Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cooking Up Quilts in Wonderland

Cooking Up Quilts in Wonderland!  Huh?  What the heck can that possibly mean??  Well let me tell you.  I have a huge crush this week and it's not a what, it's a who!  Why, it's the host of the Main Crush Monday party queen herself, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts!

After a trek to pick up Dave's quilt at Country Roads Quilt Shop in Morgantown, WV, we traveled a few hours away to Parkersburg, WV to Bolts and Quarters Quilt Shop to check out a Handi Quilter event they were hosting.  And to my EXTREME delight, Beth agreed to meet up with us!  I feel pretty confident in saying Beth and I probably talk via email at least once a week if not more.  She has been a great friend and sounding board when I'm stuck on a project.  So to actually meet up with her in person was a dream.  You might think, was it awkward?  Not at all.  It felt like what it was, two friends meeting up (ok, three if you include Dave).  Not strangers.  And the best thing of all...we could talk quilting as much as we wanted and enjoy every minuet of it.  Did you notice two of the quilts hanging in the background?  It's Beth's Oomph!

While visiting the quilt store, I may have made a few purchases.  While I waited on Beth to arrive, I gave a large wall of fat quarters a good go over and picked out a few pretties to come home with me.

I just couldn't say no, to these pretty flowers.

After a conversation with Beth about quilting rulers, I decided to pick up a pack of adhesive grip strips for the backs of my rulers.  I seeing a lot more ruler quilting my future.

What's really funny, is before the trip ever started, a box of fabric landed in the car.  As we were leaving our house, the mail carrier pulled in delivering a big ol' box from Craftsy.  During last weekend's Christmas in July sale, I picked up a few goodies.  For myself (and Dave) I ordered a Cotton & Steel FQ Box.  It's so pretty, I'm not sure how I'm going to cut into it...but I'll manage somehow.

The box also contained a few more jelly rolls and charms, but I will let Dave tell you all about those, when he's ready.

And now, I will leave you with one more picture.  Probably the prettiest one taken this weekend.  I can't really say anything more right now.  All I will say is, isn't it pretty?

Also, If you have time, stop back in the next day or two and check out the next round in the Mini Round Robin going on right now with myself, Sandra at mmm!quilts, Julie at Pink Doxies and Cindy at Stitchin At Home.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday and Sunday Stash.

**This post does contain affiliate links to Craftsy.  A huge thanks in advance if you would happen to click on a link and make a purchase, as I do get a small kick back.**

Friday, July 22, 2016

2016 Mid Year Review

I'm almost afraid to start writing this post, but I'm pretty sure it is the kick in the pants that I need.  It's mid year and we all have a tendency to slack off (or I assume I'm not the only one) and lose track of what is important to us.  I actually almost forgot to assess myself, but luckily Yvonne sent me an email to remind me.  Not only did she remind me, but she is also hosting a linky party for all of us to link up to, so we can share in one spot how we are doing.  So let's see how I'm doing.

1) Goal: Work on improving my health.  Well, based on my picture from lunchtime today...a picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm going to admit, I'm falling short on this goal, so it's time to step it up a bit a lot.  Not going to beat myself up, just going to regroup and get moving.

2) Goal:  Finish a UFO a quarter or 4 this year.  I am happy to say I have finished at least one.  You may remember Labyrinth .

It is my first UFO finish for the year.  I still believe I'm on track for completing this goal.  I will be working another UFO very shortly and may break down and have one quilted by someone else.  What's that saying...there's more than one way to skin a cat.  Where the heck did that saying come from anyway???  Who is skinning cats???

3)  Goal: Write a full size pattern and two smaller ones.  Well...I'm 1/3 to may way there.  Earlier this year when I participated in the 2016 New Block Blog Hop by Paintbrush Studios, I shared with everyone my pattern/tutorial for Nautical Compass

So, with one down, I am currently working with Dave the Quilt Engineer to write a pattern for a small wall hanging and there is talk about collaborating to write a full size pattern as well.  So, I feel I'm still on track with this one as well.

4) Goal: Self evaluate.  Thanks for the reminder, Yvonne :)

5) Goal:  Drink more wine.  All things in moderation, though I do remember from time to time to treat myself to a deserving glass of something cold and sparkling.

So other than goal #1, I feel like I'm still on a positive track to completing my goals.  Maybe I need to write a non-quilting post declaring a more detailed plan on accomplishing this goal.  If I make it more public, I may feel more motivated to see it through.  Right now I'm leaving myself at my own devices and did you see the ice cream picture?  It looks yummy, how can I say no??  Sigh.  

One goal I did not set for myself this year was restrictions on adding to my stash and right about now, I'm really glad I didn't.  Craftsy just launched their Christmas in July Sale today with up to 60% off of quilting supplies.  Yes, please!

I'm dreaming of a Cotton & Steel FQ bundle and a bigger spool of Aurifil Monofilament Thread and I think I heard David say something about Tula Pink, so there just maybe stash posts in our future...and second jobs.  But really with sales this great, we might be able to hold off on the second jobs.  So hop over to Craftsy and treat yourself to something nice.  (Links to Craftsy are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission should you choose to purchase something.  So, consider me a Craftsy enabler, but I promise to never steer you wrong or tell anyone you were here)

Come join the party!  Today I'm linking up with 2016 Mid Year Review and Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rainbow Rose--Finished

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."--William Shakespeare.

Versions of this little quilt are popping up everywhere after the Rainbow Rose Quilt Along hosted by the Modern Quilters Ireland has wrapped up.  Each and everyone of them are beautiful and unique in their own way, but the sweetest thing about this Rainbow Rose quilt is, she belongs to me.  I have enjoyed everything about this quilt.  From the fabrics (you can read more about my piecing of this quilt here), to the quilting, to the photographing.  

I didn't spend too much time planning out the quilting for this one.  Don't get me wrong it was tempting to free motion the dickens out of it, but I loved the simple look of the echoed triangles in the baby quilt I recently finished so much, I decided to carry it over to this wallhanging/baby quilt.  Originally, I planned to quilt it with a gold/yellow thread, but after seeing the beautiful rainbow lines in Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl's quilt, I knew I too wanted to put that beautiful variegated thread on this quilt.

How can you not be happy when you look at this spool of Aurifil #3817 Marrakesh?  I know it makes me smile.  I love it so much, I have two spools.  The world needs more rainbows and I'm not quite done quilting with it yet, so stay tuned.    

Back to the project.  I had lots of help when it came to the quilting.

Princess Caroline of the Fuzzy Butts was nice enough to hold the quilt down while I marked my 1" lines.  Oliver was content supervising from the sidelines.  But all of their/my hard work paid off,

and what was created was a beautiful texture of lines all pointing to the center.  All things point to the rainbow.  

My backing fabric was an interesting find, colorful Calveras or sugar skulls.

Are you sitting down?  I didn't do a flanged binding this time.  Believe me I'm just as shocked as you are.  Instead, I pulled from my stash to create a simple machine binding in rainbow colors.

And just like that, she was done and I could not be happier with how she looks.

Warning:  Picture Overload Ahead

Now that I'm nice and warmed up, it's time to quilt my Heart Quilt for Pulse.  I can't fix the world myself, but I can do everything I can to try to make it a happier, brighter place.  One positive vibe can do good.  No matter what we do, let's send as many good vibes out as we can.  Let's create our own rainbow of prayer, positive vibes and love for life itself.

Come join the party!  Today I'm linking up with Rainbow Rose QALLet's Bee Social, and  Linky Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Baby Quilts--Twinning

I'm from a small town.  Much like our online quilting community, I love how a small town can bring everyone together.  We come together in times of need and we come together in times of celebration.  Today, my story is a story of celebration.

Let's change gears...I HATE buying cars.  I hate the "game" behind it.  I LOATH large car dealerships and all the smoke and curtains and back and forth that comes with car buying.   I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about.  I do however, love trading cars with a local dealership, Number One Auto Sales, in my town.  It's owned by a wonderful family.  We usually work with the son and both David and I walk away feeling like it's been a great experience.  They make you feel like family.  So when I found out that he and his wife were expecting (twins!), I knew I wanted to make quilts to help them celebrate their beautiful girls.

As luck would have it, the expecting dad's sister is also my daughter's English teacher (see how this small town thing works) and I just happened to have her phone number.  I contacted her, and told her about my idea to make quilts.  I wanted her input because, technically I didn't know the expecting couple well enough to know what their taste may be.  I wanted to make something a bit more modern for the babies and nothing too matchy-matchy.  So after some fabric pulls, I got a thumbs up on my fabric choices.

I chose Framed Baby Quilt by Christine Weld, a free pattern on Moda Bake Shop.  I loved the simple modern feel to the quilt and felt the small squares would be perfect for showing off the beautiful prints in the charm packs; Windsor Lane by Bunny Hill for Moda and Atrium by Joel Dewberry.

To construct the little four patch units for the border, I used a method, I believe that was in a pattern I once made by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

I started off by cutting the charms in half and sewing two halves together.  I then took those units and pieced them together to form a long strip.

I then cut a 2 1/2" strip from the front of the strip set and set it aside.

Next, I folded the blue and pink strip at the seam on top of the next unit, made sure everything lined up and trimmed, creating a four patch bock.  I continued until I had all the pieces I needed and in no time the first top was completed.

When it came to the quilting, I decided to keep it simple and quilted the first one very similar to how the quilt in the pattern was quilted.  Hey, sometimes, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

I stitched lines every inch and half inch in the center and outer borders.  The only difference from the pattern quilt is I stitched continuous curves in the pieced border to break things up a bit.  

For my quilting threads I pulled from my trusty Aurifil stash.  I used #2405 Oyster in my bobbin.  For the quilt top, I used #5011 Rope Beige for the lines and #2405 Oyster the continuous curve.  To stitch the flange of the binding to the top of the quilt I used #1100 Red Plumb.

I did change the quilting on the second quilt a bit.  Instead of echoing the rectangle shape in the center of the quilt I added triangles to the mix.  Just like the twins, they are similar but different. 

This time I used Aurifil #2605 Gray to stitch the lines with # 1100 Red Plumb in the bobbin and #2405 Oyster to stitch the continuous curves and the flange of the binding.

Miss Caroline (teeny tiny fuzz) gave me fits over these quilts.  Because she is the baby, she 100% felt they should be hers.  Every time I turned around she was sleeping or sitting on them.  So after my photo shoot outside I had to wash them again and hide them in the closet in a gift bag.  Why the closet?  1) so Caroline would stay off them and 2) her kitty brother, Oliver, wouldn't eat the ribbon handles of the bags.  Kids...sigh.

Yesterday, a little over a month after the birth of the twins, I dropped the gift bag off to Mr. Number One Auto.  I left the package with one of the salesman because I saw he was busy with a customer.  Feeding those babies is super important so I did not want to interrupt a sale.  Hopefully, they love the quilts and the girls will make fond memories with them.  

How about a few more quilt shots before we wrap things up?

The first time I got to use my labels from ikaprint.

Also around the time I started working on these quilts, my sewing space changed up a bit.  Since, David is giving this thing we call quilting a go, we decided to invest in a second machine.  We were able to get a great deal on a used machine that was a class machine at a local quilt shop.  It's the next step up from the machine I currently had and it's been worth every penny.  After purchasing a second set of shelves to hold quilting goodies, this is how our shared space is looking.

We still have some kinks to work out, but it's serving its purpose.  Right now it actually looks like a disaster area (I'm not sure why I felt like I needed to tell you that)

Also, the 2016 New Bloggers Block Hop kicked back off Monday.  If you have some times, please make sure you check out the new post-ers and show them some love.

For my hive The Sewcial Network posting this week was:
Sharon of Yellow Cat Designs
Amanda of This Mom Quilts
Laurel of Quilts By Laurel
Marla of Penny Lane Quilts

Also stop by the host's page to read about the bloggers posting from their hives and sign up for a chance to enter some pretty cool give aways.
Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
Stephanie at Late Night Quilter

Come join the party!  Today I'm linking up with TGIFF Let's Bee Social and Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Quilt Along Stash

It's no mystery, I love quilt-a-longs.  I love sewing with my quilty friends and seeing all the different interpretations of the same project.  So, I was super excited to learn that both Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs were both hosting quilt-a-longs around the same time.  Plus two new quilt-a-longs gave me an excuse to travel to some LQS to play around in fabrics.

So last weekend I traveled to Classic Quilt Shop in Clarksburg, WV with Dave the Quilt Engineer to explore possible quilt-a-long fabrics.

We had so much fun looking at all the fabrics and chatting with the owner, Janet.  

She even posed in a picture with me for fun.  If you ever find yourself in the area, please stop in and visit with her and check out her shop.  We had so much fun, after lunch we popped back over to purchase a second pair of scissors so we each have our own pair.  She also reminded me of the Mountain Quilt Quest Shop Hop coming up July 20th through 23rd.  You can travel to the eight shops in West Virginia participating and collect the blocks and kits to create the shop hop quilt.  The blocks, by the way, just happen to be designed by one of my fellow quilt guild members, Patti Anderson.  Each shop participating will have their own unique setting for the blocks.  You can find more information about the hop on the Mountain Quilt Quest web page.

Now on to my goodies...

While at the Classic Quilt Shop, I picked up yardage for the Meadow Mystery Quilt hosted by Meadow Mist Designs.  I had the honor of testing the pattern earlier in the year and I wanted to go with a color scheme different from what I chose when I tested it.  I decided to step out of my comfort zone and choose bright happy colors, based on a picture a found on Pinterest.

Photo from Whimsical Raindrop Cottage

When I tested the pattern, I also chose a color palette based on a different meadow picture I had pinned on Pinterest.

Now to wait for the next set of instructions.  I 100% guarantee my lips are sealed.

My next fabric additions were picked up at the local Jo-Ann Fabrics for Yvonne's Snowflake Shimmer Quilt-A-Long.

As soon as I saw the metallic shimmer in these fabrics, I HAD to have them.  I'm a sucker for shinny things.  The gray will be the background fabric and the teal will be the binding.  I'm super excited to see this one come together.

Which brings me to my last fabric purchase.  Saturday, we traveled to Morgantown, WV to the Country Roads Quilt Shop.  David finished piecing his version of Looking Glass by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and he decided to have it long arm quilted since it is a bigger sized quilt.  To the quilt shop we go!  I played around in the FQ's and decided to add to my stash since they were having a sale on them.  

A total of eleven new babies.  I'm thinking any of these will work for my round on the round robin mini this month.  But we will talk more about that later in the month.

Actually, I should probably stop rambling and go quilt something.  There is much to do and the days are ticking.  But how about one more picture before I go?  Just for fun.

I think he's about ready to vote me out of the sewing pace.  He's constantly paranoid that I'm taking a picture of him when I pick up my phone...I have no idea why?  He's crazy.  Bawhahaha!

Today I'm linking up with Snowflake Shimmer QALMain Crush Monday, and Sunday Stash.

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