Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

A few "treats" to share: 
A fun quilt top.  

A picture of us on our Grandson's first Halloween along with...

... the cutest Second Graders in the world!
The kids got to dress up as their favorite story book character. We had a fairy, Woody from Toy Story, Chrysanthemum, Amelia Bedelia, The Cat in the Hat , Thing One, along with Spiderman, and Captain Underpants!!
Soooo very precious!
Hope your Halloween had more treats than tricks!
With smiles, 

And for a bonus "treat" visit Karen at her Quilts, Crows and Cardinals Blog and help celebrate her very first Moda Bake Shop Recipe!!! (How exciting!!!) Congrats Karen!

Thanks...Gingham Dog finds a home!

So here he will live cozy and safe from direct light in my very favorite book shelf.  
I truly loved the idea of preserving this little piece in it's "authentic" stage. (BTW...I also love that the needle is still threaded and in place.  I know I already emailed some of you about this, but seriously, I STILL thread my needle at the end of the night so it's ready for my next sewing session.)
I know in this modern time of  kindles, and I-pads, books are becoming obsolete but  I still love the smell and feel of an old book. 
Most of these books were collected during my years of teaching and raising a family. So lucky me, not only do I get to pass by my Oh Happy Day! quilt every morning, I'm now reminded of my ten year old self. (LOL!) 
It all just makes me smile!
Thanks so much  for your input's appreciated!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A New Hexi Flower

I'm not one to watch a lot of TV but Mondays this Fall finds me hooked on Dancing With the Stars and Castle (Though I usually fall asleep before Castle is over!!!LOL!!) So I use Mondays to work on Hexagon Flowers for my Hexagon Memory Quilt.

This flower represents a childhood memory of my first learning to stitch.. 
The cream hexagons in the middle row of the flower have the very same gingham dog that matches this little dog needlework sampler I had started when I was very young. I love that I still have it. I love the memory of  being so happy and proud that I had my own little hoop and "supplies". I love that when my hands were small they made this. (Well almost, I've obviously had WIP my whole life!!!)
So what do you do when you find treasures like this from your past? 
It's made of linen and stained in a few places. 

  I'd love your input. 
Do I: 

A. Frame and hang it as is?
B. Finish it and frame it?
C.  Finish it and incorporate it into a quilt?
D. Any other ideas?

The answer: I ended up framing and hanging it just as it is.
He ended up here.
With smiles,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting Ready to Twist!

I have my Layer Cake of Flannel all sewn together!

I just need to add a border and this is ready to cut with my Twister Template:

I'll be sharing my finish on November 8th as I'm participating in:

I'm doing this!

Just  wanted to say HI on this cozy Fall afternoon we are having
and give ya a peek at what I've been working on this weekend.
With smiles,

Getting Ready to Twist!

I have my Layer Cake of Flannel all sewn together!

I just need to add a border and this is ready to cut with my Twister Template:

I'll be sharing my finish on November 8th as I'm participating in:

I'm doing this!

Just  wanted to say HI on this cozy Fall afternoon we are having
and give ya a peek at what I've been working on this weekend.
With smiles,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Oh Happy Day! (Blogger's Quilt Festival)

Okay! So when I read about The Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side I knew immediately the quilt I wanted to share with you!                    
 (Also, welcome if you are new to my blog). Here it is:
If someone where to ask me: "Val which quilt have you made represents your heart?" This would be the one! And....ironically, THIS is one of my very first quilts!!! (I kid you not!) It started from a spontaneous visit to a mall bookstore which inspired this sketch:
It was the Fall of 2010 and I had just starting quilting. I wanted to quilt but I was struggling. I  was taking classes at the local quilt store, but found I really hated precise 1/4" seams (though I totally admired the workmanship of others ...I felt like something was wrong with me because I didn't care if my seams where precise!! But I couldn't tell anyone that!) I was also bored  following patterns and I was always the one who kept changing things up in a class. LOL!! Then one day, walking around one of those big mall bookstores, my daughter brought me to a section of "creative quilting"...let the sun beams shine out from behind the clouds! THIS is what I want to do! I immediately bought numerous books and starting sketching! I was inspired! I found my quilting  genre!

This inspiration was followed by a weekend retreat that found me equipped with 2 yards of black fabric, a crate full of scraps,a  purchased rainbow of fat quarter bright tone on tones, and a sewing machine I literally bought at a garage sale! (I was a little embarrassed once I got there...but I didn't let it show! LOL!). You guys, I literally was the last "woman sewing". As others were closing down their stations...I was exclaiming: "Just one more bird!"

I got lost in creating birds 

with long polka dotted legs...

Small birds with floral wings,

And lets not forget about butterflies...

Bumble Bees...

and Turtles! (I mean who could stop!?)

Oh and don't even get me started on how much fun I had creating the border of this quilt when I got home! (My studio had fabric flying!!! And I loved it!!!)

Wonky Stars!!1

Fussy cutting


Quilting love!

So there ya go! I've entered this in the Wall Hanging Quilt Division because truly every morning I stumble out of my bedroom in my flannel polka dot jammies and head down this little hallway to the bathroom and.... always makes me smile and reminds me that every day is truly a....HAPPY DAY!
Life can not be better than this! 
Thank  you so very much  for stopping my blog and reading my story,.
In appreciation, and as always, with smiles!

My quilt stats:
Title:  Oh Happy Day!
Made by: Me: Val Reynolds
Size: 55"x57
Category: Wall Hanging

A BIG Thank you to Amy for creating such a very 
cool festival of quilting inspiration!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Spy WIP!

Not that I need another project....but I can't help it!
(Life's more fun having multiple projects going on at once!!)
I never thought of creating an I-Spy quilt untill 1. I now have a grand-baby to quilt for and 2. Marianne at Adventurous Quilter not only inspired me, but swapped 50 squares with me!!! (Marianne, you saved me! Serious! Raising daughters,  I have a "stash" of Hello Kitty, not Ninja Turtles!!  My husband was reminiscing as he thumbed through the squares she sent! LOL!!!

So here they are on my design wall. My daughter and son-in-law come home for a visit next week (yes...I get more Grandma time) But they are looking forward to picking out fabrics to "fill in" the quilt. (And Marianne, know I'll cut doubles of  the fabrics they pick to send your way!)  
 I am creating a BIG red heart in the middle and
 I also have a quilt tag to add that says: 
Also for more on labeling your quilts (which I am admittedly terrible at!) Check out Willet's link-up at: heysislookwhatimade as she has been so very creative to think of a Label Linky Party. I'll be following to hopefully get inspired to start labeling my quilts!

Happy WIP!
With smiles,

Thanks to the following people for their link-ups:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Flannel Fabric

Nothing says Fall better than a layer cake of soft flannels!
I've been using the weekend to get started on a twister quilt for my 
husband's birthday, which happens to be in November.

So it's perfect that I'm making this just in time to join:

I'm doing this!
Hosted by Madame Samm.
Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy is our head cheerleader for the event.   
Linked up with:   Sew Many Ways

 Hope your weekend is going great.
With Smiles!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Other Side of the Quilt

I woke up to some great inspiration by Katie at swimbikequilt! She created a linky-party to share "the other side of the quilt". How clever!  I was excited to link-up and share a couple of  quilt backs I've made that offer an element of surprise and whimsical fun. Here's two of my favorites:

My daughter's 4-H Quilt:

She made the top, or should I say she started the top, while she was in middle school. She was crazy about the color purple and was busy raising rabbits for her 4-H projects...thus all the cute bunny and purple fabrics. While sorting through her childhood things last year, I decided to finish the quilt top for her: 

I incorporated her club t-shirt, and fabric from her favorite bunny PJ's on the back along with some "out-of-the-box" piecing that included her name:
And of course, good ol' Jackson thinks the photo shoot is all about him! LOL!!
Here's a close-up picture of the back:

Whimsical Butterfly!

This is my 30's flower quilt! (One of my favorites!!)
 I ran out of fabric for the back so added some strips and couldn't resist making a butterfly to go with the "garden of flowers":
 Cute huh!

I created a quick shortcut to Katie's Linky Party for ya and the cool thing is she is keeping the party open for a couple months! So we all have plenty of time to share.

With smiles!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Classroom "Monster" Quilt

Welcome to our "Monster Classroom."  
My classroom theme is: We are Learning Monsters. (The kids love it!) 
This is where I spend my 8am to 4pm everyday as a 2nd Grade teacher.
This is the quilt I made for my class last year. If you look closely you will see the  fabric is full of googly eyes, polka dots and little critters!  
My students LOVE this quilt!
2012 Classroom Quilt
Especially because it has a soft, purple flannel back! (I decided  not to fight the shadow effect and went for artist expression...LOL!!!)
The next picture shows where they put the quilt as soon as it is free reading time. I tell you, teaching second grade is witnessing children at their "realness". For, never once  has anyone ever taken the quilt as their "own". Yet, I will turn around and see it spread out like this with five little seven year olds huddled upon it! It's sooooo cute and  the sight of it always makes me want to make them more quits!
So there ya go. I'm a teacher by day and a quilter by weekend and summer. 
But! I'm always planning the next quilt or two and truly love how quilting warms the lives of so many!!! 
With smiles!

PS: Help Needed!

This is my third year returning to the classroom after being in a leadership position. My last two posts have highlighted the quilts I've made for my classes over the past two years. 
Now, I'm looking for ideas for this year's classroom quilt. 
Please feel free to comment and share any pattern and/or fabric ideas. 
I'm in need of inspiration!
Thanks a ton ahead of time. 

Linked up with: My Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My ABC School Quilt

Being new to long-arm quilting ( 1year), sometimes I just need to play and practice. I've had this panel in my stash for 20 years!!! Yes! 20 years. I wanted to be a quilter for a long time but quilting is not an easy hobby to pick up when you are in your mid twenties, starting a new career, newly married with two wee ones born within the first three years. But despite the many moves, and chapters so far lived in life, this panel  has endured every purge! SO! When I decided quilting was going to be my empty nest hobby...this was my first quilting practice/project when I bought my long-arm machine:
2011 Classroom Quilt

The Details:

I free-motion quilted a letter of the alphabet in each block with 
stars connecting them. I had so much fun!

  I love rick-rack so added a touch of it for a mini border! 
 The back I made a little scrappy.
Lesson learned:
I need to be more whimsical with my quilting! The perfectionist comes out in me, truly driving me crazy sometimes. LOL! I know...right! But seriously, I had nothing to loose here and it came out great yet when I do try "too hard" I always make mistakes. Love that life is a series of lessons and growth.

So this quilt is added to my collection of classroom quilts.  Each year I enjoy making a quilt for my class and love that  the pile continues to grow. It makes my heart sing to see my second graders cuddled up in them reading!
With smiles!

Linked up with:
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