Thursday, January 31, 2019

True confessions....

...of a UFO addict!

Okay, so here's the story. As I was organizing and downsizing my fabric closet I came across some unfinished quilts. Like, a lot of them.

I start counting how many are waiting (patiently) to be quilted, and I found 21 that need to be sandwiched and quilted. Quite a hefty number of UFO's! I have a feeling I could probably find three more and make it 24 in some form of unfinish.  Well, I am going to try to make it a goal to quilt at least two a month and maybe, MAYBE have them all quilted by the end of the year. Or if I can only manage to tweak out one a month, it will be a two year goal. I've got to make good this wonderful gift my hubby gave me.
Do you have any special quilting goals this year?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

With This Pledge

War is brutal, savage, horrific. The Civil War was the bloodiest war waged in America. Over 600,000 men lost their lives during this conflict. The South could not match the numerical strength of the North. This war was complex, affecting more than the men who died. 

Tamera Alexander has written an historical novel recounting the battle of Franklin Tennessee. She captures the account from the real life letters written between Captain Roland Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston. Ms. Alexander masterfully weaves their love story in the midst of this tragic Battle of Franklin and all that it entails. Her attention to detail is well researched.

If you love historical fiction, you will enjoy this well written and engaging novel. It's a powerful story capturing the horrors of war, and the hope of man.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Quilting on my DSM

I've always quilted on my DSM, mostly using straight line quilting. Even after taking a class on machine quilting, I never felt that I could move past geometric shapes.

But when I found Foolproof Machine Quilting by Mary Mashuta, I was able to step up my machine quilting.

Image result for mary machuta foolproof quilting 
Here are a couple of pictures of quilts inspired by her book.

If you ever want to move past straight lines, I would recommend her book.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Gift card holder tutorial

I just can't seem to wrap my head around paying for a box to hold a gift card when I can make one from a simple envelope! So here are the easy steps.

I use envelopes that you find in the stationary section of Wally World or the office supply store (approx 4 3/8" x 5 3/4").  They usually come in a box anywhere from 50 to 250 and I use them when I make cards.
First moisten the flap and seal the envelope.  Then fold down the edges on three sides to fit the GC.

Trim the top portion using decorative scissors.
Open the envelope and make little tabs on the bottom.

I use double sided tape to stick the tabs down on the underside.
Your Gift Card is ready to slip inside. 

 I punch two small holes and thread some ribbon to make a handle.

You can stamp or decorate any kind of greeting on the outside for the appropriate gift. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Blue strings for a little guy

Lots of different blue fabrics have gone into this little quilt.

My plan being a kind of a Where's Waldo" quilt.

Animals, trains, cars, basketball players, dinosaurs.... Hoping the little guy will be able to find the somewhat hidden pictures.
Just have the quilting left to do and it will be on it's way.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Inside the Lines

Quilting. What is that to you? Is it only the chosing of color and fabric? Or the cutting up said fabric and sew it together? Or do you consider your quilt is not really "quilted" until the three parts are quilted together? Do you do it yourself? Or do you send it out?

I have always quilted my own quilts. Mostly lap size and smaller. But since acquiring the HQ Sweet Sixteen, I'm being challenged to quilt larger quilts.

I found this book at the library. Which I think will be very helpful.

Lots of examples to learn and copy from.

As I looked through my own library I found these helpful books.

Lots of patterns

And then I found this classic book in my own library.

Even though it was written for hand quilting, I think some of these patterns could also be used for machine quilting.

And then there are these?

I've used these before and have had pretty good success.

How about you? What do you do to help your machine quilting along?

Happy Quilting?

Friday, January 18, 2019

I Love You, Funny Bunny

I so enjoy reviewing books for different publishing houses. Lately I started reviewing kids books, and they have been so much fun.

I Love You, Funny Bunny is the latest children's book I reviewed. Beautifully written and illustrated by talented Sean Julian.  Starting out with "I love you, Funny Bunny, from your whiskers to your toes." Such heartwarming prose, this delightful children's book is one that will warm a child's heart and imagination. It can be a bond between a child and parent, or a grandparent. Fun and whimsical, I love the positive character qualities that are expressed throughout the book. We need more books like this for our children.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Just stringing along

Making progress with my blue string quilt blocks.

I am making this string quilt with a little boy in mind. A friend has become a foster parent, and has a little three year old in her care. So I thought I would make this a kind of "Where's Waldo" type quilt, with trains, animals, dinosaurs, stars, fish... etc... Hopefully the little guy can find all the hidden clues.
As I mentioned in the previous post, this pattern by Amy Gibson is a great string pattern. It uses up lots of my scraps and it goes together so easily.  A fun quilt to make.

Monday, January 14, 2019

First finish

Okay, so I've been playing with Miss HQ, and finished a child size quilt, mostly to practice, and get the feel for the machine. But shhhh... keep this one under wraps for the moment. It will be for the newest expected grandchild.

It. Was. SO. Much. Fun! to quilt on the Sweet Sixteen. It definitely has a different feel than my sewing machine. But I'm learning. 

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Heartwarming novel

Caught By Surprise Cover

Jen Turano has again written a wonderful story that has captured my imagination. Flights of Fancy, the first in the American Heiress series, is a delightful story about a young socialite during the late 1800's. Isadora Delafield is one of the wealthiest socialites of her time. Because of her wealth and status, she is much sought after. But her parents continue to pressure her to marry a middle aged duke whose reputation is less than stellar. Izzie runs away from the demands the duke makes on her to marry him. Which finds her seeking employment as a housekeeper. But the problem is, she has never had to run a household before. She doesn't even know how to boil water.

When Ian Mackenzie meets Izzie, he is leary of her lack of references and skill. Yet he is in desperate need of a housekeeper to maintain order while his aunt recuperates and he is away on business. When four orphans come to live with them, the adventures will make you laugh out loud. The story is light hearted and full of fun and adventure.

Such a well written story. One that draws you to the characters and the situations they find themselves in. I've read other books by Ms. Turano, but I think this one is the best so far. Delightful and fun.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Monday, January 7, 2019

String Fever

There's a challenge going on.  Moda is hosting a String Along. I made  a couple of String Quilts before.

This one was made when we moved into our new house.

And then a couple of years later, I found my self with a lot of pink scraps.

It's kind of my favorite.

So I thought I would look to see if I had enough blue scraps to make a companion string quilt. I know there are lots of string quilt tutorials but I found the one that was free on Craftsy by Amy Gibson from her Block of the Month, to be the one that I liked the best.

And so it started.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Location, location, location

You know how sometimes you can overthink things? Like when making plans, or just trying to figure out how to do something.  Well, I'm trying not to overthink this new adventure with Miss HQ.

I'm the type of quilter that needs things to be a little bit organized before starting on a project. So as the holidays have added to the "putting things away" mode, I've been trying to make the most of my time and space for this new set up.

I first went to JoAnn's looking for the large thread holder to organize the cones used for this machine. They had none. But on a recent trip to a local Outlet store I came across something in their stationery department that I like better than the cone thread holder.

I'm sure this wire basket is to hold files, but I loved the thought of using it for thread. And you know what they say about location?


Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Score! Let's celebrate

Ten years ago I started blogging. I had been reading the Pioneer Woman for a while, and decided that I'd give blogging a go. Just as a journal of my quilting adventures. Low and behold, it has now been ten years! SO, I've been thinking a score! celebration is in order.

On February 19,2009 I started blogging, and wrote my first blog post the next day, not even knowing if anyone would read it. Three days later, by my third post, I had comments! One of the first commenters was Nicole of Sister's Choice Quilts. I've been following Nicole's blog ever since.

Looking backwards, there have been posts about quilting, DIY, the move to our new home, and many other areas that have been a part of my life.

And YOU dear reader have been a big part of my blogging life. SO thank you for coming along side and being a part of this journey.

Happy Quilting!