Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fourteen Years


It's been fourteen years since I broke my brain. I wrote more about it here


Saturday, January 20, 2018

PEI Modern Quilt Guild Mystery 2017: Clue 5


Most of my quilt alongs from last year are finishing up, but my PEI Modern Quilt Guild mystery is still plugging along. Clue #5 was half rectangle triangles. I've never made them before but the directions were great and I was really happy I had the Tri-Rec ruler from last year's Bonnie Hunter mystery, En Provence.

I made the decision not to do as many quilt alongs this year, in large part to make sure that I finish the ones I've started, I have to admit that it's really fun to have a quilt come together slowly like this. A perfect no-stress project!

Linked to:

PEI MQG

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#96: Project Linus Mystery Quilt


Midway through January and I have my first finish of the year! Last fall, as my to do queue was filled with mystery quilts and quilt alongs, I learned about the Project Linus mystery quilt. Project Linus is an organization that gives homemade quilts and blankets to kids who are seriously ill or traumatized. 

This was my first year doing the mystery, which is an annual two-part fundraiser. The first part is the quilt along. In order to receive the weekly clues, quilters give a $15 donation to Project Linus. Once all the quilts are complete, the second phase of the fundraiser is a contest where the public can vote for their favorites. 

From the Project Linus website:

From all entries received by the deadline, anyone can vote for their favorite quilt(s) from a link on our website, and voters may vote more than one time. Each vote is $1 with a minimum of 10 votes ($10) per instance. Voting begins on 12:01a CT on Saturday, February 3, 2018 and ends at 11:59p CT on Friday, February 16, 2018. All funds collected through the voting process are also considered a tax deductible donation to Project Linus and will go to National Headquarters to benefit all chapters.

This year's theme was "Exploring the World with Ethan." The blocks are a combination of traditional piecing, paper piecing, applique, and even a few 3D elements. Each block had a different geographical theme. As an international family that frequently opens our home to guests from around the world, this theme was just my style!

Lantern from China:


Three weeks in China changed my life. 


Ship in Oceania:


Whale in the Antarctic:


The leaning tower of Pisa, Italy.


I was there on a VERY hot July day.


The castle was intended to be Neuschwanstein in Germany.


But I modeled mine after Helmond Castle in my husband's hometown in the Netherlands.


A tipi for the North American plains. This was my first time making a 3D element. 


A plant for the Amazon rainforest in South America. 


The pyramids in Giza, Egypt.


Koala for Australia. One part of the world still on my bucket list. Especially as I find more and more quilters down under. I started embellishing my blocks a bit at this point. I added the body of my koala so his head wasn't floating in my block. 

              
A penguin for Antarctica. I added the water and iceberg.


The star of the quilt is Ethan, an African elephant named after a grandson the quilt designer, Mary Balagna. 


The final block is a stack of books to read more about our beautiful world. This was a fun block as it reminded me of the library quilt I made last year. 


When Mary announced the fabric requirements of orange and blue, I knew I had the perfect background fabric in my stash. I bought both prints a year ago while visiting Holland, Michigan. Look at the little Dutch girl! And the verbage print includes Dutch, too!


I'm so happy I found the perfect quilt to use these prints.


As always my son wraps his love in my quilt. 


I hope that whoever receives this quilt will feel love and support in whatever they are facing and that the bright colors brighten their room and their spirits. 


Linked to:


Monday, January 8, 2018

January 2018 One Monthly Goal


It's a new year and I'm already behind. Sigh. I'm writing this post on January 8, one day after the link up for Elm Street Quilt's January OMG closed. But I'm posting it anyway, now, because I'm still going to work on it. 

My brain injury has been giving me grief lately. I've been dealing with blurry vision and vertigo for the last few months, which has made my regular headaches worse. The culprit seems to be that my saccadic dysmetria has gotten a lot worse. This video explains it better. 


Long story short, my medical team is adjusting my meds, as well as my contact prescription. We'll get there, but the adjustment is kicking my backside. 

Excuses aside, my goal for this month is to finish my Project Linus mystery quilt, Exploring the world with Ethan. The top was completed as part of the quilt along, but now it's time to get it quilted and bound. 


This was my first year doing the mystery. The annual fundraiser for Project Linus consists of two part. The first part is the quilt along. In order to receive the weekly clues, quilters give a $15 donation to Project Linus. Once all the quilts are complete, the second phase of the fundraiser is a contest where the public can vote for their favorites. 

From the Project Linus website:

From all entries received by the deadline, anyone can vote for their favorite quilt(s) from a link on our website, and voters may vote more than one time. Each vote is $1 with a minimum of 10 votes ($10) per instance. Voting begins on 12:01a CT on Saturday, February 3, 2018 and ends at 11:59p CT on Friday, February 16, 2018. All funds collected through the voting process are also considered a tax deductible donation to Project Linus and will go to National Headquarters to benefit all chapters.

So, I am motivated for a great cause, even if I posted my goal late!

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 2017 One Monthly Goal Update



Thanks to Elm Street Quilts and her monthly challenge, One Monthly Goal, I was motivated to finish a few of my unfinished quits before the end of the year.

My goal was to finish the three Cards 'n' Cowboys quilts that I started for #quiltsforvegas.


I'm happy to report that all three quilts are finished and have made their way to Las Vegas and hopefully, by now, are on their way to their new homes.




As a bonus, I was also able to finish my Tula Pink Butterfly as part of Gnome Angel's sew along


I gifted this beauty to my son's incredible principal. 


Early in the month, I finished my Cancer Can Kiss My Donkey quilt, bringing the month's finish total to 5, and my annual count to 22!

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

#95: Tula Pink Butterfly


Christmas break began this week. It was just the nudge I needed to finish quilting my Tula Pink Butterfly quilt. I had so much fun quilting along with new friends as part of the quilt along hosted by Gnome Angel. 

I first learned of this quilt along this summer when we were in the Netherlands. On a lark, I decided to order the pattern. It made it home before we did!


Gnome Angel offered several gorgeous kits, but I opted to use my own stash of greens, blues, teals, and purples. I was quite happy that I only had to buy the white background and peacock swirl border and backing. 

How this quilt along worked was that we had weekly assignments following Tula Pink's pattern. Each week we posted our assigned blocks on Instagram with the hashtag #tulapinkbutterflySAL.


The scariest part of this whole project was the curved piecing I would need to do for the last three weeks. I've never done it and the thought of it was intimidating! This is when a quilt along is real blessing. More experienced quilters shared their wisdom and I built my confidence checking another skill of my list.

What worked best for me was dabbing three dots of fabric glue on both ends and the middle of the top section before pinning in just those three places. Worked like a charm! Wombat quilts has shared a tutorial that is pretty close to what I did, except I only glued the ends and middle, not the whole seamline. 


The night before the deadline I double checked to make I had all my posted up and tagged correctly. It was a good thing I did because I missed one. And as it turned out, I won the grand prize! I was so excited to shop at Pink Door Fabrics with my $150 gift certificate. I bought lots of Elizabeth Hartman patterns, plus two Violet Craft patterns. I will be up to my eyeballs in patterns! 2018 is going to be a busy year!


We only had to finish the top by the end of the contest. When I started, I wasn't sure who I was making this quilt for, I was just along for the contest. By the halfway point, I knew exactly who deserved it. But that meant I was under the gun to finish it before school was out for the year.

I quilted it with a spiral. It's a big quilt, the finished size is 88" x 94", so I got a good arm workout getting started. 


I watched The Christmas Story Live musical as I worked. It was panned by a lot of viewers, but I loved it.


Once the movie was over, I knew I could finish with a late night. By 1 am on the last day of school I finished. D always wants to put his love in my quilts, so I placed the finished quilt over him when I finished at 1am. Since this quilt was going to his amazing principal, I knew he'd want to have extra snuggle time.


He got a Christmas tree for his room this year. It was the perfect lighting for a late night finish.


I called the school secretary on our way to drop off and asked if Mrs. Graves would have a few minutes to see us. I also texted D's teacher to make sure he could make the presentation. 

Our son's principal is an amazing person. She works tirelessly to advocate for our learners. The unique school she founded is a STEM-based learning environment where students are encouraged to learn independently, to collaborate with students in other grades, to dig deeper into the topics that pique their interest. They garden, they dance, they sing, they learn to research and present their findings. They are compassionate. They welcome visitors who are curious about how our school works. They excel. Our school is consistently ranked one of the best in the state. This was Mrs. Graves' vision and we are all the beneficiaries. 

Last year, our school lost its location and for awhile, it looked like our doors would permanently close. But Mrs. Graves was tenacious and never gave up. We are now in a new home with a new sponsor. This quilt is a tiny show of our appreciation for being part of her legacy.


The big reveal.


Reading the label.


Lots of love exchanged.


Best. delivery.ever!


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Thursday, December 14, 2017

PEI Modern Quilt Guild Mystery 2017: Clue 4

Another month is flying by! Clue 4 of the PEI Modern Quilt Guild mystery was fun to make. I love the precision of paper piecing, especially when it is made of nice easy blocks like these.


The mystery continues through April, so I'm thinking I may need to buy some yardage of my favorite Anne of Green Gables prints. I started with a layer cake and my options are dwindling! 

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

#92, #93, and #94: Cards 'n' Cowboys Quilts


Winter has arrived here in Ohio and it is the incentive I needed to finish my December One Monthly Goal: quilting these three Cards 'n' Cowboys quilts I made for #quiltsforvegas. I will be sending them to the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, who will be distributing them, along with many, many others to those affected by the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.


I had already starting to think of design ideas before the Las Vegas MQG put out the call for quilts.  I couldn't get the idea of cards and cowboys out of my head. It seemed like a meaningful way to combine the location of the shooting with the country music the victims were intending to enjoy at the concert that night.


The Las Vegas MQG requested quilts using grayscale blocks by Cluck Cluck Sew, and at least one of her heart blocks. Here are just a few of the creative ways quilters have put these blocks together.

Clockwise from top right: Alissa Lapinksy, who worked tirelessly on the Quilts for Pulse drive,  Kirkenoll Quilts from the Little House, and Red Letter Quilts
It was easy to adjust my pattern to fit the guidelines. 


I planned to use a traditional card trick block. It's been one I've wanted to make for awhile. But I decided to make it with squared and rectangles instead of half square triangles and quarter square triangles.


The boot design came from Debra Clutter Designs.  I had to adjust the size a bit, and they came together nicely.


I ended up making three quilts because I made three quilts for Quilts for Harvey. Two of the quilts are in patriotic colors, the third uses scraps from the Western Scrabble I made my mom a few years ago.


I love when my scraps can turn into something beautiful. 


It's a little hard to see, but I used my standby spiral quilting on all three quilts.


For the label I did something a little different. Rather than printing on printable fabric, I used freezer paper to stabilize solid white fabric that I printed on my inkjet printer. I used Steam a Steam 2 as the stabilizer because it is much softer than the printable fabric and the label is no longer rough.


I hope these quilts bring comfort to those who receive them, and I pray that our nation will find a way to reduce these senseless acts of terrorism.

As of this posting, the Las Vegas MQG is still accepting quilts, blocks, and monetary donations. If you are so inclined, please visit their website for more information. 




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