Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Loving the Process!

I told you all about 52 week Quilt Block Challenges that got me excited about making blocks HERE.  I am still "LOVING THE PROCESS"!  I almost always go "scrappy" with any quilt, but this time I decided to make my Glying Geese blocks scrappy but stay in the same color range within the block.  Pieces as small as 2 inches can be worked into a block!  It's awesome.  I have been cutting and sorting fabrics into color stacks and auditioning blocks within the blocks, not sewing them together until I absolutely love the way they look.  I have 5 Flying Geese blocks finished, but larger and smaller half squares and fabrics for many many more half squares cut and ready to be sewn together.  

 This is my January group--------one each in brown, green, rust, blue, and gold.

 Here is my sewing machine table with pink sets being auditioned and 2 1/2 inch squares ready to be sewn into half squares.  Making sure no fabric that I don't absolutely love goes into each block.  I had to search for pinks that I would use to put into a quilt as I am not a pink lover.  Ten more blocks to be caught up with this challenge then on to the

 CAKE STAND blocks.  I have this darling wicker basket where they will soon be piling up!!

 I have the pieces cut and bagged--enough for 14 more blocks which will be thru March.

And last but certainly not least, is the Quilted Moose Quilt Shop 2019 ---9 inch double 9 Patch block.
All I have done for this one is cut strips.  All scrappy blue, I can't wait until their turn to go to the sewing machine table.

Here is my stash of cut pieces to use for scrap quilts.  I cut different sizes of squares from scraps instead of throwing them away.  This stash has really come in handy for these challenges.  This triple decker stacker is a Christmas Ornament storage box.  You need one!!!

This is the reason I have not gotten  all my challenges done!   This quilt has been in a box waiting to get a finishing touch.  It finally got it.  My grandmother made a Burgoyne Surrounded.  I wanted to experience making one for that reason.  It was an experience.  Let me just say I am glad it is finished.

Love to all my quilting friends (if you are still out there)!

Have a great week!!!  BE BLESSED!


Monday, March 5, 2018


My sweet blogging friends!  have we had some weather in Texas this winter.  Some of the coldest and wettest I've experienced.  But today has been very pleasant, in the upper 60's and sunny!  I love sunny days.  I am appreciating the sun more right now because for about 3 weeks, we have not seen any--only rainy and wet, wet, wet!
This leads me to today's post topic~~~~~~~~

English Paper Piecing---A method of using paper to stabilize small pieces of fabrics as they are folded and tacked around the paper then sewn together in small groups and then sewn together to accomplish your desired project.  Grandmother's Flower Garden is a pattern that became very popular in the 1930s.  I began mi GMFG as a TV project.  Small pieces of fabrics that would otherwise be discarded can be made use of in this way.  Small flexible card stock is my paper of choice.  The kind you find as an advertisement in a magazine.  Possibly as a magazine subscription card.  Each side of my hexagon shaped template is about 1 inch.
  I searched out a tutorial and finding it, I also found this precious Travel Kit.  I was hooked-- my heart fell in love with this quilt making process, although I have not put one together, I am still just making EPP flowers!
 The tutorial and the pattern is awesome and is the best travel kit I've ever had.   The size is great!  It holds everything needed with room to spare.   The biggest plus is it is absolutely adorable!  At first glance you know what it is for and what is inside.  By using your favorite fabrics, you can make it your own  Mine closes with one of my favorite pearl buttons!

The inside has 3 convenient compartments.  I put my finished hexie flowers in the front pocket and still have two compartments for other supplies. 
The sides are accordion style!!  This is about the best design I've seen!  No matter how much you stuff into this little kit, you can bet it will fit!  Even a small light.

An extra pattern for a delightful little pin cushion is also available.  I made one and attached it to the inside flower.  I can put the pins in sideways and still close my kit.  The magnetic closure is one of my favorite features.  

Here are a few of my sets waiting to be stitched. Picking fabrics for my flowers-----AAAAHHHHH--  I love the fact that all my favorite fabrics from different projects can be used together so that I can be reminded of them all.  I love auditioning centers until I just can't wait to get the flower made to see how precious it looks.  (I know you all think I 'm a little crazy).  

Let me show you my process~~~~~
 I use to use a glue stick to attached my hexie pattern to my fabric, but have resorted to a pin.  It makes taking those papers out so much easier.  I fold the corners right under left going counter clockwise, continuing all the way around, tacking as I go.
 Then I begin whip stitching the hexies together starting with two petals, then add the center.  I use matching thread, but here I have used contrasting thread so that you can see the stitches.  My needle is a straw and I pinch the hexies together as I go so as to keep the sides matched.

 As you are stitching around the center, you will need to travel your needle to another corner.  Start at the corner you ended with to the adjacent corner you need to go to traveling under the fabric being careful not to go through the paper onto the front of the flower.  In above pic see that where I entered and exited from the back of my hexie.
 Sometimes you will need to bend one hexie to get to your stitching point but that is OK!  It seems to me that the more I use my papers the better they work.  They become flexible and have a memory so that they know exactly what to do and when to do it!
When I get through with 4 or 5 hexie flowers, I take the papers out.  Most tutorials tell you to leave the papers in to stitch them together, but I have found that I like taking the papers out so that I
can use them again and I don't have to have so many papers.  After the papers are removed, I take my flowers straight to my ironing board.  I spray them with Magic Sizing and give them a good press.

Aren't they pretty!!

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
– Matthew 6:25-27

Until we meet again!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Challenge is Always a Good Thing!!

The new year has brought much renewed quilting enthusiasm.  Projects started and laid away have been picked back up with the desire to "finish".  I don't want to leave this world with many ufps (unfinished projects).  I am hoping that I can also use my blog to report as I make progress.  Maybe there will be something here of interest to you that will bring you back.  When I left my blog years ago (when Pops was diagnosed with cancer) I had a fair amount of followers but now---- very few.  I am hoping to find new friends and kindred spirits to share my quilting journey with.  If you see something here you would like to share on your blog, please feel free to do so and in so doing, help me to get word around that I am back.  I have not been so good at posting regularly but am trying to find a way to "get it all done".  I have a new computer--a Microsoft Surface Book and am learning how to use it.  I am trying to find out how I can use the pictures I take with my IPhone with said computer.  I have remembered that I have lots of pictures on Google that I thought I had lost  ~crazy woman~.

Excitement was experienced when I found 2 Challenges for the year by Quilted Moose Quilt Shop, 2018 and they still have patterns for their 2017 block challenges also.  The challenge is to make one block a week.  The same block week after week for one year, or as long as it takes to get the amount you want for a quilt.  At the end of the year they promise a quilt to encourage you to use your blocks.  They each have Facebook and Instagram pages where you can post your blocks and see everyone's blocks.  What Fun!  I love to see different fabric combinations.
Here are two of mine.  The Cake Stand (2017 Challenge) and 9 Patch.
 Piecing 9 patches in rows that leaves the rows connected is such fun and so much easier for me to get the accurate blocks that I strive for.
 One finished block that is totally scrappy.  I am thinking that I will start again and use one color fabric for each 9 patch within the 9 patch.  I have been watching on Instagram and using #52weekquiltblockchallenge--- you will be totally enthused to get started....without worry that you are completely behind ---Whoops!

Now for the Cake Stand which is the 2017 challenge.  I have completed one but have also cut pieces for putting together a massive amount at an upcoming quilt retreat  with friends on March 3rd.  If I get the pieces cut I can see some quilt results.  On Instagram use #52weekquiltchallenge or #cakestand.

 The block is 6 inch which makes it so stinking cute!  And the pieces are pretty quick to cut.
 Here are a few of my stacks of block pieces.  But I have cut many, many more by now.
What a mess is my fat quarter shelf stacked and unstacked as I dig and dig, deciding which two fabrics will make the perfect block.  I know, I should just grab and go with it----sorry, it ain't happening!

When cutting the pieces, pattern calls for one 3 7/8 inch square cut in half for the bottom stand plus 1 -2 3/8 inch square cut diagonally for the part of the bottom stand that is joined to the 2 x 3 1/2 inch background pieces.
 I discovered that after cutting the larger square in half that the other half would be waste.  I tried cutting the other two sections needed for the bottom out of the same fabric out of the other half of the 3 7/8 inch square (I actually cut mine 4 inches).
You can see that the top edge of the triangle is on the 2 1/2 inch mark on the ruler.  Visualize in your mind that this is the same as 1/2 of a 2 1/2 inch square.

 I turned the remainder around and made the same cut on the other side.  See the point on the 2 1/2 inch measurement on the ruler?  Only a small waste in the middle.  Approximately 1/2 inch.
I laid two of the cut pieces from another fabric on top of the larger triangle that they were cut from so you could visualize more clearly what I did.  I hope this helps.  There is a difference in the side which becomes the cross-grain rather than straight of grain, but since all sides are sewn into another fabric and not on the outside edge, I can't see that it makes a difference..

If you go to their challenge web page and decide to take the challenge, maybe you will come back here and use my cutting technique.  It probably won't make much sense unless you actually are cutting the pieces with all your mind in!  If you know what I mean.

Have a great new week beginning tomorrow.
I am worshipping my God not only in the morning but all the time as He is my redeemer and has given me eternal life.  Because He lives, when I die I actually continue to live.  I know that--because He allows me to know that.  His Spirit tells mine.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Oh Holy Night quilt is Finally a REAL Finish (Plus a BOM)

In my previous post I had finished my first finish for the year 2018, all except hand stitching the wrap around binding down.  It is now completely finished and I could not be more excited.  For the past few years I have been helping my husband, referred to here, affectionately, as Pops because that is what our grandchildren call him fight cancer.  He is in remission now, but still has to go to Dallas every two weeks for an infusion of Cetuximab as a maintenance.  He is not eligible for a maintenance pill that is available because our insurance won't pay for it. Medicare will pay for it but Pops will not be eligible for Medicare for 2 more years.  I am thankful that he is cancer free and able to work around the ranch.  He doesn't really ever stop during the day.  It's really amazing and I give My LORD all the credit for it.  His blessings are abundant and awesome around here!
If your interested in the previous post on Mock Hand Quilting, click HERE.

A friend gave me this pattern after she had made the quilt.  It is so precious and the message such a joyful one to me that I decided to make it.  I decided to make it as a Block of the Month.  To give myself some slack and a challenge of making one block per month so that I give myself some time to enjoy each block and also possibly another project too.

It has all the elements of a quilt that I love.  Pieced background, applique, and embroidery.  I still have not decided whether the embroidery will be hand or machine.  Right now I am thinking hand so I will have some handwork to do while I watch TV with Pops in the evening.  My first block is ready to start the embroidery.  I always struggle with fabric choices, trying several and more to make sure the best is chosen.

This is the second block (my February block), straight from the pattern book.  A precious angel block.  God sends these special creatures to take care of us.  Although we have no idea what they look like, I like to imagine.  I'm sure that spirit-beings are invisible unless they need to be seen, in which case they look like you and me.  Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?  Hebrews 1:14
"Do  not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."  Hebrews 13:2  
"Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones.  For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my Heavenly Father."  Matthew 18:10
"For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." Psalms 9:11
 This is my method for auditioning fabrics.  I fold them in shapes similar to the size of the cut piece and place them in a similar fashion as the block will be, being careful to hide most of the fabrics that will only include a small piece.  This way no fabric is overwhelming.

 This is the block with my fabric choices.  I did change one or two from the originals of the previous pic, the wings and the hearts.
I decided I didn't like my angels hair choice.  It seemed harsh to me so I tried this one.  It seemed a little light, but am thinking after the embroidery is done it might be best.  Each piece will be outlined with a black blanket stitch.  What do you think?  Which would be your choice?  Or possibly a fabric in between the two.  I'M TAKING VOTES.  PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR CHOICE, BLOCK 1 (darker) OR 2 (lighter)or somewhere in between will be 3.  I will send a couple of fat quarters to the winner.  The winner will be chosen by a drawing of names of the commenters.

Have a blessed week!

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