"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, August 21, 2017

Take Two Steps Forward and One Back......

Remember the old-time children's game of Simon Says, where the kid playing "Simon" tells the others what they can do.............well this last weekend was like that for me.

Two big steps forward were accomplished this week -

I finished up the sample for the Christmas Carol Row Along and have all pictures of the process and finished product taken so I can now finish writing up the pattern for it and start the blog posting for it (scheduled to go live on the 14th of September).

And I also finished up the quilting on the swan commissioned quilt.   I've figured out how I'm going to handle the pleats on the backing and have pulled fabric for the binding.   Will iron that tonite after work and get that made and sewn on.  Another couple of evenings should see me getting that sewn down.   My aim is to get that mailed off by the end of the week and that looks to be very doable with things like they are right now.

And then there was the one step back -

I cut up some of my scraps so that I could test a pattern I was considering for using the red/white fabrics that my friend Susan and I have challenged each other to use.   I saw a picture of a quilt somewhere that I'd really liked, but I didn't want to start cutting into the fabrics I've collected until I had figured out the best way to make it.

So I raided some of my novelty scraps and the solids scraps.....and after laying it all out decided that I did not like how it looked.   I also realized it was going to be more work to layout than I had realized at first look.  So this is a bomb to me.  =(   Back to square one in finding a pattern that will look good and be quick to piece.

I was also able to get the next commissioned quilt designed and the border fabric for it ordered from the only online dealer that I could find who still has it (at least I'm hoping they still have it).  

Yeah for progress.......

Gratitudes:

1. Having a job at this point

2. Being able to work with new designs for the commissioned work and my sale quilts.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Christmas Carol Row Along is Coming!

I'm stretching my designing skills and participating in the  Christmas Carol Row Along blog hop that will be taking place during September and October.   Similar to the row-hop that is currently going on in quilt stores, but online.

I can't share my complete row before it is revealed on September 14th, but here is a sneak peek at one corner of my row.  =)

A special thanks to Northcott Silk Fabrics who gave all of the designers fabrics to use in their rows.  I'll post a pic of the fabrics that they sent later.



The blog hop itself starts on the 5th of September and if you want to read more about the row along, then click on the picture of the bell to the right and you'll be taken to the main site for the hop where you can read more about the bloggers that are participating in it and the prizes that will be up for grabs in it.

Gratitudes:
1. the worst of the rain yesterday came after I got to work for a change

2. I had plenty of room to dodge a wrong-way driver on an off-ramp this morning

Monday, August 14, 2017

Scrap Happy Fifteenth

I've been able to make progress on this quilt.  

30 alternate blocks were made after adding the brown to the scrappy string strip sections.

















Next up - the remaining three hat box blocks.  Fabrics on the left are the main fabrics for the boxes, the two dotted fabrics will be used for the left side of the attic window block.  A COC fabric will be the bottom of the block, but I haven't pulled anything for that yet.   Need to look through my larger scraps for the center part of the attic window and the bands for hat boxes.

Gratitudes:
1. for the plentitude of beautiful fabrics to work with

2. for the blessing of quilting friends who share blocks that spark ideas for quilts.   =)

Road trip - picture intensive

Made a road trip this past weekend through the hill country of Texas.  I row-hopped through a number of towns and shops, saw family and revisited memories of yrs gone by.  Below are just a few of the pics that I took on the trip.

Headstone and burial plot of my maternal grandparents in Moody TX which is my hometown.



The outside of what was my Grandparents home in Moody.  Pic taken as I was driving by.


A couple of shots as I was driving through the Hill Country, headed north from Fredricksburg TX.



My cousin Debbie and her DH Joe who I stayed with in San Antonio.


The Tower of America in San Antonio.  The top rotates and is a really nice restaurant.  We had dinner there on Friday night and yes I even looked out the glass wall in the elevator on the way down - not bad for someone who does not like heights.




A shot of San Antonio taken from the restaurant on top.


Gratitudes:
1. For family, near and far.

2. For safe driving and hotel clerks who work to get reservations straightened out.

Surprise mail call

Found a surprise package in the mail when I got home on Sunday.

My friend, Susan, who blogs at DesertSky Quilts sent me this lovely surprise package.

There was 6 lovely FQ's and a kit to make two decorated kitchen towels.  The shop she ordered it all from sent the package of buttons as a bonus.  =)

It truly was a nice way to end the weekend.

Gratitudes:

1. Good friends who send surprises

2. For God being in control when all seems out of control.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mail call

Today's mail brought lots of goodies for me.   the first two packages were the batik jelly rolls that I bought to use for the sashing for the blocks that I showed in this post.    I'm still debating whether these will give the look I want or I may end up buying something else.....lol.   It will be a while before I make a decision because I've got several other projects to get done first.  These were bought with the gift certificate that I won a few weeks ago from Annie of AnniesRubySlipperz.

And the final package came from Baum Fabrics, makers of Wyndham fabrics.   These were a selection of fabrics and pattern that I had won as a result of commenting on a blog post by Hunter's Design Studio.

I had expected just enough to make the wall hanging as shown in the pic......but what I got was far more.

The stack on the left is made of pieces that are 3-4 yds in length, the middle stack are pieces that are about 1/2 yd in length.   These are all from the Wyndham Fabrics Santa's Little Helpers line.   And they also sent a FQ bundle of 12 FQ's from one of their other Christmas lines.   A lot of fun here in these stacks.  =)

Gratitudes:

1. Good mail days with unexpected blessings

2. Short work weeks - off to shop-hop this weekend....woohoo.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Quilting the Swans

I tried two different threads that I had to start the quilting on this critter, but neither of them worked.  So I broke down and ordered a spool of 50 wt Aurifil (well actually two of them because I wasn't sure which color I'd like better for the quilt) to use.   And I'm loving it!  Not that I can afford to use it that often because of the price.....so I need to find it at a good price....lol.

I am using Aurifil #4060 which is a variegated lt grey/pale grey on the front, and a lavender Coats & Clark in the bobbin that matches the backing fabric.

I am meandering the blocks.   And at this point have 20 or 42 blocks filled, 9 more blocks are in process and the border is more than half done.   The batting is Cream Rose by Mountain Mist.

Final decision that needs to be made is what color to use as the binding.   I'm thinking a solid color since the border is a scrappy rainbow......maybe a navy, grey or black.

Gratitudes:
1. the kenmore is cooperating with me as I quilt this critter.

2. Long weekend is coming up and I get to go row-hopping.  =)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A finish and progress made

Finished off the scrappy pups this past weekend.  Finished size is approximately 42" by 60".   It will be for sale when I get it quilted.


Next up was adding the brown to these blocks.   They will be trimmed to either 9.5" or 10" unfinished depending on what the hat boxes blocks I was given will finish at.  There are 30 of these blocks and they will alternate with the hat box blocks.
Next up is making the final three hat box blocks that I will need to go with these two lovely blocks.  I've got the fabrics, just need to trace the blocks so that I have a pattern to use.
Gratitudes:
1. For the good times spent with my cousin & her husband and my parents over the last few days.

2. For weather that has been cooler than the last few weeks.





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Scrappy Pups - half done

Working on this in the morning before really does make things move along.....well once all of the squares are cut at any rate....lol.   Cutting is definitely the slow part of doing anything like this.

I now have six out of 12 rows sewn together now.  I'll be putting a 3" wide border of cream tonals around at least the sides and top.   Debating whether to do the same to the bottom of the quilt or to put green there.  Once that is done I'll decide about a final border or not.

Still not liking the tans in the scrappy background prints immediately next too the purples, but I'm not redoing the triangle blocks.  Might swap out the tan square in the next to the bottom row though....maybe.....or maybe not.  lol

Gratitudes:
1. Found the thread I wanted for the swan quilt and it has been ordered.  Hopefully that will stop the problems I've been having with the quilting on it.

2. I'm down enough in weight and size to be able to wear some tops that haven't fit for several years, thankful for the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating....woohoo!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Scrappy Pups in Progress

The scrappy pups are in process.  I've got enough squares cut for all of it, altho I almost forgot what I needed for the heart in the center.  

I'm not sure if I really like the lighter purples with the darker backgrounds, but too late to change now because I'm not taking it apart.  Will just work to make sure I keep the lighter ones next to the purples.

With the three rows done, the pieced part of the top is 25% finished.   There will be a 3" border of cream tonal fabrics around all of the quilt to finish it off.

Gratitudes:
1. God supplies all of my needs, even when payday runs late.

2.  For the ability to work extra jobs as needed to pay the bills.

2017 Row-by-Row, final

Finished and turned in my row-by-row for this year over the weekend.

Some of the specs for the finished quilt -

  • More than 80 different fabrics were used in making it
  • finished dimensions of approximately 46" by 82"
  • Machine quilted and bound
  • Rows were from the greater DFW area

Prizes for the win - 

Two FQ's packs (12 in each) of Moda Bella solids and a batik FQ that I got to pick out.  Also got a $25 gift certificate for having used the stores row in my quilt.  



Gratitudes:

1. Cooler, rainy weather today

2. The parents are coming in to town for a short visit


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

thinking about colors

I made these blocks quite a few yrs ago with some of my teeniest batik scraps.   Some of the pieces are smaller than a US quarter in finished size.  

Each of the blocks has at least one component of it pieced in a crazy quilt manner with the batik scraps.   The rest of the block then is pieced with a coordinating batik and muslin.

I still need to make two more blocks to have enough for a quilt, but haven't felt like working on the pieces or picking two more block patterns that I do make in a similar manner.

However, I've recently won a gift certificate to Amazon that I'm considering using to buy a jelly roll of fabrics that I would use for sashing between the blocks.  Yes there are good fabrics being sold - Hancock's of Paducah's, Fabric.com, and other well known companies and the prices are good.    What I can't decided is what color range I should get for the sashing.   Along with should I use a single fabric, or would it look ok if I made it scrappy?   I am planning on muslin for cornerstones in the sashing.

Any color (ranges) ideas for me?   And scrappy or a single fabric?

Gratitudes:

1. Got an unexpected check today as a part of a lawsuit settlement.   Not a lot but everything helps.

2. Temps have cooled down some from the past weekend.

Piggy Bank Challenge

Val of Val's Quilting studio is hosting a challenge this year for people to throw all of their change into their choice of a piggy bank.  And then at the end of the year count it up to see how much there is.

This is something I normally do, but haven't been really keeping track of the totals but I will do so this year.  I also normally hold back all $5 bills that I get as an additional means of saving money and that also adds up!

Since this last move when the jar I used to use for my change vanished, I have replaced it with one similar to the middle jar in this picture (lid is different, but size is about the same).  I've already got about 2" worth of change in it at this point.  

I may end up changing it out for something smaller because it is getting heavy and will be very heavy by the time it is full.  Need to go check out what I can find at Goodwill in the way of a nice looking jar.

As for what I'll be using the money for - most likely to help pay expenses for a trip next May for my nieces wedding back in Indiana.  =)

Gratitudes:

1. Pretty Jars to help keep me focused on things like this

2. A job that pays the bills