Sunday, February 28, 2016

Slow Stitchin' Day!

 It was another busy week--I feel pretty good to have some finishes, since I have so many beginnings too.
My Little Flags quilt is finally quilted and bound and can be checked off my 2016 Finish-A-Long list.
I used several different binding pieces from my leftover binding box--a little make-do. 

And, of course, it's not finished until the label has been added!

I was on a roll getting little quilts finished--my tiny cake stand top is now a quilt too! Another one checked off the List!
Since these blocks are so small (2") I was afraid of overwhelming them with thread. I just did some stitch in ditch in the blocks and a crosshatch in the setting triangles (that I left untrimmed so the blocks would "float"). I used YLI silk thread in the top and Aurifil in the bobbin.

And, yes, it is done because it has a label!
I'm toying with going back and adding a little flower in each basket. I'm not sure if I will get around to doing that,  but I definitely plan to frame this little quilt. I already have the frame, which is unfinished--another project to add to the list.

After the long arm quilter's meeting on Friday, I met up with my friend Sandi to do the World's Shortest Shop Hop. Naturally, I had to make some purchases--it would be rude not to!

I have my Dawn Heese baskets ready to stitch. I had started with a dark blue background (which I loved), but it seemed so similar to my Buttermilk Basin blocks. After rummaging around in my bin of neutrals, I came up with this Kathy Schmitz garden themed fabric. It's a bit busy, but I think it will work out. Unfortunately my block one is backwards. I had flipped the patterns in my printer program to trace my fusible and then used it as my placement guide--doh! 
Oh well--I'm ready to do some relaxing stitching today and I hope you find time to do the same! 
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE
and 2016 Finish-A-Long HERE
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February UFO Finished!

We are having snow showers today, so my photos are pretty dimly lit despite some editing--sorry! My Buttermilk Basin quilt is now checked off the 2016 Finish-A-Long list!

I hadn't intended to quilt feathers in the border when I put in the fat spine. I'm not sure what happened, since I am a terrible feather quilter, but there they are. My original thought was to do two different designs on either side of the spine (which wasn't intended to be a spine--just a division of the border).

I tried different background textures in each block.

The binding is made from leftover fabric used in the triangle sashing. 
It feels good to have this BOM finished, since I have so many new ones in process. 
Like the ThimbleCreek Mystery: 
Clue Three--love the little houses!
And maybe this one:
This is one of two  six inch blocks released last week by Dawn Heese of Linen Closet Quilts.
There will be two blocks on the second Monday of each month. When the new blocks are posted, the previous patterns will be removed, so, quick like a bunny, go HERE for the patterns!!
I'm off to find a background--lol!
Linking with OMG HERE

and 2016 Finish-A-Long HERE
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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lots of Stitching....

This week Clue Two was posted for the ThimbleCreek mystery.
Since each block required eight Half Square Triangles, I decided to use the Magic Eight method to make them. 
If you aren't familiar with the method, this is the formula:
Finished Size of HST plus 7/8"=____
                      Multiply by Two=____
       Use the multiplied number to cut a light and dark square=____

And this is the method:
 Layer the dark and light squares right sides together. Mark crosswise from corner to corner twice.
 Sew a quarter inch on either side of the drawn lines.

Cut on marked diagonal lines and also vertically and horizontally through the center.
It helps to have the square on a small or rotating mat so you don't need to move the block while doing the cutting.

Boom! Eight HST's!
 Press them open and you are good to go!

If you have added the 7/8" and sewn accurately, you should have the correct size HST.
Full disclosure: I add one inch instead of 7/8 so I have slightly over-sized HST's that I can trim to the perfect size--I'm a little anal like that! 
So, in this instance, I needed 1" finished HST's, so after adding an inch (or 7/8" if you follow the formula) and multiplying by two, I cut my squares at four inches. 

These are my Clue Two ThimbleCreek blocks using those HST's. 

February's Buttermilk Basin Mystery block is ready for some Slow Sunday Stitching!
Check out other Slow Stitching HERE

Slow Sunday Stitching
And Podunk Pickin's HERE

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Quick Update

Just a quick update for the week:
I got this in the mail yesterday--Happy Mail from Val's Quilting Studio!
Lots of fun Mary Engelbreit (the Queen of Cute) goodies, dotty and plaid fabric, and all tied up with polka dot (blue!) ribbon--so cute! And hexies! In my past life I was a Sunrise sales rep; a paper company that at the time published all of Mary E's paper items: greeting cards, stationary, notepads, etc., so this is all sooo perfect for me--thanks again, Val!

I want to show you the Lemoyne stars that were made in a class I taught on Wednesday--it was such a fun day and lots of great stars were created! 

Aren't they all wonderful?  My favorite part of the class is seeing the fabric choices! 
I'll be teaching the class again in March--it's always a fun day! 

Another week of 365 Challenge blocks finished, I think we almost have two sides of the center medallion complete.
The block on the upper left was a bonus block--you can see it was a bit more of a challenge than the rest of the blocks this week--yikes!
Hope you find some time to stitch during the weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More Random Thoughts

Last summer I bought a container of Himalayan Pink Salt for a pulled pork recipe (that I never made, by the way).  
I know that we should avoid excess salt in our diets (I'm a total salt-oholic) but I wasn't aware of the health benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt....
...until we got one of these as a Christmas gift......

....and also one of these. The small one (in the top photo)  is lit and warmed with a votive candle. The larger one, just above, is lit and warmed with a night light bulb mounted inside the hollowed chunk of salt. We keep the large one in our bedroom because of the health benefits you can read about HERE. We only light it during the day because we like the bedroom to be dark when we are sleeping.
I'm not sure I believe all the hype, and I doubt that I will ever visit a Salt Room,  but the lights are pretty when lit.

Betsy Chutchian
Another All in a Row section--this one was designed by Betsy Chutchian.

Yesterday (Monday)  I finished up the center medallion for the Temecula Circa 2016 quilt (yes--I caved!!!) in anticipation for the next ThimbleCreek clue today and the February block for the Buttermilk Basin sew along on Friday. Today, Tuesday, is our Breezy Point Sew In and on Wednesday I'll be teaching a class at Colorz Quilt Shop--a busy week for me!
I hope you find some time for sewing!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Stitching

Happy Valentines Day!
This is the extent of my Valentine decorating--a very old hanging pocket. 

Minick and Simpson
I've made a couple more rows from the All in a Row book. This one was made before the corrections were posted--it ended up 3" short. No worries-I added strips on either side of the on-point blocks using the same fabric and it looks fine--whew!
The original row pattern in the book has a couple cute sand pail applique's. I subbed a couple panel blocks (the on-point blocks). The panel is part of the Piecemaker's line of fabric I'm using for the rows--I love Kathy Schmitz's artwork!

Blackbird Designs
The previous row was from Minick and Simpson.
This one is by Blackbird Designs. I caught the error in this row early on, so thankfully, no reverse sewing was involved! 

My February UFO project has been quilted and the binding attached.
. Today I will be finishing up my stitching on the hanging sleeve and sew down the binding. I'm not sure what I'll be watching while stitching--Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead--I guess it will depend on my mood!

Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Random Thoughts

Even though I have a huge collection of cute pin keepers, this is the one I have on my cutting table and use everyday. In fact, I have two of these--the second one stays packed in my retreat tub. After forgetting to bring along pins once, I don't ever want to have that happen again! I like the fact that I can sort of toss my pins toward it and the magnet is so strong that it grabs the pins and positions them in an easy to pick-up position. 

This is the pin keeper that sits next to my sewing machine. I love that it's a cute heart and has a separate area to place my dull machine needles until I get around to throwing them out. I can't tell you, though, how many times I've been stabbed reaching for a pin off of this thing. I don't know why, but the pins always seem to land in a jumble.  

Since Santa put a gift certificate to the local quilt shop in my stocking this Christmas, I though I should treat myself to a new pin keeper to replace the heart. Meet my new Zirkel. If you drop your pin point down toward the center, it will position them around the perimeter--easy to pluck one off without injury! So far I am loving it. The Zirkel is a bit pricey, but if you have stabbing issues like me, it may be well worth it to you too!

My scrappy borders for Mrs. Billings are coming along--two sides completed. You can imagine how many pins it took to hold these together while sewing. I invested in a couple new packages of pins too!
Linking with Scraptastic Tuesday HERE

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekend Stitching

On Friday, I just couldn't avoid it anymore--it was Sewing Room Cleaning Day (with one bathroom thrown in for good measure). I had a terrible mess, but it's much improved--now I can get back to sewing!
Even though (while cleaning) I had determined I will never need to buy fabric again, I couldn't pass up the Super Bowl "half price everything in the bargain room" Tailgate Sale at Gruber's. Unfortunately, Fortunately, there were no carts available, so I was limited in the amount of bolts I could carry to the cutting table. I think I showed great restraint!
I scored six yards of the large floral for $25.50-- 
touchdown!! I think it will make a beautiful backing.
I already had some of the Laundry Basket Jelly Bean fabrics but since they are a favorite of mine, I replenished my supply.
The Janet Clare Nocturne dots in the foreground weren't on sale, but I couldn't resist picking up a fat quarter--so fun.   

I'm going to use the Jo Morton chrome yellow fabric to make this Churn Dash quilt. The amount left on the bolt was exactly what the pattern calls for, so it was meant to be! The pattern is from the 1999/2000 issue of "McCall's Quilting presents Vintage Quilts", a specialty magazine that I had book-marked years ago (you do the math--lol!).
Guess what? I may make the churn dash blocks in blue fabrics. Surprise!
The red and double pink churn dashes are pretty cute though.
The original quilt is bound in green--I love that--a daring and make-do quilter.

My "How Does Your Garden Grow" banner is finished, as are the sunflower seeds--the end is in sight for this quilt.

All that's left is to put some antennae on the butterflies and stitch their bodies--probably a bullion stitch for that. I'll be trying to figure that out as I do some Slow Sunday Stitching.
Slow Sunday Stitching