Monday, May 29, 2017

Design Wall Monday - May 29, 2017

Today is Decoration Day, now called Memorial Day, when we honor those men and women who have given their lives in service to our country.  I will be remembering those in my family who have served our country.  My Dad and many of his brothers were all serving in WWII at the same time.   My memories of Decoration Day, when I was a little girl, were of going to the local cemetery for a memorial service in which my father as a wounded soldier, proudly took part.  

The above pictures are of Madeline Grace Wallace, then 4, carrying flags at the National Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas, May 25, 2012.  She was helping her mother, U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Wendy Wallace, honor the soldiers who died in protecting our freedom.  It reminds me of my childhood, helping my father at the cemetery on Decoration Day.

Here are two of my patriotic quilts:

And I'll close with Sophia Grace and Rosie, with their Memorial Poppy.  We hope you have something on your design wall to share with us today.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Badges, Buttons, and Icons, Oh My!!

Is it a badge, or button, or icon, or what?   I didn't even know what a button was two weeks ago, and now I have one.  Amazing.

Three of my friends made me a button.  Well, actually they did all of the computer tech work, and I provided a picture of one of my quilts. 

Let's hope it is going to work.  If you'd like to put it on your blog as a reminder to come by on Mondays, that would be very nice.  You'll find it on my sidebar near the top. 

If you don't know how to add a button, Bonnie Hunter has a tutorial at her blog that explains how to add one (she calls them badges) to your sidebar.  (Here).   

Monday, May 22, 2017

Design Wall Mondays - May 22, 2017

My valentine quilt is progressing along.  Here are several shots of my design wall, so you can see the progress:

This week's Design Wall:

As I shared last week, Design Wall Mondays will be here each week, and I welcome everyone who wants to share what is on your design wall.  I thank Judy Liquadara at Patchwork Times so much for hosting it all of these years, and I will attempt to do her proud.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Design Wall Mondays - May 15, 2017

What's on my Design Wall:

I have four rows (of blocks that are 10x10 squares) and am working on row #5.

Over at Patchwork Times, Judy Liquadara posted Monday that she will no longer be doing a Design Wall Mondays link-up.  Since I like it so much, I asked Judy if I could continue it at my blog, and she said, yes.  So I will attempt doing Design Wall Mondays link-up here.  So, spread the word, and if you like looking at what everyone else has on their design walls, you can find the links here.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Motivation Boosters

When I get midway through a project, the motivation sometimes goes away, and my mind wanders toward starting new projects.  It must happen with other quilters also, because a lot of us have unfinished projects.  Today, I looked at my previous post about 18 motivaional tips, and just picked one to concentrate on to move me forward.

Original post:  (click here)

Tip #7:  Do a small part of it right now.  Even if you don't want to start it, just give it five minutes.  Often the "just five minutes" turns into a good amount of a project completed, as I lose track of time, and become immersed in a quilt.  Sometimes if you don't feel like starting, you just have to start, and the momentum will happen.  I have a sand timer that I turn over, and often quilt for just the time it takes for the sand to run through it, but often look up and the sand has long been settled into the bottom end, and I'm still going strong.

Design wall picture

Sand timer

Monday Linkups:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times

Monday, May 1, 2017

Retreat Happiness

I've just come home from a four day retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana, and my heart is full.  The quilters at the retreat fill my heart each time we meet, and I can't wait until the next one comes around.  

There were several wonderful quilts shown at the "Show and Tell" on Friday night, and also several other masterpieces in progress around the room.  It was wonderful, and I am filled with ideas for new quilts.

I didn't buy any fabric while there, and only bought a pair of pillowcases that will go well with my yellow appliqued flower quilt.  Here is a picture of the quilt with the new (vintage) pillowcases:

While at the retreat, I made a few little doll quilts to go with some of my big quilts.  Here is a little one I made to go with my toile valentine quilt.  I made the solid squares in a size that I could fussy cut the birds in the squares:

Here is a picture of the 2 quilt together:  Someone asked me for directions for the large quilt, and I am going to write out the instructions for both quilts and make a little pattern leaflet, if anyone is interested.  A friend said I should sell the pattern, and I am considering it.

Linking up:

Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt

Monday, April 3, 2017

Celebration of Spring

To celebrate spring, I started a new small quilt!  (Not that I need a reason to start one, but I'm using this reason)

Center design:

Complete quilt layout, on the table in the family room.  It will be 24" by 26" with each square or hst finishing at 1 inch.

The drawing in my "quilts to make" notebook is shown below.  Not my original design, as I saw it somewhere on the internet, and didn't document where it came from.  If you know, please tell me.

Valentine quilt is progressing along.  I haven't taken it down from the design wall yet, as I am still having fun adding grids to it.  There are three rows of grids almost completed, and three rows of grids to go......and then additional grids if I decide to add wording at the bottom.  It is a very peaceful process.

Linking up with:
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Tulip Quilt for Sweet Alyssa

Years ago, we went on our first mission trip to Haiti, and a worker in our group was a sweet young girl, who was 16 years old.  In fact, if I remember correctly, I think she turned 16 while were were in Haiti.  Anyway, she has always held a special place in our hearts, and at the end of 2016, Alyssa got married.  The quilt that we are giving to her as a wedding gift is this tulip quilt:

The binding went on this week, and I love the flower quilting pattern that my longarm quilter used on it:

Here's another picture of it on my front porch bench.  It's a cloudy day, but it still looks bright and cheery draped over the bench:

We are rejoycing in the spring weather here in Michigan, and I do believe the snow is gone for good.  The birds are chirping their spring songs to me, and I am looking forward to seeing real tulips in bloom here soon.

Here's a picture of the lovely bride, and her sister, the matron of honor. Her veil was so delicate and beautiful, and she was so happy.  I love this picture!  Can't wait to put a label on this quilt and send it to her and her groom, to cuddle under.

Today is Monday, so I'm linking with Design Wall Mondays (Here)  and we will see what's on other quilter's design walls.

Also linking with Love, Laugh, Quilt's blog for "Monday Makings" (Here)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Is Here At Last!

I am so glad spring is here!  We still have some snow on the ground, but with the calendar saying it is spring, it makes me glad.  The daffodils are a present from my hubby,  as a celebration that spring is officially here.

Lisa Bonegan started a free triangle blocks sew-a-long.  (link here - for instructions) and I saw lots of pretty blocks from their group on the internet.  I love triangles, and am easily drawn into a project using them, so I pulled out my box of small half square triangles, and began laying out some of the blocks.  Lisa is calling the project "Triangle Gatherings", and it was a lot of fun making the blocks, and so easy when the hsts are all made ahead of time.

Two days later, I have them all made so far, and I don't know what the finished quilt will be like.  But that will be decided later.  There are instructions for 21 blocks right now, and I think a block comes out each week.  My blocks are using triangles that finish at 1 inch, so the blocks are 4.5" x 4.5" unfinished size.

The three quilts that I sent to the machine quilter are finished now, so I just have to go pick them up, and put on the binding.  I can't wait.  One is a wedding quilt for a newly wed couple, and the other two are for my home.  (Pictures are coming after they are bound.)

This week I worked on an unfinished sampler quilt that was 90% finished in 2011, and for some reason, it never was completed.  The goals for 2017 are to finish some of these quilts, so it is now ready for the outside borders to be sewn on.  I will post some pictures when the borders are attached.

Today I took another picture of my design wall, with the Valentine's Day quilt up there.  It will probably be taken down soon, but I am still enjoying the process of adding another grid section of 10 x 10 squares.

Here is the design wall for "Design Wall Mondays"  as I like to link up with Judy Laquidara's blog to see all the design walls  (Here).  The three longer grids have the columns sewn together, but not the rows.  After sewing the rows, they will be as short as the grids on the left side of the picture.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Little of This, A Little of That......

Quilting adventures this week:

Finished a small doll quilt by hand quilting it, and adding the binding.  It measures 9" by 12".  I added very small hanging corners on the back.  Here's the pictures of the front and back:

I may add another line of quilting in the middle of the outside border.  Always a critic of my own work, aren't we all?

Took three quilts to the long-arm quilter on Thursday.  That feels so good to get quilts on their way to being finished.

Made a laundry bag for when I travel.  In April, I'm going to Shipshewana for a retreat with some wonderful ladies, most of whom have finished a Jane Stickle replica quilt.  I don't know if you know this, but when a Jane Stickle quilt is finished, this group deems you a "Goddess".   Our table at this retreat usually gives us a "challenge" to make something for the next retreat.  Last fall, the challenge was to make a bag - Jane Stickle related if possible.  I am not very good at making handbags, and am afraid of zippers and buttonholes, so it took some thinking on my part.  I decided to make a "royal" laundry bag.  After a search of Google, I found a crown, and made my laundry bag.  It is about the size of a pillowcase, and I traced the crown from the free internet copy, using a lightbox and permanent markers.

        Close-up of the "royal crown"

Worked on two more blocks for the 365 Challenge quilt.  The dark square will finish at 3 inches and the lighter square will finish at 6 inches:

Started another row of the Valentine Quilt:

What is on your design wall this Monday morning?  It's snowing here, and as always, is a fine day to quilt.  I'm linking with Design Wall Mondays to see what other quilters are doing.  (Here)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tiny Quilt Retreat

Today is the 6th day of my "Tiny Quilt Retreat", (me, myself, and I).  Hubby is in Florida golfing with a group of men, and I am quilting here at home, and having such a good time.  I pick him up at the airport tomorrow, and miss him very much, but my time quilting has been lots of fun.

Here are the things worked on this week:

The Valentine quilt:

The first two rows of grids are on the design wall, and all of the fifty+ baggies of grids are set aside for future assembly.  I am thinking about the wording at the bottom, and may spell out "Be Mine".  I will be taking it off the design wall soon, to get the 365Challenge blocks up to sort out the assembly and completion of that large quilt.

365 Challenge Quilt from 2016:

I worked on last year's Karen Kerr's 365Challenge, to make more of the blocks. It is almost finished, and I have only a few blocks to go.  I work on a week's worth of blocks at a time, and have about 5 weeks left.  This week I completed a week in November.  Here are some of the blocks made this week:

The rows of the indigo and shirting quilt are almost all assembled.  I have four more long rows to sew.  I will probably not sew a quilt top together this way again.  I thought it would be faster then putting blocks together first, 
but forgot to factor in the underwhelming task of pinning and sewing long row after row.  When I am underwhelmed, I procrastinate.  I have four more rows to sew.

Here's my little kitchen blackboard reminder that spring is coming soon.  The chipmunk cookie jar is one I bought before I was married - so it's over 50 years old.  I love chipmunks and yesterday started putting three pecan halves out on the front steps for my resident front yard chipmunk.  The pecans were there for a long time (my first day of treating him) and today they were only there about 5 minutes!  He's a fast learner!

Posting as usual at Design Wall Mondays at Judy Liquidara's blog.  (Here)

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Goal Is To Stay "Whelmed"

Have you ever been overwhelmed?  Underwhelmed?  I like to be submerged deeply in quilting, but not over-stressed with my projects, nor the opposite feeling of being uninspired and unmotivated.  Neither overwhelmed nor underwhelmed.    It is a balancing act for me, and I am working on several projects at once.  It keeps me whelmed.  

I made a doll quilt using hsts that were left over from the Churn Dashers group project last year.  It went together quickly, and I am ready to machine quilt it and choose a binding.  It will finish at 15 inches square.

The pattern is "Soaring Triangles" from the book "Sew Charming" by Mary Etherington.  I had small triangles already made, so I used the size I had, half square triangles that would finish at 1.25" by 1.25".  I put the hsts in order on a mat (used the back of another small quilt) in design order, carried it to the sewing machine, and chain sewed the columns together. Here's a picture mid process of sewing columns together:

Here's what it looked like with columns chain sewed together, but with rows not sewn yet:

Then I sewed row to row together, and made the doll quilt top in one day, easy peasy - lemon squeezy. But easier to do on this small project than on the large quilt that I'm showing you next.

I am finishing a large quilt by sewing (chaining) the completed columns together, then sewing the quilt together row by row.  It's necessary, but underwhelming.  I do two rows a day, with lots of pins and pressing of seams.  I am looking forward to making a doll quilt to match it, which will go much faster.

I will talk about this quilt more when I finish the top.  I love blue and white quilts, and bought a kit for this one at the Grand Rapids AQS quilt show.

I also prepped baggies of 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares for future grids of the Valentine's Day quilt that was started last week. This one:

I want to be able to pull out a 10 x 10 grid baggy or two and complete them occasionally, with the goal of having the wall hanging finished next February.  I have all the red squares cut, and haven't bagged up the neutrals/shirtings squares yet.

Hubby is leaving for his annual men's golfing week in Florida with 21 other men equally passionate about golf.  I am contemplating a week of intense quilting while I am here without him.  I will try to stay in the groove, not overwhelmed, and not underwhelmed with my projects.  Are you having success with this?

Design wall Monday (Here)