Sunday, November 12, 2017

Still Kicking

Hello everyone!  No, I am not retiring my blog. This blog cannot retire before I do (haha) so that means I have to keep it up for about ten more years.

My quilt projects have been progressing. And I was able to work in a few new projects that finished quickly.

---I am still working the clues for Meadow Mist Design's Magnolia mystery quilt.  We finally are assembling the flower blocks. Can't wait for the next clue in early December!

---I am still working on Kevin-the-Quilter's Sapphire Stars mystery quilt. I got stuck cutting the big neutral triangles. Just need four more neutrals to finish those.  I have purchased three different neutral fabrics in the past month, so all is good now. Soon the blocks will start coming together and I can finally catch up to all those fast sewers who have already completed their flimsies.

---I entered my first quilt show!  No ribbon, but I didn't expect to win anything. Several of my friends received awards, though. There are some mighty talented quilters in my guild! The quilt show this weekend was awesome, and I was happy most of the ladies I invited were able to come and check out the beautiful quilts (and mine).

---I have been making pot holders!  Check out these two books by Chris Malone. It has been so fun to sew her cute designs.  If you try some of these, I have a couple tips.  First, read the directions carefully. You may need to layer the pieces in a different order than you think. (My seam ripper has been busy.)  Second, for patterns that will be seamed instead of bound, do not cut the shape until you have stitched it. I trace the pattern on tissue paper, layer the fabrics and battings, then stitch directly on the paper before cutting. 

And.... I took my airplane up for a quick flight before its scheduled annual maintenance. It was nice to get up in the air. I can't wait until flying again!

What have you been working on?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm a FabShopHop Winner!

My day just got brighter!  Not only was it a gorgeous, sunny day here in South Carolina, but I also found out I am a FabShopHop winner.

All you have to do is visit a bunch of online quilt supply websites and find the FabShopHop bunny. Check out the program HERE.

Like that Luke Combs song "When It Rains It Pours", Lady Luck is shining on me. Although I didn't have to dump anyone. LOL

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Celebrating Life

Hello!  As we all begin the recovery from Hurricane Irma, I thought I would share some good news.

First, we had no damage from the winds and rain.  The winds blew my neighbor's doghouse roof over our fence but it was caught quickly and did not cause any problems other than a small cut on my thumb when I maneuvered the aluminum sheets to the ground.

Second, I finally received a job offer! I've enjoyed having leisure time to sew, swim, shop and sleep these past six months, but I am starting to go stir crazy. It's time to get back to work.

Third, I completed the flimsy for my Jamestown Landing quilt. I began sewing this quilt in 2013. Those string blocks were fun to play with, and I really enjoyed the little broken dishes blocks, too. The piano key border seemed daunting, but it really wasn't bad at all. Dare I say, it was actually fun to sew.  What took forever was assembling all those blocks into rows, then adding each completed row to the growing quilt.  I had to put the quilt away for months at a time as other projects caught my eye. This year I decided it was time to finish the thing.  I only had to sew 11 more little blocks, then put together the border. Yay!

Fourth, I finished the surprise clue for Sapphire Stars, the mystery quilt from Kevin the Quilter. By the way, I keep my quilting project pieces in these clear shoe boxes from Costco. Just tape a little label on the outside and you can figure out which UFO is residing inside.

Some of these are just fabric pieces waiting for cutting and sewing. So they don't count as UFOs in my mind. Okay, three of them are UFOs. I also have a couple more boxes containing En Provence and Grand Illusion which are awaiting assembly. <sigh> I will get working on them.... oooh, so I can clear out the boxes for NEW projects!

What are you working on?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Labels and Block Play

What is your favorite part of quilting?  For me, it's piecing and the search for new quilting patterns is my second favorite.  For others it may be the quilting / longarming aspect or possibly binding. This week I indulged in my next fav - LABELS.  I finally found iron-on printable fabric. Eureka!

I used a Word template which divided a sheet into six labels, then added graphics and text boxes. OMG - this was so much fun!  It was hard to believe I had NINE quilts that were not yet labeled. Well, I remedied that.  I also created a couple labels for quilts that will soon be finished.  The Dritz instruction sheet suggested rounding the corners to help the iron-on resist separating. I trimmed the corners, removed the backing, arranged the label on my quilt, covered with a scrap piece of fabric, then ironed atop a piece of wood (normal ironing board is too padded).  It worked like a charm!

If you have experience using this Dritz product, please comment on its colorfastness and adhesiveness.

Other accomplishments:

  • Finally finished cutting fabrics for Kevin's clue #3 for his Sapphire Stars mystery quilt. Now I need to sew the wings on those triangles.
  • Sewed two test blocks from Bonnie Hunter's Sugar Bowl block instructions. She included pressing directions which helped immensely. I would love to see her add pressing tips for her Floribunda pattern. I'm a bit afraid of what mess I will find when I finally get around to assembling my older and newer Floribunda (aka Colorado Sunshine) blocks. Anyway, these Sugar Bowl blocks were so much fun to make. This gives me a THIRD block design to use up my plaid scraps. The other two are a double pinwheel and Bonnie's Moth in the Window block.
  • Began FMQ on the Super Star baby quilt. My Machinger gloves got lost during our household move (who knows which box they ended up in) so had to go out and buy new ones. I know better than the FMQ without them!  They really help me keep tension on the top layer and move the quilt around.
What are you working on?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mystery Quilts Progress

Am I crazy for participating in four and a half mystery quilts all at the same time?  The extra half is my ongoing En Provence mystery quilt of fall 2016 from Bonnie Hunter for which I am still sewing parts and assembling.

1) Alycia Quilts "Big Star Country" - Flimsy is together and ready for longarming if I can find a backing. My sewing machine died in the middle of the assembly, so I had to suffer through Sewing Withdrawal Syndrome (SWS) for a week while it was being repaired. As soon as it came home I finished up this flimsy.

2) Kevin the Quilter - Ready for clue #3 to arrive next week.

3) EvaPaige Quilts "In the 'Hood" - Final reveal came today. I cannot post the final block design until Beth reveals it on August 25th.  Cute blocks!  Update: Beth also shared my pic on Facebook! 

4) Meadow Mist Designs "Magnolia Mystery" - The fabrics I purchased originally just didn't excite me. Instead I found a black print (not the solid shown below) and some leftover blush-colored print to mix with my teals and background white-on-white print. There are lots of others who posted their fabric selection on Facebook which make me second guess my own. But I decided these colors felt right and I went ahead and cut my fabrics.

4.5) En Provence - Lots of quilters have posted their final versions which gave me ideas on how to alter the design slightly to make it my own. Here is a view of how my version is progressing. I am planning on 12 of the large blocks and will put solid pink centers on the stars to make them stand out. Bonnie Hunter designed this quilt and I really like it. But as you know, Bonnie's quilts require a LOT of sewing!

And I assembled a quick baby quilt for a friend. It's quick and easy! I'm planning on a fairly simply FMQ of half-inch spaced lines with an occasional daisy.

What projects or mystery quilts are you sewing?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mystery Quilts Galore

There are at least FIVE mystery quilts in the blogsphere as of right now. I'm almost finished with three UFOs so it must be time to begin some new quilts. Right?  That's my rationale.

1. Scrap Dance Two-Step from MyCarolinaHome (big reveal is tomorrow).  I only found this recently, so I  may take my time and make this later with an old Kaffe Fassett 6-inch roll and verdigris green. The design is traditional, so I think KF fabrics will amp the look to be more modern. Check out Carole's blog!  It's filled with decorating tips, recipes, quilting, stamping and beautiful pictures of North Carolina.

2. Sapphire Stars by "Kevin the Quilter". First clue has been published. I have lots of scraps perfect for this quilt. Kevin is such a fun guy and he has been wonderfully encouraging to me as a new blogger.

3. Military A6 by Alicia Quilts. First two clues have been published and I finished them today. Alicia suggested multiple color groups, and I elected to be Dramatic. The design seems to be pretty easy. I picked up a few patriotic fabrics and dipped into my stash for the bright gold.

4. In the 'Hood by EvaPaige Quilt Designs.  This one costs a nominal $5 to participate. I checked out the designer's previous quilts and decided to join. First two clues have been published. I am doing this in orange and gray with a light peach background.

5. Magnolia Mystery by Meadow Mist Designs. Fabric requirements and suggested color groups have been published. Previous quilts have a modern vibe. I think I may follow the suggested teal, gold, black and white coloration.  I want one of my fabrics to be a magnolia-themed print to pay homage to those gorgeous trees.

Are you participating in any mystery quilts right now?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th

Hope you are enjoying a glorious Independence Day! Today after doing a few chores, I enjoyed a dip in the swimming pool, then lunch that I didn't have to cook. Like most of the city, it seemed, we stopped by a fireworks store to stock up for tonight. This afternoon it was so hot, I decided to stay inside and make a quick table runner for the holiday.
Carole from My Carolina Home offers this free pattern here. Her star blocks are 12 inches, but I didn't want mine quite so big, so I used 3.5" strips to make 9 inch stars. The end triangles were from a 6.75" square and were a bit too small, so if you make this smaller version I suggest 7.25" square.  The dark blue border was 2.25" (finishes at 1.75") and the red/gray strip border was 1.5" (finishes at 1").  I plan to quilt the light blue square as an echo of the star blocks. The binding will probably be red.

In the spirit of today, I offer my thanks to our soldiers who defend our great country. Thank you for fighting for our freedom!

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

--Ronald Reagan