Monday, June 29, 2015

Make-A-List Monday - Eleven Days & Counting.....

Hi, all!

Here it is, the beginning of the week again and time to set a plan for the days ahead.  I truly appreciate all of you who put up with my list posts and encourage me along the way - it's probably the only reason I get anything finished at all!  Especially this week, as I am now eleven days away from the beach - and boy, am I ready!!  It's been about fifteen months since we went, because of the adoption - having to be on call for babysitting took away our ability to plan vacation time.  I wouldn't change that for the world, but we are SO ready to dig our toes in the sand and veg out!  But there's still eleven days between now and then that shouldn't be wasted....

So let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Make another 1-hour basket for a baby shower gift.
Done!  I'm finally happy with the changes I made to this pattern - it looks exactly like I want it to look!

2.  Make a blankie to go in that basket!
Done!  This was so simple - just two squares of super-soft flannel, bound all around the edges with some simple striped cotton binding.  I highly recommend it as a baby gift!

3.  Come up with a final design for the wedding dress quilt.
I'm still working on this.  I was going to try something on the pillow I have to make out of the same materials, and carefully marked all my guidelines with a disappearing marker.  Unfortunately, by the time I got around to working on it later that evening, the high humidity had caused all the lines to disappear!  And I haven't gotten around to re-marking it yet...

4.  Cut more scraps - mine or the ministry's.
Done!  And cutting those scraps put me in the mood to do some scrappy sewing - resulting in my finish of this morning...

5.  Make more blocks for the retirement quilt.
Done!  I've completed 50 more blocks, giving us about 200 to start with.

6.  Work on Nathanael's Christmas stocking.
In progress!  It's going to take a while to finish this one, so it will crop up on the list probably from now until Thanksgiving, unless I get a burning desire to stitch stitch stitch!!

7.  Make the HSTs for my vacation quilt.
In progress.  Since I have the blocks all bagged up individually, I pull out each block's HST fabrics, sew them up, cut them apart and put them back in the bag.  After I've done a big pile of them, they go to the iron and cutting board to be pressed and trimmed.  I think I've done about 70 blocks' worth or so of them so far.  Doing them a little at a time makes it much less boring!

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.
Actually, this was the easiest thing on the list this week because we didn't have any requests.  Thankfully, the needs seem to slow down during the summer, giving us a chance to catch up and catch our breath!!

And because I had a burning urge to do a few different things, 
I made a purse.....

and I started a new blog feature - 

The first book I reviewed was the book that got me headed down the path of charity quilting - a gift from my daughter called Quilting For Peace.  You can read the review here.

Each week I'll be reviewing a book - some new (and maybe not even available yet), others treasures that I found buried on my bookshelf that may have gotten lost in the shuffle of "new and improved".  I promise that any book I review will still be available for purchase in case you decide you must have it!

This week's book is a treasure for free motion quilters and wannabes!  Be sure to come by and check it out on Wednesday....

And now, here's what's on my horizon this week...

1.  Make a back for and quilt the second scrappy green quilt top.

2.  Complete the HSTs for the vacation quilt.

3.  Work on the wedding dress quilt project.

4.  Work on Nathanael's stocking.

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.

I'm going to keep the list short this week because I really need to work on all of these things, and without too much distraction.  It's much easier to put off the less-than-fun list items in favor of the ones that tickle my fancy that day!

Strangely enough, I also have a burning desire to clean my house - probably because my daughter has hers looking lovely since they just put it on the market.  That kind of thing is contagious, you know?  So I'll probably spend some time this week doing some deep cleaning... (I can't believe I'm saying this!  Let's hope my husband doesn't read this post - just in case I fail to follow through!)

And here's a heads-up - Wednesday, July 1st is the beginning of the fifth annual Scrap Quilt Challenge over on Shannon's blog, Fabrics N Quilts!  You can enter any scrappy quilt you've made since the end of last year's challenge (October 15, 2014).  There are some guidelines, short and sweet, a minimum size (45"x60"), and your quilt must be finished, not just a top.  But I bet a bunch of the Hands2Help quilts this year were scrappy!  So go check out the guidelines and look through your pictures or quilts - find some quilts to enter!  There are prizes, blogposts by guest bloggers, and I believe Shannon even said something about a mystery quilt to give you a head start on next year's entries!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Friday, June 26, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? More Hearty Good Wishes...

Hi, all!

Well, it's finally Friday again, and you know what that means!  It's time to get our whoop whoop on!!  Are you ready?  I know I am - I've been keeping this one under wraps for a couple of weeks now!

This is the quilt I made for my husband for Father's Day!

The checkerboard blocks are made using this technique that I discussed on the blog during the Sweet Sixteen quilt-along.  

The fabric is More Hearty Good Wishes by Moda, Kona natural for the cornerstones, and Kona indigo for the background.

I quilted it with wavy horizontal lines hoping to evoke the feeling of the "motion of the ocean".  Thread is Glide white.

And the backing is another of the More Hearty Good Wishes prints, a natural background with sailing ships, lighthouses and whales on it in indigo.

I managed to completely surprise my husband with this quilt - thankfully he's not on Instagram yet!  This is the first quilt I've made that was specifically for him, from the day I picked out the fabric until the day I gave it to him. Always before I've been making a quilt and he said he liked it, or I decided it might be a good one for him, since I was making it anyway.  He seems to like it - he keeps showing me "neat things" he finds on the quilt like I haven't ever seen it (LOL!)  I was so glad I got it finished in time for Father's Day!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What's made you go whoop whoop this week?

What's got you dancing the happy dance?
(our happy dance this week is courtesy of P.!)

Share - because we want to dance right along with you!!

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight - - -

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Feature! What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday

Hi, all!

I woke up this morning with the urge to start something new!  So, to avoid getting yet another WIP going, I decided that it was time to take a good hard look at my bookshelves full of quilting and crafty books and see what was going on there.  I discovered a whole lot of great books, both new and old, and decided to share them with you.  Maybe they'll be old friends to you, or maybe something new you want to look at.  I promise that I will only review books that are still available, so you won't get the urge to buy a book only to find that it's gone!  And I'll invite you to join in the fun!  You've probably got some great books on your bookshelf too - so feel free to grab the logo above and add your own thoughts to the party on your blog!


My very first book review here is going to be a book that is very special to me.  For my birthday in 2009, my lovely daughter Nancy gave me a book....

...and started me down a road that I never expected to take!  Inside the covers of this book, I found evidence that people all over the world were using their creativity not just to make gifts for those they knew and loved, but to help people in need.  From people making sleeping bags for the homeless or cage comforters for animal shelters, to others making quilts for children in hospitals, soft stuffed animals for local children in need, and emergency snuggle quilts for firefighters to give to traumatized children - all of this opened my eyes to a whole new arena for sewing and crafting.

After reading about Quilts For Kids, I send off for a kit and made a quilt.  Easy-peasy!  They send you a pre-cut quilt, you piece the top, quilt and bind it, and mail it back to them.  They take care of finding a recipient for the quilt you made.  

After that, I guess it was only natural to think of making a quilt for a young woman in our church who was diagnosed with cancer.  One time shot, right?  But no - the women who helped me wanted to make more quilts - so we ordered more kits from Quilts For Kids and made nine quilts to send to them.  Then our pastor asked for a quilt for another member with cancer.  And so a quilt ministry was born!

So I can tell you from experience that this book will change the way you look at quilting and sewing.  And here's a few teasers of the lovely patterns that are contained within its 136 pages...

This one is a Quilts For Kids preemie quilt pattern.

This adorable softie is named Mirabel the Owl, designed for the Softies for Mirabel charity.

This is an emergency snuggle quilt provided by a firefighter.

This is a great example of a charity quilt you can make (and FINISH) quickly, so it can get into the hands of a person in need.

And this is an example of a quilt by the HeartStrings Quilt Project, which is an online group devoted entirely to making string quilts for people in need.

The stories in this book are a wonderful accompaniment to the lovely and varied patterns.  Twenty-five inspiring essays, and fifteen charity projects - all sure to get your creative and charitable juices flowing!  

And that's what's on my bookshelf today!  Have you looked at yours lately?



Be sure to come back next week, when I'll be reviewing a new-to-me FMQ book!