Friday, April 6, 2018

Some Happy Things

On Thursday I received good news... my Triangle Mini Challenge Quilt was accepted, and will appear in the next issue - #4 - of Curated Quilts magazine!

Because I was asked for the quilt name, for publication, I had to come up with something! I named it "Always Add Orange," based on the fact that I include orange in almost every quilt I make, and in my home decor.
15" X 15"

It looks like 111 quilts were submitted for the challenge - you can see all of them here - though I don't know how many have been chosen to appear in the magazine. I only know I'm honored and thrilled!

For Easter Sunday dinner we were invited to the neighbor's house. After the yummy meal, I watched Dave, the hubs, pull on a sweatshirt because he felt cold, I suggested that he might like one of my quilts. I explained that they were brightly colored, and might not suit their home decor, but he said he was interested.

So this week I walked over with four of my quilts, ready to give away whichever one he chose. He picked "Wiggle Me Colourful." The quilt's strips of color were made with saved-up pre-cut 2-1/2" squares, and pieced on my kid-sized aqua Janome machine during numerous Big Cypress Quilters meetings.

This quilt was my first finish in 2017, and it's been in the top of the closet since then.
57" X 65"
I was happy to give it to Dave, and appreciated seeing it in use in this picture sent by his wife.

This week I used a freshly-made batch of homemade basting spray to sandwich the first wedges quilt I put together. After posting this picture to Instagram, and mentioning that the quilt needs a name, I received several suggestions. Stephie in Kalamazoo, Michigan suggested "Roulette" and I'm rolling (ha!) with it. 

The first quilting stitches are in. So far I've used three colors of Aurifil 50-weight threads: white, silver gray, and turquoise.

For quilting I'm using both my Bernina Aurora 440, and Janome 1600p machines - the Bernina because I prefer its walking foot that I used to quilt the large curves; and the Janome because it has a larger harp (9-1/2") for ruler work. The 1" circles were free motion quilted on the Janome. 

I might be adding quite a bit more straight line quilting because this is such a busy design already. Certainly, quilting days are ahead.

I'm also going to make a book recommendation: "The Woman in the Window," by A. J. Finn. I've been listening to it in audiobook format, and I'm spellbound! It has a sort of "Rear Window" (the movie) feel to it. I can't wait to take another long walk or fold laundry, so I can listen more! Linda

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April's First Makes

Didn't April start nicely? It was wonderful to celebrate Easter, and if I do say so myself, our choir sounded good! We sang "He is Risen" (Martin Hambyl) at two services. The link is NOT to our choir! :-)

Now that PBStudio's Mad for Solids competition is over - Did you see that my friend Elizabeth Eastmond @opquilt won?! I'm so happy for her! - I'm able to return to projects as desired. For my part in the Mad for Solids competition, though my Tiffany Lights color bundle didn't win I'm using it to make a wedge quilt.

The nine-degree wedge sections are sewn together, and I inserted a pieced center.... pieced with two different grays because I didn't have either gray in a single large piece! I'm calling this quilt Spin Art because it reminds me of the fun and result of pouring different paint colors over a spinning board.

This is also the quilt top that forced me to order fabric - on March 30 - in spite of my 2018 goal to not buy fabric!

But I'm sort of not counting it against myself. The 10-yard bolt of Painter's Palette Solid white that's coming from will allow me to finish the outside/background of this quilt top, as well as have enough white to continue sewing from stash. I will just continue to work around my limited stash of grays.

With grandchildren in mind, I made two more "Shell Shelters" (by Java House Quilts) soft turtles for two grandsons in Texas. Each turtle's shell is Elizabeth Haugh's Rhoda Ruth fabric.

I still think this is a good gift for kids, because of the zippered "treasure storage" area in the belly.

Blocks for Leila's "Year of Scrappy Triangles," which she releases every Tuesday on her blog (SewnbyLeila), were piling up, so I took care of that. I print each block onto Carol Doak foundation paper, and save them for a few hours of sewing. I'm now caught up to week 26, which should be about half-way through all the blocks. These are the latest six blocks.

I like that I can work strictly from my scrap bins to come up with what's needed for each one. Of course, my anything-goes approach to colors and prints is apparent!

I've also tackled a long-time need... a new cover for my ironing board. My ironing board is quite literally that - a 30" X 48" oak board. It's covered with a piece of quilted ironing board fabric, with an outer covering of plain white duck. It's the plain white that I'm replacing, even to the point of reusing the white bias binding into which will go new elastic.

I like having a plain white ironing surface because it's a nice, oftenly-used background for photos.

Today finds me prepping to sandwich and baste a quilt - the circular wedges quilt top I showed here. (It needs a name!) The first step for me meant making, this morning, another batch of homemade basting spray. It sprays nicely from a re-used Mary Ellen's Best Pressed spray bottle, with a little leftover. 

All pictures I've shown (above) in this post were taken with my new iPhone 8, which is a late (March) birthday present from Dan.

You see, on Monday I turned in my iPhone 5 which held up well to three years and eight months of continuous use and abuse. It was literally worn out as the volume buttons didn't work (without "twisting" the phone), and a screen message would occasionally pop up "Are you sure you want to shut down?" Ha. I don't think that iPhone 5 would have lasted many more days. 

Besides the fact that the iPhone 8 takes better photos, I appreciate that it holds a longer battery charge, and seemingly has better connectivity with our home wireless. I can now read Instagram from bed!

And check out this glittery "waterfall" cell phone cover for my 8. It's like a lava lamp with sparkles!

I'm a happy (un)birthday girl. Linda

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March Wrap-Up

When we travel to/from Kansas City, which is about 18 hours each way, I always take along handwork. In between helping navigate around traffic slowdowns in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Nashville, handwork is what occupies my hands and makes me feel productive.

It turns out that for our March trip to KC I didn't plan very well. I thought I'd grabbed plenty of English paper-pieced medallions (for my LindaNova/TulaNova quilt) for many happy hours of hand stitching. But in fact, I'd picked up enough fabric and papers for only three medallions - stitched during the first day of riding in the car. The rest of the clipped-together bundles of fabrics were missing papers... I had left at home.

😀😩 I was so upset with myself, and horrified at the thought of having nothing to do all the way home!

So while in KC, I bought a pattern, crochet hook, and yarn to make a teddy bear. But still, it didn't go as planned. I should have read the instructions in advance, as the bear needed to be stuffed as I went along. I didn't have stuffing. So, I crocheted the head until stuffing was called for. Then I crocheted an arm, until stuffing was called for. The I crocheted the foot... you get the picture. Since returning home I've bought stuffing, but the bear hasn't made much progress. 

The first thing I worked on last weekend was a mini quilt - my entry in Curated Quilts Triangle Mini Challenge. The quilt must be square; no larger than 16" X 16"; and use some of these colors in solids or prints. I emailed to ask if a neutral could be added, and received a "yes."

Though I'm not a "pink person," pink/rose was the only color with three values that I could work with given my continued interest in the effect of transparency. I tried to make two large triangles look like they overlap.
Triangle Mini Challenge, 15" X 15"
I quilted on my Bernina Aurora 440QE, as I prefer the walking foot on it to the walking foot on my Janome 1600P. 

The picture of my mini has been uploaded to the Curated Quilts website to meet their April 1 deadline. By April 30 I should learn if the quilt has been accepted into the magazine. 

Having now made four quilts this year, I was behind on label-making. My favorite way to make a label is to design it on my computer (on a Macbook, I use Pages software) - in this case I designed four labels for one 8-1/2" X 11" page of paper - print on paper to proofread and the check for errors, and then print on Printed Treasures. I've found that the texture of Printed Treasures is difficult to hand-sew through, so I border each label with fabric. 

Yes, I like to put a lot of information on my labels, and add a picture where it's appropriate. These were hand-sewn to the back of each quilt during the monthly business meeting of Big Cypress Quilters.

If you voted for my "Tiffany Lights" fabric bundle in PBStudios' Mad for Solids challenge, thank you! Though my bundle won in the first round - and I appreciate everyones' votes -  I'm pretty sure it didn't win in the second round which ended Monday evening. Mine competed against a lovely color combination of blues and greens called "Heirloom Opal" put together by ShelleyBrooksQuilts.

In any case, every quilter who competed has been invited to use her bundle of Painter's Palette Solids to make a quilt. Since I'm still swooning over all the many ways that wedges can be used to make a quilt - according to Christina Camelli's (AFewScraps) book "Wedge Quilt Workshop" - I wanted to play more. 

I used a Mini Quick Curve ruler to insert unexpected arcs of color into some of the wedges. Those flower-head pins have A, B, C, D, E, written in Sharpie on the heads, so I can keep track of the sizes of each wedge. It's still a work in progress and I'm not exactly sure where it's going, but I know I love the riot of color. 

Updating you on our boy Hogan... he continues to do well at 14 years and 5 months old. He's still crazy for green beans and eats about four pounds-worth a week!

I had to take this picture of him while we were in Kansas City... sleeping in the bed belonging to Milson, a nine-pound teacup poodle. Hogan thought he fit!

Here at home, we've had absolutely glorious weather, so it's been nice for him to feel like he's outdoors, laying in front of the front screen door.

It's Holy Week, and I'm singing! I joined the choir at the church we've been attending, Amazing Grace Lutheran. Though I've always been an alto, because all eight women in the choir (13 singers in total) are altos, several of us have been assigned soprano. That's quite a stretch - literally - for me. In one song, the highest note is F# in the octave above middle C! Eek. However, it's all about praising the Lord, right? We'll sing at services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.

Have a blessed Easter. Hosanna! He is Risen! Linda

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blue and Green Turtles

First, thank you to all of you who entered my book giveaway: "Modern Plus Sign Quilts." I enjoyed reading your comments - and compliments! When I chose winning comment #38, using random number generator, I discovered that the commenter had not left a way for me to reach her. Generating a second number, #28, I contacted a very happy Mandy. She lives in Iowa, and we discovered some mutual cities of residence. Small world. She's thrilled to receive the book, and is already planning a quilt for her daughter! 

Second, I'd like to say thank you for your support during round 1 of the Mad for Solids competitive voting. My Painter's Palette fabric bundle - Tiffany Lights - won! (Read more about it here.)

Thank you for voting on the InspiredbyFabric blog, Instagram, and Facebook!

Tiffany Lights will again compete in round 9 on March 26 beginning at 6 pm through 6 pm March 27 (one vote per person/per medium). I don't yet know which fabric bundle is opposite mine, though I'd love your support. The Mad for Solids winner will design a quilt made from the fabrics in her bundle.

When we reach the final round on April 1, your votes on InspiredbyFabric blogInstagram, and Facebook enter you in several giveaways of fat quarter bundles, so don't miss that! 

All this excitement happened while I was away from home! Dan, Hogan, and I traveled by car - 18 hours each way - to Kansas City to spend spring break with our daughter and her family. Not only were the kids out of school, but our granddaughter was home from Colorado State. I saw my dad three times, and both my siblings and their spouses, so it was a nice visiting time. I also celebrated a birthday with them. The only negative: not nice weather - gray and gloomy. Oh, how I prefer the (mostly) sunshine, and temperatures in Florida!

Anticipating our trip, I decided to "whip up" a couple gifties for the boys. These turtles are made according to the large size of this Shell Shelter pattern by Java House Quilts.

In this picture I had all the parts and pieces made, only needing to join them all together. The head and eyes were stuffed with cotton fiberfill.

I chose the colors, blue and green, because our daughter assigned these colors to her boys when they were little. Being 13 months apart in age, color-coding each boy helped others who thought they were twins!

Instead of sewing buttons for eyes, I used 1 mm sequins. 

What makes each turtle special is the zippered storage area in the belly.

Adhering to my self-imposed plan to sew only from my stash, where the pattern called for "decorator weight fabric," I cut up Dan's old blue jeans and used the legs to piece the bellies of both turtles. The orange interior wouldn't have been my first choice, but that orange print was the appropriate decorator-weight lining fabric.

Both boys loved their turtles! Aesa immediately stuffed his with his favorite toys, including a stuffed shark! Hmmm. A little irony? Aesa named his turtle Shelly.

Tay named his turtle George, and was very impressed that Bapa's jeans were used for George's belly.

A few more turtle-making days are in my sewing future. After all, I have four grandsons! 😊 Linda

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Birthday and Tiffany Lights

I'm a little embarrassed to make a big deal about my own birthday. I wouldn't normally do this, but I have two reasons to celebrate today.

Reason Number 1
I'm proud to be 65 years old. Wrinkles, gray hairs, and all. This past week I reached five years as a breast cancer survivor. No one can belittle the significance of that! And claiming Medicare benefits is a bonus.

Reason Number 2
I'm a contestant in Painter's Palette Solids: Mad for Solids "Sweet Sixteen" that launches today! 

Sixteen of us were invited to curate a bundle of eight Painter's Palette Solids.

Colors for my fabric bundle were inspired by this photo, taken at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida. (My Australian friend Di, and I visited a year ago.) It's where a huge collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass and art is displayed.

Based on these colors, my fabric bundle is called "Tiffany Lights."
(Credit: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum, Winter Park, Florida; Pair of color wheels; c. 190410 Fountain, reception hall, Laurelton Hall Lead, brass, glass (U-102:1, 2)
The interlocking stained glass color wheels were actually hidden at the base of a fountain. They turned, diffusing colors through a pool located on the grounds of Mr. Tiffany's home, Laurelton Hall.

Tiffany Lights

Of the 168 solid colors in the Painter's Palette Solids collection these are the eight I chose for Tiffany Lights. (Top to bottom) Dewberry, Aquarius, Beryl, Maize, Poppy Red, Daredevil, Island, and Paradise.
Tiffany Lights
If you like this combo, I'd love your vote for Tiffany Lights. Remember: It's my birthday! 😁

Your vote for my bundle on InstagramFacebook, and Inspired by Fabric (one vote per medium per day, please) will advance me toward the final. 

Voting runs Sunday, March 18 through Monday, April 1

Another Reason to Vote (besides it being my birthday!)

To win fabric! 
Painter's Palette Solids/Paintbrush Studios will randomly select four winners from the championship game voting to receive fat quarter bundles of the winning palette. Help your favorite palette advance all the way to the championship game!

First bracket voting begins at 6 p.m. today
and continues for the next 24 hours

Vote Here - One vote per medium per day 

Thank you for your birthday present! πŸ’ Linda

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Charming Postage Plus

Hi there! If you're visiting my blog today because of Cheryl (MeadowMistDesigns) and Paige's (QuiltedBlooms) blog hop, then thank you for stopping by! And to my long-time blog-reader/followers, thank you too! I'm always grateful for your comments.

Today's post is all about this new book, and the quilt I made after being invited to participate in the authors' blog hop.
Photo courtesy of C+T Publishing
Modern Plus Sign Quilts is written by Cheryl Brickey (MeadowMistDesigns) and Paige Alexander (QuiltedBlooms). Though I haven't met either of them in person, I feel that I know them both. Paige has become a special friend since we have followed each other's blogs for more than a year. All it takes is commenting a time or two, and suddenly you're swapping emails and chatting like old pals. Isn't that the best part of blogging? Commenting on blog posts, and receiving conversational replies?

The quilt I chose to make from their book is "Postage Plus." The plus part can be made with jelly roll strips.
Postage Plus photo courtesy of C + T Publications
Postage Plus photo courtesy of C+T Publications
Below is my quilt, photographed here in The Villages, Florida with the help of my good friend, Becky. We had fun taking pictures of several quilts.
Charming Postage Plus, 54" X 72"
I named my quilt "Charming Postage Plus" because I used 192 different 2-1/2" (unfinished) prints to make the plus part. It's probably no surprise to anyone who knows me that I pulled all these cut squares pieces from a bin of 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" prints that I've been accumulating for several years. 

When piecing the plus part, I used a Strip Stick to help press open each seam. The curve of the stick hyperextends the seam allowance so there's no chance of accidentally pressing a tuck.

I used my favorite homemade basting spray to make the quilt sandwich which is assembled with Quilter's Dream 100 percent poly batting. While I love the poly batting (it's so soft!), I learned that homemade spray doesn't adhere well to polyester. Still, I'll keep making and using the spray when I'm sandwiching with cotton batting.

I happily did most of the quilting during the Olympics, watching nearly all the curling competitions. Curling is such a fascinating sport. We were more than thrilled when the US men's team won gold!

Quilting was done on my Bernina Aurora QE440 with Sulky "invisible" nylon thread on top, and Aurifil 50-weight in the bobbin. I first used a walking foot to straight-line quilt the plus area on the diagonal. Then, continuing to use the walking foot, I established several sections in the background areas. Curves were also quilted with a walking foot. The rest of the sections were fill in with free motion quilting.

I enjoyed quilting this combo of swirls and bubbles.

Finishing the quilt meant using my favorite binding technique: No Tails Binding: Mitered Corners by Machine. This method lets me to change binding colors at the corners. The top and bottom are bound with Kona Turquoise, and the sides are bound with Painter's Palette Aluminum.

To bind a quilt like this, you'll find my blog tutorial here. Or, if you're a member of the Modern Quilt Guild, you can watch my 2016 webinar here.

It's always satisfying to relax with hand-sew binding.

Background solids are:
dark aqua: Kona Turquoise; medium aqua: Painter's Palette Aquarius; light aqua: Painter's Palette Azure
light gray: Painter's Palette Aluminum; white: Kona White

Since my 2018 goal is to sew only with fabrics from my stash, the backing is pieced too. Couldn't resist using a few more 2-1/2" squares to piece a little green plus.

Lots of quilters have been busily sewing quilts from Cheryl and Paige's book. I'd encourage you to visit these blogs to see what everyone else has been making. It's apparent that the book gives you lots of possibilities! 

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms YOU ARE HERE!
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

Friday, March 16th
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Tuesday, March 20th
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

This giveaway is closed.
Comment to be entered in my giveaway!
For those of you who've read through this whole post, thank you! I am personally giving away a digital copy of Modern Plus Sign Quilts.

Why a digital book? Because it's the best way to make it available to everyone, no matter where you live in the world. Yep. Anyone can enter.

Just be sure I have a way to email you if your comment is chosen. Don't miss being a winner because you're a "no-reply commenter"!

This giveaway will remain open until Saturday afternoon, March 17.
That's 'cause Sunday the 18th is my 65th birthday. I plan to be celebrating! Yay for Medicare! 😁

If you already know you can't live without this book, go to these links to purchase your copy:



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