Friday, March 3, 2017

Growing Up QAL - February

My February block of the Growing Up QAL is completed. A traditional pieced block using Batik fabric. I just love the colors and designs of Batik fabric!

I'm not a fan of HST but most traditional blocks have them. Like Alida, I cut my fabric pieces larger then after sewing them up I cut the HST down to the size I need.

There was a bonus block included with the instructions and I hope to finish that one this afternoon...lots of HST (like 20) in that block!

Thanks for an awesome block Alida and I'm looking forward to receiving the instructions for the March project.

See you next time.

Quilt On!
Live On!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

One Monthly Goal - March

I've joined in on the fun at Elm Street Quilts by participating in the One Monthly Goal challenge. And yes there are prizes drawn randomly each month.

This is my first month as a participant and I plan to complete this cute row that I bought in 2015 while visiting quilt stores in Tulsa during the summer Row By Row event.  Maybe I can finally get some of these row's completed. The theme that year was water...and they are so very cute!

 I bought the fabric kits so I have no excuse! A-sewing I must go!

Quilt On!
Live On!

Friday, February 3, 2017

UFO Challenge

For the second year now two of my sisters and I have participated in our own UFO challenge. We each pick 15 items (sewing and/or non-sewing), number the items and create our individual lists. We start our UFO challenge at the beginning of February, after the busyness of the new year. Near the end of January we email our lists to one another and our husbands take turns picking a number at the end of each month. No prizes are awarded. Just the notion of a project completed is reward enough.

Do we accomplish completion status every month? Of course not! This isn't a pressure thing we put on one another or a race. In reality LIFE happens every day and we are all busy with our own families and jobs, but We. Are. Trying!

Last year I reached completion status on four items...maybe it was three. But that's three or four less UFO's I have in my stack. How many of you have Row By Row patterns and kits from Quilt Stores you've visited during the summer while traveling or even from your LQS? I have two years worth so this year I've added 2015 Row By Row kits to my UFO Challenge list.

And....I just finished my February pick and's only February 3rd! I wasn't too keen on this pick based on the pattern picture but after I completed it, I just love it! This Row By Row kit is from Quilt Styles in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Of course....lots of applique as it seems most of these kits are. But that's okay...I think they're fabulous!

The water pump was quite detailed. I used the triple stitch on my sewing machine to get nice dark detail lines and a blanket stitch around the edges. 

I laughed to myself because water in the art world is mostly blue but as we all know water is clear, and I realize you can't see clear! It was just something that hit my brain as I was appliqueing this water drop. Water glistens so I used metallic thread around the water drop.

And the finished row... it's really hard to see the details, hence the above photos. I've just about decided to make this one a wall hanging instead of including it in a quilt.  This is the only vertical row I have for the 2015 kits and it would end up on the back. I believe, as a wall hanging, it'll go well with my antique looking guest bathroom.  

Thanks for visiting.

Live On!
Quilt On!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Growing Up QAL - January

This year I'm joining in the fun with Alida (TweLoQ) Designs 2017 Quilt- Along. We will be exploring 12 different piecing techniques throughout the year.

Our deadline to complete Block 1 (Silhouette Applique) is February 5th. Of course, as always, I'm so near the deadline. BUT....I did it...and a few days to about that!

Here is my Block 1. Alida provided excellent instructions and the pattern. Thanks Alida for all the time you've put into this QAL.

It's hard to see in the above photo but I used sparkly fabric for the flower silhouette and metallic thread for the applique stitches.

 It worked well and the flower stands out nicely against the red background. 

February we will be doing a traditional pieced block and March we will tackle a curved pieced block. 

See you next time!
Live On!
Quilt On!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas Sewing Revealed

Now that Christmas is over....the day, not the meaning....I can reveal the Christmas sewing gifts I made for family and friends. Did I start earlier this year sewing for Christmas?...Nah...I started in October. Will I start sewing earlier for Christmas 2017? There's always hope and wishful thinking!

I like to make "thinking of you" items for my sisters, sister-in-laws and female friends. Last year I made scarves and I included knit gloves and a cookbook from a local church.

This year I made the ever so popular microwave bowl cozy...two with rounded edges and the other square. I made a total of 16 each.

Then I made these cute potholders designed as an apron and then one designed as a pie.  I think both came out quite well.  I made 16 of each. I was like an assembly line, but the only one on the line!

I did change up the pie potholder...made it bigger and used tucked prairie points for the crust.

 I found the ideas in this oh so cute book. 

Of course I made quilts. Four of them! I used the same pattern on all 4 so that I could quickly sew up the blocks. Each quilt had 35 blocks so I made a total of 140 blocks and kept them separated into piles with the recipients name attached. The pattern is Square Dance from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial  It sews up fairly quick.

This one was for my daughter's special friend Josh. It's really challenging at times to make a masculine looking quilt.

After making Josh's quilt I realized the quilt was bigger than what I wanted and it took longer to sew together, especially since I had a deadline. I decided to make the remaining 3 quilts a  5 x 5 square quilt.  That left me with 10 orphan blocks per quilt but oh well I could use them later. Little did I know that God had plans for those blocks.

Here are the other three quilts for my niece and two nephews.....

Do you see anything different about these quilts? Does the piecing look any different? I pieced them using my serger. I love my serger and love experimenting with different ways to use it but that's a post for a another time.

My sweet 94 year old mother-in-law, Inez, who resides in a nursing home wanted to give gifts to her nurses and other care givers (a total of 9) and 3 lady friend residents. I offered to take on the task of coming up with 12 unique gifts that Inez would be happy to give. I could have easily purchased gift cards but I wanted the gifts to be special and personal for these very important people who are involved in Inez's daily care and life.  I thought hard on gift ideas for a couple of days (circa December 10th) while finishing up the 4 quilts...and stressing some about possibly taking on too much in the short time I had before heading south for the Christmas festivities. The Pinterest search began!

Firstly, I found a cute lunch bag with a great tutorial over at the Pink Penguin blog. The blogging community is such a generous and great source of idea sharing and information! Since I strive to be a serger diva, I used my serger for sewing a good portion of the bag! Here is my version using duck cloth. I made 9 in different colors and combinations.

I ran out of time at home and ended up inserting the draw strings on the ride South.  I found some fairly inexpensive plastic boxes with lids and filled them with a bottle of lotion, shower gel and a colorful scrounge, hence "Spa in a Box", which I inserted into the totes. Not a shabby gift and much better than an impersonal gift card.

Then I made 12 of these candy sleighs for Inez to give out to her visitors and other staff members. She loved them! I did too and so did everyone else...I should have made more! They were really easy to make and it took about an hour to do all 12.  I found the tutorial here. (Yet another idea sharing blog)

Now on to God's plan for the orphan blocks....

I had thought heavily about the 3 resident friends and what I could do! I finally cleared my mind and God entered with the idea of using the 10 orphan blocks from each of the 3 quilts I made for my niece and nephews. I thought some more...what could a nursing home resident use...I thought some more and the idea of wheelchair quilts entered my mind.  Another Pinterest search later and I was back at the sewing machine. I found the wheelchair quilt idea here.  They are created using 11 blocks each so I just needed to made one more block for each quilt. 

At first I added sashing between each block and I felt that was a little long for someone sitting in a wheelchair. But I left it and figured the top could be rolled back,

I thought the quilts could be wider than what the instructions suggested so I only put the sashing on the side of each block for these two and they were a couple inches shorter too.  I was much more satisfied with width and length after these design changes.  I used flannel for the back as was suggested and didn't use batting in order to make them more of a lightweight throw that could be easily tucked under a body part. 

The 3 resident friends loved them and brought tears to the eyes of all involved!

Well...that's it! I accomplished my sewing tasks and stayed sane at the same time. It was a joy giving all the handmade gifts I created this year. 

Quilt On!
Live On!