Finished It Friday - the first edition!!

Hi everyone, and welcome to the very first edition of "Finished It Fridays."  I'm so happy to have you here.


I don't know about you, but when I finish a project I feel like I'm on top of the world.  I tell everyone I know, and I've been known to even drag my quilts into work and force my coworkers to my own little version of Show-and-Tell.  I love posting to my blog, but even then, I want to make sure people know.  Thus the linky party.

The whole idea around Finished It Fridays is to give you...my fabulous readers...a chance to exercise your bragging rights!  A chance to step up to the mic, if you will, and tell the world that your project is finished.  Or, like me, *finally* finished.   So go ahead, shout it out!  Tell us what you finished this week!

Three simple rules -
  1. Posts should highlight a project finished since last Friday,
  2. Please link directly to a blog post, not just to a blog home page, and
  3. Please include my Finished It Fridays button in your post (grab it in the sidebar) so others can visit and link up as well.
If you can, visit the other links ahead of you and leave some love.  We all have our heart on our sleeves for things like this, so a kind word or two can make a huge difference!

Now to get us started, here's I have to share this week...

As you may have read yesterday, I finished up my Sudoku Quilt this week.  This is my first-ever commissioned quilt, made for a friend who is a photographer.  Jenn approached me not long ago asking for a quilt to use in her photo sessions.  Of course, I jumped at the chance! 

Sudoku Quilt

I was able to give it to her on Wednesday, and she was elated.  I can't wait to see some of her fabulous photos with my quilt included as a prop.  :)

So, tell me - what did you finish this week??  Something big?? Something small?? Link up and tell us all about it!

(And don't forget the Flurry charm pack giveaway on Aug 1st.  One of my lucky followers will win! 
(No comment necessary, all followers are automatically eligible.)



My First Commissioned Quilt

I'm excited about this quilt for so many reasons. It's the first one I have finished by request and the first one I got paid for. Ok, well... bartered for...but I still consider that payment!

My friend Jenn is an awesome photographer. We've been friends for a while now and she did a photo shoot of my family last fall. I had been wanting non-studio pics for quite some time and she did a great job. We went to an old colonial settlement nearby and spent a wonderful afternoon with her. Here are a few of my faves:




Earlier this year, Jenn quit her full-time job and really began focusing on her photography business.  So, when she contacted me about working out a deal for a quilt, I was all ears.   She offered a free session and some prints for a hand-made quilt she could use in her shoots...especially baby shoots.  I think it took a third-of-a-second for me to agree to that deal!

The quilt is a Sudoku kit by Moda and it was both easy and fun.  It's basically a simple nine-patch, but worked in the way you work a Sudoku puzzle.  I chose a soft Moda Marbles color for the sashing and border, a neutral from the Oasis collection as the back, and a soft teal for the binding.  I keep the back plain and simple this time, because I wanted to get it to her quickly.  All in all, it took a little over two weeks, and that's with taking for other projects, too.  Of course, that makes it my fastest quilt ever, too.  :)

Quilting was a simple meander, which I think softened the angles quite well.


I took pics of it on the ground, which was a first for me.  I usually just hang my quilts, but I liked how it looked in the grass. 


Apparently, my assistant liked it, too. 


Lastly, here's one final photo from yesterday morning, all washed up, fresh out of the dryer, and krinkly. What is it about a krinkly quilt that makes it so fabulous? I just love it!


I was able to give the quilt to Jenn last night and for a a few seconds, I actually thought she was going to cry.  Maybe it was my imagination, but her appreciation and excitement were more than obvious.  She was very, very happy, which, in turn, made me very, very happy.   We even talked about possibly making another for her to use in her high-school seniors shoots.  :)

I can't wait to see my quilt in use on her blog.  I'll be sure to share them when I do.  :)

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the first installment of "Finished it Fridays!" Hope too see you there!

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations



WIP Wednesday - another great week!

I'm guessing I should start numbering these, huh? :)

This has been another wonderfully productive week.  I have to say that it is such a relief to have the projects slowly whittled away.  I feel much less stressed about my to-do list, which is great considering quilting is supposed to be my stress reliever, not a stress creator. 

OK, enough babbling you say?  On to the stuff you're here for... progress reports!!!

Jenn's Sudoku Quilt - ladies (and gentlemen)... this baby is DONE! Come back Friday for a full report.  I haven't presented it to the owner yet, so I don't want to post a lot of pictures here.  I will give you a little teaser, though.  :)


I'm also going to start a Friday linky-party this week, called Finished It Fridays.  So...really...come back, check it out, and link your own finished projects!  :)

Sierra's Quilt - I finished up the blocks on this one last week, and finally got around to piecing the top.


And here they are auditioning for the layout...


These are the first pictures I've posted on this project. It's become one of my favorites. The pattern is Alice by the fabulous Rita of Red Pepper Quilts. The fabric is Kona white paired with a Fabricworm half-yard bundle I purchased back at Christmas. (Yes, shameful to take this long...I know.)  I managed to get the rows together last night.  I'm thinking of straight-line quilting this one, in true Rita style.  :)

No Progress this week:
  • Mexican Star Quilt
  • Bethlehem Star Quilt
  • Jane's B&W Quilt
  • Flipside Quilt
  • Guitar Quilt
Since I've finished the Sudoku quilt, I'll be working on the binding for the Guitar Quilt.  Trenton's birthday is August 31st, so I need to have it ready.  

New Projects:

Yeah, I know - I wasn't supposed to do this, but I couldn't help myself.  I'm in the midst of a bow tie block swap, and have signed up for 40.  They are too fun and too easy!  (And there is still time to sign up if you want to jump in - check out our flickr group.)

Here they are, all chain pieced.  Next up - trimming.


And finally, for kicks and giggles, I've jumped in to the We Love French Knots craze. But more about that next week.


Don't forget - One of my followers will win a Flurry charm pack on August 1st. Will it be you?
(No comment required - all followers are automatically entered.)

Happy Wednesday, y'all - enjoy your week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



take me out to the...

Ball Game!!

Last night, the boys and I went with my dad to see the local minor league team play. We got a new stadium last year and my dad had never been. Plus, he had group seats with a local credit union, so we got food, drinks, a hat and other cool things. Well, since we love, love, love baseball and we love, love, love Grandpa, we jumped at the chance for a night out.  :) 

The new stadium is wonderful. The old one was nice but, well... old.  Here's a good pic of the new one (swiped from the internet).

pic from davenportworld.com
(Incidentally - see the white, domed building in the background?  That's where I work.)

On the way in, Tanner was stopped and asked if he would like to play one of the between-inning games.  Naturally, he said yes, so they had him in the sack race in the middle of the fourth inning.  Here he is waiting to go on the field...


And here's the race!

He had a blast!

When we got back to our seats, he gave Trenton his prize, which seemed to totally make-up for Trenton not being picked for a game (we're still working on the "be happy for others" attitude with him).


We also found one of Tanner's friends who just happened to be there with one of our church groups - and rescued him, as he was the only kid with a group of adults...LOL!!


We had good seats down the first base line, but we chose to stay at the outfield table where we ate because the breeze was much better.  Last I heard it was 92 degrees at game start, and we felt a farther-away seat with a breeze was better than sitting closer in the stands surrounded by people.


We ended the day with the 7th-Inning stretch, tons of peanuts and Friday night fireworks.


Oh yeah.... and the home team won!!!

Next Friday - Turner field, baby! We're going down to Atlanta with friends. See, I told you we have baseball fever!



Moda Swap - and two giveaways!

ETA:  I'm so sorry to say this, but it looks like there is absolutely no interest in this swap.  With over 100 page hits and no takers, I'm calling it.  Can't swap without swappers, right??  

However, the follower charm pack giveaway is still on...'cause I love y'all!  Will give away the Flurry charm pack on August 1st, so spread the word.  :)

Over the past few months, I've participated in various swaps and loved each one. Of these, my favorites have been the simple fabric swaps. Nice and easy - at most they require a bit of cutting - and quick.  Then, I end up with a lot of fabric that I wouldn't have otherwise purchased.

So I got to thinking. I want to do a swap, but I want a twist.  So here's my question... do you love Moda???  Well, I do!  It seems like they have a collection for every taste and they are all yummy. And I love the feel of their fabrics and how wonderful they are to work with.

So - merge these two fabric loves and you have my little idea... a Moda fabric swap!


Would you like to join me???  If so, here's the scoop...
  • Swappers should send in 120 Moda charms and a self-addressed, stamped envelope by August 11, 2011.   (Three weeks from today.)
    • To send a SASE:  Take a blank envelope and your un-sealed envelope with your charms to the post office.  Once your envelope with the charms is weighed, add the same amount of postage to the empty envelope and add it to your charms.  Seal and mail, easy-peasy.  :)
  • Once all charms have been received, I will divvy them out to the other participants and ship them within a couple of days.  Hopefully, this will be well before the end of August.  Each participant will receive 120 squares in return.
  • Charms should be 5" square and must be from a Moda line(s).  
  • If you send solids, please limit them to no more than 1/4th of the charms (no more than 30).  I'm considering a separate solids swap, depending on how this one goes.
  • Charms can be from one line or from many.   You can purchase charm packs (three will get you 126 charms) or you can cut them yourself from fat quarters or yardage.  Scraps are welcome as long as they are 5" square.
  • International is OK, provided you can make the mailing deadline and provide adequate postage. 

To sign up: Simply add a comment here and I will send you an e-mail with the shipping address.  I will take sign-ups through August 5th.  At that time, comments to this post will be closed.

Now, for the giveaways....

As an incentive to ship on-time, all packages received with a postmark of August 11th or earlier will be entered in a giveaway for a Summer House charm pack.

And, in celebration of my first swap hosting, I'll also be giving away a charm pack to one of my followers.  So, if you aren't already a follower you can sign up now.  This giveaway will be for a Flurry charm pack - one of my faves!

So that means if you have your charms mailed by August 15th, and follow my blog, you could win two charm packs!

I hope to see a lot of sign-ups - so please spread the word!  There is a button in the sidebar if you would like to grab it.  More participants means more variety!


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored giveaway.  Moda is not involved and the charm packs being given away were purchased at full retail by me.  I do not have any relationships with the designers or stores (unfortunately).  :)


WIP Wednesday - making progress

This past week has been wonderful for making some serious progress in my WIP-busting.  I've been able to spend some significant time at my machine, and a few hours at the long-arm.  In fact, I'm going there tomorrow with another project... yay!!

Here's a run down of my week....

Guitar Quilt:

On Thursday, I finally got to quilt my son's guitar quilt.  You may remember from this post that I was supposed to quilt it before vacation but wasn't able to.  This time I made an appointment that coincided with two of their classes so I made sure they were open.  Here it is mid-way through the session.  It took about 2-1/2 hours to finish, set up included.  Not too bad. 


The binding is now on and about 30% stitched down (I do that part by hand).

Suduko Quilt:
I have finished the top on this one.  I took a couple of snapshots but, honestly, I don't like how any of them turned out.  My appointment tomorrow with the long-arm is for this one, so stay tuned to see it.  It's using Oasis by Moda and turned out just beautiful!

Bethlehem Star Quilt:
I've managed to cut all my strips out and put together four sets that will be used to build diagonals.


We also had a class this week and started to piece the glows together.  It was my first paper-piecing session in over three years and I had forgotten how much I loved it.


The points you can obtain with paper piecing are just amazing...must keep this up!

Sierra's Quilt:
All the blocks are finished on this one, and looking oh, so cute.  Pics will be up very soon...I thought I had some to post some today, but can't find them so I'm guessing I never took them.  

Not touched this week:
  • Mexican Star Quilt - still sitting in my bucket.  It's a wall hanging for my office, so probably lowest on my priority list.
  • Jane's B&W Quilt - All the blocks are done and trimmed.  Putting this one together won't take long as the blocks are large and few, comparatively speaking. 
  • Flipside Quilt - No movement in months.  I'll probably have to dust the fabric off at this point.  This one is also for me, so low priority. 

...and finally:
I was able to give Molly her quilt last night. So stinking cute.


I also busted hubby sneaking a nap under his coffee quilt.  He says it works well.  :)


I love, love, love seeing my quilts in action.  Warms my heart and makes the time and effort so worthwhile. 

Don't forget to link up with your progress report!! And, if you're busting out some WIPs - why not join the Sew Shine WIP Challenge?? It's really kept me on my toes!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



39.... and holding?

Today is my 39th birthday.

Truly.  Not a 39-again birthday.  But I can't help but think of how many people really do have 39-again birthdays.  I almost feel like I have to say "for real" or "honest" afterwards because so many people stop at 39 and well... hold.

But I don't think that's for me.

The last 39 years have been amazing.  I can't even put into words how much I've been blessed.  And the last decade has simply been the icing on the cake.  And if you know me, you know that's my favorite part of the cake!  :)

Thirty saw me coming out of newlywed stage with a 2 year-old.  Matt threw me a surprise birthday party and I still remember the shock nearly 10 years later.  We'd been living in this house two months when I turned 30, and we've slowly made it a home, but still aren't done.  We've welcomed another son and said goodbye to some wonderful people, both young and old.  I've cried with friends over babies who died the same day they were born and celebrated 90th birthdays with others.

I finished grad school and now prepare to go down that road again in the fall.  I started my current job and began to move up in my career, including some amazing leadership roles that I still can't believe I hold.  Makes me wonder what is ahead, though I must admit I'm looking forward to a slow-down.

In that same decade, we started homeschooling and changed churches.  We teetered through the awkward months of settling into me working and Matt staying home.  Worth.  Every.  Minute.  We found our niche at the new church and became active without being exhausted.  Such a fine line.

We started our annual Hatteras trips.  Need I say more?

We've made new friends, and stayed close with old - and I cherish them all.  A few will be at my house tonight, my birthday wish.  Really.  It's what I wished for when Matt asked me what I wanted.  I adore my friends.  They're real.  They're honest.  We share our struggles and heartaches and we share our good times, too.  Tonight, I'll just soak it all in.  I just wish they all could be here.

But with all that said, if my thirties are any indication of how my forties will be, I say bring it....I'll be ready to celebrate.  :)

Blowing out 12 candles - 3+9.  No way I was putting 39 on there!



Tutorial - Offset Log Cabin Mug Rug

Ever since I made my first mug rug, I've been hooked. I've participated in several swaps and made a few as gifts, too. They seem to be the perfect project...easy to design, very unintimidating (compared to an entire quilt), great scrap busters, and simple enough to finish in a very short amount of time. I love them!

This is one that I made back in May for a swap. I decided to make a tutorial for it. It's based on a basic log-cabin block, but I wanted it to be rectangular in shape, so I off-set it just a bit.


And, of course, you knew I'd make it reversible...LOL!


So.... on with the tutorial!

Start by gathering scraps from you scrap bin, and match them up with good color and contrast. You'll need one 2-1/2 inch square (I fussy-cut mine) and several 1-1/2 inch wide strips of varying lengths.


Now, to those who like hard-and-fast measurements at the beginning, I apologize. But I didn't measure these out first. Hang with me and you'll see what I mean. :)

Starting with your 2-1/2 inch square, attach a 1-1/2 inch strip to each side, trimming as you go, to make a square.


Basically, you start at one end, sew the strip, press your seam, and them trim off the excess. (I pressed all of my seams toward the outside of the block.)

Voila! Round 1 complete.


For Round 2, continue adding "logs" to the block one side at a time, trimming as you go. I find it helpful to pin at my seams, but these are so small you may or may not want to.


Once you have Round 2 done, it's time to offset.  At this point -- especially if you fussy-cut your center square -- decide which way is up.  Add a log to the bottom of your square, press and trim.  Then, just as if you were working around the square, add a log on the left.  Repeat, adding one more log on the left.

Once trimmed, it should look like this:


Now, for the back.

Choose five of your strips (or you could use five totally different strips) that are a bit longer than the width of your mug rug top. Sew them together, matching ends at one side, to make a strip set.


Add a vertical strip to the even (matched) side of your strip set.


Trim. Now you have front and back.


For basting, line up the vertical strip on the back so that it is pretty close to the edge on the front - this will keep you from loosing too much of the vertical strip when trimming at the end.

Baste and quilt - I used a simple straight-line stitch, but there are many options to quilting this. Once finished, bind as you normally would a quilt, but consider using a thinner strip. I use a 1-1/2 inch strip for binding my mug rugs as a wider strip seems to overwhelm the mat. Test first - you may need to adjust needle placement for a less than 1/4-inch seam.

Your finished project should look something like this:


I hope you enjoy using this tutorial. As always, please let me know what you think and if you make a mug rug using this, be sure to upload it to the Stitching by Starlight Flickr group!

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