Monday, December 8, 2014

Granny Squares

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."
Marcus Aurelius
"La Soupe au Lait"
William Adolphe Bouguereau
 There is nothing quite like sitting down with bins of scraps in every color and pattern.  Fabrics from today's popular designers and favorites from Joann's.  Treasures shared from other quiltey friends and scraps collected from trips I've taken with my family.  Working with scraps...choosing them...finding matching colors and prints...piecing them...quilting and pressing them...squaring the blocks.  This process makes me happy.  Contented.  Peaceful.
4 1/2" square blocks
Inspired by how much fun I had making this in April of 2013 from much loved and hoarded Sunkissed scraps and snippets from my stash and other scraps...
I sat down after the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle to "center" and collect myself a little with some piecing and sewing.  I needed something small, scrappy and easy to walk away from to go visit relatives, shop, and help the Benster catch up schoolwork from his week in Tennessee.
Granny Square blocks seemed just the thing!
Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts has a great tutorial to use.  All the centers are scrappy yellows to connect and "center" the scrappy-ness of it all.  These first six were so quick to sew up.  Such happy, bright colors to play with inside...while the scenery outside was dark, overcast browns and grays.  I was going for a tropical feeling to help me not think about how cold it's been here!
2 + 6 = 8
2 x 6 = 12
4 x 4 = 16
I like this kind of math!
Each one was my new favorite!  I still can't decide which one I like best.
5 x 4 = 20
Multiplying quilt blocks is the best way to use your math skills...I really am using in real-life, every day, what I learned in class!  Thanks Mr. Banta!
Here is the finished basket for Ben's host family.  Quick, easy and fun to make and gift.  Isn't Christmas coming up?  Do you need a gift for your child's teacher, a friend, Secret Santa?  Make one of Ayumi's basket, stuff it with goodies and send it on its way!
Just a few of my "current" favorites...
These blocks are 9" sq. and I really don't feel like stopping yet.  I can see this as a quilt for the hubster and me on our bed.
Susan Guzman
"Promise of Summer"
I found this quilt in the McCall's Quilting from May/June 2010.  Thinking about using the sashing shown here in between the blocks to break up the "whiteness" of it all.
Linking up with

Sunday, November 30, 2014


"Advice is like snow,
the softer it falls,
the longer it dwells upon,
 and the deeper it sinks into the mud."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Has it snowed in your corner of the world yet? 
What an awesome sight for a quilter...the last corner of binding being stitched.  I know there are tutorials out there for machine stitching the back on, but for me, there is something so satisfying and soothing about hand stitching it on.
Clover Wonder Clips are amazing at helping make this process so much easier!
Joann's had a faded, denim gray polka dot that was spotted when fabrics were being picked out for Ben's Churn Dash Quilt.  I love the "faded-much used-boy" look and polka dots are great for binding!
forty-two, 12" sq. blocks
Ben spent a week in Tennessee with a friend and his family.  I took the opportunity to clean his snap some shops of the finished quilt.  Here it is all washed, dried and smelling "oh, so good!".  The quilt was finished and ready for him when he got home from his adventure.
This was a quick and fun quilt to make!  There are so many variations on this block!  It's hard to remember there are a lot of WIP's in the pile that need worked on before I start something new.  But these lovelies are tempting!
To thank the mom of the family Ben vacationed with, I'm making a little basket to stuff with goodies.
Ayumi's tutorial has served me well through the years.  It's very easy to follow, quick to make and an awesome gift for someone special. 
the pattern is easy to adapt and create different looks
Thankful...for three boys who have allowed me to be their Mommy and share their lives with them!
 Hope your Thanksgiving was spent with family and friends.  There is so much to be thankful for.  Each moment takes on a holy breath when you think about how fast a life can change from one moment to the next. 
Linking up this week to spend time with a big cuppa hot chocolate, a soft chair and plenty of time:

Monday, November 17, 2014


Progress on Ben's Churn Dash!
Decided on straight-line quilting along the inner seams vertically and horizontally.  This is a bulky quilt to work with on my Janome.  But once this part of the process was finished...
I started marking out lines for some large stitching by hand.  I take a ruler and mark 1/4" lines in the white and then hand quilt with floss in the same color as the block's fabric.
A couple of weeks ago, I pulled these fabrics for a very special birthday gift for our niece.
I used this tutorial for the Messenger Bag.  Easy to follow and I modified it to put a parachute buckle on it.  When you're ten, it helps!
Here are all the components ready for assembly. 

The finished bag!  She loved it!  It goes together quickly and I'm not a pattern person...really appreciate the ease following her tutorial.
Over the last several weeks, Ben has joined the Civil Air Patrol.  If you have never heard of it...Google it and see if you have one in your area.  This is an amazing program with so many opportunities and ways to give back to your community.  He will be learning all about and taking part in Emergency Services such as Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Services, Air Force Support, Counterdrug, Aerospace Education, Leadership Training, Physical Fitness, and Moral Leadership Training.
This weekend, he and fellow cadets were able to spend a lot of time in the air flying.
He actually got to fly at the controls for about fifty minutes!  It is a huge thing to let your child climb into a four-seater plane and take off...knowing they will be in control and so high above you.
We are very proud of him and excited for what lies ahead!
Linking up with
i have to say

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kitty Kitty

Thank you Leslie for helping me with the fabric!

Wendy Slotboom's "Feathered Friends". 

Found these shots I took before joining all the rows together.  Proof positive of the quilt-cat magnet effect.

On the wall...a table runner for Jon and Rebecca in their kitchen colors.
Fabric pull for a cute messenger bag for a very special birthday girl.
Need a break from election coverage?  Cold, November mornings?  Raking leaves?  Kids?  Husband?  Work?
Or just need a good quiltey fix?


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WIP's And A Finish

Thank you for the encouragement and kind words on the Churn Dash quilt.
The whimsy is finished, batting and backing ready.
Now I just need a sunny day to grab a quick picture of it.
This sweet fabric was bought several years ago.  No selvage.  No idea where it came from or who made it.  Sigh.  But I sure do love the happiness of it all and have snippets in my Blues scrap drawer.
This scrap went into a block I made last January.  I had great plans to make a lap quilt, but I'm realizing some color combinations just don't work that way in a house full of boys.  LOL
So after finishing the first Churn Dash top, I sorted through my orphan blocks pile and pulled this out to finally do something with it.
I sashed it with a print from Sweetwater's "Sunkissed" line, one of my favorites!  Some meandering quilting and large-outline, hand stitching and it was ready to be made into something I know the boys will like and use.
A soft, comfy pillow to take a nap or watch a movie with.
One of the very first quilt stores I started shopping at is going out of business.
I will miss the very creative and funny owner, but she is closing to take care of her dad after her mom's death...and I deeply admire her for that.
She's having a 30% off sale for October, 40% for November and December is 50% off whatever is left.  I had a chance to drive over and do some shopping and visiting.
The ones on the top are for fun and the ones on the bottom will go into a vintage linens quilt I want to start.  As soon as my other vintage quilt is finished.  Ahem.
I also managed to scoop up some used rulers at fantastic prices!
From $2-$5.  I love being able to use tools that have been lovingly used by someone else.  I like to think about all of the great fabrics they've seen and what they have helped make in the store.
Thinking of turning these into pillows too.  They would match a certain Metro Rings quilt made for a lovely young pair of newlyweds.
Linking up with:



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 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!