Friday, February 24, 2017

BOM, QAL--Squirrel Addition

Oh my goodness!  I'm beginning to think that I'm Annie Carnes from the musical Oklahoma...I'm just a girl who can't say no!

That is if boys equals fabric and kissing equals quilt alongs...but really, what's a girl to do??

So, I've been pretty proud of myself this month for staying on top of the projects at hand.  I've tried really hard to not look for distractions.  I haven't purchased any quilting magazines this year and have made no huge fabric purchases.  I have committed to participating in a few QAL's but decided that I have met my limit for now.

But there is one QAL I have been happily ignoring, Pat Sloan's 182 Solstice Challenge.  Okay, maybe that came out wrong.  I'm loving watching everyone who is making blocks, but I'm doing her Aurifil Designer BOM and her The Children's Library BOM, and decided I'm satisfied and probably shouldn't play along.  With four other non-Pat QAL projects going on, I'm good.

WRONG!!  This week, I caught a Facebook Live stream of Pat Sloan showing us her new line of fabric that just came to stores in the past few days.  In the background looking all sexy on her design wall was her Solstice blocks, all nine of them.  But I noticed something for the first time.  They are not all neat little 12" blocks.  This will be a quilt with an asymmetrical setting.  I LOVE asymmetrical settings.

You know what this is a picture of?  A squirrel.  It's bouncing around the room so quickly you can't even see it.  Instead of working on Stitchin At Home's QAL like a good girl, I started pulling from my stash to make the first Solstice Block, Churn Dash.

Followed soon by Day Into Night Block.

And I left off with Tide Pool.

So after an evening of staying over at work and coming home exhausted, three out of nine blocks isn't bad.  

Oh, look, the squirrel finally slowed down enough you can see it!  Sorry, my bad.  That's just Caroline Kitty Cat peaking at me from behind my design wall.  I'm pretty sure that's a look of disgust she's giving me for being a sad weak human.  We shall see who's laughing when she's peacefully sleeping on this finished quilt in June.

Did you have a squirrel that distracted you from everything you should be doing this month?  If so join me over at mmm!quilts for Sandra's DrEAMi linking party tomorrow.  It's a place to let those critters run free.

Today I'm linking up with Finished or not Friday and Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Best Family Ever--Or the Cat's Out of the Bag-- Or If I'm Dreaming Don't Wake Me!!!!

Fair warning...this will be a long post covering a few things.  New fabric, BOM progress and the secret news I was hinting at last week.  I'm not sure I'll have much writing time this week and I wanted to cover a little bit of everything.  This weekend, I was able to work on a few of the QAL's I'm following.

First up, pictured above, is the 2017 Aurifil Thread Designer BOM.  This year each designer is working with a color on the color wheel.  February's designer is Maureen Cracknell and she gave us the block Dutch Treat in blue-purple.  You can read Pat Sloan's interview with Maureen and download the free block here.  Since I know the next two months will bring me blocks in purple and red-purple, I picked up a few FQ's at a LQS this weekend.  My stash of purples is quite lacking.

Let's keep talking fabric additions...during the LQS visit, while petting all the pretty bolts of fabric, I discovered they still had two bolts of Moda's Flirt by Sandy Gervais.  I still have a UFO made in these fabrics I would like to put borders on, so why not, I picked up a couple yards of these two prints.

And for my last fabric score...on Tuesday I received an email from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts letting me know that I had won a copy of her Teenie Weenie Bikini Quilt Pattern and...

Get your copy of Teenie Weenie Bikini at Lorna's Etsy Shop

a 10" stacker from Fat Quarter Shop of Into the Garden by Riley Blake Designs.

A big thank you to Lorna and Fat Quarter shop for all the lovelies.  I just can't stop looking at these pretty prints.

And the last quilt along item for this post is the literal quilting of Living Water Quilter's block and quilt along she has going on right now.  Last Monday, Geraldine posted the first post breaking down the quilting of the HST blocks.  (You can find the post here)  She has two different videos breaking the process down and a pdf file for more information.

If you ever wanted to try ruler work, now's the time.  Even if you don't have a ruler foot and rulers, mark that quilt up with your favorite marking utensil and break out that walking foot.  Basically, join us!  :)

Now to my news...

Dreams can come true!  There is a stand-up computerized long arm for me to learn to use.  Let's take a minute to let that sink in, because I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, myself.  My family has always been very supportive of this kind of crazy quilting dream I have.  Even going to quilt shows with me.

Doug's hat is behind David's head.

This is a picture of David and my cousin (more like brother), Doug, playing with the Gammill long arms at a quilt show a few years ago.  When we returned from the show, my uncle, Doug's father, was at Doug's house and we all set around and talked about long arm machines.  We talked about how awesome they are and expensive.  My uncle has always had an interest in quilting, having lots of loving memories of quilting with his grandmother as a child.  So anytime we get together, he always asks what I'm up to.

A few weeks ago, Doug started asking me all kinds of random questions about long arm machines.  Completely out of the blue.  As I rattled off answers I kind of stopped and said, wait, why are you asking me this???  Turns out, in his dad's ventures he ran into someone with a friend who had a long arm they wanted to sell and he wanted to know if it was a good deal.  After sending me pictures, we were able to determine it was a Husqvarna Megaquilter 1200.  Basically, it was a 10ft frame with a sewing machine mounted to a rolling platform.  The next question was could I use it?

I did feel as an investment, just because of the asking price, they could probably make money off of it.  The current owner has a HQ Sweet 16 and had purchased it at an estate sale in a lot and just wanted rid of it, because of the space the table took up.  Could I use it?  I was honest and told them that I appreciated what they were trying to do, but because of the limited throat space, I thought my Sweet 16 would be better for me.  I told them the table would be worth keeping if you could find say, the Husqvarna 18" by 8" Megaquilter to go on it, but that I didn't even know if it would fit the table.  At this point, I kind of figured the conversation was over.  Nope.

To my surprise the next question was, can we get one?  So I humored them and called the dealer in a town about 20 minutes away to see if 1) the bigger Megaquilter would work with the table and 2) how much they were.  After a few minutes I learned that in theory that machine should work on the table.  Then there was a pause, followed by, "I think I have one in the back."  Wait, what??  Turns out, she had one in her inventory, brand new in the box, that she had for several years.  Her store carries a wonderful variety of embroidery and domestic machines (all 3 of my domestic machines have come from her store).  Long arms are not in high demand where we are, it's just a fact.  So when the person she ordered it for decided not to purchase it, she just kind of put it in the back and forgot about it.  Let's just say she worked out an amazing deal with my uncle and he decided to purchase it.  My family is insane!  But I'm 100% glad they are.  I think my uncle and cousin are as excited to use it as I am.  

So Saturday, David and I skipped our guild's work day to head with Doug to picked up the machine.  Hopefully, they will forgive me, but hey, I can hopefully volunteer quilting services as soon as we figure it out.

Here is the frame with the Megaquilter 1200 on it.

The boys putting the rollers on the frame.  I was holding down a bean bag chair.

Then last night, I received the following pictures from Doug's wife, my BFF, Stacie.

Ta da!!  We now have a machine on a frame with a computer hooked up to it.

She mostly is all ready to go, we just have to figure out how in the heck she works.  Thank God for YouTube, right?

So that is the news, I have been hush hush about.  Mainly, because I wasn't sure if it was really happening or not.  This is also why, I've not been stressing about quilting on my 1st goal list.  We are gonna need all those unfinished tops to practice on!

So that is my crush for this Monday.  A huge machine we do not know how to use yet, but by goodness...we will figure it out between all four of us!  

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bandanna Bundle Buster Quilt

Bandanna Bundle Buster Quilt...say that four times really's a mouth full.  The Bundle Buster Quilt is a pattern designed by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, and let me tell you, it is a quick fun way to use up fabric.  Great for those Fat Quarter bundles you might have laying around.  Originally, it was released in the Stash Builder Subscription Box but in September, Yvonne was finally able to release it for sale (read more about it here).  I wanted this pattern when she first wrote about it being in the Stash Builder Box, so I was pretty quick to purchase it when it was finally released, though I wasn't quite sure what I would make with it.

I've known for a while now that I wanted to make my friend Jackie a bandanna quilt.  She wears them all the time and is known for having all the pretty different color ones.

I even purchased a few bandannas and tried chopping them up once to make something for her, but I just wasn't happy with the fabric and abandoned the plan.  Towards the end of the year, I was at a local big box store and ran into FQ's that looked just like bandannas.  As I stood there pondering what to do, I remembered Yvonne's pattern and pulled it up on my phone.  Yes!  These will be perfect.

So on New Years Eve, pulled out fabric for three different projects that had been bubbling in my head and decided my "ring in the New Year" project would be the Bandanna Bundle Buster Quilt.

Since the blocks are made up of rather large pieces (perfect for showing off fabric), it went together super quick.

I had all the blocks pieced by midnight and the top finished by the next day.  Quilting was going to have to wait just a bit.

I had to decide on how to quilt this one.  I decided a simple all over quilt motif would be the best.  I'm pretty sure any custom quilting I would do, couldn't compete with all the business of the paisleys in the fabric.  I figured an all over edge to edge design would be the best, and allow the quilt to stay soft and perfect for cuddling.

So I decided on a simple stipple in Aurifil #2610 Light Blue Grey.  It's more of a medium grey in color and played nicely on all the fabrics.  Never underestimate the power of this wonderful neutral color.

Now I'll admit, stippling is not my most favorite thing to do.  I'm so use to quilting on a smaller scale, that I find it a challenge to keep it larger motifs even and consistent.  Plus there were other obstacles.

The not so tiny, once feral, Junior Bug decided to finally check out my quilting space.  Just as I would get into the groove, his fat little butt would jump up onto my table and quilt, causing a few annoying bobbles.

  He seemed rather annoyed that I wouldn't let him stay comfortable and kept running him away from the table.

But despite the challenges, after two evenings of quilting, the Bandanna quilt was finished.

For binding I decided on a machine flange binding in solid black and white.  I had hoped the solids would frame the quilt nicely and give the eyes a place to land.  It's a pretty busy quilt over all.

Monday evening I was able to deliver the Bandanna quilt to my friend.  I have no doubt that this quilt will be well loved and that makes me one very very happy quilter.

I also wanted to share with you that sign us for the 2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop is going on right now till the end of the month.

This year the hop is hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Leanne at She Can Quilt and Beth at Cooking Up Quilts.  What is the hop?  It is a place for new quilt bloggers to learn more about the technical side of blogging and the best part...make new friends!  I participated in the hop the past two years and have made some of the best quilty friends EVER.

The criteria for the hop is:

  1. You have to blog mainly about quilting for at least 2 months but no more than 3 years.
  2. You write at least 4 posts each month.
  3.  You are willing to be actively involved in the hop by visiting and commenting on other participant's blogs.
  4.   You are willing to participate in group discussions by signing up to join Slack.
You can read more about the hop on Yvonne's page here.  If you are new to blogging, I hope you will give it some consideration and sign up.  I cherish all the quilting friends that stop by Wonderland and would not have met most of them, had it not been for this blog hop.  Heck, I didn't even know what a blog hop was until I signed up, so if you are new to blogging and you are reading this, I bet you are one step ahead of where I was.  So go sign up!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mystery Solved--Meadow Mystery That Is

You might be saying, now wait just a second, Tish, those are not the fabrics you have been using to make your Meadow Mystery Quilt...and you would be right.  This mystery actually started for me almost a year ago (give or take a month or two) when I had the honor of pattern testing the Meadow Mystery quilt for Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.  I actually tested it as a mystery and Cheryl would send me a set of instructions as soon as I finished the current set I was working on.  And just like a good mystery novel, I couldn't put it down.  After I had all my blocks pieced, I actually convinced David to see if he could figure out the layout of the quilt.  It took him a few tries before he got it.  I am happy to say that I can now share both of my finished Meadow Mystery tops with you.

We will start with this one first, since its been around the longest.  I had to move it into my backroom after it was finished, because I didn't want to take the chance of accidentally photographing it in some other post.  Currently, it is basted and waiting for me to start quilting, but I drug it outside yesterday to grab a quick picture.

My only complaint after finishing the quilt, was that you really can't tell a difference between the black print fabric and the dark green print fabric from a distance.  I'm hoping I can maybe lighten that green up some with thread when I quilt it.

For the second version that I pieced during the QAL, I went bold and bright colors and made sure that each fabric could hold its own in the quilt.

Oh, man!  The top left corner is turned wrong...seam ripping this weekend :(

I felt like these color choices were totally out of my comfort zone, but I have to admit I really love them.  I do love a mystery and I'm so thankful Cheryl gave me the opportunity to test this one for her.  I would do it again in a heart beat.  Now to hopefully get both of them quilted before Cheryl's big parade of quilts in April.

Have you heard about Jennifer's new linky party, Wednesday Wait Loss, over at The Inquiring Quilter.

Every Wednesday she will be hosting a linky party for us to link up progress on our WIP's and UFO's.  A place to encourage each other to WAIT no more and get those projects finished.  I'm headed over there to link up now.  I need to stay motivated and finish both of these projects before they begin collecting dust.

Today I'm linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss, and Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Yup, Another QAL

I'm just gonna put this out here first and get it out of the way...I don't think my 1st quarter quilting list is going to happen, but I'm okay with that.  I can't quite share why yet, but I believe I will get a full pardon (from myself) for not doing them.  More on that later, but for now, what have I been doing?  Keeping up with the QAL's I'm participating in, of course.

First up, is The Children's Library hosted by Pat Sloan.  Last month was The Mother Goose Rhymes block, this month The Curious George block.  You know, that crazy little monkey that was always getting in trouble.  There was no way I could make this block and not pay tribute to The Man in the Yellow Hat.  This block would need some yellow.

Last Friday, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, released the second block in her Have A Jolly Little Christmas QAL.

We can't have the Christmas holiday in our neck of the woods without thinking about snow, warm scarves and of course, mittens. After piecing these together, I was afraid there wasn't enough contrast between the mittens and background.

But in the end, I think they will work just fine.  Here they are hanging out with the stocking block.

Next on my to-do list, are two things completely unplanned.  My daughter is part of her school's National Art Honor Society.  In March, the school will host an evening of the arts.  The choir, band and string orchestra will perform and the NAHS will have a silent auction with works of art by the students to raise money for their club.  Jen asked her club leader if it would be okay if her mom donated something quilty for the auction and the teacher thought that would be a wonderful idea.

Since this was also my high school, I agreed with Jen that it would be a way to give back and help.  I decided to quilt up two mini quilts.  I had so much fun piecing and quilting Janyne at Twiggy and Opal's Star Thistle Block when I pattern tested for her, I decided to make another.

And then I stumbled onto this on Instagram....

Geraldine at Living Water Quilter had been teasing posting pictures of her progress quilting with rulers on this fun little mini quilt.  I found myself drooling over all the quilty yumminess stitched within this one.  I actually thought to myself, hey this would be perfect for the fund raiser.  It was like she read my mind, because her next Instagram post was about wanting to host a Quilt Along on how to actually quilt it.   YES!  Almost immediately I said I was on board.

If you pop over to her post about the Star Cross Quilt, you can learn more about how this QAL came to be and get requirements and instructions to piece this easy little pattern and join in as we all quilt this beautiful little quilt together.

My version is ready and waiting to go.

I hope you will join in on this QAL too.  Even if you don't have quilting rulers, I'm pretty sure a walking foot and pre-marked lines will get you through.  I love this idea of a Quilt really is a quilt along...we are actually discussing the quilting as we go.  When we piece a quilt together shouldn't that really be a Piece Along (PAL?)   But that is a debate we can have on a different day, I suppose.

Until next time, I will be piecing away on my quilt along projects, reading up on all your posts and working behind the scenes on things I can't talk about yet, but I'm dying to share with you.  

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

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