"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)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Finish!

I put the finishing stitches in the binding on this critter last night.

Details -

59 different fabrics

Blocks were from a swap back in 2014.

Red E beads were used for the tops of the pins in the pin cushions

Backing fabric is an older Hoffman print that was in my stash.  Binding is a remnant I picked up at some point.

2 buttons


Gratitudes:
1. No storm is predicted today

2. For progress in getting things done

Monday, August 20, 2018

Goals For the Next Couple of Weeks

Lots going on these days that I need to keep focused on getting done, and these break down into several categories.   Will I get them all done probably not, I can but try.  =)




Blog / General -
-- "My Happy Place" Row Along - scheduled date is around the 20-something of September Prep and schedule post
-- My introduction and "story" for Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs "Meet and Greet" Blog hop in September.  Her blog can be found here.  This is due sometime in September (don't know date yet), but I want to have it ready to go. Prep and schedule post
-- My post for an Art Quilt Blog Hop that will take place in November - this is a ways off, but I want to dig out the quilt I'm going to feature and get some good pics of it in preparation for the hop.
-- Remember that I'm meeting friends on Saturday morning for a time of fellowship, antique shopping, and lunch


Pattern Designing:
-- Teddy Bear Quilter #5, BOM for Sept. - This needs to be designed and the sample block made. 
-- Write pattern for TBQ #5 and send for review
-- Complete pattern for "My Happy Place"


Quilting -
-- Get baby quilt on frame quilted and binding onto it
-- Finish sewing the binding down on the quilting wall hanging.
-- Sew binding down on "My Happy Place" sample
-- Make filler strip for Scrappy teddy bears


Commissioned/For Sale Work:
-- Get quilt onto Frame (Ruthie's) and quilted
-- Make credit card holders for two sale passport holders
-- Start work on three commissioned passport holders

House:
-- Get towel holder up in master bath
-- complete caulking around fixtures in bath's
-- clean washer
-- clean up dead branches in back yard
-- Get yard mowed

Gratitudes:
1. Having plenty of things to keep me busy

2. Having a house to work on even when I'd rather be quilting

A Finish And Going To Extremes


Finished this UFO this weekend.  And it's off in the mail this afternoon to it's new home. 

Stats -
41" square

60+ different fabrics

This was the 2nd project made from bonus triangles and scraps from a wedding quilt made several yrs ago.



Finished off these 9 blocks.  They finished out at 15" because that is the size ruler that I have.   The teddy bears are from a panel that I won from a blog posting.  The fabrics used to bring them all up to a common size are all scraps and used most of the light blues that I had in my scraps.   Trimmings off each block were used to make other blocks so very little went into the trash as I worked.

Light blue is definitely something I don't have a lot of, and what is left is almost totally in the turquoise range now. 

I will be adding a narrow sashing between the blocks in a medium blue I think.  Probably cut at either 1.25" or 1.5".  Then I have one panel  to make to go between two of the rows with some applique on it before i start putting it together.   I'm planning on a small border of the same fabric as the whatever I use for the sashing.

And for a complete change of scale. I made these quarter-square triangle blocks from bonus WOW triangles and blue scraps.   These are 1.5" unfinished and will be featured in the next teddy bear BOM.   Any guesses as to what she'll be doing?

I also managed to get the binding sewn onto two other  projects but no pics of them.

Gratitudes:
1. For my face not hurting now that the storm front going through the area yesterday..

2. For the rain from the storms over the weekend

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

August Block of the month - Jane and Ann

Meet Jane and Ann who are showing the quilt that they finished during the quilt retreat.

You can find the pattern here on Craftsy.

Enjoy the block!


Gratitudes:
1. Progress in getting things done today.

2. Payday came!

New Goodies

My prize from Aurifil's blog posting a couple of weeks ago came yesterday.    A wonderful set of embroidery floss that I'm looking forward to using.   You can read more about what all Aurifil is doing on their blog here.


And then I picked up the fabric that I had won for turning in my row-by-row quilt this year.   I got to pick the FQ's or yardage that I wanted.   And ended up with 5 half-yard pieces and 15 FQ's.

Most of them will either end up in the scrappy quilts or as backgrounds for my block-of-the-month designs.  But there is one that will end up in a future F2F swap block.

And for using the store's row in my quilt, I received this layer cake from the Moda Quilt for a Cause: Sunshine line.  The fabrics that were included in this line can be seen at this link.


Gratitudes:

1. Traffic was flowing really well this morning.

2.  I woke up feeling good today - maybe I'm caught up with sleep again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Scrap Happy August

With my long-arm set up and working I've been able to start finishing off UFO's including this scrappy quilt. 

Specs:
-- 41-42" square
-- Second quilt made with bonus triangles from a wedding quilt made about 4 yrs ago. 
-- approximately 60 different fabrics in it

And it has been sold already.


To see what everyone else has been doing this month with scraps check out the following blogs:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJeanJohanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley and Dawn


Gratitudes:

1. for a peaceful day, even if I overslept and didn't make it to church on Sunday

2. for friends who care enough to check on me when I don't show up somewhere I normally would be.

Winnng and a new beginning

2 wks ago I won this partial panel from Melissa who blocks at Pack Rat With a Plan.     I'd swear I had this one in the past, and who knows I may still have it hidden somewhere. 

The first step in putting these bears into a quilt was to cut the bears apart.  That gave me 10 of them, I'll use 9 of them (the 5 large and 4 of the small ones) in the finished quilt. 















My current plan is to work with the bears in a free-form, scrappy log cabin type of block.  Because of the way the panel was printed, the sides of the bears aren't straight as cut.  So a touch of the bears might end up cut off with the sewing.  I'm planning on making a dent in the lighter colored blues that I have in my scrap stash.   Might go into the medium blues depending on how far the lights go (not a lot of them) or see what I've got in the way of light colored FQ's.

I'm planning on trimming the blocks to a consistent size using my 15" ruler.    The block on the right is the first finished block and gives the idea what I'm looking to do with all of them.

Gratitudes:
1. For other bloggers who share their stash.

2. for having a stash of scraps to play with as I work on various quilts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Fixing Wonky Orphan Half-Square Triangle Blocks

I'm sure that most quilters every once in a while (surely not too often!) have blocks that just didn't quite turn out like they were supposed to.  I'll be the first to admit that not all of my blocks work quite right at times.

An example I'm not sure where these came from but these HST's have been floating around in my stash for a while.  These blocks started with the batik triangles that I had found in a scrap bin at some store once upon a time.   I then had made the HST's from them. 

However, when I laid them on top of the white fabric to sew them together had not left enough room between them for a correctly sized seam.  This is just one of the blocks and the narrow part of the seam allowance there is a scant 1/8th inch......and there were several that were literally only a few threads in width.  Definitely
not a good idea for use in a quilt!




In addition, some of my seams were a tad crooked....oops.....

So to make these usable for a quilt project, I first took an envelope and used it for a straight edge. 
Once I had it lined up, then I drew a line in so I could have something to stitch by.

Next up was restitching the seam line further over and making sure it was straight.
Once done with the stitching, I then trimmed the blocks to an unfinished size of 3 inches and pressed them open.  You can read more about how I  make my scrappy HST blocks in this post.
I then put them together into this snack along with one little block that has a quilty saying on it.

This is a funky picture because it looks like the mat isn't the same size on each and it really is because I trimmed it to size.



Gratitudes:

1. Had a nice quiet BD yesterday.

2. My long-arm is still working fine, even if the thread is being a pill.  Thankful that new thread isn't outrageously priced as I work to get the row-by-row quilt quilted.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Wrapping up the Week.

Busy week last week.  Worked from home for 4 days which takes a lot more concentration because it's easy to get distracted by all the 'fun' stuff here.   On the other hand, I did get a lot done while waiting for the computer to process things.  =)

The biggest thing accomplished this week was getting my quilt frame set up correctly.   I'm so happy to have it back up and usable for the first time in 3 years.   And even happier that my machine is behaving nicely.

First quilt that went on for me to practice on was this UFO made from swap blocks.  Checking back in my pictures swap was late 2014.  It's now waiting on binding.

Second quilt on the frame was this UFO quilt top.  Quilted in a meander pattern, this one has been sold.












I also put together three snack mats, all of which still need to be quilted.  The first used a UFO piece of cross-stitch for a focal point.   Green fabric and the lime green pleated trims were both remnants and worked perfectly for this.











Another piece of cross-stitch formed the start of this snack mat.  The cross-stitch was done on my road trip taken back in 2016 and started about the point where I visited my friend Susan.   I have a piece of hand-dyed aida from her to make another on using this pattern.  The green fabric was a remnant picked up this year, and the cream fabric with the dandelions on it was bought back in 2016 when I was row-hopping.








This snack mat started with some UFO HST's.   And even tho the pic makes it look wonky, it really is straighter than the pic shoes.

All three snack mats will be listed for sale when they are finished.








I also managed to design and then finished the four spool blocks that I need for the setting I've designed for my Quilting Bears mini-BOM this year.  I plan to release the setting at the same time as I release the August BOM.   There will be one more quilting bear to come in September and then this series will be done.
And finally, I had to stop by Joann's to get something I needed for a project and saw this piece of drapery fabric in the remnant bins.  I couldn't resist getting it (half off of the 50% off sale price).  It is heavier weight than the quilting cottons I've been working with but I think it'll work in the passport wallets.   If not then I'll use it to make travel pouch's or something along those lines for sale.

Gratitudes:

1. The start of a new decade for me today, been a good one so far.  Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

2. For help in getting the cord swapped out on the dryer.





Saturday, August 4, 2018

She works!

My critter is running smoothly even after almost 3 years in storage...........woohoo......

First up is this UFO top that I decided to quilt in order to test it out and see if the machine was working w/o problems. 

It is made from blocks from a long ago swap, maybe 5 or so years ago.   The top was put together last year. 

It will eventually hang in my fabric room when I'm finished with it.

Gratitudes:
1. The machine is working without any problems.

2. A friend found what I've been wanting for shelves at a great price.  =)


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Progress on the house

I've been in the house for 7 weeks already, and it really doesn't seem possible.   I'm loving being here.

Lots of progress has been made on setting things to rights as I've unpacked. 

The garage is finished for the time being.   It looked like this after I had unpacked about half of the boxes (there were approx. 50 of them when I moved in).


 That pile of boxes now looks like this.  The one box at the lower left has an antique thread chest that needs to be unpacked so that I can figure out if I left anything in it.   And then I need to figure out how to sell it to bring in the best price.






The stuff that is stored out in the garage is now in totes away from water damage and pests.  And all but one tote fits on my nice red storage shelves. 

Still to be done is change out the cord on the dryer so that I can plug it in and use it.





An almost of the boxes are out of the living room now.   Only things that remain is one box of stuff that is going out.  And a box of things that I need to list on Ebay for sale.  I'm adding more things to that box as I go through the totes in my craft room and fabric room.

The quilt frame went together easily thanks to having marked it with indicators that showed where things were to go.   However, the one thing I didn't mark because I was totally certain that I'd remember was how to do the two platforms that the machine sits on.   And of course the frame is no longer made. =P 

I've emailed a friend who used to own a frame like this to see if she remembers how they go.  If not I'll drive myself nuts trying to figure it out because I've got a commissioned quilt coming in a couple of weeks.


Gratitudes:
1. Friends who give of their time to help me set the frame up

2. For the peace that comes from knowing all of my needs will be supplied even when work is 3 pay days behind.

Monday, July 30, 2018

July F2F Blocks

My F2F blocks have been completed and mailed off to Sue who was the recipient for July.  She choose this lovely picture as her inspiration.   And the colors of blues and whites to match the inspiration.













Below are the three blocks I made for Sue.  The first two are my designs, and the third one is an adaptation of a block I saw online.


 This block continues on with the patterns that I started last year with the flying geese designs I was working on.

In addition, I made this block in testing my pattern for the first block.  And yes, I don't always manage to follow my own patterns.....sigh.   This block will be going into an American Hero quilt.

Gratitudes:
1. I get to work from home the first four days of the week.

2. For praying friends.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Memories

One of the things that has been coming to light as I've been unpacking and getting settled in the house are photos, and lots of them.   Priceless pics of family and friends, some of whom have gone on to heaven.

Included in some of the pics coming to light were these two taken at the party for my parents 50th anniversary.   Included in them were these of the king-size quilts that I made for each of them.

Both of them were made from swap blocks from some of the many swaps that I had been in years ago.

Dogs for my dad -


And cats for my mom.

Linking up with Val's Quilting Studio.


Gratitudes:

1. For my parents still being around and doing well for their ages.

2. For the memories I have of friends and families from over the years.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Goals for the next couple of weeks -

Time sure is flying by this year.  I have several projects in various stages of the process that need to be completed over the next week or two.


1st -

Finishing my row-by-row quilt.  The top is complete for this, next steps include the following:

             -- piece backing (pulled), layer and quilt it
             -- bind it
             -- turn it in somewhere.

2nd -

I have three blocks I need to get for made for this years F2F swap.  July's color inspiration is this collection of blue & white vases.  The recipient has requested - blue and whites, with the blues ranging from Navy to cobalt to light blues.   Have two patterns in mind, just need to pull fabrics from stash for them and decide on a third pattern.










3rd -

Get the sample block made for my August BOM (already designed).   Just need to pull fabrics and make the block.




4th-

A secret project that will be revealed in September during the "My Happy Place" blog hop hosted by Marian.

   -- this is fused.   Next step is to layer and quilt it and then bind.  Followed by finishing the pattern for it so that I'm ready for the row hop.









5th -

Figure out how to best us this strip of squares left after cutting out the blocks I needed for the dance floor of one of the rows for the row-by-row quilt.  There were actually two strips but I sewed them together along the straight edges.

And then through all of this I need to continue to make progress in getting stuff done around the house so that I can get my quilt frame set up - hopefully this week sometime!


Gratitudes:

1.  For having gotten my rental deposit back from the last place I lived.....I've needed it since payday is almost 10 days late.

2. For a "cooling" trend here in N. TX - only supposed to be "99" instead of the 114 it was on Saturday!



Saturday, July 21, 2018

Christmas in July - Quilted Postcards

I love making quilted postcards to send friends and family for many different occasions and sometimes just to send a quilty hug to someone.   It is a lot of fun to make them for Christmas because there are so many different materials that can be used to make them special.

To start the process I use Pellon 71F Peltex One-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer to make the postcards. I get mine at Joann's and wait till I have a coupon for 50% off or it is on sale for that price or better.   I'll either cut the cards at 4" by 6" or 5" by 7" in size  The top of the postcard is placed on the fusible side of the stabilizer so that I can get everything attached.  Then I start adding the appliques or other embellishments.  I always finish them by satin-stitching around the outside of the postcard in a complementary color.

I typically will use a striped fabric for the back side of the card so that I have lines to guide my writing.  I use Wonder-Under to secure the fabric for the back side to the postcard.

Pics of some of the cards I've made and have at the moment, and a short description of what I used in each -

Onrmanents -
A free coloring page was used to make the ornament shapes.  Metallic rick-rack was used to trim the ornaments.  Metallic thread was used for satin-stitching.  And real ornament hooks were stitched on to the card.

Snowflake -
snow flake cut out of white Kona and then arranged on the postcard.  Button hole stitching done with gold metallic thread.  Decorative snowflake button sewn on by machine.

Cross-Stitch -
Mini cross-stitch piece centered on the card.  Bordered on top and bottom by coordinating fabric.  Orphan HST's were used on each side to complete the postcard.


Poinsettia -
Silk poinsettia flower pulled off the stem and all plastic removed.  Leaves and petals arranged on top of the card.   Secured with top stitching (with a straight stitch).  E sized gold beads machine stitched on for the center of the flower.  Petals trimmed as needed after the edges were satin-stitched.




Snowflake -
Starry fabric for the background was fused on first.  Then using the satin stitch on my machine I carefully stitched an inexpensive, plastic snowflake ornament onto the front of the card.
Flowers -
Christmas fabric for the background, Small silk flowers stitched on by machine, small faceted rhinestone type jewels machine stitched on for the flower centers.  Scrapbooking ribbon piece sewn on for the Christmas wishes.

Snowman -
Two circles of batting cut and appliqued on for the snowman.  Machine stitched smile, 3/8" buttons machine sewn on for the eyes and buttons.  Decorative santa hat stitched on , tip left unstitched in order to finish the card edges.

Trees -
Striped fabric for background, two sections of decorative Christmas ribbon (non-raveling, die-cut) stitched on, Scrap booking ribbon piece sewn on for the Christmas wishes.

Christmas trees -
The white is an inexpensive crocheted ornament that is stitched (zigzag stitch) onto the postcard.   Ornament was already beaded.

Free-form green trees for the other two.   3/8" buttons machine stitched on one of them, and a fun Christmas trim of light bulbs used for the second.  Again zigzag stitched on by machine.



So as you think about what you can do to make quilted postcards, don't think just about fabric.   Look around you at the possibilities of ready made ornaments, trims in the Christmas dept of fabric stores, scrap-booking ribbons and trims, charms, jewelry, and just about anything.  Old embroidered linens that have damaged sections could also be used to provide sections that are good enough for a postcard.

One thing to remember - if you're using 3-D trims, you may want to use a padded envelope to mail the card so that nothing is damaged.

Have fun with them.   And remember these are good to make for any holiday or season, or just because.

And a giveaway to help spark some ideas for you as  you make some postcards for Christmas -  I'll be giving away this assortment of trims, beads, lace motifs, buttons and silk leaves.   

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what holiday or occasion you would be most likely to make quilted postcards for.   If you are an anonymous blogger, then be sure to give an email address in your comment or I will have no way to contact you if I draw your name.  The giveaway will close at Midnight CST on Tuesday, 7/22.


Gratitudes:

1. For so many fun things to work with

2. For having friends and family to send things like these postcards to.


A giveaway on the Victorian Motto Website

I love to cross-stitch and like with my quilting love to work on hand-dyed fabrics.

Nancy of Victorian Motto makes and sells the most wonderful hand-dyed fabrics and threads.  And she is running a giveaway for a 1/2 yard of either aida or linen right now.   To enter the giveaway, go to the Victorian Motto website and read the instructions for entering.

Gratitudes:

1. For hands that cooperated enough to get some cross-stitching done last weekend.

2. For having lived in Phoenix for 30+ years which makes this 107 degrees in TX feel like home (altho I still don't like the humidity!)

Monday, July 16, 2018

6th Annual Piggy Bank Challenge

This year was the first year that I took part the annual piggy bank challenge that Val has been running.    And now that I'm a home owner, my budget is even tighter so that I can continue to pay off bills.   But so that I have money for fun stuff as well I'm going to work even harder to save money at the same time.   I'll be saving my change and also what ever I get in the way of $5 bills.

I have a lovely 23.75 ounce jar that I put my change in, the bills go into another container.   This will fill at least a couple of times through out the year and I'll take it to the bank and exchange it for bills.  I'm looking forward to seeing what my total is next year when we total everything up!

As for what I may use the money for, I'm hoping to take a trip to Scotland & England next year so it will most likely go towards that.

The artwork behind the jar is how I track where I am in paying off my debts.  I'm a visual learner so these really help keep my attention focused on the longterm plan without getting so distracted. 

If you are interested in signing up for the challenge, you can go here to read more about it and sign up.

Gratitudes:
1. Cooler temps here in N. TX today

2. Good traffic on the commute home today


July BOM - Ben the Army Soldier

Meet Ben the Army Soldier, he is proud to serve his country.   He is currently standing at attention and saluting as he waits for review by his commanding officer.

You can download the pattern for Ben for free until the middle of August here at this link.

I hope you enjoy it!

Gratitudes:

1. For being able to watch two special young people pledge themselves to each other at their wedding.

2. For a God who supplies all my needs no matter how things look to me.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

12 days of Christmas Blog Hop

The 12 days of Christmas Blog hop has started as of yesterday.  (Yes I know I'm running late posting this ..... sorry about that!)    Through the 25th of July the following bloggers will be posting Christmas ideas on their blogs.   And some of them will be hosting giveaways as well.   So be sure to check them out.   My post will be on the 22nd and there will be a giveaway.   So be sure to come back and check it out!





Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th


Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th


Saturday, July 21st

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th


Wednesday, July 25th


Gratitudes:
1. A blessed time with friends that I haven't seen for months or a couple of years this weekend at the wedding of one of them.

2. For safe (although slow in places) travel to and from Austin.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Scrap Happy July - Row by Row Top Finished

This years Row-by-Row quilt top is finished.    Finished size is 46" wide by 70" long.  Most likely will be donated.

Quilt stats -

Materials:
       -- Scraps
       -- Remnants (backgrounds)
       -- Orphan block components (HST's used in the filler blocks).

Fabric Count -
       -- 137 different fabrics were used in the construction of this top.

Row Count -
       -- Rows from 9 different Quilt Shops are in the quilt
       -- 5 different filler rows were used to space things out

Techniques Used -
       -- Paper-piecing
       -- "Regular" piecing
       -- Fusible applique with buttonhole and satin stitching in various blocks
       -- the "Twister" method for dong the "floor" of the upper left most row. 
          A method I won't use again because I didn't like dealing with all of the bias edges.

Embellishments -
        -- 3/8's inch button for the eye of the topmost bird
        -- 5/8's inch buttons for the center of the records.


Bottom half of the quilt.  4 row's in this.















And the completed quilt top.  I plan to use a scrappy binding on it once I have it quilted.

See the rest of the Scrap Happy bloggers at these links -

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira (me!) SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley and Dawn

Gratitudes:

1. For being able to attend the wedding of a long-time friends daughter to the love of her life yesterday

2. For being able to spend time with good friends yesterday

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Rescued Quilts

One of the people I work with asked me if I'd like to have a couple of quilts that he had.   If I didn't, then he was considering donating them to a place like Goodwill.     I said I'd take them, because I know at some point I'll come across someone that needs a quilt or two.


 First quilt is a log cabin.   Done in blues, cream and red it is a queen-size.  Was pieced on the machine. 

The light blue is a fabric that I have in my stash as a remnant in an aqua coloring.  (Yes, that dates my stash.)

 Hand-quilted with teeny stitches that are about 16-18 per inch.   Poly batting in it from what I can tell. 
 Scrap quilt, again a queen size.   I've seen this block pattern before but am not sure of the name of it.

Hand-quilted as well.
 Close-up of two of the blocks.
A plaid flannel was used for the backing.   The binding was done in an interesting way - the backing was wrapped around to the front on the top and bottom.  The borders were wrapped to the back.  Both were sewn down by machine.

Both quilts are great condition.  Now to see what comes up and where I might use them.


Gratitudes:
1. For the opportunity to rescue a couple of quilts

2. For the wedding that I'm headed to this weekend and the time that I'll have with friends at it.