Monday

Have a Heart Valentine Pillow



I fell in love with the Have a Heart pattern in the new issue of Quilts N More. I knew I could make one from my stash. It's always fun to be able to make that happen.

I spent the afternoon binge-watching The Ranch - season 6 on Netflix while I sewed. I love how funny the show is and how over the various seasons, they've pretty much had parts for most of the cast of That 70's Show. That was a fun series too.

The cute pillow is now resting on the sofa in the living room. Since I don't have much Valentine's decor, I'm happy to have this.
Quilts N More Spring 2020

Quilts N More Spring 2020

Wednesday

Longarm Projects

I had a few projects to quilt for others this week. The first one is for my friend Mary. She had a table runner where she says, "no hurry". When I opened the project bag I could see why - a pumpkin table runner.... I guess she wouldn't need it for a while - ha!

The second one is a quilt for church. They will use it at their spring raffle. The quilt top has patchwork hearts so I chose my 'Love' pantograph for the quilting. It should complement the top perfectly.

Saturday

What's on the design board?

These days my design board reminds me of my thought process. My brain is jumping from one project to another - I can't seem to concentrate on one thing. From an organization point of view, it's a disaster. From a creative point of view, it's great fun. I can't decide what I want to work on and when I do I can't seem to stick with it for very long.

On the left side of my board I have a project called Flying Leap. It's a very modern quilt pattern with a few circles in it. I haven't worked with many projects with circles so I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I am loving the colors, they are muted and modern. In fact, I've ordered some modern prints to complete the inside of some of the circle blocks.

On the right side of the board are my economy blocks. I am using some leftover fabrics from another project to make these blocks. They are part of a placemat pattern I found in an old magazine. I don't like how some of the blocks turned out - they are much too busy so I am going to have to incorporate some new fat quarters in with the leftover fabrics in order to make them look decent.

In the center, I've made a bookcase block. I think it turned out a little too busy so I will take it apart and try again. The quilt will be a teacher gift and I have the backing fabric picked out so I'm trying to choose colors for the book blocks to match. I just got started and I have plenty of time to complete it. I won't need it until teacher appreciation week, which is in April.

Monday

My Daughter's Quilt Blocks

This week I finished up the quilts I started with my daughter Bailee's leftover quilt blocks. Even after making these, there were still a few blocks left.

I thought about using them on the back but I ended up using minky so that just wouldn't work. Bailee took the pieces I didn't use home with her. I think she was inspired to make a bag with them to use them all up.

My granddaughter will enjoy snuggling up with the little minky quilt.


Tuesday

My Dresden Neighborhood

Dresden Neighborhood Moda Grunge
This is my version of the Dresden Neighborhood pattern. I cut one wedge out of every Grunge fabric that I owned. I asked my granddaughter to put them in any order she'd like. Knowing there were more wedges than necessary she had some room for creativity.  I bought her a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and I could not get her to look away from that device and pay attention to what I was asking her to do, so her mother put the wedges in complimentary color order - that's how she described it. There were 7 wedges left over when she was done.

The funny thing about this pattern is that it tells you to sew together 20 wedges. In order for me to get the wedges to meet in a nice circle I needed to use 21.

Dresden Neighborhood Moda GrungeIt was great fun to design the roofs and add the windows and doors. The struggle for me was the center. I made a few versions that I thought would fit and once I sewed them down, I hated them. Then I saw my little pile of selvages and Viola! ... a new idea was born. I took all the shades of green and sewed them together to make the center circle. The selvages are nicely frayed so if you could look close, it looks like grass. It was so fun.

The next struggle was quilting. I put the piece on my longarmer and decided to try some ruler work on it. Once I stitched a section down, I didn't like how perfectly straight my lines were. I think the quilting needed to me wonky, like the houses. So I marked off sections of the top and free-motioned wonky lines all around the houses. What fun! I loved making this so much that I have another version in the works.

Dresden Neighborhood Moda Grunge

Wednesday

Dinosaur Baby Quilt

This is my friend Cindy's baby quilt. She asked me to quilt it before Christmas and here we are finishing it in January. After my marathon quilting session with charity quilts, I have to admit, I am a little burnt out.

Once I get a quilt on the longarmer, I want to quilt it. I love to quilt. The machine is a dream. I did a pretty intricate design on this one and I think she will be thrilled with it.

While longarming, my kitty loves to hang out with me. If I spend the entire day in my sewing studio, he will stay with me. Today I left a cabinet door open and here we are, enjoying the space. I think my little rescue buddy is happy here. At least I hope he is.

Saturday

Rob Appell Event

Rob Appell Michael Miller FabricsI work part-time at a quilt shop. The shop did and event with Rob Appell. Rob used to work with Missouri Star Quilt Company but they let him go and now he works for Michael Miller fabrics. So Man Sewing is gone and it'sr been replaced with Making It Fun.

Rob Appell Michael Miller FabricsWe rented out the civic center in town and he did his show there. There were over 200 people in attendance and for me, the tough part was the preparation. The shop had to order tons of Michael Miller fabric in order to get him to come. And do they did. I had to cut quilt and table runner kits for each item displayed at the event. It was hard work. I made so many kits I can't even count. Some of them sold out before Rob even took the stage. That's great news for the shop.


While we were setting up, Rob filmed us. I took the opportunity to ask him for a selfie and he excitedly obliged. He is such a nice guy.

His show lasted 90 minutes and I enjoyed his story-telling as well as his quilts. He is a very talented quilter. After seeing his work I was inspired to make my own "art" quilts. And I look forward to the challenge.

It was quite a treat to be involved in this fun event.
#makingitfun

Racine Sew N SaveRacine Sew N Save

Racine Sew N SaveRacine Sew N Save

Thursday

Holiday Decorations

It's time to take the Christmas decorations down. I've been having those feelings of post-holiday let down that just won't go away. So we've had the holiday lights up for some time now because of my inability to let go.

Well the stars have aligned and the weather will be perfect tomorrow - high 40's and then a blizzard is coming (supposedly) our way the day after tomorrow. So the decorations must come down or else it might be a while before another opportunity comes. So I took photos of the outside of the house as a final farewell to the holidays.




Saturday

New Year, New Volunteer Project

I've been burnt out for about a year now.  I've been doing volunteer projects and I just can't keep up the pace anymore. So much so that I don't enjoy any of it. I used to.

I make charity quilts for church and for Quilts for Kids. I was on the board of directors for the local American Legion Auxiliary, I am a PTO member at my granddaughters' school, and the Webmaster for my church. And I'm tired. So what do I do about it? I get a part-time job. Talk about making things worse. Ha!

Last summer I was asked to do more charity crafts and quilts. I said no, I just can't take on anything new. I was treated like I had just killed a dog. And that did it for me. It was time for a change. I taught the church staff how to upload information to the Internet so since November, they've been managing the church website. I declined the nomination to continue on the board at the Legion in May so in fall they had to find someone else to fill my post. I finished up the church quilts with the fabrics I took home from there and since then I only do what I can at our once-a-month sew days - the rest will have to be divvied up among those who want to take stuff home. No more donated fabric for me.

As for Quilts for Kids, my granddaughter reminded me why I was doing those - to honor (and remember) my grandchildren. My granddaughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year and she recently asked me if she could deliver quilts to the hospital where she gets her care. I said absolutely yes and I will continue to make those - but again, no more donated fabric is coming home with me. And as for the PTO, I won't give that up. I get to be with my granddaughters and that matters most.

I am slowing down and enjoying my new just say no philosophy. I still get to help others, but at a more manageable pace.

So what crazy thing did I do? ... and over the Christmas holiday?  I volunteered to help with a project where quilts will be sent to the children in detention centers at the US border. The organizer asked all her quilting friends if they would like to help. She sent us the fabrics and the batting and we would just sew utility quilts. I started on these about 10 days before Christmas and finished them today. 5 quilts are ready to go. That's what I promised her. She sent enough supplies to make more than 10. But I just have to stop. I'm exhausted and worn out. But they're done. A reminder that I said I will slow down. 

Frankly, I think I could have enjoyed the holidays a little more if I weren't so stressed about making these quilts.

As for this new job. I am cutting fabrics for quilt kits at a local quilt shop. What fun! And next week I will be doing demos at a Rob Appell Trunk Show. The demos will be of small projects using Michael Miller fabrics, which is the fabric company Rob represents. I am happy with my new job, it gives me a bigger sense of purpose. 

I can't wait to see where the new year takes me.

Wednesday

What's on the design board?

Happy new year! I look forward to new beginnings and starting fresh. I hope it's a healthy year more than anything.

I think I am having a little post-Christmas sadness. The holiday came and went so quickly and I feel like I haven't taken much time to enjoy it. Maybe it's the shortened season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it could also be my new job and taking on an extra volunteer project. I think it will be a while before I take my tree down so I can make an extra effort to sit back and enjoy it.

In an effort to start fresh, I really want to move some old projects out of my sewing room. One of them includes cute blocks that my daughter made a long time ago. They were for a quilt project she made for my granddaughter when she was a baby. And now that baby is 9 so yes, they are really old leftover blocks. I took them and trimmed them down to sew them together. I will most likely make a baby doll quilt for the 9 year old's little sister.

My design board contains those old blocks. I'm going to find some fabric to make sashing and a border to make it a little bigger. I'm sure I can dig up a batting scrap too. How nice to get this one out of the sewing room!