Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just trying to keep my head above the water

It has been a trying few months for my family. We are still in the midst of taking care of my mom and making decisions for the future. 

I have been able to finish a few small projects, mostly out of necessity, as there are new babies and baby showers. First, this adorable baby quilt. 
I used the border print, On Parade, from the line Children at Play by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller, and some traditional blocks set in rows to create this quilt. The contrast fabrics are Follie by Lotta Jansdotter and a gray scratch print.
The backing is pieced from the coordinating print, Balloons, from the same line and Follie from the blocks.
 The first row of blocks is a simple square in a square block. I straight lined quilted around the center square.
The second row of blocks is the friendship star block. In the star, I FMQ a feather pattern. 
The third row of blocks is churn dash. I also did some FMQ on this block. Each block in the rows are 6" squares. To separate the rows I used some Kona White in a 5" banner which I FMQ rows of ribbons. 
In the border print, I used a FMQ stippling quilting design.

The finished size is 33" x 42"

Another baby project I made is this cute ruffled baby bib.
I used this pattern which I had pinned quite a while ago. The pattern is by Nana & Company which makes so many pretty things. 
The tutorial is so easy to follow and simple to make. The fabric is Simple Nature by Cynthia Coulter. The contrast fabric is Heath for Alexander Henry.
I created the little patch by finding a cute clip art online and printing it on muslin. I then fused it and finally used a zig zag stitch to finish. 
Just too cute!

I also have been knitting to keep my hands busy while I don't have a lot of time to spend in my sewing room. On a trip to visit our kids in Austin, TX this spring, I picked up some organic cotton to knit Spa Washcloths at Hill Country Weavers. 
I knitted 2 in each color using 2 different patterns. The yellowish green cloths are the pattern found here. The orange cloths are the pattern found here. Both were easy and fun to knit. The yarn is very nice. It is called Sprout from the Verde Collection by Classic Elite Yarns. It was hard to pick colors as there were many pretty ones. 
That's what I been up too! I haven't been around much lately so I have to ask. What have you been working on? 

Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 isn't going much better!

Well, once again my blog has been neglected. 2015 has been very busy with family issues. My mom fell in late January after slowly becoming more and more unsteady on her feet. After demanding much discussion with the doctors, they finally admitted her to the hospital for further testing and treatment. 

Ten years ago, we discovered that my mother had a brain tumor but the decision at the time was not to treat it since it was slow growing, not cancerous and she had no symptoms. Now she was unsteady and weak on her right side. So a treatment plan was started. After several days, she went to a rehab facility to strengthen her right side in preparation for neuro vascular surgery. Surgery was completed and successful for the left side of the tumor. A second surgery was scheduled after more rehab. However during this time, she had a major setback with a brain bleed which acts similar to a stoke caused by a reaction to a drug she was given. She currently has no movement on her left side but some feeling has come back which is a good sign, however, we have a long road ahead of us. 

To help her remember and keep her hands busy, I made her a Fidget Quilt.

Knowing that she would not be able to sew/craft anymore, my siblings and I starting cleaning out her room. 
(In anticipation of this, I have been sorting through things for over a year, read about it here and here, but some things she wasn't willing to give up. Now she was ready to accept the idea.)
I used many things from her sewing supplies to create 24 different textures and activities. Beads on rattail, a button flap, mini spools on a string, big snaps, yo-yos, a zipper, ribbons, beaded trim, a appliqué doll, fleece, satin, terry, fur, etc. Each square is 6" so the finished size is 24" x 36". Perfect for on her lap. 

Another small project I started to keep me sane busy was this scrappy map of the USA! 
A friend of mine sent me this link. On her post, it didn't say how big her map was and she downloaded her shapes for a silhouette machine which I do not own. 
So what did I do?
I search google images for a simple map of the USA. I copied it and enlarged it after cutting the map in half along the borders between North/South Dakota and Minnesota all the way down to the Texas and Louisiana's border.  This gave me about half of the US on each 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. 
I then cut out each state, measuring how big it was and finding a scrap of fabric that would problem...this project didn't even put a dent in my scraps!
I also cut a piece of HeatNBond the same size and ironed it on the back of the fabric. I traced the paper shape on to the back of the fabric, remembering to flip the state over. Carefully, I cut out the states and ironed them on to a piece of linen (from my stash). Once they were all adhered, I started sewing around the borders with black thread, intentionally messy as was stated.  
I stretched it over a 16' X 20" canvas yesterday...finished!
All 50 states each with a different fabric! 
Can you name them all?

One more finish!...The quilt for my SIL's birthday which was yesterday! 
I originally was going to give it to him for Christmas but since my DD2 and SIL just bought their first house, they needed to buy a refrigerator. So that was their Christmas gift. So even though the top was pieced, it was put away during the holidays. Knowing that I needed to get it finished in time for his birthday, I squeezed in time between visits to the hospital, work and other committments.
Slowly, I sandwiched the quilt, and started quilting. I used straight line quilting, around the squares, in the sashing, and in the negative space.
The quilt pattern is Fieldcrossing by Cloud9 fabrics. The fabrics are Menswear Mustaches by Timeless Treasures, coordinating fabrics by Timeless Treasure and Kona Ash. 
The finished size is 60" x 72"
The backing fabric is from Connecting Threads. 
I'm calling this quilt X Marks the Stache
We will be delivering it on our trip to Austin in a few weeks! Hope he likes it!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Goodbye 2014 , Hello 2015

For me, 2014 was a mere blur. 
There were some ups and some downs, but it all seemed to move rather quickly. When I look back over the year, I can say that I was able to complete more quilts than I realized...a wedding quilt, 3 baby quilts, 3 mini quilts, a table topper, a charity quilt and a few more. I also helped my DD1 complete her first quilt!
My DH and I traveled to Norway and Hawaii. I also traveled to Austin to visit my DD2 & SIL, and DD3. In November, we lost my MIL and December brought a much anticipated visit home from our Austin kids. 

This was the first Christmas that we were all together since 2010!

I can only wonder what 2015 will bring...

COLD, COLD temperatures and 3 'snow days' off from school and it is only January 9th!

A renewed gym membership and a fitness class along with a determination to live healthier (and lose a few pounds.)

During these cold days, I was able to finish this baby quilt, Just a Little Bit.
The top was finished awhile ago but it needed to be sandwiched and quilted.  I used a pack of the 2 1/2" squares of Lily & Will ll by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda from my stash. (Gifted as a thank you for some charity blocks.) I found a bit of the yardage at my LQS for the border and ordered the backing online. The background is Kona white and the border is a brown and white stripe from my stash. 

It is straight lined quilted across the quilt and around the border. 
A baby quilt ready for a last minute gift!

Another project that I worked on during these cold weather days is the pattern, Riding the Waves by CastillejaCotton, that I purchased while in Hawaii for a wallhanging. I did buy some of the fabrics in Hawaii and others at my LQS. 
I love the outer border print with all the Honu!!
Honu is the Hawaiian name for sea turtle. The fabrics are all batiks except for the accent inner border which is Kona nightfall.
The Honu are machine appliquéd onto the background which is made from 7 strips of varying blue batiks. The Honu are each made from 3 different batiks. The border is straight-lined quilted.
A great reminder of our Hawaii vacation!
...and now onto a new project...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A few finishes

Today I will share a few finishes that I hadn't posted about yet. 
I talked about all the baby and wedding quilts that I needed to get done this past year or so but this baby quilt I just kept procrastinated on getting started.
 Possibly, because I had already made this pattern and my niece isn't due to the end of December. But when my niece saw my rainbow scrap challenge quilt she had expressed that she wanted it for her baby quilt. I wasn't giving her that quilt for her baby wasn't baby sized...but she wanted the pattern. 
She asked nicely!
I so rarely make the same pattern more than once so I just couldn't get myself motivated to start. I spent some time pulling purple, gray and yellow fabrics from my stash and bought a few additional purples. Finally, I started cutting the fabrics...there is a bit of cutting and trimming with this pattern. 
And then I got the baby shower invitation! 
Now I was under pressure to piece, sandwich, and quilt it! Not like I didn't have close to 9 months to get this done....
I FMQ the wreath of hearts in the middle and also in each bangle. 
I finished a few days before the shower and it was very well received.
I love that the leaves were still colorful so I got some pretty pictures of this quilt! The pattern is Russian Rubix by April Rosenthal for Prairie Grass Patterns.
I named this quilt Baby Bangles! 
The finished size is 33" x 43".

I also finished this quilt that I'm calling Fruit of the Spirit. I can't give too many details because I haven't delivered it yet to the intended recipient yet. 
This quilt was built around the large print fruit fabric...the squares are fussy cut with the apple, pear, peach and cherries then framed in Kona Cinnamon. I also found this coordinating striped fabric, Kensington by Quilting Treasures, that I cut and sewed together to form the striped squares. 
The border around the 9 center squares is Kona Sand. With the remaining pieces I created the outer border. I FMQ in the inner border The Fruit of the Spirit and each attribute.
The backing is an old piece of cheater fabric from my stash. I really like how it so nicely coordinated. I'm so pleased with the way this quilt turned out.
Now to get it labeled and delivered!

And last, I wanted to share this little mini that I made for Thanksgiving. 
I had tucked away in the back of my mind how to make a turkey using the dresden plate. Using this tutorial from Missouri Star Company
I made the turkey feathers. 
A quick search on the web brought me to MooseStash Quilting where Joan gave her turkey pattern. I had to resize the pieces as my turkey isn't as big as hers. 
I added Happy Thanksgiving with fusible appliqué and straight line quilted between each feather and following the points of the feathers.

Hope you all have a Blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends! 
We have much to be thankful for...stay cozy and warm! 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Did you jump on the bandwagon?

I mean the EPP hexagon bandwagon? 
I searched back on my blog to try to find out when I jumped on started my hexagon quilt with no luck. 
The earliest picture I found dates back to May 5, 2011 and there were quite a few made then. However, I didn't have any plan in mind on how or what I would do with them. I had no clue what I was getting myself into how long this process would take.
The next post was on February 8, 2012 where I had made my hexagons into flowers. I remember that my original plan was not to do flowers but somewhere along the path I decided to make them into simple flowers. 

Then on March 17, 2013, it seems as if I had a plan to alternate scrappy colored flowers with white flowers with a colored center. 
 Notice that I only had one post per year in 2011 & 2012. I really didn't work on hexagons on a regular basis...just when I needed a portable project. 
 By July 31, 2013, I had quite a bit done but still much more to do. 
With the pattern I choose, I needed a LOT of filler pieces but by 
February 17, 2014, I was on my way to putting the pieces together! 
I could see a dim light at the end of the tunnel and I was determined to work harder on getting it done.
By April 18, 2014, I had the top pieced but it needed a I started making more white hexagons.
Then I decided I wanted the top and bottom of the quilt to be straight rather than the zagged edge you get with hexagons. 
I needed to make half hexagons to fill in. 

I am so happy to show you my finished quilt!
After many, many hours of hand piecing work, it is finished!!!
The binding was done using this method that I found on Pinterest. 
It does require you to make more hexagons to fit the outline of your top but it is worth it! I love how it turned out!
The back is a floral print from my stash. The binding hexagons are all from the same fabric from my stash.
I machine straight lined quilted around the scrappy flowers and around the centers of the white flowers. I FMQ petals in the scrappy flowers. 
(the only machine work on this quilt) 
Pocketful of Posies!
I am so stinking happy with this quilt! 
I am proud that I persevered and did not give up in the process...
and it was a long process!