Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Something new for 2011

This year I will focus on completing projects.

Not just new projects that I start in the New Year but projects that I have already started. Many things work against me in this goal; one, that I am the world’s biggest procrastinator. (There I said it…. But it doesn’t make me feel any better.) Two, I have yet to clean out or establish any sort of order in my sewing rooms. Yes, rooms. I have made such a mess of my sewing room that I have expanded (exploded) into our bedroom. See above picture of the mess in my bedroom ;)

My modes of inspiration and encouragement will come from two online places; Patchwork Times by Judy L and Stashbuster’s yahoo group. Both are hosting 2011 UFO Challenges. By participating in one, I can easily qualify for the other. The big question is, can I commit to it and finish it?

When finishing these said UFO’s I will be trying out a “no buy” on fabric. I will however be able to purchase some neutral backgrounds, solids, backing and binding fabric, but only fabric to complete the UFO currently being worked on/finished. I must shop my stash first before going to the store.

I can only start something new after I have finished two UFO’s. Finishing includes machine quilting, binding and label. (I have a huge habit of starting and bagging projects, right now I am close to running out of bags, should be a clear warning sign but somehow I keep missing the signs...)

Cue the song (Tesla version) “Oh, Signs, Signs, everywhere there’s signs, blocking up the scenery breaking my mind, do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The best intentions....

Sometimes go without happening. In my case my best intentions for a homemade Christmas were a bust. So I am leaving the Christmas countdown header to remind us of what is ahead. The pictures above are gifts that I did manage to make.

While looking back I think of the highs and lows of 2010. Highs - Finishing grad school and walking across that stage, my brother's wedding, Graham coming home for Thanksgiving, Uncle Jim, Savannah and Tiffany visiting twice! Lows - Grandpa's health, Brian's dad's health, losing Amos to cancer RIP my furry friend.

So here is to a Happy and Healthy 2011.

I have lots of great plans for the New Year starting with a couple of challenges to complete things from the past and get on with the future! I will be posting these new and exciting things starting New Years Eve.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Handmade Holidays 2010... My Challenge.

This year I fully intend to make everything I need from gifts to decorations for Christmas. There are so many wonderful free patterns and tutorials that I don't even need to spend money on patterns. I have tons of fabric but not a lot of time.

From Aprons to bags to purses to kitchen acccessories to book covers.... do you see my dilema now??? How do I organize myself so that I can accomplish this handmade holiday without killing myself or my husband???

Then I have a list of must have holiday decorations such as holiday buntings, new stockings to hang by the fireplace and the dogbed makeovers....

As of today there are 24 days until Christmas. I have a gift list of at least 12 people as of today. That gives me at least two days per person to get it all done! Yikes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Things I'm working on...

I have been working on lots of things lately. I have an ever growing list of things I want to make and I need to force myself into making a list of what I need to make. Because we all know what we want is not always what we need.... These are some fall pillows that I finished this weekend. I hand embroidered the center blocks and just added strips around them. I then practiced my free motion quilting. Feels good to get somethings done in one day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Family happenings...

What a roller coaster ride September has been... A report on Grandpa: he is home now resting and recovering in his own house. Yay!

A couple weekends ago I attended the bridal shower of my Sister-in-law to be. I have been slaving away on a quilt for her for the last few months. It is still not finished but I did have it done enough to present it to her at the shower, then bashfully take it back to finish it. It is called Deep Blue Sea and was designed by Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt and is available as a free tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop.

This is a picture of me with my Cousin Ashley. It seems like yesterday that I was changing her diapers, now we share glasses of champagne. Boy do I feel old!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Grandparents Day

A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown

My Brother and I spent last evening with our Grandfather, Marshall, who is in the hospital. Last night he was telling us funny stories, swapping information on cholesterol points and telling bad jokes to every nurse who came in to check on him. Today he is in surgery to unblock all those clogged arteries that have kept him in his chair and out of the sunlight. It has been 19 years since his first by-pass surgery and we have cherished everyday of that 19 years.
He has been able to see us grand kids graduate high school, and our first round of college. He partied the night away at my wedding 4 years ago. He will miss my second graduation this Saturday but we hope he will be at my Brother's wedding in 4 weeks. Even if we have to wheel him down the isle in a wheelchair, he will be there.
So to Dr. Longoria and his wonderful surgery team, "work your magic!" And to Grandpa Marshall we will see you roaming the ranch soon..... We love you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Hive Virtual Quilting Bee Quilt

Finally Finished!

I started off the Hive Virtual Quilting Bee back in May with Kristi's very pink quilt. I am glad to say that it is finished.

I even finished the binding with my machine. I still need some practicing but I loved that it only took me a couple of hours instead of days. I used a great tutorial video by Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara.

You can see that I also broke out of my comfort zone on the quilting and quilted large free motion flowers instead of stippling. I love the affect it has on the back of the quilt. I will definately be using this one again.

4:30 am I think I have a problem...

It is 4:30 am. The husband left at 4 am to go fishing and I can't sleep because I have to finish this monster by next weekend. This is Deep Blue Sea for Betsey and Jared. My brother is getting married October 9th to a wonderful girl named Betsey. Her bridal shower is next Sunday and I am having a panic attack that I will not be able to finish this in time.... So here I am at 4:30 am adding the final borders and attempting to get this basted so I can quilt it all this week.

The pattern can be found on Moda Bakeshop and was designed by Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt fame. By the time I started this monster I could no longer get most of the fabric Nautical and Nice. So after finding the panel and some coordinating fabrics I think it works. It has been a while since I attempted such a large quilt. I am already dreading the quilting process...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Santorini Baby Quilt

Say Hello to Santorini Baby. This was a fun pattern by Katie Cupcake called Vintage Baby. This little quilt is for sale....

I love the Santorini fabric line and I love the pattern however I am not in love with this quilt. I think it is a little to busy for me, plus my dislike of the color pink plays a role. But I know that someone will love this little beauty. It is a baby quilt that would be perfect for a stroller quilt, play matt or for the crib.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Finishes for The Hive

Kristin is making a fun Alice in Wonderland themed quilt for her Dance Studio fundraiser. I loved this fabric. I couldn't resist making a classic card trick block with the blue card fabric. I can't wait to see this quilt finished. The long white random blocks are for the dancers to sign their names.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flirty Apron Swap

I registered for another swap the other day.... This one is a Flirty Apron swap hosted by Shawnee. The theme is Back to the Future! The movie trilogy is one of my favorites. I remember going to see them in the theater. Now I just have to figure out what kind of apron I am going to make.... Any suggestions or links to cool apron tutorials?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kristi's Very Pink Quilt

May was my month for "The Hive" Quilting Bee. I wanted pink string blocks with a brown stripe down the center. I received many great blocks from the bee and here is the quilt in progress...

I raw edged appliqued the words "sweet" and "sassy" because this quilt is for my co-worker's daughter Kristi who is both sweet and sassy. Kristi graduated from high school in June and is off to college next month. I have quilted it with light pink thread but I have yet to get it bound. Maybe this weekend....

Monday, July 12, 2010

June Finishes

Here are my three June finishes.
I finished the Savanah quilt for my baby (she's 3 1/2 years old) cousin Savanah who lives in Scottsdale AZ. Savanah and I represent the youngest, at 3 1/2 and oldest, at 32 1/2 of the cousins on my Mom's side of the family. Savanah and her Daddy, my Uncle Jim, came to visit us in California this last week. On Sunday we celebrated my Uncle's 50th birthday. Lots of family, friends and good food out at the ranch. Next we have the Hunky Dory Baby Quilt. This was an easy finish for my Grandma's neighbor who recently had a baby girl. I used natural colored linen as the sashing.

The third quilt I got done in the begining of June but kept forgetting to take pictures of it.... This is the OZ quilt. I still need to get it to its owners in Chico, CA. Our good friends Bob and Emily were married in April of this year and we did not make it to their wedding ;( but I did manage to get this beauty finished in the same year!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Modify Tradition Swap and June Happenings

My modify traditions quilt is finished and on its way to its new home. I really enjoyed working on this small quilt. Below is my quilt bee blocks that I received and are now on my design wall.

This block is for Lisa and her June block request for our bee. I made a few more but this one is by far my favorite. I think I will use the pattern again for a pillow or two ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day: camping and organizing...

What is a girl to do for three days without her sewing machine? This girl plans to organize her quilting thoughts and get them on paper. I have tons of ideas floating in my head and I rarely have the time to properly get them on paper. I have searched the Internet/blog land for some worksheet help but to no avail... I really do not want to "re-create the wheel" but looks like I might have to.

I am looking for a worksheet of sorts to attach to my sketches where I can add things like the pattern name, the size options, who it would be for and their information. You see I have been planning to make my classmates lap quilts for graduation. We have been together for over a year in our MBA program and will finish in September. Yep September, and that means I have about three months to make ten quilts. I will be making them scrappy from what ever fabrics I have in my stash but I have to have some sort of organization to make this work.

Do any of you organized quilters use such a thing? Are you a planner or do you just wing it? I am a procrastinator who needs a little organization to keep this from falling apart! Any help, suggestions or tips would be appreciated.

This is a picture of where we are going, Eagle Lake. I can not wait to leave... only 23 more hours to go.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One for You, One for Me!

I finally made some progress on my small quilt for the Modify Tradition swap. I chose the "Odd Fellows" block that I found in the Fons & Porter's Love for Quilting magazine May/June 2010 issue. I loved the combinations so much that I had to make one for myself as well.
Now I have to decide on borders, quilting and backing. Should I hand quilt? (I have never hand quilted before.) Should I add an envelope back for a pillow or a regular back with hanging tabs? Anyone have any suggestions? I would love to read them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mel & Brian WPGA 2010

Mel & Brian WPGA 2010
Originally uploaded by melodylynn128

I have not been sewing lately. I have not been at the office either. I have been in Reno, NV at the Western Propane Gas Association Convention. That was last week....

This week I am trying to play catch up. I have some major deadlines including my Modify Traditions Small Quilt Swap. I have finally found a pattern/idea and purchased the fabric last night. I plan to cut out the fabric tonight and if I am lucky, get some sewing done.

Here are some of the projects that I need to finish this month:
Bob & Emily's quilt - I need to sew the binding to the back and add label
Santorini - needs binding and label
Savanha's quilt - finish quilting, binding and label
Modify Traditions Small Quilt Swap - cut, sew, quilt, bind & label

The list could go on but these need to be finished for sure!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Modify Tradition Swap

1. nine patch, 2. cs13, 3. quilted picnic blanket, 4. Table Runner, 5. Practical yet beautiful

I have recently signed on to participate in my first small quilt swap. I have been trying to find my style in this very diverse universe of quilting. Finally through many hours of reading quilting blogs I have found my style, Modified Tradition. I love traditional blocks yet I love modern fabrics. The Modify Tradition Blog summarizes these two loves into a complete style. My style.

The above Mosaic is to help my MT Swap partner know what I like. I am not a pink person by any means. I love to make quilts with pink in them for others but anything I make for myself does not contain pink or purple. I love blue, green and brown. I like yellow, red and orange. I hope this helps my swap partner...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mill House Baby

Mill House Baby
Originally uploaded by melodylynn128

This is my latest finish. Mill House Baby is for a Coworker who is due in May. She is having a baby girl.

I used one charm pack of Mill House, vintage cotton lace and fabrics from my stash to finish off the borders.

Looks much better in person as the rain is still coming down here in California.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stash Report #1

I have decided to start reporting my stash usage. As my husband can tell you, my stash is reproducing like bunnies! I am determined to use my stash this year. I didn't do well yesterday as I went to our local Quilt Show and added 14 yards to the stash but I couldn't resist the prices. I found a large piece (7.5 yds) of vintage goodness. I am a sucker for 60's-70's fabrics and this one was just singing to me, loudly, it even made me smile when I saw it. It made an older lady give me a weird look. I'm sure she was yelling to herself, no don't! But I did and for $5 it was the bargain of the day.

So without further a do here is week #1 stash report:

Date 4/11/10
Week # 1
used this week: 4.653
used y-t-d: 4.653
added this week: 36.5 (yikes)
added y-t-d: 36.5
net used for 2010: -31.847

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring is here, finally!

Yes I know it has been a long while since I have posted. It has been a long and crazy winter/early spring. I have been planning projects, purchasing fabric I don't need, and day dreaming of the time to transform said fabric into completed treasures.

I did come across a great find.... this Katie Cupcake pattern.

I can't wait to make it and I even pulled fabrics from my stash last night so I can whip it up this weekend!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Folding Chair Slipcovers

Look what I just purchased....
The Slipcover Chic pattern by Jona purchased from Fabritopia. Jona has lots of fabric and patterns available at great prices. I can't wait to play with this pattern over the weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby Blankets

Our friends, Matt and Sylvia had their baby, a little boy! Here is the quilt, changing pad and burp cloths I made for them in the begining of November. Thank goodness I didn't use too much pink and purple. I will have to make him another one that is more boy when he turns one.

January Finishes

Sorry about the awful pictures but it has been raining non stop here in Northern California. I finally finished a flannel quilt for my future sister-in-law. She is giving this pastel elephant quilt to her younger sister. (Younger sister is 21 and loves elephants.) SIL purchased the flannel in the form of receiving blankets and gave them to me to work my magic. I purchased the backing fabric (Floral) from Joann's. I think it turned out well.

This is a quilt for Nick. Nick is 7 and loves to hunt and fish with his dad and my husband. I have been promising him this quilt since I made his sister Emma a pink and white quilt in June 09. Sorry I took so long Nick! I used an assortment of Hunting/Outdoors fabrics that I have collected over the years. I have a few more quilts to make in the hunting/outdoors theme but I have the hardest time finding patterns that I like. I really need to sit down and brainstorm a new design like I did for Nick's. The combination of sashing and large tumblers made this quilt quick and easy to piece.

What I have been up to...

I have the winter blues. I have been craving warmer weather and daydreaming of spring. My Mom belongs to a group that manages an old grange hall in our home town. It is the hall that my husband and I were married in. It is the same hall where my brother and I grew up going to 4-H meetings and Cattlemen's functions. They have a Country Store every two years in March. This March happens to be the year. So I have been busy making crafty things to donate to the group. The money raised helps with the upkeep of the hall. I made some journal covers and I am working on some simple table runners using recipes from the moda bake shop.
I love the Moda Bake Shop for inspiration and ideas.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Welcome 2010!

I would like to welcome 2010 with open arms... This past year has been one of hardwork, choices, sacrafices, saddness and happiness. That is all in the past now.

A few quilting things that I would like to do this year are:

1. Finish all the wip's on my list, finally.

2. Make a quilt for my bed, yep mine!

3. Write out my original designs like a real pattern for record keeping.

4. Keep a log or journal in addition to this blog for my quilting.

5. Enter a quilt in the county fair.

I could go on and on but these will do for now. I hope you all are enjoying this cold weather. I work in the propane business and this time of the year is very busy for us. Keeps the days going by quickly but not a lot of time for quilting. There is always tomorrow!