Category Archives: Straight Line Quilting

Could it be?? Another Finish?

Yep – it’s true. I have another finish to share. The very small, almost non-existent, silver lining to the fires and smoke we are experiencing is having to stay inside. The smoke is thick and the air very unhealthy so we have been indoors continuously for a long while. This means I can sew!

OK – I started this quilt ages ago. The fabric was leftover from the twin size quilt I made for Julia’s bed in our Downieville house (which we sold this summer.) I made that quilt back in early 2016.

Downieville Quilt

This was a huge quilt as I wanted it to hang over the edge of the bed by a ways. I had planned to make two matching quilts for that bedroom but the second one never happened. However I had already cut many squares intending to make the second one. I decided to use the leftover fabric to make a Mercyful quilt for the families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. I matched up a number of the squares, making sure each was partnered with the tan solid and made large (10″ finished) half square triangles with (some of) the leftovers.

Quilt Top Completed!

I made the quilt top in November 2018 and promptly stashed it away – for almost two years!! Why?!?

Basting the top – Finally!

In my last post, I shared I was basting the top and planning to finish it up.

Marking my lines with painter’s tape.

After some thought, I decided to go with simple straight lines for the quilting. Marking the quilt with wide painter’s tape, and starting from the center, I did a two lines of stitching with my walking foot. I used the width of the walking foot to mark off the separation for the second line in each set. This, naturally, went very quick.

My quilt holder, aka Julia, and I took some quick photos on the deck. Didn’t want to stay out long because it was too smokey! I am so pleased with the way this quilt looks.

For the off-centered diamond, I did some extra quilting on the diagonal. I didn’t measure this accurately and my center line is a bit funky. Such is life. I am not overly bothered by this.

The overall effect is good and as we know, I am not one for precision.

A peek at the backing.

For the backing, I used one of the vintage sheets I have stashed. I know many quilters dislike backing with sheets but I have not had a problem with it. They quilt up fine and I have washed the finished quilts (those I have kept) many times without issue. I love how the soft purple and greens complement the darker shades in the quilt top.

This quilt is headed to Mercy Hospital and I hope the family it is given to will take comfort from it.

Unfinished Quilt Tops

About two weeks ago, I made this collage of the unfinished quilt tops I have. I have finished two of them since then which makes me so happy. I haven’t decided which one I will tackle next. I think I need to decide on backings and see what I have available.

For my next project, I need to make a bunting (with the letters of her name) for my youngest grand daughter. When we were up in Seattle, my son reminded me I had made one for older sister before she was born yet this baby is nearly 6 months old and I haven’t made hers. Yikes. Better get on it!!

Take care everyone. If you are affected by the fires (and pretty much everyone in the west is) please take care and be safe. If you have extra rain, please send it to us. We are all in dire need.

Sharing at:

Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, UFO Busting, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Farm Quilt Finish

I am in a quilting and reading phase. Quilt a little, read a lot, quilt some more. There are always so many projects to make and books to be read, am I right?

But – the sewing! I have been getting lots done. Today I will share this cute picnic quilt I made for my grand daughters. I carried this line of fabric (it is all gone – sold so fast!) and before I sold out, I stashed away some of the red and yellow yardage as well as a panel of the animals.

I love seeing red and yellow together. It makes for a really cheerful combination. I need did use the green fabric with this project. I decided to save it for another day.

I started to make nine patch blocks last January and split them up, sewing them back together for a disappearing nine patch design.

Some had red centers.

Some had yellow centers. But once made, the blocks were always set aside for some other project.

Well my son and his wife recently bought a house outside of Seattle and we have been calling it “the Farm House”. It isn’t really a farm but it is on 1.5 acres and has a lot of raised beds, greenhouses, and a chicken coop. So, farm enough in our opinion.

I decided I needed to finish the quilt so the girls could sit on it outside and eat a snack or bring their lunch outside. The three year old is always filled with energy and I know she will love their big yard. This property is perfect for them.

I had some fun quilting this. In the center, I stitched in the ditch around the white animal squares. Then I used vertical and horizontal straight lines at various intervals. In the yellow border I just did a wavy line through each one.

I played with the red border. I did swirls, hearts, flowers and whatever else came to mind. On two corners I put the girl’s names which was fun. On the bottom border I stitched “Grammys Girls” but wasn’t thinking of the orientation so it is upside down. Sigh. Not a huge deal but I do wish I had thought to flip it before I stitched the words. Not enough to spend the time unpicking the stitching though. Haha.

The backing is a super wide stripe from Michael Miller. My sister was clearing her sewing area a couple of years ago and gifted me this piece and a few others. I knew it would come in handy at some point. The binding is a repro feed sack print I have in the shop. I like the little flowers framing the quilt, though this picture doesn’t really show the binding off very well.

I ran into a snag when I washed the quilt last night tho. The red bled onto the white animal squares. (I was too annoyed to take any pictures.) Ugh. I haven’t experienced this and was a little freaked out. Both Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts and Jan of Colorful Fabriholic recommended this method by Vicki Welsh to removed the red. By the time I asked these lovely women, I had already cold water washed it twice and rinsed it two more times. After reading Vicki’s method, I chose to alter it a bit. My washer is large and the quilt is about 50 x 50″ so not terribly big. I put it in the wash on the “deep water wash” cycle with hot water. The hot water was the part that scared me but Vicki says that is what needs to be done. Before I put the quilt back in I decided to spray each of the white squares liberally with OxyClean stain remover. I didn’t rub it in aggressively but I did sort of massage it into the stained areas. Then I used a fragrance free “free and clear” type of laundry detergent and put in more than I normally do. Once the machine was filled with hot water I stopped the cycle and let it soak, making sure it was all under water. Finally I let the machine finish its cycle and ran it through a couple of extra rinse cycles since there was a lot of soap in there. It worked! The animals are back in their little white squares as opposed to the pale pink squares that I saw last night. Phew! Thank you Wendy, Jan and Vicki!!

Now that this is finished, I have moved on to another quilt top. I basted it yesterday and plan to quilt it this weekend. It is miserably hot and smokey outside – I did get a little yard work done early this morning but will be inside all afternoon. We don’t have any plans for the long weekend. Hope you are all well. Enjoy your long weekend and make sure to spend a little (or a lot) of time sewing!

Linking to:

Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, Tish’s UFO Busting & TGIFF

Quilts, Quarantines, Babies and More

Oh my gosh, where to start! This is such a crazy world these days. The news is all-consuming as we constantly check for updates on the spread of Covid-19, within the US and internationally as well. Our philosophy is to take it seriously and try to remain calm and rational at the same time. The Governor of California spoke yesterday. He has ordered all pubs, bars, nightclubs and wineries in California to shut down for the duration. All restaurants are to cut their capacity for seating in half and move tables much further apart. People age 65 and over are to quarantine in place at their homes. No visitors at convalescent or senior homes unless it is a terminal situation and people need to be there to say goodbye. So, things are serious here in CA. I believe if people respect the rules and stay home for a bit, the contagion will be limited and hopefully the situation can be controlled. I hope you are in a safe situation and able to stay healthy.

My son with his two sweet girls.

Moving on to better and more enjoyable topics, my new grand daughter arrived on March 12th!!! Such an exciting event to break up the negative vibe we have all been experiencing. When I look at the photo above, I just love how big sister has her hands up to her face, looking at her new sister with awe. Isn’t this heart-warming? The baby is healthy and mommy is healing well. She was very chunky at birth, weighing 8 pounds and 14.5 ounces. She has dropped to 8 pounds, one ounce but is feeding well and doing fine.

Two sisters just hanging around together.

Big sister surely loves little sister but is a tad disappointed in the baby’s lack of abilities. On the first day, she asked her father to bring the baby into her room so “she could crawl around a little”. Once she realized this wouldn’t happen for a while, she got a little bored of baby sister. Today I got to FaceTime with them and she was “playing” doctor with dad and little sister. I could hear my son quietly say, ‘gentle, gentle’. I think it is going well though. So all is as it should be. My husband and I were supposed to travel out to Vermont on March 31st and we are soooo sad to postpone the trip. We will go just as soon as the Covid crises calms down. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Postage Plus Quilt

I finished up a quilt for Mercy Hospital! I am really pleased with this finish. You may remember I started this back when the blog hop was running for the Modern Plus Quilts book. I took it to quilt it on a friend’s long arm and had a horrible time with it. In frustration, I took it off the long arm and brought it home. After ripping out so many stitches I came to be extremely annoyed with the whole thing. It was folded and placed in a basket where it sat for two years!!

I decided it was time to finish it up and really had fun with it. I used my walking foot and quilted it in a grid fashion. I outlined the patchwork plus in the center. With the wide brown stripes there is quilting running in both directions. The horizontal lines are stitched in brown and the vertical lines in green. It looks wonderful!

Backing is a pale yellow batik heart fabric.

For the backing, I used a piece I had thrifted years ago. It is a buttery yellow batik with hearts all over it.

Scrappy binding for the win!

When I pieced the plus in the center of the quilt, I used a jelly roll. It didn’t take but 1/2 of the strips so I decided to use some of the leftover strips for binding. It looks really pretty since, naturally, the prints and colors work perfectly.

Ready for Mercy Hospital

I am so happy to have this done and ready for Mercy Hospital. I am already working on the next one for them. Their supplies are down so I am trying to boost the stack for them just a bit. Mercyful Quilts is once again thrilled to be a recipient for quilts made through the 2020 Hands2Help event that is hosted annually by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I am so grateful to have our organization included. Last year so many gorgeous quilts were donated and it was hugely helpful. Thank you in advance to all the quilters who participate in this year’s event!

I have been thinking quite a bit about being home for the duration of the Covid-19 saga. Many of us are turning to our craft and sewing rooms. I read a great article about how soothing it is to involve oneself in a craft, such as sewing, art, woodworking or other project during stressful times such as these. Ray and Julia have been talking about working out in his woodshed while she is home. All three of us have been baking. Of course, I plan to sew. My shop has been quite busy the last couple of days so I think many quilters are planning the same thing.

To this end, I want to help out a bit. Lots of quilters are turning to on-line shopping if Covid is prevalent in their area. For instance, I have noticed a substantial increase in orders from the Bay Area in California where so many people are home and quarantined. To make things a bit better for those shopping on-line, I have a Free (standard) Shipping promotion going in the shop. It started today and will run through Wednesday. All orders will ship for free during that time! You won’t need to enter a promo code – it is all set up for you. I hope this is helpful to you! Click here and browse a bit.

I am going to sew this afternoon. I haven’t made any of my scrappy projects for March yet. So I need to make my orange block for the Monthly Color Challenge and then something with the teal scraps for RSC20. After that, I will pick up another quilt top to finish up for Mercy Hospital. What is your plan? Is Covid affecting you and your daily routine? I worry about people who live alone and are quarantined. Can we all support each other? Let me know how you are doing and let’s all keep each other busy and engaged.

Linking up with several sites, including Brag About Your Beauties and Elm Street Quilts.

Finish – Squared Away!

It has been a while since I actually finished a quilt. Hurray for Squared Away – all finished and so pretty! I started this quilt in the beginning of 2018. The block of the month was hosted by Mari at Academic Quilter. Somehow I didn’t end up following along all year though. I can’t honestly remember why. Then the blocks sat and waited, all lonely and sad, until I stitched them together last spring. Since I didn’t have enough blocks for an entire quilt, I interspersed them with a modern print of Pat Bravo’s. It was from her line called Dare. I had an abundance of it leftover from a previous quilt I had made back in 2016.

I love the way this all came together. The squares are bright and fun while the background calms everything down. When I chose the borders, I shopped downstairs in my fabric shop and chose a chartreuse textured solid and then did a wider border with a beautiful print by Bari J called Bougainvillea Lilac. I love how these look together. So much so that I used the chartreuse fabric as the binding. They are perfect together!

For quilting, I kept it simple with straight lines and my walking foot. I did two different patterns, a checkerboard in the background and a simple star in the pieced blocks. This was easy and kept the quilt loose and fluffy. In the wider purple border, I did some free motion with curving lines and little hearts.

One very crooked label!

The backing fabric is a cute rainbow print with rectangles of all sizes and colors. I labeled this quilt as I intend it as a gift to my nephew who married last summer. I machine embroidered it which was fun. Don’t even ask my why it is so crooked. It just is. Kind of how things go with me. ūüėČ

Let’s see…. what else can I tell you about this one? It was my goal for January and yahoo! I got it done! Makes me so happy – it was fun to quilt it and I enjoyed the hand stitching for the binding. It has been too long since I finished one up!

I am now working on a quilt for grand daughter number two. She is scheduled to arrive (by c-section) on March 12th, unless her mama goes into labor sooner. So that is really exciting! I will share some progress on that in a post soon.

Just in case you missed my post from a couple of days ago, I am holding a giveaway to share lots of cute scraps. You can hop over here to read about it. Be sure to enter today as this is the last day of the giveaway. I will select two winners tomorrow morning and will email the winners. Great fun if you are a scrappy quilter or if you like making quilts for kids.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts and also with Brag About Your Beauties. How about you? Are you happily finishing up a project this weekHappy weekend everyone – Enjoy it and find a few minutes to sew!

January Monthly Goal

Happy New Year Everyone! Last year I set and linked up an OMG with Elm Street Quilts exactly once, in January. I finished the goal, so that was a good thing. I didn’t remember to link up the finish though. And that was the end of my organization plan for 2019! Anyone want to take bets on whether I can do a bit better in 2020? Who knows? I am going to give it a shot though. So many times I flit from thing to thing which doesn’t make for a lot of finishes. Hoping this will help me get a few things accomplished.

Progress shot of my Squared Away quilting.

This month I plan to finish my Squared Away quilt. Last week I got it basted and I have been quilting it with straight line patterns. It is going well and I would guess I am 30% done? So it should be easy-peasy to finish quilting it and get it bound. I really like the look of this so far and it is going well.

2020 Monthly Color Challenge Block.

I also got my first block done for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge hosted over at Patterns by Jen. I was a lurker with this challenge the last two years, watching others make these fun blocks. So I am joining in. One block a month is attainable and while it likely won’t make a dent in my scrap bins, at least I will use a few! This month is yellow. It was actually tough to find two yellows to use together as apparently all of my yellow scraps are exactly the same value. This looks pretty good though. Side note – when I was looking at my scraps I couldn’t remember where the heck any of them came from. Then I remembered that Mari sent me lots of yellow pieces last year when I lamented not having a yellow bin. So, Mari – do these look familiar? Did you give me these???

Did you see this great story in the news? I love stuff like this!! To whomever left this woman a tip of $2020 – you are amazing!! I would rather read about these sorts of events than politics any day of the week.

OK – that is it for now. Today I have a Chemex Cozy to make for a customer. I am also hoping to get outside and help Ray with some yard work – the last four days have been migraine days so I have been a couch potato. Maybe some fresh air will do this quilter good. How about you?

Flock of Geese Quilt Finish & Kit

As you may know, I began to stock a fun selection of modern quilt patterns in the shop a few months ago. I have been working on building up a variety of patterns so that my customers will have plenty to select from. So far, I am carrying patterns by Meadow Mist Designs, Bonjour Quilts, Devoted Quilter, Quilting Jetgirl, and – most recently – Cooking Up Quilts. There has been really good response to these and I am enjoying seeing the gorgeous patterns from these talented designers.

Flock of Geese Quilt Pattern, designed by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs.

As often happens, one thing lead to another and I asked Cheryl Brickey (Meadow Mist Designs) if she would help me to create a kit for a pattern of hers. Together we decided it would be fun to make a kit for the Flock of Geese pattern. She and I shopped for fabrics in my shop and came up with such a pretty compilation after many emails back and forth.

The kit for the Flock of Geese pattern contains beautiful fabric from Art Gallery Fabric.

Pulling the kit together was lots of fun and Cheryl made a rendering of the Flock of Geese pattern using the fabrics we selected.

With the exception of two, all of the fabrics in this quilt were designed by Sharon Holland. She is one of my all-time favorites and I wanted to use her work specifically. Above you will see fabrics from her Signature line as well as Sketchbook. They work together perfectly!

Half square triangles, ready to go.

I wanted to make up a sample of the quilt and decided to make the baby size. The pattern includes baby and lap size quilt options. The smaller size was better for me as I intend to use it in the booth at the local quilt show I am working in May.

Quilt top with the blocks on point.

This pattern is a very easy make. It contains half square triangles which make up the blocks and then the blocks are set on point. Very fun and not difficult at all. Cheryl’s instructions are crystal clear which this quilter is grateful for!

Love the simple cross hatch quilting

Using a Hera marker (my favorite tool!) I quilted straight lines in a cross hatch pattern. It worked really well for this design. The cross hatch pattern looks good with these blocks set on point. For someone who is really into FMQ, there is a lot of negative space on which intricate quilting could be done.

Such a pretty quilt for spring time!

This quilt is so soft. The batting is Hobbs Heirloom and with the widely spaced quilting, it drapes beautifully. I haven’t washed it yet but we know that will make it even cozier.

For the backing, I selected Texture Slots, a piece from Sharon’s Sketchbook line. Great colors and it coordinates with the fabrics in the quilt top. The binding is from her Signature line and is called Traveler Raindrops. The binding is machine stitched to front and back. My choice on binding method is dependent on my mood. Sometimes I am feeling the urge to hand stitch and others, not so much. Both methods look fine to me so I go back and forth between them.

The finished quilt is so sweet. I am happy as can be with it and equally happy to offer the kit in my shop. Working with Cheryl has been a treat and I look forward to more collaboration with her in the future! If you are interested in the kit, I have it available in both baby and lap sizes. Also, it can be purchased with or with out the Flock of Geese pattern. For those quilters who might already have the pattern, there is the option to purchase just the fabric. Click here for more details.

A new monthly linkup is coming soon!

Linking up with my favorite Linky parties. Speaking of which, there is a new link up happening at the end of the month. Cheryl, of Meadow Mist Designs, will be hosting a new monthly linkup. It opens the last day of the month and is called Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup. The first linkup is on March 30th. Quilters – link up your favorite make for the month using an existing or new blog post or a post from Instagram. This will be a lot of fun as we celebrate our favorite make from the past month!

twisted

Twisted Quilt is Finished!

I haven’t finished a quilt for such a long time. ¬†This one feels great! Partly because I started it in June, 2017 so it has been around for a while. ¬†But also in part because I am donating it to the Mercyful Quilt drive that I have been hosting over these past weeks.

Surely I am not alone in the feeling of intention that comes along when making a quilt for a specific purpose.  When I began making this quilt, I chose it because I love the Twisted pattern, the lattice look of it.  I was happy because I mainly used scrappy bits that I had in my stash.  It was just a nice project. However as I began quilting it, I knew it would be a nice piece to donate to the Palliative Care unit at Mercy Hospital.  Once I decided to donate it, my mind constantly wandered, thinking about the purpose of this particular quilt.

twisted

I chose to use a grid pattern for the open sections within the lattice.  This was a bit time consuming.  I did mark the lines with a Frixion pen Рthough they still have some wobble to them. But I wanted them to be as straight and uniform as I could get them. I marked and quilted a one inch grid on each spot. This gave me plenty of time to think while I quilted.

twisted

As my mind wandered, I found myself thinking about the family who might choose my quilt for their special family member who was actively in the dying process. ¬†I do not hold any grand illusion that because they have this quilt in hand, the process becomes easy. ¬†I have been there. I know that whether given one, or twenty five, handmade quilts, the process doesn’t become easier. ¬†But it is something. It might reduce the sterility of the hospital room a tiny bit. ¬†Maybe taking the quilt home will bring comfort to the family as they grieve. It gave me great satisfaction to think that maybe by donating this quilt, I am bringing a little bit of solace to the family as well as comfort to the person who died.

twisted

Modern, bright florals on the front and soft roses on the back. So sweet.

Since starting this quilt drive, I have received so many comments that compliment the staff who support patients as they die. ¬†Many of us feel the same – that this is such a special calling and certainly a very difficult job much of the time. ¬†Collectively we are grateful for these angels who are able to provide care for patient and family at this time of life. ¬†Personally, when I think of someone dying, I almost always find myself remembering when my first husband died. It is only natural I suppose; this was a huge, life altering event in my, and my childrens’, life. ¬†He died in 1994 after experiencing an aneurysm in his brain stem. ¬†He was flown to a trauma care hospital and they took care of him (and me) for the next two days.

This was such a stressful, terrifying time in my life. ¬†I was only 33 and he was 36. ¬†We had three young children. ¬†I spent that weekend in a shocked, fearful state of mind. ¬†The staff there were amazing. ¬†Mark had a nurse that spent about 36 hours with him, without going home. ¬†She just stayed with both of us. I remember asking her how she could do this job. ¬†I asked her why she stayed so long, and how many of her patients actually survived. ¬†She sat with me and explained she felt honored to care for him and me both as we faced this change. ¬†She told me that less than 20% of her patients survived. ¬†But she felt called to do this work. She told me that most of the nursing staff don’t last a very long time in this type of work, but for the time she was able to, she wanted to do this type of nursing. She was an angel and while I can hardly remember her face, I do remember her words.

There was also a chaplain who came in and out quite a number of times to check on me. ¬†Memories of him are a bit of a blur but I know he was there and supportive. ¬†At a time like this, there are many decisions to make and having someone who wasn’t emotionally involved is so important. I am not sharing all of this as a call for pity. ¬†I am fine and my boys are fine. ¬†We will always miss Mark but memories of him have become a sweet part of our life. ¬†I am sharing it to describe how needed and comforting it was to have this team of people who deal with death on a daily basis and thus were able help me to deal with it. ¬†They helped me to make decisions when I was reeling with shock and grief. Mark wanted to be an organ donor and that process was somewhat involved. They told me what to expect next, why they were doing each process, what Mark might be experiencing as time went on. ¬†They were such a comfort at such a scary, sad time.

twisted

My Mercyful Quilt is backed with a soft vintage sheet.

So, making this quilt caused me to reflect.  It gave me time to think about providing what we can to help people we will never meet.  I thought about how being kind to a faceless person feels good.  Quilting this piece made me realize how important it is to pay it forward.  I received comfort from a team such as the one at Mercy Hospital.  It is my turn to help the next person going through a difficult time.

Now this one is done so I can look forward to quilting the next one.  I have two quilt tops in line to work on.  I have a few holiday projects in process but I think it is ok to work on those first and then tackle the next Mercyful quilt.

Mercyful Quilts – destined to bring comfort to others.

Look at the stack that is waiting to be picked up! I believe we are at twenty quilts so far and more are on the way.  My gratitude intention for Thanksgiving this year is easy.  I am over the top grateful for each of you and the amazing, gorgeous quilts you are sending to me for Mercy Hospital.  Quilts have arrived from Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts and all over California.  AMAZING!! I hope you will continue to feel a desire to work on this drive.  Share it with your quilting groups, post about it on your blog or Instagram feed and tag it #Mercyfulquilts.  The need is ongoing.  If you cannot contribute a quilt, you may want to make a couple of blocks for Covered in Love.  This program serves the same need at a hospital in Texas.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Linking this finish up at a few fun places.  Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

Newsletter!

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A Harmonious Finish

This week I finished my Harmony quilt. I will finally be able to send it off to my nephew and his wife as their wedding gift. Doesn’t some rule of etiquette say you can give a wedding present within the first year and it is still ‘proper’? According to this post on Manners Monday of the Huffington Post, I am still within the time frame. Though really, who would refuse a wedding gift because it was late? At least I am finally giving it to them!!

You might remember I made the quilt top a long time ago. I used a fat eighth set of Millie Fleur by BariJ for the centers and Moda solids, Fig Tree Cream and Stone. The pattern is one that alternates hourglass blocks and economy blocks, each of which finished at 9 1/2″. I love the look of this pattern and feel proud to have drawn it myself and figured it out without a pattern (I don’t do that too often.)

I wanted to quilt it on a long arm because there is lots of cool negative space and it would have been fun to play with it. However, that just never worked out and in the interest of time and wanting to complete this quilt, I opted to quilt it at home. ¬†It is fairly large at 74″ square so I decided against free motion quilting and settled for straight line with my walking foot. I did a diagonal line across the middle. For one side I did vertical lines all the way out and on the other side I quilted horizontal lines. I like the effect.

My favorite part of the quilt is the bottom border where I relief quilted their last name and the words EST. 2016. ¬†It is a sweet reminder of when they married and established their family of two (plus a couple of dogs!!) As with my other relief quilting projects, I fused stabilizer to the back of the border strip (before it was attached to the quilt) Once the letters were traced on to the border, I used my darning foot and created the design by free motion quilting around the shapes of the letters and numbers. ¬†After attaching the border strip and quilting the body of the quilt, I took the darning foot and FMQ’d the outline of each letter and number to quilt that section of the border and make the letters stand out and puff up a bit.

On the corners I used a four patch block as a cornerstone.  On each of these I quilted a little flower. The borders were free motion quilted with a pattern of loops, alternating small and large ones.

To finish it off, I made a scrappy binding!  I am such a fan of scrappy bindings. Luckily, I had just enough of the Millie Fleur fabric left to make the binding.

The backing is a green, floral wide back I purchased long ago and I couldn’t honestly say what it is. I can say I love the ease of a wide back for backing. Pieced backs are very cool and give you sort of a double sided quilt but wide backs (108″ wide) provide ease of use and a speedy finish. (Plus I have a large piece of it leftover which is kind of nice!) ¬†In fact, I recently bought the first bolt of wide back, a small gray polka dot by Red Rooster and it is listed in my shop. ¬†Just in case you need some. ūüôā

I can’t wait for the kids to receive their quilt. ¬†I was really sad to have missed this wedding last year. From the pictures they shared, it was just a gorgeous day for my nephew and his new wife. I am sharing a picture of them dancing at their wedding. Breathtaking, aren’t they? I hope they love the quilt and use it happily for years to come.

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Linking to my favorites, each of which can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

Island Batik Goes Modern + A Giveaway!

 

The challenge presented to the Island Batik Ambassadors this month was to create a modern quilt. That’s it, there were no other guidelines. Talk about a blank slate! I decided to turn to my copy of Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson. There are so many fun projects in this book. For this batik challenge, I selected the Swirling Medallion quilt.

This project is quite simple. It is constructed of HST’s created with 4 1/2″ blocks. A subset of the HST’s have a triangle of black applied to a corner, improv style. (Basically a stitch and flip method.) Those black corners are placed so as to create some movement within the quilt (the swirl). Were I to make this again, I would have made my black triangles larger. There are places where they don’t touch each other and I feel this lessens the effect substantially.

The pattern would have you add another row of the background blocks to frame off the orange diamond shape. I didn’t add these because I wanted to hang it in a certain spot in my entry way and it would have been just a tad too large. I was careful to leave enough of a seam allowance so I wouldn’t cut off the orange points. Hurray!

Using a buttery shade of Aurifil thread, I quilted with straight lines in each quadrant. Once I got to the  corner beyond the orange stripe, I changed direction and quilted on the diagonal, radiating out.

I am happy with the overall look and think the blue and orange are bright and cheery for summertime. My quilt model was in a mood.  Can you tell she is two weeks away from summer break?

Island Batik has been incredibly generous with the ambassador program. It is time to share the wealth! ¬†Let’s have a giveaway. Just because. A batik celebration of sorts! First up for the win is this package of ten inch squares, called River’s Edge. ¬†It is a selection of earthy browns and blacks and there are two of each print for a total of 42 squares.

 

The second prize up for grabs is a charm square pack.  This is a gorgeous set of charms with a theme of dots and circles.  Blues, grays, whites, browns and some black make up the pack of 42 charms (2 of each print.)

 

NOTE:i  Giveaway is now closed!

I would love to share these with two winners. Due to the cost of postage, this is open to US residents only. (I’m sorry!) ¬†To enter to win, leave a comment that will make us smile. Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Share with us. If you are a follower, leave a second comment and tell me how you follow. ¬†I will draw a winner on Thursday evening announce on Friday morning! ¬†Also, I want to remind you I have a newsletter sign up form on the right side of the page. I will be using my newsletter to communicate information about my shop. When I have new fabric, a sale or a fun event, I will send it out in the newsletter. I hope you will sign up and join in the fun. ¬†Happy Monday!!

Checking In

Balance (for me) is never easy. Lately I feel I have ignored my blog slightly as I work to get my fabric shop up and running. There are a limited number of hours in the day and I find myself divided between regular life chores, sewing, writing, listing items on Etsy and shipping a few orders here and there. The other distraction for me is social media. Oh how easy it is to be sucked into it and look up 30 minutes later, wondering how to get that last 1/2 hour back. This week I have tried to stay with one task to completion before moving on to the next. ¬†I have also tried (with limited success) to stay off of social media and check it less frequently. I love seeing everyone’s posts on Instagram but really, it isn’t the best use of my time!

Earlier in the week I made it my top (sewing) priority to finish quilting the Harmony quilt that I made last fall for my nephew. I really wanted to quilt it at the long-arm shop where I can rent time on their machines. After scheduling and rescheduling appointments several times, I gave up on that wish and decided to quilt it at home. As luck would have it, my Janome 6500 (which has a nice big throat) is being very cranky. This means I am quilting it on my little workhorse Рan older Janome with a narrow throat. As a result, I switched over to standard straight line quilting. To add some interest, I am quilting it in two halves. Starting on the center diagonal line, I began vertical straight lines. Those vertical lines continue to the far corner. Then on the other half of the diagonal, I am quilting horizontal lines. (Does this even make sense?)  At first I spaced them out about eight inches to anchor everything down. Now I am working on filling them in to about two inches apart.

I think it is working quite nicely and I should be finished with the quilting in the next couple of days. Selecting a fabric for binding it is still up in the air. I am aiming for a scrappy binding with the leftover fabrics but I am unsure if I have enough.

Moving on, I have been playing catch up with the Sewcial Bee blocks. This weekly bee is hosted by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland. The blocks are fun and relatively simple. But I got behind and have to make about three more blocks to catch up. (Remember the first paragraph – just not enough hours to get it all done!) I am (was?) trying to use only my Fleet & Flourish scraps (by Maureen Cracknell)¬†for the print fabric and various solids to tie everything together. As I create the blocks though, it is becoming clear I won’t have enough Fleet & Flourish to stay with this plan. ¬†Now what to do??? ¬†Decisions, decisions. My choices are to:

  1.  Add in some Garden Dreamer (also .by Maureen Cracknell and would probably blend reasonably well) and since I carry it in my shop, it is readily available to me
  2.  Buy more Fleet & Flourish.
  3. To be very careful with the scraps I have and make it work by adding in a larger percentage of solid fabrics for the last 12 blocks.

Looking at these three incredibly¬†important choices, my thoughts are these. Buying more fabric is silly. ¬†I have more than enough fabric on hand and should be able to avoid buying anything. ¬†Number three would probably be unsatisfying because I would have to use a whole lot of solid fabric to make it work and I don’t think the result would be to my liking. So, number one for the win. I will go slice six inches or so off several of the Garden Dreamer bolts downstairs in my shop and combine both lines. Phew! I am relieved to have gone through the process and made up my mind.

Before I close and go off to quilt a few more lines and make a Sewcial Bee block or two, I want to share some pictures with you. Remember I mentioned Julia was going to raise two piggies for her 4-H project? I have to say, these animals just crack me up. Here are some recent pictures with photo credit to my daughter. She is really enjoying this project and has done a great job with these two goofy pigs. They are growing like crazy but then that is to be expected considering the amount of feed we are going through!

Daisy and Ella Napping

Eating, always eating!!

Daisy, after playing in the mud.

Silly Ella!

Off to the sewing room now. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!