Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Half Square Triangle Love Fest...

Last year, I feel like I had a love affair with half square triangles (HSTs).  I must have sewed thousands of them together.  And I literally mean thousands!  Fortunately, my quilt bee had done an HST swap several years ago, so I wasn't starting from scratch. 

I was able to get most of my pinwheel blocks for a king-size Scrappy Pinwheel quilt from that swap.  I used my stash for the rest of it. 

Initially I planned to add borders to the outside.  I even bought fabric to do so, but in the end, I decided I loved it without them so I just made more pinwheel blocks to make it big enough to fit our bed.  It's now 96" x 108".

I have the batting, but still need to get the backing for this one.  I also made a coordinating lap-sized quilt to go over the back of the chair in the bedroom.  It's only 51" x 63" but it was almost as much work piecing all those little rows together.  It was worth it though!

And I took advantage of the brief warm spell last week to baste this little one and a couple of others for quilting.  FYI - as I type this, it's snowing outside!

David is up to his old tricks again.  He was particularly helpful as I tried to get this binding sewn down the other day.  It only took me twice as long with his assistance!

Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” 
Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NLT)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

My 'little' sewing helper...

I've mentioned before how much of a 'helper' my cat David is when I'm sewing.  I do most of my hand stitching/applique at night while watching TV.  Even though he's more than twice as big as a normal cat, he's convinced he's a lap kitty so he's determined to lie in my lap at night.  I'm trying very hard to train him to sit beside me so I can sew, but thus far, he's extremely resistant!  Here's a series of pictures from a battle the other night...

Just for reference in the pictures, I'll explain that I put a pillow on my lap and then my sewing box to give me the height and stability I need when I'm hand appliqueing.  It's what works best for me (and my neck!)

Here David has crawled directly on top of the sewing box on my lap.  I had to pull my stitching out from underneath him and off to the side.

It's difficult to see, but he's now curled up on top of the sewing box.  I keep the blanket beside me in the chair and I try to coax/ease/push him onto it.  He's 23 lbs though and if he doesn't want to move, he won't.

He's now standing on top of the box begging to be petted and scratched.

Well, he's finally off the box, but only because he's decided he wants to smurgle my lap. (Yes, it's a real word.  Look it up!)  Still no stitching getting done....

Eventually he did settle down for a nap and I made some progress on my sewing.  I'm hand appliqueing the last ship in my Ladies of the Sea quilt.  This is another long time UFO that I hope to make some really good progress on this year.

If you get the impression from this post that we're ruled by our pets, well, you're probably right.  We have 3 cats and a dog and most days they do seem to run things.  But considering how much joy they bring to our lives, I'd say it's a pretty fair trade.

So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 
Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Last minute redesign...

One of the long time quilts on my UFO list is Snowmen A to ZZZZ.  This is a Crabapple Hill Studios pattern.  (I love their patterns!)  I'm not sure when I started it but I know I took a break for a couple of years sometime around Noel.  In fact, my mom actually worked on a couple of the blocks for me.  (She's making the same quilt, but finished stitching her blocks a long. long. long time ago.)  I picked it back up several months ago and was very excited when I finished stitching the last block shortly before Christmas!  Yeah!  I didn't have either the inner or outer border fabrics yet, but since it was the holidays, it was the perfect time to buy them.  After much deliberation, I picked this Black Metallic Snowflake from Holiday Flourish by Peggy Toole for the outer border.

Holiday Flourish Black Metallic Ornate Snowflakes
If you look closely, you'll notice that a few of the snowflakes have red in them.  It's not a lot, just a touch really.  But seeing that had me rethinking my quilt.  I stitched all of my blocks using black perle cotton on a cream background like in this Wreath block.

Because of the border fabric, I've now decided to go back and add accents to some of the blocks with red thread.  So far I've only done the one block, but I like the pop it gives it.

The inner border is also a mottled red so I think it will it all together nicely.  Hopefully it won't take too long to make changes to these blocks.  I'd love to have this one done before next Christmas!

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." 
1 Thessalonians 5:15

Sunday, January 7, 2018

All a flutter...

It's a fact that I have a impressive daunting number of UFO's to complete.  Every year I hope to whittle that number down, but since I do my own quilting, it seems to grow instead of shrink!  As of today, I have 42 quilt tops needing to be quilted.  So I try to talk myself out of starting new projects and only working on the ones I have.  Unless of course it's a prayer quilt.  I've always felt free to stop working on any other projects if I feel like I need to make one of these.  Recently I really felt the call to make one for a friend's daughter.  I'm sure everyone reading this has gone through their own health issues or know someone close to them going through them.  Unfortunately it's an all too common part of life.  But when it happens to someone young, it's just that much harder.

I had been saving this bundle of Flutterby fabrics by Tula Pink for a very long time and this seemed like the perfect quilt in which to use them.  (FYI - the top fabric is Natural Effects by Michelle D'Amore.)

Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting designed a quilt using the new Moda Cake Mix Recipes and I thought it would be a fun pattern for this fabric.  She used Cake Mix #5.  The layout looks SO much more complicated than it is.  It's actually just a mix of 4-patches and HST's.

Quilt layout from Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting

LOTS of 4-patches and HST's.  It still went together pretty quickly.  And because everything was sewn using the Cake Mix paper, it went together perfectly!

I must have left my brain at home when I went to purchase the backing fabric though, because I didn't buy quite enough.  I had some leftover blocks from the quilt so I added them to the back to make it big enough.  It will serve double purpose as the label once it's quilted.

I made the binding out of the only remaining fabric I had enough of.  (As soon as I finish a quilt top I always like to make the backing and binding at the same time.  That way, even if I don't quilt it for a long time, I don't have to go searching for the fabric when I finally get around to it.)

All I need now is some white batting and a warm enough day so I can baste it.  (I spray baste all my quilts.)  I plan to quilt it and get it to it's new home as soon as possible.

I actually had a lot of help making this quilt.  From the same someone who has continuously helped me 'write' this post!  This is my sewing buddy David.  He does NOT like to be ignored and keeps walking across my laptop while I'm trying to type.  He also likes to lie in front of the needle on my sewing machine and routinely climbs on top of it to keep me company.

David on top of my sewing machine

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. 
John 16:33 (NLT)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Year(s) in Review...

It's no secret that I didn't spend much time sewing in 2015 or 2016, both because of building a new house and because of health issues.  This year I was really able to get back to quilting and worked on quite a few projects; I was just terrible about blogging about them.  In the interest of starting over with a clean slate, I thought I'd quickly review those projects I finished in 2015, 2016 and 2017 that I actually did post about.  I've included links to those posts.

In 2015, I finished 2 quilts and 3 quilt tops.

Winter Wonderland
Swoon Raffle Quilt
Swooning Kate
I only finished one quilt and one quilt top in 2016.

Going Crazy
And I only blogged about a couple of quilts this year although I finished at least half a dozen more.

Sea Foam Asteria
Olivia's Star
This year I have SO many projects I want to work on including a lot of tops I want to get quilted.  I quilt all my own tops so that will take a good amount of my time.  I'm very excited to see what this year brings and hope to spend at least a little bit of every day in my sewing room (aka my happy place!)

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” 
Matthew 11:28-29a (MSG)