Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hands2Help Charity Quilt to Gift

This spring I decided to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2014. There were three great charities which we could donate a quilt, and since cancer has been such a dreadful part of my family history, I decided I'd make a child's quilt for the Happy Chemo group.

This was one of the first quilts I made. Pretty simple.  But it has that really soft Minky backing that makes it perfect for snuggling. Or for a child to cuddle into and feel warm. And cozy. I want to say feel safe, but I dare not go that far for a child with cancer. After all, quilts can only provide little bits of comfort.

It will be a good quilt for the right family.

The colors have always reminded me of a Western theme. Maybe it's those curliques in the red that remind me of lassos?

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with for their donations. 

Definitely quilting with a smile!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ALYOF to Match The Awesome Weather

Yes! In a super-busy month, I finished my May Goal. Yes!

I made it a simple goal because I knew I'd be hoofin' it to get everything accomplished this month.  I'm glad I did. This month's goal was to complete the binding on my Charm Pack Cherry quilt with a black background. I do like the turquoise binding - kinda sets it off.  The print fabric is Moda's Barcelona, and the entire lap quilt takes 2 charm packs of the print and 2 charm packs of the solid.

 It was an interesting process to make the quilt in two different background colors. I like each one.

On a side note, the arthritis in my hands has been acting up.  Not fun. But then last night, I had an unusual thing happen. The ring finger on my right hand (of course, I'm right handed)  decided to voluntary, and without any prior approval from me, snap into a semi-permanent position with the fingertip down against my palm. And it refused to snap back into place.

Owie! So after I stopped panicking, calmed down and took some Ibuprofen, and soaked my hand in hot water and then in one of my flax seed hot packs (gotta love those hot packs!), I was relaxed and the tendon gave way and it went back to normal.  Which is a good thing. Except after a visit with a surgeon today who specializes in hands, she gave me a cortisone shot to reduce the inflammation. Owie again!  At my age, I just don't do 'owie' well, lol.  Hopefully, though, it will give that hand some relief. After all, I have a big To Do List and all of it, every bit of it, involves my hands. Wish me luck so I don't need surgery!

Looking forward to seeing everyone's finishes for May.  And remember: quilt with a smile!


Linking up with Linky Tuesday, ALYOF, Thread & Needle Thursday, and Quilt Story.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Winner of my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

Wow! What a fun week this has been. I was overwhelmed with all the responses to the giveaway I had in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew. It was so much fun to read all the comments, correspond with you, make some new friends, and have some of you join me for my quilting journey. So fun.

Say what? You have a winner?

But you are all anxious to know who my winner is.  I must say the first two names that the random generator drew were No Reply Bloggers, and without email information, I have no way to contact you. So, the third name drawn was Colleen from Alaska.  Congratulations, Colleen! An email is winging its way to your In Box at this very nano second.
Thanks for all of you who took time to respond. The question that I posed about what you did for exercise after you'd been sewing a long while proved to be a great question. I got to see a little glimpse into your life, and it was great inspiration for me, personally, to get off my tush more often and MOVE! I tend to stay focused at the task at hand, but my body really thanks me for taking a few minutes throughout the day to just move.

Thanks to you all, and I'll see you around!

Remember to quilt with a smile,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dance of the Butterflies

International Quilt Market is taking place this weekend in Pittsburgh. I'm not going, but it's fun to know that I have a small - well, actually teeny, tiny - part to play in it this year.

I didn't make this lovely quilt, but I did quilt it for a friend of mine, Janet Houts.  She created the design and made up this quilt for Blank Quilting. And I got to quilt it!

Janet made this from a variety of Blank fabrics. I really enjoyed working on it because the blues were just so striking, and the greens really set it off. And, well, it just felt like summer, which is way too short in this part of the country.

The appliqued butterfly wings are machine appliqued with a wonderful gold thread. And the antennae is done by machine with a specialty stitch - not sure what the stitch is called, but it's perfect for this application!

Dance of the Butterflies was made for Blank Quilting and will be raffled off at Quilt Market. Only Quilt Market participants get a chance to get in on the raffle, darn it. I know some of you are heading to Pittsburgh, so if you are, be on the lookout for it.  And if you see it, can you snap a photo of this quilt and let us see where it's hanging?

In the meantime, I'm back at it. I'm finishing up one project so I can take it to Show & Tell at our quilt guild meeting tonight, and aside from that, I don't have any personal projects in the works right now. That is something I really must remedy - fast!

Remember to quilt with a smile,

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Show Off Saturday, Linky Tuesday and Fabric Tuesday.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Giveaway Day with Sew Mama Sew

It's May, spring is in the air, so what better to do than sponsor a giveaway! I'm participating with the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day (or rather, week).  It's fun to meet all the bloggers, check out their giveaways, and make some new friends in the process.

If you're not already a follower, take a moment to look around my blog.  I'm a fifty-something empty nester who has not been a life-long quilter. In fact, I caught the Quilting Bug just a few short years ago. I was intrigued by all the new, modern quilting designs and the glorious array of quality fabrics available in quilt shops. The possibilities were overwhelming. Oh my goodness - I was hooked!

Over the past three years I've had fun exploring my quilting abilities. I opened an Etsy shop, I've done local craft fairs, and now I've settled in quilting for others on my Gammill long arm machine.  I went this route because my kids and family didn't want me to make them quilts. Sigh. Without being able to give quilts away to those I loved, I didn't know where to channel my creative, quilty energies. So I embarked on those other avenues. But now - the irony of it all - is that my family's okay with me making them a quilt or two. Go figure!

For my Giveaway, I'm tossing in not one, but two, Moda charm packs. They are Civil War Jubilee and Historical Blenders and they work well together.  With some background fabric, this would be enough to make a good-sized quilt, or several table runners, or an awesome bag!

Entering is easy!  Just leave a comment and tell me what you do for exercise when you need a break from quilting. I suspect we all spend too much time at the sewing machine and our bodies need to MOVE! 

For a bonus entry, let me know if you follow Mountain Quiltworks and how.

This giveaway is open to everyone - international entries welcome. The winner will be chosen at random, so get your entries in today!  Just be sure you are not a No-Reply blogger, or if you're not certain, leave your email addy so I can get in touch with you if your name is drawn.  The giveaway is open from May 12 and will close on May 16 at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Thanks to Kristin and Beth at Sew Mama Sew for hosting this giveaway. It's such a good way to make new friends!

Remember to quilt with a smile,

Linking up with Missouri Mel's Giveaway Roundup

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Falling Leaves Makes Me Smile!

Awhile back I had the opportunity to quilt up this little wall hanging. This was the first quilt my client had ever made, and it was for her daughter's Baby Shower. What a fun gift!

I took one look at this and immediately thought I could have a lot of fun with all that negative space.

The entire motif is appliqued, including the tree trunk. I decided to use a double layer of batting (Hobbs 80/20) so that when I quilted around the leaves, they would puff up. And puff they did!

The free-motion quilting I used on seemed to create motion. The backside is almost as pretty as the front!

If anyone is interested, the pattern - Falling Leaves - is from The Modern Applique Workbook by Jenifer Dick.

Wouldn't this be a fun little quilt to give someone?  I fell in love with it, and may just have to make one for myself one day.

Remember to quilt with a smile,

Linking up to Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Needle and Thread Thursday. and Thursday Favorite Things.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes May 2014

At one point in time, Green Fairy Quilts was having this super-duper sale on charm packs.  Oh, yea - it was about the time that I ran across the Charm Pack Cherry pattern.  So I stocked up because I liked the way this pattern showcased the fabrics in a charm pack, and I could get pre-cut solids in charms, and what could be easier than laying out your design, stitching it up, cutting blocks in two, stitching again, and suddenly a quilt is born!

So I am working my way through my charm packs.  This is what the quilt looks like with a dark background.

Here's the first quilt I did with a white background.  Quite a different look, eh?

I got this little gem quilted and now just need to find some fabric for the binding and get it finished up.  I decided this will be my project for May, because as simple as it sounds, getting this quilt finished this month will be a challenge. Busy-ness abounds at my house this time of year.

Yard work, yard sale, and my Day Job are all getting in my way of quilting (shakes head in dismay).  But, it all must be done. Especially the Yard Sale. When we moved into our new home a year ago, we had enough storage room in the shop for all the things We Never Use But Can't Seem To Part With. The Day of Reckoning for those things is upon us now, and it's time to de-stash.  A lot of the boxes are things from our kids' childhoods that I can't seem to toss out. My plan is to keep them until they get a place of their own, and then load up their cars and send all this stuff on its merry way. One day.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, Fabric Tuesday, Linky Party Tuesday.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cozy Threads of Love

I finished this lap quilt for my dear brother.  It was a very emotional quilt for me to make, but in a good way. Sort of. Sometimes it's not easy to quilt when you have tears in your eyes.

The end of March we learned that he has lung cancer, but it took up until this week to find out exactly what he was dealing with, the prognosis and treatment.  He was a nervous wreck, as I can well imagine. So what was the first thing to come to my quilty mind but to make him a quilt to have when he recovers from his treatments! Of course. That's just what I would do.

I had my eye on this wildlife fabric by Northcott at a LQS in a nearby town 70 miles away. So while my son was home for a visit, we hopped in the car and drove down to pick out fabrics. That made this quilt special, too!

I wanted to showcase the panel piece and some of the wildlife prints, so I found this great pattern, A Blue Moment - and it was free! - from Benartex. And it just so happened, coincidentally, that it was designed by the sister of a friend of mine, Jean Ann Wright.  Having met Jean Ann last year, it made me happy knowing I was making something from someone I knew.

The pieces came together easily, although I knew I'd have to be careful measuring those bigger pieces so that it would all square up in the end. Unfortunately I've learned the hard way to measure accurately - it saves numerous headaches that way, lol!

I quilted it up with one of my favorite patterns, a large, flowing leaf pattern, and used a shimmery coffee brown trilobal polyester thread by Glide in a 40 weight. I love to work with Glide!

I'm headed to Boise to see my brother tonight and will give him a hug and his gift. He's my little brother, and bad things just shouldn't happen to my little brother.  But they did determine it is Stage 1 and he has a very good chance of living well. Blessings abound!

Sssshhh.  Don't tell him this is coming his way.  He's a farmer, so I doubt he'll be on the computer, let alone on my blog. He probably is clueless that I have a blog.  Just need this to be a surprise!

Quilting with a smile,

One of my goals complete for the 2014 Finish Along!

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