Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring has Sprung...

Although it's rather a cold rainy day today, Spring is officially here and I am so grateful.  My neighbor's Bradford Pear trees are already in bloom and they are gorgeous!  While nature's hard at work, I've been continuing to work on the blocks for my Cheerio quilt.  The pattern calls for 42 blocks set in a 6 x 7 layout.  I cut out all of the pieces for this quilt late last year, so I was a little confused when I finished sewing and discovered I only had 36 blocks.

Boy was there a lot of head scratching going on!  I had started with a fat eighth bundle of Scrumptious and it took me a while to figure out that the bundle only came with 40 pieces of fabric and I couldn't use 4 of them because they didn't have enough contrast.  Hence the 36 blocks.  I could have put it together in 6 rows of 6 blocks, but decided I really didn't want a square quilt.  Although this line of fabric is a little bit older, you can find almost anything on the internet nowadays.  Between Etsy and my local quilt shop I found enough of it to make the remaining 6 blocks I needed.

These are such simple blocks to sew, it didn't take long to finish the rest of them.

Now I need to lay them out and then sew them together.  However, I've had to put it aside for a little bit while I work on costumes for the Easter play at my church.

Some number of years ago, I used to do a weekly stash report because I was still buying a good bit of fabric.  Times have changed and I rarely buy any now.  However, the last couple of weeks has seen a plethora of packages arriving at my house and it reminded me of those days.  I would have dreaded having to add it all up!  The backing and binding for 4 different quilts arrived as well as a FQ bundle of Miss Kate that will be used for an upcoming charity project.

Now I have to find the time to complete all those projects!  Hmm, I think I could use some more snow days...

No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 
Micah 6:8 (NLT)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Winter Wonderland Pictures...

Here are all of the pictures of the quilting I did on my mom's Winter Wonderland quilt.  I'm posting them here because I had such trouble coming up with ideas for quilting this and I hope they might help someone else.

It's a Winter Wonderland...

It's somehow fitting that as I've finally finished quilting a winter themed quilt, spring looks like it might be making an appearance.  Yeah!  I have never spent as much time quilting a quilt as I did this one.  I started it last August (although I truthfully I didn't get that much quilting done during the holidays).  Please ignore the photo bombing cat in any pictures.  She was being a pest that day.

My mom hand embroidered all of the snowmen blocks and pieced the top.  The pattern is Winter Wonderland by Crabapple Hill Studio.  I offered to quilt it for her a couple of years ago but only just got around to it.  One of the reasons I waited so long was because I wasn't quite sure how to quilt the embroidered blocks.  Kathy from Troublesome Creek Quilts was nice enough to share some links where she had seen the the same quilt quilted, including a great one by the Quilted Pineapple.  I took some inspiration from her in quilting mine.

I started by outlining all of the embroidery with silk thread.  Obviously that took a while.  Then for each embroidered block, I drew my quilting design on Golden Threads quilting paper and quilted it.  I did the same thing for the large snowflakes in the solid blocks in the border.  Everything else, I freehanded.

Deciding how to quilt something can be the hardest part for me.  I look on the internet and in books for inspiration.  And because I had such a difficult time with this one, I'm going to share pictures of all of my quilting for anyone else who makes this quilt.  (Also, I made this exact same quilt for myself and would like to remember how I quilted it when I finally get around to quilting mine!)  However, there are a ton of pictures so I'm going to put it in a separate post.  If you're not interested, you can skip right past it.

I was so happy to finish quilting this and give it to my mom.  I love how it turned out.  And although she put absolutely no pressure on me to get it done, it's nice to have it off my list and be able to move on to something else.

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. 
Psalm 39:7 (NLT)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Happily Sewing Again...

I've been meaning to post for several weeks now.  I finally finished a big quilting project and plan on sharing it.  But there are quite a few pictures and it takes a big chunk of time to edit them and write a post.  Rather than wait on it, I thought I'd share what I've been doing since then.

I had every intention of pulling out another quilt top to machine quilt.  I have so many waiting in the wings and several I'm actually excited about quilting.  However, I just really felt the need to sew some pieces of fabric together.  So I went with it.  I pulled out a project that I cut out at my last quilt retreat.  The pattern is Cheerio by Camille Roskelley.  Initially the pattern was only available in the UK magazine Love Patchwork & Quilting (which is how I got it); however, now Camille is selling it as a separate pattern (for much less than the magazine!)

I had a fat eighth bundle of Scrumptious by Bonnie & Camille lying around that is perfect for this quilt.  The quilt on the cover was made using a mix of this fabric and April Showers, so my version will have a similar feel to it.

I've mentioned it before, but I haven't really felt like sewing over the last several months.  But working on this quilt has been SO. MUCH. FUN.  We've been hammered with crazy cold weather lately (just like everyone else), but I've been hiding out in my sewing room happily sewing away with these bright cheerful fabrics.

I'm having such a great time that it almost makes me wish for more days like this so I'm forced to stay at home and can spend the entire day sewing guilt free.

Never stop praying.” 
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)