Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Best of 2016

Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a linky party in which we share our top five posts, or finishes, or things we learned.  It is our choice as long as it is five.  :)

1.  Favorite Finish

This was a baby quilt for my niece.  Her baby was supposed to be a girl but a few weeks before the birth we found  he was a boy!   So this quilt may or may not get used depending on future babies!

#2 Favorite First

I had many many "Firsts" this year but my favorite was organizing a mini quiltalong with fellow friend and blogger Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch.  This was also among the posts with the highest views.  You can read that post here.   I had quite a few missteps along the way to making my Rainbow Crumbs, but had a ball doing it.  It was a very fun quick and easy project.  I will for sure be organizing another one of these quick and easy mini quiltalongs.  Let me know if you want to join in!

Please visit the gallery to see all the shadow block creations and few that were made afterwards.

#3 My Favorite Post to Write:  The Interview

The post I enjoyed doing the most was interviewing my BQF (best quilty friend), Robin Ryan.  I shall be doing another interview very soon showing a few new things she has created since then.

#4  Favorite Thing I Learned How to Do

Quilting of course!  Thanks to Robin!  As a result of that, I also learned how to blog, how to do a quilt-along, how to paper piece,  learned what a linky party was,  and learned that I cannot stick to one project at a time.  I love having multiple things going on at once.  Of course, I don't get nearly as much done, but oh well!  I am having fun along the way.

#5 Post With the Most Views

Believe it or not it was just a simple tutorial that you can find all over the internet!  I guess tutorials are quite popular.  It was sharing a block I want to start collecting and an easy tutorial for making 8 2-inch HST's (half square triangles).   I started the quilt below but the blocks were much too tiny so I am starting all over and doubling the block size to someday have a finished quilt for my bed.

I am so excited to start 2017 and hope to have a lot more finishes to share next time.  I hope your Christmas was full of good memories with family and friends.

Linking to:
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WIP's on Wednesday at Esther's Blog

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

January Stash Bee

I love trying new things and one of those is joining a Stash Bee.  All participants are divided into groups of 12 and each month one lady gets to be the Queen Bee and decide what block the others in the hive will be making and then they are all sent to the Queen Bee of the month.  I not only joined one Stash Bee but three!  It may sound crazy, but it's only 3 blocks per month.  I think that is doable.

I am Queen Bee for the month of January in the Bee Hive Swarms 2017.   We are given 25 blocks to choose from for our monthly block.  Here is the tutorial to the block that I chose:

It is called Double Star and here is my sample block:

I wanted to get this done early so the rest of the ladies in my hive could get an early start if they wanted to. I kind of rushed through the color picking and  I'm not totally thrilled with my color choices.  I think I'll make another one with brighter colors.  I can't wait to see with what everybody comes up with!

I'm guessing most of you are in full steam Christmas preparations about now.  :)   May your Christmas be a beautiful time with family and friends.

Linking up with
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
WIP's on Wednesday at Esther's Blog
Midweek Makers at Quilt Inspiration
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Grip and Stitch Quilting Tool and More Quilting

I have been quilting for two hours and need a break!  So I'm stopping to just show you my progress and also share a quilting tool that I really love!

When I start to quilt something, I usually make myself a small sandwich to warm up on and to make sure my tension is right.  So here is today's warmup:

The motif in the bottom left corner is what I decided to use in the top and bottom triangle edges left as a result of the chevrons.   Got that all done!  Yahoo!  Here is a pic of one of those:

I realized that I probably quilted too close to the edge on some of those and the binding is going to cover up some of the ends of the feathers.  I am NOT redoing those.  Forging ahead!

Next I tackled the odd shaped white rows between the chevrons and hearts.  I pondered and pondered what to do there and I think something with straight lines would have been kind of cool there but I'm not good at straight lines yet and don't own any rulers right now.  So I went with some allover patterns.  The first one is supposed to be a paisley meander.  It doesn't look NEARLY as nice as the way Angela Walters does it and in fact is kind of unrecognizable, but that row is done.

The next row I did in spirals.  I am trying REALLY heard to make bigger patterns and I think I succeeded in making them larger than I usually do, but they are still denser than I wanted to do.

I've got one more row of white allover pattern to do, and one more row of hearts and then I can start binding!  YAHOO!!!

Now I would like to share a tool with you that I absolutely love.  

They are called Grip and Stitch Quilt Discs.  They are an alternative to using quilting gloves.  A lot of people use the Machingers gloves when they quilt and they do work very well, but they are a pain to have to keep putting on and taking off when you need to change the bobbin.  Last September, I won a tool in a giveaway by Ellen Holder at Clever Craft Tools.  Thanks again, Ellen!  I am so pleased with these and I use them all the time!  (not affiliated, just like them!)

I hope you will go visit Ellen's site to read about them in detail and if you decide to buy them, tell her Janice sent you. Leah Day also recently did a blog post about them and she said that her dad, who suffers from arthritus, can quilt much longer using these than when using the gloves.  When I need to change a bobbin or get more thread, I just set them on top of my machine until I'm done, grab them and go!

Also, a big thank you to Alison at Little Bunny Quilts who showed me something new this week. I am definoitely a lover of learning.   I didn't know there was a way on Bloglovin to see what your blog rank is.   I'm not into trying to make money with my blog, but I'm a HUGE statistics lover and I am excited to track if there is a way to show I am improving.   So this is going to be fun.  I signed up for the Analytics and since I haven't done a post since I signed up, I'm assuming I'm at the very bottom.  It will be interesting to see what happens to my rank after this post!   Out of over 60,000 blogs, Alison is 820!  WOW!!!

Here is where I am before today's post.  Ha!  Ha!  I've got lots of room for improvement!

I sure do enjoy this and reading other quilting blogs too.  Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Linking to:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Quilting Day!

Good morning!  (at least it is while I am writing this)  I have taken a day off of work so I could finally finish the quilting on this baby!

First order of business is add another table behind my sewing machine

So hopefully, I will have a lot of progress to report at the end of the day.  In the meantime . . . I wanted to share a few things I have learned.  When I was choosing thread for this quilt,  I auditioned some variegated thread against the fabric and thought it looked pretty good.

It's a really good thing I did a test swatch of quilting because it did NOT look good.  On the spool, all mixed together is fine but when it sews, the individual colors stand out more.   Even though there is green and purple, there is also a lot of yellow and red which are not prominent colors in this quilt.  In fact, this thread is the thread I use when I showed you my quilting practice here.  You can see those colors just would not have looked god.  So I am using green on the green chevrons, purple on the purple chevrons and off white on everything else.

One more thing to share and then I am off to quilt!  Last week, on a plane ride to Atlanta, I was doodling around and came up with this quilt design:

Now this is a pretty simple design using a common pinwheel block.  I had a feeling I would probably find it had already been used this way.  Sure enough, I found THIS by Blossom Heart Quilts.  Pooey!  Almost exactly the same thing.  The only difference is she flipped the HST between each pinwheel while I left them to create a flat line.  My thought was to create more interest by the use of a rainbow scheme.  Haven't had time to figure that out yet.  I need to redraw this so I can color in the triangles.   I am considering adding something inside the blank four patch that is inside each of the diamonds created by the lines of HST's.  We'll see!

Anyway, that is enough blogging for today.  On to the quilting and wish me luck on getting it DONE today!  At least the quilting part.  I still need to bind it.

Stay warm!

Linking to:
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
WOW  (WIP's on Wednesday)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Free Motion Quilting Practice

Not much to report in the way of progress on anything, but I did do some free motion quilting practice over the weekend.  I'm taking an online Craftsy class  called Wild Quilting:  Creative Free-Motion Combinations with Christina Cameli.  I love her teaching style!   This class is so perfect for beginners like me.  I've only really practiced one technique with some variations so far but there are MANY others I want to try . . .

I had to say this practice did not feel comfortable for me and I didn't find out until I was almost to the very end that my stitch regulator wasn't plugged in all the way!!  GRRR!

I do have some observations on my work and what I need to practice on next time  One of the things she taught which I forgot to implement is to have obvious differences in size between the different motifs that you choose to use.  For instance, in the one above, you can see some partial flowers and a few leaves.  Those elements should have been much larger than the other "filler" type of element.  As it is, with the way I did this, everything is kind of the same size so they all just blend together and your eye doesn't really rest on anything.

I'm a little shaky and need a LOT more practice but any time I show this to a non-quilter they rant and rave over them!  Perspective is a funny thing isn't it?  I guess I'll go ahead and bind these and make them into mug rugs.  What size are mug rugs usually?  They may need some trimming.

Got our Christmas tree up today and it was a perfect holder to take pictures!  I can't show you the tree yet because it isn't decorated yet.  Maybe next time . . .

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Linking to:
Move it Forward Monday

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mystery Quilt December Clue

I have been gone for the entire week to Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference for work. I would have liked to visit a quilt shop but they were nowhere near where I was.  So struck out there and when I got home things didn't improve much.

Did you ever have one of those days where nothing went right?  I messed up so many times today,  I finally had to quit and give up.  I got the first five blocks finished for the December clue of Meadow Mist Designs mystery quilt (see below) and should have easily finished all nine blocks that were part of this months clue.

Here are the first five that I finally got done.  I have no idea how these actually fit together, I just laid them this way to show what's done.

For the last four blocks for the month of December, I laid out all the units in the order they were to be sewed together and thought I was being so careful when sewing the rows together but somehow managed to sew ALL FOUR of them wrong!  The last row on all four is upside down.  Sigh.  This was not the most productive day I've ever had.  Ugh.  I won't even tell you how many seams I had to redo on the first five blocks.   

When I got the signal that my machine needed oil, I knew it was time to quit.

Tomorrow is another day.  Things will be better tomorrow, right?   I am in serious need of some cheering up.  

Tutorial to Help Me Follow Your Blog

Heads up!  This post is directed at fellow bloggers so those who don't have a blog can just skip it.  I'm going to try and do a regular quilting post later today.

Hi fellow bloggers!  We all have our preferred method of reading blogs and I have found that having them come in my e-mail works best for me.  I never did get into the habit of going to Bloglovin.  I've come across quite a few blogs that I really wanted to follow but they didn't have the Follow by Email option in their sidebar.  One lady didn't have any idea how to add it!  So I'm creating this tutorial for those who don't have the "Follow by E-Mail" option on your blog and am hoping you will consider adding it.  It doesn't take up much space and you may gain a few followers that you wouldn't have otherwise had.

This tutorial is for blogspot but you can find a tutorial for Word press at this link.

Log in to your Blogger Account

Go to your Blogger Dashboard

Click on Layout tab from left pane

Find Sidebar-Side-1 and click on Add a Gadget

Click on Add a Gadget and scroll down to “Follow by E-mail”

Click on the Blue box with a PLUS sign and you will see this (with your own blog URL of course)

Edit the Title if you want to, or just leave it as is and click SAVE in the orange box.

The “Follow by E-mail” option will now appear on your right sidebar.

If you want to rearrange the order in which things appear on your sidebar,  then while you are in the Layout option of your blog, you can click and drag each gadget and place them in the order you prefer.

Hope this helps you!!