Friday, February 28, 2014

I Got Mail ~

Nothin' is nicer than finding fun mail filling your mailbox upon your arrival home from work... on a FRIDAY!

I am the lucky recipient of six gorgeous blue fat quarters from Lori... a prize for being a participant in her recent quilt-a-long, Midwinter Blues.  Lori's quilt-a-longs are truly enjoyable.  Her instructions are excellent, and she includes plenty of pictures for those of us that benefit from visuals!  I would encourage all of you to join the fun!  To visit Lori's Humble Quilts blog, and to learn more about her quilt-a-longs, click here.  Thank you Lori... I have plans for my blues!

Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month, and I will be joining a few other quilting friends to begin a new quilt project.  We will each be working on our own blocks, with fabrics of our choice, but bartering and begging to share fabrics is definitely allowed... and half the fun!  
The project has everything to do with this book...

... and will include these...  (I'm using the 3/4", the other are using 1")
... my fabric choices...

... primarily brown and red, with some soft beige, and a bit of black.
I tried to select both large and small scale prints, as well as fabrics with movement. 
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross blocks are all over blogland.  Fussy cutting the honeycomb shapes can give unbelievable results to the look of the block.  Hop over to Pinterest and search "Lucy Boston blocks" to see what I mean!
I'm off to my sewing room to do a bit of block preparation for tomorrow.  What fun projects will you be working on this weekend? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

A February Finish!

Hot Cross, a Schnibbles pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  
Fabric - Historical Blenders - Collection for a Cause,  by Howard Marcus
Finished size - 36" x 36"

I couldn't be happier with my February finish!   My quilter, Aimee, did beautiful work with free motion quilting.  I asked Aimee to give it some curves, to soften all the hard angles of the design, and she delivered!!!

Lots of "stop and go" quilting... time consuming,
I'm sure.  Thanks Aimee... I love it!

As soon as I had the binding sewn on, the quilt found its way into the wash machine on the gentle cycle, and then tossed into the dryer the second the spin cycle ceased!   I was so anxious to photograph it and share it here!    I love that crinkly look!

More of Aimee's awesome quilting
and the magic binding!
Several months ago, at our monthly Bowties quilt night, one of the girls finished a quilt with "Magic Binding."  When I reached the stage of deciding on binding for this quilt, I knew I wanted to achieve the same look for my Hot Cross. 

This technique involves two fabrics for the binding, and the end result looks like piping, but not as rounded as typical piping.  The best part is there is no hand sewing... the binding is done by machine!  It's a bit more time consuming up front, but if I would have done the traditional binding, I'd be sewing it on still, instead of blogging about it! 

Here are a few pictures of the binding in progress, but if you are interested in learning more about Magic Binding, there is a terrific tutorial, with pictures, here.

This is a finish with a couple of "firsts" for me... the magic binding, and sewing with clear thread!  (I told you I'm still a novice!)  The final step in sewing the binding in place calls for stitching in the ditch... NOT my favorite!  But how forgiving if one uses clear thread!  

The weekend is here... I hope you all find some time to spend it with needle and thread!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hexie flowers... and a peak at what I'm striving for!

I've made some progress on my hexie flowers for "Stars in the Garden" design. Eight full flowers are required in the design... I have six completed!

The flowers don't take nearly as long to complete as the stars do.  Sometimes it takes me longer to select my fabrics than to make a star... and I end up changing it up half the time!

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I've mentioned that my quilting friend Nor is also working on the same project.  She is in the process of  "connecting" the stars and flowers to the hexies that make the "path" between them.  Here's a peak!

What's not to love???

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And Carole, another quilter friend tackling the same project, graciously allowed me to take a few photos of the stars she has completed... minus the one she stitched while sipping on endless Pina Coladas when she was vacationing in the warmth of the Cancun sun... it's not going to make the cut...

 She's off to a good start, wouldn't you say???

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Do me a favor, please... scroll back to the first two pictures.  Leave a comment telling me which of the two background fabrics you like better... the 1st photo?  or the 2nd photo?

Wishing all of you a wonderful week of stitching!!!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Snowy Finish... Midwinter Blues

A week ago I posted a picture of my Midwinter Blues flimsy... it was a sunny day, and after a gentle overnight snowfall, it was appropriate that the flimsy was photograph with snow as the back drop.  I finished sewing the binding on last night.  How appropriate that when I took it outside this morning for its photo shoot, it was snowing!

Lori at Humble Quilts has hosted numerous quilt-a-longs, and Midwinter Blues is one of my favorites!   I opted for a narrow border, using the same fabric as the sashing.  The binding is also the same fabric.  I  quilted it differently from Lori's, and now wish I would have cross hatched it like hers... live and learn!   Love the soft, crinkly look of it after a quick machine wash and dry!   Thank you Lori... this was a fun quilt-a-long!  Visit Lori's wonderful blog, here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fifth Hexie Star completed!

I hope the readers of my blog aren't getting tired of seeing my hexie stars as I complete them!  As this is a work in progress, and traditionally we all like to see WIP's, you'll just have to put up with me and my fixation of English Paper Piecing! 

This is the last of the full stars.  On February 2nd, I posted a picture of the fabrics I had selected for star #5...  in true fashion to myself, I changed things up at the last minute.  But since the design calls for two half stars, eight flowers, eight half flowers, and four half diamonds, I'm sure those first selected fabrics will find their way into the design!   I have a long way to go, and I'm enjoying the ride!

The sun is shining brightly today, and even though it's only 3 degrees out, yesterday's gentle snowfall is a great back drop for outdoor pictures.  Here are the five completed stars lying in the shadows of my patio fence. 

Nor, my good quilting friend and mentor, is diligently sewing her hexie Stars in the Garden design together.  I've twisted her arm into letting me take some pictures tomorrow night at our Bowties get together.    I didn't have to twist too hard... she doesn't mind showing it off!  And Carol, if you read this, please bring yours too!  Carol recently spent a week vacationing in sunny Mexico, and told me that sipping Pina Coladas and sewing 3/8 inch hexies, isn't necessarily a good mix!  Can't wait to see your creations! 

To learn more about Stars in the Garden click here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday Night With Friends... spilled into Saturday!

Midwinter Blues is a flimsy... minus the two inch borders all around.  I'm not sure what fabric I will use for the borders... I'm auditioning several!  Visit Lori, at Humble Quilts, for instructions on this darling quilt.  (And to see Lori's other amazing quilt projects!)

It seemed I had just the perfect fabric for the sashing even though it is primarily brown, and Lori used blue in her quilt.  I also reversed the dark and light fabrics for center block.  In the original quilt design that Lori used to fashion this mini, the fabrics used for the corner setting triangles is a bit different from the fabrics used in the blocks.  I decided to repeat the neutral color fabrics used in the blocks for the corner settings, and I'm pleased with the results!  And because this quilt is entitled Midwinter Blues, it seemed appropriate to photograph it outdoors with snow as the backdrop.  How lucky that about 2 inches of fluffy snowflakes had just finished falling from the gray Iowa skies! 
Two days without the time to read other blogs is too long to go in my book.  I have a fresh cup of coffee, and a few Hershey kisses ... so it's me time to visit all of you!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Midwinter Blues... the timing is SO appropriate!!!

Iowa is back in the deep freeze... it's 4 degrees, but it feels like minus 10 degrees with the wind chill.   It snowed most of yesterday... 6 inches of dry, powdery flakes painted the town.   It's a pretty picture, until you step outside!   Burrrrrrrrrrrrrr...  I'm in the minority when I admit that I like snow... which means I don't really get the midwinter blues.  But that's the name of this mini quilt and I'm sticking with it!

So what better way to celebrate the first snowfall of February than to piece my Midwinter Blues blocks from Lori's quilt-a-long!  (finally!)

Yep... that's step one I just completed.  Lori posted step three earlier today.  Typical of me... I'm behind!  

I just love how they look overlapping one another in the picture above.  Step two is making four half blocks.  Step three is the sashing strips and borders.  Visit Lori's blog here to learn more!


This Friday is FNWF... Friday Night With Friends, hosted by Cheryll in Australia.  You can visit her here.  It's all about "me time."  Friends from all over the world "meet" on the first Friday of the month... sewing, stitching, knitting... whatever YOU want to do, in the comforts of your home.  You can sign up by linking to Cheryll's blog, write a post about what you did during your "me time," and over the weekend your FNWF friends will visit your blog to see your pretties, and you can visit their blogs to see the pretties they worked on!   I'll be working on Midwinter Blues Friday night and into the weekend... and the timing will be perfect.  It's supposed to snow again on Saturday!  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

4th Hexie Star - Completed!

The latest 3/8 inch hexie star...

... four down and one to go!


The fabrics for star number five have been chosen. 

And other projects patiently wait their turn for attention...

          Midwinter Blues...
          Lucy Boston blocks...
          A postage stamp mini...

I need a snow day!!!


Saturday, February 1, 2014


Shades of pink...            RED at its boldest...

oodles of hearts, stitched with LOVE...


that  famous  four lettered word...

never gets old...  never outdated...
can't be said often enough...