Sunday, September 24, 2017

Block 5 Christmas Quilt-a-Long

The 'I Wish You A Merry Quilt-a-long" continues with Block 5.

Ta Da....


Once again let me remind you that this quilt-a-long is completely FREE.  A new design is released every two weeks.

You can find the pattern and tutorial for this Snowman block HERE.

Or if reading this blog post through an emailed message....


So many other quilters have added adorable creative touches to their blocks.  Mine is plain and simple.  I'm just too tired to get too creative this time. :) :) :)

Here are all of my blocks thus far.....


Hope you are having a grand weekend!

Until next time.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pumpkin Progress

Today was a good day.  I got to spend time downstairs in my sewing space. Having a house full of people and all the work that it requires to clean the house and keep them fed has drastically limited the time I get to spend sewing.

My dear hubby finally found the time to level my longarm frame and reset the timing on the machine itself.

Today was devoted to the pumpkin wall hanging.  I loaded the backing fabric, found a scrap piece of batting the perfect width, basted the pumpkin quilt top and got ready to start quilting.

I really wanted to find a pantograph with vines and leaves, but the ones I own are rather large scaled designs. I thought this small scaled project needed a smaller quilting pattern.  I looked through my choices and found this design called "Stacked Snails" from urbanelementz.com  


Honestly I'm not thrilled with my choice. The design itself is fine and will look great on other quilts I'm sure but for this one, it's just okay.

Another view...

Oh well, the important part is that it is now quilted. Haha. I surprised myself by getting the binding made and machine sewn to the front, along with a hanging sleeve. I will share a photo of the finished project when it is all done and hopefully hung in my living room.

All that's left is to hand sew the binding and sleeve down on the back.  I plan to do the hand sewing in the evening hours while I watch tv.

I hope all of you were able to get some sewing time in today!

Until next time!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Full House

I've mentioned several times in previous posts that our home and our family have undergone several major changes over the past couple of months.  There are so many things to share but I only have the energy to share a little at a time. :) :)

Those of you who have been with me for a good while know about the loss of our son-in-law, husband to our oldest daughter.  This month, Sept. 28 will be the one year anniversary of his passing. Our daughter Shannon and our grandchildren have had an extremely difficult year to say the least.

Towards the end of May this year, Shannon told us that she and the children were unhappy and just could not continue to live in the house in Tennessee now that Greg was gone.  Ray and I invited them to move in with us.  Shannon left the decision up to the children, whether to move to New York and be with us, and in the same town as her sisters, or move to South Carolina and be near Greg's side of the family.  In the end, the children chose to move to New York and live with us until Shannon could get back on her feet and find a house of their own.

On July 28th, Ray and our other three daughters drove to Tennessee, rented a moving truck, packed Shannon and the kids up and brought them back to New York to move into our home.

Our entire family attending the New York State Fair a few weeks ago
(minus our youngest daughter who is already back in college and our little Ava Jean).

Many things had to be "shifted and relocated" before Shannon and the children could move into our house.  You may recall that our daughter Emily just bought her first home this summer.  As she prepared to move into her new home, our daughter Amanda started preparing to move out of our downstairs and into the small home that Emily was leaving.  (Ray and I purchased a small home in the village five years ago and our girls have taken turns renting it from us.)

Once Amanda had cleared out the downstairs bedroom, I started preparing it for our granddaughter Abbi.  As you will quickly see from the pictures below, Abbi ADORES elephants.  With little time, and a little budget, I got to work.  Ray had already installed the new flooring in this bedroom a year or so ago, when Amanda decided to move back home.  Although the flooring was in place, he had not finished the trim work, etc.  As he worked on the trim and minor touch-ups, I used a shower curtain extension rod and hung this adorable cloth shower curtain I found on Amazon.com as a closet "door".

The window in this downstairs bedroom is an odd size.  Strangely enough, I found this $4.99 cotton scarf/wall-hanging on Amazon.com in the perfect size.  Once it arrived, I used some black quilt backing scraps from an earlier quilt I had made and backed the cloth to give it more shape, insulation and room darkening qualities.  Then all I needed was a set of curtain "clips" and it became a very unique and cute curtain.

Ray installed a ceiling fan.  I am a "light" person...a room can never be bright enough for me, especially in a downstairs, dark room.  I love the LED light bulbs we used!

Next came these VERY inexpensive tapestry pillow covers.  After stuffing them with 18" square pillow forms I couldn't be happier with the finished product!

Couldn't resist this elephant head to hang on the wall...

This was actually an outdoor garden decoration but I thought it would be perfect as part of the d├ęcor in her room....

Abbi was only planning to bring one tall chest of drawers, her tv and a purple moon chair.

We already had a twin mattress/boxsprings set stored in our garage that had been our youngest daughter's until she moved up to a full size bed two years ago.  The bedding set (comforter, sheets, bedskirt and pillow sham) had also been Kirsten's and I had packed it away.  Abbi's favorite color is purple so Kirsten's things turned out perfect and saved me quite a bit of money!  The rug was a new purchase. :)

We placed a desk, chair and new purple desk lamp in the room for homework.  You probably can't tell, but I even placed purple ink pens in the new lamp and a new purple journal on the desk.

This picture just shows the area around the door of her bedroom, the small table with purple scarf topper is for her little television.  The wall to the left will be where her tall chest of drawers will go.

I am so pleased with how everything turned out.

Below is a short little video tour around the bedroom.  I've never attempted to insert a video in my blog so I'm crossing my fingers that it works properly for you!
video

More reveals later....until then....smile and enjoy your day!  I hope you get some sewing time in as well!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Christmas Memories Block 4 Quilt-A-Long

Ta Da......FINALLY finished Block 4 of the free "I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long".  This block is called Christmas Memories and it is a beautiful block BUT it was a humdinger to applique.  I'm sure for those of you who do applique projects often and enjoy doing them you would have a blast with this one.  For someone like me?  Someone who detours around applique whenever possible?  Boy, oh boy.....let's just say there was an audible sigh of relief when I completed this block last night.


I challenged myself in the very beginning to ONLY USE SCRAPS and NOT CUT INTO LARGE PIECES OF FABRIC OR EVEN FAT QUARTERS.

I have a large box of scraps, assorted sizes of chunks and strings of fabric from past projects.  I dig through it until I find a piece that is just the right size to make whatever the next step needs.  Granted, there are a couple places that I'd prefer something different if I was willing to shop for or cut into FQs and yardage pieces....but scraps I have and scraps I will use! :)

You can find the free tutorial and pattern to download HERE:

And if reading from an email....


Here are my first 4 blocks together....


It's not too late for you to join in all the fun if you haven't already done so!

I'll be working on other projects while I wait for Block 5 to be released on Tuesday of next week.

If you are in the path of Hurricane Irma....PLEASE BE SAFE!  My prayers are with you!

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Santa Suit Block 3 - Christmas Quilt-A-Long

New blocks for the free I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long are typically released every two weeks.  For this two week period, there were actually two different blocks released.

Block 3 is called Santa's Suit.


I normally do not change a designers vision for a pattern, especially for something like a quilt-a-long, BUT, in this case I did use a little bit of creative freedom.  The designer's tutorial calls for the suit to be solid red, no white strip down the center.  This block is adorable, simple and very quick.  As I started cutting pieces to assemble, I thought of the Santa suit we own that my husband will be wearing on Christmas morning when "Santa" delivers gifts to our grandchildren.  Our Santa suit has a white fur strip down the center....so...I added the white. :)  As other participants are sharing photos of their blocks I've noticed that I'm not the only one with the same idea.

You can find the free tutorial and downloadable pattern HERE:

For those reading this post as an e-mail, below is the actual website...

http://www.sliceofpiquilts.com/2017/08/i-wish-you-merry-qal-block-3-tutorial.html

First three blocks together...



Block 4 is a doozy!  I'm working on it now and will hopefully share it with you within the next day or two.

Until next time!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Moving the Longarm

If you've been following my blog, you will recall that my longarm has occupied my front living room for as long as I've owned it (five or so years now).  Changes in our household made it necessary to find another spot for it.

The only other space big enough was our downstairs.  Our daughter Amanda had been using our downstairs as her apartment for a year or so but moved out into her own home a few months ago.

Top priority was to put in flooring.  Dear hubby had a big job to do.  I forgot to snap pictures before he started.  In the photo below he is almost finished.

Left end finished.....where longarm will go.....

Opposite end where machines, cutting table, etc. will be placed once odd furniture pieces are removed.

Breaking down the longarm to move downstairs....

In place along with a couple new book shelves for supplies....

Placing items from upstairs sewing rooms into one big room.  There is still so much more to move downstairs.  I'm already running out of space.  Do quilters ever really have room enough for everything?  Haha

I'm so excited to have an upstairs living room once again!

All of the shifting of rooms is the reason I'm still unable to quilt yet, dear hubby needs to level the frame. Also moving the longarm machine must have messed up the timing so he has to reset the timing as well.  I'm just thankful he CAN do everything.

Until next time!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Block Two I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long

Did any of you decide to jump into the Facebook Christmas themed quilt-a-long mentioned in a previous post?  It's still not too late if you want to have some fun.  The Facebook group is called I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long.

I learned that a new block is released every two weeks which gives you plenty of time to make it (and catch up).

Unlike the first block which was applique, the second block is totally pieced.  It is called Tree Farm.  The designer gives several ways to make it and her tutorial is awesome!  I actually decided to make it using my Accuquilt Go and the 3 1/2" Triangle in a Square die to make the tree sections of my block.
You can find the pattern and tutorial HERE.

And if you happen to be reading my blog through an email message, the web address is:
https://www.jandabendquilts.com/home/i-wish-you-a-merry-qal-block-2-christmas-tree-farm

Here is my finished block 2....


This is a very fun block to piece together!

Here are first two blocks together.


Until next time!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pumpkin Wall Hanging

Today's post is short but sweet.  In my attempt to get back to my sewing I thought it would be a good idea to make myself a Fall themed wall hanging.  I used a quilt block that is free on www.craftsy.com .  If you have an account with Craftsy just go to their free patterns and search for Free Pumpkin Quilt Block.

If you don't have an account with Craftsy yet, it's very simple to create one and it's free!

What do you think?

I want the wall hanging to finish about 24" square so I dug into my box of 2 1/2" squares, pulled out any fall colors along with neutral ones and created this scrappy border.  I'm pleased with it.

I hope to get some free time soon to quilt and bind it.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long

Life is crazy!  I'll explain in future blog posts but for now I'm simply attempting to get back in the swing of things concerning my quilting.

A friend shared a group she has joined on Facebook that is doing a Christmas themed quilt-a-long.  I jumped on board, not even certain how often the blocks get released but there will be a total of 12 blocks with the last block pattern released December 5th.  Can't you tell how desperate I am to get back to my machine?  I don't typically join something without having all the details first. :)

Did I mention it is FREE?  (My kind of quilt-a-long!!!)

If interested, the Facebook group name is I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long....just type the name into your search bar when on Facebook.

This is the first block.  As you can imagine I'm digging through my box of truly scrappy, leftover small pieces of fabric to make my blocks.


The free tutorial, free pattern download and additional information can be found HERE.

I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep up with this quilt-a-long, get back to my sewing machine AND fill you in on the happenings around here with future blog posts.

Until then,
Keep smiling and quilting as much as you possibly can!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

I'm On A Roll

The week before last I didn't accomplish one single thing except babysit.  It is always a blessing to watch Ava and I had the honor of watching her every day that week.

This past week my babysitting services were only needed for two days.  Having some free days allowed me the time to disappear in my sewing room.

I looked through my closet of UFO's (unfinished objects) and found a little table runner, quilted and only needing binding.  The binding strips had already been cut and were hanging on the same hanger.

Finished.....this was a quickie.....

After finishing the runner, I realized there was still a ton of binding strips left over.  It must mean there is something else in my UFO closet that was waiting on binding from this same fabric.

Back to the closet I go......and pulled out another set of placemats already quilted and only needing binding.  The backing fabric on these place mats is the exact same fabric of the binding strips.

Ta Da......yet another project completed.....

Time to switch gears.  I get bored quickly. Haha

A quick embroidery project.....Ava can never have enough bibs!

Just a cute picture I'm throwing in because she is so cute!

As I continue to clean and organize my craft supplies, I pulled out an old skein of something called " Denim" in red.  It's not a yarn for clothing or afghans, etc.  it is for decor items.  Along with this skein was a pattern dated 1999.   My daughter Amanda is thinking of changing up her decor to vintage patriotic colors while still using all of her nautical things.

There was enough red thread to crochet two of these.  If she can't use them I'll find someplace to use them myself.

There are still plenty of UFO's in my closet but I'm needing to start something new.  Hee hee

I pulled out these two layer cakes (precut 10" squares)  to play and choose a pattern to make.  The print one is all purples and various shades of grey.  My granddaughter told me that she needs another quilt....not because there is anything wrong with the one I'd already given her, she just likes quilts.  She reminded me that her favorite color is purple.  I'm thinking it won't hurt to get started on Christmas gifts in May.

This coming week will be exciting. Our daughter Emily has bought her first house and will be closing on it Wednesday May 10th.  It's a beautiful home. I'm sure there will be plenty of things I can make for it!

Until next time!  Keep smiling and quilting!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's About Time

As the title of this post suggests, it's about time I finished a few things.  Haha. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit how many items I have in various stages of "near completion".  My friend Marianne seems to think my closet of unfinished projects is actually a black hole.....never ending supply of things to do.  She just might be right!!!

I'm proud of myself for not buying more fabric in a long time......some days it's a real struggle.....but I plan to continue my self-induced spending freeze indefinitely.

Along with my intent to use what I have, I'm hoping to finish up old projects between starting new projects.

In my never-ending closet, the first item(s) I found hanging was a set of four Christmas placemats, quilted with the binding strips already cut and hanging with the placemats.  Duh!!!   Why didn't I finish these?  I have no clue, but it's about time I do it now!!!!!!

Boy that feels good!  All finished!!!  Now I have a nice gift hanging and ready to give away this coming Christmas season.  I believe I started them intending to give them to my daughter Emily.  If she still can use this color scheme, I'll give them to her but if not I'm sure I'll find someone who would like them.

I also spotted another project, a baby quilt for a girl.  There were no binding strips already cut and stored with it so this took a little more effort to finish.

Searching through my fabric stash I came across a small piece, but large enough to cut four 2 1/2" x width of fabric strips to make the binding needed for a 30" x 40" quilt.

I sewed the strips together, folded it double, ironed, then machine sewed it to the back, flipped the quilt over and machine quilted it to the front.

Ta Da!!!!!

The next item I decided to make was a new project that used leftover blocks from the wedding signature gift quilt I finished not too long ago.

Since the remaining few new pillow forms I have in my stash are 18" square....that dictates the size pillow cover I make.  The left over blocks were 4 1/2" unfinished (4" finished).  After playing around with different layouts, I decided to go with the one below.  Four blocks across and four blocks down only made a 16" pillow top. There was enough of a neutral fabric from the original quilt left over to add an additional 1" border around....making the 18 1/2" unfinished top needed to fit the 18" pillow form.

I gave this finished pillow to the couple with the matching quilt to use on their sofa.

I also allowed myself some time to continue working on En Provence, the last Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.

Making progress......

The nice thing about having a dedicated sewing room is that I can have my embroidery sewing machine working on a project at the same time I'm piecing quilt blocks on a vintage machine.

Another bib for Ava.  Again, this design is from emblibrary.com  

Ava modeling her new bib....

While I was in the mood, I went ahead and made one more bib....


I had this picture texted to me showing her modeling this one as well....

I wasn't the only one who decided it was about time to finish a project. Ray painted the living room over a year ago but didn't do the connecting entrance foyer walls.  That meant that on a daily basis for much too long I've had to look at blue sponge painted walls next to the newer painted tan walls.  No more!!!!!  The entrance foyer is now tan!!!!!!    Yippee!!!!!

I went out on a limb and suggested we get an updated light fixture since he had the extension ladder out.  Hee hee.  He wasn't thrilled with the idea but agreed to do it. A quick trip to Lowe's resulted in the purchase of a new fixture (it was even on clearance with a much reduced price tag).

I'm a happy girl!!!!

Wow!  It feels good to finish a few things but now I'm tired!  Time for a nap!!

Until next time!




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bunnies, Books and Other Things

Did you have a nice Easter?  I must say that this was a wonderful Easter for me.  I'm slowly learning to take things one day at a time, not to sweat the small stuff and to be happy and content each day I wake up!  It's only taken me 53 years to get the hang of it.

I wanted to make something special for Ava Jean so on Friday I pulled out a fabric book panel and had it finished within a couple of hours.  I think I've put together so many of them this past year or so that I can do it in my sleep.

I should have stopped with the book but no, I got the not so brilliant idea to make a stuffed mini bunny.

I quilt. I crochet. I've done needle work but I'm not a sewer of garments or toys like my mother (the master seamstress) has always been.

Had the pieces been larger, I'm sure it would have been much easier....but oh my goodness!

WHAT WAS I THINKING!  This little project took forever....but thank goodness I finally finished it on Saturday.  It only took two days!  Hahaha

It's little, but so cute!

All ready to give to this beautiful child.  She looks so precious in her Easter picture!

Early Sunday morning I received a text with this picture showing Ava so excited to check out her new socks and Cheerios found in her basket.

I also received a picture of my oldest daughter and grandchildren. They had travelled to SC to visit her in-laws.  This was an emotional trip for all involved with Greg's passing only 7 months ago.

Then I received more pictures from Tennessee.  Our youngest daughter is still away at college and wasn't able to come home. Thankfully, she was still able to be with family....her grandparents....(my parents).

My dad and mom....

My sister and my nephew traveled to TN from NC....

Back here in N.Y.  the rest of the family gathered to eat Easter dinner at my house.

With my husband....

With me.....

The beautiful flowers Emily brought ....

To finish our wonderful day....of course we had to hunt eggs.

I hope each of you had a blessed Easter.

Now I just need to get back to the sewing room!

Until next time!