"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)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Secret Santa package received

Got the package from my Secret Santa from the Secret Santa Soiree yesterday.    And when I opened the box this is what I found - three lovely wrapped presents.   And nope this one I didn't wait till Christmas to open.   (Note, having said that I'll be waiting till Christmas to open the remaining two Secret Santa packages that are due to arrive at anytime.)

And when I opened the packages I found the bestest chocolate of all times - lindt, YUMMMMMMMMM.   A beautiful glass snail christmas ornament - in wonderful colors.   And a charm pack of Moda Marble fabrics.   You can get a better idea of the fabric colors in the charm pack by clicking here.   Love these colors and I've seen two different quilt pics lately that these would be perfect for.

So thank you to my Secret Santa (nameless, but from Randolph MA - not far from where I used to live in Boston) and Pogo!

Gratitudes -

1. For wonderful surprises in the mail on a dreary weekend.

2. For having a roof over my head and a warm place to live on a cold winter day.

BOM Block 1 Posted

Block one for my new BOM has been posted to my website.   A picture of the block is shown to the right.

To download the pattern, click here and then click on the link for Block 1 in the 2013-14 BOM.    I hope you enjoy the pattern.   Please let me know if you've got any questions.  

As a reminder, fabric requirements can be found in these two posts on my blog, as well as on the webpage for the BOM.
            Fabric Req's Part 1
            Fabric Req's Part 2 

Gratitudes -
1. For all of my family and friends who've known me through the worst times and still love me anyway!

2. For a reliable car that is paid off.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

100 Blocks Blog Giveaway

QuiltMaker is giving away a complete set of all 8 issues of their magazine 100 Blocks from Top Designers.   For more information and to enter go here:

In other news, I've made progress on the urgent deadline quilt and now have all 16 blocks together.   Next up putting the blocks together and piecing the border together so it can go on.


1. Gum is finally healing after the extraction on Monday.

2. My warm house and running water with the winter storm that is headed this way tonite or tomorrow.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I've managed to make progress over the weekend on the quilting front.    First up was two blocks made for the wedding quilt.  Used cream and tan TOT's for the background triangles.   Like how the blocks look much better with this color in the background than I did the COC that I used for the first block.  Net result is that I have a new orphan block....lol.

So far I've been paper-piecing these blocks.   Love how I get perfect points and everything matches up.   But have been debating at the moment if I want to keep making the blocks like I have been these.    I'm thinking about strip piecing the geese, and then using the pattern to add the background triangles so that everything lines up and the points end up where they are supposed to be.

I also made progress on the quilt w/the urgent completion date.   All block centers have been made in spite of the double pinwheels giving me fits part of the time.    Ended up frog-stitching one section 3 times before I finally got it together correctly.    Have cut all pieces for the sashing/setting, and that means I'm ready to start putting the blocks together since the sashing is a part of the blocks.     Will work on this more tonite when I get home from the store.  

I even managed to get three piles of homework graded over the weekend.   Coming next week - a big push to get the urgent top together, and a quilt onto the frame so I can get some practice before quilting the urgent project.

1. "Warm" temps in the 40's.
2. A good time over Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Projects Galore...................

The fabric for the quilt with an urgent deadline finally arrived this week so I've been able to start working on it.   Not looking forward to the rush that I've now got to get it finished up and back to where it needs to be very quickly.   Did get one block finished up, and am planning on working on it again this evening after I get home from Thanksgiving Dinner w/friends and family.   Hopefully will make a lot of progress on it this weekend - well when I'm not working at the store or working on grading papers and tests.

In other quilty endeavors I've got the design drawn up for a wedding present that needs to be made by next summer.   Made a test block, and have decided on background color.   The quilt will be scrappy and will finish out at 72" by 84" before borders.   The plan is to have it finish at a queen-sized quilt.   If I'm counting right there are about 180 6" blocks in the design...........good thing I love the kiddo who this is for.   ........lol....

1. Spending time with friends at Thanksgiving.
2. Being able to spend time quilting and designing.

Tea Towel Challenge Fabrics and Fav Fabric Swap Wrap-up

After considering which of my two tea towels I wanted to work with for the challenge I've decided to work with the London towel.    Sanity and the thought of all that I have going on over the next few months (quilts with urgent deadlines, my 2014 BOM,  block designs that need to be finished up, commissioned sewing with urgent deadlines, oh and everything that goes with being a teacher!) made it easier to go with what I've already got the fabric for coordinates to the towel.

So here are the fabrics that I'll be using in the quilt.   The two that are predominately green aren't a perfect match for the green in the towel but I figure that's ok 'cause it's mine.  =)  All in all they work well with the colors in the towel.   I just need to go stash diving to find background fabric (cream tonal) for the quilt and I'll be set to work on it in January.

I mailed off the last of the Favorite Fabric blocks that I made for the swap a week or so ago.   Loved working with everyone's fabric.     Click on the pics to see the fabrics better.   I have a quilt that i need to make for a wedding present that I'm considering using this block for at least part of the blocks.   Time will tell if that happens or not.

1. I am thankful that I am renting this mobile home because the leasing office gets to take care of the frozen water pipes.

2. For a heater that keeps the house warm enough to be comfortable even when the water pipes are frozen.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tea Towel Challenge 2014

A couple of weeks ago a quilting friend sent an email out to several of her friends, one of which was me.   In the email she proposed a quilt challenge for the first part of 2014.    The challenge was to make a quilt in which a tea towel formed a prominent part of it and set the color scheme for the quilt.   The challenge is based on the quilt that she made and is shown "Sophie's Cock-a-Doodle Quilt".

The challenge sounded like lots of fun so I said I was in and then the fun started in trying to decide what tea towel I wanted to use for my quilt.   I started by looking on Ebay to see what I could find.   And came across two of them that I ended up bidding on and winning.   The first one has a mama Siamese cat and her two babies.  Lovely browns, black, aqua and blues in this one.  

The second towel shows multiple locations around London, all that places I visited when I was out there in 1997.     When there I had picked up a stack of Rose & Hubble fabrics in colors that will work with the towel and that I haven't had a clue what I wanted to do with them until now.  =)    I plan to use them together in a quilt.

Both towels are made from Irish Linen, the London is a little looser weave than the other.  I'll need to wash it first before using it.   But if it doesn't tighten up then I'll layer it over a muslin backing before stitching anything to it.

Now comes the tricky part  - which one do I pick for the challenge?   I'm leaning towards London simply because I don't have to go trolling through the stash for fabric other than a background fabric.  But I love the Siamese one as well.........which will it be?   At least I have till January to make up my mind on it.

If you're interested in reading more about the Tea Towel Challenge for 2014 and signing up for it, click HERE to go to Sophie's blog and read about it.

1.  Thanksgiving and three days off from school is coming!

2.  Lots of exciting things are happening at the moment with my quilt designing.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Updated fabric requirements

I've gone through and figured the amounts of fabric needed for the blocks in the new BOM.

Background (should be the same that is used in the setting blocks) - 2 yards
Color 1 - 1 1/2 yards
Color 1a - 1 FQ (this should read darker than color 1, but be in the same color family)
Color 2 - 1 1/2 yards
Color 2a - 1 FQ (this should read darker than color 1, but be in the same color family)
Color 3 - 1 FQ, (this will be used as an accent, and should go with color 1 and 2)

Note:  I've purposely estimated on the high side because I don't know the width of any yardage that people may use for this nor can I guarantee that they will make the blocks in the way that I say cut the fabric.   So rather than have them run short if using yardage, I've chose to estimate high.

Gratitudes -
1. Being able to spend some time with my niece this morning before she moves 3 hrs away.
2. Being able to creative pursuits.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2013-2014 BOM Fabric requirements and Peek at the Setting

With the setting and all but two of the blocks designed I've been working on adding up the fabric requirements.     The setting was easier to do, but the blocks have given me fits because I plan to do them scrappy.    Having said that, I've split the requirements into sashing/setting and blocks.   the one caveat is that I'll have a better sense of how much fabric is needed for the blocks as soon as I get the final two blocks designed and I start adding up how many of each size piece is needed in each color.

Finished size -
As shown in the picture the quilt will finish at 72" by 72".   An additional 6" border around it would bring the size to 84" by 84".

Sashing and Setting Blocks

Color 1 (shown in red) - 1 1/4 yards
Color 2 (shown in blue) - 3/4 yards
Background (shown in white) - 5 yards

Blocks -
Two main colors - each 1 1/4 yards
1 accent color - 1/2 yard
Background - 1 1/2 yards

Backing and Binding for the quilt as shown - 
Backing - 4.5 yds
Binding - 3/4 yd

I will update the amounts needed for the blocks as soon as I have a better handle on the amount of pieces that need to be cut for them.   I'll then post an updated list including both yardage and sections for those who want to do it scrappy like I am.

1. A sofa that is comfortable enough to sleep on since I still haven't been able to sleep the night through in my bed with the sinus troubles.
2. For the a stash that lets me pull all the fabric that I need for this w/o having to buy anything.  =)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Newest Published block

I wasn't able to participate in the blog hop for the coming release of the magazine  'Quiltmakers 100 Blocks, vol 8", but wanted to show the cover of the magazine so that everyone could see it.   My block is shown on the cover in the middle of the page (3 down and 3 over from the right).  

1. Getting sleep
2. Friends and Family

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sneak Peak 1 and Gifts

One of the things that I've been working on the last couple of weeks is designing a new BOM.   And unlike the most of my quilts, the setting and borders are already designed on paper.   Still need to put them into the computer though.   I'll be posting a peak at the setting after I get that done in the next week or two.   I'll be using some of my pre-cut scrap squares in assorted reds, blues, golds, and creams for the blocks in this quilt.   I've also pulled some smaller chunks of reds and blues for the quilt.
 To the right are the fabrics that I have pulled at this point in their nice neat baggies.   They've filled a sweater sized shoe box!

In my crafting this week I've finished off a couple of small gifties.   A felted wool flower spool pincushion, and a painted wooden ornament.    These will be heading out to a new home this Christmas.    I want to find more ornaments tho  to paint because I had fun doing it.   And there will be more spool pincushions at some point because I have more spools.  =)
1. Am feeling better after a couple of rounds with an antibiotic.
2. For the fun that i'm having designing both for QuiltMaker and my new BOM for 2014.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekend doings......and BOM news

Managed to get a wee bit of sewing in yesterday.   Made the next block for the Favorite Fabric swap that I'm in currently.   This block is for Lois G. and is already back in the mail and headed back to her.

I then finished designing two new blocks that will be used for the new BOM that I'm working on.  That makes a total of 4 blocks designed for it at this point.   I won't show pics of them because I want them to be a surprise for when I'm posting the block patterns.  I did use my fav fabric to make the block samples, but I haven't decided whether to keep using it or switch to something else.

1. Sinus infection has improved, altho not gone yet.
2. Weather is supposed to warm up some this week.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Block of the Month question

I'm seriously considering designing a new Block of the Month since my last one was done back in 2003.   It would be a pieced BOM, where the quilter would have the choice of either piecing the block using standard techniques or paper-piecing the block.

The patterns for the first one are posted on my website, but I'm debating where to put them if I do another one.    At this point I am leaning towards putting them on my website and then putting a post about it up on my blog so that I have a convenient place to store pdf files for each block pattern.    In the blog post I would give a direct link to the pattern so that it would be easy to find.

Would anyone be interested in something like this?

BOM Finished and swaps

I finished off the green and blue BOM that I've been working on this year, well finished off the top at any rate.    Most of the sashing was added over the span of a couple of mornings before work.  Finished that off last night.   That left me with just the borders to add today.  

I didn't want to piece them because of the print that I used would not look good if just butted together.   So I had originally thought that I would need to add a pieced element in order to make everything fit together.   After not being able to figure out what I wanted to add, I decided I would check the piece of the floral fabric to see what length it was.    And unlike what I normally do, I had plenty of fabric to do the side borders on the lengthwise grain of the fabric, with more than enough fabric leftover to do the top and bottom borders widthwise of the fabric.  Woohoo.   The corner blocks are from one of the leftover fabrics from the quilt.

In other quilty work, I've joined a couple of swaps.   The first is a 'Favorite Fabric Swap", where each participant sends a fat-eighth of their 'fav fabric' to each of the other participants.   Each person also chooses block pattern that they are willing to make for everyone else from the fabric that they receive.  What each person ends up with is a set of sampler blocks that are all ready to put together in a wonderful quilt.   I've participated in the swap several times before and am looking forward to seeing the blocks that I'll get back.   The fabric that I sent out is a red/blue/cream floral.  It is a small print but I think it will make a nice quilt for a wounded female soldier and will eventually go to American Heroes.  

I've also received the first fabric from one of my fellow swappers and have finished off my block for her.   Margaret sent the cutest kids fabric with all sorts of sea creatures on it and a lovely gold to go with it.   I added a turquoise moda marble to round out the fabrics needed for my block.   The pattern I used is called "Next Door Neighbor" and can be found on Quilters Cache.   I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the fabrics that will be sent for this swap.

The last swap that I'm in at the moment is the Secret Santa Soiree that is being hosted by Suzanne.  I'm looking forward to the swap and have heard good things about what was received last year by those who swapped.

1. A working heater at home with fall temps starting to cool off.
2. Meds for the sinus infection seem to be finally starting to work.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Teddy Bears completed

Finished off the Pastel Teddy Bears quilt top today.    I ended up floating the 3" stars and churn dash blocks in muslin and then trimming them to 5" so that they would twist and turn down the sides of the quilt.   Then added a breaker border of dark brown, and a final border with the pink that was in the piano keys inner border and the four 3" bear paw blocks that I had.    All but two of mini blocks were used in the quilt and the others are going out.

Next up to work on is the blue and green BOM.   A better picture of the blocks  is shown below.  I'm using a blue Kona solid for the sashing and a yellow print for cornerstones.   There will be a pieced inner border - still debating though on what I want to do with it.  Need to figure out the dimensions for it so that i can do some graphing of the possibilities.   The final and outer border will be a solid made from the print fabric used in several of the blocks of the BOM.   You can see it best in the bottom right block.   In looking at the blocks, I'm really wishing that I had used the navy Kona as the background fabric throughout the quilt.    But I didn't and i'm not going to buy anymore fabric for the quilt.   Since I don't plan on keeping this one it really doesn't matter anyway, just me being picky and wishing I'd done something different.

1. Beautiful fall weather.
2. Having a second job that helps to make the ends meet when time to pay the bills.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Retreat Update and UFO Update

I had a great time last weekend at the QuiltChicks quilt retreat in Oshkosh WI.   Did not enjoy the drive up there Thursday night in horrendous Thunderstorms, but that's another story.   Had a wonderful time with friends and was able to spend 2 full days working on UFO's and a new project or two.....  =)

I finished up the buttonhole stitching on 4 more pumpkin blocks.   Still need to do the embroidered vines on 3 of the blocks, but am going to wait till I have all of the blocks completed and then will do all of the vines at one time.  Need to get the top panel for the quilt redrawn with the design that I have in mind for it so that I can start to work on it once the last 4 monthly blocks are done.   Feels good to be making progress in getting this UFO done (well at least to the completed top stage).

Also finished up the top that i had started from leftovers from a long ago quilt.   The center panel came from a strip that had been trimmed off of a quilt back from a long ago quilt.   I added 4 borders to finish off the quilt top.   The colors in the picture do not do justice to the bright colors in the actual fabrics.  I floated the center panel in black, then added a bright lime green, red-org batik, and bright turquoise blue.

The final top that I managed to get together was one that I made with a "UFO" kit of fabrics that went together.   The pieces of fabric sticking up in the middle are there to remind me where I need to add some appliques.   More applique will be scattered across the top as well.   I still need to add a final border as well (5" final width), and there will be vanishing flying geese in it.   Need to draw up the patterns for it so I can pp the geese.

The last project that I worked on at the retreat was the BOM (from my patterns) that I had started with the fabrics I bought as remnants.   I like how the blocks have turned out, and have all 12 completed.  I plan to set them together with sashing and cornerstones.   Am still debating about what how I want to make the final border for the quilt.   I'd like to use up the remaining bits and pieces of the fabrics that I've used in the first border.   The final border will be a solid one using the floral print that started the whole thing.

The picture to the left does not do justice to the colors of the fabrics, but at the moment it's the only one I've got of them.   Will post another one when I get the blocks put together.

I'm currently working on adding muslin to the 3" blocks that I'll be using as the next border on the pink teddy bear quilt.    I plan to make the blocks 'wonky' in their layout when I trim up the blocks.   These are wonky to begin with as a result I think it'll be a lot more fun if they twist and turn along the sides of the quilt.  

The blocks shown in the pic to the right are ones that I made from cut pieces that someone gave me a couple of yrs ago.   Lots of sewing went into them because they were all individual squares.   I've got them laid out how I plan to sew them together.   Still to be done - figure out what color to use for the setting triangles on the 16-patch blocks (thinking about muslin or a COC), and figure out what to make the center star of the quilt (the open area at the center of the blocks).   Am thinking maybe rose or a dark green for the center star, but haven't pulled anything yet to see how it looks.

1. For safety in driving in the torrential storms last Thursday night.
2. For the jobs that God has provided for me.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Quality Quilting Time

Today was a no-school day, and I got to stay home.   And played "hooky" from the grading that I brought home to get done over the weekend.   Will have to work on that tonite and tomorrow, but that's okay because I had fun today.  =)  

I finished up one UFO that had been in progress this year - a set of BOM blocks that I made using block patterns from the BOM on my Quilted Snail website.   I started making the blocks as a part of a group of friends from a yahoo group that I am in called QuiltChicks.   I wanted to use up a set of FQ's in Halloween colors that I had inherited from an online friend 8 yrs or so ago.  I used a candy corn print as the common fabric in all of the blocks.    I had finished the blocks yesterday, but then ran into a momentary block because I couldn't decide what color to use as the sashing between the blocks.   I'd initially thought that I would sash them in white, but once I laid them out I realized that wasn't going to work.   Ended up going to bed thinking about it and by the time I work up this morning I had decided to use a bright lime green stripe as the sashing.   Cornerstones are more of the candy corn print.   The middle border is the final bits of the 5 different FQ's that I used in the quilt. Am happy with how the quilt turned out.    Haven't decided if I'll donate this one or quilt it and see if I can sell it.  Colors in the quilt are much brighter than in the pic above.

Am still thinking about what to do next to the teddy bear quilt.   I had a bunch of 3.5" blocks (unfinished) in my orphan block tote in colors that coordinate with the panel and what I've added so far.   They have a muslin background which works perfectly with the cream background in the panels.  The pic to the left shows one possible layout.

The problem is that I need to add more width to the quilt before adding more to the length.   So I'm thinking I need to just add the blocks to the sides of the quilt.   there is a small size variation between the blocks so I will border them with more muslin and then trim them to a final size (probably about 5" or 5.5") so that they are all the same.   Then will sew them together and the strips to the quilt.   Once this one is finished, I already have the perfect fabric for backing because I found the coordinating yardage in my stash this morning when I was looking for something else.   This one will likely be a donation quilt for Sunshine Quilts.   Or I may send it to the ministry to single moms that a friend of mine in Phoenix is the executive director of.

Next up to work on though is to prep 4 more blocks from the pumpkin BOM that has been a UFO for way too may years and finish getting stuff ready for the quilt  retreat I'm headed to this next weekend.  I also need to start thinking about what I want to donate for a silent auction for the building fund at the church I attended in Garland.   Need to go through the ones I've already got finished up to see if I have something finished that will work.

Gratitudes -
1. My niece graduated from AIT for the Army Reserve and is headed home.   And I get to see her abnd her mom tomorrow when they'll stay overnite with me.  =)
2. For God's provision of all that I need even when funds are tighter than I'd like them to be.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thinking about borders and color......

.....about what to add to one of the current quilts in progress.    I like how it's turning out so far, but still am not sure how to make it wider before adding a final border.   I do know that I want to use the two border strips that I cut off of the panel before squaring up the two panels.       I'm thinking that I might like to keep the asymmetrical look to it, but not sure about that either.

And I've been thinking about color and how I choose them for my quilts since reading a post by an online friend, Sophie, this week.     When I stopped to think about color and how I choose them in my work, I decided that I will typically find a focus print - fabric, picture, or some other means, and use that as a starting point for pulling additional fabrics and colors for my quilts.  Both of the quilt tops in the pictures here are examples of this.   The bears started "life" as a pillow panel that I'd stashed away many years ago, while the black and feathers started "life" as the leftover piece from a backing for a long ago finished quilt that I don't even remember now.   But what is common for both is that I'm using the prints as the basis for the colors that I'm going to add or have added to them in order to finish the quilts.   Now if only that would make it easier for me to figure out what to add to get the size that I needed.

1. The weekend is here.
2. Short work week coming up for Fall break!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Playing Hooky.....

......from all of the commissioned sewing here that is and working on a new quilt project.  I had so much fun this past weekend at the quilt retreat that I couldn't resist starting a new quilt project last night/this morning.     When finished it will probably end up as a donation quilt for Sunshine.

The focus print is actually two pillow panels that I bought about 15 years ago at Ben Franklin's in Phoenix.   The store went out of business many years ago and the fabric languished in my stash of fabrics that I had pulled for 'kits'.   When getting ready for the retreat last week I had pulled three coordinating fabrics which I've added in the asymmetrical piano key border that connects the two blocks.   The current size is about 20" wide by 38" long.   And I'm happy to say that I was able to correctly miter the corners to put the border on.  

Next up will be a narrow border of a darker color all the way around.   Then I want to put something down both sides, and then finish with a final border around the whole thing.    What I haven't figured out is what I want to put down the sides of the quilt to add width to it.    Any one got any ideas?

1. Weather out here has finally cooled off!
2. Only 2 weeks till the next quilt retreat.  =)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Retreat memories and tally

I was blessed to be able to attend a quilt retreat this weekend with a group of friends from an online quilt group, many of whom I've known in person and virtually since 1996 or so.    And one of my best quilt buddies came through this group of wonderful gals and their DH's.  

To set the stage, I hadn't really been able to do much sewing of quilty stuff for pleasure in more than a year.  While most everyone else was out shopping on Saturday or at the Amish dinner on Friday nite, I made up for lost time this weekend!   Pics below are of the pumpkin BOM blocks that I got the stitching finished on (BOM was started in 2005), 2 pairs of pillowcases that will be Christmas presents this year, 2 quilt tops that were done start to finish (one has been sold, the other will be a donation to sunshine), and the start of another donation quilt made from a leftover piece of backing from a long ago quilt.    Both of the quilt tops were made from 'kits' of coordinating fabric that I'd pulled yrs ago and never had time to make up.   Both used up multiple pieces of fabric from my stash, yeah!  

The black and peacock feather print is the top in progress.   I'm planning on adding a black border, then a piano key border in turquoise, lime, orange, and pink, followed by a narrow border in black and ending in one of the 4 colors in the piano key border.   This will also be a donation for Sunshine quilts.

I've got another retreat coming up in 3 weeks so I'll be prepping more (maybe all remaining) pumpkin blocks, prepping blocks for the other two BOM's that I've got in progress from this year and pulling more fabric kits to take with me to get made up and out of my stash.  

Gratitudes -
1. Safe travels this weekend to/from the retreat, good times with friends and my roommate for the weekend.
2. For the blessing of knowing that I have a job to go to tomorrow morning.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Been a while since I posted and I've actually been able to do some quilty type work for the first time in what seems a long time.

One of the things I managed to get done was to pull backing fabrics to go with the quilts I finally found that are for Sunshine quilts.   I knew when I had moved over a yr ago now that I had a tote filled with quilt tops for American Heroes and for Sunshine Quilts.   Well, that tote managed to stay hidden until a couple of weeks ago when it decided to make an appearance again.  These five pics are the ones that I made for Sunshine a couple of yrs ago and then never managed to get them sent off to be quilted by someone.   Thanks to today being payday I can finally afford to mail them off next week.   Just need to confirm with the quilter that that is ok.  Some of the fabric in them (upper right quilt and lower left quilt) is from Bev, a very special quilting angel that Sunshine misses very much.   I've still got some of her fabrics somewhere so her love for the kids will carry on as I have time to make it up.   The middle quilt on the right was made from the leftover fabric that I had in making up backings for the other 4 quilts.

 I finished up a couple of commissioned projects for a friend back in Dallas.   These included felt Wordless books and bean bags.   The bean bags are made out of cotton fabrics, with one side being solid green and the other side being a rail fence type block with 4 stripes.   They are supposed to finish at 4", but I ended up cutting the strips wrong and the blocks finished at 6".   Net result was that I had to remake the strip sets for the bean bags.   But because I hate to see fabric go to waste - especially as much as this would have been, I too the blocks that were too big and put them into a quilt top.   This quilt will end up going to American Heroes at some point in the future for the child of a service man/woman.

This weekend I'll be headed to a quilt retreat after getting out of school on Friday.   I'm taking lots of goodies to work on, and hopefully I'll make a dent in what I'm taking with me.  Among other things that I'm taking with me are blocks from 3 BOM projects - one of which I started back in 2005, the other two are from this year.   Here's a pic of the three blocks that I'm taking to do the buttonhole stitching on for the 2005 BOM.  I've got a number of other projects with me as well to work on including pillowcases for Christmas gifts and fabric for a sample block for my next block submission.  And I should say, I'm not taking a one of the commissioned garments that I need to get made up.   This weekend will be spent sewing on fun stuff.    I'll post a pic next week of what I get done over the weekend.  =)

Gratitudes -
1. The hot temps are finally gone!
2. Quilt Retreat is this weekend and I can afford to go again.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Finished projects

Looking back over the pictures of what I've completed this summer I've realized I've managed to get several projects finished up.  The biggest project was my challenge quilt for the Stretching Art 2013 Challenge.    

I love participating in this annual challenge because it always challenges me to try something new.   This year it was the use of raw-edged woven and quilted strips for the center of the quilt.    To work with this years theme was "Here Am I" I had fun looking for charms and buttons that fit a part of my life and me.   There are charms/buttons for my graduation from grad school this year, but being a Texan, Irish, Scottish, for having lived in AZ for many years loving cats, collecting snails, and to honor friends and family.   There are buttons from my CQ stash as well.    Once those were sewn on I then wrote words on the alternate blocks that either I had come up with or that friends had said to describe me.   Overall this quilt went together quickly which is what i needed this summer.    It finished out at 17" wide by 31" long.

I also managed to finish off a couple of gifts early this summer.   The first was a quilted cover for a Nook for a birthday present for one of my best friends.    It was late, but that's pretty much how everything went this last school year.   The outer case is a drapery print in blues and the lining fabric is a old style book end print.  

The second gift I finished was for my niece who graduated from high school this year.   I made her an embellished towel set  to take to college with her this fall.   The set has a wash cloth and towel with a strip of fabric sewn on them.  The third piece in the set is a hand towel that has been made into a toiletry holder with spaces for a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.  The instructions that I used as a basis for the toiletry holder can be found here on The Organized Wife blog.   Thankfully this gift was done on time for me to head down to my niece's graduation.  =)

Next up for gifts - baby gifts for two ex-coworkers, and thinking ahead to a wedding gift that I need to start thinking about.   Thankfully the latter doesn't need to be finished till next summer sometime.   The baby gifts tho need to be worked on now.   And to easily finish both of them I really need to get my quilt frame set up so that I can use the long-arm to quilt.............but that won't happen until the end of September when my niece is back up here after finishing basic and advanced training for the Army National Guard.    Other plans in mind are to work on a quilt for my niece, but it definitely won't be done for when she finishes her training, especially since 2 wks from now school starts back up and I won't have a lot of time to sew anymore.....sigh.

1. For the funds that God provided to pay for new brakes on the Rav and the new sensor earlier in the summer.
2. For the amount of the commissioned work that I was able to accomplish this summer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

More Summertime Fun

At the end of last week I finally was able to get through all of the fabric in the first tote filled with fabric for commissioned garments that I've been working on this summer.   After all the ironing and cutting I ended up with 20 garments cut out  -- the three piles of tops on my cutting table shown to the right.   So far this week I've been able to finish 2 flannel dresses, 2 cotton blouses and 1 flannel top.     Next up is another flannel top from the pile.  =)
To give a perspective of how much fabric I've been trying to work through - the pic to the left shows the tote that I have left with fabrics for more commissioned garments.  Dimensions of the tote are 25" long by 19" tall by 18 " wide.   At this point if what I've recorded in a spreadsheet is correct, there is fabric in it for 28 more garments.  

Now that figure may be adjusted a little downward because there were a couple of pieces that my customer said she wanted two garments made from one piece of fabric, but I'm not sure there is enough fabric for that to actually happen.   And i'm not in the mood to buy fabric to add to it.    If there is something in the stash that will work, then maybe - but I'm not gonna be buying additional fabric.   Once I get to start cutting this fabric out, I should be able to make a dent in the pile fairly quickly because 2/3's of it is flannel.    I'll be happy to see this all used up and out of my hair.    If she sends me more fabric I plan to work on it after all of the 'old' fabric worked up first and everything sent back to her.

In other 'fun' stuff this summer, I'm continuing to go through boxes of stuff here in the house.    I have a lot of boxes that I have not been through for 4 yrs or longer now and it all needs to be gone through and sorted out.    I've also been going through some of my quilting stuff.   Have sorted out a pile of books, magazines, rulers, quilt kits & patterns that I'll be putting up for sale when I'm through with training.     I need to work through the fabric that is stored on one side of the living room yet so that I can reorganize it and pull stuff that I no longer want.   But that has not been started yet.    I do need to have that area cleaned up so that once my niece gets home she can help me put my quilt frame together.   =)

In thinking of projects that I'd like to do in the future, i'm thinking of making a new quilt for my niece who is in basic training for the Army reserve.   The one she has now and uses is showing the signs of being much loved - to pieces that is.  .....lol....  I'm thinking maybe a patriotic quilt for her might be a good possibility.   I also need to make a new quilted cover for a pillow that my granny made many years ago for me out of polyester scraps.    I had made a cover for it yrs ago when I first started quilting (way back in high school) and had used poly-cotton fabrics in it.   This past few months has seen the cover start to disintegrate and it literally is falling apart.   So I need to replace it.   Haven't decided what I want to do tho for it.    And i need to make a new cover for my ironing board as well.    the one that is on there just barely fits onto it.   I'm planning on still using it but covering over with a piece of pre-quilted fabric that I have.   I guess this should really be done before the others.  

Gratitudes -
1. Rainy, summer thunderstorms make for cooler summer weather.
2. Success in getting commissioned garments sewn up.