Thursday, December 28, 2017

End of Year Post?

The holidays are just about over and as usual I am happy to go back to "normal" whatever that really is! I was excited to hang this quilt again and enjoyed making it and finishing it last year! I Was Motivated! I could use some of that about now.

I received this lovely pillow that my friend Cynthia from Arkansas made for my birthday. I just love those little birds and the colors go perfectly with my living room. Thank you Cynthia! You always make the nicest things for me!

I also got EQ8 for Christmas and so far I love it! I have heard that it was hard to use but the new version is very user friendly. Even I can figure it out!

I have already designed 2 quilts and both of them will become a reality in the near future. I can see how this is one of those things that you can spend a lot of time playing  with and never make the quilt.........I already have some of the basket blocks made so stay tuned.

My husband bought me some new brushes and paper to continue on my watercolor journey. I got my first commission! OK it is a family member but hey she was willing to pay! I will be sending it to her as a gift (-:

Those who know me know that I am a list maker and checker offer. I like to do it on paper with a pen, the phone is too abstract for me. I need to see it in front of me every single day and for the days ahead as well. This was expensive but I am going to give it a try, I will let you know what I think at the end of next year.

Apparently my children want to make sure we are who we say we are! This is going to be fun, I wonder if there will be any surprises that we didn't know about. Have you done it? Do you have any good stories to tell?

This is the state of my sewing room right now. Not bad you say? I am not showing you the other side. If I felt better today I was going to tackle it, for now it will have to wait.
Look closely, see the striped fabric on the left? It is our challenge fabric due in February, wait until you see what I made!

I am going to do a paper piecing demo for both guilds in the next 2 months. I have some examples I am working on. These are so bright and cheerful.

I am also in a Modern Quilt Guild swap. We are to make a mini quilt no larger than 24" x 24". I loved how this turned out but it was a lot of work using up all different colors but still making it look cohesive.

I am pretty sure my swap partner does not follow my blog so I am not worried she will see this. They kind of look like very pretty butterflies! After I sew these together I will do some simple machine quilting.

May the new year bring you many pieces of fabric and lots of fun sewing. Happy New Year!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November - Thanksgiving - Color!

Wow Thanksgiving is in 1 week! I love it and it's my favorite holiday. I really look forward to the next few years to see the babies grow and become "little people" and all the joy they bring.

I never decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I love the earthy colors that represent bounty and autumn. FYI that green sprawling green plant is my sweet potato vine that roots in water! Who knew!?!

I have been painting and sometimes it is painful!  The green pepper turned out better as it dried. My husband thought the red onion was a beet! This is hard stuff!

I love the colors of my apples and am happy with them and the lemons and limes. It really is so different than quilting and much faster!

 I am happy to say a few people have been inspired to pick up their brushes again!

I hung this up in my hallway and it makes me happy every time I pass by it.
I think it even fits right in with a fall theme.

My African Violet was all but given up for dead! As with all plants it is all about finding the spot it loves in order for it to grow. I moved it and it is in it's happy place. Those purple blooms are amazing!

Last July I picked this up at Target. It is a 5 year diary that only has a few lines to fill in each day. It's very doable and I am enjoying keeping up with it. I am looking forward to looking back on it in a few years to see what I was doing.

The Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild is having a mug rug swap and this will be mine. People who know me will laugh with all the pets on it. I am not an animal person, but I know it will bring a smile to the person who gets it.

This is our challenge fabric for February 2018. I have picked out an awesome pattern and am starting on it now. You will have to wait for February to see it, but I think you will like it!

This is how my sewing room looks right now. Usually I do a massive clean up but I think it will have to wait until winter this year.

I really thought I would not be doing any holiday type sewing this year but I love this block! It is paper pieced and a lot of fun! It's called You've Got Mail and you can find it on Craftsy.

For those of you who blog you know how much time it takes. When you add the frustrating part of downloading your pictures etc it makes you less likely to blog. I really am going to try and do it more often. If for no other reason than I will learn how to figure out the downloading process!


Friday, November 3, 2017


I love how the afternoon light plays across the quilt

I am diligently working on my UFO's. Think about it this way, you are 80-90% almost done why not pass the finish line? If you wait too long you may not even like it any more and that would be a shame.......
This quilt is called Sprout as it looks like the new shoots that come up in the spring, which is when I started this project.

I saw a quilt that was paper pieced using these shapes but it looked too uniform to me so I freehand cut these and sewed them together.

I used to think my machine quilting wasn't too bad but I am out of practice and it is not too good. If you look above the veins in the leaves are anything but the same. While not horrible, it's not great either. Obviously I can't make the same shape on both sides!

The ones in the medium toned fabrics look good but if you look at this one in the white, EVERYTHING shows up and this was a particularly off one. I should have warmed up before I started quilting on this that day.

Overall I like the effect and it's done! The swirly things in the triangle part are just OK but I couldn't think of what else to put in there.

I like the end of day sun that is shining on the quilt.

These are absolutely addictive to make and I am enjoying them so much Every time I have to pick 3 fabrics that look good together. It's harder than you think.....they finish at 5"!

I loved how the white pumpkins turned out!

I love the top skull with the bleeding eye!
I am still practicing my watercolors with mixed success. I am pretty happy with the way the squashes/tomatoes/veggies turned out. I am also figuring out I like more of an "impressionistic" look as opposed to a life like picture. I have a ways to go but it is fun!

I bought this bouquet from my friend Jean who is moving. I added the border fabric and finished it into a mini quilt. This will be in our guild quilt show as a raffle quilt, stay tuned!

I am deep into my UFO's and hopefully will have more to show you soon!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Baby Basket Tutorial

Have you ever thought about doing a Sew Along? Well how about a follow along and sew it if you feel like it? Barb from Fun with Barb and I were both thinking about doing some basket blocks. We thought maybe some others might be interested too. With the holidays right around the corner we all have many, many commitments and want this to be a fun thing. No stress just sew if you want.

My blocks are 5" finished and Barb's are a bit bigger. You can make it any size you want but you will have to do the math! Remember this is a 5 patch so a 5", 10" or 15" is easy to convert but anything else will require a calculator, at least for me! Press after each step for a nice looking block.

For a 5" finished block these are the instructions. From your background fabric cut:

(1) - 4" square
(4) - 2" squares
(4) - 1-1/2" squares
(2) - 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangles

Next decide what colors you want you want to use. For my basket I used the following, the blue squares for the handle, the basket the red square and the feet the orange square.

Basket (red) cut (1) 4" square
Handles (blue) cut (3) 2" squares
Feet (orange) cut (1) 2" square

Layer your 4" squares right sides together and draw a line on the diagonal as shown.

Sew a quarter of an inch from each side of the line as shown above.

With your rotary cutter slice it in half.

Press to the dark side. You will have an extra half square triangle that you can save for another basket.

Take a square ruler with a diagonal line and put it right on the diagonal. Square up your block to measure 3-1/2". This is the best way to get a perfect square and save you the agony of a wonky block.

Now take the 2" squares and pair them up with the handle squares and the foot square. Do the same thing, draw your diagonal line and sew on each side with a 1/4". Trim these up to measure 1-1/2".

They should look like this. Red block measures 3-1/2" and the smaller ones should measure 1-1/2" square.

Lay out the block making sure your handle is going in the correct direction. This is easy to mix up so don't skip this step.

Press one foot with the 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" strip and press toward the background strip.

Sew it to the side of the basket and press towards the basket.

Next do the other side adding the 1-1/2" square to the end, as shown above.  Press towards both background pieces.

Sew it to the other side and make sure to snug in those seams to make it fit and press towards the basket.

Next sew the handle together as shown above. Press the 1-1/2" square away from the half square triangle. The triangles will want to go in one direction, press them the way they want to go. Once you have attached this strip to the basket press towards the basket.

Do the other side, again pressing away from the triangles and you are finished!

I am already thinking of all the possible color combinations. Mine are going to be in solid hand dyes, Barb is doing reproductions. It will be fun to see how different they look.
Be sure to let me know if you give it a try!