Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Motivation - Don't be worried!

I've been saving this to share with you for the last few weeks - life has been hectic!  This is from my son-in-law, Mark A:

I struggle a bit with worry.  I worry about a lot of things, and often feel overwhelmed by my giant list of things that need to be done.  The thing is, that often I spend more time thinking about those things than it actually takes to get them accomplished.  I have found that the best thing to do is just do the next thing.  What needs to be done today?  Do it.  Tomorrow is another day, so don't worry about it, just take care of the next step today. 

For me, the next step is to make a pillow with a weird flange.  I've thought about it for two weeks.  Time to get busy and just do it.  If it doesn't work out, I'll figure out a different way.  I promise I'll take a  picture or three for you to see how it goes!

Also on my list is to sit out on my back patio and relax with a good book for a bit.  Because it's summer and you have to enjoy the sunshine while you have it!

Enjoy your Monday!  Don't forget to check out today's posts for the Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog hop:

Monday, August 13 - Safari - Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy and Anne @ Sweetgrass Designs

Friday, August 10, 2018

Finally Friday!

Despite a very busy week of working on our home, having our oldest daughter and her fiance come to visit, and coming down with a rotten summer cold I did manage to fit in some sewing time yesterday!  I finished sewing all the triangles I cut out for my big "Great Outdoors" blog hop project for Island Batik.  I even trimmed all the corners last night and got them divided up into the sets I want to sew together.
As you can see, it's a big pile!  But not as big as this guy...
We took a nice drive with Nick and Naomi down the Oregon Coast and paid a visit to Paul Bunyan at the Trees of Mystery in Northern California, it was a fun day!  My throat wasn't feeling as bad this day, but my ears were driving me a little crazy with all the driving up and down hills. Still worth it and a ton of fun!

I may say that my idea of camping is Motel 6, but I still love nature - and enjoying a day out in the BIG woods is one of my favorite kind of days! 

I haven't had a chance to read all of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors posts this week yet, so join me in catching up - make sure you enter the drawings, and leave comments - it really feels great to know that people are reading your posts and viewing the projects we make!

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter

And do let your local shop know that they should carry some of the wonderful fabrics from Island Batik.  It always helps to know what your customers are interested in when you are ordering for a shop - you would be amazed at how many choices a shop owner has to make!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Island Batik Great Outdoor Blog Hop Starts today!

Twice a year all of the Island Batik Ambassadors get to show you awesome projects made from the new lines that are shipping to stores all over - our theme this year is the Great Outdoors!  I know that you are going to love seeing all the latest batiks and what we have created for the hop.  There will be lots of giveaways, including three different prizes direct form Island Batik! 

Here is the schedule - make sure you check out all the great projects!

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter
Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts
Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, MMM Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts

Monday, July 30, 2018

Pattern Play - July Secondary Design challenge from Island Batik

I was really glad I got my top pieced early this month - because it's taken forever to find the time to get it quilted!  This challenge was issued for all of us Island Batik Ambassadors and the goal was to create a quilt with the fabric they provided that highlighted secondary designs and was larger than 36 x 36.

 I used the rest of the fat eight bundle of the Blue Moon collection from the February Box.  I used three of the fabrics earlier to make a pillow in May.
 I started out making the units for the two blocks I wanted to use, but instead of sewing the blocks together I played with turning the units different ways to see what kind of secondary effects would happen.  When I was happy with my results, I completed the blocks.

Because I had a limited amount of fabrics I could only make five blocks total.  I decided to set them on point and use the yardage for the setting triangles.  Since the light purple looks like wood grain I took some care to make sure they all faced the same direction!
At this point I thought the quilt needed some kind of a border.  I had a fat eighth of four different tree trunk fabrics, so decided to use those and make each border in four sections.  I LOVE the way this came out!
I got it layered and basted and even doodled some quilting ideas, but the July just got busy!
So this weekend was "now or never" time!  I got out my stash of Aurifil thread and got to work.

It was fun to quilt each unit - notice the "envelope" which is where the two blocks meet?  One good way to emphasize your secondary designs is with quilting, it really helps blur the line where your blocks meet and helps the illusion!  I love the slight loft of the Hobbs batting, it really makes your quilting look awesome!
And here is the finish!  

Leftovers on the back - where you can really see the quilting!
A closer look at the center.  My finished quilt measures 38 x 38 and features Aurifil Thread as well as Hobbs batting.  Definitely one of my favorite projects!  Now on to August, our semi-annual blog hop will be starting, and I need to get that project done - more about that later this week!

What are you quilting today?  Something fun, I hope!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Christmas All Year, Block 7 - Star and PInwheels

Have we all had enough yet of Christmas in July?  My husband is just a little tired of it, he shakes his head and says that it is way too early for him to watch endless Christmas movies!  I keep telling him not to worry, pretty soon everything will be all about back to school.

On the other hand, I am very much enjoying the little touch of Christmas that working on the block of the month has given me.  I hope you are enjoying it as well.  I loved making today's block - Star and Pinwheels, I think this is one of the prettiest blocks of them all.

I used my second background for this quilt, which is a directional print. I had to pay good attention to my cutting and sewing to make sure all the pieces ended up facing the right direction!

A good tip for getting your triangles cut right is to layer your squares right sides together and cut through both at the same time so you have 1 triangle facing each direction.

After sewing the flying geese units, I lay them all out so they face the same direction.  (oops - sideways picture!)
Very important tip for the center unit - make sure you sew all four small triangles the same way!  The pinwheel in the center won't work if you don't.
And watch your layout for sewing them together!  I almost had a problem here, but I caught it in time.  Press those center seams open to make the center come out nice and flat. I was glad I pinned mine, it came out just perfect.
That's always the best feeling ever!
I was very pleased with all my points on this block, I credit the fact that I worked carefully, making sure to trim and measure each unit carefully as I went, plus pinning the seams when sewing it all together.  I don't always sew this carefully, but the results are certainly worth taking the time to be accurate.

It even looks good from the back!  I credit my new iron for that.  I hadn't realized how bad my old iron was until the sole of it started feeling floppy - apparently the poor thing had hit the floor one too many times and something had come loose.  It was still working, but I don't think it's been heating as hot as it should for a while.  The new one has a rubbery bottom so hopefully won't slip off  off the ironing board as easily.  Plus the cord is a bit longer, so that will help, too!

Two more blocks to go and we'll be putting these together into a quilt top - I can't wait!  Sign up for my e-mail to get the remaining blocks and instructions in your inbox.

I hope you enjoy making this block as much as I did.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Choosing Thread Color for the Quilting

Making a quilt is just one decision after another!  Fabric, pattern, size, it's just one thing after another - I think that's why we end up with so many UFOs, WIPs and PIGs.  (That means UnFinished Objects, Works In Progress, and Projects in Grocery bags). 

This particular project started with the fabric.  The fabric for this project was provided by the shop I work for, Threads That Bind.  It is Botany by Kelly Ventura for Windham fabrics.
Super pretty, not quite your traditional floral, and that dotty stripe sure caught my eye!  One of the projects that I always think of when I have three fabrics to highlight is a quick and easy Disappearing Nine Patch.  I found a nice mustard yellow to spice it up a bit, and a top was quickly finished - so far so good, all easy decisions!
Next step, diving into my Aurifil thread stash to see if I have anything on hand that will work with this quilt.  Wow - I found 5 different candidates!  I had a gold and gray thread in 50 wt and blue and gold in 40 wt.  (Thread chart was provided by Aurifil thread in my latest Island Batik Ambassador box - quite handy for matching!)

Decisions, decisions...the best way to decide is to pull out some thread and pile it up on the quilt to see how it will look across the different colors. 
They all look so pretty! 
I decided that any choice would be a good choice, so I ended up going with the blue that was the lighter shade - though quite a few people on my facebook page liked the gold the best!  I think I'll take some scraps and do a little mug rug with the gold thread, just to see what it would have looked like!  I am quite happy with my choice and managed to get halfway done last night - today I will finish this quilt up and have it ready to bring to the shop tomorrow.  I've been slacking in making up shop samples so am trying to remedy that situation.
Hope you are making progress on some of your projects!  Go make a decision and do some sewing!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Wedding Season...

Two wedding dresses and a bridesmaid's gown were top priority this week - August weddings are almost on us!

This bride hugged me when I told her we could make the gown fit!
I made panels to extend the back and created a new lacing out of deep blue.  She was thrilled!

This was a bridesmaid dress that needed some tweaking at the top of the bodice and taken in at the back zipper.

And last, but not least, among other things, I am adding red and black beading to the bodice and accent medallion of this wedding gown:
With any luck I can finish that up on Monday, and hopefully no more gowns for a bit!  We'll see...