Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September Goal

I've been a complete failure in adhering to my vow not to take on any new sew along's this year. I couldn't pass up making some flower pot blocks from Annette Plog's book True Blue Quilts when she had a SAL on Instagram.
I made 20 Flower Pot blocks. My Plan A for setting the blocks was to use this older Jo Morton toile. 
 I just didn't have enough of the the toile to get the last couple setting triangles--in fact, a couple I did cut were "make do".
  On to Plan B.
I had the dark blue fabric left over from another project where I had used it for borders, so I had a very long piece about 16" wide. I crossed my fingers and hoped that there would be enough! There was. Then, to make use of those toile setting triangles I had already cut (and the alternate blocks) I made some pretty big flying geese to fit around the quilt. I had pre-cut and set aside long border strips of the toile for Plan A, and they became a wide inner border. At first, I had stopped with the toile border, and liked how it looked, but wished it was a little bit larger. I wanted something that would be usable, not a small wall quilt. I would have liked something a bit more "elegant" for the outer border, but I didn't dare do anymore cutting because I was in serious danger of running out of both of my finishing fabrics. On the other hand, I wanted to make good use of both fabrics, especially the toile since I had cut it all up for Plan A!

As penance for breaking my "no SAL's" rule, I am making this my September One Monthly Goal. 


Okay, another confession--I also did the Temecula Marvelous Mini Monday SAL too.
I'm so bad! 

But look at those sweet blocks--who can resist a 2" shoo-fly or churn-dash??
Check out other September One Monthly Goals HERE

Monday, August 28, 2017

August Accomplishments....

Even though it was a crazy month for me, and I felt like I wasn't making any progress on my many projects, looking back I guess I didn't do too badly! 
My August UFO was finished the first week of the month. I realized that if I got it done, I could take it along to my Bonnie Hunter class for what she calls Show and Share. Easy Street was my August One Monthly Goal project. 

In my rush to get it finished (and because I didn't look forward to having a huge quilt on my lap in the August heat) I finished the binding with a blanket stitch rather than hand stitching it in place. 

Yes, I did the old standby super fast quilting.....Cinnamon Rolls! 

These are the three fabrics I pieced together for the back. I strategically placed the blue where I would be able to salvage most of it for later use--lol! 

I almost forgot about my Primitive Garden Facebook block until the middle of the month.  I wasn't sure I would have time to finish this one, so I planned to just ink in the words on the seed packet. The applique went pretty quickly, so I had plenty of time to do the embroidery. 

I worked really hard to hand piece and set in the half stars for the side edges of my Texas Star quilt. I wanted so badly to get this all together and it finally happened--yeehaw! 

And thanks to a very rainy weekend, I managed to hand piece the last corner of Border 10 on Mrs. Billings. Those corners were crazy! I'm soooo happy to have this round finished--on to the next one!!
I had thought to have time this month to work on my blocks from the Bonnie Hunter class and also to make a few more 4"x5" Anthology blocks, but there's always next month! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

No Green Thumb Needed

Here's something you don't know about me...at one time, long, long ago, I had over 100 houseplants that I was happily nurturing. Most of them were cacti, succulents or bromeliads, so it wasn't super labor intensive, but it still took up a lot of time. Eventually I developed other interests--like quilting!  One by one, all of my plants fell by the wayside until I had not even one plant left to water. 
That doesn't mean I don't like having some greenery around though! I love the look of the olive branches you see in so many Farmhouse style decor photos, so I was drawn to these olive trees from Commercial Silk--very life like with the silvery leaf backs and woody twigs.  

My first intent was to have them on the mantle (I've been looking for some greenery to put there forever!), but I think they get a bit lost against the brickwork.
(I confess, the clock hasn't been hung back up since day light saving time started--my bad!)  

So... I moved them to the dining room sideboard. Much better! 

You could literally spend hours on the  CommercialSilk.com site--and I did! I'm thinking that I may need to order some of the  outdoor plants or boxwood hedges because of my deer problems--lol! It would be pretty cool to surround my entire back deck for privacy too.
And, of course, I'm still thinking about that mantle.... 

The olive trees were provided to me by Commercial Silk in exchange for a review. 
   Check out Commercial Silk on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Quilting with Bonnie Hunter

I guess it's about time I posted a couple photos from my class with Bonnie Hunter before I forget that it even happened....
The night before the Jamestown Landing class, Bonnie did a lecture/trunk show. Afterwards, members of the audience showed their "Bonnie Hunter" quilts. It was really fun to see so many variations!
The best part of the day: my on-line friend Sandi Tundel and I met in person--finally! She kindly offered to pick me up at the hotel for dinner and the trunk show. It's been so funny to compare our interests as we both seem to have done, or plan to do, the same projects--even having read the same books. Turns out we drive the same make and model car--how crazy is that? 

This is a closeup of the Jamestown Landing quilt.
 I'm sure you can figure out why I wanted to take this class!
There were lots of Jamestown Landing variations--these are from just about everyone in class. We made string block units in the morning and broken dishes units in the afternoon. Then we put the units together into blocks. 

I loved this quilters block made from plaids.
I really need to start collecting old shirts! 

This is what I accomplished in class. I'm thinking I need to set this block aside and start making the string units with less contrasting fabrics. I'm worried they will detract from the design that the broken dishes segments make. I've only made about 15 of the string blocks, so it wouldn't be a big deal to set those aside for something else. What do you think?

I haven't accomplished much this week.
Not to overshare; I had a hard time bouncing back from a "medical procedure" I had on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be back to "normal" soon. In the meantime, I'll be doing some stitching on the last Primitive Garden block before starting on the borders. This is the first time I've used my Apliquick tools I purchased at a quilt show in June. So far, so good. I especially like the glue stick!

Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dogs on Quilts

The Pets on Quilts parade has been going on for several years at Lily Pad Quilting. It's always so entertaining to see the photos of sweet critters on quilts. They aren't always dogs and cats like you would expect--that's part of the fun! 
In past years, I didn't have a pet to put on a quilt.
I never really thought about posing Kylie (who we adopted last September) on a quilt in anticipation of the parade, but it turns out that I do have several photos of her on them. She was my sewing room helper and it seems she loved quilts as much as I do. 

Any time a quilt was available for snuggling, she would be on it.
 Here she is avoiding eye contact, as she knew better than to be on that bed--lol! 

It didn't matter if  the pile of quilts wasn't folded to dog size, she would be on them anyway. 

Oh oh! Caught you again, you little stinker! 

Of course, now that we have lost her to illness, she would have free reign to be on that bed anytime she wanted.  
 See the parade HERE

Sunday, August 6, 2017

An August UFO choice on a Slow Sewing Sunday!


I had a hard time deciding what I should choose to finish this month--unfortunately I have lots of options! 
Since I will be starting a new Bonnie Hunter top on Wednesday, I thought this may be a good month to finish Easy Street. I found that I had already made the binding (yay!) and had some backing fabrics chosen (but not sewn together--boo!). I think I can get away with an edge to edge design, so it should be a pretty simple finish.
I'm feeling a bit of trepidation on starting a new Bonnie Hunter project. It seems like most times I have an issue like I did HERE and HERE--lol!
The Snowman: A Harry Hole Novel (7) (Harry Hole series) by [Nesbo, Jo]
I also seem to have another group of UFO's--or maybe ULO's (unlistened  objects). I've had a bunch of Audible books on my phone that I had purchased years ago. I've been trying to listen to them during my daily walks rather than finding something new. I really enjoyed The Snowman. The entire time I was listening, I was thinking how the story would make a great movie. I've just learned it is going to be a movie, released in October. This isn't the first Harry Hole mystery, and there were a few personal threads that probably overlap from the other HH books, but I don't think you need to have read the other books to enjoy this one. Now I want to read the rest of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole books!  Anyway, if you liked the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, I think you would enjoy this one-it has that kind of feel.
 
State of Wonder: A Novel by [Patchett, Ann]
Now I'm on to State of Wonder. It starts out in Minnesota but quickly shifts to  Brazil where it's hot, hot, hot.  Maybe not the best thing to be listening to when you are walking in humid summer heat--unlike The Snowman, set in Norway during the winter. I'm not too far into the book yet, but there are some very interesting characters and I'm intrigued.
You've probably read these books long ago, but if not, this was my two cents!


On the bus trip, I finished hand piecing the half stars that go along the vertical edges of my Texas Star quilt.

And I only have this one seam left to finish the top--yee-haw!!
If I knew how to do the Texas Two Step, I would be doing it--so excited to see this so close to the end! I think my Slow Stitching today will see this one done!
Linking with One Monthly Goal HERE and 
Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fun on the Bus!

This weekend's bus trip was my first two day tour. It was lots of fun and I would love to do it again, for sure. For now, I need to recuperate--lol! 
At the first two shops I showed great restraint!
At shop one, I picked up some Jan Patek fat quarters. At the second shop, the stripe on the right was part of that same line and on sale, so of course I had to pick up a yard. 

By the third shop, things were starting to become a blur....
 Most of the fabrics I purchased were from the sale sections--you know I love a bargain! I did have to have that little Primitive Gatherings check even though it was regular price--too cute. 
My "mission" on the trip was to find small non-directional shirting prints.
 I think I am set for a while on these! A couple were directional, but too cute to pass up.
 One shop gave everyone on the bus one of these Fiskars cutting mats--that was a fun surprise!  


Another "mission" was to find fabric for fussy cutting Lucy Boston blocks and some of my Mrs. Billings hexagons: price is no object here! One shop had a Minnesota version of Lucy as their free shop hop block with fussy cut ladyslippers. I also purchased one of their Lucy kits to get that wavy red fabric--just in case I didn't already have it--!


When you find Jan Patek, French General and Kaye England fabric for $4.50 a yard, buy backings!
At the first shop on the second day, we were greeted by a tent set up outside the shop, all hung with beautiful quilts, where they served coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls. Yum! The shop was part of a grain elevator and so cute.  The coffee drinkers were extremely appreciative, as the coffee machine at the hotel had been on the fritz and they had been reduced to surviving on decaf. 

 For booking the bus trip with the travel company, everyone was given a Moda jelly roll of Janet Clare's Aubade.
The prize for visiting every shop in the Southwestern section of the shop hop was a bundle of 12 flannel fat quarters. I was a bit skeptical of what the quality of the free flannel would be, but it was beautiful!  Shirley and  I swapped my flannel bundle for her jellyroll though, as I have a pattern I've been wanting to do that requires two rolls. and she wanted make a larger flannel quilt. That worked out great us both and, let's face it--the Aubade is BLUE! Also for the shop hop, we got a charm square of the special Minnesota fabric. Can you believe that I didn't get a single repeat? Not even of the stripe I had already picked up at Colorz--amazing. 

Every shop gives out a free block pattern that they have designed for the Shop Hop fabric, and I think all of the shops were also participating in the Row by Row Experience--I am swimming in new patterns to sort through! The standing French General tool station was a door prize that Ruth didn't want and gave to me--love it! What a sweetie! Sandi and Karen gave me their English Paper Piecing hexie kits that were a giveaway at one of the shops. I have to work on getting them hooked on EEP asap!
If my calculations are correct, I came come with 29 yards of fabric (eeep!), not including the approximately 3 yards of fabric on each of those jelly rolls. 
I think I better dig in this winter and sew like there's no tomorrow! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Whew!

I'm so happy to have my Front Porch quilt finished before tomorrow's bus trip! 
First of all: sorry for the terrible photos!
My quilt holder needs longer arms and we both needed a shadier spot to take pictures!
Front Porch was my July UFO to get finished. It measures 72" x 94".
It's a Jan Patek pattern and was really a fun one to work one.
  
Of course it was the Dresden Plate bike that attracted me to the pattern--so cute! 


This is the back--it's a beautiful shade of blue--not the gray (that's the sun shining through) as it appears in the photo. I've had this fabric in my stash for several years but was a bit short to do the entire back, which was okay--it gave me the opportunity to use up some leftover strips of Front Porch fabric from a Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bar that I had purchased for this quilt. 

My label is a block that I had started for the front of the quilt but didn't it make the cut.
Now I'm off to pack my bag for the bus trip!
Linking with OneMonthlyGoal HERE

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Not Quite There....

I am still working to finish my July UFO--just three more sides of the binding to stitch down and then attaching the label. This has to get done in the next few days as I leave early Saturday morning on a bus trip to visit the Southwestern section of the the Minnesota Shop Hop. I have a feeling I will be too tired to do a thing on Monday! 
In the meantime, I thought I would share my progress on my "Up North Crazy Mat". 
All of the crazy stitching is complete--just the binding and quilting left to do. 

I added a few plants around the deer to anchor him to the ground and changed to stars to fireflies (yes, that's what they are in case you couldn't tell--lol). 




A little bee fills up an empty spot. 



This area had been bothering me since the beginning. I finally realized that I had put the bobber upside down.
White on top, Karen!
This is particularly embarrassing as the closest town to where I live has a bobber water tower that I have driven by for more than 20 years--eeep! 

I didn't really have a stitch plan--just kind of decided on the fly as I worked my way around the mat. The main thing was to distribute the colors.
 Now to raid the stash for the perfect binding!