Monday, March 31, 2014

Scrappy Trip Blocks

  I love the newest round of Scrappy Blocks I made for my Hive this month.  I hope everyone loves them as much as I do.

Ivana requested low volume prints with the occasional pastel print.  Calling it sweet and low all around.  I recently found this bird print and thought it complemented all the other fabrics perfectly and added to the sweet-a-bility of this block.

Next Salley wanted low volume greys, very pale aquas and a raspberry pink/red as the feature strip.  Here is what I came up with:

I made the mistake of using a strip of noteworthy from a jelly roll.  Mistake that I won't do again. It was just a little shy of the 2 1/2 inch width, but I got it to work.  Hope it will be ok :)

Tricia wanted purple, aqua/teals, gray, and pink.  I really like this one!!!
Debbie wanted lime green with blue and yellow.  I had a hard time finding a yellow that I thought looked nice with lime green.  Luckily I found one fabric with a combo I liked.  Overall, I surprisingly ended up liking this one.  Hope Debbie will, too.
Our Beekeeper, Mariana requested bright happy colors. No blacks or browns. She likes florals and geometrics and said Have Fun!  Wow...I had the hardest time because the choices were so huge and varied.  Her flickr page showed that previous blocks varied immensely so I finally just let go and put together some fabrics that appealed to me.  I hope she will love it.  One thing I will have to say I love about these scrappy blocks is that when you put them all together, they work so nicely together.  Even though the colors, hues, values, tints are all so widely different they look wonderful together.  I don't think I have ever seen one of the tops put together that I have not loved.  So with that I let go and let faith guide my final decisions.

I will get these posted this week and on their way.  Looking forward to the next round of swaps already. 

Look what I found in my mailbox today:)

This one found it's way to me via Spain.  Thanks so much Mariana.  I love it!!!  My colors are Brown, Green and Blues.  I adore the wide range of fabrics I find in all the blocks I receive.  It is definitely, fun watching all the blocks arrive from all their destinations and seeing my scrappy trip top grow each quarter.

Keep Stitichin'

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Madness ends

I don't follow March madness despite this blog post title.  In fact, since it messes up my favorite TV shows for the month...I hate March Madness.  So when it ends I am over the moon happy!!!  But since that seems to be a great title for my life this month, I am glad to see it end and I hope to find time to finally get my Sewjo back on track. 

Why is it every month when Kristy from Quiet Play posts that it is almost month end and highlights some of the other peoples blocks made with her free Sew Kitchsy pattern for the month...I am shocked to see I haven't posted mine yet.  It is always one of the first things I do each month.  So far the patterns have been pretty simple and quickly go together.  I really love how this month's block turned out.  Why haven't I posted or linked it up before now???

I love the color of this bowl.  When we bought our truck a few years ago from a private party the home we bought it from had a collection of vintage yellow bowls on a high shelf...simply gorgeous!!!

This week I got my tree block done for the Quilt Doodle Doodles BOM.  Love how the colors on this one turned out.  I had cut the squares out earlier in the month but it took awhile to find time to piece it together.  This week I ordered the Accuquilt die for 2 1/2 inch squares.  I got the die that will cut 9 at a time.  I figured this BOM will make excellent use of it.

I am finishing up my commitment to the Scrappy Trip blocks that I am swapping from Julie Hirt's Scrappy Trip block swap.  They are due to be shipped April 15th.  Just got the taxes done so it must be time to get these done, too.  Here is a picture of the 5 blocks I received from the last swap, plus one I made and two I have received from this round already.  They look so good together.
I love receiving these and I must say am addicted to making them for the other ladies, too.  Great way to add fabric to my stash.  Love anything that helps me do that!
Here is the five I am currently working on before they are opened up and sewn together into the finished blocks they will become today.

Also on my to do list today is to cut all my charms for the Kate Spin charm swap hosted by Michele from Quilts from my Crayon Box.  I thought these were due tax day, also but they need to be mailed by April 5th.  I have one fabric cut and will cut up the other three today.  I grabbed two spots like I did last time.  I am hoping to be able to make a couple charm quilts from one group when I add them to last swaps charms.  One group of charms from the two swaps are becoming a hexagon quilt that I have had in mind for a while. 
These fabrics are just delicious.  I can't wait to get all 112 x 2 charms back :)
Keep Stitchin'

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March goes out like a Lion

March has come in like a lamb and seems to be going out like a lion.  That is not even a reference to the weather but the busy-ness that is surrounding me at the moment.  It all started out like a normal month but my dad's health has taken another turn for the worse and after some time in the hospital recently it has been decided he needs more help than his wife is able to give and a foster home has been found and he is getting settled in.  Not exactly by choice but definitely a necessity.  Still busy getting his home on the market and getting his wife settled into their new home also.

At the same time we spent a rushed and busy week squeezing in time with our daughter while she was home from WSU for Spring break and took her back this last weekend.  We did get to a local quilt show on Friday and is was so nice to spend some quality time together during what has been a month of turmoil.

My oldest grand-daughter has just been diagnosed with pediatric migraines and that has been waying heavy on our hearts too this month.  So I haven't spent as much time blogging but have sneaked in a little time in the studio.  Here is what I have been up to.

After I finished my medallion for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild medallion-along,   I set to work making one for Karen who blogs at The Recipe Bunny.  She had said she didn't have time and believe me...I understand.  I have been wanting to make a New York Beauty block for some time and decided to make one for her medallion.  I also knew that she may not have time to complete the rows we have to add to it each month but if she should choose to it would be interesting to see it come to life thru her eyes.  If it becomes a pillow or tote bag I am fine with that too.  I was interested in working through the process and it was challenging.  The color choices alone were very important and had to be penciled in on paper several times to get it so I liked them.  
Piecing the outer curves are so much easier than the inner curves.  But all in all, they came together much smoother than expected.   I asked her what colors she would someday like to make a quilt top in and she responded lime green, navy blue and gray and white.  Her choices made for a great combo for the New York Beauty.  Karen is currently working on a quilt for the 2014 Hands 2 Help Charity quilt challenge and I would love to commit to making one for one of the charities myself this year but with all that is going on with my family I feel the need to not over commit right now.  Therefore, I totally get if she doesn't have time for an extra thing on her plate right now...I get it :)

Karen and I attend the PMQG meeting each month and I so loved the February meeting I was totally stoked for the March meeting.  The March meeting also focused on a charity project.  Camp Erin representatives explained that they are looking for donations of quilts for the camp that reaches out to kids who are grieving for the loss of a family member that they experienced at a young age.  The kids attending are in the age groups of 6-18 years of age and have lost someone dear to them.  I think both of these are very worthy charity organizations and because I just don't have the time right now, I hope to put together a couple of quilts this year and set them aside for next years charities that will pull my heartstrings.

I have also spent a little time doing a little spring cleaning.  A few short weeks ago all of these fabrics were on the floor in baskets with no room to walk around.  It was good to get them somewhat organized and more accessible.  I thought about showing the before picture but it was not pretty.  In fact just to the left of this picture it is still a mess.
The quilt show I mentioned that took place this last weekend was one I enjoy going to each year because of its garage sale.  At least that is what I call it. Bargain prices on unwanted fabrics.  Here is what I dragged home with me this year.  Not quite as much as last year but a substantial amount to play with:)

Keep Stitchin'

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Birdhouse Block

Making this block was a pleasure.  Lots of pieces but they all went together so nicely.  I am loving this BOM designed by Janeen from Quilt Art Design.  If you love paper piecing as much as me you should this one out.  I have chose to really use a different approach to this one and am making my background pieces all white low volume fabrics.  While to some this may look wacky, I am enjoying putting this one together and can't wait to see how each block turns out...which for me is the most enjoyable part of creating a quilt.  I love when the drive to see each new block drives me to make another and another...

That's what drives me to Keep Stitchin'!!!   What drives you???

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cupid Gotcha Good

When I joined the Portland Modern Quilt Guild last month,  one of the first things I wanted to get started on was their 2104 PMQG Medallion Along.  I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted it to first be modern and second to 'own' it.  By that I mean, I wanted it to be unique and for me to feel a deep connection to it.

I love what I came up with.  It's been a while since I challenged myself to create a new pattern.  Maybe too long...I have been longing to do something more qreative but have been engrossed in quite a few BOMs and they keep me busy in my spare time.  Designing can be time consuming, but I quickly found that in surfing for ideas, I was inspired by all the modern arrows and feathers showing up in quilt tops.  Plus you can create them fairly easily with paper piecing, so I spent a couple nights drawing up a pattern.  Now I want to figure out how to create a PDF of it so I can share it on my blog.  I hope to be able to figure that out this month.  But since I don't think learning to create downloadable files is what A Lovely Year of Finishes is about, I think I will be sitting this month out as this is the goal I am hoping to achieve this month. 

Here is my medallion center:

                     I love how the six arrows come together in the center to create a hexagon. 

The medallion center is 16 1/2 inches and the next border is suppose to be 2 1/2 inches wide around it.  The example showed either a plain border around it or a border with cornerstones set in each of the four corners.  I changed mine up a little bit as I want to try to incorporate a heart in the top.  Not knowing what is coming next but hoping I can tweak it to suit my needs here is what I did with my
2 1/2 inch border.

Keep Stitchin' and reaching for remarkable goals...
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