Monday, January 15, 2018

Home Again, Home Again

It's good to be back home after a fun weekend with family!  We had a blast celebrating our oldest grand daughter's Seventh Birthday!

They had a bowling party for her, and it was very obvious that I haven't been in a long time because my score was not very awesome.  But it was such a fun time, and it was so great to watch all the little girls giggling and having such a good time.  It brought back so many memories of raising my 5 little girls and having parties!  

7 years old!  

On the way back we stopped for a bit to enjoy the beautiful day.  Hubby was disappointed not to be able to catch a couple of races, but it was such a lovely day that it was nice to get out of the car a bit and enjoy the day.

I added row F to my Dear Jane quilt last week!  Notice that I ended up with two blocks the same color, right next to each other.  Sigh.  I'm not going to worry about it for now.  If I feel like resewing one of those at some point I will.  Row G is next, and I have enough blocks to keep me busy for the rest of the month.

I want to get this top quilted this week -

I found a great vintage top in my closet that's just the right size for the back!  I love how this came out and would love to finish another top before the end of this month.  I have a good list of projects that I need to work on, so we'll have to see about that, though.  I have another snowman quilt to tackle as well as three different memory quilts.  Nothing has a certain deadline, though, so I can just pace myself.

It's great to be feeling more energetic and excited to be sewing again!

Hope you are ready for a great week, too!  Today's posts for the Four Seasons Blog hop are terrific, so don't miss out on them - the Elementz line is very pretty!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

On the Road Again

I'm excited to be taking a short trip this weekend - my oldest grand-daughter turned 7 this week and Grandma and Grandpa promised her this fall that we would come celebrate with her.  I'm really grateful to be feeling fairly well again so that we can go and enjoy more family time.

Are you tired of hearing me whining about that flu bug?  I am very seldom sick, so I guess it makes me extra miserable when I am.  I'm probably back to 90% of my normal self, still having a bit of a dry cough and having to be careful what I eat because my tummy is still a little off.  At least the feeling of my head being full of fog is gone!  It's good to feel like my brain is working like it should!

There were some awesome quilts for yesterday's Four Seasons blog hop! 

January 10 – Alpine Ice
Freemotion by the River • Slice of Pi Quilts
Seams Like a Dream • KISSed Quilts

I had the opportunity to make a sample quilt for Fall Market out of this line, and I've published a pattern as well - Polar Elegance.

I love the wintery fabrics in this line!  My favorite is the dark blue background with snowflakes, so yummmy!

This pattern will be available through Island Batik as a paper pattern, and as a PDF download in my Etsy Shop.  (Contact me if you are interested in a wholesale price for paper patterns - I am happy to provide these to quilt shops!)

Purchase Polar Elegance on Etsy!
Today's quilts on the hop were lovely as well - Alpine Jingle is a festive holiday line!  Perfect for Christmas quilts, how can you resist these fun fabrics?

January 11 – Alpine Jingle
Purrfect Spots Designs • Bejeweled Quilts

That will finish up our week of winter - next week we'll be hopping into Spring, and I can't wait to see what our Ambassadors have come up with!  Don't forget to enter the giveaways and check out the lovely projects!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Expanding the Crazy Jane quilt

I've started out my last few days of sewing by assembling a finished row of my Dear Jane quilt and adding it to the rest.  It really has set my mind at ease about how it is going to look when it's all together, it's going to be beautiful!

Here is row C
Sunday I added row D
And yesterday I added row E

I love adding the sashing strips to each block and pressing them (and petting them).  They are indeed so tiny and perfect and well worth the effort and time I have spent so far!  Today I will add row F and then all my complete rows will be sewn together.  I only have 4 blocks done in row G, so that should take me through the rest of the month to finish and add to the rest, at that point I will officially have over half the center together.  My goal is to add two rows each month.  If I have extra time I will work on the triangles and cut the solid wedges for the outer border.  Keeping up at this pace should should see the top done by the end of June!  Then comes the quilting.  I'm excited to see a finish in the foreseeable future on this very long term project!

Don't forget about the Four Seasons Blog Hop from Island Batik.  Yesterday I was asked if all the giveaways are through Facebook.  Yes, the main one from Island Batik is, but each blog is also having an individual giveaway on their hop day and most of those are just commenting on the blog post, so you can do that even if you don't have a facebook page.  Make sure you read the instructions, some of the giveaways are US only.  We try to accommodate as many people as we can, but shipping is expensive overseas.

Today's posts feature the Mountain's Majesty line - so pretty!

Thanks for visiting my blog - hope you enjoy the bog hop!  Linking up with Connie for Linky Tuesday.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Island Batik Four Seasons Blog Hop Kick Off!

Today the Island Batik Ambassadors are kicking off the Four Seasons blog hop!  We are all eager to show you the new Island Batik fabrics that are going to be showing up in your local quilt shops soon - we have lots of great projects to show off, free patterns, really don't want to miss it!

This week we are starting out with Winter (appropriately so) and the line being featured is Blue Moon:

Monday, January 8 – Blue Moon
Inquiring Quilter • Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Make sure you visit all of the Island Batik Ambassadors on Facebook to enter the main Island Batik giveaway (four different sets of pre-cuts!  Yay!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is the complete schedule for the blog hop - bookmark this page so you can remember to come back each day to enter the giveaways and see the fabulous projects.

WEEK 1: Winter

Monday, January 8 – Blue Moon
Inquiring Quilter • Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Wednesday, January 10 – Alpine Ice
Freemotion by the River  •Slice of Pi Quilts
Thursday, January 11 – Alpine Jungle
Purrfect Spots Designs  •Bejeweled Quilts

WEEK 2: Spring

Monday, January 15 – Elementz
Den Syende Himmel  •Inspired Layers
Wednesday, January 17 – Morning Sunshine
Quilt'n Party  •Dessert Bloom Quilting

WEEK 3: Summer

Monday, January 22 – Paisley Dot
PamelaQuilts Seams Like a Dream

WEEK 4: Fall

Monday, January 29 – Autumn's Grace
BeaQuilter  •KISSed Quilts
Tuesday, January 30 – Pumpkin Patch
Ark Angel Creations  •Seams to be Sew

This is our final event for the current Island Batik Ambassador year, but I am pleased to let you know that I will be returning to the group in 2018!  We'll have some great new surprises for you as we go along, and lots of new challenges to share.  I am very thankful to be a part of this talented group and get to share my love of their wonderful fabric.  Now, it's time to get busy and work on some more blocks for my quilt - summer fun is happening here, luckily no snow for us so it makes it a bit easier to picture a lovely summer day as I work on my project, but I only have a couple weeks to get it finished!  Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Back on the Dear (Crazy) Jane Wagon

After spending the last several years saying "this is the year I get that quilt finished" I have decided that 2018 is a good year to finally finish it!  The laugh is that when I first started this I thought it would be fun to do in a year's time.  Many years later I am still working away at it!

One of the hurdles for me has been overthinking it.  Because my quilt is blue and white, I started to worry about how the different shades of blue would work together.  Would I have a bunch of lights in one area and darks in another?  I'm also trying to make every block different, but that's a challenge in itself to organize and keep track of.  I was definitely doing everything I could to make this quilt harder than it already is!

To start with, I decided to sew the completed rows together so it looks like I have actually made progress.  I thought that this would actually help me get excited about completing more blocks so that I can sew more rows together - and now that I've added row B to row A, I know I am on the right track! 

Pardon the poor photo, but my design wall is full, so the floor has to stand in.  At least I vacuumed!
Ok, that's pretty darn gorgeous!  I decided that instead of making long sashing rows that I would sew a strip to the side and top of each block.  This helps when sewing them together to keep them even. 

Last night I worked on block F10  It was a bit of a tricky one, but it came out pretty well!  Today I want to finish F11, which is definitely a tough one.  I found a good online tutorial to help me, though.  I still don't know whether I will quilt this by hand or by machine, but I suppose by the time I get there I will know what I want to do.  I'm pretty excited to get this finished, so I am hoping I can sustain that and push through the hard blocks ahead. 

Jane, you were one crazy lady to come up with this quilt, but I'm just as crazy as you and I'll be getting this done this year!  Woohoo!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Slowly, but Surely

I am definitely feeling better, but it's a slow battle!  It feels really good to be back in my sewing room, even if it is for short spurts of time.  I finally managed to move a few things around so I can get all my Quilter's Recipe Box blocks up on the design wall:

Aren't they so delightful?  I've been doing a little rearranging, and have figured out my sashing - I am just about ready to start assembling these into a top!

I also got a small custom order finished up and ready to mail.  This is the last of my Kiss, Kiss charm packs.  I am glad the recipient was happy to wait for this to be finished!
I didn't remember to take a picture after quilting, but this is finish number one of 2018!

I've been adding a row a day to this scrappy quilt:
Pretty soon I'll have to start sewing more blocks!  It's fun to see how all the colors come together.  For some reason, the bright greens are what stands out to me so far.  I spent some good time on New Year's Eve and New Year's day pulling the papers out of the blocks.  

I think for today I will get out my Dear Jane quilt and see where I stand with that project.  I am sad I didn't get all the things finished last week that I wanted to, and that my quilting room didn't get reorganized and ready for the year, but I guess that's just the way it goes.  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow - and I am very much appreciating all the little things that I can do this week, that were so beyond me last week!  Stay well, my friends, and be good to yourselves - though life feels like a race, it isn't.  It's really all right to set a slower pace and enjoy what we do instead of rushing through it all.

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 - Another New Year's Eve, what is ahead?

I had planned for a wonderful week after Christmas of sewing, cleaning up my sewing room, planning for next year and blogging.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans, right?  The day after Christmas I got hit hard by the flu and have been down for the count.  Today is is day 6, and I'm feeling a little improved, but literally have zero energy and can hardly keep my thoughts in order.  But I didn't want to miss out on the #2018PlanningParty, so I got myself together and set a few goals for 2018.

2018 Planning Party
I have lots of goals for quilting and designing this year, but the number one thing I want to accomplish is to finish my Dear Jane Quilt.  I decided that I want to start by assembling the rows that are completed - maybe that will encourage me to continue pressing on to get the rest of the blocks and triangles done!  This project has been on my list every year for what seems like forever at this point, and I want to regain my excitement over the project. 

My second area of goals is a Healthy body.  My husband and I have been working on making healthier choices for our meals, and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, so I plan on continuing that as well as being better with my water intake.  Our exercise routine will be continuing as soon as I am well again and I also want to work on a better sleep routine-  less screen time in the evenings and not staying up as late.

The third goal I have for myself is a healthy mind.  I want to read at least 12 books this year.  I also want to remember to ask for help when I need it, and not to feel responsible for making everyone else happy all the time.  Which means it's all right to say "No" when I need to. 

I hope by keeping it simple I can stick with and follow through on completing these goals!  I have more goals that I want to set professionally, but am going to give myself some time to think through what I want to accomplish this year when I am feeling better.  I had so many irons on the fire last year that I struggled to keep up with everything, so I think I want to keep my goals a little more simple this year.

Wishing you and yours a happy (and healthy!) 2018.