Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Two Year Bloggiversary and Lifetime Finish #14

I actually missed it!  My very first blog post was April 17, 2016.  Hurray for two years!  Time really does fly when you are having fun and I DEFINITELY am. 

OK, enough of that.  Today is really about my latest finish.  I love it so much!

Presenting Sweet Dreams which will be a gift for my youngest granddaughter who is turning one year old on May 31.  I actually got it done early!  Isn't this setting so purty!  I've been eyeing this place for a while.  It is on my way to work and I thought would be a perfect place to take pictures so today, on my way home,  I got up the nerve to knock on the door and ask if I could take pictures of my quilt near her tulips and on her porch.  She said "Of course!"  Country people are so nice! 

So the top of this quilt went together super fast but of course, when that was all done I had no clue how to quilt it.  I knew I wanted to do feathers in the border, but the rest of it had no idea.  Here's a view from the backside . . .
One thing I did learn was not to make the curves too close to the edges.  Keep them closer to the middle.  I ended up with some pretty large feathers because of the spine being too close to one side but overall I think it looks ok.  I'm still learning and improving so that's good.

 I happened to be commenting on one of Tish's posts (Tish's Adventures in Wonderland) and we got into a conversation about this quilting dilemma and the next thing I know she's designed a quilting motif for me and get this!  She even sent me video's of her drawing the path to take without having to break thread.  Tish you are amazing!  She is right in the middle of mentoring New Quilt Bloggers, designing a mystery QAL and not to mention all of her own quilting projects and UFO's and she takes time to help me.  I was amazed at her generosity in sharing her time with me.  Thank you Tish!

She said she got the inspiration for this particular motif from Susan at Quilt Fabrication so thank you too, Susan.  You helped me and you didn't even know it!

Here's a closeup of the shapes in the gingham squares.  They kind of turned out looking like hearts.

This was the first use of my labels that I had printed, but even though it says "Handmade with love", the Janice Holton part sounds pretty impersonal for my own granddaughter so I'll probably embroider  something a little more personal with the year on it somewhere.  I should have thought of that before I finished it.

In between taking breaks from sewing on the binding, I entertained myself by making another house block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  This month the color is yellow so here's my happy yellow house.  Designed my Sandra at Mmm Quilts!

This week was a very soul satisfying week in the creative department.  
I am finally learning how to FINISH!  
Robin, my BQF, aren't you so proud of me?  

Next project is quilting Ashley's quilt!

Oh, by the way!  I want to thank each and every one of you who have responded in the comments when I ask for help and advice.  I LOVE THAT!!  You say things that I would never have thought of and I always learn something so please keep it up.  This is my favorite thing about blogging and it is how I learn every time I do a new project.  So thank you!
Linking to:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sweet Dreams

I absolutely fell in love with this very girly, very feminine baby quilt and immediately had to make it for my granddaughter.   It is a kit called Sweet Dreams from Shabby Fabrics.   Besides being so girly, one of the other things I love about it was that it came complete with fabric for the binding AND the backing

I am amazed at how fast it is coming together.  I started it last weekend and  might get it totally quilted and bound this weekend.  I'm so excited about that!  I am actually FINISHING stuff!  And I'm proud to say the first thing I made before I stitched anything else was the binding.  Who is it that has taken possession of my body?  So unlike me!  Isn't this red gingham just perfect?

I had some super wonderful help in the decision making about how to quilt it but I'll tell you all about that on the "finish" post.  So far, I've quilted the strips with the gingham 9 patches and floral squares.  Just the in between strips and the borders left to quilt.

I took a scrap of the leftover fabric and practiced quilting feathers on it.  I was a little rusty on the scrap practice . . .

so I decided I'd better practice some more on paper.

I think I'm going to go for it.  So hopefully this weekend, I'll finish the quilting and enjoy hand sewing on the binding.

So now that this Sweet Dreams quilt is almost done, I need to make another one for sister!  Her favorite color is purple and mom would like one very similar in style to Sweet Dreams.   But wouldn't you know it, purple floral fabric in this traditional style is EXTREMELY hard to find!  I could find the purple gingham with no trouble but the floral is elusive.  My daughter-in-law and I were searching for fabric and of everything we found this is her favorite one but it was sold out.   So I am hoping someone with a big stash might be willing to sell me or trade with me if they have anything remotely resembling the two fabrics shown below.  If you know anybody that might have something, please please send them my direction!

What is your favorite online fabric store?

 Last but not least,  I have decided I do enjoy quilting on my Bernina, but I do not enjoy doing a large quilt or even a lap size quilt on my machine.  I don't like the wrestling!  I am going to start saving my pennies for a sit-down long arm machine.  So dear quilting friends, I know some of you have these machines or know someone who has one.  Can I get some feedback about what you like or dislike about your particular machine?  I'm drawn to the Tin Lizzie, Juki, and HQ Sweet 16.   Any other ideas?

I'm off to do some feathers!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to:

Busy Hands Quilting
Crazy Mom Quilts
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop
UFO Busting #16

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Smorgasbord of Stuff

First completed project this week were two paper pieced stars for my Bee Inspired Stash bee queen, Emily.   I could have stopped at one but I love the looks of these had the desire to conquer this.  I'm still not great at it, but the percentage of matched seams is much higher this way than with just regular piecing.  I don't know if I would like making a whole quilt using this method though.

Next I put together a baby quilt? blanket?  for my nephew's daughter, Emma.  The front is all minky.  I know, I know, I swore I wasn't going to ever sew with minky again but that was because the minky I used that time was ultra plush and too thick.  THIS minky is the kind I have sewed with successfully in the past. Oh, this turned out so cuddly and soft!  It measures 51 inches wide by 50 inches tall.  Kind of an odd size and also a bit heavy for spring, but it will feel good to lay on!

I used wavy organic lines across the strips to quilt most of it but used a stippled pattern in the strips both above and below the appliqued Emma.

This is the first time I have appliqued any lettering.  I just freehand drew simple bubble letters that were all the rage when I was in high school (so this project is sorta retro, right?)  and then appliqued them on with a blanket stitch.  I need more practice at that.   At least I know it will stay on!

Then, I made my first block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC).    This month the color is yellow so you may be seeing a few more yellow blocks this month.  Here's the first one . . . not so thrilled with it.  Not enough contrast.

Here's what's on the design wall right now . . .

I may take another whack at that yellow star and make one I like better.  And you may be wondering why aren't I working on Ashley's quilt like I said I was going to?  Well, I finally got the backing but still waiting for the thread and the batting!  I am trying a new kind of batting and some new thread.  So I'll keep busy with making blocks here and there until they arrive

And now for my question of the week!  I have been intrigued by quite a few different projects I have seen online using the English Paper Piecing method.  Especially one that Liz over at Savor Every Stitch is working on.  Look at this!  

Isn't it AMAZING!??

 I would really like to try it.   I love the looks of it but I also know I'll never finish it if I don't enjoy the process.  Can anybody recommend a small beginner EPP project for me?  Maybe not even a whole quilt but just a mini quilt.  I am needing some hand sewing to keep with me when I am out and about and find myself stuck waiting somewhere.  I am looking forward to hearing what you might suggest!

Linking to:
Let's Bee Social
Midweek Makers
WIP's with Friends
Design Wall Monday
Cooking Up Quilts

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Finished Top! And More Advice Needed!

While I was waiting for backing to arrive for Ashley's quilt, I got sidetracked with a bag of 1980's scraps.  You can read about that here.  And here is my finished top.  I used almost all of the scraps in the bag.  That was so fun!

I had a glorious day off of work on Friday and spent the whole day putting it together.  It was my husband's idea to take this picture with the chair.  I think he is secretly pleased when he comes up with an artsy picture idea for me.   The chair looks bare, next time maybe I'll have a completed quilt draped over it!

I sure do enjoy getting everybody's input on decision making.  Thank you for all of your ideas and encouragement.  I feel so much more confident in moving ahead with all that help.

Next step is quilting!  

This quilt is going to my oldest granddaughter.  Love those dimples!   

She get's 'em from her beautiful mommy.  Her favorite color is purple.  Unfortunately, there is little to no purple in this quilt top!  However, I found a pastel lavender floral in my stash that I think will work!  What do you think?

I'm going to have to put this project on the back burner for a bit because Ashley's backing came in.  Now I need some opinions about what I am going to do next! I love hearing what you guys would do if it was yours.  
As a reminder, here is what her quilt top looks like:

 Here is the fabric we'll be using for the back of her quilt

With such a busy back, would you do a neutral thread or a more periwinkle thread in the bobbin?  And then what color thread for the top?  I might end up changing colors for each different stripe.   On the top, my plan is to stitch in the ditch around all of the lattice work and then do a different quilting motif on each stripe.  This is going to be a fun time learning all kinds of different free motion quilting motifs.

I'd love to hear what you would do!

Linking to:

Friday, March 30, 2018

My $1.50 Quilt

Is there anything more fun than finding a GREAT deal on scraps??   If you read my last post, you know that is what happened to me this week.  I found a bag of scraps for $1.50 and was immediately transported down memory lane when I realized it was full of 1980's fabrics.  

Last time I had made 5 blocks and was hoping to squeeze four more out of my scraps.   Success!  And here are all 9 blocks up on my design wall.

On top of all that I STILL have a pile of scraps left!  Granted, there are very few with enough length to make any more of these kinds of blocks,  but  I think there is probably enough to make some kind of scrappy border.  What do you think?  Piano keys?  Should I add some kind of divider border from my stash first?  What would you do?

I got a real kick out of reading all of your comments last time.  A few of us got to reminiscing about the 80's.  Clothing styles, and bad perms.   Louise in particular, made me really chuckle.  Talking about Gunnie Sax dresses and Farrah Fawcett hairdo's.  Confess!!  How many of you had one or both of these?  Would you be willing to share pictures?  I think that would make a very entertaining blog post to share a collection of these.  I will share mine and would love to have others to show as well.   I didn't really have a true Gunnie Sax dress but if I can find it, I'll show the one that came as close as I could get.  I definitely tried the Farrah Fawcett hair.  Who's with me?

Linking with:
TGIF Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Monday, March 26, 2018


Some of you are going to think I'm crazy, some of you won't be able to relate to what I'm about to share at all, and some of you are going to understand EXACTLY what happened when I saw a bag of scraps for sale for $1.50

I bought this bag  at our local quilt shop.  Someone had brought in their scraps from their sewing room and couldn't bear to throw them away but didn't want to use them herself.  I couldn't really tell what was in there, but WOW, blast from the past when I opened that bag.  What era does this remind you of?

And did it bring back memories for you like it did me?  Yes, these are dated colors and not what is popular right now but it sure was fun reminiscing about all the things this reminded me of.  Some of you weren't even born yet or just barely, so you will be the ones that can't relate.  Some of you hate sewing with scraps so you won't relate either, but SOME of you will totally get it!

 I started cutting everything into 2 inches strips and this is what emerged
Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5
Which one is your favorite?

These blocks ended up being about 11 inches.  If I make four more, I can make a 3 x 3 decent size baby quilt.  Can I squeeze four more blocks out of this pile?

Why yes!  I think I can!  Even if I don't have enough pieces to make the long sides of the blocks, I will just piece things together to make them long enough.  So that was my evening.  

Did seeing these fabrics remind you of anything in particular? I'd love to hear!  What were you doing in the 80's?

 This is my squirrel while I am waiting for the backing I ordered for Ashley's quilt to get here. 

Linking to:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Modern Plus Sign Quilts blog hop!  If you haven't visited my blog before, I hope you'll read the "About Me" to learn who I am!
This blog hop is a visual introduction to the wonderful book written by Cheryl Brickey of Meadowmist Designs and Paige Alexander of  Quilted Blooms,

I am fairly new to the quilting world so was surprised and honored to have been asked to participate in this book promotion.  The quilt I chose to make is called Bear Paw Plus.  Here is the beautiful version designed by Cheryl and pieced by Paige.
Photo by C & T Publishing
Photo by C & T Publishing

 My original plan was to make black and white bear claws with all of the plus signs a different color using these fabrics:

I got two of the blocks put together and it just was not wowing me.  So plan B!  I'm kind of glad I didn't go this route as I saw a lot of the other bloggers also had the same idea to use Alison Glass fabrics!  They really are yummy, aren't they?

I decided to go ahead and stick with all black and white. I chose Kona Black and Kona White.  They make  a very striking contrast against each other; however,  I had no IDEA how hard it was to find true black and true white.  The whites especially were hard.  They were either off-white or cream.  I auditioned . . .

and auditioned some more . . .

I was starting to get nervous because I couldn't find any fabrics I thought would work.   It may be hard to see it in these pictures, but almost all of these were a much different shade of white than Kona White.  I originally planned to do each plus a different fabric but since I was having difficulty finding any at all, finally settled on two  of them that were the closest and just alternated them.

So here is my final version of Bear Paw Plus!
This quilt consists of nine 21-inch blocks so finishes up at roughly 63 x 63.

Anybody who knows my quilt making style,  knows that I love bright colors.   To be completely honest, even though I love this design, sewing with only two colors had me struggling to finish!  So is it any surprise that I put THIS on the back?  This is Michael Miller Fabrics Garden Party Black Meadow Menagerie.

And to top it all off, I found it on sale for $5.99 a yard.  WIN/WIN!!

Gratuitous glamour shot.  (hee, hee)
Wow, out in bright sunlight you can see that even this swirl fabric is not quite white! 
I did the quilting in a graduated V formation on each quadrant of the quilt just following the piecing.  The lines are 2 inches apart and I should have done one more set of lines in between to make them one inch apart.  I opted not to do that as I was running out of time.  I can always go back later and add them.

Last but not least, thank you to my daughter Ashley (left) and her roommate Lauren for being willing quilt models!  They didn't even mind having their faces showing.  What is it about husbands who don't like to show their faces while they are holding up a quilt?  I have one of those.  I can't complain too awful much though, since he DID build me an awesome quilt room in our home.

Thank you so much for visiting my stop on the Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog hop.

Signed copies of Modern Plus Sign Quilts can be purchased at:

Meadow Mist Design  Etsy Shop
Quilted Blooms  Etsy Shop

And digital and print versions from

Modern Plus Sign Quilts (C&T Publishing)

Have you visited all the other stops on this blog hop?  If not, here they are.  Be sure to leave comments for a chance to win prizes!

Monday, March 12th
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! Quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

 Friday, March 16th
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Tuesday, March 20th
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st (that's today!)
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts (that's me!)

Thursday, March 22nd
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting  You are here!
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd

Paige @ Quilted Blooms

I HAD SO MUCH FUN DOING THIS!!  Thanks, Paige & Cheryl!