Friday, January 30, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes: January Finishes

When I started January I set one main goal and then some other things I want to accomplish, but I call them all goals (yeah I'm a rebel). Yes I know we are supposed to do one, but I just work better from a list. Well I did ok, not great, but ok.

Goal 1 is always my main goal for the month and I accomplished mine. It was to finish the test quilt I was doing for Quilting Jetgirl called Tessellated Leaves. Not only did I finish it, I had a few days to spare (not many but a couple).

Goal 2 was to finish by bee block (only had one this month) and I got it done. I had to do a wonky cross block for my Stash Bee queen. I got it done and in the mail.  I was the queen for the Compass Quilters and the Bee Hive doesn't start until this month, so only having to do one block was pretty easy.

Goal 3 is where I started to slide off the tracks.  I did get one of the memory quilts halfway quilted and it is still on the frame. If all goes well it will be finished by Monday. Since there is a mixture of fabrics I had some real tension issues, but I think I have them worked out as of now. I did not get the second top pieced, but I did get it laid out in rows, so it should go quickly.

Goal 4 is partially done as well. I have actually swept the room which is a great accomplishment, and organized part of it, but then it went south quickly as I worked on projects. I hope by the end of next week to have it some type of order.

And lastly goal 5 was to complete 20 of my cross blocks. I have 16 of them sewn in rows and 5 more started, but need to iron them and do the final sewing. I had thought I would have them finished, but just not enough hours in the day. If I don't finish them tomorrow, I think I will finish them during the super bowl. I'm not interested in the game, so I will sew during that part and watch the commercials.

I'm ok with what I got accomplished, since I started off the year sick. I also worked with Callie and we have a plan for her and Beau's signature quilt. So I've got a busy month ahead of me next month, but hey that is what makes life fun. I am linking up with Melissa of SewBitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fibers of All Sorts.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tessellated Leaves Reveal

I'm so happy to show every one my first finished quilt for 2015. And yes, today will you will get to see all of it. I did it as a test quilt for Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl and the pattern is called Tesselated Leaves. I met Yvonne through the New Quilt Bloggers group last year and I have to say I love her work.  She put out the call for testers and I immediately said "please pick me". She had showed the tutorial on her blog and I liked it, but then she started the color wash version and I was in love. I want to make one of those some day, but in the mean time here is the one I made.

She asked for testers for her two color or four color versions. I first thought red and white would be very cool, but then other testers selected the two color option, so she really needed a four color tester. I agreed and then began going through my options. I will say as much as I love fabric, I can struggle with picking colors. Then it hit me, Sharla's fabric would be perfect. Now what is Sharla's fabric, it was a set of 5 fabrics we bought to make a quilt, then it got packed away and we talked about it for months, saying it would be good to use here or there, but we couldn't find it. Then when we did find it we couldn't remember what pattern she was going to use.  So it has sat for months, and every time we talk about doing a quilt it gets pull out and then decided against. The original fabric was rust, yellow, light green, tan and a paisley with all those colors in it. I loved them but needed two dark and two light fabrics. So I dropped the tan and put in a dark green.

My big plan had been to piece and quilt this between Christmas and New Years because I would have 9 days of no work. What I didn't plan was catching the flu during Christmas and not feeling like doing anything but sitting/sleeping for two weeks. I will admit I almost panicked and told her I couldn't do it. But I really wanted to do it. So I started slow and sewed all of the HST and trimmed them. Once they were done, I knew I could do it.

I found that I liked chain piecing the individual leaves, but found doing the blocks one at a time kept me from getting overwhelmed. Now her pattern calls for the seams to be ironed open and at first I thought no, I'm not going to do that. I really like how the seams feel when they nest together, but I soon learned why she did it, there are a lot of seams in each block. Ironing them open was a challenge for me, but I think I did OK.

Yvonne does a great job of explaining each step and although this looks like a very complicated quilt, with her instructions I think anyone can do it. I decided to quilt it in an all over meander.  I had been practicing a different pattern before Christmas, but with being sick I wanted something I knew I could do and do easily. I will say it felt so good to be quilting again. I love the feeling of completing a quilt.

I used the paisley fabric for the back and binding and if you follow my blog you saw it on Friday when I couldn't show the front. I really like how it looks with the colors on the front.

I would really recommend this pattern to anyone, it looks cool, but is very doable. I think I am going to do a two color version of it in red and white at some point in the future. And the color wash version is on my quilt bucket list. Yvonne has the pattern on sale through January 31st for only $6 (a real bargain). You can buy it in her payship store. And if you check out her blog, Quilting Jetgirl, she has links to the other testers pages and I love all the different versions. I think that is what I love about quilting, is the same pattern can take on different lives with the different fabrics used. So I will end with one last photo, just because I can. I think this one shows the colors the best.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thankful Thursday #7

Yes I know it is Wednesday not Thursday, but tomorrow I will be posting about my Tessellated Leaves quilt and didn't want to miss the chance to tell everyone what I am thankful about this week, because I have lots.

But before I start, if you are stopping by for the Grow Your Blog post and giveaway, you need to click HERE.

Ok now let's get to being thankful. First off it has been a lovely week so far and today is supposed to reach 80 degrees, which is pretty nice for January. And for the sunny weather alone I should be grateful, but there is more.

A couple of months ago I bought a fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink's Moon Shine to make a quilt, because I love the prints and the colors. Then a few weeks ago Massdrop had the same bundle available at a good price. So I decided to buy a second one to use in my cross quilt and bee blocks. I was sent notice that it shipped and a box arrived last Saturday. When I opened it much to my surprise the bundle inside was Anna Maria Horner's Honor Roll not my Tula Pink Moon Shine. So I immediately sent an email to the company to let them know. On Sunday I received a note that said they were sorry for the mix up and they would be sending me my Tula Pink bundle soon. That sounded good, but even better they said I could keep the Honor Roll bundle at no charge. Yes you read that correctly, I have a full 30 piece fat quarter bundle of Honor Roll for free!!!!

I have no idea what I am going to do with it at this point, but for now I'm just going to look at it and pet it. And to top off the already great week, I received my second set of bee blocks from my Compass Quilters Bee. These came from Rebecca at One Wee Bird. Now she not only sent my blocks which had several super cute purple one (yeah), she also sent some Denyse Schmidt scraps.

Ok she even had a chocolate bar in the package, but that didn't make it out of the car (hehehe). I did share it with Sharla, so I wasn't totally greedy.  It was pretty unusual for here, it was a Cadbury cola bar, think chocolate and pop rocks mixed, very cool.

Now it hasn't been all sunshine and fabric this week, but even with having to have my brakes replaced, and bills to pay, and so forth.  It has been a good week and I'm thankful for all the large and small blessing in my life and will be linking up with Quilting Jetgirl's Thankful Thursday. And make sure you come back tomorrow to see my version of Tessellated Leaves.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015 & Giveaway

Hello world!!!  Since I'm participating in the "Grow Your Blog 2015" being lead by 2 Bags Full. I'm thinking most of you are stopping by from there and are new to my blog. If you are a current follower, I hope I don't bore you with things you already know, but either way make sure you read to the bottom to participate in my giveaway.

I will start by telling you a little bit about me.  I'm Shauna (bet you could have guessed that one) and I live in Texas, just north of Dallas.  I started blogging about 6 years ago as a way to show off my digital scrapbook pages and still show some of them, but now I mainly show mine and my sisters quilting accomplishments.  I am what I like to call an advanced beginner, I am trying to learn more and more. Now a little more about me personally.  I'm single, but have quite the menagerie at my house. Besides me there is my sister, Sharla (she quilts too), my nephew Cole (he doesn't quilt), and our three dogs, Tucker (yorkie), Zoey (shih tzu), and Hollywood (lab mix). If my sister had her way we would have a couple more dogs, but I'm holding firm that three is enough for now.  Tucker is my quilt dog, he loves them and I have to be careful when I'm ironing because if any fabric hits the floor he tries to make a bed on it.  The funny thing is that he is blind, but can always find a quilt if I'm working on it. Just so you can put faces to names, this is us.

On this blog I talk about my current projects, along with goals I set for myself, stash purchases and bee blocks I've made.  I have participated in quilt alongs, tested quilts for designers and even donated some of my work for charity.  My favorite thing from last year was the Texas Road Trip Quilt Along, and I hope to finish my quilt this year.  I got the basic top done, but need to add borders and then quilt it.

The favorite quilt I finished last year was the Looking Glass quilt I did as a test quilt for Meadow Mist Designs. I love the colors in it and I smile every time I see it. I want to do another on that is queen sized to go on my bed, but I have lots of projects in front of it.

If you decide you want to follow my crazy life, let me tell you what you might see this year. I keep a spreadsheet of projects and currently I have 26 quilts where I've purchased fabric and Sharla has 30, so we have to get busy and get piecing.  We also have 17 tops that are completed and ready to be quilted, so you will see all kinds of quilts. So that is 56 on the books as of right now.  You have probably realized about now that I love fabric and I do mean LOVE. I'm currently working on 4 memory quilts for a friend and her children, as well as a cross quilt that I picked as the blocks to receive as my time as queen in the Compass Quilters Bee.  I just finished a quilt this week that I was testing for a designer and will get to show it off soon.  I will also be showing some scrapbook pages and who knows what else.

Now that you've gotten to know me a little, let's talk about a giveaway.  I was lucky enough to win not one but two copies of 100 block Vol 10, so I'm giving one away. It is packed with great blocks!!! I thought I would sweeten the pot just a little by adding a charm pack of Cookies and Cream by RJR Fabrics and an alphabet panel. I bought two assorted fat packs from Massdrop at the end of last year and both had the same panel in them.  So I thought I would share one with ya'll. The selvage says it is Petite Fleur by Carolyn Gavin by Windham Fabrics. Since I'm not sure how I'm going to use mine, I would love to hear how  you would use it.

The giveaway is open to everyone and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment.  I love hearing where everyone is from, so why don't you tell me where you live and what the weather is like today. The giveaway will be open until noon (Central Standard Time) on February 15th and I will use a random number generator to pick a winner that afternoon/evening.  Now you don't have to follow me to enter, but if you want to follow me there are buttons on the side for Bloglovin, Feedly and follow by email. If you've not checked out Vicki's site at 2 Bags Full, you really should the blog hop is huge and there are lots of people holding giveaways.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Finish: Bee Blocks and Test Quilt

I am so glad to have a Friday Finish again.  It seems like forever and I even have two...yes you read that correctly TWO!!!  Well I do and I don't.  One of the finishes I can't really show you all of it yet, but I will explain.

First up is my bee block(s) for Stash Bee, which have been done for at least two weeks, but my rule is I can't show them here until they are in the mail.  Luckily I was able to get to the post office yesterday and they are on the way to this month's queen Toni.  The block we were requested to make was a Wonky Cross block, in the colors of yellow and grey.  I didn't have much grey in my stash, but I found a cool dot fabric at my LQS.  The first one I made ended up looking more like an "X" than a cross.

Since that block didn't work out like planned I made a second block with the colors reversed and it turned out much better.  It looks like a cross (yeah!!)

Since I really didn't have any use for the first block I emailed a photo of it to Toni to see if she could use it. and she said yes!.  So both blocks are headed to Houston.  I can't wait to see what she makes with them.  I've seen some of the other blocks and they all look pretty cool.

I also finished my first quilt for 2015, and it is very cool.  Now the problem is I can't show you the front of it, because the pattern hasn't been released as of yet.  The pattern is called Tessellated Leaves and it is by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.  It was a fun project and you will be able to see my version of it on January 29th and I will tell you lots more about it.  There is a blog hop starting on the 25th on Yvonne site.  I can't wait to see what the other testers made, But I wanted to count this one as complete since it has been a slow start this year.  So here is what I can show you.

Now what is really cool is that I've completed two of the five goals I set for myself for January, and I'm hoping to get a couple more of them done next week.  So it might be a slow start to the year, but at least the wheels have started.   Today I am linking up with  Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday #6

Happy Thursday everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful day.  I'm playing along with Quilting Jetgirl's Thankful Thursday.

I should be thankful that it is raining today, but it is a cold dreary rain and as much as we need it I just can't be happy about being cold and damp.  I should have been thankful for a wonderful bowl of leftover red beans and rice, but someone....cough....cough...Cole, ate all the rice and the beans were nice, but needed rice.

So today I'm thankful for HAPPY MAIL...yes I got a wonderful package in the mail from Carla from Granny Maud's Girl.  She sent me cross blocks for my turn as queen of the Compass Quilter's bee. She sent me 12 blocks, a signature block and the cutest little purple chicken pin cushion.

I love the blocks she sent, they are such great fabrics.  I really love that there are several purple ones, and I love that one on the bottom left.  Ok, I love them all.  And I'm so thankful that my mailbox had this wonderful package and no bills.  Can't get any luckier than that.

So I'm linking up with Quilting Jetgirl and you can too!.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday #5

Well it is #5 for Quilting Jetgirl, but my first one. I try very hard to always be thankful for the blessings in my life, great family, good job, ok health, and lots of laughter.  But I decided that I needed to play along with Thankful Thursday to look at some of the little things that sometimes get overlooked in list of blessings. So I decided that I would pick one thing a week, and tell ya'll why I consider it a blessing.  Some maybe funny (surprised???), some maybe simple, but they each will be something for which I am thankful.

Today I'm thankful for feeling good enough to actually put up a Christmas present.  I was very blessed this Christmas, my brother made a wonderful table for the hallway.  I needed something that I could put a bag on so it was out of Hollywood's reach, but was small enough not to take up a lot of space.  And then Callie and Beau got me a "thingie".  I'm not sure really what to call it,  I asked for a frame with twine to hold snapshots and such, that could be easily changed.  I found something on Pinterest that I sent them to reference. I asked for two, one for the hallway and one for the sewing room.

They found a couple of cool pieces, but they were teal and I wanted black.  So they painted them black for me.  The really cool part is they are metal, and the cloths pins they got me have magnets on them.  I tried to hang it but the hooks didn't hold, and I've just not been up to messing with it.  But today I put up new hooks and hung it.  I don't have any photos on it yet, and I want to make a small (really small) table topper for the table, but at least it is usable.

So today I am thankful for feeling well enough to get part of my Christmas presents into place.  The table is beautiful and hopefully soon the "thingie" will be filled with photos.  I use instagram and facebook, but still love a printed photo. My next task is to make a very small quilted table topper for the table, but I don't want to cover it too much (because it is so pretty), it just needs a little color. So for now I'm thankful this one is done and thankful that I'm feeling better.  Today I'm linking up with Quilting Jetgirl for Thankful Thursday #5.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Quarter 1 Goals for 2015 Finish-Along

Ok it is time to set my quarter one goals for the 2015 Finish-Along and I have a nice long list. Yeah, I know what you're thinking I always have a long list. But the way I figure it is...write it all down and maybe some of it will get done. The year the Finish-Along is being run by Adrianne at On The Windy Side. And the link-up just opened today, so if you want to join along, then you should check out the button below (it is linked).
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So I'm going to divide my goals into two groups.  The first is quilts that I wanted finish, either tops that are completed or ones that I'm working on currently.  The second list is goals that aren't necessary finishing a quilt, but that I still want to track and try to achieve.

Quilts to Finish

1. Tessellated Leaves.  This is a test quilt that I am making for Quilting Jetgirl.  The fabric has been cut and I've got some of the blocks completed, but I can't show it until later this month.  But here are the fabrics I chose. I"m really liking how the finished blocks look.

2. Memory Quilts.  I have four quilts to complete.  One of the tops is complete, and even on the frame to be quilted.  The other three have the blocks done, but need to be sashed.  I would like to finish all four in this first quarter, but if that isn't possible I hope to finish at least 2 of them.

3.  Box Trot.  Sharla finished the top last year, and I want to get it quilted now.  It will be the first quilt where I use wool batting.  If we like it we are going to by more, but first I want to test how it quilts and washes.

4. Alternating 4 Patch Purple.  I actually made this quilt top to be one of the first quilts I quilted when we purchased the long arm, but it got packed away and lost for a long time.  We recently found it and I want to get it quilted.  I'm not sure if I will get to keep it or not, my nephew was eyeing it when I was piecing it because purple is his favorite color. It needs to be ironed after being packed away for over a year.

5.  Table Runner Batik.  This is another one that was lost for a while, but it wasn't finished being pieced when we found it.  But it is done now and needs to be quilted.  It should be a fast quilt project. I don't have a photo of the runner, but it very pretty.

6. Trip Around The World Green.  This is Sharla's, and she wants it done.  But it is just hasn't worked its way to the top of the list yet.  But if 1-5 get done, this one will be at the top of the list.  Well unless something else pops-up.

7. Trip Around The World Purple.  This is mine and I would like it done, more because it is big and I would like to use it on my bed.  But it is just like Sharla's, ready to be quilted as soon as I have time to do so.

Now that is my list of tops to quilt during the first quarter. Now onto the list of things I want to accomplish that are not completed quilts.

1. Bee Blocks.  I am currently a member of two different bees, and want to make sure I always get my blocks done in a timely manner.

2. Cross Quilt Blocks.  This month I'm the Queen Bee of the Compass Quilters and I've requested cross blocks.  I will need many more blocks so I want to try and do some blocks for myself every month until I have enough blocks for a queen sized bed.

3. Organized Sewing/Quilting Room.  It is a mess, and it is getting hard for me to work in it, because it is driving me crazy.  I had planned on cleaning it this week, but that didn't happen.  I want to clean it as well organize it.  And I want to try and develop an organization method that is maintainable.  I'm not exactly sure what that is, but I want to be able to move around the room and function on a daily basis.

4. Unpick The Moose Quilt.  I was quilting this quilt last summer when I had some major tension issues with my long arm.  I ended up taking the machine in for service, but what I had quilted needs to be pulled out so I can start quilting it again.  In July the last thing I wanted was a quilt on my lap at night, so it just got put aside until winter.  Well winter is here and I need to get to ripping out some stitches.

5. Sew Callie/Beau's Blocks.  Callie and Beau have asked for a signature quilt for their wedding in April.  I'm going to paper piece blocks and then put the quilt together after everyone signs it at the wedding.  Color have been picked out, but so far no fabrics have been purchased.  Hopefully that will be done soon and I can get to piecing.

Ok that does it for me.  It is a long list, and I fully expect not to get everything on it done, but if I can get most of it or even half of it done I'll be a happy camper.  Don't forget you can link up with On The Windy Side as well.  It is a great way to hold yourself accountable.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Lovely Year Of Finishes: January 2015 Goals

Ok it is time to set my goals for January.  Now I would like to list about 20 projects and try to get them all done, but that ain't going to happen.  I'm recovering from the flu, so I'm starting out the year pretty slowly.  So I'm going to set fewer goals in the hope of actually getting them all done. I know I am only supposed to pick one goal and the most important is always listed first for me, but I just do better using a list.

1.  Tessellated Leaves test quilt.  I have all of the HST sewn, and my goal is to have everything completed by 20th.  I have to have it done by the 29th, but don't want to wait until the very last minute.
2. Bee Blocks.  Since I'm the Queen for the Compass Quilters, I only have my Stash Bee block to do this month.  It is a very simple block and I'm hoping to complete it this weekend.  Just so I can get it off of my list. Here is the photo the queen gave us as a reference.

3. Memory Quilts.  Yes they are still hanging around, but I learned last month that if I go hard at them, I get burn out pretty fast.  So my goal is to have one more top pieced and one top quilted. Here is the one that is already on the frame.

4. Clean Sewing Room.  Ohhh my I can't even tell you how bad it is now.  There is stuff everywhere and the floor is horrible.  Right now my plan is to clean on Tuesday.  Mainly be cause Hollywood is at doggie daycare and cleaning is easier with him gone.

5. Cross Blocks.  The block I picked for my bee mates is a cross block and I want to make a queen sized quilt with them.  But I am going to have to add a lot of my own blocks to it.  So I want to complete some each month until I have enough.  I am aiming for 20 this month.

So that will be a good start to the year, and hopefully totally doable.  I am linking up with Melissa of SewBitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fibers of All Sorts.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014: A Lovely Year of Finishes ~ Finale

Well Melissa from SewBitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts  are doing a Finale link party for those who completed at least 6 of their goals for last year. I checked and I did complete my goals for 7 of the 12 months, well I actually did 8, but didn't get November completions linked.  I think that in some ways setting goals every month, even if I don't complete them really helps me, so I plan to do it in 2015 as well.  Here are photos from the months I did complete.  So 7 out of 12 ain't bad, but hopefully this year I will get 12 out of 12.
Now here are the links for each of these.

February Goals
February Finishes
March Goals
March Finishes
April Goals
April Finishes
May Goals
May Finishes
June Goals
June Finishes
August Goals
August Finishes
September Goals
September Finishes

So that a wrap for 2014!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Queen For A Day...No A Whole Month

Yes it is my turn as Queen in the Compass Quilters Bee and I am so excited. I've had several months to think about what block I wanted.  I first thought I would do a scrappy trip block, because I really want one those quilts, then I saw the Pink Cross Quilt by Teaginny Designs.  I love the low volume background fabrics with the pink crosses. I decided to make my blocks a little smaller than hers, but I am betting I do another quilt in this size in the future.

Now as much as I like pink I think I want to do lots of colored crosses with the low volume backgrounds.  Now the low volumes can be confusing to some people.  Since I'm going to be adding a lot of my own blocks to this to make a queen sized quilt, I thought I would show you some of the background fabrics I've chosen. The only real request here is that all of the fabrics match on a single block.

Now for my crosses I want wonderful, bright colors, but since purple is my favorite color if you have some I would love at least one block in purple.  I love fabrics by Bonnie and Camille, Basic Grey, Tula Pink, Allison Glass, Cotton + Steel, Denyse Schmidt, Zen Chic and I could go on forever.  I am not as fond of civil war prints, well I actually like some of them but not so much the brown drab ones. These blocks are pretty small, so really large prints may not work as well.  Here are some of the fabrics I've picked to use for the crosses.  When I looked at the photo after I took it I realized most of these fabrics are tone on tone, don't limit yourself to only those.  I don't mind prints at all.

Now to the real meat of this post, how to make the blocks.


4 - 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 square
4 - 2 1/2 x 1 1/2  rectangle

1 - 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 square
4 - 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 rectangle

Match each background fabric rectangle to a cross fabric rectangle and sew together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Press towards the cross fabric.

Next line up your rows, as per the photo below.  Just remember that all the cross fabric goes towards the center.  I know that seems pretty obvious, but I laid one out wrong.  Luckily I caught it before I sewed it together.

 Press rows 1 and 3 towards the background and press row 2 towards the cross fabric. Here is the front and back of my test rows.

Now sew row 1 to row 2, and then row three onto rows 1 and 2.  Press these seams to the middle. Pressing this way I should be able to nest seams by flipping the block.

The block should now be 6 1/2 inches square.  Here are a few of my test blocks.  I didn't realize I had the same background fabric on two of them until I was looking at the photos...guess I like that domino fabric.

Now it is time for ya'll to get busy and I can't wait to see what ya'll create.  Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.