Gossamer Finish

I'm happy to say I finished a quilt for the first time in over a year!

This one is made from the Gossamer collection by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics. The pattern is Hugs and Kisses, also by Sharon Holland. The white is Moda Bella 98. The pink is  Northcott Petal. I bought the Northcott a long time ago from Sprightly Fabrics. Do you guys remember Sprightly? I loved that shop and miss them. My first experience with Art Gallery was a bundle I won from them. I loved it, needless to say! Anyway, it took just 9 fat eighths of print to make this quilt. Those came from Llama Fabrics, who has also now shut down. That was my go to for Art Gallery so I'm sad to see them go too.

I quilted a 1" crosshatch with Aurifil 6722.
The back few acres of our property is over run with these sunflowers. I had to go through THICK 5 ft. tall flowers that were full of bumblebees and mosquitoes to get these pictures. They mostly left me alone thank goodness! I'm sure the neighbors saw me swatting away and were wondering why I was trying to hang a quilt out there :)

The back and binding are also prints from Gossamer. I was just a few inches short in the piece I had cut, so I added in the extra yellow from the binding. I bought a bunch of backing from Hawthorne Threads during a sale I think. I still have a fat quarter bundle and the blue colorway of the fat eighths, so I'm glad I got lots of backing when I did. The binding is sewn down with Aurifil 2105.

This is my first time using Hobbs Premium 80/20 batting. I really love it! It doesn't crease like 100% cotton batting does. The drape is wonderful too. I have two of the huge rolls of cotton batting I will have to use up before I switch. I found this batting new, still in the package for 95 cents at a thrift store, score!!

This little quilt finished at 44 inches square. I really love the soft modern/vintage look of it. I will be adding to my Etsy store.
If you follow along you will know why this simple little quilt brings me such happiness. The first finish in over a year, for one reason or another. It's my first finish in our "new" home and that itself brings sadness and happiness all rolled into one. For me it's a reminder of the sometimes small but much welcomed improvements in my health. Lots and lots of things wander through my mind as I look at this little pretty!



Sorry it took longer than I expected to get this posted.
My Mom was in the hospital again, so this past week was a little busy.
Here's what I have to share!

Awhile back I won some things from Aurifil on IG. Included was a new Kona color card (well it was, now there's more colors...who can keep up?!) So I thought one of you may be able to use my old one. It is only the 243 colors but still quite useful. I also have a Sundrops by Corey Yoder mini charm pack, a spool of variegated Aurifil thread, a Moda tin and a pack of bobbin/spool holders. I forget the technical name of these little guys. If you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment letting me know your favorite fabric designer!

I gave up on my Halloween quilt for awhile. I was just so tired of looking at it! I worked on it for a few minutes here and there for the past year and needed a change of scenery. I found quilt pieces already cut so I pieced this together. It's made with Gossamer fabrics by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery. I love working with Art Gallery, no frays to deal with!

I have the first direction of cross hatch quilting finished. I'm hoping today I can get the other direction done.This time I used 1 inch tape. I wish they would make quilting bars on walking feet more stable than they do. So frustrating! For better accuracy, I prefer tape.

I wanted to share something else quick. Did you know Hobbs Batting also makes pillow forms?? I didn't know that! I'm kind of picky about the ones I buy. I hate when they slouch over and sink down. Anyway, I received these from the company and they really are fantastic! No affiliation, I just like them :)

I will leave the giveaway open until Monday morning, Aug 21st, 9 am CT. USA mailing addresses only. I hate doing that but international postage is so expensive. Don't forget your email address in the comment if you are a no reply blogger. Thanks for stopping by!
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED-------------------
Who says the first person to comment never wins?!  Random Generator chose #1, congrats to Maureen!!

Linking to: Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts
 Brooke at Silly Mama quilts
 Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation


Changes & New Beginnings

Hi everyone. It's been so very long. I have so much catching up to do but I'll make this as short as possible.
Last summer I spent 6 weeks in Phoenix seeing doctors, getting tests and scans ran. It was confirmed I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. A long way of saying I have allergic type reactions to anything and everything, yet I have no true allergies. It is what caused me to get the POTS Syndrome that I've known about for a long time now. That comes with heart issues and multi system complications. The thyroid cancer appears to still be at bay, yay! I have elevated markers but it's unclear why still. From Phoenix I went to Denver and saw a corrective chiropractor that did wonders for me. I improved a whole lot. I'm so grateful for his guidance. I can walk through the grocery store alone now! (sounds silly but that's how bad I was)  I'm learning to identify and control my triggers. It's not an easy path, but we deal with what we've been dealt. No more driving all over the country and being gone from home. Which leads me to my next subject...home.

At month three in Denver, my father in law passed away. That took us home to NE. Then just before Christmas, my youngest brother took his life. So back to NE we went. After losing my oldest brother just 3 years ago, and now this, my Mom needed me. And I needed to be "home".  I never would of dreamed I'd end up calling this place my forever home, but that's just what's happened. It's good to be with family again. We ended up buying my brother's place from my Mom. That's another story for another day (if ever). It's been a wild ride of emotions for me. But I'm here. And I've found home. And hopefully someday it will get easier. There is a neurologist that comes here monthly that is knowledgeable about all my conditions. How lucky was that out here in the middle of nowhere! No.More.Driving. You don't know how good it feels to be able to say that!

That's the short version of where I've been the past year. Some great, some not...but all we can do is keep trying to look forward. My sewing room is all set back up and I'm ready to get back to it. I finished one of three Witch Hazel by Riley Blake quilt tops last summer. This is for me :)

I have been working on the second as time permitted in between all the craziness. Now that I'm able to see it up on a design wall, I'm not loving it. The white is too much. I'll probably have to add a colored sashing or something. Terrible picture, I know.

I have gathered a few things for a giveaway! When we moved I saw that I have too much stuff so I'd like to share a little with you. Watch for my next post in a week or so!

If you read to here, thank you. I also want to say thanks to the friends I've made here for asking how I am here and there. It always means so much! It's good to be back :)

Here's a happy picture...just because! My 5 grand daughters in their NE shirts.


UFO Finish

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a fun and productive holiday weekend :)
I've been gone for most of the summer dealing with Dr.things still. I got to come home for a few days finally. I decided to finish up something that would be quick, since I only had a few days again.

The top had been done for a year or more?? I found a scrap batting and and quilted it up simply. I decided to hang it up in my Sweetwater corner.

These are quick and lousy pictures but again, not much time to play with. I wasn't going for my usual OCD perfection in any part of this project. I was going for a UFO finish and it feels great to have something that is DONE!

Awhile ago I got some photos from a shop in Ohio that had purchased my Daysail/American Honey quilt. It was exciting to see it hanging in the display window! :) Mine is the middle star quilt.

Ok, off I go again. I keep reminding myself one of these days this will all be over and I can finally just sew!
Until next time, take care friends!


A Special Ambleside Finish

These blocks have been on my design wall for a REALLY long time! I had the rows sewn but not joined. I loved this quilt...then after sewing the blocks, I was over it...now I love it again!!

Along with being a wonderful friend and mentor for my girls, their boss was there for my family when we went through losing my brother. Having been an ER nurse for many, many years she became our voice when we were too grief stricken or tired to think straight or ask the right questions. The one night I decided to go try and finally sleep, she warned my girls that she didn't think he'd make it through the night. Because of her, I was able to spend the last hours at his side, right where I needed to be. I owe her everything for giving me that moment in time that I was so afraid I would miss. I have wanted to make her a quilt for the last year and a half. I decided this was the one. My daughter Ashley came to visit a few weeks ago and I asked if she'd like to give this to her. She responded that she was going to ask me to help her with a quilt for Patty. So it just kind of worked out perfectly.

Ashley has never made a quilt before and learned on this one! She ironed all the block joins open, joined all the rows, and quilted the whole thing herself :) She was disappointed that some of her lines are a bit wonky but I assured her, we all have been there and this was her first try. I think she did a fantastic job! I did sew the binding on for her. That's my favorite part.

For the back, we picked a vintage sheet from my cedar chest for the added cozy factor. It's a bit hard to see in the photo but it has little pink and blue flower buds on it, so pretty!

I showed her how to use Lara's Crafted Applique method to make a label. It worked so good for the writing part. The fabric didn't pull at all when I tried to write, I loved it! We originally had plans for a pretty and fancy label but forgot to add it on. We ended up just doing a block of white so the stitching didn't show too much on the front (I'm not a hand stitcher yet!)

The last, and my favorite picture is Ashley with her first quilt :)

The pattern is Sparkling Gemstones by Pam & Nicky Lintott. I didn't add a border. It finished at 54 x 75 I believe. I used the jelly roll Ambleside by Brenda Riddle for Moda and a Kona white skinny strips roll. I won the white roll a couple years ago and when I saw this pattern, it was the perfect use for it. For the binding I used a half yard of blue Shabby Chic fabric I've had laying around quite awhile too. I love this quilt so much! We are waiting for it to come out of the dryer so we can package it up :)

Linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop! at Confessions of a Fabric Addict


Crafted Applique Winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by for the Crafted Applique blog hop!

The first winner of the Crafted Applique book goes to: sewlost

Winner number two for the pillow cover goes to Kathy E.

I will be emailing the winners shortly, congrats ladies!


Crafted Applique & Two Giveaways!

Hello everyone, welcome to my stop on the Crafted Applique Blog Hop !
When I first learned of my friend Lara's new AQS book being published about NO FRAY raw edge applique, I was so excited to know her secret. Then I saw the book cover sneak peek and I was already sold, without even knowing the contents. Look at this camper, so fun!

Photo From BuzzinBumble

I really couldn't imagine what different technique she had come up with that wasn't already out there. The day I learned the answer to this mystery, it was a true WOW moment! Seriously, it was almost too great to be true. When my book arrived I immediately went to the back to see the projects. I do this with every new book I get :) It's really hard to pick a favorite but this one really caught my eye. I can see it hung above my little fireplace come this fall. All the projects are just as stunning. The best part is, now I, and you, can do this too!!

Photo From BuzzBumble

Lara starts by comparing other applique techniques with her method. The pros and cons, the process, supplies etc. I love that she added so much detail to really clarify her process. I know exactly what I need and how to use it. She evens tells us how to prepare lighter fabrics so the background does not show through. There are lots of tips and tricks that are very handy and helpful!

I received my Sweetwater project box at the same time as my Crafted Applique book. I had already missed the boat on Lori Holt's new sew along. So I decided to use a pillow pattern from Sweetwater and some Lori Holt fabric to try my hand at Lara's method for no fray raw edge applique. I have only done a couple applique projects and neither were raw edge. I was always scared of fraying edges and things not being tidy. That said, I was super excited to see if this worked for me like it does for Lara.

The answer is yes! It works just as good as she said it would. I found the fabric prep to be simple and kinda fun actually. I had reservations about how the pieces may feel after preparing it. I was pleasantly shocked at how soft and flexible it stayed. No bulk like a piece that has fusible or sew in interfacing on it! I used a pair of Sew Mate embroidery scissors to cut out my shapes. These little things are sharp and worked so awesome for this! I kept thinking, omg, I really did this, and it was EASY! And it's not going to fray! No more deciding on the zillion kinds of interfacing. One thing I loved was the ability to have the fabric adhere with placement, yet it was easily re-positioned. My stem was moved quite a few times and it always "stuck" again each time. Notice the edges of my background piece above, then the applique? Yep, it never frayed! I took a close up shot so you can see it after sewing.

Lara explains her recommendations in the book. I used a Janome blue tip, size 11, needle and Aurifil 50 wt thread. They both worked beautifully. You could still use a blanket, zig zag, satin stitch or whatever pleases you, I chose to just straight stitch close to the edge.

One of my grand daughters came outside as we were taking pictures, so I figured she was a pretty good backdrop :) Say hello to Amie!

I forgot to take a photo but the pillow back is also Lori Holt, Sew Cherry fabric. I really wanted to try to keep this short but it's already getting long, bear with me a bit longer as there are prizes involved!

This is an honest review of Lara's book folks. Not because she's super dooper talented, one of the nicest people you could ever meet, or just because she's my friend! If you have ever wanted to try applique, any kind of applique, I really hope you will try Lara's method. It IS new and different from anything I've seen elsewhere. The possibilities are endless. I love that it allows for really tough designs to become doable by anyone. It's also awesome for quick projects like my pillow. I feel so blessed to have been included in introducing you to a new, must have, tool for us quilters :) Be sure to visit Lara's blog BuzzinBumble because she is giving away all the books in my first photo and some other awesome goodies during the hop!! Each week she also shares sneak peeks of the projects from her book. All of us bloggers on the tour also have a copy to give away as well! If you can't wait and want a copy now, go here for a signed copy on sale, or here on Amazon or at AQS and if you win a copy she has kindly offered to refund your money! I told you she's a keeper :)

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 4th, the next stop is Darlene Simmons from Quilt Shop Gal so be sure to visit her too. There are weeks of stops and you can find the complete list on Lara's blog here. Be sure to visit everyone so you don't miss some awesome projects that have been shared. Lara's giveaway winners will be announced on Sunday, June 5th, so don't waste any time getting over to her blog!

If you've made it this far in my post, thank you! I have two giveaways right here friends! Lara is offering a copy of Crafted Applique to one very lucky reader. I am offering the pillow cover I made above to another reader. It will just be the cover, not the pillow form. Simply leave a comment and I will draw two names on June 8th at 6 PM MT. Winner will be announced here and emailed so PLEASE make sure you are not a no reply blogger. Leave your email in your comment if you aren't positive so I can contact you. Thanks for stopping by!

Linking Up: Let's Be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River, Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, TGIFF at Devoted Quilter, The Giveaway Roundup Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts