Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recap of 2012

It has been a busy year!

I can't believe that this past January I finished my first quilt! Literally, I finished hand quilting it New Years Eve and finished the binding a few weeks later. It was done completely by hand and is queen sized. It took me almost 2 years to finish and now I am a full fledged quilt and fabric addict.

There have also been a lot of things in my personal life. A lot of trials and tribulations, and I am hoping and praying with everything in me that 2013 will be better and full of even more quilts! My boyfriend is still struggling with medical problems, and I have to admit that at this point I am feeling very hopeless for a solution, but I am trying very hard to stay positive for him. I know this blog is mostly about quilting, but it also gives me a chance to vent and get things off my mind. I won't go into details about his issues because I know he wouldn't want me to. He is a very private person and I will respect that, but if you are the praying type please say a few prayers for him and for me, for strength and patience. And if you aren't the praying type please just send positive thoughts our way! I appreciate it :)

I don't have good pictures of all the quilts or projects that I have completed this year (that is one of my New Year Resolutions, get more and better pictures!) but some of my favorites I have compiled into a quick collage just as a small recap of what I have accomplished this year.

I have so many things I want to do next year! See my post HERE I know this list will continue to grow as the year progresses so I tried to keep it rather short for the moment! The three things I am most excited to finish are my Farmer's Wife Quilt (I may or may not make the full 111 blocks, haven't made up my mind yet), my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt (You can see some of my flowers in the collage above) and of course my Weekender bag!

Keep checking back to see what I get into in 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Goals for 2013

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I sure have been busy the past couple weeks, and as much as I love Christmas and the holidays I am glad the largest part of it is over! I need a break from my break!

I have so many WIPs going on right now its overwhelming. I am trying to make lists of what I need to do, and what I want to do, especially next year.

Here is the list of current WIP:
1) Weekender bag- I still have to finish quilting the top panels and cut out the lining fabric and start putting the bag together. I made the piping last week.
2) Snowman quilt- I am still chugging away at the embroidery on these panels. Its going to take a while to get this completely done, but I am determined to finish it before next winter, lol
3) Scrappy Log Cabin- I started yet another project earlier this week. I had purchased some barn panels at the same time as the snowman panels, and although I am not doing any embroidery on these I started cutting fat quarters and sewing blocks on Christmas. I needed another project like I need a hole in the head!
4) Butterscotch Cake throw- This top is finished, and has been for months. It is waiting patiently for backing and quilting to commence.
5) Flower Garden quilt- I still need to buy some more hexagon templates to finish making the flowers and decide on the background fabric. I am not sure if I want to use Kona Snow or a Thirties colored solid. And since this is all being done by hand it may not even be a 2013 finish!
6) Farmer's Wife quilt- This may possibly be a perpetual work in progress. I'm not sure it will EVER be finished. I had intended on making all 111 blocks but now I am rethinking that...

Here is a list of things I WANT to do in 2013:
1) Sidebraid quilt- I ordered fabric for this before Christmas and just ordered the solid yesterday. It should be here next week. I am using this pattern.
2) Merry Go Round Quilt- I have been stacking up fabrics for this quilt for MONTHS. I have the template and the fabric for the top, but I just couldn't bring myself to start cutting all those 2 1/2 inch strips.
3) I Spy quilt- I have also had the fabric for this for several months. I am planning on using ABC 123 from American Jane and the soft book pages as the I Spy parts
4) Swoon quilt- I started quilting a little late to really be on the bandwagon for all the awesome quilts, but this is definitely on the list of quilts I want to accomplish this year
5) Picnic quilt pattern- I have yet to make a jelly roll quilt. I bought Scrapbasket Sensations as one of my first quilting books and I just ordered a jelly roll of Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey during Fat Quartershop's Year End Sale to make the cover quilt from this book. You can buy the book HERE and Fat Quartershop still has some Cherry Christmas jelly rolls on sale HERE.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas is almost here

I have been even busier than usual lately. Between getting ready for Christmas and just every day obstacles I am exhausted. We have been having a lot of obstacles lately. My boyfriend is back in the hospital, as well as my grandmother. That is where I've spent most of my day today. It looks like some of Christmas Day will be spent there. My grandmother should be home (hopefully) before then, but my boyfriend was being admitted today.

I am hoping to get some sewing accomplished this evening to help take my mind off everything and to complete a few last minute Christmas gifts. A few days ago I tried my hand at some adorable zippy pouches and I am addicted. I bought some bright fat quarters and pretty colored zips today and plan on turning them into an arsenal of adorable gifts. My boyfriend bought his mother and sisters some various small items to carry in their purses or cars (think hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray etc) My boyfriend is very practical and believes in always being prepared. I believe things should also be cute! So I am going to put together some of the zippy pouches for their practical presents to go in to make them even more practical and organized and CUTE!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekender Bag

I got my main panels finished. I plan on doing an entire post on this bag later but couldn't help but post a few pictures. I have another couple things I will be posting later this week too. I will be doing a longer post on all the table runners I have been working on. But for now check out all that wonderful Weekender goodness! I'm already in love with this bag!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What I've Been Working On

This post is going to be really heavy on pictures and light on words. I have lots to share. I've been a little lax in my blogging. And once again I apologize for the somewhat bad pictures. When it is dark at 5 in the evenings and its mostly rainy it is hard to get the lighting right!

The Broken Dishes tablerunner I am still working on. I am debating on adding a border. What do you think?

My French General table runner, and as much as I completely LOVE this it is going away as a Christmas gift.

My Fellowship table runner, it is also going away as a Christmas gift

And here are some of my Farmer's Wife blocks, I haven't been posting much about them lately, it is hard to find time to squeeze them in since they are for me only. Especially at this time of the year when I am busy making so many gifts. It is hard to justify making something that is for me only. But with that being said, I have 53 of the blocks done so far! Its hard to believe I am almost half way there! These aren't all of the pictures, I thought I would save some for a later post too ;) (Oh and the basket blocks STILL don't have handles, whoops!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Fabric

Tomorrow I will have an update on projects I've been working on, but first let me show you some of the new fabrics I got over the weekend! (Sorry for the bad lighting, its been dreary and rainy here for days, and that makes for bad pictures!)

This is for my flower garden quilt, I definitely needed more green in it, its a fat quarter from Chloe's Closet line

Some more fat quarters for a log cabin quilt I plan to start some day.

And some Paniers De Fleur yardage from French General for a table runner. I finished it right after I bought this!

Check back tomorrow to see what I've been working on!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More Christmas Presents and a Baby Quilt

It seems like the only thing I am getting accomplished lately is baby quilts and Christmas presents i.e. table runners (which I really do love making by the way). There is one majorly awesome thing about both table runners and baby quilts. They are fast. They come together quickly, and I can quilt them up in no time. I always feel like I am making progress, unlike when I am doing a larger quilt and start to wonder if I will ever really finish it. (I'm sure many of you know the feeling!)

I love using charm packs to make table runners, most of the time I cut them into 2.5 inch squares and just sew them together in a nice scrappy look, but I have been experimenting with different designs and layouts, and later this week I should have another post about the table runner I am in the process of making right now. I am super excited about it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

List of Things To Do

I am swamped. Literally. I have so many things on my plate it is hard to keep track of it all. So here is the list of things I am trying to accomplish in the next several weeks, and most of them before Christmas.

1. Nativity scene for my sister (This must be completed before Christmas, seeing as how I didn't get her fall tablerunner done before Thanksgiving.)
2. Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for a friend's mother (Also due before Christmas)
3. Quilt the Fellowship table runner (Before Christmas)
4. Finish the baby quilt I am working (Before baby arrives!)
5. My scarf (While it is still scarf weather)
6. Weekender Bag (Whenever I get done with everything else I am making)
7. Layer Cake throw quilt (I still need to buy backing and everything for this quilt, the top is just waiting around for me to get to it.)

This are just the things on a deadline. There are about a dozen more things I WANT to do, and most of them are waiting until after the holidays. I am so stressed right now I can't put it into words.

My better half is having more medical issues, and it breaks my heart for him. We have hit a brick wall where options are concerned, and I am sick to my stomach over it all. Not to mention the stress of working full time at a job that is stressful in itself. At least at the start of the year I will have more vacation time available and can get a little bit of a break. We had almost a full month with no ER visits, but that ended Sunday night. I had started to think that we had beat this issue, an early Christmas present for us both, but it wasn't to be so. If you are the praying type, please keep us in your prayers, we certainly need it.

We haven't even had the chance to do some housecleaning and put up our Christmas decorations yet. It doesn't even feel like the holidays to me really. With my mother gone the holidays really just kind of seem like any other time of year anymore. I've been in a funk the past couple weeks, and even sewing has become a chore for me. I'm hoping that as Christmas gets closer I will snap out of this little phase and get more in the Christmas spirit. I will say that my Fruitcake quilt is a nice cheerful reminder sitting on our couch now that it is finished. And knitting is very soothing. Its nice and repetitive and once I get in the rhythm I can go for hours. It helps soothe my soul.

I certainly didn't mean for this post to be so depressing, but once I started thinking about all of the things I need to do, and most certainly don't have time to complete I slipped back into my funk! Thanks so much for indulging me.

So I will leave you with a few snap shots of Fruitcake to help me get in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Learning to Knit and other things

I have had it in my head for a while now that I want to learn to knit. Mostly because of this blog. Angela's was one of the first blogs I started reading online when I was learning to quilt, and was amazed that there were other women out there that were as passionate about quilting as I was becoming. And lately she has been posting such beautiful pictures of the things she knits.

Now, I have never been particularly good at working with yarn. I'm not sure how my fingers can work so well with fabric and thread but yard is a totally different story. Years and years ago my mother had taught me the basics of crochet, and maybe I just didn't have the patience or attention span for it at the time (she taught me to sew back then to and it didn't stick that well either) but whatever it was I was horrible at it. So the prospect of knitting seemed daunting, especially because I was always told that it was harder to knit than to crochet. None of the women in my family could knit, at least none that I knew of, but they could all crochet. My sister is a prodigy at crocheting. She can make anything, with or without a pattern.

But regardless of how daunting it seemed, I was pretty determined. When I first started quilting, other than being able to sew two pieces of fabric together I really had no idea how in the world to do any of it, and taught myself for the most part, or learned from my sister. I had never even used a rotary cutter before!

The night before Thanksgiving I sat down with some yarn and a learning to knit book and tried. And tried again. And said some choice words and tried again. And then decided that the learning to knit book was basically worthless and watched some videos on YouTube. And I got it.

And here is what I've been working on. Just a simple scarf, basic knit stitch, absolutely nothing fancy. (I'm not sure I will ever be able to make the gorgeous cowls, sweaters and socks that Angela makes, but I maybe one day will progress to that.) Either way, I am very proud of my scarf so far. I'm using cheap acrylic yarn, I wanted to make sure I could do it before I spent big money on a really nice skein of beautiful wool or the wonderful hand dyed things I keep seeing all over blog land. But I am actually liking the fleck yarn in this particular scarf, and I can't wait for it to be long enough to wear!

I also managed to get some actually sewing done over the weekend. I finished the blocks for a baby quilt I am making for my boyfriend's new niece coming in the next couple months, and I finished the top to a table runner I have been working on for a little over a month. I finally sat down yesterday and pieced together what I had worked on up to that point. It's now ready to basted and quilted this week. It will probably be wrapped and gifted for Christmas. I used Fellowship by Brannock and Patek and some tan texture I had leftover from another table runner I had made earlier this year for the border. I am in love with the colors, I think they are Christmas-y without being overly so.

When I get a chance to spread it out for a good picture I will. I should have another post later this week with some other things I have been working on. I have been super busy, and feeling under the weather yesterday and today too. I am feeling much better this evening after resting for almost two entire days, so hopefully I will be back to myself tomorrow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekender Bag

So this is the project I am scared and excited to start on. My fabric came today, beautiful Denyse Schmidt fabrics in gorgeous colors that I can't wait to start sewing with. But wait they shall. I have one more baby quilt I am finishing up and another quilt for a twin bed I need to get working on, not to mention a couple Christmas gifts I need to tackle. And I know how tough the Weekender Bag is going to be. Especially since I haven't really made anything other than quilts. I have only ever put in one zipper, in a throw pillow cover. As excited as I am to start working on it, I have too many things to try and finish in the next few weeks. But I wanted to share. I had saw the bag somewhere on someone's blog and then stumbled on The Long Weekend Blog Hop and after looking at all the amazing bags I knew I had to give it a try.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manic Monday

I've been a busy little bee. I finished the baby quilt I had been working on and it will be gifted this week so pictures coming soon.

I also started piecing another baby quilt yesterday and got two more Farmers Wife blocks pieced. Those pictures coming later in the week. I also ordered some fabric for a new project I hope to start after the holidays. I just have way too many projects going on for now. But I promise to post pics of the yummy fabric once it gets here!

I have been doing a lot of Christmas sewing. I basted and started the quilting on my Fruitcake quilt yesterday and hope to finish the quilting tomorrow. I've also been doing some cute Christmas embroidery. I have been seeing the cute little embroidery hoops hanging up on people's walls with the adorable little embroideries. And knew I HAD to make some for Christmas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sneak Peek

Just because I can't stand not showing it, here is a sneak peek of the baby quilt I have been working on all week. I just finished hand stitching the binding down this evening! I will have better pictures next week after its been gifted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Need A New Chair

I took some time off work this afternoon and worked on a few sewing projects. I got the binding sewed to the front of a baby quilt I am working on. It's a gift so I can't post any pictures until next week but I am very excited about it. I also got my retro Christmas quilt top pieced. Funny story about that by the way. I had decided to do 5 rows of 5 blocks and do a nice 60 inch square quilt, or right around there. So I needed 25 blocks. Somehow I miscounted and ended up 2 blocks short. So I got to improv 2 blocks from scraps! Which I actually love even more than the original design. I am calling it "Fruitcake". And it totally reminds me of Christmas circa the 1970s. Which makes me love it even more. And the fact that I found an Alexander Henry print at Joann Fabrics makes me jump for joy! So here it is, Fruitcake! (Look at that cute little improv block in the bottom right corner!)

Oh and the reason I need a new chair? Now, after all that sewing my back hurts.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I have been so busy I am posting from my iPhone again! It seems like that is the only way I can manage to do a post anymore.

I have been insanely busy not only with work and life but with sewing and quilting too. I've put my Farmers Wife blocks on hold for the moment while I catch up on other projects. I finished the top for a baby quilt for a friend at work. Since its a gift I don't want to show pictures just yet. I still have some hand embroidery to do on it and the quilting. I am trying to get it done before her baby shower in less than 2 weeks! I also finished the blocks for a Christmas throw quilt I am trying to have done by Thanksgiving. Right now my Halloween quilt is still living on the couch and I would hate to have it still there by December!

And of course I am working on my hexagon flowers. I have 9 finished so far and I think I will need 25 or so to make the quilt I want maybe 30 I haven't decided on the size just yet and I need to see them all laid out once I start adding the white around them. Which means I need more paper hexagons!

I will leave you with some pictures of hexagon flowers and the last several Farmers Wife blocks that are my favorites!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hexagons For a Flower Garden

Just another quick post from the trusty iPhone. I went to a local quilt shop over the weekend and picked up some fat quarters of Thirties reproduction prints to start a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and I'm hooked. I started stitching the adorable little hexagons tonight and had trouble putting them down. It's so easy! I just can't believe that it is that simple. So I sat on the couch after dinner and watched the election results with my boyfriend and stitched hexagon after hexagon. Here is a quick Instagram pic of what I've been looking at most of the evening.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some Quick Farmer's Wife pics

I'm posting this from my iPhone so it's going to be short and sweet. I've spent the week cutting pieces for some Farmers Wife blocks and working on my snowman embroidery panel. I also picked up some new fabric yesterday that I will post about later in the week but for now here is a glimpse of my latest Farmers Wife blocks completed today. They still need pressed and trimmed but I had to snap a picture!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I've never done anything like this before, especially since I've really only been quilting for a short time but it's good to do things that are new, right?

So the quilt I chose was my American flag throw, Old Glory. I made this quilt entirely by hand, before I even owned a sewing machine. Most of the piecing and part of the quilting was actually done in hospital rooms. I made the quilt for my boyfriend, he described what he wanted and I designed it. I started it right before he was hurt in a 4 wheeler accident and broke his back on St Patricks day earlier this year. Every day for 3 weeks I sat in the hospital with him and sewed on this quilt. I finished the piecing about a week after his accident while he was in surgery. It is the 2nd quilt I ever made. I struggled with the design for a little while, since I had never done applique before, but wanted to add stars, and decided the pinwheel blocks would work just fine. But my boyfriend, always particular wanted 13 stars, since the original flag had 13 for the 13 colonies, so I added one applique star in the middle. (Be sure to click the link to check out all the other wonderful quilts!)

Quilt measures approximately 50x70
Special Techniques used: Applique
Quilted by: Michelle Witt
Categories: Hand Quilted

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

I've been MIA again. Unfortunately, a lot of my time has been spent in the hospital again. It's almost like we live there lately. My boyfriend is feeling better for the moment and we are hoping that it will last this time. Anyway, 2 weeks ago, before the last hospital stint, my wonderful boyfriend took me to a nearby quilt shop and waited patiently while I browsed. He even helped me pick out a beautiful snowman panel. The shop had several samples using the panel and my boyfriend really liked one particular quilt that used some pretty shades of blue. So I have been working on hand embroidering the panels in different shades of blue. Here are a few pictures of the progress so far. I know I won't get this finished in time this year, but I think that this will make a great wintry quilt that can stay on the couch past Christmas. Plus it gives me something to sit on the couch and sew by hand since I've decided to do my Farmer's Wife by machine. (I am still working on my Farmer's Wife blocks by the way, just not nearly as much as I should be.)

I also managed to finish my dad's Gone Fishing quilt. I don't have any good pictures of it yet. I will post them soon. Hopefully we will be staying out of the hospital long enough for me to start some more sewing projects, because these came in the mail this week!

Some Cinnamon Spice by Blackbird Designs, Chateau Rogue by French General, Farmer's Market and Fellowship by Brannock and Patek, and Double Chocolat by 3 Sisters. They will be made into some nice Christmas presents so I need to get cracking. Also some fabric for a baby quilt I am making for a friend from work who is having a baby girl in the next few months. There are lots of things to do in the next 2 months and I don't have nearly enough time but I am going to try.

I'm also starting a diet on Monday. Talk about stress!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Farmer's Wife

Short but sweet.

I'm working on my Farmer's Wife blocks in between other projects, and it is definitely going to take me awhile seeing as how my list of things to do never gets any shorter. (If anything it gets longer!) I ordered more fabric earlier this week, and I'm in the process of ordering some more right now! I am working on trying to get my dad's quilt basted, which is my least favorite part of the quilting process. I'm also undertaking a baby quilt for a woman at work, not to mention the Nativity Scene Panel I am sewing for my sister (just hoping that gets finished before Christmas at this point!). Several years ago (Long enough that I can't remember exactly when, but I know I was a little girl) my grandmother made my father and mother and my uncles and aunts Nativity Scenes from panels at JoAnn Fabrics. I still have ours, and so I was excited to find that JoAnn stores still carry them! It's something I always enjoy putting out at Christmas, so I am excited to be making one for my sister.

Anyway, to keep it short I managed to make a few more Farmer's Wife blocks this week (mostly while I was putting off basting) and to see how they were looking so far I laid them out on the bed to get an idea of how things are coming together and what colors I am short on.

So far I think it is looking really good together, and all laid out its much harder to notice all the little imperfections in each individual block, so that is definitely a plus and may stop me from remaking some of the blocks. I'm still trying to decide if I need to work in some different colors or fabric lines. I'm absolutely loving the currant color in Fig Tree's new line Tapestry, so that may work it's way in there too!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A FINISHED Quilt Top (And Farmer's Wife Blocks)

It takes me forever anymore to take pictures and actually do a blog post, there are just too many things going on right now. I hardly have the time to sew, not to mention post blogs about it. Oh well, I'm trying. And desperately trying to figure out a way to make sewing mt career, and actually be able to live off it. It's hard when you have a full time job as it is. Plus, its scary even contemplating going into business for myself or changing paths at this point in my life. I make good money everything considered, but I'm not happy with my job. Right now I'm just making the best of it.

Anyway, back to the actual sewing part of my blog. I have been wanting to make a quilt for my dad for a few months now. He has admired the quilts I've made for myself and for other people all year, and since my mother is no longer with us, I wanted to make one for him. I knew it would mean a lot to him even though he is too tough to admit it. But I was stuck on trying to make a quilt manly and simple and appropriate. It's harder than you might think! (Especially if you know my dad!) So I was super stoked to stumble across Lake Life by Thimbleberries fabric, and I found a nifty pattern in one of my Schnibbles books (McGuffey) I adapted it from charm and layer cakes to a yardage appropriate quilt. (One of the things I LOVE about quilting is the math involved in planning a quilt, how strange am I?) Anyway, my dad has very few hobbies, and the ones he does have are very hard to find translated to fabric, but my dad does like fishing and Lake Life was perfect without being "cutesy". And I finished the top today.

Please excuse the horrible pictures, I was missing my assistant (aka my boyfriend, and was too lazy to take it outside for decent pictures, but I promise I WILL get some)

It was my first attempt at a pieced border and I think it came out really nice, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be at first. Now, hopefully I can manage to get the quilting done without too much trouble. Its going to be the biggest quilt I've done on my machine though, so I'm thinking just some plain straight line quilting is in order, don't want anything too fancy anyway since it's for my dad.
I haven't had the time to work on my Farmer's Wife blocks much this week but I do still have some to post from the bounty I made a week or so ago. They are FAR from perfect, in fact some of them are pretty horrible as far as quilt blocks go (i.e. points don't match up, or are lost, they are crooked, have puckers, etc) Some of them may get ripped apart and done again, or they may not. I've never done a sampler quilt before, I've never used templates before either. So the imperfections are bittersweet in a way, and I know that the more I do the better they will get, and it will show an evolution from start to finish.
Bouquet (Which I am happy with, it isn't perfect, but its passable)

Forgot the name of this block (Sorry! It too is acceptable)

Corn and Beans (I will never forget the name of this one, as much as I would like to, it gave me fits)

Bow tie, a fairly easy one, points aren't perfect but I like it

Forgot the name of this one, but it is my current favorite. I love it, and surprisingly it wasn't as hard as I first thought either.

Broken dishes, another easy one that turned out really good.
And now to enjoy what is left of my weekend, watch some football and relax before I go back to work tomorrow. I can't believe the weekend is already almost over!