Follow by Email

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Quilt Progress on December 8th

 Clue 1 was 224 quarter square triangle units. They were fun but pretty overwhelming to begin with. I just kept matching them up and before long they were all done and ready to go. I started using the strips and sewing pairs together but wound up using triangulations. I don't really have scraps to speak of and have taken the challenge to use fabrics only from my stash. So far so good.
 Clue 2 is made up of 72 string pieced blocks. They are the cutest little things and I can see why people get addicted to making scrappy things....I can see placemats, wall hangings and window treatments in my future. Yay for scraps!!
Clue 3 are half square triangles 350 units--I made 360 since I used Triangulations and did 15 pages of 24 units each. Love Triangulations. I am happy with the number of fabrics I have. Some day I will do a full on scrappy quilt, but this is a wonderful way to delve into the Scrappy Kingdom.

You are welcome to join the festivities, you can find us at

We have people from Norway, the Netherlands, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, South Africa and the UK in addition to lots of us here in the States all participating in the challenge.

Hope you check out Bonnie's blog with all the pictures we are posting each week.

Till next time...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Quilt Progress

I am participating in my first ever Mystery Quilt. Bonnie Hunter is an amazing, talented and generous quilter. She is also the Queen of Scraps. Every November she hosts a mystery quilt challenge.
The exciting thing is that this is a scrap quilt with many, many little pieces.
I have been saving scraps for over thirty years in hopes of doing something with them...someday.
Someday is here and I am enjoying the challenge.
My colors will be purple, pink and green with beige backgrounds.
Progress is pictured above.
You are welcome to join the fun, you can find it here:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More little dresses for Africa

Mom has been at the sewing machine again and look what she has created. One cuter than the next. These will surely bless two little girls somewhere!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Keith's Harvest Quilt

This a block that was featured on the cover of the latest Connecting Threads catalogue.  I love love love batiks and was itching to do a scrappy quilt for our bed. DH Keith has been wanting a quilt with brighter colors. 

Right now our quilt is the Millennium quilt which happens to have 2000 peices. It was made in 1999 for the New Millennium. It was fabulous back then but now we are over it and are looking for something new. Big, bold and bright. 

The kit that was offered I think used a jelly roll so the quilt used 2 1/2 inch strips of fabric. 

Since I had a layer cake which is 10 inch squares I recalculated the pattern to use 3 inch strips instead of 2 1/2 inch strips.Now I only need 16 full blocks made up 48 quarter blocks.

The quilt has a scrappy look even though I am using a sampler collection from Connecting Threads. It is called changing leaves . 

In the last year or so I have been loving the idea of a scrap quilt so finally I am getting to make a scrappy looking quilt but I am not technically using scraps yet!!

I am using a concept I learned from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville to make bonus half square triangle units from each block.  More later on the details. Have a great day everyone. 

First quilt for new VA hospital in Las Vegas

Daughter Jennifer pieced this so quickly using favorite fat quarters from her stash.  We found the tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on YouTube. It is called Double Slice Layer Cake Quilt Tutorial   It is amazing all the free tutorials for fast and easy quilts. Can't wait to get to the fun part--the quilting! More later.

Charity items to Lil Troopers

These were sent to Lil Troopers a Florida charity that provides going home outfits/packs to three military hospitals. The Mickey Mouse quilt panel was perfect and fun to do both patriotic and baby cute. Who doesn't love Mickey? The booties are knit and were also fun. I have made red, white and blue hats for the troops before but these tiny booties were much more fun and lots quicker too. The camo sweater sets were a departure from my idea of appropriate baby colors, but after I heard how much they were appreciated by the military families it was all good. Living and learning go hand in hand. It is just soooo good to have these on their way finally. It is always a challenge for me to get the items sent off once they are finished. So that is progress and a good feeling.

Charity Booties finally on their way to Minnesota

Finally these got sent off to Bundles of Love a charity based  in Minnesota. These were part of a project with my online charity group All Crafts for Charity I have a soft spot for Minnesota since that is where Mom was born--along with her 5 sisiters and a brother. She knew first hand how cold the winters are in Minnesota.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy October

Now that the weather is finally getting cooler here in Sunny South Carolina, it is time to bake and make wonderful cold weather foods.

After finding the wonderful Yahoo group Home canning, I was able to get enough information to buy a pressure canner. Of course these people are hard core canners!!! They are talking about canning whole chickens, sausage, peach apple sauce and some items I have never heard of.

Mind you all I want to do is can some soups and chili. But you know how it is when you are in a group of excited people, but canning fever has not overtaken me YET. So far I have not hijacked a produce truck or a Tyson Chicken truck.

Yesterday I made mom's famous banana bread. There were too many overripe bananas so I mashed and froze two containers. They even made it to the freezer inventory so there is hope that they will not be forgotten. I am ever hopeful that it will happen.

Today is Friday and Keith is coming home tonight. Since he has to go back on Sunday I am grateful for the extra night he will be home.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Nancy, an ever hopeful canning wannabee

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Aunt Viv's New Tote

Mom's sister Aunt Viv is 92 years young. She needed a new knitting bag so Mom and I decided a denim tote would be perfect.

We decided it should have a monogram. Well the only problem with that is I have not used my machine embroidery software for several years. I am not exactly sure it is compatible with my current computer--the sad song goes on and on.

My dear friend Deb to the rescue. We designed and she stitched out a wonderful V for Vivian of course. Oh my goodness there are so many decisions to make on the design itself. Then there are the thread colors. In a short time though, the design was created, loaded and stitched. Thank you Deb!!

Of course there really wasn't a pattern for the tote bag either. That would be toooooo easy. We had some ideas on what would be good and what wouldn't.

I got some ideas online for making the flat bottom on the tote and printed them out.

Out came the rotary cutter and rulers and Voila the pieces were cut.

Mom did the sewing in a jiffy and the tote was done.

It was ready when mom flew up to Chicago for April and Peter's wedding.

Aunt Viv now lives in a fabulous retirement facility, where she is out and about all the time. She says her tote is perfect for carrying most anything back up to her apartment, and that she uses it almost every day.

Mom and I love a good quick challenge especially when there is fiber involved!!

Closeup of the tote, you can see the pocket across the front.  No extra charge for the  toes!!

The bottom folds flat but it is folded under here

The May Challenge

We have an amazing group of ladies who meet at a church near home every Thursday.

 Our leader challenged us to form teams and see how many items we could collect and donate to the local Children's home during the month of May. 

Who knew that we would get our game faces on and would get so competitive?

 It was much fun and ultimately the children were the winners. We celebrated with wonderful lunch and lots of fellowship.

I do lots of charity knitting and am known to "knit ahead". I have a stash of completed items and donate as projects come up. The sweaters and sets were from this stash.

Size 1 shorts

These were so much fun to make.. all size 1

Practice quilts using my long arm quilting machine

This is variegated thread that matches the stripes in the binding .  Another  practice quilt.

Monday, June 13, 2011

More little dresses

Mom absolutely loves to make these little dresses. we decided to make some in a size 12 for a change of pace. Since a rotary cutter makes cutting bias strips and fabric so easy I am cutting the fabric and she is doing all the sewing.

She hangs them on the door knob of her front closet door. As soon as I walk in I see what new and wonderful creation she has completed. 

It brings back fond memories of me coming home from school and seeing what new and wonderful creation she had made just for me. That always made me feel very loved and special. 

None of her creations were ever a disappointment. They were never less than perfect. 
Not now and not 5 decades ago. 

What a blessing to have such a wonderful mom who now lives literally 3 minutes away. Such a treat since we have lived thousands of miles away for the last twenty some years.

How special for the little girls who will also feel special and loved when they see their new dresses. 

Thanks Mom.
close up of green dress

Green dress size 12

another cherry dress size 12

Close up of cherry dress

Birthday quilts

A We have twin grandsons who turned 5 this month. Soooo Grammie made new quilts for them. 

Since it was a quick 3 day project,  I had to hurry and scurry to complete them for this weekend. 

What a  good thing they were printed panels. Also a great thing that my Gammill was ready, willing and able. 

The second quilt wound up with yellow corner squares in the border, and here is the back story on that. In an effort to save some time, I decided to get innovative and sew the two borders together before applying them to the quilt. A VERY BAD IDEA!

After removing and reapplying them twice, and trying to miter the corners there was no success. Even after deciding to add simple yellow corner squares, the squares needed to be cut three times.  

So, yes once again I have proved why I am a reader of "how to" books and not a writer!!!

 However the end result was very acceptable and the boys do not mind one little bit. So this project I am calling a complete success. Mission accomplished.
Marion was too quick for me--all I could capture was his ball and his Animal
Malin loves his new quilt

The two birthday quilts

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Tuesday

Daughter Jennifer came home with a book recently. That is not a rarity since Jen is an avid reader. However, this book peaked my interest. It is called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It looked friendly and inviting. It didn't look intimidating or look like you had to do many awful "positive lifestyle changes".

So it was worth a trip to Target and $12.00 to find out about such things.

Well, this book is AMAZING. In the first pages, I found myself nodding and agreeing with Gretchen. Yep, that was me. Oh and yes, that was for sure me. Oh my goodness in the first few pages I was hooked.  I cannot wait to start my happiness project.

Gretchen quotes many authors but she even brings up FlyLady, my mentor of over a decade. Now I was totally hooked.

For years I have talked about living the dream. I have had flashes of living the dream but they are always short-lived and fleeting. I haven't been able to figure out how to sustain success in this area.

So Jen and I are going to work on our happiness projects. We are going to live the dream.

It just occurred to me that I should not focus on "the" dream, but on "my dream". I can live my dream today. Just as I am, just as my life dream my way!!!

Love and hugs

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Little Dresses for Haiti

 One of the ladies at our Thursday quilting group put together some kits from the fabric stash of one of our members who passed away. We made lots of dresses. There is a church in the area who will be sending these to Haiti, but to a region where aide and supplies are not very plentiful. Mom and I  are looking forward to making more dresses to send to Africa.. They are so easy and so quick to make. The pattern we used is from the Little Dresses for Africa website.You can find it here. Click on the tab Orginazation.