Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I'm back

15 days, 10 flights, 8 different cities, 5 hotels and I survived, but just barely, jet lag is real and thriving at my house. 


The Great Wall of China

Every year my daughter and I vacation together, some of my favorite days of the year.  This year we toured China and Hong Kong.  I flew to Los Angeles where I met up with my daughter so we could fly together to Hong Kong.  We normally plan and book our own vacations but given today's political climate, throw in some language barriers and the sheer volume of sites we wanted to visit, we thought perhaps a tour company would be worth a try for our China trip.  I cannot say enough great things about Adventures by Disney, the company we chose to  lead us on what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.  Everything was first class and every detail taken care of, and I'm all about the details.  We were part of a wonderful group comprised of 25 other travelers and 2 guides along with local guides added for each city we visited.  We cried at our farewell dinner when having to say goodbye to our fellow travelers who had become friends.  There wasn't a rotten apple in the bunch, just the opposite, all fun, caring, polite and generous people and a nice variety of ages, young to old.  But not too young, we went with the Adults Only Tour, lol.  If you are considering a trip look into Adventures by Disney, I totally recommend the China tour but several couples in our group were on their  7th or 8th trip through AbD and said every destination had been amazing.

So while I've not stepped in my sewing room for weeks I do have some quilty updates to share, two quilts back from the quilter.



Bits and Pieces - Lifetime Quilt Number 209


The right amount of quilting and variety of designs that match the look and feel of this quilt top perfectly.


For the back I went with the extra wide diagonal print by Carolyn Friedlander.


Let's Go - Lifetime Quilt 212


Another great job, perfect style matched with perfect execution.


The back also has a travel theme.


This quilt is for my daughter but will hang on my quilt ladder until she decides what she wants to do with it.


And Bits and Pieces has such a Sumer feel I immediately threw it over the banister to enjoy this month along with my other summer quilts.

Both these quilts were quilted by Connie Lancaster at Quilts Plus in Indianapolis.  With the number of quilt tops I piece it's a full time job staying on quilting lists, finding new long arm quilters and sending the tops out for quilting.  Connie has been quilting my tops for nearly as long as I've been quilting and I'm always so pleased with the finished product.  Thanks Connie for once again bringing my flat quilt tops to life.





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Thursday, May 17, 2018

West End Finish

I've had the best time this month working on this new pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

 It's a nice mix of large and small X blocks with a few background swaps thrown in for fun.




I started with large blocks, which took no time and was super easy since the directions call for making the blocks a tad too big then squaring them up.

I did not relish the thought of piecing 170 plus small x blocks,



but I got into a routine of making a dozen at a time, and when I had enough to piece a section of the quilt top, I did,


breaking things up and making me want to piece those little blocks instead of dreading them.

The fabric is a collection by Timeless Treasures.


This fabric is a couple years old, a find from one of my rare quilt shop visits.   I had never seen this fabric before and have never seen it again, but I fell in love with the colors and designs and think I saved this fabric for the perfect pattern.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 227
The pattern is West End by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co
The fabric is by Timeless Treasures
It has approximately 2,083 pieces.

Add West End to your to do list, any style of fabric will work for this versatile pattern.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Harmony II

When I was deciding the best use of my Harmony bundle I narrowed it down to two patterns.   The first pattern was Halloween Blooms, see my last blog post for pics of that quilt.

The second pattern was Tansy by Corey Yoder for Coriander Quilts.



It took some time cutting the fabric using the scraps I had leftover from Halloween Blooms.


But I had just enough.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 226
The pattern is Tansy by Corey Yoder for Coriander Quilts
The fabric is Harmony by Sweetwater for Moda
It finished at 61" x 61"
It has approximately 552 pieces.

I love both quilts and am so happy I was able to piece two great quilts using that one bundle of fabric.   I loved the colors and feeling of Harmony and am sad I've used it up.   I'm gong to have to work hard to find a project that I enjoy as much as these last two.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Harmony Blooms

It was love at first sight for me with  Sweetwater's Harmony fabric.  

The hard part was deciding what to make with the fabric.  I thought about it for a couple of weeks before deciding on Fig Tree's Halloween Blooms pattern.  I actually pieced this pattern using Halloween colors the fall of 2016.  It's not very often I piece the same pattern twice, (so many patterns, so little time)  but for some reason I thought this was a good fit, and it's not like I'll have both quilts out at the same time.


Unlike my original Halloween Blooms quilt, I did not go with a scrappy background and kept the center squares the same color as the outer ones.


I thought this combo resulted in a cleaner look, and I like it.  Like most of the US, it's been dreary, rainy, and cold here, we're past ready for spring, but working with this fabric made it seem like spring in my sewing room.  I loved piecing the blooms so much I added an extra block to each row.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 225
I've named it Harmony Blooms
The fabric is Harmony by Sweetwater for Moda
The pattern is Halloween Blooms by Fig Tree
It finished at 71" x 71"
It has approximately 1,609 pieces.

And here's a little reminder of Blooms Number 1.



I love this Harmony fabric so much I"m going to use my leftovers to make another quilt top.  I'm usually ready to move on to different fabric once I finish one project, but I love this fabric so much and it makes me so happy I'm just going to continue to sew with it.  That's my goal to work with this fabric until spring shows up on my doorstep.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Spa Day Finish

I did not instantly fall in love with Piece N Quilt's line of fabric called Thrive.  It wasn't until I saw the fabric in person that I did fall in love, the colors and prints made me feel like I was walking into a day spa, so soothing and peaceful.  


I decided to use the free pattern Authentic Etc. Ocean Waves, a Moda pattern for Cake Mix Recipe 4.


I normally don't use the low volume prints included in a family of fabric.  I have a stack of these type of prints that I've pulled from families of fabric that are currently collecting dust on my shelves.  But I like the low volume prints in this family and decided to use them all, scrappy background, defiantly a change of pace for me.


Once I started playing around with the hsts I decided I liked the look of a smaller hst and went with 3" instead of the 4 1/4" blocks in the pattern.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 224
I've named it Spa Day
It finished at 60" x 60"
The pattern is Authentic Etc Ocean Waves by Moda (click here for free pattern)
The fabric is Thrive by Quilt N Piece for Moda
It has approximately 972 pieces



Next up, I'm playing with that bright and happy Harmony fabric by Sweetwater.   I've narrowed my Harmony project down to two patterns,  but am thinking if I use my fabric wisely maybe I can piece them both.  It is still dreary and cold here and we have a chance for snow again this week, I've given up on thinking Spring will ever arrive, accept in my sewing room.





Monday, March 19, 2018

It's an Easter Picnic

We are having the longest winter known to mankind, or at least it feels that way to me.  When March rolls around I'm ready to be enjoying some sunshine and walking outside, even if I have to wear a jacket.  Well this March has been as cold as February and I'm still wearing my winter coat when I venture out.  Since Spring has not sprung at my house I decided to bring some spring to my sewing room.

First off, the search for spring fabric.


These fat quarters are leftovers from previous projects that I saved. I store leftovers by color.

Then I googled basket quilts, because I was feeling the need for an Easter basket quilt.  It 's hard to choose just one basket quilt pattern, there are a lot of great ones.  I thought Carrie Nelson's Picnic pattern would look great in my spring colors.



I even had this pattern on hand which made the whole process even easier.  Carrie's Picnic quilt finishes at 34" x 34", I decided I needed a bigger quilt so I made everything just a wee bit larger.
I

I made the basket blocks 2 inches bigger than the pattern.  And I made them one at a time, which isn't the most efficient way to piece but it was fun selecting two fabrics for each basket, then watching them grow one by one on my design wall.  




This is Lifetime Quilt Number 223
I've named it Easter Basket
The pattern is Picnic by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co
It finished at 48" x 48"
It has approximately 461 pieces.  

I enjoyed every minute spent piecing this quilt top, it was easy,  practically went together overnight, and the happy colors improved my mood, considerably.  And the best part, I have a cute little basket quilt to hang up each year around Easter, regardless of the weather.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cake Mix Recipe Finish

Are you familiar with the Cake Mix Recipe papers sold by Moda?  All you need is a layer cake, some background fabric, and the Cake Mix papers and you can make a myriad of quilt tops.   I've admired several projects I've seen pieced using these papers and thought I would give them a try.


I think there are 8 different Cake Mix Recipe pads, I decided to go with Recipe 6.  For my fabric I selected a layer cake of Haiku by Moda.  I thought this family of fabric was very striking, a nice change of pace from my usual fabric choices, but had no idea what to make with it.

Each sheet of Cake Mix Recipe 6 yields the following units; eight 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" hsts, plus eight 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" rail fence units, one print 2 1/2" square and one background 2 1/2" square.

I used my own background fabric and cut my 10" squares to pair up with my layer cake.

The papers were a breeze to piece and produced units the exact size promised.  I pressed my seams open.  Whenever possible I make my block units larger then square them up to size, so I was worried about the accuracy of these pieces, but they were perfect.

Once I had all the units pieced it was time to decide what to make with them.  The Cake Mix provided 5 possible blocks using different combinations of the pieces and parts.  You can even come up with your own combinations.

I decided I liked Block 3 and Block 5 the best.  I thought they would work well for the Haiku fabric.



So I played around with a few options on my design wall then finally came up with this.

I think this was the fun part, deciding what was the best use of the pieces and what combos made the most pleasing design.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 222
I've named it Haiku
The fabric is Haiku by Moda - I used two layer cakes to finish this top 
The pattern is from Cake Recipe Mix 6
It finished at 60" x 60"
It has approximately 1,058 pieces

I could not be happier with this quilt top.  I love the fabric and think the pattern is a great fit for the feel of the fabric.  I'm not sure I would have ever made anything with this fabric had I not tried the Cake Mix.


I think these Cake Mix Recipe paper pads are very clever.  I have several layer cakes that I've purchased because I like the fabric, but not enough to invest in the cost of a fat quarter bundle, fabric that I wasn't really sure what to do with,  now I have unlimited options.  You can go with patterns that have been designed by Moda or come up with your own design like I did.  The Fat Quarter Shop even has a book with patterns for the Cake Mixes.  (click here)

I think these would be great to take on a retreat, one layer cake with your background fabric plus one cake pad and you could have a quilt in a weekend easy.

I also think they would be a fun guild challenge,  everyone bring a layer cake and cake mix pad, mix them up, then you have to make something with the pad and layer cake you were dealt.

Shop around for the Cake Mix pads, I saw prices online from $9 to $14.



In honor of my Haiku finish I wrote a Haiku!

Baking with Haiku
A recipe but no plan
Finish is well done

I'm already planning my next Cake Mix Recipe adventure.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Merrily Finish

Sometime last year I bought this Moda Kit, Merrily.



I don't buy kits very often, as a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I bought a kit, but this one was a winner.  I made the quilt exactly like the pattern and had no issues with fabric shortages.  That's my biggest fear when buying a kit, making a mistake then not being able to recover because there's not enough fabric, or worse yet, the kit supplier not providing enough fabric.

This is a horrible picture of this quilt, if the sun every shines again I'll take another one, it's a very bright and cheery quilt, it looks a little dull in this picture.



This is Lifetime Quilt Number 221
The pattern is Merrily, by Carrie Nelson for Moda.
The fabric is also Merrily,  by Gingiber for Moda.
It finished at  60" x 66"
It has approximately 372 pieces.

This is one of those patterns that looks like you worked real hard on it, but it only took me 3 afternoons start to finish.  If you have this kit be sure to check the Moda website for pattern updates before you start. (click here)


I bought this fabric for the backing, I think it's by Bunny Hill.




My goal is to piece 6 Christmas themed quilts for family members this year, this quilt is for my niece, I think she'll love it it, only 5 more to go!