Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop!

I was tagged for the Around the World Blog Hop by Anna at Woolie Mammoth. Thanks for the tag Anna! If you haven't already visited her spot, be sure to do so.

The Around the World Blog Hop is kind of like a chain letter except it's w/blogs on the internet.  It's a great opportunity to meet and learn about other bloggers.  When tagged, the tagee has to acknowledge who tagged them, answer 4 questions and then tag 3 different bloggers. If you can't find 3, one will do! And they don't have to be quilting bloggers neither.

So here goes...

What am I working on?
I am currently working on several projects, all of which I'd like to get completed by Christmas or sooner. 

The 1st is a gift for mom's birthday which is November 3rd. It's a quilt top I finished quite sometime ago that was intended to be for my bed, but in order to make it big enough I added very generous borders  and hated the way it turned out.  FFWD 8 months and now it's a large lap quilt top waiting to be quilted.

A quilt for my kid sister. 4 blocks down, 38 more to go.

Diamonds and Purples I'm keeping all the points and making it a quilt w/o binding. I'm excited to see how it turns out! 

Plus, I want to make several small quilted gifts, approximately 40 of them, for coworkers, family and friends.

So yeah, I have my work cut out for me. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work isn't all that different from others. I make quilts just like the lot of you. I would say that 99% of my quilts are made from patterns since I have not yet had the desire to design my own quilt.  But what does differ is the fabric I use. I cannot afford to buy the latest and greatest lines or collections and am not super picky about color/print.  I believe all of my fabric is 100% cotton though; the majority of it has come as donations from friends or was purchased at Goodwill.  I'm very fond of scrap quilts but I think I do a great job of coordinating colors/prints from my 2nd hand stash for the quilts I've made that aren't so scrappy.  With that being said, I have purchased brand new fabric, either on sale or clearance...and usually at Joann.   I also adore pieced backings and I don't think they have to match the front of the quilt at all.   

Why do I write/create what I do?
Truth be told I started writing this blog because I think my family, friends and coworkers were getting tired of hearing all my “quilty” talk.  And...I wanted to share my incredible, God-given, quilting passion with others who love and appreciate it as much as I do. I have a few friends who quilt, but they are not nearly as obsessed passionate as I am. The funny thing is, I absolutely LOATHED writing in school. During my senior year, I elected to take a general English class to avoid having to write a senior paper in British Literature. However, when I start or finish a new project, find a new pattern or tool, or make a great fabric score, I just have to write about it and share it with the world!

How does my writing/creative process work?
As for my writing/creating process, it's a simple 4-step process.
  1. I see a quilt/pattern I like. It's usually something already in my queue.
  2. I pick out my fabric and start cutting. (I already had most of the fabric picked out in my head AND have 1-3 other projects already going)
  3. I write about it and post pics of my progress
  4. Write about it and post pics again after completion.
I'm working at establishing my blog and increasing my follower base. After 1 year of blogging I'm pleased w/the number of followers and the amount of interaction I've had.  My 3 kids are grown but I work full time and don't have a ton of time to dedicate to it.  Several months ago I committed to writing 1x/week and I have been meeting this commitment. 

I follow a bunch quilters via Blogger, G+ and Instagram, many who are mothers of young and/or multiple children and it seems like they quilt and post constantly! I have no idea how the heck they do it!  I think many of them are stay-at-home moms. But even they juggle motherhood, homeschooling, quilting/crafting, AND still have time to blog and post so often, truly AMAZES me! KUDOS to you ALL!

I like to end each post w/something encouraging; be it scripture, song lyrics or just words of wisdom from devotions or other quotes.  

I call it A Thread for Life.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Feel free to look around and leave lots of comments.

Now, hop on over to visit these other fabulous women on their blogspots.

Greta at Material Detachment
Stephanie at Imperfectly perfect quilts and more...
Bellezza Squillace at Every Stitch a Prayer

A Thread for Life
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col 4:6

Linking up with
stitch by stitch

Sew Fresh Quilts

Saturday, September 20, 2014

She's Still Stitchin'

Two months ago tomorrow, I insisted my sis come to quilting.  You can read about it in the Bitten post. Kinda long story short, she was instantly hooked! I'm proud and happy to say she's still stitching strong!  

She gets frustrated at times, especially when she's rushing to get something finished, but she's been very productive. She's already completed 3 patchwork quilts, several pillows and a couple “jellyroll” tops.  I often have to remind her to slow down. What's the rush? But we all know how it is when you want to see a project complete.  

I maybe should sometimes take my own advice about not rushing. Well, not rushing so much as just not having so many projects going at once.  I know this is the norm for many of us quilters but what's not normal is the other craziness going on in my brain. Like me thinking that since I didn't start quilting until I was 40 that I have at least 15 years of quilting to make up for, because I would've loved quilting when I was 25yrs old if someone would've just introduced it to me !! Crazy huh? LOL! Anyway having multiple projects you want/need to finish is definitely more stressful than having just one. All I can say is, I NEVER get bored! 

And speaking of projects, I finished one last night! I did different FMQ in each block. I also used Jera's Quick Binding method.

And, I finally decided what I want to do w/the One Block Wonder I put together many moons ago and hated. You can read about it here and here It's going to be a large lap quilt for my mom instead. Her b-day is on November 3rd so I've got several weeks to complete it. I've already taken the too wide borders off and reduced the overall size of the quilt a bit. The orange will still be the 1st border and I'll add a 2nd wider border of the brown floral. The back will be pieced w/the plain aqua and white/light aqua floral AND the extra strips I removed from the quilt top will serve as binding.

I've got a few other quilt deadlines too!  The Summer Star Mini and Bento Box are due on November 6 for a charity we are working on in QA. They've yet to be basted and quilted.

These Double Option Stars Blocks are for a quilt I'm making as a Christmas gift for my little sis. Three down, 39 more to go.

I'd like to have Diamonds and Purples completed in time for Christmas as well. Waiting to be basted and quilted too.

In addition I have several small quilted gifts I'm working on. I've got a lot to accomplish so I better get sewing.

Until next time, Happy Quilting and God Bless!

A Thread for Life
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isa 61:1-3

I'm linking up at:
Whoop Whoop
Let's Bee Social
A Quilting Reader's Garden 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friends, Challenges and a Finish

First off I'd just like to say I'm so very pleased to have met all the peeps I have in my new blogging-quilty world. Thank you all for being so welcoming and encouraging. We are one giant circle of quilty love.

I finished Red Chevy Crush a couple of weeks ago.

I didn't blog about it because I really only have time to blog 1x/week. And the last two week's posts were about my blog's birthday giveaway and the giveaway winner . 

This post is a little longer because I have some catching up to do.

Ok, so...I've been free motion quiltingherein referred to as FMQ. In an effort to get good at it...and I DO want to be good, I started the #dailyfmq challenge on Instagram (it goes through 9/22/14).  It challenges me to practice for at least 10 mins/day. I had previously enrolled in two Craftsy quilting classes (one of which I wrote about here) but I haven't really done what qualifies as practice until about 2 weeks ago.

As those of us who have done it know, the biggest challenge in FMQ is making sure your (foot) machine speed is not too fast or slow for your hand speed. (Kinda puts me in the mind of learning to drive a stick shift). I'm guessing it's not something most peeps are good at right off the bat, least of all me.  I've tried meandering/stipple several times and have always ended up extremely FRUSTRATED! But w/the challenge I decided to start w/Chrsitina's woodgrain and I am thrilled!  It's very forgiving and I really like the idea of no curves.  It's not the only fmq I've been practicing, but it's my favorite. I've also practiced loopy flowers and circuit board, taught in Elizabeth Dackson's Craftsy class.

Also practicing w/Paint
I've been doing my FMQ practice on this Autumn quilt top I finished a few weeks ago. I'm quilting something different on each piece w/in a block.

 I don't mean to toot my own horn...but toot toot! I already feel and see a difference in my FMQ.

The other challenge I'm participating in is the #ablockadaychallenge on Instagram.  I've been making Bento Box blocks for a charity quilt for QA .

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a notion or gadget, but a friend told me about Clearly Perfect Angles and how it works beautifully for sewing HST and mitered binding, so I ordered it. It's perfect! And speaking of mitered binding, I found and used this sanity-saving tutorial for a mitered join.

Scrappy Fail

 I attempted to make my first pattern tutorial for something scrappy but I don't like how it turned out at all.  A solid fabric would've improved the look, but I'm still not liking the center either.

Maybe pattern tutorials aren't my thing just yet. In the mean time, I will continue to use other peeps' patterns and tutorials, like the tons of free lovelies I came across on Quilter's Cache.   

My grandson was bugging me about sewing so last week I gave him a crash course and helped him make a Tube Pillowcase using this YouTube video tutorial...but I also just found this pdf using a slightly different method.

We went camping over the Labor Day weekend and aside from fear of being mauled by a bear while sleeping, it was fun.

A las, I'm proud and happy to say Ivy is housebroken and using the doggy door like an old pro.

A Thread for Life 

 This life is a journey we walk by faith
And there will always be the mountains in our way
But right here in this moment, may our strength be renewed
As we recall what God has done and how we've seen Him move

Sometimes through the darkness, it's hard to see
So just be brave and follow where He leads
'Cause greater is the one who's in us, than he who's in the world
So child of God remember, the battle is the Lord's

Even in the valley of the shadow when you feel alone in the unknown
Just say Amen, Just say Amen
Even when the storms are raging, Stand and know you're not forsaken
Just say Amen, Just say Amen

If there's anybody here who's found Him faithful
Anybody here who knows He's able, Say Amen
And if there's anybody here who's seen His power
Anybody here brought through the fire, Say Amen
Anybody here found joy in the middle of sorrow
Just Say AMEN!
Say Amen - Finding Favour

I'm linking up on TGIFF , Whoop WhoopFree Motion MavericksFree Motion by the River AND Let's Bee Social!

Have I gone overboard w/the Linkys? Is there such a thing? I  hope not.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

We Have a Winner!

My giveaway was a huge success! I'm very pleased w/the feedback and responses I received. I'm also thrilled w/the wonderful peeps I've met since starting my blog! Thank you all for participating and making my 1st giveaway such a big hit. I wish I could give everyone a prize but there can only be 1 winner today. And without further ado, the winner is...Barbara Woods!

Congratulations Barbara! 

You have won my quilters pack, which includes: 80 charms(not all are pictured) from the Symphony of Blues Collection from Connecting Threads, a Sew Curvy Quilt Pattern from Michelle Hollis' Red Bucket List, and 2 spools of (my fave) Connecting Threads Essential Thread.

Barbara, please send me your mailing address via email and I'll get this package off to you on Monday.

A Thread for Life
...I have called you friends....This is my command, Love each other. John 15:15 & 17