Friday, December 31, 2010

A Little Itty Bitty Teeny Weeny Quilt

If you remember Gilda Radner's Emily Litella, then you will recognize where I got the idea for the title for this post.

I found this cute little wooden doll bed at the thrift store. The $1.95 price tag included the little pink mattress! I couldn't resist! It's about 6 inches high and 9 inches across. The miniature quilt pictured with it was made a number of years ago and is 7 1/2 inches square.

Liberated Trees Doll Quilt

I began this fun little quilt earlier this month.
I have one more doll quilt to finish to meet my goal of completing all my unfinished doll quilts by the end of the year.

Sweet Basket Quilt

This is a top I pieced (and sewed and sewed and sewed buttons) on last year. I finally quilted and bound it as part of my goal to finish my unfinished doll quilts by the end of the year.

It's sunny outside and because the fabric is so pale it looks washed out. I've included a photo of one block so that you can more easily see what it really looks like.

Some Ideas For Next Year

I don't make resolutions. I have goals. That means that I have resolutions that are measurable. Of course, goals can go by the wayside as easily as resolutions, but I am an eternal optimist and persevere in making them. I also have a lot of ideas for goals which are just that--ideas. This means I haven't committed myself fully to them; I'm just thinking about them. That said here are some of my goals and ideas.

** Put together kits (pattern, cut out pattern pieces, needle, thread, and anything else needed to complete blocks for a quilt) together in quart-sized ziplock bags. Sometimes I have ideas for quilts and then later forget them. This will help keep me organized. Okay, I'm laughing at myself. Organization is not my strongest point.

** Commit to making two doll quilts a month. That means complete, including binding and label. That would mean 24 quilts a year. Woo-hoo! I thought about one quilt a week, but that's too much. I also have goals on my other blogs so I'm trying to keep it reasonable.

** Idea: Find a focus for each month. Here's one example using themes:
January: Crazy Winter (liberated quilt patterns in brights)
February: Love and Log Cabins (hearts and various log cabin
variations,although not necessarily both in the
same quilt)
March: Chickens, Cats, and Sheep
April: Flowers
May: Baskets
June: Houses
July: Stars
August: Pinwheels and Hourglasses
September: Nine patches
October: Maple Leaves and Flying Geese
November: Turkeys and Pumpkins (probably mostly pumpkins!)
December: Trees, Snowmen, and Angels

Here's another example using colors:
January: white, gray, cream, neutrals
February: red and pink
March: green
April: purple and violet
May: pastels
June: blues
July: red, white, and blue
August: yellow and orange
September: muted tones, dark tones
October: blacks and grays
November: brown and beiges
December: red and green

Other monthly ideas might be fabrics (solids, flowers, pastels, stripes, dots, two color) or shapes (square, rectangles, triangles, circles, hexagons, applique).

Well, it's a start!

Happy New Year!

It's almost 5 a.m. on New Year's Eve day and I've been up for two hours. It's my own fault, really, as I went to sleep at 9 p.m. Unless I take a nap this afternoon, I'm unlikely to still be awake at midnight tonight.

I finished the bindings on two doll quilts yesterday, but by the time I was done, it was much too dark to take photographs. I really like photos taken in natural light; flashes end up making everything look harsh. So I am impatiently waiting for the morning and hoping that it's not cloudy and dark.

The last couple of hours I've been quilting my Civil War Baskets doll quilt. Over a year ago I came across this photo on Flickr and promptly fell in love. I had no idea that there was a pattern for this quilt and it only after I had drafted a pattern and made the quilt did I discover it in a book, Remembering Adelia, by Kathleen Tracy. I wish I'd known that at the time! My quilt is a bit different; the handles are wider, for example. It's also larger. My blocks are 5" square while the pattern called for 4" square blocks. Still, I love it! If I'm lucky, I'll be able to finish quilting it and binding it today and meet my goal of completing all my unfinished doll quilts by the end of the year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almost Ready!

I've quilted two more little quilts and cut the binding fabrics for them, but they're not finished. I also sewed border fabric to a third quilt, didn't like how that looked, and took it off. These will all have to wait now until after Christmas.

Earlier this week I baked little mincemeat turnovers, pecan cookies, white chocolate/dried cranberry cookies, and butter cookies and made apple roll-ups and mini lemon-curd tarts. Yesterday I baked blackberry and peach pies, made several recipes worth of snowball cookies, as well as date bars, and glazed and baked a ham. Today I'll make fruit salad for tomorrow's breakfast and a potato salad to eat with the ham. We're having a rib roast for Christmas Eve dinner. Most of the leftovers will be going home with our sons after the holiday. One son will be here this afternoon, another son and his fiance will be here for dinner, and a third one will arrive tomorrow morning with his wife. The fourth lives in Vermont with his fiance and won't be able to be here.

I still need to wrap a few more gifts, mop floors, vacuum, put out clean towels in the guest bathroom, and get the guest bedroom ready. Tomorrow will be Christmas breakfast followed by present opening! I'll be teaching four knitting classes at my local yarn store in January and February, along with my two days a week gig as a university librarian/archivist, and I'll start making models for these classes right after Christmas.

Here is close up photo of our Christmas tree. Note what I've used as a tree skirt. It's a top pieced by my husband's great-aunt Clara.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Liberated Log Cabin Small Quilt

I made this top last summer and it has languished since then. Now it has been quilted and bound. It's a liberated log cabin, 14 1/2" x 21". Some of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett scraps.


While looking through some of my magazines, I came across photographs showing small quilts in a back issue of Quiltmania (No. 70). There are no patterns of course, but they don't look that difficult and I've put some of these on my "want to make" list which is growing longer and longer. It's an article about Lucy who lives in the Netherlands. The article states that the author has selected at least seven of her large quilts which will be featured as projects in the future!

Here are a couple of pages from the article:

I need to stop reading and go back to finishing the little quilts I've started.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quilting Time!

I've completed the House and Trees doll quilt top and realized I now have four doll quilts which need quilting! It's time to put my sewing machine away for awhile and get those little quilts quilted and bound! I'm also getting behind in Christmas preparations. Hand quilting will be my reward as I finish the shopping/baking/gift wrapping.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Still Making Blocks

These are all the smaller house blocks I've pieced. I plan on making more, and perhaps some star blocks as well, before I begin assembling the quilt top.

I also made a house block, along with some larger tree blocks. I'm thinking of appliqueing a chimney to the house block.

Planning for Next Year

Yesterday was my birthday! I spent the morning decorating the Christmas tree and the house. My wonderful husband made me breakfast in bed, gave me a dozen red roses, a romantic card, a pair of diamond stud earrings, and took me out to dinner. All four of my sons called or visited to wish me a happy birthday. I am so spoiled! I had a wonderful day.

This was my birthday gift to myself.

Here are a couple of my favorite quilts from this book.

I also bought about ten yards of Jo Morton scrap fabrics found on Etsy which I hope to receive sometime next week. And then I began wondering what other small quilt patterns I might have. I have some Jo Morton patterns and books. I took a peek in one of the many boxes where I store patterns I've bought through the years. These are only a few of what I found.

Oh, I am going to be so busy! Yay!

Finally, a photo of our live Christmas tree before it was decorated. The quilt behind it is Rail Fence, one of my very favorite quilts. It was pieced from my husband's great-aunt Clara' scrapbag. Most of the fabrics are early 20th century.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ten Little Trees Done

I've finished piecing ten little trees. I'm not certain where I'm going with this quilt yet and that makes it all the more fun! I'm thinking of adding some long tree blocks, some houses, and/or perhaps some stars.

I ran out of sewing thread this morning, but happily there is a Mennonite variety store just down the road and yes, they carry thread. Yay! Otherwise it would have meant a trip to town, a 40 mile trip, which would have seriously cut into my sewing time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different....

I've pulled out some of my Kaffe Fassett and bright scraps and begun a liberated (Christmas) tree quilt. I love the Gwen Marston/Freddy Moran quilt books, especially Collaborative Quilting . Here is my first block.

My Remaining Christmas Quilts

The first Christmas quilt I made was the Log Cabin. The longest one-inch strips are five inches. The second one is this Roman Stripes, which I've renamed Ribbon Candy. The strips are three inches long.

The third one is Chinese Coins, renamed Christmas Coins. The strips are two inches long. The quilt is 16 inches square. I used a very splashy fat quarter for the background and quilted it with red thread

The last one is a a Christmas Four Patch, made of one inch squares. It is 16 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches.

Four Patch Quilt Finished!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Found Blocks

While looking for red and green fabrics for my Christmas quilts, I found a large stack of four inch, four patch blocks. I used some of them to make this small quilt top which I'm now hand quilting. I don't know yet what I'll make with the rest of them.

Some Older Christmas Quilts

This is Angel Song from a book by the same name by Joan Vibert. I made dozens of the little angel ornaments too and sold them at my church's Christmas bazaar a few years ago. I keep the rest in a basket in my front hall during the Christmas season and give them to all my December guests.

This pattern is from Little Quilts: All Through the House by Alice Berg, Sylvia Johnson, and Mary Ellen Von Holt.

Christmas Log Cabin

This is the first in the series of small Christmas quilts I'm working on. I call these quilts my "leftover" series because I use the leftover fabrics from making one quilt to make the next. I cut out five inch strips of red, green, and cream fabrics and used them for this quilt. This quilt is 15 1/2 inches square.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Snowman Quilt

Here is another small quilt I made quite a few years ago. The snowmen eyes are snaps, the buttons are buttons, and the arms are twigs.

Friday, December 3, 2010

An Angel Quilt

This is another quilt I made long ago. I think it's a Cheri Saffiote Payne pattern, but I'm not certain.

Neglected No More

Oh, my poor doll quilts blog has been neglected for so long! I've come back.

Now that it's December, my thoughts have turned to Christmas and the posts on the smallquilttalk yahoo group about Christmas small quilts reminded me of a bow-tie quilt I'd made long ago. While I was hunting for it, I came across several other Christmas small quilts I'd forgotten about.

So here is a photo of the Bowtie Doll quilt. It's 14x16 and each block is 2.5 inches square. Once there's a bit more light, I'll take photos of some of the other small Christmas quilts I've made and post them too.