Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Midweek Makers #77

Welcome to the first day of summer and another edition of Midweek Makers!

There's not been much progress on the pinwheel quilts, as summer is starting off extremely hot here, and I'm loath to turn the iron on. Eventually it will cool back down, and then life will get back to normal.

Did everyone enjoy the animal features last week? This time, the feature theme is water for it's cooling effects. Now, how about catching a nice ocean breeze in this sailboat,

                                   Summer Sailboat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

designed by Soma at Whims and Fancies

Or swimming with this mermaid 


and her maker, Patty, at Elm Street Quilts?

Or, to really beat the heat, how about this snowflake?


Such a pretty piece by Angela at Princess Bubbles Creates. Thanks everyone - I'm feeling cooler already! Feel free to place the 'Featured' button on your blog!

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What summer projects are you working on? Share them here on Midweek Makers! Just remember to link to your specific post, visit with others, and leave a comment - all for the sake of a good time! Have fun!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Block 6 of the Growing Up QAL

I've done a pretty good job keeping up with Alida's Growing Up QAL, found over at Alida Tweloq Designs. We've been blog friends for a couple years now, meeting when she participated in my free Spangled Stars QAL. And now I'm sewing along in her QAL - check out everyone's blocks in this linky. This month's block is another great design!

block 6 Growing Up QAL

Isn't it a beauty? Can't you just see four of these making up an awesome center for a QOV quilt, either pointing in,

stars in

or my favorite, bursting out.

stars out

Give you any inspiration? Hop on over to her place if you're interested in making this block or any of the others she's created!

Now that this block is done, it's time to get back to the two scrap quilts. Hope to work on them today - it's just been incredibly hot here, and I'm trying not to turn on the iron. With no AC, the motivation to do anything is pretty low. Will keep you posted!

Have a great day quilting!

Linking up with:
Linky TuesdayGrowing Up QAL Linky

Monday, June 19, 2017

The SM Fair 2017

Made it to the fair this weekend, enjoying the 350+ quilts and other art forms from local crafters/artisans on display. I must say, there are some talented people out there! I wish I could show some of the quilts, drawings, and paintings that we saw, but I do not have permission from the artists to post their work - need to keep all things good in blogland!

So this post will be about my quilt entries, because some of them deserve bragging rights. The first quilts we came across were Sawtooth Flowers and Double Jumble Turtles,

Sawtooth Flowers and Double Jumble Turtles

taking 1st and 2nd in the same pieced category. Woohoo! Totally unexpected, but hey, I'll take it!

Next to be found were the table runners, Love Abounds and Holiday Forest

Love Abounds and Holiday Forest runners

again placing 1st and 2nd in the Sewing Division. Notice the big purple rosette ribbon on Love Abounds - that's a Judges Choice Award. 

Next up was Santorini, which I knew would do well, garnering a 1st place ribbon for wall quilts.

Santorini 1st place wall quilt

The modern quilts were on the very last row, and there hung Unlimited,

Unlimited 3rd place

with a 3rd place ribbon, and Seed Mix,

Seed Mix Best Modern Quilt

my most favorite quilt, with a 1st place ribbon and a Best Modern Quilt rosette! I love this quilt, and so happy that the judges loved it too! That rosette also comes with a $25 gift certificate to a local quilt shop - any suggestions on what I should spend it on?

Of course, can't forget the quilts that were there to enjoy.
Breaking Up

Scrap Strata

Diamond Chevrons


My take on entering? One never knows what's going to strike the fancy of the judges. So take a chance and enter your quilts!

Happy Quilting!

Linking up with 
MOP Monday
Moving It Forward Monday         
Linky Tuesday

Friday, June 16, 2017

I Have a Pinwheel Problem

Good news: The Big Spin quilt top is done! The bad news: the quilting is delayed, so no more pictures till then.

The Big Spin background

And why is that? Because I got caught up in sewing pinwheels and making that aqua fabric disappear!

After many hours working on the background pinwheels for The Big SpinI ended up having a couple pinwheels leftover. Add those to the leftover pinwheels from Ducks in a Pond. There was no way I was going to pack these up for a later project - it's now or never! 

And there was that remaining small pile of aqua scraps. Granted, I've done well to use them up, as Perennial Pinwheels, Diamond Chevrons, Pixie Sticks, Fluctuate, and Ducks in the Pond are proof of my scrap busting. No way did I want to put that much back into the scrap bin. 

Then, while rummaging through a different scrap bag, 
I found two more small chunks of the cute duck fabric, a bit more than half snowballs. 

duck scrap fabric

So, after spending so much time making pinwheels, what's a few more right? And let's just put them on the design wall to see what we've got.

On the left is all of the duck fabric remains. The ten pinwheels next to that are all the same size, 6 1/2". Then moving to the right, the pinwheels get smaller, with the littlest one 5". Hmm, a bit of a size problem, but that's what happens when one works with scraps.

That's where I'm at. Somehow, some way, I will figure out how to put these pieces into a quilt. Believe me? I'm sure I'll rise to the challenge!

Hope everyone has a great weekend quilting. Me, I finally get to go to the fair to see my quilts and all the other entries - more on that next week!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Midweek Makers #76

Here we are again with another edition of Midweek Makers! What fabulous projects will be shown this week?
I'll start off with mine, progress on The Big Spin.

the big spin pinwheel

The large pinwheel, made up of smaller ones, is now sewn into four large blocks. Overall, I like the impressive 24" x 24" size of this pinwheel, and need to fill in around it. Lots more pinwheels to make - keeping me busy.

And how about a recap of all the animal themed projects last week? First up, a sweatshirt turned into a memory pillow done by Roseanne at Home Sewn by Us.


This fun owl backing fabric for a secret quilt by Preeti at Sew Preeti Quilts.


Karen from Tu-Na Quilts and her adorable baby elephant,


and her ultra cute French poodle.


Not to be outdone by his fabric counterparts is this young bull elk,


whose stately stare was captured by the vacationing Mardi at Quilting Solutions.

And lastly, the eagle quilt, made by elementary school kids with the guidance of Craft Traditions


Everyone grab a 'Featured' button for the animals to have bragging rights!
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Now on to this week's party! Come share your current project by linking up! And remember to visit and comment on the other's projects - it's a great way to make new friends!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stash Lab Quilt 2 Update

After the detour of the Ducks in the Pond quilt, and the cutting of the snowflakes, I'm back to working on the second project from the Stash Lab book. The pattern on the cover of the book is called The Big Spin, and this is a quarter of the big pinwheel so far:

big pinwheel for The Big Spin

and these piles are the other three quarters.

three quarters of big pinwheel

Notice in that big pinwheel quarter, the dark squares from making fabric 

making fabric squares

make a pinwheel, though they aren't set off very well. 

dark area of big pinwheel

A bit lighter value accompanying fabric would have worked a bit better. Oh well.

And I was hoping to use the lights from making fabric in the light part of the big pinwheel, 

light area of big pinwheel

but opted to cut up yardage instead. But that's a good thing! Those scrap squares will still find a home somewhere in this quilt, just not sure where. First I'll tackle the big pinwheel, and work from there.

Hope to have more updates tomorrow on Midweek Makers. See you then!

Linking up with the following parties:
MOP Monday

Monday, June 12, 2017

Choosing a Die Cutting Machine

Last week, the Juggling Projects post with the snowflake pieces cut by a machine generated a conversation with another blogger about die cutting machines. So I thought it high time for a discussion about what to consider if you are wanting to purchase a machine.

The quilting world has certainly been turned on it's head with these time saving fabric cutting machines, also known as die cutters. You know, those machines that easily cut strips and shapes, making our quilting life easier. There are those that are manual, such as Accuquilt

 and Sizzix,


meaning they require shaped metal dies to do the cutting.

There are also machines that are digital, like my Silhouette Cameo,

Silhouette Cameo
Silhouette Cameo

or the Brother Scan n Cut.
Brother Scan n Cut
Brother Scan n Cut

Both of these machines require software to design the cuts to make.

Now this discussion is not meant as an endorsement for any one machine, nor is it a detailed discussion of the features of each. Links are provided for each machine pictured, so that features, costs and the fine details can be explored further. But today's discussion is about choosing between a manual or digital die cutting machine, which should be based on what your quilting needs are. 

Manual die cutting machines
These machines, such as Accuquilt and Sizzix, are wonderful if your style of quilting features a lot of the same shape, such as strips, squares, triangles, etc. These machines (whether hand crank or motorized) make quick work of cutting numerous pieces, making the machines especially handy for quilt groups, business owners making kits, or those with hand and/or shoulder issues who have difficulties with rotary cutters. 

The downside? The dies are limited to the variety and size set by the manufacturer, and can be expensive. And not all dies work in all machines - size and manufacturer determine which dies work with which machine.

Digital die cutting machines
These machines, made by Silhouette and Brother (and others), use software to create designs that are sent to the cutter for cutting. The software, which is usually easy to learn, allows for unlimited creativity in designs, from the most simple and basic to the elaborate and intricate - the sky's the limit!

The downsides here? Large quantities of a shape are time consuming to cut, as the system uses a 12" x 12" sticky mat to hold the fabric, paper or vinyl. Certainly can't stack layers of fabric as for the manual machines. And eventually, blades and mats need replacement after numerous cuttings.

Here's a handy chart, based on my observations of both types systems:

 Best Used for:

   Extra Costs



Large numbers of strips, squares, triangles, etc

Cutting dies

Limited to the manufacturers variety and size of dies


Cutting your own designed shapes – unlimited possibilities

Mats and blades

Time consuming to cut large numbers of pieces.

Though manual die cutting machines have certainly revolutionized quilting for many, I chose to purchase the Silhouette Cameo digital die cutter.

Silhouette Cameo

My reasons? I wanted a machine that gave me the ability to cut my own designs, such as the snowflake parts above. And because I don't make quilts with predetermined sized strips, squares, triangles, etc, the manual machines with dies just wasn't the right fit.

So, if you're considering investing in a die cutting machine, think about your style of quilting, and how your going to use the machine, along with the cost and features. Whichever you choose, enjoy your machine and the new directions it takes your quilting!

Happy Quilting!

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MOP Monday

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ducks in the Pond

Here it is - the duck quilt!

Ducks in the Pond

And yes, the name has been changed to Ducks in the Pond. Why? Because as the quilt design evolved, the ducks were all around, and not in a row. I think the new name fits quite well! I'll save the other for another time.

I'm very happy with how this one turned out - the fabric is fun, and the design interesting with the blue and yellow. And can't forget the fun pinwheels too! What started out as leftovers made a beautiful quilt!

Let's look at some closeups, shall we? Quilting is kept simple, to add to the overall design, and to keep the quilt soft.

Ducks in the Pond closeup 1

There are waves breaking on the shore (those at the edge), and soft waves for the ducks to swim in.

Ducks in the Pond closeup 2

Ripples in the pond are in the sashing. Notice the circle at the sashing intersection. That was my solution to ripples meeting from different directions - the ripples just spin off the circles and continue along. And bigger ripples occur in the border corners.

Ducks in the Pond closeup 3

Originally, I thought I'd quilt pebbles or at least stipple around the pinwheels. But after adding the arcs, I just didn't see the need for the dense quilting.

And my trademark flannel backing looks just as pretty with all the quilting -

Ducks in the Pond back

keeping it nice and soft!

Ducks in the Pond back closeup 1

Ducks in the Pond back closeup 2

This one is going to be really hard to part with - hubby is saving it for someone special, though I'm not ready to let go. And I want to thank everyone for the very sweet comments on this quilt - you are all such a wonderful, supportive group!

Wishing everyone a great weekend quilting!

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