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Have a Safe Holiday and Snapshots Review

We are going to see how well we remember our swimming skills this weekend.  My kids tell anyone and everyone that “they can swim”, … but they would sink like a rock I’m afraid.  Going to practice, practice and practice this weekend until we are sick of chlorine.

I have been doing some sewing and quilting, here and there.  I find it harder to set aside time to upload pictures and write out these blog posts.  I really want to share as I go along, but a lot of pictures never make it here because I end up finishing my blocks while I procrastinate!

Here you go!  Blocks 4 and 5 of the Snapshots Quiltalong are done!

Puppy Love!  We are going to look for some blue translucent buttons for his eyes…

Snapshots 4 Puppy

Kindred Kitchen!  I added a little back stitch embroidery to the front of the apron to make it stand out from the background.

Snapshots 5 Apron

Here they are all together … waiting for their ice cream treat next month!

Snapshots1-5

I also sent off my U of H schoolhouse gift quilt (Arkansas Crossroads) to be quilted by Linh at LiMa Sews.  She has turned it around for me so fast, it is already on its way back to me this weekend!

Since I was shipping her a box anyway…  I threw in some small quilt tops.  This is truly a feeling of accomplishment when a quilt flimsy makes it from the corner of my cutting table to Linh.  It is a real milestone and feels GREAT!

From top of the stack to the bottom … Fig Tree Pears window valance for my kitchen, Fig Tree mini sampler made into a baby play blanket (butterflies, flowers, sun), Yellow/Gray Sunshine baby quilt (also a gift that is long overdue) and the Arkansas Crossroads schoolhouse gift quilt.

Ready to Quilt

 

Again – have a wonderful weekend and a safe one too!  I’ll see you again soon with some finished projects!

Jennifer

Quick Post on Progress

Just a quick … “Hi!  I’m still alive and well and trying to quilt when I can” message …

I’m pushing the deadline on getting my gift quilt done before the end of the school year.  I have one 10″ border left to piece for the top of this Arkansas Crossroads quilt.  The cats promptly stomped across the quilt just after the picture.

Crossroads 05-03-15

 

The border sashing idea came from Mrs Mainstreet.  She has wonderful, inspiring blog posts if you haven’t found her yet in blogland…

Almost done… Almost done… Late last week there was a sale advertised on Homestead Hearth for half off Crazy for Red fabric.  I snapped up my complementary backing yardage for half price!  Score!  It should ship out today and hopefully I can get this out to a quilter (Linh are you there?) soon.

I also splurged on some background fabric (Swiss Dots Tone on Tone White Dots) from Fat Quarter Shop in anticipation of Farm Girl Fridays and any other Sew Along that will involve my bright fabric stash.  I have never bought enough to be mailed a bolt of fabric before.  Kind of cool and kind of … where are I going to store this?

Farm Girl Prep

And don’t you love the bright colors from the Retreat Aunt Grace collection by Judie Rothermel?  I think it will go well with my Lori Holt and other brights.

 

auntgracemini-bundle-450_3

 

Finally, a word of encouragement and hope for all of us Blue Bell ice cream fans.  We will be here when you get back.  Please be quick about it.

Blue Bell Freezer

Thanks for stopping by today!

Jennifer

Family and Farming

We had an exceptional Easter holiday, with our family joining us at home to let us host them for lunch.  Normally we go elsewhere, but the kids wanted to have the holiday at home this year.

I enjoyed putting together their Easter baskets and then getting up at 4 am to wrap them in plastic wrap and setting them out.  I know Easter baskets and egg hunting aren’t the reason for the holiday, but we had a great time doing it all…:

Easter Baskets 2

Stuffed Baymax and Wall-E were just sitting around, not part of the basket, but had to be included in the picture 🙂

Easter Baskets

Today, I also got to enjoy a special lunch out with my husband to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary.  He was super sweet to bring me a rose and a card when he picked me up from work:Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came back to the office, I had a package waiting for me too!

FQS Delivery

Is everyone ready for Farm Girl Fridays?  (Click here to see about the new Sew Along by Lori Holt)  #FarmGirlFridays

I have no idea when I will have time, but I have the book – so there’s a good chance I’ll give it a go…

Farm Girl Vintage book

Have a great week!

Jennifer

Arkansas Crossroads – no longer at a Crossroad

Well, I had contemplated this design choice for the center of my quilt:

UHCS Center

 

 

And wasn’t sure about the size of the flying geese.  I even made up about 20 smaller geese (about half the size) and that looked so horrible that I didn’t even bother to take a picture of it.

I decided to play around with placement of existing block components that I already had – four patch units, two patch units and the other unit that have the two opposing corners on them (I don’t know what they are called)…

Here’s my first candidate… Not bad, not bad at all:

Center Option 1

Next candidate is a little different looking – kind of echoing the X design of the blocks…

Center Option 2

Third candidate is very similar to the first – can you spot the difference?

Center Option 3

Fourth candidate is getting closer – but I didn’t quite like the uneven octagon shape it created in the center:

Center Option 5

And the final candidate – and the WINNER – is:

Center Option 4

It works on all levels for me.  The symmetry and still enough white space to set off the House block.

I had to orient the House block so that the visual center of it was in the middle instead of being bottom heavy (and basically touching the surrounding design on the corners).  I have pieced the block together here:

Center House Pieced

See how I shifted it up vertically about 2 inches?

Here is how it will look in the center of the quilt, less the shrinkage:

Center Pieced Inset

After staring at the wrong side of the fabric for so long, I really enjoy laying out the blocks and seeing the rich colors and the mix of them together.

I’ll be piecing the center rows together this weekend now that I have about 50 of my signature blocks back from the kids.

I hope you have wonderful holiday plans for the weekend, quilting or otherwise.

Happy Easter!

Jennifer

House Building

Moving right along here… I sat down this weekend and worked out my School House block for the gift quilt using some graph paper and traditional block designs.

House Building

I was pleasantly pleased that it all came together as planned!  Completed at a 8″ finished block size.

As a reminder – here is what the general idea of the Arkansas Crossroads pattern will look like in my fabric choices:

Arkansas Crossroads Start

Now… I am taking out the center section to insert this School House block, and then playing with ideas on how to surround it…

UHCS Center

Here’s one idea – to block it off with flying geese.

I’m not sold on it yet.  I need to make a few more geese and see it develop…

Then I have to figure out how to inset a On-Point block into a straight set quilt.  I have some math and trial-and-error coming up.

UHCS Center Closeup

What do you think, if you don’t mind sharing a comment with me?  Smaller geese?  Different design that looks more like the Arkansas Crossroad block?  It’s hard to picture it still because the entire quilt is twice as tall and twice as wide as my design wall.

So – that’s my progress.  I’ll be taking the blocks to school next Monday for the kids to sign.  I just couldn’t pull it all together yet.

Have a great end to the week – see you soon!

Jennifer

Vacation – Day 1 Progress – Put the Kettle On!

I am on a short vacation from work to close out Spring break with the kids.  They have been enjoying the grandparents thoroughly (I know my Mom is not having any problems with her insomnia tonight).  We spent half the day cleaning up my parents house before we could head back home.  Once we got here, they were happily into their electronics that were left behind to ensure quality time while visiting.  That left me to decide on which project to do….

Hmmm…..

Many choices for sure, and although I have plenty that I should probably tackle first – I decided to knock out Block 3 from the Snapshots Quilt Along, called “Put the Kettle On“.  It was released last weekend and I was trying to tell myself that I don’t have to do all of them … but that just made my OCD kick in a little harder.

It certainly isn’t too late to join in and sew along – even if you just pick and choose the blocks you love.  Click here for a link to the Fat Quarter Shop’s blog for this block and you can get all the information about this project to benefit St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Block-3

 

Since I’m not using the kit (because, again, I told myself I was going to do this quilt) – I am pulling together bright and happy colors from many different collections.  Therefore, it took as long to decide on fabric as it did on making the block…

SQAL Block 3 Prep

I knew I really loved my new additions of colors with this purchase of Fresh Cut by BasicGrey:

SQAL Block 3 Prep 2

So, it didn’t take long for me to select my main fabric for the teapot, then go with accents of the blue and green:

SQAL Block 3 selections

I little bit of Daysail, a bit of Flower Sugar and the Fresh Cut fabrics got all cut out and ready for sewing:

SQAL Block 3 Cut

Here is my finished teapot by the light of my Ottlight lamp at midnight:

SQAL Block 3

I’m lovin’ it.  I can’t wait to stage a picture of all three blocks together tomorrow when the sun is shining.

My project tomorrow will be to construct a school house block for the center of my gift quilt.  I don’t have an actual pattern, but it should be easy enough to figure it out with the pictures from Pinterest and some graph paper (I need a particular finished size).

Hope you are looking forward to a spectacular first weekend of Spring coming around the corner.  Have a great Friday!!

Jennifer

I WANT TO QUILT!

I’m stuck at my office, sitting at a desk and thinking about how much I wish I could just have a week to sleep late and work on quilts.  In the massive amount of time since my last post, all I have accomplished is creating the binding for my prior year Valentine quilt.  I really wanted to get it done by Saturday.

I have really fallen off my fabric wagon now as well.  I have been wanting to make a queen size quick quilt for my son and a new collection was just released on FQS called “Military Max”.  I think my 8 yr old will like it.  I’m not crazy about the skulls and crossbones though.  Still deciding how many of those squares I will leave in the mix.  I bought 5 of these layers cakes (only 18 squares per cake) and some coordinated yardage:

Military Max FQS

 

I came across the latest shortcut quilt pattern from the ladies at Fat Quarter Shop and I think I could put this one together in a weekend!

Used with Permission from Fat Quarter Shop

Used with Permission from Fat Quarter Shop

They have a blog post and online YouTube video tutorial about this quickie.  The pattern is free or you can also get the kit with the adorable Mistletoe Lane by Bunny Hill Designs.  Click here to open a window to their blog post.

I also splurged on four quilt magazines this week too.  I hadn’t bought any magazines in awhile and let my subscriptions run out.  I saw a couple of other options for an easy layer cake quilt, so it will be fun to decide.

My eBay activity is ramping up too.  I just received two charm packs of Aloha Girl! – the newest collection coming out in March for Fig Tree Quilts.  I have a fat quarter bundle that will arrive by Friday.  I don’t know where these people get the early releases, but I love to get my hands on them.

Hope you are finding time to quilt this week!

Jennifer

 

 

Those Darn Paychecks!

I didn’t have the willpower to fight off some new fabric purchases last week.  I started seeing all the blogger posts for the Snapshots Quilt Along for charity, and I just got carried away.

snapshotsqk-450

 

To be honest, it actually started about a week earlier, when I came across a new blog site I had not seen before.  Fat Quarter Shop is offering a bundle from Greg Jones of the blogsite Grey Dogwood Studios.  It was in the “What’s New” group and I decided to take a look at his posts.

Greg is apparently a huge Fig Tree Quilts fan along with an affinity for Lori Holt projects.  I loved all of his posts!  I love seeing so many projects that I have wanted to do, already done in the same fabrics I would do them in.  You should check him out here or click HERE to view his Blogger’s Choice Bundle at FQS.

Anyway, one thing led to another and although I had sworn off new BOM projects for 2015, but this one seemed a little different.  I wasn’t buying the kit from FQS made with the Daysail fabric – I decided to make my donation to St Judes and I was going to use fabric from my stash.

Well, **sigh**, that didn’t happen either.  First – my stash is still in cardboard boxes and I didn’t have the energy (yeah right) to open them up and look for different pieces.

Second, I fell for some of the bright fabrics I had seen in Greg’s bundle and blogsite and some of the lovely Flower Sugar release by Lecien.  So – payday came around and I went shopping:

FQS Order 1

This was going to be a great start.  I would still dig out some more stash fabric (I have several Lori Holt collections), but come Tuesday – I would have the first block ready to make in the Quilt Along.

Maybe 30 minutes later, I was still browsing the website and I talked myself into another purchase – this time a bundle of Pam Kitty Garden.  And I had to get up to at least $80 so I would get free shipping – because we don’t want to waste a good deal, right?  So I added a few notions and a couple of white background fabrics to audition.

FQS Order 2

And of course, today is a postal holiday, or else I would have these in my mailbox within the next hour or two.

Will you be joining the  Snapshots Quilt project?  Here’s the first block:

Snapshots Block-1

The quilt patterns are free and will be released on the 15th of each month (started in January).  They ask that you make at least a $5 donation per pattern to St Judes and of course, sew along with us.

Click here to visit the blog post from Fat Quarter Shop to get all the details and even a video tutorial for making the first block.  They have the link for donating to St Judes and a PDF for the fabric requirements if you want to use your own fabric as well.

I’ll see you again later this week.  Have a wonderful Monday!

Jennifer

 

Work or Play?

Ok, so I haven’t done any work yet like I should have today.

I started putting together my RFTS center and based on the layout, I wanted to put the opposite corners together first.  Then I was going to stop there, get some work done and – you know – if there was time, put some more together.

End pieces

I even folded these sections up and set them to the side for tomorrow or later this week.  Then, maybe 10 minutes later, I thought … well – I’ll just do a couple more blocks together to have a head start.

Of course, I finished the piecing for the center, with the exception of the outer corners.  Here it is layed out on my queen size design (guest) bed:

Center Pieced

I really can’t believe how easy it came together and how much it looks like the cover photo from a distance like this.  I really, really love it and I can’t wait to get it finished.

I was stitching while watching the GB/Seahawks game.  That was a crazy game, right?  And I don’t normally watch football, but that was a good game to watch.  The other game, not so interesting.

Did you have a great weekend?  I hope you got to do some stitching as well!

Now it’s time for me to work…

All my best,

Jennifer

 

 

 

Ready, Set, Assemble!

I amuse myself that I was so intimidated by making side setting triangles for my blocks.  I have no good reason why, I just thought it would be difficult for them to come out right.  There was no reason to worry…

Side Triangles Closeup

They came together just fine.  All 10 of them…

Side Triangles

This is, so far, the safest place from napping cats that I can find.

Now – just as a teaser preview – this is what I’m about to get into.  Assembly of the rows to make the center portion of the Reach for the Stars quilt.  I just randomly grabbed four of my blocks, so you can get an idea:

Preview

Oh my, I can’t wait to see this come together.  It is going to be really hard not to work on it day and night – but this is my busy week at work (and I’m actually at work right now on a Saturday).  But… I’m sure a few minutes tonight to see it get started won’t hurt!

Maybe I’ll see you again tomorrow with an update!

Jennifer