Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Quilting Accomplishments

March was an extremely productive month for me. I feel like I accomplished a lot, even though it didn't feel like it sometimes. I made lots of progress on finishing up some lingering UFO's that have been hanging out for the past year. I figure if I finish a UFO a month, I'm farther ahead then when I started.

March Goals & Accomplishments!

2 Thangles BOM blocks - DONE! I have a total of 4 of the 12 done, so I'm feeling good about doing 2 per month unless the mood strikes and I may do more.
6 Snowball Blocks (Quilt Along) - DONE! About 3-5 months more and I should have a good sized quilt for my niece for Christmas. I'm loving making these blocks. My brother & sis-in-law informed me on Sat. that she is almost ready to be in a twin bed, so I'll have to start making her bigger quilts. She's started to put words together into sentences, so it's fun to listen to her. Luckily we get to see her quite a few weekends in April, including this weekend again.
Paul's Wolf Applique - Although I didn't finish this, I got it out, traced out the pattern and started cutting out the pieces. I told him I'd be lucky to finish it by our anniversary. It's got a ton of tiny pieces to be cut out, but it feels great to have actually pulled it out to work on it. Some work on it is better than none.
Quilt Club Sandwiches Tablerunner - DONE! I had 6 for this class and it was an interesting mix of ladies. About half got done with the top. We had one finger cut with the rotary cutter, but that was the worst mishap. My mom and quilty friend Darlene took this class, so they were the rowdy ladies of the bunch!
Quilt Siggy Tops - Small & Large  2 DONE! I finally finished the quilting and binding on both of my quilt retreat siggy quilts. I love how they turned out and I'm so glad to have them completely finished.
Sweet Escape Tablerunner DONE! This class is coming up April 6th at The Sewing Center. It's a quick little tablerunner using a charm pack and a bit of yardage. I finished it fairly early in the month, so it's been a sample for a while. There's still room to sign up if you're interested.
Other Quilting Accomplishments:
Quilted and bound Objects of Desire #2 Tablerunner and finished the binding on O of D tablerunner #1
Attended the Wall Quilt Guild Banquet with my mom. We each won fun prizes and enjoyed visiting with old quilting friends.
Made a Pink Snowball 9 Patch Quilt for my online quilting friend Colleen & her new daughter, Annaliese. I love surprising friends with quilts when they least expect it and I think I really surprised her. Quilters are always so appreciative of quilts.
Made 3 Block Butlers for my mom &  two quilting friends, now I need to pick up flannel and make one for myself. They turned out really cute and used up some sewing themed fabric that I had in my stash.
Quilted Mom's Western Boots Quilt
This one has been hanging out since October waiting to be quilted, so I'm glad to finally have it done.
Made & taught a Rick Rack Road Class to Jenn & a few of her friends. It was a fun night and I've seen a few of the finished runners. They all look great.
Made a Fabric Bowl for St. Patty's Day

Made Paul's 5 Yard Quilt for his birthday. Even though I worked on it for the past two weeks, he still didn't realize I was making him a quilt for his birthday yesterday. The binding was put on tonight, so I just have to do the hand work now.
Hosted Girls Night Out at TSC, where I worked on a new tablerunner from the Essence line. I got all 12 blocks made. I cut out a baby quilt for my niece, but now I have to make it into a twin sized quilt. Luckily it's a large log cabin, so I should be able to make it bigger fairly easily.

My stash is going down this year. I've bought 3 yards, received 28 yards, and used 65.5 yards, for a net used of 34.5 yards. I'm doing really well with finishing up my UFO's too. I've completed 8 UFO's and worked on 2 others. I quilted 105 hours in March, which makes for the largest number of hours per month so far.
Other happenings this month included:

Paul's Large Mouth Bass coming back from the taxidermist.
Butchering with the family.
Checking out my Great-Grandma's quilts that were saved from my Grandma's house.

Goals for April

Finish Essence Tablerunner
6 Snowball 9 Patch Blocks
2 Thangles Blocks
Pink Cowgirl Quilt
Purple Snowball Quilt
I'm hoping to start on a quilt for my cousin's wedding. I have the majority of the fabric already bought and the t-shirts, but I need to come up with a plan and get started on it since the wedding is coming up.

We'll be travelling a couple of the weekends in April, so I won't get a whole lot done on the weekends. Mom and I are going on a shop hop, so I'm hoping to get a few new finds to bring home.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Girls Night Out

Friday night we had a Girls Night Out event at The Sewing Center. There were just a few of us there, but we had a great time and I think everyone got quite a bit of sewing done. I got a little cowgirl quilt cut out and then moved on to my tablerunners. I was hoping to get two tablerunner tops done from the On the Run book by Heather Mulder Peterson. I had both cut out, but ended up only getting the blocks made for one of the tops. I did a bit of ripping because I forgot to match my center points. The fabric is from the Essence line by Sandy Gervais for Moda. I'm going to have quite a collection of tablerunners out of this line when I'm done. These are made from a layer cake and a dessert roll.
I layed out all the blocks to see what it was going to look like. I'm not sure I like the orange lattice, but it's a unique tablerunner so maybe it will grow on me. The teal with flowers is the backing fabric. I hadn't cut enough lattice strips since the number in the book was wrong, but luckily I had enough fabric to finish cutting them.
We had a fun Girls Night Out and hope to do it again in a couple months.

Paul's 5 Yard Quilt

The 5 Yard Quilt is quilted and ready for binding. I cut the binding last night, but after quilting for most of the evening, it was just too late to put the binding on it. I'm happy with how the quilting turned out. Paul's 31st birthday is today, so we'll be celebrating tonight with supper out. Hope to finish this quilt by the end of the week.

A few close ups of the quilting. I used King Tut Brown/Black verigated on top and a dark green Bottomline on the bottom. I think it turned out great. I did a larg meander on the whole quilt so it would be really soft and a comfy quilt to lounge on the couch with.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Butchering Weekend

This weekend was butchering weekend for my family. It's become a family tradition of sorts that we do each year. Last weekend my brothers and a cousin hung the two beef we were processing, so that it had time to age. Paul, his mom, and I got up at 4:30AM and drove the 2 hours to my parents Sat. morning. We met up with my bro, his wife, dad, and a 2nd cousin to begin butchering at about 8 AM. This is ours that we shared with my parents. We each got a half.
This is my brother & sis-in-law's and a 2nd cousins beef. They were smaller this year, but with less fat, so a lot better meat.
We started the day with Paul cutting ours first. We wanted round, ribeye, t-bone, sirloin, and New York steaks, a couple roasts, and lots of hamburger.
My brother runs the big meat saw and Paul helped him. They were cutting the round steaks.
Then my dad, Paul, and SIL cut off the excess fat and trimmed the steaks into the size we wanted. All the excess went into tubs to be ground for hamburger.
After we completely cut up the first cow, we ground all the hamburger. Dad's grinding the meat.
My bro did most of the grinding.
Then Paul & Leslie (MIL) stuffed all the packages of hamburger. We got about 75, 1 lb packages of hamburger, which should last us a good majority of the next year. This is Paul's grinder with the stuffer attachment. We also got a new meat mixer this year which really helped to mix in the tallow so the fat was evenly distributed. The weather was in the 40's with a strong wind, so we were all bundled up in heavy coats trying to stay warm. It was the perfect weather for cutting the meat though. My MIL and I were the official packagers, but I forgot to take pictures of our three coolers full of beef. We used the Food Saver and it worked awesome for packaging.
We finished the first cow before dinner and my mom had fixed a big lunch and a cake for Paul's birthday. He turns 31 tomorrow. After we ate, we went back to work and did the second cow. We finished at 6:30PM and we were all exhausted! Mom fixed corn beef and cabbage for supper which was a nice treat. My mom was the official babysitter for my niece, so they fixed the meals for us. My MIL took all our meat home for us and we stayed till Sunday at my parents.
My dad, brother, and Paul went for a drive on Sunday to look at a tractor, so mom and I had the house to ourselves. We did dishes, shortened pants, looked at my grandma's old quilts, and took a long walk. It was 70 degrees. The new baby calves and their mama's were all around. This one is a new born and is just trying to stand up for the first time. I love calving season.
I really enjoy going home to visit my parents and even though it was a lot of work to butcher, it feels so good to have it done for the year. We shouldn't have to buy much beef for the rest of the year now. We're looking forward to going back to my parents again next weekend as my Bro & SIL are having Easter at their house.

Great-Grandma's Quilts

Quilting runs deep in my family, on both sides. My dad's great grandma made quilts, his grandma made quilts, and even a step-great grandma made quilts. A couple weeks ago my cousins, brother & sis-in-law, and my mom cleaned out the upstairs at my grandma's house. My brother rescued two boxes of quilts. The first box contained a couple quilt tops that my dad's great-grandma had made. They are the most worn and I didn't get pictures.
It also contained this crazy quilt made out of wools and polyester knits. It's really heavy! The "batting" was a checkered blanket as you can see the black/white check in the light spots of the quilt. We found another top just like it, but it's not finished. It needs binding.
IMG_0001 IMG_0002
Then we found a quilt his grandma made with butterflies. His grandma was known for making these butterfly quilts. They were all pieced by hand and then later sewn with a diagonal quilting line on the machine. My dad and his brothers each got one when they got married. My dad waited so long to get married, she made him one, then when he got married, she made him another. We also found a set of butterfly blocks that were completely made, just need to be made into a quilt.
IMG_0004 IMG_0003
This was another quilt that was hand pieced and then machine quilted on the diagonal.
IMG_0006 IMG_0005
This quilt was marked log cabin, but it's obviously not. It's more of a rail fence. It was made by my dad's step great grandma.
IMG_0007 IMG_0008
This one was also made by my dad's great grandma. It's all hand pieced and machine quilted. We have one similar made to it, that looks like poinsettia's and we consider it a Christmas quilt. They are made with the same green fabric.
This one is an Irish chain made by dad's great grandma.
The next couple are just tops, but are all hand pieced. It looks to me like great grandma pieced them all by hand and was starting to quilt them all by machine, but just never got these done. If I was to finish them, I'd probably just do a plain white straight stitch on the diagonal across them all.
This one is also hand pieced and needs to be quilted.

The same goes for this one, although it's got a lot more open area. They used a lot of green and aqua colored fabrics for the borders in many of the quilts.
We're not sure what we'll do with the quilts, but I'm just excited they were saved from going to the dump. They are so intricate and the hand piecing so amazing, that I'm just enamored by them! Since I didn't do any quilting this weekend, this was as close as I came.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

5 Yard Quilt

Each day I set goals, some for work, some for stuff I want to get done, and usually a few quilting goals. Last night my goal was to get the 5 Yard quilt top blocks sewn together and the borders on it. I figured 3-4 hours was plenty of time to get it done, since it's a small quilt. Survivor was on though, so I got sucked into watching it. I cut out pieces for the wolf applique I've been working on. I was supposed to be my hubby's birthday present, but now it's looking like about our 5th anniversary present. There are a TON of tiny itty bitty pieces to cut out. After an hour worth of cutting, I had a total of about 10 of the 50 pieces cut out. I cut out all the pieces on two of the 10 colors of fabric. I don't think I can do more than about an hours worth at a time, because it made my hands very sore.
I headed down to the studio to work on the 5 yard quilt and got the blocks all sewn together. Now that it's together the colors go a lot better than I thought they would. Since it was a kit, I didn't have much choice of the colors.
I talked to my dad for about an hour tonight while I was sewing the borders on. Sounds like they still have lots of snow, but now the flooding has begun. I started putting on the borders when I realized I was about 1 strip too short. I ended up doing straight pieced borders which worked out. I'm hoping to get it on the frame and get it quilted tonight. I'd like to have the binding on it too, so I can take it to do the handsewing on tomorrow night at our Girls Night Out event.
The border really ties the whole quilt together, so I'm really liking how it's turned out. It was almost 10:30 when I finished up last night, which is fairly late for me to stay up quilting during the week, but I'm so glad I accomplished my goals.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

5 Yard Quilt

National Quilting Day was yesterday and I was busy working. It was fun to see all the quilters coming in for their project needs. After work I got about an hour of sewing in before we went to the Walleye's Unlimited banquet. I got the borders on my block #1's for the 5 yard quilt I cut out Friday night. The strips for block #2 are laying next to the finished blocks.
Today I went to church and then Paul and I went shopping. He's such a shopper, so we did lots of looking. We're butchering next weekend and needed to pick up a few supplies. I cleaned out the freezer and we have about 8 packages of steak left and 2 roasts. Pretty good for a years supply of beef. We do buy chicken, pork, and did end up buying some hamburger, but all in all, our 1/2 of the beef lasts all year. This is about the 5th year in a row we've butchered, 1 year was hogs, the rest have been steers. So we'll be heading to the country next weekend to get it done. We have 2 beef for 4 families, each getting a half.
Today was absolutely beautiful! We had temps in the 60's which is short sleeves weather here. It's not the end of winter as we'll have another blizzard or 3 before summer, but it was such a nice day. Paul cleaned out his pickup and I cleaned the car, then he power washed all the vehicles.
SDSU women played in the NCAA tourney tonight, so I had the game on while I was sewing away. I finished all my strip sets for the 5 yard quilt and cut the first few to see what it would look like. I have 2 blocks done and I'm liking it, so I'll finish cutting it out tomorrow night and get it finished up. SDSU lost the game, but it was a good game. It's the second year they've been eligible and made the tourney since going Division 1. SDSU is my alma mater, so I'm always routing for them.
Only 16 blocks to go and I'll have all the blocks done. I can't wait to quilt this one. It's going to be a fun quilt to quilt. I'm hoping to have it finished for hubby's b-day on the 30th. Oh yeah and the wolf applique... it got avoided all weekend!