"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)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Working on New Designs

I love working on new block and quilt designs, especially it seems blocks.   Often times they don't get made up or don't end up in actual quilt patterns.     This year's block of the month though has been good for using some of the many blocks that I design.   I've continued to design for submission in various avenues.   One of those I'll be working on later this summer.  

Since I'm at a week long educational camp on energy this week and don't have anything that I can sew, I thought I'd ramble a bit on the process that i use for designing my block patterns.

Even though I do use computer software (Visio) in my designing, I start out the old-fashioned way of drawing my thoughts out on graph paper and then "color it in.  Often times this part of the process happens as I'm doodling during a meeting or just when I have a few minutes during the day.

Once the sketch looks okay to me, I draw it up in Visio and then play with the colors in the block again.   The little snippet to the left shows a bit of the next block for submission that I've completed this last week.  

Next step then is to actually make it in fabric so I can see how easily the block goes together and how it works.   the pic to the right shows the same small bit of the finished test block that the left one does, but in completed form   A Kona black background and Moda Marbles and Kaufman Fossil Fern fabrics were used for the stripes.   Yes, everythign is actually straight in the block, my pic is just off.   lol   this design is one that i'm planning on submitting for publication, so I won't be showing the complete block here at this time.

The next three things that are on my design plate include a quilt design for possible (hopeful) publication - I need to make up a sample top from that one when I get back home and look at writing instructions for it depending on what magazine I submit it to.  The second thing I'm working on is a mystery quilt for next year.   My quilt testing buddy and I will start that one in July so that we can make sure it works as it should.  And the final design project in the works is my wallhanging for the Stretching Art challenge this year. The ideas for it are in my head, but they need to get out of there and into fabric immediately because that quilt has to be done before the end of July.  =)

1. Getting paid for the 15 commissioned garments that have been finished today.

2. Good information from the program that I'm attending for one of my classes at school.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UFO's and more sewing.....

Back at the first of the year (or was it before.....hmmmm), I had run a challenge on Sunshine quilt and received a number of blocks back to put into quilts for Sunshine.   I was able to get two of them together today.

In my commissioned sewing I'm up to 10 completed garments and am getting ready to start the next two scrub tops tonight.

Still fighting the bronchitis but am on 4 different meds now for it and am feeling some better.   Will be a long haul tho for me to

1. Employee health clinic and the ability to get prescriptions for free.

2. For making progress on what needs to be done this summer.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wild Animals and Duckies - Oh My!

I work part-time at Joann's and the store gets new fabric in all the time.   Doesn't usually happen when the fabric is on sale for a great price.   It did this week though, and I decided to splurge when a couple of remnants of flannel crossed my path as I was working yesterday afternoon.    We got a really cute flannel print featuring the ubiquiotus rubber duckies that I thought would make a really cute baby quilt.    Only by the time that I saw it there was only a 29" remnant left of it.   With the flannel being on sale for 60% off last week I went ahead and bought coordinating red and blue flannels.    

My original thought was to make a donation quilt using it, but then one of my co-workers last nite asked me to make a quilt for her from it for pay.   Sounded like a winner to me.   Made the blocks last night and then put them together this morning.    Will have it quilted by the end of the month (gotta move the stuff in front of the quilting frame first!).   Backing and binding will come from my stash.

Meanwhile, there's enough of the duckies left to use for the center of 6 blocks.   And I have enough of the blue and red fabrics left to put together a donation quilt from the leftovers.  =)     Current plan is to donate it to an organization in Phoenix that ministers to single moms for their 'store' that moms can choose things from as needed.   I've a couple of other tops for them, and just needed to get them finished up so that I can send them off to my friend who is the director of the ministry.

I also managed to finally finish a quilt that I'd quilted several months ago.   Haven't decided what to do with it though - might sell it since I don't have a pressing need for a gift right now.

Gratitudes - 

1. for cough suppressant meds......esp. at midnight when I'm coughing so much I can't sleep.

2. for the fun of being able to sew and quilt at present.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

One of those days......

After spending the last day and a half being both sick with bronchitis (still fighting it) and working on getting more commissioned garments ready to sew, I decided to get my BOM blocks made for August and September.    Was a good thought and eventually they both got made.....BUT it definitely was not a smooth process.  

The August block too three tries before it was successfully completed.  Completed block is supposed to be 12.5 inches unfinished.   Started working on the first pass and realized that I'd made the center square to finish at 8" instead of 4".   Ooops.....ok, so cut more squares with remaining fabric and then put everything together and realize that I didn't layout two of the the middle squares on the four sides. Which then totally threw off the pattern for the block.     Argh.....finished the block and put over on top of the orphan block tote.   Haven't decided if I want to keep this as a pattern or not tho.   that decision is for another day.

Then when I started on the block for September, I was making half square triangle blocks and realized that I'd sewed two pieces together with one of them upside down.   Thankfully easy enough to fix, but still frustrating.

Blocks are now up, and I'm going back to working on the commissioned sewing......at least it is going ok these days.  

1. Am starting to feel better thanks to the burst of steroids.

2. Cooler and dryer temps here have made the days nicer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More UFO's finished

In order to get the border onto the wedding quilt I need to clean my cutting table off.   I've been bad the last couple of months and have been piling stuff on it (in neat piles mind you....) that I now need to get off of it in order to be able to layout the fabric for the border of the quilt.   Because of the print I need to cut the borders in on length long-wise of the fabric.   That is something I almost never do because it's harder for me than cutting cross-grain and then piecing as need be.   I can't do that tho with this fabric because I can't match the print if I were to piece it.   ...........sigh............   I'll also end up mitering the corners but that isn't a big deal for me.

In the midst of sorting through the first of several piles of fabric I found two quilt tops that I had started for Sunshine Quilts and then had stopped working on them when I got to the borders for them.   The first quilt was made with blocks that I received in response to a challenge I made on Sunshine.   I sent out the polar bear fabric and one of the gals made the cute blocks with it.   Quilt finished out at 40" square.

The second top I made started with scraps that a friend, Pat, from one of my quilt lists sent me about 5 yrs ago.   Included in the scraps were a bunch of precut squares that I'm assuming had originally been meant for a color wash quilt, but maybe not.   I cut up a bunch of COC or cream tonal prints and sewed them together into various sized blocks.   Two of the blocks ended up with a purple coloring and I used them in the center of this little quilt.   I then dug around in my scrap bins and came up with enough scrap strips to make the next border.   Quilt is finished off with a COC inner border and a solid purple outer order.   Finished size is 42" by 56".

Also finished up this week are two more commissioned tops for a total of 7 completed tops.   That is 12.5% of the garments that I have fabric for.   Am aiming to get at least 8 more done before the end of next week, would would love to get the remaining  13 or so that I have cut out done before delivering them.   Time will tell how well I do!


1.  Lovely cool weather at the moment, even if totally overcast.

2.  Skylight in kitchen is to be replaced by park management which means that soon I won't wake up to puddles on the floor from the current one as it leaks in bad storms.

Just a quick post about the BOM....

When I posted the latest block for my BOM, I had someone comment that they couldn't find the pattern for the block.     I tried to contact her but couldn't find an email address for her, so am writing this short post.

All patterns will be posted on the following link - http://thequiltedsnail.com/bom2013-14.html .   To find the block pattern, you should just have to click on the link above and then scroll down to the last link in the list of blocks.  

If the link does not show up then try reloading the page to see if that works better.       I do test the links to make sure that everything works correctly (the IT side of me....smile) before sending out messages saying the block has been posted, but know things can go screwy.   If all else fails send me an email with a way to contact you and I'll work with you to get the pattern.

1.  Friends who encourage me
2. summer vacation and time to sew!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Vacation wk 1 progress.....

Thanks to being on summer vacation now I've been able to make a bunch of progress on sewing this week.

I've been able to get the remainder of the top for the wedding quilt put together.   The design I'd drawn up had called for 15 rows of 12 blocks (6" finished), and I found I'd miscounted when making the blocks.   As a result I was short 5 of one of the blocks.   It fits the top of my queen-sized bed, so rather than making more blocks I'm just going to make the border (originally to be 8" cut) to be a wee bit bigger and call it good.   =)   I still need to put the border on, but before I can cut it I have to clean off my cutting table so I have room for the fabric.   I do have to admit tho that I'm very tempted to see if I can use one of the cutting tables at work to cut the borders because i'm cutting them the length of fabric (not seaming them) because of the pattern in the fabric.  That is something that I don't normally do.

In other progress I've finished up 4 of the commissioned garments that I've had cut out for months now, and am busy working on number 5.    I'm hoping to make a delivery in person the week of the 22nd rather than mailing them and paying for postage.  I'll continue to work on this stuff over the next 7 weeks, and am hoping to make a very big dent in the amount of commissioned stuff that I have sitting here.    I'll also be trading off and working on several other projects as well during the summer.    I've a lot of sewing / quilting to get caught up on!   And i'm trying to not think about how much other stuff also needs to be done this summer....lol.

1. Summer vacation is here
2. With the completion of 3 college classes and certification through the BMV I'll be able to become a certified driver's ed teacher and that will make a much better paying PT job than I have currently.    Lord willing it will happen by the end of the year.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Musings on potential mystery quilt

One of the things I'm considering designing for posting next year is a mystery quilt.   Now I don't like and don't participate in typical mystery quilts.    However there was one mystery quilt that I did like and enjoyed the process of making it.   Actually I enjoyed the mystery enough that I made it twice at the same time.   The pics in this point show the two quilts that I made as a result of the mystery quilt.

The mystery quilt was one that didn't specify what fabrics had to be used, didn't give a specific block or pattern that had to be used, or anything too confining.   Instead it was based on monthly "Rules" such as "Include one or more yo-yo's in your block" and "put words in is somewhere".   In addtion, the monthly "rules" specified the size of the area (block) to be added to the quilt.   Each person participating in the mystery were able to interpret the rule according to how they wanted it to be added into their quilt.

Each quilt made came out looking very different, and because everyone was able to implement the "Rules" in their way and colors, everyone ended up loving their quilt.    If you'd like to see more of the quilts that resulted from this mystery you can look at the website - http://dodmystery.blogspot.com/ .

I'm in process of writing up a set of similar "rules" for a mystery quilt.   The rules will be based off of an art challenge that I found online while looking for something for school and will lead to a more and instead of randomly sized blocks, the base block size will be specified to make it more cohesive.    My current plan is to test the instructions this summer while I'm out of school and a good friend may also test them.   And then once they are tested will decide when to start posting them.  

I currently plan to release one "rule" a month, but might consider twice a month.    Those of you who read my blog, would you consider making the quilt?   And if yes, how often would you want clues/rules posted?

1. Last day of final exams is today, last day of school for us teachers is tomorrow!

2. God has provided a way for me to get the training I need in order to become certified to teach driver's ed and make extra income to help pay off bills and keep food on the table and gas in the car!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June BOM Block Posted

The block for June has been posted on my website.  Enjoy!  

You can download the pattern on this page -