Author Archives: heartsdesireretreats

Mini Madness!

An Island Batik Ambassador Adventure

Mini Madness (Medium)

The March IBA assignment was Mini Madness – a paper piecing project that finished no larger than 24 inches. We could choose English paper piecing or regular paper piecing. I knew I couldn’t handle another hand work project so I chose regular paper piecing.

Mini Star 2 heARTsCreations (Medium)

I wanted something light and spring-like. Choosing from the treasure chest of Island Batiks has been really fun. This mini has a total of 10 different Island Batiks!

The star center was fun to piece. After staring at the pieced star for several days, I knew it needed more than a plain border. Several sketches later, I chose to do a paper pieced border. Boy! This was time consuming! It was worth it – I think it really compliments the center.

A fun batik outer border and time to quilt. One big spiral and I now have a fun, pretty and spring-like table topper for my dining room table.

Mini Star heARTsCreations (Medium)

Try your own mini-madness – it’s very satisfying to do a smaller project and complete it in just a couple of days! Be sure to check out the other Island Batik Ambassador posts to see their creations!

 

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation, WIPs on Wednesdays, Let’s Bee Social

Too Ambitious? I Hope Not!

Last week I got some great news – I was awarded a one week residency at Wild Acres Retreat Center. I will have a fully equipped cabin and my goal is to concentrate on charity quilts. To prepare for my time there, I have begun gathering fabrics and ideas. Over the next several weeks I will prepare several “quilt kits” so that I will have everything ready to just sit and sew all week! I will also be bringing two of my personal projects to work on.

And thanks to Sharon of Artistic Sharon Runs for information about the Hands2Help Charity Challenge hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I have signed up for this challenge also.

Charity Quilt Tops (Medium)

The  two charity quilts at the top of this posting are complete. The three quilts above are to be quilted. The one on the left was generously made by someone at the last Quilt & Sew-In Retreat, the center quilt is a flannel that was left anonymously  at the church where a group gathers to sew charity quilts twice a month. And the quilt top on the right was one I purchased at one of my quilt guild’s auctions and needs quilting. Truthfully, the tops come easy for me. It’s the quilting that is a challenge. I quilt on my personal sewing machine and do not do it with ease. I am trying though, really trying!

Charity Quilt Kits (Medium)Above are a few “kits” I have prepared. One is all set for the next Quilt & Sew-In Retreat in May – each attendee has the option to do a block or more and enter a chance to win a great prize. It’s a great way to get yet another top complete! I’m well on my way to meet my goal this year and just hope I can keep the momentum going!!

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Reach For The Sun

ReachforSun heARTsCreations (Medium)

Sunflowers are one of my favorites. They are so big, sunny and cheerful. And in the midst of the beastly cold snap we’re experiencing in the NC Piedmont, they are a welcoming sight.  I’d wanted to do this wall hanging for some time and started it about 4 or 5 years ago. Thought I’d never finish it! The background is various sunflower fabrics sewn together in uneven strips. It was then quilted and bound. I wanted the sunflowers to make a BIG statement so I decided to do a dimensional applique.

ReachforSun on bench heARTsCreations (Medium)

All the petals and leaves were sewn right sides together then turned. The stems were cut on the bias, machine sewn down on one side then hand stitched on the other. The petals were put in place and machine quilted.

Reach4Sun Center heARTsCreations (Medium)

The centers of the flowers were fun to construct. Three quarter inch strips were sewn together, cross cut, then sewn together again to make a checkerboard. This project was definitely consuming me at this point! There was no way the centers could be sewn down by machine – too thick. I chose brown pearl cotton and a hefty needle, but still could not easily sew. Pliers to the rescue! This turned into work and made my hand ache, so I attacked it little by little each evening.

Beaded Bee heARTsCreations (Medium)BeeinFlight 2 heARTsCreations (Medium)

The centers still needed something so I added some beads. Then hubby suggested that the quilt needed a bee. I just stared at him for a moment and then declared, “you are so right!” A few sketches later and a trip to the store for yellow and black beads, the bee was taking shape in my head. It took a whole evening to stitch that li’l critter and I love him! Thanks hubby! After I added the bee’s “flight pattern” it was definitely time to celebrate – “Reach For The Sun” was complete!

ReachforSun hanging heARTsCreations (Medium)

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The date on the label should be February 2017 – when I made the label and quilted it in, I was SO sure the quilt would be done last November!!

 

Linking up with Em’s Scrapbag, Let’s Bee Social, WIPS on Wednesdays, Super Mom No Cape and My Quilt Infatuation.

 

A Yard Full of Fabric

What to do once you’ve enjoyed a beautiful early Spring and are about to have freezing temps and snow? Get outside and cover precious blooms and young, tender leaves. This year I have enjoyed one of the best daffodil blooms ever. Add to that a spectacular Camelia and Helebores. My Hostas that are in pots are up several inches.

IMG_1564 (Medium)

Weather predictions for the next few nights, however, include freezing temperatures and about 2 inches of snow. I grabbed an old sheet and a bunch of large pieces of fabric and my bag of clothespins and went to work.

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I won’t be covering this white azalea in bloom that is out in the woods, although it does hold sweet memories. When my daughter was a little girl, this was her “Secret Garden.” She had it all cleared, several plants planted, a bench and a path lined with large rocks. And most precious of all, it was where her pets and bird rescues were laid to rest. She had even made a special grave marker. I just love it when this shrub blooms.

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There’s no way I can cover everything that has started to leaf out and set blooms, but right now these are the most precious to save. I have a feeling I might be doing this one or two more times before Spring sets in for good. It’s a pain, but pretty plants and blooms will make it all worth it. Thank goodness for my stash of fabrics!!

Pressing Matters

Big Board (Medium)

“Quilters don’t iron, they press.” How many times have you heard that?  And, I press a lot.  A good pressing surface is so important to me.  For several years I had a standard size ironing board and then upgraded to a larger ironing board.  Not good enough!  My hubby had a large piece of plywood in his stash that I commandeered. He willingly and quickly made a “big board” to fit my ironing board.  I made the cover and LOVE it!  It is not the standard size you usually see patterns advertised for, but using what was on hand was the economical choice.  And on the very, very rare occasion I iron clothing, the big board easily lifts off.

Wall Iron Board up (Medium)

Wall iron board down (Medium)

Down and out of the way. See the tile at the end? That’s for the hot iron!

 

For little pieces – ironing open seams when sewing small pieces together, I use my travel iron.  I had a travel ironing board that I kept at the end of my cutting table.  However, after rearranging my studio, that no longer worked because the cord was in tripping position – and if anyone is going trip over the cord, I am!  I told hubby that I would love a wall mounted board that would fold down when not in use, but they cost more than I was willing to pop for – need that $ for fabric. Mr. Handy Hubby found that to be an easy fix – he mounted my existing travel board on the wall near an outlet.  All quilt pressing issues solved. I’ll admit, it’s great to have a willing handyman at my disposal and I try hard not to take that for granted!

Irons (Medium)What do I press with? Oh…I have a few irons. Different weights and sizes. There are several more that travel to retreats for all to use. No one big favorite –  I change them out every so often, usually when the one I’ve been using needs a cleaning. And yes, I use steam, starch and a water spray bottle.

Wish I had all Pressing Matters that well under control!

NOTE: There is still room in the Fall II Retreat – check it out today!

Linking up today with Em’s Scrapbag and Let’s Bee Social.

A Southern Quilt Shop

 

 

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The “Reading Room”

 

Two weeks ago a friend and I visited Charleston, SC with a side trip to Summerville, SC which is just outside Charleston. It is a charming little town with shops and restaurants and best of all, a great quilt shop. People, Places and Quilts is in a fine old building. It is such a treasure hunt as you go from room to room, each filled with fabrics, tools, threads and so much more.

Diane, the owner is a delight as was the other staff members there. They are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Above is Diane the worker bee, Diane the Owner and Diane my traveling companion. Then there is me and my cousin who lives in Summerville.

There are quilts on display everywhere – such inspiration! Some on display were also class samples.

Lots and lots of fabrics. Prints, batiks, solids and many scrumptious flannels.

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This antique cash register was not only a joy to look at – it works and is used for all the shop sales! Do you embroider? Applique? Work with wool felt? There was a whole section devoted to all of those!

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I strongly suggest you stop by to see this wonderful shop if you are ever any where near Summerville. I’ve checked out their class list and might just have to “visit” my cousin soon!!

Colorful 16 Patch

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Daffodils and so much more are in bloom, temps have been very moderate for spring, all of which makes staying in the studio a little tough. I also was gone for a week to Florida in January and last week four days to Charleston, SC. I did, however, manage to complete a 16 patch that was started two years ago! I love the brightness of this quilt. All shot cottons were used. These fabrics were a bit challenging to use especially when quilting. I found a secret to using shot cottons is to starch, starch, starch!

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It was an appropriate finish for this early Spring – I couldn’t resist a pic with the daffodils. When it was complete, I looked at all the finished quilts in my home (no, I won’t try to give a number!) and decided this quilt was better designated as a Hospice quilt. It should bring some brightness to a patient or family member.

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Today’s link-ups:  WIPS on Wednesdays, Em’s Scrapbag, Let’s Bee Social

Curly Q

Quilts

A Daisy Garden

Photography. Sewing. Cooking. Quilting. Inspiration.

Calvin & Carolyn

Man Friday and his Mad Seamstress enjoying cold beers and warm quilts

LSQUILTS

»Quilt and Art Design by Lesley Storts«

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