Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Year of Schnibbles

     I made my "A Year of Schnibbles" project so long ago I figured I better repost a picture so that when Sherri and Sinta do their parade tomorrow mine can be seen along with the other girls'.

My official entry is the ring of friendship stars called "Round & Round" by Camille Roskelly of Thimbleblossoms, but since I can't count I made 1 extra star so I made that into this even tinier mini.  I love how both turned out and have them both hanging on the wall in my sewing room.

It's been raining buckets here in NJ and I'm seeing the same kind of ugly weather all over the US.  Prayers go out to the people in the areas hit by the floods and tornado's!  


Monday, April 28, 2014

Ribbon Box Quilt

     About 6 weeks ago or so I saw fabric made up into a quilt that just grabbed me.  It was so pretty and with the spring coming I knew I had to have some of the fabric.  I asked Kristin at Goobadesigns on Etsy if she'd make me up a bundle and mentioned liking the ribbon quilt.  She told me that the quilt pattern was free on and she'd send me what I needed to make the quilt top.
I think the whole transaction from start to finish was about 20 minutes  :) and I received it in 2 about quick service!

     Aren't these fabrics beautiful?

     I put them away in a bin and earmarked them for May to take with me to retreat and assemble.

Well, I pulled the kit out to cut and mark the parts yesterday afternoon and thought  I'd just look it over and see how hard it was to do.............

I'm thinking it was a fairly easy quilt to make!!!

The quilt is called "Ribbon Box Quilt", the fabrics are called Grey Abbey by Cloud 9 and it measures 55 X 63.

I'll be getting some backing fabric tomorrow and shipping it to my quilter on Wednesday!!

It's been earmarked as a retirement gift for a dear friend for June......

Saturday, April 26, 2014


WOW, can it really be 1 year since this happened?  

It always amazes me when all the planning and shopping and planning all works out for one of the most beautiful days ever!   

I didn't lose a daughter, I gained a wonderful son in law and extended family.......

Congratulations Jennifer & Tim, and many many more happy years together!

Friday Update on Saturday

So, in pulling fabric out for the Tone it Down project the realization came to me that way too many of my "color" baskets are full to overflowing and I needed a project or two to use up some of the fabric.
Well, how convenient it was to come across a blog that is doing a "color of the month" stash buster and I loved the block!  I emailed the girl and she was gracious enough to give me the measurements for the strips to make the block and although I didn't "need" the book, I ordered it from Amazon.  That should be here shortly.

So, "purple" was the color for April.  I checked a lot of the blogs of the girls participating and they were all doing different blocks with a nice variety of backgrounds but since my black on white was more overflowing than the purple, I pulled that one out, pressed up a bunch of pieces and got to cutting......

And here's my first block

So, while I had the purples out I decided I needed to make some stars....everyone loves stars don't they?  And my thoughts are that I could make 4 stars every month in the same color as the stash buster block and have 2 quilts going at the same time.......

THEN, to make the basket go down even quicker, I cut some more strips for a project I started earlier in the year.....

This pineapple block is all paper pieced and is a little over 16-1/2 inches!
I've only made the 1 so I need to make a few more so I cut strips for that project too......

I'm thinking that the next color I work with might be the teal/turquoise because that basket barely fits on the shelf too.

Hope you are enjoying this gorgeous Saturday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tone it Down

I realized this morning that I never showed my 2 blocks.

I have to say that the yellow and red was not doing it for me last night, I think because the red is kind of a pinkish red and it's got too much off white in it.  But, I'll bury that one in the quilt and you'll never notice it :)    or at least I hope......

I do love the blue and red so it's a start on my way to the other 18 blocks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tone it Down

     I  started making blocks for the "Tone It Down" project back in January I think but set it aside to do a few quilts that I needed to do and when I pulled them out to start back on them, I realized that I wasn't overly thrilled with the colorway.  What I really wanted was to do it just like it is in the APQ, I pulled out reds, oranges, yellows, blues and greens and a HUGE pile of low volume/neutral fabrics from my stash and yesterday I got to cutting.....

I chose a nice variety of reds, oranges and pinks for the 9 patch blocks that make that X design across the entire top.  I wanted to have a good mix of the greens yellows and blues as well so I went with darks and lights.  

One of my favorite low volume fabrics is the piece on the magazine.  Those are the cutest little fish and the fabric underneath are all different colored castles.  
I'm always amazed when I see all the low volume fabrics that are for sale out there both in shops and on the internet.

I made a sample block this afternoon and laid out a 2nd one before i started to get too tired to sew anymore.  I'll get that stitched up tomorrow and then I'll put the bin of fabrics away to bring with me on retreat in May.
I'm not sure what I'll work on tomorrow but I'll be back with an update.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Exciting Week

     To say that the last few days has been exciting is an understatement.

     I started the week off last Sunday with a trip into New York City to see "Aladdin".  My son buys us tickets for Christmas every year because he knows how much we love seeing the shows and it's easier for him to buy what we like and not just random "things".  Hubby and I get to spend the day with the girls and have a really nice time.

     The wax museum is right next door to the New Amsterdam Theatre and look at who was outside waiting for my girls for a photo op.....Mr. Johnny Depp himself  LOL   ONLY their favorite actor ever!

"Aladdin" was great and you can see from the picture, the weather was in the 70's so no jackets required.  A great day all in all.

     Friday afternoon hubby, youngest daughter, and I left to drive to oldest daughter's house for the Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden.  I wasn't supposed to go because my son in law was the holder of ticket # 4 but I got some cockamamie story that he had a meeting or something and couldn't go and so as not to waste the ticket, I drove the 90 minutes up and figured I'd go.  I'd get a free dinner and show so what de heck.  Well, I got there and my son in law was there....WHAT?  I drove all this way and now what do we do?  Well, this is what the surprise was...
YES....I'm going to be a grandma!   The expected date is November 20th....just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas!     Jennifer and Tim will celebrate their first wedding anniversary this coming Sunday so their timing was good for baby #1.

     So, I went to the concert after we all went out to dinner and sadly my son in law just went home and walked the dog....which he was happy to do :)

This was my second Billy Joel concert this year and I have to say, he did not disappoint either time.  He is a master entertainer!

     Saturday was spent cleaning out the garage and then Sunday was Easter and that was spent withfamily just enjoying one another and eating some pretty good food....if I might say so myself!
I received the CUTEST flower arrangement from my niece Shannon and her boyfriend Pat.  Shannon too never disappoints on holidays.  I always get unique and very cute flowers.

     I've seen these bouquets where the peeps and jelly beans are in around the flowers but never had one of my own.

     Sorry for the view around them  LOL  Mr. Sangria and the dishes were there already :)

     Today I slept in a little and then decided I'd do a little sewing.  Each month for the last 2 or 3 months Sherri McConnell has offered a mini project that can use either those little 2-1/2 inch squares or as I used, scraps.
I have a red bench on my front porch that was in need of a new pillow so I used all red white and blues....

Once it gets warmer I'll put some flowers out there with the wooden flag that hangs on the house but until I'm sure we won't have a frost and snow, I'll wait a little bit before I add too much more.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New and Old

     I'll start with the old......  Today when my doorbell rang and the dang dog started barking I KNEW it had to be the mail girl  :)    Don't you just love when your mail person comes and you see a package outside the door?   I know I do!   Today's box was expected and I couldn't rip into it quick enough!

     This first quilt is 49 of my "Farmer's Wife" blocks that I finished last summer and never got around to doing the rest.   Since I need a smallish size quilt for a retreat in early May I decided I'd sash the blocks add that super bright yellow dot backing and voile!  I have my charity top.

The next quilt is my "Postage Stamp" quilt from early last week.  
I took out the parts I'd finished last summer, connected some small pieces that were finished but not connected and made a few more rows....and again, voile!  In under 3 hours a finished quilt.
The bigger question here is WHY do I procrastinate on some of these projects?

A HUGE thank you goes out to my friend Sarah in NY who has started doing some of my quilts....she does an AWESOME job on them and has the best turnaround time!  I'm expecting my stars quilt back by the end of the week so I'll be a binding fool this weekend! 

Now onto the new......  I have no self control sometimes with particular fabric lines and more patterns!   I had seen on Instagram that Jodi Nelson of Pleasant Home Patterns had a new pattern called Lucette out and another friend Abby Latimer of Latimer Lane Quilts, was making up kits for the pattern so without much thinking I hit the click button and the kit showed up like 2 days later :)    Nothing like instant gratification!

I'm going to cut this kit up today and with luck by the end of the weekend I have a finished quilt !

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Orca Bay"

     Yes, the Bonnie Hunter "Orca Bay".    I know I'm a little late to the party but back in 2011 I wasn't sure I really had it in me to do Orca Bay in the time frame Bonnie had laid out so I didn't join in but I did print off the instructions.    When "Easy Street" was announced in 2012 I was out of work for over a week because of Hurricane Sandy.  I live right smack dab in the middle of where she hit so with urging and a lot of encouragement from Robin and Michelle, I followed along each week, kept up to date (although laundry and the house suffered LOL)  but Easy Street was assembled and gifted not long afterwards to my niece Shannon when she moved into her first apartment.  To say that her and her BF fight over it is an understatement.  I think another quilt should be assembled for Pat so he can have his own!

     In 2013 Bonnie announced "Celtic Solstice" and I was ready!  I didn't need any urging.  I followed Bonnie's color way just as I did with Easy Street and in the end I was very happy with the result of that quilt too.  I haven't given this one away yet but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it finds a new home.

After I finished these two I knew I could tackle "Orca Bay" and all it's little string blocks and small Ohio Star blocks.
I started setting aside blacks, blues, reds, neutrals etc. and before I left school I actually found a telephone book to use for the foundation of the blue strings.
This quilt will not be a "surprise" as I've seen both Robin's and Michelle's finished but i'm ok with that, I'm just excited to be starting it soon.    I'm actually going to kit up step 1 and step 2 and bring them to a retreat i'm attending in May.

See those pins on my shopping tote?   Those are from Zazzle and they are my present to myself for finishing the 2 above quilts.  I should have ordered an Orca Bay one too at the time but I figured I'd get that one when I started or finished.

Here are my blacks and neutrals....all pressed and waiting to be cut into strips.

And here are 2 blue string blocks and 2 Ohio Star blocks that Robin gave me since she had them left over after she finished her assembly.

I have a really nice backing fabric that I'm anxious to use for it so as they say "I'm Off!"

The rotary cutter has a fresh blade and I have the correct little rulers out......

Oh, and in case you wondered, I need 224   2-1/2 inch black/neutral hourglass units to assemble the stars and  72 blue 3-1/2 inch string blocks.....
piece of cake right?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm going to sleep on it......

 I finished assembling this top tonight after dinner.

These blocks are from Sherri McConnell's new book called "Fresh Family Traditions" on page 50-51.

Sherri's book only has 1 star block but I thought it would be nice to do 6 or 9 and make a full size quilt.  As I got to # 6 today and put the blocks up on my design wall I realized that at 57 x 86, this quilt did not NEED borders but as I look at it I wonder if I can leave it like this and just get it quilted?
I'm going to "sleep on it" and if I wake up tomorrow and I still like it "borderless" then I'll prepare the backing and ship it out to be quilted!
This is just 1 block.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Postage Stamp Quilt

     Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not a leader/ender type of person all the time but there's that occasional project where I know I need them so I get strict about using them.  The "Summer Star" blocks are the perfect example of needing a leader/ender.

      Last summer I saw a "Postage Stamp" quilt on the Red Pepper blog that I fell in love with so since I was coming down off my "Easy Street" high having used tons of black on white fabrics, I grabbed the basket of scraps and cut them into 2-1/2 inch squares and put them with all my pretty colored squares and had a leader/ender ready for use.
Somehow, the basket was relegated to a shelf for a time but pulled back out last week and the connecting started.

I'd decided right off the bat that I didn't want to use anything that didn't have a white background.  No tans or off color white, strictly WHITE!
I had a lot of fun with the fabrics too and this picture of one of the sections of the quilt shows some of my favorite whites....Those little fish, the little tiny bees, math equations, the hangers etc.....
I had an awesome variety because when buying for Easy Street I did a LOT of damage at the online quilt shops.  I don't think a week went by that I didn't acquire something  :)
I still have a TON of black on white fabrics in my cabinet so this is not the last quilt I'll be making with that color way.

It's all folded up and ready for the quilter.......

I want to bring it to Indiana with me in mid May for show n tell so it's heading to the post office tomorrow morning.....

It's so nice that we can start using the lawn and back porch for some photo shoots!!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quick Weekend Update

     This was one of those weekends where I didn't do anything big but I did cross a few things off my long list of things "to do" .

     Friday I got my "Swoon" quilt back from being quilted.  I immediately took it out of the box and did some swooning myself  LOL  
Beautiful quilting and I didn't have to trim it came home all ready to get the binding sewn on.  I immediately did that and have it in the pile to be hand sewn down at night while I'm watching TV.

Next was the "Boxy Stars" quilt from January.  That too came home and got the same treatment that "Swoon" did.

I picked an all over tight meander with a goldish/brown color thread.  The binding is red, same fabric as the backing and it's in the pile too waiting for tacking down.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was spent doing single blocks for various projects.

Our "Year of Schnibbles" group  is doing a mini but the moderators chose to use a Camille Roskelly (Thimbleblossom) pattern of our choice.  I had a few that I thought I'd do but in the end, I picked "Round & Round".
I actually got 2 mini's out of my cutting because I read "cut 8 star blocks out" but cut 9 so I got the one mini and then I made another one with just the 1 star.

Each star half square triangle is 1-1/2 inches!!!
Teeny tiny pieces!!!

I love the little star.  That finished up to 3-1/2 inches square so after I finished that I added a small border around it to make it 5-1/2 inches square.

This is a picture of my "mini" wall.  
I keep my fabric pens, pencils, rulers etc. in the hanging cups and as you can see, my iron is right on top of my ironing board.  I can sit at my sewing machine and see the wall.....something I enjoy!

And today, I made this 16-1/2 inch block.  I'm in a Quilting Bee with 99 other girls on Instagram.  We are all in groups of 12 and using the book "Modern Bee" by Lindsay Conner.  
We are in month 3 and the girl who is the Queen Bee this month chose this block called "Triple Star".
She wanted red, turquoise, lime green and white with a winter theme.
It is definitely cuter in person!!!

Now, to get back to my scrappy star blocks that I started last week.

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Morning Joe"

     If you follow my blog you've seen the assembly of this quilt here
I think I'd have to say that I really enjoyed assembling this top.  I loved the fabrics a LOT and knowing it was going to be for a new baby who's grandma worked with me and that the baby daddy is in the US Coast Guard defending our country, well, it just made me happy.....and not to mention, it's all stars!!  I love star blocks!

     I finished it in no time but didn't get it quilted till last week.

I love the little swirls........

     For the backing of the quilt I used the "Potluck" by American Jane fabrics that were in the front as well.....
I used the rulers, little yellow check, little chicks and the pezzy print and as luck would have it, I had the blue dot in my stash.

I LOVE how the quilt came out and it's a more than generous size at 53 x 53 so this quilt will stay useable for the baby for quite a few years!

I can't wait for "grandma Laura" to see it when I bring it to her next week....just in time for the baby daddy to come back from sea and come for a quick visit from Florida to NJ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Summer Star"

     Just a quick "mid week catch up" for you today.

     Back a few weeks ago I received my copy of Sherri McConnell's book "Fresh Family Traditions"
and immediately put one of the projects in her book at the top of my "to do" pile.  The quilt is called "Summer Star".  Now, I normally sit and peek thru my new books when they come but this one called for actual sit down and read status!  Seriously....nice stories about Sherri's quilty influence!

     I took out a bin of 5 inch squares that I'd been saving since I did a 5 inch square swap last year with a friend's guild and got to drawing lines and matching up with some kona snow.  I wanted a nice variety and lemme tell you, I got it from those squares!

     The star is 32 inches square so it needs a lot of prep work.....  I was running squares thru the machine for a good long time!

Then came the fun part......laying out the star on the design wall and sewing it up!

     I did decide that I want to make this one into a full size quilt so I'm going to be making at least 9 if not 12 of these blocks over the next week or so and getting it out to be quilted!!!!  (can you tell I'm excited and LOVE star quilts?)

      If you like this block and think you'd like to make one of your own, just hop on over to Sherri's blog and order your copy of her won't be sorry.

     Off to Hobby Lobby to get more Kona Snow so I can make more of these blocks!!!

      Happy Hump Day!