Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 NewFO Challenge

Barbara over at  Cat Patches is hosting a new event this year - The 2012 NewFO Challenge!  And I'm on board!!!  Of course, right?  Resistance is not my strong point!  

The thing I really like about this new Challenge is that all you have to do to be successful is to START a new project each month!  You don't have to finish it or even get very far on it, just start it.  

Now, Barbara started this for those quilters who don't have any UFO's so they can get some.... does that sound like me?  Of course not!!!!  I have already listed my list of UFO's in an earlier post, and that's not even all of them! :*D  But for me it would be a very boring year if all I work on is UFO's... I have to have new projects to keep me excited and happy.  So I went to my Inspiration Book where I keep a portfolio of pictures of projects I'd like to do and picked out 12.... not that I expect to start all 12 or even to stick to the list if something new pops up and grabs my attention.  But it's a way for me to try to focus on those projects that I really want to do and not just hop around doing projects that are maybe not as important to me.  We'll see how that works for me :)

NewFO’s to Start in 2012
1.  Divas Denim Shirt - I took this picture from Amy Bradley's website.  I am a member of the Divas Quilt Guild, and we are all trying to make our version of Amy's Diva pattern.

2.  Angel Cat Wallhanging - my design, and I don't have a picture to share yet.
3.  Fall Harvest - this is a pattern I bought in October last year with every intention of making it for that fall - riiiiiight!!!!  More wishful thinking.  This is a Cozy Quilt Design.  One change I will make is to use black for the background.  Fabrics all picked and ready to cut up!

4.  Rabbits Prefer Chocolate - A favorite Bunny Hill design.  This one will take a while so I will have to be very patient!

5.  “Quilts in Progress” Wallhanging - This one will hang over the door to my sewing studio.  It's been on my To Do list way too long! 

6.  Black & Green Bearpaw from Possibilities - I think I am in love with the colors as much as the Bear Paw blocks!

7.  Blackford’s Beauty - this is a quilt I saw in a very early Fons & Porter magazine, and I could not get a good picture of it.  It is an Amish-style quilt with black background and lots of brights sprinkled throughout.  Bonnie Hunter also has this pattern on her website; she calls it Jared Takes a Wife, and she did hers in greens with a light background. I will not use sashing at all, so the blocks will float.
8.  "Love in Bloom" Table Runner - a hearts runner from Jan/Feb 2010 McCalls issue, designed by Judy Blok.
9.  Bee Bop in Flannel Brights - this is a much brighter quilt than this picture shows!  Several years ago, a friend gave me a flannel solids kit as a gift and I have been looking for the perfect pattern - I think this is it!  I'm not sure of the book it came from, this is just a photocopy I made and have no idea of the source.  All that copied is "Our Best Seasonal Quilts - Spring".  I did get the name of the quilt designer though on one of the pages - Lauri Miller.

10. Calypso Cascade - no picture yet.  This is a pattern from Quiltmaker's All Time Favorites - Winter '06.  It's an Irish Chain-type design all in batiks - YUM!!!
11. Eastern Breeze Wallhanging - I had every intention of doing this applique project last year.  It is MY colors for sure and will be gorgeous in my great room when it is done!  It comes out of American Quilter March 2009 and is designed by Jane Spolar.

12. Circle of Fire Wallhanging - doesn't this just explode!?!  I can't wait to do it!  It comes from American Quilter November 2009 and is designed by Pat Wolfe.

I also want to make some of these…..Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts.  I have made the January Snowman and he is absolutely adorable!!!

So what about you?  Are you starting new projects or resolving to finish up old ones?  Or, like me, doing both?  Whatever it is, I wish you all the joy and enjoyment possible in 2012!  May Blessings and happiness be yours throughout the year!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Times are Good Times!

Like many of you, we had the pleasure of children and grandchildren filling our house with love and joy during the holidays.  We loved it!!!  Hubby and I moved to Nashville eight years ago this coming March, but most of our family remains behind in North Carolina.  It is about an 8-9 hour trip between us and our grandchildren.  Since Christmas is usually such a busy time for families with little children, Hubby and I usually stay home and make do with phone calls for Christmas cheer with our children and grandchildren, except for one son who has made it a tradition to pack up the kids and drive out to Nashville the day after Christmas for a few days.

But this year we got two visits!  The week before Christmas our oldest granddaughters came for an entire week.   It is usually summer when they come, so it was exciting to have them here for Christmas.   They are 16 and 13, and any of you who have teenagers know exactly how interesting that can be!  I think they heard about Santa's List though, because they were perfect angels!  Probably the most fun thing we did was to spread out flannel-backed tablecloths on the floor, and I pulled out all my buttons and lace and rick rack etc., and they had a ball decorating their stockings!  They are both very creative and have a definite sense of personal style.  They certainly came up with some interesting designs J

Then our son and his wife brought their two angels - 7 and 4 - for their Christmas visit.  After tearing through their gifts, they set down to the serious business of playing.  I noticed the four-year-old in the floor having a ball crashing his action figures into one of his sister’s new Christmas toys.  I asked him, “What are you doing there buddy?”  Still concentrating on his work and in all seriousness, he replied dramatically in a deep voice, “DESTROYING THE WORLD!”  Laughing, I grabbed the camera to get a picture, but as soon as he realized what I was doing he assumed this angelic, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth look and smiled at me….. How quickly I melted!!! 

He's not fooling me though.  I know that angelic smile is only for my benefit :*)  His sister on the other hand is a real angel.  See - I have proof!

It has been so much fun having them here.  Hubby and I forget just how quiet it is here until they come J.  Gypsy, on the other hand, has not been very pleased!  She has kept herself hidden under the bed for the last two weeks, coming out only when the “little noise boxes” are asleep.  One day I found her here - she must have been pretty hard up for a hiding place that day!

Oh well, only a few more days of quiet before the New Year starts with a bang.  Our little quilting group will get back to sewing together every Monday and the Music City Quilt Guild will kick off a new year with its first meeting on the first Tuesday of the year.  I’ll have UFO’s to get done, NewFO's to start, and I even have a retreat lined up for each month through April – absolute heaven!!!  I can’t wait for 2012 – how about you?

Happy Quilting!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Joy to the Goose!

Have you made a Christmas quilt?  I’ve been quilting now for about 5 years, and every year I’ve said, “This year I’m going to make a Christmas quilt.”  But I never managed to get to it until this year.  It’s still not quilted (story of my quilting life!), but here is my first Christmas quilt top.  Isn’t it a beauty?!?  (Pardon my lack of photog skills!)

It is a pattern by Carrie Nelson called Toulouse from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.  Did you know that there is a variety of French goose known as a Toulouse?  Carrie didn’t either until she googled it.  The big blocks in the middle are called Goose in the Pond, and of course the large border is Flying Geese.  So I call this Christmas Geese.  Didn’t take much imagination to come up with that, huh? 

The background fabric is an oriental print by Kumiko Sudo for In the Beginning fabrics.  I got about 6 yards of it – all that was on the bolt – on sale at one of our local quiltshops and held onto it until I found the perfect pattern for my Christmas quilt.  I love the way the scrappy greens and reds just sparkle against the background!  I still have about 2 yards left – yum!!!

                                                           I think my family liked it!

I also finished this quilt that I consider a Christmas quilt.  It is an original design by the multi-talented Melissa over at Doodle-head Stitches.  She designed this to be a monthly mystery quilt for our Guild last year.  The directions gave the option to make the quilt either 30” or 60.”  I chose the smaller blocks of course – I love small quilts!   I call this one The First Noel.  Isn’t Melissa an awesome designer?!?

I’d love to see some of your Christmas quilts!  Or are you planning your first one for next year?  Tell me about it!



Monday, December 26, 2011

UFO Challenge 2012

One of the reasons I wanted to start my own blog was so that I could begin to join in on some of the fun things everyone is doing throughout the year.  For instance, Judy at Patchwork Times hosts a UFO Challenge each year, which I think is a really great idea and one that will help me get some of my “stuff” done! 

Although I do have quite a few projects that are lingering in UFO land, I’ve decided that my UFO list is going to be made up of quilts that need be quilted.  This is because I have close to 20 quilt tops in my closet waiting to be quilted!!!  Part of that is because I do my own quilting on my DSM and it takes me quite a while to quilt a top.  But also when my Janome 6600 is set up for quilting, I can’t do any piecing on it until the quilting is done.  So I have to use my smaller machine for piecing, which just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and is not nearly as much FUN.  All of this means that I put off quilting the tops and they just keep piling up on a shelf in my sewing room closet being enjoyed by NO ONE!!!

So I am hopping on the Patchwork Times UFO train first thing! Thanks Judy for such a fun tool for getting those UFO’s off the shelf!  Here’s my official list of the quilts I hope to have quilted by the end of this year:

1.          Dear Jane
2.          Lavender indulgence
3.     Chinese Mosaic
4.     Indian summer
5.     Iris BQ2
6.     Scheherazade
7.     Elegant Posh garden
8.     Montego Bay
9.     Dancing pinwheels
10.   Christmas Geese
11.   One Block Wonder
12.   Runaway to Bali

In addition, I will unofficially try to work in some piecing on UFO’s that need to get DONE!!!  Hopefully these won’t end up on my “To Be Quilted” UFO list next year J.  Let’s see, will I have time left to start anything new……

1.     Scrappy Bearpaws
2.     Victorian Valentines
3.     Mint Chocolate Wedding Ring
4.     Jewels in the Crown BOM
5.     Oriental Peacock French Braid
6.     Santa’s Sleigh
7.          Miniature Baskets
8.          Moonglow
9.          Victory
10.       Aqua Shop Hop Irish Chain
11.       Cardinals Wall Hanging
12.       Lopsided Hearts

Happy Quilting!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I’ve started a blog!!!

 I've finally done it!  I've started a blog!!!  Can you tell I’m excited?  I've wanted to do this for over a year now and kept putting it off.  I thought I needed to know more about how to do it.  I had so many questions!  Did I need a website or just the blog?  How would anyone find my blog?  Would anyone care???  There were so many questions and I never took time to figure it all out.  

This morning I just decided, Today is the Day… I sat down at the computer, did a little research, and what do you know?  Within a very short time I have a real-life blog!  The really funny thing to me is that I’m typing this as though someone is reading it – and I have NO followers yet… LOL!  But hopefully at some point a few of my fellow bloggers will decide to come along for the journey and see what's happening here at A Quilt and A Prayer.  I’m planning a wonderful and exciting year!

Anyone who knows me very well at all knows that I have three obsessions -- a healthy, thriving relationship with my Lord, my loved ones, and my quilting world!  I'll talk about all three here, and hopefully I'll find ways to do that without it being all about "me" all the time :*).  I'm hoping that you will hop right in and share thoughts and stories about your own spiritual life, family and quilts!  We may even talk about cats once in a while too, because they’ve been an important part of my life since I was adopted by a lovely little stray I named Maybelle when I was 7 years old.

For starters, this is one of my Christmas presents this year.  This morning I opened this Jim Shore statue called “Friendship Warms the Heart” from our son and his fiancée, Todd and Nikki, and our daughter, Renee.  We lost one of our kitties this year, which just broke our hearts.  We have had Sable and her sister Gypsy for 15 years.  Sable was the sweetest little cat you would ever want to meet – can’t you tell that from her picture below?  As soon as I opened the Snowman, I thought, "It looks like the snowman is holding our little Sable and smiling at her, just like I believe Jesus is doing in Heaven!"  Wasn’t that the most thoughtful gift?!?  It just warmed my heart and made me smile a watery smile!  And isn’t that one of the things Christmas is all about?  It certainly is to me!!!

Merry Christmas everyone & let’s have a FUN 2012!

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