Sunday, April 16, 2017

Blessed Easter... Slowing down & "BE-ing"!!!

When was the last time you just "were"... that is what is meant by "being" :)
Ponder what Easter means to you today as well.. instead of rushing to wake and rushing to quilt.. this week I have pondered this holiday weekend and slowly welcomed it to me ... how nice it has been!!!

When I did wander outside my bedroom this is what greeted me...
Happy Easter to me was my first thought... how blessed I am to live in Florida and it is just us 2 here now ( all the kids are doing their own things) ... and God is watching over us... it is nice to finally be in a place where I can "Just Be" as Kathy shares today an article on this subject HERE... I am linking to her blog also with my hand quilting progress from this last week...
 Above you can see the "legend" of sorts I have made for myself... I had 94 flowers to quilt plus the triangles in between!  This legend came from a mini drawing I did then enlarged on my printer a couple times until I got it big enough to see and use a highlighter to color in the finished parts...

Today I am watching episodes in Season 5 of "Call the Midwife"... I love this show and will happily wait till season 6 is released in the fall sometime... I sure hope so anyway!!! lol
In order to get this far I had to come up with a design for the bottom border... none of my stencils worked... or were the right size... so I had to think of something on my own... I am not very imaginative so I pulled out this book I keep in my library for just such occasions...
 I got this off Amazon... it has been my most "go-to" book I have in my quilting library I do believe!

I flipped to borders and found one I liked...
 Then I filled up my printer with a few sheets of cardstock and printed off the "orange peel" part in larger sizes until I got it large enough!  this is trial and error for sure though...
Once I got that shape large enough.. and cut away the curliques I didn't care for for this quilt border.... I decided it needed a circle or something ... but then I couldn't find my "perfect circles!" lol  so I found this circular object that was just the right size and put a circle of tape on the back to make it stay in place for each move ...
 And ta-da... here you can see the first few done... along with my own basting at the edge and quilting 1/4" in across the top!!!...

Here are the tools I used to mark this border... if you look closely you can see this border is marked now... but I just use a Dritz Mark B Gone marker that spritzes away once stitched with water...

Here are a couple of finished "flowers"... I am using Aurifil 28/2 thread I had in my stash of threads...
Aurifil 28 wt and YLI 40/3 wt are my go to threads for hand quilting... I enjoy perle cottons too and used a white 12 wt perle for the border I was sharing above... but am sticking to the lighter weight Aurifil throughout the center of this quilt.  Quilting design of the flowers I decided and the centers needed something so they wouldn't puff up... both the flowers and triangles needed that extra bit (thanks Wendy for your advice here .. spot on!)... so with my quilting plan in hand I am moving forward slow and steady!!!

I have also been pondering a new project that is coming up for me...
Last year we donated some kid stuff we had to a fledgling local charity... she gave us a tshirt for our donations... instead of using the tshirt to wear I offered (once I got caught up) to make her a banner from the tshirt... using the tshirt as a center for it.  The founder of this charity loved the idea then :)

Well that charity has grown quite a bit since them... I remain an anonymous donor and am now gonna exchange this first tshirt for her newer more streamlined logo tshirt and make that banner... no time like Easter to make you realize charities you serve deserve your time as well!!!  This will involve imagination, experience, and machine quilting though.. so should go together quick once I decide what I am gonna do with her on Monday!!!

Meanwhile this sits right where I left it last week when I finished cutting...
And I have marked about 50 or so of these little 1 1/2" squares so far with glitter pen...
That part is so fun and relaxing... but I wanted to make progress on the hand quilting because when this quilt gets finished to a flimsy I KNOW I will want to quilt it up for my son and his wife to enjoy as quick as I can.. so I am making headway first on Batik Hollyhock Garden... about halfway I figure I will get bored or need a change.. I will then pick this up and run with it... that PLUS I am a bit gunshy about some of the parts of this quilt... you know each quilt is a learning adventure and this one is no different... lol!  I will share my learning points as I put it all together down the road.

As for today.. I will hand quilt only... also working out some today on my new recumbent bike I got last week....
 It is a fun way to relax my joints and back after hand quilting a while and it is sooo quiet too... lol!

So hope you take time to "be" today and have a blessed Easter day as well... Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice... and was glorified by His Father to rise up again... so now you can show your appreciation by "be-ing" today!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lots of Productivity... Now to SLOW it down a bit!!!

So since our last chat... I have been VERY busy :)

Saturday I got the frame loaded with my latest finish "Batik Hollyhock Quilt"... This is where I will be most all day Sunday... In hand quilting BLISS!!!!   Linking this post to Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday post HERE :)  Hope you make time to slow stitch with me today and to check out Kathy's post... this quilt I am working on today was a LOOONG time UFO that I am happy is now being quilted... and it is for ME!!!
This pattern is Hollyhock Garden in this booklet you can find online...

In my last post I shared the making of the "flowers"... so in this post I thought I would show you all the triangles I cut using the SAME template....



And check out how festive my design wall looked as I put this quilt top together!!!
Don't you love the vintage doilies above my design wall?  That is something my friend Wendy made for me ... this April 1 we celebrated 3 wonderful years of friendship too!!!  

Finally I had it all together and it was time for me to piece a backing...
Because I made it bigger than I originally planned on it to be! lol
Oh well.. that is the life of a UFO... this quilt will be my personal living room snuggle quilt.  I stay cold a lot!!!  So this quilt will keep me warm while others are comfy already! hahaha   So here is my pieced backing...
Hard to tell but the colors are all coordinating with the front... once it is quilted I will get some close ups of the backing that remains as this was a bit big... and you will see the design better and colors! :)

All this I sewed on my vintage 301a GLORIA the Glorious!!!

Check out the new clock I found on facebook marketplace local to me....
 For a steal of a deal the original owner isn't a sewer and received it as a gift... she agreed to take $30 for it !!! Yippee... It now happily adorns my sewing room and keeps me aware of the time.

We are selling LED lights we just got in that fit many vintage machines... but specifically my 301, 401 and 221!!!!  Soooo excited... this picture is on eBay if you are interested look for it there or message me HERE :)  We were unsure if this was a good deal or not as in... did they really fit so many different machines in 1 design... THEY DO!!!!  No flange between bulb and base is the reason!
There are like 104 little LED lights and it really brightens up my sewing space when I am using my machines now!!! Yippee!!!!
Finally I am ready to share a bit more about my designing focus I shared a bit last post with you but just enough to confuse you probably... let me share more with you today.

James ( my 2nd oldest child and father to Kaydence) recently married Heather... his true soulmate :)  I had sent him his father's wedding band and my wedding band from that marriage which was originally his grandmother's wedding band (Tony's moms wedding band) for a wedding gift... but after sending Kaydence a quilt for their home... I wanted to make them a snuggle quilt to celebrate their union ... it just seems right... so here are some quilts they sent for inspiration to make them one of their own.. hand quilted of course!!!
They wanted country colors... not much light colored fabrics... and a punch of dark purple to it as James prefers that color Heather said when she was giving me pointers.  Here is some of what I have designed...

It is the Amethyst Star Pattern!  I found out just the other day though that this is a spin on Pat Speth's "Morning Star" pattern from her "nickel quilt book".  So it is and the photo top left is a civil war take on that pattern I sent to Heather and she LOVED it!  So I ordered a layer cake and drew out and partially colored a pattern on graph paper I keep for designing on.
I love the name of this layer cake too!!!!  Gratitude by Jo Morton for Moda :)
And added a few fabrics from my stash and Connie's to round out my needs for this quilt...
In the end I came up with a nice assortment of charms!!!
The sashings will be vanilla mottled around the edges and cheddar/light brown everywhere else in the center sections...
Above is a test sashing strip with the wrong fabric for star points but I was testing the pattern size needs to make sure my plan was accurate... well the left side is more accurate than the right side... so I will be marking these all and using Bonnie Hunter's tutorial for flippy corners you can find HERE!  I enjoy learning from Bonnie ... I think she if a great teacher!  And she is all about accuracy too :)

 You can see on the left where I am counting and ironing a final hot press... all the little squares... flippy corners to be! lol

And above I am now gonna use a stardust glitter pen from Sakura with a little ruler to mark a center line down all my little squares... then sew just inside that line to get the perfect flipped corner... I will NOT be saving the bonus triangles and these little squares are just too small already!  But I will have fun I hope as I had to make 1,120 of these little squares for this quilt!!!!  Wowee!!!!

I got fun mail this week from my best friend Connie... a sweet card and some goodies too!



And found some quilty inspiration online this week as well...

I took my beach photo from my last posting and used it to do a bit of fun photo editing to make a new blog header for summer time... it already feels like summer here in Florida anyway! lol
And I finally caught Daisy looking at my phone for a good minute so I could catch her cuteness...
She is such a fun companion.. even if we did find out doxie's (dachshund by full name) are on the higher end of having dander... my honey is now gaining allergies!!!  Daisy is HIS dog! hahaha

Well, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and until my next post my time to show someone that you ...