Friday, June 26, 2015

One Sketchy Bee - another Quilted Book Jacket Finished!

A quilty finish is always a thrill, but especially exciting when it is meant to surprise someone!
One Sketchy Bee
A quilty surprise for Lara from BuzzinBumble!
I knew this one would come as a shock & I couldn't wrap it fast enough once I finished!

Initially inspired by the little bee pattern, by Diane Fortune, found published in the book Love Embroidery (Amazon link - non affiliate). The stitch is a new one for me, called Roumanian Stitch.
This is my third quilted book cover, but because I wasn't really sure what I was making when I began, it came up a bit small. No worries, that's what scissors are for ;)
I was swearin sweatin a bit, but trimming the cover page did the trick. whew.

Because I have enjoyed 'meeting' Lara so much, I reached in the pool room for a bit of a fave print from Kokka.
Ahh, sweet homemade space.
It is a hot one here today folks - 100 degrees before 10AM, and a bit of smoke hovering over Vegas from California fires. My shutters are closed, fans are on, no ironing and no laundry allowed(grin).
I am looking forward to a weekend 'home-cation'!
Sharing this fun finish with several Friday link ups:
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF, hosted this week by Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Finish it up Friday with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts
Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cozy Afternoon Blog Hop Winner Announced!

What great response from reader's of the BOM reveal last week! Thank you all for the wonderful comments, and for sharing your own experiences using colors on fabric. I did a LOT of coloring as a child, so it was pretty fun picking them up again!  Many of the comments were left by readers who were visiting for their first time and I really enjoyed visiting some new-to-me blogs as a result!

The winner drawn for Jacquelynne's pattern bundle is Debby, who blogs at Determined Debby - Congratulations Debby!

I must admit, I do love it when the winner drawn for a giveaway turns out to be a blogger as well! Certainly not a requirement, more of a bonus and a fun surprise when I am led to a new blog:-)

Regarding coloring on fabric, I stumbled upon an interesting set of pens this week at a thrift shop:
I made a sampling of the colors on muslin and ran it through with normal laundry. There was no bleeding and I did not use freezer paper. Many of the colors were not as colorful as I hoped as I wrote with them (nothing bright about that Bright Blue!), however most of them did stay true through the washing, and I can see these will be fun to use for labels.
The unfortunate part is that the product does not seem to be available any longer. In fact, I suspect that these pens are 25 years old. The fact that they are working this well makes them all the more desirable to me. Made by Evanscraft, these are meant for "stitch-less cross stitch". Seems a big oxymoron to me! Were they marketed today as 'quilt labeling markers', I think Evanscraft would have a hot seller!
Thank you for participating in the Blog Hop for Cozy Afternoon! New blocks are popping up on the Pinterest Board Jacquelynne has curated: Cozy Afternoon Free BOM

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Two Christmas Mini's Finished!

Celtic Thistle's Ho!Ho!Ho! is hosted this month at Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner!
Any Christmas project qualifies to link up. It can have a Christmas theme, or a handmade item intended as a Christmas gift. I have enjoyed the gift ideas found with this monthly linkup:-)
12" & 13" Table Mats
I love to try new techniques with small projects, and decided to play with wool batting, as well as one layer of cotton. The texture when quilted is just wonderful, especially for mini's!
The red one sports a hand-finished binding, and the green one has machine-stitched finished, since the stitch lines just blend in with the quilting:)
When I first made the blocks, I intended to make a quick set of potholders as a Thank You gift. I followed Jacquelynne Steve's Quilted Potholders Tutorial. I liked my blocks so well though, I decided to make mini's instead. This way I have two gifts!
I detest marking quilts for FMQ and only scored the centerlines for these. I do not own a fancy herra marker! It is on my wishlist, but for now I use my little metal scale - very carefully!
I wish I had made a dot in the center of these, but otherwise I am happy with my progress with this type of quilting design.
The holly fabric may be my all-time favorite of all Jacquelynne Steve's prints - it is from "Joy.Love.Peace.Noel". I thought I would use it in my Christmas version of her current Quilt Along, Cozy Afternoon, but instead I kept it for selfish sewing, and for these little gifts:) The prints from her lines often play well together. The red is from "Oh Holy Night", and I pulled the sweet, low volume text print from my stash, it is Minick & Simpson "Christmas Past".

You may be wondering when my Christmas-sewing-binge will end, and to be honest, so do I! I figure, just go for it! It will make for a fun holiday this year, especially if I decide to finish the two holiday flimsies I have hanging with other UFO's. The downside is that I have not yet touched the quilt that is set as this month's ALYOF goal. hmph.

Linking up today with Ho!Ho!Ho!, as well as Friday Finish links - buttons found on sidebar.
TGIFF is hosted today by Jen, my favorite Closet Quilter :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Le Challenge - SINGLE! Learning to Threadpaint

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the SINGLE Challenge!
I was aware that LeChallenge was set to coincide with the Cozy Afternoon Blog Hop this month, I tackled my project almost immediately after the theme was announced last month!
One Single Ornament!
I have been trying to make time to learn some art quilting skills this past year, and my own personal goal for Le Challenge has been to incorporate that goal. With this challenge, SINGLE, I tried thread painting! And since this year is turning into what feels like a big Christmas-fest, I started with simple sketches of ornaments, then played with a few fabric markers to put the backgrounds on muslin.

What I really gained with this project is a new appreciation for thread-painting! It takes a long time! And perhaps more practice ;-)
This is my favorite of the three, and the only one I took the time to complete. I used several thread types, sulky, poly, and the metallic.

It think this is my 5th or 6th Christmas finish this year! And I am doing Cozy Afternoon with a Christmas theme as well!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cozy Afternoon Blog Hop - The Big Reveal!

Today marks the start of Cozy Afternoon, a Free Block of the Month led by Jacquelynne Steves!
Each month, the patterns offer embroidery and applique options. Search your stash for the perfect fabric, make it scrappy, or pick up a kit with these beautiful fabrics:
Jacquelynne's designs are always adorable and her fabric lines never fall short either! I love love LOVE the Christmas fabric line she designed for Henry Glass,  "Joy, Love, Peace, Noel". 
The characters are so sweet!
With the idea to feature them front and center in my version of this quilt along, these critters inspired me to try my hand at embroidery!
Mr. Mouse was first up, and he became the center attraction of my first block:
The background fabric is from Jacquelynne's 'Happy Town'. I wanted to add color so they could really 'pop', and I spent a good deal of time experimenting before I found a method I am confident   with. A heavy-handed Crayola crayon won out as my preferred method, followed by a HOT heat set with the iron, and an aggressive, warm water wash in the machine. I believe these are now colorfast!
My version of Block Two features an amorous snowman, another character from the same line.  I outlined using backstitch. It took some practice, playing with a few different stitches before I decided to go with the 'stab-style'. I am still fairly inconsistent with stitch size and tension, but I did see improvement pretty quickly and I'm happy with the results:-)
Looks like I forgot to go back with red floss to add French knots for the berries on his hat... funny how things go unnoticed until photographed!

Blocks One and Two are released today!
(July, August, and September will each offer one block for this five-month QAL)

As well as fabric from the Joy, Love, Peace, Noel line, I included the green and red polka-dot fabrics from Fruitful Hands, plus two aqua prints I found in my stash.
Interested in participating? Jacquelynne has a unique talent for accurate pattern writing, with clear instructions that suit all quilting levels. Cozy Afternoon is suited for beginning or advanced quilter's! And, sewing along is even more fun with giveaways planned along the way!
Jacquelynne has generously offered an electronic 'pattern bundle' giveaway -
This bundle will be awarded to one lucky reader at each stop in the blog hop!

To enter the giveaway: Please leave a comment on this post prior to Sunday June 21st, at midnight. Any comment qualifies, but perhaps you know a method for coloring on fabric that you would like to share?

For more inspiration, (and more chances to win!!) check out the creative genius of the following guest bloggers revealing their blocks today!
Kahryn @ Kathy's Quilts

Linking up with Myra, today's guest host for Building Blocks Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hilarious 'Must Share', FMQ Link, & Kringle Krossing Fabric WINNER!

Comment #49 was selected by Ty as the winner of the Kringle Krossing Fabric Bundle! Congratulations to BillieBee! This was such a fun project, and I loved reading all the comments - Thank you all so much!

Another little giveaway was awarded this week as well! One charm pack of Just My Type is in the mail to Rachel, who contributed to my call to 'Save the Cotton' by sending some stash my way that will work to complete Summer Gathering! Thank you so much to those who found what I was looking for in their stash and sent it my way - sharing fabric is one of the great benefits of the online quilting community, am I right?

Looking for FMQ tips? Geta, at Romanian Quilt Studio has a free eBook, "No Stress Free Motion Quilting", available for download! She is so amazing, and has compiled some very valuable tips and inspiration! Check it out HERE!

Up for a good chuckle? You will enjoy reading this speech, from the perspective of a quilter's spouse! Check out Kayy's post at A Quilting Lawyer. What a Hoot!

This may be the first picture-free post I have published, haha!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My adventures with Henry Glass - Desire to Inspire & a Giveaway!

My all-time favorite Christmas album is A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio, the original soundtrack of the TV Special.
I listened to it quite a few times over the past few weeks!

Etch A Sketch art work by  Alli Katz  - check out more of her various artistic creations at
This was my way of truly embracing the challenge when I received some happy mail - a large bundle of Christmas fabric! This is a bit understated, but I have to tell you I was so excited to find out I was selected by Henry Glass as the May Challenger for Desire to Inspire! What a surprise when I received Shelly Comiskey's Kringle Krossing fabrics! I hope you will take a moment to check out my interview for the Desire to Inspire Challenge at Henry Glass ! Oh, and leave a comment so they know you love the program -- because it is awesome! If you want to participate in their challenge you will find info there too!

I don't know how many designs I drew out and tinkered with before I made my final decision for the main quilt! I wanted to showcase and use all Shelly's fabric. The only fabric I added from my own stash is the solid black and the dark green. And the backing of course, but we will get to that..
Kringle Krossing 65" x 75"
The plan for this quilt originally was to frame the main panel, shown below.
Once it was on the design wall however, I got the idea to make a postage stamp border for the panel. Great, except it would not fit with the blocks the size they already were. My next 'big' idea was to make the entire back of the quilt a big postcard, with the panel stamp in the corner, etc..
In the end, I pulled it. I really wanted to have a go at FMQ'ing that big beard, and a huge floor pillow would be a perfect mate for this quilt! I played with drunkard's patches to make the stamp border - a lot of trial and error to get the right size and I did get a plan set. Hopefully I took good notes, because it became pretty clear: No time-no time-no time!
Disappointed that the panel would not be a part of my submission, I made the decision anyway - I want that floor pillow!  
That aside, I re-focused and got busy:-)
The backing is Tidings of Great Joy Quilting Treasures - an awesome eBay score (6yards $30 shipped).
Machine stitched binding. Did I mention no time?
Once the quilt was finished and photographed, I had a few days left to play without any pressure. I used scraps to surround my favorite print in the line, the sweet reindeer, using Jacquelynne Steve's recent quilted potholder tutorial. Mine is more of a trivet though, since I left out the strap that I had made for a hanger. oops..

I still had one print that I had not used in the quilt, and I fussy cut Santa there, 'Makin his list'.

Playing with the block, I thought of the Chalk Cloth fabric I have never gotten around to using. I looked online and found a lot of rolled up portable chalkboards. I guess you could say this is improv project; I cut the cloth the same width as the block, added borders, some ric-rac, straps and a hanger so it can be displayed on the wall.
30" long - 16" wide
What a fun way to make a wish list! Or the holiday menu, or a nice note to Santa with the cookies...
I put a patch of the chalk cloth on the back as well, thinking how cute when it is rolled up.

I know this is getting long, but I will mention one thing I found out about chalk cloth. It really wants to roll up the other direction. See the wavy bumps in the full view? If it is stored as a roll, it really needs a strong tube for support to keep from creasing. If purchased online, it is likely to become creased in shipment. Creases are pretty permanent and from what I read online, ironing is not recommended. I tried it anyway of course. I even spritzed water on and ironed from the back. It helps a lot, but in the end, I cut in a way that avoided the big creases.

Try as I might, I was not able to use all the beautiful fabric provided for this challenge! I look forward to finishing the big floor pillow and I will share that here, but it is likely to be December since I tend to push deadlines when I can:-)

For someone who is not real big on holiday hoopla, I sure have been doing a lot of it lately!
Ty just rolls his eyes, and I laugh and tell him to be staunch - there is more to come!
Now, are you ready for the little giveaway?
This is a one yard bundle. Fat eights are cut from six prints from Shelly Comiskey's Kringle Krossing, + one 1/8 of the black backing fabric, and 1/8 of Happy Town (lime green) by Jacquelynne Steve's.
Enter by leaving a comment on this post before Sunday, June 7th at midnight PST. Followers may leave a second comment for another entry, please tell me how you follow! Winner will be drawn at random, (and re-drawn, and re-drawn until a winner is drawn that is not a no-reply blogger with no email address!),
I try to respond to all comments, but please forgive me if I fall behind for the giveaway! This will be posted with Friday Finish linkups & I have a busy weekend ahead! I love hearing from reader's! I try to visit each blog in return, and often end up following as well:-)
Thank you for reading, and remember, there are only 205 days left til Christmas!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Goal Setting for June - A Lovely Year of Finishes

Time once again to select a goal.
Donna's Stars quilt will be my June finish goal.
If this is not finished in June, it will be my goal every month thereafter until it is.
And it is about time. Geesh - this one moves like a slug...

Also this month, I want to finish the top for Summer Gathering. I ran out of the background fabrics and have collected a few more. I found a couple that will work from my stash, and I have received a few prints from two blogging buddies as well! Thank you Jean and Rachel, for answering my plea to help save the cotton! I hope to share a finished flimsy with you soon!

If it is a really good month, perhaps I will get those Add-a-Border Robin blocks off the walls as well!
Linking up with ALYoF at SewBitterSweet Designs.
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