Thursday, August 2, 2018

Welcome to August

Hello everyone!

Back to school is right around the corner!  In some counties close to us, the first day of school is today!  It seems like the summer went by so fast, but fall is my favorite time of the year and it 's so hot here in Florida, so I guess I don't really mind that summer is coming to an end.

Fall will bring big changes to my family as my youngest leaves to start college in a few short weeks. The house will be much quieter and we will miss him so much, but it is time for him to leave the nest.  

He'll only be an hour away, so I may be seeing more of him than I think!  He's been practicing doing his laundry and we've made a few trips to Target where we ended up pushing two carts by the time we were done, so I guess we are as ready as we'll ever be!

Now I'll just have more time for quilting!

Now, let's start August with the Minis and More Parade.

There are some Parade pictures here and some on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life.  Be sure to take a few minutes and visit Sherri to view the other half of the Parade when you're done here.

We always love to have new friends join in the Parade and we love for you to stop by and visit too.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to email me. We love hearing from you and the Parade is open to everyone!

I made mine with a mix of fabrics including Coney Island and Lulu Lane and I added a few other fabrics to the mix also.  I really like how they turned out!  The pattern calls for mostly charm squares, but I used a combination of charm squares and scraps that I had on hand from a quilt I made last fall.

This is called Clay's Choice.

Here is Barn Star.

This one is Duck and Ducklings.

Hildy made a creative pillow out of the Barn Star Mini Quilt.  I love that she made the middle portion of the block out of a single fabric!  This would be a great spot for a larger print like Hildy used here and it would be an extra special place for that favorite print that you just can't cut up.  I have to admit I have quite a few of those!  Hildy used some peach-y pink fabrics from the Nest collection in her beautiful pillow which is perfect for these hot summer days!

I'm so excited to tell you about our pattern for next month's Parade!

It's a Trip Around The World Mini Quilt!

I've never made this kind of quilt before, so this will be all new for me.  I think a mini is the perfect place to start, don't you?  And even if you have made one before, 
I'll bet you can't resist making this cute little mini!

This photo is property of Samantha of Aqua Paisley Studios.

Just send us the photo of your finished mini quilt at the end of August, and we'll put it in the Parade!  We plan to have the Parade on September third, since the first will fall on a Saturday.

Have a great time making this adorable quilt and enjoy getting ready for fall!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Christmas in July and you may even see a little Alaskan snow too!

It's Christmas in July today! 

And as busy as my family has been in the last few weeks it sure feels like it is Christmas time over here!

My son graduated as valedictorian of his high school and not long after that we went to the Preview  program for a few days at the university he'll be attending in the fall.  He signed up for classes and got the lay of the land so to speak. 

He's going to school where his brother went, so he was pretty comfortable with everything from the beginning, but it's still a big step.

While all this was going on, after pondering it for at least a year, I finally ordered a new machine for quilting!  The quilt tops are piling up and I decided it was time to move forward.  But I'll tell you all about that another day. 

Then in less than a week, we were off for an Alaskan cruise, Voyage of the Glaciers!

Wow, was it beautiful!  Absolutely amazing!  I've always wanted to see a glacier and we saw so many!  It was incredible!  And, I have to add, it was incredibly cold for this Florida girl!

It was difficult to picture how cold it was going to be in Alaska when we left hot, humid Florida.  Luckily, I was prepared because I did bring clothes to use as layers and boy did I take advantage of that!  I'd definitely go back and I'd recommend the cruise to anyone who is interested in glaciers and in Alaska. 

After the Parade today, I'll sneak in a few Alaska vacation photos for those of you who are interested in staying around and looking at a few.  Edited to add: Okay, now it's more than a few once everyone got involved!

Hildy sent in these two lovely pictures of her beautiful quilt.  She created her own mini version of Carrie Nelson's Village pattern.  Hildy mixed Vintage Holiday and Swell fabrics to make the spectacular quilt that you see here!  She calls it Christmas Candy Cottage.  I think its gorgeous.  Thanks so much for sharing it with us Hildy!

The rest of the Christmas in July Parade can be found on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life!
Be sure to stop by and visit.

The project that Sherri and I have picked out for the next Parade is cute, sweet, and the pattern is free!  

You can easily find it over at the Moda Bake Shop.

Image used is from the Moda Bake Shop.

Feel free to make all of them or just one.  You can use a single charm pack, add a little yardage and you are on your way to having your own Barn Star Mini Quilt!

Send in your photo to me or to Sherri before the first of August and we'll put you in the Parade.  Don't hesitate to email your questions if you have any.  New to the Parade?  We'd love to have you join us!

If you are interested in sticking around for a few Alaska vacation pictures you are more than welcome.  These were mostly taken by my son, Aidan.  We just got back a few days ago and haven't gone through all of the pictures yet, but here are a few favorites so far.

An old dock in Icy Straight Point, Alaska.

That time we canoed to, then hiked on the Mendenhall Glacier and although it was fun, I did wonder what I was thinking when I was told there would be a harness involved.

The view from our canoe looking at Mendenhall Glacier.

The Harvard Glacier from our balcony on the cruise ship.

The Harvard Glacier calving.  Calving is when chunks of ice fall off as the glacier moves forward.
Taken by my husband.

 Another view of the Harvard Glacier in College Fjord.

The view from our room in Vancouver, British Columbia where we got on the cruise ship.

Another scene from beautiful Vancouver, Canada in Stanley Park.

 Sea lions on a buoy during our whale watching cruise Icy Straight Point.

We spotted lots of Humpback whales.
Taken by my husband.

And we were fortunate enough to see Orca whales too.
Taken by my husband.

Luckily, we didn't sign up for this tour in Skagway.  I'm not so sure about the driver.

The Marjorie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park.
Taken by my husband.

The Marjorie Glacier from a different view.

The John Hopkins Glacier

White Pass Railroad in Skagway, Alaska

 Whittier, Alaska, where we ended our cruise.

I'm glad you stuck around for the vacation photo portion of this post!  When my family found out I was including Alaska pictures in this post they wanted to show you their favorites.  I kept it simple, but if you have any questions I'd be more than happy to answer them!

Friday, June 1, 2018

'Seams' like summer!

May was a month filled with milestones!

Birthdays, graduations, vacations, and many other fun events were going on as many of us wrapped up the school year and started to look forward to summer.

Minis and More participants were thinking about summer too as we made projects for the Parade.

It was all about choosing any kind of summer project.

Flowers, fruits, and beach balls were things to consider when I started thinking about ideas for this month's Parade.

Watermelons came to Mary's mind when she was deciding what to create for Minis and More this month.  Mary used a free pattern by Lindsey Weight for Fort Worth Fabric Studio called Watermelon Whimsy. Thanks so much Mary, for providing the link!
I love the fabric that Mary used for the watermelons. It makes them look so realistic! Mary's blog Needled Mom is filled with her fun projects and family gatherings.  Be sure to visit Mary and say "Hello!"   

Karen liked the idea of strawberries for her summer themed project, so she made a table runner from the 'Strawberry Ichigo' pattern by Sew-Ichigo that she found on Craftsy. The strawberries are paper pieced and Karen says she figured out the rest as she went along.  We all love seeing the different ways that a pattern can be used!  Karen's strawberries are so bright and cheerful. Perfect for our summer themed Parade!

The rest of the June Minis and More Parade can be found on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life.

Our next Parade will have a Christmas theme!

It's another free choice month as long as your project has a winter holiday focus.

Pick a holiday pattern you've been meaning to try or just use some holiday fabric you have in your stash, the choice is yours!

  Good news! You have some extra time to work on your project.  Please note that this Parade will be on July 10th.

Extra sewing time is always a bonus!


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Parade Of Homes


We're having a Parade of homes this month.

What a great month to be focused on houses.  My husband and I went on a house tour in our area a few weeks ago called the Parade of Homes. We were trying to get some ideas for a bathroom makeover that we plan to take on in the fall and we also wanted to check out some other areas of our city.  We had a great time and we may have even gotten a few too many renovation ideas!  Lots of sawdust might be coming our way!

The homes we are talking about in the Minis and More Parade today are from a brand new mini quilt pattern by my co-host Sherri McConnell.

It's called Be My Neighbor Mini and it's so adorable!

You can find Sherri's new patterns and fabrics and the other half of the Parade on Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life, when you're done here.  Her awesome new blog format is amazing!  There's lots to see over there!

And now the Parade!

This outstanding entry was created by Mary from the blog Needled Mom!  This is just so creative!  I love that Mary used primarily gray and white fabrics then she just added a small pop of color.  The polka dot border is perfect for this mini quilt.  One of the things I love about the Minis and More Parade is seeing things that I would have never thought of for a particular pattern and also seeing how different the same pattern can look when we all add our own creativity to it.  That's why I love quilting!  Thank you Mary for sharing this with us!

The next Be My Neighbor project is mine.  I used a few of Sherri and Chelsi's fabric collections, mostly Desert Bloom and Valley fabrics.  My version of the pattern is on the busy side, which I love, because I used the lighter, low volume fabrics from the fabric collections as my backgrounds.  I have to say that I'm really pleased with how it turned out!  Did you notice that for the background fabrics by several of the roofs I used a fabric that looks like raindrops?  Okay, I went with that so much that I had to redo one section because I accidentally sewed the raindrops on upside-down.  I tried to leave it that way, but I just couldn't, so I had some resewing to do!  I'm happy with these fun, little houses!  My high school senior was impressed with how these houses went together, windows and all.    

The June first Parade will be fun!

My son will be graduating from high school that week and there are lots of activities going on for the seniors, so I'm not sure how timely my part of the Parade will be, but I'm sure you all understand.  I just realized that as I'm typing this paragraph.  That's coming up fast. Wow!  June already, what happened?

Okay, sorry about that. Anyway, for the June Parade we are having summer free choice!

That means we'd like for you to have some kind of summer theme going on.  You know, maybe a watermelon quilt, or popsicles, some kind of summery fabric or something like that. 

It's up to you!

I was kind of pondering Camille's Mini Fireworks pattern, but I'm not sure what I'll do.

So many possibilities!

We can't wait to see your summer free choice project, so don't hesitate to participate along with us and send in a picture of what you've created!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Starting spring with some butterflies

Hello and happy spring!

The pattern for the April Minis and More Parade is Mini Painted Ladies by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. and I can't think of a better way to start off spring than with a Parade of butterflies!   

These are a few of my Painted Lady butterflies.  

I decided I liked them so much that I'm making twelve additional butterflies to make a total of twenty four, so you won't see my mini here this week.  I'm still sewing.....

Yesterday in my Florida backyard, we spotted what I think is an Easter Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and last week I was surprised to see a Monarch.

Fortunately, my milkweed plants are coming back nicely, so the butterflies should have plenty of food when they need it.

If your backyard is still too cold for you to be spotting butterflies and that appears to be many of you, no worries, you can see plenty here today!

We lived in Maine for a few years, so I certainly know how that cold weather feels!

Here are some fabric butterflies for you to enjoy.

These beautiful butterflies, were made by Mary, from the blog Needled Mom.  She made her project square so it could be used as a table topper.  Mary gifted this to her mom and her mom was especially thrilled since these are her favorite colors.  I think anyone would be thrilled to receive this butterfly mini as a gift!  Great quilting, Mary!  Oh, speaking of quilting, I just had to include a picture of the back of Mary's project too.  I love that you can see Mary's quilting so well on the solid white on the back.  

Here's an adorable little potholder made by Patty D. of Elm Street Quilts.  I think this was the perfect way to bring spring into her kitchen!  The bright blues and the straight line quilting really make the butterfly pop off the potholder.  I like the variety of ways that people are using the featured pattern this month.  It's fun to see the pattern put to so many different uses.  I may have to make a Painted Ladies potholder of my own for my kitchen!  

And don't forget to visit Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life to see the rest of the Painted Ladies Mini quilt Parade.

For the May 1st Parade, I'm so excited that we'll be using Sherri's brand new pattern  Be My Neighbor Mini!  
Picture courtesy of Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life Designs.

You'll only need a charm pack and some extra fabric to make this adorable little house quilt.

I love the detail in the houses!

This pattern was just released by Sherri along with her other new patterns and Sherri and Chelsi's new fabric line Clover Hollow.

I'm thinking about color combinations for those cute houses right now.....

You can pick up a Be My Neighbor Mini pattern in Sherri's Etsy Shop  or at The Fat Quarter Shop.  They're available now!

Let's start construction!

Are you new to the Minis and More Parade or are you just wondering how it works? 

Feel free to send me an email with any questions you might have.  Sherri and I always love to have new participants and we love to make new quilting friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Strawberry Social Mini

Hello!  We're looking at our Strawberry Social Minis today.

With warm weather around the corner, these strawberry mini quilts will get us ready for spring!

The Strawberry Social Mini pattern was designed by Margot Languedoc of The Pattern Basket. 

I'm excited about these, so let's get right to it!

Mary, our friend from the blog Needled Mom, made this cute version of our featured pattern.  I love what she did with the strawberries and the low volume background!  What a great idea!  The striped binding looks wonderful too. It's so fun to see different versions of the same mini quilt and Mary's changes to the pattern are so fun!

Danette sent in her Strawberry Social Mini and it's adorable!  She was happy that she already had the pattern and when she saw that it was our pattern of the month, she decided to join in. We're so glad she did!  Her Pam Kitty Morning fabrics really make a beautiful mini quilt.  Check out Danette's blog to see her cute strawberry backing fabric!

And here's my Strawberry Social Mini!  I was thinking about putting borders on it, but I decided against it.  It's interesting that the other participants like the mini without borders too.  I've seen a few strawberry prints I was pondering for the border, but I'm just not sure.  Maybe I'll leave it for a few days and think about it before I quilt it.  I used a variety of red prints and some green charm square scraps that were in my stash.  I'm happy to say that the green dot background was also some fabric that I already had in my low volume pile.  

Mini Painted Ladies designed by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree and Co. is our next featured pattern.

It'll be fun to pick out fabric and create some beautiful butterflies!

Pattern picture from The Fat Quarter Shop

You can find the pattern at the Fat Quarter Shop or at Fig Tree and Co.

And don't forget to see the rest of the Parade at Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life!

We'd love for you to join us for the next Parade.  Just send us a picture of your completed Painted Ladies project and a brief description and we'll put it in the Parade on the April 2nd, since the first falls on a Sunday.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Happy quilting!  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Hometown Parade

Welcome to the Hometown Parade!

This month's featured pattern was Hometown Mini designed by my Minis and More Parade cohost, Sherri McConnell.

Let's start with Patty D.'s spectacular picture of her Hometown Mini!  What a beautiful photo Patty!  I just love how the snow looks with the red and white mini quilt. Patty made a variation of the pattern that looks beautiful in the reds she used.  She's calling her quilt Cardinal, which I think is the perfect name for it.  You can read more about Patty's mini quilt in her blog post.  

Our next Parade entry was made by our new friend Chris!  This is her second time in the Parade, although she has been following along for years.  I'm so glad she decided to join us this month.  Chris changed up the Hometown pattern by turning it into a runner that she needed for her newly redecorated family room.  She used leftover scraps from a quilt that she made for her grandson.  Since the scraps went so well with the new colors in her home, it worked out perfectly!

Hildy made a cute pillow version of Sherri's Hometown pattern. The fabrics are a combination of different fabric lines including the First Romance collection, Paperie, and Beatrice.  This is an adorable pillow!  I always admire Hildy's creativity and her ability to see a project through to the finish!

Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life, is where you can find the other half of the Minis and More Parade.  Don't forget to visit and look at the amazing mini quilts she has in the Parade today!

We're so excited about our pattern for next month!

I've seen so many adorable versions of this cute quilt and now we can get together and make our own.

It's the Strawberry Social Mini!

You can find the pattern at The Fat Quarter Shop in both paper and PDF versions and it can also be ordered from Margot Languedoc's site The Pattern Basket.

If you'd like to sew along be sure to send us a picture of your Strawberry Social project before March first, so we can include it in the Parade.

Everyone loves to see different fabric combinations and creative ways to use the same pattern.

We hope you'll join us!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Harper Quilt

This week Erica Jackman of Kitchen Table Quilting released a new pattern, The Harper Quilt.

I had a great time testing the lap size quilt for her.

There are two quilt size options in The Harper Quilt pattern, along with two different polka dot sizes you can choose from.

It took me a bit to decide which polka dot size to go with, but finally I went with the large dots.  That version really caught my eye when Erica showed the pattern for the first time.

I used the Bonnie and Camille Basics fabric line in different colors for my background.

The Harper Quilt also looks great with a background of different shades of the same color fabric as pictured on the cover of Erica's pattern. 

My stack of Basics fat quarters has been sitting on my quilting table for far too long, so instead of using all one color for my background, I decided to change it up a little and use my different color Basics fat quarters.

My dot fabrics are the neutrals from my fat quarter bundle, plus a few extra fat quarters thrown in that I found at my local quilt shop.

The Harper Quilt has easy to create templates which were a breeze to make.

I just printed out the paper templates from Erica's pattern and traced them on to some template plastic that I had in my sewing closet. 

Erica recommends cutting your fabrics using your templates and a rotary cutter, going slowly around the curve guided by a plastic ruler and cutting up to four layers of fabric at a time. 

I preferred to trace my shapes to my precut squares and cut them out one at a time using scissors.  It did take longer, but it was a great excuse to watch TV for awhile while I was relaxing with family on the weekend!

Sewing the curves was more fun than I remembered! 

I've sewn curves before, but it's been awhile. Erica gives lots of helpful hints to make the process easy and accurate.

Lots of pins and a little help from my iron, and I was happily sewing along!

Then it was just a matter of laying out the blocks and sewing them together.

I'm thrilled with the result!

This week I've been quilting The Harper Quilt with small wavy lines and I'll be sure to show it to you once I get it bound. 

I went with a backing that had circles on it to echo the front and I love it.

I wish I could take credit for finding the backing fabric, but the credit has to go to my husband who saw the bolt peeking out from behind a pile at my LQS.

 Now I'm just trying to decide if I should continue the circle theme with the binding or not.  I have a few fabrics in mind, but I haven't made a final decision yet.

I have decided that the next baby quilt I make will definitely be another Harper Quilt. 

Erica's smaller size quilt in this patten is adorable and it would be a great reason to make another, maybe I'll even go with the small dots next time.  We'll have to see!

For the full story on The Harper Quilt visit my friend Erica Jackman at Kitchen Table Quilting!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A new year and a new Minis and More Parade!

Happy New Year, friends!

Usually at this point in time I'm in the process of taking down the Christmas decorations and I'm ready to move on with a fresh clean slate in January, but this year I'm taking it a bit slower.

I'm not quite ready to part with our Christmas tree and all of the festive decorations.

I'm not sure why that is, maybe it's the cold weather we're having here in Florida right now.  It finally feels like the holidays!

There are even rumors of snow here tomorrow! Yes, snow here in Florida!

A few weeks ago, in December, it was ninety degrees and it didn't feel like the holidays at all and now that it's time to take down the tree, it's gotten cold.

I guess that's as good of a reason as any to keep the decorations up just a little longer!

The Minis and More Parade is also holding on to the holidays for a little more time.

This month's Parade is about the handmade gifts that you gave and received.

I'm certainly going to be taking notes for next year's gifts!

Patty D. from Elm Street Quilts made this adorable tomte pillow for her mom and lots of zip bags for family and friends. I had to look up the word tomte because I didn't know what it was and I discovered that a tomte is a customary Swedish character who is said to live a solitary life and safeguard a farmer and his family. Swedish families may acknowledge a tomte by leaving him a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve.  I didn't know that.  Thanks for sharing your beautiful handmade gifts with us Patty and for encouraging me to learn something new!    

Our next handmade gift is from Sue H.  She worked on it and finished it over Christmas and she's now glad that she has it, since winter has definitely arrived in her area of the country.  It's beautiful, Sue!  We're so glad you sent it in!

Karen made this quilt as a gift for an longtime family friend.  She found making a quilt for a man quite a challenge and I can see how it would be tricky. She did a great job finding a pattern, fabrics, and quilting it, without a flower in sight!  I'm sure he loves it, Karen.  It looks wonderful!

Hildy had the great idea to put her own spin on a pattern by Gingiber when she made this cute cat pillow for her parents.  Hildy personalized it by making the cats look more like her own.  I love the  aqua background that Hildy used from the Desert Bloom fabric line.  Thanks for sharing, Hildy!

Nancy made this cute By The Chimney Mini with a pattern by Lella Boutique as a gift for her granddaughter.  She used both Holly Jolly and Merry and Bright fabric by Sandy Gervais.  The striped binding is the perfect touch!

Be sure to head over to Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life  to view the other half of the Parade and to take notes on some great gift ideas!

Our February Parade will feature the Hometown Mini Quilt Pattern by my cohost of the Minis and More Parade, Sherri McConnell.

Photo courtesy of Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life

I just love this adorable mini quilt!

A few charm squares, some scraps, and a little background fabric and you're ready to go!

If you participated in the December first
 Parade or in today's Parade, you'll be receiving this pattern free of charge by email as a participation prize.  I'll be sending them out very soon.

If you're new to the Parade, welcome!  We'd love to have you!  Feel free to make this month's mini quilt and email a picture to Sherri or to me to be in next month's Parade on February first.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

And to everyone who has participated in the Parade in the past, we're so glad to see you again and we're looking forward to another fun year of projects!

Happy quilting!