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!

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