Dec 30, 2023

Blooming Bunch block of the month

 Happy New Year! I hope you've all got some plans for this next year. Organizing, reading, sewing, trying new recipes. Yes, I want to try some new things in all of these areas.

I haven't posted in a while because I haven't been working on any sewing projects. I've just been busy enjoying all the holiday activities.

My Farm Girl quilt group loves and only works on anything Lori Holt.  We usually meet the second and fourth Monday of the month at Quilter's Oasis, a very nice quilt shop in Mesa, Arizona.

We are doing three blocks a month from Lori's books.  Each month, we make a 12" and two 6" blocks of flowers that our "mother hen" chooses.  When the year is over, we put the blocks together however we want and have a huge trunk show!  It's always so much fun and includes lots of laughter and good food.

Here are the blocks I've made so far, I'm using Ruby Star Society fabric and my background is a silvery Christmas print by Gingeber.

As you can see, we have already been doing this for 5 months.

For Christmas my son and his family gave me a nice tripod with a light ring which will brighten my photos when I use my iPhone to take quilt photos.  No shadows anymore! 👍🏻 I used the tripod and ring for this photo and the colors are pretty true.

Our next farm girl meeting in January, will be a retreat.  It will be a whole day and evening of sewing, eating and laughing, lol!

I'll show you my progress with this "Blooming Bunch" block of the month as time goes on.

Thanks for following me!

Dec 3, 2023

Christmas Secret sewing progress

 I didn't get much English smocking done last week!  I was hoping to get the stitching completed but life and Christmas planning intervened. I'm a little slower than I used to be and need really good light to see. 

I thought the smocking would show up more too.  

I've been collecting Lella Boutique fabric from the Christmas Eve line.
I am planning to make the pattern Reindeer Xing in the new year. I want to make the version with a little bit of red and green, not just grays. 

I've seen this quilt in person, and the blocks are pretty big.
The pattern calls for 3 yards of gray dot fabric but I haven't been able to find it anywhere.  I searched on Etsy and googled the name of the fabric but no luck. One person on Etsy is selling the fabric for $25/yard, but I don't need it that badly. The fabric is used for the background on the reindeer blocks.

I bought 3 yards of some fabric online that is Lella Boutique (from another line) but when I matched it with my other fabrics, I see that it isn't the same tone of gray. I'm not sure if I should use it, or look for another gray that will match better.

Do any of you follow All People Quilt? They do something fun before the new year.  They make available a wish list for quilts you want to make in the new year. There are 12 lines.  Every month they post a number and you are supposed to make or complete that quilt.  I fill it out but don't follow their numbers, I just pick which project I want to begin or finish.  I already have a wish list for the new year and a lot of them are Halloween quilts 😂

 I also want to learn how to do Adobe Illustrator on the computer.  I've wanted to learn for years, I need to set off schedule for myself.

Thanks for following and reading my blog!  I'll see you next week.

Nov 26, 2023

Heirloom sewing


I'm doing some secret sewing.  I'm making some English smocked dresses for some of my grand daughters. It's very slow going though, so I'm not sure if I'll have them done in time for Christmas 😬 I'm going to do the best that I can! 

Setting the pleater up was a big deal, because I haven't done it in 8 or more years! I put my quilting thread in this container from Target that I use for storage. I threaded each thread through a hole and then threaded the pleater. The needles in the pleater have a bend in them so that they will go around the rod.

It took me so long to thread all 16 needles.  Then I realized that I only needed 15, so I just didn't thread the last one.  During the pleating, one of my needles broke.  I had to unscrew the rod, take out all the needles and start over again. The second time worked, thank goodness! It took me a whole afternoon though. I have my pleater propped on the chevron tin so the needles don't fall out as I'm threading them.

Success! I did a wheat stitch at the top, and had a really pretty peach thread for the second row.  I had to unstitch it because it didn't show up at all.  Now I'm using yellow which is my grand daughter's favorite color anyway :)

Here are the pleating threads, I tie them together taught against the fabric, two at a time. Then I take them all and tie them together loosely.  If I need to untie them, it's not too difficult as the quilting thread is a little stiff and waxy.

I'm using this pattern, but will have two extra rows because I'm making a size 10 and it requires 13 smocked rows.

In the empty space in the middle, I will have all these embroidered bullion roses. 

I haven't made a dress for my grand daughter Isabel yet, she's 8 years old.  She was telling her mother that she really wants me to make her a dress because she only has her blessing dress that I made for her, and she really wants to have another dress for her own daughter in years to come.  Isn't that adorable?  Yes Isabel, I'll make you a thousand dresses!!! 😂

I love it when they appreciate what I make for them 💗 It fills my journey with joy.

See you next week!

Nov 19, 2023

Cut and Sew Panels

I just love these cut and sew panels by Stacy  Iest Hsu for Moda fabrics

I've made almost every single one of hers and my grand daughters love them! When I saw this adorable Doggy one, I just had to buy it!!! You cut along the lines, nothing extra to add, and them sew with a 1/4" S/A

It really helps if you sew the dolls with a shorter stitch so they don't come apart.

These adorable dogs just melted my heart when I saw them!  There are four little pups in the Mom's skirt, and the Dad with his shorts and bow  tie ❤️ Love their floppy ears too!

Four little pups all in a row...

I also bought this cute shirt for my little grand daughter, keeping with the dog theme :)

Here is the Kitty Cut and Sew Panel.
There is a whole line of fabric that goes with these panels too.  I just type the fabric line or the name of the Cut and Sew panel in the search button on Etsy and see what comes up. I try to order from a shop that has free shipping if you spend $35.00. I'd rather. spend the extra money on fabric instead of shipping :)

Swoon!!!  So cute!  I'm ordering an extra panel of the Doggy and Kitty for birthday gifts for grand daughters in the new year.

I especially love the fabric on the Kitty's skirt.  It would make a cute little girls dress or a quilt! I love the pleasant look on their faces. they're keeping a secret.....This grand daughter is getting some fuzzy pajamas to go with her little kitties ❤️

Here's the whole group!  Sew, sew cute 💗💗💗

I may have taken on too much but I'm sewing a lot of gifts this Christmas....See you next week :)

Nov 12, 2023

Frolic quilt pattern

I talked about my fun quilt retreat a couple of weeks ago, to Payson, Arizona.  There's a fantastically wonderful quilt shop there called Copper Needle.  Gina Perkes is the owner, and she's also a pattern designer and long armer extraordinaire ❤️

Once a month, on a Saturday morning, she has a demo day where she demonstrates how to make a quilt that she just designed.  Our retreat happened to be during that weekend, so we all made our reservations to go.  Gina is so nice and so funny and so pretty, she actually designed two versions of her "Frolic" quilt pattern.  She has the demo in a movie theater room, just two doors down from her shop which is in a strip mall. Gina always has 3 or 4 color versions of her quilt that she is demonstrating.  You can also follow Copper Needle on Facebook and see her demo there.  The cool thing about attending in person, is that she gives everyone the quilt pattern.  After that, it can be purchased at her shop.  She has a whole wall full of quilt patterns that she's designed. I've been to 3 of her demos now and have loved every single one.  

 Gina said that this quilt was really fast to make, about 6 hours to be exact.  Well, I had a whole day in my sewing room and had some really cute vintage looking Christmas fat quarters that I knew would be perfect for this quilt.  Sure enough, it took about 6 hours to make, start to finish.

Doesn't it look like ribbon weaving in and out?  I managed to have all the Santa heads going horizontally, and the other prints weren't directional.  I had the poinsettia fabric left over from another quilt, and I was thrilled that it all worked out.  I really love it!  I want to back it in some soft minky fabric, maybe a frosted blue or vintage pink, or even a cream.  It's not too big, so I can machine quilt it myself.  I don't know if I can get it done by Christmas though, because I have a lot of secret sewing to do.

Thanks for following, see you next week :)

Nov 5, 2023

Dinosaurs quilt

I posted about this quilt a while back, but I finally gifted it, so wanted to tell you more about it.  I've made a few Elizabeth Hartman quilts before and have always loved the process!  Making one of her quilts is like putting a puzzle together, there are so many little pieces! It's the joy in the journey, and it's always so much more fun when I know who I'm making the quilt for.  

I chose blue fat quarters from my stash, some light blues and some darker blues. It almost gives an hombre effect.  I had to buy the background fabric.  I chose a mottled slate which I wouldn't have liked it on its own but knew it would be cute with the dinosaurs. I made the baby size, which is a quarter of the regular size.  In the past, I have made two regular size Elizabeth Hartman quilts, Awesome Ocean and Penguin Party, and I machine quilted them both myself.  I've also made Fancy Forest in baby size, in both blues and pinks/oranges.

You can see the wavy stitch I used to machine quilt, on my Bernini QE 750.  My machine is great for quilting!

I just couldn't resist this adorable skeleton dinosaur fabric for the backing.  

Usually it's difficult for me to part with one of my much time and love, and money!!! 😂 Not this time, it was going to a very special little baby.

When we lived in California, I had a calling in the Young Women organization, working with teenagers.  Sarah was one of my Young Women and I just loved her and her family. ❤️ We had a lot of adventures together over the years. I was thrilled when she and her husband moved here as newlyweds.  A couple of years later, baby Isaac was born and I was so excited to make him a quilt :)

I think Isaac likes his quilt, lol!  Isn't he a precious baby?  I love how he has his hand on top of mine ❤️ I'm so blessed to have this sweet family in my life.

See you next week!

Oct 30, 2023

My Quilt Retreat

 I went to another quilt retreat and had the time of my life!  I hadn't met  two of the ladies before, they were so nice 💗

Our quilt retreat was in Payson, Arizona, a two hour drive from my home.  It was in the mountains, and the drive was beautiful! I saw lots of saguaro cactuses on the way and the sun always shines in Arizona.

Here we all are in our matching tee shirts.  It's a beautiful day to quilt.
The Copper Needle is a beautiful quilt shop, just a mile from where we stayed at the Quilter's Nest. The Quilter's Nest is a beautiful home that was built for quilt retreats.  There are four bedrooms and three full baths.  Each bedroom has two twin beds with beautiful quilts everywhere.  It is so comfortable, it's like a home away from home.

We were lucky enough to be in Payson for "demo day" by Gina, owner of the Copper Needle.  Gina designs a quilt and demo's the technique used.  This month, she demo'd how to sew a partial seam, and her new pattern is called Frolic. If we bought one or more of her kits for the Frolic pattern, we got 25% off, a really great deal!  Almost all of us bought a kit, the quilt only takes about 6 hours to make. Win!!!

Here we are in the sewing room at the beginning of the retreat before anyone had a finish!

Here's my finished "peek a boo pumpkin" quilt top.  Made out of 5" squares, it went together pretty quick!  I used the design board to make sure that none of the same prints touched. I want to hang this quilt on my front porch for next year during the month of October. I think I'll call him Jack 🎃

Brenda was actually the first to finish a quilt top.  Isn't this hot wheels truck so fun!!! It's for one of her grandsons at Christmas.  Brenda also make the truck quilt top with the beautiful black and white blocks.  The railings on the truck are made of cork and you can put things in them!  Hearts for Valentines, pumpkins for fall, presents for Christmas, and so on...

Terri made this cute quilt top and she has since machine quilted it on her longarm! Way to go Terri 👏🏻 Sadly, Terri could only stay for half of the retreat.

Nedra made this cute quilt made out of strips from her stash. It was a little tricky because she had to figure out how to make the quilt larger with borders.  When you've been sewing all day and it's late at night, that ain't no easy feat!!! 😂

Nedra also made this gorgeous quilt.  She already had the pumpkins and stars sewn so she sewed the checkerboard and added some sashing.  I love this one!!!

Charlene made this really cute quilt and she made two table runners!

Shirley made this pretty quilt, it's a 3 yard quilt.  You make a quilt out of 3 one yard pieces.  Pretty sharp!

Debbie made this quilt top.  We oooed and awwweeed at every single block she made!  The colors and prints were so Halloween.  The pattern is by Cluck Cluck Sew. We also loved that the points don't touch the edge of the blocks.

Deb made this beautiful Chandelier quilt out of her colors, desert and sunsets. We all loved it!!! ❤️

We took turns cooking breakfasts and dinners.  Lunch was always leftovers, we had a huge counter full of snacks!!! I ate so much... One night we ate dinner at a Thai restaurant and it was nice to get out.  We also ate leftovers the next day. What a great time we had! We reserved the Quilter's Nest for next October and hope that everyone can make it back :) A fun time was had by all.

Oct 23, 2023

Spooky Season Sampler finish!

 I finished my quilt, yay!  I was able to machine quilt it myself with a crosshatch design in pink thread. It's the cutest quilt and I'm so happy that I was able to keep up with the sew along!

This haunted house really stretched my paper piecing skills....but paper piecing is like making a puzzle, so it all came together.  I love my little fussy cut windows :)

This is a really cute Dracula ❤️

The ghost looking out the window is a favorite too!

I had some really fun fabric for the back too, which I thought was perfect!

Hope you have a great week and don't get spooked, because it's that season!

Oct 9, 2023

Spooky Season Sampler

This is a great sew along and it's free!!! Search cottonandjoy on Instagram and click on her profile.  Click on the link and then click join the Spooky Season Sampler.  It runs from October 1-10.  You will receive the FREE patterns in your email.

This first block is called the Skull Quilt.  I had so much fun choosing the fabric, one of my favorite parts!

Another thing I really love about this quilt along is that each block uses a different method.  They aren't necessarily difficult, but you have to read carefully.  I'm going to say it's not for beginners. I've used my seam ripper quite a bit.  Something that's really hard for me is that I don't have a color printer and the patterns are more difficult to figure out in black and white.  Just saying....

Block 2 is the Hallowpop block.  What a cute name!  I changed mine from four colors to two.  I really love pink and strawberry flavors. This was created with foundation paper piecing.

Block 3 is Spooky Dracula.  Again, so much fun to choose the fabric.

Block 4 is Candy Corn which I love.  This block used a couple of templates which are included in the pattern.

Block 5 is The Haunted Window.  This block was super fun to make, there were so many possibilities for the fabric choices.  My ghost is covered in spiders which makes me a little itchy!  This block had some curved piecing and then some templates.

I assume there will be 9 blocks and the 10th day will be the finishing instructions. Follow me on Instagram for current postings.  Thanks so much for following me ❤️