Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Quilt Tops

I put the final borders on my Town Square Quilt today! I am so pleased with how it came out. This design can be found in Lori Holt's book, Quilty Fun. I started this the first week of June and made it my OMG goal for June, but did not get it done. At least it was done before July was over!
Here is a closer view of the houses, trees, stars, and courthouse steps. My border fabric is a white with aqua diamonds on it.
The center blocks are bright and colorful. Once I get this quilted, I plan on using it for a tablecloth for my kitchen table. Quilts as tablecloths are not my idea. I attended a family reunion at a beautiful farm in Missouri years ago and saw vintage quilts as tablecloths there. I have gotten many questions about using quilts as tablecloths, so here are some helpful hints:
1. Avoid light colored fabrics (mediums and darks hide stains better)
2. Use high quality 100% cotton fabrics because it will get washed more often than a regular quilt (I wash mine once a week at least)
3. Use cotton batting like Warm & Natural (the thinner batting accommodates dishes)
4. Don't bother with hand binding, go ahead and machine bind to help with wear and tear
5. Quilt tablecloths are excellent at absorbing spills--these spills are delicious to dogs. Lola, my border collie mix, ate a couple of holes in quilt tablecloths that were especially scrumptious.
I have this aqua with flowers for my backing. I have not decided if I am going to quilt it on my Pfaff or use my mom's long arm. It is 62 inches square.
I also got my Bloom top done. I tried to keep up with Lori Holt's Sew Along this spring, but I ran into sewing machine issues which slowed me down. I used a blanket stitch on my machine for my appliqué. I also made my quilt smaller with less sashing, so it can be a baby quilt. It measures 42 x 52 inches. I hope to pin this one and quilt it up this weekend.
My hubby's sunflowers are completely in bloom, so I cut some and put them in my Fiestaware pitcher. I love the color in my kitchen.
I also finally got around to lining the bottom of my metal, vintage picnic basket. I used some sunflower fabric and foam core. This will be one of my handwork containers. 

I hope my productivity continues this weekend!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 8 of Summer 2016

 This week, I have been trying to finish up some works in progress. I don't have any actual finishes, but I am definitely getting closer. All summer I have been working on making all the blocks for Lori Holt's Town Square Quilt found in Quilty Fun. It calls for a dozen Neighborhood House Blocks and I got them all done.
 This quilt will be a new tablecloth for my kitchen table, so I want bright, cheerful colors and I think these sweet houses are precious.
 I also made 52 Twinkly Winter Star Blocks for this quilt too. I just need to make the Courthouse Steps Blocks and there are only four of those needed. Hopefully, this will be a top soon.
 I made my last two blocks for Lori Holt's Bloom Sew Along. This is Block 19
 and this is Block 20. I need to trim all blocks down and keep cutting out my scrappy sashing. I am making mine smaller than her design, so it can be a baby quilt. This top should be done soon.
 I finished Clue #4 for Butterfly Threads 2016 Mystery Quilt. Diane will reveal how to put all the pieces together on Friday. Here is the link:
I can't wait to see what it will look like!
 We have zucchini and yellow squash by the basket full from my hubby's garden. I have been making zucchini pies and bread. His raspberry bushes have been producing by the gallon, so we have been enjoying fresh raspberries and freezing them for the winter. 
I continue to stitch on my Love Blooms Here Quilt. I am almost done quilting the last blocks and will start on the border soon. Be inspired by everyone else here:

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 7 of Summer 2016


 I finally had a couple of big finishes this week. First up was my lap sized Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt. You can see more details about it in an earlier post.
Next was my Butterfly Garden Quilt. I also posted about it in my last post. 
To celebrate two finishes, I treated myself to starting on this. It is a Frivol kit, Kindred, using Bonnie and Camille's Hello Darling fabric. I am pleased with the light gray background. Now I am trying to decide if I want to make a scrappy border and part with my precious scraps or just get some Hello Darling yardage. Right now the top is 40 inches square and I want it bigger to use as a baby quilt. I think bigger is better.
I completed Clue 3 for Butterfly Threads 2016 Mystery Quilt. More info can be found here:
I love digging in my stash to make a quilt!
My mom and I got together to make Watcha Got Bags, a pattern from This and That. I made a bunch last summer as retreat gifts and my mom is making them for Xmas presents. I really like how this one turned out! I used a Sunnyside Kate Spain mini charm pack to make it. It is modern and fresh.
For this one, I used a mini charm pack of Chance of Flowers by Sandy Gervais. They are both so cheerful and are great for projects or to use as gifts.
 I have been trying to do handwork in the morning before it is too hot. I am making progress on quilting my Love Blooms Here Quilt--I am half way done with the biggest block and have two thirds of the blocks done.
I am using perle cotton and chunky stitches. I think it compliments the primitive wool felt appliqué. I will get some stitches in for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out other handwork inspiration here:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Butterfly Garden Finish

I am thrilled to have another finish! This is my Butterfly Garden Quilt--the design can be found in Lori Holt's book, Quilty Fun. I followed the pattern exactly and it measures 54 x 61 inches after washing.
Here is the backing which is a white with a navy blue swirl. I quilted it with navy thread on my mom's longarm.
Here is an up close picture of the loopy quilting. The fabric that I used for the butterfly bodies is the same as the backing.
I love the cheerful flowers that are in the top and bottom borders. This will be used as a tablecloth for my dining room table. I have colorful, bright Fiestaware dishes that will look adorable on this.
I also completed Clue #2 of the mystery quilt I am making with Butterfly Threads. More information can be found here:

I also started another project yesterday--a feminine baby quilt. I gave my last girlie baby quilt away to a neighbor the other day and decided I needed to make another couple to have on hand. I will post about that this weekend.
I am heading over to my mom's today to work on Whatcha Got bags. Here are a couple I made last year.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Finish

 Look what just came out of the dryer! It is my Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Lap Quilt. It is 57 x 71 inches. I started this back in January as part of Carole's Scrap Dance Tango--Mystery Quilt 2016. Visit here for more information:
 I quilted it with loops on my mom's longarm on Friday and I got the binding attached yesterday afternoon. I started binding it last night and got it about half done. Then, I woke up this morning and finished up binding it for Slow Sunday Stitching. See everyone else's inspirational handwork here:
 The backing is from my stash and is a Jo Morton print I picked up for $3 a yard several years ago. I always buy bargains like that for backings and set them aside until I have the right quilt for them. Everything does eventually get used!
 I did put a label on this one as it will be a gift.
 My hubby removed a soccer wall this week he had built for a daughter years ago, but he left up a couple of the posts and strung a wire between them for me to use for quilt pictures. It worked perfectly and allowed me to take pictures of the backing and the front without having to move it.
This quilt is only made with one kind of block, but by turning it a secondary star design emerges. Mine was made with 63 blocks set 7 x 9. My only purchase was a couple of yards of the blue fabric  (also from Jo Morton) that I used for the border and binding. My border was cut 4.5 inches and provided a nice looking frame for all that scrappy goodness.
Next up is my Butterfly Garden Tablecloth Quilt. I machine quilted it on Friday and hope to attach the binding this afternoon and have another finish in a day or two. I only have three more weeks of my summer left and despite getting off to a slow start with my surgery and work training, I am finally getting some UFOs done, better late than never!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Secret Sewing Revealed

All of June I was working on some secret sewing and I can finally reveal them! I made several door banners for my sister's birthday gift. This is the first design--I used the Farm House Block and the Tree Blocks from Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage book. It finished 14 x 36 inches. I cross hatched quilted it in a 1.5 inch grid. I love how it came out! I think I need to make one of these for my own front door...
I made one of these door banners for myself last summer and decided to make her one too. It is also a combination of blocks from Farm Girl Vintage. The sunflowers themselves are 6 inch Sunny Sunflower Blocks and the leaves are Crops Blocks all done in greens. This was also quilted cross hatched with a 1.5 inch grid.
I used this happy sunflower fabric for the backing.
This door banner is inspired by Art to Heart's Table Please Part One book. They showed something similar as a table runner. I tweaked it to this cheerful door banner.
 The last door banner I made was this sweet birdhouse. It was also quilted with a 1.5 inch grid.
I sent my sister this divided basket, so she can roll up the door banners and have it handy for changing them out.
I had to get a new car--my lease was up. This time around I was shopping for a deal. I need a little SUV because I cart around quite a bit of supplies for work and with our snowy weather. I ended up with another Toyota RAV4, but I got this one in dark gray and it is $50 less a month than my last one. I think that qualifies as a deal!
After picking up my new car, my daughter and I headed to Bed Bath and Beyond to start her college dorm shopping. They have an excellent program where we can select items here in Colorado by scanning them at our local store. A list is created and sent to the store of our choice in New York, then they pull all the items and hold them for us. We don't pay for anything until we pick them up and we can also decide not to buy items. She selected a gray comforter set with white and coral sheets. We will also be ordering things from Target and having them shipped to a store back in New York for pick up. Lots of planning, logistics, and money are required to move over 2000 miles to college via airplane!

Have a great week!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Slow Stitching & Soccer

Once upon a time, I was a soccer mom. I spent hours and hours at the soccer field between practices and games as well as driving all over the state of Colorado. I made the best of the time at the field with hand stitching--I got a ton of work done and it kept me from yelling quite as much. My daughter stopped playing soccer several years ago, but as a family we enjoy soccer on TV now. We sat down today to watch Iceland verses France. We were rooting for Iceland. Unfortunately, they did not win, but I managed to get a bunch of stitching in.
Today is actually cool enough to sit under a quilt--a rarity in the summer. I dug out my Love Blooms Here Quilt. I am quilting it using perle cotton #8 and chunky stitches. If the cool weather lasts, I hope to keep on working on this UFO. Be inspired by everyone's Slow Sunday Stitching here:
Friday night was Friday Night with Friends (FNwF) and I worked on some small banners that a samples for the fabric store I teach at. The banners are only 6 x 12 inches. We made kits of the patterns and fabrics and they will be sold at our local quilt show next week.
I spent the evening machine attaching the binding and then sewing it down by hand. I like the summery beach shack.
This camping one will probably be a hit, but I need to add some wool felt marshmallows on my stick for roasting. Check out what everyone else worked on here
I also completed the first step for Diane's Mystery Quilt Along, more details can be found here: