Thursday, January 12, 2017

Focus in 2017!

I've seen some blogs recently talking about working on 17 projects in 2017. Well, I began my list, even got a pretty template from Kyle to use, but decided it was not for me. First, I couldn't get the template loaded and 17 is a lot to work on.

I am seriously trying to get some focus in my life - it seems with the age of computers, so much digital, social media, emails, everything instantly happening, that I feel compelled to try more than I'm capable of doing at the time. I am one who normally can focus but lately it seems I can't . . . so my goal this year is getting into focus in many areas of my life.

Here is a quilt I made towards the end of 2016 for my niece in Texas whose baby just may be arriving today. We are waiting to hear - a girl we are told.
 Some pretty batiks and machine appliqué with the blanket stitch.


 She wanted a minkee backing so that's what I did - so soft and cuddly!

Instead of putting 17 projects up to work on - which I may throughout the year - I'm going to start with some I'd really like to complete - and of course I have one new one going, too.

My first to finish is below:
This is my Sarah Fielke BOM - Happy Days from 2016. All that is left are the borders and I hope to get those made soon - some large triangles. It was a fun BOM - she had patterns to download and a video every month for us. She is doing another BOM this year - Down the Rabbit Hole - and there is still time to sign up for it. Patterns don't begin coming to you until the end of the month but she does give a cool line drawing to show you. Here is a link: Down the Rabbit Hole. Also, last year's BOM is available in book form just published - she even did three different color ways.

Another quilt to finish is my Flower Pots - already put together, backing purchased, just waiting for this longarmer to get going on it . . . that would be me!
 I got the sashing made last year.
 It's going to be a lot of work with custom quilting.
My next finish I'm looking forward to is my 2014 Di Ford Mystery Quilt, Mountmellick. Alas, I am on the next border and have prep work ready for the next which has some diamond and hexagons to English Paper Piece so it's not a quickie but will be beautiful.

My En Provence with Bonnie Hunter is all cut and ready to stitch. Another finish I hope for this spring. I have a quilt retreat coming up so maybe that will help.
Meanwhile, Happy Stitching in 2017 and I hope you can get your goals met this year!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fall in Georgia!!

 Enjoying the beautiful fall colors here in Georgia. The end of October is usually beautiful!
I spoke of my pineapple Christmas quilt in the last post but failed to show a block - here is my one completed one with lots of scraps and very traditional in color.
 I am continuing to work on my Primitive Garden, started in fall 2012. Just a little slow but this is part of the top border . . .
 and another part of the same border.
Here I have my layout for the bottom border and the words. Now they are bonded with Lite Steam a Seam 2 and ready to stitch.
 Some hand stitching on the Sue Spargo BOM 2014, In Full Bloom, still in progress. I think this is block 8. One interesting aspect of her BOMs is you are NOT allowed to post any pictures for about a year and a half until her book/pattern is published.
But you actually are not working alone, as they always have a yahoo group where you can share photos but none to the public until published. Maybe a finish for next year. A real learning experience which I enjoy with her quilts because you are constantly learning new stitches by Sue. Beautiful wools and threads to work with also.
And of course, if that doesn't look like enough quilting going on - here is another upcoming project - The Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt 2016, En Provence. Our group had such fun doing it last year that most of us have decided to try it again this year. Here are my likely paint chips, all like Bonnie's except for the turquoise instead of a green. I think I'll make the smaller size this year and it may be for my granddaughter since her room has many of these colors already.
Happy Stitching until next time!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Different Month

This is my Dad - he was 94 1/2 when he passed away this month on October 6, 2016. He lived a long full life, loved the Lord, loved his family and enjoyed being the oldest in his family thus far. He still has two siblings in their eighties coming behind him. In fact, all the children in his family made it well into their eighties or nineties.
He loved to sing as did all his family and began a choir at our church when I was growing up. Many people shared with us their love of music because of what he did to encourage others. He continued to play the piano - by ear - even into his nineties. 
He was proud of me for my abilities to sew. He'd tell people of how I made a suit when I was 14 years old and it looked like it was store-bought. Two days before he died I sat with him most of the day, stitching on a quilt, just being there with him.
My quilting has surely been my therapy these last few months as we had to take him to a memory care center for his dementia and severe aortic stenosis. 
However, as long as I could still stitch some, it soothed my soul and mind and continues to help me through difficult days. 
He is well now, with Jesus, my mother and so many others who have gone before him. I feel blest to have had such a wonderful father and be by his side as he drew his last breath here on earth. I've lived 1 1/2 miles from him for 16 years and shared many days with him. 
Here is some other family that was here during this time.
Fortunately almost all our family was here with us for several days - here my son and his wife and daughter and grands!! 
My husband, Papa, and Jake and Lacey!
After my Dad's funeral, we all stopped at Fresh Air Barbecue in Jackson, GA, where we've been going for 50 years or so. So good!! There's still a lot to process and work to be done but I wanted to share this part of my life not really quilt related, but yet it is. 
When I was 14, my parents bought me a top of the line sewing machine for Christmas - A Singer Touch and Sew - with all the bells and whistles of that day. I had learned to sew at age 12 and truly have been stitching ever since!! How blest I was for this gift from them and the encouragement it gave me! 
And here is where it has taken me!
 I have been working on my Di Ford Mountmellick from 2014.
 Two borders have been completed and there are two more to do.
 My Mountmellick.
Just a close up - I like the little hexagons in the corner.
Another block from my Happy Days Sarah Fielke BOM. Only two more blocks and then the border to do.
 This project is a pineapple Christmas quilt. The papers here are from at least 20 years ago and somehow I continued to save them. I drew up the design I wanted to do in Electric Quilt 7.
I'm using many strips that were already cut from a previous project that went by the wayside - it was a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt for Christmas. Somehow, I never got more than step 2 done yet all my fabrics were ready for a project so here it is.. . . . . . eventually. . . . not this Christmas!!
Happy Stitching!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Happy Days & Allietare Completed

This is my Allietare completed - the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt from last year. I did a straight border instead of scalloped like she suggested - a lot of stitching in this quilt but a feeling of accomplishment when it is completed - plus all the fun of sewing along with others on the same project.
 The following are blocks from my Sarah Fielke Happy Days BOM this year. I can't imagine how these are all going to look together. I am depending on some 24 stars not shown to pull this all together, plus the borders. Wow, is it bright and colorful!
 Many different techniques were used. Above were hexagons that were large enough I used the "starch appliqué" method instead of glue or hand basting. It worked great.
 Lots of appliqué . . .


 and several have been paper pieced.


I'm still wondering how this orange block will fit in with the rest - a difficult appliqué block but like eating an elephant - one "stitch at a time" got it done and many many hours! I'm hoping all the other spots of orange will make it blend well. 
Our group got together a couple of weeks ago with Jane back in town and we had show and tell!
 Wonda finished two quilts she worked on at our retreat . . .

 and Gerry had her strawberry quilt ready for a quilter. I can't for the life of me remember this pattern name - something to do with strawberries and she put redwork she did by hand in all of the center blocks.
 
I think this was Gerry's also! Very pretty soft colors - reminds me of Robyn Randolph fabrics from years ago - and they may be! Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flower Garden, Flower Pots & China Shop

 Another really long-term project I have going is the Flower Garden by Kim McLean. It may take me longer than my Lollypop Trees did! But, ever so often I finish another block.
 I have learned something about myself recently - or actually faced up to the fact that I enjoy "kitting quilts" possibly more than sewing them. Always being afraid I won't have any handwork ready, I will get a whole quilt ready for appliqué and then it lays in its container for possibly years, waiting to be stitched. So as of now, I have months/years worth of appliqué all ready for stitching. I am trying to make a dent in it now. These flower garden blocks have been ready for quite some time!!
 Speaking of a quilt waiting for a finish - this is Flower Pots by Kim McLean. I began it in September 2010, six years ago. Now I got the appliqué completed but was putting off the sashing, also knowing that the blocks did not come out to the size indicated on the pattern so I was going to have to make an adjustment. Procrastinate . . . procrastinate . . .I finally solved this 'problem' by restitching a couple of bird tails and was able to proceed. I spent a week recently sewing the sashing and putting the top together and now it is ready for quilting. My backing just came in the mail today!
Here is a partial picture of the top - the bottom half. Just gorgeous fabrics to me and I'll admit to trying to match mine to the pattern picture - that can be fun and a challenge in itself.
As you know, I'm a fan of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and this quilt pattern was published in Homespun - an online magazine. It was designed by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession quilt shop in Australia and her team which worked with Kaffe Fassett. In 2015 the patterns were published monthly so I subscribed. I ended up buying the kit for the fabrics from glorious color.com and made the quilt this spring and summer. I did all the appliqué on the machine and bonded the outer edge of the fabrics with Lite Steam a Seam 2. 
 Here are some close-up views.
 Love the fabric choices and combinations!
 There were several techniques used, including lots of hexagon flowers in the side blocks of the center. I did hand stitch all of those together then machine appliquéd them down. The platter had hexagons around it also.
Here is more of a close up of the hexagons on the right. I still have a little more to show but I'll save that for another post!! Happy Stitching!! It is GREAT therapy!!