Praise !

"NOW THANKS BE UNTO GOD, WHICH ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST !"

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear....Psalm 27 1-3
Psalm 31: 7, 8
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Diamonds in the Dirt

I am happy to say that I finished piecing my "Diamonds in the Dirt" quilt top last night. 
 You know, it's funny, I started this top just to use up some old browns, and to postpone cutting into a newer collection of greens and yellows.  I'm not sure what I want to use the new fabrics for, so this was just 'passing time and being useful'.  Well, I am CRAZY about this top !    I only hope that I can get a chance to baste it soon.  I'm even CONSIDERING hand-quilting it !   

I KNOW !

I NEVER DO THAT ANYMORE !

I just love the way that the lighter pieces 'sparkle' throughout the quilt, especially in a low light situation ! 

This is not my original design........I saw something like this in a quilting catalog a couple of years ago and drafted it up the best I could.  I made it in a smaller size, but changed the design some this time.  I can see me doing it again, and that's saying a lot for me, because I hate to make the same design more than once.
I have a recipient in mind for this quilt, if and when I finish it, but I'll keep quiet about that as I'm terrible with deadlines and predictions.   I planned it as an extra-large nap quilt.......it measures about 56 X 80 inches.


This layout, without the sashing between the browns, has given me an idea for another setting possibility.

I almost left out this block.......it was an extra I made......but Dorothy Tucker at the quilting get-together the other day said that he just had to make his way into the quilt.   I'm not sorry that he did.......thanks Dot !

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Moving right along........

.....I've been working on the brown quilt.  I did get to go to the quilting get-together yesterday, and it was SO enjoyable.  You know, I can sew just about anytime I want, for as long as I want, here at home, but there's just something so great about doing it in a room with other people who are as interested in the craft as you are.  There are projects going on all around you, with opportunities to give an opinion (when asked), or share a tip.  You get praise and constructive criticism (if asked for) on your own finished and in-progress projects.   I miss my Oklahoma Outlaws so much, but this was nice !

When I awakened yesterday, to a temperature of about 15 degrees outside and a powdering of snow on the streets, I was afraid that the day's activities would have to be cancelled for me.   I have no experience driving on snow.   But I went out and swept the back porch, and the snow was so dry that it was like sweeping flour or something.  So I reasoned that the road wouldn't be slippery, and I was right.   I got to go at around 9 a.m., and I stayed until about noon.
I worked on the square-in-a-square blocks that are a part of this newest quilt.  Surpisingly, I only got 12 or so blocks done.  I am using the flip and sew method of making the triangles around the square.  After I sew on the marked diagonal line of the squares, I make another seam 1/2 inch outside of that first seam.   That way, when I cut off the corners, I have already stitched together the leftover half-square triangles !  Usually, I throw them away after they've set awhile needing to be stitched together.  This way, they're done along with the quilt, and suddenly I wind up with usable piecing for this or another project.  Maybe I can work them into the back of this quilt.
At any rate, I've gotten to sew some more this morning, and I've finished all of these blocks.  When I laid them out on the bed, I was struck by several ideas for other quilts using this block, and even these colors.
 I never realized how well red and tan went together......too bad I've cut up about all the reds I have.  Time to restash, I guess !



Monday, January 27, 2014

Work in Progress........

........I've gotten to where I don't post pictures of my quilt tops until they're nearly done.  That makes it look like, POOF, I just whipped something up overnight....ain't I amazin' ? 

I guess I've gotten into that habit because as sure as I announce a project, like this one, I'm just as sure to get side-tracked onto something else.

But, having said that, I wanted to mention, here, that I've cut out and am in the process of beginning a couch-sized quilt.  I wanted to get into my 'browns' drawer and use some fabrics that I've ignored for quite a while.  Looking through a sketch-notepad of quilt designs I've drawn, I ran across one that I made up once before.  I reworked it a bit and started cutting.

I've wasted today, when I could have been sewing, because the next part I want to piece is also the part that's easiest to transport.  You see, our quilting group meets tomorrow, and since we don't meet in the months of November and December, due to holiday busyness, I'm really ready to see these girls again.  Tuesdays are also the day that we unload the truck at the church for the food-giveaway, so I can only devote a couple of hours to the get-together.  Hopefully, I can take my featherweight sewing machine and my piecing and spend a couple of joyful hours in good company.  I certainly hope that the cold temperatures don't keep everyone away ! 

So, here's the beginning layout of the latest adventure.

This photo lets me see where I need to move a few pieces around for better balance.  Love that !

Friday, January 24, 2014

January progress

 I've been slacking on my blog posts this week.

Last weekend, just in time to take the quilt to church on Sunday, I received the backing flannel for the blue baby quilt.

The squares for the front were already cut in a package of squares that my sister brought to me in September.  She had cut a lot of flannel into squares and then decided that she didn't want to fool with them.  I used the blues for a quilt for a new baby boy born to one of our young church couples.
 The penguin fabric for the back was on sale on Etsy for only $1.50 per yard !  I got the 2 yards and it worked out great.  I got it quilted and didn't have to bind it, as I made it 'pillow-style', turning it inside out to stitch around, and then 'birthing it'.

I got the borders sewn on the Snowflakes quilt top and it ended up measuring 46 inches square.  That should work out great for hanging on my wall quilt rack.  I like the stripes.  I hope I can get this one basted soon.



Then, remembering that Alyissia didn't have enough doll quilts for the 3 babies we were playing with the other day, I whipped up an extra little quilt.

 I just used two pieces of pretty, leftover flannels that I had for the top, and some of the remaining penguin fabric from the blue baby quilt.






 On top of all this, I snuck out into the cold yesterday and got the front brakes replaced, and the rear brakes scraped and cleaned.  This cold is a BEAR, but the LORD is graciously providing us with a warm home, and plenty to eat.......GOD IS SO GOOD !  Be blessed !

Friday, January 17, 2014

HE'S HOME !

Welcome home, Tim !

Here's one happy wife (my daughter !)

Her hubby, my son-in-love, is home after a 9 month army deployment in the middle east.



We are so proud of him and his unwavering devotion and service to keep our country safe and free.
And besides that, he's just a REALLY good husband and daddy !    We love you, Tim !
This is what I call 'a woman who knows HER place' !

  Thank you to ALL our soldiers, all over the world......you are special, and may God bless and keep you in the shelter of his wings !


There's a special assembly planned at the school where my daughter teaches and where their three children attend.   Wish I could have been there........it's gonna be an AWESOME SURPRISE !

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm On a Roll !

And.........I'm dead tired !    

I've been sewing since 9 a.m.

But....I finished my x and plus quilt top.......except maybe for a border to make it a bit bigger.  BUT THE MAJOR PIECING IS DONE !

I made 26 blocks many months ago, and couldn't decide on whether to make it the usual way .......


 or sash it to gain some size.  
 The only fabric that I had enough of for one-color sashing was a bright lime green.
 I wasn't happy with either option, so I put the blocks away, but not so far that I didn't run across them every time I tried to start something else.

Looking at them yesterday, I noticed that I had a LOT of extra 2 1/2 inch squares and 2 x 6 rectangles.  Playing around with the blocks, I realized that I could make sashing from the extra pieces instead.  This way ......



 .......I have plusses EVERYWHERE ! 

             X's...not so obvious,........but they're there.


 I like it this way......from a distance.  And, yes, I added the cross on purpose.)
 Up close, it's just bright CHAOS ! I think I have finally gotten over my obsession with bright quilts.  




More and more I'm craving a softly colored, quiet quilt.  That will take SOME shopping, as you won't find THAT in my current stash.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reminds me of snowflakes !

Speaking of which, we're supposed to get a FEW tonight....nothing more than flurries, the bigger amount expected to fall in the eastern part of Tennessee.  I am SO READY for one beautiful, 6-inch snowfall, the kind that blows into every crack and crevice of trees and fences !

Back to the quilt-top, though........lookie what I 'threw' together over the last few days.

 In an effort to declutter my little home, I've been cutting out quilt designs that catch my eye, from catalogs and magazines, trimming them into 3 x 5 inch pieces, and stapling them together .  I can then leave them lying around where they play the siren's call, without having a big mess covering every surface.   Well, one of the designs I cut out recently was a bit of a quilt that was shown as a kit in Connecting Threads' recent catalog. 

Now, let me make it clear here.....I generally don't buy patterns, because I don't NEED to.  I'm blessed with the ability, praise God, to usually be able to look at something and  figure out how to make it on my own.   If that offends someone who designs patterns, I'm sorry;  I don't mean to be unethical, and I always try to give credit for the inspiration or original design.

 Well, this one kept calling to me, and I dug out the quilt kit that Wanda gave me as a housewarming gift upon my purchase of this little home of mine.  Some of the blues in the kit didn't quite go with the kit-pattern's design, so I 'borrowed' them for this project.   JoAnn had also sent me some blue fatquarters that she was not too fond of, and they seemed to work perfectly too.  Since the design was easy to figure out, just 5 stars and 4 ocean-wave-type blocks, I made blocks Saturday and Monday, and I am just CRAZY about this little thing !

 I still want to add borders of some type, but you can see that it can't hang from my quilt rack if it gets much bigger.   I've been doing simple square and rectangular designs for quite a while now (and loving them), but I have to admit that the triangles definitely give this quilt it's pizazz !   Of course, I'll also admit that having to trim down each triangle square for precision's sake was a huge pain in the 'down under' !

Still.....................totally worth it !

Friday, January 10, 2014

The thaw has come......

....to the temperatures, but I'm frozen in place, quilt-wise !  I just don't seem to be able to cut those gorgeous fabrics.  My local fabric store doesn't have any solid medium-grey fabric for me to use as my shadows for the optical illusion, and the rest of the fabrics keep teasing me to come up with a different design.  ugggghhhhh!     It's maddening ! 

My husband sees me at the cutting table, staring at the fabrics, and he says, "what'cha makin'?"  I say, "As long as I don't cut, it can be ANYTHING.......but as soon as I cut and sew, it's a done deal, there's only the one quilt instead of the myriad of possibilities !" 

In a different direction, I ordered some flannel from a seller on Etsy, to use as a backing on a little quilt top that I pieced for a young mother at church's baby boy.  I had ordered some snowglobe fabric from Connecting Threads, but it turned out to be too aqua for the blue scraps I used.  This latest purchase is a penguin-bordered blue flannel for which she only wanted $1.50 per yard !  I bought the 2 yards she had in stock, and will be glad to have it whether it works for this project or not. 

My camera card is playing hooky again, so no photos today !

Be well and be blessed...........and productive, unlike me !

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First finish of 2014

There's no use in making predictions of what your first project will be, because you just never know what is going to lure you away from that plan !

I thought that I should try out the optical illusion blocks before cutting out an entire quilt.  The inspiration for those blocks was this quilt by WhatComesNext on Flickr.  The dimensionality of this quilt of hers blows me away, and I am wondering if I can achieve the same look with my fabrics.    So, I cut out blocks to make a pillow, but I didn't use a white background because my blocks were in an off-white fabric.

  I don't think the experiment worked, and it definitely didn't do a thing to prove my project.   Oh, well, I got a new pillow-cover out of the  time spent, and it reminds me of my granddaughter's first big Christmas present, a rideable stuffed painted pony !  Thanks to Jodie Ann for the pony print !

  My second project just kindof fell into my lap. While grocery shopping,  I went nosing around our little WalMart's new yarn section and I found a yummy-soft super bulky yarn by Lion Brand.

Old-lady-style.....yup, that's me !
I bought one skein, and then I did an internet search for a knitted head-wrap pattern.  I came across this one that sounded really easy.......it's called "It's a Cinch" headwrap pattern, by Elisa McLaughlin.  It was so simple ! 

I changed the number of stitches from 20 to 16 because of my thicker yarn, and it still came out wider than I need; so when I knit it again, and I'm sure I will, I will try maybe 12 stitches with my size 13 needles.


I'm really tickled with this yarn, though......it's super soft and squishy for an acrylic........and I like the look of the wrap from the front.  The back is a bit strange looking in this width, but it is so warm that I'll put up with that.

So, we're preparing for the single digits in temperature, a rare thing in this part of the south, but I'm praying that everyone will be warm and dry, and that this storm moves on out of here quickly !

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 - Praise the LORD !

Happy New Year, everybody........it's going to be the best year ever !

I wish I had been able to post this yesterday, but I was too busy drawing up a new plan.   Hopefully, this will be my first quilt-top for 2014.

All I have to show right now is the graph-paper design I've drawn.  I lost EQ4 or 5 (can't remember which I had) when my computer crashed last Spring, so I have to resort to paper and pencil again.......and, thankfully, a good ERASER !
Bits and pieces of ideas.  It will be interesting to see what all parts of this design I use.

My camera has decided to go on strike again, and I haven't been able to find one that I liked enough/could afford with which to replace it.  So, even though I took pictures of the fabrics that I'm considering using, I can't share them because I had to reformat the memory card and lost the images after I had already put the fabrics up !



I'm torn between doing a yellow, green, and white quilt, or going ahead and making it many-multicolor.  Not sure how I'll decide !   But I bought a good white fabric today and am fixin' to go put it into the dryer right now .

This quilt was inspired by several different quilts, so I'll wait to give credit when I see which parts I use !  Nothing is totally original when it comes to quilting.......it's all in how you put your own spin on it !