Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween wall hanging

I haven't been a big Halloween fan since the kids left home and we don't have trick-or- treaters, so I don't decorate for it. But as I was scrolling through my emails and checking out some quick fall projects, I ran across a cute wall hanging project by Leslie at the Seasoned Homemaker.  I want to be sure to give her due credit and the link to her project is here:


I like Leslie's black and white version, but pictured more of a Halloween-oriented color scheme. I pulled some fabric from my stash, a beautiful autumn orange (with leaves even!), black flannel scraps for the spider and black with white music notes flannel scraps for the binding and backing.  I thought the music notes would make a skeleton-type frame and it worked beautifully!  I also found a yellow tinted button to use for the face and I like the touch of character it added.

Here's an outdoor pic:

and hanging on our wall with a closeup of the cute face

I also practiced my FMQ, using a great metallic silver thread for the webbing and an orange zig zag stitch for the spider's decoration.  It really was a quick project that I completed in an afternoon.

Here's my takeaway lesson:  When feeling frustrated with a project, walk away, take a break, do something fun.  I had been working on the Farm Girl Vintage blocks and had gotten really frustrated with a mistake I made on the block I was working on; which made it a perfect time to stop and work on a quick, fun project.  When I came back to my problem child block a couple of days later, everything magically fell into place and I completed the work on it quickly.  

Here's a picture of the FGV blocks on my design wall:

I am making the 12" blocks and am currently on the final row, I think LOL.  My goal is to finish the blocks before I start Christmas sewing.

But....guess what I received in my email yesterday?  There's a 2016 Quilter's Planner Sew-Along!!!! Because I already have my 2016 Quilter's Planner (and not so patiently waiting for my 2017 Quilter's Planner), I have the Scrappy Picnic Plaid quilt pattern by Lee Heinrich already.  I haven't made a scrap quilt yet, so I'm going to use up some of the scraps from my FGV blocks and join in.  Check out quiltersplanner.com for the details and join the sew along to conquer those scraps!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Home again with goodies waiting!

I'm really tired from weeks of traveling; but guess what's great about returning home after all that time away?  All those saved up packages, magazines and catalogs!

See what happens when I have a lot of down time and unlimited internet access?

First off, I was so excited to receive not one, but TWO Fat Quarter Shop boxes of goodies!  One was the September Sugar and Spice #sewsampler box full of great supplies:  a Sweet Orchard Rolie Polie Down Grapevine Lane for Riley Blake Designs, a custom FQS ruler pal, a Clover Seam Ripper, a June Tailor small spool holder, a quilt pattern, a block pattern, and a Create zipper bag.  All of these are great additions to my studio!

Secondly, I was absolutely delighted to receive an Applique package from the FQS Sewing Month Celebration Giveaway #4.  Oh my gosh, I was so excited to receive the news that I had won that package!  In it was an FQS tin set, TEN (10!) spools of  80 wt Aurifill applique thread, 16 straw needles, Poke-A-Dots Sticky Fingers, and a charm pack of gorgeous Bella solids.  I can't wait to get started on some hand applique work!

I also had a couple of boxes waiting for me from C&T Publishing.  They've been having $5 Blowout sales on weekends and I just love finding great new bargain resources for quilting and sewing. I find this especially helpful as I create by myself and, in addition to having great blogs to follow, I enjoy having quality books to pull ideas and techniques from.  I also enjoy getting deals on C&T supplies, like the kraft-tex that I've been wanting to try out - perhaps with that new Boutique Bags book ;)

Now let me talk a little bit about a great quilty experience I had during our travels.  I was able to stop in at the Threads that Bind Quilt Shop in Coos Bay, OR during our trip up the west coast.  I was perusing the shop when I heard chatting in the back and I decided to see if there was a quilting group gathered. Normally that's not something I would do; but I quilt alone so much that I just wanted to take some time to connect and see what others were up to.  I was delighted to find four quilters in the back enjoying their time together, and they were so kind and welcoming to me.  I sat down with them for a while and discussed the different projects they were working on.  One of the ladies was working on an incredibly beautiful applique quilt that is now with it's third quilter carrying on the work of the two deceased predecessors.  The quilters were also collaborating on ideas for decorating with wooden spools that someone had inherited.  I was delighted to find that I was in the presence of author Chris Malone.  I wouldn't have known if one of the other ladies hadn't pointed it out!  That same quilter, Shirley, looked me up on FB later on that evening and left a comment for me wishing us safe travels. How's that for a welcoming community?

So, I have to admit that I did return home with some fabric. row by rows, fabric license plates and other quilting goodies picked up along the way during our trip.  I have plenty to do to keep me busy for a long while - after I get rested up!

Happy Fall Y'all

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Cloud 9 Berry Harvest Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Cloud 9 Berry Harvest Blog Hop.  I am so thrilled to be included!

When I received the beautiful "Berry Harvest" bundle, generously donated by Cloud 9 from their Organic Cirrus Solids collection, I fell in love with the depth of color.  I immediately knew that I wanted to create a block that showed off that depth.  In keeping with the theme of "Berry Harvest", I began thinking of our wild blackberries growing along the paths on our property, which began the process of creating a "pathway block".

Just gorgeous!

Berry Patch Path

General instructions:

Do not wash fabric first
Starch and iron before cutting

After drooling over the lovely fabric, I had to painfully begin cutting:

From Shadow, cut four 4.5" squares
From Iris, cut four 4.5" squares
From Amazon, cut two 4" squares
From Lilac, cut one 4 1/2" square


Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each Amazon square.

With right sides facing, layer an Amazon square to the top left corner of the Lilac square.  (Note the placement of the drawn line in picture below.)

Stitch on the drawn line and trim 1/4" away from the seam.

Repeat on the bottom right of the Amazon/Lilac block. (Note direction of drawn line below.)

Stitch on the drawn line.

Trim 1/4" away from the seam.

Ta Da!  Here's your pathway through the berry patch.

Complete the Berry Patch Path Block:

With RST sew Shadow square to Iris square, then sew another Shadow square for the first row.

With RST, sew Iris square to Pathway Block square, then sew another Iris square for the second row.

With RST, sew Shadow square to Iris square, then sew another Shadow square for the third row.

Sew the three rows together and you're done!

I love, love, love this block; and I have to admit, it was difficult for me to mail it off!  I had it displayed in my studio for as long as possible before sending it to Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs to incorporate into one of the charity quilts.

A big thank you to our hosts for pulling the hop together and another big thank you to Cloud 9 fabrics for donating five fat quarters from their Organic Cirrus Solids collection to each participant!  Please be sure to check out the other blogger posts for all of their creative blocks.

Monday, September 12th

Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Tuesday, September 13th

Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Wednesday, September 14th

Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Home

I had to wait until after my son's Housewarming party to share the project I've been working on since April.  We found the best realtor to work with in finding Chance's first home.  She was so patient, so helpful, so ready to meet us at a moment's notice at yet another house.  She never treated us like we were buying a first-time, lower priced home.  We got to know each other so well that I could tell from the look on her face that we had finally found "the one" when she met us at the final house that became Chance's first home.

With the friendship that developed between us, I wanted to do something extra special for Angie to let her know how much her help meant to us.  I loved the thought of doing a homes quilt for our special realtor.  As I was in the process and discussing it with Chance, he suggested adding him waving from a window of  one of the houses.  We laughed about it and I said what a great idea it was. And then, I got to thinking...you know that means trouble!

We had a great picture of Chance and Angie in front of his new home, so I decided to change the layout by replacing the middle house block with a picture block.  With inkjet printer fabric, it's really so easy once the picture is edited and the printer set up.  The key is to read and follow the printer fabric instructions closely to ensure the best possible outcome.

I used the Parkview Lane pattern in the Sept/Oct 2014 edition of Quiltmaker Magazine's Parade of Quilted Homes for my/Angie's quilt.

Design wall process

Finished Quilt on Design Wall

I meant to get better pictures before giving this to Angie; however, life gets in the way.  After celebrating my oldest son's college graduation, mourning the loss of my sons' paternal grandfather, preparing for Chance's housewarming, mourning the loss of our sweet furbaby, etc, etc...

Life moves on.  Kids grow up, do their own things in life.  Our furbabies become our babies.  We rescued Spencer after Shawn left for college in 2008.  Eight years later, Shawn has finished his Bachelor's after an extended break and after buying his first home, Chance is settled in his first home and is on to the next phase of his life and career, the step-grandkids are now 14.  We have moved to Hawaii and back with Spencer and Heidi-cat (now 16) in tow every step of the way.  We've celebrated three years of being back in Virginia; time flies, life moves on and we carry our accomplishments and our losses in our hearts always.

RIP sweet Spencer, our aloha boy

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop

Welcome to Day 3 of the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop!

Paintbrush Studio generously sponsored the 2016 New Block Blog Hop featuring their new line of solids, Painter’s Palette. The blog hop hosts, Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter, curated the “Ocean Sunrise Palette”, and Paintbrush Studio supplied each participant with a fat quarter bundle.  As always, our hosts put in a lot of time and effort and they're so very appreciated by all of the participants.

I had a lot of fun creating this year's block using the Ocean Sunrise Palette.  My husband and I had recently returned from Hawaii and I kept remembering the ocean view from our condo while playing with these beautiful fabrics.  

Bordeaux is such a luscious color that I wanted to use it as a focal point of the block, thus the jumping dolphin.  For a little extra sparkle, I used a metallic silver thread to outline the dolphin and a metallic rainbow thread to outline the cloud. Here's my block, Ocean Fun.

Ocean Fun


Ocean Fun Block Directions

From Midnight fabric (dark blue) cut 6 ½” x 12 ½”

From Daydream fabric (light blue) cut 6 ½” x 12 ½”

Sew two halves together using ¼” seam allowance.  Square to 12 ½”

Using the templates provided:

Trace dolphin figure on Bordeaux (purple)
Trace octopus figure on Coral (pink)
Trace sun and starfish on Peach
Trace cloud on White

Arrange the figures on the pieced block, affix using your choice of applique adhesive and stitch around the figures as desired.  

I enjoyed adding a smiley face to the octopus and an eye to the dolphin for a little extra character.  Wouldn’t it be fun to create a child’s quilt of all different sea creature blocks? I really like the versatility of this block, one can easily change colors and placement to suit personal tastes.

Please be sure to check out all the other posts to gather each new block pattern from a variety of wonderfully talented quilting bloggers; and don't forget to enter to win the 1/2 yard bundle of the Ocean Sunrise Palette generously sponsored by Paintbrush Studio.

Monday, March 28th

Host: Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Jess @Quilty Habit
Silvia @A Stranger View
Cristy @Love You Sew
Kelly @Quilting It Out
Renee @Quilts of a Feather
Bernie @Needle and Foot
Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Mary @Quilting is in my Blood
Diana @Red Delicious Life
Sarah @123 Quilt

Tuesday, March 29th

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
Kim @Leland Ave Studios
Andrea @The Sewing Fools
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Carrie @The Zen Quilter
Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler

Wednesday, March 30th

Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
Shelly @The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Amy @13 Spools
Geraldine @Living Water Quilter
Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio
Jinger @Trials of a Newbie Quilter
Kathryn @Kupitis
Jane @Jolly and Delilah
Josi @Avocado Quilts
Deanna @Stitches Quilting
Lori @SewPsyched!

Many of the blocks are on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/twiggyandopal/paintbrush-studio-2016-blocks/  Thanks to Jayne at Twiggy and Opal for coordinating the Pinterest Board again this year!

As last year, all the featured blocks will be assembled into quilts and donated to charity. Many thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for coordinating this effort.

Just for fun, here's a picture from our condo lanai:

Kailua Bay Hideaway

Monday, March 28, 2016

2015 Review and 2016 Starts

Wow, where did 2015 go?  It's interesting looking back to see what quilting projects I completed.  I tend to be so focused on my current project that I forget previous finishes. When reviewing my pictures for the year, I grouped my projects in one folder; as I think it's helpful to track progress.  My husband tells me with each finish, he can see the improvement in my work (of course he's my biggest cheerleader, so ya know).

Jin's 2015 projects

Grandkids QAYG quilts.  One was finished in 2014, one in 2015.

Lotsa pillow practice in 2015!

I am so very proud of this quilt, as it is the first I designed.  It's also special because and I made it as a surprise for my mom.

Oh my goodness, the label about drove me over the edge!  It took me two very frustrating days.

Who didn't make a One Hour Fabric Basket last year?  This was my first sewing experience with canvas, very nice!  I can see many of these in my future.

And since I really liked the fabric, why not make a reversible tote for my youngest niece, who graduated from college with her teaching degree?

A reversible tote for my oldest niece, as we celebrated her birthday and BSN graduation.

Fabric Valentine for my hubby.

OK guys, this was my MONSTER project of 2015. My oldest son was the last to have me make a quilt for him.  (The grandkids were first, then my youngest son.)  I really didn't know this was going to such a difficult pattern (for me). I learned so much the hard way - trial and error, googling, begging for help on my blog.  I learned that not all quilt kits are equal and that not all fabric contained within the quilt kit is equal and not all directions are equal. I also learned to never again use a new type of fabric and a new shape (flannel and chevron in this case) for a project I'm working on without guidance.  It took me a year to complete, with just having to walk away and not touch it for several days at a time. I even got to where I dreaded working on it. It's queen size and I stitched in the ditch for the quilting on my Brother VQ-2400.  

Of course, my Heidi cat was always hanging around to "help".

Quilting frame added to my studio, found on Craigslist.

FMQ practice on the frame.

Completed blocks from the Farm Girl Vintage sew along on my design board.  These will be added to the other blocks I make from the book and be made into a quilt for our bed - my husband is so patient!

Some of my 2015 fabric finds...