Saturday, November 22, 2014

A little "magic"

My latest projects are for a couple cute little girlie girls - the grand-daughters of a friend.  I was asked to come up with something "princess-like".  After searching for "princess" quilt blocks, I decided on something of my own... using Disney's "Frozen" princess fabric.

My friend requested that one quilt be pink and the other blue. No problem!  I found Frozen fabric in the requested color schemes and began selecting a block pattern.  I settled on a "disappearing nine-patch".  And I chose to do it "big block" style, which means it makes extra-large blocks and goes together super fast.

I started with a regular 18" nine-patch...
 
Cut it into quarters...

 
Flip a two blocks...

 
And, voila!   
I have a magical quilt top that looks much
more complicated that it really is.


 
Everyone needs a little "magic" in their lives... and sometimes you have to make it happen... and sometimes its happens so much easier than you ever thought it could be.
 
May you find a little magic in your life this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving.  A time to say thank you for all that you have in life... And I have so much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 14, 2014

A year in review...

I was recently scrolling through my fb newsfeed and saw that next week is Quiltmaker's blog tour for their 10th volume of 100 Blocks.  It has been a year since I was published in their 8th volume.  A year!  All ready?!?!

It is also the time of year that I begin thinking about our annual Christmas newsletter.

So, what better time to think about and recall all that 2014 has brought our way?

The big things are obvious to us... The celebration of Heather's wedding in May, the arrival of our grand-daughter, Emma Noelle in August, the brave decision that our daughter, Rebecca, made to call off her engagement and upcoming wedding just 6 weeks prior to the big day, the 1 year anniversary of Nolan Quality Customs and a noticeable growth in my sales of quilts.

I have had lots of joyful, productive and happy times this year in my sewing room.  So far, I have completed 22 quilts, throw size or larger, not to mention the numerous smalls that I have done for the farmer's markets and shows.

As I wandered through my photo gallery of 2014 quilts (and stuff) I can associate the various projects with a season, and the gamut of emotions as I worked on them.  Some of my favorites...

Heather's and Art's wedding quilt had lots and lots of prayers stitched into it... prayers for a healthy marriage, partnership and friendship, joy, laughter and happiness... and many more

 
A block of the month project that had been abandoned by my aunt brought back many memories of my childhood and times with my cousins...

 
This Carpenter's Wheel, made with leftover blocks from another abandoned project that came from some friends that thought of me.  While I haven't known them long, Dave has known them for several years and I finally got to meet them in January.  It was a whirlwind weekend that was packed with fun and laughter, but I recalled and enjoyed the memories as I worked on this quilt.

 
Boobies Make Me Smile... what can I say?  This inception of this project came from my daughter, Rebecca, when we were shopping for sports T-shirts in September, though the "Boobies" shirt was one of the last ones we found.  As I stitched this one I recalled the too short of time spent with my Mother-in-law who lost her battle with breast cancer in April 1995.  As I sewed, I thought of so many questions I wish that I could ask her... I recalled many happy times together and, of course, shed a few tears over the loss and prayed for my girls that they would NEVER have the same battle.

 
And this very special baby quilt for my "Sweet 'Tater", Emma, with special messages of love from friends and family. Again a quilt stitched with lots and lots of love and prayers for her future (and a few for her mommy and daddy).
 
 

So, there you have it... It was a big year!  Lots has happened since the blog tour a year ago... and this little 12" block was at the start of it all.  If you want to read about the learning curve of creating this block check it out at  http://melvalovesscraps.blogspot.com/2013/11/pieces-of-my-heart.html


 
And see what other quilters are blogging about at
 
 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Busy! But it is a good busy...

Yesterday I worked.  Actually worked... went out in the BITTER cold temp and drove to a job.  Granted, I have been doing this every other Wednesday since August, but yesterday was different.  Getting to work wasn't all that bad. I mean, after all, the car had been in the garage and was several degrees warmer than the outside frigid air.  It was the trek home that was SO cold.  At 4 pm, after blowing snow all day long, it was still only 9 degrees, the car was barely getting warm during my short 10 minute drive home.  Ugh!  You would think that it was January or something!

Ok... enough whining.  Despite the cold, I have been busily sewing in my studio.  I helped my daughter to make some super cute Victorian Christmas Stockings, and I made  a Colorado Avalanche quilt. 



I am simply amazed at the interest in these sports team quilts. But, also, so very thankful for the interest in them!  Since there is such interest, I plan to continue making more.

Next up?  A memory quilt for a friend's sister that is to be a Christmas gift.  I am certainly glad that there are several people that are already planning for Christmas...  Some adorable princess quilts will be in the works soon for some adorable little girlie-girls. 

In between these projects, I will be getting ready for a Christmas Craft Extravaganza show/event on December 6th.  I think I need to go make some small hand warmers to fit inside mittens.  Burrrrr! Or go fix a cup of hot tea to warm my hands.

Stay warm, folks!





Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rockin' on...

I've been on a roll this fall with the T-shirt quilts...
The Raider Hater quilt (also known as a Bronco Fan Quilt)...


And the Breast Cancer Awareness Quilt...

 
I auctioned this quilt off offering to make a donation to The Breast Cancer Fund of anything beyond $50 (my raw cost).  I had several fb friends share my post and received an offer of $100.  The buyer shared that she is a breast cancer survivor... 
"In remission for 4 years now. Today is the day I found out I had breast cancer October 28, 2008. ... Always a day that is a memory for all of us."
I offer my praises for her years of remission, my thoughts and prayers for a cancer free future for Janet, and a thank you to her for her interest.
My most recent completed quilt is available for a Colorado Rockies fan!

Next up?  Colorado Av's...


While shopping for the assortment of shirts and jerseys that I have used in these quilts I have had ideas begin to form for future quilts... The possibilities are endless... CU Boulder, OU (Oklahoma), Nebraska, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks, and so many more!

You just never know what might be on my design wall next...


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Christmas in October

I will be one of the first to complain about the marketing and commercialism of Christmas beginning earlier and earlier.  While I don't necessarily agree with the introduction of Christmas ads in October, I can appreciate those individuals that like to plan and shop early for gifts.  And I can appreciate the stores that offer a lay-away plan for those that actually budget and plan for large purchases rather than just using a credit card and leaving the individual to worry about paying later.

My husband's family has had a Christmas gift exchange for years and I am always excited when the names get drawn and I have the time so that I can plan for an extra special gift that is made especially for them.  I have made quilts (of course!), table runners, cake/casserole carriers, ornaments and Christmas/Advent calendars.... among other things...

 
As silly as it may seem, I think I get as much, maybe more, enjoyment out of making and giving a special gift than the ones that receive them.  I had such fun making the calendar and finding and making the special little ornaments that fit into the pockets!  Butterflies, satin balls, icicles, and stockings...
 
Speaking of Christmas Stockings...  Check out these two Victorian stockings...
 
 
One came to me nearly finished... But it needed a mate.  It was super easy and fun to make.  They will be among some of the items I will have for sale at a Christmas Craft Extravaganza on December 6th. 
 
But, if you are one that loves to shop early for Christmas gifts and want something special made for someone, keep me in mind!  I love putting my heart and soul into special, one-of-a-kind gifts.
 
Happy gifting!
 
Are you interested in what other quilters blog about?  Check out quilterblogs.com
 
 
 

 
 
 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

For a Good Cause

Okie dokie, folks... Here it is!  My Breast Cancer Awareness quilt. 

 
 
My thought was, when I started the project, was to make it, set a price, list it on facebook and have it available for someone to purchase with a portion of my profit to go to the American Cancer Society or the Susan G Komen Foundation.
 
I still want to sell this quilt...  But I need some help and some feedback. 
 
1.  Would my blog readers and facebook friends be willing to share the photo of the quilt?
 
2.  Should I just give first shot to someone interested? 
 
3.  Or would it be better to use e-bay and allow an auction to take place and/or buy it now option? Again, I could use some help with "sharing" the auction link and getting the word out to the world.

4.  If I list on e-bay, there is an option for a portion of the sale to automatically go to the Komen Foundation... would that be a good option?  (I recently saw a thing about "think before you pink" and that less than 20% of the donations to the Komen Foundation are used for continuing research = 80% goes to administration.)  Is there a "better" organization to make a donation to?

5.  Or should I just donate the quilt to a local group to raffle/auction/sell the quilt at a fundraiser event?

These are just a few of my now confused thoughts... I truly want to make the biggest impact and difference that a small lap quilt could make.  Help me!

Leave me some feedback, thoughts or suggestions... Thanks!




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sun vs. Moon

So facebook doesn't want to cooperate with me this morning and share a picture of this morning's sunrise... :P

With all the hubbub about the blood moon... which was kinda cool.  A shot taken by my brother-in-law...


But not to be out done...


Now granted the flaming maple trees were beat up very badly by the four serious hail storms we had this summer and it could have been much more picturesque, but none the less...

We are enjoying an Indian Summer for now and look forward to some time with family this weekend.  My plan is to squeeze in just a bit more time quilting the T-shirt quilts I have been working on - but if I don't get to there is always next week.




Happy Wednesday, everyone!