Monday, April 30, 2018

Productive Weekend

This past weekend I determined that I needed to get a lot of things I had promised, finished.  
Let me back up a minute though.   
On my way home from work on Friday I saw the neatest clouds.  
It looked like rain but in only a specific spot. 
 Take a look.

Friday night I started on this heart block for someone that requested them for charity.
 It is paper pieced and so somewhat time consuming, 
but I love the heart and wanted to try my hand at one.  
The request was for rainbow on either low volume white or black.  
I opted for white.

I had made and mailed my Bee blocks for April but somehow they got lost in the mail, so on Friday night I made a second set.

 On Saturday it was cold and rainy so I decided to sew.  
I usually clean on Saturdays but things were in pretty good shape so 
I decided to knock out as many "have to" projects as I could.  
I finished the whole heart!  It is so pretty!!  I used Moda dots for all the colorful fabrics.

Of course I had a kitty helper.

Next up was a set of cat faces for another charity donation.  
A woman I know from IG had her daughter pass away from the FLU.  
She was in kindergarden.  
That just broke my heart.  I can NOT even imagine what she and her family must be going through.  She wants to make a quilt for every child in her daughter's class to remind them all of Emma 
(who loved cats).  
So I made 2 cat faces to mail off to her on Saturday too.

I had to run after the mail truck to get these three things out in the mail on Saturday!  
Running, for me, is not a pretty sight, but I did it anyway and successfully sent all three out.

Then I saw this fabric sitting near the machine and decided I needed to make this chenille blanket.  
I had all the flannel set next to it so that got this out of the room! 
 I managed to get all the stitching on one side finished on Saturday.

It was night so the colors are not very true.  
I finished all the sewing, cutting, squaring up and binding.  
It is now ready for the wash. 
If you want to make a chenille blanket, go to my tutorial page for step-by-step directions.  
They are pretty easy and make GREAT baby gifts.

Sunday I finished the chenille, as I said above, then we went out to the farm for a visit.  
Hubby wanted to pick up his boat and take the cover off the camper. 
 I played with the birds. 
 Here is Orion, my daughter's purple peacock.  Isn't he gorgeous??

I couldn't get close enough to get a good shot of his eye feathers, 
but you can sort of see the centers are purple!  
He is a beauty for sure.

She also had LOTS of chicken and pea babies.  
The little black one closest to the dish is a Genetic Hackle chicken the other 3 are pea babies

They are super nosey even as babies.
  I'm not sure if you can see it but the peas all hatched very recently and 
still have their egg tooth on their beaks!!  
It's the little bump on the top of the beak.

There is not much cuter than the baby peas.  They have such BIG eyes.

Although, I have to say, Lenore is super unimpressed by it all.  
Just more NOISY birds in the house as far as she is concerned!  
She always looks grumpy but she is such a sweetie.  
She never stops purring the whole time I am there and she is super LOUD!

Sorry this was so LONG, but a lot was happening at my house.
I also started cutting out the green squares for my MSU quilt.
I have a lot more to cut but I'll get there, eventually.

How was your weekend?


Friday, April 27, 2018

And The Prize Goes To...

Each month my friends at work and I make a goal list for the month 
using a common spreadsheet in Google.  
We change the color on the things we complete.  
The person that finishes all their tasks gets a chance to win a prize.  
You would not believe how this has motivated each of us to work hard to get our list completed.  
We are all, apparently, super competitive!  
The person that wins each month is not eligible for the prize the following month but must 
provide the prize for the next winner.  

It was my turn to provide the prize for April.  
I believe our winner will be our friend, Judith.  
I have been trying to make something rather than just give some fabric or something.  
Will I always have time to do that?  
Likely no, but I am going to try to make a little something each time it's my turn to give. 
 That being said, since I figured that Judith would win I started my plan to make something for her.

When I first met Judith, she had a Cockapoo named Goxie.  
He was mostly black but had a white/silver beard. 
 I found a photo of him to use as my color guide and 
began looking for a drawing I liked to use for the plan I had in mind.  
I found a pretty good drawing and worked to turn it into an applique.  
The problem with this is that the layers of the applique didn't really show up since he is all black. 
 I figured out if I outlined the black with white you would be able to see the outlines of the layers, 
so that's what I did.
Judith does editing for our lab so 
I used black fabric that had white words on it for the main part of the dog.

Ready to see what I'm talking about?  Here is the applique all built and ready to stitch around.

I decided that I was going to turn it into a pillow cover so found some black and white fabrics to use.
I used some that have significance. 
 There are birds, chemistry symbols, cats more words, houses and 
even one that says "Made with love".

Once I had the pillow top sewn together I put batting behind it so that 
when I outlined the dog's face it would "quilt" it at the same time.  
I dropped my feed dogs and used a straight stitch and FMQ 
(what I like to call scribble stitching) around the dog's face.  
Then I outlined his whole head.  You can see it best from the backside here.

This is what it looked like from the front side.

Then I put on my walking foot and did some straight line quilting. 
 I used some tape to mark my stitching line then guided off that line.  
Around the outside I did lines following the outline of the square of the pillow.  
This is the finished pillow cover and it will fit a 20" pillow form. 
 I made an envelope style back following the directions of Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts.  So easy!

I get to gift this on Monday.  I am sew excited to give this to Judith.  I hope she loves it!

I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April's One Monthly Goal Completed

My goal for April was to complete the center of my traveling quilt. 
 I got the entire center done and am waiting for the journal to arrive so I can ship them both to the first person who gets to work on it.

I know you have seen it in a previous post but 
I have to make a new post to show that I achieved my goal.

You can see that it is quite large (39" square).  
All the details are in a previous post and can be found here 
if you are interested in the fabrics and patterns.

Thanks for keeping me on track!  My April goal is met!! 
 I am linking up my finish with the One Monthly Goal finishes.


WIPs With Friends

Another Wednesday is here and it is time to share what we are working on.  
I went to GR yesterday rather than sew.  
My younger sister has Cerebral Palsy. 
 She had a pre-surgical appointment to schedule Baclofen pump instillation. 
 I watch over her as I promised my dad I would do.  
She lived with my folks for so long and was very much sheltered. 
She did not develop, IMHO, like she should have mentally. 
 I am teaching her how to live on her own, but it is a LONG, uphill struggle.  
Who knew that at my age I would have a 49 year old middle schooler!  
Emotionally and cognatively she is very young.  
Her entire life was centered around her and she has had a difficult time adjusting to 
learning how to do things for herself.  
She struggles with people not catering to her and having to learn how not to piss people off with that.  She has a very steep learning curve since those pathways in her brain were not formed when she was young, BUT she is learning, just slower than I would like, LOL.  
I believe God is teaching me patience through her.  

My husband, bless him, is a patient guy with all of that and he drove me yesterday.  
Of course we made a few stops at some quilt stores.  
Why oh why, did I even buy any new fabric?  
I don't"need" any but nonetheless I bought some things.  
These are the things I bought.

I have not seen the seahorse fabric in a long time so picked some up. 
 The mint and gray are for a planned future quilt and t
he orange dot will be part of another cat project.

Seriously, how could I pass up a little bit of these cats?

The star will be used in the traveling quilt for ones I receive and those snails,
 probably in the same quilt as the mint and gray above.

The best was finding these older Lizzy House prints on sale!!

I worked on another project that I can't share right now.  
It is for the person in my spreadsheet group that is going to win this month.  
It is very personalized and if she happens to see this post she will know what I have made.  
I will share it later, after April is over!  

Now, what have you been working on?  Please link up your projects.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Child's Play Quilts Blog Hop

I am so excited to be included in the Child's Play Quilts Blog Hop!  
This new book by author Stacey Day is amazing.  
You can visit Stacey's blog, Stacey in Stitches right here.

For a chance to win your own copy of Child's Play Quilts, follow these three easy steps! 
You must do all three to be eligible. 
 Please make certain you leave an email just in case you are the winner!

The winner will be drawn on April 21st. 

1. Follow me here on my blog 
2. Follow Stacey Day on her blog 
3. Comment on Stacey's blog post HERE

You can purchase a copy in her Etsy shop or at Amazon

There are 20 different quilts in the book, 10 applique and 10 traditionally pieced. 
 They are shown in both warm and cool colorways too, which I really liked.

In addition to having great quilts in the book Stacey has a LOT of great information on color theory.  It is well organized, well written and very easy to understand.  
She also has a great section on maintaining your stash including a wonderful fabric folding tutorial.  It's written so you can fold your fabric to fit the space YOU use for your fabric storage. 
 Stacey talks about how to build a stash, and organize your scraps, which I always find helpful.  Organization is the key to having a usable stash!

As many of you already know, I have been working my way through my own scraps to put them together to make slabs.
 This book has a LOT of great information on this very subject. 
 Can you even imagine how excited I was to read this right now,
 while I am in the midst of making slabs of my own scraps??

Stacey talks about different ways to make slabs,
 ie a more traditional "log cabin" way where you sew round and round or

In a more improv fashion where you can randomly add pieces.  
This is more how I have been working.

Fabric slabs are not just to showcase colors either.  
You can take your low volume fabrics and make a slab to use for backgrounds. 
 Just imagine how much more interesting your quilt will become with a few slabs of background fabrics instead of just a single color!

Your slabs can be used to make blocks or you can use them with a template.  
For example her quilts Hearts on a String and Baby Showers 
both incorporate this technique into the quilts.  
Once you have a slab done you can use that slab to replace a single fabric in your quilt as Stacey did in the hearts and drops.  
You can even use a fussy cut (like the owl in these photos) to showcase a favorite print!

I toyed around with making slabs to use for piecing letters but I am running out of time for the project I thought I might do this with.  
I have filed it away for future projects though.

I hope you have enjoyed the book review and will visit Stacey's blog and leave a comment.
This book not only has great quilts, but LOTS of useful info on organization, color and techniques.

The blog book tour schedule is right here
Online Book Tour Schedule:

Stacey Day @staceyinstitches April 9th  

Brett Lewis @naturalbornquilter April 9th

Cheryl Brickey @MeadowMistDesigns April 9th

Karen Foster@CapitolaQuilter April 10th 

Cathy Mackay @cathysmithmackay April 10th

Fiona Kelly @tangledblossom April 11th

Jackie White @jackiesartquilts April 11th

Jean Jones @sew_catstudio April 12th

Reece Montgomery @reecemontgomery April 12th

Carl Hentsch @3dogdesignco April 13th

Brooke Sellmann @sillymamaquilts April 13th

Kaitlyn Howell @knotandthread April 14th
Amy Gunson @badskirt April 14th

Kelly Bowser @kelbysews April 15th

Karis Hess @themodernsewist April 15th

Sara Lawson @sewsweetness April 16th

Leslie Meltzer @lelliebunny April 16th

Pamela Morgan @sweetlittlestitches April 16th

Amy Garro @13spools April 17th

Stephanie Perrins @stitchandbobbin April 17th

Chelsea @Pinkdoorfabrics April 18th

Michelle Wilke @ml_wilkie April 18th

Tiffany Sepulveda @sewtiffany April 19th

Rachael Riechmann @sewilearned April 19th

Pamela Lincoln @mamaspark59 April 20th  (You are here!)

Kate Maryon @katydidklm April 20th

Enjoy your day and happy reading!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WIPs With Friends

I have been working on the center for my traveling quilt this past week.  
The cat, Jack, is all paper pieced.  
I used a pattern from Make Modern magazine issue 5.  
The cat fabric background is by Jodie Ric Rack of Ella Blue Fabrics and 
no I do not know the exact name.

Here you can see my progress.  
I really did NOT like that light orange dot so I replaced it out and replaced it. 

I am much happier with this version for sure.  Cole thinks it is alright too.

 This is how it turned out when it was all finished. 
 I could not be happier with this!  
You guys probably don't really remember Jack, 
but the tip of his tail was lighter than the rest of him so I made this tail tip lighter too.

Keeping with the geometric theme, I used the mixed blue for the base and 
proposed to use the V and Co geometric prints for the letters. 
 Originally, I thought about paper piecing them but in the end this was faster and
 I could control the letter placement.

I found an alphabet online (free, and no I don't remember the name) 
and enlarged the letters to work in this piece. 
 I used all my favorite Lizzy House prints from her Whisper Pallette 
for the backgrounds of the letters. 

I still need to fuse the letters down and then stitch around them and make sure they are all the same distance from the bottom.  
This was just a rough try to see how it looked. 
 I could not be happier with how it is turning out and can't wait 
to send it to my friends to add more cat stuff!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts.

Now it is your turn to link up the things you are working on.  Let's get some fresh inspiration!!


Friday, April 13, 2018

The Traveling Quilt Begins

I decided that I wanted to do something fun with a few close friends.  
I came up with doing a traveling quilt. 
 I think I have already talked about it in another blog post.  
Briefly, each person makes a center and then you mail the center off and take turns 
adding to each other's quilts.  
I got a chance to begin my center last weekend.  
I showed you the geometric cat pattern I wanted to use but I wanted to make mine orange, 
like my beloved Jack.

You can see the background fabric I chose for my kitty. 
 It is a line done by Jodie Ric Rack for Ella Blue fabrics several years ago now. 
 I do NOT know the exact name but if you are dying to get your hands on some check ETSY.  
Last time I checked there was still some available there.

This is the neck portion of the block.

Here you can see how the head will be put together.

This shows his head and the paper next to it will be his paw (as you can see in the diagram).

I am hoping to get him all finished this weekend!

I still miss my Jack every day.  This will keep him always with me.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

WIPs With Friends

It's Wednesday again!  Time to haul out our WIPs and encourage the heck out of each other!
I have been working on sewing up some scraps into blocks to make a scrap vortex quilt.  
If you are interested to learn about this you can find out all about it on Crazy Mom Quilts blog. 
 It is like slab sewing but instead of using a monochromatic color scheme I am using all my colors!

I had sewn a lot of scraps into pairs and next up was to sew pairs together. 
I also found that as I sewed along I had to sew single pieces on to things to make "blocks".

 Here I laid out the pairs I had already sewn. 

As you can see even sewing what I did didn't even make a DENT in my scraps!

At one point Finny decided he wanted to help.

And by "help" I mean lay right in the middle of the sewn pairs and pile of scraps!!
What's up with cats and their always needing to be in the middle of things??

After a few hours of sewing this is what I have so far.  
Not too shabby for just "making slabs of fabric", eh?
I still need to make the "blocks" a little larger but will be working on that soon.

I have more scraps to sew but put them on hold as I really need to get working on the cat for the center of my traveling quilt.  
I made some progress on that but will show you tomorrow.
Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts.

So for now, if you want to show us what you are working on, please link up!