Finishing 4th

Aloha and Happy Wednesday! Have you all recovered from the time change? Thankfully, here in Hawaii, we don’t have to do that! I’ve appreciated that for the two years we’ve been here. Moving back to the mainland will bring change enough but then we’ll “enjoy” that stupid time change again! 😦

Anyway, things are progressing towards our April 4 house closing. We still haven’t worked out all the logistics with shipping but we are getting closer. One thing we have learned is that crossing the ocean creates an “international” event. Moving over sea and land enters a whole new realm of logistics! More on that as it happens.

As I have done in the past, when a move is about to happen, I start sewing like crazy! Somehow packing finished items feels less weighty than moving boxes of stash fabric. Yesterday, I finished the fourth project from last summer’s retreat.

Jump Rings by MSQC which is in this edition of BLOCK magazine. The Hawaiian fabrics were selected and kitted for the retreat by Vicky’s Fabrics here in Kauai. This was my first time to work with poly-cotton fabric, which is commonly used in Aloha shirts and clothing. It was easy to work with and quilted beautifully as you’ll see.

Making snowballs to form the inner ring…

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Then I attached the matching sides all around to form the ring…forgot to take a photo of that part but you can see the result below. Next, the outer corners are nipped to make the final ring appear.

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Fast forward and the top is made and the quilting is in full swing…

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A close-up of the quilting design…

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And the end result…ready to trim and bind! I am going to call it “Haku Leis” for the head-pieces commonly worn by the bride and her attendants during weddings. Here is a link that explains that a bit more as well as the photo below shows. Aren’t they beautiful?!

Haku lei 1

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Here’s how it looks from the back! I think it is a great way to start Spring! (Apologies to those suffering from the winter storm Stella! My Stella sends her best wishes for a quick thaw!)Β  πŸ˜‰

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I have a customer’s top in-house to quilt next. If I work really fast, I can get the last two tops I have made quilted before Stella has to be disassembled to move.

Next week, we have these two coming to visit! I can hardly wait to see them again! This Gigi needs to make a baby doll quilt, quick!! πŸ™‚

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Aloha!

Finishing 3rd

With another move ahead of us, I am going to finish up some UFO’s before we disassemble the Gammill and pack up the fabric stash.

The house is in good shape from repairs, cleaning, etc. for the appraiser and we enjoyed having friends over on Sunday for brunch. I had several bits of time this past week to get this UFO top complete. It is the 3rd of 4 projects from last summer’s retreat with Jenny Doan. These were the blocks I made at the retreat…the pattern is “Chopped Block” and can be found in the MSQC magazine BLOCK, Late Summer 2014 Vol. 1, issue 4. The fabrics are from jelly strips in the Desert Rose collection by Island Batik.

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With all the blocks made, here was the design laid out (hung up?!) on the design wall…

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The next step was to sew the blocks into rows…then sew the rows together.

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I used my super (cheap-o) row numbering pins to keep from losing my (mind) place…

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as I sewed the rows together…

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And now the last side of the outer border is sewn on…the end is close!!

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A little pressing and ta-da!!! One almost queen sized FINISHED quilt top!! Woohoo!! πŸ™‚

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It measures approx. 81 x 90…a generous full size but add another row and it would easily fit this queen bed. The pattern stated it would finish 82 x 93″…well, close enough! Finishing the 3rd project is better than perfectly sized. Once it is quilted, bound, and washed…it will be so super soft and warm…and perfect for someone! πŸ˜‰

It is so colorful and bright after a gray, rainy weekend! Now to get the backing fabric and batting so I can let the quilting magic happen! I hope your Monday was just as productive!

Have a great week!

Aloha!

 

 

Show Me Some Teal!

I signed up for a mini quilt swap benefiting ovarian cancer research. I found the swap through a conversation on Facebook with the woman who started it – Beth of Eva Paige Quilt Designs. She directed me to the Facebook group she created. You can find it here.

This year, she had participants from all 50 U.S. states and Canada and raised more than $4,000! I was the only participant from Hawaii! (I’ll have to do a better job of recruiting for next year!)

She sent each participant an 8″ square of this fabric, from Moda’s Basic Mixology collection, which had to be used in some form or fashion in the mini quilt or mug rug. That’s about it for the rules…make something of your own design, about the size of a mug rug or mini quilt.

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My swap partner this year is Joan C. from Massachusetts. Here were my fabric choices – I used a group from Sandy Gervais’ “Flirt” collection, the inner border is part of “Desert Bloom” by Sherri & Chelsi of a Quilting Life (which my daughter sent to me from Japan!), both from Moda, and a teal fabric in my stash for the border.

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Joan has received her mini so now I can share it! It measures 17″ square. I used the MSQC “Wacky Web” (also called the Periwinkle) template and triangle papers for each section.

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Joan happens to be an ovarian cancer survivor so this was really a special mini quilt to make!

Please consider participating in next year’s swap or any other opportunity to make a quilt for a good cause. I made this in just a few hours over Labor Day weekend…it was truly very little effort and a lot of fun on my part, and I hope it feels like a huge hug for Joan…whom I have never met, nor knew until this event.

Aloha!

P.S. I was having technical issues but now have the picture of the mini quilt that Joan sent me along with cute batik necklaces she makes and info on her hometown! Thanks, Joan!!

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Recovering from a Retreat

Aloha to everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I hope your July 4th was spectacular!

I am recovering from a quilting retreat…wait…a FABULOUS quilting retreat! Three full days of sewing, laughter and memories, brunches and dinners of good food (anytime someone else cooks, it’s good, right?!), entertainment and best of all…a gracious teacher giving us her tips and tricks and personal stories. We were definitely indulged!

We started last Wednesday with a Meet ‘n Greet with Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Our hostesses were Susan and Rita of Indulge Retreats and the retreat was held at Kauai Beach Resort. Our goody bag was filled with wonderfully indulgent things like Godiva chocolate, sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle and beach towel!

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Day One – a mini tutorial for the Disappearing Hourglass pattern. Depending on the way the block is turned, you can choose from a couple of options.

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I chose the second option and with these fabrics…a productive first day! The “hourglass” blocks on the right are ready to be cut and sewn into stars!

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Here are a few photos of our space and attendees!

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Maile from Vicky’s Fabrics had a corner space for her pop up shop! She also gave quick tutorials for Sashiko and Furoshiki tying. So convenient for those who “needed” something for their project(s)! πŸ˜‰

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Day Two – Jenny’s mini tutorial for today is “Jump Rings”.

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And here is my production for this pattern! In a day, several of these can be made!

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Treats were left on our sewing machines every day! Chocolate is always good at retreats!

Jenny is always gracious for a photo op…I brought in a top I had recently made using her pattern “Falling Charms” and snapped a picture with her!

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She was always available for questions and even whistled and sang on occasion during her own sewing time!

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We also had a bit of entertainment…a blast from the past…our hostesses bringing back Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon performing as Carmac the Magnificent!

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Day Three – our tutorial for today is “Chopped Block”. I was not too fond of this particular pattern based on the photo in the book. Jenny assured me it was the fabric choice in the sample. She showed us the class sample and it was a definite improvement. Remember, fabrics can make or break a pattern.

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Here is a sampling of what I accomplished for that day…I had made more but I guess I forgot to take the picture to prove it! :/

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Here is what some of the other ladies accomplished. I wish I had taken more photos…some of the designs are going to end in fabulous finishes!

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We ended the day with a working trunk show by Jenny…as well as more photo ops and book signings. Jenny’s “entourage” is her husband…yep, that’s it. He held up the quilts, helped her recall how fabrics were supposed to be laid out when she got ahead of herself and took lots of photos for us! A big hug to him!

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Sadly, Day Four – a fast tutorial on “Tag Team”…and my pictures didn’t come out well. None the less, I managed to get a few blocks made before we had to pack up our things. You can see Maile’s quilt in her “shop” photo above.

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Our final brunch and lots of thank you’s for a great time! We ended in a large circle singing (or attempting!) to sing a Hawaiian song of blessing.

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Lastly, our group photos with the lovely back drop that is Kauai!

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The Hawaii Representatives!

 

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The Kauai representatives!

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Jenny’s dazzling smile is contagious!

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I like to think Jenny and Ron might frame this one!

Thank you Jenny, Ron and to the Indulge Retreat ladies, Susan and Rita, for a wonderful few days! I know I speak for the entire group…we hope you come back again some day!

Aloha and happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawaiian Fabric

We have lived in Hawaii for just over a year…ya know, that’s PLENTY of time for at least one of my new quilting friends to share that Hilo Hattie’s sells fabric. But I only found out last month!

For those who don’t know, Hilo Hattie’s has been around a long time. We visited the store on Oahu back in 1986. The shop sells clothing, primarily muumuu’s and Aloha shirts that match. They also sell some t-shirts and kid clothes and souvenirs.

When a generous quilter made these quilt tops, she shared where she purchased the tropical squares…yep, Hilo Hatties! I posted how I quilted this donation quilt and others here.

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Little did I know, at the end of production, they cut up excess fabric and sell it like this…

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These packs of 7-inch squares are very inexpensive.Β  There are approximately 90 squares per pack! Wow!!

Sounds like a quilter’s best Hawaiian dream, right?! What’s the catch? Well, they don’t always have them and the selection is limited. You can’t open the pack to see what all is inside, either.

None the less, my friend Deb and I ventured in yesterday and the store had just received a shipment! We snagged a few packs and I am starting with this set…

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This group was included in the pink pack in the upper left of the previous photo. The Kona Snow strips work beautifully with it! Another Falling Charm quilt, here we go!!

I quilted this beautiful batik quilt for Deb and I’ll post a better photo when she gets the binding on. She loved it! The sea shell pattern worked beautifully!

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I finished up two baby quilt tops to practice…I really am trying to use up the last of this collection of scraps! I just used random sizes of square-ish pieces that I framed in Kona White and threw in a few random opposite white squares framed in color. No pattern – I just kinda made it up as I went then squared it up enough make the rows even. I want to try out a Modern quilting design on the squares.

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I had one orphan block from this quilt project, so I framed it again and again…

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…and I plan to practice some border applications on this one. Both of these are about 36 inches square.

June has been crazy busy and July looks to be the same. Next week is the Jenny Doan and Indulge Retreat!! I can’t wait to meet her! Wait until I show you the fabrics for the quilts she is going to teach! Can you say “tropical brights”!?

Then we will have company coming to visit!! Two different couples will be here in July! I can’t wait to see our friends…it’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we’ve seen them.

Oh, and new wood flooring to be installed and garage door to be replaced. Mr. G will be clearing more of the rim view andΒ  planting more things. I hope you’ll check back to see what else we have on the list!!

Aloha!

 

 

Make a Zippered Pouch-CHECK!

Admission of this quilter…”I have never sewn a zipper into anything!”

Yep, and I am not alone! My neighbor and quilt shop owner admitted the same thing! We both high-fived when I shared this information with her! Yet, her mother can practically sew them into anything! The bags and pillows she makes are A-mazing!

I purchased the Row by Row experience fabric license plate from Vicky’s Fabrics here in Kauai. I will most likely not make it to any of the other participating shops in Hawaii (at least not THIS year!) so I had no special plans for the fabric plate other than perhaps a label on my next project. Then I noticed Vicky had made some zippered pouches with the license plate that I thought were very nice and who can’t use another zippered bag for small things?

I purchased a 7″ zipper then watched a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company (is there anything Jenny can’t do?!)

I was given some upholstery samples from our new favorite furniture store (sadly, not too many cotton samples in this bag) that I used to practice with until I get the hang of the zipper! I’m thinking these will be better used in place mats, mug rugs, coasters, etc. More on that later!

Upholstery fabric samples

Upholstery fabric samples…who can say “No thanks!” to free stuff?!

This fabric is bit heavy for this project, but learning on it cost me only the zipper…can you say “nearly free pouch”!! Whoohoo!

And here it is…it only took about an hour and a half to assemble after I watched the video a couple of times.

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My first zippered pouch!

It is a bit wonky…the “quilting” is only to keep the two fabrics together (Jenny did a much nicer job with her project but she has made several!)…and the zipper ends are not quite right (since I didn’t do that like Jenny! i need to pay more attention to details!) …BUT…for my first one out of the gate, unsupervised mind you, I thought it wasn’t too bad! It will hold my cell phone, sunglasses and keys for a quick trip into town or my cosmetics when traveling or maybe some sewing notions for a sit ‘n sew…oh, the possibilities!

Not a bad zipper installation if I do say so myself!

Not a bad zipper installation if I do say so myself!

I assure you that zipper isn’t going to come undone, ever!…it is even top stitched, just like Jenny said to do!

Boxy bottom

Boxy bottom

Yea, I know the “quilting” doesn’t line up…again, I was just winging it and I didn’t use batting or multiple fabrics to create straighter sewing lines. The next one will be much better!

Inside is even lined! Ignore those raw edges and strings!

The inside is even lined! Ignore those raw edges and strings! I will get it much neater next time!

So now I think I deserve a reward…for bravery in the line of duty installing my first zipper…for actually finishing it in less than a day…for frugal materials – free fabric and a $2.50 zipper…and for impressing Mr. G – he didn’t think I could do it! Silly man! Notice HE opened the bag incorrectly…*sigh* smh

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Oreo Thins and a glass of cold milk! Ah, hard to beat that!

For my next amazing feat, I will make a little zippered bag with my Hawaii license plate fabric and some gorgeous hibiscus fabric!

What are going to try next? Don’t be afraid…just jump in with both feet and reap the rewards of a finished project, a new learned skill and chocolate cookies (or whatever!) If I can do, so can you! Just do it!

Aloha!

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