Friday, December 27, 2013


I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  I have not been feeling my best but have still been enjoying my family.

Here Mike is holding an art piece Michelle made for him.  It cleverly spells out HOLT using creative pictures that she took.  I am so impressed!  Very creative and fun.

Owls are still the thing!  Megan received an owl cookie jar from her hubby.  My Mom made us all crocheted owl towels too.  I will post a picture of those later.

Here is my Downton Abbey fabric!  SO pretty!  Now I need to decide what to make with it!!

Some other quilty gifts I received and will use!  I am excited to try the Quilter's Preview Paper, which lets you draw a design on the paper and preview it on your quilt before quilting it.  That will save some "unpicking" stitches for sure!
The Superior Thread is pretty too and will go with my fabrics for The Quilt Show's 2014 block of the month.  Self threading needles, which I have never tried, and Karen Kay Buckley pins, which looks awesome, also make me want to get up to my sewing room and sew!  I plan on 2014 being a "finishing" year.  I have many projects to finish!  What are your quilting goals for 2014?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rockin' The Murphy Bed

Here the Market Fresh quilt is rockin' the murphy bed!  I finished the hand sewing on the binding just a few minutes ago, while watching three episodes of Merlin, a Hallmark movie and 40 minutes of The Sound of Music - phew!

I then cleaned up my sewing room and got the bed ready.  The sewing room will be a bedroom for the next week or so, but that's OK, I have some hand work downstairs I can work on if I get time :)

I am excited for the rest of our kids to start rolling in tomorrow!  We are looking forward to Christmas this week with everyone home!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Finish Just In Time!

Technically, it's almost finished!  I still have to hand sew the binding.   It was "done enough" to show at the Hi Fashion Sew Savvy party today and I should get the binding sewn by Monday so I can use it on the Murphy Bed when our kids are home this next week!  Hurray!
The Sew Savvy party was loads of fun.  Lots of quilters, yummy snacks, fun show and tell (also showing new stuff and classes at the store) and great door prizes.  They even gave away a sewing machine!  I am inspired for quilting in the New Year.
Also celebrated a quilting friend's birthday this week - Happy Birthday Phyllis!  I saw several quilts at show and tell today quilted by Phyllis on her long arm machine.
And best of all, my hubby and I are celebrating our 31st Wedding Anniversary today!  Happy Anniversary Sweetie!  Love you :)  We went to dinner and to see the movie "The Book Thief".  I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

16 More Blocks

I worked on Market Fresh a bit today!  I have sixteen more blocks to quilt and the edges.  I'm really liking it!  I need to get it done because I really need to use it over the holidays for that murphy bed :)
I saw this car at the grocery store today - Rudolf the Red-Nosed vehicle!  I thought it was cute and deserved to have its picture taken.
I hope you are all enjoying the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Book

Here is the other new book I ordered:  Art + Quilt by Lyric Kinard.  I watched her episode on The Quilt Show website and thought it was amazing.  She explains everything so clearly and had many samples to share of each concept.  I was so fascinated I went to her website and ordered her book.  I am now excited to read it and try some new ideas!  If I ever get a chance to take a class from her, I will!
Update on my machine quilting - eight more blocks quilted today :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Only Half a Block

I cleaned house all morning, then went grocery shopping but I had two hours this afternoon I was going to go up to my sewing room and try to quilt a few more blocks on my quilt!  But... my sewing machine would not come on!  I turned it off and on about three times with no success.  The opening screen would appear (so I knew it was receiving power) but it wouldn't "boot up".  So I called Hi Fashion and Jeff said it was a problem this particular machine has been having but they have a "fix" for it and to bring the machine in.  Sure enough, a half hour later he had the machine all fixed!  But between that
 and driving back and forth, it pretty much ate up most of my two hours so I only got about a half of a block quilted today.  Ah well - tomorrow is a new day.
Before starting the quilting I sketched the shape of the block and tried out several different designs. I'm happy with the design I chose, which is the large one on the left in the photo.
I also dug through my King Tut thread to choose the best thread for the bright melons.  A yellowish green color seemed to go best overall with the variety of colors in the quilt.

I ordered this book from Leah Day's website.  It is a great book!  I am excited to try some of the designs.  She quilts more densely than I do, or would on a bed quilt anyway, but I think most of these can be adapted for "lighter" quilting too.

I received another quilt book today that I ordered.  More on that later....

Happy Quilting!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nine Down A Lot To Go

I am finally quilting the Murphy Bed (Market Fresh) quilt!  I got off to a slow start yesterday as I spent two hours and only got one block quilted because I ended up UN-quilting a lot of stitches I wasn't happy with.  Oh well, better to get it as I like it!  The more careful I am, the happier I am with the results and after all the work I put into piecing it, I want to be happy with the quilting.  I have also learned that I need to stop when I am tired because that is when I make the most mistakes.

So, I have nine blocks quilted and a lot more to quilt.  I hope to work on it a little everyday this week and perhaps finish it in time to take to Sew Savvy this Saturday.  We will see!  Have a great Monday!  Just a little over a week until Christmas :)

Happy Birthday to my favorite son-in-law, Landon!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Odds and Ends

I saw this quilt, made by Phyllis Davis, hanging in her daughter's office.  I really like quilts like this, with geometric shapes and shadows and cool 3D effects.  Way to go Phyllis - I like it!

My friend Sherida made these nifty little cases for each of the gals in the Little Bits group.  They are made out of men's neckties!  They are so clever and I am so impressed.  She tucked some screen cleaners and Chapstick in the pockets inside, but it would make a cute little sewing kit case too.

Sherida writes a weekly quilting column for our local newspaper.  It is full of great quilting information and stories from around the globe (and even outer space, if you read last week's column!)  When I was selling raffle tickets at the Lavender Fair last weekend a woman stopped by the booth to tell us that she is not a quilter but her sister-in-law is, and she sends Sherida's column to her every week!  Keep up the great work Sherida!

My friend Michelle was telling me about Turkey Work this last week.  I didn't know what it was so I googled it.  I found out it is a form of knotted embroidery practiced in England from the 16th century to the mid 18th century, but especially in the 17th century.  She used this method in the middle of her wool sunflower here and it looks amazing.  I may have to give it a try!

Years ago my Mom made me the blue grocery sack holder on the left.  My daughter recently asked how hard it would be to make one, so I decided to find out this week and I made four!  The answer:  not hard at all! These are so handy to hang in your closet or pantry and stuff those plastic grocery sacks in the top and when you need one, pull it out of the bottom!  A much neater way to store those things.

Well, today is the day to start quilting Market Fresh (Murphy Bed quilt).  I better get busy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another Party with CWQG!

Last night was the holiday party with the CO West Quilt Guild.  We started off with a yummy potluck supper, had a short meeting, show and tell and a fun game.  We were about 90 tickets short of selling out our raffle tickets so Lorraine suggested we each buy three tickets.  I got in line but by the time I got up there all the tickets were gone!  The quilt will be auctioned off Saturday at the Art Center.  I purchased 20 tickets earlier and put my family and friends' names on them.  So if anyone gets a call Saturday that you won a quilt -  it is probably not a prank!
Above is Judy showing a quilt that she made.  Show and Tell is always fun and inspiring!

Here Eddy shows off a quilt she made as well.

Here is another one of Eddy's.  Her aunt painted the pictures and she sewed them into a quilt.  What a memorable piece this is!

Kim said she swore she'd never made a jean quilt but she did and it looks great!

A gal named Lisa made these beautiful Christmas pieces. Not the Lisa holding the one on the left but a different Lisa...
 Tracy, at the microphone, made this pretty walling hanging in a workshop last month with "The Singing Quilter", Cathy Miller.  It turned out beautifully.

Tracy also made this pretty pink house quilt, which was a block of the month at Quilter's Corner.

Lucina bought a table cloth and added these trees to "spruce" it up a bit!

Lisa, in the middle, made these three quilts for the VA hospital, to go to veterans as lap quilts.

And finally we played LCR with our fat quarters! At our table we had two lucky winners and a lot of fun fabric!

After all these parties, I really need to get back in the sewing room and see if I can get that murphy quilt quilted :)  Oh, I do have an open sew day tomorrow with Laura.  I plan to work on getting kits ready for my Sashiko program in January.  Keeping busy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Little Bitty Luncheon

Yesterday was our Little Bits Miniature Group Christmas luncheon and oh what fun it was!  It always is - these ladies are great.  We decided we have been meeting together for about 13 years!

Above is a video greeting to our friend Lori, who moved away.  We all miss her and wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas!  June also said "thank you" for the cupcake potholders Lori!

After lunch we exchanged secret sister gifts.  Here Annie is showing the Christmas pillow case she made for Mary.  Annie said she made about a dozen of these this year.  My mother-in-law made all of us Christmas pillow cases one year too!

Here Max is showing the holiday towels she received from Mary.

Bobbi received a nice handmade bag full of Zentangle goodies from Max.  She was sure excited!

Leota is showing off a cute bag made for her by Eleanor.  It was full of goodies too.

Sherida gave June this cute little "miniature" purse with a bracelet inside, because June loves "bling"!

Here is Lois modeling the scarf I made for her.  I hope it will keep her warm!

Leota made these GORGEOUS cards from her own photos for Annie.  Her photography work is stunning and these cards are beautiful.  I told her next year I want her to draw my name for Christmas :)
Lois had my name this year and gave me a pretty red basket full of all kinds of sewing supplies and embellishments and wrapped in a yard of Christmas fabric!  It's the gift that keeps on giving - it was so full of goodies!

A close up of some of Leota's cards.  I have a son who does photography as a hobby.  I suggested to him that cards like these of his photos would make a nice gift for me sometime :)  Hint, hint....

We also had Show and Tell because no quilt gathering is complete without Show and Tell!  Here Sherida shows off a purse she made from some fun fabrics she bought awhile back.

June shows her small wool wall hanging that she started on our visit to Laura's shop and she recently finished.  June does amazing work.  See the detail below.

It was a fun filled day yesterday, with dear friends.  Tonight I am going to the CO West Quilt Guild Christmas party.
Tis the season to party, party, party!!

Monday, December 9, 2013


Tomorrow is the Christmas luncheon for my miniature quilt group - The Little Bits!  It was actually supposed to be last Wednesday but we have had a bit of snow and ice so we needed to postpone.  The weather is looking good so I am excited for our party!
The scarf is the gift I made for my "secret sister".  It is really soft and I love the colors.  I hope she does too.  I bought one of those plastic things with pegs at Michael's that you can "knit" with - make scarves and hats and things.  I bought it for someone else and it didn't quite work out for her, so I ended up trying it out myself by making this scarf.  It was pretty fun!

I also made these cute little owl Christmas ornaments out of wool as a party favor for the whole group!  These were so fun to make, especially picking out the different colors.  Hopefully no one in my group will read my blog until after the party tomorrow - I just couldn't wait any longer to show off these owls :)  I found the pattern for them on Pinterest!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gift Ideas

I have been wrapping gifts all afternoon.  One of these days I will get some quilting in!  Anyway, here are a couple of quick gift ideas that a friend shared with me.  This one is just a mix, you can use any mix such as a cake mix, muffin mix, brownie mix etc.  It is tied up with a cute holiday kitchen towel and a pretty red ribbon!

I love this one because who doesn't need more wrapping paper and tape!  This is just a roll of Christmas wrap and some scotch tape, with a candy cane all tied together with ribbon.  The tag reads:
Since November you've been shopping, barely sleeping, hardly stopping!  Now it's late, you're in a scrape, out of paper, out of tape!  Hope this wrap helps save the day.....  Have a Happy Holiday!

For this one, just bake some yummy gingerbread men and attach this tag:

The Gingerbread Man
Here is the perfect man to
relieve all your holiday stress.
He's sweet, he's tan, he's silent
and if he gives you any flack....
You can bite his head off!!

Enjoy your holiday preparations!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lavender Festival

Today I went to the Lavender Festival (kind of an arts and crafts show) and helped sell raffle tickets for our guild's raffle quilt, which is pictured hanging on the wall in the back of the booth.  The drawing is next Saturday and when I left today there were about 90 tickets left out of 5000, so that's pretty good!  Hopefully those sold as well!  The guild has been selling them for almost a year, so no, we didn't sell over 4000 today, but we did sell quite a few!
Several guild members had made other crafts items and donated them to the guild to sell in the booth too.

There was quite a nice selection of items for sale.  I walked around the rest of the festival to see what other booths were offering and there were a lot of homemade soaps and lotions, some jewelry and some gourmet food items.  They also had these gorgeous lavender poinsettia plants for sale!  I wondered how in the world they grew a lavender poinsettia plant, and then I found out they were spray painted :)  They didn't feel painted though, but they lady said when the flowers bloom again they will be white.  Very pretty!  Lavender is quite the thing!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Decorations

Last year my we cleaned out my Mom's Christmas decorations and she gave some of them to me and some to my daughters.  I love these cool blocks she made.  Depending on which way you turn them, they can read:  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and Happy New Year!  They are made from that plastic canvas stuff and yarn, so they are light and soft.  Kids can play with them and not hurt themselves or anything else :)

I made this pillow last year with Laurel Burch Christmas fabric left over from a tree skirt I made for my daughter.  It is bright and cheerful!

My Mom made this Santa a LONG time ago and the tree table topper that he's sitting on.  It is one of my favorite decorations.

I mentioned Una Mae Jones, a vendor at the Houston International Quilt Festival, who makes ornaments and Santa's out of antique quilts.  I bought this Santa from her two years ago.  I picked this one because he's holding a violin, a doll, and a set of golf clubs - all things my family enjoys or has over the years.

Take a look at the back and you can see the antique crazy quilt his coat is made from.  Normally I would not be a fan of cutting up old quilts, but if the quilt has many holes and is otherwise not restorable then this is a nice way to preserve a piece of it.

This tree was given to me by a friend many years ago.  It is only about 10 inches tall and it's filled with miniature sewing supplies!  I got these before I even started quilting!  Another of my favorite decorations, I usually put it in my sewing room, but this year I put it where more people can see it :)

Off to wrap some gifts!  Have a great day!