"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back from missing in action............

This summer has been crazy busy for me as I worked 3 jobs while on summer vacation from school.   Was working on getting my licensing for driver's ed done and then starting to give DE lessons.   Worked half-time at the store, and worked like crazy on the commissioned sewing as well.   And add in there the fact that I was looking for a better job.

Thankfully I did manage to get a little bit of quilting time in there as well, part commissioned, and part for a contest submission.   The first quilty thing I managed to get completed were these two 14" quilted pillow covers.  They went to a friend down in Indy.

The second thing I managed to get done in my quilting and quilt designing was an entry into the Modern Quilts "Traditional blocks made modern" contest.  The Red, Blue and Cream block below is my first take on making my design.   For this contest you have to take the traditional block that they post, and make a new block for it in a modern design.   Traditional block this month was Flying Geese.  In addition you have to use only Michael Miller fabrics because they are one of the cosponsors of the contest.   Prizes are great in it and i'm hoping to win at least part of the time.  Winner will be chosen by the public votes and the other blocks can be seen by going to the Modern Quilts Challenge Website.  Voting will run from the 11th to 14th of August.  Will be posting a reminder on the 11th and hoping that my cyber friends can help me win by voting.  =)

96 pieces in this version of the pp'd block and inset seams to boot.    Block name is Flying in Circles.   I decided that I didn't like the center geese, so in the final version of the block that I submitted I omitted those and replaced it with background fabric.   Love, how the final block turned out.

It can be seen on the link for the Modern Quilts Website and scrolling to the second page (at least as of right now).   My block is cream and teals Fairy Frost fabrics.

Am now waiting for the next traditional block to be posted so i can start designing my next submission.   But first gotta think about what colors I want to use in the quilt.  =)

All of the work that I've been doing this summer hasn't been just to survive for a change, thankfully the school contract is paid yr round.   So all that I made this summer has gone into paying off bills and Lord willing I'll be able to continue making progress on the bills in the future.

One of the things that i've done to help me keep focused the goal of being debt free sometime in my lifetime, is to make an adult version of a "Paint-by-Number".  Each petal on my paint-by-number represents $50 of debt (and nope this isn't all there is), and each flower a debt.   Since the first of the summer I've been able to pay off 2 cards totally, and 20% of a third one.   That last one has been transferred to an interest free option that will save me over $1000 of interest over the next 18 months.   So thankful to be able to do that.   And by the end of this week when I get my second DE payment I'll be able to make a huge payment on one of the debts above.

Gratitudes -

1. the Skype interview for a better teaching position went well Thursday and they want me to fly up there to Rawlings WY to check out the area.

2. For endurance and strength to get through the long days of working 3 jobs now that school is back in session in order to continue to pay the bills off.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finished Quilt Top and a Block Tutorial

The last quilt top I put together for Sunshine Quilts started with 4 blocks that a fellow member of the group had made from a FQ that I sent her.  Once the blocks were made, she then sent them to me to put into a quilt.   This is what I ended up making from the four blocks.

Normally I would have paper-pieced the alternating blocks, but didn't feel like doing the 32 blocks needed this way or wasting that much paper and ink.

The blocks that I used for the alternate blocks are composed of two different fabrics - the first being down the center of them on the diagonal, and the second on the corners of the block.

The first step to making this block is to figure out how long to cut the strip that goes down the middle of the block.   The easiest way to do this is to measure across the size of block you will need.   In my case I needed 6" finished blocks for my alternating blocks.   So I used a 6.5" square ruler and measured diagonally.   The length was approximately 10".   To make it easy, I cut strips that were 3 inches wide, and then sub cut each strip into 4 even pieces (approx. 10.5").  This technique can be used on any size block but remember to add about one inch to the measured length of the strip so that you have room to square them up without problems.

The second part of cutting the fabric for the block is to cut the corner triangles.  I cut 5.25" squares of the background fabric and then them in half diagonally one time.

The first step in assembling your block is to mark the center of the long side of the stip and the center of the long side of the triangle.  For my blocks, I just finger pressed the mid points and then matched them up.

Next sew the triangles onto each long side of the strip using a 1/4 inch seam.

Once the Triangles have been sewn on, then press the blocks flat.  I pressed the seams to the strip because that is the darker fabric in my blocks.   After pressing the block should look like the one shown at the right.  The center strip will stick out but that is ok.  

Note - when you measure top to bottom or side to side, the dimensions should be at least 1/2 inch bigger than the unfinished block size that you need in order to be able to square them up properly.

Once pressed, lay your square ruler on top of the block as shown to the right making sure to center the ruler on the block.

To make it easier to trim the 32 blocks that I needed for this quilt I used a couple of pieces of tiger tape to mark where the seams between the triangles and strips should line up on the ruler.  This allowed me to quickly line up the square ruler on each block in order to keep the corners centered down the middle of the center fabric. If you wish to do something similar, a narrow painter's masking tape would work well on your ruler.

Your finished block should come out looking like this.   Have fun playing with fabrics used and how you lay them out.


1. Driver's Ed (DE) license came through quickly and I'm now a DE instructor and have my first 3 students.

2. Visit to ENT last week had the news that there was no sign of an infection.   Hallelujah!   Just need to keep taking the allergy meds to keep things under control and I should be good.

Friday, July 10, 2015


It's hard to believe that summer vacation is almost over for me.    Life has been nuts this summer for me as I've been working the equivalent of about 3 jobs - the PT job at the store (double+ the normal hrs), the commissioned sewing, listing stuff for sale on ebay and looking for and applying for jobs.   All while trying to get the drivers ed stuff in line for certification so I can start doing that as well.   Did finally get my DE license and now have my first student lined up for driving lessons...a little scary to think I'll be doing this on my own now and not with someone else in the backseat making sure that I don't forget anything.  

As a result of everything going on this summer has been the commisisoned garment sewing.  Am now on the last two garments in the stack that had been cut out a year ago.   Once these are done I'll have finished 29 different garments.    Still have fabric for at least another 27 garments.   And I know there is more fabric than that, just need to cut the first round of scrubs so I know what is left in the way of the fabric she sent me in June.

Another thing that I've been doing is a wee bit of cleaning and then sorting through fabrics and other stuff to sort out and list more things.   Have made it thru half of my stash of FQ's and pulled out a bunch to list for sale.   Just need to get pictures of them and then list them for sale.

In my cleaning forays (called emptying bags....) I found a stack of 5" wide strips that I came home with after a customer abandoned them (what can I say, they were counted as remnants and cost very little).   12 different fabrics that I've had for several months.........they are now out of a bag, but I have no clue what I want to do with them.   Did see one possible quilt but am still thinking about possibilities.

Colors are peaches, turquoise, gray and white....the peach and gray not my normal colors to work with.     Any ideas for quick and easy baby/toddler quilts that I could do from 5" strips?


1. Sinuses all seem to be clear w/no signs of infection - the surgery worked!  So thankful for this.

2. Summer has been mild in terms of heat this year.....if more than a bit soggy because of all the rain.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mystery Quilt - Final Corner and completion, and Link up for final quilts

With school finally out I've been able to finish up the mystery quilt and am finally getting brief directions written up for it.    The same patterns were used as in the third corner, the difference comes in your color placement for the flying geese.
The paper-pieced patterns can be found here flying geese strips - pattern.  And the pp'd pattern for the corner unit can be found here - corner unit.

For this corner, instead of the geese being one color and the corner triangles being the background fabric,  the fabrics are alternated to achieve the look of a chevron.    With the numbered example below, pieces 2, 3, and 4 would be done in the chevron fabric.   Pieces 1, 5, 6, and 7 would be from the background fabric.   Then repeat as needed to get the length border that you need for your quilt.

Once the corner has been pieced, then layout your corner sections and measure to figure out how big to cut the strips needed to fill in the sides of the border between the pieced sections.  2 strips that are 4.5" wide by width-of-fabric should be enough to finish the borders if the pieced sections are similar to mine.

I'd love to see your completed quilts or quilt tops, so please consider linking up here so others can see your beautiful work!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

School is finished and finally sewing again!

The school year finished up a week ago, time truly is flying these days.    The last weeks of school after returning from surgery were a zoo as I tried to get caught up and ahead.   Never did manage to get ahead of things but I did get everything caught up and finished for the year.

The top for the mystery quilt is finished and I'll be sharing that in a separate post.   Also finished off four quilt tops for Sunshine Quilts before school was out.  

The first two tops were made from some left over scraps that were in various pastels with white polka dots and pastel gingham prints.  I used a yellow and white chevron as a background fabric for both of these.     Not my usual choice of fabrics, but they were scraps leftover from a mystery quilt I had made several yrs ago and are now gone!.

The third top that I made was from a fabric remnant that I'd bought at Joann's.   The fabric is a novelty print and has lots of old-time superhero action words printed on it.   You know the type that the original Batman show would have when the action was happening like - Super, Zoom, Wow, Snap, and so on.   Bright colors in and one I think a little boy will like.   I used solid red and yellow to make the alternating blocks and the borders.  Quilt pattern was an adaptation of one that I saw either in an email or on the interet, but can't remember where at the moment.

The final quilt top for sunshine started with 5 blocks that I recieved back as a part of a challenge I gave to the Sunshine group I'm a part of.   Using a FQ that I supplied several people on the list made blocks and sent them back to me to put together into tops.  Gail H. was the quilter who made and sent me the lovely blocks in this quilt top.   I set the center block on a tilt to add interest to the quilt.   The chevron alternating blocks are half-square triangle blocks.   The fabric that shows like a gold in the pic is actually orange and yellow and a lot brighter than the pic shows.  The focus fabric has lime green dancing alligators on it.

The final thing that i've been working this past week is a stack of 16 commissioned scrub tops.   Have  now completed 8 of the 16 (4 fabrics out of 8 fabrics total, two tops from each).  Still to come are winter Snoopies, poinsettias, Christmas cows and leprechuans.   My aim is to get those done and into the mail this week so that I can move onto the remaining commissioned stuff that has been cut out for over a year now (as have the scrub tops) and to slip in some fun sewing as well.

Have also finished up the requirements for Drivers Ed Instructor training and am now pulling together the paperwork needed for the submission packet that goes to the state for certification.   Hoping to have certification back by the end of June so that I can start teaching and making some extra money to help pay the bills off.

Also yet to do this summer is to buckle down and look for a better paying job so that I don't have to work 3 jobs once school starts back up in order to pay the bills.

Gratitudes -
1.  It's summer vacation!   So I'm only working 2 jobs for the next 7 weeks till school starts back up (the store and the commissioned sewing).
2.  God's provisions for all that I need financially, health-wise, and job-wise

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mystery Quilt - Another Corner finally done

School has been crazy busy with it being the last few days before final exams and the end of the semester.  As a result I haven't gotten the final two corners made as fast as I had hoped.

The third corner was paper-pieced using a quick 2-inch by 4-inch flying geese pattern.   I used up almost all of the remaining dark green fabric that I had used in the quilt top.   And was really happy to get the directional print going in the same direction on both sides of the corner!

The pattern for the flying geese strips that I used can be found here - pattern.  And the pp'd pattern for the corner unit can be found here - corner unit.

Directions -

For each flying geese unit that you make with the pp'd pattern you will need a3" by 5" rectangle of the goose fabric, and 1 3" square cut in half diagonally one time.

To make the corner unit, cut a 5 inch square and then 2 3-incg squares of your background fabric, cut in half diagonally once.

Sew as many of each as you need, and trim to size.  Attach to quilt as desired.

Have fun!