Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Being Productive

Hello!
It's been an amazingly productive few of weeks. When I look at the things that I've gotten done I am amazed that it's only been three weeks since I've been on here.... On the other hand, I really do want to be better about writing more frequently. We shall see what happens.

When last we left, I had finished my second block for the Maggie's First Dance BOM and my first block for the Splendid Sampler QAL. I have now finished my third block for Maggie's First Dance.


As you can see, I chose to only embroider the outline of the center block on this one... And I added a ladybug. I think it turned out really cute.

While looking for tips about the embroidery I discovered Alyssa James' blog over at Penguin and Fish. She is also working on the Splendid Sampler. One of the really cool things that Alyssa does is that she broadcasts her work on SS live via Periscope every night at 9:30 pm CST for anyone who wants to join her and get tips or motivation or whatever...  She also puts her broadcasts up on YouTube for people who don't want to watch it live, but still are interested in seeing what's going on. This has really helped to motivate me to work on my SS blocks! I have now finished block 2.


 And block 3 - although I'm not very happy with this one - see how funny the hearts look? I think that I might do this one again... we'll see.


And block 4


As if that is not enough, I am also done with the Aurifil Designer of the Month Challenge block for August!


I don't know how that looks on your screen, but on my screen the center color looks awfully yellow, and it's supposed to be more of a lime green with swirls against a navy blue with golden stars. I'm actually quite happy with the way it turned out.

I'm not ready to enter any quilt shows or anything, but I'm enjoying the process and I can see that I'm making progress. That makes me happy.

I hope you're making as much progress as I am.
Until next time...
Stay Safe,
Mama Higgins

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Block 1

You may recall a little while ago I was talking about The Splendid Sampler. It's a Mystery Quilt-a-long, blocks are released twice a week - on Sundays and Thursdays. It originally started on Feb. 14, 2016, however, I didn't discover it until mid June. At the time I wasn't ready to jump right into such a long and complicated sounding project. I've been downloading old blocks and reading a bunch of blogs about the project. There will be 100 blocks altogether.

Well, this week the project has been celebrating the release of its 50th block. Several of the bloggers have giveaways and a bonus block has been released. It's been lots of fun. Coincidentally, I finally got started on my Splendid Sampler this week. Block 1 is called Hearts A Flutter and here is my version.



If you look closely you can see that I desperately need to work on sewing around curves. Originally I did the sewing with a top stitch, but it really showed my lack of skills so I changed the stitch to something that has x's and it looks significantly better, IMHO.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Quilt Block 2 - a little delayed

Greetings!

Well, it's been a little longer than a week (more like a month) since my last post. Regardless, I'm back!

It's been a busy month. I've been to several doctors' appointments. I've gotten a string of x-rays taken and a couple of MRI's, as well. Lucky me. On the positive side, I've also gotten another block done for Maggie's First Dance BOM. I took a few pictures along the way so that you could see what I did.



As you can see, I chose to embroider the center block again. I also added another insect, a butterfly this time. Not only do I think this is adorable, but it also makes it just a little more personal.



My daughter did all the cutting for this entire series of blocks last month and I don't know if she cut a little too close or if my 1/4" seam allowance is a little too generous, but regardless, some of my blocks seem a bit smaller than I think they were supposed to be. It sure is cute, though, isn't it?


I haven't decided if I'll assemble this as a quilt or a wall hanging, yet. I'm sort of leaning towards a wall hanging with just the 4 blocks so that I can hang it up in my sewing room and see how far I've come... We'll see.

Until next time...
Stay Safe,
Mama Higgins

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My First Block! A Success Story

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Greetings!

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend. I know I did. I spent most of the weekend working on my first block. In my last post I talked about participating in a BOM called Maggie's First Dance. By  the way, they are still taking sign-ups, if anyone wants to join!! :) Anyways, I got my first block done just in time for them to release block # 2. Below is a picture of my finished Block 1 - Cute, right?


Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way. My wheelchair and my table don't get along, so I had to do everything at a TV tray in my recliner... that made things a bit awkward, but I figured it out, with some help from my daughter, and only minimal blood shed! LOL! 

I was about three-quarters of the way done with cutting my fabric on my make-shift table when I, apparently, pushed down too hard on my rotary cutter, because it decided to close... with my thumb in the way. It was a less than pleasant experience. I believe the air may have turned blue for a moment due to the expletives that escaped. My daughter ran to the bathroom for a washcloth and some bandages, but the cut was deep and didn't want to stop bleeding. Sorry, the picture is a little fuzzy.



Needless to say she insisted on finishing my cutting for me. Bless her heart. She also did the ironing for the rest of the night and the following day. I guess you could say that without her I wouldn't have been able to finish!

I'm going to give my thumb a few days to heal, but then I think I'm going to make a mat for under my sewing machine to help keep things organized. Jenny over at Missouri Star Quilt Company (don't you just love her??) has great little tutorial on one that I think I'm going to use. I've watched it 3 or 4 times and it looks fairly simple. You should be able to find the video here: Sewing Machine Pad.

That's all for now, so until next time...
Stay Safe,
Mama Higgins


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quilting -- Planning, participating, having fun!

The plan -- I'm going to try and post about once a week. If I do too much more than that I don't think I'll keep going. No promises, but that's the current plan.

Speaking of plans have you heard about the Patchwork Planner? I have to say that I think it's pretty cool. Of course, I don't know much, yet, but it looks like it will be a very useful tool. It's made by a quilter for quilters. I bought my own Planner with my own money... But it's got a lot of really interesting pages to help you keep track of your quilt-a-longs, your retreats, designs and a bunch of other quilty things. I don't know the current price, but it's worth a look. In case you're wondering... No, I am not receiving any kind of compensation for saying any of this.

I've joined a couple of Block-of-the-Month's (BOM's) recently. The first is called Maggie's First Dance - it started this month and continues until December. It's the end of June and I'm already behind!! The first block has quilting and then an option for applique, embroidery, or to highlight a fabric. I decided I wanted to do embroidery... and then I second guessed myself - I haven't done any embroidery since grade school! But the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea, so last week I ordered the hoops and fabric, and I've been embroidering and ripping out and re-embroidering all weekend. When I'm done with the embroidery I will post a picture of how it turned out... but don't expect too much.

The second BOM is a bit longer. It's called the Splendid Sampler and it actually started last February and will run through March of 2017. Needless to say, I'm a bit behind on that one, too. LOL! They release two blocks each week and you can join at any time. I thought that seemed like a good way to introduce myself to several different techniques without too much pressure. So far I've downloaded all the previous blocks... and that's about it. LOL!!

It looks like I have a lot to do in the next week or two. I need to finish Block 1 for Maggie's First Dance - they'll be releasing Block 2 on July 6th. I would also like to get at least one of the blocks for the Splendid Sampler done. Does that seem like too much? Oh! I forgot, I also need to finish my stitch sample book! YIKES! I better get to work.

Until next time,
Mama Higgins

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Adventure Begins... Sort of?

I decided to start this blog because I thought it might be interesting to see how things progress from a total novice who has never done any quilting to (I hope) an accomplished quilt maker.

I've been trying to sew at my kitchen table for the last few weeks, but after about 5 - 7 minutes I'm in severe pain and if I push myself to 15 minutes I'm in tears and can't do anything for the rest of the day. As of this afternoon, I have finally found a comfortable place for me to do some sewing. I've been creating a Stitch Sampler Guide, which I found online. I had already planned to do something similar, but when I saw this guide I decided that it seemed like a great way to do it. Today, I got stitches 1 - 38 (out of 100) done! There was some trial and error. Then I accidentally broke my thread and had to re-thread my needle and then my bobbin ran out of thread! LOL! But I sat at my machine for almost an hour!!! I know it's not actually starting a quilt, but promised myself that I wouldn't do any quilting until this was done. What's a girl to do?

I'm calling that good for today. Now I'm going to go sit in front of the TV and relax for a little while.

Stay safe,
Mama Higgins

Welcome to My Quirky Quilty Adventures!

Hello! Welcome to My Quirky Quilty Adventures! I'm Mama Higgins. I'm in my late 40's. I'm retired due to a disability. (I'm fighting with the government to get my Social Security, so I'm sure that you'll hear plenty about that. Sorry.) I've been a single mother since the mid-90's. Both of my children are adults now, but due to the economy we are all still living together. We're a very close family... but not that close! LOL! Actually all things considered we get along pretty well.

However, this means that I have lots of time to start my new hobby and, yet, somehow it's getting off to a slow start. Just before Mother's Day we found what appears to be a great sewing/quilting machine on sale at Joann's. It's a Singer Patchwork. I have no idea if that's good or not, but I know that when I was growing up (back in the dark ages), Singer was supposed to be one of the best sewing machines... I'm hoping that is still the case. :) So this is what my machine looks like.


I've got a couple of rotary cutters, some fabric, self-healing cutting matts, etc.... You would think, what with this being the middle of June, that I would have started quilting. Alas, this is not the case.

I will, however, be starting soon! I hope that you will join me on my adventure.

Mama Higgins