Monday, December 31, 2007

finally coming up for air! Annie

Well I had all good intentions of starting my quilt with all of you but other quilt commitments and a thing called WORK, has kept me from getting any further than my pathetic drawing way back in the beginning of December. I have been on vacation this week and spent some time cleaning up my sewing room. Lo and behold, a project that I started for my son several years ago surfaced. I think it is perfect for Tonya's free piecing. My son is a snowboarder and I had him give me a list of all the places he has gone to snowboard. I am going to start making them into signposts,( I know I "stole" this idea from one of you gals!!) and adding them to the quilt. My plan is to have one of the signs done to show on New Year's Day!! Stay tuned! I'm still here and ready to free piece!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Progress on Joyeux Noel

Hey all, I got my sewing machine out and worked on my Joyeux Noel quilt. Still not completely sure what to do next, but this is what it looks like right now. The two rows of words are all sewn together, as is the bottom row of trees. I was planning on doing a wee little quilt - I think I overachieved.

I've been really pleased to see the Winter Class quilts that are already finished. How is everybody else doing? Probably just waiting for the new year and everything to settle down again - I hear ya. Hope to see some more posts soon with all your sewing and quilting progress. And Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sara's second word

OK. My second day and second word. I decided to make it a little smaller as a not so important word. And then it turned out awfully "regular". But it is pinned up , just to see how they both look on more blue background. This technique is an interesting combination of fun and tedium.

If time allows tomorrow I will work on "STAR". I have gotten the idea to try to make the "A" look a little starry. Hmmm. This requires more thought than I have in my cupboard right now. Hope to get the three words done since we are going away for ten days.

Guess I'll go work on packing my suitcase and maybe inspiration will strike by tomorrow morning. Since no one is coming here, my time will be my own, as long as the suitcase is ready for an 8 AM departure on Christmas Day.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sara's first word

Working Toward "Follow the Star".
So I started with the "O" because I thought that would be easy. Only after two of those did I realize that the lowercase "L" was the simplest possible! Having only achieved the word "ollo", I could tell I should proceed to "F" But "W" was more work. I did it Tonya's way, wrongly. Then I did it her way correctly. And then I did it the way I thought it should look. Many tries.
Now it is pinned up on the top, which has hung over the head of our bed for more than a year. My husband is in there getting ready for bed, and hasn't noticed it. It is right over HIS pillow!
Not a very visual guy.
Maybe I'll get "the" done tomorrow.

Friday, December 21, 2007

this is the hanging that I'm trying to replace... I made it in 1998... I can remember I was still stitching the little gold hearts on the day after Christmas...

this is a window in my kitchen... I'm sort of tired of seeing the same thing!!
so I'm working on replacing it... as 'indigo' features a lot in my work at present... I'm using a blue/green colour theme... and Jude was kind enough to send me a tree she made... so I'm planning to include that too...

however... I have a feeling that it maybe Dec 2008 before this 'work of art' is displayed... I'll post photos soon... wishes and happy holidays everyone...

Long Time, No Blog

Well ladies, it truly has turned out to be a "Bah, Humbug" season for me. I went into the hospital on December 3 with a severe reaction to a medication I've been on for years. After 7 days in hospital came 4 weeks in a rehab facility. So much for Christmas. Everyone' s quilts are so lovely. Seeing them has really cheered me up. Diane

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sara Ho joining in

Just saw the link to this class from Tonya's Blog. Looks like a lot of fun, and I've been needing a push to get me more FREE in my piecing. I made an attempt with some of the stars in this top, which isn't finished to my eyes. Now I am thinking what it needs is the word "Follow the Star".
Would that be OK with the judges? I haven't done letters before, so it seems like a challenge to me.
About me? I am working on using up my stash making charity quilts, lots from Bonnie's patterns on Quiltville. They mostly go to Lakotah people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I am retired and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 4 acres and a little lake with my husband who is an Episcopal priest, not retired, and our dog, Zeke. We have two grown kids and three grands in St. Louis, MO.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gillian - not so crazy stockings

I decided to do lots of close quilting to 'smooth' out the jagged effect of the crazy piecing. And I am really pleased with the way it is turning out.

The variegated green perle thread gives lovely celestial associations for me. A swirling cosmos. Or a swirling snowstorm. I can look at it now and simply not see the pieced angles in the green ground. How clever we are to see only what we want to see. A kind of optical illusion.

Perhaps crazy patchwork lovers would see the pieced background and not the swirling stitches. We see the world as we want to see it, in so many ways.

Heidi - Quilting

Managed to pin-baste the top and started quilting crooked fans :-)) But I like it. It's amazing, that all I needed for this quilt sits here in my home. So I found this thick red thread, which I got as a present and haven't had a clue what to use it for, and this thread is perfect for this quilt.
I'll quilt the fans all over except for the elks ( as Tonya suggested ) and maybe for the extra quilted hearts, though I'm not sure anymore if I leave the heart. My plan was to quilt hearts in the lime background of the elks, but .... I'll sure let you know what I'll do :-))
Another amazing thing is the difference the fabric makes for quilting. The lime fabric is a very cheap but pretty fabric von IKEA, it's not as fine as the other cottons and it's a paint to quilt it.
I didn't notice that before.
Again, thanks Tonya for this class and a Merry Christmas to all of you

Thursday, December 13, 2007

jude- final photo

it is amazing how hard it is to get details into a whole quilt photo. and i am not good at it...i went for atmosphere instead. hope everyone is keeping warm. it is solid ice here right now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

jude- peace made

i have added many details since this early morning photo. and i am at peace with this one. i will post a better full photo later. whew! some of the thought process is over on my blog. enjoyed every moment of this one. ThankYou Tonya, and thank you all for sharing. hope everyone has a great holiday!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gillian - finished piecing

I spent a couple of hours finishing the piecing on these simple stockings. I have to say that I'm not enjoying the process much at all, and I don't particularly like the crazy effect. Just not my thing. So, when I started to play with making the word JOY, I quickly decided to skip that bit, finish the piecing and be done with it. This is how it looks now.

Then this evening I sat down to hand quilt all over it in perle thread. Aahhh.. .. what a relief. I enjoy this part of it. I hope that the all-over close quilting will smooth out the discordance of the angles. I'll use red thread to sew strings for the stockings to hang from. And there may be more embellishment to add. This will be the fun bit.

This could take a while.

Please Come See a Quilt

My friend, Karen, was secretly working on a quilt along with us, even though she wasn't an "official" part of the winter class. Please come to my blog, Giraffe Dreams, and see what she came up with!

Here it is!

from Carol E.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

On the Wall

My quilt is done! Hanging sleeve, label, everything! It's even hanging on the living room wall now! Thanks for the inspiration, Tonya. I never would have made this and finished it so quickly if it hadn't been for your class.

Carol E.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Quilting is Done!

I quilted my Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum top and today I finished the binding! I did a machine free-motion version of clamshells, I guess you could call it. Lumps of some kind.. and it looks ok! My stitches are uneven as I have not done this particular free-motion style of quilting before and need more practice, but I'm happy with the end result anyway. Like someone else said, the "lumps" suggest snow piles.

I have re-glued the drumsticks and tomorrow will work on attaching the mittens. I'm so excited that I made this and finished it in a short time! Thanks for the fun and inspirational class, Tonya. I hope soon to share my photo of the completely done quilt.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

jude making peace and a reindeer

i am already quilting this and i have extended it to include one word. the reindeer wandered in yesterday. i will work on this all week and i hope to have it done next weekend.

Rose Marie-Top is done!

Could have titled this post ..... Winter is done! But, who would we be kidding? Today, it's -6C with light snowflurries.

The top is finished and will have to be put aside for now so that some Xmas gifts can be finished. This piece measures 53" wide x 55" long.

So many thanks to all of you that left comments on my posts about my project. Your kind comments and encouragement kept my interest going so that I could finish this piece instead of just giving up and putting it aside for something else.

Thank you, Tonya, for the great tutorials and for offering this class. It has been a blast for me to do something without ... gasp .... templates and has opened up a new area of quilting for me! :o) I have been wanting to try something free form and this opportunity just jumped out at me to grab onto and do it!

For quilting this piece, I think both machine and hand quilting will be combined as there are a lot of layers to go through and stitch stabbing will just be tedious. Also, by combining the two, this piece will get finished faster and I do want to hang this quilt up this winter (heck, officially winter hasn't even arrived yet).

It has been fun to scroll through the various posts to see what everyone else has been doing. I think our class is so creative with such a vast variety of ideas coming along.

Have a great day and have fun quilting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fitzy - Don't Throw The Baby Out with the Bathwater!

I'm a little slower than most in the sewing room...

I'm a little less-confident than many of my blog-sewing friends...

But I come skidding into the room with a Part 1 finish in Tonya's Winter Class!

I will make 3 or 4 of these "signs" and "mount" them on a green (maybe candy-striped) pole. I plan to piece the background free-style. I have two other signs to the flimsy-stage but it's slow-going considering the schedule I'm keeping of late.

Stay tuned, and don't give-up on me. I don't post too often, but I sure "think" about it!!

All layered up!

I have finally managed to layer the quilt up, and am now busy quilting it. I was inspired by Tonya's wonderful and whimsical hand quilting to do some of that (I usually do the bulk of it by machine) but as December rolls on, I am regretting this idea! I think I'll complete the bits I've started - you can't see it, but I'm quilting the sky in swirly cloud shapes - put the binding on, and then add more quilting as time goes on. I want to display it in my dining room for people to sign, so can't take too long over it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm a Fan of this Project

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my earlier posts. I'm making progress with quilting the free hand fans, although they are not terribly uniform in size or shape. I'm telling myself they resemble snowbanks. Here is the pinned quilt not quite half quilted.

I will concede one point to the quilt police -- if you trim or graduate seam allowances, its easier to quilt. I'm not a fan of stab stitching, so I'm not going to quilt over the letters. Next time I would be more careful with multiple layers.
That said, it's been a great project. I'm hoping another week at it will get it to the binding stage, and then up on the wall for the holidays.

Brenda from snowy Winnipeg

Carol's Top

This is my top.. I plan to add a small star above the manger and the drumsticks after I get it quilted.

Carol E.

Monday, December 3, 2007

'tis the season to be silly

It looks crowded, but the elements are more or less here. Still need to do the fiddly stuff and make Santa and the reindeer. Still need to arrange the layout. I'm stumped about where I'm going to take it from here so I'm going to leave it for a few days. I'm not really fussed because this is for my mom and I know that even if it looks like trash she will still think it's awesome. I ditched the HAPPY that I put on the blog earlier. Sometime later I'll make the CHRISTMAS to go with it and make a banner for my MIL.

I'm going home to be with my family for Christmas for the first time in 3 years and I'm pretty stoked. Fellow expats, you know what holidays can be like when you are abroad. My husband and I always have a great Christmas, but there's nothing like being in the same house with family. And it always seems a little extra weird because with all the time zones between us Christmas Day for my family is the day after for me. My mom and I have plans to shut ourselves away and sew, and I need to get last pieces cut for the many UFOs I have so I can take them with me and we can finish while together. I'm going to spend a few days cutting and thinking about this SILLY wallhanging.

Rose Marie-Winter again

I’m getting closer to assembling my Winter quilt. Just a bit more on the bottom section and then the sides can be sewn together.

For the q ..... I made a bit bigger tail and am happy with the way it looks now.

When I first started this quilt, the colour choice became evident after going through all my winter fabrics. There was a lot of blues with snowflakes on them. I’m amazed how over the years, I seem to have accumulated a lot of this colour fabric and how perfect they are for this quilt. Snowflakes are the theme, and even the red fabric in the house has some printed on it.

The bottom section will be put together using up all the scraps from making the trees. Waste not! Putting these pieces together is like making a crumb or crazy quilt. Looking at the photo, it is interesting how they pick up shadows and dips and valleys in the landscape.

There are some blank areas which will have embroidery later.

Yes ..... I’m very happy with the way this quilt has evolved.
Have a good day!

Ta Daa!

Hello it's me, Sandy, after 3 Christmas music CD's and many trips to the ironing board......

Here it is; top completed. I stuck with it and didn't put it aside too long. That's probably how I end up with so many UFO's to begin with. But, in the coming days I will get this sandwiched and quilted (machine quilted, that is). Thanks for the comments about changing my letters, especially the W. I like this much better than having them all slammed together. Adding the background fabric to the sides of each letter really helped a lot.

Am busy making gift breads today and tomorrow so will have to wait to finish it until midweek.

Finally, some progress! Tracey

I finally got some sewing for this project completed this weekend. I had planned to use the snowman fabric in the center of my churn dashes, but the snowmen are about 4" across, and that would have made for 12" blocks, which would be just too big for this project. I cut out my blocks according to the guidelines in Collaborative Quilting, and wasn't thinking much when I did. Once I started sewing, I realized that these blocks are smaller than thought...just 5" finished, but thats fine, I'll figure out where they are going at a later point. Last night I made 18 blocks.

Now I'm trying to think about how this quilt is going to be put together. I think I'm going to make some snowflakes to go in here too, and I'll use the snowman fabric, and the words dashing thru the snow. When I was playing with my blocks, I tried a medallion setting, but I'm not crazy about it...too much blank and boring in the middle. I'm going to try rows next, but not until my machine gets serviced.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

jude- changing scenery

i am reworking this a bit to integrate the new trees. i want to get this all together so i can stitch it this week on the commuter train.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gillian - solving some problems

It's good to leave a piece of work on the floor of the spare room for some days. And it's good to have a picture of it here. Sometimes, over the days, a new perspective arrives.

Looking at my crazy xmas stocking piece, I could see that it would be easy to break up the long line that was appearing by slicing through the whole piece and making a new angle. So I did!

I have also made progress on some of those set-in angles. I found I could unpick an end of a seam, add the new piece, and re-sew the old seam incorporating the new piece.

Then I squared off two sides, so now I can see more clearly where it is going.

Feels like progress!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Thank you all for your comments and support. I do feel better having shared my situation with you--now I can get on with this project. No one need know the machinations I go through to sew, but I did want you to understand my pokiness. I have always enjoyed the process more than the end result and I know that working on this quilt will keep me laughing through the holidays.

jude- free-er piecing

i am really getting into this... square snowflakes?

Heidi - need opinion, please :-)

Now that I have the second question if I misspelled the Marry Christmas, I'm not sure anymore if it's a good idea. Maybe I should go with the Merry Christmas ? I thought it would be a play of words, but if its not obvious, there's no fun in it ?
Thanks for your opinions :-))

Thursday, November 29, 2007

jude- the trees have a home

i finally just stuck it together. i want a picture effect. and i forgot the chimney so i'll add that later. probably i will make this longish because i want to use it for the front door.

It Bugs Me!

It really bugs me that I'm finding these little
critters so challenging to make. Tonya's
tutorials are excellent and the rotary cutting and sewing are straightforward. But imagine trying to piece this simple block with one hand tied behind your back while your bottom is glued to a chair!

For the longest time, I've been playing a mental game with myself. You know the one--you can't start the quilt because you haven't found the perfect fabrics yet. You can't sit down at the machine because you don't have a big enough chunk of time. The irony is, I have tons of fabric and all the time in the world. I'm just afraid that if I actually try to sew, I'll find that I can't do it anymore. That's a tough issue to face. In some ways it is harder to accept than Multiple Sclerosis itself.

My goal in joining this class is to rekindle some of the joy that quilting has always brought me. I'll be working very slowly, but hopefully enjoying the process none-the-less. Sorry to dump my frustration here. Maybe my BAH! HUMBUG! theme makes more sense now.

Heidi - finished top

-That was fun :-))
Don't know, when I be able to baste and quilt it, now I have to make some Christmas presents first .
Besides the fun, I'm happy, I could use up those Christmas fabric leftovers and found the matching fabrics in my stash.
Now there's only a small 7" square left of the cute angels fabric ( at the bottom ).
Any takers ?

slowly working

Making small bits of progress. I pieced this word, but I don't like the colors of the word with the colors of the windsurfing boards or the background so I think I will set it aside for a different Christmas thingy and piece a different phrase for the windsurfing Santa and reindeer.

I am experimenting with using multiple fabrics for backgrounds and letters within the same word so I can use scraps. I can't decide whether it makes it confusing or if it gives it some quirk. When I free piece the letters I'm pretty good about not wasting fabric, but I cringe thinking about the amount of thread I'm using. I guess I need to come up with a leader and enders project or I need to chain piece, but I'm not practiced enough in my letter making that I can plan that far ahead in construction to chain.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rose Marie-need opinion

My letters are coming along .... slowly, but surely! Do you see the work 'squeaky snow' on the left? Does the q look like a q? My DH is teasing me about that and if you gals think it looks odd, I'll change it. This is my second go round fussing with the q. There will be a strip of white fabric sewn to the top and bottom of each word, so the bit below the tail on the q will not be there.

There is just one more tree and word to make and then my letters are done!

I bought a couple packages of snowflake buttons and will sew them on throughout the quilt later on. Some have just been pinned on for me to see the effect.

Tonya, hope you are safe in Paris these days! Stay safe!

Have a good evening!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Second guessing

It's me, Sandy, I have been working at this for some time now. I had to redo the letter W twice and I'm still not sure if I like the result. What do you think? I read a comment about the one gal who had the different color house from the rest of the top. You mentioned that it doesn't go with the quilt and should be set aside for something else. Do you think that same way about mine? I have a completely different color for my doorways and windows in the houses. And one of my houses has a wrap - around window. Yeah, I forgot to add a side to it. My husband liked that one and said that's a great idea. I'm unsure of my layout as well.

Maybe I should just give it a rest for a while. Leave it on the floor or my design wall for a week or so and let it grow on me........ :o)

Monday, November 26, 2007


Hi-Every one's projects are looking great! I am having some trouble with mine. Although I did my letters, and some snowflakes and a couple of trees and a house, I am having trouble getting my components to go together. It might be that my house is too dark? I tried making a Santa today and I kinda like him, but maybe he needs to be in his own quilt. I am not sure if he "fits"? Anyway, I guess I am looking for any suggestions anyone may have in how to work this out, maybe I should add something (probably) or maybe just change the colors of my house, I was thinking green and red for Christmas colors, but maybe it just doesn't go with the background I picked. Or maybe my letters are just too big for my house. Well I guess I'll keep it up and keep looking at it and try to figure it out, and if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them! Thanks-

Heidi - done with the letters

Anybody need a skinny A, a fat s,a or T ? We could play scrabble with our left-overs !
I'm glad the letters are finished, the elks were much easier :-))
Now I'll continue sewing hearts.

Fitzy - NO pictures, I'm CRABBY

Maybe the words I should be makin' are "BAH HUM BUG"?

I worked feverishly on my letters yesterday. I made I sewed 2 pieces to the wrong side of the block- 2 very long framing pieces. Unsewedx2. Resewedx2. I sewed the wrong letter to the wrong word. Unsewed. Resewed. Chopped off a very important part of a letter. Unsewed, replaced letter, resewed.

This is WHY I took this class. I know I'm anal-retentive. I know I am a direction-follower. I WAY prefer to be told what to do than have to make-up my own mind.

Really, I'm trying. This has been an exercise in patience and forgiveness. Seriously. I'm thankful I'm using forgiving modas that have a memory of presewn fabric togetherness! Otherwise this baby would look like swiss cheese!

Is anyone else having troubles? It can't be just me......or can it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Progress- Carol E.

Here is more of what I'm working on. The letters go along the top and the right side.

The drum goes in the middle.

The previous blocks I showed you (trees and manger) go underneath. I'm going to make some snowflakes (I think) to go along the left side.

I was so excited to attach these knitting-needle-drumsticks that I already glued them down with a super-glue thing. (I also ironed on some fusible interfacing on the back and will do some kind of loop stitching around the sticks under the mittens. Mittens are not yet attached.) Afterwards I realized that it's going to be tough quilting around those sticks. What was I thinking??? It'll be a challenge I hadn't anticipated.

I love everyone's projects and ideas so far! Looking great! By the way, I futzed with this drum many times before I settled on how it looks now. At first I was going to have a snowman doing the drumming, but that looked utterly stupid. I experimented with different backgrounds, too. Finally settled on this and like it better with no snowman at all... just the drum and the mittens provide enough of the idea.

Gillian's Christmas Stockings

Well, I have made a start. I thought I had a simple design. Just four Christmas stockings hanging cheerfuly.

Here's a sketch.

I will use left over reds and greens.

Well, I've been slicing and sewing. And I'm finding it much more fiddly than I expected. I think I will need to do a lot of planning if I am to avoid set-in seams.

Here's progress so far.

Now that I am this far, I'd like to continue. I can see some embroidery embellishing the surface, in due course. Gold tassels?


Brenda's Top

Hi: It's Brenda from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with my completed quilt top inspired by the first verse of the carol Good King Wencelas.
I do have to mention that though we have a reputation for being incredibly cold here, we've still hovering around the freezing mark with very little snow so far. I used up scraps for this project, which is why there are several blues and darks. I found a piece of a Hoffman Painted Desert print that looks like northern lights to me, which we see in the Northern Hemisphere on clear nights, both winter and summer. I took Tonya's free-pieced philosophy to heart, so there are many seams because I added a bit more fabric to make it work out. ( I'm still slightly afraid of the quilt police --will they think I can't measure?). I've had fun making this, and if I had more weeks until Christmas, I might even try a few more carol-themed quilts. Maybe next year. So I'm about to sandwich it and want to start quilting, but I'm wondering what to do. How would Tonya's free form fans look on this? What should I be quilting with? thread or perle cotton? I'm slightly nervous about all the layers from the seam allowances too.

I've enjoyed following everyone's progress on this blog. It's a great treat to log on and see what you're all working on.