Sunday, December 21, 2014

Grand Illusions Mystery Quilt link up

I finally finished my last customer quilt on Friday and am now free to get back to working on the Grand Illusions Mystery Quilt, designed and offered by Bonnie Hunter over at

I completed the first clue of broken dishes...

and I am now working on the second clue of Double Diamonds.

I have all the pieces cut and spent a couple hours last night drawing lines.  Bonnie described several methods for making these units, but I am using the draw the line on 2 squares method. I am also taking the time to draw the second line using my Triangle Buddy.  It is a time-consuming endeavor, but the end result will give me hundreds of extra HSTs to be used for another project!.

I have a dozen or so blocks made and several parts.  I'm thinking about setting this kit aside to start kitting Clue 3.  I'm never going to catch up what with Christmas 3 days away and family visits to host or make.  I would like to have some of each part ready to do a partial assembly.  So, I think that is my plan.  Kit and make just a few of each part and wait for the reveal.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Power Purging

Bonnie has been posting about her 5-minute purges and it is more than past time that I get some purging done around here too.  Items have been moved from room to room for a while to clean up for the holiday festivities and most has been dumped in the guest room

I started with emptying the dining room and removing the dreaded wallpaper.  And by I, I really mean handyman Bob did the work with me directing.  LOL!  I've hated that paper since we moved her 12 years ago.  We had removed a similar paper from the walls of our first house more than 20 years ago and I remember what a nightmare that was.  I didn't have any help back then... but now... handyman Bob to the rescue.

He removed the paper, prepped the walls, cut in and painted in a total of about 8 hours work over two days... completed just in time to set the table for Thanksgiving dinner!

I still need to deal with that shelf in the corner and am in search of a curtain topper, but at least we had a clean and neat space for dinner.  I also have plans to set up an office/work table along that back wall, and maybe make some wall hangings to decorate.

Everything... all the clutter from the living and dining rooms was dumped in here on and around the guest bed.  I forgot to get a picture when I started, but there really is a bed under that mess.

The rocker hubby bought me for rocking my babies 27 years ago has been taking up room in here and preventing me from easily accessing that empty dresser...  So, that got moved downstairs for now.  Eventually my youngest daughter plans on taking it to her home.

With the rocker out of the way I was able to access the desk and dresser area and I sorted through piles of paperwork and stuff and organized my "filing system" for bills and records keeping into hanging files in those boxes on the dresser.   

I belong to several different church and community groups and I have a tote or two for each group with necessary paperwork;  they all got placed into the drawers of that empty dresser.  I still need to deal with the desk top, but it will be ok... for now.

The boxes of toys and other stuff tossed on and around the bed have been neatened up, sent to Goodwill or thrown in the trash.   I used two of the 3-drawer bins I had bought to organize my fabric stash and filled them with all the little cars, planes and McDonalds toys that the grandson plays with when here. I think I need a couple of large totes to put all his stuffed animals, bigger cars and toys in.  This dresser piled with stuffies has several changes of clothes for him and some spares for his brother when he visits too.

In the corner by the bed is an ottoman that folds out into a cot that I hope my second grandson will agree to sleep on one day.  Also a wicker hamper full of spare sheets and baby blankets and some stuffed animals.

The bed is now actually usable ... and I plan to encourage my grandson to sleep in here rather than on the crib mattress at the foot of my bed.  He has outrown that mattress and I am ready for him to be in a separate room. I'm a light sleeper and don't get enough sleep on the weekends with him rolling around or making little noises or laughing in his sleep.

When we first moved here I did that library shelf stenciling and made the quilt and curtains to match.  The original bed was much smaller... looks like I need to make another quilt to fit this queen size guest bed.... and maybe a wall hanging or two in here also.

I am really happy with the results of this purging... hubby is too.  Now I just have to keep it that way!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Clue 2

My daughter had the baby... 7 lbs 5 oz boy!

While middle brother wasn't quite sure what to make of this squirmy bundle...

big brother was thrilled to have a new baby and help out!


They are all home now and settling in.

I am back home now too and have worked on Grand Illusion this week in between everything else that life has thrown at me.  Clue 1 is now complete.

And I have begun cutting on Clue 2.  I've decided to use the 2 square method to make these Double Diamond Blocks.  It is a method that I am most familiar with and since I was having trouble getting my printer to cooperate :p I thought it was easiest.

My friend Bettie is now home from the hospital and happy to have her kit to work on.    I will stop and check in on her progress later today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Clue 1

I have lost track of time and almost forgot to do this link up.  I've been a bit distracted.  My oldest daughter is in the hospital preparing to deliver our third grandson.  I'll have an update next week.

checking into the hospital.

my fabrics pulled from stash.  deciding between blue and purple to replace the green.
I happened to be walking by the fabric store and found the purple flannel to use for backing

My Black Friday sewing.... HSTs

Saturday morning I cut up the yellow and black fabrics and pieced some of the broken dishes blocks.
I stopped when I realized that because of the fabric I chose... as it is cut into squares... half are mostly yellow and half are mostly orange.  Now I must decide if I will use the orange or, since I have extra fabric, fussy cut out only the yellow areas to use.
By Saturday night I had all the yellow squared broken dishes sewn but stopped at just a few of the orange... still trying to decide what to do.

On Sunday cut and sewed the next grouping of HSTs and half of the blacksquare/HST block sections.  Still trying to decide whether or not to use the orange.
And, just because I needed an additional challenge... I helped out a friend who is experiencing some health issues at the moment and is unable to cut and sew fabric.... I cut strips and kitted up some blocks for her to maybe hand stitch if she has a few moments when she is feeling better and able to sit up.  The plan is for her to cut up the remaining strips and machine sew the rest when she is back on her feet.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

baby quilts

My daughter recenly told us that grandson number 3 is due November 27th!

Matthew has been busy embroidering again this year and recently finished the Mother Goose blocks.  I pieced them into a top and he has decided not to sell this one... but to give it to is new nephew when he arrives.

As with my first two grandsons.... the new baby gets a simple quilted fabric quilt.

The middle brother gets a quilt pieced from some of his receiving blankets

And big brother will get a quilt pieced from Goodwill shirts and some of his grandfather's shirts.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fair Time

Early in the spring the grandson and I went out into the yard, loosened up some dirt and planted some zinnia and sunflower seeds.

When it came time to submit entries to the local county fair I snipped some flowers, stuck them in a vase and entered them for him

He was thrilled to learn that his zinnia arrangement took 3rd place and he earned $4 to put in his piggy bank

He was ready to immediately go out and plant more seeds to win more prizes!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summertime Fun

We were able to keep our grandson for a couple days this summer and we visited the Nashville Zoo, the Nashville Science Discovery Center and the Chattanooga Aquarium

learning good dental hygiene at the science center

petting the sting rays

posing with his aunt and uncle

He loved looking at the aligators and turtles... although this aligator was a bit bored with him
While this fake penguin  didn't entertain him for long, he was fascinated to watch a male penguin pick up rocks and bring them to the pregnant female... building and adding to her nest.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Football Season Begins

My daughter's boyfriend used to play some football in high school. 
Now he has decided to spend some bonding time with my grandson and has signed on to be pee-wee coach!

They start with some stretches

The running some sprints before lining up for some scrimmages.
I have several 30 second videos of his blocking attempts, but don't know how to post them.

He loves his water breaks!

The team record is 0 wins  2 losses  1 tie
Their goal is to win 1 game this season!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Child's Busy Bag

Here is my grandson modeling the busy bag I made from a linked tutorial found on Bonnie's blog.

It is very simple and easy to make. 
 I used some novelty fabric I had in my stash that I have been saving to make an eye-spy quilt.

I have several more novelty fabrics and plan to make a few more.
He is calling dibs on the Super Dog fabric!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Quilting Work

I have kept busy with several custom quilting jobs this summer....

First was this birdhouse quilt.... outline stitching around birdhouses and features of each block.  Tiny meander stitching the background of each block.  Stitch-in-Ditch the border treatments

This donkey quilt had stitch-in-ditch donkeys and meandering in the background.

This flower quilt has 1/4 stitching in the red and yellow parts of the flower, some "s" stitching in the background and parallel line stitching in all the borders.

This unique quilt with baby outfits sewn onto blocks of fabric required careful outline stitching and a meandering background

This quilt pattern is from Aug 2010 American Patchwork & Quilting is called Points of Pride.  There is circular quilting in the centers of each block and freehand stitching in the "sunrays", loops in the neutral background fabric and fine stipple stitching in the blue backgrounds.

I still have the Grandmother's Flower Garden and the second Donkey quilt to complete in September.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sewing Vacation Part Three

I stopped at the dollar store to pick up a few items for dinner and these towels with matching potholders caught my eye.  These are a poplular craft item at our church Fall Festival so I stitched up a few.  I like adding new variety to my inventory.


This is my last day for sewing before packing up to head home.  I pulled out a kit of several Disappearing 40 Patch blocks and stitched together this wall hanging.

 I miss-cut one of the blocks and that made me short one of the black print blocks for the corner.  I don't think it sticks out too much.

I have a bunch of extra Cracker Barrel parts and 7 extra blocks. They are 12 inch blocks and I'm thinking 4 placemats and a table runner.  I also have extra fabric that I can make more blocks and maybe a small lap quilt.  I'll decide later how much more I want to work with this.

 My last project for this vacation are red/white basket blocks.  I didn't have time to sew them, but I now have 20 kits cut and ready to use as leader/enders when I get home.  I bought 12 Thangles kits at my LQS...but didn't purchase those Thangles papers.  Instead I used my easy angle ruler instead and I was able to make their 12 kits stretch to make 20 blocks!  

The beds are now stripped and dishes done.  Hubby is hooking his trailer and boat up to the car and it's time for me to sign off and load everything else into my van for the ride home.

It has been a fun and relaxing week.... and I am positive we will be back here next year.