It’s almost October! What?

pSLPumpkins are appearing, pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks and other pumpkin spice flavored stuff is here and Christmas is only 3 months away! Where has time gone?

October is my favorite month…it’s my birthday month, it’s beach month with my best friend, and of course it’s cooler weather and changing leaves time too!

It’s hard to think about Christmas but I’ve already been working on a couple of Christmas projects and a bunch of “inventory” items for some upcoming booths I have.  September 24 is Mooresville Mercantile Fall Gathering, October 1 is the Madison Street Festival, and November 5 is Taste of the Holidays at Asbury UMC.

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This weekend I finished this quilt for a bedroom in our house.  I named it after my daughter Julie and her artwork she created in high school.  The pantograph I chose was not too easy so it took me about 6 hours to quilt it. I love the final product though!

 

 

I’m excited for tomorrow night’s quilt guild meeting!  Lisa Bongean with Primitive Gatherings is coming to share her wool techniques with us.  Here she is on the cover of a magazine! Happy Hump Day!

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UFOs

Do you have UFO’s….unfinished objects?  I have so many, but last weekend I spent 2.5 days with my new Stitchers Group at Grand Oak Retreat.  I got quite a bit done and am pretty happy with my progress.

IMG_9447.jpgFirst to finish and now is ready to quilt was my “Utah” Row-by-Row souvenir. Back in June, I went to Utah with my husband to see a rocket firing and went to four quilt shops.  I figured buying the kits was much more fun than buying a Utah souvenir….AND best of all, I got to see all the wonderful quilt shops!!!!!!

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Second project was more time intensive…probably spent two hours cutting out strips and 8-10 hours sewing it together. It is a true labor of love for one of our bedrooms in our house. This room is my 21 year old daughter’s bedroom, but since she’s at Memphis College of Art, she only comes home on occasion. This is what it is going to look like.  I’m just going to do some all over quilting

Third project was a simple table runner and then I tried out some 6″ blocks from Farm Girl Vintage (which I just purchased from The Fat Quarter Shop) with my leftover Moda Hello Fall charm pack.

So I have also been pondering about how to use my Jan Shade Beach fat quarters so at the retreat, I played around with EQ7 and came up with this. The center blocks in 5 of the blocks will contain her preprinted block graphics.  I plan on using my Shimmer pattern for another quilt.  This one will be a wall hanging. It’s Sunday   and it took me a week to finish this blog.  It was just one of those weeks!  I hope you have a blessed day!

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It’s August Already?

Where has time gone?   School has already started here in the south and it’s hard to believe.  This week I finished up 3 client quilts (photos coming later since they are gifts) and organized my projects to take with me this weekend for my quilting retreat at Grand Oak Retreat in Scottsboro. Since I am looking for some fat quarter ideas, I thought I’d share a few with you!

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Here’s a cute stylish scarf that only takes 5 fat quarters!

 

 

 

Here’s an 85×85 fun quilt to make!Title

Here’s another beautiful quilt called Pineapple Blossom

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Shimmer-Quilt

 

This pattern, called Shimmer from Cluck Cluck Sew is not free and I purchased it awhile ago.  I love it!  I’m sort of leaning towards using it with  Jan Shade Beach‘s new line of fabrics called Holiday Magic. A few months she spoke at one of our guild meetings about her journey of designing fabric and other types of products!  So cool and she’s also a local Huntsvillian!  I just had to buy her fat quarters of the new line! Ya’ll have a great weekend!

 

 

My First Challenge

IMG_9264I did my first challenge quilt with the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville Guild.  This quilt was an inspiration of the theme “A Road Less Travelled”.  Instead of it being a road, mine was a river.  Many years ago my family and I were vacationing in the Smokies and I was dying to try fly fishing in the park. So I geared up and my husband dropped me off in the park and a few hours later picked me up a ways down the river.  I tried to stay along side of the road, but there was this one area that caught my eye.  I noticed water coming from another source, so I got out of the river and walked a short distance and saw a gorgeous waterfall.  No one would have seen this waterfall unless they purposely got out of their car, walked across the river and then into the woods a short distance.  That place was definitely a “road less travelled”.

I spent a month or so looking for a variety of fabrics with textures to use in this quilt.  I got many of them on my recent vacation to Utah at various quilt shops in the Salt Lake City area.  The very first thing I did was “thread paint” ME fishing.  I printed a B&W photo on fabric and then went to my machine and started threadpainting.  I learned this technique after taking a class from Nancy Prince a couple months ago. It’s far from perfect but it was fun! I added ME to the quilt once it was all pieced together.IMG_9373

I finished it off with a printed fabric label done on my inkjet printer.  I am pretty happy with my first art quilt and ready to do more!  Got some really cool ideas floating in my head!

Generations to Come

Have you ever wondered what our future looks like when it comes to photos and preserving memories?  I’ve always been a scrapbooker and preserved my memories in a scrapbook so that my grandchildren and future generations could flip through the pages to see how their we lived and celebrated life.IMG_9253

Nowadays, more and more people are digitally preserving their memories via Facebook, Tumbler, Flickr, Google, iCloud, you name it, it’s out there!  They say “once it’s on the net, it’s always on the net”.   Technology changes so rapidly these days it’s truly fascinating from a techno geeky side!

It is a good idea to take your favorite photos and print them as a backup so that your future generations can enjoy thumbing through and old vintage scrapbook. There’s just something about turning the actual pages!  Creative Memories makes awesome scrapbooks and has great supplies.  I’ve been scrapbooking for almost 21 years and still keep my feet wet as a Creative Memories Advisor. So if you ever want to make that scrapbook, let me know.

IMG_9154Another cool way to preserve memories is through a quilt.  The quilt to the left contains 10 years of cruise memories.

The one below to the right contains many years of race memories of a person who is no longer with us.  Two photos have been added to the quilt below.IMG_9237

Adding photos to a T-shirt quilt or any sort of geneaology quilt can add so much personalization to a quilt.  I use spoonflower.com to print my fabric, so it’s high quality, washable, and has vivid color.  So take those shirts out of your drawers or closet and bring them to me to help you preserve those memories in a special keepsake memory quilt. It’ll be worth every dollar spent!

Quilts and Rockets

IMG_8901IMG_8890Wow, this week has been great so far in Utah.  My husband is an engineer at NASA working on the SLS (Space Launch System) that will take us to deep space in the near future….Mars that is.  Yesterday, I got to experience an actual rocket test firing which was super cool!  We even toured the plant where they make the rockets, from the nozzle to the solid rocket propellant that goes in all of the segments of the rocket.  Seeing what my husband does first hand was really eye opening and exciting.

On Mo6c91b7a113e6f4f689aac47fcf48f027nday, my sweet hubby drove me from quilt shop to quilt shop, patiently waiting for me to make my purchase, and of course look and drool at all of the fabrics.  All I could think of was the photo to the right.

Not sure if you have ever heard of  the Row-by-Row Experience, but each year starting in June, quilt shops all over the US, Canada,  and now Europe participate in this experience by creating a design according to the theme, offering a free pattern of the design, or creating a kit for purchase.  Oh, and of course, the license plate of the shop!  It’s a fun adventure.  I only learned about it last year and vowed to participate this year.  So I went from shop to shop in Utah (only 4 of them) and purchased the kit, instructions and the official plate from each shop.  I would say it was SEW WORTH IT!


I LOVED seeing how each shop was set up.  My favorite by far is Elaine’s Quilt Block in Salt Lake City. I walked into one of the rooms and fell in love.  The colors were beautiful! It was so organized and had two floors filled with designer quilt fabrics, Michael Miller, Riley Blake, Kaffe Fassett and more!  Each bolt of fabric had fat quarters already cut!  smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes

My dream has always been to own my own quilt shop attached to a coffee/tea shop!  I would duplicate this shop and have one in my little hometown! Who knows, maybe someday!

The absolute highlight of my Utah quilting journey was stopping by Handi Quilter, maker of my long arm. A couple months ago I emailed their headquarters and asked if they did tours.  I got a very nice response back from their customer service saying they did not but to stop by our place and check us out. So on Monday afternoon, my husband and I stopped by and walked in the front door.  There were quilts hanging everywhere….Luke Haynes was the artist being displayed at this time. There wasn’t a receptionist or anyone to greet us so there was that awkward moment of what to do next, so a person saw me and I waved.  She came over and talked to us and I explained to her about contacting them and “stopping by”. So she excused herself to find someone to come and talk to us.  The CEO, Darren Denning greeted us and asked if we wanted a tour.  I was pretty surprised that the CEO would take time out of his busy schedule to give a quilting groupie like me a tour.  Of course I said YES! 🙂  There was a quilting retreat happening in a room full of long arms and lots and lots of quilts hanging everywhere.  It felt like a quilting museum! The factory tour was amazing…I really think my husband, Byron enjoyed it as well!

My local dealer, Huntsville Sew and Vac, can hook you up with great equipment!  They are Handi Quilter dealers!  Tell them I sent you!

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Yep I am here!

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Luke Haynes quilts behind me

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The lobby

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More Luke Haynes quilts
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Byron and Darren talking about manufacturing stuff.
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Long arm retreat.
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The inside of an Avante (my machine)

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These machines are set to run for a long time and then measurements are taken to determine if there are any problems.

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Testing Area

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These ladies get to test the equipment!

Favorites of Paducah Quilt Show

It was a year ago today that I was experiencing the Paducah Quilt Show for the very first time.  I walked into the arena to see mostly women, and yes a few men were running around looking at the exhibits and the vendors. It was amazing and overwhelming to see all the quilts there.  My biggest inspiration was this quilt called Chasing Bubbles by Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama (Japan). Best original design award, AQS-Paducah 2015. I was determined to do an art quilt which has been started and is a very slow and tedious process as you can see in this photo.

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 My favorite tool purchased at the show was a binding tool.  It helps me create binding so easily and perfectly.  See the video from Missouri Quilt Company.

This Saturday, I am headed to Paducah with the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville for a day trip.  I am looking forward to seeing my next inspirations and the next best tools I can find to enhance my skills.

Staying busy as a bee transforming t-shirts and clothing into memory quilts.