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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

In the 'Hood

Guess what!  I will be starting another quilt!  Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs has created a new mystery quilt which you can participate in for a nominal fee.  Link.  The first clue came out this week which includes fabric requirements.  Here are my fabrics:
And this is from the girl who doesn't like orange. Go figure. My rationalization is that it will contrast nicely with the blue cushions on my outdoor furniture.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quilting Addiction Fed

I am ignoring the danger of making sample blocks.  In my last post, I acknowledged my addiction to Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party quilt design after making a sample block. But I just had to try some of the quilt blocks from Quiltmaker "Addicted to Scraps" column by Bonnie Hunter. Maybe making the sample blocks is an addiction in itself!

1. Moth in the Window

After Andee made her colorful quilt from this pattern, I finally cut into my collection of plaids. Mixing plaids makes me shudder (slightly OCD?) so if I pursue making a whole quilt, I will highlight the plaids with a complimentary solid and most likely use black sashing. What do you think?

2. Garlic Knots

What a simple yet cute block! If you have made this block, did you assemble the pieces into a 4-patch and nest the seams?  Or did you assemble by row and press open the seams like I did?

3. Ceiling Fan

These feel so tiny!  It was difficult to get good points in the middle, and nesting the seams was a bit problematic.  If you have made this one, how did you get around that problem?

4. Whirly Girly

Gotta love the name because it fits well with my aviation themed blog.  A "whirly girl" is a female helicopter pilot. I fly fixed wing, but am intrigued by the added challenge of a rotor craft.

5. Pinwheel Fancy

Well, I actually didn't sew this one. I'm dying to try this block with my teal stash, just like this reader quilt on page 72 of Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2015 issue.

And the fun continues!  This next quilt has been on my wish list for a long time. It's from the book "Rotary Riot: 40 Fast and Fabulous Quilts" by Judy Hopkins and Nancy J. Martin, published in 1991.
The blocks are 8 inches, which is larger than you would think, making it easy to get those points right. I wanted to use my plaids for this one, too. Check out my first two blocks:
What have you been sewing lately?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Highly Addictive

This sign should appear on Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party quilt pattern:

WARNING - Highly Addictive

There were so many pictures of beautiful Garden Party quilts. Some had Bonnie's red accents while others were in green, blue or even purple. I decided to try a test block. 

Then another quickly jumped under my needle. And another. Suddenly I found myself frantically digging through the big old scrap bin for more fabric to cut into 1.5" strips. 

Then I gathered up all my reds to cut up for alternate blocks. OMG - these are so addictive! Those tiny 1.5" squares are so cute! My hands are shaking and I'm wiggling with glee!  This was the same sensation I experienced when playing with Crabapple blocks or making those 112 Chunky Churndash blocks.  
Oops!  I started another quilt! Have you tried this quilt pattern? I bet you can't make just one block! The pattern is in the Quiltmaker May/June 2015 issue. Come on, make it with me!  

Check out the tweaks Susan put in her Garden Party quilt, shown in her blog post. I like how she floated the final red squares and used yellows in every flower block center.

I must find the willpower to resist so I can finish up my other "Bonnie" quilts - Jamestown Landing and Grand Illusion. Both are on their final steps.  I finished up the last seven broken dishes blocks for JL to complete the center and now I have to work on the piano keys border. I have a bit more to do on GI then it's time to assemble.

Joining the local quilt guild has been awesome. We get together weekly for quilting time, with one of the weeks reserved for the program meeting.  Everyone is so friendly and encouraging. This is inspired me to get busy and finish up some of my languishing UFOs.

On a higher note, last Saturday we flew Nine Zero Bravo to Hendersonville, NC. It was fun to blow the cobwebs out (literally!) and log some cross-country time. The local airport was having a fly-in and antique car show.  I had hoped to meet up with fellow quilter Carole @ From My Carolina Home, but our plans did not work out this time.  Check out her post about where she was that day. Her blog is filled with great pictures, isn't it?   

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Catching Up

Hello again!  I had not realized how long it had been since my last blog post. Wow, time does fly quickly (hah - "fly").  Given our household move and work taking so much of my time, I obviously have not done much quilting. The turtles I found at a nearby park represent my SLOW progress!

Although.....I did visit a couple quilt guilds in my area. The one to the east boasts of having Bonnie Hunter as a former member.  It seems to be a pretty large guild and I will probably join at the next monthly meeting. The guild nearest me was definitely more 'approachable' in that the group meeting that night was smaller and every member talked with me and made me feel welcome. They meet weekly, more like a quilting bee for most weeks, with each member hand-sewing on a current project as we chat.  Maybe this way I can finish binding "Marigold Field" and attach labels to my quilts.  Maybe that's what I need to quick-start my work on all those UFOs.

Speaking of UFOs, I did find some more greens and purples to augment the En Provence stash. It's slow going and I've lost the momentum. I am opting to make the quilt a bit smaller, just nine of those blocks, so I can move on to another quilt that has my eye--"Points of Interest" designed by Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken of Jo's Country Junction. I love, love, love the block and 1930s border!  I might have already ordered all the fabric to make it, including the backing. It's calling to me and I am trying really hard to resist.

Now that the weather is warming up quickly, I have also turned my attention to the installation of a swimming pool. My hubby and I made a deal. If we were planning to live in this hot, hot southeast countryside, I get to have a pool. We found a local company with a great reputation. The project has been going on for about 10 workdays and today we began filling the new pool with water. I'm SO excited!

As for flying, my last post mentioned the engine problems on my flight south. I asked the airport mechanic to check out my airplane. Seems that we had a bad spark plug. After replacing the plug, we flew a few times then suddenly the airplane wouldn't start. Maybe the battery is getting old?  We charged the battery and it still didn't help. So we replaced the battery and now 90Bravo is humming smoothly.  I cannot wait to get back in the air and explore again!