Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's a flimsy...

By participating in Aunt Rene's Mystery Quilt, I ended up with a cute little baby quilt.   There is still another step to complete the mystery quilt, but since I'm doing my own thing, step 4 is my stopping point.

Here it is as a flimsy, lying on a round table with the corners falling over... it will be 40" x 40" square when completed.

I was lucky to have enough pink and white grid patterned fabric as a inner border, and a whimsical circle design as the outside border.  All the fabric is from Baskets of Flowers by Mary Engelbreit for Moda.  (It's from 2008!) 

 I enjoyed following Doreen's instructions to make this mystery quilt, although if you read my blog, you know I didn't follow the instructions to the T!  But I love the results... I've always wanted to make a zigzag quilt!   Thank you, Doreen!

The backing will be a mottled pink flannel seen on the left in the picture above. 

Once the quilt is finished I will donate it to the NICU at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.   It's a good feeling knowing that it will go home with a little baby girl upon her discharge from the place she spent her first days, weeks, or months as a newborn.   (Note to self... try to make baby quilts to donate more often!!!) 


Sunday, May 26, 2013


 In memory...




At the rising of the sun
and at its going down,
We remember them.

At the blowing of the wind
and in the chill of winter,
We remember them.

At the opening of the buds
and in the rebirth of spring,
We remember them.

At the shining of the sun
and in the warmth of summer,
We remember them.

At the rustling of the leaves
and in the beauty of autumn,
We remember them.

As long as we live,
they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
As we remember them.
                                                       Author unknown


My Dad was 1 of 8,960 men who served with the Eighth Air Force B-17,  303rd Bombardment Group,  known as "Hell's Angels."  This group flew a record of 364 combat missions, and were stationed at Molesworth, England, from 1942-1945.  My Dad served his country proudly, and loved to tell stories of his days in England.  He  passed away in 1993, at the age of 72. 


Wishing all of you and your families a Happy Memorial Day.  I hope it is a day of remembrance, as well as celebration for you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Breaking the Rules... again.

Maybe "breaking the rules" is too harsh... more like, "doing it my way."  Yeah.  I like that better!
Yesterday, Doreen from Aunt Reen's Place gave instructions for her Layer Cake Mystery Quilt.  Step four is about placement of the completed blocks into rows, thereby revealing the pattern as the rows are sewn together.   If you follow my blog you already know that when I decided to participate in this mystery quilt, I was already "breaking the rules" because I was working with a charm pack instead of a layer cake.  And as I was working on step one, I discovered I was playing with an incomplete charm pack, so I knew I would end up with smaller and fewer blocks than Doreen's design.  I didn't fret... I'd would just end up with whatever I ended up with.  (Really, I'm much more organized in my life than it may appear!)  
So here are my rows of blocks on my portable design wall...

BUT, if you want to see Doreen's TRUE pattern, go here!  It's a real beauty!   At the end of the post, Doreen has links to other blogs that are participating in this sew-along.  It is so fun to see how the REAL pattern looks in the various fabrics chosen by the other quilters! 
As you can see, I decided to omit the row of geese blocks that form a flag banner row.  Instead, by repeating rows of the four patch block, I've ended up with a charming zigzag pattern and I like it!!!  My plan is add a narrow border, and then a wide border, using fabric from the same line as the blocks.  (Baskets of Flowers by Mary Engelbreit for Moda). The finished size will be 40" x 40", perfect for a baby quilt!

The NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at the hospital where I work is always in need of baby quilts.  (A quilt is given to every baby who spends time in the NICU... it lays on the baby's little isolette, and goes home with the baby upon discharge).   I'll share pictures once it's completed.   

Thank you Doreen, for hosting this very fun sew along!!!


June is just around the corner... geeezzzzz!  Where has the year gone?!?   For those of you participating in the Simply Charming Every Other Month Mini Quilt Sew Along, it's that time again!  This no pressure sew along is hosted by Darlene of Quilting Daze, and myself.  Go here for more information.  If you are interested, you can join us at anytime.  And it is really no pressure... we just like to see what mini quilt from the Simply Charming book participants decide to make.  I will provide a link for June's quilt on June 1st, and you will have until July 5th to link up to it!   Here's a sneak peak at my June mini quilt...

 Can you guess which pattern from the book this is???


A blessed three day weekend is upon us... happy Memorial Day to all of you and your families!  And if time allows, spend some with a needle and thread!   

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Friday Night Sew-In is finished on Saturday...

I love it when one project counts towards more than one objective... my finished Sweet Pea Doll Quilt is a completion, and fulfills my participation in FNSI (sponsored by Heidi), and Kathleen Tracy's May 2013, Small Quilt Talk Monthly Doll Quilt.


My finished mini measures 16" x 16", smaller than Kathleen's pattern because I used fabric from a jelly roll for my outside border.  (The jelly roll fabrics were end bolt strips, put together by a delightful quilt shop in Brainard, Minnesota... a crafty way to mix, match, and sell, leftover fabric!)   After sewing the binding on, I hurried outside to catch the last of the daylight for my pictures.  I had fun with the machine quilting, using for the first time, my new Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2.  It was a joy... but I'm still learning where and how all those buttons work! 

When I came back indoors I noticed a framed cross stitched sampler that I made back in 1990... the colors in the sampler are similar to the mini quilt... I just may have to figure a way to display them together! 

Tell me how you spent your day... did cutting, piecing, or quilting fabric play a role? 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sweet Pea progress...

Kathleen Tracy's 2013 Quilt a Month Challenge selection for May is Sweet Pea Doll Quilt.   You can find the free pattern here

For information about Kathleen's Monthly Quilt Challenges, visit her blog here.

I spent last evening pulling fabrics, cutting, and piecing the center of the block together.  My plan is to finish it this weekend.  When completed this cute mini will be 18" x 18".  The fabrics I'm using are from my stash, except for the 5 fat quarters in the picture.  I picked these up on the same visit to my LQS when I purchased my new Pfaff.  (Yes, I find it difficult to leave a quilt shop without a few fat quarters for my stash... don't you?)  It never fails... I'm constantly drawn to the same fabric designers... Judie Rothermel, Paula Barnes, Edita Sitar,  Barbara Brackman, and Jo Morton to name a few.  Can't get enough of them!

So far so good with the Pfaff Expression 4.2!  Love the thread snips, bright LED lights, large sewing space, bobbin thread sensor, the large foot control, and so much more!  I don't think I've discovered nearly every feature as of yet! 

I'm wishing all of you a happy weekend... hopefully you will be able to spend some of it with a needle and thread!   Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Breaking the rules...

...that's me, once again.  Yes I can read instructions, but I don't always follow them!   This is the case with a sew along I recently joined.  Doreen at Aunt Reen's Place is hosting free monthly fast and easy mystery quilt alongs using precuts.  The quilt for May is Easy Summer Breeze, and uses one layer cake and a contrasting fabric.  I signed on, knowing exactly the layer cake I was going to use... it's been in my fabric closet for at least 5 years!   And I knew I had plenty of fabric from the same line to use as my contrasting fabric.  Turns out I must have dipped into that layer cake for another project... oh yes... I remember now.  Christmas presents, 3 years ago... I made oven mitts and hot plates for the females in my family.   (Except me, because one has to cook to have a need for oven mitts and hot plates!)  Aha!!!   I have a charm pack in the same fabric line!   It's settled!  My Easy Summer Breeze won't be a 72" x 84" quilt!  It will be a table topper, a wall hanging, or two baby quilts!
Baskets of Flowers by Mary Englebreit for Moda

My HST's are pressed open.  I need to measure and square them.  Once that is completed I will group them into sets.  Then I'll be ready for Doreen's week three instructions... hope she doesn't mind that I've already broken the rules!   I'm planning on making the May mystery quilt only, as I'm already behind with other sew along projects that I have committed to.  (Good thing none of them have deadlines!)
I love to read in my spare time... whatever that is!  I'm really into my latest find... it's not really a book... it's an owner's manual!

After months and months of research, and oodles of encouragement from my quilting gal pals that currently sew with Pfaff machines, I took the plunge and visited my favorite local quilt shop to purchase the sewing machine that will carry me into retirement, and beyond! 

Pfaff Quilting Expression 4.2
I brought my new baby home last Thursday evening and due to a very busy weekend I haven't had a chance to play with it very much.   I'm looking forward to the quieter approaching weekend.  I just may hibernate, and hang a sign on my door that says "Gone Sewing!" 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's been...

... a no sew weekend for me.  In fact I haven't been in my sewing room since last weekend.  That wasn't the plan, but it's the plain truth! 
However, I do have something to show you.  My big sis doesn't have a blog, but she has been sewing along with Darlene and I, and many of you, in the Simply Charming Every Other Month Sew Along.  This is her mini quilt for April.  Sis may not have a blog but she has an Etsy shop, and she informed me that this cute little mini sold the day after she posted it.  Way to go Sis!!!  She use a charm pack of Portugal for Moda, by April Cornwell. 
Off the Beaten Path - pattern by Tara Lynn Darr
Pieced and Quilted by Mary Jo

This past week I was more in reading mode than sewing mode in the evening hours after work.  It's a problem... if I'm engrossed in a book, NOTHING else gets done!  And that was the case with Me Before You, a novel by JoJo Moyes.  LOVED IT!!!  I will definitely be seeking other books by this author!

Although we had unseasonable weather last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and into Saturday, (lots of rain, of few inches of snow, windy, and cold), my daughter and I were determined to make our annual visit on Saturday to a local greenhouse to purchase our pretties for container gardening.  (We like to go the weekend before Mothers Day to avoid the crowds).  My prized purchases will have to spend evenings in my garage the next couple of days... I'm hoping for more realistic May weather next weekend so the planting can begin!   The local weathermen have shared words of encouragement, but we all know they've been wrong before!  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Just wondering... if you're not in sewing mode, what do you do???