Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wrapping up the year.........and some plans for next year

Well as another year draws to a close I look back on what was accomplished this year. I didn't do too bad. The biggest accomplishment has been to slow down on how many projects I start - because frankly when I start 20 things I end up abandoning half of them. If I start five I'm more likely to finish some.

So here is the list of the Christmas presents made that haven't been shown yet.

First is my gifts to April, who was my partner in my online Christmas Quilting Swap.

The idea was each lady sent two fqs, a spool of thread and buttons to your partner. Your partner makes you something using those items and then sends it back to you.

I made a tablerunner with the items April sent me (she said she could use one for her office), a small, stuffed Christmas tree (like the ones Tasha and I made for our families last year), a small change purse and a yummy goodie.

I made this ornament for the annual quilt guild ornament exchange:

Very easy to make, a bit time consuming because of all the buttons that need to be handsewn on individually but worth the result. Timmy loved it wanted to keep it - and he got his wish. The night of the party I was so sick I had to stay home.

I made a couple of those fleece blankets that you tie together for the boys:

This was my first attempt at the tied fleece and they were so easy to make, look so nice and were such a hit with the kids that I imagine I'll be making more at some point.

Tasha got a fleece blanket last Christmas but she has still been carrying around the tote I made her for Halloween so I made her this tote:

I really felt I got a lot of my quilting goals for the past year met. So on to next year.

I've come up with several plans - seemingly reasonable but we'll see how I feel in a year.

First goal is to make one Christmas present per month. I have an idea for next year and one a month is doable - if I just do it. lol.

Second goal is to make up some Christmas things for the kids. I'd like to make one of each of the handmade gifts we've given to the family the past few years and put them in a box and save them for when the younger kids move out on their own. We get them an ornament (or two) every year but they won't have any other decorations. This way they can start out with a few decorations that will remind them of "home".

Third goal is to finish the three tops I have done now. They're all larger quilts and at least two I plan to hand quilt so that will be a time commitment.

Fourth goal is a queen sized Bear's Paw quilt for our bed. I got the fabric for Christmas - now I just have to turn it into a quilt.

Fifth goal is a wallhanging for the bathroom. I was looking at our tile floor this morning and realized I can make a wallhanging based on it. I will only need the fabric I still have from making the curtains, two more fabrics for the blocks, one for sashing and one for a final border - and I can probably get that out of my stash.

Now of course I know things will pop up as the year goes by but my goal in that area is to be strong. lol.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some Finishes

Lots of pictures to share this time. I made another tote. This one is for Christmas and I absolutely love it.

And of course I made a quickie Christmas quilt. I have two Christmas quilts in the works but they are going to take some time to finish so I whipped this one up in the past couple of weeks.

Not the normal traditional colors but I'm happy with it. I called it Fly Away Home For Christmas.

This one I have been working on for such a long time I can't remember just how long it's been. So I called it The Long Awaited Trip. It's all hand quilted - echo quilting inside each individual square. It was a lot of work but it was a labor of love.

I saw some ornaments on eBay that I fell in love with. One of my very special computer friends found me a pattern online (thanks Cindy!) and I made one. I'm not completely thrilled with the results but I'm happy enough for a first effort.

Now on to some goodies that I didn't make. My favorite online group is doing a Christmas swap. The plan was to send two fqs of fabrics of your choice, buttons and thread to the lady you were paired with. Then you would make something with the items you received and send them back to your partner along with an extra little treat. So here are the goodies I received:

Two wonderful book covers. The poinsettia fabric is what I sent. Not sure if you can see or not but there's a little bookmark of the same fabric sticking out.

And this was the extra treat (actually the second extra treat - the second book cover was the first).

Quite obviously I love totes. lol. Thanks so much April. I love all the work you did.

Now I just need to get April's goodies finished up and in the mail.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Prize-Winning Quilt

I've always wanted to say that. lol. And my quilt did win a prize - but not for the quilting or the design - just for being the first one finished. But, hey, it's still a prize winner. lol.

Here's the quilt:

It's my snowman quilt made from blocks from an online group swap. I backed it with a fleece sheet, birthed it and tied it. The blocks are so pretty and diverse that I didn't want to take away from them with a bunch of quilting. It's so cuddly and warm and since the blocks were made by my close friends it's like a loving hug.

And the prize! When the girl who organized the swap emailed me about the prize I had honestly forgotten she even mentioned there being a prize for the first project completed.

The prize was a Christmas tablerunner. It arrived today in the mail and I simply love it.

Thanks Joyce for organizing the swap and for the great prize.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Primitives Quilt Shoppe: It's a Happy Halloween Giveaway!

Pumpkin Patch Primitives Quilt Shoppe: It's a Happy Halloween Giveaway!

Halloween Giveaway

Well you know how it goes - not likely to win but have to give it a try.

Pumpkin Patch Primitives Quilt Shoppe is having the most awesome giveaway.

To check out the details and enter yourself click on the title of this post to be redirected to the Pumpkin Patch website. I tried to add the link in the body of the post but I suppose I'm still a bit technologically challenged - the link shows up until I post - and then it's gone.

But I promise you if you click the title you will get to the website - and you soooo want to go. The prizes are great and even if you don't win it's a neat website. Look around and you'll come up with some great holiday ideas.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christmas Is Coming!!

Well I had intended to post a picture of my finished snowman quilt made from my swap blocks. But since I forgot to take the picture I suppose I will have to make do with the picture of the top pre-quilting.

The finished product isn't much different. I birthed it and used a fleece sheet as the backing. It's nice and warm without being heavy. And it's tied. The blocks are so lovely that I didn't want to take away from them with a lot of quilting.

Now on to Christmas. During the recent Blogger's Quilt Festival I saw a gorgeous Christmas quilt and I am attempting to recreate parts of it. It's an applique quilt with each block having a different Christmas motif. I'm using some of the ones the lady who posted it did and I'm making some different ones of my own. So far I have these three completed:

I'm adding a bit of embellishment to each block. I have two more close to complete but I still need to work on the embellishments a bit.

So that's what's been going on around here quilting-wise.

In other news my kitchen is done!! It's been two years in the making but it's done. I only have a picture of the one row of drawers:

These are the drawers between the stove and refrigerator. The cabinets are the real showstoppers. Rodger cut the center out of the doors and added chicken wire (did I mention it's a country kitchen?). They look FABULOUS! Pictures next time.

At long last Thunder is making an appearance!

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Monday, October 12, 2009


Two words that practically guarantee a quilter a good evening.

Our local quilt guild had Margaret Hartranft and Mark Martin for our guests tonight. They do a show called Compositions in Quilts and Music and let me tell you if you have the chance you want to be sure to see these people.

I'm not going to post all the pictures I took but will high-light a few of my favorites.

This one I found intriguing but I wasn't sure if I really liked it or not because I'm not really into art quilts. But when I saw it up close and saw the detail I couldn't believe how beautiful it is. Now keep in mind that this is a guild challenge - the theme - stripes and dots.

She took a picture one morning on her way to work at a stop light and then created this quilt from it. The birds are machine stitched and also beaded.

This quilt took my breath away and was my favorite - for a while. This one took best of show at a quilt show and I can't remember which one. lol. It's all done in miniatures.

I would love to copy this - but I would have to make in full size because some of those pieces were almost too small to hold on to. I greatly admire people who do mini quilts. I wouldn't have the patience.

This one I saw when I first walked in and thought it was an optical illusion - that it was hung to look smaller on one side but it actually is smaller on one side. A lot of this is fabric painting. The window frame pieces are appliqued on rather than done as sashing.

This brings us to my absolute favorite part of the show.

Some of the quilts were made first and the music composed afterwards. Some the music came first. Some were sort of a collaboration. These quilts were made after the music was composed. Mark composed an opera about a woman's life. Afterwards he asked Margaret to make quilts to represent the various times.

The first quilt was for when the girl was 16. As Mark said, there were good times but it is an opera so there are bad times coming. The good and bad times are represented by the light and dark fabrics.

Next she gets married. The darker fabrics represent the masculine side of the union, the lighter fabrics represent the feminine side of the union.

The next step is being a housewife. This point of the opera would have taken place in the 40s and at that point a woman was trained to be a wife. And then what? So Margaret chose to make a quilt that used up all the different fabrics the woman would have had in her entire household. There are 3,000 pieces in this quilt and it represents the tedium of the housewife's life in that era.

The back of this quilt is awesome. Margaret used feedsacks that she got at a Humane Society thrift store.

The final quilt was to represent the older woman as age has made her a bit more forgetful and her mind muddled. Margaret said that she had to have a stopping point for this quilt because she could have gone on forever. So she chose six embellishments and six embroidery stitches for each individual block.

That was the end of the opera and therefore the end of the quilts. However, Margaret and Mark decided a finishing quilt was in order. And I'm so glad they did. This is my absolute favorite quilt of the entire show. It literally took my breath away and you could hear gasps around the room as they unrolled it.

There is so much to say about this quilt. If you notice on the top right corner there are sections of the earlier quilts - all done to appear faded as the years have gone by. In full color on the lower left corner is the crazy quilt that represents the end of the opera. But look closely at the lady - one half of her face is lined and her hair is gray but on the other side her face is smooth and her hair is brown. And then look at the shadow box - all those little items are real items. There are spools of thread, buttons, a golf tee, charms, pins, flowers, pictures, etc. The detail is incredible.

And of course there was the music. Mark gave wonderful descriptions of things he saw in the quilt and how he translated them to music. And sitting listening to him I closed my eyes and could see what he was playing.

It was an incredible night. If you ever have the chance to see this talented duo don't pass it up. It was a truly magical evening.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Halloween is Coming!!

And in celebration I have a couple of Halloween projects finished to post.

A few weeks back (okay - six or seven weeks) I posted that I was making my daughter a tote bag similar to the one I made myself. It was my first project for the Charming Girls Quilt Club. So of course I didn't get it finished. As a matter of fact, I took myself out of the CGQC because it seems if I say I plan to do something it's almost guaranteed not to get done. sigh.

So since she had picked Halloween fabrics I thought I ought to make the thing before November got here. So I made it Saturday. I have actually made two totes before this one. So I'm experienced right? I didn't need to find that darned pattern right? Um, apparently not. lol. So her's is quite a bit different from mine - and quite a bit different than I had planned - apparently that woman at the fabric counter didn't cut enough fabric for me to make stupid mistakes and still make the tote the way I planned to, so some adjustments had to be made.

But all in all it still turned out cute and she's happy. The main difference - the main NOTICEABLE difference is that the bottom of the bag is tapered rather than flat (comes from sewing in the wrong direction and cutting before realizing it).

The second project is this month's A Tisket, A Tasket BOM (the link to this is on the right sidebar of this blog). The patterns are free and are offered in redwork or applique and will work up into a nice little quilt at the end of the year. Or you can do like I am and do individual wallhangings.

I'm not sure if I'm just seeing what I want to see or if it was designed this way but I think the witch looks like SBS - who I dearly love. My favorite part is her little boo bucket. It's too adorable.

One of these days I'll figure out my new photo program and be able to crop things a bit better. I added some embellishments to this one and I really like doing that. I think one of my new projects for 2010 will be something with a lot of embellishments.

So tonight I'll pack up these two projects along with my niece's baby quilt and a Christmas wallhanging I made as a present (which is why I can't show it) and take them in to my quilt guild meeting and I'll come home with four more pins for my nametag. Oh, speaking of the nametag, here it is:

Oh wow! I just realized there are no new pictures of Thunder! Tonight's guild meeting is a trunk show and I intend to take pictures so before I post my favorites I'll make sure I have a picture of Thunder on there too.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Well it's here. The first day of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. If you aren't familiar with this festival, please click on the link on the sidebar and it will give you all the details - and you can get links to some of the other participants' quilts.

The short story is that you are to post a picture of a special quilt and tell a little bit about it.

So here's mine:

Sunbonnet Sue is the reason I learned to quilt. I so wanted to make this quilt. But when I learned to quilt, I learned that I did not have a gift for applique. So the idea went back on the shelf. Over a period of five or so years I made lots of quilts. Once I got to feeling comfortable I decided it was time to try again. But this time I had an ace in the hole. Fusible web!! Fusible web is my answer to needle turn applique. I did a few small applique projects - mainly centers for round robin quilts. And when I felt comfortable I did this quilt. The fun thing was using the different fabrics. I can get easily bored doing the same block over and over.

I love naming my quilts. Not long after I started quilting I learned that some people name their quilts and I thought it was a great idea. Coming up with an appropriate name isn't always easy. But this one was - I named it Dreams Do Come True.

Hugs and Stitches, Jody

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Project Finished

Here it is - hot off the sewing machine:

This baby quilt is for my niece Kathlene's baby boy who is due this December.

I just love the print on this fabric. Such a fun print for a boy - and I'm lucky she's having a boy because I actually had the top done before I found out. lol.

Hugs and stitches, Jody

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This months tag for The Charming Girls was to pick a name for our quilt-a-long and to use the letters of our names to list characteristics about ourselves.

So here is my suggestion and my answers:

I'd like to suggest A Little Bit of the Past. Seems perfect for something so little made of repros.

Now for the name thing:

J - Jolly
O - Ornery
D - Delightful
Y - Young at heart

If you'd like to join the Charming Girls or get more information you can click on the button the right hand side of my blog.

Hugs and stitches, Jody

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Adventure

Well I jumped right in and joined the local quilt guild Monday evening.

So now I have some goals! Just what I need. lol.

The first thing is a baby quilt. We will be having a visit from a representative for Project Linus in February and they would like to have some quilts to give so I'm going to go through my stash and pull out some baby fabric. Two of my nieces have had or are going to have babies this year (Rebekkah was born in January and Logan is due in December) so I have some baby fabric leftovers to use.

And then there is the biannual quilt show. They like for each guild member to put at least one project in the show. I don't have anything ready or close enough to ready that I want to put in so I'll be looking at patterns to find a project and getting started on it soon - the show is in April. I'm thinking I'll do a wallhanging with some decorative quilting.

My machine quilting is limited to stitch in the ditch or grids so this will be done by hand. And my hand quilting is normally stitch in the ditch or echo so I'm going to need some time. lol. I have done decorative quilting and really love the way it looks so I'm hoping I can find something not too difficult but really, really pretty.

And I need to make a nametag. A Sunbonnet Sue nametag. Yes I am thrilled that Sue is our "mascot" since she is one of my favorite blocks to make.

Okay enough playing - off to work.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Epic Quilt - Part Three (with a peek at Four) and More

Let's start with the more. lol.

CJ over at A Stitch and A Prayer wanted to see my snowman blocks. I didn't want to post them because they are part of a swap and I hadn't mailed them yet. However, they have been mailed and received so here they are.

Some of us decided to do two sets so I did two different blocks. This is the one everyone who played along got:

The picture is a bit cattywhompus but the block is square. lol.

Then for the girls who did two blocks, I made this one:

And because I'm going to need some extra blocks to make the quilt big enough for my bed, I also made this one for myself:

I haven't received all the blocks from the other girls but Joyce in CO sent this one:

And Joyce in NC, who got a bit carried away (she was supposed to make two), sent these four:

This is going to be one awesome quilt. And best of all, since these ladies are my very best friends, every time I cuddle up in this quilt it will be like getting a big hug from them.

Now on to the Epic quilt. Part Three was, to put it simply, a huge pain in the booty. I did this from a picture with no directions and I had such a hard time with it. It wouldn't surprise me if this was supposed to be paper pieced. Paper piecing is not my friend. lol. But I am not only happy with the results, I'm pleased as punch.

And now for the peek. I did this block last night:

The plan (subject to change at any point before I sew it on to the center) is for three more of these blocks and eight other blocks that I know what they will be but I have not started yet.

Due to problems with a computer virus, a back up computer and camera software that only works when it feels like it, Thunder has not made an appearance lately. But through sheer determination and pigheadedness, I did get a few pictures up, including this one:

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Monday, September 7, 2009

Epic Quilt - parts one and two

I looked up Epic in the dictionary and it means majestic, surpassing the usual or ordinary. Exactly what I wanted for my newest quilt project.

I've worked very hard this year at reducing my list of WIPs. I abandoned some, reworked some and finished some. I have it narrowed down to under six quilts that I'm piecing - or in some cases planning to piece.

One day while trying to decide which of these few projects to work on, I found I really didn't want to work on any of them. sigh. But I wanted to quilt. So I starting surfing the net looking at what other folks had been making.

What I came up with was the desire to make something really special. Something that would stretch my abilities. Something that would fit my bed. lol. I think I've probably made about 50 quilts - none really big enough for my bed. There is one that's actually big enough but it's very simply made - backed with a sheet, birthed and tied.

So I started with these blocks:

Which I formed into this single block:

That was part one.

For part two I decided on some applique. Applique is not my strong suit, and I'm not big on ripping things out so I generally take what I produce on the first try. But this is, after all, my epic quilt. So I ripped. I'm much happier with this version than the first try:

I'm working on the third part and it's giving me fits. I did say I wanted something that would stretch me but I'm doing most of this from pictures I saw online - no directions - so it's really stretching me.

Hopefully I'll be able to post the next part soon.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Project - and A New Goal

The new project is another of the totes similar to the one I made last week.

I like this one better because I made a few changes to it. I added some stabilizer. The other one is okay with just the batting but I wanted something a little firmer. I also added a pocket to the inside of this one and made the bow a bit bigger. And I made this one with some gorgeous Kona Bay fabric I've had for a couple of years. Kona Bay is my absolute favorite fabric - I'd use it for everything if I could afford it!

The new goal will be used for this month's Charming Girls' Quilt Club. I'm having trouble getting the link for this in the body of the post so if you click on the title of the post or the link on my side bar you can go to the Charming Girls' Quilt Club and see all the details and how you can join and participate too.

The goal is to make another one of these bags for my daughter using this fabric:

I've also been working on some things I can't show. Swap blocks for a snowman swap and I'm working on some Christmas presents too. Business at work has really dropped off and so I'm not working as much so I'm trying to be productive here with my time.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another goodie finished!

This one isn't actually a quilt, but it's quilted to I'm including it.

I have long admired these beautiful quilted tote bags you can find all over the web. And I actually purchased one off eBay. Apparently I didn't read the description well enough. I was looking for something to use as a purse. This thing is really too big for that. So I have a quilting project in it. And I started looking again.

More than a year and a half since I started looking I found the perfect pattern. I was a bit nervous as I have never made a bag before but this worked up pretty easily and I only had a few problems. Getting the bottom in it was a bit tricky and I think from looking over the directions again there might be a typo and that might be the problem I had. Anyhow, I made a couple of minor adjustments (added an outside pocket for my keys and made the straps a bit longer) and in just a few hours I had this:

I like it so much I'm going to make a fall one and possibly even one for Christmas. I saw some fabric the other day that I would love to make a Christmas one of - with my luck by the time I get back to the store it'll all be gone. lol.

I'll leave you with this picture of Thunder. Timmy's birthday was a couple of weeks ago and when Grandma came out for the the party she brought along a present for Thunder.

Of course it's a football. What else in this family? lol.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody