Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year

With the holidays whizzing by it's hard to keep up with blogging and all the comings and goings that happen around our house; family, friends, celebrations, and of course, eating.

I have come to the conclusion that my huge oak tree doesn't entirely lose its leaves until later in the winter so that I have something to do first thing in the spring to work off those unwanted chocolate pounds and to put some muscles back where my winter pudge has parked itself. It's a win-win situation I think.

While visiting with family and friends, however, I have been able to work on those hexagons. I'm not sure where I'm at with them, but I have completed enough to fill three pockets on my hexy project bag. Probably around 75 if I had to guess. I'll count them today while I'm pressing them. I have completed three additional flowers so we'll add those to the pile as well.

Fabric santa was very good to me this year. Andrew purchased 22 yards of thirties fabric for a dresden project I have my eye on. Jim purchased me a Kona solids jelly roll in light colors and my mom purchased not only the light color solid jelly roll, but the bright solids as well. I have already begun the Bottled Rainbows quilt featured in an earlier Quiltmaker magazine.

I also received from my mom a fantastic cooler full of charm packs, templates, and various yardages of civil war print fabrics. It was Christmas within a Christmas!!! I was beyond speechless.

Speaking of Quiltmaker...I have been selected to participate not only in the Volume 7 100 Blocks test team, but also the elite Scrap Squad for 2013. What an awesome beginning to the new year right around the corner. I can't wait to put all those scraps to use this year. Watch for the six quilts I'll be making for the squad.

Here are the Christmas quilts that adorned our home during this holiday season. A few of them went out as prizes for the annual DeGroot Christmas party. This year the family had to decorate bulbs with glitter pens and votes were taken to identify a few of the winners.

The last "cow" quilt was actually a gift to my middle son, Ben, for Christmas. He loves cows and I wanted to design a wall hanging designated to our family favorite sitcom, Friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

95 Total

I have three completed flowers, enough hexagons to make another three flowers and while visiting my mom today in celebration of Jim's birthday, basted a now total of about 95 hexagons.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another Finished Product (Project)

I struggle sometimes to think of that perfect project for whatever.

I thought I had the reunion quilt figured out for this upcoming year, but the pattern I was tossing around in my head wasn't tried or true, it was brand new. I didn't want to chance a family quilt to, well,  chance. So I had to vary my thinking.

After pondering this for a few months, and while talking to Papa on the phone yesterday, I finally came up with a splendid idea. The whole family loves to garden, and if they don't love to garden, I KNOW they love to eat. And...since the previous two years have been wall hanging quilts (used to wet their appetites for upcoming years and hopefully higher bidding) I wanted to make a useful smallish type of quilt.

Rag quilts ahoy! Voila~

P.S. 12 more hexagons done this evening...but no flowers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What did I do today?

I started off thinking this morning that a pin cushion specifically for my hexagon project was in order. So I made that. It's a cute little flowery thing that folds up into itself. It will hold all my basting needles, pins and hand sewing needles too!

After making that, I had enough fabric left over to make a bag to match the pincushion. My thinking behind this is that I needed a place to store all the squares I pre-cut, the paper hexagon templates (for the English paper piecing), a pair of scissors, a couple of spools of contrasting thread, and of course, the basted fabric hexagons. So I made a bag.

I had an outstanding block to complete for my Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Volume 7 (yep, I'm doing that again) so I pulled out the box of fabrics they sent to me (I'm also making a real quilt for them for this next issue) and made my block. That took a while because it was kind of intricate.

Tomorrow is sew-in and I don't really have anything in the works right now (my string quilt is coming along and I completed what strings I had a last night). I do have a few quilts in the block stage (coffee cups and weird jelly roll thing) but I don't have the fabric for the sashing on the coffee cups and I'm rethinking the "off" blocks of the jelly roll thing, so those are not an option for tomorrow.

I have to start the DeGroot reunion quilt and have been tossing around ideas in my little brain. I received some Farmer's Day charm packs a few weeks ago that I ordered from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and made a decision to make a rag quilt with those and the 7" jeans squares I already have cut.

I was short 9 charm squares so I cut up any other "fruity" fabric I had laying around and now have enough to make a nice picnic quilt for the reunion, so I think that's what I'll do at sew-in.

After I cut those squares out (it only took me a 1/2 hour or so), I started into my hexagon project. You're going to hear a lot about this I'm afraid. I thought about it today and started crunching some numbers. I want the quilts finished size to be about 80x100. One side of the hexagon is 1", but across the hexagon is 1.75 inches. It looks like I'll need about 4,571 hexagons to complete it. I did 7 more tonight, so I have a total of 8. I even made my first "flower" complete with hand stitching the individual hexagons together. This took longer then I had anticipated, but it's something new and I think over time, the speed will greatly increase.

It was 10:30 before I came back upstairs, but because I did such a variety of projects today, I'm not as tired as I usually am when I just press and sew all day long. Food for thought.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hexagon's Anyone?

The Date: 12/12/12
The Purpose: I haven't posted again in a while and wanted to journal my way through what will be the largest undertaking of any quilting project I have conquered so far...a 1" hexagon quilt.
The Numbers: I just don't know yet. I plan on about 2-3 years for this quilt and hope to complete it totally by hand (except maybe the quilting portion). I would like for it to be a large queen sized quilt.
The Reason: Because everybody needs one of these projects to work on. :-)

Here's the first hexagon so it's officially begun today!