Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Blackberry Twilight"

I was able to work on quilting "Blackberry Twilight" today. Look how close I am to being finished. Woo Hoo!! I am using a new panto, "Antique Lace" by Urban Elementz.
I really like the way the it looks. Randy picked it out and I think that he did a very good job. :~) It seems to fit the fabric and style of the quilt perfectly. Do you see the exercise weights on the handlebars of SuzyQ? CJ suggested using them and I think that they make quite a bit of difference in the amount of control that I have. I want to eventually get the EdgeRider Wheels, but this works pretty good in the mean time. This way I can take them off and do a few bicep curls once in awhile too! lol

I am going to a special church meeting tonight, it is for the women's organization of the church. It should prove to be very spiritually uplifting and well worth my time. So I get some good quality female time and my men can have some good quality male bonding time. :~)

Hugs&Stitches, Jul♥a

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm Still Here!

I can't believe how long it has been since I have posted. Well, actually I can believe it. This has been a summer that is best forgotten and put in the past. Just suffice it to say, that I am very grateful to have things settle back down into a routine.

Anyway, a very big THANK YOU to those of you who have emailed to check up on me. Your letters of concern meant so very much to me, bringing a warm fuzzy feeling to my heart. I had actually thought about giving up on blogging, but after your kind words of concern, letting me know that you missed me, I have decided to return to the land of Blog! I do have a couple of quilt finishes that I will show you as soon as I get some pictures taken. Thanks again!

Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4SQS5 Monochromatic

I signed up for a little quilt swap again. Margaret hosted another 4 Season Quilt Swap. This one was a monochromatic color scheme with on accent color. Here is the one that I made. I named it "Cotton Candy", that is what the soft pink color reminds me of. Of course, I would name it after food! lol

It is now on its way to its new home. I hope that she will like it. These have been fun to do. Thanks Margaret, for organizing them. I have meet some very nice friends through these swaps. Some have become very dear to me. I treasure their friendship and the way that they have enriched my life. :~)

I did the applique using the Kim Diehl method. I did the background quilting and outlined the applique on SuzyQ. The rest of it by hand, using the big stitch method and embroidery floss. I have found that even small projects, I would still rather do on SuzyQ, than with my 630 and the BSR. I just feel that I can do better with it. And it is sooooo very much fun!!! :~) I think that I might be ready to try a little more free-motion quilting now. I am going to load some ugly fabric on and try playing around.

I finally got brave enough to take "Blackberry Twilight" to the laundry mat today. They had a great big over-sized washer, so it had plenty of room to move. I used the Synthropol and two Shout color catcher sheets. Those sheets were really purple when they came out. It didn't take out all of the dye where it bleed onto the cream. But it is so much better. I really have to look closely now to see it. Overall I am much happier with it. I can't get a good picture right now to show you. It is very gloomy and cloudy this afternoon. It has been raining most of the day. My favorite kind of day, actually. I love the rain!!! I will try and get a picture when the light is better. I will be using the Synthropol and the color catcher sheets when I wash all my quilts in the future. Thanks for all of your suggestions and help.

Hugs&Stitches, Jul♥a

Quilty Gifts

A very big, Welcome!!, to the newest member of our extended family! My niece delivered her first baby Wednesday, a precious, little girl! Of course, now days you pretty well know the gender long before the little bundle of joy arrives.

Hence, I was able to make her a special little quilt. This is a Quilt Soup pattern, "Doll Babies". I love their patterns, so whimsical and fun! :~) There was a bit of a disaster with this quilt. I was quilting away, just having a grand time doing all of this little tiny stitching, when I realized that if I kept going it would end up being as stiff as a piece of cardboard. Not very cuddly for a little baby at all! So after 20,000 stitches, out came the seam ripper and just a mere 5 hours later (EEP!) I had it all ripped out, ready to try again. I choose to do just an all over medium-sized meander, with outlining around the applique. Much softer and cuddly! Live and learn! ;~)

We have another new addition to the extended family, my nephew married his sweetheart this past July.
I had big plans to have this finished for their big day, but around the end of June is when all heck broke loose around here and my daughter needed lots of TLC to make it through a very heartbreaking time in her life. I just wasn't able to finish it on time. Oh well, better late than never. This is made from a layer cake, some yardage for sashing and borders. The pattern came from Heather Mulder Peterson's book, "Livin' Large". I highly recommend this book! It has lots of fun patterns in it for the larger scale fabrics that are so popular now.

I used a panto from Anne Bright, "Blooming Feathers".

We missed the frost the other night. My veggies and my flowers are still going strong! The field is all harvested and planted with grain for the next growing season. I guess that means I should clean house. *sigh* Unless, I can think of another good excuse to put it off and stay in my sewing room. :~)

Hugs&Stitches, Jul♥a

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scrap Swap - Friendship Blocks

I joined a scrap swap that Nancy was hosting. This is my yummy pile of scraps,
(please ignore my ugly carpet), that I received from Pam. This was a fun way to add some life to my scrap bucket. I like to make string quilts with my scraps, most of them going to charity. String blocks are relaxing to make, just mindless sewing. I like to be mindless once in awhile. ;~)
My family might say I am mindless more than once in awhile though. But, what do they know!

I joined my local quilt guild this spring. I am liking it so far. Fun to meet fellow quilters, learn some new things and share a few laughs. I signed up to make a couple of Friendship blocks. The person the blocks will be going to, provides a 14 square piece of fabric, then you add your own fabric to it and make a block of your choice. Like a crazy woman I decided to try a new technique, paper piecing. The first one drove me insane!!!

I finally succeeded and I really like the way it turned out. :~)

After reading the directions more carefully, the second one went much smoother.
I love the crisp points you get with paper piecing, I will probably be doing more of it in the future. Now that I have read the instructions! I wonder why I buy all of these books and then try them before reading the instructions. Mmmm, must be that mindless thing again I guess. lol
Anyway, I think that I would like to make an entire quilt with these. The book that I used was Carol Doak's "Simply Sensational Nine Patch Stars". I think it would be fun to make a scrappy sampler quilt with the blocks from this book.

Hugs & Stitches, Julia

Saturday, November 10, 2012

SuzyQ Class

I went to my first class on SuzyQ today. It was so worth the time and the 35 mile drive. I learned lots. We didn't do much sewing today. We learned all about threads, tensions, needles, how to load a quilt, caring for the machine, etc. The next class is on the 13th. It will be doing the actual quilting How to use the ruler base, rulers, stencils, free-motion, pantos, etc. I am loving the machine!!

I did finish the quilt using the cheater type inexpensive fabric, that I mentioned earlier. I am quite pleased with it. I will take pictures of it tomorrow, too dark now. I have a baby quilt for charity, on SuzyQ right now. It is just a simple pieced top from some flannel scraps. After this one, I think that I will be ready for a "real" quilt. I finished up a flimsy tonight for my Mom. Pictures of that one later too. It will be my first "real" quilt to try on my new toy!

Next Thursday I am going on a Shop Hop to Salt Lake City, UT with my quilt guild . It should be lots of fun. Despite the fact that I will have to get up at 5:00 a.m.!!! ;~) It will be a very long day, but, to shop, you have to be willing to make sacrifices! lol

We are doing a Crayon Challenge in my guild. At our last meeting we drew 3 crayons from a bucket and we have to make a quilt of any size using those colors. Our deadline is the March meeting. I drew 3 of the ugliest colors ever! lolBright colors are not my thing and as you can see, two of mine are bright! This should be interesting. I am going to take my crayons on the Shop Hop to see what I can find. I think that I will be making something on the small side. :~) A large quilt of these three colors would be really ugly! IMHO I am going to keep an open mind though.

I leave you with a picture of our grandson. I put piggy tales in his hair the other day. I was trying to shame his mother into getting his hair cut. :~) Wouldn't he make an adorable girl though. LOL Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Walking report----I have walked 3 days this week for a total of 8 miles. I hope to add 3 miles to that total in the morning!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Decorations

This has been a very good, relaxing day. After a very spiritually, uplifting, morning at church, I came home and decided that I couldn't look at the Halloween decorations anymore. So away they went for another year and out came Thanksgiving. As I don't have many Thanksgiving decorations it only took me about 10 minutes. I am almost embarrassed to show you though. You would think that a quilter would have a much better table runner than just a piece of fabric. hehe

I am going to leave this old tablecloth out though and make a runner with it for next year. The piece of furniture that this is sitting on, was an old buffet or side board, that belonged to my dear MIL. Randy refinished it a few years ago and now it sits in our living room. I love it! I made the little Thanksgiving scene lots of years ago when I used to do ceramics. It is one of my favorite holiday decorations. You can't see the little turkey very well. But, it is so cute.

This little wallhanging was one of the first things that I made when I began to quilt 3 years ago. I did the embroidery with my Bernina 630, the designs came from here.

Hope that your day has been a great one too!

Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The pumpkins have been craved and decorated. Ethan grew these himself this year. Not really sure why they were so slow in turning orange. But, a green pumpkin is still pretty cute. :~)

The leaves carpet the lawn. Well, not anymore, my Dad and I cleaned them up yesterday. But, I love this picture that I took before we got started. Randy was at work so he missed all of the fun. ;~) Ethan and Karlee (granddaughter) were sure having fun playing with them on the trampoline!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!
Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Organizing and Tag

I am a little stiff and sore this morning. My sewing room was in desperate need of some reorganizing.
I used to have my machine in this cabinet,

for some reason I decided that I didn't want to use and put my machine on this table. Bad idea!

(ignore the mess, I am still putting away a few little things) It was really to high for comfortable sewing. I brought the cabinet back up from the family room. Let me tell you that wasn't to easy. Randy was at work last night, so Ethan had to help me. Coming up a flight of stairs with a heavy piece of furniture and just the muscles of an 8 year old boy and his lots older than that Mom, was not to easy! But, we did it!! My room is a little more cramped now. But, I think it will be okay. Who needs tons of floor space anyway right? LOL By the way, these are the after photos.

Julie tagged me some time ago to give seven random things about myself. After much thought, here goes!

1- The name on my birth certificate is not my name. Let me explain that. Sitting in the hospital after my birth, Dad and Mom agreed on a name, filled out the birth certificate and brought thier little bundle of joy home. A month later when it was time to bless me (give me a name and blessing through the church), the name they decided on was not the name that my father gave to me in that blessing. It seems that my grandfather wanted me named after his mother and so he talked Dad into changing it, unbeknownst to my mother. What a surprise that must have been for her! It was meant to be that I carry the name of my great-grandmother though, recently we found a picture of her and I look quite a bit like her. So all is well!

2-I love to change my hair color every year or so! I am currently a dark reddish brown!

3-I have never broken a bone! Close last night getting that sewing cabinet up the stairs! (Just kidding!)

4-I don't like to shop except for quilty things of course. That's not shopping though, that is mental therapy! :~)

5-I have always lived here in the beautiful Snake River Valley of Idaho! When I married I moved just 12 miles from my childhood home and I have been here ever since. I love it here!

6-I had a complete hysterectomy when I was just 26 years old.

7-I hate hot dogs! You know the whole, on a bun, with relish and what not, YUCK! But, I love corn dogs. A little wierd, I know. :~)

Now I must get back to organizing so that I can sew!!!

Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Diaper Bag & Apron

Here is the diaper bag that I made for my daughter. I think that it turned out really cute.
I really like this pattern. It sews up fast and is fairly easy to make.

Here is the little helper, whose diapers it will carry.
He is the one that had RSV, just let me say that
he is totally healed and back to "helping" me sew. :0)
I would much rather have him getting into a little mischief that to be as sick as he was. You really have to watch him, he is at that stage where everything goes in the mouth. I can vacuum all the floors and he still finds the tiniest thing to put in his mouth.
Isn't he just about the sweetest thing that you have ever seen? My hubby is always telling Kristy (DD2), that her and her hubby make the cutest children. And that they do!!!

This is an apron that I made from the stash a couple of weeks ago. It was fun to make. I think that I might like to make some more. I remember that my grandmother always had an apron on. One of those retro things that warms my heart to see it coming back. I am such a messy cook that I need to wear one to save my clothes!!! lol

Here a couple more purchases in my effort to help the economy. lol I found these on sale, don't ask me where because I can't remember! lol I would like to get a head start on the holidays.
These are Miss Rosie's.
I LOVE her patterns and these were on sale too! Same place that I can't remember. I can just tell you that it was online somewhere. I think that it was this site. If not, check it out, it is a pretty good site. Fast service and pretty good prices on some of the older lines.

Keep on Quilting!!!!

1- Healthy family!!!
2-Darling grandchildren, whom I get to see almost everyday!
3-Day off for Ethan and hubby!
4-Beef Stew bubbling away in the crock pot!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Spring Bag/Purse

I hope that you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter Sunday! I love Easter! Such a time of hope and renewal. My testimony of the atonement and resurrection of my Savior gives me the strength and desire to live a better life.

I just finished up these cute bags. I made one for me-----

and one for Kristy.

I used this pattern from Indygo Junction. I had one "Sultry" jelly roll and I used up every bit of it. I used the lighter strips for the lining. With the little leftover bits and strips, I made us each a little cosmetic bag to match. These just say "Spring" to me!!! The drapery grommets were very easy to use. It did make me a little nervous to start cutting holes in a finished bag though. Just have to make sure you have it marked exactly where you want them before that first snip of the scissors! Ask me how I know, eep!!!! Kristy's has a cute little appliqued circle covering up that little boo-boo. :~)

I am going to get brave and enter my "Blackberry Twilight" quilt in a show this next week. I need to get a hanging sleeve sewed on, for displaying purposes. I don't really care if I win anything. But, it does make me a little nervous to have my work judged.

Windy and cool here today, a cold front is going to be moving through the next couple of days. So no outside work or play. I will just have to spend more time in the sewing room. I think that I might make me a couple of lightweight summer tops. While at Wal-Mart today, I browsed through the pattern books and found a couple of patterns that I liked. It has been so long since I made any clothing, other than scrub tops for Kristy. I hope that I remember how! :~)

Hugs&Stiches, Jul♥a

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! I hope that your holiday is filled with lots of love, laughter, family and warmth! This is my absolute, all time, favorite Christmas song. Warms my heart every time that I hear it.

I am so grateful for the birth and life of the Savior. I hope that each one of us will remember what we are celebrating this season. Turning our hearts and thoughts to Him.

Hugs&Stitches, Julia


I seen this design on Kim's blog last spring and I loved it! To my utter delight she published the pattern this spring. You can purchase it from her Etsy shop. Now this little cutie is hanging on my wall! I just had to throw in a yellow tulip! I used rick rack for the stems instead of piecing them. I did some free-motion quilting on it. I really struggled with how to quilt the tulips and after about 4 hours of stitching and unpicking, I threw my hands in the air and just did something simple. I am not all that proud of it. I have such a long, long, long, long way to go on my free-motion quilting. Except meandering and loops, I can do those. Anything else looks like a 2 year old did it! lol Pantos I can do with no trouble now, for the most part anyway. This free-motion stuff is going to take tons of practice, practice, practice! I don't mind practicing free motion stuff on my quilts, but I am a long way from ready to do it for others! I think that I need to throw some practice fabric on SuzyQ and just play!

It is raining here today, which is perfect timing, because Randy put our spring fertilizer on the lawn yesterday. The grass will be pretty and green in no time! We spent most of Saturday getting the yard cleaned up, finished trimming trees, etc. Now I have to spend some good quality time in the sewing room. I have three birthday quilts to make by the first of June!

Hugs&Stiches, Jul♥a
"Do one thing everyday that makes you happy!"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

String Quilt

I finished one quilt for Judy's stash challenge. I did have lofty plans of making lots of blocks and a couple of quilts, but life got in the way and after 100 string blocks I got bored. But, I will continue this challenge for most of the winter and try to make a dent in my "old" fat quarter stash.

Thanks for the motivation Judy!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Christmas Wall hanging

I finished this cutie up for our daughter, Kristy, last night. I love this fabric. It is so bright and cheery! I generally don't go for bright colors, but this just makes me smile. I used this Schnibbles pattern, from Miss Rosie's. I love her patterns, easy to follow, fairly simple to make and yet look like so much more.

Kristy and I finished up our Christmas shopping for our children today. Now I can stay home, locked in my sewing room. My favorite thing to do. Well, I guess I am going to have to come out once in awhile for the mundane things, like cooking, cleaning, laundry and running Ethan's taxi service. :~) But, those are all things that I love to do for my family, so that is okay.

Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Little Christmas Wall Quilt

While I was putting up my Christmas decorations last week, I decided that I needed a new wall quilt for my dining room. Like I needed another project to get done right now, hehe. I had just finished up a quilt for our daughter using some Thimbleberries fabrics, I still had the scraps scattered all over my cutting table, so into this little wall hanging they went.

Not your typical Christmas colors, but I like it. I used a pattern from Lynette Jensen's book, " Collection of Classic Quilts". I love her patterns, so easy to follow, very well written and gorgeous in their simplicity. I used baby rickrack for the cord on the string of lights. My freehand placement got a little wonky in places, but that is okay. I am a little wonky in places too! :~)

I did the quilting on the HQ. I just love that machine! Every time that I use it, I love it more and more!

Oh and just FYI, you really do need to heat set those permanent markers. I was just going to use a fine line black marker to do the face of the snowman. After I drew in on, I decided to embroider the face instead. I forgot to heat set the marks under the embroidery stitches and when it came out of the washer, it had bled a little. So he has a bit of a dirty face. Makes him seem more real, right? lol

Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's here!!!!!!!!!!

I received some wonderful Royal Mail on Thursday, from Andrea over at Welsh Quilter. It is my Four Seasons Winter Swap Quilt. Oh my goodness, Andrea it is the cutest thing that I have ever seen. It is soooo me! Did you hear my squeals all the way across the ocean? My hubby and son were there watching me open it and they were a little excited too. My hubby was very impressed, as was I, that it is hand quilted. Oh, and the little pearl necklace on Mrs. Frosty, how cute is that!!! Mr. Frosty's bow tie is so dashing. I LOVE it!!!!! It is now hanging in my sewing room where I can look at it every day and it is not coming down when winter is over!! :)

It came all wrapped up in this beautiful fabric. Which is quite serendipity in and of itself, because I am in the process of collecting purple and cream fabrics to make a quilt. In fact, Paula over at Latte Quilts is nice enough to help me in collecting some of these fabrics. So Andrea, you were quite in tune with me.

You'll notice the chocolate had to be tested before the photo was taken. Can I just say it was one of the best chocolate bars that I have ever eaten. You will notice the use of past tense wording, that it because it is now all gone. I did have some help from my family though. I just walked a couple extra miles on the ol' treadmill and didn't feel guilty at all about eating it!

The swap thing has been one of the most fun things. I will definitely be signing up for more in the future!!!!

Thanks again, Andrea!!!!!

Two Finishes!

I finished the wall hanging from the Kim Deihl class that I took. This is from her "Simple Seasons" book. I wanted to get it finished to enjoy for this Halloween, so I did some machine stippling in the background and I did the big stitch hand quilting in the details. I really like it! My fingers are a little bit sore from the hand quilting. For some reason I hate thimbles, they seem awkward to me. But, if I do much hand quilting I am going to have to get used to them.

What is your favorite thimble?

As you can see in the picture I used clothespins to hang it up. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can hang quilts on this little shelf? The rail is attached to the sides, so it doesn't slide in and out. If I had a bigger quilt, with less detail, I could just drape it over the rail, but with this kind I am not sure what would be the best way to attach it. I am open to any ideas and suggestions. I really like the shelf and want to keep using it.

I made up this scrub top for Kristy (our RN daughter) last night. This is some of the fabric I bought on the shop hop. She wants me to make her a scrub top for each holiday. They sew up really fast! I am just not into sewing clothes as much as I used to be, so I kind of have to force myself to sit down and make them.

Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs&Stitches, Julia

Happy Fall Y'all!

I love fall! It could be this season for about 6 months of the year and I would be perfectly happy. I love the weather, the smells, the foods, the cozy feeling in my home, the time to quilt, the warm, earthy colors, I just love it all! I like decorating my home to fit the season. My daughter wanted to learn how to do stitchery this past summer. So we did a quick internet search for some stitchery patterns, dug out my old box of embroidery floss and the fun began! We have made several, but this is the only one that I have made into a completed project, so far.

I really enjoy doing them, nice to do some hand work once in awhile. We did a little tea-staining on these. Does anyone have any tips for tea-staining? I would like mine to be a little more splotchy, darker and a little more vintage looking. Couldn't seem to come up with the exact look that I was going for.

This just makes me smile. I like "cutesy" Halloween, not "evil" Halloween. This just fits the bill for "cutesy" in my book. This was a lot of fun to make. I did some freehand meandering loops for the quilting and I tried to outline the applique. That is not easy! I will definitely have to practice that some more. :~)

This table runner is another little bit of quilty, cutsey for Halloween. This picture is not real good, the colors are brighter and richer. A photographer I am not. :~)

I am getting ready to go on my first quilt retreat next week! YAY!!! I am so excited! Three days with 8 friends, doing nothing but sewing, laughing, eating and relaxing! I have big plans to get lots done. We shall see if that happens. Either way it will be a blast!

Hugs&Stitches, Jul♥a

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Vacation

Wow!! It has been awhile since I have posted. We went on vacation with my Sis and her family, the first week of August. We always go to Bear Lake, Idaho. We go swimming, play on the sandy beach and just relax. It has been a tradition now for about 15 years.
This year we had an interesting start to the trip, about 50 miles from home, my sister's brand new truck broke down. So my niece's DH had to turn around and go get their truck to pull the camper with. It was a long, hot, wait along side the road, waiting for the tow truck. But after about 2 hours we were back on our way. Nothing can stop us!!

My DS7, caught a little lizard.
That was one excited little boy!! I talked him into letting it go, so he and the other 5 children there, decided that they wanted to build a trap and catch some more just for sport. It sure kept them busy every time we came back up to camp. All of this sage brush was gathered and piled up, with some bugs under it all to attract the lizards. No one had the heart to tell them that the bugs would just crawl away. Some future engineers in the group maybe???? LOL This is my son and my 2 year old grandson in the pic.

Most every afternoon there is
a little thunder storm that rolls down out of the mountains and across the lake, isn't Mother Nature beautiful!!!

My BIL and niece's husband are the only men in
a group of 4 women and 7 children, they take really good care of us, doing all of the cooking, etc!! It is truly a vacation for all of the women. Of course, we do offer to do the clean up after the meals, don't want them to get tired and quit on us. LOL My daughter nick named them the "Man Slaves". This is our view as we ate every day. All in all we had a great week!! Now it is back to our regularly scheduled life. School starts next week, so LET THE QUILTING BEGIN!!!!!!!