Saturday, January 31, 2015

Aurifil Mini of the Month! January 2015

Hi everyone!
    I am super excited to share this post.  This year Aurifil is offering a FREE Mini Quilt of the Month pattern instead of the usual BOM. And they have an awesome lineup of Designers to share their talents with us! You can read more about this year's Designers here.
   January 2015 Designer is Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs! And this is her Mini Quilt "Flurry" for January 2015!
"Flurry" by Gudrun Erla

Sooooo adorable right? I love that Gudrun used red and white in honor of her Scandinavian roots. It looks just like a giant snowflake! It finishes at 15" too! So cute!
   Well after seeing this, I had to jump on the Aurifil Mini of the Month Bandwagon too! But what will I do with 12 Mini quilts? I think they will make terrific gifts to have on hand for gifting! I plan on making them using different fabrics each month. That way I will have an assortment of styles of Mini Quilts ready for gifting to all my friends and family.
  So, here is my January 2015 Aurifil Mini:

 Who says you can't have a Leopard Print Snowflake?
The Leopard print is from Anna Maria Horner and I used Kona cotton for the black background. I love, love how this turned out. And I have a recipient in mind for it already.  This block is definitely a lot easier than it looks. I usually have a hard time sewing anything under 2 inches. I decided to use a Fons and Porter glue stick instead of pins to hold those little 1 1/2" squares. I simply applied a T shape with the glue pen in the corner staying away from the sewing line. After the little squares were sewn on, I just snipped the corners with the dab of glue off, leaving a 1/4 seam allowance. It worked great! I may have to try this in other areas where I need pins.

  This little mini "Flurry" was so much fun to piece! I can't wait to get it quilted and finished up. I am still trying to decide whether to use Black binding or the Leopard print. Which would you choose?

 It is not too late to join in the fun. You can find the patterns each month on Auribuzz! Or you can sign up to receive their newsletter here!
Happy Stitching yall!
xo jan

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Irish Chain Barn Quilt

Two weeks before Christmas I decided to make that handsome farmer hubby dude a LAP quilt using a Panel by Beth Dix  named  "Appalachian Memories" . The panel features 12 different Barn landscapes and I wanted to combine the "barn pictures" with 9 Patch Blocks in an Irish Chain. I made my nine patch blocks first with Missy's help!
"Appalachian Memories"
I have worked with panels before , but not with a panel that did not have any frame, borders or cutting lines around each picture. I knew the size that I needed the unfinished block but was a little hesitant to try to cut out the pictures. Each "Barn scene" is approximately the same size but each overall picture is shaped differently. I first cut out a plastic square template but still didn't feel comfortable enough to dive into cutting up my only panel. So I made a cardboard frame:
There is probably an easier method out there that I don't know about! lol!

But this worked pretty well for centering each picture from top to bottom and side to side .
Once I had each picture centered I marked the corners and lined up my ruler and cut them out.
 I then sewed them together with the 9 Patch blocks.
  Well, somewhere along the way, it became a bed quilt instead of a lap quilt. And I had to scour the country for another panel.

I added two borders. The center of the quilt and the inner border fit the top of the mattress and the outside border is 15". We have a 2" pillow topper on our mattress so I added some extra width to accommodate the extra height of the mattress. I love the outer border print. It says " There's No Place Like Home". :)

I used the extra panel pictures to piece together a couple of tops to make pillow shams. I had originally planned on having it long armed quilted by a friend. However she only does pantographs.  So I have been debating on how to quilt this beast. I have 108" wide flannel for the backing and I have been trying to talk myself into quilting it on one of my vintage machines.
I think I could quilt diagonal lines through the dark red 9 Patch blocks. I would love to quilt a rope design in the inner border and maybe straight lines going out to the edges about 1" apart in the outer border. But what do I quilt in the "Barn Scenes"??? Stipple the sky? What about the grass area? The fences and trees? Or should I do a feathered wreath ( which I have never done) in each Barn Scene?  I am so hesitant to start also because of my Carpal Tunnel :(! What if I can't finish? (by Valentines Day!!) Why oh why didn't I leave it at a lap quilt! ( Because when I was searching for the 2nd panel I found out that Beth Dix sells ART PRINTS of each one of these and I want to buy a couple of the Art Prints and frame them out with some barn wood from my husband's grandfather's old barn to go on the wall above the headboard! )
   Do yall ever quilt yourselves into a corner like I have? Another reason I do not want to do a pantograph is because I don't like  the idea of dark red thread on the barn pictures nor cream thread on the dark red portions.
  So how would yall quilt it? I'd love some suggestions. And tips on using the flannel on the back. I do want to use Warm and Natural Cotton batting since this will be our winter bed quilt. I also want to make a dust ruffle. Good thing the days are getting longer!
However, my crazy daffodils are coming up!
Maybe Spring will come early!
Let me know how you think I should quilt this one! I need to do something simple since I am not an experienced FMQ'er! I hope I can get it finished by Valentine's day!
Thanks for listening!
Happy Stitching yall!
xo jan

Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Ways to Beat Old Man Winter!!

"Baby it's cold outside" is an underrrrrrrstatement! Sorry my teeth are still chatterrrrring. Geesh.... I don't know who ticked off Old Man winter but somebody musta tinkled in his Corn Flakes!  We ( mostly my dear sweet darling hubby) has been scurrying around trying to take care of all of our critters! Just keeping water thawed in the troughs has been a challenge!

Even the kittens are annoyed with this cooold weather... Dexter usually drinks out of this bucket but of course it is frozen too.... And Isabelle doesn't even want to be out here!

But I have found a few ways to beat the cold!

1. A crock pot of hearty home made vegetable soup with piping hot cornbread
2. A BIG mug of hot cocoa
3. Some hand sewing with my favorite Aurifil threads ( block for my Bee mate for January)

4. I Added a rainbow to the foot of the bed ( my Scrappy trips Around the World quilt) I swear it made the room feel warmer :)


5. A Good book!

Now if I could just find the electric blanket I might could get my toes thawed out!
  So how do you beat the winter's chill? All helpful hints are greatly appreciated! I hope yall are staying warm wherever you are and getting to do a little stitching!
xo jan
Linking up with Kathy at Slow Stitching Sunday!