Sunday, January 14, 2018

2018 Finish-A-Long

This is one of my favorite blog parties!  I simply have to jump in and play along!  I have plenty of UFO's and I've already listed 12 of them for other challenges, so here are the ones I will concentrate on for the 1st Quarter...

1.   Quilt Diamonds Are Forever:

I started this quilt in February 2014 and finished the top in late 2017.  I will be so happy to have this bright and beautiful quilt finished and ready for some serious cuddling!  It is my Guild UFO Challenge quilt for January, so it has to be done by February 6.  And my friend Joanne has offered to let me use her long-arm to quilt it - Yay!!!

2.   Hudson's Dreaming of Planes:

Hudson is our 6-year-old grandson - he's a real cutie pie!  And last winter he informed me that he had outgrown his baby quilt and needed a big-boy quilt.  I pulled fabrics and settled on a design, hoping to get it to him quickly, but somehow it never even got started.  So I set a deadline to have it done to give him when we visited at Thanksgiving - and that didn't happen either!  So, this week I decided to get 'er done so I would have it to give to him the next time we visit in North Carolina (where almost all our grandchildren live).  The flimsy is almost done and the quilting is scheduled!!!

3.   Back Door Quilts - January - March:

This is a monthly series of Back Door designs by Cottage Creek Quilts that I've been wanting to do for several years now, and this is the year!  I DO enjoy changing out small quilts with each month or season!!!  I adore the fresh, modern color scheme used by Shabby Fabrics  but didn't want to purchase the laser cut kits so I'm using my own fabrics.

4.   First 3 months of small quilts in Art to Heart's "Imagine":

Again, small monthly quilts!  I will display these on my 12-inch standing frame on our hearth to brighten our living area :)

5.   First 3 Blocks of Dear Daughter:

This was a free BOM offered by Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs in 2016.  I absolutely fell in love with it but just couldn't find time to start it back then.  I saved all the patterns and hope to keep up with it this year - I love it so!!!

6.  Rag Quilt for Me!!!

I've been hoarding some flannels for a cuddly morning-time quilt - me, my Bible, my coffee, and Rocky purring in my lap - life is good!  The box with those fabrics is buried under other UFO boxes right now, so I can't show a picture just yet.  But I'll be digging it out soon - we are making rag quilts at one of our Guild workshops next month, so this one should be easy to accomplish :)

7.   Mint Chocolate Wedding Ring - to flimsy stage:

Long time UFO - one of my oldest!  I'm steadily chipping away at this one and would love to have it done early in the year!

8.   Bonnie's Mystery Quilt this year - On Ringo Lake - to flimsy stage:

All the sections are sewn except for finishing up assembling #6.  Then I'll need to assemble the 50 blocks, cut pieces for the setting blocks (it's on-point), and assemble the flimsy.  Might be a stretch to hope for this one in the first quarter, but I can dream, can't I?

I think that will do it for this first quarter!  
I'm linking up with Leanne at She Can Quilt...

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Begin as you mean to go on....

That's an expression that I've often used in my life to spur me on when I find myself at the beginning of something new.  Since this is my first Goals post for 2018, it should serve me well today!


Like many of you, a new year inspires me to do new things!  To clear out the old, begin the new, set goals, choose how I want to spend that precious year.  Of course, it rarely turns out the way I've planned it, but without a plan I'm doomed from the start :)  I'm definitely a planner, an organizer, a dreamer.  One thing that seems to work for me is to break things down into time and effort segments, then get those pieces on my calendar for the month...

These are the two projects getting all the love right now -

Mint Chocolate Wedding Ring ...
This is one of my oldest UFO's from 2008.  It was a little intimidating to me when I first started it as a relatively new quilter, but I'm really having fun with it this year and will almost be sad when it's done.  There's incredible satisfaction when each block is completed and placed on the design wall...

And yes, Rocky, is still the Snoopervisor Extraordinare of all things that happen around here!!!  

And he continues to take his job as CEO of Foot Warming very seriously....

And yes, he's put on a few pounds LOL!!!

Of course you know I had to join in Bonnie Hunter's newest Mystery Quilt - On Ringo Lake!

Just had to put pieces together to see how these blocks will look!

I loved her color choices and happily went with them, with a few exceptions - blacks instead of browns, and limited my neutrals to soft buttery yellows.  This year's project has literally thousands of pieces, and I'm almost done with them...

400 Flying Geese!!!!

I love all the new challenges, sewalongs, quiltalongs, BOM's - the list of shiny new things to do is always so tempting!  And I always want to do them all.  Joining in is a great way for me to stay on track and gives me that much-needed measure of accountability.  However, my biggest challenge is to limit myself to what I might reasonably be able to accomplish in one year - any of you relate?  Yeh, I thought so LOL!!!

These days, there are many UFO challenges out there and I like to choose one or two that I can combine with the UFO challenge at my Guild.  One of my favorites is Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal

Elm Street Quilts

My project this month will be to quilt my Diamonds R Forever top...

This is an old UFO from a Guild class taught by the String Sisters ...

Another Challenge I hope to keep up with is the 2018 FinishAlong, hosted by She Can Quilt....

I'm also planning to join Lyn at What a Hoot! with her 18 in 2018 link up, and I'll hopefully get that list together later this week.  There will also be a few new projects that aren't really new but taken from my Wish List - I can't wait to share them with you!  I'll probably join Pomegranate & Chintz's 6 & 6 in 2018 for these.  Yep, I'm hopeless - join all the joins!!!!

Enjoy your week my friends!

Hugs & Blessings!


Monday, January 1, 2018


Hello to all my friends!  
I have missed you all so much, and I wanted to take this opportunity on the first day of this beautiful New Year to let you know that I am determined to reestablish this blog…. It will be on a slow pace, and I have set some limitations on how much time spent here….  But this blogging community is something I’ve loved and been a part of for a long, long time – since 2011 – and I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye just yet!

I won’t go into any long explanations for my absence since March – so many bloggers are facing the same issues and time constraints.  I am healthy and happy and that’s all you really wanted to know, isn’t it?  I just allowed myself to get waaaaay too busy!  There were too many days when I found myself feeling guilty because I chose to sew in the spare hour or two rather than craft a blog post, and that didn’t feel right.  So I decided to take a guilt-free break.  In that time, I’ve made some choices that cut down on my responsibilities and outside activities, and give me more time to do what I enjoy most – being with good friends and loved ones, and happily stitching in my own little studio!  I already feel better! 

So today, I wanted to begin this year’s blogging journey by sharing my goal for 2018 – 

If 2017 taught me anything, it illuminated the fact that we need more KINDNESS in our world!!!!  Human beings can be very unkind – even ugly – to each other.  We can say and do ugly things in the name of a “cause” and feel fully justified.  We can allow our prejudices and beliefs to totally blind us to how our words and actions impact our world.  How they make others feel.  We can say unbelievably unkind things in the heat of the moment.

My prayer for 2018 is for all people to begin to realize that basic human kindness to one another is essential.  To put aside their politics, their prejudices, their platforms, their desire to be right, and just consciously try to treat others as they would want to be treated.  To think about what they say before they say it!  To care more about how we treat each other than about being right or wrong.  To stop and ask: Is what I am doing going to encourage and build Hope? Love? Kindness?  Are my words building a bridge or tossing out bombs?  How do my words and actions make others feel?  How we make others feel is how they will remember us!

Of course, I can’t stop at just wishing for World Kindness, can I?  I’m not running for Miss America LOL!!!  I have to question myself first and foremost.  I have to examine my own actions, words, and motivations.  Am I being kind to the people I encounter in my daily life?  Sure, it’s easy to be kind to my husband, my mom, my friends, my cat (well, most days it is LOL!).  But what about the slow grocery clerk?  The guy who wants to cut in front of me in traffic?  The person who annoys me for some reason or another.  Am I just another cog in the wheel?  Going through my days thinking only about myself and my needs, plans, dreams, without giving a thought to whether I am helping someone else accomplish theirs? 

This year, my hope is to become more aware of my actions when dealing with others, more conscious of how I treat others and make them feel.  To challenge myself to definitely be more kind in every possible way, to every possible person.  Put that way, it’s a lot harder than it seems on the surface, isn’t it?  I’m sure I’ll fail often.  I’m sure I will look back some days and wish I had been kinder to someone, or even several someones.  But hopefully I’ll succeed more days than I fail.  And hopefully I will actually become a more kind person.  Succeed more often. 

My wish for you all is that you encounter many kind people throughout your 2018, and that you will be kind to them in return!

Hugs & Blessings my friends,


Friday, March 3, 2017


So here I am again, popping in for a quick update.  I feel like that carnival game, Whack-a-Mole, where the mole pops up out of a hole and you have to try to whack it before it drops back down and then up again in a different hole 😜  (Better hit me quick, 'cause I'm popping back out again in a poof of smoke LOL!!!)

I just had to take a quick break this morning to check in with you all and say Hi!  I always miss you when I'm gone too long!  First, I have to thank you all for your sweet get well wishes!  I had a couple of rough days for sure, and was happy to bid that sinus infection farewell!  It did knock me back a bit on my schedule though, so I'm still playing a bit of catch-up.

I never found time to even touch my February OMG project.... Dreaming of Planes.  You can read about my thoughts and plans HERE if you're interested.

So that will now be my March OMG project 😎. I have a wonderfully relaxing week at Mountain Quiltfest coming up this month, so I'll just have everything prepped and ready to rock and roll during our evening sewing at the cabin.

Currently, I'm up to my armpits in quilting my February UFO Challenge project for Music City guild - Fantasia.  Here's an early shot just after I finished sandwiching it - better photos will follow in the Finish post :*)

A Rainbow Scrap Challenge project from several years ago

My original thought when I put quilting this top on the UFO list was to simply pull it out of the flimsy closet, choose a backing fabric, pop it on Joanne's longarm and knock it out in one afternoon.  Weeeeeellllllll, you all know me, right?  If I can make something complicated and much more work than it should be, I will!!!

First I couldn't decide on a backing fabric - which is always a problem for me when I'm backing blocks that are all a different color.  Finally I decided on black-and-white, but because I couldn't settle on just one fabric, the quilt demanded a pieced back!  No really ... It did ... It demanded!!!  So I had to get creative with that - I designed an enlarged block - 48" for the back ...

Then it demanded that I custom quilt it on my domestic machine ....
With RULERS!!!!

Yes, I'm nuts - certifiable.... especially considering this is my first time quilting with rulers.  But I do love how this is coming along ❤️  And needless to say, I am never without eyes watching me to be sure I do everything exactly as it should be done .....

So all that to say, this "quick" UFO finish has taken waaaaayyyyy longer than I anticipated, and it has to be done by this coming Tuesday morning!  I think I'm in a good rhythm and should be able to finish without killing myself so long as I keep at it.

On the yarn front, I wanted to share a new adventure!  Mason-Dixon Knitting is starting A Year of Techniques and although time is something I don't have just now, this is something fun that I just couldn't resist joining in!

The first Technique was just announced and it is how to work Helical stripes - below is a photo of Jen Arnall-Culliford's photo of her project using the technique.

Photo courtesy of Mason-Dixon Knitting

Don't know what Helical stripes are?  Me neither!  LOL 😜. But I was intrigued of course, and although I've done quite a bit of knitting the past few years, I'm mostly self-taught and jumped on the chance to learn new techniques and refine my skills.

Basically, this is a technique that allows you to knit stripes in the round in a way that does not cause the little "jog" in the fabric where the round joins.  It's a fun technique and I'm looking forward to playing with it once I get Fantasia quilted and my life is not all-quilting-all-the-time once again.

Each month you have the option of buying the yarn they recommend for the Technique.  I probably won't do that every month since it will mostly be practice for me and I can use some of my "crappy" or leftover stash for that.  But this month they offered Zauberballs - and I LOVE Zauberballs!  This is the one I ordered - it is called Tropical Fish - wowzers!!!

Of course, I won't start out using that yummy ball of yarn just yet.  I'll have to practice a bit.  And since the project is arm warmers which I don't often wear, I may even save that spectacular Zauberball for a pair of socks - YUM!!!

There was no way I could just not start though, right?  I mean, it's a new start for crying out loud ... I had to pick up the needles and at least cast on some yarn to practice, right?  I dug out some leftover sock yarn - remember these?

Won't that pink and yellow make nice Helical stripes?  Like Juicy Fruit gum!!!!  I can't wait to get to the point where I can see those stripes coming to life.

The Year of Techniques just started on March 1, so if you're interested go on over HERE for the information about how to get signed up!  (There's no charge to join but you do have to buy the book.)  And if you do, let me know so we can play together!

Okay - the Quilt Police just found me hiding in the closet trying to get this posted before they caught me, and they say I gotta go quilt!  This was such a nice visit with you all ❤️ Hope you have a lovely weekend my friends!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Linking up

Monday, February 6, 2017

OMG February 2017

This will be very short and sweet..... I'm recovering from a sinus infection this evening and feel like doing absolutely nothing except sitting under a warm quilt with Rocky purring contentedly in my lap and Victoria playing on TV.  But of course I do want to be sure to get my entry in for the One Monthly Goal for February.

A few months ago, our 5-year-old grandson informed me that he is now too big for his baby quilt because his "feet stick out the bottom" LOL!

Dreaming of Planes is my One Monthly Goal for February 2017.   Below are the pattern and fabrics I had originally intended to use for this quilt....

However, after looking at the fabrics and the design, I decided to go with the fabrics in the first picture instead, using the solids for the planes, the orange dot for the backgrounds, and the stripe for sashings/borders.  Perhaps I'll make pillow cases or pillows from the Minions and Garfield prints :*)

I think I'll have no problem getting this one done by the end of the month because I've simplified the pattern even further by cutting out the pieced planes and replacing them with appliqued ones!

Wish me luck!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

RSC Finished Projects Linky Party!

Angela at SoScrappy is hosting the first-ever special linkup for finished Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects!  I have loved this fun monthly challenge since I first began reading blogs, and when I started my own blog, Angela's party was among the first I participated in.  When I saw her post to link up our finishes, I had so much fun thinking back on the wonderful quilts I have today because of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!!!

Soul Searching is my latest RSC finish .....

I am still putting the last binding stitches on this quilt!  Rocky is not being particularly helpful ...

He says it is after 9pm and he is OFF DUTY!!!!  He also says I should hand-stitch down all my bindings because it suits him to curl up in them while we watch tv in the evenings LOL!  Do you like that bold backing fabric?

I had a tough time choosing the backing fabric, but eventually this won out.  I loved the primarily black as opposed to the primarily white prints on the front.  And those colorful squares in each bloom are perfectly understated and fantastic!

I shared a few photos of the quilting in my last post, but here they are again...

The quilt laid on the guest bed for a week or so waiting for me to get around to trimming it.  I noticed Rocky napping in there one day and I have a sneaking suspicion he may have gotten a little impatient and tried to help me out....

I chose to use a lot of scrappy white-on-black fabrics pulled from my 2-1/2" strip bin (then trimmed down to 2-1/4"), as well as my black scraps bin, before cutting a strip from some of my fat quarters.... probably 20 fabrics in all.

Rocky had a ball at this stage of the game!  He loves those long strings of fabric!!!  I took a picture of him trying to run off with the string but it didn't take very well :(

I loved this binding choice from the moment I began stitching it down!

Of course, two of the joinings just had to work out to fall on a corner!  

I left this one because it was just to one side of the actual corner and with a little pushing and shoving it will be fine.

Sending a SPECIAL THANKS to Angela at SoScrappy for the beautiful quilts we've finished over the years because of your Rainbow Scrap Challenges!  It's been a blast and I've made some really good friends all over the world from participating in this linky.  Looking forward to another fun year of playing in the rainbows....

Hugs & Blessings



Linking up with the following fun linky parties:
Oh Scrap!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I Believe!

I do Believe I have broken a record - THREE finishes in two weeks!  And these two were finished in the last three days - woohoo!!!

I Believe Sampler and En Provence

Full disclosure, these are only finished to the flimsy stage.  Since I don't have a longarm, it is sometimes a while before I'm able to quilt a finished top.  In my book, these are considered finishes :*)

I put the last of 3 borders on my I Believe sampler on Friday.  This was my One Monthly Goal project, as well as my Christmas UFO for January.  You can read earlier posts about this project here.  This is the first bed-size quilt I've ever made from start to finish in one month and I'm dizzy with happiness!!!  I pulled out the little packages of shop hop blocks a few days after Christmas and made a block every day I was at home.

Last week as time was getting close, I powered through by cutting all the pieces for the last three blocks and made piles of half-square triangles, which quickly turned into finished blocks :*)

Then I had to cut up the panel blocks and decide how I wanted to lay all the blocks together - this was an early layout....

At this point, I realized I didn't have as many of the coordinating fabrics in my stash as I had thought, which was a real problem because I needed a good variety of them for sashing all the blocks.  This is an older line and pretty much obsolete.  My friend Joanne came to my rescue by giving me the scraps left over from when she made her version of the quilt... Whew!!!

All of the pieced blocks from the shop hop use only red, green and gold fabrics, so I really took a chance by sashing all the panel blocks with a pretty aqua print from the line which I did have in my stash.  I wanted to pull out that lovely aqua in the background of all the pictures.  It looks more blue here, but it really is a soft pretty aqua - the first picture above is closer to the actual color :*)

I have to say, I love the light it brings into the overall look of the quilt!

I used a gold from my stash for the first inner border, then pulled that aqua back in with a fun stripe from the I Believe line for the second border.  That gorgeous red used for the outer border was one that I had thankfully purchased in yardage when I bought the blocks - it perfectly frames the quilt and pulls everything together.

My second finish is En Provence - Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt.  I last left you with the quilt waiting for the pieced borders in this post.  I had to make about 50 more neutral 4-patches in order to have enough to finish the borders.

This afternoon I put the last stitch in this beauty!!!

I really love this design, and the neutral 4-patch border is a big part of what I love.  Bonnie's design seems to float majestically over the surface of the quilt.  I found a bright backing fabric in my stash and hope to have it quilted before too much time passes :*)

And last but certainly not least, Soul Searching is quilted!!!  

This was my Music City guild UFO for January, and Joanne was my savior again by allowing me to use her long arm to quilt it :*)  I can't remember the name of the panto, but it was a simple and fun circle design that worked up quickly...

And, believe it or not, I even managed to squeeze in a few hand stitches too...

This adorable little hummingbird is the center of my 11th Folk Art Album block.  I have to say I was delighted with how it turned out!  I'm also pretty happy to be getting near the end of these blocks :*)

So that's it for my week - how about yours?

Hugs & Blessings!

Linking up with the following FUN linky parties - check 'em out!

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