Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity Winner

Thank you for all the great comments about your participation in other Block of the Month programs. It was very interesting to see that many of you (like myself in days gone by) have not completed some of your BOMs.  Life gets in the way sometimes, what more can I say?

But I'm glad to announce that the Random Generator has chosen a winner for the great PDF Pattern Bundle that Jacquelynne Steves is graciously giving away.  Congrats to lindawwww!  Check your email for prize verification.


The Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM begins Monday, Oct. 27, so there is still time to sign up if you haven't already.  And remember, it's free! No cost to follow along, and then end result is you might learn some new piecing techniques, and you'll definitely end up with a gorgeous quilt!

Just visit Jacquelynne Steves Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM.  And check back here Monday to see what I've come up with for my first block. 

Always quilt with a smile,
Barb

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Back To Nature

I've been very busy with my Day Job and longarm quilting for others this fall.  Truth be known, I'd quit my Day Job in a heartbeat so I could more fully enjoy quilting for others. My clients have such wonderful quilt tops - it's a joy to be able to embellish them with thread!

But even with my calendar filled to the brim, sometimes I think it's good to take a moment to just do something for me.  A month ago I pieced together a background and borders for a fun, fall table runner.  It sat in my sewing room for 30 days and 30 nights until I decided this week to just get 'er done!

The batiks for this runner came from a little kit put together by a nearby quilt shop that has recently gone out of business when the owner retired. The batiks are wonderful! But I didn't care for the leaf pattern that was included. I am not a pen or pencil artist, i.e., I can't draw anything worthy to save my soul! How I can longarm is quite beyond my comprehension.

So therein was my problem: how was I going to find a pattern for a leaf I liked? And then it hit me. Duh. I have four maple trees in my yard - why not just trace a couple of leaves from them?



And it worked! I've ironed them on and now, when I have a few more minutes, I'll machine applique around them, get it sandwiched and quilted, bound, and I'll have a great decoration for this fall and Thanksgiving. It might take me another 30 days and 30 nights to get that much done, but that's just about how long we have 'til Thanksgiving - yikes!

And to leave you on a bright note, we had our first frost two nights ago - that's unheard of for our area in the mountains. Typically we cross our fingers that our gardens will make it through Labor Day! My roses are still blooming, and I have new poppies unfolding and daisies and the lavendar is still fresh. So I clipped these roses so I could enjoy them inside. I'm not quite ready for Old Man Winter this year.

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with Thursday's Favorite Things Blog HopNeedle and Thread Thursday,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mountain Quilt Retreat: The Ties That Bind

Two weeks ago our quilt guild had the great opportunity to meet at a mountain lodge for a weekend quilt retreat. The 5 Bee Quilters Guild mustered up two dozen quilters to work on quilt projects, share stories, do some hiking and kayaking, drink more than a little fine wine, and enjoy the solace of the mountain's beauty.

  

Fog rising from Perkins Lake greeted us each morning on the way to breakfast.

Warning:  The following post is photo heavy.  Notice how a good time was had by all!

Can you believe how much I had to take just for two nights? Note: The dog stayed home :(
 


Fun times were had by all!

 Janet Houts (standing), co-author of Circle of Nine, Quilting A Circle of Nine, and Log Cabin Quilts: The Basics and Beyond, works on log cabin blocks made from Kaffe Fassett prints for a class she will teach next spring.


Needle, thread, thimble, scissors . . . and some good light make hand quilting a delight - oh, look - that rhymes!

Helping one another is a side benefit of attending a quilt retreat. Loads of ideas and good advice.

Ann Lynn shows off her nifty little basket she made out of 12-inch squares, some batting and some inspiration from the little class I instructed. Sweet!





Here's another example of the quilted basket by our guild president. Is she a jester or a jokester?





Concentration is the name of the game!




Shawn shows off the quilt top she started, and finished, during the retreat. This fun rainbow of scrappiness was put together with foundation paper piecing and went together in a flash! Oh wait - do I see another basket hat?

  Speaking of flash, no flash needed as Ann Lynn snaps a lovely shot of the lake one morning.
 



 Frost or no frost, Rose is out for a morning stroll around the lake.


 This was Shirley's first quilt ever! I quilted it for her, and she finished it up with the binding this weekend. Way to go, girl!

Fun times indeed, and the gift exchange was especially fun. But darn it all - someone stole this little notebook away from me!  Oh, well. We're already making plans for next year's retreat.

Always quilt with a smile,
Barb

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sneak Peek at Sew Sweet Simplicity Free BOM and Giveaway!



Fall is in the air and what better time to take on a new project than now?  Especially when you see this quilt!

Oops - that's not the quilt! That's a picture of my front yard. Autumn is in full swing around here and I just love the contrasting colors of red, yellow, green and blue, even with a little neutral tone in the house - the perfect makings for a quilt!
 
I'm participating as one of the Featured Bloggers for the Sew Sweet Simplicity Free Block of the Month Blog Hop sponsored by Henry Glass designer Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home.   And unlike some BOM's, this one is free! Just sign up and join us for the fun and prizes.



For this quilt I'll be making six blocks, but there are many options you can choose to make this quilt your very own. You can do just four blocks, or six like I am doing. You can include embroidery or applique in the center of the blocks, or just piece the blocks and let the fabric tell the story.  And you can choose to make the blocks into a lap quilt, table runner, pillows - whatever your heart desires.

The block designs are beautiful, and they work up well. 

I've been having fun selecting my fabrics, and finally settled in on Soho Chic by Sandy Gervais for Moda.  I fell in love with the rich teal color and the happiness the fabrics invoke.  Now I just have to dig in and start cutting.


The first block will be released on Oct. 27, so you still have plenty of time to sign up.  I'll be having several giveaways of books, fabric (did someone mention fabric?) and thread throughout the Blog Hop, as will the other featured bloggers.  So be sure to sign up today.



Did someone mention GIVEAWAY???  That's right - today I'm giving away this awesome bundle of patterns.  Entering is easy and you have two chances to win. Plus, it's open for International entries as well as US entries. This giveaway is open through Oct. 23.

1.  Leave a comment telling me if you have participated in a BOM before and if you finished the quilt.
2. Follow along with me here on my blog, on Facebook, or Instagram for another chance to win! Just tell me how you follow.

Fun times ahead! And you'll end up with a cozy quilt to boot! Sign up today and then check back on October 27 when we all get started.

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Lovely Year of Finishes Goal Completed!

I am very happy to report that I was able to complete my goal this month for A Lovely Year of Finishes! Granted, it wasn't a huge goal - I just had to get the binding on these two fun table runners. But considering all that I have on my plate this month, this was about as good as I could get.




I really loved the fabric I used for the backing and binding. I debated long and hard if I wanted to use it for backing. But then decided it was so pretty, I could easily flip it over and have two table runners in one!


This was a fun project! I used a charm pack of squares that had a variety of Amy Butler fabrics. It was fun to see how the placement of the prints altered the design.









Which one do you like better?

I have a little breathing room in October, and I'm very much looking forward to it. My daughter will be coming home to help me celebrate my birthday. And our son is moving back to Idaho as his job search wasn't very fruitful in Oregon. It will be good to have him closer.

Oh! And another great thing about October - we have our guild's Quilting Retreat scheduled for a lovely lodge by a mountain lake north of here. I'll have a couple more things to add to my ALYOF for October, and maybe I can make some headway on them there. One can only hope.

Stay calm and quilt!

Barb

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday, A Lovely Year of Finishes, Linky Tuesday,  and Finish Along 2014, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Show and Tell Tuesday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Goal for September's A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm traveling two weeks out of this month, so I'm trying to be realistic and keep my goals workable. With that in mind, I'd really like to finish this set of table runners.


I made these from one charm pack of Amy Butler prints.  All I need is binding, and I've got a finish!


I can't decide which is my favorite of these two?  I quilted a real fun pattern in the center prints, but it doesn't show up well at all. It's from  Angela Walters' new book "Shape by Shape - Free Motion Quilting With Angela Walters"  and is called Swirl Chain. It works in well with the outer swirls.


 Once I get the binding on, I'll try to get a better photo from the backside.


The second runner had me stumped as to the quilting, so I just did some stippling. Don't think I was feeling all that well that day, so I scribbled. Fun, fun!

So, with my Day Job taking most of my time this month, getting the bindings on these two darlings will please me greatly!  Thanks again to Melissa and Shanna for hosting A Lovely Year of Finishes. I see that it is inspiring many of us to just "Get 'er Done!" especially when time is scarce.

Be sure to join the fun and link up your September Goal for ALYOF. See you on the flip side!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb
Linking up to Needle & Thread ThursdayALYOF


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cowgirl Up Quilt Finished

My goodness! When a person moves through the day at 1400 mph, some things get forgotten. And I, unfortunately, forgot to take a photo of my finished quilt I made for my niece's wedding.  Here is the best photo I can come up with when it was on the frame.






Not to brag, but I think it turned out really nice actually! I used a pattern I bought from Melissa called Dizzying Diamonds, and the red background fabric really stands out. For the backing I used a plain brown down the center half flanked by a brighter red fabric that had rope lassos laced through it. Fun, fun for a true cowgirl!

Here's a photo I took before the rows were sewn together. Gives you a little idea what it looked like.


Speaking of that, here is a photo of her as her dad is walking her down the aisle. Notice she wore her favorite cowgirl boots under that lovely dress!


Here's a pic of my favorite girl, my daughter Jessica who flew in for the wedding. Always such fun to spend some time with her. Here she is writing out the card to go with the gift. The quilt is wrapped up in a huge gift bag which was sitting right next to her, just out of camera shot...... 



And this is a pic of my baby brother and I.  He had lung cancer and just had a major surgery three months ago to remove part of his lung.  Public Service Announcement:  If You Smoke, STOP NOW!  I was so happy to be able to spend time with him. So happy.


And to finish off this post, I'll just share one other photo of the newlyweds.  Turned out her colors were blue and I fit right in!


So, you can see I took a lot of pictures. I just forgot to take a pic of the finished quilt. But honestly, I did get it all bound, hand-stitched and out the door last week. Hope she liked it!

Smiling big this week,
Barb

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday and Needle and Thread Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things and Show Off Saturday.
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