Sunday, October 22, 2017

This Week Sponsored by the Letter C

The Spelling Bee Sew Along continued this week and the C blocks were our assignment. They are so cute and cheerful!
You can find more information at these links:
I also got news from the Fat Quarter Shop that I was selected to quilt along with them for Clementine! Clementine is their 2018 Block go the Month to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. I will be using the Mama's Cottage Fabrics by April Rosenthal and featuring my blocks for the Fat Quarter Shop on my blog, my Instagram, and Facebook. Please consider joining me and raising money for such an amazing charity. Here is the information:
Yesterday, I helped out another charity at my local fabric store. Our local school district's Adaptive PE Program organizes an Amazing Race Challenge each fall to raise funds for their ski program. Teams compete with a scavenger hunt all over our downtown. Fabrics & More was a clue/stop on the race course. All four team members had to pick their favorite fall fabric and pose for a picture which I emailed back as proof that they had arrived and met the challenge. They only had two hours and there were 17 stops! These ladies were the Troll team and are moms of some of my students. They are crazy, competitive!
I compiled a care package for my college kid this week. Making care packages is so much fun! I like to pick a theme and decorate the box with scrapbooking paper. All you need is five pieces of the scrapbooking paper, some tape, and a large Priority Mail Box. Since my theme was fall, I included: coffee K-cups, biscotti-apple caramel and pumpkin spice, face masks, socks, magazines, some goofy Halloween accessories like the tote bag pictured on top, copper apple cider mugs, caramel apple lollipops, and much more. I try to send a care package every other month and apparently my care packages are becoming famous around the Colgate dorms.
Last night, I was invited to painting party at a new business in town--Junk N Sisters. They specialize in pallet painting and other rustic decor and crafts. I decided to make a five foot "WELCOME" sign for my front porch. It was so much fun to join with friends to create something and hang out. I will be returning soon to paint the backside with "GO AWAY"---my hubby's request! 
 This week I managed to keep up with the Bee Happy Sew Along Blocks. I love how the Beehive Block came out.
The Flower Box Block is equally precious. We have only one more block for row 4 and its directions will be posted tomorrow. 
This sew along is only a few more weeks and the top will be done. I am considering hand quilting it with perle cotton as it will be used as a wall hanging and hand quilting in the winter is a cozy activity to keep my hands busy.

I am machine quilting today and binding my secret Fat Quarter Shop project for Slow Sunday Stitching 

This secret project will be revealed here on my blog on November 3rd #fqsquiltalong

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sewing Along

This week for the Spelling Bee Sew Along--we are stitching the letter B! The letter B includes some of my favorite things: the Broncos, bees, biscotti, bagels, baskets, Bella--my dog, brunch, blogging, bean burritos, backgammon, buttons, etc. My grass green B blocks went together quickly and I already cut my C and D blocks!
Next, I was onto the Bee Happy Sew Along. These are my apples
and my cupcakes--I was thinking chocolate and caramel. They will get red buttons added as the cherries on top after the quilt is quilted.
Buttons will go on the basket handles too. I am always buying baskets for storage and gifts--you can never have too many right?
 My lemonade block needs some embroidery for the glass. 
I had Friday off and went to sew with my mom. I wanted something quick to work on, so I pulled out this B&C Bobbin Box kit. I got it all pieced together on Friday and quilted it this afternoon. I will add the binding and have a quick finish.
I was looking through some old pictures on my phone and found a picture from @cloverandviolet of a zipper pouch made with some B&C scraps. I pulled out my B&C scrap bag and made two log cabin blocks. The blue one will be for my secret pal this month at work and the red and aqua one will be for me. I am going to embroider my work friend's name on hers, but I am hand quilting mine with perle cotton for Slow Sunday Stitching:
tonight while the Broncos play the Giants.

I have tomorrow off too and will pin and quilt my secret project for the Fat Quarter Shop #fqsquiltalong It is so fabulous--I can't wait to share it with you all on November 3rd!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Spelling Bee Sew Along

Most of you know that I am a huge Lori Holt fan/worshiper--attending one of her retreats is one of my top bucket list goals! Of course, I got my Spelling Bee book back in the summer when it first came out. I have played with some of the letters and some of the small projects. I decided during the summer that I would definitely make the big quilt on the cover. Lori Holt and the Fat Quarter Shop were planning on a sew along that would be the perfect opportunity to make it and the Spelling Bee Sew Along began yesterday! Here are the links:
The plan is that this sew along will last 44 weeks with two blocks per week! This is the gorgeous and whimsical quilt we are making.
My most difficult decision for this sew along was what background fabric to use--Kona white or something with a print/texture. According to the book, you need 5 yards of background. I selected a white on white for the texture that I know my local quilt shop can order more of as I only have about a yard--I used the same one for my Quilty Fun Sampler Quilt, so I have a bag of little random bits leftover. Here are my upper case and lower case A blocks.
Here is the Quilty Fun Sampler Quilt that I only finished last month.
Lori also has another sew along going on right now--it uses her fantastic templates for many adorable appliqué blocks.
Mine will look similar to this, but I am using fabrics from my stash instead of Lori's fabrics. I have incorporated black into mine because I love how it looked in my Quilty Fun Sampler Quilt.
The good news this week is I am totally caught up with this sew along and just added the third row this morning.
I am even ahead and have my pumpkins ready for this week. For my Slow Sunday Stitching, I will be adding the embroidery details to my pumpkins and chickens.
The Broncos have a bye week, but I am prepared to spend the rest of the day working on my secret project for the Fat Quarter Shop and watching football.  These are the gorgeous fabrics they sent me to work with---I feel so honored to sew for them! #fqsquiltalong


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bee Happy Sew Along 2

Sorry about the crappy picture, but wind and light made it to where I did not want to go outside to take a picture. I have my first two rows of the Bee Happy Quilt sewn together.
 I am still behind with the quilt along, but I feel like I have made some serious progress.
 I have been digging into my scrap bins and stash to find the perfect fabrics for the blocks. My version is more scrappy than Lori Holt's, but as far as I am concerned the more scraps used the better. As Lori says, "You are the boss of your quilt!"
 Do you see the skull and crossbones flag? I need to add the embroidery on the dog's face
 and the bee's details.
  I was not sure about mixing the backgrounds on this quilt, but the variety adds another dimension.
 Whoops, not the best job centering the cherries!
I love the mix of simple blocks with more elaborate ones.
 All of the embroidery details are so precious!
 What can I say? I am in love with this one.

I also have some secret sewing for Fat Quarter Shop I am working on this month! I was thrilled to be invited to sew for them and receive gorgeous fabrics for my project...My deadline for my completed project is November 1st, so I am actually going to make it my October One Monthly Goal (OMG). Check out other goals here:

My secret project will be revealed here on my blog and on my Instagram on November 3rd. Check out sneak peeks on Instagram #fqsquiltalong

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bee Happy Sew Along

Happy Sunday! It is finally cooler here with temperatures in the low to mid-70's and football is back which means I am in my pajamas quilting in my sewing room. At least I was until the cable box died--this also happened last Sunday--maybe we will being switching to another service! I am now camping out in my kitchen and cutting out appliqué pieces. 

I forgot to post this door banner I made for one of my classrooms. I used Lori Holt's free School House Block tutorial and the globe block is from her Spelling Bee book. 

 I have been trying to get caught up with the blocks for the Bee Happy Sew Along. This is also a Lori Holt design and instructions can be found here:
 I am not using Lori's fabrics, but I have been digging into my stash and finding some backgrounds locally. I really like black and whites with brights as an accent, so I am going in that direction. I will probably be embroidering the antennas on these butterflies this evening for Slow Sunday Stitching:
 These will be centers of some of the churn dash blocks.
These hexie flowers will also join in this quilt.
 I am machine appliquéing my blocks instead of the hand appliqué Lori is demonstrating. I would never stick with this quilt if I was hand appliquéing. I would rather get this done this decade and use the buttonhole stitch on my Pfaff with Heat & Bond lite. This will be a display quilt, so this method will be fine for me.

The blocks are really cute and this quilt will be precious.  I am working on the spools, cherries, and bumblebees next!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Quilty Fun Sampler Done

 I finished my Quilty Sampler top at the beginning of June and decided to have it professionally quilted as a birthday gift to myself. I have to say this was worth the wait for the professional quilter! I spent this week and this morning slow stitching my binding down. 
 I picked an all over swirl design. This machine is not a traditional longarm machine--it is a full frame computer quilting system. Check out this Youtube video to see how it is done:
My friend and coworker, Glenn, invited me over to watch my quilt being done--it took less than an hour and this is nearly a 60 inch square quilt. It actually probably takes longer to load it on the frame than the quilting. The machine also works vertically and made four vertical passes.
 The machine belongs to Glenn's mom, but her eyes have gotten really bad due to macular degeneration, so Glenn programs the computer and runs the machine for her. It was only $60 for the quilting and I will be prepping more tops and backings for him to quilt for me once he has some time in his schedule.
I am piecing more and more of my backings because it is economical and fun.
 I am spending this afternoon prepping blocks for Lori Holt's Bee Happy Quilt Along. My templates finally arrived, so I hope to get caught up with that soon. I will save my blocks for another post, but you can find details about the quilt along here:
I have stopped buying Best Press for my own homemade version. I use:
1 cup of vodka
1 cup of water
12 drops of an essential oil of your choice (I used spiced pomegranate)

I spend about $14 for the vodka and essential oil, but it makes a lot of pressing spray--if we don't use the vodka for bloody Mary's or sea breezes!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Whole Month!

 I cannot believe a whole month has passed since I posted! I have not been ill or dealing with a family crisis or anything that would explain my absence; it is only back to school time which leaves me super busy at work and exhausted and unmotivated when I get home. 

My football quilt is still under construction. I have not gotten my quilt back from the quilter I took over at the beginning of June. I am almost done with a door banner from my classroom, but I dropped everything last night to make one of my favorite school secretaries a reading pillow. She has taken a promotion to central office and will be leaving the school she has pretty much run for 19 years! She loves to read, so a reading pillow made a lot of sense. Plus, I could stock the pocket with essentials for her new job--vodka, chocolate, and a book to help her escape reality as needed. I parted with some of Bonnie and Camille stash.  I used this free tutorial I found on Pinterest:

The tutorial is really frugal with the fabric--it only takes three fat quarters for an 18 inch square pillow. The tutorial also uses piping on the perimeter of the pillow and I did sew it with the piping at first, but I don't have a piping foot for my machine and I kept catching it in my seams. I was not willing to rip it all out especially after I tried sew it correctly multiple times and batting too. With my deadline of today looming at 8:00pm last night, I just sewed a wider seam and hid the messy piping. Of course no one but me and you guys will know, it is not how it was supposed to be. Who cares? I got it done in time for today's surprise party and she loved it. Plus, next time I will save the $2+ and not buy any piping at all!
I think the back is as cute as the front! This was a different take on the envelope backing and used much less fabric--just  a fat quarter with a 2.5 inch strip from the front fabric. The ribbon tie and handle added a whimsical touch. If I had not appliquéd the "L" on the pocket, I would have just given her the vodka, chocolate, and book and kept it for myself! This will definitely be a tutorial and project I will make again---maybe next time for myself!

I hope to get my sewing mojo back and get some more things posted soon!