Thursday, December 27, 2018

All is Well That Ends Well

You may be wondering what ever happened with that elephant project (not really a quilt, just a blankie)  I was working on.  Here is the cutie patootey that it was made for.  This is Bailey Mae and her mama is an elephant lover.  She loved it! (thank goodness)  That is all that matters.  I'm so grateful because that blankie gave me fits!!  So many things went wrong.  I definitely learned a lot making this blanket.  But mostly that I should stick with quilts.  ;)

Here is what it looked like before I added the back on . . .
So far, so good, right?  Instead of a quilt, my plan was to just add on a plush back to the front with no batting so it would be light enough for a toddler to carry around with them.  Things went down hill from there.   Somehow, I did not get the front and the back lined up together and they were different sizes.  Which caused a multitude of problems.  Unfortunately, I didn't notice this until AFTER I had sewed a decorative stitch around the entire border.   I'm showing you the one little section that looks good because I'm totally embarrassed about the rest.  As you can see, it would have taken me a lifetime to pick out this border stitching to redo the back so I had to just leave it on, wrong size back and all.  (sigh)

Wouldn't you rather see more pictures of the Bailey Mae?  She was 5 lbs and 13 oz at birth.  
She was rarin' to get into this world and came quite early!

Ok, back to the sad story.   The other mistake I made (and I knew better) was that I forgot it's never a good idea to mix different fabric types on the top.  I used both flannel and cotton on the top.  
Here is how it looks after quilting and washing it.  Lots of unwanted creases and tucks.

 The edges tended to fold over the area where the decorative stitching was used.  I forgot you need stabilizer when you're doing that kind of stitching.  I quilted the gray area and that's all.  I left the elephants unquilted (I didn't have the heart to  quilt any more after I saw the mess I had made), just satin stitched around them with hot pink thread.  I was so disappointed in how that turned out, I told Bailey Mae's grandma that I would make her another one.  And I will!  But this time it's going to be a real quilt.  I'm no good at blankies.

One last picture of cutie pie and thus endeth the saga of the elephant blankie.  
Sweet dreams Bailey Mae!

Best of 2018

Hello friends!

Are you all breathing a big "Whew!" like I am?  Wow!  This Christmas was amazing!  But even the best of times are a little stressful.  I'm glad things are getting back to normal.

Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs is hosting her annual Best of 2018 linky party so I'm joining in the fun.

My 2018 post with the most comments and also my favorite big finish was the Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop with 55 comments.

My most viewed post of 2018 was the one about my $1.50 quilt with over 2200 views!  Apparently we quilters LOVE a good deal.   Here is the finished flimsy.    I have a pretty pastel lavender floral in my stash that I'll be using on the back.  Hopefully this will be a 2019 finish.

My favorite small finish of 2018 was a quilt I made for my youngest granddaughter.  Her mom liked it so much she wants a purple version for her older sister.  It's currently a WIP (work in progress).  I had fun taking photos of this one and even knocked on a complete stranger's door to ask permission to user her yard and porch for photos!  She loved it!  You can read about that here.

The favorite tip I implemented this year was organizing my stash using comic book boards.  I wrote about that in November.



I'm still not quite done.  I'm still putting fabrics on boards and after I'm all done, I'll organize by color.  So those are my favorites of the year.

I just spent the day sewing up a brand new flimsy!  It is completely done!  PLUS my daughter is sewing her first baby quilt today too.  She is so excited about her progress!  ME TOO!  
   I'll blog about that tomorrow.

Wishing you all a fantastic finish to 2018 and a very Happy New Year!

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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 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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