Thursday, May 24, 2012

Progress is fun!

Fun Finish

I really enjoyed working on this quilt and completing my second finish. This quilt is also for This is done in Red Roosters Always Believe fabric. I love the feminine colors of it (I have 2 grandsons so it is nice to get to do girly things now and then ) This is actually a Christmas fabric. I didn't even realize that at first. There are two prints in the line that have tiny little snowmen on them and that's it. The lighting isn't great for these pictures but it is a sweet girly pink in 3 shades light to dark then three baby greens in light to dark. I practiced my straight line machine quilting on this one . ( I really looked for a picture where the lines looked straight but this is about the best of them LOL )

The backing is a larger print from the same line. I  did get alot of puckering on the back so if anyone has any idea what I need to do to stop that , I would appreciate it.  All in all I really enjoyed this one! 
I am working on a set of coasters , place mats etc for a kitchen set that I hope to post tutorials on. Also several quilts in various stages. 
I hope you all have a wonderful day and thanks so much for stopping by!
Hugs and blessings,
PS. Have you all voted on your favorites for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival?
Also check out the TONS of giveaways at Sew, Mama, Sew! There are hundreds of them and it runs all week. Have fun!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

A Quilt of Firsts

Amy at Amys Creative Side is hosting the most wonderful Quilt Festival. I love her blog and so much wanted to be a part of this show. If you haven't seen it yet, you should go on over and look at all the hundreds of wonderful quilts entered!

This is my entry into the festival. Though it is simple it is a quilt of many firsts and I am really pleased with myself.

This is my first completed quilt for Quilts for Kids, it is my first straight line machine quilting as well as first machine free motion quilting.It is also my first completed quilt in over 25 years!!  So, I will quickly try to tell you the story of my getting to this point and why I am so pleased with myself.

This is not meant to be a sad story or a story I will repeat, it is just a story of how life happens.
I was a very avid quilter back in the 80s. It was alot different then to say the least. I hand quilted everything. But, as with everything life happens and I ended up having to have carpel tunnel surgery on both hands due to all the damage I did to them crafting all the time. Imagine that, I never would have thought that possible. Anyway after having the surgery and rehabs on both hands, it took a while to get them back up to speed. By this time we moved from NH to TN and life just got busy. After my kids had grown and gone on their own and empty nest settled in, I decided to go back to sewing and quilting. I no sooner got back into it and we had a house fire in 2001 and lost everything. It was devastating to go out one day and find at the end of the day you have no where to go home to and nothing but what is in your possession at the moment. It took a long time to get our bearings and get resettled. This time back in NH near family and friends. By the time we got back up here I began to get ill. I already had been dealing with thyroid disease and narcolepsy for years but this was something worse I could tell. They first diagnosed fibromyalgia and mixed connective tissue disorder and degenerative disk disease in my spine. I was living with alot of pain and went through several medications to try to manage pain along with cortisone injections. But, things got worse and I started to have trouble breathing doing simple things. The mixed connective tissue disease caused pulmonary hypertension , a disease that causes the arteries in the lungs to thicken and makes it hard for the blood to flow through, which in turn forces your heart to work harder to pump the blood and causes it to enlarge and become less effective. So I went from chronic disease to a terminal illness with a 2 1/2 to 5 year life expectancy.Then this past April I was diagnosed with cancer from it and underwent radiation in June. It was my only treatment option due to being too weak for surgery, It seems my days were filled with being sick and weak and many many hospital stays. Last year I was in for almost 4 months over 7 stays!
I felt so useless and unproductive which made me start to feel so depressed. Not about being terminal just about doing nothing all day but being sick!! 
This past fall on a beautiful sunny morning when the sky was a brilliant blue, and the air felt so clean and fresh I realized I was already at the 2 1/2 year mark and I was actually starting to feel a bit stronger! Give an inch and I will take a mile!! Praise God, a little stronger was a milestone. I just needed to decide what to do with myself. THEN  it hit me quilt! Quilting made me happy, fabric, color , made me happy.I needed a plan to motivate myself and feel usefull. I was going to make a quilt for every member of my family and my friends so after  I was gone they would always be able to surround themselves with my love and hugs. It started out slow as I had nothing to work with and a terrible little machine that hated to sew. I also knew I wanted to make Quilts for kids because when I went into the hospital I always brought my blankie and it always comforted me and I want to do the same for them, give them comfort and love. I plan on making quilts for them between all the family quilts.
  So, not having a stash or knowing where to really begin , they sent me a quilt kit which I made into this quilt I am showing. My quilt of firsts because not only am I back quilting and spending my time in joy I have accomplished so many firsts in this quilt. Though it is simple, I hope you enjoy it!!
straight line on the blocks and free motion around the border.

first free motion, this is where I was hanging on like a crazy women with my hair standing straight up!!

Sorry for the blur, this is the backing.

So, my short story has turned way to long so I will end off sending you all

Hugs and blessings

Friday, May 11, 2012

Some Giveaways for you !

Just thought I would pop in and share some give-a-ways with you. Never know you might be the winner :)
                     Sew Whats Cooking is giving away 3 yards of fabric!
It looks so pretty and summery.

The Quilting Lodge is giving away 13 fat quarters if Jennifer Paganelli Free Spirit fabrics or a layer cake of Good Fortune by Kate Spain!

Its Sew Kiki is giving away a ton so scraps from 5" squares to stuff to make string quilts along with books and patterns. This will be a big surprise pack for someone to receive.

Any one of these give a ways would be great to win. Someday when I  get to be a big girl blog I will be doing give-a-ways, I am really looking forward to that.

I have finally finished  2 quilts and a mug rug and 1 of 6 place mats with machine quilting. They are far from perfect but I do not think that the fabric or myself could take any more ripping out so I just had to call it as good as it gets for now. Definitely will be practicing. Hoping for good weather and some nice light so that I can take some pictures to post tomorrow.
Hope you all have a wonderful Friday night!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Some Progress

Slow but sure.......

I was hoping to have some finishes to show you by now but the machine quilting is taking a little bit longer than I thought. One thing I found out is that my seam ripper is now my best friend. I spend more time with her than with humans, I swear!
     I did manage to complete 2 tops that are just waiting on binding which hopefully will be done in the next day or two. The straight line quilting with the walking foot was pretty easy to learn. Now its just practice and paying attention to make sure I keep the lines straight.  The free motion well... I felt like a crazy woman holding on for dear life! I did just the outer borders in free motion coz that isnt as bad ripping that out as the center parts. I have to say though, I was pretty pleased with it when it was done.
    I spend so much time online reading all the blogs for tips , tricks, to see what is new it definately cuts into sewing time. I am going to have to work this out, maybe I can read faster , or stop following all the links till I have no clue where I am :)
   Well, to keep from rambling, hopefully I will be back in a day or so with some pictures finally. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day!!