Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hat Trick...

Although my goal was to have this quilt done far in advance of the end of the month, here we are on the last day of April and I'm rushing about trying to take pictures and write a quick post about my Schnibbles quilt for this month.  Oh well, why mess with tradition?  It's a gray and rainy day here, so please excuse the dark photos.  The quilt is much brighter in person.  Here is my version of Hat Trick, the Schnibbles of the month chosen by Sinta and Sherri for Another Year of Schnibbles.

I used Independence Trail by Minick & Simpson for my version.  I also made mine square which I noticed many others did as well.  I'm going to hang this above our bed when it's finished and a square wall hanging will just work better I think.  I also left off the corner 9-patches.  I made them; however, I really didn't like how they looked in my version.  Plus the large open setting triangles will give me more space for quilting.  I don't know what I'm going to quilt there yet, but I'll have to make it something nice now that I have all that space, won't I?

To get the color scheme I wanted, I ended up using 3 charm packs rather than 2, but I have lots of squares left over that I can use for something else.  I still want to make a lap quilt out of this fabric, so I'm sure it won't go to waste.

I'm motivated to quilt this sooner rather than later, so I went ahead and basted it.  I use 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive for basting projects like this rather than pins.  I'm also using 2 layers of Warm & Natural in it.  (I always pre-wash my batting to pre-shrink it.)  As soon as I figure out how I want to quilt it, I can go ahead and start it.  That is of course if something else doesn't catch my attention first...

So many projects, so little time!!!

Be still, and know that I am God! 
Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prep Work...

Before I really started with the packing, I took some time to work ahead on some small projects.  First, I finished the next Quilt in a Box block, Hilary's this month.

Hilary's Block
Then I worked on making enough HST's to swap for the next several months.  Since all of my fabric will be packed up, I needed to get this done early.  I'm swapping two sets each month, so that gives me through July to finish the renovation.  (I really hope it doesn't take that long!)

HST's to swap for the next 3 months
I'll still have projects to work on during the renovation, since I can't see not sewing for that long. They're mostly things that need to be quilted, not pieced, although I wouldn't rule out another Schnibbles quilt or two.  My dear husband has said he doesn't mind if I take over the sunroom for my sewing while the reno is taking place, so that gives me a place to work.

So many plans now are running through my head!  It's so exciting and so busy at the same time, but I'm reminding myself to take one tiny step at a time.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 
James 1:19 (NLT)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Let's Start De-Stashing... (Winner Announced)

Now that I've finally started packing up my sewing room for the upcoming renovation, I'm trying to be realistic about what I keep.  I have a lot of fabric/notions/items that although I like, I'm never going to use.  And I'd rather these items go to someone, like you, who will find some use for them rather than sitting and gathering dust here!

To start, I'm giving away this little bundle of Nancy Halvorsen fabric and the Christmas book Tidings also by her.  There are 8 pieces of fabric here.  The one on the bottom is 17" x 35" and most of the others are a little bigger than fat eighths.  Most of the projects in the book don't require much fabric so you could make a lot of them from this little bundle.

If you're interested in the fabric and book, just leave a comment below letting me know one of your favorite holiday memories.  I remember when we were kids, my sister bought a huge candy cane for our baby sitter, wrapped it and put it under the tree.  When we got up the next morning, we found that our dog, Mindy, had discovered it during the night and eaten it.  It was a huge mess!  Funny how I still remember that 30 years later...

Since this isn't a very heavy package, I'll leave this open to anyone and everyone.

5/3 - Congratulations Deborah!  You're the winner of the book and fabric.  I've sent you an email for your information.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This and That...

A quick hello to everyone!  I hope you're enjoying some sunshine wherever you are.  I know some people are still buried until feet of snow even though it's quickly approaching May.  (I really feel for you if that's you!)  Our weather has been up and down, but it was a beautifully warm day today.  A perfect spring day in fact.

Lately I've been keeping busy with a little of this...

and some of this...

I'll also admit to a fair amount of this going on as well...

For all of that, not a great deal of sewing has been happening, although I've almost finished with my Schnibbles quilt for the parade on May 1st.  I've also started packing up my quilt room and have found several things I no longer want to keep.  Be on the lookout in the next day or two as I start to de-stash!

Until then, I hope you're getting outside to soak up some Vitamin D!!!

Always be full of joy in the Lord, I say it again-rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (NLT)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Home Again...

I'm back home from my quilting retreat.  I spent 5 wonderful days with gorgeous weather, great friends, good food and this as my view...

Actually, I've been back for almost a week.  It's just taken me this long to catch up on things around here!  But now that the laundry's done, the house is clean, the pets are happy and the cupboards are stocked, I can share a few pictures of what I worked on while I was gone.  Usually I over pack for things like this, but I only brought 3 projects this time.  At one point, I was concerned I wouldn't have enough to work on.  However, when you factored in nap time, lounging time and reading time, it's turns out I brought more than enough!

For the first day or so, I worked on making more blocks for the quilt my mom and I are working on together.  I made another 32 of them.  She just has a few more to go and then we can get together to start assembling the center of the quilt.

Those blocks weren't very exciting to work on, so I was glad to finish them and move on to a prayer quilt I wanted to make for a friend.  I used the pattern "Plan C" from the Schnibbles Times Two book by Carrie Nelson and 2 Charm Packs of Aviary by 3 Sisters.

I was surprised at how many pieces there turned out to be in this little quilt, but it still went together fairly quickly.  I don't usually make pastel quilts, but the colors are perfect for the recipient, and I think they work well with the pattern.

And finally, I bit the bullet and decided to join Sinta and Sherri again for the Another Year of Schnibbles sew-along.  The pattern this month is Hat Trick.  It's an easy one to make, so it's not too late to join in if you're interested.  They'll have a parade of all the quilts on May 1st and it's always so much fun to see the different fabric selections and choices.  You can find more information here.  These are the fabrics I picked to begin with...

I managed to finish making all of my 9-patches, but wasn't happy with them layed out, so I've been mulling over changing things a bit.  I had to order a bit more fabric, but I think I have a plan now.  (Hope so anyway!)

And in other news, the winner of the Quilt in a Day rulers is Nan!  I've sent you an email.  I'm hopeful that I can start packing up at least part of my sewing room in the next week, so there might be more giveaways in the near future...

I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. 
John 5:24 (NLT)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Switching it out...

Note: If you'd like to leave a comment to win the free rulers, go here.  Also I'm out of town this week, so I won't be able to respond to comments until I get back!

I've mentioned it before, but I've been blessed with a very handy husband.  He's a jack of all trades and an excellent carpenter.  Some number of years ago, he designed and built a built-in bookcase in our living room.  I had just finished making a small quilt so he left a big enough opening in the center so we could hang it.  (How sweet is he?)  This quilt has been hanging there ever since.

The other day, I started wondering if the quilt I just finished would fit in there.  It turns out, it's the perfect size!  So now it has a new home.  I can also change out the quilts periodically just to switch things up!

And yes, that's a basket of candy sitting on the shelf.  My husband has a bit of a sweet tooth after dinner!

This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 
Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Note: If you'd like to leave a comment to win the free rulers, go here.  Also I'm out of town this week, so I won't be able to respond to comments until I get back!

I've been trying really hard this year to focus on my UFO's and not to get distracted by new projects.  But boy is it a struggle!  Every time I turn around someone else is starting a new fun/interesting/gorgeous quilt along.

  • For example, how about the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilts everyone has been making this year.  I really like both Sherri's version from A Quilting Life and Camille's from Simplify.
  • And have you seen the Bee in My Bonnet Row Along by Lori Holt?  When it first started, I wasn't all that tempted (I'm not usually big on row quilts), but as I saw row after row and then saw them put together...  Well, it's just beautiful!  And after such a long, cold winter, it's a breath of fresh air.  I'd love to have made this quilt.  You can find photos of different quilts as well as links to the instructions here.
  • As if that weren't enough, the same Lori Holt has now started another quilt along called 'The Quilty Barn Along'.  She's currently on block #3, so it's not too late to catch up!  Each block is a barn with a quilt block on the side of it.  How cute is that!  Just adorable and so very tempting to make!  I'm having a hard time resisting all of these.
  • Besides all of the quilt alongs, I'm seeing some gorgeous quilts being made on other blogs.  After visiting Satu's blog Quilttales and seeing her version of 'Milky Way', I must confess I ordered the pattern!  I have no plans to make it this year, but I just love the look of it and would like to eventually make it.
So despite all of this extreme temptation, I've thus far managed to resist starting any new projects.  Sort of.  I did end up purchasing this lovely bundle of Indigo Crossing last week.

I figure this will give me a good start on a Farmer's Wife quilt.  I'm planning to make the king size version (of course).

I'm not really counting this as a new project simply because I've been looking for the right fabric for it for over a year now.  I almost went with American Banner Rose also by Minick & Simpson, but held off on it.  I like Indigo Crossing better, so I'm glad I did!

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm also extremely tempted to make the new Schnibbles selection 'Hat Trick' that Sinta and Sherri have picked for this month.  I'm on the fence about and not sure which direction I'll end up falling.  As I said, so much temptation out there!  Argh!!!

Speaking of temptation, I happened to have a pack of crackers under my sewing table and Sam was having an awful time trying to get them.  It took me a while to figure out why she kept trying to climb under there!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you're enjoying Springtime wherever you are!

Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. 
Psalm 100:2 (NLT)   

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Free Rulers...

I haven't really started to go through my sewing room, but I've already found a couple of rulers that I know I'll never use.  In fact, they've never been opened! It's the Small and Large Quilt in a Day Flying Geese Rulers. So I'm giving them away.

Quilt in a Day Flying Geese Rulers
If you'd like to add them to your collection, leave me a comment below.  Why don't you let me know how long you've been sewing/quilting?  Myself, I've been quilting for about 8 years now.  I sure have learned a lot since I made that first quilt. (Especially what a 1/4" really is!)

By the way, I'm going to be out of town this week on a quilt retreat (yeah me!), so I'll draw a winner when I get back.  (Just make sure there's some way for me to contact you please.)  I hope you have a fantastic week!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bee Stuff...

After finishing the quilting of Here's My Heart, it was really nice to get back to some piecing.  I was behind on some sewing for my bee, so I got busy on that.  I made 2 more blocks for our Quilt in a Box project.

Susan's Block
Dee's Block
I also made 2 more sets of HST's (half-square triangles) for our HST swap.  We're swapping these out for the next year or so in groups of 32 (because that's how many you can reasonably make this size out of 2 fat quarters.)

My 2 sets to swap
We met this week and swapped these latest sets out and I already cut mine down to their 3.5" unfinished size.  (We decided to let everyone cut their own down to be more accurate.)

My swapped out HST's
I've added them to my basket.  It's growing slowly.  Right now I have 128 of them.  But before too long, I'll have enough to make a nice sized quilt.  I'll have to pull out my quilt books and start looking at patterns.  Any suggestions?

All of my HST's together
The other day David showed up missing a patch of hair on his face.  He's an indoor only cat and we can't figure out how it happened.  He's not injured, except for the missing fur.  I can only wonder what he got into?

David and his missing fur
The weather here has finally turned spring like and gorgeous.  I hope you're experiencing the same in your part of the world!  Have a lovely weekend!

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Here's My Heart....

Yeah!  I'm finally done.  I've never spent as long quilting a quilt as I have on this one and it's only 31" square!  However, I'm loving it and think it was worth all the hours I put into it.  (If it looks a little wonky in the picture, it's just because of my picture taking abilities!)

I tried so many new techniques on this quilt, including Diane-shiko, curved cross-hatching, echo quilting, micro stippling and a back and forth meander in the outer border (not sure what it's called).  You can see most of them here in this picture of the back of the quilt.

Here's a full picture of the back.  That's a hanging sleeve at the top.  I usually split my sleeve in the middle, so I can slide a wooden rod through and hang my quilts with a single nail from the center.  I usually make the pocket a bit bigger, but that was all the fabric I had left and it was just enough to finish it.

I quilted birds in each of the outer 4 corners of the quilt, echo quilted around them and then finally micro stippled the rest of the space.  I used Golden Threads quilting paper to mark the birds and then stitch them onto the quilt.

I wish I had kept track of how many hours it took me to quilt this.  I can only guesstimate at this point, but I'm figuring somewhere around 70 hours.  That's a lot of time, but I was learning a bunch of new techniques and I did get faster with practice and repetition.  Besides, this will be an heirloom, so I suppose the time spent doesn't really matter!

So, the stats for this quilt are:

  • Size: 31" square
  • Fabrics: A kit from Plain and Simple Quilt Shop, Backing is a Moda Marble
  • Batting: 2 layers - Warm & White, Tuscany Wool Batting
  • Thread - Aurifil to piece, YLI 100# Silk Thread for hand applique and all quilting
  • Pattern - Here's My Heart by Bunny Hill Designs
  • Quilting - Custom, A couple of the bird patterns came from Hari Walner's Continuous-Line Quilting Designs
  • Completed - April 1, 2013
  • Started - January 2011
I had to look back through old posts to see when I started this quilt and see it was over 2 years ago.  At that point, I had already had the kit for a couple of years as well.  Then it sat languishing, waiting for me to get around to quilting it.  I always new I wanted to do something special on it; I was just hesitant to get started it.  I'm so glad to finally have gotten over myself and just do it!  Now on to the next one...

Throughout the quilting process, I got lots of help.  So much so, that I kept a lint brush and tweezers beside my sewing machine so I could make sure I didn't sew any cat hair into this quilt.  I think I spent so much time on it, each of them came to visit me to get some attention.  Here, it's obviously Jack's turn...

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men. 
Colossians 3:23 (NLT)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bumper Sticker...

While out running errands today, I saw a bumper sticker that I just had to share.

Children have rights.
Adults have responsibilities.
Which one are you?

I really think that says it all...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I'll admit it.  I'm a planner.  Big time.  I have to have a plan for each day in advance.  I find I'm much more productive that way.  I can't just wake up in the morning and then decide what I'm going to do.  I'm persnickety that way!  However, I'm OK when my plans don't work out (which happens quite often.)  I realize that the only one whose plans work out all day every day is God and that's just fine by me.  But I still make my plans - plans for dinner, plans for tomorrow, plans for next week and more recently I'm working on plans for renovating my sewing room!

I'm actually pretty excited about these plans, although I'm still in the early stages.  But I am finally starting to make some decisions and seeing some progress.  In fact, my husband and I went and picked out some cabinets this past weekend.

New cabinets for my sewing room
They're unfinished so I still need to do some research to figure out the most durable finish for painting.  I'm thinking enamel, but I've honestly never used it before, so I'm not sure how hard it will be too apply.  Does anyone have any tips for me?

I've had the wall paint color picked out for over a year (it's the bottom one) and I've picked up some flooring samples as well.  More research needs to happen here on installing the laminate flooring and its underlayment before I make my final choice, but that should happen before too long.  Again, I'd appreciate any advice you have on this!

Flooring samples and paint color
After searching the web, I found this picture of a table that I think would be perfect as a cutting table.  My husband is going to make one like it in the dimensions I want and a coordinating one to use as my sewing table.  I love having a husband that's so handy at building things!  I found this picture at littlegreennotebook and I think it came from a magazine.

The cutting table I'd like for my sewing room
I know it's going to be months before this renovation is complete, but I'm having a lot of fun planning it right now.  It's also exciting to see if the end result will look anything like what I have pictured in my head.  I hope so!  I'll keep you posted as it moves along.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. 
John 13:35 (NLT)