Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Yes, I guess I am jumping the gun on that greeting by about 30 days, but I am so excited to share a couple special mini quilts with you today!

This year I've started swapping mini quilts with the wonderful ladies of the MQTS flickr group.  This is one talented group!  I'm still amazed they let me in, and just thrilled they did.  We recently had an Autumn/Halloween swap so we could all be ready for the season.  My swap partner and I both made spooky themed mini's.  Would you like to see?  I am pretty sure I see you nodding yes!

This is the quilt that I made for Laura.  She mentioned she liked Frankenstein and all the old time movie monsters.  After changing my mind about what to make several hundred times, I remembered that I have a copy of Amy Bradley's fabulous Halloween pattern.  I decided to shrink down and adapt two of the blocks for a very special wedding album snap shop.  

Let me present to you, 
"Mr & Mrs. Monster"! 
Aren't they just the epitome of a happy couple?
Mini Measures 12.5 inches square.

Here's some information about what went into making this mini.  First, the original pattern was resized and shrunk down.  All the items in the 'photo' portion of the quilt are raw edge appliqued with either a button hole stitch or straight stitch using either Auriful or Metler Silk Finish thread.  I used Steam a Seam Lite to adhere the pieces to the foundation.  Every bit of fabric in this mini came from my stash or scraps.  Mrs Monster's eye make up is actually crayon tinted, my first time using that method. 

I'd like to give a special shout out to my friend Patti, aka Bouncy Poodle.  She held my hand and talked me through using some unfamiliar techniques as well as helping me when I made a goof and needed to correct it.  She's my mini quilt guru!  Thank you, Patti!

Mrs Monster is a modern girl and needed some bling for her special day.  I spent over an hour one day scouring the various departments of a huge Hobby Lobby store until I found the perfect accessory for a modern monster girl-- Ta Da!  
Bolt rings!  
'Cause where else is a girl with no ears supposed to hang her earrings??  

May I just add that I think I'm lucky the people in Hobby Lobby didn't call the authorities on me?  I went through the store giggling over these little skulls and must have looked like a complete lunatic! There might also have been a little happy dance in the jewelry findings aisle....
Mrs Monster's sparkly skull bolt rings

Here's a peek at the back and the quilt label.  Isn't this fabric fabulous?  I couldn't resist when I spotted it at the shop during the summer.  At that point I had no idea what I'd do with it, but it is the perfect backing for this mini.  The label is hand embroidered 

We always send out mini quilts with some little presents in the package.  This is what I sent my partner.  A few Spooky fat quarters, an LED glitter pumpkin, an orange tape measure, a couple spools of themed ribbon, and a monster zip pouch.  The pouch came from Target during the back to school sale.  It zips all the way out until it is just a strip.  I fell in love with them and bought several in different colors.  It seemed perfect to go with in this mini package.  Lastly, I wanted my partner to know where the mini came from, so a little San Antonio magnet for her fridge went along.  

Now it's time for me to reveal the wonderful mini that arrived at my house from Laura!  It is so Spooky Cute and I just love having it hung up in my sewing room.  

Here it is: "Spooky Stars"!

I am really impressed with Laura's quilt.  I've never attempted 5 pointed stars and have always been intimidated by the entire idea. Aren't Laura's stars just perfect?  Look at the adorable fussy cuts in the center of each star as well as the center of the mini!  She did a beautiful job on this darling little quilt! 
"Spooky Stars" by Laura Van Vleet.
Measures just 13.5 inches square.
 Laura put some fun things in the package for me.  She made that darling little bat card, which is now hanging on my bulletin board.  She thoughtfully included scraps from the project as well as a couple larger pieces of themed fabric.  Can't ever have too many spooky scraps, right?

This is the backing of the mini quilt.  Isn't this the cutest fabric?  Laura sent along a chunk of this for me.  I keep thinking I need to make a little mug rug with it.  Laura signed the mini on the striped binding.  

I'm sure you'll agree, I am a lucky girl to have such a creative and talented swap partner!
So, thank you Laura! It's a special little treasure. 

Talk to you later this week!
I've got another finished quilt to show you.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Finish That Took A LONG Time!

Back in April 2013 I started following Sherri from A Quilting Life as she hosted a Solids Along quilt along. She used patterns from the Moda Friendship Blog Hop which had recently taken place.  Since I love sampler quilts, solid fabric, quilt alongs and Sherri's blog, joining was a no brainer.  As my Dear Friend followed my journey of making the quilt blocks she commented that they looked like colorful candies, and the name Candy Box seemed perfect for this quilt. 

By July of 2013 I had a quilt top assembled. The quilt went off to the long arm quilter and when it got back all I needed to do was add binding.  That's when I got stalled!  It sounds silly, but I just couldn't choose! Do I use another solid?  Do I go for a print?  What kind?  What Color?  It was silly!  I dragged my poor quilt all over San Antonio's many quilt shops auditioning binding.  Finally, I bought about 5 different pieces of fabric.  When I got it home, I decided nothing was right, so I just put it all away.  And there it stayed, on a shelf in the closet.  Over the summer I decided it was time to get it finished, and I am so glad I did.  In the end I used a simple black and white polka dot for the binding since it reminded me of the glassine papers that old time candy is nestled into when packed in boxes.  

 It was professionally long arm quilted, however the quilter and I had a breakdown in communication. I asked for the all over pattern that appears in the center, but she also added feathers to the border.  I was rather surprised, but I really do love it and the quilting adds so much charm and dimension.  The dimensions of the finished quilt are approximately 62 x 72.

Here's a close up of the quilting, and long suffering Hubby's fingers and he struggles to hold it up while I'm madly snapping away with the camera!

My Candy Box was more than a year in the making, but worth it in the end, don't you think?   =)

Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Counting My Blessings on a Monday

Somedays chores are just that: CHORES.  
Something to be endured and ticked off the To Do List as quickly as possible.

Other days those same chores are something else entirely.  Those days, this day, the chores are an opportunity.  

While cleaning my living room I was dusting the wedding photos of both of my precious children.  Those two have no idea the depth of love I have for them!  Both grew up to be amazing, intelligent and in every way admirable people.  And I am so grateful for the incredible people they married.  My son and daughter in law never cease to surprise and dazzle me with their kindness, intelligence, talents and the love they have for my children.  

As I dusted and tidied desk I found myself thinking how grateful I am for my computer and the window to the world that it is for me.  Grateful for information, education, inspiration and most of all, online friends. Thank you, friends.

Unpacked the groceries and had to spend time rearranging the pantry to make room for all the wonderful and interesting things I purchased. So grateful to live in a time and place where good quality food is readily available.  So thankful that I have a talent with food and enjoy cooking delicious things for the people I love most on this earth.  So grateful for those faces around my dinner table. 

As I gathered up at least 2 dozen cat toys so I could run the vacuum cleaner I thought about my furry friends.  They drive me crazy often, but every day they make me smile. They cheer me up; their purrs comfort me.  

Set up the ironing board to press my husband's shirts and I couldn't stop thinking about my husband of 32 years.  What a journey we've had together!  And how I hope it continues for at least 32 more.  I am so thankful for that man, for his love and friendship.  

Today I find myself pondering on my feelings about Jesus Christ.  Although I don't discuss this much because it is deeply personal and sacred to me, I am a woman of faith.  I am so grateful for that and all it adds to every part of my life.  

Most days chores are chores. Today those chores were more.  Most days my mind runs so quickly I don't stop and ponder.  I am so glad today was one of those days.  

Happy Monday--