Friday, June 15, 2018

UFO Busting #24

This week, I busted a not my UFO.

I quilted and put the finishing touches on David's birthstone challenge project, Alexandrite and Pearls.

Almost finished the binding on a commissioned quilt.

And I basted SS Playtime Plus to start quilting.

I did officially finish Mini Wayward Transparency, but haven't finished a post about it yet.  Other official duties like work, picking up the kid from camp and a guild meeting had to come first.  

Speaking of the guild meeting and the Birthday Challenge...we had such a good turn out!  We had fourteen members participate!  Can you tell I was a little excited?  And everyone voted to do more challenges.  I have a big ol' list that we can work through.  We won't start another one until August.  Maybe I'll post it here to see if anyone wants to play along with us.  If you would like to check out what everyone made, you can read about it here on our Facebook page.

How's that for a weekly wrap up?  Short sweet and to the point.  Maybe I'm tired from partying too much?  We had fourteen link ups last week!  P-A-R-T-Y! Party, party all the time.  Where is the party? The party's over here!  Thank you all for stopping by through out the week and celebrating our finishes, neglected projects and things we are working on.

This week I would like to feature my dear friend Helen at Midget Gem Quilts and the progress she is making on her Quatrefoil Quilt. 

Back in 2017 the quatrefoil block was the block she chose for her bee hive to make.  I may or may not have...ok, I did, crash her hive and mailed a few blocks to Helen, so it's super exciting to see all the blocks come together.  She has it all basted up and will be quilting on it in no time.  Make sure you hop over there and read about how this one came together and the HOT time she had basting it up.

So now it's your turn.  What have you been up too?  Link up below and tell us all about it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Alexandrite and Pearls

I'm not sure where to start because I'm so in love with this little 16" mini quilt.  Let's start with technically, it is not my quilt...legally only half mine.  Sorry, bad joke.  This little quilt is the brain child of my husband, Dave the Quilt Engineer and will be his entry in our guild's Birthstone Challenge.

When the challenge was issued, he decided to go with one of the designs from his sketch book.  The birthstone(s) for the month of June is Pearls and the more modern Alexandrite in beautiful purples and turquoise.  When he showed me the fabrics he had picked out, I knew no matter what he created it was going to be beautiful!  Plus there was a bit of jealousy because all I had to work with was reddish brown on mine.

Ultimately,  he wanted to quilt it himself.  I on the other hand, have been sitting like a dog with a hot dog balanced on it's nose, waiting patiently on the okay to eat it...well quilt it.  With the reveal date being this Thursday and his schedule busier than ever, he finally gave me the go ahead this weekend.  Man, oh, man, quilting this one tasted so know what I mean.

Basically, he told me I could do whatever I to my ears.  Since this was going to be a custom quilting job, I decided to match the threads with the fabrics.  Aurifil 50wt 1240 Very Dark Eggplant, 2810 Turquoise, 2692 Black and 2024 White were perfect choices.  I mostly wanted the threads to blend so that what you would see is yummy texture against those beautiful fabrics.

Maybe it was fate?  Maybe it was destiny?  Possibly it was the fruity beverage I was consuming, but what ever it was, I decided to live a little and not go matchy matchy in the black squares.  Instead, I added a bit of quilting bling with whimsical turquoise swirls and soft purples curves.  I think it added a nice pop to the piece.

Here they are together, Alexandrite and Peals and Garnet Star Crystal.  Just a Gemini and Capricorn hanging out together.

I can't wait till Thursday night when all of the projects are revealed.  The challenge was not limited to quilts.  Rumor had it someone was going to make a clothing item.  If the members give me permission, I will be sure to take pictures and share them with you.  It's always fun to read about others interpretation of the rules.  In this case they were pretty simple.  Make something, ANYTHING, fabric, thread related using primarily your birthstone colors.

If it goes well, I hope to keep encouraging our members to be creative with other challenges.  So my question to you is, have you participated in these kind of challenges and if so what was your favorite one?  Would you like to participate in an online challenge, with maybe a link up?

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

S.S. Playtime Plus-Quilt Top

It's finally pieced, my Super Sexy/Sophisticated Adult Playtime Plus quilt top!  I'm so in love with her.  She is everything I imagined and more.  Once I started piecing I just couldn't stop, but I made myself wait to share it with you.

I can't get enough of the fun black and gray prints that went into making her.

It was windy all day because of storms rolling in, making it a bit difficult to get a straight on picture of it.  That's okay, it's like it's being all flirty.

Now I have to decide how to quilt it.  My first knee jerk reaction was custom quilting all over!  Go crazy!  Swirls, pebbles, rulers and thread every where.  Who knows where it would go??  Then I sat myself down and had a long talk.  This quilt is actually for my sister in law, who loves plus quilts.  She actually prefers straight line quilting or more simple quilting.  This information really needs to be considered.

I feel pretty positive I've calmed myself down...took a quilty cold shower.  I'm not as hot and bothered by this quilt as I was.  I'm debating on 1/2" straight lines in one direction or playing around with both straight vertical and horizontal lines.  I've got a little bit of time before I start on it.  Maybe I'll convince David to quilt it for me?  He's becoming a straight line pro and as I recall he beat me in machine quilting...maybe that will be my argument.

What ever the case, I'm excited for this one to get quilted up and find its way to a new home.  It just occurred to me I talk about quilts like they are my foster animals.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Stashing and Crushing

I realized this weekend it has been quite some time since I've had a stash report or have been crushing on a project.  Honestly, the good ol' fabric stash hasn't been growing much.  Extra fabric is extra distractions.  But on Mother's Day, my husband decided to get me some mums.  My favorite it kind...the ones I don't have to water or care for, Dear Mum by Robin Pickens for Moda Fabric.

I must admit, I had never ran across this fabric line until I opened the bag.  Lots of fun bright prints and I fell hard for that black with gray and white speckles on it.  I have an idea in mind using a Moda Bake Shop pattern, but alas, it will have to wait a while.  Thank goodness these mums won't die!

Then, this happened this weekend.  To celebrate our anniversary and our daughter's one day home between camps, we traveled to a near by town for lunch and a quick mall trip.  I stumbled into these beautiful fabrics on sale a Joann Fabrics.  I don't know that this would be a typical fabric pull for me, but look at those saturated colors!!  And did I mention there is a silver sparkle to them as well?  Swoon!  Needless to say, they came home with me and I have started yet another version of the Fireburst Mystery Quilt.  Don't judge :)

Lastly, I will leave you with my crush.

This isn't my block, but I got to quilt it.  The quilt guild's birthday challenge project reveal will be on Thursday night and David's project still needed quilted.  Originally he was going to tackle it himself, but I made my case and he let me work my magic on it.  I could hear it talking, it wanted me.  I'll reveal the magic I worked on it later this week and hopefully, some of the other projects as well.  There may or may not be a sneak peak on my Instagram page.

That's it for today.  Tomorrow I get to share my finished quilt top in the Playtime Plus QAL by Sandra at mmm!quilts and I'll discuss my quilting thoughts/dilemma for that quilt.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crust Monday.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

UFO Busting #23

It's a crazy weekend this week as my daughter just returned from camp yesterday.  Today we are washing clothes and getting ready to send her off to another week of camp tomorrow.  My head is spinning and UFO's are buzzing around almost ready to be busted.

I am so close to a few finishes it's not funny.  One is a current me project, a helping David project and another has turned into a UFO.

The mini Wayward Transparency Quilt is quilted!  Who would have thought I could jam so much thread in such a tiny little space?  I'll give it it's own post once it is bound and delivered.  I can't wait to surprise the recipient with it.

Quilting on a quilt David was commissioned to make has been completed.  I trimmed it up this week and hopefully one of us can find time to get a binding around it this weekend so that it too can go to it's new home.

For a UFO surprise to myself, we have the Have a Jolly Little Christmas Quilt from at Sew Fresh Quilt's QAL last year.  I believe I boldly proclaimed it would be finished by Christmas last year...well that didn't happen.  But Christmas in July this year...I have faith.  Still trying to figure out this long arm thing.  There is definitely a learning curve, but I'm not giving up.  I decided on wavy-ish lines since I'm working out the kinks still.  My uncle (who actually owns the machine)  walked over and said are you going to do a design or something?  **Tish smacks head on wall**  It is a design...wavy lines.  We had a good laugh.

Speaking of others who haven't given up.  I'd like to feature two projects this week.  First up is Sue at Sevenoaks Street Quilts and her Regatta Cushion finish.

Sue decided to down size this fun pattern and turn it into a fun little cushion.  I just love it when an artist can take a quilt pattern and turn it into something other than a quilt.  I just love the colors she used, calming and peaceful just like water.  And it looks so good hanging out with these other pillows!

Next up is Sandy at Sew...This Is My Blog and her finished T-Shirt Quilt.  I think Sandy summed up perfectly why we do what we do...

for the smile we receive when we deliver our quilty hug to the lucky person.  Make sure you visit both Sue and Sandy and help them celebrate their awesome finishes!

So let's move on to this week, how was your UFO's and WIP's coming along?  Link up below and tells us all about them.

Friday, June 8, 2018

2018 Aurifil Artisan-What It Means To Me

If you have been following me for any amount of time, it is probably no surprise to you that I love Aurifil thread.  I have been using Aurifil's thread for around four years now.  At the time I was searching for a thread that worked well in my machines and after trying several different brands, I was hooked on Aurifil.  What can I say, I like my thread like I like my bedsheets...Egyptian Cotton.
I think it's safe to say I own a few spools and I'm pretty sure this isn't all of it.  Actually, this picture cracks me up, because I remember when I first started my quilting journey.  I can be quoted as saying, "I'm a quilt piecer.  I will never quilt my quilts because I am in love with the piecing process."  Let me translate what that really means, knowing what I know now.  It means-I am sacred.  Quilting looks hard and I have no idea how to do it so I'm just going to make quilt tops.  Sound familiar to anyone? 
With the realization that checkbook quilting (paying someone else to quilt for you) can be quite expensive, I found the motivation to tie that fear up and give quilting a try.  My goal this year is to inspire you with the thread I love to throw caution to the wind, lower those feed dogs and give quilting a try.  Don't worry about perfection, focus on fun and knowing stitch by stitch you are accomplishing something. 
I started out solely quilting on my domestic machine (Viking Sapphire), then graduated two years ago to a mid-arm machine (Hani Quilter Sweet Sixteen).  I am currently trying to hone in my skills as a long arm quilter on a Viking Mega Quilter 18 x 8.  It is a very new and slow process to me and I look forward to sharing the process with you.  It can be frustrating at times, but I know each stitch puts me closer to where I want to be.
So this year, I hope to continue to inspire you to try and look beyond your piecing to discover the hidden treasures in your quilts that only thread can help you find.
Not every quilt has to or needs to be quilted to death, but let's work together to bring all our quilts to life.
Now I'm happy to say, piecing isn't necessarily my favorite part of the process...quilting is.  I have been known to piece a quilt with the sole purpose of wanting to quilt it.  I get excited when I can see a thread element I can add to an already great pattern to bring it to life and make it mine.  I hope you can feel the excitement I have for quilting and that I can bottle some of it up and share it with you.
A huge thank you to the folks at Aurifil for allowing me to join their amazing group of thread artists!  Let's stitch up a great year and empty some spools of thread.  Empty spools equal finished quilts.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

2018 Strawberry Festival Quilt Show

I posted this picture on Mother's Day of my quilts hanging out on the line.  I was preparing my and David's quilt entries for our local quilt show the following week.  I spritzed them with water and let them flap in the breeze, giving them a nice fresh laundered smell.  Plus it helped ease any creases in the quilts.

I always have mixed feelings about entering quilts in a show that is judged.  For each quilt I make and finish a small part of me lives in it forever and opening up yourself for judgement is a vulnerable thing.  Especially when you are competing against a group of quilters that you are close to and respect dearly.  But quilt shows must have quilts, so I put those feelings of inadequacy and fear behind me and prepared my entries.

Between David and myself. we entered seven quilts.  Each of us had quilts in the Machine Quilted, Small Wall Hanging and Large Wall Hanging categories and I had an entry in Baby Quilts.

Here we have my entry to baby quilts, Message in a Bottle, and David's Small Wall Hanging, Mountain Laurel Path (quilted by me).

David's entry into the Large Wall Hangings, Butterfly Meadow Mystery (quilted by me).
My entry into Large Wall Hangings, Wayward Transparency.
David's entry into Machine Quilting, Fractured (quilted by him).
My entry into Machine Quilting, Hi Ho Cheerio.
My entry to Small Wall Hangings (it was bound for the show), Garnet Star Crystal.
The quilt show was a great success this year with a turn out, I believe, of around 80 quilts displayed.  I didn't get a final count on how many attended the show.  I know when I was there on day two with two hours still to go, the count (for just that day) was a little over 200.  So how did we do?
I ended up taking 3rd place in the baby quilt division.
I also placed 3rd in the Large Wall Hanging category.
And being the third place queen, I also took home a 3rd place ribbon in Machine Quilting.
So how did David do?  Well he unfortunately didn't place in the Large Wall Hanging category.
And neither of us placed in the Small Wall hanging division.
But, are you ready for this?  He placed second in Machine Quilting!
My husband beat me in the category I love the most, and I couldn't be prouder of him!!!!
This is us with fellow guild member, Pam, who was one of the first to purchase our Star Blossom Quilt pattern when it became available on Craftsy.  Pam entered into the Baby Quilt category and scored a blue first place ribbon!  She let us share in the celebration too.

If you've never entered a quilt show, I highly encourage it.  It's always good to read the judges comments, both good and constructive (I will not use the word bad here).  Plus you might find yourself inspired or inspiring others.
Another festival and quilt show has come and gone.  Time to start preparing for next year.  I already have mixed feelings for next year and it isn't here yet.  It will be my daughter's last time marching in the parades and I'm already feeling a bit sad.  What does having children do to you???  I never use to be this sentimental.  Plans are already being made that hopefully (fingers crossed) a good quilty friend will get to come in and share in our hometown festivities.  So nothing but good things to look forward to. 
 I want to leave you with this snapshot of my little town.  This picture was captured during the Grand Feature Strawberry Festival Parade by a very talented local photographer named Robbie Skinner.  I was so excited when he gave me permission to share it with you. 

Words cannot describe the joy and emotion that bubble up inside of me when I see this picture.  Sunny Buckhannon, a place where people still smile and say good morning to complete strangers and people go out of their way to help each other.  We are community.  We are family. 

My daughter helped design and paint the strawberry you see painted in the intersection and is the shortest trumpet player in the band turning the corner; our mighty B-U Band.  We complain about the masses of people that descend upon our town during the week and all the chaos and disruptions in traffic and our daily lives; but the truth is wouldn't be home without it. 

The second the honor guard marches past carrying Old Glory and the flag of West Virginia; when you hear the drum cadence and see bright white plumes and rich blue jackets of the high school band, you know you are home and you just want to share it with everyone.
A big thanks again to Robbie for letting me share his amazing work with you. 

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