Thursday, February 27, 2014

ALYof F: Feb. Crazy Heart Quilt Finish & Tutorial

"Thanks buddy."

 As I described here, I wanted to get my pile of scrappy, crazy hearts finished into a quilt for my February ALYofF goal. Sometimes it really is amazing what we can create out of a bundle of scraps. I'm most proud of the fact that this finish is truly made from 100% scraps. Even the backing was pieced with leftover pieces from previous quilts made:
This quilt represents 100% play! I had no pattern, no sketch. I just played with fabric, hearts, ribbon, words and even quilting. I used a Hearts Sonnet pantograph and love how the hearts and music notes complete the quilt! This was truly a liberating finish that makes me smile!

As part of my February Goal I also wanted to create a Crazy Heart Tutorial. 
Click this picture to check out that post.)

This quilt was made in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary. I love ya babe!
Oh! and it's safe to go back into the's no longer littered with scraps of pink, red and white. It's actually clean...for now!
THANK YOU for the motivation:
Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts
Stop by and check out everyone's February finishes and 
thanks a bunch for stopping by to see mine.
 With smiles!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fun Events Coming in March!

Next Monday, I'll be: 

stitch by stitch

At which time I'll also be kicking off a brand new Linky Party here at Val's Quilting Studio:
You're personally invited to stop by every Tuesday to link-up and share your OLD quilting/sewing posts. 
It will be as easy as 1,2,3.
1. Each Tuesday I'll post two or three quilting/sewing themes.
(I'll be going in ABC order to help me keep track of themes. 
So far I've brainstormed over 150 topics.)
2. Search through your quilting archives for old posts to link under the theme.
3. Visit a few other quilty friends, let them know how they have inspired you.

 It will be a quick and easy way to rejuvenate your old posts 
along with finding focused inspiration.

March will also find me joining in here:
The Sassy Quilter
Check it out and join the fun!
I was bummed to have missed out on Lorna's Oblongagonalong (Man I'm Glad  I don't have to pronounce that one out-loud!)at Sew Fresh Quilts  . This one doesn't begin until March 21st, which hits right on my spring break, so I'll have plenty of time to prepare.
I can't believe how fast February has gone by!
Tonight I'll be machine binding (I've never done this before) my Crazy Heart Quilt, just in time to post for my Feb. ALYoF Goal. WHEW! I wasn't quite sure I'd make this finish!
Hope your week is going well.
With Smiles,

Monday, February 24, 2014

How do I quilt this? DONE!

Here it is:
I used Superior Thread's King Tut Chariot of Fire (#929) on the front. It blended perfectly.
 Last week when I asked: How do I quilt this? The support and input I received from everyone was exactly what I needed to get going! Check it out: Basketball Flames!!!
 Perfect for a Project Linus recipient!!! 
You can really see the design on the back as shown above and below. I used Superior Thread's So Fine #50 Hot Chilies (#412) on the back and I like how the design  "pops"! 
Why I got so stumped I have no idea...everything just flowed today! LOL! 

But! It was so nice to learn I'm in good company when it comes to deciding how to quilt a top sometimes.  I also learned from your comments and input, a few "answers" to that question: "How do we know how to quilt a top sometimes?" 1.We need to follow our instincts & let the quilt speak to us. 2. We need to take into account who or what our "audience" is.  3. Sometimes less is more & simple is better. 4. Walk away from a project and return to it with fresh eyes. And finally, 5. Have fun, don't over think it. 
THANK YOU to everyone for your genuine support in commenting last week!! (I am seriously grateful and appreciative.) I feel like I took off those  "long-arm training wheels" as I quilted with greater confidence today.

And well, before I wrap up this post and go put on some tea and sit down to do some stitching and watch The Amazing Race, we've all come to know a "quilting photo shoot" around here is not complete without Mr. Jackson and today was no different! Our snow is gone and every single time we go outside he just wants to play ball...and we do! Over and over and over. He is 100% Jack Russell  that is for sure!
With smiles,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Feb. RSC: My Final Pink Blocks

Here they are:
I had a little fun playing with pink scraps and frilly ribbon today. Every time I sit down to work on my RSC people and houses I'm reminded of when I use to play with paper dolls when I was young. This mother and daughter pair sure make a cute addition to my January blue blocks. I even added a crazy heart to the house, making it the smallest heart I've made yet. I've decided to applique the doors and windows onto the houses, making is easier to add more detail and dimension this way. Happy Scrappy Saturday everyone! I'm off to see what you've all been up to. I'm already looking forward to our next color.

With smiles,

Friday, February 21, 2014

February Happy Mail

My Monthly Fat Quarter Bundle has arrived!
Great way to start the weekend don't ya think.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How do I quilt this??

I'm still pretty new to long-arm quilting  and quite honestly, this is a question I keep asking myself when I look at this current quilt top:
This quilt top was made by the local Project Linus ladies & I'm completely  stumped!

I continue to come home from work and just stare at it in wonderment, with what feels like a zillion questions:  (fast forward to the next paragraph to skip the rattling in my!) Should I use one thread color or multiple? Do I quilt a different pattern in each color? Do I mimic the flames in the flame strip? If so, what do I quilt in the red and yellow strips? Do I stitch in the ditch around the yellow and quilt patterns  into the other two colors? 

Serious, how do you know  how to quilt a quilt sometimes???  My inexperience is showing. 

My "normal" pre-quilting routine is to doodle and sketch, practicing designs from various Free Motion Quilting books and find inspiration from all your work. This is not working this time. I really  am stumped! LOL! I've been looking for classes/workshops and have been seriously considering taking The Beginner's Guide to Longarm Quilting Workshop through Longarm University this summer. It's a 4-day workshop by Cindy Roth in Renton, Washington. Anybody familiar? Anybody gone?

Quite honestly,  I feel like a kid learning to ride a bike. I think I'm a little afraid to take off my "training wheels" as I venture away from my safe and secure quilting  pantographs and  whimsical free motion. This top presents a set of new challenges for me.  My creative mind knows there is potential here. I know I can do this. But, seriously, right now all's I can think is: How do I quilt this??

I'm looking forward to your input and please do share any workshops or learning opportunities you have had (or offer) that you would recommend and are located in the Pacific Northwest area.

Thanks ahead of time!
With Smiles,


Monday, February 17, 2014

Crazy Heart Tutorial

 Crazy Hearts are so much fun to make!
You can make them in "solid" patterns as I did in this wall hanging.
I made this wall hanging in 2011.
Or, if you look up-close at some of these hearts below, you can make your hearts "scrappy". There  are no limits or "rules" when it comes to creating Crazy Hearts. 

Also, a good resource for creating "letters&words" is: Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci. 
Sooo if ya find ya have a pile of scraps laying around, and want to make some Crazy Hearts yourself, perhaps for a table runner, pillow, wall hanging or even a quilt, 
here's a little tutorial I put together for ya: 

Once ya get the hang of it, they are just way too fun to make! I've had my own pile growing for a year or two. But! Today, I'm finally sewing them together to make a quilt top for my ALYoF February goal. YAH!! Hope ya have fun! Val:)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wool Sampler Progress

 My little wool sampler is all stitched down...
 ...let the creative stitching begin.
This week I played with a Threaded Running Stitch as seen on the center of this flower. I used a Rosette Chain Stitch along the outside in a variegated orange/yellow perle cotton.
Happy Sunday Stitching for sure!
With smiles, 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Quilting Acronyms & GYB 2014 Give-Away Winner!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog during the GYB event and especially to those of you who signed up to continue to follow me on my adventures and growth as a quilter! It's fun to see us already enjoying the newly formed friendships and I enjoy that my own blogroll and list of creative places to visit has also grown. 

Today,everyone goes away a winner! I have the give-away winner to announce & the accumulated list of Quilting Acronyms for you to copy and paste and use as you wish.

With the help of  Mr. Random Generator  
I am please to announce that the winner of this cute Spectacle Case is: 
I so enjoyed rereading all your GYB comments as I accumulated the list of Quilting/Blogging Acronyms we LOVE to use.
Made New Years 2011
Here it is, in ABC order:
ALE3D: A Learning Experience in 3 Dimension
ASAP: As Soon As Possible
BTW: By The Way
BOM: Block of the Month
CRAFT: Can't Remember A Frickin' Thing
CRS: Can't Remember Stuff
EPP: English Paper Piecing
FART: Fabric Acquisition Road Trip (Great to do with friends!)
F8: Fat Eigth
FIF: Finally A Finish
FIZ: Fabric In Ziplocs
FMQ: Free Motion  Quilting
FQ: Fat Quarter
GFC: Google Friends Connect
HST:Half Square Triangle
LAQ: Long Arm Quilter
LOL: Laugh Out Loud
LQ: Liberated Quilting
LQS: Local Quilt Store
MTCO:Measure Twice Cut Once (Good Advice!)
PhD: Projects Half Done
PIGS: Projects in Grocery Bags
PITS: Projects in Totes
PIP: Project Induced Procrastination
PIW: Projects in Waiting
QCU: Quilter's Candy Unwrapped
QIQ: Quilt in Queue
SID: Stitch in Ditch
TMS: Too Much Stuff
TTYS: Talk To Ya Soon
UFO: Unfinished Object
WIP: Work in Progress
WIR: When I Retire
WISP: Work in Slow Progress

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

I just had to share the cutest teacher Valentine I received this week:
I also received many boxes of  chocolate, secretly
wishing they were filled with threads instead. LOL!
Our quilts are truly a "work of heart" aren't they.

Made New Year's 2011.
Happy Valentines Day everyone!
(PS: Check out my Linky Party Page above to see parties I join.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This week's WIP

February is just zipping by for me, yet I feel like I'm  not getting much done in the sewing world. My ALYofF Crazy Hearts project is gradually...

...coming "together". 
I'm on the last set of "words" and then it will be time to start sewing the top together. Luckily, I have a long weekend ahead  and the weather continues to be icky. The perfect setting for a sewing weekend. Also a quick fyi: Saturday does end the Grow Your Blog event. Click here for my Grow Your Blog Giveway!  All blogs will be announcing their give-away winners this Saturday. Good Luck to all who entered! Happy WIP fellow bloggers! Val:)

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm A Farmer's Wife Dropout!

Yep! But, I did :
Out of the 111 blocks inspired by letters from 1920's farm wives, I completed: 
32 blocks and 18 more with great imperfections, which I chopped in half  to create this: 
Made in 2011              Finished Size: 32: x 40:
If you are laughing in understanding, thank you!  I still  laugh in reflection of my Farmer's Wife "experience" as I refer to it. I didn't know better at the time. I was  a newbie and a fun group of women were gathering every Wednesday night a few years ago for a Farmer's Wife class. I was thrilled at the opportunity to cut into my ever growing collection of 30's fabric. "I'll do it!", I found myself saying.

Well, as the class progressed, I soon found myself  exclaiming: "Are you kidding me!" as I learned I was suppose to cut 36 little itty bitty triangles and sew them into a 5 1/2" block.  Need less to say, as the weeks progressed, I soon found myself  just plain ol' skipping the blocks with there "million little triangles" and before long, I was bringing cupcakes to class instead of my sewing machine, sitting around visiting with friends as I worked on my Hexagons!! LOL!! 

Not wanting to be wasteful combined with a strong desire to just "wrap this one up", I sat myself down and began sewing together what I had.  No sashing. No planning. I was pleasantly surprised at what evolved. I think it ending up making an adorable baby quilt! And truth be told, I did enjoy reading all the excerpts from the wives letters.  That has to count for something doesn't it!? LOL!!

I truly admire the precision of all you Farmer's Wife sewers. And well, the next time a project doesn't come out quite the way you intended, instead of letting it go the way of becoming an "UFO" : "make lemonade" might be surprised too.

With "lemon" smiles,

Also this is the last week to enter my:  Grow Your BLog Giveway! 
(PS: Check out my Linky Party Page above to see parties I join.)

Also....check out this online Farmer's Wife Class/Quilt Along  at Laugh Yourself Into Stitches if you have the book and have always wanted to make this quilt. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stitching on a Snowy Day

I love waking up to a fresh covering of snow, especially when I have no where to go!
This Sunday Morning found me looking out my desk window at this:
It's safe to say today will find me contently sewing in my studio. (YAH!!)
(Click here for my Grow Your BLog Giveway!)

I completed many of my "To Do's" from yesterday including getting my Sue Spargo BOM started. (Our Sue Spargo BOM is an unpublished pattern, thus we can not share photos of our blocks on social network sites.) Soooo....
...I was inspired to make this little wool sampler I saw in the Spring edition of Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine (page 12). I'll use it to practice my stitches on & to share my learning here on my blog.
I'm not good at sitting still. (Just ask my mom or husband) 
so multiple projects are no problem for me.

I but once again, shoveled the drive and walkways (I don't mind, it's a good workout and we love the snow.) Jackson had no problem keeping me company as I cleared .
Done! Now time to turn on the Olympics and start sewing my Crazy Hearts  together along with hopefully prepping a Crazy Heart tutorial.(It's and check it out!)
Happy Sunday to all!

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