Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Inspiration ...

Since I've finished the Christmas Hexagons, I've been getting inspired to work on some related things ~ I got started on Diamond English Paper Piecing, and Very Tiny Vintage English Paper Piecing ... But also, since it was so fun to prepare something neat for Christmas, I've also been inspired to work on something Christmassy sometime between now and next Christmas.

I've got just enough of this sweet Christmas fabric to make a Christmas tree skirt:


Since I want it to look quilty, I'll be trying out some bits of coordinating fabric and some layouts to see what I like ... but hey, I've got time, right? It's a looooong time till Christmas!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little Quilt Circles

I had such fun making this quilt for my newest baby niece ...


Here's a close-up ... I was pleased with how the hand-quilted circles in matching colors turned out ...


There were more pictures, but the computer ate them somewhere  between the SD card and the hard drive.  (Yikes.)

This quilt has been in progress for a few weeks ... I mentioned it in this post and in this post ... And I drew a lot of inspiration from this quilt and these blocks, as well as a circles quilt in this book ...

The rainbow look was fun (I love variety!), and the crazy-quilty-ness was fun (I love "made fabric"!), and the circles were fun (I love quilt circles!). 

Fun quilt. And I'm excited for my sister and her family as they welcome their newest little one. 



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vintage-Fabric Hexagons

Since I had some scraps leftover from the vintage fabrics I cut for my Diamond English Paper Piecing, I wanted to make something "mini" ... but I wasn't sure what. 

After I finished the Christmas Hexagons, I thought I might take a break from hexagons for a while. I started on the Vintage Diamonds, and then I kept thinking of cute things to do with hexagons ...

Voila! Perfect solution! With the vintage scraps ... I made a few hexagons ...


And, for perspective ... this is what size this is:


Yes! That tiny! Even my little helpers are overwhelmed by the cuteness.

I'll probably turn this into some sort of Christmas ornament for some other year. More to come, probably. And, since tiny hexagons are such a tiny project, they're very portable. Nice.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finished Socks ...

A couple of times, I've mentioned the lavendar socks I've been knitting ... This weekend, during some Christmas-Eve-relaxing time, I got the toes finished on the socks! 


The timing was perfect for finishing these - partly because I had just enough time to sit and knit over the weekend, and partly because a certain small helper of mine had spilled my coffee on the sock-project the day before.  (Yes. Coffee. With sugar and cream. Right into the partly-open-ziplock-bag full of sock-knitting.) So, my dilemma was whether to finish the socks soon so I could wash them, or whether to somehow wash the socks-and-yarn and then let-it-all-dry before finishing. I just knitted the socks-that-smelled-like-coffee ... and washed them afterward. Too funny! 

I mentioned these socks in a couple of previous blog posts (here and here) - I'm so pleased to have these finished! 

Stay tuned for more knitting news! I've got some really cute self-striping sock yarn to start my next pair of socks ...




Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
May we always be amazed at the goodness and mercy of God, who gave His son Jesus to be Emmanuel, God with us!


It's been fun to have the Christmas decorations around ... reminding us of Christ's birth, and making the season look festive ... reminding us, too, of friends and family who are far away ... 








Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blue Yo-yo Bits ...

Not long ago, I mentioned my quilty yo-yos in all different colors. I also mentioned that I was working on some blue ones.

When I started these, I was going to use them single-file on a wide border of a small project that never took off ... so, they're sewn in little rows of 3. Now that I'm thinking about sewing tons of them together, I'm thinking I might not want them looking this organized ... but when I get a few more blue yo-yos made, I can figure out whether or not to disassemble my little rows of 3 ...


I could add these to my random yo-yo stack, but I'm liking the just-blue look. Maybe it's to balance out the uncharacteristic randomness of the other yo-yo project, but I'm thinking it'll be fun to ALSO work on a mostly-blue yo-yo quilt.

So, here's a question for my fellow-quilters: How do you like yo-yo quilts assembled? 
  • JUST the yo-yos sewn to each other, as a "coverlet"?
  • The yo-yos stitched to something lightweight, like a sheet, to give it some stability?
  • Yo-yos assembled and sewn onto a "traditional" quilt with batting?
  • Something different, like yo-yos stitched onto fleece?
I realize that the possibilities are endless, so I'd love to hear from some folks who've made yo-yo quilts (or loved yo-yo quilts!), to give me ideas as I consider what to look toward in a finished product.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Scrap-Quilting thoughts ...


It's hard to believe that Christmas is nearly here! Time has flown so fast this year, and another year is on its way.

This week, I was pondering some quilting analogies while thinking about the busy-ness of life ...

During the past year, I've enjoyed making some real scrap-quilting projects. Out of actual scraps. Whereas many of my quilting projects have been made out of big pieces of intentionally coordinated fabrics, I've made a few things this year out of little pieces of fabric that were too small for my regular projects. Pieces of fabric that I wouldn't necessarily have thought would go well together. 

And, for me, it's a great reminder that the little things do add up. My tendency is to wait for the "perfect" timing and the "ideal" situation to work on important projects or priorities. But I'm seeing that even little bits of time spent on important things make a big difference. Little bits of effort spent on right priorities really add up. A small effort on a consistent basis goes a long way ...





Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bits and Pieces ...

What I've been working on lately ...

Bits and pieces of things in little bits of time ...

Another star added to my English Paper Piecing ...

A few tiny quilt-y Christmas ornaments ...

 Putting some made-fabric circles on a quilt top ...

 

Tiny bits of Mary Engelbreit fabric for I'm-not-yet-sure-what ...

A few more rows on each lavendar sock. Almost ready for the toe. (I decided not to take the pics with my toes in the socks, although I thought about it. You're welcome.) 




Hope you and yours are having a great Christmas season so far!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vintage Quilt-y Bits ...

A really long time ago, I came across a little stack of vintage fabric, already cut into appliqués (butterflies, I think), with the edges turned under and basted. Cute. Vintage. 


Quite old, as far as I can tell ... "actual" vintage, not reproduction fabrics, so I was kind of hesitant to do anything with them ... On the one hand, I didn't like the butterfly shapes, and didn't want to appliqué; on the other hand, I didn't want to cut the fabric; didn't want to mess up the cute vintage-ness.

But I finally decided that since I like the fabric, I should turn it into something cute that I will like. 

I've been seeing pictures of diamond English Paper Piecing (mostly at lifeunderquilts Just. Wow. And also here. Wow again.) I really like the diamond-star-tumbling-block look. 

So, finally, a couple weeks ago, I dared to cut the cute vintage fabric (yes! I did!), so I can try diamond-shaped English Paper Piecing. Here's the design idea I'm going with - the colors are random, just to give me an idea of where the colored pieces go, and where the plain muslin ones go.


 (Yay for free printable graph papers ... got this paper here and the printable diamonds to print on cardstock here)

And, since coloring on neat shapes is nearly irresistible, a small helper did some color-designing, too ...


And, as for the sewing, I'm super-pleased to report progress! I'm loving it!

Here's the first star ...

And the next one ...

Working on the 3rd star ...

And here's the combination of all of the above ...


Take Your Time Tuesday at So Happy is a fun spot to mention hand-stitching work like this ... So I'm planning to link this post to this week's Take Your Time Tuesday ...

(By the way, if you've seen a couple of my previous Tuesday posts, you might want to check out the finished product on my Christmas Hexagons Quilt ...)

Fabric Tuesday at QuiltStory is another fun place to see fabric projects of all kinds, and I'm linking this post to this week's Fabric Tuesday, as well. (Click the button below for the most recent Fabric Tuesday).

Fresh Poppy Design


Monday, December 12, 2011

Mini-Quilts in Progress ...

I don't have much mini-quilt news happening, since I haven't finished anything miniature in the past week ... but I've got some things in progress ...

A bunch of green, crazy-quilty 3-inch "made fabric" squares that are trying to become Christmas ornaments ...



... and a bunch of these little bits for a mini Lone Star ...


... influenced by this book that was given to me a few years ago, which is full of little tips and tricks ...


I'll share pictures when I finish up some of these cute little mini-things ...

Keep an eye out for some fellow-quilters' mini-projects shared at 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nativity Scenes ...

Christmas is coming, remarkably fast. It's so fun to see Christmas through my children's eyes, and to watch them discover more and more what Christmas is about: JESUS!

My oldest daughter, on her own initiative, updated our kitchen markerboard for us - with candy canes, Christmas trees, a list of Christmas-related events this coming week, and these two verses:



Matthew 1:21 
And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins.


Luke 2:7
And she brought forth her firstborn son,
and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger;
because there was no room for them in the inn.


This weekend, we'll probably (finally) get our Christmas tree up; but for now, we're feeling festive (and reverent and grateful) having these out ...

The glass nativity scene from the thrift store, on my Christmas mini-quilt ...

ProsperitySutff Round Christmas Mini-Quilt Nativity

And, my personal favorite, the cross-stitched nativity scene that my sister made for us ...


I hope that you and yours are having a memorable time getting ready for Christmas! Have a great weekend!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Finished Christmas Hexagons Quilt!

I'm really pleased to have FINISHED my Christmas Quilt!


It's a nice throw-size quilt for the living room. It measures about 58" x 58".  I was surprised when I was laying out the background that a square was what I needed. The hexagon design looked so much taller than it was wide. Not so. It needed an exact square. ( I know, the picture looks long, but it's square!)

A certain little person keeps showing up in the living room and saying "My toes are cold ...", which is a hint for "I need to test the new quilt again!" 

In the past couple of days, I've been doing a lot of this:


And the backing is an awesome beige floral. The backing was surprisingly cooperative with the quilting process. Even so, this is the only view of the back that you get to see, because, actually, a lot of the rest of the back is really quite un-perfect. But I'm totally OK with that, and soooo pleased to have this fun quilt useable. :-)

A little before and after:


This quilt is very densely quilted! And here I thought I was going big on the free-motion "doodles"! Actually, I used up more than an ENTIRE bobbin of NYLON thread. My nylon thread is so fine that a TON of thread fits on a bobbin ... and I've NEVER used up a whole bobbin in a day! But then, this is the biggest quilt I've ever quilted this way. (It's about 58" x 58".)

It's been fun to take this quilt from these pictures below (taken in June, while I was figuring this out) to the finished product that's folded and sitting in my rocking chair. Merry Christmas!

   

In other finishing-things-up news, I blogged earlier this week about a couple of neat quilt tops I finished: 

 

The Mini-Kaleidoscopes Quilt Top was lots of fun, and I really love the big Color Splash Quilt Top. Busy week!



I'm linking this post to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Sew and Tell Friday at AmyLouWho ... Both of these are great places to see what others have been working on! Lots of projects being finished up!






Thursday, December 8, 2011

Flannel Squares ... and Leaders and Enders ...

Lately, I've been sewing flannel squares ... Making a cozy flannel rag quilt ...

ProsperityStuff Rag Quilt Blocks

A few weeks ago, I came across a neat concept at a blog called Jo's Country Junction ~ Her post about Leaders and Enders caught my eye ... and she linked her post to her inspiration at Quiltville ... fascinating stuff.

Both of the links above have great, lengthy explanations ... but the short version is, if you sew together a couple of tiny squares, in between each seam of what you're really working on, the tiny squares keep you from having all those long threads at each end of what you're really working on. You sew straight from one piece onto another, then afterward, you snip the tiny thread between ... So, what you're really working on gets sewn, and the little squares you're sewing together for something else also get done.

I have to remind myself often how much little bits do add up. Little bits really do add up! A while back, I mentioned the first denim quilt I made. I decided that since there was "no time" to make something that big, my only option was to worked on the denim quilt every Sunday afternoon, even if it was only for 15 minutes. Sometimes I only worked 15 minutes on it. But it got done!

So, I decided to try the Leaders and Enders idea ...
I cut some little squares ...
ProsperityStuff Quilt Leaders and Enders

And started sewing them before ...
ProsperityStuff Quilt Ender

... and after ...
ProsperityStuff Quilt Ender

... and between ...
ProsperityStuff Quilt Leader-Ender

... the pieces of the project that I was really working on ...
ProsperityStuff Rag Quilt Ender Between

So, afterward, I just snip that little thread between the pieces, and I don't have to give everything a "haircut" afterward from all those long threads ...

AND, I end up with not only my stack of these sewed ...
ProsperityStuff Sports Rag Quilt Blocks

... but ALSO my stack of these:
ProsperityStuff Quilt Leader-Ender Stack

So far, it sounds like a win-win!

While working on my "Made Fabric" circles the other day, I also stitched some of the Leaders and Enders ... Here's how the whole stack of blue-and-white is looking after being pressed ...
ProsperityStuff Quilt Leaders-Enders Stack

As for what the Leaders and Enders turn into, I'm not sure yet ... I'm thinking about trying for something like a {small} version of the blue-and-neutral quilt shown at Quiltville ... The power of suggestion is strong, and that quilt looks awesome ... so stay tuned for more on the Leaders and Enders project.

The flannel, though, is looking promising ... here's the layout I'm looking at for the rag quilt. It's probably going on eBay when it's done. We'll see.
ProsperityStuff Sports Rag Quilt Layout

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