Friday, March 30, 2012

Wrought Iron Blocks--Complete!

This morning, I finished sewing black bow tie blocks for my friend's wedding quilt. I've contacted a long armer (my first!) and will have the top ready to deliver on Monday. From what I understand, she has a quilting pattern (pantograph?) called "wrought iron" and ought to have it back to me before the bridal / linen shower, in time for me to bind and apply a label. Le sigh... it is a sweet, sweet thing to see the work of your hands and heart laid out so beautifully. Happy Friday indeed!

Linking up with Sarah this week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

On National Quilting Day

Not only was Saturday St. Patrick's Day, it was also National Quilting Day! Our guild met, all wearing green. Before sitting down to stitch, we had a bit of business:

Totally stoked for this one.

MollyJolly showed and told.

Craftsy blocks of the month were introduced.

A special gift was given.

Then, after a delicious potluck (and musing on a future guild cookbook), we sat down to stitch! My big accomplishment was finishing my Sew. Happy. Geek. Quilt-A-Long top. The others were very tolerant of my periodic squeals and exclamations of, "Oh my goodness, I love this!"

It has a name:  the Frances Quilt. Those who know me know the significance of the name, but Frances means "free", and I love the freedom of print, colour, and design of the quilt. That name just feels right. I'll be happy to piece the back and quilt it!

Afterwards, as a reward for setting those blocks, I started in on my greens.

Those leaves are slight modifications of a pattern found here.

The night before I'd stitched my OYG practice block...

And real block! (Green toenails included for St. Patrick's Day--and as I almost wore orange for Northern Ireland, I find it quite appropriate!)

Hope everyone else enjoyed their National Quilting Day as much as I did! Now to finish those greens...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Four orphan blocks from a bee member, one orphan block from the Sew. Happy. Geek Quilt-A-Long, scraps of white and color, remnants and muslin, leftover binding and blue thread ('cause no other color would keep from breaking!) and I have completed my OYG orphan block challenge!

This quilt is a surprise for Papa T. and Mama J., friends of mine who just had their first grandchild. Papa T. is battling cancer, and we're watching miracles happen as his pain decreases, health increases, and both he and Mama J. are sustained. A few weeks ago, he told of the idea of adoption--how he is understanding what it means to no longer be an orphan in God's eyes--and I knew this quilt was for him. For his granddaughter. For the generations of his family he will live to see.

Because there's always a plan, always a place to fit, no matter how scrappy or unwanted or cast-aside we feel. There is always redemption, always hope, always opportunity for more life! So I bless Papa T. and Mama J. and their grandchildren. May all their children be taught of the Lord and know that they are anything but orphans!

Now, I don't believe in coincidence. So it was purposeful that the very night I completed my orphan block challenge, I encountered another call/cause for orphan blocks.

 In the course of blog-hopping, I came across a call for 6.5 inch blocks to make a quilt for a 4-year-old with brain cancer.

This is right up my alley.

I'm a certified PreK/elementary school teacher, and I get paid to look at children's brains. I've seen how quilts can change people's lives--be a reminder of hope, love, protection, comfort... reflecting in each stitch an investment of time and value, imbuing the recipient with honor and worth... Needless to say, my heart goes out to this sweet little muffin-child.

If you'd like to contribute blocks for this quilt, follow this link for more information. If you've not got blocks lying around, perhaps you'd like to contribute a prayer? That way, when baby girl gets healed, you have the testimony of an answered prayer!

Blessings, y'all. Onward and upward!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Settin'--that's "sitting" with a Southern accent, for those of you who were unaware--as in, settin' there starin' me down, as if to ask me when I'm going to finish current projects so I can give 'em some attention! Reminds me of that plaintive look a kitty will give by their empty food bowls... Pitiful, no?

Alternately, "setting" applies to quilts. For example, here are my Sew. Happy. QAL blocks without a setting:

And now (partially) with:

The 12th block was a quarter Dresden Plate. As I lacked two blocks to complete my quilt, I doubled up. I really love how the blocks are so different that you don't immediately notice they're the same.

And BONUS! A last opportunity to use all the fabrics! I had lots of fun putting these together. It almost makes up for the less-pleasing aspects of paper-piecing the week before!

Hopefully once she's all put together, I can get some decent pictures in the daylight. Between now and then, I'll have to think of a name. I'm open to suggestions--Bueller?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Close but Not Finished

Spring is a busy time of year! There's so much happening, so much to do...

Daffodils blooming... (Must photograph!)

Babies to bless...

Orphan block challenges to complete...

Seeds to plant and tend... (Do you see the tiny baby beets?)

Mythological creatures to invent... (It's science!)

And celebrate...

And model...

And a quilt-along quilt to finish...

Paper-piecing... (Not my fave, just going to say...)

Adding blocks... (Thank you, Quilter's Cache!)

Piecing from scraps...

Improv piecing...

Auditioning backings... (Oh, I haven't even unfolded that sheet to see if it's big enough! Here's hoping!)

I have GOALS! I will FINISH! I will meet DEADLINES! I will FULFILL CHALLENGES! I will... I will... I...

I will eat another bite of this prostitute brownie* and have a glass of milk, tuck my toes back under my Hobbit cloak, see how badly I've whupped that friend at Scrabble, listen to the piano music I recorded last night, listen to the rain... and the train... and remember. It's a hobby. It's fun. And it's okay to finish tomorrow... the next day... eventually... after... or whenever... ahhh...

*Having been raised on Grandmother's peerless from-scratch oven-baked recipe, having sworn by it and sworn others to it, I find myself in a moral quandary:  dare I enjoy this inferior, microwaved version? It is not as good. The texture is off. It's far too big. Not enough butter. Too much sugar. It's... it's... oh, heavens... it's half-gone already. Whoops.