Motivation Friday

Friday, December 30, 2011
Its the last Friday of the year and I've been thinking about 2012.  Writing down ideas and establishing priorities.  Nothing concrete yet--have you been thinking about 2012?

I didn't do much sewing--but I have pressed and pinned 25 Anita's arrowhead blocks.  When Mason has time we will sew them together--I promised I wouldn't do any sewing until he could help me.   I would pin a few more--but I'm out of pins!   

Have you seen the soap dispensers that automatically squirt out a dab of liquid soap when you wave your hand beneath the spigot?  Laura Beth and Nick have one on the kitchen sink ledge and I LOVE it!   Nick brought me one in my favorite color---

a green one.  Thank you Nick!   I stuck the arrowhead blocks underneath so I can say it was a quilty picture.  

Remember the Vines quilt I made Mason?  He's been using it--

The rick rack vines make great roads, and you can drive on the narrow yellow road or the wide blue road on the edges.   We park on the grass (green blocks) or in the flowers (yellow flower block) and sometimes on the water (blue blocks).   Grandma drives the red pickup and is chased by Mason's police truck A LOT! 

Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, December 26, 2011
It's a design floor here in Minnesota.   I've been working on Anita's Arrowhead blocks.

Anita's Arrowhead Blocks
I like this method/pattern the more blocks I make.  26 blocks in Minnesota, and there are 10 in South Dakota.  121 blocks needed for a queen size quilt.   That's a start!

Weekly Goals--

  1. 10 more Arrowhead blocks
  2. Think about the next year's goals

Well, I don't like yearly goals--but a general plan--that's okay.  I'll let you know what I've thought about next week.  Here's a few options.   Do I want to participate more with my favorite on-line groups/blogs?  Work on hand applique?  More donation quilts?  Perhaps a few quilts for family?  A new quilt or two for our bed?  Stash reports?  UFO challenges?  More swaps?  Use more of my precut stash---noodles and 5" charms?  There are lots of possibilities out there.  Maybe push myself into using colors I'm not real comfortable with?  How about use more stash than I buy--that would be good!   What have you thought about for the next year?  I'd love to hear--someone else may have a great idea that's never crossed my pea brain! 

Christmas has come and gone.  Mason thought we were NEVER going to open presents!   Grandma--can you do this??

Life got better--

Mason wanted a Dr. kit.  Rest assured--by this evening we've all had "check ups"!   

How was your Christmas?  Did you receive a special present?  Are you thinking of next year?



Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May all your presents be wrapped, your sewing room dark, and cookies ready for Santa!

Motivation Friday

Friday, December 23, 2011
Has everyone been busy?   Me too!  But I did work on my goals.  15 more Anita's Arrowhead blocks are done--just need trimming.  I worked on them late at night when I was on "Asher duty". 

I think I need a few "murky" colors--maybe closer values of the two colors.   What do you think?

Christmas is almost here.  Ken's coming tomorrow and Mason keeps asking "when".   "When I get up?"  "Before my nap?"  Grandpa---you better not waste any time!  

Holiday goodies continue to be made.  Tonight Mason and I mixed up a batch of cookies.  Mason is very good at cracking eggs and quality testing the M&M's and chocolate chips.   And he got to lick the beaters!

Monday Goals

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time for goals.  Yes, its Christmas week but I'll still try to sew.

  1. Finish 6 Anita's Arrowhead blocks
  2. Sew on a UFO

That's about all I can do, no stash here to tickle my brain.   
I did go to the quilt shop.  Since shops are feeling the recession too--I did my bit to stimulate the economy!

A lot of variety there!  Henrietta has already claimed this piece--

Beautiful bright chickens!  Henrietta has a weakness for chicken fabric--I wanted enough for a backing--but there was less than 2 yds.  Oh well, we'll just be frugal with it and bits and pieces will be tucked into projects.  

And then I saw this fabric----

So many different colors--do you think that is why I like it?   Hmmm--probably--a scrappy fabric!

Tonight Mason and I will make cookies.  Yesterday we dipped peanut butter balls--Mason was all excited until he found out he could only eat ONE--not all of them as he dipped them!   I've decided to stay in Minnesota until after Christmas, I had planned to go home in between--now I'm not sure when "in between" was!   

I doubt Ken has gotten the Christmas quilt out and put it on the bed.  I made it several years ago--yes, its hand pieced---and is made out of all Christmas fabrics. 

Grandmothers Flower Garden
A king size Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I had a lot of Christmas fabrics, and inherited some from my mother and grandmother's stashes.  Friends gave me some leftovers from their projects.  That Christmas stash was pretty large, I made two king size quilts and a queen size---pieced one backing--and the box still has quite a bit in it.  

Christmas Log Cabin
The log cabin quilt is on the wall--it doesn't look very big--but that wall is 8 foot from floor to ceiling--it covers from top to bottom.  The 3rd quilt is on a bed, its a Chinese coins quilt and its the smallest--a queen size.   I put the box of Christmas fabrics away, I'm not sure what to do with the rest.  

A week until Christmas, I have completed all my sewing gifts.  Are your Christmas projects finished?  Or will Santa find you sewing the last bit in place when he's delivering presents?  

Motivation Friday

Friday, December 16, 2011
Friday has rolled around too soon.  How did I do on my goals?  

I did make a few Arrowhead blocks---Mason helped--I finished 4 but have another 10 "in the process".   Mason and I sew together--I run the "gas" and he does the "forward" and "reverse".  

Anita's Arrowhead blocks
No sewing on any of the UFO's--I've managed to keep busy somehow!  

Wednesday night Mason and I went shopping.   We were looking for Christmas ornaments and some crafts supplies for his "arts and crafts" box.   We were in Hobby Lobby--and passed the fabric on the way to the bathrooms.  (3 yo boys can't hold it very long Grandma!)  So--we went back to the fabric because EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GOTTA LOOK!!  Mason saw--bug fabric!  Lady bug fabric!  Mason loves bugs.  (Laura Beth says all little boys love bugs.)  We bought enough for a sheet and a pillowcase for his bed.  

Mason and bug bedding!
Mason and Grandma are having lots of fun.  He helped grandma make an apple pie and cook french toast.  He helps Grandma sew---he removes the pins and puts them on the magnetic pincushion for.  He's found the long tape measure and measured the wall--"it's 8 pounds Grandma!"  He keeps asking when Grandpa will be here.  

I'm glad I can spend time with my grandchildren now---I can sew later!!

Monday Goals

Monday, December 12, 2011
My goals this week will be small, I'm still in Mankato being Grandma.  

  1. Make 6 Anita's Arrowhead Blocks
  2. Sew on a UFO

Can I put "visit a quilt store on my list"?   I just want to look.  I haven't stopped at the one downtown for at least a year!   Speak up--what was that??  I heard all those YESES!!  I agree--I will stop--after all, its the Christmas season--maybe I can spread purchase some joy?  It would make ME joyful!!

Would you like to see my sewing room away from home??

I have a sewing machine, a cutting table, an iron and a lamp.  Underneath the table are the UFO's I packed.  Those EZ Stor bags are wonderful--you can carry them by the handles and are see-through heavy duty plastic. 

It has warmed up a bit here in Minnesota, I was able to run errands today and pick up a few groceries.  How can one such small bundle of joy make 3 adults so tired??!!

Checking In

Saturday, December 10, 2011
We've had a busy week.   New baby on Wednesday---

Asher John -- 7 lbs 13 oz.   Everyone is home and we're keeping busy.  

Grandpa arrived on Thursday---

Ken hasn't forgot how to hold babies--he'll do fine!  Mason likes his new baby brother--

Look Mom--no hands!!  

There won't be much sewing, I brought some binding projects--Mason REALLY wants to help Grandma sew!  

Tuesday Goals

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I managed all my goals last week.  This week, well this week will be slower.   Monday I drove to Mankato to wait for the new baby.  My car was stuffed--I brought plenty of projects to work on "in between".   Today I ran errands so I can stay in out of the cold.  The temp tonight is 11°F.  I brought my warm jammies and my electric blanket is plugged in.  


  1. work on 3 binding projects
  2. make more Anita's Arrowhead blocks

That's enough, I'm sure there will be lots of other duties this week. 

Anita's Arrowhead blocks--these are blocks made using Anita Grossman Solomon's cutting method.  The blocks are complex to look at--but easy to make.  One cutting step, and you do all your trimming at the end when you square up the block.  I love it!  The book Rotary Cutting Revolution
has 8 different quilt blocks made with her one step cutting method.  It's a nice way to relax--I cut a stack of 8" squares so I could piece them while in Mankato.  

A few days of relaxing, sipping hot apple cider while admiring the decorated tree, cookies on a holiday tray.......!  Not here!   Life is Lucky Charms under the couch, Mason wanting Grandma to "play trucks", and Nick dashing out to fetch Laura Beth a sweet treat.  Life is good!!

I've Been Sewing

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Lots of sewing so far this week.  I finished binding the Yin Yang quilt for Henrietta.  The picture doesn't do it justice, it looks very yellowed and its not.  Rusts and browns and golds for the darks, and creamy background strips.  I know part of the background came from a Tonga Treat strip packet called "meringues".  Henrietta made this king size quilt out of batiks--and its gorgeous!   Its already in the mail to her son.

Adam's Yin Yang
It was too big to photograph the whole thing on my hanging rod--there is a lot not showing!   Henrietta doesn't usually make a king size--she was pooped when this one was done.  

Also finished was this QOV "Not So Top Secret 2" from Alycia.  I called this "the quilt that never ends".  Yeah--brain block and lots of frogging.  Henrietta finished piecing it--otherwise it would still be a UFO.  Thank you Henrietta!  

QOV That Never Ends
I would like one more quilt for that box before it goes to Alycia--so far it has the above quilt and the Double Slice Homespun.  I washed the Homespun--the dark tea dyed border didn't fade.  If it fades with time--that's okay--my hope is that the whole quilt fades and wears and sees lots of use!

I finished the binding on "Petey's" quilt and washed it--the leaves frayed nicely and I love the quilt.

Petey Quilt "Garden Lattice"
The backing is a soft blue flannel--snuggly and cozy.  

I know a lot of people wonder about quilting and fleece.  I do it--to get around the stretching and possible tucks is to mount the fleece on TOP.   Your pieced top goes on the BOTTOM.  You don't want to quilt fleece too densely, it gets stiff and hard--so a simple pantograph is all you need.  This is what it looks like when you quilt it----

Fleece being quilted--pantograph is Fantasia
Your thread will disappear down into the fleece when its washed--and the pieced top will look like any regular quilt.    I use a poly batting in these--I don't want to use a batting with lots of cotton that shrinks--the fleece back won't shrink, and with the fleece there is plenty of weight to the quilt without adding cotton batting.   

Last night I just "played" in the sewing room.  I needed a break--nose to the grindstone is wearing!