Monday, October 29, 2012

Sugar Rails

On the first Friday of the month our downtown area hosts an event called "Art Hop".  Each business has the option of participating.  An artist is chosen for each business and gets to have an exhibit of their work as well as pieces for sale.  My friend, Nancy, who owns the restaurant "The Garden Gate Cafe" has asked me to be her artist for December.  I was very reluctant at first but then agreed.  I wasn't sure that I would have enough time to prepare.  Sometimes a little push is what's needed and she provided that.  So here is the first quilt that I will be selling.  I'm calling it "Sugar Rails".  I have used some of my most favorite fabrics, everything from Lecien to Tanya Whelan, to Cath Kidston.  It's a simple rail fence block yet the fabrics make this quilt.  Now to hand quilt or machine quilt?  What do you think?

With joy,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Apples in a Row

I took some time yesterday and this morning to get caught up on the Row-A-Long quilt by Lori Holt. This is row 4 - a row of adorable apples.  You can get the instructions for this block here.  No matter how long I've been quilting, I always learn something new and this was no exception.  The importance of pressing was paramount with this block.  I also didn't pay attention to the direction of the white squares on the leaves so that my leaves are going in a different direction than Lori's.  In this instance it is not a big deal, but for another quilt it could have resulted in a lot of ripping out.  It's always a good idea to sew one and check it against the pattern to see if it's correct.

When I started this project, I decided not to use any red in my quilt, focusing on pink in place of the red.  As much as I tried, I didn't like making a row of apples without having red ones.  So I found some red fabric in a complimentary shade (Celebration by Brenda Riddle) to add in.  Now I have to be sure to place it strategically in the rest of the quilt so that it blends well with the overall look.  I like the red, it gives a bit of pop to the softness of the overall look.  I also had some fun adding Lori's gray words from her new Polka Dot Stitches line to one of the apple core blocks.  View her line of fabric here.  It's so good to be caught up today!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Ramblings

It's raining for the fourth day in a row.  There is a peacefulness about it.  It's best to stay in with the temps in the 40's and wetness all around.  I keep wandering into my sewing room for some inspiration.

I finished cutting out the 900 squares for the Country Road quilt yesterday while the carpets were being cleaned for our open house tomorrow.  If I have to stand around and wait while something is being done to the house I might as well be productive, right?

Selling your house makes you see it in a whole different light.  Everywhere I turn there is a surface to be cleaned, or a pile to be sorted and put away.  This house has probably never been more organized in all our nine years of living here.

For today, I am exhausted emotionally and physically.  I find myself back on the couch looking at this view out the window and listening to the rain coming down.  I really hope someone falls in love with our home tomorrow.  Blessings!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Joy Topper

I carved out a small bit of time the other day to make a quick table topper for my dining room table. I'd like to share with you how I made it in case you would like to try one for yourself.  First, get four fabrics that you like.  To make it scrappier looking, grab a few more.

From each of the four fabrics cut: 
2 - 4 1/2" x width of fabric strips
cut each strip into 4 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles

Lay out the fabrics to make a square.  This is where it's up to you to determine the size you want.  I kept adding rectangles till I got the size square I wanted for the topper.  Sew all the pieces together.  I knew it needed something to jazz it up a bit so I decided to add the word "Joy".  I went to my go-to book "The ABC's of Words on Quilts" by Elizabeth Scott.  Trace the letters onto fusible web and iron the web to the back of the black fabric.  Carefully cut out the letters, peel off the paper and iron them to the front of the quilt.  I machined stitched the letters, using the blanket stitch, onto the fabric.  Next, get a piece of fabric large enough for the backing and a piece of batting as well.  Quilt the fabric anyway you'd like.  I machined stitched on either side of the seams along the rectangles.

To make the circle fold the fabric to find the center and put a pin on the back of the fabric in the center.  Take a piece of yarn and tie one end to the pin and one end to a sharpie pen (or whatever pen you'd like)  Once you determine how long the yarn has to be to go all around the square to make the circle and have adjusted and tied the yarn to fit, very slowly draw the circle.  When that is finished, carefully cut the circle from the quilt square.

I made bias binding because it stretches to fit the shape of the circle nicely.  There are many tutorials on the web for making bias binding if you haven't made bias binding before.  I machine stitched it to the front of the circle and hand sewed it to the back.  My finished topper is 29" round.  

If you decide to make a topper, I'd love to see it!  I think it would make a nice Christmas gift, don't you? Have a wonderful day!


Monday, October 15, 2012

My Girl

Last month my Maddie turned 18 and had her senior pictures taken on her birthday.  We had our lovely photographer take a few special birthday shots.  It was a lot of fun!  When the pictures arrived on Friday we were overjoyed with the results.

I'm glad that I was able to purchase the CD with all of the photos because we are having a hard time choosing our favorites.  This one stands out for me.  I love how you just see a subtle blur of the vintage quilt she is sitting on.  It was cool that day and at the last minute I grabbed a sweater of mine for her. It turned out to be a good choice.

This Bible is her Dad's from when he was in high school.  I'm going to frame this one for him as a surprise.  

We also took a few shots of her in a local vineyard with her guitar.  It was a day I won't soon forget. It's so hard to believe she's 18.  

This sign went up over the weekend.  There has been so much going on and I haven't been on my blog a lot.  In the last two weeks I have finished the weddings at the farm, moved my husband to a new town to start his new job, packed up quite a bit of my home and got it ready to go on the market, everyone in our house got sick and my niece got married over the weekend.  Today I finally feel like I might have stepped off the hamster wheel and can get back to doing those things I love (just as soon as I stop coughing!)  When it rains, it pours!  It's been doing a lot of that here too these past few days!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hill Farm

This is the view from my back door.  It is cold and the air is brisk this morning.  The colors are all at their peaks.  My raging cold has not let up so I will be enjoying all this beauty from my couch today.  It never seems to fail, after a season of busyness, I get sick.  Our bodies can only take so much stress.

I purchased this wonderful fat eighth bundle of "Hill Farm" by Brenda Riddle for Lecien.  Brenda's blog is here.  Brenda's work includes the beautiful lines of "Celebration, Georgia Lou and Durham Anew" as well as many patterns. I love her work.  Be sure to stop by and take a look.

I found this great book on the Fat Quarter Shop website and will be using Hill Farm to make this featured quilt.  There are some real beauties in this book.  It's a great book to have in your library. You can look at it here. Enjoy your day, friends!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pin Pick Saturday

Oh how I love vintage quilts.   From the colors to the patterns, to the tiny stitches, they make my heart sing.  The photo is from the Meadowbrook Farm blog.  Teresa's blog makes my heart sing too!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Metro Links & Giveaway Winner

The winner of the October giveaway is Lisa Cox.  I have sent you an email, Lisa.  Congratulations!  I have been an absent blogger this week.  I picked up a nasty head cold on top of my already busy schedule.  I realized I didn't show you my completed quilt "Metro Links" which I made for the beautiful bride and groom shown below.

Michelle and Kaj were married this past Saturday and had their reception at the farm.  It was a gorgeous day and since I am friends with their parents, this day was extra special for me.  Have a wonderful Friday!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Giveaway

It's a lovely fall day today here in southwest Michigan.  The air is crisp and the colors of the trees are breathtaking.  This past weekend we celebrated our last two weddings at Friendship Farm.  Both weddings were beautiful, Christ-centered events and it was a wonderful way to close our wedding journey.  The farm is for sale and the business is officially closed.  I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me now.  After such a special weekend, I knew I needed an extra special giveaway. 

One Winner Will Receive

The book, "Scrap-Basket Surprises" by Kim Brackett
One Marriage Certificate Panel - "Honeymoon Cottage" by Gloria Parsons
for Blue Hill Fabrics
Six pieces of fabric measuring at least one yard each
12 - 6 1/2" blocks made by me, using Thimbleberry Fabrics

To Enter

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Be a follower of Sewn With Grace

The giveaway is open until midnight on Thursday, October 4.  The winner will be selected by Random Generator and will be announced Friday morning, October 5.  Have a wonderful day!