Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Morning

"Give your entire attention 
to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up
about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things
come up when the time comes."
Matthew 6:34 MSG

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's Your Favorite Color Today?

Do you have a favorite color? It's always hard for me to decide on one. (Truly, lately, it has usually been some shade of aqua.)
When my granddaughter, Haven, learned at an early age that my favorite color changed almost daily, it quickly became a little game we played together. She would ask my favorite color and then when I'd say "apple green", or "sky blue", or some other fanciful hue, she would always exclaim, "That's the same as mine!"
As Haven has grown older (she's eight now) and asks the color question less often, her little sister, Maelie, age five, has taken over the game.
The sisters recently began sharing a bedroom and their mommy thought that it might be fun for them to have look-alike quilts. Using charm packs from four different lines by Bonnie and Camille, I've created fraternal twin quilts for their bunk beds.
I'm calling the quilt on the left "What's Your Favorite Color, Maelie?" and the one on the right, "What's Your Favorite Color, Haven?" The charm collections: Vintage Modern, Marmalade, Happy-go-lucky, and Scrumptious all worked  together well.
All of the navy charms from the various packs went into Maelie's quilt. The dark fabrics keep your eye moving around the simple design. I also added some white/orange Michael Miller dots to the mix.
For Haven's quilt, I added in some brown floral squares by FigTree. I also sorted out the red charms from the packs and set them aside for another project. 
Both quilts were simply quilted with loopy designs. This one on Haven's quilt I call "eel". Can you see why?
 The backing for both quilts features a favorite print from the happy-go-lucky line in four different colors: grey and orange for Haven; aqua and yellow for Maelie.
 I didn't include any charms from the Ruby collection by Bonnie and Camille, but I did manage to snag some yardage of the darling pink scallops from that line for the bindings on both quilts.
I'm excited to be giving the quilts to the girls when they come next week to celebrate Independence Day with us. 
I wonder what their favorite colors will be?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Morning

"And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to Him
must believe that He exists
and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
Hebrews 11:6

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mocha Frappuccino

Do you ever just need to celebrate coming to the end of a project? That's just what I did today as i finished up the last two triangles for my Pop Stars Quilt!
 Vicki and I have been having a ball on our Sewing Tuesdays as we've stitched  1.5 inch strips onto muslin foundations for the last seven months. We are both going to use our quilts as tablecloths and I need 60 of these large triangles for my 63"x105" quilt. Check that off of my list... Now to get them all stitched together!
 Being a bit addicted to coffee drinks lately, I've been wanting to come up with a way to make my own frappuccinos. I think that I've concocted a pretty good recipe that's quick, easy to fix, and ohhhhh so good! I'll share the recipe just in case you have something to celebrate also!
 Mocha Frappuccino
8 ounces International Delight Mocha Iced Coffee (Find this in the dairy case)
4 ounces milk
1 packet Truvia or any sweetener
1 or 2 drops Vanilla extract
Crushed ice
Makes 20 ounces
 Put all ingredients into a blender, adding the ice last and filling it to approximately the 20 ounce line.
 You probably could use ice cubes if crushed is not available...just takes a bit more blending.
 Now, just push the blend button until you don't hear any more ice breaking up and the drink is blended and frothy.
 This makes a nice big frappuccino for sharing with a friend.
Or, if you have an extra 210 calories to spare, do as I did and drink the whole thing yourself! What do you have to celebrate?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fractured Hexagons

 Last week, I was able to turn a UFO into a finished quilt. 
 Fractured Hexagons is a 40"X40" quilt designed by Jen Eskridge from Modern Baby. I made the top, sat it on a shelf and, sadly, just now got around to quilting it. 
 Since I'm planning to donate Fractured Hexagons to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild's charity program called Birthday Blessings, I kept it simple and did stipple quilting on all of the background area. The hexagons each sport a little lazy daisy.
The backing is a favorite Ikea number print. (I'm anxious for Ikea to open in KC in the fall so that I can replenish my backing stash!)
 The peach-colored bicycle print binding is Weekends by Erin McMorris from a few years back.
All of these photos were taken before I have popped the quilt into the washer and dryer. I'll do that before donating it next month for a little one-year-old child in foster care. The quilt will be donated in memory of my friend, Sharon Brandli, who started the charity program for our guild. She passed away a few months ago after a courageous, years-long battle with cancer.
 Every little one should have a quilt to call their own, don't you think? I sure do.
 Do you have a favorite charity that you enjoy making quilts for?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

"We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
His power, and the wonders He has done."
Psalm 78:4

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where I Quilt

Since posting photos of my quilting set up, there have been several  questions about my frame and machine. Today, I'll show you a few more pictures and do a little before and after reveal of my quilting space.
 Some of you commented that you've never seen anything like my frame. Well, frankly, that's probably because of it's age! LOL. I purchased my wooden frame about 10 years ago when I was blown away after seeing a domestic machine mounted on a movable carriage that would turn it into a 'short' long-arm! It was revolutionary to my thinking and affordable!
 Since then, the Grace Frame Co. has come out with much nicer steel frames. I'd dearly love to have one. I'd also love to have a machine with a longer harp. They were not available when I purchased my Juki TL 98E on ebay. I love my machine though and would use it for piecing if I upgrade.
 As you can probably see, the quilt backing and top are rolled onto the three aluminum bars much like a long arm set up. I can quilt from the back or the front of the machine by moving the wooden handles that then move the platform which moves the sewing machine. It's simple. It works. And, I've finished many quilts that would probably still be just tops if I hadn't purchased this frame and machine. I call my style of quilting utilitarian, anyway.
 I used to dread going to the basement to use the machine, though. Here's a "before" photo below....and this is actually halfway through the basement project: after my husband put up some walls.
 Below is an "after" photo taken from the same angle. You can see that we painted the floor and paneling and hung some fun light fixtures. We also paneled the end of the room with boards taken off of wooden pallets. That alcove area is our new "video game area. My husband wants a big screen TV there. I want to up grade my quilting frame. Hmmm.... 
 One of my favorite parts of my end of the room is this wall. The two windows were taken out of a house we used to live in. I painted the back of the large one with chalkboard paint for my grandchildren to draw on. Can you see the cat door on the bottom of that window? We tell the kids that behind the blue door is Marble's bedroom! (Ezra thinks we should paint the door!...he has no idea that I purchased the door because it looks like that!)
 I still have some decorating to and quilts to hang, etc. Hubby still has a bit of trim to nail up. I might set up a sewing center in the alcove to the left of that double door. I plan to paint the pool table some shade of blue/green to blend in with the floor.
At first, I wasn't too excited about that pool table so close to my quilting frame, but when I get bored quilting and need a break, I might just brush up on my skills and beat him one of these days!
Have a sunshine filled weekend! I hope you get to sew!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer of the Skirt

This summer might just be the Summer of the Skirt since I can't seem to stop making them!
 Burda 9442 is my latest favorite for making a stylish, easy summer skirt. A plus for this pattern is that the envelope contains sizes 2 thru 9: perfect sizes for all the little girls in my life.
  The dropped waist style sews up in an afternoon. An elastic waist band means no zippers and an easy fit. I even cut the skirt out using my acrylic ruler and a  rotary cutter since all of the pieces are rectangles!
 Lining a skirt adds a designer quality, I think, and is simple to do using the same pattern pieces as the skirt itself. I used some Kona cotton that I had on hand and made the lining about an inch shorter than the skirt.
 The large bow is just pinned on so it can be removed for washing or for wearing the skirt with a longer shirt. Adding a label to the back is handy for the girls when dressing themselves.
 The pattern includes a double ruffle version which we will have to try next. This pattern is definitely a keeper!
The fabric for Jane's pink skirt is Briar Rose by Heather Ross. She loves the little bees wearing bonnets!
 Lula's skirt features an Art Gallery fabric called Sweet as Honey. Aren't the little deer adorable!
Oh, how I love sewing for little girls. Sigh!
 P.S. It started raining during our photo shoot but the models, though made of sugar, didn't melt!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Morning

"We have known and believed the love that God has for us.
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,
and God in him."
1John 4:16

Friday, June 6, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again!

Have you missed me? I've missed you!
After a nasty tangle with the streptococcus bug, I feel like I'm finally back in the saddle again!
 I'm excited to get back to actually turning quilt tops into quilts!  Two simple patchwork quilts for two little darlings will soon be finished. Since it's literally been months since I've finished anything larger than a 12 inch square quilt, that will be a reason to celebrate! (I might have ice cream.)
Here's my quilting frame set-up, moved into it's new brighter space. The pleasant surroundings make me not dread going to the basement anymore. (Thank you, hubby, for all of your hard work.) I'll do a basement sewing room reveal soon, I promise.
 Meanwhile, I have the binding all ready to sew onto quilt #2....
 and I'm busy hand stitching down the binding onto quilt #1.
Simple wide spaced loops will make for a soft hand on these cheerful fraternal twin quilts. It won't be long now!
 Have a lovely weekend. I hope it includes sewing!