Two Finishes!

image My first finish is my Chillingsworth table runner. Originally I was going to do a sampler style runner but I really like how it looks with the churn dash. My second finish is the improv raggy-style table runner, shown here: image image And here is a close up so you can see the quilting: image I had planned to do a tight stipple around the squares to make them really pop, but I still haven’t fully made peace with FMQ on my home machine so I opted for a crosshatch design which hopefully gives the same effect. I ended up doing some straight lines on the churn dash image And finally, here is a picture of both of them in action: image Now I am free to  work on my Halloween quilt (woo-hoo!!) October is always a busy month for us between fall sports and my oldest daughter’s Homecoming image image So I haven’t been doing much sewing. I also spent a Sunday with my daughter and stepmother in the city for brunch and the musical “Dirty Dancing” image image And most recently, we went to the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, which is really fun and happens to be in a neighboring town that is home to the wonderful Fabric Shack (check out their online sales!) image Sorry for the crummy picture but I was very busy shopping and eating to take more. We had brats with sauerkraut, sauerkraut balls, cabbage rolls with sauerkraut, German sundaes (mashed potatoes with olives, cheese, bacon, sauerkraut and sour cream), sauerkraut pie, sauerkraut fudge and Sauerkraut donuts. I know that some of this sounds disgusting but trust me it was delicious….people waited 40 minutes for the donuts alone! If you can make it to Waynesville, Ohio the second full weekend in October next year I urge you to come…you will never look at sauerkraut the same way again!

I will be linking up to Finish it Up Friday over at crazy mom quilts and Can I get a Whoop Whoop at confessions of a fabric addict !

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Around the World Blog Hop

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Today is my turn for the Around the World Blog Hop, which I think is an amazing idea to introduce new bloggers to each other as well as get insight into what inspires us to write, create, and connect.

I was tagged by Linda from theroadtooklahoma.com, who is a really sweet lady (we have only emailed each other a couple of times, but honestly, I feel like I could just sit down with her over a cup of coffee and just talk about family, sewing, and of course – fabric!). She quilts, embroiders and cooks (she used to own her own catering business) and does lovely work. If you check out her blog (and I highly recommend that you do) be sure to look at her recipes! They all look delicious….the Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake is on my to-do list!

1.) What quilting/sewing project am I currently working on?

I actually have several projects going at the same time right now, which is really not like me at all. I usually like to finish what I have started before starting something else. I think my brain just gets too frazzled if I try to do too much at once, and I actually feel kind of guilty (like I’m cheating on my other projects…) if I start something new without completing my current project. I think that wanting to post more pictures on my blog is making me want to get more things going at once! Does anyone else do that (or is it just me?)

I have two fall/Halloween table runners started, both of which I am hoping to finish by the end of the week

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I also have started a Halloween lap quilt that will be houses made up from Boo Crew fabric by Sweetwater, that should be finished soon (preferably before Halloween :0)

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I also decided to buy some fat quarters over the weekend for a Modern Maples style quilt in Elementary fabric by Sweetwater:

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I think the fabric really lends itself to a fall-themed quilt. I love the black and brown paired with the aqua blue, I think it will be a fresh, modern take on the maple leaf block. We shall see (but I have promised myself that I will not start it until everything currently in the works has been completed!!)

2.) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

(um…it’s worse)

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Mainly to leave something of myself behind when I leave this world. This is where it gets kind of heavy. My older sister passed away about a year and a half ago. My mother, sister and I all had breast cancer almost ten years ago and all three of us fought it successfully. My sister had a recurrence a few years ago but underwent chemo again and it went into remission, but then in May of 2013 it came back and she was hospitalized on Mother’s Day. She had passed away by June 21, one week after her 49th birthday. It was a devastating loss for all of us, and in the following weeks as we were going through her things, I realized how much we treasured the little things of hers, like handwritten cards, recipes, etc.

While I was cleaning out my closet this past May, I found an unfinished quilt top I had started 8 years ago. I thought about what I would leave behind for my family if my cancer came back or if I would otherwise die unexpectedly, and that inspired me to take up quiltmaking again. Hopefully I will live to see my grandchildren, but even if don’t, I like to think of them having quilts that were made for them by me.

So as you can see, my family is the main inspiration for making quilts, but I also like to do it just to do it (if that makes sense). I really enjoy the whole process, from beginning to end. I love finding fabric that would be perfect for a pattern I had been thinking about. I love cutting and piecing it, and I love quilting it (well, not free motion quilting – I don’t love that so much, but I do like the slow and steady straight line quilting). I love how quilting really transforms the material, so that your end product seems so much more than the sum of the parts that went into it.

4.) How does my creating process work?

First, I spend about 100 hours a week on pinterest and reading quilting blogs (not really, but I do spend a lot of time reading them, I’m sure you can sympathize). I have a little notebook that I keep in my purse where I jot down patterns or fabric that I like as well as ideas for changing up the patterns. I also have a couple of ideas of my own for patterns, that I have sketched out. (I probably need to invest in some graph paper…. )

I’m not really a creative person in that I can come up with a lot of ideas on my own, so I was a bit surprised that I have come up with a few things I want to try. I have an idea for an improv style quilt with some hand quilting that I think I will call “Indigo Stitches”. And this past Sunday I was in the bubble bath (that’s where I do my thinking!) and got the sudden inspiration to design a quilt called “Dream”.

Check back here in the next couple of months if you are intrigued by my brilliant bath time thoughts and want to see what are sure to be AMAZING quilts!! Ha ha

It has been really fun writing this blog and I am looking forward to meeting (at least in cyberspace) many more bloggers on this same journey!

Next Monday on the Blog Hop, be sure to visit Tsoniki at mebeingcrafty.comShe is currently living in France with her adorable kids and husband who is in the military. I found her blog via the small blog meet on Lily’s Quilts. She does a feature called ‘Found this Week’ on her blog which showcases special tips, fabric, etc. that is really interesting to read. Also, make sure you check out her blocks for “Toes in the Sand” BOM made from Tula Pink fabric, and her sewing machine cover made with hexies!

Also up on the Blog Hop is Liz from lizzyclipsdesign.blogspot.com. She is an interior designer from Ontario, Canada who has a wonderful sense of color in her quilts. Make sure you check out her “Fancy” quilt! It is beautifully pieced and quilted and I fell in love with it when I saw it. If I ever work up the courage to do some curved piecing this will be on my must-do list!

When I emailed Liz about participating in the Hop, she told me that she had already been tagged for today, and suggested that we bend the rules a little and tag each other for today. Now, I am usually a rule-follower, but I admire her spirit of adventure in bending the rules and braving possible admonishment from the quilting police!

Rock on, Liz!!

WIP Wednesday – Table Runner Progress

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So far these are the blocks for my Halloween table runner. (Sorry for the lame quality photos – It’s just so much quicker to take pics and post from my smartphone).

I made some other blocks for the table runner, but I think there was just too much going on in terms of fabric and patterns, so I think I am going to just stick with the basic churn dash pattern and only use these  3-4 basic fabrics. I like how cohesive they look together.

Much less psychotic looking than when I try to add in the other blocks…

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I think I am going to redo this third one to add a different center

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Doesn’t that look much better?

But all is not lost for these losers  rejected blocks. I will be making them into throw pillows.
(That’s right, people, hang onto your hats! I’ll be making pillows!! )
I will be using the tutorials graciously provided by Amanda Jean at crazy mom quilts and Svetlana at SOTAK Handmade, so stay tuned! Failure is not an option!

I will be linking up to WIP Wednesday at freshypieced.com

One Stop Shop Hop!

This past Friday I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Southeast Indiana One Stop Shop Hop in Lawrenceburg Indiana

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The have a beautiful new event center on the riverfront, which kind of doesn’t fit in with the character of this quaint little town, but nonetheless made it very convenient to visit

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I don’t know why I didn’t take any pictures from the more picturesque parts of the town, I guess I was just distracted by all of the quilting goodness.

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I spent the morning at a trunk show with Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company (for those of you that don’t know her, she has a lot of YouTube tutorials that focus on using precuts). She was really funny and charming, and it was very interesting to hear about how her business got it’s start.

After the show I got to meet up with my handsome date for lunch

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I had convinced him to take the day off from work, but while I was at the trunk show he explored the town and found a riverfront bar and grill for lunch. It was a  gorgeous day to eat by the water

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After lunch we went shopping in the vendor’s hall and he actually seemed to be interested in what I bought (probably to gauge what kind of money I was spending, but still…)

It was interesting to me to see what kind of fabrics and patterns caught his eye (civil war prints mainly, and vintage quilts as well. He has a quilt that his grandmother made from her old dresses that he has kept and that means a lot to him.

Anyway, I was able to restrain myself from buying too much, but I did manage to come home with a few things

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The first was a table runner kit. Even though I have 2 table runners currently in the works, I thought this was really cute with the Boo Crew fabric and I just could not resist

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Here is the sample at the booth all made up:

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I think I will have to buy more tables for my house.

I am usually kind of a tightwad with my money until I make the first purchase of the day, then the flood gates open. So my second purchase of the day was a kit with a pattern that I had seen on the internet, I think it’s called Shine Bright, or something like that. I liked it just fine when I saw pictures of it on the internet, but when I saw it in person I knew I had to buy it

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I wouldn’t normally think of myself as a person who would buy kits all the time since I like to be somewhat unique and usually I don’t want my work to look like everyone else’s, but I really liked these fabrics and I thought this would be a nice project to pull out when I want to start a new project but don’t want to have to drive up to the fabric store (I’m new enough to quilting that I don’t have much stash lying about).

My last purchase was a star quilt pattern

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Now, I know I can find a myriad of free patterns on the web that are similar to this one, but by then I was on a roll. Honestly, I am a sucker for any kind of pattern with stars or houses in it.

I probably could have spent a lot more money, but we ran out of time since I wanted to be home by the time my kids got out of school. Plus I am trying to save for a new machine….

Union Jack Lap Quilt

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I love anything British. I spent a semester abroad in London back when I was in Law school (I was a lawyer for 12 years back before I became a nurse – it’s a long story involving breast cancer, divorce and a complete life makeover, but that’s a post for another day…)

Anyway, I spent a semester abroad there and I also spent some time there with my favorite aunt and uncle who had lived and worked there for about ten years. I fell in love with the city, the countryside and especially with the people. So naturally I love seeing quilt patterns with British motifs and when I saw this one put together with Downtown Abbey fabrics I knew I had to make it. I intentionally used the muted creams and browns instead of the traditional red, white and blue because I like the subtle colors of these fabrics and I thought they look very elegant together. It was very easy to put together and the quilting was a little easier on this one, I think mainly because it is relatively narrow.

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I did straight line quilting on the red stripes and stippling on the rest of it. I divided it up into fourths when I quilted it, which helped make it more manageable.

I’ve had a busy day today, I went to a quilting one stop shop hop and bought a few new things (which I will share later this weekend) and my youngest daughter has her first school dance tonight.

She and a friend got ready at our house

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and they graciously agreed to be models to show off my new quilt

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And here is the back:

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I know it’s just a plain back but they insisted that it had to be shown…

I am also proud of how much better my binding looks on this one

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I still have to bury all the threads (ugh..it’s sort of the same as weaving in the ends when knitting, my least favorite part of the process) and then wash it and it will be all ready for when I curl up with a cup of tea to watch Downtown Abbey, Fawlty Towers or any number of British TV shows that I love.

I will be linking this up at Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!!

WIP Wednesday: Halloween Countdown

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These are some of the house blocks I am working on for a little Halloween lap quilt that I am looking forward to using (my daughter Maggie helped me decide which fabrics to use together and she did a great job, don’t you think?)

So far it has been a really easy quilt to work on, the doors and windows are appliqueed on rather than pieced. I have been rather busy so far this week (worked 10 hour days Monday and Tuesday and I am scheduled for a 12 hour shift tomorrow). Tonight we have a soccer game and Friday I will be attending the Southeast Indiana Quilt Shop Hop with special guest Jenny Doan (Jenny Doan!!!!) So I crammed in as much sewing as I could manage while the kids were at school today.
I think that’s why easy quilts are so appealing to me….

I also pieced a wonky star block for my Halloween table runner:

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Here are some of the other fabrics I will be using in my sampler-style table

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I think my next block will be a log cabin block and then maybe a  churn dash. (If you haven’t seen my previous post regarding how I got the idea for using these fabrics in a table runner, you can see the post here and here)

I will be linking up to WIP Wednesday at freshlypieced.com (I always love seeing what everyone else is up to!)

Announcing the Winners!

So, last week I was going to make a Halloween table runner but wanted some input for patterns (see post here). It wasn’t that I was uninspired as much as I wanted to see what would happen if I solicited suggestions for patterns from fellow bloggers. I was pleasantly surprised that I got some great inspiration from two wonderful bloggers (I really wasn’t sure if I would get any responses at all since my blog is so new)!

The first response I got was from amaidenhairfern.BlogSpot.com. She made the cutest Halloween table runner using a log cabin type pattern with a fussy cut Halloween “thingy” in the center of each block. It is so cute and I am in love with the fabrics she used. You can find her Halloween runner here – (you have to scroll down a little bit to find it).

The second response I got was from Linda at theroadtooklahoma.com.  She gave me several great ideas, but I liked her Christmas table runner so much that I decided to use a similar sampler type pattern and make a row of different blocks using the same fabrics (see Linda’s table runner here). I am going to make some of the blocks using the log cabin pattern used in amaidenhairfern’s blog and some of them using blocks similar to the ones that Linda used in her Christmas table runner.

Since I am so appreciative of the fact that both of these wonderful ladies responded to me, and since I am going to be making my table runner with a combination of their ideas, I am going to be giving them each a prize. I have heard wonderful things about this product:

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Even though I haven’t used it yet, I have read some great things about it (I may even have to order some for myself!) I plan on giving a bottle of this to each of you (along with a few other goodies). Thank you both so much for responding! I will contact both of you by email so I can arrange for shipment.

Have a great weekend everyone!