Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Road to Oklahoma quilt flimsy

I love the Oklahoma themed batik

I'm in the homestretch of my Oklahoma quilt. It took forever for me to find a sashing fabric. I looked locally as well as online. Big bomb. Then I saw someone comment about Hancocks of Paducah and that's where I scored! Lovely horse shoes on a warm western brown batik. The multi colors tie in with the colors of my Oklahoma batiks.

I was initially concerned that the horse shoes might be too busy. Thankfully I was wrong. Next to the various blocks it is low volume.

Playing with layout.

I was playing with the layout WHILE it was on my En Provence quilt. What was I thinking?! The colors and patterns of En Provence messed with my eyes.

quilt top indoors

The layout tested me as I've never done a sampler quilt before. (I sure am checking off several 'firsts' with this quilt.) I arranged and rearranged a dozen times. Then I put my girls on the task and they whipped out a great design quickly.

Outside on the line seeking sunlight

I really love the 'artistic' slant of different sized and patterned blocks. I think I'm getting brave. I'm eager to get this quilt finished.

Monday, February 4, 2019

In the midst of pain came On The Scene

Bonnie Hunter named this quilt pattern On Ringo Lake with her inspiration coming from pics of a small boat literally on Ringo Lake in Minnesota.

I changed the colors.
Increased the size.
Made the blocks incorrectly.
Skipped the pieced sashing and cut the wrong width of plain sashing.
Added a border that nearly drove me mad.
You see a theme of *ugh* going on here? LOL
I admit I was lost. Physically and most of all emotionally.

Center of the unfinished top

In the zillion tiny pieces of the red, blue, gray and black confetti border I saw the light.
I was crying. Too much chaos in my life.
My vision was blurry. I could only see the pops of the bright colors. No pattern was visible.
I was seeing the emergency lights the night I found my mother dead in her home.

Confetti border has about 2500 pieces

An ambulance came even though my husband told them nothing could be done.
911 sent firemen as well.
The street was a sea of flashing lights. Confusing chaos.

Not my pic. See the red, blue, gray and black?

Sounds receded. I was numb, yet felt so much.
Firemen who all stopped and shook my hand or touched my shoulder offering sympathy.
Ambulance EMT's leaned in to offer a comforting word.
Police officers who spoke to me gently and stayed until the funeral home arrived hours later.
So many kind people were there for me. All strangers.

I survived.
My husband kept encouraging me to move forward with this quilt. He told me how much he loved it. I couldn't see past my melancholy to love it.
Until I started the borders in late July.

OKC Police Honor Guard 2015

Amidst my tears, I saw that night again and knew the name of this quilt.
On The Scene.
My husband is a 31 year veteran police officer. He still works the street.
The vivid colors are his.
The vivid color pops are his normal.
His comfort.
It means the cavalry is there to back him up.
He is not alone.
God and St. Michael are always with him. However, having your fellow officers on a scene too is comforting.

St. Michael is the patron saint of law enforcement

Now I know why I chose these colors.
Why it is so eye poppingly bright.
God knew my husband wanted this quilt before it was ever created.
My 'mistakes' were His wonderful directions.
His creation from my lowly hands.

The backing has a Thin Blue Line

I present to you On The Scene.
Design by Bonnie Hunter, On Ringo Lake, 2017 Mystery quilt
Pieced (and altered endlessly) by me.
Quilted by Bush Family Affair quilt shop, Chickasha, OK

On the Scene, final stitch 12-27-2018

I sat alone late at night hand stitching the label. I finally felt some peace. My piecing mistakes were loved and wanted. My struggle had become a thing of beauty for my loved one.

Thank you Bonnie for designing this quilt. You are helping heal my family <3

On our bed finally

I finally was able to get a pic in the late afternoon sun. I was happy to have any sunshine at all! 

A close up in the sun. Quilting is a loose stipple to keep it soft.

And to really scramble your eyes ... a close up of the vivid design.

I am so happy this quilt is complete. Amen.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Stitches and soup

It's been chilly here in Oklahoma lately. Some days are in the 50's but others ... bbbrrrrr! I love soup both for its delicious comfort and because it will cook while I stitch. Win win!

This weekend I made my favorite sausage cabbage soup. It's my version of cabbage roll soup and stuffed pepper soup. I tweaked it to fit what we want. If you don't make homemade soup, you might consider it this winter. It tastes so much better than the canned stuff.

No green cabbage at the store so I used purple cabbage

I toss some breakfast sausage in a pot to brown and start chopping veggies. An onion, a few carrots and stalks of celery. Minced garlic (or plenty of garlic powder). If I have it, I dice up some green pepper. I usually drain my sausage on paper towels. Then I toss everything back in the pot to sweat the onions and start softening my veggies. I cut a head of cabbage into 1 inch pieces until my pot is full. We love chunky soups. Add a couple of cans of stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. Today I used 2 stewed and 1 tomato sauce. A spoon of italian seasoning, generous spoon of pepper and I put the lid on and walked away.

Tomatoes added

The sausage adds such a rich scent that I never smell any stink from the cabbage cooking. The tomatoes elevate this to a fancy soup. Later on .... voila! Dinner is ready!

This is hearty, low carb, low fat and delicious.

Now on to the stitching.

I've been plugging away on my Oklahoma quilt in between Bonnie Hunter's mystery clues. I'm finishing up an applique block then it should be time to assemble the top. Unless I decide to go bigger. We'll see.

The guitar blades tie into the play Oklahoma!

I debated if I really wanted to make the windmill. It's a lot of small pieces and I want them all stitched down snug so the quilt can be washed many times. I'm still new to applique in quilts so humor me please. Or reassure me if you have experience :)

Here is the final block. My other blocks are 12 1/2" unfinished so this was a block and half and needed borders to beef it up to fit into the layout. I love it!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt part 5 link up

How will these all go together?
My mystery quilt stitching paused for Christmas - my sewing table was relocated to serve Christmas dinner. Eeek! I really don't mind, though it is returned in less than pristine condition. I hauled it back into my sewing room last night and set it up.

So many tiny squares! 
That smooth, empty surface called to me ... to trim last years mystery quilt! On The Scene was stitched, quilted and in a bag waiting to be trimmed and bound. So I pulled an all nighter and did just that.

Stitching a mile of binding

I hand stitched the label on about 3am. I'm ecstatic that this is completed. It became such a long project. By the time the last stitch was done, I was ready for bed.

I did make progress on Good Fortune over Christmas. Mainly on the pressing and organizing front.

Needs pressing!

Clue 1 is now stitched, pressed and waiting.
Clue 2 is about 20% done. I need to make a thousand more neutral/blue HST's.
Clue 3 is almost done. All of the half chevrons are stitched and pressed. I pressed all billion neutral/green HST's though I will need to make a few to compensate for the few that I stitched badly, trimmed poorly, etc. Thank goodness it is only a few.
Clue 4 is cut and waiting. I copped out (according to Bonnie) due to only have a few fabrics available. I'm ok with it :)
Clue 5 .... do we have to discuss clue 5? I promise I will start cutting on it as soon as I'm done writing this blog post.

Pressed and ready to go
I'm joining the party linking up to Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville Monday Link Up.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt Part 4 link up

Hello! Christmas is getting close. Are you ready? I'm not done shopping yet. I need to track down 2 more items and I can stop. I hope :)

Stacks of wrapped Christmas gifts

Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville released the 4th clue for her Good Fortune mystery quilt. String pieced units! Yeah!
Insert my sad face though. I do not have enough fabrics to make decent string pieced blocks. My stash was depleted, so I had to shop to have fabric to make this quilt. Since its a mystery I didn't know to buy a dozen small pieces in this color. I bought 3 and thought that would be more than enough. I was wrong. That's ok. I need an easy week.

Yellow with daisies

Big sigh.

So yes Bonnie, I am copping out this week.

Darling dragon flies
In all honesty I have not gotten any sewing done. I discovered I am being defrauded by a family member. My past week has been lawyers and paperwork. Bad time of year for negative chaos.

These fabrics make me smile!!

Stitching relaxes me and makes me happy so you can bet I will be stitching my little heart out this weekend.

Yellow roses! 
Have a great week!
Merry Christmas!!

Linking back to the Mystery Monday Link up

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt Part 3 Link up

Hello! How is your week going? I'm delighted to say the snow stayed south of us last weekend. Amen! I do feel sorry for the poor folks in Texas who got 10 inches of snow!! 10 inches!! That's crazy snow for Oklahoma and Texas.

Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville released Clue 3 of this years Mystery Quilt last Friday.
My heart sank.
The bratty, insecure little girl in me started pulling her hair and screaming, "Why?! Why?! WHY?!"
Half chevrons.
Oh my goodness, no.

Celtic Solstice chevrons

A few years back we made chevrons in Celtic Solstice. I messed lots of them up. LOTS. In the end though I completed the proper number and my daughter uses her quilt. However I vowed to never, ever make chevrons again.

My version of Celtic Solstice 

Sighsss I can be so ridiculous. My skills have grown. I have made several quilts since then. Why am I so afraid? They just another unit. Nothing to fear. And this year Bonnie is teaching a method to create little bonus HST's which we are using in this quilt. I hate waste so this is perfect. Now to get over my brain issues, LOL.

My weekend was busy so I worked on Clue 1's 4 patches. I'm proud to say they are all stitched though some still need pressed. Monday I put on my big girl panties and started cutting fabric for Clue 3.

The right side bows out
I think I can. I think I can.

The first unit produced a too small HST. Adjust my tape. I am using my 90's Baby Lock machine and I cannot move the needle over a tick so I am old school adjusting me. I can do this.

Next unit the HST was still a hair small but it can be used. More adjusting. More careful stitching. More pressing. Uh oh. Look at the HST above. Can you see how the right side green bows out? And the black bows down? I'm stretching my fabric as I press. I'm anxious and its showing.

Tuesday and Wednesday brought more success. My half chevrons were becoming dependably correct. My HST's were usually fine as long I pressed gently.

What was I doing here? Oops!

Though I did manage to let my rotary cutter go rogue, LOL.

Currently Clue 3 is 40% completed. Plus the other 60% is halfway stitched ... soooo I'm 70% thru the whole clue? LOL

What are you stitching?

Bonnie's Mystery quilt is free and fun if you want to join in. Ignore my silly fears and try it :)
I'm linking to the Monday Link Up post. Go see oodles of talented quilters sharing their progress. And a few goofy folks like me, hehehe.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Good Fortune Part 2 Link Up

Nutcracker ornaments from Avon 1985
Time is zipping along at an incredible pace. It seems yesterday we were preparing for Thanksgiving and now Christmas is approaching at the speed of light. I have so much to do! In addition to Christmas we have 2 birthdays this month. Are you ready for Christmas?

Paneling is coming down. Next, rewire the house.

I spent several days working on the lake house.

Hustled home to decorate the tree for Christmas.

Today I finally cut a few strips to make some HST's for Clue 2 of Bonnie Hunter's 2018 Mystery quilt.

I'm far from completion of Clue 1 or 2. However I'm smiling at the color and sparkle of the fabrics as they start to come together. Tomorrow Clue 3 will be released. Hold on to your hats, it's going to be a fabulous December!

To explore all of Bonnie Hunter's wonderful quilting including many free patterns, go to Quiltville.
I'm linking back to the Good Fortune Mystery Link Up.
Have a great day!