Thursday, March 30, 2017

Freefall QAL

When my QBF Sandra (mmm!quilts) announced that she was hosting her first ever QAL, I just had to participate.  What kind of friend would I be if I didn't??  Since fabric wise I've been a very good girl this year, I decided to treat myself to a few new pieces to kick off this quilting party.  My Freefall leaves will have more of a spring feel than fall.

Once my new pieces where home and out of the bag, I decided to mix and match them with items that already existed in my stash, leading to the 10 fabrics below.

The medium gray on the top left will become the background fabric with the dark green morphing into the shadow leaf.  The purples, pinks, greens, blue and white will become the 20 smaller leaves that will free fall around the quilt.  Every time I type "free fall" Tom Petty starts playing in my head.  Anyone else having this issue?

Before I ever started whacking away at this pile with my rotary cutter, a little bit of planning was needed to figure out what leaves would end up where.  I turned to trusty EQ7 (with Sandra's permission) to do a blank mock up of the quilt to play with color placement.  If you would like a blank layout to play with, you can down load it here, on Sandra's Craftsy page for free.

After I had everything where I wanted it to be, cutting commenced and bag stuffing began, so I could keep everything straight.

Whew, now I'm all ready for the next set of instructions to come out on Monday.  Hopefully, I can share my first Meadow Mystery finish this weekend.

Tisha is behind and I make no apologies.  Quilting and piecing have been put on hold for about a week.

Last weekend, was my daughter's state archery tournament.  Most of Saturday was spent at our state's capital, watching Jen and her team compete.

To give an idea of how big the event was, 100 kids could shoot at a time.

Maybe we should start calling her Katniss Everdeen, because baby girl only missed placing by 5 points.  Next year. Next year.  However, she and her team mates pulled off second place in the high school division!  These kids rock!

After the excitement of the tournament was over, more excitement was to follow!  My little eyes saw the most exciting thing...

Sandra in the flesh with my studly boyfriend!!!  We've been planning this visit for quite some time now and it finally happened.  We enjoyed a late dinner that evening and met back up in my hometown the next morning for breakfast.

She and MacGyver (it is uncanny how much he looks like Richard Dean identical twins I tell you) came over to our house for a short visit.  Sandra even got to hang out with the boys.

Here is Sandra with my Becker Boo. He actually was very happy to see her, he just had his serious face on.

Newton, bless his heart, couldn't contain his excitement with that big ol' toothy smile.

All too soon this visit was over and they had to travel on, but not before our little family covered their fur babies in slobbery smooches.

Hopefully, this will not be their only visit to our little town.  We enjoyed having them over so much.  Spending time with them is like spending time with family.  And I only had to get onto MacGyver once when he tried to show David how to make a defibrillator using a candlestick, rubber mat and an electric cord.  Apparently, that man really can do anything.

If you are participating in the Free Fall QAL, don't forget to pop over to mmm!quilts and link up your progress.  I can't wait to see everyone's quilts come together.

Alright, back to quilting!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Don't Be Like Tish

Oh the joys of sit-down quilting.  It is my favorite type of quilting.  It's how I learned to quilt.  I was hoping to share with you today my finished Meadow Mystery quilt, but instead I'm sharing this cute little flowerish shape and a public service announcement.

Public Service Announcement:  When quilting at a sit down machine setting, make sure the surface you are quilting on is CLEAR of ALL unnecessary items.

When I started quilting Monday evening, I was doing nice therapeutic stippling in the background area of the quilt.  When I placed my hand on the quilt I distinctly remember thinking, "that feels really puffy?"  Yet I continued stitching.  I stopped to reposition the quilt a bit, put my hand on the quilt and thought, "why does it feel so thick right in that spot?"  You would have thought at this point I would have looked under the quilt, right?  Wrong.  I stitched a bit longer, letting the puffy question bounce around in my head.  Finally, I flipped it over...

Are you KIDDING ME?  I keep a small quilt sandwich at my HQ Sweet Sixteen so that I can check my tension every time I change my bobbin.  I completely forgot it was sitting on the table and when I spread the quilt out to start quilting, it wound up under it...or rather stitched to it.

So with lot's of other distractions this is still waiting for me to fix it.  Think I can convince Dave the Quilt Engineer he is still in quilt training and he has to do it?

This evening was the Evening of the Arts at my daughter's high school.  It's an evening of music, theater and art.  This year my daughter is taking a stain glass class, a class I also had in high school.  I'm so stinking proud of her.

This is a candle holder that she made and had on display tonight (I think I can see a quilt top).  She also had another surprise in store for me.  About six years ago when we were moving, I discovered a 3D mirror I made in stain glass class had somehow broke.

Two of the gray pieces of glass had came off and the wire vine was mushed flat.  Disappointed, I started to throw it away, when my cousin, Doug, came to its rescue, insisting on taking it home with him, saying he could fix it somehow.  So years pass and I completely forgot about it.

When he found out Jen was taking stain glass he ask her if she would like to fix it as a surprise for me.  So behind the scenes whenever time permitted,  Jen and her teacher worked to restore my little mirror and it was on display this evening, along with this little sign...

Twenty years...seriously??  It seems like yesterday.

Fixing it came with its own little challenges, and well, they ended up having to substitute a blue piece of glass for one of the gray ones,  but I love it!  Now it is something that she and I share.  She told me she hopes it doesn't break again, but I told her it's okay if it does, one of her future kids can fix it again :)

Today I'm linking up with Finished or Not Friday and Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Celebrating National Quilting Day

Saturday was National Quilting Day and I decided to turn it into an all weekend event.  It started by David and myself stopping by one of our favorite local quilt shops, Helen's Hen House.  I fell head over heels for that black floral print and couldn't help myself.  I just had to take some if it and it's friends home with me.  So National Quilting Day support local quilt shop...check.

Next on the list was to work on a few of my QAL blocks.  First up was block 13 of Pat Sloans's 182 Solstice Challenge, Studio Time

I followed up with the next block in the Aurifil designer of the month QAL.  This month's designer was Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting.  Her color was purple and she gave us the Straptastic Star Block.  Lots of 2" pieces, but worth every cut.

Here you can see it with the first two blocks.  Each block is a color in the color wheel.  So far we've had blue, and blue purple.  I accidentally went red purples with this block, so I will do next month's block in purples.

The last block for the weekend was the latest block in Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilt's Have a Jolly Christmas Quilt, a candle block.  National Quilting Day piece something...check.

The last of my weekend fun, was working on quilting my Meadow Mystery Quilt.  I had hoped to finish it, but I'm still a little ways away.  So I thought I would leave you with a few sneak peaks before I sign off for the night.

That's all I can give you for now.  Hopefully, I will have a finish by the end of the week, but for now I'm loving adding lots of free motion and ruler work fun to this quilt.  National Quilting Day quilt something...check.

Even David got into the fun of National Quilting Day.

Who knows, maybe even he will have a finish to share with us really soon.

How did you spend National Quilting Day?  I hope you were able to do something fun and quilty.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Star Cross--A Finish

Star Cross Mini Quilt, oh how I love thee.  From the moment I first laid eyes on Geraldine at Living Waters Quilter's post on Instagram of her finished quilt, I knew I had to make it.  She must have read my mind because just a few days later she announced she would be hosting a QAL for this mini quilt.

This was not a typical QAL per say.  She directed us to the pattern for the block over at the Juki website (you can find it here) so that we could make our blocks.  Then each week she posted a different video and tutorial on quilting the quilt using straight edge rulers.

You can find links to Geraldine's tutorials below.

Week one: making the quilt and gathering supplies
Week two: Straight Line Designs
Week three: Quilting Channels
Week four: Simple Echo and Radiating Designs
Week five: Bordered Crosshatch

If you are new to ruler work, her breakdown videos are an excellent way to start learning.  Rulers are a tool I think every quilter should have in their tool box.  I want all of them!  For this quilt I used my Handi Quilter Straight Edge ruler and quilted on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen.  I could have very easily quilted it on my Husqvarna Sapphire using my Westalee ruler foot or marked lines and used a walking foot.

For my quilting threads, typically I go very matchy matchy so everything blends completely in.  This time I decided to liven things up at bit and use a thread that would slightly contrast.

I chose to use Aurfil #2310 Light Beige in the white and tan sections and Aurfil #2605 Grey in the blue sections.  The colors provided just enough contrast to make sure my quilting stood out, but didn't completely overshadow my fabrics.  I love that the 50 wt thread will allow me to travel stitch around my lines several times without looking bulky or thick, just nice clean lines.

This little mini will be headed to my daughter's school for a fundraiser for the arts, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to make another one for myself or at least incorporate these designs into future quilts.

Star Cross is my second QAL finish this year.  You can read about my Quilter's Laundry Day mini here.  So for now it's back to work piecing on the other QAL projects and I'm happy to report I've starting quilting on one of my Meadow Mystery Quilts.  Hopefully, I will have another finish to share with you very soon.

Today I'm linking up with Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Quilter's Laundry Day--My Favorite Kind

Today is the day!  Time to grab the laundry and hang it out on the line!  A few weeks ago, Jen at A Dream and A Stitch and Jan at Color, Creating and Quilting announced sign ups for a blog hop featuring Jen's new pattern Quilter's Laundry Day.  As soon as I laid eyes on the pattern, I knew there were endless quilting possibilities waiting for me.

I quickly sent an email to Jen signing up for the hop and headed to the back room for my stash.  The possibilities for the 4" quilt are endless!  When deciding on the quilt that would hang on my line, I went with something sort of simple that I could add more intricate quilting too.

You see, I'm pretty sure this quilt was a wedding gift for the couple that lives in the house.  Wait! No!  It was the wedding quilt of the woman's great grand mother that she inherited.  So much love and family history in that little quilt.

 Her most favorite thing to do, on a fresh Spring day, when the sun is shinning and the crisp air is softly blowing, is to walk across the rolling hills barefoot, feeling the soft carpet of spring grass between her toes, and hang her freshly washed quilt on the line to dry.  There is nothing quite like the fresh clean smell of a quilt that has been hung on the line.

So when it came time for quilting, I pulled out my Aurifil stash to choose just the right colors to bring life to this cozy little scene.

The very first thing I quilted was the little quilt itself.  I knew it must contain some of my favorite classic quilting motifs...feathers, orange peels and cross hatching.  

For the rest of the quilting, I just kind of let the quilt talk to me.

Much like my outbuilding, the poles that hold up the clothesline have a nice wood-grain on them.  As you can see from the wavy lines, the ground is made up of soft rolling hills, much like my beloved home.

The road leading up to the house is a cobblestone driveway with sprouts of flowers popping up everywhere.

To finish this quilt off, I chose a simple black and white polka dot binding. 

Thankfully, mother nature gave me a sunny warm day to take my mini outside and snap some pictures.  And of course, this photo shoot could not be complete without  a picture of it clothesline.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my version of Quilter's Laundry Day.  Don't forget to check out everyone else on the blog hop today and yesterday's participants.  Also, make sure you visit our hosts at A Dream and A Stitch and Color, Creating and Quilting for a chance to win some awesome prizes.  Below is a list of all the hop participants.

Saturday March 11th
Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Sola at Alice Samuels Quilt Co
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Steffi at Steffi's Hobbys
Tami at Sew Much for Free Time
Suzy Webster at Adventurous Applique & Quilting
Mary Marcotte at Fleur de Lis Quilts & Accessories
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

Friday March 10th
Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clark at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy and Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizze the Quilter
Sandra Walker at mmm!quilts

Gotta love a quilt blowing in the wind. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Solstice Updates and a Blog Hop

Today is a day I've been waiting on.  Jen (A Dream and A Stitch) and Jan (Color, Creating and Quilting) kick off their two day blog hop for the mini Quilter's Laundry Day, created by Jen.  My turn to post my finished mini is tomorrow, but I hope that you can take time today to visit my fellow blog friends and check out all the quilts hanging out in the gentle breeze to dry.

Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clark at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy and Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizze the Quilter
Sandra Walker at mmm!quilts

I will keep my post short and sweet today, since I need to get hopping to visit my friends.  This week has been a busy one, finished up my hop mini and also finishing up my Star Cross mini quilt, that I will be sharing with you on Monday.  I was able to completely catch up on Pat Sloan's Solstice Challenge.  This week's block is Jacob's Ladder.  I have always been in love with this block.  I even purchased beautiful batik blues and creams to make a whole Jacob's Ladder Quilt...that I never made.  So I decided to use some of them to at least make this block.

My blues are batiks, but my creams are just a mixer print of some sort.  I still love it.

The only block I had not made yet was week five's block Grandma Anna's Basket.   It is a beautiful block with an appliqued basket in the center.  I had everything ready and had even prepped my fabric, but I just wasn't feeling it.  So I decided to piece my basket.  After finding a block I loved, I went to work calculating what I needed to create the 6" center.  So I present to you Grandma Leona's Basket.  

My grandmother loved her flower gardens, and I get some of my head strong ways from her, so why not call it her block?

Speaking of solstices and equinoxes and such...starting on the first day of Spring, March 20th, my quilty BFF, Sandra at mmm!quilts, will be hosting her first QAL!!!  It is a smaller version of her Windfall Quilt she designed last fall she is calling Freefall.  I am currently testing the blocks for her before the QAL begins.

I hope you will join us in some good ol' quilting fun and a chance to win some pretty awesome prizes.  Hop over to her blog to read more details here.

So did I start the Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt?  Not yet exactly.  I have disassembled the FQ bundle of Paradisco and started playing around with the fabrics in EQ7.

I think I've decided if I can find some nice Grunge fabric on Monday when I'm at one of my favorite LQS's I will start cutting.

So that's it for now.  I hope you will come back tomorrow to see my version of Quilter's Laundry Day and Monday to check out my finished Star Cross mini quilt.  Until then, go enjoy all the fabulous quilts hanging out in the sun to dry, from the comfort of your favorite chair.

Also, I haven't talked Craftsy in a while (that might make me a bad affiliate)...this weekend they are having one of my favorite sales, ALL classes under $20.  That's a steal.  It's my favorite time to pick up classes.  The latest one, I've take is Natalia Bonner's Quilting Around the Blocks.  She does a wonderful job showing us different ways to tackling very basic shapes that are in most quilts.  This sale will be good from today until Monday the 13th at midnight.  Don't miss out on this great deal!  You can check it out here.

Today I'm linking up with Finished or Not Friday.
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