Monday, December 30, 2013

Twelve in Twenty-Fourteen Update

Followers new & Old;

You're probably noticing a few changes about the blog! Each year, I update the header image, and this year I updated the rest of the design template as well. You'll probably notice a couple more changes over the next few days as I update more content (such as buttons) to match the new theme!

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't support previewing designs very well, so it's kind of a 'I think I have everything, let's see how this works..." kind of process. If something is broken, please just let me know in an email: jacob.allison at .

Thank you for all your support;
- The Younger Son

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let's Take a Break

I see several bloggers are taking a break for the holidays. All I'm doing in the sewing room is sorting, cleaning and cutting scraps -- not exactly scintillating blog material! So I'll take a break, too, and be back for the last "13 UFOs in 2013" parade on New Year's Day.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus or Saturnalia, happy holidays to you!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, December 13, 2013

Quilt #52: TGIFF!

It's finished -- the 52nd quilt of 2013!

Last year, I finished the 52nd quilt the first week of November. I was worried I wouldn't make it this year! But here it is, the last quilt of 2013, "Swirling Stars."

I had to climb the ladder at Ruth's Stitchery to take a photo of the finished quilt. I forgot to take a photo before I delivered the quilt to the shop, and Anne hung it on the wall before I got back to the shop!

Right below this quilt are all the patterns for Jelly Roll Party for the rest of the year. I'm so pleased that Cathy has them all in stock so you can look at the patterns and start cutting strips for Jelly Roll Party all year!

Here's a closer view so you can see the great colors in this fabric collection. I don't know who will get this quilt, but remember, Mama says "someone will think that's the most beautiful quilt they've ever seen!." And that's who will receive this quilt!

The pattern is from Eleanor Burns, "Swirling Stars." It comes with its own little acrylic template, and can be made with strips, fat quarters or yardage.

The fabric is Moda's "Vin du Jour" jelly roll.  OK, two of them. See, it's like this: While the pattern is perfect for 2 1/2" strips, there are no specific directions for using precut strips. I merrily matched up light and dark strips,and cross-cut the entire strip. Then I sewed my little pinwheels and trimmed them using the template included with the pattern.

Then I realized each block needed a background rectangle to match the "light" in the pinwheel rectangles. Ruth's had most, but not all, of the "light" fabrics. Rather than re-make the blocks for which I couldn't get matching fabric, I just bought a second jelly roll. This quilt is worth it, don't you think? And I have enough strips to make another quilt. I saw a clever way to enlarge a jelly roll race quilt by alternating print strips with solids somewhere this week. I wish I had "pinned" it, so I could give credit where credit is due. Anyway, I have several half-yard cuts of the light fabrics from the Vin du Jour collection, so I can use them in place of solids.

Big achievement of the day: Step 3 of Bonnie Hunter's "Celtic Solstice" is finished! Third week into the mystery, and I am still caught up!  Woot woot!

(The sun was starting to go behind the mountain when I took this photo.)

Linking up to:

TGIFF at Quilt Matters.


Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Plans are underway for the 2014 UFO Challenge. Have you started collecting and numbering your UFOs?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, December 9, 2013

Design Wall Monday: Celtic Solstice Mystery

Part 2, Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery.

Whew! 100 chevrons that finish at 3"! Glad I had a beautiful view of Pikes Peak covered with snow today, because I stitched, trimmed, pressed and squared-up for five hours!

 I love putting my my finished mystery steps on the design wall to admire:

Tomorrow I must finish this table runner! I'm not happy with the way the border print looks, but I don't have time to experiment with something different. Maybe it will look better when the other two sides are sewn on!?!

Linking up to Bonnie's Celtic Solstice Mystery, Part 2.


The temperature in Colorado Springs is supposed to get above freezing tomorrow -- here's hoping!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Saturday, December 7, 2013

UFO Parade Addendum and Traveling Treasures Winner

I wouldn't normally write a post with two un-related subjects. However, this is my "busy" week with quilt classes and I really, really want you all to see Debra's gorgeous redwork. And I know you are waiting to see who won the Traveling Treasures giveaway, so . . . . 

UFO Parade

Thanks to the mysteries of the interweb, I somehow lost Debra's submission for the December 1 UFO Parade. Which is sad, because it's a beauty! Rather than make you all wait until next month to see her finish, I'll show it now.

I'm leaving the photos "biggie size" so you can click on them and see the detail.

Here is what Deb wrote about her finish:

My #3 is finally done with one more to complete the year.  Are you going to be doing this again next year? If so, I would like to sign up - this has been fun - if I wasn't such a procrastinator I would be done much quicker (I think) but this forces me to complete a quilt a month.
My Item 3 is actually two pieces. The first is called Ima Flake by Tricia Cribbs. It is a redwork stitchery of a gramma knitting snowflakes.  The second piece is a Bird Brain Designs pattern called Santa Portrait Trio Redwork. I am really pleased with the way both of the stitcheries came out and by next December they will be quilted and bound - hehehehhehe!!!
I am ready for the last challenge of the year and really appreciate you putting this all together. I love the parades - they are truly inspirational.
Now you see why I feel so bad about losing Debra's submisssion! Gorgeous, huh? And I envy people who can do handwork like that. Deb, please accept my apology for losing you. I hope you won't let this keep you from playing along next year with "12 Finishes in 2014!"

Traveling Treasures

It has been so much fun reading from where everyone reads "52 Quilts!" It's still dark in Colorado, so I'll take a photo of my "pinned" map later today and post it with tomorrow's Celtic Solstice Mystery report.

Because the Traveling Treasures envelope came to me from Brisbane, Australia, I am delighted to report that the Random Number Generator chose number 42 (the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything):

Who happens to be from South Australia!

Pinnylea, I found an email button on your profile page, but my email server didn't want to contact you. So please, please, send me an email at Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts dot com and tell me your postal address! I've been collecting Colorado goodies to send to you! Congratulations!

Negative 8 Fahrenheit (that's negative 22 Celsius!) this morning. I wish I could come visit you in Australia!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Celtic Mystery

Have you told me where you live yet? Please go to this post and comment so I can "pin" you on my map!

Ruth's Stitchery sponsored a "Bonnie Hunter Sew-In" on Friday. I took my Celtic Mystery fabrics and Tri-Recs rulers and cut and sewed.  For seven hours!  It shouldn't have taken that long to piece 188 Tri-Recs blocks, maybe I spent too much time talking to customers!

Here it is, Step 1 completed:

Blue on orange:

And blue on neutrals:

I am using the same fabric for all my neutrals. It's white with multi-colored dots. Notice anything wrong with my blue and neutral blocks?

Nine rows of ten. Plus five. Supposed to be six. That's why it's a good idea to hang all your blocks on the design wall and count!

Linking up to Celtic Solstice Mystery Monday Link-Up #1:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up to WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced with guest host Cindy of Hyacinth Quilt Designs.

Baby, it's cold outside in Colorado -- high of ten degrees today. Hope you're keeping warm!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, December 2, 2013

Travelling Treasures

Way back in March, Debbie of Sweet Little Cottage in Australia kicked off a "traveling treasures" exchange.

One of my earliest followers was Susan from Brisbane, so I read every post on her blog. When she asked "guess what I'm making in this post," I instantly fired off a comment "a tea towel."

I didn't even realize I was entering a giveaway (hey, I read blogs the first thing in the morning. I'm not exactly alert at that time!). So I was delighted when a squishy envelop came from Australia!

Look what was in it:

All kinds of fun goodies! Now it's my turn to keep some, add some, and pass it along.

I have this world map

hanging on the wall in my sewing room. I'd love to fill it full of pins to show where my bloggy friends live!

You know I love to shop, so I've collected some cute "Colorado unique" items to send to someone.  If you'd like to receive a "squishy envelop" from Colorado, all you have to do is:

Comment on this post and tell me where you live!  Easy peasy! 

I'll leave the giveaway open until Friday at midnight MDT. Then I'll let the random number generator decide who gets the Traveling Treasures next.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November UFO Parade

December 1st! This is how people get to be old and wonder where their lives went!

The last "13 in 2013" UFO is number:

November, being the start of the busy holiday season, often is not the best for quilters. But we have three finishes this month, plus my own.

Here is my finish for November.

 It's from Brenda Henning's "Strip Therapy 7" and is called "Full Moon." This is quilt #48 pieced by me this year, I'm thinking I will make it to 52!

Irene was the first to submit her finish for November.  She made this Christmas-sy lap quilt with leftovers from a Christmas stocking. Irene blogged about the quilt here.

Be sure to go to Sandi's blog to see all her 2013 UFO Finishes here. including her "extra credit" finish. November's is called "Kookaburra." She tells us:

Another pattern I purchased this year in January at the Road to California Quilt Show.  Design is called Licorice Allsorts by Lydia Quigley.  I’ve been on the lookout for black 30s fabrics all year.  Kookaburra if you don't know is a bird native to Australia.  It also happens to be the name of a candy manufacture there famous for it's black licorice.

Deb's November finish is from one of my favorite "scrap quilt" books, Quilts from the Heart by Karen Renaud.  I often make one of Karen's quilts for a baby quilt, they're fast and easy but don't look it!

Look at this lovely "Arkansas Crossing" made by Deb and blogged here:

Ohmygosh, looking in my little book of "who won what," I see that all three of these quilters have won the UFO Parade giveaway -- and in the last three months. How funny! I think I should send some fat quarters to each of them, don't you? 

I don't save your addresses, so if each of you will email your postal address to me, I'll go stash-diving for you. Tell me if there's a color or designer you particularly like, and if I have some fabric that fits the bill, that's what I'll send!

Yes! There will be a UFO Challenge for 2014. My Little Sailor, and blog co-author, has agreed to make us a new cover design for "Twelve Finishes in 2014."  I just thought 14 might be a little too many!

PS Because of the UFO Parade, I will share Sunday Scraps on Design Wall Monday instead!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Saturday, November 30, 2013

400 Posts -- We Have a Winner

Happy Small Business Saturday! Today, I'll be visiting the newest small quilt shop in Colorado, Cotton Candy Sewing Shop in Loveland.

But first, who won that pile of Tula Pink's "Sweetwater?"

The Random Number Generator chose number 5:

Joyce, who said:

A brand new nephew for her birthday -- what a great gift! Congratulations, Joyce!

I got a good start on my Bonnie Hunter Mystery yesterday, come back tomorrow for Scrappy Sunday to see!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Have you entered my 400 posts giveaway yet? Go here to enter.

The thing about having no children at home is: you don't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner!

I remember the first time I cooked dinner for lots of people. It was when we lived on Andrews AFB in Maryland. I invited a bunch of my co-workers from the Air Force Frequency Management Center, plus assorted away-from-home airmen from my husband's office. Carolyn Thomas introduced my DH to "real" mashed potatoes (until then, he had been content with instant!). The next week, a neighbor commented that I must "really like to cook."  Umm, no, why do you say that? "Oh, because you invited so many people for Thanksgiving dinner!"

The next time I made a "big" Thanksgiving dinner, I cooked for three days after work and early in the morning before work.  It took my nephews less than 10 minutes to empty the table.

This year, we're eating out for Thanksgiving! I will miss the five kinds of dressing I usually make, but not the mess and expense.

Which means today I have time to work on the next Jelly Roll Party sample. The pattern is from Eleanor Burns, "Swirling Stars." It comes with its own little acrylic template, and can be made with strips, fat quarters or yardage.

I'm using Moda's "Vin du Jour" jelly roll.  OK, two of them. I'll tell that story when I post the finished quilt.

I threw the blocks up on the design wall to arrange the colors. I see that I will need to do a little more aranging. The finished quilt has sashing and cornerstones. Here are the fabrics I'll use for the sashing, cornerstones, and borders:

I really love this collection. Good thing, since I have about 30 leftover strips.

The sky has finally cleared so I can look out at the snow on Pikes Peak while I sew. Isn't it gorgeous?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Have a lovely day tomorrow, whether it be Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or just another Thursday! 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, November 25, 2013

What's on the Design Wall Monday

Enter my giveaway here.

Yes! I have a new project on the design wall -- but first, I forgot one of the birthday prezzies sent to me from Nurse Jessi!

While I was taking photos of my  UgLy Bag from itsnursejessi, I forgot about the coffee mug coaster she also sent me. Because it was on my desk, under my coffee mug, where I use it every day!

Can you see that it's a bumble bee? and yes, that's one of the Australian Starbucks mugs sent by My Little Sailor while he was in Brisbane this summer. Jessi, every time I put down my coffee mug, I think of you!

Now, onto the design wall.  I have all the blocks made for the March Jelly Roll Party at Ruth's Stitchery. The pattern is "Main Street," by Sassafras Lane Designs. The jelly roll is Xanadu Batiks by Moda. I must confess, the piecing on this one is not as precise as I normally like to do. I was in a hurry, so some (OK, many) of my flying geese have a bit of their "wings" nipped off. I'm hoping when it is quilted and washed, the cotton batting will crinkle up enough to hide that!

I should be able to sew the rows together and add the borders today. Then it will go off to Wolf Creek Quilting for quilting.

Edited to add linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.


And also Show and Tell Tuesday at i have to say.

Have you commented on yesterday's post to win some Tula Pink "Saltwater" fat quarters and her book? 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Stash Giveaway

I realized this morning I haven't shared my birthday prezzies from last month. Quite a haul, I assure you!

First, a lovely surprise from one of my blog followers, Nurse Jessi. I was so surprised and thrilled when I opened a package from an unknown address.  Look what was inside:

An original "i make UgLy Bags" by itsnursejessi. Notice the wine bottle on this side? Does she know me, or what?

I immediately loaded it up with my current Hats for Sailors project, and it's been by my side ever since!

Inside was this charming collection of shot cottons.  I have been having so much fun stacking and re-stacking them, I may never use them!  Jessi, you are the best!

Two of my Colorado buddies gave me an etsy gift card. I taped it above my computer and within two weeks I had purchased:


Then Craftsy had a big sale and I couldn't resist this:

Those green fabrics on the left-hand side are from Tula Pink's "Saltwater" collection. Since this is my 400th post, as well as my birthday, I think I should give those away.

There are nine fat quarters:

And also a copy of Tula's book, Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.

Quilts From the House of Tula Pink - Autographed by Tula Pink 

Comment on this post, and tell me your favorite birthday gift you ever received. Next Saturday, I'll let the random number generator choose a winner to receive the fat quarters and the book.  
  • Giveaway ends at midnight MDT on Friday, November 29.
  • International entries welcome!
  • If you're a no-reply commenter, please be sure to include contact information.

Linking up to "Sunday Stash" at Finding Fifth.

Thank you to all 52 Quilts followers!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature