Monday, February 23, 2015

Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM - Finishing it up!!!

Sew..... Today is the day all of the QAL hostesses are showing off our finishes for the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM designed by talented Jacquelynne Steves!  


If you signed up to sew along on this fun BOM, you should be receiving your border and finishing instructions today :*)  Are you fired up to finish your quilt???  We are showing off our finishes to help inspire you and encourage you to get your quilts assembled and bordered and finished!  (You'll be glad you did too - stay tuned for a teaser about an exciting contest at the end of this post :*)

Please ignore all the strings on my design wall LOL!!!

I spent hours this past week trying to decide how these blocks wanted to be set into a quilt.  I've only done the four main blocks, and had just about decided to keep it at the four and make a small wall quilt.  Since I have limited wall space, the smaller the better for me.

However, after awhile it became apparent that inspiration had deserted me, so I decided this was an excellent opportunity to link up with Sharon Vrooman's "Let's Book It" linky party and pulled down a few books from my shelf.  (Yes, really, I actually USED one of my books!!!)  This book proved particularly helpful .....

This layout was very appealing to me - simple but effective.   My blocks are bold and bright, so they don't need a lot of fussy details surrounding them.  I wanted something clean and neat and linear.  With a little effort, I was able to envision how this setting would look using my blocks and fabrics ....

..... using only the four blocks, it would look something like this -

Black in the background of course, and using the bright oranges, pinks and golds in the cross bars, with the purples and blues in the cornerstones.  As I've mentioned before, one of the blocks has a black corner piece, while the other three have a bright color in the corners, which poses a problem.

For this layout to work, I would need to change the corner sections on three of the blocks to black to get that nice joining effect.  Not a big deal, but I wanted to be sure of my plans before I tore those blocks apart!

And the more I thought about it, the more I decided I really want to make it bigger and use all the fun kitties left in this panel!

I mean, really now, how could I not include these sweet kitties in the quilt?

Jacquelynne has already planned a new BOM for next summer, so I've decided to put these blocks away and then add to them with the new blocks she designs for the SSS #2.

I have to tell you, I'm SEW happy about that decision!!!  It does mean that I don't have a finish to show you all today, but if you want to see some beautiful finishes, all you have to do is go to Jacquelynne's blog, The Art of Home, HERE - and you will find links to some really wonderful finishes by my fellow QAL hostesses :*)

Of course, DON'T GO AWAY before you leave a comment and get in on the GIVEAWAY !!!  What is Jacquelynne giving away this month?

This really cute e-Book with SEW MANY cute ideas inside!  There are projects, yummy recipes, and loads of fun projects that kids can do!  Don't you just want to hug the stuffed dog and cat???  And I know you may not believe it - I'm having a hard time myself - but Summer is going to get here faster than you think!  This wonderful e-Book has some really great ideas for ways to keep those kiddos happy and creative during their summer vacation :*)

To win, you simply need to leave me a comment letting me know that you would love to have a copy of this sweet e-Book!  No hoops or helicopters or anything scary like that LOL!!!  I love comments, so you'll be making my day :*)  The giveaway will be open until midnight Sunday, March 1, and anyone is eligible to win!

After you've left your comment here to win the e-Book, hop on over to Jacquelynne's blog HERE to enter to win her BIG GRAND PRIZE!!!  Here is what you could win....

You know you want that prize package!!!  
Heck, I want that prize package!!!

So many great items!  Just in case you haven't yet tried any of Jaquelynne's cards which feature her own lovely art designs, I have several sets and love them!  I often send them out to brighten someone's day :)  They are the highest quality and you can't beat the beautiful designs.

Now, as if that weren't enough .... Jacquelynne has decided to hold a CONTEST for finished projects!  She'll be giving away TWO prizes - a fabric bundle, and a KIT for the next BOM!!!  She is using some really yummy fabrics in that next BOM, so you want to be sure to get your name in the pot for this contest!  Get those projects finished folks!!!  Remember, this doesn't have to be a quilt - you can use your blocks to make a table runner, or a tote bag ... the possibilities are endless.  You can find the rules on her website tomorrow, so hurry over and find out how you can WIN!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arcadia Avenue Block #2

We're sitting under a solid sheet of ice here in Nashville, and thankfully we still have power!  Which, of course, means I have lots and lots of time to SEW!!!!

Block #2 - Peacock Feathers - is on the left

I managed to get my second block for Arcadia Avenue finished today - woohoo!!!  Do you notice that the center seam got greedy and gobbled up a few center points? UGH!!!  And I was SO careful!!!  Drat!!!

Yes, I should have waited until I had it fixed before showing the pictures, but I've been jealous of so many in blogland who show their beautiful quilts in the snow and just couldn't resist getting some pics earlier today before the light was gone and the snow melted!  Snow has a bad habit of melting at warp speed in this neck of the woods :*)

But this block did turn out gorgeous, didn't it?  I'm just loving these fabrics!  I actually made a change mid-stream about my medium constant fabric.  It shows up as the gray star.  Originally I had planned to use a dark raspberry there.....

........ but as I was assembling the first few sections I realized that it was just too much like the colors in the wedges.  So I decided to fall back on the neutral gray that Sassafras Lane used in so many of their blocks for the medium fabric.  I think I like it much better because it gets it's message across very subtly, while allowing the wedge colors to shine :*)

Despite it's imperfections, I'm linking this block up with the Linky Party over at Sassafras Lane Designs.

This is not an easy paper-piece project, but it is totally the most fun I've had in quite a while!  Added to Millefiore, which has been such a wonderful handwork challenge, I have to say I am very pleased with the new projects I chose for 2015!  Tomorrow, I plan to work on something completely new!

Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been playing around with my PINK scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month, and since it's Valentine's Day, of course I had to make some hearts!

My crumb jars didn't have any scraps big enough for these, even though they are only 6 and 7 inch blocks, so I had to pull out the big guns - my PINK scrap bin.  I was SO tempted to pull some beauties from my pink stash shelf, but I am determined to use primarily scraps this year, so I am happy to report that the only fabric pulled from my fat quarter drawer was the light pink background on the heart on the right.  I had a lot of darker pinks in the scraps bin, but light pinks were scarce.

All of these blocks were paper-pieced.... I was even very thrifty and reused the clean side of a mis-printed scrap page from an earlier project.

I made the two hearts on the sides from a pattern sent to me by Julie of Me & My Stitches.....

Every time she sends us our Charming Club charm, she also sends a 6" block pattern for that charm so we can make a matching quilt block if we like.  I thoroughly enjoyed making these easy hearts!

The heart block in the center was from a free pattern I downloaded earlier in the week - and for the life of me, I can't remember from where!  The pattern sheet does not mention the designer or website or anything.  If you know where I got this from, please let me know so I can give credit :)

I think it turned out really cute!!!

I'll be sharing my hearts in SoScrappy's 
Valentine's Day Pinkstravaganza HERE

Tomorrow, I will join Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching group and continue assembling my Millefiore blocks for the last round of Rosette #1.

The last of the blocks I have to assemble for round 3 are sitting very lonely in the bottom of my sewing box :*)

There are 8 pieces in each of the six outer point blocks - I have finished all of these ....

Looks a bit like an owl, doesn't it?  *grin!*

And then there are 6 pieces in each side block between those point blocks.  I only have two of those done so far - 16 to go!

Then I will need to sew all the blocks from rounds 2 and 3 together for the finish.  I am glad that I determined from the beginning to not have a timeline for this project, because I would be really feeling antsy right about now if I had.  Beautiful pictures of completed Rosette #2 are popping up all over the Millefiore FB page, and I'm feeling pretty jealous!  Rosette #3 will be released March 1 too!  But I'm enjoying taking my time on this, and I want to make sure it is as beautiful as I can make it.  I'm steadily stitching on it at night and whenever I can find an hour or so of quiet time.

Tomorrow, I plan to cut out the pieces for Arcadia Avenue Block #2.  I just realized I never showed you the completed Block #1, so here it is!

Isn't this just GORGEOUS???  
Sassafras Lane has hit this one WAY out of the park!
I can't wait to start on Block #2!

We are expecting some truly frigid temps here in Nashville this coming week - zero and below a few days.  And maybe even some accumulations of SNOW - woohoo!!!!  It will be nice to get at least one decent snow this year.  I do hate that it is supposed to fall on Monday though, which is my sit-n-sew day with friends :(

I'm told that some of you who usually experience lots of snow have been strangely lacking in snow this winter, but the northeast has sure gotten hit hard.  My mom texted earlier tonight to let me know that they are experiencing some pretty major winds in the NC mountains tonight - a tree went down about 10 feet from their house!  And I think snow is on its way to them too.

Hope you all are staying warm and cozy 
and finding lots of stitchy projects to keep you happy and sassy!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up with the following fun parties!

WIP's Be Gone
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Design Wall Monday
Tuesday Linky Party

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Charmed, I'm Sure!

Ahhhh .... the month of LOVE!!!

February is a month that evokes all kinds of emotions and feelings in me.  On the one hand I always dread the bitter cold that seems to fill the February days.  Old Man Winter knows he's on the way out, so he huffs and puffs and does his best to make sure we'll remember him until he returns!

But Valentine's Day helps to rescue the month for me!  This holiday is a warm, bright spot in the middle of the chill of February!  It's a little whisper that says "Hold on! Warmer, brighter days are ahead! Just around the corner, in fact!  Love is in the Air...."

February calendar photo by Wendy Bentley

.... and where Love is, there is warmth and goodness and joy of life - right?  Valentine's Day never fails to charm me out of the winter doldrums.  And what could be more "charming" than these lovely heart charms made by Julie at Me and My Stitches?

They have definitely helped pull me out of my yearly winter stupor hibernation :*)  Yes, I'm admittedly part bear!  I go into my house in October and don't come out until April LOL!!!

Charms by Julie at Me and My Stitches

The large heart is one I purchased a couple years ago from Julie - I love those soft spring colors!  The smaller bright pink heart is from Julie's Charming Club.  I decided to join Charming this year because she is offering a collection of bright charms for the first time!  I have to say, so far I have been absolutely delighted with them!  You get a new charm bi-monthly and the chance to add a few others throughout the year as she offers them.  I jumped on the chance to add the delightful Pineapple charm this month ....

Charms by Julie at Me and My Stitches

If you love these charms too, be sure to go HERE and get on her email list so you can be notified when the next Charming Club starts!  The spots are limited and go quickly :*)  Of course, you don't have to wait to add one of her beautiful pieces to your jewelry collection - just click on the Go Shopping link and find your perfect Valentine's Day gift!!!

February also means I can take down the winter quilts with snowflakes and snowmen, and replace them with sweet loving little hearts everywhere....

February's Bertie's Year quilt is one of my favorites and I'm SO enjoying seeing it every morning in my breakfast room ♥♥♥

My little Ackfield table frame is newly adorned with a little Valentine quilt as well ....

It is a very simple quilt - an orphan block I added borders to and quilted to fit the frame.  It could possibly have used a little more quilting, but I'm calling it done and moving on.  This is the second of my completed 2015 Finish Along projects which I'm happy to mark off my Q1 List!!!  Next up is quilting the Baby Bargello :*)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

AYOLF - February 2015

In my efforts to clear out some of my UFO's (and my conscience!) this year, I'm joining A Year of Lovely Finishes and hope to rescue at least one project from The Black Hole each month.

My Button 

The monthly link-ups will work in nicely with my UFO Challenge at my Guild, so I can kill two flimsies birds with one stone!  At Guild, in January we turned in a list of projects numbered 1-12 which we would like to finish throughout the year.  At the meeting, our VP calls out a number, and we are to work on whichever project is listed at that number for the month.  If we finish it, then we can bring it in for Show N Tell to the next meeting and have our name entered for a prize!

For February the number "1" was called, and #1 on my list is to finish piecing the Bargello Tree Skirt by Martha Eddy....

Photo courtesy of pattern
Quilt made by Martha Eddy

I started this project at Runaway Retreat two years ago.  It is not an easy pattern, but definitely a rewarding one!  My feature fabric is a wonderful print by Jason Yenter ...

The selvedge is no longer attached, but I believe it is from his Winter Wonderland collection.  So far I have two sections complete and attached, with another almost ready.  That would put me at close to halfway done.

I remember spending about two days on getting this much done at retreat, so I know it won't go quickly.  I do think I can finish the piecing before the end of the month though.  One advantage is that I am going to retreat at the end of the month, so I can hurry up and finish it there if I have to :*)

Wish me luck!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, February 2, 2015

First 2015 Finish!

Indian Summer is finally finished!!!

This quilt was started in either 2007 or 2008, I can't remember which.  Either way, it is much too long.  The pattern is by Judy Niemeyer and was the perfect easy paper-piecing project for a newbie like me back then.

It is STILL one of my favorite quilts!

Which makes it even harder for me to understand why it took me so long to finish it.  I even quilted it last year - it's waited an entire year to have its binding applied!!!  Oh well.  I think the problem is that I really don't enjoy applying borders or bindings, so I avoid them.  I'm seeing a definite a pattern of putting these tasks off until the end of time unless something or someone lights a fire under me.

Can you believe I still had the binding fabric with the quilt???

The "fire" in this case was my Music City Guild UFO Challenge list.  I decided the only way to get some of these languishing projects off my To Do shelf was to assign them a number in the UFO Challenge - and sure enough, Karen called #10 for this month - binding Indian Summer!  And as much as it pains me to to admit it - if it weren't for that Challenge, this quilt would still be sitting on that shelf unbound ..... *hangs head in shame*.....  I could sure take some self-discipline lessons from some of you!

I suppose all's well that end's well, and thankfully this quilt's journey to completion has finally come to an end!

Yes, I sew most of my bindings on by machine!

As you can see, the front looks like a hand-sewn binding ....
but the back gives it away.  Still neat and tidy, but not hand sewn.
Which is perfectly fine with me!!!

I'm totally HAPPY with this quilt!  I've always planned for it to take up residence on the downstairs sofa in the great room.  I've been giving a little thought lately however to hanging it in the upstairs hallway to add some color.  Color is something it certainly has in abundance!!!

This is my first finish on my 2015 Finish-Along goals list for Q1!  You can see my list HERE if you like.  I had hoped to get at least one done in January, and I almost made it.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I'm also linking up with the following fun linky parties:
(You can check them out by clicking on their buttons in my sidebar to the right)

Tuesday Linky Party
WIP's Away
Binding Blitz

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

BOM - Millefiore

The first round is done on Millefiore Rosette #1....

..... actually I finished stitching it down last Sunday while watching the NFL Playoffs :*)  I've been busy this week and am now well on my way to having the 2nd Round prepared and stitched down as well.... hopefully I'll get quite a bit of that done while watching the Super Bowl today.

One thing I have learned from this quilt is to not prepare all my pieces before I have prepared a few and put them up on the design wall first!  I started out using a different pink in the alternate point - see the large diamond on the right using a medium pink dot fabric....?  I love that fabric and it looks so pretty with the two other fabrics in that hexie!

But then, after putting a few up on the design wall and stepping back from it, I saw that it blended in too well and added no contrast interest :(  It also created an unbroken band of pink around the rosette that was a little overpowering and did not transition well from the yellows & oranges in the first round.  So I switched it out for the pink with the black dot on the left.  Close up, I had thought the black dot too much, but after getting a few pieces up on the design wall and stepping back I could see that it was needed.  It provides just enough contrast, as well as having the happy effect of playing well with the dots from the center fabrics, creating more cohesion.  Lesson learned!!!

Another thing I have learned from Katja (Millefiore designer and owner of Katja's Quilt Shoppe) that helps this project go more quickly is to use a glue stick for preparation of the pieces rather than thread basting ....

This goes SO MUCH FASTER!!!  I can't wait to try it out on my Patchwork of the Crosses too!

One of my favorite components of this project is the many opportunities to use some of my favorite fabrics to fussy cut lovely motifs for effective design elements ....

Of course, my fabrics end up looking a lot like swiss cheese!!!!

As you probably noticed from the picture, I've already begun making plans and putting up design elements for the final Round #3......  Note the small orange hexies/diamonds and yellow diamond pieces being auditioned at the top.....

 All of those elements are subject to change, but I'm pretty sure at least the yellow pieces with the pink circle element at the very top will remain at the tip of those six points all around.  I really like the way it echoes the Round #1 diamonds and pulls the attention outward.  Not sure I will use more than six of them though, just on those six points, with orange everywhere else on that section.  I've seen some of the finished hexies with a dark continuous circle there and it is very striking!  I would then follow with hopefully a yellow hexie all around that, and tips of dark orange on the outside edges.  I'll have to prepare a few more pieces and see how they look as a whole before I decide on anything.

I understand this Rosette will be about 36" when complete - yikes!  Although I would have loved to have had this one done before the release of Rosette #2 which happened TODAY not going to happen LOL!!!  But that's okay.  I got a late start after spending a week with my mom in Carolina - certainly no regrets there! - and this is a project that I intend to have fun with and work on as I can - no pressure.  February's Rosette is much less work intensive, so maybe I'll even be able to catch up.  (And pigs may fly too, but hopefully my chances are better than that!!!)

****** FYI ..... if you find that you love Millefiore and think you might want to join in the fun, it's not too late!  Go to Katja's Quilt Shoppe HERE and register, then download the instructions provided.  You will also need to purchase her new book, The New Hexagon.  You won't regret it - it's an amazing source of over 50 hexie designs!  I recommend also getting the Paper Pieces HERE for each rosette, but that is optional, as you can make your own templates from the book if you like.  Paper Pieces also offers a set of acrylic templates for those who really like to make this project easy and convenient!  There's a fun Facebook page HERE too where you can all the wonderful rosettes coming to life :)

I'll be joining all my friends today at Kathy's Quilts as I enjoy Slow Sunday Stitching on this fun BOM.  How about you?

Slow Sunday Stitching

I really have no preference for the winner of the Super Bowl, 
but I sure am looking forward to the commercials LOL!!!

And don't forget!!!  
Tomorrow is the last day to get your comments in to win
the lovely package of PDF Patterns from Jacquelynne Steves - 
Go HERE now!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up to these fun linky parties:
(Buttons on sidebar)

Design Wall Monday
Tuesday Linky Party
WIP's Away

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