Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Postest With The Mostest

We're on Fall Break for our homeschool co-op.
Three weeks to get class work for these shared subjects done.
That means lots of sewing time for me!

Taking these manly-man fabrics and turning them into:

...and then:

laying out for rows.

As soon as I stepped away to put my iPad down, the cat was aaaallll over this!
And once the blocks had been totally stampeded, she scampered off before the security camera could pan back to the scene of the crime.

The first two rows on the left are sewn together and the next two are laid out and a picture is taken to check color placement.

I am really excited about these quilts.  Even though they are not my normal color and fabric choices, the blocks are so happy!

After a soccer game last weekend, I got to go fabric shopping just for fun.  Not for a project.  Just for the sheer love of color and print!
My hoard stash has shamed me into not buying random fabric for about a year now.  I've tried really hard and been very good.

Speaking of soccer, our boys' team had Regionals weekend before last and Friday and Saturday this previous weekend, State games.  They took First Place in their division (or The Best of The Losers...as we jokingly like to say) and won Best Sportsmanship!

These boys are phenomenal kids!  They started asking other teams to pray before and/or after games several years ago.  At first, they didn't have a lot of takers.  Now, it happens almost every game.  This is a very competitive sport and sometimes tempers and attitudes run hot.  The approach our team has had has helped our players make friends with boys on other teams and left a great witness to the One they serve.
Our Ben is the one right behind the trophy. 
So proud of them!
We have Nationals this weekend.  Homeschool teams from all over the Midwest will be competing.  Hundreds of boys and girls with their teams and families coming together for a very exciting weekend!
I love homeschooling!

This is our son, Chris, at Nationals last year.  He is a freshman at college now and we miss him not being on the team, but we're so blessed to have Ben as a highschool freshman taking up the torch!
Here's to a great weekend for all of us, no matter where we are...or what we're doing!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Churn Baby Churn

...quilting inferno!
Nine fabrics.
Chain piecing.
Shy model.
Finished block.
Churning out the blocks!
and...wait for it...


Monday, October 6, 2014

Finish for the Newlyweds

We had an exciting summer with a very, very special couple celebrating their marriage with a honeymoon in a tropical location.
In Indiana (land of soy beans and corn), we can have some pretty cold, icy, wet and long winters.  The Metro Rings Quilt I made for them is finally, finally finished and ready for a cuddle up under on a cool, crisp October evening.
I started this quilt in March.  Wanting to incorporate some colors and prints that would help Jon and Rebecca remember the tidal treasures and moonlit memories of their honeymoon in the midst of our nasty winter season.
Kaffe Fassett's Collective Fall 2013 fabrics (along with some supplemental stash) were chosen not just for their tropical colors, but they matched the bride's wedding colors as well.  The polka dot is a fun print from Joann's that just made me smile. 
It was so much fun learning to use the Quick Curve Ruler from Jenny Pedigo.
The arcs were easy to piece and cut.  Sewing the curves of the blocks was a piece of cake!  I watched several of her YouTube videos to see how she recommended sewing them.
Choosing an only two colors for the blocks kept my "color mistakes" to a minimum.  You know how you can go down a rabbit trail when talking to someone about something...and end up totally off topic?  Well, I tend to do that with fabric.  I start out with a very specific idea for what I want and then end up shaking my head because I'm waaaay off base on some of the colors and prints I've chosen.
Laying out the blue and green rings before I started sewing the finished fifty-six blocks together.
Speaking of rabbit trails...I made a couple of Rolling Stone blocks from scraps.  These colors were just too yummy to not play with!
This is one of my all time favorite vintage sheets.  I've kept it squirreled away for a special project and this quilt sure is that.  It is super soft and the colors are perfect.
And I especially love, love, love the way it quilted up!  I chose to echo quilt where the inner and outer areas arcs meet.  I think it sort of looks like palm tree leaves.  I did take a break from quilting due to shoulder soreness.  Wrestling this large of a quilt under my Janome was challenging at times.
And here it is all finished.  Washed and crinkley-i-fied.  A very simple, celery colored batik was chosen for the binding.  Something that wouldn't clash with the rest of the quilt and give your eye someplace to rest.
The Metro Rings Quilt for Jon and Rebecca measures out at 57" x 76".
I definitely learned a lot on this quilt and got a chance to grow some skills.  LOL  I'm looking forward to making this pattern again! 
This weekend, time permitting, they'll be cuddling under it.
The block was made in April of 2013.  I really need some inspiration to take this WIP to a finished project.
Linking up with some beautiful blogs where quilters from all over share what they're working on.

Monday, September 15, 2014

We Now Return You...

to a regularly scheduled blog post.
There are a lot of projects I would like to finish up:
the Metro Rings Wedding Quilt for Jon and Rebecca has top priority for quilting though.
(newly weds are so much fun to watch begin their lives!)
I worked faithfully on this and it's almost done...a couple of weeks off to heal a shoulder that didn't quite feel right after a L.O.T. of quilting on this bad boy.
While taking a break, I did manage to choose some fabric for a quilt for our youngest, Ben.
Not my usual colors, but then again, I'm not a teenaged boy.
 The week before the wedding, Jon moved from our house into he and Rebecca's new apartment.
Which meant Chris and Ben now had their own rooms.
Which meant painting the ceilings.  And the walls.  Choosing a new head board, dresser, desk, rugs and things to hang on their walls.  Plus replacing blinds so old, they exploded into individual blades when I attempted to clean them.
Scared the crap out of me to have about a gazillion long, sharp aluminum things flying through the air!
Huge thanks to the Hubs for installing new ones this weekend!
Pinterest had an awesome Amy Smart quilt that I fell in love with.
It was in a huge inspiration for my color choices.  I added some darker colors to match a new desk and a more "manly" man son who is now in high school.
I used this tutorial for a 12" finished block.
Love the easy math and quick chain piecing of this block.
Linking up with women who never cease to inspire me and make me want to sew something beautiful:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Finish and Happy July!

May and June just flew by at our house!
Quiltey happenings include:
The Metro Rings whimsy was finished, and judging by the look on the Bride-To-Be's face, approved!
This quilt finishes out at 57" x 76".  Just the right cuddle size for them.  I'm currently quilting this on my Janome at home and will share pictures when it's finished.
Which wasn't by the wedding and probably won't be by the time the newly weds return from the honeymoon!
And I'm okay with that.
June also saw me puzzling over this package:
that was found when Jon and Rebecca moved furniture from our sunroom into the apartment they have rented here close by.
I opened the bag and found orphaned blocks and a pattern.
Back in January of 2011 (yes, that is 2011!), it was my turn to have blocks made for me from the ladies of the Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild for our member bee.
I chose a Criss Cross block using oranges and aquas.  I asked each member to make two blocks and the ones in the bag were the ones that came back wonky, over-or-undersized or just not quite right.
Here are some shots of the first quilt finished using the "good" blocks I was sent back.  When you join a bee, you always hope all the blocks come back perfect...but the reality is that every quilter has different skill levels...and that's okay!  Some of my blocks were sent back because that member didn't want to mess us the points or didn't have time to do both...or even one...block.
It's definitely a learning curve for everyone!
This one ended up as a Quilts for Comfort quilt for a chemo patient at the cancer center where my mom has her treatments.  Out of the dozen or so that came back "good", I paired the pattern down to just nine blocks for a respectably sized lap quilt.
I sashed the blocks using scrappy blues and a vintage sheet for the binding.
The other blocks and the pattern got stuffed into the Ziploc baggie and stashed in the sunroom with other quilt stuff.
During one of my "breaks" from the Metro Rings quilt (lest I end up hating it!), I carefully unpicked seams, trimmed, resized and sewed the blocks in the bag back together and made a few more myself to complete another whimsy for me to keep and use here at home.
This time I sashed the blocks using setting squares and sashing from a super soft vintage sheet in blues.
My two handsome assistants helped me take a picture in the backyard.  I might try to add another, wider sashing to this to beef up the size.  I ended up making four blocks out of some of the returned fabric and supplementing with new scraps to get these nine blocks. 
This weekend saw one of my finest "finishes" ever...but it's really just a beginning!
Linking up with


Monday, May 19, 2014

Whimsy Finished!

So excited I'm ahead of schedule for this quilt!
March: choosing pattern and fabrics, ordering pattern and ruler
April: cutting fabrics according to pattern, piecing arcs
May: piecing blocks and sewing finished blocks together
June: find backing material and quilt
0.5 CHECK!
Here is the chosen backing fabric.  One of my all time favorite, soft, silky smooth vintage sheets.  Hoarded for a long time now and just waiting for the perfect purpose.
The bride-to-be has seen it, petted it and approved!
I finished up the top on Friday and we had a chance to take pictures before Rebecca drove home to stay before the wedding.  She made a short trip up here for Chris's graduation (more about that later), but we won't see her again until she and Jon get their first apartment keys and start moving things in.
This has been such a fun top to put together! 
Patterns usually scare me to death!  I'm so afraid I will make a mistake and ruin all the lovely
 (and expensive) fabric I've chosen for a quilt.
Using the ruler, this one was a breeze!
I will be making another one, only larger I think, for hubsmuffin and me.
The first weekend in May, we were proud to attend Jon and Rebecca's university graduation.
This weekend, we were honored to personally hand Chris, as his father and mother,  his high school diploma!
We made the carefully considered decision to bring him home to educate at the end of his sixth grade year from a small, private, Christian school.
It was one of the best things we've ever done!
We loved it so much, we brought youngest brother, Ben, home to educate 7-12th grade also.
Educating our children in the home has given us some incredible opportunities and unique experiences (our co-op helped put a science experiment into space on the last shuttle mission!) we wouldn't have had at our old school.  Friends who have become family. 
Our oldest, Jon (who graduated from the Christian school) is hoping to talk Rebecca into homeschooling when it comes time for them to think about this.
I think that is an awesome testament to how much we have been blessed to be able to do this and the impact it makes on families and communities they live in.
I leave you this week with a thankful and full-to-bursting heart!  Thanks for letting me share here and for all the happy encouragement and inspiration I get from reading your comments and blogs!
Linking up with