Monday, July 6, 2015

Make-A-List Monday - I Can Almost Smell the Beach.....

Hi, all!

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!  Ours was rather rainy, but we still had a great time - got to spend some time with the grandkids, went out on the boat once in between rainy episodes, and went to the movies.  All in all, a fun weekend!  And of course, rain meant that I got to do a good bit of sewing, too....

So let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Make a back for and quilt the second scrappy green quilt top.
Done!  I actually quilted this one today, and while the fancy quilting is done, I still need to do a little bit of ditch-stitching and bind it.  But here's a picture of some of the quilting as a tease - I'll post about this quilt on Friday!

2.  Complete the HSTs for the vacation quilt.
Done!  I don't have a pic of all of them together, but here's enough to give you an idea... I made 624 of these puppies!

3.  Work on the wedding dress quilt project.
Done!  I've got a good start on the pillow, and finally have a handle on what I'm going to do for the quilt.  I had run into a problem with only using the fabric in the dress, adding nothing, but got permission to add a backing fabric, so now it should be a piece of cake!  (After vacation...)

Seed stitching with a 20 weight glossy twisted thread

4.  Work on Nathanael's stocking.
Done!  Well, not done, but at least in progress!  

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.
Done!  We gave away three quilts this week...

This one to a man who had surgery for lung cancer...

This one to a sick baby...

And this one to a woman with multiple health issues.

And in addition to the things on my list, I did a little fun sewing...

I made these two cute little pin cushions, which measure about 3" square by 1" thick.  I used the same technique for the 16-patch blocks as I did for my husband's quilt, except with 5" squares instead of 10" squares.  It was super simple!  I wonder how small I can go....

And I also busted into my piggy bank, because the Piggy Bank Challenge has come to an end!  For one year, as part of Val's Piggy Bank Challenge, I've been collecting up my spare change in anticipation of a quilt-y treat.....

It was a LOT of change!!! (As CoinStar kept telling me...)

This was the total I came up with, and actually, CoinStar came up with more - $76.79!  I spent part of my loot on this...

While that looks like a strange thing to purchase as part of a quilt-y splurge, it represents 173 hours and 47 minutes of audio books, which I listen to while I'm working!  When I received an email today saying that they were on sale for $4.95 each, I knew that would be a great thing to spend part of my money on.

I'm going to save the rest of my loot in anticipation of this beautiful new fabric by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts, which should be available on Connecting Threads in the fall sometime.  I can't wait!!

And I've already started stuffing my pig in anticipation of next year's quilt-y splurge!!

OK, so that's the week that was.  This week is a short week, because we're heading to the beach on Friday, but I still have some things I need to get done...

1.  Finish the quilting on the sibling quilt and bind it.

2.  Get the BlockRockIt set up on the frame at church.

3.  Hand out the signature blocks for the retirement quilt to be signed this week.

4.  Write up an estimate for a commission quilt.

5.  Clean the house so the pet-sitter doesn't run out screaming!

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

That should be more than enough to keep me out of trouble (especially since I'm also babysitting two mornings this week for the grandkids) but if it isn't, I can also cut out the pieces for the wedding dress quilt, now that I know what I'm going to do!


So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Friday, July 3, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Little Recreational Sewing...

Hi, all!

Friday has rolled around again, and you know what that means - it's time to get our whoop whoop on!!  I know it's summer and sometimes that means that sewing time is hard to come by - so feel free to share your works in progress if that's all you have!  Anything that has you whooping this week is fair game!


Last week I got a wild hair to do something outside of my list, and a good bit different from any type of sewing I've done lately.  My day started off with this stack of goodness to play with...

That stack contains some leftover fat quarters from Emmy's quilt, a sample strip of Bengal from Hawthorne Threads, a big brass zipper and some hardware.

This was a tricky bit of sewing, but I've got that tiger face pieced into the outside so that it looks like it was appliqu├ęd on top!  Everything lines up....

And then I started working on the zipper.  Urk!  I managed to get it in backwards, had to rip it out, then when I was putting it in again, I ran over the teeth with my sewing machine and broke a needle.  Then the zipper wouldn't work because I bent one of the little metal teeth on this zipper - - - so I dragged out another metal zipper from my stash.  A little careful sewing (and some sweating!) and this is what I came up with!

This bag is basically a large zipper pouch that folds over.

 Because it has one fabric on one side, and a different fabric on the other, the fold-over can be flipped the other way to give a different look.

I put this cute little charm on the zipper pull, just because!

And the strap comes off, so it can just be used as a clutch!

There is batting between the layers to make it feel substantial, and a pocket on the inside.  It's always a pleasure to work with Hawthorne Threads' pretty fabrics, and I was so happy to find a way to use that tiger face!

And that's what I'm whooping about this week!


Now it's your turn!  

What are you whooping about this week?

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

Share - because we want to dance right along with you!

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight -

Hope to see you there!!



PS - If you haven't already run across it, I've started a new feature called What's On The Bookshelf Wednesdays!  Check in each Wednesday for a book review of a great book, usually about quilting but I'm making no promises!  Who knows, you might find out about a book you just have to have!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday - Shape By Shape

Hi, all!

Welcome to the second week of What's on the Bookshelf Wednesday!  If this is your first time stopping by, each Wednesday I'll be reviewing a book from my bookshelf - some old, some new, maybe even some that aren't available for purchase yet!  The one thing I promise is that if I review an older book, it will still be available to purchase - it wouldn't be fair for you to love a book only to find out that it can't be found anywhere!

Last week I reviewed a book that talks about why we quilt - but today, I want to introduce you to a book that helps us decide how to quilt!  When I went to New York with my husband recently, I was privileged to meet a representative from Stash Books ( and have some interesting conversations with her.  At the end of the convention, she allowed me to choose a couple of books from her display to take home for my own use.  And of course, this book caught my eye right away!

Of course, anything by Angela Walters is bound to be good - and this book didn't fail to impress!  

As it states on the back cover, this book is a visual guide for free motion quilting in specific geometric shapes.  There are over 70 designs in this book, and lots of suggestions for how to use them.

There are designs for squares and rectangles, triangles, circles, diamonds and hexagons...

There's a great section on quilting negative space...

Look at this great example of filler FMQ!

Oh, how I wish I had this resource when I was quilting my Stained Glass quilt!  It would have been a lot of help! There's a whole section on Improv Quilting, with some great tips.

As in her earlier books, Angela's designs are well-diagramed and easy to interpret.  She talks about combining designs to create new ones.  She shows how to use her designs in borders.  And she gives variations on each design that will inspire you to think outside the box!

This is a very useful book, and one that I'm sure will become worn out with use on my own bookshelf.  Whether you're new to free motion quilting, or experienced, you'll find this a great resource to aid you in finishing your quilts to perfection!!

And that's what's on my bookshelf today!  Have you looked at yours lately?