Friday, December 30, 2016

MOD Bear Paw--Finished

I am doing a happy dance over this quilt!  This will be my last official finish for 2016.  Technically, I had only hoped to have this one pieced by the end of the year, but somehow managed to pull off a full complete finish.

Late in the summer, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts  contacted me and asked if I would have time to look over a pattern that she had just put the finishing touches on.  I gladly said yes.  This quilt spoke to me the moment I saw it.  I had what Sandra calls a DrEAMi moment.  Only I didn't drop everything and make it immediately.  I waited until Lorna announced her quilt along in the fall.  I wanted to turn this into a "West Virginia" quilt.  My vision was to do the bear paw blocks in our state colors of blue and gold with a black bear, our state animal.

It took a bit of fabric planning, trying to figure out how much of what I needed and how they translated into the pattern.    

 I opted to make the baby quilt size and decided to add borders to make it slightly bigger.  Let me tell you, this was a whole lot of small HST's.  My little head was spinning.  With all the other projects I had going on, I decided to work them as a leader/ender project.  This was a great idea.  It allowed me to constantly be working on the quilt, but also finish other things as well.  

This tote stayed by my machine at all times and I kept everything straight by using sandwich bags to organize.  Each bag held a certain number of blocks.

Before I knew it I had all those bear paw blocks together and the first half of the quilt complete.

For the actual bear blocks and sashing, I had to slow down and devote my full attention to this quilt.  Slowly this little black bear was coming out of hiding.

After the book shelf quilt was finished, I decided to baste this one up and get to quilting.  I decided to go with Lorna's simple wavy lines.

My thread of choice was Aurifil #2610 Light Blue Grey.  I wanted something that would play well all over the quilt.  If I chose the wrong color, I knew it would stick out like a sore thumb on the white and black fabrics.  This particular shade of grey blended in nicely with both fabrics without drawing attention away from the over all quilt.  What's that saying never poke a sleeping bear?  I'm guessing that applies to the awake bears too.

My backing was a lovely shade of blue I picked up a LQS and my binding was blue with a yellow flange.  Everything came together so smoothly.

The only thing left to do, was take my bear outside and let him trek through the yard a bit.  Man it was cold out there.

This quilt makes me smile.  I had a vision in my head and I'm pleased to say, I transformed it into fabric, just like I dreamed about.  A huge thank you to Lorna for hosting this quilt along and writing such a wonderful pattern.  You can find more information about the quilt along here and see other finished quilts from the quilt along here.  If you have a chance, hop by and check out Lorna's patterns in her etsy store.  From jungle critters to silly hamsters, she has something for everyone over there.

I'm not exactly sure what the fate of this little quilt will be.  When I made it I didn't have a particular home for it in mind.  This was one of those "I just have to do it" moments.  Next Wednesday I will post about how Tish vs The 4th Quarter List turned out.  We fought 14 rounds, but I think it's pretty safe to say, I'm the winner.

I hope all of you have a wonderful New Years!  I will be kicking back with a glass of wine and piecing a few more quilts.  I look forward to all the wonderful and exciting things all of us do next year.  2017 is a blank slate and I think together all of us will create beautiful things and make the world just a little bit warmer one stitch at a time.

Today I'm linking up with MOD Bear Paw.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Charity Baby Quilts--Finished

This was an over all easy finish from start to stop. times two.  A very generously quilter donated bags and bags of fabric to our guild.  She was moving and unfortunately could not take it with her, so decided to find a good home for it.  We promised to take great care of the fabric and use it for good.  I noticed two identical Precious Moments panels and offered to take them home and quickly quilt them up.

I chose to do an edge to edge loop design for the quilting and used a lovely shade of Aurifil #2405 Oyster.

You can tell from the picture this little spool has been loved very's getting smaller.  One panel was backed with a lovely pink and white flannel also from the donation bag and the other with yardage I picked up at a local store.

I will either be dropping them off at the women's aid and crisis center or parish house in our area.  Both do a pronominal job helping those in need in our community.

Completing both of these tops allows me to cross another goal off the 4th quarter list!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Bookshelf Quilt--Finished

I started to fear that I wasn't going to hit my deadline on this project.  I cut it a bit too close for my comfort.  But this little elf pulled it off anyway.  My cousin approached me via email several months ago about making a bookshelf quilt for her mother in law for Christmas.  Secretly, I've always wanted to make this quilt, ever since I found it on Moda Bake Shop.  The pattern is called Read With Me Quilt and is by Melissa Corry.  I absolutely LOVE the way it is quilted.

After explaining what a jelly roll was to my non quilty cousin, I told her to pick out a jelly roll, mail it to me and I would get started.  Several weeks later, this little 1930's reproduction jelly roll arrived in my mail box.  I grabbed a pretty white on white fabric for the background and promptly but it on a shelf..fitting right?

When I finally cracked this bad boy open I discovered instead of being your typical 42 strips it was only 20.  Huston, we have a problem.  Luckly, I have a huge stash of 1930's reproduction fabric that I've never touched (that good ol' good intentions thing).

 I asked if it would be okay to incorporate some of those and got a green light.  I'm actually glad this happened.  That jelly roll was a whole lot of orange, brown, green and blue.  My stash addition added a bit more color.

Now it was time to read the directions and start chopping.  

As I cut my different length strips I sorted them into bags according to their size.  This made things so much easier when I had to sort my strips for the four different types of blocks that make up the quilt.

Since it was mostly strip piecing it went together in no time.

The little blue squares at the top are part of the MOD Bear Paw you will be seeing soon

This led to a little Crafted Applique fun.

Let's not forget quality control testing.

And boom!  A finished quilt top.  This is where the pictures stopped.  I knew I was quickly approaching the deadline and focused more on the quilt and less on the blogging aspect.  Sorry.  I was DYING to quilt this one based off the original quilt design, but knowing that my cousin wanted it for Christmas 2016 and not Christmas however long it takes, I went with the more practical all over loops design using Aurifil #2021 Natural White.  So after a quick quilting and a tumble in the washer and dryer, I was able to get this in the mail and delivered safe and sound on time.

I did snap a few pictures before it went out.  A huge thanks to my mom/next door neighbor for letting me take a few pictures in her house.  The weather has been quite bleak, with no good lighting.

My cousin and her mother in law was nice enough to share a few pictures with me and allow me to share them with you.

The picture is a little blurry, but I think the happiness shines through!

And a very sweet picture of my cousin and her mother in law.

I'm very glad that I was able to help my cousin with her gift and lets to a little happy dance for me, because I was able to cross a bucket list item off and another item off my 4th quarter list!!  Of course, now I want to make one for me too, because I must have all the quilts :)

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Best of 2016

As we begin wrapping up what has been a crazy 2016, it is time again for the Best of Linky Party hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.  It's a chance to link up and share with everyone what you feel your best posts are.  It could be you most viewed posts, your most commented on posts or what you are most proud of writing.  Heck choose at random, if you want!

This year I decided to look at my all time blog stats and base my picks on my most viewed posts, so let's see what made the cut.

My 5th most viewed post of all time is....

This little quilt came about, after Sandra at mmmquilts and I discussed our love for all that is Swoon.  It was a quilt that has been on our list for quite sometime and we decided to tackle it together in mini style, since we both owned the pattern.  Come to think of it, I think we said we were going to make the big versions as well.  Now where did I set my goal list for 2017? 

My 4th most viewed post....

Winter Star was the last Aurifil mini quilt of 2015.  It was part of a quilt along hosted by Pat Sloan featuring 12 different Aurifil Designers.

My 3rd most viewed post...

"That's right, I build quilts.  Don't mess with me, I'm a bad ass."

This has to be one of my favorite posts, because I introduced to the quilting world, my husband, David, who now loves to "build quilts."  And ever since this post, build quilts he has.  If you've never had a chance to see them, make sure you visit him at Dave the Quilting Engineer.

My 2nd most viewed post...

This quilt is made from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs pattern Building Blocks Baby Quilt, a free pattern on Moda Bake Shop.  I chose Bonnie and Camille's Hello Darling for the fabric.  You can read about how much fun I had quilting this one.  One of my all time favorites.

And that brings us to...drum roll most viewed post of all time...

Watermelon Taffy was my first ever block tutorial, written for the Fabri Quilt 2015 New Block Blog Hop.  It is still one of my favorite blocks.  I love it so much, I changed up the color placement (construction was till the same minus the pinwheel) for my quilt Autumn Blooms for the Paint Brush Studio Autumn Abundance Blog Hop hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot.

So this concludes my look back at my top 5 posts of all time.  What do you consider your "best of?"  Cheryl's party is open for the seven days.  If you get a chance, set back, relax and reflect on what you think your best five posts are and join us over at Meadow Mist Designs.  I know my quilting life was changed last year by the Best of Party.  It's where I met Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts and fell in love with her Susie's Magic Binding Method.  My quilts have never been the same or looked better!

Today I'm linking up with Best of 2016 and Main Crush Monday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

First Quilt Ever---Finished

Here she is, in all her glory...the first quilt I ever pieced, finally finished.  No. I didn't start quilting like a month ago.  It's time for one of my favorite things...

Time to pull the skeleton quilts of of the closet and air my dirty little quilting secret.  I, Tish N. Wonderland had never finished the first quilt I pieced.  How does that even happen???  Well, let me tell you.

Once upon a time, there lived a girl and she loved to cross stitch.  She started out with small projects and taught herself as she went along.  She spent many hours enjoying the mindless and satisfying task of moving the needle up and down over linen, creating small colorful x's to create beautiful works of thread art.

One day, she ran across a series of patterns called Wedding Herbs and fell madly in love with the beautiful colors.  There were 12 (it might have been 8) total different herbs.

To have all of them together would take up some major wall space, so one day she said to herself, "why couldn't someone turn all of these into a quilt, where they could be displayed together??"

So bravely she loaded them up and headed to the local quilt shop to seek the advice of the knowledgeable quilters and see if any would take on this project for her.  Alas, they all said, "No, you do not want to do that.  That just would not work.  Frame them, that is what you should do."  Feeling defeated and ready to start the trek back home (ok, jump in the car and drive 4 blocks) she started to leave.  When the shop owner said, "Wait!  I have an idea.  Why not learn to make a quilt, then tackle the project yourself?"  

The shop owner quickly whisked her off talking about patterns, seam allowances, rotary cutters and something call fat quarters?  Her head was spinning, she was feeling motivated, encouraged even! What was this spell that had been cast on her??  With a swipe of the debit card, she left the shop with 20 fat quarters, a rotary cutter, a ruler and a Turning Twenty pattern and most importantly, a look of "what the hell just happened" on her face.

One night a week she traveled to the magical fabric shop and was guided on her quest of quilt piecing.  A few weeks later, before her, lay one completed queen sized Turning Twenty quilt.  The shop owner then sent the top of to the enchanted long arm quilter and two weeks later, with tears of happiness she had in her possession one quilted quilt top!  Magic!

Umm..okay?  Now what?  Binding?  No one mentioned that???  So after much reading about the process, the girl quickly packed up her top and locked it away in a rubber made tote until the day it would be set free by a binding fairy and completed.

So what did the girl do?  With the top locked away, she boxed up all her cross stitch supplies, bought more fabric and apparently pieced 23 more quilt tops that are still laying around.  Sigh.

That is until now.  After ten years of hiding, the top started calling to her once again..."Bind me.  Bind me."  And so she did.

So now the girl and the quilt shall live happily ever after.  Snuggling together on those long cold winter nights ahead, thus completing her quilting journey and freeing her from the spell.  THE END.

Just kidding, once you drink the quilting kool aid we all know your addicted for life.  But seriously, if feels AMAZING to have this queen sized monkey off my back, and allows me to mark another goal off my 4th quarter list...aka finish a UFO.  Hey, it counts.

I was just responding to emails and Katrin over at Now What Puppilalla? had a fun idea.  Since I am looking at reducing my UFO and quilt kit piles over the next year, maybe I'll I post my top 3 contenders or choose at random and let you guys help me decide what to work on.  Any one game for that?

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Planning Party

When I reflect on 2016, I have to admit that the last quarter of the year was by far my most productive and I don't think that it is a coincidence.  It was the first time (ever) that I actually set down and wrote out a list of things I wanted to accomplish within a specific time period.  I knew that my list, more than likely, contained more projects than I could finish in three months, but it gave me a variety of things to work on, so I didn't feel too constricted.  I will give an over all up date on that original list of 14 items closer to the end of the year, I hope you'll be impressed.

Julie at Pink Doxies and Beth at Cooking Up Quilts are pairing up to be accountability buddies for the upcoming year.  I think this is a fabulous idea...and so does Sandra!  So she and I will be teaming up to help each other stay on track when it comes to goals.  I'm sure there will be lots of praise and a bit of, "hey, get on track, sister!" going on.

We started off with a FaceTime session last night to discuss where we would like things to go.  I can't give you all of the future plans, but I can give you a rough draft of them.

1. Quarterly Goal Setting (most important)

     I think this will be one of the keys to a successful 2017.  I can tweak my long term goals every three months to reflect on my progress.  Hopefully, Sandra and I can plan face to face chat sessions to regularly check in and motivate each other or trouble shoot.

This is also where the 2017 Quilters Planner will come in quite handy.  Stephanie at Late Night Quilter has left nothing out of this baby.  It is the ultimate quilt planning tool, and I can't wait to have it completely full at the end of the year.!!

2.  Tackle UFO's

     This year has to be about the UFO's for me.  Period.  I currently have 23ish unquilted quilt tops laying around the house.  That just seems insane to me.  I ended up with so many of them because I just couldn't decide how to quilt them.  No more, I say!!!  It is time to drag them out, one by one, and give them life.  Are you in the same boat as me?  Let's do it together.  Maybe we can help get unstuck.  I think I can feel an idea bubbling around in the back of my head somewhere.

3.  Quilt Alongs

     I LOVE quilt alongs and I cannot lie!  This may be my weakness, sewing with others.  It's just so much fun!  I plan on participating in a few through out the year.  I'm hoping these small monthly piecing projects will help scratch the itch to make a quilt all at once.  Maybe, break up all that quilting.  Here is the small list I would like to take part in.

Meadow Mystery at Meadow Mist Designs.  This one is already underway and should wrap up in early spring.  So far I have been able to keep up to speed and do not see myself slowing down anytime soon.

Pat Sloan's 2017 Children's Library Mystery Quilt  To date I have participated in all of Pat's mystery quilts (Globetrotting, Vacation Time, and My Secret Garden) and have loved each one.  This years quilt is scrappy and the perfect excuse for me to start cleaning out some of my fabric bins.  The first block will publish January 1st.  If you click on the link above you can check out the supply list.

Blossom Heart Quilts The Milky Way QAL  I'm kind of excited about this one.  It will be a paper pieced quilt along with one block coming out each month.  That is way more than just doable, it's completely achievable!  This one kicks off January 1st.

Garhering 2017 Mystery Quilt at Cora's Quilts  This one doesn't kick off till around the end of March or April, which is perfect for me because it would give me time to finish piecing last years Beguiling mystery quilt.  This year she is offering three different sizes; toddler, throw and queen.

I'm sure these are not the only quilt alongs I will do this year.  They are just the ones I can see on the horizon.

4.  Along with a crazy amount of UFO's, I seem to have collected quite a few quilt kits...around 11.  By this I mean actual kits I have purchased or patterns that I have bought fabric for and are waiting to be made.  We shall call them the "Good Intentions Club."  It sure would be nice to see some of these come to life and move on from my little birds, fly!

5.  Be juried into a local group of artists at The Artistry on Main Studio.  This is a studio for local artists to display and sale their works of art.  To be considered I must submit three pieces and an application and be accepted into the fold.  The gallery does not contain any quilted pieces as of now.  So the goal here...create three pieces and submit them.  Pretty straight forward.

6.  Release a quilt pattern.  I'm so close to completing this one, it just isn't funny.  The pattern has been written, I just need to test it and have it proof read.  I may be putting out a call for pattern testers soon, just saying.

7.  Collaborate with quilty friends.  This one makes me super happy.  Sandra and I have been bouncing ideas off each other about different projects we could collaborate on.  I can't share too much on this one yet, but we are working on a few things.  Hopefully, other opportunities present themselves through out the year.  I'm always up for a quilty good time.  I'm pretty sure my name and number are written on a few quilt shop bathrooms (just kidding). 

So for now, I think I shall end my list.  I have quite a bit to think about and accomplish in this next year.  I look forward to those things I know I need to do and all the little squirrels that pop up along the way.  So here's to all of my amazing quilty friends and to making new quilty friends.  I love you all and look forward to a great year will all of you!

Have you thought about your 2017 goals?  It's never too late.  Give it some thought, write them down and join us all over at Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for her 2017 Planning Party!  It's a great way to send off 2016 with good friends.  I'll bring the wine ;)

Today I'm linking up with 2017 Planning Party and Main Crush Monday.

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