Wednesday, June 17, 2020

May RSC and Color Challenge, and A New Blog


At long last my new blog is up and running! Texas Quilt Gal is the name and you will find it and all future posts by clicking the link right here. If you follow me, please note the change to https:www.texasquiltgal.com, or you may Follow Texas Quilt Gal By Email in the right sidebar on the new blog

My May RSC and May Monthly Color Challenge blocks are featured on the first post - go have a look!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

An Update

Brandon with Dad and sister

Thank you for all of your kind and caring comments after the events of last week. Your supportive words mean more to me than you'll ever know. Our grandson has had a rough time, as we expected. We met our son and family for dinner on Thursday to celebrate our son's 50th birthday. Because of current restaurant requirements, our party of seven had to sit at two separate tables six feet apart. So my husband and I sat separately and members of the family each came and sat with us for awhile. That was actually fun, and were able to spend some alone time with Brandon. We were glad that he talked about Prescilla and his feelings. He is a strong young man and he will be OK, and that was a big relief for us.

Prescilla's sister Audrey remains in ICU but she is improving every day. Her family is grieving but very thankful for Audrey's fighting spirit. She has not been told about her sister. A Go Fund Me page has been established for the family and over $36,000 has been raised for assistance with funeral and medical expenses. The memorial service is a week from today and will be a "come-and-go" event due to Covid-19 restrictions. The family wants Brandon with them, so that will be a long and emotional day for all. Please add them to your prayers.

Our daughter and family are coming today to spend several days and our son and family will visit tomorrow to celebrate our youngest grandson's first birthday and our son's 50th. It will likely be an emotional day but full of laughter and love. Life goes on.

During my little blogging break, I decided to work on a new blog with a name related to my username on Instagram. I think my current blog has some technical issues with mixed http and https, so hopefully the new one will be accessible to anyone who wants to comment and also that Instagram will allow me to post my website in my profile. I will have a post with a redirect address when that happens, possibly some time next week.

I hope you are planning good times for your Memorial Day weekend, and I'd love to hear all about it. Stay safe and well!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Beautiful Life

Yesterday, May 15, our grandson's beautiful girlfriend was in a fatal car accident and lost her life. She was 21. Our grandson is devastated, as are her parents, her siblings, and our family. Her sister, who was in the passenger seat, is in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle drove into her lane and crashed head-on. He also lost his life.

Brandon and Prescilla met at "Fish Camp" the first week of their freshman year at Texas A&M and have been together ever since. They attended church together and went on mission trips instead of partying during spring break. They would both graduate spring of 2021, and Prescilla wanted to be a teacher. Although they were not engaged, they had plans to marry. They were so, so happy together. It is hard to find adequate words to describe how delightful and special she was. She had an unabashed faith in Christ and was the most joyful person I ever met. Our whole family fell in love with her, and our lives will not be the same without her.

This is a post she made on her Instagram account last month:
"I have a secret place that only Jesus and I know about. Where I know my heart will always be taken care of, my mind renewed, and my spirit can soak in the joy found only in His presence.
That's a reminder for me and maybe a spark for you."

Grandma and Papaw drove to College Station to treat them to lunch in January

I will be taking a break from blogging and commenting to concentrate on family. All of you stay safe and hug your loved ones.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Leaving A Quilted Legacy Blog Hop for Paula

Many of you were familiar with the amazing Paula Budinger of Paula B Quilts. I only became aware of her when Janice of Color, Creating, and Quilting posted about Paula's unexpected passing in February. Paula, who would have been 79 this year, had degrees in biology and interior design and led a varied career as a researcher, an occupational therapy aide, and a medical transcriptionist prior to becoming a prolific quilter. She was an enthusiastic, generous, and supportive blogger who often shared her antique quilt research on her blog, Paula B Quilts. Bloggers participating in this three-day blog hop made a quilt for the charity of their choice in Paula's honor. And there are prizes to be had! Please see below for the blog hop schedule, instructions for entries for prize drawings, and a list of the wonderful sponsors and their generous prizes.

I think Paula would approve of my gifting this quilt to Mercyful Quilt Drive, which provides quilts of comfort for those in the process of dying and is hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot. Bernie began collecting quilts back in 2018 for donation to Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA. You can read about the reason Bernie began the quilt drive right here. I have the quilt laundered and ready to send to Bernie to be delivered to just the right recipient! If you would like to donate a quilt to this very worthy hospital, contact Bernie here!

I saw this quick and easy quilt on Pinterest and found the tutorial on the blog of Rachel McDaniel Hayes. Rachel graciously allowed me to post the link to her tutorial. I adjusted the size to lap sized and have included all the quilt details below.

I began by choosing blue-ish fabrics and decided a pop of yellow was desperately needed! On the back I have pieced a big slab of denim-look with a yellow plaid fabric. The yellow plaid also served as the binding.

A close-up of some of the fabrics

A big "Thank You" to Janice and Kate from Smiles From Kate for organizing this blog hop! Be sure to click on the blog links below to read more about Paula and see beautiful quilts and their charity choices by the other blog hop participants.

***IMPORTANT!***
Comments will be open until Friday, May 15! Remember - your comments on any blog wins you an additional chance to win a prize. More comments = more entries! Winners will chosen by random generator after May 15. Those of you who live outside the US will only be eligible for the gift certificates or pattern prizes, but not the fabric prizes due to the cost of postage - sorry!

***ALSO VERY IMPORTANT!***
If you are a "no-reply blogger", please leave your email in your comment if you would like to be entered in the drawing for prizes. If you prefer, you may privately send me your email address at rubymitch12@yahoo.com


BLOG HOP SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, May 6 
Karen @ KaHolly
Kate @ Smiles From Kate
Wendy @ Pieceful Thoughts of my Quilting Life
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Linda @ My Sew-Called Quilts
Cathy @ Crazy By Design
Sue @ From the Magpie’s Nest

Thursday, May 7
Kate @ Smiles From Kate
Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts
Rose @ Something Rose Made
Nann @ With Strings Attached
Mari @ The Academic Quilter
Louise @ My Quilt Odyssey
Susan @ Desert Sky Quilts

Friday, May 8
Janice @ Color, Creating and Quilting
Kate @ Smiles From Kate
Joy @ The Joyful Quilter
Susan @ Quilt Fabrication
Edi @ Edi’s Crafting Life
Carol @ Quilt Schmilt
Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

PRIZES!
Lorna, Sew Fresh Quilts, $50 gift certificate for her pattern shop
Yvonne Quilting Jetgirl, 2 PDF patterns of choice
Bernie Needle and Foot, $25 certificate for her shop
A fat quarter bundle from Figo Fabrics
A set of quilty gift cards from Initial Thought by DMF  Note cards set 1
A pattern of choice from Karen, Sugar Free Quilts
A $30 gift certificate for Doris, Cactus Queen Quilt Co
A PDF pattern of choice from Joanne, Canuck Quilter Designs Etsy shop
$25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop, donated by Janice Holton
Book 1 and 2 of The Enlightened Spaniel, donated by the author who is the husband of Kate of Smiles From Kate


Quilt Details:
Finished size (laundered): 54 x 66 inches
Pattern by Rachel McDaniel Hayes

Front:
Fabrics from stash
White Grunge-look from Hobby Lobby

Backing:
Denim Grunge-look from Hobby Lobby
Yellow plaid from stash

Binding:
Yellow plaid from stash

Superior Thread:
Piecing: #50 So Fine in 502 Genoa Gray
Quilting: #50 So Fine in 419 Pineapple

Friday, April 24, 2020

April Monthly Color Challenge

The bird for April's Monthly Color Challenge is the Purple Honeycreeper - I love that name! This post is linked to Patterns by Jen Color Challenge 2020.

Jen created this pretty Square in a Square pattern which you can download (free only for the month of April) right here. All of the patterns are for 12-1/2 inch blocks, so at the end of the year I should have a nice sized quilt.

I used part of my Kate Spain Honey Honey collection from stash. I really like this block pattern and would like to see it as a quilt.

Re-done January and February blocks

I don't know about you, but sometimes I make a quilty decision that I regret down the road. You might recall I decided to make the January and February blocks 8-1/2 inches instead of 12-1/2 inches, in order to accommodate the size of my scraps. You may read about that decision here. Then I forgot to do that for the March block. I didn't want to redo the March block, so I added borders to bring the two previous blocks up to 12-1/2 inches, and that riveting post is here. Although I liked my do-over blocks, every time I looked at them they just didn't look quite right to me, and it finally drove me crazy enough to remake the blocks again! It's all good though, because I can still use the smaller blocks as part of the backing.

Be sure to go check out all the lovely birdie blocks here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

RSC Blues, Picket Star Block, and Other Quilty Happenings

The RSC color for April is light and bright blue. With last month's challenge being teal and aqua, my blue scrap bin has had a workout but still seems full of blue. I love the way blues pop on my design wall!

Scraptastic Star pattern by Melissa Corey

Geese Migration pattern by Cynthia Brunz at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Cynthia Brunz Irish Chain


Strings

I had help on my strings from Julierose at Julierose Quilts, who took the time to send me instructions on how she makes her beautiful "Ojos" - thank you Julierose!

Now that my "scrap chores" are over for the month I get to concentrate on other projects, such as this Picket Star block from Preeti's blog. She has generously created an excellent tutorial for it right here. Preeti has a perfectly lovely and appropriate name for it, but to me it is simply "Preeti's Block". It makes a big 17-1/2 inch block!

I love this block so much that I ordered more of these luscious fabrics by Jinny Beyer to make several blocks into a quilt.

One of the online stores where I found my fabric was Lone Star Quiltworks, a store I had visited in December when we took our grandson and his girlfriend to lunch in their college town. I talked my husband into going early so we could check out the store before we met them. It is a quilter's dream - clean and bright and full of beautiful fabrics! For some reason I migrated toward the long arm machines they had set up. I gave the Hand-Quilter Simply Sixteen a test drive, and oh my goodness! What a fun time I had easily maneuvering that piece of metal around. We asked the friendly demonstrator several questions before I finally asked "how much is it?" Well at $5995.95, and even with a payment plan, I decided maybe I'd just stick with my domestic Janome. And even if we could afford it, we would have to add on a room for it somewhere - lol! But oh it is fun to dream about it, especially when I'm wrestling a quilt through Miss Janome.

I am adding this post to the other fabulous blogs linking up to Cynthia's Oh Scrap! and Angela's Scrap Happy Saturday.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Gooseberry Garden Quilt Finish

This quilt is the result of a pattern test last year for "Eternally Yours" quilt pattern by Julie at Running Stitch Quilts. It was a fun "X's and O's" pattern, and I love the final look! I finished and sandwiched the flimsy last March (you may read about it here), put it in my closet, and there it stayed until last week. Because it had been folded for so long, the backing was no longer taut, so I had to re-sandwich it. That was fun (not!).

The majority of the blocks were made with Gooseberry, a 2015 collection from Lella Boutique

I quilted with an unmarked double cross hatch in a basting stitch.
Unmarked translates to "not perfect", so I shall call it "organic".

During the 2-1/2 day quilting marathon, one needle was broken, excess backing got caught in the stitching several times and had to be ripped out, and Rosie insisted on lying on the quilt almost every time I wrestled with it. Fun times!

This happy quilt which will reside on the guest bed used by our granddaughter when she comes to visit. I'm pretty sure she will love it as much as Jack does!

Quilt details:
Finished size: 60 x 70 inches
Pattern: Eternally Yours by Running Stitch Quilts

Front:
Gooseberry by Lella Boutique for Moda
Cupcake Cafe from Studio E
Vintage Holiday by Bonnie and Camille for Moda
Aqua with white dots from Hobby Lobby
White embossed from Hobby Lobby

Backing:
Gooseberry by Lella Boutique for Moda
Peach-Gold-Mint diamond print from Hobby Lobby
White fabric from stash

Binding:
Aqua with white dots from Hobby Lobby

Superior Thread:
Piecing: #50 So Fine in 502 Genoa Gray
Quilting: #50 So Fine in 519 Barely Mint

I'm hooking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for "Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?"

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Beverly's Quilt Finish

What was begun as a quilt for me evolved into a quilt for a childhood friend. Beverly is the older sister of my best friend from childhood. She is in assisted living in my hometown and according to my friend, still leads an active life in her wheelchair. However, due to some complications from diabetes, she is currently in a physical rehab facility and hoping to get back to her home soon. In February I read about a wheelchair quilt on Louise's blog and began thinking about Beverly, and I couldn't stop thinking about her. Now that I know she is experiencing health issues, I'm glad I made the decision to gift her the quilt instead of keeping it for myself.

Inspiration vintage quilt from Instagram
This "pattern" was my attempt to recreate a vintage quilt I saw on Instagram. It was scrappy and composed of nine-patch blocks made anchored by cornerstones and separated by sashing rectangles.

This was a fun quilt for me, from doing the quilt math to picking fabrics. Most of the fabrics came from scraps or stash, but I did purchase the cornerstone and binding fabrics. My husband (and occasional quilt model) has become a surprisingly good consultant in choosing fabrics for bindings and backings, and he picked out the binding at my local quilt shop.

My quilting was a combination of a wide zig-zag stitch and grid quilting. The inspiration for zig-zag came from this pretty quilt on Preeti's blog. If you squint, it looks a little like hand-stitching. I employed the same zig-zag on the binding. Zig-zagging is fast but it really eats bobbin thread!

Backing is the same as the cornerstones

Quilt model Jack

Beverly's Quilt details:
Finished size: 42 x 60 inches
Pattern: Nine-patch blocks made with 2-1/2 inch squares; 3-1/2 inch cornerstones; 6-1/2 x 3-1/2 inch sashing strips

Fabrics
Front: Scraps and stash
Backing and cornerstones: Geraniums by Edyta Sitar for Andover
Binding: Heartfelt by Kansas Troubles Quilters for Moda

Superior Threads
Piecing: #50 So Fine 502 Genoa Gray
Quilting: #50 So Fine in 492 Pale Yellow

I'm linking again to Myra's Stress-Free QAL on Busy Hands Quilts.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March RSC2020 Turquoise Blocks

Scraptastic Star

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for March is turquoise (or aqua or teal). Back in the early 2000s I collected aquamarine depression glass and developed a deep love for teal, aqua, and turquoise. I've sold most of it since then, but I still love it! Our kitchen and family room are decorated with aqua with touches of red and gray, and fortunately my husband likes it too!

Geese Migration

Since I have a lot of turquoise in my stash, I assumed I would have plenty of scraps to work with this month. I was wrong! I have many blue scraps, but not so much of the colors I needed. I broke my rule of only using scraps and delved a little bit into my stash. Please don't tell the scrap police!

Cynthia's Irish Chain

My blocks are Scraptastic Star, Cynthia's Irish chain, and Geese Migration. I was not able to finish any strings this month, so I will squeeze those into one of my posts next month.

I'm adding my post to all the fun at Angela's Scrap Happy Saturday and Cynthia's Oh Scrap!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Stress-Free Quilt Along

Myra over at Busy Hands Quilts is hosting a Stress-Free Quilt Along! I have purchased several of Myra's beautiful patterns (see my Home Awaits flimsy right here), and she has the most thorough and well-written instructions of any patterns I've ever made. She is powerhouse of activity with amazing productivity and is encouraging all of us to "just BE" during these stressful times. You may read her post about it right here, join her linkup, and see what others are doing with fabric.


This quilt along comes at a good time for me, because I've found myself a little bit unmotivated in my sewing room lately. Last week we reorganized my sewing room, and I love the new arrangement and feel happy when I walk into the room. I have plenty of projects ready and nothing stopping me from sewing except the distraction of my mind. Myra's encouragement to "just BE" is appealing though, and I am just allowing myself to get a few things done with no pressure.

My main goal right now is to quilt the flimsy I have sandwiched and ready for quilting (you can read more about that here), and I am working on blocks for RSC2020 and Monthly Color Challenge. I will also participate in Creating a Quilted Legacy, an upcoming blog hop in memory of Paula Budinger. You may find information about all these projects by clicking on the appropriate button in my sidebar.

Although I haven't gotten much sewing done, the thing that IS getting done is gardening. We added a flower bed to the front of the house, did a lot of trimming and raking, and added mulch to the rest of our beds. We prepped a smaller area for the vegetable garden this year. It will be roughly half the size planted last year. I started tomato seeds in milk jugs in January, used a heat mat for seedlings under them, and this week planted 18 beautiful plants! For those of you that are interested in such things, they are Black Krim, Sungold, Climbing Triple Crop, and Indigo Pear Drops. Also in the ground are Romaine lettuce, Texas Sweet Onions, pimento and bell peppers, and I have peach trees and blueberry bushes blooming. Life in the garden flourishes during self-isolation and social distancing!

My hope is that you are all safe and healthy and coping well. Since we are retired and living on 5 acres on a dirt road, social distancing has not been a major adjustment for us. It is affecting our kids work-wise, but we are all still in good health, for which we are thankful. Whether you are making masks, making quilts, or dreaming about how to use your fabric, I encourage you to join and linkup to Myra's Stress-Free Quilt Along linkup!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

March Monthly Color Challenge

The representative bird for the Monthly Color Challenge for March is the Baltimore Cardinal. Since my orange scraps are depleted from last month's RSC, I decided to go with the female Oriole, who has more muted gold/orange/yellow feathers than the brightly colored male. You can click on the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge button in my sidebar for more info. It isn't too late to catch up!

This block is formed with HSTs and with flying geese using the no-waste method. Am I the only one who forgets to press the seams after the first cut? I always have to rip stitches! Also I have a little difficulty trimming the geese using a regular ruler. Some day I shall purchase a ruler made for trimming flying geese, and my life will be perfect.

February's Indigo Bunting block enlarged from 8-1/2 to 12-1/2 inches

The block patterns produce a 12-1/2 inch block, and I had forgotten that last month I reduced the block size to 8-1/2 inches in order to accommodate my scraps. Sooooo, although I really liked the 8-1/2 inch blocks, I went ahead and added fabric to the borders of the January and February blocks. It's just asking too much of myself to remember to make that adjustment each month!

To enlarge January's Goldfinch block to 12-1/2 inches, I cut into some long
hoarded Michael Miller fabric called Summer Soiree by Paula Prass.

This month's RSC color is teal, and my overflowing scrap bin is ready. I'll be making a Scraptastic Star, string blocks, a Geese Migration block, and an Irish chain block. Hopefully that will help reduce the overflow somewhat. Before I start, I plan to use Preeti's suggestion of separating my scraps into greenish blue and bluish green! We are good to go on groceries for a few days, and with no visitors or activities scheduled for awhile I should have plenty of time to get going on scraps.

I'll be linking this post at the end of the month with Jen's 2020 Monthly Color Challenge for March.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Beverly's Quilt Flimsy

I've had so many squirrels come my way in the past few months, you probably don't remember this squirrel that came to visit last year. You can read about it here and here, but long story short, I saw a vintage quilt on Instagram I wanted to recreate.

This is the vintage Instagram quilt

I spent some time carefully putting nine-patch squares together before I realized I wanted a more scrappy look. I ditched the "careful" in exchange for "fun" and away I went.

The nine-patch blocks are framed by strips and cornerstones. I'm happy to say that thanks to enthused encouragement from Diann and Janine, I decided on this yummy pink vintage-y looking fabric for the cornerstones. My husband suggested a dark red/burgundy for the binding and even offered to take me to buy what I needed, since I don't have the perfect color in my stash. Can't ask for a better offer than that!

I had intended to keep this quilt for myself, even sentimentally naming it Cottonwood after my favorite childhood tree. But after seeing this post by Louise at Quilt Odyssey, I decided to gift it to the older sister of my childhood best friend. Beverly is wheelchair bound but active in her assisted living apartment, and I think she might like a lap quilt. I'm reserving the name "Cottonwood" for a future quilt and renaming this one simply "Beverly's quilt". I hope to finish it this week!

I am sharing this post with Cynthia's Oh Scrap! Go and check out all the scrappy goodies!