Saturday, October 20, 2012

InPsyD my Life

As some of you may remember, this August I entered into a PsyD program in Clinical Psychology.  In other words, I am on the journey towards earning my doctorate.  The first semester is going well, although the time commitment is immense.  Other events have shaped my life as well.  My step-mother, who cared for my children while I was studying and earning clinical hours, was diagnosed with acute myleoid leukemia about 3 weeks ago and remains hospitalized.   She is turning a corner now, and I hope she will be in the comfort of her home within days.  This horrible illness has meant a huge change for her and for me and my children as well.  They entered into daycare, but thankfully the pain of transition was minimal.

So where has quilting fit in with all of this?  Uhhhh, it hasn't, at least until recently.  Fall break has afforded me a little window of time to work on quilty things.  I am so glad that I started a new hand project in the summer.  Available time to sew has been fleeting, and this project gives me a small fix before I have to pick up a new assignment.  Here is my progress to date:

In addition, I finally finished a quilt back intended for Orca Bay.  I even pinned the quilt!  If I am fortunate, I will be able to start on some quilting tonight or tomorrow.  I am still not certain of the design I will use; I will likely stick to straight lines I think.  This quilt has me baffled.

Finally, here is an updated Stash Report.  I finally used some more fabric!  I am so happy that I am still in the black.  If I manage not to go on some fabric buying spree, I think I will meet my yearly goal of using more than I purchase.  Maybe, just maybe, there might even be one more quilt finish for this year!

Stash Report
Used this Week: 6.5
Used year to Date: 30.5 yards
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 21.75 yards
Net Used for 2012: 8.75 yards
UFOs (Charlotte's Baskets, Orca Bay, Hexie: Part Deux)

I leave you (for how long?  Who knows.) with this nice picture of my youngest son.  We may have started something bad here, lol!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Orca Bay top is complete!

If I didn't feel so sick, I would be doing some cartwheels!  I wasn't sure about the outer border for a while, but after some quick opinions from quilty friends, I decided on a thin outer border.  I imagine it will make quilting easier without all of the seams on the edge.

I will be machine quilting this one.  I will be looking for a semi-dense design that will not overpower all of the piecing.  Ideas are welcome!

I am thankful to my blog friends who have helped me along the way!  Thank you for your encouragement and fabric scraps!!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Festival of Hexagons

I heard there was a really fun linky party to show off hexagon quilty projects, so I had to put my name in the hat!  Many of you have seen this quilt a few times, so bear with me!

I started this quilt in 2010 to have something to do during vacation.  I had an idea of how I wanted it to look, and only used scraps from my stash.  I used 1" hexagons.

Slowly but surely, the quilt top came together.  I sewed mostly during nap times.  I wish I kept track of the hours!  About 7 months later, I had a finished quilt top!  The picture below was taken somewhere around Christmas 2010

The handquilting started in February 2011.  I borrowed a hinterburg frame and worked on it turing TV time.

After many more months, I finally finished the quilt in March 2012! I loved the process so much, I started another on last July! 

Here is a full view.  This quilt is bed sized, about a full.  Working with stash made the quilt inexpensive.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my hexie quilt!  Check out the Festival of Hexagons for more fun!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Orca Bay: Step 2365243.25

Hey all!  Just giving the next update on my Orca Bay project.  I am almost done with the top!  A friend suggested I go with flying geese.  I wanted the border to be dynamic, so I used the rest of my grays to radiate from nearly white to solid black.  I love it!  Since this picture was taken, I was able to sew the two long side sewn down and get the final two sides completely assembled.  I just don't know what to throw in the corners.  I need something that is 4.5" square.  The outer border will be 4" wide and will be the same deep plum fabric you see.

Now for the stash report.

I purchased 3 yards last week for the Orca Bay border and used 2.5 yards of it.  I also purchased 5 fat quarters for my english paper pieced quilt.  I needed yellows and greens.

Stash Report
Used this Week: 2.5
Used year to Date: 24 yards
Added this Week: 4.25
Added Year to Date: 21.75 yards
Net Used for 2012: 2.25 yards
UFOs (Charlotte's Baskets, Orca Bay)
Please check out Judy's Patchwork Times for more stash reporting!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Willow has her mat!

Just a quick note to tell you that Willow received her mat today!

Before today, I had not actually met her.  She is soooo soft and very muscular.  She is tiny, but weighs about 4 lbs.  I think she likes it!  My son (shown in the picture) seemed to be really intrigued.  Look at those eyes!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Orca Bay Check-in and Stash Report

I am so excited to show you a finished center!  I spent an hour ironing pressing the top, and am ready to share it with you!

Normally I am not brave enough to show the back of a quilt.  You can't hide things!  I am pretty happy with the seams/seam allowance.  I think it would have been a sight a few years ago had I tried to make this quilt then.  I have come a long way with consistency and a better 1/4 inch seam since then!

No more stalling.  Here it is!

This is one of the "this-looks-even-better-in-person quilts!"  As I have stated before, I do not plan on using Bonnie Hunter's borders.  I am thinking of a few options.  All options will include a small black resting border I think.

1:  Piano keys.  Can't go wrong with piano key borders!
2.  Flying geese.  I am thinking a mid purple with the inner triangle moving from a gray to black and back again.  I could also just keep with a black and white print instead
3.  solid border.  I could find a funky print that includes purples and grays.
4.  Solid border, four patches (purples and grays?) then solid border.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Finally, here is my stash report.  I am including fabric used in the art quilt.

Stash Report
Used this Week: 1.25
Used year to Date: 21.50 yards
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 17.5 yards
Net Used for 2012: 4 yards
UFOs (Charlotte's Baskets, Orca Bay, Art Quilt)
Check out Judy's site, Patchwork Times, for more stash reporting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cats on Quilt

It is time for the Pets on Quilts Show!  This is my second time entering the show after seeing how much fun it was last year.  This year, by coincidence, a friend had asked me to make a "cat mat" for her Cornish Rex kitten, Willow.  If you don't know what a Cornish Rex looks like, here is a picture.  These kitties are long, lanky, and have a tail that looks like it came from a large rat!!

My friend was hoping for a cat mat with bright colors, considering there is no color on Willow.  Winning this lovely fabric and pattern from Sandra Kaye's blog was perfect!

I started with the pattern, but quickly realized that this pattern was not (completely) meant to be.  All of a sudden, I was thinking that the mat needed a slender kitty on it!

This is what I ended up with!  This mat will be taken to cat shows and to food demos.  Because I wanted the cat mat to have extra sturdiness, I used a heaver weight twill for the back.  I love it!

Check out all of the other pets on quilts at Lily Pad Quilting!!!  Thank you for visiting mine!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Art Quilt

The family went on a camping trip recently.  We stayed on a colleague's property, which was situation on the riverfront.  The river was low, so the kids were able to wade and play throughout the day.

Early in the morning, this heron was walking down the river's edge looking for food.  I was able to get fairly close before it was annoyed enough to walk away.  I liked this picture, and wanted to give my colleague a gift to say thank you.  I never have tried an art quilt before, so I had no idea where to start, other than to keep it simple.

Here it is!  I kept the room dark to show the quilting better.  I am pretty happy with the results!  I was going to put it in a frame, but I didn't like how it looked.  I will just bind it with a hanging sleeve.  I would like to get it done by Wednesday, but I am not sure if that is possible.

For more design wall projects, check out Judy's Patchwork Times!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working with Brights

It has been a good quilting week.  I have been able to, here and there, finish some WIPs while also finishing an additional project.  I will show you a sneak preview of my Pets on Quilts entry.

I recently won a giveaway hosted by the wonderful SandraKaye.  The prize was some bright fabrics and a pattern!  I love the fabric.  The question is, will I actually follow the pattern?  If anyone reading this knows me, you can probably answer that easily!  I needed to make a cat mat for a friend who puts her cat in shows.  Can't wait to show the results!

Here is a look at my stash report.  Not bad!  Back in black!

Stash Report

Used this Week: 4.75
Used year to Date: 20.25 yards
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 17.5 yards
Net Used for 2012: 2.75 yards
UFOs (Charlotte's Baskets, Orca Bay, Art Quilt) 

Check out Judy's site, PatchworkTimes, for more Stash Busting!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Four Squared Finish

Just as promised, I have another finish to show!  Last night, the power was off for several hours after a nasty storm.  I decided it was a good time to bind by flashlight!

I quilted with a simple meander this time around.  For the backing, I found a nice, fitting flannel fabric in my stash.  I purchased this more than a year ago after a Joann Fabric Christmas sale.  Super cheap and super soft!

I look forward to putting some yardage down as "used" in my stash report this weekend!  Time to get back in black!  I also have plans to start a "cat mat" this week, with the hopes of finishing it in time for the Pets on Quilts Show.

Here is my shorter list of WIPs!  Looks like I am down to three now!  Well, ok, I am planning on starting a new one today.  That doesn't mean it has to be on the list yet!

1. Orca Bay (top is being assembled)
2. Four-Squared (waiting for binding to be sewn down)
3: Hexie: Part Deux (looooonnnng way from completion)
4: Charlotte's Baskets (top is done. waiting for hand quilting)

What are you all up to today?  Today I have a quilt to start, a trip to Target, and perhaps an Insanity workout!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Knocking out some WIPs!

After several months of languishing in a corner, it is finally done!  I am so happy too.  I don't think it is a good idea for me to try 3 of one thing.  It gets boring after a while!  I do have some more minis in my future, however.  They have made excellent gifts!

This leaves my list of UFOs or WIPs like so:

1:  July Wooden Bear mini quilt
2.  Orca Bay (top is being assembled)
3.  Four-Squared (waiting for binding to be sewn down)
4:  Hexie:  Part Deux (looooonnnng way from completion)
5:  Charlotte's Baskets (top is done.  waiting for hand quilting)

I plan on having one more finish by the end of the week!  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My design floor

Four Square is ready for final assembly!  The picture does not do the colors justice.  This will be a lovely, bright quilt!

All of the white framed blocks are I-spy blocks.  Even the 16-patch blocks have a splash of I-spy.  I didn't want a quilt entirely made of I-spy prints.  I wanted a bit of both worlds, and think I achieved that well.

I can't wait to get this one finished and off to the recipient next month!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chugging along (Stash Report)

I rewarded myself after making good progress on a research paper by working on some quilt assembly.

I am assembling both the Orca Bay quilt along with the 4-squared baby quilt.  It makes things go by so much faster!  I can't say enough about chain piecing!

I have 10 out of the 13 16-patches (finished at 8") needed.  As for Orca Bay, I still have a long way to go!

Stash Report

I have used fabric, but am waiting to count it until I have finished 4-Squared.  Perhaps that will offer an incentive!  I purchased a little bit of fabric when I was in Maine, including a lovely little scrap bag with yards of fabric (largely batiks) for only 12.00!  I am still hovering close to zero, so I am happy with my stash-busting progress.  If I can just finish something, I will be back in black!

Stash Report

Used this Week: 0
Used year to Date: 15.5 yards
Added this Week: 3

Added Year to Date: 17.5 yards
Net Used for 2012: -1.75 yards

UFOs (Charlotte's Baskets, Orca Bay, Wooden Bear July Mini, 4-Squared)
Check out Judy's site, Patchwork Times, for more stash reporting!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hexie: Part Deux

I told you today would be the day I would share my hexie progress!  Well, here it is:

I am working on attaching the ring of reds now.  I think I am about halfway done.  I probably will be taking my hexie assembly on the road while connecting them to the "mother ship" while at home watching TV.  Ok, I will be honest.  Past August, I am not sure I will have much time to work on this.  It will be around, however, for the bits and times I have to do something without the luxury of being able to work at my machine.

So far, my stitchery is better.  I am using 1" hexagons, and getting about 15 stitches to the inch.  Most are pretty invisible too.  I am happy with the progress I am making, technically speaking, and am pleased to take my time to make sure the work stays precise!  After all, I will be working on this a few years!

Here is a closeup photo of one of the hexie flowers.  I don't know what qualifies as an "invisible" stitch, but I am happy with how it is coming out.  The stitches on the last GFG quilt were far more visible.

Here is a back photo.  I basted my fabric on the flower without piercing the card stock form (I ended up being cheap and cutting out a bunch myself).  Last time I basted the fabric right down on the card stock.  One other change is pressing my work more frequently.  I didn't do it enough last time and it made a difference when it came down to preparing the quilt top for quilting.

Lastly, I will share a photo of my travel box.  See your bag, Joan?  It has everything I need to work on some hexies in my free time.  On Wednesday, I had my kit with me at school and was able to finish two between classes.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I played around in EQ5 (yes, EQ5), and came up with a mock up including the outer area of the quilt.  Feast your eyes!  The picture is horrible and cut off in the corners, but it will serve as a great guide for number of flowers needed and color scheme.  I plan on some feather quilting in the open corners.

Who needs EQ when you have...

....graph paper and crayons!  Well, if I had a few hundred to throw around I might just pick up a copy.  Until then I will do this the old fashioned way!

This is an approximate layout of the new quilt.  I don't have room to take sewing equipment with me on vacation, so I am starting the next english paper piecing project.  I am not a huge fan of the black and I will replace that color with gold tones.

I ran out of room and could not mess around with the corners, but this will be the main part of the quilt (above).   Below is a picture of the civil war fabrics I have been stashing for more than a year.

Below are the greens and neutrals.  It seems I may need more greens, but I like the range of colors.

Below is one of my favorite fabrics.  I bought it on sale at my LQS and they don't have any more.  This is a fabric I could buy in bulk!

Do you have a favorite fabric you wish you had more of?

Friday, June 22, 2012


Orca Bay that is!  I gave a big sigh once I finished the last string block, thanks in part to the help of many of my blog friends!  Here they are, all 72!

I suppose this pile of fabric and thread will someday soon make a quilt.

Just as a teaser, this is a sneak peak of what is to come.  I have a feeling this is going to be a new favorite!

For now, Orca Bay will be in a box.  I am starting to kit up a vacation project because I really only can do handwork.  I hope to have this pieced by mid July and ready for quilting!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Opinions on hexagon templates please.

I am planning my next hexagon quilt.  My plan is to start the new one while on vacation next month.  Here is the pattern I will use.  I think I may switch some colors, but this is the overall layout.

I believe I saved this picture from Victoria's Bumblebeans blog.  I can't find the link anymore unfortunately.  I wish I could share and give credit where credit is due.  I believe this is an antique quilt that was on display in a museum.  I have no idea what size this quilt finishes at, but I will be using 1"hexagons.

My question to you is:  What is the best way to go when considering paper pieces?  Here are my options:

1) Buy bulk paper pieces.  I can get around 600 or so for about $15, give or take.  I can use many of them more than once before they need to be tossed.

2) Buy mylar.  I can get about 88 for 13-15$.  These can be used many times, and I hear that using them can help reduce the possibility of visible stitches on the front.  I might have to buy more than one set though, because I make my hexagon quilts in sections.

3)cut out my own.  I have a small sheet of mylar and can make one or two templates.  I can trace these templates out on card stock (I have some) and cut them out individually.  This is what I did with the last one.  Downsides?  It adds to the time making the quilt.  I occasionally cut one a tad tinier and have to ease it a little to make it fit right with the other pieces.  It didn't cause any major issues in the last quilt, but it is annoying if I find and use a bad one.  Upside is that it is way cheaper!!!


P.S.  I wanted to send out my appreciation to many of you who have offered to assist me in adding variety to my grays in my Orca Bay project.  I am really humbled by your kindness and will pay it forward!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Back to the drawing board.

So, earlier I mentioned that I had ordered a Creative Memory hexagon punch from eBay.  Well, due to overzealous bidding on my part, I have TWO (of the same size).  I have been so excited thinking that I could cut time and increase accuracy through making my own hexagon shapes.  I received one of them in the mail today, and was sad that I didn't realize that the size of the cutter did not equate to the measurement of each hexagon side.  I purchased the .75 and 1 inch hexagon maker.  I thought each side of the hexagon was .75 and 1 inch respectively.  Nope.  The size is the width of the hexagon.  My bad!  This is useless to me, and I will have two of them!  Back to eBay they go!

I will be using 1" hexagons in my next project.  Does anyone out there know if the large Creative Memories hexagon punch makes hexagons with 1" sides?

One last step....

It seems like the flying geese were the hardest part of Orca Bay.  It seemed to take forever, and great care was needed to prevent making wonky blocks.  They are now finished and I like how they look!  It truly took nearly every last piece of black fabric I had, minus a bit of yardage for the binding.

I have ONE more step before assembly.  It helps that I will not be doing the border on the original Orca Bay.  I am not sure what I am going to do exactly.  I will wait and see what the center looks like to get an idea.  The last step for me will be making the 3.5" string blocks.  There are 72, and I now have about 31 complete!

There is one potential problem.  I may run out of grays.  I didn't have many to begin with and lacked a ton of variety, but I wanted to use the color anyway.  I need to decide if I am going to chance not having enough or I may need to visit some shops.  Gray isn't a popular color around here!  Gray fabrics are trendy right now, but my LQS's don't carry a lot of super trendy fabrics.  There aren't many modern quilters around here!  I seem to like to be last minute in my choices, so one way or another I will get the job done.  I want to get this baby together!!!

One last thing.  The next hexie quilt is in the planning stages!  I ordered a Creative Memories hexie punch from eBay and will be sharing some pictures and ideas with you once that happens!  Do any of you have a Creative Memories hexie punch out there?

Happy Quilting!  You guys are awesome!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hippo time!

This is hippo.

He is my oldest son's lovey.  My son is always snuggling with him, so had him pick out a fun fabric to make a little hippo sleeping bag.  Easy-peasy!

That is one happy hippo!

As for the stash report, I used a measly fat quarter!

Stash Report

Used this Week: .25
Used year to Date: 15.5 yards
Added this Week: 0

Added Year to Date: 14.5 yards
Net Used for 2012: 1.25 yards
UFOs (Charlotte's Baskets, Orca Bay, Wooden Bear July Mini)
Check out Judy's site, Patchwork Times, for more stash reporting!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I spy a new project

I am not totally geared up for a new project yet, but I have started to go through my novelty fabric (finally dwindling down) and fussy cut some 2.5" squares.  There is a set of twins on the way and they will need to snuggle in some adorable little quilts.

This is the pattern I think I want to use.  It is Moda Bakeshop's Four Squared quilt.  I am going to do a 5 x 5 layout for a 40" Square quilt.  I have some 2.5 strips in my scrap bin and will pair it up with some random I-spy pieces.

If you see the upper portion of the picture below, you might see that I am working on a new step in Orca Bay.  I am about halfway through with piecing the flying geese blocks.  After this step, I will need to complete the gray string blocks and will be ready to assemble!

The rest of the novelty fabric?  I am going to pass it on.  I have made quite a few projects with the fabric I have.  I am not ruling out any I spy quilts in the future, but it is time to collect some new fabrics and start with a clean slate.

What are you up to this weekend?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It is DONE!

Our remodel is complete!  I had to dig around for some good before shots.  Here is one taken before we moved in.  This is the room as decorated by the previous owner.  Hello taxidermy!  The floor was just a concrete slab with a carpet remnant thrown over it.  A few months after moving in, right before Christmas, we began to work on remodeling this room.  The picture below was taken in 2006.

We managed to finish the floor on Christmas Eve.  I went out and bought a table and chairs in time for Christmas dinner!  We painted the walls and left it at that until this year when we decided we had the time (and money) to complete the room the way we wanted.  The wainscot in this room is just the faux wood paneling.  Very unappealing.

Here is a picture taken last weekend (below). 

Here is the after picture!  The husband is now finishing an outlet and then the floors will be cleaned.  Furniture will be returned by the end of the day!!  Angus is supervising, of course.