Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ambitious Thinker Here: Third Quarter Finish-A-Long Projects

Ambitious, yes. Motivated, yes. A Finisher? Maaaaybe?

It seems I have started way more projects than can fit under my needle, so I have written them down here, and will print them out, mark them off, and be thrilled when they are all completed! Do you have to do that? Keep specific track of your quilting projects because you leap over to a new one now and again? (Mostly again....)

At any rate, thanks to the Finish-A-Long, I am declaring that I shall strive to complete the following projects by September 30, 2018.

Blue Quilt patiently waiting to be quilted

1. Scott and Lauren's Quilt - cutting it out now. Needs to be completed by Sept. 28 for their wedding!!!!
2. Christmas Bed Runner 1 - Binding
3. Christmas Bed Runner 2 - Binding
4. Christmas Table Runner - finish quilting and binding
5. Quilt Blue Quilt - Quilting
6. Quilt Yellow/Blue/Red Quilt - Quilting
7. Finish Manger Quilt - piece, quilt, bind
8. Quilt Animal Christmas Wall Hanging

I think that's it! I really need to concentrate on #1. Our son is getting married at the end of September, and they will be using this quilt in their ceremony. And it's the project that needs the most work. No pressure here, lol! I know I can do this and they will love it (the "loving it" part is a given 💕).

Okay. Off to start the process. What are your goals for the rest of the summer? I find I actually sew/quilt more when it's too hot outside to do much!

Quilting with a smile,

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Wedding Quilt Blues

So, a funny thing happened on the way to making this quilt:  I didn't.  My son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law picked out this pattern nearly two years ago. I searched out the right colors for it, bought them, and they have tucked neatly away in a storage bin since then.

Why? Fear. Those curves through me for a loop. And the foundation paper piecing! You have to cut out templates for it. Good grief!  You'd think I'd never touched a sewing machine before. Just get over it, Barb, and get this quilt made, for goodness sake.

Even with all my procrastinating, I did do something to edge closer to the start. This winter, I took an online class to learn how to properly do curved piecing. You can check out my blog post about it here. Appears that was w-a-y back in early February!

Okay, I was prepared for Curves Ahead, but why didn't I just start then? Too many reasons or excuses. Now, however, I have no excuse, because they will be getting married at the end of September and would like to use this quilt in their ceremony. It must be done. No pressure here!

Actually, I'm thrilled to have a deadline to get this finished. So my goal for July is to get the quilt top all together and ready to quilt. That's a hefty goal for me, considering all the other irons I have in the fire, but I want to do it. Today I begin cutting....

Wish me luck!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:


Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Quilt That Was Loved To Pieces

How endearing is it when your grown son asks you to 'fix' the quilt you made for him when he went away to college? Priceless, right?

So when I went to visit him in Portland this spring, I took a look at the quilt. It was a very, very simple patchwork quilt, one I had made back in 2002 before I really began my quilting journey in earnest.  I had cut six-inch squares from old, denim, used-up jeans, along with some new corduroy, sketched a layout design, and stitched away. The backing was a soft cotton, and the batting was??? I usually used old sheets or those blankets you sometimes win playing Bingo at the fair. In this case, it was that cheap 100% polyester from Joann's. (Don't use that batting - I'm telling you this from experience!)  I hand tied the quilt with yarn, at the intersections of the squares (terribly difficult to do). And wha-la! I made a quilt!

What a total newbie!

I did take a couple of shots of the original quilt, but I surely can't find them now. Drats! But suffice it to say, that quilt was in dire straights! Not only was the back shredding to pieces, but the squares on top were simply falling apart at the seams.  It was faded. It was seeping batting out the back. It was a disaster.

That quilt had been loved to death! I like to think that over the years it provided a connection with home. Or brought him some comfort. Or was just a great quilt to snuggle beneath.

There was no way to repair it, so I made him a new one!

I salvaged one square from the original quilt to include in the new quilt. It was the one I had embroidered with my sewing machine that said "Happy Birthday, Scott, March 25 2002."  (Notice how it looks gray? It was originally blue!) I pieced that into a bottom section of the new quilt top, and then created a new square that said "Happy Birthday, Scott, March 2018".

Blue is his favorite color, so I found some fabrics that he might be pleased with. Unfortunately, I didn't buy enough of the dark blue background fabric, so I had to have a friend pick up more for me from a quilt shop 150 miles away. Doh!

I had no pre-planned sketch for this one. I tried to make it fit his 6-foot tall body, so I kept adding rows. About four more than I counted on! This time around, no yarns were cut up in the making of this quilt! I quilted it with a fun, modern design, perfect for a guy. I even bought extra wide Minky backing so he could get the full Cozy Factor out of his new quilt.

The extra-wide Shannon plus fabric is a delight to work with, by the way. I had not considered making an adult size quilt with a Minky backing before, but this was truly awesome!

He and his girlfriend were delighted with this 'new' quilt. Which makes the process of creating a quilt all the more worthwhile. And they are getting married soon, so having a fresh, new quilt to start their journey is especially rewarding.

Quilting with a GREAT BIG smile,

P.S. This was also one of my second quarter goals for the 2018 Finish-A-Long.

Linking up with:
2018 FAL
Oh Scrap
Linky Tuesday
Main Crush Monday 
Monday Making 
Needle & Thread Thursday 


Friday, June 29, 2018

Hailey's Star Quilt Quilted!!!

I did it! I got this 80x80 inch quilt completely custom quilted. And before the end of June! Which accomplishes my June OMG goal. YES!

In fact, I got it done about a week ago. But life has been busy, and I haven't been able to photograph it, or write about it properly.  So today, I'm just giving you a sneak peak so I can link up with the One Monthly Goal Finish page.

Whew! Have you ever had a project that just seemed to take forever to finish? I do have the binding on and am trying to get it stitched down in the evenings, but that's going ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. So, with summer and family commitments, that will probably be my July goal - get the binding finished up.  At least for now, I'm glad to have accomplished my goal of getting it quilted. I'll write more about this quilt after the Fourth of July. Lots and lots of activities locally in our tourist community. Time to enjoy the summer heat!

How about you? What are you planning for your July Fourth celebrations?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
2018 Finish-A-Long 2 Qtr

Monday, June 4, 2018

Just Get It Done, OMG for June

I can't remember when I've had such a difficult time completing a quilt! It's been two years since I finished piecing this quilt, and now it has sat on my longarm for almost a month. Seriously, who does that?
First to iron this nicely!

I, of course, have good reasons for not getting this gem quilted. (We all do, don't we?) First I was sick, then we spent a week out of town moving my in-laws to assisted living, and then we've been on a much-needed vacation.

But aside from that, I was having a hard time coming up with my quilting plan. I finally got a start on it before we left town, but still don't have the full picture.

Stitch in Ditch and Echoing

 I want to do some heavy, custom quilting on this, as a way to practice marking and spacing and rulers and techniques. That was the reason I made this quilt in the first place. All that negative space is just crying out for some fancy quilting! When I do get home, I should just start in again, get a plan in place, and just do it!

Rudimentary beginnings

So that is my OMG goal for June. Just do it! Get this quilted so I can get to my customers' quilts that are patiently waiting in line.......

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:


Monday, May 14, 2018

Lewe The Ewe Baby Quilt

Baby quilts just seem to be my thing lately! Something must be in the air, because I am just drawn to making them!

My latest baby quilt was this cute quilt made with a center panel of cute little lambs from the SusyBee collection. I may, or may not, have gotten carried away with the FMQ on this one! You know, when you're on a roll, you just go for it!

I'm a member of Quiltsy, a team of quilters on Etsy who have shops featuring our favorite quilted wares. The team is just finishing up a Challenge to create a baby quilt with the sheep/balloon focal fabric.

There were many entries, and all of them were different. It was so fun to see how creative the other quilters were in developing their own ideas about this challenge quilt.

You can see more of the challengers' quilts on my Pinterest board, Lewe The Ewe Quilt Challenge.

Quilting with a smile,

Monday, April 30, 2018

Turtle Baby Quilt Finished for April OMG

It's been quite a month for me! First my husband officially retired after 34 years with his company. We had a big celebration, and a fun time was had by all.

That was the first week of April. Then we got sick. I got the shingles and then I caught the flu. He has the flu crud, too. Not exactly how we wanted to begin our retired life, but we're on the mend now, so I'm playing catch up.

I did get my OMG April Goal finished, which is also on my list for the Second Quarter of the 2018 Finish Along! I had to quilt and bind this cute little Turtle Quilt. I really like the navy blue in it, along with the lime green. Perfect for a little boy!  I had fun doing all sorts of fun free motion quilting on it. Loops and swirls and curves and lines and curlicues. I tried hard not to over-quilt it. That's always a challenge......but it turned out nice and soft and should wash up just great!

I haven't had time to think what my May OMG will be. We will be busy moving parents into assisted living and selling their home, and then taking a much needed vacation. So I basically have one week to do any quilting. Maybe I'll skip May. Life takes priority often times.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Custom Quilting for an Appliqued Gem!

My latest client quilt turned out to be a lot of fun with a variety of custom quilting throughout! As I was quilting, I kept thinking of it as The Bunny Quilt, for good reason, don't you think?

This top was pieced a few years ago and was her first attempt at applique. I think she got the hang of it pretty well!

She used fabrics that were very traditional, maybe even some French General. All French General? At any rate, it was so fun to view this in person, but my photographic skills just don't do it justice.

She wanted 'light custom' for the quilting as she was donating the quilt to a charitable auction to benefit Hopewell, a therapeutic farm community near Cleveland, Ohio, that serves adults with mental illness.  A very generous offering from someone in Idaho!

I tried my best, but as the quilt progressed, I finally decided I just couldn't do 'light custom' on an applique quilt and just went for it.  I tried to change up the quilting in each of the blocks, but several have that easy outline quilting (definitely light custom on those). Pebbles, on the other hand, are not.

Fun feathers around the border. A flowing leaf in the sashing.

I found I really wanted to stitch in the ditch around all these blocks and the sashing. But I refrained - light quilting!

For the most part, I left the applique pieces unquilted. Except for a few straight-line stitching in the the birdhouse, water can and other spots. 

At any rate, it such a joy to have a quilt like this come through my door. I get to enjoy the labor of the quilter's efforts, and try to do something to enhance it just a bit.

I hope the auction brings a good amount for this quilt.

Oh - almost forgot to mention that I had an outbreak of Shingles while I tried to get this finished up for her deadline. Not fun! I even had the vaccine two years ago. Perhaps my case would have been more severe had I not had the vaccine. At any rate, I'd highly recommend everyone over 60 get a vaccine. There is a newer version now that is supposed to be more effective. Plus, I caught a killer cold and developed bronchitis while dealing with those shingles. Enough, already!

Come on Spring!

Quilting with a smile,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hands2Help 2018 Quilt On Its Way!

It sure feels good to give, doesn't it? Even when you don't get a direct thank you, but you know in your heart that your generosity will be appreciated.

Big smiles on my face as I got my Hands2Help 2018 quilt sent off in the mail yesterday.

A Cute Baby Girl Quilt for Hands2Help 2018

This was a simple patchwork quilt with fun pinks and oranges and browns. And a truck! And some farm animals scattered about. Different. And perfect for some little one!

My quilt went to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids out of Logan, Utah. Hoping it will find a good home through their efforts.

Thank you, Karen, for once again spearheading this great cause. It will be fun to see how many quilts find new homes this year!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Oh, Scrap!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

What's On Tap for Q2 Finish-A-Long?

I've come to the realization that my husband truly believes there should be a finite end to my quilting projects.


That is such a foreign concept to me, that I don't even know how to process it. And he thinks we have enough quilts. What???

Help me set him straight. What do you tell your significant other about The Need To Stitch, The Need to Create, The Need To Do Anything Other Than Watch TV???

So in this vein of thought (that one can never have too many quilting projects), I've come up with my Goals for the second quarter of Finish-A-Long. Let's see what I can accomplish between now and the end of June:

1.  Quilt up my Star Quilt (carry over from Q1).

2.  Quilt and bind a replacement quilt for our son.

3.  Quilt and bind my Turtle Baby Quilt

A reader pointed out the error of my ways, and I've since corrected the placement of the bottom section. Doh!

That's enough. In fact, if I crank through all that, along with everything else that we have going this time of year, I'll feel quite accomplished.

Yep, yep. Good plan!

P.S. My husband retired last week.........

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:

Monday, April 2, 2018

April's One Monthly Goal

Looking forward to April, but wow, it's already here!

So, for my April OMG goal, I'd like to get this little baby quilt quilted and bound and ready for someone to love!  It was fun putting it together. And more and more these days, I'm all about FUN!!!

What's on your agenda for April?

Quilting with a smile,


Linking up with:

Kaffe Table Runner Brightens My Day

This little gem was such a fun project. I adore bright colors, and the greens and reds and oranges and purples in these fabrics make this one of my favorites!

 I purchased this as a kit at the quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon, about four years ago. And then it sat in a drawer. Why, I don't know, because once I got it out to make it up, I was delighted!

Sometimes a kit is just the thing I need to get me motivated for a bigger, more involved project. Sometimes a kit does the trick. Yep, it certainly did this time!

This turned out to be a long table runner, which is perfect for our dining room table. It measures 16" x 71". I finished it and it has brightened up the long winter days we've had this season. Sweet!

This was one of my goals for the quarterly 2018 Finish-A-Long. So glad I put it down as a goal, because now I can thoroughly enjoy it!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
2018 Finish-A-Long
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers
Needle & Thread Thursday
Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Wishes

Happy Easter to all, and may thankfulness, gratitude and blessings abound!

Quilting with a smile,

Monday, March 26, 2018

Prairie Quilt Complete

As I was putting this quilt together, I came to think of it as my Prairie Quilt! The fabrics are from Basic Gray's Persimmon collection for Moda. When this collection came out, I was drawn to the variety of prints, many traditional but sprinkled with a modern flair. And it reminded me of a Little House on the Prairie theme.

So I got my AccuQuilt cutter out and started making six-inch blocks. To come up with the design layout, I simply placed all the squares in a paper bag, closed my eyes, reached in, and drew out a square, one at a time. That was such a fun way to layout the blocks.

Of course, I made some rules for myself. If I drew out two of the same squares, one right after the other, I'd throw back the second one and select again.  I also tried to have some semblance of balance with the lights and darks. So I did  do some rearranging before the final layout was complete.

For the quilting, I wanted something different than straight line quilting, which seems to be the standard for simple patchwork patterns. I also needed something different because my Gammill doesn't like to straight line stitch from right to left. The thread breaks. Often. Even when I adjust the needle position, and fiddle with the tension, and slow down, I still get thread breakage. So I avoid straight line quilting. I think, overall, it's good to know either the limitations of the machine, or my limitations and not fight it, lol!

So what I chose to do was use a curved ruler for a simple jumping curve on each side of the blocks. I thought of them as 'jumping' as I quilted it because I bounced from one side to the other to the other. It was actually a fun method to quilt, it went quickly, and I sure enjoyed the process!

I actually have enough fabric blocks left over to make another quilt like this one day. Hmmmm......

Getting this quilt quilted and bound was my OMG goal for March, and also a quarterly goal for the 2018 Finish-A-Long. I sure am glad to have finished it. I think I'm almost ready to start on a king-sized quilt for my son. Maybe. Yes, one day soon. I should. Yep, yep. For heaven's sakes, Barb, just do it! You've been putting that one off w-a-y too long!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Oh Scrap
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Midweek Makers
Let's Bee Social

Finished or Not Friday
Linky Tuesday

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Good Homes Found For Forgotten Treasures

Thanks to all of you who spoke up and offered to Adopt the denim and corduroy fabric squares that I had up for adoption as part of Cynthia Brunz' annual Quilty Orphan Adoption program. The responses were all so good that it was a very difficult decision.

But, decisions have been made! I didn't realize when I put these squares up for adoption, how heavy they would be to mail. The first set weighs in at 4 pounds, and the second set is mostly denim and weighs in at 7 pounds. Yikes! 

So I decided that I should split up these two so they will be winging their way to not one, but two good homes!

The first set of fabrics, with the blue and lavender, will go to Gene Black. Congratulations! I hope your brother enjoys his soon-to-be quilt!

And the second set of fabrics, with the denim and stars, will go to minibea12. Congratulations! A denim quilt will create a great weighted quilt for your grandson.

Now then. What shall I work on today?

Quilting with a smile,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Adopt A Quilt

What's better than free?

Cynthia Brunz over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, is sponsoring her annual Quilty Orphan Adoption program.  You have the choice of putting a quilt block/project up for adoption, or adopting one of the fun quilt projects someone else has offered, or both!

I decided to look through my long-lost storage bins to see what projects I had that might be worthy of adoption. It turns out I think these just might be the ticket!

I began my quilting career years ago sewing up patchwork Levi quilts.  I'd cut up old jeans into six-inch squares, buy some nice coordinating corduroy or twill, make a fun design pattern, and stitch away!  I didn't know anything about machine quilting then, and the first quilts I made were entirely of denim. Can you say HEAVY!!!  So I tied the quilts and gave them to ALL my relatives!

These make fantastic picnic quilts, or snuggle quilts, or concert quilts, or play quilts. They are durable!

As time passed, I selected contrasting fabric that wasn't so heavy. Which was a good thing, because it's not fun to pull a muscle in your back trying to lug a quilt out of the trunk of your car so you can go experience an outdoor concert, lol!

Anyway, after everyone I knew had received one of my quilts, I still had a lot of patchwork squares cut up for future quilts, but never got around to making this one.

It has a real bright colored turquoise blue twill, a soft denim in soft lavender, a lightweight denim blue, a lighter denim with a bit so sparkle, and a denim that has a blue and lavender and white design woven throughout.  These are all cut from new fabric (not used jeans). A fun combo to come up with a fun quilt!

I hate to see this go to waste, so if you'd like to Adopt it, let me know! There are probably about 150 squares here.  Let me know how this quilt will be used after you sew it up, and I'll select an adoptive home next week.

I also have this pile of squares cut from old jeans, and if you have a use for those, I can either adopt them out separately, or combine with the multi squares above. The star denim is cut from new fabric.

Who's game?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Quilty Orphan Adoption

Ambitious Thinker Here: Third Quarter Finish-A-Long Projects

Ambitious, yes. Motivated, yes. A Finisher? Maaaaybe? It seems I have started way more projects than can fit under my needle, so I have wr...