Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Favorite Schnibbles . . .

The January project for Another Year of Schnibbles (AYOS), hosted by Sinta and Sherri, is to pick your favorite Schnibbles.  I couldn't pick a favorite, but one of my Schnibbles is a favorite of yours.

I get more questions on this quilt, the post where I blogged about "One Star Two Star, Red Star Blue Star" is in the top 10 for most traffic on my blog, and it did not include a giveaway!  How could I argue with that.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 51, click here for more detail.

This quilt was made from  the pattern Cindy Lou Who, I've yet to meet a Cindy I didn't like.

Thanks Sinta and Sherri for hosting AYOS,  May can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I've Made an Executive Decision . . . .

Remember this quilt, . . . . I started this quilt in December but refused to finish it because it wasn't my 100th quilt.

Between all the things that we all do to get ready for Christmas, whenever I could squeeze in the time I happily made ornament blocks in my sewing room.

The pattern I  used is "vintage holiday" by Camille Roskelley for thimble blossoms.

As I sometimes do, I changed Camille's pattern just a tad, I made my blocks smaller, made more blocks, and "hung" them from the sashing.

After days of feeling frustrated with where my other 100th quilt project was going, I decided to put a border on this quilt. After sewing the sides of the border to my top, I decided I didn't like that fabric, I think the print is too small for the center.  

(whew, is that ugly or what!)

So here's another fabric from the line, Roman Holiday,  it is a bigger print and looks nice I think.  The problem was that I only had two strips of this fabric and couldn't find anymore.  After looking at this on my design wall for a day or two, I decided the print was a nice size but still a distraction.

So I cut the border in half and got this, just the perfect little border to finish off this quilt.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 100!

Boy does it feel good to say that.  After spending months and months of collecting blocks, drawing blocks, and trying to come up with a pattern to exceed all the unrealistic expectations I had created in my head, and making my sewing life stressful and myself miserable, it dawned on me that this Christmas Quilt was me and what I do, and the perfect quilt to be my 100th quilt.  This quilt has red, I changed the pattern to suit myself, and I love it, what more could I ask for from a quilt.

This quilt finished at 48" x 55".
The pattern is "vintage holiday" by Camille Rosekelley for thimble blossoms.
The fabric is Roman Holiday by 3 Sisters for Moda
It has approximately 418 pieces.

After spending (wasting) so much time on the perfect pattern for quilt 100 I'm at a loss as to what start next.  I usually have my next 6 quilt projects lined up, but I'm guessing now that this quilt is done everything will fall into place.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog . . . .

"To market to market to buy a fat hog, home again home again jiggity jog" . . . . .

I had the best time in California, thanks so much for all your best wishes.  The temperature alone was worth the trip, highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s.  And while I did enjoy the weather, spending time with friends, shopping,  and attending the Road to California quilt show were all highlights of my week.

Here are a few pictures from the quilt show, I always get distracted and either take horrible pictures or no pictures, there's just too much going on for me to focus on photography.

This is the "Best of Show" quilt.

"Red Feathers" was pieced by Claudia Clark Myers and quilted by Marilyn Badger.  My photo doesn't come close to doing this quilt justice, it is a winner.

This is "Never say Never" pieced by Laura Fraga.

It's a Dear Jane quilt made using just two fabrics, background fabric and one print, I think it's a Kaffe Fassett print.  This quilt didn't place at this show, but it's a winner and has placed in other shows.  I think this is my all time favorite Dear Jane quilt, great job Laura!

This is Green Miles, pieced and quilted by Peggy Kragnes.

This quilt took 3rd, I can't ever imagine making a totally green scrappy quilt, but I just love the looks of this one.  I do think this pattern would look great in scrappy reds.  (smile)

I think this quilt was my favorite, the colors, the use of black and white, the borders, all of it, amazing and inspirational.

I've got to put a leafy viney border on one of my quilts.

This was pieced and quilted by Patricia C Robertson.

My Star Quilt, "Two Score and Seven Stars" took third in its division, what an honor.

Here's a link to pictures of all the winners from the show.  (click here)

I also did a little shopping at the show,

My first stop was the Primitive Gatherings booth.  I picked up these packages of 5 inch squares.  

I can hardly wait to use them in a new Schnibbles or Little Bites pattern or maybe use them in a little block of my own.  Their appeal to me was to get a scrappy mix of charms without having to take a "bite" out of a fat quarter.

I also bought a kit for these two quilts, Miniature Bride and Flower Girl.

This is available on the Primitive Gatherings online shop, here's a link.

And finally, I bought this little kit, "Bow Ties and Spools"

I bought this kit from The Calico Horse booth, this is a "My Red Door Designs".  The bow tie quilt finishes at  13" x 15" and the spools quilt finishes at "17 x 17".

I was not familiar with The Calico Horse, here's a link to their shop, they have several great things.

A few other folks attended the Road to California show and did a better job of picture taking and shopping than I did, check out Vicky, LA Quilter or Sweet P Quilting for more show details.

So I'm back home with nothing to do but sew, I just LOVE this time of year!

Monday, January 21, 2013

On the road again . . .

I'm leaving the family behind and meeting up with some friends for a week of sewing, shopping and fun in California.  There should be a 50 degree difference in the temperature from where I live to where I'm going, that alone is worth the trip.

I've got my sewing machine all packed and ready to go.  

(for more information about this machine case click here)

While in California I also plan to attend the Road to California Quilt Show.

If you plan on attending the show, and are familiar with my blog, you may recognize a couple of quilts in the show; 

Lifetime Quilt Number 62

quilted by Judi Madsen, aka The Green Fairy.

and Lifetime Quilt Number 73, my Red and White Tribute Quilt

quilted by Connie Lancaster at Quilts Plus in Indiapolis, IN.

This is the end of the road as far as shows go for these quilts, once they're back home they'll be on a bed or on a quilt rack with the rest of my quilts. 

I'm as confused as most of you as to where to go next with my 100th quilt project, it's not shaping up at all like I thought, a break will do me good.

No blogging for me the rest of this week, but I'm sure I'll have a lot to talk about next week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Swoon Block

So what do these blocks make?

A Swoon Block!  

Which several of you correctly guessed.  Technically this block is a Star of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Star, Jewels in a Frame or Star of Magi block.  Camille's pattern is Swoon, but never in the pattern does she refer to the block by name, or call it a Swoon block.  Oh well, it will always be a Swoon block to me.

A Swoon block is very close to a Carpenters Star block, if the colored rectangles in the Swoon block were geese, you would have a Carpenters Star.  Several folks guess that.

So this is what I did with those pieces, I made this center, it's 28 inches square.

It doesn't exactly look like I thought it would, I'm hoping it all comes together with the next row of blocks, which should be more Swoon-like.

The winner of the pattern of her choice is Heather, and she chose the Thimbleblossom pattern "On a Whim".    Thanks to all for guessing and for the congratulations and wonderful anniversary stories.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When in doubt, wear red . . . .

That's a quote from Bill Blass.  Did you know Elizabeth Taylor loved red? The one thing we have in common, oh there is that diamond thing, who doesn't love a good diamond or two, but I'm not in Elizabeth Taylor's league when it comes to diamonds, but I digress, as usual, this post is about red.

Last fall, Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop asked me if I would be interested in creating a Blogger's Choice fabric bundle.  Sounded like fun to me, who wouldn't want to create their own bundle of fabric?

I thought I had it made whenI saw this fabric, Sweetcakes, by Doodle Bug Designs for Riley Blake.  Have you ever seen a more perfect fabric for someone like me, who loves red AND cupcakes!!  All I needed was a few pinks, reds and grays, maybe something with some dots,  and I would be done with my perfect little bundle.

Well a funny thing happened with my first bundle choice, Sinta selected her fabric for her bundle, a January bundle, and picked this fabric!  So if you want a bundle with this fabric in it you need to buy Sinta's bundle, click here.  (Sinta's bundle is adorable, you'll love it, and we're speaking again, at least we were before I wrote this blog!)

So on to plan B, and here's what I came up with.

My bundle is available in February, so between my love of red, and February being the month for red, I decided to put together a red and cream bundle that would work for any month and a variety of projects.

My bundle is made up of these fabrics:

French General Favorites - 13552-14
Old Glory Gatherings - 1077-15
Cinnamon Spice - 2701-12
Seeing Stars - 7811-88
French General Favorites - 13526-22
Cinnamon Spice - 2706-12
Somerset Shirtings - 35201-5
Prairie Rose - C3105-RED
Padstow Range - 35227-16
Homeschool - 35179-3
Chateau Chambray - 5921-R
19th Century Backgrounds - 0173-11
Muslin Mates - 9930-14
Primitive Muslin - 1040-38
La Crème de La Crème - LH03035-CROCR

I've yet to see the actual bundle, I selected all my fabric off of swatches from my computer.  I hope they look as nice in person as they do online.

I thought I would give you some ideas on what to do with my bundle of red fabric, 
how about "T Stands for  Thelma" (aka in some circles a Bibelot by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co)

This pattern is made using 75 charm squares, I'm guessing you could easily get 75 5 inch squares from 11 fat quarter bundles.

How about Scarlet Letter by Sew Unique Creations?

My bundle would get you over halfway through the center of this pattern, it calls for 1/4 yard cuts of 8 red fabrics.

Here's a quilt on my To Do list that would be a good use of those reds, Scarlett Queen by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

This pattern needs 18 red fat quarters, so you would need to add 7 fat quarters from your stash to have enough reds.

This pattern is also on my To Do list and another reason why I need some reds, Madder Stars from the Elegant Quilts, Country Charm book by Leonie Batemn and Deirdre Bond-Abel.

11 fat quarters from my bundle doesn't come close to making this top, but it's a good start.

Finally, here's the project I intend to make with my bundle, Chip.

It finishes at 36" x 36" and needs 80 2 1/2" squares.  This is a smaller version of Hubble/Hubbel, my Lifetime Quilt Number 91.  The whole time I was making that quilt I kept thinking, "this pattern would make a wonderful red and white quilt".  Now I'm going to give it a shot.

If you would like more information about the Bloggers Choice bundle or be notified by the Fat Quarter Shop when it's available click here.  

Maybe this would be the perfect little somethin' somethin' to put on your list for Valentines Day, it's not chocolate, but maybe it would last longer and look better on you than chocolate!

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm Back at Home and Back at It . . .

I think I've come up with a plan for my 100th quilt. I've known ever since this quilt was on my radar that I wanted to create my own pattern for my 100th quilt.  Most of the ideas I played around with were for a medallion quilt using different blocks surrounding some sort of center.  I'm still going with my medallion quilt idea but I've decided to go with a one block quilt.  I think out of my first 99 quilts I have less than 10 one block quilts. I usually get bored half way through a one block quilt, but I have a few ideas that will make this one block quilt a little different and fun, I hope.

Here are the pieces for that one bock, and these are the pieces for my center.

I'm feeling pretty good about my latest idea because I have a plan, if I don't like this quilt I won't finish it, then it won't be my 100th quilt!  Let's hope I do like my latest idea and that I don't drag out this 100th quilt thing all year long.

Several folks ask me how I knew how much fabric to buy for my project since I didn't even have a pattern.  I'm starting with a fat quarter bundle and a layer cake of two French General families, Rouenneries Deux and Chateau Rouge and I know my quilt is going to be scrappy.  But if I need any additional fabric I feel confident that I can track some down or even use something from a new French General line, they all seem to go together.  I think you could do this with other families of fabric too, like Fig Tree fabric and Bonnie and Camille's fabric.

My background fabric is from the Rouenneries Deux by French General for Moda family.  The front of the fabric is just a shade darker than the back of the fabric.

The strip of fabric on the right is the back of the fabric.  So far I've sewed three pieces using the wrong side of the fabric.  (yes I fixed them, do you need to even ask?)

When the sun is shining brightly, the difference between the front and the back is obvious, but if it's a gray day, like most days in January where I live are, it's easy to get it wrong.  After resewing my third piece I made this little "cheat sheet".

I have these two pieces of fabric laying right next to my sewing machine under my Ott light.  Before I run any pieces through my sewing machine I'm checking the background fabric against these.  To make it even more mindless I even marked them, "F" for front, "B" for back!  I've not had to resew any pieces since I came up with this method.

I'm a little behind on my email and blogs, my husband and I took a trip last week to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.  I have no idea what I was thinking getting married the first of January, after all the holidays the last thing I'm usually wanting to do is plan another holiday, but the change of pace and weather were nice, I'm glad we celebrated but happy to be home.  My Christmas decorations are down, but not packed or put up, oh well.

I thought it would be fun to see if you could guess the one block I'm using for my 100th quilt.  Leave a comment with your best guess and I'll put all the correct guesses in a drawing for a pattern of your choice from the Fat Quarter Shop. The block goes by different names and I'll accept them all.  If the Fat Quarter Shop will ship to your address you're eligible to enter.  I"ll give you all week to think about it.

It feels so good to have nothing on my radar but sewing, the holidays are great, but there's something to be said for weeks calm and quiet, I plan to make the most of mine.

Monday, January 7, 2013


"A goal without a plan is just a wish"
 by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I've made a fabric decision for my 100th quilt, I think.

 Chateau Rouge and Rouenneries Deux by French General for Moda have the look and feel I'm hoping to go for.   I think that yellow/maze color in Chateau Rouge will be a nice change of pace and give me a little different look from the red and gray quilts I've made in the past, I hope.

" ~Wisdom is knowing what to do next
      ~Skill is knowing how to do it
         ~Virtue is doing it"
by David Starr Jordan

Here's hoping I'm very virtuous this week!

and finally,

"You create your own suffering", do I ever.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Taking Down the Trees . . .

No sewing going on around here, I'm in un-decorating mode.  And while the tinsel and greens do need to be put up, in all honesty, I'm dragging my feet a little on starting that 100th quilt.  I think I just need to throw something on my design wall and see if I like it because nothing is coming into focus in my mind's eye.  With the expectations that I've built up in my head with regards to that quilt, I wonder if it's even possible to be happy with it, time will tell, and at this rate, it will take a lot of time.

Besides taking down the snowman, living room and family room Christmas trees, I took down my quilted tree that hangs in the living room. I love that quilt, love how I started it before the pattern arrived only to realize I was making mine totally different from the designer, but there's usually two ways to skin a cat.  Love how it was quilted and will love having it back up again.

I hemmed and hawed about what quilt to hang for January and February, something with red for sure, for Valentines Day, but I didn't want anything that shouted spring.  I finally decided on French Vintage by ThimbleCreek Quilts.  The main reason I didn't jump right on this quilt was because of the amount of gray in it, and this time of year, where I live, the days are so gray I didn't think adding gray to my walls would be the best idea.  But the romantic feel of this quilt for Valentines Day won me over.

Once I got it hung I was very glad I chose it, the shading on this quilt is not appreciated unless it's hanging, and that light center reminds me of the light at the end of a long dreary winter.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 80, if you would like more information about it just go to my First 100 Quilts tab and scroll down to 80.

I think there's enough natural light in this room for this quilt for the next two months.  It doesn't immediately grab you when you walk in the room, but it's a nice little quiet surprise when you do notice it.

I just love glass, glass dishes, decorations, and ornaments.  I lose two or three ornaments each year, and this year was no exception, but I usually pick up a few new ones each year so it all works out.  Some are harder to lose than others though, but worth the risk and disappointment to me.

After taking this picture and loading it on my computer I noticed my dog Cooper's reflection in the left side of this broken ornament, he's such a cutie, he's sort of cocking his head like he's either trying to figure out why I'm taking a picture of a broken ornament, or more likely, trying to decide if this is something edible.

Little things like this, something unexpected and fun, put a little smile on face, plus I think there's some sort of  metaphor for life in that picture.

Blogger's Girl BOM updates:

Monique is going to be answering some questions on her blog regrading the sew along.  Be sure to check her blog frequently for updates.  Open Gates blog is listed in my Favorite Blogs list, if she has a new post it will pop up there.  You can also sign up on Monique's blog  to be notified by email when she updates her blog.  Yesterday Monique and Nicole discussed the amount and best use of fabric for this project.

Even if you currently have too many projects going on to add another to your list, you may want to go print the block directions each month just the same, once this sew along is over, the pattern will be removed from Monique's shop.  Once  you see all the pretty quilts in the parade you'll be wanting to add this quilt to your list, so get it now.

Go check out our Flickr Group pictures, even if you're not sewing along, they are fascinating. One person is doing her project using nothing but solids, it looks great.  click here

If you're unable to load your pictures to the Flickr Group, Blogger Girls BOM, you can email them to me at,  I'll do it for you.

I think that's it for now, make the most of your weekend, I intend to watch some football!  I'm sad the regular season is over, I just love football season, but the playoffs are the best.  Right now I have several teams that I follow still playing, I sure hope one of them makes it all the way!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year, A New Start . . .

Happy New Year!

I hope 2013 is off to a great start for you!

Today is the kickoff of Monique's Blogger Girls BOM.  Just in case you're new to my blog, Monique, of Open Gate Quilts, is hosting a free block of the month.  The first of the month Monique will post instructions for a block on her blog.  Besides Monique's blocks, several other bloggers will also be posting pictures of their blocks for each month.

Here are my blocks

Block One

And Block One different version, same pattern, different fabric placement.

I like them both, can't pick a favorite!

I've decided to us my Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda fabric.  I bought some fabric last year when I thought I was going to make that adorable Sweetwater pattern named The Neighborhood.  After I got the pattern and found out it was an applique project not a piecing project, that fabric just sat in a bin in my closet.  I think it will make a better Blogger Girls BoM project.  I'm ready to work with some light colors, Spring may be months away where I live, but not in my sewing room!

Check out Monqiue's blog, Open Gate Quilts,  for instructions on downloading the pattern directions.

Also, check out these blogs for some more Block One versions:

Sherri from A Quilting Life -
Lissa from Moda  Lissa  -
Denise from Quilter’s  Window -
Nicole from Sister’s Choice  -
Lisa from Stashmaster -

This is what the finished quilt should look like, well this is what Monique's quilt will look like, mine will probably look somewhat different.

You can go with a 6 block project or a 12 block project. I'm going with the 12 block project, where you make two blocks using the same pattern, but different fabric combinations.

We're planning a parade for all the finished tops and have created a Flickr account for everyone to share  their blocks.  The Flickr Group is named Blogger Girls BoM.

I hope you join us!