“The Gift”

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I’m really happy to be finished with this.  Although it didn’t get done in time for this season, it will be ready come next Christmas!  The more I worked on it, the more into the spirit I became.  It was a fun project .  The manger scene and center tree were fusible appliqué.  Of course I can’t seem to finish a quilt without some machine embroidery.  The snowflakes remind me of the most unusual December here in Texas that I can remember.  We had MEASURABLE snowfall!!!!  It was beautiful and reminiscent of my days growing up in South Dakota.

Here’s to completed projects!

Happy New Year!

I have had a lovely Christmas holiday away from the routine of school and since we did not travel anywhere this year I got a lot done in my studio!  I must say it is gratifying to be able to spend time doing what I want when I want and I managed to finish a Christmas quilt, cut out 2 months of the current BOM I’m working on, get the next client quilt on the frame, and enter 2 of my quilts into a show  coming up in February.  That BOM is actually doubled as I am doing a batik colorway along side the colorway selected by the company.  IMG_1209

It’s back to the school routine as of today and so I’m wishing everyone who reads this blog a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!  Enjoy 2018 and may you find joy in your quilting journey!

A year in advance!

IMG_0154I am very happy to say I finished the quilt top I had planned to hang up for Christmas on Dec. 23rd.  I started the project  a bit too late to be done for this season.  I was determined to have the top finished by Christmas.  I have it loaded on my longarm to be finished this week so it will definitely be ready to hang up for Christmas 2018!  Woohoo!  Life can be hectic around Christmas time and this year was no exception.    The tree skirt in the picture above was another such project and was a January finish.

I used 2 pre-fused appliqué blocks (kits) in this year’s quilt wall hanging, and I do love machine embroidery so I incorporated that in the quilt’s story in fabric as well.  My Baby (Bernina) was off to the shop with a cleaning and servicing when I was in the middle of this project and when she returned home early I got to finish a partially done embroidery for the quilt.  So happy to have her back!!!!  I took out 2 of the blocks I was less than thrilled with and replaced with others once Baby came home.

When I finish quilting this project I’ll show pictures  and the longarming is my favorite part of the process, so stay tuned!

 

 

High gear

I constantly work with deadlines.  Well, here is one I am not going to finish by the deadline Saturday, but I am making good progress (at least progress when I’m not at this computer!) .  I am really enjoying putting the pieces together for this Christmas wall hanging.  Here is another progress picture:

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This has been so much fun and has put me in the Christmas spirit.  I’ll be done with it before the New Year, but will enjoy the process that goes into making it.  I’ll keep you all in suspense how this turns out and show a final picture once I’ve put it all together and finished it.

Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year to you and yours!

Progress

Sometimes you just have to go sew……I spoke some time ago about having quilter’s block, the lack of creative juices to inspire a new creation.  I think it is finally going away and new stuff is creeping into my mind.  I am thoroughly enjoying putting my thoughts into fabrics.

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I have for a number of years wanted to create seasonal quilts to hang in my family room  Well, I devoted the month of December, yes, too late, to creating a quilt to hang on the wall.  I will get it done by the time next Christmas rolls by.  I’m tempted to hang it up unfinished!!!  I still have a couple of embroideries left before constructing the pieces.

I wanted the real meaning of Christmas to come through in this quilt, no Santas, no little elves.  I think I’ve succeeded in putting CHRISTmas in this project!

Happy Christmas dance here.

Quilter’s block

Good morning, quilters!  Have you found yourself stumped in trying to come up with a new quilt or design?  I certainly have!!!  I am creating a Christmas wall hanging that has me a bit challenged.  I visited the local quilt shop Sunday afternoon to help with my inspiration and found several fabrics that are definitely going to help with this.  I had discovered in my studio that I had very few reds/greens/golds that were helpful so I picked them up and the process has become a bit easier.

I have 2 appliquéd blocks finished but last night as I was working on a pieced block it just didn’t seem to quite fit the overall design I have in my brain……time to take a break.  As I left my studio to figure it all out I think I have it resolved.  Sometimes just leaving it and coming back later is just what the Dr. ordered.  Here is my start:

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Perhaps I’ll finish before the quilt group comes to my studio Christmas week.  If not, I have a head start on next year!!!

More to come…………happy quilting!

Calling All Geese

Every year in the fall I begin to long for all the colors, smells, sights of my youth growing up in the north.  When I first looked at the pattern for this quilt it reminded me of the flocks of flying geese that make their yearly trek to the south.  My brother recently called and said they were gathering and likely to head south, where I live, very soon.  I hear them honk as they fly over my house and what a spectacle it is!!!

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I very much enjoy free motion quilting and so to add to the inverted pattern, which the designer, Erica Jackman,  named “At Dusk”, I wanted the memories of the geese to not dominate the entire focus, but rather the allow the piecing to receive the main attention, so I used 100 wt. silk thread to accomplish the background designs.IMG_1407videoedit

They leave their northern habitat as I am reminded by this block and begin the long flight over my house!

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The flocks tend to migrate in a V shape but sometimes do not attain the “perfect” formation as I imagine here:

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I named this quilt “Goosed” and actually made this quilt to use as a class sample for a longarm ruler class I planned to teach, but my husband, Mark, kept admiring this quilt whenever wandering into the studio while I quilted it so I gifted it to him for our 41st anniversary.  He promises I can continue to use it as a class sample!  Yay him!!!!

Quilts of Valor

Quilts of Valor Foundation is a wonderful organization that speaks to my heart.  Men and women who have selflessly served our country to preserve our freedoms have a high calling.  The giving of a quilt is a way to give respect and honor to those who answered that calling.  It shows them someone cares.

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The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.  I have the privilege of longarming these beauties about once a month.  To date 175,859 quilts have been awarded.  Many of the veterans who receive these say the quilts awarded are precious because it’s not another military medal to be placed in a box.  It is instead comforting to wrap up in a quilt.

Thank you to all who serve.

Rediscovering joy

It’s Friday and I have in front of me a really busy weekend.  There are blocks to cut out for the next BOM and several customer quilts ready to be longarmed.  The Quilts of Valor Foundation quilt has not yet arrived, so I have somewhat of a reprieve!  Tomorrow Lutheran World Relief quilters will be coming to the studio and what fun we have!!  I really look forward to those days we meet.  The fellowship shared reminds me of the quilting bees that took place long ago, something my quilt guild still encourages.

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I think about how blessed I am to have this creative outlet.  I have been a music director for many, many years and the different outlet beyond my music has been a great stress reliever.  I think back to when my girls were small and I sewed everything they and I  wore.  They got to be teenagers and wanted to pick more trendy things that were less expensive to buy than make so I got away from sewing for a while.  I’m thinking I must get back to garment sewing again, too.

My husband must have missed my hobby, too, because he surprised me with an embroidery machine 10 years ago and I rediscovered my joy of creating again.  It has blossomed into this awesome quilting passion that uses those skills learned over the last  54 years.  He’s quite the enabler!

I have added to my collection of machines and tools over the last 10 years and find myself drawn to the studio again.  In fact, the pull becomes stronger the more I do it.  Rediscovering a skill that gives joy is something everyone needs.  That joy of creating never goes away.

May you find joy in your journey.

Moving forward

Sometimes you just have to sew.  Just get down, create a mess, and move along.  It took the balance of my Sunday to get these 2 blocks finished, but I’m glad I stuck with it!  These are 30″ square blocks and while they looked easy, it took me longer than I’d care to admit since I did so much ripping after construction due to not reading directions closely enough.  (Isn’t that what I tell my students to do before starting a project or paper?) Following my own advice is tough sometimes!  I discovered it’s way too easy to turn parts of this block the wrong way……..I had to deconstruct 4 parts of this one.  It made the 4 at a time flying geese a challenge to put together after that since I had already cut off the tips of the triangles!!!  But whew!!!!  No harm done and I did not run short on fabric.

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I still like the batiks colorway better than the polka dots, but then it’s my creative twist to the design.  Those batiks in this block make it look like it’s on fire.  Arizona Star is the name of this block and hot colors make it seem like the sun.

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On to the next installment of this project.  It’s supposed to arrive in the mail today.