Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Quilting Goals

I have few quilting goals for 2012. I hope to finish a couple of projects and start some new ones - especially ones where I can use my stash! Also, I'd like to make more donation quilts this year.

I really want to learn more about free motion quilting so I'm taking the plunge in 2012! I have joined Quilt As You Go Free Motion Quilting Quilt A Long

and the 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge.

My Orca Bay Mystery will be ending so I signed on for  the Quilt Square Quilt Along.

Crumb Along!

Past that, I'll just see what comes along. I'm happy to just sew a bit most days! Happy 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Bright Idea for a Bright Quilt

This will be my first donation quilt for 2012! I wanted to make it from my stash and I wanted it to be bright.

I had these pinwheels

that started with white around the outside. After ripping out seams for an hour, I decided there had to be an easier way so I cut them out of that white border! Therefore, these blocks start at 4" and finish at 3 1/2". Much easier than ripping for another 3 hours just to have 4 1/2" blocks!

I had these framed square blocks that I trimmed down to 4".

Then I had to find some 'solid' colors in my stash. Since I wanted to make 12 blocks and needed 4 'solids' for each block, I decided on 48 different fabrics - reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and purples. Each was cut into a 4" square.

My idea was to make a disappearing 9-patch. I decided to use this blue for the centers of the 9-patch units. Again, each is a 4" square.

Next I made the center units for the 9-patches by sewing two colored squares and a blue center square together. I made 12 of these and pressed the seams toward the outside or ends.

The outside units have a colored square in the middle with a pinwheel at one end and a framed square at the other end. I made 24 of these units and pressed the seams inward towards the center.

The 9-patch is laid out using one center unit and two outside units. Notice the outside units are placed so the pinwheels are in opposite corners.

The three units are sewn together.

After pressing and starching, cut the 9-patch in half. 

The two pieces look like this.

Now, put the two pieces back together.

and cut in half the other direction. The four pieces look like this.

The two pieces with the framed squares are turned so the small blue squares are in the outside corners instead of the inside corners.

Sew the two top pieces together and press the seam one way. Sew the two bottom pieces together and press the seam the opposite way.

Sew the two units together. and press well. This is one block.

My layout wall today is the floor. I put all 12 blocks down. I need to spend a little more time looking at it to be sure it is all okay. Then I will sew the blocks together. 

It is bright! Not sure yet if I'll do a border or what I'll use for the backing or binding. I'll show you a picture when it is done - by then it will be next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Clue #6 done!

I have Clue #6 of the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt done! This clue came out last Thursday, a day early, because Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville is so nice! I found time to sew on both Thursday and Friday! This was a really fun part as we began putting pieces together and I love these units! Now I have to wait until Friday to see the next clue. ;(

This mystery has given me the perfect excuse to sew most days in the last few weeks - days that are usually too full with Christmas preparations. The sewing really made my life less stressful and I was ready for Christmas days ahead of time!

Somehow I also managed to mark and pin the last 3rd of a king-size quilt that I am hand quilting. The other two thirds are quilted.

When the three large pieces are eventually joined, I'll add a border at both ends. The side borders are already attached.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery and Life Under Control!

Clue number 5 in the Orca Bay Mystery came out Friday (yesterday) and I am already caught up! Two triangles were added to each half square triangle made in Clue #3. 

Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville is making the clues manageable. 

Probably more important to the normal people around here:

  • we have a clean house - thanks, dear husband
  • the Christmas cards have been mailed
  • the baking is done
  • the bills are paid
  • most of the shopping is done
  • many of the gifts are wrapped! 
We are almost ready to go on a little overnight trip - we'll visit my mom, then see Ernie Haas + Signature Sound, a gospel music group. The next day we will finish our Christmas shopping and do a couple of errands. 

When we get home, it'll be time to make candy and caramel corn. Then it will be time for Clue #6. I bet I don't have that one done quite so fast! 

On a side note - we got a couple inches of snow last night. At last, it is beginning to look like Christmas outside!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Tradition

We get together with Brent and Emily every year to make cookies. Last year we added to the tradition with Mack coming earlier in the day to make a gift for his parents.

Today was the day. Brent called last night to give us a heads up - Mack had a bad cold and wasn't feeling well - he might not be able to come :( However, things seemed to be okay so we picked Mack up after lunch. Little brother Griffin was really upset that he wasn't coming. What are grandparents supposed to do? We brought him along!

When we got to our house, the first order of business was making Christmas gifts for Mommy and Daddy. All I can say is that it involved painting. When the paint was dry, we got to use scissors and tape to wrap the gifts - what fun!

We mixed up cookies. 

We had a neat snack that I saw on pinterest. A long stalk of celery, some peanut butter, and some goldfish crackers. We all went fishing with our celery poles baited with the peanut butter. 

We caught and ate every fish! Mack's pond even had to be re-stocked! Griffy loved the bait!

Mommy and Daddy came for dinner and to make cutout cookies! Griffy loved using the rolling pin and cutting out his cookies.

Sadly, Mack just didn't feel that well as the day wore on.

Griffy helped decorate the cookies. He took lots home for Mack to enjoy when he feels better.

We had a great day - we just wish Mack wasn't sick. About the only way this tradition could be better is if the rest of the family could join us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Saga of our KitchenAid Mixer

Our mixer broke the week before Thanksgiving. The little silver thing on the front of the mixer fell into the bowl while the mixer was running. Just like that ~ a funny noise and the beaters would not turn!

I began searching and learned about worm gears. I found videos on youtube. When we could not find a repair person, I ordered a worm gear assembly (it was cheaper than a worm gear!) and some grease from Of course, everything arrived AFTER Thanksgiving - we had whipped cream from a can on our pie this year ;( 

Ray got tools, we got this video going, and we (he) replaced the worm gear assembly and all of the black grease. We, the unfixit people, fixed it - or so we thought! When we turned it on, there was NO power! Back to the internet. What do we know about brushes? Ray found an article and we tried unsuccessfully to fix them.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I'd better start shopping - I NEEDED a mixer. Before moving our mixer to the basement or the garbage, I decided one more try. I removed those brushes and tried one more time - HOLY COW, the connection was made! We had power and the beaters turned!

I haven't had a chance to use the mixer until today. It is time to make cookies. I wondered if it would actually work with dough - it does! 

Hard to believe but WE FIXED IT!

There is definitely a need for KitchenAid mixer repair people - so if we decide to be un-retired, maybe we'll apply!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Has the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt taken over?

 We do have the house decorated - 
Ray did a great job with the tree.
But the only presents under it 
are on that new tree skirt!
The oven looks a little empty - no baking going on.
But the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt is in full swing! Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville released Clue #4 yesterday and I am done with it! Lots of red strings. The squares for these triangles were about 5 1/2" on a side.

Now, I need to finish shopping, wrap gifts, 
bake cookies, 
and get our Christmas cards made,
written, and mailed. 
We also need groceries and someone better 
pay the bills! 
Hurry, hurry - I only have until Friday because Clue #5 will be released then!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Update

Clue #3 came out Friday. So I have been making half-square triangles. The finished size will be 1-1/2"squares. Lots of cutting and sewing!

I forgot to get pictures of all of the cutting. I was busy! I used an Easy Angle ruler - the first time I've ever used it. And it worked great! 

Here are some of the pieces I have finished. 

In the foreground are the half square triangles. Further back are the quarter square triangles that will finish as 2" squares. And the blue strips in the back will finish as 3" squares.

Right now I am completely caught up! It is time to get some other things done around here so I'll be ready for Clue #4 on Friday.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Christmas/Winter Throw

About a month ago, we went to Madison and I bought this fabric. I didn't know exactly what I would do with it but I wanted a Christmas/winter throw for our family room. 

Here it is all done!
Not the best photo - I didn't get it straightened out!

I draped the quilt over a chair for the next photos.
The fabric that was made up of 2" squares adds a nice round.

The snowman round is cheery!

The words are in the center and again around the outside.

The back is cozy flannel.

And today is the perfect day to wrap up in it!


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