I can't believe that VQF has come and gone already. I really enjoyed it as I always do. I feel like I have really gotten a creative boost just viewing all of the beautiful quilts.

This was the Best of Show.....words can not even begin to describe the workmanship of this beauty. This was from a special exhibit, the thread work was AMAZING. There was also a VQF shop hop quilt from the vendors that were there. Although I had no intention of participating as of the first day, by the second day I was buying the blocks. Well, for a change I actually jumped right into this and as of about 30 minutes ago, all 12 blocks are put together! This is my favorite block. This was from Mary K. Ryan. The instructions were great and went together very nicely. Love this one! I was also lucky enough to take a class again this year. On tap this year was hand applique with Becky Goldsmith of Piece O'Cake fame. This was the best quilt related class I have ever taken. Here is the quilt the block we worked on is from. The individual squares are only 8 inches in total, so a lot of teeny tiny pieces. I managed getting a stem and a leaf done. Now I will have to stick to it and keep practicing.

Well that is it for today. Keep cool and enjoy the summer days.


I Heart These Blocks

I just don't know how the days turn into weeks so quickly. Tomorrow is June, huh??? Let's see....what has happened since my last vacation post. After vacation the DH and I both got sick with a nasty cold that also involved spring allergies. Thankfully that is over and we are all better now. Little league baseball is moving into the final few weeks. We have had a lot of fun with that this season. I have to say this is the nicest team and coaching we have ever had. The only other not fun thing is our computer is misbehaving. It seems as the battery has shorted out and the USB ports don't appear to be working. A mystery for tech support, aka the dear husband.
Other than that, I have only worked on quilting for the MANY babies that seem to be on the way. Here is a completed baby quilt for a girl that is on the way.
I have also started on the next baby girl quilt for another little one on the way. I just love these colors. This is not the layout for the final quilt, just a nice grouping for a photo.
I have also started knitting a baby blanket for another little one that is on the way. I don't know what this one is so the colors are pistachio green and cream. I will take a picture of that soon and post.
I have also worked on cross stitching. Here is what I have done so far for Quaker Virtues. (36 ct Sandcastle by Silkweaver and Belle Soie Silks that are in Spring Violets and Lily Pad).

Last but not least, is some 3rd grade homework that my son and I had a few weeks back. We had to make a loaf of bread to donate to the food shelf and got to keep a loaf to share as a family. I don't bake much mostly because I don't want to eat what is hanging around. My son was shocked that I knew how to make bread from scratch. We followed the recipe together and he did most of the work. He was surprised at how much effort it took to knead bread. Ohhh it smelled so good.

So here is the before picture:

And the after picture: YUMMMMY!


Spring Vacation

We went on our first trip to Washington DC for spring vacation. We had a great time, the weather was really nice. It is already so green and lush there. That, of course, has kicked my spring allergies into full speed ahead. Not to mention the cold that the husband and I seemed to have picked up. Oh well, it was great to get away.We got to see the White House, from the outside at least. We walked, and walked, and walked. There is so much to see there it is really incredible.
We also got to see the US Capital, this was on our last day and the weather was PERFECT!

We went to 4 Smithsonian Museums. The family informed me their favorite was the Air & Space Museum, while my favorite was the National Art Museum. I made them get some culture, heehee.
We also got to see all of the Monuments, very moving. Abe is so distinguished. We actually spent some time with him during a brief shower.

So, there was a lot accomplished, but NO quilting, cross stitching, or knitting. A great week anyway. Time for some allergy medicine, I can't breathe very well.


Yes, I'm still here

First, Happy Belated Easter. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We went to visit my parents and had a great time. This is a picture of their backyard. If you look very closely to the right of the big tree in the middle, there is a doe that spent the day watching us and resting in the nice pine straw. We were wondering if she was going to have a fawn or if she was sick, but no baby deer or obvious injuries. She was gone the next day.
Next up is an update on the knitting front. A woman I work with got a group of us interested in knitting blocks for a blanket for refugees. The blocks are to be 13" sq, any pattern, and the blanket will be 6 x 7 blocks. Here is what we had collectively as of Wednesday (with a few that are done but not in the picture). This has been such a fun project that we have decided to continue to meet at lunch on Wednesdays and see what else we can do. One suggestion is hats for premature babies.
An update on my mystery quilt. Here are assignments 1 thru 5 all done. Hmm, I still really have no idea where we are going with this one. The big mystery reveal will be in two weeks. My son is anxious for the results as this quilt is for him.And my final progress is some cross stitching that I worked on while away for Easter. I just love this design. The only bad thing I have noticed, is the words are stitched over one thread. I seem to have finally reached "that" point with my eyes that I have had to borrow my husbands reading glasses to see.


Sunday Finish

I am three for three today in the crafting world. I was able to spend some time knitting this morning, before the grocery shopping needed to be done. This afternoon was devoted to quilting as I will show below. Now, I have my hand next to cross stitching and the hubby will be watching basketball - perfect for some stitching. Oh yeah, it is raining too. What a great day!!

On Friday, March 20th little Emma Claire was born to a friend from work. Baby Girl Quilt #1 needed to get done! I had this quilt underway, but it was not done. Today I decided to tackle the quilting. This is always the hardest part for me. I really need to build confidence in that area. Maybe these baby quilts will be the way. I like this size, easy to manage. Well, here is Emma Claire's quilt. Nothing fancy, but soft and cuddly and PINK!!! I love pink. My room when I was little was pink everywhere. I have a son, so not much pink time for me now. I hope Emma Claire will enjoy this quilt for years to come.


Knit 1, Purl 1

I guess the 4th time is the charm. This is my square for a charity blanket that a group of us at work are making. I fully disclosed that I am a novice knitter, but the group still welcomed me. I started this 13" block 4 times. Whew....I was wondering if I would ever get done. I guess at this point I have actually knitted about half the blanket, but only have this to show. It was actually a lot of fun once I relearned what the heck I was doing. I may actually start another one this weekend. They aren't due until April 15th so I have some time.
Not much done on the quilt front this week. A lot of the week was lost to a migraine. All I did manage to get done were the 32 flying geese that are due tomorrow for my Saturday Mystery quilt. I still don't have a clue where we are going with this, I love a good mystery. So far I have 160 half square triangles and 32 flying geese, hmmm... Stay tuned.
All right time to get the kiddo on the bus and head off to work. Have a good few days.


Happy Spring

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. The days have just gotten away from me lately! We have had a beautiful stretch of blue skies with no clouds. Spring may actually be here?! Feels a little bold to be thinking and saying that in March for Northern Vermont. This is the time of the year when we get whomped with BIG snow falls. I am going with the thought of not this year. I bought these daffodils at the grocery store. Nothing says spring like daffodils to me. Sigh.....I was able to spend this afternoon volunteering for my quilt guild. We were putting together kits for our charity quilts. We were packing up donated tops with batting and backings to now be sown. Just today we went through an entire roll of Warm and Natural batting for our kits. It is pretty impressive what the group is able to accomplish. I have also been recruited for a charity knitting project at work. I am NOT an accomplished knitter and this has been good training for me. We are making blankets to donate to a local group for refugees. The assignment is a 13" block with a few suggested patterns. I have ripped mine out 3 times so far. I am about 6" into the 4th version and this seems to be going pretty well. We are hoping to have enough to make a whole blanket from just our work group.

As for my own sewing, I have been working on a baby girl quilt. It seems like every time I turn around another friend is going to have a baby! Just found about another one on the way this week. I have one friend who is due any day now, so I need to get moving. It is still a mystery about whether this will be for the boy or girl quilt. Not that either of them are done!!!
Have a great few days!


Batik Challenge Update #5

The top is done! I have spent a large part of today in my sewing room. What a nice treat that was. As a result, I was able to get the 3 borders on my Chocolate Truffles batik challenge. I am very pleased with the results. I am also surprised at how this top seemed to grow. I have also been able to work on my homework for the current mystery quilt that I am involved with. I just love a good mystery - books, TV shows, and quilts you name it, I love them. Here are ALL of the 160 half square triangles that we need to have done for this coming Saturday. Cool.....I wonder how these will be used.
Other than that, I also worked a little on a baby quilt that is under way. I discovered that I had 2 pieces within one block flipped. Whoops. So, seeing as I was in a groove today, I got out the seam ripper. Now the quilt is all better.
Have a great few days!


A Tisket, A Tasket - BOM 2

Whew, I was able to get this block done in the nick of time. This is the "A Tisket, A Tasket" BOM that is being published over at Bunny Hill. The next block will be available at the end of this week.

I haven't seemed to be able to get to my sewing machine much the last two weeks. I guess life is just too busy right now. This is what I was able to accomplish. The first installment of the Spring Mystery quilt that I am doing through my local quilt shop. I have to make 160 half square triangles. As of this afternoon, I had 2 of them done and trimmed. Only 158 more to go!

While, I haven't gotten much quilting done, I was able to spend some time working on my cross stitch this weekend. This has been a complete joy to work on. Well, that is all that is going on for today. I have a guild meeting this week, yipee. I love show & tell, always fun to see what everyone is up to.
Have a great few days friends.


Where did the Weekend Go?

How did it get to be the end of Tuesday already?! It is school vacation week, so we went away for a few days. Geesh, time flies when you are having fun. I didn't do any quilting over the weekend, but I did bring my current cross stitching project. It was so nice to spend time working on this Shepherd's Bush Sail Away pattern. It is so relaxing to quietly stitch. Here is snapshot of what I have gotten done so far. The picture isn't great, I need to work on low light photos. Have a great few days.


Batik Challenge Update #4

Wow, I have a lot to show you! I have sewed my Chocolate Truffle (aka Murky Pond) top for the Batik Challenge, wohoo. I had this laid out on my design wall for the last week. Just about every time I went by my sewing room, I rearranged a few of the blocks. I finally decided that the only way to stop this obsessive behavior was to sew to top together. Done. I am very please with the results too. I don't think the colors show completely true in my photos (I am sure this has to do with the camera operator-me). The colors look richer in person than I seem to be able to capture. So....here is the top sewn together.

Now that the batik top is done, I can put some other items on my design wall. Yipee. I have been working on Wonky Stars for the Bushfire Quilt Project. These will be sent to Australia to try to provide some comfort and support for the many victims of the wildfires of the last few weeks. These blocks were a lot of fun to make, and I really hope that they can in some small way provide some comfort to someone who needs it.

As you can see, I had fun with the colors for these blocks.

A few caribbean blues/teals/purples-
A few sunny orange and yellow-
A few soft greens/and various pastels. I really love the centers of both of these.
And then one with a butterfly and aqua and one with purples/raspberry (Chocolate Truffle scraps!)
And finally, so happy flowers/red. I love these. I am going to see if I have more of these scraps, this could be a really nice quilt.
No I will get these in the mail to Austrailia to be assembled with all the others.
Have a great few days!


Batik Challenge Update #3

I got into a good sewing groove this weekend. I had the remainder of my Murky Pond (aka Chocolate Truffles) blocks sorted and ready to go. I was able to steal some time on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, very nice.
Here all all 48 blocks on my new design wall! This pattern is a lot of fun and goes up very quickly. I thought I would put these up so I can keep rearranging the colors and light vs. dark blocks throughout the week. This is a snapshot of the blocks on Sunday morning, and yes I have moved them around just about each time I walk by.
The next mystery quilt that I am signed up for starts on Saturday, so I thought I needed to keep plugging away on this one.

Goodnight quilty friends.

The Bushfire Quilt Project

Like so many people, today I was feeling like I wish there was something I could do for the folks in Australia dealing with devastating fires. What can I possibly do a half a world away? Then I found this information posted on Quilt Dad's blog.

There is a new Flickr group that has been set up by Tia (CampFollowerBagLady). The Flickr group is called the Bushfire Quilt Project. Basically, Tia is asking for donated quilt blocks that are stars on white (you can see the details at the Flickr group). Donate the blocks to Tia and she will turn them into quilts for those who are suffering "so they can wrap themselves in our love and prayers as they return and rebuild". Seems like a small gesture to aid those in such need.


Another Block of the Month

One of my projects that is in my Projects in Progress list is Tokyo's Triangles. This quilt is made with all flying geese blocks. How is that for bitting off more than I can chew. Oh well, I always am more productive when presented with a challenge. I want to do this with only stash fabric, at least for the goose part of the block. Anyway, the reason for the post is if you wander over to the Twiddletails blog you can see a layout of her version of this quilt called "Geese in the Forest". To get even better, each month there will be a free pattern for a different piece of this quilt on the blog! Don't forget to check out her tutorial on freezer paper piecing.

Tomorrow is the monthly guild meeting, wonder what show and tell will be like.....

Have a great night quilty friends!


Batik Update #2

I had some handyman assistance in my sewing room this weekend. Mr. QGM hung up a new curtain rod for me so I could have a design wall. Believe it or not, after over 15 years of quilting, this is the first time I have ever had a design wall. Yipee!
It took me no time to put this to use. I LOVE my new design space. Since the sewing room is also our guest room, now I can have a quilt hanging when we have company.

As you can see the design space is getting filled up with my Batik Challenge quilt. I am already half done with my Murky Pond blocks. These are really flying along, I have 24 of the 48 blocks put together. I think I will call my quilt "Chocolate Truffles" rather than Murky Pond. I find myself thinking about chocolate raspberry, strawberries and cream, and chocolate orange while I am sewing these together. My local quilt store was having a Superbowl sale this weekend. I thought it was worth a trip over yesterday. The sale was up to 40% off of all fabric!! I stocked up on some fabric for backings and a few pieces of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler. That was yesterday and the sale ran through today. Hmm, while I was laying in bed this morning trying to wake up I thought of a few more reasons that I should make one more trip to the store today. In a few more weeks I start the Spring Mystery quilt so I NEEDED to buy fabric for that. When you sign up for the mystery you have to pick one color from a select list. For this quilt I selected bright blue (like a royal blue). With the vague gidelines I have selected these for the rest of the quilt. All also 40% off! Sweet. This quilt will be for my son when it is done.
Have a great few days quilty friends.


Sail Away to Cross Stitching

I know there is not much to see here, but this is an exciting day. I have done a little cross stitching! It has been at least a few years since I have been inspired to do any of this. Cross stitching was my first serious hobby (obsession). Then I discovered quilting and my focus shifted. I still like to cross stitch, just didn't have the time. Wonder if that had anything to do with all of the shopping to grow the fabric stash? Well, I saw this Shepherd's Bush pattern - Sail Away and I really was drawn to it. I got the kit for this for my birthday, COOL and thanks Mom. I can't wait to see how the beautiful rows unfold.

Happy almost Friday quilty friends.


Batik Challenge Update #1

Yesterday was devoted to errands (Costco on a Saturday-eeewww), cleaning, and various other weekend responsibilites. I even managed to finish my library book. It was overdue, so I had to get to it! With all of that out the way yesterday that left today nice a open, wohoo. Sunday is usually the day that I get my sewing done, and today had the perfect set up to fit the bill. I started the day with some cutting. I was able to get all of the block pieces cut for the Batik Challenge that I am participating in. It is being hosted by Nicole of Sister's Choice Quilts. Not only is she currently hosting the challenge, she has been turning out some other BEAUTIFUL quilts. I really enjoy her blog, you should go visit if you haven't already.

Ok, so back to my day. I was thinking that getting my cutting done would be a good accomplishment for the day. Next thing I know, I look out the window and this was happening. I don't know how well the snow will show in the photo, but we had quite a squall. It snowed for about an hour. Hmmm...cold and snowing, I think I will stay in and work on putting together some blocks.

About two hours later, with a movie playing in the background (No Reservations - it was cute), I got the first 10 of 48 blocks done for my batik challenge, yea! Might as well make progress while I can, never know what next week might bring. I had such a good time making these. I keep thinking "chocolate raspberry" while putting these together. This may turn out to be a very yummy quilt. Have a great few days quilty friends!


A Batik Challenge?

There is a new challenge on the horizon. Over at Sister's Choice Quilts there is a new batik challenge. The challenge is to pick a pattern out of the Batik Beauties or Batiks and Beyond books by Laurie Shifrin, post your progress, and the deadline is April 24th. Ohhh, is this perfect timing. I got this yummy group of fabric for Christmas from my Mom (hi Mom!) and it is to make the pattern Murky Pond from Batiks and Beyond. I hope I will be a part of this challenge!

Have a great evening quilty friends.


A Tisket, A Tasket - BOM 1

I love this BOM already! I have started the free BOM from Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Studio. Here is my first block, the January block. Each month is going to have the same size basket, but what will be in the basket is a surprise. I can't wait to see the next one. Also, I have decided that one of my goals for this year is to really work on using some of the fabric that I already own! As in, stash management. I found a piece of this background fabric that was big enough for all twelve months, sweet! Backgrounds are now cut and set aside as the next month pattern becomes available. Boy, is that a different and nice approach for me. I am also trying to brush the rust off of my applique skills. I think this will be perfect. Fun, fun, fun! I still have to add buttons to the top, in between the leaves, but I think I will wait to get a feel for a few other blocks before I decide what to use.

I had the day off today, yippee extra sewing time. I worked on the baby quilts that I am trying to get done (seems like everyone is having babies lately). Again, this was fabric from the stash. If you feel like there is a theme with the repeating chain block, you are correct. Originally I made the chain blocks for my 2008 fall mystery quilt, but I didn't like the blue and white blocks with the other fabrics in that quilt. I ending up making a different set for the mystery quilt and put these aside for some other use.

The more I looked at the squares, the more I thought they would be good for the baby quilts that I wanted to start working on. So, here is what I have done with them. I really like how the red and blue top has turned out. I have a soft flannel for the backing. I have to decide what border to put on the blue and yellow top still. I know this burst of getting things done won't last forever, but it sure is nice to get through a few items on "the list".

Oh and speaking of "the list", and I signed up for the next Yankee Pride Mystery quilt this weekend. Yep, add another one back to "the list".

Have a great day quilty friends.