Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Finish - Blue & Green Quilt

The last day of January, this month has flown by, but I've gotten lots accomplished.  Today I'm showing you a quilt that Sharla pieced and I quilted.  It is another one we make specifically to practice long arm quilting. The fabrics are bright and cheery, so you know it is a Sharla quilt...although it doesn't have pink, but it does have green. It is a simply a 6 1/2 in block sewn in an alternating patten with a couple of borders.  We did learn that cheaper fabrics ravel more, and that small outer border was a real gritch!!!

I just did an all over meander when quilting it using Signature cotton thread called Dreamy Blues.  I had to be careful in the blue squares because the color matched the fabric so well that sometimes I had a hard time seeing it. I think this is my best quilting piece so far, it looks good even close.

I went back to the 2 1/2" binding because the outer border had some issues and I wanted to have plenty of binding to cover any issues.  I will say when sewing the corners it was much easier with the larger binding. And I didn't struggle nearly as much.  I also have to say I am loving my Clover Clips, and I found the best price on the at Amazon.  I got two packs of 50, but think I need one more for when I do a queen size quilt.

Overall, it was a great week for quilting for me.  I put on some oldies as I quilted and that made the time pass quickly.  Sharla is very happy with the quilt, it is large enough to really snuggle under and after washing it was really soft. She even posed for a picture with it.  We were hoping that she would be out of the wheelchair by now, but the doctor wants to do some surgery on her foot, and until that is done and healed she is still in that big black boot.  :(

Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Layouts for January

I did more quilting than scrapping this month, but I did get some layouts done.  The kits I used are mostly older kits, but they are ones I really love.  My first layout is probably my most favorite for the month.  I created it for the Recipe Challenge on Trixie Scraps Designs blog.  I love the kit and it is call Triumphant Value Bundle because the colors are just fun to use.  And they matched the photos so well.  The photos were taken at Christmas and we had some fun with a present Callie received.  Yes that is Sheldon in the photos, the present was a life sized cutout of him.

Next up is a layout I did using Best Year Ever by Trixie Scraps as well. This kit is great because of the great flowers in it and ya'll know I love me some flowers.  But it also has wonderful papers in great fall colors. The photo is also from Christmas of the kids...yes they are still kids to me even if two of them are now engaged and we've gone from three to five.

Next is another layout using Best Year Ever, and I created this one for the mix it up challenge at GingerScraps.  I really am drawn to the colors in this kit.  The photo is an old one of Callie and Cole, it is hard to believe how much they have grown, but the boy in this picture is the bearded boy in the picture above...ok so maybe not a boy above.

And lastly is a layout I made using King of the Pride Value Bundle.  It is a wild kit and perfect to scrap the newest wild thing in my life...Hollywood.  The bright oranges really look wonderful and I love the alpha in the kit, good for so many things.  Hollywood is getting so big, but he is still all puppy, chewing, jumping, etc.  But we love the little...oops big stinker.

All of these kits are available at Trixie Scraps Shop and would be wonderful additions to your stash.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DaGMT 2014

No I'm not cussing at you, I'm committing to Drop and Give Me Twenty 2014 at Quilting Hottie Haven.  Now that may sound like an exercise program, but I've not gone that far out on a limb.  No I'm committing to 20 minutes every day of sewing/quilting stuff for the month of February.  To participate I have to pledge to the program and here is my pledge.

I, Shauna Trueblood, the owner of way too many unfinished projects, do commit to sewing/quilting activities for twenty minutes a day, for the entire month of February even if that means I don't cook, clean or do anything else productive (wait I don't cook or clean now, but we will just skip over that issue). In doing so I hope to quilt at least 4 quilts, piece at least one top, debone a bag of shirts for some memory quilts and organize my fabric stash in hopes that someday my list of UFOs won't contain over 50 items.  I think Beth Helfter is brilliant for coming up with this concept and inspiring me to join.

So if you have a list of UFO's feel free to join in and possibly win a prize.  You can check it all out at Drop and Give Me Twenty 2014.

A Lovely Year of Finished 2014 - January

I think I'm getting old, because time is passing by at a very rapid rate.  I can't believe January is almost over, but I am so happy to say I did accomplish my goal. At the beginning of the month I set a goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes 2014 and I'm the first to admit that I set the bar low, because I was a little hesitant.  I wanted to finish the yellow and black quilt I had loaded onto the Avante.  Well I finished that one and three more, yes that is right I quilted FOUR quilts this month.  Now for some that might not be a lot, considering all the tops were made, but for me it is a big accomplishment.  And they are all bound and labeled.

Here is my yellow/black one. which was my goal quilt. I love the size of this one, it is just short of a queen size, but the colors aren't my favorite.  I will say that Hollywood loves it, he laid claim to it the night it was finished. I used a pantograph to quilt this one, and I really struggle to get my curves right from the back of the machine. I hand sewed the label on which is not something I enjoyed.  But I think I've found an easier method.  Overall I'm happy with it, and it is warm so that is all that matters.

The next one was a very small quilt, so it was easy to do...ok maybe not. I switched thread brands and had to pick out about 1/2 the quilt because of tension issues. Luckily it wasn't too hard or too big. I learned a lot about tension with this quilt.  I also even wrote some notes so in the future I can fix things a little easier. This is also the first quilt I quilted from the front of the machine, and I just used a ribbon meander.

Next I worked on my Brick quilt.  I love the colors in this one, and so did Tucker.  He tried to lay on it at every stage including when I was trying to bind it.  He really likes blankets, so he is always happy to lay on one.  I did the ribbon meander on this one as well, and it is alright, but not anything special. What I learned on this one was to slow down.  I made the Avante beep a lot, but it was so easy that I kept getting ahead of myself.  I did a narrower binding on this one only 2 1/4 inch strips and I liked that for the most part but the corners were tough.

The last quilt I just finished this week, and haven't shown before.  It was pieced by Sharla and I just did an all over meander on it and it is by far my most favorite quilt so far.  I really like how it looks.  I don't have any great photos of it yet, but I do have one of it and the two other big quilts on my quilt ladder. I can't wait for Hollywood to be out of his chewing phase so I can put the ladder out were everyone can see it. Right now it is in the corner of the sewing room.  The newest quilt matches the wall color nicely.  It is bright and cheery and was so much fun to do.

I'm quite happy with my accomplishments for January.  I have much tougher and bigger goals for February, but I'll talk about those later.  I'm linking up with Sew BitterSweet Designs for the January Finishes. If you've not checked them out you should, there are some really great finishes. And if you haven't signed up for my giveaway, you'll find it Here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wonderful Mail

If you are looking for my Grow Your Blog Party Giveaway you will find it HERE.

Ok I admit it, I hate going to the mailbox because it is always full of bills and who is happy to get bills.  But this week, I got a wonderful package in the mail.  It renewed my faith in going to the mailbox. I was surfing through blogs a week or two ago and came across a giveaway by Sew Sunshine for her one year blog anniversary. I entered, without any real hope of winning, but I did win!!!!!  Yeah me!!!

The prizes were a charm pack of S'more Love by Cosmo Cricket (so so so cute), four fat quarters, two from the S'more Love line and two coordinating one that look like linen.  Also was a FriXion pen (which I've wanted to try) and a Kwik Klip basting tool.  You can see everything below.

I'm sure I'll use everything except the Kwik Klip (I don't baste with a long arm), so I included it in the giveaway I'm having.  Hoping it finds a home with someone that can use it. 

I'm feeling happy today, free fabric, what more could a girl want!!!!  I hope you are having a great day too!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog & Giveaway

Hello, so glad you could stop here.  I'm guessing you are here for the "Grow Your Blog" party being put on by 2 Bags Full. This is my first time every doing something like this, so I will start off by introducting myself, I'm Shauna, in case you've not been her before.  I have been blogging for about almost 5 years, wow that seems so long ago.  Up until recently my posts were to show off digital scrapbook pages I made, but I'm slowing working to show more of the quilting I'm doing.  I'm not a designer, of scrapbook stuff, fabric or quilt patterns.  I'm just a working woman, who loves to quilt, create scrapbook pages, and who knows what else.  I will say that I always try to be honest, if I like something I will say so, if I love something I will say so, and if I hate something I will say so.

This blog is a place for me to tell the world what I'm working on at any given time.  If I find something I think is really cool, I'll tell you.  I love taking pictures, so I tend to have lots of photos on my page.  And if you're a dog person, you'll find lots of cute photos/scrapbook pages with dog photos.

So let's get the basic info about me out there.  I'm single, but live with my sister, Sharla and nephew, Cole. My sister and I bought a house together several years ago so we could move our parents in with us to take care of them. Unfortunately we've lost both of them now, but we like the arrangement and so we continue on together. About a year ago my nephew moved in with us. We live in the great state of Texas!!!  We had three dogs, two yorkies (Tucker and Cooper) and a shih tzu (Zoey), but sadly lost one of the yorkies (Cooper) last year.  About that time my nephew brought a puppy (Hollywood) home, a lab/boxer/who knows what mix.  I had forgotten what it was like to have a puppy around.  I work as tech support on an off schedule of Wed-Sun, and have lots of time to spend on the computer when things are slow.  I love digital scrapbooking, because it involves computers and photographs, two of my favorite things.  I've been doing it for about 5 years, and at one time was on about 12 different designer/store teams.  But I've cut back to just a few that I love and focus more now on my quilting.

Now so you can put faces to the names, and yes we are a motley crew, but we have lots of love and that is all that matters to us.

Yes I will be honest and say... I am a fabric-holic.  I love fabric, and can pet it all day long.  Sharla and I starting quilting in 2007, but when I was laid off in 2009, we put it aside.  Then in 2012 we decided it was time to get back into it.  We both love piecing the quilt tops, but neither of us was that hip on quilting them with our regular sewing machine.  Part of the issue is we like larger throw/bed quilts and they are just so hard to maneuver through a small machine.  In late 2012 we took a long arm quilting class and to say we were hooked is an understatement.  Ok maybe I was more hooked than her, but we knew that is how we wanted to quilt.  So we saved money and shifted everything in the house around and made room for a Handiquilter Avante.  We just got it at the end of 2013, so I'm still learning it, but let me say it is so much fun!!!!! Am I good at it yet, no, but I do see improvement with every quilt I do and I'm really starting to feel like I can do it.  The first time I loaded a quilt on it I got scared and it was about a week before I started quilting it. Here is the quilt I finished just this week.

So what will you get if you follow this of a crazy woman's life...wait did I tell you I was crazy?? If not, then take my word for it, I am.  I promise that if I show scrapbook pages I will tell you who the designer is of the kit I used and normally where you can buy it.  If I use a pattern for a quilt I will tell you what it is, and if I know the fabric line I will give you information on that as well.  I will tell you things I learn about long arm quilting as well as any new cool digital scrapbooking thing I find. I know I love seeing what other people create, and if you look at the list of blogs I follow on the right side, you'll see I follow a lot (and that list is old because I now use bloglovin and I think I follow over 300 blogs.  I get inspiration seeing what others create.  Sometimes it is the pattern they used, or maybe the fabric or maybe just the colors.  I hope you can find some inspiration in my pages. If nothing else you will at least find some humor every now and again. If you want you can also follow me via Twitter (but I don't tweet too much) or Instagram (I love taking pictures) with the social media icons in the side bar.  You can also check out my Pinterest boards or Flickr photos.

And to thank you for stopping by I'm offering a small giveaway.  To enter simply leave me a comment and tell me where you are and what the weather is like.  It very cold here.  If you follow me, then you can add another comment letting me know, easy peasy.  Now I'm giving away two mini charm packs, Daydream by Kate Spain and Sewing Box by Gina Martin.  I'm starting to collect mini's in hopes of some day doing a postage stamp quilt...I can dream right?  I am also throwing in a Kwik Klip basting tool.  I recently won it, but since I don't baste like that with my long arm, I thought I would pass it on to someone that could use it. I will draw the winner on Feb. 15th. Here is what your getting.

I'm glad you stopped just to check out the blog and I hope you find lots of blogs to follow. Make sure you visit Vicky at 2 Bags FullI understand there are over 500 blogs participating, so I'm sure you will find something that peaks your interest.

2 Bags Full

Friday Finish - Brick Quilt

Ok, I'm really tired, so if something doesn't make sense in this post it is the smoke alarms fault.  We came home last night to it blaring in my room.  And the dogs were going nuts.  We replaced the battery and that didn't work, so I went and got a new battery and that seemed to help.  That is until very early this morning, when it went off again.  I checked the internet and they said vacuum it, and when I did that the orange light went off, so I thought we were good.  I don't know why I felt the need to go back by the house after taking Sharla to work, but I did and it was going off again.  I called Cole and he came and removed the unit totally. I will get it replaced, but my ears are still ringing, and the poor dogs where just batty!!!

But the good news is I finished another quilt this week.  I call this one Bricks, there was no pattern, I just cut the fabric 6 1/2 x 3 1/2.  I'm happy with it overall, but I think a more random layout might have been better. I did learn several things when quilting this one.  The first is that when the tension is set correctly, picking out the stitches is much harder.  Luckily it was a very small section.  I also learned if the back is square it rolls on much easier, something I was told, but hadn't really cared about before.  I cut the binding at 2 1/4" and I love how it looks everywhere but the corners.  I'm still struggling with binding, but with each one I'm learning more.  I found a tutorial on doing the label in the corner so it is sewn in with the binding at Sassafras Lane Designs and I love that so much more than hand sewing on the label.  I made mine smaller than hers, but I printed on the fabric so I didn't need as much space.

The fabric is some I picked up when the local JoAnn's was moving and had all the fabric in their current location 50-75% off.  Is is a good size, I like my quilts pretty long, before washing it was 60 x 72 and it is no about 58 x 70, so it has that nice crinkled look.  

Tucker tried to lay on this quilt at every step, he laid on the fabric as I was ironing it before I cut it, he laid on the quilt top as I ironed it before putting it on the frame and he tried to lay on it as I was sewing the bind on it.  So I'm thinking he wants this quilt!!  Last night I tried to get some photos, but the lighting was poor, but he was quite happy to lay on it. The poor baby is blind and walks into walls, but he can find a blankie anytime there is one within his reach.

So for January I've quilted 3 quilts, which is great.  I've already picked out the one I want to work on next week.  It is one Sharla pieced and it is a very simple quilt, so I'm planning on just stippling the quilting.  I try to quilt on my days off which are Monday/Tuesday, so that means I've got to get the back pieced this weekend.  I'm just hoping for warmer weather this weekend, I don't like the cold, makes my bones creak.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Finishes - Cooper's Memorial Quilt

Ok maybe that should just be Friday Finish, because I only got one quilt done this week and it was a very small one.  But one is better than none right???  My plan was to work on my brick quilt, but our LQS (local quilt shop) had a wonderful sale last weekend.  Buy five yards get five yards free, or as I like to say 50% off, which is just so hard to pass.  And which we didn't pass.  We went and got several backs for quilts on our list including Cooper's memory quilt and since Sharla was done with the top I just had to quilt it first.  Sharla pieced the top using Pacific Bali Snaps by Hoffman Fabrics. Cooper was a blankie dog, he loved laying on them and we always joked that he wanted a blankie that wasn't pink, since most of Sharla's quilts tended to have pink in them.  So she picked a wonderful set of blues to make his quilt.  We found a wonderful blue batik for the back and binding.    I quilted it freehand (my first) using a ribbon pattern.  It's not perfect, but I am pleased with the results. The photos don't do it justice, but it was late last night and I took them with the flash so the colors aren't as pretty in the photos as they are in person.

Sewing the label on was the hardest part for me.  I hate hand sewing, but I think I have found a way to attach the label when I do the binding.  We will see how that works on the next one.  I even like how the back looks on this one.

Here is a better view of the label, I love that picture of him and he is laying on a quilt Sharla pieced with left overs from her trip around the world quilt and I quilted on my sewing machine.  I will say I love the long arm for quilting so much more!!!! The blue in this photo is more of the true color, so so pretty!!!

And I consider this a minor finish as well, I got the label sewn onto the yellow and black quilt from last week. I washed it as well, so it is truly and completely done.  I really love the look of a quilt after it has been washed.  It just gets that crinkly look and becomes so soft.

And it has already been claimed by Tucker. But I think the real owner is going to be Hollywood. The night I finished it I laid it out on Sharla's bed. Hollywood, claimed it and has slept with her every night since then. The only except was the night I put the label on it and washed it, he slept with me that night.  But last night when I put it back on her bed, he was sleeping with her again.  I think I may have lost my bed buddy.  But as with every blankie in our house, Tucker had to roll on it first.  He just loves blankies, almost as much as he loves Sharla and I.

Overall I'm happy for the week, I did get something quilted.  And I did get the back pieced for the brick quilt. I just need to get it ironed and on the frame to be quilted.  Hopefully ya'll will be seeing it next week on my Friday finishes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Setting Goals....

I wish every goal I set was so quickly accomplished.  Just 5 days ago I set the goal of having my yellow and black quilt done by the end of the month and here it is 5 short days later and I'm done.  To be honest I was done two days ago.  Now I will be the first to admit since the top was already loaded on to the frame, I was a good way towards completion, but it has been quilted and bound.  And I think pretty much claimed, since Hollywood is sleeping on it and Sharla is sleeping under it.  I want to wash it so it gets that crinkled look and so I can get some of the dog hair off of it, but that will happen next Monday when I am off next. I've not gotten it onto my quilt ladder yet, because I wanted to wash it first and because Hollywood claimed it.  I'm even noting this as a Friday Finish (something I've never done before now).

It is not quite a queen size, but pretty close, it almost covers Sharla bed.  I didn't get too close because the quilting is not that great, but this one does show the dog hair and some of the quilting.  :)

And last but not least you can see the backing I chose.  It is just the yellow with the leaves in it.  I picked it because they had enough of it, and I thought it looked pretty good.  I used Signature cotton 11 Bamboo as the thread, it has a green tint, but looks good on this yellow too.

After it is washed I will try and get better shots of it outside in some good light.  But this is as good as I could get on a Friday night, when I was pretty tired.  

I've decided I need another goal for this month, so I've decided that I want to have another top quilted and bound by the end of the month.  I've picked what I call my grey/gold/cream bricks.  Yes I have such a wonderful imagination with names.  I have the fabric for the back, but still need to piece it.  So this is a little more of a challenge. Here is what it looks like right now, with the backing fabric.  It needs to be ironed and the threads all trimmed. I like the colors of this one a little better, but it is still a little muted for me.  You know me I'm a wild and crazy girl. 

I've also gone through the process of trying to list out every UFO I have.  Boy was that an eye opener. Between Sharla and I we have almost 60 projects on the list.  Now 23 of those are tops that have been completed but not quilted and a handful more that are almost finished.   So my second goal for this month is to get all my completed tops organized and put with the backing fabric for them.  If all goes well, maybe I will get one or two more tops quilted this month.  The brick quilt should go fairly fast because I'm going to do a simple ribbon pattern on it.  If I complete it quickly then I want to add the blue batik charm square quilt that Sharla pieced.  It is her Cooper memorial quilt and I know she would like to get it done.

Today, we are hooking up with……Confessions of a Fabric AddictLink a Finish Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 January Goals

I have decided to try and do "A Lovely Year of Finishes 2014" hosted by Shanna Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs.  Last year several of the blogs I follow were doing this and I thought it was great, but could never convince myself to participate.  But hey, it's not like I go to jail if I don't complete a goal, and setting goals makes me get more done.  And I have a lot to do this year.

For January, my goal is to complete my yellow and black quilt.  I made this quilt expressly as a practice quilt to use when we got the long arm quilter.  I will say it is not my favorite quilt ever, I liked the colors when I bought them, but somehow that like faded as I worked with them.  I have loaded it onto the machine, but somehow just haven't started on it.  I'm hoping this gets the mojo going.  My goal is to quilt it, bind it and hang it on my cool new quilt ladder that I got for Christmas from my wonderful brother and sister-in-law.

Some was quite happy that I put a large quilt on the frame, because that meant the batting hung down and being the blankie boy that he is, he immediately headed for it and was snoring within moments. He wasn't happy when I made him move and picked up all the excess and put it on a box.  But he quickly found his way to the bed I have for him under the frame and was snoring again.

I have lots more on my list for January, I want to do several of the economy blocks for the #economyblockalong going on Instagram.  I also need to begin de-boning some shirts to start memory quilts for a friend and her children. And that doesn't even begin to touch the stash of quilt tops I have ready or the UFOs on my list.  But for now I will be happy to complete one quilt.  Hopefully since I still have most of the month I can do it.  Wish me luck.