Lectures and Workshops

Saturday, October 31, 2015

more improv play

My poor neglected sewing machine was calling out to me yesterday. I had a few scraps of the prints from the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild improv challenge left & decided to whip up another improv block. I mixed in some solids.....
simply framed up each wonky center with a solid, trimmed them all to equal size, sashed and framed in black.... and done. No measuring, just sew sew sew.

Now I have two blocks to turn in on Tuesday night!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Spice of Life CAL - Finished!

Well hello there! Remember me? Sorry I disappeared yet again. I'm full of excuses. First there was the torrential rain last weekend that totally prevented decent photo shoots for several posts I had planned. Then, on Monday, just when the sunshine returned, my gall bladder decided it was time to come out! Whoa. That laid me up for a few days (while the sun continued to shine.) Yesterday I finally began to feel human again! And, you guessed it, I woke up to gray skies and buckets of rain! Sigh..... So, indoor, gloomy photos it is! Sorry they will have to do!

Several days on the couch was just the excuse I needed to finish up my Spice of Life crochet along afghan. The only way to show you how enormous mine ended up is to spread it on my queen sized bed.....
58 X 88 way bigger than it's supposed to be!
Why did it end up so big, you ask? Great question. Did I add extra stitches to the rows? No. Did I add extra rows? No. Did I use US stitches instead of the required UK stitches? Indeed I did not. It's a mystery! But the fact of the matter is, the tension is even, it's gigantic and I love it.

It has found a happy landing spot on the back of one of our pretty chairs in the front room. I suspect it will wander into the family room on chilly evenings this winter. Seriously, it's big enough to keep hubby and I both warm!
I love the pretty soft green border (I had to buy another skein of light green yarn to complete it!) In fact, I love everything about this beautiful blanket. I'm so thankful to Sandra of Cherry Heart Crochet who created the lovely pattern, for her easy to follow directions, and the fabulous community of women she created on Facebook, Instagram and Ravelry to share our fun with. If you want to see more of these, check out #spiceoflifecal. It's wonderful how each afghan has a personality of it's own! I would love to make another someday soon.

And then there are the balls of leftover yarn from my blanket. What to do? I decided a simple double crochet (US) striped blanket would be the perfect way to use it up. And so I have begun....

Friday, October 16, 2015

flea market finds

Sorry for the little blog break. Although I've putzed around in my studio a bit this week, most of my creative time has been spent on my Spice of Life Crochet along blanket...
It's long enough to keep my toes warm while I work now (not that Texas temperatures require it but still). There are LOTS of rows to do this week so I'm madly crocheting away.

I did take time out to go to the McKinney Trade Days (flea market) today with my buddy Joellen. I have a real love for vintage linens and these beauties came home with me....
Two sweet hankies and two colorful tea towels. All were very reasonably priced and I couldn't resist them! I also have a love for milk glass, and added these two awesome pieces to my tiny (but growing!) collection...
it was a fun day for sure! Now back to my crochet....

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Spice of Life CAL part 4

I've completed another week of the Spice of Life Crochetalong & I must say, I am loving this more and more each week!
That makes  67 rows done and my afghan measures 38 inches long so far. Here's a close up of this week's new rows...
I am loving experimenting with new stitches! Can't wait until Tuesday...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

improv block

Tuesday night at the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild meeting, we received a small bundle of fabric and were challenged to create an improv block finishing at 12". The 3 fabrics on the right are the challenge fabrics....


I added the two solids on the left. I had an improv style I had been wanting to play around with, so I jumped right in this week. Here's my completed block...
I had a lot of fun with the slice & insert method and really like the way it turned out!

Our blocks will all be put together after the next meeting and made into charity quilts for Alberta's Hope, our charity that benefits cancer patients. Have you done any improv quilting?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween tote swap

Tuesday night was our October  McKinney Modern Quilt Guild meeting. Those meetings are always a blast! This time we swapped Halloween totes that we had made. I don't usually go the "cutesy" route, but when I saw this free pattern at Orchid Owl Quilts for a foundation paper pieced monster I couldn't resist!
He has so much character! So I put him on one side of my bag...
put together some Halloween hexies for the other side....
Added some pockets and a zipper at the top. I was pretty happy with it. Holly took it home & she seemed to like it too. Oh, and I slipped this fun zipper pouch inside that she can use year round...
I added some of the fun pompoms that came home with me from Purl Soho in NYC.

And check out the fun tote I came home with....

Made by Kena. It's the perfect size and has lots of pockets. I LOVE IT! What fun swaps have you participated in lately?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

another word quilt

I finished another word of the year quilt for my series! This one is for my 2013 word, Strength....
I chose an anchor to represent God as my anchor and the fact that I find all of my strength in Him.

I used this tutorial by Hopeful Homemaker to make the anchor block out of a variety of low volume prints. Then, as with the other quilts, I used the Quilt Talk book to paper piece the letters at 50% size. The background fabric is the new Moda Concrete Basics in Teal. I love the look of it!

That makes three of my Word of the Year quilts finished so far and I love them. I have two more to finish before I choose a new word for 2016!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

if you want to know more.....

If you want to know more about me and my sewing/quilting journey, Catherine interviewed me for the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild blog..... she makes me sound really interesting! You can read all about me (more than you ever wanted to know!) here...


Monday, October 5, 2015

text me mini quilt received

A while back I showed you the quilt I made for the Text me Mini Quilt Swap, but I never shared with you the fun quilt I received from Emily!
 Look at all those wonderful blocks, each one with a text print in it, along with my favorite colors and lots of polka dots. I love it! This is my favorite block though, with the sweet fussy cuts...
What a fun swap this was. And now I get to enjoy this one every day!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Raskog ironing space

My pal Mahriam had the brilliant idea to create a small ironing table on top of her IKEA Raskog cart. You can read about her creation here at Three Owls Handmade. I decided I needed one too, used her idea as a jumping off point and made my own variation (with lots of help from my sweet hubby)....
We started with an 18"x20" piece of plywood, bigger than Mahriams. It hangs out over the edge of the cart top....
we added 2 12" strips of wood so that it won't slide off of the cart. Hubby nailed these on from the top, with the inner edge of the strips 2 3/4" in from the side edges....
For padding, I layered a piece of Insulbright (20"x22")and a piece of cotton batting (20"x22") on top of my fabric (cut 24"x26") for the fabric I used a vintage sheet because I loved the colors and the stripe. Also, I have plenty left over for a cover for my regular ironing board...
We wrapped the batting and fabric tightly around the board and stapled it to the back with a staple gun (tip, you'll want to get short staples, we used 1/4", so they don't poke through the top!), mitering the corners and neatly tucking the edges under. My cover is not removable which is fine with me, I can always add another layer over the top if it gets yucky (WHEN it gets yucky!) or remove it and begin again.

I love how it fits perfectly next to my machine!
Ready for my next piecing project!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

spice of life cal update

I have to tell you, I am so excited about the Spice of Life crochet along that I bounce out of bed on Tuesday mornings & head straight to my computer for the next set of instructions. This week it took me a whopping 2 days to finish up the new rows....
I'm usually really slow at crochet, so this is amazing to me! This week we added stacked grannys, a zipper section and stacked shells. It's so much fun to see each section come together
I assure you the top row is not ripply, I just didn't lay it flat. oops.

And now I impatiently wait for Tuesday to come again...