Saturday, July 31, 2010

Redwork Alphabet with a Question

My FIL made a set of redwork alphabet using Redwork 1 by Betty Alderman.  We then picked out the American Jane Pindot charm packs to create an old-fashioned look.  What I am wondering is should I put a solid black border/binding on this or should I try to find one of the other colors?  Those that live in this house all have a different opinion.
The quilt will be quilted with diagonals through the pindots, but nothing in the alphabet blocks.  I plan to use a neutral color thread.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Small "Baby" Size Quilt

This quilt is made up of fabric left from my niece and nephew's wedding quilt.  As far as I know they are not expecting, but I am working my way through my set-aside projects and decided to finish piecing this quilt top (36 x 45).  I have the back and green binding, so it will go into the "needs to be quilted" pile and will be finished one day soon.  Liz will get this one whether she ever has children or not because I know she is a quilt lover.  I just think it is a sweet little project!  Hope Liz does not feel any pressure over this!  lol

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shhh! The brown quilt is a wedding present!

I have been very busy piecing.  On Sunday, I finally finished the blocks and put together the top of my niece's wedding quilt.  I am going to do a simple meander with brown thread. (She got married in March, so I am definitely behind on it.) Then I finished off the borders on the green quilt.  The centers of the stars are embroidered blocks of four seasons done by my FIL.  I have not decided how it will be quilted, but I think I will outline the center of each block and then do some type of design in the star points with a fill stitch in the off-white.  I want to keep it simple. 
Tomorrow I am going to do a little quilting on several other quilt tops: another cousin quilt and one or two HeartStrings quilts.  Not ready to tackle a queen-size quilt yet, but it will be done in the next couple of days.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quilts for His Great Grandsons

My FIL made all the blocks and planned the layout for these quilts.  They are made from leftover fabrics I used to make the boys twin-sized quilts.  These are more for dragging around.

What Happened to July?????

I have been busy with my other parts of life including lots of doctor appointments and being the "grandma-in-charge" while my newest granddaughter was being born.  Somehow quilting has been put on a lower priority, but I must admit that I am quite surprised at how little time I have been spending on my own projects.  I have several that I had every intention of finishing this month, but considering that it is July 23, already, I don't see that happening.  I am reworking my project book over the next few days just to see where my own quilting projects will fit.  However, I do have several commissioned pieces to quilt and they will automatically take priority in the studio.
My hands have not been idle.  I have been doing some redwork hand-embroidery when I have been riding in the car, waiting at the doctor's or taking 10 minutes for myself.  I had forgotten how relaxing embroidery is.  Beth Ritter's blocks of the month are small projects and so easy to take with me in my bag.  I have also made tons of yo-yos for making monkeys like the one I shared in an earlier post.  Both of these are great traveling activities!
It would not be fair to say I have not quilting, but the projects I have been working on were not the ones I had intended to work on this summer.  I have finished 2 medium sized toddler quilts that were a combined effort with my FIL but they were not actually part of my own plan of the day (POD).  I have also cut thousands of strips for HeartStrings quilt blocks because my FIL is a prolific sewer.  I have 5 sets of blocks to put together and have also given 4 sets to others to finish.  Then there is the very large set of Christmas fabric strip blocks that my FIL sewed together for one of my beds.  He has also made two sets of machine embroidered blocks that I will be turning into quilts and is finishing a third set.  (These are not SMALL quilts!)  Also, in the backlog of projects created by my FIL's focus on machine embroidered blocks are 5 other sets of 20 or more blocks each, and 4 quilt tops I have already put togehter from other sets he made, that he completed before he came to stay with us in May.  He makes blocks, I do the settings, quilting and binding.
Don't get me wrong, I am glad that he has something he enjoys doing and I will eventually get all these projects together, but even as I say that, he is starting to plan his next projects.  Someday when I am older and much grayer, I will look at one of these sets of blocks and shed some tears because he will have passed on, but for now, I am just wishing for 48 hours and the energy to stay awake 40 of them to complete what I have.
I work at the quilt shop for the next few days, but next week is pretty clear for me to sew, and I am planning to get into the studio at least 6 hour a day.  Watch for my updates.  Hopefully I will have photos to share.  Happy quilting to all that do, and for those that don't when are you going to start!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not Much Quilting Lately

We came down to Iowa to take care of our grandsons while their mom and dad were off having their new baby girl.  However, the hospital put off the induced delivery until yesterday, so I stayed and my husband and FIL went back to Minnesota.  Everything went fine all day, but then night came and the boys, ages 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 , double teamed me by trading off waking me up.  I got about an hour of sleep.  You probably can't imagine the way we slept with the three of us.  B was wrapped around my neck---not his arms, but most of his body.  D made my legs into a boat and settled in for a sail.  It was not really uncomfortable, but I was truly feeling pinned down.  This is the first time the boys have spend a night without at least one parent, so it was to be expected, but I can't wait to tell them about how the night went when they are teenagers.  lol
My new granddaughter is beautiful  (9 pounds, 22 inches, full head of dark hair), and everyone seems to be fine.  More on them later, with at least one photo.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some of My FIL's Other Talents

Aren't these fun boxes, especially if you are a quilter.  I donated 3 others as part of the prizes for a bag challenge done by my guild.  My FIL more of these because some of my guild members had asked if he would make a few and sell them to members.  I just had to share.  I have several others that are just for me, but thought it was fun that he was willing to do this while he is here for the summer.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fun Project

Dad and I have be collaborating again.  These little bibs were created using the "Little Monster Food Catchers" software from Whistlepig Creek Productions to make all the designs and then their patterns (without the bias binding) to make the bibs.  He did the embroidery with his machine and then I did the sewing.  We plan to make more for his church craft fair this fall. I am planning to make the bib fronts a little longer so there is a bigger border around the outside of the designs.  There are two other designs and we plan to make some of them during the next week or two.  They are just happy little bibs. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Relief of Sorts

The past few weeks have been tied into what is going on with my FIL.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that he has been with us and has been doing a lot of sewing and machine embroidery for me and for charity quilts.  It has been a great way to relieve his stress and distract him as he waited for this first surgery.  Then last week, another of his son's and family came for a week of visiting.  That was just as good a distraction, and he helped his granddaughter do some embroidering on her t-shirt, so he got to strut his stuff a bit.  We even had a visit from my daughter, granddaughter, and grandson. The week was constant chaos, but Dad was in the thick of things and with some of those who love him best.
Yesterday was the first of the surgeries.  I think the hurry-up and wait part of going to the hospital was very stressful for him, but the surgery went well.  Now we are back in a holding pattern for a week.  We will probably get a great deal of sewing done since he is restricted to lifting no more than 10 pounds for the next 6 weeks, but the next few days are going to be simply for relaxing and staying quiet.  Hard task for a man who wants to be busy all the time.
When we got home last night I had the opportunity to step into the studio and sew for about 4 hours.  I allowed my husband and dad to simply sit in the family room and enjoy watching some westerns together without me fussing over anyone.  This morning all seems pretty right with the world.  One day at a time is the motto here!

Happy 4th of July to all of you.  Hope you will take time to celebrate this great nation and those who protect our freedoms both at home and abroad!