Friday, June 30, 2017

Sugar Shack

I don't think I've ever met a house quilt pattern that I didn't love and Martingale has created a whole book of them, I think it's just for me, because it's the Year of Thelma!

Luckily you can buy the book too.  I Love House Blocks has 14 different house patterns by a variety of designers.  The styles are a nice variety too, and whatever your taste in fabric you'll find a pattern that's a perfect match.

I plan to make several of the patterns but first up is Sugar Shack by Tonya Alexander of Eye Candy Quilts.

I decided to break into my Carolyn Friedlander stash of fabric for this pattern.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 207
The pattern is Sugar Shack by Tonya Alexander from the book I Love House Blocks by Martingale.
If finished at 60" x 64"
The fabric is Crosshatch by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman
There are approximately 336 pieces.

I prepped all my Carolyn Friedlander fabric before I decided to use the Crosshatch prints, so while I have all that fabric out, and since it's ready to go, I think I'll make another quilt top using her fabric.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ombre Star - From WIP To Finish

One of my 2017 Year of Thelma Quilt goals is to end the year with no WIPs.   One WIP was Zipper, which I finished earlier this year, another is this Ombre Star project which I started February 2016.  

I made these 4 blocks, liked them, but didn't know what to do with them, so I put them in a project box.  I recently decided to do something with these blocks so I could just consider this project done.  And I wasn't even sure what to do, so I just pieced more blocks.

And when I got to nine blocks I decided that was enough.

Then I decided to set the blocks using the gray ombre fabric. It's hard to tell from the photo but the center is dark gray and gets lighter as it proceeds to the outer borders.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 205
I've named it Ombre Star
It finished at 50" x 50"
The blocks are paper pieced and the pattern is from issue 16 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
The fabric is V and Co's Ombre fabric by Moda
It has approximately 976 pieces.

For the rest of this year, if I finish each project I start, I will end the year with no WIPs, fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stars and Stripes

While piecing my Hometown USA quilt top I made a few extra flag blocks.  Then recently I remembered that I was sitting on a few flag blocks, made a few more, and put them all together, hopefully just in time to get the top quilted so I can enjoy it the month of July.  I made it exactly like the pattern,  because it was perfect just as it was.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 204
It finished at 56" x 71"
The fabric is a mixture of Bonnie and Camille for Moda
It has approximately 138 pieces.

The pattern is only $5 and you can make this top in a couple of afternoons.

And speaking of my Hometown USA quilt, Emily Waterbury was the winner of the raffle.  Here she is on the left, getting the quilt from Twilla Coon, the director of the library.   The library collected nearly $3,500 in ticket sales, what a great effort.  Thanks to all who supported my hometown library by purchasing tickets.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lady Bug Hug

This was the perfect welcome back home project.  The fabric was cheerful, the appliqué a nice challenge, but not too challenging, and the piecing a breeze.

The downside of a kit, there's not enough fabric to cut directional fabric all going the same direction.

I normally would have fussy cut that outer border fabric where all the designs were facing the same way, but in the case of the yellow fabric, I like the stripes going in different directions. 

I added a few pieces from my stash, like the snail parade above.

And the elephants in that outer border.  

The flower pot block was made using templates, 

and came together perfectly.  

I'm not crazy about the red dot print peeking through my appliquéd flower, but oh well.

For the circles I used Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles.  I may only use those circle templates once or twice a year, but am always so happy that I have them in my notions drawer.  If you don't own them get them, both sizes, you'll be amazed how often you need a circle, and the circles made with these templates are always perfectly round. 

I saved the ladybugs for last, and they were fun.

For the antennae I used a decorative machine stitch, for the circles on the ends, I punched out black fabric using a hand held paper hole punch.  

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 203
The pattern is Ladybug Hug by Barbara Jones for Quilt Soup
The fabric is by Barbara Jones for Henry Glass
It finished at 50" x  60"
There are 139 pieces 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy to have gone, happy to be home

Every year I am fortunate enough to get to go on vacation with my daughter, last year we visited Italy for the first time and we fell in love with everything, the food, the history, the people.  We had such a wonderful trip we decided to go back.  This year we visited Rome and Florence, as we had last year, but instead of Venice we went to Milan and Lake Como.

We visited some sites again, but mainly visited new ones.

We toured The Vatican at night, which was a wonderful change of pace, the crowd was easily 1/3 the size we dealt with last year during our day tour.

We also saw the Trevi Fountain at night, I could sit and stare at the fountain day or night, there's not a bad time to visit.

Since our last trip to Italy was so amazing, our attitude for this trip was that anything we did was just icing on the cake.  We did have two main goals, to eat more gelato and drink more espresso.

And we did.

Since we were more comfortable with our surroundings we did a better job of getting out more on our own and walking everywhere.

We visited St Peter's first thing in the morning and had the place to ourselves.  Here's a great picture of me in front of one of the alters, it gives you a good sense of the magnitude of this building.

In Milan we were lucky enough to get to see the Last Supper.

Only 1,000 visitors are allowed in per day, and in small groups of 30, and also for a limited time.  It was bigger than I expected but the colors were less vibrant, I was in awe all the same.

At one restaurant we asked for our serving utensils and were instructed to open the drawer under the table at our seats, what a clever idea!

When I'm at home I pretty much eat the same thing every day, but I do enjoy trying new food, we were very adventurous on this trip, and I was never disappointed that I tried different food.

We usually went with the tasting menu which would give us a small portion of 6 to 8 different items.

I saw quilts everywhere we visited.

I sometimes think I was looking more down at the tiled floors than up at all the amazing things around me.

As is always the case, the best part of my vacation was getting to spend time with my favorite daughter.  She is the best traveling partner, we pretty much enjoy the same things which makes planning and enjoying a trip so easy.

I've been home a week, I'm finally caught up on my sleep, laundry and mail and am back in my sewing room.

While I was on vacation I found out I needed to make a baby girl quilt for a very special mother to be, I've been hoarding this Ladybug Hug kit since 2009!  It think it's the perfect project  to help me get back in the swing of sewing and a great quilt for a sweet new baby.