Monday, November 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Last week was very busy! 

Of course this week is going to be more of the same. Teaching, Bras for a Cause set up and event, Thanksgiving, my family's Thanksmas (Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration rolled into one big event), etc. are all on the schedule. I know it will all get done and quite honestly, I've decided that what doesn't get done, wasn't supposed to get done. :-)

This past week, I sub taught every day (honors science classes - Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science of all things!) and I hosted an all-day sewing event on Saturday. Despite Mother Nature's attempt to throw a wrench into our fun, Old Bags' Day went off without a hitch and we had a blast. We missed those who couldn't make it because of the weather, but we tried our best to sew, laugh and eat enough for all of you. That is just one of the many reasons I am NOT getting on the scale this week, or anytime soon for that fact.   

Of course we are all busy and when you throw in preparing for the upcoming holidays, things can get a little rushed and "hairy." I am no different than any one of you out there in that respect, but I really want to know how some of you do it so well and without losing sleep or your mind.  :-)

Despite being busy, I did spent some time in the sewing room and I do have something new on the design wall. That feels good, and I really like this quilt!

The pattern is Sonoma by Camilla Quilts for Cut Loose Press.

Here's the original quilt.

Although I like the white background, I LOVE the orange!

I made this quilt as a class sample and can't wait to finish it, teach the class and have it return home to me. I'm thinking of making another one but with adjustments. If following the pattern (which I will do for the class sample), the quilt measures 52" x 72". I want to add an extra row across so the layout is 4 x 5 instead of 3 x 5 and perhaps add borders. 

This was made with a partial layer cake (30 - 10" squares) and my adjustment could be made using all 40 - 10" squares. Thanks to my brother Jerry's suggestion, I am planning on using the 10 extra squares I have now on the back. I will piece those blocks and have them run down the center of the backing. YIPPEE! I love fun and interestingly pieced back.   

This is another busy week and I have lots to do, but I sure hope I get some time to finish this top. I know it'll be relaxing to spend even 15 minutes sitting at the machine so I plan to sew blocks together during breaks. Before long, that top will be sewn together and ready for quilting.

Stop by tomorrow for some really great eye candy in my Tip Tuesday! post. 

Plus, I hope to have some pictures of the Bras for a Cause available Wednesday. 

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Right or Wrong?

"Tip Tuesday!" - Right or Wrong?

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

This post may sound like a rant, but it really isn't. 

I try really hard at not being part of the "Quilt Police" and I also try really hard to not get upset when I am visited by a member or two of that squad. 

I think we've all been there. We have a well-meaning "friend" tell us that we did something wrong; and that even though it looks ok, we didn't do it the right way. Whether it be the way we press a block, sew a seam, or bind a quilt, many quilters think that there is only one way to do it and all other methods are wrong. They also feel like it's their job to tell us what we did wrong.

Well, I hate to break the news, but there are very few, if any, rules in quilting. It doesn't matter to me if you back stitch every seam and I don't care what color thread you use. If you are happy with it and it works for you, go for it! (I often have students ask what color thread they should use and my stock answer is that it doesn't really matter. I feel that if you can't see the thread through the fabric, it's ok. And, I feel that if you see the threads after pressing, it isn't the thread that's the problem, it's the pressing. (See my Tip Tuesday! post HERE about thread color choices.)

So, what happened to provoke this post? 

Well, I simply made a decision that worked for me on two recent projects that I showed a friend. Let me explain...

I know there is a right and wrong side of fabric. Really, I do. But, I've been known to use the "wrong" side simply because it works for me. The other day, I needed a piece of yellow fabric and the only thing that I had in my stash was too bright. But, the backside was a bit more subdued and it worked perfectly. I used it and was quite happy. (I'd love to show you a picture here, but because the fabric is yellow and I'm not a great photographer, it is all washed out and looks awful.) 

When my friend saw the quilt, she gasped (Yes, she actually gasped!) and asked if I realized that I had used the wrong side of the yellow fabric. (She had seen the fabric on my sewing table when I was auditioning my choices.) I told her yes and explained why. She just shook her head and said that I would be sorry because it will not wear the same as the other fabrics and that one day I would look at this quilt and say something like, "Oh that yellow fabric is backwards." 

Of course that won't happen because I already donated the quilt and won't ever see it again. :-)  Problem solved!

So what happened next?

I made this wall hanging and I love it! Do you remember THIS QUILT? This is an enlarged single-blocked, on-point version of that quilt.

My friend liked it too and that made me feel good. I then said that I had a surprise to show her.

I decided that I like the back just as much as the front and that sleeve showing on the back didn't bother me. I've decided that this wall hanging is reversible and I plan to show both sides over the next few weeks before it's replaced with a holiday wall hanging.

The look of horror in her face is almost comical to me now but it wasn't then. She freaked out that I planned to allow the sleeve to be shown. Really!?! How is the sleeve showing any different than have tabs she has showing across the top of all of her wall hangings? 

Besides, I make reversible quilts all the time. I figure that if I have to piece the backing (a job I don't like doing), I might as well try to enjoy the process and make it look fun and interesting? 

Do you remember my Zen Garden quilt?

I love the look of these blocks, but I also love the simple look of the back.

It's a reversible quilt and I like both sides. I actually sold this quilt and the person who bought it said she liked it because it was like having two separate quilts for the price of one.

Ok, so I'll get off my high horse now and make one last comment about this.

Do what you like and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
 Use whatever side of the fabric suits your fancy (I often can't tell the right and wrong side of batiks anyway!)
and make beautiful quilts that will be used and loved for years.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Backing - Finally!

I'm finally ready to piece the backing for my hexagon quilt. I've been thinking about this for over a week and decided to bite the bullet and buy fabric. I just could not find anything in my stash that I liked. 

So now I have to get it quilted and decide on the binding. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.  :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Be Passionate

"Tip Tuesday!" - Be Passionate

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

image from:

I feel like I should be starting a 
Quiltaholics meeting. 

"Hi. My name is Joanne and I'm passionate about quilting."


Do you remember THIS POST about the Log Cabin class I recently taught?

What about Carla's pink, black and grey block? Do you remember that?

This block looked great and I was excited for Carla because I knew SHE was excited. Carla stopped by the classroom last week while I was teaching the Tahoe Tote class. I knew she was planning to stop by after the class so we could discuss her layout options and techniques because she had never put together pieced blocks and she just wanted to be sure she was doing it correctly. (Other than one rag quilt, this was Carla's first quilt.)

Image my surprise when she opened her bag and pulled out this beauty.

She told me that she left the class and sewed until 11:30 pm because she was so excited. By the time she went to bed she had pieced all of the blocks, played with a few layouts, decided on this one and started sewing the rows together. She got up Sunday morning and finished the quilt top and even pieced the backing. Later that afternoon, she sandwiched the quilt and waited anxiously until Tuesday when she could get to the shop and discuss her hand quilting options and show off her progress. 

Carla is hooked! She has found a new passion and I'm happy to have been a part of that. 

Do you still have that passion?

Can you see the excitement in Carla's eyes as she is peeking over the top of her quilt? She was just beaming!

One of my favorite things about teaching is seeing the excitement of the students. The class often begins with some reservations and timidness, but I love that "Ah Ha!" moment when they see the blocks coming together and the quilt top taking form. It is especially fun and fulfilling when the excitement turn to passion and I get to be a witness to that.

No matter what you do, be passionate about it! 

What's yours?

Veterans' Day

To all the men and women of the 
Armed Forces - past, present, and future...

Thank You!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween 2014 Pictures

I may just be prejudice but I think the kids all looked great this past Halloween. Check it out for yourself.

For years, my ex-husband's side of the family has had a big Halloween party and my girls have always love that. Now their kids are joining in the fun! Not only do they dress up and go out trick or treating together, they share a meal together, visit with Great Grandma and Grandpa, and just have a bunch of fun. Ty and Zach didn't dress up, but I think they had fun too.

I love Lynn's "costume." It was a neat way for her to announce the new baby (coming in March!) for those who don't already know.  

Avery was dressed as Pebbles from the Flintstones, but it was too cold and rainy for her to be outside. When everyone else went trick or treating, she brought her mom and dad over to visit. (Lynn's cousin Mandy and Aunt Debbie painted the kids faces. They do awesome work and have a business called Amazing Moments.)   

Since she couldn't be outside with everyone, Avery did a bit of "cooking" here. The shelf with the pots and pans has been a wonderful source of entertainment for these kids for a number of years. We just take the lids off, give them some wooden spoons and they have at it. The shelves are the perfect height and it's so much fun to watch them stir and stir. Pretty soon we hear, "Yum, yum" and "Taste?" Who says you need a TV or expensive electronic devices to have fun?    

Nikki has always gone "all out" for Halloween, and this year was no different.

Check out the close up of her face painting. Not a great picture, but you get the idea. The rest of the kids had the paint removed before they got here, so this is the only close up.  :-(  

Quinn was a pretty cute vampire! Her costume was made with warmth in mind. Nikki made the whole thing. (Actually, Nikki made all of their costumes and I think she did an awesome job!)

From this angle, Sadie looks like a cute little girl, doesn't she.

But when she turns around, you'll she that she's actually a wind up doll! She was warm too, with all those layers under the dress.

Ronan was simply adorable as a Halloween Pinata!

His bag covered up so much of his costume in the picture above that I had to show you the back side.

I'm not sure what was said or seen here, but Sadie looks a bit scared or freaked out.

As always, I'm one proud mom and grandma!

If you want to see the pictures from last year, click HERE. The kids were all characters from the Wizard of Oz and they looked amazing. 

Fall Pictures

It's definitely  Fall here in northern Ohio!

Quinn was the first to notice this big hornet's nest and I wonder how Jack and I missed it before it got this big.

While waiting for Nikki to pick her up, Quinn asked if she could rack leaves before doing homework. How was I supposed to say no to that request? 

Here's a close up. That rake is HUGE for her, but she had fun.

After she made a big pile, she and Jack played in the leaves and had a blast. They asked me to in along, but with my allergies I'm pretty sure a trip to the doctor/ER would have been in order to get me breathing properly again.

Click HERE for Halloween pictures. 
These pictures do come with a warning though. They are ADORABLE!