Friday, December 31, 2010

Grandson born on New Year's Eve

He is just 30 minutes old in this photo.
Born a New Year's Eve baby at 9:38 am and weighed in at 6lbs 10 ozs. Mother and son are doing great!

Here is a picture of my husband aka PAPA Johnson with the baby.

This is the first grandchild for both families.
We are all so excited and blessed by our little bundle of joy from Heaven!

Wishing you all Health & Happiness in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another round of Jane Blocks

I finally picked up with Jane again!
Still waiting for my first grandchild to arrive, so I've decided to channel all my energy into sewing. Here is the list of my accomplishments for the week:

F3 Snowball - machine sewn - 17 pieces
E1 Aunt Exie's Phlox - hand applique' - 5 pieces
F7 Star Struck - machine sewn - 21 pieces
D1 Alison's Guiding Light - machine sewn - 23 pieces
D12 Crossed Swords - hand & machine sewn - 19 pieces
E10 Five & Dime - hand applique' & machine sewn - 6 pieces

Definately my favorite block of the week! I will forever remember this block as the one I made while waiting for my grandson to come light up my world! (very big grin)

every Quilt tells a story...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

EGGNOG CUPCAKES - easy recipe!

It's been a while since my last cupcake posting.
This recipe is SUPER EASY to make.
Begin with any Yellow Cake recipe.
Replace the milk or water (exact measured amount) with Eggnog.
Mix & Bake according to the directions.
Frosting: Add 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of Rum Extract to your favorite Buttercream frosting. (homemade or store bought) Mix well, frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered nutmeg.

I baked a batch of these last night - needless to say, the one in the picture has already been devoured. If you plan on making these for a Holiday Gathering I suggest they arrive with the following warning label:
"CAUTION - Eating these Cupcakes may be Addictive!"


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Remembrance quilt

I finished this Red & Green quilt the week before Christmas - last year. I unpacked it this morning and hung it on the quilt rack in my living room.
looking at the photo now - I should have ironed it

One of the names for this pattern is called Broken Star.
I purchased the fabrics and cut them all out 4 years ago.
At the time I was still grieving the loss of my father who passed away a few weeks before Christmas the previous year. The center star made me think of our family gathering around the tree on Christmas day and the broken/fractured star points - family members watching over us in heaven.
The quilt measures 48" square with 512 small diamond pieces that make up the star components. Because of my tardiness to complete this for Christmas - I machine quilted it myself.

And here is a tiny doll quilt that I am currently working on. Also a Remembrance quilt that I will most likely title Colonial Rose. It measures 13" square and is completely hand pieced. I still need to come up with a quilting design for the finish. NO idea's yet!

every Quilt tells a story...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks!

This is my favorite Redwork block of the quilt series - so far!
Just 3 more days until Thanksgiving! Gosh, how quickly November is flying by.
Dinner will be at our house this year and I am ever so Thankful for the opportunity to gather again with Family.

We are expecting our first grandchild within the next 4 weeks!
It is one of the greatest blessing my husband & I could ever imagine and one that we are extremely THANKFUL for this holiday season.

Whatever your plans are this Thursday - may your day be filled with Joy!

Wishing everyone a Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving!

every quilt tells a story...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WINTER BEAUTY - Red & Green revised!

I am SO excited to share this special quilt I designed and the wonderful story of friendship that goes with it!
I love traditional Red & Green quilts and really wanted to make one for my living room. But I also wanted to make it a bit masculine with a cozy warm WINTER feel to it.
So I drew up the design - picked out my fabrics and contacted my dear friend Sue to tell her all about my project! She & I decided we would both create identical quilts from the layout design I sent her. (pictured below)

What makes this so special to me is that Sue lives in California and I live in Virginia. We worked together on our quilts entirely thru pictures and emails over the internet. And when we were done - our quilts turned out EXACTLY the same!
I call my quilt Winter Beauty and she has named her's Winter Rose.
The quilts finished off at 55" wide by 71" long. I really love the cozy feel the brushed cotton plaid lends to the borders.

The lovely picture of the finished quilt above was taken by Sue. It is her Winter Rose quilt displayed beautifully on her dining room wall. Please be sure to stop by Sue's Blog to see more of her wonderful quilts.
(As soon as I find my darn camera cord...I will be sure to upload pictures of my Winter Beauty quilt too!)

Now, every time I look at my quilt I can reflect on the hours we spent sewing & happily chatting together. Even though we live on opposite Coasts she is incredibly close to my heart!

every Quilt tells a story...

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Favorite FALLOWEEN Projects

I LOVE Autumn and the not-so-scary side of Halloween. I like to refer to this season of decorating as Falloween. Above is a small table quilt that I designed and created back in July for Falloween. I started with an old traditional block pattern from the early 1800's titled Spider Web. I added a few extra "web strings" to the design and then free-hand cut spider bodies from wool and applique'd them to the top. The stitchery Web, spider legs and lettering were all created using black perle cotton.

Below are pictures of more Falloween projects I've completed within the past couple years.

Haunted Hill is a pattern I purchased from Keepsake Quilting and Pumpkin Seeds is by QuiltSmart. Candy Corn is a quilt pattern I designed back in 2006. Happy Falloween!

every Quilt tells a story...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I LOVED making this Mini Sampler

I'm excited - I finally finished the top from Cheryl's Sew-a-long!
Cheryl's detailed pictures and clever instructions made assembling the little 4" blocks a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the challenge of designing the scrappy pieced streak of lightning - inspired by Cheryl's blue streak of lightning borders.

I've titled my Sampler THANKSGIVING.

The Autumn colors and "organized" chaos of this scrappy sampler bring to mind so many fond memories of Thanksgiving dinner's at home. Lots of relatives Young & Old sitting together at the table. Everyone chatting, whispering or laughing as many small conversations begin whirling around the room in tandem.
Reflecting on Holiday's past, hopes & dreams of Holiday's to come, ever so grateful for this day as we gather together and Give Thanks!

I'm thankful to Cheryl for her generosity of spirit and all the work she put into creating this free sew-along. If you are interested in creating Cheryl's Miniature Sampler quilt she still has the patterns and instructions posted on her blog. CLICK HERE

Every Quilt tells a story...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Scrappy Streak of Lightning sashing for Cheryl's SAL

These instructions are for creating an alternate "scrappy" streak of lightning sashing for Cheryl's Miniature Sampler quilt. This beautiful pattern is being offered as a FREE tutorial Sew-Along on Cheryl's Blog.
To make this scrappy setting - you would replace the cutting instructions that Cheryl used for the Medium/Dark blue triangle sections with the instructions below.

I used an assortment of medium/light, medium and dark fabrics for the pieced sections that make up the Streak of Lightning sashing.
To will need to cut these fabrics into 2.25" squares. Cut each square once in half diagonally. I don't like to trim off the little points later on so to eliminate that step I trim them off before sewing my pieces together. (optional)
If you'd like to do this as well - measure over 2" on your ruler (from the straight side of the triangle) and trim off the points using your rotary cutter. You will need to turn and repeat this on the opposite side of the triangle piece as well.

Now you will need to group and sew your triangle pieces together in sets of 4's to make the Streak of Lightning triangle sectons. (as shown in the photo below)
Once the sections are sewn to the sampler block - the unfinished block will measure 6.25" giving you a 5.75" finished block.

Only 2 little rules/tricks involved in keeping the triangle sections compatible:

RULE #1 is that 2 of the corner triangle sections for each block are made with 3 dark or medium/dark outside triangles and the other 2 triangle sections are made with 3 medium/light outside triangles. For example: The top left & bottom right triangle sections are mostly darks and the top right and bottom left triangle sections are mostly med/lt in the basket block shown below. Of course - instead of color TONES you could always apply the same method using 2 different color groups, fabrics etc.
RULE #2 is....horizontal rows ONE and THREE will have the dark corner triangle sections sewn identical (example - top left and bottom right sections are made from the darker sections) and row TWO will have the sections sewn in the opposite order...(now the top left and bottom right sections are the lighter sections)

Although I have all of my sampler blocks complete, I am still working on my sashing sections. The picture below shows individual blocks completed by row. They are NOT sewn into rows yet...but you can sort of see the scrappy streak of lightning pattern emerging. Once the rows are sewn the pattern will become more pronounced.

I think I'm going to make my quilt similar to Cheryl's with the floating stars.
With my sister ill and in the hospital this past week I haven't had time for sewing. Perhaps later this week I may be able to finish this up and get more pictures posted.

every Quilt tells a story....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October - a busy month of Sewing

I've been away more than I've been home already this month!
Thankfully, I've had the foresight to bundle up some projects to work on while traveling. I managed to complete 2 of these October redwork blocks for the Calender Girls BOM.

This week I'm staying in south central VA to attend the Central Virginia Tour De Quilt shop hop! It's from the 14th thru the 17th and I'm looking forward to visiting as many quilt shops as possible. .

I will also complete my blocks & sashing for a miniature quilt I'm making thru a free Sew-a-long that Cheryl has created. I'll be sure to post picture updates within the next couple days - along with cutting & sewing instructions for the "Scrappy" Streak of Lightning sashing I decided to sew around the wonderful blocks that Cheryl designed for this quilt.

Wishing you all a Happy & Productive October!

every Quilt tells a story....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Solider Returns Home!

My neice Trisha is a dedicated United States Marine. She returned home to the States on Saturday morning upon completing a tour of duty over in Afghanistan.
My neice Staci made T-shirts for us all to wear - they turned out great! I am so very proud of my neice and elated for my sister, her husband, their children and grand-children. It was an extremely joyful reunion! WE LOVE YOU TRISHA!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clamshell Club September Update

I'm really excited to show my progress this month for the Clamshell Club.
It's month #2 for me. Last month I chose my fabrics and started to cut & baste some of my printed fabric clam shells. So here is my progress for this month:

The clamshell section of my quilt will measure 64" across so I cut a strip of white background fabric 68". I decided to make this starting strip 5" wide because that is the length of each clamshell. (includes the seam allowance)
To figure the spacing, I basted the first shell down and marked a quarter inch section to leave open before basting the next shell down. The base of my clamshell pattern finishes at a quarter inch in width vs the pointed bases of the beautiful clamshells some of the other Club members are making.
I was SO happy to discover how nice an easy all the shells fit together when I began my second row.!

I did manage to complete 2 rows of hand stitched shells. The first row all in colorful prints and a second row of white shells.
I'm looking forward to sharing my progress again on October 30th!

every Quilt tells a story...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sashing instructions for Dear Jane blocks

I knew I would dread the job of cutting and sewing all the sashing strips to my Jane blocks if I waited until all the blocks were finished. So I decided in the beginning that I would sash the blocks a few rows at a time once I completed them.

PLEASE NOTE:The instructions I'm providing below are my own personal method of assembly - I'm sure there are other ways to create your sashing but this is what works best for ME!
There is a 1/2" sashing strip between each of the blocks in all the rows A-M and a 1/4" sashing around the outside edges (the border between the square blocks and triangles).
Measurement terms = .25 is a quarter inch, .5 is a half inch, .75 is three quarters of an inch.
So...I cut one inch strips of fabric by the length of my background fabric (selvage to selvage)

From those one inch strips I cut fairly equal amounts of 1"x5" sections and 1" x 5.5" sections. I also cut a several pieces of fabric that measured 1" x 5.75".
Each block will have a 5" sashing strip sewn to the RIGHT side and then a 5.5" sashing strip sewn to the BOTTOM of the block. ALL of these blocks should now measure 5.5" square!

I found it easiest to pile my blocks in numeric order by row...Row A, Row B, Row C with block 1 at the top and block 13 at the bottom of the pile.
NEXT... Pull out Block 13 (it should be the bottom/last block of each pile)

Trim a quarter inch off of the RIGHT side sashing. All of your A-M blocks that are number 13 should now measure 5.25" across by 5.5" down (top to bottom) This narrow edge makes up the quarter inch border between the square blocks and triangle section.

NEXT...Block #1 of EACH row will need a narrow border sashing on the LEFT side of it's block as well. Sew a 3rd sashing strip to this block - 1" x 5.5" strip to the left side of the block. Press and trim off a quarter inch. Block #1 should now measure 5.75" across by 5.5" down.

NEXT... These instructions are for EACH block of ROW A and ONLY Row A. You will add a final strip of fabric to the TOP of each block and trim off a quarter inch.

Block #A1 will measure 5.75" square and have sashing on all 4 sides of it. Blocks A2-A12 will have 3 pieces of sashing and measure 5.5" across x 5.75" down. Block A13 will have 3 sashing pieces also (narrow on top & side and normal on the bottom) this block will measure 5.25" across x 5.75" down.

Special instructions for ROW M: You will need to trim the BOTTOM sashing piece a quarter inch on EACH block of this row to create the narrower 1/2" measure (quarter inch border when sewn to the triangle sashing. I hope you find this a helpful start to sashing your Jane Blocks!

every Quilt tells a story...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My miniature Stitch-a-Long Blocks

After pondering over fabric choices I have finally started on my blocks for Cheryl's exciting Stitch Along. These 4" blocks are just the first in a series that once completed will become part of a wonderful Miniature Sampler Quilt.

I've never been good at "randomness" so even the scrappiest of quilts I've created have some sort of Organized Chaos to them :)
That said - I've chosen 4 Autumn colored fabrics as my "main players" in this quilt. They are from Jo Morton's Spice Collection in Rust,Gold & Black. I'll be tossing in a few random scraps of earthy reproduction fabrics here & there.

Cheryl's stitch-Along is not only FREE, but she provides all the rotary cutting instructions & wonderful photo's making it easy to follow along.
You will discover that she is a very talented and creative Teacher & Quilter.
I've included a link to her SAL on my right hand side bar - you can join in any time and work at your own pace.

every Quilt tells a story...
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