Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The quilt in progress.. and a secret!

Well... at the bequest of the graphic designer of the dolphins on this quilt I am hand quilting... I took a pic of the dolphins already quilted... check them out!
I have been watching lots of vids while I quilt...

I have learned how to make homemade glimmer mists, texturing paste and how to incorporate the 3d effect in paper crafting.  Here is a tutorial to get you on the right track if you are interested in Swirlydoo's and a recipe for texture paste with a project!

Is there a topic you would like to know more about or a question you have I can research and post about??? Leave me a comment and I will feature YOUR QUESTION/TOPIC on my blog :)

Quilting is slow but sure... Currently I have quilted all the dolphins and some of the blocks are stitched... there are about 140 blocks to stitch "in the ditch" style all over the quilt base.  I am about 1/4 done with it and have worked on it quite a bit.

I have really been inspired by a new (to me anyway) facebook page called especially for hand quilters.  If you want to see some awesome work check out this post!

And the secret is .. do you know what a "humility block" is???

It is an Amish tradition to put in a "mistake" on purpose on a quilt to remember only God is perfect... somewhere when I show a full pic of the quilt you will see a humility block in it.

I have given you hints ... happy hunting!

Have a blessed day!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Still Quilting!

Here is my stitching...

I am loving this hand quilting stuff!  It is loads of fun seeing a pattern form where there was expanses of flatness now there is hills and valleys from where I have quilted... the pics at this point don't show so I won't bore you but if you think quilting might be something you are interested in check out these vids...
Intro to quilting by hand is here
and Intro to quilting by machine is here

Overall I will say having done some of both my passion lies in design and hand quilting... but you get fast overall satisfaction and a very sturdy quilt if you have just a plain sewing machine.

I didn't use the walking foot they talk about and quilted wonderfully well.

I don't use a hoop when I hand quilt... I am hoopless! lol

I pin for handquilting instead of hand baste as me and basting just don't get along... but I pin a LOT!  It is less stable than basting threads!

I pray for those in my home and for those that have requested prayer.

So today I ask you... can I pray for you ???  Please let me know of a prayer request you may have... I have lots of quilting ahead before this project is complete... it keeps getting added to! lol

Have a blessed week and hope I get to pray for you!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Wonderings while quilting...

Hello my friends!  Thought I would share my first stitches and some other pics as I work on quilting this quilt for my daughter!

I really enjoyed this youtube vid to refresh me on hand quilting basics... and it is only about 6 minutes long!

I found a needle I really like...
it is small but has a nice eye that I can thread with handquilters thread.  I am using Coats and Clark from JoAnn's in white and black for the quilting... white first for the dolphins... then black for all the background.

Finally, in about a month I get to put this great binding on it
 and wash it then and present it to my darling daughter!  Hopefully BEFORE her surgery is my goal.

Meanwhile I have been checking out Swirlydoo vids with my bff Pam and look what she made with her newfound knowledge!
I picked out my fave things and she made them all 3 D and stuff... very cool techniques on this canvas and so much dimension and it is secure for a lifetime!!!!

What are you springtime goals? Make some before summer is here! lol

Have a blessed weekend!  I will be quilting and going to visit family this weekend... hopefully with some new pics to share!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Let the quilting begin!

I received a very special package yesterday!  The quilt top got here!  Yay... she just mailed it Monday afternoon from TN so I thought it would be here Thursday... but God had other ideas :)

She also mailed me suggested quilting lines and binding already sewn and ironed... so all I need to do now it quilt, then quilt, and quilt some more!

First steps first I put the back together with a center seam pressed open with 1/2" seam allowance.  I matched the prints as much as I could :)

Then lay that right side down and top with your batting.

Then add the quilt top... I personally have found the wrinkles in the batting relax if you give them a few minutes of rest time.  So I did and they did too!  Yay

Finally I had my quilt sandwich :)

But I must be totally honest... the reason it took me a day to begin the actual quilting on this piece is the extreme artistry Connie put into the quilt top.  I have been in awe of it!

Check out the running stitch around the white dolphin part and the fin on it's side... and the applique stitches are so small I had to look for them to even see them!
And the little dolphin is so cute... I love the embroidery she added on the noses too!  And the eyes are so expressive being ovals instead of the round I would have made them!

And the overall design that is now pinned together and ready for me to start quilting together is this!
Have a blessed day and if you have a minute send prayers of comfort to this quilt as I want it to provide comfort and safety during my daughter's surgery :)



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What is blogging for you???

I was just wondering why YOU blog.  I blog because it helps me keep track of what is happening in my life as it seems in fast forward sometimes... other times I just enjoy looking back at cards I have made and projects we have completed.
Bird House my daddy made as a house warming present... still have to mount it!

Now I blog to get out what works well in different circumstances and what doesn't work so well.  I enjoy teaching and sharing information but without your feedback I can't keep writing good stuff.

Lately I know I have been asking lots of questions of you... and you don't have to answer in comments but it sure would be appreciated by me and other readers.

I am trying out replying personally and publicly so others can get a less personal answer to any question you may ask or info you may add.
this Aloe was near dead and now it is reawakening... a gift from the previous home owners :)

So the question today again is ... why do you blog?  Do you like to keep it strictly business or do you like to mix in personal too????

Well... as I wait for the quilt top AND binding to come I have caught up the laundry and done all the ironing.  I have gathered the threads I will need and trimmed my nails for the task.  I have run errands that needed to be run to help me be able to quilt like crazy once I can!  Yahoo!
These were all 3" or 4" tall... now they look like steroid using cactii!

Our back yard is alive right now... the weather is 70 to 90 during the day and 60 to 70 at night.  Walks on the beach are more frequent and the kids are getting excited that school will be out in just a few short weeks.

Hope this day finds you well!
Also left by the homeowners and moved to keep them together in a bush and sure enough they are attracting butterflies too!

Hope you enjoyed the pics from our back yard.. my shangra la!


P. S.  Please start following me on Bloglovin... check out the upper right corner of my blog :)  Thanks!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The quilt top is going postal!

This pic....
is my daughter's quilt top completed!!!!  It is going postal today Connie says... she is shipping it Priority USPS so hopefully I will have it by Thursday!  Here is a better view of the design she appliqued....

In the mean time I can now make the backing by sewing it together to make a 70" x 70" square for the backing. 
I have the cotton batting that will be the sandwich middle.  Yay!

My fingers are begging to quilt!  Just have to get some thread and maybe a new needle for this hefty project and be motivated to "git er done on steroids" as my bff Pam says :)  We think Brandi's surgery will be in June... so I have just over a month to quilt a 64" x 64" quilt for her :)  May be working on it while she is in surgery if my fingers weren't so ready! lol

Meanwhile my oldest son and friend DL had a few friends over for the weekend :)
they played "Garage Band"and his friend Dan video taped them!  iPhones rock!

DL with his cool guitar!

His friend Brad jamming!
And me and my honey went to the beach... a couple of times :)

the water felt good!  Not cold at all ;)

All in all a good weekend was had by all...

What is on your list of things to do this week... before May comes?

Can you believe May 1 is next week!  I can't but I am glad.  My daughter gets insurance May 1 so we will see how everything plays out.  Your prayers here are coveted.
A drawing my daughter did from beginning to end over the weekend... she did another too even more intricate but she took it to school to show her teacher.. :)  More for next time!

Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting!


Friday, April 19, 2013

When did you???

I started scrapbooking in 1999.  I didn't learn the love of paper and how it can work for you in so many ways until much later... check out the use of paper in this layout featured by my bff Pamela!
This is a layout she did for her granddaughters 10th birthday at the beach near where they live... isn't is lovely and inspiring!  But we couldn't have done this layout a few years ago... our talent evolves as we feed it... what talent do you feed?

Right now I am feeding my quilting talent... I have put down the mini album with the base pages finished but lots of embellishing and organizing left to do...

Connie just has to applique the dolphins onto the quilt and she is even sending me a diagram for quilting them with extra pattern drawn into the quilting!

Can't seem to find my groove in the cross stitching department...

Have been reading a great book series starting with "The Giver" by Lois Lowry.  If you have teens it is a great family read too!  Lots of talking points in it for conversation starters in a non threatening manner :)  Love that!  Here is the second book in the series...

My honey has banned me from posting pics of the bathroom he is remodeling... but suffice it to say it is looking totally fabulous even though it is still partly being designed... the floor is currently going in and we are using the same tile we used for the foyer... it is so nice to rest my feet on cool sturdy and not slick tile when I get up in the mornings!  Here is his craziest cut yet!
Pretty wild to think that you can put that many cuts into a 1/4" thick tile without breaking it! lol
Hope you find inspiration in this post and share with me how you started and what your fave craft of the moment is!  I would love to learn more about you too!

Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taking applique to the next level!

Of course my Bestie Connie can't just do a simple applique as in this post!  She has to take it to the next level!!!  If you haven't been watching my blog check out this post to see why all the quilt talk :)

In a nutshell though ... here is the quilt base that has been pieced in a brick style pattern at my daughter's request...
And these are her version of the dolphins my daughter wants appliqued to the quilt...
they are laying on her bedspread in this pic but they will be sewn onto the base in the first pic.... once they are sewn together... you see in the pic above they are all pinned together...

Connie will use a blind whip stitch to sew all the layers together removing some of the excess bulk where she can as each layer of dolphin is a layer of fabric AND stabilizer so it is 2 layers... removing some of the stabilizer helps decrease bulk!  I think this sounds like an advanced skill!

Here is a close up of a pinned dolphin body :)

And Connie doing some blind whip stitching :)
then these two small sewn circles get turned into....
 Eyes to give the dolphins a playful real appearance :)  She thinks of everything doesn't she :D

The finished dolphin face :)

Have a great day!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Monday! Planning a give away!!!

After a much needed rainy evening and night it is a gloriously warm and sunny day here in my neck of the woods... or beach as the case is :)  What is it like where you live today???

I have a lot of things to share with you and not a lot of pics for this post so here goes.. my daughter has a tumor in her brain.  It needs to come out.  It is not causing her pain and it is not cancer.

We found out quite by accident when a child at her school kicked a ball that hit her head leaving her with a nasty concussion.  After a trip to the emergency room for the requisite tests we found out about the tumor.

We are making this quilt for my daughter to give her strength through the upcoming surgery... if you aren't sure what I am talking about please take time to read my previous posts... this quilt is my focus in life right now.  As is the love of my family :)

I am working on the mini album in my spare time and reading a good book series my daughter got me hooked on.  The author is Lois Lowry and the book she brought home was "The Giver".  It is about a community in another time and place that is very different from what we know and almost cult like in their beliefs but it was a great talking point book.  That same author wrote 3 more books with similar ideas... different types of cultures foreign to anything we know to truly be in this life but something that could be... for instance in this book I am reading blue is the most rare color because they can't grow the plant to get the dye for it.  Yet we take the color blue for granted... most of my clothes are blue! lol  The book is shown above and is called "Gathering Blue"... slow start but interesting culture!

Finally I want to let you know I have made over 150 posts and now have 30 followers!  I am sooo excited that people care about what I have to write... 

So once I get through this time with my daughter I want to do a give away... tell me what you would be interested in... a gift card give away or a blog candy give away!  Something about scrapbooking, papercrafting, card making, quilting, cross stitching... a kit that is ready for you to try something new??!!  What sounds like a fun giveaway to YOU!

I am honored to have a growing number of followers and want to provide topics you care about.  Thanks for uplifting me with your comments as I do covet them and share each of them with my honey.  I try to respond to each comment thoughtfully.  Thanks for being loyal and as always when I do have the giveaway this summer it will be fantabulous and something you each would enjoy no matter what your passion :)

As you can see from all my recent blog posts my likes are all over the board.  This might be a fun time to put together a quilt project that is all inclusive to try something new if you have never hand stitched!  Or maybe you would appreciate some special made cards with your monogram on them or a special bible verse in them :)  I have lots of stamps you know!  And don't forget my Gypsy girl! I just got my gypsy out to work on the mini album then decided to put it all away for a while and it felt good... so back to reading I go... and a doctors visit for my daughter this afternoon.

So think about it and give me feedback.  Also please pray that my daughter remains strong in the face of this adversity.  And that our family will be blessed beyond measure in the coming days as we stand beside her through this :)

If you choose to give me an idea you will have an extra name in the hat for yourself.  A prequel of sorts for when the giveaway begins... so leave me a comment HERE!  

Have a blessed day!


How to applique... for a quilt :)

A tutorial by contributor Connie Combs... expert quilter.

Decide on your shape you want your applique to look like and cut out a pattern.

We did dophins that looked like this in pattern form...
This is the template they made from my daughter's request and drawing... but in these fabric colors...

 And here is the quilt base with the miniature dolphin layout and the full sized dolphin cut pieces ....
Colored based on their place in the layout by Connie's daughter Keely!
Thanks Keely!
She even left Connie directions for assembling to account for all the pieces on the right fabric! lol

So now on to the process of appliqueing...

Place fabric and stabilizer right sides together.

Pin in place and trace around each piece in pencil.  Leave 1/4 in seam allowance around each piece.

Remove the paper pattern and sew all the way around on the drawn line ... DO NOT leave an opening. Now they are sewn together right sides facing each other.
 Trim the edges after they have been sewn together to 1/8".  Then clip curves and corners.   Cut a small slit in the middle of the stabilizer side for turning... no larger.

Use a small crochet hook or knitting needle or something will a dull end to push out the tight corners and other points you may have in your project.  You can poke a hole if you use something sharp!
Next roll the edges out with your finger as Connie is doing above and finger press the fabric and stabilizer at the seams... then press on the ironing board... for stubborn edges Connie's tip is to use a straight pin GENTLY she says on the right side of the fabric.  Getting all your edges finger pressed then pressed on the ironing board is essential to a good applique project.

The final result is 2 great dolphins... not on the black and green background yet but ready to sew on!
The contrast between them will be amazing!  Can't wait to get the finished product and get to hand quilting it! :D

Hope you have enjoy this tutorial.  I will be doing a project myself soon so stay tuned for that !


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brandi's quilt is being appliqued now!

Applique is such a strange word and I have yet to learn this skill but my bestie Connie and her daughter Keely are working on doing just that to the quilt base Connie has completed for my daughter Brandi.
Keely and my bestie Connie
You see my daughter has to have a special surgery in June... so we are making her a quilt to take into surgery and to help her heal faster after too!  Lots of love and prayers going into this quilt!

Lots of ink too!
You see they are sewing a pair of swimming dolphins onto a quilt top.  My daughter wanted it and Connie is bringing it to fruition!  With the help of her artist daughter Keely who found this dolphin pair...
which they turned into full size models that were inked to color coordinate with these fabrics...
the light pink will be the white patterned fabric and the dark pink will be the grey swirly fabric... the light grey floss is for embroidering personalities into the dolphins :)
So thanks to Keely they have 2 dolphin patterns ready to be turned into a daddy and daughter dolphin swimming on the top of the quilt!  Pretty cool huh??? !!!  My next post in an indepth view of the applique process.  I am so excited seeing this quilt come to life and so happy I can share it with you!  Hope you are enjoying it too!

My daughter is very excited about this and can't wait for me to start quilting it... you see I will take a break from all else and hand quilt this masterpiece.

Connie is even designing a signature block to go on the back as a permanent part of the quilt!  LOVE THAT!  She is coming up with catchy names for each of us putting time and effort into this quilt for my sweet daughter to have forever :)

Hope you enjoyed this ride...

Have a blessed day!