Sunday, April 27, 2014

Slow Stitching on Sunday

On Sundays, I look forward to taking a break from the hustle and bustle and doing some slow stitching with Kathy and friends at Kathy's Quilts.

Slow Sunday Stitching

I'm excited to have all the hand stitching done on the May Bertie's Year BOM!

That simple border stitch was a nice break from some of the more intense stitch patterns
of previous months.  Not that I'm complaining - I love learning new stitches!!!

This is one of my favorite months - Bertie is so happy to help Spring come to her neck of the woods!  She's even willing to help it along by carting in some of those lovely, colorful Spring flowers :)  That's a look of determination on her face my friends!  I don't think she'd let too much get in her way, do you?  And wouldn't you just LOVE to have a Spring hat like that one?  Bertie is such a fashionista!!!

These flowers turned out really bright and colorful after I substituted some of the flannels in the kit :)

I also plan to work on the Tree Vase block for The Blue Collection this afternoon ...

Progress so far......

Since it won't be very long before I have the vase finished, I'll also spend some time this afternoon preparing these leaves for applique next....

There are quite a few of these, but they are fun and fairly quick to prepare, and will be just as fun to stitch down too.  I will take this project to my sit-n-sew tomorrow morning and enjoy stitching and chatting with friends - Life is Good!!!

One cute little hand repair project that took WAAAAYYYYY too long to get around to....

I love my little Diva Chickie pin cushion!!!  I bought her at a retreat about 5 years ago from a girl who had made up about a dozen of them to sell for $4 each.  Doesn't she look like something I would fall in love with immediately?  Of course I picked out the brightest and most colorful one *VBG* 

But it didn't take me long to realize that a pincushion filled with this...

                            ...  will not sit still while you pull pins out or poke them back in!  

After several attempts at trying to pull out a large pin without the pin cushion flying across the room, I gave up and just kept it as a decoration on my shelf in the sewing studio.  I kept thinking "someday" I would take that worthless stuffing out and fill it with something heavier like crushed walnut shells.  

Well, this week "someday" finally arrived!!!!  Diva Chickie was wheeled into the operating room and went under the needle - no anesthesia either, my friends!  This is one tough chick now that she is made of sterner stuff :*)  Here she is in the post-op room, almost stitched up and resting comfortably on her side after her brave ordeal.  

I'm happy to announce that the surgery was a huge success and she is back at work, thrilled to be doing what Diva Chickies do best :*)  Just look at her proudly sporting pins and needles with a big ole smile on her face!!!

As for larger projects on my Design Wall this week, my biggest goal is to finish the sashing on Fantasia.  I pieced quite a few sashing pieces at my Divas Club meeting last week, but I still have a lot to do.....

Sorry this is a little dark - we've had storms this afternoon!

And I've cut pieces for 4 more Happy Dance blocks!  

Ooooooo I just love this quilt so far!!!!

You can see more Design Wall lovelies at Judy's Patchwork Times every Monday!
Also linking up with Connie's fun Tuesday Linky Party!

Wishing everyone a wonderfully fruitful week!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More "Love" Blocks!!!

As many of you know, Kevin the Quilter is heading up a massive Quilts of Valor block drive on his blog.

If you don't know Kevin, then you should!!!  He's a wonderful friend to bloggers everywhere and is doing some exciting things that you don't want to miss out on :*)  Check out his blog HERE - yes, Now!!!  (But don't forget to come back here for the rest of the post LOL!)

So, anyway, I really want to be a part of helping Kevin's block drive succeed - because it is for him of course, but also because it is for a really wonderful cause!  You can read more about the QOV drive on his blog post HERE  - and find out how you can help too :)

He's already received close to 3,000 blocks at last count!!!  That's enough for 98 quilts - whoohoo!!!!  (and he was hoping to get enough to make 3 quilts - silly boy!!!)

Nonetheless, I really wanted to support Kevin and the QOV program, so finally last night I put everything else aside and began to pull fabrics to make some blocks.  He asked for solids or fabrics that read as solids, which posed a little problem for me as I don't yet have a very large stash of solids.  I never did find a light blue that would read solid, but I did round up enough of the other colors.

He wisely chose a very simple design that even a beginner could sew up easily.... well, at least, most people could easily make this block.... there might be one quilter - who shall remain nameless - who had to pull out the ole seam ripper .... LOL!!!!

White to white with black thread???  Ugh!!!
That was supposed to be a yellow section.....

Sewing late at night when I'm tired is usually not a good combination for me :*)  However, I persevered!  And by the end of the evening, I had completed 12 blocks for Kevin's drive!!!

I am so excited to be able to pop these in the mail to him this week! :*D

I also plan to check my stash to see if I have fabrics that might help with backings and bindings.  Kevin had planned to handle those things himself, but with 98 quilts to make, I think he might need us to chip in and help, don't you???

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Charity is Another Word for Love

One of the "charity" projects our Guild sponsors is Phyllis's Angel Babies - making baby quilts for children born with Down Syndrome (DS) in the Nashville area.  We began making quilts for these precious little ones after one of our members (Phyllis) welcomed a Down Syndrome grandson into the family.  Today, that child's mother, Alecia Talbott, is the director of the Down Syndrome Association in Middle Tennessee.

Needless to say, this is a charity that is near and dear to many of our hearts!  So when one of our members was gifted with a large amount of fabric, she gave it to the DS Committee for making Phyllis' Angel Babies quilts.  And this past Thursday at our monthly sit-n-sew, a large group of us got together and made quilt tops.  The committee chose a simple pattern - the Scrappy Bargello from Quiltville (Bonnie Hunter) which you can find HERE.  

This is my finished quilt top....

The ladies on this committee spent MANY hours cutting all that fabric into strips!

This picture was taken about half-way through the day, so this is only HALF of the strips we started with!!!  By the end of the day, it honestly didn't look like a whole lot less either.  I think we'll be making these again at our next month's sit-n-sew :*)

While we were working away, Alecia (on the right below) came in and thanked us all for making quilts for these sweet children!  Then she announced that she would be presenting a quilt that day to a little DS girl who had been struck by a car last month.  We were very excited to see a child receive one of our quilts!

This precious little girl innocently chased a ball into traffic and was struck by a car.  Fortunately, she survived, even though she will still have to undergo surgery for some remaining brain injury.  She is a very brave and sweet girl... you can tell she was pretty overwhelmed by the sight of all of us in that big room staring at her LOL!!!!

I'm planning to try to get my quilt top sandwiched, quilted and bound by our next meeting on May 6.  I've also volunteered to bind some for those who are only able to sew up the tops.  It really makes me feel good to know that my Guild is part of a greater community of people who give to others in need.  And I am humbled to think that a little child will someday own this simple quilt I have made, and hopefully feel all the love and joy and prayers I have poured into each stitch!

The Scrappy Bargello baby quilt is now OFF the Design Wall!  But I still have Fantasia ...

and Happy Dance ...

           .....up on the Design Wall, ready to receive some love.  I've resolved to make 4 of these Happy Dance blocks each week so it doesn't get stagnant - they are so much fun and go so quickly, I don't think that will be a problem :)

Check out the other projects on design walls at Judy's Patchwork Times!

And I'm linking this up with Sharon's Let's Book It linky party
because Bonnie's Scrappy Bargello has been in my Patterns to Try book for ages now!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Slow Stitching and an Easter Bunny!!!

Just in time for Easter morning, I finished up my Cottontail Bunny small quilt!

Look at that cute little pink nose - ahhhhhh how sweet!

I did a FMQ "furry" stitch around the bunny ♥

I was very happy with how this stitch gave it a "real fur" look :)

Hand stitching a small sleeve for the hanger.....

And now Cottontail is gracing our fireplace in the living room ...
We love it!!!

Today, I'll be Slow Stitching along with others at Kathy's Quilts linky party!  

May Bertie is ready for her hand-stitched embellishments....
this may be my favorite hat of them all so far :)

Looks like Bertie has had enough of winter too - she's hauling in the flowers herself!  
She'll have Spring one way or the other LOL!!!

Not a lot of stitching on this month's quilt.  Just the green stems for the flowers, and gold for Bertie's foot and a black french knot for her eye.  Then I'll put a big black button in the center of the wheel.  And of course I'll add the details on the darling little bee!  Even the stitching around the frame is a simple one this month :)

And I thought I would show you the progress I've made on the final Blue Collection vase....

Not much done yet, but once the pieces are prepared it takes no time at all to actually applique them down, so this will be done soon.  I enjoy this type of applique so much!

Of course, all day today, my mind and heart will be on Jesus!!!!

Background quilt with all those delicious
feathers by Janet O of Rogue Quilter!!!

Because He lives, so can we ♥♥♥

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Doing the Happy Dance!!!

I started this blog 2-1/2 years ago because I thought it would be fun... and it has been :)  But I continue to blog because of all the wonderful relationships I have made along the way!!!  This week has been a wonderful week for me because I've gotten to know two really wonderful blog friends better!

First, remember how I told you that Mary who blogs at Needled Mom is really to blame has been so encouraging to me and got me started on my wonderful Japanese x&+ blocks?  She even helped me choose the name for it, Happy Dance!

Well, this week I received an AMAZING squishy package from Mary ...... she made 4 blocks for me!!!!  How sweet is that????  Like I said before, Mary is a very gifted Encourager!!!

Oh MY!!!!  I am so IN LOVE with these beautiful blocks!!!  Didn't she do a fabulous job?  They are the perfect colors, and those fabrics.... wow!  Look at the fun prints on this one...

....... the cow and pig are hysterical :*)

And I love the beautiful patterns in this one....YUM!

Bright orange always makes me smile!  Love those orange dots on the yellow background ...

The mixture of soft patterns with bold geometrics in this one....perfect!!!!

Mary, I am thrilled and so happy with these blocks!  What's most amazing to me is how much these fabrics look like the ones I have in my stash, yet I don't have a single one of them!  I would have made these exact blocks myself if I had those fabrics... we must be quilting twins!  I bet we would have a ball playing in each other's stash LOL!!!  THANK YOU so much - these blocks will have a very happy home in my Happy Dance quilt, and I will smile every time I spy one of your blocks in it :*)

Then, on Tuesday, I met with Libby who blogs over at Life On The Hill.

Libby is a fairly new blogger who lives very near me and we decided that we'd like to meet up one day and share blogging tips and get to know each other better.  What a great time we had!!!

It was almost the meeting that never happened though, because I confused it with my Wednesday meeting.... I was waiting for her at the wrong place and time!!!  Once I realized my mistake of course I rushed to the correct place, and she was sweet enough to ignore my confusion and wait for me.  See what I mean about meeting such nice people in Blogland?  I had to laugh at the two us sitting there at McDonalds with our computers and tablets, like we were techy queens!!!  Of course, we both forgot to get a picture of us together :(  But we'll do that next time - and there will definitely be a next time!  Thanks Libby for such a fun day! :*)

Please be sure to go over and check out her blog and give her some love!!!  She blogs about our meeting too, HERE, as well as a fun new quilt tutorial she will be starting soon for one of her own designs called Dusk to Dawn - I love that quilt!


Since this is Friday, I have to share some On the Needles progress too, right? .....

This has been such a busy week, and there hasn't been much time for relaxing, but I've managed a little knitting in the evenings.  I've gotten these about 10 rows into the increases for the heels.

I also picked up some beautiful and funky yarn at Goodwill the other day for a song!

Look at these luscious colors!!!!  And the texture is really nice!  That dark color is really a deep forest green, not black.  I have no idea what I'll make with this, but I'm thinking a nice cowl.

I wish you all a Blessed Easter weekend!

Good Friday is always so bittersweet to me.  
It represents the day my Savior suffered and died for me and you. 
and it breaks my heart that He had to go through that for me.....  

But I'm so glad He did!
And I'm so glad that was not the end of the story.....

Hugs & Blessings!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quick Share!

If you're a newbie to EQ7 like me, I thought you might like to know that the EQ Blog is starting a new sew-along beginning Monday, May 5, to "Jump Start" us on how to use the software!  You can read more about it HERE....

I've copied the following info from their blog - Behind the Mouse.....

4 Blocks, Lots of EQ Skills! I’m so excited to announce a new sew along here on the EQ Blog! We’re going to make a fun-to-sew quilt together that will teach us lots of useful EQ7 skills. If you’re an EQ newbie, I hope this sew along jump starts your EQ journey. If you’re a long-time EQ user, you may still learn something new. Plus it’s just fun to sew along with the group! All of the blocks we’ll be working with are based on a nine patch grid. They’ll be fairly simple to sew, but we’re going to learn a lot about EQ7 along the way. Like the sew alongs we’ve done in the past, I’ll start by posting a lesson for the block. You’ll have two weeks to do the lesson and sew the block. Then I’ll post the “Link Up” page where we can all share pictures of our sewn blocks. The sew along posts will always be on the blog, so you can access the posts whenever you’d like. 

I'll be following along - will you?

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Design Wall Monday - 4/14/14

I finally made a decision on how to set my Fantasia blocks!

These are my blocks from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year over at SoScrappy.  I put getting them assembled into a flimsy down for my #7 item on my Guild's UFO Challenge this year, and you guessed it - #7 was called for April!  Coming up with a creative way to assemble these blocks quickly has been a real challenge for me!  I really didn't want to just sash and border with chunks of fabric.... these blocks deserve something more than that!

 I remember that Sew Kind of Wonderful used a great curved sashing for their Curve It Up QAL blocks last year, which I just loved.  Since I used the Quick Curve Ruler to make the curves in these blocks, I thought that sashing treatment might look good with them.  The first thing I did was draft it up in EQ7....

The more I play around with this software, the more I like it!  It's really helpful to be able to see lots of options before I cut even one piece of fabric.  I'm still trying to decide about binding (black or multi?) And maybe the stripe or dots on the outside edge?  But I really do like the look of this sashing!

One of my biggest problems was what fabric to use to tie them all together.  Rainbow blocks are a lot of fun, but no one fabric really works with all of them.  In the end, I went with my usual favorite - black!  A nice black with a white polka dot worked perfectly.

After some trial and error, I finally worked out a method to make a strip that looks like the original and works for me.  Here is how it will look in the actual quilt....

And a close-up view.....

So now I just need to get busy stitching it up!  
I may actually get this Guild Challenge project done in time for the next meeting after all :*)

What's on your Design Wall?
Share with us at Judy's Patchwork Times!!!
Also linking up with today's RSC linky party HERE

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday - 4/13/14

Today I'm planning to join Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts and all her friends who are doing some Slow Stitching.  The May Bertie block arrived this week, and I was SO excited to begin working on it.  For once, I am caught up on these blocks, and I want to stay that way if I can.

Here is my block ready for stitching :*)  It is one of my favorite Bertie's Year blocks so far - such a cute design!!!

Unfortunately, I had to make quite a few replacements of the fabrics included in this month's block. I know you don't always get the same fabrics in a BOM that were used in the original quilt, but I do expect something similar in color and texture.  I was glad I had some flannels in my stash that would work - yes I even have a flannels stash :)  Below is the picture of the original quilt on the pattern front .....

I love those bright colors!  Spring calls for BRIGHT and HAPPY colors, am I right?  Well, what came in the laser-cut set was not even close to those in the picture.  This dull mauvy pink (top fabric below) looked dead on the brown background and I decided to go with a new spring grass green instead of their darker choice...

And fall-like golds instead of yellows and oranges.... Really?  What part of that top flower says "spring"????  The bottom flannels are my replacements - can you see how much closer to the original they are?

The original also has a pretty deep blue wagon hitch, but they sent this rather blotchy, dull flannel instead .....

...... so I changed it out to a nice bright purple!  Okay, so I know that the color of wagon hitches is not normally the subject of hot debate, but I happen to be very particular about my wagon hitches! LOL :)  The bluebell piece on the very left is one that came with the package.  The violet was bright and would have been fine, but it really didn't work once I changed to the purple for the hitch, so the six petals on the right are the ones I cut from a brighter light purple that matched better.

So, that's enough complaining!  I'm delighted to have this piece ready for stitching.  It won't take very long to do the buttonhole stitch by machine, and then I can sit and do some embroidery embellishments with my lovely perle cotton threads.

I found this awesome box at Tuesday Mornings last week - and for only $2.00!!!!
(Just the box!  I already had the threads)

This sure beats them all tumbling around in a tin and getting tangled :*)

I also want to spend a little time working on my last Blue Collection vase.  Last night I prepared a new piece for the one on the bottom right that was not lining up very well....

This one is not perfect either, but since the pieces are at an angle, the lines are never going to line up perfectly, so it's as good as it's going to get!  I'm so excited to be this close to having all the vase blocks done!  True, they all have to be assembled with block sashing, the 3-D tree has to be wrangled in there somehow, and the borders have to be prepared and stitched.... whew, that's still a lot of work!!  But I'm a whole lot closer than I was when I started, right?  LOL!!!!

I think that just might be enough to keep me out of trouble on this fine Sunday :*)
Be sure to visit Kathy's Quilts HERE to see what others are Slow Stitching on today.

Hugs & Blessings to you all!!!!
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