Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pin Cushions Revisited

One of two pin cushions made for a swap.
I was hoping Karen would love it! She did!


This is the second pin cushion I made for Karen!
I made one for myself too!

The swap project went like this: Using flickr create a picture mosaic of your favorite pin cushions. Karen, my swap buddy, requested that she wanted a purple pin cushion. One of her pictures within the mosaic was a pin cushion with a variable star with an inked image of flowers in the center made with a different color of fabric. I didn't have a pattern to follow so I found a similar square shaped pin cushion and used it as a guideline for sizing the pattern pieces.  Using Electric Quilt I printed off a foundation for a 3 inch variable star to paper piece and cut borders to size for the top piece. The filler is crushed walnut shells.




This is the pin cushion Emily made for me. 
Love it! Love it!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

String Scrappy Quilt is Finished!


Just this evening I put the last stitch in the binding! 
Nothing better than a finished quilt! 

It is free motion quilted using motifs from February's and March's  
SewCaGal's Free Motion Quilting 2012 Challenge. 

The border has free motion quilted plumes (Pictures tell all - I need to practice more on making feathered plumes) and the quilt blocks are twirls, loops and daisies. I used an extension cord for drawing the vein for the plumes. Ideally it would have been wonderful to have had a flexible curve ruler for drawing the vein. Overall the quilt is densely quilted and measures 45 1/2 " x 55 1/2", a nice size for a nap quilt. The quilt is heavy having been foundation pieced using muslin, thus was quite heavy to free motion quilt on my standard sewing machine. Left over strips were sewn  together and cut into bias strips for the binding.


Things to be grateful for:
  • Hubby had a free Sunday and could attend church with me.
  • Installation of my wood flooring beginning tomorrow morning.
  • Wonderful day with my husband!
  • Sunshine!
  • Today was Tyler's, my grandson's 18th birthday.. - How did this happened? It seems like it was yesterday he was born. I am so proud of him! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Which One?


Pin cushions!
This is what I have been up to lately!

The above are pictures of pin cushions that Karen has indicated that she likes. Her color preference is purple. So using purple fabric I have made one of the above and contemplating making her another. Can you guess or maybe can you say which one is your favorite. Karen will receive her pin cushion on Thursday during the Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild's monthly meeting. Since she periodically checks my blog I didn't want to ruin her surprise by having a picture of the one I made for her. 
I will post a picture after she receives it.


 I will be curious to see which pin cushion I will receive in the swap.
Here is a  mosaic picture of my of pin cushion preferences!


Now that I have made one for Karen it is one of my favorites. It just came how so cute! I hope she will be as excited about getting it as I am giving it to her.

Need ideas for pin cushion check see my Pinterest Board for Pin Cushions.

Happy quilting and sewing!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not Exactly Related To Quilting

Today started like any other day until I mentioned to hubby on his day off that it was time to buy another grill. We have gone without one for a couple of years. We really missed grilling out! How did we do that when it was a major source of cooking in our household for most of our married years. Since it is mostly hubby and me eating together we purchased a small size grill that is heavy duty and sturdy.

Darling husband decided he was going to put it together because he didn't think it would fit in the car. Well the box didn't exactly fit in the car either. We ended up opening up the box and pulling the parts out and loading them in the trunk and back seat. Success! I now didn't have to worry about it falling out of the trunk on the way home, even though it was a short trip.

Now we had to decide where we were going to assemble it. It was 88 degrees today in Charlotte, so doing it out on the patio was not even a consideration. The garage was the place. I thought I was being helpful when I brought out a cake pan for all the parts. I guess I wasn't! So while darling husband was assembling I was cleaning out the washtub, weeding and any other chore I could do outside being close-by in case I was needed. Only twice was I recruited, once when the grill was placed on the stand, and the second time when the screws and whatnot needed to assemble the grill were lost, but found.

Once it was completely built we made another trip to Lowe's to exchange the propane tank and while we were there I picked out a color to paint my sewing studio. I am so excited about changing the color. I have grown quite weary of the current blue color. The new color is Seagull Beach. I looked it up online to see if I could find a picture of the color. It looks lavender on my laptop screen but the color is somewhere between a light taupe and dark ecru. It will be more calming and will look nice with my existing window treatment that is light gray blue.

So guess what we had for dinner this evening? It was grilled, our favorite standby, grilled burgers. It was nice having a partner to cook dinner, hubby on the grill and me doing the veggies and fries.

I am calling it a good and blessed day. It is a blessing to share a day doing mundane things with my sweet husband, Mike. I hear the routine happening that occurs each evening as we prepare to retire for the day. Cassie has been walked, fed and watered, the alarm is going beep beep beep from going in and out the door, and the doors and blinds are being shut. Darling hubby is washing the bread pan from the banana bread I made this evening and Cassie is galloping up the stairs letting us know it is time for bed.

 Things I/we are grateful for today:
  • For our new grill
  • For God's provisions, sustaining us with when I resigned from my job.  Now I have several accounting jobs and a marketing research one while working at home. Love it!
  • For our three sons who are each special and unique
  • That I can use my talents, skills and experience that in general assist other people




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top of the Morning to You! I slept in a wee bit this morning staying up late free motion quilting the string scrappy quilt. Now I am sipping my Chai tea with Sweet Italian cream and honey gearing up to quilt a bit more and then make a pin cushion for a swap. 
Maybe I will do some blog hopping at the Quilting Gallery's St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop Party. There are 120 participating - those offering give-aways. I really really wanted to have a give away but  I have been so busy with work related things and couldn't swing it. Clicking on the Blog Hop Party avatar will take you to Quilting Gallery's St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop Party.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pictorial of WIPs








I won a pair of Grab A Roo's at the Charlotte Modern Quilting Guild. I love love love using them! Generally I use Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula hand cream. It works well too, but it does wear off.


Picnik and PicMonkey

I like enhancing my pictures. Generally I have been using Picnik but as many of you already know they will be shutting down their website April 19th. I learned from Ellison Lane Quilts that there is a new photo editing website on the horizon and it is PicMonkey. So today I experimented with the new site. It is quite user friendly. At the moment it doesn't have all the features that Picnik had, and yet it has other features that Picnik didn't have. Click on the PicMonkey below and it will take you to their website.



Please share how many projects you have in the works currently and if you are excited about the new photo editing website?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge 2012 & Energy Balls



Thank you again for SewCaGal for sponsoring the Free Motion Quilting Challenge 2012. Clicking on the Free Motion Quilting Challenge icon below will direct you to SewCaGal's blog featuring March's Free Motion Quilting tutorial with instructor, Ann Fahl, a talented free motion quilter. She has been doing FMQ for over 30 years which qualifies her to be called an expert. Wouldn't you say!

I love Ann's motif Loop and Twist. I added a daisy like flower to Loop and Twist to give the design some whimsy to go along with the YoYo flowers. Each month's challenge block will be added to previous FMQ Challenge 2012 blocks making a wall hanging.  The wall hanging will be a display of free motion quilting, applique and other techniques used by quilters.
 
While free motion quilting I kept thinking that the loops and twist were like bees flying to and fro buzzing around the daisies. Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz. I was feeling a little Bzzz myself while free motion quilting. Why? Because I had eaten a couple of easy, fast and no bake Energy Bars. 

1 cup dry oatmeal (Old-Fashioned Oats
1 cup toasted coconut flakes (made the house smell so divine)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (feeds the chocolate addict)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Throw all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, taste test, stir a bit more, taste test again, chill for about 30 minutes. Roll into balls. They will store for about 1 week in an airtight container for up to 1 week - that is if they last that long. Enjoy!

Don't forget to visit SewCaGal's blog. You will love Ann Fahl's free motion quilting tips, stuff and see the covers of her published books. Just click on the icon below.









Happy quilting and happy Friday to you!







Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stringing Along

Thank you to Seven Thirty Three, freshly pieced & Quilting by the River who are hosting linking parties. Each of their icons further down the page will direct you to their blog. Enjoy each of their blogs. They are each amazing with all kinds of creative things. I love visiting each of their blogs.

Oh my goodness - is it possible that some of the fabric in this quilt is from the 80s and 90s?

Does this make me hoarder?


I once heard a gentleman spout that all quilters are hoarders! That makes me think about one of my husband's favorite TV shows American Pickers. Mike and Frank travel throughout the US looking for the best picks, usually from those who some call themselves collectors but many are really hoarders. Some of the places look like the city junk yard where Mike and Frank literally are climbing over the piles of stuff looking for their pot of gold. If climbing over stuff is an indication of being a hoarder I'm safe. No climbing to get to stash. And I can at least say I have done something to reduce the amount of old fabric in my stash. On the left is a picture of Mike, Frank and Danielle, the stars of American Pickers. Click on the photo for more information about the show.



So do you like the scrappy string quilt made from 90s color fabric? I am quite pleased with how it turned out. It will make a nice charity quilt. For the back I used the leftover fabric from the top.
It is safety pin basted ready for free motion quilting.

I have been following Craftsy's Block of the Month, and ironically March's block is the same block pattern I used for my scrappy string quilt, the only difference is my 4 block units size to 20" x 20" where Craftsy's is 12" x 12."

The batting is pieced too! I have a bin full of leftover batting and decided to sew together pieces of the same weight and fiber content. I used my walking foot and used a zigzag stitch to stitch the butted edges together after rotary cutting straight edges.  Why didn't I think about zigzaging with the walking foot before? It was so easy and fast, faster than hand basting!

Today is a beautiful Spring day that I had to take pictures of my quilt outside. And as always Cassie wants to join me so she can watch the birds, squirrels and whatever else that grabs her attention. The little fur ball is such a magnet for leaves. She leaves a trail of her collection in my house from downstairs to upstairs. I really wish she would leave her finds at the door before coming inside.

















Things to be grateful for today:
  • For the new accounting jobs (2 missionary organizations) I acquired that I can do at home - love working at home!
  • For the new wood flooring my hubby is getting me! - Cassie's trails will be less seen on it.
  • For the sweet new friends at church I am making - The Women's Group changed their meeting day so I could attend since it conflicted with my meetings with the Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild.
Stitching in peace,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stripping and Scrapping

Need an idea for stash fabric that is outdated or do not know what to with it? I was planning to give it to Goodwill until my quilting friends convinced me I needed to give it away to another quilter or use it in smaller pieces since ugly fabric can become obscured when cut into smaller pieces. It never did make its way to Goodwill so I started to strip - cutting 1 1/2 inch strips. It will make a wonderful charity quilt, which I have made a promise to myself to make at least 2 this year to give away to someone who is either sick in the hospital or lives in a nursing home in hopes that it will brighten their day.

The strips are sewn on a foundation of 11 inch muslin blocks with 2 lines drawn diagonally to create a 1 inch wide line. These are the stitching lines. Next I drew a 1/4" line from each stitching line. This is the placement line for the edge of the next strip. Sew 1/4" seams, press and match another strip to edge, sew 1/4" seam, press and continue until the foundation block is covered in strips. The center white is the foundation block without a strip sewn on it. The block shown above is made up of 4 - 11" blocks. A tutorial for this block can be found on Bonnie Hunter's website.  Did you notice my spring flowers popping out in the picture?


Look what happened to my car yesterday. I was parked parallel on the street while interviewing for a job. It was a hit and run. I tried to remember it is only a thing and at least no one was hurt! It's just one more thing to do on my list of things to do!

Fortunately for me my sweet and darling son said  he can get it fixed for zero or less than $100. We would have had to pay a $500 deductible unless of course someone saw the accident and reported it.

As for the job interview I think it went fairly well. I was there for 1 1/2 hours. They say anything more than 20 minutes is a good sign. It will be another small accounting job I can do at home as an Independent Contractor. It is for 2 different missionary organizations. I would love the opportunity. I hope it will be mine.

After reporting the accident I met a Quilters Passion member for the first time. We had attempted a couple of times to meet and yesterday was the day.

Yesterday I had a migraine headache that wouldn't quit but I was bound and determined that it wasn't going to interfere with my interview and meeting Nancy for lunch. I even went to church in the evening with it too.

It was so nice to catch up with Nancy learning what she does on a day to day. Her 95 year old mother lives with her who is in fairly good health. Nancy is currently making baby quilts. She is a rather new quilter so it has been fun watching her brave it and challenge herself.


While at church last evening I asked the pastor if there was a day I could come in and sandwich my king size quilt on the sanctuary floor. He readily agreed and reminded me it was my church too. I do not have a space large enough in my house to pin baste my quilt preparing it for free motion quilting. Overall yesterday was a great day, in spite of the headache and the ouch on my car.

Well back to printing brochures and registration forms for the upcoming Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship Spring Conference. I am on the agenda to teach a workshop and the topic is: "Demystifying Financial Reporting - for You and Your Board".  I need to get busy!

I hope you are having wonderful weather like we are having in Charlotte, NC today! It is gorgeous!





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