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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Winners and a Finish


I would like to thank everyone
for contributing to the comments on my last post,
"Things My Mother Used to Say".
I got quite a chuckle from some of the responses!

I'd like to add one more from my mom,
something I can hear her telling me several times a day,
"Never leave a room empty handed."
Not being the best housekeeper in the world, 
this little piece of advice keeps me on my toes,
and my house fairly tidy!

The Random Number Generator chose
comment number 37, Lisa Boyer
and comment number 7, Sandi @ Shhh Designs
to each receive 2-20 count Free Spirit Fabrics charm packs.

Congratulations, ladies!
As soon as I receive your addresses, I'll pop them into the mail.

I do have a finish to show you today,
one I am very proud of!

My first real attempt at custom quilting on my Janome Horizon.
I originally blogged about it HERE.



I am going to call this quilt "A Kennebec Wnter".
It is 60" x 60"and took me approximately 30 hours of quilting.

It was a great learning adventure.
I practiced going frontward, sideways, and backwards
and obviously, it's not perfect,
but I gained so much confidence!




Here's a close up.




And a look at it from the back.

I love my Janome and will miss it while I'm away.
I start my annual migration south next Saturday, with my first stop being Boston,
to spend a little time with family and friends,
before making my way to Texas.

Stay safe and warm
as Mother Nature begins to remind us that
yes, it is winter.

~karen

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Things My Mother Used to Say Give-away


My mother has been gone an awfully long time,
having passed away at the young age of fifty in 1982,
but I still hear her words every day.
One of the things she used to tell me is,
"If you don't have anything nice to say,
don't say anything at all."

I bring that up now because quite often
I read a blog post about how upset someone is
after receiving a negative, and sometimes abusive, comment.
My impression of the quilting community
is that we are kind and compassionate people.
Let's try to keep it that way!

Although I vowed NOT to start anything new,
I had a Free Spirit fat quarter bundle
of earth colored solids staring me down,
and it won!

I've been on an HST kick all summer,
and when I saw this quilt block on Anja's site,
I said to myself, "That's it, I'm doing this!"
Wanting a 'man quilt', I got right to work.
I have been cutting, sewing, and trimming 5.5" HSTs by the dozen
and having such fun!




I pinned a batting scrap to a wall hanging
for a quick, small design wall.

I'm loving it so much that when I return in the spring,
my intentions are to rearrange furniture
to make a whole wall available!
This wall would be perfect,
except there is a thermostat dead center!
See it?

Working with Free Spirit solids is a dream,
and last month's Free Spirit Fabrics give-away was so much fun,
I though we should do it again.

Now, my mother had a lot to say,
and I'm sure yours did, too!

For an opportunity to win 2-20 count charm packs
of the 'Earth' Free Spirit solids,
please tell me in your comment
something you remember your mother saying to you!

I will let the random number generator help me pick three winners
This give away will  be open for one week.

(This give away is now closed.)

Thanks for visiting!
Enjoy your day,
~karen

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Yes, Sir, Yes, Sir, Three Bags...


...finished.

But not full.
Yet.

My niece is expecting baby #2 later this month.
Her precious daughter is 4 years old,
so when I send a quilt for the new baby,




I will also include this little zippered pouch.
I think that when you are 4 years old, 
you need someplace to put your treasures!

This zippered pouch was made
If you are at all hesitant about making one,
this is the tutorial for you!
When you are finished, you'll ask yourself,
"Why haven't I made these before now?"
And you'll jump right in
and make another.

Bag number two is my second attempt 
at trying Noodlehead's Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial,
this time with success!




Was it just last summer
I was participating in a scrappy QAL,
then didn't care for the final project?
Or was it the summer before?
I lose track!
Too often!
Sometimes it's kind of scary.
Anyway, I came across the blocks I'd made,
and they said they wanted to be a bag.
Voila!

I saved the best for last.
Bag number three is a 
Yay me!




Making it was like pulling teeth!   But I did it!




And, you know what?
When I am wintering in Texas,
I bet I make more.
At least two, to give as gifts.
I'm looking forward to cleaning out the bag I use now,
and transferring it's contents
before I go,
(in just over two weeks....YIKES!).

Join me there to see lots and lots of other bags
that have been made, most in the spirit of giving.
Patty has been posting many new tutorials for
making a myriad of useful gifts!
Check it out!!

Thanks for stopping in.
My next post will be another give-away,
so I hope you'll visit again!

~karen

Monday, October 31, 2016

Spiral Quilting


I find that I now call all quilts that I make-
'learning quilts',
and this next one is no exception.

Last fall, I thought it would be fun
to learn to make wonky log cabin blocks.
As soon as I had a few lined up on the table,
 they told me they wanted to be spiral quilted.




After searching Pinterest,
and checking out a few tutorials,
I contacted Linda, author of Flourishing Palms.
and requested a Spiral Quilting Tutorial.
She didn't disappoint, 
as shortly thereafter, she published a very in depth
and well written tutorial.
Thanks, Linda!

But, it was getting late in the season for me,
and I was only able to complete a couple of blocks
before it was time to  pack things up
and migrate south for the winter.




Last week, I pulled out this UFO and completed it.
I didn't forget how to make the wonky log cabin blocks,
but I did have to brush up on the spiral quilting.

"The big X in the centers?", you ask?
Remember I said this was a learning quilt?
Welllll, I was so excited to start the spiraling process
when Linda published her tutorial,
I forgot to put a backing on my block, so
I quilted them all the same after that little faux pas,
and needed some way to anchor the backing.
To quote a quilty friend of mine,
"It's for a baby.  He/she won't know the difference."
(You know who you are.)




After I put it all together, 
I'd wished I'd made it much larger,
but unless I wanted it to be a UFO for another year,
I had to go with 36"x 36",
calling it my one and only gender neutral baby quilt.
Now, I'm ready for anything,
boy babies, girl babies, and 'I don't know' babies!

The fabrics were passed on to me from
 friends in the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.
I don't often have yardage to work from,
so I thank you very much!

From soggy Cape Breton,
I wish you a sewl-ful week!

XO,
karen


Thursday, October 20, 2016

This and That


Autumn is a difficult time of year for me to begin anything new,
and it's sew hard not to!
But this is when I have to focus on finishing up everything
I started during the summer to get ready to travel south.

Elm Street Quilts is hostessing Bag It!
and I love making bags.
Hop on over and check out all of Patty's tutorials
for some gift giving ideas.
Be sure to scroll through her posts so you don't miss a thing!
Maybe you will even win some excellent prizes!

If you hurry,
you can sign up for EasyPatchwork's
but the deadline is today.

I'd like to congratulate the winners
of my Free Spirit Fabrics solids give away.
The random number generator chose
Sheila, author of Sheila's Quilt World
and The Lueken Family 
to each receive a jelly roll.
Sunny (Quilting Dreams) and Lynn (Hey Boo)
were the lucky recipients of the charm packs.
Everyone has been notified
and some have already received their prizes.
I wish I could have sent a prize to everyone!
That said, it was so much fun, let's do it again soon.

I'll be back, maybe with some pictures!
Although life has gotten in the way, but on a positive note,
I have been sewing a little.

Have a wonderful, funderful day!
XO,
Karen




Friday, October 7, 2016

On My Design Floor


I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to wall space,
so I depend upon my floor to lay out quilts as I work.

I like to keep a couple of baby quilts on hand,
and it seems they all tend toward the female gender!
So, at my Crafty Daughter's urging, I'm concentrating on boys.

This week on my design floor, I am putting together a chevron quilt


As always, just click on the pictures to enlarge.

which looks  quick and easy,
but this is ME!

I'm pretty pokey, slow, and deliberate,
and it's taking me days to make.

I was sewing with someone last month
who whipped up a chevron quilt
ALL IN ONE DAY!
It was kind of comical.
I sat in one corner, stitching away,
putt, putt, putt,
and she sat in the opposite corner,
zoom, ZOOM, ZOOM!
YOU know who you are!

Today, I'm squaring up all my blocks.
I used the 'make 8 HSTs at once' method
following this tutorial.
I knew I wanted my quilt to be no more than 40" wide,
so I consulted the provided chart




and decided to cut my beginning squares 8.5" to get 5.5" blocks..
When I sewed them together, I used a scant 1/4" seam allowance
to give me plenty of room to square up the blocks.

When I am squaring up blocks, especially larger sizes,
I place it slightly askew on my cutting mat




to make it a little easier to take that final slice across the top.
That way I'm not contorting myself
and causing my ruler to slip.

Using this method of constructing HSTs means cutting across the bias.
I never spray a finished block with water or starch,
because it causes distortion,
which causes frustration.
Instead, I use spray starch before I cut my strips/squares.
Seems to work very well, for me.

Although I'm not crazy about this quilt
(it looked different in my head)
I'm excited to get it together and under Janome's needle
because I'll be using variagated thread for the first time!

All my fabrics are 1/2 yard cuts from Northcott,
three different lines that played so well together -
Rainforest Romp, A Day in the Amazon, Freestyle,
and for the backing, At the Zoo, from Henry Glass Fabrics.

This is a pretty wordy post, for me.
If you made it all the way to the end,
and you are interested in my scraps for your donor quiltmaking,




please just mention it in your comment!
There's no sense saving them until I revisit them.
Life is paved with good intentions, but it could be forever
before I unearth them again!
so, they're up for grabs!

I hope you are having a quilty day!
If the sun is shining in your corner of the world,
get out and celebrate the day!
Your sewing machine will wait patiently for your return!

XO,
karen


Monday, October 3, 2016

Catching the Spirit Give Away


click picture to enlarge


In life, I have always been 'a free spirit'.
The Urban Dictionary defines a free spirit as 
   one who is not restrained.





With designers the likes of Kaffe Fassett,


HPBannerQuad1_Rowan-txt.jpg


 Free Spirit Fabrics epitomizes that definition.
Check out their blog for more give away opportunities!

But did you know that Free Spirit also has 
a quality line of solids?




As my sewing experience has grown,
due largely in part to quilting's incredible online presence,
I have become a little bit of a fabric snob.
The very first time I handled Free Spirit solids,


You might remember this Bright Birch Trees quilt I made from all Free Spirit solids,
except the scraps, of course.

I never looked back.
They sew like a dream, they hardly ravel, I've had no bleeding issues,
And I just LOVE how they feel.

With the exception of the Maritimes Modern Quilt Guild's
Kona signature colors,
I've been purging my solids stash,
and am in the process of replacing them with...
...you guessed it!
Free Spirit Fabrics!

To help YOU  'Catch the Spirit',
Free Spirit Fabrics has very generously provided
some fabric bundles for this give away.




I have two 20 piece jelly rolls of pretty pastels to give away,
 plus two prizes of  two 20 count charm packs of the same.
Four chances to win!

Entering is easy peasy!
Just leave a comment!
(I'd really like to know what makes you a free spirit!)

If you happen to be a follower of my blog,
a second comment telling me so will give you an extra chance!

I'd like to extend a big thank you to Free Spirit Fabrics
for making this give away possible!

Thanks for popping in for a visit!
Good luck!

This give away will end at midnight, Atlantic Time Zone.
Monday, October 10.

XO,
Karen