Friday, September 22, 2017

Catching up and Slowing Down

I feel like I have been running at a breakneck pace ever since we got back from our vacation and now I just want to slow down a little.  I never had a chance to share about our trip, so I want to show you some of the fun things we got to do!

Number one was go see the U of O Ducks play a football game!  It was so hot out, and smokey from the nearby fires, but well worth sharing this fun time with our family!

Riding the shuttle to the game was fun (long line to get on afterwards, though!)
Our little cheerleader did a great job and ended up way past her bedtime, but was still happy and in a good mood.

Go Ducks!

After that we had a good couple days of downtime, then it was off to the airport!  My sweet DH hates to fly, but didn't want me to miss time with my family in Colorado, so off we went.  Our flight was very nice, in fact thanks to TSA precheck it only took us 15 minutes to check our bags and get through security!  Hurray for that!

We loved the wonderful warm Colorado weather!  It was really great to see my Sister and Brother as well as Mom and Dad, it's been 8 years since we were all under one roof.
Most of our time was spent just sitting and visiting, but we went for a lovely drive on Saturday and found this picturesque little park in Silvercliff, CO.

Lovely view of the Sangre De Cristo mountains.  Many of the 53 Fourteeners (mountains over 14000 feet) can be seen from here.  Did you know Colorado has the most of these high mountains (53) of any state?  This is one of the things I love about my home state!

Unfortunately, Irma was making my Brother and his wife nervous about their home in Florida, so they decided to go home the next day, so my Sister and her husband scooted on down from seeing their Grandkids in Denver so we could spend a little time together with Mom and Dad.  Here we are - sorry for the bad living room at night picture, but it's the best we got!
The two cuties at the bottom are my Grand-niece and nephew.

On Sunday we had a great trip to the Pueblo Zoo with the kids - my dad kept saying that he thought the adults were having more fun than the kids, so he must have enjoyed it himself.

This little girl loves Zebra's!  And she found that her Great-Uncle was happy to pack her around for a while :)  Loved our visit there, the zoo has sure been improved since I was a kid.

Lots of shady pathways, so even on a hot day it was a pleasant outing!

After they all left, we had a couple days remaining with not much else to do, so we took an afternoon drive out to Lake Pueblo.  They were just building the dam when I was in high school, so it always seems like a new thing to me!  They've really built up that area with tons of campsites, so it's a booming recreation area.  The swimming area we used to visit when our girls were young is closed now, so we were sad to see that.  

One of things I had hoped to do when I was visiting was to find out more about my paternal Grandmother.  I did get this picture of her, and a little more info, so maybe I can track down some of her family history now.

 Before we knew it, it was time to leave.  We got up early and headed for the airport in Denver for our flight home, which was as nicely uneventful as our first flight.  We were super happy for TSA precheck, so no messing around with shoes or unpacking our laptops.  And what a delight to be greeted by the smiling faces of three of our grandchildren when coming out of the gate!  We spent the rest of the afternoon resting, then got to see Soccer practice.  This little sweetie knows how to be prepared to entertain herself while her brother has practice.

The next day was our drive home.  Was it ever great to get home and sleep in our own bed!  I pretty much hit the ground running at that point with all I had to do, but I think at this point I am ready to slow down a bit and get back to a somewhat normal routine.  I'm antsy to start a new project, but I am still working on some older ones, so am trying to be disciplined.  For sure, getting back into my blogging routine is on my radar for the future!

If you didn't catch my post on Wednesday, go read it and enter to win the Island Batik giveaways!  And don't forget the rest of this week's posts:


Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed Quilts • Whispers of Yore
Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring Quilter • Inchworm Fabrics
Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuilts • Yellow Cat Quilts
Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots Designs • Beaquilter

Also, the Christmas Caroling Row Along is still going strong!  Make sure you go read the posts, the free downloads only last for a week on many of the blogs, so you don't want to miss them.  Here are this week's posts:

I think this catches me up on the first part of September!  I'll have to write another post on what's been going on since I got home, because this post is already long enough!  Congrats if you stuck with it all the way through :)  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Back to School with Island Batik

Hurray!  It's finally my day for the Island Batik Back to School Blog hop!  I really do love this time of year, I think one of the main reasons is that it means that fall is just around the corner.  Even here on the Oregon coast where the seasons aren't quite as dramatic as other places I look forward to the leaves turning color, the nights getting cooler and the fact that it's a great time for quilting (of course - because the kids are back to school!).

The line I got to work with is Abalone.  It's a beautiful beach themed line with loads of gorgeous color and fun prints.  There are Stars, Sand Dollars and even Lobster prints.  I really had fun playing with this set of prints, and was super happy that I had enough of the lovely pink-orange print (Carnation) for the background.  Setting the other prints against it made me think of a lovely fall sunset at the beach, so I call this quilt Sunset Glow.

Aren't the colors amazing?  Here are all the fabrics laid out before I washed them - so yummy!

My quilt features two different blocks in an alternating setting.  One block features the Butterfly Unit from last month's Quilter's Recipe Box.  This was my original plan, but I ended up switching the blue swirl fabric for another fabric from Island Batik's Basic collection - Pool.

For the second block I used a big triangle to show off the anchor print.  I also changed this block, moving the purple print to the inside of the block instead of the outside.  
I finished the top back in July because I knew that August was going to be a little bit busy, but I had no idea how crazy it was going to end up!  Luckily, that still left me with time to get it quilted, even with the extended trip we ended up taking at the beginning of September.  I was able to get a wonderful match to the Carnation fabric from Aurifil (2420 in 50 wt), so had fun doing some over the top quilting on the background.  I used 1248 for the dark colors, then for the border 5009 was the perfect shade!

I used some ideas from Angela Walters Book "Shape by Shape Collection 2"  Lots of really great ideas in this book!

The border quilting features a ferny looking vine pattern, but I used a thread that blended in so you don't really see it much.  I wanted to let those lobsters shine on their own :)
The inner border is another fabric from the basics collection:  Bluebird.  I am really delighted with how this quilt came out - it really is quite stunning, don't you thing?  It even looks lovely against a gray and gloomy sky - we are thankful for some rain at last, but I did hope for some sun for a picture.

And what would a blog hop be without a giveaway?  Island Batik is having a big giveaway, and if you love the Abalone collection as much as I do, you need to enter because they are giving away a bundle of this as well as two other collections!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition I will be giving away two Stash Builder Rolls myself!  These are a favorite of all the Island Batik Ambassadors - four strips 5 inches by the width of fabric.  That comes out to 20 inches of fabric in each roll - plenty for a variety of projects!  You can enter my personal giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I thought this fabric was so much fun that I wanted to make another project from it as well.  I used my Pacifica Tote pattern to make a large tote for my daughter:

Don't those lobsters make a great bag?  I added a pocket using a piece from the newest box.  If you like this pattern, you can download it during the rest of the blog hop for free from my craftsy shop:

Download Pattern Here!
Here is the schedule for the rest of the hop - make sure you check out the other blog posts and collections - lots of giveaways and great projects, you will enjoy every stop!

Island Batik Back to School Blog Hop
Monday,​ ​September​ ​4​ ​- Beaujolais – Quilting Affection, Fun Threads
Tuesday,​ ​September​ ​5​ – Country Dozen – Cheryl Lynch Quilts, Inspired Layers
Wednesday,​ ​September​ ​6​ ​- Bonsai – Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday,​ ​September​ ​7​ – Sakura – Masterpiece Quilting
Friday,​ ​September​ ​8​ – Empress Garden – Desert Bloom Quilting, Slice of Pi Quilts

Monday,​ ​September​ ​11​ ​- Fresh Pick’ins – Kissed Quilts
Tuesday,​ ​September​ ​12​ – Lotus Blooms – Kathy Bruckman
Wednesday,​ ​September​ ​13​ – Olivera – Moose Stash Quilting, Knit Bug 2
Thursday,​ ​September​ ​14​ – Rise & Shine – Den syende himmel, Sally’s Quilting Corner
Friday,​ ​September​ ​15​ ​- Diner Days – Ark Angel Creations, The Quilt Rambler

Monday,​ ​September​ ​18​ – Seas the Day – Needle & Foot, Kissed Quilts
Tuesday,​ ​September​ ​19​ – Vineyard – Inquiring Quilter, Inchworm Fabrics
Wednesday,​ ​September​ ​20​ – Abalone – Pamela Quilts, Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Thursday,​ ​September​ ​21​ – Batiks Go Retro – Webster Quilt
Friday,​ ​September​ ​22​ – Captain’s Anchor – Purrfect Spots, Bea Quilter

Monday,​ ​September​ ​25​ – Cherry Berry – Free Motion By the River, MaryMack’s Blog
Tuesday,​ ​September​ ​26​ – Lobster Bake – Seams To Be Sew
Wednesday,​ ​September​ ​27​ – Solstice – Bejeweled Quilts, heARTS Creations
Thursday,​ ​September​ ​28​ – Sour Apple – Seams Like A Dream, Kauffman Designs
Friday,​ ​September​ ​29​ ​- Zen – Lizard Creek Quilting, Quilt’n Party

Thanks for joining us!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Monkey Around

I had a hard time picking another quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, but I finally decided on this one!  This is a fun baby quilt made from a line called Hello World by Abi Hall for Moda.  This is a pattern I designed that I usually make with a light background fabric, but for this one I used a dark fabric and I think it came out looking terrific!

One of my favorite things about this quilt is the two different sizes of Monkey Wrench blocks (also called Churn Dash).  I just think it really adds to the fun look.
I fussy cut the animals for the centers of the small blocks, and they are so cute!

So fun!  I think this would be a great quilt for a little boy.  I quilted swirls all over it - fast and easy.

Thanks for looking!  If you like my pattern it is available in my Craftsy shop - just click the picture below.
Click here to buy this pattern!

Make sure you go check out the rest of the posts for the Blogger's Quilt Festival - and add your quilts to the fun, too!  You might find a new blog or two to enjoy as well as lots of gorgeous quilts!

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Cool Curves

It's hard to pick just two quilts to enter for the Bloggers Quilt festival, but I knew that this was one that I really wanted to share.  I call it Cool Curves.  I made this as an Island Batik Ambassador challenge, so the fabrics are all Island Batik, and I used a big variety of colors and weights of Aurifil thread in it as well.

I love this photo because you can see the luscious quilting in it!  Each color band is quilted in a different quilting design.  This really stretched me to think of new ways to fill in the different sections.

I used the Quick Curve ruler for the piecing and fell in love with how easy it is!

The only thread I had any difficulty with was the 12 weight.  That didn't work so well for free motion, so I used my walking foot and did echo quilting with it.  I also used it for quilting the outer border.  I found that the 28 wt thread is awesome - shows up nicely and stitches well.  I think one of my favorite quilting patterns is the wishbone in the pale yellow - easy and moves quickly once you get the motion down!

This quilt ended up as a keeper, it looks lovely in my guest room with light purple walls!

Make sure you head over to the Bloggers Quilt Festival, link up with a quilt or two of your own, and look at all the other wonderful quilts as well!

Flying Geese - Burst Block for Quilter's Recipe Box

Greetings!  I know my blog has been really quiet lately - turns out that we had no access to wifi during our trip to Colorado so it made it a little difficult to keep up with posting here except for last week's block.  I'm glad to be home, and hopefully will get caught up quickly with all the things I am behind in, like blog reading and instagram!

This week's block is a fun one - I call it Burst.  

To make this block you will need three different colors plus background fabric.  Cut one 3 1/2 inch square plus eight 2 inch squares for the center star, four 2 x 3 1/2 rectangles and eight 2 inch squares from the second fabric, and four 2 inch squares and four 3 3/8 squares (cut in half diagonally for half square triangles) from the third fabric.  From the background fabric cut four 2 inch squares, four 3 3/8 inch squares (cut in half diagonally for half square triangles) and four 2 x 3 1/2 inch rectangles.

For this block I'll be making two different colors of flying geese that will go together to make a chevron shape.  Make four geese from color one rectangles and color two squares, and make four with color two rectangles and background squares.

Sew them together so that the color two units form the chevron.

Make sure you don't cut off your point when you sew them together.

Lay these out to form a star in the center that is echoed by the chevrons.
 Next, sew half square triangles from the 2 3/8 inch color three and background units.  Use the color three and background squares to make a butterfly unit.  Place these at the corners facing out.

Sew them together and you have this stunning block.
This block would make a fabulous quilt - I love the way it radiates out from the center.  Next week I have another great block - I love how versatile the Flying Geese units are - very fun to design with!

I'm getting ready for my Wednesday post for the Island Batik blog hop - can't wait to show you my quilt.  I just have to quilt the last border, so it will be ready just in time.  I am glad I had the top done early because the last few weeks haven't been very productive for quilting.  I am looking forward to fall and getting more time for sewing and quilting - and more to blog about!

Are you ready for fall, or sad to see the end of summer?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Flying Geese Unit -

Welcome to the  second block this month for the Quilter's Recipe Box.  There are so many ways to use Flying Geese units that I had a hard time choosing, but this week I decided to make a block that I call Mountain Peaks.

I like this color way, but for this block I sewed I used a different color scheme!  To make a block like mine you will need to cut the following: Eight 2 x 3 1/2 inch squares of your main color, one 3 1/2 square and two 3 7/8 inch squares of your accent color (cut the 3 7/8 inch squares in half diagonally for half square triangles) and from your background color cut sixteen 2 inch squares and two 3 7/8 inch squares (cut in half diagonally for half square triangles).  

Using the main color rectangles and 2 inch background squares, sew 4 double flying geese units and place them so they will be on the sides of the block facing out:

From the triangles, sew four half square triangle units and place them so the background triangles are on the outside corners of the block:
Of course, when I got to this point, I decided to play with the placement of my units.  Rotate the outside corners and you get a very different look:
Turn the flying geese facing inwards and you get a whole different look:
I happened to like the second one the best, so I sewed my block together that way:

Try rearranging the units in your blocks and see if you come up with an alternative layout that you like!  You could also make a sampler quilt by using blocks made with the same units, but different layouts.  There are so many options in quilting!

We are having a wonderful vacation, but no wi-fi, so I probably won't be posting anymore until later in the week.  I'm looking forward to catching up later and sharing more.  In the meantime enjoy this block and have fun making it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

I am super excited to fly to Colorado tomorrow to see my family!  It's been a tension filled week as we've been watching the fires here in Oregon all around us, though.  We were very sad to hear of the Eagle Creek Fire and the burning near Multnomah Falls.  We had a wonderful visit there while my oldest daughter was visiting just a couple weekends ago.

I hear that the lodge is safe so far, and I hope that not all the beautiful trees around the falls aren't burned.  We sure need a good rain here to help with the situation, but that isn't in the forecast right now.

Anyway, my husband and I are all packed up and ready to go to the airport tomorrow.  We'll be there for a week, then heading back home again.  Probably no sewing from me, but I'll definitely keep you updated on the blog hops and throw in a few pictures of my journey.

Today was the start of the Christmas Caroling Row Along, and we had some wonderful rows to start us off!  Make sure to check these blogs for the free patterns, plus the awesome giveaways:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Then, make sure you visit these blogs that are on the Island Batik Back to School Blog hop!

Tuesday, September 5 – 

Featured Fabric:  Country Dozen Bloggers:  Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Inspired Layers

Country Dozen is one of my favorites of the new lines!  I made a quilt for Spring Market with them - Alouette.

I also have a pattern available for this quilt.  It makes a nice little wall hanging and is fast to make.  It would make a cute baby quilt, too!  Click on the button below to find it in my Etsy Shop.

I'll be popping back in as I have time over my vacation to make sure you keep up with the two blog hops that are running - hope you are safe from flood and fire where you are.  Hug your loved ones and enjoy each day!