Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Quilting for Family

This was the year for spiral table runners.  I made 3, one for my daughter and 2 for my daughter-in-laws.  I tried to choose fabrics that I thought would suit each of them.  The first is for my daughter-in-law, Jae, who lives in Albuquerque.  I chose warm colors that I thought depicted their environment.

This green and black table runner is for my daughter, Anna.  She once wanted a lime green jacket, and I wouldn't buy it for her.  I hope she enjoys the different greens in this one.

The 3rd is for my daughter-in-law, Susan.  I thought these colors looked like her, and I loved the fabric with all of the words of faith.  I knew she would enjoy them, also.

These were fun to make.  I had made one before, but it was difficult to machine quilt.  This year, I bought a sewing machine for my granddaughters for Christmas, and I wanted to try it out before I gave it to them.  It had a walking foot, which my Janome does not have.  It worked beautifully on these projects.

Whatever you made for gifts for Christmas this year, I hope you had as much fun sewing as I did.  Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Quilting for Friends

This year, I decided to make my gifts for some of my friends and family.  Sue and her husband, Terry, are our best friends and traveling buddies.  This past spring, we went to Alaska--a one-week cruise, then inland for a week, renting a car and traveling where we wanted.

At Seward, we took a day trip on the Kenai Fjord seeing lots of wildlife.  The wall hanging I did for Sue is to remind her of the whales we saw on that trip.  What an exciting day!  We would love to go back.

My secret prayer partner from church this year was one of my oldest--well, not age wise, but length of friendship wise--and dearest friends, Rosie.  We enjoy getting together to work on quilts or cards.  I did not participate in the Holiday Lane blog hop, but after viewing the beautiful pillows and wall hangings that quilters had made, I decided to use this pattern for a Christmas gift for Rosie. Jill of Jillily Studio designed the pattern.  Thanks, Jill, for making it available.  I wanted it to be something she could use year-round, so I left out the snow.  I'm more of a dark or muted fabric lover, while Rosie likes bright, cheery fabrics.  This was definitely made with her in mind, although I have to admit, I like the way it turned out.

                               Rosie loves animals, so I added some buttons for more detail:

A cat, an owl in the tree, and a dog watching the owl.

A cat in the window.

A dog next to the door.
I also added buttons for the doorknobs.

This pattern was lots of fun.  I hope to make it again, maybe for winter, maybe in other colors, but I definitely want to make another one!  Thanks again, Jill, for the pattern.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

All I Want For Christmas!

All I want for Christmas is a new sewing machine!  Well, that is not quite true.  I am really looking forward to 2 of my 3 kids and their families (including 2 of my 3 grandchildren) home for Christmas.  But, if I was making out a want list for Christmas, it would be a new sewing machine.  I've been watching e-bay for a used Janome 6600, and I think that is really what I would like.  I have outgrown my Janome 3050.  Oh, it's great for most things, but I really need one with a walking foot for machine quilting.

Janome Memory Craft 6600P Computerized Sewing Machine

If you have the Janome 6600, please leave me a comment about how you would rate this machine.  Also, if you are using another machine that also has a walking foot, please leave me recommendations!

Besides dreaming of a new machine, I've been doing lots of sewing/baking/candy-making for Christmas.  My mom always made date-nut bread at Christmas time.  It was the gift we gave our teachers, the mailman, the bus driver, and anyone else who needed a small gift.  So, today I made the traditional date-nut bread.  Yes, it is baked in tin cans.  I miss you, Mom, especially during the holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Quilting

My machine has been getting quite a workout as I get ready for Christmas this year.  I've been wanting to post some of my projects, but I don't want to ruin the Christmas surprise for some special people in my life.  I'll just have to wait a little longer before I post those pictures!  In the meantime, I do have a couple of projects that I can post.

This is a notebook cover I made for a special little girl, Norah.  She is our best friends' granddaughter, and like lots of little girls, she loves pink.

Norah's Notebook Cover

Also, I had some scraps left from my Christmas tree napkins, and thought I needed to make a table runner to match them.  Our quilt club had a lesson on the exploding pineapple last month.  (Thanks, Carolyn.)  I thought it would be great practice to combine the two:  scraps and a new block pattern.  Here are the results:

Here the the table runner with the napkins:

I think my table will look great this Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Tree Napkins

      My friend had made several of these beautiful Christmas tree napkins for gifts this year.  When I
      visited the quilt store in Washington, IL, I was given the pattern, so I have been busily making them.
      They are very simple and fun to make.  Two yards of fabric will make 10 napkins. (You can cut 2
       circles and 2 semicircles from a yard.)

The napkins are made in a 16" diameter semicircle.  Directions for making the napkins are below.               They are folded as follows: 

                    The first fold is to the right, leaving about 3".  Then fold the top piece (in this                                                              
                     napkin, the red fabric) back to the fold.

                        The 3rd fold is to tuck under the green fabric on the right along the fold on top.

To make the napkins, cut out a 16 1/2" circle.  I drew around a 16" platter, added my seam allowance, and cut it out.  Then I could sew on the line.

Then cut the circle in half.  (I folded the circle, then cut along the fold with my rotary cutter.  Pin 2 semicircles, right sides together.  

                                           Sew around the fabric, starting on the straight edge.  Leave
                                           about 3" open to turn the fabric.

                                                                  Trim the corners.

Notch the curves.

                                                           Turn the fabric right-side out.

                                         Use something sharp to carefully push out the 2 corners.

                                                         I used a wooden chopstick.


                          Turn in the edges that are not sewn and stitch shut.  Press again.

You are done!

These can be made with other fabrics for use other than at Christmas time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Leaves

I was hurriedly mowing the yard this morning before it rained.  I'm having a wiener roast for my Red Hat Club on Thursday night and wanted to mow while it was dry.  (I hope it dries enough for the wiener roast!)  I had to stop and take pictures--the leaves were so beautiful.


Festival at Funk's Grove.

On Saturday, we stopped by Funk's Grove to look at the fall colors and were surprised to see they were having a festival.  Our friend, Terry, enjoyed working with a blacksmith.  There was a lady doing silk ribbon embroidery.  It was beautiful.  I haven't had a chance to check out her website yet.  There was a tanner, a basket weaver, woodworkers, pumpkins to decorate, scarecrows to make, food to buy--a great family festival.  Next year, we will have to go earlier and take some money to buy some of the beautiful crafts.

                                             There was also music, and it was really good.

                             A beekeeper was out of honey, but it was interesting to watch his bees.

             We will definitely try to go next year when we have more time.  It is very family-friendly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Ladies and Quilts from Gees Bend

                                                 Quilters from Gee's Bend, Alabama.

My friend, Rosie, and I drove down to Eastern Illinois University on Sunday to see some of the Gees' Bend  quilts and quilters.  What an inspiration to listen to their life stories about growing up in the poor south, picking cotton, walking in the civil rights marches, quilting, and praising God for all of his blessings in word and in gospel music.  Their quilts are very unique--made from whatever materials were available, often making their own pattern  as they went.  They have been featured on NPR.  Their quilts have been displayed around the country.  If you get an opportunity to see them and their quilts, it will be a blessing.  I'm posting the quilts that were displayed on Sunday.  You can see more by googling Gees Bend quilts.

                            It took the lady, who is in her 80's, 2 1/2 years to make this beautiful quilt

                                          This quilt was made out of postal workers uniforms.

                                 Thank you, ladies of Gees Bend, for sharing your talent with us.