Thursday, December 7, 2017

On Ringo Lake Clue #2

I have been watching with envy all the wonderful quilts that pop up all over the internet when Bonnie Hunter does one of her mystery quilts.  I decided (even when I knew I couldn't keep up) to join in.  At least I'll get the instructions for each step and finish up later as I can.

First clue was to make tiny little 9 patches.

I have decided to make just half the amount of units she asks for.  Even that is going to be a stretch.

The next clue was a BUNCH of flying geese using a variety of corals and salmons along with a variety of low volume.  Even half is a challenge!  I'm not anywhere close, but I'll keep plugging away!  I have no idea what the layout is going to be.  This is just an arrangement for picture taking purposes.

May I talk about colors for a bit?  After all, that IS one of my favorite things.  :)  We've been living in our new house for several months now and I've only hung up one thing on the wall.  These hearts.  There are five of us in our family and I LOVE the color and texture of these hearts.

All the other pictures that were in our old house are all stacked in my bedroom and I'm really kind of tired of them.   I bought my first piece of new art in a long time.   I love this so much!  The color!  The atmosphere!

It is fun to imagine what those people are doing out in the rain and what they are talking about.  And did you happen to notice it matches the colors of the mystery quilt I'm making?  BONUS!  And not only that, both my husband and my son like it!  DOUBLE BONUS!!  I was so excited about that!  After all, they have to live with it too.

I got a fun surprise tonight.  My husband asked me if I wanted to get away for the weekend.  Umm, YES!!!!  Didn't have to think twice about that one.  That left me to think about what I could work on while we are driving to our destination.  Quickly I made some binding!
Remember the quilt top that Vicki made and Jen Strauser quilted for me?  The one I bought because I have no quilts of my own yet?
Well, this is the week it finally gets done.  And hopefully by the end of this week, I'll have a nice blog post showing Vicki's beautiful quilt top all quilted up by Jen and bound by me!  It even sort of  has a Christmasy vibe to it, don't you think?

Speaking of Christmas, check out this ornament.  Gotta love a designer who sees quilts EVERYWHERE!  I'm a big Jim Shore fan.

Well, that's all for now!   Enjoy your weekend, I'm pretty sure I will be!
Linking to:
On Ringo Lake Mystery Linkup
Needle and Thread Thursday
Sew Fresh Quilts

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Just For Fun

Rachel at Stitched in Color is having a mosaic contest.  To enter the contest, you choose 9 fabrics from Bobbie Lou's Fabric Factory and put them in a mosaic and add them to Rachel's linky party.  There will be two winners picked.  If your mosaic wins, you win a fabric bundle of the fabrics you picked!  FUN!

Rachel's blog is always full of beautiful color and wonderful photography.  Come on and join the fun!

Here is my entry:

Friday, December 1, 2017

My Second Big Finish EVER!!!

The wrestling match is over!  It has been AGES since I was able to talk about a finished quilt but the day has finally come!   This quilt was made for one of my daughter's friends, Kenzi B.   And I seriously think this quilt may possibly weigh more than she does!

Kenzi picked all the fabrics and told me exactly what order to put them in.  LOVE specific instructions!

  The strip finish sizes are 2 inches,  3  inches, and 4 inches in no particular size order.  The binding is a white with pink polka dot flannel.  The back is a white chevron minky that is super cuddly.

I found out AFTER I sewed it together that you don't need to use batting with minky.  No wonder I had to wrestle with it so much!  It was so thick, the only kind of quilting I could do is a straight line cross hatch with my walking foot.

Here she is!

Not really twin size but definitely a decent size lap quilt.  No fancy piecing here, just plain strips as Kenzi requested.  You know the old story about how Amish quilters leave in at least one mistake as a reminder that nobody is perfect?  I have LOTS of those reminders in this quilt.  Hee!  Hee!

I texted this picture to Kenzi to give her a sneak peak.  I hope she likes it!  I'm going to take it to her tomorrow as she is attending the university where I work.  I'll try to get a picture added of Kenzi with her new quilt!

So happy to have this finish!  Oh darn!  I forgot to add the label!  Pooey!  I'm going to have to show it to Kenzi and then take it right back home again.  Oops. 

Next up will be to start quilting Ashley's quilt.  I'm going to have fun doing this one.  I'm going to try to do a different quilting motif in each stripe of color.  Not sure what I'm going to do in the white squares yet.     What would you do?
Wow!  I am not sure why these colors are so vivid in this picture!  The bright oranges are supposed to be coral and the purple is actually periwinkle!  Oh well.  I am looking forward to quilting this!
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Friday, November 24, 2017

There's a Wrestling Match in my Quilting Room and I am Losing!

See this pretty white furry stuff I'm using on the back of this quilt?  Run away!  Run away!

My very first baby quilt was made using a super soft,  velvet-like fabric I've never used before which quilted up beautifully with no struggles.  I sure wish I knew what it was called.  I thought it was minky but apparently not.  THIS stuff, which is definitely minky, is much thicker and if I ever use it again, I will NOT be putting any batting with it  (but please slap me upside the head if I do use it again).  It makes my quilt sandwich so thick, I am literally pulling that quilt through.  The feed dogs are not moving it even with the walking foot!

I spent most of the day quilting one direction of a cross hatch grid and hope I can get through the other direction tomorrow.  My shoulders are killing me!  This quilt is going to be one heavy puppy!

After I get this quilt done, I am planning on giving you a tour of my new quilt room.  It's not anywhere near what I would like it to be, but making things pretty and cute takes time and I would rather spend it quilting.  Priorities!  It will be a journey and a gathering of pretty things.  Here is one thing I've done.  Just a few simple baskets, color coordinated with bows to tell me what color of scraps are in the basket.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, one of the things I am thankful for are new quilt friends I have made.  Do you remember my cutting mat mishap?  I tried several things and although I did get some of the warps out of it, I never was able to get it perfectly flat again and was advised by quite a few that is was probably a lost cause.  A kind fellow blogger, Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts sent me a 50% off coupon for JoAnne's so I could buy a new one without having to break the bank.  I got the 24" x 36" size and I love it!  THANK YOU Preeti!  

Next I'll have to figure out a better way to keep my rulers handy, but for now they are just sitting on top of a little side table that fits under the end of my cutting table.

Another friend I met is Patty of Patty the Quilt Lady.   This lady is amazing!  She never stops moving and is one of the most productive people I've ever seen.  Patty in cleaning out things she didn't need or want, offered up a pretty little beaded purse to anybody who would pay the postage to send it and I was lucky enough to be the first to "raise my hand".   She sent it to me and here it is!  Thank you, Patty!  I will be sending you the postage for sending this little gem my way.  I just love vintage ladies things!

My college freshman daughter will come and visit me in my office once in a while and I recently passed on a Starbucks gift card to her that someone gave me (I'm not a coffee drinker).  While we were chatting she doodled this!  How cute is that?   Love seeing her creative side . . . 

Here are the blocks I've made for my November stash bee groups.  Here is the one I made for Laura . . .

And here is the one for Paige 
(with the 2nd one in progress)

Oh, I almost forgot!  I won another giveaway this week.  Thank you,Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring for sending me the newest Quiltmakers 100 Blocks and these gorgeous new fabrics from Anthology Fabrics.   I don't understand how I get so lucky but I'm not complaining!  These batiks are gorgeous!

I have missed you all!  I haven't blogged for a few weeks due to my Bernina being in for servicing.   I didn't have much to blog about when I was without a machine for 11 days! Frustrating!   I tried using my old Singer, but realized I don't remember where the magic 1/4" seam allowance on that machine is and my blocks were not turning out very accurately.   Well, that is the latest from my sewing and other adventures.   I hope you get lots of sewing done this weekend!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quilting the Grid with Christina Cameli

I recently finished the Craftsy Class by Christina Cameli called Quilting the Grid:  Structured Free Motion and thought I would do a class review about it.  I have no affiliation with Craftsy, just sharing my opinion.   I'll just start by saying this opened up a whole new world of possibilities!  Loved this class!

Christina suggested that this method of quilting is very good for someone just starting out with free motion quilting because it is much less intimidating to break down huge open spaces into smaller bites at a time.  I would agree with that!

Another advantage Christina points out is having a grid keeps the scale of whatever pattern you are using from drifting and getting smaller than you started out or larger than you started out.  Most of her samples are done on solid fabrics so they are more easily shown, but these motifs will work well on prints as well.
This is a way of doing free motion quilting with a little more structure.  You create a grid with your walking foot:  square, on point, diamond, triangle, radiant, and whatever your imagination can come up with.  This class introduces you to (as Christina says) the magic of geometry!

Here is one of my favorite patterns.  This particular grid starts out by using your walking foot to quilt 60 degree diamonds.  She explains how to do this accurately.  I made my grid lines on this practice piece 1 1/2 inches apart.

Next, quilt across the slimmest part of the diamond to create triangles like this:

Next comes the free motion part.  Quilt an arc on the inside of each triangle and you end up with a kind of floral pattern.    Notice that I am not very consistent with the size of my arcs yet, but even so, the pattern created is beautiful and once you see the overall effect, you won't even notice this.  Loving this texture!

Christina also gives very good instructions about the most efficient way to travel from space to space so you don't get stuck in a corner with no way out.

Here is another practice sandwich experimenting with a variety of patterns inside the grid.  This grid is 2 inches.  I used contrasting thread on this one so I could see what I was doing better.  When you want the texture to be the star, you should probably use thread close to the same color of the fabric you are quilting.   If you want the thread to be the star, then you would chose thread that contrasts more.  Christina shows many, many more patterns to try than I have shown here.  

You can see the texture a little bit better on the back of this practice sandwich:

You can make your grids any size you want using the guide on your walking foot but it gets difficult once you get larger than 3 inches unless you mark the grid on your fabric before you sew.

Here is a word of advice, make some practice sandwiches ahead of time before you take the class so you can put what you're learning into practice as you watch.  I did not do this.  I watched all of the lessons and was eager to try it out but I had to go back and listen to parts again because I couldn't remember how to do it.  Much more efficient to pause the video and practice right then.

I plan to use this method on Ashley's quilt and do a different motif on each different colored strip.  I see that on the orange strip with circles, there is already a natural grid created!  Hmm!  What can I put in those circles?  

I have to say I enjoyed this class very much and if you haven't watched a class by Christina before, I highly recommend her.  She has such a pleasant teaching style and personality.   I loved her Wild Quilting class as well.

I hope this review has encouraged you to try Quilting the Grid!

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Stash Bee Block Accumulation

What do you think of this scrappy accumulation?  I am just putting these blocks on the design wall as they come in and looking forward to playing around with a layout later.  It doesn't look that bad with just this random layout!

HST Scrappy Quilt

I realize this kind of anything-goes scrappy look isn't for everybody, but I am loving all the yummy color!  It just reminds me of how someone might have made a quilt back when quilts were a necessity for a warm bed and made of just about anything.  I love the old-fashioned vibe it has.

And now to show you something that you might think me a little bit crazy.  My apologies to my non-quilting friends who probably won't get this next bit.  I'm talking about what I am using for a leader/ender project.  If you are interested in the story behind this phrase, you can read about it here from the creator herself!

I didn't understand what a leader/ender project was but now that I get it, THIS is what I'm using for my leader/enders.  A box of 1 1/2" squares. Years ago this was mailed to me for joining the Keepsake Quilting club.  Swatches of all the fabrics that were available from them that particular year.  I couldn't just throw them out!

First I will sew them all into pairs and when I get that done, I'll start sewing the pairs into cute little four patches.  These finish at 2 inches square.    After that, not sure!  16 patches?  Or just leave them small and cute to be incorporated into a quilt.  We shall see!

After taking a poll about a fabric choice I needed to make (if you missed that post, you can read it here), there was no CLEAR winner.  The top three choices were the red mottled center, the gold with red dot, and the green plaid.  I am going with the gold with red dot. 

I love hearing from you guys so thank you!!  You made the decision process fun!
Linking to:
Free Motion by the River

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sewing for Others is Rewarding but Sometimes Stressful!

Do you find that to be true?  I get the biggest rush out of knowing someone truly loves something I have made for them but if you aren't fully acquainted with them and even though they have told you what they like, there are always those niggling doubts.  Is this too bright? too light? too busy? too plain?

This month, Kathleen wants an old fashioned Christmas sampler and here is the fabric pull she provided for us and she said we could make the block of our choice:

Here are the colors I came up with from my stash as close as I could get.

I have chosen to make the Double Star block using part or all of these fabrics.

Now that I have the block mostly sewn together, I have one more decision to make.  What to put in the middle!  I couldn't make up my mind so I would love to take a poll.  Which center do you like the best?  Kathleen for whom this block is being made requested old fashioned forest greens, cranberry reds, old golds and creams instead of whites. 

Which middle do you think looks best?  I love LOTS of input!  Please vote!

1.  Shiny gold floral print

2.  Swirly gold shiny print

3.  Gold with red dot

4. Green plaid

5.  Leafy green

6.  Red and green

7.  Dotted red

8.  Mottled red

9.  Red plaid

I'd love to hear from you!
Linking to:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Mail and Next Finish Goal

FINALLY!  I got on the ball and ordered the backing for Ashley's dorm quilt which is my next goal to finish.  I haven't had a finish for a looooong time so I'm motivated to do this.  Here is Ashley's quilt top which hasn't been trimmed yet.

She wanted something soft and cuddly for the back so she  chose a light gray minky which was part of today's happy mail!

Oh!  I forgot that we were going to add some 6 inch borders using the navy, coral and periwinkle floral.   That fabric is her favorite.  Not sure about that decision.  Maybe we just need to use it for the binding and call it good.  Ashley you out there?  Borders or just binding?  What do y'all think?   I don't normally say y'all but my Louisiana friend Sheila is influencing my grammar.  😃

I made two more blocks for my growing collection . . .

And more happy mail from Paulette in Canada.  I love these Paula!  They are the four blocks on the very top row.  Also, I received two identical blocks (aqua with aqua/purple/white print) from Irene Grimes of North Carolina.   Loving all this color!

OK, all you lovers of modern and simplified can skip the next pictures cuz these aren't that.  Hee!  Hee!    When I ordered Ashley's backing, I only needed a little more to get free shipping so I ordered two fabrics . . . this one I like . . .

and this one I love!  LOVE!  LOVE!!  
I used to doodle just like this in high school!

Well, I really should head to bed because in a few short hours I have to get up to drive myself to the airport to see one of my college roommates!  Can't wait, Lorraine!

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