Sunday, December 2, 2018

Times Flies When You Are Having Fun

It is impossible to stop the days from flying by so quickly.  I absolutely thought it was just a few weeks ago when I last posted, but the calendar says otherwise. Where does the time go?  I guess it's true .... the older we get, the faster the days go by!

During the interim I have kept busy and out of trouble, at least most of the time.

The QOV group I belong to (QOV Eastern Missouri) has ended the year with more beautiful quilts given to our veterans.  We take a break in November and December. Here are a few pics of the last presentations for 2018.  Our total quilts presented to veterans since our group started 13 1/2 years ago is over 2,850 and most are hand quilted by our group. Of course, we do accept and present many machine quilted quilts too, but those are done outside of our monthly meetings. With over 100 ladies and 12-15 quilt frames set up most months, we get approximately 300-325 hand quilted each year.
The mother of a female veteran with her granddaughter
on her lap.  Her daughter had a conflict at the last minute.

Our WWII veteran in his original uniform 
This veteran was wonderful. Although he looks serious in this pose, he was the most humble and interesting man to talk to.  He was so proud of his service that he wore his uniform from the days when he served. Can you imagine being able to fit into your same clothes from that long ago!

The group admiring their quilts and showing them off to their guests.

 Some of my time in Oct/Nov was spent quilting a special quilt that was designed and pieced by my good friend, Kevin, The Quilter. He said he made it for me and named it Goodnight Darlene, and asked if I would quilt it.  I was honored to be asked to quilt one of his original designs AND that he made it for me! No one has ever made me a quilt! I guess most people think if you are a quilter, you would not love to receive one from another quilter, but I was thrilled!  I was a bit nervous to quilt it because I felt it needed custom work, and I am not very skilled at custom quilting.  After much worrying, planning and sleepless nights designing possibilities in my head, I started work on it.  I love the way it turned out, especially on the pieced backing.  Thank you Kevin for having the faith in me to get your wonderful creation quilted and bound.   I am pleased with the results and hope Kevin is too.
Goodnight Darlene
Original design by Kevin, The Quilter
Back of Goodnight Darlene

The first weekend in November was our Loose Threads Quilt Show.  It was a success and there were lots of beautiful quilts on display, over 300.   We have over 200 members, and we try to get everyone to participate by entering at least one quilt.  I had to hustle to get a couple done in time to qualify. Nothing stellar, but I made the deadline!  Oops. sorry the picture is on it's side.
How Much is that Doggy in the Window
38" x 48"

Fun Flower 9-Patches 58" x 58"
This brings me to a finish on the knitting scene.  I started a pair of socks back in May from a squishy package I received from Cheryl at Cheryl's Teapots 2  Quilting.  She said she had yarn she'd probably never use for making socks, so sent it to me.  I love the way they are looking and am finished with the 2nd sock, just in time for the cold weather.  Can't wait to wear them. THANK YOU SO MUCH CHERYL. Picture later.

This has been a long post and if you made it this far, I thank you for tagging along,    I've been working on other UFO's, one is over 20 years old!  I only have a month to finish before 2019 gets here.  I think that is long enough for it to have marinated, don't you? 

Until next time, have a good week as we countdown to the Christmas season and the end of the year!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Catching Up From MIA

Computer problems and life just got too chaotic to keep my focus on blogging but I really missed hearing from my blogger friends.  I have been popping in to read your adventures and accomplishments however, but not taking time to leave many messages.  Sorry for that.  This post is a test to see if Blogger will let me continue my blog as it was AND that the computer will stay functioning more than a few days.

It has been a long while since last posting, so I don't know where to begin.  I'm still having computer problems with my laptop, which is very disheartening given the cost of the Surface 3; and I'm disgusted with it's lack of performance.  I would not recommend this computer although listening to the salesman, they make it sound fabulous being it can be used as a tablet and has full computer functionality in such a small portable package. I was not so impressed with mine.  Size and portability is wonderful, but what good is that if it fails to charge and will not turn on.  The camera doesn't work right and the desktop screen changes so often I thought there was a devil inside trying to drive me crazy. It almost worked. It was so frustrating I gave up.  Screaming didn't even help!

Where did Spring and Summer go?   I know it was just a few weeks ago, right?
When I last posted it was cold and winter-like and today it is cold and rainy -- the same weather again.  Maybe I imagined that it's been a very long time between posts and just fell asleep and dreamed it all.

I am still keeping very busy with sewing projects and making quilts to donate to Quilts of Valor, kid's charities and special family occasions.   This Spring and Summer I put out a medium size vegetable garden and grew tomatoes, green peppers, kale, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, watermelon and cantaloupes.  Had success with everything except the cantaloupes.  They didn't make it at all, but the watermelons outdid themselves.

A post without pictures is not a good test.  So here is a UFO that is waiting to be finished.

Keeping fingers crossed this all works.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Stash and QOV Flimsy

This was a productive week for me.  I finished quilting the QOV quilt from last month and started hand stitching the binding down today while the snow was coming down.  It was so beautiful.  Lots of large, fluffy, wet snow clouds.

I searched through my stash and came up with the perfect binding fabric. This is not a good picture, but it's red, white and blue stripes.  I'll get a better picture when the the binding is finished.

Because I wanted to get my design wall cleared a little, I finished the Twin Sisters blocks and added sashings and cornerstones.  Now I have a small baby quilt top ready for quilting.  It measures 36" x 43" which is smaller than I normally make, but this was just an excuse to play with this block.  Thanks Sharon, it was fun and turned out real cute, I think.

On Wednesday, we presented 5 quilts to veterans who have served in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some brought their family to be a part of the presentation too. One young man (the 2nd picture) had served 3 tours and is now a recruiter for the Air Force in a city near St. Charles.  He was so honored by the gift of a quilt.  He had never heard of the Quilts of Valor organization, and could not believe we would make him one not even knowing him.  I missed getting a picture of one veteran.

I also took time to finish this QoV with the addition of a few borders to make it larger and made with a pillowcase and binding to match. It will now be ready for the group to hand quilt.  The center is an embroidery that we have used on Honor Flight quilts too. You can see it bigger if you click on the 2nd picture.

Home of the Free because of the Brave

Stash Report as of 3/11/18

Fabric bought - 0
Fabric received-  .25 yd. - won a fat qtr. at guild mtg.

Fabric used this week - 8.87 yds
Fabric used in 2018 - 21.495  yds

Linking up with
Quilt, Paint, Create
Slow Sunday Stitching
Life in Pieces
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Stash Report and Design Wall

Life has been chaotic and very busy these last few weeks.  I have managed to do some sewing, but nothing major.  It was more just making string blocks or cutting fabric for future projects, just to get my mind off of stressing things.  I did see a cute tutorial from Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts and I pulled some fabric and started making a few of her Twin Sister blocks. They are a bit addictive.  I have 20 pairs of contrasting strips sewed together and ready to make more blocks.  

Excuse the terrible picture. My design wall is a mess. There are 3 levels of quilt blocks covered with additional flannel to take a quick picture and play with these blocks.  I really do need to get busy and finish the ones underneath so my design wall is fresh again!

We had a wonderful day of quilting this week at my house for Quilts of Valor. Eight ladies came prepared to hand quilt a top in the frame.  We were having so much fun talking and laughing, I forgot to get a picture of all the action.  Here is where we left off when we stopped.  We almost got it all quilted in 1 day!  Just a few more hours with a couple friends will get the job done.

I also quilted a quilt for a friend that will be given to a young person who loves horses. 

Update on stash fabric - Feb. 25, 2018

Fabric added this week - none
Fabric used this week - .75 yds - twin sister blocks and string blocks

Fabric added for 2018 - 0
Fabric used in 2018 - 12.625 yds

Linking up with quilt paint create and Design Wall Monday over at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Scrappy String Blocks and Stash Report

This week found me playing in my strings trying to use some of my overflowing baskets of strings to make scrappy string blocks for Covered in Love.  Here is a look at a few of what I pieced and they are all in the mail to Kat and Cat in Texas.  It was fun sitting and sewing these strings, and I could have continued longer if the quantity strings were the determining factor, but other matters called.  There are still too many strings occupying space in my sewing room, so  more work is needed in this area throughout the year as an ongoing goal to use them all.  Ha, who am I kidding .... in my lifetime??  No way!

Since we have a major quilt show coming in March - Fanfare of Quilts of Bits 'n Pieces Quilt Guild, I took time to sew hanging sleeves and labels on the quilts that will be in the show, Coming Home and Celtic Solstice.  I really wanted to finish Sapphire Stars for the show, but too much was going on to make it happen.

If you are in the St. Louis area the weekend of March 17 - March 18 at Queeny Park in Ballwin, MO.  Suzanne Marshall will be our Featured Artist.  She is an internationally acclaimed quilter. You can find more information about the show at the link above. 
On other goals, OMG for January did not get finished-Sapphire Stars. Maybe
this month I will find time to quilt it. It has been put on the "to be quilted" pile along with 16 others. Since the rush is over to make the show, it may find itself farther back in the pile so the older ones get a chance to come out and play.
I feel badly for the ones that have been waiting soooo long. They deserve a chance to get finished too and out of the the dark closet where they are stored. They need a little attention and love after so many years waiting. and deserve to be finished, don't you think?

Sapphire Stars Mystery 

My stashbusing results from hanging sleeves and pieced string blocks with their fabric foundations resulted in a little more fabrics used this week.

Stash Report:
Added - 0
Used this week - 2.5 yds

Added YTD - none
Used YTD - 11.875 yds  

Net used in 2018 - 11.75 yds

Linking up with quilt, paint, create.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Stash Report - Week 3 and Slow Knitting

The stash is leaving my shelves slowly and nothing new has taken it's place this week.  There was lots of sewing every single day, but not all from my stash.  All that I can count this week is 3 pillowcases for upcoming QOV's quilts and helping out a friend who needed a couple yards of flannel for  a backing on a baby quilt.

QoV pillowcases

Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts is adding a new feature to the Slow Sunday Stitching party, a photo challenge.  She wants to see pictures of the hoops you use or are your favorites.  My go to hoops are all empty at the moment, but here is what I use most often - a 12" round, a 10.5" x 21" oval and the half hoop when needed. Of course I have many smaller hoops if I need something tiny.  When I started hand quilting, I used a small rectangle pvc pipe type.  I still have one pvc frame that stands on the floor for multiple people to quilt.

Since this is a slow stitching Sunday and I don't have any handwork in my hoops to work on, it will be a slow Sunday knitting day instead. You all know how slow I am when it comes to finishing my socks.   Maybe I'll get the second sock done soon before the summer heat arrives. lol 

So the numbers for this week are as follows: Week #3

Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 5.5

Added YTD - 0
Used YTD - 9.375

Net used in 2018 -9.375 yds.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Party

Can you believe it's Friday already?   This week has just flown by so quickly.  With Monday being a holiday it made the work week a bit shorter, so maybe that explains it.

We had our first QOV sewing day on Monday and we were a little short of our usual numbers because of snow and freezing temperatures.  The sturdy soles that made it were treated to a wonderful lunch of creamy cheddar soup that had broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes in it.  It was delicious.  They also spoiled us  with dozens of homemade pies.  Since they cooked for 100 people, and we had so few, we all had seconds on everything! Didn't want that good food to go to waste, right?

We were honored to be able to present a beautiful quilt each to three veterans and their family that came.  

Tuesday found me at our monthly meeting with some good friends and two of our members WOW'd us with their beautiful quilts.

Lee Etta with her Bonnie Hunter mystery Allietarie

and Ree with a beautiful Farm Girl sampler

On Wednesday I loaded a customer quilt, cut out blocks for my piecing group, and helped a friend decide how to quilt her baby quilt.   Thursday four of us got together and pieced a complete top for our QOV group to hand quilt.

Road to St. Louis for QOV
And that brings me to today.  I worked on picking out fabric for 3 QOV pillowcases and will finish them up tomorrow.  I am ready to jump on over and do a little Whooping and Dancing with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  and  Myra at Finished or not Friday.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Snowy Sunday for Stitching

Here we are in the 2nd week of 2018 already and it's starting to snow here.  What do you do when it's so cold outside your nose freezes just sticking your head outside the door?  For me, it's putting on warm sweats and wool sweaters and playing in my sewing room. That doesn't always means I'm sewing, though. lol

Sometimes I'm knitting or cleaning off the cutting table so I can start cutting some fabric, or sorting my scraps by colors and sizes of scraps that I save.  Today,  I whipped up another bowl cozy requested by a friend, put a binding on a quilt and finished one sock, (I still need to do the Kitchener stitch to close the toe)  and started the 2nd one. Oops, it looks like I didn't eyeball the blue yarn very well. There is way more blue left for the 2nd sock, so they will not be twins!  Oh well, my feet will never know; they will be still warm. :)
Pair #14 Scrappy socks

Microwave bowl cozy
No fabric was added this week, but a little fabric went out--a bowl cozy and two fabric gift bags for wrapping presents.  This is a great way to use a little stash and it can be reused by the recipient too.

Fabric Report - Week #2
Added - 0
Used - 0.75yd

Added YTD - 0
Used YTD - 3.875
Net used in 2018 - 3.875 yds.

Linking up with quilt,paint,create for the Sunday Stash report.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Stash Report - Week #1

We continue to have cold, icy weather, so I was very glad to stay inside in my sewing studio where it was much warmer.  There was nothing earth shattering but I did put a couple borders on one QOV quilt along with a coordinating pillowcase and binding, from my first finish HERE

So here's the first week's results.

Fabric Added - 0 yards
Fabric Used - 3.125 yards

Net Used for 2018 - 3.125 yards

My focus this year is to sew from my stash. 

Linking up to quiltpaintcreate, where you can see how others have started out their stash busting.

Friday, January 5, 2018

OMG for January

After looking through my UFO list, I've decided to work on my Sapphire Stars flimsy for the January One Monthly Goal challenge.  It should be fun to pull fabrics from my stash to piece the backing and hopefully will find time to quilt, bind and label it before the end of the month. 

I'm linking to One Monthly Goal to start the ball rolling.  You can checkout what others are committed to work on this month.

First Friday Finishes for 2018

Since it's been so freezing cold here and it's not conducive to being outside much, I've gotten a good start on my goals list.  Staying in the sewing room more does wonders for finishing up things.

My first QOV top is done -- totally from scraps.  One down and 9 more to go.

#1 QOV top for 2018
The pillowcase in which to present the quilt after it has been hand quilted by our QOV Eastern MO group.

And there has been a little more done on my scrappy sock using leftover yarns from previous finished pairs.  They are not the most beautiful, but very functional and warm; anyway, no one will see these much.  They will be hidden  in my boots on those cold snowy days.

Now if I can drag myself to the cold, cold basement, maybe I can get busy quilting on one of the UFOs.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Wrap UP & 2018 Goals

I don't know about you, but this year has flown by so quickly for me.  It amazes me that it is almost 2018 tomorrow!  In looking back at what I accomplished on my goals for the year, I find that it was not as stellar as wished, but I did manage to finish up some of my long list of UFOs.  Here is my Excel spread sheet of my UFOs from last year minus the 6 that I did finish.  Now there are only 70 to go. This list started out with 160 projects  over 10 years ago when I started keeping track of them. There has been progress, but I hope to step it up in 2018.

A recap of sewing goals for 2017.
     Use 200 yards of fabric from stash --- used 155.18 yards
     Finish 1 UFO per month --- finished  quilting 7 
     Not buy any fabric --- bought 1/2 yd. and was gifted 3 fat quarters
     Make 5 QOV - made 8 (3 quilted, 5 tops to be hand quilted by our QOV 

I also made 20 bowl cozies for gifts, a few kennel quilts for animals of the fires in California,  pillowcases for charity and QOV, 3 baby quilts not on the UFO list and several group quilts with friends for QOV.  In addition to quilting, I finished several pairs of knitted socks .

I'm happy with the results for the year, but hope to use more from my stash and lower my UFO list by 12 or more.

Here's a few pictures in review of some of the quilts. 
60" x 80"
75" x 99"

71" x 85"


60" x 78"

Melon Party - Flannel backing
72" x 92"

67" x 78" QOV hand quilted

Back of log cabin

Sapphire Stars - top

 Lucky Stars - top

Final Stash Report - 2017
Fabric Added  YTD- 1.25 yds
Fabric Used  YTD  - 155.18 yds
Net Used from Stash - 153.93 yds

My goals for 2018 include
-- Using 200 yards of stash fabric
-- Donating 5-10 quilt tops for QOV
-- Finishing 12 UFOs from my list - Picking one each month
-- Knitting some hats and mittens from my stash yarn in addition to socks.
-- Trying to blog more often
-- Cleaning out more clutter from closets and drawers
-- Enjoying quilting with friends at least once a month
-- Trying one new recipe each month

Thank you all for sticking with me through 2017 and being there when I needed encouragement and advice.  Although I don't mention it often, I really do love reading your comments when I post and hope to get more involved in blogging activities again.   Happy New Year to all.  I'm going to welcome in the new year with some knitting and hand mending. Take care and stay healthy.