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!



Sunday, May 12, 2019

Rough Week


I have been teaching for 23 years and I know teachers aren't supposed to have favorite students, but we do. This week our town lost one of our brightest young men and one of my all time favorite students, Connor Imus, a 17 year old high school junior. Last Sunday, he went missing while walking his dog along a canal. As soon as I heard, I knew the dog had fallen into the canal and Connor would have gone after her. I also knew the location and was certain he would not have survived. I attended Connor's funeral Friday with many of my teacher friends and I have to say, it was one of the most difficult tasks of my career. It is devastating to see such wonderful, young life taken. Rest in peace Connor, you will not be forgotten. My thoughts are with Connor's parents and siblings, (I also taught both of them for three years too) they are an amazing family...
Our lilacs are blooming and they smell so amazing, so we have vases of them all over our house. They are so fresh and lovely!
I just finished my Elephant Parade Baby Quilt. This is a free pattern you can find here:
 My Pfaff's trusty wavy stitch was the perfect horizontal quilting.
 Instead of minky this time, I pieced a backing from my stash because I wanted to include a label. I have not figured out a way of how to include a pieced label on a minky backing.
 I will wash this once I sew down the hanger for Slow Sunday Stitching:
I spent some time with my mom yesterday running errands in Grand Junction. We picked up our new Quilt Sampler magazines.
My daughter is staying at school this summer working as a senior admissions intern before she heads to Singapore for a research project. Hopefully, she will be home in a few weeks for a week long visit. Happy Mother's Day!



Sunday, May 5, 2019

Farm Girl Vintage Quilt Finish

 This one has been a very long time coming! My Farm Girl Vintage Quilt is finally done!!! I made all the blocks as part of the quilt along back in 2015 and this has been sitting at the long arm quilters since October 2017. It was worth the wait!
 I had incorporated several blocks that did not come in the original book, but were sold separately through the Fat Quarter Shop like the pig
 and the cow. It looks like they may also be in the Farm Girl Vintage 2 by Lori Holt that is due out in September (of course, I will be making one of those!). I made a whole pig quilt, but still have not made a cow quilt...Maybe soon!
So many different scraps went into this quilt. The blocks are all six inch versions.
I knew I needed to piece my backing, so I decided to make a large label to help make my backing long enough and be able to use the red polka dot fabric I bought as a bargain flat fold.
 Here is my label which is probably my favorite thing on this quilt! We live in the country where red barns, silos, cows, tractors, and sunflowers are part of our surroundings. It made sense to incorporate these into the label. My dates are not quite accurate, but my work on this was done in 2017.
Sunflowers are my absolute favorite flowers, so I love the large sunflower pattern that was quilted. My hubby has planted me a sunflower patch this spring in our pasture, so once they are in bloom. I will take more pictures of this quilt with the sunflowers in the background. I have not washed this yet, so I don't have a final measurement and it isn't crinkly yet.
I am binding my Spelling Bee Quilt for Slow Sunday Stitching
Wait until you see how gorgeous this one is, stay tuned!










Sunday, April 28, 2019

Elephant Parade Top


I am pleased to reveal my new Elephant Parade Top. I apologize for the terrible picture, but it has been windy all day--so this is the best I could do. I am working on embroidering the quilt label for the backing for Slow Sunday Stitching. This quilt has definitely been my Drop Everything and Make It (DrEAMi!) project for April. https://www.mmmquilts.com/2019/04/dreami-27.html I am hosting the baby shower on 5/18, so it will be done in time, plus all the stuff I have to do for the baby shower--favors, decorate, yogurt bar, momosa bar, etc.
 I picked up two quilts for my longarm quilter yesterday. This is the back of my Farm Girl Vintage Quilt--I had it quilted with an all over pattern of large sunflowers. I am so excited to get this one done, just in time for the Farm Girl Vintage 2 book that is coming out in September. The other one is my Spelling Bee Quilt also a Lori Holt design. Hopefully, I will have them bound and pictures taken soon!
 Ludene, who owns the longarm machine, is moving into assisted living and is selling her stash and machine. She has so much yardage it is like a quilt shop. I bought 25 yards, most of the pieces pictured are between two and three yards. I would have bought more, but my budget couldn't handle it!
 My stash also got some more enhancement with these solid fat quarters from the Fat Quarter Shop
 and this is the back side! 
I am participating and being featured for Fat Quarter Shop's Pineapple Day in June. Paper piecing is not my favorite, but making a pineapple quilt has been on my bucket list for a long time! When I got the email seeking participants, I responded immediately. Kimberly Jolly has a great video tutorial and I plan to start this when I am out of school on May 24th as a summer celebration!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Zip Pouches & Elephants


I haven't posted in awhile because I spent last weekend with my daughter in Denver! We had a nice girls weekend despite a snowstorm that delayed her arrival by a day. I also got to watch her shine at the recruiting event her university flew her out for. It is such a privilege to see what a confident, articulate, young woman she has become!

 The weekend before that I was just prepping 32 zippered pencil pouches. This weekend I finished all 32 pouches and have one more prepped--I need to see which initial the student wants on his. I cut the fabrics 5.5 x 10.5 inches and use 9 inch zippers. I will load them up with mechanical pencils, highlighters, and candy and then wrap them. I am giving these to my fifth graders as promotion gifts. I showed them the zipper colors and had them pick which color they wanted. I am glad to have these done and can get back to quilt making!
 Today, I started cutting and piecing elephants. I have a good teacher friend expecting a baby girl and she is decorating with pink and gray elephants. I am using Lorna's Elephant Parade Pattern. Here is the link to the free pattern: https://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com/p/elephant-parade.html
I only bought one fat quarter of the darker gray because I had thought of making scrappy elephants, but I changed my mind. I will hit the quilt shop tomorrow to get some more.
I did have enough of the lighter gray in my stash to make all 14 baby elephants! I will work on the frog, the turtle, the birds, and the flowers this evening.

Have a great week!


Sunday, March 31, 2019

To Spin a Star Top

Happy Spring! We are having a typical Colorado spring here--it was 70 degrees on Thursday and I wore shorts on my afternoon walk and then Friday it was barely 45 degrees with a cold wind, and now we are having some snowflakes falling.  

This beautiful, scrappy quilt top is my secret sewing for the last month and a half! It is called To Spin a Star and is one of Diane's (from Butterfly Threads) brilliant quilt designs. I got to pattern test it for her. I added some blocks to mine to make it square, so mine is 75" x 75". It would very easy to make a smaller or bigger version. Diane has the pattern download on sale for $5 over on her website right now, here is the link:
The blocks are made quite quickly because they use either the Essential Triangle Tool or the Easy Angle--I already had both in my ruler collection and you probably do too. The pattern is also very 2.5 strip friendly, so I really dug into my 2.5 strip bin and used up lots of scraps.  I love how Diane designed the sashing, so a secondary block is formed at the block corners. 

This has been my Drop Everything and Make it DrEAMi! for February and March. 

How would you have it quilted? I'd love to hear your recommendations. Thank you Diane for trusting me with your new pattern!
For Slow Sunday Stitching, I am binding for my friend Rachel. She is cranking out projects with her longarm for the both of us!
My One Monthly Goal (OMG) for April is to complete this top. I have all of the blocks done, but I need to put it together.

My daughter is coming to Denver for a recruiting trip for her college on April 10th. I got my substitutes lined up, a hotel room booked, and hair appointments scheduled. We will get to hang out for four days and four nights--for girl time, shopping, eating, soaking, etc.! I can't wait!!!! Have a great week.