Friday, January 22, 2016

First Flimsy Finish of 2016

First, a little shameless plug for my sister's new online clothing shop, Prairie Boutique. If you are shopping for women's clothing or accessories (hats, scarves, boot socks), check it out! Fabulous customer service (Questions about sizing? Just ask!) and same day shipping!!! Speaking of shipping, it is free if you spend $50 (domestic) and $15.00 internationally. You can find them on IG and Facebook too. Follow and you'll get codes for specials and updates on new inventory. One of the things I love about her site? A lot of the modeling is done by my sister and her friends. Real women, real figures, no air brushing :) OK, end of shameless plug. No, I'm not being compensated. I'm being a supportive sister ;) Click on the logo below to go visit (after you read my post of course!! LOL).

Back to my regularly scheduled blog post! I have a flimsy finish! Remember all of these?
200 HSTs left over from Jason's quilt. . .
What to do with them?? I was sick of moving them from place to place. Cutting table to ironing board, ironing board to industrial sewing machine (aka catch all drop place for items I don't have time the inclination to put away). I finally put them on my cutting board and started trimming. . . and trimming. . . and trimming. . . on breaks (there were many) I did image searches of HST quilts. . . Have you ever done that??? Ummmm. . . let's just say that's one HUGE rabbit hole!! :) Initially I was going to do a broken chevron layout. But then I came upon this quilt. O.M.G. MUST make and hey, I just happen to have a ton of HSTs!

I'm not going to lie, when I decided I was going to do a quilt like the one shown on the post linked above, I did not realize that there were four stars in the outlying corners of the quilt. . . I thought it was just pretty cool looking random placement . . . happy mistake! Imagine my surprise when I put the one corner up on the wall and saw that star!! LOL I might have clapped and a happy dance might have commenced. . . and my husband, who was home at the time, is even more convinced that I have lost my mind! ;)

Here is the picture I showed a couple of posts ago:

I was pretty excited about it at this point!
At this point I knew one thing, the quilt needed to be bigger. Why? I want to be able to cover up head to toe in a quilt, this one was going to be pretty small, those HSTs finish at 3.5". And then there was the little problem of not having enough HSTs to finish the top. . . I had scraps left of the bundle and had to really be creative and do some scant scant 1/4" seams :) it worked out, I made 20 more and then started playing with the border. Several had suggested extending the gray out to the corners. I had been thinking the same thing! When something works, it works! I 'found' the perfect fabric in a recent purchase from Canton Village, Medium Periwinkle Blue Essex Linen. . . YESS!!!
Ummm. . . YES, YES, YES!!! :) More clapping and a little happy dance ensued!
I figured at this point, I could put solid borders on so now to sew this baby together. Yikes! There are lots of seams to match in this top! The going was VERY slow. I pinned AND glued. Both?? Yup, both. Here's how I did it, I put a little Elmer's glue stick glue (any washable glue will do and a little dab will do ya! haha) on the edge of the fabric just before and right up to where the intersection should go (you know, in the point, 1/4' up from the edge. Then I put a pin through the top block exactly where I wanted the seam line to go, put it through the block I had just put glue on at the precise point where I wanted the seam to hit and pressed the blocks together. I did this when I was sewing rows together, not when I was sewing the blocks into rows. Worked like a dream! And yes, had I been seriously anal about getting all of those points absolutely perfect, I would have done the same thing when I was sewing the blocks into rows. Let's be honest, if I did that I'd still be sewing this sucker together and I wanted to get it done. My attention span for this little project was beginning to wane a bit and I'm pattern testing again so I needed to get this finished! And yes, next time I do this I will take pictures along the way. I was so excited about getting this top together I did not take pictures. . .

Still not big enough. . . what to do? Those little pops of orange were really calling to me. . . what about a pop of orange for a border? . . . uh, heck yeah! :)
At this point, I debated many things for additional borders. Star blocks. More of the blue (except the corners, those I thought I would continue to extend). . . checkerboard. . . but with what fabric? definitely not enough of the Doe bundle left to do anything around the border. Then the top spoke to me. "I'm finished. I'm small. Get over it." :) Alrighty then! Some more pictures. . . maybe more than some ;)
Enlarge this picture and check out those points! ;)
I decided to try a different place with less direct sun. One of the benefits of a smaller top, more options for hanging for photos! LOL
I have made no secret of the fact that I was not exactly in love with the Doe line when I bought the bundle. . . but I love this top!! :)
And can I just say that I am completely smitten by Essex Linen??? That orange is Essex Linen in Carrot.
And one more full shot in the not direct sun position :)
Can you believe I was able to sew the entire top together without flipping or misplacing one block?? Yeah, me either!! LOL
The top finished at 58" x 64". I'm dealing with it ;) I'm thinking another is in my future, with bigger blocks. . . and rainbow colors? . . . hmmmm..... The other thing that was confirmed in the making of this quilt is that I am a big block girl and I cannot lie! Every time I make a quilt with small blocks I think I will never do it again. . . I have to admit though, I'm pretty happy with how those 'bonus' HSTs grew up!

I finished this flimsy last weekend. I started a new top yesterday. It is a test quilt so you won't be seeing much of it until the big reveal. There are however points that need to be perfect. No really, they do and I'll be using my pin and glue method. I'll take pictures. And I'll post more on the gluing using a pin method. Once the test quilt top is sewn together (will be quick), I'll start quilting this top. I will definitely be sharing that ;)

Linking up with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts. SO much inspiration over there!!

So until next time, keep on quilting!!
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, January 8, 2016

The BIG Reveal!! Friends of a Feather!!

OMG you guys!! Early this morning I checked the tracking on both Renee's mine headed to her and my mini headed this way - and they were scheduled for delivery TODAY!! I was told Saturday, as was Renee for anticipated delivery. We have both received our quilts!! Renee has posted about my quilt, make sure you check it out! OMG, you guys!! It is fabulous!! We agreed to do a swap back in May. Due to both of our schedules, we agreed that at some point late in the year we would swap. I don't think either of us thought it would actually be 2016 before the quilts actually made it to their forever homes - BUT, it was definitely worth the 'wait'! Not that either of us was chomping at the bit or had the quilts finished any earlier LOL OK, here it is! I introduce to you, Friends of a Feather! :D
Friends Of A Feather :) I had a blast quilting this mini for Renee!
I knew this quilt would be filled with feathers. The question was, traditional quilting feathers (like the ones in the background or corners), bird feathers. . . peacock feathers??? WTH, why not all of them? So then I started doodling. And trolling the internet. And plotting. Have you seen Renee's mad quilting skills? If not, when you go check out my quilt on her blog, check out her other work. You will not regret it!! I wanted this quilt to be all thread and had to get over the desire for everything to be 'perfect.' Anywhoo, back to this quilt. I initially thought I would put Quilts of a Feather (Renee's blog name) on the quilt. And then I started second guessing it. I went back and forth. I changed my mind about a bajillion times. And then it was go time - I had to make a decision because I was ready to finish the background quilting. . . I did what any sneaky person would do ;) I emailed Yvonne and asked her what she thought about putting Renee's blog name on the quilt. I did send her a picture of what the quilt looked like at that point. What she came back with was nothing short of amazing!! What about putting 'Friends of a Feather' on the quilt? Holy best idea ever!! Friends of a Feather indeed! :) Thank you, Yvonne, for a spectacularly ingenious idea! And I named the quilt Friends of a Feather and put it on the label (which yes, on one end is actually hand sewn down! LOL). Here's a bit of the story. I planned to document this well but when those Christmas commissions came in, those grand ideas kind of fell to the wayside. I do have a couple of pictures that show a bit of the process.
I wanted the feathers to overlap so it would look kind of 3D. I started with the feathers on the sides. Then I added these two feathers trying not to worry about quilting over lines :)
Here are the threads that are in the bird feathers. All Aurifil - the cones are Aurifil Longarm Poly. LOVE!! Seriously LOVE!! :)
I had started quilting the background at this point. The darker blue feather in the bottom right corner was done through the bobbin with 8 wt thread!!! I had to restrain myself to not put it all over the quilt! LOL
OK, that's where the documentation ends LOL I think the overlapping idea really worked :) The lighter blue variegated thread in the peacock eye is a Wonderfil 12 wt thread, the 8 wt thread that I did the bobbin work with (first time I had ever done this and I highly recommend giving it a go!!) is also Wonderfil as is the very middle of the peacock eye. All of the rest of the thread on the front of the quilt is cotton or poly Aurifil in various different weights and colors.

More pictures anyone??? :D

And the back!
I used one thread, Isocord 50 wt poly for the back of the quilt.
The fabric is Cherrywood hand dyed in Silver. I can't say enough about this fabric! It's feels and looks like suede. It is lush and beautiful. No, not affiliated in any way, its just that good! :) The binding, hanging triangles and label came from a FQ bundle called Modern Muse from Massdrop. I don't know the color as none of the FQ were marked.

So the suspense is over!! And here's a couple of pictures of what Renee sent me. Go visit and see her pictures (much better than these, still raining here!) and her process of making the quilt!
I told you, totally mad quilting skills!! :)
It's PURPLE!! :) LOVE!! It will be hanging over my cutting table so I can look at it when I'm cutting, sewing AND ironing :D
So how was my first swap experience? Freakin' fantastic!! :D Thank you, Renee for this beautiful piece of you!!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
Follow on Bloglovin

Winners for Blogiversary Giveaway!

First, thank you again everyone for a fabulous two years, I can't wait to see what 2016 brings for all of us!! :) And welcome new followers and readers!! I truly do appreciate every one of you! :)

On to the business at hand!! For some reason I can't copy and paste the number generator. . . You are just going to have to believe me ;) No suspense, here we go! :D

First number drawn,  #84!
Congratulations on your two years of blogging. I'm glad I have found your blog and what an inspiration you are. An amazing top five posts. Your Kremlin quilt is fantastic. Look forward to following for your third year and then more.

Second number drawn, #19!
Awesome giveaways!! Pick me, pick me, LOL I think the FQ bundle would be nice to have! Of course I'll be following you this year again, I follow through google.

 LOL, Vicki, Mr. Random did pick you!!

Third number drawn, #36!
I'm following you for some time now via Bloglovin!! Thanks for a second chance!!

I've sent emails so look for those ladies and as soon as I receive your snail mail addresses and sort who is getting what (sorted, Marlene - Oakshott bundle, Vicki - Morning Walk bundle and Michele - Auriful card/thread), I will get your winnings in the mail! Also, there were several comments from No Reply bloggers. Please check your status and see if you are unwittingly a no reply person. If you are a Google+ user, you likely are. . . and if you have 'fixed' it, there is a chance that Google has 'unfixed' it for you. . . After the third time they 'unfixed' my account, I stopped using Google+. But that is a rant for another day. . . or maybe not at all ;)

OK, business at hand is finished ;) And just so you know that I have not just been sitting around waiting to draw winners, here is a picture of what those HSTs are becoming! Yup, all trimmed. Yup, I miscalculated the number (well, not on that blog post but in my head the number grew from 200 to 300. . .) UHG! I need 20 more blocks. . . I am making those blocks from barely big enough scraps. . . there are are going to be some very scant 1/4 inch seams in this baby AND there will be some very creative sewing when I put those rows together ;) 

Seriously, it makes me smile!!
I'll be sharing more about this WIP soon! Sorry for the bad pick, it's been raining for days here and we all know my inside pictures are typically badly lit on the sunniest of days. I'm trying to figure out a cohesive way to make this quilt bigger. . . Once the top row is added (I had taken it off to fill in some of the corners. . . was going to leave it like that but decided it needs to be there), it will finish around 50" x 54". I typically like my quilts to be a little bigger but this one matches my house pretty well. . . I might to forget the borders and just hang it. . . decisions! If you have any great ideas regarding the 'expansion' of this quilt, let me know! I'd love some suggestions!

Again, thank you all for following along on my quilting journey! And come back in a couple of days, Renee should receive her quilt tomorrow and I should receive mine! I feel like a kid on Christmas morning!! You can bet I'll be stalking the mailman!! :D 

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Christmas Pillows for New Year

Just a reminder, my second year blogiversary giveaway is still open until tomorrow at midnight, if you haven't already, go enter!! No hoops to jump through, just leave a comment!

Now, remember those quilts. . . the ones made in three weeks, right before Christmas that added so much excitement to my December? The Giant Purple Star and the Giant Blue Star? Well, pillows were ordered as well but the answer was, "Ho, Ho, No!" in terms of getting them done in time for Christmas Eve. After a day or two break, I went back to the machine! :) Deadline? 12/30. Did I make it? YUP ;)

I had a lot of fabric left over from the blue quilt. I love that fabric and when I bought it, I bought a good amount - thankfully because I want a quilt of my own with that fabric!! :) I decided that the pillow would be a mini version of the quilt. Except for the quilting ;) LOL I used Amanda Jean's envelope back pillow method again. I have to say, LOVE making these. Quick satisfying finishes are always a good thing right? :) Here it is!
I ditched the star but. . . no quilting in those print triangles. . . can you believe it? LOL
LOVE how the blue thread matches perfectly and really pops on the black :)
Now for the purple one. . . umm, not so much fabric left for this one!! Like, after this pillow - NO fabric left! I had to get a little creative ;) I went to town on the quilting. . . of course I did! I wanted to try that square spiral design with triangles. LOVE! :) I'm not going to lie, of the two pillows, I seriously wanted to keep this one!! Like really really wanted to keep!!
LOTS of ruler work on this one :)
It just makes me smile :)
Two pillow finishes, three days of sewing/quilting. Gotta love that! And a happy customer. All is good. :) And no more commissions for me for awhile! haha

What have I been working on? . . . Renee's Mini!!! And it is finished. Going in the mail today! She should get it Friday or Saturday. . . come back and see the big reveal! I cannot wait for her to get it and I cannot wait to see what Renee has up her sleeve for me! The suspense is almost unbearable!!! ;)

AND, remember those 300 HSTs that were a by product from Jason's quilt? . . . well I've started trimming. And I think I have decided on a layout. Those HSTs need to be a quilt. Now! :) Look for at least a flimsy finish by next Friday. Probably not a quilt finish, we are headed north to play in the snow for a few days. . . hmmmm, might have to bring my cutting mat, rotary cutter and HSTs!! LOL

Linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social and Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!

Until next time, keep on quilting! I'll be trimming ;)
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, January 4, 2016

Stash Bee - January Blocks

Hey everybody! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope your year has been spectacular so far ;) Just a reminder, if you haven't commented on my Blogiversary Giveaway, PLEASE, go do it now!! I'll wait! :)

I haven't set goals for 2016 but I did start thinking a couple of months ago about what I would like to do new to me in 2016. I have been sitting on the sidelines watching the Bees go by over the last year or so thinking, what a great way to be challenged to try different blocks and to be stretched a little in terms of style and color preferences. And while all of that is going on, I also have a hand in quilts that will result for other people AND I end up with a quilt. Don't be fooled, I am aware of the downsides of bees. And I considered them. A lot. And then I decided to close my eyes, plug my nose and cannonball jump into the pool :) So here is my post on my first bee block for Stash Bee Hive #6!

I was very excited on New Years day when I went to the blog to see what I would be making for the first month. What did you say? You wanted to be challenged? You got it sister! What is the first block requested by the lovely Sylvia of Flying Parrots Quilts? The Union Jack block. . . Holy, fill in the blank. . . my words were likely more than a little off color. And then I might have peed myself a little. I have avoided making this block like one avoids squaring up HSTs!! ;) What's a girl to do? Well this is what this girl did, she put on her big girl panties and got to pulling fabric, starching, cutting and sewing! And here's the result!

Are they perfect? Hmmm, I'm not sure that the angles are perfect but I know I got the stripes right! LOL
In this picture you can see that the white is Spot On, Robbert Kauffman and the greens are both Moda Grunge. Colors? I have no idea, these fabrics have been in my stash for. . . let's just say awhile ;)
At least there is this, if the angles are wrong, they are perfectly wrong! LOL At least both blocks turned out exactly the same :)
I went through the instructions, both Sylvia's and Molli Sparkle's. Printed Molli's out. Took a deep breath and started cutting. I cut all of the pieces first. Then I decided, I'm not making a test block, I'm just going to jump in and see how it goes. . . not just jump in and make one, I'm making them both at the same time. . . Quilting fairies in control of accuracy and the scant 1/4" seam, don't fail me now!!

I took it slow. Very slow. And after several hours of cussing piecing, I had all of the units made. Now to just sew them together. Took some major time but I'm almost finished! And then. . . gasp! When I was sewing the first block together, I went to sew the top right quadrant to the bottom two right pieces and . . . ummm. . . it was too short! WHAT? I'll just stretch it a bit. . . those 1/4" fairies must have failed me on this one. . . nope, stretching definitely is not going to work. Measured. . . EXACTLY 1/4" too short!!! NOOOO!! What did I do? What any reasonable person would. I shut my machine off and had a glass of wine! OK, maybe two!

I got up the next morning and realized that I had just enough of the strip set left (I cut and sewed them together WOF) to make one more quadrant! I hiked up those big girl panties again. cut one light green triangle and sewed that sucker together. :)

How many times do you suppose I am going to have to learn the lesson to measure twice fifteen times, cut once? Don't answer that. . . hopefully not many but we all know these things happen. We just hope they don't happen too often!

So my first month's blocks are finished. And will be in the mail today! Did this first month disappoint? Nope. Definitely stretched! LOL In closing, thank you Sylvia for making me face my Union Jack fears!

In closing, I folded up those big girl panties (yup, washed them first LOL) and put them away until Feb. 1st ;) OK, they might be needed prior to that but for now, they are safely tucked away! And for the record, I can't wait to see what the challenge block might be for February!

Linking up with Beth for MCM and Judy for DWM. And check back here soon, those pillows are done, dusted and delivered! I'll be posting about those soon!

Until next time, keep on quilting!
Follow on Bloglovin