Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bee Happy Sew Along

Happy Sunday! It is finally cooler here with temperatures in the low to mid-70's and football is back which means I am in my pajamas quilting in my sewing room. At least I was until the cable box died--this also happened last Sunday--maybe we will being switching to another service! I am now camping out in my kitchen and cutting out appliqué pieces. 

I forgot to post this door banner I made for one of my classrooms. I used Lori Holt's free School House Block tutorial and the globe block is from her Spelling Bee book. 

 I have been trying to get caught up with the blocks for the Bee Happy Sew Along. This is also a Lori Holt design and instructions can be found here:
 I am not using Lori's fabrics, but I have been digging into my stash and finding some backgrounds locally. I really like black and whites with brights as an accent, so I am going in that direction. I will probably be embroidering the antennas on these butterflies this evening for Slow Sunday Stitching:
 These will be centers of some of the churn dash blocks.
These hexie flowers will also join in this quilt.
 I am machine appliquéing my blocks instead of the hand appliqué Lori is demonstrating. I would never stick with this quilt if I was hand appliquéing. I would rather get this done this decade and use the buttonhole stitch on my Pfaff with Heat & Bond lite. This will be a display quilt, so this method will be fine for me.

The blocks are really cute and this quilt will be precious.  I am working on the spools, cherries, and bumblebees next!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Quilty Fun Sampler Done

 I finished my Quilty Sampler top at the beginning of June and decided to have it professionally quilted as a birthday gift to myself. I have to say this was worth the wait for the professional quilter! I spent this week and this morning slow stitching my binding down. 
 I picked an all over swirl design. This machine is not a traditional longarm machine--it is a full frame computer quilting system. Check out this Youtube video to see how it is done:
My friend and coworker, Glenn, invited me over to watch my quilt being done--it took less than an hour and this is nearly a 60 inch square quilt. It actually probably takes longer to load it on the frame than the quilting. The machine also works vertically and made four vertical passes.
 The machine belongs to Glenn's mom, but her eyes have gotten really bad due to macular degeneration, so Glenn programs the computer and runs the machine for her. It was only $60 for the quilting and I will be prepping more tops and backings for him to quilt for me once he has some time in his schedule.
I am piecing more and more of my backings because it is economical and fun.
 I am spending this afternoon prepping blocks for Lori Holt's Bee Happy Quilt Along. My templates finally arrived, so I hope to get caught up with that soon. I will save my blocks for another post, but you can find details about the quilt along here:
I have stopped buying Best Press for my own homemade version. I use:
1 cup of vodka
1 cup of water
12 drops of an essential oil of your choice (I used spiced pomegranate)

I spend about $14 for the vodka and essential oil, but it makes a lot of pressing spray--if we don't use the vodka for bloody Mary's or sea breezes!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Whole Month!

 I cannot believe a whole month has passed since I posted! I have not been ill or dealing with a family crisis or anything that would explain my absence; it is only back to school time which leaves me super busy at work and exhausted and unmotivated when I get home. 

My football quilt is still under construction. I have not gotten my quilt back from the quilter I took over at the beginning of June. I am almost done with a door banner from my classroom, but I dropped everything last night to make one of my favorite school secretaries a reading pillow. She has taken a promotion to central office and will be leaving the school she has pretty much run for 19 years! She loves to read, so a reading pillow made a lot of sense. Plus, I could stock the pocket with essentials for her new job--vodka, chocolate, and a book to help her escape reality as needed. I parted with some of Bonnie and Camille stash.  I used this free tutorial I found on Pinterest:

The tutorial is really frugal with the fabric--it only takes three fat quarters for an 18 inch square pillow. The tutorial also uses piping on the perimeter of the pillow and I did sew it with the piping at first, but I don't have a piping foot for my machine and I kept catching it in my seams. I was not willing to rip it all out especially after I tried sew it correctly multiple times and batting too. With my deadline of today looming at 8:00pm last night, I just sewed a wider seam and hid the messy piping. Of course no one but me and you guys will know, it is not how it was supposed to be. Who cares? I got it done in time for today's surprise party and she loved it. Plus, next time I will save the $2+ and not buy any piping at all!
I think the back is as cute as the front! This was a different take on the envelope backing and used much less fabric--just  a fat quarter with a 2.5 inch strip from the front fabric. The ribbon tie and handle added a whimsical touch. If I had not appliquéd the "L" on the pocket, I would have just given her the vodka, chocolate, and book and kept it for myself! This will definitely be a tutorial and project I will make again---maybe next time for myself!

I hope to get my sewing mojo back and get some more things posted soon!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pillow Party

 Hi Y'all! Sorry I have been MIA. We have been experiencing TV and internet issues for over a week with both going out for 12 hours at a time--very frustrating, especially when they have not been able to figure out why. It has just been my neighborhood that has been effected and has not seemed to be much of a priority...Even though several neighbors have already discontinues their service and we might be next!

I finally received my Spelling Bee by Lori Holt last Monday. As I expected, it is fabulous and well worth the hefty price tag. One of the mini quilts was this Y'all one. I have a sweet friend from Georgia and I needed a birthday gift for her, so I made it into a pillow. I put it on Instagram and had another friend want to buy one...
 She has a niece that just moved to Texas and wanted it as a house warming present.
 Her niece also loves pineapples, so I whipped up a pineapple block and made it into a pillow too.
 I really like making pillows with an envelope back. It looks finished and makes it easy to remove the pillow forms to wash the cover. Amanda Jean has a really fabulous tutorial for them here:
I also recommend buying your pillow forms at Walmart instead of Joann's because they are a fraction of the cost!
I took this sheep embroidery I stitched last summer when I took my daughter to college and turned it into a pillow too. All of the pillows I made this week are 12 x 16 inches.
 Our local quilt show was this past weekend and I helped my local quilt store with their booth. We set it up on Thursday and sold goodies all weekend. The only thing I bought from another vendor was this Kona panel.
It shows all the different Kona fabrics. I order lots of Kona fabrics from Joann's and I have wanted one of their color cards, but they are really expensive. This panel was only $12!

My summer is winding down and I go back to work on August 10th, so I better get busy to get some more projects done before it is over!


Friday, July 14, 2017

Flo & Freddy Flamingo Quilt

 Meet Flo and Freddy Flamingo! I had such a great time quilting them up. I used a wider foot with a guide I bought back in April for my Pfaff--the rows are a little wider than half inch apart. There were no puckers and it stitched up beautifully with the walking foot engaged. This is a sample for one of my local quilt shops.
I used some of the left over pinks for the binding and used this beach themed pink fabric for the backing. Doesn't this just emulate summer?
I have been in stall mode awaiting the arrival of Lori Holt's new Spelling Bee book. According to my tracking info, my copy should arrive tomorrow. I decided to stitch up some of her companion blocks as I impatiently await the book's arrival. This is her schoolhouse block that was featured on her blog. Here is the link:
 This is the Honeybee Block that I bought during the Fat Quarter Shop pattern sale a few weeks ago.
 The Mixer Block done with my favorite aqua and red
and of course the Vintage TV Block. I am not sure what these blocks are for, but they are sure are fun! Hopefully, I will get my book tomorrow and will dive into a new project. Stay tuned!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Elizabeth Hartman Projects

 Hi! I mentioned in an earlier post that I have been helping out one of my local quilt shops with making samples for the shop and our town's upcoming quilt show. She had several of Elizabeth Hartman patterns in, but no samples. I offered to whip some up.  This is the Florence Flamingo small quilt with smaller borders and made from some pink Bali batik strips.  I just got back from picking up a backing, so I can quilt it up this evening. I am going to quilt it horizontally about every half inch. I think it will be fun and modern. The shop owner was thrilled with how the sample looked and immediately ordered some more patterns in.
This is Dwight the Deer with glasses. It is a 24 inch square pillow cover. Since we live in deer country this is sure to be a hit.
And last but certainly not least, Bjorn the Bear also with glasses and is a 20 inch square pillow cover. Wouldn't this be cute with a bunch of them for a baby quilt? There were several sizes included with the pattern.

I had never used an Elizabeth Hartman pattern before, but I am now a huge fan. Her directions were thorough, all in color, and very detailed. You can find her patterns here:

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Perfect Week

 We had a great week in my neck of the woods! My daughter was able to come home for a quick visit from college--she had not been home since January. It was only five days, but they were wonderful. She got in cuddle time with our dogs, Mexican & Thai food, kayaking with my hubby, driving her convertible, eating some goodies from our garden, and sleeping in her own bed.

 I made a couple of quick projects. First was Moda's free pillow pattern Stripes & Stars. I used left overs from my Grand Old Flag Quilt. The only thing I bought was a pillow form. You can find the pattern here:
 I also made another Grand Old Flag block using Pat Sloan's free pattern and used it as part of a new door banner.
 Here is a picture of my front porch. I want to paint a WELCOME sign on some old barn wood to stick in the right corner---hopefully before summer ends.
Both of these projects, I quilted using my built in "Wave Quilt" stitch on my Pfaff. This is a picture of what it looks like on my screen. This stitch is very forgiving and gives nice texture to my quilts. I do use my walking foot with it.
 After I dropped my daughter at the airport yesterday, I hit the fabric store for some retail therapy--a needed distraction. I bought half yards of the whites for Lori Holt's upcoming Bee Happy Sew Along. My mom gave me the gingham fat quarters. This is an appliqué project--I will not be doing it by hand--Wonder Under and my buttonhole stitch will be my method.
Isn't it amazing? Details should be on her blog at the beginning of August and the sewing starts on August 28th. I hope her new Spelling Bee book comes out soon because I am itching for a new project to start!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Grand Old Flag Finish

There is only one more day of June and I am not going to make my OMG goal--I had wanted to finish my Quilty Fun Sampler. I had finished the top at the beginning of June, but I took it to a long arm quilter and it is not done...Kind of a bummer, but I have plenty of other projects to work on. 

I had a moment of weakness last Friday and succumbed to a new project. Pat Sloan had published her free pattern earlier in the week and when I spotted a perfect turquoise at the fabric store, I had no willpower to stop myself from making my version of Grand Old Flag. Here is the link to Pat's post with the free pattern:

My version has an additional row of flags. The flags are were very quick to make--they were done on Friday evening. I pieced the top together on Sunday--again it went together quickly and easily.
 Monday, I pieced together my backing. My goal was to make do with fabrics from my stash and not buy anything else--that goal was met and it is cute.
I was going to make a smaller flag block for my label, but then realized if I made a regular sized block it would help with my pieced backing. Plus, the information fit perfectly in the white stripes of the flag--I embroidered it.

On Tuesday, I pinned and machine quilted it. I used my go to wavy stitch that is built into my Pfaff along with my walking foot and just followed the spacing on the center of the stripes. 

I spent Wednesday and today hand binding it and washing it. After washing and shrinkage, it measures 50 x 60 inches. Plus, I only spent $12 on the turquoise fabric and everything else came from my stash! This was definitely my Drop Everything and Make It for June. The link is on my righthand sidebar.
Today is my sister's birthday and I sent her this kit to make a pineapple quilt. I am currently binding mine and hope to have another finish soon!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Quilt Shop Projects

 This week I have continued to help out one of my local quilt shops with making samples. I made this Touchdown top in Bronco colors and kid sized. This is a great pattern designed by Cluck Cluck Sew and I am looking forward to making a bigger one for my hubby.
 This one is my own design and I need help coming up with a name for the pattern. Any ideas?
 This is also my design--meet Quilt Berries. The disappearing ink I used for the quilting has not all disappeared, but will in a couple of more days. I finished binding it this morning for Slow Sunday Stitching:
I tried something new--bunting! I made two of these that say "Row By Row." The one pictured is the smaller one. They were quite easy and fun. I am thinking of making some buntings for myself now...

For those of you like me who have a tight budget for quilting, I recommend helping out your local quilt shop with sample sewing. They often need help with making samples and it lets me play with fabrics. They give me a discount for helping out and I get the samples when they are done with them. It is a win win for both parties.
 I helped my dad out and put together a kit for my mom to make a Lori Holt Milk Cow Quilt. This was his anniversary present to her. I can't wait to see how it comes out with her brown and white cows.
 A few weeks ago, I went fabric shopping at a town a half hour north of us. There is a charity shop near the fabric store that benefits hospice. I always pop in there looking for treasures...They had a Singer treadle machine that was in pretty bad shape. It was priced $49--I did not buy it initially. I thought about it and decided to call and see if it was still available and amazingly it was. I was planning on buying it just for the base. My hubby went with me to pick it up and agreed it was a good deal and would be fun to repurpose it. It was manufactured in November 1910.
 Here is the machine itself--someone sewed a lot on it! We will probably sell the machine on eBay and maybe some of the drawers--there were 6. I want to keep them, but either way the project will pretty much be free.
 My hubby painted the base as we decided to use it as a table on our front porch. The top is an old cabinet door left over from my ironing station repurposing project. Doesn't it look great?
Yesterday, I went over to my mom's and used her long arm to quilt my Pineapple Picnic Quilt. I will be binding that today and working on a squirrel project I started on Friday night! Stay tuned...