Friday, July 31, 2009

Borders and Butterflies

Oh, what a week it has been. One multiple day parrot visit to the vets that cost more than a new sewing machine. I'll be paying for that stay for a while. I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend of creativity!!

Breast Cancer Quilt Borders

I determined what I want the borders to my Breast Cancer Quilts to be. I am going to use corner squares using the extra light and dark pink blocks I have. I'll have dark block corner squares and then I'm going to applique hearts on them. It's probably going to take me two weekends just to finish the 16 applique heart squares I need to complete. Here's the EQ6 layout of how I imagine it will look.

I had honestly forgotten what border fabric I had picked out and was happy to see the outer border fabric has free flowing hearts in it!. It's been so long since I looked at the fabric purchased. I knew the backing fabric had a patchwork feel to it will all kinds of Breast Center blocks. Here's a repeat of the borders and background fabric chosen.

Butterfly Season

Last year, hubby and I raised our first Monarch Butterfly. Why??? Just something I always wanted to do since I love butterflies. We successfully raised I think 5 of them. So in preparation for this year, hubby planted more milkweed. Until it blooms, to me, it looked like a huge weed that I wanted cut down!! Luckily they are way in the back by the border trees of the property. Our two milkweed plants are over 5' high each. They needed to be tied since they tipped over in a storm. They finally bloomed last week so at least they look a little better. Here's a close up of the bloom and one of our "tree" plants.

We have been waiting patiently for the monarchs to come but have not seen any for a while until last week finally! Sure enough, today we checked the leaves and here is our first teeny tiny monarch egg. It's about the size of a pin head. We brought it in and place it in our tiny crate awaiting the emergence of the caterpillar. We'll keep you posted along the way.

Monarch Egg

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quilt 4 Center Completed

Over the past weekend, I was able to assemble, sew and press the fourth Breast Cancer quilt Center. I was so happy when I finished that fourth center. Now it's on to borders, quilting and binding times four.

Here's the end result...

Breast Cancer Quilt Center
I'm very happy with the variety and end results so far. Now to keep the motivation going and plow right through the cutting of the borders this weekend! That would be awesome.

Here are all four quilt centers side by side.... That is a lot of is also a lot of memories of hope, survival, love, inspiration and courage written on those blocks. Continue to keep that fighting spirit!!

Each quilt center is 50 x 60 so far. I imagine I will be adding a 2" border and a 3" border making the final sizes somewhere around 55" x 65" each.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Layout Number 4 Selected & What's That!!

I selected the fourth layout of the Breast Cancer quilts with your input via emails, thanks! We went with option 4. Here you can see what it will look with the actual blocks. Although, I did not get a chance to sew them together this past weekend I did get the blocks sorted in the anticipated layout. Took a break to do some overdue cleaning.

What's That!!!

DH and I were taking a break from the hustle and fast pace day on our back porch last evening as we do many nights. My two little yorkies were content as usual to run between the covered porch and the shed area close to the porch.

Something caught my eye that looked odd. Here is what I saw... The Start=the tail and the Finishes = the head somewhere intertwined in the bush already. Can you say OMG!!??...

I live in an area of central pa that has a lot of houses, a small area of woods by us but I wouldn't consider it the country. I know snakes are everywhere. But do I have to see them!!! In the 12 years I've been at our house, this is the first snake we have ever seen. Did it have to be soo big.

We grabbed the dogs and headed inside quickly. Where is the snake now??.... only the snake knows...

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Last Quilt Center - Options Overload!

Hello All,

Leave it to the last Breast Cancer quilt center to to provide a design challenge. Last but not least!! At my count, I ended up with the following signature blocks:
  1. 4 Yellow
  2. 8 White
  3. 60 Light Pink
  4. 48 Dark Pink
From those value counts, I could not stop coming up with options for the last quilt center. Some of the changes are subtle by placing the yellow squares in the outer corners or direct center. Then some of my options are drastic. Here, see what I mean....

I have one day to think about it and come up with the chosen layout. I'd like to start on the last center quilt this weekend. As you know, weekends are my only free sewing time since work keeps me busy M-F. If you have a preference, feel free to let me know. I love receiving your input via emails or postings.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Oops, that doesn't go there...

Even the best defined patterns don't always go as planned. This weekend I assembled the third Breast Cancer Quilt center. I carefully planned out the designs with the number of blocks I had and then stacked each colored square in sequenced to ensure it came out as designed.

Luckily, while piecing the three final sections together, I took a step back and looked at my progress. Wait a minute, that doesn't go there. Oops, all it takes is one block out of place and the design takes on new meaning. A square just isn't a square anymore...

With a few minutes of seam ripping and repinning and sewing, we are back on track.

And before long, the quilt center was completed. Only one more quilt center to complete and then the real work begins. I don't know about you, but I love piecing the centers! However, to me, the real work begins with the borders, quilting and binding. But for now, I'll just be happy with the third completed center for the week!

Breast Cancer Quilt
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Third Breast Cancer Quilt Center Layout

Well, here's the third quilt center design I am going to go with. As mentioned before, trying to determine a design I think is the hardest part. I received 4 packs like the one below and the contents are a surprise. The image below is from quilt 4 that needs a design determined. This could be fun since I see yellow bocks in this package:

From package number 3, here's the intended layout for the third quilt that I will be sewing this weekend. I haven't started thinking about the fourth one above. Hope you all have a great weekend!
Third Breast Cancer Quilt Layout

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh So Easy Mason Jar Pincushions

Ok, for someone that loves sewing and crafting, you'll be surprised to hear that I do not own a pincushion with the my sewing machine. I usually just put a box of pins on the corner of my machine and place pins on the edge of the cabinet. I'm forever finding them on the floor which is sometimes a pain to the feet :-) So, that in combination to wanting to use my scrap batting led me to experiment with the Mason Jar Pin cushion project. I'm sure these instructions are everywhere on the Internet since they are so easy but I just wanted to share my steps. Enjoy!!

1. Gather your supplies. I used scotch tape (or even my favorite double sided tape), scissors, a marker or pen, a scrap piece of card stock at least big enough to trace the lid, I used two squares of scrap batting 6" square and a 5" square piece of fabric.

2. Trace your inside lid onto the batting and cardstock and cut out. I traced 4 circles on the batting, but you can use as many or less as you would like. I like a very stiff pin cushion

3. Start layering your batting onto the lid. From the scraps left when cutting the circles, I cut a few squares to add first to cover the indent of the lid. Then I layered two batting circles, the actual scraps of batting and then another layer of batting circles and scraps. Experiment on how to use your batting scraps.

4. Add your 5" square over the centered batting on the lid and flip it over so that the fabric is on your table with the batting pile next and then your lid is showing upside down. Now, just corner by corner, fold in the fabric sides and secure with doublesided tape, regular tape or glue. Complete the first four corners and then repeat with the next four corners that appear after completing the first. You may need to push the batting in when folding the second set of corners.

6. Pop the covered lid into the lid ring and push until it is securely to the top.

7. Add your cardstock circle to cover the fabric ends. I doublestick taped it to the lid and you are done. Now just place your pincushion lid onto it's original jar. You may need to give it a little push to catch the threads.
8. There you have it, one oh so easy Mason Jar Pincushion!

9. Next thing you know, your making a pincushion out of all your excess mason jars :-) I don't know about you but I'm thinking Christmas gifts :-) Of course there are more areas to decorate on these so I'm thinking some ribbons and sparkly bling to be added!

Mason Jar Pincushion
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Second Breast Cancer Warrior Quilt Center

I was able to layout and assemble the second Breast Cancer Warrior Quilt over the weekend. I never know what design I'm going to do since in each sorted package of blocks there are different numbers of light pink from dark pink. I spend most of my time reviewing each of the blocks and reading the messages. There are so many that just touch my heart.

I must have 4-6 quilt tops hanging on the banister ( I mean my built in quilt rack ;) when you enter my home. They are starting to blend into each other when I try to take photos. But, it just make me smile when I enter the home. They are also great conversation pieces when people enter. Especially the breast cancer quilts. Everyone loves reading the messages.

I'm already thinking of all the bordering and backings and quilting I have yet to do. Just one step at a time. The quilting will be a basic stitch in the ditch since there are several beads and rhinestones here and there. I'll try to stitch something in the borders possibly.

I am almost completed with the embroidered blocks for the third quilt. They are my contributions to the quilt. Plus, a few extra blocks are needed for each quilt to make the 10 x 12 blocks size and I just hate adding blank ones. If you have a message you would like added to one, email me and I have room for a few messages on the blank ones added.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Craft Free Week & Christmas in July

My intentions were to take some crafting with me when I went away for a long weekend. Surprisingly, I forgot to pack it all. Luckily, I remember everything else.

I spent longer than a weekend with family and actually enjoyed the craft free week. I think it's great to disconnect sometimes. But, there's no place like home and your routines to return to. With that said, it's time to get back into the crafting routines. I did have some great packages awaiting me when I got home. It was almost like Christmas! Of course if you haven't guessed yet, I have a thing for purchasing crafting items. Here are just a few of the items delivered that I can't wait to try:

  • A - K & Company 8.5 x 8.5 Paper Pack by Brenda Walton
  • B - Purse - O -Nalaties of Palm Harbor "A Pocket Purse-o-nality" pattern
  • C - Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Large Star Template - Looking forward to trying this one. I love hunter's stars
  • D - Fossil Fern 5" squares - 100 pack
  • E - Spellbinders Nestabilities Cut and Emboss Stencil
So for now, I have a couple of days off from work, Yippee!! However, I have lots of housework that needs tended to since I was away and hubby was on his own. It's time for me to "git to gittin" as Niecy Nash says on one of my favorite shows. Clean House is running marathons in my area on the Style Network showing the Messiest Homes 3. Wow, I'm amazed. Hopefully I don't spend my days watching the marathon and letting my things pile up. Hope you all have a safe and happy Fourth of July!!!

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