Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all my blogging friends.
This year for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we stayed home and my parents joined us and my MIL for supper and dinner at our house. We had Nifla soup and appetizers on Christmas Eve, opened presents, visited and enjoyed the evening. We went to mass at 10, so the evening went quickly. This is the best picture of us from the night. Two weeks and counting until Baby Stephens arrival!
Paul Moneik
Christmas Day Paul smoked a turkey, roasted a turkey, and made a spiral ham. We definately have the leftovers! It was all so good and we enjoyed all the fixings too. We plan to go to my parents this weekend for our Christmas celebration with my brothers and their family/significant others.
I hope everyone had a great holiday. I'm working on Christmas cards this year, but still will be late with them. It seems the time just goes so quickly and last year I just didn't feel like writing one, so I've gotta get busy and send one out this year. I bought the cards, printed the pictures, and wrote the letter. Wish me luck in finishing it this week!

Quilting Activities

In the 12 years or so that I've been quilting I can't believe how many things I've gotten to do, see, and experience because of my quilting. It's my hobby, it's my passion, it's my life. I saw this list on another blog and figured I'd see how many I had accomplished so far. I realized I've done almost all that I would like to do in my quilting career. The only 2 that I have any real desire to do are participate in a round robin and be president of a quilt guild. The rest I really have no desire to complete. I'm feeling pretty good about 81 or 105 being completed. There are a lot more things that I would add to the list, but I feel like I've done a lot of what I have set out to accomplish. There are several quilts on my "Bucket List" of quilts, but if I accomplish one each year I'll be completely satisfied.
Quilt activities that you’ve done (bold means you have…)

1. Taken a quilting class
2. Paper pieced
3. Hand quilted
4. Hand pieced
5. Created your own pattern
6. Published a pattern in a magazine or book
7. Gone on a quilting retreat
8. Gone to a quilting convention
9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book
10 combined your quilting with some other craft
11. Done any three dimensional quilting
12. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric
13. Made something using batiks
14. Dyed your own fabric
15. Made a landscape hanging
16 Made a New York Beauty quilt
17 Made a baby quilt
18 Made a wall hanging
19 Made a journal quilt
20 Submitted your journal quilt for viewing
21 Made a fabric postcard
22 Made a artistic trading card (ATC)
23 Exchanged artistic trading cards
24. Mailed out your postcard?
25. Made a lap quilt
26 Made a twin size quilt
27 Made a full size quilt
28 Made a queen size quilt
29 Made a king size quilt
30 Donated a quilt to charity
31 Sent a quilt out to a quilter
32 Thrown away a UFO
33 Given away a UFO
34 Cut up a UFO and made something else with it
35 Ripped fabric instead of cutting it
36 Made a quilt exactly like the pattern, with no changes whatsoever
37 Done any Sashiko
38 Quilted your own quilt
39 Did free motion quilting
40 Put any embroidery or beads on your quilt
41 Given away your quilt to a stranger
42 Swapped fabric
43 swapped blocks
44 participated in a round robin
45 participated in an ostritch round robin
46 kept a journal about your quilting
47 written a letter to someone who made an antique quilt
49 kept a blog about your quilting
50 participated in a gift exchange
51 sent a quilting random act of kindness
52 joined a newsgroup about quilting
53 made a quilt using a pattern from quilterscache
54 joined an online block of the month
55 made a block of the month quilt
56 subscribed to a fabric of the month club
57 bought fabric at an online store
58 bought fabric from ebay
59 own more than one sewing machine
60 have a room dedicated solely to sewing
61 hid a fabric purchase
62 finished making a holiday gift before July
63 made a landscape quilt
64 made a quilt using a book from the library
65 worked with someone else to make a quilt
66. joined a quilt guild
67 become president of a quilt guild
68 taught a quilting class
69 helped someone else get the quilting bug
70 taught a child to sew
71 made a Dear Jane block
72 Made a miniature quilt
73 watch QNN – quilters news network
73 subscribe to a quilting magazine from your own country
74 subscribe to a quilting magazine from another country
75 buy fabric from another country
76 swapped completed quilts with someone else
77 asked for quilting help online
78 gone to a quilt shop to ask for quilting help
79 bought fabric at a local quilt shop
80 travelled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop
81 used nontraditional fabric for a quilt – something other than cotton or flannel
82 made a quilt using instructions given to you on a blog
83 make comments on someone’s quilting blog
84 meet a quilter in person after only having talked online
85 had a quilting retreat in your home
86 own quilting software
87 made a quilt you designed on your quilting software
88 done any quilt research – history, interviewing quilters, etc.
89 had any quilt related subject published anywhere
90 donated a quilt to a museum
91 bought a quilt from a thrift store
92 made a quilt using fabric from a thrift store
93 made a quilt using photos
94 made a pastel quilt
95 made a quilt using brights
96 made a quilt using ethnic fabric from another country – African, Asian, etc.
97 made a quilt using leftover blocks from other quilts
98 had your quilt in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, TV, etc.
99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show?
100. won any ribbons with your quilts?
101 had more finished quilts than UFOs
102 made a quilt using reproduction fabrics
103 took a break from quilting that was longer than a year
104 made money with your quilting
105 had a job in the fabric / quilting industry

January Groovy Girls

Groovy Girls for January is coming up quickly and since baby will hopefully have made an appearance by then, I really needed to get busy on the samples. The theme is traveling, so I made a few different totes. This is the medium sized one and I lined it with Insulbrite, so a warm iron can be placed in it. I love how it turned out and it was quick and easy to make.
Then I did the applique on the big bag. I did a star following the directions. I'm not a big fan of this applique method. It's easy, but I like how steam a seam turns out better.
This is the large size bag. It makes a great laundry bag.
I have another one in progress, using the iron on laminate. So far I'm hooked on that stuff. It's amazing!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Valentine Tablerunner Top Finished!

This week has been long and I haven't gotten much time at home for quilting, so thankfully I had no Christmas present quilting planned.  Last year when I started going to Dr. appointments with my mom, my amazing blogging friend Jen sent me a kit of Valentine's fabric and English Paper Piecing papers to make a table runner. On January 11, 2010 I started the handwork on the Valentine table runner. I've taken it to almost every appointment, worked on it at lunch, and took it to many of my own Dr. appointments.  Last week my mom was very sick and I took her to the hospital on Fri. She ended up spending a week in the hospital and finally they were able to figure out why she was sick. She got out today and I'm so thankful to have her with us for Christmas this year.  My mom's diagnosis this week is a repeat, to the day of last years and it's been difficult to say the least.This week while spending many hours at the hospital, I finally finished the Valentine top. I even spent an entire evening taking all the paper pieces out. I'm ready to applique it to a backing fabric and complete the table runner. I absolutely love how it turned out so far and am looking forward to finishing it now. I may even get it completed in time for Valentine's Day this year. Thanks Jen for keeping me busy all year! It's been a Godsend to have this year.
My mom wanted a picture of my pregnant belly, so I obliged her one evening. I've got about 3 weeks left and the Dr. says I'll probably go full term, so no Christmas baby here.

Today we had a solid sheet of ice when we went out and the university didn't open until 10, so I got a chance for a nap this morning. I made it to work fine, but most did not come in, so it was quiet. Then we got to leave at 2, so it was a short day. Paul made it safely home from Pierre, so we enjoyed having the evening together. I did go down and quilt my Christmas table topper and put binding on it. I'm sure it won't be finished for tomorrow night, but it felt so good to quilt and relax tonight. I also finished up a little cash and carry wallet for a friends gift. I was so relaxed that I should be able to sleep good tonight. Baby is moving like crazy and quilting relaxes her too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gifties for my Co-workers!

Tonight I stopped at Fabric City and picked up 3 fat quarters and 6 zippers. I wanted to make 3 cash and carry style wallets and figured I probably could get 6 out of my fat quarters. I just love this new Java line of fabric and since my walking buddies are also my drinking buddies (hot chocolate and coffee) when it's too cold to walk, I figured it would be perfect for them. I got 3 made tonight and they turned out super cute. I kind of used the pattern, but really made them the way I wanted.
They turned out super cute.
The inside lining fabric is coffee beans.
I love the marroon/read color and how well it goes with both black and brown.
I decided to use the two charm packs I won from Cindy last week to make coasters for my office mates. I hadn't planned to make anyone, any gifts for Christmas, but tonight I was inspired. I got 5 done before I called it a night. I have the rest sorted and ready to sew, but they'll have to wait until this weekend. I have a co-worker that will be gone next week, so figured I'd give her one tomorrow.
I actually really enjoyed making these gifts for my co-workers. By next year we'll probably have double the staff again and then I'll have to figure out something else. It takes some creativity to make 10 gifts instead of 5. If we have 15-20 next year, I may not have time to make gifts for all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paul's Wolf

Paul's been hinting that he wants me to finish this wolf wall hanging for Christmas. I've been working on it for the past two years. So today I took it to work to work on it during lunch. I figured if I just got started I could maybe get into working on it. I started with the ears and got them done. I love how they turned out. They are fused to a press sheet, so I can remove them and add them to the larger piece later.  I got started on the eyes, but only got one done. I'll have to work on the other one tomorrow. They are rather tedious, but coming along better than I expected. I have a mini iron and a omnigrid mat/ironing pad combo that works great for doing small parts of this project.
This is the Winter Wolf pattern I'm working on. Doing just a bit at a time may just work for me. I'd like to at least get it all put together before Christmas. I may not get it quilted, but if I got it put together I'd being doing really well. There is just something about all the pieces that really intimidates me. Hopefully I can finish it without Paul knowing. I think that would be cool, but I have a hard time not sharing what I'm working on with him, so we'll see how it goes.

Christmas Purse - Figgy Pudding

Tonight I finished my Christmas purse. I'd wanted to make it last year, but only got the quilt made. I had the Figgy Pudding fabric saved to make it. When I went to make it. I realized only the stripe looked really Christmasy, so I used it for the lining. The brown was my favorite, so I used it for the outer part. The Margo is one of my favorite patterns and I added interfacing to the pocket and so far I really like that feature.
The lining and red pockets make it a Christmas purse, but I could use it longer than just the season. I'll have to get some accessories made to use with it now.

Sewing Quilt for Me!

I finally finished the binding on my sewing quilt today. I've been working on it almost 2 weeks and thought I would never get it done. It's been so nice here that we've been walking instead of going to the break room for our breaks. I love how it turned out and can't wait to use it when our baby comes. It's a quilt for me to snuggle up with. Baby is four weeks from birth, give or take 2 weeks, so any time now!
This pattern is a fat quarter friendly pattern and uses 10 FQ's and a bit of yardage for the white.

Cowgirls One Block Wonder Quilted

Last night I was finally able to get the quilting done on the Cowgirls One Block Wonder. It came out a lot different than I expected, but it's better than I originally thought it was going to be when I got the blocks sewn. I quilted with loops and used Black King Tut and Black Bottomline. I was originally going to use a red/green/blue/yellow verigated thread, but when I was testing for tension, I realized it was way too bright for the quilt and the black let the fabrics show instead of the thread.
Here's a close up of the quilting. You can't see the quilting in the black, but it has the same loops. I ended up moving my Ott Light onto the frame so I could see to quilt the black on black.
I love the randomness of loops and they remind me of the ropes in the fabric. They also worked great because I could maneuver around the bulk where the big seams came together.
The backing shows the quilting better. I can even see the quilting in the black in this picture. I used the leftover piece for the backing and added black down both sides to make it wide enough. I love having the full piece of fabric on the back so I can see what the original fabric looks like.
I swear these One Block Wonder quilts are so addicting! I'm on the look out for another great fabric to make one from. It's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get!  I'll get the binding sewn on this week and hand sew the binding down next week during breaks. Check another UFO off the list!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Won A One Day!

This year I've really enjoyed reading Sew Cindy's blog. I've entered most of her One Day drawings, which are just up my ally! They require no extra work, I don't have to read about them on every blog I read, they are over the next day and she gives away the coolest stuff! This past week I won 2 Snow Village charm packs and she threw in a cute little snowman notepad. I'm not sure what I'll make with the charm packs, but I love them! They put me in the winter mood! Thanks sew much Cindy!

December Groovy Girls

Friday night we had our December Groovy Girls meeting at the store. Lots of the girls brought the Cash and Carry wallets for Show & Tell. Several brought more than one. Gaila brought 12! She has a lot more cut out too. I couldn't believe it. She was on a roll. Have you seen the new MC6300? It's a quilting machine with the bigger harp, but less stitches. It looks awesome for those who would like the bigger harp, but don't need a lot of decorative stitches.
Tammy showed everyone how to make and fold napkins, how to do the Happy Holiday's table topper, and how to make the 10 min. tablerunner. It was a fun night and there were 20+ ladies there to enjoy the evening. There were 12 who stayed to sew and we all got lots done. Jenn and Gaila worked on Holiday tabletoppers and Shonna worked on binding tablerunners. I put the borders on my Cowgirl OBW and made the backing. I have it loaded on the frame and started quilting on it Sat. night. Pictures will come when I get it done, or get back to it.
Jenn made me these awesome Christmas ornament project bags. They are so darn cute! I can't wait to put a new project in each one. I still am working on my Christmas purse and I have a tablerunner I'm going to put in the other one. Thanks so much Jenn!
Yesterday I wrote the final paper and turned it in. It's already been graded and I got an A! I should have an A in the class since I've done the other two assignments and they just need to be graded. I only need like 4 more points for an A! I'm so glad to be done with this class. It was on IT and just not one of my favorite subjects. I'm really looking forward to having Winter quarter off. It'll give me more time for quilting before and after baby comes. T-minus 4 weeks and our little one should arrive!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Aunt Vi's 2nd Double Knit Quilt

Last night I was on a mission to finish this quilt. I've had it quilted for a month or so, but it had a few puckers in the back I needed to fix. I got them fixed and put the binding on last night. I did all the binding by machine, since this will be a utility quilt. I did a wave over the blocks of the quilt, which turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. Double Knit stretches A LOT! It's always going in a variety of directions.
There are also big thick seams with DK, so getting over the seams was a challenge. I quilted it with a blue verigated Robinson Anton on top and a blue Bottomline on the bottom. This one is a throw size. It's backed in the same blue as the first one.  I have another queen size left to quilt and it will have a green backing. I'm thinking I may do a brown verigated on it, since the colors aren't as bright. There are lots of browns and greens in it. It's a huge 9 patch quilt.
My goal is to have all of them done by Jan. when my aunt comes back from TX. Having 2 out of the 3 done makes me feel a lot better about them getting done by the deadline.

Karen's Christmas Quilt

Tuesday at break my co-worker Karen asked if I had time to quilt her Christmas quilt this week. She's having a party on Sat. and wanted to have it done to hang by then. I told her if I had it Wed. I could bring it back on Thurs. We agreed on a price and I didn't think much more about it. Wed. morning she had it, complete with backing and batting ready to go. I was on a mission!
I was so excited to quilt this one as it's very rich looking and I knew I had the perfect thread for it. I used  Rainbows Green/Good/Marroon verigated and marroon Bottomline The quilting came out beautiful and I only had to change the bobbin once, in the middle of one of the darker blocks, so it doesn't show.
Here's the completely quilted quilt, in about 2 hours.
I just love the fabric she used. The pattern is the 5 yard quilt. We've both made the pattern a few times as it's so quick and easy.
A close up, shows the different gold fabrics.
And a real close up shows the thread. It matched so perfectly!
She loved it and I enjoyed quilting it for her. It was such a powerful night of quilting! Never underestimate a quilter on a mission.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sewing Themed Quilt

Saturday night I made the backing for the sewing themed quilt and loaded it on the frame. I figured if I could get it all loaded and a couple passes done, I'd be satisfied with how much I got accomplished. Paul joined me while I got it loaded and then went up to watch a movie while I quilted. I actually got it completely quilted in a couple hours! This picture is awful, since it's taken in my bedroom where the light is bad. I'm just so excited to have it quilted. I started putting the binding on Sat. night and finished it up Sun. morning after church.
I now have handwork to keep me busy on work breaks when we can't walk. The binding is the pink button fabric and the borders are the purple sewing machines. I did a medium sized meandering on it.
The thread is a pink, blue, yellow, purple pastel King Tut and a lt. purple Bottomline. The combo worked well for quilting and tension was great. I love how the thread looks on the white fabric.
It looks really good on all the fabrics. I can't believe how good King Tut can match a lot of different colors. I bought a new spool because I'd already quilted 3 quilts with the spool and wasn't sure I'd have enough. I ended up with just enough on the first spool, though I was watching it at the end. I could see the core of the spool!
This quilt was made especially for me! It's all sewing/crafting/quilting fabrics and I plan to take it with me to the hospital when our little miss arrives. I should have the hand binding done in the next week or so.