Thursday, March 15, 2018

Adopt A Quilt

What's better than free?

Cynthia Brunz over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, is sponsoring her annual Quilty Orphan Adoption program.  You have the choice of putting a quilt block/project up for adoption, or adopting one of the fun quilt projects someone else has offered, or both!

I decided to look through my long-lost storage bins to see what projects I had that might be worthy of adoption. It turns out I think these just might be the ticket!

I began my quilting career years ago sewing up patchwork Levi quilts.  I'd cut up old jeans into six-inch squares, buy some nice coordinating corduroy or twill, make a fun design pattern, and stitch away!  I didn't know anything about machine quilting then, and the first quilts I made were entirely of denim. Can you say HEAVY!!!  So I tied the quilts and gave them to ALL my relatives!

These make fantastic picnic quilts, or snuggle quilts, or concert quilts, or play quilts. They are durable!

As time passed, I selected contrasting fabric that wasn't so heavy. Which was a good thing, because it's not fun to pull a muscle in your back trying to lug a quilt out of the trunk of your car so you can go experience an outdoor concert, lol!

Anyway, after everyone I knew had received one of my quilts, I still had a lot of patchwork squares cut up for future quilts, but never got around to making this one.

It has a real bright colored turquoise blue twill, a soft denim in soft lavender, a lightweight denim blue, a lighter denim with a bit so sparkle, and a denim that has a blue and lavender and white design woven throughout.  These are all cut from new fabric (not used jeans). A fun combo to come up with a fun quilt!

I hate to see this go to waste, so if you'd like to Adopt it, let me know! There are probably about 150 squares here.  Let me know how this quilt will be used after you sew it up, and I'll select an adoptive home next week.

I also have this pile of squares cut from old jeans, and if you have a use for those, I can either adopt them out separately, or combine with the multi squares above. The star denim is cut from new fabric.

Who's game?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Quilty Orphan Adoption

Monday, February 26, 2018

My Blue Scrappy Quilt Is Already Loved!

Finishing up what I call My Scrappy Blue Quilt was one of my top goals as 2017 turned into 2018.


I'd started this project a full year ago and had a neat little stack of blue rectangles along side a bunch of Kona Snow rectangles at the top of my cutting table. Only once during the past year had I been able to take them off the table and start to stitch them together. Just once!

The project began as an effort to use up some scraps. But it lacked luster, and I didn't think I had enough blue scraps, and I'm not an expert at throwing together scrappy quilts (like some people I know, Cynthia Brunz Designs).  Getting a good running start on it just didn't happen, and so it failed to rise to top of my priority list.

As I cleaned up my cutting table one day, I decided I really wanted to get all those Blue and Snow rectangles off of there. They had started collecting dust! And as you all know, when 'needs to' turns into 'wants to', things happen!

I got the quilt top completely pieced in January, and my February goal was to get it quilted, bound, and ready to use. And I'm proud to say, it happened! A finish!!!

I used my wonderful Go-To Thread - Glide - and simply free motion quilted fun, flowing paisleys all across the blocks. When I free motion an edge-to-edge design, I have a tendency to start BIG and end up little. So I concentrated on keeping the same size throughout the quilt, and I think I did fairly well this time! Does anyone else have that problem? Changing up the size of the quilting pattern as you advance through the quilt? (I'm hoping I'm not alone.....)

At any rate, I got this done a couple of weeks ago and have thoroughly been enjoying sitting beneath it when I have my early-morning coffee and computer time each day!  I am not a 'blue' person, and so this quilt was a bit out of my comfort zone. But once it was finished, I've discovered how I really do enjoy it! It's a nice, bright addition to our living room, it's fun to look at all the scraps and remember what project I used them for, and the quilting was just plain fun and creates movement in the quilt.

I'm glad to say that these scraps have found a new home out of my scrap bins, and that my February OMG goal is complete!

 What, oh what, shall my next project be?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up to:

Oh Scrap!
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Linky Tuesday 
Needle & Thread Thursday 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Curved Piecing, My New BFF

A funny thing happened on the way to making my son this Cacophony quilt.  The pattern was purchased, the fabric was purchased. And then it sat. For two years. Two full years!!

Why? Because I had never done curved piecing, and I was afraid of making an entire quilt with that technique. Oh, and the rest of the quilt is foundation paper piecing to boot!

But then in January, Craftsy came out with their Craftsy Unlimited program - pay one fee and get unlimited access to ALL their classes!  I signed up right away, and have taken full advantage of the offerings.

The first class I took was Playing With Curves by Ann Petersen. And I'm so glad I did! She is a fantastic teacher - very methodical and she presents the material well.  I practiced with the first assignment - placemats.

SO much fun!!! And easy!

The curved just laid right down when it came time to iron it out. Just as if they had a genetic disposition to do that! I don't know what I was scared of. Silly, silly me.

Do you ever do that? Develop a fear of something, no matter how small, and then get held back by it? In my old age I should certainly learn that forging ahead is my best bet. But sometimes I just don't recognize that it's the fear that's holding me back.

But in this case, I'm glad I waited and took this class of Ann's because now I have a terrific set of placemats. Each one has a different array of fabrics, but they look well together.

And they are even purple, which you all know by now is the Pantone Color of the Year. And look out simply delicious all those shades look together.  Go, me!

What little fear are you harboring in your Quilting Journey that is holding you back? And what's your plan to tackle it? Please share so I don't feel so all alone....

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers
Needle and Thread Thursday
 Finish It Up Friday
Finished Or Not Friday

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Drawing Is Not My Forte

A funny thing happened on the way to quilting this table runner:  I tried to draw the focal design first!

You decide:  Should I try to rely on my artistic pen and paper abilities to make a living? I strongly suggest you answer that question with a resounding "No!".

I admit, I didn't take much time sketching this out. I primarily wanted to get the flow of the lines down before I started stitching. 

This is how it turned out:

I've been aware, for many, many years, that my character doesn't like strict boundaries. I am not a good planner, even though I made my living as an event planner (go figure!). I like to do things spontaneously, spur of the moment. I'm a "Yes, let's" sorta girl.  And as I inspect the free motion quilting that I do, those characteristics come out front and center.

I do use rulers in my quilting. And I appreciate the need for stitch in the ditch. And I'd be lost trying to quilt a straight line through those squares without a straight-edged ruler.

But as you can see from my original sketch, and how it plays out in the center areas of these six blocks, each floral design is unique to its own development. I actually like to see the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences in where the needle has touched each point on the blocks. It duplicates Nature! It creates character! It creates charm! It creates a finished quilt, lol!

I pieced these blocks a couple of years ago as part of the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM with Jacquelynne Steves. She had enlisted the help of several quilters to come up with their own fabrics and unique take on these blocks.  It was fun to participate, and while I finished all the blocks on time, I didn't get them pieced together or quilted. Until now.

I'm glad to have finally finished this table topper so I can use it on my dining room table. Brings a little breath of Spring into our winter months. And it completes one of my goals for the 2018 First Quarter Finish-A-Long.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Scrappy Blues Beat The January Blues

Does January seem to drag on and on for you? It does for me. So this month I got out all my blue scarps and went to town, cutting up little bricks of blues of every tone and hue.

My Scrappy Blue Quilt is ready for quilting!
And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but an excellent variety of blues. I had pastel blues, aquamarines, azures, cobalts, sky blues, peacock blues, teal blues, and even some greens began sneaking into the party!  I didn't even realize I had so many blues to choose from since blue is far from being my Go To Color!

I started out with this:

And ended up with this!

I think, however, that I made an error in the block placement. I have zigzags running kitty corner from bottom to top, but a lot of their paths got messed up and ran into dead ends.

I even turned my cell phone pic into a black and white, so I could 'see' if there were any really bad arrangements of the blocks, or if the zigzag path went where I wanted it to. At one point in laying out the completed blocks, I got so frustrated with it, that I just decided to sew it together the way I had it and call it good.  I'm not even certain if I did lay them out better, if they would even play out with the vision I had in my head.  Pulling out a piece of graph paper and taking a little time to sketch my 'vision' most decidedly would have helped. But I wanted to see the finished quilt!  Oh, yes, I am a woman of little patience, lol!

Getting this quilt top together satisfied my OMG goal for January, and I will get it quilted up and bound for my February OMG goal.  I have other projects in the works, too. And I'm looking forward to getting them finished as well!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers 
Needle and Thread Thursday

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 First Quarter Finish-A-Long

A week into the new year and I've got my work cut out for me. But it's all good! I'm getting caught up on projects that were MIA, and I'm learning some new things along the way.

Here's what's on my list for first quarter finishes for 2018:

1.  Finish up this colorful table runner.  I picked this up as a kit at the quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon, about three years ago. This week I found it again and decided it was high time to get it pieced, quilted and on my table! Plus it has some wonderful purple, which is this year's Pantone Color of the Year. So trendy, yep, that's me!

2.  Finish up this table topper.  This little gem was part of a QAL about four years ago. I remember wanting to do something really fancy in the centers of the blocks, but I was a fresh, new longarmer at the time and was afraid of messing up. Now, I know that whatever I put in the centers will be just fine. I might say, "I've come a long way, baby!"

3.  I've pulled these fabrics so I can learn curved piecing. I'm taking a class with Ann Peterson on Craftsy, and I must say she is an excellent teacher!  I decided I will learn by doing, so I'm on Lesson One, which is to make a set of placemats. I've even cut out the templates.  My long-term goal is to make a quilt for my son, and it is covered with curved piecing, and paper piecing! I've got my work cut out for me on that one, but it's a goal for another quarter.

4.  This is my scrappy project, which I'd like to finish up in January.  I started it about a year ago, and it's been sitting on my cutting table, shoved clear to the back, all this time. It was lonesome! And it's a great way to use up some scraps. Four blocks down, about 26 more to go. Yikes!

5.  I guess I'd also like to add the quilting and binding of two quilts that have been hanging in my closet for almost two years now. One is a simple patchwork. This will also be my March OMG goal, getting it quilted and bound!

6.  And the other is a large star pattern from Angela Walters.

That should do it! Fun, fun, fun.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
2018 Finish-A-Long
Linky Tuesday 
Needle & Thread Thursday 
Midweek Makers 
Let's Bee Social

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Thoughts for 2018

I am so not a Resolution Person! I make statements, and they seldom become conclusions. So for the most part, I have avoided New Year's Resolutions.

But December has seen me coasting with my quilting projects, primarily because I had a hefty-duty month with a setting up a craft fair booth, being sick, hosting our quilt guild's Christmas Party, and hosting family for Christmas. I am tired!  But now that family has gone and my batteries are recharged, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my sewing studio again!

Mountain Quiltworks Shop at our Holiday Bazaar
 I didn't want to bore you with all my plans, but this post is mainly so I can see my goals in black and white, refer to them back here on my blog and not use the excuse of, "I don't know where I put that darn piece of paper that had my goals written on it. Guess I don't have to follow through now...." (This is the sad way my brain rationalizes for me. Silly brain.)

So here goes:

2018 is the Year of Me!  My quilting customers have gone astray for cheaper quilters. That's okay - my time is valuable and I'm not going to break my back for nothing. I don't have a computerized machine, so everything I do is hand guided. Less customers actually gives me more time to do the things I really want. Which is:

1. Make a king-sized quilt for my son
2. Make a king-sized quilt for my daughter and son-in-law
3. Make a blue quilt - blue is not my Go-To color, so this is my challenge
4. Make a queen-sized quilt for our cabin
5. Finish up my Christmas Trip Around The World Quilt
6. Make a flannel quilt with fabric I won last year
7. Quilt the two lap quilts that have been hanging in my closet for nearly two years, lol!

Beginnings of my Christmas Trip Around the World Quilt!

I also want to take time to learn new quilting skills. To that end, I'd like to do a Whole Cloth Quilt. Maybe. It scares me, so maybe that's exactly what I should be doing. Expanding my horizons. Plus, it doesn't have to be king or queen-sized, lol!

I know that if you set SMART goals, they are more likely to materialize (SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Related). But I refuse to set a deadline for any of these. I am officially 'retired'. So I'm just going to do them as I please.

And while I'm thinking about which project to start with, I'll leave you with this pretty view - there are actually mountains in the distance that you can't even see.
My frosty morning view of our neighborhood!

What are your quilty goals for 2018?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers

Adopt A Quilt

What's better than free? Cynthia Brunz over at Q uilting Is More Fun Than Housework , is sponsoring her annual Quilty Orphan Adoption ...