Monday, July 30, 2012

Taking a Break...

My dear friends, I have had some things happen over this past weekend that cause me to take a break for a couple weeks.  I can't really handle talking about it right now, I will after I have had time to process.  If you praying person, please pray for me and my family.  I am hoping that I will be back in 2 weeks in time for the beginning of the Bowls With Borders Blog Hop which starts on August 13th.   We shall see where my heart is then.

It has been unforeseen blessing that there were no submissions to the little contest I was holding so no prize will be awarded at this time.  I am sure I will come up with something else for someone to win the prize.  Thank you all.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Think Christmas (SWQ Blog Hop)

Check out this blog hop being hosted by Lesley @ SEW WE QUILT starts tomorrow, so get ready to be inspired!

Are you already thinking of projects you want to get completed for gifts or perhaps decor for the holiday season?  This will the first year we will pull out all our Winter/Christmas Decor.  Plus it's Ziona's first Christmas, so much planning to do!  After 8 years of marriage we are thinking of finally buying a Christmas tree larger than 4" and with a little more room underneath!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Becoming More Creative (A contest/giveaway)

I have caught a few posts lately about the whole idea of who owns creative thought.  I have been spotty on my blog-hoping this year so far, but over and over again I am seeing posts on who owns what.  Leah Day has written a bit on the subject, which you can about it read HERE and Rachel from Stitched in Color chats about it HERE.

 Permission by Lisa Francis Photography
Last year I got a message from someone that I should give credit to so and so because they created it therefore they own the copyright on it (I had actually thought I had come up with it on my own).  I have to be honest, I am starting to feel hemmed in creatively and the whole situation actually makes me want to stop looking at other people's blogs completely!  Now, when I am inspired by another's creativity, you bet I am going to say something or link to them, that is if I can remember.  I mean I see a gazillion items on Pinterest that I never even pin on my own boards, something may have sparked a thought in my brain without me knowing, hey it happens!

So I had a thought why don't we set out to create a block that we ARE willing to share with others.  I know that there is software out there that is super-great for designing and quilt planning, but I will show how to use just plan pen/pencil, paper and a couple other items you probably own as a quilter.

What you need:  Pen or Pencil, paper, cutting mat with lines, and cutting ruler

1.  Determine what size you want the completed block to be, you can mark the outside first.  I decided I wanted to make this a 6"X 6" block.  If you line up your upper left hand corner of your paper along with the lines on the cutting mat you can use the measurements in designing your block.  This is not for paper piecing but more for getting your head wrapped around a design.

2.  Using the lines on the cutting mat, mark out a simple design to start, perhaps a nice 3 stripe block like this.

3.  Here I added to extra lines in the middle where I plan to use a different fabric.  You can make your block as simple or complex as you wish, either way have fun with the process.

4.  For fun, why don't you give your new block a name, don't forget to also put the date.  It will be fun to look back on your block designing as you progress through the years.  You may notice your leaning towards a certain type of design.

This is my mock up of my "red-eye" block, the measurements are not exactly like my plan because I used scraps.

This is my "earning my stripes" block
This the quilt top I came up with yesterday using both blocks together.  I still have plans to add some sashing on the outside and maybe a fun print for the binding. (update 7/25:  I bought some neat border fabric & orange for binding)

The other reason I started writing down the designs that pop in my head is that I already have way too many WIP's to be starting another project every time a thought comes to my mind.  Sometimes I will even write out my idea for a block or quilt, pull the fabric I want to use and put it all in a gallon sized bag.  For the most part it helps me resist most efforts my brain has to derail my focus.  With this project, I came upon scraps I had left over from making my A Mother's Love Memorial Quilt (Read about it HERE) and wanted to create something from them.

So why don't I have a little contest?  Create a block on paper and share it with us.  I will put up a linky party for the next week or so, you can link up your Sharing block, then we'll open up voting next Monday,07/30 at 12:01am US Central and close it Thursday, 08/02 at 11:45PM US Central.  I will announce the winner On Friday, 08/03 by the end of the day (Central time).  I am not sure how many winners will be chosen or what they will win yet, but it will be open to international people!  I will update this posting tomorrow with the prizes and any smallish print.

UPDATE 7/25:  One winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop (They are not sponsoring this contest).  

Smallish print:  You do not need to be a follower to win, but you must have a valid email address.  You can link from a blog or flickr account or another photo-sharing account as long as we can see the block pattern in the picture you submit below!  If I cannot contact the person who won within 36 hours of announcing the winner, I will contact the 2nd place winner.  I will give them 36 hours to respond before moving onto the next until someone receives the prize.  You may submit up to 2 separately linked blocks.  I wish all of you well and I cannot wait to see what you create! 

I am linking this post up to:
 Fabric Tuesdays @Quilt Story and
Tuesday Linky Party @ Quilting By the River
Sew Cute Tuesdays @ The Creative Itch
Work In Progress Wednesdays @ Freshly Pieced

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finishes 29: "In This Moment..."

Welcome to my finish of the week!  I am certainly not working nearly as fast as I did last year, but the process is still very enjoyable.

This is my Asterisk quilt using Free Spirit's Summersault fabric line.  The quilt top currently measures about 43"X 43" and I think it is ready to be put in my pile of finished quilt tops, but I am tempted to make it a bit bigger transforming it from baby quilt to lap quilt size.  If I do that, what color should I add on the outside edge/sashing?  What do you think is a good color choice for binding for either direction (adding sashing or keeping it the same)?  [this block is taught in the FREE Craftsy Block of the Month Class]

This is where I am at with my summer games Quilt.  I am so excited that I was able to get these squares completed this week!  I am just struggling on what to do to tie them together.  What do you think of the dark blue with dots material?  Does it work in between the blocks?  Should I move the block on their sides like diamonds?  More to do today, thanks for stopping by!

I am linking up with:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WIP 29: Asterisks

This week I am focusing on getting my two Asterisk quilt tops completed.  I am going back and forth on my plans with the white blocks going between the printed Summersault fabric blocks.  I am thinking to either a) keep them white or b) use various fabric from the left hand stack in the box to make asterisk blocks of their own.  I do know what I plan to do with the Red, White & Blue Fabrics to my left, more asterisk blocks!  The blue fabric is going to have a white strips and the white squares will use the red fabric for strips.  I am also hoping to complete my summer games quilt top this week (Picture below).  I may try to work on another project from my long list on my Finish-a-long Post.

Linking up this Week to:

Monday, July 16, 2012

5 months...

Plopping Ziona down in the chair I ran to the other side of the room to quickly grab the camera.  When I turned this was how she was sitting, ready for her picture to be taken.  Someone gave me some sleeveless onesies (brilliant) and that super-cute skirt (which I have to make my own version), both in size 12 months, that I had to dig out because my baby girl had outgrown ALL her clothes!

A couple weeks ago I heard a frustrated little voice (not wanting to take a nap), cry out "mama" over the monitor, and my heart simply melted.  She has since added the words "baby," "daddy," "baba" and the phrase "oh yeah" which until then I had no idea we say to her all day long!  She loves to chatter while adding in her raised eyebrows every so often and tonal inflection that makes me thinking she is having lots of conversations with her "baby" that she is so attached to right now.

She is also fascinated by the sound of the sewing machine.  I have been putting her on my lap while I have been working on the Summersalt Asterisk Quilt.  I wonder if some day she shall become a sewer and/or a quilter...

Ziona has fallen in love with her "baby" a bunny head & arms attached to a swatch of blanket.

Red, White, Blue Blog Hop--Day 16

Check Out Day 16 of the RW&B Blog Hop!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In Report (July)

Well I am a day late reporting on my Friday Night Sew-In, but perhaps better late than never!  Unfortunately  I ended up sleeping for most of the day yesterday so I missed linking up for the Finish-a-long (it also turned out that I forgot to hit "publish" too).  Oh well, such is life; I do plan to work on my projects as though I was in the contest as well.  I plan to link up projects even though I cannot win any prize now.  I am hoping it will still have the effect of spurring me on while I struggle this summer.  The true Prize will be a stack of finished quilts by the end of the summer as well as those tutorials I wanted to complete!  I have several fundraiser projects I am hoping to complete;  only two such quilts have picked out, I will choose among my finsihed quilts for the others.

Okay, now on to what I worked on!

Summersault asterisk quilt--going to alternate between printed quilts & white with print fabric for bars

Summer Games Quilt--Completed more blocks for this quilt, thinking of alternating with blue fabric squares

Red, White, & Blue Asterisk Quilt--Got more blocks cut & red fabric picked out.
See you next time!

Red, White, Blue Blog Hop--Day 15

Check Out Day 15 of the RW&B Blog Hop!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Go...(The Finish-a-long)

I was excited to come across The 2012 Finish-a-long being Hosted by Quilter In The Gap.  I am excited to put a focus on specific projects for the next 3 month Quarter.  If you have a list of your own, please don't forget to link up your list and then your finished projects after that!  If you know a little about me, you will know that I can't seem to get my WIP list down to nothing.  I was messaging back and forth with a kindred spirit and I think we came upon the idea that we get bored.  Or perhaps also in my case, I get distracted.  Sometimes its a line of fabric or an idea that I cannot leave alone.
1.  4-patch & Squares Quilt #1
In the case of the 4-patch & Squares Quilts, I had left over 4-square blocks from making a Jacob's Ladder Quilt that I threw into a scrap box.  When I looked back upon them, they were laying nicely on that yellow print, which of course spurred the idea to throw something together! then I had to try to match it with that lovely aqua print that has a bit of yellow and dark pink in it.  Now I have two Quilts in the works, or perhaps I may combine them and make a large quilt.
2.  4-patch & Squares Quilt #2
3.  Red, White, & Blue Asterisk Quilt
I am having fun taking part in the Craftsy block of the month classes (check it out, this one is FREE).  I have started a couple quilts from just January's block alone!  I can't wait to show you my progress on these two Asterisk quilts.  Now there are several projects on this list you may have seen before, soem with progress, some are stagnant to be honest.

Here are the rest of my WIP's at the moment!

4.  Martinique Strip Quilt

5.  Scrappy Paperclip Quilt

6.  Summersault Quilt #1

7.  Summersault Quilt #2

8.  Scrappy Brick Pathway Quilt

9-11.  Ziona's Room & Quilt (Curtains, changing pad, decor & shelf covers)
12.  City Weekend Lil' Twister Quilt
13.  Scrappy Lil' Twister Quilt
14.  Wonky House Blocks & Trees Quilt

15.  Double-Pinwheel Quilt (Back is now complete, next to sandwich)

16.  Summer Games Quilt
17.  Blue/Green/Orange Chain Link Quilt

18.  Fruits of the Spirit 4-patch Quilt

19.  Mystery Blocks

20.  Blue/Black Churn Dash Quilt

21.  Jacob's Ladder Quilt #1

22.  Poppy Scrappy Quilt w/Fandango

Not Pictured:

23.  Cowboy Table Topper
24.  Summersault Asterisk Quilt (Post about this soon, using FNSI for this project)
25.  Jacob's Ladder Quilt #2
26.  Brick Pathway Quilt #2
27.  Paperclip Quilt
28.  Fundraiser Fish Quilt
29.  Great Grandmother's Quilt
30.  Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls

Well, Hopefully these will be complete before the quarter's finished!

Red, White, Blue Blog Hop--Day 14

Check Out Day 14 of the RW&B Blog Hop!

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Get Set..."

Storage possibilities are endless
It has been a year since I first contracted Meningitis, I thought surely by now I would have recovered from the symptoms.  However, with the heat often named above a hundred here in Texas I am constantly plagued by  symptoms.  Running back and forth during projects has simply worn me out.

My husband has been doing some research, realizing my recovery may take a long time, he has challenged me to change my current crafting arrangements.  Recently I saw someone's post (Sorry I cannot remember who that was, speak up if that was you) with pictures of what their crafting area REALLY looks like!  They challenged others to do the same, so here we go...

Master Bedroom--Where I sew on the desk (Drawers on left contain WIPS)

Living Room--Where I press (We have the books unpacked, just haven't put pictures in the frames).

Dining Room--Where I cut (There are thoughts that some day we will actually eat at the table)

Ziona's Room--Where I store (Yes She is taking a nap while I take this picture; bags on top contain her diaper stuff)
Perhaps you can see why my husband might think a rearrangement might be a good idea!  The goal is to actually get my sewing, pressing, cutting, and designing all in to the Master Bedroom so I can shut the door and work without distraction (I am like a squirrel all fluttering around).  Now, it will be impossible to contain everything in the one location, but I do have thoughts that I would like to put curtains with Velcro and/or magnets on the black shelf in Ziona's room (also some on the windows) to hide all my storage.

Speaking of storage, this picture is of the closet in Ziona's bedroom.  Its quite a nice size and is pretty much full of boxes, some of which are craft items, that I would like to sort.  I have a few boxes pulled out (Like those sitting in the living room in the first photo) that contain scraps and fabric, which of course is useful, but in the way.

Tonight I will be taking out time to participate in Friday Night Sew-in, so I will be posting my finishes for the week along with whatever else I accomplish on tomorrow's post.

For those who sell quilted items, there will a "finished quilts" auction added to Top Hatter for Thursday 12 noon USA Central time (I think internationals are welcome)!  It's an interesting concept in selling as it is a live auction.  It's certainly fun to watch the online proceedings.  I have bought a few items from the site but I have yet to sell anything.  If anyone ends up joining the auction, let me know what you think, if they add further finished quilts auctions I may sell some of my quilts.