Happy to be Scrappy

Happy to be Scrappy

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's New Year's eve. I've been sitting here thinking about all of the things I didn't get done in 2014 and some of the things I would like to do in 2015.  For some reason it's always easier for me to see what I haven't finished then the things I did finish.

Some of the quilt projects I've started and would like to get done are:

Jesse's Orange Quilt
This quilt will be awesome when I get it done!  It's next on my list for quilting.  I'm hoping to get it pinned in the next few days.  After all I can't make an orange one for me until I finish the first one.

Checked Alphabet Quilt
Last weekend I got the sashing done on this one.  Now I'm pondering the borders.  I've got several different ideas and will have to choose just one before I can move forward.  I really dislike making up my own borders.  I'm not good at figuring out the math.  I have several books but apparently, not the right book.  Yet!
5th Clue for Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt
I have made each of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt (tops) for the last four years.  The only one I've quilted and finished is Roll Roll Cotton Bole.  It is one of my favorite quilts.  Maybe this years quilt will get finished too.
Roll Roll Cotton Bole finished in 2011
I'm planning to get some of my tops quilted this coming year!  It's hard to enjoy something you can only see draped over a quilt rack.
Smith Mountain Morning a Bonnie Hunter design
Red, White & Blue Stars
The red, white and blue stars top is done.  And it doesn't look much like that.  It seems that I never posted a picture of the completed top.  As I was going through the old tops the ones I picked out to get to the quilting on are ones for ME.  We'll see how far I get with that.

Have a safe and happy New Year's eve and New Year.

Happy Sewing,


Monday, December 29, 2014

Back to work! It's Monday.  Christmas week is over. I about put the word "finally" in that sentence.  But I realized that I don't really feel that way.  That the week is - finally over.  Yes, no doubt, it was a busy week.  But it was a good week.  I was able to spend a lot of time with family and that was great.  I also got some of my sewing projects done and wrapped in time for Christmas morning.

Bag Front
Bag Back 

Lining and Pocket

This is the bag I made for DIL Victoria. I love the way it turned out.  The daisy pattern is from Esch House Quilts.  It was not too bad for my first bias strip project.  It was more difficult to decide how I wanted to put the bag together.  I didn't have a pattern and was having a hard time remembering how I had made one before.  This time I wrote it down.  The bag measures approx. 16" x 16".  The sides and bottom are 3" wide.

I also made two pairs of pajama pants for DD Jennifer.
Pajama Pants

One pair of the pj's has been done for weeks.  The other was waiting for elastic and hems. It's so easy for me to put that stuff off.  So I did.  Right up until December 23rd.

Another thing I had put off was finishing the binding on my version of the Quiltmaker sew-along quilt.
First Take
I called my version "First Take" since it was a sample I sewed before cutting into the Quiltmaker fabric.  Both quilts turned out great!  This one had been waiting for about 3' of binding to be stitched down since September. 

Those are my finished for December.  I also worked on a couple of other things but I'll save those for another day.

And since this is my blog and I like to go back and read things months and months later, I'll put a couple of pictures of Christmas on here.  That way I can smile over them in July.
Jesse and Allison 
Zach (barely), Jennifer and Grace (handing out presents)
Victoria and I are mom's.  We don't often end up in the pictures.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

Happy Monday!


Monday, December 22, 2014

This weekend I was able to finish Step 4 of Bonnie Hunters Grand Illusion mystery quilt.  This one went fairly quick for me.  I had most of the 2 1/2" strips cut that I needed.  And we had already made one of the corners we needed for each unit.
Step 4
These are the steps all together.
Step 1 - 4
I am a bit surprised that I've been keeping up with this.  That and doing a bit of other sewing too.

This is what I started on Sunday morning.  I'm hoping that it looks like a daisy.  It's supposed to.
The colors on the picture above are a terrible representation of the true colors.  These are Kona fabrics - the dark blue and the white is called "snow". 

This picture shows a better representation of the colors but also shows how messy my center was before I trimmed it.  This is my first project making the bias strips.  So far so good.  I may take the time to rip out the center spiral quilting.  I should have done it with my free motion foot instead of the walking foot.  It's pretty rough.  It might also have helped if I had drawn it on there instead of doing it freehand.  This is a free pattern given on Esch House Quilts.  Her directions are pretty clear.  I did watch a couple of YouTube videos on how to make the bias strips.  And luckily I had bought a tool years ago that I was able to actually lay my hands on at the right time.  The outcome of this project is still undetermined.  The original given with the pattern is a pillow cover.  I'm thinking bag. 

Have a great Monday!


Friday, December 19, 2014

It's Friday morning and I finished clue #3 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt  about 9:00 last night. Whew, just in time for clue #4 to be posted today.

Clue #3
I was reading the comments that have been left for Bonnie and I must say some of them shock me.  The audacity of some people - one person asked her to write just the directions and leave out the other stuff.  The other "stuff" is what inspires Bonnie to make the quilt design and choose the colors.  I've found that if I don't want to read all of that I don't have to.  She clearly shows where the directions are.  Anyway, not really my business - but...  It's no wonder that some of these bloggers have little melt downs and tell people what they think. These mystery quilts are a gift. They are patterns that I don't have to pay for.  The payment is having the respect to read some of the fluff that doesn't pertain to me and learning about a place I will probably never see.  If you read that whole paragraph you showed a little patience too. :)

So far, so good with the mystery pattern.  Some sewers are having quite a few problems with size and color placement.  My biggest problem so far is turning my colors around in the first clue.  So now I just have to use those colors all the way through.  We shall see how it works out.  I will say that I make lots of clear, darkly (sharpie) written notes on the directions telling me what color goes where.  Not only did I switch around two of the colors but I started with different choices to begin with.  Yellow is gray and now blue is pink.

Tonight I get to start clue #4. It looks pretty straight forward.  And there are not nearly as many units to sew.  Maybe I can get some of my other sewing done too.  After all Christmas is only a few days away.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Is it only Tuesday?

Yesterday morning my boss decided that we  -  we being the four people that work here  -  would go out for our annual Christmas lunch on Tuesday.  Well, that meant it was gift day too.  Oh, no!  That meant I had to bake my treats last night to have them to give out today.  Luckily, I had already picked out a couple of recipes from the internet for muffins so all I had to do was stop at the store and pick up some fruit.  On to the baking part -

Each container has two cranberry/orange, two chocolate/chocolate chip, and two caramel/apple. I have never made any of these recipes so of course I had to try some of each as they came from the oven.  I must say they all turned out great.  The muffins and a tub of party mix and my gift was as complete as it was going to get.

Each recipe made 12 muffins and there are only 6 in each of those containers so I have way more left over than I will ever be able to eat. I suppose I'll have to share with someone.

Have a great Tuesday,


Monday, December 15, 2014

Good Monday morning!  It was another of those busy, busy weekends.  I just need one more day to get all of the things done I had intended.  Not going to happen though.

When I got started on the new clue for  Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt I was so happy to open my 2" strip drawer and find quite a few of the yellows and neutrals already cut.  That was a good start.
Pre-cut strips
So I got busy doing some more sewing and cutting, and cutting and sewing and came up with the two sides I need to make these units.
Clue Three
The four units that are seen in the picture above are the four that are done.  To have them to show I got up and sewed those four together this morning before leaving for work:)
Clues One, Two and Three
Here is what the three clues look like together.  Hmmm.  Bonnie's never truly let me down before I don't think it's going to happen this time either. 
Instead of spending my Sunday sewing I spent it with the family.  Before they got to the house I made a batch of party mix.  The girls really liked it.  It didn't take them long to figure out that the cheerios would fit just right on the skinny pretzels. 
Allison and Grace stringing Cheerios on pretzels.

Allison saying "Mine" right about now.
Jennifer and Victoria

Jennifer, Victoria and Mom

Jennifer and Victoria made a three batches of cookies.  Grace and I made another batch.  And mom did the supervising.  It was a great day.  And to top it all off Jesse got my garage door working again.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend an afternoon.

Happy Monday!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

On Monday I was so glad that we were going to have a beautiful weather week.  I don't know what weatherman I was listening too but it's been nothing but drizzly and dreary.  On a brighter note - it is supposed to get a little warmer tomorrow.  Something to look forward to.

This week I got my order of fabric from Whittle's Fabrics.  Oh, happy day!

Since, as always, I'm mostly stash building there is a little of everything in the stack. The pinks, yellows, blacks, and neutrals will go in the mystery quilt.  The rest of them were just too pretty to pass up.  The two bottom pieces (neutrals) one of which can barely be seen, came from Great Plains Quilting the shop here in town.  I went in Saturday to see what her end of year clearance sale had.  I picked up the two neutrals and four pieces of blacks that are not shown.  I've already been cutting and sewing on them.  What is not in this stack are the three pieces of red that I got from Whittles.

Here are the reds along with their pretty color catchers.  I think I am finally done washing them.  There are six color catchers shown with them and I have washed them twice since using the last one. These three pieces are all Marcus fabrics.  So again, YES NEW FABRICS BLEED.  Thanks Mom for the color catchers.  I owe you a box. :)

Now that they've all been through the wash routine I can get down to using them.  I have a couple of  projects in mind.  Starting with the blue and white fabric.  We'll see how far I get before Christmas. In the mean time I just don't have much to show for all of the work I am getting done.  But I have been having fun playing with my new fabrics.  BTW the fabrics from Whittle's average with shipping just over $5.00 a yard.

Have a great day!


***Added Note***  I really appreciate the comment that Vicki Welsh left on this post.  A couple of weeks ago when I washed the "Quiltmaker" quilt it bled in a small area.  When I googled how to fix it I came up with Vicki's site Field Trips in Fiber.  She has done a lot of research on how to deal with color bleeds and gives some terrific ideas on how to pre-soak all of your fabrics and how to get out a bleed.  Check it out.  When my quilt comes back from Quiltmaker I'll be trying her removal method on it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Good Monday Morning!

It really is a Good Monday Morning.  The weather around here should be nice all week starting with today. 

On to a different subject.  Once again this weekend was spent working on the mystery clue from Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery.

Here are my 100 units from this step. Quite frankly, I'm having a hard time getting all of the units done over the weekend.  Last week and this week.  I keep telling myself that just means I'll like the quilt when it's finished since it will have lots of pieces. So far so good.  Since I changed my fabrics around I ended up with the blue and black on these.  Bonnie's had pink and black. Hope it works out.

I used the third method Bonnie gave to make this clue.  How nice of her to give three different methods.  When I read the first example I put the pages down and thought uggh.  Later on I saw that she had given three ways to make them so I chose the stitch and flip.  The baggie is full of 199 sets of triangles.  One set I threw out because of a missing corner and the others are not sewn.  Who knows if and when they will ever get used but I'll keep them just in case.

Now the wait is on for Friday.  It's terrible to wish your days away isn't it.  I'll just have to find something else to get busy with in the mean time.

Happy Monday,


Monday, December 1, 2014

I was able to spend quite a bit of time sewing over the weekend.  I thought that I'd get a lot done but the only thing I got to was the first step in Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery.  Cutting all the different fabric takes a lot of time.  And I'm bad about wanting to press everything open so that takes more time too.  Here is my completed first step.
These are all the same blocks.  They are just shuffled around differently in each picture.  I'm not trying to give anything away.  I was a little surprised at how those small blocks make such pretty larger blocks.  And who know these may be the border.  The changes to the colors are - I have gray where Bonnie has yellow.  I also switched my pink and blue around.  When I first started I was making the blocks like this.  Then I looked at the directions (on my cell phone, I'll be printing them on paper today) and saw that she has the blue toward the inside of the broken dishes blocks.  So I set those aside and started sewing them with the blue in the middle.  Well, that was putting the blue, black and gray all together and was too muddled up because of the color of blue I went with.  So I stopped sewing, ripped those out, and started over again.  My colors are going to be set in there different from hers.  I will have yellow but it will go where her green went.  It's all so confusing.  And may get worse when the actual quilt starts coming together.  As it is right now I love the way these colors are and kind of hate to see it messed up with the yellow.  I don't know what else I could use in it's place though.

This week I'm hoping to get to some of my other sewing before the next clue comes out on Friday.

I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving that was full of family and food.

My first Apple Pie

Here is my first apple pie from scratch.  There were some lessons learned from this one but it's a start.  And it tasted good too.  There was, as always, way too much food and desserts.  Now, it's over and the rush is on for Christmas.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I can tell it's going to be a weekend of sewing.  And to make it even better - it's a long weekend, I'll have leftovers to eat, Bonnie Hunter's new mystery starts, and Temecula Quilt Company just posted the final letters for the Alphabet sew a-long. 

Here is what I have thus far with the Alphabet blocks.

I still need to remake the "G" block for the red quilt.  Then I'll get at making the rest of the letters and the rest of the extra little blocks.  If I have enough of the checked fabric I may remake the extra blocks with the checked instead of the solids. 

It seems my quilting blog world is all excited about the new Bonnie Hunter mystery. I know I'm looking forward to starting it.  Maybe I'm just looking forward to cutting into some of my new fabric. 
This is the older fabric I had set out to use and since then I've been able to pick up a few more pieces.

Not all of the fabric in the picture above is for the mystery.  The gray piece is the one I bought for my constant.  However, for the last couple of days I've been thinking about using brown instead of gray.  If I did that I would have to use something else besides the black too.  I'm pretty sure before I cut into anything I'll be laying out my fabrics again.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for especially my family.  My two kids, their spouses and my two grandgirls. They mean the world to me.  I'm also lucky enough to have my mother and two sisters live in the same town.  That allows us to spend some great times together.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Monday!

Today it's Monday and that's a good thing.  It's a good thing because this is a short work week.  And as much as I like and appreciate my job, I also like days away from it too.

This was a weekend of ups and downs.  I finished the Quiltmaker quilt so it needed to be washed to get the marking pen out of it.  As I have said on here more than once - I ALWAYS PRE-WASH.  Yes, it doesn't matter what color it is I always pre-wash my fabrics.  It's a habit to set it on the washer as it comes in the house and not move it to the sewing room until it has been washed.  Years ago I worked at a sewing factory making garments and all of the fabric that came through there had been sprayed or soaked in formaldehyde to keep bugs out of it.  They may be using something different 25 years later but I bet they still put something on it to keep the bugs off.  Anyway, I digress.  I put my lovely quilt made of pre-washed fabric into a washer with not one but two color catchers, set it on cold and proceeded to make a mess.  One of the red fabrics in one of the blocks bled in two places.  I believe I literally stomped my feet as I was cussing bad words.  Then I cried.  Then I threw the wet quilt into a plastic garbage bag and headed to Great Plains Quilt Company in Burlingame where I proceeded to cry some more and ask for help.  Kathy Smith is always willing to give suggestions.  She and two other ladies gave me a couple of ideas which I tried.  By the time the quilt went in the mail this morning to Quiltmaker is still had red where it wasn't supposed to be but it was much lighter than before.  I had emailed Carolyn Beam at Quiltmaker and told her of the issue.  She said not to worry that was what photoshop was for.  Well, I feel minutely better now.  But I'm still devastated over it.  Life goes on.

And since life goes on I decided I needed to sew.  Sunday morning I got up and started cutting out some turkeys from the pattern that was given on Bee In My Bonnet  .          

Here is the table topper I made from Lori Holt's pattern.

Run Turkey Run
This makes me smile.  I made mine in fall colors and it turned out just the way I wanted it to.  Instead of drawing the legs on free hand I set one of the points of my ruler on the turkey and drew the legs down each of the sides. Otherwise, these turkey legs would never have come out any where near the same.  I very happy with it.  This will give me something new to put on my table at Thanksgiving dinner.  I will say that putting those red pieces in there for the wattles was not really something I wanted to do.  However, I know that the red that bled isn't in there because it is in the trash.  Yes, I went through all of my stash and cleaned out the red that was the culprit. 

Unfortunately the selvedge edge had been removed from what is left so I don't know who the manufacturer of the fabric is. I think it was bought in Baldwin City a couple of years ago.  I do know that red is one of my favorite quilt colors and that this particular red is in several of my quilts.  I'll be looking for a different way to wash any of those quilts in the future.  The letter "G" from my Alphabet quilt a-long is made from this so it will need to be remade.  I also have at least two tops that are done but not quilted that have this fabric.  I will probably be taking out the blocks and remaking them so that I don't have to worry about it in those tops.  What a mess this one little yard of fabric has caused.

Drats anyway,


Friday, November 21, 2014

Oh, happy day!

Yes.  Oh, happy day! The quilt for Quiltmaker is done!  I put the last stitch in the binding last night.  It has a label.  What more could it need.  Washed - that's what.  Tonight I plan to put it in the washer with at least two color catchers.  I'm hoping that all of the blue washable marker comes out of it.  I tried taking it out with a wet cloth but that seemed like a hopeless endeavor.  So now I'm hoping that after all of this hard work that I can put it in the washer and have it come out a-okay.  It needs to go in the mail.  Quiltmaker is taking the pictures now for the March/April issue and they want to advertise the quilt a-long in that issue.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  At least now I can get back to sewing. :)

I do have a couple of Christmas gifts I would like to get to.  I've vowed this year to only give away what is actually done.  Last year I gave Jesse the orange quilt as a top.  It's still a top.

And a very pretty top it is.  (Wonder where the pictures of the finished top are at?) It will make an even prettier quilt when I get it finished.  I know I won't be quilting it with the Baptist Fan pattern.  That pattern will be saved for smaller projects in the future.

Nothing new to show today.  I haven't even done my alphabet blocks.  But I intend to get some sewing done this weekend. 



Friday, November 14, 2014

I keep messing with my blog.  Trying to make things easier to read.  A few weeks ago I changed the font and a few colors.  Yesterday I attempted to adjust some of the widths of the columns.  That didn't work.  When I got on my phone and looked at the blog it didn't fit as well.  So today I've hopefully put it back where it was.  I also tried to install the "Pin it" thingy.  I followed the directions to the letter.  No, it didn't work.  So when I tried again it wouldn't let me because I had already installed it.  This making a blog do what you want is not as easy as one might think.

On a different note.  Bonnie Hunter's mystery "Grand Illusion" is getting ready to start at the end of the month.  I had already decided that I don't want to use all of the same colors as she is using.  For one thing I don't have those shades of color in my stash.  Anyway,  I NEED some more fabric.  But at $12.00 and 13.00 per yard it's hard for me to get enough fabric to make much difference when I'm trying to make a scrappy quilt.  So I decided to buy some online this time.  I am now, and have always been a clearance shopper.  A few years ago I had bought some fabric from Connecting Threads.  At the time I was unsure of the fabric that I got.  It had a heavier feel to it.  Well I have used every single bit of that fabric.  I've not had one problem while pre-washing, cutting or sewing with it.  I've also washed some of the quilts I've made with it and those quilts have washed just fine.  Anyway, I headed back there again.  Look at all I got!
There is over 13 yards of fabric here.  They were having a sale of their fall fabrics and they had a great selection of clearance fabric.  One thing I really appreciated is that I was able to buy 1/2 yard cuts of the sale fabrics.  Most of this is going in the new mystery quilt.  But some of it (oranges) I just couldn't resist for the price.  I paid less than $60.00 for all of this.  The only fabric I have some question about is the black piece that can barely be seen.  It's a batik and it wasn't printed very well.  But as small as the pieces will be cut that won't matter.  This has all been washed and it washed well.  It also has a good feel to it. 

Where a quilter buys their fabric is a personal choice.  To me it's more important to have some fabric I like then it is to do without because of the price.  I'm the kind of quilter who is willing to risk that 20 or 30 years from now my quilts might be a little more faded than someone else's quilt.  Okay, I've been on this soapbox before and I'll most likely get on it again.  But enough for now.

As far as what I'm working on goes - I'm still quilting.  But I'm farther than I was a few days ago.  I plan to get a lot of sewing in tomorrow while all that snow falls outside.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'm So Busy My Head Is Spinning

Yes, just like the song "Dizzy" only insert a different word.  I'm so busy my head is spinning, like a whirlpool it never ends.  Actually, what never ends is the quilt I'm working on.  And luckily for me it's my Quiltmaker quilt.

Yes, Quiltmaker got back with me regarding the quilt I submitted.  I'm told they "love it".  Well, I love it too.  But it's not finished.  When I submitted it I told Quiltmaker that I wasn't done quilting it and I wasn't.  But I had a good start on it.  I now have a better start on it.  I can, in fact, see the end in sight.  I got the green light on the quilt eleven days ago.  Since then I have put in hours and hours of quilting and I still have hours to go.  It is taking me approximately one half hour to mark and sew two units of Baptist Fans.  Just to put it in perspective a little.  There are twelve Baptist Fan units per row. And there are lots of rows.  I'm not complaining, mind you.  (maybe just a little)  I'm concerned that I'm taking too long.  I even took a day off work.  And may plan another day off next week.  Yes, that would help, I think I will.

Quiltmaker intends to use my design as a block of the month on their Quilty Pleasures blog starting in March of 2015.  I should have written that in all caps because that's the way it sounds in my head every time I think about it.  QUILTMAKER IS GOING TO MAKE MY DESIGN A BLOCK OF THE MONTH.  Really?  My quilt?  Can you tell this will be my first (not my only or my last) published design.

My daughter says I procrastinated about the quilting because of my insecurities about Quiltmaker liking the quilt.  Isn't she sweet.  Goodness knows, I just procrastinate when it comes to the quilting part.  Anyway, I'm working my fingers to the bone to get them this quilt. They need it for the pattern and the pictures.  Imagine that.  Sorry stress makes me sarcastic.  I'm actually enjoying some of the quilting because I am so excited about sharing this quilt.  I don't know though, how soon I'll be using this quilting pattern again.  Maybe never!  When and if I do, I'll certainly make the fans larger or farther apart.

Sunday afternoon I had had it with quilting and was four blocks x two behind on my alphabet quilt so I took a little time and got caught up again.
Aren't they cute.  I've seen where some people have figured out a few more of the blocks and started on the sashing.  Right now, I'm just happy to be caught up again. 

There you have it.  My week of sewing in a nut shell.

Happy quilting!


Monday, November 3, 2014

I am behind on making my alphabet blocks.  I printed the "Q" pattern this morning and I've only made it as far as the "O".  So there are two that I need to get made.  But before I do that I'm in the process of finishing up some quilting I need to get done on another project.

In the mean time here are pictures of the letters I have done.

I had a terrible time with the letter "N". The center of it was giving me fits. And apparently I don't know how to add.  I don't know why that sounds like it comes as a surprise to me.  I've never been any good at math.

It's a good thing that I always make the red blocks first since I had to keep starting over.  First I trimmed the center of the "N" too narrow.  Of course I didn't know that until the block was sewn together.  So I tried to make the center again and I cut the rectangle the wrong direction.  No matter how I turned it I couldn't get it sewn on right.  But I did get it sewn on wrong one time.  Anyway, the "N" is done.  And I made notes on the pattern about how it was made so when we get to the letter "Z" I won't go through all of that again.  But as I've said before, I love these blocks.  This has been a great quilt along with Temecula Quilt Company..

Since Halloween was only a few days ago I'll share a picture of my two favorite trick or treaters of the night.
Granddaughters - Peacock Grace and Monkey Allison
They both had a great time on Halloween in spite of how cold it was.

Happy sewing,