Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The End!

Star Bright

Free pieced liberated stars and Tonya's wonky letters marks the end of my stint in this class. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself, picked up some great tips and met some new quilters who think the same way as I do.

If Tonya doesn't mind, I'm moving my Sugar Sweet Houses quilt over to the Lazy Gal House Home or Pantry Class.

It's been great!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

k is for kindness

I just took the last quilting stitch in my summer project..binding to follow tonight! also a sleeve as I will be putting it into a guild show next year. I am so happy with the joy I felt in the quilting of this piece. thank you Tonya for inspiring and sharing your style of quilting with perle thread-I could never have dreamed of doing this quilting without you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

still hand quilting

I know, it's Autumn but I am still quilting on my summer class quilt, Kindness....so, I thought an update photo would be a good idea.

I am working on the green area between the K is 4 and Kindness, quilting half circles by using a small glass from my cupboard and chalk to draw the arcs. You can click to enlarge and see what I am talking about. I am making up my quilting patterns as I go along, choosing colors and in general really enjoying the quilting process. I am not in a rush to finish this-however, with as many new tv shows on now to watch, I am quilting lots more in the evenings.
Everywhere I take this piece I get lots of positive comments on it...sure makes people smile and certainly makes me feel cheerful working on it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sharing my giveaway with you all...

Hello everyone! This is a fall thing I've been playing around with, so I hope it is ok to post it in the summer class. :) Since you were all so lovely in helping and encouraging me with the Rose Quilt for my sister, I thought I'd post about it here, share these little projects and give you a chance to win one if you'd like....

The black and tan fabric was the first thing I saw when I walked into the quilt shop several weeks ago and it just grabbed me. I'm not much of a "novelty" fabric lover (I can never imagine having enough novelty fabric for an "I-spy" quilt!), but this one had dancers on it and other cute costumes in silhouette (witches and Peter Pan and indians and kittens, etc), so it just had to come home with me.

I cut out one of each of the kids to put in a table topper for myself and in trying to figure out what to do with the scraps, I came up with these strippy table runners. In the spirit of our summer class, I just kept free-wheeling it...adding a strip at a time, seeing what should come next when I got to it. I've made two bright-colored ones and one in neutrals. I'll be quilting them tomorrow, sending one to my sister, giving one away in the giveaway and putting the other one as the first item in my etsy shop. Feel free to stop by my blog if you'd like to enter! (http://thelittlecollection.blogspot.com)

Hope your summer projects are coming along or you are enjoying them if they are done. I love checking back and seeing them as you continue to post about them here. Happy fall, all!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ryan's Quilt Top

I just remembered that while I've posted this photo on my blog, I forgot to do it here. This is Ryan's quilt top. I still need to baste it and probably won't get to the hand quilting for a while since I've got a lot of other projects taking priority right now. This was tons of fun and I think my favorite quilt ever!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's still Fall and I'm done

Just in time to hang and enjoy for a couple months - my Wonky Trees are done. I have to say that while it's definitely grown on me - I still think this quilt falls in the ugly cute category. I had lots of fun making the trees and loved hand quilting it. Thanks Tonya for setting up the class and inspiring me to go a little more liberated in my quilting.

Turtle quilt

Here are the top and back of my quilt (BTW this is the first time I have ever posted a photo on the internet.) The color looks a little washed out, probably due to the artificial light.  The turtles do all look lined up in tidy, well-behaved rows, don't they?!! I will keep working on developing my quilting to be more liberated. To finish the quilt, I'm thinking I will use floss to hand quilt some lily pads or sea weed or whatever in the "open water."  I hope to finish while people are still looking at the 2008 summer class blog. 
Andrea in Lake Elmo, MN

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Finally Finished!

Ta da... took it to work today (just for the day) ~ it is definitely a "statement" quilt!

Here's a link to the Picasa album so you can see close ups of the borders and the awesome custom quilting that Chris added. And yes, it has a hanging sleeve AND a label... which means it is truly "done."

What a fun class this has been ~ so many really creative people!

Thanks, Tonya!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stained Glass or Sugar Candy Houses

It's taken a bit of time, but the top is finally finished!

Now the question. How am I going to quilt this?

Stitch the ditch round the house blocks and fans on the black?

Not at all sure.

I'm going to sign off now as I've done 2 projects for this class (there is a third which I haven't shown here, but you can see it on my blog) and I've now got tons of hand quilting to do.

I've thoroughly enjoyed myself, met lots more quilting bloggers and learnt loads of new things, especially about colour and design.

So have a great autumn and hope to meet you all again at the next class.

Thanks Tonya - it's been great fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Flying Monkeys - first glimpse

I only had enough time last night to attach the binding to the quilt and get one corner stitched to the back... not sure how quickly I'll be able to get the rest of the binding done (soon, I hope!). Chris did some phenomenal custom quilting work on Monkeys ~ she and I are both thrilled with the results!


Thursday, September 18, 2008


I haven't posted for a long time but I've been watching people's quilts progress and I think they are WONDERFUL. I'm so inspired by the artistry!

I've started making turtles - which is my 'theme' for this challenge - I made a turtle tote bag and gave it to a friend. Now I've started making turtles for a small quilt. But my problem is technology - I can't post a picture from home since we're still not "wired." I am still working on this!

Andrea in Lake Elmo, MN

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Here it is! The finished project. I had some bumps here and there. When I added the NY Beauties on the top corner, I wasn't exactly crazy about them, but they've grown on me. I just did some very simple quilting around the letters and inside the suns. This is going to be a wall hanging for my dd. Great class!


Here's it is:

I found it quite a challenge to get it all pieced according to my vision. I put a sleeve on it--the first time I've ever done that. I am happy to have a completed project--whew. It is labeled "Rememberall" as that is what I wish it to do for me. ;-)

Thank you, Tonya, for the opportunity to expand my repertoire and thank you to all for your warm support! I look forward to seeing y'all's progress as your quilts grow & grow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm quilting

I finally got my trees layered and am quilting it with #8 perle cotton. Most of the quilting will be the fly stitch inspired by a quilt Patti posted on her blog but the plan is to quilt some words in the tone on tone filler blocks and maybe a leaf or two.

Hopefully, I'll have it finished and hanging before Autumn is done.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Continuing with Trees

My Tree Everlasting quilt is coming together, slowly but surely. I am now at the hard part-- making 100+ odd-size pieces fit together. It is a challenge! I've committed to working on it for a couple hours every week, and already I am seeing major progress. It will take me a few more weeks to get the whole top assembled, but I wanted to let everyone to know that I'm still working on it. :-)

I would love to see a progress report from others. It would help me to know that others are hard at work on finishing their quilts, too.

Congratulations to those who have actually finished your quilts! I will be among you someday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I give up :-(

I have decided to drop out of this lovely endeavour. There just are too many quilts wanting to be finished on time for me to devote serious time and creativity to this project. Receiving a text from England about the new arrival of my friend's baby girl - whom I have a baby quilt planned for - drove it home.

Let me say this however: I really enjoyed reading about your projects and I think the end result has been inspiring every time.

For me, it's a definite "maybe next time",

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Violette's Sugar and Spice

"Sugar and Spice, Everything Nice," what could be more "girly" than that?

As soon as those words popped into my head, I knew I had to include them in Violette's quilt. I kept the tones of the word "sugar" close to the color violet. I wanted the word "and" to disappear into the background, so I picked a color that was close to the background. For the word "Spice," I wanted colors with punch.

I didn't like the "R" so I redid it. Then I didn't like that it was sewn so evenly, so I ripped it apart and resewed it together. The word "Everything" had to bend slightly so it would fit on the top of a twin bed. And I wanted the colors to be reminiscent of a rainbow.

The word "Nice" looked a bit boring, so I replaced the dot on the "i" with a little flower.

After that came the name panel, along with some butterflies I designed.

Violette's family has a big tabby cat, and I knew I wanted to include him in the quilt. Hiding him in the flower patch at the bottom was the solution.

Here is the finished quilt.
I was so excited to join Tonya's Summer Class. But I couldn't start posting until after I had delivered this quilt to its recipient, my godchild Violette.

I visited her family in July for the Christening and gave them her quilt. Everybody loved it, and thought it was perfect. Everything -was- perfect.

Ten days after I left, Violette suffered a tragic accident and died. I flew down to Maryland to attend the funeral. The family covered her coffin with the quilt at her funeral. It was beautiful, and perfect in its own way, but that's not the image I had anticipated.


It's been hard for me to get back into making quilts or being excited about much of anything. I'm not related to Violette's family, but I loved her very much.

Today the quilt is on Violette's big brother's bed. He's 5-1/2.

He placed it there.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Polka Dot Estates


Polka Dot Estates

I changed the name of my quilt from "housing project" to "Polka Dot Estates". I was looking at Tonya's house tutorial recently. Guess what she called it? housing project! No wonder I thought it was a great name. I guess my subconscious held on to that name until I started my quilt. Sorry Tonya! Never meant to use your quilt name. Eek! Please accept my apologies!

I really enjoyed this class and making the quilt. I learned a lot that I wouldn't have learned if I had just followed a pattern of "cut this many of each sized rectangle and triangle listed". It's hard to explain. But I think you know what I mean.

Thanks Tonya!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I offer this photo as evidence that I am still working on my quilt! As you can see (maybe), several trees and the letters ORES are sewn together into a section. This picture represents about 1/10th of my quilt. How did it get so big?! The work of assembling the pieces is slow and requires much thought. The process is so intense that I can't focus on it more than a couple hours at a time.

After seeing some of your quilt tops finished, I am eager to finish mine, but I daresay it won't be any time soon! I am renewing my commitment to it, hoping to make good progress in the next month.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hi all,
I filled in the blanks & here it is:

It's 24" x 33.5"-- just a small project. I will be embroidering some more words throughout.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finished Top!

At long last ~ the flying monkeys are off the design wall!!  

The completed top measures 61 x 86 ~ Chris and I have talked about several quilting ideas, but haven't decided on anything yet.  Hope to piece the back tomorrow (single vertical seam) ~ and then the monkeys will be off to Oakland where Chris lives.

Woo Hoo!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not crazy about my results

I decided it was time to try and assemble my trees and I'm not really liking the results. I'm going to stop where I am now and quilt the small piece that's already assembled and save the other blocks for another time - maybe I'll come up with a better plan for joining them.

I'd like to try this again in the future but I may need to rethink and limit my color scheme....keep it scrappy but pick just a color or two to work with. I did have a lot of fun making the trees - they may even show up in other projects.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not pleased with myself

Oh well, things did not progress as well as I'd hoped and I have precious little to show:


I'm not sure it I like the non-wonkyness but maybe I have been brain-washed by all your wonky projects. Also I'm bothered by the absense of piecing but then again, I said I wanted to do appliqué and try a few different things and embellishments.

In short, I don't function well on the no-plan plan but promise to plow ahead with this because I am curious where it will take me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Broken Dishes

Quick update ~ the double row of broken dishes blocks works really well (and if you let your eyes blur out a bit you'll discover a marvelous secondary pinwheel pattern dancing across the top border). Thanks for your suggestions, thoughts, and encouragement!

Still need to piece the left side's zig-zag border and then construction of the top can begin in earnest!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monkey Business ~ Help Needed

Here's where the project stands at this moment ~ I'm a bit stuck on what to do with the top border. Contemplating a double row of alternating broken dishes blocks (love the play on words, plus the colors help balance the weight of the 'monkey wrench' blocks at the bottom). What do you see?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! [note added later - please see my post of July 24 to see a rough sketch for my early asymmetrical border ideas]


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sawtooth tree

I took your advice and added another tall tree in the lower right corner. It looks great there! Thanks for the suggestion. I made 4 more trees last night and moved things around a bit. I'm getting bored seeing the same ol' tree styles, so I've drawn out 2 completley different designs. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Trees...need a critique

Here's the "big picture". I'm not done, of course. I intend to add more trees. Right now, I need a break and I want your opinions. I think it needs more big trees (the size of the tree sitting on top of the 'D')....or should I just flood the piece with tons of smaller trees? Do the trees need to be closer together?
I'm not sure of the positioning of "Deep in the Forest" either. Should I move it to the right, under the tall Tree Everlasting....or should I line it up on the left side of the quilt...or leave it centered?
I'm in a thinking stage, so any ideas about balancing this piece will be welcome.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kudos to All

No pictures to share, no progress to report, just wanted to drop in and say what a wonderful job everyone is doing with their quilts. Even though my hearts are on the back burner for the moment I really enjoy looking at what everyone else is doing. The colors and the wonkiness never fail to cheer me up! Hurray for free piecing!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tree Everlasting

Just to show you that I've been working on this, here's a couple of pictures.

I am piecing in sections...adding a few trees as I go...and then moving on to another section. When all the words are put together, I'll have to make more trees to fill in the spaces between the phrases. I plan to stagger the trees rather than set them in straight rows, and of course, that means the piecing will be more complicated. I am having fun though! I'm rummaging through my large basket of fabric "strings" for more beige fabrics to use in the skinny spaces between letters. More variety, you know. (I hope the background isn't too busy!)

project k top done

sheesh...I forgot to post a photo here of the finished k top. It's going with me for hand quilting later today as we spend the weekend at the beach. I will toss many threads into the van as I have not decided quite what I want to quilt on it as yet.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I am to be Violette's godmother on Saturday. I wanted to make her a quilt as a gift. I had not originally planned to include her name, but after toying with Tonya's letters, I decided to give it a try. The tallest letters here are about 8 inches high.

But I thought the letters in the fabric were a bit too washed out; that there wasn't enough contrast. Then I found this dark purple fabric with lines of pink dots in the bargain bin. I liked the contrast with the background fabric.I liked the spacing of the letters in the original and decided to keep it, so I worked on her middle name first. Then I decided to make a wonky heart to dot the "i" in "Violette."As you can see, the new fabric provides a strong contrast with the background fabric. I will use the original panel elsewhere. This is the completed name panel. It's about 20" high by about 24" wide.

After I got this far, I realized this was going to be bigger than a "standard" baby quilt. With what should I fill up the space? What, I wondered, was "girly?" As soon as I posed the question in my mind, this phrase popped in my head...

"Sugar and Spice, Everything Nice"

I knew I was in serious trouble.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Monkey Business

Here is my not-to-scale sketch showing the direction I'm headed with the borders... gotta love a good eraser!!

Have loads of yellows but am a little concerned about the black background fabric ~ will proceed carefully to fill in the central panel and then re-evaluate the situation. Hope to stitch (a lot) on Saturday.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ready for the Next Steps ~

All of the letters have been stitched and the words are spelled out on my design wall ~ now it is time to create the top itself. Still playing with multiple border ideas...

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars -- at some point you have to let go in order to move forward." (author unknown)
Added Later ~
The saying above is paraphrased from a scene in The Wizard of Oz ~ the Wicked Witch calls upon her army of flying monkeys to track down Dorothy & her companions, skyjacking them back to the castle... click here for more info on those monkeys. In my case, the motivation came from a bad day at work...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

progress on the k project

I have spent most of today working on my summer class -the k project. Thought I would post a current photo of it's current status. Some of the parts are stitched together, and I have bits and pieces in place around those sections. Still subject to change of course but I am really enjoying the process of putting this top together.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Roses - Quilt top finished!

Well ladies, she's done. The top is finished. Oh, I like her! With a LOT of help from above and from Grandma's machine and quick basting hands back home, there is a possibility she'll be quilted before the wedding. Keep your fingers crossed that all will go well and I can give this to my hermanacita on her wedding day!

(When I am home I'll try to get a picture once she's finished that shows all of the borders. Don't have anywhere big enough in my little apartment!)

Thank you for all your support and encouragement along the way. You are all fabulous!

Hanging my head in shame

Oh my ... despite the best of intentions and lots of ideas zipping around my head I still have not started my repetition project. I might take material on holiday with me, the project would then mainly be handpieced - we're flying and there is no way I can take my sewing machine, obviously.

I will report in August, hoping that I've accomplished something by then.

Pink tic tac toe

I was having a little fun while I was trapped (LOL) in my sewing room upstairs today while my husband was sanding the front hall floor. I've made a wonky nine patch of wonky nine patch stars. No other plan yet, but just some summer fun.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And so it begins...

Finally, visible progress!!! The first three words are constructed and fabrics pulled for the rest.

The monkey wrench blocks will form the lower edge.

Side and top borders yet to be decided (work in progress). . .

Friday, July 11, 2008



I wish I had asked for all of your opinions BEFORE I started piecing....so many great ideas. In the end, I have ended up doing a bit of everything...a little appliqué, cutting some straight edges to sew short rows, some set-in corners, some partial hexagons. Just whatever it takes to get it together depending on where each rose is fitting in. I will post pics soon so you can see how it is coming together. It is taking longer than I'd like, but I've made my peace with it. Hopefully the top will be done on Monday! Only 3 more roses to go out of 30 and then the wonky borders. Yeah! THANK YOU for all the encouragement and ideas. Although I haven't used all of them for this top, I now have a plethora of things I want to try in the future. You are all FABULOUS!!!!
- Andrea

My roses are so wonky I am having a bear of a time putting them together. Tried set-in seams... disastrous. Doing some appliqué edges, some straight seams...it is taking forever. Anyone have some suggestions? I don't want to turn them into squares, but at this point that's all I can think of that won't take a DECADE to complete. I'd love to hear any ideas you might have...


Better Late Than Never?!?!?

I have been dithering ever since I signed up for this class...

I just haven't been able to get my head around WHAT I wanted to do.

Wonky houses, wonky log cabin blocks, a row quilt ~
around and around and around...

And then today inspiration struck!!

It was one of "those days" at work when everything was needed 6 hours ago.
Too many people wanting too many things on a day
when we were short a receptionist
(meaning the rest of us had to take turns covering for her).

Anyway, I had torn a page from a catalog yesterday
because a particular color combination caught my eye.

The page surfaced on my desk this afternoon, and THERE IT WAS...
the phrase that has eluded me for so long

Don't make me break out my
Flying Monkeys!

I don't know which color combination I'll use,
but I finally know what I want to say on my quilt!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Roses - Progress!

Going to take a short break from sewing to post this picture of the progress on my rose quilt. Oh how I wish I had a design wall!!! Alas, my white bedspread and standing on a stool has to do. I think I have another 6 roses or so before I call it good. Then filler greens, putting it together and borders. It's coming along!

p.s. Thank you for all the encouraging comments to my last post. I can't figure out how to reply directly those of you who asked questions! Grrrr.......new to blogging. When I am safely within my deadline for this project, I'll tackle that!