Monday, November 23, 2009

3-D Table Runner

This week the Yankee Quilter hosted a class, taught by my friend Pam, to make a 3-D table runner. It was held from 6 pm to midnight, and I had all expectations to finish, even though I was going in with very little prepared -- only a few strips had been cut.

This pattern was intensive. Once the strips were cut, long tubes were sewed, turned right-side out and ironed. From there, weaving took place to form the 3-D pattern.

While this table runner took me a total of approximately 10 hours, it was a fun project, and I just love the final product! I have many table runners for Christmas, Easter, Springtime, Halloween, but none in a basic Autum print. The fabric I had chosen includes Thimbleberries (the gold) and Gobble Gobble by Moda. I chose not to use the Moda prints for the borders, however, as I felt the busy-ness of the print took away from the dimensional aspects of the blocks.

I'm really pleased with the way this table runner turned out, and I still have material left over. I'm thinking it's enough to make a matching candle mat or place mat!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Autumn Quilting

This past October I had the opportunity to make a few cute things out of one panel of material I picked up at the Yankee Quilter. The panel had several Halloween scenes, and there were six pictures in total. Since I love antique Colonial homes, two of my favorite panels illustrated spooky houses and are shown below. The second house, in particular, reminds me of one of my favorite Victorian homes in Cornwall, Vermont!

The first 4 panels I used to make a fun table runner. Out of the two remaining pictures, I used one to make Olivia a quilted Trick-Or-Treat bag that included black fabric with candy corn -- pretty appropriate I thought! The bag was large enough for plenty of candy, and it certainly is a keepsake for use year after year. I have one picture left from the panel, and I'm not quite sure what I'll do with that one yet... I can get creative with it next year!

Speaking of bags, this past weekend Olivia told me she needed a large bag for her books. After giving her a plastic shopping bag (that she rejected) and then offering her several large faux-leather bags I had in the attic, she very sweetly said, "I want you to make me one, Mom." How could any mother refuse?? We moved into the quilt room where she rummaged through my scraps, and at that point decided her bag was to be made out of strips of fabric. It was such a nice day spent with each other... Olivia ironed the strips and planned their order, I measured and sewed. The bag was quilted, a pocket added to the front, and it was done by 11 pm. Not bad for approximately 5 hours work! When Olivia woke up the next morning and I told her the bag was done, she jumped out of bed like it was Christmas!! She loved the bag, and is in the process will filling it with books.

Finally, this Friday night I'll be taking a class at the Yankee Quilter to make a "tumbling blocks" table runner. I have plenty of table runners -- Christmas, Easter, Halloween, pretty year-round fabric patterns -- but none for the Fall. Below are the fabric selections I've chosen for Friday's class... this fabric includes a few pieces from Moda's Gobble Gobble line (thanks for the suggestion Lisa!). Needless to say I will post my finished product.

Until then, happy quilting ~ Christine

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yay!! I'm Back!!!

Hi Everyone, I'm back!! After taking a long hiatus from quilting, and this blog, I finally feel like I'm back in the swing of things. A special thanks to Lisa @ "Candle Lite Quilter" and Barb @ "A Corgi to Quilt By" for not giving up on me and for keeping my blog link active on their sites!

So what have I been up to? I'll try to summarize...
In January I started a program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. GREAT program that I'd highly recommend if you're interested in Nutrition and Life Style balance... their website is I'm proud to say I graduated in July, 2009 and am now officially a Holistic Health Counselor. Check out my website at The program was pretty intensive, so that took up several of my weekends each month from January through July.

I also started kickboxing more frequently, and have made it to the rank of Blue Belt. Since I do this 2-3 evenings a week, that also cuts into valuable quilting time!

Fortunately, back in early October, I was able to re-connect with my quilt friends Barb, Pam and Cathy, and we were able to meet for one of our "quilting bees" at my house. This was just what I needed to get going again... here's a few pics from that night. We've also welcomed two new members to the group, Laura and Cheryl (check out Chery's "Yankee Quilter" blog), so now we affectionately call ourselves the "Six Pack". And by the way, while it may look like Cathy is doing something profane with that middle finger, upon closer look she is holding up what appears to be a seam ripper!!

As if that isn't enough, I've got a number of things in the works at my daughter's school, one of which is a school garden. This past Sping, as a result of my education at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I started a School Garden created to educate the 1st Grade class on where their food comes from, and the benefits of fresh vegetables. I've been keeping a blog of that journey as well, so please take a look at the link to my Garden Blog which illustrates the entire project's lifecycle. There were several key people who helped with that initiative -- in particular, Fr. Skip and Mrs. Dunn the School Principal. How does a quilter thank people for endless hours of back-breaking work and for giving us the green light for the garden? You make them a quilt, of course! These are the pictures of the two quilts I've made -- the larger for Fr. Skip, and a smaller version which is a wall hanging for Mrs. Dunn's office (not pictured). They are photo quilts which include the many faces of the volunteers who have made our garden a reality.

Tomorrow I'll bring both quilts to the school and ask all of the children and parents to sign the back. As you may recall, I'm a huge proponent of signing and labeling quilts. I keep track of all the quilts that I make which are lapsize or larger (runners and wall hangings don't count!); Fr. Skip's quilt is the 23rd quilt I've completed. Below is my signature and message to Fr. Skip, as well as a picture of Olivia signing Mrs. Dunn's wall hanging. I'll let you know how they like the quilts after we present them later this week!

So that just about sums up why my blog is outdated... and did I mention that after all this time I forgot the log-in details to update this page?? UGH! Thank goodness I saved older e-mails that helped job my memory!!
All of the blogs I've mentioned in today's journal can be found in the "My Favorite Blogs" portion of this site. Enjoy everyone, and I hope to have another update soon.

Warm regards ~ Christine

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Is Why I Quilt...

This picture sums up why I quilt... Olivia loved her new blanket! This quilt went together very easily, and in total, took me less than a week to complete. As you will recall, she picked out her own fabric, and it was a project I had sitting in the quilt closet for some time. It's nice to have the project done, and I'm ready to move onto other things that are waiting to be finished!

Here are a few close up pictures of my latest accomplishment, Quilt #20:

I'd love to hear how you track your quilts. For example, I label and number each quilt, then keep a corresponding journal with the quilt number, date and who it was made for. At one point I was VERY ambitious and started a scrapbook as well. The scrapbook was ordered by quilt number, had pictures of the quilt being assembled, and included the final picture of who the quilt was given to. On a few pages, I even included scraps of the fabric. At some point I'll update the scrapbook, but for now I'm simply enjoying making the quilts!

One of the next projects I have waiting in the wings is a charity quilt I'm making for Olivia's school's Silent Auction. It will be small in size, and I'm going to use the Crazy Eights quilt pattern. Below are the fabrics I've chosen, and I'm hoping this project goes together just as quickly.

Aren't these fabrics gorgeous?? I'm so afraid that once the quilt is finished, I'll want to keep it!

Last year I fell in love with the fabric as well. Here are a few pictures of the quilt I made for the 2008 Silent Auction, and this quilt sold for about $200. It's nice knowing that my efforts are raising money for the school!!

And this is an example of the label I added to the back. As you can see, I didn't get many quilts finished since last year, so I'm thankful this blog has motivated me to be productive again. It's not that I didn't quilt at all, it was mostly smaller projects that I focused on, and I don't label and number those.

Finally, this weekend was the first at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. I'm on my way to becoming a Certified Health Coach, and class was really exciting. There are nearly 2000 people in attendance at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. People come in from all over the world -- Australia, Japan, Sweden, Korea, the Bahamas, Spain, as well as from all over the US. The training will last for 6 months, during which I will begin to develop my client focus and begin working with people. Part of my challenge will be creating a business name, and I'm really struggling here. So if you have ideas, send them to me, and if I use the name, I'll send a charm pack your way! The program focuses around holistic wellness, and I'd love to hear from you with questions or comments.
Until next time, happy quilting!
Warm regards,
~ Christine

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Days Are Flying By!!

It's hard to believe it's been a week since my last post.... the days are just flying by! This weekend I had high hopes to quilt A LOT since the weather forecast called for snow. But the storm was a bust (only 3") as was my quilting progress. Earlier this week I managed to squeeze in a few hours after Olivia went to bed, and I made quite a few border blocks for her pinwheel quilt. To date I've finished 7 out of 20, and I'm closer than ever to getting the quilt finished. A picture of the border block is above, and the partially finished quilt and pinwheel block closeup is below.

I've also made progress on my calendar quilt, and I think it's coming out pretty good. I will probably vary the pattern a little as I move forward, as some of the other quilters have done with theirs. If you have a minute, check out the Calendar Quilt Blog (link can be found on the sidebar of this blog) -- there are so many talented people highlighting their work!
The other news I wanted to share was about a new fitness program I began yesterday. It's one I've followed in the past and had good luck with -- Body For Life. It's based on eating healthy foods and exercising 6 days a week (no surprises there!!). The Body For Life website is chock full of info,, and includes all of the program details -- exercises, journals, food suggestions, success stories. I started yesterday and noted it on my calendar quilt strip as "BFL Day 1"; there are 84 days total to the program. So far so good... I did upper body yesterday and today I was certainly sore, but it felt really good knowing I made progress. Today was lower body, and I combined that with 30 minutes on the treadmill. My downfall is always my diet, I really enjoy chocolate & ice cream, so those are my challenge foods. Anyway, if you're interested in a really good program, I would recommend Body For Life. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

As I mentioned in my very first blog, my intent is to combine my love of quilting and my interest in nutrition into this blog. Next weekend I begin the Holistic Health Counselor program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City (, so I'm sure I'll have plenty to share once that gets going. In the meantime, I've added two new features to this site -- the Healthy Tip of the Day feature, and my daily diet (this is to keep me honest!). I hope you enjoy both.

Warm regards ~ Christine

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Calendar Quilt Challenge

Last night as I was reading a few other blogs, I came across Rachel's blog and the Calendar Quilt Challenge (see the button on the right). It sounded like so much fun, that I decided to go for it and become part of the team. I'm looking forward to fun year ahead of adding a new strip each day to the calendar, ultimately ending up with a warm, scrappy quilt in January, 2010. I started my journey today, and these are the 4 scraps I've pulled together so far. I also used the embroidery feature on my machine to include the month & year:

The Challenge is a great opportunity to meet other quilters and learn their techniques and styles for their individual calendars. It's also going to be a fun way of using some of the scraps I have from my previous projects!

Happy Quilting Everyone,

~ Christine

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Welcome to a New Year of Quilting!!

Happy 2009 everyone! I hope all of you had as restful a holiday as I did, recharging my batteries before I'm thrown back into the reality of life on Monday, January 5th. In line with my childhood homework of "what I did on my winter vacation," I thought I'd share a few pictures of my accomplishments this past week. I'd also like to thank you for the encouragement, as it was this blog that has re-ignited my desire to finish some of the projects I've had hanging around the quilt closet for far too long!

We spent a week at the cottage in Vermont, and I brought along two projects. The first is a quilt I started for my daughter more than two years ago. I would have finished the piecing this trip, but realized I left a piece of fabric home that was part of the inner border. I'm really pleased at how far it's come so far...

Thankfully I brought a "back up" project which hadn't even been cut yet. It's a pattern I bought at Knits & Bolts in New Haven, Vermont a few years ago, and since it incorporates quotes about daughters in the center of each star, it was only natural that Olivia select the fabric. Here are a few pictures of the quilt process, complete with a finished quilt top!!

What a sense of accomplishment to have these two quilts nearly complete!! I have many other "projects" to tackle (don't we all?), but the next one I will begin is my weight loss quilt. While in Vermont, I shopped for fabric but came up empty handed, so I'll have to visit The Yankee Quilter in Oxford, CT to check out their charm packs.

I'm signing off early tonight but had to log in to share my holiday accomplishments with you. I'll leave you with a few pictures of Lake Dunmore in Vermont: the first is the beautiful view I see each time I quilt, and the second is a family who were brave enough to venture out onto the frozen lake with their sled!

Warm wishes for a fabulous 2009,