Friday, November 30, 2018

Dragons and Unicorns

Being a quilter and seamstress for hire, a lot of projects come in and out of my sewing room.  Some projects even come back for a second round!  This quilt is one that I did some work on back in 2012, and I was kind of surprised to have it come back in for more work.  I had machine appliqued specific runes to the top and bottom borders which were going to be attached in quilt as you go style.
 Lots of work in doing all of these letters!  It was very tricky to lay them all out and center them on the spaces!
She had someone lined up to add the borders, so I though my work was done.  Six years later, the box came back to me - with everything just as I had left it!  I've had it in a box in my sewing room for many months, procrastinating.  When she called last week I promised to have it done by the end of the month, so it was time to get to work on it!

At this point I intended to link my previous blog post on this project only to find that I had never actually written a post!  So, now I will show you the center and what I did for this round.

The quilt front features a charming scene of a castle with a dragon and a princess with vines and roses appliqued:
The castle:
With a dragon protecting it!

Look closely at the quilting - can you see anything?
What about here?
Elusive Unicorns on the back of the quilt, quilted so they show on the front!  I think they were charmed into appearing by the lady with her flute :)

The hand work is so lovely!  Sadly the maker of this quilt can no longer do hand work, thus the finish has been long delayed.  But there is more to be seen!

I am still totally smitten by those awesome dragons in the border!

Look at those teeth!
And claws!

For this round, she wanted to have the runes that were originally hand quilted in the side borders to be overlaid with fabric like the top and bottom borders.

It only took an afternoon to get them all stitched down.  I even had enough fabric to match the from when I did the top and bottom borders.  It just goes to show that you should never get rid of those scraps, they just may be needed one day!

 Now I just have to call and confirm whether or not she would like the top and bottom borders sewn on or if she has someone else to do that part.  This quilt definitely deserves to be finished up!

Linking up with Myra for Finished or Not Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lavender Sage Log Cabin - Island Batik Challenge

Are you ready for the reveal of my Island Batik Ambassador challenge for November?  I think it's one of my favorite finishes of the year, and I've been getting a lot of positive compliments on the fabric - Lavender Sage.  The fabric was provided in my Island Batik Ambassador box this summer - it was a set of 10 inch squares.

Have you been following the rest of the Ambassadors?  So far the projects have been brilliant, and so varied!  The theme was Cozy Cabins, and it's been so fun to see all the variations on the theme.

Back to my project...

I love the beautiful variation in color from deep purple to light periwinkle, and greens from dark to light as well.  I found an online tutorial for cutting all the pieces from 10 inch squares, there was very little waste, and the small pieces I had left got sewn together in this little piece - maybe a pillow?

It was a lot of fun trying out different layouts.  I liked this one the best, and so did a lot of other people.

I used Hobb's Heirloom natural cotton for the batting.

 So soft and snuggly feeling, and it was great for quilting!  I used Aurifil 50 wt thread in the bobbin, and 40 wt as the top thread.  I had matching spools from the set I received in the Ambassador box, as well as the batting. I pushed my luck a bit with the thread - it was just enough with only a small amount to spare!  Whew!

 I quilted it in hearts and loops

The backing is pieced from some nice neutrals (Island Batik as well!) that I won in a drawing.  The binding is made from the Eclectic Garden line - Cherwell in Vino.  I had enough left from making my Fancy Feathers quilt and it worked perfectly.  One of my favorite things about batiks is they are so versatile!
I've listed this one for sale in my Etsy shop - my closet is full of quilts, so it's time to let some of them go to new homes.  Whoever gets this one will be so happy - it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone special for sure.
Lavender Sage Log Cabin for sale!
Only one more challenge to go, and I've got a plan ready for it - it's really going to be a fun one ;)  And by the way - if you'd be interested in becoming an Island Batik Ambassador, you can find out more and apply here

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Too Many Projects?

With the reality of the state of my projects right now, I probably shouldn't start anything new,  but I decided that I might as well join in on Good Fortune - Bonnie Hunter's Mystery this year. I have so many quilts in progress right now, but her mysteries are so fun, and I always love my finished quilt.  I haven't joined in for the last two, so I was really feeling the itch to join in for this round - and I did!
My friend Melinda gave me a head start by sewing a few units for me on Friday while we were at the quilt shop.  We were hoping to entice some people to play along, but we didn't get any takers...or they all decided to sew at home!

I'm committed to using up as much stash as I can for this one - but I may need some more orange.  I'll have to dig out my box that the units for Celtic Solstice are in, though - I'm pretty sure I've got orange in that box!  Maybe I'll work on that a bit too while I am at it - I think the step I was on for that one was four patches as well.  Who knows, maybe I can finish both mysteries at once.

I'm clipping my units in sets of 10 so I can keep track of how many I've made.  I've got quite a few more to get done, but the next clue doesn't come out till Friday. I think if I put in about half an hour a day I'll get there. Can't wait to see what's next - I guess that's what makes these mysteries so much fun!

I'm linking up with Bonnies Mystery Monday Link-Up  - check out her post, and enjoy seeing what other bloggers have accomplished so far! 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Christmas All Year - Finished!

This quilt was just the right size for a Christmas finish!  With 9 blocks to make, simple sashing and border to finish the top, and a month for the quilting it was a great project to work on through the year, and I hope you enjoyed sewing along with me, if you did.
I had intentions of using a lot of fun custom designs for quilting this, but as I kept looking at the quilt I realized that with all the busy fabrics the quilting would not show up.  I also realized that my November calendar was rather full, and that maybe just getting finished with this quilt would be a good thing!  

So I decided on a simple loop the loop quilting design.  This is one of several basic all over patterns that I enjoy doing.  I make a loop to the left, a loop to the right, loop to the left....and try to vary my path so that the loops aren't all in a straight row.  I tried making some christmas light shapes, but I wasn't happy with those, and since I wanted to finish the quilt to show you all today I tossed that idea aside and went for the regular loops.  

I had the perfect Candy Cane Stripe for the binding!  Hurray for a 100% from stash quilt!  As usual, I don't see any noticeable reduction in the volume of my Christmas bins.  Guess that means I need to keep working on it!

Sorry for the bad picture - the lighting on my design wall is not great this time of year for sure!  

The colors are so bright and happy in this quilt - a great way to add some holiday cheer to your home!

For the next month I will be busy wrapping up plans for next years block of the month - it's going to be a seashore themed quilt!  This is going to be fun (of course, because quilting is always fun!) and you will be able to sew from stash if you like - always a good thing in my book!  The best way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to my newsletter:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Do you love scrappy quilts?  I definitely do, and was excited to make this super bright version of my Reflections quilt for the Island Batik Fall Winter 2018 Catalog!  I was hoping to spot it in the pictures of their booth at quilt market, but I never did see it.  This quilt is made from 2 1/2 inch strips, and I've included instructions for multiple sizes.  This is the smaller version at 44 x 44.  I would love to make this in a queen size for my bed!

The fabrics in this quilt are Moroccan Bazaar and I named this project Marrakesh.  I love the happy colors!

I quilted it with hearts and chains and used lots of different colors of Aurifil thread!

The binding is an awesome lime green, and the backing is a fun tie-dye pattern. This quilt is currently out on Trunk Show duty, I always wish I had taken more pictures before I let them go!  If you would like to purchase my pattern for this quilt, it is available  in my Etsy shop.

Reflections Pattern available here...

Since we aren't having company, I don't have to do a big house cleaning, the shopping is done, so I guess I will go quilt!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Giving Thanks

Since my husband has retired, and my girls have grown up and moved away I have found that the holidays look a lot different than they used to.  Some years we go have our Thanksgiving somewhere else, some years we have different selections of family members, and this year it will mostly be just the two of us.  It doesn't make me any less thankful, but sometimes it does make me a little less busy!

I'm looking forward to the smell of roasting turkey, and a day of relaxing.  Plus I can sneak off to the sewing room with no guilt!

Sunday we had a big church Thanksgiving dinner - boy was that a lot of fun (and work...), it was potluck style and very much enjoyed by our church family!  So much food!

It was fun seeing the pictures pop up on facebook!  We are going to miss doing our Christmas Tea for the ladies in December this year, so it was great to do something for our church family.  

That pretty much wiped me out for the day, so I was glad that I got a lot of sewing time in on Saturday!  

 First of all I found my cutting table!  It's nice to have the whole thing clear for cutting borders!  My twin Twinkle Star quilts both got their borders sewn on.
 And I got the backings prepared and got both of these quilt basted.  Then I basted my log cabin challenge for Island Batik.  While I was on a roll I decided to baste my Savannah quilt (made in a class with Karla Alexander a year or so ago!)
 Now my pin cup is empty!  I guess it's time to do some quilting now.  I guess that means I need to get my sewing table cleared off too.  Maybe by the end of 2018 I'll manage to get the horizontal surfaces cleared off in my sewing room?  We'll have to see about that!  I'm just thankful I have a room to mess up.  So many have lost their homes and loved ones in the fires in California.  Hopefully, we'll have some rain soon. 

What are you most thankful for this week?  I am thankful for all of you who encourage me and make me feel like what I do is valued, it means a lot!  Thank you!


p.s.  I hear that my Barn Quilt design will be available soon!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Organizing my quilting projects!

Busy time in my sewing room right now!  I've been hard at work this week making twin quilts of my Twinkle Star design!  It's pretty fast making two of the same thing at the same time - and you get double the satisfaction at the end of sewing all your blocks:
Those two extra blocks are the beginnings of my Blockheads II quilt.  I am sooo far behind with my blocks, but I swear I am going to catch up...I don't know when, but I will!

I also did some machine quilting this week and got my new sample done for Mountain Dawning!

Just as pretty in bright colors as it was in blues!

I did quilt this one differently.  I stipple quilted the white and did curved and straight line quilting in the rainbow section.
So pretty!  This one will be going to Threads That Bind as a shop sample along with one of the Twinkle Star quilts.  We have kits or fabric available for both quilts.

Progress is stalled on the Brothers and Sisters Quilt while I wait for the border fabric to arrive.  I also will be working on one of the blocks that isn't playing well with the rest.

I finished up the top for my November Island Batik Ambassador challenge!  I also have the back ready so can get that basted and ready for quilting, at least I am good with that deadline.  Are you interested in becoming an Island Batik Ambassador?  The 2019 Application was just published - I highly recommend the experience, and have already applied for another year.

Last, but not least is my "secret sewing"!  I have so many of these projects that I am working on right now that I had to come up with a way to organize everything so I can work effectively and keep things together.  I made a trip to the Dollar Tree to see what I could find to help me.  Though it's not the most gorgeous and photogenic solution I found some great bins in the perfect size.  I have all my printed material for these projects in plastic sleeves so that I can double check fabric requirements, make notes for changes to instructions, and keep track of my progress.  These four bins are to become completed quilts for the Island Batik 2019 Spring Summer Catalog.  I can't show you the fabric yet, but you know it is all beautiful!
Next week I will show you my project for the Fall/Winter catalog - it is so bright and beautiful!  It's a little strange working so far ahead on projects, but also fun.  It's almost like a surprise when the fabrics come out and you remember how gorgeous they were!

Back to the sewing machine, because as you can see, there is lots of stitching to be done here!

Come join the link up on Myra's Blog:

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cozy Cabins progress

I had a lovely Saturday - lots of sewing and just general puttering around in my sewing room!  I finished up the blocks for my Lavender Sage Log Cabin quilt  (Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for November), and took a little time to try a couple different layouts.  Here are the blocks as they got thrown up on the design wall when they were finished:

I tried a diagonal setting first, but wasn't entirely thrilled with the bottom row as I was a dark purple block short of an even arrangement:
Then I tried out a version with dark purple in the center of the quilt and building out:
Then for fun, I posted the three pictures on my facebook page and my instagram account to see what the most popular layout would be.  So far 12 like the diagonal and 13 like the centered.  So close - I'm leaning toward the centered version simply because it is what's up on my design wall and it would be easy just to sew the blocks together and be done.  So, let me know you think, maybe you can change my mind!

I also pulled my rug out of hibernation and added a couple more rounds.  It was getting a little wavy, so I think I got it pulled back in to shape.  I had a ton more strips to sew together so I am ready to add more to it this week.  These are entirely binding scraps at this point!  It is totally amazing how much I have accumulated over a year.  When I get those all added I may start raiding my 2 inch strip bin and use those.  It's kind of hard on my wrists, and I have a tendency to have my tension too tight so it's a bit of work.  At least this is not a big rush project, just a fun way to use up fabric.

I also stitched together a bunch of little leftover bits from the log cabin quilt.  Thinking I will turn this into a cute throw pillow, I just had to use up every last bit of the lovely Lavender Sage fabrics, they were too pretty to toss!

Today's plan is to clean up the sewing room a bit and work on a pair of identical quilt tops.  One is for a customer and the other is a shop sample.  And maybe some machine quilting - I've got several tops in line that are basted and ready to go.  Let's face it, I just need more hours in a day to get all my projects finished!

Linking up with: