"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, December 26, 2016

They Do Wear Out.....

The quilts we work on so hard do eventually wear out if they are used like we want them to be.   Well, maybe I should say, as I want them to be.   I make quilts for friends and family that are meant to be used, and even "used up".   I don't make them to be a showpiece that just gets looked at once in a while and never used.   That hasn't always been true of my quilts.....but part of that is because I don't have anywhere to hang the quilts I've made for display.

I always tell my recipients that I want them to use the quilt, not just look at it.   If it wears out I can always make them another one.   How do you feel about the quilts you make - do you want people to "Use them up" or "Look at them"?

I do have one quilted project that I can honestly say I've "used up" because it is totally falling apart and I need to make replacement.

Made more than 40 yrs ago when I was in high school, I think this was about my first quilted project.   I used fabric that was available at the time and I think it was poly-cotton, with poly batting.  It only started to fall apart when I moved to Wyoming last year, so it did well over the years.  

Underneath is a pillow that my Granny made me from double-knit scraps that she had used to make pants for herself.  Not fun to sleep on but lots of memories in those scraps.  Not to mention they wear like iron!   When I take the cover off, I'll have to find the seam I've opened before so that I can add more foam stuffing before putting the new cover back on.

I think I know what fabrics I'm going to use to make the cover, but haven't fully decided yet.   My art quilt for the challenge needs to come first because that has a due date in February next year!

And the quilt under that is on my bed is a sampler quilt, one of the few I made from a pattern.  Lots of different fabrics were used in making it.   Assorted repro shirtings were used for the block backgrounds, and I raided my blue and red scraps (without making a dent them) for the rest of the blocks.   This quilt used the McCalls Big Blocks pattern that I'm finishing up now as a work-in-progress for an Am. Hero Quilt.


1. Warm weather for my parents who are out here visiting.

2. The long Christmas weekend.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Weekend Finishes - Gunn don't look! =)

Thanks to getting the commissioned t-shirt quilt mailed off this past Monday I've been able to finish up a few things I've been running late on getting done.

Finished up the tea cozy and snack mat for my niece today.   The polka dot material in the mat is also the lining fabric of the cozy.   I used insulbrite for the batting of the cozy to help keep her teapot warm.

Also finished this weekend were my first two blocks for December in the F2F swap.  the colors this month were bright blue, bright pink and yellow.   White could be used if needed.   I've one more block to make but am debating about what pattern to use.

Both blocks were me playing around with new pattern designs.

1. A warm roof over my head

2. Friends who are always there when needed.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Stitching Santa Goodies

I took part in the #StitchingSanta2016 Swap this year and have had lots of fun choosing things for the name I was given.   She hasn't posted yet about what I sent, so I can't post pics of what I sent.

But I can post about the wonderful goodies that I received from my Stitching Santa.

First up was 7 FQ's that I'm looking forward to finding a project for.  

Next up were two lovely stitched potholders.  These are hanging on my mantel at this point.   There was a cute zippered pouch and a yummy Ghirardelli peppermint bark candy bar.  

 Also in the package were four cute crocheted coasters, a crocheted banner, and some fun colors of embroidery thread.   The thread is currently in the pouch, and the banner will eventually end up hanging from the mantel once I find where I put the remaining hooks.

My thanks for all of the wonderful goodies go to Abigail who blogs here.

1. The many blessings that are present in my life.

2. For family near and far that I've been blessed with.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Finished and Mailed.....finally!

Finished the commissioned t-shirt quilt on Monday and shipped out that afternoon.  Soooooo happy to have it done.  And it will even be back to my customer in time for Christmas......YEAH!   Praying tho for no accidents to mail trucks to happen along the way like happened in Ohio this month.

Now to start working on several things that need to be finished this month.

1. Weather is warming up

2. While, cold here, it is still warmer than many parts of the US.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Progress on the t-shirt quilt

Finished all of the quilting on the latest t-shirt quilt this evening.   Yippee!

Have a few things left to finish up and it will totally be done -

  • Clip what seems like a bazillion threads (front and back)
  • Make the binding for the quilt
  • Sew the binding to the quilt
  • Hand-sew the binding down
  • Add a label on the back of the quilt
  • and finally, add the name tag to the white shirt block.
My aim is to get it done by the weekend, and then in the mail on Monday back via priority mail to my customer.  =)

1. Got a great end-of-yr gift from work today.   

2. A job that I like and am happy at, and that I'm appreciated in.

Musings and Page Views.....

I'm working as a Sr. Data Analyst, so one of the things I like to do with my blog is to keep track not only of how many people view my posts, but also where in the world it is being viewed from.

What I have found very interesting is the sheer number of page views from Russia, even more than from here in the US.  Gotta wonder what kind of quilting is going on there in Russia.  What do the numbers mean?   That I don't know, but I do find it interesting because I don't have any friends in Russia altho I do have a couple in Ukraine.

It almost makes me want to design a quilt or BOM with blocks that would correspond to the countries where the page views are coming from......... Maybe something like the word "Quilt" in each of the different languages ........

1. Company Christmas party is this Friday and we only work a half day...wheeeeeeeeeeee.

2. I'm almost done with the project I've been working on for work.

Goodies in the mail......

For the past few years I've been in an annual swap known as a "Shoebox Swap".   Basic rules are to fill a 'shoebox' with 12 FQ's in each of 2 different colors/themes chosen by the recipient, add a handmade item (ornament, needlebook, mug rug, etc), and add chocolate or other treat.   Everything is collected over the course of a year, and then sent off at the beginning of December.

 My shoebox arrived this past Saturday and contained lots of yummy goodness in it.   There was a wonderful selection of pink FQ's and batik FQ's in colors that I can use for block backgrounds.

And two types of yummy chocolate, one of them with a tin I can use for other things once the chocolate is eaten.  Cute socks, quilted coasters and a couple of cute embroidery patterns rounded out the box.

Thank you Marla for such great goodies!

1. No fog on today's drive to work.

2. I'm almost finished with quilting the t-shirt quilt!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Potential New Block of the Month for 2017

I have a commissioned quilt that I'll be working on starting after I finish the current t-shirt quilt up and get it shipped off.

This new quilt will have 12 appliqued teddy bear blocks in it.   I am considering writing those 12 blocks up as a block of the month for my blog and then at the end of the year putting them into a full quilt pattern that would be for sale.

However, before I do all that work I thought I'd run a quick survey to see what kind of interest there would in it.   To complete the survey, click on here -->   Take Survey

1. For the ability to design and create quilts

2. For the desk that I will be getting from work and being able to use it for my quilting.

Finishes and Almost Finishes

Almost done quilting the t-shirt quilt.   Just have the tie blocks to get finished tonite.  Would have done that last night, but supper didn't agree with me and I ended up going to bed early instead of sewing.  =(  Still need quite a bit of quilting over the tie sections so that they don't pull out when it is used.  Will have this finished this week, would love to have it back in the mail Friday but don't know if I can pull that off or not.

Next pic is of a little cross stitch piece I made while in Phoenix at Thanksgiving.   It will end up either in a quilted postcard or a mug rug.

Next three pics are of completed Christmas gifts.  Have two sets of snack mats and tea cozies finished up and an appliqued sweatshirt.

Sweatshirt here will go to DH of my GF.

Tea cozy and snack mat for one of my best friends.

Tea cozy and snack mat for her oldest daughter, one of my adopted nieces.

Still need one more snack mat/tea cozy set.   Pic of fabrics and completed mat that I'm thinking of is at the very bottom.   Both the fabric and the mat work for my niece, but I'm not sold on them all together.   At this point I may be either making a new snack mat, or finding fabric that goes better with it......can't decide.   What do you think of the combo?

1.  I'm not up in the upper Midwest with all of the winter weather and snow!

2. Christmas gifts are almost done - before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Quilts for me and plans for 2017

For a while it has seemed like I never have time to make anything for myself.  Between all of the commissioned quilts, scrubs, and other commissions and all of the items I make either for donation or for gifts there just doesn't seem to be anytime left over for me.

However, I did finally realize that I did get two quilts made for myself this year.  The first being the Row-by-Row quilt that I finished up in July and more recently the quilt I entered into the design contest.   While I didn't win either of the prizes for the contest it was entered in, I did for the first time really use some of the many fairy frost fabrics that I have collected for several years.

I do have one project in very slow progress at this point, and that is my quilt for the Stretching Art challenge for 2017.   The plan for it is finally coming together in my mind, now to get it into fabric and completed in time for the challenge.

So for the coming year I'm going to plan for a couple, maybe 3, projects for myself.

1. The first project I'd at least like to get the top together for is a butterfly quilt using hankies that were my paternal grandmothers.   Blocks that I'm thinking of includes ones such as in the pics below-

2. The second is a t-shirt quilt for myself using shirts I've had forever, some of them never worn, and most of them I can't wear now.   Will need to work out a  design plan for it first.

3. The final one I'd like to at least start is working on a quilt out of the snail fabrics that I've collected over the last 5+ yrs.  No design for this in mind tho, so it is last to be thought about.

In with all of these will also be the commissioned quilts as they come in and the scrub tops that need to be made and shipped off, along with anything else that comes up along the way.

1. I get to have dinner with an online friend who I've been participating with in a long-running quilt challenge for a number of yrs now this week.   =)

2. Winter is here!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Next Commission.....Pastel Teddy Bears

A long time friend has asked me to make her a teddy bear quilt (she loves them and collects them).   Design / Layout has been decided on.    Yes, I use the white board in my office at work to do sketches of quilts or blocks when something comes to mind.

Final quilt will be queen-sized, most likely about 88" square so that I don't have to pieced the batting I use in it.   Layout sketch is shown to the right.  The 12 blocks in the center will have 12 different appliqued teddy bears in them.  The background of the blocks will be an off-white (Kona PFD).   The remaining 24 blocks will feature an 8.5" square of the fabric shown in the pic below bordered with coordinating fabrics.

The blocks will finish at 12" and then will be sashed with 1.5" finished sashing and a 2-3" border all the way around.  Have not decided what color border I'll end up putting on at this point.

Thinking about whether I want to take the appliques as I create the patterns and using them for a BOM for next year.   What do think of that possibility?

1. It isn't supposed to get down to freezing tonite, so the rain won't become ice and make tomorrow mornings commute treacherous.

2. Family, near and far, all are dear to me.

T-shirt Quilt Top Finished

Finished the commissioned t-shirt quilt and really like how it came out.
The cornerstones were cut from the tie sections.  Final tacking (of the collar and name tag) on the shirt block will be done after the quilt is quilted.  Binding will be in the same dark grey as the sashing strips.

Next up - find my totes of backing fabrics so I can pull fabric for the backing from them.    Thursday evening I plan on pin-basting it and then will have a quilting marathon over the weekend.

1. Cold temps may be coming down here, but no snow or ice is on the horizon.

2. Fun at my small group Christmas party yesterday!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Making Progress......

Now that I'm back from vacation I've been able to make progress on the commissioned quilt.   Have all of the rows of the sashing together, and all of the rows of blocks as well.   Have managed to get half of the quilt together now.

1. Trip to Phoenix was a good one, and the driving was safe.

2. Was able to see a lot of friends while in Phoenix

Monday, November 21, 2016

Center block completed

I finished the center block for the t-shirt quilt in process before leaving on vacation and am happy with the way it has turned out.  

Still to be done after the top is together and everything is quilted -

-- Stitch the back of the collar down so it will stay in place when used and washed.

-- Add the name badge

Lessons learned while working on the block -
-- ties are much easier to tie on one's self than on something or someone facing you!
-- it's much harder to get a tie come out looking good when you have to take the interfacing out of it to reduce bulk!

Next up when I get back home - prepping and cutting the sashing squares, putting the quilt top together and getting it basted for quilting.

1. A safe drive to Phoenix
2. fun times with friends here

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Voting on the Contest Quilts has started

Voting has started for the finished quilts in the Modern Quilts Unlimited Design Contest. Voting will run from today, the 15th, through the 30th of November. The grand prize is worth over $4000 and that includes several different things including a really nice sewing machine. I would love to win.

Please consider voting for my quilt. I would greatly appreciate it! To do so, click on the link below and then click in the Vote box on the page that will open up. You will need to be logged into FB to vote. 

And please consider forwarding/sharing this. The one who has the most votes at the end of voting will be the winner.

Thank you  in advance for your consideration.  Your votes are appreciated!

1. I was able to finish the quilt and submit it on time in spite of all the challenges in making the blocks and the quilt.

2. Friends who rave about my quilting even when I'm not liking the job that I did.

Backing to working on the T-Shirt Quilt

Now that I've got the contest quilt finished and entered into the contest, I'm back to work on the current commissioned quilt.   I have one block left to finish making before I start putting the quilt top together.

I've got the shirt stitched to the backing square and the tie tied around the neck.  =)  Still to do is to stitch around the outside edge of the sides and bottom of the block to keep all layers together and then stitch the tie down so that it stay in place and doesn't pucker.  After the quilt is together then I'll add the name badge that also needs to go on this block.

I'm hoping to get the top together before vacation, then I can come home and baste and quilt it the first 10 days or so in December.

1.  Weather is yummy right now..........

2. I have a place to stay in Phoenix thanks to good friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I finally have a couple of finishes to report.   And a third almost finish.

The first major finish is the contest quilt.   It will be entered (picture submitted for the contest) today.   Final name of the quilt is "It's Quilting, Jim, But Not As We Know It".  Suggestion came from an online friend, Kate, and it captures not only the Star Trek reference that I wanted but also the theme of the entire contest which was taking traditional blocks and redesigning them in a modern way.

If you're wondering about the Star Trek reference, for those of you old enough to remember the original shows.....(and yes I do 'cause I watched them!), look at the sashing sectons and what do they remind you of?

Finished the Modern Quilts contest quilt has been finished....after what seemed like "forever" with all the quilting that I did on it.  Best estimate of thread is that I have more than 800 yards in just the quilting alone.  That means 2400 feet of thread, or almost 1/2 mile of thread.   And yes, I'm a numbers geek here.....lol.  Final size is 48" by 60".

I also finished the little t-shirt dress I made for my shoe box of gifts for Operation Christmas Child this year.
 Also have almost finished off a snack mat using a piece of cross-stitch featuring an owl.   This will be a Christmas gift.   I will also be making a tea cozy to match using more of the owl fabric on the right and the batik.

1. Vacation in 4 days.  =)

2. Weather should be good for my drive to Phx.

Friday, November 11, 2016

On the downhill slide......and a name......

....with the quilting of the contest quilt that is.

I've now finished 8 blocks and have started on block #9 (the 2nd from the bottom in the middle column) as of this morning before work.   Have also finished all of the border stars and the full stars.   Have sorta gelled plans for quilting two of the other blocks.   But the dratted orange and yellow one (next to the top at the far right) is giving me fits and refusing to tell me what it wants for quilting.  Sigh......  Will deal with that recalcitrant block when I get to it.  Binding is still to come as well.   I'm hoping to have enough time to add more quilting to the sashing before the pic has to be uploaded to enter the contest.    i'm just not happy with it as is.

This pic show the fabrics I used for the back of the quilt.  All fabrics are from Michael Miller per contest specs.  Love that the colors in this print were all ones that were in the fabrics I used in the blocks on the front.

And the quilt name/title that I'm going to be using for this quilt is "It's quilting, Jim, but not as we know it".   That came thanks to an online friend that I'm in a swap with right now.  And it is perfect for the theme of this year-long contest which was to take traditional quilt blocks and re-imagine them in a modern way.   And yes, the name is a nod to Star Trek since the sashing stars ended up being similar in look to the Star Trek communicators.  =)

As a side note....one of my coworkers gave me the blankest look when I told him what they looked like......sigh, at only 24 yrs old, he has no idea of what Star Trek is other than some of the newest movies.   Boy am I feeling old since I remember watching the original series on tv!

The last pic shows how I left my sewing room/desk this morning when I left work work.   And yes, when I can't sleep in the morning I'll get up and sew.  =)

1. One more week till vacation....Woohoo........

2. Cool fall weather is here.  =)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Name Thoughts for the Contest Quilt

Since the sashing units I designed for this quilt unintentionally ended up with a Star Trek look to them, I've wanted to go with a trekkie inspired name for the quilt.   And I must admit this is always that hardest part of finishing a quilt for me, and one I most of the time don't bother with.

The names I've come up with (or that others may have suggested) so far are (in order of my preferences at the moment):

  • Make It Sew
  • To Boldly Quilt Where No Man Has Quilted Before
  • Live Long and Quilt
  • Quilt Tribbles
I'd love to play off of "Highly Illogical" but for the life of me can't figure anything out for that one.

What do you guys think of the name possbilities....anyone have any other ideas?

1. The rain has stopped.....at least for the moment.

2. Have my reservations for the Phx part of my Thanksgiving trip.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Contest Quilt Progress....

Making progress here....slowly.  Of course the slowly is happening because what the blocks have said they wanted so far is lots of echo quilting in the negative spaces............and that seems to take forever and a day....lol.  You can click on the pics to see more indepth pics.

At any rate, status at this point is:

Blocks - 4 out of 12 complete
Full Stars - 1 of 6 complete
Border Stars - 5 of 10 complete
Sashing strips - all complete
     (for the moment at any rate)

Still debating on a name for the quilt as well.....guess I need to make a decision soon on that....lol.

1. Today's heavy rain eased up long enough for me to drive home, stop quickly by the grocery store and get gas!

2. Swelling is better behaved today.

To-Do List Progress

What I started the week needing to do -

1. Quilt the Modern Quilt contest quilt - Made progress here, have finished quilting the sashing in both directions, 3 1/2 blocks, 1 full star and 2 border stars.    Still to be done - 8 1/2 blocks (know what I'm going to do for the one you see to the right), 5 full stars, and 8 border stars.

Didn't make as much progress as I'd hoped because I had to take time to find something to cover the ends of the pins.  I'm happy to say that the foam door hangers blanks that "sacrificed" themselves work wonderfully in covering the tips of the pins and in protecting my hands and arms from getting scratched to ribbons.

I'm aiming to get the quilting done by end of day on Saturday so that I've got Sunday & Monday to get the binding and label onto the quilt.

2. Make t-shirt dress for shoebox for Operation Christmas Child - Getting the fabric for the dress is as far as I've gotten.   To be done this week 'cause the shoebox has to be turned in on the 13th.

3. Make final F2F block for Nov - Finished and all three were mailed out on Friday.

4. Iron Interfacing onto tie sections and cut sashing squares - Didn't even touch these....looked at them tho....lol......

5. Put together commissioned quilt top - Looked at enough to stack the blocks so I didn't walk on them..but that's it.

6. Finish pillow cover for Commission - Quilted the top of the pillow cover, still needs to have the  back made and sewn on.

On the back burner:
1. Drawing up the pattern for my Stretching Art challenge quilt
2. Make the Stretching Art challenge quilt
3. Put together the first of my F2F quilt tops from this year.

Not on the list but done - was making a quilted case for my kindle after the cheapo one that I'd been using decided to vanish overnite Thursday.  Hopefully the leprechaun, gremlin, or ghostie who decided they needed it enjoys it.....sigh.    I know where I left it when I went to bed.....but it had vanished by the time I got up Friday morning.  And yes, I live alone.....well I thought I did anyway.  =P

So I dug into my scraps, and came up with this piece of home dec fabric that was a scrap from a commissioned project I did back in Indiana.    Used a grey and cream on the inside of it.   Did it in a hurry so the zipper isn't done as well as I'd like, but it works.   Will make a better one at a later date.

1. Will get to see good friends in Phx at Thanksgiving!  So excited.

2. Fall weather is here  - cooler and rainy.  =)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Block Design

I worked on one new design this week...and love how it turned out.....  This one is "simple" with only 57 pieces of fabric in the finished block.  Well, simple compared to a couple of the blocks I designed and made for the Modern Quilt block design contest.

I finished the sample block last night, and it is my final F2F block for this month and will be going to one of my best quilting buddies, Susan.  =)  Love the colors, and the purple has metallic gold dots all over it.

The design for the block reminds me of the ribbons used in rhythmic gymnastics.

However, once this sample block was finished I realized I forgot one teensy thing for the pattern...lol...  See the difference between the block below and the latest block?  Yup, they spin in different directions.   Seems I forgot to flip the pattern for this latest block so that it would spin in the correct direction.  I've corrected that in my pattern....but I know that my friend won't care so the sample block isn't wasted.

This makes 6 blocks I believe that I've done w/a common shape (but not pattern).  Time to be working on patterns for using them and on writing up instructions for each block.   Once the latter is done then I can put out a call for friends to test the block pattern for me.

1. Low pressure is here or through and my knee is feeling much better!

2. Time off for Thanksgiving has been approved.  =)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Goals for Halloween Week

The way I've been going if I don't actually put these down in writing they won't get done....I'm very easily distracted these days....lol.

To be done this week, ranked in order of importance -

1. Quilt half or more of the Modern Block design quilt (it's pinned and ready to quilt) - due date is 11/14.  (Good thing I work well under pressure!)

2. Make little t-shirt dress for my Christmas Child box (have fabric and t-shirt), due date is 11/13 or so.  (Trying to make a plain black t-shirt little girl friendly.....think this fabric will work?)

3. Get final F2F block made for November so that I can get those mailed off.

4. Get interfacing ironed onto the tie sections and cut needed sashing squares out of them.

5. Put together the commissioned quilt top.

6. Complete pillow cover from t-shirt (for same gal the quilt is for)

On-hold -

-- Make my Stretching Art Challenge quilt top
-- putting together the F2F blocks I received in September

Not many things on the to-do list, but a fair amount of time tied up in them..


1. Someone is coming over the end of the week to help me figure out where the air filters are and get them changed.

2. Love my job.  =)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hobbs Commission - I can still do it........lol.

What is "it" you ask.......that would be tie a men's tie.   Been a long time since I've done it, and it's much easier doing "on myself"  than just around a shirt collar like this....but I can do it!  Which is really good since I need to in order to be able to make this final block for the commissioned quilt.

I will have to take the stabilizer out of the tie so that it is easier to stitch down but that won't take long for me to do.

Before I get the block put together though, I need to make a decision on the backing for the block.  I have two choices shown here -

The light grey will match what I've been using to bring other blocks up to size and on the tie blocks, the dark grey matches the sashing so the sashing and backing will all blend together.  Or I could use black and that would stand out from the sashing and the shirt wouldn't blend into it.

Not sure which one I like better, so I'm sending a msg to my customer to see what she wants.  =)

1.Having no TV means I missed all of the election crud on it....woohoo....

2. Only 2 wks till my appt with the endocrinologist

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hobbs Commission - progress....woohooo............

Finished up all of the tie blocks this afternoon, so I've only got one more block to get made for this quilt.    I have the shirt for that one in the dryer now after washing it.   Might get the base of the block done this evening.

I'm not a 100% sure I like the color placement yet on the shirts so I'm still mulling that over as well.

Still to be done for the quilt before I can start sewing it together - finish cutting out the sashing strips (had to change blades after running my cutter over a pin....oops), iron interfacing onto the back of the ties sections that the sashing squares will be cut from and then cut the sashing squares.  

Other than perhaps getting the final square prepped tonite.   Need to actually get busy working on the quilting for my contest quilt......deadline for that is coming up and i need to get busy with the quilting.   It's only been in the last week or so that I've had any real idea of how I wanted to start with the quilting....oops.

1. I finally came up with something that I could take to a potluck tomorrow that I can eat.......

2. A plan for my Stretching Art challenge and the story of the inspiration for the quilt is coming together.  =)