Saturday, January 31, 2015

RSC15 January - Blue

***If you are here for the 2 Bags Full blog party, please visit my post "Grow Your Blog 2015 & Giveaway!"

Spools are the theme for my RSC15 Challenge projects this year!  Last year, I purchased a couple of really cute spool print fabrics that I thought I could base a quilt around, knowing that I always wanted to make a spool quilt.  Well, that's not really the plan anymore, but I figure I could add those fabrics into the backings of these quilts!

This month I made 12 string spool blocks (4 light, 4 medium, 4 dark).  Even though we were only really supposed to concentrate on the medium blue tones, all of these shades are mixed into my blue scrap bag.  I figured if light or dark blue comes up later in the year, I'll be ahead of the game!
Strings used for spool thread
The Stringy Spools blocks are based on a tutorial by Jenny Doan of M*QC where she uses a charm pack to create the thread look on the spool.  I wanted my thread to have a bit more scrappy look, so I dug into my strings instead!  I'll need to make 4 spool block each month in order to make a top the size I would like it (though I may have more than enough, then some will just get pieced into the back)!
Stringy Spools
The Stringy Spools were so quick to do that I decided I'd also like to make a set of traditional spool blocks, too, and incorporate them into the Spools quilt by Bonnie Hunter.  So, in January, I made 108 blue traditional spool units, in all shades of blue, that will finish at 3" in the quilt!   Each month I will need to make 54 units to have enough for the completed top, so by making extra of these, maybe I'll be ahead of the game for one month!
Blue Spool Units
 Linking up to RSC15.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015 & Giveaway!

~A blog post especially for Grow Your Blog 2015~
Hello, and welcome to my blog!  My name is Heather, and I live in the St. Louis Metro area of Illinois, USA!  I've been happily married, a proud (recently retired) Army wife for 21 years and the mother of 2 wonderful college students!  I spend the majority of my days piecing, longarm quilting, and chasing after our 2 dogs, Suki (a 7 year old hound mix) and Baylee (1 year old Beagle).  I also scrapbook, cross-stitch, embroider (sometimes) and have begun to dabble in crochet (but I'm not so sure I'm hooked, haha)!
Grand Illusion (Quiltville Mystery)
If you check out my archives (left sidebar), you can see that I've been blogging since 2008, though I've stepped up posting in the last few years to several times/week.  Why do I blog?  Well, originally, it was to keep in contact with friends and family (as we made our military moves around the world), sharing our travels and my quilting & scrapbooking projects.  Now, I blog more for me, to keep a record of my quilting, and also as a way to continue to share my projects with friends and fellow bloggers.
Women of the Bible (Hoppin' Bobbin Quilt Along)
I've become a more active blogger, due in part, to the various online Quilt Alongs, Linky Parties, and other Just For Fun things going on in the blog-o-sphere.  Check out my right sidebar to see what I'll be participating in for 2015.  Maybe there's something there that will catch your eye and you can jump in, too!  I've often found new groups by doing the very same thing...linking from another blogger's page!  Oh, and many of the fun things I've joined in the past are also shown at the bottom of my page.
Spools (RSC 2015)
Often, I use my quilty powers for good and donate several patriotic quilts a year to a wounded warrior unit in Missouri.  I also donate baby quilts to an Army hospital neonatal center and pillowcases and quilts to a shelter for abused women & children.  I've recently gotten a few ladies, locally, interested in helping me in this endeavor by making blocks for the quilts and it's so nice to have a group joining together in the name of helping others!
Wounded Warrior Quilt (group project, donated)
Well, I guess that's enough about me for now, so now... onto the "quilty" giveaway (hint, hint)!  One winner will be drawn via random number generator on February 15th and here's how it works:
(1)  This giveaway is open to all (international friends are very welcome)!  Just leave me a comment below and you're automatically entered!  Don't forget to leave your email address if you are indeed a "no-reply blogger" so that I can contact you if you win.  Need a prompt?  I'd love to hear about some of the bloggy groups you participate in (Quilt Alongs, Linky Parties, etc.)!
(2)  If you decide to follow me, or if you are already a follower, you may have another entry by leaving a second comment telling me what method you use to follow my blog!
Good luck, everyone!  
Baby Quilt (donated to GLWACH Army Hospital)
I know all of you are busy visiting as many new blogs as possible, but I'd love to invite you to come back and visit me here again soon!  Thanks you for stopping by!  Happy blog hoppin'!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Finishes for Wounded Warriors!

This week I made another trip to MO to drop off a couple of quilts for wounded warriors (and to have my Bernina 820 serviced and to do a bit of fabric shopping and to drop in on my old sew day group...).  This one is a smaller version of Charming Stars.
Charming Stars (WW quilt)
I did quick meander quilting all over the quilt with a freeform star in each star center. The backing is a brushed cotton that I got a few weeks ago for $2.00/yard (yes, I bought the entire bolt so I'll probably be backing several WW quilts with this soft fabric).  I even used the brushed cotton on the binding and tried out machine binding once's ok, but I really prefer a hand tacked binding.
Charming Stars (back/quilting)
You've probably already noticed how wavy this quilt looks, well, that's due to the 4 oz. poly batting that is inside of it.  I had so much batting left over from Kayla's quilt (she loves puffy fluffy batting?!?!), that I needed a place to use it.  That poly takes up a ton of space to store, so I was happy to use it up! 
Irish Chain Variation (WW quilt)
The Irish Chain Variation was a group effort from a new group of ladies I've met since moving to IL called Quilt Ladies.  We have begun to suggest an idea for a quilt each month and each person will make a block or 2 before the next month.  Then one of the ladies assembles everything and I have volunteered to do the quilting!
Irish Chain Variation (back/quilting(
Again, I just did quick and simple meander quilting (often my go-to for charity quilts), then I backed and bound it with this multicolored star quilt that I was given with this quilt top.  I think it came out really nice considering it is very different from the original design that was suggested!
January WW Quilt Blocks
This month we decided to each bring one or two of our favorite blocks in patriotic colors.  My friend Debbie and I pieced these together while I was in MO (I cut, she pieced).  These blocks will become a part of a sampler quilt which is always fun to do.  I can't wait to see what setting this month's flimsy assembler decides to use!

Linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes2015 Finish A-longWhoop Whoop and Link-A-Finish Fridays.


Friday, January 09, 2015

First Finish of 2015!

Here it is...our first finish of the new year, "Redesigned!"
Why call it Redesigned?  Well, my eldest daughter, Kayla, gets antsy during long collegiate breaks and when that happens, she gets a bit of a creative bug. She began the cutting a jelly roll for this quilt last spring, after returning from an internship in Africa and before returning to school in the fall.  At the time, our basement (and studio space) was under construction and we were working from the kitchen table.  Eventually, she stacked up all the pieces and put them away.  Over the Christmas holiday break, that bug caught up with her again and she began laying out all of her pieces for assembly.  She thought she had been preparing to make a chevron pattern, but with the sizes cut, we couldn't figure a way that it would work.  So, she settled on a basket-weave styled rail fence instead and "Redesigned" her design!
Once she had the top pieced, I convinced Kayla to assemble the leftovers into a nice scrappy stripe. One the piecing is done, Kayla clocks out and I tag in.  I guess that makes me her finisher.  I assembled her stripe into a proper backing, fitting it between two tone-on-tone orange lengths of fabric.  Kayla chose a daisy pantograph, so I quilted as requested and used the cut off backing fabric to bind.  And there we have it...Kayla's quilt, "Redesigned!"

Linking up with Whoop Whoop and Link-A-Finish Fridays!


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

WIP Wednesday...

Here's what's on my design wall...
Women of the Bible - Blocks of the Week by Hoppin' Bobbin
Not much changed since the last time I showed it.  Actually, I'm about 4 or 5 weeks (blocks) behind.  I need to get caught up, and I will, once the girls go back to school, so be looking for a bit of progress on this project by next week (I hope!).
Grand Illusion - Mystery Quilt by Bonnie K. Hunter, Quiltville
The Grand Illusion mystery was revealed over the new year, so it's now time to assemble my units into blocks and blocks into rows, but again, that will wait until the girls return to school (tomorrow or Friday)!  Hopefully, by next week I will have a flimsy to share.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday & Let's Bee Social!


Thursday, January 01, 2015

January and Q1 2015 Goals

Again, this month, I'm going easy on myself as far as goals to be accomplished and quilts to actually get finished!  For January, I need to finish up these 2 Wounded Warrior quilts:
This is where the line for the longarm begins.  Any quilt tops that are ready for quilting get hung here (an old piano panel with knobs that hangs on the wall behind the plain sight, reminding me to get busy).

The star quilt on the left is another Charming Stars quilt that I whipped up, this time set 3x4.  I had so much fun making mine that I wanted to make another to donate (I may even make one more)!  The backing is also ready, so it's just waiting it's turn on the longarm.

The Irish Chain quilt on the right is a group project by the Quilt Ladies (a new ladies who lunch group that I have met since moving to IL).  We each made a block or two, someone took it home and created the top and I volunteered to quilt and donate any quilts we produce hoping that it will keep us motivated!

For RSC 2015 and the Leader/Ender Challenge this year, I'll be working on 2 different spool quilts.  One will be traditional spool blocks (unfinished at 4.5").  The second will be Jenny Doan's spool quilt (found in the Jan. 2015 ed. of M*QC Magazine) using strings to make the 9" blocks.  I can't wait to get started on those...more future UFOs!

So, back to goals for this quarter (Q1)...
1.  RWB Charming Stars
2.  RWB Irish Chain
3.  4-Patch Revisited
4.  Suki Dog Quilt
5.  Baylee Dog Quilt
6.  Easter Basket Wall Hanging
7.  Rustic Stars
8.  Kayla's Basket Weave Quilt
9.  Grand Illusion
10. A Prairie Women project


2014 Quilting Summary

So just for fun, I decided to go back and see what progress I had made in 2014 and create a summary for the year.  I am quite happy with the number of my actual project completions!  Please take a look and tell me what you think!

11 Charity Quilts...
8 Army Baby & 3 Wounded Warrior Quilts
12 Quilty Gifts...
3 Play Pillows, 2 Wedding Quilts, 4 Mug Rugs & 3 Army Decor
 17 UFO Quilts (for me :)...
If you would like to see the goals I set for myself in 2014 (aside from January...let's just say I guess I got a late start?!?), please check my left sidebar.  Most are linked back from my finishes posts, but if not, there will generally be a goal post at the beginning each month (ex. December UFO Goals).  And here are all of my finishes posts:
January UFO Finish
February UFO Finish
March UFO Finish
April UFO Finish
May UFO Finish
June UFO Finish
July UFO Finish
August UFO Finish
September UFO Finish
October UFO Finish
November UFO Finish
December UFO Finish

Linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes!