Counting Hexies

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Yesterday I spent two hours in the waiting room of the dentist while Amanda had her appointment. I brought along my Earlene Fowler book and my little box of hexagon English paper piecing. The waiting room was very quiet, a bit too warm, a bit dim and quietly playing on the TV was Caribbean House Hunters…in other words, I couldn’t keep my eyes open!!!! I was dying in there. I would shift around and wonder how Amanda was doing. I’d chat once in awhile with the receptionist but I had a hard time staying focused and motivated in that place. LOL! Then of course, I felt like a failure. Here I was with 120 minutes worth of ‘free time’ and all I wanted to do was see which St. Marten home the couple chose! Sometime after the first 45 minutes, I pulled my book out and read a chapter or two. If you’ve read Earlene’s books, you know what I mean when I say they can be a bit sleepy…and since I was sleepy already, I didn’t stick with it long. I succumbed to the guilt and MADE myself open the hexie box. I stitched up a few and then before I knew it, Amanda and the dentist appeared and it was time to go!

I started thinking last night that I might have enough hexies to actually make the 4th of July candle mat for my kitchen island. I took them all out this morning and I do have enough!

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The red center flowers are stitched together so now I can work on adding the surrounding blue hexies to it. I like to stick to small projects for the EPP because I get totally bored with the fabric and color schemes. I do admire people like Bonnie Hunter who can just make a zillion of these and piece them into a gigantic quilt. That’s not for me. I’m a get ‘er done kind of girl.

Tuesday, Amanda will be back in the dentist chair for round 2 and I’ll have 120 more minutes to tackle this project!! By the way, the couple chose house #2.

FYI-swap partners have been assigned for the mug rugs and pot holders so please check your Twitter direct messages or your email for the name of your partner. Let me know that you have received the information. Thanks! Projects are due to your partner at the end of April!!!! This will be so fun, I can’t wait!

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Over Dye Trial

Last week I saw information on over dyeing commercial black and white fabrics in a few places. I thought it was really neat that you could take some black and white fabric and turn it into something completely brand new with some time and some dyes. Yesterday I set out to give it a try. I pulled out some smaller pieces of fabrics I had laying around from Joann’s and I put them in low water dye baths. I did one with Bahama Blue dye and the other with Raspberry.

Here are the fabrics before…

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And here are the fabric after…

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I think that’s pretty cool! I would definitely do it again because I don’t often quilt with black and white fabrics and this is a way to use up the few pieces I have by turning them into something colorful.

Have a great Tuesday!

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A Wee Bit Of Progress

I made some progress on my art quilt that I call The Lindsey Project. I finished up the gluing of the little pieces and got the whole thing off the design wall and basted. So it went from this…

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to basically this…

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Once I finished gluing the background, I took it off the wall and trimmed it up. I tried gluing small pieces for the eyes and other facial features but it didn’t look good. The face is too small to do anything other than paint the features. Amanda told me it was looking demonic! LOL. Instead, I used my Intense Blocks with a very small round brush and ‘dotted’ on the features. I’m not totally happy with it though because I don’t feel like it looks enough like Lindsey’s true face. I tried thinking back to the quilt I did of Amanda and how much it looked like her but then I realized, she was wearing sunglasses!

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It’s much, much easier to make sunglasses and also that quilt is larger.

The easiest way to get the quilt to look like the photo is to use a photo transfer such as this quilt of Leah when she was younger. There was no piecing just thread sketching.

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The Lindsey Project quilt is basted and ready for stitching now. I placed a piece of cranberry tulle over the whole thing to help keep the pieces in place while I stitch. I have some reservations about how easy it will be to stitch through all the layers and the glue. This was Susan Carlson’s method and she doesn’t seem to have a problem, fingers crossed that I won’t either!

Happy Monday!

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Finally Friday

Yay, we finally made it to Friday! This week I worked on some items for the Transformer comic type show that I do some sewing for every once in awhile. This week it was Transformer pillow cases.

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As a birthday gift, I picked out this Daylight floor lamp which I have put next to the ironing board to use at night and it is so helpful especially when dealing with black fabric such as the pillow case bands. I am LOVING this floor lamp plus I can move it around to wherever I feel like I need more lighting. I got on Amazon for around $60.

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This weekend the local quilt shop is having their 4th birthday celebration. I took a drive there today to see what was on sale, try for a door prize and have some of the cake! Well, I did find some quilty treasures, I didn’t pull the correct color poker chip out of the door prize bag and sadly, I wasn’t offered any cake. Boo hoo. I cheered myself up with just a few fat quarters, a new pin cushion and some yardage of cute number and word prints.

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I really didn’t need any cake seeing as I was eating this beauty all week that the girls made for me on Sunday…

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You can figure out how old I am if you read the candles left to right 4-4!

Aren’t my kids clever? LOL!!!

There’s one more day to let me know if you’re joining the mug rug/potholder swap…CLICK HERE for the post regarding the details and sign up.

This weekend I’ll be attempting to work on the Lindsey Project which still currently looks like this…

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I’d like to finish up gluing the pieces and then move on to the next step..I’m not sure what that is. I think it’s probably tucking the edges in and gluing a bit more. You’ll have to stay tuned for more on this hot mess.

Have a fab Friday everyone!

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Mug Rug/Pot Holder Swap Info

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The end of February is nearing which means the time to sign up for the mug rug/pot holder swap is also nearing an end. I’m so thrilled to see how many people are signed up and I am absolutely tickled that there are some new to me names joining us!!!!

Here are the details about the swap that you need to know:

1. Sign up, let me know whether you are doing a mug rug or pot holders and send me your home address by the end of February. If you live somewhere other than your current address in April/May, let me know which address your partner should send your mug rug or pot holders to.

2. First week of March, I will assign partners and ask for confirmation that you have received your partner’s name (this is only so I can sleep at night and not worry that you didn’t receive your partner’s name due to some weird email alien invasion).

3. Get ready to have fun and make either a mug rug or pot holders for your new friend!

4. Please have the project in the mail to arrive at your swap partner’s home by the end of April.

5. If for some reason you can not complete your project, please let me know. Half the fun of being in a swap is receiving a mug rug/pot holders. Of course the saying goes, “It’s better to give than to receive.” but let’s face it, it’s not as much fun if you never receive a project in return.

I will set up a Flickr Group closer to the project due date for anyone who wants to post the projects so we can all have a look at those beautiful creations!

If you are wondering if you signed up or not, here is the list of people I have participating so far:

Mug Rugs:
Carol McD.
Diane R.
Philipa
Gretchen
Valerie
Glenna (possible switch to pot holders if we need to even the numbers up)
Tami K.
Jackie
Kerry C.
Sandy H.
Lori K.
Lolly W.

Pot Holders:
Charlotte
Sally W.
Amy A.

For mug rug participants: Size doesn’t matter LOL!!!! Sorry. Mug rugs come in all sizes but generally, it is larger than a coaster and smaller than a place mat. It could 6″x9″, 5″x 7″, 8″x 10″…think about what size you think would fit a coffee mug and a snack. I urge you to Google mug rug images to see the diversity in sizes and styles. I have three links here that have fantastic tutorials and free patterns. You can use a free pattern, it doesn’t have to be an original creation if that stresses you out.

http://quiltinglibrary.blogspot.com/2011/11/mug-rugs-tutorials.html

http://www.allfreesewing.com/Dining-and-Kitchen/13-Free-Mug-Rug-Patterns-and-Placemat-Patterns

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/12/free-quilted-mug-rug-patterns/

The sky is the limit—really, truly. I want this to be fun and not a stress in your life.

For pot holder participants:

I also have tutorials for you. Please make 2 pot holders if you can so everyone gets a set. I will forward your partner’s requested color scheme at the time I assign the partners. I have noticed in my research that pot holders really should have a layer of Insulbright batting as well as a layer of regular batting to absorb moisture and keep hands from burning.

http://jacquelynnesteves.com/featured/quilted_potholder_tutorial/

http://www.allfreesewing.com/Dining-and-Kitchen/10-Kitchen-Projects-How-to-Make-Potholders

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/11/quilted-potholder-tutorial/

For both the mug rugs and pot holders, there are loads of Youtube videos and Pinterest ideas online.

Ok, I think that’s all….let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
Sandi

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Snow Dye Challenge Reveal

Sandy of Quilting For The Rest Of Us and I decided to have ourselves a little challenge this winter. We are both in very snowy locations and we enjoy snow dyeing fabric. The problem that arises from making these pretty snow dyes is that we find ourselves not wanting to cut into them. I imagine a lot of people feel the same way as snow dyeing is a full day process. In order to move ourselves past this issue, we decided to have a challenge whereby we had to use at least one of our dyed fabrics in a project by March 15th. It turns out we both got excited enough about the challenge to finish it early. Sandy posted her finish yesterday, click here to see it. It’s beautiful and I love the story that goes along with it.

I should say that Sandy officially finished hers and I completed my quilt top but I still have to do the actual quilting on it.

From the minute we discussed using snow dyes, all I could think about was the Snowball Block. I decided to make something I would really be able to see the dyes in and also something functional so that I could see them every day! I pulled out most of my snow dyes and threw in a few low immersion dyes and made a table runner.

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The colors of the fabrics made me think about stained glass and I thought black sashing and borders would make those colors stand out.

The fabrics that are low immersion water dyes are the pink one and the two blues.

I’m not sure how I will go about quilting this because I like to see the snow dye fabric without any stitching going through it. This might be a stitch in the ditch affair. Since it will be staying at my house and not going to anyone, I think I can live with that even though part of me always wants to add some background stitching.

I’m glad we did the challenge and now I think I’ll have less fear about cutting into my dyes in the future. Thanks Sandy!

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Results With New Dyes…

So hey, it’s snowing again…a blizzard again…more time to snow dye!!!

Just so you have an idea of how much snow we have gotten in the last month, here is poor Greg sunken in the snow while trying to rake the snow off the roof! I was busily taking photos and then realized he might actually be stuck! Thank God he wasn’t but this is a tad ridiculous now, don’t you think?

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Yesterday we had a very fun Valentine’s Day and I snuck in some dyeing with my new colors. I used Raspberry and Kingfisher Blue in low immersion bath dyes and they came out so vibrant and beautiful. I really love that blue.

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I went out the back door with my bucket and spoon to gather up some snow and subsequently fell in the snow pile about up to my thighs. I wasn’t planning on actually trekking through snow so I only had on my little Toms shoes!!! After I hollered a bit and got myself back in the house, I snow dyed at mix of Marigold and Bahama Blue…

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I like this one too!

I’m taking a break from snow dyeing today to watch City of Bones with Lindsey which she received as a Valentine gift and to make a pot roast and to work on my snow dye challenge which I also worked on yesterday.

I’m off to make sure Greg hasn’t become a snowman out there…have a good day!

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Snowy Valentine Post

Happy Thursday to all! I hope you are having a more productive week than I am. I’ve done more planning and fabric buying than actual quilting over that last few days. I was at a standstill on about 3 projects until I got to Joann’s yesterday and until an order of fabric arrived in the mail. So while we’re snowed in again this weekend, I’ll be busy quilting any chance I get!

We made it outside of the house to see and play in the snow. Here is what the house looks like after Monday’s snowfall…

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The girls and their friend made a little snow couch…

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And this is me on the way to the mailbox to send out some Valentine’s cards. You can see here how tall the snow is piled up…really makes backing out of the driveway an adventure!!

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I’ve had several people sign up for the mug rug/pot holder swap…there’s plenty of time to join us so let me know if you’re interested.

If you’re looking for a fun and easy Valentine wall hanging, try these two…I am linking you to the Craftsy listing so that you can download right away and not have to wait for a paper pattern in the mail…

First Seasonal Trio has a beautiful heart mini quilt and a great one for St. Patty’s Day. Click Here.

First Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Sweet Mail is an adorable wall hanging. Click Here.

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The Quilt Show had a link to the tutorial for these adorable Macaroon Coin Purses.

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It’s a tutorial from Craft Passion. Click Here for the link.

Enjoy Your Day!

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What’s That You Say? Keep It Shut Ch. 9-11

Welcome to the final post on Karen Ehman’s book , Keep It Shut.

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See the post on chapters 7&8, here. You can link to past posts on previous chapters through that post.

So I’m glad to be able to reread through the book again for this post because I’ve been slipping up and speaking words not so laced with grace lately. I guess this just proves I’m human like everyone else and that this business of keeping it shut is hard. Yes, it’s hard. Especially hard when you’re trying to break a long time habit of not always weighing words carefully. Let’s jump into chapter 9.

Chapter 9 – Hurling Hate or Healing Hearts?

“In your anger, do not sin”:Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:26-27

Karen begins this chapter with her own experiences of being a mama and losing her cool when asking kids to do something for the umpteenth time and they still don’t do it. Been there? I sure have. I love how she points out that children are supposed to obey their parents but no where in the Bible does it mention that parents have the right to holler and scream and carry on at them when they don’t. There has to be a better way. The scripture above can actually lead us to that better way. The book points out that in the scripture, it says ‘in your anger’ which recognizes the fact that we are born with emotions and anger is one of them. It’s ok to feel that emotion. It’s not ok to engage in wrongdoing in your reaction to that emotion. It also says, ‘Do not sin’.In other words don’t do something hurtful or abusive or belittling to someone over your angry feelings. The scripture encourages us to deal with these feelings the same day. Don’t let it stew only to bubble over later. And finally, don’t let that devil into our lives by dealing with anger in a hateful way.

Instead, we need to use better, softer words. Karen calls these Snuggy words because they remind her of her Snuggy blanket. They are warm, soft and welcoming words. Those words make soft answers that we can use to diffuse situations or answer annoying questions. Maybe the challenge for the week should be to use soft words instead of scratchy, hard ones this week when dealing with our family or co-workers. See if it makes a difference in your life?

Chapter 10 – Something To Talk About

I love this chapter because it’s all about using your words to enrich the lives of others. It’s about picking up that pen or opening an email and just catching up with someone. Connecting with a long ago friend or a mentor. I think one of the nicest things in life is receiving a hand written note. Earlier this year I bought the book, The Art Of The Handwritten Note by Margaret Shepherd and I wrote some special people notes. It felt so good to do that and even better when I received their responses of joy and surprise! If you start by thinking about how thankful you are for someone in your life, it can lead you to pen and paper or keyboard and you can bless someone in a very special way.

We know our words can build others up but they can also tear others down. Are there hurtful words or phrases that have been said to you that have stuck with you all your life? Imagine if the speaker of those words had just thought a bit about what was coming from her mouth and how that might affect the person they said it to. Karen has some guidelines to think about before you even utter one word including imagine trading places with that person, leave some things unsaid, temper your tone, consider your countenance (facial expressions, gestures), believe the best before assuming the worst, be a history changer, notice the one who least expects to be noticed and choose your timing.

Chapter 11 – Gotta Have The Last Word

“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

In this final chapter of the book, Karen impresses upon us to remember that the Lord knows our unformed thoughts before we say them. This is a powerful reminder that we should only speak words that please Him. Sometimes in order to be our best selves we need a few minutes or hours of quietness and reflection on scripture and how we can use our words in a pleasing manner. Karen has some thoughts on where to find a moment of quiet including attending a retreat, swapping spaces with a friend who can watch your kids while you have mom time and then switch with her so she has mom time, or go for a walk.

This chapter wraps up with a reminder to build and not break, bless and not badger, encourage not embitter and to praise and not pounce. Do you think you can do it? I know we can. Just remember when in doubt, Keep It Shut!

I have enjoyed exploring this book so much over the last few weeks. I hope you have gotten something useful out of these blog posts. I think Karen’s ideas are going to spread swiftly as I have been informed this week that Keep It Shut is now a New York Times Best Seller. Congratulations to Karen!!

I wish you the best of luck as you journey forward with gratitude in your hearts and praise on your lips.

Sandi

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