"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, 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, TittiHelĂ©neEvaSue, 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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Piggy Bank Challenge Results

Now that June is over it's time to tally the savings that everyone who participated in Val's (of Val's Quilting Studio) savings challenge this past year.


I saved both $5 bills and my change - both have been my practice to do the last few years.   I lost track of what my savings were in the bills, but it was over $150.   That was part of what I used for my earnest money used to purchase my new house (aka my quilt studio!).  And I've traded in my coins twice because I don't have a big jar, and that totaled up to about $100.  Don't know what I'm going to do with that money yet. 

I'm already starting to fill the jar with change for this year and have accumulated over $30 so far.  Definitely an easy way to save!

Gratitudes:
1. A good drive home from work yesterday

2. For the  two quilts from one of my coworkers that will be a blessing to someone.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Row Hop, Day 3

The third day of row-hopping here in the DFW greater metroplex.   This trip took me on a 250 or so mile drive around the metroplex.

First up was Common Threads in Waxahachie.  I picked up the free pattern, two neutrals, and the variegated piece at the right.   The varigated piece is for a project that I'm working on that will be shown on my block in September.
The second shop for the day was Corner Square Quilts in Cedar Hill.  They are a smaller shop that specializes in batik.  I used scraps for the notes, and left off the words since this quilt will either be donated or a gift.   No fabric was bought here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
The third shop I went to was Quilt Among Friends in Arlington.  I picked up the free row pattern, two remnants, a black tonal and two nail files.
Two lovely pieces by Northcott Fabrics in their Shimmer line followed me home at Peggy's Quilt Studio.  The row has already been made up and is in my row by row quilt.
Next stop was at Sew Fabricated, and the row pattern was the only thing I picked up at the store.
Cabbage Rose Quilts in Fort Worth was the next stop in my trek around the metroplex.  I love the new line that looks like cork, and picked up 4 different ones for use in a project for my house.
Must Love Fabrics in Grapevine was on the list next.   I picked up the pattern for a friend.  Black tonals and a couple of remnants came home with me.
Quilt Country in Lewisville was next up.  Fabrics for multiple projects came home with me.   And I picked up the row kit for a friend.  and the free pattern for me.

Material Girl Quilt Shop in Denton was my last stop for the day.  I picked up the pattern for a friend.
The next day I went by The Old Craft Store to pick up the row kit for a friend.  A couple of tonals, a background piece and the free pattern came home with me.
Final stop was by Fabric Fanatics to pick up another copy of the pattern for a friend.  2 black tonal batiks and a sale one with kitties came home with me.


Gratitudes:
1. for safety during my travels

2. for friends who pick up rows for me.

Row by Row 2018 Progress

In between unpacking the boxes that have been in storage for 10+ yrs and putting what I don't have room for in the house into storage totes so that they can be safely stored in the garage, I've been making progress on my row by row quilt top for this year.

The top half is now together and includes rows from 5 different quilt shops.  The filler block sections have been made from orphan HST's and some of the leftover red and blue fabric from making the top left-most row in the quilt. 

The filler strip in the middle are 1" finished triangles that were bonus triangles from a long ago project.....I think the wedding quilt for my nephew.  I don't remember where the one underneath the record on the left came from.   But they finish at  1.5" in size.  Neither of them are sizes that I normally work with.

White buttons (not shown in the pic) to the records to show the center hole.


Second half of the quilt is in process.  Three rows have been completed for this section, with one more in process.   The filler section of Churn Dash blocks was made with more orphan HST's and scraps.

The buttonhole stitching still needs to be done on the redbird row at the left.   The final row which is 12" by 27" finished is in process and just waiting on me to enlarge the applique pattern today.  Final step will be to figure out what I want to do for a filler block section.


Gratitudes:
1. Friends who buy the tool sets that I'm missing instead of just loaning me theirs (in this case a ratchet wrench & socket set).

2. For getting through all of the boxes that had been in storage for 10+ yrs and only finding relatively minor damage/breakage.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Weekend Progress


A long-time friend of mine from Arizona is also a quilter who does the row by row quilts.  And I've been busy working some of my patterns up in to blocks or rows read for stitching so that I can give her the patterns for the rows that she'd like to have.   To that end, I've managed to assemble 4 more rows (one isn't shown here) and have the pieced sections for a 6th one made (the records at bottom left).

The records are shown by the store in a finished 12 by 27 inch row, but I'm not sure that i'll leave them in that formation.   So for the moment they are just individual 6.5" blocks.  Once I know what other rows I'm adding to the quilt I'll have a better idea of how I need to lay it out.







Row by Row 2018 Sew Musical PatternTrying to decide what other rows I want to add to it.   Part of that decision all depends on where I want to turn it into.   I've got the kit for this one from Stitchin Heaven, to I'll most likely use it, esp. since I'd love to turn it in there.  Which leaves me needing to pick one or two more rows.

I don't have the specialty ruler for the 'dance floor' blocks, so I'll need to either figure out how to make the block w/o it or do something else.....  The figures are laser cut so and I plan to raw-edge stitch around them. 


Gratitudes:

1. Finding treasures in all of the stuff that I'm unpacking and going through.

2. For the freedoms that we enjoy here in the US.