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Quick update on Clover

Grabbed a couple of quick pics this morning on my way out.  I am seeing a light.  Only about 20 more 4 patch units to make and place on the design wall, then I can finish the assembly.  I have my strips sewn, just need to slice, dice and resew to make the units.  Plenty of side triangles left to finish as well.  The colors in this picture came out kind of neon for some reason.  Looks much better in person.

Clover Bits

 

Here’s the updated design wall.  A few nights ago, I decided to get some momentum going and did some chain piecing of all the squares except 4 patch units.  The rows that have the end setting triangles are already sewn together.  The other rows are just stuck up there for now.  A few more holes, rearranging and it should be a fast finish after that!

Clover Wall Almost Done

I had already talked myself out of making the 5×5 setting, because it is just not as fun as I wanted it to be.  However, I have the matching pumpkin panel, so maybe just a single block with a pumpkin and two others to make this a 3×4 setting and with borders, it could be a good lap quilt.  I’ll have to check out that math later tonight.  Stay tuned!

Have a great weekend!

Jennifer

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Special day for our family.  My mom is having a birthday and if anyone is the center of an extended family – it is her.  She does everything and has always done everything.  She’s a social butterfly and attentive wife, mother and grandmother.  Now that I’m writing this post, I wish I had a good picture of her to include…. darn.  My parents also celebrated their 50th anniversary this year.

I thought I would do a post today to accomplish two things at the same time.  1)  Honor my mom’s birthday and showcase the prior quilted items I have made in the past for her, and 2) update more items to my Quilt History page.

First up is a bed runner I made for her.  I think it was a Christmas gift for 2011.  NO LABEL!!! !@#$@#$I guess I can still make one and attach it.

The colors go great with her neutral toned bedding.  The fabric is Park Avenue by 3 Sisters and I got the pattern from the book “Bed Runners using Precut Fabrics” by Kathy Brown.  My mother is also a retired English teacher, so I need to comment that I know I should underline book titles, but I don’t have that option in my free WordPress application.

I gave her the coordinated fabric covered buttons as an option, but she decided to leave them off.  They would have gone in the center of each “flower” block.

Moms Bed Runner 4

This is on her actual bed. 

Moms Bed Runner 3

 

Moms Bed Runner 1

I was under a time crunch and I wasn’t confident enough to do the quilting myself yet, so I just gave her the quilt top with the backing/binding material in her gift.  She had it quilted locally and the woman selected a dove/bird motif as the pattern.

Moms Bed Runner 5

The next one to show you is a table topper I made her on July 4th, 2012.  I started this project when I got home one night from work and stayed up all night to finish it, and free motion quilt it myself!  I did the binding by hand and completed the label applique on the drive to her house that next morning.

It is called Ozark Star and the pattern is by Fons & Porter.  They did a segment on their show one day on this project and I really liked it.  Since it was 4th of July, I found some great fabrics I had in my stash by Anna Griffin called Fleur Rogue along with a random charm pack and yardage that was also patriotic looking. 

 

Ozark Star Center

Nora loves her hair clips.  Not just for hair apparently!

Ozark Star with Nora

I even threw some fast embroidery on the label to try and spice it up.  I think this backing fabric was a juvenile print called “Rescue 911” if I recall correctly.

Ozark Star label

Another table runner that I made was documented extensively on my blog already … it was the quilt along I did with Pam Buda called “Forget Me Not”.  Here’s the finished quilt runner, but you can click on my tags to the right and see all the posts relating to this quilt.

I gave this to my Mom on her birthday last year, 2012.

FMN Quilt

I still love this quilt and the details I put into it.  Like the wooden forget-me-not flower button.

FMN Border Closeup

 

Finally… I have tried and tried to remember if this was my FIRST quilt or my SECOND.  The other option is a king size Christmas log cabin quilt which I haven’t shown you yet.  But… I think this might be the second.  I didn’t label it, so there you go.  LABEL YOUR QUILTS!

Complete unknown fabrics from Hancock Fabric and WalMart.

Christmas Tree Wall Hanging 1

 

So – HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!  I reserve the right to whip up another quilted gift for you tonight… 🙂

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer

Fell hard, fell fast!

I don’t subscribe, or even normally buy a copy, of Quilters Newsletter.  But the latest issue had a quilt on the cover that I couldn’t pass up.  I found my copy at Joanns Fabric, but I know FQS is carrying it right now as well.  It comes packaged with a bonus CD with other quilt patterns.

The cover photo is a quilt made by Terri Krysan and is called REACH for the STARS (picture from October/November 2013 issue):

RFTS Cover Quilt

The fabric collection she mentions is unfamiliar to me .. Paisley by Maywood I think?  I couldn’t find much on my internet search.  It is a georgeous group of fabrics and patterns.  But that was no matter, because I knew which collection I was going to use … American  Gothic by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics!  The link takes you to the Marcus Fabrics page for this collection. 

I grabbed the picture below from Pam Buda’s blog entry where she announces the arrival of the collection last month in our local quilt shops.  Click here to go to her blog post.

American Gothic Bundles

I loved her neutral/black/white color scheme but I had not settled on a pattern yet.  I love how these colors work together in varying tones and contrast and the fussy cutting opportunities in the Reach for the Stars pattern will make it extra special. 

Close up picture also from Quilters Newsletter website.

RFTS Closeup

 

I grabbed the two photos of Reach for the Stars directly from the Quilters Newsletter website.  This is also being presented in a monthly quilt series of which this is Part 1 of 7.  Guess I have 6 more issues to buy now!  Perhaps a subscription would make sense at this point.  Those crafty marketing people!!

So… what to do?  I went through and meticulously assigned the fabric requirements for the entire quilt to the individual fabric SKUs for American Gothic and placed my order with FQS for delivery early this week.  I really needed another light fabric to coordinate (the most outer border fabric) … and I decided on ‘Perfect Pairings – Cream Paisley” by Kim Diehl.  I just hope it goes as well and I think it will, based on the pictures on FQS.

PerfectPairing-6060-44-450

 

Has anyone else fallen for this pattern yet and plan to make it?  There was no kit available in the magazine – it was strictly up to you to pick your pallete and your fabric and get to it.  I hope to do the first block this week.  Keep you posted!

Thanks and hope you are having a great Monday!

Jennifer

 

Stay strong!

Worked on my Clover quilt for AYOS this week, but I don’t have much to show (or so it seems to me).  And I TOTALLY get why she named the quilt pattern CLOVER.  See below…

I started assembling a few rows together so I could get some instant gratification and see how much the layout would shrink as I went along.  Assembling each individual block together and on point isn’t my favorite activity right now.  I spent 3 hours last night putting together the first four rows while trying to keep them square (or triangle if you prefer) as I added more.  It was hard and I unpicked the stitches more than once.

Clover Fabric Cutting

 

Once I got a row as ‘perfect’ as I could get it, I added the next one – but only after I had squared up the entire row individually first.  Then I pinned the hell out of it before running it under the machine.

Clover Corner Pins

Here’s a picture of the pattern namesake:

Clover Seam Ripper

 

Once it was attached, I recheck my levels:

Clover Squaring Corner

 

This looks pretty good.  It was also after 1:00 am this morning.  Only four rows attached.  And my big idea to make this thing BIGGER!  OMG!!

Here it is up on the design wall corner:

Clover Corner Closeup

Carrie gives you large setting triangles so that you will have this 1/2′ cushion on the edge.  This wee little corner looks pretty good to me.

Clover Corner Design Wall

 

It does shrink up quite a bit.  I have the next two rows sitting next to my sewing machine, so don’t think that what you see goes next to each other.  I still LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors and the fabric collections and the overall look of this quilt, so I will try to push on.  I don’t know how far I’ll be by month end for the parade though.  I’ll stay strong for now!

All the best to you for a great weekend ahead!

Jennifer

Design Wall Friday – a New Project!

Oh boy – look what I have gotten into here.  I am really REALLY liking this quilt already.  My daughter stayed up later than she should while I was working on it last night, and she finally passed out to sleep in the guest bed.

Clover pattern by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co and fabric from (mostly) Posh Pumpkins by Sandy Gervais.  I have thrown in some charm squares from “Give Thanks” by Deb Strain.  The polka dots are Give Thanks as well.  These colors are just so beautiful together!  I had a few yards of the background fabric already, but I don’t recall what it is right now.  This will be a great early Fall to mid December blanket:

Clover yardage purchase

 

The pattern mostly calls for cutting 2 1/4″ squares and also 1 3/8″ strips to subcut into the four patch units:

Clover in process

I love how this is taking shape:

Clover Initial 3 Rings

And since I am making it 5 x 5 blocks, I am playing around with options for the center squares of each block.  One color for the center block, first ring and second ring.  I’m thinking of following the pattern and using the background fabric in the center for the outer ring, using the ‘solid’ orange for the inner ring and a dark orange print for the very middle block.  See below to illustrate:

Clover Design Wall

 

One last look at the pattern that is being made by the four patch units:

Clover - a beginning

Clover – a beginning

 

Have you gotten started yet?

I’ll end with a picture of the two tuxedo kittens snuggling with Nora this morning.  Diamond is in the foreground and Rosy is sleeping on Nora’s cheek:

Tuxedo Kittens with Nora

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!  See you again real soon!

Jennifer

Pumpkin Time!

We are getting a head start on our Halloween festivities.  The decorations got pulled out of storage last weekend and have been strewn EVERYWHERE in the house, in the yard, on the porch – you name it.  My kids also love to paint pumpkins.  Which is great for me, because the carving process is kind of cumbersome.  And these are just small pumpkins right now.  We’ll get some bigger ones this weekend to cut up and light.

Kids Pumpkin Painting 2013 2

One thing to notice here… my kids poured out their own paint into their little plastic palettes.  Look at Nora’s and then Oliver’s.  Amazing.  While she is still dutifully planning out how to decorate her pumpkin, he has already slathered a ton of blue paint on his.

Kids Pumpkin Painting 2013

Here she is paining her stem in sparkle pink!  Oliver is planning on making his a zombie pumpkin.

I love this time of year – the start of all of the holidays!

I also got my CLOVER pattern from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co yesterday.  This is the chosen October pattern for the AYOS project hosted by Sinta and Sherri.  I decided to jump into this month and make a fall themed quilt for the family.  You can also order the pattern as a PDF download or paper copy from Carrie’s website.  Click here to link over to the Clover pattern on her shop site.  It is also for sale at Fat Quarter Shop.  (Sorry – I can’t seem to make this image bigger without it getting really distorted):

MRQ-Clovers-202

I had bought a charm pack a while back of Posh Pumpkins by Sandy Gervais for Moda and instantly knew that was what I wanted to use for the quilt:

Posh Pumpkin Charm Pack

 

NOTE TO SELF:  ALWAYS BUY TWO CHARM PACKS – ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH.

So, when I started reading through the directions, it was clear that it would have been best to have two charm packs instead of one to make the quilt.  However, I like this one so much that I want to make it into a lap quilt – so a layer cake would have been best anyway!

I couldn’t get this out of my mind and I finally just decided at lunch time to race 30 miles away to GRS Creations and Fabric in Old Town Spring.  They have nearly EVERY Moda collection that comes out.  Tons of fabric.  TONS and TONS!  I don’t know why I don’t visit more often!  Oh yes, … money.  That would be a reason.

So … my trip to their shop netted me one layer cake of Posh Pumpkins and perhaps a wee bit of yardage to go along with it.  I’ll show my winnings tomorrow … they are tucked away in my backseat at the moment.

Can’t wait to get started on this one!

How about you – are you joining AYOS this month?

Jennifer

 

Yoyoville revisited

Welcome Fall!  This was a beautiful weekend in central Texas.  We visited my MIL and on Saturday, I could really feel the weather break into a true Fall breeze and temperatures.  It was absolutely wonderful!  Can’t wait for it to reach down a little further south, to Houston this week.

Since we were on a road trip for a couple of days, I quickly got some handwork pulled together for my idle time.  I had already been thinking about visiting Yoyoville again (pattern by Bunny Hill Designs).  I already had the yo yos completed in the Tapestry collection by Fig Tree quilts… now I needed to applique them all to 3 1/2″ squares of background fabric.  I had a rare chance to visit my LQS in Humble, TX (shout out to It’s A Stitch).  They have the Honeysweet fabric already in, but not on the shelves yet.  They were generous enough to open up the first bolt and cut me off three yards of what I thought would be a great choice to go along with the Tapestry yo yos.

Here’s my little sewing kit getting unpacked:

Temple Sewing Kit 10-06-2013

And here’s a picture of the threads and background squares I have cut up to work with:

Temple Sewing Kit 2

Again, the squares are from Honeysweet and are little dot hexagons in a soft olive green.

I had a pile done by Saturday afternoon … finished on the right, glued down on the left:

Temple squares WIP

I STILL love that Tapestry collection!  And the Honeysweet neutral went great with it.

After coming home tonight, I wanted to preview the layout of the quilt center.  I wasn’t sure if that background would be a bit too much through-out.

But first – I had to make up some four-patch units to alternate with the yo yo squares.  I cut off a 2″ strip from my background and then opened up a mini charm pack of Honeysweet and sewed it along the length of that strip:

Strip Piecing 4 Strip Piecing 3 Strip Piecing 2
I trimmed them all down to 2″ x 3 1/2″ and then combined units together to get the 3 1/2″ squares.

Here’s a sample up on my design wall.

Yoyoville Auditions 2

I wasn’t thrilled.  I wanted to be thrilled, but I wasn’t.  The background from Honeysweet didn’t seem like it would be directional, but turns out it is – and it clearly shows up that way in this layout.  …  SO … I decided to just use the vanilla solid fabric from Honeysweet instead for the four patch units and see how that would look:

Yoyoville Alt Audition 1

MUCH better!  I like that base of solid vanilla in those squares.  Here’s another look from a bit more of a distance:

Yoyoville Alt Audition 2

By the way, the poppy print (seen in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th units) is my very favorite – in all the colors.  I will have to buy yards of that I know already.

Since I don’t have any of the Honeysweet vanilla solid yardage yet, I pulled out the two squares from one of my layer cakes and now I can make a few more four-patch units to play around with.  I’m so excited to be working with this collection now.

This weekend, I also received my yardage of small, light gray polka dot fabric from the Vintage Modern group (Bonnie & Camille).  That will be my setting fabric for the Birdie Stitches quilt.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of my fast growing kitten clan.  Jewelry and Rosy.

Jewelry 10-06-2013

Jewelry

 

Rosy 10-06-2013

Rosy

Have a great start to the week!  See you soon!

Jennifer

100th Post! Starting History Journal

Good day to everyone!  Thanks for visiting my humble little blog.  I started this a little over a year ago and it has been a good way for me to express my joy of quilting in a forum that doesn’t push it on those who don’t care (like through my personal Facebook profile).  I’m always excited to get comments and feedback and to see how many people have visited my blog pages. 

Today is my 100th blog post!  Yay!  Celebrate!  Also, I’m too cheap to get a fancy blog that can do neat visual effects and stuff, so you get things like .. Yay!  Celebrate!

🙂  Ok … so I thought I would finally start my quilt history entries.  Another reason I decided to do a blog was to capture my quilt accomplishments and always have a place I could come to look back on my life in fabric.

I am starting with a quilt I made for my brother when I was at Texas A&M in Bryan/College Station, TX.  I remember it quite vividly (more so than the classes I attended that semester).   I think the year was 1993?  Maybe?

I did my cutting using a yardstick, clear protractor, dressmaker pencil and orange Fiskar scissors.  NO rotary tools back then!  I marked every quarter inch seam allowance before I sewed my pieces together.  I did my piecing on the coffee table, while sitting or kneeling on the floor in front of it.  I bought my fabric from the Hancock Fabrics chain (similar to Joanns) or even Wal-Mart.  I had no idea there were actual quilt shops with different quality of fabric available.  I didn’t know anything about designers or manufacturers such as MODA.  I was just emulating my grandmother. 

Will Quilt 3

That mauve calico print was very popular – I remember that much.  The pattern probably came from my Better Homes & Gardens (or was it McCalls?) guide book which I had subscribed to as a ‘pattern of the month’ program.  I have a very large 3  ring binder and once a month, I would get an envelope for a new pattern and a sheet of plastic with the templates drawn on them for me to cut out and use, if applicable.  This may have just been called Ohio Star.

Will Quilt 2

 

After sewing it together, I had purchased a PVC pipe quilt frame by Q SNAP to do the quilting by hand.  I probably used safety bins to baste it.  I don’t remember that part.

Will Quilt 4

I used a piece of chalk and a quilting template to mark different designs on the borders.  You can see above, barely, my feather design.  And below, you can see my simple outline/stitch in the ditch quilting for the blocks and some diagonal lines for the inner border:

Will Quilt 5

Finally – a sunflower motif in the corners:

Will Quilt 6

I had to request my brother to bring me this quilt this past summer so I could photograph it.  I can tell it has been washed more than once and been well loved.  I am so happy about that!  The binding doesn’t feel as though I have any batting in it and it is starting to wear out and wear thin in some spots.  One day, I will offer to rebind it for him. 

Hope you enjoyed my nostalgic look back.  I will share more projects next week.  As I complete a showcase, I will move a picture of that quilt to my History tab here in WordPress.

I appreciate those of you who visit my blog and thanks for being here on my 100th post!

Jennifer

Last block done – ready for setting squares!

I’m getting super excited to see how this is all going to look put together!  I finished up the last block, which I wanted to do free style and add in most of my label information.  I will still put a small label on the back after I get it quilted to give the information on who quilted it, the date it was quilted, and the pattern designer, Little Miss Shabby (click link to get all the block designs and past  BOM instructions).  But my part is getting done this year!  I mean it!

Here’s the last of the 12 blocks:

BS Signature Block

I couldn’t resist adding Hello Kitty to my birdie blocks.  My daughter has always loved Hello Kitty and I will therefore always have a reminder of this time in our lives when she was this age.

BS Sig Block Closeup

 

I’m hoping the embroidery threads don’t show through when I get the batting behind it.  In this picture, I have a sheet of white paper behind the block and you can see the thread tails a little through the white background.  This is the only block that I varied from 100% redwork.  I wanted it to stand out and be extra special.

The centers of these blocks are 8″ finished.  I need to research some ideas (or ask a few of my favorite bloggers) what to do about quilting in these areas.  Of course I don’t want the quilting to go over the embroidery threads, but I don’t think I can leave 8″ unquilted either.  If you have some ideas – please share!!

I also spent a couple of hours trying to work with my EQ5 software to come up with a layout design for the finished quilt.  Now, I haven’t really used the instruction book or anything to do EQ5 – I just thought it should be very intuitive.  It IS NOT very intuitive.  Or I am not that bright – you choose.  It was actually quite frustrating and I could see ways to make it so much easier to understand and use.  I’m thinking about downloading a Quilt App on my iPad and trying it out.  I don’t remember what it was called, but it is like $15 – so it isn’t cheap (for an app).  If anyone out there can suggest good software for just playing around with layouts and designs and that can also upload fabric swatches and such – i would love the feedback!

Here’s my layout plan.  Right now, the sashing would be 1″ finished and the embroidery blocks are 12″ finished.  The setting blocks would have a 2″ finished square in the corners to mix in with the surrounding squares of the birdie blocks.  I selected On Point layout in EQ5, but then I couldn’t customize the setting blocks – so those four corner squares are hand drawn on the printout.  I think you get the drift…

Birdie Stitches Block Layout

 

With this layout, the finished size would be about 65 x 82.  A good twin size.  Too big for a wall hanging, but perhaps the perfect accessory as a bedspread for my daughters bedroom.

Next steps are to create the setting blocks and side triangles.  Trying to decide on the background fabrics for those blocks though.  Stick with all white, or perhaps get a coordinating small, light print for the 6 squares and go with white on the border triangles?  Hmmm… decisions still to be made it appears.

Hope you are having a great start to October!  Just three months until 2014 – SEAMS CRAZY to me!

All the best,

Jennifer

Tweet! Tweet! Only one more to go!

I forgot how fast I can stitch these blocks up!  I finished Birdie Stitch Block 12 today:

Birdie Stitch Block 12

I focused on just red and green fabrics for the block, given the Christmas theme.

Close-up:

Birdie Stitch 12 Closeup

Thought I would also share a picture of the back of the block, just for grins.

Birdie Stitch 12 Back

Per the instructions, I use the entire 6 strands of embroidery floss to do the backstitching.  For this block, I used exactly one of those small $1 skeins of DMC floss – Red Color 666 (or 999 if you prefer).

Last block to be designed today.  I am substituting for the June block with a variation of a signature block.  Once done – I can start to play with the layout options.  That will certainly be the toughest part of this quilt project I think!

Hope your weekend is going well!  Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer