Sunday, November 18, 2018

Elephant Quilt Progress

Here is my progress on the elephant quilt.  This little elephant pattern was rather small, long and skinny so I had to add extra borders on the sides to make it a more pleasing shape and big enough to be a blanket.  I'm almost done with sewing down the pink splashes and will be tackling the elephants next.  Then on to the quilting!  The grandma's request was to keep it a light blanket that the little girl could carry around with her so there will be no batting in it.  Just the front and a really soft plush backing.  Probably very light quilting to keep it soft.


Do you remember Miss Frizzle and the Magic School Bus?  I have a daughter who is an Elementary Education major and she is already planning fun things to wear as a teacher.   She is going to be JUST LIKE Miss Frizzle.  She will be one of those fun teachers the kids will adore and never forget.  Lucky kids!  😊 I might end up having to learn how to sew clothes.  We will start with something simple like a circle skirt.  Don't think I"m quite ready for a dress like this, but isn't this the cutest?


And now!  On to a very fun project I've been working on (well fun for me anyway).  I LOVE organizing!   I was inspired by Tish over at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland when she wrote a post entitled "Slash that Stash!"  I have not been happy with my system of fabric organization (or lack thereof) for quite a while so I am joining Tish in her endeavor to SLASH THAT STASH!  Although I am taking my organization a step further.   I am taking a handfull at a time and sorting as follows:  anything that is a fat quarter or larger I am wrapping around comic book boards.  They are a board that is stronger than just plain card stock but not quite as thick as a cereal box.  Fat quarters fit on them PERFECTLY.  The cards I ordered measure 6 3/4" x 10 1/2".  

Here is a FQ ready to load on a board

Fold it in half short side to short side keeping the wrong side to the inside.

Lay card in the middle

Fold left side over card

Then fold right side over and pin through the layers to hold together.  It's probably better to put the pin in facing toward the bottom instead of what you see here.  

Here is my before . . .

And here is after going through 2/3 of my stash.  Starting to look orderly!  I plan to put everything in color order once I'm all through going through everything.  I can see what I have to work with so much better now and when I do a fabric pull I'm not messing up the whole pile just to get at something on the bottom and have to refold and restack every time.  The cards I ordered come in packages of 200 and I was SHOCKED to discover I used them all up before I was even close to being done.  I had to order more.  What you see here is about 250 different fabrics and I haven't even started on the bottom shelf yet.  Yikes!  I need to use up this stuff!

Anything not big enough to go on a board is getting cut into either
 5 inch squares, 2 1/2" strips or 2 1/2" squares.  I gave my Accquilt Go! Cutter a workout this weekend!  So much so that I need a new cutting mat!

Seeing all that luscious color made me want to do a fabric pull for a block.  Can you guess what these fabrics might potentially become?  Not all will make the cut.  And the ones that don't make the cut get put back in the stash just like a library book with no muss, no fuss.  How cool is that!

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Owyhee Mountain Quilters is Born!!

I  FINALLY got something checked off my bucket list.  I started a quilt group! Our first order of business was to decide what to call ourselves!  I had temporarily called us Owyhee County Quilters since that's the county I live in.  As it turns out, the majority of ladies there did not live in Owyhee County.  So we changed the name to Owyhee Mountain Quilters (much more inclusive 😊).  If you want to keep up with what we are doing, please feel free to follow our Owyhee Mountain Quilters Facebook page.  You don't have to be a participating member to join our Facebook group.  If you just enjoy quilts, we'd LOVE for you to follow our page and have someone to cheer us on!  For those of you who DO want to participate, please click the "Join" button on Facebook  to find out when our next meeting will be.  This will be the main way we communicate our schedule of events.  We have scheduled two more meeting dates.

I am so excited for our future because the group of ladies who came to the first meeting were a lot of fun and have some great ideas!  I have only been quilting for two years so I was the baby of the group.   The years these ladies have been quilting ranged from about 10 to 23 years.

When I first put out the invitation for this meeting, I had about a dozen ladies contact me who were interested.   Of those, 7 told me they would be at the meeting.  Two had unavoidable events come up that prevented them from coming so our attendance of the launching of Owyhee Mountain Quilters was 5.  Perfect!

Since we didn't quite know how we were going to proceed, the obvious thing to do was start with some show and tell!  Debbie brought two quilts to show us starting with this beautiful batik quilt.  Wow!

She had us cracking up at her admission that she made a wedding quilt for her daughter the minute she found out she had a boyfriend.   She's also pre-making quilts for grandkids and great grandkids that may or may not make their entrance into this world.  Doesn't everybody do that?  LOL!  

Here is the 2nd quilt she brought to share.  Another wowser!

Dawn brought this really great "quick finish" quilt that used a focal print and two solids to go with it.  LOVE the coral and light aqua colors in this and I apologize for the quality of the picture.  It doesn't really represent the colors very well.   She backed it with luscious orange minky.


We had a mother daughter duo join us tonight.  Beverly is Dawn's mom and she brought another great design for using up those 2 1/2" strips or jelly rolls.

Beverly is a fan of pieced backs so this is how she did the back of her quilt.  Beverly and Dawn are long arm quilters that I met because my hubby is building homes for both of them and a shop for their longarm business!  Can't wait to see that!


Robin is making TWO duplicate quilts at the same time (for Christmas presents) using the design by Elizabeth Hartman called Fancy Forest.  I was so intrigued looking at all the cute critters and fun fabrics she used I forgot to take a picture!  But here is the pattern she is using,  SO CUTE!!!


I showed my current project which is a baby quilt for a friend and I told you about last time.  Here's my progress so far.  Everything is now fused down and the next step will be to add a slim border of gray polka dot fabric used on the elephants, then a wider border of bricks using the fabrics in the splash and then bind it with the polka dot fabric.  I will be satin stitching around mama and baby elephants with pink thread (per grandma's request) and use the same color around all the splash pieces THEN  add quilting.   I've got to remember not to quilt as densely as I usually do as I want to keep it soft and cuddly.   I may also add a pink bow to the baby elephants tail.  


This isn't really quilt related but it was just too cute.  I had to share.  My husband has always wanted to be a farmer but things didn't work out that way.  He is a home builder.  But we finally have our little slice of heaven with enough room for him to practice his green thumbing.  He had a HUGE garden this year with over 50 tomato plants and tons of peppers and cucumbers.   He is wanting to experiment with growing different varieties of fruit trees as well.  So growing season is over and it's time to plow under the garden to start all over again next year.  He got the cutest little antique tractor for $500 which actually runs!  Well, it did for a little bit then it quit and he had to do some tinkering on it, but he got it working again. Talk about holding their value!  $500 is what it sold for back when it was brand new (1940's?)   Here he is plowing the garden under.  

He is just tickled to death with this old Farmall tractor!




He's been commuting back and forth to an office he is renting for his business that is kind of  an out of the way place for him and costing him lots of driving time getting back and forth between there and his job sites so I offered to share my quilt room with him instead.   It's the least I could do after he spoiled me to death with this huge quilt room.   He has to wait until next summer before he can build himself a shop so I can share for a while.   Here is my quilt room before . . .

And here is the new space with a split personality , I even hung up some pictures for him.  😊💙💙


How appropriate to have house blocks up on the wall.  
I'm building fabric houses and he's building real ones!

Last but not least I wanted to share a t-shirt I got for my daughter who is a cat lover and a lover of puns.  I found this humorous.  I could NOT resist!!  I am snickering right now.  
She's got her dad's sense of humor so I knew she'd appreciate this.  


Well, that's all for now and please don't forget to Join our Owyhee Mountain Quilters Facebook page if you want to follow our doin's! 

Linking to:
(she's doing a linky on the Friday's that Crazy Mom Quilts is not so be sure to join in!)
Busy Hands Quilts


Saturday, October 13, 2018

A New Project & More Quilt Show Quilts

Making big quilts is rewarding but baby quilts have that instant gratification factor! Or relatively instant compared to bed quilts anyway.   Not to mention the fun of seeing the recipients face when you show them your finished creation! 

So I have been asked to make a baby quilt for my friend Teresa whose daughter is having a baby girl.  She showed me a pink and gray mama and baby elephant quilt to give me an idea for the theme.  So I did a little searching around and I  will be making my own version of this!

This is a free pattern that can be found at www.windhamfabrics.com designed by Mytesha & Katie and written by Laura Jaquinto.   The original quilt Teresa showed me was a little more pastel than this one so I am toning it down a bit.   I am also adding a baby elephant next to the mama.  The background is going to be light gray, the mama and baby elephants are going to be a medium gray with polka dots.

I'll be using a light gray cotton for the background and for the paisley "water" I'll be using a variety of pink flannels.

Here is the first batch of paisley pieces . . .

  And here are the elephants and some of the pieces laid out.   I have a lot more paisley pieces to cut.


So my plan is to use Heat N Bond to fuse these pieces down and then satin stitch around the edges.  Not so sure how I'm going to do the baby elephants tail.  Would you use gray thread or pink thread?  This quilt isn't very big at all so I'll be adding an extra border around all four sides.  I haven't decided exactly what I'll do for the extra border yet.

This is the fabric I"ll using on the back. It is the most soft and cuddly stuff!  I just love it!  It's kind of like minky but not so thick.


I'm having fun cutting everything out, now we'll see how well the fusing part goes! 

And yes, I am still on track with Morgan's quilt.  Getting at least 15 minutes of sewing done every day.  I am officially half way done with his quilt top!


Would you like to see a few more quilts from the Boise Basin Quilt Show?

This was made by Jean Van Bockel and quilted by Susan Nelson.  
Her description said "The center of the quilt is a hand applique of our home with a photocopy of my sister and me standing on the porch wearing cowgirl outfits.  The blocks are fabrics I used in clothing and quilts or are leftover quilt blocks.  You will also find a pocket from a favorite dress and doll clothes, some made by my Nana."


  Here are a few closeups of the details . . .




Still got a few more to show ya next time around! 

If anyone has some tips an inexperienced appliquer ought to know, please share!

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Big Mistake! Learn from Me!


As many of you guessed, I am using a design from Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting Jetgirl for Morgan's quilt.  He picked this pattern out two years ago so he has forgotten what he picked!  Yay!  It will be a surprise as to what he is getting.  I have been keeping my quilt room door shut so he doesn't accidentally see it and instructed him not to look at my Instagram account.  I don't think he reads the blog so I'm pretty safe there.  Made sure to tell him NOT to just in case he does.   He is very excited to get it which is actually keeping me motivated to press on. 

The pattern I am using is called Triangle Transparency.   The original pattern looks like this. 
I decided I needed to make it a little larger than the original pattern so Yvonne graciously helped me calculate the new cutting instructions for a larger quilt.   Morgan loves blue so I am making this quilt in four shades of blue and the color arrangement is the opposite of what this picture shows.  The darkest blue will be the background instead of white as shown here.

I got everything cut out very quickly!  And all of the HST's sewn together (there are a lot of them).  Look at all that luscious blue!  The stuff on that design wall is going to have to come down. 

Next I started assembling the rows.  There are four sections of the quilt which are all identical so I sewed all four of the first row lickety split!


Sewed 2nd set of rows, then third set of rows (forgot to take pics)  I decided to lay out one of the units to see how everything looked so far and realized with a groan that I had forgotten that the colors were reversed on my quilt to what they were on Yvonne's pattern.  I had followed the placement for lights and darks very carefully forgetting that I should be doing the opposite of what the pattern called for.    

So here is my valuable piece of advice so you can learn from my mistake.  If you have multiples of units that are identical, and you have not made that particular design before, it is better to make at least ONE of the units from start to finish to make sure you are doing everything correctly. Then you can chain piece the rest of them.

I had decided to make all four blocks at one time so I could chain piece and be more efficient (or so I thought).  UGH!!   Mr. Seam Ripper and I had some quality time together yesterday and I was able to correct my mistakes for at least one unit.  I went ahead and finished sewing 1/4 of the quilt together and finally got it right.  Here is a view from afar to get an idea of scale.  This quilt is going to be about 72 x 72.



Second piece of advice.  Be diligent on lettering your units the way the pattern calls for.  I was so thankful I did that or it would have been a nightmare trying to figure out which unit I needed next. 

So I have some more time to spend with the seam ripper before I can move on with this quilt.  But to be honest, I am THRILLED with the progress I am making.  If I keep going at the rate I have been, I'll have Morgan's quilt top done before the end of the month!  YAHOO!!  My secret?  That sew at least 15 minutes every day method has worked like a charm!  If I'm working on something I don't like (like pressing seams open, or trimming HST's) I can quit after 15 minutes and pick up tomorrow.  But more often than not, I have continued on working beyond my 15 minutes.  My motivation from my latest finish is still fresh in my brain!

So I had a fun find this weekend.  I live out on the edge of a small country town so usually have to travel somewhere to do any kind of shopping for decor.  Well, THIS weekend one of my neighbors had a hand crafted fair in her yard with a variety of different crafters and homemade food.   Do you remember this corner in my sewing room?  See that large green chair in the corner?  It's extremely comfortable, but also a big space hog.

So I found THIS at my neighbor's craft fair this weekend.



It's a vintage chair that had old outdated fabric on it and instead of reupholstering the fabric, they dyed it a more modern color.  Love it!  So this chair is all original except for the color of the fabric.  And it's short people friendly!  I can actually touch the floor with my feet when I'm sitting in it.  And comfy!

Here's a little closeup of the detail.  

I'll work on a more attractive lamp at some point, but for now maybe add a pillow or throw.  Hmm!  I'll have to ponder that. What do you think this chair needs?

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Idaho State Pillow & Quilt Show Pics!

Thanks to the great advice I got from you all, I am very happy with my Idaho state pillow!  I ended up echoing one more time around the shape of the state and then densely quilting the heck out of the inside of the state.


Now you may be wondering why it is so lacking in color.  If I had made it for myself, it would be FULL of color, but since it is for an auction basket, I kept it as neutral as possible to go with anyone's decor.   I probably could have put a LITTLE bit of color in the thread around the edge of the state, but I played it safe.  I don't anticipate our basket will bring a lot as the bidding isn't very lively at this conference. 

I have some great pictures to share from a quilt show I attended this weekend, but before I do that, I have a request.  I have been asked to make a baby quilt featuring elephants, using pastel pinks and grays.  I used to see those particular color combos all over the place and now that I'm actually needing them, I can't find any!  I'll try again this afternoon, but if anybody could point me to some they've seen, I'd be appreciative!  Some FQ bundles would be great.  Or if you have any in your stash you don't think you'll use, I would love to buy them.  Also, any pattern design recommendations would be great too.  I've found a few possibilities, but am still looking.

OK, on to the quilt show eye candy provided by Boise Basin Quilters.   I had such a great time looking at all the wonderful creations!  Some new and some vintage quilts were shared as well.   I took pictures of my favorites and will share a few now and then.

The quilts I share with you today will be the different animals featured on quilts.  This one had the sweetest little Scotty dog.

Isn't he cute??

This next quilt was a collaboration of 15 different quilters who met through Facebook and their love of dachshunds.  They will auctioning their quilt to benefit dachshund rescues later this month.

 This little guy cracked me up!  I love him!

Other animals I saw were cats, giraffes, a crow, a flamingo, and a moose.


This crow quilt is a miniature.  Love that texture in the fields using twisted fabric.  
I wouldn't want to sew it though!




Well, that's all for now.   I'll show you some more in future posts.  

I'm doing really well with my 15 minutes a day on Morgan's quilt.  Today I'll be spending my 15 minutes trimming 44 HST's to size.   Not a chore I enjoy but I can do anything for 15 minutes!  It really does make the tedious parts much easier to get through.  

Hope you can help me find some pink and gray!

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