Prairie Bonnet

I live in a small mountain town with my husband, teenage son, and parents.  Like most other small mountain towns, this town has quite a few vintage thrift and antique stores.  Tourist frequent the area and the vintage stores in the spring, summer and fall seasons, looking for treasures for their mountain homes or as a souvenir of their vacation.  My mother has a booth at one of the local stores and sells vintage items that she finds other places, and she requested that I make a prairie bonnet to put in her booth.

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First I tried to recall every single cowboy series I watched when I grew up, and of course Little House on the Prairie, and the women and their bonnets.  Thankfully I watched lots of those shows growing up so I had lots of memories to pull from.  LOL.

Then I trekked to the local quilt shop to find some fabric that would be suitable.  I decided the civil war reproduction prints – an area of the store I typically avoid like the plague –  would be the best place to look.  I found this blue mini fern print on a cream background and thought it looked kinda ‘prairie’-ish to me.  I think it will make a very pretty summer bonnet.

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Then after considerable search on the internet, I decided to use this pattern from Buns and Baskets to make my hat.  The pattern is simple and easy to follow and I love how all the seams are enclosed so there are no raw edges.   I worked on it two evenings.  Between the easy pattern, and the good quality fabric, it stitched up very nice.

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Now, she wants a pink one!  🙂

This is my 5th UFO finish for the year.  Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

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UFO Finish #4

I love this mini quilt.  I started this quilt last year when I started a much larger lone star quilt.  I had never done a lone star quilt so I wanted to ‘practice’ on something smaller.  I often practice new techniques in a similar fashion.  I’ll make one or two blocks to see how a quilt will go together, or if a bag or some other project, I may make it first with fabric that I really don’t care about before I cut into my good fabric.  Many times it ends up being a waste of time because (1) the pattern is so complicated I never want to make another one after the first (haha). or (2) because it goes together smoothly.  Other times though, I’m able to find areas that need to be improved or find things I would do differently in order to save fabric usage.

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I pulled this navy scrap with orange, teal, lime green, and purple elephants from my scrap bin and then found more scraps that complemented it.  For the most part the placement of each color was due to how much of each fabric that I had on hand, but I wanted the points to be bright so that the star would SPARKLE.  So orange was the only way to go there.  I just love orange these days.  It’s such a bright, cheery color.

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I used this tutorial by the Hopeful Homemaker for piecing my strips.  I did one thing different that I found to be very helpful.  When piecing the diamonds, I first ‘basted’ the seams with a long stitch.  I found that I often needed to adjust the seams just a smidgen in order for them to line up and it’s so much easier to pick out longer stitches.  Then, once I was happy with how the seams lined up, I would stitch one last time with a small stitch.

One thing I didn’t do that I wish I had was starch all the pieces when piecing.  I usually skip this step because I am impatient and want to get it done, but it really would have helped provide a much crisper, less puckered and wrinkled, finished star.

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I decided to offset the star rather than center it on the background.  It took me a few days to figure out how I wanted to quilt it, and I love what I came up with. First I marked and quilted diamonds to extend the star shape to the bottom and right.

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Then I free-motion quilting the remaining areas with a paisley flower.  I practice my FMQ every chance I get, and this was a very fun design to stitch.  I just love it!

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Then I decided the bottom right corner was a perfect place to put a small elephant.  He’s so cute!

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Quilt finishes at 17.5″ x 17.5″.  Each diamond in the star is 1″ x 1″ finished.

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 #3

I have finished yet another UFO since the start of the year.  This is my second oldest UFO so I’m glad to finally get it done.  These blocks dates back to 2003.  No lie!

I really love this quilt.  Each block was made by a different person from a block swap I participated in.  No one knew what blogging or social media was back then, so I’m not sure what happened to the other blocks we mailed out or if the other participants finished their quilts.  I’m pretty sure I am the only one that sat it aside for more than a decade though.  I mean, who would do such a thing?  But like they say… ‘better late than never!’

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We each signed the blocks and wrote a little saying about our wonderful country.

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I free motion quilted it with a loop-d-loop (my favorite) with a few stars thrown in here and there.

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This quilt will be donated to our local Quilts of Valor chapter.  I hope it provides comfort and healing to a member of our armed forces that gave so much for our country.

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I’m very happy with the progress I have been making with my UFO’s though I expect I won’t be able to keep up this pace much longer.  Not only is it tax season, but our house is now under contract  (Yippee!) so hopefully we’ll be moving in the next 2-3 months.

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

Finish A Long Q1 2016

I’m going to try this again.  I tried it last summer.. I tried several years ago… I set goals and then I get side-tracked.  But I still have so, so many UFOs, so I’m going to join the first quarter finish-a-long hosted by Clover & Violet among others.

The purpose of the Finish-A-Long (FAL) is to make a list of projects that have already been started but not finished and thus are hanging about in your sewing room as UFOs.  And then to finish those UFOs during the quarter and either blog about it or post to Flickr or Instagram.  All eligible entries will be entered to win wonderful prizes which is really all the incentive I need to try to get some of these things finished.

So, here goes…

  • Start and finish quilt for TMQG Spoonflower Challenge (6 Fat-8ths to work with).  I have the fabric, I will be using an original design, I just need to do it.IMG_3292
  • Finish small lone star wall hanging.  The star is pieced.  Need to finish piecing the quilt top and then quilt and bind it.IMG_3291
  • Finish quilt for Quilts of Valor (very old UFO -2003).  The top is done.  Just needs to be quilted and bound.IMG_3290
  • Finish improv quilt.  About 1/3 – 1/2 done with top.IMG_3288
  • Handquilting this panel for guild charityIMG_3289
  • Another quilt for guild charity.  They provide the fabric, batting, and pattern.  I provide the labor.IMG_3293
  • Cowboy quilt — fabric shown and will be using an original pattern.  This one is going to be super cute even though it has brown (I very much dislike brown in quilts, but it fits here).  IMG_3294
  • Last but not least, make a prairie bonnet for my mom.  She has requested one.  This is the fabric I have picked out.IMG_3295

Many of these UFOs are not my style which is why they have sat for so long.  I always find more interesting projects to do instead.  But I really should just bite the bullet and finish them so I can stop thinking about them.

The improv quilt is my favorite and what I really would like to work on.  But it’s also the most recent, so I’m still really excited about it and how it’s coming together.  Maybe I’ll start with the oldest first and work my way to the more recent.

Wish me luck!

Linking up with Clover & Violet for Finish Along Goals Q1. #2016FAL

 

Cutest Kitty!

K – 18 months old

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UFO #2 is done.  I crocheted a Hello Kitty cap for monkey #3.  She came to visit today and we got some great pictures of her in it.  This was supposed to be a Christmas present, but I got sick right before Christmas and didn’t get it finished.  I used a pattern posted by Crochet in Color.  It was very easy to follow.

We played outside and played with the baby bunnies.  It was a nice break in my work day.  She turns 18-months old in just 2 days and is talking up a storm.  I think she liked the hat.

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