Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Break the Wheel

I finally finished up the quilting on my challenge for "Game of Quilts"  I am pretty happy with how it turned out - it's not really as much an "art" quilt as I had intended, which is usual for me! The colors turned out to be a bit of a challenge to work with as well.

After deciding that I would be happiest working with a pieced quilt I started searching for an interesting traditional block that would represent a castle.  This block came up - Castle Wall.  As I looked at it I thought the center octogon would be the perfect spot for the Targaryn Sigil of the three headed dragon.  Then I did some online research and realized that there are 8 more major houses in Westoros!  Perfect - I looked up the map and placed each sigil around the center as they appear on the map.  As I looked at this layout it made me think of a wheel and Daenerys' quotation regarding the statement that all the houses are like spokes on a wheel, crushing the common people.

The piecing was a bit tricky, all done by machine, every single one of those y-seams!  Exacting work, but very satisfying when it all comes out just right!  The border was pieced and added, then I was ready for the quilting.  I traced all the elements out on Golden Paper, then pinnned them in place and went to work.  It actually worked really well, but in the end was frustrating because of all the little pieces of paper caught under the stitching.

I wish the center showed up more.  I probably should have used a more contrasting thread to define it more, but there is no way I am picking all of that out and starting over!  I really like the way the matchstick quiting came out in the trapezoids as well.

I freehanded curved lines in the border and decided I was done.  Then I read that my quilt had to be 18 inches inclusive of binding.  Oh dear.  My quilt measured a perfect 18.5 inches to the edge because I hadn't been thinking of the binding.  I could have done a faced binding, but decided to try shrinking the quilt a bit (and maybe get rid of those last bits of paper) by washing it.  I hand washed it in cold water, then put it in the dryer for 10 minutes.  Imagine my horror when I measured and it was down to 17 1/2 inches!   I did lots of stretching, blocking, steaming, and finally ended up with an 18 inch total quilt.  WHEW!  I was seriously racking my brain trying to figure out how to add to the outside of it if the blocking didn't work....it would have been interesting.

I have to say I was relieved to find the deadline has been extended for the arrival of the quilt because I was a little worried that it could be there by Friday, so all is good now.  It is packaged up and ready to go out in today's mail!

The entries can be seen here and voting starts September 16!  I hope mine will be a winner - but in any case it was a great challenge and I enjoyed making this entry.  Thanks to the BadAss Quilters Society for putting this on!

Friday, August 28, 2015

An Eventful Week!

Wow, has this ever been a crazy week!  It actually started off with a super busy week of working on these lovely quilts so I could get them off by my deadline.  Three identical quilts that will be awarded to some lovely volunteers.



Then I got to spend a weekend at a dear friend's new vacation house!  We had some great girl time, and it was just the ticket after a busy week of sewing.  Yep, that's me with my mouth wide open :)


On Monday I had a dental appointment, I was actually looking forward to the appointment because I had lost the temporary filling in my tooth and it was driving me crazy because it would catch every morsel of food I put in my mouth.  The appointment started out very well - I didn't have to wait in the waiting room at all, zipped right into the dental chair, shots given, and the impression started.  Then my left eye started feeling odd.  I realized that I could not blink my eye and the side of my face felt numb.  I felt like this might be important, so I brought it to the attention of the assistant.  She said that we better get the Dr. to come in and check out the situation.  He sat on his little stool and looked at my face as I tried to blink my eye and said that he thought we need to call the EMT's to come as he thought I may be having a stroke!

WHAT!!!

He left the room, the assistant started checking my blood pressure (they had checked it as I came in a few minutes earlier and it was great) and I asked for my cell phone so I could call my husband to come back to the office.  My heart was pounding, and I was so disconcerted tgat I was having trouble trying to figure out what I needed to do to contact my husband - all the while thinking that this could not be happening.  About the time I was ready to hand my cell phone over to have someone else call, the dentist came back in the room and said not to worry - it was just the anesthetic had affected the facial nerve!  He had not been informed that I had already received the anesthetic - the shot had apparently been placed too high and numbed the side of my face!  This is actually not a very common thing to happen (of course).  Just as he predicted, it disappeared after a couple of hours.  I had my procedures done, including an additional injection to take care of numbing the jaw more so they could do the filling.  Now I am not too sure of how I'll handle the next visit when they will place the permanent crown - I do suffer from a slight dental anxiety already and I don't think this will make it any better, but I'll get through it.

The rest of the week has been busy - working to finish some custom drapes, then Naomi came home for a visit and arrived Wednesday. I had to work a bit later than normal, but we've had a great time with her for the last couple of days!  On Thursday the FedEx guy brought me an exciting box of goodies!  My second Island Batik Ambassador box is here!  Oh, boy, am I ever loving these colors and I already have a plan for what I want to do with these...I can't show you all of it yet, but here is a sneak peek:

Fun time with family coming up this weekend, then back to work on Monday - wedding gowns are piling up like crazy, but I will get them done so I can get back to quilting soon!  I certainly hope next week is a lot more peaceful that this week has been.

Don't forget the Summer in the Country Blog hop is still going on!  Here is the list:



  8/17 – Island Batik
8/18 – KISSed Quilts – Part 1
8/19 – Kauffman Designs
8/20 – Adele Mogavero
8/21 – MooseStash Quilting
8/22 – Pamela Quilts
8/23 – Freemotion by the River
8/24 – The Patchwork Pearl
8/25 – Fun Threads Designs
8/26 – For Quilts Sake
8/27 – Lemon Tree Snippets
8/28 – Bejeweled Quilts
8/29 – Tamarinis
8/30 – KISSed Quilts – Part 2
8/31 – Beaquilter
9/1 – Purrfect Spots Designs
9/2 – Maria Michaels Designs
9/3 – Mary Mack Made Mine
9/4 – Made In Scraps
9/5 – Happy Cottage Quilter

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer in the Country Blog Hop

Today is my turn on the Summer in the Country Blog Hop!  I've always been a country girl at heart, so I thought the theme was really fun - so many ideas for projects ran through my head!  For us, summer in the Country means going out fishing and enjoying nature nearby.  We always have our folding camp chairs in the back of the car so we can stop and enjoy time outdoors - often as my husband spends time fishing.  This means I am frequently juggling my phone and kindle when he needs a hand with his gear - so for one of my projects I designed this pocket to sit on the arm of my chair so I have a safe place to put my electronics when I need to!

I started out quilting a piece of fabric for the body of my chair pocket (these are all from the Island Batik Meadow collection - such pretty blue fabrics!)  I followed the design of the fabric and quilted small clamshells or fans.  I measured my phone and kindle to make a simple pocket out of a doubled piece of coordinating fabric, then stitched it into the binding!  I just added a line of stitching to separate the two pockets.  





I added a couple of snaps to keep it from sliding off the chair.  Perfect!  Now I don't have to worry about dropping my stuff every time I have to get up - plus this doubles as a pocket for the side of the bed, just slip the back between the mattress and the box spring to keep your phone handy at night when you are traveling, or when you are home!

I'm also working on a quilt using more of the Meadow fabrics, plus some of the Island Batik screen prints - I didn't have time to finish, but here is the block.  I have the pattern for the block available as a free download on Craftsy.  I love the way the sunflower print looks as the center block - it was the perfect spot for a bit of fussy cutting!


Here is an idea of what it will look like as a finished quilt -

Designed in EQ7.  I can't wait to make time to work on this beauty!  I have the blocks done, just need to work on the sashing.  I haven't decided what to name it yet, if you have a suggestion, let me know!

Now for the recipe I have to share!  This is one of my favorite summer dishes - Mom's Potato Salad!
Yes, this is one of those recipes that you make by taste, no precise measuring, you just add this and that, tasting as you go until it tastes just right.


First of all, you have to boil some potatoes.  Mom's rule of thumb was always at least one potato per person plus a few more so you have leftovers.  I like them peeled, and I diced these fairly small.  You can leave them in larger chunks if you like.  Cover with water and cook until soft, but not falling apart.  

Boil a few eggs while they are cooking. I like lots of egg in my salad, so I had four potatoes and three eggs.
When everything is cooled, dice into smaller pieces.
Add some chopped onion if you like.  We like lots of onion.  You can add some diced pickle if you like, but my better half doesn't care for them, so I skip that part.
Add some Mayo, salt and pepper.
Time for the secret ingredient - a squirt of mustard.  Mom always told me not to tell dad that we added it!  I think it adds a nice zest and color to the salad.
Mix it all up!  If it seems a bit dry, add some more mayo.  Taste to make sure you have enough salt and pepper.
Make sure you refrigerate it, especially if you want to enjoy the leftovers later.  I think this is the best Potato Salad ever, and it is one of the first things my mom taught me how to make.  The taste of this just makes me remember all those fun summer times at home!  Hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog, and my take on Summer in the Country!

Make sure to enter the Island Batik giveaway - such pretty fabrics!


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And don't forget to visit all the rest of the Ambassadors for their posts!  Here is the list of participants:

8/17 – Island Batik
8/18 – KISSed Quilts – Part 1
8/19 – Kauffman Designs
8/20 – Adele Mogavero
8/21 – MooseStash Quilting
8/22 – Pamela Quilts
8/23 – Freemotion by the River
8/24 – The Patchwork Pearl
8/25 – Fun Threads Designs
8/26 – For Quilts Sake
8/27 – Lemon Tree Snippets
8/28 – Bejeweled Quilts
8/29 – Tamarinis
8/30 – KISSed Quilts – Part 2
8/31 – Beaquilter
9/1 – Purrfect Spots Designs
9/2 – Maria Michaels Designs
9/3 – Mary Mack Made Mine
9/4 – Made In Scraps
9/5 – Happy Cottage Quilter

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer in the Country + Exciting News!

Today is the first Day of the Island Batik Summer in the Country Blog hop!  I am so excited to be participating in this blog hop - I'm still working on my special project, but I'll have it done by the time my day comes around!  Make sure you go read the blog post - click on the picture and it will take you right there - a delicious recipe for Nutella Pie is included.  When I finish the birthday cake I will have to try it for sure.

I had a nice birthday yesterday, it was a quiet one, but I am good with that.  After all, you can't expect a trip to Paris every time your birthday rolls around, right?  Here's a picture from 5 years ago - such a fun trip!


And I had a fun present for my birthday!  I won a Giveaway!  I received an e-mail from Sew4Home saying that I won a 4 box sampler of the new Aurifil thread packs.  So happy, I love Aurifil thread and can't wait to see what I am getting - I know for sure I will use it!

The winner for my August Giveaway #2 is Karon Henderson!  Congratulations, Karon!

Make sure you enter for the Island Batik giveaway - you just might be a winner, too!

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

August Giveaway #3

Happy Birthday to me!  Yes, today is the big day - I am looking forward to a fun day, a nice fat slice of German Chocolate Cake and some Ice Cream to go with it, plus phone calls from my girls :)

For this week I am giving away this cute animal panel by Clothworks - Friends in Wild Places:

There are two identical halves of the panel on one piece of yardage, so I though someone else would enjoy using the other half.  My plan for this is to make journal covers out of them, so I am including that pattern as well.

I think I will make the panda version for myself!  Anyway - to enter you will need to comment on my blog and let me know if you keep a journal now, or have you ever?  I really enjoyed all the comments on the last giveaway and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this as well.

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Be sure and share this with your friends!  Thanks and good luck!

Saturday Summary

Well, it's been another busy week here!  I managed to complete and deliver a custom order quilt made from baby clothes, worked on a peacock wedding gown, and completed a few other random sewing projects!

The baby quilt came out great, but my pictures were definitely lacking.
The color palette was so sweet, pink, gray and mint green.  It was challenging finding some fabrics to go with it, but I did!  The pink and gray chevron was used for the back as well as the border.

It was so much fun to actually be able to deliver it in person!  Ella was visiting Coos Bay and came up to pick up her quilt this morning.  She said it was beyond her expectations, which delighted me, I hope to be able to make more quilts for her in the future!

Here is a picture of the "peacock" wedding dress.  



The colored strips were added to create this fun look!  The tulle was cut in spirals and sewn in straight lines down the skirt, so it wasn't too hard to replicate the spirals  and add the colored tulle in between the rows of white.  


That was an interesting job!  

I also made this monogramed journal cover:
Looks like next week will be a busy one as well - I have 3 identical custom quilts to finish up (feathered stars, very pretty!) some wedding gowns to bustle, a custom curtain job as well as getting ready for the Island Batik "Summer in the Country" blog hop!  Here is the list of participants so you can join in on the fun:

8/17     Island Batik!
8/18     KISSed Quilts
8/19     Kauffman Designs
8/20     Adele Mogavero
8/21     MooseStash Quilting
8/22     Pamela Quilts
8/23     Freemotion by the River
8/24     The Patchwork Pearl
8/25     Fun Threads Designs
8/26     For Quilts Sake
8/27     Lemon Tree Snippets
8/28     Bejeweled Quilts
8/29     Tamarinis
8/30     KISSed Quilts – Part 2
8/31     Beaquilter
9/1       Purrfect Spots Designs
9/2       Maria Michaels Designs
9/3       Mary Mack Made Mine
9/4       Made In Scraps
9/5       Happy Cottage Quilter



Don't forget, you have a few more hours to enter into my second August Giveaway if you haven't already!  Check back in tomorrow for Giveaway #3!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

August Giveaway #2

For this week's giveawy I have one Kiss, Kiss charm pack and a copy of my Charming Hearts table runner pattern.  I bought several of these charm packs, but haven't used them yet, so I thought it would be nice to share :)

I really liked the colors in this fabric line, and the prints are super cute!  I think I might actually make myself a table runner to keep - I do like table runners.  I think when I have a pretty one on my table it helps me to remember to clean off my table and keep it looking nice instead of how it looks now...piled high with mail to sort, projects that need to be worked on and stuff that I just need to put away.  What can I say, it's been a crazy week!

We have had two flat tires (on separate days!), a broken hot water heater, plus bought a piano and had to move that in.  No wonder I am tired today.  Hopefully this coming week is a little quieter, because there is a lot of sewing that needs to happen.

Back to the giveaway...here is that picture again -

I will mail the charm pack, and e-mail you a pdf file of the patter if you win!  No obligation to make the table runner, you can do whatever you like with the fabric.

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Thanks for entering, and I look forward to finding out your opinion on table runners!  I sure enjoyed all the comments on your favorite landmarks last week - so many lovely places to visit.

Almost time!

Giveaway 1 for August is almost over - if you haven't entered yet, you might want to!

Here is a sneak peek at giveaway 2:  come back tomorrow for the details and your chance to win.


Monday, August 03, 2015

In Hot Water!

And I am so glad!  I had quite a shock yesterday when I went to take a shower and there was only ice water coming from my tap - at least that is what if felt like.  I went downstairs and discovered the breaker had been tripped.  As an afterthought I decided to check on the hot water heater and as soon as I opened the closet door where it is I knew there was trouble - I could hear water running!

I called my husband down to shut off the water and we pondered what to do for the rest of that afternoon.  Our budget is tight this month and calling a plumber was out of the question.  We decided that we could probably handle the job ourselves, so did a little research online and planned our purchase out.  We were very pleased to find a heater in store that was not listed online - for a savings of $125.00!  With the purchase of a few additional supplies we were set.

It took us about three hours, but we managed to take out the old broken one and install the brand new one without too many problems (yes, we did need to make one trip to the store for new water lines and had a small spray of water before we got the fittings tight enough).  And now we have hot water...just wonderful and very much appreciated.  Laundry and dishes are getting done and I had a lovely warm shower.  I will spare you the pictures, a busted water heater is no treat for the eyes!

No sewing done today, but I feel like we accomplished a lot!  Lots of sewing to do tomorrow, I hope to work some more on my Island Batik project!  Lots of  triangles in this one - I'm enjoying it.

Make sure you go check yesterday's post with my first August Giveaway - lots of fun comments to read, too!  Please share it with your friends as well - the more, the merrier!