Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 3

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Before we get started with Part 3, let’s just sit back and relax and enjoy the different versions of Part 2 (posted here) sent in by you all!  I know I have certainly enjoyed seeing your work.

Here is mine – using Quilting Treasures’ Bleecker Street fabric group!  Click here to view fabrics.  If you are new and wondering about the quilt kits, click here for information.

Here is Alice’s.  She blogs at http://aliceinquilterland.blogspot.com if you would like to visit her and make a new quilting friend.

Here is Cheryl’s.

Here is Jennifer’s.

Here is Gail’s.

Here is Debby’s.

These are Billie’s.

Here’s Sharon’s mini.  Instead of incorporating each part of the quilt to make a quilt, Sharon uses each part to make a mini.  VERY creative.  You may follow Sharon’s work on her blog here.

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Seeing how your quilts unfold as we progress in this Sew Along is one of my greatest joys.  I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project.

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And here is Part 3.  Part 3 took me about 2 hours as well – so if you 2 hours to spare between now and May 15th, you should be able to make these “skinny mini” shoo-fly blocks. :)

The theme of this part remains to be “Keep Calm and Sew On” because we will be sewing with small pieces (just like in Part 2).  The trick in dealing with small pieces is to handle them as if you are handling normal pieces.  Keep calm – check your cutting, your machine, and you should come out just fine!

#1.  I do starch press my fabrics so that I keep the small pieces as non-distorted as possible.

#2.  I also finger press all my seams before heat-setting them.

Keep Calm and Sew On: Visit the Secret Stitch Club's blog for the PDF version of this image

(image from Secret Stitch Club)

Part 3 deals with half-square-triangles units.  They are special and precious because they will be finishing at 1″ — therefore, you will be making HST units that measure 1 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.  I cut my starting squares at 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ instead of the conventionally prescribed 1 7/8″ x 1 7/8″.  That way, I can trim them to the unfinished size.

I make my HST units as normal…. but I press my seams open.  Then, I align the diagonal seam of my HST units against the 45 degree angle of my quilting ruler.  I trim the excess so that the HST units measure 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

You can see the result of my trimming – but making the HST units that way allow me to make accurately squared up HST units.  And pressing the seams open reduces the bulk when I piece them later to make my shoo-fly blocks.  So at this stage, they are treated as if they are individual squares. [I actually save these trimmings, not usable for piecing quilts, to a lady who makes dog beds.]

Alright…. when I constructed the individual rows, I butted the seams between units.  But when I sewed the rows together, I finger pressed, then iron pressed the seams between rows OPEN!  Again, that reduced bulk, plus, it helped me to piece accurately the shoo fly blocks.

When I pinned the shoo fly blocks together, I made sure the points match at the top of the triangles of the units – very much like matching the seams when we made the house roof in part 1 here.

I pressed open the seams in between rows to even out the bulk.

I then added the shoo-fly assembly to sections made for Part 1 and Part 2 of the sew-along.

Oh — and watch my quilt grow, and yours too!

And that’s it for Part 3!  I hope you will have a blast making progress on this quilt as much as I have!   know the units are small, but I am hopeful that by making these small shoo fly units will help confidence in tackling small pieces in other quilt projects of yours.  Can’t wait to see what your Part 3 looks like!!!!

Happy Sewing, my sewing friends!!  Hugs to you all.

Sad News… Sue Garman

Hello Friends,  I am bumping my scheduled post for today to share with you the sad news Sue Garman’s passing this past Sunday.  Sue Garman lived an amazing life, not only at NASA, but also as a quilter of 40 years.  Sue has always been, and will always be my hero!

Let’s take a moment to remember Sue’s contribution to the quilting community, as well as our great land.  And along with that, do pray for Sue’s family as her husband actually passed away just a few months prior.

http://thequiltshow.com/daily-blog/142-newsletter/25388-in-memorium-sue-garman

To view Sue’s amazing quilts, go to www.comequilt.com.

I will be back tomorrow.

Rose Trellis Runner – an Autumn Project & others!!!

Hello Friends, I hope you are well.  Are you feeling the chill in the mornings these days?  Autumn is upon us.   Have you spotted my Rose Trellis table runner project in the latest Keepsake Quilting catalog?  I received mine yesterday, and was thrilled to see quite a few kits are being offered for my designs!!  Without further ado, here is Rose Trellis, designed with Robyn Pandolph’s Garden Gate fabrics for RJR Fabrics.

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A bit of piecing, and a bit of applique for a relatively easy autumn project:

Purchase the kit here, or purchase the pattern here.

Be sure to check out my other offerings in Keepsake Quilting here.

While we are talking about kits and such, I found that a few kits made with my designs are on sale over at McCall’s Quilting!  ‘Tis might be the time to stock up.  We are all different, and we all have different views on kits.  I actually like kits because sometimes I just like someone else to do the thinking for me. :)  Here goes…

Kits for Sherbet Stars HERE.

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Kits for Rows of Roses HERE.

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Kits for Big Time HERE.

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Kits for Twilight Trellis HERE.

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Kits for Constellation of Colors HERE.

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Kits for Sherry’s Stars HERE.

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That’s it for now, Friends!  I hope you have fun shopping.  Look around at some of the other kits on sale while you are at it.  I am buying a couple myself. :)

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Some of you asked how the “Miss” is doing!  She is doing well, ever the chipper kid that she is.  She is also thriving in second grade.  Yesterday during our car ride to school, she schooled me about the almost impossibility of having to put a heart valve in an ant’s tiny heart in case the ant had a cardiac arrest.  Well, to be quite honest, I didn’t even know if ants have hearts… “Of course, they do, Mama!” were her parting words when I dropped her off.  I came home and consulted Dr. Google — and learned that indeed ants do have hearts.  They don’t have lungs, however!  So there — the trivia of the day for those of you who care to learn about ants, hahaha!!!

Thanks for stopping by – hugs to you all!

Quick Friday Catch-up & Rosewater Winner

Hello Friends, Happy Friday to you!  I hope you are doing well.  I do apologize for not posting more this week. Please know that it was totally unplanned… the reason being I have been rushing against time working on this sweet quilt. This is an upcoming editorial feature using Windham Fabrics’ Elm Cottage fabrics.

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This is a super super sweet fabric line.   Click here to view the sweet fabrics!  Stay tuned for this free-to-use pattern to become official using these sweet fabrics!

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Anyway, before the weekend is upon us, I want to make sure I share the news of the winner for my Rosewater FQ Bundle Giveaway winner!  I have so enjoyed reading about your summer projects…. thanks so much for sharing!

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AND THE WINNER IS… #57 Mary!  An email is sent to Mary!  Congrats!!!

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Thank you ALL for playing along!  We will have another giveaway VERY soon — I promise!!!!  Have a lovely weekend!  Hugs to you all!

Thread Journey Part 5 — We are still quilting!

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Hello Friends, we are still quilting!  I will again let the pictures tell the story today.  So far, I have logged 30 hours quilting this quilt… sounds crazy, doesn’t it? :)

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These colors from my Subtle Strings collection were used to quilt the Ohio Star border.  Click here to read more about Subtle Strings.

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Click here to find out how to quilt the motifs I have quilted on the Ohio Star border, as well as other options you could try to quilt your own Thread Journey Quilt!

That’s all for now – another busy day over here.  I’ve got to run for now!  Take care, and have a lovely rest of your day. Hugs to you all!

p.s.  By the way, did you know today is National Mail Order Catalog Day?!  Perfect time to order something from your favorite quilting catalog!!! :o)

Thread Journey Sightings…

…. also known as Eye Candies that make my heart flutter!  Friends, it’s been extremely busy over here.  Can you believe it’s already getting ready for Fall Market season?  Truth be told, I have been working with companies on Fall Market stuff even before Spring Market was over, but ’tis the season of pattern writing (LOTS OF IT!) to make sure samples happen for the upcoming Fall Market.  And I am also working on a new book…. and this week is when I finalize most of the projects!  Lots going on, but always with a heart filled with gratitude.

I am definitely not one who has been busy…. Miriam sent pictures of her complete Thread Journey quilt top, and it looks fabulous!!!!

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Jody also sent in pictures of her version of the completed quilt top – absolutely gorgeous! Absolutely loving the border fabric Jody selected!!!!

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These ladies have done an amazing job!!!!  If you would still like to join in the fun, and journey with the rest of us in the Thread Journey project, click here for the latest post.  The post also has links to previous posts.  The posts contain instructions on constructing the quilt top.

That’s all for now, Friends.  I hope you have had a lovely week so far.  It’s hooooot over here…. but we managed.

Beyond the bustles….

Besides the creepy story I shared with my friends at Rogers Sewing Center that happened when I was filming my Machine Quilting Level 2 class, I had a most memorable time filming that class in Indiana back in cold, cold January 2015.   Note:  The creepy story is not for internet public consumption, but I am happy to disclose everything if you ask me about it in person! :)

Now onto the other memorable parts… I remember as the plane touched down at Ft. Wayne airport, the passenger sitting beside me commented that their average temperature the week before was about 12 degrees.  My heart sank a little — because I am a chicken when it comes to driving in inclement weather.  Since my husband wasn’t there with me, I braved myself and drove my little rental car to the destination, and very thankfully, arrived in one piece.   Well, on the way out was a slightly different story… the kind people with whom I work had warned me about the impending snow that day… and still being the chicken that I was (and still am) when it comes to driving in inclement weather, I left about 2 hours ahead of the intended time, and even more thankfully, arrived in one piece because the snow was really falling halfway through my drive to the airport.  SO…. I had about 3 1/2 hours just to sit in the airport – which I didn’t mind because I really enjoy the hustles and bustles at airports (as long as I am not one of those rushing about to reach my next gate, ha!).  And at airports, I get to indulge in one of my favorite activities – people watch!

While waiting, an older gentleman came and sat beside me… and he struck up a conversation with me.  He was a WWII veteran who was 91 years old, half-blind and was on his way to Florida to play golf.  We had a lively conversation about his experience during the war, among other things.  He was one of the support guys during Normandy.  He asked me if I knew whom General Eisenhower was (seriously?!) , to which I named most of the generals in WWII.  I did that not because I wanted to show off, but to show him he didn’t need to bother with the basic stuff.  I wanted him to get to his stories, and more stories. As he shared his life story (and of course I was totally mesmerized by all the twists and turns in his 91 years of life), he summarized his life with, “Where can the son of two illiterate peasant from France become a successful dentist, and lived a full life but in America?”

[Note: Photo taken right before the flag was taken down when dusk set in….]

I almost cried when he said that!  At that moment when he uttered those words, he and I formed a precious bond. He is an immigrant, and I am an immigrant… we both came under circumstances bound by law during different eras of American history, as well as bound by the love for the rich legacy and history of the land in which we live.

Talking to this very accomplished retired dentist was how I spent my 3 1/2 hours at the airport before we embarked on the plane.  I helped him find his seat because he couldn’t really see despite his nearly impeccable health at his age. Well, it turned out he was my neighbor across the aisle.  So, we chatted some more… he told me I looked like a teenager to him, and asked me to be sure to tell my husband that when I got home.  My husband didn’t offer any comments (smart guy!) when apprised of that comment, but my ever-so-slightly cynical friend aptly pointed out that the reason his dear man thought I was no more than 15 was due to his visual impediment.   Impediment or not, this dear man totally charmed me with his sweetness and his life stories.

We reached out layover destination,  the plane was so small it didn’t park right next to the airport.  So we had to get off the plane on the tarmac.  I gave him a hug before we parted ways!

I have often thought of this dear man since that cold and snowy January day.

MY TURN: The Aurifil DOM 2016 Block #7

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Hello and Happy Friday, Friends!  It is an exciting day at Ivory Spring because… today is the day my Aurifil Designer of the Month block is released!!!

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Click here to find out more about my block done in the blue colorway to go with this year’s blue/white theme!  You might also learn a couple of deep dark secrets about me you haven’t yet known. :)  And, more importantly, you just have to make and share a block to be entered in the giveaway of a whole box of Aurifil large spool threads!!!  A really generous gesture by Aurifil!  Details are mentioned on Auribuzz.

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Meanwhile, here is the block I made for myself using Windham Fabrics’ Blush & Blooms fabrics.  I added two primitive birds onto the block.  Because of the fabric choice, the block ended up taking on a “Shabby Chic” primitive look! :)

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You may recall seeing the same bird being embroidered in my Block #5.  I enlarged the bird for this month’s block.

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I used the yellow in my Subtle Strings thread collection to buttonhole stitch around the pink birds to give a bit of contrast.

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You can add the bird to your block too if you would like.  Click here to download the bird applique template.  Use the image below for placement guide for the birds.  Just think of the quilting possibilities in th negative area.  I know I certainly am for my block. :)

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I am so glad my spring dishes came out to play.

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Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you are still sewing along?  If not, there’s no better time than now to join in the fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed making all the DOM blocks, so I imagine you would too.

Have a great weekend!

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So, below are Blocks #1-6.  You have seen Block #7 today.  I am now ready for Block #8!

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Block #5

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Block #6

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Bastille Day & Thread Journey Part 3!!!

Today is Bastille Day!  This very key from Bastille prison is displayed prominently at Historic Mount Vernon.  It was a gift from Marquis de Layfayette to the venerated General Washington who is almost like a father to Lafayette. Click here to read more about the fascinating story.[As of 7EST today, I heard the news of the Bastille Day tragedy.  So sad!  It’s during times like these, words fail me and I can only pray.]

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[photo credit: Mount Vernon Ladies Association]

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Hello Friends, Happy Thursday!  Over at Auribuzz today, we have the final installment for constructing the Thready Journey quilt top!  Here are a few beauty shots I took of my Thread Journey Version 2 completed quilt top.  We will continue on with quilting Thread Journey a month from now.  So, if you would still like to join the journey, just hop on!!!  Auribuzz has all the instructions, as well as upcoming schedule.

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The mottled light gray fabric I used for the outer border is my new favorite gray.  In case you want to track it down, it is color 37098-12 from Windham Fabrics’ Palette collection.

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I unwittingly captured the seams on the back of my quilt, reflected by the sunlight.  I love this shot.

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Have a most fanta-bulous day, my Friends!!!  And I am always grateful that you are part of my life’s journey.

Thread Journey Quilt Along Part 1 & Other News

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Dear Friends, today is THE day!!!! Go on over to Aurifil blog today for the first step in making my Thread Journey Quilt by clicking here.

The original Thread Journey quilt was made mainly with batiks.  You can see my version 2 is made with Windham’s solids and fabrics from their other basic lines.

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A point I want to stress is I hope this quilt will bring much quilty joy in your own quilting/thread journey.  And remember… it is your quilt!  You can change and spice things up anyway you would like.  I think the following quote from Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.” :)

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Meanwhile, the new Aurifil’s Designer of the Month block for June just released yesterday. Click here for the details on how to make Block #6!

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And that’s all the excitement I can handle for the day!  I have to get back to that green/red quilt that has many pieces. I still have quite a few blocks to go. :(

Have a lovely day!!!

RJR Fabrics What Shade Are You? Blog Hop!

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Well, you could probably guess… :)

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Being a part of this blog hop has been one of the ways I chased off the blues from missing Spring Quilt Market at Salt Lake City. TOTALLY lame pun!  :o)  Come meet my Blueberry Pie House wallhanging!

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Working on Blueberry Pie House has been a personal challenge to me to see if I could design a quilt from one main color group of solids.  It was really fun, and I have really liked the effect of the blues mixed in with the grays.

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See the grapevine wreath quilted on the door?  I have to say that wreath is probably my favorite thing on the entire quilt. :)

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You see why with all the blues, I named my little wallhanging Blueberry Pie House….

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And I even quilted “blueberries”…. they are basically just swirls that stand out from being quilted in a tighter fashion! You can read about my basic swirls here, and once you master the curves, you can have a lot of fun modifying the motifs for various purposes/looks.

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If you take a good look, and I hope you can see it…. these blueberries and background quilting are quilted with a light light blue thread.  I like the subtle blue quilting that shows on the white solid.  You can also read about my thoughts on subtle contrast in quilting here and, and the eventual curating of a thread collection for Aurifil here.

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One other thing I was really thrilled about was how the solids highlighted the quilting so well.  I don’t often work with just solids.  So, I think working on Blueberry Pie House just opened up a whole new world to me!

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The other thing I wanted to point out is that I think I am getting more adventurous in my old age.  I used to only quilt with Aurifil’s 50 wt cotton.  For Blueberry Pie House, I actually used the 40wt, except for the blueberry/background quilting where I still used the 50wt (only because I didn’t have a light light blue in the 40wt). I hope you can see the difference in thread weight makes between the background quilting (50wt), and the pebble quilting done on the house (40wt).  You can read about my review on the Aurifil 40wt here.

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Well, would you like to make this little wallhanging?  It is not large – only 24″ x 26″.  Head on over to Quilt With Love for information on pattern download.  Meanwhile, my thought wanders to a nice break with a piece of blueberry pie and a cup of coffee! :)

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Have a great weekend, Friends.  I shall catch up with you later!