Friday Check-In

We are on the brink of another glorious, beautiful weekend!  My husband is enjoying another birthday today, so we have a weekend long celebration of family and food and relaxation.

My daughter and I are invited to a tea party birthday for our neighbor tomorrow.  Her birthday was this week as well.  I decided to convert my plans for my Valentine table topper into a gift for Emily.  Here is the quilt top I pieced based on a free pattern put out by Allison through Cluck Cluck Sew:

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I was going to use it just for seasonal decoration, but I thought it would make a perfect pillow sham for a 9 year old who loves pink and purple.

Now, for some personalization…

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Ignore the wrinkles and such…

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It has been a while since I did some embroidery work.  But I love how it turned out!

I just need to back it with some white fabric and do some quilting, then make the envelope-style backing pieces with a purple polka dot fabric I picked up last night and stitch it all together!

After that – I think I am going to knock out the last blocks for the Snapshots Quiltalong.  Getting so very close on that finish.

Last weekend I was able to finish up the car block and started with all my prepped and labeled pieces (I really want the BLUE set of Alphabitties now, but I have two packages of the pink ones already!):

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Then the final result:

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And lastly – my Mom is planning the wedding for my brother and sweet fiancé in May, so she brought over some sample dresses for her granddaughter to try on.  This was early on a Saturday morning during cartoon hour, so it isn’t intended to be a glamour photo.  I think she will be getting a hair cut this weekend also, now that I see this picture again… :)  I can also spot in the background that it is time to rotate my Lori Holt Bee in my Bonnet calendar now too!

 

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Have a super weekend everyone!

Jennifer

Another Weekend – Another Snapshots Block

I’m ready – are you?  Friday is here and I’ve got no big plans for the next two days.

Last night I pulled out my Snapshots box and sorted through fabric to decide on the next block.

I decided that I was going to do the original #10 block in the series, called GONE SURFIN’.  You can do this block too, by following this link to the Fat Quarter Shop blog site for the Snapshots Quiltalong.  As with all of their blocks, they have the PDF pattern and a video tutorial.  Picture below grabbed from that web page.Snapshots10Pic

 

I have been doing my own color scheme, using a variety of bright fabrics, from the beginning.  Now that I have the majority of blocks done, I’m working on these last two to repeat some fabrics and create balance in the overall quilt top.

Here’s my pull for fabrics last night.

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I’m hoping it goes quickly, because this will only leave Block #12, WALK IN THE PARK, and the bonus CAMERA block for the back to do.  Then on to framing out each block and adding the sashing and pieced backing.  Still a long way to go before it is ready to quilt, but I can’t stop now.  Too close to the end, right?

On another note, I was able to leave a wee bit early from work yesterday and we had a particularly nice evening ahead of us here in Houston.  The traffic was still terrible, so during the stop-and-go periods I took a couple of pictures of the pretty skyline.

This is my city.

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I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead!  See you on the other side!

Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impromptu Valentine’s Day Quilt Top

This week I chose to get less sleep and do more quilting.  That’s apparently the only way it is going to happen for me.  But it is all good.  I love my results!

Here is the completed mini-quilt from the Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots Club.

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I was careful with the piecing, but I do think starching and sewing slowly made a difference in getting my points which are ALL OVER this quilt.

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I have even found a perfect spot for it in my home.  Once quilted, I’ll lay it on top of my vintage Singer treadle machine.

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But that wasn’t my only finish this week!  Oh no!

During my lunch hour at work, I usually browse my blog lists and it was Friday afternoon when I came across a blog post from Cluck Cluck Sew and the talented Allison.  Click HERE to open a window up to her blog post.  THANK YOU Allison!!

I used her generous, free mini quilt pattern for the center of the quilt and then added on some borders to make it big enough for a table topper on my kids activity table.

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I started this around 9:00 pm on Friday night… stitched the center and was done by 1:00 am.  Picked up in the morning and added the polka dot inner border.

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I have the same polka dot print, but in a larger scale, picked out for my Snapshots picture quilt – so it was also a test to see how well it would play with that white background (which is also my main background in the Snapshots quilt).

I literally just worked with fabrics I already had sitting at my finger tips on the cutting table.

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I had a fat quarter bundle of Milk, Sugar, &  Flower by Elea Lutz and the sweet prints seemed perfect for a Valentine themed quilt.  I used scraps I had sitting on my table from the Snapshots quilt, to make the pieced side borders.  The smallest heart is made from the red dot print from Little Joys.

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And, what do you ask, about the Strawberry Fields Revisited that I raved about?  I guess I still have some trepidation of opening up my perfect packages.  But, baby steps!

I did take off the shrink wrap today…

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And carefully unpacked it.

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Can’t wait!!

Then I packed it right back up.  Maybe next weekend…

Have a great week everyone!

Jennifer

Bucket List Item – Kim Diehl quilts

I have long admired the patterns and books and fabric selections by Kim Diehl.  I have yet to make one of her quilts though.

Through some easy persuasion (enabler is Nicole from Sister’s Choice Quilts blog), I decided to sign up for the 4th Annual Simple Whatnots Club with Fat Quarter Shop.  I would provide a link to the club offering on the FQS website, but as of today – it is no longer there.  Guess they are now sold out.

Here is a picture I grabbed from their blog post awhile back…

Fourth Annual SWC

Month 1 delivery of the club came to my mailbox on Friday.  It is the one pictured in the middle of the top row.  To use my daughter’s favorite word right now … Adorable!

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Now, I love my Fig Tree Quilts and I am still excited about getting my hands into the Strawberry Fields Revisited … but this bundle of fabric, delicious saturated colors, all neatly folded in the envelope above … I just couldn’t put it off.  Plus, a 19 1/2″ square table topper should be quick and easy to knock out in a long holiday weekend.

 

First – I had to move Violet out of her favorite sunning spot…

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Then I got to starching, pressing, cutting and sewing…

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Because it is such a small scale block with small pieces, I made sure to check each unit as I made them and get them perfectly squared up before moving to the next steps.

I got the center of the quilt done early enough on Monday to get a good outdoor picture taken:

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I kept working on it last night, adding the next round of inner borders and then starting on the final sets of flying geese units.   This was the last updated picture I took (inside photo, at night – that design wall is an off-white color instead of pink).

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You would not believe how much fabric is left over in this kit.  I sent an email to FQS just to make sure I wasn’t suppose to hold the extra fabric for future months.  The kits are pricey, but you certainly get a good value for the amount of fabric that you get to add to your stash.  Included in the price is the backing fabric as well.

I hope to get the remaining borders done tonight or tomorrow.  By Friday, I hope to share the final quilt top and I’ll post a picture of the remaining fabric, in case you were on the fence about signing up for one of these clubs in the future.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Jennifer

 

Who’s with me?? Strawberry Fields Revisited

I now have my fill of precuts, fat quarter bundle, Frivol and charity Quilt Along kit in my sewing room.  At some point I will order some yardage, but I need to give my credit card a break.

Both of these packages arrived yesterday and I opened the biggest box first…

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My feet were squirming a bit when I pulled this out of the box.  This is the Crossroads Quilt Along kit from Fat Quarter Shop.  It is their second (hopefully annual) charity quilt project that will benefit the March of Dimes.  They only ask for a $5/month donation – but the patterns will be available for free from their blog page.

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You can find all the right and updated information from this site…  Crossroads Quilt Along

I just want to unpack it and roll around in the fabric and lay it out on the bed …. but it won’t breathe any fresh air in my house until it is time.  Need to protect it from kids and cats.

The smaller box I received was the much anticipated Moda FRIVOLS.  I am not getting all of them (they are a monthly series of 7″ square cuts of fabric collections, packaged in a super cute tin and original pattern).  This is my third FRIVOL purchase.  But it will certainly be the first one that I actually quilt.

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I think I will open this one up over the weekend (maybe tonight) and start to digest the pattern instructions.

Although I plan to work at least one day this weekend, I am taking Monday off from work to hang out with my kids.  I bought a coupon for services at the Mad Potter.  You can pick out some pieces of ready-to-paint pottery and have fun.  Kids need something to give Dad for his birthday and my kids LOVE to paint.

Hope you are excited about your weekend plans as well!  Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear if you are as addicted to this fabric as I am.

Jennifer

 

Snapshots – A Picture Quilt

On to brighter topics and colors!

Last weekend I finally buckled down to get through my Snapshots sew-along blocks.  Going to get them done before all of these 2016 BOMs get ramped up.

I plan to join in the Fat Quarter Shop Crossroads Charity Quilt-a-Long using the Fig Tree Quilts Strawberry Fields Revisited collection … but isn’t everyone??  Also, based on some affection for other blogger posts – I felt ‘talked into’ joining the Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots Miniature Quilts monthly kits.  The first one should arrive at my house today.  This will be my first time participating in her program (also through Fat Quarter Shop).  Then there is the Fig Tree Quilts 2016 Mystery Sampler BOM that should start in a month or two … and Midnight Clear BOM through FQS using a pattern by Sherri Falls from her upcoming book Holiday Wishes.  I’m also waiting on kits from the Vintage Picnic collection and I know I want to make something with “Little Ruby” – both of which come from Bonnie & Camille.  So much great stuff this year!!!

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Baby girl is holding up the hot air balloon, which took longer than I thought it would to make.  But quick enough regardless.

Neighbor friend is holding up the bicycle block which I had stressed over starting because I thought it would take forever.  It did take most of my day, in between watching some football and hanging out with the kids.  Not too bad at all.  Those tiny pinwheels!

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The sailboat block went together super quick.  Cut and pieced it while the kids took their baths on Sunday night.

Here is a group picture of all but the sailboat:

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I think … think … I am going to make the camera block instead of the car block for the front, and that would then only leave the picnic basket.  Two blocks and I’ll be ready to start the sashing!

I wanted to share this other rare picture.  We feed a feral cat named “Ralph” on our porch each morning and we are owned by another black cat who lives inside with us.  I think Ralph has started inviting his friends over now …  can you see all 3 black cats?  Black as night and as skittish as they can be.

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Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer

2016 – A Better Year Ahead

After about a month away from quilting, I started back up again this weekend.  You see, my best friend, the one I mentioned in my last post, passed away in the middle of December.  She was diagnosed with liver cancer  on October 23 and died at her home, with her family, on December 14.  It has been sad, surreal, heart breaking all at the same time.  Other than my husband, Sabrena was my best friend who I had the pleasure of seeing every day at work.  We met at work over 5 years ago and it took no time at all before we had our regular lunch dates to talk about family and work and movies and more family and all the stuff you talk about.  We had our last conversation in the hospital before she got discharged under hospice care.  I had no idea that would be the last time we would talk.  The doctors said 2 – 8 months without treatment.  She didn’t even make it 2 months with most of the time spent in the hospital.  It isn’t fair and I’m not happy about it and I’m struggling with it every day, because I go to work every day.

I started her quilt the weekend she told me her diagnosis.  I had procrastinated on her quilt in particular, waiting for the perfect fabric collection or pattern.  I jumped right in though with the beautiful romantic tones of the Rambling Rose fabrics by Sandy Gervais.  I picked out the Rose Garden pattern for Sabrena.

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Rose Garden Quilt by Sandy Gervais

This is the last full quilt progress picture I took before I started adding on the applique items.  At this time, I have the center applique done and the large bird in the corner.  All I have left are the leaf appliques around the sides and adding a border all the way around to make it big enough for a roomy lap quilt.

 

I think she would have loved it.

But for now, it is folded up and tucked away for the moment.  I’ll complete it at some point and give it to her husband.  For me, if I make a quilt for someone in particular – it has to go to that person.  I would even feel strange keeping it for myself.

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Instead of working on this quilt over the weekend, I put together 3 more blocks on the FQS Snapshots quilt.  I have two more blocks to go and I’ll get started on the sashing.  I’ll come back soon and show you those updates.  It will be more cheerful and bright – I promise.

All my best to you.  Thank you for visiting.  Go hug your children, spouse, friends, parents, siblings, boss, cousins.  Just do it.

 

Jennifer