the Mystery Quilt … Solved

NTF question mark 3 bestest

I belong to an online quilt group which seems to always have some type of challenge going. My friend Kelli talked me into joining the fun of doing a mystery quilt. Never having done one I decided to give it a try.

Each Wednesday we were given a ‘clue’, which were directions on what to do with the material we’d selected. (I was thankful for the direction to use fall colored material.) What sizes to cut and how many until eventually how to assemble all the pieces.

This whole experience was way, WAY out of my comfort zone. I like to know what I’m working toward even if I seldom stick to a pattern without a little tweaking here and there just because I can.

After digging through my stash, pulling out anything I thought looked even a little fall-ish I decided I was ready… until I read the first clue. Cut 192 / 4 inch squares each of cream colored and fall colored material. YIKES!!!

I took a deep breath and dug deeper into the stash. I was determined not to buy new material for this project. And eventually, after pairing up the creams and prints and making them all into half-square triangles I was 384 pieces in… there was no turning back now.

This seemed to take FOREVER…

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Then came the next clue… I needed to make 12 maple leaf blocks. I love these blocks. I’ve done them many times before and… only 12!!! This sounded like a walk in the park compared to that pile of half-square triangles.

I still use the previously made leaf as a model for the next block layout just to give the seam ripper the day off. It’s the simple mistakes that are the most frustrating.

Knee deep in HST’s and maple leaves left me nowhere to go but forward. Forward ended up being the process of putting 384 half-square triangles together in a certain order and in certain numbers. I kept thinking… If only I knew what this is supposed to look like I’d feel more confident.

All pieces ready and waiting for assembly…

quilt mystery quilt blocks waiting

Then came the last clue. (YAY!) …and it is finished! Being true to myself, I did tweak the border sizes to fit the material I had on hand… Just so I could say; the mystery was hidden in my fabric stash and not at the store.  

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Will I ever do another mystery quilt again? As of now, I’d say no.

When I make a quilt, the creative part of me wants a say in the final results. I think most artistic people feel this way. Our creations come not just from our hands but from our hearts. Our quilts are a piece of our lives made out of love to give comfort.

Until next time… Happy Stitching!

Sewing Needle with Red Thread

Grandmother’s Flower Garden

It’s a rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest. (There is no real news in that.) So far we are spending these early spring months indoors while our lawn grows out of control. This also means all gardening will have to wait. Well, maybe not all…

NTF June Tailor hexagon templates

A while back I purchased a package of June Tailor’s Simple Shape – Hexagons templates. (Because sometimes you have a coupon that is so good it MUST be used even if there is nothing you really need.)

My mother-in-law used to make Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts all the time. This was her go to quilt. At the time, I wasn’t impressed. But times change…

NTF first hexie

So today while the clouds leaked, I cracked open the package of templates and awkwardly made my way through my very first flower… It was a proud moment.

Now the bug had bit and I had to do another. This time I would experiment with a little streamlining of the process. I drug out seven templates and made all the pedals at once.

Yeah, I know. That would be the obvious thing to do in the first place but I had no clue what I was doing.

NTF hexie 2

 

I held the template in place with a dab of glue from a glue stick. Then I spritzed the edges with a little spray starch before folding the edges over and pressing, creating the hexagon. (The template pops right out and the starch holds everything in place.)  

I found a little pin helps to hold the two hexies being sewn together helps stop any shifting.

NTF hexie 6

 

 

Now I can’t wait to make more. They are easy. the pieces can be made ahead of time. They are small and portable. They don’t take much material which makes them a great scrap buster. (All mine today were from my scrap box)

 

I’m now hooked on hexies(because my other four quilting projects wasn’t enough.)

NTF hexie 4

Until next time… Happy Stitching!!!

Sewing Needle with Red Thread

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Light and A Little Green

I’m finding that if I’m given the choice to sit in front of my sewing machine or in front of the computer… I choose the sewing machine! So this little blog has suffered a minor abandonment before it barely got started.

I have been busy. Mostly with the Mystery Quilt. There will be more on that later.

My sewing area…which from here on out will be referred to as my  Sewing Studio because it sounds much more upscale than My Basement Happy Place …only has one little window sunk in a window well and only fosters sunlight in the earliest hours of the day while I’m still asleep… assuming the sun decides to shine here in the PNW. That leaves the other twenty-two hours of the day in need of another light source.

My sewing machine has a built-in light… sort of. Even though it’s an LED light these old eyes of mine need more help. So I’m always looking for the tips and tricks of others. And I found one I thought sounded pretty nifty…

I took a trip to Home Depot and found a basic headlamp flashlight by Energizer. (Mr.P, didn’t have the vision, and looked at me like I was crazy. I think he thought I was going to actually wear the headlamp.) I couldn’t wait to try out my plan.

This is my sewing machine with just the machine light…

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This is my sewing machine with some headlamp action…

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This makes my eyes happy!!!

In the last two weeks most of my time in The Studio has been dedicated to the Mystery Quilt. But everyone needs a break now and again so I shoved the fall colors to the side and dug out some greens…

This little four leaf table runner was a fun break and should be finished by next Friday. If you are interested, it is a Fons and Porter, Quilting Quickly pattern and the tutorial can be found here.

Luck O' the Irish table runner

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

…and Happy Stitching!

Sewing Needle with Red Thread

Proof of a Finished Project

It’s a fact that a creative mind can’t stop creating even if it wanted to. I know this because I’ve done extensive research. Okay, there was only one subject and it was me… but still, I think I’m right.

Mr.P rolled his eyes at me a couple of weeks ago when I told him I was starting a new Mystery Quilt Challenge. My friend Kelli sent a message. “Come join our quilt group. We are doing a mystery quilt and you should do it with us.” How could I say no to Kelli? .

What about all the other half done projects he asked. (He obviously doesn’t understand the creative mind as intimately as I do.)

He’s right… I do have a few projects in the works. Just off the top of my head I can think of five in different stages of done-ness. But I like options… options are good!

However, if there is a deadline to meet I can get my act together and stay focused. Especially if a new little great-grandson is on the way.

My granddaughter has been a life long Seahawks fan. So I created “Baby 12” for our newest fan club family member.

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Because I can’t walk straight or stay in the ditch when stitching, I only hand quilt. I love the secondary design the stitches make on the back of the quilt.

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My aversion to thimbles has consequences and my fingernail gave out near the end.

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I wore a hole in my fingernail.

I’d like to introduce you to Fozzy-Bear…

baby-fozzy-and-quilt

Until next time, Happy Stitching…

Sewing Needle with Red Thread

Setting Up Shop

Once upon a time (about fifteen years ago) I had a sewing room. Painted a cheery yellow it had two windows which let in beautiful daylight. It was handy …and close to a bathroom and the coffee pot. (Really, the older I get the closer the bathroom should be especially when drinking coffee.)

This room was also a guest room decorated with a quilt and matching curtains. I LOVED this room. But life happened and all my fabric and sewing supplies were packed up to make room for my two granddaughters who were moving in with their father (son#1).

Circumstances took his two month stay to three years. Quilting stopped and family time was turned up to full force. I would have not had it any other way.

But that was then and this is now. Going back to an empty nest opened up  a beautiful basement room option. I claimed it and started cleaning.

First I needed something to set the sewing machine on… An old desk Mr.P made in the 1970’s was painted white and works just fine.

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I started pulling out my fabric and supplies and knew immediately I was going to need some serious shelving. So I gave myself two shelving units for Christmas…

…and started unpacking.

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Wait… I think I need a handy pressing table next to the sewing machine. A trip to the thrift store got me a sweet printer table on wheels for $5.00. (I kept waiting for someone to come running after me in the parking lot yelling, “wait… wait… that was priced wrong. You owe us more.”) A piece of thin plywood from son#2, some cotton batting, muslin, a staple gun and pressing seams open is just a swivel to the left… Sweet!

quilting-ironing-table

The coffee pot and bathroom may be upstairs and there is only have one small window well window but none of this matters. I have a new HAPPY PLACE…and now my head is swirling with project ideas. Until next time…

Happy Stitching…Sewing Needle with Red Thread

Threading the Needle

Starting a blog about quilting is almost as hard as starting the quilt itself. Once the choice is made and the rotary blade cuts into the fabric there is no turning back. And my commitment to recording those cuts and stitches will come when I click on the publish button. Having a vision but not knowing the outcome of either of these projects, both quilts and blogs, can be a scary endeavor.

There are always those projects that get shoved aside after a while to make way for the new ideas. I do not want to shove this project aside. So here I go with a blog about mostly quilting and totally about sewing. (Or anything related to sewing.)

My goal is to motivate myself to continue with my projects till completion. My hope is that others will be motivated as well. Sharing is a good thing and I hope to be inspired by the work of others also on this journey.

First real post coming soon…

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