Friday, September 30, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? I hope this is manly...

Hi, all!

Friday again, and time to show off what we've been working on all week!!  Are you ready?

I've had a busy week, working on ministry quilts, and I've got several ready for the hand sewing part of binding.  But I'll save those for another time, so I can show you the flimsy I made today!

It's made with a layer cake of Deb Strain's Coming Home and some espresso Kona Cotton.  And the wonder of photography - I just noticed that I've got a block reversed on the lower right side!!  Thankfully, there's still time to fix it - I've got to piece a back tomorrow and then get it quilted.  We've got a need for a manly quilt for a 79-year old gentleman, and I hope this will fit the bill!  I love the colors - it reminds me of fall in all the best ways.......

So that's my whoop whoop for the week!  
What have you been working on?
Link up and share - - -
Then go and visit the other links!
Share the love!!

And one last reminder - please take time this weekend to go see the new movie, Courageous!  

You can find out more about the movie  here - but I guarantee you will enjoy it!!



Monday, September 26, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #66! It's going to be a busy week...

Hi, all!

Well, it's time to get back to the quilting frame in earnest this week - way too many quilt tops sitting around and too many needs on the list!  But let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Finish the bindings on last week's three ministry quilts. (Monday!)
Done, and delivered!  

2.  Write a blogpost for 100 Quilts For Kids (Tuesday!)
Done!  You can check it out here....

3.  Write a blogpost for The Sweatshop (Wednesday!)
Done!  See what the ladies worked on here....

4.  Finish a man's quilt top for the quilt ministry (it only 
needs two sides of the final border) 
and then make a back for it. 
5.  Load that quilt on the frame and quilt it.
Both done!  This one has been delivered too!

6.  And hopefully, load a couple more ministry quilts 
on the frame and get them done, too!
I got one done!  Not as much as I'd hoped, but a start...
I'll show you this quilt in Wednesday's blogpost, 
plus hopefully a few more!

And what's on the schedule for this week?

1.  Add border to ministry quilt made by Road to Arkansas pattern.

2.  Make back for that quilt plus four other ministry flimsies.

3.  Quilt at least five ministry quilts.

4.  Process the new fabric donations received last week.

5.  Put together a star quilt top from donated blocks.

That's just a small part of what I have on my plate, but at least I think I can get this much done this week - maybe!!  

So - - - what are you working on this week?



Friday, September 23, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? Seriously Crushing....

Hi, all!

I hope you've had a good week - I have, because my quilting frame is back up and running like a top!!  Woohoo!!!!  But it's time to line up to give and get whoop whoops - I hope you're ready!!

I finished off several ministry quilts this week, but because I'll be showing them on my ministry update post next week, I'm only going to show off my favorite this week......

I'm seriously crushing over this quilt, and would love to keep it, but it already has a home.  Isn't it gorgeous?

I certainly can't take all the credit - the long coin strips were donated by our friend Sharon.  Saturday when I was showing all my sewing sisters the beautiful blocks she had sent, those just spoke to me - they said, "Isn't there some linen upstairs we could play with?"  So I went up stairs and checked, and yes, there was some beautiful Irish linen in a dusty blue left over from my grandmother's fabrics (really from Ireland, she ordered it direct!) that matched perfectly!! 

It went together really quickly - all it needed was sashing and bordering - so the top was finished in less than an hour.  This quilt will go to a gentleman who is battling cancer again and needs a pick-me-up and a hug!  I'm glad we were able to get it ready so quickly - - - thanks again, Sharon!!

And speaking of charity sewing and quilt needs, here are some sites you could check out if you are interested in helping - 

For our friend Sharon in the Schoharie Valley of New York State, which suffered devastating flooding due to Hurricane Irene -

Snoodles over at Lily Pad Quilting is hosting a De-Stash for Malawi challenge, looking for donations of yardage of fabric and thread to be used to make clothes for orphans in Malawi.  You ought to check out her blogpost and find out more.  The fabric and thread is to be mailed to a US address, and will be forwarded on from there to Malawi, so postage shouldn't be too bad.  This sounds like a great challenge to participate in, and there are prizes!!  

And there's still time to join in the 100 Quilts For Kids Charity Challenge this year - hosted by Kate over at Swim, Bike, Quilt.  If you haven't heard about this challenge, be sure to check it out - the quilts are donated locally to you, so there's no postage unless you choose to mail, and you have a connection to where they go.  Win Win!!

So now it's your turn!!

What have you been working on this week?

What made you smile while you worked on it?


And don't forget to check out everyone else's 
links and give them a little 

Whoop Whoop!!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's Cookin' at The Sweatshop, Week #8

Hi, all!

Well, it's time for another update from The Sweatshop!!  Fortunately, Saturday was much cooler here - so we didn't sweat quite as much, but we did get a lot of sewing done on quilts for 100 Quilts For Kids!

Here's Sherry, Diane, and Cindy...


Cindy and Shirley...
Debora and Margaret...

Margaret, Joyce and Debora!!
We had a good crowd, and I actually got to sew too!  That's a really unusual thing on sewing Saturdays - usually I'm running around answering questions and pulling fabric!  

Here's just a few of the tops we made for the 100 Quilts For Kids challenge....

Cindy's quilt...

Diane's quilt....

Lisa's quilt...

Shirley's quilt....

And Debora's quilt!!

You can find the tutorial for this quilt right here - Rae's "Storytime" design.  It's a free PDF download!

And this isn't a quilt for 100QFKs, but
it's what I worked on Saturday -
made with beautiful strips made by
Sharon Vrooman!
So that's what's been happening at The Sweatshop this week - hopefully next week I'll have lots of finished quilts to show you, now that my quilting frame is back in business!  Thanks for checking in!!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

100 Quilts For Kids: Charity Quilting is Good Practice!!

Hi, all!

I'm so excited to be doing this post today in conjunction with 100 Quilts for Kids and Kate, who blogs over at Swim, Bike, Quilt.   Thanks for asking me, Kate, and welcome to everyone who's popped over here from Kate's blog!  I'm glad you're here!! 

When Kate asked me to do a post about one way to quilt her model quilt for 100QFK, I have to admit I was a little intimidated.  Most of the quilting I do is related to our church's quilt ministry, and we usually do pretty quick and easy quilting because we have to move the quilts through so quickly.  

But then I was working on some quilting the other day, doing a simple random meander, and thought about how many quilters are intimidated by free motion quilting.  And I realized that I was never intimidated by it, for two reasons - one, I hadn't been blogging long enough and reading enough quilting blogs to realize that it was supposed to be difficult, and two, I've had so much practice because of the quantity of quilts we've done in the past year and a half!  

So - here are five things I tell my ladies as I teach them to do free motion quilting...

1.  Relax!  It's just doodling...

2.  No one will look at it with the same critical eye that you do.  The recipient will not critique your quilting.  

3.  Breathe!  It's much easier to quilt when you do...

4.  Everything looks better after the quilt goes through a wash and dry!  All that lovely crinkliness hides a multitude of sins!

5.  Have fun!!

With that being said, this quilt design is a great way to try out different techniques - to get practice with different kinds of stitching.  Here's a picture of my finished quilt...

Hopefully you can see that I've done different stitching designs in each section.  Here's a close-up of the center...

I tried out a pebble stitch in the center - my first time trying this on a real quilt and not a practice piece.  Here's a close-up of the stitching process...

 Just lots of little circles (actually mine are pretty big, about the size of dimes and quarters) all connected together.  This is pretty easy, and it makes a great filler!

If you look on the white bordering the center squares, you can see that I switched off and used my even feed foot to do some straight line quilting.  I did lines on angle in the corners, and then zigzags from corner to corner.  Now, let me introduce you to one of the most wonderful phrases in the English language - organic quilting!  Here's a close-up of my straight line quilting...

As you can see, my straight lines are much more organic than straight!!  But it's all good in the end!  And some kid is going to love this quilt....  but not if I don't get it quilted and into his or her hands!!

The next row of blocks, I went back to free motion quilting, doing some double loop-de-loops.  This is a favorite stitch of one of our quilt ministry members, and I just love it!

The next row of white is a duplicate of the inner white row, and I'll tell you why - I goofed and did one of the triangle corners on that row by mistake!  I had intended to do a different kind of straight line quilting in that row.  Oh well, that reminds me of a sixth thing I tell my ladies - if you make a mistake, make it work!!

In the outer row of blocks, I did a series of large spirals that move from block to block in one long series of stitches.  Here's a close-up...

You can see how they just travel from block to block. This is a really easy stitch, but can also be very organic!  It takes lots of thread, though - wind plenty of bobbins!

And here's a pic of the outside border - I just did straight line stitching from edge to edge and let it make a grid on each corner.  Easy peasy!!

Now, I don't usually use this many techniques in one quilt - but it is a fun way to try out different stitches.  Many people find straight line stitching to be boring - but in a border, it's a quick way to incorporate the look.  Just play with it - you'll like it!!

If you want to learn some different techniques for free motion quilting, I highly recommend that you check out Christina's blog, A Few Scraps.  She did a series of classes on her blog that are an excellent introduction to free motion quilting, including machine set-up to get the best results, and I guarantee that if you work through them, you will feel much more confident about it!  But the best thing to do is practice, practice, practice - and charity quilting is a great place to do it.  I can also guarantee that the recipient of your quilt will be much more involved with how beautiful it is, rather than how perfect your stitching turned out!  We've made almost 150 quilts in the past year and a half, and we've not had one come back saying the quilting wasn't up to par!

I hope you'll join us in making a quilt for 100 Quilts For Kids - it's a great cause, and a great place to practice your quilting skills!!  See you at the Flickr pool!!



PS - If this is your first time visiting my blog, and you'd like to know more about our quilt ministry, you might want to check out this post - it tells all about how we got started.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #65! Back on Schedule.....

Hi, all!

Monday again, and I'm actually posting on Monday, not Tuesday!  Woohoo!!  It feels good to get back on schedule again.  And I had a good week working on my list - let's see how it went.....

1.  Get all those lovely folded fabrics integrated 
into the stash wall!
Done!  The wall is almost full... but not for long!

2.  Quilt the 100 Quilts For Kids quilt.
Done!  Check back on Tuesday for a blogpost about 
how this was quilted and why!

3.  Quilt at least three ministry quilts.
Done!  And I've even got the bindings machine sewn on - they should be finished on Monday....

4.  Host a 100 Quilts For Kids quilt-along 
at my house this Saturday!

Just a small part of the group that was there on Saturday!
Hard at work on 100 Quilts For Kids....
See the full report on Wednesday's post!

So what's in store for this week?  It's a slow-moving week for me, and a short one, too (I'm out of town this weekend), but there's lots of stuff to do, so let's see what I'd like to get done....

1.  Finish the bindings on last week's three ministry quilts. (Monday!)

2.  Write a blogpost for 100 Quilts For Kids (Tuesday!)

3.  Write a blogpost for The Sweatshop (Wednesday!)

4.  Finish a man's quilt top for the quilt ministry (it only 
needs two sides of the final border) 
and then make a back for it.

5.  Load that quilt on the frame and quilt it.

6.  And hopefully, load a couple more ministry quilts 
on the frame and get them done, too!

This is a totally unrealistic list, but maybe it will keep me moving this week!  I'm trying to get some of this stuff (the blogposts) done tonight, so that will help...  but it will be interesting to see just how much I get done!  Wish me luck!!

So - - - what are you working on this week?



Friday, September 16, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? My Hubby Is A Genius!!!

Hi, all!

Well, as the title of my post states, my husband is a genius!!!  With his superior masculine knowledge*, he fixed the free motion quilting foot for my Juki, and now my quilting frame is back in business!!!  Woohoo!!!

*I think that when they take the girls aside in the 5th or 6th grade in school, they take the guys and tell them all sorts of things that they can amaze their women with later in life, like what E-rings are and where to find them......   

So I managed to get three flimsies quilted so far this week...

Three down, eleven to go.....  (whew!)
A friend and I also got these stacks of 5" squares cut for our sewing sisters' get-together on Saturday...

They'll be used to make quilts for 100 Quilts for Kids.  Are you participating?

And I also got a huge pile of fabric donations folded and tucked away in the stash wall - hooray!  This batch had a lot of big pieces - four and five yards each, and about 30 yards of high quality white!  Just what we needed!!

So that's what I'm whooping about this week - what have you been working on??  Share with us - let us cheer you on!!  You've got until Saturday night to link up.  And remember to tell everyone you've linked up here, and invite them to join in the fun!!



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #64! Wait, it's Tuesday????

Hi, all!

How did it get to be Tuesday already?  Monday just flew by and my blogpost completely escaped me.....  Oh well, time for a fresh start! Let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Make that sample top for 100 Quilts for Kids!
Done!  And I got the back done too!

2.  Finish the silent auction quilt.
Done!  Isn't it gorgeous?

3.  Finish at least two more ministry quilts.
Whoops - didn't get to this, but I have a good excuse - 
both my FMQ feet for my Juki went on the fritz, and
I went on the search for replacements.  
Let me tell you - 
I have the world's greatest husband!
He found the foot on the internet -
took one look at the price -
then looked at the foot and told me
he could fix it with a small piece of hardware
from Lowes! And he did!!
The man is a genius!!
So hopefully, I'll be back to quilting 
on my frame later this week......

4.  Photograph and organize recent donations to the quilt ministry.
Partially done...  I got to these....

 ...these are still in piles in my workroom...

...but I did get these beautiful blocks from Michelle 
up on the design wall!

5.  Cut kits for our 100 Quilts For Kids challenge!
Done!  A friend came over yesterday and we cut hundreds
of five inch squares from about 50 different novelty
and juvenile prints that we had in the stash.

So what's on tap for this week?

1.  Get all those lovely folded fabrics integrated 
into the stash wall!

2.  Quilt the 100 Quilts For Kids quilt.

3.  Quilt at least three ministry quilts.

4.  Host a 100 Quilts For Kids quilt-along 
at my house this Saturday!

I'm going to stop there, because I have GOT to get to those ministry quilts - I've currently got eight needs on the list, and it keeps growing!

So what are you working on this week?



PS - be sure to check out the giveaway going on a 1Choice4Quilting - she's looking for your best quilting tips and she's giving away some lovely prizes!!