"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, October 19, 2017

UFO's and Mug Rugs

Over the years I've finished a bunch of cross-stitch projects that have never been finished up.  Have started working on turning smaller cross-stitch UFO's projects and novelty prints that I've had pulled for ages into finished projects that I can list for sale.

This first one was a novelty print square that I'd found in a scrap bag at a quilt store somewhere.     Next up was a cross-stitch piece featuring Iris.    Green scraps were used in both of them to make the mug rugs.




Two more mug rugs are in process, both starting with cross-stitch UFO's and more green scraps. 



Gratitudes:

1. Texas fall weather.  =)

2. Friends who stay in touch.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Finishes

Finished off this wall hanging on Saturday.  The black was a laser cut kit by Dilys Fronk that I'd bought years ago.   This is one of two that I have of this one and the plan is to sell it.  All fabrics were from the stash, and the batting was from a remnant piece.

Second thing finished over the weekend was this little wall hanging.  It is 12" square and is made from the Navy bear block that I remade for my wall hanging.  This will be going to my cousin because the block was designed and named in honor of her Dad, my Uncle Charles.   I'm hoping she likes it. 

The fabric used for the backing, flange, and binding were all scraps.

Gratitudes:

1. I'm alive!

2. For the food that I have to eat and that nourishes my body.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Scrap Happy October

I tested the first block for what will be my BOM for 2018 today using scraps.     The working name for the BOM is Calico Zoo.   At this point I'm not sure if I'm going to do 9 or 12 blocks in this one.   I do plan to have the setting made as part of each block and have a possible design in mind, but not drawn up.

I used all scraps to make this block.   The background was from a 12" remnant sized scrap, and the remaining were out of my scrap bags.  The mane and ears are 3-D.  Most, if not all of the blocks, will have two possible ways to make them - with or without 3-D elements.

Check out the rest of the postings from those of us that are taking part in Scrap Happy postings by going here .


Gratitudes:

1. The test block worked out ok (twas the first real time to design with 3-D elements).  =)

2. Clear weather today.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kit or UFO?

I do a lot of fusible applique and occasionally I'll buy the laser-cut, pre-fused kits when I'm out doing things like the Row Hop.  But I usually don't buy kits as a rule because I've got the stash to make most anything.

However, probably 10+ years ago I bought a set of three laser cut appliques of the Christmas story designed by Dylis Fronks (the shepherds, the three wise men, and the nativity) to make into a wall hangings for myself.  You can see (or buy) all of the three that I have at this link. And I even bought two of the nativity one, although I'm not sure why.  And since buying them they've languished in my stash through 4 or 5 moves back and forth across the country.  Can't decide if they are a UFO since they are cut or just a kit because I bought them like this. 

At any rate, I found the extra nativity one this week and decided to actually get it made up intead of just sticking it back into the stash somewhere.  The applique is about 16" by 23" in size and comes all folded up in roughly the size of a piece of copy paper.   After so many years that leaves a lot of folds that are a pain to deal with.
 




But with coaxing and a hot iron ready to tack things down while working to straighten out the kinks, you finally end up with something that looks really nice.

I plan to stitch down the applique with a straight stitch around the edges and will use that to quilt it at the same time.  So the next step is to dig out material for the back of it after trimming the background to size.

The cover sheet for the applique shows this with a rounded top to the wall hanging, but I think I'm going to leave it as a rectangle to make binding easier.  I do plan to sell this one because I really don't need two of the same banner. 

This picture shows a quilted banner made with all three of the appliques by trimming off the rounded tops of two of the three and I really like the look to it.  I may take and finish mine in a similar manner.  It's actually one applique, but I can do the same thing by trimming away the upper parts of the pieces that I have.  I'll eventually make mine up.....gotta find them again somewhere....

So UFO or Kit?   Which would you say this is?

Gratitudes:
1. Cool fall weather has been here for a couple of days.

2. Made major process on a project at work this week.

Monday, October 9, 2017

More Bears......

Finished the final two blocks of the military bears.  First block was this one for the Air Force.   This is Sterling and is named for a long time family friend who passed away several years ago.

 Second block made this weekend was this one for the Coast Guard.   He is named Nick in honor of one of my ex-students who is going into the Coast Guard.


















And this is the layout I've got started.  The two-patches along the outside are what I'm thinking of for the border, with the same light blue used as the background filling in the remainder of the border.

Still to be done is to rework the the Navy bear to tweak his face.   Redesign is done, I just need to make the replacement block.  Once done I can put the quilt together.












And this is Jan, who at a quilt retreat and ironing the quilt that she is working on.

Gratitudes:
1. Cooler weather is due tomorrow.
2. My toe doesn't hurt after clobbering it this past weekend and the torn nail will eventually grow out.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

There might be a scrap problem here.....

I admit it, working with a limited palette of fabrics drives me nuts.  So when working with a limited color palette such as several of the next scrappy critters, I end up using umpteen different fabrics in the colors chosen.  I stopped by my local quilt shop and found a bunch of new goodies in their scraps bin (an antique washing machine).  Quickly filled a couple of their ziploc while the owner of the shop was telling another customer about how full I can pack the bags and still get them to close.  =)

Those two bags of scraps expanded into these piles.   One of the bags was almost full with scraps of just one fabric, a lovely light blue & cream floral type print.  All I'll need to do with it is to add a cream total and trim up the blues and I'll have the foundation of a quilt.  Most of the pieces are large so lots of fabric to work with.   And the bottom left pile are greys which I don't have a lot of in my stash.


Then there were these hexies already sewn together.   And there were a stack of hexies that had been cut but not sewn together.  I plan to applique these onto a quilt top for Sunshine Quilt Guild.









The problem with the hexie sections is that whoever put them together  just overlapped and then did a satin-stitch over the edges.   Unfortunately because there was no stabilizer used the bias edges stretched.   So I'll be doing some frog stitching  and then stitch them back together the right way.........sometime............lol.








And the final set of blocks started out as pairs of squares sewn together.  They started out life as a charm pack, and then the shop didn't do anything more with them.  I've got them sewn together in 4 patches ready to trim to the same size.    These will also get put together for Sunshine.  Need to decide what color though to sash the blocks with first before I can do that.

Gratitudes:
1. For lots of scrappy fun yesterday

2. For the cooler weather yesterday

Friday, October 6, 2017

Swaps.....

I used to do a lot of swaps, and have what seems like a bazillion blocks from those swaps as a result.  Here's the tote that most of my UFO blocks live in.  Most of these are from swaps, a few tho are things I started and just never completed.  Last count on my spreadsheet was 23 different sets of blocks....and that doesn't count the ones I've pulled out of this tote so that I could get them made up.   And I'm not even sure that is up-to-date.   Nor does it count the umpteen finished tops that need quilting.

While I've been in round robin quilt swaps before, I've haven't swapped a finished quilt where each person completes a quilt and then swaps with someone else.

And because I've missed swapping over the last few years (never mind the fact that I don't need to!), I've decided to step out of my comfort zone a little and I'm going to participate in the Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt Swap.   You can check it out at this page

It is a one-to-one swap, so there is no mystery about who you're swapping with.   The time frame is now through Feb 2018...which is also when I need to get my piece for Stretching Art completed, but I should have plenty of time since this is to be no larger than 24" by 24".  I'm looking forward to stretching my skills and seeing what I can come up with.  =)

Gratitudes:
1. For God's provision through all of life's ups and downs

2. For improved health through the Trim Healthy Mama life style

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Stitching the Whales

Working on the satin-stitching on the whale quilt.  The anchor is done, and I've now progressed to the whales. 

The whales are easy.....just two different shades of blue thread now that I've picked up the ones needed.

Their eyes will have a ring of white around the outside and then a teeny white button to give depth to them.



The water drops though at the top are making me think twice about what to do with them.  I've stitched around the first set of them with a narrow satin-stitch, but I'm not totally happy with the look.  I'm thinking about going back and stitching them in solid so all you see is the satin-stitching and no fabric on them. 

Once I get to the quilting, I plan to quilt wavy lines in between the rosettes on the fabric.

Gratitudes:

1. For the enjoyment that I get in making stuff for others
2. Winter is coming!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tempted or Crazy?

I've been getting meals from a meal service for a couple of weeks now.  And the food arrives in an in insulated box with a couple of big freezer packs. 

The insulation for the second box was this stuff.  The hard to read print on the plastic encasing say that it is cotton and plant fibers.  It's about 3/4's of an inch thick and bends nicely.  The recycle instructions say to throw out the filler (the cotton/plant fiber) and recycle the plastic bag it's wrapped in. 

But I keep thinking that there has to be something that could be done with this stuff.  I've got two pieces of it.   Perhaps an insulated tote for groceries?  Don't know tho if I could sew through it to keep it from migrating and it definitely wouldn't be washable. 

Am I crazy to even think of trying to use this in some sort of a project?  Or should I just toss it out?


Gratitudes:

1. Got paid yesterday....finally!

2. Temps are below 90 degrees, altho still humid. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Block of the Month

Meet Brian, who is celebrating his birthday this month by dressing up for a costume party. 

This block was named for my brother who would have celebrated his 54th birthday this month.

The October block of the month has been released and is available for download by going to this link -

Download Here



Gratitudes:
1. For my sweet brother who was here as many years as he was.

2. That I know he's waiting for me now and I'll see him again one day.
.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Progress over the weekend

Got the baby quilt that was to have been a commission fused onto the background (fabric was prepped when it was cancelled).
Satin-stitching around the appliques has not been done yet because with over 200 spools of blue thread, I don't have the right shade of blue for the whales........argh.......lol.....

This one will be listed for sale either on ebay or etsy as to be completed (quilted) after personalization (first name) has been added.  Hopefully it will sell quickly.   Name will be added in white once it sells.  Today though I need to stop and get thread to match the two blues in the whales because out of 200+ spools of blue thread at home I don't have a matching color.  =(







Next up was working on the military bears.   I completed the Navy bear, but am not completely happy with the way it looks, so I will be tweaking his face so that it looks better.   (His muzzle is too big in my view.)

Next up are the blocks for the Air Force and the Coast Guard.

And after all of that is done I might redo the army bear, because of the way he is saluting.   Technically saluting with the left hand is ok, but it is not the norm.  So I may reverse the pattern to where he is saluting with his right hand which is the proper way to do it.



Did get the four setting blocks completed.  And everything is pinned to my design wall.

The blocks were an exercise in frustration because my math was wonky......12" divided by 4 is not 4".....lol....First pass at them I ended up trying to make 16" finished blocks to match up with 12" blocks.   Trust me - that does not work out well!

Not only did I have to do a bit of frog-stitching and tweaking the design for the blocks so that I did not have to make more blocks, but I also  ended up with too many blocks/block sections because I did not count properly....ooops.  Oh well, at least I had enough fabric. 

The extra block sections are earmarked for a pieced border for the quilt that I'm pondering on.

Gratitudes:
1. Payday will eventually get here......maybe
2. For finding a pair of like-new jeans in a thrift store that are a perfect fit (except for the length) for only $3!