Saturday, April 22, 2017

Three Quilts in the Works & Happy Mail

Cacey, if you don't want to see your quilt in progress before it's finished, do not read this blog post.

I have three quilts that need to be done fairly soon.  My daughters dorm quilt, one of her friends who is also graduating this year, and my niece, Cacey who is getting married next month.   I think the grads are ok having their quilts before school starts in the fall, so Cacey's project goes to the top.

I created a Pinterest board and pinned a bunch of fabrics to it in the colors she likes and had her edit it down to the ones she liked the best.  She is a turquoise lover.  I picked a bunch of fabrics to use out of the ones she said she liked.  Matching fabrics online doesn't always go so well!

Here is the fabric I WAS going to use to choose as the main focus:

But when they all arrived, this one just didn't go with the others. It's too teal. They looked good online together but just didn't work.  In fact there were about three that didn't work.  Here are the ones that I ended up keeping.  Cacey loves turquoise and her fiance loves blue so trying to get both colors in here.  I'm still not totally sold on this fabric pull.   I'll be using the same lattice pattern for Cacey's quilt that I'm using for Ashley's (you can see that here).

In the mail this week came a wonderful mini that I have been anticipating for a long time!  My blogging friend Kate at Smiles from Kate and I decided to do a mini exchange.  You can read about the one I made for her here.  And I was so happy this week to receive the one she made for me!  She called it Home to Roost which was appropriate considering that I love house quilts and what I named HER mini!  :D   Isn't this the best???

I am currently writing this blog post from a motel room in Bellevue, Idaho, getting ready to attend a quilting class taught by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework!  I can't wait!  I will also get to meet Barb at Mountain Quiltworks as it is her quilt guild that scheduled this class with Cynthia.  I live about 3 hours away and drove up to spend the night so I can be fresh to learn new things from Cynthia.  So worth it!   Here is one of the beautiful views I got to see on the drive up here.  Isn't Idaho gorgeous?

I had LOTS of other happy mail this week in addition to Kate's great mini.  One was Cacey's fabric (seen above) and the other was an impulse buy.  You know the ones.  Facebook knows what you like and keeps showing ads to tempt you.  Well, I gave into one of those temptations.  This one came from Robin at Fabric Pantry and she had it packaged so pretty!
Here's a view of all the fabric:
Yes, I know they aren't very modern, but I still have a soft spot for traditional fabrics and I guess I probably always will!

And last but not least, at least not in my mind!  Our building update.  All the concrete has been poured.  Here is the front porch:

Back patio:
Triple car garage:

They started framing today!  YAHOO!!  So I'll have lots to show you by Monday.  Everything I learned in Cynthia's class and something that actually resembles the beginnings of a house!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bee Blocks

Hello friends!

Today started off well.  The first thing I decided to work on was a set of four crow blocks requested by one of my April Stash Bees.  They were fairly simple to do except I had trouble with the beaks.  The first one was too small:

The second was too big!  And looked kinda grumpy . . .

But the third one was juuuust right.   :)

And here's the fourth . . .

Then I was almost done with the second bee block and this happened:
My needle came out right in the middle of sewing!  It was jammed down there so hard it took some major prying to get that thing out.  And it was bent up pretty good.  I had a bad feeling about this.  I put in a new one and started sewing again and this is what I got:
I tried everything I know to fix this and nothing worked.  Now, it isn't even doing THIS much.  The thread on top is not catching the thread on the bottom.  I think something underneath has been bent or damaged.  I am not a happy camper.

Since I'm shut down on the sewing front, I'll share a fun picture I took today.  We adopted a kitten in the dead of winter and since it was so cold, he stayed inside the first four months of his life with us.  He's not been outside much and is very hesitant to go outside at all.  Naturally, he's curious about it, but it's a big scary world out there!  And is that snow you see on the mountains?  YES!  It snowed today!  I thought we were done with that kind of weather!  Since we don't have landscaping yet, I'm ok with him staying inside and not tracking in mud.  :)

Last, but not least, another small update on the building project .  The last pictures I showed you looked like this:

Now the backfilling has been done and all the foundation walls have nice neat flat and level ground all around like this!

That's the latest!  Hope you have a great Easter weekend!

Linking to:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Flimsy Finish!

Building update!  The foundation has been poured and the forms already stripped.  This happened on Monday!  Looking good!

Never fear, I actually do have quilty things to show you this time.

My mom  attended a rummage sale and bought three pieces of fabric for me!  
Love, you mom!  

One is 3 yards of cheater fabric good for backing or just using to make a small quilt and practice some quilting on it.

One is 5 yards of a floral knit fabric.  Not sure what to do with this.  Ideas??

And last but not least two yards of this LARGE floral cotton print.  I love this!  These flowers are huge!

I'm still not very good at estimating how long it will take me to do something.  I was hoping to get Ashley's quilt quilted this month but I don't know if I'll make it.    So for the moment, I am happy to announce I've at least got the top done!   Here it is:

This particular flimsy will require a trimming of the zig zag edges before I baste and quilt.  Hmm, let's try a cropped picture to get a better idea.

This quilt will measure 60 x 68.  I am tempted to add on a border using the dark navy with coral flowers.  If I had this to do over again, I would use darker colors in place of the fabrics that are kind of low volume.  Ashley does like it the way it is, but I think the high contrast of white and darker values together is more striking.

One of my favorite parts of reading your comments is hearing your ideas on how you would do something.  Sometimes you have ideas I would never have thought about.  So please, feel free to share you thoughts with me on these two questions:

How would you quilt Ashley's quilt?
What would you do with that 5 yards of knit fabric?

I'd love to hear from you!

Linking to:
Midweek Makers
UFO Progress
WIP's with Friends

Saturday, April 8, 2017

New Adventure!

If you've been following me for a while, you may remember that my husband and I remodeled an old farmhouse that started out looking like this:

And now looks like this!

Above is the view outside the pretty red door and here is the view from the other side of that door.  The furniture is from our other house and doesn't really fit the country house style.  So we'll work on that when we start building our final house.

We moved in last October but this is just the first phase of our plan.  The land that the farmhouse came with was 18 1/2 acres and we split that into four different parcels.   One is 12 acres, two are 2 1/2 acres and the one the house sits on is 1 1/2.  Our plan is to build our final home on the 12 acres and use the profits from  the other three lots to build that house debt free.

So phase one and two of the plan has happened.  We have sold this house and one of the 2 1/2 acre lots as of last Monday.  The nice thing is the buyers agreed to let us rent back this house for at least three more months.   We will now start building a house on the 2 1/2 acre parcel and list it for sale.  If it doesn't sell, we'll live there until it does.  If it sells before we finish it (which it probably will) THEN we'll have to get creative!  Let the building commence!

First step , dig the hole . . . check!

Step two, pour the concrete footings . . . check!

The house we recently remodeled was originally built in the 1940's.  Do you see that wooden shack in the top left of this picture?  That is the ORIGINAL farmhouse built in the 1920's.  It is a one-room shack about 16 x 16 and all it had in it was a wood stove and a wide plank floor.  We moved it from its original location which was beside the house we remodeled.  We were going to try and save it and use it for storage (which is what we are using it for right now) but it needs too many repairs to be secure.  So we will be dismantling it and recycling the wood from it to make something out of it like some sliding barn wood doors or a large dining table or maybe a feature wall.  So although this blog post doesn't have a lot to do with quilting, it does have to do with creating!

I have to show you a chair I found sitting out on the sidewalk in front of a tiny little antique store.  It is not that old, but someone painted it and distressed it to look shabby chic.  It is the perfect shade to go with THIS rug:

So what would you do with this chair if it was yours?
I need some creative ideas!

After my last post asking for help finding gray fabric, I've had several people tell me they have trouble finding gray fabric too!   One quilter who shops online a lot recommended Hancocks of Paducah and Missouri Star Quilt Co as good places to find them so I thought I'd pass on the tip!

Sorry I don't have much quilty things to talk about today, but I have been playing in my sewing room.  I am lucky enough to be able to get to attend a class by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework on April 22!  Yahoo!  I will have to drive 3 hours to get there, but it will be worth it.  I have been searching through my stuff for solid fabrics and find that I have very few of them!  I seem to be attracted to bright prints.  I need to diversify!

I just got the fabric for a Block of the Month I signed up for.  I had forgotten I signed up for it!  I'm liking these colors!  

I will keep you updated on these blocks as I get them made.  I could show you a picture of the whole quilt now but suspense is so much more fun.  So don't forget to tell me what you would do with a turquoise chair!  :)
Linking to:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Call for Help! and OMG for April

It is scary how much alike Kate (Smiles From Kate) and I are.  Here is yet another example.  We link up for a OMG or the 2017 quarterly FAL, post our goals and then forget to post our results.  Well not this time!   This time we're really going to do it.  Right Kate?

My OMG (One Monthly Goal) for April is:

Finish sewing, baste, quilt, and bind my daughter's dorm quilt:

I have three Stash Bee blocks to make.

And I'd like to finish quilting my mom's quilt.

Speaking of Stash Bee's.  I need help!  It seems gray (and in particular light gray) is a very popular color this year and it is something I have ZERO of in my stash.  I have even searched in my favorite online shops and am having trouble finding enough gray prints in one place to do a decent job on the request block.   Is there anyone out there that likes gray and has an abundance already gathered that you would be willing to swap with me or sell to me?  Or .  . . if you can point me to a great online shop that has a nice selection.  That works too!

Here are examples of what kind of gray has been requested.  Mostly light gray and white:

These medium grays in moderation.

Please contact me at janice (at) if you can help!  I am willing to either swap or outright buy them from you.  I only need 6 inch square pieces.  If I had unlimited time, I'd just visit all my local quilt shops but I don't so I'm hoping someone will rescue me!

Here's to meeting goals!
Linking to:

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Finish! Mini Quilt Exchange

When I began my blog earlier this year, the very first person who reached out to me as a fellow blogger was Kate @ Smiles from Kate.   I'm sure a lot of you already know what a sweetheart she is. In the process of getting to know each other, we decided to do a mini quilt exchange for Christmas.

Kate and I have very different styles.  She tends to like solids and tone on tone fabrics where I tend to like bright riots of color.  And I wanted to do something that reminds me of our friendship.  So what to do?  Well, for starters, back in June, 2016 Kate had her very first giveaway on her blog and I was the lucky winner!  Here is what I won:

I resolved to use something from this stack to make Kate's mini.  During the same week, I won a charm pack of Kaffe Fasset fabric.  Out of this stack, I noticed that this particular square went really well with the orange piece in the stack of squares Kate sent me.

So here comes the start of an improv mini!  
I began by sewing a black frame around the square and then a wider border using the orange fabric.

Then it sat like that for a few days while I was deciding what I wanted to do.  So I just waited and watched for ideas and then I cam across this fabric.  It is called Pecking Order by Quilting Treasures.  I should have bought more than I did,   I didn't have enough to make borders.  Oh well.  Improv!

I'm pretty sure Kate is not a big chicken person but there were three reasons I bought it.   
1.   It made me chuckle and I hoped it would make her laugh too
2.   I was living on a farm that had a lot of egg laying chickens while I was making this for her, so it will be a 2016 memory, and 
3.   I imagined that these chickens, being as bright and colorful as they are, probably must have some cool looking poop that looks just like this Kaffe Fasset fabric, So that's this mini's name.  Chicken Poop!  

So I sewed a row of chickens onto the top of what was already going on.

Earlier this year, Kate made a beautiful quilt called City Lights. 

So my thought was to add some blocks using this design around the edge of what I had done so far and just keep building it up.  Well, that meant making some pretty tiny blocks and I have little patience for teeny tiny.  So I scrapped the whole border idea and ended up just making a bottom row in honor of City Lights.

 After this, even after asking for advice from others, (thanks Tish and Paige!) I kept waffling back and forth about what to do (I'm rather indecisive) and by then Christmas was over!  I finally just added a row of flowers from the chicken fabric and then framed everything with the black and white polka dot just to get done!  

Now, how to quilt  it?  To make it even more about our friendship,  I started by using a stitch that Kate taught me!  So in the orange parts, I quilted three lines of serpentine stitching.  I'm still kind of new at it and I was happy that 3 out of 4 of the strips had good spacing.  

In the "poop" and the chickens I quilted swirly lines that remind me of the way chickens might meander around.

On City Lights, I'm not so sure I like my choice  of quilting there.  It turned out kind of Frankensteinish.  But that was another new stitch I learned this year.  So this little mini is kind of a reminder of a few things that happened during our first year of friendship.

Ah, FINALLY done with all but the binding and I had a curious observer whom I had to gently dislodge before I could finish.

So may I present . .  . "Chicken Poop!"

I have to confess, I am not very good at binding corners yet.  What is the secret?  It kind of makes the whole think look a little lumpy.

So Kate, I hope this little mini will make you smile and think of your friend in Idaho!

Linking to:
Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Moving it Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag