Saturday, April 28, 2018

Have you Ever Seen Ruching on a Quilt?

Yes? No?  Well, I'm going to show you some!   I learned about this today when my quilting friend Sarah came over to show me one of the projects she is working on and has been for years!  Check out the center of these flowers.

And a closeup view.  She said it does get rather lumpy so it would have to be a quilt that would always be used on top of a bed and not really for cuddling.  I have GOT to find out if Sarah has any more of that little lamb fabric.  

The ruching is a long strip of fabric sewn and gathered and then rolled up like a cinnamon roll to make the floral center.  I'm not sure exactly how its done and in doing a search online, I didn't come across anything exactly like this.   I think this was a technique used in the 1990's?  Maybe some of you will remember.  She has enough of these blocks to make a king size quilt and there are no repeats of fabrics on any of these flowers.  Ready for sashing!

Sarah gifted me some wildlife chunks of fabric and I was hoping I could solicit ideas for how to go about using these in a lap quilt.

I met Sarah through my husband of all things.  He recently built a house for her and her husband.  And believe it or not, he is in the process of getting ready to build houses for a longarmer and her mother who are moving to the area.  She and her mother are both avid quilters.  Who would have guessed that having a builder for a husband would gain me new quilting buddies!  I've already asked them both if they want to join a quilting group that I want to get started.  So now I've already got three interested ladies just because I married a builder!  Ha! Ha!

I finally did it!  I put out a call for interest in joining a local quilt group for anyone that lives in my area.  I am going to have the first meeting at my home and we will use that time to get to know each other and decide what kind of group activities we want to do.

This isn't exactly what our group is going to be like but isn't that a fun picture?

Soooo!  Once again, I am hoping my online quilting "group" (that's anybody who stops by and reads my blog now and then) would do me the honor of sharing ideas with me.   For those of you who have been in a quilting group or guild, what are some of your favorite activities that your group does?  Or what do you wish they would do?  I am wanting a big list of ideas to take to our first meeting so we can all decide which things we would like to do.  Even if you don't belong to a group, if you have an idea for a fun activity, please share!   I am sure I will be sharing the fun things we do together and hopefully you might get some inspiration now and then.

And last but not least for today's post, I made another yellow block for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  A migrating geese block to add to my collection!

Ok, tomorrow is piecing the back for Ashley's quilt using THIS lovely fabric

 and hopefully getting it basted and ready to quilt!  So excited!

Don't forget to share with me a fun idea for a quilt group.  😉

I hope you have a fun weekend of quilting ahead of you!

Linking to:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Can I get a Whoop Whoop?
Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2018

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 porch 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: