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Puppy and Giraffe Snuggles

I recently found out one of my friends is also a quilty friend!  How fun is that!?  She is a grandma now too – with a little herd of grandkids – and a new one being added soon.  Her daughter doesn’t know the sex of the baby yet, even though it is only days away.  So, being the awesome mom and grandma that she is, she prepared 2 quilt tops and brought them to be quilted.  Both are darling and I had a fun time coming up with a cute baby design for each.

The boyish one has darling puppy appliques.  I believe she said it was a purchased panel. Sorry about my life sneaking into the picture!  It is very typical to have some sort of game sitting on our kitchen table.  We ARE gamers, after all!

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She just said to make them cute…that was scary!  What if her cute wasn’t the same as my cute?!  I looked online for some fun baby boy quilting ideas, since I couldn’t use a pantograph over the puppies. I found a darling little bone pattern so I practiced on paper until I felt it looked like a bone. I added loops and hearts to the bones and quilted around the puppies.

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The little girl quilt has giraffe strips and the sweetest little pink rosebud swirl furry strips.

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I stitched in the ditch of the pink and did loops, hearts, flowers and baby diaper pins in the giraffe fabric. The quilting shows up much better on the back in the pink minkee.

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It is so fun to learn new quilting patterns and ideas.  I hope the babies mom loves which ever one she gets when the baby is born! And my friend and I must have the same definition of cute because she brought me another baby top to quilt. Pics coming soon!

Any new baby quilts in your life?

Ruffles and Hearts

Beautiful baby quilt combination – minky, soft fur, and cotton ruffles…

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I quilted into the white fur fabric a little and really didn’t like how it broke it up so I showed my customer and she decided she didn’t like it either.  I ended up stitching in the ditch around the fur and just did loops, flowers and hearts on the rest of the quilt.

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I used Superior’s Valley Breeze, it is a light olivey type of green,  since it blends so nicely with all the fabrics.

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The ruffles are adorable.  I quilted up to and sometimes under the ruffles. I love how the ruffle changes the look of the simple Rail Fence block. I love the pinks and greens and the splash of yellow!

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Sadly, I apparently didn’t take a picture of the back.

Now I just need lots more tops to quilt…so I can have more fun!  Sisters – get to piecing so I can get to quilting!  🙂

 

 

Stippling quest was a Success!

First I practiced stippling on a baby quilt panel that I had inherited from Grandma Dott.  It has a high loft poly batting, which makes it nice and fluffy.

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As a newbie quilter, I posted on our neighborhood Facebook page that I was looking for some quilts to practice stippling on at a very discounted price.  I got several quilt tops…thank goodness for quilters who are brave enough to give a new quilter one of their precious tops!  My neighbor down the street loves to piece tops and has a big stack of them waiting to be quilted. She brought me this queen sized top.

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Here is a close up of the stipple size and a picture of my favorite print in her quilt.  The rectangular rose print.  I am not really a pink sort of girl, but I love the colors in this quilt!

 

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I also got this beautiful baby quilt from a friend of another neighbor.  I was nervous about this one because she usually pays top dollar to very experienced quilters.  I used a green from Superior and it blended beautifully with all the colors.

 

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When I was at my quilter’s boot camp, I was so frustrated by the Pantovision (digital pantograph) that I went home feeling overwhelmed and horrified that I had taken out a loan to buy this longarm when I couldn’t even trace a pattern and make it look good.  Free motion quilting came much more naturally and was so much fun.   I am happy to say that I have made pretty good progress and now pantographs don’t scare me anymore.

Wow – Sew Many Projects – Sew Little Time

It has almost been a year since I posted…mainly because in my free down time…hmmm….what is the right word?  In the moments I choose to ignore all the rest of the my responsibilities (especially laundry, dishes and cooking), I would rather be piecing one of my MANY projects or longarm quilting on my Innova than blogging. Plain, undiluted truth!

So what has happened in the past year!?

My handsome hubby still works hard for us every day.  He has an Etsy shop where he sells his wood turned bowls and pens.  They are awesome!  He is really into tree and wood books.

Elf Princess is dating and driving and already had her first accident – in MY car, of course!  She also got her first job at a fast food place and Loves (not) the hat she gets to wear. haha

Miss America is still beautiful and smart.  Her art teacher entered some of her art in the school art contest and she won 2 ribbons. She was the manager for the wrestling team (smart girl – haha)

My son (been so long that I forgot his nickname-heehee) managed to survive and pass 5th grade.  I hate homework more than he does!  He earned his Bear badge and almost has his Weblos badge.  He still loves Legos and reading.

Blondie got baptized a member of our church – Loves school – this is an accomplishment because she had kindergarten anxiety so bad we did home school with her. She still loves dancing and crafts.

Brownie started Kindergarten – so excited that the first morning I didn’t even get a kiss good bye.  As soon as the car stopped she jumped out and ran to the playground.  Made me sad!  But was much better than 10 minutes of crying and pulling Blondie off me every morning for weeks of 1st grade.

We have a new addition to the family.  We named him Doug.  He is a beagle/cow mix.  Not really – he is a beagle and something, but his coat looks like a black and white cow.  We rescued him from the local pound and that day in January was better than Christmas at our house for the kids.  He is a sweet dog that is totally fixated on food!

Another school year is almost over and the summer fun is about to start!  Yay!

For me –  what did I do?!  Lots of great things – lots of firsts!

I will keep it to 10 top things: (not in any particular order)

1. I joined a quilting guild – love it!

2. I joined a long arm quilting guild and am learning so much!

3. I have quilted for customers – very exciting- and gotten paid!

4. I got a new Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt sewing machine

5. My sweet hubby built me a new fabulous sewing space

6. I got called to work in the Nursery at our church – I get to play with the kids 18 months to 3 years for 2 hours every Sunday with my hubby!  It is so much fun!

7. I joined a Bonnie and Camille swap.  They are fabric designers for Moda.  Love their fabrics!  Of course, the swap gave me the perfect excuse to stock up on their fabrics!

8. I joined Instagram and have participated in a few swaps and found a lot of really great quilty friends!

9. I got way more involved in the PTA at the elementary and at the Jr High than I ever intended to be!  I feel less sewing time coming up!

10. I got to go the Home Machine Quilting Show and take classes from Judi Madison and Angela Walters!

Lastly and MOST important – My 23rd year of marriage was great and I am so grateful that we still want to be together!  (I love you so much, honey – thanks for your love and support!)

Summer plans?!  The usual – parks, swimming, gardening, biking, hiking and, of course – LOTS of sewing and hopefully more customer quilts to quilts!  One very exciting addition to this summer is my sister and her family coming to spend a week with us!  We can hardly wait!

Happy Sewing!  Thanks for visiting!  Promise to blog more often and with pictures next time! Jules

 

 

My Innova Longarm is FINALLY here!

Monday morning and I was Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new baby – my Innova Longarm Quilting Machine!

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It was a few hours late so I puttered around my quilting/sewing studio…It finally arrived!

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The first piece is one of the 12 foot leaders!

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Here is the side piece!

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The frame is almost done!  I hovered the whole time – excited to see it nearing completion!  Mike, the co-owner, was very patient with my hovering.

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Here is the actual sewing part!  Woot Woot!

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It is finally time to play!

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The tablet with Pantovision.  It came with 50 pantograph patterns, but I stand up front and trace it on the tablet instead of behind the machine with a laser light.

I played a little Monday at home and then went to three days of 9 to 5 classes with Renae  Haddadin from Quilts on the Corner.  She is a fabulous quilter – she got Best of Show at Paducah last year.  She was marvelous, as was her whole team!  See all her ribbons?!  I used this photo off her website, since somehow I lost the whole first days worth of pictures!  ARG!  I did ask permission to take her photo so I don’t think she will mind me borrowing one of hers.

My children all decided they are grateful that I am a stay at home mom normally. It was super fun and overwhelming.  I missed my kids and it made for long days and short nights, but I am so happy I got to go learn.  Blessed to have a husband who is excited about my new adventure and is supporting it financially. Now it is time to practice, practice and practice some more.  The experts make it look sooooooo easy and it really isn’t!

Happy Wednesday!

Squeezing in 1 Day Before the Deadline

In February, I found this charity organization and shared that info in an earlier blog.  Here is the kit I got from Quilts for Kids.

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I got right to work and had the top pieced and sandwiched the first week.  The pattern is super easy and the fabric is so cute!  I love the tone on tone white.

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Machine quilting is required so I got to work on the Bernina.    The quilting they recommended was stitch in the ditch horizontally and vertically and diagonally between all the blocks.  Stitching around the inner border and in the outer border.  My mom’s new machine has all these fun stitches including a car.  I thought that would be a fun touch around the outer border.

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It was slow going and harder than the small practice piece I did.  It didn’t take long before the cars were no longer cars and because I wasn’t checking my work as I went, I did a whole long side of the quilt before I realized the disaster I was creating!

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Soooo…. I spent a several hours frogging (unpicking machine quilting).  I finally got all the cars out and headed back up to Mom’s to borrow her machine again.  This time I just went with a plain straight line.   I am running out of time to get it back within 6 weeks.  Stitching in the ditch is a little harder than it sounds.  I watched a couple of videos and read a few articles and learned a few tips on staying in the ditch, so hopefully there will be less straying out of the ditch next time.

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Brownie is holding up the quilt.  Her little arms didn’t allow for a very long session and she said “whew, this is heavy” after two pictures.  haha  The binding is just folded over backing and zigzaged it. Here it is all done.  It had to be washed and dried and as soon as it comes out of the dryer, I can package it up and mail it back on my way to pick up kids.  Thank goodness – I squeezed this little no sweat project in one day before the final due date.  I still have to sign the label – I was so excited about that to start with and now I am not sure I want to claim it with my name.  Such a learning curve to machine quilting!

Modern Bee May Block

You may or may not know this, but I recently expanded my quilting horizons and went completely out of my comfort zone and joined a quilting bee. It is out of my comfort zone, because it gives me an actual sewing deadline each month.  Sometimes as a busy mom having other deadlines can seem like too much. I have been letting my fears hold me back. I have wanted to enjoy creating with a group, but most of the guild’s around here seem closed to new members and I haven’t tried very hard to find a group to join, so when I saw this group available, I jumped on the band wagon.  I have followed Lindsay Connor’s blog, Craftbuds,  and Jennifer Mathis’s Ellison Lane blog for awhile. Lindsay is the author and Jennifer made the Playing Cards quilt.  I have been talking to Mom about joining a local group here or creating one – which I may still do!

Modern Bee Quilt Along

This book is available online – my sweet husband bought mine for me. He is super supportive and makes all the right sounds as he admires my latest block – thanks, honey!

The Bee block for May is The Triple Star by Elena Roscoe. This star block was a LOT of half square triangles, similar to last months, but done with a different method. The hostess this month choose black background with low volume black and white prints and a colorful center.  So each person in the group gets the fun of making 1 star block and mailing it to her this month.  Then she will sew them into her own quilt.  So FUN!  I get to try a different pattern each month but not commit the time and money to complete a whole quilt.  We are suppose to use our stash fabric, but since my quilt fabric stash is very VERY small, I have gotten to go buy fabric for the blocks.  Wahoo!  Added bonus for me!  Here are the beginning half square triangles that end up being 1 1/2 inch squares for the first row of star points. Such little squares! They were kind of fun!

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Each month we get to design a signature block for the back of the hostesses quilt.  I accidentally made too many 1 1/2 inch squares, so I used them for the signature block. The colorful center block was a scrap from Miss America’s water bottle covers business. This block uses the block in block construction method instead of rows construction, which was a fun way to do it. All the half square triangles got gradually bigger and it turned out like this!

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I would like to give a Big shout out for Mary Ellen’s Best Press.  It is a clear starch and sizing spray.  It made pressing the seams open and flat so much easier!  last month I pressed and pressed on the stacked windmills block and it never looked as nice as this block. It didn’t make my iron or my ironing board cover all sticky and there were no flakes.  I bought the scent free kind – it does come in 5 or 6 scents. And it is earth friendly (threw that in since Earth day is coming up)! I highly recommend it!

Mary Ellen's Best Press Clear Starch Alternative

Well, I have a beautiful dress to sew for Blondie.  She is getting baptized soon and we are making her a wowza dress!  She picked an embroidered beaded lace to go over the satin.  Thank goodness I got it on sale!  More on that later! Then you will get why I made up the word Wowza!

Spring break for a week with hail, snow, and slush rain makes for a LONG week!  Hard to shoo the kids outside to play in that! The sun peeked out for about an hour today, but it is back to cloudy gray…sigh.  Not complaining about the moisture though – very grateful for that!!!! Just wish it was bright, warm moisture….haha.

So, how have you stepped out of your comfort zone this year?  Would love to hear about it!