Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Morning

"For God so loved the world that he gave 
his one and only Son,
that whosoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through Him."
John 3:16, 17

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas Pillows

 I love my new sofa pillows. For lots of reasons:  Hexies, hand quilting, Christmas fabric, creamy background....but most of all because they were pieced by my friend Sharon Brandli. 
 One of the pillow tops was already quilted with chunky stitches so I finished the other two likewise. My stitches aren't as perfect as Sharon's but I love the surface texture on each one. 
 Sharon's hand-piecing took many hours of tiny stitching to put the hexagon together. Some of the papers were still intact and had to be removed but the tops were all finished when I brought them home with me from her sewing room.  A few yards of Osnaburg backing was all it took to turn them into pillows.
 These lovelies will be a very special reminder of her generous spirit in my holiday decor. I'm humbled to give them a good home.
 Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends near and far.
(Just don't  get a tummy ache from eating too much candy!!)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Morning

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will
be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dresden Love

Have you been noticing the popularity of Dresden Plate quilts these days? They seem to be popping up all over the place, even in some modern projects. This  pretty aqua, navy and green block is for Rene' who is this month's queen bee for the Mid-Century Modern Bee.
It was enjoyable picking the analogous fabrics from my stash to create the block. If you haven't tried one, you really should as they are fun and easy to make using the acrylic ruler by Darlene Zimmerman. The pattern, one of the most popular in the 1920's and 30's, gets it's name from Dresden, Germany, the center for 19th Century Romanticism movement in art including elaborately decorated plates.
My head has been turned by the lovely pattern in my own quilt making. Remember this? Well, after accidentally cutting all of the blades for my quilt a little larger than my original test block I had an extra block floating around. Needing a sweet dolly blanket for a certain grand daughter's Christmas gift, I immediately thought of my spare block.
 A search through the Lollyquiltz Stash Closet produced the perfect lavender background for my floral block. I quickly backed it pillowcase style and then top-stiched on the dresden, stitching in the ditch along each blade to quilt it as I machine appliqued the block to the quilt.
 The little pine bed came from IKEA and I spray painted it hot pink. At $19.99 it is a great bargain for such a sturdy little bed! The beds must really be in demand as Christmas gifts as they were out of stock and I had to wait for a new shipment! Whew...thank you elves, for your hard work! 
 The bed comes with a little blanket and mattress pad but they really weren't very cute so, of course, I made some bedding to coordinate with the doll quilt. I think that the fabric (again, from my stash) looks a little like vintage sheets, don't you?
Baby bear tested the mattress, pillow and quilt for me and found them to be quite comfortable.
There may have even been visions of sugar plum dancing in his head!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Morning

"For everything that was written in the past
was written to teach us,
so that through endurance and the encouragement
of the Scriptures we might have hope."
Romans 1:4

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I'm an Author!

Well. Sort of.
 Every year I publish my blog posts into a book form. It is kind of expensive so I love to wait until there's a sale. The 20% off code arrived in my in-box last week so I was finally able to publish the 2013 edition of Lollyquiltz.
 There's even a dedication page just like in a "real" book. This year I paid homage to my wonderful paternal grandmother, Rossie Ann.
 Although there is an option to print the book exactly like the blog pages, to save on cost, I always choose to condense the words rather than print them under each photo. I also choose to print the pictures in medium size rather than my favored blog standard of extra large. (Love big close up shots of quilts!)
 Besides getting to choose a photo for the front of your book, you get to have a second picture on the back as well. Love that.
Maybe, like me, you would like to find a self-published book for yourself under the Christmas tree this year!
Blog2Print makes it really fast and easy. I highly recommend it..and no one is paying me to say that. Here's a spot that might save you 15% too.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Morning

"God -- you're my God!
I can't get enough of you!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory."
Psalm 63: 1, 2 The Message

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sharon's Projects

Last week I shared with you that I'm now quilting with the frame and machine used by my quilting friend, Sharon Brandli, who passed away last spring. While organizing her stash and projects a few weeks ago, we came across quite a few WIP's and it was difficult to decide just how to proceed with them. Here's Sharon a few years ago at a quilt show put on by our Modern Quilt Guild.
The three of us, who were there to help, decided to each take 4 or 5 projects and complete them ourselves and give them to a charity. The other projects will, hopefully, be finished and likewise given by other members of the guild.
I already managed to quilt and bind this cute windmill top made by Sharon using reproduction fabrics. An easy stipple design with Sharon's machine was all that it took to get this one ready for a little child in the Birthday Blessings program.
I think that Sharon had a soft spot for reproduction fabrics as there was also a hexagon quilt top among the WIP's.
The top is a little larger than the windmill design and is beautifully hand pieced.
It's even attractive from the back! I love looking at all of her little stitches and thinking of her working on it. I'm not sure where this will end up or how I will quilt it, but I do know that it's super special.
You can tell a lot about a person from their projects, I think. Here's another beautiful hand pieced hexie project. This one is a pillow top and it's even got some hand quilting on it. There are two other's that coordinate with it. After some thought, I've decided to finish them for my sofa at Christmas time. I'll enjoy this remembrance. 
Three sets of quilt blocks also made their way to my house for me to turn into quilts and to give away for Sharon. Giving quilts is a favorite thing for me. It's humbling, though, to get to be the giver of Sharon's handiwork. It also makes me think about the WIP's that I have in my own stash and ponder.
 It's easy to flippantly begin. It's something else completely to finish.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Morning

"And God is able to make all grace abound in you,
so that in all things at all times,
having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work."
2 Cornthians 9:8

Friday, November 21, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

This week I quilted and bound three small quilt tops that I've had in my sewing closet, two of them for quite awhile. Wondering why I was so inspired?
 I've been getting to know the Imperial Quilting Frame and Viking Mega Quilter that were gifted to me last month. Sadly, my quilting friend, Sharon, passed away last spring after a long battle with breast cancer. When I inquired about purchasing her frame and machine I was told that it was Sharon's wish that they not be sold, but given away. Of course, I was shocked as well as thrilled. When they came to live at my house, I, in turn, gifted my older wooden frame and Juki machine to my friend, Vicki, who has been wanting a way to quilt her own projects. Now we are both learning new skills!
 Besides being able to quilt larger quilts on a stable metal frame, the machine came with a Quilter's Cruise Control which is a stitch regulator allowing me to have consistent stitch size regardless of the speed. The control sort of dangles from the back of the Mega Quilter and there's been a little bit of a learning curve in using it. If any of you have experience with this control and can suggest a better way to mount it, please let me know.
  Quilting the three small tops was a great way to familiarize myself with the machine and frame. My mom used to say that "three's a charm" and, sure enough, by the third quilt, I was feeling pretty comfortable. I was really happy with the vine and leaf design that I tried out also.
 Both nine-patch quilts were pieced as leader/ender projects and, hopefully, will be given to wheel chair patients in Nepal. The lavender quilt was pieced by someone else and I finished it. It will be donated through my quilt guild to a child living at Safe Home.
Moose has been practicing new skills also! My husband is teaching him to retrieve the newspaper in the mornings. Somedays, it's quite a mouthful for the little guy!
 He's sure proud of himself!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Morning

"We are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand
that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cold November Stitching

Monday, I spent the day coatless as I cleaned up my flower beds and finished some painting on the exterior of our house. By Tuesday morning the temperatures were in the 20's. It's hard to adjust!
What's a girl to do but stay inside and sew, right!
 This cute little Stylin' tunic by Olive Ann Designs sewed up so quickly. I used a fun cotton knit fabric by Anna Maria Horner in orange.
 This is the second pattern that I've tried by this designer and am impressed with her directions and helpful diagrams. My only change was to add interfacing at the neckline, knowing from experience that the final result would look nicer if I used some on the facing. The back opening was easy to make using elastic cording as the loop.
 Having a healthy collection of old buttons, I found some fun ones for the flaps on the pockets. I'm anxious to see how the fit is on my three year old grand daughter, Lois....she'll need a long sleeve tee under it in these temps!
 I also whipped up some rice bags for a friend suffering from severe shoulder pain. The small sizes were quick to sew up and will give her a choice of warm comfort when heated in the microwave for a minute or two.
 Velcro seemed a good way to close up the bags so that the amount of rice inside can be adjusted. Now I'm wondering if I should have put the rice inside of muslin bag first. Hmmm...
 I'll have to think about that over another cup of hot coffee!
How are you keeping warm?!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Morning

"No temptation has overtaken you
that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted
beyond your ability, but with the temptation
He will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it."
I Corinthians 10:13 ESV

Monday, November 3, 2014

Marathon Sewing

 What fun I have had the last two Saturdays as I sewed all day, and into the night, with quilting friends from two different quilt guilds.
 My good friend, Vicki, sat across from me this past Saturday creating darling Christmas quilts for her grand-children.
 Meanwhile, I worked away on dresden blocks for a quilt I've had in my head  for awhile now.
 Nikki stole my phone and snapped this photo of me hard at work. Do you see my leader/enders all lined up so neatly, ready to sew, as I stitch away on the dresden blocks? Nikki thought that you should see how organized I am! (Sometimes.)
I'm planning on using the grey dots as my background. Any thoughts on what to do for the centers of each plate? Every block will be a different assortment of fabrics in the same color combination of pink, yellow, aqua, orange, green  and lavender.
 I also managed to finish up another block in the blue color-way for my Soul Searching quilt. These blocks are really large at 24 inches square!
 This one puts me at the halfway mark for a twin size quilt when I'm finished.
 Anne, from my Mid-Century Modern Bee, requested that we all make blocks in grey and lime from an original pattern that she's trying out. The layout is a secret. Four blocks were sewn up fast during my sewing marathon Saturday!
 Much slower and intricate sewing was needed to create this paper-pieced block for Elizabeth, a member of the same MCM Bee. I'm happy to have that one behind me....isn't it pretty!
 I wish that I could spend every Saturday sewing all day, but with the arrival of autumn weather, there's lots of yard work calling me to stay home!
And, besides, I'd miss my new little buddy, Moose! He keeps me busy, too!