Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Welcome to my installment of "Grow Your Blog!!! 2015."  This is hosted by Vicki of 2 Bags Full and she was sweet enough to include me. Thank you Vicki!

2 Bags Full

I started this blog in April of 2014 to chronicle a quilting habit that was ignited in November of 2012. You can read a rather long post about me that I wrote for an Around the World Blog Hop HERE.

Just in case you do not want to read my mega "About Me" post, I'll include a little bit here.

I'm Gayle and I reside in Georgia. I have a husband and two twenty-something sons. Son #1 lives in Alabama and is engaged to be married in March. Son #2 lives at home with his super-shedder White German Shepherd Dog. We also have an adorable Jack Russell Terrier and an outside only calico cat.

I started quilting heavily because I had more time and energy to devote to a hobby once I was finished home schooling my two boys. I also work about 3/4 time at our commercial general contracting firm.

I consider myself a Modern Quilter but I love all kinds of quilting styles. I have been a member of a traditional guild for one year and I love the fellowship. I attended my first quilting retreat last weekend with this group. I have been a member of a modern guild since September 2014.

I blog for several reasons:
1. To keep a personal quilting journal.
2. To share my journey with family and friends far and wide. Besides Hubs and Son #2 all my family is far and wide.
3. To encourage newish quilters like myself. I became a voracious quilt blog reader before I jumped in and I am fascinated by what each level has to offer.
4. To participate in the blog and IG events that looked so fun when I was just a reader.
5. And once I picked up a couple of Bloglovin followers and got a few comments I became a bit hooked on cultivating my blog for readership. Who, honestly, doesn't like the occasional ego stroke?

Here is a sample of things I have made:

Here is a sample of the Pedals I push:

Thanks for Visiting.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I was Featured on Quilt Story!

I'm a bit behind on my blog reading since I was away all weekend at my first quilting retreat and I had a pleasant surprise while I was catching up. (By the way, I had a great time and I'll share a bit about it at the bottom of the is post.) But, what I want to share now is how blessed I feel that my little baby blog was featured on Quilt Story's "Fabric Tuesday" link up! I was the top photo so my quilt was featured on the feed! Bonus!!! Let me tell you, I was shocked to see that as I had not posted since last week.

So, I want to extend a big Thank You to Heather and Meagan for sharing my project.

Click Here to go to Link Up #218 and see all the featured projects.

Here's the quilt they featured. I can't take all the credit.

The Pattern is Iced Tea by Amy Friend.
I bought a kit from Craftsy. That made this a quick and easy project.
And, last but not least, and the impetus for this entire project; I won 12 FQs of Persimmon from Mad About Patchwork.

Amy Friend is also the quilter whose husband makes those beautiful hand turned quilt tools. But you have to act fast when she offers them on her Etsy shop because they sell out in a flash. I recommend you follow her blog so you will know when they are available. I was lucky enough to purchase one as a thank you gift for the girl who gave me my Grace frame last summer. She loved it.

Ok, now about my first Quilt retreat:

I had a great time. I overcame my commitment issue on the long drive up and was so thankful that I was offered a place to bunk within two minutes of entering the building. Thanks a bunch to Patty who booked the room. We had two other roomies, a mother and daughter team, Shelvy and Marie. Don't you think Shelvy is a lovely name? It might be spelled Shelvie.

I enjoyed a ton of quilty fellowship and was quite productive. I'm watching my food intake like a hawk so I didn't partake in any of the food the lovely ladies shared so that is one of the things I will look forward to for next year.

Why did I so militantly watch my calories? I have another little tidbit to share, Son #1 is engaged! 

I don't have much time to get into Mother-of-the-Groom shape as the time between proposal and engagement is pretty short. They both are with the same mission organization and are slated for a summer abroad and they want to be married before they leave. Who could blame them? I have a small project planned before the wedding but the big stuff will have to wait for when they return.

What I learned on my first quilting retreat:

1.  Cut your fabrics before you get there. My layer cake project wasn't so bad because I could do it at my table. My Christmas Tree Pants required me to dominate a cutting space for too long and it ate up a big chunk of time that could have been spent sewing finished products to show off. 

2.  Plan to spend the night. I lucked out but will be prepared with a room ahead of time. 

3.  Bring graph paper and colored pencils. Otherwise I packed pretty well.

4.  Get a Featherweight or a 301. I had to throw that in there, I've wanted one since my pre-quilting, Air Stream Trailer days. My desire just got a boost from all the little pretties purring around the room. 

Another addition I'll make for next year is to have my Big Sis tag along with me. She will have to become an out of town member of the guild but it is so worth it.

Here is what I produced on the retreat:

Finished the back for my Christmas Runner. Ready to sandwich, quilt and bind.

Cut and pieced a pair of Christmas Tree Pants from Happy Zombie's pattern that was a short Sew-Along on Sew Mama Sew a few years ago. I think I'm going to make the solid version for the other side. This will be adorable with the AnnaLee doll collection that adorns my tree.

I cut my Layer Cake of Vintage Happy, some Riley Blake Gingham yardage and a Riley Blake Charm Pack of Medium Dots for my next quilt. Still need to cut more Kona.

I made one block. That was my final goal.

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up with:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Retreat Prep

I'll be attending my first quilt retreat this weekend. It's a yearly event put on by my traditional guild. I skipped last year because I had only joined up a week earlier and it was all new to me.

This year I am excited and busy organizing for a productive weekend. I cleaned and oiled the Juki this morning so it's ready for a workout. I have a box of projects ready to go and I have printed out some interesting tutorials just in case I run through the box or hit a snag and have to put a project aside.

I'll need some extra fabric for those projects and I want to go scrappy on both. Should I cull my stash or just bring it all? That's not as daunting as it may sound. My stash is pretty small compared to most quilters. Plus, I have mine in small lidded crates to keep it portable for Master's rental breakdown and to protect it from the copious quantity of White German Shepherd Dog hair that floats through my home. I would only have to carry four or five crates that are just larger than shoe boxes and I could store them in my car until needed.

Pretty much talked myself into taking it all with the exception of my yardage for backs and the Doe that will not be touched until it gets cut up for my bed quilt.

One of my projects for the retreat is to pre-cut my fabric for my next guild sewing event, Mystery at the Library. Only, it's not at the library anymore. They changed their hours after we booked our room and now we have to hold it at our regular old meeting place. Darn, sort of dulls the whole mystique.

My Mystery at the Library project will tick off my 2015 Quilt of Valor goal. I have some of the fabric in stash, I need to pick up a couple more solid cuts and I have an order from Stash Fabrics that will hopefully be here by Friday. It includes more Lotta Jansdotter and Carolyn Friedlander as well as my Quilt of Valor fabric. So exciting!

I am ready to tackle those PJs before the retreat. I can't wear my ratty old ones, that's for sure! I have pinpointed the old pair that I want to use for a pattern example. Slept in them last night and knew they were the ones as soon as I put them on.

But will I even get to show off these new PJ creations?

I'm having a commitment issue. I haven't even tried to get overnight accommodations for the retreat. I may end up driving the 45 minutes back and forth each day. The drive is not a big deal for me. I lived 35 minutes from town for eight years and I've only been back in town again for 2 1/2. I am going to come prepared to stay and ask about open beds when I get there Friday evening. Then, if there are any I MAY spend the night.

Like I said, I am having real commitment issues.

Projects I am taking:

Christmas Runner WIP
Christmas Tree Pants
Granny Square Quilt
Quilt of Valor/Mystery at the Library pre-cutting

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sweet Tea Without the Crunchy Ice

I have to say this is one of my favorite finishes to date.

My longterm goal is to gift my loved ones with handmade quilty things. My side of the family anyway. Not because I don't like Hubs side of the family, they are the greatest, but there are several prolific quilters and occasional quilters on his side. In fact, I was introduced to the idea of quilting by my MIL and SIL in the mid 90s. Needless to say, Hubs side of our family is pretty well covered in quilty things made by loving hands that are much more adept and experienced than myself.

My side is another story. We are smaller in number (but not necessarily size) and I am the only quilter, though my sister is now a fledgling quilter. Not that everyone is expecting or even wanting a quilt but they do have room for a pillow or a small fun fabric accessory and I have a desire to create such things for them.

This Christmas I was able to finish a big quilty gift from my "Some-Day-I-Hope-to-List" much sooner than expected. I was the lucky winner of a Mad About Patchwork Giveaway and received 12 FQs of the Persimmon line by Basic Gray of Moda. Wow!

It came wrapped in this cute little bag all the way from across our Northern boarder. Wow! When I laid my eyes on it up close I immediately thought of my Dad and Step-Mom. That quiet Southwestern feel was perfect for them. I started researching the line and discovered that being Basic Gray it blended with Grunge. Hmmm, I have some Grunge. I pulled the white and orange from my stash and set out to add enough fabric to my winnings and stash to make an extra-long lap quilt.

I got distracted by a Crafsty email about quilt kits on sale up to 60% off and I instantly found myself heading down a rabbit trail, or so I thought...

In my scrolling frenzy something vaguely familiar flashed, I backed up, could it be a Persimmon quilty kit? Yes! It was in my cart in a flash. It was called Sweet Tea by Amy Friend and it was adorable.

My first inclination was to order from Mad About Patchwork but time was of the essence since it was already mid November and I wanted this project in the mail for Christmas. I still owe MAPW a thank you purchase.

My kit arrived and I calculated that if I used my existing darker orange I could make up an extra row of blocks if I ordered one more yard of the white Grunge. The stash orange was a great decision and balances out the pattern nicely with an extra pop of brightness.

This is my second Jelly Roll quilt. It does make for easy cutting but I am not a fan of the extra lint.

My Grunge yardage minus my stash orange. Unfortunately, the white I had on hand was not a match.

My winnings from Mad About Patchwork. This stuff had such a dreamy touch when I finally pulled it out of that cute bag.

Cutting was done quite quickly.

 Then I was on to layout. It is so hard to get that random look balanced but I came up with a plan and commenced the chain stitching. I quickly had my top flimsy complete and I set aside the project while I hosted Thanks Giving for the Southern crew in my home.

 I used my FQs and extra blocks to piece a back flimsy. Hubs likes it better than the front. He always does. I need to design him a quilt with a bold and simple asymmetrical front and back some day.

Then I loaded her on the frame and quilted her with a pattern that I am calling Barbed Wire.

Each 2.5" strip is stitched the same way.

Pass One: Stitch in the Ditch (As close as I can get)
Pass Two: Saw Tooth
Pass Three: Straight center line
Pass Four: Saw Tooth

It really was a great complement to the Southwestern feel of the fabric.

I love how my stash orange Grunge adds a little pop to this otherwise soothing design.

She was machine bound in the dark blue fabric as per the pattern and ready to photograph and then mail with plenty of time for a Pacific Northwest Christmas delivery!

This was my first photo shoot using my new-to-me quilt rack that I purchased from my traditional guild. I modified the pole attachment first. It had four loops of twill tape hanging from the top of each pole so that it could be used to hold multiple poles at a quilt show. I removed the straps and Hubs and I added a series of three sets of screws to slip a set of curtain rod brackets over so that I can hang the pole at three different heights. The brackets have slotted holes and it works perfectly.

Here's the front. See the goofy twill straps on the poles. I didn't commit to the curtain brackets until I had tested the brackets first. They are gone now.

Here is the back.

I had so much fun making this quilt. The pattern is well written and easy to execute. If you like to get into a groove with repetition and have change-ups here and there then this is a great pattern to try. I've seen it done in other fabrics with great success. It is a great choice if you need a fast finish but do not want a blah pattern. 

I want to add a final Thank You to Mad About Patchwork for giving me the nudge to make an unexpected quilt that turned out to be an extra fun quilting experience.

And of course,

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up with:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fabric Stash Additions

My Christmas present is finally here!

My Hubs was such a deer/dear and ordered me a whole half yard bundle of Doe by Carolyn Friedlander! It arrived from Stash Fabrics this week along with some additional CF yardage and some Essex Yarn Dyed in black and Flax.

I'm a bit behind the times and this will be my first opportunity to play with the Essex Linen. As for the Doe, it will be made into a quilt for our bedroom. That just tells you how much I love Doe.

Hubs is a civil engineer and has been a commercial general contractor for over 20 years. I joined up as office manager a few years ago after our sons completed home schooling. Plus, we have built five personal homes, from design to much of the hands on work. I guess that's why all of Carolyn Friedlander's collections have been at the top of my list. Building and architecture are a part of our daily life.

Now I am trying to nail down the perfect pattern to go with the perfect fabric. 

I made a trip to one of MLFS this week to drop something off and they had a display of $2.99/yd fabric! of course I had to scour through the little display. I love a deal and I want to make some PJs out of quality yardage and not have them cost Two to three times what I could pay at Old Navy. 

I found these two:

They work so well with two of the ribbons Son #1 and friends gave me for Christmas. Don't you love the bunnies and the bees?

I haven't done much sewing since Christmas but I did resize and whip up this test block that I found in a Bonnie Hunter book. It was tricky but with hubs help we worked it out. I've done a little more but nothing I can share or that is really worth sharing.

This block will be donated to my traditional guild for their orphan block collection for charity quilts.

This will be linked up with Molli Sparkle's Sunday Stash.

Thanks for visiting.

I'm off to my modern guild for a Sew-In. I'll be cutting 2.5 squares from my scrap stash for a scrap vomit quilt. I'm at over 300 squares so far. Just a drop in the bucket.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pedal's 2015 Goals

Here are my goals for 2015.
Linking up with On the Windy Sides for FAL Q1. (Blue Items)

Christmas Quilt using Quick Curve Ruler
Quilt of Valor
4 Baby Quilts to donate (2 for FAL Q1)
Queen Quilt using Doe for our bedroom
Great Granny Square Quilt for a gift (FAL Q1)
Wedding Project
Quilt my mid 90s UFO (FAL Q1)

Quilted Small Projects:
Christmas Table Runner (Jan 2015 LYoF)(FAL Q1)
Christmas Tree Pants
Pillow for Pam & Eddie
Serger Cover
Set of 4 Minis using my bird embroidery panels

Patterns & Tutorial Posts:
Delicates Wash Bag
Crayon Totes
Dish Drying Pad

Non-Quilted Projects:
Noodlehead's Divided Basket
Weekender Watch Band

Sewing Room Upgrades:
Paint a light neutral color
Upgrades tables; sewing station, Ironing, cutting and serger station.
Design Wall

Additional Projects added after 1/6/16:
2 Pair PJs
Wedding Pillow

Look Back at 2014

Here is a recap of my projects from 2014:

Zip Pouches and Cover:
1.Two Noodlehead Open Wide Zip Pouches w/ mods for my Mom & Step-Mom.
2. & 4. QAYG Zip Pouches that ended up too small for my iPad. Inspired by Elizabeth Heartman's technique.
3. The pouch that fit my iPad! I adapted Noodlehead's zipper since on my second try the bag was big enough but the zipper was not.
5. & 6. Wash bags for delicates, biking gloves and socks. I made 4 but only photographed 2. These are my own design and they are working out perfectly. Yeah!
7. Wristlet I designed for Son #1's sweetie. (I'll share the details on another post)
8. Travel Art Bags I designed for my niece and nephew. (Also to be shared on a later post)
9. Sewing Machine Cover I designed for my Juki. It has a Mod Mosaic panel using Elizabeth Heartman's tutorial. (Another future share)

Dish Mats, Bag Tubes & Name Tag:
1. - 4. These may look the same but they are 4 Dish Drying Mats of my own design. They have been in use for months and have officially passed the test with flying colors. Two in my kitchen, one with my Sis and one with Son #1 who does not have a dishwasher. I will be sharing a simple tutorial.
5. Two Dish Drying Mats made for Christmas Gifts.
6. Another gifted Dish Drying Mat and a Mug Rug that was my Dirty Santa offering at the Augusta-MQG Christmas gathering.
7. & 8. QAYG Bag Tubes of my own design. Both gifted to young men out on their own.
9. Name Tag.

Quilts and Minis:
1. Emma's Scrappy baby quilt of my own design.
2. Man Quilt.
3. Hunter's Baby Quilt using Cluck Cluck Sew's Plus pattern.
4. Big Box Sale Table Fabric test quilt. Donated.
5. Whole cloth test quilt on my new-to-me Grace frame and Juki set-up. Donated.
6. Wedding Quilt.
7. Super Hero Minis using modified Quiet Play patterns for my grand-nephew's 3rd birthday.
8. Nail Polish Mini for my grand-niece's 5th birthday. I forgot to take a good photo but you all should be able to picture it since the pattern was plastered all over the quilting blogosphere last summer/fall.
9. Sweet Tea Lap Quilt. Gifted to my Dad and Step-Mom for Christmas. I won a collection of 12 FQs from Mad About Patchwork, purchased a kit from Craftsy and pulled some grunge from my stash and made a lap quilt fit for a household with a 6.5 footer. Grandpa is where my Son #2 gets his height. (I'll do a future post about this one)

Well, thats the lions share. There were some orphan blocks I donated, a table runner top, plus some embroidery projects that are slated to become minis someday in the works.

Other notable events:
I moved my sewing space to the dining room.
I was gifted a Grace quilting frame and purchased a slightly used Juki TL2010q.
I refurbished a 1953 Singer.
I joined two quilt guilds. First Pieceful Hearts in January and the the Augusta-MQG this fall. They were established in April and I hate that I missed the first few months.

One great pleasure I had in 2014 was helping my Sis finish a project she started more than 10 years ago. It was to be a quilt for our Grandmother but it was abandoned years ago and our Grandmother has since gone home. My Sis is not a confident sewist. She has more talent than she realizes but she freezes whenever she hits a snag.

We worked with what she had finished since the instructions were long gone and came up with this table topper. This was gifted to our Step-Mom for Christmas as she had a special relationship with our Grandmother who was actually our Mom's mother.

Here is Side B.

This is Side A:

Sis did a great job on her first machine project. She hand pieced a lap quilt for her daughter before she started this project so this is the second quilted project under her belt but I know it will not be the last. Go Sis!

That's it. Next post will be my 2015 Goals.

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up with:
Maybe She Made It's Do Tell Tuesdays
Blossom Heart's Sew Cute Tuesday
Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday
Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday
Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's Bee Social

A Lovely Year of Finishes 2015:
My January Goal is to finish the Basic Gray Aspen Christmas Table Runner I started in November 2014.