"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)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Row-by-Row-Hopping Day 2

The Row-by-Row hop started on June 21st and will run till September.  I was able to make it around to 8 of the "closest" stores to me this past weekend.   On Saturday I made it to 5 different stores and had a fun time visiting them.   I was looking for background fabric that would work for the hatbox quilt I have started.  And also on the possibilities were more fabrics for the bear blocks I'm designing.

Here is what I came home with -

First stop was at Urban Spools.   It's a small shop and carries modern prints.  Looked at the fabrics but didn't find anything that would work for the hatboxes and nothing that struck my fancy.  Did get the free pattern though.

Next shop up was "Sew Let's Quilt It" and they have this cute row.  They included the already printed sign with their free instructions which was a really nice thing to do.  This shop is the closest one to where I work and is only about 3 miles north of my office.  Nice selection of fabrics in the store, but not real big.  They are located right next to a quilt retreat center there in the shopping center.

I did find a Moda Grunge that I will be using for the background for the pink string strips.  =) it is a dark brown with taupe and grey in it and really serves to pop the colors in the sashing on the hatboxes.

Next up was "Not Your Mama's Quilt Shop" and it happens to be just two doors down from one of my favorite Sushi restaurants out here in the Dallas area.  Yes, I went back for an early supper - yum!!!  They specialize in modern fabrics as well.

Found two FQ's here in earth tone swirls that I will be using for the second version of a row for a blog hop that I'm designing.  Just waiting for the rest of my fabrics to arrive so that I can get started on that project again.

Next up was a new to me store called "Stitched with Love".   Nice sized store with a good selection of fabrics.

Found two FQ's for my bears, and a FQ to use as a hatbox.    Could have bought an iron-on transfer with the street names, but didn't really like the look.

Final store of the day was "Happiness is Quilting!" and it is one of the stores I like the best here in the area that I've been too.

Got their row and it's really cute.  Would make a cute banner for a baby's room.


This is the store that I came home with the most from.  They've recently moved into this location which had been occupied by a quilt store that went to online only in the last few months.  Gave them more room and more light.....love shopping here now.   Thankfully for my checking account is a hefty drive for me so I don't make the trip often.

Found several gold FQ's for use in American Hero Quilts, several brown ones & a 1/2 yd for use in the teddy bears, a lovely purple remnant and a remnant bag.    Yes.....a remnant bag.....they had quite a few pieces that were larger, along with some gold pieces that are big enough for me to cut cornerstones out of for a future project.

But the prize that I found in the scraps was this machine embroidered panel.   With a niece getting married (I'm waiting impatiently for him to propose....lol, she has no clue it's coming) in the near future this will make a perfect gift.  Now to figure out what to do with it.  =)

Once I left this store it was back to the restaurant for an early supper and then home.


1. for safe travels while I was out shop-hopping

2. for being able to splurge occasionally   =)

Over the weekend I worked on a few different projects.  Here are the ones I made progress on.

The green strips were sewn onto these blocks.  I still need to dig out fabric for the corner triangles to finish them up and to use in the remaining blocks.

Then on Sunday I finally got this block made.  This is Misty who is a mischievous kitten who is playing in one of her owner's hat boxes.

The pattern had been drawn up for a couple of weeks but I had been dawdling in getting the sample block made.  The fabric for the hat is a Moda, and the one for the hat box is a Kaffe Fawcett.  Both were bought over the weekend while I was row-by-row hopping.  The background fabric is from a FQ that was I got in last years shoe box Swap.  Everything else is from my scraps.

On Sunday I also started the next scrappy critter quilt.  And it will use up most of the shorter scrap strips of the light to medium pinks that I have.

This will be made with 2 inch finished (2.5" cut) squares and lots of them!  Was thankful that I have a full sandwich baggie of the WOW already cut to start the quilt with because I don't use this size a lot.  There will be 29 rows and 23 squares wide.   That makes a total of 667 squares in the finished quilt.  Don't know if I'll sell this one or donate it.   Time will tell.

1. Friends who are there to support and encourage you in the ups and downs of life

2. My stash and all the possibilities in it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

New Scrap Projects Coming

A couple of new scrap projects are in the works.  The first will have me making progress on a quilt from these blocks.   They started with a couple of scrap bags ($1 each) that I bought last summer.  The pink stripe was in one and scraps of coordinating greens were in the second.  I added several greens from my stash that were in the same color family and the same intensity of green.

I'm piecing them on top of precut papers for string piecing so the blocks will be 10" unfinished.  Still need to decide what color I'm going to use for the triangles that I need to finish off these blocks.

The  remaining 2 types of blocks needed for the design that I'm planning on making will also be pieced on the same paper so that I can get all of the colors / fabrics to line up as shown in this sketch of the final design.  Once I've got the diagonal striped blocks done then I'll measure where the seams fall so that I can figure everything out.  And yes that type A personality is coming through there.  =)  

Color key here -

  •  The pink in the sketch is the pink stripe shown above.  Finished width in block is 4 inches.
  • The light yellow will be the scrappy, assorted medium grey-greens that I'm currently working with.  Fabric is cut at 2 1/2 inches wide.
  • The light green in the sketch is still to be decided.  Probably either a cream tonal or a very light grey-green.  Haven't decided.  I know I've got creams or something in that range that would work in my stash.....the green I might or might not have.

The second scrappy project will have me cutting 3 1/2 inch squares for a while.  I still need to decide what color(s) in my scraps though that I want to work on for these pups.  I know I have large quantities of greens and purples, along with lots left in the pinks.   Will have to think about it and decide.  I plan to start cutting for this one this weekend so I can start sewing things together next week in the mornings.  Need to count how many squares I need first though before cutting to make sure I get enough done.

Stay tuned for how these projects go.  

What kind of scrappy projects are you working on?


1. All my needs are always supplied, although not always as or when I think they should be!

2. Hot, humid day today to be followed with cooler weather tomorrow (and thunderstorms and rain...lol).

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tote is finished

Finished off the owl tote Wednesday afternoon.    This will be going to my niece who will start teaching middle school social studies in September after graduating in May.  I'll also be picking up a gift card to go with it so that she can buy some school supplies if needed.  I used McCall's pattern number 4851 to make the bag.   It was an easy pattern, I'll most likely use it again at some point.

Inside of the bag.  both sides have a pocket like this.  One side has it stitched down the middle dividing into two sections.


1. the one this is intended for has a teaching job for next year- yeah!

2. And I'm still employed.


Finished the quilt top for swan quilt yesterday and have it ready for basting.

Some stats for the quilt -
Fabrics -

  • 6 different background fabrics were used.
  • Each block has 2 different fabrics in it.  Black Kona was used in 2 or 3 of the blocks as the coordinate.  So there are approximately 80 different fabrics used for the swans.
  • 56 different fabrics were used in the border alone
  • Most of the fabrics in the swans and border were out of my stash of scraps and did not make a dent in the scraps!
  • A solid color binding will be used on the quilt, but I'm not sure what color at this time
  • Final size is 65" by 75"

I also finished the next bear block.  This is Susan who is trying to untangle her thread as she sews the binding down on her quilt.

I might add a wee bow on her head, but not sure of that.


1. At this point I still have a job (was almost laid off this week)

2. Stitches in my gum come out today.  =)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pink Strings and Hat Boxes

As I was looking for pink scraps for the cat quilt I just finished the top for, I made the decision that I was not going to put the multitude of strips (partial and full width) back into the bag of scraps.   There just isn't any room for them!

pink strip setsSo I started sewing them together in lengths of 10-12 inches for the most part depending on the size strips I was working with.  Width varied from about 4 inches to  almost full width (~38").    The pic to the right shows the strip sets that I ended up with.

I've since cut them into 3.5 inch wide strips that I'll use to make blocks from....and ended up with 36 strips.  The left over uneven ends will be combined with more strips and then I'll use the resulting yardage to make applique hearts from it.

On Saturday I received these two hatbox blocks from Kate in Australia.  She had made them for a quilt that she has been working on for herself and they didn't fit with the rest of her blocks.   So she was kind enough to send them to me.

I think they will be lovely with whatever I do with the string strips sets.  And also think I need to make two more to give me at least 40 blocks for a quilt.  The only problem being I don't have any of the fabric Kate used for the window sashing.  So it would have to be something similar.  Since this is a scrappy quilt anyway, do you guys (my readers that is!) think that would be ok or should I see if I can find a close match to the grey polka dots?

I'm still thinking about how I want to make the blocks from the strip sets at this point so it will be a while before this quilt will be finished.

1. For being able to take scraps that are not real usable on their own and make something from them that will bring joy to someone else.

2. For lower humidity than yesterday!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend Progress

Made progress on several fronts this weekend.......

First I finished up the 6" block that I needed to make with fabric I received for free from Michael Miller while at IQCon back in February.  The company is collecting 6 inch finished blocks to make quilts for charity.  Will be interesting to see what they make with them.

Next up was getting the swans together into a top.  Fabrics have been cut for the pieced border (cut 3" by 5.5" in size).  Fabrics are in the same range of colors, but not necessarily the same prints (altho some of them are).  Next up for that quilt is piecing the border.  That will commence this evening after I get home from work.  Binding will be a solid color but I'm not sure what at this point.

And finally, I finished off this quilt top.  Final size is 41" by 52".  Nice for a lap quilt or a kids quilt.   Not sure what I'll be doing with it.

1. safety in driving to work in rush hour traffic

2. For God's provision of all my needs.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Progress on the cats

Decided that I didn't like the cat quilt without the heart  Because of the way the space at the bottom where the tails and background fabrics were coming together.

So I went digging in the scrap stash to see what I could find.   And found the remains of a FQ that I'd picked up somewhere on one of my scrap foraging purchases.  About 1/4th it was missing, but what was left was just right to cut what was needed for the heart.    And to not put squares (or waste the pink and blue HST's) back into that stuffed bag of scraps I added two columns of squares on either to make the quilt larger.

It will be finished with a blue row on the top and bottom of the quilt the same width of the squares.  Still thinking about a final border or not....have a potential buyer possibly for it, so might do that.  If I donate it then I won't put a final border onto it.

Here is a close up of the fabric I'm using in the heart.  The dark pink in it worked perfectly with the others in the quilt.  And the black background helps it to stand out against the darker pink as well.

 Will start sewing it together this weekend in between sewing the origami swans together and pulling scraps to cut up for the border on that quilt.

1.  Payday.......'nuf said.....

2. A heat index of 106 degrees doesn't seem so bad when temps in Phoenix are forecast to reach 119 and 120 degrees over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Scrappy Happy Fifteenth

As I've been trying to get things cleaned up and sorted out, I've been reminded of how much I need to use up or get rid of some of my scraps.  The refrain though that keeps going my head is that these scraps cost me as much as the yardage so I just can't toss them into the trash.......never mind the fact that some of them have been in these ziploc bags forever w/o being used.

That's a 2-gallon bag on the right that is stuffed full, and a 1-gallon on the left that is about half full.  These are just the pinks.  Lots of quilts potentially out of these two bags!  Unfortunately or Fortunately, several of my sorted scrap colors resemble this - I need to get busy!  lol

So I've found a couple of pictures for inspiration and have started cutting the squares that I need in order to make quilts similar to them.

And my inspiration pictures from Pinterest.   These were original kits from McCalls done in scrapbook type paper patchwork.  Squares were cut and then zigzagged together on top of card stock.  Squares were 1" in size when cut.   I'll be cutting 4.5" squares from my scraps.

Am making the one with two cats first.  Dark pinks for the cat on the right, medium pinks for the one on the left.  Haven't decided though if I'm going to put the heart in or not.  Or if I do, what color fabric I'm going to use for it.  Will applique the faces once it is all together.  What do you think about the heart - Should I add it?  If so, what color would you make it with the pinks shown below?  

Need to cut 7 more squares of the lighter range of pinks, and 3 more of the darker ones.   And then have four - 3/4 triangle blocks to make (2 for each cat) and I'll be able to start sewing it together.  Unfortunately, with all I've cut for this one I haven't made a dent in the pink scraps, but at least they are organized now.  =)
Then once that one is together, I plan to do this one next.  Same size squares.  Don't know on colors though for it yet.

And I'm linking up with Kate and others with this post as we all work with our scraps to make something beautiful.  Click Here to go to Kate's blog to see what she has been up to and to find the list of other blogs to check out.

1. My allergies are behaving better.  =)

2. Summer is here and it isn't as hot here as in Phoenix.  =)

4 New Patterns Released

Four new patterns have been released today and are available on Craftsy.  You can find them here.


1. Hot and humid here, but no severe storms to go with the heat.

2. No pain from the dental work last week.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Making Progress on the bag

I've made progress on the tote and have the outside of it together now.

I didn't have enough of the owl print for the pockets on the tote, so I made the pockets out of a coordinating grey twill.    But once they were made thought things looked a little (ok, a lot) to plain.  So I choose a couple of the owls in the print to enlarge and make appliques with for the pockets.  The lining is now in process and the handles have been stitched onto the bag.  Hopefully not much longer till it is done and I can get it into the mail.

1. Bleeding has finally about stopped after the implant/graft work last Thursday.
2. Friends who bring yummy meals (fresh, homemade soup and bread!) over when you don't feel like cooking so that you've still got something to eat.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

New Project in the Works

This week I've finally gotten started on the belated graduation gift.  And over the several days it took me to cut the pieces out I've figure several things out -

First - when I'm buying a directional print for the main fabric, double what I think I'm gonna need....lol....

Second - Write down where I bought it, just on the remote chance I didn't get enough the first time (like this time....sigh............)

Third - be thankful for having a stash that is large enough to find pieces to replace what I didn't get enough for.

Top pic is the focus print for a custom tote bag for someone who loves owls.

Second pic is the fabric that was to be the lining.......but not enough of it.

The third pic here shows what I'm using as the bag lining (whole thing, including pockets is lined).

Will show pics of the bag later as it's still in progress and I'm making some changes to the pattern.  lol...

1. the pattern i'm using is an easy one!

2. Had fabrics that worked to fix my not getting enough the first time.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Potential layout for My Bears

While working on more of the extra bear blocks, especially the ones that are named after family members, I've been pondering how I wanted to set them together.

The latest two blocks completed are named after my maternal grandparents - Henry, who always brought home vine-ripened, yellow watermelons that he picked up at roadside farm stands when he was out hauling grain during the summer.   I miss those days.

The second one is Johnnie, named after my maternal grandmother.  She made quilts with the leftover scraps of polyester that she used for her clothing.   The quilt that this little bear is sitting on is an homage to her quilting and the pink that she loved so much.

 I've also made designs for 5 or 6 other family members and have more planned.   My plan is to take those finished sample blocks and put them together into a quilt for myself.  Would most likely put the final design into a pattern  as well.

My current thought is to have the final design look like an old-fashioned photo album.  The kind with the black corners that hold the photos on the album page.     Something along the lines of these test corners that I did last night.  Proportions are off on these because the cut out needs to be smaller, but similar.  Will have to applique them on because I'm using assorted backgrounds for the blocks.  And thinking of a medium gray for sashing around the blocks like what I've got on my design wall (seen in this picture).

What do you think of the layout possibility?

1. Headed to the dentist today to get the bone graft for the implant underway (yes the implant has to come out)

2. For the sweet friend who is bringing fresh, homemade soup over tonite so that I can have something to eat after the dental work this afternoon.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Weekend Work and Finishes

I started cleaning up my sewing room which is a disaster from having too many piles of stuff that need to be put away.  And got distracted as I started working on the cleaning.    It's getting hazardous to try to reach the thread totes there in the corner needless to say.   And I'm not admitting what the fabric room upstairs looks like!

Also started as part of the cleaning was sorting through 1 full and 3 partially full gallon sized bags of lace trims and motifs.   I downsized them to one half full bag for me and a stuffed bag that will be going up for sale on ebay.  More trims tho to go before I'm through with that job.

I put together this set of blocks (they'd been arranged and the rows pinned together a while back).  Now I need to find a border fabric for it so that I can finish the top.  Some of the hearts and all of the fabrics were from a quilt made yrs ago.

Once that was done I started into putting things up again and got distracted again (can you say "Squirrel"?).  Pulled these two snack mats out to finish.  Got them sandwiched, quilted and bound yesterday.  They are now in the tote with the finished ones.  No idea who they will be for at this point.

1. I'm not having to drive in the severe thunderstorm that is going on right now.

2. Car battery was changed last week.  =)