Nov 29, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

This was sent to me by a friend and made me laugh out loud when I read it-I wonder how many other quilters think Santa would say the same thing to them. 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
I'm glued to the tree.
I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be fat quarters or a pattern or lace?
Or a quilt kit, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that's when I heard him. "Hi, Santa," I said.
"You know good little girls should be in bed."
"I know I should Santa and now I've been caught,
But I was just so excited to see what you brought."
"Well, let's take a look in this room where you work."
He shook his head quickly and left with a jerk.
I heard him explain as he put it in gear,
"You've got enough stuff, I'll see you next year."

Author Unknown

Happy Quilting.

Nov 26, 2012

Love Letters Block #4

I am still busy with my applique. But, I have not been in my quilt room to sit at my sewing machine at all because of it! That's changing. Now that I have finished block #4 it's time to put this project aside while I sew some gifts for Christmas. I am going to be making something for each of my 6 granddaughters. None of my projects are quilts-they are all sewing/craft ideas-but I will be blogging about them anyway. 

But, I digress. This post is about my Love Letters quilt. Each of these blocks is getting a little more challenging. There are more pieces to applique and the shapes are more difficult. But, I am enjoying them so much. 

I am now finished with The Coxcomb. It took me six weeks to complete this block, but with Fall holiday activities and Christmas around the corner, that's not too bad. I have four blocks down and five to go. 

I love all the flowers with two parts to them. They are twice the work, but they are also twice as nice. 

Here are my four blocks together. This is not their positions on the finished quilt, I just have them this way for the photo. 

Here are a few detail shots from previous blocks. My work is getting better as I progress, so don't be too harsh in your judgement of my applique!

My next block is The Rose Hip. It has 45 pieces (plus stems). I have already copied all of the applique pieces onto freezer paper. I need to get them all cut out and get started. Maybe I will work on that in the evenings as I watch those great Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I am a sucker for a sappy, holiday flick.

Happy quilting and happy holidays. 

Nov 20, 2012

Annie's Mice

My friend, Anne, has so much talent! She is an awesome quilter and her needleturn applique is so fine that it will bring tears to your eyes. Her quilts are as beautiful as any I have ever seen at a quilt show. 

And now she has decided to try her hand at needle-felting. She is having a blast and making the cutest mice. She told me that they just take on their personality as she is making each each one. And they tell her what their name is too. :) I have shown you pics of them in the past, but I am going to show them again in case you missed them.

In September she made her first mouse for Tisha for her birthday. This little mouse's name is "Stitch" and now he lives across the Atlantic in England. He sits on an old red tomato pin cushion which is inside of an old tin canning jar lid. Stitch is holding the cutest little bitty basket filled with a quilter's necessities. 

In October Pam got a mouse for her birthday. Her name is "Sewjourner" and she also has a basket with a pin cushion and other sewing supplies. Sewjourner is a darker grey with a light grey belly. 

Here is "Jingle". He is white-a Christmas mouse-and he is MINE! Isn't he so cute? I got him from Anne last week when we went to visit Pam. I think he is going to sit on a branch of my Christmas tree while it is up, but he will not be packed away with the other decorations after the holidays. He will be with me in my quilt room. 

I sure couldn't pack that cute face away! Look at those eyes and that little pink nose. Jingle makes me smile when I look at him.

Anne included a card with Jingle. He is definitely one of a kind. 

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way........Welcome to my home, Jingle. It's so fun to have you here :)

Happy Quilting!!

Nov 17, 2012

Pam's Quilt Room

Last week Anne and I went to Virginia to visit Pam. She and her husband recently bought a house there and are still in the process of getting settled in. Anne and I were anxious to  see where Pam is now living-so off we went for a quick visit. We told Pam to leave a little unpacking for us to help her with. But, instead of unpacking boxes, the three of us spent time in Pam's quilt room-hanging things on the wall, organizing the closet, and arranging her antique sewing treasures. Pam has quite a collection of sewing goodies and she is great at creating vignettes that are so pleasing to the eye. I took a few pictures, because I thought you might enjoy seeing her room. I took all of these with my phone (because I never remember to take my camera anywhere with me) so the quality is not good-I apologize for that.

Welcome to Pam's quilt room. It's the bonus room and it's HUGE! She has a walk-in closet, 2 dormers, a full bathroom and walk out access to the attic (which has flooring in it for extra storage!) She said she is going to add a dorm fridge and an electric teapot-I think she is planning on moving in and never leaving this space! And who wouldn't want to stay here forever?

On the left is the cabinet where Pam has her Kansas Troubles fabrics and her wool stored. The black desk has her sewing machine on it and is work central in this room. She currently has a piece of flannel hanging like curtains on her back wall as a temporary design wall-she is going to make it a more permanent fixture in the future. 

Here is the cozy spot that Pam created to sit and do hand stitching. She swapped blocks with Anne and the two of them each made a Dear Jane quilt (hanging over the rack on the left side of the picture). The sewing basket in the foreground is an old German one. A lot of us picked them up various places when we were with our husbands stationed in Germany. 

A treadle sewing machine cabinet makes a perfect spot to display old photos, a dish of buttons and a jar with old spools of thread. The backdrop is a antique drying rack draped with a pair of quilts. 

Near her sewing machine hangs a shelf where Pam has some really cute antique sewing items. Under it is a small bookcase where she has her thread and other sewing supplies close at hand. 

Here is a close up of the shelf on the wall. Pam loves vintage sewing items and finds them at flea markets, garage sales and antique shops. She has a great collection of old buttons, needle packages, wooden darners and wooden spools of thread. 

These shelves are next to Pam's sewing machine and hold all the supplies she needs when she sits to sew.

On top of another cabinet is a collection of old canning jars filled with thread, buttons and scissors. 

This is the sewing machine that goes in the treadle cabinet. It has been passed down in Pam's family and is not one that she purchased somewhere. She intends on getting it in good working order and using it to make a quilt. 

Anne made this mouse for Pam! (she also made one for Tisha for her birthday and I blogged about it here.) She named her Sewjourner and she holds a tiny basket and is wearing a acorn hat. She is SO adorable! 

These Amish figures sit among a collection of tiny oil lamps on a shelf over the treadle sewing machine.

The lamp, basket of buttons, and the P. Buckley Moss print are over the fireplace. We all love to go to Lancaster, PA and spend time in the Amish quilt shops. 

A printer's tray and a rack with a cute quilt hanging over it create something lovely to look at as Pam presses her quilt blocks. I know that the next time I visit there will be lots of tiny treasures in each of those spaces. 

I love this grouping hanging over this quilt. The frame on the lower left has three old pages from the Kansas City Star newspaper with quilt patterns. Everywhere you turn there is something fun and interesting to look at! It would take all day to really LOOK at everything in Pam's room! And she remembers where she got each item and can tell you a story about it. 

A ruler rack on top of the shelves holds Pam's rulers and an adorable wallhanging holds her rotary cutters, tape measure, seam ripper, etc, at her cutting station. The suitcases and boxes below hold more fabric. 

I forgot to take pictures of the bookcases behind the sofa-they hold quilt books, patterns, more cute vintage items. I also didn't take pictures inside Pam's closet. It was so neat and tidy with stacks and stacks (and stacks) of fabric and projects. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at Pam's quilt room. It sure was a fun place to spend time and I look forward to going back again soon. 

Happy quilting. 

Nov 3, 2012

New Cabinets for My Quilt Room

I have been waiting anxiously to write this blog post. My husband has been hard at work for the last two months. Now that he is finally finished I can share the fruits of his labor and my new cabinets with you. 

My quilt room is so awesome because my husband is so talented and so wonderful to me! He has made me a cutting table, a side table, an extension table, and two design walls! Now he has made me a wall of cabinets to store my fabric in. 

Before we moved to this house seven years ago I sewed in a dark corner of our den. I purchased some shelving units from Staples to store my fabric, patterns, books, magazines, etc. When we moved I used those same shelves and added to them as my stash grew. I liked them because I could also stack them and save floor space. 

But, my quilt room gets intense afternoon sun. I have had to be creative to keep my fabric from fading because it is all stored on the west facing wall, with a window in the center of the wall.

I put pieces of cardboard at the end of the shelves to protect the fabric from the afternoon sun. It wasn't the best solution in the world, but it was better than doing nothing.

I'm running out of room too! Since I took these pictures I have taken all the fabric off of the bolts and folded it flat.

You can tell how bright the sun coming in the window is-and this is with the blinds shut. I kept a piece of muslin over the bolts under the window so that they wouldn't fade.

None of this was working for me. I needed more storage-something more efficient than the open shelves.  I mentioned to my husband that I would love to have cabinets to store my fabric in, so that I could keep the sun and dust off of it. I drew up a sketch on graph paper and showed it to him. The next thing I knew we were moving all the shelves and he was measuring for cabinets! I didn't even have a chance to catch my breath. 

It was so sad and empty at that end of the room with all the shelves and fabrics moved. It was very depressing to me. 

And the room was a mess too!! All that stuff had to go somewhere. It was moved and shoved to any empty spot where there was floor room for it. The shelves were so close together that I couldn't see the fabric or get to anything I wanted without sliding them a little bit to make a space between them. That was no easy feat, either-those shelves full of fabric are HEAVY!

My husband was very busy in his workshop for weeks building BIG cabinets for my quilt room. I loved going downstairs every day to see the progress.

After they were assembled, primed and painted, I helped carry the cabinets up two flights of stairs from the basement to the second floor. I was getting so excited at this point! I was giggling like a little girl on Christmas morning. 

First a "dry fit" to make sure that everything was going to work. Already I could see my vision coming to life. After the cabinets were in place they had to be shimmed and leveled and then installed. It was sooo hard to be patient!

All ten cabinets are installed at this point and it's coming along--but there is quite a bit of sanding going on, too. 

A fine dust was coating every inch of the room--I pulled old sheets out and covered all the fabric in the room. My hubby still needed to make the open shelves that will be installed on the far right and far left of the cabinets. 

For a week I watched and waited--and I must admit--impatiently. I was so excited to see my room being transformed with a wall of cabinets! And I wanted to put my fabric on the shelves so badly!! It was killing me to just look at all of those gorgeous EMPTY shelves and not fill them with my fabric.

At last!!! The paint was dry, the shelves were cleaned and all my fabric is finally in its new home! I just love it-it is everything I envisioned it to be. Everything has its own place~nice and neat and folded and stacked and YUMMY! There is even a cute little seat under the window-I know my granddaughters are going to love sitting there.

On this side I have all of my "fabric by color", homespuns and brushed cottons, hand-dyed, and some backing fabrics. In the upper tall cabinet are all my conversation prints-chickens, I-spy, seasonal, etc. 

On the right side of the window I have my collections of Civil War repros, 30's repros, and Kansas Troubles. I also have a lot of future projects stacked and waiting to be sewn.

My Civil War reproduction collection. I love Jo Morton and Judie Rothermel. I also have some Barbara Brackman and lots of shirtings to use with them. 

My Kansas Troubles fabrics. I have over 1,000 different 5" charms. Someday I am going to make a true charm quilt out of them-no two fabrics in the quilt will be the same. I have already made several quilts out of my stash of Kansas Troubles fabrics and I see several more in those stacks.

It's like a tall tower of delicious-ness. I love all my fabrics. I am so excited to get back into my quilt room and sew again. 

My new motto. :-) I bought this sign at the Sewing and Quilting Expo last week. My husband just chuckled when he saw it. 

The open shelves on the outside edges are going to be fun for display and practicality. One of these jars has selvages and the other is my binding jar. I also have two cute Singer tins that I keep patterns in. I sure wish I could find more of them.

I love looking at the fabric so much! It's almost sad to put cabinet doors on and close it all up. I am inspired when I see all the fabric.

Here we are! Welcome.......come on in. All of the cabinet doors are installed and everything is finished. I love the way it looks. I decided that I wanted red knobs on the cabinets to give a pop of color to the room in that sea of white cabinets. I bought large wooden knobs and my husband spray painted them for me. He also took the knobs off of my cutting table drawers and painted them red too. (He's a sweetie!)

I have died and gone to quilting heaven when I'm in this room. I could just move in and never leave (except when I get really hungry).

I love the little window seat! And my granddaughters are going to love it too. 

I kept one of my old shelf units. My wool and patterns are here. Maybe one day I will have used up enough of my fabric to make room for the wool in the cabinets too.

Everything is so neat and organized now. I am excited to get back in the room and finish up a few projects that are waiting for completion.

I also picked up a free quilting frame at a quilt shop a few weeks ago. It was just sitting in a box in the corner of the room by the sale fabric with a sign on it that said "free". I decided that it needed to come home with me. There were no instructions with it, but I laid all the pieces out and figured out how to put it together. The extra rods on the floor are to extend the length for a bigger quilt. I haven't decided what I am going to do with it yet. I don't hand quilt, so it's going to be a display piece~just not sure where.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my quilt room with its new cabinets. 

Happy Quilting!