Monday, December 21, 2009

Flag Quilt Completed

One of the few things I've managed to finish this month is the flag quilt I showed back in early November. It took me a while to settle on a quilting design because some of my initial ideas didn't work well, given the odd number of rows in the upper half. I wanted a pattern that would give the feeling of movement on the quilt but wouldn't be too sharp and angular.

I ended up deciding to use a flame-inspired motif, but I turned it on its side so it looks more like a wood grain (at least I hope), as I don't want anyone misreading this as a "flag burning" motif. Not the intent at all!!! Here's a close up of the quilting through the stripes (I stippled the blue banner and stars):

Ultimately, I think the modified flame worked well, as I could free-hand it and didn't have to work in rows or change the scale from the upper to bottom rows. (I did do much practicing, both on paper and small sample pieces.) The most challenging aspect for me was figuring out how to move from one knot/flame to the next.

Here's a picture of the completed quilt before I wrapped it and shipped it off to its intended recipient:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Zealand and Australia

I've taken a somewhat extended break from blogging, in part because I haven't done a whole lot of sewing, in part because I was out of the country for a fair piece of time, and in part because holiday preparations have taken most of my free time since I returned from vacation. Finally, today, I think, I may have an opportunity to catch my breath and relax a bit.

We were in Australia and New Zealand from November 14-30. Both countries are beautiful and we'd go back in a heartbeat as there's still so much more to see. Highlights were most definitely the outdoor activities: snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, hiking a portion of the Routeburn Track from Glenorchy, going down (and UP!) the Giant Stairway at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. We almost got used to the opposite-side-of-road driving, seeing deer farms, and the possum fur-merino blend clothing and accessories. We took WAY too many pictures - on the order of 1,600. On Friday night, we found some time to narrow them down and posted a little over 100 on my Picasa album.

While there are most definitely some amazing Australian and New Zealand quilters and quilt shops, we didn't have time in our schedule to get out to visit them. My one stop at a sewing center in Cairns was to purchase a thread cutting pendant because the Brisbane airport wouldn't allow my sewing scissors through security and I had to forfeit them as I wouldn't check my backpack (luggage was already checked). I was rather ticked and pointed out that the American security hadn't batted an eye at them, the New Zealanders had measured them and ascertained the blades to be short enough to fall within legal range, but it didn't make a difference. They were "too pointy" for an Australian domestic flight. And even were I tempted to purchase fabric at the sewing center, the prices were exorbitant compared to what we're used to paying here, prices like $22/meter for Moda lines, $50+ for jelly rolls, etc. The conversion rate isn't that favorable, believe me!

I did find some quilt design inspiration, particularly among Maori carving designs. Check out these traditional designs. Wouldn't they be perfect for quilting?

I'd taken along a bit of handwork to keep me busy, but didn't get as much done as I'd have hoped (I got caught up in a couple of books on the flights, etc.). However, I did make some progress on 1-1/2" hexagons using Daiwabo fabrics:

I'm not really sure what I'm going to make with these, but it's nice to have a small grab-and-go hand project for those in-between times or to work on in the car. I'm thinking of using it sometime as the background to another design, but really it's all up in the air. And I'm sure it's likely to be years before I've done enough to amount to anything.

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going smoothly and you're able to find time to relax and enjoy the season!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The final small project I've squeezed in some time for is the Joy wall hanging that I picked up the pattern for a little over a month ago. The design is by Pam Puyleart of Cottage Creek Quilts and I like the whole seasonal "inspiration series" of patterns she has out right now (which includes similar layouts for "grateful" and "create").

The photo is rather washed out, but the flash and lighting just wouldn't cooperate with me tonight.

It was very easy to make this pattern; the most time-consuming part was having to redo the snowflake because the fusible just didn't want to play nice when I went to remove it from the first snowflake I cut out. So I had to cut out another, with slightly better results. Honestly - I don't know what my problem is with fusible of late. But I had problems with the "joy" text in this project as well and in September with the text on the Punkins 4 Sale quilt too. I've heard fusible can "go bad" and that you can get a bad batch, but I've used three different purchase of fusible with not ideal results. Fortunately, things went better with the Ginkgo quilt. Was that just a better batch of fusible? Or because those were batiks? I don't like the fraying I seem to be experiencing and don't know how to solve it. Ideas?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Point Setta Tablerunner

Another quick project I've been working on are these "Point Setta" table runners. I picked up the pattern at last year's quilt retreat (this year's retreat is at the end of this week - yippee!), figuring that although I didn't really need the pattern to figure out how to do this, I'd support the pattern designer, Crooked Nickel Quilt Designs.

The pattern uses charm squares, a background fabric, and fusible grid. It's really not difficult to make, but as you can see, I can manage to have two of the same grids come out at different sizes (I intentionally made my runners smaller than that which the pattern called for). The top one in the photos is made from 3 Sisters' line Glace; the bottom one is made from April Cornell's Nostalgia line. I have another one all fused from the Glace line and just need to sew the seams.

I'm not fully convinced that using the grid is any faster than if I had simply pieced them all using normal techniques. But it's always worth trying something new and learning a new method! I'm hoping I might be able to finish these as Christmas presents, but am not sure how I want to quilt them. It seems like too much work to put a design element in each square, but I'm not sure an all-over meander is really what I'm looking for either. I have time to decide: while I might be sewing at retreat this weekend, I won't be machine quilting on tables in a resort - too painful!

Scrappy Flag

I haven't had tons of time for sewing of late, but I did put together an hour here and there to piece together this flag wall hanging.

The pattern is called "Scrappy Flag," and it's designed by Glory Daze Pattern Co. The pattern features an eagle in the blue section, but I won't be adding it in, as I don't honestly care for it. I've had the pattern forever and thought I'd made enough of them - this is the 7th one of these that I have made (I definitely didn't want to see this after a few Christmases ago when I made 5 of them as gifts) - but I had a request to make one as a birthday/Christmas present. I'll have to quilt this after I get back from vacation, but I've already got the backing fabric and a lovely gold thread that I think will work really well. I'm still undecided on the quilting pattern, but have a month or so to figure it out. Any ideas or suggestions?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Charity Quilting

[Note - I started this post about 2 weeks ago and got completely sidetracked by life...]

At our guild meeting mid-October, I received blocks back from members to piece into a quilt we're donating to the school where we met for quite a number of years, up to this fall. The quilt will be donated to the school so that they can use it in their holiday auction in December.

I'd passed out packets in September with instructions and a consistent background fabric. I was pleasantly surprised to see that nearly all of the blocks came back and were usable (I just had two that I couldn't use due to size or being totally warped out of shape), as the meeting had been crazy and I hadn't really been able to document who had returned blocks to me. In the end, I had to sew only one block in addition to the two samples that I'd showed at the September meeting.

Here's the top (my apologies for the crummy photo. Poor Ben was doing his best to stretch out and make the top viewable):

People's notions of red and green certainly vary - there are some oranges and pinks in this quilt, as well as odd greens - but it certainly emphasizes the scrappiness of the quilt. Dropped it off at the machine quilter's yesterday and hope to get it back and bound before heading out on vacation.

If you're interested in the Craft Fair and Silent Auction, more information is available on the Fairview South School's home page.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ginkgo Leaves Quilt

After doing some household chores yesterday, I decided to start the Ginkgo Leaves quilt that I purchased some fabric for on the Shop Hop earlier this month. The pattern is in the book Batik Gems by Laurie Shifrin. I started around 3 p.m. making fabric selections (I decided to use a few from my stash in addition to those I bought on the shop hop), and even with a bit of a break, by 7 p.m., the quilt was at this stage - totally quilted and ready for binding!

I love how this quilt turned out and can't wait to go sew on the binding now (my apologies for the weird angle on the photo - it's what you get when you hold the camera above your head to shoot something on the floor). I'm sure I'll finish this up tonight - those darned Yankees are still in post-season play and you can't miss Yankees or Red Sox post-season games in this house ... even though I don't really follow any NL teams that made it, I'll root for whomever makes it to the World Series.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zen Redux

Mom and I never quite have enough time to do everything on our list while she and Dad visit, but we do try to fit in some time for sewing. On Sunday afternoon, we layered and pin basted the tree skirt that she started on her last visit and she got to work quilting it by stitching in the ditch (I think this is her first time quilting a quilt!). Unfortunately, we ran out of time to finish, but she now knows how to make bias binding and should be able to finish the project on her own (Mom - you can always call too with questions!).

While she tackled that, I decided to arrange and sew together the blocks for the Zen quilt I posted about a few weeks back. I'm really loving the completed top and am toying with the idea of adding a border. I'm undecided; it's a nice size as is, but I tend to like borders on quilts. What do you recommend??

Quilt Shop Hop

It just so happened that Mom and Dad's visit from Ohio coincided with the Southeast Wisconsin Fall Shop Hop and I treated Mom to the bus trip last Friday for her birthday. I'd not participated in the bus trip previously and hadn't been to over half of the shops on the tour, so thought it would be a fun opportunity. Aside from a few logistical improvements that might have been made, we had a great time and managed to make our fair share of purchases.

At Material Matters in Cedarburg, I found the Dressed to the Nines pattern by Bloomin' Minds. I doubt I'll have this done for this Halloween (unless I finish the charity quilt for guild miraculously quickly), but there's always next year. I also picked up Karen Montgomery's pattern to take make a table runner with a striped fabric and a 60-degree ruler (it's called Easy Striped Table Runner), and the Prairie Blossoms pattern by Tea for Two (seen here). I'll do it up in some slightly brighter colors than those pictured, but it finishes at a nice size (16"x18"), and I probably have enough scraps at the right size that I might not even have to cut separately for this.

I'd not been before to My Sisters Quilt Shoppe in Sheboygan, but would definitely go back. Mom and I both loved the kits they had for Sherri Falls' pattern book Frosted Memories, which features Holly Taylor's new line of the same name. Mom grabbed the last kit for the Christmas Morning table runner, but I was able to pull yardage for it and also picked up the kit for the Cinnamon Twist topper. Both projects wouldn't take too long to make, but I also have this serious conundrum: read about Australia and New Zealand before our trip there ... or sew. I should do more of the former, so these are probably projects for next year.

At The Sewing Basket in Plymouth, Mom picked up two Nativity panels (we purchased backing fabric later), and I snagged Cottage Creek Quilts' pattern Warm Winter Wishes (shown here), which is more applique than I will usually attempt, but I so love this design (and it's on the small side at 44" square) that I'm willing to give it more of a shot. I really like a number of other patterns by this company, having previously purchased their Joy pattern and fabric to make it.

At Bigsby's, I purchased a collapsible container that Mary and Sandi and others have used at retreat as a catch-all. I know I got something else there too, but it totally escapes me at the moment.

And finally, at Patched Works, I selected some batiks to make the Falling Ginkgo Leaves quilt from Laurie Shifrin's book, Batik Gems; bought some fusible grid for some simple table runners from charm packs, and bought a large yo-yo maker.

We'll see how soon I actually get anything done with any of this... it wouldn't be called a stash otherwise, would it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Half Marathon and Quilt Store Visit

As many of you know, Ben and I have been running half marathons for a little while now. This past weekend was the fourth time we've run the half associated with the Fox Cities Festival of Races (the sponsor for the half has changed a number of times). It's a great race: well organized, a pretty flat course (that last bridge incline always kills me, however), with some nice scenery. We had a beautiful day for the race, although the 7 a.m. start time wasn't my idea of fun (5 a.m. shuttle pick up at the hotel). My finish time wasn't a new PR (bummer), but it wasn't my worst time either, and overall, my positioning within my division and amongst women was similar to or slightly improved from last year because the size of the field was quite a bit larger. The first 7 miles were fabulous; miles 9 and 10 were bad. But even though parts of it were painful, in the end, we always seem to be thinking about the next race and are eager to do another. Right now we're considering the possibility of the Rock 'n Roll Half in Phoenix in January (MLK weekend). Long training runs outdoors in Wisconsin in December could be problematic, however, and I cannot fathom motivating to do a 12 mile run on a treadmill!

An added benefit of driving up to the Fox Cities is an annual visit to Primitive Gatherings quilt shop in Menasha. This year I had a completed "punch card" to spend, which gave me $20 of free merchandise (which of course I exceeded in no time). I focused on pulling fabrics to make a quilt based on Sharyn Craig's book, Half Log Cabin Quilts. Here's a photo of the fabric I pulled - I love these colors and think they'll look great in our living room. Can't wait to make this quilt and am hoping that I can incorporate sewing a few blocks here and there into the flow of sewing for my other projects.

Punkins 4 Sale

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I hope to finish a few fall projects I've had sitting around as UFO's for some time. Given how the past few weeks have gone, I'm not sure how close I'll come to that goal, but I did finish the binding on this small wall quilt last night and it's now hanging at the entrance to my cubicle at work.

The pattern (Punkins for Sale) appeared in the September/October 2005 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, designed by Avis Shirer of Joined at the Hip. I completed all of the piecing a year or two (maybe three?) years ago, and then it sat, waiting to have the letters appliqued and for the final layering and quilting.

I'm not entirely pleased with the applique - must have had a bad batch of Wonder Under, as it didn't want to stick to the fabric and ended up fraying a bit at the edges (contributing to the folk art feel, right?) - but done is better than perfect! Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


About three weeks ago I needed to find a project to take with me to my monthly guild sewing bee. I wasn't about to try to quilt the baby quilt on a table at a community center, and I didn't feel like taking on the paper piecing for Thistlepods in a temporary set-up that probably would have required lots of ups and downs to the iron (I love the set-up I've arranged here at home).

So I reached for one of my bins of quilts that I cut out over the summer and decided to work on the Zen quilt, designed by Amy Walsh of Blue Underground Studios and appearing in the February 2009 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. I was drooling over this quilt when reading the magazine on the Cape at Christmas and have been dying to make it (dying so much that it's taken me 9 months to get to it, LOL!). At any rate, here are some of the blocks (they alternate with solid rectangles when sewn together). I have managed to finish all 32 pieced blocks, in between everything else going on.

The fabrics were all left over from this quilt that I made earlier in the year. Hopefully I can piece these together soon; I'm also committing myself to working on a few fall-themed projects that have been languishing unfinished for a couple of years.

Baby Quilt Summer is Over!

I just sewed the label to the back of this quilt and it will head to Madison Faith on Cape Cod tomorrow! Ben makes fabulous labels for me - hand drawn, usually. I'd share, but it probably contains more personal information than I should place online (full name, DOB, etc.). No need to start the poor girl off with identity theft at two months!

Here's the finished quilt:

And a close-up:

Hopefully the quilt will be well-loved and I don't find myself again with another three babies born in the same month, all deserving of quilts!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dizzy (Baby Quilt #3)

I managed to get all of the blocks for this baby quilt sewn together during a Brewers extra-inning game last week (unfortunately, a loss to the Reds), and had two of the borders on prior to the busy weekend. However, after sewing the border strips on, I was rather bothered by the way the floral pattern was interrupted by the 45 degree seam line. Ben said not to worry about it, and I thought about it for a few days. Here's what I'm talking about:

See how the flowers were noticeably cut in half on the bottom left corner? Ultimately, I decided it was going to bother me too much, so I ripped that part of the seam and sewed strips back together at 90 degree angles, being careful to select an area where the seaming would be less noticeable. While it doesn't totally fix the problem (I didn't have the fabric to try to cut an identical strip and seam it together for a perfect match), it does mask it and make it much less noticeable, at least until I sewed on the third and fourth sides, which don't match to the ends of the other strips and I don't think ever could.

The moral of this story: sometimes fabric that doesn't seem to have a "stripe" to it does. I wish I'd have picked a more all-over type of pattern, but what are you going to do? It's still cute and I managed to get it layered, pin basted, and approximately half way quilted last night!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Roman Stripez

I just got back from putting baby quilt #2 in the mail and thought I would share some photos as it makes its way to its intended recipient. Here’s the finished quilt (sorry, the light was not good last night):

I showed the quilt a couple of weeks ago sans outer borders. If you’re a very careful observer, you might notice that the blocks that make up the border do not continue the same directional alternation as the blocks within the quilt. In the pattern, those exterior blocks were all cut and designed to continue the alternation, but the book did not instruct you to lay the interior part of the quilt out beginning with a certain orientation so that the pattern would continue into the border. Of course I started it out with the wrong orientation, and at the point I realized there was a problem (after I had pieced all of the exterior blocks and sewn them together in rows), I really didn’t see the point of going back to change it or cutting and sewing new blocks for the borders. I don’t honestly think it distracts that much, but had I known in advance, I would certainly have laid it out so that the pattern could continue.

I quilted the quilt with large swirls and the occasional star using a red-orange-yellow variegated thread which I think worked really well. However, I do wish that the variegation had been irregular rather than at regular lengths throughout the spool. It just would have been a nicer overall effect, in my opinion. Something to think about the next time I purchase threads!

It just keeps going, and going, and going...

A blog post about the Energizer bunny?

What’s that got to do with quilting?? Well, nothing, but I think the tag line is appropriate for Aurifil thread as well. You see, I piece pretty much exclusively with Aurifil thread. And every time I put on a new spool, I worry that I’m going to run out soon and usually pick up another spool or two of thread right away. But over time, I've come to realize that the thread always lasts longer than I think it will. So, the last time that I put on a spool of Aurifil thread, I marked down the date and all of the projects that I’ve pieced using the spool since that time.

So… drumroll, please. That spool of Aurifil thread lasted me from January 27 until last Thursday, August 27. Seven months!! My first thought is that I have not done nearly enough sewing in that time. And it may be the case that I’ll never have as much time to sew as I wish, but the list of projects pieced with that spool is pretty impressive:

Sometimes my jaw drops when I pay the $10-11 per spool of thread. But when you divide that by 7 months or 12 projects, we’re really only talking about the $1 range per project for thread, which honestly isn’t all that bad at all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Quilt #3

Here's a preview of baby quilt #3, a current work in progress. I've got all of the alternating blocks sewn and started laying it out on the floor. Should go together quickly; I've just got to stay motivated!! Nice to work on something with more "girly" colors and fun florals.

The pattern's from the Me & My Sister Designs booklet Crazy for Baby for Leisure Arts, and fabrics are from their Clementine line. Hopefully I can pick up some thread on Saturday and have this quilted by the end of the weekend!

(In case you're wondering, baby quilt #2 just needs a label; hopefully I can post about it tomorrow.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Roman Stripez

Seeing as I won't be working on any quilts for around a week (Austin, here I come for the SAA Annual Meeting!), I thought I'd post pictures of progress I made on another baby quilt. Most of this was sewn several weeks ago and then set aside in the race to finish Grant's quilt and in all of the overtime I had to put in at work.

I made the mistake of putting away all of my bright fabrics thinking I'd cut the entire quilt, but I need to go back to cut pieces for a pieced border to go all around. I'm sure it'll go together quickly once I get a bit of time to work on it.

The pattern is Roman Stripez from Jan Mullen's book Cut-Loose Quilts. It's an older book (2001) and my copy is autographed because I had the pleasure of taking a class with Jan at IQF Houston about 5 years ago, I think. While I love Jan's patterns (and her accent!), I find the book a bit frustrating in that finished block sizes weren't provided so that I could check my work as I went along. But making the blocks all wonky - simply stacking, slicing, stitching and sewing - is quite freeing.

Time to go see if there are any quilt shops in Austin that I should check out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thistlepod Update

Today was the third session of my Thistlepod class at Patched Works. Given the heat here in Milwaukee, it was a good day to stay indoors and quilt. I'd missed the last class, so feared I'd be a bit behind, and I suppose I was a bit, but then Mary had told me that the only homework was what was listed on the sheet and I had done all that, plus a bit more. But several people were apparently overachievers. Oh well...

It's very nice to actually begin to sew together some of the units. I still have plenty of paper piecing to do - don't get the impression that I am ANYWHERE close to being finished with this quilt - but it was a nice break from the paper piecing to sew together some of the units. Here's what I sewed today, which will be one of the corners of the quilt:

And a close-up of the same (if you look closely, you can see I haven't sewn the long horizontal seam yet)

It's a bit slow going because loads of pinning is required, but it's so nice to see it begin to come together. I'm definitely liking the quilt (this one's for me!) and figure I still have plenty of time to finish it to enter in the guild's show next March.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grant Matthew

We took a long weekend trip to Ohio to meet our new nephew, Grant Matthew, who was born on July 26. Isn't he a cutie?

I finished tacking down the binding on Grant's baby quilt on the drive out (the truth comes out). Big brother Alex clearly ached to open the package and was the helpful big brother in showing it to Grant, laying it out on the floor, and identifying all of the animals for us.

I really liked how the quilt came together in the end. I won't be rushing out to add loads of machine applique patterns to my to-do list, but I did improve with this quilt, for certain! I meandered around all of the animals with a light blue thread and then went back and meandered over each of the animals with a clear thread. I'd considered using the blue thread over everything, but am happy that I chose not to do so at Ben's urging (he'd actually suggested not quilting them at all, but it became obvious that was necessary, which was what I suspected to begin with).

Compared to the baby quilt I made Alex, this one is ginormous; hopefully Alex doesn't develop a complex over it. I'm certain it's going to get lots of love. Here's Tina, Alex and Grant with the quilt shortly after opening it.

And just two more photos (taken on Route 15 between Bryan and Defiance), because only in Ohio...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stitch and Pitch

Kristin and I had a fabulous time with the Stitch and Pitch group at the Brewers game last night. We got free t-shirts, picked up information and goodies from various local shops, and enjoyed being able to socialize with others and see all of the cool projects they were working on while seeing the Brewers score a victory (rather hard to come by these days).

Here we are with Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. Doesn't he look thrilled?

I was pretty surprised at how many men were there with their significant others (but I didn't see any men "stitching"). And everyone around me seemed to be pretty into baseball (rattling off statistics, etc.). It wasn't too difficult to both stitch and pay attention to the game and I'm glad that I was able to make some progress on the binding on the baby quilt (although I made it more difficult by forgetting my regular needles!! I managed to make do with some very tiny beading needles I bought in a workshop in May and which happened to still be in my bag).

Kristin worked on knitting a sweater for herself:

There were a couple of Brewers-themed quilts behind one of the tables and I took photos for inspiration because some day I think I'd like to make up some sort of pattern and surprise Ben with one (while he reads this blog, I bet I could still make a quilt in secret!). This first one is by Amy Stolowski of Milwaukee:

and this second one is by Donna Andrews of Mukwonago:

All in all, a very nice night. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fabric Diet - Blown

I honestly have done pretty well with my fabric diet this year. A few minor purchases, largely using accumulated points or gift certificates and the like and the rest of my sewing coming from stash (baby quilts and Thistlepod aside). But when I saw David Walker's Oh Boy! line for Free Spirit and kept returning to look at it at various online shops, I knew I had to pick some up.

I must say that most of the fabrics out there for kids do very little for me, especially those that are created with boys in mind. But these fabrics were just too cute to pass up, and with all of the little boys popping up of late, I figure there will be plenty of sewing for them in the not-do-distant future. I don't know what destiny these might have - and I might have gone a bit overboard, buying 10 different 2-yard cuts - but it won't go bad and I'm envisioning pillowcases, quilts, and other fun projects.

The Pressure's On!!!

I'd planned on today being a mega sewing day anyways, but the stakes have been raised as the intended recipient came into the world earlier today! I hope to meet him later in the week, so must complete the quilt by then!

After a long day of work yesterday (9.5 hours), I managed to muster the energy to machine applique the last of the animals (the zebra), sew the blocks with the alternating 9-patches, and machine applique the elephant's trunk.

Here's where the quilt stands as of this moment.

I'm hoping I can put on the narrow solid border, then the pieced border, and get this baby quilted today! It helps that there's a Brewer's game this afternoon to help keep me entertained (after that, it might be some podcasts or audio books, as I'm tired of the crummy TV options). And if all goes according to plan (does it ever?), I'm hoping to be able to sew down binding at the Stitch 'n Pitch game on Wednesday night. I'm taking Kristin for her birthday (last month); we've never gone before so aren't quite sure what to expect... While the top is somewhat on the large side, I think I can keep it folded so I can work on it manageably in my lap without having it drag on the potentially nasty floor.

At some point, I'll need to add on the eyes too... I figure that since Alex didn't get to play with his baby quilt, this one will likely be hung too, so buttons shouldn't be an issue. And I trust buttons will look better than my attempts to hand or machine stitch something approximating the correct proportions for the eyes.

As I want the finished quilt to be somewhat of a surprise, I probably won't post any photos until after the quilt is presented. While it might be safe to post photos as I don't know how much Tina and Mark read my blog (or how much they would likely read it this week with the new baby!), I'm going to err on the side of caution. I'll definitely share pictures when I can!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thistlepod progress

Well, life has been rather crazy of late, but in mostly good ways. I haven't had as much time for sewing as I might like, but I have engaged in many typical summer activities, including preparing loads and loads of jam (39 jars of strawberry, 38 jars of peach and 37 jars of blueberry), canning 7 quarts of sliced peaches, bumping back up to long runs on the weekends - up to 10.6 miles this past one (we even had the pleasure of seeing two deer in a wooded area we ran through and they didn't mind us at all, beautiful!), taking weekly swimming lessons to prepare for our trip to Australia and New Zealand later this year, and attending plenty of Brewers baseball games. No wonder quilting has hit the back burner!

I have, however, made some scattered progress on the Thistlepod quilt, as well as several baby quilts, and while I missed the last Thistlepod class, I learned that I misunderstood the homework to be done for that class and I actually have everything done for class #3. How cool is that! For once I'm not doing something last-minute!

Here are some of the units I've been working on:

I hope you're all enjoying your summer and finding time for quilting amidst everything else too!