Tuesday, July 28, 2015

progress and loss

you'd have thought my One Block Wonder would come along quickly.

But you would be wrong.

I seriously underestimated how much time it would take 
into a quilt top.
(or at least the center of one...)

All that matching of points and pinning.
I was slower than a couple of my boys 
when it's time to clean.
(Sorry; that's the slowest thing I could think of.
"Slower than molasses" 
just doesn't adequately describe my speed. 
or lack thereof...)

Progress was so agonizingly slow
that I was beginning to dread working on it
and even avoided it for a couple days.
Which is just ridiculous.
So I gave myself a stern talking to this morning,
and set to work.

Things were moving along at a decent clip
when Jeremiah came in from letting out the chickens
and told me he thought one of our red hens was dead.

I went out to the coop,
which, up until this point has never been breached by a predator 
other than a snake,
and found not one,
but two murdered hens.
One was my beautiful black and gold mama 
that was setting on 8 golden eggs.

I am just so sad and mad and sad!

I didn't have the heart to pick up my sewing
when I got back in the house,
so progress came to a screeching halt.

Tuesday afternoons during the summer,
the kids go to a play day at church,
which means I have several hours to myself.

Not wanting to waste those precious hours wallowing in sadness,
I gave myself yet another stern talking to 
and sat down with the pins again.

I wasn't moving as fast as I was earlier,
but still,
I managed to finishing pinning, 
and press the blocks
into four 4 row sections.

Perhaps tomorrow,
I'll get them all sewn together.
(And hopefully, there will be no news 
of another massacre in the coop.)

Monday, July 27, 2015

weird much?

I don't go around thinking about how weird we are;
we're just 'us'.

But every once in a while,
I catch a little glimpse....

we made playdough.
I don't really think is weird at all.
But the fact that my girls were intrigued by the flour packaging,
(because they don't recall ever seeing it before)
now that was weird.

And then,
when we were scenting the playdough
(okay, that may be just a little weird...)
Lexi asked if she could use Eucalyptus
 instead of any of the essential oil options already on the table.
When I told her to go grab it from the bathroom,
she hopped down from her chair
and fist-bumped the air, "Yes!"

Because all 6 yr olds love eucalyptus.

Friday, July 24, 2015

simply luscious

I love this quilt.

I love everything about
this quilt.

It is truly

It all started back in January when Melissa 

I visited Quilt Home
where I found Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile in citron 
on sale
for $5.96 a yard.
Seeing that it's normally around $15 a yard,
I snapped it right up.

I don't normally start a quilt with the backing first,
but - $5.96/yard AMH voile...

roughly a year ago,
and knew it would be the perfect pattern to go with my lovely backing.

I wanted bigger than a baby quilt,
so went with a 5x6 layout
(of 12" blocks)
before quilting, washing,
and a tumble in the dryer,
the quilt measured 60x72.

Just perfect for a throw!

I chose 60 delicious fabrics that coordinated with the colors in the voile,
then paired them up

and decided if the pair would become a 16 patch block
or a wonky star.

the blocks were so much fun to make!

I layed out all the pieces (17) to a star block
and sewed and trimmed and pressed
until I had a completed block.

The 16 patch (strip pieced) blocks were mostly sewn up
as leaders and enders,
and went together super fast.

Because the quilt top was so luscious,
and the back was heavenly,
I decided to use wool batting.

I was hesitant to use the wool, because it felt like I was 'wasting' 
its luxuriousness
because I wasn't going to hand quilt it.

But then,
I remembered
the whole quilt was being created simply for the pleasure of it.
(I was originally going to name it 'Pure Pleasure'
but thought that sounded maybe a little too erotic for a quilt,
so when my friend, Nancy, referred to it as luscious  
well, I stole that as the name.)

And since the whole making of it was pure pleasure,
I decided it would be foolish of me
to not do at least some hand-quilting.

I pulled out my perle cottons and my silk threads,
and settled on the (silk) one that went best with my chosen binding,
(love netorious for bindings!)

I hand quilted diagonally across all 16 patches
and the corners of the star blocks
then free motion machine quilted  one huge flower in each of the remaining hexagons.
(the top and sides of each star block, with the hand quilting across the corners = a hexagon shape)

The 2,250 inches of hand-quilting took about 56 hours,
and the machine quilting took a little less than 2.

I attached the binding by machine,
and pressed and glue basted to the back last Friday
then spent time here and there over the next 6 days
hand stitching it down to the back.

I finished the binding yesterday morning,
then made a label (complete with a tiny 2" wonky star block :-) real quick,
sewed it on,
and tossed it in the wash.

Two hours later,
I pulled it from the dryer.
Heaven in a quilt ~ Simply Luscious.

No surprise ~ I'm joining the finishers over at Amanda Jeans :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

productive progress

I've had a really productive couple of weeks.

Last week, 
the very same day
that I finished the machine quilting on my commission project.

Then I added binding to both
by machine
and pressed
glue basted the binding to the back in preparation for hand sewing it down.

With that,
my commission work was done,

I immediately started on my One Block Wonder quilt,
which I cut out one day
when I just wanted to work on something different
(so, technically, not a new project ;-)

I panicked because I'd cut my triangles with a blunt tip,
and worried for days that I'd wasted all that fabric.

so I asked her about it,
and she sweetly responded and told me I'd be just fine.

These blocks are so much fun to make!
I set up my little ironing table right by my machine
and got into a good rhythm with the sewing and pressing
and really
never wanted to stop when it was time to.

Being my first OBW,
I didn't want to confuse myself with turning the triangles and deciding on the 'best' configuration,
so I just went with the blunted tip at center.

'scuse the extra crappy night-time phone pics

I got all 576 triangles sewn into 192 hexagon halves in 7 hours
over the course of 3 days,
then spent 3 hours sewing them into rows.

I've spent about a half hour pressing those,
and still have probably an hour to go.
Then I'll sew the rows together\and figure the rest out the quilt top from there.

Yesterday morning
I did the machine quilting on my stars and squares,
just a simple huge FMQ flower in each star block.

When I quilted my commission quilt,
I really had to fight with it to move it around,
not because of the size or weight,
but it just did.not.slide.
Every quilting session was such a workout.

I didn't want to fork over almost $50 for a Supreme Slider,
so I put on my thinking cap.
 I just searched 'teflon' on Amazon to see what I might come up with.

I found some teflon pressing cloth things that might have worked,
but none of the reviews mentioned quilting.
Then I found teflon oven liners,
and a couple of the reviewers used them for FMQ.
so then I googled to see if I could find anyone else using oven liners for 
quilting slip and slides,
and lo and behold I found someone
(I forget who, sorry)
who had used a SS, but wore it out, and tried the liner 
and found it to be just as helpful.
I figured for $8.55 I'd give it a whirl.

I can no longer consider my FMQ my workout.

I just cut out a little hole for my needle 
and cut a little curve for the side of my machine
and used a few pieces of masking tape to keep it in place
and I had myself a little ice-skating rink
for my quilt.

My arms are sore today,
but it's from an actual workout - with weights,
not fabric.

p.s. I have less than 1/2 of the binding to sew down,
so I may very well have a  delicious quilty finish to share on Friday :-)

Monday, July 20, 2015


My man preached yesterday.

I guess this isn't big news,
because he preaches with his life all the time,
but this was 'official'
speaking-in-front-of-the-congregation teaching/preaching.

He did a super job!
If you want to take a listen,
here it is.