Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop....

Kathy over at Empty Nest but Full Heart nominated me this time to do the Around the World Blog Hop. I have been asked a few times over the last month or so to do this but life was a little busy. It has calmed down to my 'normal' busy so I figured I'd give it a go this week.

What am I working on? 
I like to have various projects in process so I can work on whichever one I am in the mood for! I always have to have some sort of hand work ready to go since I have five days of waiting in the car line at school for about 20+ minutes. It is amazing what you can get done in 10-20 minutes here and there during the day if you are prepared. There is always some yarn in my busy bag with my trusty #8 bamboo knitting needles for dish cloths.

I do a Tiny Tuesday which originated with Midget blocks of 4.5 inches but this year I am doing a 6 inch block in red/maroon, white/cream and blue from The Civil War Diary book.

I join in with Angela over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturdays where she selects one color a month for us to play with our scraps and create whatever we like. This year I am making churn dashes, a 16 patch block  - which I seem to be missing dark blue and purples! and hand piecing hexagon flowers in each color selected. I am also sewing along with her to create a Rainbow Scrap Sampler where she will pick a block and post the instructions for us to follow along with.

12 churn dashes a month in the color selected.

16 patch block made with 2.5 inch squares.

Hexagon flowers hand pieced (not EPP) 13 or so flowers a month with yellow centers.
On Sunday I join in with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts and do some slow stitching - either hand stitching my hexagon flowers, appliqué on the Century Quilt blocks or hand quilting. I finished this hand appliqué block last Friday - time to put those 12 blocks together. There will be a dejavu of this one on my blog as I picked up two of this block from the Joann's BOM back in 2000. The extra block will become a pillow to go with the quilt.

Last week I was testing a pattern called Starlight Wishes by Joanne at Canuckquilter. It came out beautifully and I just got it pin basted today so I can machine quilt it the next time I have a block of kid free time - looks like Wednesday morning while they are in school. She will have this on sale later this month through her website.

My leader and ender project is doing one of the steps for Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice Mystery from last year. I am doing her color way of green, orange, blue, yellow and creams. I can't wait to start putting my blocks together but I have two more steps to go first. My goal is to have this quilt completed before the next mystery starts the day after Thanksgiving.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? 
Difficult question. I have been quilting since I got out of college back in 1992 and my style has evolved over the years. I have more fun playing with scraps to make my quilts rather than using just a couple of fabrics in a quilt like I did when I first started quilting. I tend to prefer the traditional patterns and fabrics rather than the new modern fabrics and patterns. I am trying out new techniques and ideas every month to try and grow as a quilter. I have gone from simple machine piecing and tying my quilts to machine and hand piecing as well as machine and hand quilting. I've taken the plunge and tried my hand at appliqué over the last few years and once the prep work is done it is very relaxing to run that needle through some fabrics.

Why do I write/create what I do?
I sew to relax and keep me sane! Well, as sane as I can get =). I have been told to 'go sew something in your sewing room' so even my loving family knows that Mommy is much happier after she has had a few minutes to play with some fabric in her sewing room.

How does my creating process work?
 I am just starting to be brave enough to try my hand at 'designing' or getting ideas from my head into a fabric form to make a quilt. I did this last year with my little apple quilt - which reminds me of home in Vermont (I relocated to Florida in the fall of 2011) and is hanging in my dining room. I was coloring with my kids and decided the apple would make a great little appliqué block. The color of the RSC Challenge that month was red so it fit perfectly. I hand appliquéd those onto fabric while waiting in the car line to pick up the kids from school. I love the nine patch so used that as my alternate block. Then I decided to hand quilt it... another fairly new skill. After much encouragement from my blogging friends over at Slow Stitching Sunday I had a completed wall hanging I am very proud of.

Like most others I also troll the web and get way too many ideas from other quilters and magazines. As you can tell from my long list of UFO's on the sidebar I have a lot of projects waiting for a finish (and sadly that is only some of them sitting out there patiently waiting to see the light of day again to get worked on to a finish!). To help me stay focused I have started joining Kathi over at DesignOriginals by KC at the end of the month for her list goals - link blog - party time. You make a list of things you would like to accomplish in the coming month and review how you did for the current month. It is a fun way to keep you on track and don't worry... there is no pressure if you just HAVE to start that new project that we seem to find every month!

Thanks so much to Kathy  for nominating me to do this. I did not tag anyone as most of you have already participated in the hop. If you would like to join in the fun, just leave me a comment and I'll point people towards your post next Monday.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday....

Today I will be doing a little prep work to make my orange hexagons so I can start my 13 hexagon flowers for the RSC Challenge quilt I am working on this year. I am going to have to dig and be creative to get my 13 I think. I've cut out the first six - time to mark my sewing line so I can start sewing. Of course, I'll be next to a Joann's Fabrics tomorrow while I pop into the store so maybe I need to get a few more oranges? ... I'll need them for Celtic Solstice too =).

I finished off the appliqué block from last week and you can see it here. That quilt is ready to be pieced together sometime soon.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts to see what other slow stitching is going on today.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Are you feeling Orange?

Another Saturday of orange fun! I did not plan ahead with the orange this week so after work and a nice dinner with Greg I got to sew a little while he went to pick up the kids from Grandma.

My 16 patch block was cut and sewn together.

I also made this week's posted RSC sampler block.

Next week will be hexagon flowers I think and some of the churn dashes. The busy bag is down to knitting so those hexagons need to get prepped for car line and Aidan's allergist appointment next week.

I have been working this week on making this Starlight Wishes top. This is the completed top with the prairie points. My first time at the prairie points and I think I really like them! I went with black borders so I could use all my colors for the points. There was a little miscalculation by me in the amount of black I had so I had to piece some edges from a kaleidoscope quilt a few years ago to get the last 8 inches I needed. Thank goodness for that scrap bucket.

I hope to prep this one for some machine quilting next week. What color binding do you think I should go with? All colors or just one to end it off? I know I have enough of the bright blue, yellow, green or red to bind it with a single color. You can purchase this pattern over at Canuckquilter later this month. All her patterns are so clear and concise they are wonderful to work with.

I'm linking up with Angela at SoScrappy this week. Head on over to get inspired by some lovely orange projects.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Friday Finish.....

The last appliqué block for The Century Quilt is completed.

 I have another of this December block in a package which will probably be made up for a pillow to go with this quilt. All 12 blocks are completed so in the next two weeks I think it will be time to start assembling this into a top. I have not trimmed down the appliqué blocks to 12.5 inches yet so they look a little bigger in the photo.

I now have all 12 of these pattern instructions.... what do you tend to do with them? Do you ever make another quilt or some of the blocks using the pattern and your own fabrics? I could see those four appliqués done as a wall hanging in some batik type fabrics......

The boy was home yesterday with a fever (twice already this year - I think it is time to test for allergies!) . He went to school today and I'll head in and have lunch with him. I had his open house last night. Boy,  first grade down here seems like grade 3 or 4 when I was in school! His teacher also mentioned having him tested for their 'gifted program' but they won't let the paperwork be handed in until week 12 of school. Seems strange to me as both his teacher last year and this year as well as his teacher he goes to for enhancement reading all said he should be tested. Oh well, we'll wait for the process I guess. It would mean he is taken out of class one day a week and sent to a teacher to challenge them more in all their subjects. We'll see what happens with that and hopefully he does not get too bored in class in the meantime. It sounds like they have to teach at one level despite having children at lower and higher levels in their class. I would think they would have grouped the kids together a little better to have like learning skills to make it easier for the teacher, but that is public school for you. 
Ok - time for me to finally play with prairie points and get those attached to the other quilt this morning. I hope to get that one to a top by lunchtime.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tiny Tuesday.....

After dropping the kids off to school and my walk this morning I got to sew. Yesterday - no sewing except some hand work in the pick up line. I had to go into work to open for a little bit and then ran errands while I was near all the stores in The Villages. By the time I got home it was kid pick up time. Last night was the first Cub Scouts meeting. I think all us parents of Tigers (1st grade) were completely overwhelmed but it looks like a fun group and I think Aidan will really like it. Emily found a friend from her class there too so they hung out together. I'm trying to get her into girl scouts as a Daisy - there is a troop that meets at the same church but it is not listed in my available troops so I'm looking into that. If it does work - then we'll adjust schedules at work so Greg can be with Aidan and I'll be with Emmy at their scout meetings. At that age each needs a parent present for the meetings.

Ok - my Tiny Tuesday block is called People and Peaches. A very strange name and don't look too closely at the cut off points. Those were tiny pieces and I calculated wrong. It turned out the correct size so it's staying. Sorry for the terrible picture - my sinuses are killing me and I am too lazy right now to go take another shot of the block.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Slow stitching Sunday - Century Block

On this slow stitching Sunday I am joining the others at Kathy's Quilts with a few stitches on my last appliqué Century Block. I need to prepare the leaves and the green flower stems to be put onto this block next. Then I'll prep the final blue flower for the middle. I changed it up a bit this time and added some color before adding the leaves. It makes me smile when I look at it, especially since I know this is the last block before I can put this top together for my niece, Sally.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other turtle stitching projects are being worked on today. This is a turtle I saw walking on the road last year on the way home from picking up Aidan from school last fall. You never know what you will see down here in rural Florida.

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Saturday in Orange!

I actually got some time to sew this week and it feels great. Angela posted two RSC Sampler blocks this week - bear paw and kick. I had fun picking out my orange fabrics for these. I am using a peachy orange for the lights this month. Oops, the bear paw is upside down!

I've been busy working on testing a pattern for Joanne who blogs as Canuckquilter. Starlight Wishes is going together beautifully. I just love when the seams all mesh together perfectly. That rarely happens with my sewing but it sure is working great on this quilt. I went with brights and black as a background. The next step is the first border and then prairie points. I have never done them before but her instructions are wonderful. I am having so much fun playing with this pattern. Wouldn't this look great done up in Vicki Welsh's hand dyed fabrics? Joanne plans to have this pattern available for sale later this month.

As some leader and enders I have 40 of my 120 four patches in green and orange completed for a step in the Celtic Solstice Mystery.

Head on over to SoScrappy on Saturday morning to see what other orange projects are being worked on this month. As for me..... I have a sick boy home (no fever but I know he is congested, sore throat and he was saying his tummy felt off this morning. By ten he was 'fine' and bored. Arrgghhh.) He so kindly shared these germs with Greg and I. Lets hope the girl does not come down with it next since it is her sleepover at Grandma's this weekend. I've got an hour to prep some appliqué pieces for the car line hand work. I'm guessing he won't want to stay home from school again even if he is sick =). He did some math problems on the board in the kids playroom, then some spelling words and shapes. His teacher had sent home some extra work sheets this week which he has worked through. Now he is counting down the minutes until we can go pick up his sister from school. Hmmmm maybe they'll play nice together so I can sew some more?