Thursday, October 27, 2022

October Mini Quilt Treat

The end of October
brings 


When my 3 girls were little they
loved Halloween. 
They would begin thinking about their costumes 
 for the following year on November 1st.
Over the years we had lots of fun 
making and creating their costume ideas.


Nothing ghoulish, just princesses,
pirates, Snow White, Bo Peep, and even Cleopatra.

Unfortunately, here in Colorado,
Trick or Treating usually involves
winter coats and snow boots.
Those lovely costumes 
get covered up and hidden.

My October mini is an embroidery
that, unfortunately,  
got covered up and hidden in my sewing room 
for a couple years.  Sigh....



Halloween Sampler
16" x 19"

The embroidery is designed by
Sandra Workman.
You can find it here.
The pattern includes an
iron on transfer for the stitching,
which made it very easy to get started.



It was stitched with DMC floss
on a striped grey and off white fabric.
I worked with one color at at time
rather than stitching one motif at a time.
It's an efficient way to approach it,
but maybe, not as much fun.


The finished piece worked up perfectly 
as a mini quilt for October. 
The narrow orange border with
the black ric rac sewn on top
gives the appearance of a scalloped edge.



By adding a couple of prairie points
and buttons, it adds some 3-D interest.


Halloween Sampler looks good on the fence.


Happy Halloween 🎃 
from all the Halloween Minis.

Until Next Time-
Kyle


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Looking Forward

There's an old saying that if
you fall off a horse

you need to get right back on that horse.

The reason being that if you don't,
it will be very hard to get back on that horse
the longer that you wait.
 I'm guessing that you could apply 
that philosophy to many situations.

I applied it to my quilting life.
After feeling somewhat defeated or
down about my overwhelming stash,
I knew it meant no more whining.
Time to get my favorite fabrics back out,
take the rotary cutter back in my hands,
thread up the machine
and get sewing.

That's exactly what I did.
I did some spot organizing,
looked through some of my favorite books,
and found a center medallion 
that spoke to me
from Susan Smith's book
Quilts, Somewhat in the Middle.




Refreshed-Rejuvenated
32" x 32"

It took me a week 
from start to finish.
I needed to get back
to feeling the excitement 
and creativity of playing.


I drew on the colors 
from many of Di Ford's fabulous fabrics.

Appliqueing the center
was like enjoying a delicious dessert.


Add a little fussy cutting
and I was definitely feeling rejuvenated.

It really didn't take much
to feel good again.

The inner border was fun with the melon shapes.


And who doesn't love adding circles.
I loved the simple idea of making
the sashing between them piece.
The more fabrics, the better!

And oh,
it gets better.
I bought a new
Laundry Basket fabric for the backing.


I kept the quilting to a minimum,
just because that's what I felt like doing.

Needless to say,
it was a great week of creating, stitching
and rekindling the positive. 


I hope, if you find yourself in a situation
where you've "fallen off your horse",
you can dust yourself off 
and get back in the saddle
and shout, Giddy-up!


Until Next Time-
Kyle






Wednesday, September 28, 2022

September Mini quilts

First, of all,  I want to thank everyone
for the encouraging words that many of you shared with me.
No, I'm not hanging up my quilting needles 
and tossing out all of my fabric.

I was feeling "stash obligations" and not feeling 
the love or the creative challenge
that it brought.
It really did me in!

So, since I last wrote,
I have bundled up lots of fabric, 
approx. 150 yards,
and sent it off to a wonderful local charitable group.
I have started some new projects,
and have continued to work on the things
that I love and bring me joy.


My latest X-stitch finish.
"Be Ye Thankful"
a design by Brenda Gervais

I am thankful for everyone's positive thoughts.

*****
The end of September
means it's time to share a monthly mini quilt.


Vintage Baskets #2
24" x 24"

This little quilt began it's life as a full size 
quilt from the 1930's.


When I received it from a friend, 
it was just a top and 
the 10" blocks were well loved and 
very thin and frail. 

I took some of the blocks apart and resized them

which made them very cute.

After sewing the top together I decided
to add embroidered flowers to each basket.

That was the "FUN" part.




When I was given this quilt top,
the original Nile Green binding was included.
It wasn't in the best shape, but I made do.


I "love" how it finished.


Vintage Baskets #2

Time for my barbed-wire fence parade.
There was a very fog morning this week.


A perfectly quiet, uncluttered background for a photo shoot.


Baskets

If you get the chance, check out Wendy's blog
the Constant Quilter to get the list of other
bloggers working on and sharing their monthly minis.

Until Next Time-
Kyle



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Pigs with Lipstick

 The other day I meet with my Quilty Buddies 

And I made a confession.
I was really feeling like it was time to stop quilting!
I had lost the joy.  
I didn't feel like I had any creativity left.
I thought I was truly done.

They were shocked.
What was going on?

I shared how I had sorted through my stash
 and had lots of fabric I needed to part with.
But I felt guilty because of the money
 I had spent over the years,
 the amount of fabric I had collected....

  To justify these feelings, 
I felt like I needed to sew up some of these piles into quilts.
I had picked a pattern, cut and sewed. 
 I thought my plan would be to create
 something wonderful for someone.  
To pass on many quilts.

But I felt myself losing the excitement
 and joy I usually felt as I work on a project. 
 It was like walking through deep sticky mud.
 Agggh!  
 I was quickly sinking. 
 Maybe I was done.
  I mean,  really done. 
 That's how I was feeling.

After lots of questions, my one friend said,
Lipstick on a pig, is still a pig.



She went on to say,
if I was using fabric I didn't love anymore,
 why would the quilt I was making 
be something I loved, 
no matter what I did with it.
Was it as simple as that?
I think my friends were right in this case.  
My heart wasn't in it.
It really had made me depressed. 

Since then,
I have stopped that project,
 bundled up all the piles 
and made arrangements for a local sewing group
 to take it and do their good works with it.

*****

Let it go, let it go
Some of my fabric is tired and old.
Try as I will 
There just isn't a thrill.
Can't hold it back anymore
I need to pass it through another door. 
I don't care what others may say
I don't want to sew with it another day.

I have felt guilty long enough. 
It really is still good stuff.
Maybe someone else will find a joy.
So, the fabric is theirs to enjoy.

Let it go, let it go.
The decision has made me feel lighter
Sewing even seems brighter.
It's time to do what I love.
To dispose of, get rid of
The pieces from my overabundant stash.
That made me feel depressed and dashed.

I started a project, I really did try,
But then I started questioning why
I was unhappy and restless
I was not doing my bestess.
As time seems to be growing shorter
It was also time to stop being a hoarder.
I simply will never be able to use it all
But there are others who will be having a ball.
So, Let it go, let it go.

*****
And I have.
Until Next Time 
Kyle 

Monday, August 29, 2022

August Minis

I hope you'll agree that 
 our projects and stitching
should bring us pleasure, smiles
and even laughter.

Each month there is a group of bloggers
who have been challenged 
and, hopefully, have found joy in
creating a monthly mini and then 
sharing their creativity with others.
Our blogging friend, Wendy,
facilitator of this diverse group.
Thank you ,Wendy.  I've appreciated your 
"constant" dedication! 

This month I only have a quilt top.
My attention had been diverted to stitching hst's!


Sunflowers and Sunshine
38" x 38"

Yellow scraps and a pattern
designed by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique
was fun to stitch 
during the last of the summer days.
You can get the free sunflower block
pattern here from Aurifil.


Yes, there were a few more
half square triangles to make,
but that yellow fabric 
was just so happy to play with. 

The four blocks went together quickly.
The striped border fabric had been used
in my daughter's first grade classroom 
as shelf drape.
Now it was happily being 
 used once again.


My fence line-up for this month had to be called
Sunflowers and Sunshine.



Here's a closer look at the middle quilt.
From where you're looking, it doesn't seem 
to fit the theme, but


 the border fabric was its ticket
to join in on the fence parade.

****
Also wanted to give you all an update on the free
"Oh, Say Can You Sew" mystery quilt
generously designed by Lisa Bongean.

The stack of 128 blocks
is ready and waiting 
for clue #6.



Until Next Time-
Kyle 





Monday, August 15, 2022

Please, No More Half Square Triangles!

Since the beginning of the month
I have done nothing but work
on the Oh, Say Can You Sew, 
mystery quilt along
from Lisa Bongean.

Holy Moley
HST's !!!

 
This months clue was to make 
1152 - 1 inch half square triangle (finished)

and sewing them into 128 
nine patch blocks

I've been working on them pretty much exclusively,
nonstop.


Thankfully, I had some Triangles on a Roll
and Thangles papers in the correct size.

I hadn't used either of these for a long time.
But having to:
 make so many,
make them scrappy and
make them accurately,
it was the best solution.


There seems to be so many steps.
Cutting fabrics,
pinning fabrics and paper,
sewing on the lines,
cutting apart


and finally tearing away all of the paper.

The good part is that each hst is the correct size.
No trimming after each one was pressed.


Time wise, it probably all comes out the same.
There were just so many to make!!!!

A quilt friend asked if I were going to cut off 
the dog ears on each piece.
"No, way!" I said.
But then....
Despite my hand cramping up,
I cut off each and every one.


This is as far as I have gotten.
I've sewn 3 blocks,
125 - 3" blocks to go.

I needed to see if they would all turn out right.
I think they're going to look good
with the wide variety of fabrics.

Of course, being a mystery...
I have no idea if they'll look good!

So, as I sit at my machine
feeding it 
these little individual triangular nibblets,
I was wondering how differently
each of us might approach a 
repetitive process like this.

Do you do each step to completion?
Or 
do you do small batches from start to finish?

As you can tell,
I push myself to finish each step,
even if it means sacrificing the
function of my hands.

Until Next Time-
Kyle

Monday, August 8, 2022

A little Trip North to Canada


Our bags were packed and
we were ready to go....
Where, you ask?

North of the border and



landing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Calgary is a beautiful city where the 
skyscrapers reach for clear blue Western sky.



And the incredible Canadian Rocky Mountains 
leave the prairie behind and ascend to the clouds.


It's a destination that Running Man and I have 
always wanted to experience.

It's difficult to capture
 the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
It's everywhere.


Snow capped mountain peaks
(even in July)



Waterfalls 



Glaciers


Unbelievable blue water


Wildlife


Fabulous hotels


The Tauck tour we were on made 
our trip easy and fun with incredible views
around each curve.


Our official mountain holiday began at the Kananaska
Mountain Lodge and some Western hospitality.



From there we traveled to Lake Louise.



We watched the morning sunlight slowly
creep down the mountain and over the glacier
 at the Chateau Lake Louise.


Sunrise


Lake Moraine was unbelievable
 with its tropical blue-green glacial water.

This photo has not been enhanced!



From there we traveled north to Jasper
via the Icefields Parkway


How about getting up close and personal with the 
Athabasca Glacier.


It was freezing and very slippery. 


 I pretty much
stayed in one spot while Running Man kept on going.



The Jasper Park Lodge 



offered great hikes,



 wildlife and 


 deep valleys carved by those glaciers.



One more stop, Banff and the 
Historic Banff Springs Hotel


Complete with bagpipes.


We definitely needed more time
 to explore each location.


The weather was beautiful,

the food was delicious, and


the people warm and friendly.


Ready to pack your bags and go
for a visit?
If you do, you'll have an incredible holiday.

We did!

Until Next Time-
Kyle