March Goal Setting (and a near miss)

It’s March!  Yesterday, the first, was what we call “rabbit, rabbit” day.  There’s an old, British superstition that saying “rabbit, rabbit” first thing on the first day of the new month is supposed to bring good luck.  I think it’s a fun game and it always makes me smile thinking of the lovely lady who taught me about it.

So, new month, new goals.  My goal for this month is to quilt this lovely.  I’ve had a request for some charity quilts and the Heartstring Project was kind enough to share some blocks.  My cousin put them together and my youngest daughter and I will be quilting and binding them.  (I’m going to do a whole post about this later this week…stay tuned.)

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There’s another project that needs doing that is to do something with this lovely pile of inspiration I picked up at guild.

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I made a start this evening by pressing and cutting into 2″ and 3.5″ strips.  I’m envisioning another Sawtooth variation but in a 3×3 set to go as a lap robe.  (I did the same thing as a baby quilt earlier this year.)
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Today, I had an unexpected block of time to my “own self” and after going to get a routine blood draw which led to being in a lock-down situation (everyone was ok…it was a “better safe than sorry” thing), I took a side trip to my favorite thrift store where I found these lovely pillow cases in a Moda print.  I apologize in advance if the maker ever reads this but I removed the stitching and wound up with about 2.5 yards of fabric for $3.  I do love a pretty fabric bargain!
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The near miss today wasn’t the lock down, it was my batting!  I used a lovely gift from one of my daycare families to help buy a new roll of batting.  I finally got around to using it only to find that it is the wrong kind!  I almost always use Hobb’s Heirloom (no advertising here, just my preference) and this was Hobb’s Polydown.  Luckily, the ladies at Fabric Depot have no problem exchanging it even though I bought it months ago.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to pick the roll up until Wednesday morning so my basting plans for today were a bust.  I was, however, so thankful that I was busy admiring the clean, lovely look of the sealed roll that I noticed the label before I tore the roll open!

Today was the first day I felt well enough to work out despite a little lingering cough.  This is the time of year when Winnie (the cat) and I both struggle with our allergies so it’s hard to decide if it’s the allergies or the cold.  This is also the time of year when Winnie gets her long-acting steroid shot for her asthma.  Thank goodness the shots work for her because the next step is an inhaler…and this is the shy cat we can’t even pick up.  Can you imagine trying to mask her and get an inhaler in her twice a day? Me neither.

Well, tomorrow is a baby day although my sweet little friend is now a busy toddler, she’ll always be a baby to us.  That means a 5 am wake up so I’m linking this up to A Lovely Year of Finishes and then going to bed!

Happy quilting!

Beth99

February Blocks, Flimsy and Winner

So my month wasn’t nearly as productive as I’d have liked but I’m not going to bore you with tales of illness and 80-hour work weeks.  I am,  however,  going to celebrate what I did get done!
In part because of my fun star blocks,  I had a block total of 43 for February.

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I also finished this little guy this morning…isn’t he cute?

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He’s from the block of the month over at Quiet Play.
My finish goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes only made it to the flimsy stage but I’m taking that as a win after all those nights up coughing. This is Sarah’s graduation quilt. 

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The top row contains her initials,  the next two are qualifications “RN” for registered nurse and “BSN” for Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the final row is her graduation date 12-13-14…isn’t that a great date? I believe it’s the last sequential date of the decade and so easy to remember!    I did get to do a little shopping this week. Here are the fat quarters for Dorian, who won my giveaway.  

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I also picked up some pieces from the “Have a Latte” line for the next blog hop project.

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I’m really looking forward to playing with these!
So,  tonight I’m off to work but this afternoon I’m playing with fabric and enjoying the company of my sewing buddies.

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I hope your Saturday is just as wonderful! I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes and Quiet Play.

“We Support You” Blog Hop and a Giveaway!

I love, love, love the heart of Madam Samm at Sew We Quilt!  She created a lovely applique pattern to help show our support for members of our community who may be facing one of life’s biggest challenges.  Now, personally, I had an aunt who faced not one but two bouts of breast cancer in the late 60’s and  early 70’s.  Later, the cancer went on a wander around and turned up on her spinal column.  Through it all, she was the most kind and lovely person you would ever want to meet!  So, this quilt is dedicated to my Aunt June, a many decades survivor of breast cancer and a generally wonder example of grace under pressure as well as to a couple of dear friends who are survivors.

Now, before I show it to you, a word about the pattern.  Madam Samm’s pattern is available for purchase for $ 12.00 by emailing Madame Samm directly at:
madamesamm@me.com (and it’s much more elegant than my project!)

However, sometimes a pattern is not so much a pattern as an inspiration and I hope she’s not too disappointed with where I went with her inspiration.  You see, every time I looked at the pattern, my mind kept superimposing piecing for embroidery and applique.  So, here’s my “homage” to Madam Samm’s pattern with all free-hand piecing (except for the border and paper-pieced ribbon.)

Who knew my car made a good quilt rack?  Kudos to my youngest for the photo!

Who knew my car made a good quilt rack? Kudos to my youngest for the photo!

Honestly, free piecing the bra was pretty fun and I’m excited with how it turned out.  I have no idea where this one will end up.  I was thinking of offering it to the mammography clinic in my women’s health group.  One of the OB docs is a quilter and has filled the clinic and lobby with quilts which gives it a wonderfully warm feel but the mammography area could use a little cheer.  So, there’s my entry…I’ve wandered a bit far afield but I’ve enjoyed the journey and hope you like the outcome!  My heartfelt thanks to Madam Samm and  to Pat at Life in the Scrap Patch for putting this all together and for their wonderful, caring hearts!

To see what the pattern really looks like, please hop on over to these talented quilters

Feb  4th 

Kris Loves Fabric

Words & Stitches You’re Here!

Jane’s Quilting

Tea Time Creations

Now, I like to do a little giveaway with my blog hops, just to give a little something back and so I’m giving away a trio of fat quarters…but there’s a catch.  You’ll have to tell me what color you’d like if you win, because I haven’t even shopped for them yet!  So, tell me in the comments what color you’d like and, yes, I will ship internationally!  I’ll have Mr. Random draw a comment number when the hop is done.

Happy quilting and, for those of you in the fight right now, stay strong…all playing aside, we really do support you!

Beth

February Goal Setting

I couldn’t really be more excited about my January progress… it’s been a long time since I had four finishes!  Now, with a new month ahead I have one firm goal and two “wanna do” quilts.  The first is finishing Sarah’s graduation quilt.  Here’s a peek at it now, just a partial top.

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Next on my list is a charity quilt for our donor program.  Sue sent us some heart string blocks to help us get started and I’m excited to start putting these beauties together!

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Of course, there’s also my “We support you” project which I hope won’t get me banned from blog hops… lol! 
Ok, so that’s three and the Superbowl is nearly over so let the quilting games begin!
Happy quilting,
Beth
I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes.

“Love Without End” is a Solid, Satisfying Romance

51va5+qEE9LKimberly Welch lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. In the aftermath, she lost everything else when the secrets of her husband’s finances were revealed. Now, she and her daughter are living with her old friend in the small town of Kings Meadow and her once delightful daughter is becoming a sullen teen.
Chet Leonard’s wife left him with two sons and a ranch to run after their oldest son died in an accident. He’s still stinging from the double loss but that doesn’t keep him from agreeing to help when someone offers to give Kimberly’s teen a horse of her own. Now that Nana Anna has returned to Kings Meadow to bring some feminine wisdom back to his home and a grandmother to his sons will Chet find by her example that love can come at the most unexpected times?
Robin Lee Hatcher delivers a solid, warm and loving romance that reminds readers that life can go badly awry and still come out with a satisfying conclusion. If you love a good romance with realistic characters (including sometimes grumpy teens) go ahead and grab a copy of “Love Without End.” It may not be life-changing “Literature” but it’s a nice, heartwarming read.
This book was provided for my by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Furry Logic” is a Sure-Fire Smile Maker!

furry logicNeed a little lift to brighten your day? Do you have an animal-loving friend who needs a little extra smile power? Then pick up a copy of Jane Seabrook’s “Furry Logic.” Jane Seabrook has been delighting people for years with her adorable animals paired with fun, funny or thought-provoking captions. Each entry in the 10th Anniversary Edition of “Furry Logic” is sure to bring a smile. The book starts with an irritable-looking owl peeking out with the caption, “Smile first thing in the morning. Get it over with.” It is filled with lovely watercolors of animals ranging from chameleons to penguins (including my favorite…cats!)
If you know someone who needs their day brightened, or your own day needs a pick-me-up, pick up a copy of “Furry Logic.” I guarantee there are smiles waiting in it for you!
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

A January Re-cap…blocks and finishes

Oh what an exciting month this January has been! So exciting that I’ve been awfully quiet on here. So, let me tell you what’s been happening…
First, the news! My older daughter who just graduated nursing school in December took her national nursing boards and she passed on the first go! The very next day, she flew to Colorado to interview for a program that takes new grads right into critical care. She had an early interview because she was flying to Copenhagen that afternoon for a trip to Europe (that’s a whole other story) and they called offered her the job before she even got back to the airport! Now, the bad news is that she’s moving to Colorado….but’s that’s yet another story! I’m just so excited for her to have this amazing opportunity to do the kind of nursing she really wants to do!

Now, finishes and blocks.  I found a way to keep track of both by putting little white boards by both my upstairs and downstairs sewing areas.  For January, I made…drumroll, please….

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wpid-ncm_0134.jpgFour finishes (not 1,111…lol!)  and between both boards a total of 128 blocks!  Woo hoo!

My first two finishes of the year were charity quilts and so were the second two.  I showed these two in a prior post.  I took this pile of fabric

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to this make this quilt.

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Then I finished the quilting and binding on the top charity quilt in this pile.

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I had stumbled on this lovely bag of pastel scraps on our guild’s free scrap  table.

I didn't think to photograph the bag until I'd already started so it was fuller than this at first!

I didn’t think to photograph the bag until I’d already started so it was fuller than this at first!

Someone had thrown their project leftovers into a bag and, well, sometimes a bag of cute scraps needs to get used right now!  There were already some sewn strip sets for nine-patches and four-patches so I put them together into a doll quilt and a baby quilt for our guild’s charity outreach.  The batting and backings were scrap and free pieces, too so the only investment in these two quilts was the $2 piece of thrift store purple that I used for borders and bindings.

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I even got my hand-me-down Handi Quilter (original system that you put your own machine in) up and working and quilted the baby quilt on it.  (There’s a reason that there is no close-up of the quilting!)  I absolutely hated it at first but I’m committing to quilting six charity quilts on it before I give up.  By the end of the first quilt, I was starting to like it.    In between things, I’ve been working hard at cutting scraps into usable strips and squares, etc.  My pile of scraps doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller but it’s hard to tell when you add a scrappy kitty to the mix!

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I’m working away on my entry for the We Support You Blog Hop…but I’m a little worried.  You know how sometimes a pattern is just a “jumping off spot?”  Well, I sure hope Madam Samm is going to like where I landed with this one!  In the meantime, here’s the rest of the schedule so you can see what this talented group is up to!  I’m linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes and checking back in with my block total at Prairie Moon.

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

We Support You Blog Hop Full Schedule Jan 29th 

Life in The Scrapatch

Living With Purpose

What About Rheema?

Kwilt Krazy

Jan 30th 

Just Let Me Quilt

Stitch and Quilt

how arT you

Living My Dream

Feb 2nd 

Quiltscapes

Made By Me In Red

Ga’s House

Sew Incredible Crazy

Feb 3rd 

My Quilting Journey

Creativity Amongst Chaos

Peanut’s Patchwork

KaHolly

Feb  4th 

Kris Loves Fabric

Words & Stitches – That’s me!

Jane’s Quilting

Tea Time Creations

Feb 5th  

Selina Quilts

Dutchess Crazy & Sane Quilting World

Moose Stash Quilting

Lovelli Quilts

Feb 6th  

I Piece 2 – Mary

Baa’s Amazing Adventure

Quilted Delights The Blended Blog

Feb 9th 

Stitchin By The Lake

 Tea Leaf Quilts

Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc

Seams To Be Sew

Stitchen’ My Life Away

Feb 10th  

 Creatin’ In the Sticks

The Quilting Queen Online

Everyone Deserves A Quilt

The Quilted Cat

Hill Valley Quilter

Feb 11th  

Buzzing and Bumbling

In Stitches and Seams

All thingz sewn

The Slow Quilter

Quilts From my Crayon Box

Sew We Quilt

Progress, Finishes, and Such

Well, life was supposed to slow down after Christmas but, you know, I’ve not seen that happen quite yet!  I did get to indulge in a couple nice sewing sessions and finished my first finish in the Lovely Year of Finishes 2015!  I used these fabrics

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And a little bit of neutral from my stash and some leftover binding from my binding container and made this for my guild’s charity group.

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I just love it!  So fun and cheery.  The blocks are just four patches made with 2″ strips.  Now, my only dilemma is how to count this for my blocks in the year.  Technically, I made 6 blocks in the center and another 48 for the border but that seems like giving myself a tad too much credit.  I was thinking of writing a tutorial for this quilt but then I realized that Wedding Dress Blue already has a nice one for a very similar block here although hers uses a charm pack and 1/2-square triangles for geese…I don’t usually do my geese units that way, I prefer triangles and my easy angle rulers.  Let me know if you think there is enough interest for a tutorial.  I still need to do one for the coasters.

My other finish was finishing the quilting and binding on one of the charity quilts my daughter was making.  (She was originally working on her silver award for Girl Scouts but decided not to continue in Scouts although she did finish the project.)  She let my daycare kids design the quilts then she helped them sew them and I helped with quilting and binding.  Here she is with the stack and the most recent one is on the top.  It’s just squares but fun and warm!  She got quite a nice shout out from the Pine Needle on their facebook page here.

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I’d been making these quilts for some time before my younger daughter arrived in my life and she arrived with a Project Linus blanket from her hospital stay.  Now, she’s come full circle from recipient to quilter.

As for my theme of the year “cleaning up my messes,”  I started quite literally with a big mess this week…my downstairs sewing area.  Here’s the before picture

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Here’s the after

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Here’s the pile of “to be sorted”

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And here it is as I keep whittling away at it each day (I’ve cut through almost an entire grocery bag of scraps!)

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I’ve also made a few star blocks using my scrap triangle drawer…Bonnie Hunter says that when a drawer is full, you have to make a quilt so I’m making  wonky stars in a variety of sizes with my odd triangle drawer.  The larger stars are 7.5″ and are using up an odd stack of 3×3.5″ white and beige rectangles I found while cleaning.  I have to keep remembering to make one set of points “squatter” than the other so I don’t trim off any points!  I expect to end up with quite a few of the small ones as every quilt I make binding for creates a bunch of triangles where I join the seams.

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So that puts me at 58 blocks and two finishes for 2014 so far…imagine if I could keep up that pace.  I might sew my way to a clean studio!  (Ok, a girl can dream, right?)

Happy quilting!

Happy New Year – Goals and Thoughts

Happy New Year! I love New Year’s just like I secretly love Mondays…a fresh list and lots of optimism that I can actually get everything done! I’m a chronic over-goaler and combined with optimism that can get, well, a tad chaotic.
So, what’s on my list this year. I’ve decided that this is the year to clean up some of my messes both personal, financial, physical and sewing related. Some of my areas are out of control and my goal is to work towards a goal in each area daily.
So, to that end, I’m joining in the following…
Prairie Moon quilts is hosting a weekly sewing organization challenge along with the 350 block challenge…you can read more here http://prairiemoonquilts.com/?page_id=3468.
Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bittersweet are hosting A Lovely Year of Finishes 2015 and I’m joining in. My first project is this…

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A set of scraps I picked up at guild from the inspiration box to make a baby quilt for our charity group.  I’m planning to cut the pieces into 2″ strips and 3.5″ strips and see what I end up with.  I’m leaning towards a Jacob’s Ladder but will see what happens.

Also, just for fun, I’m joining Jennifer at Sewhooked.com in the Harry Potter Project of Doom Quilt Along.  I’m eight blocks into this project and could really use the incentive to keep up.

I’ve also joined in the

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from Quiet Play.  Now, I have a tiny jump on this one as I got to pattern test the Flamingo and, because it’s the first block, I can show it now!

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I may consider doing two of each animal so as to make a bigger quilt but time will tell.  I quite love the patterns from Quiet Play.  They are consistently accurate and go together quite nicely.

As to my other goals, I shall share more about them later.  This post has gotten longer than I thought it would be and so I’ll give you them in a nutshell..

1.  Weight…not much to say on that except that I have too much and am looking to offload about 50 pounds this year. As that is only a pound a week, it’s totally do-able.

2.  Cleaning…much of my house needs a thorough de-clutter and a steadier diet of cleaning tasks.  I am committing to starting Flylady’s babysteps and, yes, my sink is shined!

3.  Finances…I need to find a way to tip the balances back in our favor this year so the theme is budget, budget, budget!

4.  Sewing…It’s time to take a “use it up” approach to my scraps and fat quarters and yardage, etc.  With this in mind, my first attack is the scraps.  I’m planning to spend 15 minutes each day cutting them into usable shapes and sizes and then another 15 minutes a day sewing blocks from them.  I love my scraps and it’s time to let them see the light of day!

5.  The guilt list…I have several projects that I’ve put off for so long that they’ve become guilt inducers.  I’m going to start with one and work my way through them this year.

So those are my thoughts for the year…what are your goals?

I’m linking this up to Fiber of All Sorts and Quiet Play.  Happy New Year and Happy Quilting!

Progress!

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It may not look like much but there are surfaces surfacing! ( The items on the cutting table actually belong to a friend…all my stuff on there is put away.)  I also did a few minutes of sewing and a whole lot of rethreading of my serger. 
At my house, we were running low on washcloths and I remembered several yards of white terrycloth I had been gifted with. A bit of cutting, a bit of serging and twelve new washcloths! 

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We can easily use another dozen but first I’d like to actually figure out how to make a rolled hem on the new serger.  I’ve made a few fun discoveries while cleaning but more on those later.
Happy quilting!