Tuesday, February 24, 2015

9 patches and pincushions

Terry over at Terry's Treasures has once again come up with a fun sew along project...I've participated in the last 2-3 of hers, so might as well stick with it.  I'm no quitter!  :)

This time it's the 9 patch and snowball pattern.  I'm making 6" blocks and pulled out my bin of 2.5" squares.  I looked online for some inspiration...maybe to find a twist on the traditional pattern.  I found somewhere the idea to put a square in the center of the snowball.  Then Terry and her mom came up with the same idea, so I decided to give it a try too!

Here you can see I have four of the snowball blocks made and it made me go "hmmm?"  Not sure I'm completely thrilled with it.  I think I'll make a few without the center square and see which way I like better.

I kind of like how a star pops out from all the snowball corners...do you see it?  I started wondering how it would look if I made all the points one color so the star really popped?  Oh...decisions, decisions!!  On a side note...do you see that really light blue turquoise in the center 9 patch?  Ugh...that was all I could see!!


Here I swapped it out...there, much better.  LOL  I'll use that block on the outer edge somewhere.  :P

I also made two fun pincushions this week.  This Star Penny pincushion came from the Primitive Gatherings booth at Quilt Festival in Houston.  I wanted to buy everything!!  They had so many kits...it was just too tempting!  But I settled for this small kit as a souvenir of such an exciting trip!  I'm not sure if I overfilled this one, but all those little "tongues" kind of stick up in the air instead of laying flat on the table like the picture looks to be.  Mine is more similar to a sea anemone.  LOL  I should have taken a side picture.

I also finally assembled this patriotic star from a kit that was gifted to me a few years back.  The pattern is from Buttermilk Basin...I love her stuff!!  I really enjoyed making these two little kits....they really don't take too much time.  I don't know why I had them sitting around so long!

Hope you all are having a good week and staying warm!  Lots of snow all across the country!  Hurry up Spring!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle



Friday, February 20, 2015

A February Finish!!

This month is just flying by, isn't it?  Part of me is happy to see the time pass quickly...it means we're closer to spring and personally, it means we're closer to knowing what the future holds for us as a family and where the next adventure will begin.  :)  

At the same time though...I want life to slow down so I can take the time and enjoy each moment.  I know it's up to me to make that happen, but life and all it's busyness sure seems to be the driver at the moment!

I'm still working on a big project for a client...but the end is very near!  By this time next week, I'll be yelling from the rooftops...it's done!!!  yay!!

I did take some time to quilt this beauty!  It's Narragansett Blues from Bonnie Hunter's book "More Adventures with Leaders and Enders."  The picture isn't the best, I was hurrying before the winds picked up.  I just love it with all it's scrappy goodness!

I also love that I cleared out some big chunks of fabric for the back...all of the fabric for the entire quilt came from my stash!  Awesomeness!!

I quilted it with a medium blue thread and one of my favorite designs called "Popcorn."

I also finished up block two of Buttermilk Basin's wool mystery project.  These are quick and fun!  Can't wait to see what March's design will be.

 Another finish for February is the Ornament of the Month.  I thought they were all going to be snowman...I don't know why I thought that...but was pleasantly surprised by this cute little mitten!

And what's Friday with out a little feline fun...Chloe is obsessed with Wonder Clips.  They are perfect size for chewing...but then they pop off and I don't want her to try and swallow it!  LOL  It's become quite the challenge when working on a binding! 

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle





Monday, February 09, 2015

Bitty Blocks

So...we've already established that I'm having a impossible time resisting all the fun sew-alongs that keep popping up.  When I saw Quiltmaker Magazine's new project, I knew I was in...but I realized I forgot to share this project last month.  It's not too late to join in!

The name of the sew along is "Bitty Blocks"...so cute!  Each month on the first Monday of the month, they will announce a new block that is either 3" or 4".  They'll come together to make a throw size quilt...I think next month we'll hear some ideas for the layout.

January were these cute 3" bowties....perfect way to use leftover scraps and squares!

February was 4" baskets.  I used the EZ Angle ruler for those little 1" half square triangles and they were easy peasy.  :)

They are really promoting this on social media, so if you are on Instagram and want to play along, check out the hashtag #qmbittyblocks.

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I think all the excitement and activity from the last week and a half has caught up with me and yesterday I just needed to be a hermit.  I ended up in my sewing room almost the entire day!  LOL  I didn't have the TV on or music, or anything.  Just quiet...except for the sound of my sewing machine...
I assembled all the "block one" blocks for the quilt I started at retreat, called "Star Trellis."  I had almost all the units completed by the time I left retreat, so it wasn't too difficult to get them all assembled...and it didn't need a lot of brain power.  There is a second/alternate block that produces a secondary design...I have to say, I like these blocks just like this too!  (and of course, I picked the obligatory quilt inspector photo)

While I was sewing the Star Trellis blocks, I made these 9 patches as leaders and enders...pretty good turnout, if I do say so!  These blocks will be used in a snowball and 9 patch quilt...which is a sew along over at Terry's Treasures.  These 2.5" squares seem HUGE to me...I've been working with smaller squares for quite sometime, and since I haven't used these in a while, I thought it was time to pull them out and give them some attention.  :)


Another sew along I'm joining (have I mentioned I really like sew alongs?  haha), is American Patchwork & Quilting's "Go Four It."  In the current (April) issue, there are three different quilt ideas using 4 patches.  This is the option I'm choosing to do...called Rainbow Rows.

I'm using my stash of 1.5" squares...I sewed all of these while watching Quilt Cam with Bonnie last night!  Woohoo!  I have about 100 made at this point...only about 650 more to go!  LOL  I'm going to have to keep up with cutting more neutral squares.

And as usual...I can't just make a "copy" of the original quilt..I have to put my own twist on it.  In this case, I'm switching the light/dark layout.  The other bonus...another chance to use my stash of 2.5" squares!  My neutrals will make the "rows," instead of the colors making the rows.  Does that make sense?  I'll have to come up with another name rather than Rainbow Rows.

Okay...so some of you asked me to share pics of the fabric that came home with me from retreat and the awesome quilt shops I went to!  Here we go!

I'm always on the lookout for neutrals....and at $5-6/yard, how can I pass them up?  LOL


a few more goodies...look at those blues!  Most of these are for specific projects...


 
And some cute fabrics for a baby quilt...probably will use the Yellow Brick Road pattern with these...


And the bolts!!  The Jo Morton on the bottom was $2.50/yard!  The red was $3/yard...who can pass that up??!!  Believe me, I would have come home with more if they would have fit in my suitcase!  :)

It's snowing today with 4+ inches so far...I think I'm seeing another sewing day today!  

Happy Quilting!

~Michelle







Monday, February 02, 2015

Home from retreat...lots of pics!!

What a great trip!  I spent the last 8 days or so in Delaware and Pennsylvania.  My daughter lives in Delaware, so I spent the weekend with her and got to see her new apartment.  We had lots of fun chatting, shopping at Ikea and setting up her new place.  Neither one of us like our picture taken and I don't quite have the "selfie" thing down...so this is the only picture we got.  LOL

After our fun weekend, it was time for retreat!  We actually "had" to go a day early due to the impending storm that was to hit.  Oh darn, an extra day at retreat.  My friend, Lisa, picked me up at Megan's and off we went to Denver, PA, and the Cocalico Quilter's Inn.  It's a retreat center owned and operated by the owners of Burkholder's Fabric Shop.   It's an amazing place...they have thought of everything quilters would need/want in a retreat center.  Our retreat included meals as well, so it was perfect.  Nothing to think about but sewing!

 The fabric shop was less than a mile away, so there was a little daily shopping too.  LOL

We didn't get all the snow they predicted, but it snowed a little almost every day and it was COLD.  We didn't mind...we were happy campers, sewing all day inside!

This is the sewing room...there were 11 of us set up and we had plenty of space to spread out.  There were shared cutting and ironing stations throughout the room too.  That quilt in the bottom of this picture is the project we were working on during the retreat, I can't believe I didn't get a better picture of it.

Our quilt instructor, Sheila, displayed all her beautiful quilts throughout the room.

It was nice and bright and perfect!

Here is my station...Lisa brought a machine for me to use for the week.  Thanks Lisa!!

First thing I did on our extra day, was finish up this month's "Schnibbles" project.  Which, once again, isn't a Schnibbles.  LOL  But it's awesome anyway...it's a paper pieced kaleidoscope mini.  I love the secondary design that pops out after the blocks are all assembled.  Paper piecing is not fast!  LOL  This project took much longer than I anticipated, but it was worth it.  All the fabric is scraps from my Points of Pride quilt, which is also a paper pieced project.  I hope to get it quilted soon!

We all made Hoito Bags too....these were fun and mine came in very handy, as I may have bought a little too much fabric and my suitcase may have been over the weight limit for the airplane.  :)  I ended up using this as a carry on filled with what seemed like about 25 pounds of fabric.  Not a fun thing to carry through what seemed like miles and miles of airport terminals.  LOL  It's hard to resist because you can find such great deals...including whole bolts for $2.50/yard!  I may or may not have come home with a couple of bolts.  :) 

It's hard to get a good picture of how big this thing is...Sheila brought 2-3 of her bags and they each had three or four quilts in them!!  They expand much more than you'd think!

Here is one of my new retreat friends modeling her bag.  :) 

 Did I mention we laughed...a lot....especially when Mary assembled her handle outside the bag when it should have been inserted into the casing first.  She decided she would use it as a halo instead....then she giggled and giggled.  So cute! 

Here are a couple of blocks from each of the quilts being assembled...even though we all used different fabrics and colorways, everything from batiks to Civil War, it all looks good together!


These are my blocks...I have a good start, but alas, I brought home another UFO to add to the list!  LOL  Oh well, it was worth it!


Here are all the ladies at the end of retreat...Lisa and I didn't know any of these ladies when we arrived, but it sure felt like we were long time friends by the time the six days were up.  There is just something about a quilter...we understand each other and have an instant bond!  :)  This truly was a great group of ladies...and we have plans of doing it again next year!  I also didn't get a picture of our amazing "cruise" director, Karen.  She was awesome!  Thanks for making everything so perfect, Karen!!

If you ever get a chance to go...I highly recommend it!! 

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Here we go!

Have you seen the chatter about the APQ quilt along coming up?  There are at least three quilt patterns, all using 4patches.  There will be details in the April issue of the magazine, which should be arriving in mailboxes and stores early in February.  I couldn't help myself...I needed to sew up a few 1.5" squares and make a few!  I don't know if these will work for the quilt along...if they don't, I'm sure I'll find another use for them.  They are just too cute and fun to sew as leaders and enders.  :)


So...this will be me tomorrow!  I'm off on an adventure and I'll tell you all about it when I return!



Here is a hint of where I'll be for a few of the days....

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle


Monday, January 19, 2015

One last post....I promise!

Are you tired of seeing my Grand Illusion quilt?    I promise this will be the last post...I just had to show you what it looks like with the binding.  It's incredible how different it looks and just so "finished!"  LOL  I thought it was a big difference.  I love it!  I wish I could take a picture outdoors...but it's just too dang windy here in Wyoming. 

I used a dark blue I had in my stash...actually it was from a half bolt I bought in Lancaster for about $3/yd!  Love those Amish shops! 

Remember I used extra blocks for the back....?

....I decided I would just label it there!  I've been bad about labeling my quilts and want to do better.  This was a super easy way to get 'er done! 

Hope you all have a great week!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

p.s...I'll draw for the patterns from this post tomorrow (Tuesday) morning!  Good luck!