The little things

I do believe it’s the little things that make life fun.  Hubby and I took a ride to Philadelphia last week.  On our drive, once we broke free from the rain, we had a chance to see a fantastic double rainbow.  I was not driving so chanced a few shots thru the wet glass.

Double rainbow

And just when I thought we wouldn’t see it any longer, we went around a bend and I got this –

RAINBOW

The rest of the drive was without rain, for which I was thankful. I called this shot God’s Promise!  It did help me to find a bit of calm to get through the next few days. (Boring medical stuff ….insert sigh here). (No you can’t see those pictures!)

Once back home, we got ready for the arrival of the grandkids along with their parents for the weekend. Coming home from an outing on Saturday, we had a visitor in the driveway. My observant daughter saw the visitor, and I was able to encourage him into the lawn to avoid being run over.

Yard art

Since the kids were visiting on the first day of fall, I decided to put my Autumn Jubilee placemats out on the table. Early one morning the 6 year old was playing with legos at the table, and making a little vignette. I reached into the china closet and pulled out some extra “goodies” to help decorate her lego village.

Autumn has arrived

These little pumpkin candles and cornucopias were favorites of my husband while he was growing up, and he cherishes them. Vintage bordering on antique! His mother carefully packed them away every season into a “cheese box” and into the china cabinet they went. My 6 year old granddaughter loved the little girl witches and the pumpkin salt and pepper shakers. They are fun to take out and have on the table for a little while!

Vintage candles

I wouldn’t be surprised to find a 29 cent price sticker on the bottom of one from the  5&10 store! (Circa 1950).

My 6 year old granddaughter needed a little extra grandma time on Sunday morning, and asked to go to my quilt room.  Once there, she decided she just LOVED a block on my design wall.  Well, she loved 2 blocks, but narrowed her choices to one. In no time at all, we had a little 15″ envelope style pillow case made and stuffed with a pillow form.  She did all my pinning, while I chatted with her about what I was doing. She wanted to make a gift for her big sister, and in under an hour, we were finished!

quick Pillow project with granddaughter

We got the pillow form stuffed in and into a gift bag just in time for departure!  (No the pillow didn’t get quilted, but I think the recipient didn’t mind or notice!)  The funny thing is, she was drawn to the colors of the blocks that my friend had “handed off” to me as UFO’s.  Thanks for the blocks Pam!! The block went to good use!  The little things…

Before you knew it, the weekend was over and the house settled into quiet again. I miss the little voices when they leave. It was wonderful to have both daughters and all 4 grandkids and 2 son-in-laws around the dinner table on Friday night and to listen to the laughter and the chatter and the stories.

I have continued to play with my embroidery machine as time permits.  I had fun working on dish towels – 

Start with Coffee

Espresso design

These 2 designs are from Oh My Crafty Supplies website.  I have a special person in mind for these.  I did two other designs, but won’t show them quite yet…because I forgot to photograph them!

I did a little more quilting on the never ending placemats —

Batik placemats

This is the end of the line with 18 placemats. These need trimmed and they all need squaring up and binding.  I did all the quilting with ONE of my favorite Superior Threads –

Superior Batik Blue #5021

Batik Blue #5021

Superior Batik Blue Fantastico

It’s the little things…..I finished my machine quilting with thread left on the spool and 1/2 a bobbin full. I usually shop for thread at quilt shows, and will have to keep my eyes open for someone vending Superior Thread in the next month or 2! Otherwise, an order will have to go out.  This is the 2nd spool of this thread that I have used and I just love how it blends!

I brought home a quilt to bind, from the assisted living facility where I have volunteered for the last 9 months. I made the binding 2 weeks ago, and this afternoon got it trimmed and bound. I think the “first time” quilter, Trish, did a fine job.  I will deliver it on Thursday to her when I go to volunteer.  I used “Susie’s Magic Binding” and love the little pop of color the flange gives the edge of the quilt. This method is done all by machine, no handwork, which is why I love it.  It’s the little things…

Trish's baby quilt

I’m feeling grateful for the new members of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild who have come the last 2 Monday’s  to help me with 2nd Time Around prep for the Quilt Show. And for my co-chair who keeps taking home large quantities of fabric to prep!  I love that people are so willing to volunteer.  And I love that people in the guild are willing to donate their “scraps” and unwanted fabrics. We had the most BEAUTIFUL batiks come through the donations!!  (No – my placemat batiks did not come through the guild…they came from a friend at my church!)

The rest of this week is busy busy busy, with the Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday, and hopefully a bike ride on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning!  I missed riding in the last 3 weeks!  Another fabric donation pick up on Wednesday morning, a few appointments scattered in, and more 2nd Time Around prep for the guild meeting next Monday.

In the coming weeks, I am not going to be going at my normal pace.  I need to have 2 surgeries on my right hand; so my involvement will be limited to doing what I can with the “other” hand.  For a 2 handed typist, my blog posts will be scarce, projects limited etc. For 2nd time around, I will be restricted to folding and pressing with “the other hand”.  I guess I can sort and price buttons!!   And boy, do we have some awesome buttons!   Like I said, it’s the little things.

As you go through your day, look for the little things to find joy!   

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All but binding……

I am nearly finished with Mittens, my pet mosaic project I started in May of 2016.  (If you click on that link you can go back to my FLICKR album and browse through all the photo’s).  I’ve written many times about Mittens on this blog, and wanted you to know I have FINALLY reached the end!

Mittens will be completed in the next day or two with a week to spare.  I entered him into the  Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show  which takes place on July 21 & 22, 2017 in Lewes Delaware.

I did a LOT of thread work on this project trying to give the idea of his fur, especially in his ear you see below-

Thread painting

All that heavy thread work caused the sides of the quilt to pull in and make a “bow” in the sides of the quilt near the ears.

I needed to block the quilt.  I went to the internet and read lots of posts on how to block the project, and compiled info from many sources for “my method”.

Can you see how wavy the sides are???

Quilting finished

I ended up on the floor with 2 of those old fashioned cardboard cutting mats, a carpenter’s square with a yardstick attached and about 500 pins, and two tape measures.  I just kept working and working until it was as square as I could get it. The pins went through the project, into the cardboard mats and then into the floor!  (Industrial carpeting!!!)  This took me nearly 3 hours as I worked to get rid of as much of the “curve” the heavy quilting caused.  If you have a tip on how to keep that from happening, let me know! The project & borders were straight before quilting!

I got the water bottle out and started spraying.  I let it “soak” in and waiting an hour or so, and plugged in the iron, and steamed and pressed the whole quilt.  After I was finished with the iron, I set a floor fan near it and walked away.

Blocking Mittens

I let him dry for about 18 hours and then I pulled out the pins, put him on the table and trimmed him up.

While he was drying I got busy with making the binding and the label and the hanging sleeve.

I did my label on my embroidery machine and edged it in some cute cat fabric.  There are pieces of this fabric scattered out in the project.

Label for my Pet Mosaic project

I stitched down 2 sides of the label in the edges of the binding, and fused to the back of the quilt. I still have to hand stitch around 2 sides of the label, and the bottom and ends of the hanging sleeve.  Since Mittens is a wall hanging, the top of the sleeve is stitched in the edge of the binding.  Which binding?  Well….Susie’s Magic Binding of course. It is stitched to the back of the quilt and READY for me to roll to the front and take those final stitches in the area of the flange.

That is my project for this summer afternoon!  What are you working on??

 

NOTE – Cheryl Lynch taught the class where I began the project – check out her website Cheryl Lynch Quilts  .  If your guild is looking for a great teacher & speaker, she comes with my recommendation!

Addison’s Quilt is finished

August is shaping up to be a month where things are finally getting finished.  A friend of mine asked me the other night “How many quilts are you working on at once? ”   Well, the answer really is I can only work on one at a time, but I have many in various stages of completion.  Today was a great day with the finish on Addison’s Quilt.  I was able to get it trimmed and bound this afternoon/evening and am ready to pop it in the washer with 3 or 4 color catchers.  I did “pre wash” but I want to be sure there are NO surprises, and I love the way a quilt “crinkles” after it is washed and dried the first time.  Besides, I have been handling it alot and I want it to be nice & clean when I give it to her.  (Do you suppose I can wait until I get to show it off at the next guild meeting????)

If you have been following along, I started this project in late March when my daughter selected the pattern.  I had made a  baby quilt Pinterest board and “pinned” quilt patterns that I was willing to make.  The pattern she selected was one that was called “A Halloween Quilt by Simple Simon and Company.  I used it as a launching point, and I added in a third color. I do want to give credit for the inspiration to Elizabeth and her design at Simple Simon and Co  The addition of the aqua was my choice, and I think it adds a little “zing” to the project.  I used 5″ half square triangles (HST) for Addison’s quilt and a 6 1/2″ wide finished border.  I wasn’t sure how many HST I was going to need, so I made LOTS ! !  In fact, I made so many that I added them to the pieced back that I made.

So, here is an overview with the finish pictures at the end –

Half Square Triangles

I made LOTS of half square triangles

More Half Square triangles

I had about 222 LEFT OVER so I used a few in the backing with these great “wagon wheel blocks”. I love a “pieced back” and like bringing the fabric from the quilt top to the back of the quilt.

Addison's Quilt back

I made LOTS of binding….using the Susie’s Magic Binding technique from 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog.

Binding for Addison's quilt

I quilted with my walking foot in a diagonal in the white only.

Addisons quilt

Made the label on my embroidery machine and stitched it on so the very top is “under the binding”.

quilt label

Feels great to have another finish! Just think – she will be 5 months old tomorrow! Not bad! This is a double bed sized quilt finishing at 80″x88″, so she can “grow into it!”.

Oh; I forgot to share this picture – I delivered June’s quilt to her on Monday….I think she was happy!

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I might have mentioned last week that I was going to pin baste 2 smaller quilts…Well, I got to my SitNSew group at church last Wednesday with 2 quilt tops, and the fabric to build the backings. Got the backings all built, dug out the safety pins and realized I had come without the batting!  So, I hung everything back on hangers, and brought it all back home. This morning bright and early I re-measured and cut batting for both my Scrappy Stars and my Courthouse steps.  So they are now “pin basted” and ready to quilt. My goal is to get the Scrappy Stars done in the next few days, as it is going to a Benefit Auction at the end of the month.  When it is done, my Pet Mosaic moves up to #1…….Not sure where Courthouse Steps will land in the priority list, but it is not at the top! I looked at all the quilt tops on hangers and have been thinking I need to work on some more “finishes”….I am on a roll…..

It’s been a good day!

June’s Quilt – FINISHED

It feels like a big relief to say I have “FINISHED” June’s quilt. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I was asked to finish this quilt last fall for my friend, June. There is a long story behind this project, and the label hopefully captures it.  I worked on it Friday and Saturday and got it trimmed, labeled and bound.  I will “deliver” on Monday afternoon.  Many thanks to my sister in law – Carolyn – for her lovely long arm quilting.  She was so generous!

June built the 9 patches around the center panel and handed it all off to me last September.  I picked out the fuchsia and the green for the borders, and built the pieces in the side borders out of her leftover bits & pieces.  Carolyn volunteered in May when she visited to do the long arm quilting, so when the top was done, I put it in the mail, and shipped it out to California.  She had it back to me inside of 2 weeks. What a BLESSING!  While it was “out” I got the binding prepared,

Susie's Magic Binding for 2 quilts

(Susies’s Magic Binding prepped for 2 quilts)

I actually purchased 4 more yards of the green fabric when I tripped over it on a bus trip in July. June wants to “recover” her fabric headboard and make some chair cushions.   In order to work on the binding, I had to move my machine back over to my big table.  Isn’t the backing fabric pretty?

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I got the lilac in a wide (108″) backing from Marshall Dry Goods on line.  Great prices and fast shipping (Less than $10 per yard for 108″ wide !!!!)  I had to “stop” binding to get the label ready.  I like to make sure it is stitched under the binding, as well as fused on.  June will get to “hand stitch” the other 3 edges.

Label for June's quilt

You can see this project has been “in the works” for quite some time.

Binding and borders of Junes quilt

Carolyn did a lovely job with the quilting, using a loop-d-loop style of free motion quilting.  The green is part of the border, and that pop of fuschia comes from the flange you get when you make Susie’s Magic Binding. The lilac rose backing fabric was perfect for this project.

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June chose an creme colored thread, because she wanted it to “show” on the dark purple.

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Ready to pack up and deliver on Monday afternoon.  I hope she likes the finish!

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On a side note; while I was getting the specifics from June for the Rose Garden Quilt, June asked if I could prepare another label for a quilt she just finished repairing.  Sorry, no photo’s of her other quilt, but here is the label, ready for her to iron on and stitch down. (It has some wrinkles from the final preparation, but I can’t iron them out, as there is fusible on the back. (Note, I use Floriani Fusible No Show Mesh Stabilizer when I finish the label and turn it right side out. )

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As I was making both labels, I was wishing for a high end embroidery machine. My little Brother only has a 4×4 field, and I have to realign for each line of text. It is not always “even”, no matter how hard I tried! Best I could do, and done is better than perfect.

Time to get Addison’s quilt label made & quilt bound!

link to Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial http://www.52quilts.com/2012/05/tuesday-tutorial-susies-magic-binding.html- Tell Marti I sent you if you pop in to view the tutorial!

August already?

Thinking it is already August and I am still not finished with much!!  Then, of course, I commit myself to a quilt for a charity benefit auction that takes place at the end of the month.  No, I must not have enough to do, or in truth, there is nothing I personally can do for my friend, whose husband has a serious illness. So, I make a quilt.  What I should have done is make a list of all the projects I have looming, in various stages. UFO’s surround me, UFO’s are making me a little anxious and stressed….oh well…what’s another project…at least this one has a hard fast deadline!  I decided to stare at my design wall for a while….and then I stared at Facebook for a while, and then I found this pattern……The Star one…on the left….with the blue sashing.  SO….I got out a box of 2.5″ squares and made a few 4 patches, and some 3″ squares and made some half-square triangles, and then I got interrupted.

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I had that Queen Bees gathering last week, and had to get my stuff ready, and then I came home with yet another UFO….the folded Christmas Tree.  I was happy to spend my time helping a new person learn to safely use a rotary cutter. Wednesday was my “SitNSew” group at church and I made nearly 500″ of binding for June’s quilt.  Then I spent the entire day on Thursday sorting the “stuff” that people donated to the 2nd Time Around table at the quilt guild.  Kathy & I got it all “ready for re-sale” which was a huge undertaking, all in one day.  By Friday, I could finally get back to thinking about that “benefit auction quilt”.

I made some half-square triangles, only cutting into the stash for the white – and some 4 patches.  All were made using my “scrap storage system” for the 3″ squares I needed for the HST and the 2.5″ squares I had stored in a little bin.  I got busy trimming HST and building these blocks over the weekend –

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I printed out a picture from a group on Facebook that inspired my blocks –

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I got the last few constructed on Monday evening, and on Tuesday I set my goal of getting them sashed, and joined to form a quilt top.  What a difference the sashing made!

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SCRAPPY STARS – by Mary Deeter

My goal was to get it ready to “layer” at my Wednesday Sit N Sew at church.  I pulled the fabric for the backing last night – I picked this one because I had about 8 yards! And it didn’t fight too hard with the colors on the front of the quilt.

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I packed up, got to the church at 10 am, and proceeded to prep this fabric for the backing.  Once I got it pieced, and set out on the tables where we pin baste, I slapped my hand across my forehead and yelled at myself!  NO BATTING…..I had left it at home….duh…..So, I pressed it anyway, and folded it over a hanger and brought it back home.  I did however have a 2nd project, and that was the Courthouse steps log cabin that was in the first picture.  I needed to prep a back for it too.  I will share the great fabric I chose for it in another post.

Well dang, at least both quilt tops have backings and next Wednesday, I will layer and pin baste them. (If I remember to cut the batting and bring it!)

Until then, I can get back to some of these other projects cluttering up my big table.  I have it covered in scraps from the Quilt Guild donations; and JUNE’S QUILT is back; ready to trim and bind. (I made that binding last week in case you forgot).  Carolyn did a wonderful job long arm quilting June’s quilt; and I have labels to get ready for it and another one of Junes.   So; I am not without a project or 2 or 10.

Happy Stitching….and keep your fingers crossed, I might eventually get back to my Pet Mosaic.

 

Finished backing for Addison’s quilt

As I mentioned in my previous post  on July 10, 2016 ,  I just needed to get those 5″ borders on the backing and it would be ready to go.  I didn’t realize when I started that post that there was no photo of the basic back put together. So,  that post showed only  “blocks on the wall”.  Well, here it is; borders on, ready to pin baste on Wednesday.  The backing measures up at 91 x 99; and the quilt top measures out at 80.5 x 89.25.

Addison's Quilt back

As I mentioned previously, I had LOTS of left over half-square triangles and fairly large pieces of fabric too.  So, the Wheel Blocks were made, and the big blocks of fabric, balanced things out nicely I think.  These big blocks give you a better look at some of the fabrics that were used for the half square triangles in the top below.

Final border is on

The 91×99″ backing should give me the needed “clearance” when it comes to layering!  The border on the quilt top, and the extra 5″ borders on the backing are the same fabric.

I’ve been thinking about how to quilt this project. It has a very “modern” look.  I think I will do it quite simply, along the ditch on the diagonal stripes, using the walking foot, keeping it simple.  What would you do???

The binding is prepared and pressed and is the same fabric as the borders. I added a solid coral to be the “piping color” using the Susie’s Magic Binding technique that I so enjoy doing.

Binding for Addison's quilt

Have you tried it yet?  Tutorial can be found on Aunt Susie’s 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog here – Susie’s Magic Binding

Had a great time this morning at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Community Sewing day.  I worked on Quilts of Valor String blocks.  It was nice to visit around the room with members of the guild whom I miss the chance to speak with on a regular basis. Tomorrow will be for “layering up” that Courthouse Steps log cabin baby quilt.  Happy stitching!

My Little Blue Bird – FINISH

I love to finish a project!  Ok, well, once the binding is finished I call it done.  I did add a hanging sleeve to this project and will hand stitch the bottom of it down and put a label on, soon.  But for now, it is FINISHED!

The pattern is by Pat Sloan, & if you are new to my blog,  I wrote about it on previous blog posts  Bluebirds and Christmas Quilt Along  and on  Wild and Free Bluebirds .   Here is a look at the project !

Start date – November 10, 2015; Finish date – December 16, 2015.

The first photo was taken after 10 pm, and the light was not good.  I may have to put a brighter photo up when the sun eventually comes out next year! We are having a drizzly day again!

Some of the photo’s from the beginning of the project have much better colors.

My Little Blue Bird complete

Here is a quick peak at the binding – and it does show the colors better in the light of this photo –

Binding the Blue bird

My Little Blue Bird

My Little Blue Bird – work in progress

If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Pat Sloan, it is worth every minute of your time and the fee for the class. I love her new book “Teach me to Applique”.  The techniques we learned and did in the class are given in great detail in her book. Consider buying the book directly from the author on her website –Link to Pat’s book  . You get a signed copy if you do that!!

Yes, I will make more applique, and follow her methods.