"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

June 20, 2012

A Cathedral Finish

A custom ordered Aqua Cathedral Window Pincushion is now finished and on it's way to Iowa.


Love this color combination even better than I imagined I would.






{{{HUGS}}}



June 18, 2012

WIP & Sneak Peak

This week I'm working on a couple of Cathedral Window Pincushions. This one is ready to be filled with the crushed walnut shells. There are a couple of little things I don't like about this one and being a bit particular about the details, I'll be making another one of these to see if I can change the things I don't like.

Cathedral Window Pincushion in Aqua

Then it'll be on to cutting up this "Honor & Glory fabric by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics." I'm hoping to finish this quilt before the 4th of July, but with a mission trip to Joplin, MO on the schedule I'm not sure that it's a realistic goal at all. Maybe I should just start by setting the end of July as my goal to be finished by.

Honor & Glory Fabric

I'm really excited about this quilt and once again, can hardly wait to see how it turns out!

Blessings & Happy Stitching,




Safari Delight {Finished & Delivered}

"Safari Delight"

The "Safari Delight" Quilt was a graduation gift for one of the young ladies in our church. I started this quilt way back in January, thinking I'd give myself plenty of time to get it finished well in advance of her graduation party. But, as they say, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." I worked like a mad woman Friday and Saturday to finish it in time.  I actually took the last stitches just moments before we left the house for the party. Whew! Nothing like cutting it close!
The inspiration pattern came from Better Home & Gardens Special Publication,
"Sew Scrappy Vol. 2
"


In the original pattern the small diamonds on either side of the print were a part of the printed fabric. As you can see below the fabric I wanted to use didn't have that kind of a border on it, so I did the next best thing and added Kona Black to either side of the animal print. Originally my plan was to stitch diamonds in gold thread on these black strips. In the end I did stitch the diamonds, but I did them in black instead of gold. I'm sure the gold would have been amazingly beautiful, but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep my stitching as perfect as it needed to be to make me happy.

Diamonds on the inner border and feathers in the triangles





The "square in a square" blocks turned out beautiful. I was a bit concerned when I first started these blocks that the colors weren't playing as well together as I wanted, but when it all came together they turned out better than I had imagined. In the inspiration pattern all of the "square in a square" blocks were the same, when I reworked the pattern I added some variety to those blocks. This change gave the quilt a feel of fun and elegance.

I so LOVE how it turned out.

 The last change from the inspiration pattern was to leave off the prairie points from the top and bottom ends. The ironic thing about this change is that originally I had planned to keep all the prairie points, but by Saturday morning the day of the party, I still hadn't managed to get the points stitched on and I was forced into making a decision. The question was did I want to deliver a partially finished quilt that I would have to take back after she opened it. Or did I want to be able to give a quilt that she would be able to immediately enjoy. I went for the later choice.  While the prairie points would have added a nice touch, it's still beautiful without them.


Back of Quilt with Customized Label
 When it came to quilting the animal print I played with two options. The easiest and quickest option was to do an all over stippling stitch. The second option which would take longer, but would enhance the pattern was to outline the designs printed on the fabric. After much contemplation I went with the second option absolutely LOVE how it turned out!

Quilting outlined the animal print designs

Close-up of quilting
Surprise & Joy!






Blessings & Happy Stitching,

June 13, 2012

Trying a New Technique ~ Diamonds


Preparing to create diamonds on this inner border & hoping for the best
I love it when I'm working on a quilt and I can use it to practice a new technique. Of course the before ever putting needle to quilt, I've practiced on a muslin sandwich. 

One of my favorite quilters is Judi Madsen aka The Green Fairy. Her quilting quality and creativity is absolutely amazing and completely inspiring.

I'm quilting with my regular home machine and Judi is quilting with a longarm quilting machine so there are some differences in procedure to create the designs but, with a few adjustments her designs can be successfully stitched with a regular machine.  For the more complicated designs she has created PDF templates, that can be purchased. One of my favorites is her dragonfly. Adorable!

It was the amazing stitching on this particular quilt which inspired the diamonds I'm adding to the safari quilt.


Blessings & Happy Stitching,


June 7, 2012

Safari Delight



Today's work in progress consisted of picking out the same seam 4 different times. One of which I didn't actually need to rip apart. UGH!! But finally things have come together in a way that I can accept. Tomorrow the quilting begins. The plan is to stitch diamonds in the sashing to mirror the diamonds in the pieced strips. I'm praying that the quilting tomorrow goes a lot smoother than today did!  Especially considering I only have a few days left to finish this beauty.




 Blessings to All,








June 6, 2012

I'm back....

I know you've all been missing me terribly!  Life kind of went crazy for a couple of months, but it was the good kind of crazy.  So, here's what I've been up to since last I checked in....

At the end of April my baby (19 years old and 6' tall...I know not much of a baby) and I drove from Virginia to Missouri to be with my family for my Aunt Jean's funeral. Aunt Jean had requested that my hubby preach her funeral and he was able to fly out to do just that. He did an amazing job leading the family in celebrating Aunt Jean's faith and her life. She will be greatly missed!

Aunt Lola, My Aunt Jean, my mom and me, on one of our "Girls Trips"
Since I was going to be attending Spring Quilt Market just couple of weeks after the funeral I stayed in Missouri on the farm with my parents.  I can't live without sewing for too long and I had a quilt due for delivery the day Market started. So I spent my days and nights sewing. I completely took over my parents dining room with all my fabric. Mom even got into the activity by pressing seams while I stitched away.

My mom...she's the best!!
I really hate seeing pictures of myself....ugh
And here's the finished quilt ready for delivery.....

The fabric is "Simple Pleasures" by RJR
Queen Size Quilt - the biggest quilt I've completed so far
Personalized Label
The back of the quilt - Love how it shows off the stitch design! 

Once this quilt was finished I had a little time to get a table topper stitched, as a gift to give to our piano teacher at my youngest's Senior Recital.

Just realized that I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished table topper.

While I was in MO I missed the graduation party of a very special young lady whom I had made a graduation quilt for. I was terribly sad that I had to miss her party, but my hubby was home and he was able to represent the family as well as deliver the quilt.


"Black Tie Event" with a bright surprise on the back
"Black Tie Event"
Black Feather Stitching
I'm pretty sure she likes it.
______________

My mom and I went to Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City and were totally overwhelmed and excited by all there was too see and learn. So much so, that I completely forgot that I had a camera with me and could have been taking pictures of all I was seeing.  Leaving me with no pictures to share with you.

I learned a lot, had  more questions than I knew to ask answered and came away even more excited about getting my online quilt shop set up and running. I also came away inspired, excited and  ready to work even harder to achieve my goal of opening an actual local quilt shop!  Wish so much that I had some pictures to share....it was absolutely amazing!!! 
______________

Once arriving back home I hit the ground running, preparing a meal to share with friends who had been staying with us (actually with my hubby) while I was gone and were leaving the next morning.

Then it was time to start preparing for my parents arrival in just 2-1/2 days. They were arriving early for Michael's graduation ceremony, giving us all time to play a few days before having to dive into graduation plans.  We spent a day at the American History Museum in DC and then on Memorial Day we visited Ft. McHenry...where our National Anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner" was inspired and written by Francis Scott Key.  We ended up being there just in time for the noon flag ceremony, where they replaced a smaller flag with a replica the same size as the huge flag that was flying the morning Francis Scott Key saw the flag still flying after an all night battle with the British.


Flag Raising



My hubby had the honor of being the one to fold the flag that had been taken down.


My handsome man on the left
On June 2nd we had our baby's High School Graduation and by default my "retirement" from home schooling.  I was extremely proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and giving a great graduation speech. Those who know him or have spent much time around him, know that he's a young man of few words, rarely speaking.

Michael giving his speech
Our "Thinker"
A picture that portrays him perfectly. He spends more time thinking than speaking.


The family
Finally we celebrated my Husband's promotion from Major to Lieutenant Colonel (LT. COL). He's been in the military for 28 years and is currently serving as a Chaplain in the Army National Guard. We are so very proud of our soldier!

Michael and I had the honor of "pinning"  Lt. Col. shoulder bars on his uniform jacket
My parents were given the honor of "pinning" his new rank on his uniform shirt.
 "Oath of Office"
The newest Lt. Col. in the Army National Guard Chaplain Corp

Those are all the highlights of what I've been up to for the last two months. It's good to be back home, back in my sewing studio creating and working to bring Little Pink Rose Quilting online soon.


Blessings to you,





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