Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Saturday and the sun is shining bright!

I can honestly say that we have been very fortunate with the weather this winter.
This time last year we already had over 3 feet of snow on the ground and were wondering where to put it after we shoveled it.  Not that I miss the snow but I do realize this is winter and we have at minimum 6-8 weeks to go and could see some white stuff at anytime...but according to the weatherman...not in the next 10 days at the very least.  YIPPEE!

I have had a very productive week of sewing.
Finished this top for a class sample.
It measures about 58" x 74" and is a quick one.
The colors are just wonderful and very cheery.
During piecing the strips I saved the little snippets and now I have a bunch of batik HST's for a swap in March.  They just need to be squared up and set aside for the balance of the scraps that will go into this scrap swap project!
Also started cutting and piecing the blocks for this class sample.
This uses a special ruler and a pattern that coordinates with the ruler...more on that at a later date.
So far I have 48 blocks complete but I need 80 total...more sewing tonight.

I also had a lot of 30's snippets from this project and stitched them together into this little lovely.

Still thinking about where this one is headed as a finished table topper perhaps.  It might need a solid blue inner border before the muslin border.  For sure there will be a muslin border, I like the way muslin looks with the 30's retro prints.  There also might be some yo-yo's needed here.  I plan to have some fun with this one.

Have a delightful day and remember to make time to sew...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Maybe now I can upload those photos now AND always purchase extra fabric because...

This was my option #2 border...

Still didn't work for me.
So it was on to #3 and that was the one!
What do they say...3rd times the charm...yes it is.
I like this border.

This little quilt finishes at 25" x 25".
As I mentioned before it is "Crosses Mourning" from the book Prairie Children and Their Quilts by Kathleen Tracy.
The fabrics were entirely from my stash of Civil War prints and my CW scrap bin.

Now for the 'always purchase extra fabric' part of this post.
I had to use a cream print from some yardage I had purchased.
It wasn't for a special pattern or project so I only purchased 1/2 yard (a while ago).
When I pulled it out and 'squared' up the fabric prior to cutting here is what happened.

As you can see from this photo, I cut off the two ends that were not even.  From a 1/2 yard cut I have a 15" piece of fabric that goes full width.  (Photo shows about 14" because I am working on another project so I cut out an extra 1" on one uneven side for that so I knew I would waste less.)
In theory I lost 3" of fabric that could be cut WOF.  
None of what I cut off is waste because I can use it in another (many) projects at a later date.  
But if I needed that full 1/2 yard to cut strips by the WOF I would not have it.
This is good quilt shop quality fabric from a reputable company.  It is not the shops fault and maybe not even the companies fault.

Had a great day cutting out some projects and now I am off to sew while my husband watches the game!

Game time = sew time!

We had snow...

Yup, we had snow that actually had to be shoveled.
And today ~ well today it will be sunny and chilly BUT tomorrow it will head back up to 40's with rain and all the snow (only about 3") will be gone again and the week ahead is expected to be in the upper 40's and sunny.
Do you think that's all the snow we will get this year here in NY?  Not!  But that would be nice!

Anyway, last night I finished the Crosses Mourning top I was working on this past Thursday (see previous post).
In the morning I picked out the sash and cornerstones and cut them.  Then I cut the borders that I had set aside for this right from the beginning.  Laid it out, took this photo and decided not good!
Too busy and light for my liking.  But you will see this border fabric somewhere on one of my quilts in the future because I really like it!
Then, option 2...

No option will not upload!

I'll be back with more on this little quilt top.

My husband is bringing home Chinese food for dinner because he MUST watch the big game tonight.
I asked him if he thinks the Giants will win...the answer...they have a 50-50 chance!
Such wisdom!

Remember, take some time to sew!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Me and My Sewing Machine...

We sure had fun today! It was very productive and we accomplished a lot together.
I do have to give some credit to the rotary cutter also...and the iron...and the seam ripper...LOL!
I was determined to choose sashing and border fabrics for the 12 Days of Christmas quilt.
(Posted about that a short while ago) I went "shopping" in my stash and came up with some great choices.
Mission accomplished and it is all together and ready to be layered and quilted.
The teal border really felt right for this.  I think I will border it in the same brown/pink print that was in the borders. 
Many  other quilters participated in this little quilt along and some of the photos of the quilts they made are wonderful.  I am inspired by those who made it using red and green fabrics for Christmas and just might have to make another one!

Next on the to-do list for today was the Crosses Mourning quilt.  Kathleen Tracy ~ find her here ~ is doing a challenge to make a small quilt a month this year.  Crosses Mourning is the first quilt and the pattern is from her book Prairie Children and Their Quilts.
First I choose the fabrics...
I started by digging in my Civil War scrap box, then moved to my Civil War stash.
The result ~ 9 black prints, 9 cream/black prints and 9 different color prints ~ to make 9 wonderful little blocks...

Next step will be to decide on sashing and borders which will have to wait because I need to do that in the daylight ~ maybe tomorrow!
Then I need to decide on how to quilt these two little charmers.

Right now we are having a little winter visit in the form of a very light snow.  Just a dusting!
They are saying that Saturday may bring a bit more.  Cannot complain because so far the weather has been very nice this winter!

Remember to take time to sew!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Happy (and fun) Ending!

In our house the Holiday Season officially comes to a close today.
Of course the tree would stay up past "Little Christmas" ~ just like when I was growing up.
And my Mother always gave us a little gift on that day too ~ such fond and heartwarming memories.

The reason we 'close' the Holiday Season today is because last night we held our annual Karate School Holiday Party.  Once a year (this was the 20th) my husband invites all the instructors and their wives/girlfriends to our home for this celebration.
These are wonderful people who are a tremendous help at the studio all year long and my husband likes to thank them in this way.
It is always a fantastic time with lots of great food, laughter and people (only 16 guests this year ~ about 6 people couldn't make it and we missed them all).

I get the house ready and then I cook...all day I cook...and prepare.  
Of course I cook mostly Japanese food for the party.  
My husband, he orders some sushi/sashimi trays and picks them up on his way home from work.

Last nights menu was a delicious delight.
(and the leftovers are minimal ~ not even enough for a meal)


Hot Wings (a must have)
Chips and Dip
Shrimp Cocktail
Garden Salad with homemade Sesame Dressing


Tonkatsu - Panko crusted Pork Cutlets
Yakisoba - Fried Noodles with sauteed onions, mushrooms and peppers
Rice (of course)
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
Stuffed Mushrooms (from our friend Julia)


Italian cookies with Raspberry Filling
Apple Crumb Cake
Diane's Fruit Tart (another must have for this crowd)
Fruit Platter
Hazelnut Creme Coffee

Even the dessert table was cleaned of the treats!  Must have been a hungry crowd this year and everyone loved every bite.
The guests arrived around 6pm and the last one left around 11:45pm.
Another successful party.

I cleaned up a little after the party.  The worst part is that I do not have a dish washer ~ other than my own two hands ~ so the dishes take a lot of time to wash ~ especially those beer, wine and sake glasses.
This morning I cleaned the kitchen and washed the kitchen floor...the rest will have to wait for...
Today ~ I sew...

Remember, have a super day and take some time to sew too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

12 days...and a Birthday Block!

The last block was posted yesterday and I made it this morning ~ now I have all of the 12 blocks for the "12 Days of Christmas" mini quilt!
Next should be the layout and finishing instructions.  They will most likely come today but since I have to go to work today I will not be able to pull them up until tomorrow.  
Depending on the layout I might have to redo #8 or #9.  I did them both in red and cream.  Plus I see a lot of blue (my favorites) up in the right hand corner.
Maybe I could change the layout if it doesn't work...heck yeah, it's my quilt!
Making these tiny blocks (3") was fun and ~ now don't laugh ~ my favorite block of the bunch is...
What is it about a simple 9 patch?  Love it!
All these blocks were made with snippets and scraps from my stash.
(no yardage or fat quarters were harmed in the making of these blocks)

In other sewing news (lol)...there were 3 Birthday girls in my Birthday Block Swap for December.
One I didn't take a photo of before I gave it but it was really cute.  The BD girl wanted Christmas red, green, and white.  I made her a block with red and white pinwheels and green squares.  Called it Peppermint and Pines!
This block was for the BD girl who wanted a Blue and White block.
It's a Double Pinwheel.  In the new Japanese Block book I purchased they called it
'Yosegi niju` kazaguruma' and it is assembled with strips instead of half-square triangles.
It's a nice block and I will make it again.
The third block ~ can't show you yet ~ I will be giving it to the BD girl tonight when I see her at the shop for "First Friday Finishes".

Have a super day and remember to sew ~ even just a little!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...

I don't know if you are aware but the Temecula Quilt Co. is doing a "12 Days of Christmas" Mystery Mini Sampler.  Like a host of other bloggers and quilters I have been following along.
Today was Day 8!  I have all 8 blocks complete and so I am up to date.
Here is a photo of my blocks so far.
I laid them out this way on point because I have a sneaky suspicion that might be the way they are planned.
If you notice in the photo below, each block has total pieces corresponding to the day; day 1 is just a square, day 2 is a HST and so on.  Very cool concept and it's a bit of fun too!
I will be sure to post the final blocks when they are complete.

Today my husband and I went to the Japanese Market in New Jersey (Mitsuwa).
It was very, very crowded but fun none the less.  We go a few times a year to stock up on some of the Japanese cooking supplies we cannot get locally.
In addition to the groceries, there is a Japanese Book Store there (Sanseido).
I love to look through all the Japanese Quilting Books they are amazing.
Today my husband bought me these two...
 Honestly, I could have looked through the books all day and purchased about 10 of them so I had to control myself!  
I also enjoy popping over to the Stationary Department.  They have the neatest stuff.  Today I picked up this "monkey valentine" to send my little guy for Valentine's Day.
TOO CUTE!  Cannot wait for him to get this!
I also got some Valentine envelopes ~ now I have to make cards to go in them for the adults.
There are 3 of each.

So, now that dinner is done I have to decide what I want to do tonight; work on a sample for the shop or sit down with a nice cup of tea and browse through my new books.
Tough decision but I think the books will win!

Happy Stitching,