Tag Archives: quilt

Candy Quilt

Remember the patchwork I was working on last week?

I finished the piecing and border of my new quilt top with the chocolate lollipop fabrics for the patchwork and quilting solids for the borders!

Candy quilt top

I think it looks like a bowl of candy so I’m calling it my candy quilt.

I couldn’t finish it this weekend because I didn’t have a piece of batting big enough and because I had homework for my design class.  I have the binding ready to attach but it will have to wait until next weekend.

binding for candy quilt

I would like to stipple this quilt, but I still haven’t figured out how to attach the free motion quilting foot onto my machine.  I could also do some kind of grid and use the walking foot, which would be safer since I haven’t tried stippling yet.

candy quilt top

It makes me happy just looking at this piece of patchwork in it’s unfinished stage, so I can’t wait to use it!

My Year In Review

I’m not one to look back or dwell in the past, especially since 2008 feels like a bittersweet year.  But I am forcing myself to appreciate what happened and focus on progress that WAS made over the year.

In January, I hosted a ladies tea party for my aunts, cousins and their daughters.  The little girls enjoyed dressing up in their princess dresses more than pretending to drink tea.

Me and the girls at the tea party

In late winter, we went to my parents cottage in northern Wisconsin for a winter retreat and had a great time snowshoeing on Lake Michigan on a sunny but very cold weekend. We also went to Upper Michigan for one last ski trip for the winter.

Terri and Dave snowshoeing

We celebrated our seven-year anniversary in May with a vacation to Destin, Florida.

chairs & umbrellas on the beach

In summer, we had a few great trips to my parents’ cottage in Door County, biking, boating and enjoying the outdoors.  We also went to the amazing Art Fair in Madison.

In August, Dave started his new job, a permanent full time job! It was a blessing for us because he has been working as a consultant for over three years.  And because of what was to come in the economy and job market for the months following.  My sister was in town for the family reunion party we hosted at our house before she and her family moved to China. 

In September, I went to the Madison Quilt Expo, which was inspiring but a little disappointing.  Why don’t any of the local shops carry my favorite modern fabric degignerss, like Anna Maria Horner and Heather Bailey and Sandi Henderson? We also went to a Civil War festival which was quite interesting, especially to see how the people dressed in those days, and to see a battle reenactment.

In October, we hosted a Halloween dinner party at our house, and my apron pattern review was published on Sew,Mama,Sew.

my lola apron

In November, I celebrated a big birthday in New York City.  I felt lucky to visit Purl, MJTrimmings, Mood Fabrics, the Guggenheim, the Met, and a few Irish pubs in between.

Me in front of Purl

In December, I participated in the Holiday Traditions Exchange with RaeAnn, and we  hosted a Holiday Open House for our family and neighbors.

Chocolate Lollipop PillowsPicnic Pillow with HandleGarden Party PillowcasesGarden Quilt - FrontMy Lola ApronApron for Holiday Traditions Exchange 08Close-up of Gothic Rose ValanceChristmasy Patchwork BagClose-up of Freshcut ValanceGarden Party TableclothPortable CushionsMy New Laptop Cover

In between all that, I made a bunch of pillows, a couple quilts, participated in a placemat swap, two sets of curtains, a couple tablecloths, picnic cushions, picnic pillows, two adorable padded footstools, a laptop bag, and a lot of other projects I am quite proud of.

Whew, that recap was good therapy and now I feel like 2008 was a good year.

Dreaming of Small Quilts

I have owned this book, Little Quilts, for about ten years. I always love browsing through it, daydreaming about what to make next.

It was one of the first quilt books I ever bought, and a couple of my first quilt projects were these mini-quilts that have been on our nightstands for many years.

I loved the name of this little quilt so I just had to make it: “Stars in the Snow” I like to hang this one in my cubicle at work during the wintery season.

I recently bought this newer version of a small quilt projects, called Bits and Pieces, and I can’t wait to try a few quilts.

I want to make this one because it’s called Box of Chocolates-

I want to make this one because it reminds me of our garden, with the green grass and foliage dotted with splashes of color from the flowers. It’s called One Patch Garden.

I want to make this small quilt because it’s a great way to use up miscellaneous scraps. It’s called Waste Not, Want Not.

There are 18 patterns, organized by squares and rectangles, triangles, diamonds and curves. What another sweet book!

PS – The more I think about it, the more I realize these small quilt projects (average size is 16 x 20) would make great subject matter for a swap party. Anyone else interested?

Picnic Pillows

Remember when I was telling you about the picnic we had over Labor Day weekend? After we hiked and enjoyed a picnic lunch, we lounged on this quilt:

I LOVE that quilt, but we hardly ever use it. I originally intended for it to be a tablecloth, but it’s just too big and heavy for that, maybe because of the flannel backing. Instead, it serves as a great quilt for picnics or napping in the backyard on a sunny afternoon.

But laying on the ground isn’t always that comfy, unless you are dead-tired from a hike. So I decided this quilt needed some companion pillows to go along on picnics.

Here’s the results of that decision. I added handles to each side, making them easy to carry when you’re off to a picnic. Thus, I decided to call them “Picnic Pillows.”

These are very easy to make, even for beginners.  Here are the materials you would need:

Pillow form – I used a size 12 x 16

Scrap fabrics cut into 1-1/2, 2 and 2-1/2 inch strips

Two pieces of backing fabric, cut into 13 x 14 inch pieces

One piece of batting, measuring 13 x 17 inches

Twill tape

Thread , scissors and iron

After cutting the strips, put them into a paper bag and draw pieces randomly (I got that idea from Amy Butler’s Mid Mod quilt pattern). Sew together the strips along the long edges until you have one large piece at least 17 inches wide.

Press the seams toward the darker fabric.

Layer this pieced front piece over batting, and machine quilt as desired. I quilted lines 1/2 inch apart going perpendicular to the strip sets.

Square up this front piece so it measures 13 x 17 inches. Set aside.

With each of the backing pieces, fold over one shorter side 1/2 inche toward the wrong side and press. Fold over 1/2 inch again and press. Top stitch the last folded edge and then again for the inner folded edge (should be about 1/2 inch in).

Layer the two backing pieces over each other, wrong sides down, so they become one piece measuring 17 inches wide. The pieces should overlap. Sew a 1/4 inch seam on each side to attach the two backing pieces together just along the sides where they overlap. No need to go all the way around yet.

Layer these backing pieces over the quilted front piece, right sides together. Center the twill tape handles on the shorter sides of the pillow, raw edges together with the pillow fabric, with the handle tucked inside the pillow. Sew all the way around, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Clip the corners.

Turn right side out and press.

Insert pillow, lay down your head, and rest! I love the idea of having handy handles on these picnic pillows when you are already carrying a blanket or quilt to lay on, your lunch cooler, and beverages.

End of Summer Weekend

I love three-day weekends, especially ones filled with summer weather. We started ours with a weekly trip to farmers market where I bought squash potatoes for this recipe, zucchini for this recipe, the best granola I’ve ever had, and raspberry chocolate tarts.

Because it’s the end of summer, we didn’t feel like gardening, so we lounged the afternoon away.

I fixed this sewing project with the addition of some ric-rac trim along the border and outside seam.

I made two of these with some fabric in my stash.

We spent a fabulous day on Sunday at Devils Lake State Park hiking and sightseeing.

The views from the top of West Bluff were gorgeous.

There were early Fall colors to be seen growing around these large boulders.

We saw some weird fungus growing on the rocks too!

We saw a lot of people on the trails, but it was still exhilarating to be out in nature, exercising and breathing in the fresh air. Good for my heart and soul!

The beach was crowded with friends and families, picnicking and playing in the water.

We brought a picnic and lounged on our blanket for awhile.

I made that blanket a couple years ago and this is the first time we’ve ever used it!

The ground was hard and we needed pillows, so that is my mission for Labor Day – to make small, maybe 8×12-size depending on what Joann’s has in stock, portable picnic pillows to go with our picnic blanket. I say portable because I’m thinking about either handles or straps for easy carrying.

I am already looking forward to the next three-day weekend, no matter what the season.

Recap of Summer Vacation 08

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. The end of August is just a few days away, as is Labor Day weekend, which always seems like the last hurrah of summer. It feels like just yesterday I was getting excited about sprucing up our gardens and spending more time outside. I had a ball over my summer vacation, so I wanted to share with you my fabulous list:

I watched my brother compete in his first half-marathon.

I spent a week in Chicago for a work-related conference, which was great fun, meeting people from all over the country.

We spent a week in Destin, Florida for our seventh wedding anniversary. It was the relaxing beach vacation we were hoping for.

We planted eight new trees in our yard, more flowers and a vegetable garden.

I watched my brother and cousin compete in a triathlon.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at my parents’ beach house in northern Wisconsin, boating and biking and enjoying the outdoors.

We went to Art Fair on the Square and Concerts on the Square. (lots of events in Madison are held on the grounds around the Capitol building)

We hosted twenty people from my family at our house for a family reunion.

I spent a week with my sister and family at the beach house again, with more outdoor adventures such as hiking and swimming, yet you can’t leave out cooking and baking when there are two or more women from my family together in the same house (we all enjoy the domestic parts of life).

I spent another weekend with my family one last time before my sister moves to China. (boo hoo)

I read a bunch of books, all of which I would recommend, including The Road by Cormac McCarthy, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg, Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larsen, and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’m almost finished reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, which I highly recommend.

I was much more creative than anticipated. I made portable cushions, a fabric beach ball, a tablecloth for our kitchen, curtains for our kitchen and for my sewing room, flower pincushions, a lunch bag with iron-on vinyl lining, and a garden quilt. (if I knew how to make one of those photo mosaics, I would have included that here, but you get the idea.)

I participated in a placemat swap, which was great fun, although I was sad that I never heard from my partner. (I wonder if she received the set I made for her? I wonder if she liked it.) Still, I was happy with the six placemats and matching napkins I made for her.

Oh yea, I bought lots of fabric too. How could I resist – there were so many wonderful new fabric collections – Midwest Modern, Drawing Room, Farmers Market, Garden Party, August Fields, Pop Garden – that came out this summer and so many convenient etsy shops to order from. I know, you understand.

My favorite parts of summer vacation were the adventures and the quality time spent with family. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers for Fall – I’m looking forward to beautiful sunrises, cool evenings, changing leaves, hiking in the woods, caramel apples, and more.

Garden Quilt

I finished my new garden quilt just in time to lounge on the Adirondack chair with a cool beverage and a good book.

I used the Crazy Eights quilt pattern by Bits ‘N Pieces and a stack of fat quarters, mostly Amy Butler fabrics, along with a few others in the mix. After I finished piecing the top, I wasn’t real happy with the results because there wasn’t any order to the fabric layout. But I decided to free myself and learn to like the quilt for the fact that it wasn‘t so orderly.

I was overjoyed with how it turned out after my friend Julie machine-quilted the layers. Besides the cool quilt design she made, she also used variegated thread on the front, which blends in with the fabric colors, yet sets them off as well.

The bugs are starting to come out and take of the gardens, so I better get back inside. Thanks for stopping by!

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