Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Road Trip

Road trips are lots of fun.  Especially when you get off the beaten path.  Anna and I headed down to St. George, Utah with my sister, Becky and her brood.  We spent a few days with Grandma and Grandpa breaking in their new pool.  Sorry now pictures there.  It was not safe. Grandpa and Mary were busy squirting me. 
Becky's hubby headed a few days later to pick her and the kiddos up to go on down to Lake Mead. While Anna and I took the scenic tour of Central Utah.  We hit Cove Fort always a favorite. Love the history there, especially the old quilts.
From there we headed east.  We were on a dragon hunt.  We got hungry part way and stopped at Lotsa Motsa Pizza. Yummy, Yummy pizza and great service!!! We had the pizza and salad bar buffet. We got there kind of late and as we were leaving the manager asked if we wanted to take the rest of the pizza.  YES!!! It would save me having to fix dinner for the boys when we got home. So she boxed it up for us.  How nice is that?
From there we continued our dragon hunt and.... we found him.  Isn't he scary? And you should hear him roar. 
The Sanpitch Dragon lives under the highway 89 in Gunnison UT.  Every time a vehicle passes he lets out a magnificent roar. His mosaic body is pretty impressive too.
All in all it was a great road trip. Where and what are some of your favorite road trips?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Moving It Forward

Monday and time to share what we have moved forward.  
I'm so thrilled to be keeping up on my Splendid Sampler blocks. I added the embroidery to my quilt shop.  Used scraps from my courthouse steps quilt to create a colorful checkerboard. I didn't want to do the doily on my last block so I cheated.  I had  a little orphan block with an applique flower on it, that I trimmed to size. I probably should have chosen something else, as trimming it left no background between the flower and borders. But my lazy tendencies won out and I went with it.
 I was also able to create all the blocks I needed for this scrap quilt. Hope to have it as a flimsy by the end of the week.
Now it's your turn. What progress did you have in your sewing room this week? Can't wait to see how you are moving things along.

Friday, March 25, 2016


My friend gave me a cute little quilt hanger some time ago. I'm ashamed to admit how long it has gone empty. Well yesterday I decided it was long enough. I pulled out several of my books with minis in them and started to peruse. 
 I loved this flying geese in the round.  But I hate paper piecing. Mostly because I hate to have to rip the paper off when I'm done. After watching this tutorial that made it so that was not necessary. I decided to give it a go.
 While paper piecing is still not my favorite.  I seem to have a hard time with getting the pieces to fit in their right spots and cover everything just right. That and I hate the waste when I do get it right. Crazy I know but it is what it is.  All that aside, I'm thrilled with my little mini. It measures 13". I had a lot of fun doing the big stitch in the middle. I love that by creating the circle in the middle you get a kind of star burst effect that is not so noticeable in the pattern picture.
 And here it is on my wall with my cute little hanger.
Linking up with Sarah, Amanda Jean and Cynthia to celebrate this little finish.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Moving It Forward

 It's Monday, Yeah! Some of you may feel I'm taking this Monday thing too far but I do look forward to seeing how everyone progressed during the week. I'm of the belief that you look for the good. So even though we have had to say good by to the carefree weekend. We get to see progress on everyone's fun projects. And that's worth a Yeah!
 I worked on my Splendid Sampler blocks. Need to add a little embroidery to my quilt shop but other than that I'm all caught up.
Made a few more blocks for this Free Four All (follow link for arrangement ideas and instructions) quilt and got it sewn into a top.
 Now this is something I have mixed feelings about moving forward.  This is my baby. Friday night she got all dressed up. (How did she get so grown up?) And went to the Best Buddies Ball with her buddy, Kayla.  It was so fun to see how pretty and excited Kayla was all dressed up.  I feels so proud of my daughter, Anna for taking time to spend her Friday night making someone else feel very special..
Not only is she beautiful on the outside she is giving and beautiful on the inside as well. Feel so blessed to have her in my life.
Now it's your turn. Link up and share what you moved forward this week.

Friday, March 18, 2016

H2H Kickoff Finish and More

It's that wonderful time of year when packages full of quilty hugs start arriving on my doorstep. I am ever so grateful to all the generous quilters that donate each year and for Sarah for hosting Hands 2 Help and choosing Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo. I can't tell you how much each of these quilts helps and how nice it is to have a good supply. Sometimes we run a little low. To celebrate the kickoff of H2H I basted, quilted and bond one of the many tops my little group of helpers made for this cause. I quilted vines and leaves in this cute little pink and green quilt made from donated blocks. I'm hoping to get a few more quilty hug tops done during this drive. 
In addition to finishing up the quilty hug I made these three journals. The tutorial on how to make these can be found here. They are for a friend, that I have worked with serving the young women at our church, and her two daughters (who happen to be among those young women.)  They are moving in a week and we will miss them. I will have all the other leaders and young women write their good byes inside as a going away gift.
Linking up with Sarah, Amanda Jean and Cynthia to celebrate my little finishes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Just for ME (A tutorial)

 For a long time I've wanted to make an ME/EM quilt. I've toyed with it in EQ but felt a little vain about actually making it. In fact, while I was making the blocks at my retreat I called them my vanity blocks. I had taken a lovely Tucker Prairie layer cake I had received recently and fallen in love with.
I cut the following from each 10" square and used Kona Sky for my background. You end up with a full 2 1/2" x 10" strip and then some.  I figure I can use that in my border. Haven't quite figured that out yet. I ran out of background and figured I needed a border of that before I proceeded with the rest.
 First I sewed the 2 1/2" squares together.
Then I sewed a 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle to the bottom of this piece.
 Then I sewed the remaining 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" strips together.
 Next I sew these two units together.
 Followed by the 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" strip to the one side, so it looks like an F
 Next I sewed the 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" strip along the bottom.  Sorry the E is backwards. I must be reverting back to my childhood. My mom thought I would never get my letters going the right way. Happy to inform you that she was wrong. (this seldom happens)

 Then I sewed the 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" strips to either side to complete my block.
I had repeats in my layer cake but didn't want them in my quilt so it only has 36 blocks instead of 42. My pant hangers were having a hard time holding my flimsy and I was getting frustrated. so You have a not so good picture of my ME/EM quilt. Technically it was suppose to be an EM/Em quilt but I sewed my rows backwards at the retreat and I didn't want to unpick. Lazy I know. But I'm happy with it.
Now I just need to wait for more background to arrive. It's been ordered and is on it's way so I won't have to wait long. :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Moving It Forward

I'm having so much fun with the Splendid Sampler blocks. So far I've found time to squeeze in these little cuties. Each of the designers has done a wonderful job with their blocks. The 6" size makes their pieces very compatible to my scrap bins. And you all know how much I love to delve into my scrap bin.
Speaking of delving into my scrap bin, I don't know if your like me but when I'm playing in my scraps I'm not exactly tidy. In fact after a session of scrappy sewing my sewing area tends to look like a cyclone hit. So between my sampler blocks and the latest Plan B quilt it was in great need of a little tiding. So to get ready for a new week, one minus a precious hour, (when are they going to end this foolishness) I sorted scraps back to the proper bins, swept the floor and did a general clean up. 
Now that I've shared my humble progress, I'm excited to hear about yours. I have so much fun looking at your photos and hoping over to your blogs to read about what you've been up to.
So link up and let us see. Please remember to link back and to visit the other guests in the link up.  I promise you won't be sorry.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flimsy Finish

 While I was away last weekend I also finished making all the trees I showed how to make here. I could barely wait to get home so I could put them together. If I thought I could have done it at the retreat I would have. But you saw in the last post how I turn my courthouse step blocks, and that was only nine large blocks. So I knew there was no way I could manage getting all these in the right place.
Besides I wasn't quite sure how I was going to arrange everything. With my Plan B quilts, what I call my quilts made from orphans, test blocks and scraps. You can read my Plan B quilt philosophy here.  Sometimes I group like size blocks, sometimes I combine rows and groupings.  This time I went with all rows. Simply adding strips to the top and bottom of blocks to make them the same height.
Houses made from leftover disappearing nine patches from Mountain Blossoms
and setting triangles from Mary's Garden
Pulling out my orphan block bin and throwing them up on the wall is so liberating. I like to let them sit up there while I work on other projects and move them around as I walk by. Letting them talk to me until we both agree on their arrangement.
16 patch houses from leftover strips from Citrus Spin
Large rooftop from Ziggy Granny
 Kind of like a giant jigsaw puzzle only better, cause if something doesn't fit you just add a scrappy strip.
Trees from Seven Sisters 
Trunks from Moving Boxes
And your get to decide what the final picture will be. No box cover to dictate your result.

Linking up with Sarah, Amanda Jean, and Cynthia

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Playing on Courthouse Steps

For Christmas, my friend, Cindy, gave me a cute composition book that had graph paper in it.  How cool is that? Pretty cool I think! I had seen a quilt using variations on the courthouse steps block.  I had drawn up the block and wrote the different variations. I though I had pinned it but can't seem to find the pin anywhere.  Does anyone else have this problem? 

I figured if I just made the blocks according to my notes I could figure out the quilt. So I set about making the different variations. First one all in low volume strips.  If you are interested in learning more about low volume quilts you can read my post here.
Next I made four traditional courthouse steps block.
 Finally I made four with low volume on the top and left side and scrappy colors on the bottom and right.
 Once these happy blocks were made I played with placement.  I knew for sure that the all low volume block went in the center. Sorry for the dark pictures, they were taken on the floor under my sewing area at the retreat.

I vaguely remembered that the blocks made a star. Though I may have to revisit the other arrangement. I sewed my blocks together and some how I got them turned because if you notice I have a kissing cousin in the middle row.  Grrr! Am I the only one that does this? 

 I'm trying to decided if I want this just to be a wall hanging or if I want to go bigger. If I go bigger I'll have to play with the various blocks to find a setting I like. I have plenty of strips cut. I may have got a little carried away when I was making them. I went through each of my scrap bins and cut a 1 1/2" strip from each fabric. I could make courthouse steps until the cows come home. Probably longer. It's a good think I like them.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Moving It Forward

I had a wonderful weekend sewing with friends. In addition to my quilty friends I had a little company on my morning walks. One morning the deer were out in force.  I would say there were about 15-20.  It was awe inspiring. I posted a picture of a few on instagram and facebook you may have seen. The next morning I walked by a tree that was singing. It was full of the cutest little red birds. There were a couple in the road ahead of me but by the time I got my phone ready to take a picture they had flown off. Wish I could have shared that. 
Jeneal's Twisted Posey from my pattern in Fons and Porter
In addition to the wildlife outside we had a little wildlife inside. My friends are pranksters. If you left the sewing area for too long you may come back to find a stuffed mouse, your chair duct taped to your table or your thread cut up by the spool so just as you got sewing you ran out of thread. 
Despite all these antics I was able to add a few more blocks to my Splendid Sampler blocks,
 and complete my next set of sqs blocks to exchange. Linking these cuties with Beth and Cynthia
I'll share more of what I did later in the week. 
But for now it's your turn to share what you moved forward.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Quilty Hug Finish

 This Tuesday was a first Tuesday so that means we enjoyed a sew in at my home making quilty hugs for cancer patients. We had a good turn out and got a lot done. One top completed and two more are real close. I had two quilts basted from the last sew in that I hadn't  got quilted yet. To keep from getting too far behind I got busy Wednesday and finished quilting and binding this one.
It was made from a stack of donated orphan blocks. We added a variety of black and white print fabric around each block to make them all the same size. Then added a red dotty sashing with more black and white print cornerstones. I quilted it with a large stipple.  My go to when I'm in a hurry.  
Then bond it all with a black print with small white squares. 
It should make a nice quilty hug.

Going to try. (I'm away this weekend with friends and not real tech savy,) So if I can figure it out I will link up with Sarah and Amanda Jean.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Creating A Forest

I got a little carried when I was making these 60* for this quilt. So I decided to make them into trees for this quilt. I thought I'd share today how I do that.
I cut the triangles from strips sewn together to measure 6" using this 60* ruler.
 For the sides of the tree I line up the ruler on fabric that has been folded in half so that you have two layers that are facing different ways. Placing the ruler so that in lines up the the dotted line that is 1/4" from the center line cut along the edge.

 Next take a regular ruler and measure a 1/2" from your top point and cut along edge.

 Leaving a 1/4" point at the bottom of your tree line up one edge of your background and sew in place.
 Press open and repeat process on the other side.
 Your block will look like this.
 I freestyle my tree trunk by sewing a piece of background to one side of my trunk.

 Next I add another piece of background on the other side.
 I sew this to the bottom of my tree.
 Then trim the extra edges.
 So my tree looks like this.
One tree down a good sized stack to go.