Sunday, January 14, 2018

First 2018 Finish!

Well, she's not a quilt but she IS a finish.  And for me, that means a lot.  Introducing Hazel Hedgehog!

Back done with the dreaded minky.

I have been seeing this cute pattern around the internet for a while but when I saw the pillows that Jayne over at Twiggy and Opal made, I really wanted to try it.  They are SO cute!  And she made it look easy.  Maybe for experienced seamstresses but for newbies, not so much.   Let me explain . . .

Let me just say, all minky is NOT created equal.  Right, Anja?  (grin)   The backing was a from a scrap left over from Kenzi's quilt and I thought for such a small project, it wouldn't be that difficult.  Think again.  I've used other kinds which sewed up beautifully.  This stuff is stretchy and furry and thick.  It's going to be super cuddly, but I did not enjoy sewing with it at all!  Oh the hazards of ordering fabric online.

The piecing part was easy and I probably got that cut and sewn in just a few hours.  I am beginning to realize that piecing is probably one of my favorite parts of the process.   

I made this for my daughter and she wanted the version with glasses.  I've never used fusible stuff before so this was my first try at it.  The stuff I got worked ok but I have to tell you it sure wasn't because of the good instructions.  I had to guess at a few things.  Poor instructions are a pet peeve of mine.  

I would love to hear any tips and tricks about how to keep the edges looking smooth when you do the stitching around the edge of a fused piece.    Especially what kind of stitch to use and what stitch settings.  Mentor me, please!

I've already learned that I should have made the background part a little bit bigger than the instructions said because the quilting I did on the pillow turned my once square pillow top into a rectangle.  Oh, well.  She's still cute.  And I definitely learned a thing or two so it's a win/win despite the difficulties.

And even though it isn't a quilt, YAY for finish number one!   Yes, I am whooping it up!

Linking to:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Productive Day!

I think I've finally climbed out of a major mojo-missing-in-action phase and back into the land of the productive.  At least I did today.  I hope it continues!

I had the most fun day yesterday with my sister and niece who came over to make pillows.  I only see my sis a few times each year so I really enjoy it when she comes.  I let her and Cacey (my neice) shop my fabric stash and make pillows!  I don't know why I didn't think to take pictures of our day but I didn't!  I guess I'm not totally back in the blogging mode yet.  Well, it's probably just as well because Cacey didn't get hers all the way done and she wants to surprise her husband.  I'll show pictures when she gets them all done.

Today I finished up three bee blocks I needed to do.  The first one was for November's Bee and I finished one block in November as I was supposed to but then I never did finish the other one.  I don't know what my problem was because it was a very easy block.  My apologies, Paige for the extreme lateness of this block!  At last they are done and going out in the mail tomorrow along with some extra HST's and triangles for more HST's if you want them.  I also included extra background fabric in case you want to make the second block taller.

Then I worked on the block that was due in December for Emily.  I'm not quite as late for that one but STILL . . . late!  Ugh.  I hate missing due dates.  But it has made me more determined to keep up with next year's blocks. I mistakenly signed up for three bees in 2017 and did not make that mistake  this year.  Here is Emily's library book shelf block!
We were supposed to do a theme of some sort and my theme is color, and pattern!  Two things I really love.   The fat book that is leaning actually looks like some paper I have seen on vintage books before.  So Emily, here is my piece of bookshelf that I hope represents a little piece of me.  I am so looking forward to seeing all of your book blocks together.  There have been some very creative people who added things like microscopes and lamps.  I'm not that imaginative.

The third block I made was for Sharon.  She is the queen bee for January 2018 and I actually got my block done early for once!

What a good feeling to be caught up with my Bee hive commitments.  Now  I can start checking off some other things on my "want to get done" list.

Tomorrow, it's back to work for me and the start of a new semester at the University where I work.   Hope you have a wonderful week!

Linking to:
Oh Scrap!
Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 Planning Party

Yvonne at Quilting JetGirl is hosting a planning party for 2018.  I have not set any yearly quilty goals for myself before but I have found that I am much more productive when I do have a plan and a goal and a deadline.  

Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland came up with specific definitions that I really liked for those unfinished projects.    Tish, thanks for helping me categorize!  Here is a short summary of how she defines things:

UFO (Unfinished Object):  Any finished quilt top that is waiting to be quilted.
WIP (Work in Progress):  Anything that has been cut and started
Kits:  Fabric purchased with a specific result in mind but not yet begun.

At this point in time, here are my UFO's:   I currently have seven. I will be listing my 2018 goals at the end of this summary of what I have going on.

Quilt made by Vicki, quilted by Jen Strauser and waiting to be bound by me!

Mom's 1-patch quilt partially quilted

Mom's gift box quilt

I have I have nine WIP's which are projects that have either had fabric either at least cut out or even some sewed together:

1.  Hedgehog pillow 

2.  Kenzi's pillow.  Will be made with the scraps left over from making her quilt
3.  Pretzel twist
4.  Western quilt

5.  Stash Bee quilt #1

#6 Stash bee quilt #2

7.  On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt

8.  Geese Migration (only 3 blocks made)

9.  Leader/Ender project

Kits and quilts with fabric purchased:
Morgan's quilt
Dana's quilt
Sweet Dreams
Quilt Camp
All Purpose Tote
Autumn quilt
Floral and black Block of the Month
Boundless Layer Cake HST quilt

My goals for 2018 are:

1. Finish two things in each category by the end of 2018.  If I manage more than that, I will be VERY happy!  

2.  Finish a secret sewing project for an upcoming blog hop

3.  Participate in the Bee Inspired Stash Bee 

4.  Possibly do another Mini blog hop.

5.  Try to do at least 15 minutes of sewing each day (when I am home)

6.  Make a scrappy quilt using only old stash.

7.  Make a new ironing board cover.

I'm excited about getting going on my goals!  Having it written down is somehow motivating.  Good luck on your goals for 2018!

Linking to:
2018 Planning Party

Best of 2017

Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2017 Linky Party.  How you define "best" is up to you!

So here we go!

#1.  Most visited post of the year was the very first one of 2017 about my vintage quilt top given to me by my husbands sweet mama.  We don't know for sure who made it, but she thinks it was my hubby's great grandmother.  The biggest reason it was the most visited is because Wanda at Exuberant Color mentioned it after I asked her some questions about identifying the pattern.  That lady has a tremendous following! WOW!  So those visitation numbers were a little inflated.

The REAL most visited post of 2017 was the  Quilters Laundry Day Mini Blog Hop Quilt Along that Jen Rosin and I hosted with over 1700 views.  Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch was the designer and I was the organizer.   She designed the cutest pattern called A Quilters Laundry Day.  The pattern was provided free for quilt along participants but is available for purchase here from Craftsy.  You should try it!  It really was a fun easy make.  We provided the pattern and put the word out that anyone could participate that wanted to.  It was so fun anticipating how each quilter who volunteered would interpret Jen's design.   One quilter made a pillow, one appliqued her version, one made a baby quilt out of it, several made their quilts on the clothesline a 3D version.  Lots of fun creativity going on!  Here are the two that I made.  A day and night version.

Jen and I were so excited about the greats results of this QAL!  Click here to see a gallery of all the different creations.  I've even seen in a few other "Best of" posts that some of the participant's reveal post was their most viewed this year!  YAHOO!  We should be getting ready to do our third annual mini blog hop QAL very soon so stay tuned!  Let me know if you are interested in participating.  We had some nice giveaways too!

My favorite post and also one with some of the  most comments (that didn't have a giveaway) was my biggest finish ever.  It was the first quilt bigger than a baby quilt that I ever completed.  As most of you know, I learned to piece years ago but just learned how to quilt in 2016.   So you can imagine how thrilled I was to finally finish a full size quilt from start to finish!  You can read about that finish here.

One of my favorite posts was my reveal for a mini exchange that I did with Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate.   Here is the quirky mini I made for her, and the story behind my fabric and design choices can be found here.

I absolutely LOVE the mini she made for me!  
She is such a better seamstress than I am.

Mystery quilt.  This is the first year I have participated in a mystery quilt and I really enjoyed the slow pace of the one put on by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs.  Here is my post about that.

So those are my five favorite quilty things about 2017.  Now I am going to enjoy going to read the top five of my fellow bloggers!

May you have a blessed and productive quilty New Year!
Linking to:

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hedgehogs are the Cutest!

Hello friends!  Is there anyone else out there who feels like they have completely lost their rhythm and struggling to get back into a routine?  I'm raising my hand!

This post will be short and sweet as I have done pretty close to zero sewing since the last post I made several weeks ago.

I first saw this design here on Jayne's blog at Twiggy and Opal.  Seeing how much fun you can have with different fabrics has me wanting to make some more!

This project is one of the most fun and enjoyable things I've done for a while.  I made a hedgehog pillow for my daughter.  Meet Hazel the Hedgehog, designed by Elizabeth Hartman.

And here is my version made for my daughter.
This version of Hazel is just the top as I was waiting until I had gifted it to Ashley to find out if she wanted it with the glasses.  She does!  So that is my next project.  As soon as I can find a 20 x 20 pillow form.  The last time I tried to buy one they were all sold out!

I am needing to sit down and figure out my 2018 goals but I keep procrastinating!  I need my accountability partner Kate to give me a kick in the pants!  But I'll take encouragement anywhere I can get it from anyone who has some words of wisdom for me. 

I hope you all had a wonderful 2017 Christmas!

Linking to:
Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social

Thursday, December 7, 2017

On Ringo Lake Clue #2

I have been watching with envy all the wonderful quilts that pop up all over the internet when Bonnie Hunter does one of her mystery quilts.  I decided (even when I knew I couldn't keep up) to join in.  At least I'll get the instructions for each step and finish up later as I can.

First clue was to make tiny little 9 patches.

I have decided to make just half the amount of units she asks for.  Even that is going to be a stretch.

The next clue was a BUNCH of flying geese using a variety of corals and salmons along with a variety of low volume.  Even half is a challenge!  I'm not anywhere close, but I'll keep plugging away!  I have no idea what the layout is going to be.  This is just an arrangement for picture taking purposes.

May I talk about colors for a bit?  After all, that IS one of my favorite things.  :)  We've been living in our new house for several months now and I've only hung up one thing on the wall.  These hearts.  There are five of us in our family and I LOVE the color and texture of these hearts.

All the other pictures that were in our old house are all stacked in my bedroom and I'm really kind of tired of them.   I bought my first piece of new art in a long time.   I love this so much!  The color!  The atmosphere!

It is fun to imagine what those people are doing out in the rain and what they are talking about.  And did you happen to notice it matches the colors of the mystery quilt I'm making?  BONUS!  And not only that, both my husband and my son like it!  DOUBLE BONUS!!  I was so excited about that!  After all, they have to live with it too.

I got a fun surprise tonight.  My husband asked me if I wanted to get away for the weekend.  Umm, YES!!!!  Didn't have to think twice about that one.  That left me to think about what I could work on while we are driving to our destination.  Quickly I made some binding!
Remember the quilt top that Vicki made and Jen Strauser quilted for me?  The one I bought because I have no quilts of my own yet?
Well, this is the week it finally gets done.  And hopefully by the end of this week, I'll have a nice blog post showing Vicki's beautiful quilt top all quilted up by Jen and bound by me!  It even sort of  has a Christmasy vibe to it, don't you think?

Speaking of Christmas, check out this ornament.  Gotta love a designer who sees quilts EVERYWHERE!  I'm a big Jim Shore fan.

Well, that's all for now!   Enjoy your weekend, I'm pretty sure I will be!
Linking to:
On Ringo Lake Mystery Linkup
Needle and Thread Thursday
Sew Fresh Quilts

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Just For Fun

Rachel at Stitched in Color is having a mosaic contest.  To enter the contest, you choose 9 fabrics from Bobbie Lou's Fabric Factory and put them in a mosaic and add them to Rachel's linky party.  There will be two winners picked.  If your mosaic wins, you win a fabric bundle of the fabrics you picked!  FUN!

Rachel's blog is always full of beautiful color and wonderful photography.  Come on and join the fun!

Here is my entry: