Sunday, August 18, 2019

Summer Sunflowers

 Our sunflower patch is in full bloom this week! A couple of the plants are over 12 feet high. 
My hubby planted several types.
 We have orange ones,
 yellow with orange,
 smaller varieties,
light yellow,
and this maroon kind that looks purplish black. We are thrilled with how they look! My hubby is already planning on a bigger patch next year. Several of our neighbors have stopped by to admire them and the funniest comment was, "Are you growing Jack's beanstalk?" That was before they had started blooming.
 I was officially back to work on Thursday, but I have been slowly working on my classroom set up for the last few weeks. I altered Lori Holt's cross stitch design "Eat. Sleep. Stitch. Repeat." to "Eat. Read. Sleep. Repeat." I have a frame ordered and will display this in my classroom. It was fun to cross stitch again especially a simple project with bigger Aida cloth--I used 11 x 11 count and DMC perle cotton  #8 color 310. You can check out everyone's Slow Sunday Stitching here:

I like my classrooms to be cozy, cheerful, and comfortable for my students and me. I think we all work better in a pleasant environment. My home base classroom got moved and is getting a facelift--some fake plants, a chalkboard painted door, some burlap borders, some throw rugs, etc. I am using my sunflowers as my inspiration--black (I always like it as a neutral) with yellow.
Our daughter turned 21 years old on Friday! She is in Singapore on a research trip paid for by her university. When she returns in a week, she will start her senior year. Where has the time gone? 

I have a baby quilt to get done and some secret sewing for the Fat Quarter Shop coming. 
Have a great  week!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Lavender Blue Baby Quilt Top

It has been hot which has not helped my sewing mojo. This week though I worked on cutting and piecing the triangles for this baby quilt. I have a teacher friend expecting a little girl in September and she will not be coming back to work. She told me she was decorating her nursery in lavender and teal. I found this equilateral triangle pattern, Lavender Blue, on Cluck Cluck Sew's blog, here is the link:
It measures 44 x 51 inches right now. I pieced a backing and machine embroidered a label. I also pieced some batting scraps and I plan on pinning and quilting it up tomorrow. I already have a leftover dark purple binding from another project. I am pleased with how modern and fresh this top came out. I had to buy most of the lavenders because my stash was pretty lacking, but I just bought quarter yards and only used half of them. All the teals and aquas were in my stash.
Check out our sunflower patch--some of the plants are 12 feet high and are beginning to bloom.
I stood out on the road to try and show you how big the patch is. Our lot is on the corner of a cul-de-sac and this part of our pasture is nearest to the corner.
For some reason, most of the blooms are on the end near my hubby's workshop. We have had a couple of strong thunderstorms in the last few days and got 1.5 inches of rain. There was one storm midday today for only a half hour, but there was a half inch in that short time. Hopefully, all the rain will help our garden--my hubby already has eight gallons of raspberries in the freezer. We have a bunch of zucchini and golden beets--that I just keep pickling them in the fridge and eating them in salads with our homegrown lettuce. I made zoodles (zucchini made into spaghetti style noodles) for the first time the other night and they were so delicious--we will be eating them often. The tomatoes and peppers are starting to trickle in. It is so easy to eat healthy with what we grow and what I can get from our local farms this time of year. 

I have 2.5 weeks until I am back to work, but I confess I have already spent a little time in my classroom that was moved--I get too overwhelmed and stressed if my work space is not organized. A little bit of work here and there will help keep me calm. I also have another baby quilt to get finished before I head back to work...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Good Fortune Finished

 I finished binding my Good Fortune Quilt last night. This one makes me do a happy dance! This quilt was my first time sewing along with Bonnie Hunter for her mystery after Thanksgiving and it will not be my last for sure. I have made other Bonnie patterns, but this one was far more intricate. I followed her pattern and color suggestions, I did opt to use a royal blue for my binding instead of a cream as she did. I only purchased my backing and binding everything else was from my stash. More information about Bonnie and her quilt designs can be found on her website here:
 Rachel quilted this one. I am not sure what the design is called, but it adds lots of lovely texture. I let her make all the quilting decisions for design as she has a good eye and is still learning about long arming. I have not washed this one yet, but it will crinkle up even more.
 The quilt measures 69 inches square which is on the smaller side for a Bonnie Hunter quilt. 
 I used our garden fence for these pictures and a couple of our sunflowers are starting to bloom. My hubby's raspberries are really starting to produce and he already has a gallon bucket full in the freezer--last year he had over eight gallons!
 This is the first sunflower that has bloomed in our sunflower patch. Don't you love the beautiful color? There were several honey bees buzzing around it.
Here is our sunflower patch. It is three rows wide and about 30 feet long. I would like to plant a bigger space in our pasture next year, but this year is our test run. A couple of weeks ago we had a big hail storm and some of the leaves got holes, but overall the the plants survived. Some of the giant sunflower plants are already eight feet high.
I snapped this picture of Fergie this morning. She was on lookout duty. Our dogs have their own room, it is our sunroom. It has very long windows that are basically eye level for the dogs when they are standing. I used to have a plastic wicker set in there, but they destroyed it and the only piece that survived is the coffee table which they often perch on to sit and see the backyard and pasture. Fergie is such a good watch dog!
 I picked up my To Spin a Star Quilt from Glenn, my other longarm quilter friend, yesterday. This was a scrappy pattern from Diane of Butterfly Threads. I pattern tested it for her this spring and made my version square. You can find the pattern here:
I am going to go back and dig in my stash for a binding as soon as I finish this post. Diane also emailed me about testing another pattern for her soon, so I can't wait to see what scrappy goodness she has created. Stay tuned!
 Glenn also finished quilting my Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt a few days ago. This was a pattern from Carole that you can find here:
This is the first quilt I have ever made for our bed! I have been quilting for 24 years and never made us a quilt--I know ridiculous. It is 104 inches square and I used Bonnie & Camille scraps with a charcoal background. I attached the charcoal for binding and I will be working on hand stitching that down for several Slow Sundays of Stitching.

As some of these UFOs get finished, I am trying to get more prepped for quilting. I have another month until I return to work and I need to make the most of it!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Threadology Twisted Top

Happy July! I was sewing along with the Fat Quarter Shop's Threadology Quilt Along, 
but I fell behind and had put catching up on my summer sewing list. I was not sure about the large spool setting, but Melissa Cory showed an alternative setting that I fell in love with. You can find it here: 
Melissa just made multiple blocks from the original design, but I broke out an old quilting book and found some additional blocks to make. It measures 72 inches square with this setting. I dug into my Bonnie and Camille scraps and even opened my Miss Kate fat quarter bundle. Making this was my DrEAMi project for June for sure!
I have this B & C Scrumptious green floral in my stash that I will use for the backing and I already prepped the red Smitten binding. I just need to make my label and get it ready for friend to longarm quilt it. 
 Last year, I made the Postcard from Sweden Quilt and used my leftover solid scraps for another quilt. Since then, I have been drawn to solid quilts and I made my Pineapple Quilt with them too. On Pinterest and IG, I saw all of the Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilts from several years ago and I have been on the lookout for the pattern and even a kit. I had the pattern in my Amazon cart, but then last week @sherrysmart was having a destash sale on IG and she was selling the whole kit. It was like spotting a unicorn. I used my birthday money and bought it immediately. It arrived yesterday, but it will sit in the closet until I get some UFOs cleared and start on it!
 Another birthday money splurge was this vintage ladder! I have a taller one in my sewing room loaded with quilts, but I bought this one for a couple of quilts in our TV room.
 Rachel finished quilting my Good Fortune Quilt this week and I picked it up on Wednesday. I did not have a binding, so I bought this mottled royal blue that is in the quilt and frames it nicely. I am going to work on hand stitching it during the World Cup final for Slow Stitching Sunday.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pineapple Day with FQS

Welcome! I'm Tanya Quilts in CO. I have been quilting for 24 years and I have had a pineapple quilt on my quilting bucket list for a very long time. When the Fat Quarter Shop was looking for quilters to use their new Pineapple Quilt Block Foundation Paper Pads, I jumped at the chance.

I have attempted paper piecing in the past and become frustrated with the method and the fabric waste. I have to be frugal with my fabric, so wasting it makes me crazy. Kimberly demonstrated the six inch blocks on her FB weekly livestream awhile back and there is also another FQS tutorial available on Youtube which I found extremely helpful. 

I received the six inch pad first and started making blocks. It was slow going at first, but I did not make any mistakes which was encouraging. Lately, I have been making more quilts with solids and loving the results, so I used a variety of Bella Solids along with Kona White.  I used these two Bella Solids bundles available from FQS:
and some random solids from my stash.
Using Kimberly'y method there was not as much waste as my previous paper piecing projects.

I will be honest, the blocks were slow going for me. I received the 12 inch Pineapple Quilt Block Foundation Paper Pad on June 3rd. I had decided there was no way I was going to use the FQS setting available here:

I made more six inch blocks thinking about a possible baby quilt. In the end, I made 49 six inch blocks! When I sewed them all together, my hubby thought it looked amazing. He thinks I should just display the quilt in our house--I agree. It was way too much work to give to someone for their baby to throw up on it!

I took it to some quilting friends to get their opinions for quilting and binding. It is only 42 inches square, but the consensus was that I should have one of our local longarm quilters custom quilt it. I think I will splurge on that and get on a waiting list to have it done (many are booked for a year or two out). It will probably take me that long to remove all the papers! I am leaning toward navy blue for the binding, since I used some in the quilt.

I am so glad I joined FQS for this sew along and got out of my comfort zone and did something from my quilting bucket list. I may even make some 12 inch blocks eventually, but it will be awhile! Thank you Kimberly and the Fat Quarter Shop for your great tutorials and foundation papers!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Spelling Bee Quilt Finish

This beauty has been a long time in the making, but it was so worth it in the end! My Spelling Bee Quilt is finished and gorgeous. I loved making these blocks over several months and playing with lots of bright and happy fabrics. This is from Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book.
I personalized the blocks with my fuchsia sewing machine to honor my Pfaff machines and the red VW after my first car.
I made the puppy look like my dog, Bella, and the house is yellow with red as our house is.
The quilting was done by my friend, Glenn, and I had him quilt it densely with a country flower design. I have not washed this one yet.
I personalized the back with a couple of blocks as the label. The schoolhouse block is a freebie from Lori Holt and the school bus is also her design, but I bought it from FQS.
I am planning to hang this one in my cave classroom--there are no windows, so I think the bright, cheerful fabrics will be perfect in there.
Since it is summer, I finally got all of my Summerville blocks together. Now, I need to figure out the backing and get my friend, Rachel to quilt it.
These happy sunflowers were from my mom and dad for my birthday at the beginning of the month. Hopefully, my sunflower patch will produce some as beautiful as this later in the summer.
Our weather has been mild--only the mid-80s, but we have had several days of thunder storms. This rainbow was gorgeous from our front porch.
I have been working on lots of Pineapple blocks for the FQS Pineapple Day that I will show you next week. I am joining the Moda Bake Shop for their summer quilt along, At the Seashore. They released this first block the other day, Twin Pops. I am using my stash of Bonnie and Camille fabrics for that one. You can find info here:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer Sewing Begins!

My summer officially began on Tuesday, but I had already begun my first summer sewing project on Saturday. I signed up to sew Pineapple Blocks for an upcoming event for the Fat Quarter Shop. I dislike paper piecing very much, but I have had a pineapple quilt on my quilting bucket list for years. Kimberly Jolly live-streamed a great tutorial for making these blocks a few weeks ago, so that helped me immensely.
These Pineapple Blocks will finish at six inches. The paper piecing of them is getting faster and easier with practice, but it really bothers me how much fabric waste there is. I am using left over solid scraps and got a couple of solid bundles for this one.

My other summer sewing will include a couple of baby quilts and I have four quilts (including a king sized one) out with my two longarm friends, so there is lots of binding up ahead. So far our weather is not summery yet...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Baby Shower

This week I focused on the baby shower I was hosting. My friend, Stephanie, and I divided and conquered all of the tasks. I took care of food, drinks, favors, and the location. She handled games, prizes, and some decor. I opted to have a donut tower cake--very easy and inexpensive.
Stephanie made this precious and practical diaper cake.
I made shower poof rattles as favors that doubled as centerpieces. They were easy to make and by adding the elephant to the vase, they became great centerpieces. I used scrapbook paper to make the elephants--I used some as garland and lots in vases.
I used some happy quilts as tablecloths and lilacs from my yard for the gift table and around the house.
Stephanie had a board book as the guest book. The little bottles of Barefoot White Zinfandel were prizes and decor. Yes, that is the top of my Singer treadle machine--it is my entryway table!
This was a fun and practical game.
I had a "momosa" bar with a few kinds of juices, fresh fruit, sparkling cider, and champagne. It was big hit with all of the teachers since we are end of the school year tired and need adult beverages! We had a yogurt parfait bar, pinwheels, and deviled eggs--simple and delicious. The baby shower was a success thanks to Stephanie and Pinterest! 
 I am working on this baby quilt for my friend that is becoming a grandma in July.
So far, I have only quilted on the diagonal of the triangles. I am trying to decide how much more quilting to do...Thoughts? I think it needs some more, but not sure if I should cross hatch it or stitch along the half square triangle squares.
This year, I did not join in the Hands2Help 2019 Charity Quilt Drive. I felt kind of guilty about it since I usually participate. I have sent quilts to Happy Chemo over the years, but since I made two chemo quilts in December for work friends I decided to pass. I found out this morning I have another friend with cancer. She had surgery this last week and is awaiting results to see if she needs chemo or radiation too. Sounds like I may need another chemo quilt. I went to my pile of UFOs and found this very old (15+ years old) batik quilt. The wind is fierce today, so I had to go back to my garden fence to get a decent picture.
When I grabbed this out of my UFO pile, it did not have an outer border and was a little small. I didn't find anything in my batik bin, so I ran up to the fabric store and got the border in the batik flat folds for $7. It now measures 67 inches square. I will quilt this one myself, so it will be done quickly. I had a batik backing for it, but now that it is likely to be used for cancer treatments I want something softer. I have a turquoise in my stash that would work, but I am tempted to go get some minky. I am planning a solid black binding.

Technically, this is my last week of work, but I am done with the kid part. I have lots of paperwork and some meetings. Also, I have to pack up two of my classrooms and I found out on Wednesday I have to move my main classroom. Such a bummer--I love my room and have been there for 5 years, but it is close to the kindergarten rooms and will be used a playroom for them. I am moving back to another trailer I have been in before; it is actually a little bigger and is not next to the music/art room so it should be quieter. The custodians can't move me until May 30 or 31, so it will kind of delay the start of my summer vacation and be exhausting. I wish I had had more notice, but the purging has begun!

Have a good week!