Sunday, May 31, 2015

How Did This Happen? Picture HEAVY Post

It's official. I've missed a week of posting, but that doesn't mean that I didn't do anything. Between the holiday, having a lot of odds and ends things to do, and having a computer that didn't want to play nice, the week just flew by. Oh well...Life goes on.

I've been sewing and finishing up things and will post pictures of those in the next few days; but today I want to share some FUN pictures of things that have happened this past week.

We all know how quickly time flies, but I have become very aware of it since having children and now grandchildren. One day you have a baby and what seems like the next day, they are in school and doing all kinds of amazing things. That's how I felt this past week. 

Quinn was the cutest baby, with a ton of hair and it was so dark!

She has always loved to play outside and learn new things. Notice how long and light her hair is in this picture. She'd had MANY hair cuts by the time this picture was taken.  

And she LOVED her home made binoculars! 

And now she's strapping on the pads to go bike riding!

And she's ready to take on the world. Ok, she's taking on bike riding, but in Grandma's eyes, it's the world. Love the helmet, don't you?

And her first GOOD ride lasted 14 seconds. WooHoo! (The video isn't great, but quite honestly I didn't expect her to ride for very long. Does that make me a bad grandma?)

Quinn is losing teeth (two and counting - fortunately it's not from bike riding)...

And she still loves spending time and learning new things with Grandpa Jack.

Sadie has always been a fun and happy child. She's always loved to hang out and chill. 

And she's ALWAYS loved to play dress up and dance and sing.

I think the Irish Jig is her favorite dance. (Can you see Ronan peeking around the corner? I think he's trying to figure out what's going on with all that noise.)

And sometimes, she sings and dances for so long that we have to tell her (nicely, of course), that we need a break.

And she STILL loves to dress up and dance!  

Sadie has a wonderful smile and sense of humor. She's growing up way too fast! 

And I can't believe that it's been almost two years since Avery was born. Those scary first minutes and hours following her birth seem like just last week.

Her smile and sparkling eyes just make me melt.

Even when she's just awakened from a nap, Avery is a cutie pie!

She loves to "help" in the kitchen and I think she's going to make a wonder cookies froster for me. (I love to bake the cookies, but HATE frosting.)

I think she's a natural.

And of course you have to try a cookie or two before you can give them away, right? I'm pretty sure that is Avery's favorite part of helping.

And Peyton is following in her sister and cousins' footsteps. At the hospital, Jack was having a heart to heart chat.

And he's having another chat after a diaper change. I wonder if he's telling her that she should only fill the diaper when Mom and Dad are home to take care of it.  :-) I see many more of these in the future.

I think the following is my favorite picture of the Dendinger Girls!

Ronan wasn't here while the girls were, but he will be later this week. So, I guess I'm giving you fair warning that another post like this will happen soon. But, just to give you a preview of what's to come...

Ronan was such a beautiful baby and is turning into a very handsome young man!

As with the other kids, there is always "Grandpa Jack Time!"

And he made a great Flying Monkey for Halloween in 2013. (They had a Wizard of Oz theme and Nikki made their outfits. Click HERE to see them all. She is so talented!)

I can't wait to share some more recent pictures of this young man. He is a joy, but I think that's enough for today. Have a great week!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day and Patriotic Quilts

There are few words that can describe my gratitude for those who have served and currently serve in our military. 

Your selflessness astounds me!

And unfortunately, not all of the brave are "in" the military. I am in awe of your strength.

Thank you military families! 

Over the past few years, I have tried to give back as my way of saying "Thank you" in honor of those who have served our country, especially for those who lost their lives while protecting my freedom.  

I've made Honor Flight Quilts (click on the tab at the top of the page to see those), I've made Quilts of Valor, and I've simply made patriotic quilts to give to individuals and families to say "Thank you." 

What I do, have done, and will continue to do really amounts to peanuts in comparison, but it's what I can do for them. I will continue to make and give these quilts for as long as I possibly can. 

The following two quilts were made using the same pattern, but with much different fabrics. They were both given to family members.

Red, White and Blue Quilt

Red, White and Blue Quilt

I got this Patriotic Rail Fence pattern from the very generous Mary at

This was donated to Quilts of Valor

Red, White and Blue Quilt

This nine patch and half square triangle quilt that I call Simply Patriotic, is a variation of Mary's 4 Patches on the Diagonal.  I've made multiple variations of this quilt over the year and have donated all of them. I think it's time to make another one, but make it scrappy. 

Red, White and Blue Quilt

This wall hanging is at my house and I display it in honor all of of my family members who have served, or who are currently serving. 

I am proud to be your daughter, aunt, niece, or cousin. Thank you!

Red, White and Blue Quilt

This large (king size) pineapple log cabin quilt is also at my house. This took me a very long time to complete (it was packed away for a while), but it was well worth the time and effort. This quilt has served me well over the years, but not in how you may think. Besides the obvious use of a quilt, this particular quilt is a reminder to me of how to persevere and complete what I start, no matter how challenging. 

I ran into a number of obstacles while working in this. Since I was pretty new to quilting when I started this and wasn't following a pattern, I was not very generous with my required fabric amounts and therefore had to come up with some very creative piecing methods. I was also teaching myself a new technique and that was definitely a challenge. 

I am proud to have met my challenges and finished this quilt; but I'm even more proud to be an American. Whenever I use this (it is always on one of the beds in one of the spare rooms), I am reminded of the dedication and perseverance of our military and I am forever grateful.   

Red, White and Blue Quilt, Pineapple Log Cabin

And this quilt top, (Simple Gifts is the name of the quilt and I know that it's in a book, but I can't find the name of the book - or the book.), is ready for quilting. It has been done for a while, but is still in the "To Be Quilted" bin, I need to get that out and resolve that.

Red, White and Blue Quilts, Simple Gifts

I have a few other patriotic quilts ready for quilting and I already have homes for them, so you should be seeing pictures of those posted here soon.

In closing... 

Celebrate our freedom today.

Celebrate and Honor the lives of those
who paid the ultimate price.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Finish and Progress

I never did post a picture of the finished Black and White Charm Quilt I was working on last week so here it is.

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

I love how this turned out and will be making a larger version at some point. I may even make the larger version in black and whites, as I REALLY like how this turned out. 

No matter how much I tried, I could not get the wind to cooperate in order for me to get a good picture of the entire quilt. Oh well; I'm sure you get the idea.  

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

I quilted all of the white spaces with a 1" diagonal grid and then stitched large squares inside the print blocks. The spacing on that was also 1". (You can see the stitching in the prints better in the picture below.)

I bound this entirely by machine and added a small flange. I love the little punch of color that adds to the quilt!

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

It's a little challenging to see the flange in that picture, so here's a close up. I chose the blue because it matches the blue in the backing fabric, but any color would have worked. :-)

Black and White Charm Quilt, Flange Machine Binding

Jack had a singing gig this morning at Lakeside Chautauqua's community church service and had to be there 1 1/2 hours before the performance for rehearsal. I didn't want to drive over separately, so I took some handwork to do. It was a beautiful morning and I sat outside Hoover Auditorium and started another grandmother's flower garden block. 

The hall is BEAUTIFUL, as is the rest of the area. This is my first trip to Lakeside and I enjoyed my time there.

Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside Ohio

This is how far I was when I decided to take a picture, I finished the second ring and have started adding the outer color ring but did not take a picture. This went together very quickly and a number of people stopped and asked what I was doing. This time, even though I was talking, I did NOT stitch anything backwards. (See this post about that!)

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

I did a count last night and based on my original sketch, I only need seven more blocks, after this one. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and will try to squeeze in some hand stitching as much as possible so I can start piecing the quilt top together. I'm excited! :-) After those seven blocks are done, I'm going to lay them out to see if I want to increase the quilt or leave it as is. 

No matter what I decide, I am enjoying the slowed down and soulful process of working on this.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hand Sewing Progress

I like the idea of measuring time by how much hand sewing I get done rather than by a clock. It sounds much better to say that I almost pieced a complete Grandmother's Flower Garden block than that I waited for over 3 1/2" hours.  

While waiting for Jack at his eye doctor appointment, this is what I accomplished. 

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

I started the wait with none of this sewn together, and I'm very happy with what I accomplished, even though I had a mishap.

While I was sewing, an older couple asked what I was making and then we got to talking. For those of you who know me, I know you can't believe that I was talking to strangers, right?  :-)  Anyway, this is what happened while I wasn't paying attention.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

Can you see that hexagon sewn on backwards?  I hate having to rip and re-sew because I wasn't paying attention. It didn't take much to fix it though, so it wasn't terrrible.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

And it didn't take much for me to start paying attention to what I was doing. Of course that could be because the couple were called in to see the doctor.  :-) 

I'm going to finish this block in a little bit before going to bed; and then I'm going to do a quick count of how many of these I've done and how many more I need to make. 

I know this has been a long time in the making, but I'm looking forward to sewing these into a quilt - FINALLY!!

And there's more good news than just the fact that I got this block done. Jack's appointment, although long, went very well. The recent injections have been working and he can wait until August to get the next one. He's very happy about that and I can understand why. :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tip Tuesday! - Stop the Creeping Foot Pedal

"Tip Tuesday!" - Stop the Creeping Foot Pedal

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

Have you ever been sewing along and then just feel like that something just isn't right? 

You don't quite know what's wrong, but something just doesn't feel natural. It's almost like you aren't relaxed and enjoying the hum of the sewing machine.   

I try re-positioning my hands but that doesn't solve the problem.

I finish the pieces on which I'm sewing and get up to press. 

The proverbial light goes off when I sit back down to sew and I can't find the foot pedal.

It has slid under the cabinet yet again and now I have to fish it out with my feet. 

Ahhhh, I get it back in position and comfortable, productive, and enjoyable sewing returns.

So, what can you do to stop the pedal movement? 

You can buy special non-slip pads for your pedal like these below.

Pedal Sta II Sewing Machine Pedal Pad, , hi-res

Martelli Non Slip Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Pad

You can put some of that squishy shelf liner under the pedal and that seems to work well. I try to remember to keep a piece with my machine for those times when I'm not sewing at home (classes, workshops, etc.)

But, you can also make your own and here's a tutorial to help you do just that!

Sew a non-slip sewing machine foot pedal pad - a genius idea to stop the foot pedal slipping away from you.  I'm on it!

Make one (or two) for yourself, and then make some for your quilting friends. They will love them!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Design Wall Monday and Time for One More Quilt

It's Monday and that means it's 
Design Wall time!

I sort of have two things up today. One on which I'm deciding borders and one that is ready for binding. 

Here's the one that is ready for binding. It's a simple quilt using 5" squares. I'm still playing with quilt options for when I host Charm School Sew-Ins. I want the quilts to be quick and easy, especially since there are a fair number of new quilters/sewers who join us for these days. This quilt will fit right in. I quilted this with a 1" grid in all the white areas and then stitched in 1" increments around the big dark squares. I like the quilting a lot, even though it took me longer to do that than actually piece the quilt.

Just to try it out, I made a small version (6 blocks) but think I will make a larger, 12 block version during the sew-in. This one isn't a bad size, about 41" x 59" but I like making most donation quilts larger - closer to 60" x 80". 

I like the black and white blocks here and am glad I pulled them out to use. The backing is a print fabric with lots of pretty pastel birds, flowers, leaves, etc. (I forgot to take a picture of the back - sorry!), and I am going to bind this with black and include a robin egg blue flange. Maybe I'll have a picture of that tomorrow. :-)

Here's the quilt on which I'm trying to decide borders. It's the Yellow Brick Road baby  quilt that I used as "in progress" samples during a recent class. I wrote about it HERE

I've added a small red border that you can see here.

I'm considering leaving this as is and bind in red with the blue/red fabric as a flange. My original plan was to have this small border and then a larger border of the blue/red fabric but I'm having second thoughts.

I think I'll leave it up for a little while before I make the decision. What are your thoughts?

I plan to finish this and use it as another Hands2Help donation. I know I can get this done before the deadline. :-)

What's on your design wall today?

Check out what others have up 
today by going to 

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times