Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sound Of Silence

After a crazy, jam packed last minute Holiday gift making flurry...I put my sewing machine away. Cleared the table of all sewing paraphernalia, cutting mats tucked under a coffee table, ironing board in it's rightful place in the laundry room and design wall rolled and crammed behind a door.  That was nine days ago.  Nine.  Nine.  Nine.  

I have to say the first couple days were hard.  I wanted to bust it out and sew a song!  As the days went by, it became easier.  The shakes subsided, those awful thoughts of 'just one more gift' were laid to rest.  My house became cleaner than it's been in a long time.  It seemed I had the time, I didn't need to rush to get it finished just to get back to quilting.  

And with a wink of an eye, I felt like I was in a slump!  WTH?!  No, no, no, no and further more NO!  I had to break the ice, clear the damn dam...cut through those bad thoughts!

The Quilter's Planner
My new planner arrived!  I'm excited about this, maybe I will become a better planner and organizer?!  I could happen.  At first I was afraid to write in it, then thought 'for pete sake, girl! What did you get it for if you aren't going to write in it"?!  So I did.

Casual Link Block
My Block
Stephanie Palmer @ Late Night Quilter did a beautiful job on this!  Besides the usual calendar, every week is a new block from the Blogger's Fabri-Quilt Block Hop, graph paper, list's for days, full quilt patterns and quilting references.

Oh and if you order one you also get a PDF for a Zippy Quilter's Planner Cover!!  Amanda @ What The Bobbin has updated the pattern to fit the 2016 planner.   

Wasting Spending quality time on Instagram today, I saw that Silvia @ A Stranger View had actually made a cover!  And it was amazing!  To be honest, I wasn't planning on making one until I saw hers.  I am not that good at this kind of sewing or following instructions.  With a little encouragement, I decided this was going to be my ice breaker!

How hard could it be?

The fabric choice was easy.  Use it...use it...Tula Pink it was.  This has been in my secret stash long enough. There should be just enough for this cover.  

The outside was ironed to fusible fleece after being pieced it together and I lightly quilted vertical lines.  

By the time I got to this point I had my iPad open with the PDF, my phone opened to What the Bobbin blog tutorial and Instagram open for finished pictures.  Directions!  Instructions! Phooey!  Read, re-read, rip out, read, sew again.  I just can't seem to follow along sometimes!

The entire time I kept thinking it won't fit anyway!  You're going to screw it up!  You wasted your last prized Tula fabric!  Idiot!

That's what I thought.

 This is the front.  That zipper pouch will be very handy!!  Candy and pencils will fit perfectly!

The Inside.  The sides are pockets.  I could fill those with erasers.  It even has a business card holder, which sadly is too small for a real business card!  I figured that out too late! Gum. Gum will fit.

The true test...will the planner fit?  Holding breath.....a deep, deep breath.....

Like a glove!  

If I can do it guess who else can do it?  You got it...YOU can!  Whew, whew, whew!

I'm not usually a matchy, matchy kind of person, but in this case I thought why not?  Two peas in a pod!  Bionic Gear Bag meet Zippy Quilter's Planner Cover...and they both lived happily ever after! 

THe ENd.

Needle & Thread Thursday

Monday, December 28, 2015

Here Comes Hazel!

Finally!  I get to share Hazel!  

Isn't there one project you admire, wish and want to make just once?  (more, of course) Enter Hazel!  Seriously, it isn't a surprise that this little lady captured so many hearts in the quilting world!  Elizabeth Hartman @Oh, Fransson knocked it out of the park with this one!

The truth is, when I hear the name Hazel I immediately flashback to Shirley Booth as Hazel in the sitcom back in the early 60's.  She made me want to have a maid (who wouldn't) just like her!  The tag line 'Here Comes Hazel' sticks with me...right or's there!

Shirley Booth
Moving along so as not to date myself too much, I bought the Hazel Hedgehog II pattern and could barely contain myself.  I couldn't wait to give it a try!  

17 1/2" x 19 1/2"

Ain't she sweet!  I wasn't sure which fabric to use.  Prints, solids?  In the end I decided it was time to use my secret stash of Tula Pink Plume.  It was time.  My sister was worthy, Hazel is question!

I decided she was going to get a streak of personality!  Hot pink!  She rocks it big time!  I had to do the glasses.  Cat eyes are just too damn cute to ignore!

Because I was cutting it close, really close to Christmas I needed to kick it in to high gear and get it done.  The quilting is good old straight lines.  Perfect for this wall hanging and fast and effective. 

The pink streak received extra lines using pink thread.  Personality on steroids!

I used Pellon Wonder Under 805R for the glasses.  I should have machine stitched them on after ironing in place.  You can see how they frayed a little on the edges.  I did think about it, then promptly let it go.  It was a wall hanging, not a'll be okay!

The backing fabric is a piece I've had lurking around in my stash for far too long.  And of course, the hanging corners and tabs for the wood slat.  

It did make it across the country just in time for Christmas!  Whew!  I don't know why I wait so long!  Maybe in 2016 I'll make random 'things' throughout the year.  That would be too easy and too organized I think!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

My 5 Top ~ Best Of 2015

Yet another year that has flown by!  Cheryl @Meadowmist Designs is hosting a linky party where we can share our top 5 posts of 2015.  Most viewed, my favorite, most comments...whatever strikes your fancy.  I knew I wanted to participate, I love good clean fun!!

#1:  My Favorite 'THREADS'

Inspired by loads of grey scraps and this quilt by Debbie @ A Quilter's Table, I came up with one of my favorite quilts of the year.  Also, Debbie was amazingly gracious to me and my quilt. Another reason quilt bloggers are the best of the best!

#2:  My Denyse Schmidt Quilt  

I had the privilege of participating in the New Blogger's Blog Hop this year.  This was an amazing experience from an educational stand point, but it was a chance to meet new people, share our blog and find new blogs!  

Part of the series involved designing an original block for Fabri-Quilt New Blog Block Hop.  I designed my block called 'Casual Link'.  My first original block.  It inspired me to put it to the test, use a stack of fabric that was sitting on a shelf and broaden my horizons by using prints.

Hopefully this quilt will become a pattern early this year!   

#3:  My Confetti Dots Pillow.  Loads of Views.

There are times when I just want to play!  Color, fabric, techniques or style.  Having an idea and watching it transform from start to finish is quite the thrill!   

I never would have thought this would be such a popular tutorial!  Much to my surprise and delight it was!  Sweet simplicity has it going on! 

Freedom of the blade and imagination.  Calming and satisfying.  Unique and different. Endless possibilities!  Just a few of the reasons I love improv and making these Mini's!  

It was hard to pick my top 5!  But I'm going with these!  Thank you Cheryl for end of the year round up!  


Best of 2015 Linky Party

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Recap! Mini Mini Craze Revisited!

I don't know about you, but I'm relieved that the holiday's are almost here!  Self imposed last minute gifts finished as of last night!  I'm taking deep breaths, having a chill pill (glass of wine) and have moved on to the cleaning and prepping stage for Christmas!

Believe it or not, my machines are both tucked away in the closet.  The ironing board has been collapsed and the cutting mats are  tucked under a coffee table.  It almost, almost looks like there isn't a quilter/fabric hoarder who lives here! 

It seems like a good time to revisit those fabulous Mini Mini Quilts once again!  The little tiny works of art.  Each one beautiful.  Each one special.

My oh my how this collection has grown!  I jumped on the band wagon with both feet and it was worth it...just look at that collection!

My A Simple Solution : Something Had To Be Done!filled up so fast!   

It didn't take long before it was over flowing with delightful mini mini's!  I knew it would happen. At the time I made this frame, I had numerous mini's in the pipeline.  

Funny how all the work on quilting the background of the frame is lost with so many mini mini's!

This time of year makes me want to organize, rearrange and clean up.  I started in my tiny office with the bulletin board.  It seemed like a great place to admire and show off the over flow of mini's.  I'm still cleaning up this board, but you see where I'm going?!

The mini craze may be slowing down, but I don't think it will stay that way.  This time of year you gotta focus on other things.  I hope to make a few more after the first of the year.

Take a look at some of these beauties I received: 


quiltsnfeathers, spontaneousthreads, sewitsme61
quiltingjetgirl, createdbykuba
smoobug, astrangerview

Swapping was new to me this year.  I always wanted to sign up and give it a try, but I never quite got there...then I saw this craze starting up! (thank you Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl for getting me hooked!)  No pressure, no sign ups, no rules really. Something I could get behind in a big, well...little way!

Here's a few I whipped up for trading!  

My very first mini mini's!

I just want to thank every one who participated in swapping with me!  It was so much fun!  I love each and every little bitty quilt I received.  They are truly little works of art and I'm thankful that I have pieces of each of you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Secret Gift Delivered

Last Saturday was our Guilds annual Holiday party.  We all look forward to getting together, kicking back, eating lots of food and exchanging our Secret Santa Gifts.  I was so excited about this party I could barely sleep the night before!

When I received the info on who my swap partner was, it took a while to figure out what I was going to make.  I kept flip flopping on ideas.  Too many!  Eventually I narrowed it down and got to work!

16" x 28 3/4"
A couple months back, I was lucky enough to win this bundle of fabric on from Nicole (Snip Snippets) Instagram!  Big surprise, and such a lucky win!  The fabric is Coyote by Hawthorne Threads and boy oh boy, it was so perfect for this project!

The pattern, 'Succulent Shelf' is by Amanda from Material Girl Quilts, it's a paper pieced delight in my opinion!

I first made potholders from it, and knew right then and there that I was going to make a shelf full of cacti!

I printed out the paper piece patterns, then paired up fabric for the pots.  I tried to get a good mix of color: aqua, gold, desert rose.  It looked good to me!

The colors are exactly as I planned and couldn't have worked out better!  Now, I must get some cacti potted in these pretty pots! 

Sweet Succulents!  

Another thing I like about this pattern, you can mix and match!  Any pot with any cactus!  

Once I had all the pieces and parts together I could get busy with the quilting.  Time was ticking down.  I needed to finish this fast!

Aloe and Cactus
Agave and Haworthia
Eye Candy Back!
At this time I should tell you I have gone totally bonkers with this pattern!  Not only have I made pot holders and this wall hanging, but I decided to make two mini wall hangings of a single cactus and one with three cactus.  Last minute gifts are always fun, don't you think?

Happily Leanne liked her secret gift!  Whew!  You never know!  They say give a gift you would like to receive yourself.  When it was finished I so wanted to keep it for myself!  And I never keep anything!!