Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ 3-4/52 #52MiniQuilts

Last week I had an email stating that the author of the message had several quilt tops that had been pieced together by her Mom who recently passed away.  I calculated the estimates to finish them for her... she was accepted the quotes and shipped off two boxes.  


As I wrote up my quotes, I was researching the cost of batting and backing fabrics.  Happily, I discovered that Connecting Threads was having a "Finishing Sale." This meant that I was able to get the fusible batting I prefer at a 20% discount and 108" wide backing fabric for 25% off.  Sweet!  (Sale prices available through 2/14) (no affiliation with CT... just sharing the good deals with some of my closest friends.)

An even sweeter find was that Patchwork Phoenix still had a good selection of fabrics available at deep discounts.  I was able to find fabrics for 6 of the 8 quilts after it was confirmed that she was sending all of them.

Two boxes soon arrived... A larger box contained all of the quilts... a smaller box contained a variety of pieced blocks, assorted scraps and more.

What I discovered as I unpacked the boxes was that some of the quilts are made with silky/satiny fabrics.  All of them are not carefully pieced... points are missing, and seams don't line up...  I will do my best with them as I quilt them.  They deserve it just as much as a perfectly pieced, prize winning quilt... because they are family heirlooms to that family.


As I sorted through bag of assorted blocks and scraps I found...

1) that the quilter must have LOVED green.  There are three quilt tops with green, AND a large stack of blocks in greens.


2)  She had a large stack of pieced crazy quilt blocks... they could easily make another top (at least full-sized).


3) There were lots of classic calico blocks (probably from the 90s)... again, enough for another top and the ones with the black outlines could be a table runner lickety split!


4) The bag of miscellaneous had a couple sunbonnet sues, some partial circle pieces in green and brown...

Some little hearts made from a lightweight fabric that I plan to use on a few labels... 

but the two items I focused on became Mini Quilts three & four out of 52... that pieced diamond and the piece with the bright pink...

The screamed to me for attention and since none of the backing or batting has arrived, I had ample time.

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to try what Rebekah and Hattie over on Instagram call "Dimple stitching."  And these two pieces were calling out to me for it.  I obliged and got right to work.


The first one was easy... cut to size, sandwich and bind... then I did the dimple stitching.  It is completely random in the black strips... The process of doing it is hard to describe.  I learned that I needed to do almost a back stitch to get the dimple... otherwise it just looked (to me anyway) like regular quilting stiches poorly executed.  lol!  

After taking a backstitch, I would place the needle (on the back) at an extreme angle, making certain that the needle would come out a good distance away from a previous stitch on the top.  

I have no idea if this is the same method that others have used, but it worked for me.  I like the organic randomness of the stitches.  This piece was fun to create, with no pressure or expectations.

The words are all key words that stood out to me during my Bible readings this week.  My daughter and I are almost done with Genesis and the stories of Jacob and his dream of the ladder and Joseph who prospered despite the plans of his brothers who sold him off but then forgave and saved them when the famine hit.

The binding for both of these minis also came out the miscellaneous (mystery) bag that came with the quilt tops and blocks.


This piece wasn't quite large enough for my 5"x7" size... a wedge of the green circles sufficed. (The light green was already on this piece... there were two of the diamonds.)  Regular quilting stitches grace this piece, with the exception of the small section of dimple stitches.

I have no deep or profound thoughts to share of this mini... other than it was just a fun creative time and an opportunity to "color outside the lines." Quilter, Amy Ellis shared Creative Affirmations last year on her blog... "Letting go and drawing outside the lines is fun in practice but can also be a big mental hurdle too! Encouraging yourself to release perfection and see where inspiration takes you is a great starting point for any project." 

Good advice... that I have taken to heart making me more open to quilting techniques and styles different than just what I like/prefer.  This was an important step for me to become comfortable with doing quilting for hire. 

Do you allow yourself to color outside the lines?  

What does this look like for you?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you.

It is now your turn for Sew & Tell.  Link up a blog story, a fb post or photo from Instagram... Last week I even had a youtube video from Lora Brinkman linked!  A first for Sew & Tell. :)

Nancy at Grace & Peace Quilting deserves a shout out for her fabulous share of 7, SEVEN!, rainbow scrap quilt finishes.  πŸ‘ WOW...


As I wait for the delivery of the supplies on order, I'll be creating two wall hanging quilts for a customer this week.  One will be a duplicate of one I designed with the flag of Colorado as the main body of the quilt with a few small, appliqued additions.

Your turn...  I look forward to seeing what you have been up to.

Keep Piecing,

Melva

Linking with:

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese 
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Free-Motion Mavericks at Quilting & Learning

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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Ladders & Steppingstones

It's like winter finally decided to take up residence in Southern Colorado!  It started snowing on Friday afternoon... it snowed overnight, we had at least 10 inches says Dave, but I think more like 12"... and a truck with a flatbed trailer full of three vehicles stuck on the road just below our driveway.  You can read all the details of that adventure in this week's Sew & Tell edition.  

Ladders and Steppingstones  has been quilted with some simple quilting outlining the steppingstones, free-motion feathers in the wider, outside ladders and vines and leaves in the narrow ladders.


I am thrilled with the finished look of it!  It ended up with much more red than I typically use in a quilt, but I still adore it.  It is a perfect lap sized quilt and is ready to get loved on and used at a new home.

Trying to get the quilt in place without having a lot of footprints in the snow around the quilt can be a little challenging... and required a few carefully placed (and lucky) tosses... 

Here are a few more shots of the quilt in the wild. 😍





Ladders & Steppingstones is a bright and cheerful quilt for a cold and snowy week... We have had snow flurries several days this week and I have been busy in the kitchen.  I tend to prepare meals using the oven more in the winter.  And I have been doing my fair share of that while making breads and muffins.  I like the extra warmth that the oven use offers. 

But I think I have finally figured out how to use the instapot that I have had for more than one year.  It doubles as a slow cooker too.  Bonus!

I have actually decided that I like it.  It has a stainless-steel pot, rather than a ceramic crock, allowing me to place my frozen No Guilt::Go Quilt crockpot meals in without the worry that I will crack the pot.  Dare I say that I am even considering giving up my traditional slow cooker??? 

Brown rice, beans, hard-cooked eggs, stocks and soups are among the most popular items I cook in it.  With the soups, if not using made-ahead freezer meals, I can sautΓ© onions and garlic and chicken pieces and then add in the remaining ingredients.... reducing the number of pans that are required.  WIN!

For the stocks/broths, I have a container that lives in the freezer to collect vegetable peels and any cut-offs from potatoes, carrots, celery or onions.  These get added to a chicken or turkey carcass or beef soup bones.  Nothing goes to waste!  I do, after all, loves scraps. πŸ˜‰

What's the weather like in your area?  
What's your favorite meal to prepare in the oven?

I love a roasted chicken with baked potatoes... leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you!

Stay warm and keep piecing!

Melva

Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese 
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Free-Motion Mavericks at Quilting & Learning
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ #52miniquilts

I've been enjoying making some mini quilts - postcard size... either 4"x6" or 5"x7".  They are quick projects that help to use up a small amount (a very small amount) of scraps, get my creative juices flowing and have the opportunity to brighten up the day of a friend or loved one.  


This one was an idea that I shared in my 2023 Planning Party story... 

The next one I made is for a friend that is in the midst of a battle of breast cancer...  You can't see it very well because of the color of thread I used for the quilting that includes "the battle belongs to the Lord"... but that is intentional.  i wanted it to appear as though it is steam coming from the cup.


I recently discovered an Instagram hashtag of #52miniquilts.  I'm not sure the beginning source of the hashtag, but I have fallen in love with each and every one of the pictures shared!  And include some "dimple quilting".  

My plan is to continue my postcard series with a new one each week!  I'm a little behind, but I hope to get caught up this week with two new designs. πŸ˜€


A snowstorm started Friday afternoon as I was cutting pieces for a second quilt using the 11 strips 
remaining after my Paper Lanterns quilt finish... plus some other scraps.  

(BTW, I was the hostess of TGIFF and shared my finished Paper Lanterns quilt here...)

The pattern made a 35" x 53" quilt.  I wanted something just a little wider so I planned to add one column of the "4-Patch on point" units in the center, making the "ladders" on either side of the middle column 4-1/2" wide.


By Friday evening nearly all of the 4-patch units had sewn into on-point units and we had at least 2 inches of snow and it was still coming down heavy...


By 8 that night there was a truck at the bottom of the hill outside our house that slid and was blocking the entire road...  State Patrol and tow trucks were on sight and handling the situation just fine... yet Dave had to go investigate.  

Saturday morning we discovered that the truck was still there, along with 12 inches of snow, though on the side of the road so that traffic could pass by.  The driver had spent the night in his truck and was taking a short walk up the road past our house... Dave called out to him and invited him in for coffee and a chance to warm up.

We quickly discovered that he didn't speak English very well at all and trying to communicate with him was interesting.  We did manage to decipher that he was from Uzbekistan and has only been in the US for 10 months.  His truck, with bald tires and a flatbed trailer with two full-size trucks and a Jeep Lorado, and no chains, was a company truck and he was trying to get to Lubbock, TX.  

As Dave helped him to contact another tow truck they began clearing the driveway, sidewalk and pathways.  Eventually, the tow truck arrived (with the necessary tire chains to navigate Raton Pass) and got him up the hill and on his way... to the tire shop because there was one flat tire on the trailer.  


We have no way of knowing whether he reached the destination safely or not... we only pray that he did and that our kindness was appreciated.  

As all of that was going on I was happily sewing my jelly rolls together to create the "ladders" of the quilt top.  By day's end the sun was out and the snow already melting and I had a top ready for borders!

The pattern name for the quilt is Sherbert Lemon, but that doesn't fit this quilt.

I thought Stepping Stones & Ladders... What do you think?

What name would you suggest?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear your idea.

Last week there were 17 that joined the Sew & Tell Party!  Woohoo!  Some of the top projects that caught my eye...

Michelle at My Bijou Life showed off an attractive Bearpaw block...


Melissa showed off her roly poly snowmen that she is stitching in black...


And, last, but NOT least, Patricia at Faith, Trust & Breast cancer showed off her Pieces in the Garden Row Quilt...  (I may be a little partial to this quilt since it was last year's sew along πŸ˜‰)
Well done, Quilters!  πŸ‘It is now time to show off what you have done this week... Sew & Tell will be open until Friday evening.  

Keep piecing!

Melva

Linking with:

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

TGIFF Party ~ Paper Lanterns




We made it!  Welcome to Friday!  And welcome to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!  The place to share your finishes of the week and everyone here celebrates with you.

My finish this week is a quilt that was inspired by a picture on social media that reminded me of those little Chinese Paper Lanterns...

After deciding on a non-traditional sized block using a jellyroll, it took no time at all to sew this together...



The blocks are 11" x 22".  I used 29 of the 40 2-1/2" strips in the jelly roll, including what I used in the scrappy binding.  I had to pull some lighter background pieces from my scrap bin, but they fit right in.  Finished size of this throw quilt is approximately 44" x 55".


And don't you think I should get some extra bonus points for having my quilting gloves match the fabric.  LOL!


I'll be referring back to my pattern book that I started out planning to use with this sweet jellyroll for ideas for another small quilt.

Now it is your turn... what finish are you celebrating this week?  

(I was asked to kindly note that this linkup is for finishes... but I'll just leave it up to you to define "finished". 😁   I know that I have several "finished" steps... the main part of a quilt top prior to adding borders, a completed top, a quilt that has the quilting completed... and then there is a finally finished quilt with binding.... like I said, I'll let you define finish. πŸ˜‰)

Keep Piecing!

Melva

Linking with:

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Favorite Finishes Monthly Linkup at Meadow Mist
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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ 1/16/2023 ~ Paper Lanterns


 January is half gone!  Am I the only one to think that time is passing by too quickly?  I know we were traveling for a full week and that ate up much of that time... I am making a concerted effort to make sure I am living in the present without worry about meeting goals or missing out on something.

How am I doing this??? I have started (along with our youngest daughter) a Daily Bible Reading plan so that when we reach the end of the year, we will have made our way through the entire Bible.  I am actually using an audio version of The Message and following along in my Message Bible.

The past week+ has had us in the book of Job.  If you are familiar with his story at all, you know that he was a righteous man and suffered at the hand/challenge of the Fallen Angel... His friends at first sat with him quietly offering love and support to him through his loss and trials.  Eventually they take turns speaking to convince him that he simply needs to confess his sins and all will be made right again.  He has some great rebuttals... and then God speaks to Job revealing His power and majesty over all of the earth, heavens and waters... putting Job in his place and humbling him.  It has been a beautiful time of Holy Presence for me and a reminder that He is all I need and provides ALL that I need... that I need to thankful for the continual chores of loading and unloading the dishwasher... it means that we have (first) a dishwasher and I don't have to wash the dishes by hand, we have food to sustain our bodies and a home to enjoy the preparation and consumption of the meals.

But enough of my rambling... it is time for Sew & Tell!

Last week I shared the finished quilt of Sticks & Stones.  I was unsure of what I really wanted to do with the quilt.  I really did like the look of it and was quite proud of the many free-motion feathers in the wreaths and border but decided to share on my personal facebook account as available for purchase.  Within a few hours, it was SOLD to a friend!  Our friend was also interested in another crib quilt that I had listed before Christmas.  Woohoo!


I was ready to cut into the extra jellyroll that I had on hand... the extra jellyroll that had been purchased as an option for the quilt retreat that I had attended in November.  As I scrolled through some social media feeds, I found a fun little quilt that reminded me of those Chinese paper lanterns.  I ditched the pattern book... and after doing some math, I decided on a non-typical finished block size... 11" x 22".


There will be no border... just a scrappy binding.  What a fun and quick project this turned out to be!

And... I just noticed a mistake 😞 ... I guess I'll be meeting with Jack this evening.  Oh well... it is just a couple of seams so it isn't a major delay.  Watch for a final finish on Friday πŸ‘€

Last week everyone had some wonderful items for Sew & Tell... I have to say that you are all doing GREAT!  Did you see Linda's at the Texas Quilt Gal?  She shared her rainbow Kaleidescope scrappy finish that had been a UFO that had been residing in her closet since 2021...



And Sharon at the Dragon's Heart Quilting & Crafts shared a lovely purple log cabin finish...


I also wanted to mention Alycia's Raspberry Fizz (she actually had three different versions) that looked so sweet and lovely!

It's YOUR turn!  What have you been working on?

Keep Piecing,

Melva

Linking with:

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Whimsical and Windy Wednesday

If you have ready many of my stories/posts, you know that I am a huge believer in recording your life story.  So often, when we are younger, we don't have the time to stop and ask grandparents, or even parents, questions about their childhood, their parents, siblings and grandparents.

The stories I have shared in my sew along events Pieces From the Past, Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail and Pieces in the Garden were possible because there was a record of memories made by family members that obviously thought the same as me.

Our daughters had given a memory book full of questions to my Mom & Dad years ago... I knew that they had filled them out but have never laid eyes on them since, other than bits and pieces along the way.  As a Christmas gift to "Grandma Carol" they gave her a yearlong subscription to Storyworth.  Each week a new question is asked and emailed to the recipient.  At the end of the year, they will compile all of the questions and answers into a book.  Go check it out!  Here's the link... Storyworth ~ you will receive a $10 discount if you use this link as a referral.  Since she is doing this (again) she has had the chance to recall even more stories to share.  She has figured out how to go back and add any more that come to mind.  She has also started scanning and sharing the previous memory book we designed for her.  I think it will be quite the treasure once it is printed!

The free document "Priceless Conversations" is still available in my payhip store too. πŸ˜‰  We are all a small blip on the radar in life...  "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." ~  James 4:14  


Be kind to others, treat them as you would like to be treated... Do good, not to be noticed or recognized by others, but because it is the right thing to do!  Small random acts of kindness can turn a bad day around and cause others to smile and pay it forward. 

I finished 14 quilted hearts during our road trip... I left a few here and there, 4 with my friend in Seymour, TX and have these 8 that will be left a little closer to home. πŸ’– 

Can you tell that the wind is blowing?  
Can you see the clouds of the cold front coming in?
They are just so whimsical and charming, if I say so myself...


I have been following I Found A Quilted Heart on facebook and reading the stories from individuals that found a heart and how it touched them.  Many feel that the discovery of a quilted heart that needs a home is a message from beyond from a loved one, or an answer to their prayers offering a reassurance that everything is going to be fine.  If you are feeling down about the state of our country or the world, go make a visit to the site or page and you will be uplifted.  Guaranteed!

I had fun using up scrap ribbons, lace and buttons to decorate them... Here's a closer look at them.  I used some embroidery on them... like the middle one in the bottom row... I made French knots around the edge. Some of them have heavy quilting... some have just an outline.  I really like the pearl strands... can you tell? haha!  I've always loved vintage buttons and these hearts are a perfect project to feature some of them.  I explained to our friend Jack that I was trying to see just how gawdy I could make one of the hearts (upper row, middle).  I felt like the kid in class that had to cover the entire Valentine with glitter, stickers and more.  But it really didn't turn out all that bad. It had two larger sections of fabric that needed some "fancy" to dress it up.  

All of the lace, ribbons, buttons and such came from several friends "de-stashing"... a gift I am happy to share with others on these hearts.

What sort of "fancy" would you put on a quilted heart?

Not a creator?  What might you do if you found a heart like this?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Keep Piecing!

Melva

Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at True Blue Quilts 
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Free-Motion Mavericks at Quilting & Learning
Thankful Thursday at Brian's Home
Little Things Thursday at Good Random Fun
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch

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Sunday, January 8, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ January 9, 2023


It's been a week!  We have been to Dallas and will be headed home Monday morning.  The trip has been bookended with stops in Seymour, TX to visit our friends at the Lazy J Goat Farm.   


We listened to the first Harry Potter book as we made our way TO Seymour.  Our youngest daughter grew up on them... literally, grew up on them!  She started reading the series as they came out at age 11.  I've heard her talk about them for years.  And we HAD to go see the movies as they were released.  That was when Dave started reading the books.  Rebecca has read each book at least 10 times... she would go back and read each book before a new movie was released.  

As I said, I've heard all about the books and have seen every movie multiple times... because before each movie release we HAD to watch the previous movie.  lol... It was interesting to hear the book and now even I may need to go back and watch the movie.  Haha!


I was happily stitching my way across the big ol' state of Texas as we listened.  The binding on my retreat quilt was completed and then I pulled out my quilted hearts. 

The actual name of the pattern is Sticks & Stones and I thought the setting of a rock garden and a lilac bush was a perfect background.  



Here are a few shots of the finished hearts.  Several were left behind in the hotel and convention center as well as a few other stops along the way. 





Last week's Sew & Tell party was a fabulous one!  Melisa showed us the hand quilting of a vintage quilt that was gifted to her by her husband...


And Sharon showed a design she has planned for a beautiful floral border she found as she cleaned her sewing room...


And Vicki showed us a generous gift that she gave her to her DIL that will be shared with those in need. πŸ’—

Now it is your turn!  What have you been working on lately?

Keep piecing!

Melva

Linking with:

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

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