Monday, May 21, 2018

Playful Pillows

This month, Island Batik challenged its Ambassadors to create a fun, playful pillow with some of their fabric which they so kindly send to us.  I'm still loving Spring Blossoms, so I created a pillow to go with the quilt I had made with it.

It looks like I am ready to cuddle up with a good book!  

 English Paper Piecing is a favorite method for me.  Its a great way to relax out on the deck or while binging on Netflix. I can also sit on a heat pad or ice pace for my back pain. (that's another story) This design used 1 inch diamonds.  Once the star was completed, I pressed it and then removed all of the paper pieces so that I could hand applique it to the background piece.  

Big stitch hand quilting is a great way to finish up a little project like this...
once again...its portable! 

The edge of the pillow is finished off with binding.  I like the contrast of a binding, and it's a super easy to finish a pillow. 

I love to make  pillows, so I do have another one started and I hope to share it with you soon. Last summer I made a cat pillow, and I have a couple more started.  They will get finished soon I hope!  These crazy cats are wanting to get on the bed!  

Today, I hope to finish writing at least 2 new patterns if not 3!  Wish me luck!  Have a great week....what are you working on this week?

grace and peace.....Sharon and Bella the Yellow Cat

Hate and Love cannot exist in the same space.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations

It was hard to pick a block or vintage quilt this project.  I am inspired by every vintage quilt I see!  I wonder what was happening in the quilt-maker's life at the time she made this quilt, what was happening in the world?  If quilts could talk, think of the stories they could tell.  The Variable Star block and the Schoolhouse block were the two blocks I decided to use in my quilt.

From an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Within These Walls.

Much like our Christmas Crafts Bazaars, Northern women who opposed slavery raised money for the cause through Anti-Slavery Fairs.  This little cradle quilt, made of small Northern Stars is one of the items sold at such a fair. This simple star is one of the oldest patchwork patterns, and has been published by many names....Evening Star, Aunt Liza's Star, and Saw-tooth Star. This is one of my favorite blocks to make in any quilt.

This poem was hand inked in the center star of the quilt.

 “Mother! When around your child
You clasp your arms in love,
And when with grateful joy you raise
Your eyes to God above—
Think of the negro mother,
When her child is torn away—
Sold for a little slave—Oh, then,
For that poor mother pray.”

We know that the early settlers traveled west for a better life, and education was a part of the quest for a better life. The school house and the church were probably one of the first public buildings built in a new settlement. The schoolhouse block was usually a variation of a school house or a church.  According to the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska, schoolhouse quilts were popular in the late 19th century and continued into the 1920's and 1930's.   "For rural women of the late nineteenth century, teaching was both the most prestigious and the highest paying opportunity available to them. The Schoolhouse pattern, which became popular at the same time, may reflect the lives of the many women who helped support their families through teaching positions, prior to their marriage."

My quilt measures  40" x 46".  The sawtooth blocks are 6" finished and the schoolhouse block is 12" finished.  I paper pieced the schoolhouse block for greater accuracy, as when I put the block into EQ8, I did not like the rotary cutting measurements it gave me.  I don't do 1/16" all.  Paper piecing saved the day!

Island Batik provided me with the beautiful line of fabric, Blue Moon.  I'm thinking of adding a crescent moon and calling it "Once in a Blue Moon".....what do you think?  Hobbs Batting provided my favorite batting to use, Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton batting.  I love the way it gives my quilt the flatter, traditional look of antique quilts.  Since I use my domestic sewing machine, it is much less bulk to move through the harp of the machine, and easier on my back.  I used my walking foot and created a "hash-tag" quilting. That strip of blue you see on the right hand side is painters tape.  I like to use it to mark my lines.   The blue thread was provided by Aurifil ....looks great on this quilt.  

Do you have a favorite vintage quilt or quilt block? 

Monday, April 9, 2018

A New Technique for me

The challenge for our March Island Batik process was to try a technique that is new to me.  It was hard to find something that I have not attempted to do, but then I remembered that I wanted to learn to use a Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I purchased both rulers and decided to use the larger one to make a table runner.

When you purchase the rulers, there is a project sheet included with great directions on how to use this ruler.  It was so easy!  I chose some yummy Island Batik fat-quarters from the Spring Bloom
collection provided to me by Island Batik.

I quickly cut out the pieces as shown above, and laid them out next to my sewing machine.

The blocks were sewn up in no time at all....and without using pins!

Laid the blocks out, sewed them together and had a table runner in no time at all!

It looks great on my table with the daffodils I managed to save from Mother Nature's joke on us.  We just came back from wintering in South Texas....and it is very cold and snowing here!

I have to brag about my sweet little bunny 13 year old grandson loves to make things and he made this adorable bunny for me.  I love it!

Although I love wintering in South Texas, I am so happy to be home.  I missed my grand-kids and my sewing room.  So....its cold outside and I plan to hibernate in my sewing room today!  What are you doing?  Hope you are having some good creative sewing time today.....

grace and peace....Sharon

Oh...and Bella is happy to be home again...her house has stopped moving!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The twins are here!

So...a friend from high school contacted me when she found out she was going to be a Grandmother, and asked me to create a quilt for her new grandchild.  The new parents are decorating the nursery with an underwater theme.  So of course I had to say yes!

A few weeks later I received a picture of the sonogram.....and there were two little beans in the sonogram. So we needed two quilts!

And here they are....just in time for the boys to arrive! 

It was so much fun to make these quilts! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Island Batik Ambassador Mini-Love Quilt

February has gone in a flash for me!  What about you?  The end of the month sort of snuck up on me!

This month, Island Batik challenged the Ambassadors to create a mini-love quilt.  I decided to use the beautiful pinks and reds provided by Island Batik to create this little heart quilt.  We are on Winter Holiday and it has been hard to find my mojo and sewing time.  The beach is calling!  But we have had some not so great weather here in South Texas, so I have been forced to stay inside.  I decided to use that time to hand quilt my little quilt and binge on Homeland.  The other reason I hand quilted is because I left my walking foot at home!  I ordered another one, and unfortunately it did not get here in time.  The tales of a RV traveling quilter!  And the 40 mile an hour winds the past few days have not been conducive to taking a picture! So bear with me....

Here at the RV park we have quilting on Wednesday, I think I will go and get a head start on my March project!  I bought a Sew Kind of Wonderful ruler and decided to give that a try  Curves are not my thing...but I love the look of curves in a quilt.

I am happy with how this turned out...stay tuned for a tutorial in the next few days.  This is nice and simple. 

Grace and peace....Sharon

Linking to: 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Island Batik box of goodness!

Last week the Fed Ex guy was highly sought after all over by women waiting for a 22 pound box of fabric from Island Batik.  If only he knew...right?  It's like Christmas, but even better in my opinion.

“The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.” 

The box of goodness included fabric from Island Batik, batting from Hobbs Batting, and thread from!  See what I mean?  Better than Christmas!  I pulled out the beautiful pinks and reds for my Mini-Love project and I hope to share with you soon.  I'm having a hard time deciding what to create.

This year I am proud to be an Island Batik Ambassador again.  This is my second year.  I had so much fun last year, and I am thrilled to be chosen to represent Island Batik again.  Sewing with their fabric is a delight.  The fabric are designed by their lead designer, Kathy Engle, along with additional fabric artists and designers.  All of the fabrics are handmade in Bali by skilled artisians.  Every yard of fabric is created using a wax resist method, and laid out in the sun to dry. 

Check back to see my mini-Love project! Several of the other Ambassadors are quick and have started to post their projects, so check them out here:

Island Batik Ambassadors

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw
Connie at Kauffman Designs
Dione at Clever Chameleon
Geraldine at Living Water Quilter
Janet at Whispers of Yore
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Jessica at Desert Bloom Quilting (you are here!)
Joyce at heARTs Creations
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts 
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

I'm a bit slow, because I am on Winter Holiday for 3 months in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas...I miss my sewing room!  Sewing in an RV is not impossible, but a challenge at times!

grace and peace....

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It's a bit fishy to me.....

This week has been a good week to stay in and sew....I think all over the country, even in south Texas where its supposed to be nice and warm!  Let's hope that the freeze warnings are a thing of the past now!

So...this is what I am working on.  A good friend of mine asked me to make a quilt for her new grand-baby coming in March, and the nursery has an underwater theme.  So of course I said yes!  A few weeks later she sent me a copy of the sonogram...there were 2 little beans.  Twin boys!  And of course I am happy to make 2 quilts...why not?  So far, this is what I have:

Today I will applique around the edges by machine.  I think it is pretty cute!  Still need to add some seaweed and maybe a lobster or a crab or a starfish.....what do you think?  You can find the pattern here on Craftsy.  Very simple and you can put whatever you want in the white space.  I have EQ 8 and was able to print off applique templates from there and draw some on my own.

Then I will go for a walk in the sun and sit in the sun to finish a book I am reading.  "Before We Were Yours" is what I am currently reading.  It's fiction, but the events are true.  It's amazing story so far.

Hope your weekend is shaping up with some sewing, and don't forget to continue on the Island Batik Four Seasons blog hop next week.  Last week was Spring...this week Summer.  Here is the schedule for you to follow:


 And, you can still comment and win a prize from me if you go to my previous blog post.  My patterns will continue to be on sale for $5 until the end of January, too.

Grace and Peace....Sharon

Linking to:  Whoop! Whoop!