Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Wall Hanging and Modern Pinwheels in Houston

It is hard to believe it is the day before Halloween already!  Where has the time gone?  Well - at least I was able to finish this wall hanging of Monica's before Halloween...so technically it's right on time!


I think that since it's been a few weeks since I have touched my long arm I really got into this one!  There were so many neat little shapes and spaces to play in so I had fun.  Monica is always really fun to quilt for because not only does she send me really cute quilts, she gives me a lot of design freedom and that is the BEST!


I don't know why that shirt screamed pinstripes to me!  I thought all of the different textures really bring this witchy gal to life.


I wanted to do something in the face that gave the idea of a wrinkled face...but nothing too scary because this witch is cute!  I think the kind of cheek/chin swirls really worked well.


This triangular border was my favorite to work on!  The quilting design is very geometric and Judy Madsen/Green Fairy inspired!  She does wonderful things with filling negative space with simple lines and fills.  What an inspiration to the quilting world she is.


I was going for sort of Victorian witch shoes with those swirls in the top of the shoe!




Even the back turned out pretty neat!



I took this off the frame to photograph but will load it back up as the same hunk of batting will be used for the Christmas wall hanging - up next!

I also wanted to quickly share a photo that my friend Mabel from Connected Threadz shared with me!  She is meeting with a group of the gals from CT in Houston and was kind enough to think of me and take a photograph of my quilt Modern Pinwheels hanging in the Meander Publishing booth!  That just meant the world to me and she took such a fantastic photo to boot!  It is SUCH a huge honor that my quilt was chosen to decorate the booth - some of my most admired quilting idols are there and to have just a small representation of my work a part of such a huge event...and for one of my favorite quilting magazines!  It's a big deal!  Woohoo!


Thank you again Mabel!  If you are in Houston this week for Quilt Festival you can view the quilt in booth 202 OR in the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited along with instructions!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Here I am! Quilting Update

Wow - it's been ten days since I last blogged!  It sure doesn't feel that way!  Things have been busy but slow if that makes sense.  The morning sickness has been nothing short of brutal.  Today is the first day in about two weeks that I have felt somewhat normal - the past two days I've spent on the couch with nearly unbearable waves of nausea.  I think the dear Lord above is making sure that my last pregnancy goes out with a bang!  I have always really enjoyed being pregnant, but this time I'm positive that I don't want to go through this again!  LOL  I keep thinking about the prize at the end, cuddling with a new little member of the Smith family.  In any case I'm having a good day - and I'm going to take advantage of it and try to get as much accomplished as I can.

What I've been working on this past week - has not been much!  I altered a mermaid costume for a friend of my Mother in Law's, and another friend's daughter asked if I would make her a Minnie Mouse skirt for a school event on Halloween.  This was the final skirt that I'm really proud of considering I'm far more a quilter than a seamstress!


She asked for tulle underneath so I did my best to keep it from being bulky around the waistline but full in the skirt portion.  She is going to wear leggings underneath and I'm not sure what the rest of the costume will look like - she's a Majorette so something for her performance.  I asked for a picture so I will share if she sends on over.  I thought it turned out really cute!


I've made little to no progress on my pumpkin mini!  LOL  The measurements are totally off as I've been making it up as I go along.  Knowing I have to go back and do math is causing me to procrastinate.  Don't be shocked if this goes in a baggie to work on next year!  I'm already in Christmas mode!  ;)


I am also planning to finish up these cuties today for Monica - woohoo!  She sent me a box full of adorable quilts that I'm going to have a good time working on.  My two favorite holidays all in one!


She was also generous enough to send me the pattern for this quilt that I quilted for her some time back...


Isn't it SO SO SO cute?!  It's totally my taste too - I am excited to start putting fabrics together for it.  :)  Thank you for sharing Monica!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hey, my quilt is going to Houston!

LOL!  Ok ok, it's going to Houston, but not in the show!  LOL!  I still dream of having a quilt accepted to the Houston International Quilt Festival...and in my really wild dreams winning a ribbon there...but I have equally fantastic news to share!  I was just given the all clear to share that a quilt of mine called Modern Pinwheels  will be hanging in the Meander Publishing booth at Houston!  The quilt design will be in the upcoming issue of Modern Quilting Unlimited out on store shelves the end of the month.  Yay!!!  Here is a photo I was forwarded to share:


Modern Quilts Unlimited is put out by Meander Publishing - also responsible for the amazing publication that is Machine Quilting Unlimited!  Visit http://machinequilting.mqumag.com for magazine and subscription in formation.  :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sharing our Big News :)

So many wonderful things have been happening lately, I almost feel a little silly sharing even more!  Life is really wonderful, and we are very blessed.  We had planned on waiting a little longer to announce to extended friends and family, but all seems to be going well and as I've been getting "congratulations" I thought we might like to go ahead and share the news on our own terms before word spreads further!  :)


It looks as though we are expecting baby number four!!!  We are beyond thrilled to be expanding our family yet again - my greatest joy in life is being a mother!  :)  Of course life is always busy and this will mean some home renovating that we have been discussing for a long time, but more fantastic news is finally I will have my own dedicated sewing room!!!  Oh I am so thrilled!  We are creating another bedroom and closing off our second family room that has over the years become more and more taken over by quilts...it will now be my very own dedicated studio!!!  Woohoo!

As far as quilting goes, I know many will be curious - I plan to continue on as scheduled!  I knew in late September we were expecting when I made the 2015 schedule, and as this is my fourth child I am pretty confident that so long as all goes well I know what to expect!  :)  I will be taking off some time in May and June and the schedule will be light after that until I get back into the swing of things.  So as for now, all is to continue on as planned!  :)  :)  :)  Quilting is part of what keeps me grounded as a stay at home Mother, so I have no intentions of giving that up any time soon!  :)

I hope all is well out there in blogland and I'm thrilled to be able to share this news!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's Fall in the Pumpkin Patch :)

   I am always finding myself busy these days - though my quilting hasn't produced a lot that I can share here as of late.  A few things I can share are my fall projects!  I have been craving fall decorations and crafts...creativity that is simply for the joy of it...not for a client, not for a gift, not for a magazine or even for a quilt show.  I've been making some things that are terribly simple and primitive...but boy do they make me happy!

 

   If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen some progress on this little witch hat.  I actually found instructions on Pinterest for a very large version of this hat.  The large hat is adorable but my tiny house calls for tiny decorations.  So I thought I'd miniaturize it.  It's really just a cone shape sewn to a brim that I measured using the rim of a tea cup.  I didn't want to purchase any new supplies for this (although I did break down and buy the flowers at the $1 store) - so I used black scrap fabric from my scrap bin.  I stiffened the hat with watered down mod podge, and the berries and leaves were laying around in my craft cupboard.


The day before making the hat I had decided I might like to try decorating with dehydrated orange and apple slices...they are things we pretty much always have in the refrigerator and I thought they might make a pretty earthy natural decoration.  I sliced them both very thin and seasoned with pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.  It thought it might take 8 hours to dehydrate but as I cut the slices on the hick side it took about 12 hours at 175-200!  I might do this again for Christmas but maybe try slicing thinner to see if I can't cut down the cooking time.  Otherwise I adore the look and pretty smell!


Oh and I also stitched and stuffed these little candy corn.  I might go back and make some other cute little things - candy canes, snow men...maybe some mittens?  I stiffened these also with a little watered down mod podge.


The finished product was this little display I set on the kitchen table on a vintage cake stand.  I love it!  So cute and prim and the best part is that it hardly cost me anything...


Another goody I've been enjoying is this book I borrowed from my Mother - The Amish Cook at Home.  I live in the heart of Amish country - NE Ohio not far from the PA line - so the Amish are nothing new or novel in our area...but they are very private so of course their life is still fascinating to me!  I admit one of my guilty pleasures is TLC's reality show Breaking Amish!!!  I know, I know, it's not the most quality television...but I cannot help but watch!  I feel a little sad for the young adults who sign up to be a part of the show - the more I learn about the strict Amish culture and beliefs I understand what a difficult life that must be for them in so many ways...but I wonder if being so naive to "English" life, if putting them in unfamiliar surroundings and on camera is really a moral thing.  Being on camera or having their picture taken from what I understand is very much against the rules...I just cannot imagine.  Strict as they are there are still many ideals the Amish value and live by that I do truly admire and appreciate.

  If you grew up in this area you've likely gone by or even shopped at an Amish bake stand.  My Father used to set up at a flea market in Middlefield, Ohio years ago when I was a little girl.  I remember my parents always excited to walk over to the Amish girls table and stocking up on whoopie pies.  My Mother still raves about them today!  LOL  Something I love about Amish or Amish inspired recipes is their simplicity...and this book is really a great example of that.  I am so excited to try out the pie crust and pumpkin cookie recipes inside!

...and it wouldn't be a Pumpkin Patch Quilter post if I didn't share my pumpkin quilt!  This is as far as I have come along on my little pumpkin snowball quilt.  My little blocks aren't yet resembling pumpkins, but they will!  LOL!  I still haven't decided if I'll fill the center with pieced blocks or just simple nine patches.  Just something simple with fall colors to decorate...


A little close up of a few of the blocks that are beginning to look like pumpkins.  With any luck I might get this finished before Halloween!


What projects have you been working on for fall?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's here! My very first Ribbon!

Well if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook - I'm going to apologize ahead of time.  I'm posting yet ANOTHER photo of my ribbon!  I know a lot of my quilting pals have won countless ribbons so it might not be the same thrill...but this is my first ribbon won all with my very own work and I'm pretty proud!  Not to mention it's from a well known national show - a show most of you know and love as much as I do...I mean, I think I might pee....it's from MQX!!!  LOL  Ok ok ok, TMI....but I'm really stinking happy!!!!


I mean, is that a ribbon or is that a ribbon?  I don't even care if it's 3rd place...IT'S A PLACE!!!  Icing on the cake?  I had no idea that this category won a monetary prize - inside of my box was a check from Janet-Lee and Mary for $100!!!!!!!!!  OH MY GAWSH!  I'm over the moon.  I just feel like a million bucks.  :)  :)  :)  Because I'm a quilting girl on a budget and I try to spend my pennies wisely, that $ is going right back into sending another quilt or two off to another show.  Maybe if I'm super lucky my very first ribbon will get a pal to hang out with!

In other news while I'm waiting on a box of quilts to work on from Monica I've been getting the house all ready for fall.  I have had oranges and apples in the oven for the past 11 hours dehydrating for decoration.  I found a few little crafty ideas I'm cleaning up the sewing room so I can get started on - I'll share more tomorrow if all goes well.  I hope all of my pals out in blogland are having a wonderful start to the "eat all things pumpkin" season!!!

- Valerie

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Stockings Won 3rd Place at MQX!!!!!

Woohoo!!  My family and I just came home late last night from an amazing week at Walt Disney World!  We had just the most wonderful time and were able to accomplish just about everything that had set out to do while visiting...and the icing on the cake?  While in Disney I discovered my Heirloom Stockings won 3rd place in the Wearable Accessories category at MQX Midwest!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!  I am so excited!!!!!!  This is the first ribbon I've won for a project that is entirely my own, and to win at MQX is such a huge deal for me.  Not only is it a national level show, but it's one that I've dreamed of participating in.  So many of my quilting idols are regulars at this show - and teach there too!  So it was just surreal to see photos of a ribbon hanging by my stockings!!

I cannot thank the amazing Janet Stone enough (best of show winner I might add!!!) for taking these photos from the show for me...so that I may share with you all!



Below is a shot of Emerald Tapestry - I'm SO bummed that it got such a deep wrinkle in it from shipping!  I'm still new to sending these out, and still trying to find the best way to send them for good presentation.  Same with the stockings...I think in the future I may send them stuffed so they aren't SO flat when they arrive...still, I'm pretty happy!  Emerald Tapestry did not place in the small whole cloth category but I'm still excited that it was accepted and in such amazing company with well known talented quilters.


Here are some of the photos I have shared on this blog in the past of the stockings to give you an idea of what they actually look like.  Sometimes with the lighting and angle of straight on photos you lose some of the detail that makes these quilts so amazing!






I am beyond thrilled to have won my very first ribbon at my very favorite quilt show!  All week after each day of Disney craziness I was dreaming about the current quilt I'm working on and hoping to have ready for MQX East...eeeeep!

I'm still recovering from our week of fun so I'll share photos of our trip on my next post.  Happy quilting!