Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March Quilting

Appliqué always gives me a sense of peace.

The simple act of keeping my hands busy with needle work
and listening to books on tape has been my savior 
during the Stay at Home directive in MA.

I've been making masks and mailing them to family and friends,
while watching the virus hit this country with such force, 
my heart goes out to all those working on the front lines.

Currently I'm working on a number of projects...
never seem to finish anything - but making good progress on them!

The last block of 'The Raven' is complete.

The nine blocks look nice all together on the design wall.
Next step sashing and border.
(Pattern by Blackbird Designs)

Month 8 & 9 of 'Halloween Fig Sampler' is completed!
Really liking this one - it's Halloween without
screaming Halloween!!
This is a Block of the Month offered by the 
Fat Quarter Shop.

But my favorite project at the moment is
'Afternoon Delight'
The pattern is by Sue Garman 
and offered free to star members of 'The Quilt Show"

Month 3 is complete!

Having fun fussy cutting my Tilda fabrics!
March featured four appliqué blocks... 

added to the appliqué blocks from month 1 & 2 

Plus... I caught up on the nine Sho-Fly blocks!

here is the Sho-fly production line!

Nothing like a design wall full of pretty blocks,
the colors remind me of Spring!

A cute little visitor came into the yard the other morning,
and later on in the evening this cute one was joined
by two larger deer all feasting on the grass in the front yard!

During all this sewing - Audible books came in handy!

 The German Midwife focused on the life and survival 
of a young German midwife under Nazi Germany. 
Any book having to do with childbirth is a winner with me!

on the lighter side is the series by Patience Griffin...
about a small close knit Scottish town.
Great for light listening!

rounding up the month of March with 'Cilka's Journey'
a follow up book to 'The Tattoist of Auschwitz'
by Heather Morris.
It chronicles the life of Cilka after Auschwitz and 
into a Russian Gulag work camp.
Excellent book with so much emotion 
beside to have Kleenex ready.

With the end of March and a continued Stay at Home
directive til May 4th ... I found myself needing  a little bit of sunshine 
(the weather here has been cold and dreary)
so out pops the Easter decorations, a soft quilt
and beautiful tulips from Emily - delivered by my
son along with groceries last week!

Meanwhile down in Houston my daughter is working on her dissertation 
and is getting much needed help from her coworker

Back to quilting for a moment....

If you have ever wanted to make a Timna Tarr animal mosaic style quilt
check out her website:
she is offering a 'Stitched Mosaics - Basic Technique' class
on the platform.
Of course I signed up right away - and have selected this photo
of Bella to make into a mosaic quilt!
Just look at that sweet face!

Wishing each of you safety and health during April and beyond.

Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Temperature Quilt 2020

My Temperature Quilt 2020 is
inspired by two sources

Book: New York Beauties & Flying Geese by Carl Hentsch


Pattern: NY Beauty Mini Quilt by Better of Thread

The pattern fit my vision for the high / low temps of the day,
but the size was off for what I needed.

So I went old school!

took out some paper, started folding and drawing,
and came up with a size that worked for my project.

My fabric had already been precut to 2.5" squares - 
Note to self: 
solidify design choice before cutting fabrics!!

making copies of my arcs on newsprint...

following the stitching directions from the pattern 
my first arc was formed!

Loving how the low temp of the day points up 
to the high daily temp

I had a struggle getting the two arcs to go together nicely.

Having finished up January but before starting on February,
I needed to figure out another way to make this block.

Back to the drawing board I go...

Sometimes ideas just take awhile to percolate...
after starring at the arc for a number of days
I decided to look at it differently...
as a blade not an arc!


The High / Low temps and date
were penciled in on each blade

the background white fabric was cut
(thankfully that had not been precut!)
and the temp fabrics selected
according to the readings from

the paper piecing proceeded as usual

Making sure there was a perfect 1/4" all around
 using the Add-A-Quarter ruler - each blade was made!

all trimmed with the 1/4" seam all around

each blade was then stitched in place,
using the papers as my 1/4" guide

everything lining up nicely!

When comparing the two construction methods:
Arcs vs Blades

the Blade Method is a winner....
NO extra seam between the spikes and the geese...
giving the block a more streamlined look,
plus it was much easier to piece together!

off to the races making a months worth of blades!

stitching each quadrant together 

the temperature circle is complete

Don't you just love freezer paper?
It's the best for doing reverse applique circles!

the seam allowance is clipped, starch applied, then pressed.

when using starch Do Not have your iron set on the highest heat,
and Do Not press for too long...
it scorches

Ask me how I know???!!!

The center circle 
(Ugh! not a perfect circle - but Done!)
features a hexie with the average
high / low temps of the month.
The name of the month is hand embroidered 
using 12wt thread.

Two months are done!

You can slightly see the different in piecing methods,
(Arcs - January vs. Blades - February)
will definately continue with my blade method 
as it was easier to piece together - 
and since this is my third temp quilt,
I'm all for the easy method!!

still need to border and quilt 
2018 and 2019 Temp Quilts!!

Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Quilting + Audible Books = Time well spent!

Keeping up (well slightly behind!)
with the Afternoon Delight BOM by The Quilt Show
my four applique blocks for January are DONE!!

there are pieced blocks that go along with this but
I've decided to do them at the end 
after all the appliqué blocks are completed.

My 2020 word!

In January I started working with a personal trainer at
K & M Weightlifting in Plaineville Ma.

Mary is my strength and conditioning guru!
She is amazing!

Things started of slowly ~ now six weeks and the difference is unbelievable!
For the first time in a LONG time I am feeling
Better - Stronger - Healthier!

If I can avoid back pain and trips to the chiropractor - I'm ALL for it!

The Bluebirds are BACK!
and very early this year

They are just so beautiful.
Last week there were 3 pair all fluttering around the feeders!
Hubby needs to get the Bird Photo Booth up and running
so we can get a few candid shot of them!

Now that the holidays are over and all the family have gone home,
the Guest room can now go back to being my "Quilting Annex"!

Needing a place to hand quilt my Ships Quilt 
without Bella's dog hair getting all over it - this seemed the perfect spot!

With the bed moved to one side of the room
I was able to set up my pressing station in one corner 
and a nice sitting area in the other corner...
specifically to sit and hand quilt with the opportunity
to gaze out at the birds on the feeders!
It's a Win - Win in my mind!
Plus my cutting table fits in!!!

and here we are....
the Quilting Annex in use!!
Just love this little quiet space.

Admittedly ... I am NOT a reader, never have been.
I like the idea of reading ... 
it's just there is always something else I'd rather do...

....until now!

Audible Books!!!
are Perfect!
Quilting and Listening = Time well spent!

Finishing up Book 2 in the Outlander series... took a while
it was a long one .. 45 hours!
Since I've watch the tv series and knew the direction of the story - 
this book was a great filler (actually started this one last
Fall and would listen off and on!)

This book I borrowed from my daughter and 
actually sat, flipped the pages and was drawn into 
this unbelievable story of survival - hope and love.
Highly recommend this one!

Another Audible book
of a women standing up for herself thru life...
another good read.

The first in this series is Magpie Murders and it took a bit to get into
and after  becoming accustomed to the authors writing
I couldn't stop listening and knew I had to find more of his books!

Both were great murder mysteries!

Today I'm preparing the second month of
Afternoon Delight...
and wouldn't ya know - the appliqué wheel is 
spinning opposite from the pattern!

Oh Well...proceed ahead!!

That's all for now ~ Have a wonderful February!

Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

New Project and two Quilt Retreats!

The "Afternoon Delight" pattern by Susan Garman
has been on my bucket list for some time,
it is also now a free block of the month on 'The Quilt Show'
... so why not get started?!
Let the Fun begin!!

The background fabric is:
Garden Delights II by Gray Sky Studio
for In The Beginning fabrics

the appliqué will be done in a variety of
Tilda fabrics

getting a few fabrics cut for the first month!

January  is a two retreat month for me!
Very exciting and very exhausting!!

The first retreat was held at the Salvation Army 
Wonderland Conference Center in Sharon, Ma.
I've been attending this retreat for 12 years
and it is by far my favorite.

The conference center has a beautiful view of Lake Massapoag
The  food was fabulous - with meals at 
8:00am, 12:00, 6:00pm and cookies at 8:00pm!)
my room is good but the bathroom is TINY!!
I have the same room every year - so I know what to expect!

The quilting room is huge- accommodating 35 quilters
and all of our Quilty paraphernalia there
was still plenty of room!

My little work station!
Loving my extra large folding extension table
it really provides a nice big level work space
for "Inga" my cute little featherweight!

Main focus was the get 'Afternoon Delight' started...
using a fusible applique sheet and 
the Apliquick method of prepared edge. 

three blocks done and one more to prepare...

Once the edges are prepared
I used a few dots of Roxanne glue to tack the
the applique motif to the background...
and now it is all ready to sit and stitch down!!

The main reason why this retreat in my favorite...
there are a few places to sit and stitch
with groupings of chairs by gas fireplaces...

but my absolute favorite spot is the comfy chair by the window.
With a bright day, comfy chair and a hot cup of tea
I was able to get two hours of peaceful (blissful) hand quilting done!

 Doesn't look like much but this was my weekends accomplishments...
four different projects!!
'Afternoon Delight' block, 
star for 'Star for a New Day' (old project!)
'Pretty Little Pots' pattern by Wendy Williams
Halloween Figs Sampler -  BOM by Fat Quarter shop

Trying a new pattern for my 2020 Temperature quilt....
not sure I'm happy with the design...
plan on finishing the month of January
and then decide if I want to continue with this pattern or 
change patterns or
 discontinue the project all together!

The Silver City Quilt Guild hosted
Heidi Proffetty 
award-winning local quilter who
creates beautiful mosaic art quilts
using a digital cutter.

Heidi's work is just outstanding!

 If you check out her blog
to see her new series of Moroccan Mosaic Quilts.

My second retreat was at the Bayside Hotel on Cape Cod...
basically the same set up as the first retreat!

This little bag was a handmade birthday gift 
from my sister Karen ...
It was the perfect little ditty bag for all my 
extension wires, ear buds and apple plugs!
Thank you Big Sister!!

Here is the  view from the Bayside doorway!
Just love the smell of the ocean and bogs...
even the bogs at low tide!

Making headway on the first of two of these 
Halloween applique blocks...

 These blocks were two days worth of work...

and this Comfort Quilt was a day's quilting for
the SCQG Community Service quilts...

January is early for this beauty to arrive...

but he is such a handsome Bluebird!

January is a wrap...
let see what the Bluebird of Happiness brings for February!

Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!