Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes 2015: June Finishes

Wow June sped by very quickly and even though it flew by, I did get things accomplished. I try to make a list so that hopefully I can get a couple of things done, but also because it helps me keep track of what I need to do.  So let's see how I did on my June list.

1. Bee Block. Since I was the queen of one of my bees, I only had one to do. Yes I got it done and it is already in the mail.  YEAH!! I will say I didn't like this block. No I didn't like the method to make this block. The instructions were for the four at a time half square triangles, and my first block was way to stretchy/wonky for my liking. So I decide to use the standard two at a time method, but made my second block too small. The third block was the charm. I like how the block looks finished, but I wouldn't use the first method if I were doing this for myself.

2. Quilt Grande Scrappy Tiles. Well if you follow me you saw this fun quilt last week all finished and quilted. I will say this was my most fun finish in a long time, because it was my only real quilt finish in a long time. Every time I get a quilt loaded on to my Avante, I just get happy. I love that I can finish quilts that I would never attempt on my regular sewing machine.

3. Pick Out Fabric for Midnight Mystery Quilt. Not only did I pick out fabric, but Sharla decided she wanted to do it as well. We decided that we would pull fabrics from our stash. It was a little challenging, but we both found fabrics we liked and I think they will both look very nice. Mine is the top photo and Sharla's is the bottom photo. We can't for the first set of instructions which will come out next Thursday!!!!

4. Sharla's Sewing Machine Cover. There is still a slim chance this will get done this month, but very slim. If I can get some time tomorrow I will try and finish it just so I have another complete.

5. Sharla's Box Trot. I had planned on trying to quilt this last week, but couldn't find it. It has been put away for safe keeping and has to be found.  I am going to look for it this week so I can put in on next months list of to-dos.

So as a recap, I got 3 out of 5 done and I see that as a win in my books!!!! I wish it had been more, but I am happy. I hope to get more done in July. I'm linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Winner and New Giveaway!!!

Happy Friday everyone!!! I wish I were showing another Friday finish, but this week I had too many things on my plate. I did get a little sewing done and some behind the scenes stuff on another project I can't show you yet.  But be that as it may, we still have a very exciting day, because I'm going to announce the winner of the Grande Scrappy Tiles giveaway. Plus the lovely Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is letting me giveaway another of her patterns. So let's get started.

I had 69 entries for the Grande Scrappy Tile pattern. It was so much fun reading about what everyone is working on right now. I will say those who are busy organizing, that isn't fun, but it makes working so much easier. In case you don't remember here is my Grande Scrappy Tiles quilt

And the generator picked lucky number 4, you know the saying the early bird gets the worm...or in this case the pattern.

I've contacted Tanya and will be sending her the pattern shortly. For all of you who did not win, the pattern is on sale through July 4th for $6.00.  You can find it on Etsy (Here), Craftsy (Here) or Payhip (Here).

Now when I tested the Grande Scrappy Tiles pattern I also had the chance to proof the pattern Sea Star. I really liked this pattern and seriously thought about doing it instead of the one above. I'm a sucker for plus quilts and this one is just so pretty.  Cheryl did hers in solids which is awesome and just screams sea to me.

I have put this on my bucket list to make, but I think I want to mine in shades of purple and grey. I think this would make a great quilt for a guy. I keep talking about doing a quilt for my nephew and this just might have his name written on it.

Cheryl has graciously allow me to give away a copy of this pattern as well.  So leave me a comment and tell me what colors you would use for this pattern.  Also if you are a follower (new or old) leave a second comment letting me know how you follow me.  I will draw a name next Thursday night. Now if you love this pattern and can't wait to get started on it or if you don't win. Cheryl has it on sale for the next two weeks for $6.00 on Etsy (Here), Craftsy (Here) or Payhip (Here).

Also if you don't follow Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs you might not know that she is leading a mystery quilt-a-long called Midnight Mystery Quilt. So far she has only given out the fabric requirements, so there is still plenty of time to join.  She has a Facebook group for the QAL and it has been totally awesome seeing the fabrics everyone is choosing.  We even a few people doing to versions.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quilty Thankful Thursday #28

Happy Thursday everyone, I hope you're having great week. For me it has been an ok week. It is funny how, little things can make or break your day/week. I try to focus on the positive things, but sometimes it is hard, which is why I really like doing this post every week. It keeps me looking for the good stuff. So here is my list for this week.

1. Squishy Mail. I hate picking up my mail, because it is almost always junk or bills, but not this month. I'm the queen of the Swarm Johanna for the Bee Hive bees, and I've started receiving my blocks. There is just some happy about getting blocks made especially for me.  Here are the three I've received, and they are are from Johanna, Emily and Tori.  The colors are awesome, and I think this is going to a very cool quilt.

2. Testing New Patterns. I was asked to test a pattern that will be used for a quilt along in August. I can't show you anything about it yet, but you will definitely see more about it later. I am always honored when asked to test for a designer and I love testing my skills on something new. This will be a mystery quilt along, and from what I've seen so far will be lots of fun.

3. Open Roads. With all the rain, there have been roads closed around here and a couple of them are ones I use on a daily basis. About a week ago one closed due to flooding that made the trip to take Sharla to work a lot more difficult. But as of this morning they have opened one lane, not a big deal, but it sure beats this.

4. Sales. Yes I'm a fabric hoarder, there I've said it out loud. Anyone that looks at my sewing room, would have already guessed that, but I can't resist a good sale. Over the last week there have been a couple that I couldn't resist. One was a fat quarter bundle of rainbow text prints. I love text prints, but most of the ones I have are black and white.  This is what I call pretty!!!!! I don't have specific plans for it at the moment, so I will just pet them and look at them for now.  I got other fabrics as well, more to finish my cross quilt. But I'm just having fun folding it, and dreaming of what I will make with it.

5. My Little Buddy Pal. Tucker is getting old and having more and more health issues. I had to take him to the vet this week and he has bad ear infections and needs some teeth pulled. But he was so happy to get to go for a ride in the car. I took him to pick up Sharla at work, and he loved when I circled her parking lot with the window down. I know that my time with him is limited, so I'm going to enjoy it as much as possible. He sleeps beside my desk during the day, and I try to reach down and rub his belly every so often.

Ok so that is my list for this week, and I hope that you have just as many things to be thankful about this week. I am linking up with Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Finish: Grande Scrappy Tiles Reveal & Giveaway

I am beyond thrilled to be showing ya'll a finished quilt today. It is my first finish in forever, and it is not only pieced, it is quilted, labeled and bound.  Whoo hoo!!!  In mid April Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs asked if I would test a pattern for her.  I immediately said yes, because I love her patterns, and I loved the preview. She actually had two patterns to test and I loved both, but knew I would only be able to make one in the time frame. So I picked Grande Scrappy Tiles.

Scrappy is something I love, but it is hard for me to execute for some reason. But Cheryl makes it easy. The pattern is written so you can use fat quarters, 1/4 yard cuts or plain yardage.  I knew I wanted to use my stash so I used the 1/4 yard cuts. I used fabric left over from another quilt, and this is what the end results looks like.

I love purples and pinks and so it was fun to pick through my stash and come up with 24 different fabrics. This is the lap size quilt and it was 72 x 72 before quilting and washing, but I don't know what it is now because I forgot to measure it.  The design of this pattern is great for those large scale prints and it goes together super quick. The blocks are 24 1/2" by 24 1/2", so the lap quilt only needs 9 blocks.  I plan to make this pattern again in the queen size for my bed.

Cheryl does a great job on her patterns, explaining everything clearly, and she color coded the block assembly so you can put it together easily.  I think the hardest thing for me was picking the fabrics for each block. I'm just a bit picky and I didn't want the same fabric twice in any one block.  I got down to the last block and had the same fabric three times, so I had to do some switching.  But that is more my problem than anything to do with the pattern.

I had to piece the back, but I wanted it to be pretty simple, so a simple row of blocks worked for me. I started to do a more scrappy back, but I thought with the front scrappy, a simple back would work better.  I am quite happy with how it looks, and this photo shows the crinkly look, which is my favorite part.

The quilting is simple loops.  Since I was out of practice I wanted something I knew I could do, and I like loops. So loops it was, and I tried to make them a mix of sizes.  I used a lavender thread that blended on some blocks and stood out on others, which I thought looked cool.

Now I'm sure you are wondering about the giveaway, well the wonderful Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is letting me giveaway a copy of Grande Scrappy Tiles to one of you lucky people.  To enter leave me a comment and tell me what you are working on at the moment.  If you are a follower, new or old, leave a second comment telling me how you follow. I will draw the lucky winner next Thursday. Now if you just can't wait to get your hands on a copy of this pattern or if you aren't the lucky winner, it is on sale for the next two weeks (until July 4th) for $6.00.  You can find it on Etsy (Here), Craftsy (Here) or Payhip (Here). If you want to see other versions of it, check out Meadow Mist Designs.

Today I am linking up with 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, June 18, 2015

Quilty Thankful Thursday #27

Happy Thursday everyone, I hope you're having a wonder week. It has been a week of ups and downs for me. I've gotten things accomplished which has been wonderful, but work has just about stressed me beyond my breaking point. But I'm not going to let a little thing like work get me down, no sir it is time to get my happy going!!!!  So here are things I'm thankful for/about this week.

1. Quilting. I feel like it has been forever since I've fired up my long arm and actually quilted something. This week I quilted my Grande Scrappy Tiles quilt and even got it bound as well. I'm not going to show you the front of it today, because I'm revealing it here tomorrow. But I will show you the back. Make sure you come back tomorrow and see it because there will be a giveaway too.

2. E-readers. Ok I don't officially have an e-reader, but I do have an i-pad and an android tablet (one personal/one work) and I've loaded the Nook app on both. It is so nice to have a book readily available whenever I want without having to carry something else. So when I pick up Sharla in the afternoons, if she is running a little late I can read a few pages. I go through stages where I read a lot and other times not so much. I admit I read junk, pure entertainment stuff, but I like it. It is a nice way to relax. I just finished Double Fudge Brownie Murder, which is the latest in a series. It is a fun series full of lots of cookie recipes.

3. Encouraging Readers. I love people who comment on this blog, it is nice to know that I'm not just writing in a void. But even more not only do they comment, it is almost 99.9% nice things that they say. I want everyone to know that I appreciate every comment, no matter how big or small.

4. Quilt Designers. I think I've said it before, but I am in awe of those that can visual and create patterns. I can follow a pattern, I can even create a quilt from a picture without a pattern, but I can't visualize something from nothing. In the last week alone I've seen numerous patterns that intrigued me. Some I will never make, because although they are beautiful, they aren't my style or interest. Others I've pinned for future reference, because I do want to make them someday. I'm very thankful for those that write patterns, because without them I wouldn't have nearly as much fun.  Over the last week or so I've been seeing lots of Irish Chain quilts due to the release of a new book featuring Irish Chains by Melissa Corry.  I've not purchased the book, but I did use EQ7 to see what a Single Irish Chain might look like. This is going on my to-do list for my nephew, but I'm not sure I would have thought of it, if I hadn't seen all the others.
5. My Job. It has been a busy couple of weeks with changes happening on the fly and things more out of control than I like. But I am still thankful that I have a job that provides me funds to have a home, food, car, and most of all lots and lots of fabric.  Without it I wouldn't get to do the things I enjoy. So although it isn't fun, I am thankful to have it.

That is it for today. I'm linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.

Quilty Thankful Thursday

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quilty Thankful Thursday #26

Happy Thursday everyone, I hope you're having a wonderful week. I know I am. I have so many reasons to be thankful, but sometimes I forget to focus on those things. So this weekly post really helps me to remember the good things, big or small.

1. Blocks Done. Since I'm the queen of one of my bees, I only have to do blocks for one bee this month and they are done and I've completed more cross blocks.  I have 10 cross blocks totally done about 15 more that are 2/3's done.  I really like when things come together.

2. Sewing Machine Is Home. I picked up my sewing machine on Friday and it costed me nothing to get serviced. They service it once in the first year for free. It is running like a champ and I'm happy to have it back. I've also taken Sharla's into the shop to be serviced and it is ready to be picked up tomorrow.

3. An Extra Hours Sleep. Sharla was sick this morning so I didn't have to drive her to work. I'm sorry she was sick, but I was able to sleep and extra hour, and still feed the dogs, empty the dishwasher, and mop before I had to start work. That is a lot less I have to do tonight.  Plus I don't have to drive in and pick her up, so I can get some more done. That extra hour felt wonderful. And Sharla is feeling better, and as long as I don't get the bug all will be well. No photos, because I've still not combed my hair today.

4. Back Completed and Quilt Loaded. I completed the back for my Grande Scrappy Tiles this week and got it and the top loaded onto my long arm.  I've not got to start quilting just yet, but I'm ready and hope to start on Saturday afternoon.  It seems like forever since I've quilted anything.  I think I'm just going to do a simple meander, because I love that pattern and it works well with scrappy quilts.

5. Local Farmers Market.  We have a small farmers market where everything has be be grown in the county to be sold there. I love that I see the same farmers from week to week, and I get really fresh veggies. Last weekend I even got some strawberries and a  cantaloupe. It was all de-lish!!

Today I'm linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Midnight Mystery QAL- Fabric Selection

I know you think the world has turned on it's access because I'm posting so often, but not really. I've just gotten things done, and that is such a nice feeling. Today I'm going to show you the fabrics I've picked for the Midnight Mystery QAL, as well as the fabrics Sharla picked. Yes, she saw what I was doing and decided to join in as well.

On Thursday, Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, gave us the fabric requirements. I think one of the reasons I joined the QAL is that it has a limited number of fabrics. Of course you can do a scrappy version if you want, but doing a more simple version really appeals to me...and Sharla. I decided I needed to shop my stash for this one.  I bought a lot of fabric a couple of years ago when JoAnn's was moving in my town, and got most of them for 70% off the normal price.  They are great fabrics, but they weren't purchased for any specific project which makes them great for me to use.

When Sharla and were talking about it on Friday, I thought I would go with red, blue, yellow and white, because I knew we had some of those colors. But when I started looking the first fabric that jumped out at me was an aqua color. I quickly pulled other fabrics that I thought would go with it. I first thought I would used the dark blue as the background, but realized I didn't have nearly enough. I kept playing and found what I wanted for fabrics A, B and D, but I just wanted something a little different for C. I pulled yellow first, but the ones I have are too bright or too gold, then I pulled hot pick, which I liked but was almost too bright. Then I found a rose red/pink that I really liked. I tried taking photos outside and inside but the light fabric just kept washing out. This is the best shot I could get. These are aligned in reverse order (D, C, B, A).

Sharla started by looking at her favorite color combination, pink and green. This has been her favorite for as long as I can remember. We went through the greens we had first and she found four she liked, but they were all so similar that we were afraid there wouldn't be enough contrast. Then we added a pink, and another pink, then tossed in a white. Anyone that knows her would instantly know that these are the fabrics she picked out. These go in the order of A, B, C and D.  We may try and find a lighter pink for the background (D) fabric, but for now this is what she is using.

All in all we are very happy with our fabric choices, and can't wait until the first Thursday of next month.  If you want to join there is still plenty of time.  I've tested quilts for Cheryl before and she always writes easy to follow instructions, so I know you'll have a good time.  This mystery QAL is going to last June '15 to March '16.  You can find info about it on the Meadow Mist Designs Mystery Quilt page.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Lovely Year Of Finishes 2015: June Goals

Don't fall off your chair, but yes this is three posts in three days. What am I thinking? Actually it feels good to be posting again. I miss letting everyone know what I'm doing, and even more I miss doing.  But enough of that, it is time to decide what I want to do this month. I know I am supposed to pick one thing, but I just have to have a list.

1. Bee Block.  I have to do a disappearing pin wheel for my Stash Bee Hive 9 queen.  I even have the fabric cut, and hope to get it done this weekend. I put this first on the list because my bee blocks have been getting later and later each month. I've had them all shipped by the last day of the month, but I want to do better than the last minute. I'm the queen in my Bee Hive bee, so I don't have to do a block for that...well I will but it isn't due this month.  :)

2. Quilt Grande Scrappy Tiles.  I just finished testing this pattern for Meadow Mist Designs and I would like to have it quilted and bound before she releases the pattern later this month. It seems like forever since I've quilted and I really look forward to getting this one loaded this week.

3. Pick Out Fabrics for Midnight Mystery Quilt being lead my Meadow Mist Designs. I will admit that I don't normally do mystery quilts because I don't want to put all the work into them and then not like the design. But I'm doing this one because the ever gracious Cheryl at Meadow Mist let me have a sneak peak at the final quilt. If you want a sneak peak she will let you have one too.  I'm very excited because I think it is going to be so much fun.

4. Sharla's Sewing Machine Cover. It has been sitting waiting patiently do be done, as have a list of other things. But I really want to get a few items off my list and this one should be easy enough.

5.  Sharla's Box Trot Quilt. Another quilt that has been waiting patiently, but it is time to get it done. I'm hoping to back on track and quilting at least 1 or 2 days a week.

That is my list for this month, I could list 30 more things, but this is a good list and I think I can get most if not all of it done. I'm linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Finish - Grande Scrappy Tiles Test Quilt Top

Wow it seems like forever since I have had a Friday Finish. That is pretty much because it has been forever. I've finished bee blocks and such, but never wrote up post about them.  But today I have an actual quilt top finish. I volunteered to test a pattern for Meadow Mist Designs, because I love her patterns. She is in the process of testing two patterns right now and I selected Grande Scrappy Tiles. It is a super fun pattern and the blocks are huge!!! Nine blocks make a 72 x 72 lap quilt.

I had to wait several days to try and get photos, because it has been raining so much, but Sunday was a pretty day, so Sharla and I took it out to play.  What I found out was that it is an very ornery top, it fell down over and over again.  It began to be a joke between Sharla and I. I think it spent as much time like this as it did hanging correctly.

It also did a lot of dancing in the wind, and it was pressed nicely until it kept falling.  I would try and get it positioned and Sharla would start snapping right away, because we knew it wouldn't last long.

All in all I love the quilt. The fabrics are left overs from a Trip Around The World quilt I did a couple of years ago.  I still love them, and I really love the mix of dark and lights and it has lots of my favorite color purple in it.  The pattern for Grande Scrappy Tiles hasn't been released yet, but should be available in a couple of weeks. I will let everyone know when it is available.  Today I am linking up with 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, June 4, 2015

Quilty Thankful Thursday #25

Happy Thursday everyone, I hope you are have a spectacular week, I know I am. Ok maybe that is just a little over the top, but why not be super cheery. I'm here today to let you know what I'm thankful for this week, and I have lots of reasons to be thankful.  But I'll only give you five of them.

1.  Sunshine. I think it is now five days in a row of sunshine and no rain.  Looking at the forecast it might be mid next week before we get rain again.  It has gotten hot, but I will take that as long as I get to see puffy white clouds and sunshine. On Sunday I was out photographing my latest finish and found some pretty red flower just soaking up the sun.

2. My Turn as Queen.  This is my month to be the Queen Bee of the Stash Bee Hive Johanna and I'm very excited.  In this bee we have a range of blocks to choose, depending on the month you are queen. I selected the Tic Tac Toe block, one because I like the look of it and too it is a fairly easy block.  Since I like bigger quilts I will need to make several myself so I wanted a block I would enjoy.  I selects low volume background, grey corners and bright crosses.  I made two sample blocks to show my bee mates and here they are.

3. A Clean Sewing Space. I swear it was just the other day that I cleaned the sewing room, but it seems like several of the blocks I've had to do for my bees have required lots of scraps/colors and so I think I've had every FQ storage box out so many times that I just left them on the floor. But last weekend I finished and mailed my blocks and I finished the test quilt top I was piecing so that meant it was time to clean. All my fabric got put away, the floor was swept (a couple of time) and I set about cleaning my sewing machine. Then oops the feed dogs wouldn't raise.  So it is in the shop for a good cleaning and repair.  The repair guy said it would be a simple fix. While it is gone I gave my sewing area a good clean.  

4. New Fabric. I'm always thankful for new fabric because it just makes me happy.  I bought a bundle of the mini pearl bracelet fabric off of Massdrop.  I like the pearl bracelet fabric, but I think I like the mini even more.  I don't have real plans for it at the moment, and it may just go into my fat quarter bins, but for now I'm holding it back because I may want to use it for something else.  

5. Bee Blocks Sent. I'm not sure what happened to May, but it was over way too soon.  I swear I didn't sleep through it, but it feels like it.  I had my Stash Bee blocks early in the month, but somehow not my Bee Hive block.  I ended up taking them all to the post office on Saturday, so they were out just in the nick of time.  I'm going to have to work on that this month, I don't like being that late. Here are the two types of blocks I made.

Well that wraps up my week of things for which I am thankful.  But I'm hoping to have time to blog tomorrow about the test quilt top I finished this past weekend.  I'm very happy with it and I can't wait to show it off to everyone.  Today I'm linking up with Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl.