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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16-years old

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.

UFO Finish #2

I have finished a second UFO on my list.  Yippee!  This is another charity baby quilt for our local quilt guild.  They provide the fabric and batting. I provide the thread and labor.

It was simple to piece since it was just 6″ squares.  But it was plain.  It needed something that would soften it up a bit.

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So I decided to take this opportunity to practice another FMQ design.  This is a simple paisley.  It was fairly easy and probably the first time I could honestly say I enjoyed FMQ on my home machine.  What I found difficult was trying to get myself out of tight spaces and filling in spaces that were too small for a paisley.  I tried several things… some worked, some didn’t.  But that is how it goes when you’re trying something new and practicing.  This was a good square.  It’s so pretty!

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As much as I like this design, it is very thread heavy.  It took 2-1/2 spools of thread to quilt this 36″ x 42″ baby quilt.  So, although I really like this design, it might work best featured in a smaller area rather than as an overall design.

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One more UFO down… many more to go.

UFO Finish #1

You may have read a couple of weeks ago that I decided to join the 2016 Finish-A-Long in hopes of finishing up some of my UFOs (Un-Finished Objects).  I am happy to announce that after less than 2 weeks in, I am finished with the first one.

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I spent several evenings hand-quilting this baby quilt.  It was a panel, so there was not any piecing that needed to be done unfortunately.  I really enjoy piecing.  I very much dislike hand quilting though, but decided I could suffer through it for a small quilt.  I’m just not very good at it.  I probably should do it more often so I get better at it… Umm, Nah!

The panel has very sweet bunnies, similar to Beatrix Potter.  I just love little bunnies.

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I am a member of the Smokey Mountain Quilters Guild and made this quilt for them.  They donate baby quilts to several different charities – Angel Hospital Hospice, Kid’s Place and Head Start.  This is the 3rd quilt I’ve made since last summer for these outreach programs.  It is backed with flannel so it will make a soft quilt for a little one.

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I very seldom get to take pictures of quilts with snow, so I took advantage of the white stuff that fell overnight

Here is a picture of one of the quilts also for our guild that I finished last fall.

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I love the flowers I FMQ onto this quilt.  I can tell that, with practice, my FMQ skills are improving.

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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

Rett’s Truck

I have a special quilt to share with you today.  I was asked to make this quilt for a new baby of a long-time family friend.  My family has known this family since before I was born (I’m now in my late 40s) and they are still very precious friends.  I take that back… they are family, pure and simple.

Another reason this quilt is special is because I’ve never made anything like it before.  It was a huge challenge.  I honestly didn’t know where to start.  But if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time at all, you know I like challenges. It intrigued me…  So I decided to give it a try.

I was asked to make a quilt of this truck, but with a green hood.  First I had to determine what details I wanted to include and which to leave out.  I didn’t feel comfortable with including every little detail, but obviously I needed to include enough to make the truck look good.

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Then finding fabric that would work was also a bit challenging.  What values of grey would work for the metal parts versus the chrome?  I didn’t want to use metallic. And what to use for the green hood?  I really wanted to find a fabric that was green with some rust spots but ended up settling with the Michael Miller painter’s canvas green there in the middle.  In fact, I used the painter’s canvas in several grey tones as well.  I really liked the texture it provided.  Eve went fabric shopping with me.  She was a great help!  .

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But, how do I actually put it together?  All my applique quilts up to now have been smaller pieces raw-edged appliqued onto a solid piece of fabric.  But in this case, the entire quilt needed to be appliqued since there wasn’t a background single piece of fabric to work with.  So, I decided I needed help.  I found a class on Craftsy called Pictorial Quilting Techniques by Wendy Butler Berns. I watched the whole class and then got busy planning the quilt.

I won’t tell you all the steps because I don’t want to give away any of Wendy’s steps, but many, many, many hours and a half-dozen glue sticks later, almost 100 pieces joined together to make this quilt . I embroidered the baby’s name onto the front license plate and added a hanging sleeve onto the back.  I am very pleased with how it turned out and so is the mom of a very sweet little one.  I heard there were tears when she opened it.  It measures 34″ x 45″ or so.  –

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And I won 2nd place at the local county fair.

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Linking up with Party Time at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Mountain Colors

My mother requested that I make some baby bibs with ‘mountain colors’.  My interpretation of mountain colors are colors such as brown, green, rust, and beige.  You may recall that our house is on the market and therefore most all my fabric in storage.  But, even if I had access to my stash, I wouldn’t have any of these colors.  I think if I had to sew with brown on a regular basis, it would depress me.  It’s just not something I buy.  And not having a job at the moment means that I don’t have extra money to spend.  So, I racked my brain trying to figure out where I could get some fabric in ‘mountain colors’ on the cheap.  And it occurred to me that men’s cotton shirts would work.  So… off I went in search of used men’s shirts.

I’m not sure if this is true for all of the NC mountains, but Macon County has a ton of thrift stores.  They are everywhere! (or at least they seem to be)  My google search found about 2 dozen thrift stores in a county of just 30K people.  And they don’t disappoint.  Many wonderful things can be found at the thrift stores in the area, but on this day I was looking only for men’s shirts.  And I found them!  One of the local stores was having a sale of just $1 for each item of clothing.  So I bought some shirts (and one pair of khaki slacks) in mountain colors, took them home and washed them, and started cutting them up.

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I downloaded a bib pattern from JRoxDesigns and purchased a few ‘mountain’ animal embroidery files from Planet Applique.  I couldn’t find a deer design that I liked, so I digitized my own designs for the deer.  I also added the flower to the hedgehog design.   And over the next 2 weeks or so, I made 5 bibs in ‘mountain colors’.

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For the large and extra large shirt sizes, I can get 4 bib cutouts from each shirt — one on each sleeve and two from the back.  And then extra fabric was used to applique several of the animals.  So the same shirt used for the fox bib was used to applique the hedgehog spines.  The khaki slacks were cut up and used as a back for each of the 2 deer bibs, and was also used for the hedgehog body.  The rust colored shirt was used for the body of the fox, and so on.  Each bib was also lined with a thick interfacing for support.

I am not impressed with the shirt used for the male deer.  That shirt was from Banana Republic, and although it was really nice fabric (I think it may have had some spandex in it although it said it was 100% cotton), it stretched and wrinkled way too much when embroidered.  And what you see is my second take.  The first was even worse.

The hedgehog smelling the flower is my favorite.  They are so cute together!  The deer isn’t too shabby either, if I do say so myself.

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There is still plenty of fabric left over for more projects.  I saw a tutorial for a cute apron made of the front of a man’s shirt.  And I have the shirt fronts left on almost all the shirts, so maybe I’ll try that next. Or, I probably have enough left over to make a quilt, if I decide to go that route.

Have you repurposed clothing for something other than it’s intended use?  I’d love to hear about it.  I love new ideas.

Linking up with Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Red Fox

It seems that I’ve disappeared from the blogging world again.  We are hoping to move to the mountains in a matter of weeks, so we have been busy making more repairs around the house, decluttering, and packing.  More about that another time.

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I wanted to show you a quilt I designed for my youngest grandson.  He was born last August.  I found this fabric at my LQS and fell in love with it and knew I wanted to use it for his quilt.

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The fox and tree are raw-edge appliqued.  And other than the background and the fox fabric I just had to have on the back, everything else is scraps.  I quilted bamboo onto the background, and filled in the fox, tree, and leaves with free motion quilting.DSC_0167 DSC_0161

Last but certainly not least, it’s somewhat hard to see, but in the tree trunk I embroidered my grandson’s initials.  I really love that part!

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I decided to enter  this quilt into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side.  Head on over there and vote for all the wonderful quilts.  There are lots of fun quilty prizes up for grab, so we are all super excited about it.

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

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

In case you didn’t guess it from the title, we will have a little boy join the family soon. My daughter is having her second, and he will be my 4th grandchild. Holy Cow! Four grand children! I still don’t understand how that could be true when I am only 29! {in my mind}

Don’t you just love little babies? They are so sweet and precious. Their little toes are so tiny and cute, and their little cheeks so ripe for kissing. And in a short month, I’ll be able to hug and cuddle him. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to make a few things for him.

We went on a cruise in June, and for most of the drive to FL and back I worked on a blanket from a free pattern I found on ravelry. After the first couple of rows, the pattern was pretty easy. However, it was super important that I count the stitches each row — missing just one would throw the other rows off.  I love the waves, and the popcorn stitches make it a little more thick than a typical blanket but not too heavy.

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Next up were some burp cloths and onesies.  I usually make burp clothes from pre-folded diapers and add some flannel.  This time I used flannel on one side and terry on the other.  They were super easy to sew up.  I hope they are absorbent.

DSC_0806 DSC_0808And the onesies I embroidered with an adorable little elephant and dinosaur that I digitized.

DSC_0800Up next, a quilt.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  This little one is going to be ‘hooked-up’.

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