Sunday, December 21, 2014

Frozen Friends Finished

I got the last of the Frozen character Pillow cushion covers done this week and am excited to see the grand kids reaction when they open their presents Christmas Day.  I had the Three Elsa's done by the end of my vacation week and the purple one went home with my daughter to be gifted to my grand-daughter's cousin Mia. 

 And here's a picture of all the Elsa's together. 

The Elsa's were a great opportunity to play with a little FMQ on their hair and I really liked how they turned out.  I evidently put Olaf together so quickly I didn't take pictures but Sven had a little trouble.  I know I have shown my errors before but there always seem to be interest in how I fix my errors so I thought I would show you what occurred with Sven and how I fixed it.  First, a couple of pictures of the back of the Elsa fronts.
Funny how when I have all the pieces laid out for Sven, I never even saw the mistake but when I had him all sewn together it was instantly apparent. 

He isn't suppose to have that extra spike out the side of his left antler.  At first, I thought hey Brayden's only 15 month's old he will never mind but this was quickly followed by the realization that he was a reindeer and not a moose so his antlers were not okay and needed to be fixed for Sven to be a happy reindeer and yes I needed to be happy, too.

First the block needed a little unassembling.

Then I made another copy of the section I would need to fix.  The one on the block had already had the paper removed where I ironed the block when I had sewn it together so I needed to get that part of the pattern back.  I just cut off the seam allowance part and decided to just pin it over the top of the pattern below so that it was aligned in the right place like so:


Then I could just add the missing blue fabric to number 6 where it had accidently been skipped over before and the sewed on that line.

Then it's just a matter of flipping the pattern out of the way and trimming and ironing the fabric but into place.

Now I will just flip it back over and trim it leaving the 1/4 inch seam allowance I need.


Now when I sew it back together, Sven will indeed be happy with his appearance.  I will be very happy with his improved appearance, too.
Much Better

I just straight lined around him and trimmed him down to size and after completing 4 of these quickly had the fifth and final pillow whipped up and completed.

Here is the four of them all together.  Didn't they just finish off beautifully???

I bought them all Frozen character fuzzy blankets from Walmart to go with them and I know they will enjoy snuggling up under them and watching TV with their new pillows.  Oh yeah, best part was I found these great pillow inserts at IKEA for $5.99.  They are down pillow inserts and the 20 inch insert fits beautifully in my 18 x18 cushion covers.
Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Conquering FEAR one quilt at a time

I have a finish to share!!!  Last week I took a few days off to complete some Christmas presents for the g-kids...I'll share them soon... and got on a roll and even finished a project for me!!!  The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had all its members working on a medallion along and I pretty much kept up all year.  Then in October, after we had completed the top we were instructed to get the top quilted and bound and bring them to the Christmas party in December to show them all off.  Sounded easy but not so for me.

I was pretty sure the only way I was getting it done was to take it to a longarmer to complete.  I hate working on a quilt on the domestic and since it is my only option, having it professionally finished seemed the smartest choice.  Then for some reason I dragged my feet and started thinking it would feel great to finish this thing all by myself...what a sense of accomplishment that would be.  Then I did the only sensible thing and hung it on a hanger in the UFO closet with plenty of company and left it there.  The week before the Christmas party, I started thinking I should take some time during my vacation to work on it....dare I try to even finish it???

Crazy, but I quilted all 72 x72 inches of this monster in the final two days before the party.  Actually the day before and day OF the party.  I spent 10 hours on Wednesday and another 5 on Thursday, the day of the party, getting this project to completion and it felt really good and really exhausting!!!  Wow, did my shoulders and arms ever feel so tired after fighting that weight thru the machine for two days.

I started by doing something different basting it this time.  Usually I struggle with it on the floor and I saw this idea on Pinterest years ago and decided to finally give it a go.  After basting the back with spray adhesive to the batting I took the top and wrapped in around a clean 2x2 piece of wood.  I started by taping it to the length of the 2x2 with blue painters tape and just wound it around the wood until it was all on it.

Then, I was able to just pin baste it on the table, which was much better than the usual strain on the back and knees on the floor routine.  It was also great to only spray the adhesive on the 10 inches ahead of the section I had just finished and just roll out the quilt onto it each time.  This really revolutionized this part of the process for me...Yeah!! 

A few weeks before the Christmas party, Alyssa Lichner from Pile 'o Fabric presented her 2015 Skillbuilder BOM quilt, Technicolor Galaxy.  You can check it out by clicking on the link if you haven't seen it already, and I was thinking it really would be a fabulous quilt but I wasn't sure if I would want to change up the colors or how I would attack doing that plus did I have the time to commit to it???  Then on December 6th, just when I needed to hear this message the most, she posted talking about the Purpose of Skillbuilding you may want to check it out.  She reiterated that the learning is done thru doing , doing, doing.  Essentially the old practice makes perfect speech we all know so well. Problem is she was right about what stops us from delving forward into the doing, doing, doing, at least for me, and that is the fear.  She says fear will hault your learning and for me that certainly rings true.  I don't finish quilts because my FEAR holds me back.  I feel I have spent all these many hours creating a really beautiful and unique quilt top and I don't want to ruin it's perfection with my free motion quilting skills.  My fear paralyzes me from even attempting to do the next steps to finish the quilt.  I have spent a little time lately getting more comfortable with my walking foot but even then, I could do it more and do and do and do until I am more proficient and certainly not scared of doing it, but I rarely do.  How am I to acquire the necessary skills if I am too afraid of failure to try?

Therefore, two things went through my mind when I read and saw my fear head on in her post.  I was going to finish this quilt and I was going to finish my other UFO's in 2015!!!  Alyssa was so right in pointing out that to grow and succeed I needed to challenge myself to do it!!!  If I didn't try new things I would never realize my potential.  I needed to take her advice and approach this craft with NO FEAR!!!  So I used that as my fear!!!  Although I felt completely vulnerable taking the quilt top little ol' me had fmq'd to the PMQG Christmas party and hanging it up for all to see, I did it and can you believe I didn't hear one person gasp or belittle my skills.  By the way, thank you for that...seriously :) to all the PMQG members!!! I can chuckle about it now but it is scary putting it out there for such a group to see.

Despite the fact that 75 to 80 percent of the medallions that were finished in time for the Christmas party were probably longarmed and the fact that I felt completely out of my element hanging up my very amateurish in not juvenile skilled fmq'd quilt at the meeting/party,  I am going to  stay strong and fearless and committed to learning this craft.  I kept telling myself, Angela Walters would be proud of fearless... and you know what 15 hours later I had a completed top and it felt amazing!!!

Oh and guess what... that Alyssa Lichner--Pile O' Fabric--2015 Skillbuilder quilt, Technicolor Galaxy, well the PMQG took advantage of a group discount program Alyssa threw our way and a large group of us are all doing it next year together!!!  Talk about Kismet...only fitting I give it a go.
I hope I can stay fearless and motivated in 2015 because I need to grow and succeed in this manner if I am ever going to become the quilter I know I have living in me somewhere.  Just one more reason to say...
Keep Stitchin'

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Giveaway Winner!!!

It's been a busy morning over here.  First my printer wouldn't work---I think the network connection somehow got messed up when we lost power Thursday night in a wind storm.  I finally got it repaired because the Magic Christmas Sorting Hat needed me to print out all the comments so it could choose the winners of my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway.  After the printer was fixed my grand daughters showed up to make sugar cookies with us and that had us all occupied for hours.

The giveaway this week was so much fun.  I loved everyone's comments and a huge welcome to all the new followers...Over 50 new followers...Woot Woot!!! Thanks to everyone for the advice to catch the next flight to Hawaii to catch my brother's wedding!!!  He has been sharing awesome pictures this week on Facebook with us and I would have loved nothing more than a relaxing week in 85 degree Hawaii but his bride and him actually insisted on doing this by themselves.  They have been sharing a week in total bliss and will remain there for another week.  It has been very touching seeing them so happy and enjoying themselves.

I had 447 comments which translated into 445 after one was deleted by the author and one was a repeat.  If in any way the comments liked both prize packages they were entered in both drawings, if only one preference was made then they were entered into that drawing.  It broke down as follows:

Drawing One Only: 208
Drawing Two Only:  59
Both Drawings:  237

I bet you want to know who the Magic Sorting Christmas Stocking chose huh???

Well here it is in action:

My grand daughter
Kiara loved drawing the winners from the Magic Sorting Stocking

This is just the pile of
One's tossed out before drawing Number two

There were a lot of comments and I read everyone's and thank each of you for your participation in the giveaway this week.

Winner of package Number one is Connie Kresin Campbell from Freemotion by the River blog.
Congratulations!!!  I will be emailing you shortly 

Winner of Package Number Two is Peggy --- and thanks for being a new follower!!! Love that :)

Congratulations and I will be emailing shortly, also!!!

I have had a very busy week and am anxious to share pictures of my progress but I have little ones tugging on me to get back to engaging with them so I will have to find time to show you the quilt I finished this week...I am so excited it is on the DONE list and I had it done in time for Thursday's PMQG meeting to share with all the other medallion tops.
Time to get back to making dinner and frosting cookies :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

I hope you are as excited for the Sew Mama Sew annual giveaway week as I am!!! I love the opportunity to share it creates to offer some goodies to a couple of you.. picking them out felt like sharing a  Christmas present with my bloggy friends, it really helped get me in the Christmas Spirit this year.  A big Thank You to Sew Mama Sew for organizing this giveaway twice a year.

If this is your first visit here...a big welcome to each of you.  If you have been following me for a while a big Thank You to each of you for sharing this journey with me.   Please feel free to look around and see what I have been up to. I am sure you have lots more blogs to visit so feel free to come back and visit when you have more time if that is what works best, too.  I fell in love with paper piecing around 10 years ago but have been quilting for about 15 years all together now.  Paper piecing continues to be my favorite style and am addicted to Block of the Month patterns using them.  I am still quite fearful of free motion quilting and it is something that I am going to commit to tackling head on next year.  Until then I have made lots of quilt tops and blocks waiting for their finishing touches and 2015 is the year I am going to triumph over that pile of UFO's!!!  Well enough sharing about me for right now, I bet you just want to get on with the giveaway and I don't blame you.

I adore text and low volume prints and currently I am always looking for the newest print to add to the stash and squirrelling them away for just the right project.  While I have used them in my blocks more this last year, I still am squirreling them away faster than I am using them and have decided to share a few new favorites for one of my giveaways.

Package #1

2 fat quarters of Zen Chic figures (1 each) in Saffron and Linen
2 fat quarters of Cottage Garden Newsprint (1 each) in Pink and Teal
Plus a 5 inch charm pack of Moda Figures

Since the Christmas Spirit invaded my soul, I have decided to offer another package for the giveaway

Package #2

A 10 1/2" x WOF print ( not sure it's name)
A 13 1/2" x WOF Tula Pink Acacia Quill print
A 9 1/2" x WOF Chevron print
A 10" x WOF Owl print
An Aurifil 50 wt #4648 Fiesta variegated purple/green/orange thread 1422 yds
To Enter my giveaway you just need to leave a comment on this post letting me know if you prefer Package 1 or Package 2 if you were the lucky winner chosen by the Magic Sorting Christmas Stocking ( I will cut all the comments apart and toss in a Christmas Stocking and pull out two lucky winners on Saturday morning 12-13-14---the day my baby brother is getting married in Hawaii without me.)  If you are a follower ( old or new ) you can have a second entry by leaving a comment letting me know how you follow.  Please make sure you are not a no reply blogger so I can email you to let you know if you should win, if you are not sure you can leave your email in your comment so I can notify you, otherwise another random winner will be drawn if I can not contact you :( Please don't let that happen it makes me so sad and I want to pass on that Happy Holiday Spirit to you!!! I will email the winner on Saturday 12-14 and send the packages on their Merry way on Monday or Tuesday 12-15th or 16th.
Best of Luck to each of you.  Please understand if I don't respond to each comment this week...giveaways can be challenging to keep up with and although I am on vacation this week I need to get lots of sewing done to get my Christmas presents done. Thanks for understanding! To go back to Sew Mama Sew to see more giveaways click here
Keep Stitchin'

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Olaf is so happy it's snowing

Just a quick post to share my progress on assembling my Olaf block using the pattern from Jessica Lee Blacknall @ Sew Much Mischief .  He went together very smoothly this morning.

He turned out so adorable and he is going to make one special grand-daughter very happy this Christmas.  Hopefully by weeks end I will have all five Frozen pillow cushions done.

Doesn't he look thrilled to see it snowing...even if he if has always loved the idea of Summer and everything hot???

Be sure to come back this week ---starting tomorrow--- and see what I am sharing in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway.

Wishing you the best,

Elsa #3 and Olaf

I have completed Elsa # 3 for the Christmas pillow project I am tackling for all the grandkids Christmas presents.  This one was made with another half yard I recently bought from from Hawthorne Threads and I love how it looks with her.

The plan was to make for each of the grand-daughters and then my daughter requested one for their cousin Mia.  She is their same ages and while I knew she would love one I wasn't sure I could commit to the time it would take to add it to my to-do list and more importantly get it to the done list. 

Then I decided I would really like to make Olaf for the youngest grand-daughter, Jayda, as she is in love with Olaf the most.  Must be that they both love hugs.  So when I ran the idea past my daughter she thought it would be a home run so I set to work on him this morning.

The pattern is another freebie from Jessica Lee Blacknall @ Sew Much Mischief.  The pattern is for a 5 inch block so I enlarged it 250%.  I haven't put all the pieces together yet so I am not sure what the exact finished size will be but I am adding a border all the way around it to get to the 18 inch size needed for my pillow cushion covers so I am not to worried about it.  Jessica didn't have the sections marked with their corresponding alphabet sections so I cut it apart and followed her diagram to lay the pattern out before I set to work.  It is always a little tricky getting it all laid out before hand because with paper piecing you are dealing with the mirror image so it was a little awkward without the letters on the sections.  I made sure to mark them once I had them laid out like the diagram.

I took advantage of Cyber Monday and ordered this background from Fort Worth Fabrics and it is perfect for Olaf.  He looks absolutely thrilled to see all the snowflakes falling!

I quickly set to work on him this morning and got this far before deciding to take a break and go help the family pick out our Christmas tree.  When, we got back home, I was able to squeeze in just enough sewing time to get all his sections made and laid back out before needing to decorate our tree.

Isn't he just so much fun!!!  Jayda is going to flip for him.  Hopefully tomorrow I can squeeze in time to get Olaf all assembled.  I was thinking of making Brayden, the youngest and only grandson, a deer pillow as his daddy is an avid hunter but then I decided Sven would be perfect.  Jessica just happens to also have a free Sven pattern ,too.  Only problem is I would love to have the same background fabric that I used on Olaf so it looks like I will have to order some more from Fort Worth Fabrics this week. 
I am taking a mini vacation this coming week and hoping to get some of these Christmas projects finished.  I actually have too many things on my to do list to cram into four days off so wish me luck getting at least these pillows done. 

I ordered all these great Frozen fabrics on Cyber Monday from Fort Worth Fabric Studio , too.  Aren't they going to look fantastic on the back of the pillows.  The staff threw in the cocoa and stickers, too!!!
They were a very nice surprise in my package---thanks your the best. In case you are wondering they are not a sponsor of my blog---I am not profiting from telling you how special they are--- just passing along the info on a really great and friendly shop :) I may have to see if they have Sven on some of the Frozen line of fabrics, I can't remember if I saw one with him or not.

Be sure to come back and check out what I am giving away in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway this coming week.  I will be posting details on December 8th...hint...I hope you like text prints as much as I do. 

Keep Stitchin'

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Elsa block # 2

I made quick work of Elsa block #2.  Two days and just a couple hours total sew time and it was completed.  I only bought a half yard of the background and as it is for an 18 inch pillow form I probably cut it a little too close.  Number three block will have me biting my fingers hoping I bought enough background fabric also.  At least the next background is not such a directional fabric.  I finally just had to not worry about the background direction on this one but I like how it finished it when that happens.
I bought the Rustique by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller fabric from Hawthorne Threads recently because I needed a darker background and those deer were irresistible.  I knew my grand-daughter would be reminded of Sven when she saw them so I had to have them.  Just never gave much thought to how they would end up so jumbled from paper piecing them in a gazillion directions but I like the scattering of them around Elsa anyhow.
Then another quick two mornings and I pieced together the 'Sophia'  I needed for baby quilt #2 I am currently working on.  Sophia's due date is today so it is time to get a move on this project.  I used the font in Sam Hunter's 'Quilt Talk' but just made the slants on the roundness of the letters a little steeper than the pattern to just give it a little more definition between each letter.  I was absolutely amazed at how quickly these letters go together and am thrilled with Sam's pattern!!!
I added background fabric to match this strip and this block completes at 12 inches square.  Which leaves me a little mathematical quandary.  My surrounding blocks are 10 1/2 inches square.  I think I will need to cut them down to 10 inches but even then it is a puzzle to put them all together in an aesthetically pleasing manner.  I've drawn out a couple different options and am hoping to be able to play with one of them today...after I get my grocery shopping done and the stores are getting immensely crowded in preparation for the coming holiday.

Keep Stitchin'

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Baby Blue Bowties

I've been secretly busy working the last two weeks on a quilt for a expectant co-worker.  Little fellow is due in December, so I recently asked her what her decorations plans were and she just replied all blue and white stuff.  I've been wanting to making a bowtie quilt for a while now and this seemed the perfect chance to kick it off the bucket list.  I don't do traditional piecing often, usually preferring paper piecing, but love how quickly it came together.  The AccuQuilt die for the 2 1/2 inch blocks helped speed up all the fabric cutting some.  Believe it or not this quilt top all came out of my stash and it felt great to use up some of the fabrics that have been just collecting dust for years.

It currently measures 32 1/2" by 49".  Normally my baby quilts finish a little wider but not sure I want to add more to it. Probably an ideal crib size but usually I like to make a play on the floor size quilt.  Still needing to get those three Elsa pillow cushion covers made so this might be the finished size of this blanket plus the binding.

I bought some Michael Miller "Oh Baby" Animal Silhouettes by Cynthia Rowley for the back and may consider a border on the front with it if I have enough.  The animals are all in a dark navy blue and I think they will look great with it.

Christmas decorating the house tomorrow...what are you up to?

Keep Stitchin'

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day and Round Robin block

Happy Veteran's Day

Honring our veteran's photo: Thanks to our Veterans 100_0327.jpg

The Round Robin Block I am working on this month is from Bea Lee.  She blogs at Beaquilter and the block she sent has been an honor and pleasure to work on this month and especially this last weekend.  It was a flag block that she machine embroidered God Bless in the star field and she is going to donate the finished quilt top to a veteran next year when it is completed.  Her starter block was a 12 1/2 inch block that I forgot to take a picture of before I added my borders and the rules of this round robin only allow me to show a teaser of what I added this month not the finished round, but you can see her block on her blog by clicking on the above link and scrolling done her October projects until you see her adorable flag block. 

My assignment was to add 20---3 1/2 inch blocks around it.  I love paper piecing but needed just the right inspiration as to what I could paper piece on a 3 1/2 inch block that would be a tribute to the veteran receiving this top at the completion of it.  I happened to go to a holiday bazaar the first weekend of the month and found the inspiration I was needing.  There were some patriotic signs there and one of them simply said, ' Liberty '.
It is a word I don't often use but it really resounded with me for this project.  I was really moved to say, "God Bless you for giving me and others around this world the liberties we hold dear."  So many things we enjoy in this great country are Liberties that others just don't have around the globe.  Liberties that we daily take for granted like freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, travel freely, heck even learn in a classroom and not hide behind a burqa when you are a woman are just a few of the social and political freedoms we enjoy in this land of the free.  So I choose to express my gratitude for the Liberty we all have thanks in large part for the sacrifices made by the men and women who for generations have served this country in the Armed Forces.  Thank you!!!

So for that teaser, I am showing these sneak peaks of a couple of the blocks I added to Bea's block.

I had this fabric in my stash with the Star Spangled Banner, America and America the Beautiful on it, that was perfect for piecing the needed letters.  Then I needed to add some stars and love how they turned out.

For all the letters I ended up giving in and buying Sam Hunter's newest book 'Quilt Talk'.  I loved seeing all her scrap totes in her recent blog hop and well just fell in love with her fat bottomed text font.  I feel that I will be getting chatty in at least one major quilt project next year and so it will definitely be put to major use in the year ahead.  I tweaked a few letters to make them more to my liking and am ready to send it on it's way.  I think I'll just enjoy looking at it for a while before sending it out but it's ready.

Keep Stitchin'

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