Friday, August 10, 2018

August Is Awkward


August is always awkward because it is still summer, but back to school looms! I start to prepare for my back to school--working at three schools means three classrooms to set up. I move away from quilting mode to back to school mode. I finished all of my Summerville quilt blocks, but I have not sewn them together yet. I am not sure if I am going to make it 70 inches square as the kit is designed or go bigger with extra blocks or a border, so it is in limbo.
Our garden is producing lots of zucchini, so I have been making delicious zucchini bread as well as stuffed zucchini. The tomatoes are trickling in and the peppers are kind of pathetic--it has just been too hot for them.
We had a going away gathering last night for a colleague who is moving. She loves green so I used some of my leftover half square triangles from my Clementine quilt to make her a zip pouch.
This is the back of the pouch and I lined it with the same left over Clementine fabric.
I saw this Scrappy Trips quilt on IG--an oldie from Sherri @aquiltinglife and I want to make one of my own--isn't it gorgeous? The pattern is a freebie you can find here:
I want to make 36 blocks, so I need 180 color strips 2.5"x 16.5" inches along with 36 strips in white because I want my blocks to have a center diagonal of white. I have been slowly cutting my way through the color tubs in my stash. I hope to finish up the cutting and start sewing the strip sets this weekend.

I also have a few projects for my classrooms--painting some clipboards, painting some paper mache letters, cutting some bulletin board goodies, etc. I like prepping my classrooms ahead of time because then I can actually focus on the teaching if my classroom environment is organized, clean, and cute--kids appreciate it too. I report to work on Monday, 8/20--I will try to enjoy my last week of summer!




Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Clementine Quilt Finish


It has been such an honor and a thrill to sew for the Fat Quarter Shop as part of their 2018 Clementine Quilt Along.  They provided me with these beautiful Mama's Cottage fabrics designed by April Rosenthal to create this gorgeous quilt also designed by April. All of the patterns can be found here:
The Fat Quarter Shop was using this quilt along as a fundraiser for St. Jude and you can donate to that here:
 This quilt is a big one measuring approximately 70"x 90".
 I usually just take pictures on my garden fence or on the clothes line in my side yard, but since this is such a special project I ventured to a local park where there is a pretty bridge and gazebo. In theory, it was a good idea. However, there was a very territorial goose that chased me around and both the bridge and gazebo were covered in lots of bird droppings.
 I still managed a couple of decent shots, but next time I try I better bring some goodies for the goose and a sheet to protect my quilt!
 I had been planning on quilting this myself with a Baptist Fan pattern all over, but my mom's longarm died on me and is now in the shop for an expensive repair. A wonderful local lady stepped up and quilted it for me. I was so grateful for her quilting it for me I left the design up to her. Her machine is computerized and she selected a loopy flower pattern for the blocks and did loops in the border.
 I love what she did! I have not washed it yet, but it will definitely develop more crinkly goodness.
 The backing is a very retro 50's looking print with all of the cheerful colors from the front.
You can check out everyone's versions of Clementine by using these links and/or their Instagram accounts:
April of April Rosenthal (@amrosenthal)
Bonnie of Sunset Family Living (@sunsetfamilyliving)
Cara of That Crafty Cara (@thatcraftycara)
Carrie of Moda Cutting Table (@modafabrics)
Denise of Pieced Brain (@piecedbrain)
Elise of Elise and Emelie (@eliseandemelie)
Gina of Carpe Quiltin (@gina_tell_carpequiltin)
Heather of A Creative Pursuit (@acreativemama)
Hilary of By Hilary Jordan (@byhilaryjordan)
Jan of Cocoa Quilts (@cocoaquilts)
Jen of Heritage Threads (@heritage.threads)
Joanne of Quilts by Joanne (@turtlequilterjo)
Kairle of Kairle Oaks Handcrafted Goodness(@kairleoaks)
Kendra of Good Starter (@good_starter)
Kristen of 3 in the Nest (@threeinthenestraleigh)
Kristina of Center Street Quilts (@centerstreetquilts)
Leah of Ponderings from My Heart(@ponderingsfrommyheart)
Melanie of A Bit of Scrap Stuff (@mellierc)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Pat of Pat Sloan (@quilterpatsloan)
Pat B. of Life in the Scrapatch (@scrapatches)
Patty of Elm Street Quilts (@elmstreetquilts)
Rebecca of One Wee Bird (@oneweebird)
Sarah of 123 Quilt (@123quilt)
Seema of SSK Craft Shop (@sskcraftshop)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Stephanie of Quilt 'n Party (@quiltnparty)
Teresa of Aurea's Kitchen (@aureaskitchen)
Vickie of Crocheting Vixen (@crochetingvixen)
With Clementine completed and two other quilts dropped of to longarm quilters, it is time to start a new project---I cut out everything for Summerville using Bonnie and Camille's Vintage Picnic fabrics. I am in love with this one already!


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sweet Inspiration


Greetings! I had the pleasure of helping my friend run her booth at our local Black Canyon Quilt Show the last couple of days. I also had a chance to wander around and check out some of the quilts. I tend to like more modern quilts than we have locally, but I found a few that I really loved. Of course, I was in love with this Elizabeth Hartman Fancy Forest Quilt. Everything about it was beautiful--the colors, the piecing, and the all over quilting. I have made several small Elizabeth Hartman projects, but I would love to tackle a bigger one like this soon.
I love rainbow quilts and was immediately attracted to this one.
 This top was in my friend's booth--it is her version of a Modern Drunkard's Path. She used Amy Butler fabrics and I love it, but curves intimidate me greatly. She is planning on having a class and depending when it is I may just have to try it!
 I spent most of this week prepping UFOs for quilting--I prepped six. I found these blocks from Carole's Scrap Dance Two Step Mystery a couple of years ago. I got them together and added the outer borders. It is 72 inches square. Two teachers I work with are getting married in a couple of weeks and I think this will be a lovely gift for their new family.
I needed a backing for it and I found this green swirl--it is much prettier than my picture! The best thing about it was the price $2.69 a yard. I bought it all! I am going to deliver this to my friend with her new longarm later this week to quilt--I hope she has fun playing with it!
Today, I have an appointment with another longarm quilter in town. She has macular degeneration and can no longer see well enough to bind her quilts. Her son has taken over the long arming business (they have quilted two quilts for me before and have the machine that loads the whole top on a frame and quilts an overall design on a king sized quilt in about an hour), so he is going to quilt my Farm Girl Vintage Quilt for me and I will bind for his mother--I love the bartering system. She has a queen sized quilt I am picking up and they also have another customer who wants me to bind a king sized quilt for her, so I am meeting her and picking her quilt up too. 

For Amazon Prime Day, I bought an Instant Pot for $59! Talk about a super bargain. I have a large kitchen with tons of storage, so I have the room for it and I think it will help with my cooking--I don't need to plan ahead as much. I tried this recipe the other night:
My chicken breasts went into the Instant Pot rock hard and covered in ice crystals, but cooked in 15 minutes and came out moist and delicious. I had a taco salad and my hubby had a quesadilla with our chicken--we were both thrilled with the new Instant Pot! Do you have an Instant Pot recipe I need? Please share!


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Songs & Sewing = Summer

 Well, it has been a fantastic week of summer! My hubby and I went to see The Wallflowers perform on Saturday night. Sorry my pictures are not the best, but Jakob Dylan is still very boyish and sounded amazing!
 There is a new amphitheater in Grand Junction and they played there. We had a gourmet picnic on the lawn outside before going in. We had reserved seats up really close and there was plenty of interaction with the audience, but the sound and view was really good in the general admission area too. We look forward to attending other performances in the venue.
 Despite our very hot summer, my hubby's raspberries are producing in an overabundance. We already have five gallons in our freezer and we are not even to the height of the season. I made a lemon raspberry bundt cake which we both enjoyed for breakfast several days. I also made a monte cristo casserole and topped it with a fresh raspberry sauce--so delicious! I just ordered an Instapot 6 quart for Amazon Prime Day it was $59--way cheaper than ever. I have already been pinning recipes for months, so I am looking forward to trying it out. There is supposed to be a way to make cheesecake in it--a raspberry cheesecake sounds decadent!
 I was able to get my Clementine Quilt machine quilted by a local acquaintance, but now a friend for sure! She does not professionally quilt, but she did a great job and was done with it the day after I dropped it off! Aren't the loopy flowers adorable? I am almost done binding it and it will be revealed here on the 25th, so stay tuned!
 I am trying to get some UFOs done before starting anything new. I have been doing a pretty good job and have even emptied four works in progress in bins! This is my Scrap Dance 2 Step. I had 24 blocks done, but when I laid them out I decided to make one more block and have it square. This had been a mystery quilt available from From My Carolina Home. You can buy the pattern on Craftsy now. I should get the blocks all together and then I can prep a backing.
 I whipped up this Schoolhouse Block (this is a free tutorial on http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com) to go with the Bus Block and make them into the label for my Spelling Bee Alphabet Sampler Quilt. I just need to embroider this and piece the backing.
I pieced the backing for this Butterfly Threads Mystery Quilt I finished in October 2016. I also pieced the backing for another quilt too. My friend has her new longarm set up and told me she should be ready to start on some of my quilts in a week or two. We are trading my hand binding skills for her long arming skills. I intend to have my quilts at the ready for her as soon as she is ready. I even ordered another roll of Warm & White batting from Joann's--they are having a rocking deal on-line--between the sale, a coupon, free shipping, and a minimal sales tax because I live in the county a 90 inch x 40 yard roll was $200.64. That is $5 a yard--such a great deal even cheaper than wholesale!

Our local quilt show is this weekend and my friend asked me to help in her booth. It is a win win for me because she pays me with fabric and I get to go to the quilt show for free and see the other vendors before the show begins. Have a great week!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jumping Jacks Top

 I have been quilting up a storm despite not posting about it on my blog. Sorry! I finished all the Jumping Jacks blocks last week and sewed them all together, but I had to wait for my border fabric to arrive and it did yesterday, so I just added the outer border this afternoon. I bought nine yards of The Good Life navy floral to use for the border, the backing, and probably another backing. I used our garden fence to hang it on for pictures and informed my hubby I need a taller fence!

Putting together this top was my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for July
http://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2018/07/one-monthly-goal-july-finish-link-up.html

I also feel like this was a big DrEAMi project for me for the end of June and beginning of July because I bought the pattern on a complete whim and dove right in on making the Union Jacks and purchasing fabric for it--total squirrel and then obsession to get the top done
http://www.mmmquilts.com/2018/07/dreami-18.html
Here were the Bonnie and Camille fabrics that arrived yesterday. I bought them all at 40% off during a 4th of July Sale here:
https://www.melodyoftheheart.com
The service was speedy and she sent me an extra fat quarter!
While waiting for my fabrics to get here, I went ahead and put all of my Clementine blocks together. The finishing directions will be available on July 25th and hopefully I will have a done quilt to share with you!
This is the backing--doesn't it look so retro? The turquoise is the binding. I tried to go to my mom's yesterday to quilt it, but her longarm died on me. We are not sure if it needs new ribbons or is the stitch regulator. Fingers crossed that it is the ribbons as they are about $40 to replace and the stitch regulator is $800! I am supposed to submit my finished photos to the Fat Quarter Shop by the 20th, so I have been scrambling trying to find someone local available to quilt it this week. I just want an overall design, nothing custom. I was actually going to use the Baptist fan groovy boards. The problem is our big local quilt show is in a week, so everyone is pretty slammed! 
I spent a little time shopping for a summer care package to send my daughter! I needed to mail her this faux fur jacket she bought while she was home for her three week long summer, so why not add some summer goodies? She is really enjoying her summer research position, you can read about it here:
Who wouldn't love getting paid to read all summer?

We are starting to get a bunch of zucchini from our garden and I used some to make this new recipe last night:
It was delicious, filling, and easy to make!


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Kona Kaleidoscope Stars Finish

 I have another summer finish. This is my Kona Kaleidoscope Stars Quilt. I used many of my leftover Kona scraps from my Postcard from Sweden to make it along with Kona white. This is free pattern you can find here:
I finished binding it this morning for Slow Sunday Stitching as I watched Russia verses Spain in the World Cup:
I had initially planned to just quilt it diagonally through each block, but it was going so easily I kept adding more quilting. My new Pfaff makes machine quilting a quilt that is this size a breeze--it was 60 inches square before washing, but after washing and drying it is now about 57.5 inches square of crinkly goodness.
 I used a luxuriously soft pinky backing. I had to piece it since it was not quite wide enough, but it shows my machine quilting well and will be extra cozy when we need warm quilts.
For the binding, I used Kona turquoise. I am thrilled with this finish and still have some Kona scraps left, so I may make another project with them...
I went to Denver on Wednesday for a work meeting. Denver is a five hour drive away from us and I always try to get my big city fix in for shopping and eating. I went to Fabric Expressions in Littleton and bought a few Bonnie & Camille prints, a half yard of each, and the Mama's Cottage charm pack. I splurged on a pedicure too. I also made it to Marshall's (they are building a Marshall's in our town right now and I am so excited!) where they had this Rae Dunn "Create" mug. I absolutely don't need another mug, but I loved it! I snuck it into the house and will eventually put it in the cabinet with my other mugs, to avoid my hubby's judgement!

I went to Old Navy and got a pair of linen blend, wide leg pants--way out of my comfort zone as I usually wear tight, fitted pants. I wore them to my Friday meeting and they were as comfy as pajamas with the elastic waist, drawstring, and big pockets. I went back and bought two other colors and some $4 t-shirts. I brought my cooler and ran to Trader Joe's and bought all kinds of lovely goodies before heading back home. 

A new fire had started along the route I like to go through the mountains on Friday. I drove by it at about 11am on Saturday and it looked like it was miles from the highway, but a couple of hours later some of my colleagues had to be rerouted because it had jumped the highway I had just driven on. This drought, dryness, and heat is wreaking havoc with our wildfires in Colorado.
I want to set an OMG (One Monthly Goal) for July-- I am going to finish my Jumping Jacks Quilt top. I just ordered some fabric for the border and the backing--Bonnie & Camille The Good Life. I also am considering making two of them and ordered enough fabric for both!




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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June OMG Postcard from Sweden Finish

 I am so excited that I finished my Postcard from Sweden as my OMG (One Monthly Goal) for June. 
I quilted it a couple of weeks ago and then worked on the binding and it has been washed and awaiting its reveal here on the blog! mmm! quilts and a couple of other quilters hosted this as a quilt along from February to April, but with my machine dying in April I did not get mine quilted in April.
 This is a free pattern with really fabulous directions. It is available on Craftsy, so you must have an account, but there is no fee to download the pattern:
I have never made an all solid quilt before, but I am already working on another quilt made from solids and see more in my future.
 I made the larger size so it is 60"x75". I liked the organic straight line quilting shown in the quilt designer's, Kelly Liddle's, picture, so I did the same. The texture is really good and was so easy to do just with eyeballing and my walking foot on my new Pfaff. I did stitch along the blocks first and then went back and added the lines on the blocks.
For the binding, I selected the Kona cotton color Pool because it is not one of the 36 colors actually used in the quilt and aqua is my favorite.
For my backing, I used this busy black and white I picked up for $5 a yard at Joann's. It is an old Alexander Henry fabric even though it looks like a Bonnie and Camille print. I embroidered my label and bordered it in the Pool color. This modern beauty is going to live here in my house for many years to come!
I am almost done binding my Kona Kaleidoscope Stars Quilt thanks to all of the morning World Cup games. It has been very hot here this month with most days reaching 90 degrees, so hand binding is a challenge except in the mornings.
To reward myself for three finishes this month (and all of them quilted by me) and a top completed, I decided to start a new project. Most of you know I love Bonnie and Camille's happy floral fabrics and I have quite a stash of them including seven untouched fat quarter bundles. I dug into my cherished B&C stash and pulled these gorgeous pieces to make a special quilt.
My daughter will be in London this fall for her semester abroad and I cannot afford to actually go to visit her, so I am going to make a Union Jack Quilt in my favorite fabrics to mark this momentous life experience--I am not sure if I will give it to her or keep it! 

There are many many Union Jack patterns available, but most are paper pieced. Ugh! I detest paper piecing because I feel like it is so wasteful with fabric and I suck at it, so I bought the Fig Tree Jumping Jacks pattern because it is not paper pieced and it is gorgeous. You can find it here:
So far, I have made five blocks. I am using a variety of solids for the stripes pink, green, orange, red, and aqua. I will not be posting any pictures on Instagram because she actually follows me there, but she does not bother with my blog, so I will share my progress here.

I have fixed the issue on my blog with receiving an email notification when someone comments, so I should be able to respond to your comments again!

I am leaving for Denver tomorrow morning for a work meeting. I am not looking forward to the meeting so much, but I actually get to have my own hotel room for three nights at a Sheraton and meal money plus we don't have to drive back on Friday night and can actually leave on Saturday to avoid all the Friday night traffic! I am looking forward to the hotel AC since it is supposed to be nearly a hundred degrees in Denver and as always I will do some shopping in the big city--can you say Trader Joe's, Home Goods, World Market, DSW, etc.?