We had a delightful hike on
Boxing Day, trading winter for spring temperatures. An hour and a half of
walking and enjoying the beautiful woods and streams on our way to the beach.
The full moon tide had the water well above normal but we were still able to
enjoy a walk in the sand.
Our Christmas was in both our
opinions, “The Best Christmas Ever”. Our children agreed to a no gift Christmas,
except for our 5 year old grandson. It was so relaxing and enjoyable on Christmas
Ever since my children were
old enough to go shopping, they would each pick out a gift (that they would
have wanted) and drop it in the Toys for Tots box. This year our local family
owned department store was doing something different and a bit confusing (it
doesn’t take much) to me. So instead, I decided to payoff someone’s layaway
(yes thankfully this is still quite popular in our wonderful local store) for
Christmas. I asked a sales clerk that I know to decide how to distribute it
since he is always so helpful and would know who might need it the most. There
were times when my children were little when this would have been a huge help
to us, so this felt like the right thing to do.
I will be off the grid for a bit before Christmas so I wanted to take this time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate at this time of year.
I had to share these little foxes and hope that your holidays will be smooth sledding. I have been keeping up with my Quilty 365 circles every day and a few other projects, but no photos to post at this time. So enjoy the holiday and I will join you all next week.
My December block for the
Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album quilt. I rarely make quilts from published
patterns and I must admit I have struggled a bit with this one. It isn’t
because it is complicated. I am just making it difficult by trying to be true
to the pattern and trying to make my own minute changes at the same time. Let’s
face it, I have already made the biggest change by choosing my “cheddar”
background. I do hope Esther would is looking down on me with a wink on that
choice. Somehow I think we might be kindred spirits. After all my favorite
block is the whimsical “Liberty Tree” – need I say more?
I backbasted this one just to
make sure I didn’t miss one of those tiny buds. I will also share a helpful
hint in the applique of those tiny stems. Whenever I have a fabric change in
such a tiny spot as in these little stems I machine piece (with extra tiny
stitches) the two fabric together before cutting my appliques. It reduces lots
of bulk when you come to that intersection.
I have also been quilting the last two pineapple blocks. I adore this yellow. I bought this fabric in 1993 in St. Bart's. I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband travels to the Caribbean (for work) in the late Fall for boat shows. I think it may be time for me to go down next year for a little fabric shopping!
I also made two tops for our
Veteran’s Quilts project. I will take them to another volunteer for machine
quilting. We have a few quilt angels in our group who longarm the tops which
gives me more time to piece them.
And, Audrey has inspired another
of my non blogging friends to join in the Quilty 365 sew-a-long.
Charlotte has started hers with some 1930’s reproductions and they are
adorable. I am so enjoying this. I love waking up to a little circle applique
each morning. It’s like my daily vitamin!
inspires us all!
Even my non blogging friends are hopping on the Quilty 365 circle a day
bandwagon. I just had to share my friend Tina's bright and perky circles.
I am amazed at
all the quilters who are joining in. Each quilter’s fabric choices are so
diverse and I just can’t believe how many different ways there are to make
them. Mine are simply needle turn appliqued down, but they are being done in so
many methods. A few have even changed from circles to something that suits
their taste (ie. Leaves or stars). They are all inspiring. Please check out
Audrey’s link up (here) to see them all. It’s never too late to join in the
fun. This could go on for years, decades… well you know…
I love that all my friends
(at least those who really know me) just assume that I am going to make this
(SVBAQ) quilt in the potholder method.
Well, of course I am! This kind of quilt just screams “potholder” to me, so as
not to disappoint anyone, here is my first quilted block.
And special thanks to my
friend Cyndi (Busy Thimble) for finding me extra yardage for the binding. I
could have used another cheddar, but I don’t want this to look like a potholder
quilt from the front, only from the back – which I promise will be interesting.
Many of my blogging friends
have asked me to explain a little about my method and post some photos of the
process, so here goes.
In making your potholder blocks
it is extremely important that all of your blocks are the same size or they
will NOT fit when you whip stitch them together. You must also have very crisp
corners on your bindings or you will have little “see though” holes at your
corners. I use single (not folded) straight (not bias) binding 1 ¼” wide. (I actually use
single binding on all my quilts. I have always figured it is the first thing to
have to be replaced so why make it more difficult and bulky?)
I miter all my corners and
start and stop with a straight seam. I do sometimes get comments from judges
about my “straight” binding, but I have learned to ignore them because I am not
changing. I do however stitch down the little miter on the top and back. That
is one concession I have made to the judges over the years. It doesn’t take
very long and I like to please people when I can.
Now I have to get started on
my December block – the Mountain Laurel. I don’t want to fall behind!
Please feel free to ask me any question about my potholder method. I try to get back to everyone who leaves a comment. Enjoy the day.
They say it takes 21 days to
make or break a habit. I am now on day 24 so I guess I have made it! I am absolutely
loving my Quilty 365 circles and to tell the truth (because I always do) I
really didn’t think I would last this long. I am so enjoying waking up every
morning to a little circle in my hand. I began on November 8 and since then I have made one every single morning
(except for Thanksgiving day as I was at my sister’s so I made two the day
before – see I always tell the truth).
Here are my November circles – 23 in all. (actually the little green one in the
bottom right corner is my first December one – see I always tell the truth!).
I love feedsacks and I have
tried to incorporate as many little novelties as I can.
Once again, thank you Audrey
(Quilty Folk) for giving us all the nudge!
I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I get to see (almost) all of my very large family in one place to enjoy wonderful food and laughter. Since I will be
off the grid until after Thanksgiving, I would like to wish all of you a very
Happy Thanksgiving. I know a lot of us take time during this busy holiday to
inventory all the things we are thankful for. I have so much to be thankful
for, but this year I can add all of you to my list. Thank you to all who read
this blog and comment and inspire me.
I couldn’t decide
which of these lovely images to use to I am giving you both!
I put the last quilting
stitches into my Burning Leaves potholder blocks last night and finished all
the hand bindings (there are 36 blocks in all). It seems like I’ve been working
on this forever, but in fact I started this at my retreat in June and fully
intended it to be the “slow” pick up project that it turned out to be.
I made lots of other quilts
this summer including 3 baby quilts, 2 wedding quilts and 4 veterans quilt tops.
But this was my “go to” relaxing hand work project and I was almost sad this morning
to not have it to pick up (I do need to stitch them all together but that will
Thank heaven for my new
Quilty 365 project. I am absolutely loving these little circles. I started on
November 8 and have appliqued one circle each morning as I sip my coffee. So
much fun. Thanks again Audrey (Quilty Folk) for giving me the nudge. It’s not
too late to join in the fun!
I know what you
are thinking. What is she going to do with the little circles?? I have to cut
out the backs as sometimes feedsack fabrics are so lightweight they show
through, so I end up with yet another little circle. Hmmm???? I will probably
keep them for a giveaway next year of 365 little circles! Stay tuned.
I just found out both of my
little quilts were accepted into the Road to California Show coming in January.
I just wish I could pack myself into the box with them. Maybe I will get out
there next year!
Pan Blackened Applique (a potholder quilt)
If any of you get to go I
would love to have a photo of you with one of these little guys.
I’m not sure I have ever
posted twice in one day. But, after reading Barb’s (Fun with Barb) post for today I felt I
needed to share something to my fellow quilters. I hope I don’t blather on too
much, better get something to drink.
One of favorite shows is
Quilter’s Gathering which is now located in Manchester, NH. I love the fact
that it still has quite a few hand quilted entries, but also has lots of modern
and pictorial quilts. A really good mix. I usually go with friends and we have
a super time. It is only 3 hours from home, but for some reason this year, I
just didn’t make it over there. So, I was surprised to see not one, but two
ribbons in the box when my quilts came back.
Thanks Judie (over 600
different Judie Rothermel prints in this quilt) won a second place for hand
Stone Soup (a potholder quilt
that I started in 2012 but hope to add to soon) won a third place ribbon for
Quilter’s Gathering doesn’t
send you judge’s comments (although I think they have in the past) so I can’t
tell you what the judge(s) were thinking. These are in no way my best quilts
but just fun little pieces to make and I love sharing them with others.
And hereby lies my reason for
this post. Barb was surprised a bit by one of the comments the judges gave her
about the binding on her stunning Jubilee quilt. I was thankful she shared
these comments with all of us as it allows us to learn how others feel about
our work. This was my comment on her
Hmm, where to begin? I don't like to make
truly negative comments about judges and judging otherwise, why would I even
enter quilt competitions? I enter to share my quilts and learn from the
comments and from viewers. That being said, it is perplexing to get these kind
of comments about bindings. I used to be marked down every time for using
straight binding. That doesn't happen as much now and I'm wondering if they
have finally figured out (in judge school) that bias binding is really a 20th
century thing. 99% of the antique quilts we see here in NE have a straight
binding and often with only 3 mitered corners - it starts on a straight edge
like yours. So maybe they are learning. It is one area that I am not going to
change so I guess I'll never win the big Kahuna award! I love your dolly quilt!
And thank you so much for moving those scraps along. I'm sure the winner will
So what I really want to say
here is don’t be afraid to enter your quilt in a show just because you may get
a negative comment. I love to see ALL quilts in shows. I love getting ribbons
and awards, but I can TRULY say that my main reason for entering shows is to
share my quilts with other people.
Please check out Barb’s quilt
(here) as it is absolutely beautiful.
I have finished the second
block (actually I made 4 of the first “Pineapple” block) in the SVBAQ sew along
and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I did do a little pattern re-work. I didn’t
like the little stem on the buds. It’s not perfect now but I like it better. I
am in hopes that this will mean I can keep up with this project in a timely
I mentioned last week that I
have taken on yet another sew-a-long with Audrey from Quilty Folk. I have found
the perfect little case to keep my little circle blocks in. My plan is to prep
7 blocks on Sunday and pick one at random every morning to applique down. A
circle a day keeps the boredom away – seriously?? Are we ever bored?
My husband has to go to the
Caribbean Charter Boat shows in the late fall for his job as a yacht charter
broker. He goes for a week in early November and again in early December. My
non quilting friends (yes, I have a few) say, “Are you crazy? Why don’t you go
with him?” and my quilting friends say, “Lucky you! How much quilting did you
So, here’s what I
accomplished in a week of no cooking, cleaning or dishes!
I made 3 throw pillows and two dish towels for my Mom who is moving into an efficiency apartment at my sister’s house. She loves paper dolls and Peter Hunt so I incorporated both.
I’m up to date on my Time Warp
Week 43: Provincial – (oddly enough
I bought this fabric on a Caribbean sailing trip in 1993, so I do go with him when
he is not working the show!)
And week 44: Early roller
print clouds and storms
I am in charge of the Veteran’s
quilts for my group and I try to make at least one top a month and also one
with blocks from the group. I made two tops for our group’s Veteran quilt
project, but unfortunately gave them to the quilter before I photographed them.
I made pretty good progress
on this month’s block (Blue Flag Iris) in the SVBAQ sew along.
And, for some unknown reason,
I started another sew-a-long thanks to Audrey at Quilty Folk. This one was right
up my alley and I just couldn’t resist. She is calling it Quilty 365 and it
consists of making one circle block a day. How hard can that be? Audrey is such
an inspiration. If you have never read her blog, do check it out. Her quilts
are so delightful. She has a fantastic and often daring color sense and she is
very creative. Anyway, I love appliqueing circles, so I am in. I decided to use feedsacks as I have a ton of scraps and need to move out a few boxes! I started on
Sunday the 8th so here are my 5 blocks so far. I am making one each
morning before work which seems doable so far!
So I had a productive an
relaxing week and I am looking forward to his return tonight!
First, I would like to thank
each and every person who commented on my giveaway post. I truly enjoy hearing
When I did a scrap giveaway a
year ago, the box went to Vic in NH. I didn’t know her at the time and have
since read every delightful post on her blog. I have made so many blogging
friends this year and have actually met one face to face (Sue from the UK).
So, I was delighted when I
found out the number (55) that my husband chose (he was less than thrilled that
I woke him up this morning to pick a number from 1 to 63) belonged to Barb from
Fun With Barb! Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a box of scraps!
It has been a fun year and I
hope to continue to post things of interest, or whatever tickles my fancy.