Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Progress

My UFO Challenge for February was a Goose in the Pond quilt that I started many years ago.  I made five blocks and tucked it away.  

I was able to complete the quilt top just a few hours before the end of the month.  I had hoped to add a pieced border to it but didn't have the fabric I would need.   The quilt top is 64" square, big enough for me without any more borders.

You can check out what other quilters have been doing on Judy's blog.

I managed to add nine blocks to my Churn Dash quilt in February.  Almost half way there.

I did get a little distracted playing with scraps too.  In addition to getting started on the Farmer's Wife quilt blocks, I came across a tutorial for granny squares at Blue Elephant Stitches.  Just a couple of blocks made so far ........... we'll see where it leads.

These were fun to play around with.  I love the colorful look of the old crocheted granny square afghans.

For the February free motion quilting challenge, Diane Gaudynski had loads of great tips and information on quilting feather designs.  I didn't find too much time to practice -- this sample is the one and only feather I did.  I do hope to find time to practice and improve.  The FMQ Challenge has been fun!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oh Dear ... a Sow-a-Long

and I'm hooked.

This morning I was reading Bonnie's blog post over at Quiltville's Quips & Snips.  I have had the same feelings she has about the Farmer's Wife quilt.  I've seen several groups being formed over the last couple of years, all with the goal of making a quilt from Laurie Herd's book The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.   I resisted.  The quilt is 111 six inch blocks.  I'm still struggling with my 80 six inch churn dash blocks -- and they're all the same.  This is 111 different blocks, some of them appearing to have many many teeny tiny pieces.

But -- Randy over at Barrister's Block is going to make it simple.  She's introducing three blocks on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, along with instructions telling how she assembled the blocks.  Could it be any easier?  I'm definitely not committing to 111 blocks, but it'll be fun to see how far I get with this.

Check out her blog post on the first of February for the first three blocks.  I decided to make mine using up fabrics from my scrap bins.  It'll be scrappy.  The only rule I made for myself is the fabric must be at least ten years old.  I've got lots to pick from!  And if some of it ends up being only five or seven years old, who's to know.  I'm just guessing.  Some of the fabric is probably 20 years old, so it all averages out.

Randy started out with Block 4 from the book (Basket Weave).  Here's my version -

That was easy -- why not try another?

The second block is Block 21 (Contrary Wife)

So much fun -- I decided to tackle her third block, which was Block 6 in the book (Big Dipper)

I had to do some seam ripping with this one.  After making the hourglass sections, I stitched them all together.  Oops -- they were larger than 3-1/2".  I had to rip the sections apart, trim them down and stitch them back up again.

I was having so much fun I decided to go on to the three blocks demonstrated in  Randy's February 15 post.
In no time at all, I had three more blocks.

Autumn Tints

and Calico Puzzle

I did try to convince Barb she should join the fun but she sounded like she's dedicating her sewing time to projects already started.  Maybe this tease will change her mind.  What about you Ann?  Did you say you were itching to do these blocks a while back?

Here are the six all in one -

It's a good thing I don't have to do anymore before March 7.  It's time to clean up the mess I made in my sewing room and get working on my February challenge quilt!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter Company

Look who flew in for a visit!

All the way from North Carolina -- where they haven't seen any snow this winter.  The boys have never been up this far in Michigan before, so they think this is a pretty good winter.  Fortunately I live on the north end -- we at least have some snowbanks, even if most of them are dirty brown.

Barb had clued me in that there were a lot of deer up in Eagle River, so we took a ride up there to feed them some carrots.

They had never heard of deer eating carrots -- so they thought this was pretty funny.

Can you see the carrot in her mouth?

This looks like the same bunch Barb and Bill saw on Sunday.

I think today we'll check out the sledding hill -- before the temps drop too much.

Friday, February 3, 2012

January Challenge Progress

When Judy drew #5 for our January UFO Challenge,  I realized it was one that would be a year long project.  It was tough starting out the year without a finished quilt, but it does feel good to have made some progress.  Lots of time was spent assembling the units that would make the blocks.

I managed to get all the pieces cut out and filled a box with parts that at some point will be 80 6" blocks.

I did complete 21 of them for January.  I sure am loving my design wall! 

 I had to remove the spider web blocks before they were assembled.  They're set aside for now and may just end up going on my 2013 UFO list.

Adding the Free Motion Quilting Challenge this year is taking up a lot of my stitching time with almost nothing but practice samples to show for it.  I did use one of the January samples to make a little pocket for my new Kindle.

The February FMQ challenge is feather quilting, with a tutorial by the very talented Diane Gaudinski.  Definitely a challenge!

To ease the frustration of not completing my January UFO challenge, I spent a day cutting up some pink scraps and managed to put together a simple quilt top -- baby size.  Another one into the pile of "to be quilted"!

I'm not expecting to get too much done in February.  The UFO Challenge project is a something I started years ago -- a Goose in the Pond lap quilt.  It'll be a challenge just to find the fabric to complete it.  With my daughter and two grandsons arriving soon for a fun winter week, it'll be the middle of a short month before I even get started.