. . . . . . Enjoying the journey of quilting

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Fulfilling Day!

I started my day at 5:00 a.m. in my sewing studio, sewing borders on a scrappy Irish Chain quilt that was pieced several years ago. Actually I sewed the first 3 sides of the inner border last evening and this morning the remaining side inner border. Then I ran downstairs to spend a few minutes with my hubby before he went off to work, put some chicken in the slow cooker with a can of mushroom soup, a cup of Chardonnay, 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of paprika which was wonderful! Quickly I ran upstairs to shower and get ready for book club with some friends. We have deemed the club F.L.A.W.s (former ladies at work.)

This evening I have been sewing the outside borders, 3 are done the 4th I will do tomorrow. By the time I add the remaining border the quilt will be 91" x 102." The sheer weight of the quilt top and the drag of it has worn me out!

I am really excited that I have finally bit the bullet to finish my Irish Chain. Bonnie Hunter, scrappy quilt queen, was the inspiration for my Irish Chain. I fell in love with the one she has pictured on her blog/website. I pieced the quilt top 3 or 4 years ago and since then deliberated for a couple of years about the border color. I actually purchased fabric for a blue border and scrapped that idea after awhile. Irish Chain lends itself to have a green border - right? Don't you think green when you think Ireland or Irish? I am loving the red and green borders.

So let me tell you about the book we are using for our book club. It is titled A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.
  This is Amazon.com's description:
 "In this compilation of the five books in the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary—even scandalous—challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World."

This week we studied the life of Rahab, a harlot that lived in Jericho. Because Rahab hid 2 Israelite spies her and her family's lives were spared. Rahab had a love of God that had settled in her heart which is amazing since her family and the people of her tribe worshiped idols. She didn't know the laws of God thus didn't know that her lifestyle as a harlot was not honorable and acceptable in the eyes of Him, that is until one of the spies spoke the truth. Once she heard it her heart embraced it and turned away from practicing harlotry. The grace of God not only showed her compassion and forgiveness but after having married Salmon, one of the spies, their son Boaz was in Christ's lineage. This expresses the love of God who loves those who love him regardless of any wrong doings they have done. We have hope when we have hearts softened by God.

Rahab's story reminds me of a song that is sung by Gwen Smith -  Broken into Beautiful

I hope you enjoy the song. Well it is a few minutes before midnight and it is time I end my day and get some rest. I am quite grateful for this fulfilling day. It has been filled with the love of friends, family, good food, again hearing the hope we have, and finally sewing in my studio, the room my husband has dubbed as my Woman's cave.

Good night and sweet dreams or maybe it will be Good Morning and Rise and Shine for you,

Good Morning! Woohoo! My Irish Chain has all of its borders.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Look What I Won!

I love the blocks! I can't believe I actually won them. The picture of the fabric palette didn't begin to justify the colors of this fabric. 
The pumpkin orange is my favorite!

Remember the blocks I made from Echo by Lotta Jansdotter?  Well if you don't click to take a quick peek of the blocks I made. My original understanding was we were making these blocks for a general swap 2 for the 2 we each made. It ended up being a random drawing for two people and I was one of two winners this evening at the Charlotte Modern Quilters Guild! Not only did I win the 14 blocks (there are a couple of outstanding blocks so 16 blocks total) I also won 5 companion fabric fat quarters.

Okay Now I need Help!

What do you think will make these blocks work into a fantastic quilt?

Looking forward to all your comments or thoughts,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's Day Showcase - The After Party

Sew Bitter Sweet Designs thank you for hosting this party. 

Done on last day of submission and almost the last hour. I started the paper pieced heart about 5:30 a.m. this morning.

It is a Sew-In Carry all to put all the sewing things I need when I travel with my sewing and quilting. The back side is quilted and the bow on front and the outer ridges of the heart are quilted too.

It is lined and each side of the lining has pockets, one sewn down the center and one left to put long items in it.

It closes with a  zipper.

A great big thank you to hubby for supporting me while I spent the best part of the day sewing. He even made me dinner and served it to me in my sewing studio.

Good Night All! I am bushed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stars in My Eyes

Any quilting or sewing this weekend? The answer for me is a resounding "Yes!"

I made two star blocks from a fat quarter of Echo - Lotta Jansdotter received at the Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild for a swap. The top block is "Shooting Star" and the bottom block is "Martha Washington Star".

Isn't Martha Washington a cool block with the windmill in the center?

Hmmm I wonder which blocks made with one of the companion fabrics I will receive in the swap?

Do these companion fabrics talk to you?

Finishing up the latter part of my time at the Sew-In I sewed the Jungle Jungle charms together for another tote. The center of each block is a lined pocket for a cell phone. I can't wait until this bag is finished. The fabric is just too cute!

Things to be grateful for today: 
  • My husband who had a Sunday off so we could go to church together.
  • Fun day with quilting friends from the guild yesterday.
  • Wonderful friends that gather together last evening for dinner and games.
  • Warm house as the temperature continues to drop with rain that is pouring and possibly turning to flurries this evening.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Do You Do This?

A friend recently sent me a message (we are in a challenge to complete UFOs/WIPS and Planning New Projects for 2012) where she outlined her various projects she has going on at the same time. Reading it sent my mind spinning! She finalized her list by saying she has 25 quilts under her longarm waiting to be quilted.Whoa! Though I don't compare in the number I have my fair share. Are you like this?  

My next and largest project on the horizon is my Scrappy Irish Chain. I will be adding borders which will make it a king size quilt. The size of this quilt is making it seem like a "big" undertaking since I am planning to free motion machine quilt it. This will probably take a couple of months to do as I keep up with my swaps, BOM and etc.

Another endeavor but small is making 2-12.5" star blocks using white fabric for the background and a fat quarter, Echo by Landdotter. Oh by the way this project is for the Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild and we are to sew star blocks of our choice. I visited the Quilters Cache website to find the best star block patterns that will work well with only 2 colors. There are plenty of star block options but very few for only 2 colors. I chose the Martha Washington Star and the Shooting Star.

Have you visited the Quilters Cache website? They have a huge selection of various blocks in different sizes with tutorials. Be prepared to spend some time there. It is worth the time to drill down to each block to view the various ways quilts will look with the same block sewn together or with another alternating block.

Here is another venture I noticed last evening at Sew Bitter Sweet Designs where she is hosting Valentine’s Day Showcase – The After Party! It ends February 20 at 9:59 CST. Actually that is a later date than I originally thought so, Whew! I may have time to do it. I received two fat quarters in a swap at the Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild's January meeting and think the will be perfect for a Valentine's Day Showcase  project. I got out my color wheel to determine which colors will work best with the melon colored fat quarters. Below are pictures of 3 different options.  Do you favor any particular color combos shown below?
Option 1 - Coral, Lime Green and Cream

Option 2 - Coral, Turquoise and Lime Green

Option 3 - Coral, Turquoise and Cream

My on-going projects are on my design board - Craftsy BOM, SewCaGal's Free Motion Quilting Monthly Challenge and my Red Work Winter Twitterings.

And. . . . . there are my 5 queen size quilt tops hanging prettily and neatly in my closest waiting to be quilted.

And . . . . . then I have my projects that I want to complete in 2012 in my list to do.

Curious what is the average number of quilting projects a quilter has going on at one time?

Things I am grateful for today:
  • My taxes are filed and we will be receiving refunds - yeah!
  • My son who arrived in San Diego safely last evening while they were in the amidst of High Wind and Winter Storms predicted for Southern California. He texted me at 12:30 a.m. to let me know he arrived safely.
  • My sweet hubby who is picking up dinner - Chinese - while I write this blog. Hope it is finished before he gets home.
  • Hope for the future that is promised us in Scriptures
Quilt hugs,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Patchwork Tote with Windmill Embellishment & Redwork

I love this tote! Why did I wait so long to make it?

I purchased the pattern, charm packets (2) and fabric last summer. The charms and fabric are Robyn Pandolph's Fancy Hill Farm and the pattern is Whistlepig Creek Productions #1145 Charming Totes 3.

The blocks are feather stitched which stepped the look up a notch. Each side of the tote has prairie points making a windmill with a button in the center.

Now that I have finally made this tote my wheels are turning about using some other charms that I received as a door prize at an opening at my local quilt shop, QBee Quilts. Both charm packs are Studio e fabrics, one is Jungle Jungle and the other is Peaceful Planet. They will make up wonderfully in their display of various and colorful patches. The Jungle Jungle is my favorite out of the two.

My collection of tote bags is growing and may still grow if I keep having new ideas for them. Now for storing them, I saw a picture on pinterest showing an unique way of storing and displaying totes by hanging them on 2 rows of decorative boards with pegs. The picture can be seen at Martha Stewart's website.

Last evening I finished up the red work birdhouse with holly and cutie pututie twitter. Only 9 more to do in this series.

Cassie nestled into our pillows before we had a chance to take them off before going to bed. Does this dog know how to pamper herself or what? She doesn't have any problems treating herself as a princess and of course those who live in the same house (her house) only encourage it!

Things I am grate for today:
  1. My husband who is always looking for ways to secure our future
  2. My online quilting friends
  3. Sunshine
  4. Scriptures that I read this morning that give me peace
  5. A friend's daughter who survived after having a brain tumor removed 
Wishing you a day that you can rejoice in!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Duffel Bag and Two Totes

Duffel bag and 2 Totes are done! The duffel bag is on my works in progress list needing to be finished. It only took 8 years to finish them.  When I dug out the partially started duffel bag I found that I had 2 tote bags cut out as well. So I just finished them even though they do not count toward projects on my list. It still feels great to have them completed after so many years. I had them stored in an Office Depot file box in my closet that only served to be a box to be moved when I wanted several boxes below it. Now not only do I have a finished project I don't need the extra box to shuffle past when getting to my other boxes.

The fabric was purchased by a friend of mine who said I will buy enough for both of us if you would make me the duffel bag. I made her duffel bag but not mine. Now I will give her a call and deliver to her a tote bag to go along with the duffel bag. I haven't seen her for a couple of years. She was on staff with me at the pregnancy center but due to Multiple Sclerosis she had to step down. She is a fighter working to walk again. I hope this bag will bring a smile to her face.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Redwork Snowman and Some Great Recipes

Super Bowl Sunday meant more than watching the game with hubby but it was the evening I finished one more block for my Winter Twitterings quilt - Snowman! Snowflakes were a bit time consuming but well worth it since they brightened up the scene. Don't you just love that smug smile that the snowman has? The playful twitters are so wonderful as they decorate the snowman's hat and bird house pole with stringed holly.
I thought I would share a couple of recipes that I made in the last couple of days. They are great meals to warm you up on cold wintery days.

Crock Pot Roast Beef with Rich Gravy

1 package cut up stew beef
1 packet of onion beef soup mix
2 cans of Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup
1  package of Portabella mushrooms
1 Tablespoon paprika
Fresh ground pepper

Place the cut up stew beef in the slow cooker and sprinkle with the onion beef soup mix.
Empty the 2 cans of Campbells's Golden Mushroom Soup in a bowl, add enough water (about 3/4 cup) and with a whip stir until it is smooth. Add  paprika and fresh ground pepper and stir again. Pour over the beef. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Serve on mashed potatoes. Cut up potatoes, boil until soft. Add salt and 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese and mash the potatoes with beaters.
Quite Yummy!

Italian Soup

Dice 1 cup onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups chopped celery
3 cup cups of chopped broccoli
with 2 Tablespoons of heated olive oil add the above ingredients and saute.
In another pan brown low fat ground beef, add 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasonings, salt, pepper and a garlic powder. Add to the sauted vegetables.

Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans of white beans

Simmer for about 30 minutes on medium heat and 30 minutes on low heat. 
Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread.
I made homemade Italian bread. Anyone wanting the recipe please let me know and I will send you the recipe. It was well the effort to make. It slices up nicely and is great toasted the next day.

Feeling like I have the bug of some sort today. It is a drink a lot of hot tea, ginger ale and eat chicken soup day! Maybe I will get some sewing in between trips to the couch. Wishing you a blessed day.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Craftsy Challenge BOM - February 2012's

Balkan Puzzle Block Pattern - Bias Edges

Chunky Chevron Block Pattern - Straight Edges

 I am participating in Craftsy's BOM Challenge with Amy Gibson as the instructor. February's BOM challenge was working with half square triangles (HST). Amy demonstrated two different methods for making HST.
The first was sewing a 1/4" seam all around two facing squares and cutting the square with 2 diagonal cuts. This method left bias edges. Though this method is quick there is a slight more degree of difficulty dealing with the stretch that comes with a bias edge. I highly starched my fabric before cutting and I still ended with a small bit of stretch but not enough that it can't be worked out. 
The second method is to place two facing square fabric together, drawing a line down the center diagonally and stitching a scant 1/4" seam on each side of the line. For the HST cut on the drawn diagonal line giving two HST. 
The Chunky Chevron block went smoothly but the Balkan Puzzle I had to rip out a couple of times. I had the Balkan Puzzle all sewn together when I noticed that the bottom large triangle was upside down. I don't know how I did that so I had to rip out a row and rip out a portion of the row. 

Your comments are welcome or feel free to share your experience if you made these blocks too. Well off to watch the Super Bowl Game with my hubby!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wristlet Bag with Kanzashi Flower

Wristlet with Kanzashi Flower

Materials and Supplies

1 fat quarter for the focus fabric
1/2 yd for outside fabric
1/2 yard for lining and trim
1 - 14" zipper
2 3/4" buttons
heavy weight pellon
Clover Kanzashi Flower Maker (2 3/4 - 3" size)

Cut from focus fabric
  2 of pattern A (outside pocket and bottom half of back)
1- 3" x 10" strip for strap
1- 1" x 4" strip for button loop
5- 2 3/4" squares for Kanzashi Flower
2 - 2" x 2 1/2" for zipper stops

Cut from companion fabric
1 of pattern B (front)
1 of pattern C (top half of back
2 - 3 1/2" x 7 1/2 " strip for inside pocket

Cut from lining fabric
2 of  pattern B
2" x 11" strip for trim
5- 2 3/4" squares for Kanzashi Flower

Cut from batting
2 of pattern B

Cut from heavy pellon
1 of pattern C

Putting the Wristlet Together:

Back of Wristlet:
Sew Pattern A (focus fabric) right sides together with Pattern C (companion fabric).
Press the seam and topstitch. Match the batting with back and machine quilt using your favorite quilting motif.  I used a one inch diamond grid.

Front of Wristlet:
Match the batting to front (B - companion fabric) with batting and quilt in the same design used on the back.

Adding Front Pocket:
Match the heavy weight pellon with piece B (focus fabric). Press the 2" x 11" strip of lining doubling the strip. With right sides together using 1/4' width seam sew the binding to the top edge. Press to the underside. I use a little glue to hold in place. Sew the binding down. Baste the pocket in place.

Inside Pocket:
With right sides together sew the 2 - 3 1/2" x 7 1/2 " strip for inside pocket leaving enough to turn the pocket. Turn the pocket, press and top stitch all 4 sides. Center the pocket on one of the lining pieces and stitch the sides and down the center.

Press the 2" x 2 1/2" strips first in half and folding the edges to the center. The zipper should be trimmed to 1/2" less on each end of the width of the wristlet front. Trim the end of the zipper leaving the metal stop. Sew one of the strips centering the zipper and stitch across the strip and the zipper. Repeat for the beginning end of the zipper.

Sandwich the front piece with the lining right sides together with the zipper sandwiched in between faced down on the front piece. Stitch along the edge of  the zipper using a zipper foot. Repeat the above to attach the back and back lining to the zipper. I placed the lining with the pocket on the backside.  Trim the extending fabric stops to match the seam width.

Wristlet Handle
Press the  1- 3" x 10" strip for the strap in half lengthwise. Press the edges to the center. Stitch along each side lengthwise. Pin to the front of the wristlet matching the edges with the seam edges. (The strap will facing inward)
 Sew the wristlet front & back and lining.
Make sure the zipper is open! With the right sides together lining with lining and pouch to pouch seam around leaving an opening large enough on the bottom edge of the lining to turn the wristlet to the outside. I used a 5/8" seam for the lining and 1/2" for the wristlet. Trim the curved edges and any bulk around the zipper area. Turn right side out. Pull the lining out so you press the bottom seam and then machine stitch close. 

Finishing Touches:
1- 1" x 4" strip for button loop - press in half lengthwise and press the edges toward the center. Stitch along the open edge. Sew the loop with the ends side by side and the loop part is facing the top of the wristlet. Sew a square and "X" to fasten the loop well. Sew the button on.

Make the Kanzashi Flower following the directions. It is very easy! Finish the flower with a button in the center.

Love is faithful - I will bethroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord. - Hosea 2:20

Friday, February 3, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge February 2012 - Tah Dah Feathered Plumes

I want to thank Darlene (SewCaGal) for managing the Free Motion Quilting Challenge 2012. Having personally manage many group efforts - swaps, challenges and group quilts I know first hand the amount of time involvement there is when managing them, especially with the on-going communication that occurs. What I have done does not begin to compare since I have not managed one where there are 2,000 participants as there are in the FMQ Challenge 2012! That is amazing!

Tah Dah! My Feathered Plumes after much and exhausting practice. It was an all day affair! In yesterday's post I wrote about having to slow down my brain! Click on brain to learn how I went about doing that whatever is left of it after practicing all day! If you have seen the picture of the quilter's brain floating around facebook you should know I was too tired to even have it processing correctly. My hubby asked me what I did while he was working and I showed him the above and said it took me all day to learn how to do this thinking he couldn't possibly understand, but he did and even encouraged me. Whew!

Though I had implemented many ideas that Diane Gaudynski gave plus my own, my plumes just were not looking like plumes, not in my drawings and not in my practice sandwiches. Oh! Diane thank you so much for your wonderful tutorial! It was fabulous. I even wrote many of your tips down in my FMQ Sketch Book. Yes - I know I am rabbit trailing. Back to the misshapen plumes. Finally, I drew with pencil lightly the shape of a finished plume and then began to pencil in my feathers to fit the guidelines. I learned sometime during the practice affair that I needed to see lines so I had something to focus on while stitching. And. . . . because I was getting tired. . . when stitching the plumes I rested a few seconds after each feather to refocus on the direction I needed to go.

My Practices

My FMQ Sketch Book

Quilt as You Go - January's Meets February's

My reworked FMQ Challenge 2012 Quilt as you Go

After posting the picture above I noticed that my feathered plumes piece was not straight. During the do over I decided the blue/aqua was too dominant. I centered the folding star and added another layer of triangles with decorative stitching and chose the batik red/orange for a border.

I love comments! I like to know who has visited.


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