Friday, July 15, 2016

"HOMESTEAD" Revisited

Back over Memorial weekend I finished this quilt....

I LOVE this quilt and totally enjoyed making the blocks and assembling this top.

I didn't send it right out for quilting but finally did 2 weeks ago and then when it came back it just sat on a chair.  I don't like having un-bound quilts sitting around because when I am watching TV at night I have to keep my hands busy....and if I finish mid show, I need to know there is something ready to sew on.

I had my quilter use an "hourglass" type of design on it and I think it works nice.  It will crinkle up in the wash and still stay fluffy I think.

BUT, the question I had is "what do I bind it in?".  There is so much going on and the back is just a big floral that I almost thought it needed just a plain white.....NOW, that's something I haven't done in a LONG time!  White???????  

The white works and makes the back look neat but it's just so strange to use a solid white......

I have 2 more quilts that need bindings sewn on so i'm off to prep them.....I sure hope they'll be easier than this one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July's New Project "LUCKY"

     I wasn't going to start anything new this month but I couldn't help myself...... this pile of yumminess was out on my ironing surface so I told myself I could iron the fabrics and get them ready for cutting "one of these days".

These are all Moda B&C Solids with a few stash solids thrown in for variety.  On the bottom of the pile is a hunk of Moda Bright White......
So, I press them up and figured "what the heck"  Cut out one block just to see how it looks.

I love the sherbet like colors most of all so I cut one of those first....
BTW, I'm using "LUCKY" by Camille Roskelly of Thimbleblossoms fame.

Voile!   Block 1 of 12 done........
And then I got the bug......I cut 2 more out

The more I sewed the more I LOVED working with solids......

So, here I am with the other 9 ready to go.  I've got them cut out and the HST's are sewn and ready for pressing open and trimming.  YES, I still make them larger than I need to and trim down using my handy dandy "Bloc Loc " ruler!

Now........This quilt finishes at 62 X 81, which is a nice size but I have a King size bed and I'm anxious to put a new summer quilt on next summer so I need more than the 12 it calls for.  I'm thinking I need 18 more.  What I think I'll start off doing is make the 12 and then I'll make the rest......

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Small Finish

Anyone that knows me as a sewer knows I love quick and easy projects.
This summer has been the year of the baby quilts.  I've made more this summer than I think the last 2 years combined.

Yesterday I needed a quick project so I went into my little UFO bin and found some hst's and not only were they made and trimmed to size, they must have been laid out in rows at some point in time!  YAY for me!

I quickly threw them up on the design wall and got them sewn together in no time.  
It's not a big quilt, only 36 X 36, but it's for a newborn so it doesn't need to be huge.
I found a green dot in my "backings" bin which is the perfect match for the green on the front so I'm going to sandwich it one night this week and get it quilted.  The baby is due in early December and my friend will be the great aunt.  A funny note about this is my oldest daughter dated the baby daddy back about 8 years ago so he'll be surprised to see something I made as a gift :)

And here's 18 months old and LOVING helping me do dishes.  We do bottles, plasticware etc. every morning and that makes her feel like a big girl.  I know I have a picture of Olivia's mom doing the same thing "somewhere" but today's not the day to go looking for that.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July......


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?


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 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!


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.


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


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, 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


     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".