Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Pocket Full of Posies

Last time I posted, I had just finished up this scrappy, patchwork pillow inspired by Twin Fibers inpirational finish inspired by Camille Roskelley.

Well, I love the block so much, I made two more.

Only these are bigger and have a twist to them.
When finished, they will measure 20" x 20".
That's a very big block. 

Dipping into my scrap baskets again, this time I cut my "petals" 3" x 3" and used 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" for the points.  I had a couple of hexagons lying around (I mean really, who doesn't?) and plopped one down in the middle of the yellow center.
I kinda liked that!

(purple center)

(pink center)

This size block was a lot easier on the fingers when pressing!
I'm having so much fun going through my scraps and taking trips down Memory Lane.
Do you do that?
See a piece of fabric and think, "I know what that is!  I know where I got it!  I LOVE that fabric!"

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for some Friday eye candy ala quiltey finishes for the week.
Won't you join us?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pictures, Patterns and a Plump, Patchwork Pillow

Several people have asked about the Jack's Chain pattern.
My Jack's Chain is machine pieced, but there are EPP (English Paper Piecing) methods that work as well.

Below are pictures and links with pictures, patterns and tips for cutting and piecing this block.

And these two which had pictures I couldn't download.  It is a fun block to piece and join and I'm looking forward to continuing it through the Fall!  LOL

One of the blogs I follow is Twin Fibers with Jennifer and Jessica.  A couple of weeks ago they had the sweetest, pinkest, girliest finish.

I pinned this sweet mini quilt to my "Amazing Quilts" board on Pinterest and thought about it a long time.
While I'm still working on long term projects

(Summer Quilt)

(Jack's Chain)
and cranking out Useful Baskets,

I convinced myself I needed some instant gratification.
I increased the size of Jennifer and Jessica's photo of the finished mini quilt and started scheming.
I deconstructed the block into a basic Bow Tie block.

(A Bow Tie WIP for me)

I used an easy tute to help me determine sizes.
Using the instructions for the 3" finished block, I went to the scrap stash and started picking pinks, greens and a yellow for the center.
Here's where I was as of last Wednesday morning:

The "points" of yellow that jut out into the pink from the center are made using 1" square pieces!
Drawing a line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each 1" yellow square, line up the 1" yellow square, rst, with one corner of a 3" pink square.
Sew a seam right on the drawn line, cutting the 1" yellow square into triangles.  Use a rotary cutter to cut a 1/4" seam allowance past the seam line.
Press the seam allowance towards the pink.

I hate pressing small things like that.  My fingers end up looking like overcooked broccoli!
I started this project a week ago and I'm finally happy to share my new pillow for the den.

This cutie measures 18" x 18".  I decided to sash the flower with some scrumptious blue fabric I found on one of our road trips and edged with a matching red.

Some hand quilting around the petals and a vintage sheet backing mean I've had my instant gratification, learned a new block and made a super sweet pillow for "my" room.  LOL

(lovin' the soft feel and fun aquaness of it all!)

Linking up with Quilt Story and Freshly Pieced.  You should go there too.  Really!  Who doesn't need a little eye candy through the week!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soccer and Homeschooling

This is a "This is a lot of what I think the world needs to know about homeschooling" post.

Homeschoolers join together for sports teams. Soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, golf etc. We have somewhere between 25-50 families from 2-3 adjacent counties who cooperatively form, coach and support these teams. Most games are played between other homeschooling teams and small Christian schools. We have state and national tournaments we can participate in also. We operate much like a small, county or rural school in how they are organized and played.

My guys are on the junior and senior high teams for soccer. The elementary and junior high teams are co-ed and the senior high girls and boys each have a team.

Two myths of homeschooling are the lack of socialization for the kids and their isolation.

I'm sure there are some homeschooling families out there who are the reasons for the stereotypes, but I haven't met them yet! LOL
Homeschooling families form co-ops that meet 1, 2, sometimes 3 times a week for classes.
We have sports teams.
We go on field trips with our co-ops and other families.
Our kids take piano, violin, guitar, drum, singing and other lessons from professional teachers weekly.
They go out in public with their parents during the day and interact with adults in real world situations and settings.
They have jobs.
They take dual credit/AP classes at local universities and tech schools.
In short, we are homeschooled, but our activities take us out into the world and there are some days...we aren't even home!

Some facts about our homeschooling community are:
We have a Prom and in the spring, a graduation ceremony.
Last year we graduated more seniors than the private, Christian school our oldest son graduated from.
Homeschoolers almost always get through 100% of their course materials in 180 days. (some families have "school" all year long!)
Homeschoolers have an almost 100% graduation rate.
We have one on one and corporate teaching.
We don't have snow days (unless the electricity is down).
Our school year schedule can adapt to the needs and demands of our families: ie vacations, work, illnesses, family emergencies etc.
And the best part ever is that I'm spending all of this quality time with my kids! I have their best interests at heart. I love them and will work with them individually to succeed. I'm sharing their day, their growth and learning and watching them mature and grasp ideas and concepts that are important to being a success in life.
Homeschooling rocks!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Soccer and Sewing Both Start with "S"


Well, a day I never thought would come, hoped would come, thought would come...came.
Both Ben and Chris are being homeschooled this year.
I couldn't be more thrilled.
World Studies.


Monday, September 3, 2012


seems to be something a lot of us do for relaxation.
I like to sew because it's one thing I can do that actually stays done for longer than a day or less.
It's also a creative outlet.
Fabric is a canvas and paint and my sewing machine is the paintbrush.

Do you see ideas for quilt blocks and quilts wherever you go?
Do colors pop out at you and beg to be immortalized in bits of fabric pieced together?
Do you think we're crazy for taking perfectly good fabric, cutting it up, and putting it back together?

Inspiration can com from a barn.

I see possible quilt blocks just waiting to be drafted in tile.

Last time I shared another inspiration to help me finish a quilt top.

Here is the first little flower.

I used my hex ruler to cut out 1 1/2" hexies.  I machine pieced them together and originally was going to hand applique them to the quilt.  Hence, the ink lines using my Frixion pen.
Spoiler Alert!
I hate hand sewing!

So I fiddled with my machine stitch and settings and machine appliqued it on using a zig-zag stitch.  Soooo much faster and much more satisfying!

Five more little flowers later and I have this:

If you squint, you can see the star pattern of the nine patches a lot better.
Don't do it for a long time, or your face will freeze like that! and give you a nice wrinkle between your brows and a headache.

Today is the first "official" day of school for us.
Soccer season's here.
Leaves are turning and falling.
Flowers are fading.
School books are here and waiting to be opened for the first time.
Their spines stiff and ready to be cracked open for a peek inside.

Last year I made "Useful Baskets" and sold them as a fund raiser for our homeschool co-op.
I'm piecing a few together here and there again this year.

Thinking of Jon and his sweetheart as I make this next one.

Click on the links and come be enchanted and inspired!