Friday, March 22, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A BIG Finish!!!

Hi, all!

Wow!  It's already Friday!  And since our whoop whoop party was pre-empted last week, I bet I'm not the only one with a lot to whoop about this week!  So let's get started...


Maybe you remember this picture - taken the day I finished my Long Time Gone quilt top.  Notice the date on the top?  That's right - July 10, 2017.  That. is. pitiful.  I had every intention of hand quilting this top, and it's been sandwiched for more than a year.  I did a little bit of hand quilting, but nowhere near as much as I should have.  I finally realized that if I continued hand quilting it, this quilt would never make it to the binding stage.

So I bit the dust, pulled out the bits of hand quilting I had done, and took the top and back off the batting.  I had a wool batting on hand that I had bought for a quilt for my niece, only to find out that "washable" doesn't really mean easy care/appropriate for a college student.  But that wool batting was perfect for this quilt! I wanted something with a lot of loft that would show off the quilting I wanted to do, plus be warm, light and drape-able.

Lots and lots of quilting went into this baby - it was on the frame for three days!  I had a hard time getting good pics up in my studio, but one day when I turned off the lights to quit for the day, I noticed that the light from the back window made the quilting stand out nicely, and took this picture.  

I didn't think I'd ever get through with it, but finally I reached the bottom of the quilt.  I used both free-motion quilting and ruler-work on this quilt, and don't think I wasn't nervous about it!  But I decided that since it was for me, I was going to do what I wanted and look on it as a learning experience, embracing the mistakes and imperfections.

Because wool batting can't be dried in the dryer, I hung this quilt on the clothesline to catch some sun and breeze.  Once the sun set, I pulled it off and laid it on the guest bed to finish drying.  It was a good place to lay it out flat, and with the ceiling fan, it dried pretty quickly.

And another advantage?  When I came in to check on it in the morning, the light coming in the bedroom window was perfect for showing off the quilting!

Every block was quilted differently!  As I said, I did a lot of ruler work, and also a good bit of tiny stippling or matchstick quilting to make some parts "pop out".

There was some pretty straight line quilting too - I really love the way the background fabric turned out on the block in the lower left corner of this picture!  Those tiny diamond crosshatches really set off the Trip Around The World block, which was mostly ditch-stitched.

Here you can see some of the matchstick quilting I used to make parts of blocks stand out.  Man, that stuff is tiny!  

It was so much fun deciding how to quilt each block!  I really stretched myself, and had a pile of quilting books stacked on my worktable to refer to each time I moved on to another space to quilt.

The back really tells the tale of how much quilting is in this quilt - you can just see all the texture it created!

And isn't this fun?  Jen Kingwell herself signed my quilt at a trunk show and lecture she gave in 2017!  

So here's the skinny about this quilt:

Pattern is Long Time Gone, designed by Jen Kingwell.

Fabrics are scraps of various Kate Spain designs, Good Neighbors by Amanda Jean Nyburg, a line from Connecting Threads called (I think) Nana's Kitchen, maybe? and various other assorted bright scraps.  The sashing between the blocks is the very last of my grandmother's vintage Irish linen that she ordered directly from Ireland during the 60's and 70's to make her suits.

Batting is Hobbs Tuscany Collection Washable Wool Batting.

Quilting is completely hand-guided free motion and ruler work.

And yes, I'm keeping this one!

Oh, and one more thing to whoop about - we currently have 242 people signed up for Hands2Help 2019!  It's not too late to join in the fun if you haven't signed up already - click here and scroll down to the signup area!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop???


And now it's your turn!  

What's making you whoop it up this week?

See what you find when you google "funky chicken"?
What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  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!



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Using Your Scraps for Good!

Hi, all!

I really missed doing a scrappy post on Wednesday last week, and I've got TONS of scrappy sewing that I've been doing, but today I want to challenge you with something special.

There is a group in New Zealand called Angels in Gumboots that has set a goal of making 100 quilts using these blocks to be given to the families of the victims of the horrible mass shooting in Christchurch this past weekend.

Angels in Gumboots are collecting 6.5" blocks with green hearts on a white background.  Currently they have all the info in a Facebook post on their page (click here to be taken to that post) but this is the pattern they are using for these blocks:

I know that's tiny, but if you will click on the picture and save it to your drive, you should be able to print it out on a full page.  This is such an easy block, I made six of them in about an hour, including scouting for fabric, cutting and sewing them.  

A few scraps of white fabric, some 5" green squares, and you could make some too!  (There are some print/color combo restrictions, so please check out the info from Angels in Gumboots before making any.)  It's a great way to bust down some of your scraps and do good at the same time.

And as of the time I am writing this, an Instagram friend, @sewing_is_my_therapy (who lives in Arizona) is collecting blocks from the US to send to New Zealand, if you don't want to incur the international postage.  It would be nice if you threw in a buck or two to help her with the postage, but she's not asking for anything to help out.  Message her directly on Instagram (follow her first so she'll get your message!) and ask her for her mailing address.

I hope you'll join me in trying to bring some comfort to a grieving country.  It's wonderful to see people from all over the world working together on a project like this!  Kind of gives you all the feels, as my daughter would say.



Monday, March 18, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Back to Business As Usual!

Hi, all!

Well, last week was an interesting change of pace!  If you didn't catch them, I invited guest bloggers to highlight each of this year's five Hands2Help charities, one each day of last week.  Which meant that I didn't have a Make-A-List Monday post last week.  So let's take a look at how my list from two weeks ago went, then I'll show you what I did last week...

1.  Finish quilting the customer quilt (without mistakes this time!)
Done, thankfully!  And with no further problems!

2.  Keep working on the vintage quilt repair job.
Done!  Well, at least, still in progress.  It's going to be a slow job, because there's a lot of repair needed, but it is a fun one!

3.  Start preparing next week's blog posts for Hands2Help.
Done!  And there was a lot of great feedback - people liked learning more about the charities!

4.  Keep working on the mindless sewing project.
Done!  I couldn't locate a finished pic of my own top, but here's a pic of the wall full of more blocks we made at church on our monthly sewing day!

5.  Bind four ministry quilts.
Done!  And I even remembered to take a picture!

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
We gave away quite a few this week...

This quilt went to a woman whose mother passed away this week...

...and this one went to a woman in hospice care.

Another woman died unexpectedly this week, and we provided several quilts to family members...

This quilt went to her 4 year old granddaughter...

This quilt went to her daughter...

...and this quilt went to the woman's mother.

This quilt went to a church member's new grandbaby...

And this quilt went to a young woman in our community just diagnosed with leukemia.

This beauty went to a woman who just had surgery for breast cancer. 

And finally, this quilt went to a woman who lost her adult child to a brain tumor recently.

In addition to all of that, I also said that I was hoping to PLAY - and PLAY I did!  I had been wanting to make a solids version of the On-Line quilt, and I made a 36" square version that will be donated to Jack's Basket once it's finished.

But wait, that's not all....

I finished my Long Time Gone quilt!  Don't worry, I'll be sharing more about this, probably on Friday - I've taken lots and LOTS of pictures!

And then....

And then I finished my Gypsy Wife top!  It may be a little while before I can get this one on the frame, but I love that it's all put together.  And I love it!  

OK, so that's enough about last week.  Here's my plan for this week...

1.  Finish a ministry quilt for a special request.

2.  Make heart blocks for the drive for the Christchurch victims (more about this on Wednesday's blogpost.)

3.  Work on the vintage quilt.

4.  Quilt the solids On-Line quilt.

5.  H2H administrative stuff - lots of emails!

6.  Sort out H2H prizes.

7.  Taxes. (UGH)

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

I also got a new toy last week - a tiny little camera, like a Go Pro (but cheaper!) and I need to learn how to use it so I can start doing video tutorials!  So I think I will spend some time playing with it, too.

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