Monday, May 30, 2016

Labyrinth--OMG Finish

For some reason, I was in fear this quilt was going to break me.  It was my One Monthly Finish goal for March but I allowed myself to fall short of finishing by like an hour and a half of quilting.  I was so mad at the quilt for its non-finish (like it was the quilts fault) I skipped the whole month of April working on it and put it in a (unfair) time out.  May would be its month, when I declared it as my gaol yet again.  So let's recap about this quilt for a second.  Labyrinth is a UFO I pieced quite a few years ago and wanted to wait for a time when I felt I could do the quilting justice.  I dearly loved the blue and brown batiks that went into this quilt.

One of the things I wanted to play with in the quilting of this quilt was feathers.  Stitching those billowing plumes is a skill I have only recently felt comfortable tackling.  Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet.

When I went into motif planning I had hoped to stick them several places.  I auditioned a little bit of everything in each of the sections.

I sorted through my Aurifil stash to find just the right shades for quilting each section.

I decided on Aurifil #1285 Medium Bark, #5011 Rope Beige, #2775 Steel Blue, #1126 Blue Gray, #2310 Light Beige, and #2000 Light Sand.

Quilting started off pretty quickly with dot-to-dot quilting in the center star and the addition of Kathleen's Magic Shape in the surrounding background area.

I wasn't exactly happy with the first attempt with the feathers at the top of the bracket, but it got easier and closer to what I had in mind the more I stitched them.

One of the biggest challenges quilting this quilt, was the fact that Caroline loved it so much.

It was shortly after this picture, I found myself missing my end of March goal date.  I had just finished quilting the tan/beigh and brown borders and hit a wall.

All that was left was more feather plumes in the large blue border, but I was so disappointed that I hadn't completed it and was getting tired of fighting with it in the opening of my machine, I decided to set it aside for a while.  I folded it and set it on the back of the couch with the intentions of coming back to it in a few days.

Okay, try a month later, way longer than I had expected. But I needed that small break.  As soon as I picked it up and started quilting those borders, I started laughing at myself for giving up so easily.  In no time at all they were complete.  I guess I just needed a small amount of distance to work through my road block.  As soon as those borders where finished I tossed it on the floor for a quick shot of the back.

Even though there were lots of points of doubt as it progressed, I think I achieved the look I was wanting all along.  Labyrinth was almost finished.

After attaching the binding I decided to give it a quick bath to remove some of the blue marks from my water soluble pens.  I ran cool water in the bathtub submerged her and left for about 10 minutes.  As soon as I saw the water I knew I needed to act fast.  She immediately when into the washing machine with about 6 color catchers.  Thank goodness I keep them on hand.

After a good soak and spin she was good to go.

I cannot express how good it feels to have this finish behind me.  One UFO gone from quite a large pile of them. Now to decided on the next one to finish.  I set a goal of finishing four this year, but I am quite hopeful I can cross more off than that.

Today I'm linking up with Linky TuesdayMain Crush Monday and OMG Finish.

Round Robin

Several weeks ago Sandra (mmmquilts) approached me with an idea she had been discussing with a few other blogging friends.  A round robin.  Of course the first thing that comes to mind is those cute little fat birds that when they start popping up is one of the first signs of spring.  But I knew this was not what she was talking about.

round robin--something (as a letter) sent in turn to the members of a group each of whom signs and forwards it sometimes after adding a comment.  (Merriam-Webster definition)

The idea was to form a small group.  Each person would create a block up to 6" square and then mail the block to the next person on the list.  That person would then add another "round" to the block and so forth.  Our round robin will consist of four quilters; myself, Sandra (mmmquilts), Julie (Pink Doxies) and Cindy (Stitchin At Home).

I'm not going to lie, at first the thought scared me.  I've never done anything like this before.  What if I get their block and can't figure out what to do next?  What if they hate it?  So much pressure.  Then I duck taped that voice of fear, tied it to a chair and said YES!  Sign me up.  One thing I've learned since I've been blogging is to hold your head high, act like you know what you are doing (even when you don't) and no one will be any wiser.

So step one was to create what will become my center block.  I thought long and hard about this.  I wanted this block to have meaning behind it.  The law of attraction is something that Sandra and I have talked about before.  Essentially it is the belief that the energy that you put into the universe is the energy you attract.  Or like energies attract to each other.  This lead me to choosing a block called The Attraction Block found on Quilter's Cache.  The universe is a huge place and I know that I am thankful that it has brought each and everyone of you into my life.  I hope that my round robin creation and be a tribute to all of our quilty friendships.  (I know I got sappy, sorry)

So a fabric pull was in order.  I decided to go with a black and white, yin and yang feel, and add a nice pop of red.  Plus there is just something very classic about this color combination.

Then it was time to mentally prepare...paper piecing.

Sitting cross legged finding my center....and commence sewing.

And boom! A section is completed.

And Ta Da!  The Attraction Block.

Tomorrow this block will go into the mail and head to one of my round robin mates.  We each will have the entire month to create and piece the next round for the block we receive, then ship it off to the next person at the end of the month.  

Please stop my fellow Round Robiners' pages at the links below to see the center blocks they have created.

We hope that you would consider creating your own round robin groups and join us in our fun.  We will be posting our progress to Instagram using #2016MiniRoundRobin.  If you decided to create your own groups please use this tag.  We would love to see all your creations as well.  Also if you would like to join us in creating your own round robin, please  feel free to grab our button and add it to your side bar.  Quilting is always more fun with friends.

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee SocialFabric Tuesday, and Main Crush Monday.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May Is For Makers Week 4

Lindsey from LR Stitched had the right idea when she put the call out for all of us to conciser participating in the May Is For Makers movement.  We all enjoy free patterns, free is always wonderful, but we should also take the time to acknowledge and make sure we are supporting our pattern writers by purchasing their for sale patterns.  Let's face it, there is a lot of behind the scenes work in writing patterns, even for the simplest tutorial.

So I thought I would check in with my week 4 purchases before we wrap up this pattern purchasing party (how's that for alliteration?).

This week's purchase includes a pattern I almost bought two weeks ago.  The deal was sealed for getting it when budding quilter, David aka the husband, showed a strong interest in making this quilt.  Actually, his fabrics for starting this quilt should arrive today in the mail.  I think he's showing good signs of being a quilter or "quilt builder," when he hasn't finished his first quilt but quilts two and three are already coming together mentally as well.  Okay, back to the pattern.  The pattern is called Looking Glass (sounds Wonderland-ish right?) and is by Cheryl  at Meadow Mist Designs.

Photo courtesy of Meadow Mist Designs
One of the things I love about the pattern is that it is charm pack and layer cake friendly.  There are tons of said pre-cuts hanging around our house.

Next up, is a pattern by Lee at Freshly Pieced called Terrazzo.  I have followed Lee's blog for quite some time now, but was drawn toward this particular quilt when Kitty (Night Quilter) posted about her purchase of the pattern.

Terrazzo photo courtesy of Freshly Pieced
I've always loved the look of patterns such as this one.  It gives the illusion of curves but uses only straight lines.  It is also pre-cut friendly.

And last is a quilt I had oogled over before, but had forgotten about.  It is called The Kittens by Elizabeth Hartman over at Oh Fransson.

Photo courtesy of Oh Fransson

Obber cute.  Need I say more.

This wraps up my May Is For Makers purchases.  You and can read more about my previous purchases:

Week 3

I look forward to treating myself again next year and supporting some of my favorite pattern designers.

Monday, May 23, 2016

'16 Strawberry Festival & Quilt Show

Before the Grand Feature Parade

This past week the 2016 Strawberry Festival was well underway in good old sunny Buckhannon, West Virginia...mostly minus the sun.  But that did not stop the die hard locals from venturing out into the chilly rain to watch their beloved parades and gorge themselves on ripe sweet strawberries.  The Jr. Royalty Parade began the official festivities on Thursday evening, show casing homemade floats, the cutest little twirlers, marching bands and various other parade necessities.  The quilt show also opened.

Our mighty Buckhannon Upshur Band

Friday evening brings the Fireman's Parade packed full of all types of emergency vehicles blowing their sirens and honking horns (they hand out ear plugs before the parade starts) and children running around in plastic fireman's hats dreaming about the day they will become heroes and save the world.  The parade is followed by a block party on main street where you can run into just about anyone and listen to local talent perform at various spots along the streets.

Street picture from Friday Night Block Party

I got hubby to pose with the new house pet

Then Saturday kicks off the Grand Feature Parade, which is packed full of a little bit of everything (also followed by another block party).

2016 Strawberry Queen and her minor court

2016 Strawberry King and his minor court
Lets not forget that for the entire week the carnival sets up and takes over the town.

And food.  Don't get me started on all the food...EVERYWHERE

Now that I've introduced you to our week of crazy, let's talk a bit about the quilt show.  I ventured down to the show Friday night to see how everyone did.  I was happy to see that lots of ladies within our guild placed in their categories...including me.  I entered a total of five quilts, three of which placed.

First up is my Hello Darling Building Blocks Baby Quilt (read about the making here).  The pattern is by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and is a free pattern on Moda Bake Shop.  I was completely floored to find that it had taken 1st place in the baby quilts category.  

Next up, is Dog Gone Cute (read about the making here).  The pattern is by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  This quilt ended up winning two awards.  The quilt judge isn't the only one to hand out awards for the quilts.  The Strawberry Court (kings and queens) and Festival President also get to award their favorite quilts.

These cute little Boston Terrier inspired puppies took 3rd place in the large wall hanging category and was also the Teen Queen's Choice.

I feel like these ribbons do not just belong to me.  They also belong to Cheryl and Lorna as well.  We did it ladies!!!  Without them putting in the hard work of designing these patterns, I would not have had anything to make.  The ribbons are cool, but having a friendship with the pattern writers and being able to share it with them, is the best part...hands down.

And last but not least, was my wall hanging Decoy.  It received 2nd place in the medium wall hanging category.  

The pattern is from 101 Fabulous Small Quilts, one of my favorite books for finding small projects.  So now it's time to get busy for next year.  

During the quilt show, our guild also begins selling tickets for our raffle quilt.  The raffle quilt is even more special to me this year.  It is made from fabric left over from my friend Courtney's grandmother's stash.  I was lucky to get a picture of Courtney with her mother and aunt with the quilt. 

We are calling the quilt Beulah's Jewel Box in honor of her grandmother.  I think Mrs. Carver would be proud of the quilt we made with her stash.

Our guild also runs a boutique with different homemade items donated by guild members.  I donated three table runners, you may remember them from this post.  Courtney and I had a good laugh, because her mom ended up purchasing one of the runners.  She was drawn to the beautiful colors and laughed when she found out that I had made it.

It always makes you feel good when you know it's in good hands.

While my daughter hung out with friends during the Saturday night block party, I got to spend some time with Courtney and her family (if you aren't laughing and having fun with these people...something is wrong).  I was able to hand deliver a table runner I made using her grandmother's stash...

Courtney and I.  Sorry for the fizzy been in the rain all day hair.

and enjoy some good laughs and conversation while chowing down on the prize winning berries grown by Courtney's mom's best friend.  They were AMAZING!

Strawberry short cake, but using a shortbread sugar cookie!
Well that pretty much wraps up my crazy but fun weekend.  I have all year to rest and prepare for next year's three day party.  Plus I'm pretty sure I have a whole cloth to finish before I get mobbed :)

Before I go, I will leave you with a short video of our mighty Buckhannon Upshur Buccaneer Band.  Somewhere in the mix of kids is a super short trumpet player that may or may not claim me as her mother.

Today I'm liking up with Let's Bee Social, and Main Crush Monday.

Friday, May 20, 2016

MIA & May is for Makers

I feel like I have fallen into a black hole and that I'm out of touch with QBL, but it's just because things have been a whirlwind this week and are not winding down quite yet.  Our little town is getting ready to go full swing into party mode with our annual Strawberry Festival.  Tuesday evening I helped set up and prepare for our guild's quilt show.  I had no idea so much work went into preparing quilts to be judged.  But I have to say, I enjoyed getting a little sneak peak at all the quilts before the show opens.  Ladies, count me in for next year as well.

If you've stopped by before, you may know that I'm participating in #MayIsForMakers and I wanted to share my purchases for week three (check out week 1 and 2 here) before I disappear into three parades, the first of which was last night.  It fills my heart with joy and brings a tear to my eye when I see this banner coming around the corner.

We are a small town with a big heart and take lots of pride in our little high school band.  This is my daughter's first year marching and I couldn't be more proud of her.

 And one of the best things about small town life, when you drop your kid off at parade line up, there is always someone you know there watching over them.

Okay, on to the purchases.  This week, I decided to show some love to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl (and my hive momma this year).  I first met Yvonne last year when I participated in the New Bloggers Blog Hop.  If you've never stopped by her page, you must promise you will when you are done here.  She dose so much in the quilt blogging world.  From her awesome quilting tutorials to her quilt blogging tutorials there is bunches of information to learn from this lady.  Plus, I recently found out that she was born a WV girl.  You can take the girl out of our mountain state, but you can't take the mountain state out of the girl.  I think that's really why she has a strong love for the color blue.  West Virginians bleed blue and gold (and also green/white and brown. Go Thundering Heard!)

My first purchase was her Triangle Transparency Pattern.  I loved her version in the soft blue/greens.

Photo courtesy of Quilting Jetgirl
And my friend Sandra (mmmquilts) also made a lovely version in oranges.  You can read about Radiance here.

Photo courtesy of mmmquilts

Now to figure out what my colors will be.  Next up is her mystery pattern (we all know I love mysteries).  The 2016 Patreon Secret Quilt Pattern is a reward when you pledge to give $1 to help support Quilting Jetgirl.  Purchasing it through her craftsy shop is a way to do so all at once.  I can't tell you what it looks like.  All I'm going to say is that I love it!

My last purchase was a completely random purchase.  I was lead to this pattern after reading about Sharon at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs #MayIsForMakers purchase.  So I hopped over to Quilts Actually and grabbed a copy of her Forging Steel.  I have some charm packs just calling its name.

Photo courtesy of Quilts  Actually

So big thanks to Sharon for the tip on this pattern.

For those curious about my whole cloth project...I'm finished!  I can't show you a picture until I get it bound and take it outside for a photo shoot, but I will show you my machine after the project was finished.

Lint EVERYWHERE!  She's all cleaned back up now and ready to go again when I am.  So for now it's back to festival land.  

There is food to eat and friends to meet.  I need to hop down to the quilt show and grab some pictures.  Lorna (Sew Fresh Quilts) and Cheryl (Meadow Mist Designs), if you are reading, I entered my versions of Dog Gone Cute and Building Blocks Baby Quilt in the show.  Can't wait to see how we do!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Today I'm linking up with TGIFFLet's Bee Social and Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop!
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