Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Monday!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. We are.

Sorry for the fingers.  It was windy.

This is what I made last week.  It was a gift for my husband so I kept it a secret.  But I did sneak it on the 2012 Unfinished Projects list as # 12  Flannel.  Does anyone else give unfinished quilt tops as gifts?  With a promise to complete, of course.  He likes it...  but I had to explain that it will be bigger after a few more borders are added.  It is a pattern by Kari Nichols called Triangle Trips.  I think I bought the flannel  two years ago when I bought the pattern, so I am happy that I got this started!!

I was able to complete a few Ohio Star blocks from Step 6 of the Orca Bay Mystery.   We are using the hourglass blocks made in Step One.  I am finding that I wasn't as accurate as I thought I was.  I did measure the triangles and hourglass pieces when I started Step One but once I started using them in this step I found some were a little too big.  So I had to trim them.  I guess I was having so much fun that I got carried away in the cutting or sewing or both.     Oh, and when I was cutting the blue 2 1/2 inch squares for this step, I cut more than needed.  I guess after cutting 700 last week, 56 seemed to go so fast!
The Ohio Star blocks are really nice after they are pressed and laid out.



And, I am still completing Step 5 by using them as leaders / enders. 

As always, I am linking with Quiltville's Monday Mystery Link and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday (even though the Triangles Trips quilt isn't on the design wall anymore).  I have enjoyed visiting all the blogs during these link ups and I hope you have enjoyed visiting mine too!

These pictures today are brought to you by my daughter Emily and her new i phone!  

Happy New Year,

Susan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 Challenge

I am joining Judy and friends at Patchwork Times for the 2012 UFO Challenge. Since today is busy I won't be able to pull everything out and take pictures but I do have a list.

1.   One Block Wonder
2.   Sampler
3.   Carpenter Star
4.   Marie Antoinette
5.   Machine Appliqué Wall Hanging
6.   Bento Box
7.   Civil War Block of the Week
8.   Sudoku
9.   Luna Notte
10. Orca Bay Mystery
11. New York Beauty
12. Flannel

These are in no particular order. Some need only quilting and binding  but some need a lot of sewing.
I also want to add:

Ongoing projects

English paper piecing hexagon flowers
2 inch and 2 1/2 inch leaders/enders

Unfinished smaller pieces 

Mini Bookshelf wallhanging
Flying Geese table topper

Charity

3 (I think) tops need quilting and binding
Quilts of Valor- 2 planned (one started and one I have fabric for)

Oh, and of course, I have customer quilts waiting to be finished.  But that is business this is personal.

And I have a Four Patch Posies class scheduled for January. And I would like to make that Christmas quilt I bought fabric for last Christmas time.  And I have recycled jeans cut for a rag quilt.

Ok, now I feel a bit overwhelmed.  But also very motivated!

I remember when I first started quilting, I thought I wasn't going to have lots of unfinished projects....what happened?  Well, I started quilting for others and their quilts got done and mine didn't.  This year I plan to be better about scheduling time for my quilts too.

Thanks to Judy and everyone playing along for the plan to get these UFO's made into quilts.  Looking forward to seeing what beautiful quilts are made in 2012 during this challenge.  Be sure to join in the fun.


Happy Holidays,
Susan




Monday, December 19, 2011

Mystery Step 5



Working on Bonnie Hunter's Orca Mystery Step 5.  This week we are adding 700 blue wing triangles onto the 350 squares made in Step 3 to make a bigger triangle piece.   Here  is what my design wall looks like this Monday with some of the finished triangles made this weekend.  700 sounds like so many but they are small and sewing on quickly.  I have about half of this weeks clue finished and will try to sew a little every day to finish by Friday.  





I had some fun laying the newly made triangles on the wall in different patterns but not really even trying to guess what we will ultimately be doing with them.



This is one of the mug rugs that I gave my brother and sister in law when they were visiting this past weekend.  We enjoyed having them stay even though it was only for one night.  We went into Manhattan to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The tree was cut down from their hometown of Mifflinville, PA.

 Again today I am linking up with Quiltville's Mystery Monday and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.  I enjoy linking and visiting all the blogs.  Thank you for stopping by!

 I don't think I will be posting again until next week so I want to wish you all a Happy Hanukkah and
 Very Merry Christmas!

Susan

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mystery Monday


It's Monday 
Bonnie added Step 4 which are strings again but we are cutting them into triangles.  I only finished about 30 but am glad to work with the fourth color.  I like my colors but when I look at everyones black, white, blues and reds, I wish I had those color scraps.  They look so great together!




Here is what they look like added to the design wall.  Still cannot imagine how this will be going together but I'm sure Bonnie has something great in mind.  I am finished with Step 1, 2 and 3 and will keep working away at 4 throughout this week.  I found I like sewing a little bit everyday rather than finishing in a day or two and then having to wait until Friday for a new clue to work on it again.  I love thinking of all the other quilters all over the world that are participating in this mystery.  It's like one big quilting bee!



These are a few charity quilts that I finished this week.  The tops were made using strip piecing and leaders/enders and were just sitting there waiting...  I quilted quick overall freehand patterns and machine stitched the bindings.   They only need laundering, then they are ready to donate to Project Linus.

Otherwise,  I am getting ready for Christmas and my son, Adam, to come home from college and for family coming for a visit this weekend!  

Thanks for stopping by, 
Susan

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mystery and More


Quiltville's Mystery is so much fun!
Here are a few of the 150 blocks for Part 3 that I finished yesterday.  Only 200 more! 350 sounds like a lot but they are small so they are quick to make.   I tried to use my darker blues so these have a bit more contrast than the step one mini hourglass. 


This is how they look on the my design wall with the other clues.   Hmmm, I can't even imagine what Bonnie has in mind but I like it so far.  I am using greens in place of her reds and cannot wait to add them, hopefully in the next step.


This past week I made 2 more Civil War blocks and am thinking of a layout.  Only a few more weeks left for this.  I have to go back and finish a few I skipped but want to add in.  I recently bought the red fabric with the birds and I plan to use it again if I can.



This is one of the quilts I quilted last week for my family.  I began piecing this a few years ago, just starting with half square triangles and this is what I came up with.  So glad to be quilting some of these tops that have been waiting for me.    The quilting is an freehand scrolling feather.


 I have it hanging on a spring curtain rod in front of the fireplace to help keep out the cold drafts.  My son, Adam,  took the one we used there before and has it hanging in his dorm.  Evidently he really likes it and I never knew.  Oh, I wish I had a picture to show.

close up of the quilting from the back
Also,
On Friday and Saturday I had fun demonstrating the Handiquilter longarm quilting machines at the Quilt Basket during their Holiday open house.
 And last week I finished another customer quilt that I promised to finish before the holidays.

Linking up with  Quiltville's Orca Bay Mystery  and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday. Thanks for stopping by if that's how you found me and if not be sure to go to these sites to meet some inspiring quilt bloggers.

Always quilting,
Susan

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday and Orca Bay Mystery Step 2

Lighter version

Sewing for Orca Bay Mystery Step 2 is underway using pink/purples instead of blues.  These strip squares  are fun to make and finish fast.  I am using tissue paper and it tears out so easily.  The only problem I had was that the first blocks I made I used darker purples and then I realized they might  be too dark next to my blue/neutral hourglass blocks from last week.  So I started to make them with lighter pinks and skipped the dark strips.  So now I am half way done in each of the two tones.  I think I will stop there and see what happens when I add the green in place of Bonnie's reds.  Then I will decide if I can use the darker blocks or if I should make more lighter ones.  Another mystery.


Darker version
Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery page.  Last week was so much fun seeing how everyone was doing on their mystery and what else fellow quilters are working on.  I also found some new blogs that I am now following!  Please take a little time visit these sites and the links and you will not be disappointed.

Not much other quilting or piecing this past week because of Thanksgiving.  We enjoyed and hope you did too.

Debby Brown's Quilting
I did attend a machine quilting presentation at the Warwick Valley Quilters Guild meeting last Tuesday.  The speaker was Debby Brown who is my favorite quilters in the world!  She is my longarm quilting teacher (not just mine, she teaches many, many other quilters, too).  Her quilting is terrific and I have learned so much from her.  I know I wouldn't be where I am with my quilting without her lessons. She has a great blog where she posts instructional videos and other helpful information.  You can also find her videos on you tube.  Sorry the picture is not the best but it is the only one that turned out that day.

Thanks for stopping by,
Susan


Monday, November 21, 2011

Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery


 I am a big fan of Bonnie's and the last two years I watched as everyone enjoyed her mysteries.  So this year I gathered my scraps and some other stash fabric and jumped right in.  I was home alone on Friday evening and had so much fun cutting and sewing.  Then I couldn't stop, so I worked every spare minute the rest of the weekend and finished all 224 units.  Can't wait until next weekend.


Today, I am linking up with Quiltville's Monday Mystery Link Up and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.   Please go over and look at what all the other busy quilters have been working on.


To show that I have been working on the quilting machine, too, here is a picture of what I worked on today for the Quilt Basket.



Thank you so much for visiting and letting me show and tell.
Susan

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some ripping and some sewing



Unquilting


 Yesterday, I tried a new freehand feather on one of my own quilts and didn't like how it was turning out ... so rip rip rip.  After I took it off the frame and started to tear it out, I glanced at it from a distance and realized it looked pretty good.  It think it would have helped to walk away, take a break, and look at it from a distance.   Next time. 
 I try not to be too critical of my work but when you are only a few inches from the stitches it sooo easy to see all imperfections.




I quilted this table runner recently for a gift.  No ripping out here.  




 I have been piecing a lot lately. And not unsewing.

Some "old" flying geese with added green strips to make a table topper.

Civil War Blocks

I hadn't worked on the Civil War Block of the Week  for months.  I decided to get back to it and make at least the ones I like until I have enough for a quilt.  
Mini Bookshelf
Idea from Don't Call Me Betsy


Now I think I will load the flying geese table topper and try the new feather pattern again.  I can't wait to get comfortable with it so I can offer it to customers.  

Thanks for visiting 
Susan

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day


A holiday to honor our military veterans.

Here are a few quilts I have made for Quilts of Valor.  

Stars of Hope

My daughter Emily took this picture.
A fun pieced back

Close up of loopy circle quilting

A Heart with Love


Thanks to Emily for this picture too.

Close up of back showing freehand swirl quilting


Donated at MQX (Machine Quilter's Expo) 2011

Freehand echoed hearts 


Hope you enjoyed these quilts while thinking of our veterans.

Susan

Monday, November 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday



I am happy to link to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times for the first time. 

All my NY Beauty blocks are finished!  I like this layout but I know I will be rearranging for a few days before I am satisfied.  I already see a few that are facing the wrong direction.   This was a fun project even though it was my first curved piecing.   I didn't worry too much about what fabrics went where as long as they didn't match too closely.  Of course that means some blocks look better than others.  I plan to hang this behind my quilting machine but now I have to decide how and when to quilt it.   Hopefully it won't be too long before I can show it all finished.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by, especially to those who are following.

Susan

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Small Blog Meet

Today, I joined November's Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts.  I know I will get to know a few  quilters who are new to blogging like me.  It's so interesting to see how everyone has their blog put together and how their individual personalities show in their writing and pictures, as well as their quilts. 


These are some pictures of customer quilts that I finished recently.

 
Joanne's 

Ethel's

 Quilt Basket 


And for myself, more NY Beauty Blocks, a few every day or so.  30 complete...6 to go.
 Thanks for visiting.  I hope you enjoy and come back again! 

Susan

Small Blog Meet  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Fall 2011

I am so excited to share my first entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is a quilt that I made this past summer for my brother-in-law Jim.  Also known to us as Uncle Buster or  Grunkle.  In the spring I made a couple of quilts to donate to Quilts of Valor  so the colors red, white, and blue were on my mind.  These colors also suited for Jim because he is a Vietnam Veteran and a very patriotic person. 

Star quilt for Jim
I began with some sale fabric and the July Star Block  pattern from Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.  Without a pattern for layout or really much of a plan, I just sewed block after block making each one a different color/fabric combination.  Then I placed them on my design wall and played.  I came up with an idea, then made the blocks I needed to finish the overall pattern.  No two blocks are exactly the same! Wanting to use the leftover fabric for the back, I had fun creating a reversible quilt.

An interesting Back

Swirl quilting


Then, I chose to quilt it with my favorite freehand overall swirl pattern.  I considered loopy stars but  I thought that would be too many stars.  The swirls give it movement and a texture that I think is nice.  Plus, I had fun quilting it since swirls are my favorite!


Bonus triangles as pinwheels











The great thing about this star pattern is the leftover triangles that were easily sewn into pinwheels.  This is the beginning of a new Quilts of Valor donation quilt!








I gave Jim his quilt while were on vacation together at the Outer Banks in NC. He loves it!  I only wish I had thought to take some pictures of it on the beach.  At the time I didn't have a blog or even dreamed of joining the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Now I have a blog and enjoy sharing my quilts and quilting, as well as getting involved with the quilt blogging community.



In the past few years,  I have given many quilts to family members and charities.  Because I have a longarm machine quilting business, (Quilting As Desired) it so important for me to take the time to quilt for my family and charities.  It helps me keep a balance and reminds me that this is a hobby that I love, as well as, a business that I love.
Amy'sCreativeSide

Thank you for the opportunity to share Jim's quilt...
 hope you like it.  


Susan

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pictures from last week






My New York Beauty blocks






I can see one of these doesn't have enough contrast in color in the points and it's background.  Well, I don't think I will tear it out.  Maybe I will put it in the lower right hand corner like Linda Hahn suggests, where will be less noticeable.  






 My Machine!  I love it.



Close up of Pattie's W.'s quilt


She is really happy and I am too!




This blogging is getting easier every time I try it.


Happy Quilting


                                     Susan