Thursday

Client Free-Motion Quilting Projects

I've had 7 projects to free-motion quilt for some of my clients. These were all table runners and table toppers from a class that some of the ladies took last month.

I'm pretty certain these ladies do not need the classes, they just use them as an opportunity to socialize more than learn new skills. Their work is great, so that's why I don't think they really need the classes.

They are a bit afraid to try to quilt their projects on their own so they farm them out to me which I love. It gives me the opportunity to hone my free-motion skills and get more practice in on these small projects.

Funny thing about these projects is that even though they are small, it was a bit overwhelming to have 7 of them handed to me all at once! I am happy to report that I got them ready for binding rather promptly.

Friday

Wisconsin 2016 Shop Hop - Day 1

The Wisconsin 2016 Shop Hop started today and I went to 6 different fabric shops. All the shops were near the Madison area.

While out on our little tour, we stopped at our favorite Wisconsin winery, Botham Winery in Barneveld, WI. It has the best white wines in the entire state.

Hands.down.the.best.

Here's the loot I scored on day one of the shop hop! I can't wait to plan my next route to get to a few more shops...or maybe not. I am feeling quite burnt out already.

Wednesday

What's on the design board?

May was filled with many projects that did not include sewing. That doesn't mean I didn't try to squeeze a little sewing in here and there. I had so much fabric left over from my mother's mothers' day quilt, I decided it was a shame to put those beautiful fabrics back in the closet.

So I found a pattern to try out a version of the pinwheel. It was easily accomplished with charm square sized pieces of fabrics. So I cut up the leftovers into 5-inch squares. Once I had enough pinwheels, I just sewed the rest of the squares into 9-patch blocks.

I still cannot believe I had this much fabric left. And I still have more! I think I will try to piece together a backing with what is still left and probably buy another piece to make the other back.

That will finish off all the pretty florals left from this collection of fabrics. I am happy to have used them up!


Tuesday

Ikea Kuggis Organization

We went on our bi-annual trip to Ikea today. I just love to see what's new in the store that I don't get to see in the catalog. There are always many new additions. I really went this time with the intention of buying new window coverings for my kitchen patio door. When we got there we discovered that they were discontinuing their current window covering system with something new and improved. So the "old" version was discounted. The dilemma was whether to buy the cheaper discontinued system or wait until the new one came out. We decided to wait for the new version...I was really thinking I now had an excuse to come back sooner than in another 6 months!

I did settle on some new storage bins called Kuggis. I like how sturdy these boxes are however, I hope I don't lose track of what I put inside them since they are not see-through. I haven't filled them yet, so we shall see how it goes. I do think there will be more of these in my future. Especially since I won't have to drive down to Schaumburg all the time to visit an Ikea. We are getting one practically in my back yard!


Saturday

Little Free Library Coming Soon!

Between spring projects like planting flowers and having a rummage sale, sewing has taken a back seat. But there is this wonderful project that we are working on that is as crafty as a sewing/quilting project.

We are building a Little Free Library! I have been asking for one for a while now and my family has turned it into my mothers' day gift. After a call to digger's hotline, my son came over and dug a hole in the location I chose to install a post. My husband then installed the post based on the specifications given by the Little Free Library community.

After that, I chose the plan for the library. My husband has the pieces all cut to specification and is ready to put the library together. However, we have some graduations and a reunion coming up that is putting the completion of the library on hold for a few weeks.

So for now, we have this.....

Happiness is . . .

Happiness is . . . fabric shopping.

I finally took a little time for myself after the funerals. Between volunteer work and other obligations, I needed the time. I even got a haircut.

I did some selfish shopping at a few of my favorite local quilt shops over the past few days. I did not realize how much shopping until I put it all in one pile.

What fun! I'm not sure what I will use it for but it is pretty to look at.

Sunday

My Aunt Dorothy and cousin Jeff

My cousin was in a motorcycle crash and hospitalized for 6 weeks before he died on April 2 at the age of 52. He was broadsided by a person who did not look before pulling out of a parking lot. He lived in Phoenix where there was a small service for him. Within less than a month his mother, my Aunt Dorothy passed away at the age of 95. We're pretty sure she died from a broken heart.

Jeff loved motorcycling and it was a passion of his since he was young. He was a veteran Marine, a dad and a husband. My Aunt Dorothy was a go-getter that had more energy than people half her age. She even went on a hot-air balloon ride for her 90th birthday. I always thought of her as my best-dressed aunts. She was soft-spoken and beautiful.

So here in Milwaukee, there was a double funeral service. It brought family together from Phoenix, Cincinnati, Chicago and all around Wisconsin. It was heart-wrenching yet there is a warmth from a gathering of family no matter what the circumstances.

We will miss you Jeff and Aunt Dorothy. May you both rest in peace.

Thursday

Patchwork Quilt Top

I came across a simple quilt block pattern. All it took was 35 10-inch squares of fabric cut into 2 pieces. Those pieces were then mixed up then sewn to another piece. Then those blocks were cut in half and mixed up to sew two different halves together. Then the fun began. The blocks were arranged and re-arranged until they made a pleasing pattern.

Since I used scrap fabrics to make the 10-inch squares, I don't think the results made a very pretty quilt top. It is really scrappy which was my intention and even though the colors coordinated, I'm not so sure about the result.

I think I will set it aside and make another attempt using the same pattern. It took less than a day to put it all together so I don't mind trying again. Maybe with the next one I will use more muted colors. I certainly have plenty of scraps to make plenty of 10-inch squares.

Monday

Churn Dash Quilt - Completed

I made a churn dash quilt over the past few weeks. I've had a desire to make some simple quilts using traditional blocks so I hope to make a few varieties during the year.

I used a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company. The tutorial was simple to follow and so basic, I really think they missed one important step though - squaring up the blocks once they were completed. I made sure I did do that to make it right.

The quilt went together rather quickly and I free-motion quilted which is also pretty fast. This quilt is in soft, pretty colors and will be a nice one to cuddle under.


Sunday

What's on the design board?

Last month was filled with a lot of stressful events. Taxes due, funerals...yes that is plural, plus many more little things like spring cleaning, volunteer projects and some babysitting. I've been taking on lots of extra work and it's taking it's toll on my sewing and my mental health. I don't see May as a slower month either. I need to paint my kitchen and hire someone to do some landscaping in my back yard. Then there's the garden- it will be planting season soon. Even though it's hard work, I do love it. 
As for the design board, I started a project called Mod Squad. I picked out 13 fat quarters and in less than two days, I had all my blocks made. The pattern is from the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Fresh Quilts. I spent the day sewing the blocks together and in a few hours I had the entire quilt top completed.

This was definitely a fast and easy quilt top to make. In fact I miscounted and accidentally made an extra block. It's going to be fun to pick out the backing...and incorporate that extra block in it.

Wednesday

Day's of '47 Quilt - Completed

I finished my mom's quilt and it's ready for mothers' day. It's so nice to have a gift ready for her.

This quilt was a little challenging - not because it was difficult to put together but because there were so many different pieces. Keeping things organized was an important step in making this quilt.

I really enjoyed working with the pretty pastel colors. Once the top was done, I felt like I had more fabric left over than what I used in the quilt top. So I pieced the back together using all the fabric that was left.

I haven't made the quilt label yet, but there's plenty of time to get that done.

Friday

Days of '47 Quilt - WIP

Triple-Play Scrap Quilting
I finished sewing my quilt top together late last week and I finally have the opportunity to quilt it. I was so anxious to get to this point.

I used all the leftover pieces from the blocks to piece together the back instead of using one large fabric piece. So that process took a little longer than I had planned as well adding to my excitement to get to the quilting part.

Triple-Play Scrap QuiltingOnce I had my quilt top, batting and backing pinned together, I was ready to roll. I wound 3 bobbins full of a nice light pink thread and got started.

As soon as I quilted my first few blocks my little helper came to investigate. I think there's something about the hum of the machine and the vibration on the table top that attracts Ruxin to the quilts. He never cares much about my sewing until I am free-motion quilting. Then he is right there to help. And although I would worry if this were a client project, but I think he will be ok just hanging out with me.