Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Feathering my Tree

In conversation with my husband I told him I was feathering my tree. He didn't understand what I was saying. He said no it's a feather in your cap. No I am putting feathers in my tree. He gives me this look as though I have lost my mind. So I explained I am using a quilting design called feathers. I am quilting my Tall Trim Christmas tree with feathers.

So yesterday morning, and this one I got up excitedly at 5:30 a.m to add more feathers.  It is now 7:03 a.m. and my sweet Cassie is yipping at my husband wanting him to share his homemade Oatmeal Pumpkin Raisin muffin. Well the peaceful morning is given away to the happy sounds of my family, though I do hear my husband telling Cassie to be quiet. He doesn't want to share his muffin.

I tend to rabbit trail in conversation so back to the feathers in the tree. This past weekend I began quilting on this ongoing tree that has been in process for a couple of years. Life events altered my days where there wasn't much time to sew or quilt. It feels so good! And I just might get this tree done in time for Christmas. If you have been following my blog you will know that is exactly what I said last year. I think I have a better chance of accomplishing the finish since things are more settled.

I noticed that quilting changes my focus from worry to creativity to restoration. That's good! Quilting also means blogging again. When opening up my blog I realized I needed to make some changes as the photos that were stored on Photobucket were no longer existent. In place of the pictures were large gray and white squares with Photobucket's name on them.  Arrghhh!! Photobucket now wants to charge $399.99 per year to upload pictures and etc. on their site. I wondered if many of my quilting blogging friends experienced this as well. My remedy was creating a new page on my blog that is hidden where I can store pictures. There I can copy and paste the picture location with the html script by right clicking the picture. It was so easy!


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Well It Has Been A Long While

Blogging and quilting used to be very important aspects of my life. The last time I wrote a blog message was on my birthday - August 21, 2016.  Nine months have gone by. So much time that I didn't remember what my login password was to my blog.

But . . . things have changed.

It was in September 2016 that we learned that my husband had cancer. Our lives have changed significantly since that diagnosis. 

The Christmas tree quilt that I was working on in August is still not finished. It is ready to be sandwiched and some added decorations. I was aiming to have it completed for Christmas 2016. Just maybe it will be finished for Christmas 2017.

As it may be I may have a more lovelier yard than a finished quilt.  Stress and worries dissipate while physically working outside. It also helps to keep my weight in check.

I have lost almost 40 lbs since last summer. Most of it was intentional. I made a decision to be more healthy by tracking calories and working out at the gym. I was sitting more than 12 hours a day in front of the computer and read that exercise and moving more daily extends life.

The discipline paid off especially now that I have changed the foods I eat at a time when life became more stressful.

News of my husband's cancer spurred me on to learn how the foods we eat can stave off disease. Most of my diet is now organic plant food and whole food based, and meat is grass fed beef or range free raised chickens being fed non-GMO food products.

So this is a brief summary of what is happening in my life.

Just maybe I will get that Christmas tree done after all. The hour is growing late and I need my rest to handle what tomorrow has for me to do.

Thank you for visiting and wishing you a great sewing or quilting day!
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Two months since I last posted

Finally Posie Blocks are completed - all 17 of them. 14 of them have found a new home and owner. Yippee!! a project completed.

Blocks that I have received so far.
There will be a total of 15 blocks.

Aren't they adorable!

 Thank you for visiting and wishing you a great sewing or quilting day!

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Posie Flower Blocks Update - OMG

My goal for OMG - A Monthly Goal was to have completed 15 blocks of which none of the blocks are completed. Many evenings were spent paper piecing the flowers in June while watching Hart in Dixie on Netflix.

Last evening I began chain stitching the flowers together. Easily I can have the blocks completed by this weekend even though I still have today. But as the day develops business is calling me to focus on it rather finishing up the blocks.

Also, we made a trip to visit all our boys and their gals one weekend in June. Now that was much more important than sewing. Such fun we had laughing, cooking, eating, watching one grandson, Caleb, play baseball and celebrating my youngest grandson, Parker's birthday.  

Paper piecing is messy! But then again so is sewing. My little waste basket needed to be emptied daily with all the little scraps and bits of paper being torn off from the backside. 

When sewing up the promo block I used 1.8 stitch length. It was still difficult to tear the paper with out pulling out stitches so I reduced the stitch length to 1.5. It was much easier to tear the paper off, but the bobbin had to be rewound more frequently.

Thank you to Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for sponsoring OMG - One Monthly Goal. It has kept me moving towards finishing projects, and prevents me from starting new ones until current projects in progress are completed.  Click on the OMG - One Monthly Goal button to take you to Red Letters Quilts' blog. 

Thank you for visiting and wishing you a great sewing or quilting day!

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 2016 OMG, One Monthly Goal - Really it is June Already!

I will be just in time for Christmas in July!

Tall Christmas Tree flimsy was finished with May's OMG, One Monthly Goal.You can see the Tall Christmas tree flimsy here. Now that I have a tree what is a tree without decorations? So of course I have been thinking about what sort of decorations will make a Tall Christmas Tree sing.

I did add candlesticks and flames, though not attached. I am thinking about shortening the candles a wee bit so the tree doesn't look so overwhelmed with candles as pretty as they may be. That is one part of June's goal - shorten the candlesticks.

This evening I ordered Christmas fabric for the decorations. I had to pull the trigger and buy quickly as already one of my selections sitting in the sales cart sold! I was a bit disappointed as I really wanted that particular fabric with the candy swirls. The picture to the left shows several of the fabrics purchased for fussy cut ornaments. So the second part of June's goal is to cut and sew ornaments.

Now swinging back to Spring

 I have joined in with a group of quilters participating in a Spring Block Swap. The blocks are due in November and I have already received two in the mail. I love the butterfly and the lady bug!!

The Posies Block is the one I am sewing. The picture shown here is not the fabric I am using but the colors are close. The block is going to be made up of all batik fabric.

The third part of my June OMG, One Monthly Goal is to complete 16 Posie blocks. I have 16 Posie heads completed and now in the process of chain stitching the other 16 heads.

You can see a picture of my completed Posie heads here.


I have a third goal for the month of June. I have my fingers and toes crossed hoping I will find the time!! It is to finish my design board. My little space is a combination office and quilting studio. I won't be able to use the full wall space as once planned since I needed to move my desk right against it to squeeze some stacking cubes in the other corner for office supplies.

The left side is completed. The right side needs batting wrapped on it and then needs to be hung so it reaches the ceiling. I have been layering projects on top of each other. At the moment I have documents pinned which will have to find a new place. Maybe that is what I will do once I complete this message.

Hope to see you at Red Letter Quilts where Heidi is hosting OMG, One Monthly Goal.

Thank you for visiting and wishing you a great sewing or quilting day!

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Monday, May 30, 2016

May's Projects for OMG - A Monthly Goal

One of May's goals for  OMG - A Monthly Goal was to complete the Tall Trim Christmas Tree flimsy and I am happy to say it is completed.

Do you like the candles and lights?  They are not attached to yet. I worked all day Sunday adding a white border and making the candles.   The candles were not originally planned at the beginning, therefore I accomplished more than anticipated on the tree.

There will be more decorations to come.  I have fabric picked out from which ornaments will be fussy cut to hang on the tree.

The other project was to plan a block and purchase fabric enough for 16 blocks. Below is a practice run of the block. 

But I completed 16 out of 28 flower heads!

Thank you for visiting and wishing you a great sewing or quilting day!

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Goal Setting Does Work!

Beginning this month only the very top of the tree was sewn together, and now the tree pattern itself is completed. A border will be added, but it will not be a contrasting border in green fabric as shown on the pattern. My border will be white on white print used in the background and the binding will have a flange of red and cream stripe with the white on white print on the outside edge. 

I saw another version of this pattern made by another quilter where she added candles with flames on the tips and other decorations actually sewn on to her tree. Her version of the tree was quite stylistic and whimsical using totally non-traditional colors and fabric for her tree and decorations. It was quite adorable. 

I want to add red candles with flames on my tree, but keep with the red buttons and hanging mini-mini quilt blocks for decorations. My colors will be traditional. Someone suggested that I cover buttons to add to the tree vs. plain red buttons. Great idea! 

As the title of this blog message suggests "Goal Setting Does Work!"  Red Letter Quilts who is sponsoring OMG - A Monthly Goal is working for me. I determine each month what I can feasibly achieve when looking at my overall business and family schedule. For the month of May I planned to complete the Tall Trim Christmas Tree flimsy and to plan the blocks for a group Spring Block Swap with a group of other quilters.

The flimsy is almost complete only needing borders. The other project that was included as a goal in May has actually been completed. 

Beginning in May there was only the instructions for the Spring Swap Block. My goal was to choose the design and fabric. So I am whooping it up as that has been accomplished. Not only that I completed a promo block to make sure I liked it. And I do!

The requirement for this block swap is to use batik fabric for the background, and the overall block pattern is to be a "Snowball" where each corner is made with a 3 inch square. The center can be anything that we want that is representative of Spring. The block can be paper pieced, appliqued, or any other pieced block pattern in the center. Beads, embroidery or any other kind of embellishments can be added. 

Electric Quilt came to the rescue when designing the block, actually 2 blocks as the the flower head is separate from the leaves and stem. Both are 4 inch blocks. The final swap block size is 12 inches. 

I made a quilt with this particular pattern, but it was larger in size and didn't have the inside triangles creating the mini snowball block. I redesigned the Posie center to give it more of a rounded look.

Isn't this batik fabric yummy? Once I made my promo block it was time to go shopping. My schedule has been horrendous so I had to purchase fabric online as it was quite difficult to find the time to travel to a quilt or fabric store. I rather touch, feel and see the fabric to make sure the colors are true and work together in person. As you all have experienced some colors on the screen look different than what they actually are when in hand.  So yes, I did the happy dance when the fabric arrived because the colors were perfect and actually more beautiful than anticipated. 

I purchased my fabric from Thousands of Bolts. They make it so easy to coordinate your fabric selections using their Quilter's Toolbox. All you need to do is import fabric swatches from their website. 

This is a picture of Thousands of Bolts Quilters ToolBox with my fabric swatches imported. You can resize each of the swatches somewhat. As you can see I couldn't get the green more narrow for the stems for my makeshift posies. I chose the colors on the right with one exception of the red batik is different. This tool is so helpful in choosing fabrics that work together. 

So with 10 days left in the month I have made great progress. I may actually get more done than I had set for my goal. Last evening I washed all the batiks to prevent bleeding, and all have been pressed this morning. The paper pieced block patterns have been printed and cut out which were done one evening this week while watching NetFlix.  I may get a block or two, or three done before the end of the month. Yippee!! Progress!

So off topic -  I want to show-off the beautiful flowers I received for Mothers Day from my son, his fiancee and 3 grandsons. I so enjoyed them! 

So until next time . . . keep on sewing, quilting and you might want to check out OMG, One Monthly Goal if you too want to get those projects done!. Click on Heidi's icon that is on the right side bar, the gray circle with OMG on it. 

Oh yes! I am joining the party over at Crazy Mom Quilts. Hope to see you there!

Thank you for visiting and wishing you a great sewing or quilting day!

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