Thursday, December 31, 2020

December 2020 One Monthly Goal

The end of a Challenging Year leads to the December 2020 One Monthly Goal post.

First, I want to thank all my readers for joining me, especially this year.  It's been a year of challenges, not always welcome ones, to say the least.  I have many wonderful memories, though, and although I lost 2 aunts, one to covid-19, I must say that overall, I've been lucky.  I know many cannot say the same, and know that I've been praying for all who have lost during this time.  

As far as my goals go, I think I did pretty well, considering. I've had many finishes, and hope for more.  I had 2 custom quilts, and orders for more.  I made a first communion dress out of a wedding gown, and the family was thrilled.  Plus, I started my long arm quilting business, and joined a guild.  My Etsy shop has been doing well (record year for supplies sold), and I'm starting a joint venture of an online, and hopefully soon brick and mortar quilt and craft shop with my friend.  More on that later.  I also had a trip of a lifetime, except for losing the night in Las Vegas, and made some good friends.  I choose to look at the positives.  

For December's goals, I wanted to finish the Island Batik Challenge, and it's been started, but not finished.  I did finish the Secret Sewing project, which will be in the Island Batik Catalog for May's Quilt Market.  I got fabric for the pajamas, but didn't get to sew them, and did do the design for my son's Grand Canyon quilt, and pulled the fabric, but didn't get to make it yet.  The catalog quilt took about 2 weeks longer than planned to do.  

There will be more progress on this tonight, and hopefully lots of progress tomorrow.  I can't show the catalog quilt, but here's a shot of it being quilted.  Well, at least the backing.  

I did quilt the two Moose in the Holly tops for my friend, and finished the ABC applique quilt, as well as 2 other quilts for my business partner, Christine. 
One of Christine's quilts. 

Journey to Nebula Candy Dish pillow is finished, too.
Advent Calendar is finished and was sent to my niece and her family.

Alphabet Applique quilt was finished and sent to my friend/customer by 2 day Priority shipping, a distance of about 3 hours drive to Pennsylvania, and took over 20 days to arrive.   It was so scary to think this one of a kind quilt for a great-grandchild yet to be born was lost.  The maker is having medical issues, and I know we were both worried, so please say a prayer her procedure goes well and she's back to health soon.  

I do plan to continue the One Monthly Goal link ups through 2021, and hope to have more finishes each month, as well as some UFOs and the remaining custom quilts.  I plan to spend more time in the sewing room.  

Thanks for stopping by, and I wish you the best in 2021.  I hope you continue to follow my quilting journey, as I plan to continue growing my business and sharing more!  
Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 3, 2020

December One Monthly Goal

 Time for the last month of 2020's goals.  I'm linking with Elm Street Quilts.  You have time to join in, and also to start off next year with a way to keep projects moving forward and stay motivated.  I'm motivated by finishes and a chance to win a prize.  Are you? 

As usual, my main monthly goal is the Island Batik Challenge.  This month is Medallion quilts.  Here's my idea, but it may change.  I have 2 ideas, and I'm not sure which I want to do.

I'm working on a Secret Sewing project, first, though.  It's a design for the May 2021 Island Batik Catalog, so I can't show you any part of it.  I have to get that in the mail by the middle of the month, so that comes first.  

I also plan to make a quilt for my son (he usually doesn't read my blog, lol) for Christmas, or at least some pillow covers, and our usual Pajamas for Christmas.  I have a few little things to make, also.  

This is a pillow panel, which may go with my son's quilt.  

I'm almost done with an Advent Calendar panel I want to send to my niece for her family, and another of the Journey to Nebula projects is now quilted, so I want to finish that as a pillow.  I have to finish the customer quilts, too.  Alphabet needs only the side borders.  I want to put it back on the frame, turning it, to make it faster.  I have 2 other customer wall hangings to quilt as well.  I better get working!  

Thanks for stopping in, and I hope you check out the other goals, and root for us!

Have a wonderful December!


Monday, November 30, 2020

November One Monthly Goal

 Just in the nick of time, I'm posting my finishes this month to link with Elm Street Quilt's OMG.

I finished my Island Batik Ambassador Inspired by Nature blog hop quilt.  If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out.  The give away is open unitl December 4th, so you have time to comment and enter mine.  Island Batik's is closed.  

This pile became that quilt. 

Queen size, even.  

I also finished some of the Journey 2 Nebula projects, with Jaybird Quilt's patterns.  

This is a top, only.  It will be quilted this week.

Jawbreaker is done, complete 20" pillow. 
These placemats are done, too.  I won the strata pieces in a blog hop from PamelaQuilts, and added a strip to make it my preferred size.  Of course, Island Batik fabrics.  Each has a different quilting pattern, so I have easy samples to grab to show customers.  Bound, and being used until I change the table for Christmas. 
I quilted this pretty runner with a holly leaf pattern for a customer, and the below quilt for another customer.  This is Sea Swirl Ribbons and the fabric is Bonnie and Camille for Moda. 

This is Candy Dish, still a top, for a pillow.  Pattern by Jaybird Quilts, fabric is stash builder rolls from Island Batik.  

This is also from Jaybird Quilts, and I chose a variety of black solid, black tjaps and grey solid from Island batik, and quilted it with a spider web design.  Done!  

It was a pretty productive month, but I'm feeling the crunch for December.  I have to finish and ship a design for May 2021 Island Batik Catalog, and then have the monthly challenge, a medallion quilt, plus a few gifts for my son.  More details on that soon, but it's partly secret sewing, so no photos.  

What did you finish this month?  Link up and see what happens when you set a goal. 

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Inspired by Nature Blog Hop and Give-Away!

Welcome to Love & Kisses!  This pretty collection designed by Kathy Engle for Sherry Shish of Powered By Quilting. The precuts are available in some stores (I do have 10" squares available in my Etsy shop) and yardage will be shipping to shops soon. Please contact your favorite and ask for it!

The theme this month was Inspired by Nature. But this fabric has cute hearts and swirls, dots, feathered quilting designs that feature hearts, and hearts in the dot patterns. I love it all! But how do hearts translate to Inspired by Nature?

Well, I know a lot of warm hearted people, and people with big hearts. Their human nature is to be giving and generous, sweet and funny, and positive and uplifting. They share their hearts in everything they do for others. So, Big Hearts is inspired by their nature.

It was so windy at the beach that I couldn't get the quilt smooth against the slats of the fence, it was plastered! I couldn't move it. 
During the quilting process on my Amara long arm.

I've done heart blocks before, but wanted something fun that would show off all the fabrics and not cut them too small. I thought for days about how I wanted to design this, until I came up with hearts of different sizes. The smallest is 6", there are 5 12" heart blocks, one 18", one 24" and one 36". I planned it on a 3" grid. Even after planning it, I needed to change a few placements and determine how to sew it together. The largest heart has 2 smaller size hearts inside. The label even has part of the hearts on the top edge. When I was making the 6" block I miscalculated the size of the triangles for the top, so the extra ones were added to the label.

6" block and the lovely Lockets panto.  It has swirls similar to ones in the fabric tjaps. 

Here are the details: Design is mine, using EQ8

Quilt measures about 91" square.

Love & Kisses fabric, all 20 SKUs were used in various places. Background is Grey solid by Island Batik. First Border is Petal, and outer Border is Purple, Island Batik Basics. Binding is Amethyst, also a Basic. Backing is a wide back I have, a grey swirl.

Batting is Hobb's Natural Cotton with scrim

Thread: Aurifil 50wt for piecing Color 2024 White Aurifil 40-3 for Long Arm Quilting in color 3840 French Lilac, a lavender/purple variegated.

Quilted on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher using the Lockets Panto from Urban Elementz.

Photo Locations:  Jones' Beach, Long Island, NY.  Special thanks to the family who let me borrow their teen to get wrapped for the photo.  Her mom asked, "Did it feel good?"  And the daughter said "Yeah, very good!"  Made my day!  It was very windy, so I had a challenge getting more photos at the beach.  I did lose a clothespin.  Other photos were my yard, and bedroom.  


Right before I lost another clothespin, and was afraid the quilt would blow into the neighbor's yard.  It did go high enough.

I was just about to put the quilt on my bed and Hazel thought it was play time, and put her ball down.  Rather than have a lumpy quilt display (over the ball) we played for a minute then she let me put the Hearts quilt down.  The one in the photo is Crystal Ball Jewel Box, one from last year's hops, which I sleep under every night.  Love it!

Disclaimer:  All fabric (except backing and binding) were provided by Island Batik for me as an Ambassador.  Hobb's Batting, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil Thread was also provided.  I purchase the 40-3 for quilting on my Long Arm.  

Give Away! Island Baitk is giving away 2 collections of Fat Quarters.  Please enter their drawing by using the Rafflecopter link below. 

There are 2 other Ambassadors with Love & Kisses inspiration for you.  
The Hop also continues this week, so please check out the other collections.  

Please comment, follow my blog and follow me on Facebook and Instagram!  I'll be sending someone who leaves a comments a selection of Island Batik fabrics.  I'll cover shipping to USA, but if you live elsewhere and want to pay the difference to ship to you, please comment. If' you're chosen as a winner, I'll tell you the difference, and make it worth your while.  Thanks so much for reading.  


Thursday, November 5, 2020

November Monthly Goal


As usual, I have more than one goal for this month.  

First, this pile of lovely fabric needs to be a quilt for the Island Batik Inspired by Nature Hop that starts November 9.  There will be give aways, so stay tuned!  I'll share more when it starts.  Now, if I could only come up with a design.  lol.  So many options!  I love being an Island Batik Ambassador, and getting gorgeous bundles like this to play with. 

The second goal is to get my Secret Sewing project started, and done.  That's a new design that will be in the May 2021 Island Batik catalog.  I'm excited, and the fabrics and colors are lovely.   But I can't show you anything about it yet.  Okay, I'll hint that one of the fabrics is my favorite color.  lol 

Another goal is to get the current Customer quilts done.  I have 5 currently, and one is half done.  I'll share photos as they finish.  I'm glad that part of my business is growing.  Jeanne made this top with Moda's Bonnie's House precut, by Bonnie and Camille.  Sea Swirl Ribbon is the panto. 

I also have 2 patterns to finish writing and get them printed, and then Christmas presents, and the Journey 2 Nebula projects and the Marie Bostwick Journeys Block of the Month.  I have this month's blocks started, and the J2N is ready for quilting.  Another pattern will be starting next Tuesday.  I want to finish both of the current pieces into pillow tops by the end of this month, too.  
These are Jawbreaker and Candy Dish by Jaybird Quilts with Island Batik fabric. 

Yes, it's a lot, but I plan to keep working.  
Do you have goals?

I challenge you to #NeedleNowNovember
  That's the hashtag for this month.  Try to sew something, even cross stitch or embroidery, each day for at least 15 minutes.  Mending, quilting, piecing, anything, and you'll notice a great sense of peace, accomplishment, and productivity.  If you can do more, then do, but everyone should be able to squeeze in 15 minutes with fabric, needle and thread.  Share a photo of your project on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag and I'll cheer you on!  

Thanks for visiting.  

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Island Batik Ambassador Thread Painting Challenge with Aurifil Thread

 I'm excited to share this with you.  The Island Batik Ambassador challenge this month was Thread Painting with Aurifil Thread.  When I was on the vacation trip I won from Wheel of Fortune and Collette Tours in March, we went by bus to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.  It was amazing, and I took over 3000 photos along the way.  At that time I knew we were going to have a thread painting challenge with Aurifil, so I was visually overwhelmed and wanted to make quilts out of so many photos.  But I haven't done that type of thing before, although I had read and watched how others have done it.  

One of the biggest challenges for this project was to choose only one photo.  I was asked to use Sunset Plumes by Kathy Engle, and provided Aurifil 50 weight thread to coordinate.  Additional fabrics were provided to coordinate with the collection.  

I chose this photo for the center, and then played with designs to frame it, using EQ8.  

We had stopped in a parking lot for a minute, to take photos of the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon called Salt and Pepper.  Our guide, Brian, pointed out another spot, just beyond the pine trees, where the sky shows through a space and looks like a star.  Although I really wanted to use a photo from Lake Powell, this one kept calling to me.  A quilter has a thing for stars, I guess.  

I picked Bluebird for the sky, as it was the closest match.  I used Cream for the rocks, and copper Cheerios for the accents.  All other details were added with thread.  I used dark brown, forest, and 3 shades of tan from cream to copper.  I put a lightweight fusible Pellon interfacing on the blue fabric, and marked the size, 12 by 18".  I then drew details on the Cream fabric so I could get the outline shape I needed, and the location for the star.  I used Wonder Under under this and cut out the top edge and star, then fused the cream on the blue.  I added a layer of tear away stabilizer under it, and drew a few basic lines with a blue wash-out marker to make sure I had the details, and then cut pieces from the Copper to add a little depth. 

After that was ready, I prepped the bobbins for the machine.  I wanted to have a bobbin that matched the top thread, so it would look better.  Because of the  fusible interfacing and Wonder Under, I opted to use the Schmetz Non-Stick needle we were given in the January Ambassador box, size 12.  Then I looked in the booklet for the machine to determine the best way to do thread painting.  But there was no information that seemed like the best practice.  So, I called Pocono Sew and Vac, my favorite shop, and spoke to Heather.  I got this Janome Horizon 1450 in April, when my almost 20 year old Viking decided not to work.  Because of Covid-19, I was unable to take a class on this wonderful and amazing machine.  Most things I've been able to figure out, including free-motion quilting, but I needed more info for this.  Heather doesn't usually work in the store, but is their Janome educator, so I was thrilled I got to speak to her.  She went to the machine on their floor and talked me through setting up and choosing the best foot, and some other suggestions.  I started sewing with the darkest brown, to add the tree branches and some of the darker shadows, but was having issues.  I figured out a better way to do it, going side to side on the design.  I switched to green, added the pine needles, and then switched to the beige, copper and tans to fill in more details.  

I pieced 6" stars for the first border from the collection, and added a 3" outer border.  The piece measures 31 by 37".  Then I loaded it on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara with a solid cream I had, plus some Warm & Natural batting, and used Fancy Feathers on Prosticher to do the borders.  I used Aurifil 3827, Marrakesh in 40wt for the borders, and switched to a 40wt in cream for the rocks, and 3770, Stonewashed Denim in 40-Three for the sky.  

Here are some more detail photos.  I've named this Bryce Stars.  

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. 

Thanks so much for visiting.  Please check out the other Ambassadors who've done incredible things with Island Batik fabrics and Aurifil Threads this month.  Click on the link for the list of Ambassadors, and you can find their blogs and search for the Thread Painting posts.