Monday, January 30, 2017

Make-A-List Monday - Back to the Routine, And Winners!

Hi, all!

Wow, it's been two weeks since I posted a list on Monday - that's so not good!  I really do better with a list, plus it's going to be hard to remember what I did two weeks ago - but let's see if I can dredge it up!  But first, I owe you the names of the two winners of the Rambling Rose fat quarter bundles!  I checked with Little Miss Random (who is very jealous she didn't get a twirly skirt!) and she chose number 10, which was:

Chantal also commented that she has three boys, so these fabrics will be all for her!

And the second number drawn was number 72...

STH apparently lives somewhere that gets lots of snow, so these should help brighten up her winter days!

Congratulations, ladies!  I'll be getting in touch with you by email to get your mailing addresses!


So now let's get down to the business of lists!  Here's how I did on the list from two weeks ago...

1.  Finish up some items using the Free Spirit fabric.
2.  Set up a photo shoot for next Monday's "big reveal" post.
Done!  You can see all the things I made on this post.  The little girls and I had a lot of fun with the photo shoot!

3.  Piece one of the Stunning Stars quilts.
Done!  You can read all about Scrappy Stars on this post.

4.  Pull the fabrics for another Stunning Stars quilt.
Done!  Here's a teaser - I'll be quilting this quilt tomorrow and revealing it next Sunday!

5.  Pull out the Dear Jane and set up a plan for completing it.
Done!  I've taken a look at it and it appears that all the pieces I need are there - I just need to sew it all together.  Look how pretty the center is!

6.  Look at a repair job and see what will be needed to complete it.
I didn't get to this one yet...

7.  Finalize the details on a new commission quilt.
Done!  I know what I need to do, just need to order the supplies.

8.  Do some organizational work on 2017's Christmas in July blog hop!
Done!  It's going to be fabulous!!

9.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We've given away quite a few over the last two weeks...

These four quilts went to a man who lost his wife over Christmas, and his three children...

...and this quilt went to a woman who will be having a hysterectomy in the next few days.

The next three quilts went to a woman who lost her husband, her adult daughter, and the adopted granddaughter who was named for her husband who died.

This quilt went to a gentleman dealing with Lou Gehrig's Disease...

...and this one went to a woman whose son died unexpectedly.

We also gave away two other quilts, one to a newly adopted little boy and the other to a man dealing with a serious ongoing illness.  I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of those two!

So that's how the last two weeks went!  I've been busy working on the quilts for the Stunning Stars quilt-along, so that's pretty much taken up all my spare time.  Let's see what I've got on tap for this week now!

1.  Quilt the Stunning Stars quilt for this Sunday's post.

2.  Write the tutorial for that quilt.

3. Put the binding on three ministry quilts.

4.  Order the materials for the commission quilt.

5.  Cut out the next Stunning Stars quilt.

6.  Start assembling the borders for the Dear Jane quilt.

7.  Contact the potential sponsors for Hands2Help 2017.

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

And that's just going to have to be enough to keep me out of trouble this week!  So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, January 29, 2017

The First Stunning Stars Quilt!! "Scrappy Stars"

Hi, all!

The day has finally arrived - the beginning of the Stunning Stars Quilt-Along!  Now, this isn't your usual quilt-along.  I won't be showing you steps to make just one quilt - over the next six Sundays I'll be sharing six simple quilts, all with a star theme, that are perfect for charity quilts.  Then, right after those six weeks, the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge begins - and you'll be all ready with some great inspiration and instructions so you can jump right in!  Sound good?  Great!  Let's get started!

A long time ago, I saw this quilt on Pinterest and pinned it to my "bucket list" board.  I loved the bright colors and thought it made an adorable baby quilt!  But it sat there on my list, just a dream...

Then I started seeing the "charming stars" blocks cropping up on blogs - simple, sweet stars done in an inverse way using charm squares.  When I started thinking about the quilts for this quilt-along, these two came to mind right away!  Combined with my ridiculous supply of scraps, this quilt was the ultimate result...

I guess the best name for this quilt would be "Scrappy Stars"!  It's very simple - using 5" squares, you make eight 9-patch blocks and eight Charming Stars blocks.  Assemble them together in a checkerboard pattern and add a border made of 5" squares (that's so you don't lose those cute star points by covering them with your binding) and you're done!  This quilt finishes out at about 63" square, and is a great size for a charity quilt.  It would also be simple to make it smaller or larger, either by reducing the number of blocks, or by using smaller squares to create the blocks in the first place.  

It's hard to see, but I quilted this using a swirly random meander around the stars, and straight line quilting in the stars to set them off.  I used white bobbin thread on this blue backing, so the stars show up even on the back.

And I can testify that this is a quick quilt - the one above is actually my second "iteration" of this quilt.  Because when I stepped back and looked at the finished flimsy of my first effort, this is what I saw...

Erk!  That is NOT where those stars are supposed to be!  Now, don't get me wrong - this layout is growing on me, but I know that random placement is difficult for some people, so I wanted to show the quilt in its original design, with all the stars symmetrically placed.  So, being too lazy to rip out seams and re-arrange the blocks - - - I started all over again!  I managed to put a second top together in about four hours.  So this is definitely a quick and easy quilt!  (And making two of them ate up a LOT of scraps!)

And not only is the front a great stash buster, but I managed to use more fabric from the stash for the back of this one!  I've been saving that pretty print panel for a while now, and it made a nice pairing with the random collection of prints on the front.

So here's the specifics of what you'll need for this quilt:

Light or near-white solid:  Eight 5" squares and sixty-four 2 7/8" squares of the same fabric.  If you use one fabric for all the stars, it requires slightly more than a half yard (about 20" or so) of yardage.  Or you can make them from scraps, each one a different light or near-white solid.  Each star takes one 5" square and eight 2 7/8" squares.

Print fabrics:  188  5" squares in various prints.  This is a great way to use up your scraps.  You will want darker colored squares for the star blocks so the stars show up well, but you can use some lighter squares in the 9-patch blocks and borders.

The tutorial for the Charming Stars blocks can be found here.  She did such a great job of showing how to make them, I don't think I can improve on it.  The one thing I do in addition, though, is make bonus HSTs from the corners of my star points.  You can read about the technique in this post.  Making bonus HSTs only takes a few minutes longer and then you have the building blocks for another project later!  (Make eight of these blocks.)

I'm sure most of you are familiar with how to make a nine-patch block, but just in case, here's a great tutorial from Connecting Threads!  (Make eight of these blocks.)

Here's a diagram of the layout, but as stated above, it's pretty simple - lay out the 9-patch blocks and the star blocks in a checkerboard pattern, then add a border of 5" squares (strips of 12 on each side, strips of 14 across top and bottom) to finish it off.  Your quilt should finish out at about 63" square.

Now - go forth and make a scrappy quilt!!

Check in next week for a bright, bold, starry quilt!!



Friday, January 27, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Gearing Up....

Hi, all!

Friday is here again, and as always, that means that it's time to get our whoop whoop on!!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!


It's hard to believe it's time already, but Sunday is the beginning of the Stunning Stars Quilt-Along!  

If you're new here, you might not know about this series, so here's the skinny.  Two years ago, I started doing a series of simple quilt designs in the weeks leading up to the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  The first year was the Sweet Sixteen Quilt-Along, with eight simple designs featuring sixteen-patch quilts.  Last year, it was the Nifty Nines Quilt-Along, sharing six different nine-patch quilts.  This week I've been working hard on the first quilts for the Stunning Stars Quilt-Along, and I've got a couple of teaser shots for you!

I'm trying really hard to make these out of my scrap bins, thereby killing two birds with one stone!

I can't wait to share the whole series with you - I hope you'll stop by and find something you love!!  The series will run from January 29th through March 5th, leading right into this year's Hands2Help Challenge, and giving you plenty of inspiration and simple quilt ideas if you want to join in and make a quilt or two!


Also, just in case you didn't see it last week, there's a giveaway going on, and you've still got time to enter!

I'll be giving away two fat quarter bundles of this beautiful Rambling Roses fabric by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit Fabrics - all you need to do to enter is go to this post and leave a comment (or two!)  Entries close Sunday afternoon about 5:00 PM CST and I'll announce the winners on Monday.  

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


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you dance 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, January 25, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Here's a Solution!

Hi, all!

How are you doing with YOUR scraps?  Still drowning in them?  I know I am!  It seems like a never-ending deluge of fabric, but at least it's fun to play with them!  And I've got a great suggestion for you this week...

Carole @ From My Carolina Home is once again hosting a Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt Along!  This year's version is called the Two-Step.  You can see the introductory post by clicking here and the first post by clicking here.  New clues post on the third Friday of every month, and the whole mystery will last about 7 months, with plenty of time between posts to get your steps done.  Sounds like a great way to use up some scraps!!!

And if a mystery isn't your cup of tea, how about a little visual inspiration?  I saw this quilt today in a catalog and it immediately caught my eye - I think it would be the perfect cure for my overflowing string basket!!

And finally, here's what I've been working on this week - and I've used up a BUNCH of scraps!!!  Woohoo!!

These are for the Stunning Stars Quilt-Along which starts this coming Sunday, so I'm saving the full reveal for then, but you can see that there's a lot of scraps in the two of them!  

I feel so virtuous.....  ðŸ˜‡



Reminder:  There's a giveaway going on right now on my blog - be sure to check it out on this post!  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Roses, Roses Everywhere... and a Giveaway!

Hi, all!

The day has finally arrived - the big reveal day for the projects I have made with Rambling Rose, a new line of fabric by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit Fabrics!  

When Free Spirit contacted me back before Christmas to see if I would like to help promote another line of fabric for them, of course I said YES!  It's so much fun to play with a new line of fabric and come up with fun designs - and it really stretches me out of my comfort zone sometimes.  That's a good thing!

Rambling Rose is a beautiful line of fabrics - soft pastels in white, pink, and light blue, with a few robin's egg blue and reds thrown in for spice.  Paired with Tanya Whelan's trademark roses, they have a distinctly feminine flair!  As with all Free Spirit fabrics, they have a lovely hand, and sew up beautifully.  You can read Tanya's own thoughts about her fabric line on the Free Spirit Fabrics blog by clicking here.

I knew immediately upon seeing these fabrics that I wanted to make a quilt - something sweet and feminine and yet distinctive. 

 I went through my Pinterest boards - a place where I keep all the ideas that catch my eye - and found a block that had potential.  Later I was looking through Find My Pins, which shows what people are pinning from your website, and notice that this version was pinned a lot from a Wednesday scrap blogpost.  

As cute as this block is, I was looking for something on a larger scale, so I re-designed it as a one-block quilt.  I'm really loving the way this turned out!

I chose Kona Honeydew as the background fabric.  Its springlike green was the perfect complement for these fabrics.  

I used fussy-cut bands of the Gingham Ticking fabric for the border, and Framed Rosebuds for the binding.  

The front of the quilt only used ten of the prints, though, and I wanted to show all of them - so I made a simple charm squares back for this quilt using all twenty-one prints!

Lots of swirled quilting gives it lovely texture, too!

But with two little girlies of my own, and all that beautiful feminine fabric, I couldn't stop at just a quilt!  

A pair of twirly skirts were definitely in order...

I just love the boots with them, don't you?  

Definitely twirly!

I made a pair of reversible headbands to coordinate with their skirts, too!

You can really see the back of the quilt in this picture - all those beautiful prints made for a lovely and totally reversible quilt - and a great picnic blanket!

A wonderful place for a tea party...

...even when your "tea" is roses!

Aren't little girl knees the cutest?

I also made some sweet little hexie trinket bowls...

...and a rope bowl, wrapping the clothesline with narrow strips of the fabric used on the quilt front.  See that little nosegay on the lip of the bowl?  I found the dark green leaves, made of glass and wire, tucked away in my stash of antique buttons.  I don't know where they came from, but they were certainly perfect for this project!

I had so much fun playing with this fabric - the beautiful colors and designs were certainly a welcome change from the winter weather we've been experiencing!  So if you need a little something to brighten your day, look for some Rambling Rose - it's guaranteed to do the job!

My sweet little models certainly like it!!


And now for the fun stuff!

I have two bundles of Rambling Rose (eighteen fat quarters in each) left over from my projects.  Who wants one?  Here's how to get in the running...

1.  Leave a comment below.  Let's make it interesting - if you have a smart phone, open up a new message and tap the center autofill box five or six times.  What message did you get?  Mine was "The first thing is to make"!  If you don't have a smart phone, tell us what you do to beat the mid-winter blues.

2.  If you're a follower of my blog, leave a second comment for an additional entry in the giveaway.

That's it - easy peasy!  I'll draw two winners next Sunday and post them on Monday, January 30th.  

Thanks for joining me for the big reveal!  It's been fun, hasn't it?



NOTE:  There will be a tutorial for this quilt during the Stunning Stars Quilt Along, which begins 1/29/17 and goes for six weeks, through 3/5/17.  I'm not sure which week yet, so check them all!  There will be six different quilts featured, all with a star theme.  And there are links to the tutorials for the skirts, headbands, trinket dishes, and rope bowl on this post.