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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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It is a new month and that means it is OMG time!

If anyone is following my blog you are probably wondering why all my recent projects are winter or Christmas themes. Well it is because I want these projects for Christmas decorations, and if I wait until November or December my work schedule gets too hectic with little time to decorate or sew. 

And what better way to finally get this Christmas tree completed by making it my "OMG A Monthly Goal" for the month of May. It was my goal to have the flimsy done last month, but didn't quite make it. I actually worked on it this past Sunday, the first of May.

The pattern is the "Tall Trim the Tree" pattern by Cindi Edgerton. The height of the tree is 76 3/4"  and width is 26 3/4", a nice size tree. I picked up this pattern last September while at a quilt retreat with the idea to sew up last year. Aha, well you see how that worked out. It didn't!

Quilt Pattern Tall Trim The Tree by Cindi Edgerton - Little Bits

Some small ornaments for the tree will jazz it up a bit. The pattern calls for red buttons to hang the ornaments. Anyone know where you can find red buttons online?

The fabric I am using is Northcott's Artisan Spirit Shimmer. I love this fabric!! 

 The tree uses 4 different shades of green, 1 white print, 1 white and 1 cream.

My goal for this month will be to complete the flimsy and save the sandwiching, quilting and decorating for a later time. Maybe next month. 

I need to get going on with another project for a block swap that is due in November. I have only the instructions at this time. No fabric and no idea for the center block. The block is a snowball block and the center is to be a neutral batik and darker, contrasting colors in the corners. The center is to have something that is representative of spring. It can be pieced, embroidered, beaded, applique and etc.

The big goal is to decide on the fabric and what the center is going to have in it. I have an idea of what block I will be making. So excited to buy fabric for the blocks!

Confessions of a Fabric Addict is also sponsoring May Goals!! I am linking there as well!

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

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Christmas Carpenter Star

Christmas Carpenter Star on the Fence

I am giddy with how out it came out. The Carpenter Star pattern was a gift from a quilting friend while we were on a retreat together. It has been fun to see what the other gals have made with their Star and the different fabrics used.

Border Print is Pine Cones and Needles - Looks great hanging in the pine tree in my back yard.

Binding with a Flange

 Karen's Quilts, Crows, Cardinals - Red Bird Co. has a great tutorial on how to make binding with a flange. For this quilt I had to make some adjustments as I didn't want quite the over lap of binding on the front as per her instructions. It simply would have covered some of my free motion quilting design. On another quilt, not having quilting so close to the edge as mine, it would be gorgeous with larger width of binding. Can't wait to try it again. Thanks Karen for such a wonderful tutorial and showing us another great way to enhance our quilts. As Karen did I used 12 wt. thread to stitch the flange down. It nicely shows off the stitching.

Metallic Gold Thread Gridwork 

Not shown here the cornerstones on the red narrow frame were also quilted with metallic gold thread in even more smaller grid work. My plan was to incorporate more metallic gold but changed my mind.

Feathers and Grid work

Ribbon Candy and Scallop Designs

If you go back to the first picture above you will see that the piano key stitching ended up being every 1 inch vs. every 2 inches which helped the scallop border to be more prominent.

Ribbon Candy

I just love the Ribbon Candy design! It took some practice and penciled in lines 1/2 inch on each edge to make the curves in the "S". Ribbon Candy seemed quite appropriate on the  Christmas Carpenter Star quilt.

Linking up with:

April 27, 2016  - An Addendum - Christmas Carpenter Star  was a quilt on my list to finish in April! I met the challenge of completing the biggest project for OMG - One Monthly Goal at Red Letter Quilts. 

I wrote about entering the quilt as the goal to finish - here. And here is an in between message, a progress report - here.

I also wrote about finishing the flimsy for the Christmas Tree wall hanging. I have 3 more days and it looks pretty iffy at the moment. Progress has been made where I reinforced the pattern in order to paper piece it after cutting out the pattern sections and ordered more fabric needed to complete it. 

Again thank you to Heidi for hosting OMG - A Monthly Goal! Need any encouragement to finish those unfinished projects? If so join us at her linky parties. She is giving away prizes too,nice ones at that! Though that is great, the best is getting those projects   completed!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It's Coming Along!

Each step I made a decision as to what the quilting design would be, not planned ahead. So far I am quite pleased. I was planning on zigging every other block in the grid, but realized somewhere along the way the grid was not equal on each side. Any additional stitching would only highlighted that the grid was off center.

There are 2 layers of Warm and Soft batting which gives the star a trapunto effect. I used my hopping/darning foot to free motion quilt the feathers. This is the foot I have been using for years to free motion quilting.

In the latest issue of APQS magazine I was reading about a free motion quilting foot that fits a Janome. I had not idea that there was such a thing. And of course I went web exploring and found it on Amazon, one that would fit my low-shank Janome. So I found it, bought it and received it in 2 days! I only experimented with it but I can't wait to use it on the borders of the pictured Carpenter Star Wall Hanging. Actually I am naming it my Christmas Carpenter Star Wreath.

Since I was using my hopping foot I used monofilament thread so the stitching didn't show too much. Oh I should say so my imperfections didn't shine.

The center of the star with the grid work is done in gold metallic thread. I am thinking about using it in the red border as well but not sure about the design yet. Remember I said no planning, just designing as I go along.

My new toys! Can't wait to try them out! The far right is a 1/4 ruler foot and a small open toe foot. Now I will have to see what I can find in free motion quilting rulers.

Linking up at:
Sew Fresh Quilts

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

April OMG Projected Projects to Complete

Christmas in April

April is going to be a very busy month for me business wise.  Therefore, I am choosing a rather small uncompleted project to finish this month.  For certain I plan to complete the Carpenter Star flimsy by sandwiching it, quilting it and binding it. It was a gifted pattern while on a quilt retreat last September. Many of the attendees made up this same pattern having  seen some lovely pillows completed and other blocks in a variety of different colors and fabrics. I chose Christmas fabric and decided to make a wall hanging to adorn my walls at Christmas. My version has 3 added borders to the block.  Better to get it done now than wait for the busy season when stretched in December. I have some other ideas brewing on how to make it more Christmasy.


And just in case I have underestimated myself on how much is possible to complete in April I plan to complete another Christmas flimsy using Tall Trim the Tree pattern purchased at the same quilt retreat as mentioned above. Fabric in the picture below is from Thousands of Bolts. They were having a great sale on fabric. I am so excited about making this in order to have yet another quilt to decorate my walls come Christmastime.

Pictured below is another project in the works. It isn't a quilt planned to be finished this month or next month, or the month after that.The blocks are paper pieced and it takes me about one week to make 2 blocks. While in the shower the other morning I wondered how a stripe set-in-block would look in "Bird's Nest in Wyoming Valley"  It looks rather Christmasy too, though not intended. Ivory shows off the blocks more and frames it bit while the stripes brightens the quilt up. The green set-in blocks with larger borders looks great too!

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

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

OMG! I Did It - Baby Woodlands Quilt is Finished

Once again I learned that setting a goal works! You might not think that it should take the better part of a month to complete a baby quilt.. In March I received 3 new major business projects to complete. Many mornings began at 5:30 a.m. at my computer. Actually it is now 4:55 a.m. as I write this blog to announce a completed quilt, one that was completed last evening by sewing on the name label.

  Woodlands Baby Quilt Finish!

Big Thanks to Red Letter Quilts 

Hosting OMG One Monthly Goal!

 Linking up with:
 Red Letter Quilts:OMG
 My Quilt Infatuation Needle and Thread Thursday

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

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Quilting Projects in Progress

Thank you to all who commented, helping me to make a decision on the Woodsland Baby quilt in its beginning stages. Your suggestions helped!! Since I asked about the color of cornerstones, Michele, Irina and O'Quilts said go with the orange ones.  I had to agree it needed a pop color. Rather than orange cornerstones I added a 1 1/2" orange border. It definitely brightened up the quilt.

Marlene and Kathy said no sashing. I liked the quilt without the sashing, but I needed to make this quilt larger. I didn't want to make anymore blocks. The sashing did tone down the green fabric almost too much. So the orange border brighten it up, and the medium green cornerstones gave more color, while pulling in color from the blocks. Actually the orange border also pulled in color from the log cabin variation blocks as well.

Then I added another border using the same green used in the Shoo Fly block, which also brightened up the quilt. So what do you think?

I now have two sewing stations and am able to have a least 2 projects going on at the same time. Currently, I am using my large quilting table to quilt the Woodsland Baby Quilt.

In the evenings I have been paper piecing another quilt that was designed on Electric Quilt. It will have 37 blocks that will be set on-point. It takes about two evenings to complete a block and will take several months to complete all the blocks, but that is okay.  It keeps my hands busy sewing rather than facebooking on my Ipad, and snacking in the evenings.

The fabric in this quilt has lived in my stash going on five years. It was intended for another quilt pattern which I don't want to make now. Do you do that purchase fabric for a particular pattern and end up using it for another quilt?

As I have mentioned above I now have two sewing stations. My husband purchased this small sewing table on Amazon and I put it together myself. The leaf on the table folds down and can be easily stored in a smaller room. It is so much easier to sew on the sewing table rather than on 2 tv trays butted up together and sitting at my recliner. We had an extra small desk chair on rollers so I didn't need to buy another. Did you notice the sewing table has castors? So much easier to move than having to push the tv trays out and holding on to the sewing machine hoping it didn't fall off.

My favorite part of the day is when I can say good night computer, eat dinner, then turn on my sewing machine in the bonus room, and watch NetFlix with my husband. What a great way to make more quilts. It feels like I more productive too!

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