Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Gift of Water

For the past two weeks, my life has revolved around the gift of water.  We are very blessed in this country to have full access to fresh water at any time, but there are billions of people in this world who do not have this privilege. In the spirit of Advent Conspiracy, Neighborhood Church (the church I'm a member of in Memphis, TN) hosted the first of two fundraisers for Charity: Water, an organization that builds fresh water wells in areas where fresh water is not readily available.  The basic principles for Advent Conspiracy are:

Worship Fully
Spend Less
Give More
Love All



We hosted a silent auction (Give More) along with a Christmas program (Worship Fully).  My children and husband all participated in the program while I made a few items for the auction, where 100% of the proceeds went directly to Charity: Water (Love All).  I really wanted to stick with the theme of water and had the perfect fabric in my stash to do it for my first auction entry.  I made a pillow and table-runner set featuring water drops.



The second item I donated to the auction was my Lava Lamp Quilt.  I had been hanging on to this quilt for several months, but it was the first thing I thought of when approached to make some items for the auction.


The silent auction was a HUGE success and I'm already thinking about what I can make for next year.  Before I can focus on next year, I need to finish the two quilts I'm making for Christmas gifts (Spend Less) this year.  I finished quilting my Garden Lattice quilt and I'm binding it whenever I have a free moment to just sit and hand stitch.



I've also started quilting my broken chevron quilt.  I debated between using a light grey or a dark grey thread for the quilting.  With the help of friends on Instagram, I'm going with the dark grey thread.  I hope to have the quilting finished by Thursday.


I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season and I'll see you in 2015!  Here's a little holiday greeting from my two precious kids.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Weekend

The wonderful thing about holidays spent at home is the increased amount of time set aside to do what I love AND still spend time with the family.  It's a win-win situation.  Aside from sewing up a storm, I finished all my Christmas shopping, all Christmas decorations are up with the assistance of my two little elves, and the Thanksgiving meal was a success thanks to a local Chinese restaurant down the street.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Thanksgiving dinner in my house is Chinese takeout...I love me some vegetable fried rice.  This tradition might look a bit different if we actually lived close to family (and turkey was on my list of things I love to eat), but that's just not the way it is.  As a full-time working mother of 2 very spirited children, I choose the easy route of reducing stress and not cooking.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Lets get back to all that sewing I was able to accomplish.  I finished two quilt tops and a quilt back.  That's success if I do say so myself.  The first quilt top I finished was a scrap busting project I was determined to finish.  This quilt probably won't be touched again until after Christmas, but it was fun to put together.  To see how I came up with the design, check out my previous post.


I'm thinking a white and black print for the backing and a solid bold color for the binding.  What do you think?


The second quilt top I finished is a broken-chevron pattern.  I'm not sure on the correct name of this pattern, but it was fairly easy to assemble.  I've seen a few of these online and easily figured out the measurements myself. 


The back for this quilt top is finished as well, and I'm waiting until I have the back for my garden lattice quilt top finished before I throw myself a basting party in preparation for quilting.  The quilting for this quilt and the garden lattice quilt has to be completed before December 19th, which is completely doable. 


Somewhere in there I also have to make a table runner and a decorative pillow for a silent auction.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Scrap Busting Part 2

In my original Scrap Busting post, I shared a mystery scrap project I started working on after I finished my scrappy herringbone quilt top.  I use the word "mystery" very literally since it was even a mystery to me. 


I started out with lots of left over scrappy strips that I turned into scrappy blocks.  I then created scrappy HST.


I ended up with 76 scrappy HST that I trimmed to 8 inches.  At this point, I still didn't know what I was going to do with them.


I sat down on the floor in my living room with all the HST and just started laying them out.  I started trying to be completely random...didn't like it.  I then tried arranging them to create diamonds by color...wasn't feeling it.  Throughout this process, I started noticing a mirror effect when matched up with it's caddy-corner HST from the original 12.5" blocks paired together to create 4 HST.  (Have I lost anyone yet?)

Here's a diagram.  Start out with two 12.5" blocks of different colors.  Place right sides together with one block turned and sew a 1/4" seam around each outer edge.  Use a rotary cutter to cut each diagonal.  This gives you 4 HST that measure roughly 8.5".  Take the 2 HST that are caddy-corner to each other and sew together to get the mirrored effect.  Does that make more sense?  I hope so.


Here's what my scrappy flying geese look like.


I have to admit that I love the clean cut mirrored look the diagram gives for the example, but this scrappy mess is also lots of fun.  It takes a bit more effort to find the pattern when the strips are all different sizes and not necessarily all the same exact fabric.


I should have the quilt top pieced by this evening.  I can now officially say my scraps have been BUSTED!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Scrap Busting

I've been in a scrap-busting mode lately.  I finally finished the top of my scrappy herringbone last night.


My plan for the rest of this quilt is a black and white backing (still to be determined) and possibly a grey binding.  I'm not completely sold on that one yet, so the color is still up in the air.

I still have TONS of scraps left over.  I started sewing them together by color to form 12.5" squares and turning them into HST.


This was my trial run to determine if it was even worth it.  With one 12.5" aqua block and one 12.5" yellow block, I was able to create four 8.5" HST blocks.  I think this looks pretty cool and has lots of potential.  We shall see where this takes me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

iQuilt Mini


I had fun learning how to reverse applique to create this mini.  I've been working with scraps lately and decided to use the scraps from my scrap quilt that I'm putting together to create this fun little project.


I also enjoyed FMQ the wavy lines.  The effect it gives is perfect.  Plus, it's hard to make a mistake with this technique.



I found this teal binding fabric at the store that was a great accent to the colors of the scraps and the dark grey overlay.  I found the navy and teal fabric in my stash that worked perfectly as the backing.


Now that this little distraction of a project is done, I will return to my scrappy quilt.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Scrappy Mini with Reverse Applique

I tackled a new skill this weekend and learned how to reverse applique. I've always loved the way it looks and had a bunch of scraps laying around from a scrappy quilt I'm working on right now.


 I didn't have any freezer paper, so I used interfacing.  Although it works, the interfacing is very thick.


 I'm about half way through quilting this one.  With the backing fabric, batting, interfacing, and two layers of fabric on top, this is a very THICK quilting project.  I'm hoping to be done with the quilting tonight so I can put the binding on and be done with it. 


The binding material is the teal fabric on the top left corner of the picture.  It should pop against the dark grey. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilt Show and Scraps!

Last weekend, the Memphis-Area Modern Quilt Guild participated in a local quilt show at the Davies Plantation.  Most of the quilt entries were a bit...ummm...traditional.  Three of our members entered quilts and we also had a booth showing off modern quilting.


We also challenged people to try some improvisational piecing.  There's Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation ready to help anyone with the piecing.

 
Here's Kelly's quilt...


...and mine (Don't get me started on the folding of my quilt for display...I was not a happy camper.)...


 ...and Jenny's (another member of our quilting guild).


It was a busy weekend, but well wort it.  I loved meeting local quilters from all backgrounds and recruiting new members.  It was time well spent. 

Thanks to a sick little boy, I had some time at home this week.  I finished up all my scrap strips and started piecing the strips together.  I'm making a large (80x80) herringbone quilt.  I finished up 2 columns last night and have 8 more to go.  This is going to be one very colorful quilt and I'm exceptionally giddy about it.


I can already tell that I have way more scraps than I need for this quilt, so I need some more projects  to use them all up.  Any suggestions?
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