Thursday, August 17, 2017

Playing Mustard...........

Well...........

Since I haven't been doing a good job at playing ketchup/catsup/catch up...... get it?????

I might as well play mustard!

I apologize to you all for not tuning the old blog and playing it the past week or two.......

As my faithful readers know...........August is family time around these parts!

And not only has it been family time, it has also been a time to visit with and host friends
while enjoying a wonderful summertime harvest!

Come along while I share some photos of what has been going on around
The Quilt Cave lately!

August is ALWAYS family time!
Sis brings my niece and nephew along with Mom and Dad 
to my house to celebrate Dad's birthday.
And everyone goes "back to school" shopping!

This year was unbelievable yet awesome!
If it is true that a dog lives 7 years to 1 human year.....
then....
My little Sophia Annabella AND my Dad both
turned 77!
We had a great time celebrating both of their birthdays!

Sophia got a bone ALL her own!
Ummm....she was a little bit eager to take that first bite!

Of course her birthday bone was shared with this little booger!
Lilly Mae!!!!
Wow!  She is growing so quickly!
Look at those bat ears!!!!!!

While everyone was here, my niece suggested we visit the
If you are ever in St. Louis......don't miss this
beautiful attraction!

I love when my family comes for a visit!

I also love it when my quilting friends come to visit!

The Cave Quilters gathered at the Quilt Cave
and completed the blocks for our QOV Snake Charming quilt!
My quilting friends
Cherie of Quilted Jonquil,
Darlene and
Jan of The Colorful Fabriholic all came together
to create this stunning quilt.
Jan shared with us how to make this block and recently
shared how to make your OWN Snake Quilt
This is a wonderful tutorial!
Way to go Jan and the Cave Quilters!

This handsome boy even made an appearance after all
of the blocks were completed!
Obviously, he is as thrilled as we are about it!

My friend Alycia's
A6 Big Star Country mystery quilt was a 
smashing success!

Here is my scrappy version of this mystery!
What a quick and stunning quilt to make for a
wonderful cause!

I was thrilled to be able to visit and host
Alycia of Alycia Quilts here at the 
Quilt Cave for a couple of days 
as she drove cross country!

It was fun being able to share with her some of the sites
in and around Metro St. Louis.
A few quilt shops were visited as well!
You can read all about her Missouri visit

We were finally able to have our photo made
with our collaboration QOV quilt,
"Flying Salute."
This quilt was made after seeing an antique quilt found 
by one of our favorites, Bonnie Hunter of
Alycia's quilting is absolutely stunning on this quilt!
You can see more about Alycia's quilting of this quilt

Speaking of Bonnie Hunter.......
Meet............. Bonnie Hunter!
My niece named this hen in honor of
my admiration for my quilting rock star!
I hope to do an update of all of the chickens here
at the Quilt Cave soon!

I have been pleasantly surprised by the tomatoes I have been
blessed with this summer.
Especially since the soil had not been properly amended.

I have also been blessed with several zucchini from the garden.
I LOVE making zucchini bread at this time of the year.
My favorite recipe for it can be found

Speaking of harvesting.......
it was time for these turkeys to provide
some good wholesome food for me and my family.
This was my first experience growing turkeys for food.
They were given a wonderful life here on this earth.
I was pleased with all aspects of raising them.  I am
looking forward to  
being able to share a home grown turkey for my
family's Thanksgiving dinner this year.
The turkeys ranged in weight from 14 lbs to  20 lbs.


And, in  closing.........
I have noticed a lot of a color theme going on lately......

Like here...........


And, take a look at those stained glass windows......

That color pallet looks awfully familiar to me?????
Does it you????

I have LOVED, LOVED, LOVED
seeing all of the LOVE for

by all of you who are participating!



Thanks Heather!!!!!!!!

Let's use:
#sapphirestarsmysteryquilt
for Facebook, Instagram, and any other
social media posts so everyone can go
to one place and see everyone's progress shall we?

My personal instagram is:
@photokevin74

Be looking next week for clue #3 of our mystery!



Thanks for being a friend!
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Keep on Quilting!
Kevin the Quilter












Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sapphire Stars Clue #2

Salutations Sapphire Stars Mystery Quilters!
And a hearty welcome to all of my new followers!



Are you all ready for Clue #3?


JUUUUUUUUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did I get you?
You all KNOW we are only on Clue #2!

In Clue #2 for our Sapphire Stars Mystery.............

Get out your feather boas quilters........
because we are going to be.........





STRIPPING!!!!!!




Hold on!  Hold on!  Hold on!!!!!!
Not THAT type of stripping!!!!!!!


THIS TYPE OF STRIPPING!!!! 

I intentionally maneuvered this clue to the #2 spot
because it is going to require the most sewing of all 
of the mystery clues.
EASY SEWING though!

I promise you.....if you can get through this clue,
it is smooth sailing from here on out!
Also, remember, this mystery quilt will be using the 
Tri-Recs Tools in a future clue
that will be coming up before we know it!

I trust that you all will use whatever method of 
strip piecing that works for you.
You can alternate the directions of your seams if you desire.
I simply put the pedal to the metal and
my units turned out just fine.

Make SURE you are using an accurate
1/4" seam
allowance.

Also, please READ through the ENTIRE
post.  All points are covered.


Here are your instructions for Clue #2:

From your strings, pull any and all strings that measure at 
least 1.5" in width in the following colors.
Light Blues
Royal Blues
Reds (all shades)
Yellows (all shades)
We will need 2 different lengths of 1.5" strings/strips.

Here is the rundown:
Cut the following....
48: 1.5" x 4.5" yellow strips (all shades)
48:  1.5" x 4.5" red strips (all shades)
24:  1.5" x 4.5" light blue strips
24:  1.5" x 4.5" royal blue strips

You will also need.....
Cut the following......
44:  1.5" x 7.5" yellow strips (all shades)
44: 1.5" x 7.5" red strips (all shades)
22: 1.5" x 7.5" light blue strips
22:  1.5" x 7.5" royal blue strips

Here are all of my strips cut and ready
for some power sewing.
This is also the order we will be sewing our strip sets in.
It will help to keep these  strip sets in their own stacks.

royal blues,reds, and yellows
and,
light blues, reds, and yellows

just as in the photo above.
For both the 4.5" lengths, and the 7.5" lengths.

This clue is a testament to having your strings organized by color.
It helps so much!
I did pull from my strings to obtain almost all of my pieces for this clue.
Working from my smallest of scraps helps make my quilts
VERY scrappy which is what I am always striving for.

Some of you may be saying.....
"I don't save strings though????"

You can certainly cut the strips needed
from larger scraps and stash as well.

You can tell this is a smaller piece of scrap fabric.
I would suggest ironing scraps that will work for this clue....
then layer cutting several pieces at a time.
(Truth be told, this piece of fabric wasn't ironed before this photo!
But, as I said before, I pulled my pieces from my strings, so this is 
just an example shot! LOL)



STAY WITH ME FOLKS!



I know this sounds like a lot of 1.5" strips........
and it is......
once again,....if you get through this clue.....
you've got it made from here on out!

You can always duplicate fabrics as well.
So, if you have a longer 1.5" strip, you can cut as 
many 4.5" and 7.5" lengths you can from it.

An 18" length of fabric which is usually a fat quarter size
 will yield 4: 4.5" cuts if cut accurately.
  And you can also get
1: 7.5" cut as well as 2: 4.5" cuts from
an 18" length of fabric.

So don't let the numbers scare you.
I know you all have fat quarters and stash 
that will work for this clue.
I believe in you!
If you don't, ask fellow quilting friends
to borrow some fabric from them!

Here are my units all sewn together.
Strip sets should measure: 
3.5" x 4.5"
and
3.5" x 7.5"



PRESSING MATTERS!
Press all strips toward the yellow strip.
This goes for all of the strip sets made for both
4.5" and 7.5" strip sets.


Next..........


Take your 7.5" length strip sets and place them 
by your sewing machine like this.
Royal blues on the far left, and light blues on the right.
We are going to stitch these together.
NOTICE!
Make SURE you are sewing together the 7.5"
strip sets only!  NOT the 4.5"!!!!
Leave the 4.5" strip sets alone for now.

After sewing these together,
you will then have 22 units that look like this.
Press seams all in same direction toward yellow strip
on far right.
Strip sets should measure:
6.5" width by 7.5" length.
Notice the royal blues are on the far left.
I realize this photo doesn't show the truest of colors,
but, trust me, those royal blues need to be on the left side,
and the lighter blues need to be in the middle.



That's all folks!
At least for Clue #2
of 
Here is a link to


and 




And many thanks to my friend Heather of 



Here are the PDF's for this mystery quilt:



(As soon as the PDF for Clue #2 is done I will post it here.)




I also cannot thank my friend Ann of


enough for helping me with her EQ7 skills
in the designing of this quilt!


I can't wait to see your progress with this step!
Please share your progress on your blogs
and help spread the word about this free mystery!



Until next time,
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Keep on Quilting!
Kevin the Quilter














Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dog Days

The Dog Days of Summer are almost upon us.........

Hot, Sultry, Humid days in the good ole' Summertime!

We are baking this week in the metro St. Louis area with indices well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

I can't think of anything better to do during this heat than to.........


 ORGANIZE YOUR SCRAPS!



Well, maybe you could nap in the air conditioning
 with a puppy like Lilly Mae......
that would be good too..........
but, I digress............



Let's be honest.......
What is keeping you from organizing your fabric scraps?

I want answers!
Please leave them for me in the comments below.

Various color mediums are organized
 in the stores for us......

Why?????

So they can be found easily!!!!!

That's the whole key for scrap organization!

If you haven't gone through your stash and scraps lately,
you will probably be very surprised at what you find?
And, hopefully, you will be inspired?
It's just like a trip to the fabric store!
Or a reunion of old friends!

Find an organizational system that will allow you to start working 
from your scraps and stash.

I in no way want to keep you all from Fabric stores, and quilt shops....
we NEED them!

But, give it a shot...........get organized and start making some
super scrappy quilts!

OK......off my soap box now.



Did you all know my friend Alycia of Alycia Quilts
is hosting another QOV Mystery quilt?????


And, yes, I am finding time to participate myself!
Alycia claims the clues take very little time to make!
I am holding you to that Alycia!


I recently came across this while shopping..........
REALLY????
Although nice..........
PLEASE!!!
Let's share our passion! 
LET'S TEACH OTHERS TO QUILT!

In other news..........that deals with my family.....
since this is my blog and somewhat of a diary of my life......



Sadly, I had to say goodbye to my 
beautiful cousin Kim
this past week.
She had a hard hand dealt to her in life,
dealing with the loss of her young son.....
being diagnosed with a debilitating disease....
and yet, she chose to live her life in the most eloquent and
 positive manner.
I will miss your enchanting smile,
our long midnight talks,
scrabble games, and
conversations about politics and cooking.
You were a great cousin and friend.
Til we meet again, Goddess of the Universe.
(That was her nickname....all in fun!)

At Kim's funeral, I was able to visit with some family I 
don't get to see all that often.
It was nice being able to visit with my cousins,
Judy, Charlotte, and Sharon
among many other family members
 for a while.



Stay tuned next week for Clue #2
for


Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Keep on Quilting!
Kevin the Quilter 




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Fun

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Summer!

Can I tell you how much fun it has been seeing so many quilters enjoying their first clue for my very first online mystery quilt, "Sapphire Stars"?  Thanks to all of you who are playing along!  I am overwhelmed by your compliments thus far, and I hope you continue to forge ahead with each glue that is given.  Many have asked how many clues there will be, and when will the mystery conclude?  Right now, I am thinking 4 clues, and perhaps a surprise clue thrown in at some point?  So, an Octoberish, Novemberish finish?  There will be a new clue near the end of this month around the 27th.  Again, there may be a surprise clue within the next few months.......stay tuned.

I have enjoyed seeing versions of
Ruby Stars by The Eclectic Abuela......

and

Amber Stars by Libby at Life on the Hill.

I have also seen a version of Chocolate Diamond Stars by Gina in Missouri.  Not to mention the MANY quilting friends in blog world that are making "Sapphire Stars" like I am in blues.  This mystery quilt has landed in Germany, and Australia too!  I have heard through the grapevine that several guilds are playing along with us in this mystery.  To all of you, THANK YOU for participating in this mystery quilt!  I truly think you will love your final quilt after the last clue is revealed!  At least I hope you do!  If not.........donate it!  You know how much I support sharing your work with others!

I also want to thank my friend Heather of Peachy Pages for offering to help me transform each clue into pdf format.  I realize several of you would like to be able to print out the clues, and she is helping this NON TECHIE quilter to get that done for you!  I can't thank you enough Heather!

I just have to share with you all some photos that have came in from our scrap organization that is hopefully taking place in sewing rooms and studios across the globe!

 Here is Owen helping is mom Kathy of  Kathy's Quilting Blog
sort her blue scraps!
WOW! Look at that tub of blue scraps!
Way to go Owen!
It looks like he is doing a great job, and he is 
welcome to come help me anytime he would like! LOL


And here is Holly's 5 month old puppy Jasper
helping her sort her scraps!
Too cute!

And my newest addition Lilly Mae is proving to LOVE fabric
just like her namesake, my Great Aunt Mae did!
LOOK AT THOSE BAT EARS! 
IN! LOVE! WITH! HER!

What else has been happening this summer in my world?


Grilling has been taking place A LOT thanks to my friends
Bev and Tom for giving this nice grill to me!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Sophia Annabella loves to be outside in the summer too!
Could this 10 year old baby get any cuter?????
I love her so, so much!

Also............

I was thrilled to be able to visit with the 
Loose Threads Quilt Guild of
St. Peters, Missouri.
Here I am with Huffman's Hotties!

I was also able to share my lecture and trunk show with the
Heartland Quilter's Guild in
Wood River, Illinois.
Huffman's Hotties made another appearance there!



Remember the Half Square Triangle exchange I have shared about
in various posts the past year or so?
The quilting group I belong to in Troy, MO
exchanged half square triangles over the period of a year
and used the birthstones of each month to be our color pallet.
I was able to host the guild at the Quilt Cave recently for a fun
day of half square triangle quilt top reveals!

Here are several participants along with myself.
Some participants weren't able to join us this day.
I love this photo!

Susan

Judy

Lou

Vi

Marci
My friend Mike helped to display the quilts.

Kim

And here is what I came up with.
I am pleased with it, and love the various hues of 
colors and neutrals.
This quilt is special to me because it contains hst's
made by the quilters of the first guild I ever joined.
It also contains hst's of some members who
have passed on.

While here at the Quilt Cave, 
we had a fun day of dying fabric!

What better way to spend a hot, sultry, summer day
than dying fabric????  This was my first experience
with dying as it was with most of the other members.
It certainly won't be my last!
I loved it!

Here are our creations laying out to dry in the sun.....
did you know that laying the fabrics out to dry in the sun
is a good thing for them?
Thanks to my friend Ann of  Attic Threads and Quilts
for teaching us how to dye fabric!

Look at all of the beautiful fabrics we made!
We divided them up among ourselves.
What a nice addition to all of our stashes of fabrics!

In other news.............

I wanted to share with everyone one of the first workshops I am offering.
Most quilt guilds have been asking me to teach.
I love spending time with other quilters and creating,
and it was a joy creating this quilt.

May I introduce:


Sorta, Kinda Amish
43" x 43"
I have long admired Amish quilts for their simplicity of design and piecing in juxtaposition with their intricate quilting. With my workshop, “Sorta, Kinda Amish” we will turn these previously mentioned design elements around by utilizing small scraps to make intricate pieces of fabric for the construction of this quilt. Use up those tiniest of fabric strings and crumbs to make this quilt.  Quilting will be up to each individual.
Various string piecing techniques along with crumb piecing will be demonstrated in this workshop.

Please contact me via the blog or by email if 
you or your quilt guild would be interested in this workshop?

In more news...............

This box was waiting for me in my driveway.....
hmmmmmmmmmm......I wonder what it could be?
It weighed almost 50 lbs!!!!!

HOLY! SCRAPAMOLY!!!!!!!
Laura in Illinois sent me this huge lot of scraps!
I can't thank you enough Laura for being so generous
with a fellow scrap quilter that loves putting to good use these
often overlooked pieces of fabric!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
Your kindness is appreciated so much!

I also received this perfect platter recently from my friend
Tracy in Ohio!
I can't think of another platter that
fits me any better!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

And, in closing........

Today would have been my Gracie Lu's 10th birthday.

Obviously, this day is not easy for me or my family.

I wanted to share with you my friend Shannon who helped so 
much during Gracie's last days here on earth.

In appreciation for all of the help she provided,
we wanted to make her a quilt.
Her favorite colors are purple and aqua.
I pieced an easy zipper variation quilt to show
my heartfelt gratitude to her.
She loves her quilt........and I loved making it for her.

Quilting brings us all together!


I hope you are enjoying your Summer!
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Keep on Quilting!
Kevin the Quilter