Quilts And All Things Fabric...

As an avid fabric enthusiast, a blog about quilts and all things fabric just seemed the obvious thing to do.

Monday, December 26, 2011


......................well, at least that's what should have been going on all week..............................

But....other things just got in the way...
 Like baking a big batch cookies using Bonnie's recipe.  They do look yummy don't they?  

Did you say COOKIES

What do you mean I don't get one!

*footnote* Mr. B just ate the last cookie tonight!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. 
Our weather was delightful. Not a chance of a "white" Christmas  this year; but we did get up on Christmas Eve to a really heavy frost. Murphy dog had a lot of fun sniffing the air and rolling around on the frozen ground. At least I hope that's all he was rolling around in; but out here you never know what other creatures have been wandering around in the yard.

 I had a really good picture of him rolling in the frost, but somehow managed to permanently delete it. Oh, well.....

Since it was just Mr. B and myself here for Christmas this year, after dinner we went up to the golf course and played a round  or I guess I should say 'played at a round' of golf. It was sunny and 55° by mid afternoon...great weather to be outside. Definitely not typical for this time of year here. We got home around 3 pm and went down to the dock for a few minutes. Of course the fish weren't biting, but it was nice and peaceful. We only stayed there about half an hour.      No sewing at all!

Since the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt Step 6 came out a day early (thank you Bonnie) I thought I would get ahead, but that didn't happen.  I got the center squares all cut out on Thursday, but didn't start sewing on them until Saturday.

Here are the "dark" block units  partially assembled and paired up ready to finish.
They went together quickly done in an assembly line type of sewing.

The units for the "light" blocks are
all piled up in a big mess and patiently
waiting for the assembly line.

Here are some of the finished blocks lined up on the cutting table. This group is a fairly good representation of all the blocks in general. Some of them I really like and some are just so-so.   lol
Mr. B walked by and stuck his head in long enough to say... "oh, that's really pretty". I think he though this was the layout of the finished quilt.
I tried explaining that this went with all the other pieces in the plastic tub in the corner, but he just looked at me like I was speaking some foreign language and walked on into the other room.  Men!
His chair was calling his name....you know how that goes.

Here are a couple of  close ups of  some of my favorite blocks in the group.
 I have plenty of other sewing to do while waiting for next Friday and the next step. I'm down to just needing to add the top and bottom drop on our bed quilt. I had to make 6 additional blocks to finish the drops. But those are done, and all I need to do is sew them all together and on. 
I also have a pair of pj's that are in serious need of new elastic in the waist band. If they weren't so darn comfortable, I'd just throw them away and go buy some new ones. 

And on a side note....someone made a comment a few weeks ago about liking my yellow cutting mat. Well, thank you.  Here's the thing with the yellow mat....When I went youngest daughters for the birth of her 2nd child (a year ago last May) I had to take the Monkey Tummy Time Quilt pieces (for the expected baby) to her house and finish assembling there and on her machine. She did not have a cutting mat at that time so, I bought the yellow Fiskars mat. It was all I could find there at the time as we had not located all the quilt stores in her area ....yet. (I already had a green Olfa and a blue June Taylor Quilting Mate at home.)  Anyway, the yellow mat is GREAT for visuals. It is so much easier for me to see the edges of dark colors  than on the other two mats, that I use it almost exclusively now.   And in the year and half since then, my daughter has taken up quilting and bought her own mat. lol

Have a great week! Hope you get a lot of sewing time. 


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peppermint Jingle Bell Cookies rock! (OBMQ Step 5)

 Peppermint Jingle Bell Cookies rock!

This is what I've been up to this week.....
Okay, so it's not sewing, but sure tasts good!
But in my defense, the cookie plate is sitting on one of  the Christmas place mats I made last year. This pattern is called "Tree Time Placemats" from the Fast & Furious quilting as you go book by Gudrun Erla.

For some reason, the cookies did not hold the shape very well. Those are bells, in case you can't tell. lol

The cookies are really easy to make. Just use your favorite cut out Sugar cookie recipe and add 3/4 cup of crushed peppermint candy. And when they come out of the oven, sprinkle a few more pieces of the crushed candy on top. Of course you could ice them and then add the peppermint sprinkles.

It hasn't been just a cooking and eating week. I have been working on sewing projects as well. Mainly the Orca Bay Mystery quilt. I finely got Step 4 completed. I'm going to miss all that pink piled up on my cutting table.   It sure made the room bright and happy!

The pink is all put away now and on to Step 5.

700 is a lot of little triangles to cut, but they go very quickly stacking the strips in groups of 4.

See, here they are all cut, stacked and ready to sew.

All the other step blocks are in the tub.
I just love the way the colors play together!
This is going to be one bright quilt. 

 I love all shades of purples, lavenders, pinks, and greens...especially the chartreuse greens. But if I had to pick a favorite color it would ....on most days....be aqua blue. Funny thing is, I don't own a thing that color. Nothing in my sewing stash, nothing in my closet. Very weird. I need to remedy that next trip to the fabric store!

So, here I go sewing away today with  two of my best sewing buddies keeping me company!

Eeyore fits right in...his colors match the blocks so well, I'll have to be careful and not try to sew him up. LOL He's about half full of Green Tea...that would make a big mess!  Cactus Jack just likes to watch. I can talk to him and he doesn't talk back.

 Well, allrighty then....enough silliness...gonna sit my rear down in the chair and SEW! I want these little buggers done by tomorrow morning.  I have lots of other things to work on this week, too!

Happy Sewing......:-)
Whew! All done...they sure are cute little things all winged up!

They sort of look like a flock of beautiful migrating  butterflies,

or maybe a new unidentified species of bats 

...or not...too much influence
 from the vampire movies for that one....

 maybe a new logo design for a left-wing/right-wing/middle of the road political group... a point here a point there, no points at all.....Naw.... :-)

Well here's how the progress went..... from the start in the picture above with my two sewing buddies  to all sew up and waiting to be pressed here...
to all finished and stacked up on the table ....

 these little  Officially identified Winged HSQT UFO's are anxiously awaiting their destiny!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Whoa, it's Monday again already....

Where DID last week go??? Time just seems to fly during the holiday's doesn't it? Pretty sure most of you are in the same boat. I didn't get a lot of sewing done this week with going to dinner with friends, going to dinner at the neighbors, having neighbors over for dinner, finishing up the Christmas shopping and getting it shipped off. (Yeah, all caught up there!!!) Baking, eating, cooking, eating, eating.....:-)  It really was a great week!

And look what landed in our tree...sort of...Look closely....It was too cold for "Mr. B" to golf this week  and almost too cold to go fishing since they really weren't biting that well anyway, so he he hid out in the "Shop/Man Cave/Dog House" and carved out ole
"Mr. Eagle" here and put him in the tree in our front yard. "Mr. B" isn't really pleased with this one because he doesn't think it looks real enough. He wanted people driving by to stop and do a double take before realizing it was another carving. As if they would think anything else around here. People are always stopping to take pictures of the bears and fish out in the front yard. Makes for an 'interesting' life style though.

By Friday evening all I had accomplished for the Orca Bay Mystery Step 4 was getting the paper squares cut out. Not a good start. This time I chose to use plain white printer paper. For the previous strings, I used pages from an old phone book, but the ink rubbed off onto my machine bed. I wasn't expecting that to happen with the phone book pages. 

When reading the Step 4 instructions, I was delighted when Bonnie told us to use "a wide variety" in the color we picked for this step. Admitting that I am not usually a 'scrappy' quilter, this is really stepping out of the box for me. (But, that's GOOD quilt therapy.That's what I keep telling myself anyway. :-)) My color scheme for this quilt substitutes Pink for the red. To be exact, I had decided on Magenta, and only had a limited amount. I thought it would be necessary to do a fabric run in order to complete this step. Not so! After seeing what Bonnie had used for her red block and digging deep back into my stash, I ended up with a huge pile of pinks that would work.
Here is what I ended up pulling. The first finished block is barely showing in the upper left corner.

I am really pleased with the way these colors 'play' together. They look a lot better in real life than they do in this photo, too. I also decided to leave the strips all piled up and started pulling them to use as they were touching in the pile. It works out more randomly that way and I'm not over thinking the layout. Which I ALWAYS tend to do.

So far this morning here is my progress. Only 5 squares finished, but by the end of the day I hope to remedy that! Check back later this week for more blocks.

So I'm off to the machine to work on the Step 4 blocks and hopefully my quilt for our bed. (I did get the two side drops completed, but only one sewn on. Need to make some more of the big 'blue' blocks before the ends get finished. After that, all it will need is the final border then it will be ready to quilt! Maybe I'll have more pics of it later this week, too.)

Ok, I really am signing off now to go SEW!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Step 3

Alrighty! Rolling right along with the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt and lovin' it! Step 3 was a quick and easy one.  But every time I tried to work on it this week, there was an interruption or other obligation, or festivity going on.   Yesterday was the Christmas party for our little local craft group. I spent a lot of time on Sunday making cookies to take. :-) Lots of goodies there. YUM! Then last night was dinner with friends and MORE really good food.  But I did manage to squeeze in time to finish up the little HST's yesterday afternoon! Needless to say, the blog didn't done yesterday. I was amazed to see how many people already had there links up this morning.
Since pictures are supposed to be worth 1000 words, here's this week's progress report:

It didn't take long at all to get the strips cut into triangles and ready to sew. I really did like using the strips and the easy angle ruler. It makes the sewing process really zip through by having the two pieces already stacked and lined up to sew.

I would have had these cut and already to start sewing away by Friday afternoon, but ended up having to help my husband with burning our brush pile (see previous post) Friday afternoon. So cutting didn't get finished until Saturday.

All chained together and piled in my office chair.  Sewing didn't take long.

Hum, sort of resembles the Christmas lights when they come out of the box in the attic doesn't it?

I left them all strung together to press.  Please pardon the really bad photo. ....Thinking....
Dear Santa, a new camera would be a nice Christmas present this year.....

Voila! Here they are! All finished and patiently awaiting further instruction.

Now, off to sew on other projects until Bonnie posts Step 4 this Friday! 
Happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Doesn't this just shout INSPIRATION???

Doesn't this just shout INSPIRATION???
Yesterday just before lunch time, I was diligently working away at the ironing board on the 2" strips for the Orca Bay Mystery quilt when my husband comes in and informs me that right after lunch 'he' wants to burn the brush pile (burn deck as they are called around here).

Okay....that 'he' actually means WE. So right after lunch, off he gos down the hill behind the house to get the fire started. My job is to collect the rakes, shovel and garden hoses and get them all in place if needed. It's a perfect day for this chore with absolutely no wind and the air is nice and nippy cold.

All of my city friends are by now probably saying..."do what?" Well, when you build out in the boonies like we did, it's just a part of life. However, by now you would think we'd have all of the unwanted trees and brush out of the way. Unfortunately, with all the storms winter and summer over the last few years, we have had our share of lost trees and downed limbs. Thus, another big burn pile to deal with.

And by now are you all wondering how all of this relates to today's Blog title, right?  Well,... while wondering around keeping an eye on the burn deck a bright orange 'spot' caught my attention.  I bent over and picked up that beautiful Sycamore leaf in the photo. After twirling it around in my fingers for a moment, I let it drop back to the ground. It landed on top of a pile of dark brown leaves and black dirt making it's color appear all the more stunning. Hum....I think it actually spoke to me and said, "wouldn't you love to snuggle up in a quilt in these colors with me all over it???"  And all the while the leaf is 'speaking' to me, my mind is wondering off to the fabric stash thinking there is a piece of batik just those colors in there...somewhere.

Leaving Mr. B to man the fire (and no we didn't have any hot dogs and marshmallows); I took the leaf  all the way back up to the house and put it safely on the desk in my sewing room.
That's dedication just to retrieve this leaf to walk
around the trees growing out of the rock .....that's where I found the leaf to begin with....

( Yes, that tree is really growing OUT of the rock and not the ground behind it. There are two trees growing out of that rock to be exact. One on each side. )

.... And up the hill to the house....you can see a piece of the roof behind the gazebo...  Got my exercise yesterday!

Anyway, this morning I dug through the stash and pulled out the piece of batik. Unfortunately, it isn't a very large piece of fabric. Thinking I need to do a fabric run and try and find some more like it and pick up some dark browns to got with it, because I really want to do a quilt with that leaf appliqued on it, or at least something with that batik in those colors.

Just the beginnings of an idea...and not sure where to find the time to work on it...but a definite motivation to create!

If this is an inspiration to you, take this idea and run with it.  But, please post a picture, because I would love to see what you come up with. 

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention....I got absolutely NO sewing done yesterday.  By the time we finished outside, cleaned up, cooked and ate dinner, I was totally exhausted. I told my husband this morning that my sewing machine was sitting in there crying because it didn't get turned on at all yesterday! And I think for a brief moment, he actually believed me.