Thursday, May 25, 2017

Quilting and Beyond...

I know that most of my family and friends would argue that quilting takes up the majority of my life and that's all I really think about; but that really isn't true.

Yes, it's true that I can figure out a way to put a quilting twist on just about any conversation. And yes, I spend a lot of time at my sewing machine. Yes, I have a huge number of finished quilts and a bunch of not-finished quilts. I know that I have a boatload of fabric earmarked for specific projects, and even more that I bought with no project in mind. (For the record, I don't usually do that any more!) But honestly, there is more to life than quilting.

Yesterday, Jack and I helped out Nikki and Zach by watching their kids so they could go to Columbus for the Star of Life Award ceremony. You can read about the award HERE  and  HERE

It's always fun to have the grand kids here, but yesterday was especially fun. While I was getting supper ready, Quinn noticed an animal in the back yard and called all the kids to come see it. It was a HUGE raccoon. You can't see the animal, but you can see how intrigued and interested the kids were.

Earlier in the day while Quinn and Sadie were at school and Bailey was napping, Ronan watched a deer make it's way along the edge of the ravine. It was eating leaves the whole time and Ronan was thrilled. He watched it until it made it's way to the back edge of the property and went down the hill, out of our sight. Ronan was so intrigued and told the girls all about it on the way home from school. Of course he also told them about the two dead fish he saw when he and Jack took a walk on the pier. 😂  I knew that really impressed him because he told me about that as soon as he got home. He told me that even before he told me about the ice cream cone Grandpa bought him.  It had a face on it and because it was candy, he could eat the face. That made him giggle!

After supper, the kids made something special to surprise Zach when he came home. I made a batch of brownies while they all made signs.  Here's Quinn's. She decorated each letter, including Zach's face in the "o". She looked up the Star of Life symbol and included that and the Paramedic symbol on the poster. She told me that her dad loves the United States, so she made the heart look patriotic. Yep, I think she's proud of her dad!

Perhaps this picture will give you an idea as to why I think Zach is good at what he does. He can stay focused, even in the midst of chaos...

and he is always aware of what's going on around him.

Hmmmm, maybe I should make him a quilt to commemorate his award.  💙 💙

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On to the Bindings...

I finished quilting the two Straight and Easy Table Runners yesterday and I tried to get pictures before it got too dark. There was a bit of wind and I couldn't get a decent picture of both runners without the wind whipping them around. Oh well, maybe that will happen after the bindings are on them. 

Here's the 2 1/2" strip version

I quilted the width of my walking foot along both sides of the seam allowance.

And here's the 1 1/2" strip version

I quilted this right down the middle of the strips.

I couldn't wait until I returned home tonight, so I started hand stitching some of the binding. I'm please with my choice of solid purple binding. And, I still LOVE the Superior Threads Rainbows #801 variegated thread on both the top and bottom.  

Since they are both pretty small (18" x 46" and 18" x 52"), I should have the binding done before bedtime.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I've been working on some smaller pieces and here are two of them. The pattern is called Straight & Easy Table Runner and Place Mats and the designer is Nicole Chambers-Kaya (Tiger Lily Press).

The table runner pictured above is sewn together, but the one below is not. (I do have it sewn together, but I forgot to get a picture of it.)

The pattern was written with pre-cut 1 1/2" strips in mind and although I didn't have pre-cuts cut to that size, that's what I used for the top table runner. I decided that I wanted to see what it would look like using 2 1/2" strips, so I adjusted the pattern and the results are my second table runner.

I had a package of 40 - 2 1/2" strips called Citrus Blast from Blank Quilting and since there were two of each strip, I divided the package in two and cut one set down to 1 1/2" and left the other whole. Aren't these strips pretty?!?

The two tops are sewn and I'm in the quilting process.  The one pictured below is the 2 1/2" strip version and I'm simply using the edge of my walking foot and quilting down both sides of the seam. For the narrow strip version, I'm going to quilt down the middle of each strip. Easy, peasy!

I'm using a variegated thread (Superior Threads, Rainbows #801) on both sides and love how it looks. The backing is from my stash, and that makes me happy.  Yay!

I plan to bind these in a solid Kona purple.

My goal is to finish quilting these today and get the binding machine sewn on so I have hand-work to do tomorrow evening when I get home from another umbrella workshop. It'll be kind of late when I get home and I know I'll need something to relax me. Binding will be perfect.

On another note, I just realized that I didn't share my American Honor contest winnings here on the blog. On April 30th, I was notified that my Freedom Rings quilt was a finalist. I was thrilled and honored beyond belief, but even more so when I was told that I won second place. Woo Hoo!!

Imagine my surprise when I came home one day last week and found this big package waiting for me on the kitchen table. I didn't remember ordering anything so I was intrigued.

Then I noticed the address label...

Oh my goodness! Look at all these goodies that were packed inside this quite heavy box!

Four - 20 piece fat quarter bundles of Starlet

Four - 20 piece fat quarter bundles of Fabric Illusions

Four - 12 piece fat quarter bundles of Primitive Basics

Four - 40 piece designer rolls of Sumatra Batiks II

One - 13 piece (12 fat quarters and 1 panel) bundle of the American Honor fabrics

Look at that haul! My mind is certainly swirling with ideas for all this fabric.

I do know that at least one bundle from each fabric will be used for a donation quilt, if not more. I can't think of a better way to say "Thank You" to Blank Quilting for these prizes.

Blank Quilting also donated $100, in my name, to the America's Mighty Warriors program. WOW!!

And a follow-up from last week...

I still have not gotten a really good picture of the T-shirt quilt I made for the local Harley Davidson dealership. It was too big for me to get a good one here, especially since the weather was not great that day, so I stopped in that the shop the other day, but the sun was shining on it and kind of messed up the picture. Here's what I did get though.

One of the workers at the shop shared his picture with me, but you can't really see the whole quilt, including the orange flange binding. I'll try and stop in later this week and get better pictures.

I was told that tickets are selling well (close to $1000 since May 13th) and they feel confident that they will reach their $10,000 goal by Labor Day. Next week is Ohio Bike Week which brings thousands of visitors to the area and they know from past events that they will sell a lot of tickets during that time. All proceeds are going to a local charity - Nehemiah Partners of Sandusky

I feel honored to have been asked to make this quilt because this is such a wonderful program they are supporting. I made a similar quilt for the owners last year. It was a gift from the staff and they all really liked it. We decided to make the raffle quilt large (queen size) and keep it simple to appeal to more people. I agreed with that and think that the ticket sales have shown that we made the right decision. 

What are you working on today?

To see what others are creating today, check out the Design Wall Monday posts at

(Yay! Judy took over Design Wall Monday from Judy L)


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hands2Help Quilts

Copied from Sarah's post over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict...

What does love look like?
It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like."

                                               St. Augustine  

I am honored to be a part of the Hands2Help project once again and I've made three quilts, one for each of the charities.

As you can see, it was a rainy day when I took these pictures, but look how green everything is in the background! I decided to go ahead and take them, despite the rain, because I always wash my donation quilts before sending them and I figured a little rain wouldn't hurt them. I'll post individual pictures later. (I'll probably just edit this post to include them.)

Because people always want to see the backing fabric used, here's a quick picture with the corners flipped over.

Here are a few close up pictures. I love the backing fabric and flange binding on this quilt! This quilt is making it's way to Happy Chemo

I don't know why I had this rick rack fabric (or so much of it, but I think it adds a nice whimsical touch to this quilt. This quilt is making it's way to International Institute St. Louis

I fell in love with the dark purple I used in this quilt but didn't have any to use for the backing. Instead, I went with my second favorite color, the dark blue. 😊  This quilt is making it's way to Camp Hobe via Stash Builder Box

Amidst all the ugliness in the world today, it certainly feels good to be a part of something so wonderful.

Thank you Sarah for organizing this! Thank you to the organizers of each of the charities. And, thank you to everyone who has participated - quilters and sponsors alike.

Check out other donation quilts over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Be sure to go back there frequently, as people will be linking their pictures all week.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Progess, etc.

I missed Monday's Design Wall Monday post...

Here's what's been on my design wall recently. I was asked to make a T-shirt quilt for the local Harley-Davidson shop for a raffle. Here are the shirts I'm using and their locations in the quilt.

There is sashing, but I didn't have room to lay that out because the shirts had to be cut at 16". Yikes! 

The quilt is done and you can see in the picture below that I added an orange flange binding.   

I am pleased with the quilt, and so is the shop. I didn't have a good place to take a picture and I already gave them the quilt. They have it hanging up in the shop so I'm going to stop in later today and get a picture. I'll post it here soon.

Judy L is no longer hosting the Design Wall Monday link up, but Judy over at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts has graciously taken it over for us. Yay!

I'm linking up there today. (Yes, I know it's Friday and I'm just now posting about Design Wall Monday!)

I'd be doing the same over at Beth's Monday Making but the linking time expired. Go on over there anyway to check out some awesome quilt eye candy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Umbrella Making Time Again

Annie and I taught an umbrella class this past Thursday at Angelic's in Canton, and it was a blast. This was the first time for us to teach at the shop and even though we were in tight quarters, we had a lot of fun and everyone walked out with a completed umbrella (minus the waterproofing spray)!

As soon as the advertisement went out about making your own umbrella, the shop's customers were really excited and the first class filled up very quickly. We added two more classes and when we arrived Thursday, the owner asked if we could discuss adding more classes because they had a rather long waiting list. Four more classes have been scheduled and if they are anything like the one we had Thursday, it's going to have so much fun! 

All six students brought wonderful fabrics and I knew right from the beginning that they were going to make beautiful umbrellas. After a brief discussion about fabric choices and an overview of the process, they ladies got right to work pressing and cutting.

The cutting and pressing seems to take forever, and when they finally finished they were very happy to start sewing. Look at the concentration!

And look what they created! It almost looks like a real umbrella.  :-)
Sorry Joyce and Sandy. I didn't get as picture of your "almost an umbrella."

It's time to put the umbrella fabric on the frame and do a bit of hand work. It is so exciting to get to this point because it means you are almost done!

And we have umbrellas!

Again, I don't know how it happened but I didn't get a picture of Sandy's umbrella by itself. Her fabric was so pretty and I knew as soon as I saw it that it was going to be fabulous. You can see it in the pictures below. She's the third from the right.

Here's a close up of Sandy umbrella. I know it's grainy, and far away, but if got really blurry when I tried to zoom in more. See what I mean about her fabric? Isn't it wonderful? I just realized that it matches her shirt.  :-)

  Thanks for a great class ladies!