Monday, July 31, 2017

Fun on the Bus!

This weekend's bus trip was my first two day tour. It was lots of fun and I would love to do it again, for sure. For now, I need to recuperate--lol! 
At the first two shops I showed great restraint!
At shop one, I picked up some Jan Patek fat quarters. At the second shop, the stripe on the right was part of that same line and on sale, so of course I had to pick up a yard. 

By the third shop, things were starting to become a blur....
 Most of the fabrics I purchased were from the sale sections--you know I love a bargain! I did have to have that little Primitive Gatherings check even though it was regular price--too cute. 
My "mission" on the trip was to find small non-directional shirting prints.
 I think I am set for a while on these! A couple were directional, but too cute to pass up.
 One shop gave everyone on the bus one of these Fiskars cutting mats--that was a fun surprise!  

Another "mission" was to find fabric for fussy cutting Lucy Boston blocks and some of my Mrs. Billings hexagons: price is no object here! One shop had a Minnesota version of Lucy as their free shop hop block with fussy cut ladyslippers. I also purchased one of their Lucy kits to get that wavy red fabric--just in case I didn't already have it--!

When you find Jan Patek, French General and Kaye England fabric for $4.50 a yard, buy backings!
At the first shop on the second day, we were greeted by a tent set up outside the shop, all hung with beautiful quilts, where they served coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls. Yum! The shop was part of a grain elevator and so cute.  The coffee drinkers were extremely appreciative, as the coffee machine at the hotel had been on the fritz and they had been reduced to surviving on decaf. 

 For booking the bus trip with the travel company, everyone was given a Moda jelly roll of Janet Clare's Aubade.
The prize for visiting every shop in the Southwestern section of the shop hop was a bundle of 12 flannel fat quarters. I was a bit skeptical of what the quality of the free flannel would be, but it was beautiful!  Shirley and  I swapped my flannel bundle for her jellyroll though, as I have a pattern I've been wanting to do that requires two rolls. and she wanted make a larger flannel quilt. That worked out great us both and, let's face it--the Aubade is BLUE! Also for the shop hop, we got a charm square of the special Minnesota fabric. Can you believe that I didn't get a single repeat? Not even of the stripe I had already picked up at Colorz--amazing. 

Every shop gives out a free block pattern that they have designed for the Shop Hop fabric, and I think all of the shops were also participating in the Row by Row Experience--I am swimming in new patterns to sort through! The standing French General tool station was a door prize that Ruth didn't want and gave to me--love it! What a sweetie! Sandi and Karen gave me their English Paper Piecing hexie kits that were a giveaway at one of the shops. I have to work on getting them hooked on EEP asap!
If my calculations are correct, I came come with 29 yards of fabric (eeep!), not including the approximately 3 yards of fabric on each of those jelly rolls. 
I think I better dig in this winter and sew like there's no tomorrow! 

Friday, July 28, 2017


I'm so happy to have my Front Porch quilt finished before tomorrow's bus trip! 
First of all: sorry for the terrible photos!
My quilt holder needs longer arms and we both needed a shadier spot to take pictures!
Front Porch was my July UFO to get finished. It measures 72" x 94".
It's a Jan Patek pattern and was really a fun one to work one.
Of course it was the Dresden Plate bike that attracted me to the pattern--so cute! 

This is the back--it's a beautiful shade of blue--not the gray (that's the sun shining through) as it appears in the photo. I've had this fabric in my stash for several years but was a bit short to do the entire back, which was okay--it gave me the opportunity to use up some leftover strips of Front Porch fabric from a Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bar that I had purchased for this quilt. 

My label is a block that I had started for the front of the quilt but didn't it make the cut.
Now I'm off to pack my bag for the bus trip!
Linking with OneMonthlyGoal HERE

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Not Quite There....

I am still working to finish my July UFO--just three more sides of the binding to stitch down and then attaching the label. This has to get done in the next few days as I leave early Saturday morning on a bus trip to visit the Southwestern section of the the Minnesota Shop Hop. I have a feeling I will be too tired to do a thing on Monday! 
In the meantime, I thought I would share my progress on my "Up North Crazy Mat". 
All of the crazy stitching is complete--just the binding and quilting left to do. 

I added a few plants around the deer to anchor him to the ground and changed to stars to fireflies (yes, that's what they are in case you couldn't tell--lol). 

A little bee fills up an empty spot. 

This area had been bothering me since the beginning. I finally realized that I had put the bobber upside down.
White on top, Karen!
This is particularly embarrassing as the closest town to where I live has a bobber water tower that I have driven by for more than 20 years--eeep! 

I didn't really have a stitch plan--just kind of decided on the fly as I worked my way around the mat. The main thing was to distribute the colors.
 Now to raid the stash for the perfect binding! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Follow the Leader...

I think my favorite feature on my Juki would be the scissor. With just a tap on the foot pedal, the threads are cut. Occasionally, as the sewn pieces are removed from the machine, I accidentally unthread the needle. 
That's why I try to use a leader/ender to finish off what ever I am sewing--just to hold that thread in the needle. Look at how much thread I've used just on these small pieces! Actually this used to be one piece, but I cut it in half to not only use less thread, but to save a few seconds--haha! (Hey, those seconds all add up to minutes, right?)
Soooo, I've been waiting to see what Bonnie Hunter would come up with as her leader/ender challenge project she does every summer. She chose Rail Fences--read about it HERE

Rail Fences don't particularly "trip my trigger", but Bonnie's plan for her Rail Fences reminded me of  this quilt that I had bookmarked from the August 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. I thought Stair Steps would be perfect to burn up some of my endless supply of blue scraps, however, I didn't relish making the 1,760 half square triangles! 

I think by substituting four patches for the HST's, I will get the look of Stair Steps without all the fuss of making those triangles. There are already many, many 1.5" red and light squares cut and in my stash, so that will be a big time saver. 

These are the two different blocks (as shown on the Quiltville site) needed, and following Bonnie's pressing instructions, they will go together perfectly. 

I've got a good start on my cutting and will keep this little box next to the sewing machine as I work on other projects. I plan to sew everything together in pairs, then into the four patches and the four strips. After that, I will cut more strips and squares as needed. I plan to make a generous twin size, for now--subject to change--lol!  As this is a year long challenge, there's no rush.
I didn't do last years Hourglass leader/ender challenge (I'm kind of regretting that now that I've seen Bonnie's quilt on her Instagram feed), but I did have lots of fun with the Spool and Lozenge Leaders & Enders Challenges. 

 I think the Rail Fence Challenge will be a fun one too!
And maybe someday I'll make those 1, 760 Half Square Triangles for an actual Stair Steps quilt! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July UFO Goal

The binding has been made and the backing fabrics are ready to be pieced, so I think it only makes sense that my Front Porch top should be finished in July--it screams Summer!! Wish me luck!!
Linking with One Monthly Goal HERE