Monday, July 27, 2015

Star Trellis Quilt...a FINISH!


(click for a bigger view)
You know what they say about best laid plans, right?  They don't always go the way you think they will.  I started this quilt at a retreat back in January...and I knew shortly after that I would be giving it as a gift in August.  Plenty of time...right????  Well, of course I had other projects and deadlines and I had "time" left to finish this one.  

Before I knew it, it was time to pack up and move across country and the quilt wasn't anywhere near completion.  BUT...we were moving in our travel trailer and in fact would be living in it for a few weeks between moves.  I've set up my sewing machine in the camper before...I could do it again. 

 The plan was to get the top all together while in our temporary "home" and have it ready to quilt after getting settled in Virginia.  I did get all the blocks assembled, but have you ever tried to assemble a queen size quilt in a 16 foot trailer.  hmmm...not really going to happen, in my opinion.  I'm sure there is someone that made it work, but it just wasn't working for me.  So I packed away the couple of partial rows I had attempted to sew together, plus all the blocks and knew I'd have to get right on it after unpacking and setting up the house.  Suuuurrrrre....

Now it's July and I'm on a real time crunch...the top went together in an afternoon...next day, I added the borders, made the backing and the binding.  I'm thinking...Yeah, I'm golden!!  

We had set up the longarm a week or two before, but I hadn't turned it on until a few days after I finished the top.  I loaded a practice quilt...and it wasn't stitching right.  Ugh.  Luckily, hubby is the detail guy when it comes to setting up the longarm and when he got home from work, he realized the encoders weren't engaged properly.   After he set them right...it was stitching like a dream!  Whew...big relief, to say the least.

Anyway...after a few starts and stops, I'm happy to say, it's finished.  I will still add a label, but I was so excited to get a picture of this guy out in our new backyard this afternoon.  

Is it wrong to love the back as much as the front?  I used leftover block parts for the back....

I've had this red in my stash for years...it's pretty, but it just doesn't play well with other reds, so it's not been my favorite.  For some reason, I had two large (over a yard) pieces of it.  I was so thrilled to see how well it worked for the binding and backing.  I used up all but about 5" of that red and the rest was cut up and put in my 1.5" strip bin.

I'm glad to have this one checked off the UFO list!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle
Friday, July 24, 2015

Feline Friday

The kitties had no problem making themselves at home in the new house.  This was Chloe's first move, and it didn't phase her one bit.  We've been lucky to have cats that don't get stressed out with these big moves.


She is the queen of the house, for sure.  I walked in the door the other day to find this.  I think she'd been sleeping, and when she heard the door, she sat up.  I need to decide on a centerpiece for this table, but this is not it!  She knows she's not allowed on counters and tables!

We have a backyard full of squirrels and birds, so this is her favorite spot (if I'm downstairs).  She keeps watch over the yard, or naps.  Mostly naps.

Goofy face....


Smokey doesn't seem to get much camera time since Chloe is such a ham and always doing photo worthy antics.  Smokey sleeps...a lot.  But he's a love bug and is happy to just lay low.

I'm linking up with Sarah Did It for Feline Friday...go check it out!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hello from Virginia!

I'm here!  I'm here!  I don't know if anyone noticed I was gone or not...but here I am!  It's been a little over two months since my last post!  It took me a bit longer than I expected to unpack and feel settled here in Virginia...but now that the house is done and every-single-box is finally gone, I'm feeling a little more like this is "home."  Truth be told, I wasn't over the moon about moving back to the east coast, so I think I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder when we first arrived, but it's growing on me.  We live in a wonderful neighborhood...have access to every store or restaurant I could ever think of and we are closer to our kids...what more could I ask for?!  We're getting in to our new routines and schedules...so life goes on.

I'm sure I probably have some handwork or -something- that I accomplished during the blog break/move, but I really cannot remember what I've shown or not shown...so I'll just start fresh!  :)  I thought I'd start with my sewing room...I love it!  I also realized I've dropped a few dollars at Ikea to furnish this room.  :)  The sewing table and cutting table are new...and I love that I can face "out" in the room.  I don't have my back to the door or the TV.  It's the little things....
This is the view from the door.

Another view from the other side...forgive the pile 'o stuff under the cutting table...last few things to sort and put away.

Another Ikea purchase...it's so much easier to access my fabric in these drawers than the rubbermaid bins they were in before.

Still have plenty of bins for my scraps and projects!

I inherited this TV from another room in the house...it's a bit big for this room, but it'll work!

Across the hall is another bedroom with my longarm...fits great and will get the job done!
I'm working on a big project with a deadline, so I'll be back very soon with pictures!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle
Monday, May 11, 2015

May Update...wrapping things up!

I'm checking in with my monthly update...I've actually been sewing quite a bit and finishing up some gifts that needed to be done before packing up my sewing room.

First up is Texas Tumbleweeds!  I started this on the quilt cruise with Bonnie Hunter last November.  It's going to be given to a good friend here in Wyoming...maybe I should rename it to Wyoming Tumbleweeds.  :)

I really like this one and contemplated putting it on my list to make another one for us to keep...but who am I kidding?  My list is so long already...I'm glad it's going to a good home!

 I really like how the back turned out too!

 The next finish is a baby quilt for a nephew.  The mom to be picked the theme "Guess how much I love you," which is a children's book.  There was a fabric line from a couple years ago and I managed to find a few layer cake pieces and coordinating yardage.  It's a simple design, but I think it worked out well for what I had to work with.

Cute little bunnies... 

I made a matching tote with some of the leftover fabric....

I also completed the May Bitty Blocks for the month...these are 3" bear paws.  Aren't they cute!  Love the little size! 

I zipped up a few zipper bags for gifts...really fun and simple pattern and tutorial you can find here

That's all the sewing that will likely happen in this house!  My sewing machine is going to the spa for a few days and this is what my longarm looks like.  Sad.

Before you know it, I'll be setting it back up in our next house...so stay tuned for the excitement!

Happy Quilting,
Michelle

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monthly Update

Monthly updates seems to be the best I can do lately!  :)  But as always, I'm hopeful things will get better and I'll get back to sewing and quilting!

We did make a house hunting trip recently and found a lovely home close to where hubby will be working.  We looked at lots and lots of houses and it's a bit overwhelming!  Trying to decide the best location, price, something that doesn't need a lot of work, AND a place for the longarm.  LOL  That was becoming the most frustrating part for me...there were a couple of nice homes we had to decline because there was no space for the longarm.  It's a mixed blessing, having this longarm and moving so much.  Anyway...we found one we are both happy with! 


I just might have stopped at a couple quilt shops during our travels...later in the week of our house hunting trip, we traveled to our daughter's home in Delaware and we stopped at my favorite Millstone Quilts in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Lil Country Shoppe in Middletown, Delaware.  Do you see a theme here?

I'm running low on reds and blues and needed a little restock...partly because I just finished this quilt top...
It's called Texas Tumbleweeds...I love it!  It's a gift for a good friend and I'll be sad to see it go, but I know my friend will love it!

If you've read my blog for very long, you know I love to make bonus triangles whenever I can.  The quilt above resulted in TONS of them....especially because I made a small booboo and had to remake one of the units (the "wrong" units can be saved for another project).  See this bin of half square triangles?  All of those red came from the above quilt and from my Grand Illusion quilt...I have hundreds of the red triangles.


I wanted to come up with something really good for these units...and one day I remembered this quilt on my "someday" list!  It's another Bonnie Hunter quilt called Scrap Crystals....her version is made with greens and blues...

I had to try just one block and it's perfect!  I love it!  Each 12" blocks needs 32 half square triangles!  Perfect for all those bonus squares!

I really don't need to start another project...so this will be put away for now and marinate a little longer, but I'm so happy about this future project!!

Hope you are all enjoying some lovely spring weather...I'm hoping it arrives here in Wyoming soon (we had 5 inches of snow last week!).  The sun is shining today, so I'm happy!

Happy Quilting!
Michelle






Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm still here!

It's just been one of those months when I feel like I'm two steps behind and every time I take I step forward, I trip and drop everything I have in my hands.  Do you ever feel like that?  LOL

The best part of the month so far was our trip to Florida to see our kids.  Zach lives there and Megan flew in too.  We had lots of fun just hanging out...going to movies, the beach, and of course the trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to Universal Studios to see the new Harry Potter attraction!  

This was the only picture we got of all of us.  :(  Note to self...take more pictures!  Yes...it was packed there!

Remember this quilt from my last post?  The auction took place while I was away and it sold for $470!  I was thrilled and didn't expect it to go for that much.  We also put together a basket with various things to do in Cheyenne (hotel stay, concert tickets, restaurants, etc) and it went for $650!  That really surprised me too!  It's all for a good cause (scholarships for military dependents), so I'm happy!

Since we've been home, I feel like I haven't accomplished anything...but I did put together this little giftie for a swap....another note to self:  Don't sign up for swaps.  LOL  I always put them off until the last minute and then I'm mad at myself for rushing.  Oh well, it's done and in the mail.  BTW...it is a cat themed swap, which is why I caved and joined.  LOL  These, along with a few other goodies, are winging their way all the way to Australia!

This week, I finally had some quality time with my sewing machine and assembled all the "block one" blocks for the Texas Tumbleweeds quilt.  I promised myself I would quit pointing out my errors, so I won't tell you about the big fat boo-boo I made when putting these together and basically had to start the whole thing over.  But yeah, I won't tell you about that.... 

Today, I assembled these cute Bitty Blocks for the Quiltmaker Magazine quilt-along.  They are so cute and finish at 3".  They were a breeze to make...the choosing/cutting of fabric took longer than the sewing!

Ooh...I whipped up this little doll quilt for our great-niece.  Her mom (our niece) has had a doll all her life she called "Mimi."  It's been very well loved and frankly, looks a little worse for the wear and is actually a little scary.  Her husband doesn't want it to come out of the closet.  :)  Well, a few months ago, we found this tiny doll and it looks exactly like Mimi, just mini version of Mimi, so we knew we had to get it for our great niece.  Her birthday (she'll be 2) is coming up and I decided she needed a baby quilt for her new baby.  :)   It measures 10" x 12" and the pink squares are leftover from my Goodnight Irene quilt.

The next couple of weeks will be crazy with family visits and house hunting trips...but it's all good stuff!!  Meanwhile, I'm squeezing in quilting and sewing whenever I can!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Add this to the list....

 ...the list of quilts I never thought I'd make...a "Jolly Roger" quilt!  The pattern is Simple Sashing & Rectangles, which is free on the All People Quilt website!  I think this is the third time I've made one.  You can see the others HERE and HERE.  I have a hard time picking just three fabrics for a quilt!  I much prefer "scrappy."  These fabrics are probably plan C or D....I kept changing my mind.

...the Jolly Roger is a mascot of sorts here at FE Warren AFB and if you're interested, you can read about the history of it HERE

Every year, the Spouses' group hosts an auction which raises money for scholarships.  This quilt will be donated to the auction. 

 I tried to get a picture in my favorite spot...but the wind would not cooperate!!

While I was there in my favorite spot on base I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of the pronghorn.  I'll never get tired of seeing these guys...so beautiful.  I think they are the prettiest at this time of the year because their coats are thick and full.  They shed in the summer and have really patch-y coats. 

I also finished another pincushion.  This one is from Primitive Gatherings.  I love it!

I think things are getting back to normal mode now that I have these TWO big deadline projects done.  :)  I have a couple more quilts that have deadlines as they are gifts and I need to stay on the ball with them or I'll be working at the last minute again like I did with this one!  LOL

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle