Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015 & Giveaway

Hi, I'm Tanya, a wife, a mom, a teacher, and a quilter in Colorado. This is my second year participating in the Grow Your Blog event. Here is the link to the event
I have been blogging for a year and a half and quilting for 20 years! I took my first quilting class in January 1995 and I became completely addicted. I started blogging because I live in a small town where most of the quilting is traditional. I make plenty of traditional quilts, but I needed modern inspiration which led me to the quilt blogging world. The Rainbow Orange Peel Baby Quilt I made last summer based on some amazing quilts I saw on blogs. I love it so much, I am thinking of making a queen size one for our bed. In 20 years of quilting, I have never made a quilt for my own bed!
Since I have quilted for two decades, I have an enormous stash and I love to make things from my scrap bins and stash. This is my Country Little Letters- a stash quilt- which was a part of a quilt along with Temecula Quilt Company. 
This is my Variegated Violets Baby Quilt I made for my neighbor. This was also a stash quilt. I followed a tutorial I found on-line and quilted it myself on my Pfaff.
 In 2014, I made this Love Blooms Here Wool Felt Quilt featured in Quiltmaker.  I enjoy the feel of wool felt and like the primitive hand stitching. It is pinned and ready for hand quilting with perle cotton while I am parked in front of my TV. The only thing I bought to make this quilt was a magazine subscription to Quiltmaker and two small pieces of yellow wool--my stash is large!
 Handwork is therapeutic for me, it makes me slow down and relax while creating something with my hands. I like to incorporate embroidery into my quilts. This is a close up of some embroidery in my Journey of a Quilter BOM I have been working on.
I am in the process of hand quilting it and only have the outer border left! Hopefully, it will be hanging in my sewing room in a couple of weeks. Every Sunday, I participate in Slow Sunday Stitching over at for inspiration.
 Over the years, I have acquired lots of UFOs and have experimented with many quilting techniques. While digging through some of my stash, I discovered this paper piecing kit. The design is a gardener's potting bench and makes a mini quilt. I know I will never make it because  I really dislike paper piecing!
So, how about I give it away! Here are the fabrics included in the kit. To enter, please leave me comment telling me your favorite dog breed (I am a dog lover). I will randomly choose a winner on February 15. Good luck and please visit again!

I am having issues with my follow me with Bloglovin' link and have removed it temporarily, but I hope to get it back up and running soon....

Tanya Quilts in CO

January 2015 FNSI

 So I joined everyone last night for Friday Night Sew In. Visit everyone else's blog here
I started sewing my pinwheel blocks for a charity quilt I am making.
 The pinwheel blocks get mixed in with these 16-patch blocks. The quilt calls for 25 16-patch blocks and 24 pinwheel blocks. My 16-patches are all done!
 I have more half square triangles waiting to be made into pinwheels maybe this afternoon. My book club is coming over for brunch this morning. We read Gone Girl and are going to watch the movie with great food and mimosas. I have a French toast casserole in the oven now...
This is the quilt I am making. Isn't it a cheery thing!!!
It is part of Sarah's Sweet 16 Quiltalong 2015 and you can find directions to make it here
Sarah also organizes quilt donations for charities in the spring. Last year, I participated and donated a quilt to Happy Chemo. Details for this year are not available yet, but I am looking forward to donating at least one quilt.

I am participating in the Grow Your Blog event tomorrow, but I am having trouble with my Bloglovin' link. I even removed it. Does anyone have any advice? I will also have a giveaway, so be sure to stop by! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First Finishes of 2015 Finally!

We are more than half way through January and I did not have a finish--panic mode ensued, but I finally had a finish on Monday night. This is my Candy Hearts Door Banner. I designed it myself! I have made several of Cottage Creek Quilts' "Backdoor Quilt Series" door banners over the years. Their finished size, 11.5" x 30", is perfect on my front door because you can still see out the windows. I made the base the same way as the Backdoor Quilts and cut out hearts. I looked up some candy heart phrases and traced them onto the hearts. The real candy hearts have their phrases printed in red, but I thought black would show better on my door. I also hand quilted it with black perle cotton #8 to show (I am not a confident hand quilter, so I usually use thread that blends in). These bright colors add some color to the front of my house. This was made completely from my stash. Whoop whoop!!!
 Finish number two is my Let Them Eat Cake mini quilt. This is part of the Snapshots BOM sponsored by Fat Quarter shop and designed by Bonnie and Camille. You can find more information here I have not decided if I am going to buy the Daysail fabric that the example is made from or just use my scraps...I want to make mini quilts from the blocks instead of a big quilt.  I am looking forward to the puppy block, the VW bug block, and of course the wineglass and picnic basket block. My motto this year is "My glass is half full--of wine!"

 Well the Rowena Effective iron, I bought at Target did not even last 10 days! What a piece of crap, it should be called "Ineffective Injurer." It started spewing hot water out of where you pour the water into it. I returned it this afternoon and bought this T-Fal which was $10 less at Wal-Mart. I tried to restrain myself from putting water in it and using steam, but I am a steam girl through and through and even if I have to replace an iron every couple of years, I am NOT willing to give up my steam.

I really enjoyed my day off Monday and started cutting out the pieces for a Sixteens and Pinwheels--all from my stash. I signed up for this week's Friday Night Sew In
and plan on working on that while I unwind on Friday night...Why don't you join us and stitch the night away?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quilt Alongs 2015


 There are several Quilt Alongs I want to do in 2015, but I hesitate to start more projects when I have so many UFOs. Hence, one of my goals is to get tops put together and ready for quilting. This is my Sugar Stars top--a design by Lori Holt...I used a layer cake of Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille plus a couple of other of their fabrics from my stash. I decided not to use white as the background and instead opted for Kona navy. 

I wish we had snow on the ground to make this pop more against white snow, but even though it is mid-January we have had very little snow. This is a bad thing for my skier hubby, but a good thing for my teenaged driver--she even drove around with the top down on her Mustang yesterday! Plus, we walked around the neighborhood this afternoon enjoying the gorgeous sunshine.
This is an enormous quilt and I will probably use my mom's long arm once I find a backing for it and they return from snow birding in California in the spring.
This is the Snapshots Quilt designed by Bonnie and Camille for the Fat Quarter Shop. The colors and blocks are amazing! But, the last thing I need is another UFO top that I have no where to display anyway, so I am planning on making some of the blocks as mini quilts and hanging them in my sewing room. I got this picture from Camille's blog--aren't her fabrics precious? Plus, these "free" designs are raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital--great cause! Here is a link about it
 Here is my block. I think I will add a small border and machine quilt it to maybe have a quicker finish! I have yet to have a finish in 2015 and we are more than half way through the month!!!Ugghhh!
I am also working on this Charm Square Sampler. Shannon posted the directions for the first block today. It is the Sawtooth block. Here is the link to the instructions
 Here is my Sawtooth block. I am using Eat Your Fruits n' Veggies charm squares and I picked up a red background. I want to make this into a tablecloth, so I did not want to use a white background. I thought about grey, but the red will go well in my kitchen and with the fabrics. I can't wait to see my Fiestaware dishes on this tablecloth! We are doing one block a week, so it won't be too long until we are done.
 I only sewed one blue Carrie Nation block this week, but I did cut a bunch of scraps to make more. This is part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015 I am doing to use up scraps. You can be inspired by others at ScrapHappy Saturday here 
Sarah is hosting a Quilt Along where she is showing ways to use 16 patch blocks into several designs.  I have started to cut fabrics for these blocks, but I am waiting to sew any together until I see the ideas she will be posting on Sundays. Find more info here
Today's design is a must make!!! Just a simple 16 patch block with pinwheels--I had already posted the picture on my Inspirations page...
 Sarah also organizes this charity quilt challenge. I donated one last year and plan on donating another quilt--either a UFO or something made from scraps.
Lorna is hosting the Elephant Parade Quilt Along
I am not sure if I will make a big one or a few blocks, but I am definitely going to dabble.
My Journey of a Quilter is still being hand quilted, but I am almost onto the outside border. Slow stitching indeed!
I also am embroidering on my Valentine door banner. I will Slow Sunday Stitch through the NFC and AFC Championship games tomorrow.
Kathy is having a giveaway if you include a picture of your hand actually sewing--it was impossible to do it as a selfie!
Check out other slow stitching here

I am looking forward to having Monday off and getting more quilting in and I hope even my first finish of 2015!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

FNwF January 2015

 I got a late start last night on Friday Night with Friends, but I did make it into my sewing room where I started this new Valentine's door banner. I have a wider door banner for Valentine's day, but it blocks the windows in my front door and makes it hard to see who is knocking at the door. This size, 11.5 x 30.5 inches works better. I decided to take my inspiration from those favorite candy conversation hearts. My hearts say: ALL MINE, LOVE YA, and HUGS & KISSES. The real candy hearts have red writing on them, but I think black will show better on my door. Here is the link to see what everyone else accomplished for FNwF
 This week, I also worked on some more blue--albeit light blue Medallion Log Cabin blocks for part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge 2015.
 This one is more aqua
 and this one is moving into turquoise. Here is the link to more RSC15 inspiration
 I bought some plastic cases to organize all my 2015 scrappy projects. They were $5 each at Joann's and are really made for scrapbooking, but I think they will help me to stay organized and they are roomy!
 My iron has been slowly dying and I have really not wanted to break down and buy another one. But after ruining two pieces of white fabric with brown water this morning, I broke down and ran to Target. I used to be a huge supporter of Rowenta irons, but they are not the quality they used to be! I did decide on buying their low end model because Target had it on sale for $45. I am curious to see how long it will last. It is not very heavy duty, so I might end up just using it for my mobile sewing center. I am contemplating asking for an Oliso for my birthday this year, but even those don't have the best reviews and I am not sure which model it best for quilting. If anyone has iron advice I would love to hear your opinion!
Shannon over at Modern Tradition Quilts is sponsoring a Charm Square Sample Quilt Along. The quilt is going to be about 60 inches square and uses two print charm packs and either two solid charm packs or a solid you cut to 4 7/8 in. squares. I had these two charm packs in my stash and I think they will make a great tablecloth to go with my Fiestaware dishes. I just need to find a background fabric. I will hit my LQS and see what I can find. The first block sewing directions won't be posted until next week, so I have a little time. Join us it looks like fun!!!
My Valentine's door banner is ready for embroidering and I am still hand quilting my Journey of a Quilter BOM project (hopefully done with it in another couple of weeks). The two football playoff games this evening and the two tomorrow will give me lots of time for Slow Sunday Stitching. Get some more inspiration here

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Scrappy 2015!

Happy New Year! I have been seeing everyone's New Year blogs and wrap ups from 2014 and have been pondering what 2015 has in store for my quilting. This orange peel quilt was made completely from my scraps and is my favorite finish from 2014 even if it involved curves (I usually avoid curves!). Twenty years ago this month, I started quilting! Of course being a quilter for 20 years means I have developed quite a fabric stash--with over flowing scrap bins. My focus this year will be working with what I have on hand--scraps, stash, and UFOs.
I have decided to join in on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015 more information can be found here or on my sidebar. January's color is blue--regular blue, not navy or turquoise. Here is my blue scrap bin all over my cutting table--I have plenty of blues to work from! 
I cannot remember who made this gorgeous quilt top, but I put a picture of it on my Inspiration board (if anyone knows who made this let me know and I will give them credit and link to their blog)
and I made a purple version in the spring of 2014. I will make blocks for a rainbow version or maybe even two of them each month. This quilt could work for a baby or be made bigger for a lap sized quilt and I can easily quilt it on my Pfaff.
Here are my blue blocks I made yesterday and this morning- I am calling them Medallion Log Cabin blocks. I am using Kona white because I know I can get more than I have on hand if needed, but I do have a few yards already. 
Here are the directions I developed for making these Medallion Log Cabin blocks:
 Here are the pieces and their cut sizes in inches. The color portion of the block requires 2.5 inch wide pieces and the white/background portion uses 1.5 inch wide pieces which gives the blocks a curved look.
 This is the block layout with the pieces.
 Step 1 sew the 1.5 x 2.5 inch background to the 2.5 inch colored square. Of course since we are quilting, you need to use a quarter inch seam for all sewing and press all the seams toward the outside of the block.
 Step 2 add the 1.5 x 3.5 inch background rectangle to the bottom of the Step 1 unit.
 Step 3 add the 2.5 x 3.5 inch colored rectangle to the right side of the block.
 Step 4 add the 2.5 x 5.5 inch colored rectangle to the top of the block.
 Step 5 add the 1.5 x 5.5 inch background rectangle to the left side of the block.
Step 6 add the 1.5 x 6.5 inch background rectangle to the bottom of the block. Make four of these and   put them together to form the block, Medallion Log Cabin.
These are not my blocks, but they are my inspiration! This is the perfect design for some of those odd ball scraps that will not go with much else.
Next up, I have been admiring Kathy's Carrie Nation blocks all 2014. Here are some of Kathy's scrappy rainbow blocks
and here is a link to how to construct the blocks 
Yesterday, I made a couple with bright blue blocks
and a couple with country blues.
 These whirling geese blocks were featured on So Scrappy as an option for people participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge here is the link I made a bright blue and a country blue block and will probably build samplers from them.  There is a linking party from So Scrappy that has plenty of inspiration that I am linking with here
 Onto a UFO project, this is my Sugar Stars designed by Lori Holt. I got Kona navy for the background (I special ordered a bolt at Joann's using a 50% off coupon--the only way to buy solids) and I am using mostly Marmalade prints from Moda's Bonnie and Camille. I made these blocks during the summer on my Featherweight while stitching with my mom and Lindsey. The blocks have been sitting on sewing machine cabinet gathering dust.
I am laying them out on my guest bed/design board and I plan on sewing them together this afternoon and evening while watching the NFL Playoffs. Then, it will go into the flimsy UFO pile awaiting quilting. I want to start getting my backings together for those, so I will have no excuses for not using my mom's longarm. 
 I have been Slow Stitching all week on my Journey of the Quilter during movies with my family and hanging out with my mom and dad. I am just stitching around each piece with DMC blanc perle cotton #8. 
It is finally cold and we have snow on the ground here in western Colorado, so it is Slow Sunday Stitching weather and I will be joining everyone else at Kathy's link up tomorrow and getting further on this while watching football. Here is a link to the Slow Sunday Stitching