Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lucky 2013

End of the year wrap up posts are my favorite. It's fun to look back at what was accomplished. I did more sewing in 2013 than ever before. My goal was to complete 13 quilted projects. I was able to finish...

11 lap quilts/wall hangings
5 baby quilts
7 mini quilts
2 bed quilts
2 quilty pillows
several pillowcases
a bunch of mug mats
and assorted crafts
 (I was surprised to see I did absolutely no crocheting or knitting.)

1. Madrona Road Herringbone, 2. Olivia's Quilt, 3. Sugar Wave, 4. 4-hour Mini, 5. Emerald Selvedge Spiderweb, 6. Friendship Star Mini, 7. Low Volume/Bright Hopes, 8. Batik Arrowheads, 9. Arrowhead Runner, 10. Ninigret Raffle Quilt, 11. Mod Bento, 12. Improv Mini, 13. Ninnie Nines Swap, 14. Mollie's Quilt, 15. Dory Pillow, 16. Sea Glass Pillow, 17. T is for Tina, 18. Chevron and On, 19. Mini Geese in the Forest, 20. Pete's Album Quilt, 21. Outfoxed Baby, 22. Dr. Seuss Baby, 23. Star Fling, 24. Star Crazy, 25. Happy Stars

This year was all about Pete- Nicaragua, high school graduation, Eagle Scout, and Marine Corps. (Don't feel badly for Julia. 2012 was all hers.)

I need to finish cleaning up the sewing room to get ready for 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chevron and On

 I forgot to show you a lap quilt I finished at the beginning of December. I had hoped to sell it at the craft fair, but it came back home with me. It might show up in my Etsy shop soon.

I started this quilt on July 1st, day one of Pat Sloan's Sew Every Day challenge. The top was done on July 4. It sat untouched for five months.

Don't you love Julia's Hobbit feet?

I quilted it simply and machine stitched the binding. The backing was a piece I picked up at Hobby Lobby in July. I'm not really a fan of the crinkly, post-washing look, but there it is.

Chevron and On
Started 7/1/13
Completed 12/5/13
Pattern found in the March/April 2013 issue of Quilty
Fabrics used: leftover layer cake squares of Meadowsweet and assorted solids
Finished size: 48" x 64"

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Gifts

 Christmas was not about the gifts this year, although there were some fun ones. Julia bought Hobbit feet slippers for dad and herself. So silly! We have been more focused than ever on family and friends and being together.

We thought Pete looked sharp in the service uniform. Then he put on the dress blues! Guess who got to sew on the chevrons? The Navy tailor in Newport was backed up and wouldn't be able to get them done in time for Christmas. I was more than happy to accept this task!

The only gifts I made were little quilts for my grand-niece's new American Girl dolls. In a few hours last weekend, I had these cute, reversible doll quilts. Purple for Anna and cheetah (jaguar) for Lily, all from my stash. (I have no idea why I had three different cheetah prints to choose from!)

I had come across a tutorial at Stitched by Crystal, so I didn't need to do any math. The concept is the same as Anita Grossman Solomon's Super Sized Nine Patch baby quilt pattern, just smaller.

Lily is so smart. She corrected her dad when he asked about the doll blankets. "They are quilts!" I've trained her well. We'll need to start sewing together soon.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Parris Island

 It was a truly amazing trip to South Carolina for Pete's graduation from Marine Corps recruit training. As we were driving to the base on Thursday at 0545 for family day, I took a look at facebook on my phone and had a bunch of notifications. Oh, hey! It was my birthday! We had all forgotten.  We were all so focused on Pete and getting to where we needed to be. It was my best birthday ever! (even better than 12-12-12)

Our first glimpse of Pete was when the whole company ran by for the motivational run at 0700. 

Pete loves his new quilt, but it will have to stay here for a few months until he finishes training.

 Pete served as a lay reader for his platoon and led the Catholics in prayer every night before lights out. He and the other Christian lay reader gathered the platoon together after graduation for one last prayer. See the Marine in the foreground with the camera? Her photo appeared on the Parris Island facebook page with this caption:

New Marines of Platoon 3100, Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, embrace after being dismissed from Parris Island, S.C., by their senior drill instructor Dec. 13, 2013. The Marines spent 13 long, demanding weeks alongside each other as they were molded into the nation’s finest. Today, the young men are more than training partners – they are brothers in arms.

This might be our Christmas card photo.

I'm so glad my brother came with us. He's been proud and supportive from day one. I love the shirts we wore for family day. The 3rd battalion logo is on the back.

Julia has the best shirt ever. Who needs a superhero when your brother is a Marine!
Julia got some good news on family day. She was offered an internship at the Pine Bush Nature Preserve. It is a great opportunity to see if this is really the career she wants to pursue. We knew she was perfect for this job with all of her Girl Scout experience and environmental education.

We had some time to kill before our flight, so we stopped at the Angel Oak near Charleston. 

I've always had a thing for taking pictures of my kids walking away from me. I've done it on hikes and on vacations since they were little. Here are two more for my collection: Family day on base and on board USS Yorktown at Patriots Point.

Before heading home, we introduced Pete to little Mollie. He's rocking the high and tight haircut. His Eagle Scout promotion to Private First Class went through at the last minute thanks to a very kind Master Sergeant who called me on Monday morning for documentation.

He reported to the recruiting office this morning, and I miss him already. It's hard to let him out of my sight. We're looking forward to celebrating the holidays together before he ships out to Camp Pendleton for SOI West- ITB in January.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Craft Show Progress

 I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We were so happy to meet my newest grand-niece, Mollie. She is the cutest little peanut!

I've been very focused on craft show sewing and it feels great to get things done. I made two baby quilts this week. This is a simple patchwork made from a stack of fat quarters of Lizzy House "Outfoxed." I cut 6" squares and the top went together super fast. 

The backing is a DSQuilts print from Joann's and the purple binding was in my stash.  Big loopy swirls is my go-to quick quilting design. This quilt finished at about 39" square before washing. I expect some shrinkage and fun crinkling.

I had fun playing with these Dr. Seuss prints that I've had for a while.

Straight line quilting on this one with a great print on the back and a striped binding from the same collection. This one is about 38" x 46". This fabric was pre-washed, so it shouldn't shrink much.

I made a pile of fabric boxes. (see my tutorial here) I'm stitching on the buttons at night while I watch TV. There are 8 or 9 more to finish up. It's a great little catch-all for a desk, sewing table or nightstand.

Guitar straps made from one shabby chick's tutorial. They are so much fun to make! If anyone has a use for 2" black nylon webbing, please let me know.  Amber also has a camera strap tutorial that would go great with my tote bag that isn't finished yet.

Pete is doing great in boot camp. He enters the Crucible tomorrow morning: the 54 hour final test before he becomes a Marine. I could just burst from the mix of emotions right now! Fortunately, I can head back to my sewing machine to calm my nerves.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

 I just have a few minutes to say hello. I've been sewing every day to get ready for a holiday craft show. I love these baby blankets made with flannel and minky. Please prewash your fabrics before making these. Don't ask me how I learned that lesson! I washed with Ivory Snow and they smell like babies! 

The blankie on top is for my sister who is now a grandmother! We can't wait to meet our newest family member. My sister is hosting Thanksgiving dinner which is why I am sewing today and not cooking.

I have a batch of fresh paper pieced lapel pins ready to go.

I love flannel infinity scarves. I wear them often through the winter. They are so cozy!

I wanted to have more quilty things on my table, so I made six mug mats to sell with matching mugs.


If you are in the area, I hope you'll stop by this great sale. There are almost 100 vendors! See the listing for quilts on the poster? That's me, so I guess I'd better get some actual quilts finished to sell.

Pete is excelling at boot camp. We are certainly going to miss him tomorrow, but we're so happy that he'll be home for Christmas.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quick Baby Blanket

You know that feeling when you need the instant gratification of a quick project? That's how I was feeling this morning.

I dug out the minkie and flannel that I bought a year ago and made a cute blankie. I followed this tutorial by Melissa at Greener Grass. I cut around a Corelle lunch plate with a rotary cuter to round the corners. I did use a walking foot, so I had no trouble sewing this together. I was done in about an hour. Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It has been a red, white and blue week! To celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans' Day, I've been playing with red, white and blue.

Finished: Pete's Album Quilt. Yes, I just posted about this. I wanted it to be a separate post from WIP Wednesday. Click here to read all about it.

New Start: I decided I need a cool tote bag for our trip to Pete's graduation, so I pieced some string blocks. Unfortunately, I'll need to set them aside while I focus on other deadlines.

Shipped: The itty bitty mini went off to my schnitzel and boo swap partner yesterday.

Top of the List: I'm booked for one craft show in early December and I really need to get to work! I have some computer work to finish up this week, then I'll be sewing full time for the show.

Time to Link up!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Pete's Album Quilt

 Pete's quilt is finished! I love how it looks on his bed. I'll get to keep it here for a while as he continues his training. He probably won't take it with him until he is assigned to a permanent duty station. This is not a true representation of his bedside table. When he's home, there would be a phone and ipod charging, headphones, and several knives of various sizes.

If you haven't already heard, my son will be graduating from Marine Corps boot camp in December. I'll give him the quilt then, and have his buddies sign a big label for the back. One month to go! I can't wait to be a Marine Mom!!

I'd like to thank my hive mates in the Modern Stash bee for contributing blocks for this quilt. We started with modern reds and blues. I added lots of oldies and goodies from my own stash, including a bit of Boy Scout fabric to honor his past accomplishments.

I totally love the back. The blue print is from the Quilts of Valor collection. It includes the phrases Thank You,  Miss You, Brave One, Home Safe, Proud of You. The bias striped binding is perfect.

It was fun to bring the finished quilt to Ninigret Quilters last night for Show & Tell. Pat, my machine quilter, happened to be holding the other corner. It is always fun to collaborate with her. There is so much you can do with a simple edge-to-edge design- resizing, flipping, shifting. We moved around the repeats until we got it right and it is exactly what I had in mind!

Quilt Stats:
Pete's Album Quilt
56" x 86"
Traditional Block, tutorial here
Pieced blocks from the Modern Stash Quilting Bee

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mini Swap Day

 I may be a little late, but I'm shipping out my swap package today for the Schnitzel and boo mini swap. My partner's favorite designer is Anna Maria Horner, so I've added two fat quarters. (I may have kept some for myself!) I threw in the key fob, even though it matches nothing. Partner, you have my permission to regift it!

 I received this wonderful package from Renae on Saturday. Can you believe this is her first mini? Thank you, Renae!

Isn't the embroidery fantastic? She said on instagram that it is a design from Urban Threads. I will certainly put the Aurifil thread to good use!

We had a great weekend, relaxing and celebrating. Providence dedicated WaterFire to all Veterans on Saturday night. It was a spectacular and moving event.

On a much smaller scale, we always enjoy our town's Veterans' Day parade and ceremony. It was a little weird that our kids were not marching. We've had someone in the parade every year from 1999-2012. I talked to a lot of Marines this weekend. I'm so excited to be joining the family!

Pete's quilt is done! I'll show it to you tomorrow after it stops snowing!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Red, White & Blue

 In honor of the Marine Corps Birthday (Nov 10) and Veterans' Day (Nov 11), I decided I would only sew with red, white and blue fabric this weekend.

I started string piecing these little blocks this morning and now I have enough for the top of this tote bag. I need a cool bag for the trip to Pete's graduation!

 I made a big mess, but it was worth it!

Pete's quilt is ready to bind. Which stripe do you prefer? Bottom or right? 
Pat did a great job quilting this. It is exactly the look I wanted, and I never would have been able to pull it off on my machine.

Ellie and I went to a guild rep meeting at the New England Quilt Museum yesterday. (Happy Birthday, Ellie!) The Fallen Heroes quilt was on display in our meeting room. This is one of seven panels. Each block represents a service member who died in Iraq or Afghanistan.  A story of the person is written on the back of each block.

I love the eagle in the center.

Enjoy your long weekend!
Semper Fi, Marines!