Monday, June 29, 2020

Make-A-List Monday - Regrouping and Stocking Up...

Hi, all!

Wow, what a week!  Just as it seemed things were getting back to normal in the world, it looks like we are headed back to difficult times again with the coronavirus.  Fortunately, a local grocery store had their semi-annual butcher's sale this week, and I went today and stocked up for my daughter's family and ours...

I ended up with four Boston butts, ten pounds of chicken breasts, twenty pounds of hamburger, twenty pounds of bacon, a whole NY strip cut into 13 steaks, a whole ribeye strip cut into 14 steaks, and two pork loins cut into 40 boneless pork chops.  Whew!  The freezer is getting close to full, as we had hit a sale previously at another store and bought three Boston butts, some ribs and a brisket.  I don't think we'll be running out of meat for a while!

Back on the home front, I did manage to get the Moongate quilt finished last week...

Also, I had to regroup a bit on the blog hop project - when you don't use a particular technique very often, sometimes you totally goof and mess it up.  So I regrouped, dragged out some more scraps, and got started on version 2.0....

It's moved a little further on than this but I'm too lazy to go upstairs and take another picture right now!  But it does appear to be working better now that I worked out the kinks on the other piece.  And maybe I can rework the pieces I made for the other one, turning them into something interesting - we shall see!

I also spray painted our patio furniture so it doesn't look all nasty any more, and I put up some bird feeders which are quite the talk of the town, at least among the birds!  No pictures of the birds yet, but I'll try to get some when it stops raining....

And I FINALLY finished this 2000 piece Star Wars jigsaw puzzle.  It must be the hardest puzzle I've ever done - but it was a lot of fun!  

But I didn't get the pool noodle stapled to the door frame in the attic yet.  That darn puzzle totally distracted me!

So this week, I need to keep working on the blog hop project and get it finished. Without bumps in the road this time!

I also want to start gathering together the fabrics for Lilli's annual quilt.  This year she requested a Harry Potter quilt, and I knew immediately which one I would make...

 We've decided, to get the best size for Lilli, to eliminate the row with Dobby, Voldemort, and the train, and do the Hogwarts crest on the back of the quilt.  She and I pulled some fabrics, but now I've got to go through my scrap bins for some of the smaller bits.  I'm sure there are some solids that I can use!

I'm still working on blocking Emmy's quilt top, but I think it's going to work well.  This week will tell!

And I WILL get that pool noodle stapled up.  If only the staple gun was upstairs... so I will put it on my list of things to do in the morning and hopefully it will march upstairs with me!

I also need to work in the quilt room at church some more - unfortunately it won't clean itself, as much as I've wished it would. But it's coming along!

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



Friday, June 26, 2020

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Mooning over Moongate....

Hi, all!

Summertime, and the living is easy..... and not just summer, but Friday!  And that means it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on, so let's get started!


It's been a little bit of a strange week, with more things going on than usual.  So I didn't think I had actually finished something this week, until Bill reminded me of this....

I finished the Moongate postage stamp quilt!  

It did help that I found a really cute backing on the clearance rack at Walmart - I wasn't looking, it just caught my eye as I walked by, and lo and behold there was just the right amount for the back.

And I found a cute print for the binding in my stash. Woohoo!

This tiger, a relic from my childhood, blends in nicely with the colors of Moongate so I think he will live on the bed now.  Many thanks to Christina Cameli for designing such a beautiful fabric line!

I also went to church this week to do a little more cleaning - it's far from done, but it is looking better...

I get a little bit done each time I go in - dig out a little bit more, put away a little bit more, and on and on.  It will take a while to get the room to the point where it can be easily sanitized after each use, but we will get there!  

And then there is this.....

I painted my old patio furniture with a nice fresh coat of green so it doesn't look so ratty any more!  I also cleaned off the porch area and rearranged the furniture so it's a little more relaxed.

Here you can see the upper patio - there are two doors out to the sitting area, one from the kitchen and one from the master suite.  It's a lovely place to sit in the morning with a cup of coffee, or in the late afternoon with a Diet Coke.   

And here's the view from my chair on the upper deck!  Right now, very near where my dog Fly is, there's a bird feeder stuck into the ground that our songbirds are really enjoying.  I'm hoping to get some pots of flowers and a few more bird feeders, and maybe a birdbath to put out there.  Even Fly likes to watch the birds!  

So all in all, it's been a good week!

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, June 24, 2020

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

Hi, all!

I had a fun experience this week, and since it has everything to do with scrappiness, I want to clue you all in on it too!

Sunday night I received an email from Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps blog, BluPrint classes, QuiltCon, and loads of other places.  Now, I love Christina to pieces - I met her in person in one of her classes at QuiltCon in Savannah and we spent two hours at lunch sitting on the grass outside, eating and talking up a storm.  She's fun and sweet and a very talented quilter and teacher.  So when I get an email from her, I sit up and listen!  She was a victim of the recent BluPrint closing, having prepared a class that was due to be filmed right about the time that they announced their closing - so she decided to film it herself!

If you've ever taken one of Christina's classes, you know she's a great and engaging teacher, managing to keep the attention of long-time quilters while not overwhelming the newbies.  

In her email, she asked me if I would preview her soon-to-be-released self-filmed class and give some feedback.  Of course I said yes!  And I am here to tell you that this is a class you need to take!

I mean, look at those gorgeous pillows!  The technique is great for using some of your favorite little scraps, and quick enough that you could easily knock out a couple of pillow covers in a day.

You probably know already that Christina is a great teacher of free motion quilting, and in this video she takes you through how to learn a new quilting design (doodling is your friend!) and makes it all look easy.  She demonstrates this design, and also explains how to do the straight line quilting you can see in the pillow in the class icon.

She even shows you how to finish your pillow cover with an envelope closure back, and has the neatest. trick. ever. to get beautiful corners.

And the very very best part?  If you go to her blog (click here) she has a code for a 25% discount on the class fee that's available for the next week!  

So thank me later, but go over and sign up for her class - you won't be sorry!



Monday, June 22, 2020

Make-A-List Monday - Things Just Keep Rolling Along!

Hi, all!

The first Monday of summer has arrived!  I love summer - beautiful warm days, sunshine, and usually, more time with my grandkids, although this year that part of summer started way early.  So I've been enjoying the weather and working in my quilt studio this week, and I've actually accomplished some things!

Last week, I wanted to find a back for this quilt, and maybe get it quilted.  I did find a really great backing - a total steal...

...and it's loaded up on the frame, ready to go!  I'll be quilting this one this week.

I also wanted to make a kawandi style quilt, and I did!  This was a fun little project and I enjoyed making it a lot.

I also spent a couple of days at church cleaning up - hauled a carload of stuff to the Goodwill, and swept up tons of dust bunnies!  There's still a lot to do before we can meet in there, but I made a good start on it.  I think I'll take Lilli with me to sort scraps the next time I go!  She loves to organize - although she tells me that does NOT include cleaning - so she could probably work on scraps while I keep cleaning and disinfecting.

And now for this week... I've already said that I'm going to quilt the postage stamp quilt, and I'm also working on a special project for an upcoming blog hop.  I'm "sewing by the seat of my pants" on this one, but hopeful that it will turn out great!

And since summer is here, that means it's time to start thinking about the grandkids' annual quilts.  I came across this great panel from Hawthorne Threads and knew immediately that it was destined to be Emmy's quilt this year!  It's a little out of square, so after I quilt the postage stamp quilt, I'm going to load it on the quilt frame to stretch it and get it square, then spritz it with water in hopes of blocking it to the proper shape.  I think that will work, and then I can start looking for a great backing.  Quilting it will be fun!

I have a plan for Lilli's quilt (Harry Potter) and for Nathanael's quilt  (yes, it will be green!) but I'll share more about them in upcoming weeks.

And this pool noodle represents an absolutely totally necessary project for this week!  The entrance to our walk-in attic is VERY short, and I am comparatively very tall - and last weekend I hit my head not once, but twice, really hard!  So enter the pool noodle, which I will be stapling over the inside of the door frame in hopes of avoiding serious damage when I whack my head in the future.  You'd think I'd learn, but no......

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



Friday, June 19, 2020

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?

Hi, all!

Friday is here once again, and that means it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  I've been chasing a squirrel this week, so I've got something fun to share - and I hope you've been having fun sewing too.  Let's get started!


Last week I saw a really cool little quilt on Instagram....

...and started doing a little research.  @mamacatquilts said that it was "kawandi" quilting, so I did a Google search, and found an article and mini-tutorial for a machine sewn version by Piece Love and Happiness called Modern Kawandi Making.  I discovered that kawandi is a traditional Indian method of quilting, using scraps, of which I had PLENTY!  And away we go!!!

After putting a backing on a scrap piece of batting, I set my corners in place...

...then started laying scrappy pieces in an overlapping fashion working towards the center from each corner.  As you can see, I chose to "pink" my edges instead of turning the underneath.  Maybe it's lazy, maybe it's a design decision - but whatever, it worked!  

Glue sticks are amazing!  That's how I secured all these pieces in place, and it held so well - I even used it to secure the back to the batting!  Keep layering pieces on, working in towards the center...

...and eventually, you'll get to the center!  As you can see, my center is a little off but I chose to embrace that because I really prefer things a little off-kilter anyway....

Next came quilting.  I chose to start near my off-center center and do a square spiral out to the edges, about 1/4" apart.  I didn't worry too much about perfection - perfection is highly overrated!  But I love the texture of close quilting, don't you?

The pinked edges float free in spots, but I'm not worried about it, as this mini-quilt won't be washed.  I rather like the additional texture it gives the surface!

You can see the quilting design on the back.  I also did a facing rather than a binding to the front, so the design goes all the way to the edges.

See those pieces on the corners?  They are called "phula" flowers, and a kawandi quilt is considered incomplete without them.  I made mine by cutting 3" circles with my pinking blade, then folding them in half and again in thirds accordion style.  

It was  easy to attach them to the back of the quilt so the "petals" peek out from each corner.  They're actually kind of pretty, aren't they?

Emmy Lou allowed me to take her picture as she modeled the finished quilt, even though she was sweaty from playing in the yard.  She's a cute little stinker, isn't she?

Here's a nice picture of the quilt hanging on the wall.  I love the texture-y shadows created by the quilting, and the play of colors and scraps.

But here's one of my favorite scraps in the piece - see the little crossed fingers?  It's a piece of a line called Lucky Charms that I got at QuiltCon, so it holds some fun memories.  I'll remember that every time I see those fingers!

And now it hangs on the wall coming into my studio with a couple of other minis I made and the beautiful quilt made for me by Sharon Vrooman and Sue Daurio.  Now it feels like home!

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, June 17, 2020

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Chasing A Squirrel!

Hi, all!

Does it seem to anyone else that there have been some AMAZING scrap quilts on Instagram lately?  I guess people being shut in with only the supplies on hand has caused an upsurge in scrappy quilting, and I for one am loving it!  So much inspiration - which I'm going to share first - and then you can see what I'm working on at the end.  So let's get started!

Since it's the only pillow in the bunch, I'll start with Tracy's beautiful pillow made with leftover HSTs!

And then we'll go for the psychotically tiny with this super-tiny mini quilt.  I'm guessing those squares are about 1/2" across?  And it looks like most of them are fussy cut!

The next three quilts are all built on squares!  And each one, though simple, is stunning....

Feeling like you need to whack something?  Well, here are quilts made with "whacked" blocks...


 Sometimes, no matter how many scrappy quilts you make, you just can't get through all the scraps - but it's ok because you know there will be more beauties like these...

I love Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts (even though I've never done one myself) and this Wild and Goosey is beautiful!

 And you can't beat a rainbow, can you? 

And here's the photo that  inspired my current sewing project....

This little quilt is made with a technique called kawandi quilting, and I found a very interesting tutorial for doing one on Piece, Love and Happiness that used machine sewing rather than the traditional hand stitching.

In the tutorial, she talked about turning under the edges of each square.  I tried that - honestly I did! - but realized that (a) I wasn't going to be able to get enough done in time to take any good pictures for this post, and (b) it was going to drive me nuts!  So I grabbed my little used but very useful pinking rotary cutter and went to work whacking those squares!

Kawandi quilts are worked from the outside in, so I prepared a backing and batting, and choosing four fairly large pieces, set the corners of my piece.  I used glue stick to temporarily adhere the pieces to the batting (hooray for kids craft supplies!)

I kept cutting scrappy pieces out of my scrap basket, layering them over each other and working from the corners around the edges and towards the center.

It was fun to just keep adding little squares, trying to balance the colors and make it interesting.

And here's what I ended up with!  My next step will be to add quilting lines to secure all this to the batting and backing.  The writer of the tutorial did hers in a square spiral, going from outside to the center.  Because my piece centers a little off-center, I may do that from a point a little off center, working from the inside out.  Or I may do horizontal or vertical close straight-line quilting, mixing in a little matchstick quilting.  Oh the possibilities!  I'll dream about it tonight and get back to it tomorrow....  Updates on the blog soon!

Wish me luck as today I will be working in the quilt room at church, trying to get it cleaned up and safe for us to start meeting again in the fall.  At the moment it is a hot mess - fabric donations that need to be stored away, projects in various stages of progress lying around everywhere, and everyone's machines so close together that we are sitting elbow to elbow.  Lots of changes to be made, and it's going to take a lot of elbow grease!  Fortunately there will be several of us working, and that is good too, because it means more input on how to make it safe and comfortable.  Have any of you had a similar situation?  How have you dealt with it?  I'm up for any suggestions!

I hope you've found some inspiration in today's post - something that makes you want to jump into your scraps and play!