Thursday, January 15, 2015

Get Pumped- Ice Skating Anyone?

JANUARY
This whimsical January boot is 12" square to fit on the originally designed (by me) Ackfeld metal hanger.  Some days I am more excited about that than the shoes:)  When thinking of January, I do think of ice skates even though I haven't skated in years.  How many of you remember clogs in the 80s?  So clunky but so comfortable and this shoe is reminiscent of those.
 
Hopefully you have already signed up for the Starter Kit.  If not, this BOM is open enrollment so still plenty of time.
 
Since it is now January 15th, the templates for the January shoe are available for purchase on my website BOM 2015 page.
 
**NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:)
Originally this project was set up so that you would pay for the templates and they would be an immediate download.  Due to a VAT (Value Added Tax) put into place overseas on digital products, I had very limited options as to how I could keep the digital aspect but not be subjected to a very disorganized new law.
 
When you pay for the templates on my website, a payment notification will be sent to me.  Once I have received this notification, I will then email you the PDFs of the templates.  Please be sure that your email address associated with Paypal is correct so that you can receive these files.  I will email within 24 hours of payment.  Thank you so much for your understanding.
**End of message**
 
In your 3 pages of templates, one will be a placement guide that is NOT full size but shows how the shoe goes together.  The other 2 pages contain full-sized, reversed for fusible applique templates.
As always, I am only an email away.
 
In your original pattern, you also received the templates for making mini shoes that would either go on a 3-1/2" or 4-1/2" block.  How cute is this little January shoe??  I am so excited to make the minis.  I had to pick a standard pump for the mini block since some of the months have a bit too much detail to go that small:)  Working in one shape, it becomes important for pattern and contrast to work together.  Also a great place to use novelty fabrics.
January Mini shoe
I am very excited about watching this BOM progress and seeing how all of you use different fabrics to achieve a new shoe each month.  Please share your progress on my FB page.  This is also where you will find additional tips about how I went about making these sweet shoes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 UFO-along

Hello Quilters!
I know I am not alone when I walk into my sewing room to look for something and find UFOs that have been set aside for the latest 'new' project I am working on. There are so many though that it becomes overwhelming and you need to find a little push to get you excited about working on it again.  These 2 small piles have about 10 UFOs within them........  Maybe I need a spreadsheet too:)


Now to find what motivates you....
My motivation is working in a group.  Not sure why but having a group of like-minded people working with me always made my day so much nicer.  Since I work alone now, you would help motivate me to get some of these done.  OR, maybe some of them just need to go away.  I started a UFO silent auction at my guild last year to raise some funds and we get all kinds of neat projects in from quilters who decided they just weren't getting back to that project-Ever.  Tastes change.
If you have a project or 2 that aren't just 'unfinished' but are stumping you as to HOW to finish, then we will be here to help you with ideas for that too.
Sometimes we all need a little motivation to finish and what better motivation than PRIZES!
My prize is that I will have a fun, creative group to motivate me to finish a few of my own UFOs along the way. 

Here are the rules:
1. Definition of a UFO- It is in the title, UNFINISHED, but there will be some additional guidelines so it isn't too easy for you.
*Unfinished projects may not be smaller than a table runner or a 24"ish wall hang-No potholders:)
*Just needing the label doesn't count but binding and label/sleeve, does.  Let's face it, a lot of people stop at the binding and I just don't understand that...You are SO close to done!!  You will feel great once that last stitch is in, I promise.
*Quilt must be started already.  Let's finish the ones started not the ones that are a stack of fabric and a pattern or idea.

2. Accountability- From time to time you may get a poke from me asking how it is coming along and I would like to know what I am talking about:)
*By Jan 31st, 2015, post photos, name, and size of at least 2 UFOs that you would like to finish by the end of the year onto my FB page.  You may post more but I think 2 is very attainable with everything else we have going on, and it will feel great to get 2 done.
This will not only allow me to keep track but makes you more accountable for your own once you have announced it to the world:)
*I will have a roster of participants and their quilts so that I can cheer and award when proper to do so.

3. Now for the fun part....PRIZES!
You will each receive the satisfaction of finishing one of those projects, snuggling under it, or giving it away!!!!
Not that you don't get that too, but Just kidding:)) 
*For each quilt you finish, you will receive one FREE pattern of your choice from my website.
*For each quilt you finish, I will also put your name into the Grand Prize drawing.  These prizes are TBD but I have a long list of ideas!  Drawing will be held on December 31st, 2015.
I will post the additions as I receive them as additional motivation for you:)

Now, I just bought myself 17 more days to figure out which 2, 3, or 6 UFOs I would like to finish this year:))
Pass the word to your friends and let's get as many people as possible FINISHING some quilts this year!
R

Friday, January 9, 2015

HAPPY 2015!

It is going to be a great and busy year!  My holidays were fabulous starting back in Nov with a trip to NC to visit the kids.  Even though I came down with a nasty head cold, we were still able to hang out, play games, eat turkey, and just be.  It was fun seeing the kids take over more of the cooking role too.  We were all responsible for some aspect but it wasn't my kitchen:)  There were 5 adults and 4 dogs in a 1000 sq ft apt.....Fun.
 
A friend invited me on a bus trip from her complex to see an ice show.  I was NOT prepared!  I was thinking it would be a room of ice sculptures like you see at a wedding--NOPE!  It was held in the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando where they have a full clipper ship in their atrium-What?  The ice sculptures were done by the same people who carve a full ice city in Beijing every year-Amazing!

Christmas in Tarpon Springs, FL is a sweet night downtown called, "There's Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs".  They have soap 'snow' makers, a lighted boat parade on the bayou, and lots of vendors of all sorts.  Grab a hot chocolate or coffee and wander:)  Of course, while this is all happening, Autumn was just arriving here...see tree.

December brought another trip to NC for Christmas but this time my husband rented a cottage in Asheville.  And, because we like to live adventurously, this time we had 5 adults and 4 dogs in 720 sq. ft....COZY!  Good thing we get along and actually like each other:))))  Again we hung out, toured the town, ate great food, and played games. 
Lar and her Charlie Brown tree on Christmas, Puppies snuggling for warmth, backyard nook.
This was our first NYE that no one was here visiting though and so we went to our local hipster bar to see how the youngin's do it.  For me, the best part of going out is always being in a crowd during the countdown.  The energy is indescribable.
Before heading out to ring in 2015.
While you haven't heard from me, I have been working on the Get Pumped BOM, getting a new Seasonal BOM tested, putting together a class schedule for a local shop, and started putting a Market booth together for Minneapolis in May.
New quilts on Etsy, new puppy addition (daughter's Bowen), what I have been working on.
My Etsy shop had 3 new quilts listed this Fall, (Autumn Geo, Pink Trilliums, and Green/Purple strip quilt--the last two are baby quilts).  My Poinsettia pattern will be a beginner hand applique class at a local shop, Crafty Threads.  Then there is the EPP that I am doing just for me.  And, ALWAYS more shoes:))

I hope you have LOTS you are doing and I would love to see them on my FB page!  Next week join us here for the unveiling of the January Shoe of this year's GET PUMPED BOM.  See you then:)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

GET PUMPED 2015 BOM

I am so excited to introduce you to the 2015 Block of the Month from Nestlings by Robin.
 
Measuring in at 12" square, they will make great
weekend projects or small gifts for friends.

Because they are FQ friendly, they will be a great way to work from your stash and personalize each shoe to your personality!

Sign ups begin Cyber Monday, (Dec 1st), on my website!
STARTER KIT FEE: Merry Christmas to you!
The price on Dec 1st will be $36.


 (After Dec 1st the price will go up to $44) 

Your starter kit fee will include:

1-Get Pumped original metal hanger from Ackfeld

1-Get Pumped pattern with all the instructions to make your monthly blocks, minus the monthly applique templates
which will be available on the 15th of every month on my
Etsy site as a downloadable PDF. 
There will be a monthly fee of $6 for the templates.

1- Download Calendar

1 Small Thank You!

Shipping for your starter kit is included in the price.
Any questions?  Just email me!

Friday, November 14, 2014

SO Cute!

New from SUZN QUILTS!
 
Suzn Quilts Tiny Dresden Series
Sometimes I get the opportunity to edit new patterns from my friend, Susan Marth.  Here is her latest series and they were just too fun to make.  If you love Dresden plates AND tiny things, this is the series for you.  She reimagined the traditional Dresden plate into a year of celebrations.  Every month also offers tiny little buttons to add a bit of unexpected / bling to each mini quilt. 
Each mini quilt measures in at 6" x 8" so they are quick too.  Plus, you can purchase this sweet mini hanger to hang them in.
I am storing them on their sides in a stack on a shelf in my sewing room and just love the way they look from the side....
All the colors!  Yum!

Visit Susan at her website: http://www.suznquilts.com/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Charity Quilts

I know I am not alone in our quilting community when donating time and talent to worthy causes.  I usually hesitate to make full on quilts after hearing how some organizations don't do our donations justice.  However, the guild I belong to is aligned with a charity that does such a great service to underprivileged children that I am proud to donate lovelies.
 
Every spring the COC along with Hidden Stitches (my guild) puts on a huge luncheon and quilt auction.  We have over 300 people attend the lunch and so many quilts for auction that we have added a silent auction as well so everyone's bums don't go numb during the bidding:)
 
As I contemplated what to do for 2015 an estate sale of a quilter came to the guild's attention.  
 

I found 6 machine embroidered Sun Bonnet Sue blocks for $6...I knew I could come up with something:)  The one missing will go into a small pillow done in peach because she was the one NOT like the others in colors.  After adding some nine patches and a border, I had it machine quilted by a lovely woman in our guild who will quilt our charity quilts for free once we supply the backing/batting which is more than fair!!
After I received it back from Toddy, I added the floral applique to the borders for an adorable baby quilt...I just love the red and white!  The floral applique mimics a floral design in the embroidery of one of the other blocks.
At the estate sale, I also found these 16 completed kaleidoscope blocks ($8) and the gold fabric yardage that matched perfectly. What to do..... There weren't enough for a whole quilt and if I separated them, then you would lose that cool purple square between them.  I decided to just put them together and add a bigger header and footer for a lap size quilt.
Again I sent it off to Toddy and her husband, Ray, to quilt it for me.  Once it came back, I added the purple flower garlands to the top and bottom borders.

I machine appliqued the flower garlands and then replicated the quilting details into the flower heads.  If you look at the photo below, you will see that the applique flowers mimic the quilting.  This is a great way to add more detail and keep everything cohesive.
The joy is knowing someone will LOVE these and the money they spend on them at the auction will go to help kids that just need a little bit of attention so we don't lose them.
I am not one to shout my good deeds to the world but I thought this was a good way to show how orphan blocks at yard sales, thrift shops, etc. can be of use even if they aren't necessarily your style.
I don't do Sunbonnet Sue or purples/golds but someone will love these and it didn't cost me all that much other than my time.

What are your charity projects for the year?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quilting with my Grandma

This photo is from 1994 when we went to celebrate my Grandma and Grandpa's 50th Anniversary!
L-R: Grandma Bea, my mom Ellen, Me, my babies; Devin on my hip and Lauren in front.
 
 
Ten years after her passing, I finally took the time to quilt with my Grandma.  I didn't learn to quilt from my Grandma and by the time I learned, she was already very sick.  Before she passed though, she had set aside a couple of UFOs and other pieces for me.
 

First up is this puff quilt made in 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial.  Over the years it had become faded because she kept it out all the time to enjoy it.  So, at some point she decided to start taking it apart to redo some of the puffs in fabric she had saved.  When I received it, it was in sections with many little scraps of paper pinned to puffs notifying the order in the quilt: 2nd row, 3rd down, etc. 
Gram had done A LOT of easing in on those seams during assembly (must be genetic:)) and trying to sew through all the layers upon layers of seams was a pain in my big backside!! It did NOT take long for me to decide, no way Jose! Plus a sweet friend reminded me that Gram was gone and she wouldn't know:) 
What I ended up doing was salvaging the largest chunk for myself which is a good lap size. The reassembly in just that was a bit much but doable. The remainder of decent puffs were put into a good size pillow cover for my mom and the remaining fabric was donated to an appraiser friend who also does restoration work.
There is still some fabric left and I have an EPP design that I am working on to use it.  I will have enough to make a small table topper for myself and my mom!

What I learned:  I NEVER need to make a puff quilt:))

Next up was a box of horribly ugly 70s fabric that she was using to make a scrappy strip quilt.  When I opened the box, there were 8 finished, 12" blocks with all the green/red centers cut for approximately 32 blocks according to a sketch done in pen. YIKES!  Again, I pretty much knew that wasn't happening!  So now what to do with what was done.  These blocks had been done in the foundation method with a muslin??? that was more like cheesecloth.  I found a price tag on one of the fabric pieces that stated it cost $1.49/yd. and was purchased at the Fabric Bonanza.  I never heard of that store.....
I decided to give Foundation piecing a try and made 8 more quadrants, added some large green areas to try to quiet all the other colors, and some hippy-like floral applique.

I had a friend quilt it on her long arm machine with an all over floral design before I added the applique flowers--SO much easier!  Here is the new quilt with Grandma's finished 8 making up the 2 large blocks and my 8 quadrants in the borders and in the green areas for some movement.  It ended up being about 60" square and a perfect lap quilt for me!

What I learned:  Foundation piecing is SO much easier than paper piecing and I don't know why I didn't try it before!
I also was reminded of how much Grandma LOVED her moth balls.  With every press of the iron I was reminded over and over:)
For an added fun memory, I found some fabrics in the strips that seemed very familiar to me.  I went digging through some things and found this little doll quilt that Grandma had made me to match the Holly Hobbie puff quilt she had also made me.  I no longer have the puff quilt but do have the doll quilt.
If you look very closely, you will see the match to the pink swirl and the green floral fabrics.  Thank you Grandma for the lovely memories!!