Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Minis and More: Summer Star quilt top

In an attempt to make up my mini charms and charm packs into wallhangings or table toppers, I am going to participate in the Minis and More Parade. (See link in sidebar for more info.) Time will tell how far I get with this endeavor : )

Here is my July entry. Summer Star - perfect pattern for July made up with Prairie Paisley II by Minick & Simpson for Moda,perfect fabric for July. Love how the top turned out! As I wanted a larger wall hanging, I used a regular charm pack (5" squares) to make my Summer Star. This pattern pieced very quickly. Pattern available here - Etsy.

So Happy my points came out a lot better this time (probably because I took more care with my piecing and trimming). I won't be able to get it quilted until next week but I'm feeling proud of myself for getting the top done. I have wanted to make a patriotic wall hanging for several years. Step one completed! 

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Baby Sea Stars quilt

Thank you all for stopping by and giving your input regarding binding. 
The giveaway winner is Debbie - Sheltered Stitches. Congratulations, Debbie!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my version of Sea Stars, the newest pattern release by Cheryl over at  Meadow Mist Designs. I was excited to test another this pattern for Cheryl. First, I'm drawn to her striking designs and her patterns are always clear, simple, and easy to follow. Second, I love half-square triangles. Third, for some time I have wanted to try a quilt with the plus sign block. Fourth, I thought it would be perfect in grays and yellows, a combination I've been wanting to try even though it is not my combination of choice at all.

How do you not spend all day putting a fabric selection together for a new quilt? Go to your local quilt shop 15 minutes before they close. No kidding. Worked for me. I pulled all the yellow and gray marbles they had, went with the three of each that seemed to want to be together, and tossed in Bella white from stash. Done! Whew, that was easy : )

Cutting my 1/4 yard cuts for the baby size went very smoothly and quickly. I love Cheryl's cutting instructions. So clear and simple. Trimming the HSTs was a breeze with my new Bloc-loc ruler. Love it! Can't recommend it enough if you like to use HSTs in your quilts.

I struggled a bit with piecing. Wrong moon or something. Every block needed ripper attention for some reason or other. I persevered and pushed through the mental fog to victory. Here it is all pieced and ironed. Really like how the blocks come together and form the stars. Ingenious! Am very happy with how the fabrics play together. Sometimes you just don't know how they are going to turn out, you know what I mean?

Quilted! Wasn't sure how to quilt this one. Thought about going with my favorite wavy lines, but it just didn't seem the right choice. Thought about single straight lines on the diagonal but wasn't sure how that would go with the velour backing (and no time for experimenting). So, straight line to the right of seams in both directions. Love how it turned out! Simple, doesn't distract from the block pattern, still soft and cuddly. Quilting success!

Cheryl has another winner with Sea Stars - striking design in a clear, easy to follow pattern. I love that about her patterns.

Giveaway! Closed.
Ok, folks. Time for a giveaway. For a PDF copy of the Sea Stars patterns how about giving me some binding input. What color would you bind this quilt with - one of the grays? one of the yellows? maybe white? For one entry comment letting me know what your binding choice would be. For an additional entry let me know if you are a follower, new or old.  Please make sure I have a way of contacting you. Winner will be drawn Monday, June 29.

Sea Stars can be found on Etsy, Craftsy, and Payhip.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Giveaway Winner and Thank You

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and for each and every comment. Total comments = 108! This is a record for my little blog. Thank you!!

I would like to make a matching pair of quilts for my daughters in 2015. They have already been waiting a while!
Congratulations, Ella and Nesta! Maybe you will use your new patterns to make your daughters' quilts this next year? 

It seems a lot of you are going to try to create more for yourself in the coming year. Please, please do. We need to take care of ourselves. Up until a couple years ago now, I quilted and gifted and quilted and gifted. I think there was one table runner that I  kept for us. Then my children started asking, "Is this one for us?" "Are you giving away this one, too?" "Mama, when can you make something for our table?" Mama, can you make me a quilt?" "Mama, can you teach me how to make a quilt?" While I think it is a very good thing for children to see their parents give, I also began slowly to see that I need to give things I make to them and myself as well as others. We (my family and myself) need to feel that love and care just as much as others (in all honesty, probably more so) or things of the heart get out of balance and the giving becomes harder and more stressful to do and the spirit of giving can become tainted with grumblings and maybe even a bit of resentfulness (just speaking from personal experience here, probably just me). 

So, in late 2012 I made us a wintery quilt and that is where I started officially quilting more specifically for my family and home :)

This year I invite you all to join me in quilting/making more for yourself or your family. Whether it's for one or eight (oh dear, what have I gotten myself into : ) or just for yourself (one of these days I would like to make myself a quilt), let's get started and see where we can go with whatever our craft is in 2015. Can we add a bit more comfort and joy to our own home and thus be more able to give true comfort and joy to others?

Also, since it seems to be the moment for a bit of honesty and before you all begin to think I'm down on gifting : ), I have to say that I do so continue to enjoy giving to others. This past year I made and gifted this lovely tote. It was a lot of fun to make and I learned a lot (just need to remember what I learned...) I knew my dear friend and sister-in-law liked this fabric so I thought I would surprise her. I'm fairly certain she thought she was going to get another runner (she has a lot of runners now that she quilts herself) and by golly! the look on her face was worth the late nights. She was so surprised and pleased with a tote bag just for herself. (Us moms do need to look out for each other.)

For those of you setting goals to finish some works-in-progress or beginning something new or tackling something else around your home, I encourage you to do a little bit every week (sometimes a little bit every day is a bit too challenging to work in). In little bits here and there a bigger goal is slowly accomplished. 

Future posts to include a wedding gifted quilt and my dear husband's 40th birthday quilt. Oh, and my 13-year-old daughter's first quilt top :)

Warm wishes to all.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: December 2014

Note: This giveaway is closed.

Welcome to Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Today I'm excited to be participating for the first time in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  If you you are wondering what all the excitement is about, let me explain. It's a big link party of a whole bunch of giveaways.  It's a way to discover new blogs and possibly to win some great goodies. To see other participating givers, please click on Sew Mama Sew link.

My giveaway is sponsored by the gracious Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs. I just tested one of her patterns and can testify that her patterns are very well written and easy to follow. Up for grabs this week is not one of her patterns but THREE! One lucky winner will receive three digital patterns.

So what patterns did I pick for my giveaway? Broken Frames - on my January quilting list. This one has been on my list for a while and I'm looking forward to getting started on it.

The Quilt in The Hat - love the simplicity of this one.

Charming - one of these days I will make this.

How to enter giveaway:

1. Comment - any o' comment will do. Any quilty or crafty goals for 2015?  I'm going to shoot for getting a personal quilt done for each child - eeks! Wish me luck : )

2. Followers - new and old - comment that you are a follower.

Giveaway open until December 12 7 p.m. CST.

Good luck, everyone, and thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Looking Glass giveaway winner!

Thank you all for stopping by and checking out the Looking Glass quilt pattern. I so appreciate all your kind comments.  For those of you thinking about whether or not try a new color of sashing/background fabric, I say, "Go for it!" Lay your main fabric(s) out with some different choices and see what speaks to you, maybe start with a smaller project. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  In the next couple of months I will be trying out some black sashing as my eldest son thinks quilts need more black. Well, guess what? His quilt is getting black shashing ; )  So, keep an out to see what I combine with black.

Without further ado and after very careful selection name pulled from a bowl of names, the winner of the Looking Glass Blog Hop giveaway is Kathy E. Enjoy the pattern, Kathy.

What another chance to win some patterns? December 8 is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and runs all week. Stop by for your chance to win three awesome patterns from Meadow Mist Designs (Etsy or Craftsy). I've picked three of my favorites to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Looking Glass: A pattern tested - Hop and giveaway

It was a lot of fun testing Looking Glass for Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. The hardest part of the whole process - choosing fabric. Finally, I settled on Elementary by Sweetwater and decided to make the lap size. This quilt is to be for my youngest little boy, and I think Elementary is a good fit for a young boy and the lap size big enough to take him out of toddler years (I hope:)

Picking sash color was a challenge. Moda Bella Parchment ended up being the final selection. Anything paler just seemed to wash the other colors out - they just seemed so subdued and faded back, if that makes any sense...

Piecing was a breeze. This I attribute to Cheryl's easy to follow piecing instructions. Love, love her ironing diagram. Didn't have to spend any time at all deciding which way or how to iron. Just followed her instructions and the blocks went together easy peasy. As usual, I spent more time arranging blocks than I did piecing, go figure : )

Usually when I do sashing or borders I just attach a strip and trim off the excess. This time, in an effort to do the Looking Glass pattern justice, I decided to do as Cheryl's clear instructions say and measure off my sashing strips the length as my rows. I did chicken out and not cut them to length, but I did mark them. Then I pinned on at intervals and stitched. Guess what? I don't think I have ever had nicer looking sashing. No waviness.at.all.  And each every strip was right on the length mark. Guess I could have cut them to length : ) 

All in all, I couldn't be happier with the Looking Glass quilt pattern by Meadow Mist Designs. Cheryl did an awesome job writing a clear and easy-to-follow pattern. It went together simply and easily, just like a good quilt pattern should without looking like an easy peasy quilt, know what I mean? Now I just need to get a couple more of her patterns. (I didn't realize when I volunteered to test Looking Glass that a couple of Cheryl's patterns have been on my faves list on Etsy for quite a long while : ) Am looking forward to trying a couple of her other patterns. After the holidays my plans are to finsh this quilt and move on to Broken Frames

If you would like to make a Looking Glass yourself, you can find the pattern on Etsy or Craftsy on sale thru Friday, December 5.

Ok, now on to blog hop and giveaway details.

The giveaway is open to anyone anywhere and is for a digital copy of the Looking Glass pattern (pdf). The giveaway starts now and will run through Saturday, November 29, with the winner announced on Monday, December 1. If you win and have already purchased the pattern, you will receive a refund of the purchase price.

To enter:
1. Leave a comment, any o' comment.
2. Old and new followers will get an additional entry. Please leave a second comment letting me know you are a follower.
Please note: If you are a no-reply blogger, please include your e-mail address in your comment. If you cannot be reached, you cannot win.

For additional chances to win a free copy of the Looking Glass pattern, visit the others stops on the Blog Hop:
Friday Nov. 21st: Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Saturday Nov. 22nd: Lin @ Lin's Quilts
Sunday Nov. 23rd: Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Nov. 24th: Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Monday Nov. 24th: Anna @ Fresh Dew Drops (me : )
Tuesday Nov. 25th: Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe
Wednesday Nov. 26th: Shauna @ Shauna's World
Wednesday Nov. 26th: Debbie
Friday Nov. 28th: Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts

Thanks for stopping. Hope you enjoyed your look around : )

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BIG Finish of 2013: Marmalade "Summer in the Park"

Marmalade jelly roll

Started with this lovely Marmalade jelly roll and some white yardage cut into 2.5" strips, followed Missouri Star Quilt Company's tutorial for Summer in the Park, and ended up with one of my favorite quilts.

A few new things were tried with this quilt - tube piecing and board basting to name a couple. At first I was excited about basting this way (in brief the top and backing are each rolled onto their own board and then unrolled in sections as you baste with batting layered between). This definitely beats basting on the floor, but I have since tried another method that I think I prefer more; will post about that in the future.

Sorry, no pics of my tube sets. Tube piecing went well; I spent more time laying out my sets than I did sewing them.  (Most time-consuming parts of quilting for me - settling on a pattern and laying blocks out.) I do think I need to be more careful when cutting and take time to check blocks to make sure they don't need squaring up. During the basting process there was a lot of "poof" in the middle of the quilt. Problem was solved with a lot of ironing and steaming, but I definitely need to work on squarer piecing.

Another new attempt with this quilt was with the quilting.  I am so glad that I went with a gutsy decision (on my part) to try something different in the borders. The curves really soften up all the straight lines of this quilt.

At first I wasn't too happy with how inconsistent my walking-foot curves were turning out and how some spots aren't even really curves but more like little "angles," but when I look at it overall I'm thrilled with how the borders turned out. Inspiration for border quilting came from here. Am looking forward to trying a few other new things with the walking foot.

Overall I'm very pleased with how this quilt turned out. Love the colors. Love the borders. Glade I took all that time with color placement.

It's our summer quilt to be used (and it has been used : ) especially for "Book Club" out under the shade tree on warm summer days - our summer in the park : )

Quilt stats:
Started: July 2013
Finished: September 2013 (when I should have been paying more attention to packing for a move but was determined this quilt was not getting moved unfinished : )
Fabric:  Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda
             Moda Bella solids: White and Aqua
Size:            (to be updated)