Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Archives #9: Boys & BOM

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Click here to read more about this linky party.  And, hey! If you are new to my blog...welcome! I'd love for ya to help spread the word by adding my button to your blog and after taking take a look around, I hope  you'll become a  follower too!
  Also, I posted May's themes on my sidebar.
Val's Quilting Studio

This week is all about BOYS and BOM...whether they are a work in progress or finished BOM quilts...please do share! 


 If you are a follower, you know I became a new grandma this past October. This little guy is the first "boy" in our family. I'll add my links to the few quilts I've made for him so far, but know I'm looking forward to all your "boy" posts. I can use all the inspiration you have to share! (I'm use to pink and purple!) Soo, a big thanks to ya ahead of time.

BOM (WIP and/or finished)

This, Underground Railroad Sampler, is my first and only BOM...so far!
It was the second quilt I made. In 2009, I jumped into a Monday BOM night class with a wonderful bunch of ladies, following my Intro to Quilting class and boy, am I grateful I did! I learned sooo much about the basics of quilting.

It's a queen size quilt made from the Kansas Trouble fabric line. I made it for my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. My mom and I enjoyed picking out all the fabrics. It looks wonderful in their motor home and it makes my heart happy knowing that they have a little piece of my work with them where ever they go. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

ALYofF April Triangle QAL Finish

As I stated here, for my April  ALYofF goals I actually had two goals. First, I wanted to complete my first QAL. I enjoyed creating this finish as I successfully turning these:
into this, my My Whimsical Flower Garden Quilt: (read more about this quilt here)

Secondly, I also wanted to begin an animal/nature quilt with my Second Graders. Please stop by here and check out the fun we had. You'll also find a  tutorial  there that I created for any of you interested in creating a quilt like this with kids.

I'd like to thank:
Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts
I find myself really motivated by the  ALYofF challenge this year. I can't believe we are at the April and May begins this week....is anyone else feeling like that??  Stop by & check out everyone's April finishes & thanks a bunch for stopping by to see mine. Oh! And tomorrow's Tuesday Archives themes are: Boys and BOM (WIP and/or finishes). I'm looking forward to to seeing what posts you find in your archives this week. 
 With smiles!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April RSC: My Final Purple Blocks

I stayed with dark purples this month, knowing I can always add a light version later if wanted. This month I accented using Rik-Rac...and ended up hand stitching it on.
They will certainly make a cute addition to my rainbow neighborhood though.
Thanks again to Angela for the motivation.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Saturday! 
With smiles,

Friday, April 25, 2014

Triangle QAL/H2H Finish

Puffy free motion quilted clouds...

and butterflies, with rik-rac stems and prairie point leaves...

...along with polka-dot flowers that are embellished by hand...
and accented with more free motion quilting...
...all together make for a very  Whimsical  Flower Garden.

I'd like to thank Paula at the Sassy Quilter for the motivation provided by her:
The Sassy Quilter

My Whimsical Flower Garden Quilt has been so much fun to create. It makes my heart smile knowing it's now on it's way to be part of  Sarah's H2H Charity Challenge.  
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict 

I think my Whimsical Garden will be the perfect Happy Chemo Quilty Hug don't you!?
(It also has a soft flannel back.)
This measures 42" x 64".

 Thanks for stopping by to take a look!
With smiles,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Make a Quilt w/Kids Tutorial

I've been teaching my Second Graders about the Life Cycles of Nature and and now we've moved onto learning about animal habitats. We took a little break inbetween the two and they each had the opportunity to create a block for our classroom quilt: 
I know many of you have children and grandchildren, so I thought I'd share our process of creating these adorable blocks as I can truly see this being a fun and easy project for children of all ages. Here are a few tips that will guarantee a successful outcome:
Supplies Needed:
White Cotton Fabric
Fabric Markers
Black Sharpie
Freezer Paper
Drawing Template

Part 1: 


First: Have children draw their picture on a paper template. I took an 8 1/2"x10" piece of paper and drew  an 8 1/2" square for the students to draw their picture in:

Depending on their age, review with them detail and scale. I was very specific with my seven year old students that we wanted to just draw one animal very well. The animal was going to be the focus of their block. I told them we were not going to add a "background/setting" to their picture. (I had examples to show them) It was also helpful to have a variety of animal books on hand for my students to browse through.

As children get older and begin to draw with more detail, they actually begin to draw smaller. In this case, I just enlarged their drawing and helped them "center" and trace their enlarged drawing on a new piece of paper. I also instructed them to concentrate on the outline of their animal right now and reassured them that they would be able to add details and color to their animal picture once it was on the fabric.

The final step is to have them trace their picture with a sharpie marker. This will make the picture more transparent when it's time to trace it onto the fabric. 
(Notice not a lot of details right now.)

Next: Prepare the fabric squares. Cut enough 9" squares (plus a few extra) out of  the white cotton fabric. Then: Iron these squares to Freezer Paper. This was a lifesaving step!! This step really helped "stabalize" the fabric and the students had no problem tracing and drawing on the fabric.
Once you have the fabric squares prepared and the students drawings outlined, 
place the fabric/freezer paper square over their drawing. Tape the four sides down as this eliminates the block from shifting. (Be sure the tape is attached to the fabric and paper as shown by the arrows below.)

Using fabric markers, have students first trace their drawing. Once their picture is traced, they can now begin coloring and adding details to their block. My Second Graders really enjoyed this project and I think your children and/or grandchildren would too.
Click HERE to see this 2014 Classroom Quilt Finish
Click HERE to see our 2017 Classroom Quilt Finish
Washing Note: I used two color catchers in the first wash. No color run. 

And the fun only continued as yesterday found us off on a field trip to a Learning Center in Boise, Idaho. (About 45 minutes away.) What's kinda cool about this center is some of the instructor's are actually Science Majors from Boise State University. (I always enjoy watching the interaction between  older and younger students.)

So, I thought it would be fun to also share a few games from our adventure yesterday:

Habitat Hike
Students learned about the diversity of animals that live in our foothills and the elements that make up  this habitat. On their trail walk, students looked for signs of animals, explored where different animals might live, and what they need to survive. 

Can You  See Me? 
Playing a predator/prey game of hide and seek.
Students played an active game of "Hawks and Lizards" that demonstrated the effectiveness of camouflage for prey animals. Students experienced first hand good and not-so-good examples of camouflage.
As a teacher I may plant the learning seeds, but it isn't until students are truly engaged through independent practice that the real learning occurs! I hope you enjoyed a peek into my life as a teacher. We're certainly having a great week in Second Grade!
With smiles,

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Happy Mail

My monthly fat quarters arrived like a ray of sunshine in the mail!

And...I also treated myself to these 1/2 yard cuts from Jane's Fabrics. This is her In The Beginnings Set. I'm thinking of ordering three more ABC panels, another yard of the blue and 2 1/2 more yards of the dots for a future ABC classroom quilt. 
I'm off on a  field trip with my second graders today. Stop by tomorrow for a look at their animal/nature blocks they have been creating for this year's classroom quilt. They are really enjoying this project. 
With Smiles,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Archives #8: Birthdays & Borders

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Click here to read more about this linky party.  And, hey! If you are new to my blog...welcome! I'd love for ya to help spread the word by adding my button to your blog and after taking take a look around, I hope  you'll become a  follower too!
Val's Quilting Studio

This week is all about BIRTHDAYS and BORDERS! 


Whether it be a quilt you made to give as a birthday present, a wall hanging to celebrate birthdays, a table runner or even gifts sewn, I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to share this week!!   
Just a cupcake WIP I made one day while playing with fabric.


Some of you do the best  work with borders. Today I'm looking forward to you sharing your favorite borders! One of my most recent purchases has been the book: Quilts Without Borders, so with that said, know I'll be learning a lot from you this week. My inquiring mind will be ready your posts in wonderment of why mitered borders (huh?). I'll be searching for tips you may have when it comes to quilting borders...especially if you are a long-arm quilter. And I'll be looking at how you choose your borders. Please...don't be shy, show off your borders today!! Inquiring minds are waiting...
This is the first quilt I quilted using my long-arm. I DO like the ABC and added Rik Rac border on this.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Jackson got a haircut!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We went to see our grandbaby and family Friday and Saturday, then Jackson and I headed out for a day in the country yesterday to visit his breeder/groomer. He got to do everything Jack Russell's love to do: 
run with a pack, swim in canals, and explore gopher holes: 

I'm always tempted by all the puppies. Yet, by the time I get home I really can't imagine the energy of having two "Jacksons" running around the house anymore. (We've had up to three JRT's at once in the past) I'm learning in this chapter of life how to enjoy ME time without commitments and obligations outside of work.
The day we brought Jackson home 4 1/2  years ago...our empty nest baby!!
 I'm sure he'll be around for my Triangle Friday Finish photo shoot this week! LOL! (As we all know how much he loves to be in my quilt pictures!) His breeder/groomer did tell me he needs to trim down a bit...but I reassured him so did I...Spring will find us both getting our trim waistlines back. (Winter does that sometimes.  I may have spent a few too many weekends living in my flannels...LOL...but I have no regrets!) For me this means smaller meals, no sugar, wine & low carbs, more walks. For him it means smaller meals and more walks too...we got this!
I hope Spring finds you rejuvenated too!
With Smiles,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hoppy Easter!

We had fun making tangram bunny cards in 2nd grade today!
Kinda thought it would make a really cute quilt block too! (ooohhh I just imagined making a classroom quilt made of tangrams figures.) Anyhooo... I wanted to take a second to wish everyone a blessed and happy Easter weekend.
With smiles,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Embellishing my Triangle WIP...

Every now and then I like to link up with Let's Bee Social  and Live A Colorful LIfe especially when it seems like I'm having a quiet sewing week. This week just finds me embellishing my Triangle QAL Quilt. I'm busy sewing flowers on in the evenings while we watch TV. Here's a peek at the quilted Hexagon flowers with their ric rak stems and prairie point leaves:

 The flower centers are scappy with two layers of round scraps embellished with a perle cotton running stitch, a yoyo, then topped off with a big button! However, because this requires a lot of front to back work and flipping the quilt around...

..."someone" is not very happy with me right now!
Jackson will sit on the arm of the chair and stare at me!!

And when that doesn't work, he'll actually start to lick and bother me...

Finally finished with the flowers, I got up to get my binding thread only to return to him actually waiting for me, as if to ask: "Can I now????" (He even brought me his bone!)

Because he only wanted to do this:

And that's where he stayed for the rest of the evening as I worked on the binding.
My husband humorously calls us "pathetic" and I smile  "I know" in return.
I've had dogs all my life, but never one that I truly bonded with like my Jackson.
Hope your sewing is cozy too!
With smiles,

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