A little improv ...

Monday, May 28, 2012

While improv piecing is something I like to do ... I must admit, it really challenges me ... I'm the kinda person who likes to create a block and then replicate it over and over like here and here.

Currently I am working on the back to the queen size quilt that I am making my brother and figured ... why not try a little improv?  I continued to be inspired by the QUEEN of improv ... Marianne @ The Quilting Edge (if you haven't seen her yet ... you will not be disappointed to go spend, oh, I would say, about an hour looking through the treasure chest that she is sharing on line!).


I also woke up to an incredibly fun email this morning ... along the lines of "You've been nominated!".  It was pretty exciting to see that among the hundreds of quilts that have been posted on The Bloggers Quilt Festival over @ Amy's Creative Side ... my Confetti Quilt was nominated in the "Favorite Bed Quilt" category!
Confetti Quilt
There are 14 categories and some AMAZING quilts ... so you should definitely head on over and cast your votes!

And finally ... on Memorial Day here in the US when we remember and honor those that have fought for our freedom ... we are also starting to recognize the needs of so many soldiers, that in previous wars, would not have made it off the battlefield alive.

Today, they are coming home to their families (and that is a really good thing) however, they are fighting different battles upon their return as they strive to overcome many devastating injuries and create what is a 'new normal' for them.

And with that, I leave you the story of Cpt. TJ Hromisin.  Five years ago tomorrow, TJ was a LT leading a platoon in Tarmiyah, Iraq, in my brother's Company, when he was shot in the temple by a sniper.   It was a devastating injury and he has come further than many ever expected.  Today he and his family are leading an effort to create the Thomas Jerome House, a non-profit organization providing support to show with traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat -- a place where they can live together and support each other .  They are not looking for a million-dollar donor, they are looking for a million $1-donors.  And spreading the word about this charity is key to that goal.

As you enjoy your Memorial Day ... please keep these soldiers in mind ... they are home, they are working to thrive in different ways and some of them ... need a little help from us.

All the best

Geometric patchwork creation

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sharon H. was kind enough to contact me and share a couple of photos of her latest creation ... which was based on my Geometric Patchwork quilt.

She used the tutorial I made to make this wonderfully vibrant version for her grandson Tyler.

Who I would say is a lucky young lad ... wouldn't you?!?!?

Well done Sharon ... and thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to share!


Bloggers Quilt Festival

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amy is at it again!!!  And I am delighted to participate in her Bloggers Quilt Festival -- which looks like it has continued to grow ... YES ... lots more cool stuff to look at!  (if anyone can tell me how to inbed that cool button onto my post ... that would be awesome too).
Confetti quilt
My favorite quilt of mine this year is my queen size confetti quilt.

It started as a way to use up some of my scrap solids ... I did have to buy a little extra fabric to complete, but about 70-80% of the quilt came from my scrap bucket.

This quilt is for the murphy bed in the cabin.

I had spent a couple of months trying to figure out a pattern that would use the solid scraps that I was slowly collecting.  I wanted a pattern that would allow me to use up some of the small scraps that I had accumulated.  So I created a pattern where each block is comprised of 3 pieces -- 3.5" x 3.5" square, accompanied by a 3.5" x 1.75" strip and a 4.75" x 1.75" strip.

There were LOTS of little pieces to be cut (1,716 pieces to be exact).

Finding somewhere to lay it out where there was both enough room AND dog free was a challenge.

The back turned out to be one of my favorite parts!

My biggest learning on this quilt was that shrinkage can be even greater than you anticipate ... this quilt shrunk nearly 10%.  I don't know if it was the material or the tight meandering quilting that make it shrink so much ... but lesson learned for my next one.

NEVER say never !!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

  • I smoked a pack a day for 23 years,
  • Two years after I quit, I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer,
  • Eighteen months ago, at the age of 49, I decided to learn how to run ...
Today ... I finished a half marathon in 2 hours 45 minutes and 19 seconds ... it wasn't fast by any stretch of the imagination, my husband finished almost an hour ahead of me ... but I ran 13.1 miles and I finished!!!!!!!!  Feeling a little proud right now ;-)

NEVER say never.


What a bunch of squares ...

Friday, May 18, 2012

What a bunch of squares
Denyse Schidt's "What a Bunch of Squares" from her book Quilts.

Queen size.

Birthday present for my brother ... now officially 1 month late.

Still have to decide how to quilt.

But now I get a few days off ... after having completed my 'long' run two weeks ago ...
my first 10-mile run EVER!!!
I will be Portland, OR on Sunday running my first half-marathon ... yup ... nervous ... but actually quite proud of how far I have come!  Couldn't run a mile 18 months ago ... and it two days will run 13.1 !!!

All the best

Simple cushions

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Five cushions in under 2 hours ... that's what I call an easy project!

When I headed out to the cabin this weekend ... this was supposed to be an "if I have time" project as I was really planning to work on a quilt WIP.  That's until I realized that I forgot my "sewing box".  That means I had no scissors, bobbins, rotary cutters, straight pins, etc.

So ... back burner the quilt ... and time to focus on cushions.

Several months ago, I had purchased a few upholstery fabric samples at JoAnns for $2 each.

Last week, I picked up a yard of decorator fabric for $12.99 to use for the backs ... and today, with an old pair of scissors from the kitchen, I made these.

I discovered today that hidden in the little drawer on my Pfaff was an invisible zipper foot ... that has to be one of the best little gadgets out there.  Using Katie's invisible zipper tutorial, I was able to use that foot and install 5 zippers without using a single straight pin!

The zippers were super easy and the pillows came out great.  I really like the heavier decorating fabric for the pillows, it makes them seem far more professional.

These are for my brother in his new apartment ... I'm pretty sure that they will look better on his sofa, than on my guest bed ;-)

I reckon (without the pillow forms) I was able to make these for $6 each ... not bad ;-).

Hope you're having a great weekend ... spring has definitely arrived in the Pacific Northwest!

All the best

Quilt tutorial for a cause

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Totally flattered to have the opportunity to guest blog this week for Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict!  Sarah is an amazingly talented quilter who is an angel for organizing and encouraging participation in the creation and distribution of quilts to people in need.  This year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge will result in quilts to take to grade schoolers in St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans as well as to donate to Happy Chemo (a cause near and dear to my heart).

She asked for a relatively simple quilt and tutorial that readers could use to make quilts from for this year's challenge.  While I have yet to complete the quilt, the top has been finished and the tutorial shared on Sarah's blog today.

I hope that you'll take a look over at Sarah's blog.  You'll see the great work and tons of giving that happens over there ... and perhaps you'll be inspired to step up to join in this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!

Sarah ... thanks for letting me play ... and thank you for all that you do to make this work a little better for others ... one quilt at a time.

All the best
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