Modern Memory Blocks

My local quilt guild had a ‘Not Going to Quiltcon Sew-In’ this weekend. I figured out what I wanted to work on, pulled some fabric, and packed up everything to go.

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When I got there to set up my machine I realized I did not grab my foot pedal/power cord for my sewing machine. Ugghhh… Oh well. So I ended up prepping and cutting the fabrics I brought so I could sew them when I got home. My plan was to work on the Broken Herringbone blocks that I have been doing for a Memory Quilt. This one is a memories of quilts I’ve made by using fabrics from those quilts for the blocks. I was able to get 6 more blocks completed once I got home.

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I think it’s interesting to see the development of my color choices as my quilting prowess grows. Here are some of the earlier (10-15 years ago) fabric pulls.

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The colors are so muted and more neutral than I what I am drawn to now. Here are some of the more recent pulls (within the last 5 years.)

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These are bright, bold, and happy. I love the direction my color choices have taken. My plan was to create these herringbone blocks in chronological order but I still need to find some of the older fabric in order to really do that.

Speaking of fabric – this week’s additions:

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That top fabric is Color Theory and I just had to have it when I saw it on Instagram last week. It will be my inspiration piece when my turn as Queen Bee comes around later this year for the Beehive Quilt Bee. Then there’s Fall Magnolia, Doe Lightening, and Kona Cotton in Steel (I’m trying to embrace some solids). I also got these goodies:

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Missouri Quilt Company had a Daily Deal recently which was a free mini tumbler ruler and a pattern to use it for. While there I found a Mixed Bag mini charm pack, a Cotton + Steel Playful charm pack, and. C+S Cookie Book charm pack. I’m planning to use Playful for a charity infant quilt. It will be perfect for that.
Then I received the IKEA Raskog cart in teal! I ordered the steel gray one last week, which I love, because the teal wasn’t available but I kept checking and then one day it was. So I popped that puppy into my cart and checked out immediately so I wouldn’t lose it. They are currently on sale as IKEA may be phasing these carts out. If you want one you really should jump in and order one. The color is just perfect and it works so well in my sewing room.

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Jasper really likes it too!

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Kick Like Mike

My first large finish of the year is dedicated to an old friend of mine that recently got diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma in his Brain and Spine. He has been in and out of the hospital for a few months now while the doctors try to do what they can to combat this cancer. In the meantime, my dear old friend Mike has been using his faith and good-hearted nature to spread blessings to others through his words and his actions.IMG_0991
He is a martial arts instructor and had to shut down his studio due to this diagnosis. A friend of his requested to see his logo for a fundraiser that he was going to put on for him and that logo is what spurred me to grab one of my Work-in-Progress quilts and finish it up for Mike and his family.DSCN0037
I had the 2013 Sugar Block Club top all done and hanging in my sewing room. It is a beauty of black background with red and white accents. It was absolutely perfect for this incredibly special project.20140215-215120.jpgDSCN0039DSCN0041
Mike and I go back a long way. Our relationship has had it’s ups and downs but has always stayed pretty solid with a mutual love and respect no matter the separate directions that our lives took. It hits me hard that this wonderful person has been diagnosed with such a horrible disease. He is too young and too strong, both physically and spiritually, to have to suffer through this. Both of the strengths I just mentioned are what is getting him through this difficult time in his life. I feel that I need to do anything I can to help him and his family. I finished this quilt so that they may find comfort in it physically or be able to benefit financially by auctioning it in a fundraiser of some sort. That decision is up to them and what they feel they need to do.

Now – you’re here to hear about the quilt so here goes:
The top was completed in early 2014 but put away as I didn’t know how I wanted to quilt it or what I was going to do with it. Once I saw that logo I knew I had to incorporate it into the backing somehow. I designed a Karate Belt paper pieced pattern by taking a photo and tracing around the edges of the belt.

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I found these 2 fabrics at JoAnn’s which I thought were perfect to frame his studio logo.

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The back was pieced and sashed by basically using the size of my ruler to determine the size of the blocks (14 1/2 in.). I didn’t want it completely symmetrical so I offset them vertically and randomly placed the 2 colors. I chose the white and red floral because I didn’t want the quilt to be all black and dark. I think it adds just the right amount of contrast. The backing came out so cool that it is almost reversible.DSCN0035 (2)
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I sashed it with the same prints and added some random other blacks as well. I bound it with a scrappy black and white binding strip made from more of the black print and the white and red floral.DSCN0043
During this process i discovered a very cool little trick to keep my binding contained while I was sewing it on the back of the quilt. I lifted up my extension table and put the foot in the middle of the the strip roll-up.

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It worked beautifully. I quilted in a wavy crosshatch pattern using this fabulous variegated red/black thread.

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I love how it turned out and I hope they know the love and respect that I have for him and his family and that they can feel that in this quilt.

Mike started an organization named Kick Like Mike whose mission is this:


At Kick Like Mike, we strive to improve life for those supporting their loved ones in their battle against Cancer. We work with various restaurants to provide meals for families supporting their loved ones while they are hospitalized during their cancer treatments. We also work with various service providers to help maintain the homes of cancer patients so their families can spend their time where it is needed most, at the side of their loved one. Where there are people in need, we’ll be there lending a hand, a smile, and an encouraging word.

You can support his cause, Kick Like Mike, by clicking on the button on my sidebar or here. If you would like to know more about his personal story then please visit his personal page here and help Mike ‘Kick Cancer’s Butt!”

Power Fail

The post I was planning on writing will not be written until later this week because I accidentally put the power cord for my laptop in my messenger bag for my work laptop and took it to the office. My computer had 10% power when I turned it on and quickly gave up for the night. There is prep work that I will need to do on it that I cannot do on my IPad. So we will move on to other things I have been doing this week…..

Stash Enhancement:
I was looking online for some fabric to enhance a mini I am making and found the Super Awesome Low Volume Blogger Bundle at Pink Castle Fabrics.

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Here are my favorite ones of this bunch.

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The Cookie Cutter print by Cotton + Steel is so incredibly cool. I’m a bit of a baker – well I love baking – so this print just called to me. The top print in front is Teensy Weensy by Art Gallery. It’s so cute with those little x’s all over the place.
And I had to have these butterflies – Biology Fauna in White:

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Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap:
I’ve had a plan in my head for this one that’s just been percolating in there. I finally had time to try and put it into action. I had fun choosing this rainbow fabric pull.

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I cut each color using a Dresden ruler and sandwiched them with some low volume and texty prints. I just adore a text print. I’ve made some great progress but still have a bit of finishing to do on this top.

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Random Ramblings:
I took my mother out for her birthday for a fun lunch and shopping afternoon. We were in Michael’s Arts & Crafts and they have just started carrying all kinds of cool galvanized steel items. Galvanized steel is my favorite decorative accessory material and I just could not resist a few cute containers and these awesome galvanized letters!

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They are going to look great on the wall in my sewing room surrounded by all the great mini quilts that I’ve received in all those Instagram swaps.

Random Roundup #6

Another busy week at work means that I just have small random projects to talk about. Hey, as long as I get some sewing time in each week then I’m pretty darn happy.

Fabric Stash:
I gave in to a daily deal over at Missouri Star Quilt Company for a replacement blade for a Fiskars rotary cutter and some other items fell in my cart.

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The white text is from ‘The Chalk Line’ by Sue Marsh. It is called White Black Words. The black one is ‘Woodstock Talk’ from the Peanuts line ‘Tips from the Gang.’ I love the Woodstock one. It’s going to look great in so many projects.

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap:
I received the mini that my partner made for me! She used the ‘Figures’ fabric line, which is one of my newer favorites. Zen Chic is great with their designs of modern, sketchy, and eclectic fabrics.

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I love how bold and bright it is! She also made me this great fabric bowl from some Carolyn Friedlander fabrics – another favorite designer.

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She filled it with some chocolates!

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This was a fun swap. There are two more that I will do this year – the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap and a Broadway themed one. I’m looking forward to the Broadway one. Sign-ups don’t start until this Friday (February 6th). If you want to sign up be sure to find @reapwhativesewn on Instagram.

Special Project Sewing:
I’ve been working on a special project that I hope to share next week. But here’s a peek at the side view of the final product.

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I’ve also been making some initials for some commissioned Christmas stockings. I don’t yet have much of a plan after this but I’ll come up with something.

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They are paper-pieced patterns that I got at from blank pages. Diane makes some really great patterns. I really want to try her Celestial Star design.

I should have a fabulous finish to show off next week. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. Have a great week!

Disney Mini Quilt Swap

My partner received her mini today so I can spout on and on about it and how cool I think it is.

Her survey indicated that her favorite Disney movie is The Sword in the Stone. I’ve always been enthralled by the King Arthur legend and absorb anything I can about it. The Once and Future King is one of my favorite books from high school. As a young adult that love led me to a book titled The Mists of Avalon which I read around the time that a movie called ‘First Knight’ came out. Hello! Sean Connery as King Arthur? Yes, please!

The Sword in the Stone is the Disney version of that legendary tale and I knew that was the route I would take. She also mentioned The Little Mermaid and Frozen but I was drawn to the legend of King Arthur. I downloaded a bunch of images to get some inspiration. Did I want to go right for it or a little obscure? I just wasn’t quite sure.

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I went back and forth for a while because I really love the sword with the words etched in it and the text in the shape of the sword and anvil. I was having trouble figuring out how to make those come to life with my current skill-set. I was also very drawn to the book cover. It’s bright and vibrant and just cool. So, that’s the route I took.

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I opened EQ6 and drew it up so I could figure out sizes. I pulled a bunch of reds along with those teals and blue and gold accents.

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First step was adding the teal and blue sections.

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Once those parts were done I just went full force to get this top finished.

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I was so pleased at this point. I had appliquéd on the sword and filigree pieces. I enlarged the photo so I could trace the words. I did that from the back of the copy paper so they would cut the correct direction which is how I was able to create some appliqué pieces for those.

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The back is just random placement of the same colors as the front but I added the saying using the alphabet stitch on my new sewing machine.

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I quilted to create the hardback seams on the book cover. I bound it in the gold I used for the letters and it was just the perfect choice.

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As a final finishing touch, I added a sword charm on the sword appliqué piece and hand-stitched the blue jewels. It adds the perfect amount of sparkle to go this mini.

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This swap was so much fun and the creativity of all involved was just over the top. I would definitely do another Disney swap. Be sure to get on Instagram and check out the hashtag to see all the awesomeness. #disneyquiltswap2015

You can also google Disney Mini Quilt swap to see the minis that have been blogged about.

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap

I had to bust through and finish the mini quilt for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap. I tend to push right up to, and maybe a little over, the deadline for shipping. My secret partner gave some very specific likes and my Instagram stalking confirmed those likes. Those likes included woodland animals like owls and foxes.

I started out cross-stitching this sweet owl:

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It says ‘Hope’ on the belly and I thought it was super cute and perfect for my partner. I got this far before I realized that I really did not have time to finish that part of it.

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I work retail accounting – what was I thinking? I definitely didn’t have time for all that hand work during December and January. I barely have time to do laundry or vacuum. :-)

So, I changed course and found some really cute paper-pieced woodland animals by Kristy at Quiet Play. I showed you the owl last week but I’ll show it to you again because it is so darn cute.

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I made some rays with some coordinating prints.

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So, I just needed something for the last quadrant which is where the Hope owl was going to go. My partner likes foxes and a fox was on that woodland pattern set so foxes it is.

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I had the perfect backing fabric in my stash and used some brown from the owl for the binding.

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A little crosshatch wavy quilting and we were done!

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In other news, I gave in and got this Cotton + Steel bundle from Quilters Square.

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I’m not a big fan of the animal ones so they will go in my box designated for fat quarter swaps.

I have one more Mini Quilt Swap coming up but it is not due until March and I already have a plan brewing in my head. That will give me time to work on some of my current works-in-progress and maybe get a few of quilt tops basted and quilted.

New Year, New Stash

I took advantage of some New Year’s sales and added to my stash. Pink Castle Fabrics was having an inventory clearance sale but I ended up in the bundle section and found these beauties.

The Word Up bundle:

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So much texty goodness! I’ve been using so many text prints from my stash that this is really just a replenishment. 😊

The Not So Red Riding Hood bundle:

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I just love all the tone-on-tone colors in this one and that Riding Hood fabric is growing on me.

A Sketchy Rainbow fat eighth bundle to use in the Rainbow Mini Swap mini.

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The colors are so vibrant and gorgeous! It will be perfect for that swap project.

I have one more purchase coming that I will share next week then it’s back to sewing my own stash for while. I went 4 months without buying any new fabric and it was actually really great. I was using what I had and making some fabulous items. I have more money in the bank because I wasn’t spending it willy-nilly on something that I really already have enough of. I’ve got a few travel plans this year and that is where most of my disposable income will land. Creating memories with people I love and making them wonderful things from what I already own is part of my quilty plan this year.

I also did some sewing. I completed the final two blocks from the Sugar Block Club 2014.

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Now I need to determine how I want to assemble this top. The colors are gorgeous and I’m so glad I went with the darker background. This will be the third Amy Gibson block of the month top that I will have sewn and I really need to make each of them into completed quilts. Part of my quilty goals this year is to finish quilts from the myriad of quilt tops that I have lying around. I have one top basted and ready to quilt. I can’t wait to test out the throat space on my new machine and see if a quilt will fit better than with my old machine.

I made this Halloween gift bag to hold a delayed Christmas gift for my mom.

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I had ordered some stitching accessories and a pattern with embellishment pack from a small online retailer in early December. The pattern was on back order so I didn’t get any of the package until last week. I was quite annoyed that they did not send the items that were in stock but held the entire order until the leaflet arrived. So, it missed the actual gift exchange. The pattern is a Halloween based fairy design (which I failed to get a picture of before gifting it) so I stitched up this sweet bag to be her project holder while she is working on it.

I also received some gifts in the mail this week. My dad sent me this awesome plaque for my sewing room.

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And I received my Disney Swap mini quilt:

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Dopey is my favorite Disney character and my partner made this spectacular mini for me! It looks so great. I have a cross-stitch that I made many years ago that is this exact same pose. Having them together up on my wall will be awesome.

Happy sewing!