Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Finished and More

As I stated in my last post, my sewing time has been limited due to some dental issues. I'm feeling better; but with more work being done earlier this week, and more to come in the next couple of weeks, I'm still kind of a mess. Even with that though, I've been successful at doing some sewing, just nothing that requires a great amount of thinking.  😀

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of what looked like a very messy and crowded design wall. I've been working on those items and am happy to say that I'm being successful at finishing some things.

I completed the binding on my 24" version of the Tartan Terrace Table Topper and I like how it looks. Not bad for using scraps to test my math skills.  😉  I think I might make the larger version too. It's pretty easy and goes together quite quickly.


I also quilted and bound my larger Faith Hope Love wall hanging. In the past, I've generally made three individual wall hangings and I've always liked them. (I think they make great gifts, especially wedding gifts.) I've only made one other single wall hanging before, and I wasn't in love with it. I followed the pattern instructions, but felt like everything was too close together and cramped. I made adjustments and this is a bit larger (44" wide x 23" high) and like it much better. 


Here's the backing I chose and I'm very pleased with that! 


I can't believe that I'm saying this, but I think I want to make yet another version of this. I envision more spaces between the figures and making it longer - like twice as long. I've sketched some quilting ideas for those extra open spaces and think that I'd like this as a bed runner. I'll keep you posted...

Buried underneath a bunch of smaller projects on that design wall was this Patty Cake Quilt. The top was complete when I posted that pictures but I was debating on what I wanted to do for the backing.  


Here's what I decided. I took the scraps from piecing the blocks and what I had left of the background, and pieced this. I'm happy with results. 


This is actually on the frame waiting for me to feel good enough to quilt it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that happens today, but won't be too disappointed if it doesn't.


I'm stitching the binding down to the last side of my large version of the Wayward Transparency This should be done tonight and I'll post pictures of both of my versions. I really like this quilt and am so happy I participated in the Quilt Along with Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl


I used some of the same fabrics from my Wayward Transparency quilt for this Zen Table Runner, which uses a Curvy Log Cabin Ruler. This is quilted and ready for binding. Since it's not very large (18" x 52"), I should be able to get this done tonight too. Yay!  I pulled some of the binding back and clipped it to verify that I liked my dark brown binding choice. I do! 


Here's a close up of the quilting. I used a simple meander in the blue and then freehand quilted repeating half circles in the dark areas. In retrospect, I really should have used my walking foot for this. I did that on the first one and since this one is for me, I was feeling a bit daring and decided to try it freehand. I think I was over-confident in my skill level because there is some unequal spacing between the lines on many of these. Good thing I had matching thread! I pieced the backing from left over fabric and will show that when it's all quilted. (Yikes! The uneven quilting lines really show up there!)


Also on that design wall were blocks from the pattern testing I did for Rachel Rossi. The top is done and I'm deciding on backing so I can get busy quilting it. I can't share it yet, but will do so when Rachel gives the go ahead. I like how it turned out and can't wait to show you!

I guess that I better hop off of here if I want to accomplish everything on my list. Oh what should I do first.....

I'm linking up with Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. If you need inspiration or want to see some really neat quilting stuff, be sure to check out Sarah and the others who link up today. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Humor is Important!

We all know that most of us would rather laugh than cry any day, right? Well, I try to see humor and the positive side to everything, because quite honestly, nobody really wants to hear me complain. (Don't get me wrong. I do my fair share of complaining. But, I am trying to make a concerted effort to recognize that I'm doing it and stop immediately.)

There are times that my humor and positive thinking just plain drives Jack crazy. He's been known to call me Positive Polly just to let me know that he knows I'm trying to point out negativity to him but that he's not quite done with it yet.  :-)  We always laugh about it, especially when I refer to him as Negative Norm. (So maybe we are a bit immature, but it works for us.)  

Along with the positive thinking, I've pretty much always known that I have a pretty high pain tolerance too, and I'm happy for that. Well, the last few weeks I've been struggling with a few dental issues and they've culminated into extreme pain, a very swollen face, and an emergency root canal yesterday. There's still more work to be done, but that won't happen until next week. To say the least, I'm not been feeling very well. Not even well enough that I felt like sewing at all. You know it's bad when that happens! 

So what's my point you ask? Jack has been so good with helping me and doing things to make me laugh. Just this morning, as he quietly left the bedroom (so I could sleep a little longer), I saw him bend down like he was picking up something. Look what I found when I got out of bed.


I also found a note that said "I know you feel like the house fell on top of you, but trust me; I don't think you are acting in any way like the Wicked Witch of the West."

I laughed out loud! Of course THAT hurt; but it was so worth it. 

I hope to sew later today or at least tomorrow. Until then, I won't have anything new to show.  :-(

Monday, January 8, 2018

Design Wall Monday

My design wall probably looks like a mess to you right now, but to me it is organized and there is a plan in place for it all. 

These are all projects that I want to will complete by the end of the month.


The small hexagon table topper is done except for a little more hand stitching. That will be done tonight. This is a half size version of Tartan Terrace, a pattern by Doug Leko of Antler Quilt Design in his book Winterlude. I have a friend who asked for my help in reducing this from 48" square to 24" square. Of course I needed to buy the book to do that, and I'm so glad I did. The book contains 18 patterns featuring the fabric collection "Forever Green" by Holly Taylor for Moda Fabrics. I really like all of the patterns and can easily see myself making at least eight of them, if not more.

The blue and brown table runner (Zen Table Runner, made using the 8" curvy log cabin ruler) needs to be quilted. I have the backing and binding is already made for this. (That's hanging on the left side by the houses.) This is the second one of these I've made and I gifted the first one before taking pictures. 😞 I'll quilt this on my Bernina and it won't take long. Perhaps I'll layer this tonight and get started on it. 

The Faith Hope Love wall hanging on the right, behind the table runner, is also ready for quilting. Unlike the others that I've done recently, this is one piece instead of three. Like the Zen Table Runner, the quilting will be easy on this and since it's small, I'll quilt it on my Bernina. I have yet to decide how I'm going to bind this, but I'm kind of thinking about a black binding or a scrappy one, using the fabrics in the body of the quilt. I'll decide after I quilt it.

The Patty Cake Quilt  top which I showed last week, is now complete and I decided to not add any more borders. I've got the backing ready for this and hope to get this quilted by the end of next week. The only fabric I have enough of to use for binding is the teal (first complete block in the top left corner), and I think I'll like that. Of course, like I usually do, I'll wait until it's quilt and make my final decision. 

And finally, I've got a handful of the blocks for the Rachel Rossi pattern testing up on the wall to help me decide fabric placement for the remaining few blocks I need to make. (This is not all the blocks, but just what I needed/wanted to see to make my decisions.) I'm loving these blocks and the fabrics I'm using.  

What are you working on today?

Check out the quilting eye candy at 


and

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pattern Testing Progress

Remember the fabric I posted earlier this week that was earmarked for testing a pattern for Rachel Rossi?


While I can't show you all the blocks I've made so far, I can show you two of the four large bare tree blocks I've made. 


The blocks are paper pieced and so easy to make. Besides being easy to make, they're fun to look at too. They're pretty much representative of what I see when I look out my windows - bare trees (birds are in some of them) and lots of white stuff - snow!

What these blocks don't show you, are the freezing temperatures we've been experiencing the last week or so. It was -6 this morning and that didn't include the wind chill. I feel like we are having a heat wave right now because we are at 8 degrees; and while there's still a bit of wind, which is biting, the sun is shining and it's beautiful. Of course it helps that I'm inside right now where it's warm and toasty. I'm enjoying a bit of sewing time and I hope to complete a few more blocks from the pattern before I have to start supper. 

I'll post more pictures in a couple of days. I've made some adjustments to my fabrics - added some and replaced others, but I still really like the fabric line. I'm please with the progress and can't wait to show you the entire quilt. 

I've got some binding that is ready for the hand stitching and I may step away from this project to work on that tonight. I do enjoy sitting on the couch working on a binding while Jack is reading or watching TV.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Design Wall Monday

Happy New Year !
May 2018 bring you love, peace, joy, prosperity, and lots of time to be creative.

I also hope that in 2018 you find yourself excited about things, just like Sadie did during her school Christmas concert. I want to find joy in the little things in life and rejoice about them. I want to rejoice whole-heartedly and not worry about what others will think of me. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments!


***********************************
I almost forgot that today is Monday, which means I should be posting a Design Wall Monday post. (Gee, I didn't even drink last night, so I can't use that as an excuse.)

I do have something on the wall to share. The pattern is called Patty Cake Quilt by Eleanor Burns and I'm using a Sun Print 2017 Layer Cake by Alison Glass. For the grey background squares, I'm using Aged to Perfection - Vintage Tiles by Maywood Studio. 


I saw a smaller version of this made by a friend and fellow guild member Judy and; and I loved it. I knew right then and there that I was going to make one. Here's Judy's quilt. (Sorry for the bad picture.) Can you see why I fell in love with it? I love her fabric choices.


I decided that I wanted to use stash for my quilt and since I had the Layer Cake and enough background fabric, I was all set. The pattern offers instructions for four different sizes, but of course I wanted a different size. I'm maing mine in a 7 x 9 layout and I'm not sure if I'll add more than the first border, which will be a the grey background fabric. (Judy's quilt does not have borders.) 

I'm working on a pattern testing for Rachel Rossi and here's the fabric I'm using. I can't show you much yet, but I promise that I'll be able to do so soon.


The fabrics on the left side are from All a Twitter by Hoffman Fabrics.  Those eight fabrics are actually fat quarters that are all together in a continuous panel. I love that idea! I chose the carnation version, but there is a teal version called Sprout. Even though I wasn't planning to do so, I purchased all of may fabrics for this at M&E Quilt Shoppe. I went to the shop to look for the wavy lines fabric or something similar and fell in love with this combination. They have both of the colorways for the fat quarter panels, as well as other fabrics from the line.



What are you working on today! 

Check out the quilting eye candy at


and


Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Planning Party

I've decided to join the 2018 Planning Party Linkup hosted by Yvonne - Quilting JetGirl


Yes, I waited until the last day of the year to decide to do this. Of course I've been thinking about it, but I just wasn't sure that I was ready to commit. You know, once you put something in writing, especially on a blog, there are a number of people who find pleasure in reminding you that you forgot to do something or that you are late in posting something. 

Nevertheless, I've decided to do it and not stress out about it. 

In terms of quilting, I am not going to do what I have in the past and pick particular UFOs to complete. Although it would be nice to do that and get them all done, I'm being realistic and purposely not forcing myself to work on something that just doesn't "fit" my mood. I'm purposely going to be a bit vague on other quilting goals as well, but they will be quantifiable and attainable.

I will do the following, in no particular order:

1) Complete at least six UFOs in the next 12 months. That's one every two months and I think that's realistic.

2) Complete at least 12 donation quilts in the next 12 months. These will include quilts for Hands2Help and Quilts of Valor. There may be more, but I'm not sure. If all goes well, some of the UFOs will be used for donations. 

3) I plan to participate in at least one Quilt Along. I enjoyed the Wayward Transparency QAL and learned a lot doing it. Since I always want to learn something in each of my projects, this Quilt Along surpassed my expectations and has encouraged me to participate in others. I'll be kind of picky in terms of which one(s) I chose to participate, but there will be at least one.

4) I am involved in a pattern testing right now and have been enjoying that. I have already found ways that I can write better patterns myself as well as be a better teacher, so I would like to participate in at least one pattern testing during 2018. 

5) Since I mentioned bettering my pattern writing and becoming a better quilt teacher, I want to revisit at least six of my patterns during 2018 and make updates and changes as needed. 

6) Write at least two blog posts per week. Included in this will be learning to take better photos so they enhance my posts. With that enhancement, I hope to offer much better tutorials, especially for when I participate in blog hops, etc. 

7) I want to actively help spread the joy of quilting. I've been involved with Scott Fortunoff, President of Jaftex, in helping to secure sewing machines for people who have lost theirs due to disasters, etc., but I want to do more. I'm not exactly sure what I'll do, but I'll do something. If you are interested, check out Scott's Facebook page or his blog on the Studio e website.  

8) And finally, as many of us always say, I want to be more organized in my quilting adventure. This is not limited to just cleaning up my space, but includes being better prepared for classes I offer, not procrastinating when making class samples or completing custom orders, and also be careful to not overbook myself, which creates chaos and tension.  

Personally, I would like to do the following:

1) Travel a little with Jack. There are a number of places that we've talked about, but just never seem to get around to organizing the trips. These are not necessarily BIG travel plans, but just some short trips that could last anywhere from one to five days. 

2) Read more for pleasure - not just quilting related books. You'd think that belonging to a book club would help that, but I think I missed at least five meeting nights in 2017. I don't want to do that again. 

3) Get more sleep. Because of my lack of organization, I often find myself not sleeping well. Hopefully this goal will be easily accomplished because of better organization.

4) Write more letters. While e-mail and texting are fine, I want to send actual cards and letters.

5) Enjoy family time more frequently. This not only includes my immediate family, but extended as well.

Ok, I think that's enough for now. Many of these goals overlap and working on one will affect the success of another.

What are your goals for 2018? If you choose to set goals, good luck with achieving them and Happy New Year!

It's For the Birds

As promised, here are a few more bird pictures that I thought you might enjoy. To see the previous pictures, click HERE.

Check out the wing on this bird. There is a stick going right through it.


We first noticed this bird Saturday morning, and Jack and I were worried that he was injured and might not survive the freezing temperatures. Much to our surprise, we've seen him every day, including today. The stick is still there and he's still pretty darn aggressive towards the other birds. I guess I would be too if I had a stick in my wing. We'll continue to look for him every day and keep our fingers crossed that he survives.


There is no shortage of birds just about every time we look outside. Not only are they on the feeders, they congregate underneath them, in the trees and bushes, and even on our back porch.  


We love seeing the male cardinals, since they are such a bright red. The kids love to see them too, and we've been seeing a lot lately. This is just one, but it's not unusual to see three or four of them at a time. Cardinals always make me think of my sister Pat, who lives in Washington. I can't imagine not seeing these beautiful birds, so this picture is for you Pat!  😍💖


I enjoy seeing more than one bird on the sunflower feeder. 


We've got a couple of woodpeckers that come every day, but this is the only one I've been able to capture on film. (When Avery saw this, she asked if it was a woodbanger bird. That made me smile!)


Here's an interesting bird. Take a look at the bird in the middle of the picture. I took this picture and it's not great.  


Jack's daughter Linda was able to get much better pictures.  


None of us have ever seen this before. It has all the features of a female cardinal, except that white head.


It's quite fascinating to us. 


We've seen her every day since the 22nd. 


We continue to enjoy feeding and watching this birds. I've got additional pictures with another grandchild that I'll share later.

Stay warm and be safe if you are going out to celebrate tonight.