Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sparkle, a finished quilt (and a coupon code)

Did you ever see the episode of Psych,
where Shawn 'channels' an actress,
and he's sing-talking and dancing,
"I dazzle, and I stretch...."?

Is my baby sister....

a nut!

When I gave my older sister her quilt last year,
Alicia 'reminded' me 
that I still hadn't given her a quilt.
(I haven't given most of my other siblings a quilt yet either,
and only one of my parents.)

She's reminded me 
a couple of times since then,
and when she bought her first house this summer, 
I thought it would be the perfect occasion
to finally (as if!) make her quilt.

Alicia is gorgeous, 
and feminine, but not girly.
She's fierce, and determined,
but she is also a clown.
She's one of those people who walk into a room
and everyone notices.
Her eyes positively sparkle.
Especially when she laughs.
And she loves to laugh,
and make other people laugh, too.

She's not really a patchworky quilty person, though,
so I knew her quilt would need  to have a lot of negative space
and I was leaning towards 
a few columns of different sized 4 patches on point,
sort of reminiscent of a beaded curtain
and knew instantly
that prisms would be perfect for Lish.
(With the pesky little exception that it required paper piecing...)

Moda's Basic Grey Grunge fabric was the obvious choice
for all this wide open space,
and I quickly decided on cream,
then found a shop that carried both Grunge and C&S Netorious
(I was hoping to use silver netorious for my prisms)
and asked if the grays matched.
Tracy wrote back that she was out of the silver at the moment, 
so she couldn't be sure,
but she had a metallic Essex linen that looked great
with the cream Grunge,
so I had her set up a private listing.

As soon as the fabric arrived
(which was fast!) 
I started cutting.

I'd already printed off the damn papers
and figured out how I needed to cut my fabrics 
so they'd fit,
but I wouldn't have tons of waste.
(let's just leave it at - I didn't quite figure this correctly...)

I also wanted to keep everything going in the same direction
(at that point, even though I'd ordered the linen,
I was hoping to use silver Netorious,
which I already had,
and it has a obvious up and down / sideways)
so I drew arrows on each paper piecing pattern
so I'd know which way to orient my fabrics.

It turned out that Silver Netorious 
does not play nicely with cream Grunge
(the background is more taupe than gray)
so I was happy that I'd ordered the metallic linen
just in case.

The first 2 days of (paper) piecing were awful,
but since I'd already cut the fabrics for all  52 units,
I had to persevere.
Plus - it was for Lish. She'd persevere for sure....

 the paper piecing didn't hurt my brain quite so much,
and I think I even managed to make about 20 
without any mistakes!
(I know - they're all of 3 pieces.
You'd think I could have made all 52 without mistakes...)

Once the units were pieced,
sewing them together was a breeze,
just like my previous PP escapades,
my seams did not match up as perfectly
as when I piece traditionally.
(what the heck?!)

At some point,
I realized I was going to be short on grunge,
so I sent out an SOS to Tracy,
and she got me fixed right up.

While waiting for the fabric
I added a layer of wool batting to the strip of prisms,
sewed around them all with clear thread,
and then trimmed away all batting 
that wasn't under the metallic fabric.
Then when I added (bamboo) batting to the entire quilt,
the prisms would all have two layers of batting,
making them more puffy.

I had planned on using minky  
(or some sort of cuddly fleece) for the backing
(so it'd be less quilt-like...)
but I couldn't find one where the color was *just* right,
so I changed direction and found a wide backing fabric 
that I thought went really well.

Lily helped me baste both quilts 
out in the house in mid July.
She said she has never been so hot in her life.
(I, on the other hand, have been hotter at least twice)

My sewing machine went to the shop right about then,
because there was no way I was going to attempt quilting
when it was misbehaving so badly.
(when I got it back - it was better than new!
But sadly, that only lasted for a few days
before it started acting up again - though not as badly)
While I was waiting for it,
I started piecing another quilt,
using my old beloved Janome.

Once I got the machine back,
before I started quilting,
I drew up a quilting map
(which I mostly followed(ish)
but things didn't always translate perfectly
from 8x10
to 60x80...)

and then used my hera marker to mark my hand-quilting lines
around the prisms,
and also to mark my ghost shapes in the grunge.

(I guess, though, that they aren't terribly ghosty, 
since I hand quilted them, huh?)

And then I started quilting.

and marking

and quilting.

and marking and quilting some more,
for about 6 weeks.


Until one day I was done.

I am really quite pleased with how it turned out
(very much like I envisioned it, actually!)
but one of my favorite parts is the verse I added
which wasn't in my original plan.

"By wisdom a house is built
and through understanding it is established.
Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures"
Psalm 24:3

How absolutely perfect is that?!

I love you!!

I am so proud of you, and am so happy to be your big sis.
Congratulations on your house purchase!
(and on being the owner of this fabulous quilt... ;-)
I hope you create lots of wonderful memories
in your beautiful new home.
kiss kiss. hug hug

Linking up with the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.

I was so pleased with the service I got from Private Source Quilting.
As I've mentioned before,
shopping for fabric online is tricky business,
especially when it comes to color matching,
so having a shop owner who will go the extra mile for you
is a big blessing.

Not only did Tracy go the extra mile 
in helping with fabric selection,
she also gave me a coupon code (TRACYLOU)
 to share with you all,
good for 15% off every order over $25
and good through the end of the year!
(I'm not being compensated in any way - I just wanted to share the shop,
and asked Tracy if she'd throw in a little gift for y'all,
and she did :-)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Lily and Lex' build a barn (out of fabric, of course)

You may remember
(though - you may not, since it's been ages....)
that the girls and I are reading the Little House books 

They started out gung ho,
but lost steam after just a few weeks.

I wouldn't go any further in the books
until they got caught up on the blocks,
so we were sort of at a stand still for several months.

There's no 'sort of' about it - we were at a standstill...
Smack in the middle of Farmer Boy.

I'd ask them periodically about the quilt
(if they didn't want to make one -
then we could proceed with the books)
and they always said they still wanted to make the quilt,
but they never felt like working on it.

Then one day,
a few weeks ago,
out of the blue,
Lexi said she wanted to sew.
I said, "You going to finish your cat block?"
(she only had 2 seams to go...)
and she said she guessed she would.
And she proceeded to finish it,
and then made another block,
then both girls chose fabrics for their barn blocks
(and their maple leaf, and sheep blocks, too
but let's not get ahead of ourselves...)

Because I am a little bit template challenged
(though it's not nearly as bad as my paper piecing challenged!)
I changed up how we did the barn block
so that it could be made with just rectangles and squares
and I removed seams where I could.

As a reminder,
I cut, and sometimes pin for them,
(they are 10 and 8)
but they sew and press.

Lexi starches;
Lily does not.

With this barn block,
the girls learned what a flying geese block is
and how to make one.

They also learned about adding corners to create diagonal seams
without using half square triangles.

Lexi wanted to frame out her door, 
so she learned one way to do that.

They are both so different in their approach to sewing.
When I was cutting Lily's silo,
I asked which way she wanted the fabric to run,
and she said, "I really don't care".
And she meant it.

Lexi not only cares,
she knows which element in the fabric she wants centered...

Lily likes making the blocks okay,
but what she really loves,
is making tiny things.
So while Lexi was taking her turn at the machine,
Lily was working on another Little House quilt.

Now that they are all caught up on their blocks, 
we can get back to reading

linking up with backpack-makin' Amanda Jean

Thursday, September 7, 2017

this and that (again) on a Thursday

I've had several things I've wanted to post about
 the last few months
but either no time
or no words
to post them.

This by no means
'catches us up'
but I'm getting at least a few things 
down on paper
so to speak.

I got our Intent to Homeschool form turned in
a full 3 days before the deadline,
and on Tuesday
 we started our 17th year of home schooling
with zero fanfare and no first-day photos.
(This mama is tired.)


Regarding the house -
all walls are painted except for the hall
that leads to the secret tunnel
to the movie room.

We still need to do touch ups in every room,
but (except for the spot in the library 12 ft off the floor)
it's something I can knock out in just a few hours.

Most of the receptacles,
light switches,
and lights
have been installed
and we now have interior doors upstairs!

And - we have air conditioning!!

Our rustic Ozark Mountain oak flooring
is acclimatizing (all over the house) as I type
and is almost ready to install.

We have to go back to the mill to get another 550 sq feet
(which reminds me - I need to call and see if it's ready....)
and we have over 1,000 feet of baseboard trim
waiting to be primed and painted.

We're still deciding how we want to trim the windows and doors
but we've already purchased the wood for the casings
and it's also waiting to be primed and painted.

I spent an entire day with pencil, paper, and calculator,
figuring out exactly what boards we needed
and planning cuts to use those boards most efficiently.
(and then I bought a few extra 16 footers - just in case I was wrong)

Tyler sees all this raw wood and gets excited.
I see it all and think
oh my word - 
how are we ever going to get all this finished??


My sewing time is quite limited,
so it's taken longer than I expected,
but I've finished Sparkle,
except for the label,
and made a small practice quilt before diving into Sojourner
(which I started yesterday)
because I'll be quilting lots of new-to-me 'motifs'.


Brandon got a job as a tutor,
so his plate is especially full this year.

He'll also be a Life Coach for the 6th grade boys at church.
Since he's worked with them for the past few years
in Children's ministry,
it'll be a very easy transition to youth group for them.


We got to see our Hadley Bear on Sunday!! 
That girl is the best baby (toddler, actually) I've ever seen.

what a doll baby!! 💗

When I first held her,
she pressed her little face against my cheek
and left it there for several minutes.
It was as if she was saying,
"Oh Mimi, I've missed you!"
Oh, Baby Girl, Mimi has missed you, too!

Lexi put a picture
that Hadley drew while she was here
 on the fridge
and when I saw it,
it literally stopped me in my tracks.

I have lots of grandchildren (7, to be exact)
but I don't get to see any of them often,
and this is the very first grandkid picture to grace our fridge.


Jeremiah and Josiah's air conditioner died,
so they have started sleeping out in the new house.

They're making the rounds of various rooms
and trying to be the first one to fall asleep,
to claim the title of
'first to sleep in  ____________'

Josiah was planning to sleep in the bathroom one night,
and I told him he'd probably get the title of
Only one to sleep in the bathroom... 


Speaking of sleeping,
none of the children are - so I best scoot

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

down to the river

Last Wednesday,
after a squabble about what we should have for lunch,
I up and decided we were having a picnic at the river.

It had been waaaay too long since we'd been.

I've often thought it would be neat 
to return weekly to the same place
and observe changes in nature.

I've never planned it, though,

is a big commitment.

I decided that this might be the year.

And the river might be the place.

And even if we don't always make it to the river weekly,

if I at least make it a (soft) goal,

we'll make it occasionally.

And occasionally

is better 

than never.


We went back today
and I didn't bring my camera,
but my goodness, I wish I would have!! 

The river was sooo much lower than it was
just last week!

This is going to be fun.

go to the river 𑂽 Check!