Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Hexagon Memory Quilt

I'm linking up with  Lee for WIP Wednesday at: http://www.freshlypieced.com/ for today's post, I am excited to share my love of hexagons because: 

My Hexagon "Memory" Quilt is a W.I.P.!!! 

This WIP  is dear to my heart though: it's a 1" Grandmother's Garden and it's going to be a memory quilt! Yep! I make a hexagon flower for every special event, trip or whatever event I want to document. I'm using my 30's fabrics and match the colors to the "event". I date and title the  back of each hexagon. I store all the finished hexagons is a gallon size ziploc bag. I figured it may take me ten years to finish...but what a whole bunch of memories it will hold! (Someone smart suggested I start making the garden hexi's now too...GOOD IDEA!) Here's what my Hexagon Memory W.I.P. is looking like:

Hmmm...maybe its doesn't need a "path"??? I like the scrappy look!

Anyhoo, I just LOVE my HEXAGON W.I.P. and it totally cracks me up when family members volunteer to pick out the fabric to represent the event! (Sometimes, I bring a large selection of strips when I can't decide).Quite honestly though,  I think they just love the idea that they get to sign the back like my mom did here:
Happy memories for sure!
Val:)


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hexagons On-the-Go + Kit Idea

 Anytime we go anywhere that is over an hour in the car, I am making hexagons! This past weekend we drove six hours (round trip) to see our daughters and I made hexagons.

And I got this done:

These are 1" hexagons. 

  Also, here's a peek at  my on-the-go Hexagon kit:

It's just a little snap bag. I love that they are quick to make only needing two fat quarters and takes  I've made them for my daughters bridesmaids, all the girls in our family,and  I think I have my own like the one below. Oh and they make great gifts! Okay, inside my little snap bag I have:  

  • my glass template 
  • a ton of paper templates
  • thread
  • needles 
  • scissors
  • pre-cut 2" strips. (BTW: A great way to use scraps!!) I usually have enough strips to make two flowers. As you can see, my glass template fits perfectly on the strips. I just snip, snip and start sewing. (My husband is such a smart guy. He makes stain-glass and thought of this little template for me.)

Easy as 1,2,3!

Purple 1"  Glass Hexagon Template

Happy travels for sure!
Val:)

PS: Hexagons are a great way to use up our scraps!!!

PSS: I linked up with Freemotion by the River, so if you are new to my blog, welcome! Take a look around. I'm glad you stopped by. 
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sunday Organizing: Fabric Scraps

The FIRST looming question is:  When does our precious fabric even be considered a scrap or (I even hate to say it) get thrown away?! For me, anything LESS that a 10 inch square is considered a "scrap". Note: most my fabric collection is in fat quarters. When I really like something or I'm going to use it for background in my piecing, then I purchase yardage. But most of the time, I "collect" fabric by the fat quarter and "purchase" fabric yardage specific to projects. 

The SECOND looming question is: How do you store your scraps? For me: I have not one, but three answers:

Number One:

When I am finished with a project and my leftover fabric is large enough to cut into 1 1/2", 2" or 2 1/2" strips, I will rotary cut the fabrics and toss them into the little red bucket it matches. (I found these little red buckets at a dollar store about three years ago.)

The buckets are organized by color. Blue, Purple, Red...

Orange, Yellow, Green...

Brown, Black and White.

Yes, I'm saving up to make myself a very scrappy quilt!! 
Each bucket is labeled using a DYMO label:

Number two:

If when I'm finished with a project and the scraps aren't really long enough to cut into strips and are LESS than a 10" x 10" square, then I throw them into a basket. This is the fabric I " play with".  



I'm not a "small piece" quilter. The only time I really even work with small pieces is when I'm creating "Out of the Box" like this:

Number Three:

If I have a WIP, then I store each (because I never just have one!) project's scraps in a gallon size ziploc bag. I don't throw any fabric away until I'm done with a project. Since I also love to applique, I have found that I just don't know when that little piece will be needed!
So now it's your turn: 
1. When do you consider a piece of fabric a scrap? 
2. How do you store your scraps?
Preview
With smiles,
Val:)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunday Organizing Linky Party Begins!!

Welcome to my Quilting Studio!

I've been crafty my whole life. Yet, it wasn't till we purchased our present home, that we finally had a space big enough to call a "Studio". I quilt and my husband creates Stain glass.  This is our basement studio:

I  LOVE, yes LOVE to organize. There was actually one point in my life that I thought if  I weren't a teacher how wonderful it would be to be a Professional Organizer. (But I love teaching too much.) So I put my desire to organize into our home and my classroom.  I just function better when everything has a spot. (smiles!)

Thus, the creation of my Sunday Organizing Linky Party! 


I mean who doesn't love a linky party! We can share our tricks and tips for organizing our quilting/sewing tools and areas and get a peek into each others "sewing" domains too! Click on my: Sunday Organizing Page for specifics and come back Sunday for our first link-up!

BTW..if you're wondering why Sunday? It's pretty much the only day of the week I get to spend an entire afternoon in here. I almost always have a Lifetime Movie on in the background and find myself busy as a bee. (My laundry room is right outside the studio door, so I can easily multi-task too!) 

So for now, we are off to visit our daughters this weekend. Don't laugh, but we are going to help our newly wed daughter organize her house. LOL!!! I'm serious! I'll post our first Link-up Sunday...I can't wait.

With smiles,
Val:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baby Boy Quilt...I goofed up!

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday! I'm making my first boy/grandson quilt. (He's due in October) My plan A:  I had originally intended on turning this into a Twister quilt....but I absentmindedly cut my fat quarters into 9 inch squares instead of 10 in squares. (sad face) So now my Plan B: I'm thinking of quilting  it with either a cute dinosaur or circle pantograph. 

I have this turquoise with brown dot for the backing and the brown 
with polka-dots for the binding. So it's going to come together well.

 I got a little bummed that I goofed up.
But in the end, I think it's going to look real cute with some special quilting.
Still smiling...
Val:)

PS: This is the "Twister" quilt pattern I intended on making. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Work in Progress (WIP)

I've linked up with WIP Wednesdays! 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
I love the idea of sharing our Works in Progress....because I have A LOT of those!! I'm hoping this link up will motivate me to actually finish some! LOL!!! (Problem is I keep starting new ones.) Thus, why we love this hobby so much.

So here's my work in progress today:
My scrappy quilt is ON the quilting frame! YAH ME!!!
Still new at this Long-Arming stuff, THIS is the largest quilt I've done. 

 For those who have been following my blog, I decided to go with a star pantograph called: Loopy Stars.  I'm liking it!

If you're visiting from WIP Wednesdays....welcome
Take a look around and follow me! I follow back.
Happy WIP Wednesday to all!
With smiles,
Val:)

Extra thread is for the birds!

This morning I was cleaning out our birdhouses from the Spring.

Imagine my pleasure when I found some of these scraps 
and threads I leave out for the birds:

In here: 

 Serious!! I cracked up when I immediately saw the red poka-dot scrap! As I took a closer look, I found my colorful thread leftovers interwoven throughout, along with candy wrappers, grass, feathers and twigs of course! (Top left...there's even the paper from a almond chocolate kiss!!)
For some reason, this just made me happy today!

Val:)

PS: I have since modified my "feeder" by actually running my rotary cutter through my bunches of thread first to create shorter pieces for the birds:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

THIS is where I do most of my planning....

Yep! On my treadmill is where I catch up on my magazines, read patterns and plan which project I want to tackle next! This week: I'm going to make a twister baby/diaper bag size quilt! 

BTW: I have no idea why Santa is still sitting on my treadmill! LOL!!! I found the dogs playing with him during the holidays, and for some reason he never made it back into the holiday boxes of storage.

















Well, my buddy is awaiting his walk. So we are off. One mile done, two to go. Check back, as I'll post the progress of my twister quilt as I go!! 
Doesn't he look like he's saying: "Come on mom, get off this dumb thing so we can go outside!!"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Four Project Linus Quilts Finished!

I'm off to Boise tomorrow for a Project Linus Make-A-Blanket Day. I volunteer as a long-arm quilter for our local Chapter and am looking forward to returning these four quilts to them.  


I've only been long-arm quilting for a year. Yet, with every quilt I learn more and more. I feel myself gradually developing my own style. For example, today, I had fun resizing this happy, bouncy frog. I couldn't help but feel good thinking of the future teenager he'll be sure to make smile!



He is part of this teenage/girl quilt I finished quilting today. 
These bunnies, crickets and butterflies join him as they
too frolic across the quilt!

I do not piece the quilt tops. Tomorrow is my first meeting. So I'm looking forward to meeting the other woman in the Chapter who are the creators of these fun, colorful quilt tops!

Take a minute to check out the Project Linus link. It's such a wonderful cause that I love being part of. Feel free to drop me an email if you have inquires about Project Linus. It's the kind of volunteer work where many hands make for light work yet warm many hearts.

And before ya go, here are two quilts I used pantographs designs on: 

This one was quilted with a pantograph called: Playful Paisleys.



And this one was quilted with a pantograph called Paper Poppies:


Thanks for taking a peek!
I'm sure all these quilts will be making children smile soon.
With smiles,
Val:)

Are you a No-Reply Blogger?

Here's a shout out to Kelly at:

 

She let me know I was a no-reply blogger...and I don't want that!!  
Thank you Kelly!!

Soooo...if you are not receiving replies to the nice comments that you leave on other peoples blogs; if you find yourself going back to their blog to see if they replied; you may not be getting the replies because you may be a no reply-comment on blogger. There's a great tutorial by Robyn at Fluster Buster that tells you how to see if you are a no-reply blogger and how to fix it!

What I'm Reading:

On my bedstand: Elm Creek Quilts novels by Jennifer Chiaverini. I received my first, The Giving Quilt, for  Christmas from our youngest daughter. She thought I'd enjoy it due to my love of  quilting and involvement with Project Linus. 

She was right! Now I check in with our little  bookstore down the street often with the mission to collect them all.  I really like the main character Sylvia and her young friend Sarah and their developing friendship. I love the setting of the Elm Creek Manor and the birds eye view we as the reader get of their many quilt retreats. I am inspired by the development of friendships through quilting.  It's an easy, peaceful read before lights out each night. 

If you've ever been interesting in reading the series too, I've including the list of the novels in order. Don't worry about the titles with lines through them. I love making lists, and even more, I love checking things off my "lists". So, "crossed out" novels are the ones I've already read. (But no big deal, just a personal way for me to keep track of which I've read and which I still need to find at the ol' used bookstore down the street.) Also, the * = her historical fiction novels.
  • The Quilter's Apprentice (1999)
  • Round Robin (2000)
  • The Cross Country Quilters (2001)
  • The Runaway Quilt (2002)*
  • The Quilter's Legacy (2003)
  • The Master Quilter (2004)
  • The Sugar Camp Quilt (2005)*
  • The Christmas Quilt (2005)
  • Circle of Quilters (2006)
  • The Quilter's Homecoming (2007)*
  • The New Year's Quilt (2007)
  • The Winding Ways Quilt (2008)
  • The Quilter's Kitchen (2009)
  • The Lost Quilter (2009)*
  • A Quilter's Holiday (2009
  • The Aloha Quilt (2010)
  • The Union Quilter (2011)*
  • The Wedding Quilt (2012)
  • Sonoma Rose (2012)*
  • The Giving Quilt (2012)
  • Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker (2013)*

Happily reading,
Val:)






Thursday, July 18, 2013

I've been Quilting...

 I used a pantograph called: Paper Poppies to mimic the garden feel of this quilt. I'll have more show-n-tell tomorrow as I'm getting ready for the Project Linus Make-a-Blanket Day coming up this Saturday. I want to have four quilt tops completed to return to the chapter for binding. (I have one more to go! )

With smiles!
Val:)




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bad tension = tension!

UGH!!! While long-arming, a needle broke and tension hasn't been the same!
 I'll start over in the morning.

i
Still smiling though!
Val:)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hexies by Halves Fabric Picked!

It was fun to go through all my black and white fabrics as I get my fabric ready for the Hexie by Halves Quilt Along. I DID however have to go shopping for a large print and love the reds I found!!!!I'm thinking the black with small white dots will be the binding...but we'll see.  Fun to be planning! 

Tomorrow's to do list: 1.) mow the lawn in the early am to beat the heat (I know that has nothing to do with quiliting...but it is one of my forms of exercise and it has to be done! LOL!!) 2.) quilt a Project Linus top  3.) get my scrappy quilt top on the frame!!! 4.) Applique in the evening.

With smiles! 
Val:)
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