"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, March 27, 2017

Weekend doings

Worked on binding the heart quilt this weekend as my hand allowed me.   It kept wanting to go numb and that doesn't help hold onto the needle so that I can sew the binding down.   =(   Did get almost half done, and will finish it up this week.

In between working on it, continuing to work on taxes and on my Bible study, I also pulled out a set of UFO blocks and worked on getting them ready to sew together.   Most of the 4-patches and heart blocks were already made and had been for yrs.  They were leftovers from a quilt top made back in 2003 for a group project in a quilt group that I've been a part of since 1997.

I added the white strips on two sides of the blocks to bring them up to the same 9.5" unfinished that the hearts are.   I did end up making 4 more heart blocks and 3 4-patch blocks to add a 6th column so that the pattern would be symmetrical.  I also added another little heart to the block that is #3 from the top in the left most column.  There was just too much empty space in it for me to be happy.  Without a final border this will be 54" square.  I've a couple of potential fabrics pulled for a final border.

I haven't decided what I'll do with this one - keep for a future gift, sell, donate.....or?

Gratitudes:
1. It's Monday and I have a job that I like.

2. I can go to bed early tonite (hopefully!) after a night where I didn't sleep much at all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Making progress....

Over the weekend I was able to get the commissioned heart quilt fully quilted.  It took a while to do because I had to not only smooth out the backing and re-pin as I went, but also had to add on a band at one end thanks to having turned the top the wrong way.  =(  

Here's pic of the back where you can see the band I added in.   The fabric was a leftover from another project, by someone, but I do't remember buying it.   Might have gotten it in a remnant bag.

I also got the binding sewn down on the origami table runner.  And after looking at the pic, am thinking I need to do some more quilting in the white because I don't like how it looks in the picture.

I also got a test block made for my next magazine submission completed.  Now to make the actual block for submission.   But first need to decide on what fabrics I want to use....lol.....

Finally I sorted through two more totes of fabrics and miscellaneous stuff.  Have another pile of fabric to measure and then donate.  And I downsized two totes of Christmas decorations into one tote leaving me with a stack to donate or sell.   Bummer is that I can't find the replacement nativity set that I am supposed to have (bought it after the one I'd had for over 20 yrs vanished when I moved from TX to IN & yrs ago).   Maybe I should make myself a wall-hanging nativity and be done with it. (I do have 3 appliques and a panel or two for nativities.......maybe it's time to use one of them.)

Gratitudes:
1. My foot is feeling better (altho not fully 100% yet) after hurting for over a week)

2. Nice warm days

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Design Ponderings and Musings....

I'm still pondering how to set these blocks that I have for Sunshine Quilts.   There are four with the orange and six more that have the same blue fabric set with yellow.   They were from a challenge that I had made 18 or so months ago and were made by another Sunshine member.

















I'll admit, I'm a bit of a doodler.   And when I doodle, it's normally things like quilt blocks, or in this case quilt layouts.  Here you can see some of my doodles today as I continue to ponder how to set the 4 blocks together into a cohesive quilt.  At this point I'm leaning towards either the upper left or bottom layouts, with both of them would be set asymmetrically.  (Yes, QuiltCon is having an influence on me.)   I'm really intrigued by the one in the upper left of the pic with the "circle" in fabric that matches in color the orange in the block.  But the bottom layout would be easier to do, again I would probably use an orange as the first border.   Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Anyone else have any ideas?

One of the other things that I've been pondering and find so interesting is where all people are reading my blog from and now accessing the patterns I've uploaded to Craftsy.  Even after traveling to several countries outside of the US, I still find it interesting to see all of the countries.

Some of the countries (other than the US) where people who have downloaded patterns include - Italy, Ireland, Greece, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Canada, South Korea, Australia and Germany.   Blog visitors have come from France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Italy and Canada.

Maybe one of these days I can visit more of the world and see these countries for myself and perhaps even meet quilters there in person.

Gratitudes:
1. My truck driver niece and her DH have been safe in the midst of the blizzard in the east.

2. For the opportunities to attend two quilt shows recently and the inspiration from them.


Scrappy Happy 15th

5 more blocks have been finished for the next American Heroes quilt.   These blocks used up more of the leftover pp'd patterns from a long-ago quilt.

Once all of the blocks patterns are completed then I'll start laying them out and arranging them to see what I can make.



















I've patterns for 6 more blocks, one of which I'm not sure if I'm going to make.

The ones that I do plan to make are two more of the split half log cabins in the upper right of this corner, and there are also three of the three spiderweb blocks in the middle left of this picture.

I haven't decided if I'm going to make last pattern which is a small Carolina lily yet.

These blocks will all be going with the last 6 - 12" RWB UFO blocks that I've still gotten.  (Already have a 12" one done for the quilt).

I'm partnering up with others in ScrapHappy Wednesday.   You can check out the other postings here -

I'm linking with Kate and Gun who host ScrapHappy.    It’s a day for showing something made from scraps. The list is longer all the time!

Usually has a scrappy post:
Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)
Kate at https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com (in English only)
Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)
HelĂ©ne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)
Eva at http://bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)
Susan at https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/
Sometimes has a scrappy post:
Sue at http://sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)
Nanette at http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au (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)
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)

Gratitudes:

1. Family

2. All of the blessings in my life.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Downsizing the non-quilting stash......

One of the things I've been doing this spring is to downsize my non-quilting fabric stash.  I've been moving and storing it for years without actually getting anything made from it.   After the last two moves (made in 10 months!) I decided that this needed to change.

So the net result is my downsizing that portion of my stash.  To this point I've pulled out maybe 40% of it to donate.   I'm aiming for 50% or more of it gone.

So far I've measured 63 pieces of what I pulled out in the initial culling - and have 167 yards of fabric in 5 big bags.   And I still have another 24 pieces pulled from the first round that need to be measured.    Once all of the initial round is measured, then my plan is to go back through and make a second pass and be realistic about what I'll get made up in the future.    There are fabrics for me, fabrics to use to make stuff for other people, fabric for totes (in two big totes!), and so on.   Still to go thru as well is a box full of stuff I'd collected for crazy quilt blocks which I rarely do anymore (and that doesn't count the big tote full of stuff for it either!).

I'll be heading down to Austin to the recycle place (a 501c craft recycling place) on Good Friday to donate all of this.  I can't quite take everything down there because the fabric needs to be in pieces that are 1 yard or bigger in size.

Still to be decided - I have some embroidered linen scraps in a neutral beige color....what to do with them?  Think they'd work in a quilt to sell?

Gratitudes:
1. For a place to take these where they can be found by someone who will use them.

2. For my sewing machine arriving safely.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A few thoughts on the Dallas Quilt Show

I went to the Dallas Quilt Show this past Saturday and enjoyed my time there, but I came away with some thoughts about it and what I saw there and how it relates to quilting.   Quilt pictures will be coming later because I haven't been able to do any work with them.  =)

The show is one of the largest, all volunteer produced shows here in the US.   And the Dallas Quilt guild really does do a great job at putting the show on.  There were lots of great quilts entered and a lot of vendors, not all from TX.

The show:
1. Lots of quilts in a lot of categories.   Some I liked, some I didn't.   Over all tho, more that I liked than I didn't.  The vast majority of which were not modern quilts like those at QuiltCon 2 weeks ago.  Group, individual, junior, senior, art, pictorial, 2-person, and master class were some of the ones at the show.

2. The quilts displays were in two different rooms - the ones entered for judging were in the same room as the vendors and were totally surrounded by the vendors.   There were special exhibits that were in the room with the food vendors.  I almost missed them because I wasn't buying any food at the show.   As it was I didn't look at them like I would have liked because of my back and legs hurting.  

The vendors -
1.Total different make up to the vendors than was at QuiltCon.  There was only on manufacturer there instead of multiple ones.  The one that was there had to do with cutting templates, but for the life of me I can't remember the company name.

2. Many of the booths that had brought fabric mainly had quilt panels - lots and lots of them!  Made me wonder if panels are really that popular these days in quilting.  More panels than regular fabric in most of the booths that had them.  Not as much in the way of fabric as I'm used to seeing at shows (and now I wouldn't have been shopping it anyway).

Takeaways -

Got lots of inspiration on what I can do with some pre-fused scraps of fabric.  Just need to think about what I want to do.  And yes, I did buy a bit of fabric - two panels of sayings and some light colored batik FQ's and remnants.

Gratitudes:

1. My new sewing machine made it here to work today - woohoo..........

2. Sun is peeking thru the clouds outside.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Winner's of the 500th post giveaway -

Jan H and Lorri Schuller were the winners of my giveaway.  

Emails have been sent to them to confirm mailing addresses.  

Packages will be sent off.



Gratitudes:

1. Safe travels this weekend to the Dallas Quilt show.

2. The sun is out after a cloudy weekend.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Avoiding the problem quilt....

Wasn't in the mood last night to deal with the problem child, aka as the quilt that gave me such fits Wednsday night.   So instead I made a sample block of the next block in my origami animal block series.

This one is in memory of the sweet (and ornery!) Siamese cat that my family had for 20+ years (or was is that she owned us?).  This one has been written up and will be uploaded to my craftsy store.


Gratitudes:

1. Been a mild winter here this year

2. Off early today from work

Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's on the way and other news......

..........my new machine that is.   It was shipped from South Carolina yesterday via UPS.  Should be here sometime early next week.   Only bummer is that I don't have a tracking number so I can watch progress in getting here.    Am thankful tho that it went out before the series of winter storms are due to go through so there shouldn't be any delays.

Also got the word today that a block design I had submitted for publication in Volume 16 of QuiltMakers 100 Blocks by Top Designers has been selected for publication in Volume 15.   Yippee!  Now to decide if I want to buy some of the magazines for resale......don't know tho if anyone would buy one from me.

Next up is to make the sample block for my next submission for volume 16 (already picked out what design) and get it submitted.   Then think about what I want to do for volume 17.  =)

Gratitudes:

1. Snow storms are not headed this way, just thunderstorms over the weekend (and praying for no tornados)

2. Next batch of patterns for sale are almost ready to be uploaded to Craftsy and should be done by this evening.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Using stabilizers for applique

For years when I've done satin-stitch applique I've used stitch-n-tear by Pellon as my stabilizer so that the block doesn't get all wonky.

What I had in my stash was very similar to a sew-in interfacing except that it would tear easily when going with the grain.  Cross grain though was always a different story.

Well I had to go buy more over the weekend and found that Pellon has changed what it is like.   It is now much more like a real heavy weight paper and is a lot stiffer than the old stuff.  Removing it is much easier than the old style of the product.  Something that I'm thankful for.

Because it is expensive stuff I cut 1" wide strips of it and use it only right under where I'm stitching.  Even doing this though, I've used 3+ yards (it comes 20" wide) on the heart quilt that I'm currently working on.  I'll be stocking up on it again this weekend when it goes on sale because I have two more applique quilts to make that I will need it on.

I know that there are stabilizers that you can leave in the block after the stitching is done, but I don't like to do that because I don't like the extra stiffness on top of the wonder-under that I've used to adhere the applique.

Gratitudes:

1. The customer for the next commission quilt wants me to make her quilt (appliqued origami swans) with scraps, what fun!

2. Safe travels to work in rush hour traffic.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday Progress and Goals

Finished stitching all of the heart blocks this evening.  Will start pulling off the stabilizer tonite after I eat something for supper.

Goals for the rest of the week include:

Laying out the blocks out tomorrow and putting the top together.  Just need to find border/binding fabric in the stash.

Pin-basting it Wed. nite at church.

Then starting the quilting later in the week.  =)  Aiming to be able to send it off by the end of next week.

I also need to get three sample blocks made for my origami applique block series so that I can upload the patterns to Craftsy.

Gratitudes:

1. Being able to baste my quilts at church where there are bigger tables than I have at home

2. Overcast day, but no rain and good traffic on the way home


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Progress

Dug out the remaining strips and chunks of reds that I had in various places and sewed them all together in strip sets.   This meant first sorting them into piles that were approximately the same size.  And then sewing them into bigger chunks of 'found' fabric.   Final step has been to iron on wonder-under onto the back of all of them so that it can completely cool while I'm at church.
Original size of the strips ranged in length from about 4 inches to 9"inches for most of them.  I used a few longer ones to join narrower sets together/wider.

I should end up with almost as many hearts as I did with the first set of strip sets.   I won't need all of the hearts I'll be able to get from these for the commissioned quilt, so any extra hearts will end up being used for an American Heroes quilt at some point in the future.

As always when I'm sewing these kinds of scraps together I'm always amazed at how much "found" fabric there is once I get them sewn together.  I love the movement in a quilt top that results when they are made into hearts, flowers or other shapes.   And I love not having good (and expensive!) go to waste.    With these strips finished, I've used all of the small strips and chunks of red in my stash.  Next time I need some I'll have to cut some!

And that set of strips turned into this pile of 71 hearts in assorted sizes for applique.   Given I only need 17 more blocks for the current quilt, I think I'll have more than enough for at least one more quilt after this....lol.

Gratitudes:

1. A bounty of scraps to work from and enjoy

2. A stash of wonder-under and stabilizer to use on the fly as needed for the various projects in process.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Progress

A lot of progress made on getting the blocks for the commissioned heart quilt done.

Yesterday I was able to get all of these scrappy strip sets prepped with the wonder-under ironed on.




















The first thing I did today was to trace out all of the hearts that I could onto the paper backing for each prepped piece of 'found' fabric.














Then came cutting all of the hearts out.  I ended up with a total of 53 hearts in sizes from 2 inches tall to about 7-8 inches tall.













This was what was leftover from cutting the hearts and all of it went into the trash.















And here are the 24 blocks that I was able to get finished up today.   I used 40 of the 53 hearts that I started with.

Now I need to decide if I need to make more "found" fabric with scrap strips for the remaining 18 blocks that I need to make for this quilt, or to just use larger pieces of fabric to make the remaining hearts. 17 of the hearts will be red, and 1 will be blue.

Gratitudes:

1. Friends and family who always encourage me to be the best that I can be.

2. For family and friends who are no longer here, esp. my much-loved brother.




Friday, March 3, 2017

Shifting priorities

When working on commissioned quilts along with stuff for myself priorities often shift and now is one of those times.

I'm still working on the Teddy Bear quilt, but don't have a due date since I'm waiting on payment.  So while I still continue to work on it, I'm also starting to work on a lap quilt that has been commissioned by a high school friend for another long time friend of both of ours who is going some tough times right now.  She wanted to pay for it, so I'm charging only for the materials.

It is to be heart blocks with all in reds, and with one blue block.   In my stash of orphan blocks I hold onto things like leftover strip sets for just times like this.    I've got all of these prepped with wonder-under ironed on and am waiting for them to cool.  After supper I'll start tracing hearts onto the paper and then cut them out.  I need 41 red heart blocks, and will be cutting 6", 4", and 3" hearts out of what is here.   Once all this is cut up then I'll go onto my scrap bags to see what else I can find for the quilt.

I'll be making 10" finished blocks, with a 3" border around it.   Haven't decided what I'll do for the border, maybe a piano key of scrappy reds.   I'll be using various WOW's for the block backgrounds.

Am hoping to get a bunch of the blocks done this weekend, along with another teddy bear or two.

Now if I can only remember where I put my templates......

Gratitudes:
1. Being able to make something that will bring comfort to a friend.

2. It's the weekend and I can sew all I want!

Distractions and Inspiration

I admit it - I get bored easily and when I do I tend to get distracted.  Making the same block over and over is one sure way for me to end up bored.   I finished off the remaining 11 setting blocks for the teddy bear commissioned quilt earlier this week.   The block I'm using for 2/3's of the setting blocks (you can see it here) is an easy block, which in large quantities gets boring to make.  Just changing the fabrics being used isn't enough to make it fun for me, but it does help.   Don't have a pic of the remaining blocks at this point.

As a result of wanting a change for the moment, I ended up drawing up a new block pattern in an origami series of block.  First two are shown in this post.  This latest one is of an origami flamingo.

The bird is made from just a couple of pieces of my scraps.  Finished block will be 9" by 9".  I do plan on writing up a pattern for this and posting on my Craftsy page.

This weekend I'll be back at work on finishing up the remaining 5 teddy bear blocks needed for the commissioned quilt.   And I'll be headed to the Dallas Quilt Show on Saturday morning.  The theme of the show is Charm Quilts.  There should be lots of inspiration for me there.  =)

I'm also hoping to get a couple more block patterns written and ready to be released.  Time will tell if I can manage that.

Gratitudes:

1. Fun times with friends.

2. The inspiration that is all around me.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Border Options on Sunshine Quilts

Still thinking about the borders for these blocks.   I have decided that they will end up in two different quilts instead of putting them all together in one quilt.

For borders, at the moment I'm thinking of doing an inner border of a golden yellow around the orange blocks.   Then followed by a final border of either the polka dot or a blue print.

Trying to decide which I like better - the blue seems to draw the blue background out,, while the other seems to highlight the fish.......but trying to make up my mind on which looks better.

Good thing that these don't have a deadline on them with me not being able to make my mind up.   Wish they'd "talk" to me...lol.

Gratitudes:

1. Spring is almost here

2. Making progress with the business stuff

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

2017 Block of the Month - Valentino

Valentino is here with his valentine for his lady love.

The pattern has been uploaded and ready to be downloaded.

Click here for the pattern.

If you missed block 1, it can be found here for purchase for a small fee.



Gratitudes:

1. A beautiful sunny day with no signs of storms here

2. Easy listing procedure for Craftsy

I Tried, But.......

While I was at Quilt Con my friend and I visited three different quilt shops.   One of the lovely fabrics that I found at the last one was this polka dot fabric that I thought would go with the yellow and orange I remembered being in these UFO blocks (made by someone else) meant for Sunshine quilt.   And it does go well with those two colors....just not as well with the fishy print in the blocks...lol.


So now I'm debating whether putting an inner border would be enough to mean that I could use the fabric for a final border or if I need to find something else.    Any ideas?

Gratitudes:

1. A job where the management cares about the employees

2. The encouragement that comes from knowing people like my patterns