Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Name That Tune

I was pretty tired after my summer company left and couldn't get up the ambition to get back to my quilting. Instead I decided to put my machine on automatic pilot and play with some of my embroidery designs. All the designs shown here today are from Embroidery Library.

I enjoy embroidering on dish towels. It's fairly inexpensive (if you don't think about the initial expense of an embroidery machine), I find it fun, and I think they make a nice quick gift.

If something goes wrong with the stitchout, the towel goes into my towel drawer instead of my gift box; and even with their warts they make me smile when I'm doing the dishes.

This set has had me humming for the last couple of days.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Miniature Quilt Show

Every fall for several years, we would have a miniature quilt show at Traditions. As a part of the quilt show, we would offer a challenge fabric that customers could purchase and use to make a miniature quilt to be displayed. Our guidelines were always pretty simple -- add as many fabrics as you wish but keep it under a certain size.

The shop was pretty small and the quilts were hung from clotheslines or on any bare surfaces we could find.

The quilt shown above is one of my favorites and usually hangs above my sewing machine. My sewing area was a little too messy to photograph, so Wendy did a great job as my assistant and prop.

I wish had some pictures of the quilts that other local quilters brought to display -- it was always fun when they started arriving to see the many different quilts that were made from the same fabric.

Some of the challenge quilts came from further away, from quilters who had ties to the area and enjoyed participating in the event.

The day of our quilt show was always one of the busier days at the shop and a day that I think many of our customers looked forward to each year. It was a real bonus when the weather cooperated and gave us a warm sunshiny fall day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When the grandkids come to town

I set aside my stitching and soak up the joy.

I didn't have to work on Monday, so Sunday evening these three cuties came to spend the night with me.

In the morning Rebecca and Kaarina decided they wanted to have their hair in curlers "just like grandma". They only lasted ten minutes before they wanted them out again, so I didn't bother with an after picture.

I wish I could look that cute with curlers in my hair!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One for Me

This is the quilt I sleep under. Several years ago Ann, Barb, and I went on a quilt retreat at The Quilt Cottage in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin, (near Minocqua) and I spent most of my days there working on this quilt. Some time was also spent downstairs in the fabric shop. I know I have some pictures of that retreat - I just wish I had a clue where I put them.

The pattern is called "Puss in the Corner". I'm not a cat lover so I wasn't attracted to the name, but I do tend to look for patterns that are all squares or rectangles. I do add in some half-square triangles once in awhile, but that's about as far as my difficulty level goes.

I had previously made two full-size quilts, both of which I handquilted. I didn't want to spend the time handquilting this one, so I sent it off to Ann Sandberg of Ann Made Quilts in Chassell to be quilted. She designed the quilting pattern, drawing up roses similar to those in the fabric.
I used a light weight wool batting.

Oh my -- looked what showed up in my mailbox this week. I keep trying to go on a fabric diet, but then I start seeing new and fun fabrics and I can't resist. I need to make sure I don't run out of things to do when I retire.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Once in a while I try to organize my fabric and I end up with several buckets that look like this -

Then I'll have a day devoted to organizing the buckets, pitching the worst of the scraps, and cutting the rest of them into strips and squares of different sizes -- so I eventually have buckets that look a little neater and are ready to be used in a project. For a short time they look nice and neat like this -

or this -

I often end up sewing the squares into "half square triangles" and making them into little pinwheels, just because I love pinwheels . When the stack of pinwheels fills a bucket, I'll decide what to do with those.

The strips that I've cut don't stay organized for very long. When I start playing with them, the bucket ends up looking like this - and the rest of my sewing area looks much worse.

Here's my current project for the strips -

I'm having fun making these string blocks. They're only 6" square, so I have a long way to go before I have a decent sized quilt. I'm lovin' em!