Carolina Lily

Our challenge this week for Project Quilting was the Carolina Lily.  The Carolina Lily is the official wildflower of North Carolina, and since I am 100% North Carolinian this challenge was perfect for me to make something representative of the state I was born, raised, and currently reside in.

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I made another refrigerator quilt to go with the others I shared with you earlier this month.  It measures 12″ square, and I decided to machine bind it to save some time.

I used batiks for this small quilt.  And I added a Ruby-Throated hummingbird that is also native to North Carolina.  I love the bright colors and the details.

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Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Project Quilting Season 8 at Persimon Dreams.  Check out the more than 100 quilted items made this past week and vote NOW for your favorites at Persimon Dreams.

Finish-A-Long Q1 2017 Goals

Here I am setting my goals for the first quarter Finish-A-Long.  I did this last year and actually finished 6 of the 8 items that were on my list.  I would call that a SUCCESS!

It’s a great example of how making your goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, & trackable) makes them more easily reached.  When you write your goals down, and if you can attach a picture to it, it’s more likely that you’ll actually meet that goal.

So, to keep me focused, here goes…

Finish improv quilt.  About 1/3 – 1/2 done with piecing top.

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This quilt top needs a back, to be quilted, and then bound:

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Mexican Stars quilt top

Finish binding this quilt

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This quilt top needs a back, to be quilted, and then bound:

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This table runner needs a back, to be quilted, and then bound:

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These blocks need to be joined into a quilt top, then backed, sandwiched, quilted and bound.

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Finish quilting and then bind these Fall placemats

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Finish Hoopsisters Mystery 201? quilt.  About 12 blocks done.  Need to finish all blocks, then put together, and bind.

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I have 80+ of these blocks that need to be turned into a quilt.

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And my oldest UFO… finish hand quilting this King size monster.  And the fact this it is ‘hand quilted’ is why it isn’t finished.  LOL

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Wow!  This list is a bit overwhelming.  These are not all my UFO’s, but they are the ones I could easily put my hands on.  And it’s ok if I don’t finish them all.  But at least they are now on my radar.  They are written down, and now I am more likely to finish them.

Of course there are other items on my list.  I have several bee blocks to do. I’m still working on Splendid Sampler blocks.  I am working on designing several block and quilts.  And I’m studying for my real estate license and it’s tax season.  So, no I’m definitely not going to get all this done.  But if I can mark at least 2 items off, I’ll feel good about it.

By the way, the reason I’m aiming for 2 finishes instead of 1 is because I have one that is almost done.  I just need to finish the binding and that shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. So hopefully I can finish another in addition to that one. Is that cheating?  Definitely not!  And maybe I’ll surprise myself and finish more.

So what are your goals?  Write them down.  Make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, & trackable) and let’s see how much you can achieve!

Linking up with Rhonda’s Ramblings.

 

Square Pegs Quilt

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that I make a couple of quilts for charity each year.  I just finished a quilt for a group that I am part of called do. Good Stitches which is organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color.  There are several groups and each group is made up of 10-12 quilters that stitch blocks and/or assemble and finish the quilt.  I am a quilter at this time which means that I am also responsible for coming up with the design and colors for that month.

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For my month, I decided to use the Square Pegs pattern available at Moda Bake Shop.  I asked the stitchers in my group to use their scraps and make blocks in melon colors.  Think watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew.  And boy did they deliver.  It’s so bright and fun.  And will be a great quilt for the women that benefit from the makeovers done by Enchanted Makeovers, the charity it is going to.

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I quilted it with organic stacked half-moon shapes.  The blocks are 13″ square.  And because I asked our stitchers to make it scrappy, I had to refigure the instructions for assembly, but it was an easy pattern to figure out.

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It snowed this past weekend and the snow made the perfect background for this bright quilt.  It was 8 degrees when we were outside taking the pictures.  Just a little cold so I didn’t take many pictures, but thankfully I didn’t need to.  Today, 5 days later, it’s 70 degrees.  Gotta love NC weather!

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Refrigerator Quilts

Happy New Year!

Last June at one of our modern quilt guild meetings, one of our members shared her ‘refrigerator quilts’.  She was making one small quilt a week (around 12″ square) to hang on her refrigerator.  Since small quilts take less time, it’s easy to try a variety of techniques without being fully committed with a large quilt.

Our challenge that month was to make a refrigerator quilt, so made this cute butterfly and sunflower quilt out of my fabric scraps.  It is all applique and measures 9-1/2 x 12-1/2.

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It’s hung on my refrigerator since then.  But now it’s winter and I need something on the refrigerator that matches the season better.

Enter Project Quilting Season 8.  Hosted by Persimon Dreams, Project Quilting starts January 1st each year and is a total of 6 challenges every other week based on the theme for that week.  This weeks theme is “Eight is Great”.  The challenge is to create a project that has something to do with the number “8”.  I thought this challenge series would be a great opportunity to make more refrigerator quilts.

For this first challenge, I decided to make 8-pointed snowflakes.  Just in time too, for the big snowstorm we got last night.img_5589

I tried a new technique.  I used a Fiskars craft knife to cut out the fine details of the snowflakes.  It was a bit tedious, and the tip of the blade was dull after just one snowflake, but I love how lacy they are.  (I layered a printout of the snowflake, Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, and the fabric, and then cut on top of a self-healing mat)

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I free motion quilted all over, and then add hand embroidered ‘wind’ swirls.  It finishes at 11″ square.

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The front fabrics are all Cirrus Solids by Cloud 9 fabrics.  Part of the fat quarter pack I won almost two years ago here.  The quilting is done in Aurifil clear poly thread.

The back is an Art Gallery print that just matched it perfectly.  I hate using such nice fabric for the back of anything, but it matched so perfectly I just had to.

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This was super fun!  I can’t wait to see what the next challenge will be.

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Project Quilting Season 8 at Persimon Dreams.

 

Triple Sawtooth Star

Since May I have been a member of a charity quilting bee called do. Good Stitches.  do. Good Stitches was organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color and is a large charity quilting bee with many groups all over the world.  My group is called Aspire and our quilts are donated to Enchanted Makeovers which uses the quilts in their makeovers of women’s and children’s shelters.

For October, our quilter requested that we make 16″ Triple Sawtooth Star blocks using purple, green, orange-red, orange, and golden yellow.  So I headed to my scrap bin and pulled some fabrics.  I just love this color combo.  It’s so rich and warm.

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When I cut out the pieces needed for each block, I realized that my purple pieces weren’t big enough so I had to pull a different purple.

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First you make the inside star.  These two blocks are an adorable 4″ each.

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Then you use the 4″ star as the center of the 8″ star.  I ended up having to go a bit scrappy and use multiple fabrics in the green and orange colorways. Rather than cut into a new fat quarter or half-yard cut of fabric, I was trying to use up the scraps that I had.

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Then you use the 8″ star as the center of the 16″ star.

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I’m loving orange right now in my quilting, but I really think I might like the green and purple star better here.  I think I would like the yellow/orange star more if the yellow was a bit more vibrant.  It seems overwhelmed by the orange.  But I think once it is combined with 20 other blocks in the quilt, it will fit in quite nicely.

These are blocks I made in July for that month’s quilt.  I didn’t have as many blue, aqua, turquoise solids as I thought I did, so I broke open the fat quarter pack of Cirrus solids that I had won last year.  You can read about it here.  They were wonderful to work with and were easy to cut and sew without fraying.  I definitely need to use the rest of the fat quarters in a project one day soon.july-2016-block

I find I have less time for sewing than I would like, so I’m glad to get some quilt blocks finished.   I can’t wait to see these quilts finished.

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

 

 

Sampler Quilt Blocks 13-24

I finished another set of blocks for the Splendid Sampler quilt.  This represents my blocks for 13-18 and 21-24.  blocks-12-18-21-24-and-bonus-blocks

I love all of these blocks, but I especially love block 22 — the block on the far right in the middle row.  It is called Goose on the Loose. I love how the colors play together and how all my geese have sharp points.  I wish that happened every time I made flying geese.

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Goose on the Loose

The far 2 right blocks on the bottom row are bonus blocks — Derby Day (for the Kentucky Derby) and Earth Day blocks.  After I made the Earth day block it occurred to me that I probably should have made my earth green and blue so it would be more representative of our beautiful earth.  But, oh well.  My earth is purple, pink and paisley.  How fun is that?

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Earth Day block

You may have noticed that I skipped blocks 19 & 20. They are both hand embroidered blocks and so I just haven’t been able to bring myself to make them yet.  Maybe next time…

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

Sampler Quilt

Believe it or not, I have never made a sampler quilt. The Goose Tracks quilt I made several years ago by HoopSisters is probably the closest I have come.

I always thought a sampler quilt would be a good option for building skills in various types of quilting.  So when Pat Sloan and  Jane Davidson announced the Splendid Sampler earlier this year, I decided to give it a whirl.  The Splendid Sampler is a 100-block sampler quilt with 6″ blocks that are traditionally pieced, paper-pieced, appliqued, and hand-stitched. And we have a whole year to make these 100 blocks.  Piece of cake.  After all, what’s one more project?

Of the sampler quilts that I have admired over the years, I really like those with a variety of colors best.  For the first several months of this adventure, we had not yet sold the old house, purchase a new house, or moved, so my stash was still in storage 5-hours away.  So some wonderful ladies I met on the internet sent some fabric my way so I could get started.   I am so thankful to them.  To that, I was able to add a few scraps I had laying around, and ended up with a good mixture of pinks, peaches, blues, and greens.

I sorted everything into light, medium, and dark values so it would be easier to pick fabrics for each block.

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Fabrics separated into Light/Medium/Dark values

And the adventure began.  Blocks are released twice a week.

Here are my first 12 blocks

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I was able to stay on top of it until mid-April when we moved.  And then I got behind.  And as you can see, I haven’t done block 11.  I’m not a huge fan of hand embroidery  It’s beautiful and I greatly admire it.  I just don’t want to do it.  So any hand-stitched blocks may take me a bit longer.  I really should do block 11.  It is titled ‘Crocheted Thoughts’, and since I also crochet it would be good to include it in my quilt.  In fact, I have actually thought about crocheting it, rather than embroidering it.

They are also releasing ‘bonus’ blocks as we go along.  Here is the first bonus block.  This may just become my block 11. 🙂  We shall see.

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I have a few more blocks finished, but not another dozen yet.  I plan to work on them more this weekend, so hopefully I will have another set to share with you shortly.  I think they have released block 52 60, so I fallen behind more than I would like.

Are you participating in the Splendid Sampler?  If so, have you been able to stay current with this project?  Oh, I had grand plans in the beginning, and then life got in the way.  Isn’t that how it always is?

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

UP TO SOMETHING!

Even though I haven’t blogged much this summer, I have been working on several new projects.

In June, a friend and I gathered our collective resources and made this baby quilt.  She had been asked to make the quilt as a commissioned piece, and she doesn’t like to applique.  I, on the other hand, LOVE to applique!  So we decided to join forces to make it happen.  I did the applique, she did the piecing, and we had one very happy client.

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Also in June the two oldest grand-monkeys came to visit.  We had 4 fun filled days playing in the river and starting our fairy garden.  Our fairy garden started out as a very weed-filled old flower bed.  We were able to get it weeded and get a river rock path in place before they had to go back home.  I can’t believe how quickly they are growing up, and it will likely be Christmas before I see them again (which is definitely not soon enough.)

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Collecting Rocks

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Our fairy garden has a rock path

Last but not least, our nephew married the love of his life in the month of June.  It was such a beautiful and fun wedding.  I am so very happy for them, and knowing that their marriage is built on the love of our Lord Jesus Christ makes it that much more special.

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July we celebrated our youngest son’s birthday.  He turned 16 and he is also growing up much too fast.  He’s my baby so I want to keep him small as long as possible.  But he grew taller than me this past year.  I wouldn’t say that he is spoiled, although his sister and brothers would probably not agree.  I just like to think that since his older siblings have moved out, we, the parents, are less stressed and are therefore usually nicer. HAHA!  Isn’t he the lucky one!

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Then I went blackberry picking beside the road.  Within 5 minutes I had fallen and hurt my hand very badly.  That put me out of commission for about 3 weeks before I got good movement back, and another 2-3 weeks before I got any strength back in it.  So, I wasn’t able to do any quilting for about 3 weeks.  It was a very sad time.  😦

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August has kept me busy with taxes and a secret project.  Even though I left my full-time tax position over a year ago and am now working in real estate, I still do some taxes on the side. So, several months each year (Feb-April and Aug-Oct) I might have to spend several weekends working on business and individual tax returns.

Wait, did I just mention something about a secret project?  Well, it’s true.  I do have a secret project in progress.  It will be a few months before I can share the whole quilt with you, but here’s a few sneak peak photos.  This has been my quilting project for the month of August.  I plan to have the top finished this weekend, then it will be sent on to my long-arm magician.  No way am I going to try to quilt this one myself!  IMG_4503

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So, you see, I have been UP TO SOMETHING!

Till we meet again…

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

We Moved

Moving is a bear and something I hope I never have to do again.  In April we sold our house in central NC, bought a house in Western NC, and moved to the mountains.

There is a lot less traffic, less people, less stress.  The scenery is gorgeous.  Mountain views from every road.

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mountain overlook

The sunsets are beautiful.

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We bought a home with just over 4-acres.  Only 1 to 1-1/2 acres is cleared though.  It’s an old farmhouse with a barn and workshop.  I just love old homes because they have so much character.  Also, we have a garden space, grapevines, and fruit trees.

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House

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Barn

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Grapes

There is a creek across the road that we have fished several times.

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Another reason I love old homes is because they usually have mature landscaping.  We have many, many different flowering plants in the yard and I love enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labor.  This is just a sampling of the flowers we’ve seen since mid-April.

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And one day we’ll have chickens and goats.  Moving in has taken longer than we hoped but we are finally getting close to being done.  But there is one big drawback to living in the country though  – the internet is horrible!  I guess I can live with that.

WE LOVE IT HERE!!

 

Modern Lone Star

There are certain quilts that must be on every quilters list to make at least once in their lifetime.  Things like Log Cabin, Churn Dash, Dresden Plate, (any) star block, Drunkard’s Path, and certainly the Lone Star.

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To date, I’ve made quilts for my oldest 2 children, and the grandchildren of course.  But I have 2 more children I needed to make quilts for.  I decided to make my middle son (now 23) a Lone Star quilt.  He is 6′ 4″, so even a quilt for snuggling on the couch would need to be larger than usual.

I pulled together some fabric scraps from my stash and then bought a couple of yards of chartreuse fabric to make it pop.  The solid fabric is Kona Slate.  Each diamond is 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and measures 6 1/2″ point-to-point.

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Then once I had the lone star together, I cut it down one side.  Let me just say, that was super scary.  I shared with you previously here and here some of the challenges and lessons learned while piecing it, so to take a rotary cutter to it at this point was nerve racking.  If I messed it up, it would have to be remade.  But it worked great and the part I cut off, I flipped over to the back.

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I quilted it lightly with parallel lines 1/2″ apart following the lines of the star.IMG_3414

It was so big, I didn’t even get a complete view of the quilt until we were able to hang it for pictures.  (By the way, it’s really hard to photograph such a large quilt.)  I LOVE how it turned out!  It’s so beautiful!

Finished at 70″ x 90″.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.