My First Guest Post!

Recently,  I had the opportunity to guest blog over at http://www.quiltingqueenonline.com/
Luckily,  some words from a friend had an essay brewing.   Please hop over and check it out and I’ll be back with a new post here shortly!

Happy quilting!
Beth

Sunday Stash

I’ll admit it,  I’m actually trying to curtail my purchasing practices (and hoping not to cause an economic crisis) but I couldn’t resist this sweet print at my LQS.

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Isn’t that the cutest?  I’m thinking new makeup bag.   Although it would make an adorable baby quilt feature print,  or. ..oh,  all the creative thoughts spinning in my brain!
I’ve had a busy week of of both jobs.  My mom came to visit and I recruited her to help with some much needed scrap sorting.

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Of course, we had first class kitty assistance!

We also did a trip up the Gorge to the Maryhill Museum.

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We visited the Stonehenge-inspired war memorial.

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We did the tulip fields in all their muddy glory.

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And then,  my body caught hold of an awful bug that put me out of commission for two days and made us miss our trip to Seattle!
Mom went home on Saturday and my dear friend took point on Easter dinner. We had a wonderful,  relaxing day that could have only been better if we had all our girls here (two are out of state and my dear niece was home sick. ) But there was much fun and laughter and I got to wear my new jacket. ..I couldn’t resist this

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It’s even called “Cathedral Windows.”

So,  from my house to yours, a very Happy Easter!  And,  of course, happy quilting! 
Linking up to Sunday Stash. ..if it’s not past time!

Project Quilting – Monkey Wrench and Flying Geese

This is just a quick post from my phone at a very late hour.  This most recent challenge was to use a monkey wrench block plus flying geese. The monkey wrench block reminds me of the box kites you sometimes see at the beach.  When I was small,  my brother and I would use rags from mom’s “rag bag” to make tails.  It was such a joy to see those tails flapping in the breeze that held our kites aloft!

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Updated photo

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It’s late and I’ll try to post a better photo tomorrow.  I think I might add more quilting to make the  string stand out better.
I like my little quilt,  though,  and I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to play along with project quilting!  My kitty advisor,  however,  is ready for bed!

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Happy quilting!
Beth

Quilt Qwazy Queens are Here!

It’s a blog hop day…and National Quilting Day, how fun is that?  Of course, I think every day should be National Quilting Day, don’t you? With the current schedule (I work two jobs), I didn’t have time to make something new for today so I thought I’d take a minute to show you some of my favorite work I’ve done and introduce myself.   My love of quilting started at a young age.  I can remember  trying to sew scraps together after reading the Little House on the Prairie books and I loved the idea of making something beautiful out of the leftover bits.  In fact, I love it so much that my scrap baskets have gotten out of control.  So, my quilting word of the year is “Scrap.” My goal is to make a dent in the scrap bag(s),….and boxes…..and drawers this year.  I haven’t given up buying new fabric but I am trying to slow way down in my acquisition of new yardage.  (We’ll see how that goes!)
My favorite projects and one the things I love the most about quilting is the opportunity to show my love of people in a tangible way.  I like to think that a quilt is a hug you can wrap around someone when they need it most.  Every day, someone is facing their toughest day and while a quilt won’t fix it, I like to think that it can bring a small measure of comfort.
For years, I’ve made quilts for a local program that facilitates the intake of children taken from difficult situations.  Imagine my feelings when life surprised me with a second daughter who came with a Project Linus blanket.  For years, I’d made quilts for kids who would share a bit of history with the daughter who was heading for my life! Here’s a sampling of some of the quilts I’ve made and donated. (These are some of the most recent…my computer has been being “remodeled” and I didn’t have access to most of my older photos.)
 Two year ago, I found out that this same daughter’s heart surgeries were merely palliative and that she will need a transplant eventually.  Just after that, I was asked by a dear cousin if I would consider making quilts for the donor program.  These quilts are taken to the hospital and used to give a small touch of warmth and comfort to otherwise sterile hospital rooms.  Afterwards, the quilts are given to the donor’s family.  His mother had made them for years and, with her health failing, she was unable to continue.  I like to think of this as “paying it forward” in a small way.  Someday, if we are lucky, someone will bravely choose to give our daughter another chance at life in the midst of their tragedy.  I like knowing that I am extending even the smallest measure of comfort to families in their darkest hours.
If you’d like to join in making quilts for the donor program, feel free to leave me a comment saying that and I’ll be in touch.  The need is great.  It is my fervent hope to someday live in a world where children are safe and organs are grown in labs but in the meantime, I send my little quilts into the world to give a hug on my behalf.
And, speaking of hug quilts, this is one of my favorites…
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The Autograph Quilt, living up to the name.

 I made this quilt when one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met lost three limbs to a rare blood disease issue.  She continues to be one of the kindest and most encouraging people I’ve ever met and her quilt, covered with loving words and good wishes, gets regular use.
So, in honor of National Quilting Day, Marian has secured an extra gift for everyone who visits the hop!  The Fat Quarter Shop has offered a 10% off discount with the code seamstobe316.  There are also other great prizes up for grabs!  Just leave  a comment on each blog then hop over to Seams to be Sew to enter the rafflecopter.  There’s a different giveaway daily so stick around and see what everyone is up to!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for letting me share my quilting passion with you.  Here’s a list of the rest of the hop.  I hope you’ll have as much fun hopping as I do and that you get some good quality quilting time in for National Quilting Day!
Beth
 
March 18
Life In The Scrapatch
Sew Incredibly Crazy
In The Boon Docks
Quilting Affection
Words & Stitches
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At
Seams to Be Sew
March 21
QuiltShop Gal
TeaTime Creations
Ravelly
Meadowbrook
Bumbleberry CottageAfter You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At
Seams to Be Sew
March 22
Feather Your Nest
Grandmama’s Stories
Pamela Quilts
Vroomans Quilts
My Quilty Musings
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At
Seams to Be Sew
March 23
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Ridge Top Quilts
Quilt Art
Patchwork Breeze
Kwilt Krazy
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At
Seams to Be Sew
March 24
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
Just Because Quilts
Moose Stash
Batts In The Attic
All Things Sewn
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At
Seams to Be Sew
March 25
Just Let Me Quilt
Sew Many Yarns
Quilting Queen Online
Jane’s Quilting
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter and Also My Featured Day
Seams to Be Sew
Have a Quilt Qwazy Queen kind of day!

 

 

 

 

“Through the Eyes of a Child” Project Quilting Challenge

OK, this was a tough challenge for me.  My childhood isn’t a very appealing place.  There was a lot of loss and bullying and, well, let’s just say that I really like being an adult instead!

I was having trouble getting  inspired and even searched “kid’s art” hoping that it wouldn’t turn up anything weird!  I finally found inspiration literally right down the hall at work in this piece that was hanging on a wall.

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I loved the bright colors, the graphic design and knew I’d found my piece.  It was a super busy week, again, and I was looking forward to my Saturday off.  (This is the first full day off I was scheduled for since January 15th.)  Unfortunately, a co-worker was out and I did end up working for about 5 hours.   Before I got called in, I began to improvise my piece.  I started with a couple 1.5 inch strips  and a piece of standard letter-sized paper.

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Blues seemed to be calling me so I trolled the scrap bag.  I put the scrap bag on the table and Gizmo began pulling pieces out like crazy.  He’s definitely a quilter’s cat and he loves a pile of scraps almost as much as I do!

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Here’s the beginning of my layout.  It would have been nice to grid this out for paper piecing but I’m working on my improve piecing and so I just “winged” it.

And, I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with my little quilt.  It was only when I was putting the borders on that I realized the quilt looks a little like a hashtag.  I’ve not gotten around to naming it.  Any thoughts?

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I hope you’re enjoying the Project Quilting Challenge series.   I’m loving it! Be sure to hop over to Persimmon Dreams and see all the entries.

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

“I Need a Vacation” Project Quilting Challenge

Honestly, when they announced that the next challenge in Project Quilting was “I need a vacation”, I laughed out loud.  I was at the tail of end of an 80-hour work week between my two jobs and was getting rather tired.  For those of you who may have stopped by for the first time, I work for a school and I work in a candy store and, well, they announced the challenge on Valentine’s Day…enough said!

My word of the year for my quilts is “Scrap” and so I went to my trusty scrap bags and began pulling…

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I had a plan but it pretty much went by the wayside as soon as I started sewing (my original plan had curved piecing but didn’t pan out quite the way I thought it would.)

I was feeling pretty good about it at this point.

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Then I got the sky on and hmmph, things starting looking flat and uninspired.

This morning, I stole 1.5 hours to sew and thought I’d take the sky apart and revamp it but, seriously, it needed done today so I hoped a border fabric could do some magic and I found one!

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It still looks flat but the border helps.  I made a little “franken-batt” because i just “need” to use up those ever-multiplying batting scraps.

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And I began quilting.  Quickly, but with a little plan and, to my great delight, my little beach scene started coming alive!

Here’s a picture of my finished quilt outside

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And here’s  an inside shot that I think shows the quilting better.  (Remember, by the time everything else was ready, I had 1 hour to quilt and bind this.)

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This is what happens when they change WordPress around…I can’t find where to flip this image.  Hopefully, you still get the idea!

Of course, I had good help on this project and it got the Gizmo seal of approval.

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OK, so now I’m linking this up to Persimmon Dreams and  the voting will open tomorrow.  I’d love a few votes but, honestly, I feel like I’ve already won just by stretching my creative process.  Every piece in this quilt was a scrap of some kind and nearly every seam was cut and sewn freehand.  I am so excited to see what the next challenge will be!

Happy quilting!

Beth

Project Quilting Challenge #3

As I mentioned last time,  my word for the year is Scrap. And I had a wonderful time playing in my scrap bag for the last challenge.   When this week’s theme of “thread” was announced I had a series of ideas.   I was almost settled on a pieced spool with am embedded heart but found I didn’t want to cut squares. ..I wanted to play!   So out came the string bin and pretty soon, with a little bit of white fabric and two strips from my scrap drawers and,  here you have “Variegated.”

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Now,  just so you know,  I’m not sponsored by Aurifil (although I’d love to be. ..hint, hint) but I adore their thread!
So I decided to make a little quilt for my sewing room. Again,  it was all from what I had in the scrap bins except for the white fabric.  I’m linking this post  up to Persimmon Dreams. Be sure to check out the entries on Sunday and vote!
Happy quilting,
Beth

Nuts about…..SCRAPS! And TWO Giveaways!

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When Marian over at Seams to Be Sew set up the Nuts about you blog hop, I wanted to do squirrels…I really wanted to do squirrels.  Because Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts has the cutest squirrels and every time I saw the nuts in the blog hop button…well, you know how it is.  But there wasn’t really time for squirrels and my theme of the year is, well, scraps not squirrels.  I am, however, very, very, very nuts about scraps!  I have a really hard time throwing out a scrap and have the best intentions of using them all someday.

It was the Little House books that sparked some of my love of scraps.  My mom sewed and I remember being so intrigued with the idea of making something from “the scrapbag” like Laura and Mary did.    So, when you save every scrap you end up with a scrapbag, and another, and another.  Thanks to Bonnie Hunter, I’ve been able to get my scraps more organized but there are a lot of them (and then there’s that irresistible “free table” at guild meetings.) So a while back  I decided to start with the triangle drawer.  Which looked at lot like this…

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I decided to make wonky star blocks with the smaller triangles (most left from cutting mitered joins of 2.5″ strips from bindings.)  I cut 2″ light backgrounds from the 2″ strip drawer and added random center squares.  I built my little stars a few at a time and eventually had enough for a small quilt.  Then, I rummaged in the lovely finds from the “free” table to find a piece of red that yielded just enough squares for setting and a piece that kept calling out to be the border.  The selvage made me smile.

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I used a bit of black that was in my stash and a piece that was just the right shade for a binding.  I put together a “franken-batt” from leftover strips of batting.  I just butt pieces up to one another on the cut side and use a large zig-zag stitch.  I named them “Franken-batts” because they are patchworked all over with big stitches like, well, Frankenstein’s monster.  It takes a bit of time but you basically have a free batting!

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Backing came from a leftover piece of flannel.  I intended to piece the backing but was running out of time.

So, with all that build-up, I hope you like my little quilt.  I love it and I love that I made it entirely out of what was lying around.

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It’s not the best shot and I may try to add one in the morning if I can.  Here’s a close-up of some of the blocks which finish at 4″

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So, there you have it. One quilt made almost entirely out of pieces that some may have pitched!  Now, I’ve decided to switch gears with those small triangles and I’m working on Wild & Goosey blocks to use the rest of them.  The W&G block just uses more triangles per block and I’m fighting the tide here as each new project adds triangles!

Now, I thought long and hard about pulling a bag of scraps for a prize but not everyone is as nuts about them as I am and I thought fat quarters might be more fun (and meant I didn’t have to decide what to part with!)  But mine is not the only giveaway.  We have wonderful sponsors for this hop,

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Click here to enter a rafflecopter giveaway for a gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop or a pattern from Anypattern.  There will be prizes for each day of the hop so come check out the great quilters playing along each day!  For a bit of an extra prize, leave me a comment to win this set of fat quarters that might show up  in your own scrappy quilt.

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Now, hop over to the rest of today’s bloggers.  You’re going to love what you find!  My deepest thanks to Marian for setting all this up and for our sponsors for being so generous!  I love being a part of these hops!

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

February 4, 2016

Words & Stitches – that’s me!
Moose Stash
Vroomans Quilts
Quilt In Piece

February 5, 2016

Just Let Me Quilt
DesertSky
Lulu & Celeste
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
Tea Time Creations

February 8, 2016

Batts In The Attic
Life In The Scrapatch
Quilting Affection
Ravelly’s
In The Boon Docks

February 9, 2016

Quilting Queen Online
Elizabeth Coughlin
Bumbleberry Cottage
All Things Sewn

February 10, 2016

MeadowBrook
Sew Many Yarns
From This To That
Seams To Be Sew

 

 

Project Quilting Challenge Two

Well, better late to the game than not at all! Despite my best intentions, I missed the first challenge but here’s my entry for the second. The theme is seasons and the rules included applique (see Persimmon Dreams for all the details). I stepped well out of my comfort zone, dove into my scraps (my quilting word of the year is Scrap) and here’s my little entry.
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I’m calling it “Midsommer by Moonlight” and I have to admit that I’m rather pleased with it. Every piece came right from my scrap pile. I started with the idea of a daytime garden but the scraps that came to hand all said night. The greens for grass and florals and brights are my grass and flowers turning their faces up to the moon and stars. The moon is just a freehand circle of raw-edge flannel that I appliqued with free motion quilting.
So, there it is. ..my little entry. I’m linking it up and going to bed. While I don’t expect it to win or anything, I’m actually really excited to have tried something new and pleased with the outcome. (Not to mention that I used my scraps! )
Linking up to Project Quilting, challenge 2.
Happy quilting!
Beth

Cutting It Up at the Beach

Back in September,  I got notice that I had to use some of my time share points or lose them so I booked us into the beach for the Martin Luther King Day weekend. After all,  a holiday weekend shouldn’t have too many conflicts,  right?

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Except Winter Formal which turned out to be scheduled this weekend.  Luckily,  it’s only about 1.5 hours to the resort so my husband and I came down Friday and went back Saturday so I could see the getting ready. Then we picked our youngest daughter and friend up from the dance and brought the two girls to the beach! 

Where,  I must say,  we’ve had a lovely,  slow-paced time.  I read an entire book (more on that later), made use of the hot tub,  walked on the beach,  watched a movie and,  of course,  did a little something quilt related!

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My quilt word for the year is Scrap and my goal is to cut up and use a bunch of my lovely scraps.  But when I was looking for a quicker something to work on,  I decided on the two bundles of pieces I picked up at guild. 

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I’m quite in love with both bundles and plan to do a pair of quilts for our charity group.   I decided to go with 3.5″ strips and plan to try this setup again but with Kona White for the contrast rail.

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Don’t expect  to see it right away,  it’s going to be a leader/ender project tucked between two other leader/ender projects.   However,  this is a start! Now it’s packing up and home to finish my friend’s curtain/duvet set so I can cross something of my list!
Happy quilting, 
Beth