Catch-Up Time!

All we can do it the best we can do! Whoever said this was absolutely correct! I was feeling pretty pleased at the time of my last post (July 23), that I had been keeping up with at least one post per month. I know that isn’t much, compared to many bloggers, but it is all a process, right? I am not going to beat myself up, but just try to catch up a bit today.

Having not been blogging, you might guess that I was not keeping up with my monthly planner either. You would be right! That doesn’t mean I have not been busy in my sewing room…or other places!

Since my last post, I have completed all my stash bee blocks and another round of wonky stars swap. These are the wonky star blocks I sent out…img_20180811_161010_0427480597515168081610.jpgI just love these crazy things and am getting quite a collection! I think a few more will be arriving, as the swap deadline is this month, so I won’t post the collection I have yet.

In August, I was Queen Bee of the Stash Bee Hive 5. I selected a simple 9-patch block so it would be easy for everyone during the busy summer month. I was so lucky to receive 17 blocks! Some folks made multiples, so it almost fills my wall. Originally, I had planned to cut the big blocks up into smaller squares and make a unique arrangement something like this…

 

At this point, after putting them all up on my design wall, I am not sure. I love the simplicity of these blocks, just as they are, and the pops of color!

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I am going to have to look at this for a while and play with the blocks!

In August, we also went on a cruise to Alaska. It was a time spent with my son-in-law and his family. We had been before, but it was a different kind of trip for them, as they would usually choose to travel to a tropical climate. The highlight for me, since I had not seen it on our previous trip, was the glacier. They got very close for such a big ship! This was the Dawes Glacier and they take you up the arm of the fjord slowly because of the icebergs. Once they get as close as possible, they rotate the ship 360 degrees, so everyone can see, even if they want to stay inside. This time of year, it was quite cold! We stood on the bow of the ship for about 3 hours!

 

The boys were more interested in playing basketball, actually! I guess that is to be understood, but their parents did make sure they stopped to be part of swinging the ship around and they made it a game to get to all sides of the ship, as it turned! I do believe they thought it was pretty cool, after all!

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A few other pics from the trip…

Since the cruise, I have been trying to use my time to clear out some works-in-progress … that ever-growing UFO pile can be daunting!

In no particular order, here are the finishes, so far…

 

I am not sure how many months ago, I asked photographer, Ric Ergenbirght, if I could try quilting the picture on the right above. He kindly allowed me to give it a go. Something I had been wanting to try and have had no lessons on. I guess it came out okay for a first try. I think I need some training!

 

I call this lap quilt Caribbean Courthouse Steps. I am thinking of donating it to a good cause. Perhaps a hospital, cancer center, or senior living home.

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This little piece has been a thorn in my side, as they say. It started out to be part of the Sienna Sunburst QAL, with Then Came June. I really just couldn’t get into it, so I asked my hubby to pick some fabric. He only asked for something very plain and simple. Well, he got that in the fabric. I got the bright idea to make it bigger and that was another thing I had never done. It was not perfect, but HE liked/s it. I guess that is a good thing. He also want no batting, no quilting, and he even said no binding! He just wanted that unfinished flimsy hanging on a wall. That was not possible for me, so I compromised on what you see…no batting, but it is backed in a simple fabric and slightly quilted with a variegated thread. Phew…another one out of the stack!

Fall always seems to bring many projects and I now have two projects in the works. I expect more to come.

 

My friend and sewmate, Jude, and I have started a charity quilt using these beautiful Marcia Derse fabrics above.

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Above is a peek at a “special request” quilt that is in the works.

More to come as these and other projects unfold this fall.

Today is September 1. I am so happy to have fall in the air. It is a favorite time of year for me! I got a good start on the month by completing the September Stash Bee Hive Five blocks. Cute little kitties aren’t they?

 

This year is the first time I have been in a Bee and it has been great! I hope I am invited to play again next year!

Well, friends, this is a long post, but I needed to hang in there with my blogging and catch up! Thanks for reading. What are you up to?

I hope you enjoy a beautiful month of September. I hope the fires stop burning and that people are not suffering! Thank you to the firefighters!

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I will wrap up with this…an IG post from @blissfulheart (by Ram Dass) that spoke to me…screenshot_2018-09-01-15-22-37~23191375327874516317..png

Peace and happy quilting!

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The Ali-Grad Quilt

The “secret sewing”…the graduation quilt for Alex, our college graduate grand-daughter has been completed and gifted!!!

As I have said before, every quilt has a story, big or small, and this one has a huge story of love, gratitude and vision.

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The picture above is one side of the finished quilt. Call it the front or back, either is fine with me. This side is expected to be the one that shows if Ali uses the quilt on her bed. However…20180505_1336361075854682.jpg

This is the side that took all my efforts and thought and time. I can honestly say there is barely a stitch that isn’t planned and full of love!

I started with the idea to do a row quilt of all the things she loves. Well, I ended up with so many ideas that the quilt might have stretched across the country! I began collecting  fabrics, and patterns. As I started putting them together, I could see that rows were not going to work. So, it is more of a collage of her life up to college graduation. (She finished at KU this year with a major in dance and a minor in psychology.)

Here are some closeups of the Ali side of the quilt (Please note that quality of the images was obviously not the goal on these shots…they were taken before the quilt was completed!):

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Dogs and cats have always been a love and they still stop her for some petting when she sees them! The center of this section is an embroidered square of Ali and her cat, Mabel.

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Spoonflower helped me insert pictures of Alex from over the years… happy, pensive, loving and a beauty!

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Ice cream cones and cupcakes. She has a love of baking, so “a balanced diet means a cupcake in each hand” fits! Part of this section is a stand mixer…

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I have heard it said that getting a good mixer is a good reason to get married! We are pretty far from that right now, I think! 🙂

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Thanks, again, to Spoonflower, I was able to include this square. This is a piece of artwork Alex left for us after a visit several years ago. It depicts many of her memories with us up to that point and is very special to us. I did not include the personal message she wrote on the back. She worked on this every night after she went to bed and it was a very heartfelt gift!

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Ali’s mama dubbed her Ali-Bird long ago, so there are plenty of birds in the quilt…these and others that are more hidden.

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The little birdie above was handmade by me with sunprinting and then some machine- stitched outlines.

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L-O-V-E abounds in this quilt!

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A little photoshop, Spoonflower, and this happy image was able to become part of this quilt.

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Our Ali is multi-talented and I love this flower that makes up one block…she just blooms everywhere! And choose happy…

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As a final work in college, Alex produced a show called Boundless with a few other girls from her class. Her personal piece, Residuum, was a stunning work choreographed to be presented as theatre-in-the-round, which was a first and a major goal of Ali’s.

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One of my favorite squares is a FPP girl looking into the future. Her suitcase was later adorned with a “joie de vivre” label. And speaking of the places she will go…here is the label for this quilt…

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Interesting that the Dr. Seuss quote was also used in one of the speeches to the KU graduating class during commencement!

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When she opened her gift and got a glimpse of the fact that it was fabric, she said, “Yay! My quilt…I was hoping for a quilt…I am the last one to get a quilt!” That pretty much made it all perfect for me. It isn’t that she was last by design, but her quilt is certainly the most involved I have done to date and I can’t think of a better person to receive it!

Many people have been part of Ali’s success, but none more than her mom (my wonderful daughter)…

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I can’t post pictures of everyone or all that transpired around this milestone, but here are a few from the day of convocation and her party…

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And off she goes! It happens all that quick! Let the wind and your dreams carry you to the places you want to go, Alex…you have what it takes!

We love you…so very much! We know you will succeed in whatever you choose, as you prepare for your Masters Program at Northwestern in Chicago, and beyond!

Love,

Granny

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April Sort Of Kicked My Butt!!!

April was a month where I operated on overload most days! Why, you ask? I simply had more on  my plate than I could do…and I hate that!

This is how my goal sheet wraps up for April:

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Stash Bee Square was one I was not sure I would like. It was a Union Jack flag in bright colors. Our queen bee, Lauren, @laurenmlir5 on IG, shared a tutorial from Granny Maud on WordPress.  She requested a rainbow of colors for this FPP block that measures 15″ x 7.5″ when finished. I ended up really enjoying it and appreciate that it was easy paper piecing…not all of them are! Here is my block…

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The Riley Blake Challenge for the MQG was due this month and it was a fail for me. I liked my idea and did get started, but it is still sitting in the WIP pile! Here it is…in no glory!

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I am sure the concept does not come through on this picture…it was to be Spring Breeze. Well, maybe for next spring????

The Wonky Star Swap is always fun…I do adore them. And I did finish that one even if I shipped a day late on May 1!

20180501_110703912183670.jpgWonky stars are always so unique, but they play well together! Thanks to all my swap mates and Rachel, @bylancer on IG, for this one!

That brings me to the SHHHH….Secret Sewing! Believe it or not, this has been my main focus for months and it is actually almost finished. It must be done in a few days and IT WILL BE!!! YAY! This makes me so happy and I can’t wait to post about it pretty soon!

The other carry-over project that is moving on into May is a semi-secret. Our grand-daughter turns 8 and has asked for another quilt. This one is to be about her creativity…it runs in the family! It won’t be done in time for the birthday, but it will be getting my focus once the secret is revealed. Can’t tell a sweet grand-daughter no!!!

So, I can’t say I got nothing done in April. On top of the sewing there was a nice trip to California to see family…always a blessing! beautiful places, good food and wine, boys baseball, laughs and love!

So, here’s to May…you notice my goal sheet is pretty simple!

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I hope this new month brings you much joy and some finished projects along the way!

Happy Quilting!

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April Goals

It is now April 3, so I’d best get a post about my goals up if I am going to keep the goal of posting goals! How is that for a sentence about goals? I do find that it helps me stay better on track, just knowing that all my thousands of readers are waiting to see if I made it! Just kidding, of course, about the thousands of readers!

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Down and dirty today…must stay FOCUSED, as I mentioned on my March goal sheet. And I did! I have already blogged about the Sienna Burst QAL…kind of a fail, in my mind. But I did feel it was acceptable to check off everything on my March list. And, I did work daily on that Secret Project too!

So, for April, I continue to keep it a bit small, but have added a Wonky Stars Block Swap. I just love them, so I couldn’t pass them up. I also have a “semi-secret” project on the list that I hope to start and nearly finish along with that secret one! Call me a glutton for punishment! That said, I guess I will go have some lunch and then get back to my progress!

Congrats to everyone who completed their goals for the month of March! Until the next post…

Happy Quilting!

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1Q 2018 Finish-A-Long

Alright already! No one has truly challenged me to this, but I FEEL challenged to post and work on my 1Q Finish-A-Long list. Thanks to many of my IG quilty friends and bloggers I follow who inspire me!

So, here goes! 1Q 2018 FAL goals:

1. I have a flimsy made up of courthouse steps blocks in pretty blues, greens, and aquas. I am calling it “Caribbean Courthouse Steps” for now… original, I know!

Caribbean Courthouse Steps

2. Improv triangles…these were a test, but “waste not, want not”. Plus, I like them. I just need to make more and decide what they might become!

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3. Ditto the improve triangles for the selvedge blocks…I love making them and they could end up being so many things!

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Selvedges

That is it…keeping it a little short, just to see if I can actually get to this much! Of course, there will be the regular bees, swaps, etc., in addition! AND I am going to my first QuiltCon in February!!!!

Happy quilting!

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Update – Starch Your $$$$

Repost from August 1, 2017…I am still using this as it makes a big batch and I use lots of it!…

Last post was about homemade fabric finish for pressing…starch. Quilters Moonshine 2

Just want to add that I am into my second bottle of “Quilter’s Moonshine” and it is going well. NO stickiness on fabrics or the iron! NO smell! NO problems!

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I DID, however, go back and add more starch than the recipe calls for. I poured it all back together and added about 2 more tablespoons of starch. I think this is about preference. I suggest you start with the recipe, as is, and go from there.

Some of the things I have been pressing recently:

Back to my sewing…and pressing…for now!