Monday, December 19, 2016

Catching Up on Finished Projects!

Wow, the last post was in October!  This will be a LONG post!  To catch up since then... we took a trip to visit our daughters and grandkids.  It's so exciting it is now just a six hour drive to visit both daughters and my two sisters.  I went on a quilt retreat in mid November and worked on assorted projects.  A couple of them you will see in these finished photos!  I did a major house cleaning and hosted Thanksgiving with company for several days.  Now on to the quilt projects!  The first several photos are seven wallhangings (about 45 X 60) I quilted for a friend.  I tried to do something different in each one and not over quilt them.
crazy quilt fabric snowmen

closeup crazy quilt snowmen, preprinted fabric

Two identical quilts, quilted differently, black binding

Two more quilts!


Two identical quilts different setting fabric than above and green binding
For those that have wondered, I do not have a long arm quilt machine, I quilt everything on a many year old Pfaff Grand Quilter stuffing them in!  I quilted a large quilt recently on commission and forgot to get a picture!

The next projects are all gifts, but the recipients have them already!  I bought this kit called Town Square made with the Town Square fabric line by Holly Taylor and the kit came with a book by Doug Leko.  I had a gift certificate from turning in my row robin quilt first this year and put it towards the kit.  I pieced the blocks at quilt camp in November and then decided it would make a great gift for my boss Jenine (aka head teacher at our little school).  I quilted an allover design with a flannel backing as shown in the second photo.
Town Square large throw size quilt
Town Square backing
I am in a small online group and we did a secret sister exchange.  My secret sister likes gold and cream so I made the backing first using the 60 degree ruler and then made the front to fit!
tablerunner for a secret sister gift
tablerunner backing

This is what I received from my secret sister.  I had put 4th of July as my favorite holiday and now I have a patriotic tablerunner!  I am thrilled!
A few years my boss friend Jenine sent me a link to this Kaffe fabric kit on Craftsy.  I ordered it, but never got started on it.  I pieced blocks at quilt camp and realized I only had half the papers with me, but the tablerunner was turning out plenty big!  I have plenty enough to make another one.  Jenine is silly and said it's too nice for the table and hung it on the wall!  So yes, she got two quilted gifts from me this year!

Crazy squares tablerunner
In October I was in Spokane, WA for their big quilt.  I met several friends there and three of us bought this pattern or kit called Minnesota Flurries.  I bought the kit and got the piecing done at quilt camp and then have been working on the handwork.  All the stitching on the snowmen is by hand.  They are wool pieces that were included in the kit.  The buttons were also included.  It finishes it 20" X 20".  I gifted it to my friend/coworker Donna.  She is the afternoon aide at our school.

Minnesota Flurries
Minnesota Flurries closeup
Last year when I took my Row Robin quilt in first I also got a quilt kit with my winnings.  The same designer as the one for Jenine above, Holly Taylor, but this line of fabric is called Winter Song.  I had pieced the top last year and a friend saw it and said it was her colors, and loved it.  I put the top in my "to be quilted" stash and Saturday I got it out, basted, quilted and bound it!  My husband delivered it to her Sunday at Search and Rescue dog training.  She loves it!
Winter Song gifted to our friend April
Winter Song closeup

Each year we have the students at school make ornaments for their parents as gifts.  We made caribou ornaments earlier (half went to D.C. for the small trees in offices) and we did our annual swirled craft paint in glass ball ornaments.  The students really enjoy watching the paints mix and the color combinations they pick are interesting!  I have learned to let the excess paint drain out in egg cartons.  We have 25 students, grades K-6 at school.
swirled paint ornaments

In another post I mentioned the very large tree skirt I made for the USDA building in Washington D.C.  My cousin was in charge of over 18,000 ornaments and she made some out of wheat from our farm.   The fall of 2015 was the first year Huffman wheat was available for planting for harvesting in 2016.  This wheat was named after my son, Brad, who passed away in 2013. Here is a link to the story about the wheat naming in 2014.  The ornament is heavily shellacked and has chunky spray glitter on it.  I was given one when I delivered the tree skirt.  These ornaments are hanging on the Capitol Christmas tree on the west lawn in D.C.  My cousin got to go there for the tree lighting Dec. 6th.  I need to steal her picture of my tree skirt!
Huffman wheat ornament
Lastly, we have had a LOT of snow so far this year, not so much in total accumulation, but enough every day to be treacherous.  We have already had two snow days, one of them mostly because the bigger elementary school in town didn't have heat!  This picture was taken yesterday morning out my front door.  Thank heavens I have a pickup with 4 wheel drive and studded snow tires.  My car is all wheel drive, but I feel better in the pickup and it has higher clearance! 
sunrise Dec. 18th
Check out what others are working on at Patchwork Times and Main Crush Monday

Sunday, October 23, 2016

More blocks

Life is so busy!  I am sure I said the same thing last week!  I did make the next block in the Be My Neighbor sew along and I am up to date on the 100 blocks 100 days Modern City Sampler sew along.  I also volunteered to be an angel and made a mini for a recipient in the Teal Mini Swap to support Ovarian Cancer research. I showed the one I received and one I sent in my last post. That's basically all I have gotten done  Someday I really am going to learn how to take straight photos!

I tried something new to me on the binding of this mini.  I have done flange accents many times and generally I sew my bindings down by hand.  However for this mini I cut a 1 1/4" strip of teal and a 1 1/2" strip of pale green and sewed then together and pressed in half leaving the green larger.  Then I sewed it on from the back and machine sewed the binding down on the front in the seam between the green and teal stripe.  Corners were tricky, but it's a method I will try again.

Dresden Teal Mini 18" square

Be My Neighbor sew along

68 blocks done!  only 32 to go!
This is a kit I bought at the Spokane quilt show last weekend.  It's so cute and two friends bought the same one.  It came with snowflake buttons.  I will work on it at a quilt retreat in a couple weeks.
Check out what others are working on at Patchwork Times.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bunches of blocks

Life is busier than usual it seems!  My works hours have been extended again and it's been 30 years since I worked full time!

I am up to date on my Modern City Sampler blocks on a sew along on Instagram.  I have 62 out of 100 done!
Sorry for this crooked photo, but the top row is sewn together and not put on my design wall straight!  This is the sew along Moda's Be My Neighbor.  I love the brights and some of them have been in my collection a long time.  The blocks are huge, the big house on the bottom row is an 18" block.
Another sew along I am doing is Lisa Bongean's Magic of Christmas.  I am behind as we have already been given up through pattern 11.  These are Fairy Frost fabrics with a print in the middle I have had for years.  It will be sashing and borders.
I was able to get these blocks done this past weekend on a mini retreat with a friend in Spokane.  The big quilt show was this past weekend and we stayed at a hotel for three nights.  We met up with several friends and had a great time at the show and at a quilt shop the next day.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

BIG project complete!!!

I did it!  I finished the 11 foot tree skirt!!!  It was pretty intense and I had to let a few things go by the wayside and had LOTS and LOTS of interruptions, but it's done!  This will go to the USDA building in Washington D.C. as part of the Capitol Christmas Tree project.  This years trees are coming from Idaho and my cousin is in charge of the over 8,000 ornaments and tree skirts needed for 70 trees.  She asked me to make a tree skirt and this is what I came up with.  It's my original design.  What a process!

 Due to lack of time I am only adding two pictures at this time. We took it to my school gym to take pictures.  Doug was up on a ladder trying to get a good shot.  I put a piece of white paper in the middle as we took the pic on a 4 square painted on the floor and the black lines were distracting in the center. To hook the 8 section together I hand stitched cording down the binding and then wove ribbons back and forth.

From the outside in there are trees, river, 8 gold fabrics including potatoes that Idaho is famous for, wheat, which is what we grow and grass to represent pastures and grass seed fields.  Canada geese fly over and then of course mountains.  There are crystals of various colors since Idaho is the gem state. The finale are the syringas, our state flower.

During the summer I had signed up for an exchange to support Ovarian cancer research.  we were given an 8" piece of teal fabric to be used in the quilt in some way and assigned a partner.  I made this wallhanging using the teal in the leaves.  I based it on a pattern by Laura Heine.

This is the wallhanging I received from my partner.  I love the ombre fabrrics and polka dots!  We think alike in our color likes, the brighter the better!

Check out other projects at Patchwork Times.

Monday, September 05, 2016

City Sampler blocks

I am still working on the tree skirt and decided to not show progress right now. I am not happy with it at this stage and I know it will come together, but I need to keep it to myself awhile longer!  Since I am doing it in sections, it's hard to visualize it altogether. I need to have it to my cousin to be shipped to DC by October 1st.  

In the meantime I took a bunch of wheat from our field and met her for lunch Friday (she lives 3 1/2 hours away and we picked a town in between). She thought she was getting wheat elsewhere and I happened to post a picture on Facebook of one of our combines in the wheat field and she contacted me right away.  She is making ornaments out of it along with the thousands she has in progress with her committee of all kinds of state symbols.  She brought some for my students to assemble as well.  This is the project she is working on.

Here is the pic I posted.  The next day I was actually driving this combine!  We have been farming for 30 years and I have never had to drive before.  Both of our hired hands wanted the day off.  I wasn't about to drive the semis!

The tree skirt is extremely time consuming, but I have managed to keep up on the Modern City Sampler on Instagram, 100 blocks in 100 days. Here are the first 20 blocks.  Totally not my usual colors!
Today I made relish out of my garden cucumbers, zucchini and peppers.  I usually have onions but had to buy those this year.  This relish will last a couple years!  I also made zucchini bread.  I have some food allergies, so this is the recipe I used. It is really good and I forgot to take a picture!  I am severely allergic to dairy and eggs.

The first week of school was interesting, and I was exhausted!  Hopefully we will get into a routine soon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Sew Along and an Old Project

School starts next week so that will be the end of my summer vacation. Officially it ended today as I had an all district meeting to attend and tomorrow I have a day long math training.  Even though I am considered a paraprofessional, aka aide, I teach Kindergarten and First Grade.  Per district requirements we are adding all day Kindergarten and now my hours will be extended.  Not sure how that is going to work out as I am used to most afternoons off, so we shall see.

I spent two days last week cleaning and reorganizing my sewing room. I didn't have time for a full gut job of getting rid of stuff, although I did get rid of a few things and some "yucky" feeling fabric.  I need to sort through my vast collection of books as I know there are some I will never ever use.  I am working on the tree skirt I need to get done, overwhelmed by it's sheer size, but I am doing it in panels.  Hopefully I will have some of it to show by next week.

One project I found was in a pizza box and had belonged to one of my best friends who passed away in 2010.  I acquired a lot of her stuff including a sewing machine, quilts and fabric.  She had shown me this project on a visit and I knew her intention.  The blue and white print in the cornerstones belonged to her grandmother.  There was a chunk in the box for backing and it said General Fabrics.  The weave is nice but the feel of the fabric is coarse.  I looked at it during my clean out and thought wow, only three dimensional flowers need appliqued down and the strips were all cut for a piano key border.  So I did that.  There wasn't anything for flower centers, so I added some buttons I had on hand.  Now it's a 22" wallhanging ready for quilting!  

Deb's Flower Basket with Memories of Grandma
I joined another sew along.  In a post in March I mentioned purchasing Fabric for Tula Pink's Modern City Sampler.  A sew along started on the 17th and I thought wow, I can do this!  The blocks are being sewn in order and you can follow along on Instagram at #100blocks100days or check out the directions.  I am julie.huffman on Instagram.  Catchy I know!
First Six blocks from Modern City Sampler 100 blocks in 100 days SAL
I am in a small group swap of 6" 9 patch blocks with 6" friendship star blocks.  I made a few extra, but will be sending one of each block to the other swappers.  I have LOTS of Christmas scraps!

Check out other fun projects at Patchwork Times.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Row by Row and Shop Hop

Last week I turned in my 2016 Row by Row quilt to Material Girls Quilting, Etc. I received my gifts and got lots of oohs and aahs from customers and other quilters there for an open sew day.  The quilt is on the  Idaho Row Experience Facebook page.
Finished 2016 Row by Row Quilt

The shops I visited were all in northern Idaho except one across the border in Washington.  I purchased all the shop kits to support the shops and while making the rows I cut up the leftovers into 2 1/2" squares with the intent of doing a scrappy border on the sides to make it a bit wider.  Stupidly I did not have the sashing done yet and hung the borders up beside the rows and thought YUCK!!!  So I found a fabric in my stash and used it and then thought how dull.  So I pinned the pieced borders over the top and thought yes.  I was talking to a friend in CO at the time and kept walking by my design wall.  I ended up taking out the green border as you can see above but had to cut down the scrappy border a bit to fit because I didn't want to redo the top and bottom borders!
with green border
with pieced border pinned on top

This past weekend we had the Crazy 8 shop hop in Idaho and Washington.  I went with 4 friends and had a great time.  I bought quite a few odds and ends including Terial Magic.  I had never heard of it, but I'm anxious to try it.  I also bought a Trolley Needle Thread Controller.  I hadn't seen one of those either.  I just have to get used to using it!  

I am making a giant tree skirt and chose these fabrics.  I need to add a red, I'm not sure why I didn't think of that, but I need a garnet red since Idaho produces garnets and I have been to a garnet mine.  The tree skirt will be representing Idaho.  I have a plan, just have to get going on it!
I also bought a bag pattern and these fabrics.  These are my all time favorite colors, so rich and deep.

I also decided to do the Magic of Christmas sew along from Lisa Bongean.  I had this leaf fabric in my stash for YEARS!  I found a couple Fairy Frost blues and they looked great and on the shop hop I purchased the silver and lavender Fairy Frost fabrics and made the first block.  I am thinking I will just use blue as the accent, perhaps a star setting, but I will see how this progresses.
Magic of Christmas sew along

Magic of Christmas block 1
Check out Patchwork Times for other great projects.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Farm Girl Vintage and Row by Row

I finished my Farm Girl Vintage quilt that I am gifting to my granddaughter Nicole.  Nicole turned 2 on May 7th.  My daughter was raised here on the farm and wants her kids to have the farm experience when they come to visit.  Nicole loves horses so I used a panel and horse fabric for the backing.  We will be making a pillowcase together.  They are arriving today and will stay for a few days.  It's hard when they are so far away!
Farm Girl Vintage

Full view Farm Girl Vintage


Rows from three shops in Idaho

I also made three rows for the row by row project.  I have another one in the works.  I'm hoping to be able to collect prizes on it, but won't have much time to sew for a few days with the grandkids here!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Not a Lot of Quilting

This past week was busy with several activities and appointments and hosting a neighborhood party.  I did silly things like yardwork, house cleaning, etc.  The only quilting I accomplished was quilting and binding this quilt for a friend.  Her granddaughter made it many years ago and had it marked for hand quilting.  I free motion quilted on the marked lines (well I tried at least!).  On the cross stitch pieces I just went around the design.  

I will be finishing my granddaughter's quilt this week and I really, really want to start on this year's Row By Row.  Some shops around here don't have winners yet and I have 10 rows collected.

Linking up with Patchwork Times.