My Library Quilt

I bought this kit from Acorn Quilts last summer. They had it made up and hanging in the shop and I just loved the colors. It goes perfectly in my library (dining room). We only use our dining room twice a year when I host Thanksgiving and Easter, so we rearranged the furniture, added a book shelf and two brown leather chairs. The walls are painted a dark black cherry color and it’s a very comfortable and cozy room.

happychild1I quilted it about two inches apart using the walking foot and wavy stitch. I’m glad I tried something other than straight lines and will use this stitch again. I used Warm and Natural batting for the first time and love it. I just took it out of the dryer and it’s nice and crinkly just the way I like my quilts! The pattern is Happy Child.

Love the fabric on the back.

happychild_backI want to get two quilts made for the quilt show in May so they are next in line. I’m also moving forward with my total kitchen remodel and hope to start that in March. I’ve finally made a decision on the cabinets so I can now shop for the counter top and flooring. Work is kind of stressful with learning advanced Excel formulas for an upcoming project. I find that I’m either dreaming about quilts, kitchens or formulas … sometimes all three mixed up together! I even woke up the other night thinking about making a modern quilt inspired by an Excel chart … interesting idea!

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I Couldn’t Resist!

Last Friday I went into IKEA and on my way home I took a slight detour to Material Girl in Crystal Lake. I wasn’t looking for anything specific, just wanted to browse and see if there was anything new. There was and I ended up with 17 fat quarters!

australian_fabricThese fabrics are from Australia. I did some research on them when I got home. They are manufactured by M&S Textiles and are Aboriginal designs. There are a lot more designs on the website than were in the store. They are quite stunning.

ostrich_fabricThen I saw this Ostrich fabric … how cute is that? I’m not a pink person but thought I could maybe make a Valentine’s Day table runner, so I picked up a few grays and a hot pink I might use with it.


Here are three more random FQs for my stash. I love the colors in the paisley print.

One of the items on my 2013 goals list is to use up the fabric I have before buying more, unless it’s for backing and binding. Eighteen days into the new year and that went out the window!!


I cut out and pieced another top this week using this fabric. I’m not usually drawn to oriental prints, but when I saw this quilt at Acorn Quilts I knew it would be perfect draped over the brown leather chair in my library.

I need to clean the house today, but had been stalling this morning … reading blogs, surfing for fabric and quilts, writing my blog, etc. In the middle of writing this, I lost my internet connection and the Comcast recording said both internet and TV were out and may not be back until around 3:00. Okay, I get it … put the stereo on and go clean the house!

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Another UFO Finished!

I pieced this top in July using a Sweetwater Hometown charm pack and a small gray check fabric. You can read about it here. It’s 36″x45″ and I straight-line quilted it 1/4″ on both sides of the seams and with an X in the middle. I used the Hometown blue and gray polka-dot fabric for the back and binding. It looks cute on my kitchen table!

lafrance_jan_2013I’ve got one more UFO to finish before starting my next project, but I’m not too excited about it. It’s a chevron piece and I still have a lot of piecing left to do. Since it’s my first HST project, it’s taking forever to sew, rip out, resew and is very frustrating.

I’m treating myself to a road trip tomorrow. Going into Schaumburg to IKEA, Crate and Barrel, Home Goods, etc. Looking forward to getting out of the house and changing the scenery!

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The Day After Christmas

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas! We had a wonderful day with my husband’s family. My brother-in-law, sister-in-law and our two nephews hosted us at their house. We ate a lot of yummy food, opened gifts, played games, watched movies, talked and laughed. Ned, Marley, and I came home around 9:30 p.m. and even though we were tired, we turned on the stereo, listened to music, drank some wine, and talked until 12:30! We don’t remember the last time we’ve sat and talked for that long … probably when we were dating 20 years ago! I’d like to think that we will put aside our tiredness and stress of every day life and do that more often in 2013.

My brother and his family are coming on Friday night for the weekend. I had grand plans to get some things done today, like cleaning the second floor, but here I sit in my comfy chair wearing leggings, a big sweatshirt, and my new warm Christmas socks …

socksIt’s mid-afternoon and all I’ve accomplished is planning the menu for the weekend, making a grocery list, and transferring pictures from my camera to the laptop. I have two more days to get the cleaning done and grocery shop, so I’m not beating myself up for having a restful day!

I finished quilting this jelly roll quilt a couple of weeks ago and gave it to my sister-in-law for Christmas. She loved it!

stripquilt1aShe gave me this Moda Bake Shop kit. The strips are 1 1/2″ wide and the squares are 2 1/2″. It makes a cute little 26″x26″ quilt.

bakeshopI also received these two great books from my Mom and hubby.

booksHere’s Marley finally crashing after having fun playing with the two new toys she got. Our nephews got her a wacky looking purple bunny (seen in the background) and we got her a stuffed beaver squeaky toy which she has between her paws.

marchristmasHappy New Year!

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Tree Skirt Completed!

We’ll be going to the tree farm on Saturday to get our tree, and I’m excited that I finished the tree skirt in time to use it this year!

treeskirt2012_1I love the green and white polka dot fabric on the back and the red and green polka dot binding fabric.

treeskirt2012_2I can’t wait to see it under the tree, and I’ll post a picture later this weekend!

It sure is a good feeling to complete a project. I’ve got a few little things I want to make for gifts, but then I’m going to concentrate on finishing the stuff in my UFO pile. I have the backing and binding fabric for everything, and I purchased a bunch of batting last week when it was 50% off, so I’m ready to go.

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Tree Skirt

I finished quilting the Christmas tree skirt today. This is the second piece I’ve quilted and the first one using the walking foot. It’s much easier to quilt with the walking foot! I’m still not very good at keeping my lines straight, but with practice that will get better. I also used the walking foot to piece it and am pleased with the results.

tree_skirtI used Joy by Kate Spain charm pack and Kona Snow solid. Now I have to cut it into a circle, cut a circle in the middle, and bind it. That will have to wait until Sunday while I’m listening to the Packer game because I’m distracted by the Christmas present I ordered for myself which arrived today … EQ7. I must play with it the rest of the afternoon!

Speaking of Christmas presents, to make it easier on my Mom we requested a couple of books that she could order on Amazon and have shipped to us since they’ll be going south for the winter in a few days. It arrived yesterday and she made me promise not to open the box until Christmas. Not hard for my husband, but it’s driving me crazy because there’s a quilting book in there! I’m the one who always looked for where they hid the presents when we were kids, even unwrapping and re-wrapping once … oh no, hope Mom doesn’t read this post!!

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Sewing Frustration

I received a tip about using the walking foot for piecing, so tried it before I started working this morning and it works really well. I moved my needle to the far right and use the edge of the foot to get the 1/4 inch seam. I chain pieced a few rectangles for my next project and was excited at how fast and easy it was going! I turned off the sewing machine to get to work. During my lunch break I turned the machine back on to sew a few more … twelve sets sewn before I remembered I had not set the needle to the right. It’s no wonder sewing is so frustrating to me when I do stupid things like this.

Maybe the bright pink PostIt note will help me next time I sit down at the sewing machine!

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September Calendar Piece

I finished my piece for our guild calendar challenge. It’s 8″x10″ and represents September.

Every other sunflower pedal is fused to the background. The other pedals are three layers … fabric, felt, fabric … and just tacked under the centers so they are dimensional. The centers are beaded with gold and brown seed beads. I used silk leaves from the craft store and they’re just tacked under the pedals so they have some dimension also. I didn’t have enough of the background fabric to make a border, so I zigzagged around the edge.

I think it turned out cute, and I’m glad that project is done and will be turned in at tomorrow’s guild meeting.

I’m taking a free motion quilting class and need to get some practice in before the last class on Saturday. After that I’ll have no more deadlines and can get back to the pile of quilt tops that need to be finished. I also have a Christmas fabric charm pack to make a table topper for my kitchen table that I’d like to get done so I can use it this year, but you know how that goes!! Then there’s our guild’s quilt show coming up in May and I haven’t even begun to think about what to create for my entry. I won a blue ribbon in the art quilt category the last two shows and I’m putting pressure on myself to come up with something more grand. But right now I’m thinking about not entering anything and just enjoying the next few months improving my piecing and quilting skills.

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Guild Challenge Piece, In Progress

I’m working on an 8″x10″ quilt for a 2014 calendar our guild will be selling next year. Each participant drew a month from a hat, and I got September. If I remember right, there are five participants per month, and we’ll vote at our Christmas party which ones will be included in the calendar.

September is a transition month between summer and fall, and I had a difficult time coming up with what I wanted to make. I like what I finally settled on. Here’s a little peek of it in progress. A hockey puck makes a great circle template!

It’s due on the 31st, but I need to finish it before the end of next week because my parents are coming to visit for a few days. I know I won’t have time to work on it while they’re here, and I have to clean up the studio/office because it’s third function is the guest room! I’m doing a lot of bead embellishment which I’ll work on tonight while “watching” the baseball game. My husband and I aren’t big baseball fans … in fact I think it’s barely a step above watching paint dry … but his family are huge Cardinal fans and we get caught up in it when they’re in the playoffs.

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Yet More IQF Pet Project Postcards

I made four more postcards today, for a total of 9 that I’ll be sending to Quilts, Inc. I planned to do 10 … had everything cut out with fusible ironed on, but can’t find the 10th Marley picture. I’m sure I’ll find it stuck to a piece of scrap fabric someday! I think it’s an omen anyway. I was having “one of those days” with my sewing machine. It really needs a good clean before I start my next project. And, the big fabric explosion I loved on Wednesday … not so much today. It’s going to take a few hours and probably a couple of glasses of wine to clean everything up tonight!

But, I absolutely loved this project and hope that lots of money is raised for Friends for Life. I wish I could go to the festival in Houston to see all of the postcards and purchase some.


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