Friday, July 3, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Little Recreational Sewing...

Hi, all!

Friday has rolled around again, and you know what that means - it's time to get our whoop whoop on!!  I know it's summer and sometimes that means that sewing time is hard to come by - so feel free to share your works in progress if that's all you have!  Anything that has you whooping this week is fair game!


Last week I got a wild hair to do something outside of my list, and a good bit different from any type of sewing I've done lately.  My day started off with this stack of goodness to play with...

That stack contains some leftover fat quarters from Emmy's quilt, a sample strip of Bengal from Hawthorne Threads, a big brass zipper and some hardware.

This was a tricky bit of sewing, but I've got that tiger face pieced into the outside so that it looks like it was appliqu├ęd on top!  Everything lines up....

And then I started working on the zipper.  Urk!  I managed to get it in backwards, had to rip it out, then when I was putting it in again, I ran over the teeth with my sewing machine and broke a needle.  Then the zipper wouldn't work because I bent one of the little metal teeth on this zipper - - - so I dragged out another metal zipper from my stash.  A little careful sewing (and some sweating!) and this is what I came up with!

This bag is basically a large zipper pouch that folds over.

 Because it has one fabric on one side, and a different fabric on the other, the fold-over can be flipped the other way to give a different look.

I put this cute little charm on the zipper pull, just because!

And the strap comes off, so it can just be used as a clutch!

There is batting between the layers to make it feel substantial, and a pocket on the inside.  It's always a pleasure to work with Hawthorne Threads' pretty fabrics, and I was so happy to find a way to use that tiger face!

And that's what I'm whooping about this week!


Now it's your turn!  

What are you whooping about this week?

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

Share - because we want to dance right along with you!

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight -

Hope to see you there!!



PS - If you haven't already run across it, I've started a new feature called What's On The Bookshelf Wednesdays!  Check in each Wednesday for a book review of a great book, usually about quilting but I'm making no promises!  Who knows, you might find out about a book you just have to have!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday - Shape By Shape

Hi, all!

Welcome to the second week of What's on the Bookshelf Wednesday!  If this is your first time stopping by, each Wednesday I'll be reviewing a book from my bookshelf - some old, some new, maybe even some that aren't available for purchase yet!  The one thing I promise is that if I review an older book, it will still be available to purchase - it wouldn't be fair for you to love a book only to find out that it can't be found anywhere!

Last week I reviewed a book that talks about why we quilt - but today, I want to introduce you to a book that helps us decide how to quilt!  When I went to New York with my husband recently, I was privileged to meet a representative from Stash Books ( and have some interesting conversations with her.  At the end of the convention, she allowed me to choose a couple of books from her display to take home for my own use.  And of course, this book caught my eye right away!

Of course, anything by Angela Walters is bound to be good - and this book didn't fail to impress!  

As it states on the back cover, this book is a visual guide for free motion quilting in specific geometric shapes.  There are over 70 designs in this book, and lots of suggestions for how to use them.

There are designs for squares and rectangles, triangles, circles, diamonds and hexagons...

There's a great section on quilting negative space...

Look at this great example of filler FMQ!

Oh, how I wish I had this resource when I was quilting my Stained Glass quilt!  It would have been a lot of help! There's a whole section on Improv Quilting, with some great tips.

As in her earlier books, Angela's designs are well-diagramed and easy to interpret.  She talks about combining designs to create new ones.  She shows how to use her designs in borders.  And she gives variations on each design that will inspire you to think outside the box!

This is a very useful book, and one that I'm sure will become worn out with use on my own bookshelf.  Whether you're new to free motion quilting, or experienced, you'll find this a great resource to aid you in finishing your quilts to perfection!!

And that's what's on my bookshelf today!  Have you looked at yours lately?



Monday, June 29, 2015

Make-A-List Monday - Eleven Days & Counting.....

Hi, all!

Here it is, the beginning of the week again and time to set a plan for the days ahead.  I truly appreciate all of you who put up with my list posts and encourage me along the way - it's probably the only reason I get anything finished at all!  Especially this week, as I am now eleven days away from the beach - and boy, am I ready!!  It's been about fifteen months since we went, because of the adoption - having to be on call for babysitting took away our ability to plan vacation time.  I wouldn't change that for the world, but we are SO ready to dig our toes in the sand and veg out!  But there's still eleven days between now and then that shouldn't be wasted....

So let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Make another 1-hour basket for a baby shower gift.
Done!  I'm finally happy with the changes I made to this pattern - it looks exactly like I want it to look!

2.  Make a blankie to go in that basket!
Done!  This was so simple - just two squares of super-soft flannel, bound all around the edges with some simple striped cotton binding.  I highly recommend it as a baby gift!

3.  Come up with a final design for the wedding dress quilt.
I'm still working on this.  I was going to try something on the pillow I have to make out of the same materials, and carefully marked all my guidelines with a disappearing marker.  Unfortunately, by the time I got around to working on it later that evening, the high humidity had caused all the lines to disappear!  And I haven't gotten around to re-marking it yet...

4.  Cut more scraps - mine or the ministry's.
Done!  And cutting those scraps put me in the mood to do some scrappy sewing - resulting in my finish of this morning...

5.  Make more blocks for the retirement quilt.
Done!  I've completed 50 more blocks, giving us about 200 to start with.

6.  Work on Nathanael's Christmas stocking.
In progress!  It's going to take a while to finish this one, so it will crop up on the list probably from now until Thanksgiving, unless I get a burning desire to stitch stitch stitch!!

7.  Make the HSTs for my vacation quilt.
In progress.  Since I have the blocks all bagged up individually, I pull out each block's HST fabrics, sew them up, cut them apart and put them back in the bag.  After I've done a big pile of them, they go to the iron and cutting board to be pressed and trimmed.  I think I've done about 70 blocks' worth or so of them so far.  Doing them a little at a time makes it much less boring!

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.
Actually, this was the easiest thing on the list this week because we didn't have any requests.  Thankfully, the needs seem to slow down during the summer, giving us a chance to catch up and catch our breath!!

And because I had a burning urge to do a few different things, 
I made a purse.....

and I started a new blog feature - 

The first book I reviewed was the book that got me headed down the path of charity quilting - a gift from my daughter called Quilting For Peace.  You can read the review here.

Each week I'll be reviewing a book - some new (and maybe not even available yet), others treasures that I found buried on my bookshelf that may have gotten lost in the shuffle of "new and improved".  I promise that any book I review will still be available for purchase in case you decide you must have it!

This week's book is a treasure for free motion quilters and wannabes!  Be sure to come by and check it out on Wednesday....

And now, here's what's on my horizon this week...

1.  Make a back for and quilt the second scrappy green quilt top.

2.  Complete the HSTs for the vacation quilt.

3.  Work on the wedding dress quilt project.

4.  Work on Nathanael's stocking.

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.

I'm going to keep the list short this week because I really need to work on all of these things, and without too much distraction.  It's much easier to put off the less-than-fun list items in favor of the ones that tickle my fancy that day!

Strangely enough, I also have a burning desire to clean my house - probably because my daughter has hers looking lovely since they just put it on the market.  That kind of thing is contagious, you know?  So I'll probably spend some time this week doing some deep cleaning... (I can't believe I'm saying this!  Let's hope my husband doesn't read this post - just in case I fail to follow through!)

And here's a heads-up - Wednesday, July 1st is the beginning of the fifth annual Scrap Quilt Challenge over on Shannon's blog, Fabrics N Quilts!  You can enter any scrappy quilt you've made since the end of last year's challenge (October 15, 2014).  There are some guidelines, short and sweet, a minimum size (45"x60"), and your quilt must be finished, not just a top.  But I bet a bunch of the Hands2Help quilts this year were scrappy!  So go check out the guidelines and look through your pictures or quilts - find some quilts to enter!  There are prizes, blogposts by guest bloggers, and I believe Shannon even said something about a mystery quilt to give you a head start on next year's entries!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?