Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Scrappy Spring!

Yep, that's the title of my new BOM (block-of-the-month) that will start on Monday, April 1st.  No fooling!  And just like my last one, it's FREE!

It's actually going to be a ROM (row-of-the-month) because on the first day of every month for the next five months, I will be introducing a new row.  

September will be the sixth and final month which will include the finishing instructions.

You will have a month in which to complete each row before the next one is released.  

This quilt includes my three favorite things...redwork embroidery, piecing and wool applique, all executed in a primitive, scrappy style.  The entire quilt was made from scraps or from a variety of fat quarters that came from my stash. 

Of course there is always the option of substituting the wool elements with cotton and completing the applique either by machine or by hand.   

The finished quilt measures approximately 66" x 70".

Here's how it looks on the bed in Emily's room...

and from the doorway looking into the room.

Please feel free to grab the button below or the slightly larger one on my sidebar and link it back here to my blog in order for you to be able to share it with those who have not yet found their way here.

I look forward to seeing you all on Monday, April 1st when you will be able to download in PDF format the introduction, instructions, photos and line drawings for the first row.

Will you be joining in?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Retail Therapy

It all started when Nora and Debra picked me up at about 8 a.m. yesterday morning for a day of quilt shop hopping.  When we started out, it looked like the weather wasn't going to cooperate because the rain that had been falling overnight turned to wet snow just as we were about to set out.  Well you know that a little snow couldn't stop the plans of three serious shoppers!

I have to confess that I was dead tired when twelve fun and laugh filled hours later, we rolled back into my driveway.  The back of Nora's Nissan Highlander was filled to the brim with our purchases.  I made a list of everything that I wanted and needed and managed to find everything on the list and more.

I needed some yellow Kona cotton to complete my Grandmother's Flower Garden and even though I brought along a sample of the yellow that I used for the flower centers, I ended up buying three different yellows because I wasn't sure which one I liked the best.

Did you notice that some snow white and bone Kona cotton fell into my cart as well?

And not being one to pass up a bargain, I also added some additional yardage to my stash, all for under $6 a meter (39").

I must be the only person in Nova Scotia who likes toile fabric because I found the red and cream print above in the bargain bin at one of the shops for $5.99 a meter.  At that price, I took the entire 6.5 meters that were left on the bolt.  

You've probably guessed that Toile is one of my favorite fabrics to use as backing for my quilts.

Also on my list were a package of 100 Schmetz #70 universal sewing machine needles which I picked up for $50.  This is the lowest price I've found, even on the internet...and no shipping costs!

And here are the rest of my goodies...

Additional bobbins for Husky Henrietta, Clover binding clips, some 2" long straight pins which I intend to glitz-ify, some of the Aurifil 2 ply, 12 wt thread that I use for most of my redwork, a spool of variegated green embroidery thread reduced to $3 and of course my needles.  The newest Kim Diehl book Homestyle Quilts was on special at 40% off.  I couldn't resist!

When I got home, the two scrap bundles of Civil War and reproduction fabrics that I had ordered from Homestead Hearth were waiting for me on the kitchen table.

I was very pleasantly surprised because all of the fabrics included in the bundles were of a decent size and can easily be incorporated into a scrappy quilt.

After a good night's sleep I was determined and motivated to reorganize the sewing corner in my studio.  It was just too crowded and I struggled long enough with the fact that there was nowhere for the fabric to go as I fed it through the machine.  

So while Mr. Painted Quilt took Ollie for a long walk, Frankie and I moved things around from this...

to this.

Of course Frankie was a big help.

Much better, huh? 

Husky Henrietta is sitting on the floor just waiting her turn but I still need lots of practice before she becomes my #1 gal!

And whatever would I do without my faithful companion and helper?

I wonder if Ollie will find me in here?
Get a lot more work done, that's for sure!

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Suggestions, please!

At about 8:30 last evening, I put the final stitch into the last hexagon of my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I can now officially call it a flimsy...or can I?

What's all the fuss about?  Relax...we're just trying it out!
My original thoughts were to bind it using the natural flow of the hexagons on the outside edges of the quilt.  I trimmed it to round off the edges so it now looks like this...

which I really don't like.

Why do I do this to myself?  Grrrrr.

So I've come up with a Plan B to square it up then add a 1" yellow border using the same yellow as the flower centers.  Then I'll add a second 2" saw tooth border incorporating the 1930's fabrics that I used for the flowers and the same white as the pathway hexies.  Depending upon how it looks and if needed, I will then add an additional 3" border using the same yellow and finish it off with a scrappy binding using a random selection of the 1930's prints.

I'm so disappointed that after all this time, I'm not happy with my original dream.  *sigh*

I welcome any and all suggestions!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Still plugging away...

Yes, I'm still plugging away on my Grandmother's Flower Garden and I'm still determined to have it finished by the end of April...or sooner.

As of yesterday, seven out of the nine rows have been completed.  

I had to stop because I ran out of the white pathway hexies again.  This is the second batch of 100 that I've had to prep in the last five days.  Obviously math is not my forte because my calculations were way off!

Believe it or not, there are 120 hexies in the pile below.

The flowers have been prepped for ages...all 63 of them.  Only 14 remain...but who's counting?

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel so it's full steam ahead until the finish!

Now for some exciting news.

Two weeks ago when I went to my NSLQS (not-so-local-quilt-shop) to purchase some embroidery thread to complete the machine applique portion of Darlene's mystery quilt, I happened to walk by as the owner Anne was demonstrating one of the Husqvarna machines that she sells in her shop.  I made the HUGE mistake of stopping to have a listen.

Before I knew it, I was sitting down...not that I had to be coerced...and playing and having a grand old time.

She made me an offer that I couldn't refuse but I told her that I couldn't commit before talking it over with Mr. Painted Quilt and that I would let her know by the end of the week.

You probably have guessed the rest of the story, huh?

Last Friday, Mr. PQ and I were on our way back to the NSLQS...

and here it shiny, not-a-mark-on-it Husqvarna Sapphire 875.

I will never get rid of my Bernina but I think that Husky Henrietta and I are going to become close friends very quickly.  There's still so much that I have to learn because there isn't too much that she can't do and I have to remember to just take my time.  

Practice, practice, practice!

In the meantime, we've gone from spring with robins out in the back forty to about six inches of freshly fallen snow yesterday.  Even the bluebells that had pushed their way through the ground are now covered with snow.  *sigh*  But on the bright side, it has started to melt and I'm hoping that it'lll be gone as quickly as it came.

Ollie, Frankie and I say, "Bring on spring!"

Wake us up when it's time for dinner!

Friday, March 15, 2013

International Quilting Day

Tomorrow, Saturday March 16th is International Quilting Day and Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims,

hosts of The Quilt Show, want quilters, sewers and crafters everywhere to help them celebrate International Quilting Day by seeing what's going on in today's quilting world.  

Alex and Ricky will be opening up free access to over 140 of their shows from their Quilt Show website beginning today, March 15, through Sunday, March 17 and there will be terrific prizes from companies that we know and love like Bernina, Gammill, Superior Threads, AccuQuilt, C&T Publishing and RJR Fabric.  

They will have gift baskets to give away too and the grand prize is a new Bernina 550QE sewing machine!

I'm planning to take some time this weekend to visit their website, watch a couple of shows and of course, enter the contests for a chance to win some or all or the wonderful prizes!  *wink*  Oh, and while I'm watching, I'll be basting more hexies for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.

Care to join me?


Sunday, March 10, 2013

When my hands are busy...

I'm a happy camper stitcher!

We're ten days into the month and I feel like I have accomplished so much already.

I finished my March scrappy quilt challenge way ahead of schedule.

Every month on the Small Quilt Talk forum, Kathy challenges us to make a small quilt from one of her four books.  The goal is to have twelve small quilts completed by the end of the year.  It is not necessary to participate every month and it is up to each individual to make as many or as few as wanted.  

If you're thinking that you might like to join in or find out more about it, click HERE.

I'm also participating in a mystery quilt BOM that is designed by my friend Darlene who also happens to be the President of our Fundy Tide quilting guild.
Hers is a little different from the traditional BOM in that she started with a center medallion to which a new design is added to the perimeter every month.  

This is mine with the first two months completed made entirely from Civil War and reproduction fabrics...

and here is Darlene's including the third row.

Isn't it gorgeous?

For this month, Darlene elected to add machine appliqued feathers to the third row.  Of course I wanted to get started on mine right away but when I started to go through my stash to pull some green fabrics, I found that I was direly lacking in greens.

So what's a gal to do?

Go shopping, of course!

Yesterday morning, Mr. Painted Quilt, Ollie and I headed off to my NSLQS (not-so-local quilt shop) and here's the green fabric I purchased...

And to make the trip worthwhile, I also purchased some 30 wt embroidery thread for the machine applique as well as a new seam ripper...just in case.  

This will be my first attempt at machine applique so I thought that I'd better be prepared in the event that I am faced with the worse case scenario...and you all know what that means.  Perish the thought!

I can't wait to get started!

It's never too late to join in.  Darlene posts each new segment on her blog every month on the night after our guild meeting.  Her instructions are easy to follow and are accompanied by step-by-step photos.  Click HERE if you'd like to have a look.

I've also managed to add the fifth row to my Grandmother's Flower Garden and just started another.

I'm determined to have the top completed by the end of the year 2013!  *wink*  

And what do Ollie and Frankie think of it all?

Yawn!  Zzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, March 1, 2013

First Friday Freebie #33

It's the beginning of March and officially, Spring is only nineteen days away!  

The days are getting longer, the sun is rising higher in the sky and the buds on the lilac and magnolia trees are getting fatter.  Bring it on!!!

Thoughts of Spring most definitely had an influence on this month's First Friday Freebie.  I had a lot of fun both designing and then creating this month's project and I hope you will too!

Here is March's FFF...

Spring Sampler Cushion

To download the PDF file for this month's design, please click HERE.

Usually while I'm stitching or sewing, the boys are either relaxing by the fire or snoozing in their favorite chair.  

My next FFF will be available on June 1st...and it's already in the planning stages.

Life is grand!