Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting Ready to Quilt!

Tuesday was a fun day for me!  
My friend Joanne let me come over and play on her Gammill!!!  

Do you remember this quilt?

Designed by Jenny Beyer and using her wonderful, color-drenched fabrics..... YUM!!!

I finished this quilt in May of last year, and it has languished on my "to be quilted" shelf this entire year waiting for me to decide how I wanted it quilted.  I knew I didn't want to hand quilt it - not enough years left for me to attempt that!  I didn't want to just send it out for an all-over panto - too special for that!  But custom quilting is really expensive and I hate to pay that much for something I could do myself given enough time and energy.

I really enjoy free-motion quilting on my domestic machine, but there were two major hurdles for me to overcome before I could decide to custom quilt this one myself.  One was the lack of resources.  I don't like tying up my sewing machine with a huge quilting project, leaving me without my good machine for piecing on other projects until it is done.  I took care of that problem when I added the little Bernina to the herd and set up a separate quilting area with my Janome 6600 - you can read about how I did that HERE if you are interested.

Janome 6600 on left for quilting and Bernina 180 on right for piecing - a perfect world!!!
The other holdup was basting the darn thing!  I really hate getting down on the floor and struggling with getting a queen-sized quilt basted and ready for quilting!  I don't know anyone who likes that part of the process, do you?  So when Joanne offered me a day on her Gammill, I jumped on it and got Moonglow basted the easy way!

Loaded and ready to go.....

Aren't these blocks gorgeous?

And this is what basting on a Gammill looks like....

You can see the great big stitches - they will be so easy to take out as I move around the quilt!

I decided to do something else new this time too since this is such a special quilt - I used a wool batt!  It felt really soft and silky, and already I love the little bit of extra loft to the quilt!  I'll be keeping you posted on this project as I work on it, block by slow block!!!

I'm off and running now - looking forward to having lunch with a very great friend!  
How's your week going?

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Design Wall Monday - 5/27/2013

I have two projects on the design wall currently.... one is about to come down and get sewn up into a top, and the other is just in the beginning stages.

First, I have pieced all the blocks for Strip Stax....

I love the colors in this quilt!  It's so hard to see the fabrics in an all-over shot like this, but here is a close-up of some of these fun warm fabrics shining out of that gorgeous blue background!  I have not yet completely decided how I will border it.

My next project start will be a baby quilt for our newest granddaughter, Genevieve Rose, who was born in March.

Since the gender had been a secret - even from the mommy & daddy! - I needed to wait until after she was born before we could pick a pattern for her quilt.  Nikki and I both pinned baby quilts we liked to my Pinterest board, and eventually she picked out her favorite one.

This is the quilt Nikki chose....

Denise of Count it *All* Joy made this oh-so-cute little quilt for her newest granddaughter June, and I loved it so much it was quickly added to the favorites on the Pinterest board.  Isn't it adorable?  Yep, I think so too!!!

Genevieve's nursery is done in Cranberry with whites and creams as neutrals.  Amazingly, since I rarely buy pastels or pinks, I had the perfect fabric on hand for the background....

I fell in love with these fabrics this past winter during a girl's trip to Franklin TN to all the quilt shops there.  The Bernina Shop had this print with a few coordinates, and for some reason it just spoke to me!  I picked it up and put it down a dozen times!  I kept saying, "But it's not my colors.  What would I ever use it for?"  I even left it there the first visit.  But when we went back about a month later, I caved and bought 1-1/2 yards of it.  I also bought this sweet pink "grow" text fabric to go with it - I just love text fabrics!!!

Now I'm absolutely delighted to be using to make our sweet baby girl a lovely quilt all her own :*)  See the words, "Life" and "Hope" and "Grow" in that pink piece?  Those are all the things I will be praying for our little girl as I make this quilt for her!

Out of my stash, I picked out these additional coordinating fabrics for the pennants....

with that deep cranberry in the upper right to bind it and give it some color punch.....

At the local Joann's shop, I found the perfect shade of cranberry yarn to work up her name in the string design!  I just love it when a plan comes together, don't you?!?  :*D

Denise was kind enough to share her pattern for the little pennants, so I am in the process of tracing off enough of them to make one pennant from each of the coordinating fabrics.

I'm using Heat n Bond Lite and will raw-edge appliqué them to the quilt.  I just have to decide whether I want to put on the string first, or stitch down the yarn "string" - I'll keep you posted on that !!!

Genevieve's Baby Quilt is my NewFO Challenge project for May!  I will link this up to Barbara's linky party as soon as she opens it up at the end of the month.   Be sure to go by and check out all the cool starts!


And don't miss all the fun projects on everyone's design walls today over at Patchwork Times!
Patchwork Times
And also linking up with....

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A BLUE Memorial Day Weekend!

I have had so much fun digging in the BLUE scraps this month!!!   My basket of scraps has been whittled down to this....

So, okay, it really doesn't look like it has gone down that much since I started making BLUE blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, does it?

But as I started digging through looking for pieces big enough to make my Hatchett blocks, I realized there are really not that many scraps left after all.  Here are the blocks I was able to make....

..... and here are the resulting HST's from the cut off corners....

A nice batch that will work well with all the other colors at the end of the year!!!


As a reminder, here are my other BLUE blocks completed for the RSChallenge this month....


and Lone Starburst sections

It will be sad for me to say goodbye to the BLUES, but it's always fun to look forward to a new one each month!  Wonder what color Angela will pick for June?  Why not come join us and find out!

Hugs & Blessings!

Lovely Sunday!

Hubby and I are off to the flea market today, so I only have a minute to share my slow stitching this week....

The last block of the Promises & Borders quilt is DONE!!!!  Now all I have left is the banner - which I also started this week .....

Very, very soon this will be ready to piece together and become a quilt top - Joy, Joy, Joy!!!!

What have you slow stitched recently?  
Share your projects at Kathy's Quilts.

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Voting has begun at the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!!

Be sure to go and vote for your favorites!  There are quite a few fun categories - you will want to visit them all because, let me tell you, there are some amazing quilts in this year's Festival!!!

Click HERE to get to the main page, which will connect you to all the pages for the different categories.  Here's how you can find my two entries .....

Rainbow Pineapples is #18 in the ROYGBIV category - click HERE.....

And Hudson's Heroes is #60 in the Baby Quilt category - click HERE....

Thanks for your votes!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Ta-Da - It's a Sock!!!

May I present to you, my faithful readers, my very first knitted sock.....


I have to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who were so kind and helpful - you're the best!!!  I would never have gotten past the first 2 inches of dancing with those spider sticks if a couple of you had not pointed out that I was knitting it from the inside - really???  And suggestions for how to hold the needles so that it was a lot easier to work with them.......  And lots of helpful video sites....... invaluable!!!  Again, thanks - I couldn't have done this without you!!!

And I couldn't have done it without my friend, Joanne, either.  I got the sock to the point of the heel flap and then no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to do what I knew it was supposed to be doing.  I watched a few videos, tried a few times to get it started and ended up ripping out every time.  So then I put it in a bag and took it to Red Rooster with me and got Joanne to sit down with me and take me through that heel, row by row.  She figured out that I was completely ignoring 2 sentences - again, really???

But after that, I was okay.  I actually managed to do the second heel with no help at all......

Second sock almost finished!
Yes, my friends, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks LOL!!!

I used the pattern called Tesserae from Ravelry, recommended by Denise at Justquiltin.  I loved the pattern, but I probably should have started with just a simple stockinette until I practiced my rhythm and tension a little more.  There are one or two uneven stitches in there *tongue in cheek!*  And when I got to the gusset, I was so worried about doing that right, that I forgot about the pattern and just kept doing one pattern set over and over again instead of switching every 6 rows.

Guess what?  I decided to leave it that way and call it a design element! :*)

And I have to tell you, I'm as proud as a new mama!!!  I've shown this precious little sock to everyone who will spare me a glance LOL!!!  My husband was downright amazed!

I think it has pooled too :*)  It's really hard to tell with this busy yarn, but the colors are striping around it in diagonal waves rather in horizontal stripes.  I think that means it is pooling - am I right?

I should have entered Judy's pooling contest, but who knew I'd even manage to have a sock completed, much less one that pools, right???  And look at how this second one is going to town, pooling those lovely blues and purples diagonally down that sock - just beautimous!!!!  

I really actually like them that way much better than a boring old stripe.

As I was knitting the first sock, I was afraid it would end up too tight for me to wear.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find that although it fits pretty snug, it's not too tight.  It's close enough though that I'll have to be really careful to wash it in cold water so it doesn't shrink.  I've marked my pattern to add a few stitches when I use it again.

I'm not sure what caused those loose holes there in the gusset.  Maybe my stitches were too loose when I did the decreases?

Of course, I have to show you a picture of me "trying it on" to be sure I got the length right to the toe.  
Is this not hilarious???  Gives new meaning to the phrase "On the Needles" doesn't it?  It looks like I'm being tortured by an acupuncturist!  Or that I am trying to knit my own cast for a broken foot :*)
Oh too funny LOL!!!

I'll leave you with that laugh as I head off to Judy's Patchwork Times 
to see what everyone else has cast on their needles!!!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

And remember that freedom is never FREE - 
Let's honor the soldiers who have sacrificed to keep us FREE!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baby Quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival :*)

I couldn't resist putting this cute little quilt into the Baby Quilt category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

The quilt is lying in the grass, but no sun so it looks like a black background - go figure!
It was made for this little baby grandson - doesn't he look like he needs a cute quilt with fun vehicles on it?

The fabrics for this quilt are from the Happy Town line by Jacquelynne Steves.  They were absolutely perfect for this project!

The pattern I used was Rescue Squad by Erin Wilcoxon in the Sept/Oct '09 issue of Quiltmaker.  I paper-pieced three of each of all three of the different vehicles....

......but then I decided one of these little ambulances had to go to make room for this cute little helicopter that I put in the top left corner of the quilt :*)

Pattern design by Quiet Play and sold on Craftsy HERE
The quilting was done with this wonderful set of Aurifil threads - all the colors I needed were right there!

The darker red was just the right color for working inside the vehicles, while the lighter, more orangey red was perfect for outlining the vehicles in the outer border...

I used the yellow to outline the vehicles, after doing a little red SID inside for stability....

I used that really fun red/yellow/lime dot for the binding, which turned out really cute I think!

Stitched down by machine of course - much sturdier for a child (and quicker for me!)

Of course, one of my favorite parts of this quilt is the backing - the Happy Town panel that gives him a place to play with his own little cars!

Now, be sure to go and check out all the other great quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!!!

And if you feel so inclined, I sure would appreciate your vote for Hudson's Heroes HERE!

Hugs & Blessings!
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