Friday, November 30, 2012

I won!

I'm so happy! I just learned that I really did win the mug blocks this month in the Block Lotto drawing. I'm very excited---this is going to be amazing. I can't stop smiling.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paper piecing for Christmas

I made this beautiful little star this morning from a free pattern I'd found on-line for a Christmas ornament. I'd intended to make the ornament for one of the women who cares for my father at the Alzheimer's care facility where he lives now. She's a quilter too and I know she'll love it.
I guess I had a different idea of what an "ornament" would be than the pattern's author (or I misunderstood the directions!) because it measures 8 inches square. So I think I'll head to the local craft store after lunch to see if I can get the stuffing or form I'd need to make it into a pillow. Pillow, Ornament, what's the difference? It's the thought that counts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easy Street, Step 1

I had so much fun making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt last year, I've decided to try it again this year. I've made about a quarter of the units she's called for so far. Here's a photo of a representative sample.
For this first step, at least, I'm sticking to the colors and fabrics Bonnie specified in her directions. The other colors she's recommended are a lime green, a turquoise blue and purple. Here colors are great, but I'm not sure I've got enough of them in my stash to make a quilt. I'm going to take a look now, and I may need to pick a substitute  if I can't find enough of one of those colors. The mystery continues!

Wonky log cabin blocks for Sandy Quilts

Here's a photo of a few of the blocks I made over the weekend for one of the many efforts going forward to make quilts for the  victims of the storm. I've hooked up with the "Sandy Quilt Block Drive"  organized by Michelle Foster at the Quilting Gallery. If you want to get involved, you can click on the button on the side of my blog (with the cute dog on it!) and it will direct you to the block pattern and contacts you'd need. I think the group is still looking for quilters to make blocks and for people willing to assemble the blocks into quilt tops.

I made 10 blocks in all, but I couldn't figure out how to photograph them in an interesting way on this cold, rainy, dark New York City day. So I ended up just arranging a few of them on the rug, and shooting them that way to give you an idea.
The blocks went together really quickly, probably because I'd saved boxes of strings and scraps from Bonny Hunter's mystery quilt last year!
I'm sending my blocks off to Nancy in North Carolina this afternoon. I can't wait to see what she makes. She's promised to email a photo when she's got the quilt finished, so I'll post it here as well.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My 9th Mug

 I'm home with a bad cold today, and I thought there was no better way to spend my morning than to make another block for the November drawing of Block Lotto. I was able to use a scrap of something I'd started in the distant past---I think it looks pretty sweet as a mug.
I've got my fingers crossed that my lucky number comes up this month---even my husband, who usually gives my quilting a pretty wide berth, told me that he thought I should make a mug quilt because I'm such a coffee fanatic.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cups for Block Lotto

I love these cups! I made 8 of them for the November Block Lotto drawing, will try to make one more, so I can maximize my chances to be a lucky winner. I think I've won blocks 3 times in the past few years, but haven't won any for a long time. Julie, send some luck my way!
Our fearless Block Lotto leader Sophie suggested that we create these using the wonky method, but I found that really difficult and made lots of mistakes and wasted lots of fabric trying. Why is wonky so difficult for me when it's supposed to be easy? 
The blocks started to come out much better after I found two paper-pieced cup patterns on the internet and blew them up to the correct size. I ended up being much happier with the ones that were paper-pieced, and they didn't take me any longer than the wonky ones.
I've been sewing a bit more than usual for the past week in the wake of the big storm Sandy because it's been impossible to get out of Brooklyn! For a long time the subways were stopped, and even now the major tunnel leading from Manhattan to Brooklyn is closed and there is NO gas to be had near where I live.
We were extremely fortunate that our property came through fine, and we didn't even lose power or experience any flooding, but areas of Brooklyn only 1/2 mile from us were absolutely devastated. My neighborhood, Park Slope, has been active trying to help those who were hit harder by the storm, and I've been involved in some of those efforts, as we know how lucky we were to escape so lightly.
One extremely sad event connected with the storm was the death of a young man, just 24 years old, who was the son of a friend I'd made walking my dog. I didn't know the young man, but I had become close to his mom, and my heart broke for her. Some 300 people attended his funeral, and spoke about him in glowing terms. It was so moving---not a dry eye in the house. She's a wonderful woman, and I know she'll get a lot of support from the community as time goes on, although nothing will make up for this loss.