Thursday, October 20, 2016

This and That

Autumn is a difficult time of year for me to begin anything new,
and it's sew hard not to!
But this is when I have to focus on finishing up everything
I started during the summer to get ready to travel south.

Elm Street Quilts is hostessing Bag It!
and I love making bags.
Hop on over and check out all of Patty's tutorials
for some gift giving ideas.
Be sure to scroll through her posts so you don't miss a thing!
Maybe you will even win some excellent prizes!

If you hurry,
you can sign up for EasyPatchwork's
but the deadline is today.

I'd like to congratulate the winners
of my Free Spirit Fabrics solids give away.
The random number generator chose
Sheila, author of Sheila's Quilt World
and The Lueken Family 
to each receive a jelly roll.
Sunny (Quilting Dreams) and Lynn (Hey Boo)
were the lucky recipients of the charm packs.
Everyone has been notified
and some have already received their prizes.
I wish I could have sent a prize to everyone!
That said, it was so much fun, let's do it again soon.

I'll be back, maybe with some pictures!
Although life has gotten in the way, but on a positive note,
I have been sewing a little.

Have a wonderful, funderful day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

On My Design Floor

I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to wall space,
so I depend upon my floor to lay out quilts as I work.

I like to keep a couple of baby quilts on hand,
and it seems they all tend toward the female gender!
So, at my Crafty Daughter's urging, I'm concentrating on boys.

This week on my design floor, I am putting together a chevron quilt

As always, just click on the pictures to enlarge.

which looks  quick and easy,
but this is ME!

I'm pretty pokey, slow, and deliberate,
and it's taking me days to make.

I was sewing with someone last month
who whipped up a chevron quilt
It was kind of comical.
I sat in one corner, stitching away,
putt, putt, putt,
and she sat in the opposite corner,
zoom, ZOOM, ZOOM!
YOU know who you are!

Today, I'm squaring up all my blocks.
I used the 'make 8 HSTs at once' method
following this tutorial.
I knew I wanted my quilt to be no more than 40" wide,
so I consulted the provided chart

and decided to cut my beginning squares 8.5" to get 5.5" blocks..
When I sewed them together, I used a scant 1/4" seam allowance
to give me plenty of room to square up the blocks.

When I am squaring up blocks, especially larger sizes,
I place it slightly askew on my cutting mat

to make it a little easier to take that final slice across the top.
That way I'm not contorting myself
and causing my ruler to slip.

Using this method of constructing HSTs means cutting across the bias.
I never spray a finished block with water or starch,
because it causes distortion,
which causes frustration.
Instead, I use spray starch before I cut my strips/squares.
Seems to work very well, for me.

Although I'm not crazy about this quilt
(it looked different in my head)
I'm excited to get it together and under Janome's needle
because I'll be using variagated thread for the first time!

All my fabrics are 1/2 yard cuts from Northcott,
three different lines that played so well together -
Rainforest Romp, A Day in the Amazon, Freestyle,
and for the backing, At the Zoo, from Henry Glass Fabrics.

This is a pretty wordy post, for me.
If you made it all the way to the end,
and you are interested in my scraps for your donor quiltmaking,

please just mention it in your comment!
There's no sense saving them until I revisit them.
Life is paved with good intentions, but it could be forever
before I unearth them again!
so, they're up for grabs!

I hope you are having a quilty day!
If the sun is shining in your corner of the world,
get out and celebrate the day!
Your sewing machine will wait patiently for your return!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Catching the Spirit Give Away

click picture to enlarge

In life, I have always been 'a free spirit'.
The Urban Dictionary defines a free spirit as 
   one who is not restrained.

With designers the likes of Kaffe Fassett,


 Free Spirit Fabrics epitomizes that definition.
Check out their blog for more give away opportunities!

But did you know that Free Spirit also has 
a quality line of solids?

As my sewing experience has grown,
due largely in part to quilting's incredible online presence,
I have become a little bit of a fabric snob.
The very first time I handled Free Spirit solids,

You might remember this Bright Birch Trees quilt I made from all Free Spirit solids,
except the scraps, of course.

I never looked back.
They sew like a dream, they hardly ravel, I've had no bleeding issues,
And I just LOVE how they feel.

With the exception of the Maritimes Modern Quilt Guild's
Kona signature colors,
I've been purging my solids stash,
and am in the process of replacing them with... guessed it!
Free Spirit Fabrics!

To help YOU  'Catch the Spirit',
Free Spirit Fabrics has very generously provided
some fabric bundles for this give away.

I have two 20 piece jelly rolls of pretty pastels to give away,
 plus two prizes of  two 20 count charm packs of the same.
Four chances to win!

Entering is easy peasy!
Just leave a comment!
(I'd really like to know what makes you a free spirit!)

If you happen to be a follower of my blog,
a second comment telling me so will give you an extra chance!

I'd like to extend a big thank you to Free Spirit Fabrics
for making this give away possible!

Thanks for popping in for a visit!
Good luck!

This give away will end at midnight, Atlantic Time Zone.
Monday, October 10.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

October, Already?

Another quick post.
My brain has been sewing,
not writing!

The winner of the Chunky Alphabet Give-away is:
#26, Carol, author of Beads and Birds.
Congratulations, Carol!
Carol is a new-to-me blogger
and we have enjoyed becoming acquainted.
I have met so many new bloggers this year!

Several of you commented that you've never made a zippered pouch.
I know it sounds intimidating,
but Patty at Elm Street Quilts
has a fantastic tutorial for a basic pouch
that you really must try!
She takes all the mystery out of the process
in easy to follow steps.
It's my "go to" tute!
As a matter of fact, I just whipped up another one.
I'll show you later.

Although my sewing machines have been humming,
I don't really have anything to show,
no finishes,
no 'in process' photos,

I decided it was time to try some graffiti quilting,
that it would be the best way to hone my skills.
How many samples can one make?
There is such a big difference between FMQing on a small square
and FMQing on a big quilt.

I decided to tackle my wonky churn dash Checkmark quilt.
It is a pretty bizarre design that, to be honest with you,
 I figure no one will really want,
even though it was lots of fun to make.
So, why not?
Maybe I'll keep a quilt for myself for a change!

I keep a FMQ journal,
log my time, and discuss with myself
what works, what doesn't.
I'm mostly practicing control and travelling.
On this quilt, I am using Aurifil 50 weight white thread,
and sometimes its difficult to see where I have already stitched.
I love my Janome with a passion,
but there isn't a lot of visibility,
so it's a double whammy.

And blinking!  I forget to blink,
so I'm practicing that, too!

And that's about all from
my little corner of the world!

Be sure to click on the picture to see it better!

Here's a little Tern feather
that was floating by on the surface of the water
last time I was out in my kayak.
Won't be many paddling days remaining.

Happy October!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Bag It 2016 and a Give Away

I've been working with a quilty friend
one day a week during the summer months,
teaching her little tricks of the trade!

When she asked to learn how to make a zippered bag,
I jumped at the chance to refresh my memory
and make a giftie!

I was trying to make the Open Wide Zippered Pouch
from a tutorial by Noodlehead
but I confess,
I messed up.
Worked out okay, because it showed her two
different ways to finish the end of the zipper.

I'm also teaching her how to finish her own quilts,
so I took the opportunity to quilt the front and back
differently so she could see she has
options besides sewing a simple grid.

I apologize for the poor pictures. I only snapped them real fast
to show her from the back, because after the pouch was sewn up,
it was difficult to see.

I'm proud to say,
her first zippered pouch was gift worthy!

I'm linking up to
Elm Street Quilts.

Elm Street Quilts

Speaking of Elm Street Quilts,
I continue to have fun with Patty's Chunky Alphabet.

This 14" x 24" pillow cover
was posted in the mail yesterday to my step-cousin.
An intellectually disabled adult,
she recognizes her name in lower case letters,
so this was a fun project
that she will just adore!

I stitch my letters in the evenings, after I clean up the supper dishes.
It's like having a delicious dessert,
without the calories!

I did say there would be a give away!

Patty is graciously supplying a PDF copy of her 
Chunky Alphabet Paper Pieced
as a give away today!

As an extra bonus, Patty just happens to be having
a birthday sale in her Payhip shop through the end of the month!
Just use the coupon code BIRTHDAY
for a 20% discount!
What a deal!
So take a minute and go check it out!

Thanks, Patty!

Just leave a comment to enter the give away.
The Random Number Generator
will choose a winner
one week from today!

Thanks for popping in!

Monday, September 19, 2016

WIPs Be Gone

Look at the beautiful postcard
that I received in the mail from Sheila!

It's almost just like looking out my front window!
I can take it to Texas with me
so I don't forget!
Thanks, Sheila!

A few finishes, finally.
Sometimes, I work on so many things at once,
it takes me awhile to finish any of them.

This Pineapple Blossom quilt has been a WIP
for a very long time.
Each center square carries a signature.
I will be gifting this to a long time friend who's husband is very sick.
She needs a perpetual warm embrace!

This baby/toddler quilt is a top I made in Texas
and brought back to finish on the Janome.
It still lacks a label.

And that's about all!

Today, I'm linking up to

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

In My Humble Opinion

There was more than a wee bit of secret sewing happening at my house during the month of August, but today I can show you one finished project, as it has now been gifted.

(please click on picture to enlarge)

In anticipation of a weekend visit to Linda, The Scrapmaster aka The Fabric Pig, I whipped up this cute little banner for Linda's sewing room.

 The paper pieced alphabet that I used is available in the Elm Street Quilts' Craftsy store. Just click right HERE to purchase yours! 

The pig face is a free tutorial from Sew Fresh Quilts, which is generously offered HERE!  I have future plans for both patterns, and can't wait to get started!

Visiting Linda is such a delight.  Her family is always so welcoming and supportive, and Linda has so much to share and teach, which she does quite naturally.  I drive away with a lot more knowledge about fabric selection, thread, needles, FMQ than I ever arrive with.

Here is where Linda sits when she does her handwork.  Lots of natural light over her left shoulder.
The perfect spot!

I took the picture because I really like the pillow.  
She has the most awesome pillows and quilts all through the house.
They are soft and wonderful and every one is an invitation
to sit and snuggle up.
Here is one on display by Lesley of The Cuddle Quilter,

gifted to Linda when we had our challenge swap
during the late spring, when the NSQBQ met up
 at the Westville Quilt Show.
(This year's challenge is a round robin,
thus the 'other' secret sewing.
We aren't going to show each other until the big reveal next spring.)

I was quite taken with this beautiful wallhanging at that show,
as a matter of fact, it stopped me dead in my tracks.
No way does the picture do it justice.

Imagine my delight when I discovered it was made by our very own Sheila!
Check out the beautiful detail!

They each have lots to teach me!


Now for my humble opinion:

Creating controversy is what some people do best, however...

.......just because someone makes a statement that you may not agree with, you must remember, it's just one person's opinion. It's not the law.  It's not a rule.  It's not everyone.  It's just one person.  

Bottom line:  If you want to stipple, then stipple.