A gifted-to-me dainty wool wreath, and the first flannel mini quilt I made... two of my favorite things this holiday season!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

About time!

Yes, it is about time... the lack of it, how fast it seems to pass by, what I do in my "spare" time... whatever that is!  I could list my excuses for NOT posting for so long, but they are in the end, excuses. 

Instead, I will allow them to pass into time...

September...

Queen Dee had the most adorable Halloween quilt hanging on the door to her sewing room. 
 
She didn't have the pattern any longer, but she did have the witch, moon, and letters traced on freezer paper.  I took a cellphone photo of her quilt and borrowed the silhouettes to trace.  I made two exactly alike, one for my DD, and one for my DDIL.  I didn't have enough of the same fabric to make a third one for me, so I dug into my Halloween fabric stash.
 
 

What really makes this Halloween cutie is a layer of soft tulle over the entire top, and simple horizontal quilting.  Here's a close up of the two.

Chalk lines under the tulle... ready for simple machine quilting.

I used an ivory colored tulle.

Easy, quick, and so cute! 

October...

Retreat!  This year the Threads quilt group travelled to northwest Iowa, to the lake home of one of our members.  Everything about the 6 days was wonderful... the sewing, the company, the space, the food, the shopping, the extra sleep, the laughs... everything!

Home Sweet Home for 6 days of Fall Retreat 2014

Eight sewing machines filled the sunroom,
with room to spare!

I took these two pictures after a Saturday of shopping... everyone
was admiring and sharing their purchases around the dining
room table... the sewing room was empty... for a short while!


A few retreat projects... large Great Granny Square blocks, fabric
pentagon balls, and a flannel and wool snowman runner.


 We've been invited back next October... already looking forward to it!

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Back to those pentagon fabric balls... in August I ordered TIN PINKEEP, a Heartspun Quilts pattern by Pam Buda.   The fabric ball pin cushion fits into a vintage tin Jell-O mold.  I had so much fun making these, I could not stop at one!  I'm still on the look out for a few vintage molds, but in the meantime, I will keep filling my 1992 Longaberger basket!


These involve EPP, so of course I had to make a bunch!

 I recently joined the fun of Instagram... so much fun to quickly see the creativity of others!  And so much temptation to add to the ever-growing-to-do list!!!   You can find me by searching for Kindred Quilts... my account is private, so if you want to follow, just request to do so.  And if you are on Instagram, I'd love to follow you!

Happy sewing!



 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's been awhile!

 
Really?  It's the end of August?  How did that happen?

 
Hot and humid summer days seem to be the perfect time for brightly colored fabrics and fun designs.  I've been wanting to make Great Granny Square blocks since they popped up all over quilt blogs... two years ago!  And so it goes... I'm usually the last one to the show!





 I found a cute pattern for mini GGS blocks, using charm squares here.  I got busy over a long stretch of evenings after work.  Once I started I couldn't stop!  The charm packs I'm using are Potluck and School Days, both by American Jane Patterns for Moda.   
 
 
 
I have a plan... but I'm not at liberty to reveal it... yet.   
 
 
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The annual fall retreat with my Threads group will be in October, a month later than in years past.  Instead of the 7+ hour drive to the northern woodlands of Minnesota, we opted for a 2 hour drive to the spacious Iowa lake home of one of our members.  In the next couple of weeks we will get together to plan our 5 day agenda... naturally it will be the usual sweat shop of sewing machine tables and a grid of extension cords and power strips criss-crossing the floor.  Meals will be planned, but the option of dining out will be ever present.  (Especially on the night Carole and I are in charge!)  We'll venture out at least one day to visit quilt shops in scenic northwestern Iowa, most likely visiting a few antiques shops as well.  Did I tell you I can hardly wait???   




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Am I lucky or what !!!

Earlier this month I was one of five lucky winners from Pam Buda's Heartspun Quilts blog, introducing her new fabric collection, Prairie Gathering!   Who wouldn't love checking their mailbox and finding this...


A charm pack of 27, eight inch squares... Prairie Gathering Collection
by Pam Buda.  The picture makes them look pinkish, but they are
beautiful, rich, reds!


Simply irresistible!!!
 
Take a moment to visit Pam's blog, and read about a new approach to a year long Block of the Month program starting in January, 2015.  Or should I say, Non-Block of the Month???  Pam's creativity will take participants down a different path, creating a Medallion style quilt... curious???  Read more by clicking here!
 
Thank you, Pam!  I'm looking forward to the Medallion Quilt project!


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Summer is racing by and I find myself jumping from one EPP project to another.  Blog reading has taken a back seat to evenings spent in my comfy chair, needle and thread in hand, as I secure fabric pieces to paper hexagons, diamonds, and honeycombs.  I enjoy it so much!
 
I'm making progress on three EPP projects...


Stars in the Garden -  3/8 inch hexies... the paths are taking shape. 
You will notice that I secure the fabric to the paper with more stitches than necessary.  It's a me thing... I really like my fabric pieces to be taunt on the paper shapes, and the extra stitches help achieve that!
(from Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine -  Spring 2013)

 
Thirteen, 2 inch, 6 point diamonds... making these with floral fabrics.  I'm
not sure how these will be used in a project... looking to Sandra, (in my
quilt group) for some ideas!
 
 
Six Lucy Boston blocks, working on seven and eight!  The fabric in the background is my main path fabric.  The path pieces are sewn on the block in the middle of the bottom row, because I wanted to see how it would look...
I like it! 
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I can tell already, as this Saturday afternoon rolls along, that the housework will wait for another day... I'd rather read blogs, (way behind), and sit in my comfy chair with an EPP project!  What will you be doing with your time this afternoon???

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hurray for the RED, WHITE, and BLUE!!!


 
Last week while visiting favorite blogs, I was inspired by Janet, Rogue Quilter, and her RED, WHITE, and BLUE post.  I told her in my comment that I was probably going to copy her idea... a RED, WHITE and BLUE post of projects recognizing the colors of our country... my way of complimenting her on a great idea!  You can visit Janet's post by clicking here!  Be prepared to be awe struck!
 
I gathered patriotic wall hangings, mini quilts, pincushions, cross stitch projects, and a few other goodies that were on display in my home.  I really wanted to take outdoor pictures, so out to my partly cloudy patio I went...  hot cup of coffee, trusty camera, and R,W, & B beauties.  It was a bit windy outside, so my planned photo shoot proved to be a challenge...  I'm sure some of my neighbors watched me with raised eyebrows and confused looks on their faces.  They must not be quilters, or bloggers.  (And they have no idea how much they are missing!)


While placing the larger quilts I realized I can only take credit for four out of the five, and the newest of the four I made is two years old!  I'll have to remedy that soon!  (Or I may hear from JoAnn at Patriotic Quilter!!!)  On the back of the chair is a "made it up as I went along" challenge from 2012.  The seven members in the Bowtie group all purchased the same charm pack, and had three months to create something using it.  The only additional fabric allowed was for backing and binding.  The fabric is Minnick and Simpson, Clemont Farms.  Since log cabin and crisscross are two of my favorite blocks, I combined them with piano key borders for a scrappy table topper.  Draped upside down on the arm of the chair, is a table runner I made 6-7 years
 ago.  That will explain why I don't remember who should receive pattern credit.




The nine unfinished blocks on the left are paper pieced blocks from Rosemary Youngs "Quilts from the American Homefront."  There are 121 quilt blocks in her book, inspired by letters written by servicemen and their families during WWII.  (I see them now and wonder why I haven't been piecing more of these lovelies as of late!)   My dad fought in WWII, so this WIP is dedicated to his memory, his years of service, and the strong patriotic feelings he instilled in me to this day.   (The book is available from Amazon.com.) 

 
 
 
The framed cross stitched design, Americana Star Sampler, is my design,
featured in Better Homes and Gardens 2004 Keepsakes Cross Stitch
Calendar.   The mini flag is a freebie from the blog of Temecula Quilt 
Company (July 3, 2011 post...couldn't get it to link).  The stuffed,
 elongated America heart is soft, red suede fabric, with a sash of stars
 from old Jo Morton fabric, and simple embroidery.  The blue alphabet
sampler is a Blackbird  Design.  It's a pin cushion, but I don't have
the heart to stick pins in it!  I wish I could remember the designer
 of the God Bless America mini door knob hanger.  I stitched this in
early 1990's... it's always been a favorite.   Lastly, the large pin cushion is one
of the first EPP projects I ever made using diamond templates, and it's reversible.
  The underside is also patriotic fabrics.

 



An absolute favorite is this large scrappy flag that my sister gifted
 to me for my birthday last year, which happens to be the same
day as Flag Day!   It's a beauty!!!


Another table topper that I made 6-7 years ago.  It may be a Kansas
Star pattern, using R,W, & B fabrics that I had in my stash at that time.
  I hand stitched around each of the center stars, machine stitched in
 the ditch on the narrow borders, and used homespun for the
wide borders.  I hand quilted random stars in the wide border as well. 




I would love to see more RED, WHITE, and BLUE posts from my fellow USA bloggers!   I joined Janet's parade, and now it's time for you to do so too! 



This will be my last post before the weekend so


H A P P Y   4 TH   O F   J U L Y !!!

Make it a fire crackin' good time!
 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mini Spools Quilt and Growing EPP projects!



It's a finish!  After several nights of tediously removing the tissue paper from the back, and a few undecided moments of border fabrics, my blue spools mini quilt is at home, gracing a wood slat bench in my living room. 


In late February I was the lucky recipient of a giveaway for participating in Humble Quilts Midwinter Blues sew along... six gorgeous blue fabric fat quarters, and I've been hoarding them ever since!  I used the brightest blue in the bunch for the narrow border and I love the pop of blue framing the spools together.  I must have auditioned at least 15 different fabrics for the wide borders, finally deciding on 4 different muted gold prints, simply because I didn't have enough of any one of them to border all the way around.  The binding is black with a bit of red in it.  Simple cross hatch machine quilting, a quick run through the washer, a tumble in the dryer, and I can check off a June finish... just in the nick of time! 

 
 






The bottom of a mesh waste basket holds the evidence of several nights of tearing off the tissue paper foundation pieces.  The Band-Aid played a role as well.  I use sharp tweezers to remove the pesky little pieces from underneath the pressed seams.  I got a bit close to my index finger...



The finished size of my new mini is 20.5 inches by 23 inches.  This fun little pattern is Scrap Happy Spools, a Little Bits pattern by Cindi Edgerton.  Click here for more information.

 
 
 
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I cannot lie... EPP has taken control of any spare stitching moments I can muster.  I'm still working on the paths for my Stars in the Garden project.  The 3/8 inch paper hexies and the path fabric precuts (precut by me), are easy to take with me and work on when the opportunity presents itself.  Slow and steady progress... 
 
 
 
 
I'm a member of a small group of 1st Saturday of the Month stitchers who dedicate the time to the production of Lucy Boston Blocks.  The arrival of summer has altered those Saturday plans... vacations and busy lives don't always make room for scheduled get together time!  I have four Lucy Boston blocks completed, one with the path fabric honeycombs sewn around it, because I just couldn't wait to get a glimpse of how it would look!  Four more blocks are ready to piece together... perfect for evening hand sewing!
 
 
Each of the containers holds the honeycombs for a block.
  My color theme consists of primarily brown, red, and beige.
 
 
I have been admiring the EPP diamond stars that Sandra, a stitching friend, has been making.  Every month she comes to our Threads meeting with more beauties to share.  Some are fussy cut and some just simply show off the beauty of the fabric without the need for fussy cutting.   I have several half yard cuts of Judie Rothermel's Dressing Gown fabrics, purchases on line last summer.  I used just small bits of some of the prints for a mini nine patch quilt you can see here.  I've been searching for a pattern that would show off the loveliness of these fabric prints.  After drooling over Sandra's diamond stars since the first of the year, I decided to steal her vision... one of the best ways to feature fabrics that don't require fussy cutting, is EPP six point, two inch diamond paper pieces.   


 
 
The four diamond stars on the right are prints from the Dressing Gown collection...  the two on the left are from my stash of floral prints.  Only the blue diamond is fussy cut.  There is a plan... I want to use floral prints for each of the diamond stars.  Another on-going EPP project... lovin' every minute of it!
 
 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scrappy Spools

A Sunday of sewing and I'm closer to a flimsy of scrappy spools. 




At this point it measures 16" x 20" without two narrow and one wide border the pattern calls for.  I may or may not add the three borders... we'll see!   Ahead of me now is the task of removing the tissue paper foundations... I like paper piecing, but I don't enjoy tearing the paper off the back.  I don't know anyone who does!

The pattern is Scrap Happy Spools, a Little Bits pattern by Cindi Edgerton.  (For more information on this pattern and others by Cindi, click here).  Cindi offers two variation... 9 or 20 spools.  I opted for the 20 spools version, with each of the spools in a different blue fabric.  Mission accomplished!   The coming week nights will be occupied with finishing this small quilt... that's the plan anyway!

I hope you find time to spend in your sewing room this week, too!


 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

AMB Fat Quarter Give-away!

It's time to draw for the lucky winner of the eight AMERICAN MADE BRAND fat quarters.

But first I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who visited IOWA while riding along on the American Made Brand Road Trip of the 50 States!  I have been overwhelmed by your sweet comments, and I have enjoyed reading about some of your own experiences and connections to my current home state of Iowa.  Thank you all, so much!



It was truly a pleasure to have the opportunity to design a license plate representing Iowa for this event.  And it's not over yet... the road trip continues until June 20th!  Click on the AMB button on the top of my sidebar... 16 more blogs are waiting to reveal the license plates they have design for their states.  You won't want miss them, or a chance to win 8 AMB fat quarters!

Let's get to the drawing... the winner of the AMB fat quarter bundle is...


 
True Random Integer Generator 135 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
 
# 135 is Deb, of Shenandoah Valley, VA
 
Congratulations Deb!  I will contact you by e-mail!!!
 
 
All of the 50 designers will be mailing their fabric license plates to Clothworks in Seattle, WA, by the end of June.  (AMB is a division of Clothworks).   The blocks will be used to make one large quilt.  The quilt will be featured in the AMERICAN MADE BRAND booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston, TX, October, 2014. 
 
 
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I am looking forward to returning my attention to the numerous WIP's I have ignored for the last 3 weeks!  It's time to get back to my 3/8" hexie Stars in the Garden project, and the spools mini quilt that charmed its way into my heart in early May... not to mention a few new patriotic patterns that somehow appeared on the top of a pile of "to do" patterns!  I think a magical fairy quilter must have visited my sewing room when I wasn't looking, and POOF!  Let the fun continue!!!