Monday, September 15, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

I've joined several blog hops in the past but this is definitely a unique one...and no new project to stress over.  It's about making new friends and sharing something about yourself.  It's like passing the torch from blogger to blogger and learning something about each one along the way.

I was invited to join this hop by Karen from In The Sewing Basket.  You really must visit her blog. She has a long arm and does some awesome work, not to mention all the other projects and great information that's contained in her archives. I very much enjoyed browsing around her blog! We also found out we're both nurses and have a lot of other interests in common. It was fun communicating with her! Thanks, Karen for inviting me to participate in this blog hop!

 What am I working on? 

I seem to always be working on something, jumping from one project to the next and adding to my list instead of scratching off.  My goal for this year has been to NOT start new projects, but to finish what I've started. About three months into the year I revised that to read not start BIG projects. I'm a member of two clubs at my LQS and instead of making the full size quilts, I'm doing seasonal table runners...and actually finishing them before the next month and project comes around!! I like to challenge myself to be more creative and it's definitely been a brain exercise for me!

Here is one that really challenged me!  It's originally "Periwinkle" from Jenny Doan but I totally changed the colors and made peppermints where the white background fabric would be. I'm calling it "Stars and Peppermints" or "Here Comes Change"'s a work in progress for sure! Making the changes allowed me to practice using my EQ7 program. (What an awesome design program.)

The below quilt was made by Shirley who facilitates one of the clubs I'm a member of.  It's a beautiful quilt using the X-blocks template. Since I didn't want to tackle the large quilt I changed the colors and came up with a table runner for 4th of July....

....and added the star pattern. It's amazing just by changing the colors the difference it can make! The entire table runner was made using the X-block template. It's really a versatile tool!

And I'm always messing around with machine embroidery too...which I love doing! I'm not a digitizer and that's okay because there are some awesome digitizers out there.

Why Do I Create?

Sometimes I think it's in the genes! My mother is very creative and all my siblings are creative as well.  My creativity is an expression of me and it makes me feel good about myself, especially when I see the joy on the faces of others when I can give them something personal that I've created. It also helps with home decorating...especially when my 24 year old daughter, while looking through her past birthday pictures,  makes a comment about the background of all her birthday photos being the same...same curtains, same pillows, same wall art! Time for a decor makeover....something I can easily do myself...saving me money so that I can buy more fabric for projects to start and hopefully finish!

Now to pass that torch....

Please visit these lovely ladies who so graciously accepted my invite to participate in this blog hop. Visit them now and see what they're up to,  then visit them next Monday, September 22nd and find out more about them and what they are creating.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Memorial Pillows

I'm sure many of you have completed t-shirt quilts before for friends and loved ones. The quilts are versatile in size, fairly easy to construct and can focus on one or several events while telling a story. I've only made for my daughter that focuses on high school sports that has yet to be quilted and another one...a memorial quilt...for a friend of my SIL who lost her son suddenly three days before Christmas. You can read about Bryant's Quilt for his mother here.

At first my SIL requested pillows for Bryant's family after receiving a pillow from me that was constructed using some of my late Father's shirts. 

You all, I know, are familiar with the process of how projects evolve...Talk of pillows led to talk of a quilt which led to the birth of the above memorial quilt. After the quilt was completed the challenge was on... to make the pillows from leftover t-shirts used in the quilt.  Okay...I'd only completed one other t-shirt quilt...can I do t-shirt pillows too?! 

Yes I can.....!

They turned out quite festive and I hoped they would bring joy to Bryant's family members. The entire front of the pillow and ruffle was made from the t-shirts I received. I've never ruffled t-shirt fabric before so it was a first for me...well...the t-shirt pillows were a first too, so why not have many firsts in a single project!

I used the disappearing pinwheel block as demonstrated by Jenny Doan...

 ...And added some deco stitching from the sewing machine. 

For all you sewing and quilting purist out do you like the way my stripes lined up?! The funny thing is I wasn't even trying to line them up, didn't even think about it, and only noticed it after I took this photo. This phenomena (a true phenomena because I'm far from exhibiting characteristics of a  sewing/quilting purist) occurred on all three pillows that had the striped fabric! 

My only explanation is that Bryant was over my shoulder quietly guiding me as I was piecing the fabric!

The ruffle edges were finished with a loose serged rolled hem to give it a primitive look...

...and I added a side zipper under the ruffle for easy removal of the pillow form. Piecing the ruffle was decided upon because my t-shirt scraps were getting quite low and I didn't have enough of each t-shirt color to complete an entire pillow. 

My last task included a machine embroidered memorial to Bryant on the reverse of each pillow. 

It is my and my SILs hope that these pillows, as they are being hugged or looked upon, will bring a small amount of joy and comfort to Bryant's loved ones. 

So... do you know what you need to do right now...right this minute....???????




Go hug a friend or loved one because we never know if it will be the last.

Happy Living! Happy Loving!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Embroidery Wall Art

Check out my new Wall Art on my Machine Embroidery page. I thought I needed a change when my 24 year old DD commented that my window treatments and wall art was the same in all her birthday photos. Time to update.....

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone has enjoyed their day and has had some awesome eats!

Our menu consisted of grilled hamburgers, chicken breasts and chicken legs. The BBQ sauce we used was Sweet Baby Rays - Cola-Q. It was interesting and had a slight cola taste. Not sure I would use it again as I lean toward a more sweet sauce. But it did have less carbs than the sweet sauce I usually use. If you read my low carb journey blog, I'm a Fat Cell Hoarder, you know that DH and I are low carb-ing it and he has lost an amazing 40 pounds thus far...anyway...we told our guest that it was BYOB...Bring Your Own Bun since we don't keep bread in the house.

To decorate for the 4th I made this table runner

It was made using the 7.5 X-Blocks template. I was really impressed with this template and just by changing the color manipulated the design.

The star was also cut using the same template placed differently on the sewn fabric pieces.

I quilted the top to a backing made from denim (old DH's jeans) using an appliqué stitch...

...and finished the edges with a serged 4-thread overlock stitch.

I machine embroidered these free standing lace flags and stars several years ago and actually knew where I stored them!

I put them in a vase with some red, white and blue tulle and presto....

...a centerpiece!

My table was ready for the fourth by the end of June instead of the usual day before the holiday...a first for me!

Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting. Leave a comment, I love reading them.

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How Fun is Your Foot.....

Presser foot that is! 

I was at my LQS today and I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting presser feet that make my sewing easier and that are fun to use. 

I found two today...

There's a YouTube video that shows a demo on this foot. It's quite interesting!

What feet do you have that you like playing with? (tickle-tickle)

Thanks for stopping by. I love reading your comments!

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Memorial Quilt for Bryant

Bryant, a friend of my brother and sister-in-law,  passed away suddenly a few days before Christmas 2013.  Bryant was in his mid 40s and his death, of course, was devastating to family and friends. While most folks were doing last minute Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, Bryant's family members were shopping for funeral attire.  My SIL, who is best friends with Bryant's mother, wanted to present her with a quilt in memory of her son.

I'd not had the pleasure of knowing Bryant, but was honored to get to know him while my SIL and I worked together planning the quilt. Our final decision was a t-shirt quilt that was to include pictures of Bryant and his two lovely daughters along with various t-shirts that Bryant favored. 

It happened that my mother came for a two week visit in March and the plans were for her to bring the finished quilt back with her to give to my SIL. While Mother was here we had loads of fun attending the Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop, planning my indoor hydroponic garden plus we were able to work on and finish Bryant's Quilt. We both had a marvelous time working side by side as the quilt came together. Most importantly we had quality mother-daughter time that will always be remembered and cherished by me,  just as Bryant's family will always remember and cherish him. 

Quilting is suitable for all life events and even though Bryant's Quilt was made because of a sad life event, its making created happy moments of laughter and fellowship that my Mother and I shared together...moments that I will always remember. And even though I did not know  Bryant, I thank him for the happy life event that was shared with my mother by making this quilt. Even in death one can still bring joy to those left behind. 

Bryant's Quilt

As of this photo the borders still need to be added. We used batiks for the sashing and the quilt borders.

He enjoyed outdoor sports so I embroidered designs on a couple of the shirts.

It's difficult to see in this photo, but two of the t-shirts had pockets in which I embroidered a heart and a fancy design on the fabric.  Since the pocket of a t-shirt covers the human heart, love ones can put their hand in the pocket for a few minutes and dwell between the hearts. 

I thread binded the quilt with my Serger using a wave stitch. I love this stitch and finding I'm doing it more often instead of tradition binding.

And then....
...Mother and I wrapped up in the finished quilt.  My motto is a newly finished quilt should immediately be wrapped around someone!

Have you made a memory quilt or a t-shirt quilt? 
It was an honor to make this one.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a blessed day.

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Beauty of Spring

Happy Spring! 

I hope Spring has finally nudged out Winter for her appearance on stage.

Quilter in Motion posted some nice photos of Springtime in her area which encouraged me to take a walk with my camera.

My Irises are starting to bloom. This one has such a large bloom, it's as big as my hand! My sister over at Sew Much and More gave me the roots several years ago and this is the first year they're blooming. They seem to be popping up everywhere now that roots have had time to spread!

 In Mythology Iris means "the goddess of the rainbow, along which she travelled to earth as a messenger of the gods." (  Maybe she brings the message that Spring is here.

My vine Roses are starting to bloom now. I have these growing in several spots in my back yard and when they are all in full bloom, my backyard is a sea of Roses!

And my treasured Oregon Grape (a.k.a Grape Holly or Leatherleaf Mahonia) In the early early Spring it produces little yellow flowers that eventually gives way to these berries. Its actually the State Flower of Oregon. Apparently it grows well here in central Georgia because my plant is about 20 years old and 6 feet tall. 

Over the next few weeks the berries will turn this vibrant blue-purple, shinning bright in the sunlight. The birds love the berries, the Mockingbirds especially... and they are such a joy to watch from my living room window! I've recently read that the berries were used for medicinal purposes by the American Indians.

My hydrangeas are just starting to leaf out but this is a picture from last year I thought I'd throw in. I love the blue flower heads.

Spring is amazing!

What do you have sprouting and growing in your yard?

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Storm At Sea with a Heart

A friend of mine Debbie is expecting a new granddaughter...well, as quilters you know what that means...It's an occasion for quilt making!

Debbie designed, pieced and quilted this amazing quilt for the new addition to her family. She's named the quilt "All Roads Lead To My Heart".

What's also amazing about this quilt is, it's a Storm at Sea pattern. Can you pick it out? Color placement transforms the Storm at Sea pattern into something uniquely different and fascinating.

After seeing Debbie's quilt I scoured the Internet and found these other Storm at Sea quilts. 

Have a look...

Hope you've been inspired to create your own Storm At Sea quilt? I guess, for me, it's another project to add to my bucket list!

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment! I enjoy reading what you have to say.

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oh My...Oh My...My Plants Have Grown

I must be doing something right...It's been 16 days since I initiated the DWC hydroponic systems and the tomatoes are loving it...actually...all the plants are loving it.

Around April 2nd or so, I set up more DWC containers to transplant some seedlings that were more then ready....these young sprouts so eagerly growing were the bush beans, okra, yellow squash and bush cucumbers. My hubby also bought two bell pepper plants and a poblano pepper plant...I think he's really not wanting to wait for my seedlings to get big enough! (And my seeds are Non-GMO and the plants are probably not).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Days For Girls

I'm pausing from writing about my March "doings" to write about a sew-in I attended Monday. Okay...we really need to talk about this!! It was for a charity organization called Days for Girls. This organization makes sustainable feminine hygiene kits for girls in impoverished countries. Have you heard of them? I hadn't!

OMGosh...I've never thought about how females in other countries handled their feminine cycle days.   Something we take for granted because of using disposable items AND having the money to buy them. In my own little world I've not considered what females do in impoverished thing they don't do is go to school on those days...that's a lot of education missed in one year. How can these young women ever feel empowered if they are lacking in education?

The below picture from the Days for Girls website is much better then the picture I took today and explains the kit better than I ever could.

Today we made the shields and the pads. The Shields are made using our quilter's cotton and the pads  are made using a soft flannel. 

There were seven of us today and we were able to make 18 complete kits. I think we did an awesome job for our first meeting! Alas, it does help when you have an organized facilitator...

...and most items are cut out waiting for needle and thread.

The seven of us decided to form a team and meet once a month to sew for this worthwhile cause. Now the difficult part...we need to think of a name for our team. We were informed of a team that calls themselves "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pads"....Hmmm, we need to beat that! Any suggestions?

Check out the Days for Girls website. It's all very interesting and enlightening. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop

A continuation on my "doings" for the month of March. 

It was an eventful month and participating in the Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop took up about a week of that time.  The Hop this year was from March 15 thru March 22...eight consecutive days this year instead of the customary four. The extended time contributed to less stress, spending more time in the shops and consequently spending more money! My sweet mother arrived from Louisiana to join in the fun, my daughter attended one day and another local quilty friend was with us for two days. Our little group had loads of fun and welcomed all the inspiration. My mother and I were motivated to settle in behind our sewing machines, going forth, sewing into the night.

I generally feed my stash from the clearance sections of each shop, buying one or two yards of fabric or a pattern I feel I can't live without (or thread or a new ruler or something I've been eyeing on the gadget wall). We're really lucky here in the Atlanta area to have an abundance of quilt shops to choose from.

Here are some of the sights that inspired us:

It seems Chevrons are showing up everywhere these days.

 I find I'm drawn frequently to "different" quilt block designs. Not truly modernized or traditional designs but a nice combination of the two...a hybrid I'll call it.

 A technique I'm wanting to conquer this year is paper piecing. I find the designs are extraordinarily remarkable. I believe this is Feathered Star by Judy Niemeyer

This photo does a poor job of showing the vivid colors of this shop hop quilt designed by one of the quilt stores.

The shops were fabulous as always and with the extended days we were able to take our time and enjoy what the shops had to offer. 

This is from Intown Quilters

 Patricks, which is actually a feed and seed store that sells, of course, feed and seed, plants, and old fashion candy...and yes...fabric.

 Cottontail Quilts has only been around two years, but they sure knew how to throw a shop hop party.

 Red Hen Fabrics was a fun place with a nice assortment of fabric and everything else quilty.

There were many more quilt shops participating and we had fun at each one.

Oh yeah, here are the items that will now be living in my home...fabric, patterns, a book, and a few notions.

Have you been to a Shop Hop lately?  I would love to hear about your experiences and what you bought!

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Living! Happy Quilting!