Sunday, February 22, 2015

Millefiori Quilt Along Progress

Apologies if you received my last post twice.  I was adding the Pin It button to my side bar to make it easier to pin from your tablet or phone.  On a computer, there should be a Pin It button that appears when you hover your mouse over a photo.  

This is my Millefiori Block 1 of the quilt along from the book The New Hexagon by Katje Marek.  Katje gives directions for one block a month from her book, and you can either print the blocks on card stock and cut out the shapes to English Paper Piece or you can order the precut papers from

To be honest, I've spent way too much time puzzling and trying to figure out what fabrics would look best with the fabrics I've already sewn.  The diamonds for the next round are different in the photos that I'm posting.  One problem is that there is really no good way to see what the finished block will look like unless you cut the fabrics and sew a couple blocks of each round together.  Another problem for me is that these hexagons measure 3 inches on a side.  After working on Dear Jane and Nearly Insane, one block that measures 3 inches is huge.  And yet another problem is that sewing and twisting these large pieces hurts my hands after I sew awhile.  

So after working with this block off and on for the last month, I'm going to set it aside and work on it at some other time, or I may re-purpose it into the center medallion of another quilt.  

I think when a project goes from being fun to something that you dread, it's time to move on.

Even Tiki has had enough of this block.

Here is an idea I have for the center medallion of a Christmas quilt using the first block from my Christmas Millefiori Block 1.  The 6 surrounding hexagons are from the book Pieced Hexies A New Tradition in English Paper Piecing by Mickey Depre.  

For now I'm going to work on more of my 3/4" hexagons.  I'm not sure what this project will be yet, but I love these little blocks.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Millefiore Quilt Along Block One

I've been spending some time in my sewing room and have been working on a new English Paper Piecing project.  I've joined in on Katja Marek's Millefiore Quilt Along.   The blocks come from her book The New Hexagon - 52 blocks to English Paper Piece.  
This is the beginning of my second block number 1.  I stopped working on my first version of the block (the one that will go into my quilt) when I saw someone post a photo of their finished first block in the Millefiore Quilt Along Facebook Group.  The photo showed someone's husband holding up a finished block, and that really put the size into perspective for me.  I could see this block (which ends up being about 36") as a table topper or the center of a medallion quilt surrounded by smaller hexagons. So I decided to use some of my Christmas fabric to make a Block 1.  

There are two more rounds to be added to the block after this one.  These pieced hexagons are 3" on a side . I have Charlie Brown's Christmas fabric, and have fussy cut the Christmas tree for the next round along with Ruldolph on a gold background.  Choosing the fabrics for this and my other Block 1 has really been a challenge, but I'm loving this quilt along.   You can see others blocks over on the Facebook group here.  We are doing one block a month, and Block number 2 was just posted today, so I need to pick up the pace.

You can find more information about this quilt along here.

I have a pot of chili simmering and have baked a pan of Spiced Pecans, and I'm ready to watch the Superbowl and stitch.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Knitting and Christmas UFOs

Happy New Year to all of you.  I know the turn of the calendar to a new year is the time that many of us take inventory in the sewing room, get organized, and promise we're going to finish our UFOs.  I seem to have lost my quilting mojo lately, so I haven't done any of that and almost no sewing.  I'm not sure if mojo is the right term, but since Thanksgiving all I've wanted to do is knit.  I still have a lot of quilting ideas, but right now I'm enjoying sitting in my comfy chair with the fireplace going while I knit.  The weather here is bitterly cold with below zero F wind chills.  Here is what I've done since Thanksgiving:  my scarf hanger with the scarves I've knit.  You can see more of these and my other knitting and crochet over on my crochet blog Easy Crochet Pattern.  

Here is a poncho I knit from the same pattern as the cowl in the center of the above photo.  I just used chunky yarn and size 13 needles.

I also have a bag with single socks in various stages.  Here is the pair I just finished.  The first sock was finished so long ago that I couldn't remember the pattern that I used, so I just picked one and made the second sock.  I love wearing hand knit socks but just don't enjoy making them as much as I do other things.

I've spent some time in the sewing room today looking at parts of Christmas projects that didn't get finished (or even worked on) during the last year.  This Santa wall hanging has been in and out of my hand quilting hoop for about 3 years now.  He was a pattern from a magazine.

I have a lot of parts for quilts done and ideas for others.  There are some Christmas pinwheels in one of the bags.  The half square triangle little quilt just needs a border and some quilting.  I love the center of the Soupcon block that I did as part of a quilt along on Karen's Faeries and Fibres blog.  I started it during the time we were moving, so it isn't finished.  The hexagons were some that I tried from Mickey Depre's book, Pieced Hexagons.  

I keep something about the size of this table topper in front of the fireplace.  Tiki, our cat, likes to lay on a quilt in front of the fire in the evenings.  Maybe I can do a little machine quilting on this one to finish it by next year.  

This is the center of Holly and Mistletoe from the book When the Cold Wind Blows.  I have the blocks done and am almost finished with this center applique'.  Maybe if I leave this and the Santa on my design wall they will be finished by next Christmas.

Since I saw this Candy Cane Bouquet applique done over on Debra's Quiltingartist blog, I've wanted to make one.  I had the magazine  (Primitive Quilts and Projects Winter 2013) and pulled the vase fabric but didn't get it started.  

Lori at Humble Quilts showed this Pomegranate Quilt (Yuletide Threads Need'l Love) in her post about her Christmas Quilts.  I saw this quilt on her blog over a year ago and wrote her asking what the pattern was.  After she told me I ordered the book, and I've traced the templates.  I still have this one on my list.  

I've pulled all of my Christmas fabric out of the drawer and have put it all in a basket along with these unfinished Christmas blocks.  I kind of operate under the "out of sight - out of  mind" way of quilting.  I'm hoping that if I see these things often enough that I might start working on them during the year.

Do you have Christmas projects that you didn't get finished?  Do you have a plan for having them finished by Christmas 2015?

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014 Wrap Up

Here is a look at our Christmas 2014.  I love decorating for Christmas, and since this is our first Christmas in this house I had a lot of fun trying to find a place for our decorations.

The table is set for Christmas dinner ahead of everyone arriving to open presents.  I love getting my Christmas dishes out to use from Thanksgiving through the Christmas season.  

The Christmas glasses were my Moms and bring back a lot of happy memories.

I made the table runner a couple of years ago as part of a blog hop over at Madame Samm's Sew We Quilt blog.  The pattern is Holiday Lane from Jill Findley and is available under her "Free Stuff" section on her web site.

Here's a closer look.  I added some things to my version of the table runner.

This is my Dollar Tree/Wal-Mart centerpiece.  I wanted something small enough so that it wouldn't cover up too much of the table runner.  I found the bottle brush trees and candy stripe trees at Wal-Mart.  The silver tray, ornaments and candle are from Dollar Tree.  My brother-in-law, Melvin, keeps me supplied with pine cones from the farm.  

I'm going to join up with Tablescape Thursday over at     I'm not sure I've ever done that before, but (1) I love her blog, and (2) I looked a lot of places for these small stockings so that I could use them for silverware and a candy cane at our Christmas table.  I was really looking for the cable knit ones that Pottery Barn had a couple of years ago.  I saw the knockoff version that someone found at Dollar Tree on Pinterest, but I couldn't find it this year.  The ones I found were on the top shelf at Walgreens.

I put a piece of greenery with lights most anywhere.  This is my Mom's corner china cabinet that I was able to keep when we moved.  The Gingerbread men and heart bunting was made by Roswitha that blogs at    The Sweets sack was made by Hanne from

The wooden box filled with greenery and candles (and more pinecones) sits on the island.  My husband made the wooden box for me.  I saw it over at Far Above Rubies blog (another blog I love to read)  a few years ago and showed him a photo and asked if he could make one for me.  I use it every year at Christmas.

I found this black and white polka dot pitcher in the bakery section at the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana, IN.  I have so many happy memories from that town.  I keep the pitcher out all year and fill it with different things.  Here is some greenery and holly with candy canes.....and more pinecones.

I baked lots of cookies.

And, this year I made Spiced Pecans.  Here is a pan taken fresh from the oven to cool.

This is the "grazing station" with the cheese ball I made, veggies, crackers and dip on one end of the island.

This wreath was made by a distant cousin years ago.  

I made this ceramic tree back in the 70s.

Here are some of my Christmas quilts.  My Charming Christmas Presents (the top quilt) wall hanging tutorial can be found here.  It's also linked on my sidebar.

My Dear Jane signature quilt is on the bed.  These quilt blocks came from a swap on one of the lists several years ago.  This was the first Christmas swap.  I don't know if it still continues.  The pillow on the left of the bed and on the chair were made by Roswitha.  My childhood friend cross stitched the other pillow for me years ago.

I made the pillow in the center of the bed from Jill Findley's Holiday Lane table runner by taking just a couple of houses from the pattern.

My Mom made almost all of the ornaments that are on our family tree.  I crocheted the tree skirt and the afghan on the back of the chair.  You can see my helper Tiki taking a rest underneath the tree.

The blue tree in one of the bedrooms.

The red and white tree on the back porch.  We had to anchor it with bricks and bungee cord.  I'll figure out something different for next year and do  more decorating out there.

We do our outside decorating the day after Thanksgiving while eating turkey leftovers.  

The family decorated around the outside of the entire house.  

This is what really makes Christmas special.

I hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying the holiday week.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Gift Card Holders

If you are getting ready to put your gift cards on the tree and discover that you've forgotten to pick up something to put those cards in, these are really quick to make.  Here is one of the Christmas Gift Card Holders that I made.  

Follow this link to get the PDF pattern:

They can also be used to put a motel key in to help keep track of it in your purse or pocket.

The holders are 4 inches wide and 7 inches top to bottom at the widest points.  So I cut two pieces of coordinating fabric about 13 inches wide and about 15 inches long.  Using Wonder Under or your favorite fusible, fuse the two pieces wrong sides together.

Cut into 4 inch strips.  Using the template, cut out the holder.  

Before sewing, cut the slit in the bottom part so the top part can tuck in.  The slit is about 3/8" away from the "V" in the bottom of the holder and is about 2 inches long.  These look like mini envelopes.

Press the bottom (with the slit) up as shown.  Sew as directed and press the top flap down.  

You have something decorative to hold any kind of card that you want to keep track of.  

I made quite a few for a little something to tuck inside of Christmas cards.

I know it's almost Christmas.  I honestly don't know where this month has gone.  I have photos to show you of my trees and some of my other decorations.  I sometimes feel that I'm still decorating until it's time to put it all away until next year.  

Hope you are finding some time to stitch.  I have been on a knitting kick since I got back from the quilt retreat right before Thanksgiving.  I've knit several scarves and am participating in a Ravelry knit along.  

I hope you are finding some time to do some stitching today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

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