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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Counting Down


Eight days and counting,


before I head back to the northeast coast.

Progress is being made in my sewing room,
despite all of life's distractions.


Here's a quick pic of my design wall
(I'll never live without one again!).

My green Paper Lanterns quilt is just about all sewn together.
Just a couple more rows to sew to meet my one monthly goal.

While I was constructing those hearts blocks,
I kept thinking about how nicely they would play with one of 
Loft Creations' recent pattern releases,

Paper Dolls


Even though I don't have the time to make the quilt,
I did take the time to try the paper doll block.
TOO much fun!
I will definitely be revisiting this pattern again, 
and soon!

Click the picture to enlarge

Some of you may recognize the fabrics?
Circa late 1970s.
When Crafty Daughter was just a toddler,
I made her little sun dresses using this whole line.
(Yes, the scraps are still in my stash.)

*

When I am pinning pieced blocks or rows together,
I have a simple process I always use
that I thought I'd share today.

First, I pin at the beginning and at the end.

Next, I sweep back across and nestle all the matching seam allowances.

Then, I travel across one more time and secure all of the 
seam allowances that lay in the opposite direction than I'm sewing.
This gives me the opportunity to ease in any extra fabric
without compromising my corners.

Finally, I stitch it all together!

I'll bet a lot of you approach it in a similar way. 

*
Well, here's hoping it won't be too, too cold
in Massachusetts and Maine after next week.  It will be difficult enough
to be away from a sewing machine for a few weeks,
but to be c-c-c-c-cold, too?
Ouch!

Enjoy your day!
Thanks for popping in for a visit!

XO,
Karen

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Secret Life


As my green Paper Lantern pile grows,


my secret sewing is closer to being finished.
I look forward to replacing one for the other on the design wall.
I only have ten three more lanterns to make!

I fly back to the east coast in just a few short weeks,
and I'd like to be packing a finished flimsy
instead of a baggie full of partially finished blocks.
So why not link up to 


this month?

As I've been attaching lantern tops and bottoms,
I am reminded that I finger press,
a lot,
when I am pressing seams with the iron,
especially when there is bulk.
It makes a big difference.
I know, I know, it also slows down the process,
but the process is the best part!

I've been stitching up some smaller gifties, too.



I never got beyond these first two blocks during a past QAL,
despite my best intentions,
so two little totes for two sweet little girls,


pillowcases for my three Houston kids,


and necktie onesies for my
Houston kids' new baby boy cousin!

With a forecast of 100% chance of rain for the entire weekend,
it's back to the sewing machine for me!
My blogging break is over.

But, before I go,
I had to share this picture.


I made Crafty Daughter a pillow to match her quilt.
And when she's not looking.........
.....The Secret Life of Pets?

Hope you have a quilty day,
no matter how large or small your project,
no matter your weather!

XO,
Karen








Monday, February 27, 2017

New Pattern, New DrEAMi! Project


You know that charm pack you couldn't resist purchasing,
but you only bought one,
because you didn't have 'a plan',
and it was an impulse buy?

And it sits on the shelf looking pretty,
but you don't know what to do with it,
because you only have one?

Or maybe you won it in a give away?
Received it as a gift?

Well, let me tell you,
Stephanie @ Loft Creations,
has just published the most adorable pattern,


Paper Lanterns


and you're going to want to make it!
As a matter of fact,
I'd be surprised if you can resist!

My initial intentions were to collect the needed fabrics 
and pack them, along with the pattern,
in my luggage,
to make when I get back to Cape Breton,
because I already have my projects lined up to work on.

Well, I took my morning stroll yesterday,
which led me right to to Joann's,
just in case they might have what I need 
to augment what I already have,
so I can start stitching up this sweet quilt
right away!




They didn't have a lot to offer,
but I found this all green charm pack
and I didn't want to wait!
I wanted to start to make it immediately.
Not too exciting, but I think it will finish up ok.

I had to take some 'secret sewing'
for the NSQBQ's* 3rd annual challenge
off of the design wall to take this pic,
but it's going right back up!
You'll have to wait until springtime to see.
Sorry.  But something tells me,
it will be worth the wait.

Since this project jumped to the head of the line
in only the blink of an eye,
I think it's the perfect post for


mmm! quilts' DrEAMi! Linky Party


*What is the NSQBQ, you ask?
Four Nova Scotia quilters who get together a few times every year
to attend quilt shows and what not.





Linda @ Scrapmaster
Sheila @ Sheila's Quilt World and
Lesley, The Cuddle Quilter,
as well as myself, comprise the group.
After finding each other online,
we've been gathering for maybe about 5 years?
For this challenge, we have been doing a round robin!
It certainly has been a challenge, too.
But a fun one!


Enjoy your day!
XO,
Karen


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Double the Pleasure


Blogging has taken a backseat  
since arriving in TX for the winter.
There has been a lot going on in Blogland,
and I have to admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed.
It overcomes me every so often,
 as I'd like to be able to make everything I see,
But I know I can't.
So, I plug along and do my own thing.
And the sewing machine has been humming!

Almost as soon as I arrived,
Crafty Daughter asked for Twins' Quilts for her first college roomie.
Twins at age 40; I can't imagine!
But being her first successful pregnancy,
we wanted to make it special for her.

We had lots of fun working together to plan and make
these quilts.  Sewing for my daughter is one of my many delights.





The little word 'lamb' is part of her last name,
and will be the theme of the nursery.








Grey, white, and beige comprise her color scheme.
Can you tell that the little lamb in the lower picture is purple?
I think it's hard to tell. 







I used a darker gray solid,
a lighter gray pin dot,
and white for the gingham look.
The sheep's heads and legs
are leftover batting.
What fun it was
to make these quilts!
They finished up
at 40" x 50".






Sadly, the baby shower that was to be held this weekend
was cancelled, as the little mother had to be
hospitalized for high blood pressure.
The doctors are hoping she can hang in there
for 3 or 4 more weeks.

~

Recently, I had the pleasure of quilting alongside an old friend.
We worked on her scrappy blocks, so I prepped, and she sewed.
She was a little miffed at how much I used pins,
declaring that I've been doing this for so long,
why do I need to?
This sparked quite a conversation about:

talent vs. skill,
patience vs. speed,
developing good habits vs. making do,
and having focus,
as well as an understanding of good practices.

Not all fabrics are the same.
They don't all play well together
without proper preparation and consideration of the next step.
There is so much to pay attention to
from how you press and handle your fabrics,
to being sure to square up as you go along.
Pinning is somewhere in the middle!

What one good habit would you encourage?

Enjoy your day!
XO,
Karen

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shopping Joann's? BEWARE!


First of all,
Happy 2017 from Texas!
I just know it's going to be a banner year 
for everyone!

I haven't been very motivated to blog of late,
until today's shopping trip to Joann's.
I guess this post is mostly for my US quilty friends.




I don't purchase fabric from Joann's,
but I do avail myself of their multiple coupons
to stock up on essential items throughout the winter
to bring back to the island with me,
like thread, sewing machine needles, rotary blades...
you get the picture.

This morning, I walked up there armed with three coupons and a list.
(Yes, I walked.  It's less than a mile away.  
Sometimes that's good, sometimes not so much!)
One coupon was for 50% off my total purchase 
of items on the Notions Wall.
The other two coupons were 50% off one regularly priced item.

I shopped the Notions Wall - one coupon,
then picked up two more items 
from a different department - the other two coupons.
Check.
Pretty simple, you'd think.

Wrong!

Even though I thought I'd already learned my lesson 
and presented the Notions Wall coupon first,
the cash register still used 50% off one regularly priced item
on two of the Notions Wall items,
charged me full price for the two regularly priced 
non-Notions Wall purchases,
then gave me the overall 50% off 
of the remaining Notions Wall items.

Confusing?
Bottom line #1, I still paid full price for the 2 non-Notion Wall items
that I had two 50% off coupons for.

The customer has to make two separate transactions
at the cash register in order for the coupons to work out right.

Bottom line #2, ALWAYS check your receipt before you leave Joann's.
That's not the only sleazy trick they pull.

Okay.
I feel better now.
Thanks for listening.

(I'm still thankful for the coupons!)


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Winners and a Finish


I would like to thank everyone
for contributing to the comments on my last post,
"Things My Mother Used to Say".
I got quite a chuckle from some of the responses!

I'd like to add one more from my mom,
something I can hear her telling me several times a day,
"Never leave a room empty handed."
Not being the best housekeeper in the world, 
this little piece of advice keeps me on my toes,
and my house fairly tidy!

The Random Number Generator chose
comment number 37, Lisa Boyer
and comment number 7, Sandi @ Shhh Designs
to each receive 2-20 count Free Spirit Fabrics charm packs.

Congratulations, ladies!
As soon as I receive your addresses, I'll pop them into the mail.

I do have a finish to show you today,
one I am very proud of!

My first real attempt at custom quilting on my Janome Horizon.
I originally blogged about it HERE.



I am going to call this quilt "A Kennebec Wnter".
It is 60" x 60"and took me approximately 30 hours of quilting.

It was a great learning adventure.
I practiced going frontward, sideways, and backwards
and obviously, it's not perfect,
but I gained so much confidence!




Here's a close up.




And a look at it from the back.

I love my Janome and will miss it while I'm away.
I start my annual migration south next Saturday, with my first stop being Boston,
to spend a little time with family and friends,
before making my way to Texas.

Stay safe and warm
as Mother Nature begins to remind us that
yes, it is winter.

~karen

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Things My Mother Used to Say Give-away


My mother has been gone an awfully long time,
having passed away at the young age of fifty in 1982,
but I still hear her words every day.
One of the things she used to tell me is,
"If you don't have anything nice to say,
don't say anything at all."

I bring that up now because quite often
I read a blog post about how upset someone is
after receiving a negative, and sometimes abusive, comment.
My impression of the quilting community
is that we are kind and compassionate people.
Let's try to keep it that way!

Although I vowed NOT to start anything new,
I had a Free Spirit fat quarter bundle
of earth colored solids staring me down,
and it won!

I've been on an HST kick all summer,
and when I saw this quilt block on Anja's site,
I said to myself, "That's it, I'm doing this!"
Wanting a 'man quilt', I got right to work.
I have been cutting, sewing, and trimming 5.5" HSTs by the dozen
and having such fun!




I pinned a batting scrap to a wall hanging
for a quick, small design wall.

I'm loving it so much that when I return in the spring,
my intentions are to rearrange furniture
to make a whole wall available!
This wall would be perfect,
except there is a thermostat dead center!
See it?

Working with Free Spirit solids is a dream,
and last month's Free Spirit Fabrics give-away was so much fun,
I though we should do it again.

Now, my mother had a lot to say,
and I'm sure yours did, too!

For an opportunity to win 2-20 count charm packs
of the 'Earth' Free Spirit solids,
please tell me in your comment
something you remember your mother saying to you!

I will let the random number generator help me pick three winners
This give away will  be open for one week.

(This give away is now closed.)

Thanks for visiting!
Enjoy your day,
~karen