Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A piece of a legend

Well I seem to be back from an unintended blogging break.  I really don't have a good reason for my disappearance, maybe a case of the blahs?  But let me tell you the above little package, excited me!  Wrapped in the contents of that lovely white and pink tissue paper and sweet little floral ribbon are pieces of a legend!

During my week off last week (which should have been way more productive than it was) I received a package in the mail from my dear friend Helen who blogs over at Midget Gem Quilts.  I met Helen during the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop and over the past (almost) two years, our friendship has grown.  I knew there was a package crossing the seas on its way to me, but I had no idea what it would be.

I carefully, untied the ribbon, read my card and unwrapped the beautiful tissue paper, to reveal another darling bag (note the name of the shop on the bag) and beautiful teal fabric.  Curiouser and curiouser.

Inside, what is quite possibly the coolest shop bag EVER, I found the cutest little White Rabbit key chain.

I remember Helen telling me about this shop right after we first met, now I have a little piece of it!

Now let's talk about that teal and white polka dot fabric...curiouser and curiouser!

Does anyone recognize this fabric?  I'll give you a minute to think.  No pressure, I knew it the second I pulled it out of the bag.  If you just answered, binding from the Behemoth or Coulter Wedding Quilt you would be 100% correct, and I am applauding you!  David looked at me like I was crazy when I held the fabric up and asked, "Do you know what this is???"

Seriously, I feel like I'm holding a piece of history.  I have followed Helen from day one of the creation of this quilt and enjoyed reading about every minute of her making it.  Some quilts just take on a life and personality of it's own, and the Behemoth is one of those quilts.  You can read more about the Behemoth here.  I feel that it is an honor that she has decided to share some of the left over fabrics with me.

Before I wrap up, I shall mention my list.  I have been working on it, but not as gung ho as I should be.  I do have two more things crossed off and need to share them with you.  Which leaves me with this pile of letters to be appliqued on the bookshelf quilt.

Then you throw in a few squirrels in the form of hot pads, Christmas ornaments and a tree skirt and well, you may see where I got off track.

After finishing his sister's plus quilt, David decided he wanted to make a skirt for our tree and I agreed to quilt it.  So, it became a family project for any future grandchildren to fight over.

So time to crack the whip and get back to work.  Christmas is right around the corner and if I don't get out of this funk, I may only find coal in my stocking...yikes!

So I will leave you when my tiniest fur children.  

When returning to my bed after brushing my teeth, I discovered Junior and Caroline had taken over my spot.  Like they really thought, I was going to be like, sure, I'll just grab the couch??  I can't believe how much he has grown in the short time we've had him...he's bigger than Princess Fuzzy Butt and she's almost a year older than him.

After some sweet talking and the fact I'm still bigger than them, they decided to let me back into bed and curl up with me.  They can be so sweet when the want to be.  You can't see it, but Caroline's paw is resting on Junior.

Even though Junior's feral side still shows from time to time and he's convinced dogs are for hissing at, I think he's glad to not be at his dumpster anymore.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mini Round Robin--Finished

This entire project has been a crazy train ride full of emotions and I would certainly buy a ticket to ride again anytime.  The journey for this little quilt started back in May when I constructed the center block, called The Attraction block (the free pattern can be found here).

My poor round robin mates, I think I'm the one that made it hardest on everyone.  If I had it to do over, I would have chosen a block that wasn't so simplistic.  I really kind of backed them into a corner color wise and well, it's not the most interesting block to build off of.  But I have to say the round robin team completely blew this out of the water and returned to me in September the most beautiful and creatively designed mini I could have ever imagined.  

You can read more about my mini's journey, if you would like me to pause my story for a minute or two...

The beginning...my post
Round one it traveled to Julie at Pink Doxies
Round two it traveled to Cindy at Stitchin At Home
Round three it traveled to Sandra at MmmQuilts

We had hoped to have our minis quilted by the beginning of October, but true to form, I am fashionably late to the party.  That's okay though, I was a bit intimidated by their creative work and had to wait for this little guy to speak to me.

This mini is about balance, change and movement.  Life is constantly changing.  In any given situation there is usually two sides pressing against each other and it just depends on how hard they are pressing as to whether balance is achieved.  My center square started out black and white, yin and yang.  I like to think of that red square in the middle as the pop of energy that forces things to change, for the better or the worse.  We need that pop; without it there is no chance to grow.

So until this epiphany hit me, this poor mini laid around my house, basted and ready to go.  My pop of red that made me realize, it was time to quilt or get off the machine, happened one evening while I was quilting at the Sweet Sixteen.  All of my fur kids were quietly playing in the living/dining room.  I had my glasses on top of my head so looking at a distance things were blurring.  When I glanced in their direction, I could see white stuff all over the floor and all three dogs were chewing at something...wtf?

For the first time ever, they had grabbed something off the quilting table.  Those three heathens, managed to paw the batting out from between the quilt layers.  Thankfully, the top was not ripped.  This picture is blurry because I may have been screaming like a raging sailor.

I have no idea what possessed them to do this, but lesson learned.  When I went to the store to pick up more batting, I ran into this fabric.

 For reasons not clearly revealed to me, I decided I wanted this for my backing fabric instead of the red print.  If I had to re-layer everything, I may as well re-layer everything.

Now on to the good part...the quilting.  

This mini called for three different colors of thread, Aurifil #2250 Red, #2692 Black and #2021 Natural White.  Three very classic colors.  Doesn't it make you want to dress up and go out on the town?

For my section, the center square, I decided on simple continuous curves for the red and feathers in the black and white.  Though the black and white fabrics are opposite each other, the feathers allow them to flow together.  

For Julie's round, I chose to do angled lines going opposite each other in the red and black sections.  Instead of adding the ribbon candy in the border, I left the small borders un-quilted.

For Cindy's round, those awesome chevron/arrows, I decided to echo the chevrons going in the opposite direction.  I LOVE when I can add ghost quilting to a project; those little designs you didn't know where lurking in a space.  In life, even when things are going smoothly in the direction you want them to go, there can be small little obstacle trying to take you a different direction.  Those little hiccups can lead to beauty, so we shouldn't fear them.  

This photograph shows how I marked the lines to quilt them to make sure I had the spacing correct.

In Sandra's last round of log cabin blocks, I knew I wanted to add some dot to dot quilting of angles and something similar in the corners.

Since this was a smaller project, I used a 1/4" tape to mark off the edge of my quilt, to help me easily see where I needed my lines to end and account for where the binding would hit the quilt.

Though, it's a bit  hard to see, those angles point down in the red and up in the black, with ribbon candy in the base of the red.  In the corners, I chose to add lines radiating from the corner out.

And of course for my binding, I went with a flange...gasp!  I seriously contemplated doing my binding in half red and black to blend into their sections.  I decided on the silver/gray and white flange to brighten things up a bit and show a distinct stopping point.  I think this quilt has achieved it's nirvana.  And so, I shall call my mini, "Nirvana."

And a quick peak at the back...

This quilt will always have a special place in my heart.  Being able to create with Julie, Cindy and Sandra was an honor.  All three of these ladies were able to translate exactly what this quilt was saying, even if at the time we couldn't completely understand what was being said.  I hope we all can fear change less and embrace the future with open arms.  Positive energy, thoughts and prays will bring about positive change.  I'm pretty sure nothing too great has come out of worry and fear except more fear.  With that I will leave you with Nirvana in the garden where her first pictures were taken.

Did I happen to mention this is the fourth finish from my 4th Quarter list?

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Scrap Squares--A Gift of Friendship

You may recall way back in the spring I made several table runners to sell at our guild's boutique.

One of which was this mini quilt from the book 101 Fabulous small quilts called Scrap Squares.  I have a ridiculous amount of pre-cuts in Moda's Papillon by 3 Sisters.  (Seriously, I still have an untouched Fat Eighth Bundle)

One of my nearest and dearest friends, from all the way back in middle school, fell in love with this mini and wanted to buy it.  Since I had already promised it to the guild, I told her that I would make her one of her very own, but this one had to go to the festival boutique.  She was heart broken to find out that the mini had already sold by the time she was able to get to the boutique's table.

So over the summer, true to my word, I began piecing Lori a Scrap Squares quilt of her very own in Papillon.  As I laid the fabrics out on the floor, I decided to increase the size of this quilt, from mini (3 by 4 squares) to smaller wall hanging size (5 by 6 squares).

I would also quilt this one differently from the smaller version's straight line quilting in variegated thread.

 This time around I chose to do ribbon candy in the sashing in Aurifil 2021 Natural White and continuous curves in all the squares in Aurifil 2405 Oyster.

The binding would be a flanged binding using a soft off white and gray print for the flange and a lovely blue print from the Papillon line of fabric for the main binding.

When I contacted Lori earlier in the week, she was completely surprised to learn that I had made her, her very own Scrap Squares quilt.  I know that this quilt will be well loved and that makes me very happy.  I have a dream and a wish for this quilt, but that will have to remain between two very good friends.

But for everyone else, how about a few more pictures...

The backing is made from this beautiful blue floral Timeless Treasures print.

And on another happy note for me, the completion of Scrap Squares is the third finish from my 4th quarter list...Woot!!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

WIP Check In

I feel like things have been super quite over here in my neck of the woods for the past week, but that is because I have been working my little tail off trying to cross things off of my 4th quarter list.  

Since we are in the second month of the quarter, I thought I would check in to see how I am progressing.

1)  A Hop Project for Paint Brush Studios  

I am happy to report that this one is finished and has been crossed off the list.  You can read more about Autumn Blooms here.

2)  Read With Me--Bookshelf Quilt

This one is currently sitting on my living room floor looking like this.  I discovered that the jelly roll that my cousin picked out only contains 24 strips, which is not enough.  So I'm digging into my stash of 30's reproductions to help bridge the gap. 

3)  Mini Round Robin--This one is finished...however I have not blogged about it yet.  I just need to capture some pictures and set down and write.

4)  Snowman Quilt

aka Snow Friends, pattern by Leanne at Devoted Quilter.  This one is finished and I have blogged about it.  You can read more about it here.

5)  Stay Up To Date on Meadow Mystery

Check.  I was a month behind, but managed to do both October and Novembers instructions this past weekend, so that I can show them at my guild meeting Monday night.

6)  Finish MOD Bear Paw Quilt

I'm not sure it looks like it in this picture, but I am making progress on this one.  I have been working it as a leader/ender project as I sew other things and I'm at a point that I will sew the rest of the bear paw blocks together.   

7)  Piece 6 more blocks in my Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt--Umm...nothing to report here.  I may pull it out after I finish writing this to pick my fabrics.  Mr. Stemple is currently quilting his Added Up Quilt he is making for his sister.  It takes most of our sewing space so I am being a good girl and letting him have the table to himself.

8)  Finish Piecing the Pat Sloan's My Secret Garden Quilt--I haven't worked on this one in a month or two, but I will I promise.  I just need to piece the last block and put the thing together.  

9)  Quilt Psychedelic Cat Lady--Getting closer.  Like I'm gonna start in the next few days.  This one is currently 1/2 basted.  The backing and the batting are spray basted, but after doing Mr. Stemple's quilt first, we ran out of basting spray.  A new can should arrive on my door step Wednesday.

10)  Charity Quilts for the Guild--Still need to work on these to babies.  They are basted and ready to go.  Which just made me pause to ask myself why I'm sitting here and not quilting them?  However, I have decided on where they will go after they are finished.  I will be donating them to the Ronald McDonald house in Morgantown, WV.  

11)  Finish A UFO--I've decided which one it will be...probably my most embarrassing UFO...the first first quilt I ever made.  Yup, you read that right.  The only thing it needs is a binding to take it from UFO to finished quilt.  It is a queen sized Turning Twenty and I can almost see it on my bed!

12)  Quilt Ocean Sky--(this is where the finishes start to make me nervous)  I am hoping to see this one to a finish, but I guess it will depend on how quickly numbers 9 and 10 go.

13)  Midnight Mystery--Both of my Midnight Mystery Quilts are still waiting to be quilted.  I hoped to have one of them finished before 12/31...so see explanation of number 12.

14)  Small Gift for a Friend--this one is actually finished, just waiting on me to take pictures and write about it.  I have contacted my friend to let her know it will be coming her way in hopefully a week.

I am pretty darn amazed at what I have accomplished in a little over a month and what I am projecting to finish by the end of this month.  Maybe there really is something to this list thing.  Have I been converted to being a slightly more organized person???  I have even re organized my stash and made a list of all my WIP's and quilt kits that need made.  All of my charm packs live together as do the other pre-cuts. Who have I become???  Okay, now my head hurts...off to sip a glass of wine and work on those fabric pulls.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crust Monday.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pattern Testing--Snow Friends and Give Away Winner

Several months ago I volunteered to pattern test for Leanne at Devoted Quilter.  She had recently written a pattern for the cutest little group of snowpeople.  How could I say no to those faces??  Plus it would give me a chance to try out some new applique skills.

After purchasing some yardage of what I thought was a perfect background choice (the blue fabric with the swirly snow and silver flakes) I went through my stash to pull just the right prints to dress my little snow family.

Just look at this happy couple.

The pattern went together very quickly.  All of the snowmen are pieced either using the stitch and flip or slice and stitch methods and their noses and eyes are appliqued on.  Everything went smooth until I got to the lettering.  That was 100% me not the pattern.  I was stressing so hard about not misspelling a word, that...

Proof that sometimes we bring about what we think about.  I kept thinking something didn't look quite right.  Thanks to the Crafted Applique method by Lara at Buzzin Bumble, I was able to peal those letters back off, arrange them in the correct order and be on my merry way.

I chose to quilt this wall hanging with an all over edge to edge loop design.  Man, I had forgotten how gratifying this type of quilting can be.  For my thread choice, are you setting down for this one, I decided to try something new.  I opted for a spool of Isacord thread in a variegated blue and white.

 I have to say I was quite impressed how the polyester thread glides across the surface of the quilt.  A LQS about 40 minutes from us carries Isacord thread in just about every color imaginable.  I'm thinking I may have to grab a few more spools the next time I'm in the area.

Which brings me to the head banging portion of this post...the binding.  I decided on a flanged binding (of course) and chose a wonderful red with poinsettias for the main binding and a white with gold metallic stars for the flange.  I figured this color combination would really set this piece off and frame it nicely.  I also took pictures for a tutorial I will share later this week about attaching the tails when you work with the flanged binding.

Have you spotted my mistake yet?  I made good time sewing around the quilt, looking at those snowman and enjoying the look of the thread on the quilt top.  Those thoughts should have been my first signal that something was wrong.

 I sewed it to the wrong flipping side of the quilt!!!!

At this point, I could have ripped everything off the quilt and started over, but my tails were already attached and looking pretty awesome, so I did not.  I'm just calling this one a reversible quilt.  Sometimes you just have to laugh at your mistake.  Hey, maybe this can start a new trend in quilting...although I'm going to guess not.

The exciting news about this quilt pattern, is that today is its release date.  If you would like to pick up a copy of this extremely cute and festive pattern, hop over to Devoted Quilter and learn more about the details.  These little snowmen would look great on any of your winter projects and would make a great gift.

A big thanks to Leanne for giving me the opportunity to test this pattern, I had so much fun bringing each one to life.

Finishing up Snow Friends is the second finish from my 4th Quarter Goal list.  So two down twelve more to go.

Also, it is time to announce the winners of my give away from the Autumn Abundance Hop.  Using the random number generator on my phone for the prize of the 5" Windfall charms the winner was comment number...

117. ckrut--"One of my favorite things about fall is the changing color of the leaves.  Love all the reds, oranges and yellows!

And the winner of the 6 fall inspired fat quarters from my stash was...

77.  Connie Cain--Love your quilt!!  The quilting on it is beautiful!  I like the cooler weather and the rain. :)

Congratulations to both winners!  I have sent emails out to both.  And a huge thank you to everyone that stopped by and visited during the Autumn Abundance Blog Hop.

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