Saturday, June 18, 2016

How Do YOU Eat M&M's

I know, it's a crazy question but one I thought needed asking.

I like to grab a handful or even one of the snack size bags and lay them out on the cutting table etc.....  And YES, I sort them by color and eat the pile with the smallest amount first and work my way up.  I know....I'm crazy but a good friend of mine, Peggy, likes to pick on me and tell me she's never met anyone that even really looked at them.  She thinks everyone just pops them in their mouth.  I can't be the only person that does this am I?

Whatever..........

So, this was a week of finding some random bags of blocks that have been "hiding" in the back of a closet.  The first bag was some blue rose print.  I can clearly remember loving the fabric and buying yards of it.  I was in a swap group with some girls and we decided to send one another a fat quarter of focus fabric and something for the background.  I'm sure I have pictures somewhere of the others blocks but they're most likely on an older computer.  I picked the rose print with a white on white....  Well, this week I pulled them out threw them up on the design wall and set them simply three across with 4 down.  No sashing, no cornerstones, NOTHING.

Then I grabbed a blue on white print that was in the bag with the blocks, made some checkerboard border and voile..... a nice top for Ronald McDonald House.

I've met a few girls on Instagram that are making and donating quilts to RMDH so I've been sending them to the main coordinator in Texas who started the whole process as a memory of her mom who passed away in December.  I've made approximately 10-12 so far and have tried getting the word out on IG to "friends" hoping they'd feel like doing something nice too.

The other baggie of blocks is this one.


There are 20 Split Nine Patch blocks in the bag along with a huge pile of the strips (most likely for a border)  along with at least 5 yards of various blue pieces of fabric.....
I've laid the blocks out on the design wall and kind of like this look so I'm going to sew them up this afternoon or Monday and use the strip sets for a border then most likely i'll piece a backing and make some binding and ship them off to Texas as my June contribution.  They take any "tops" under 45 inches (and you don't have to send backing/binding) or you can send finished tops any size to them....
If you are so inclined, email me and I'll send you the mailing address...it is a good cause!

Here's a picture of our granddaughter Olivia at the park yesterday.  I was a little scared to swing her too high on the swing on the left so I only let her go a little bit.  I was so scared she'd let go and bang...grandma would be in the doghouse with mommy....  I distracted her with some sliding board rides then put her in the swing I wasn't afraid she'd fall out of.


Tomorrow we will celebrate Father's Day with Grandpa there :)  and also we have a full piƱata for a "gender reveal" celebration to find out if Olivia is going to have a new brother or sister in October.....
stay tuned.  
Grandma here is hoping for a little brother but will be happy either way.




Monday, June 13, 2016

UPDATE on the scrappy stash busting rectangle quilt

    I'm still stash busting and using up lots and lots of 2 inch strips from my "string" bin......

This is the update on the previous stash busting post......
I've gone thru 5 yards so far of background fabric and I can't even say how many 2 inch strips......

I've copied this project from Rita Hodge of the famous "Red Pepper Quilts" blog.  That girl makes scrappy look awesome!   If you've never visited her blog, you need to head over when you finish reading this.....she's wonderful!

I have the bottom unit to finish so I'm off to start assembling some units.....
I'd like to finish this week so I can start something new :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sew My Stash

My 2016 mantra was "Sew My Stash".........and believe it or not, i'm actually following thru and I can see some empty project bins, empty baskets and piles going down.  I will admit to purchasing some kits and yardage, i'm still human after all, but I made the decision to NOT shop for the 2nd half of the year if I can avoid it :)

I spent most of April and May sewing up baby quilts for all the new babies that are coming this year, both family and friends.  I sat and made a list for the 2nd half of the year of more projects and lucky for me, it's a short list.  

The first project on my list is a housewarming gift for one of my daughter's best friends.  She's been thru a lot the last 3 years but has landed on her feet and moved out of her family house this weekend. The move happened really fast so I didn't have time to plan ahead but never fear....I have a headful of ideas.   I'm using a black on white little tiny square for the background fabric and then pulling 2 inch strips from my "string bin" to make a very scrappy rectangle strip quilt....
I did all of the strip sewing and sub cutting one afternoon and then the next day I had the opportunity to sew, I started making 16 patch units.  I just kept throwing them up on the design wall and the last picture shows what I've got going now.  It measures about 65-1/2 inches wide by 37 inches which is about 1/3 of what I want it to finish at so I've got a whole LOT of more work to do.......
I'm going to work on this as my June Leader/Ender project so with luck i'm done mid July.

The LAST project I  bought before I decided not to shop for the 2nd half of the year is "SWISS" by Bonnie & Camille.......
I buy a LOT of my quilt kits from the girls over at Sewlux Fabrics on Etsy....She packages everything up so cute that you just can't wait for the next project to show up in your mailbox.

SWISS uses 12 red fat quarters with 1-1/4 yards of a solid white....It finishes at 56 X 64 and will be PERFECT for ME for my TV watching at night :)  Anyone that knows me KNOWS how much I love red.   I've got it all cut up and last night while watching Outlander, I got the 6-1/2 inch white strips sewn to the little red sides!!!  It's going to be a quick finish I think!  
The only thing I'm throwing around in the back of my head is making 1 of the PLUS blocks red just to add a little "something" to it and give it a little "Peggy Touch".......I'll keep you posted.

Well, since it's a pretty ugly day here I think I'll spend it in my room making blocks....anyone out there joining me?



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Weekend 2016

Can it really be the start of the summer already?   I feel like I just had jeans and hoodies on and now we have the AC on and the pool opened....

This is my view of the pool from my sewing room.....Big Papi opened the pool and this clear blue is what we saw!!!!!!!!!!    YAY for a new balloon!


So, while Papi was out taking the cover off, filling with water and testing it, I was up sewing......
I started this Lella Boutique pattern last week.  I pulled lots of fabrics from my stash bins but I also released some bundles I'd had sitting on shelves looking pretty....  I wanted a lot of variety of color and design for each block and I think I may have just gotten exactly what I wanted!  I wanted florals, geometric, dots and stripes and with taking my time and searching I achieved it.
Now to look thru my big bin of backing fabrics and see if I have something fun for it.  Fingers crossed :)


And a blog post wouldn't be complete without a picture of our little monster......
Olivia turned 18 months old last Sunday and although she's the apple of this grandma's eye, she is into everything and laughs when I call her my little monster!


Here's hoping all of you a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Peggy





Friday, May 13, 2016

2014 Designer Mystery Block of the Month


So, this was 10 months into the Mystery BOM and then "NOTHING" happened until last week....almost 2 years after it started.

I've been picking up way too many new projects lately so I made the decision in January that for every 2 new projects, I had to do 1 old UFO.  May was the time to pick this bad boy up and git er done.....

I got the first section sewed in record time last Sunday and by Tuesday I had the entire top done and the back pieced.  Don't mind the pictures, we haven't seen much sun here in NJ so nothing is bright!


I LOVE seeing an empty project bin!   
I did have a lot of leftover fabric since Fat Quarter Shop is super generous with their BOM's and was going to offer to give the scraps and patterns away here on the blog but I had such a nice note from a girl on Instagram that LOVES the fabric and missed out on getting in on this BOM, so I offered the whole business to her and she took it all.  I'm mailing it all out tomorrow to her when I mail the quilt to my favorite long arm girl.......

I'm not quite sure which new project I want to start right now but this one is a sure frontrunner....

It's a pattern called "Homestead" by Lella Boutique.
I've never done anything by her but I LOVE hst's and I had this bundle of fabric sitting around waiting to be cut into so "why not!".........I'll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend and hopefully you can do some sewing or reading or something else that makes you happy.....  I'll be here in my HAPPY place sewing.

Peggy



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Yes, It's May Already

     Funny how quickly the months are going now that both my husband and I are retired.  We've been taking small trips to Florida to see family and other things but that's a story for a day when I can get my pictures loaded onto the computer.

     For now, a little sewing update.

     First, 2016 is the year of the "Variable Star Block of the Week".  I'm doing mine with Kona Snow, some Riley Blake dots and scraps of prints for the center blocks.  I made the decision to do the 4 for each month at one time so I don't get behind.  These are my 4 for May.


I keep my blocks, kona, dots etc in a nice project box....

Next up is my "IheartB&C" blocks.  I'm doing 2 blocks a month with other girls on Instagram.  Last year we did the same thing but we could send any block we wanted.  This time, the coordinator thought it might be nice to get more of a variety of blocks so we all picked 6-7 from a program she'd found using all HST's.  This week I got 2 blocks and I LOVE them both!  Anyone that knows me knows how much I LOVE red so you can tell from the picture that I'm in heaven.   This picture is the 2 blocks along with an 11 inch square Ohio Star wooden sign.  I'd ordered it from a girl on Instagram and got that in yesterday's mail as well....  Well worth the money I spent!!!



Here's a picture of the blocks I made for May.  I also made each of the girls a mug rug to send along.



Another thing I'm working on for 2016 is making charity quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  An Instagram friend is collecting them and donating them in her mom's memory.  Her mom died late last year from cancer and wanted to do something in her memory.   We don't have to sandwich the quilts, all we have to do is make the top and ship it off.  She takes care of the sandwiching and quilting.....
This is the 4 tops I made in April.

Lastly......... This doesn't need any words.....


We will be grandparents again.......



Sunday, April 10, 2016

"Crosswalk"


Remember this bundle?  I bought it last month while visiting Florida.

I wanted to make the "Crosswalk" quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. so since a jelly roll and just a little yardage would make a 70 x 70 quilt, well.....off I went.



Here's the finished quilt.  
The polka dot border made my eyes cross and I kept trying to line them up.....I finally had to just cut them and attach them since I realized early on that it wouldn't work.


Above is the border....LOVE the colors!

I LOVE the red dot that I bought to use as the backing and then picked the red on red for the binding.
I'm seriously in a little shock that I've already cut, assembled and pressed my binding!  That is something I've NEVER done but I like knowing that when I get the quilt back from my favorite quilter Sarah, that all I have to do is sit down and sew it on.

We didn't get the snow that was expected here in NJ this weekend which is awesome but it was mighty cold and rainy!  Today we saw some sun and I'm hoping that as the week goes on that it will warm up just a bit so I can once and for all put the winter jackets in the closet for a few months.

Check back at the end of the week......i'm going to have some exciting news!



Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Seuss Quilt"

I had an idea for a baby quilt last Saturday so I took my Dr. Seuss fabrics out that I'd been hoarding and started to fussy cut centers for 9-1/2 inch churn dash blocks.  I picked a lot of my favorite Seuss characters and then pulled polka dot fabrics from my stash to make the churnie part.  I figured 16 blocks would make a perfect baby quilt........  
As I was sewing I was watching a Podcast of Bonnie Hunter's where she was assembling a quilt made of "H" blocks and then setting them all wonky.  Hmmmmm  I said to myself.  I wonder if I could figure out how to do that with the Seuss blocks.   I put out an email to my quilting sister Robin, who immediately sent me a link to how to do it.....


WOW.....from units to blocks to wonky in about 2 hours!!!!!!!
I was very lucky that I was using the neutral to set them so I didn't have to cut 2 different directions.  I just cut all the strips out and sewed them on whether it was left facing or right facing.


By Sunday evening I had all 16 blocks sewn together and ready for border attaching on Monday.
I had thought I'd add a simple border around the blocks but I do love the piano key border so I took all my leftover fabric and cut it up into strips, pressed, sub cut and attached them in record time.
I had 1 long strip leftover that coincidentally went the length of the quilt so I decided to piece all my leftover fabrics into a back and ship it off to my favorite longarmer.  
I'm always amazed at how when I'm focused and have an idea, how I can finish quilts!

I'll take pictures of the back and binding when it comes back from my girl Sarah.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

March

     Is today really March 31st?    This was a fast month!

     I sewed a few of these Star Challenge blocks this week to catch up to week 13.   If you're on Instagram, A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop (@anptquiltshop) is doing this challenge to make one star block each week.   I'm using a bundle of Riley Blake dots for my star points and left over fabric from my Lori Holt project from last year for the centers.  These blocks finish at 6-1/2 inches and work up fast and are a lot of fun to sew!



      Last year we did Churn Dash blocks.  I did all 52 and then decided I wanted to make the blocks larger for a summer quilt for myself for next year, 2017.  
I'm using scraps from my bin with no rhyme or reason for what I add to the 6-1/2 inch block.....just grabbing and sewing.


I love that pile of finished blocks........ It is NOT too late to join in so again, head on over to Instagram and check it out.


I'm excited too that it's getting warmer out and I'm able to start wearing all my cute sewing themed tee shirts that I bought this winter from Statelytype.  I love the pale green of this one with the cute old fashioned sewing machine....



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Project

Are you working on a new project today?  

My BFF Robin tempted me a few weeks ago with a Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial called
"Crosswalk".  Jenny had a really cute fabric she was cutting up so I made it my mission to
get something cute too.  I think Robin might be using strips from her stash :)

It's a really easy quilt to collect fabrics for.  You need 1 jelly roll, 2 5 inch charm packs (or cut your own)  a white to match your charm pack and then a border print.    I found this "Gooseberry" jelly roll on my last trip to Florida and what's nice is the shop had yardage laid out with it so I grabbed some polkas (naturally) and instead of buying charm packs, I opted to use Kona Snow since I have an entire bolt.


I did all my strip sewing and cutting.........


Started attaching the side triangles...............


Here's the unit.....just trim off the sides.  And then threw a few up on the design wall to see how I like the look.   I'm thinking I like it a lot.


I find this fabric line to be reminiscent of a Bonnie and Camille collection.  The scallops, the dots, a large floral pint....and even the same colorway.   Irregardless, I like it and as will be going back to sewing more units.  


Fishes and Whales and Crocs Oh My!

     Another baby quilt from my 2016 list done and ready for gifting.  The baby shower is this Sunday so yeah, just in the nick of time :)

      While in Florida back in January I picked up this bundle of fabrics with a particular project in mind.....  A baby boy quilt for a friend of my youngest daughter.  She'd been in the mama's wedding last year and now they're expecting their first baby.  Since we live at the Jersey Shore and are "water" fans I thought making something with fish, ducks, lobsters, whales etc. would be perfect.

I knew I would use these with a Riley Blake light grey dot on white from this nautical line for the background of the half square triangles.   I did 5-1/2 inch blocks so the prints were seen!
I hate when I make blocks small and then all you see is the ducks head or the tail of a whale....I wanted the mama and more importantly the baby to see the items.



I normally send my quilts out for longarm quilting but something this size I can handle on my own machine.  I used a wavy design to mimic the binding fabric.   I'd bought the blue whales yardage for the backing, which matched perfectly.   All in all, a great little quilt for a new little boy.  
I can't wait for the mama to see it!

The quilt measures 40 X 45.

We've been lucky to have a few more nice days here in NJ so we've been taking advantage of the days for walks on the Boardwalk......


My daughter was off from work last week so she came for a walk with us.  Grandpa, Jen, Olivia......


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Retirement.....It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it

81 degrees here at the "Jersey Shore" so hubby suggested a walk on the boardwalk.  He knows I'm not a boardwalk kinda gal but before it gets to hot and humid, I agreed to go.

Most of the stands were closed since it's too early in the season but there was a pizzeria open.....
28 inch round pizza's with slices almost as long as my lower arm!   And homemade lemonade......

It was so nice to see the rebuilding of the Seaside Heights boardwalk area after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and then the burning down of the boardwalk within weeks of the rebuild.   Olivia loved being pushed up one side and down the other...looking at the people riding bikes, dogs being walked and other little ones being chauffeured around.  This was our first trip this year but i'm thinking it won't be our last :)  Hubby kept saying "this retirement gig is pretty good".

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Visiting A Few Shops

     Flew into Tampa late yesterday, escaping the cold and snow that was falling in NJ.  It was so nice to disembark the plane to 70 degree weather.  Of course, we deplaned just before business traffic time on Rt. 19 so what should have taken 1 hour, took 3....YES, I said 3 hours!   I was a lunatic by the time we reached our hotel.....   We met up with hubby's brother and went for a delicious dinner so in the end a nice meal, a stop in Dunkin Donuts for a hot chocolate, some relaxing time reading and a good night's sleep helped view today in a better manner :)

      We had a light breakfast here at the hotel and then I had a game plan.  I'd wanted to visit a local quilt shop last time I was here but it happened that it was closed and they were moving the shop to a new location and enlarging it.  I checked online to be sure they'd finished the move and were up and running so with hubby behind the wheel and me manning Mapquest, we were off.

        First stop...."Happy Apple Quilts" in Tampa.  Can I just say "AWESOME"


The shop was spotless and the staff was sooooo helpful!  
I've been seeing those tuffets as so many shops and on a lot of blogs/instagram.  I sooooo want to make one but i'm a little intimidated to start one on my own, I want to take a class!  Well, they're offering one on April 2 & 3rd, but I won't be back down till the 22nd so I'll just bide my time.
There were customers in the shop commenting on my "Fabric Hoarder" tee shirt so I got to chatting with one in particular and I think I hooked her up with both Patchwork Threads and Statelytpe so she can order her own shirts.

Afterwards, it was too early for lunch so we Mapquested "Rainbow's End Quilt Shop" in Dunedin.
That shop is not to be believed....they have multiple rooms and each one is a theme!  Christmas, Halloween, Flannel etc.   This was my 2nd trip to this shop since January.  I could spend HOURS there but alas, with hubby following me around that doesn't happen.  
I got to chatting there as well with a woman that was sitting outside the shop....again, asking about my tee shirt :)

I did leave a few dollars behind at these shops......

The first picture are some low volume prints I picked up at Rainbow's End.  The second picture is from Happy Apple.  I want to make the Missouri Star QS's "Crosswalk" quilt so I was on a search for a jelly roll with a coordinating print for the outer border and came away from that shop with both plus some black and white stripe for bindings, some CUTE St. Patricks Day fabric, needles and a free postcard size pattern.  All in all, an awesome haul!

Right around the corner from Rainbow's End we saw people lining up outside "Eli's Bar B Que" and knew immediately that was the place for lunch....no stinkin chain restaurant for us!  So, we stopped. OMG, talk about good barbecue!!!  YUMMO!  

Afterwards we came back to the hotel where we sat out at the pool.  I took out my counted cross stitch project and worked on that for a while before heading out to The Lucky Dill for dinner before hubby and his brother took off for The Moody Blues Concert.   I grabbed dessert.....
and I'm spending some time updating the blog and looking at Patchwork Threads for a new shirt for the next time I'm out quilt shop hopping :)

I have some pictures of the NJ Quiltfest I attending on Thursday with my friend Robin but I have to upload the pictures first.

Happy Saturday Night Everyone!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Go For It

      This is my last post for the 2014 "GO FOR IT SEWALONG" quilt.

       In my last post on this project I think I told you that I'd cut the quilt out, sewn up ALL of the units and then it sat....and sat, and sat.  When I made my January project list I put this project at the top of the list and decided to stick to getting it done.

       

Here's the magazine page and small snippets of the quilt before I shipped it off to my favorite quilter Sarah in New York.

Here's a picture of it today......
I chose an awesome salmon tone on tone for the backing and binding.  This quilt had so many colors in it.  I loved this tone on tone in my stash, and had enough of it so there you have it.

I'm working on the 2015 "Tone It Down" quilt too....I'll do some update pictures soon on that.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Tone It Down"



"Tone It Down" was the 2014 American Patchwork and Quilting Quiltalong.  

I did make a few blocks from some very dark and dreary fabrics and then set the project aside.  When I decided that 2016 was going to be one of those years that I either make the project or unkit it and forget about it.  THIS project was NOT one I wanted to set aside so I pulled my bundle of "Simply Colorful II" by Vanessa Christenson and a Kona silver/grey out and decided to start working on my blocks last week.  

The blocks take a little time to cut out and assemble but I just love working on them and I think the quilt will be awesome when I finish.  Below are my first 3 blocks......




I think right now that the blue one is my favorite but only time will tell.....

Stay tuned.....I hope to finish this quilt by the end of the month :)




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"Farm Girl Vintage" Sewalong Finish

Do you remember this book?
There was a sew along this summer using this Lori Holt book....and yes, I did follow along.

I made all the blocks but then I got sidetracked with a few things.  I finally had my FAVORITE quilter work her magic on it and then it sat....and sat.....

After the rush of the holidays I got the binding on and tacked down so now it's all ready for either using or gifting.  I haven't decided which yet :)



I used a turquoise and white leaf print for the back and a pale white on yellow dot for the binding.  
LOOK at some of these blocks though....sheep, cherries, milk jugs, jars, stars and baskets.   I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this all came together and will have to do another of Lori's patterns sometime soon.

In the meantime, I'm doing a 52 week sew along of star blocks.  A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop is running it on Instagram.  The block can either be called Morning Star or Variable Star depending on where you look it up.    Here's a peek at mine so far.....

I'm using a Robert Kaufmann "dotty" bundle for the star points and cutting up my scraps from the Lori Holt project for the centers.     I did the 2015 sewalong with the Instagram girls also.  I'll have to take some pictures of those blocks and what I'm planning to do with them.......

Peggy