September 23, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Not a lot going on here. The last step of the QOV Mystery Quilt was posted Saturday so I can finally share my finish of that top!



Don’t you love it! It’s a great size and everything except the borders are from my scrap box (which, by the way, doesn’t appear to have shrunk in the amount of scraps department!).

And as for my design wall, all I’ve been working on since Friday night is the borders for my Road to Brenham quilt top.



I can almost see the light at the end of this one. And this one has begun a discussion on my Facebook wall about who wants it. Cassidy (my teenager) claimed it even before it was started and my sister-in-law has been watching it’s progress and swears it will look perfect on her bed. LOL…I left it up to them, but, truth be told, Cassidy will probably end up with it.

So what are y’all working on??

Linking up to Patchwork TimesEsther's Blog, My Quilt Infatuation, and Freshly Pieced.

Cathy

September 11, 2013

Catching Up!

I've been so busy the last few weeks! First and foremost, today my baby turned 17!!!! Happy Birthday Cassidy!!



Isn't she beautiful??? She gets great grades in school, is on the drill team, just joined Unity Club, and is big on volunteer work. She wants to go to Texas A&M and become a veterinarian. One of her favorite things to do is go to the different zoos wherever we travel. I love her dearly and am more than a little proud of her.

On to what you all come here to read about. To catch you up a bit. First, I made these wonderful pizzas last week.



Don't they look good? I got the recipe from Cook's Country, here.

I finished up the Star Surround Quilt Along from Happy Quilting.



A closer shot...



I got the center done on the Road to Brenham Quilt Along from Patchwork Times...



Sorry, forgot to take a pic with it sewn together but it looks great. I'm sewing the first border today and it's a tone of nine patches. Looking wonderful.

And, I'm working on the QOV Mystery Quilt. I will show you pics of that soon but I'm helping test the last few clues because we keep having problems. Once she posts the clues, I'll show you my progress.

And I guess that's it! I have a Halloween quilt cut out and I should be able to start sewing on it this weekend as well as finishing up my flying geese UFO.

What are yall working on??

Linking up to Esther's Blog:  WOW and to My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday.

Cathy

September 1, 2013

Spinning My Wheels

There are some days that I just feel like I cannot get anything accomplished. Do y’all have that issue? Today it was trying to get some sewing done. I have my Labor Day Weekend Goals set up. Friday night I did manage to finish putting together the blocks for the Star Surround Quilt Along. Notice I said “finish the blocks” not “finish the top.” I figured I still have two weeks to finish the top so I would try to catch up on the other projects that have been ignored during this busy first week of school.
 
Late last night I started working on step 3 of my QOV Mystery Quilt. The thread kept breaking whenever I’d go over anything more than 2 layers of fabric deep. I stopped and turned everything off thinking I’d deal with the problem today. So this morning I had to go to my side job and get a bit of work done. Then I decided that the best course of action was to take the machine apart and clean it really well, oil it, then attack the sewing again. And then I figured that while I’m at it, I’d pull out my “new to me” machine and do the same thing with it. Here’s the “new to me” machine:


 
Isn’t she pretty? I know she isn’t exactly a classic, but I love her style and her color and when I found her on Craigslist I fell in love with her. She’s a White, Model 425, and her previous owner didn’t really do much sewing. When I tested her at the person’s house, her daughter explained that her mom didn’t sew much, really just used it to do some mending and things. She worked fine there, but I wanted to check her out anyway.
 
Since my main machine is out of commission and I’m using my travel machine right now, that was the first one that got worked on. I opened her up and cleaned her all out, and she’s working great again. Then I moved on to the new to me machine. First up was the bobbin casing. It wasn’t too bad and I got it taken apart, cleaned, and oiled pretty quickly (after I found an owner’s manual online). Then I moved on to the upper part. I opened it up and it looked like some weird wax buildup all over the place. One clean, soft cloth and some machine oil, a little elbow grease, and that was all cleaned up too. I took off the old needle and threaded a new one, plugged it all back in, and the machine starts sewing all on its own. Okay. Unplug it, back up, and try to figure out why. No clue. Switch the plugs around and it seems to be okay. Apparently one of the sockets makes it sew on its own and the other doesn’t. Okay. Gotta love it. I can work with that. Finally I get it to the point that I can test the machine. I put the fabric under the presser foot and BAM! The light bulb explodes and scares the crap out of me!! So I figure I’ll buy another light bulb but let’s test the machine. Press on the foot pedal and nothing.
 
I give it up. Close up the machine after three hours of cleaning, put it up, go to the first machine and turn it on. Nothing. Turns out when the bulb blew, it flipped the breaker. *Sighs*
 
So…..after I fixed the breaker, got the machine up and working, I returned to piecing the QOV Mystery Quilt. But that wasn’t working either. About halfway through, I find that something is off, either the cutting instructions, the sewing instructions, something is off. Its just not coming together as it should. I skipped the block that is the issue and emailed the designer with my questions. Did manage to finish the rest of the step and start cutting for step four. But I still feel like I got nothing done today.
 
How about y’all? How has your sewing weekend gone?
 
Cathy

Linking up with Val for Tuesday Archives at Val's Quilting Studio.

August 30, 2013

Updates and Labor Day Weekend Goals

Almost done with the first week of school here and boy has it been a busy week! Tonight was the high school football game. This first game of the season is always especially hard for me. My daughter goes to my high school’s rival high school and they always meet up for the first game of the season. Tonight was the 30th “Gucci Bowl.” I've been threatened by my daughter and told that I’m not allowed to go to my old school and buy a Gucci Bowl t-shirt from them; I have to wear the one from her school. And I have to sit on her side of the field. But….she can’t stop me from singing my alma mater and from silently cheering when my team does well. That being said, my team has lost all three years that we've been facing off since Cassidy started high school. Have any of y’all had this issue with your kids?


 
This brought back a ton of fun memories. I’m so glad that my daughter is having a great time in high school. She’ll have so many amazing memories from here time there.
 
Yesterday, Bonnie over at Quiltville asked for people to post pics of their current WIP’s on her facebook page and she’d push them through and show everyone what’s going on in other’s sewing rooms. I shared this pic of my QOV Mystery Quilt. I’m loving the feedback on it! It’s gotten almost 200 likes and has been shared out by a dozen or so people. I will tell you, that made my day yesterday.


 
I feel like I've had NO TIME at my sewing machine this week. I have managed to do some pinning while it’s slow at work so I have managed to get nine of my Star Surround Quilt Along blocks finished. Don’t they look beautiful??? I cannot wait to get the last seven done.


 
Now, Jo, over at Jo’s Country Junction is hosting a linky party today for everyone to post their Labor Day Weekend goals. I think that’s a marvelous idea! And since Cassidy is at her dad’s this weekend and Alex will be working, hopefully I’ll be able to play catch-up and get everything done that I didn’t get to this week. So my goals for the weekend are:
 




  • Do steps 8 and 9 in the Road to Brenham Quilt Along from Patchwork Times.
  • Finish last weekend’s and this coming weekend’s steps in the QOV Mystery Quilt.
  • Make the block that was posted last Friday in the Virtual Quilting Bee.
  • Finish sewing the blocks for the Star Surround Quilt Along.

  •  
    If I can manage to do these things, then I’ll be in pretty good shape for next week. How about y’all? What are you going to do over the weekend?

    Linking up to Jo’s Country Junction and My Quilt Infatuation.
     
    Cathy

    August 26, 2013

    Design Wall Monday

    It has been such a long day! First work, then picking up Cassidy from the first day of school, then picking up dinner, going back to the school for my season tickets to the football games, then to Target and Office Depot to get the school supplies from the list she was given today, and finally back home. Whew! Gotta love the first day of school.
     
    But finally, I was able to get a little bit of sewing done. After all the hassles over the weekend with my sewing machine, I feel really far behind (the feed dogs stopped working on my main machine so my “travel” machine has been pressed into duty). I am caught up through today’s step on the Road to Brenham Quilt Along (Patchwork Times).


     
    And I sewed together the first block for the Star Surround Quilt Along (Happy Quilting). At least I have until 9/15 to finish these up.



    I still have the newest installment in the Virtual Quilting Bee to finish as well as the newest step in my QOV Mystery Quilt.

    Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.
     
    So what are yall working on?
     
    Cathy

    August 24, 2013

    Friday Night Update

    Whew! This week has been crazy! I was so happy to come home tonight and focus on working on my quilt alongs. I had all of the Star Surround blocks pinned and ready to go. I sat down, started sewing, and on the second piece…..needle breaks. I go into my sewing supplies for a replacement….and I’m out. Sighs….So a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and I’m finally able to get started! (Don’t you just love days like that??)
     
    Finished piecing the “surrounds” for the Star Surround blocks tonight. I cannot wait to see these come together next week. I could totally relate to Melissa at Happy Quilting earlier this week when she was saying the same thing. The blocks are so perfect. I’m already planning another large quilt and a baby quilt (or two) using this same pattern.





    Then I finally was able to start the next step on my Road to Brenham (Patchwork Times) quilt. We put together our first blocks tonight.


     
    I really wasn’t sure about this one. Even when I was laying it out, I was doubting my fabric choices. But after I got them together, I was doing a happy dance. Don’t you love it???
     
    This weekend, my daughter has a big pep rally to perform in (she’s in front of the formations! So proud!). But when I do have sewing time, I’ll attack the next step in Road to Brenham, the next step in the QOV Mystery Quilt, and the next block in the Virtual Quilting Bee. What are yall working on??
     
    Cathy

    August 20, 2013

    Design Wall Monday (a little bit late)

    Sorry it’s a bit late! Goodness what a busy couple of days! After work yesterday, I took my teenage daughter out to the outlet mall to finish up the back-to-school shopping, then had to go to the dance wear store for body tights (y’all ever hear of them before?), before finally coming home at almost 8 last night. To say the least, I was exhausted. But I did manage to do step 4 in the Road to Brenham Quilt Along (Patchwork Times) before crashing. Simple, yet small, nine patches.

    So since not a ton has changed on my design wall since my last few posts, I thought I’d pull some of the last few days pics, along with pics I took tonight of the newest step on the Star Surround Quilt Along (Happy Quilting), and they will comprise my (late) Monday Design Wall.

    Here’s the QOV Mystery Quilt’s latest step. Don’t you love this?!? All of these fabrics so far are from my scrap box. I love finally getting some use out of those.



    Here’s a sample of a couple of the blocks for the Star Surround Quilt Along. This week we’re building the parts for the “surround.”



    Do you see how large these blocks are?


    Melissa is an amazing and talented designer and a great teacher.  These blocks have been coming together so quickly and easily.  If you haven't started this one yet, please consider joining in.  I've been having so much fun!!!

    I figure tomorrow, I’ll take the parts with me to work, and try to get the pinning done in my free time so I can focus on sewing when I get home tomorrow night. Hopefully will have all the parts together before bed so I am ready for the next step in the Road to Brenham on Thursday.

    So what are y’all working on?

    Cathy

    August 18, 2013

    QOV Progress and Cookies!

    My middle child turned 21 yesterday! How is that even possible? I don’t feel old enough to have two grown children. So, I took Alex to lunch at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican food restaurant, Patty’s, and had some amazing cheese enchiladas (tried to find you a picture but couldn't).

    When I got home, I finished did step 3 of the Road to Brenham quilt that is being hosted by Patchwork Times. Very simple step of making rail fence blocks. I’ll show pics of that one with the design wall tomorrow.

    Then I pulled up the next step for the QOV Mystery Quilt from Persimmon Quilts. OMG! May I just say, this quilt is going to be fabulous?!? So far, all of the fabric has come out of my scrap box. Here’s a pic of all the parts of step 2. I love the way she designs her mysteries. You don’t have a chance to really get bored of making a certain thing because she spreads them out over a few weeks. For example, you may make 20 HST’s this week then you may make 10 more next week. It’s definitely not too late to join in!



    So today, I decided to work on my flying geese UFO. I finished trimming down the flying geese units today so all I have to do is sew them together. Finished three blocks today before stopping and making cookies.

    I absolutely have to share this recipe with you. When I was a kid, my dad’s favorite cookie was the chocolate wafer cookie. Mom’s recipes got lost a few years ago and I have been looking everywhere for something similar. This cookie is the closest I've found. They are called Chocolate Sugar Cookies and they were featured in Cook’s Country Magazine.



    Don’t they look great? Just wait until you try them. They are my newest favorite cookie. Here’s the recipe. Try them and let me know what you think.



    Cathy

    August 15, 2013

    Happy Thursday!

    Happy Thursday everyone! Hope your week has been productive. I am cruising right along and finished up the blocks for the Star Surround Quilt Along over at Happy Quilting.



    Don’t these blocks look great together?  Here’s some closer up shots of the blocks:






    Also started working on the next step in the Road to Brenham Quilt Along from Patchwork Times. More HST’s but not as many as last time, and some quarter square triangles too. Got the HST’s sewn but need to press and trim. Then I can work on the QST’s.

    Have a good evening!

    Cathy

    August 13, 2013

    Design Wall Monday - 8/12/13

    (Sorry for the delay!  Was having a ton of camera problems.  Which leads to....sorry for the blurry pics as well!)

    Well, here’s my design wall this week. Boy have I been busy!! Just looking at it gets me itching to get back to my machine. But a girl’s gotta sleep sometime (at least that’s what I've been told).



    Still have my UFO up on the wall. I love those polka dots. Got a few more blocks done during the last week so definitely making progress.



    Next up are the completed blocks for the newest QOV Mystery quilt being hosted over at Persimmon Quilts. I’m already in love with this quilt and we've only gotten through the first week.



    These are a sample of the HST’s that are the first step in the Road to Brenham being hosted at Patchwork Times. My daughter came out of her room tonight and squealed asking if they were for her new quilt. Guessing that was approval. :)  Made 72 of these tonight. Need to finish trimming them up tomorrow.



    Now on to the first completed blocks for the new leaders and enders project that Bonnie started us on at Quiltville. I’m playing with the layout but really liking the flying geese. My daughter says to make diamonds. I’m getting more excited with this side project everyday.



    And finally, we finished block 12 of the Virtual Quilting Bee on Friday at Diary of a Quilter. These colors look so pretty together. This is the second quilt top I've made out of this fat quarter tower and I’m still thinking I can get at least one more. Can’t wait to see how it finishes.



    And last but not least, not represented on my quilt wall yet, I’m working on the Star Surround Quilt Along over at Happy Quilting. I really wanted to start putting those blocks together today but didn't want to fall behind on the new Road to Brenham quilt so I’ll work on it tomorrow. You should be able to see it next week.

    What’s on your quilt wall?

    Cathy

    August 10, 2013

    Weekend Update

    This has been a really busy week! Not only has Cassidy started drill team practice at school each day, but we’re also in the middle of the tax-free back to school shopping weekend here in Texas and have been trying to take advantage of some of the sales. In between work and all of the above, I still managed to stay up-to-date on my quilt-alongs!

    First up is the Star Surround Quilt-Along being hosted over at Happy Quilting. This week we assembled our flying geese using the no-waste method. I love this way of making flying geese. You basically have one large square and four small squares that when you are finished with the assembling and cutting makes 4 flying geese units. Since I’m making a rather large quilt with small blocks, I had to make a ton of flying geese. Luckily, I love them so the time flew by. I started these Monday evening after work and finished them by Thursday.



    The timing of me finishing those up was perfect as the Quilt of Valor mystery quilt started Friday over at Persimmon Quilts. This is a very scrappy mystery and I am loving the way it is coming along. She recommends a ton of fat quarters but I pulled these fabrics from my scrap bin. Don’t the blocks look great!! Can’t wait to see how this quilt finishes.



    Then Block 12 on The Virtual Quilting Bee hosted by Diary of a Quilter came out on Friday. I finished up with the first step of the mystery quilt this afternoon and was able to whip this block up in about an hour. Very simple, but very cute.



    I love quilt-alongs. The timetable and the fact that other quilters are making theirs at the same time help me keep up. So I am always on the lookout for new quilt-alongs. But this next one is pretty special. There is a Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt designed by HeatherSpenceDesigns starting on October 4. This one is a little bit different as you pay to join the group. The cost is $5 but the proceeds are going to an excellent cause, Cancercare.org. Once you purchase the PDF, you are given a website and a password to the page that is hosting the mystery. It gives you the fabric requirements as well so you can start planning. This is going to be a lot of fun and the money is for a worthy cause so come on over and join the fun!



    I’m caught up on my quilt alongs so tomorrow I’ll work a bit more on the Flying Geese UFO that’s on my wall. But Monday….Monday we get the next clue in the Star Surround Quilt Along and Monday is the first day of the Road to Brenham Quilt Along over at Patchwork Times. Hope yall join in!!

    Cathy

    August 5, 2013

    Design Wall Monday

    Here’s a shot of my design wall today (before sitting down to work on the Star Surround Quilt Along over at Happy Quilting). The blocks on the left are from a UFO that I’m bound and determined to finally finish (see post here), and the one on the right are the blocks I have completed for the Virtual Quilting Bee over at Diary of a Quilter.



    Sometimes I think my quilt wall looks like I have ADD. Besides these two quilts, there is the aforementioned quilt along and the new Leaders and Enders project that Bonnie is hosting over at Quiltville. And I’m cutting fabric for the new Quilt of Valor Mystery quilt starting Friday over at Persimmon Quilts and the Road to Brenham project that is going to be starting over at Patchwork Times. I know!!! So much going on! But I just can’t resist! I mean, QOV is such a worthy cause and mystery quilts are so much fun and then the Road to Brenham!! Blue Bell is my favorite ice cream!!!! If you’re in Texas, you know what I mean and if you aren’t….well, I know they are starting to ship to other states so go try it!!!

    What is on your design wall? Linking up to Patchwork Times.

    Cathy

    August 4, 2013

    Queen of UFO's

    I love to start new quilt projects. Don’t you? Seeing a pattern or getting a sudden inspiration, picking out (and petting) fabric, seeing the idea taking shape. I love it! But I’m so terrible at finishing a project. I sometimes feel like I must be the queen of UFO’s.

    A few years ago, I got it into my mind to make a list of all the unfinished projects so I would know what I have, then trying to work through them. It didn’t help. When you have 20+ unfinished projects (my name is Cathy and I’m a quiltaholic), it can all be a bit overwhelming.

    Until this year. This year I finally have been making progress on my UFO’s. I have three finished UFO’s this year and today, since I’m caught up on my quilt alongs (yay!), I decided to pull out another and get going on it.

    This is a flying geese quilt (obviously) that I found on a shop hop a few years ago, I believe at Oak Leaf Quilts in New Braunfels, Texas. The quilt drew me in immediately because I recognized some of the fabrics as being designed by April Cornell for Moda. I have always been a fan of her fabric, so I couldn’t pass up the kit. And because I just CAN’T make a small quilt (unless it’s for a baby), I added fabric from my stash to make it a larger size.



    True to form, I got it cut out, I even made ALL of the flying geese. Half of the blocks are done!  But somewhere in the middle of assembling the blocks, my ADD kicked in and I was off making another project, and this got pushed aside. But….no more!! It is on the quilt wall and it won’t come down until it is finished!! Or…well…LOOK!! Another project!  :)

    Have a great week!

    Cathy

    Quilt Alongs Caught Up!!

    What a crazy week!! A good week, but really very busy. It was my birthday week so we had dinner out a few times to celebrate, a drive up toward the hill country to pick up a “new to me” sewing machine (birthday gift! I’ll introduce you to her soon.), and playing catch up on a couple of quilt alongs! Just thinking about everything this week makes me tired! But let’s start at the beginning.

    First, a quilt top finish!! This one is for my mom. It’s an older quilt along that I bookmarked and finally got around to making. It’s called, “Seeing Stars,” and was designed by one of my favorites in blog land, Amandajean at Crazy Mom Quilts.




    I love the one Amandajean did in pink, but I am a blue person. When I started picking out fabrics, Mom jumped in and claimed this quilt. Just means I’ll have to make another one! But then again, Cassidy wants one in purple so that probably means I’ll have to make two!

    On Monday, the first step in the Star Surround Quilt Along by Melissa over at The Happy Quilter was posted. Now I’m not one for small quilts and wall hangings so when I start making one of these, I tend to need A LOT of fabric cut. The first step was to make half-square triangles and trim them to size. I feel like I spent all week at my cutting board! Almost felt like I should reintroduce myself to my sewing machine yesterday when I finally finished and got back to catching up on my other quilt along (more later on that one). But finished with all 256 HST’s I am! Below is a pic. It will also give you an idea on how the fabrics I chose are coming together. I’m loving the fabrics in this one. Cannot wait to see how they look when the quilt is done.




    And last but not least, I am finally caught up with my blocks for the Virtual Quilting Bee, hosted by Amy over at Diary of a Quilter. I’m using an older fabric line by Moda called, “Strawberry Lemonade.” I just adore these fabrics. I picked up a fat quarter tower a few years ago at the quilt show in Houston and this is the second quilt I’ve made from it. Cassidy claimed the first one rather quickly when she saw it on my quilt wall. She tried to claim this one too but I put a stop to that. Really thinking I’ll hold onto this one but there are several babies that have been born into the family lately that really need quilts so we’ll see where this one is destined to go.




    If you haven’t joined either of these quilt alongs, it really isn't too late. Feel free to join in! Okay, time to get ready to go “back to school” shopping. Y'all have a great Sunday!!


    Virtual Quilting Bee


    Cathy

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