Spiced Chai - A Confidence Building Quilt

8.10.2018

I needed to build my confidence after the quilt fail I had last month. Something fast and easy was in order. I settled on the Spiced Chai pattern found in Vintage Quilt Revival

My original fabric choices were all Grunge by Basic Grey: (top to bottom) fig, lime punch, tangerine, sunflower, grey paper, silver, cordite, black dress and white paper. 


As you can see, the grey paper fabric was way too light. Not near enough contrast. Notice the green-blue block in the upper left corner. I ran short of the fig color to make a second block for that spot. I added a green-blue Grunge from my stash, I have no idea what the name of that color is. 


I placed the leftover scraps from the other two greys over the too light gray blocks to see how it would look.  


So much better!! I only had to do a little bit of rearranging! 


Quilting in progress....I used a grey and white variegated Aurifil thread. 


And the finish!! 


It took me three days to get this one done, start to finish and the quilting went so well. It was a relief to not have any issues at all! 


Love these colors!




Making the Spiced Chai quilt gave me the confidence I needed to get the binding on the Ombre Gems quilt and let it shine just the way it is. It really is beautiful...Faults and all...


I am going to take another break from sewing and quilting to get some much-needed painting, and other home maintenance things done. First up, painting my bedroom! It's been at least 10 years since we painted it and it needs a serious freshening up. 

Until then, have a happy weekend and sew on!! 


Rocky Mountain National Park

7.29.2018

Last week, Russ and I spent a lovely week in Estes Park, Colorado to visit the Rocky Mountian National Park. This was my first trip to Colorado and it did not disappoint! 

The scenery was breathtaking! 


 We went on day hikes to Gem LakeEmerald Lake and Ouzel Falls. We met such nice people! 

Ouzel Falls
We saw some very interesting plant life on our trip. I half expected to see a gnome near this mushroom!

Amanita Muscaria
As for wildlife, we saw a bear, many marmots, a snowshoe hare, bighorn sheep, mule deer and elk. Seeing wildlife is my favorite part! 

Alpine Visitors Center
We took a  drive up Trail Ridge Trail on one day. I do admit that I had a moment where I wasn't sure I could take the ride up the mountain. My fear of heights was getting the best of me and I was psyching myself out. The original plan was to go all the way up to the Alpine Visitors Center and then down the other side to Grand Lake, turn around and come back. I was afraid I would get to the other side of the mountain and be too afraid to come back home! We compromised by going up to the Alpine Visitors Center and then coming back down again. There was a section that was a bit scary, but overall it was easier than I expected. Since it went so well, on another day, we took a drive up the more rugged original road, the Old Fall River Road. That was a very beautiful drive!! 


Waterfalls everywhere! 


Snow, shorts, and sandals!! 


Enjoying the tundra!


My favorite hiking pal...


The rest of the time we relaxed and enjoyed the many shops in Estes Park. It's a beautiful town...

We are already planning our next summer vacation to Glacier Park!  

What National Parks have you visited? Do you have a favorite? 

On a sad note: While we were there, we were made aware of a missing hiker, Brian Perri. It appears his body was found earlier today. My prayers are with his family and friends...


Quilting Gone Wrong

7.07.2018

For the last few days, I have been hard at work getting my Ombre Gems quilt all quilted. Here you can see I am almost done. I loved the texture and how it was quilting! 


Here it is all quilted up. I was thrilled with it! Loved the texture, loved how it looks. It quilted up beautifully....Or did it? 


This morning, I tackled squaring it up...That's where I realized I had a problem...A big, BIG problem!

The more I quilted it on the diagonal, the more off square the quilt was being pulled. You can see just how significant it is in the following pictures. 



If I do force the corners to be square and meet, you can see the twist that the quilt is forced into. 


Instead of crying over something that can't be fixed...okay, I admit it, I cried
... and I really don't think it can be fixed short of removing most of the quilting, even then there is only a hope it will relax back into shape, I am choosing to use this as a learning opportunity and remember to not quilt only in one diagonal direction so densely again. 

I am pretty nervous about washing it and having it shrink even more off square! 

Has this ever happened to you? Were you able to fix it? Please share!




Two more removed from the waiting list

6.21.2018

And one more added!! 

First, the two that are finished...

This one was made with my far too large stash of Simplicity by 3 Sisters that I collected years ago. I am determined to get it all sewn up and used!! If anyone loves this fabric and would like some, please let me know!! 


I also have busted most of my Pam Kitty Morning stash and got this Perfect Ten quilt all quilted up and off my to-do list. 


I chose to do a variation of my free-form wavy lines by adding a second free-form wavy line on top of another to create a look like a streamer or a ribbon. 


I like how it looks! 


Now for the one that got added to the to-do list!! 



I spent most of Saturday trimming up the Ombre Gems blocks and got them pieced into a quilt top! I am very happy with how it turned out!! It's far from perfect, but much better than I feared. 


 This quilt was a good growing experience for me. I used fabric I was not comfortable with, stuck to a quilt-along schedule (ie: didn't rush to finish) and made a top with blocks placed on point. It's good for me to make a quilt top that is a challenge every once in a while. It's a confidence builder, when it turns out good in the end, that is. *wink*

Until next time!! 

North Shore ~ Minnesota

6.18.2018

Earlier this month, we spent the weekend in Two Harbors, MN. Two of my favorite memories of the weekend was getting up at 4:45 am to watch the sunrise come up over Lake Superior. It was beautiful! And getting up around midnight to drive about 10 miles out of town to where there was very, very little light pollution so I could see the Milky Way for the first time. Simply breathtaking!! 


One of the days were there, we hiked at Gooseberry Falls State Park to see the waterfalls. 



And we logged a few miles on the Superior Hiking Trail. 


The weekend before we went, my son and his friends also visited the area to slackline at Palisade Head. And this is why I have lots and lots of gray hair!! 







We have a few more weekends getaways planned, as well as a vacation to spend a week in Colorado. I have never been, so I am very excited about that! 

Have a happy summer day!! 

Fabric Blessing

6.07.2018

Patty contacted me to see if I would like to take her Basic Grey Fresh Cut fabric she wasn't going to use off her hands.  

Yes!! 

I was blown away when I got the package in the mail yesterday!! 

Look at all the fabric!!! There is more than one complete jelly roll and yardage! 


All sorted by size...


It's all tucked away in a basket along with the Fresh Cut fabric I already had, just waiting for the perfect project!!


Thank you so very much, Patty, for your kind generosity! I will be thinking of you while I play with this wonderful bundle of fabric fun!! 


Big Baby ~ Baby Quilt

6.06.2018

A few weeks ago, I took advantage of a warm and non-windy day to power baste 5 quilt tops that had I had backings already made for them. This was one of them. It's called Big Baby by Gigi's Thimble. It's an extra large version of her Scrap Jar Star and can be found in her book "Vintage Vibe."  


I chose to densely quilt it with my walking foot using the serpentine stitch on my Bernina. On my machine, it is stitch number 4 and I stretched it out a little bit. I don't recall the exact number, but I think it was 2.75.


When I do quilting like this, I start with quilting on all the seams. In this quilt, I had 9 even rows. Then I divide each of the 9 rows in half and add another quilting line. Then I divided each of those rows in half and added another quilting line. Every time I did that, it multiplied how many more lines I had to quilt between. I almost quit when my quilting lines were roughly 1/2" apart, but I made myself take that extra time and I added that last line to get the quilting to be approximately 1/4" apart and it was worth it!! The texture is amazing!! 


Here it is bound and washed. The batting is Hobbs 80/20. Not my favorite batting because it is pretty thin, but it was what I had on hand. It still shows up the texture nicely. 


And the beauty shots...




Have a happy Wednesday!!


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