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.

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. 
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!!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Welcome to I O W A !!!

I'm so happy that the next stop of the American Made Brand tour has brought you to my adopted home state of  I O W A! 

Iowa became the 29th state on December 28th, 1846.  Iowa is bordered by the mighty Mississippi on the east, and the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers on the west, making it the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers. 

Des Moines, Iowa's state capital, is the largest city in the state
 and the political and economic center.

Iowa is generally not flat, as it is often thought of.  Most of the state consists of rolling hills.  Rich in agricultural production since the introduction of railroads in the 1850's and 1860's, the Farm Crisis of the 1980's caused a major recession.  Iowa's economy became less dependent on agriculture and presently has a mix of manufacturing, biotechnology, finance, and insurance services.

One can enjoy all four season if they live in Iowa.  I use the word "enjoy" loosely... winter can be brutal!

Iowans are proud of the Hawkeye state!  Whether one is a fan of the Iowa State Cyclones, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, or any of the other colleges or universities spread across the state, we support them enthusiastically.  The states gets considerable national attention every four years because it holds the first presidential caucuses, making it the starting point for choosing the two major-party candidates for president.  Every August we flock to the Iowa State Fair - 10 fun filled days of carnival rides, livestock shows, local and national entertainer performances, and eating whatever can be served on a stick!   Iowa continues to attract the Hollywood movie industry, allowing us to showcase the beauty of the state in blockbusters movies like "The Bridges of Madison County," and "Field of Dreams."  ("Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa!")   I'm especially fond of our state parks, with their endless walking and biking trails, cavern exploring opportunities, campsites, and scenery that can take your breath away... a photographers dream!   I feel fortunate to have been able to raise my children here, and now watch them as they raise my grandchildren here.  Life is good in IOWA! 

I enjoyed the design process for this project, although I will admit that transferring a design from graph paper to fabric isn't as easy as I thought it would be.  I had several drawings in the works, some more intricate than other.  I wanted my license plate to depict the strong agricultural side of Iowa.  After all, one Iowa family farm grows enough food and fiber to feed 279 people!  And Iowa ranks near the top in the production of corn, soybeans, and grain production every year.

Here is my Iowa license plate, made with AMERICAN MADE BRAND 100% COTTON SOLIDS. 

Nestled among my pretty patio blooms!
Laying flat for a better look!

My design incorporates paper piecing, machine piecing, machine applique, hand applique, prairie points, embroidery, and the luck of finding metal tractor buttons at my local sewing center!  If you are interested in the pattern, send me an e-mail, ( and I will e-mail a PDF file back to you.  (Please keep in mind I am NOT a pattern writer!) 

Now for the opportunity to win a bundle of 8 brightly colored fat quarters from American Made Brand!   I'm keeping it simple... leave a comment telling me where you live.  If you are a no reply commenter, please provide your e-mail address so you can be contacted if you win.  International comments are eligible for the drawing.  I will draw the winner the evening of Tuesday, June 10th.

Imagine the pretty something you could
make with a bundle of these!!!

The WISCONSIN license plate is also being revealed today.  I was tickled when I found that out... I was born and raised there!  Make  your next stop on the road trip!   You can also visit the 27 states that joined the union before Iowa, by clicking on the AMB button at the top of my sidebar.  Click on their large AMB road trip button for a list of each blog featuring a license plate design beginning with Delaware and Pennsylvania on May 19th, and ending with Alaska and Hawaii on June 20th!  Have a great road trip!!!
Thanks for stopping by, and come again!!!