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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

MAYBE I FAILED AS A MOTHER

Imagine this:  I’m talking on the phone to my daughter. 

     Chrys:  So, what are you going to do tomorrow?
     Me:  Well, Cathy wants to come over and see my sewing set up so I’ll be cleaning my sewing room all morning.
     Chrys:  Cleaning!  We just cleaned it last summer.
     Me…thinking, sadly:  My poor child.  Where did I go wrong?  Apparently I lack in the mother skills.  The first thing I should have taught my daughter is rule #1: All creative people are messy.  Should I die tomorrow I pray that it is not in the middle of a new project, because if that happens she is in for a shock!  Thankfully my sewing room is in the basement so when my family comes to visit, they are unable to observe the mess.  Little does my daughter know that two days after we cleaned my sewing room last summer it looked like Hurricane Andrew had passed through.

What is it about quilters?  Are we all messy?  How about you?  What does your sewing room look like?  Are you anything like the people in the accounting office where I used to work?  They went home with a clean desk EVERY night!  I enjoyed telling them that a clean desk was the sign of a dirty mind.  One look at my desk…or my sewing room…you’d think I was a saint!  I have piles everywhere.  I save everything.  I have the most fun starting a new project.

Above is just one of my newest projects.  I told you of my need for hand sewing here.   Over the weekend I made two move blocks. 
Here are the first two together.
Then I made another block.  I’m not sure about this third one.  I like it by itself, but not sure it goes with the others.  That is the reason I’m not sewing any of the blocks together until I have them all made.  Maybe this third one will look better with a different partner.  I love hand sewing.  Do you?

ON ANOTHER NOTE:   Thinking about how to entertain your child/grandchild this summer?  Just Another Day In Paradise has a tutorial for Old MacDonald Puppets.  What fun!

PS:  Linking to Clover & Violet Season By Hand.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Monday, July 29, 2013

IT'S TRUE PRACTICE DOES MAKE YOU BETTER!

Surprise!  I finished this month’s Sampler Blocks ahead of time.  No more of that last minute squeeze trying to get the blocks made before the first Saturday of the month.  This month I’ll be able to show all three of my blocks.  And, sorry if I seem like I'm bragging, but I’m pretty proud of them too.
Look at this!  When I first saw this pattern I just shook my head thinking, “I’m not doing this one.”  However, it has rained for the past three days, and when I finished the large block I figured why not give it a try.  I have a terrible time with piecing, and I can’t tell you how surprised I was when this block came out without a hitch!
I was so enthused that I took the block that I really messed up last month and re-did it.  I felt so dumb when I finished the first block for this month and wondered why I didn’t do the center for last month’s block the same way as this one.  So I found my discarded pieces that I swore would not fit, re-sewed them the way I should have done in the first place, and fixed the block.  Sure looks a lot better than before when I blogged about it here

How about the rest of you who are taking part in the New Sampler Series at the Attic Window Quilt Shop?  Do you have your blocks finished?

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Debby Kratovil Quilts has a free Fractured Jewels pattern.  I bet this would be fun to make with scraps too.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Friday, July 26, 2013

BE BRAVE AND MAKE A BEAUTY


Do you like hand sewing? To sit on the couch and relax while hand stitching, is something I haven’t done in a while.  In the past my hand sewing consisted of appliqué.  Recently I was scheduled to be out of town and would not be taking my sewing machine.  I began to panic because I didn’t have an appliqué project to work on.  In the past I have banned thoughts of doing patchwork by hand.  Will it hold up?  However, desperate and determined, I figured this would be the perfect time to do some hand stitching on a new project.  While blog hopping I saw several New York Beauties on Sophie Junction’s blog and fell in love with them.  This would be my new project.
I contacted Sophie at Sophie Junction and she informed me that she made her NY Beauties while participating in a Sew Along in 2010.  I tried to contact the person who ran the sew-along since she was right here in Michigan, but didn’t get a response.  I left an inquiry on her blog too but didn’t hear back.  So, being the eager beaver that I am I got patterns for the NY Beauties and started my hand-pieced project.  I downloaded the patterns for free a while ago and tried to find the link for you, but apparently they are no longer free.

 As I recall the patterns were for paper piecing, but since I was not going to take my sewing machine, I made freezer paper templates.  This is as far as I got before I left on my trip.  This is also what the project looked like when I got back!  LOL   At least I had good intentions.
I did work on the block when I got home.  I loved the color combinations that Sophie used in her blocks and am trying to get lots of colors in my block too.
I love how I can use my small scraps for these little pieces.  Hand stitching is difficult and time consuming, but, for me, it is relaxing and rewarding.  What else do you do when watching TV?  Above is my first block.  It may take me forever to make enough blocks for a wall hanging, but I’m having a great time looking and choosing those special colors/fabrics.  Maybe we should have a sew-along so I’ll be better about getting blocks completed? 

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Looking for something quick and easy?  Crazy Mom Quilts has a tutorial for a movin’ on up quilt.

PS:  Linking to Clover & Violet Season By Hand.
Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TUESDAY BEE AT THE ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP


As promised, today I’m going to show you the projects shown prior to class yesterday.  First of all I’d like to introduce you to Evi McGrath.  Evi is from the Netherlands and has been visiting the Tuesday Bee while in Grand Rapids on vacation with her husband who is from this area.  She said that when she first came to Grand Rapids a few years ago she did a Google search to find if there were any quilt shops in the area.  Fortunately she found the Attic Window Quilt Shop and joins the Bee every July when she is here.  I first noticed Evi when she was carrying around these two blocks trying to match fabric.  We are so glad she found us and look forward to her visiting again next July.
 I was so glad I arrived early for class because I got to see everyone from Tuesday Bee and what they are working on.  Above, Gerry shows us her table topper that she made entirely of scraps.  She said these half square triangles were left over from another project several years ago and when she recently re-discovered them in a box, she decided to do something with them.  I love what she did!
 Judi A. showed us this Hoop Sisters’ Pillow that she finished a few years ago on her embroidery machine.  Beautiful!
This is a close-up of the pillow.  What fun it must be to have an embroidery machine!  Great job Judi!
 Judi also showed us this Double Fractured Nine Patch.  I have to ask her how that is done.  Looks like something I’d like to do.  I love the colors in the fabrics she chose.
Pat Anisko showed us this darling appliqué frog wall hanging.  The pattern is "Frog" and from Pacific Rim Quilt Company.  It is a two-fabric quilt.  Pat said she has a special place for it at her cottage.  Don't you just love cute frogs like this?

ON ANOTHER NOTESew Happy Geek has a tutorial and free template for a darling mug rug.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WHIMSICAL GARDEN BOM GETS TUTORIAL

Tuesday was the monthly meeting of the Whimsical Garden BOM at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  Above, Sandy and Kay show off their completed blocks.  (We are not going to mention the others who did not do their homework.) ;o)
We had a special treat as Mary Ellen D. agreed to show us how to do needleturn appliqué.  I teach only the freezer paper method of appliqué, and this was a real treat for me as I’ve always wanted to learn how to do needleturn.  I love the freezer paper method, but I must admit that it is sometimes difficult when you have only so much fabric to fit around a template.
Mary Ellen showed us how to start a project and take small stitches.  She says to begin with your needle under the appliqué and bring it up into the seam allowance.
She also showed us how to master those inner curves or V points which can cause us difficulty.  She showed us how to catch our thread, ways to avoid fraying, and how to swing the needle beneath the appliqué toward your body, pulling the fabric with the thread. 
Then Mary Ellen showed us how to make perfect leaves.
As you can see above, this leaf has a perfect point that lays flat.
Above, Mary Ellen gives Kay a private lesson on attacking those small curves and inner Vs.

 She did a great job too.  Look at how smooth the curve is on this bird’s crown. (click on the picture for a closer view.) 

A special thank you to Mary Ellen for sharing her talent with us.  She is patient and explains things clearly.  She gave good directions and a fabulous demonstration! 

For those of you interested in learning more about needleturn or would like to review all we learned, QuiltsALott has a wonderful tutorial with lots of pictures. 

There was also lots of show-n-tell on Tuesday, so come back tomorrow to see that.

ON ANOTHER NOTEI Heart Linen Has a tutorial for a Crazy Star block.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Monday, July 22, 2013

ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP HAS STITCH-IN

 The Attic Window Quilt Shop had a Stitch-in this past weekend.  I was unable to attend, but fortunately Judi Anderson took a couple pictures for me.  Above Peggy F. shows us latest finish.  I love the fabrics she used for this darling quilt.
Above, Jill shows us her quilt.  I think I saw her working on this one during the last Happy Scrapper’s Bee.  I think this is her Poppy quilt. It looks huge! Don’t you just love those fabrics!This quilt reminds me a little of the Merry Go Round quilt at Missouri Star Quilt Company

Thank you Judi for taking these pictures and sharing them with us.  I hate to miss anything and love seeing what everyone is doing. 

ON ANOTHER NOTESew Mama Sew has a tutorial for a Dancing Queen Quilt Block.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Friday, July 19, 2013

RANDOM WORDS AND PICTURES TODAY

Today I have kind of a random post for you.  Mostly because it is too darn hot here in Michigan to think, much less sew.  I do have several things I wanted to share with you.  Isn’t this a darling pouch?  Judi A. made it.  I love the fabric and when I saw it at Happy Scrappers, I knew I had to show it to you.
This is another finish for me.  I call it Ruth’s quilt because I really don’t know the name of this pattern.  Ruth gave me the idea and I blogged about it here.  I like Ruth's setting much better than mine, but I was just too lazy to make things on point.  Also I didn't want my quilt to be as big as her's.  It is a wonderful way to use those “ugly” fabrics.   My fabric choice and color choices have changed over the years.  Thus, I have a pile of fabrics I doubt that I will ever use again. 
Here is a closeup of one of my blocks.  When Ruth told me about this quilt, I couldn’t wait to get started and made this quilt with those “old” fabrics.  Of course the red centers and gold sashings are not “old” fabrics, but they are ones that I found on sale.  The Attic Window Quilt Shop has the best sales!  The red centers are 2 ½” squares and the rest of the block is made up of 2 ½” X  1 ½” strips and 3 ½” x 1 ½” strips.  It is a fun quilt to make.
 I had to show you this.  One of the ladies at Happy Scrappers took this picture of me with my Aunt Millie’s quilt.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


ON ANOTHER NOTELots of Pink Here has a tutorial for a hexagon pouch.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A NEW WAY TO TEST YOUR QUILTING DESIGN

Above is a quilt top that I just finished.  It was part of a quilt-along hosted by Terry at Terry’s Treasurers     I blogged about it here.   Anyway, it is draped over the frame so I can study it and figure out what design I’m going to use when quilting it.  While blog hopping the other day I saw just the thing that might make this decision easier.  I’m so sorry but I spent the entire afternoon looking for the two blogs that told about this technique and I cannot find them.  So if you know, please leave a comment so I can include it here.
What is this technique?  The blog I read said to get a piece of Lucite at Home Depot, tape the edges, place it over your quilt and using a white board marker, draw your design.  Don’t like the one you just drew?  You can easily wipe the marker off and draw a new one.  I thought this was perfect and headed to Home Depot.

Picture this:  I walk into Home Depot and go to the door section as instructed on the blog.  I ask the clerk where I can find Lucite.  I got a blank stare and he said, “What’s that?  I don’t think we have any of that.”  I told him it was like window glass but plastic.  He said, “Oh, you mean Plexiglass!  It’s over here.”  I tell you this story so you will know what to ask for. 
Above, I have placed my piece of Plexiglass over a section of the quilt.  You will notice that I have lots of blue painting tape wrapped around the edges.  Safety first!  Also, I was fortunate in that there was a broken piece of Plexiglass that was pretty much the size I wanted, and was able to get it for FREE!  Can’t beat that!  Since the size was slightly irregular I placed some straight pieces of tape inside so I would know where my sewing area is.

Here, you can see I tried several different designs.  I was just playing and trying to get a feel for things.  Be sure and take the piece of glass off and away from your quilt when you wipe off the marker.
Here I have tried another design.  Still playing and haven’t made any decisions yet, but I think this is a great way to audition your quilting.

Again, this is not my idea and I would be grateful if someone would tell me the blogs where this was originally featured.  What a wonderful idea!

DON’T FORGET:  The Christmas in July Sale at the Attic Window Quilt Shop and runs all this week through July 20th.   Won’t you join us for a week of specials and a free pattern with a purchase?  Sale fabrics have been marked down further and there are special prices on the Christmas fabrics.  EVERYTHING in the shop is on sale! 

Also, you can get a head start on those Christmas gifts when you attend the free stitch-in this weekend, Friday, July 19th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, July 20th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Marilyn will be showing you how to make a special Made With Love patchwork pouch.  Kits will be available to purchase (pattern is free) or you can use your own fabrics.  Limited seating is available so please call the shop and reserve your spot.
 
ON ANOTHER NOTECheck out Crazy Mom Quilts.   Stephanie of Peas In A Pod sent me this link and I wanted to share it with you.  She knows how I like to use my scraps and I thought this was perfect for using those pieces you might think too small to do anything with.  You can make a doll quilt, table topper, wall hanging, or pin cushion.  Or if you are really determined and have lots of small scraps you can make a quilt!  What a fun way to make something pretty with your scraps.  Thanks Stephanie.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NEW SAMPLER SERIES AT THE ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP

The July blocks for the New Sampler Series at the Attic Window Quilt Shop are now available at the shop.  I didn’t get to attend the first Saturday meeting as usual, but I did get to attend one of the many other sessions.  Above is a picture of the blocks for this month!  I sure hope I can get that square-in-a-square block in the middle correct this time.  At first I didn’t think I’d like these fabrics, but I’m telling you they are growing on me.  I think these will make a beautiful quilt.  Anyway, I’m posting a picture for those of you who are like me and forget what fabric goes where when you finally get around to making these blocks so you will have them for Show-n-Tell in August!  Enjoy!

DON’T FORGET:  The Christmas in July Sale at the Attic Window Quilt Shop and runs all this week through July 20th.   Won’t you join us for a week of specials and a free pattern with a purchase?  Sale fabrics have been marked down further and there are special prices on the Christmas fabrics.  EVERYTHING in the shop is on sale! 

Also, you can get a head start on those Christmas gifts when you attend the free stitch-in this weekend, Friday, July 19th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, July 20th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Marilyn will be showing you how to make a special Made With Love patchwork pouch.  Kits will be available to purchase (pattern is free) or you can use your own fabrics.  Limited seating is available so please call the shop and reserve your spot. 

ON ANOTHER NOTEThe Happy Zombie has a tutorial for a Funky Wrench Nuts & Bolts.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HAPPY SCRAPPERS HAVE FUN AT THE ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP


The Happy Scrappers met last Saturday at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  A fun time was had by all.  Above are Jana Lee’s focus paper pieced squares.  Aren’t they adorable?  Note the PS I love you on the top square!
It was a large group Saturday.  I love it when quilters get together.  Lots of giggles and fun stories.
No, this is not Jana Lee doing the happy dance.  It is Jana Lee doing a yoga pose. I won’t tell you what conversation precipitated it.  You will have to go to Stephanie’s blog to read about that.  I don’t know when she will be posting so keep checking her blog or keep watch for updates from Peas In A Pod on my sidebar.  As I said, a fun time was had by all.
Stephanie joined us and it was so good to see her again.  Above Stephanie (from Peas In A Pod) shows us the little over the shoulder bag she made for a teenager.  She had this simple little bag finished before noon!
Here is a close up of this cute bag with a zipper in the front and a pocket in the back.  Any teenager would love to have a bag like this!
Judy F. made these bow tie blocks.  They are all done by hand.
 
Judy also made these fantastic pieces.  It amazes me how she can do such intricate work on these small items.  They are for a little sewing pouch that she has.
Vickie D. was working on this beautiful flag quilt. It is all hand stitched.  
Paula was working on this All Stars quilt by Cozy Quilt Designs.  The fabrics she has chosen for this quilt are superb.
Above Paula auditions fabrics for the borders.  
Peggy shows us the table topper she made while at the Bee.  The pattern is Uneven Nine Patch.  What a lovely table topper.
Last but not least is Adirenne’s quilt.  I showed you a picture when I posted about last Wednesday’s Bee.  She’s making progress.  Note the tub of strips she still has left!
I had to show you this.  At the end of the day, Adrienne gets into her little MG and tools off.  Above she is loading up her car.
Note the cute sticker on the side (left) and her license plate!  MGA 4 ME.  
Here she is heading out.   Don’t you just love this?  I bet she and her husband have a great time on those road trips with their MG car club.
 
That’s all for today folks!
 
ON ANOTHER NOTECraft Buds has a tutorial for a square in a square paper piecing block.  I think I’ll have to try this.
 
Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.