Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween, Still Making Hexagons??

Time is up. It's almost November and I hope some of you are still finishing up the hexagon quilt from The Civil War Sewing Circle for our small quilt of the month challenge for October. I'd love to see some photos.

In a day or two I will suggest another quilt for November from a pattern in one of my books.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -   -  -  - 
Happy Halloween!

This year I did not make the mistake of buying Halloween candy too early. Yesterday, I asked my husband to stop and get a few bags on the way home from work and to please not pick up anything I really really liked so I would not have to be tempted too much. Wouldn't want to eat a whole bag before the kids even rang the doorbell today (like that's never happened before, hah! One year we bought candy early and went through it so fast I had to run out right before Trick-or-Treating started. Kids were waiting at the front door as I returned from the store waving my new bags of candy at them, LOL.).
Guess what? I hardly ever go for these particular candies but I discovered that Starbursts and 3 Musketeers are actually not too bad in a pinch when there is nothing else, LOL. I guess he forgot I love Snickers . . . . Don't worry, there's still a few left for the kids.
My little Pumpkin is all ready (she doesn't look too happy though. I'll have to remind her about the candy part.)
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
On a somber note - My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are suffering from the recent storm on the east coast. The devastation is unimaginable to me and watching the reports on television makes it difficult to grasp the magnitude of the damage. Say a prayer and, if you have a desire to help, I encourage you to go to the American Red Cross to make a donation. Even a little bit can help so many of those in need right now.
A flooded street in Seaside Heights, N.J., is seen in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sewing Machine Mat

A few weeks ago I made this quick quilted sewing machine mat for a friend. It's made from pre-quilted fabric but you can always use your own fabric and quilt it yourself if you have the time. You lay it on your sewing table and then place your sewing machine upon it. The pockets hang to right above your knees and hold all of your essential tools.

I found the easy tutorial here. I had a hard time finding any pre-quilted fabric I liked. I found this at JoAnn Fabrics and thought the colors were sort of fall-like. I miscalculated and thought I had bought enough to make another one but it turned out that I did not. When I went back they were all out of this particular design. I find that I am constantly misplacing my ruler, seam ripper and scissors or knocking them onto the floor when I sew so I love the pockets.

A place for everything and everything in its place? Works for me.

Sewing mat's new home. Honestly, I hated to give it up, LOL. But it looks very comfy cozy under her machine. Now I guess I just need to go and make one for myself.

This did not take me long at all and if you can find the pre-quilted fabric it's a great idea for a quick, handmade Christmas gift.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Colors

It's still fall here and I'm loving' the colors.
Winter will be here before you know it.
The neighbors' glorious tree.
My fading hydrangea. Can you believe the colors?  Prettier now than in summer.
I'm still making Maple Leaves, with a little added blue this time. Free pattern for the block  here. Wonder what I'll make . . .
It's a little wet outside today. Perfect day to stay inside, make some tea and "cocoon" with a puppy on my lap. And this "comfort" afghan my mom made for me years and years ago.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October Gave a Party

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came.
~George Cooper

Air so crisp you could snap it with your fingers 
-Wendy Delsol
falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly

                               ~John Bailey
_   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _
It rained all weekend and I stayed inside to work on my Dear Jane blocks. It's been too long since I last picked them up.

It's fun to check the blocks off the list and note my progress. I still have a very long way to go . . . . but feel proud nonetheless.
I keep a special basket full of larger scraps, set aside just for this quilt.
My goal was to finish 50 blocks by the end of this year. I've made 48 so far and I think I will not only complete that goal but maybe even add a few more. I'm feeling optimistic, even though there are 169 blocks, 52 triangles and 4 corner "kites" in the quilt, LOL. Crazy? Maybe. Ideally, I not only would like to finish the quilt before I die but also have a few years to actually enjoy looking at it, basking in its glory. I told my family that I plan to have a stipulation put into my will that if the quilt is not finished, someone else in the family MUST finish it and pass it down. (Extreme eye roll from my daughter . . . ) What a legacy, huh? 
_   _  _  _   _  _  _   _   _  _  _
There is another Maple Leaf Swap running on my Yahoo group right now. I still have tons of blocks from the last one in 2010.
I've finished one project using some Maple Leaves.
I have so many blocks - I think it's time to make another. Wonder if I can somehow incorporate blue. . .

Friday, October 5, 2012


Thank goodness it's Fall . . . and Friday too!  My sister-in-law sent this to me today and so I started my day with a laugh -

I did not make it to the gym either but I did take a long walk. I'm so happy we're having cool weather. I didn't exercise much when it was so hot this past summer; it feels good to move again. I walked yesterday too. Four times this week so far. Five times the week before. Good for me! (Sorry, I really need the pep talk to keep myself going. It could all end at any minute you know.) Since it was a beautiful morning here yesterday, everyone was out jogging and biking. Today, it was very very cool and I went a little earlier than usual so I had the whole park all to myself, except for the squirrels. The trees glistened and I felt invigorated by the cold air. It's the time of year when I feel most alive. Maybe I'll take the puppies out for a walk later.
Fall and quilts go well together, don't you think? Some of my favorites -
From The Civil War Sewing Circle
Clarissa's Garden (pattern available on my website)
From The Civil War Sewing Circle

From Prairie Children & Their Quilts
From a free pattern on my website
From a pattern available on my website
Cooler weather inspires me and so today I am playing around a little, making something with left-over hexagons and scraps. Who knows what it will turn into? It's still a mystery, a work in progress, but I know it will be very cute when I'm finished.
Are you playing around with your little hexagons?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hexagons for October

It's October, and you will remember that you are making the little Hexagon Flowers quilt from my book The Civil War Sewing Circle this month. So glad mine is finished. Like most of the other quilts this year, the pattern is in the book, with simple, easy-to-follow instructions.
It's really a sweet quilt. Try making the hexagons using your own favorite fabric if you are  not  a fan of 1800s reproduction prints. They do not have to be appliqued to a dark background like mine either. You can change the setting if you like and make the hexies smaller or larger. Same goes for the quilt.
This has been such a fun year - making small quilts and trying new patterns. I'm almost sorry it's winding down, although you may have noticed I slipped a little here and there, now and then. It's a little exhausting trying to keep being inspiring week after week. But I hope many of you have enjoyed it too.
Last week when I visited my friend Julia, I had to laugh when I saw her wall of quilts. Her sewing room is really more of a "Kathy Tracy-inspired quilt museum" if you ask me. Most of the small quilts she has displayed are from my patterns. Perhaps she just put them up to make me feel good because she knew I was coming over and then took them down when I left? Nuh-uh. Don't think so. She is truly my biggest fan and it is so nice to know that I have inspired her so much. Nice job on the small quilts. But I'm still waiting to see your Tumbling Blocks and Orange Peel, Julia. . . . LOL.
Julia has worked steadily on making almost all of the quilts in all of my books plus a few from my patterns. Well, she did get a little behind that year she was working on her PhD, LOL but she's now catching up and has some of the tops from The Civil War Sewing Circle finished. Wouldn't it be nice to have that kind of energy and drive? She's a dynamo for sure. Bottle up some of that energy for me!
Cute quilt, Julia, and, even though it's adorable, this doesn't count as your Tumbling Blocks quilt. You didn't fool me. I know it's a preprinted panel.
I hope Julia and I have inspired you all to continue on with your plan to make 12 small quilts this year so you too can have a wall of small quilts. Only 2 quilts left after this one! What WILL we do next??  You can find a list of all of the quilts we've done this year in the Files section of my yahoo group. Or, just go to the archives on the blog (right sidebar) beginning in January 2012.