Friday, October 19, 2018

Vintage Christmas {Sew Along}

 "Christmas isn't a season.  It's a feeling!"

 There has been a loud Christmas CHEER across the internet because the Vintage Christmas Book by Lori Holt at Bee in My Bonnet has arrived at all of our doorsteps!  


 I'm super excited about this because I really don't have a lot of Christmas quilts or pillows around the house.  It's a bit odd because if you have followed me long enough, you would know that I love to decorate for Christmas.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with just running out of time for projects for myself because I'm busy making gifts for everyone else.

SEW ALONG!!!

Are you in the same boat?  Do you want to make one BEFORE Christmas arrives?  Than join us!!!  In the sew along, I will be featuring two of the 42 blocks here and on Instagram, along with other fabulous bloggers, over the next nine weeks. 





 SEW ALONG SCHEDULE 
 (more details for fabric requirements and/or kits at Jolly Jabber HERE):




Week 1 – Friday, October 26

Week 2 – Friday, November 2

Week 3 – Friday, November 9

Week 4 – Friday, November 16

Week 5 – Friday, November 23

Week 6 – Friday, November 30

Week 7 – Friday, December 7

Week 8 – Friday, December 14

Week 9 – Friday, December 1
  
Grab your hot chocolate!

 I've pulled some more of my reproduction fabrics for my blocks. 


 I think the Perfect 10 Quilt blocks have me in a vintage mood!  What fabrics would you choose to make it in?  Lori Holt's line or something completely different?

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Buttered Pecan and Coconut Blocks {Perfect 10 Sampler Quilt Along}

 It's week 2 of the Perfect 10 Sampler Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop
If you haven't heard of it or you haven't started yet, it isn't too late!  These next blocks are a mixture of simple HSTs and corner square blocks to make interesting finishes.

This week, the sampler requires two Buttered Pecan Blocks and one Coconut Block.



Buttered Pecan Block 

My absolute favorite ice cream is Pralines and Cream. I love pecan pie. I LOVE PECANS. 


Since pecans are my favorite, I scanned my stack of fabrics and decided that I had to pick my favorite fabric.  I have loved this print since I acquired it.  It reminds me of my childhood books that were passed down from my aunts and mother.  


The incredibly fun orange print and the coordinating purple just makes it shine!
I think if you are planning a full quilt with this block? I would definitely be thoughtful of two fabrics working well with each other in each block.



I kept thinking of the sugar coated pecans in ice cream while piecing these blocks that I ended up running to the store to get some ice cream......


Coconut Block
I happened to be watching the movie, Practical Magic, when I was putting this set of blocks together and the lyrics "She put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em bot' up..." from Harry Nilsson's Coconut song wouldn't leave my head.


 I KNEW I had to choose a green fabric for this block!


I find this block super interesting in a full quilt.  There is a really interesting secondary pattern that I would be tempted to explore with low volume fabrics as the blocks and a solid color as a background.


If these blocks have you interested and you need more information about this quilt along?
 Just click below to learn more about the quilt along!


 If you want to see other quilters ideas with these blocks, I encourage you to check out these other bloggers.  We are all posting our versions today!


Cynthia of Dream Quilt Create








Sinta of Pink Pincushion

  

You can join also us on Instagram

Instagram_edited-1
CLICK HERE!

 and share your creations on Instagram with us!!




Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Banana and Birthday Cake Blocks {Perfect 10 Sampler Quilt Along}

Have you joined the Perfect 10 Quilt along fun?  Or are you thinking about it and need a nudge?

Either way, I can't recommend it enough!  I love that you can whip these blocks up quickly to catch up.  And I don't use the word "whip" lightly!  The names of these blocks are absolutely delectable!  I will admit, I missed the references to flavors of ice cream at first, but quickly caught on when I read "Mint Chocolate Chip" (that's a much later block and sooo much fun!)

But first...this weeks blocks!  The Banana and Birthday Cake Blocks!

Banana Block

 I found this great print from my stack of reproduction fabrics.  It reminded me of a banana that is just getting those tiny brown spots as it ripens.  I promise, with the clear instructions from the book you can't slip on this block like a banana peel on the floor!



And why do I have the sudden urge to make banana bread?!?!?
The full quilt with these blocks would be great all one color or with some really fun prints!

 Birthday Cake Block

 I'm grateful for my boys, but I sure do miss the "girly" cakes I would love to make.  This print with the purple and pink just said BIRTHDAY cake to me.  Sprinkles on my favorite icing...strawberry!
It's a great companion with the banana block with the dots of yellow!



When used in an entire quilt, it makes some incredible secondary designs. It would be great for someone who wanted to be thoughtful with color placement, but equally fun with a scrappy look!


If you need more information?  Just click below to learn more about the quilt along!


 If you want to see other quilters ideas with these blocks, I encourage you to check out these other bloggers.  We are all posting our results today!


Cynthia of Dream Quilt Create








Sinta of Pink Pincushion

  

You can join also us on Instagram

Instagram_edited-1
CLICK HERE!

 and share your creations on Instagram with us!!


Friday, October 5, 2018

Perfect 10 Quilts {Quilt Along}


And suddenly you know...
 It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.




The kids are in school.  The moving dust has settled.  My studio is in a workable condition for now.  It was time to dust off all of my machines and pull out some stash.  It's always a rough start when you are on hiatus from quilting.  I'm grateful for Fat Quarter Shop offering me an opportunity to join in their new book Perfect 10 Quilts quilt along so I can jump right back in!




Perfect 10 Quilts is another book by Its Sew Emma that focuses on layer cake patterns and you will never hear complaints from me when it comes to their patterns!

https://www.fatquartershop.com/perfect-10-quilts-book

Join the fun quilt along starting next week! I’ll be working on the sampler quilt every week using blocks from each of the quilts using these fun fabrics from my stash!



I'll be joining other fabulous quilters along with Fat Quarter Shop at Jolly Jabber!  I highly recommend checking out their progress. It's always amazing how different everyone's quilts are using different fabrics!


Cynthia of Dream Quilt Create
Sinta of Pink Pincushion
Isn't this an exciting way for me to begin again? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

First Day of School {Separation Anxiety Disorder}



She is standing on the sidewalk with a forced smile...her teeth clenched and her eyes flickering a million and one emotions. She watches smiling and laughing children bolt out of the back seats of the long line of cars.  Adult voices can be heard shouting over the slamming car sounds.  "Have a great day!"  Kids resembling pack mules, their backpacks full of school supplies and lunchboxes in their hands skip to the door.  Some respond to the greeters at the door as they hustle in, often not turning around to acknowledge the adults who are calling to them.  A few look back with quick smiles and wave.

Meanwhile, her hand is trapped in a seven year old death grip.  The boy doesn't appear to be in distress. His facial expression is blank.  Only she can sense the tension in his body just by the small connection of their hands.  He is a coiled spring ready to flee.

She tilts her head slightly to the side and gives him an encouraging look.  She knows she is not convincing enough.  She takes a deep breath and attempts to release her own building tension.  Eyebrows up, smile softening and widening, she squeezes his hand quickly, like a small little hug.  He looks up and gives her a tentative smile.  His soft large brown eyes pleading.  The pupils become a large deep pool reflecting all of his fears. 

The woman then pulls her gaze away and scans the vicinity with a helpless look.  She is treading in a violent sea of children, alone, and is frantically searching for a lifeline.  She catches the eye of another woman who approaches with a warm open smile and immediately greets the boy asking his name.  The death grip starts to resemble more of a shackle.  The child shifts warily backwards, his body pulling down like the ball at the end of a chain. But he smiles and says his name.  He is still linked to her and feels safe.

The greeter, who is hunched down, quickly looks up to the woman with questions flitting in her eyes.  The woman shrugs her shoulders apologetically and lifts their hands to show that are irrevocably entwined.  The greeter seems to quickly come to a conclusion and reaches down to break the firm joining.  The boy's deep reflecting pools start spilling over his eyelashes.  His chin trembles.  His body starts shaking.  A tiny contained sob emerges from the small body.  The greeter firmly grasps the boy's hand and speaks soft words as she pulls him away while the woman calmly reassures with the words "I love you and I will be back."

The woman protectively covers her chest as the child leans back and drags his feet behind the person who could be considered rescuer by the woman...torturer by him.  There is a deep sharp pain, like a knife slashing her heart, as she hears the wailing from the boy.

The children that have been happily launching themselves from the cars start slowing down and staring.  An uncomfortable silence.   Some looking on with confusion.  Some with smirks.  Others with disdain.   There is judgement on the faces of the adults in the vicinity.  She internally screams.  She has successfully launched her other three boys into the world in what was considered a healthy and normal fashion.  She left her oldest boy at a college dorm, 1400 miles away from home, without any trouble.  He actually hinted that she should leave the campus early because he didn't need her.

She wants to shout to and from the rooftops that this child....this child is different. 

Instead, the woman releases the breath she has been holding since she walked into the little boy's room, early that morning, to wake him up from his sleep.  She straightens her arms, dons on imaginary armor and wills her feet to take her back to her car.

The floodgates pour out as soon as she closes the door.  She knows it isn't over. 

The woman trudges through her morning, pretending to be occupied, but her thoughts will be far away.   In her mind, she sees him in the classroom.  She knows he won't cry all day.  She knows that he will play on the playground. She knows he will make friends and be kind to others.  She knows he will gradually rely on the teacher to be his temporary lifeboat during the day.  She is also prepared for the journal entries in his childish handwriting expressing love for his mother.  His fears that something bad will happen to her.  His fears that she won't come back to get him.  His fears that she will be gone forever.

At lunchtime, she braces herself.  She pictures him sitting at the lunch table when he is at the lowest point of his day.  She hopes the tiny note she slipped in his lunch box will prevent the inevitable sadness she can't erase.  Maybe, this time, the boy will see her promise to go to the pool after school, and it will give him something to look forward to.  But she knows better. There will be a phone call from the school.  He will plead a tummy ache.  She is fully aware that it is a real tummy ache, but she must quietly and firmly send him back to class.  She cannot swoop in and relieve him of his pain.

In the afternoon, the clock seems to move at a glacial pace.  She arrives at the front of the school, willing the doors to open as soon as they can.  The warbling voice that can only be the end of day announcements can be heard outside.  The doors open and children flood out like the parting of the sea.  She recognizes the boy, his head of white hair a beacon.  She witnesses his eyes flitting everywhere, searching for his salvation.  He can't find her immediately and looks frantically at the nearest adult to gain assurance that all will be okay.  The adult is distracted with others and misses the signal.  Red creeps up from below the neckline, slowly reaching his eyes.  His chin trembles, his eyes fill up.

The woman shouts his name and waves frantically to get his attention.  She silently prays that he notices her before the dam breaks. His eyes alight on her and his face beams.  His hands that were clenched, loosen. He turns to the adult and cheerily waves goodbye.

The boy walks with a skip to the woman and she enfolds him into a hug, like a warm cocoon.  She whispers in his ear "I am here. I love you."  She feels the tension she knew he bore all that day starting to release.  He expels his stream of conscience on the ride home. It's a jumble of thoughts...his accomplishments, his failures, his triumphs, and his fears.

On the surface, it appears to be over.  But the woman knows.  It's not over.  This is just the calm before the next storm.  The boy will try to avoid or prolong homework in attempt to ignore the ticking clock into the evening.  The battle at bedtime will commence.  The woman will forgo the quiet time she treasures at night in order to repeatedly and gently reprimand him to go to sleep.  She holds his hand--his death grip returns--as he drifts off.  Night represents the fast approaching new day.  Night terrors or nightmares may arrive.  She softly whispers and strokes his back to soothe him while he slumbers.  The woman finally creeps away, but without any relief.

Tomorrow...they will have to do it all over again.












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For more information on Separation Anxiety Disorder please visit:
https://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/separation-anxiety-disorder

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Button’s Globe {Teacher Quilt}

This year, Button and I got together in April to plan his thank you quilt to his teacher.


Button requires a little extra patience and care at school and we were grateful, as a family, for her extra kindness and support. We pulled out the Spelling Bee Book by Lori Holt that I had made the Joy pillow, butterfly and fox pillows.  I had originally planned to do letters, but he fell in love with the Vintage Life layout with the globes since his favorite subject seems to be geography.



He immediately became “bossy” and insisted on the fabric choices he pulled from my stash. 


I quickly was able to piece the blocks together. 


There was a bit of a slow down while I chose what to do with the “wire”.
I settled on a twisted chainstitch with a brassy gold perle cotton. 


We ran to the store to buy some sashing and border fabric.
He spotted the dotted blue fabric from the heart globe and we soon had a finished top to quilt. 


I was excited to be able to use my new Prostitcher program to do the crosshatch quilting on the globes. 


And also able to have fun and do free motion quilting everywhere else.  Stippling in the block backgrounds, wishbone in the sashing, and wild feathers in the borders. 


His backing choice wasn’t exactly what I would have chosen, but I just couldn’t argue because he was so determined to make decisions about her quilt.


We had fun digitizing his heart and signature for the quilt label. 


And I loved how excited he was to gift it to her. 



Quilt Stats:
Measures: Lap Size 
Pattern: Vintage Life by Lori Holt
Fabrics: Various scraps and stash. Sashing, Border, Backing and binding Joann Fabrixs. 
Quilting: Crosshatch and free motion on HQ Avante and Pro-stitcher

It was fun to see her open it


and also to see the reactions of his classmates and her!


And now it is summer....his favorite and my time of the year!!!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Baby Bridesmaid {Memory Quilt} Take Two!


I love when a client wants an interesting memory quilt made like the first Baby Bridesmaid quilt
When I was contacted to make a second quilt with a twist for a second baby girl?  
I was excited to do so!


The first design and fabrics were actually approved by her friend who commissioned me to make it, so this time she wanted me to use more pinks and geometric fabrics.  She also asked if I could do a different design.  After a lot of back and forth, we decided that blocks with strips would be a fun way to coordinate with the first quilt and yet be unique all on its own.


  If you haven't had time to read about the first quilt, the quick summary is that I cut up bridesmaid's dresses into strips.  Then I did narrow hems and ruffled the strips for cute accents that I appliqued onto solid blue backgrounds.

Last time, I just had long strips and the ends were secured and hidden in the binding.  This time I was worried that the ruffles would prove to be difficult when I pieced the blocks together, but I was surprised how smoothly it all went together.

 
I used the exact same dotted pink minky backing with solid blue binding and quilted flowers, leaves and loops on my longarm again for continuity with the first quilt.


Quilt Stats:
Measures: 45" x 54"
Pattern: Simple 3 strip blocks
Fabric: Joann fabrics and leftover cuts from Cynthia Rowley "Oh Baby" line
Quilted: Free motion flowers, leaves and loops on HQ Avante


I think she was pretty excited to have her hands involved on this one which it made it very easy for me to enjoy making.



Friday, January 26, 2018

Judge Memorial School Pride {Quilt}

"Live, Laugh, Love, Bulldog"

At the end of 2017, I decided I was not going to take on any commissions or obligations for the New Year.  I needed and still need to refocus my attentions on where and what I'm doing as a quilter.  The only obligation that I knew I had was my two son's high school auction quilt.


To make this simple, I did the exact same pattern as the one I did for Button's school auction, using
The goal was to keep it simple and use the cutest fabrics I could find....in my stash!



I happened to have some fun stripes and dots I have collected over the years and a few I picked up recently for some Christmas projects.


 Along with the theme of simplification, I quilted it with a freemotion meandering pattern.


I had this black and white fabric with the intention of using it as a backing for a particular bee quilt, but I finally decided will probably never happen and used it on this one! 
It made the decision to use white thread to quilt even easier!


I love how the quilt label popped on it!
 
 I don't usually go "easy" with applique, but this year I really wanted to simplify this process, so I used wonder under, layered the logo, and used a blanket stitch on the raw edges.


Black dot binding seemed to put a stamp on my idea of a fun quilt!





Quilt Stats
Measures: 54"x 61"
Pattern: School Spirit by Riley Blake
Fabrics: Joann Fabrics
Quilted: Freemotion meandering on HQ Avante







I think it definitely was different using mostly prints over solids only like the other two quilts the past years.












I'll leave it up to everyone else on which of the three is their favorite!


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