Sunday, December 29, 2013

Just Add Color

Almost time to begin my new adventure.... 
Life’s A Journey—Applique Mystery Quilt A-Long—2014

Are you ready to create your own stunning wall-hanging quilt? Then… bring along your imagination, sewing skills, and a basket of fabric scraps or pieces; to unravel this online applique mystery and enjoy a captivating quilting experience, with a delightful group of quilters, that have joined—from around the world.

This 17-week project will enable you to create a unique and special quilt that should evoke special memories to cherish—whether it is for yourself or someone you love.

It is my hope, that this project will be a nice distraction from winter; for anyone that finds the many months of cold and snow, a complete drain on the living—really only perfect for quilting!!

For new information and to follow along; I plan to use twitter to post when new things are happening; and adding to my blog to make the weekly lessons come to life. Feel free to join me; to see what's new. 

To join, check out this adventure with the pattern download at my Craftsy store. Particular information and finished blocks will only be available to those that have joined; it closes 31-January-2014.

Everything we experience brings us different results, as we journey through this lifetime—some are happy; some are sad; some belong to us; some only to others; and some we all share in common.

Therefore, each applique was chosen to evoke either a special memory or dream, in our minds; and then transform these chosen black-and-white images into colorful quilt blocks. If nothing significant translates, find an image with colors you love.

When selecting colors; I suggest:
  1. Using lighter colors for the background to allow the applique to standout on the block. (Or vice versa, if you like lighter images and a darker background.)
  2. Focus on the design--week by week--and create the perfect applique with colors that bring forth the intended memory it evokes, one block at a time.
  3. This will create the ultimate scrappy quilt in colors that bring each design to life.

As a child, I loved coloring books. Those black and white pages were just waiting to be transformed by creative imagination and a box of crayons, each time they were opened.

Therefore, I have taking this concept a step further with a grown-up twist…using applique and quilting. By replacing those coloring book pages and crayons with a scrappy quilt pattern and colorful cotton fabrics; bringing along that same creative imagination to create a delightful scrappy wall-hanging quilt.

As this is the last post for 2013, I wish you all a blessed and Happy New Year…2014!!

Join me for the first installment of this scrappy applique mystery quilt a-long on Sundays, beginning January 5, 2014. Check back then; to begin this creative journey.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's A Mystery Quilt!!

Desiring a way to say 'thank-you' for all those amazing people from around the world that stopped by to check out my quilting patterns in 2013; I have this new project to share with you... as we all begin this NEW YEAR, together. (FREE to join, until January 31, 2014.)


This design evolved from the idea...
that a group of orphan quilt blocks that I had made, needed a place to shine; as they had not yet made it into a quilt of their own. Perhaps, it was that they weren't really very exciting all on their own. Or, maybe I had just forgotten about them. So, why not add them to a variety of applique blocks to create a really unique quilt?

Now, this to me gets more exciting... since I love to do machine applique and using fabrics from my own stash, let's make it a scrappy applique mystery quilt!!

To have a mystery, one needs a place to go to discover all of its secrets... so that was when I thought it would work great as a quilt a-long with as many people as would like to share in this adventure. Having had the joy of sharing my quilting designs over the past year; it was time to give back. And, now it is ready to begin.... Merry Christmas to all; and to all a good night!!  This gift is now ready to open on Christmas Eve.

For more details and opportunity to join me, check out my Craftsy store anytime before January 31, 2014 to join for FREE. After that it will disappear.... (it may come back; but that is still a secret)

May peace and joy descend upon you; this festive time of year!! Thank you so much for joining me in this adventure.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Evaluating 2013


In only a few weeks, it'll be time to re-evaluate our progress for 2013. Funny really, that so much fuss over the end of 2012 was made; and now it's almost 2014!! Am hoping that a better world for all... is still possible... for the peoples of Earth!! Still a dreamer....

So, my own evaluation begins....

DIDN'T WORK: After a whole year of trying out new ways and places to blog, I think I'm coming back to this one. I really do enjoy designing the layouts and adding posts; however, to have high speed and unlimited internet use are neither of my options, at the present time.

SOLUTION: So.....I've decided to rejoin Twitter to have one place to share when I add new blog posts, patterns, and ideas, etc.; and not put pressure on myself to feel discouraged with my costly and limited internet service provider. (A worthy goal for a new year coming soon.)

PROBLEM: My sewing machine lost its ability to wind up bobbins; and as I couldn't spare it, in order to get it fixed, I needed another solution. Maybe in the spring, it can be repaired.

SOLUTION: So... I found a way to wind them up manually. This was really helpful. Then, the other day, I finally had opportunity to see if another sewing machine would be able to fill some bobbins; and it worked. Now, I have twelve full bobbins in three different colors, ready for more projects. I had really forgotten how a full bobbin looked; as hand winding is tiresome, but it works.

Room Layouts...
DIDN'T WORK: I still love moving around the furniture--however, I generally need extra muscle power to get it done, painlessly . So that has to fit into the plan. In need of consideration were the living room and the sewing room.
With the living room, it was too cold in winter for my computer/office desk area. And, upstairs in my sewing area, it was too hot and the line-up of cooling fans had priority there.

Thank you to my sons, for their strength and patience. Now, walking into my living room, it feels like one is stepping into another house. It is so refreshing to see this arrangement working. My office desk is now near an inside wall, and I can view the TV without turning around; the two large pieces of furniture are in new locations; and those ugly, whitish drapes are finally gone!!

It was after much deliberation, stalling, and procrastination.... that my living room now has a new appearance. That day, I had the extra muscle power and the plan in place for this new arrangement.

I had ample opportunity to try new room arrangements; but it didn't work for long. Each time it felt better; but it just wouldn't last! The two giants to cope with here were: the spare mattress set and the sloping ceiling. It was my sewing room that saw the most changes. Well, you know... if it doesn't work you find another way!!

So... after closing up cracks around the small doorframe that resided in a corner area behind the bathroom that let in unwanted residents; a carpet cleaning, and removing two shelves in the slanted ceiling cabinet areas; it was time to put back the furniture.

The cabinet area now fits my white banker's boxes, and other stuff; and the mattresses are set against one of the slanted walls, away from the cabinet doors. This got rid of the clutter of boxes, and a better place for the mattresses. And the carpet is so much easier to vacuum, each week.

I really love this arrangement: there's an area for the cutting table and fabric shelf; an area for the sewing machine; an area for my laptop, when needed; and space for an antique sewing machine. The ironing pad also utilizes the same space as the cutting mat. My three white storage towers sit in front of the mattresses; and can easily be moved, when our special little guests have a sleepover.

I look forward to sharing my progress of new projects with you, as internet time permits. Best wishes to all; and may we all have time to dream up a list of worthy goals for 2014!!

Now, just to make that snow melt... and get more outdoor time!! That wish may just take some time to come. Merry Holidays!!