Friday, February 28, 2020

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Time Is A Gift...

Hi, all!

Here we are at the end of the week once again - Friday has arrived and it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's go!


It has been quite a week around here - it started off with finally getting the carpet laid in the office....

Now, that may seem like a funny thing to whoop about, but the first time the carpet guys came was way back on January 30th - and it took three trips and three weeks to get the right piece of carpet to finish this room!  But it's finally finished, and now my husband is a happy camper.

And because the office is finished, I was able to do this....

Once again, it doesn't look like much, but that, folks, is an empty storage unit!  And before the end of the month, so I didn't have to pay another month's rent!  Actually, my husband had a good bit to do with it being empty. I filled up my car twice with boxes one afternoon and took them to the new house, and was planning to get the rest of it (the heavy boxes) the next morning, but my husband stopped by with his pickup truck that evening on the way home and picked up most of the rest of the boxes!  I just had to go get the six boxes he couldn't cram into his truck - one short, quick, and fairly light trip, and it was done.  

Other things have been happening around here, too, such as beds being made (finally)...

... and pictures making it on to the walls...

But here's the very best thing that happened to me this week.  Remember the carpet story from the beginning?  Well, after three weeks and three visits by the carpet installers, we got to know each other well.  I say well, but apparently not too well, because for some reason I was really nice to the lead installer despite the frustrations of mistaken measurements (not by him) and the wrong stuff being ordered (once again not by him).  If you knew me, you'd know that is totally out of character, as I am usually a hothead (just ask the lady at the credit card company that wouldn't change my address for me today just because I couldn't put my husband on the phone to verify that it was ok!)  OK, so now you know more about me thank you probably need to.  But as the installer was finishing up, we were talking and he mentioned that he was hoping to buy a boat soon.  Amazingly enough, I have a boat to sell!

Well, the young man didn't have a lot of cash, but he did have skills that he was willing to barter (in addition to some cash), and now I no longer have an appointment with lots and lots of these... he agreed to do all the painting needed at the old house as part of the deal!  He got a great deal on a boat, and I got a whole lot of time back!

And that, my friends, totally deserves a whoop whoop!!!


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

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!



Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Make-A-List Monday - Better Late Than Never!

Hi, all!

I am more than a little bit behind this week, it appears - since it's Tuesday night and I'm watching This Is Us while I write this blogpost!  But it's been a good week - in addition to working on my list, we FINALLY got the carpet done in my husband's office (third time is the charm, apparently!) and we found some floor in the garage.

So let's take a look at last week's list....

1.  Finish getting Jolene and her frame set up and connected.
Done!  It's so nice to have her back where she belongs!

2.  Continue hanging pictures at the new house.
Coming right along!  Here's just a sample of what I've been doing...

3.  Do a quick sweep/vacuum at the old house.
Dust bunnies evicted!

4.  Start on wall repairs at the old house.
Started, but still a ways to go!  I did get all the nails pulled, the holes spackled, and all the cracks repaired.  Next step is to sand those down and start painting!

5.  Work on the next tutorial/quilt for Charmed, I'm Sure!
Done!  You can find the tutorial for this quilt by clicking here...

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We did give away a few quilts this week...

Occasionally one of our staff members request a quilt where they are unable to share the name of the recipient or the reason they need one.  We take it on faith that it's a legitimate request.  This quilt went to one of those recipients, and it's a beauty - it will definitely give a powerful quilt-y hug!

And I love the story behind this quilt - one of our church members is loving on a young woman who is expecting a little boy, and has literally nothing for her baby.  She is throwing a baby shower for her, and asked if we could provide a quilt for the new baby.  Of course we can!

So that was last week!  Busy as usual, and no end in sight.  Let's see what this week looks like...

1.  Work on the design for this week's Charmed, I'm Sure quilt.

2.  Start painting at the old house.

3.  Finish clearing out the storage unit.

4.  Haul more boxes up to my quilt studio and unpack them.

5.  Haul a bunch of stuff to Goodwill - things that were donated at church that we can't use.

6.  Plan a fun Friday evening for the grandkids while my daughter and son-in-law are at a home schooling conference.

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

Short list this week, but I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed.  I really miss my sewing time! But it will be back sometime, hopefully soon.  In the meantime, it will be good to get all our stuff under our roof, and close up the storage unit.  That's something I know I can finish this week!

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



Sunday, February 23, 2020

Charmed, I'm Sure! An Oldie, But A Goodie!

Hi, all!

Welcome to the second week of Charmed, I'm Sure! A series of tutorials designed to be simple enough to use for comfort quilts to be donated, that will also help you build skills and learn new tips and ways to work quickly and efficiently!

Last week, I shared this quilt...

...along with a link to Amy Smart's fantastic tutorial for a simple charm quilt on point!  This was such an easy quilt to make, and a great scrap buster.

Today I want to share a pattern I've seen around a lot, so it's an oldie, but this was actually the first time I've ever tried it myself.  You may have made a disappearing nine-patch in the past (most of us have!) but have you ever tried a disappearing four-patch?  I don't know about you, but I really like cutting up blocks to create something new and different.  So it was about time to try a D4P!

I started with a bunch of two-patch blocks made using some batik charm squares paired with a black and white "etch-a-sketch" print.  While not scrappy, the batik squares had been in my stash f-o-r-e-v-e-r, and this was the tail-end of the black and white print.  I feel virtuous!

FYI, I pressed all the seams towards the B&W print.

I chose two of the two-patch blocks, a blue and a green, and sewed them together into a four-patch block, with the black and white squares on opposite corners.  I "spun" the center seams (click here for a great quick tutorial on the process by Beth Sellers) and then laid it on my cutting board.

Placing the 2" mark of my ruler vertically along the center line, I cut to the right side of the ruler.  Without moving the pieces, I repeated the process to the left side and also horizontally above and below the center line.

And this is what I ended up with!  Now it's time for the magic to happen.  Experiment with moving pieces around!  In the picture below, I took the top center and bottom center pieces and swapped them, and did the same with the right center and left center pieces.

And here's a sample layout that you could make with this block...

But I decided to try something a little bit different.  I took the same center outside blocks and just turned them around in place, and ended up with this block.

I made a few more, then started playing with layouts and ended up with this one...

I sure was happy to get to church and a functioning design wall!

And here's a tip - when you are trying to figure out how to lay out your colors with this layout, lay out your two-patch blocks so the colors match, then decide what colors you want to be on the other side.  Place the four-patch blocks in place before cutting and re-sewing to see how the colors will work.  As you can see, I figured this out late in the game, or I wouldn't have two blue blocks on the top half of this layout!  Alas - live and learn!

After making all the four-patch blocks on Wednesday night at church, I headed home with a picture and a plan!  I sliced-and-diced all the four-patch blocks and put them back together again, then assembled the whole top.

And voila!  A sweet little top just large enough for a baby or small child, or for a comfort item for a foster child.  The blocks finish up just slightly larger than 8" (finished), so this top made with 20 blocks is about 32 x 40.  It would be easy to make almost any size quilt, just increase the number of blocks made.  Time constraints limited this one, but I may make a larger one soon, because it is quick and fun!  

And now, I want to know - - - am I the only person in the world who has never made a disappearing four-patch block before?  

Come back next Sunday for another fun charm pack quilt.  Because those charms aren't going to sew themselves up by themselves!



Friday, February 21, 2020

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Snow Day, Sew Day!!

Hi, all!

Here it is, Friday again - and you know what that means!  It's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  I hope you're ready, so let's get started!


This morning when I woke up, I checked the weather like I always do.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that they were predicting 1-3 inches of snow for us!  Well, in Tennessee that doesn't mean much -  we get lots of predicted snow that never happens.  But at 7 a.m. I looked out the window.....

Snow!!  Big fat beautiful flakes - and the best kind, because it didn't stick!  And you know what snow means - snow day, sew day!  So I headed up to my studio - my big, beautiful new studio that still needs a LOT of work - and did some sewing!  

In the course of that sewing, I lost at the game of "binding chicken"...

3/8 of a stinking inch!  That's all I would have needed to make it reach - but it's all good.  I found a piece of navy blue to stretch it just that little bit needed, and ended up with this pretty finished quilt.  FYI, I only did the binding on this one - it's a ministry quilt, pieced by one lovely lady, with a back made by a second lady and quilting by a third.  Lots of hands and love in this one!

Then I put the binding on this quilt, requested by one of the ministers on our staff for a special need.  The top was pieced (we think) by a lady, once part of our quilt ministry, who died a few years back.  She left us tons fabric and a lot of pieced tops that we are still working our way through.  This is a particularly lovely one that Rita quilted up on Wednesday night now has a binding and is ready to become someone's quilty hug!

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 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, February 19, 2020

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Reorganizing!

Hi, all!

It's been a busy week around here, and I'm  happy to say my sewing studio is finally starting to shape up!  My long arm machine is back up...

...and hooray, I managed to get my IKEA wire drawers underneath it!  At the other house I had plastic storage tubs full of scraps under the front of the machine, but I really don't think I want to do that here.  And that means it's time for a little reorganization!  

I think I'm going to use the wire drawers to sort and store my scraps by color.  I think the mesh is small enough to hold them, but if not, I'll have to come up with something to line them with.  That will be a project for this weekend, I think!


I've also (finally) started this year's tutorial series - it's called "Charmed, I'm Sure"!  The basic starting unit for each design will be a 5" charm square, which I have plenty of in my stash, since I've been cutting my scraps into that size among others.  And yesterday I managed to carve out some time to do some sewing!

These weren't scrappy charms, but they were a bunch that I have had in my stash for years (we won't say just how many!) and the tail end of some of that black and white print that I love so much.  I'll be sharing a tutorial for this on Sunday!  It's funny, but with all the quilts I've made, I've never done a disappearing four-patch before.  It's a lot of fun!

So what have you been doing with scraps this week?  



Monday, February 17, 2020

Make-A-List Monday - Guess Who's Back?

Hi, all!

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day... did you ever wonder why you couldn't trust Monday?  I actually like Monday and the fresh start it gives us!  And today's was especially fun, as the grandkids were out of school and I got to spend time with them.  I'm going to like living closer!

But enough about that - let's see how last week's list went.  (Please bear in mind that I had a wicked cold most of last week that is just now vacating the premises...)

1.  Work on organizing/setting up the quilt studio.
It's getting there!  I've had some excellent help from my eldest granddaughter...

...who not only helped me put this Kallax unit together, but then unpacked boxes and organized my fabric by color on it!

This week my husband and I went back to the house to rescue Jolene and her frame...

We packed her carefully into the truck and brought her to the new house.  I'm sure my husband thinks I'm a little obsessive over her, as careful as I was making him be while taking her frame apart!

And this afternoon, Lilli and I decided to put the pieces back together.  (She informed me she called dibs on the electric drill!)  This girl isn't afraid of much of anything, and she did a great job re-assembling the frame.  We did have some stops and starts, when we forgot a step and got ahead of ourselves, but eventually...

...the frame was back together!  Then my husband came home and helped me get it level (always a tricky procedure) and then...

Jolene is back!!!  I've still got to put the front bars on, but I decided I could do that tomorrow - it was time for a little pizza!  I'm happy to say that my IKEA wire shelves fit underneath the frame now, and I've almost decided what I want to fill them with.  
More on that soon!

2.  Hang up pictures.
No pics yet, but I did get started on this one, plus I took several pieces to Hobby Lobby for framing.  We have so much great art, it's fun to have new ways to display it!  I'll share some pictures soon.

3.  Organize the bedroom closet.
Unfortunately, this one was a victim of that bad cold I had.  I just didn't get to it!

4.  Finish a quilt top for a special event at church.
Done!  No full pictures yet, but here's one showing that I put the binding on!

5.  Write blogposts for the "Charmed, I'm Sure" tutorial series.
Started!  The first tutorial in the series posted this past Sunday, linking to a great tutorial by the fabulous Amy of Diary of a Quilter for this pretty quilt...

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  This quilt went to a young woman dealing with serious unexplained pain issues...

...and this quilt went to a young girl just diagnosed with bone cancer.

And finally, this quilt went to an elderly woman dealing with issues following heart valve surgery.

So not too bad, all in all, although I wish I could have gotten much more done!  This week, I really need to kick it into overdrive and get to work on the old house, getting it ready to go on the market.  So here's my list for this week...

1.  Finish getting Jolene and her frame set up and connected.

2.  Continue hanging pictures at the new house.

3.  Do a quick sweep/vacuum at the old house.

4.  Start on wall repairs at the old house.

5.  Work on the next tutorial/quilt for Charmed, I'm Sure!

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

Sounds like a short list, but I really need to get to work on the old house!  Plenty there to keep me busy for a couple of weeks...

And since most of my sewing is being enjoyed vicariously these days, I want to show you a picture sent to me by Heather. She used my Supernova pattern to create this beautiful quilt, adding to the size to make it a full twin size.  She used reclaimed fabrics, such as curtains, sheets, shirts, and a tablecloth to make this. And can you believe it was just her second quilt? AMAZING!!

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



Sunday, February 16, 2020

Charmed, I'm Sure! Begins - With A Lot of Help From A Friend!

Hi, all!

Well, they do say better late than never, and we sure are getting a late start on this year's quilt tutorial series - but hopefully you will all forgive me!  Moving really threw a monkey wrench in my life for a while, but as you'll see today, a very good friend is helping me out so that we can get started.

This year's theme is Charmed, I'm Sure! and our focus will be on using charm squares.  I don't know about you, but I choose to cut my scraps into pre-cut sizes (2.5", 5", and 10" squares) because I know there are loads of patterns out there for those sizes.  But after cutting them, you really should use them!  So all of our patterns will use charm squares, sometimes in unusual ways.

Today's quilt, though, is just a twist on simple patchwork - 5" squares placed on point!  This pattern is by Amy Smart, who blogs over at Diary of A Quilter, and bless her heart, she has graciously offered to allow me to link to her free tutorial so that you all can make one of your own!  It's a simple and fun quilt to make, and allows you to use some pretty focal prints, too... these dancers!  This quilt was a wedding present for a young woman I have known since she was quite small, and dance was a huge part of her life growing up. So when I found these blocks in my stash, I knew they needed to be part of her quilt!

I'm also terribly fond of these Mendocino mermaids, and was happy that their coloring made them fit right into this quilt!

used one of my favorite prints for both the setting triangles and corners and most of the backing.

Simple quilting on the long arm finished this off so it will be soft and cuddly!

And I was so grateful for a nice sunny day to show off the pretty colors in this lovely quilt!

So now I'm curious - do you also cut your scraps in standard pre-cut sizes?  Or do you have a stash of charm packs that you just couldn't resist at the last quilt show (hand raised in the air!) Well, it's time to drag them out and use them up!  Be sure to stop by next Sunday for another tutorial using charm squares - hopefully you'll find just the thing to inspire you!

And just a reminder - be sure to leave Amy a comment to let her know you were there!  I can't tell you what a relief it was to me when she said it was okay for me to link to her tutorial - quilty friends are the best!!