"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)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sew fun, Sew 30 - Making Progress

Been working on the final 31 origami swan blocks that I've got prepped since this past weekend.  Have these 14 finished up and two more in progress here at the machine.

Have been able to sew for 1-2 hrs each day this week and that has helped me make progress.

Once those are done I'll only have 17 more to stitch up and then I can layout the blocks and decide which ones make it into the commissioned quilt.   My plan is to be able to get the layout decided on this coming weekend and start assembly of the top.

Still need to decide tho if I'm going to try quilting it in sections or not tho before I get to that point.

Gratitudes:

1. Friends who will pray for me when I need it.

2. Family and friends here and in heaven.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Naming Blocks and Quilts

I don't know about you, but I always struggle to figure out what to name the blocks that I design and the quilts that I make.  I've been strongly reminded of that as I've been designing the Teddy Bear blocks for for the BOM, and the extra ones that I'll be posting for sale.   Another series of blocks I've struggled to name are the ones that I've submitted to QuiltMaker for their "100 Blocks from Top Designers" magazine.  Most of my quilts I end up not naming because of how I struggle with coming up with names for them.

Some of the Teddy Bear blocks I've done have been easy to name, others not so much.  Lately though I've found some inspiration in sources that are close to home......namely my family.

This lovely bride bear is named in honor of my paternal Grandmother whose first name was Lucy.  Her groom is named in honor of my paternal Grandfather, whose first name was Benjamin. (And yes, these two blocks actually use the same fabric for the background fabric....the camera did something funky with the color to the groom pic.)

Both of these two are in the bonus block series that I'll be posting for sale.

The third bear shown here is one that I had drawn up and made a couple of months ago (will be the bear for October) and had a hard time deciding on a name for, is now named in honor of my only brother and sibling, Brian whose birthday was in October.


The next two teddy bear patterns that I have designed and am ready to make the samples for will be named in honor of my maternal grandparents.

Now if only I could decide what to do with all of my block samples I'd be doing good.

How do you name any blocks you design or quilts that you make?

Gratitudes:

1. Friends who put up with my designing

2. It hasn't gotten too hot here in N. TX yet.



Late Baby Quilt finished

I finished the surprise baby quilt that I was running late in getting finished, but at least the munchkin is only 3 months old....lol.

Quilt was inspored by a picture that I saw on the internet, but I forgot to note where I saw it.  It is an easy one to customize to the amount of focus fabric that you have.   In this case I had just enough to cut 9" finished blocks after cutting the borders so that the print ran in the same direction.  The red and blue were cut slightly larger than 4.5" by 8.5", and the brown sashing was cut at 1.5" wide.  Final alternate blocks were cut to 9.5" unfinished.  Final size was approx. 40" by 50" in size.


Gratitudes:

1. Three day weekend is coming up.

2. Good time spent with friends last night over good food.

Hands 2 Help Quilt

My quilt is off to Em's Scrapbag for a cancer patient.

The quilt is 73" square, with a focus fabric featuring Iris which is my favorite flows.  Dark green and purple were used to border the iris squares.

It was a quilt done quite a few yrs ago....ok, I honestly am not sure how many yrs.   But I do know that after washing it after the quilting was finished and the binding on, I just stuck it in a tote and never used it.  Am glad to have it out of tote and on it's way to someone that will use it as it was meant to be used.


Gratitudes:

1. For the opportunity to be able to share a 'warm hug' with a person who I'll never know.

2. For the healing (bone growing to fill in around the implant) that is happening in my jaw....even tho the pain is still there.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sew 30 Sew Fun, Week 2 - Catching up

I've been sewing this week, just haven't managed to post.

Got the quilting done on this quilt and the binding sewn on.   Have it half sewn down and hope to finish in a day or two.

Also finished up this sample block for the third bonus block in my teddy bear series.   Named in memory of my brother Brian, this is Brianna who is celebrating her birthday with a yummy chocolate cake.

Gratitudes:
'1. That I've got sweet memories of my brother.

2. wonderful weather this weekend!





ScrapHappy May

Lots of playing with scraps in the last couple of weeks.


Finished up two sample blocks for the latest two block for my teddy bear series.  Benjamin Bear the groom is waiting at the altar for his bride Lucy.   Both of the bears are from scraps.  Background fabric is by Moda.   Patterns will eventually be available for both.


 Next up was pulling fabrics from my scrap bins to make a sample of the pattern I've drawn up for the online row-by-row blog hop that I'm taking part in.   All of the fabrics for the sample have come from the scrap totes, but I haven't decided which of the two sets of brown fabrics work best.   Any opinions on the pics below?




































And the final round of scraps were these - 25 pairs of coordinating fabrics that will be come origami swan blocks.  I managed to get the fusible web ironed onto all of the fabrics this weekend.   Next up is tracing the pieces and then fusing them to the block backgrounds.

Gratitudes:
1. Jaw/tooth pain seems to be decreasing.....just in time for work to start on a crown while the area with the implant continues to heal.

2. Making progress on the overdue baby gift this weekend!




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday Progress........

Finished up another sample block for a bonus teddy bear pattern, well almost finished.    It has been decided that I need to add a candle on that birthday cake.  =)   I was going to call the bear "Brian" in memory of my brother, however I decided I'd better name her "Brianna" since the icing and hat were pink and he wouldn't have appreciated the pink....lol.  

I'll be embroidering the candle and flame with a combination of machine and hand embroider.

Pattern is yet to come for this block and for the bride bear as well.

I also almost finished quilting a late baby gift on Saturday, but the machine decided it didn't like me.  Will finish this week and post pics at that point of the finished quilt.

I've also got a pattern under way for a row-by-row that I'll be taking part in Sept. of this year.  It's been fun coming up with a pattern in a different size than normal for me.

Gratitudes:

1. Pain meds that keep most of the pain from the dental work under control.

2. A possiblility for getting more commissioned work.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Bonus Bears

I've several patterns drawn up for bonus bears that won't fit into the 12 months of the Teddy Bear BOM this year.     Yesterday I worked on making up the sample block for the first of these blocks.

This is Lucy the Bride.  She's getting ready to walk down the aisle to her groom.

Gratitudes:
1. Beautiful weather today with no storms due in

2. Seeing friends at church today

Sew 30 Sew Fun – Days 3-5

I had to have some major dental work started this week and that ended up causing my 30 minutes a day sewing to slide by a couple of days.   However, I caught up yesterday while working on the quilting of an overdue baby quilt.  I even used my new machine for the quilting!

I just need to finish quilting the 6 focus fabric blocks and this critter will be all quilted.  =)    Binding will be next.  Hoping to finish the quilting at least today, but also need to get the sketch made for a pattern I need to get made up.

Gratitudes:
1. Dental work is just a dull ache and easily controllable with advil.

2. For finding a dental practice that is willing to work with what I can do financially.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sew 30, Sew Fun - Days 1 & 2

The challenge posted here on Annie's Ruby Slippers is to sew at least 30 minutes a day for 6 days a week during May.   And as time gets tighter for me, that is a structure that I need in my life right now to make progress on the many projects that I have going on.

Between yesterday and today I got the binding and the label onto this wallhanging (altho still no hanging sleeve) and I'm calling it done!  took me an hr or just over between the two days.

So a full shot of the finished little quilt and a couple of close-ups.   Final name was "Strand of Three".

Next up to be worked on for this challenge is to start the quilting of the quilt that I will be donating for teh Hands 2 Help challenge.

Gratitudes:
1.  My foot is less painful tonite (altho that means the storm is almost here)

2.  Getting together with a great group of women tomorrow might.




Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekend Work...........

I finished the stitching on 7 more of the origami swan blocks over the weekend.  That brings my total completed up to 30.  

Next up on that quilt is to iron the fusible web onto the remaining 30 pairs of fabric prints and then cut the pieces out.

The final blocks that I was able to finish were three heart blocks for a hugs quilt.    These are 12" finished in size.  Fabrics for these came from my scraps.

Gratitudes:

1. As the finances get tighter to pay for the dental work, I'm glad to have my stash to quilt from.

2. For issues that can be treated.


Sometimes You Gotta......

........ignore what's been on the to-do list and do what's been simmering in the brain.  And that is the case with this little wall-hanging.

I'll be sharing my testimony in the Bible study group at some point that I attend in the next few weeks and the idea for this little wall-hanging just wouldn't let go of my mind.   So I gave into the idea.  =)  Yes, this relates to what I'll be talking about, but that's not something that I'll write about here.

The binding still needs to be sewn on, but I haven't put a hanging sleeve on it yet because I don't know which way I'm going to hang it - vertically like this or horizontally.  The ends of the rick rack (currently on the bottom of the pic) will be left loose no matter which way I end up hanging it.

Specs -

-- Finished size is about 10" by 20" or so.
-- Whole cloth made with a hand-dyed FQ that I found when going thru some fabric yesterday
-- Binding and backing are from a 1/3 yd piece of Riley Blake fabric that I have no remembrance of buying or what it was originally meant for.
-- Three different colors of rick-rack were used - dk. purple, metallic royal blue, and a pink/white metallic
-- Free-form quilted

Gratitudes:

1. I'm a candidate for the needed dental implant

2. God will provide all of the money that I'm going to need for the needed dental work, even if that means I work a second job.

Buster - 2017 Teddy Bear BOM - Block 4

Block 4 has been released -

Buster has been out picking flowers for his mom after all of the rain in April.

You can find the pattern here at Craftsy.

Have fun with the block!




Gratitudes:
1. Beautiful weather here after all the storms that went through the DFW area over the weekend.

2. It's Monday and I have a job that pays the bills.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

They Don't All Work.....

Last week someone asked me how I choose which blocks that were not going to end up in a quilt that they were made for.

This block is one of the ones that won't make it into the commissioned origami swan quilt that I'm currently working on because of several problems.

The first, and biggest issue to me, is that the plaid fabric that I used for the underneath piece on the right side just shows through the upper yellow print too much (it looks worse in real life).  And yes I'm picky!

the second issue is that pieces slipped when I was fusing them down  - see the circled areas in the upper photo.  Net result is that the block doesn't have the same look as the others that I've been making.

And while I thought about just tossing the block, I did decide to finish it and put it with several other orphan blocks that are in yellow/black.   So it will eventually end up in a quilt  that will go to Sunshine Quilts.

Gratitudes:
1.  For friends who encourage me to be the best that I can be.

2. For the fun that I have in designing and creating.


Hmmmm.....scrap problem here?

I love to work with scraps and most of the quilts I make are what I call multi-fabric quilts.

These two bins that you see here are what I toss the scraps I end up with when working at my cutting table and when sewing.

It might possibly be time to actually sort them and put them into the bags of scraps that I have upstairs in totes.  These two large totes shown to the right.....yup, those are what my ziploc bags of scraps reside in.   And yes, they are full............  Mind you, that isn't all of them because I have a couple of small project totes with scraps in them that have been pulled to be put together for various quilts.

Think I might have scrap problem?


Gratitudes:

1. No tornado's this morning in the Dallas area as the severe thunderstorms went through here.

2. For my job, which while it isn't perfect pays the bills.


A Fishy Tale

Another set of UFO blocks hits the dust.....

This quilt top started with a set of 5 blocks that had been made in response to a challenge I made to Sunshine members.  The fabric I had sent out was the fish fabric in the pieced blocks.

I used a second fish print that was close to the first in look and colors and the solid orange used in the borders to finish it off.

Final size is 41" by 56".

Gratitudes:

1. For the opportunities to get together with friends

2. For getting my tax refund back!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Progress

Had a list of things that needed to be done or worked on this weekend.  And got most of them accomplished or at least good progress made.

First up to be worked on were the final blocks for the commissioned teddy bear quilt.  Made the last 9 blocks - 8 setting blocks (no pic of them) and the final teddy bear block.   Also tweaked the #11 block by adding a candy cane for Nicholas to be holding.

I then started to layout the blocks so that I could see how it was going to look.   I need to figure out where I can lay it out in full.....I don't have the floor space for sure!

Next up was completing the stitching on the pile of swan blocks that I have been working on for a couple of days.   They are now done, and i'm ready to pull more thread out this evening for the remaining blocks.

The last thing that I did was to put together a quilt top for a belated baby gift.  The baby's room is decorated in an Arizona theme, so I'm hoping that they'll like the quilt.  Still is to find a backing that will work and then get it pinned so that I can quilt it.

Gratitudes:
1. The active shooter situation here in Dallas was not in the buildings where I work (altho it was only 1/2 mile away)

2. Warmer temps are on the way.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Block 11 - Bentley Bear

Teddy bear block #11 for the commissioned quilt -

Bentley is a pilgrim bear who is here to remind everyone to be thankful for their many blessings.

One more teddy bear block to make for the quilt itself and then I can start making the teddy bear blocks that I'm making as extras to go with the Teddy Bear BOM this year.  =)

Did make progress on the final 8 setting blocks - got the 2.5" squares cut that I need for the center of them.  Now I just need time to sew them together.

Gratitudes:

1. It is the weekend.....well almost.  =)

2. Realization that permanent changes (not just a temporary "diet") in the diet really do make a difference in how I feel

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Teddy Bear Block for Commissioned Quilt

Block #10 for the commissioned quilt - Nicholas Bear.   Still thinking about adding a candy cane to the block......

Two more blocks, already designed, to make for the quilt and then I've got four more bonus blocks that I'll be making to go along with the BOM.  Still need to make the final eight setting blocks but before I do that I need to cut 128 - 2 1/2" squares first.....lol......

Gratitudes:
1. Weather is supposed to be good the next couple of days.

2. Counts are up high enough that I can think about getting the needed tooth work done.

Final Decision.....

....on the business card that is....... Here is what I ordered....telephone number will be on the ones I receive, but I didn't want that shown on my blog.

I'm happy with this one and hope it will be a good investment for me.

Gratitudes:
1. All the feedback people gave me as I pondered card designs

2. No severe weather in last nights thunderstorm.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekend Progress

Made some progress this weekend in spite of all that was going on.

First up where the 7 swan blocks that I completed the stitching on - pinks and purple ones.   I'm working on them in color order based on what tote I need to get the thread out of.  

I then was able to get the last 8 prepped swans fused down and ready for stitching.

I then got the borders onto a quilt for sunshine quilts.  The blocks were part of a challenge that had been made with some of my fabric by a gal in Sunshine for me to put together.  And yes, the borders were deliberately made asymmetrical.  =)  The new machine was used to sew the last two borders onto the quilt and I think I've finally figured out the stitch length and tension for the straight stitch....well at least for this quilt.  lol

I had 3 more blocks (well, 4 but one has gone missing) with the fish fabric in them that I set together for the center part of another quilt.  Don't have a picture of it to show here tho.

Gratitudes:
1. Good traffic this morning on the way to work.

2. Feedback on business cards was helpful and they are now on order.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hands 2 Help

Because I know that God has richly blessed me, I try to share those blessings in various ways.  One of the ways I do is in the quilt tops that I make and send off to Sunshine Quilts and American Hero Quilts.

This year I've also signed up to make a quilt for Hands 2 Help.  You can read more about it here.

I've oodles of quilt tops that have been done forever w/o homes to go to.   I've pulled this one that I think will make up into a lovely quilt for Em's Scrap Bag.   they give quilts to people going thru chemo.  And having been there - done that twice now this is something that I can identify with.

I haven't got a clue how long I've had this made, but I do know it started with the border print fabric and grew from there.

I hope to start the quilting in the next week or two.

Gratitudes:
1. No rain this weekend when I made my drive to Austin

2. Found the fabrics for the row I'm designing.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ScrapHappy April 15th


Lots of fun this month going through my scrap bins/bags as I've been pulling pairs of coordinating fabrics for Origami Swan blocks.  

I completed the first seven blocks early in the month.   And this week I've fused the pieces down for the next 17 blocks.  I've also pieces cut for 8 more blocks, but those still need to be fused.

Still to have the fusible web ironed on to them are 18 more pairs of coordinating fabrics already pulled and three more that need a coordinate to go with them.   And nope, not all of the blocks will end up in the finished commissioned quilt - I only need 42 blocks for it, but I'm already seeing blocks that I don't want to put into the quilt.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at):

Usually has a scrappy post:
Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)
Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)
HelĂ©ne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)
Sometimes has a scrappy post:
Eva at bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)
Sue at sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)
Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)
Norma at https://shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com (in English only)
Lynda at: https://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com (in English only)
Birthe: http://birthesrom.blogspot.no (in Norwegian only)
Turid: http://densyendehimmel.blogspot.se (in English and Norwegian)
Susan: https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Cathy: http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com (in English only)
Debbierose: https://sewrosey.wordpress.com (in English only)
Tracy: https://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Jill: http://nicepieceofwork.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Claire: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Jan: http://thesnailofhappiness.com/ (in English only)
Karen: https://mewithptsd.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Deb: https://abearsthimble.wordpress.com/ (in English only)
Enjoy till next month!
Gratitudes:
1.  I get to have lunch with a friend tomorrow after dropping off the fabric for donation in Austin, yippee!
2. Road trip for a few hrs - it'll be good to get away for a while.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Business Cards, round 2


Feedback from the ones from the ones I posted yesterday showed that the last two didn't make the cut, the black was liked but w/o the pic of the block, and the top one was ok.  

So today I went back into Vistaprint today and worked up a few more possibilities without a picture of a quilt block on them.  

The top two pics to the right have been the clear winners so far.....I really like the colors of the second one but they are too dark for the writing to be clear in my opinion.  I may make a $5 investment and have one of the graphic designers at Vistaprint lighten the colors up so that it is easier to see the printing.

I also like the top one, but it would definitely be my second choice.

I still like the card on the bottom here from yesterday, but I like these two in the top pics better.  So I'm getting closer to  a decision and in order my business cards.  =)

Gratitudes:
1. It's a long weekend for me....woohoo.

2. Good weather is predicted for tomorrow - a good thing since I'll be making a round trip to/from Austin all in one day.

It's coming!

Volume 15 of QuiltMakers 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers will be released on May 2nd, just a little over 2 weeks away now.   The thrill of seeing my block designs in print never gets old for sure.



And there is a blog hop associated with the release that is always fun.   More info can be found on the blog hop by clicking on the logo below.


Gratitudes:
1. For the opportunity of having my block designs published.

2. For having a place to donate the fabric I no longer want where it will be available to others that will use it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Business card possibilities


I've been working on getting the design for my business cards decided on and have three possibilities.  Not sure though which one I want to go with....need to decide that because I'd like to order them this week.

What do you guys think of these four desgns?  Pics are in order of my preferences for the four.

Gratitudes:

1. Only a small chance of rain is forecast for the areas I'll be driving through on Friday.

2. Making progress on the business side of things.