Tuesday, July 19, 2016

June AND July Update

Hi Friends!  It's been almost two months since my last post!!  Time just flies, doesn't it??  Things are good here....except for maybe being just a bit too hot and humid!  I enjoy my air conditioning, that's for sure!!

We recently took a short trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee...it was so fun!  We went zip lining and rode an Alpine Coaster, saw a comedy show, hiked a little bit in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park...it was just beautiful!

Here we are all decked out in our zip lining gear.  This was the first time for both of us, but we'll do it again if we get the chance!!


I am so thankful for the wonderful friends I've met through quilting all over the country.  I met Lynn at a quilt retreat in Pennsylvania and we seemed to hit it off quite nicely!  She recently was vacationing with her family in Williamsburg and we were able to meet up for lunch.  It was so nice to catch up with her...can't wait to see her again at retreat in January!!


On the quilting side of things...I'm plugging along with my ongoing projects...this is Buttermilk Basin's Block of the Month.  My mom is doing this one too, it's so fun to see her progress and she's loving her (re)new found love of wool applique.  :)

I also signed up for Primitive Gatherings block of the week...here are the first four weeks.  The quilt will have a "crazy quilt" look when finished...we've had a few sneak peeks and it's a-maz-ing! 

I also had two LARGE custom tshirt quilts to do... 

I was glad to have this big job finished, and I know the tshirt owner will be very pleased!

I started a new quilt that will be a gift...this block is the disappearing hourglass (tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company).  It is pretty simple and easy to assemble.  I actually have all but 9 of the blocks sewn together...so more pics will come soon of the finished quilt top.

Oh and one more finish...this winter table mat from Primitive Gatherings.  I love it!! 

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer...enjoy it while you can, it'll be over before we know it!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Friday, May 20, 2016

Works in Progress

Like most quilters, I think...I have multiple projects going on at once!  There are just so many things I want to do!  I'm going to share a few I've been working on the last couple of months.

First up is my "Spoolin' Around" quilt.  My friend, Lisa, and I have been swapping fabric kits to make spools for TWO years.  We've been making them as leaders and enders all this time.  Finally when I needed only about 100 more of the 700ish blocks, I decided to get them all made and now I have my quilt top assembled!  Next up is to get a backing made and get it quilted.


I've been drooling over Lisa Bongean's crazy quilt candle mats for a very long time.  I finally broke down and bought one at her booth at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival this year.  The wool applique was easy enough and the "crazy" embroidery is challenging and rewarding.  I think I'm not doing a good job, then I come back a few days later and think, "Wow...that looks really good!"  This is a long term project as the embroidery stitches are slow going...but I'm loving every minute!


I recently pulled out this project from 2014...it's the block of the week from Primitive Gatherings, called Sunflower Gatherings.  I was farther along than I remembered and now I have all the blocks fused and only have three left to applique.  I have six of the pieced blocks left to assemble...then it's on to the borders!


Last but not least, I couldn't resist Buttermilk Basin's mystery block of the month again this year.  I loved last year's so much, I knew I couldn't miss out!  

It was pretty easy to figure out it was going to say "Let it Snow."

Once again, I'm loving it!






I can't wait to see what the next block will be!!  Of course, I think it'll be a "T," but what design will go with it?  :)

What are you working on? 

Happy Quilting!

~Michelle


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Smokey....

We lost our sweet Smokey this week.  It was completely unexpected, so I think I'm still in shock and it happened so quickly and suddenly.  There is a great big void in our house without him...he was a constant companion, following me wherever I went.  He loved to cuddle right on my chest...no easy feat as he was a BIG kitty.  He loved to be brushed and would shed enough fur to make a scarf!  He had an incredible purr, even while sleeping.  He was a great quilt inspector, always happy to "help" out.  I know he was a happy kitty and had a good life in our home.  He will be sooo missed.

That face...

He loved to sleep on his back.  LOL

Sometimes I had a little space on the couch...

I love this picture...so many captions to choose from!

Always helping...

He and Chloe weren't the best of friends, but the last few months she was winning him over...

so cuddly...

more helping...

"let me spread the fur evenly on all the blocks...."

RIP my sweet kitty...I will miss you.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Hello May!!

Hello friends!!  As usual, there is a lot to catch up on since my last post!  I have a few finishes to share with you and will share some "works in progress" on my next post.

First up...my Double Delight quilt is finally, finally finished!!  Woohoo!  This was probably one of the oldest UFO's I had and I'm so glad to check it off the list!  I really love this one! 


 Okay...so maybe this one was a little older!!  This was a free block of the month from a blog called "Capricorn Quilts," I believe.  I think it was 2007-2008?  Each month, the pattern for the redwork/embroidery part was released and it was so fun to follow progress of quilters around the world.  I think this project was one of the things that got me hooked on blogging.  :)   Anyway, I've had the top all done for quite a few years and now it is finally quilted and checked off the list!!  Both of these projects were on my UFO challenge list through the local guild.

Another little UFO...this little mini is from Primitive Gatherings.  Again, I had the top done, but it needed quilting and binding.  I love this!!  :)

This is the 2015 Buttermilk Basin mystery.  Another monthly free stitch-along.  All the wool is from my meager stash, but I think it turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so!

This is a better picture of the colors...and you get to see my Smokey....so win win!!

 For my daughter's birthday...I made her a Broc-kitty pillow.  She has a cat named Broccoli...so of course, she needed a broccoli pillow!!   This picture is kind of washed out...

This is a better one with her kitty!


So there you are...all caught up with the quilty things in my life.  I'll share some works in progress in my next post...I always have plenty of those!!  :)

Hope you all have a wonderful, quilty week!!

~Michelle



Monday, March 28, 2016

End of March Update

Whew...can you believe it's already almost the end of March?  I know everyone says it...but the time just flies!  I haven't been quilting or sewing as much as I'd like as we've been doing a few home improvement type projects around the house.  Even when someone else is here to do the work, it really just disrupts the routine...you know?  

Last week, I was able to get away from all the mess, dust, and chaos and attend another wonderful retreat at the Cocalico Quilters' Inn.  This is just an amazing place for a quilt retreat...if you and your group are ever looking for a place, you must consider it!

I "borrowed" this picture off of the website, and they have landscaped and made it look a little more homey...but it was nice to be there in a -little- warmer weather this time.  The last two times I've been there, we've had snow.  It was still chilly this year, but at least the ground was green and the sun was shining!

There were 12-13 of us and we all had plenty of space to spread out with a table of our own. 

I think this was taken the last night and some of the ladies had already packed their machines and started cleaning up...

The biggest project I wanted to accomplish while at retreat was to put together an old UFO.  First up, I needed to assemble these blocks.  I had all the 9-patches made, they just needed to be assembled into this bigger block.  All 20 blocks went together lickety split.  I had precut all the setting triangles at home, and the other blocks used in the quilt had been assembled for years...so the next step was to sew the rows together....

And tada!!  This is one of the oldest UFO's I have and I'm so happy to get it to this point.  I don't remember why I didn't finish it...but I think I had a plan to do something different.  There were a few non-pattern units in the box...but I don't remember what I was going to do with them!!  LOL  In the end, I love it this way after all.  Not sure when it will get quilted, but that's okay!  By the way, this is a Bonnie Hunter mystery called "Double Delight."  She still has the pattern available for free on her website!!


I also sewed a few of these Star Challenge blocks.  If you're on Facebook or Instagram, "A Needle Pulling Thread" quilt shop (@anptquiltshop) is doing this challenge to make one star block each week.  Last year, she used the churn dash block and I was sorry I didn't join in.  I haven't done them weekly, but I've been doing 2-3 at a time.  I think I might even be a week ahead now!  :)  I find it easier to cut for multiple blocks at a time, then they are ready to sew when I have a few minutes here and there.


Of course, Burkholders quilt shop is only about a mile from the retreat house...so multiple trips were taken by all the quilters!  Lookie what I bought...BATIKS!!  I have rarely purchased batik fabrics...I bought a few for Megan's quilt, but this is the first time I needed to choose batiks, and only batiks, for a new quilt I plan to start.  I don't think I'll get started on it until the summer, so stay tuned!!


Another goal for retreat was to assemble this little quilt top.  It's a "Frivols" project, #7 by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  It was a fun little top to put together...but I really didn't think it would take me two days!!!  LOL 

I happy with all I accomplished and enjoyed getting to know all the ladies at retreat.  I'm ready to go again!!  :)  

Hopefully, I'll be quilting by the end of the week.  We are having new carpet installed upstairs, so EVERYTHING had to be moved, the longarm was disassembled as well...we got everything moved out fairly quickly, but I just wonder how long it will take to get it all back in order.  :P

Happy Quilting!

~Michelle

Monday, March 07, 2016

Some finishes!

I had so much fun in Lisa Bongean's wool class last week, I wanted to keep going on the class project.  It only took me a couple more days and it was finished!
It's called "Just Picked," and measures about 8" x 18".

I love it!  Right now I have it on my treadle machine table...I'll have to find just the right candle to use.  It's perfect for spring...that hopefully, will be here soon!

I took an unplanned road trip late last week...but I was able to spend a couple days with my daughter, Megan.  While she was taking care of a few work related things, I was able to get the "E" stitched for my Buttermilk Basin's block of the month.  These are so fun and quick and easy.  I can't wait for next month!  It's not too late to jump in!

That's about all I've accomplished in the last week or sew...I've hardly turned my sewing machine on at all.  :(  Hopefully that changes this week!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle



Monday, February 29, 2016

A super QUILTY week!!

Last week was superweek for me as far as quilting goes...every day was filled with quilting adventures galore.  I was exhausted by the end of the week...but it was definitely worth it!!

First up, I finished the binding on my Bitty Blocks row quilt.  This was a year long block of the month project hosted by Quiltmaker magazine in 2015.  Each month on their blog was a different 3" or 4" "bitty" block to make.  This quilt was incredibly fun to make and I just love it.  I love the row by row design...and all the tiny blocks.  So fun!  The checkerboard border is made from 4 patches I had made for another sew along that I didn't get very far along with...and when I realized they would work for this project, I decided to scrap the other "unfinished" project and use them up!!  Perfect!!


On Sunday...I traveled to Dover, Delaware.  I stayed with my friend, Lisa, and we attended a TWO day workshop with Pat Speth, the "Nickel Quilts" author and designer.  She also presented a lecture and trunk show Monday evening.

Pat has come up with so many incredible ideas for using 5" squares...it's amazing.  I'm only sorry that I only got this one sad picture of her design wall.  LOL  She had some amazing blocks up there.  It was a great two day workshop and I left feeling very inspired to cut some of my stash in to 5" squares and get to making some amazing quilts!  I did work on a project over the two days, but didn't get any pictures of it...I'll share that soon in another post.

I returned home late Tuesday night, because the next day was the day my new "sewing bee" was meeting....they've been meeting for a while, but I'd recently been invited to join and it was the first time I was free to attend.  We met at a local library and it was fun stitching and chatting, until our phones started alerting a tornado warning!  Really?!  The library staff ushered us into an interior room while we waited out the storm...it was still fun...we just continued the chatter there.  :)

Thankfully the storm cleared, because Wednesday night was preview night for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival!  After a quick dinner, I headed over (only about 6 miles from my house!!) and met up with a couple of friends....



I have "known" Debbie (left) and Fran (right) for about about 10 years through an online quilting group...we've swapped fabric, quilt blocks, secret sister exchanges, etc, over the years.  In that time, we've also watched kids grow up and marry, grandbabies come along and shared many other milestones of our lives.  Debbie lives here locally, so I have met up with her a couple of times since moving to the area.  Fran lives in North Carolina and comes to the show every year, so it was the first opportunity to meet her face to face.  So awesome to finally meet...they are both really sweet and just like I knew they'd be after sharing so much of our lives over the years.

When the doors to the quilt show finally opened, I almost made a beeline to the Primitive Gatherings booth!  And look who was there!!  I was so excited to meet Lisa Bongean...she was so nice and within minutes of talking, I felt like we'd been friends forever.  She is so down to earth.  I loved that she talked to everyone coming through the booth all the while, stitching on a wool project.  LOL

We spent the rest of Wednesday evening browsing all the vendor booths...and came back Thursday morning before the doors opened!!  LOL  We browsed more of the vendor booths and also looked at the quilts hanging for the quilt show.

I took Friday "off" and stayed home trying to catch up on real life, but this is where I was all day Saturday...back at the festival in a wool class with Lisa!  Yay!!

I just can't say enough what a great teacher she is...I've taken a lot of classes throughout my quilty life and she is at the top of the list of favorites.  If you ever get a chance...I highly recommend taking a class with her.

Here is the project we made in class...I've continued to work on it this weekend and have just a bit more stitching left to do.  It was a quick and easy one!  I can't wait to finish it up and share the whole project with you.

Whew...it was a great week!!  Now to buckle down at home and get back to the real world.  LOL

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle