Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Winter Texans

Winter Texans....that will be us for a couple of months! We are in Brownsville, Texas living in our little RV.  a brand new experience and adventure for both of us.  Lots to do here, no one should be bored! And of course the beach is nearby!

As you can see, Bella made the trip with us.  She is a great traveler!

The other night we went to a dance at another park down the road so that I could meetup with a long time Facebook friend that I had never met, from Canada.  What fun!  This is the first time I had met up with someone I knew only from Facebook...we "met" online in one of Joanne Sharpe's online classes.  I even have some of Lori's art in my house!

Actually, we have been here only a week tomorrow, and we have been to two dances.  These older folks like to get on that dance floor and kick their heels up.  As I observed the couples dancing, I thought....we are all getting older...stiffer...wrinkled, but we are still 16 years old inside.  Still feeling the music like we did in high school and having a great time.  My eyes settled on one couple...you know there is always that "cool" couple on the floor...the homecoming queen and the captain of the football team.  My eyes filled with tears...the "cool" couple danced by, Mr. Cool was obviously crippled by a stroke, dancing stiffly with his wife in his arms and his cane in one hand.  No matter what, the music is still in us!  I hold my glass up to the cool couple!

I hope to get some sewing done this week, there is a quilt group that meets up once a week.  This afternoon will be watercolors...I'm in!  On the trip down, I did make a few little newborn crocheted hats to send to the hospital for the babies. They are so tiny!  It does not take anytime at all to crochet these and a good way to pass the time while traveling or watching tv at night.

No quilts to show you this week.....taking a bit of a break as you can see!

grace and peace...Sharon

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two New Patterns on Sale!

Part of my goals for 2017, included writing more patterns and put them in my Craftsy shop and on Etsy.  So, here are two of them that will be on sale until January 10, 2017.  I know you will enjoy making them, and hope you will show me your results.  

First, if you enjoy a bit of handwork, I know you will like the Gardeners Prize Pillow.  It involves a  bit of English Paper-piecing, applique and hand quilting on a machine pieced background.  You can purchase it here on Craftsy

I used pearl cotton for my "big-stitch" quilting.

Next is the quick and easy quilt, Annabelle.  You can use fat quarters or use up lots of scraps to make this quilt,  Purchase this pattern here.

Yup...this is Annabelle made up with a variety of Pokemon prints!

We are in the process of packing up the RV to head south for a month or two.  It is so cold and snowy today....brrr! I am going to miss my sweet grand-kids, but not the cold weather.  And of course my sewing machine is going with me!  I think I will spend the rest of the day cutting 1 1/2" strips, I plan on making more pineapple blocks.  My thought is that the strips will take up less room. 

Hope all of you are staying warm and finding time to sew today!  

grace and peace....Sharon 

Linking to: Midweek Makers    

Monday, January 2, 2017

Quilts for the Grandsons!

Now that Christmas is over, I can show a couple of completed quilts that I gave to my grandsons.
This is a pattern from The Fat Quarter Shop called Blythe.  Caleb wanted a black quilt, but I had to add a touch of color, so I added yellows and oranges.  This is a nice and easy pattern.

And I just had to make a little bag for my budding artist, Jack.  It will hold his art supplies and did I say he LOVES Pokemon?  

Plus, I collected fabric to make a Pokemon quilt.  It took forever to find enough!  He loves it, and it was worth it!  Jack's Pokemon quilt is my new pattern, Annabelle, which is for on sale in my Crafty store for $4 until January 10, 2017.  It's quick and easy to make!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! With all the cold weather, I can't think of anything better to do than stay inside and quilt, right?

Link to: Main Crush Monday  Free Motion by the River 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Best of 2016

Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a fun Linky Party, and I decided to join in.  I want to share some of my favorite quilts that I finished this year.

1. This is Rain Down, a quilt which I made in the RJR What Shade are You? challenge.  Earlier in the year, I had taken a class and learned to make pineapple blocks.  They are rather addictive to make, and I decided to set them together in an unusual layout.

2. This is Carnival, and I love her because she is a cover-girl, and because she is made with Kim Diehl fabrics!

3. Gypsy, another favorite!  And I love her because she is hanging in the Ontario Museum of Art and History for an exhibit...very excited to have a traveling quilt!

4. Molly's Sampler...so much fun to play with on the design wall!  I have another one started!

5.  It's All About the Boots!  This was so much fun to piece!  I gave it to my grand-daughter for her 12th birthday...she is all about horses, so I thought she might like it.

It is fun visiting all the links to the other bloggers and seeing their Best of 2016....you might want to join in!  Hope to see you there!

Linking to:  Best of 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2017 Planning Party

What??? I haven't even finished all the quilts on my list for 2016!!!

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is having a fun planning party, and I decided to join.  Sounds like a good idea to get started now.

First off, I love planners!  Now the crazy thing is that when I was working, I never had one...really!
Now that I am retired, I HAVE to have one!  Most of the time, my planners are part art journal and part planner....so fun to play in and get creative.  This year, this Quilters Planner looks intriguing, hope I win one!  If not, I know where I can get one!

This has been my most favorite planner so far...look at that fat puppy!  Can you believe it started out as a little Moleskin planner?  And it held up well to all the abuse I gave it!

So, 2016 has been an incredible year!  I'm not sure I can set goals that would surpass all the amazing things that have happened in 2016.  One of my goals had been to be published in a quilting magazine, and that has happened!  I also wanted to start my own pattern company, and I am slowly working on it.  My goal for 2017 is to get more of my patterns out there!  It feels like it is a slow process.  Some days, I feel like maybe I am too old to start something like this?  And other days, I tell myself that I am never too old to pursue a dream....it just might take a little longer!  Also...if not now...when???? Also, should I think of this as a business or a hobby-business?  Any thoughts on that one?

I want to travel more...my health prevented us from traveling as much in 2016, but I am bound and determined to not let it stop us.  We are going on a big adventure after the first of the year...taking our little RV to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and spending  2 months enjoying the warm climate of south Texas.  I look forward to exploring!  In August, 2017, we are going to cross another trip off of our bucket list...an Alaskan Land and Sea cruise!  

Part of me is telling me that I need to cut back on other things in order to accomplish my pattern business.  Such as....I am the coordinator for our church Project Linus Group, coordinator for our quilt guild's QOV group, an ambassador for Rachel House, and a CASA. (Court Appointed Special Advocate).  So cutting back will probably have to be one of my goals!

My flower beds....I love to garden!  Another goal is to spend more time taking care of them....they became a bit unruly due to my health and the obscene heat this summer.  No more of that!  Time to take it back!

One more goal...actually two more!  Exercise more!  

And most important of all, spend more time in Bible study.  Set aside my quiet time everyday and do it!  When I was working, I found it easier to do, because I usually did it when I first go up, or at lunch break.  Now I find myself jumping into the day and not spending time in the Word.  

Oh boy!  Now I will have to be accountable...it's all out in the open!  Looking forward to 2017!

grace and peace....Sharon

Monday, December 5, 2016

Craft University part 2

Here I am...back with more about Craft University and the online class I am currently taking.  If you missed part one, here it is.  

Lesson 2: On-Point Quilts, On-Point Medallion Quilts, and Layout Library.  This was quite extensive and chock full of information. In this lesson I designed an on-point quilt and a medallion quilt, learned about auto borders, applique blocks, motifs, stencils, fussy cutting fabric...and more!  

This is the medallion quilt I designed:

On to lesson 3....Custom Sets and Layers.  The custom set is just what I needed for blocks that are a variety of sizes.  Perfect for a quilt that I had started by making several blocks and putting them up on the design wall.  I "finished" it by creating it as a custom set.  I hope to finish actually sewing it in the future,  Maybe it will become a block of the month...who knows.  I can continue to tweak it for now, and when I am happy with it, I will finish it.

I plan to change the cat block to make her look like Bella...but that is in a future lesson!
As you can see, this needs lots of tweaking, but that is the beauty of EQ7, you can design and change things until it works for you.  There is a lot more covered in lesson 3, such as using arcs and superimposing blocks and more.

Now for lesson 4...Drawing Pieced Blocks.  There is so much more than just drawing a block.  I discovered the Serendipity tool in this lesson.  Wow!  

Here are a few examples of what happens in Serendipity....

Take a simple block like this....

And frame it....there are many choices to choose from.

How much fun is this?  a new block to try out!  HMMMM....what layout should I use????

Here is the Kaleidoscope tool in Serendipity...once again just using a simple block. Can you tell which block I used?  I want to try paper piecing this one.

And another fun one is Fancy Star....

Oh dear....I could spend hours playing with this!  If I paper-pieced this, I know I could piece it.  That is the beauty of this program, you can print rotary cutting measurements, paper piecing, templates, and more.  

As you can see, this is a powerful program.  I love EQ7! and this class from Craft University is helping me see all the possibilities.  And I can go back and watch as many times as I need to!

Check back later in the week and I hope to have posted the end of my review.

grace and peace....Sharon

Linking up to: Main Crush Monday   Freemotion by the River

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Craft University

Imagine my surprise when Craft University sent me a request to try one of the many classes offered on their site.  I am a huge fan of online classes, and have taken many "artsy" classes.  So of course I said yes!  and the hardest part was choosing which class to take....there were so many that tempted me.  I made a list of the ones I thought I would learn the most from, then narrowed it down and decided to take Design Quilts with EQ7 and Nancy Mahoney.  It was the perfect fit for me, even though I have used EQ since it first came out.  Recently, I had purchased the EQ7 and I knew there were so many things I wanted to learn to continue using it.

First off...Lesson 1, pretty much the basics.  But I took it anyway and was tickled with all the things I learned!  So if you take this course, do not skip ahead!  In this lesson, a simple horizontal quilt was made, as well as learning to add fabric to the fabric library.  This was very useful to me, as I design quilts for magazines, Island Batik, and I am a Moda Bake Shop Chef.  This enables me to place the fabrics I plan to use in my quilt and decide which I like best, then send the mock up to the magazine or to the fabric company.  The rest of the lesson dealt with sashing, recoloring, using the symmetry tool...one of my favorite tools!

Here is the horizontal quilt I designed in EQ7, lesson one.

A simple block such as Mosaic #5 colored in with Olive's Flower Market from Moda.  The fun is in the coloring, and all the possibilities of such a simple block design.  I was able to add the fabric to my library of fabrics and see how the quilt would look.  I can spend a lot time just playing with the coloring....my very own adult coloring book!

Love playing with a simple block and the Symmetry tool.  Very fun!  Using this block I was able to create many quilt sets.  Here are a few...and all use the same block.

So how much fun is this?  And this is only lesson one!  Each lesson runs 45 minutes up to an hour.  Nancy is very easy to listen to and explains every step very well.  The great thing, is I can stop the video, go design in EQ7 with the material she has covered, and come back and continue or rewind if I need to.

I don't want to overwhelm you today, so come back tomorrow to read about Lesson 2.

grace and peace....Sharon