Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ignoring all distractions

    Spring brings distractions.  This morning I watch two cardinals battle it out over the territory just off the front porch.  Cheeping and fluttering around, each  was trying to stand his ground on either side of the sidewalk.  They made quite a display of themselves, and I hope the Mrs. was watching.  I sure enjoyed their antics.
   And emails, and new followers.....I have been trying to answer all questions if possible.  Answering does take time and provides another pleasant distraction.   So welcome new readers, let me know where you blog so I can visit.

   Fabric sales.....another wonderful distraction.  I am blaming my purchases on Sir Old Man this time.  He just had to visit Woodcraft for a new "whats-it" thing for the shop. Actually, he came home with several new items, and I felt the need for new fabric.  I have been very good about not buying or enhancing my stash for 6 months or so.  My fabric diet was causing me to just waste away!  So new floral fabrics are on their way as I have several ideas in my head that are keeping me awake at night.
   To justify---at least to myself---I spent the day playing at the design wall.  It is so hard to take good photos of a watercolor project.  You will have to take my word for it the trail of dark works.  By putting the photo on the computer, I can see a couple of spots that need tweaking, and the light on the bottom right is a bit too muddy.
   I have two sizes of squares  in this one.....just to see what happens.  I had a handful of 4 inch squares that I trimmed to 3 1/2" and the rest are from my supply of 2" squares.  That means I will be sewing little 4 patches of 2 inch squares to match the larger square, as I won't be using the gridded interfacing.

   I finished up my Let's Book It turned out so cute for a small table top quilt.  But I will wait to share it at the end of the month.  Instead, I want to share a photo sent to me by Kathryn at Needles and Pins.
   When I shared a sneak peek at my project for the month, she responded with this photo and story....a quilt tale!  
  She found the article in an older magazine, which was missing the pull out pattern section for the applique.  Kathryn contacted the magazine and was told they no longer had the requested information.   Then a while later, her husband bought her a new magazine, and guess what she found?  Inside the magazine in the "share your quilt section"  was a photo of a lady who had made two of these for her son and grandson.  Ever resourceful, Kathryn contacted the lady who gladly shared the pattern with her.  Quite a story for this little charmer quilt that she proudly displays on her sewing room door.  Thank, Kathryn, for letting me share your quilt tale.
  Moral of the quilt tale:   Be resourceful!  Or be sure to hang onto those older magazines and pattern sections.  I can assure you, one day you will need them.

   So if I seem quiet, it is because I am distracted. Or stitching on this small banner, or planning the next one, or cutting new fabric.....enjoy Spring!
Happy stitching.    

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mrs. Claus may live near you

It was pouring down rain when I saw the postal truck turn into the driveway.  I sent Sir Old Man to the door when we hear the horn start beeping.  I just had a feeling that something special had arrived. And luckily, the rain stopped, the sun briefly came out, and we did a quick photo shoot!

  From Arizona.....
Mrs. Claus  sent 2 quilts.  Bright and colorful little cuties.  These were made by Wiley, who is a member of the HGTV Message board.  Wiley has been a faithful supporter and makes  many doll quilts each year for us.  I love the farmer on his tractor in the whole cloth one.  The strip pieced one even looks a little bit like a landscape.  Thanks, Wiley, for helping...these are wonderful.

  From Montana.....
Mrs. Claus, aka Bozie on the HGTV Message Board, sent a stack of unbelievable doll quilts.

Each one of these are so special that I want to feature each one for all to see, not only for  her workmanship, but to really enjoy the patterns.

  Puppies from Montana.....Mrs. Claus used 6 different embroidered puppies to create this little one in redwork.  Such a delightful doll quilt.

  A simple checkerboard quilt in the purple and green is anything but simple!  Each block with the heart print is fuzzy cut!

  And just look at the fans.  Using tiny print reproduction fabrics, Mrs. Claus Bozie machine appliqued each one.  Just so adorable.

  The using the same reproduction style fabrics, she created a square in a square star quilt.

   And look at the Bear Paws!  Those are so tiny and perfect!  This little doll quilt is so beautiful.

 Another peek at the fans.....and the wonderful colors of the Card Trick quilt.  Found a favorite yet?  If not, read on, because I think this one is it!

   The Pineapple just is breath-taking!  I really am in total awe of this one.  Although the construction of a pineapple block is quite simple, there are lots of pieces in each section.  The difficult part of its construction is keeping everything squared up.  One side tends to grow larger than the other....ask me how I know.  So I am highly praising this small quilt.  And the colors are wonderful, too.

And one more detail to mention......

  Mrs. Claus added labels to the back of each one.  Such a great finishing detail to set off her beautiful work.

   Every time I open a box or envelope with doll quilts in it, I am humbled.  It swells my heart and lightens my day to know that there are wonderful caring and giving quilters across this great and glorious land we call home.  They share their time and their talents with  those they do not know.  They spread joy and love.  That is the embodiment of the Get your Mrs. Claus on project.  I am thankful for each of you.  And I bet there is a Mrs. Claus that lives near you.  She's the one making small quilts.  Hugs and happy stitching.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mail delivery

It has been another one of those weeks where time has slipped away and I am behind again.  I wanted to share  the doll quilts that came in just this week before I get lost in the sewing room.

 A new Mrs. Claus sent this little pink beauty to me.  Karen is a Mrs. Claus from Ohio.
Thank you for joining this project.  I love meeting new quilters and Mrs. Claus too.

 Mrs. Claus used an adorable balloon flannel on the back.   So soft.
  You might like to drop in and visit  her at ksquiltingkorner.

   From Mrs. Claus in New York came these little cuties!  I always love to open her packages.....they are full of bright and cheerful doll quilts.  Of course, you know who I mean.....Sharon of Vroomans Quilts.
  She has been a solid supporter of this project and continues to spread the word around blogland.  Thank you....hugs!

  I recovered from Remy's visit.....chasing him with that dart gun is tiring!  He prefers to be the bad guy and get chased, so he can say "You can't catch me!".   My knees can't take much of that, but the hugs were worth it.  And Dinks, the Elf on the shelf, dropped in to visit Remy.  Only in the eyes of a child do we find such wonder and amazement over a handful of mints and a note.

   The Tiara demo/class went well, I think.  The biggest thing I learned.....most new users are scared of it!  Don't be.  Get on it and practice, practice, practice.....then have a glass of wine  and repeat!   No matter how many tips I share, nothing improves your confidence like practice.
  You will notice a new button/link on the side bar.  I was contacted by Fave Quilts to be featured  on their website.   First up is the strip pieced watercolor tutorial.  If you are looking for info on tutorials or techniques or patterns, this is a great place to begin your search.  There are plenty of links to good things there.
  Time to get busy.....happy stitching.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A bit of therapy

  My brother and nephew arrived for a few days this week.....even so I have managed  to squeeze in a bit of sewing while they were out doing the park and shopping thing.  I fed them a big breakfast today and sent them off  and I ran to the sewing room for a bit of therapy!

Here's a peek at my Let's Book It project for the month.   It is very close to being done, and quite small.   Picking the fabrics to use made this one a lot of fun to work on.  I may need to make another one for a gift!

   I began playing with the scraps and strips for the blended scrap strata quilt.  The sample I saw on Pinterest was done in color ways.  Ummmmm....that may not be the way I go after all.

   Developing the strata groups requires several good combinations in each colorway to get enough variety. To achieve that requires cutting new fabrics....not what I wanted to do here.  So now I am thinking that I will try a few sets of strips that are mixed colors but very strict on value placement.
   If you are thinking of sewing along with me on sure to check out the tutorial on the strata and block construction.  I am using 2 1/2" strips because that is what I have.
   A couple of tips to remember.....a good 1/4" seam is needed or your strata will be too narrow or too wide. out for the tucking at seam lines.  Press it well.

   I have a Tiara Class to teach on adventure for me.  I finished up the sampler for stitches...... finally.  This is for the basic Free Motion Quilting Class but thought I would share it at this class as well.  Goofs and all  :)  If you put enough thread on there, the quilt police will go blind looking for the bad stitches!
  Enjoy the rest of the weekend and happy stitching.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I count March a success

  Mid-Winter Dreams...completed just in time for Spring and waiting for someone to enjoy it.  Care to join me on the porch?

  March needed to be a big quilting and finishing month.  I had the Whopper quilt to bind and three others to quilt and hopefully finish.  I can now say that I count March a successful month.

 Finished!   Never at a loss for Words  is inspired by Jumbled Library by Wanda at Exuberant Color.  All those narrow strips of batik and left over bits that I could not bear to discard were put into this one.   It does remind me of the book shelves in the bedroom and I love all the jumble of color.   So I expressed my love of words through fabric.

   Gum Blossom was the Let's Book It project.  It is already up on the wall and I love it.


  • The Buzz Saw is bound.
  • Frosty Morn is quilted and bound.
  • Mid-Winter Dreams is quilted and bound.
  • Never at a Loss for Words is finished.
  • Let's Book It is done.
  • McTavishing Lessons done.  
Probably the McTavishiving was my least favorite and thus the least successful for the month.  I tried, I can, but I probably will not do much with it.  I enjoy the swirls and feathers too much when doing free motion quilting.    
  Wow, it will be difficult to top March any time soon!  And that is fine with me because I have a clean slate.  The only thing hanging around are the blocks from the French Roses demo at guild last month.  I may make a few more and turn them into something eventually.

April is a time to start something new!  

  The blended scrap quilt:   I pulled a few fabrics out of the scrap pile to see how I like them together......remember the scrap project I want to start?   I plan on using these fabrics as my first test group.  Then I can begin the hunt thru the scrap bins.  


  And a Let's  Book It  project jumped off the pages of an older McCalls' Quilting magazine and bit me yesterday.   I have had this one earmarked for ages and ages.  

   I think it is the simplicity of it that I love. As well as the floral fabrics.   Unfortunately, I won't be following the directions...she did this by appliqueing each square!  My plan is to adapt this to create a new table topper.  A small project that I am sure to be able to finish.  

A successful month.......I think I need a nap on the porch before I begin April. See you next month....... Happy stitching.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let's Book It for March

   Let's Book It is an idea from Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.   Each month select a project from a book, magazine or such and do it.  Then post a finish and link up at the Linky Party.  So I jumped on her bandwagon this month.....From Stratavarious Quilts I selected this wall hanging project.  I liked the visual impact and thought it would be good to try thread painting again.
   As per my usual, I ended up not following their directions completely, and found that string piecing the background was an easier and less wasteful method.

I cut the foundation for the string piecing from telephone book pages.
  Tip:  Be sure to cover your pressing surface to prevent the ink from being transferred to your cover.....I use an old pillowcase that slips right over my ironing board end.
  Note the crease in the paper page.....that is the correct angle that I wanted to maintain for the background blocks.  It is not corner to corner, rather  the angle runs a little off kilter but still on a diagonal.
   The book project was larger than I I reduced the size to approximately 24 by 30 inches.  And that meant less leaves to applique down.  The stems and leaves were cut from batiks and glued to the background with glue stick.....not fused. This was to be raw-edge applique.

   Here's a close up of the raw edge stitching......and the thread painted blossom.  The thread painting was done onto tulle and cut out.  Then a few more stitches were added to hold it in place.  I used wavy lines for the quilting in the background.

    And it is done.    Glad I got it out of my system and onto the wall. The colors are slightly washed out in this is really a dramatic contrast in the dark background and the light leaves.

    I have no idea what I might try next month.....I need to look for a small project to attack!  Be sure to check out the other blogger's projects at the linky party.....Here.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Little quilts

  Time for the weekly update on those doll quilts.
I was so excited when I opened the package from Mrs. Claus in Maine.   She included custom made pillows for her doll quilts!

 Both of these were made by KC1930 who is a member of the HGTV Message Board.  The quilts are adorable, but those little pillows just add that special touch of love.  Thank you so much, Kathleen, for being a wonderful Mrs. Claus.

  If I asked you to guess which state these little ones represented, what would you say?  Cows....I loved these cows!  So this Mrs. Claus is from that great dairy state of Wisconsin!  Cute, colorful, and cuddly.
   Both are made of flannel by Patty J, who is also a member of the HGTV Message Board.  She included a note about getting a stroller for her baby doll when she was young.  So Mrs. Claus just wanted to pass along that happiness to a little girl.

   From the fabrics we select, to the memories we stitch into a quilt, as quilters we strive to preserve things about our lives.  I believe that makes us very special people.  So thank you to each Mrs. Claus.

On a personal stack is dwindling!  I have two of the three assembled for finishing done.  I hope to get to the the last one tomorrow.  So next week/ next month I can begin the scrappy strata quilt.   By Tuesday, I will be organizing those strips.  Please come back and join me.
  Today, Sir Old Man and I are heading to a local quilt show and then to dinner.  We are "celebrating" 39 years together....giggle and grin.  Who would have thought!

Happy stitching.
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