Monday, February 27, 2012

A Winner and Some Random Stuff

Well,  I'm still not technically savvy enough to put the random number generator on here, but the winning number was 6.  That's Krisgray ! So email me your address and I'll get those charm packs and pins sent off to you.  Thanks to all who commented and welcome to my new followers.  I am almost at 20 followers now.  Woo Hoo!!

Now for the random part.  I usually sew Sunday and Monday and then post what I've been working on, but this week, I'm gonna post then sew.  Sunday I finished my Swoon block for the week and already posted it, so here's what I'll be working on today.

 This is the fabric for Modern Diaper Bag from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones that I will be making for my daughter's new baby, due in June.  I have the fabric, just need the fleece, iron on lining etc.  Amy Butler patterns are complex, but yield a great product, so must start soon.
 I cut a bunch of sashing strips for my sister's quilt.  The top is in the home stretch now.  I just have to sash all the rows together and then it's off to the quilter.  I even know how it needs to be quilted, but that's a surprise for my sis, who reads this blog so shhh.
 My daughter had cut all these squares and last week when V was here during a teacher work day (no school) I started drawing and sewing.  I think it will be cute, but I am not sure how big it will be yet since there is no way I am counting all those squares.
I drew out the basic pattern on graph paper.  V noted that these blocks made up a "pattern" which is his newest thing to notice.  He loves to point out patterns to all of us.

So that's what I am doing on this rainy, gray day.  Hope you all are having a great day too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Sunday Swoon

Here is block number 5.  I think I have found a way that helps me to make fewer or in this case, no mistakes in assembly of the Swoon blocks.

Instead of using the assembly directions each time I make a block, I am looking at the one I have hanging on the wall by my sewing table.  It is so much easier to visualize how the pieces go together that way.  This block was made without a single mistake.  Yay me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's my Bloggiversary! And it's a giveaway!

Well it's been a year and here I am...Still!  I don't know what I expected to happen when I began this journey, but I must say, I have learned a lot and it has definitely exceeded my expectations.  I know that many bloggers celebrate by having a give away and so I would like to do that also.  I only have 15 followers at this point, but I am sure there are others who stop by and read my posts, they just don't list themselves as followers.  That's okay too.  I read a lot of blogs regularly that I don't follow publicly. 

Okay, enough with the chatter and on to the giveaway.  Here is what I am offering:

 Two charm packs of Moda's  Puttin' on the Ritz by Bunny Hill Designs
And two little decorative pin toppers, made by yours truly.  It's my newest little fun thing to do.

All you have to do is leave a comment, any comment about one of my posts.  To have a second chance, become a follower.  I know it's not a popularity contest, but a girl does like to have a few more followers after a whole year.  I'll leave this up for a week.  I 'll pick a winner next Monday, February 27.  Thanks for following along on my journey.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Musings (blog anniversary give away tomorrow)

Good Morning!  Another new week, full of possibilities.  The sun is shining here after a miniscule amount of snow last night.  As the title of this post suggests, tomorrow is my one year blog anniversary and I will be doing a give away to celebrate.  But for today, an update on my sewing.

 This is a little sneak peak of my Modern Mini.  If it turns out okay, I may enter it in the challenge.
 Some time ago I won a giveaway of "scraps" from Moda Lissa.  She had made a Log Cabin quilt for the December 2011 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and had these leftovers.  It was an incredible bounty for me.  You can read about it and see the pictures here.  I decided to make a quilt for my middle daughter.  She needs a new one.  I decided upon seeing the scrap box to only use them for the top and see where it would take me.  This first picture is taken on my queen size bed when I auditioned the red panels for the sides.
 I started with these six log cabin blocks and added strips around to make it larger.  I wanted to include the log cabin, but not make it a total log cabin quilt.  I let the quilt lead me.  It has been a couple of months in the process so far.
 Here is another view showing the bottom section of the quilt top.
 I decided to make another panel with some of the strips that were already cut.  I didn't want to only include horizontal strips so I broke it up with vertical strips with a red square in each one.  The red side panels really make the reds that are scattered throughout pop.  I tried several others, but my husband and I agreed the red was the one.  All that's left to do now is to sew them on and figure out how to quilt this baby.  I am very pleased with how this one is working out.
 Next up is my sister's queen size quilt.  I started cutting this in January and am finally to the point of joining all the blocks together.  The pattern is a variation of an Amanda Murphy quilt from McCall's Quick Quilts April/May 2011 called Box of Chocolates.  My sister picked out the fabrics and then later found the pattern.  I simplified the blocks a bit and it really makes this fabric work well together.
 The horizontal sashing strips are just laid on top to see how it looks.  I had to spread the whole thing out on my bed to get the proper arrangement of colors.  The little white things in the center of the blocks is masking tape with my numbering system on them.  When this quilt top is done, I will have it quilted by a long arm quilter locally.  This is a first for me, but I think it will be the best for this quilt.  I know how it needs to be quilted.  Yesterday it "told" me while I was working on it.
 And lastly, these are some 2 inch squares my oldest daughter cut out when she thought she'd like to make a quilt.  She made 2 when she was in high school, but she really is more of a knitter.  She finally decided to turn them over to me, figuring they had more of a chance to be made into something.  I think I am going to continue with this pattern and see what size I end up with.  I don't really want to add another fabric to it until I get to the border, but we'll see.
I especially love these little cottages.  I don't know what the name of this fabric is, but if you do, leave me a comment.  I'd love to find a bit more if I can.

That's all I have for today.  Don't forget to drop by tomorrow and help me celebrate my blog anniversary.  Have a great day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Swoon

Just popping in to show my latest Swoon block.  I started it last week, but due to a mishap, I became frustrated and put it away for a week.

 I am not sure how I managed to get this to come out this way.  Not once, but all 4 corner sections.  I had to walk away.  Today I was fresh and started again.
Ahhh...now that's much better.  Hope you're enjoying your Sunday.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Distractions...and a finish

Well it certainly is Monday.  I can tell because things aren't moving along as much as I'd like them to.  My day is almost gone, as far as time to sew and I am having so much trouble with the Swoon block I am trying to do.  I keep putting pieces together wrong.  As soon as I noticed the last one, I had to just walk away.  That block may not get finished today.  Plus, I kept getting distracted by things.

I bought some new organizers and my messy fabrics just screamed at me to be tidied up.  Sorry, no before picture, just this after.  And this is just one section of fabric.  It is the one that was screaming the loudest.  But it's all better now.

 This is the finish I wanted to show.  I was waiting on some Kona in a light grey, sorry, I forget the name, but that was what this baby wanted.
 I got the quilting finished and the binding done Saturday evening.  Then I washed and dried it Sunday.
 Today it is sunny, if a bit chilly at 45 degrees, so I took her for a walk outside.
 I really enjoyed photographing in the sun and watching the changes the shadows brought.
 We have lots of trees on our property, so there are always lots of shadows to negotiate.
 And they shift, minute by minute.  It keeps it interesting, don't you think?
 I love the look of this little one all rolled up like a burrito.  The spring sun is so bright.

 Lots of big rocks all over the property too.  This one being shadowed by the house.
 First crocus of the spring.  It's been so mild here, I'm sure this poor thing is in shock today.
 It surprises me that this doesn't look brighter, being as it was in full sun.  It looked brighter to me.
And now we are to the end.  Hope you enjoyed all the pics.  Now I've gotta go stare down that Swoon block and make it work.  And I only have 50 minutes to do it.  Happy sewing.  See you soon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fugly Fabric Party

I have several pieces of fabric that are not necessarily Fugly, but I haven't used them and all are at least 6-7 years old.  So they need to go. I'd love to swap, or maybe just give them to a good home.  Here are the contenders:

This is about a yard, maybe more.  I have no idea where I got it, but it is not my style or color. No Longer available.
 These are from my Asian period.  My daughter was interested in all things Asian and I started collecting fabrics for an Asian themed quilt.  I made one, but none of these were in it.  Some quarter yards and a couple larger.  No Longer available.
 These were in a group from Connecting threads.  I used the ones I liked and these just sit...Not available
Not sure where this one came from, but it's about a yard or so...Not available
 This I bought and cut some of the fairies out for a quilt that once made, none of my three daughters liked much.  It was later donated to a charity, but there are about 12 or so fairies left here. No longer available.
 A woman I worked with won this bunch in a fat quarter give away.  She also gave them away...to me.  Not my style. No longer available.
Not sure where these clouds came from, but they also have glitter on them.  Again, not my style.   No longer available. So if you see anything you like, I'd love to swap.  If you have nothing to swap, I still would like to give them to a good home.  I will pay postage in the U.S. only.  Leave me a comment if you're interested.  Now I'm off to link up...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Time is of the Essence

Last Monday I was waiting to hear about my friend's son.  He has been battling bone cancer for five years.  He is 22 now.  He had gone to see his oncologists for results of the latest round of chemo.  The longer the day went by with no news, the more I was certain it would not be good news.  Tuesday evening the news came.  The battle was well fought, but the fight was over.  There would be no more fighting, it was time to wave the white flag of surrender.

The sadness I felt was overwhelming.  I could barely speak.  I read the e-mail to my husband, crying all the while.  I felt so sad at being so far away that I could only offer words of comfort, that were meaningless.  At least I thought so.  At 5:30 Wednesday morning, I was getting ready for work.  I looked at my husband and said "I need to make her a quilt."  Without hesitation he said "Do it."

So the plan began to form... I would make X blocks to represent hugs, that I could not give in person.

I googled X block and GenX Quilters blog popped up.  Then I remembered that AnneMarie had a block library.  I looked and she had the perfect block.  It's 14 inches finished so this could be done quickly.
 I went through my stash and pulled fabrics and quickly figured out which ones I wanted to use.  I ironed out the wrinkles and began cutting.  I had just enough of the fabrics I pulled.  This was coming together so well!
 I wanted to include one block with hearts on it, to express love and hope.  I didn't want red Valentine's looking hearts.  I found the perfect fabric.  It looks like the sky at sunrise, soft layers of color.
 Into each I embroidered one word: Faith...Hope...Love.  This was going remarkably well.  I felt like God was guiding this project at this point.  Things were just falling together.  I sewed all day Sunday.
 I got the blocks done and laid out the pattern I thought would work.  I went to my local quilt shop and bought batting, border fabric, backing fabric and binding fabric.  I didn't want to spend time trying to piece a backing together.
 When I went to my LQS the fabrics were so easy to choose.  Again, I think I was guided.
 Sunday afternoon the top was done, the backing was done and the binding was made.  Time for a break.

 Monday, I began quilting.  I did two hours and then left to run a couple of necessary errands.  I came home and quilted some more.  I attached the binding and threw it in the wash before I went to pick up V at school.  When we got home it went into the dryer.

 And so now it is done.  All I have to do is attach the label I made and write a note to include in the box.  This friend is so dear to me, even though I haven't seen her in more than 20 years.  She is the sister of my heart.
 I hope that she can feel all the love and prayers that went into this quilt.  I have never made one like it.  I feel like I have run a marathon.
 I hope I never have to again.  But I know I can if I need to.  Anyone who has made a quilt of hope, faith and love knows what I mean.
 Time is short.  This will go out in the mail tomorrow.  Because time is of the essence.
Thanks for listening.