Friday, November 30, 2012

Quilt Square Quilt Along and Feline Friday

Here is my Quilt Square Quilt Along project for November!

It measures about 12" square.  One more month of these babies!  Don't forget to check out Jo's Country Junction to see all the participants blocks.

I wasted no time getting started on Step 2 of the Easy Street mystery...

The step calls for 128 flying geese (1.5" x 3" finished size).

I've missed Feline Friday the last couple weeks...with all the Thankful posts, I think I just couldn't squeeze it all in!  I have to tell you about this picture though.  Every morning I wake up to Whiskers meowing in my face.  It doesn't matter if I wake up early or sleep in a little.  She somehow knows as soon as I 'm awake and she's right there and telling me to move!  The second I'm out of bed, she curls up in my spot.  I guess it's probably warm.  I'm guilty of not making my bed right as I get out of bed, so she'll sleep there all morning until I scoot her off so I can finally make the bed.  Every day I say, "Time to get out of bed, lazy bones!"  And she'll meow and complain.  :)

Happy Quilting!

30 Thankful Days -- Day 30

Day 30 -- I saved the best for last!  I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I'm thankful for His gift of eternal life, His mercy and grace.  I'm thankful for His unconditional love.  I'm thankful for the blessings and gifts He has given me and my family.  All things I don't deserve, but are given to me freely.

John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast."

Psalm 106:1  "Praise the Lord.  Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever."  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 29

Day 29 -- I'm thankful for my mom.  Today is her birthday!  I know she was probably wondering if I was going to include her in things I am thankful for, but I knew all along that I was going to save "her" until her special day!

This is my older brother and I with my mom.  My brother and are only 14 months apart!

My mom and her first daughter Megan...(I think Megan and I are about the same age in these two pictures!)

My mom is amazing...she was always there for us as kids and teenagers (and still is, actually!), supporting us in whatever we tried.  Times weren't always easy, but we didn't know it as kids...she made it all work somehow.  We never went without, or if we did, we didn't know it.

I'm thankful for all the things we have in common, I inherited many things from love of all things crafty definitely came from her (good), and my extreme spider phobia (bad), just to name two.  We are probably more alike than I wanted to admit when I was younger, but now I'm grateful for as I get older.

I'm thankful that my mom and I are not only mother and daughter, but we are best friends as well.

Happy Birthday Mom...I love you! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 28

Day 28 -- I'm thankful for my iPhone!  I know it's truly a luxury item, but I feel almost like I couldn't live without it now.  My first one lasted 4 years, and the one I have now is two years old.  It's more than just a phone to's a connection to my kids through texting and facebook no matter how far apart we are.  It's a navigation tool, calendar, notepad, alarm, camera, entertainment, calculator...and so much more.   I love it!  Thanks Steve!  :P

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 27

Day 27 -- I'm thankful for an abundant supply of resources.  I know there are many in need, but as a whole, our country is very blessed.  Clean water and plenty of food are just two of the things most of us, including myself, take for granted.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Thankful Days-- Day 26

Day 26 -- I'm thankful for the Christmas Season.  That might sound a little trite...but I really do love all almost all of the wonderful things about Christmas!  I say almost all because it's definitely over-commercialized and the spirit of giving gets lost in all the hype and "gimme" attitude.  In my own little snowglobe world I'm thankful for the twinkling lights, baking, snow, Christmas music, sappy Christmas movies, spending time with family, and of course celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy Street Step One -- Link Up!

I'm so excited that Bonnie's new mystery quilt has started!  If you haven't heard about it...what are you waiting for??  Go check it out!!

 Step One calls for 192 4-patch blocks.  Easy, right?  :)  In true Bonnie style, the quilt will be scrappy looking, but there are ways to make the job of sewing these 4-patches a little easier, without having to cut a million 2" squares.  We are making 3 1/2" (unfinished) squares for this project.

Here's how I made mine!  I cut my fabric in to 2" strips...since most of my fabrics were FQ's, I cut WOF pieces in half.  I find it easier to work with 20-22" strips of fabric when sewing and pressing strip sets.

After the strips are sewn, press the seam to the darker fabric.  Then layer two strip sets on top of one another.  Make sure the seams are butting up against each other too.  Then cut the strips in to 2" sections.  Since I'm going for scrappy, I separated the sections into stacks of matching "twosies"...otherwise, you could keep the sections layered together and just sew them up.  I hope that makes sense!

Now, here is a pretty important step for something I'm going to show you a little farther down...this is a tip that Bonnie shared at the workshop I took in March and it makes assembling quilt blocks so much easier!  Feed your "twosies" through the machine with the dark fabric going in first (this set is already sewn...I just forgot to take the pic earlier!)

It's hard to explain this part, but right at the intersection, finger press the seam in opposite directions.  Give the square just the slightest little twist and the seam right at the intersection should pop out and unstitch itself...if not, use your seam ripper to release one or two stitches....can you see it there in the center?  (click picture to look closer)  This will not work the same if you did not put the dark fabric in first when sewing twosies!!

Use your thumb and index finger to finger press the little intersection flat...then take it to the ironing board...

Give the block a little press with a hot'll see that the seams are pressed to the "light" fabric.  Don't worry about know it has to happen sometimes!  You'll know you did it right if you have a teeny-tiny four patch in the center....

....and voila!  You have a perfect 4 patch that lays nice and flat.  It takes a tiny bit of extra time doing the seams this way, but it also allows the seams to butt up to each other when sewn to another 4 patch.  It will save you time later either repressing seams or having to twist them to get them to butt up to one another.

So here they are!  All 192 4-patches!

 I'm ready to see what Step Two holds...we'll see on Friday!

Monday, I'll link up to Bonnie's blog...I'm excited to see how everyone else is doing too!  Check it out HERE!

Happy Quilting!

30 Thankful Days -- Day 25

Day 25 -- I'm thankful for's almost overwhelming to really grasp the concept of what time means to us.  But to put it simply right now in this post...I'm thankful for time with my family, time for my hobbies, time to help other people, time for plenty of sleep.  I'm also thankful for whatever time I have in the future and all the amazing things that are to come.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 24

Day 24 -- I'm thankful for my hobbies!  I think I have tried almost every kind of "craft" ever created!  You name it, I probably at least tried it...and I've loved almost every one of them!  I say almost, because I just never got the swing of knitting.  LOL  And there are a few that are my absolute favorites!  Like quilting (no surprise there), crochet, embroidery, and scrapbooking.  I find my hobbies to be very rewarding and enjoyable.  They are such a part of who I am, what makes me "me."  Hobbies have also paved the way for me to meet some amazing people who have become great friends!  I can't imagine my life without any of it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 23

Day 23 -- I'm thankful that I am a stay at home mom/wife.  We made the decision when our first child was a toddler that I would stay home with the kids, which later also included homeschooling both of them through 12 grade.  I never regretted that decision!  It wasn't always easy being a one-income household in a two-income world, but we made it work and really never lived without anything we really needed.  Now the kids are both out on their own and I'm thankful to be a stay at home wife!  I enjoy volunteering on base and with military families.  Plus, it gives me a little extra time for my hobbies!  :)

Happy Quilting!
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Wrap up and Easy Street Mystery

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We sure did!  We played a few games, watched a favorite Christmas movie, ate a delicious dinner, and made our annual batch of turkey cookies...
Even though we've been making these for about 12's still lots of fun and laughs.

Some time was spent serving Thanksgiving dinner to the airmen at the base dining facility...someone enjoyed their chef hat so much they brought it home!

Now the kitchen is cleaned up and the boys are getting ready to head out for some Black Friday bargains.  Me, I'm staying home with the couch and a warm quilt....

Tomorrow the first clue in Bonnie Hunter's new mystery is posted!  Are you doing it?  She said it's not going to be as intense as previous mysteries...let's hope so!  :)  I've said this  before, but I'm NOT a fan of mysteries.  I can't resist Bonnie's though...they are always awesome. This year's color way is waaaay out of my comfort zone, but I jumped in with both feet and I'm sticking with her colors.  I'm hoping it will end up being perfect for a couple of nieces of mine.  :)

I was fortunate to be on my retreat in Lancaster when Bonnie released the fabric info/colors...I had all those wonderful quilt shops at my disposal to find these beauties...
You can click any of the pictures for a bigger view!

Here are the black and whites and also the grey...I'm hoping the grey is not too light, though it does look a little lighter here than it really is....

 A new clue will be released each Friday for the next 6-7 weeks...stayed tuned for my progress!!

Happy Quilting! 

30 Thankful Days -- Day 22

Day 22 -- Today I'm thankful for Thanksgiving!  It sounds kind of silly...but Thanksgiving is what prompted this "30 Days of Thankfulness" movement and I'm thankful that I am taking the time to reflect on what I'm thankful for.  LOL  Is that a tongue twister or what?!  It has been a great experience so far and I'm happy to be taking this journey.

Plus, I just really like means family-time and lots of good food!  :)

Happy Thanksgiving...May your family be blessed today and everyday!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 21

Day 21 --  I'm thankful for air travel.  Especially today because today, an airplane is bringing our son home for Thanksgiving!  You'll recall, he recently left for his first military assignment and sort of unexpectedly, he is able to come home for the long weekend.  Yay!

Another reason I'm thankful for air travel...our daughter is spending 10 days in England with her Literature class and professors.  Although she won't be spending Thanksgiving with us, I'm thankful because this is a dream come true for her!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scrappy Stars Sew Along

I almost forgot to share a picture of the scrappy stars I made this month at retreat!

 I know have 12 blocks made...I'm contemplating layout designs in my head, which will determine how many I still need to make.  I just love these stars!

Head on over to Terry's blog to see the other Scrappy Star Sew Along participants!  

Happy Quilting!

30 Thankful Days -- Day 20

Day 20 -- I'm thankful for my Nana.  She was very special to me and I have tons of wonderful memories of spending time with her.  Memories that might seem silly to others...her housecoat, the pickle she would put on my plate next to my sandwich at lunchtime, the over-flowing cabinet of margarine tubs she saved, how she washed the plates with soap before putting them in the dishwasher, the stashes of coins and money she hid away for the occasional trip to the casino, Shirley Temples with extra cherries that she made me, her special daubers and lucky trinkets she had when she played bingo...but all the things that made her my Nana.  She also loved to knit, sew, and create all kinds of unique crafts...she is definitely one of the reasons I also love these things!

She's been gone almost 17 years, and I still miss her!  I love you Nana!

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 19

Day 19 -- I'm thankful for the many assignments and moves we've had with the Air Force.  We have seen so much of this great country of ours...and even spent some time in other countries.  We've been in the West, the East, the South, the Midwest and (almost) everywhere in between.  We've definitely learned where we -don't- want to settle down after retirement, and maybe even discovered the place we'd love to put down roots when the time comes.  No matter what, each location has been a blessing!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Thankful Days -- Day 18

Day 18 -- I'm thankful for modern appliances and conveniences.  :)  Dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer...all of them make our lives so much easier!  Seriously...I can't even imagine what it would be like to have to wash clothes by hand or dishes for that matter!  

Cotton Club Quilt Retreat Recap

I'm finally getting a chance to give you a recap on my quilting retreat!  

We were pleasantly surprised to see our welcome sign!  

The retreat was held at this hotel which is very close to the Lewes Beaches.  The hotel is closed for the season, so we had the entire place to ourselves!  My room was on the second floor, last room on the right in this picture.

There is a row of shops on the first floor of the building...and look what shop is just two doors down...It's a quilt shop!  I think all of us made at least one trip a day, even just to browse.  The owner let us keep a tab and we paid our bill on the last day of retreat.  How nice is that?

We set up our machines in the lobby of the much natural light all day.

All the plants had been brought in from outside for the seat is right there by that tree.  LOL
You can click on all the pictures to get a better view.

One of the retreaters' daughter made this amazing cake...see the featherweight made of fondant?  The dog and cake are their family pets.  Don't miss the rotary cutter and scissors too...all made of fondant.

 One of our group projects was this cute iron caddy.  Here is mine...minus buttons (I'll add them where the elastic is).

The inside has ironing board fabric inside, and the whole thing opens up and becomes an ironing surface (didn't get a picture of that!).

Here's a pic of everyone's caddies...

Also as a group, we swapped fabric for this quilt.  It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern called Scrappy Mountain Majesties.   We swapped 8.5" squares of a "color" fabric, either purple, green, or blue, and also a neutral fabric.  The mountain blocks went together really quickly and I got my whole top assembled!  I'll add a border too...just need to find the perfect fabric to match.  :)

I also completed my Oklahoma Backroads top...this one needs a border too.  I started this one at a Bonnie Hunter workshop in March.

Well, I think that's all for now.  I have a few other pictures I'll share in a later post...didn't want this one to get too long!  :)

Happy Quilting!