New Fabric

I may not have a lot to show for my efforts this week, but much progress has been made.  I’ve been busily tracing, cutting out and ironing on pattern pieces for the last six blocks of Acorn Quilt’s BOM called Heart & Home  by Heart & Hand.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how many pieces I’ve cut out since starting the project,.  All I know is that’s it’s been piles and piles and piles.  I get so excited when I see the blocks coming together.  I hope before long to have new pictures to share.

Moving on to another topic, I had a wonderful time shopping last Sunday at the Backyard Quilt Shop in Fort Atkinson.  After deciding to close their doors they began offering a 25% discount on everything in stock.  Who could possibly pass up such an opportunity? Obviously I couldn’t.   I was thrilled to find fabrics for two projects.  The first were these fabrics for a small quilt for my littlest granddaughter.

The blue floral will be the main focus.  Surrounding that fabric will be two borders.  First in line will be the cute purple swirled fabric followed by the other purple one.  Bringing up the rear will be the yellow and white specimen.  I’m really looking forward to seeing this all come together.  Constructing the simple quilt should go rather quickly because the strips for the borders as well as the binding have already been cut.  Stay tuned for notations on future progress.

My second bundle of fabric was purchased to make the Sewing Caddy by Gina Allen.

Both fabrics are used in multiple sections of the caddy.  You will either have to use your imagination or wait until I have the organizer finished to see how I apply these fabrics.

Aside from the two bundles of fabric, I also purchased yet another pattern.  This one’s called Sunny Days by Kansas Trouble Quilters.  The pattern is for a 12″ x 49″ table runner with sunflowers.  Passing up this pattern was all but impossible because sunflowers are one of my all-time favorite flowers.  I’ve searched the KT Quilts website for a link to this specific pattern but have been unsuccessful so I guess you will have to check back for updates to see what it looks like.  🙂

That’s about it for this week.  Stop back next Wednesday for more fun at In A Stitch Quilting.

I’ve linked up with Freshly Pieced.

Home Sweet Home

My schedule the past several weeks has been packed with far to many non-quilting tasks.  Not having time to fan the flames of my sewing desire has been very frustrating.  This week I FINALLY had time to sit down and nurture the passion within me.  Loads of progress was made on my Heart and Home Quilt from Heart to Hand.  Take a look . . .

Images from Block Three

Block Number Three All Finished

Row Number One Is Now Finished!  Here’s Blocks One, Two and Three

With all but a few hand-stitching items left on row one, I decided to get started on row two.  This week I traced and cut out all of the pattern pieces for blocks four, five and six.  Pictured here are stacks of leaves as well as two tree trunks.  As you can see there are quite a few.  Between blocks four and six I cut out 78 of them.  I didn’t mind doing it though.  I expect by next week to have these three blocks finished as well.  Let’s hope I’m successful.

This quilt is such a joy to work on.  Watching it unfold and blossom has been so exciting.  The more sections I finish the more I crave the opportunity to continue.

Well that’s my WIP update for this week.  I’d show you my list of WIP projects but not much has changed so I’ll omit that for now.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Peek in on her blog to catch up with my fellow quilters.  Have a great week!

New Projects

July has been an absolutely crazy month.  Between the 4th of July, vacation as well as a weekend family camping trip we’ve hardly had a chance to breathe.  With the lack of disposable time I’ve gotten ZERO  opportunities to sew, let alone operate my long arm quilting machine.  I am experiencing serious withdrawal pains.  That is until today.  I got to escape from the four walls of my home with my very dear friend Lori Haldeman.  Releasing the two of us from our daily routines can be dangerous.  We can do serious damage to our checkbooks when we get together.

On our list of things to do was a trip to Acorn Quilts, Quilter’s General Store, and Barnes and Noble.  Since no ladies get together would be complete with out a luscious cup of coffee from Starbucks we, of course, added a side trip to Starbucks.  Once our cups were safely stowed in Lori’s van we put the pedal to the metal and headed south to Rockford, Illinois.

The logical beginning via point was Acorn Quilts.  The main purpose of our visit was retrieval of row three’s pattern and wool fabrics for our Heart and Home Quilt by Heart to Hand.  I’m so thrilled with the fabrics.  Take a look . . .  Getting out of Acorn Quilts without exploring every wall, shelf and basket was not going to happen.  Lori and I initially split off and headed in separate directions.  Eventually we migrated back together sharing oo’s and ah’s as we admired the awesome displays.  After sharing a bit of conversation with the shop owner we managed to exit with numerous treasures.

I left Acorn Quilts with this adorable little pattern.  I guess I’m a sucker for penny matts with little chickens.

as well as this postcard pattern

Last but not least I found this sweet bundle of fabric in the clearance basket.

Finding just the right project for these fabulous colors will be a pure joy.

From Acorn Quilts we continued further south to Barnes and Noble.  Lori had dreams of finding an all-in-one day planner suitable for organizing her menus, grocery lists, schedules for her two daughters, husband and herself.  Also on her list was a book for her daughters’ entertainment.  We were so thrilled to find suitable options for all of her needs.  Lucky for me the day planner she chose really caught my eye too.  Because I am an organizational freak I just knew it would be a wonderful addition to my daily arsenal.  We left Barnes and Noble with BIG smiles on our faces.

Quilter’s General Store was not originally on our itinerary but since it was almost across the street, from Barnes and Noble, we couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity.  Quilter’s General Store had recently changed ownership.  A new owner usually means changes are in store.  Driving up to the front of the restored older home we were surprised to find no cars in the parking lot.  Lori and I were concerned that perhaps the shop was not open.  As we drew closer we could see the “Open” sign.  With the parking lot completely empty is was no problem locating a place to park.

In no time we were walking up the sidewalk and turning the vintage knob.  The door swung open with ease.  Immediately we were greeted by the new shop owner.  We had a pleasant, but brief conversation then began our tour.  Quilter’s General Store had bolt after bolt of wonderful fabrics. I chose to select one piece of red wool as well as a pattern for a small table topper.  Adding these two items to my day’s purchases brought me to my limit.  I had no interest in spending additional funds.

We left Quilter’s General Store with smiles on our faces and the feeling of satisfaction with our treasures as well as the moments of friendship we were allowed to share.  I really, really enjoy each and every moment I’m allowed to spend with Lori.  This day was a blessing.

There you have it.  Although I’ve made absolutely no progress on my projects I certainly had a wonderful time adding new ones to my list of things to do.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Please visit her blog to share in the wonderful projects other quilters are working on.

If you are interested in my ever-growing list of WIP you will find a link here.

Progress Is Being Made

My husband and I went for a three-mile run this morning.  After returning home we shared a fabulous breakfast of quinoa smothered with cinnamon, honey and fruit accompanied by a piping hot cup of coffee.  With my exercise out-of-the-way and my tummy satisfied I rolled up my sleeves and hauled out my Heart and Home pattern and fabrics from Acorn Quilts.  I’ve been making slow but steady progress on my quilt by Heart To Hand.  Proceeding through the many, many steps takes care and loads of patience.  Because I want to produce an eye-appealing, top-quality creation I’m careful not to choose this project on a day when I am low on energy.

I’m almost finished with block number one.  All that is left are the french knots on the flowers and hand-stitching of veins on the leaves.  The hand work is something I can do while relaxing, in the evening, so I set that project aside.

The obvious next step was block number two.  First to complete was the Flying Geese panel.  I gathered all twenty-eight pieces and followed the instructions for assembly.  Each piece was carefully aligned, stitched and pressed.  After pressing the final seam and turning over the panel it was neat to see the finished strip.  I was well pleased with the color combination as well as the placing of my points.

Up next was the attachment of the Flying Geese to the main body of the block.  Once I had the two pieces stitched and carefully pressed it was on to the placement of the multiple pattern pieces.  Piece by piece I appliqued each section to my block.

First to be added were the tree and its many branches.  Next came the beautifully colored bird with its long and flowing tail.

This bird, as with most, needed a home to rest its weary bones.  A well fashioned nest complete with three little eggs was the next addition.

To finish off the block leaves and berries were added to adorn the branches.  As with block number one, this block also awaits further embellishment.  The bird will receive a hand-stitched eye, his feathers will be defined with contrasting embroidery floss, the blue berries will be decorated with small stitches and last but not least the leaves will be sculpted with lines to represent their veins.

The applique is now complete on blocks one and two of my Heart and Hand quilt.  Blocks three through six are already cut out and waiting assembly.  I can’t wait to work on them.  Here’s one more look at blocks one and two.

WIP Update

Very little progress has been made on my WIP list other than the updates I have shown you on my Heart and Hand quilt and the small quilt for my middle granddaughter Miss L.  Here’s my list as it stands:

*Quilt Tops Ready for Quilting*

My Colorado daughter’s king sized quilt; Simple Times quilt by American Crib Quilts; May Night from the Pineapple Passion Collection by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan published by That Patchwork Place; and Bear’s Paw Quilt by Eleanor Burns from the TRIO of Treasured Quilts Quilt in a Day Series.

*Fabric and Quilt Patterns Purchased For*

Autumn Quilt by Heart To Hand; Heart & Home by Heart To Hand (progress being made); Snowy Days by Heart To Hand; The Bundling Board by Primitive Pieces; and First Year Log Cabin by Acorn Quilts.

*Quilt Pattern Purchased For*

Cathedral by Villa Rosa Designs; Civil War Battle Series # 2 by Clothesline Quilts; Courthouse Square # 169 by Country Threads; Family * Home * Friends by Cottage Creek Quilts; Joyful Welcome by Threads That Bind; Martin’s Pennies by Civil War Legacies; Snow Drifts by Hanging by a Thread; and Tall * Small by Waltzing with Bears

*Fabric and/or Craft Pattern Purchased For*

Chelsea Tote by Lazy Girl; Elf Mittens by Button Stitch Designs; Encore Purse Insert by Studio Kat; Miranda Day Bag by Lazy Girl; Penny Mats thru the Year January, April and November by Buttermilk Basin; and The Sammi Grace Bag by Fishsticks Designs.

I also have fabric purchased to make a quilt for each of my three two grandchildren.  These quilts do not require a pattern.  7/3/12 Note:  one of the three quilts has already been made.  All that’s left to finish is the hand-stitching of the binding.

* * *

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Be sure to stop by her blog for more WIP fun.

Staples and Staple Removers

Raise your hand if you associate a stapler and a staple remover with quilting?  I don’t . . . well at least not until now.  Recently I enrolled in a BOM (Block of the Month) project through Acorn Quilts in Rockford, Illinois.  The quilt is called Heart & Home by Heart to Hand.

This is by all means not my first exposure to applique.  What made this project unique was the method used to affix the wool pieces to the background fabrics.  Previously I had used fusible web to secure pattern pieces.  Staples and a staple remover had never entered my mind.

Now that I have started the Heart & Home quilt I’ve learned that both a stapler and its friend, the remover, come in very handy.  Leslie at Acorn Quilts taught me her method of applique.  She led me through her steps one by one.

First I iron a fusible web to the reverse side of the pattern piece.

Next I snip away the excess wool, being careful to preserve as much of the unused portion as possible for future projects (hand dyed wool is very precious and costly).

Step three is to peel off the paper backing and place my pattern piece, right side up, onto my quilt square.

Now comes the strange part.  Using your everyday stapler place the quilt square and the piece to be applied into the stapler and press down.  Rather than ironing the pattern piece on you have just temporarily attached it with an ordinary staple.

Of course you definitely want to remember to remove it once you have finished stitching.  I’m told that stapling rather than ironing adds less bulk and preserves the texture of the wool.  Ironing can crush the beautiful nap of the hand dyed wools and who wants to distract from their awesome quality.

Having tried Leslie’s method I find it quite helpful.  However, I can’t say that I will use it all the time.  I still like the old standby methods of pinning or fusing.

So there you have it!  A very simple technique for a not so obvious project.

To keep up-to-date on my work in progress check out this

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Stop by and see what they are up to.