Friday, March 9, 2018

Stars and Stripes

My blog has been way too inactive in recent months but I'm planning on correcting that situation as spring gets underway.  I really enjoy connecting with my readers and sharing what I'm working on and I've missed that lately.

Part of the problem with not posting (besides a lack of time) is that my camera broke months ago but now I finally have a new one.  I know that many people use the camera on their cell phones but that doesn't work well when the quilt is big...I have to stand way too far back to get it all in (if that's even possible) and then you can never see the details.  A new camera was a must in my book.

Anywho....I've finally gotten the chance to take pictures of a recently finished quilt.  This is:

Stars and Stripes
The pattern is Porch Rails by Fabric Cafe and I picked it up and the fabric bundles for it from their booth at the Quilt and Sewing Fest of New Jersey show last year.
Originally this quilt was going to be a gift to my step father but he passed away at the end of June last year before I could finish it so instead I'm going to donate it to a quilt charity.
As a veteran he would have appreciated the patriotic fabrics that I chose.
I used the Fire Flower panto.  The original plan was to use a panto that featured stars but when I auditioned the ones that I have, I didn't care for the overall effect.  So Fine thread in Red was used for both the front and the back.
To me the Fire Flower panto lends itself to a bit of a fireworks appearance which I think works better with the fabrics in the quilt top.
The backing is a another Red, White and Blue patriotic print that I just happened to come across that turned out to be perfect.
For the binding a Blue fabric with Red and White streamers was the fitting finale.
I know my step dad would have really appreciated this quilt and I'm sorry that he didn't get to enjoy it but it will be loved by someone else in his memory.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

It's Girl Scout Cookie Season again!

This will be the main focus for my daughter and I for the next 3 months.
I'm the Cookie Mom for my troop plus the Cookie Manager for the entire area of 70 troops and the Cookie Cupboard (where troops come to get more boxes of cookies after they pick up their initial order). I'm probably going to be counting boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas in my sleep. 

Yes the cookie season is crazy, my troop is determined to be the top selling troop in our area for the 4th year in a row. I'll be helping to man cookie booths on weekends for a month in mid March to mid April but it is all worth it for the fund my troop earns that allows us to do so much.....our activities, great field trips and an awesome annual charity project.  This year we will be filling backpacks with school supplies for the low income kids in our school district.

If you don't have a local cookie connection, I'd be happy to hook you up with Sunshine's online Digital Cookie order page so you can stock up this year.  In addition, you can buy donated boxes for our school district's Bountiful Backpack program that provides a backpack full of food on Fridays to those low income kids so they have something to eat over the weekend.  We also support our council's Gift of Caring program for donated boxes to US military and veterans.

It's definitely is an insane time of year for me but I hope that I can sneak in some sewing time too.   All cookies and no sewing will not make me a happy person. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Farewell Penelope

My first longarm machine and frame Penelope, went off to her new home yesterday.
A nice couple from a couple of hours east of me decided to make her their own.
Helping them to disassemble the frame and load it all in their vehicle brought back so many memories of when I brought her home and set her up.  We certainly had some good times together. I hope they are as excited as I was that first day.

Enjoy your quilting adventures Jim and Cindy.  I know that Penelope will be well loved and put to good use. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Cailey's One Hour Bag

I made one other gift this Christmas and it was a One Hour Bag by for my great niece Cailey.
I learned that she likes bright colors and Teal is her favorite so it was a perfect match when I found that I had this fabric in my stash.
I used a Orange-ish Red batik for the lining that coordinated perfectly.
This was really quick and easy to create.  I didn't time myself to see if it really took just an hour but I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.
She absolutely loved it and was shocked to learn that I made it and didn't buy it somewhere.  The look on her face when she realized that I made it especially for her was priceless.

I've decided that I really like making gifts for Christmas and I already have some thoughts on what I can make for folks next year.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Just Right bag for Diane

Over the summer while visiting with my sister Diane she admired my Orange Kate Spain Just Right Bag and I knew immediately that I would make her one this year for a Christmas gift.

What makes this bag extra special is the main fabric is leftover from the backing I used for the Tribute to Danny quilt and the Remembering Danny quilt.  This is how it turned out.
I knew that I wanted to use a Red fabric for the front pocket as Red, White and Black were Danny's school colors and it took some searching through my stash to find just the right one.
The Red print lines the front zippered pocket as well as the front open pocket.
I kept the quilting simple with jut diagonal straight lines.  I thought I was going to do the same in the opposite direction to result in a triangle pattern but once I finished the sewing in the first direction I decided that I liked this better.
The top zipper is a bit trickey to put in but the one for the front pocket zipper is definitely easier.
I didn't have enough of the Red print fabric for the inside lining and chose instead to use a gray print from the same line and I really like the contrast.  Both fabrics are from the Wallflowers line by Allison Harris for Windham Fabrics.
I still love that this bag pattern has so many inside pockets plus a roomy center section.
To say she was beyond thrilled with her gift is a huge understatement.
I expect that I'll end up get requests for this bag from a few other family members and I'll be happy to oblige.  It comes together quickly enough and makes a great gift. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

My gifts from Santa

Gifts of the quilty nature are always on my wish list every year and this year Santa did really well in granting many of my wishes.

I've got an Irish Chain quilt on my bucket list so Melissa Cory's book was an instant addition to the list as soon as it came out.  The expanding sewing gauge was also on the list for a few years and now I can cross that off to make room for other new goodies. And of course adding some of Kate Spain's Early Bird fabric line to my huge Kate Spain stash is always a good thing.
Santa also brought me a new Clover leather thimble (I have a well loved one and am scared it will get lost), a jar of Peels for taming thread, a 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" Creative Grids ruler and not 1 but 3 of the cute Thimble Blossoms pins.
Santa is always happy to have a wish list to choose from to make his task easier and I love getting quilty things that I want.  It's a win-win for all.

I want to wish you a very Happy New Year.
May the coming year be good to you and yours and may you accomplish all that you hope for.  I know for me, I've already started working on my 2018 goals.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Pillows to remember Grandma

Early in the summer the mom of one of my Girl Scouts lost her mother.  A few weeks ago she brought me a Red sweater her mom used to wear and asked me if I'd be able to turn it into a pillow that she could give to her sister for Christmas.  I hadn't done this before but I knew that it wouldn't be difficult.  

This is the result of a short amount of time of planning and sewing.
 She also brought me her mother's fluffy Pink robe and asked if I could also make a pillow from it.  This was a little more challenging but after I decided to actually leave the zipper in and make it part of the design they came together quickly.  I actually had enough fabric to make two pillows.
 I finished them on Christmas Eve and she was thrilled.
The Red pillow went to her sister, one Pink pillow when to her niece and she kept the other one for herself.  Many tears were shed when the gifts were opened and I know that they will continue to comfort all 3 ladies for many years to come.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Another batch of City Sampler blocks are done

With the change in my volunteer role with our local Girl Scout area service unit I've had more time to get back to my love of sewing and have made additional progress on my Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocks City Samper - my Halloween version.
Block 34 was perfect for this fussy cut witch print.
The last of the rectangle blocks chapter, block 35, was an easy one to complete.
Then I was back into the chapter featuring triangles and first up was block 46.
I had these leftover half square triangles already made from another long ago project and was thrilled to be able to put them to good use for block 47.
Black and Yellow was also the theme I felt like using when I made block 48.
I tried hard to use a variety of colors so block 49 features this fun Green fabric.
The White and Black half square triangles in this block 50 are tiny, finishing at 1 inch.
Block 51 quickly came together featuring these Green and Black prints.
I felt like using Purple and Orange when I made block 52.
And lastly, for this batch at least, block 53 showcases a big piece of the silly monsters print. 
I've completed a total of 83 blocks and only have 17 more to go.  This will definitely be the last Halloween season where this quilt is a UFO.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

More completed City Sampler blocks

Today seems to be an appropriate day to show you more of the Tula Pink City Sampler blocks I've completed recently.  I'm enjoying making them and I'm starting to see the light at the end of this project tunnel.

Some bold graphic prints was the feature for block #26.
I chose a Purple dot to pair with the cute print fabric in block 27.
For block 28 gray spider webs and the friendly skeletons work well together.
I love the blocks where I can feature some of the prints with bigger motifs such as in this block which is number 29.
Block 30 focuses on friendly jack 'o lanterns.
A Purple bat print outlines the center in block 31.
For block 32 I was happy to be able to fussy cut this poison bottle and show it front and center.
And lastly for this batch is block number 33.
I've completed a few more blocks but need to get the pictures transferred so that I can write the next blog post.  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The next batch of Halloween City Sampler blocks

I've been able to continue crossing off finished blocks on my list.  Here are more recently completed ones.

I wish that showing this block 91 meant that I was nearing the end of the block construction but alas it did not.  This was just the start of the next batch of the blocks in the Haiku chapter.
Fussy cutting for the center meant I got the really fun result I was after for block 92.
Part of the fun in making these blocks is choosing which fabrics to use.  This is block 93.
There aren't as many blocks where I can use a larger print fabric such as I did for block 94.
Flying witches became the theme for block 95.
Once I added that block to the wall I took a picture of what they all looked like together so far.
Then I turned back to chapter 1 Cross blocks and made number 11.
Next up was block number 12.
I try to vary the colors used as much as possible to give the quilt more interest.  A Green print was the feature for block number 13.
Someone on Instagram commented that the feature fabric reminded her of the Pacman game.  I have to agree with her.  This is block 14.
And finally chapter 1 was finished with this completed block number 15.
Additional posts are in the works with more blocks to show.  Maybe I'll even be able to at least get the whole top done before the 31?  Time will tell.