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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Metro Rings!

It's been a busy spring!
But right to it, eh!
Our oldest son is getting married in June and I wanted to make the lovely couple a quilt.
They chose the Double Wedding Ring pattern.
This is Jenny Pedigo's fresh, fabulous and fun pattern for this traditional favorite.
It requires a special ruler she designed, the Quick Curve Ruler.
Which got laid on my sewing chair during cutting and then sat on...promptly snapping 3 & 1/2" from the bottom.  Crushed!  At first.  I was having difficulty adapting to getting my rotary cutter in the curve for cutting.  It felt very awkward and I was not liking it at all.
Well.  I don't have that problem anymore after the "snap".  It broke in just the right spot taking the top with it...leaving the curve cutting guide open.
I chose a Kaffe Fassett collection for the rings and went to work piecing the "arcs" in greens and blues.
The pattern calls for forty-eight green "arcs" and the same number of blue ones.  I can't help but think of melons.
Here are two of the "arcs" with the background fabric I finally settled on.  Originally, I had picked out a dark, charcoal, Kona made the colors really pop! but it was dark and heavy.
I found this aqua polka dot at Joann's and fell in love.  The couple will be going to Sanibel Island in Florida for their honeymoon, and I wanted something very tropical to help keep the memories they make there alive on the bleakest of our Indiana winter days!
Saturday, I started sewing the setting blocks on and yesterday began squaring them up.
"Inside giggles and smiles"
I want to keep this quilt for myself!
Over at ginabean quilts you can see a gorgeous Metro Rings also using a polka dot for the background...excited and inspired by the way this one turned out!
Some huge finishes at our house.
Congratulations to our son Jon for graduating with honors from Ball State University!  So proud of all he has accomplished and thankful he graduated debt free in four years!  He held down part time jobs and one of them had partial tuition reimbursement.  He'll be continuing his studies in Accounting in grad school.  I'm so excited as the wedding gets closer for him and his sweetheart! 
And this cutie pie is graduating this weekend!  Six years of homeschooling finished.  One semester of college classes already under his belt when he starts Ball State in the fall.  We were so excited when after six months of searching for a part time a college a tough teen job market...Chris landed a job at a local farm supply store.  He started out as a loader and was asked by a department head to come work for him in his department.  His career path will lead to him helping rehabilitate returning veterans.
And Ben.  Who is also homeschooled and is really only an 8th grader, but finishing up most of his 9th grade year with some of his 10th grade classes already on his transcript.  We're transitioning to just the two of us at home now with big brothers flying the nest.  He is a smart and caring kid who is always looking for fun and ways to help.
God is good!
Linking up with
Happy sewing!


Monday, March 31, 2014


Here is some information about the Strip Tube Ruler some of you were asking about.
You can find the instructions for using it at Cozy Quilt.  I picked mine up at a LQS and it sort of got lost on my sewing table until recently.  Very easy to use by making a "tube" of fabric strips by sewing your fabric, right sides together, on the top and the bottom (see the link).
Then rotary cut your HST.  This ruler can also be used to square up HST's that aren't first sewn into a tube (which is what I did for mine and I didn't need to "math" my way to figure the size I wanted). 
Progress continues on the Metro Rings Quilt.
Currently sewing all the pieced arcs (there are 96 of them!) together to form the 48 blocks.  Decided that the dark Kona gray I originally was going to use just wasn't working for me and opted for this fun, aqua polka dot.  The next step after sewing all the "arcs" into sets is to cut the setting triangle fabric.  These will go at the "top" and "bottom", as oriented here, of these pieces.
Cutting out the fabric was a bit of a challenge and a little bit tedious to someone who likes a more meandering and less organized approach to piecing a quilt top.  You cut strips the WOF (width of fabric) to cut your pieces out for the background and setting triangles.  Once that is done and you have your "arcs" gets a lot better!
When the Swoon craze was going around, I downsized the pattern on my own with some wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Camille Roskelley has since come out with a mini pattern for this much loved block.  Four of her pieced blocks will make a 19" x 19" mini quilt.
My blocks (these photos date September of 2011!) ended up 11" x 11" sq. 
Four of them are sewn together using a scrappy sashing...but since these are the next WIP to be finished, I will probably take that off.  I've had suggestions of a table runner, but I have plenty of those right now, so I might take a page out of Thimble Blossoms book and make a mini quilt.
Hoping today finds you sewing, even just a little bit!
these are the linky parties to drool over for creative inspiration and motivational encouragement!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Metro Rings Scraps and Another WIP Off The Pile

higgledy-piggledy:  topsy-turvy, jumbled
Perfectly describes this scrappy quilt!  See the date tag in the lower, right corner?  April of 2010!
In this picture, I have just a few blocks sewn into rows.  Thousands of scraps from all over in a topsy-turvy jumble of chaos!
Finished almost four years later, it's one of my favorite quilts to look at and snuggle under!
A simple, all over meander meant "quick" quilting.
Another stripey binding chosen and sewn on during Ben's soccer practice.
Clear blue skies last week let me take a little trip for a photo shoot! 
I'm so glad I pulled this one out to's such a bright, happy promise of what's coming in the weeks ahead with Spring staggering slowly into our neck of the woods.
I also had a chance to play with scraps from the Metro Rings quilt I'm piecing and a new tool.
Kaffe Fassett, how did you know I would need these luscious tropical cools for a quilt to help a pair of newly-weds remember their honeymoon trip to Paradise?  And that the blue scraps would be too tempting to just leave wasting away in a pile?
Over at The Q and the U is an easy-peasy tute for a 21" sq. scrappy Rolling Stone block.  Which is sort of what I feel like right now.  Tumbling, rolling, letting the gravity of Life take me where it wants me to go.  Two graduations to plan for, a wedding, child moving out, child starting university full time, child starting high school, homeschooling, and a house and yard that are just as topsy-turvy as any quilt I could imagine!  There are days I feel like I don't even know which way is up!
As coincidence would have it, the blue scraps were right in front of a quilting tool I have never even opened.  Bought a while ago.  Waiting for the perfect project.  Awesome for squaring up HST's.  And the best part?
No math involved!  At all!  Whatsoever!  Huzzah!
Which explains why these little fellas were so easy to sew into these:
All I can think of when I see these is ocean.  Beach.  Water.  Summer!
These blocks ended up at 9 1/2" sq unfinished.  So fun to make and easy to stitch together.  I know, I know.  More blocks without an intended purpose in sight...but aren't they gorgeous colors to work with and look at!
Maybe a wall hanging mini?
With a green block in there in place of a blue one, just for fun?
Linking up to some great blogs where I never fail to find inspiration and smiles!
Happy Spring!