Monday, July 15, 2013

(Another) Gift For My Sister

I love making quilty gifts for my sister. She was, after all, the one who led me to this obsession. Last year I made her a wall hanging, which has become one of my favorite quilts. This year I decided to stretch myself by making her a bag...Elizabeth Hartman's Sewing Circle Tote. Oh my, what was I thinking??? I have always said, "I don't sew, I quilt."

I have to admit, this was a I thoroughly enjoyed. I used materials I had never heard of (cotton webbing, fusible interfacing, Peltex...what????) and tried techniques new to me (zipper pouches, elastic pouches)...oh, my!!! Fortunately, I had Cindy as my go to person to email and text throughout the making of the bag!!! You can see her bag (which is awesome) here.

The pattern called for making the long and short straps first.

These wonder clips eased my pain quite a bit

After successfully making the straps and the bottom of the bag, I felt pretty confident ;-) Next up was making the four outer pockets using the quilt as you go method (a first for me). This ended up quite time consuming, as I spent probably an entire day decided on what scraps to use.

What a hot mess ;-)
Below are some progress shots, taken quickly, as I was rushed to finish before Rene's birthday!!

After what seemed a lifetime, I had my four outer pockets.

My first zipper pouch EVER...not pretty, but it worked

Below is a picture of the bag delivered to my sister in Montana.

Picture stolen from Rene's Instagram

Of course, no posting of mine is complete without a glam shot (or two) of My Frustration, who is always on hand to provide support ;-)

Bless his heart...he was exhausted upon finishing the bag!!

I guess I can no longer say that I don't sew. In fact, I have purchased another Elizabeth Hartman bag pattern!! A big shout out to her...she has the most detailed and illustrated patterns...almost "Michelle proof."

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!

~ Michelle ~

Friday, June 14, 2013

Catch Up

I haven't been here for awhile...too busy with work, family, and Instagram (my new obsession). I have been quilting a little, though.

My latest finish is my #scrappytripalong quilt. I have found it impossible not to include the hashtag...thanks to IG ;-)

A big thanks to Bonnie Hunter, who has a great tutorial for this quilt on her blog.

I jumped on this wagon a little late, but boy did I have fun making it. I used a bunch of civil war era fat eights my sister had gifted me a couple of years ago. 

For the first time, I was working on multiple projects (don't you just love my Kaffe shoofly block?...haha). And, as usual, most of my pictures are taken with my phone while working. 

Although the quilt can quickly be put together, it took me forever!!! With lots going on with work and family, most days I was only able to look at my blocks waiting patiently for me to finish ;-)

I have learned that I work better without lots of starting and stopping. So, with this quilt, I worked in stages. I set aside time for cutting all the strips, then piecing them into strip sets, then subcutting, etc. It took forever before I finally completed my first block.

The many, many seams were a challenge for me, but a great reminder of the importance of pinning!!

While I was playing around with the layout, my oldest son asked who would be getting this quilt. He was quite surprised when I said that I was just making it to make one in particular in mind. Well, he was quick to claim it as his! I love that my boys love my quilts ;-)

I returned to my old habit of quilting at the dining room table, which my Frustration LOVED!!! I quilted it using a meandering stitch throughout. Unfortunately, my best pictures would not upload without major distortions (not sure what the malfunction is), so I leave you with a few pictures my son took of the completed quilt.

I hope to work out some kinks with uploading my pictures. Maybe it's time to start using a real camera and not my phone!!!

In the meantime, I hope to share more quilting now that my summer vacation has finally arrived.

I have switched over to Bloglovin, so if you wish, you can follow me there.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by!!

~ Michelle ~

Friday, March 1, 2013

The 350 Blocks Project - February Report

I am happy to report that I met February's goal of 28 blocks in the 350 Blocks Project, although I'm not quite caught up for the year. Quite frankly, I doubt I will be caught up until mid summer when I'll have much more time to quilt. In the meantime, thank goodness for quick and easy blocks!!

I am continuing to work on my ScrappyTripAlong and Shoofly quilts.

What a contrast in design and fabrics! I'm loving both of my projects.

As usual, all of my pictures stink, as I use the camera on my phone. I just don't have time for awesome photo shoots ;-)  *sigh* Maybe one day...

I have enjoyed working in shifts with my projects. Kind of like an assembly line. With my scrappy quilt, I spent a day sewing sets of six strips together and pressing them. Then, as I found time, I would subcut and piece together the blocks.

I did the same with the shoofly blocks. One afternoon drawing the line across the squares and pinning them, then chain piecing the HSTs, then pressing another day, finishing with trimming the dog ears. Too bad it's not a true assembly line with lots of people taking care of each step. Of course, then it wouldn't be mine, so what would be the point, right?

I do love the way my shoofly blocks are coming together...I have been so scared of silly of me!! report for the month...

February's  block - 32...Goal met
Year to date - 36...9 blocks short.

Thanks, Shelly, for helping me set and work towards a quilty goal!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The 350 Blocks Project - January Report

I have a hard time juggling family, work, quilting, and blogging. When I do find time to quilt, I find I don't have time to take pictures of my projects and blog about them. With that in mind, I decided to join Shelly's 350 Blocks Project. I am hoping this will help me "record" what I am working on and share it with others.  So, here is my pitiful block report for January ;-)

I made a little mini quilt just for fun.

I have three blocks for my #scrappytripalong. Unfortunately, the poor lighting doesn't do justice to the beautiful prints.

And one big block which is actually a flimsy (I resisted trying to count this as more than one block...haha).

I am hoping I will have more to show for February's report!!

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog.
~ Michelle ~

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Birthdays, Super Bowl, and a Winner

Today is a big day in our youngest son's 19th birthday!! Kyle shares his birthday with many special people...two great grandfathers from both sides of the family, his girl friend, and my friend Mary.

Kyle's not much for having his picture taken, but I was able to snap this picture of him last year while visiting the grandparents.

Kyle is a big supporter of my quilting, and all things "Momma." He insists that the quilt I made him a couple of years ago (while still learning) is the best.

He did say, though, with some concern in his voice, that my Peace quilt may actually outdo his ;-)

Today is also Super Bowl Sunday. Ehhh...blah blah blah...go Falcons!!!

I guess we'll be rooting for the commercials this year.

I'm excited to announce the give away winner of Rene's Peace Pattern, Ting, who wrote, "Looks great to have a Peace quilt for Christmas. I love the tangerine one too. Thanks for the chance." Ting, I have forwarded your email address to Rene', who will be contacting you shortly. Congratulations on winning this great pattern. I'm sure you will have lots of fun with it!!

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!
~ Michelle ~

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Peace Quilt Bloggy Party and a Giveaway

I am so excited to participate in the Peace Quilt Bloggy Party and be able to share my Peace Quilt and Peace top. I have been a follower of Rene' for over 40 years ;-) For those who may not be familiar with us, Rene' is my sister, best friend, motivator, source of inspiration...yes, I think she is awesome. And her Peace Quilt Pattern is just as awesome.

I totally fell in love with her first Peace Quilt, Feeling Groovy. If you haven't seen it, it is SO worth following the link!!

After some begging and pleading gentle persuading (thanks KT), Rene' developed the pattern, which is now available for purchase.

I had the pleasure of testing the pattern and am so happy to share a little #peace.

I made the baby peace quilt using Christmas scraps for a wall hanging.

I loved how quickly the top came together (I am all about instant gratification).  I loved how all my squares lined up so perfectly...a first for me ;-) The cutting instructions were spot on! I was able to lay out the strips on my dining room table and easily pieced the top in one afternoon.

The quilt was a perfect size for my Frustration and I to practice our FMQ.

The wall hanging goes perfectly in our kitchen, and we were able to enjoy this beauty during Christmas.

I have to say, however, that my second Peace quilt (the lap size) is my favorite. The squares are primarily Kaffe Fassett, with a few random squares thrown in. I waffled on the background fabric, finally choosing Kona Tangerine. As Rene' said, "Go bold or go home!" A perfect choice!!

As with the baby quilt, the instructions were perfect, and everything lined up nicely. Rene's pattern sure makes my quilting look good ;-)

Rene' included great graphics/diagrams for each size quilt. This really helped while laying out the strips and during piecing.

I am looking forward to finishing my Peace quilt, although I have no clue yet how I'm going to quilt it! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated ;-)

Be sure and leave a comment for your chance to win the giveaway of this pattern. I will leave the giveaway open through February 1st.  And be sure to check out the other blogs for some beautiful eye candy and more chances to win.

Bloggy Party Schedule:

Monday, January 21 -  Katie at KT Quilts
Tuesday, January 22 - Michele at  Nostalgic Cafe
Wednesday, January 23 - Cindy at  Live a Colorful Life
Friday, January 25 - Stephanie at Peas in a Pod 
Monday, January 28 - Terri at Terri's Notebook 
Tuesday, January 29 - Doris at Made by a Brunnette 
Wednesday, January 30 - Mary at Mary on Lake Pulaski 
Thursday, January 31 - Shelly at Prairie Moon Quilts 
Friday, February 1 - back to Rene' Creates  for a give away
Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!
~ Michelle ~

Monday, January 21, 2013

~ Family Secrets ~

Who would have known that while my sister and I were scheming a surprise birthday quilt for our mom that she had a little secret of her own?!? Christmas quilts for us both...

Although we knew our mom had taken a quilting class in October, we never imagined that she would be working on TWO quilts for Christmas.

I am totally blown away by this "beginner!" And I use that word lightly.

My quilt is absolutely gorgeous!! And perfect for nap taking ;-)

Somewhere under that bundle is me ;-)))
Mom named the quilt "Memories." We have such wonderful memories of past Christmases, and we are always looking forward to making more memories.

We have had so much fun the past few months sharing our quilting journey. We laughingly ask what we talked about before we quilted, as the three of us spend hours on the phone with quilty talk.

Be sure to drop by my sister's blog to see the beautiful quilt our mom made for her!!!

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!

~ Michelle ~