Thursday

Sea Shells and a Shadow Box

Last summer I went on a girlfriends' trip to Marco Island, Florida. Three of us would go shelling early in the morning and walk the beach for miles. It was a great, relaxing time and some really good exercise.

One of my friends took a photo of me walking down the beach while looking for shells. I love the photo and I knew I wanted to do something special with it.

Once home, I took all the sand dollars I collected and decoupaged them to preserve them. They are extremely brittle and delicate and sadly, a few of them broke on the plane trip home.

I went to Ikea and purchased a shadow box for the shells. I love that we have a new Ikea a few blocks away. It's nice to be able to pop in there for just that one thing instead of stocking up like I used to do on our trips to the Ikea in Schaumburg, Illinois.

I cropped my photo to a size that would fit the 5 x 5-inch opening in the photo matting and printed the photo. Then I added the shells to the shadow box. I was surprised how few shells fit. That's OK though, I do love how it turned out.

I guess I will have to think up another crafty project for the rest of the shells.

Monday

Scrappy Granny Squares Quilt

I made a scrappy granny squares quilt using a tutorial from Quilty Love.  It's a great tutorial with straightforward instructions that are easy to follow. The blog post with the instructions can be found here. There's even a PDF to download for easy access.

I used a jelly roll I purchased at Nancy's Notions last fall and some white Kona from my stash. It was easy peasy to put together.

I quilted the quilt using a pantograph called Leaf Crown. It has lots of large pretty swirls to compliment the quilt squares.

The backing and binding is in pretty teal dots that match the fabrics in the jelly roll. I like that the fabric bundle had some navy blues in it. I normally would not choose that color. Fabric bundles help me step out of my comfort zone when it comes to color.

Friday

Dinosaur Quilt

Last week my granddaughter asked me to make her a quilt that had a squiggly line in blue. She moved here fingers up and down in a zig-zag motion while she was trying to describe what she wanted. I knew what she was really asking for - a chevron in blue because her favorite thing in the whole world is Blue, the dinosaur from the Jurassic World movies.

Coincidentally, I had ordered a dinosaur quilt panel from TCS Fabrics, an Etsy store that had it on sale. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it until Chloe asked me for a quilt with a blue zig-zag on it.

I dug out some blue and beige fabrics I had in my stash and started cutting half-square triangles to make the chevrons. I had no pattern or plans whatsoever. I just started making the chevrons and laying them out around the quilt until I ran out of the fabrics. I sure wish I had a little more blue, I would have made a few more for the corners of the quilt.

Once I got to the bottom, the chevrons weren't quite the right size to fit around the panel. I decided to just add a little extra beige to the bottom corner blocks to at least get a consistent look. I know it doesn't really matter, Chloe will love it because it has dinosaurs on it. Her birthday party is Sunday and I am happy I finished her quilt just in time.

Sunday

Oliso Iron

It's a snowy day today and a good day to spend at home. After the polar vortex, I've had a bout of cabin fever and couldn't wait to get out of the house. So I went out on a shopping spree and purchased a few pairs of skinny jeans in pretty colors. I bought a few matching tops as well. It was fun and really helped my mental health. My mood has been a lot better since the shopping spree.

I think the view out my sewing room window is wonderful. Right now it's snowing and the wildlife is very active. It's a cozy place to be in on a day like today.

At the senior center last week I mentioned that I got an Oliso iron as a Christmas gift and I hadn't opened the box yet. The ladies at the center gave me tons of grief over keeping such a nice piece of equipment in the box instead of using it. That was enough to guilt me into actually opening the box.

Isn't it pretty? I got the pink one instead of the classic yellow. It is time I replace my old iron. The old one is a Rowenta and it's a nice iron that worked great for a very long time. I've had it for more than 10 years. But the last few years every time I filled it with water, it leaked out. The water that stayed in the iron created steam that contained little black specks. I don't know if the specks were deposits that built up inside the iron over the years but whatever they were, they messed up anything I tried to iron. So I didn't use steam ever since that started to happen.


I guess when I think about it, I was waaay overdue for a new one.

Tuesday

Valentines Pillow Cover

I had 6 leftover blocks from a Valentines quilt I made a few years ago. I took three of the blocks and added 2-inch strips of white fabric between them and ended up with a 15" x 29" panel. I added batting and a piece of muslin underneath, pinned the layers together to prep it for free-motion quilting on my sewing machine.

One of the ladies from my church quilt group came over to quilt on my longarmer today. I thought it would be a good idea to work on a small project to keep her company so I quilted the pillow cover while she was here. I also had enough time to make the back of the pillow cover. I used some leftover red Valentine fabric for the binding and finished the project by the end of the afternoon.

I purchased a 28" x 14" pillow form which fit the pillow cover perfectly. I like the result. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other three blocks. Maybe I should make a table runner to match.

Sunday

Gypsy Wife WIP

I finished all the sections of the Gypsy Wife quilt last week and today I put them all together. I love how it worked out. I worked hard on precise piecing and the extra effort really paid off. All the sections fit together without any fuss.

I purchased a fat eighth bundle to use in making the quilt and there was not much left over when it was done. The strips within the blocks were low volume fabrics that were mostly from my stash - I only bought a few cuts of new stuff for that but I totally stayed within the bundle for the blocks. It was quite a challenge to make the colors work the way I wanted them to.

I am happy with the final result. It's going to be great fun to pick out the backing. I think I will use an ecru solid for the binding since the quilt does not need any more color elements.
Alison Glass Kaleidoscope Fabric Bundle


Friday

The Polar Vortex

This week was a brutal one. On Monday we got more than 6 inches of snow which was pretty to watch. Considering that it hasn't snowed much this winter, I think my husband was excited to use his new snow blower. I enjoyed watching out the windows. Schools were cancelled and I half-expected my grandkids to walk over to go sledding on the hill in my back yard. They stayed home and enjoyed cuddling with their mama.

We experienced the polar vortex on Wednesday and Thursday. The temperatures with wind chill hovered around -50 for those two awful days. I went outside last Sunday to get some groceries and attend a meeting at church and I did not take a single step outside again until Friday - a whole 5 days later. We went to the mall and did some serious walking just to get out of the house.

Since I was stuck indoors, I pretty much never left my sewing room. It was kind of nice to have no expectations except to make dinner at the end of the day. Even then, some nights Jeff cooked so I really enjoyed hunkering down in there.

I worked all week on the Gypsy wife. Even though there's a quilt along starting tomorrow, I couldn't help myself. I have many of the blocks done. I am really having fun with this quilt top. I took the time to map out my color arrangement and it is turning out as I hoped (so far). Waiting for the start of the quilt along was not in the cards.

I'm not making much progress on My Small World. The next block I have to make has lots of applique so I am putting off the inevitable for now.

Gypsy Wife Quilt Alongs

I decided to join in a quilt along that starts On February 2.  As soon as I decided to do the quilt along I instantly ordered the pattern book and a quilt bundle.

The quilt bundle is Alison Glass' kaleidoscope bundle and the fabrics are all wovens. My plan is to do the gypsy wife in a color palette moves across the quilt like a rainbow. Reds/pinks will be to the left and blues/purples to the right with oranges, golds, greens in between.

I will use my low volume fabrics for the strips that run through the quilt and between the blocks.

While prepping for this quilt along I happened to find another group doing the same pattern. That quilt along started on January 1 so I decided to start making blocks. In this second quilt along there are prizes given away by sponsors. How fun to have an added incentive to make this! I made the first block for the contest and I just love how it turned out. Maybe I will get lucky and win some nice prizes.
Gypsy Wife Colour Wheel Block