Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Starting New...

Our wonderful, relaxing Christmas has passed and it's time to move on into the new year. Yesterday, while my husband was home to help, we took down all the Christmas decorations and tree. I love them before Christmas, but it's nice to have the additional clutter be gone after! I decided that it was time to do some quilting for charity.

Each year, I sign up with Rosie's Calico Cupboard to quilt for Camp Reach for the Sky. The camp is for children with cancer (they also do a camp for children with siblings who have cancer). Each child who attends either camp receives a quilt of their own to keep. I commit to quilting 12 quilts a year for the children and I donate the batting for them. I try to bind as many as time allows also, although they do have a group of women who bind quilts for them. I pulled out the quilt tops and backings today and found this one which I am posting because I thought it was very unique. I love the way the blocks are all curvy, I thought it was a very cute quilt! It was all made with oriental fabric.

Amy, thanks for telling me how to do links...it worked! :o)

I plan to do one or two more charity quilts before taking on the customer quilt which was just dropped off. That way I can send them to Rosie in California in small batches...it's very expensive to send them all at once, and the box weighs a ton!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!


I wish all of you, my friends, a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Love,
Carolyn

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Finish...

This was the project I chose to finish after the log cabin quilt. Thank you so much for all of your kind words about my quilt! My son came home from college and was very happy to have the quilt on the bed...he said it did keep him warm. It must have, he didn't have loads of blankets piled on him the next morning!

This batik star quilt is one I started as a block of the month when I worked at a quilt shop a few years ago. I added a lot of my own fabrics, bought the outer border and backing and finished the top about 2 months ago. I quilted it this week and hand stitched the binding down last night while watching "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. They just don't make movies like that anymore!
I've included a close up of the quilting...I had lots of fun with this one. But...here's my dilemma. My original plan was to join Keepsake Quilting's club and send this up to NH to be sold. Does anyone have any experience with this? The problem is, I LOVE how it turned out and I'm not sure I want to do that anymore! :o) I've been to Keepsake and they have many beautiful quilts on consignment. I've found that as a machine quilter, I've really missed piecing tops (I'm not as organized as Bonnie and Judy...can't seem to fit in piecing time, although maybe the part time job and 3 kids have something to do with that! LOL) I thought selling quilts through Keepsake would be a good way to keep making quilts from start to finish and maybe I could quilt fewer customer quilts. I'll have to think on that. Time to head to work...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Finally Finished...

Here it is...finally! I'm very pleased with how it turned out. My son should be home from school in an hour or so, he very kindly decided to come home today instead of Thursday, so I was able to get the binding on. I pieced the back too, out of two different fabrics that I found in my stash...so this quilt is entirely stash fabrics. I'm so proud! :o) Now to decide what project comes next...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Log Cabin Update...


Here is one more little Christmas quilt I had laying around. I hadn't found a home for it yet, so it was sitting in my sewing room. I think it will be going on my kitchen table now that I've gotten it out!

Thank you, everyone, for your opinions on my log cabin quilt. Last night I finished the top, up to the inner border. I had planned on having it done before my son got home from college for winter break...until he told me he'd be home tomorrow! This morning I hope to get the last border on and will put it on the longarm tonight. I think I'll just meander it since it will be a utility quilt and get a lot of use and laundering. Oh...which setting did I use? Barn raising, of course!!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Alternate Setting...


I played with the blocks and put them in a barn raising pattern. I think I like them better this way...what do you think? Thanks!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tree Skirt

As promised, here are the pictures of my current project and my tree skirt. The first is of the skirt under the tree. Of course you can't see it very well, so the next one is of the skirt BEFORE it went under the tree. See, I'm smart that way! The pattern is a Thimbleberries pattern that I got about 7 years ago and I loved. Several of my friends and I had a retreat at a cabin in Pine Top, Arizona in November of 2000 and that's when this was pieced. Of course it wasn't quilted for a long time after that! This was the first project that I ever took the triangle trimmings and made hourglass blocks out of. I just used them recently in a quilt...finally!

This is my current project...the log cabin quilt for my son's bedroom. I had forgotten how tedious log cabin blocks are if you are doing them scrappy. I have half of the blocks done and I'm pretty sure that the quilt for the other bed in his room will be made with the same fabrics but in a different pattern! I'm not sure if this will be the final setting of the blocks, once they are all made I will play around with them some more. But, I'm liking this so far. I've also been taking the short pieces of strips and sewing them into four patch blocks. I'm thinking I'll set them on point in a strippy setting and see how they look. They would also make nice centers for sawtooth stars. Guess I'll need to think on that a while longer!

I'm heading back upstairs to sew...it's been such fun this weekend!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree...


The tree is finally decorated, I took pictures and realized that I have to iron the tree skirt and get it under there...I guess I'll post a picture of that tomorrow!

Today was a nice day. This morning while my daughter was at karate I finished wrapping all of the gifts. Yeah! Once she came home and we had lunch, we headed to our local animal shelter www.awanj.org where we volunteer for about an hour a week. Today was their annual open house. Grace went into the community cat room and played with the kitties while trying to convince people to adopt them. I floated around the shelter and helped people who needed help. We have some beautiful animals there who really need good homes. Several cats went home today, as well as one dog. Many of the other animals had applications put in for them today and once they're processed they should be going home too.

As for yesterday's quilting...I did manage to make about 11 more log cabin blocks and cut lots more 2" strips from some old fqs. I'm heading back upstairs now to sew more blocks, I'll post pictures of my progress tomorrow along with the tree skirt.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I'll have mine on ice...

Our big snowstorm petered out quickly, leaving only about an inch of snow. Then the freezing rain came in and put a glaze over everything. It's beautiful outside, but treacherous! The upside is, we got the day off from school (I'm a former teacher now working as a part time instructional assistant) and once I do a few things around the house, I can play in my sewing room! I'm very excited...hopefully tonight I can check back in and show some pictures of what I've accomplished. Now to get to work....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Favorite things...

I've recently discovered a new favorite thing. Browsing our library online. Apparently within the last year our county library has gone online. I never seem to get to the library as often as I'd like and once there, often can't get a computer to browse for favorite authors, subjects, whatever.

Well...not only can I browse online now, I can put in requests for books and they will call me when they're available! This is the most wonderful thing...today I got a call that two books I had requested over the weekend were in and I could pick them up. All I had to do was go there, card in hand, and ask for them. Voila, they were in my hands with no time wasted! The other nice part is when friends tell me what books they have read and recommend, I can go right to the website, put the book on hold and pick it up when it's in. We have about 6 or so libraries connected, so often I'll go to the local branch to get a book and it's not there. Now that's not a problem...

Okay, I know I get excited over the little things, but this is great! :o)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Time to relax...


The last customer quilt for the year is finished, now it's time to relax! This customer has done several yellow and blue quilts and they are all gorgeous. This one got an all over feathery meander.

Because of all of the previous posts, I was thinking about how I accumulated my little stash. Shortly after I started quilting, I found out about Sweet Treats from the Pincushion Boutique in California. http://www.sweettreat.com/index2.html
I subscribed for about a year and got the most delicious sets of 8 FQs every month. Around the time I started with those, my husband started traveling quite a bit. Whenever he came across a quilt shop and had time to stop, he would go in and buy me bundles of FQs. After awhile I had too many FQs and I convinced him to buy me half yards. :o) I would also occasionally go into a quilt shop myself and pick up what I needed...always buying more than the project required, so I'd have extra to add to my stash.

About 7 years ago, we moved from Long Island, NY back to NJ. I still don't buy much fabric, but I love to take my husband to the quilt shops with me because he will push me to buy more than I would myself! He still travels and buys me fabric and about a year ago, I signed up for the Sweet Treats again because it was time to replenish my stash of FQs. I'm now trying to use up some of my older fabric so I can replace it.

We never did manage to get the string of lights on the tree lit, so we just bought another string and put it in the dark spot. We now have the silver garland on it and will enjoy it for a few days before the ornaments go on. Once I finish the Christmas cards and gift wrapping, my time will be my own again and I can quilt...guess I should get off the computer and get busy!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The stockings are hung...


So now you know what I've been busy doing the past few days! The stockings are hung, the decorations are up and the tree is up. HOWEVER...two years ago we bought a prelit tree after Christmas. We'd love to have a real one, but my daughter is allergic to them. So, we got this lovely tree, put it up last year and managed to get it lit with no problems. We pulled it out today and there is a strand of lights out. I've wiggled and jiggled the wires and bulbs, but there is still darkness in the pine. What do I do? Replace every bulb? Test a bulb in each socket? Prelit trees are wonderful when they work, but there is something to be said for testing the lights BEFORE they go on the tree! Oh well, I'll figure it out, or I'll go buy a strand of white lights and fill in! Decorating the tree is at a standstill until the light issue is solved. Oh...the stockings are all counted cross stitch except for mine which is crewel work. I made mine before I had a hubby or kids. I also made them before I started quilting and even though they are very juvenile, I'm not allowed to make new ones. They want THEIR stockings. :o)

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