Friday, January 31, 2014

January Friendship x and + Swap

Susan and I are having a lot of fun with our swap of x and + blocks. Our colors for the January twinsies were red, brown and light green. 
As I've mentioned, Susan seems to think that my fabric collection is a bit on the wild side. This would be one of the few areas where my choices would be considered wild, I think. As a rule, I'm pretty boring  tame!
Here are the lovelies that the postman delivered from far away Australia.  I love Susan's taste in's one of the things that first led me to begin following her blog several years ago.
The blocks compliment each other well, don't you think!
 We are halfway through our swap now and I'm loving the look of all the blocks together. 
 I can tell that it's going to be a favorite!
You are welcome to join in the Friendship Swap anytime. We hope that you will. Here is the link to the Flickr site where you can see all of the participants' pretty blocks and color schemes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


 owl, sand, sky, squirrel, hair, stone, sidewalk, 
mailbox, gravel, cat, mouse, fog, pencil lead,
elephant, moth, bark, trout, sea,mushroom,
 titmouse, shale, highway, concrete, paint,
planter, bunny, weathered wood, milkweed pod,
dolphin, feather, spider, sage, river...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gypsy Diamonds Quilt Top

Last week I hinted that I'd been sewing together five year old blocks. They'd been hidden away in the closet because the sewing method suggested in the free online pattern did not result in blocks of equal size. Or, well, maybe it was just user error. Either way, the frustration made for some "out of sight, out of mind" thinking on my part!
 I'm excited to say that the blocks are back in business and have become a quilt top now...ready to be quilted! My plan is to use this on my bed next autumn.
 As I lay awake one night, not able to sleep, I began contemplating how to make all of the blocks the same size. It suddenly occurred to me that it could easily be done using my handy-dandy new triangle ruler. The ruler wasn't quite large enough, but with the additional help of a straight ruler, I was able to make it work out.
 I even managed to come up with the right sized side triangles to enlarge the quilt to queen size. (The pattern had me chopping off all of the outside diamonds to create a lap size quilt without borders.) This is not a "fabric snob" quilt as many of the fabrics were purchased as flat fold fabric in a rural Kansas town. I also threw in some strips from my stash at the time. It's fun to look at the, now, older fabrics from 2008 and before. I still like them...yay!
 The last challenge was finding the right fabric for the outside triangles. After much contemplating and auditioning at Sarah's Fabrics (my favorite LQS) with my friend, Vicki, we finally settled on this Amy Butler Gypsy Caravan Stash fabric called Gypsy Mum.
I love the craziness of all of these fabrics together! On another note, I'm honored to be nominated by Debbie at A Quilter's Table  as one of 31 Inspiring Quilters on SewMamaSew today. It's been a fun series. Thanks, Debbie.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Color Photo Challenge: Grey, Part Two

It's been fun finding subjects to photograph using the prompts for my personal Color Photo Challenge. Here is the second batch of photos featuring the color grey.

FAVORITE: Will I ever have the time to make all of the quilts within these pages that I would like to?
 INSPIRATION: Speaking of quilts, I see designs for new projects everywhere I go, don't you!
 NEW: Even my new laundry basket is giving me ideas.
 STRUCTURE: Maybe if I lived in this beautiful home, I would have a maid to do my laundry!
BEAUTY: The late afternoon sun accents the curves on my concrete planter and I realize how pretty it is even with out flowers!
UP CLOSE: I wonder what tiny creature has made such a cozy spot in the crevice of this cedar tree's bark?
WORDS: Sometimes i like to wander through old cemeteries and wonder...
NATURE: I picked grey as the color for January mainly because of days like this!
Thanks for taking the time to view my photo challenge. February's color is black. Is that morbid? More winter ahead!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Morning

"But when you pray,
go into your room and shut the door
and pray to your Father who is in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret
will reward you."
Matthew 6:6 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hibernation Sewing

Our temperatures have been a roller coaster of highs....60 degrees one day with a plunge to the teens only to begin the ascent again followed by another  plunge. On those cold days, I like to hibernate with sewing.  I've unearthed a 5 year old project that was giving me fits and finally figured out how to salvage it,....
used my drunkard's path templates for the first time (am I supposed to remove that paper and flip them over so the writing isn't backwards???)
 to make some blocks for my entry in the Urban: Structures Challenge with the Four-in-Art Bee,...
 as well as sent and received another set of "twin" blocks for the Friendship X and + Swap. Here's a hint as to what they are looking like all put together. I 'll show you in color next week!
Actually, I am enjoying the extra time behind the machine that cold weather offers. How about you?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Morning

Transformed Flower sculpture-Country Club Plaza, K.C. Missouri

"Plans fail for lack of counsel, 
but with many advisers they succeed."
Proverbs 15:22

Friday, January 17, 2014

Color Photo Challenge: Grey, Part One

Pillow from Target

Some of you have noticed and asked about my abandoning the 365 Photo Challenge that I took on in 2013. Unfortunately, after 7 months of faithful picture taking, an eye condition kept me from being able to focus well enough to continue. Thankfully, my eyes are better now and since I've missed the accountability that the challenge offered in learning to become a better photographer, I'm back again for the new year with another photography challenge. 
This challenge is one that I just made up for myself and I'm calling it The Color Photo Challenge. Today is the first installment for January. The plan is for me to do two installments each month for a total of 16 photographs based on a different color each month. Every month I will be using the same 16 words for my photo prompts. 
So, here goes..... The color of the month is grey. Everywhere I look it seems grey here in the wintry Midwest USA. 

QUILT: If you are reading my blog to see quilty photos, here's fair warning that you can look away after this first picture of my most recent finish! Sorry.
 DOOR: I love the weathered wood on this shed door. The window circles look to be made from the base of old bottles. Cool, huh!
 HOME: My daughter's lovely home decor features a new sofa in a beautiful shade of medium grey.
 OLD: Did you know that I adore chippy paint like this?
TWO: Santa brought me new grey suede boots for Christmas!
 CREATURE: My outdoor kitty, Marble, sneaks in for a warm cat nap whenever she can this time of year.
 DINE: These dishes belonged to my mother and were purchased, one piece at a time, from the grocery store in the 1970's. Aren't they sweet?
WHIMSY: I'll end like I began, with something hand made. I love the contrast of the weathered wood frame next to the carefully cross-stitched sampler. Sure wish I could say that I made it myself!
If you've read this far; Thank you. You are a real friend! Maybe you'll even be interested in the next set of photographs which I plan to post at the end of the month. What's grey in your world?
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Finish-A-Long 2014: My 1st Quarter List

"Priorities" is my 'one little word' for 2014. Remember? Last year's word was "finish". And since finishing things is still a priority for me, I've decided to, once again, join in the Finish-a-long as a way to motivate myself to get those WIP out of the closet and on to beds. I'm listing 4 quilts for this first quarter, which will end March 31. Here goes:

1. Little Sister quilt: This simple one patch was originally going to be a Christmas gift for one of my grand daughters. Now, I'm aiming  for Valentine's Day. It needs a back pieced and then quilted and bound. The top is complete.

2. Big Sister quilt: Similar to the above quilt, but with brown included rather than navy, this top was made mostly with charm packs by Bonnie and Camille as was the quilt top above. It also needs sandwiched and quilted by February 14.

3. Juicy Fruit: Sigh. How I love where this quilt is headed, but I'm getting tired of shifting it from quarter to quarter so I am determined that this time it will become a finish! It still needs more blocks made before it can become a top and I've come up with a plan to make that happen faster! More on that soon. I have the backing all picked out...something I've been saving for just the right quilt. I haven't decided on binding though.

4. Selvage quilt: Not a good name so I'll be thinking of something better.....This is just blocks so far....and not nearly enough for a quilt. This project is so much fun to work on, but it all came to a screeching halt last fall when my husband mistakened all of my selvages for trash and, can guess, right! Yes, we are speaking now. So, I've been hunting for and cutting more selvages and am ready to begin again. This time, the strips will not be stored anywhere near the waste basket, that's for sure!
Ready. Set. Go! I'm off and running. Wish me luck! Won't you join me? There are some great prizes!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Morning

"You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalm 16:11 NKJV

Friday, January 10, 2014

Foggy Friday

It's a grey day here in the Midwest as fog blankets the area and drizzle fills the air.
 It's been so cold for the last week or so, that even Marble has wanted to come inside to warm up between her bouts of terrorizing the birds at the feeder. (Yesterday, she managed to catch one.) Bad Marble!
This morning, I had to be at my daughter's house by 8 a.m. to babysit as she had her TV debut on a local station's program called Better Kansas City. The girls and I were glued to the set waiting for Megan's crafty spot demonstrating an Anthropology decor knock off. She was a natural. Even Lula thought mommy did good! Doesn't she look professional!
Last night, at the KC Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I picked up some fat quarters and third-yard cuts of a few grey fabrics from I Don't Do Dishes, our January sponsor. Two of the fabrics below were recent purchases from my local quilt shop and the plaid is a Denyse Schmidt from JoAnn's. I've decided to focus on one color each month as a way of being more selective in my stash building and grey seemed the appropriate color for January. I have some other plans and ideas centered around color that I'll be sharing in the weeks to come. 
Fortunately, not everything is grey as I had the pleasure of sewing up this brightly colored house block for Linda who is the queen bee this month in the Mid-Century Modern Bee. Linda, who lost her house and possessions in a fire this fall, collects Mexican pottery and wanted to focus on the bright colors as she and her husband make plans for where they will be living next. Linda's attitude during all of this turmoil has been inspirational to all of us in the Bee.
If you, too, are experiencing a grey day-
I wish you much sunshine tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crossings: A UFO Finish!!

 Squeaking in one more UFO finish for the 4th Quarter Finish A-Long with Leanne, She Can Quilt, I am so happy to show you this colorful quilt!
 The blocks were made for me by members of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Scrappy Bee way back in 2011. I am excited to finally be cuddling with this quilt instead of shifting it around my sewing closet!
 I even found the perfect backing in my stash in the form of this cursive text print by ikea. 
 Straight line quilting is my favorite style for the texture it adds after a run through the washer and dryer.
Crossings is my second time making this pattern. The first quilt, X Marks the Spot,  was made in 2010 and was sent, along with others, to Rwanda where it now decorates the bed of a child at New Hope Homes.
Several have asked about the pattern for this quilt. You can find the original directions here. It's a great pattern for using up scraps!
Crossings is my second and final UFO finish for the 4th Quarter of the Finish A-long. My original list was for 3 quilts, so i will be moving the third project along to my 2014 list. Thank you, Leanne for doing such a great job of motivating me, and many others, to finish up our languishing quilts!
Take a look at all of the beautiful finishes here. If you've never tried committing to the Finish-A-Long, I highly recommend it if you like results.
For me, it meant eleven finishes in 2012 that probably would still be UFOs!