Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Heading to the Quilt Show!

My friend and I are heading to the Denver Quilt Show today!  We are going to take a class, look at beautiful quilts (and say very nice things about them), and of course shop the vendor booths!  Pretty exciting - I will have more to share on all of that later!

This is my friend at the Denver show last year standing by the beautiful quilt she made and entered into the show.  This quilt is amazing.  These are her Sylvia's Bridal Sampler six inch blocks set in her own design.  Gorgeous quilt.

I actually took the time to enter two quilts last year.  This is my Flowers and Sashiko quilt.

And this is my seasonal Sunbonnet Sue quilt.  Both are hand appliquéd and machine quilted.

I better go get ready!  I am excited to see the quilts this year and be inspired :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quilt Show Entry

I challenged myself to enter the miniature category at the Houston International Quilt Festival this year.  I've been working on the entry form for the past few days, which is due at the end of May.  I have decided that entering quilt shows is a lot of work!  For example, you need to have just the right sleeve. It says right on the entry form #11 "Quilts without the correct sleeve are subject to disqualification" and "Quilts without a sleeve will not be accepted".  I have even had to put a different sleeve on a quilt, even if it already had one, to meet the qualifications of certain shows.  You also must have a label and it must have certain information on it, and the information varies from show to show, so it's best to put as much information on it as you can think of, so it meets the qualifications for any shows you might want to enter.  You need to submit two digital pictures, one full view and one detail, and one photograph of the full view "in the correct colors".  The detail view must show the quilting. Above is my detail view, but I took dozens of photos to try to get two that were good enough and I'm still not sure.... Then of course there is an entry fee.  Part of that entry fee is to ensure that they will ship the quilt back to you safely when the show is over. I always kind of stress about shipping the quilt to them too, which also costs a bit.  All of this work, so people can look at your quilt.  I am doing this so there will be more miniature quilts to look at in Houston this year!  Last year there just weren't enough in my opinion :)  So on with the entry process!  I do have to say though, that on occasion the "process" has prevented me from entering some shows, just because I didn't feel like I had the time to work through the process.  When the entry form for the Denver Quilt Show, which starts Thursday, came out I thought about it for a minute (both my friend and I entered last year), then thought "nah", then the Quilt Colorado entry form came out and I thought about it for a minute longer, then thought "nah".  I guess when I have a fabulous quilt to enter, I will go through all the work to enter it.  In the meantime, I will enjoy everyone else's efforts.  Another thought about quilt shows, when you're standing and looking at someone else's quilt and talking to your friend about it - make sure you only say nice things because the maker could be standing nearby!

Monday, April 28, 2014


One more picture because this couple is
so cute!  We're really happy for them! :)

I thought I would share the quilt I made for my daughter's wedding a couple of years ago.  This is from the book "Sylvia's Bridal Sampler". These are  six inch blocks put together with Irish Chain blocks.  It was a lot of work but it makes for a fun, interesting quilt.

My youngest son is standing next to it in the picture below, just to show how big it is!  He's 6'3".

My husband wrote the poem below as his contribution to the gift :)  Weddings are so fun - looking forward to another one!

Bright Hopes

This is more than a comforter,
It’s more than a bed cover.
This beautiful quilt
From a warm hearted Mother.

It’s hope for the future
Thanks to Kindness and Patience,
Lots of small ‘bits and pieces’
Some of God’s Graces

It started with friendship,
Shored by Sharing and Trusting,
Piece-working a Romance
That Will be Everlasting.

Like scraps sewed together
Your futures will meld.
A Happy Love story
All guile withheld

Yes, it’s more than a coverlet,
This much-treasured quilt,
It’s parts pieced together,
Like the family ... to be built.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


My son proposed to his girlfriend last night!  We are super excited to welcome a daughter-in-law into the family!  They are a great couple - so in love :)
Of course I started thinking that I better get busy making a quilt for them, then I remembered that I already have a quilt top made and ready for the "next wedding"!  So, this is the next wedding!  I do however need to quilt it, but I am actually excited about that because of all the FMQ (free motion quilting) tutorials I've been studying and practicing.  First I need to get it pinned.  Maybe my hubby will help me with that :) Hint, hint....

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fun Stuff

I thought I would post some random pictures just for fun today.  My son sent me this picture of his parallel parking job.  At first I thought he MUST be joking and that the other two cars just pinned him in, but no, he truly parallel parked between these two cars without bumping either one of them.  He said it took him about 10 minutes.  I guess this is what happens when there is not enough free student parking at a university.  You take what you can get!  I know for a fact I couldn't have done this, even if I had 10 hours!

I finished my little Modern Mini quilt top and now I need to QUILT it!  It's super cute, even if I say so myself.  Which only adds more pressure to not ruin it with the quilting - ahhhh!!  I am going to grit my teeth and dig in and start quilting it today.  I need to submit the entry form for Houston by May 29th.  That is my challenge to myself this year :)

My daughter helped me find these really nice and comfortable totally white shoes because....  I am going to Zentangle all over them!  I can hardly wait to get started on these too, but I also really need to work on my challenge for the guild, which I didn't do yesterday....
My brother recently went on a business trip to Omaha and he went by our old neighborhood and took this picture of our town home and sent it to me.  The office/clubhouse is in the front of the picture and our town home was in the row of homes directly behind facing the street. Our unit was second from the right as you're looking at it. We moved there as newlyweds and lived there for nine years.  We had three of our children there.  It looks exactly the same as it did 30 years ago, from the outside at least.  I sure hope they replaced the black, red and gold carpet that was in our bedroom :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eight Hands All Around and Janet's Lamb

Yesterday I was able to finish catching up on the two TQS block of the month quilts I am working on.  This month I made block "e" - Eight Hands All Around, and block "j" - Janet's Lamb (named for Janet Stone the quilt's designer I'm sure!)

Appliquéing the "e" was REALLY hard, and it doesn't look all that great.  That little green square on which the "e" is appliquéd is only one inch!  Luckily, that is the smallest letter on the quilt - phew!  I'm not sure I could do that again.

I used wool for the lambs - just had to - I couldn't make a lamb out of cotton!  The little stars are wool also, as they are on the other blocks too.  You will notice that my sheep are a little different on each block.  I used different wool to make them slightly different.

The fun part this month is that I got to sew everything I've made so far together.  10 letters down, 16 to go!  Part of me wishes I was only making one of these half sized alphabet quilts, because they are pretty difficult and time consuming, but I am this far so I will finish them both!  I hope they turn out great and will make nice gifts for someone someday :)

I  think I am caught up on my "monthly projects" for this month so today I am going to make an iPad cover for a gift and then work on my challenge quilt for CWQG!  I better get busy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bernina Foot Class

Yesterday I went to the Bernina Foot class at Hi Fashion.  This is the second one I've attended and I really like them because I am learning to use my machines more effectively and try new things!

In this class we learned to use the pin tuck foot.  There are actually different sizes of this foot, three grooves, makes the largest pin tucks, five grooves, seven grooves (which is the one I tried) and nine grooves, which makes teeny tiny pin tucks.
Above is Kari's sample and to the right is my finished page.  It was fun and I felt like I learned a lot!  For example, we had to use a double needle, which in all my years of sewing, I had never tried before!  Easy - why did I wait so long!  I did however break mine yesterday when I tried to do the decorative stitch....
Also when you look at the close up picture below and see my curvy lines on the right, I did that on purpose because Kari said we could make pin tucks curvy so I had to try it.  I really did do it on purpose :)  Really.
I used cording in some of my pin tucks too - just had to try it because we could.

I talked to my Mom yesterday and she said she took a Bernina Foot class years ago and she thinks she still has her book that she made!  Next time I visit we'll have to look for it because it would be fun to see what Bernina taught "way back then" versus what they're teaching today!  Someday my daughters will be comparing  their foot books to mine. And SEW it goes.  Have a great day!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hilary Florence

As you know I am a big fan of Lori Kennedy's blog "The Inbox Jaunt".  Every Tuesday she posts a machine quilting tutorial and they are fantastic!

Last week, on Wednesday, she had a special guest, Hilary Florence from the UK, post a machine quilting tutorial and hers was fantastic too!  Here are my doodles practicing Hilary's ideas in my sketchbook.  I can hardly wait to try some of these out on a quilt.

You can find Hilary's blog at:
You should definitely go check it out!

Lori also announced on her blog that she will be a featured columnist in the American Quilter magazine with her machine quilting tutorials.  The first one is on newsstands now and it was great.  I really like her clear, precise, step by step instructions.  Practicing them on paper, then stitching them out on a practice quilt sandwich are great ways to improve our machine quilting - at least that's what I'm hoping!

I watched the latest episode of The Quilt Show today and Ricky Tims had some great tips for quilting some fancy feathers.  I had to pull out my sketchbook and practice those too!  I really need to do some quilting!
This is too much fun :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

14 and 15!

I finished the Monthly Minis for April and this makes numbers 14 and 15 projects done in 2014!  I think all of the projects I've finished so far this year have been SMALL!  I need to finish something BIG!  But finishing is good, small or large :)

My daughter's husband got her a ladybug kite recently, so the ladybug kite wall hanging is for her.  These were a bit of a challenge this month!  Tiny appliqué pieces!  You will notice I tried a couple of different ideas and I think both turned out OK.  The blue and orange kite tails are appliquéd.  They were tiny and difficult to do but they look fine.

I decided to make the kite tails on the red and green kite more dimensional and they turned out cute too!  So both ways worked, which was great, because I didn't want to have to do either one of them over....

The embroidery embellishments finished them both up nicely!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Easter!  It's sure a beautiful day here :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Disappearing Pinwheel

At Sew Savvy, Kari showed a super neat trick for making the Disappearing Pinwheel block shown in the quilt below.  Using 10" squares, she sewed them right sides together on all four sides using a quarter inch seam.  Then she cut the square twice diagonally giving her the four half square triangles, which she sewed into the block on the top left in this picture.  She cut that block into nine equal pieces, then started turning the components around and you can either make the disappearing pinwheel block, top right, or

the churn dash block, bottom right, or any other fun thing you come up with!  "Layer Cakes" are pre-cut 10" squares so you can buy a pack of those and make this project even simpler.  I think I am going to make a quilt similar to this one on the right, using my 30's fabrics which I still have quite a stash of!

Kari did the same procedure above using a charm pack, which are five inch pre-cut squares and look how cute these blocks turned out!  They look so complicated but the technique she taught made it very simple!  I love it!

Show and Tell was great, as always, at Sew Savvy.  I wasn't sitting in a position to get many pictures but I got a couple.  This quilt was made by my friend Sheila.  She said it's out of her "color zone" but it's awesome - really pretty - and her work is always top notch.

The wool table runner below was made by a member (I'm sorry I didn't catch her name).  It is the first quarter project in the the Wool Gatherer's club.

Heather is starting a block of the month class, similar to the Monthly Minis that I am participating in, with these cute little seasonal quilts.  Apparently these kits come with all of the pieces precut with fusible already on the back!  Since I prefer hand appliqué, these are not my "style" but they are super cute and would be quick and fun!

All in all a super fun and informative Sew Savvy!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend as we celebrate this special event and wonderful time of year :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sew Savvy Gardening

Gardening was the theme for the Sew Savvy club meeting at Hi Fashion last night.  Heather, Kari, Trista and Lorraine did an awesome job filling us up with great ideas, tips and new product information.  Show and Tell was awesome too, of course!
Trista made this pillow using her serger to make the lattice design.  She demonstrated how easy it was to do.

She also made this pillow, which I really like.  She machine embroidered the flowers and made them into a cute pillow, complete with crystals!

Another fun flower, garden themed pillow.  I believe Trista made this one as well.
Heather made these painted ceramic tile garden stakes for her mom for Mother's Day .... on the sewing machine!  She programmed the design on her Bernina (I think she said the program was called Design Works) and attached the color of Sharpie pins she wanted to use and the sewing machine draws the design on the tile!  Amazing. To make it permanent she baked them in the oven to set them.  She said that caused some "fumes" so she had to put her bird outside, which led to a very funny bird story....

Another pillow made by Trista.  One woman remarked that this pillow reminded her of those faux tuxedo shirts popular in the 1980's.  I thought, "Oh yeah!  I used to have one of those!"  Styles do come back around :) And then the "youngsters" think they invented it :)

 More garden tiles made by Heather.

Kari modeling her "egg apron".  She has chickens so she made an apron to gather the eggs in.

Heather also made a garden bucket that was really cute but I forgot to get a picture of it.  You'll have to go check it out at the store.

Here is Lorraine's contribution which I LOVED because it's so easy (except for the embroidery part which I don't do).  This farmer's market bag is made from a tea towel.  She just sewed up the sides and boxed the bottom and voila!  No hemming or anything.  I bought a couple of tea towels to try it out but I didn't look closely at how she did the handles, so I'm going to have to look at this a little closer when I go in for my Foot Class on Tuesday.

They gave away several door prizes and I was the lucky recipient of these garden gloves, pack of seeds and a little LED lantern.  I already used the garden gloves this morning when I picked weeds in my yard.  Sew Savvy Club was more fun than picking weeds....