciting!

I’ve been spending much of my time lately working on my collage cat and the crochet sunflower afghan, so I haven’t spent a whole lot of time quilting. Those two projects are getting closer to being finished, so hopefully I can pull out some other projects soon and make some headway on them.

We have some work around the house this weekend, then cooler fall weather will be here by Monday (yay!) I’m ready to say good-bye to the 80s and hello to the 60s. It’s not unusual to have snow fall the first week in November, so our temps may very well plummet quickly here. No fear though, it will get back up to the 70s by Thanksgiving. Sometimes you can’t tell what season it is here!


For today, I will be linking up at So Scrappy for the 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I hope you stop by to see all the fabulous pink projects!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Collage Cat

Last Wednesday I spent the day in a class at a local quilt shop. We were working on Laura Heine’s collage quilts, and I am making the cat. I have fiddled with it a bit since my last post and I now have the cat done and fused to its foundation…



There’s no going back now! I know I could change it around again and again and never get it just right, but this is “right enough” for my first collage project. Now I need to piece the background and then cut out the cat and glue it to the background. I’m planning on adding whiskers and face details with some embroidery, then it will be ready to take to the last class next Wednesday. At that time, I will probably add more fusible flowers on the background then get it ready to quilt. I have had a fun time with this project and already have ideas for more collage quilts.

Other than that, I will probably do some more quilting on Vintage Skate and try to finish up the crochet sunflower afghan. I have the outer border to put on two sunflowers, then they can all be stitched together. After that, there is a border to crochet all around. Hopefully, this project will be done by the end of October, because I have a knitting project I would like to start for Christmas.

That’s it from the sewing room here. Today I need to try to get the dog into the vet…bum leg again. I also have some bread to make. Otherwise, it’s keeping the dog company downstairs (she’s been banished there because of her leg…it saves her from having to go up and down the stairs to go outside). Fortunately, my sewing room is downstairs too, with plenty to keep me busy.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Linking up with:
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts



Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Finish and a Start

Over the weekend I put the final stitches in the binding of the Halloween Wonky 9-Patch quilt, and it should be in my daughter’s hands sometime today…



It was a fun and relatively quick quilt to make. And it’s great to have a finish!

Since I finished that up, I had no guilt about starting a new project at a class I took yesterday at a local quilt shop. We are working on collage patterns from Laura Heine at Fiberworks. I selected the cat pattern because it was pretty small (21 x 35)…



I had thought about the pin cushion, because it’s not very big either. The woman next to me in class did the pin cushion and it looks WONDERFUL! The other 5 people in class worked on some of the larger patterns, and it made me very grateful I decided to start with something small.

Once I traced out the pattern and cut and laid out some under lay pieces of fabrics, I spent the remainder of the class cutting out flowers from my fused fabrics. Occasionally, I would lay out some flowers onto the under lays. I did fiddle with the face a little in class…



Don’t look too close – it’s scary looking!

What I have come to realize is that I need a WHOLE LOT more cut flowers for this! But, this was so much fun. I came home from the class yesterday and spent a couple more hours working at it. By the time I stopped I had the cat looking like this…



None of this is fused yet, so things are going to change. Actually, when I got up this morning I made some changes. I’m still not pleased with the placement of everything, plus I need a lot more flowers cut out before I go further. One thing I am happy with so far is the cat’s tail…



I think that will stay just as it is.

As you might be able to tell, this is a calico cat like my Miss G. I needed some structure to this as far as color goes, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make any decisions about placement if I had an unlimited color palette like it shows on the pattern. It helped me to stick with orange, black, and white.

That’s about it from here this week. I plan on continuing work on this. Our class meets again in a couple of weeks and I want to have the cat and the background completed by then. I think this project just might go quickly.

Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday (and September) Finishes

I’ve completed a few things this week, and I got a few UFOs moving along their way this month. All in all, it’s been rather productive.

This week I completed the 6th block in the I Wish You a Merry QAL, the angel…



She is fused and will be stitched down when I do the quilting. This month I also finished the 5th block, the snowman



This is a really fun QAL, and the blocks don’t take very long at all. I usually get them done in one sewing session; anywhere from about 45 minutes to maybe two hours, depending on the block. I’m keeping up with it (so far), so hopefully I will have all the blocks completed by the end of the year and can make a quilt for next year.

On the UFO front, I have two finishes! First up is a cat needlepoint pillow



I started the needlepoint a hundred years ago, and I finished it up earlier this year. I finally put it together with a zippered backing and now it hangs out in my chair in the living room. Yay!

I also ran across a UFO from the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I had 7 blocks done, then decided to add two more and make a small wall hanging. So, ta-da! Here are the Rainbow Cats mini



It’s so good to finish up old projects. I have a Post-It note hanging on the wall in front of my sewing machine which says to “Finish 2, Start 1”. For me that means that I will try to get two older projects done before starting a new one. It mostly doesn’t work 😉 but I’m glad to get those two done because I will be starting a new project next week at a class at a local quilt shop. It will be nice doing it with a clear conscience!

Also, this month I pieced three Kittens blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge…





The calico kitty is for our sweet Miss G. I have had fun this year working on these Kittens blocks and we have two months to go. I have the rest of my fabrics picked out already.

I also finished up the top for the Wonky 9-Patch Halloween quilt for my daughter. Here are all the blocks and sashing put together…



I quilted this one on the long arm with a big paisley/fish hook looking design. I have the binding attached and I am about halfway done hand-stitching the binding down. After the photo above was taken, I added a border of an orange with black polka dot fabric. You can see it here in this photo…



That same fabric is used as the backing. My plan is to finish up the binding this weekend and get it shipped off next week.

I also pulled another UFO from the shelf to quilt it. Vintage Skate



I finished this top in June of 2016, and it has sat on my shelf waiting to be quilted. I think I have stalled on it because I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to quilt it, but this week I sandwiched it and just started. Right now, I’m just outlining and doing an inside echo of the green star points…



I will do the same with the pink star points. Then I will figure out the rest when the time comes. I have ideas; it’s just a matter of forging ahead and doing them.

That’s about all I’ve completed in the sewing room this week and this month. We’ll wait and see what happens in October!


I will be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! Head over for some great projects.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

RSC – Two More Kittens

I finished the last two orange Kittens blocks for the month of September…




The light one is a re-make of this spotted Kitten…



I used two different fabrics on the light orange one, but they are so close in color and value that you can’t really tell much difference. The fabric on the forehead and sides of the face are a light mottled orange, while the fabric on the ears and face are a printed floral pattern with some darker orange and even pinks in it. It’s still not my favorite, but it’s earned its space on the front of the quilt.


I will be linking up with Angela at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for September. Stop by for some great orange projects…and Happy Fall y’all!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WIPs on Wednesday

I have the Wonky 9-Patch Halloween quilt sashed and ready for a border…



That’s not a great picture but it’s hard to get a good, straight-on photo when it’s on the floor. Anyway, I have the border fabric ready to cut and then add to the quilt top. Sometime today I hope to get this loaded on the longarm frame, then get it quilted by the weekend. I really would like to get this sent off to my daughter next week.

Other than that, I will spend some time in the kitchen today, do some more crochet on the sunflower afghan, and then start getting things ready for a Ronald McDonald House Quilts Sit & Sew on Sunday afternoon and a quilting class in a couple of weeks. Much to do! I hope you have a great Wednesday!

Linking up with:
WOW! WIPs on Wednesday at Esther’s Blog
Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts




Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pretty as a Picture

This year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I have been making the blocks for the Kittens quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.



I have had such fun making these blocks. I am so looking forward to getting them into a quilt top.

While making these blocks, I am also using fabrics to represent the cats I’ve had over the years (there have been quite a few!) For September’s color orange, I have made a block to represent our only current kitty, Miss G…



Love her to pieces! Anyway, yesterday I cut out the fabric for three orange Kittens blocks and I pieced the one for Miss G…



Pretty good likeness…sort of!! I probably should have added black fabric to the side of her face with the black ear, but I’m happy with it. Miss G has yellow eyes, so I cut out some yellow fabric then colored in her pupils with my trusty Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric. I may end up doing some thread work on her eyes with black thread when it comes time to quilt this one.

I went through the remaining colors for 2017, and the cats I want to depict, and I got the fabrics selected and the background fabric cut out. I plan on this quilt finishing up at 25 blocks – 5 across and 5 down. I will have made a total of 26, and the “not so pretty Kitty” is going on the back…



I have some orange fabric to remake this particular Kitten block, so we’ll see how that turns out soon.

This week I also finished up a project from the 2015 RSC…cats again…



You can read more about it in this post. It’s good to get a UFO completed!


I will be linking up at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Head over for some lovely orange projects!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rainbows from the Past

While sorting through my sewing “stuff” a couple of weeks ago, I came across some old Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects that I thought I had tossed because I couldn’t find them. One of the projects is these mini paper-pieced Rainbow Cats…



I had not done an orange cat for September’s RSC yet, so I went ahead and made one…



Then I decided that I will just add another block to this set and make a small 9 block wall hanging. And since I really liked the fabric, I made this green one…



So here are the 9 blocks ready to go.



The blocks measure 4 inches (finished), so I added some sashing and got it all put together into a 16-inch top…



The sashing is a bit light, and the shelves/windowsills the cats are sitting on get a little lost in the sashing since they are so close in color, but I’m calling it done anyway. Also…yes, the paper piecing is different on a few of the cats. I played with it a bit to see if I could make better use of my fabric with the paper piecing, but it turns out that the original piecing directions really worked best.

I drew on some faces with my Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric pen, and then hot fixed some yellow-ish crystals for the eyes. Here are some close-ups…




Since I had gone this far with it, I sandwiched it and started quilting it. I did some straight-line quilting in the sashing and borders with the walking foot, then switched to free motion quilting around the cats in each block. On Wednesday I finished up the quilting, added a binding, and stitched that down while waiting for hubby to get home from his business trip. Now, this UFO is a Finished Project.



Here is the backing – those are paw prints. 



And here is the label…



I just fused and fussy cut some scrap cat fabric I had. For small projects like this (and some large quilts) I usually just write on the back with a pen for the label. This backing was too dark to write on, so I found this light-colored cat to use as a label.

Call this one DONE! It’s nice to have a UFO, no matter how small, off my to-do list.

I will be linking up with:
My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Brrr…

It’s looking a little bit like winter. I pieced Block 5 for I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long…



Once I got the piecing done, I had to figure out how I was going to add the rest of the details. I decided some hand stitching was in order, so I couched down his arms, gave him some wool mittens, and added buttons from my grandmother’s button box…



The snowflake on his hat is just a plastic trim. I can’t really attach it because it won’t hold up to washing, etc. once the quilt is complete. But, this photo will help to remind me to quilt in a snowflake later when the time comes. I still haven’t made a decision on whether or not he will get a nose. I need to see if there are any other buttons that might fit there.

That’s about it from here. I’ve just been doing bits and bobs around the house this week, and I canned 10 half pints of green tomatoes yesterday. I have at least 10 more to do tomorrow, then the garden will be just a memory for this year.

I will be linking up at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social. Head over for some great projects, and have a great Wednesday!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday

We’ve been away for the weekend camping, but before we left I finished a long time UFO needlepoint project…



The Cat Needlepoint pillow! I don’t even remember how long ago I started this project – at least 10 years ago I think. I finally finished the needlepoint back in January of this year. Then I bought the zippered pillow backing a couple of months ago. Last week I picked up a pillow form, so now I finally got it put together and done! Yay! This pillow measures 11 by 14 inches, but I was able to stuff a 12 by 16-inch pillow form into it. Usually my pillows have floppy corners where the pillow form doesn’t fill it out, but not this one.

This morning I dropped hubby off to get a rental car for a business trip this week, then I stopped at the grocery store on my way back home. I have to run out in about 10 minutes to get a book at the library, then I’m home alone the rest of the week. I don’t have any plans to leave the house until the weekend!

Tomorrow I will be canning about 9 pounds of green tomatoes. I plan on making Salsa Verde. I’ve never done it, so we’ll see how it goes. Other than that, I plan to work on some projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (hopefully another UFO will become a finish this week!); I need to get back to the Wonky Halloween 9-Patch quilt; and I need to work on the crochet sunflower afghan, but that is for my sit-down time upstairs. With hubby gone this week, I should be able to make some progress on it in the evenings.


That’s it for now. I need to get running. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead, and for those in the hurricane’s path, I hope you are all safe. I will be linking up with Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday and Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making. Head over for some great projects.