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

February 25, 2013

Checking In....

I've been pretty quiet in blog-land for the last couple of weeks. Mostly because what I've been surrounded by just didn't seem blog worthy.  Immediately after finishing the Craisy Daisy quilt I got a call from a local ROTC that they had uniform pants needing hemmed and berets that needed patches sewn on. While I love having the work, which brings in dollars that I can turn around and invest in expanding the fabric choices available in the shop, it's a job that just didn't inspire a blog post. 

Follow that with catching up on financial bookwork and taxes...... 
again not something that inspired me much as far as blogging. 

Though I do want to share a praise from all the tax work. As you may remember my sweet hubby has been without full time employment since September 30th last year. We were blessed with a nice check with some back-pay that he was owed by the National Guard just a couple of months after he came off active duty orders, which was deposited in God's perfect timing just as I had begun to wonder how we were going to make it financially.  Once again, we're to the point that as I looked down the road I didn't see how we would be able to last much longer we would be able to stretch out the dollars we had left.  I don't know why I ever wonder or even begin to worry about such things when I know that the Lord has always proven to be faithful in taking care of us.  

When I start voicing my worries hubby puts it this way, "There's no need to worry, we've never gone hungry. God has always taken care of us and He will this time as well."

I had been dreading sitting down and doing our taxes, I was sure we would owe the IRS money and I didn't want to know how much it was going to be.....besides I could put it off until April. Right? 
Wrong! 
A few weeks ago I get a call from our oldest, he was a semi-finalist for a scholarship. YEAH! 
Yep, you guessed it.....he needed our tax return for the final stage of the scholarship consideration, due by March 1st. 

Now I was being forced to do our taxes. UGH!!! 

After procrastinating as long as I possibly could I finally sat down last week and started organizing bookwork, receipts and tax forms. By the end of the process I happily discovered that instead of us owning them money, they owed us. Praise the Lord for His faithful provision through surprising sources like the IRS! I LOVE it when He works like that!!! 

Thankfully now that all that tedious work is finished I was able to jump back into a mystery quilt project I had been working on. I'm always just a bit leery when it comes to a mystery quilt...
.....what if I don't like the pattern?
.....what if I don't like the fabric choices I had when it all comes together?
.....what if?
......what if?
Way too many unknowns for this little control freak! 

 I'm happy to report that I adore how this quilt came together!! 

Here's a little sneak peak of the top ready to be sandwiched and quilted.

Mystery Quilt ready to quilt
Something that has always fascinated me are sunsets and sunrises. This sunset last Tuesday evening was absolutely mesmerizing!!! But, this view isn't looking West toward the sunset, the scene was to the East with the sun setting behind the camera. Gorgeous!!!

Looking to the East at Sunset on Feb. 19, 2013 approximately 5:30pm

That's what I've been up to since you last saw me. Not much quilting going on, but definitely worth it to witness the Lord showing up! 

Blessings &
Happy Stitching!
Marcia 

P.S. Be sure to hop over to the shop and check out the great deals on all of our Riley Blake fabrics in stock with 20-40%, as well as several new selections that have recently arrived. Have you seen the latest blender collection called Cotton Shuffle by Riley Blake? Love, love, love this adorable, must have fabric! It'll be arriving next week, I can hardly wait for the delivery to get here!





February 8, 2013

Finished {Craisy Daisy} & A Winner

 There's just something about a finished quilt that makes me happy!
Then there's the way that the quilting designs bring the pattern, the fabric and the thread all together to create something more than I imagined it could be that makes me even happier!
This quilt is among one of my favorite quilts!

I am fascinated by how the colors of the fabric appear differently depending on how sun hits it.


 Since my youngest man has moved off on his own and is no longer available to do photo shots with me....I pulled my dear hubby into the process. When  I told him he had to measure up to the fantastic job that our youngest had done with this, his only response was to tell me that he wasn't as tall. 

Well, thankfully for him this is only Baby Quilt size and him being shorter didn't matter!
I told him on the bigger quilts that he'll just have to get the ladder out.


 The feathers in the border came out even more elegant than I expected them to. A happy surprise!


I like the pearl necklace in the white border strip.  If I were to do it again, I would make the circles just a tiny bit smaller.


  Spirited Verse Candy for the binding. I really like this stripped fabric! 


Pearl Necklace Technique: 
To make the circles uniform, I traced around a nickle with a water soluble marking pen.
Using the circles as my guide I free-motion quilted around the circles.


For those who are curious about the quilting motion....you'll see some colored arrows in the photo above. (click on the photo to see a larger image)

Motion 1: Red arrows
Begin stitching and trace around the full circle.

Motion 2: Blue arrows
Stitch right on top of the previous stitches (You'll only stitch over half of the circle you just stitched). When you come to the point of the next circle move right into the next circle and make a full circle. 

Motion 3: Black arrows.
Just as in motion 2 stitch over the previous stitching until you come to the point where you can move into the next circle.

It's kind of like a fat figure eight and even though I broke it down into three motions, ideally it's done as one fluid motion.  For best results, practice on paper first, then practice stitching on a practice sandwich before trying it out on your quilt.


Quilt Stats: 
Finished size: 54"x43"
Pattern: Craisy Daisy from Green Fairy Quilts available in my shop.
Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics from my shop Little Pink Rose Quilting & Sewing 
Stabilizer for Appliques: Sulky medium weight
Thread: Aurifil 50 wt.  white #2024 & Pink #2425

You can see more photos on my flickr photostream. Click Here.

Last but certainly not least it's time to announce the winner of the Mystique Fat Quarter Bundle.
Mr. Random number generator chose:
Congratulations Connie!!! Send me your address and this delightful bundle will be on its way to you.

In the shop we'll be having a couple of different Sweetheart Specials. 
Stop on by and check out the deals. www.littlepinkrose.com

Blessings &
Happy Stitching
Marcia 

February 6, 2013

The Block That Almost Wasn't

Once my machine came back from the repair shop, I dove right into free-motion quilting the Craisy Daisy Quilt. The plan was to stitch daisies all over the quilt, but as I studied how to begin and how the daisies would fit in-between the appliqued daisy's petals, I realized that my plan wasn't going to work out as well as I had imagined. Time for a new quilting plan and the swirls I had been practicing were up to bat.

The swirl quilting went very well and I was pleased with the results.  The only thing I didn't like at this point was that the centers of the daisies were popping up in a weird way, but that would be easily fixed by stitching around the center of each daisy and outlining the inside of each petal.  In this picture the daisy in the top left corner had been stitched down.


 The request had been made that I create a block with the recipients name on it and incorporate it into the quilt. But, as you can see from the photo above I had neglected to make this block.  It wasn't until 4 AM the next morning that I woke up in a panic with the sudden realization that I had forgotten to make the block and put it in the quilt. 

The adrenaline was working overtime and I knew there was no point to even trying to go back to sleep. I practically flew out of bed and straight into the studio to figure out the best way to fix this problem. 

As I worked I was busy praising the Lord that I hadn't quilted the borders yet!! 

I started with creating the applique name block. To create the letters I went to my Print Shop program to find the perfect font and printed the name in the size I needed. I used a light box to reverse trace the letters onto paper backed fusible webbing and then pressed that onto the back of the white solid fabric. Cut out the letter and fused them to the replacement block and finished them with a satin stitch, using a tear-away stabilizer behind the letters.

Then it was time to take a deep breath and just accept that I had to rip out a portion of the finished quilting to be able to remove the block I needed to take out. Pulling back the quilt top I used my trusty seam ripper to cut the stitches. Once most of the stitching was removed I moved to the top of the quilt to carefully remove the rest of the stitches back as far as I needed to go without taking out more than I absolutely had to remove.

This is one of those "Keep Calm and Get the Seam Ripper" moments!
 With all the appropriate stitches removed I was able to carefully remove the block I needed to replace.

After careful manipulation I was able to sew the name block in place as if it had always been there. 


The next issue to tackle was re-quilting this area so that it didn't look like it had been ripped apart and restitched. To accomplish this I started with picking out a few more stitches to give me just enough thread to be able to tie-off and bury the loose threads. In a few places I found that I was only left with the very center of a swirl that wasn't connected to any other swirls. Those bits of stitching I completely removed. 

After all the loose threads were buried I started by lining up the new stitches with the end of existing stitching, just as I would if I had come to the end of a bobbin and was starting again. Having all the different thread ends to connect took a bit of planning, but I think it turned out pretty well.

Re-quilting around the new block.

Blessings &
Happy Stitching!!
Marcia
Enter to win this Mystique FQ Bundle. Click Here
Winner will be announced 11 AM, February 8th.


Save 24% on all Art Gallery Fabrics Through February 10th.




February 1, 2013

Giveaway Time

This Giveaway is now Closed

I know how much you all enjoy the chance to win some beautiful fabric and I realized that it has been much to long since I've hosted a giveaway here on the blog.  Since there's no better time than the present, why not today?

The giveaway....

Fat Quarter Bundle (22 pieces) of Mystique by Lila Tueller


Winner will be drawn Friday Feb. 8th at 11 AM EST

There are many ways to enter the drawing (do as many as you would like):

1. Leave a comment on this blog post with how you would use this bundle if you won. 

2. Become a follower of the blog and leave a comment
 (if you're already a follower leave a comment stating this).

3. Sign up for our Newsletter at www.littlepinkrose.com then come back here and leave a comment that you signed up for the newsletter.
(if you already receive our newsletter, leave a comment stating this)

4. Do you have a favorite designer you would like to see us carry in the shop? 
Share that with us here in a comment

5. Every purchase made at www.littlepinkrose.com from Feb. 1st - Feb 7th will receive 1 entry for every $10 spent. (i.e. If your total order including shipping is $82, I will place 8 entries in the drawing for you).

6. Share this giveaway in your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and leave a comment here that you've done this. Share daily for more entries. 


Blessings & 
Happy Stitching!
Marcia

Stop by the shop where all of our Art Gallery Fabrics, including LUXE in Bloom are 24% OFF. 

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