Friday, March 10, 2017

Quilter's Laundry Day

Jen Rosin over at A Dream & A Stitch and Janice Holton at Color, Creating & Quilting announced a quilt along and blog hop a few weeks ago.  The pattern was for a 16" mini quilt... and it was super cute!  And the ideas in my head were rolling - so there was no stopping them!

I really wasn't sure that I would have time to participate since I was in the midst of the Hanky Quilt and needed to continue working on the wedding quilt for our daughter... I mean the wedding is just 4 weeks away!  

But I was in need of "a change in scenery" of sorts and decided that one day away from the King-sized wedding quilt was much needed. The top was complete and had been sandwiched.  I felt that I "deserved" and had even "earned" the right to a break...

So I took one!

When I first saw the pattern I immediately thought of using the open sky space as an area for mountains.  

Using inspiration from Amy Ellis over at Amy's Creative Side  and her Majestic Mountains paper pieced pattern that I made last fall I came up with something similar... and what I think is a fair representation of our local mountain range. 

We live in Southern Colorado and every day we are fortunate enough to enjoy the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

For the quilt drying on the line in the yard I wanted to make a play on my first published block Pieces of My Heart that was included in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, volume 8.  

I took two pieces of paper 2" x 3-1/2" and drew lines on each to indicate which direction the fabric was to be sewn on and jumped into my scrap bin in search of 1 inch wide strips.

Placing 2" squares on each piece after having the strips sewn on, I marked a center line and did the sew and flip method and trimmed to create the bottom of the heart.  Using 1" squares I did the same to shape the top of the heart.

I added a border and used a fabric marker to draw in a line at the edge to look like the binding.

It was a fun break form the wedding quilt!
(I am now hand-sewing the binding)

I hope that you will stop by the other blogs and see what everyone has created. 

There are prizes to be won at some of the blogs!

I am offering a chance to win the recent copy of QuiltMaker's 100 Blocks, volume 14 (including my block - To Have And To Hold, #1310). 

Simply follow my blog 
(you can subscribe or follow along at bloglovin') 
and leave a comment about how you would add your personal touch on "Laundry Day"
before 11:59 p.m. March 12
(If you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave your email address with your comment.)

Join in on the fun of this hop by visiting the links below.  

Thanks for stopping by!


Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11 Reveal Day

Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps
Mary Marcotte at Fleur de Lis Quilts

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way...

This morning I had received a message from a blog reader that had a question about a pattern for the Sleeping Couple quilt that I made a few months ago...

Hi, you had a quilt with a man and woman with feet hanging out of quilt. My 86 yr old sister has made the quilt but can't figure out how to do the faces. We love the quilt and I wish I could help but I am not talented like her. My question is, do you have a pattern or video to help. It would be greatly appreciated.   Thanks, Margaret Vanpelt

I explained that I too had searched for a pattern unsuccessfully and how I went about creating the faces...

What I did was crop the attached photo so that just one of the heads was showing and then enlarged and adjusted it to the size I needed. 

I attached an example of what I did and wished her good luck.

Her response and gratitude in getting an answer...

Thank you so much. you are too kind. she is going to be so happy. I sit here tears flowing because I never expected an answer. you just made a little lady very happy. 
God bless you. 
Thanks again.

It only took me a few minutes to respond to her... I could have easily discarded the message and taken up the attitude of "Well, I had to figure it out on my own, so she can too", but I didn't - it didn't even cross my mind.  It was no big deal to me, but it made a world of difference for these two ladies...

I  am so glad that I helped... I made her day and she made my day!

What a great place this world could be if everyone made even just one simple act of kindness to another.  Has someone made your day?  Have you paid it forward????  

Happy Tuesday!


See what other quilters are talking about at Quilter Blogs

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February Mug-a-Mo

While the month of February is just 2-3 days shorter than the other months it always seems to zip on by!  

Back in the first week of the month I made several of the Mug Rug of the Month that Jen at Patterns By Jen  is offering each month.

They are super cute and quick and easy patterns.  

                           You should check them out!  
                                                  Just follow the above link.

Here is mine... 

Can you tell I made these before Valentines Day????

I was having such a good time making this one, I tried out a few other patterns.

I pulled out the 2015 Quiltmaker Bitty Block Heart pattern and used that for one.  The red and white one was a re-purposed item that I had received at a women's weekend retreat.  Such fun!  

And a great opportunity to practice my free-motion quilting!

March is just around the corner!  

                             I already have ideas for a few March themed Mug Rugs... 

                                                 You'll have to come back and see what I create.

Happy Sewing!


Stop by Quilter Blogs to see what other quilters are making

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Tucson Quilt Show - And Friends!

Last week we had an excursion to Arizona for a few days.  We were visiting a friend and looked forward to some beautifully warmer (dare I say, hot?) weather.  We had looked forward to pulling out a few "summer clothes" and getting a little sun on our legs and arms.  I cannot complain about the recent weather we have had in Southern Colorado - unseasonably warm with little wind.  Ahhhhh...

Our day of travel south was lovely!  We passed the time by listening to another installment of the Chronicles of Narnia - The Horse and His Boy - and I did some English Paper Piecing.  This was a new technique for me.  I had prepared all of the pieces for this quick little project...

I had figured that it would be more than enough to keep me busy for the entire trip down (10+ hours) and back.  Boy, was I wrong!  I stitched for about 9 of those hours, which was just about perfect.

But now I didn't have anything to work on during our return trip.  

Well, it was a good thing I was attending the Tucson Quilt Show the next day!  

It was a lovely time spent with a fellow quilter and blogger that I "met" through the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Group.  Karen, her mother (Frances) and cousin (Carol) welcomed me into their little group.  

We wandered the many quilts in the show, snapped pictures of some of our favorites, and discussed techniques and styles and personal preferences and favorites.  There was so much to take in!  It seemed that there was always an opportunity to learn right around the next corner.

A few of my favorites...  

This was just a sweet little pony that would fit perfectly into a little girls room.

This reminded me of looking through a kaleidoscope... and caught my eye because it was all hand-stitched with the English Paper Piecing technique. 

The depth and dimension in this eagle and the nest was amazing!

By the Light of the Silvery Moon received one of my votes for the Viewer's Choice award.  It included strips of fabric with a raw edge enhanced by the silver paint as the reflection of the moon on the water.  Very Nice!

These triangles were T-I-N-Y!  The piece was approximately 18 inches square and the finished triangle sides were, I believe, only 1 inch!  Now I have worked with one-inch squares, but the triangles would have biased edges and could warp and stretch funny.  Perhaps, it was paper pieced to eliminate that problem... Hmmm...

These Labrador Dogs captured my heart in the Thread Art  category.  What detail!   

When we finished with the quilt show portion we perused the aisles of the vendor section.  I had such fun with Karen!  If you read her blog (over at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats) she is open and honest and presents herself exactly as she is.  She is a refreshing personality and jumps in with a canon-ball approach when she starts something - for example, she wanted to participate in a quilting bee group this year... so she joined three! 

She was on the hunt for some "true red" fabric - not orangey red for one of the Bees... what a challenge.  Along with the help of her family, we think we may have been successful.

I was on the hunt for some fabric to use in another EPP project for the trip home... Another successful hunt!

and "a little souvenir" to enjoy.  I have misplace my travel mug and was on the hunt for one - a hunt that was unsuccessful.  I settled for a wine glass instead.  

The remainder of the weekend in the Tucson area was cloudy, cool (only in the upper 50's) and rainy.  Boo... So much for summer clothes!  We enjoyed several long walks, dinner with new friends and catching up with a cousin and a quick stop at my grandparent's home of 40+ years.  

The exterior of the house looked the same - however, I am certain, the inside had been remodeled (especially the bathroom and kitchen).  It was a sweet trip down memory lane and gave me a desire to tackle a quilt using my grandpa's ties...

But first I must get a wedding quilt done!  The shower is just around the corner and the wedding will be here before we know it!  The top is done, it is sandwiched and ready for quilting... 

You know where you can find me - 

Happy Quilting,


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hanky Panky

If you don't already know this, you will soon learn that I have a big heart for heirloom items.  I love being involved in creating quilts that will be loved and cherished by others as well as creating quilts (or other items) from heirloom items.  

Take for example this bunny... 23 years ago (in April) my Mother-in-law, Sandi, passed away.  Dave and I had recently made the big move from Illinois to Colorado.  Dave had grown up in the Chicago-land area and all of his siblings still lived there at the time.  Dave was a brand new college instructor and had started his job mid-year.  The summer class schedule had already been created and he was not on the schedule to teach.  As soon as our girls were done with school we packed up and returned to his mom's place to sort through things with his brothers and sisters and clean out her house.

Things were divied up with out squabble or complaint.  Hidden away in a cedar chest were several dresser scarves, table cloths and an ragged quilt that had certainly seen better days... all of which I brought home.  I really had no idea of what to do with the quilt... it sat in a cabinet for several years and then I came across this bunny pattern.  I immediately knew that each of Dave's sisters and sisters-in-law would receive one, as well as all of Sandi's grand-children.

I wish we knew the story behind the quilt... did it belong to Sandi's mother who had passed away when Sand was still in high school?   Was it Sandi's in her teen years?  None the less, the little bunnies were well received and loved by all that got one.  

So when I got a call from a customer about using some of her mother's (Emily) handkerchiefs to make a quilt for her grand-daughter (also Emily) I was really excited!  When Terre and I first met she had the hankies laid out on teal fabric but had decided that they would look better on a white muslin, using the teal as sashing strips and back ground/corners.

After determining the block size needed for the hankies I used basting spray to position the hankies and then stitched them down.  The quilt top came together very quickly.  Then it was time to quilt.  Terre had stated that she wanted the hankies to be the focal point, not the quilting...

I went with straight grid lines so that the hankies would be featured.

 How special is this one?  Surely a Mother's Day gift.  Or perhaps one that was carried at one of her children's wedding.
   And the delicate lace that is so special... and in excellent condition!

I personally liked the scalloped edges.

Terre has begun writing a letter to her grand-daughter Emily telling of her Great Grandmother and some family stories.  A gift to be cherished.

So tell me, am I alone with my love heirloom gifts?  Have you preserved any items from your grandparents?  

I have a collection of ties from my Grandpa that I want to turn into a quilt this year... Maybe I can get to that quilt after my daughter's wedding in April.

Until then, I better get busy on the wedding quilt!

Happy Quilting,


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Team Spirit

What do you do when a customer requests a quilt that features two specific teams that do not share a mascot or team colors - such as the University of Michigan and Raiders???  One is blue & gold and the other is black and silver...

I pulled out my graph paper and started sketching... alternating 9-patch and 4-patch blocks, I was confident about what to do with the center part of the quilt using UofMI fabric in the center part with the Raiders on the outer portion...

I had ordered the licensed fabric on-line - The UofM fabric had a white background and the Raiders was a black background... (and I guessed on the amount needed - the Raiders was 58" wide {1 yard} and UM was 42" {2 yards}) Once it arrived I had to determine the block sizes and find coordinating fabrics. I settled with 12" finished blocks for the center portion

It is at times like this that it is wonderful to have a large stash! - For the center of the top I was able to pull yellow, white, grey and black.  

Then for the outer part I used the Raiders fabric alternated with some black and white striped fabric (again from my stash!).  I went with a grey print in the final border to soften the edges - this I had to purchase.

Time for the backing!  I had some of the licensed fabrics left over, but not enough of either for the entire backing so I went with a pieced back including some of the printed grey that had been purchased.

What a challenge to incorporate two completely different teams/mascots - AND make it look guy-like masculine! (I had many consultations with my husband...) Overall I am pleased with final look.  And I am pretty certain my customer will like it as well.

What are your tips for such a situation? 
How do you "blend" such differing colors/themes? 

Next up?  A little "Hanky Panky"...

Happy sewing!

See what other quilters are talking about over at QuilterBlogs

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Little Bit of Everything - Including the Kitchen Sink...

Adventures of cooking in the Nolan Kitchen continues... I will get to that, but first... QUILTS!

As the kitchen renovation continued, I made two special little quilts for a couple special little girls!

I dug into my scrap bin, using 2-1/2 inch blocks and pieced the crosses - basically four-by blocks made up of 16 pieces (4x4) and then created the backgrounds. This was another simple, easy to move in-and-out of project that didn't require a lot of attention or detail. 

I am certain that the little gals that will receive these for their first birthdays - yep, twins! -  will enjoy rolling around on them and my prayer is that they know and understand the love of their Father as grow up. 💗

 Back to the kitchen...

The renovation continues.  And while pictures show little to no progress, we really have moved forward.  

We now wait on our counter top and sink.  BUT, the walls are flat, smooth and painted and ready for a back splash... that we have not yet settled on.  We know what we want after looking at Lowes, but need to spend more time at a real tile shop to find the exact pattern and tile size.

It will be a few weeks until the counter top and sink are in, but I have plenty to keep me busy in the coming weeks.  I just received some vintage hankies to be made into a quilt for the customer's grand-daughter.  It should be a fun project!  

This is just a quick picture of the layout - We agreed that they would look better with a bleached muslin border (unifying the block size) and blue sashing strips, along with blue corners.  

Have you ever made a Hankie Quilt?  
Any tips or suggestions?
Let me know in the comments...

But before I can work on the hankies, I have finish up a University of Michigan and Raiders quilt for a special young man. More to come on this one - it is ready for a Raiders border!

Sew, there you have it... a little bit of this and a little bit of that - including the kitchen sink!

Happy sewing,