Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wrapping up 2016; looking forward to 2017

I'm back! it's been a super busy December (and end the end of November got a bit crazy, too) with turkey butchering, a few road trips, a funeral and an epic family trip to WA state to see my son and his wife, and their new baby, E. E is my first granddaughter, and joined her cousin C, (my first grandson) who was born 6 days earlier!
almost the whole family traveled to Seattle, WA to see the new baby, and since my daughter and her husband came along (the parents of baby C) we had TWO babies to hold! it was a nice time with family, and we also squeezed in some sight-seeing: the Space Needle, Pike's Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium and the gum wall. (gross)

finally things are settling down, and i'll have a bit of time in the sewing room before spring, and all the farm chores hit again. I am focusing on getting some of my RSC 16/15/14 projects done. the granny squares (above) are all done, just need trimmed. I think I have 67!

my soduku quilt was pieced in RSC14, but not completed. I decided with TWO grandbabies, I'd better be prepared with quilts at grandma's house- just in case they both visited at the same time. (unlikely, but it's good to be prepared, right?)

the above grandbaby quilt was completed 3+ years ago, just after my daughter got married. I knew it would be awhile before she had children, but again: be prepared! (pattern here)

hubby got this antique cradle at the thrift store (!) and we're all ready for whenever those sweet babies pop in.

I'm planning on crossing a TON of my UFO/WIPs this year. (post on that below) but I'm still going to participate in RSC17: here's what I have in mind-

  • Kona solid 16 patch
  • continue working on my crumb blocks
  • finish up the RSC16 column-along
  • use my 3" squares in the color of the month- still thinking about what pattern to use...
click on over to so scrappy and see what everyone else is doing! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

UFO roundup: 2017 style!

Judy is hosting another UFO quilt-along for the new year 2017. she's done that in years past, too. (2011 and 2012.) I've gotten lots done with that little extra kick in the pants, so I'm excited to participate again this year.
I had no trouble finding 12 projects to work on! most of these are not too terribly old (although there is a linger-er from 2011!)

#1- Scrappy, bright strips. I started this Bonnie Hunter (free) pattern in 2014(?). it just needs quilted. I don't really do much of my own quilting anymore because of the tendonitis in my left shoulder. although the pain is mostly gone, it's easily flared up again. but- i'll push through and get this done so my girls can actually use it! (the strips use the fabrics that I used to make their matching bed quilts.)

DONE! and blogged about here.

#2: Civil War Geese is a hold-over from the UFO challenge 2011! it's much farther along than it was back then, so this should be the year? right? ( I did manage to make a bit of progress on it, but it's been at a standstill for far too long...)

DONE: and blogged about here.

#3-these homespun 9-patches were just a stack of blocks in the 2011 UFO challenge. In 5 years I've managed to get them sewn into blocks, and I have a plan on how I'd like to put them together.

DONE! and blogged about here.

#4- I started my JustGottaMakeItChristmasStars in July of 2015- so it's not that old, but I'd really like to get it done.. I've decided on the layout I'd like to use, and even have the backing picked out, so I just need to get it done!

#5-a couple years ago our quilt group (Friendship Quilters) did a 9 patch exchange of the month. each month was a different color 9 patch, with kona white as the consistent solid. a friend and I combined our blocks, and did a modified Split 9 Patch. the (16+) blocks are done, and just need sashed. we plan on using a grey of some sort- to make the blocks look like stained glass windows.

DONE! and blogged about here!

#6- a (very) scrappy BH Rick Rack Nines. (from the book Leaders and Enders) I have 117 9 patches pieced, and need to get them set into the top.

#7- these zig-zag squares were a RSC15 project. originally I planned on making 2 quilts: a horizontal zig-zag and a vertical zig-zag for the guest room beds. I've scrapped that idea for a Cartwheels Quilt by one of my favorite bloggers: Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.

DONE: and blogged about here. (there are still a couple pinwheel blocks leftover that I plan to make into a smaller, straight set quilt.

#8 and #9- technically, a pile of (unopened) charm packs can't really be considered a UFO. however- it's pretty obvious that I tend to collect the charm packs rather than use them! i'll find a couple patterns each of these months and make a small quilt or two...

DONE! and blogged about here and here.

#10- I bought this kit from Connecting Threads on a sale a few years ago. ( I think this is another project that's made its way over from the UFO Challenge of 2011/2012) it's not been started, but i've always wanted to make a schoolhouse quilt. I'm not too crazy about the colors, but i'll manage.... 

#12- another Technically Not A UFO- 2 separate little piles of some intriguingly interesting fabrics- shot cottons on the top, and wild stripes with matching metallics on the bottom. another Quilty Bucket List of mine is to make a (very simple) quilt using the 60 degree triangles. conveniently, I have a 60 degree ruler to do just that! inconveniently, I can't find it at the moment, so it might take a bit of searching and tidying of the sewing room to get this one done...
DONE! and blogged about here.

#11- this is a Star Sampler I started ages ago (mid/late 90s?)there are 7 large stars done (12") and 6 small stars done (6") i'll need to decide on a layout, and piece a few more stars. there seems to be ample fabrics to get this top done- maybe I jst need a  few more blues...  * edited to add: I just found a BOM over at Academic Quilter- and maybe i can fit this UFO into what she's doing! YAY... happy dance.... *
have you read this far? thanks so much! all photos should super-size if you click on them. I'm looking forward to knocking off a few more UFOs this year- the challenge and accountability is good for me! thanks for reading- and join along if you'd like- it's fun!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Another week, another baby!

second verse, same as the first: who wants to look at my black, yellow and red granny square blocks when we can see a sweet little baby?

that's right: me, neither! what a momentous week for our family. last week, our first grandchild, first grandson was born. this week, it's another baby: our first granddaughter! now we have one of each, and we could not possible be more thrilled or ecstatic!

Little Miss (EL) was born Thursday night in Tacoma, WA, where her daddy (my second son) is stationed at Fort Lewis. Little Miss's mama had a quick and relatively easy delivery. BUT: she sure looks tired in this photo! the below photo was taken this afternoon as the new little family was preparing to go home. P's mother is coming from TN to help for a few weeks. I know that the new mama will sure appreciate that!

I'll fly out the first of December, and stay for a week. my 2 youngest daughters will be coming along- A and B. we can hardly wait to see (and hold, and snuggle, and kiss) this newest little one.

My oldest daughter, M, and her husband K, had a good (but exhausting) first week of being parents. little baby CD didn't want to nurse too well, so I was over helping a lot. we seem to have all the kinks ironed out, and I think it will be uphill from here. I've had lots of baby snuggle time this week, so not much sewing time, but who could complain about that?

M was feeling up to a little road trip this week: we took baby CD down to meet his great-great-great aunts Mary and Olive. Aunt Olive is 94 now, and still lives at home (with the help of a daily helper) Unfortunately, Aunt Mary is not doing as well, and has been in a nursing home for several weeks now. She's 99!
We spent some time visiting Aunt Mary, and the rest of the day was spent with aunt olive, making her feel special and loved. it was such a small thing, really, but she had a wonderful day. (I've written about my aunts before, here) at the last minute, I took along a quilt to gift to Aunt Olive for her new sitting room and chair. (I first blogged about this quilt here) as you can see she was so happy!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Big News!

a yellow granny square quilt block? really? who wants to see another one of those when there is a new baby in the world?

1 week overdue, 30+ hours of (agonizing) labor, and my new (and first!!!) grandbaby is here! we'll give him the bloggy name of CD. can I say that we're all just thrilled? 

it was a long, long wait- even longer for my oldest daughter, M (CD's mama) but he's here! even though we've just met him, and hardly know him, we love him so much already!

Aunts A and B (my 2nd and 3rd daughters, 5th & 6th children) will be so happy for every chance they can get to hold, cuddle, kiss and love on this new, sweet baby.
now, for all you grandmas out there: how am I supposed to get any work done, knowing that this little sweety is only a few miles away, and probably pining for his grandma? it's a new stage in our lives, and an exciting one at that!
click on over to angies for more exciting news! (and colors! and quilts!)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

One square at a time, and progress is made!

I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with all my RSC16 piecing. Just a few more black, red and yellow granny squares, and then that project is done for this year!

I have a suitcase full of 3" squares- I started the task of cutting my scraps that size way back in RSC14, when I worked through my stash to get it more manageable. READ: useable. I've made many, many quilts from those 3" squares! I love the size: not too big, not too small. Just Right! ( I should call them my Baby Bear Squares! ha!)

for RSC15 I pieced 4 patches in monochromatic colors. I ended up with probably about 200 of them. the 4 patches sat, until inspiration struck. I had Bonnie Hunter's book, (can't remember which one...) and she did a bow-tie quilt. 

seemed like a good idea! so I paired my 4 patches with (a few more) 3" squares from the suitcase, as well as Kona ivory, papaya and storm to make this quilt. it finishes at a whopping 101" square! i'll use up some black prints from my stash for the backing, and then it's ready to be quilted for one of the MCC relief auctions next year.
I'm working on updating the RSC tabs at the top of my page (I  might have mentioned that before... ) and one of these days I'll surprise you all (and myself!) and get those tabs all updated, sorted out, and accurate!
click on over to angie's blog: she's the hostess of RSC, and see what everyone else is doing these days- tons of pretty quilts to look at, or gather inspiration from...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Still plugging along....

I fell a bit behind in my piecing projects for RSC16. (this year I'm making granny blocks, crumb blocks, low-volume plus blocks and the RSC16 Column-Along. I also started Simply Woven as a RSC project, using the color of the month, and the accent. when it was close to finished, I just went ahead and finished, rather than have it lingering around- as so many of my blocks are wont to do...)
I'm slowly but surely catching up (except for the Column-Along.... I'm way far behind on that, but look forward to getting caught up- I'm doing it all in Kona solids) and if I didn't keep getting distracted with MORE fabric, and MORE quilts, I'd be doing a lot better... but, it is what it is, right?
I did finish my Low Volume Plus (showed that here before) and since I didn't do as many projects/blocks as I did in RSC15, I should be able to finish some tops before too long...

this week I pieced several more red granny square blocks, as well as a few yellow ones. all my blocks have the fabrics picked out, and paired with 12 of the background squares, so I'll continue to work on them a few at a time. I think i'll have 60+ when I'm done!!! yikes! but I'm thinking that will make 2 quilts, 6 X 6 setting with sashing.

a few weekends ago, my quilt, Celtic Solstice, was sold at the Washington Mennonite Relief Sale for an astounding and flattering price. I was so excited to be able to help in such a way, and I couldn't hardly sleep that night with the thoughts of all the quilts, and all the fabrics floating through my head!
part of the reason I haven't been doing as much RSC piecing is because I have 2 more quilts started for the MCC auctions. (ok, it's really more like 6, but who's counting?!) my friend Karen is a long arm quilter, and she has a passion for quilting for MCC. her mother, Jean, is the third part of our "team"- she loves to do the binding.  while I've been sewing for our church group, Scraps2Wraps for 8+ years, it's only in the last 2 years or so that I've enthusiastically caught the vision of sewing for MCC. it's so satisfying to know that we can work together to complete a quilt to send to one of the auctions, and the monies raised will go directly to where it's needed most, and used by the missionaries who are already in the field, assimilated into the culture and community. I don't even have a passport, but I know that I can help folks around the world, all the while still farming with my husband and homeschooling our 2 youngest. (among other things!)

here's a picture of my Simply Woven quilt, as taken from the Texas Relief Sale facebook page. I don't often get to see my quilts completely finished (I pass them along as tops) and definitely not as a full and beautifully taken picture as this. I'm so excited to participate in this way, and to be part of a team where we all are so blessed to do the part of quilting that we love the best, using our talents that are God-given to serve Him.
click on over to SoScrappy, hosted by Angie to see what others are doing this week- it will be a colorful visit, I promise!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

so, so many squares! what to do?

what should I do? why, join a QAL, of course!

in my early morning wonderings around bloggy land, I found a QAL (quilt-a-long) being hosted by Tisha of quilty therapy. this is a new blog to me, but I'm always game for #1: using fabric that I already have #2: making another plus quilt and #3: the pressure and camaraderie of having other quilters to sew with, and a deadline to meet. ( I work really well under pressure...)
so: I'm jumping on this bandwagon, and I'm excited about making another plus quilt. (what's the matter with me?!) I have a big pile of 5" squares from a guild exchange a few years ago, and I'm planning on using those- I had thought of making 2 plus quilts for the guest room, so it's all good, right? ha!
I'm also thinking that for the corners of the plus blocks, I'll use various kona solids: snow, white, ivory, grey, steel, black...
here's the link: click on over and maybe you can join along, too! the more the merrier, they always say!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Soon: very, very soon!!!

the babies are coming! the babies are coming!

they're not here yet, but really, really soon! can you tell I'm excited!

My son, N and his wife P, are having a baby girl mid-November. P requested a quilt that is pink and yellow. they live in WA, but P is in Tennessee this weekend for some weddings and her baby shower. I was glad to only have to mail the quilt to TN... (unfortunately, to travel from PA to TN for the baby shower is a bit much, although I would have loved to go!)

the quilt is all Kona cottons. it was fun to make. the backing is a blue sky Winnie-the-Pooh fabric. their nursery is decorated in Pooh bear. I made them a matching (pooh bear) crib sheet, too.

September was pink month for RSC16, so the baby quilt fits right in, right? (the baby shower isn't until tomorrow night, Sunday, but I'm pretty sure neither P nor N reads my blog....)

M had her baby shower way back in august. she's my oldest child, oldest daughter. above I'm pictured with A and B, too. A/B are the "babies" of the family- 10 and 9 respectively. they are also SUPER excited to be aunts.

M didn't really have too much input on her baby's quilt; I knew she was doing her nursery in owls, so I took my color inspiration from her favorite owl fabric. (which I bought yards and yards of at $4/clearance. yay, me!)

I fussy cut all the owls for the center of the blocks (the first AND last time I ever fussy cut fabric!) and surrounded the blocks with coordinating Kona cottons. (surprise, surprise!) the backing is the same owl fabric, and the binding is brown.
we have less than 3 weeks to wait for M's baby, and the little girls and I will be flying out to WA December 1. can't wait!
and notice Daisy the donkey? she adds that extra special touch to the photo shoots of the quilts. (and the molasses treats she gets doesn't hurt, either!)

It's that time of year!

even though it's October, and "technically" we're still a month away from putting quilts together; I should be working on my yellows (that's the color for October, right? I haven't' even pieced yellow blocks- except for the low volume plus...) I got way too excited and finished 2 quilts these last 2 weeks- my Low Volume Plus quilt, (RSC16) and a 16 Patch quilt (RSC15)

This Plus Quilt is so simple, but can I just say I lovelovelove it? again- lots of favorite fabrics in here; all my family is represented with dresses, shirts, quilts, aprons, ect...

our sweet little miniature donkey, Daisy, now has the hang of the quilt photo shoots. Quilt + Camera = treats for the donkey. she's so cute!

RSC15 was the year of the 16 patches for me. (and again: simple but effective) I used my Farmer's Market quilt all summer. but as usual: I went a bit overboard and pieced HEAPS AND SCADS of the 16 patches. (over 200. sheesh....)

just a simple layout for this one. I laid the colors out in diagonal rows- there was a lot of red; red will also be the backing and binding.

this quilt will go to one of the MCC auctions; probably next fall.

AND: I still have about 20 16 patch blocks left! I'm thinking a baby quilt, or dolly quilt... we'll see.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Red is for September

a bit more time to sew, and even time to blog!

red is a prolific color in my stash- I've pieced 2 granny squares, with 7 more to go... that wasn't even using all my reds- just the ones that I especially like...

another row for my low volume plus quilt- with just yellow and black to go, it will soon be ready to put together! can't wait to see this one finished!

and finally, finally, FINALLY, the Simply Woven quilt is finished. judging by the likes, comments and hearts on both facebook and instagram, it's a popular one. that 's a good thing, as it will be sent to one of the MCC quilt sales (Texas, I think...)
my friend Karen is a long-armer, and we partner together to send quilts to different MCC auctions. I love to piece; she's great at quilting, and so it's a nice partnership. she's been doing it for years, I just jumped on board a couple years ago... I love to piece, and get WAY TOO MANY quilts for my house, and even still too many to share with my children, so it just works out nicely all around...
I'm updating the RSC tabs at the top of my page; come back later to see... meanwhile, click over to so scrappy and see what everyone else is up to! 

Grey fabrics; sunny skies

the weather here has been absolutely gorgeous! green trees (with just a hint of fall color), blue skies and clear, crisp air. we call it "birthday weather" at our house. my birthday is next week, my twin sons the following week, and the baby of the family has a birthday in early October. half of our family birthdays are in 2 weeks' time, so it's always been known as birthday weather!

13 grey crumb blocks are done- I've got a nice little pile of these.

both of the grandbaby quilts are done- one is delivered, one is at the quilters now. i'll share more about them later. we're just 6 weeks and counting now for the first baby, and while the second baby (a girl) is due on November 15, it's in WA state. (we live in PA) BUT: the good news is we've already purchased our tickets- December 1. can't wait! (and B is already making her list of what she's going to pack. it's a big deal to be an aunt when you're 8!)

4 more granny squares to add to the pile. I'm steadily working through the blocks (hundreds and hundreds; many different blocks!) that I made last year and getting them into quilts. I'm working on updating my RSC15 tab, too. it feels good to get the blocks out of drawers, and into quilts that can be used...

Saturday, September 03, 2016

i'm still here... and i'm back!

holy smokes! what a summer... drought, wind, hail, exhaustion, bronchitis, more drought, even a "monsoon"... this has been our most difficult growing year yet, but we're almost done, and still managing to produce (and harvest!) lots of good food for our CSA members.
I completely missed out on August's sewing, so I'm slowly catching up with the greys. why do I love grey so much? no idea...

I've done the row for my low volume plus quilt, and can also pull the reds for September and get working on them.

I finished my pink crumb blocks, (and it was still August- so only one month behind on those!)
I made one baby quilt for grandbaby #1- due in October. and I've got a great start on the quilt for grandbaby #2- due in November.
I haven't done any more rows for the column along quilt for RSC16. I fell behind with the green flying geese, and then got a bit stumped with the grey row... I'm doing the quilt in all Kona solids, and my background is grey.... so i'll have to figure that one out pretty soon... I don't want to relegate yet another quilt to the WIP/UFO pile!
speaking of which... my pile is getting bigger and bigger! I just can't keep up with all my ideas- I really need to get some of those started quilts finished! I think that will be a good project for me to work on after the gardens are put to bed!
click on over to Angela's to see all the other beautiful quilts!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I'm still here!

the garden is growing well, and we're very busy planting, tending and harvesting... every once in awhile I'm able to sew for just a little bit. (but not this week!) it's taken me a couple weeks to get my photos uploaded, but here I am!

I'm loving my low-volume plus quilt. (are you an old-enough quilter that you can remember when we called "low volume" our "neutrals"?) ha! every month my LV+ quilt is the first one I go to... it's easy, and soothing to piece.

the granny squares are going fine, too. I have all the aquas done, and a few pinks. I still have a couple greens to finish up from May.

My Simply Woven quilt blocks are all done. here my daughter, A, and our friend B are laying it out at Scraps to Wraps for me. the rows are pieced together, now I just need to sew the rows together. next time I want to do a quilt like this, please talk me out of it! it didn't' go together as easily as I had hoped... (but I'm sure it will all quilt out!) I have a big bag of 2½" strips that someone gave me for S2W, and I plan to use them to make a Scrappy Trips quilt ala' Bonnie Hunter.
I haven't even worked on my RSC16 Column-Along! it's in the back of my mind, though, and I have all intentions of finishing it. I love column quilts, and have always wanted to make one. I just need to take the time to look over my stash of Konas, and see what I still need. our local Ben Franklin has the Konas for $5.49/yd every day! how fantastic is THAT?
be sure to pop in over at Angela's blog to see what everyone else is making!


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