Friday, August 31, 2018

Finished or Not, it's Friday!

This has been a challenging month for blogging for me!  I miss sharing the things I am working on - so I am hoping to be getting back into my groove in September.  August went by too quickly - we have done more work on our house.  Yay for an update to our main bathroom and the exterior paint is almost finished, plus the back steps are looking much better with a nice outdoor carpet applied for a plush feeling!  I spent way too much time on the couch trying to recover from a lingering bug.  I learned my lesson - if you don't feel well, you need to get some rest to let your body fight it!  No rest means fighting it way longer and not feeling good.

This week I've been doing some fun piecing that will be a custom quilt.  Here is the first block:

These are 9 inch blocks sewn together to make an 18 inch block.  Now I have to make nine of these in a 6 inch size to make the second block!  This is going to be a process but I am enjoying it immensely!

I think the last project I shared was a challenging pillow project - here is how that came out:

Can you see that little accent of gold in the corners?
Challenging to figure out how to make that happen!  But it worked in the end and the pillows looked great.  I used the reverse of the polka dot fabric on the other side:

They are kind of fun.  Not really my personal style, but that's the fun of making home decor for other people - I get to play with all kinds of fabric and have fun, but don't have to live with it in my home!

Hope you are still hopping along with the Island Batik Ambassadors!  Just a few more days left!  I've been loving seeing the comments on my post, so I hope you will visit some of the other blogs and let them know that you love their projects as well - and don't forget, there are giveaways involved too!  Take a little time and enjoy some very creative and fun projects made out of beautiful Island Batik fabric:

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
This week I linked up my Blog Hop post, but don't forget to check out Myra's blog linky!
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Monday, August 27, 2018

Great Outdoors Blog Hop with Island Batik - Globetrotter

Welcome to the Island Batik Ambassadors Great Outdoors Blog hop!

It's my day to share with you the project I made as an Island Batik Ambassador starring the Globetrotter line.  I was blown away by the variety and intensity of color in this line.  So gorgeous, and the fun globes, luggage and world landmarks add great interest to them!

 One of my goals as an Island Batik Ambassador this year was to create a bed size quilt with the fabric I received, so I knew this was my opportunity to come up with a great large scale project!  And with so many different fabrics, it really played into my love of a good scrappy project.

Well, if you know me at all, you know that I have a definite thing for all things Paris - so that was my inspiration for my project.  It took me a lot of thinking, and playing around with these fabrics trying to figure out what to do.  Maybe something like this lovely tile floor?

I started cutting some triangles, and sewing them together, thinking that maybe I could come up with a kind of mosaic or tile design and decided that I loved mixing up all the fabrics together.

Keeping it simple and sticking to triangles in light/dark pairs seemed to work best, and would make a great border so I can do something that really stands out in the center.  The addition of a three part border with the dark "blurple" globes and a bit more of the fabric I used for the background of the center set it off beautifully.

It's so big it doesn't fit on my swing!  Are you curious to see what I did with the center of the quilt yet?  Or have you guessed?
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You see, I definitely had the perfect inspiration for the center of my quilt!
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The Eiffel Tower!  Yes, it's great, and it's outdoors - what could be more perfect?  I even had a pattern to use.  (unfortunately, it's now out of print, so I can't pass a link for it along.)  "La Tour Eiffel" by Metropolitan Quilt.

As you can see in the picture, the Eiffel Tower is actually a lovely soft brown - so I chose this fabric for the tower:


So gorgous!  I love the results, but you can see how much work it was to cut out!  It only took a half yard to cut it out in three different sections, but it was close.




And here is the finished quilt with the triangle borders:

Well - as you can see one of the challenges of making a queen size quilt is being able to take a decent photograph of it!  Outside on the lawn.

Here it is on my bed:

I love how the quilting shows in this picture!  I used the Hobbs Thermore batting in this quilt that was sent in my ambassador box, and it was perfect.  It's so light and thin that it really makes machine quilting a large quilt on a domestic machine a piece of cake.  I also used some of the Aurifil thread I received  for this - a light and medium brown, both in 50 wt.  I stitched all around the edges of the tower, then did a hook and swirl in the background around it.  For the triangles I stitched 1/4 inch on each side of the seams - I thought this would echo the gridwork look of the tower.  The border got loops and more swirls. Here's a peak at the quilting from the back side:
This quilt is the perfect size for a queen size bed, so I can say that I officially met the challenge that I set for myself.
And aren't the colors just gorgeous?  Frankly I was a little worried about how they would play together, but as I often say, one of the nice things about working with batiks is the way that they blend together and always look great!

Would you like a chance to play with all these fun colors?  I've cut 3 sets of 5 inch squares to give away.  Anyone can enter, I will ship internationally for this one!  I have a plan for a little project with these, so the winners might have to keep their eyes open for ideas on how to use them next month.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


My giveaway will end next week.  If you haven't already entered - Island Batik is giving away three different prizes as well:


a Rafflecopt er giveaway

Thanks for following along on our blog hop!  We still have a lot left, so here is the list once more:

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
Make sure you leave a comment when you visit the blogs - we love knowing that our friends are visiting and enjoying our projects and posts. And don't forget to tell your local quilt shop which of these lines from Island Batik you would like them to carry.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Christmas All Year - block 8 - Windmill

Welcome to my blog for block 8 - one more to go and we'll be ready to put these blocks together to make a quilt top!  I'm super excited!  Are you ready to work with lots of triangles today?  Don't be stressed, we'll work on it step by step and in the end you'll have an awesome block - this one is called Windmill.

This block uses all the fabrics - and they are all triangles!

Start out with two squares of both your background fabrics, two squares of dark green and four squares of light green.  Cut all of these in half to make half square triangle units.

Sew the background triangles together to make the corner units.  We'll be pressing all of our seams open for this block because of all the bulky corners.
Trim the corners and make sure your units measure 3 1/2 inches square.  Adjust your seam allowance if you find your blocks are too large or small.

Now it's time to cut the quarter square triangle units.

You will need 3 squares of your red and gold fabric for this.  Cut one square of each in half diagonally both directions to make four triangles, and cut the other two squares of each in half diagonally once to make four larger triangles.
Sew the four small triangles in pairs to make four red/gold triangles as seen here.  Press your seams open!
Sew each of these to one of the light green half square triangles you cut in the first step, and press your seams open once more.  Trim corners and measure - these should finish at 3 1/2 inches.  I had to trim a sliver off mine.

Sew these four units together to make a red pinwheel in the center, still pressing seams open.  This is the center of your block and should measure 6 1/2 inches.

Now all you need to do is sew the remaining pieces to make the side units!
Sew the remaining red/gold triangles together into half square triangle units.  Trim corners, then cut in half diagonally to make 8 quarter square triangle sets.  Half will face one way and half the opposite way..

Sew one set to the remaining dark green triangles and the other set to the light green triangles left from step one.

Press seams open, and trim corners.  These units should measure 3 1/2 inches each.

Sew together into pairs, pressing seams open.  Now you are ready to sew the block together!
Pin and do your best to match up all of those triangles!  I find it is a little trickier when the seams are pressed open, but it is a bit easier to sew across them.  I finished up by pressing the rest of the seams open as well and my block is nice and flat.  I don't often press seams open, it takes a little more time, and I do like nesting my seams.  Blocks like this have so much bulk plus it takes a lot of time to figure out which way to press all the seams, so it seems logical to try it with open seams instead.  I am happy with my results!

My free pattern is available through my newsletter or on Craftsy until next month:


The patterns for the previous months blocks is available as a set if you would like to purchase them


Thanks for sewing along with me this year.  I can't believe we are so close to the end already!


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!