Annette's Acre

Stitching, knitting, reading, life…whatever catches my eye

Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

November 12th, 2013 by Annette

Virtual Quilting Retreat

One weekend a month, my dear friend Terri hosts a Virtual Quilting Retreat.  The goal is to spend two full days working on any project you like and leave your family to fend for themselves just as though you were out of town at a regular retreat.

This past weekend I managed to “attend” the retreat on Sunday.

First, I finished a second zip mesh bag – a smaller version (approx 10″ square).

Next, I pieced and fused the first two blocks of the Critter Christmas Block of the Month quilt (the penguins got me, what can I say?)


This is my first fusible applique quilt and it is incredibly simple to do when the pieces are already cut and prepped for you.  All I had to do was peel off the paper and iron away.  Figuring out the order to do them was the hardest part and for someone that likes puzzles, like me, it was fun.

Once all the bits are stuck together, it’s time to blanket stitch around the edge and add some other small surface embroidery.  I finished the mitten square on Sunday.

We shall see what next month’s retreat brings 🙂

I will say, having a copious stash of DMC made the choosing of floss colors a quick process 🙂  I started the duck/penguin block on Sunday eve and finished it off last night (as shown by this really lousy picture….welcome fall in AZ):


September 29th, 2013 by Annette

Sunday Swap – 9/29/2013

Even with the late start this week, I did manage to finish a few more hexes (Row 5 and beginning of Row 6)


Row 6 introduces a new fabric (thank heaven) and there will be much rejoicing when we move on to a new color….. here’s the finished pic

I was struck with an idea last week when I posted the Thursday Thirteen.  Thanks to some DVR/Schedule craziness, we missed the regular showing of Sleepy Hollow on Monday night.  Thankfully, Fox reran the episode on Friday.  It seemed a perfect opportunity to follow thru with my idea, so I quickly pulled out design, fabric and as much of the floss as I could (easily 3/4 of the DMC in the stash).  I spent time measuring and cutting fabric and tagging a few of the flosses, but I managed a respectable hour or so of stitching on the horse’s flank area.


I’ll pick it up again when we watch this week’s episode.  It will be slow going but progress is progress.

The other idea lurking in the back of my head was based on a recent post by Tracy at Ink Circles.  She shared a critique of a new thread – new to her, not new to the world (Sulking or Sulky-ing).  I had hoped to find a color or two on the quilt shop hop, but sadly, none of the shops I visited carried this particular type of Sulky.  A quick online search and I found a source: Red Rock Threads.  A few days and a few dollars later, I had several colors to try.

This is Merlot Blush on 32-ct Sage Jobelan (Ink Circles Attractive Opposites design):


For any future monochromatic designs, I will *definitely* consider this thread.  Per Tracy, a 300m spool will do one of her Circes de… designs (equivalent of 12-13 skeins of DMC using 2-strands).   I may have bought a couple colors with those in mind 😉

This week I’m headed back to Widow Black’s B&B (with a side trip to Sleepy Hollow one night).  See you next Sunday!

September 24th, 2013 by Annette

Sunday-ish Swap 9/24/2013

Yes, it’s Tuesday.

But I was soclose to finishing the first part of the new Lizzie*Kate 2013 Mystery Sampler “Holly and Hearts” that I had to delay.  Here’s the completed Part 1:

Fabric: Picture this Plus Doubloon (32-ct Belfast)

Fibers: DMC

Started: 9/15/2013

Part 1 Complete: 9/23/2013

Weeks and I have a rough history, so I chose to use DMC for this sampler and it made me much happier 🙂


Last year’s L*K Halloween Mystery included a handful of beads in each part.  None were charted for this one, but I’m going to add a few anyway.  In the tree band, there are a few individual stitches charted that I’ll bead instead and in the bottom snowflake band, I will add beads to the centers.

Speaking of that band… there’s a small error in the chart:


In the far right snowflake, the center line should have an extra stitch to make him match his brethren in the row.  I didn’t notice until after I had finished the band, so mine will continue to be unique, but thought I would bring it to your attention if you prefer symmetry.

For the remainder of this week, I’m picking up my hexes:


Tula Pink’s Hex on the Beach 😉


September 21st, 2013 by Annette

Shopping and Hopping – Day 2

Saturday was Part II of the Phoenix Quilt Shop Hop “Rally in the Valley”. Only two shops on the list (the two closest to my house – I had other errands on the agenda for the day) and again… two more stamps and two more bags. This time, though, I went in with a very specific goal in mind. I had picked three small quilts out of one of my pattern books and I bought fabric for them. Ok, I may have gotten a couple other things too, but at least I had purpose.

ETC – The first of my three quilts from 101 Fabulous Small Quilts.  As these are for me, I had no reservation in choosing colors *I* liked.

A couple other “also rans…”  Look!  A pair of coordinating fat quarters in colors I wouldn’t pick for myself!  lol

Quilter’s Oasis – easily my favorite shop with great great staff.  First, fabric for the second small quilt – quite patriotic


And for the third… the snowflake print on the bottom will be the center square and four triangles.  The medium snowflake print on the top is for backing.  Can I get it done for Christmas?  We shall see….

Of course, I couldn’t ignore everything else in the shop…. the flag is a kit (model in the shop was very cool).  The Hex N More ruler was the shop demo.

It was very interesting to see all the different variations of the Rally Quilt on display.  The one at Quilters’ Oasis was by far my favorite.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for the pattern to be available as I can see it as my first bed-sized quilt.  Someday.  Maybe when I have an actual sewing room…. ahh… one can dream.

Overall, we had a good time. There were some great shops that I will happily visit again and a couple that won’t see me until next year’s Hop thankyouverymuch. I did have a budget (which I thought was very generous) and stayed within it (barely). Next year, I’ll definitely try to increase it even if it means I’m not buying fabric for the rest of the year. LOL

September 21st, 2013 by Annette

Hopping and Shopping – Day 1

This weekend marks the beginning of a Quilt Shop Hop here in Phoenix.  The Hop runs from Sept 20 thru the 28th and includes 14 area independent quilt shops.  Essentially, you pay a $5 fee to receive a “passport” (and small charm).  The goal is to visit each shop, watch a short demonstration (tool, pattern, etc) to receive a piece of specially designed quilt pattern and a stamp on your passport.  If you collect stamps from all 14 shops, you are entered into a drawing for several prizes (sewing machine, gift certificates, etc).  You’ll also have the complete pattern for the “Rally Quilt.”  Each shop has a version of the quilt on display, so you can see it in various fabrics, sizes, etc.

This is the first time I’ve ever participated in such an event.  While I knew I wasn’t going to hit all 14 shops (the furthest ones are well over an hour drive for me) given I am pretty limited on how much time I can invest during the Shop Hop time.

The plan was simple.  Friday (the 20th), I took the day off work and I mapped out half the stores to visit along with my MIL (visiting for a few months and recently rediscovering her quilting hobby) and local buddy, Terri.  Everything was looking good until Terri had some last minute health issues (she’s fine after having an offending bit removed) so MIL and I set off alone.

I had a hint of a plan.  I was looking for two things:  at least 4-5 “pairs” of coordinating fat quarters in colors that aren’t my usual style and a particular thread (Sulky 12wt Blendables).

Seven hours and seven shops later we made it back home.  We had six passport stamps (one of the shops wasn’t participating) and I had six bags of varying sizes of….stuff.  MIL made a clean sweep with seven bags 😉

Click the pics to biggify:

Quiltz – My Halloween tendencies are strong in this one (hey, all fabric with “black” was 20% off!).  I also failed the “not my style” part of the fat quarter purchase.

The Bernina Connection – A little better on the “not my style” goal (the brights on the left and the yellow and gold prints). Also found some excellent “sale” fabrics (the castle and Halloween heads)

Three Dudes Quilting – The two fat quarter packs are borderline “me”. Couldn’t resist the map fabric and the three small patterns are for paper piecing.

Quilters’ Ranch – My first jellyroll purchase…ever! Sweet Serenade. The ship fabric simply whispered to me, it refused to stay behind. The model for the tree pattern was on display in the shop and was pretty darned amazing (thus the purchase)

Connecting Threads – This ruler was the demo in the shop. It makes these two patterns ridiculously easy (and has tons of other options)

Zoe’s Trunk – Last and actually least 🙂 Just a couple fat quarters and a Halloween-y charm pack I’ve been eyeing online for awhile (sorry for the blurry pic…)

So that’s the Day 1 haul. I’ll save the Day 2 stuff for a second post…be right back!

December 22nd, 2010 by Annette

And We’re Back….

Sorry about the longer-than-planned break there! 

December has been as busy, if not busier than November.  On Dec 6, I started in a new role at work and spent the last two work weeks of the new year supporting my new team as well as my old one.  While there wasn’t a whole lot going on in my old role as most projects were sailing along toward a 2011 delivery, several new projects were starting up, claiming huge chunks of my calendar for my *new* role.  And of course, there were now multiple holiday lunches to attend, claiming even more time. 

At the same time, my brother, his wife and my year old niece were visiting for the week of the 13th.  The castle quilt was finished and delivered to rave reviews:

Gee, you can’t tell I finished the binding at 11pm the night before, eh? The other animal quilt was also delivered a few days before… I just didn’t capture a pic beforehand.

I also did a little shopping on the day I picked them up from the quilter:

The Rest Ye Pins and Pine Mountain kit came from the LNS, not the quilt shop.  The Halloween fabric was on sale… how could I pass it up??  The fabric in the plastic bag on the left is for a pillowcase.  I’ll sew it up and send to Reagan sometime in the spring 🙂

Work finished on Friday the 17th.  And a wonderful new cold started the next day.

Zachary had some cough/cold thing going on the end of November. DH picked it up about a week later, but I was banking on the standard “Mom Immunity” to keep it at bay.  No such luck.  I’ve been coughing since Saturday.  Ugh.  I did manage to get out on Saturday and finish the majority of my Christmas shopping.  A couple more online items and after the postman comes today, I’ll be done! 

I’ll be breaking out the wrapping paper later today.  My closet is overrun with boxes and such right now.

I also finished up a couple small projects…..

Mill Hill Give Thanks.  This is the kit I started in Houston.  Destined for a pillow finish… at some point when the sewing machine comes back out.

Pine Mountain’s Spots of Christmas.  Yep, the kit from the picture up above.  It’s done and sitting on DH’s dresser (he has quite a collection of PM pillows…)

I’m hoping my next finish will be a little bigger….

She’s coming along.  I do plan on starting Spring on January 1st, whether Summer is done or not…

Other plans will hold for a new post 🙂

December 10th, 2010 by Annette

Two Weeks in Bullets…

  • Celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary with dinner and a play (Twelfth Night at Mesa Arts Center)
  • Refinanced my house (great rate! shorter terms!)
  • Started new role at work
  • Still doing old role at work
  • Old role has a new boss (exactly who I wanted it to be!)
  • Baby quilts came back from the quilter.
  • Finished (added binding) one of the baby quilts and gifted it (the animal one for a friend’s son)
  • Thought about the Crazy January challenge (starting 15 new projects Jan 1 – 15)
  • Came to my senses shortly thereafter
  • Made more progress on MH Give Thanks (picture still captive in camera….oops)
  • Managed 75% of “real gift” Christmas shopping
  • Put up Christmas tree
  • Counted 10 of the 15 remaining work days for the year (yes, that’s 5 to go! woot!!)

Given I’ve got ONE MORE WEEK of work this year, there should be plenty of time for all the usual year-end reflections and new year plans in the stitching/reading/general life posts soon.  I hope.

November 11th, 2010 by Annette

Houston Trip – The Stash

Yes, it’s finally time to reveal the stash purchases from Houston.

I will say, I didn’t go quite as crazy as last year, but I definitely came home with a full suitcase.

To get a sense of scale… there are 20 rows of booths in the vendor area.  Each row has at least 10 – 20 vendors.  So the fact that I could still close my suitcase?  Pretty darn reserved….. LOL

Here we go….(click to biggify for a close look)

Given the show was in November, I’m sure it is no surprise that Christmas was all over the place.  Also, a bit more wool applique this year caught my eye.  These are two kits from Plum Creek Collections, on the left, an advent calendar (nativity theme) and on the right a card-holder/banner.  I actually didn’t realize it was a card holder until after I bought it… I just liked it as a vertical banner!

At the same booth, a couple simple wool pincushions that look like cupcakes.  So cute!  The coffee cup holds a kit for a 4″ bat ornament (the packaging easily contributed to the sale) and the book/thread was intended for tatting, but it’s the perfect size for thread crochet and button trim.  I bought a couple more colors of that thread….

The few Halloween items found: two more balls of thread, a great cut of fabric, two grab bags of trim, a string of lampworked beads and just a few skull beads.

The red fabric is silk dupioni.  Gorgeous stuff.  Four Christmas fat quarters and then five random quarters that called to me from a sea of possibilities at just one booth 😉  Additionally, I have to support Bohin at every opportunity, so a few needles (including sewing machine needles, who knew?) and some threaders.  The black scissors are by Elan and, per Missy Ann, are the best for applique work.

The bottom two charts are for wool applique.  (I since called and ordered the kit for the wall hanging on the right…).  The stitching chart was purchased at The Silver Needle booth.  It’s Over the Hills from The Sampler Company.  The model in the booth was over-1 and just amazingly done.

If you’ve ever been to a show where Silver Needle puts up their Mill Hill display, you know it’s almost impossible to resist all the wonderful models.  I didn’t fight too hard, I admit 😉  The snowflake fabric (above) will be paired with at least two of the snow themed designs here.

I’ve been eyeing the Jim Shore playing cards since they were first released.  I found the coordinating fabric at another booth at the show.  I’d have pulled out the Ace of Spades and started it while in Houston, but I didn’t have a source to swap out the aida fabric for an evenweave. 

But lest you think there was no stitching…..

Amanda and I worked to separate the 18 colors of floss included in this kit.  We managed to readily identify a dozen of them and I had to break out the DMC color cards to finish it off after I got home.  Silver Needle sells small cuts of natural linen (all their models are stitched on fabric), so I was set to start…

….after I finished my applique piece that Missy Ann had generously put together for all of us to learn the basics.  It’s cute and ready to be made into a pillow the next time I break out the sewing machine.

And check out the needleminder…. so awesome!!

That’s it for the stash.  A couple more Halloween packages have arrived and I’ll detail those out in another post.  For now, me and my cold are off to take it easy for tonight.

November 2nd, 2010 by Annette

Quilty Goodness

Sunday, I spent the day putting together two baby quilt tops.  Hoping to get them to the quilter this week before I leave for Houston.

The pattern is the same, but the fabric makes them look quite distinct.

The first is using Barnyard Buddies by Moda:

Close up is here – Barnyard Squares

The backing is a similar green fabric – with animal noise words.  Binding will be black.  The placement of the green/white squares is random.  This quilt went together quickly and very smoothly.  Are all the seams perfectly lined up?  Umm… no.  But, that’s ok, I intend this to be used and loved rather than analyzed 😉

The second is using Andover’s Castle Peeps fabric and Kona white fabric:

Closeup: Castle Peeps squares  Sorry, it is so dark!  The colors are pretty good, though.

Again, the small squares are random and the seams are not suitable for a perfectionist.  The backing is more blues with tower flags.

I’m pretty happy with the results.  I’ll get them to the quilter, hopefully this week and have them back in time for binding and Christmas gifting.

I still have a Halloween wall quilt to do….and Baltimore Halloween from last year’s quilt show.  Or who knows what I’ll find this weekend 😀

August 22nd, 2010 by Annette

Witchie Quilt Top Complete!

My first pieced quilt top….(click to biggify)

Size is approx 36″ x 58″ 

The design showed a thicker border on the right, but I decided to do thinner borders around all four sides instead.  I am very pleased with the result and can’t wait to take it to the quilt shop on Friday to see about having it layered and quilted.  The quirkiness definitely helped hide some less-than-perfect bits.  I do need to work on how I manage the seams on the back, but for my first attempt at a pieced quilt top, I think I did alright 🙂