Monday, December 31, 2007

Well, it's time to reflect on the year past and get ready for the new year. It's been a good year with enough bad sprinkled in to make it interesting. I'm thankful for good health for my family and friends and a good job (although quite intense some times!) and almost completing my masters degree (need to finish writing that dern thesis and then defend it!). 2008 will see me return to my quilting, I've really missed it these past few years. To do that I'm setting some goals inspired by a challenge on The Quilting Pirate's blog. I can't create a slideshow of my 2007 completed projects, since there is only one and that is the I Spy quilt in my previous post! However, I can set goals for the year and will list (some) of my UFOs to be completed next year.

I've made a list of everything I can find/think of so far and it's not quite as bad as I thought. Only 34! Here is my top 10 I am planning on working on to complete in 2008...

1. My grandmothers pink 9 patch quilt (just needs a border and to be quilted)
2. My mothers Duck's Foot quilt (need to complete top then quilt)
3. Red & Cheddar Churn Dash (need to add borders then quilt)
4. Pink & Brown Variable Star (to hand quilt)
5. Blooming 9 Patch (add borders then send out to be machine quilted)
6. Thimbleberries wall hanging (to hand quilt)
7. Oscar the Turtle round robin (to hand quilt)
8. Kitchen Quilt round robin (to hand quilt)
9. Baby Jane Blues (finish piecing the top, probably won't be able to finish quilting)
10. Carolina Crossroads mystery

Note I much prefer hand quilting so I'm leaving myself room to quilt a lot this year! Only 3 on my list are large quilts the others to be hand quilted are wall hanging/lap quilt size so they won't be so bad. And yes, I know I'll be piecing on other projects as well but I'm determined to finish the above in 2008.

My Quilty Goals

1. Reclaim my sewing studio! It has suffered from being taken over by grad school stuff.
2. Track my quilting time and money spent
3. Attend 2 quilting retreats with my old friends (more than just a day retreat!)
4. Start teaching my coworkers how to quilt. Five have expressed interest already!
5. Enter a quilt in the state fair
6. Attend at least one quilt show somewhere!

And just to give this post some color, here is the only picture I have so far of my pink and brown variable star. This quilt has been pieced while I was demonstrating quilting at a local park (in 19th century dress!).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I've continued working on my strips for the mystery quilt and have pieced quite a bit more but no pictures taken today. I've also spent several hours quilting on a sampler quilt (old UFO!). Otherwise, it has been a relatively uneventful day. Lots of much needed rain made it a perfect day for quilting.

Just to have a picture on this posting I'm including one of a quilt recently completed. This is an I Spy quilt for my SOs grandson. His mom (SOs!) is a quilter, in fact that is how we met. Anyway, she wanted to make a quilt for little Christopher so she cut most of the squares and I pieced it together. She then added the border and quilted and bound it. I think we make a good team!

Oh, and I meant to post about the quilt in my new header. This Lone Star belonged to my great-grandmother. She was a fantastic quilter but did not make this one. She actually won it at a fair. I need to get more pictures of other family quilts to post soon.

That's all for now...back to quilting!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Carolina Crossroads Mystery

Finally! I have proof that I've actually begun this mystery. I have not yet completed all 100 pieces for the first section but I have really begun sewing them and here is a picture as proof! I still need to find and cut more greens and purples so I can have a more scrappy look but I'm on my way at last. In the process of my end of the year clean and straighten madness I know I will find more scraps to cut. Mother gave me some large plastic bins that were used to pack up and move some of my grandmother's things so I'm planning on getting all my UFOs, PIGs, and WIPs (and whatever other acronyms I can think of!) into one, or more, of those large bins and then the plan is to work my way through them in 2008 and get some things completed! Wish me luck!

And just because I mentioned my Dear Jane blocks in one of my earlier posts I thought I would add a couple more pictures today. One January 1, 2008 it will be 10 years since I began this project. I plan on handpiecing a block or two on that day since I am really close to getting all the center blocks done. I have already begun sashing some of the blocks together. I'm not putting them in the same order as the Mother quilt.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I've returned home after spending a wonderful Christmas with my parents. Here are a couple of pictures from their home, the first is the Christmas village that belonged to my grandmother. Mother has it for the first time this year and I think it looks quite nice set up in her living room

And here is the beautiful tree. Christmas at home is always the best.

Mother and I made candy like we used to do when I was a young girl - divinity, coconut bon bons, peanut butter balls, peanut brittle. Daddy also asked for a coconut cake so we were busy in the kitchen! We surely don't need to eat it all so I brought the majority home to share with friends.

Gifts were small but meaningful, including the gift of one of my grandmother's rings from mom to me, very special indeed. But the best gift of all was just being together.

And now I'm home for a few days so plan to catch up on quilting, including catching up on Bonnie's mystery quilt. I also plan, hopefully, to get my ufo's and fabric stash better organized so I can get some things done in the new year!

That's all for now...more later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Since it is almost Christmas I thought I would share a picture of some simple little ornaments I have made. These are so simple and makes a quick present.

And yes, I know I promised pictures of my progress on the mystery quilt. But I guess one needs to make progress before it can be shared! I'm still at the "fabrics are chosen" stage. But I'm looking forward to some time off to do a lot of sewing and quilting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about emotional connections and bonds. You are happiest being around those you love.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Carolina Crossroads Quilt

Well, I've selected my colors for my mystery quilt - purple as the accent with green and cream/beige. Although I have a ton of fabric I don't have many 1.5 inch strips cut so I need to do some cutting before I begin to sew. I'm working on that today and hope to start piecing this evening. I promise, pictures either today or tomorrow!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt

I have so much fabric in my sewing room (and hidden elsewhere throughout the house!) that I really need to make some scrappy quilts and make room for .... what else...more fabric!

To do this I've signed up for a mystery quilt project with Bonnie from Quiltville . It's called "Carolina Crossroads" and she has also started a YahooGroup for those doing the quilt. I haven't selected my fabrics yet and I'll probably be behind others making the quilt but I'll get there! Especially if I have to blog about it here, I'll have to do something!

So no pictures tonight but maybe after this weekend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wow, two posts in one week! I'm adding a few more quilt pics to this post.

Here is a picture of my Dear Jane wallhanging done in Civil War fabrics. I chose some of my favorite appliques and alternated them with pieced Uncle Henry blocks. I still need to add a border of some kind but I'm stuck on what to add.
It's not the best picture but it will do for now.

Here are a few more of my blue Dear Jane blocks. I've been working on this quilt, off and on (mostly off!) for nearly 10 years now!

I started the quilt on January 1, 1998. I have over 100 blocks pieced and really need to finish!

Well, that's all for today. I'll try to add more of my current work tomorrow or the next day!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Well, I guess I'm not so good at this blogging thing after all! It's been months since I last posted. Bummer...

However, I have been inspired by other quilters blogs so I'll try again to keep up with the postings and get some pictures out there to share. I've had a digital camera for almost a year now and rarely post any images to share!

Here is my beloved Peanut Butter, just about the laziest cat around but he loves me and I love him. Here he is playing hide and seek on my orange chair (a hand me down from my grandmother - can you say 1970's!) - he thinks since he's orange that I can't see him on the back of the orange chair - kitty camouflage.

And here is Miss Peaches, my little kitty. She's the very definition of a "scaredy cat" but is very sweet and loving nonetheless.

I'll post some quilt images in the next day or so...I promise!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Yesterday I went to my grandmother's family reunion. This reunion was begun by her father and his siblings so there are many extended family that attends this annual event in July. I haven't been in years and hate to admit I don't know many of the people in attendance. But this was an opportunity to be with my grandmother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it won't be too much longer before she doesn't know many of these people anymore. It's sad but it was a good day. My mother's two siblings were there with one of their children each. One cousin that I haven't seen in ages and another that I've only seen again recently. We had a grand time reminiscing about our childhood. The three cousins (including me) are the youngest children of each sibling so we were always hanging out together as children. I miss those days. It was great fun growing up in the country, catching lightening bugs, picking flowers, chasing cows, eating freshly picked vegetables from the garden, apples off the big old tree, and grapes from the arbor next to the house.

I also enjoyed spending time with my aunt and seeing all her quilts. More on my family quilting heritage in another post...

Friday, July 6, 2007

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted to this blog. Not getting a very good start at this! I've just found to catalog my huge collection of books (not just quilting but many, many more subjects and titles). Having been a librarian once upon a time, I love anything to do with books. Now I can share a random selection of my favorite titles with my blog readers. Hopefully I'll get the blog going better soon...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Here is a block from a quilt I've been slowly piecing by hand over several years. This is block A13 from the Jane Stickle quilt, I started this quilt in 1998 but I've taken time away from it off and on over the years. I have about 100 of these little 4.5 inch blocks made so far.
I never thought I would make this quilt at all! I found the book "Dear Jane: The Two Hundred Twenty Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt" by Brenda Papadakis at the Houston Quilt Festival in 1996 (I think?) and bought it just for the history. I have been interested in quilt history for many years and the letters from the author to the quilter were fascinating to me. But, I told my friends who had traveled with me to the festival that I would "never" piece such tiny blocks. Who knew?!
On New Years Day 1998 I had to work but knew it would be a very quiet day so I picked up a quilting book to take with me and it just happened to be this one. I went online and found an email group of ladies making this beautiful quilt and I was hooked. I made my first block that evening. And the rest is, as they say,...history.
I will share more blocks and more tales of my travels with this quilt in the coming days. This quilt has introduced me to many people around the world, including some very special people.
More later...

Day One - My very first blog post. I'm looking forward to the possibilities and opportunities to share some of my treasures.

The name? Well, trying to be creative and cover those things I love - quilting, crochet, embroidery, sewing - fabrics and fibers of all sorts. And the treasures are those items from my family and friends - collected and treasured by me over the years.

More later...