Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Finishing up the Q2 Finish Along!

My oh my!!!  ... 2015 is already half over?  And of course that means the Q2 Finish Along hosted by the lovely Adrianne from On the Windy Side is also wrapping up :*)

2015 Finish-Along

You absolutely want to go over HERE to see all the gorgeous
finished projects being proudly linked up for the linky party!!!

I managed to eek out only FOUR finishes from the nine hopeful UFO's on my Q2 Finish Along list (see it HERE) - not such a great accomplishment I admit.  But considering the last couple of months, I'm not going to be too hard on myself.

The last of my finishes I'm sharing here with you today is actually the first one I completed this quarter - I simply forgot to blog about it!!!

Bind Blue Noel .....

This was my Guild UFO #8, the number called in March that was due the first Tuesday in April.  I started piecing it in 2010, finished quilting it in 2014, and finally got the binding on this past April to fulfill one of my Q2 List items - hooray!!!!!

This amazing little quilt is an original design by Melissa at Doodle-head Stitches who was a member at our Guild at that time.  She designed it as a Mystery BOM for us in 2010 and needless to say we all loved it!  She gave us the option for two sizes, and of course I had to pick the smaller one.  I can't wait to add it to my Christmas decorations this year :*)

Other Q2 Finish Along projects I completed are:

* Peacock See-N-Go Project Bag (see it HERE)

* Five of the Bertie's Year Wall Quilts (see it HERE)

* Raspberry Smooshy Socks (see it HERE)

I'll be posting my Q3 Finish Along list soon - you can start placing your bets now to see how many I get done LOL!!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

PS - Congratulations to Kris who blogs over at In The Emerald Woods!!!  Kris was the winner of my Cozy Afternoon giveaway PDF Pattern package from Jacquelynne Steves!!!  The next block will be posted on July 13, so mark your calendar to come on back and see what the Laurel Burch kitties have been up to these past few weeks =^..^=

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cozy Afternoon!

It's Here!!!

The Cozy Afternoon BOM starts today!  If you've signed up to sew along, you should have already received an email from Jacquelynne with the patterns for the first two blocks.  If you haven't signed up .... what are you waiting for?????  It's FREE!!! And it's FUN!!!  Go HERE NOW to sign up :*)

You can see Jacquelynne's wonderful blocks #1 and #2 on her blog post today HERE, and see how gorgeous they look in her fabric choices.  (She does still have a few fabric kits, but they're going fast so get one while you can!!!)  Her post shows many different ways to make the fun and easy blocks - applique, embroidered, or even just pieced with a yummy focus fabric!

All of Jacquelynne's guest bloggers are also posting the first two blocks today - including me! :*)  You can find all those super friendly, helpful guest bloggers listed below!  And as always, stick around to the end of this post, because Jacquelynne is offering a SUPER GIVEAWAY PACKAGE!!!

As I shared in an earlier post, my plan is to continue using the Laurel Burch panel cats that I used in Sew Sweet Simplicity last year...

Yes, I had to change the corners of the top block so it would "chain" with the others :*)

And by the way, if you missed out on the Sew Sweet Simplicity sew-along, don't fret!  You can still get the patterns at a very small cost from Jacquelynne's Shop HERE!

When I realized that the blocks for Cozy Afternoon (CA) are all rounded in design, I thought they would be perfect to set in between the SSS blocks - and I was right as you will see :*)

The first CA block is a super simple strip design.  Here are all my pieces cut and ready to go ....

It was a snap to simply sew those four hot-colored strips together in the order I liked best and then cut them into the required sized chunks for the block design ....

These bright fabrics make a very colorful frame for this gorgeous Laurel Burch Cat, don't they?  

There will be TONS of color and activity going on in this quilt, so I've decided to use this calming purple dot with black to make corner HST's on all of these CA blocks to pull it together.  I'll share more on my thoughts on that later :*)

I used Jacquelynne's instructions for making these hst's and then squared them up using my favorite new tool, the 6-1/2" Bloc-Loc ruler.  I'll explain more about these rulers in a little more depth later in this post :)

Here is my completed Block #1 .....

I just LOVE IT!!!

So now on to Block #2!

Lots of bright colorful hst's for this block!  First we make four hst diamond blocks - these were so fun!!!

You might notice that instead of pressing these seams open as Jacquelynne suggests, I decided to press mine to one side because I may end up quilting this block by stitching in the ditch (SID) and will need that fabric under the stitching if I do.  If you don't think you'll be using SID for your quilting, then pressing the seams open is definitely the way to go!  You can see in the top right photo that I also alternated the pressing direction on these so they would "nest" nicely for me when it came time to assemble the units....

I also used a Bloc-Loc ruler on these smaller units -  my 2-1/2" ruler was perfect for the job!

In the top two pictures, you can see that you simply line up the diagonal seam with the "groove" in the ruler and trim the first two sides, leaving room to turn and trim the remaining two sides to finish it up to a perfect square.  See how nicely that diagonal is kept true?  That makes for perfect hst's, and no tips floating or cut off when you stitch them together - pure bliss!!!

These rulers are a little pricey, but I have found them to be well worth it.  They are available in many sizes, but I actually use the 6-1/2" ruler for most applications because it will square up any size hst that size or smaller.  I couldn't resist picking up the 2-1/2" ruler at Quiltfest this year because I knew it would be a pretty common, much-used size - and I must admit, it is a luxury to have that convenience :*)  HERE is the Bloc-Loc site if you are interested in checking them out.

Once all the little hst diamonds were finished up and looking oh-so-adorable, Jacquelynne has us twist them around one clockwise turn around the block for additional interest - notice how each fabric travels around to a different position on each diamond?  I really like this fun effect!

Sooooo back to the star of this block - the Laurel Burch Cat!  I chose to use this wonderful feline for the center of Block #2 .... it takes me back to my groovy 70's days :*)  Flower Power baby!!!

And here is my completed block ....

Again, I love it!!!
Isn't this a FUN block?  

And here is my Design Wall with the two new blocks added ...
The circle shows where I fixed the corners of that center top block so it "chains"
Notice that I've chosen to use the hot colors (pinks, reds, yellows, oranges) in the side sections of the new CA blocks, and then contrasted with the cool purple dot/black hst's in the corners?  That's to give the design a framework, so the eye can rest on those cool areas :*)  The center block will be surrounded with the purple dot to tie it all together.

I hope my blocks will offer some inspiration as you start to play with your Cozy Afternoon version!  Be sure to share your blocks with us on Instagram at #CozyAfternoonQuilt - spread the inspiration!!! 

Block #3 will be released July 13, so be sure to come on back !!!

And now, for the GIVEAWAY you've all been waiting for!!!  This awesome Digital Pattern Package from Jacquelynne is going to the winner of my giveaway!!!  For your chance to win, leave me a comment telling me what you like to do best on a "cozy afternoon" - and keep it clean LOL!!!  If you are a follower, you can have a second chance to win by leaving a second comment letting me know how you follow!!!  The giveaway is open to all readers, domestic and international, and will end at midnight on Saturday, June 20.

Now - head on over to visit the other Cozy Afternoon guest bloggers - you'll be glad you did!!!  See their creative versions of the CA blocks, and get more chances to win the super GIVEAWAY!!!

A Quilt and a Prayer (ME!!!)

Lily Pad Quilting   

Red Letter Quilts

The Crafty Quilter

44th Street Fabric                       

Kathy's Quilts

Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up with Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and Freemotion by the River Tuesday Linky Party

Friday, June 12, 2015

Peacocks Like to Knit Too!

Last summer I designed a cute line of See-N-Go project bags for Jacquelynne Steve's Summer 2014 E-Magazine.  You can see my blog about them HERE :*)

Since then, I've made several more of these oh-so-useful project bags .... they're always a welcome gift, and I just can't ever seem to have enough of them on hand for my various portable projects!

Number 6 on my Q2 Finish Along List was to complete one of the large-size bags I had cut last year out of my coveted Peacock fabric.  And I finally got it done!

Bag Back - isn't that Peacock GORGEOUS?????

And just in time too, since my current socks project On The Needles is AQUA!!!!

The inside pocket is perfect to hold scissors and other tools that you don't want getting mixed up with the project in the bag.

The bags are perfect for knitting projects of course, but I've also used mine for embroidery, hexies, even makeup during travel!  If you'd like to make one of your own, just go to Jacquelynne Steve's - The Art of Home site HERE and sign up for her e-magazine - it's FREE! - and then ask her to send you the link to her Summer 2014 issue to get the free instructions for my See-N-Go Project Bags, as well as many other fun projects and crafty ideas from Jacquelynne  - even yummy recipes!

My socks are coming along very nicely by the way :*)  I love how this Frolicking yarn is striping in a "step" fashion, and pooling a little bit too.... this is a picture from last week.....

Since then, I've gotten quite a lot done!  One heel is made and the other is ready to work the heel flap.

A few more rows and I'll be moving on to the cuff!  We've been doing some traveling back east to visit with our family in North Carolina, and knitting is fortunately one of the things I can do in the car without fear of getting carsick, so this sock project has moved along much more quickly than I expected.  =^..^=

Oh yes, thought I'd share one more thing I managed to accomplish during this trip ....


It's amazing just how sunburned one can get even while sitting in the shade of an umbrella on the beach!!!  Yes, it's painful!  I'm usually so careful about being in the sun, but I got tricked this time.  I have to say though, our first vacation to the beach in 5 years was well worth it!

I'll leave you with a few pictures - not that I want to make you jealous or anything *wink* .....

Morning has broken - Wrightsville Beach, NC
Is there anything more wonderful than that first dipping of the toes in warm ocean water?????
I think this fellow was fascinated with the way my hair sort of resembled a cyclone LOL!!!
Hex on the Beach anyone???
I've still got sand in my shoes :*D

Hugs & Blessings!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cozy Afternoon is Coming ..... Are you Ready????

People get ready......
     ..... a fun new BOM by Jacquelynne Steves is coming your way next Monday, June 15th!!!

If you haven't signed up to receive the FREE Cozy Afternoon patterns so you can sew along, go HERE NOW!  Remember - even though you may have joined along for Sew Sweet Simplicity, you will still need to sign up for this new sew along.

And you ARE going to want to sew along with us!!!  Here are few sneak peeks from Jacquelynne's website, just to whet your appetite .....

Convinced yet?  
Of course you are!!!!

Jacquelynne is using different fabrics to give Cozy Afternoon lots of different looks - one of them will be calling your name I'm sure!  And as always - there will be GIVEAWAYS!!!!

Jacquelynne has a wonderful lineup of guest bloggers for this fun BOM Event, and once again I am delighted to be one of them!!!  Remember the amazing Laurel Burch Cats panel I used for my SSS blocks?

Well, I've decided to make up my Cozy Afternoon blocks with a few of the remaining panel cats and then put them all together for one fantastic quilt!  Here are few of the cute cats that are left for me to choose from ....

So come on back Monday, June 15 to see my first two blocks!
You know you can't resist!!!!

Hugs & Blessings!
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