Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cozy Afternoon - Sew Along Day!!!

It's going to be a fun day today for all of us working on Jacquelynne Steves' Cozy Afternoon BOM!!!

Come on and join in the fun - even if you haven't sewn a stitch!  There will be lots of prizes, and best of all, lots of encouragement from Jacquelynne and everyone joining in!

Join us on Jacquelynne's Facebook page HERE and post some of your own progress photos as you sew along!  She is also posting all day on her Blog page HERE.  You can even view some great pics on her Instagram page HERE.  I understand there will be a Periscope tutorial later in the day - you don't want to miss that!!!


I'd also love to announce that Jan in OZ is my WINNER of the awesome PDF package of patterns from Jacquelynne in my Giveaway Post last week.

I love your original version of the Cozy Afternoon blocks - so clever. The thing I like most about Autumn (Fall) is walking through the dry fallen leaves and listening to them crackle!

Congrats to Jan!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cozy Afternoon - Block #5!

Wow!  Can it really already be time to reveal our last block for the Cozy Afternoon BOM designed by Jacquelynne Steves?

You may notice right away that my #5 Block is very different from everyone else's.

I love Jacquelynne's design....

......... but as you can see, it doesn't have half-square-triangle corners, which I need in order for the block to fit in with my overall quilt design for this quilt.

If you've been following along, you might remember that I've chosen to have my corner blocks appear round by using the black and purple half-square triangles in each corner .... (and if you're new to AQAP, you can go HERE to catch up on my design process for this fun BOM project!)

Soooooo, I had to put on my creative cap and come up with a design that would complement Jacquelynne's other wonderful blocks, but still give me those hst corners.

Of course, my first task was to choose my final Laurel Burch cat to have center stage in this block, and then to surround it with the black solid frame ....

Is she sticking her tongue out at us?  I really think she is!!!  She's saying, "Hey, can I help it if I'm gorgeous?  And I know you're jealous that I get to sit under a magnificent purple sky full of dazzling rainbow stars, but what can I say ... I'm a Laurel Burch cat and that's pretty darn special.  So there!"

I think she's pretty darn sassy, is what I think!  
And gorgeous too of course

For the design, I really liked the strip look Jacquelynne has incorporated in her CA block designs, so the first easy decision was to stick with that concept.  I began to play with options in EQ7 - still a huge learning curve there for me, but I'm plugging along at it :*)  This is what I ended up with in the design program ....

 Looks pretty close to the finished block shown at the beginning of this post, doesn't it?  I was thrilled with the way this worked out for me with my novice EQ7 skills :*)  From there, I was able to print out the paper-piece foundation sheets and work out measurements and piecing order....

Next I auditioned fabrics....

Don't you just love the name of this happy red?
I really enjoy reading the names on selvedges :*)

Before long, my strips were cut and I was ready to sew.....

This was a pretty simple block to sew up.  I just had to be careful to match the seams in the middle of each section.  Again, here is my finished Block #5 .... TaDa!!!!

And here it is in it's place on the Design Wall ....

I'm really happy with the way this quilt has progressed.  I just love Jacquelynne's designs for both the Sew Sweet Simplicity and Cozy Afternoon blocks - and I love the way they play so well together :*)  I'm not sure I can wait to show you the final assembly and reveal the finished quilt top on our next post!!!

If you have not been stitching along with us, it's never too late to join in!  Click on the BOM names above and it will take you to Jacquelynne's site where you can get the blocks.  You will be glad you did, because Jacquelynne has planned another fun Sew-Along Day coming up!  Click HERE to find out more about this exciting event!

Jacquelynne has planned a super-fun, sewing party day, filled with fun, games and lots of giveaways, so don't miss it!!!  You can use this day to join others in assembling your quilt top, or maybe just get caught up on your blocks - or even make extras!

And in other exciting news, Jacquelynne has announced the addition of Cozy Afternoon Quilt Labels and Note Cards in her online shop!!!  There are 10 adorable Quilt Labels, and 2 each of 4 designs for the Note Cards.  Click HERE to get you some :*)  Hint-Hint ---- I understand these labels have sold out TWICE already, so don't delay, order now!  Could anything be more perfect for the final touch on your Cozy Afternoon quilt?

Now, last but certainly not least, I know you are excited to see what Jacquelynne is offering this month for her Giveaway, right?

Isn't that exciting?  Pinwheels make me think of childhood playdays in the park on a crisp Fall day!  You know you want to win!!!  So first thing, leave a comment here telling me what you love most about Fall.  Don't forget to make sure I can contact you if you win!!!  Then go over to Jacquelynne's post HERE to find the other hostess bloggers who are revealing their #5 blocks and offering this amazing giveaway.  So many chances to win - and you get to see how each hostess has chosen her own fabrics and methods to bring this block to life!

This Giveaway is open through midnight of September 20, 2015.  And the best part is that since the patterns are digital, anyone can win!

I'll be back with the final reveal on October 13!  In the meantime, I hope you all have some fun Fall activities planned.  I have a few retreats in the next couple of months, and one very special beach trip with my Mom - just me and her :*)  I'm like a little kid in my excitement!!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cool, Crisp Slow Sunday Stitching :)

It sure does feel like Fall out there ya'll!!!

And this next Folk Art Album block in warm reds, oranges and yellows is right in season!  Even the cool blue-greens of the stems and leaves looks Fall-ish to me :*)

I'm enjoying working these blocks by hand - I even got a little adventurous by adding an orange thread stripe around the yellow .... I love the character it adds to this happy little flower.

Here's a picture of the full block in progress.....

Can you see the Peacock photo-bombing this picture?  LOL!!!!!  That peacock runs tame in my house - it knows it is a favorite 'child' around here :*)  You just never know where it will pop up!!!

I'm watching the first Carolina Panthers game of the season as I stitch -  What are you stitching on today?
Share with us at Kathy's Quilts ....

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Quilting the Peacock!

My UFO to be completed for MCQG Guild this past month was #9 - which was to quilt my Peacock Braids quilt.

I shared it's start HERE on the blog in 2012 - January of 2012!!!
Yep, 3-1/2 years ago!

The fabric is Timeless Treasures Plume CM8662, and of course I fell in love with it - what's not to love???

In fact, I love it so much I've made several other projects from the same fabric =^..^=

Stitchery Keeper
See-N-Go Project Bag

One of the reasons this quilting project has been on the shelf for so long is that I was afraid to quilt it.  It's not too terribly large - about 36"x45" - a good size for my Janome 6600P with the large throat.  But I knew it deserved some special quilting, and I really didn't feel confident enough to go for it.  This year, I decided to put it on my UFO list so I wouldn't have any more excuses!

After sandwiching - never fun! - I trimmed as much as I could off the edges and then turned and pinned the backing over the front to keep some of the wool batting fuzz out of my sensitive nose as well as off of that black fabric.  It was impossible to keep the black free of fuzz of course, but I think this helped at least :*)

Then I started picking some yummy thread candidates for making this quilt as beautiful as I could make it ...

I love the look of King Tut thread on the top of a quilt, so using the black in that for the background was the first easy choice.  Then I chose this gorgeous aqua metallic thread on the left for the peacock feathers, and the deep, intriguing green variegated thread on the right for the leaves ....

I love how the aqua metallic makes those feathers sparkle! ....

After painstakingly quilting the peacock ....

...... I outlined all the other flowers and leaves on the quilt, and then I began to fill in the black background areas with my simplified, totally novice version of McTavishing...

As this was my first attempt at this filler stitch, I have to say I was pretty pleased with how well it turned out!  It's nice to know that I will get better at it as I practice :*)

For the borders, I really had to give some thought to how I wanted to quilt them.  Because the inside was so densely quilted, the borders needed lots of quilting as well so it would keep its shape.  But my main objective was to keep that braid look clean and sharp.  I didn't want a lot of thread moving around in there to muddy up the design.  So I drew out some options on graph paper ...

Isn't it amazing how much we can learn from drawing out a design first?  I was pretty sure I would go with feathers in there at first.  Peacocks=feathers, right?  And I planned to use a thread that would disappear as much as possible, just leaving the texture.  But after looking at my drawing, I decided the beaded rows were a perfect counterbalance to all the flowery/feathery stuff going on in the center.

They were fairly easy to do too.  I've stitched pebbles before, so that wasn't too frightening.  My main concern was in keeping the rows even and the same width.  These tools came to my rescue ....

I have no idea where I got the 1/4" plastic stick, but it was perfect for marking both sides of the beading row.  And I use the Clover White Marking Pen everywhere I can - it makes very minimal lines and irons out beautifully when I'm done!

I just love how the beaded rows look in the finished borders!  I stitched in the ditches as well to give each braid a nice finished definition.

The quilt is now pinned down on the guest-room floor, being blocked in preparation for binding.

I don't usually have to block my quilts, but this one had pretty wacky, wavy borders when the quilting was done. That often happens when doing a dense quilting project on a domestic machine......

I'm hoping it will be ready to bind later tonight.  I'm excited to have this favorite quilt all done and ready to enjoy!!!

Slow Sunday Stitching

In the meantime, I'm going to be joining Kathy's Quilts for some Slow Sunday Stitching this afternoon.  Kathy is relaxing with her Pumpkin Seeds applique, making orange ones for the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I stitched together this Patchwork of the Cross block this past week ....

... and I hope to finish up the last of the hand stitching on Block #1 of my Folk Art Album today while watching the PGA Playoffs with My Guy.

Wishing everyone a lovely Labor Day weekend!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

I'm also linking up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday, Freemotion by the River for Tuesday Linky Party, and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.
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