Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Introducing - Bzzzy Bee Pincushion!

Have you received your Summer 2015 issue of Jacquelynne Steve's The Art of Home Companion e-magazine?  And did you happen to see the oh-so-cute little Bzzzy Bee Pincushion project inside?

Yep, that's my little design!  

And I'm so happy to be sharing this fun pattern with you in Jacquelynne's newest issue!

If you're not receiving this gem of a magazine, it's never too late :)  Go HERE now to sign up and tell her you would love to receive the Summer 2015 issue!  Seriously, folks, it's FREE and chock full of great stuff - just look at that CAKE!!!

Included in this issue, you will find patterns for Jacquelynne's lovely summer Strawberry Lemonade table runner and topper ..... colors so yummy you can almost taste them!

.... and speaking of taste, you also get the recipe for that mouthwatering CAKE!  There are several stitchery designs, and a super interview with the very talented and generous Heather Valentine who blogs over at The Sewing Loft.  I was not aware of Heather before, but I had a ball going over there and checking out all her amazing creativeness!  I think I'm going to have to have those cute little "Handmade by .." labels :*)

And of course you will also find my little Bzzzy Bee Pincushion!!!

I designed him to have nice, big wings for clipping on my Wonder Clips - I use them all the time now, so I needed someplace handy to place them, and most pincushions don't have a place where they can be clipped on handily.

I also wanted a place to store the Wonder Clips when I wasn't using them - and this lovely vintage Avon jar was the perfect place to allow my little Bzzzy Bee to alight when resting ...

Picture from the Art of Home Companion - Summer 2105
Jacquelynne has these SO CUTE pins in her shop too!!!!
You're definitely going to have to have a set of these :*)

The Bzzzy Bee Pincushion pattern is available FREE in The Art of Home Companion - Summer 2015 issue, so GET YOURS NOW!!!  Click HERE and sign up today - you'll be so glad you did.  After you sign up, you'll receive each upcoming issue as they are released - like a birthday gift without adding the years LOL!!!  And did I mention there's CAKE????

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cozy Afternoon Block #3!

Looks who's come out to play!

This is the Laurel Burch kitty that graces my Block #3 for Jacquelynne Steve's BOM Cozy Afternoon =^..^=

Last month, we made Blocks #1 and #2 --- you ARE making these with us aren't you?  These first two blocks were fun and quite easy to make - and I LOVE EASY!!!  Don't you?  Not to mention FREE, of course :*)  You can see my post on making the first two blocks HERE.

If you've just discovered Cozy Afternoon, it's definitely not too late to join in!  Or how about inviting a friend or two to join in the fun with you?  Just go to THIS LINK and sign up - you'll receive Blocks #1, #2 and #3.  And it won't take very long to catch up either :*)

Assembly of this block is easy - which is a very good thing because I almost waited too late to make it!!!  I was so looking forward to this block, and it was on my calendar for this weekend ... but .....  Saturday was a blur of things we had to take care of around the house, and then we unexpectedly added a 12-hour trip yesterday to pick up our granddaughter Sara.  I got home about 8:30pm, got Sara and her puppy Link all settled in, and was just about ready to fall into the bed, exhausted, at about 10:30 last night when I remembered!!!  Yep, I still had a block to make and this post to write - YIKES!!!

Miss Sara was an angel, keeping me company (and keeping me awake!) while I pulled fabrics, cut them up, framed my kitty, and began to sew my block.  Sara chose the kitty for this block =^..^=

Then I put her to work pressing my seams as each piece came racing out of the sewing machine......

...... she did an awesome job and saved me SO much time!!!

Many of you may remember Sara from her visit last summer when we had fun teaching her how to sew.  You can read all about those adventures HERE if you're interested :)  We sure are hoping to sneak in some stitching time this visit too!

Finally, my block was done!

Oh my gosh, I love it!

You might notice that because I want to keep consistency in my corners for these blocks, I had to revise Jacquelynne's pattern just a touch by leaving out the square in the corner sections.  Mine are just simple half-square triangles :)

These blocks are really fun, and I love that they are easy to make but still have great visual impact.  Here are all the blocks so far on my Design Wall ....

The blocks in the corners are the Cozy Afternoon blocks, and the others are from Sew Sweet Simplicity, Jacquelynne's BOM last year.  Next month I'll add Block #4 to the center of the layout and it will really begin looking like a quilt top!

As always, to celebrate this month's new block, Jacquelynne is offering a wonderful package of her PDF digital patterns to one lucky reader here at A Quilt and A Prayer.  I spy the cutest little petal pincushion in there!!!!

The giveaway is open to all readers and will end promptly at midnight, central time, Sunday, July 19.  For your chance to win, just leave a nice comment on this post telling me the most exciting thing going on in your life right now.  I love happy stories!  Be sure to visit Jacquelynne's blog today as well, and see all the other bloggers who are sharing their finished #3 blocks and hosting a giveaway - multiply your chances of winning!

And don't forget to mark your calendars ---- Next block - August 10th :*)

Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

Happy 4th of July!!!


I'm so happy to have my new calendar quilt, Flowercrackers! decorating my home this holiday :*)

This is the 6th quilt I've made from Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts book, and I still have to finish the August project before I will be finished making all of the ones I really love.  I have used this book of patterns more than any other quilting book I own!

This quilt is made almost completely from scraps too!  Many of the fabrics are pieces left over from my Dear Jane quilt.  I really dug deep into my scrap bins and anything red, cream, or blue was fair game.  I only used yardage for the binding and backing.  That green plaid leaf you see near the bottom is from a recycled men's shirt :*)

I quilted this one very simply, choosing once again to stitch down the applique as I quilted, cutting out that one step and speeding up the finish considerably :)  I always love picking out yummy threads for quilting!!!

For the borders I just did a simple straight stitch following some of the lines, using painter's tape to cross from one section to another in straight lines ....

I did a buttonhole stitch on the star flowers to give them a frame ....

 ..... and a quick straight stitching on the stems and leaves.  I had fun playing with freemotion sloppy-by-design circles around each of the flower centers ....

Deciding on the binding for it was not easy.  I really wanted a nice plaid, but didn't have anything on hand that worked and certainly wasn't going to buy fabric for that!  Kim put blue on her original quilt, but it looked too out of place on mine, and red was too much red all by itself - no clear separation from the quilt because there was so much red in the borders.  So I decided to use one of my favorite binding techniques - a tiny flange of blue to stop and frame the quilt between it and a red binding ...

I love that Debbie Mumm selvedge!!!
Can you see her logo on the very left?  
There's no date on this one, but it's a few years old :*)

I began by stitching down my blue strips all around the quilt, a little less than 1/4" away from the edge....

Then I stitched the red binding strips on top of that using a full 1/4" inch which covered the previous stitching on the blue ....

Don't you just love it when the join lands smack dab on the top of the corner???  Grrrrrr!!!!!  I had to stop, tear out several inches of stitches, cut out the join and start it further back before the corner ....

Next, I machine stitched the binding down by stitching in the ditch between the blue and red ....

I use wonder clips on the sides and very fine pins at those tricky corners to keep the binding in place on the back so it is caught neatly in the stitching.....

I just love the look of this technique and have used it on several projects.

It is very effective at providing a frame for the center of the quilt by that line of color as a stop before the red comes in again in the binding.

The backing is a fun, summery sunflower print on a bright blue sky background .... not at all patriotic, but definitely playful and happy, and I think it complements the quilt nicely :*)

Now I need to get busy on my August calendar quilt!


This is the first of my Q3 Finish-Along projects to be completed - woohoo!!!!  I'll be linking up with Adrianne at On the Windy Side.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Also linking up with SoScrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge ... lots of fun happy RED scraps in this one!!!

RSC 15

And I'm happy to finally  have something to link up with the awesomely fun Scraptastic Tuesday!!!!

Scraptastic Tuesday


I hope you all enjoy the 4th by doing whatever it is that you love most, 
with those whom you love the most -
and that we will all remember the men and women 
who have fought so hard to give us the freedom to do so!!!

.... and please celebrate safely my friends :*)

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 Finish-Along Q3 List

Since this year seems determined to just barrel along with no thought to whether we might want to be in such a daggone hurry, I figure I'd better get my Q3 Finish-Along projects posted quickly!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

As I posted HERE, I finished only 4 of my items listed for Q2 - and interestingly enough, I finished only 4 on my list in Q1 as well .... hmmmmm, hope that's not a pattern forming there!  Obviously I need to get my butt in gear apply myself a little more diligently this coming quarter!

*** Projects I'm carrying over from Q2 can see pics and details on these HERE

#1 - Make two Bionic Gear Bags - I've actually made one of these, but it doesn't count since I didn't get the second one done :(
#2.     Repair faulty quilting and bind Montego Bay
#3.     Quilt and bind Whooooooo's Your Daddy?
#4.     Quilt and bind Amish Beauties

*** New items on the list! ........

#5.     Bind Strip Stacks quilt - class taken at Mountain Quiltfest taught by Klaudeen Hansen in 2013.  It's been raining here for days so a picture on the porch is the best I can do right now :*)

#6      Quilt and bind Flowercrackers!  This is the July project from Kim Schaefer's book, Calendar Quilts

I started this quilt in June of last year hoping to have it for 4th of July, but it didn't happen.  So I picked it back up last month and got it to the quilting phase earlier this week --- binding went on today and it will decorate my wall for the 4th this year - woohoo!!!!!  Post to follow soon :*)

#7      Complete the August project from Kim's book, which I call Show Me the Honey.  .....

This project only has the applique pieces traced onto fusible and the background squares cut.  Lots of work yet before this one is done!

#8      Bind Romancing the Paisleys - this was one of my first ever Mystery Quilts and might give you a fair idea of why I no longer participate in mysteries!

If you visit my blog often, then you know that I don't do soft and romantic.  I do like the fabrics in this quilt - aqua and paisleys are favorites of course - I just don't care for the way it all comes together .... it's just blah!!!  My total lack of love for this quilt is probably why it's been lounging around on a shelf in my studio just waiting to be bound since I quilted it in 2012.  Sheesh!!!  Time to get it outta here!

#9      Do something - not sure what yet - with these 3 orphan Heart Blocks!  I do have an idea but we'll see if it pans out before I share it :*)

So I think that will be enough to keep me focused and moving the old dinosaur projects out of my studio!  I've realized lately that having these older projects sitting around mocking me is like dynamite to my mojo.  I'm really glad to have the Finish-Along initiative to encourage me to continue getting them out of my hair.  What do you use to help you move those quilts from start to finish?

Wishing you all a lovely July !!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

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