Monday, June 18, 2018

Stitching along....

I found a great quote to share today on perseverance:

I am getting down to the end of my hand quilting project and am so excited that this should be a finished quilt by the end of the month!

The pink flower at the bottom is the last one to be finished!  Then I just need to do the rest of the straight line stitching in the borders.
It's been 2 1/2 months of stitching 2 hours a day on this.  I usually choose to do this in the evening while watching television with my husband, but I had to be consistent and persistent in making sure I did this every night in order to make the progress I have accomplished.  It's really nice to be able to see the end in sight.  I can't believe it's time to get the binding made so that will be ready to attach when I get done with the quilting.

My scrap bin is exploding right now so I need to apply some perseverance to that and start making string blocks again!  I think I'll try to spend an hour a day for the next couple of weeks to get that going.  I have phone book foundations ready to go, just need to start sewing!

Do you have a long term project that you are tempted to give up on?  Apply some perseverance and see it through!  Set aside a block of time every day, even if it's just 15 minutes, and you will be surprised at how quickly you see progress.

Linking up with Cynthia (Quilting is More Fun Than Housework) for Oh, Scrap!

Friday, June 15, 2018

It's not finished till you add the label -

There is a whole lot of not finished going on around here, but I finally added the label to this quilt!  I have more labels that need to be sewn on other quilts as well. don't know how I got so far behind, but my dining room is piled up with stacks of quilts that need labels, a couple of quilt sandwiches that need quilting and a few tops that are ready for basting.  It's hard to know where to start when there is so much that needs doing!

I did start taking the binding off one of my old favorites that I'd like to get back on my bed this summer.  I finished this quilt back in 1991, I don't know that my hand quilting will ever be as good as it was when I did this - younger eyes and hands!

This was my first hand quilted bed size quilt.  It was made from a serial pattern in Quilter's Digest and after a seach of my blog it looks as though I have never actually written a post about it!
I can hardly believe this quilt is 27 years old.  I use it regularly, and love how soft and cozy it is.  The backing is a plain muslin, and the binding, unfortunately is a single fold bias binding which is now starting to wear badly on the outside fold.  Luckily I have quite a bit of leftover binding that I have saved all these years so I can replace about half of it. Most of the wear seems to be confined to the top edge of the quilt, which makes sense - that's where it gets handled the most.

I've won a few ribbons on this quilt, including best of show at the local fair.  

There's not much holding it together here!

This is the only binding I've had fail so far - I now mostly use a double fold (or french) binding, cut on the width of the fabric.  Obviously a bias binding can wear out just as well as a straight of grain binding!  
You can see that the fabric has faded a bit.  Not bad because I do use this quilt every summer, and it is washed at least once each year with no special precautions!

I believe the rose color is actually a poly blend.  I purchased all the fabrics at JoAnn's, and the top has held up quite well.  

The quilting is so fine on this quilt.  I think it is the best quilting I have ever done.  I know that it took me about 14 months in all to piece and quilt this (because I wrote this on the back of the quilt - no label, but documented directly on the backing), and I am still in love with the results.  I'm excited to replace the binding and continue to use my favorite quilt - I expect to be using it least another 27 years - and if I have to replace the binding again I think I could use muslin and it would look just fine.

I promise I'll get some more pictures of it when it's finished and write a longer post about it!

Linking up with Myra for Finished or Not Friday!  
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

And don't forget the final day of Where Flowers Bloom blog hop!

Today - Friday, June 15th

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Where Flowers Bloom Blog Hop

Yay - I'm ready for my day on the Where Flower's Bloom Blog hop!  This is a great time for flowers, I've got so many pretties out in my yard right now - so inspiring!

My favorite peppermint rose - isn't this so pretty?  Maybe a pink and green quilt would be fun.

And these yellow ones smell like heaven!  I always love yellow in a quilt, I think maybe I need to add some of that, too.
The Lithadora is a favorite of the bees - there was one, but I guess he was a little camera shy because I don't see him anywhere.  Well, I suppose my quilt is going to need a little bit of blue as well!

With all this floral inspiration I was having a hard time deciding what fabric to use for my project, but I had a little brainstorm at the last minute and looked through my stash of charm packs and oh, yes - I hit the jackpot!  Chance of Flowers by Sandy Gervais for Moda was the perfect choice for my quick little table topper.  I started off with some big nine patch blocks.

A little cutting, a little shuffling and one more round of stitching got the top finished in no time at all.  Then I dug into my stash, and I didn't have to go too far to find a sweet little flowery backing, and the perfect shade of yellow for binding.

And how do you think I quilted this?

Loopy flowers, of course!  I used a variegated yellow thread from Aurifil - 50 wt is always perfect for an overall design to give you lots of texture without seeing the thread as much.  I used the same thread and similar quilting for my Twinkle Star baby quilt last year!
This backing is a cute print from Riley Blake.
Check out how cute my little bud vase looks with this!  Tomorrow I'm going to cut one of those yellow roses for my cute little lady to wear in her hat.

Here's the whole quilt - a petite 26 inches square.  It is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop - I know someone is going to love this on their table!

And I got lucky this afternoon when the sun came out - here's a garden shot to enjoy!
I hope you find as much inspiration and enjoyment as I have with all the lovely projects in the blog hop.  Don't forget to check out the rest of Thursday's quilts:

Thanks again to Miss Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks for putting together this fun hop!  I had a blast coming up with my project - hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Blockheads 2 - block 1

Last year I was too busy working on my Quilter's Recipe Box to participate, so this year I was super excited to sew along with Moda's Blockheads!  I pulled a fat quarter bundle that I've been saving for just the right project - and am looking forward to working with these fun florals all year.  This is Aloha Girl by Joanna Figueroa (Fig Tree Quilts).  I love the lively colors in this bundle!

I'm hoping to stay on task and not get behind - one block a week isn't too much after all.  Here is the first block: 

I was warned that those dark blues may bleed when washed.  I certainly hope not, and will for sure take precautions.  I did not prewash, so I am a little concerned.  Not sure what I will do at this point, I could try washing a piece and see what happens, but then I would want to wash the rest.  Maybe I will just stay in denial and forget about it for now...I don't know.

Today's goal is to get the top done for a t-shirt quilt.  I have most of the squares ready so that shouldn't take me too long.  Oh, I do have a beaded dress that needs to be taken in, so I should put another hour in on that.  Happily, I can say that I have got the rest of my alterations done, so now I can work on quilts - hip hip hurray!

Oh, and don't forget, day two of the Where Flowers Bloom blog hop!

TODAY - Tuesday, June 12th

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday to all of you!  Now, I know that we don't all see Monday as a happy day - many of us see Monday as the start of another week of grinding through work to get to the weekend.  I like to see Monday as the start of a fresh set of opportunities and experiences.  My "to-do" list may be long (but it's not as long as last weeks!) but I have a whole week to get all these things accomplished, and I'm going to do my best to get there. 

Sooo - today is the start of an awesome Blog Hop I am participating in!  Where Flowers Bloom is going to be a lot of fun - you can check it out here:

Who doesn't love flowers on quilts?  Here is the list of participants and the schedule:

Where Flowers Bloom Blog Hop Schedule

I hope you join in and enjoy all the lovely projects!  Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with - can't wait to share my project :)

Have an awesome Monday!

Thursday, June 07, 2018

The laborious life of me!

Sorry for the long gap in posts, this last couple of weeks have been pretty full of many tasks and not much time for blogging!  One of the more important tasks was a project for the Island Batik fall/winter catalog, so I couldn't even share that if I had time to - but that beauty is off in the mail, and now I can work on some projects that I can share with you!

I've also written four newsletters, so of course I used all of my words up and then some.  I am delighted that one of them will no longer be my responsibility after this month - I am passing the torch on for the quilt guild newsletter and will be taking on the Quilt block of the Month instead.  I am pretty excited about that and hope to get my blocks all written up this summer so that I'll be all set for the year! 

Alterations - I haven't even been able to keep up, every time I get something done, someone calls with two more projects.  I am hoping to be over the hump this week.  I need more quilt time!!!
Speaking of which, I have finally made it to the outside flowers on the Grandmother's flower garden quilt!  Woohoo!  I am on track to finish this up by the end of the month so I can get back to Melinda's drunkard path.  Quilting those straight lines on the border is a pleasure after all the little turns involved in quilting those hexies.  I am on the lookout for some better hand quilting needles.  I used to use John James needles, but haven't seen those in the store lately.  Right now I am on the tail end of my supply and seem to have random needles that are too bendy, too brittle, too long, too fat and too dull.  I think it's time to stock up on some better needles - lots of hand quilting in my future...

And a big yahoo for getting our inspection on our home over with - we are waiting for the results, hopefully we have satisfied our homeowner's insurance with our hard work on painting, repairing concrete, and even leveling up our back stairs!  We still have a handrail to build and are working on repairing more of the fence this month, but at least the hard labor is over for the time being.  I repainted all the trim on the back of the house this week and it looks awesome - it really is amazing what a little paint will do!
We got rid of the rotting board under the back door and leveled up the back stairs - I'll post another picture next week to show you how nice the trim looks now.  We are ready to enjoy our back yard more this summer instead of dealing with an ugly eyesore with broken down concrete and peeling paint - all the work was definitely worthwhile, especially when looking out of my sewing room window! 

Stay tuned for more quilting, I am sure looking forward to it!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday Musings, Designing a Creative Ritual

I've been thinking about what gets me going when I start working in my sewing room, and the topic of designing a Creative Ritual.  I think most of us have a Creative Ritual whether we recognize it as such or not!

It doesn't have to be anything elaborate or time consuming, just a routine that will help tell our brain that it is time to get started on our creative work.  This helps us to calm down and become focused on our task and allows us to have a positive mindset while we work on our projects.

When I am ready to sew, I like to put some nice smelling oils in my diffuser, then turn the page in my Daily Art book to the current date.  I take a minute or two to read the quotation and look at the painting for the day and just think about what the artist was trying to capture, the mood and the colors.  It takes just a short time, but I find that it clears my mind and enables me to begin my daily sewing with an optimistic mind and calm spirit.  It's as simple as that!

I often also find myself tidying up before I start sewing, but I really want to make more of an effort to tidy up at the end of my sewing sessions so I can start my days with a clean(er) slate!

Do you have a Creative Ritual?  What do you do?  

My daughters got me the Young Living starter kit for Mother's Day last year, and I am really glad that they put me on this journey. I have been happy to have access to products that are healthier for my body and to be able to reduce my use of the many toxin filled products I had in my home previously.  I really enjoy their cleaning products, and use several of the dietary supplements - and definitely feel the benefits of aromatherapy in my daily life, I feel more relaxed and sleep better than I have in years.  I'm not interested in building a large business out of selling their products, but I definitely enjoy them and wanted to share that with you.  If you are interested in purchasing their products or signing on as a member you can use my referral link and I do get credit for that, but other than that I have no plans to spam you with constant talk about this, just a one time share and shout out to something that I feel benefits my life :)  Click here to see more about Young Living oils.