September and October Finishes and WIPs

Hello Everyone! I wanted to share some of my finishes and WIP (Works in Progress) projects for the past two months and list my goals for November. I never did a post for just September because I worked on a lot of things, but didn’t get much finished.

If you are here for Block 4 of Save the Bees, you might enjoy reading to the bottom of this page to see some of my work or you can go here. Make sure to leave your comment on the Save the Bees post to be part of the OLFA Giveaway.
IMG_7623.1So…you can see from this list, that I only finished three things in September (click the links to read more about each project):

Instead of making a new list for October, I just continued to work off the September list.

  • I made 21 of the Petit Four baskets and filled them with 3 fat eighths for gifts for the retreat goers. I totally forgot to get a picture of them all together at the retreat, but this is what one looks like. This is a free pattern byAnnie.
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  • Finished the quilt top for the 2017 Quilting Life BOM at the retreat.
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  • Made two pillows using two blocks from Jacquelynne Steves Giving Thanks Mystery quilt that was part of The Art of Home Club patterns.
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  • This picture also shows the Twirl Mini (white pillow) for the November Minis and More Parade that I completed.
  • I also worked on the Cheddar and Indigo blocks and the Swoon blocks.
  • I started a new Christmas quilt at the retreat using the Swell fabric by Urban Chiks.
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  • I also finished some embroidery pieces and started working on a knitted sweater from last year. October was a productive month and with a camping trip thrown in.
  • For November, my list is not as long as I usually make it.IMG_7624.1
  • First up is the Mini for this month, “Stitched with Love” by Thimbleblossoms.
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  • Continue to quilt the 2017 Moda Blockheads Quilt. I’m about half way through with it.
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  • Try to finish at least one of these quilts by the end of the month. The top one is the Swell quilt and the bottom is Winterville.
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  • And this is finished, a Journal Cover for my quilting journal. I’ll have a whole blog post next week on making this cover.
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And the other big thing I’ve been working on is a new collection for Jacquelynne Steves The Art of Home Club.
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This is part of the applique design I’ve been working on and below is one of the test blocks.
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I think this will keep me busy for a while. I hope you have a great rest of your week and thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in applique, Art if Home Club, Bags and Tote Bags, Christmas Sewing, embroidery, Fall Quilting, FMQ, Hand Crafter's Carry-All Basket, minis, Minis and More, Moda Blockhead BOW, Pillows, Planning, Quilting Life BOM, Stitchery, Swoon Quilt, Uncategorized, Winterville Quilt | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Save the Bees Block 4 is Here!

Hello Everyone! It’s time for Block 4 of the Free Save the Bees BOM by Jacquelynne Steves. Make sure you visit her site to get all the information about the block. You can also still sign up for the patterns if you haven’t done so. Make sure to read to the bottom of this post to find out how you can enter the giveaway for some great prizes from Olfa.

IMG_6852.1For those following along, you know that I have been making mini (half the size) versions of Jacquelynne’s blocks. Don’t panic on this one! It can be done! Remember, I made a test block before I started the mini and I learned some things and I will be passing those tips on to you. These tips can also be used for the regular size block, too.

For those making the mini size, you’ll need the revised information found on the Save the Bees Mini Revisions page here. Remember, you’ll need the full pattern from Jacquelynne in order to make the block.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. After you decide on your fabric but before you cut it, starch it! This will make it much easier to piece.
  2. Label the diagram on the last page of Jacquelynne’s block instructions like this (I’ve done this for you in the Mini Revisions:
    Bee Labels.2In my revisions page for this block, I have added the label for each piece in the directions. The letters are in the order of the cutting directions; black (A-C), white (D-G), etc.
  3. As you cut out your pieces, add a paper label to them.
    IMG_6250.1Since I don’t have any cute Alphabetties from Fat Quarter Shop, I just used scraps of paper. You can see that some of the pieces are quite small, you don’t want to lose them.
  4. Follow Jacquelynne’s directions very carefully when making the Half Rectangle Units. The sizes that I’ve used for these pieces are very generous, making them easy to sew together. Trim them down to size using this tutuorial by Jacquelynne.
  5. Press your seam allowances according to the directions. This will make the block lay nice and flat.
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And now you have a perfect mini bee block!
IMG_6862.1When I took the pictures, I realized I hadn’t made the antennae yet so I drew them in. They are now embroidered on with a dark blue Aurifloss.

IMG_6869.1My bee liked playing in my flowers in late spring. And here are all four blocks together.

IMG_6859.1 Jacquelynne designed such cute blocks as she always does!

Now for the Giveaway

This month our sponsor is OLFA of rotary cutters, cutting mats and ruler fame.
Save the Bees BOM Giveaway November 2018- Jacquelynne Steves - CopyLast year OLFA sent the featured bloggers a fold up cutting mat, a Splash cutter and an endurance blade.

IMG_7620.1This year they sent me the small 28mm cutter and a Frosted ruler, perfect for working with small pieces and curves. So thank you OLFA for treating us so well! Before I received the Splash cutter last year, I was using another brand because I didn’t like the straight handled rotary cutters. After using the Splash cutter for just a little bit, I was converted back to OLFA. The curvy design fits perfectly in my hand. I bought the blue cutter just to have a spare and within a week, I received the pink one in my first Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop. I took the mat to the quilting retreat, and it was the perfect size to have by my machine.

For your chance to win something special from OLFA, tell me are you still into fall (or spring) quilting and crafting or have you started on your holiday projects yet? Leave me your answer in the comment section below by the end of Sunday, November 11 for your chance to win.

  • The giveaway is open to everyone, US and International readers.
  • There is ONE prize per person per month.
  • Make sure that you leave your email so I can contact you if you win.
  • You have until the end of day on Sunday, November 11 to leave your comment.
  • Once I contact the winner for your information, you have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Be sure you visit the other bloggers for 7 more chances to win and to see how everyone finished their Block 4.

Post your finished blocks on social media using:

#SaveTheBeesQuilt and #SaveTheBeesBOM

You can also post pictures on the Sew Quilty Friends FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/SewQuiltyFriends.JacquelynneSteves/.

I’m looking forward to seeing your finished bee blocks! Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in minis, Save the Bees BOM, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 113 Comments

November Minis and More and Other Fall Things

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a safe and Happy Halloween. Today is Minis and More Parade day and the theme is anything fall. The parade is hosted by Michele and Sherri each month. I chose to make a Mini Twirl by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree and Co.

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I changed the pattern to fit a 16″ pillow form.
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I only made 4 leaf blocks and had to change the size of the horizontal sashing to make it fit my plan. The fabrics are all from my stash and most of them are pieces of charm squares. I chose the colors to go with the applique pillows I made from Jacquelynne Steves Giving Thanks Mystery Quilt. I think the elongated free motion swirls give the illusion of falling leaves in the wind.

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Here it is on the foyer bench all decked out for fall. I was originally just going to use the applique pillows for my entry into the parade, then decided I needed something lighter to go with them on the bench. I made those little fabric pumpkins many years ago and the orange one has lost its stem. I need to go find another stick and glue it on! And doesn’t the Be My Neighbor Mini quilt (Sherri’s design) look good with the pillows?

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The quilt ladder is a recent addition to my family room. I have wanted one for a while and I purchased it unfinished at our guild’s annual auction. I debated whether to stain it or paint it, but thought it would be easier to paint. I like having a place to display more quilts. I need another one. I’m hoping my son will make one for me soon.

Another project I finished recently is an embroidery piece by Jenifer Reynolds of Jenny of Elefantz.

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This design came from a recent set of club collections. I thought it would be fun to use fallish colors and to frame it.

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I found the frame I wanted to use first, then added a border that I could wrap around a piece of flat Artist Canvas cut to size. I added a piece of batting under the embroidery piece to give it a little loft. I used white glue to hold it in place, and now it’s ready to be framed.

IMG_7438.1Don’t look too closely at my crooked lines in the door. I didn’t realize they were that bad until I had it stretched and glued around the canvas. I’m pretty sure I was working on that part when we came home from a recent trip on a bumpy road. No more stitching in the car unless the road is smooth! I have finished several more of Jenny’s designs and am slowly working on getting them into finished projects.

I’ll let you know what the next mini will be soon and I hope several of you will join in next month. Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Art if Home Club, embroidery, FMQ, minis, Minis and More, Pillows, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Camping at FDR State Park

Hello Everyone! I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I’ve been catching up with laundry and sewing since we got home from our camping trip on Thursday. I’m finally finished with laundry and I was able to start quilting my 2017 Moda Blockheads quilt.

When we planned our October camping trip, we decided we needed to go south a little bit. Last year at this same time, we went to Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee and it was cold. Of course, we still had the pop-up then.

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Now, we have our Rpod 179. It was beautiful when we got to FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, GA on Monday. This was our third camping trip to FDR and it’s a great park to visit with lots of camping spots and hiking. It’s also close to Callaway Gardens and Warm Springs where the Little White House is. We visited those places on our previous trips.

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I remembered to take along a few little post decorations this time. We were able to get a site close to the lake. In the pop-up, we always had to be close to a bathroom so sometimes the best view sites were out for us.

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Part of our section of the campground was on this little cove of the lake. This is the view from our picnic table.

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After getting set up, we took our chairs and adult beverage to the lake and enjoyed sitting there the rest of the afternoon.

Providence Canyon State Park

The next morning, we made a hardy breakfast and packed our lunch for a trip to Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, GA. It was about an 1 1/2 hour drive from FDR and is southwest of Columbus, GA. It’s called the Little Grand Canyon of GA and someplace I’ve always wanted to go. The only camping in the park is backcountry camping, one reason we hadn’t made a trip before.

Once you hike down to the canyon floor, there are 9 finger canyons that go off the main trail.

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Most of the time, we were walking up narrow paths to get to the canyons. The main entrance to the canyons were marked, but sometimes, once you were on the trail, it was hard to tell which path led to the canyon.

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Canyon 4

The canyons usually opened up into a space like this! Very hard to believe that this is someplace in Georgia.

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If I was just looking at this picture, I might think it was from our trip to Sedona last year. The soil is very different though. Our Georgia red clay on the top layers, but then gets very soft and sandy clay underneath. The area lies on marine sediment and the Visitor’s Center has marine fossils that were found in the park. The creation of the canyon was caused by poor farming practices starting in the mid 1800’s. I also read one account that mentioned erosion had started along a creek when the Creek Indians were forced to deed the land to the early settlers in the 1830’s.

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Parts of the floor are below sea level and we were always walking through these wet, clay trails until we got into the open areas. Water is constantly flowing and I read that even though the canyon is not getting deeper than it’s 150 feet, it is still getting wider.

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Coming out of Canyon 3, which was the first one we went into, I saw this little guy. I thought it was moss at first, then took a closer look. I hope no one stepped on him later in the day. He looked like he was attached to the rock.

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This tree/bush was also blooming. I think it’s a native azalea. I tried to look it up and did find that the park is home to the rare Plumleaf Azalea. The Plumleaf has crimson  flowers and is a late bloomer, July and August, but since these are not crimson flowers, it must not be that.

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One more photo from the floor of the canyon. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day. I think the colors in the canyon would have been even more spectacular if it had been sunny.

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Once we left the canyon floor, we hiked the rim trail and along the way came across a bunch of old cars that had been left behind from the old homestead. They looked like they were all from the 40’s and 50’s. They weren’t removed because it would have caused more damage to remove them than to leave them.

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You can see the different canyons in this picture. Really amazing.

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Another rim view overlooking canyon 4. Canyon 4 and 5 were the most open and the most visited.

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That’s the trail leading to canyons 4 and 5. It looks like a muddy creek from the top.

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For the most part, you could pass by the canyon in your car and never know what was below you. It was a fascinating place.

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Just one more canyon picture. When we passed this on the canyon floor, Canyon 1 I think, I saw it and said, hey, that’s the Madonna! Looking at it from the rim, it looks more like and angel. What do you think?

Back to FDR State Park

We were tired by the time we got back to FDR. We had hiked over 4.5 miles and there was some up and down, too. We had an early fire and an easy dinner of Chili that I had made at home.

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We had nice hot fires each night. Sometimes the wood that you buy in the park is green and smoky, but not this time.

The next morning we woke up to a clear, cold morning (temps in the low 40’s). We tried out the furnace in the Rpod for the first time and it made everything nice and toasty inside, but we’re not inside people. So we bundled up and cooked and ate our breakfast outside.

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The lake was pretty on that cool morning…

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…so I had to take a few pictures. After breakfast we took a walk around the lake and then hung out at the campsite until the afternoon, when we took another walk around the lake.

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The day was cool, but gorgeous, just what a late October day should be. We are looking back at our little cove here. We continued around the lake, then hiked along the Delano trail which went around the campground.

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We ended the day with a beautiful sunset on the lake while eating dinner and another awesome fire.

We were going to spend another day and come home on Friday, but it was supposed to start raining on Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday. We decided that we would pack up and go home on Thursday morning. No use getting everything wet and we really didn’t have any more plans for the day.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures of Providence Canyon State Park and learning a little about it’s history. Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Camping, Hiking, Rpod, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some Fall Quilting

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks. This past week we’ve had the outside of the house and the kitchen cabinets painted which meant moving things partially from the cabinets, drawers and counter tops. I did take the time to get rid of things I don’t use anymore before putting things away. I also attended a workshop with my quilt guild and it was the fall Corn Maze (shop hop) at the local quilt shops. The week before, I started cleaning up my flower beds and replanted some of my flower containers with mums and pansies. I also managed to get some quilting done, too.

Back in the spring sometime, I finished these two blocks from Jacquelynne Steves The Art of Home Club Mystery quilt. I never got around to completing anymore of the blocks from the quilt, so I turned these two into pillows.

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The basket block finished at 10″ x 16″, two inches short of fitting into a 12″ x 16″ pillow form and the pumpkin block would fit a 12″ x  22″ pillow form, but it was very curved and you wouldn’t be able to see the top or bottom of the block easily. To solve both problems, I added an extra piece to the top and the bottom. I also ended up making my own pillow form for the pumpkin pillow so it would be flatter than a store bought form.

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It was very easy to make. I used muslin and fiber fill and made it in less than an hour.

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Now you’re able to see the leaves at the bottom of the pumpkin. Both of these blocks were machine appliqued using what I call invisible machine applique, using a very small zig zag or buttonhole stitch with matching or invisible thread.

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I quilted a triple cross-hatch in the background using my straight ruler and ruler foot. I like the effect this has with the applique.

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I outlined the swirls on the large pumpkin piece and added some veins in the leaves. The lines on the gourd and the pumpkin are free motion quilted using the foot as a guide for the distance between the lines. The center circle covering the leaf ends is fussy cut from a large print.

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For the basket pillow, I outline quilted the flower and leaf pieces, added some horizontal lines on the basket and McTavish quilted in the background. I learned this technique from Amy Johnson. You can find a whole series of tutorials for McTavishing by Amy here, who also quilts on a domestic machine. (After looking up the link, I think I need to view the videos again as a refresher, so many good tips).

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I needed some fall pillows for my foyer bench and the fabrics I used go well with the fall quilt that I have hanging in the foyer. 

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The pattern is called Atlantic Flyway by Deb Tucker and most of the fabrics are Forest Fancy by Deb Stain for Moda.

IMG_7460.1I plan on adding one more pillow using the Twirl pattern by Fig Tree. This is going to be my Minis and More for the month, the theme is anything fall. I do like to make pillows that I can change out for the seasons and holidays.

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This past Monday, I took a machine applique workshop with Sandy Fitzpatrick of Hissyfitz Designs. She has all kinds of whimsical applique quilt designs and I chose the Candy Cane Trio table runner. I decided to only make one candy cane block and will make this into a pillow, too. The green fabric is Moda Grunge and is the same fabric that’s in my Swell quilt. The black plaid is Juniper Berry by Basic Grey for Moda. I had to order fabric to finish the Swell quilt and it’s here, so that’s one of the things I’ll be working on soon.

I also went on a little shop hop at the end of the week. Five shops within 30 minutes of my house do a Corn Maze shop in the fall. Jacquelynne asked if I would design two collections for her next year and of course I said yes!

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Can you guess what one of themes is going to be? Now is the perfect time to collect the fabrics since I only have a small collection. You may get some peaks along the way, but it will be August before you can see the final results. Right now, both collections are mostly in my head!

I hope you are having a great week and are enjoying some nice weather where you live. Fall is finally here for us! Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be back soon.

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Posted in applique, Fall Quilting, FMQ, Free Motion Ruler Work, Pillows, Rulerfoot Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Bicycle Quilt Finish

Hello Everyone! I hope you are having a pleasant weekend. It finally feels like fall here in North Georgia! We’ve had some very fallish temps and are expecting to have a nice week. I even got out yesterday to plant some mums and pansies. It was just too hot for them before.

I have finally gifted the Bicycle Quilt to my friend Lydia. I had partially quilted it by her birthday in August and showed it to her, but took it back. I did finish it the next week. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get together until a few weeks ago, but she has it now.

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I love this quilt. I almost didn’t want to give it away! It does have a little story behind the fabrics and making it.

In May, my guild held an auction of donated items from the members. I really didn’t see any boxes I wanted until I came to a box that had a set of 3 1/2″ squares and some other goodies in it. I bid on the box and won it! When I saw this fabric (Cycles of Life by Kristen Berger for Maywood Studios), I immediately thought of Lydia who is an avid bike rider.  She and her husband were also looking for a new house. I thought I could make a quilt for the new house with these fabrics, but there was no rush, or so I thought.

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I received an invitation In mid July for Lydia’s birthday party. Now, I thought I would give her the quilt for her birthday. So I had to get busy, but I had to finish another project I was working on first. I started looking for ways to use the squares in a quilt that would be quick to put together.

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I got the idea from Oh, Scrap! by Lissa Alexander. The block is a traditional Granny Square. The size of the block squares in the book are different than what I had, so I did some readjusting to fit the squares that were already cut.

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I was able to use fabric from my stash for the background fabric, which is Uppercase by Janine Vangool for Windham Fabrics. It’s hard to see the pattern in the fabric in the picture above because of the heavy quilting, but you can see it in the picture below. Speaking of the quilting:

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I used this Multi Clamshell ruler by Handi Quilter to make continuous curves in the granny square blocks. Just be careful with this one. It’s made for a long arm and if you have a low shank ruler foot, it might not fit on your machine. In the sashing, I free motion quilted a tight wishbone design. I wanted the squares to pop.

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In the border, I used “Archie”, one of Angela Walter’s new quilting rulers. These rulers are made by Creative Grids and already comes with a grippy side just like their cutting rulers. I started quilting from each end of the border, and made the design fit along the way. I like the look of this border and you will probably see it again. I purchased the border and backing fabric to complete the quilt. The border is Simply Neutral by Northcott Studio and the backing is Kona Cotton.

DSC00798.1Solids really do a nice job of showing the quilting design. I used Quilters Dream Wool for the batting to help keep the quilt light and fluffy, even with all the quilting. The wool also does a nice job of showing the quilting, too. This is the second time I’ve used that batting and I plan on using it again in the near future.

Bike quilt 1

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share this fun quilt with you. Have a great week.

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Posted in FMQ, Free Motion Ruler Work, Rulerfoot Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

My First Quilt Retreat

Hello Everyone! I went on my first overnight quilt retreat last week, Wednesday through Sunday, and had a great time and got a lot done.

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Every year, my guild goes on a 5 day, 4 night retreat to the Red Rooster Retreat Center in Crane Hill, AL. The center is set up for quilters, crafters and other groups up to 23 people.
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I’ve done local retreats, but still had to go home and cook. It was nice to be able to get up from your sewing machine, eat in this lovely dining room, then leave all the dishes for someone else to do. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, too.

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The Red Rooster is on Smith Lake. This is the view from the upstairs landing. I was able to grab a table by a window so I could look out and see the lake when my eyes needed a break.

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There is a nice pool, where I swam laps one morning, and this is another view of the lake from the top of the steps to the pool.

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We each had our own table to spread out all our many projects on.

IMG_7420.1This was my corner for the week. The empty chair and messy table is mine. I was working on several things at a time and had them all spread out.

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There was also a corner seating area to watch football and do handwork if you got tired of sitting at your machine. There were so many beautiful quilts completed during the week, too.

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I took my Quilting Life BOM from 2017 to add the borders, too. It was the only quilt I completely finished, but I still accomplished a lot more.

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IMG_7403.1I finished three more Swoon blocks. Now I have 12, only 8 more to go!

IMG_7426.1I worked on the Cheddar and Indigo blocks and had enough to lay them out to get a feel of what the quilt will look like. I think I’m going to like this a lot!

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And finally, I almost finished sewing the blocks together for my Swell quilt.  Before I left on Sunday, I was able to get all the blocks sewn into rows then got 4 rows sewn together. I finished sewing all the rows together yesterday! I am now waiting for border fabric to get here to finish the quilt top.

Retreat Group

This is the group of great ladies I had the privilege to get to know better and learn things from during the retreat. I hope to return next year.

If you have a chance to go on a retreat yourself, I hope you do. It was a very fun and productive experience. Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Christmas Sewing, Quilting Life BOM, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments