7 Years Blogging … and WOW look what I am quilting this week!

Image result for busy busy busyI want this to be a spectacular 7th anniversary celebration and giveaway for all of you that read my blog each week 🙂  I have a stack of goodies for a giveaway planned for this week… then life stepped in and my week got uber busy!  

An unplanned trip to Asheville and some unexpected other stuff… well we will do the official celebration next weekend if y’all don’t mind!!!

I have made significant stitching progress this week between all the busyness though!!!  It really helps me manage stress QUITE effectively I find 😀 

So I have been getting up early and stitching in the mornings each day. I am linking this progress with other slow stitchers of all kinds at Kathy’s Quilts Linky Party HERE!  Come check out what all the slow stitching gang are up to and add your link if you blog about slow stitching of ANY kind!  We have cross stitchers, knitters, all kinds of hand stitching goes on and sooo much inspiration to be had from all over the globe too!  As for me… I am a recent transplant to a small town in far southwestern North Carolina USA 😀  I LOVE LOVE LOVE living here!

As does my honey of 7 plus years and our pup Daisy Mae of almost 7 years 😀  Here she is above enjoying the sunshine on our driveway !
Here is where my week started with this quilt last Sunday… laying out stencils… gathering a marking pen I could see on my fabrics that would also work with the stencils and making my plan ….

 After doing the marking and picking out some threads… a mix of big stitch and regular stitches… I was ready to begin!!!

 Don’t forget the proper lighting and a good rolling chair if you use a frame… much more ergonomic and effective to get in those strange positions to make even stitches if you have a rolling chair instead of a stationary one…

 Soon I had the first stitches in and spritzed away the blue marking lines to show off this wonderful texture!!!

 Then I remembered this Needle Keeper I had purchased and hadn’t even unwrapped yet so out it came to join my other one on the frame… it stands up off the quilt top enough to hold my hemostats that double as a needle puller when I get too many stitches on the needle or get in a tight spot and need the extra umph to get that needle through thick seams or something… invaluable tool!

Another basic and invaluable tool I use besides a regular thimble (took me AGES to learn to wear one but my fingers and finger nails love me for it! lol) is making a fashioned thimble from white electrical tape from a hardware store!  
Black gums up and leaves residue… they come in lots of colors too … I have found white leaves NO residue and no gumming up either!  So I make a thimble for my thumb from that and it HELPS SOOOO MUCH!!!

 If you are interested in a tutorial on how I make my thumble … just leave me a comment and I can add that to next weeks post 😉

Here is a look from the halfway point back to the beginning mid week….

 And here is a look when I was working on the end of the row….

Excuse my wet spot on the burgandy cornerstone.. I had just spritzed off my marks and wasn’t patient enough to let it dry before snagging this shot for you all… I was ready to roll!!! lol

I rolled on Friday I think…. marking only about 1/6 of the quilt where I planned to quilt at a time as it is humid out and we keep our windows open a LOT here… the weather is GLORIOUS!!!  But that can make all those marks disappear as humidity is a water like thing.  So be careful if you are in a rainy spot of the world and use the spritz away marking pens.  Mark only what you think you will get to in 2 or 3 days is my recommendation. 

So finally rolled soo I was looking at this this morning!!!

 But when I looked closely at this part here… where the burgandy corner meets the sashing… I knew this wavering edge was NOT what I wanted in this quilt forever…

So I went to my threads I had pulled for this quilt from my thread stash and decided on a big stitch outer line to stabilize AND be a design element on the quilt!

 What do you think??? 

I could have stitched in the ditch with a regular hand quilting weight thread too… but I decided this was just what this quilt needed to me 😀  Hope my honey likes this design decision when he wakes… otherwise I will take out this bit and stitch in the ditch for stabilization in an invisible way once washed…. I have done the ditch stitching on the black thin border using black thread on either side of that black line and it disappears when you look at it.

Next up is a setting triangle motif and swirls and hearts in this cool YLI blue variegated thread! My bestie Connie sent me the stencils from her collection above and below as well as the wavy lines in the outermost border … the rest are from my own stencil stash I have grown over my quilting career!

So if you are new to hand quilting… think about your quilting friends and see if any are willing to “share” their stash with you … likewise think if you would be willing to share  your stash with them!!!  Returning stencils when you are done is very important too!!  Stencils can be readily bought at some LQS’s and online at Quilting Stencils International and also The Stencil Company… I like the layout of The Stencil Company best and prices at both are similar.  I had picked out the same stencils that I borrowed from Connie actually… we both found that quite funny that what I picked out for wanting on this quilt she had in her stash already!!!

I mentioned earlier that we had to go to Asheville unexpectedly this week… Rick needed to visit the VA after he had called them about something so to Asheville we went on short notice… so I grabbed a project I have had lurking in the background but haven’t worked on in ages!!!

 This is a little wall hanging… not sure of it’s measurements but less than 24″ square I would bet… I had layered it with wool batting it looks like and a backing of leftover plaid fabric from my stash… you can see even though it is dark fabri it doesn’t darken the light grey background on the center part though… or dull the yellow of the outer border 😀  Experiment with fabrics you have in your stash for backings… you never know what will work for a project til you experiment!

Here it is just popped out of my 17″ frame as whilst in Asheville waiting I finished outlining the flowers and now need to outline the flower centers and the center star with black variegated thread. then mark and quilt the inner border and outer border after that !  A few more trips to Asheville and I will have this one done… how exciting to make progress on this slow stitching project… thus far I have just stitched with grey thread around the center flowers as I mentioned above so nothing to show a close up of… I have left it out of the hoop to relax from living in the hoop for a year or more already! YIKES … NOT ideal at all!!!

Lucky for me this is wool batting that wants to be puffy and not retain a crease from the hoop I use… my hoop is a heavy plastic hoop that is 17″ across… I LOVE IT… you can purchase one like it affordably at Joann’s online if you are interested… it is large but when I use it I just turn it and work on one side at a time 😀

My bloggy friend Karen wanted me to share photos of a project I am languishing on… my wholecloth!

So here are a couple shots of that project… I am on the second photo working my way from right to left filling in the dark green leaves when inspiration for this project I had worked on a lot until then left me… I got busy piecing and prepping for the quilt I shared at the beginning of this post “Hanover Stars” and quit hand quilting all together for a bit.

While it was nice to give my hands a rest… they are eager and happy to be back to hand quilting… Hand quilting is therapeutic in a way I can’t explain for me… I LOVE IT more than any other hand craft I have done before… I listen to music or watch learning videos on youtube or Craftsy… I splurged and got Craftsy Unlimited 2 months ago right after moving in here and LOVE LOVE LOVE all I can learn whilst stitching away … sometimes I do more watching… sometimes I have to rewind as I have gotten caught up in my stitching progress! lol  It is all good because you can rewatch all you want and LEARN soo many cool things… if you are interested in giving Craftsy Unlimited a try go to my friend Karen’s blog here and click on her Craftsy link and then click on Craftsy Unlimited… I think they may have a free trial but I can’t see any of those things right now… TOTALLY WORTH the monthly or yearly fee though!

In closing… the first photo I shared of the rose comes from this bush…

 Which is right outside my bedroom window….

 My honey brought that bud into me in a little glass with water to keep it thriving next to my frame as I quilt 😀

Then out the kitchen window we watch these flowers as they take root and are starting to bloom again from being planted a couple weekends ago….

 And here is a collage of mother nature’s symphony of beauty all around our little acre and a half….

That center shot shows an ancient weeping willow that stands just north of our garden and fruit trees… it is said a bald eagle comes and watches for fish to swim close to the top in our pond so he can swoop down for a feast of fish… but we haven’t seen him yet ourselves.

We have about 50 strawberry plants about ready to start bringing us mature strawberries, we have grape vines with baby grapes, more rose bushes, peach and apple trees, and blueberry bushes in abundance… so exciting to take ride abouts and walk abouts on our land and see the abundance of goodness we will soon be enjoying by hand!!!

OOOh… another thing I learned from a Craftsy Unlimited class by Debbie Caffrey (Cut to It – Designs for Smarter Cutting) and designed myself from that instruction and encouragement were these pillow sham fronts….

I plan to machine quilt them from a walking foot class by Jacquie Gering I also watched on Craftsy Unlimited this weekend!  We will see when and how that turns out 😀

Have a blessed weekend and see ya next weekend for a very fun giveaway I have planned… I will have a shorter post I hope then too! lol  For now please remember to always …

12 thoughts on “7 Years Blogging … and WOW look what I am quilting this week!

  1. Deb A

    Looks like you are really enjoying the new home! Great progress on your quilt – your stitches are amazing. I can only hope to be close to that someday. Enjoy.

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  2. Claudette

    You are one busy lady. I feel like such a sloth when I read your blog and posts. I ordered my background fabric that you helped me find. Waiting (not so patiently) for it to be delivered. I’ve cut and prepped a few more blocks for my “Twirly Ball and Pinwheels” quilt. I also remarked the border for my friend’s quilt. Today – cleaning my closet. A shelf fell out of the wall (maybe I have a “few” too many t-shirts) and I need to reorganize. Have a good day and thanks again for helping me find my fabric. And someday, I would love to figure out how to blog!

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  3. Gretchen Weaver

    I like the stencils you've chosen for Hanover Stars, the quilting is lovely! Your small applique blocks is so cute! I really like wool batting for hand quilting, the needle just stitches so easily. We've finally having some blooming flowers here and the grass is a lush green from all the rain. Happy Stitching this week!

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  4. Karen - Quilts...etc.

    love your stencils that you are using – they look great on this quilt and a variety helps to keep you from getting bored. Love seeing the whole cloth again that will be so fine when you get it done. I never did try a needle keeper on the quilt and I will look for a good magnetic. You are so busy and everything looks so great on your property!

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  5. CathieJ

    Congratulations on 7 years of blogging. I love your beautiful quilts. Your quilting is so pretty on all of them. I want to complete a whole cloth, but I think it will take me way too long to finish. I like your little wall hanging.

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  6. Little Penpen

    Do you enjoy your ride to Asheville? I hope everything is ok with Rick and it's awesome that you are quilting while you are there. Any lookers and questions about your quilting? Your Hanover Stars is looking wonderful and I like the stitches you took along the corner edges in the burgundy fabric. You really have a knack with placing stitches and quilting design. Yay, I saw \”my\” wholecloth!!! You know it's one of my fav's. Your yard is absolutely beautiful and I can see why you love living there. We planted a weeping willow this weekend to try to shade our front porch a little. Of course, all the men in my life cringed and talked about the bad roots, etc… but I told them to hush and that we'd cut it down later if we had to do so. ha ha! I truly looked for a corkscrew willow like yours, but couldn't find one. :-(( Happy Anniversary on your blog and I , for one, love everything about it and you!

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