Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hexi Flower Centers

Sometimes when starting a Hexi Flower, I find picking out the center is sometimes the hardest part! (Anyone else feel like that??) My youngest daughter and I are using the same fabric to make a  Hexagon quilt. (See my WIP here: My Hexagon Quilt) But we each chose a different center. Each center totally fitting our personalities perfectly. Each of us  love our WIP...never-the-less, I still think it took us two days to decide what fabric to use for our centers! Today, I thought I'd share the contrast of my bright and her subtle centers and just how much of a difference the center can make! (No wonder it takes so long to decide!)

If your visiting from One Flower Wednesday and have any good tips on how you pick your centers...please share! (I can always use help!)
With smiles,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Classroom Portrait Quilt

This quilt hangs by my desk and every year this is my very favorite start of the year project: 
the creation of our Family Picture Wall! 
This self-portrait quilt is part of my sharing "three things about me". As we continue to spend the next week sharing things about ourselves with one another and getting procedures and routines established, this project becomes the anchor that reminds us throughout the year that we truly are a cooperative classroom and that as one little guy said yesterday: "School is like a home." 
 I think we're off to a great start in Mrs. Reynolds' Second Grade!

With smiles,

Monday, August 26, 2013

Busy Sewing Receiving Blankets

This week will find me busy sewing flannel receiving blankets together along with matching burp pads. I love making these over-sized blankets for new moms and they love that they are so soft and are larger than store bought ones. 

The finished blanket measures about 38" square. I just sew two flannels pieces together (right sides together), turn it inside out, add a decorative stitch along the perimeter and I'm done. It's a quick but well appreciated baby gift.
One set done and three to go!
With smiles,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday Organizing: Ribbon Storage

I love ribbons and even more I love this old card catalog I use to store them in!!!!
After I took the pictures and starting playing with this post I found myself laughing thinking: "Gee Val, you could have at least tidied up a bit." HAHA! Oh well...this is how I roll.I organize my ribbons by color and each drawer is a "color" drawer. They are each sooo pretty and happy!
The second best thing is this re-purposed card catalog fit perfectly under a little stair nook in my basement studio. I remember about ten years ago when school libraries started to go electronic and our librarian was getting rid of this. Oh man! I snatched it up IMMEDIATELY!!!! I had no idea what I was going to do with it.(Ha!HA!) I just knew I had to have it and remembering calling my husband to meet me after school to pick it up!! Gradually my spools of ribbons found their home here.(And it's so crazy to think my soon-to-be-born grandson won't even know what a card catalog is!) 

I'm always buying ribbon at garage sales and on sale at craft stores. I never buy bows for gifts anymore.  Instead, my presents are garnished with ribbons and /or fabric strips. I smile to watch recipients "save" their bows and reuse them.  If you love ribbon too, feel welcome to comment and share how you store all those endless spools of color and happiness!
Happy Sunday and thanks for stopping by!

P.S.: Today finds me busy sewing receiving blankets for my oldest daughters upcoming baby shower next weekend and I can't wait to share the end results here with you!
P.S.S.For more "thrifty" ideas like this re-purposed card catalog...stop by Marianne's blog on Thursdays and check out her great finds. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hexi girl!

My first introduction to hexagon paper piecing was about three and half years ago. I was a beginner quilter, collecting 30's style fabrics. I was on a road trip with a friend and we stopped at this, the most adorable shop in the whole wide world!!! Serious! Every nook and cranny of this house was filled with everything we sewers, quilters, stichers love! Around every corner was a surprise!!! I wanted to stay longer!!!
And  then I saw this:
,,,and I knew instantly I wanted to learn how to make hexagon flowers!  I  immediately asked my friend, an experienced quilter herself, if she could show me how to make these little flowers. Absolutely was said and I found myself buying my first charm pack. We headed back to our hotel room armed with paper templates, needle and thread, a bottle of wine and that charm pack! My addiction to Hexagon flowers had begun!! (I think I stayed up till midnight and made three flowers!) Soon I had my own little collection of flowers and one Sunday I  put this together, No pattern....just starting sewing: 
I call her my Hexi Girl. She hangs in my basement laundry room and makes me smile!
Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wool Flowers & Creative Stitching

As I transition back into my teaching schedule and find myself preparing for my new second graders,  it's nice to have some creative stitching to do in the evenings as I wind down. Here is the sampler before I started:
And here are some examples of my progress since my wool class over the past weekend: (The first three flowers are finished)

The next two are my WIP:
I plan to quilt and hang this in my bathroom once it's finished:
I'm enjoying the break from quilting and this creative stitching is fun! Samplers are cool like that I guess. I promise to post "after" pictures in a week or two once I have the stitching done and quilting completed.
With smiles,

PS: Check out more fun ideas this Terrific Tuesday at these linky parties:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Organizing: Perle Cotton

Just back from the mountains and sometimes three days away is just what the doctor ordered. My class was so much fun! Aside from my embroidery box to hold perle cotton, one lady was clever to use a matchbox car case!! (YES! From the toy department!) I love that it held three times as much "stuff" and that is was a flip box. Here it is:

Truth be told, most ladies kept all their supplies in gallon size ziploc bags!
Hmmmmm....maybe I'm the one with a little OCD going on here. HAHAHA!
Need to unpack, get the lawn mowed, and life ready for back to school tomorrow. I'll  post samples of the wool work I did this weekend soon! 
With smiles,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Weekend Plans

We are going to the mountains for three days and I get to take a wool class here:!! My prep work is done and 
I can't wait to practice some Creative Stitching:

Don't forget to stop by Sunday for:
 I have a feeling I will discover, from others in my class this weekend,
many more storage ideas for Perle Cotton than just my embroidery box. 
I'll take a lot of pictures to share. I can't wait!
(NOTE:  If I post late Sunday it's because we have no internet in the mts..)

With smiles,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Chair Makeover

      Before                and                   After 

I'm a Second Grade teacher and when Marianne from Adventure Quilter set the challenge last week to create a Back to School block, I was inspired to give my ol' teaching chair a makeover! 

All my classroom bulletin boards are covered in black fabric and I have a green polka-dot window valence. Our classroom theme is:  "Learning Monsters". So the chair makeover will fit in perfectly don't ya think?

Plus I have to admit, it was fun to just play with scraps for a bit! Thanks for the motivation Mariaane!
With smiles,

From lap size to square...

Today I'm linking up with those of you at Fluster Buster's Creative Muster and Really Random Thursday...because I got frustrated and my creative muster was affected.(Darn it!) But I learned a little more about myself.(That's good!)and this post may seem a little random. (That's okay)

Fluster Buster Really Random
So here it is:

Mid August always finds me in happy anticipation of  Fall. You know that feeling that it's just right around the corner. For me, I find myself in transition and contemplation of what "I want the new year to be". Whether you are a teacher like me, or a parent with kiddos on there way back to school (I hear you out their exclaiming your hurrays...LOL!!) or a neighbor that see's the school buses starting up again, you have to admit there is just something about Fall and it's seasonal celebration of change and fresh beginnings. 
Yes! I give up mowing for collecting all these leaves. 

For the most part, my Summer Goals are accomplished. 

And I now as I head back to school, I find myself thinking about my quilting a lot and the new lists I'm starting to make. Yes, I LOVE lists! I love making them. I love the checking and crossing out (See above...hahahaha) I love the feeling of being organized. But sometimes, I need to remind myself that life is not a race, but a process and a journey to be enjoyed.

Here is an example: 

Yes, this WAS my Hexi in Halves lap size quilt top, but yesterday I had a day I haven't had in a long time: quilting was just darn frustrating! And, I stubbornly DIDN'T walk away "because I wanted to get it done" and it now measures a square 45x45! (Serious...what was I thinking!) LOL! I admit it's still cute but I made this quilt for myself...I'm 5'10" that is not going to work.  

With that said, I KNOW I am not going to make a metaphorical change in personality here. I AM a multi-tasker. I  AM a list maker. I AM a person who always has three things going on at once. I get that. I KNOW I need to slow down sometimes (My mom has been telling me this for 40 something years. My daughter just told me this yesterday!) Hahahaha...I'm actually laughing at myself right now.
But it is the process of life that matters the most. So I did this to remind myself :
Check this out: I am Number 899!!!!
Click to read about it: 
The Process Pledge

But here's the thing. (See my About Me page: I DID say I'm a Life Enthusiast) I enjoy being creative and busy. I don't sit around well. I never have. So as my  Hexi quilt shrunk from a lap size to a cute little my frustration and disappointment...when I found myself questioning why I even quilt and blog about it... I learned a little more about myself and actually the answers to those "whys": 

Here is my "list": (LOL!)

  • Quilting sustains me. It helps me through the time I need to be alone. It helps me with life's transitions.
  • It connects with creative people like you. Whether it be quilting, blogging, or going to a sewing class...I love the people I meet!
  • I'm learning to not be so hard on what if a lap size quilt ended up a square!
  • I'm blogging to document my journey and collect friends...not comments. (Though comments do help. Comments are like little cheerleaders that help us connect and smile...but just because a post doesn't receive any comments, I'm learning that is okay too.)
  • I love that quilts wrap around those I love and are sustainable. 
  • I love the look on someones face when I have made them a quilt as a gift.
  • I'm learning I like to do things at my pace. I have learned I loose my creative flow when I take classes or do quilt alongs... I do end up "wanting to get er done".
  • I'm finding more and more, I don't want to follow patterns. I just want to create!
  •  I will make enough quilts to fill my house and those of loved ones if I quilts are my way of sharing a piece of me with them...they are each a work of  my heart!
With smiles,

PS: Thanks for reading my long, random post! I'm not so flustered anymore!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Label your quilts as they will be treasured!

This cozy little quilt is the very first quilt I ever received. 
It measures 31" by 31" and was given to me as a young mother 21 years ago. 
It was made by my dear Aunt Cela for our second born daughter. 

I treasure it.

I treasure the memories of my babies playing on it.
 I treasure the hand quilting.
 I treasure the hand printed quilt tag.
I treasure the memories of my Aunt.
 Today, my Aunt is in her 80's and battles mental illness. 
I'm so grateful to have this piece of her.

With that said, I have not labeled all my quilts.
Today I  PROMISE to to label each and every quilt from this day forward!
We will never really  know it's influence, how far it will travel nor how much it will truly be treasured.
I do know the recipients of our quilts will treasure those labels.

I'm linking up with: Willit at heysislookwhatimade because though I don't have
a label to share, I'm hoping to be inspired by everyone else to
 find a simple, cute way to label my quilts.

Here's a tutorial I found by Kelly Young:
Quick Labels-The cute and easy way!
(Linked with permission...thanks Kelly)
My Quilt Infatuation

As Nike says: Just DO It! We need to don't ya think...
With smiles,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunday Organizing: Quilt Storage

If you are like me, you've given most your quilts away to loved ones. Luckily, I have a few favorites still "hanging" around. We live in a 1950's Colonial it's a cold house during the winter. My kids actually had the idea that I needed to make quilts for the living room as the fireplace is our cozy family gathering spot when anyone comes home for a visit...especially on snowy days! 
So my husband made me a quilt ladder:
How do you store your quilts? Feel welcome to comment to share.
With smiles,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Mail & A Productive Week!

Today I really have something to Whoop about.
First, as I received happy mail yesterday:
 (My husband laughed that I took a picture of myself...but I was that happy!)
In the manila envelope was THIS: 
THIS is the wool kit for a class I am taking up in the mountains next weekend!! I took a Sue Spargo class in April and fell in love with Creative Stitching! Above is the picture of the sampler we will be creating. Anyone else get their hands on her new book: Creative Stitching?? ...addictive stitching!

 I mean look at these colors and they are sooooo soft! I'm already thinking the finished project will be  perfect hung in my bathroom...the walls are painted lavender.

 And the box delivered the last block kits of my Garden Party Applique Quilt.
I admit, THIS was a little overwhelming to I usually get one block a month and this included four! "Egads!"  I'm still working on my August block, so I set this all aside for another day. But, you can check out my progress of this project here: Garden Applique.

And the second thing I'm whooping about is:  I felt productive.
I had three finishes during, this, my next to last week of summer vacation:

I felt like I had myself a little at-home vacation with me and my dog. LOL!! (Husband was chores were all caught up inside and out...I even splurged and had a BIG cinnamon roll for breakfast...TWICE!)

This weekend finds me back to mowing and we have friends coming with plans to visit a nearby Vineyard. Then our youngest daughter comes home Monday.  
I'm ready. I'm excited.

But don't forget to Stop by Sunday.
This week's topic: Quilt Storage 
(The post is already done, just in case we have too much fun at the Vineyard...LOL!)

Thank you Sarah for the link-up. I love your blog!

Have a GREAT day everyone.
With smiles,

PS: Leave a comment so I know ya stopped by.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hexi W.I.P.

I'm doing this!I participated in my first Quilt Along and it's my LAST W.I.P. on my Summer To Do I head back to school Aug. 19th. This is providing me with some easy sewing during the hot afternoons we are having right not. I love the colors and  know I have some yardage in my stash for the backing. This quilt was a last minute creation and even more rewarding is the fact that I already had 90% of the it's a true "stash" buster. (Isn't that the best feeling!) I'll be sure to create a post of it when it's finished.

With smiles,

Linked up with Lee at: 

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