"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)

Friday, January 19, 2018

UFO Weekend - Part 1

Made the final block needed for the layout I had in mind for these house blocks (bottom center) and got them laid out this morning.

The blocks finish at 8" wide by 10" tall.   Without the border I have in mind the quilt will be 45" by 60".   The border that is in my mind for this will bring it to basically 50" by about 80" if I leave all rows on the front like this. 

Gratitudes:

1. Now that the townhouse has sold, God already knows what the next 6 months hold for me as I figure out where to live next

2. Having fun blocks already made in the stash to work with.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

UFO Stitching, Part 2

One more set of UFO blocks came to mind as I was looking through things.   These blocks were given to me by an online group of quilt friends back in 2006 or so when I bought a house in Phoenix.   Then came a cross country move to Boston and then one to the Dallas area where I bought a second home.....and then I lost both homes in 2009 when i was laid off.  =(   Through all of that I never did manage to get them put together.

However, now that I've got 6 months to figure out what I'm doing next for housing, I thought it would be a good time to at least get the top put together. 

This pic shows 15 of the 30 blocks that I was gifted with.  All but one of them have a black background.  I will be making one to replace the one that just doesn't fit  with the others.   I'm going to set them 5 wide by 6 tall, and then add a pieced border.   And I'm going to find something in my orphan blocks to use for the main part of the house.  =)



This is the one that just doesn't fit with the others, but I'm thinking it might make a cute cross-body purse if I can find coordinates for it.    And would be the perfect size for one like i've been making.

Gratitudes:
1. Having a stash of blocks to "play" with

2. For temps that are ever so slowly warming up this week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

UFO stitching

I'm in a group that purposely takes time out each month to work on making progress on our UFO's.   The first one for 2018 is Thursday through Saturday this week.  Those of us that can participate will sew at least 8 hrs on a UFO of our choice.

For this month I've pulled out a couple of sets of UFO blocks from years past.   These were done with two different online groups.  Pics are horrible for lighting and color this morning in my sewing room, but you can get the idea.

The first set of blocks were from a swap where the "winners" sent out a focus fabric and everyone else made a block and sent it back.  I sent out a bright fuchsia batik that has touches of pink, gold and blue in it.   I also sent the light pink batik used as the background I believe because it seems to be in most of the blocks.

I'm going to make one more block so that I have 16 of them, and then border all blocks with either a dk grey or a black so that I can trim them all to the same size.  Border and/or binding for the quilt will be the same fuchsia batik.
The second set of blocks that I pulled out are these batik / black Kona snowball blocks.  Each person in the swap made sets of 3 9" finished blocks of each type.  I've got about 8-10 sets worth of blocks.

This one should be an easy one to put together.    I plan to border it with a narrow border of black Kona and then a wider batik border.

Since I don't plans for the finished quilts from these, I'll get them to the top stage and then put them with the other finished tops that I have.

Gratitudes:
1. The winter storm/cold front didn't dump any snow or ice on the area where I live

2. Fabric for the table runner being published arrived this week from Hoffman.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekend Progress

Made progress this weekend on multiple fronts.....

Finished sewing these scrappy blocks together and found the hand-drawn sketch I had made of the alternate blocks I needed for what I was going to do.........but guess who didn't put down how many I needed of them?   oops......so it's back to the drawing board on what I want to do with this quilt next.












Next up was finishing up my mini quilt for the Modern Mini Quilt Swap with the Modern Quilt Guild.  It is quilted and bound and labeled.   Just waiting for time to be mailed off.

I ended up echoing the "beat" and then on alternating rows of stitching did an match-stitch echo of it.    I used a variegated thread in colors of gold, brown and yellow for the front, and a dark brown thread for the back.

Finished size is 16" square


Back of the swap quilt.



Gratitudes:

1. Work went well today.

2. Friends that are a blessing no matter what is going on in my life.

New Binding Technique

I happened to see a new binding technique online this past weekend that looked interesting so I gave it a try.  (and no I didn't make a note of where the original idea was, just did my own thing for it)

Here are the basic steps that I did. 

Step 1 - Take the binding strip and a 45 degree cut on one end and press down a 1/4 or so seam allowance.


Step 2 - Fold in half and press binding.


Step 3 - Sew binding on, making sure to start the initial spot after the fold for the hem.  When finishing the final side, you will need to lay the end of the binding into the middle of the start of the binding.  Trim the binding so that it is about a 1/2" past where the hem fold is.


Step 4 -  Finish stitching the binding onto the quilt.   then with an invisible stitch, sew the folded hem down on the binding (both sides) before folding it over and stitching to the back.


Thoughts - It worked ok, but was bulkier than doing it the normal way, so for a normal quilt I probably won't use it.   However, it would be a good way to do binding on small items where it gets to be difficult to do a normally seamed binding.

Gratitudes:

1. A warm house with the frigid cold front that is coming through North TX tonite.

2. For the blessings of the food that God has provided me.

Stretching Art 19 - Ladybugs Started

And I've finally been able to start this quilt, a good thing since I need it completed by mid-Feb.

First step was to trace my rough draft pattern onto tissue paper sheets and then stitch the leaf outlines into the quilt.    Then the tissue paper was removed.


 Once the paper was done, the next step was to prep and then stitch the first sets of leaves onto the quilt.  To make these leaves, I fused a layer of batik to batting, then cut out the succulent leaves.  Once the leaves were cut out I satin-stitched around the edges using Stitch-n-Tear to stabilize them as I stitched.

I'm using Sulky 30-wt cotton variegated thread (color 733 4120) for the satin-stitching.   And it's looking like I will have to get a second spool of thread because I've got a lot of leaves yet to make for this. 

Once the leaves were made, I then used a straight stitch to applique them to the quilt.   I still need to do a little stitching in the leaves because the batik was contrary and bubbled on most of the leaves.  But I figure that will just give added texture to the quilt.


Closer picture of the leaves. 

I am going to have to go back and do some additional stitching on the leaves that I quilted into the background of the quilt because the stitching lines are not showing up well.  Am debating how I want to do that.   Am leaning to the stretch straight stitch, but might decide to do a very narrow satin-stitch instead.

The remaining succulent leaves remaining to be added will be totally 3D and will be used to add depth to the quilt.

Gratitudes:
1. Finding the additional fabrics over the weekend that I needed for this.

2. For the unexpected half day holiday at work today.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Scrap Happy - Completed purse

Finished the little cross-body purse last night.   This one went together much easier than the first one did because I remembered to not do things the hard way....lol

Most of the fabrics in this were batik strings that I had accumulated through buying scrap bags in various quilt stores.   The 3 or 4 that are about 2" in size were cut off of larger scrap pieces.   The lining was a large scrap piece that came home in a scrap bag at some point.  The binding around the edges was also out of scraps.   And the batting that the strips were pieced to was also a scrap piece leftover from a long ago project. 

The purple webbing was the only thing bought new and that was 3 or so years ago.   The button was bought last year at Joann's when they redid their button layout and had a lot of them on clearance for $0.25. 

Finished size of the purse is 7.5" wide by 9" tall. 

This year there is a 2020 challenge being hosted by Sharon Boggan to use 2020 different items in their stitching by the end of 2020.   And while I'm not taking part in the challenge per se because I'm not working on only CQ, I am adapting it to fit what I'm doing these days.  So I will be keeping track of how many different fabrics, buttons and other items I use in my quilting over the next couple of year.

In this little bag my totals are 17 different fabrics, 1 button and the purple webbing for a total of 19 different items in the purse not counting the batting used to give it body.

Linking up with Kate and Gun for the Scrap Happy posts.   To see what everyone else is doing click here.

Gratitudes:

1. Possibilities for future housing if mortgage pre-approval comes through.

2. For no icy conditions in the current cold front last night and today.



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mindless sewing

I'm at the point on the multiple projects that I've got in process or need to get in the process that I need to be able to think while I'm working on them.  As a result I needed a project that didn't need a lot of concentrated thought to work on in the mornings before work. 

So this morning I started sewing together some batik strings that I'd sorted out of the two batik scrap bags yesterday while pulling scraps for a friend.  I'm using teals, turquoises, purples, lilac, and similar colors for this piece.   The colors in the picture don't show any where as bright as they really are in real life.

A large scrap piece for the backing and a scrap piece of batting finish up what I'm using for this piece.   This will be the main body of a new cross-body purse that I plan to put up for sale.   I do plan on adding a couple of pockets to this one.   One inside, and I'm thinking a zippered one for the outside of it.  I'll be digging through my button stash to find something special for this one.   And might think of adding some sort of trim as well  to it.

 I've also got a pile of strings in browns, golds, oranges, and yellows that I'm planning on doing the same thing with.

Gratitudes:
1. Dinner tonite with a friend from Austin

2. Even though a cold front is coming tonite through the first part of  next week, it will be nothing like what parts of the country is having to deal with.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Teddy Bear BOM - Kathy, Miss January

The final teddy bear pattern for the 2017 BOM is now live on Craftsy.  

This is Kathy, and she is our Miss January.   She is modeling her new winter coat.

You will find her pattern here on Craftsy.


Gratitudes:

1. for a job to go to even when the office is colder than normal.

2. For knowing that I've got all of the paperwork needed for the mortgage pre-approval process somewhere........now to figure out where.....lol

Wedding Quilt Top Finished

Finished the wedding quilt top and found a wide backing in my stash for it.   Backing is white with black floral sprays on it and 108" wide.  So no piecing required to put it together....YEAH!  At this point I'm figuring that I will bind the quilt with blue.  Haven't decided though if it will be a single blue print, or a scrappy blue binding.  Got enough that I could do either one.   And once I get it back I'll put it on my bed and then try to count how many different fabrics were used in making it.



Gratitudes:

1. For a few days of warmer weather during the rain yesterday evening and before the next cold front comes through.

2. For wonderful, unexpected surprises coming in the mail.

Mail Surprise

Got a surprise in the mail (through Amazon) when it was delivered after my vacation.  I know I didn't order it, but there was no name telling me who it was from......

But I love these blocks and they are paper-pieced.   I'm thinking I might have to try some of them with my teeny batik scraps.  =)

Gratitudes:

1. For unexpected fun surprises in the mail

2. For friends who have enough knowledge to help know what kind of bandage will help with the pain I've been having in my arm.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Modern Quilt Guild - Mini Quilt Swap Quilt

Last year I had decided to take part in a swap hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild.   Quilts are to be mini quilts, and will either be exchanged at Quilt Con in February or mailed to swap partners before the show. 

My swap partner said she liked earth tones, geometrics, and negative space.     This is the finished top.   The pieced units are a smaller version of the ones I used in the Heart Beat block seen here.  My original plan was to do a miniature of the table-runner layout, but I decided to simplify and not do the connecting blocks.   I then played with the layout and ended up with this.

Am currently debating on how I want to quilt it.  Current two possibilities running thru my head are to echo the 'peaks/valleys' on both sides, or to some modern cross-hatching using the 'peaks / valleys' as guides.  This will be quilted sometime this month.

Gratitudes:

1. That God is in control of things and knows where He wants me to live with the townhouse where I'm currently living going up for sale this month.

2.  For safety (traffic and weather) in the drive back home from Phoenix over the New Year's holiday weekend.