Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Story of Me, a Mini Quilt

Last spring, Chase {1/4" Mark Blog}, started a fun mini quilt-along. Each week had a theme and we were to interpret each prompt by using our scraps of fabric. I must admit, I cheated a couple of times and actually cut from stash instead of using scraps. The themes were:

I blogged about most of my blocks and the reasons I chose the fabrics I used for them . If you haven't already read the blog posts,  you can click the links above.

The final quilt will be added to my mini wall. I sashed it with Kona white and quilted it in a one inch grid with white Auriful 50wt. thread.

Backed with Britten Nummers from IKEA and bound with the mini black and white stripe from Lecien. 

This is one more finish on my 3rd Quarter Finish Along. 

Finish Along 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tea with Lemon

I made this mug rug for the next person in our Handmade Birthday Club group. I sent it out a little late, but still in her birth month. I hope she likes it. She said one of her favorite things to do to relax is enjoy a cup of tea, so when I saw this paper pieced tea cup with lemon I knew I had to make it for Deborah. She also said her favorite fabric designer is Denyse Schmidt, and I just happen to have tons of her fabric, so that is what I used for the tea cup, saucer and the backing. The rest of the mug rug is made using different yellow and white prints, along with Kona white for the background. I went with yellow because Deborah likes to have a little yellow in every room in her house. I quilted the mug rug with a 1" grid using white Aurifil 50wt. thread. It finishes at approximately 10" tall x 16" wide.
I added a few extras to the gift and sent it off last week. I think she should have received it by now, but I haven't heard yet. She's been having quite the 40th Birthday celebration all month long.

The pattern is by Amy, who has some of my all-time favorite paper piecing patterns. You can also find Amy's blog here. This pattern was super easy to follow and is written in a clear and concise manner for anyone with some knowledge of paper piecing. I think this is a pattern I would like to make again.

The Handmade Birthday Club is winding down. There are only two birthdays left in the year for our group. It has been a bit of a disappointment in that I still have not received from 4 people in my group and my birthday was in July. BUT, the gifts I have received have been amazing.

This next week will be filled with lots of preparations for our upcoming vacation. I have so many projects that I want to finish this week along with celebrating my mom's birthday with the family, and two girlfriends' birthday get-togethers. Then there's that extra-long "to-do" list. You know the one you always have to do before going away. It's going to be a fun-filled but extra busy week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Have a Brilliant Idea

I'd like to think I thought of this new invention in quilting and I am sharing it with everyone, but more than likely I am the last one to think of it.
I have never heard anyone talk about what they do with the pieces of fabric that are left over along the sides of the backing after quilting. I ususally cut my backing fabric 3-5" bigger on each side of the quilt top. After quilting, I square up my quilt and throw away the batting and then put the remaining fabric in my scrap bins. After completing the selvage quilt, which I still need to photograph and share with you, I saw the strips and immediately thought it would make a great binding. 
I cut the fabric into 2.5" strips and sewed them together. Now I have 315" of binding all ready to go for a future project.
If you have not thought to do this, you're welcome! If you've been doing it forever, thanks for not telling me I'm a dim bulb.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids {version 2014}

100 Quilts for Kids

baby boy quilt

orange peel quilting

backing and label

A few years ago my friend, Katie, wanted to see if she could get her friends to make and donate 100 quilts to kid's charities. All you have to do is make a quilt by a certain date (this year it’s September 30, 2014) and donate it to your favorite children's charity. I think this is my third year to participate in this quilt drive. Katie has since passed the leadership to Heather, who blogs at Quilts in The Queue. This huge endeavor has grown thanks to all the generous people who have helped Heather and Katie. You can check out the Flickr group here.

This year I decided to use up some of my charm square packs. One of my favorite, fun, fabric lines has been Lucy's Crab Shack. I thought it would make a good looking baby boy quilt. I used 2 charm packs and arranged them in 9 patch squares, in color order, more or less. The quilt was only about 36" square, so I added a 6 inch border of Double Cloth by Robert Kaufman, bringing the size up to 48" square and making it look even more appropriate for a baby boy. And by the way, I *L*O*V*E* the Double Cloth fabric.  A dress, shirt or blouse made out of it would be so comfortable.

For the backing I used a thrifted sheet I have been saving for just the right project. It is navy and aqua plaid on a white background.  I tried my hand at orange peel quilting. I have to admit, my rounded quilting lines always seem to have an angle in them. But, I am learning and do think I am getting a little better with each new project and attempt to free motion quilt. The binding is Basketweave in royal blue by Dear Stella.

I am going to donate this quilt to my local chapter of Project Night Night. I just need to buy a stuffed animal and a book to add to the package. It will be delivered this week.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Project Night Night Baby Quilt
Fabric: Lucy’s Crab Shack by Sweetwater for Moda
Backing: thrifted sheet
Batting: Warm and White
Binding: Dear Stella BasketWeave
Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. in color #2310
Finished Size after laundering: 45” square

My other quilts for this charity can be seen here:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

IKEA to the Rescue

Back in March we took down our very heavy, old drapery panels while we did some remodeling and decorating. New dark wood floors and a new wall color meant that we would not be hanging the red printed, very heavy looking drapes again. The room has looked bare while we finished the painting and then we got into wedding prep mode and I never looked for replacement panels. 

I knew I wanted while linen panels. I looked online and at a few local stores but I was not willing to pay a lot of money and I sure as heck did not want to make them. IKEA to the rescue. These panels were $110 for all 7, with one to spare. 

I need to hem them, but that is a minor problem to have to deal with. My friend, Cindy, assures me it is an easy fix by using the blind hem stitch on my Bernina. I have made drapes before, and I am so happy not to have to sew all those boring panels. I have hung them all to make sure to mark each one seperately, so they will all hang evenly. I'm sure all the rods are not at the exact same height.

It looks so strange to see drapes hanging in the room, after not having anything for for 6 months.It will look even better when they are hemmed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

They Said, "I do"...

The marriage and wedding celebration of our son, Evan, and his beautiful bride, Lauren has come and gone in a flash. We have these beautiful photos to help us remember each and every moment. It's sad that you plan for a whole year in advance for one day, thinking it can't get here fast enough, and then it is gone in an instant. I am looking forward to seeing the professional photos. I am sure he captured some amazing images. Meanwhile, I hope you will indulge me and enjoy these photos taken by my daughter in law, my sister and me. 

The bridal party was stunning; the men in tuxedos and the women in their blush gowns. Lauren's smile as she walked down the aisle was stunning. She made the most beautiful bride.

I have to admit, our little granddaughters stole the show in their beautiful feather dresses made by my daughter in law. Makenzie, as a junior bridesmaid, was so sweet in her lovely grown up dress. All our grand kids were very entertaining and so well behaved. It was a proud moment for Paul and me.

The true joy came when I saw the tears roll down Evan's cheeks as he watched his bride walk down the aisle. To see the love in their eyes warmed my heart. I've heard it said, "When children find true love, parents find true joy". The joy this day would not be overshadowed by the near 100"F temperatures nor the fact that the party bus transporting the bride and her bridesmaids broke down on the way to the ceremony. The day was pure magic and I wanted it to go on all night long.

Lauren and her mom worked meticulously with the florists and the venue to make sure ever detail was perfect. I wish I would have taken more photos of the table setting, but I am sure the photographer got plenty. Lauren's mom sewed all the table runners and overlays. The florist kept everything indoors until the last minute because of the heat.

The Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam we made as the table favors looked perfect with the flowers and silver and gold table settings.

It was a blessing to have all of our children and grandchildren with us to share this day. There were a few days there where we wondered if Michael would be able to make it with his injury.

We will be welcoming Briana as our 4th daughter in law in November.

I have to admit that this photo of my 10 year old grandson holding his 3 year old cousin during the blessing made me tear up.

Although grainy, this shot of my mom with my grand kids is special too.
This shot of my mom is a tearjerker, too. I'm so glad she was healthy enough to join us. She was a real trooper with the terrain and the heat, maneuvering her walker everywhere. A special thanks to my sister for taking over "mom duty" so I could enjoy the day without worrying about her.
The bride and groom had a sparkler send off. They are postponing their honeymoon until the spring, when Evan can get more time off work. 

Thanks for making it to the end of this photo heavy post.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Weekend Wrap Up

Evan and Lauren were married on the hottest day of the year. 
It was pure magic and I'll do a full blog post in a few days. 
photo credit Joel Eckman Maus www.studioemp.com

Son #2 was able to attend and participate in the wedding celebrations. 
He was able to smile between grimaces of pain. 
We are so grateful he was with all of us to celebrate this special occasion in our family.
Today, Michael had a successful surgery to put his elbow back together. 
It took a skilled surgeon 5 hours and 4 screws to get his elbow all patched up. 
He did NOT have to have joint replacement. 
They also used a screw to repair his broken wrist. 
He has a long road of physical therapy ahead of him but we are so grateful the surgery was a success and it is over.
I need a few days to process all that has happened in the last 7-10 days and then I might even have time to get back to sewing. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to help Michael and his family as much as I can. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When Life Happens

I think this is the longest I have ever gone without blogging. Even when on vacation I blog. I am not one to pre-write blog posts unless it is for a blog hop, so that is why it has been a little silent around my part of blogland. Life has been crazy.
This has been a week filled with extreme highs and extreme lows.
First the highs...because I am an optimist.
Our #3 son is getting married this Saturday. I have waited for this day for a long time. To see him this happy gives me great joy. This week we have been working together on a gift for his bride and I am so excited for Saturday, I could burst. And, no, we've not been working on a quilt. Just sitting with him for three days working and talking is the best a mom could ask for. I have said it before, but I love one on one time with my kids and grandkids. And to top it off, I received the loveliest letter of commitment and appreciation from Evan's bride to be.
I cannot wait to see these two journey through marriage and parenthood. To see him evolve into a strong, caring and loving man that takes responsibility very seriously...well let's just say my heart is full right now.

The next photo you see of these two will be when they are Mr. & Mrs. Stanley.
Now let's pray I make it through the ceremony without turning into a blubbering idiot or melting. We are expecting a heatwave. Either way I will be wearing this dress and shoes. I hope I can walk down the aisle without tripping. But as soon as the reception starts I will be changing into my slippers for dancing, which is sure to go on all night long.                                                          

This is the funny video the brother's made for Michael when he married Jenny in 2001. It will always be priceless to us. I hope they do one for Evan. 

This week has also been filled with worry and scary concern for our #2 son who was hurt on the job as a paramedic/firefighter. He fell off the top of a fire truck and seriously broke his arm and wrist. I have never seen him in as much pain as he has been in this week. As of today, things are looking up. He is getting great care and has gotten in to see one of the top hand surgeons for this kind of injury. He has a long road to recovery so if you have a moment and can say a prayer for Michael, it sure will be appreciated. He is looking a lot better since this photo was taken and his pain is becoming more manageable. Hopefully, each day will be an improvement and he will be back on the job soon.  They had to cancel their 10 year anniversary trip (4 years in the making). They were going to Portugal and Paris and it was to be the first time they were going to leave their 4 kids for more than a few nights. Our hope is as soon as he is able, they can still make this trip that they have been looking forward to for so long.