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










Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sapphire Stars Clue #1

By Kevin the Quilter

Here we go folks!  Ready or not!  Here is Clue #1 for Sapphire Stars! I will be showing you the way I made this particular unit. If you have a way you prefer to do things, by all means use it. I still don't know how to do a pdf file, so, feel free to copy and paste from this post into a reader friendly version. Also, if you are playing along, please share on your blog about this mystery and feel free to use the logo.  Alycia has given her permission, and of course you have mine.

Clue #1

Cut 48 3.5" x 3.5" squares from your brilliant royal blues (as many different as possible)

Cut 48 2"x2" squares from your light baby blues (as many different as possible)

Cut 48 2"x2" squares from your navy blues (as many different as possible)


Using a small ruler and marking tool (I used a mechanical pencil) on the wrong side of the fabric, mark a line diagonally down each light blue 2" square, AND each navy blue 2" square.


Placing right sides together, put one 2" light blue square on top corner of a 3.5" bright blue square. Sew on drawn line.


Repeat this step with navy 2" square on top of 3.5" bright blue square on opposite corner of the light blue 2" square just sewn.  Sew on drawn line.


Lightly finger press seams toward the corner ensuring the light and navy corners have been sewn correctly.  If light blue, and navy do not match the edge of the brilliant blue.....re-sew seam.

Cut 1/4" away from seam with rotary cutter or scissors.


Press 24 units with seams going toward corners, and press 24 units with seams going toward center.

Make 48 units measuring 3.5" unfinished.


If you are not comfortable making this unit, simply make 48 4 patch units from 2" squares of brilliant blue, light blue, and navy blue.
Make the 4 patches random with the various shades of blue color placement.

Please post progress on your blog or send me photos!
I would love to see your versions of this unit!

Until next time,
Keep on Quilting!

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sapphire Stars


Hey everybody!
It's time to start thinking about our upcoming mystery, "Sapphire Stars!"
How do you like that, there, logo?????  Pretty nifty, eh?  I love it!  It is courtesy of my good friend,

Alycia of 
Thank GOD for techie friends!!!!!!

So, you have scraps?

You want to make scrap quilts?

You want to make scrap quilts easier?

The key to this in my opinion is......

ORGANIZATION!

I believe most quilters view their craft as an art.
Therefore, we are artists.

Most artists that paint work from a pallet similar to this.
Their medium, the paint, is divided by color.
Now, I realize a painter usually mixes colors to make new colors.....
but, they have to start from somewhere?
That "somewhere" is usually a tube or container of paint.
The artist's pallet serves as their resource for their medium.


Stay with me here.......

We quilters are artists that work with colors also....
our fabrics, stashes, and scraps are our medium.

How many of you separate your scraps and stash by colors?

This is an actual photo of some of my scraps.
They are entirely separated by color.
These are my color bins.  Separated like paint containers.
Red is red to me whether is it is bright arrest me red, or brick red.
Purple is purple whether it is lavender or plum.
Make sense?

I separate all colors like this.
Each color has it's own container.

I know there are several quilters that also separate their scraps by size.
I am one of them.

I separate by crumbs, strings, and chunks.
Each color has it's own bin of each and they are full of 
all different types of fabrics, but, they are all the same color in each
individual bin.
I will go farther in depth on these in a future post for 
"Sapphire Stars."

I do have 2 other separate categories of fabric,
those being Civil War Reproductions and Batiks.
These are divided by color family as well.
I personally like working with these fabrics separately,
however, when the piece or scrap of one of these types of 
fabrics has been used repeatedly, or goes down in size,
they do become a part of the color bins.

Sorting scraps is 
I do not view it as a task that I hate doing.
I view it as a trip to the quilt shop.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE receiving a bag or box of scraps
that I can sort out by color family.
It truly aids me in my quilting by having order to my scraps.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO............
try to start sorting your scraps by color family.
You will more than likely be surprised by what you find
you have!

Many quilters I have helped will say they don't have any
of a certain color.  But, upon going through their scraps by
color family, they find they do have some of that color.

And.......if you don't like sorting your scraps.........
ask your friends and family to help?
Kids LOVE doing this sort of thing!
Here is my nephew Curtis helping me sort some scraps.

I would love to see some of your before and after shots if you
choose to start separating your scraps?
Please send them to me and let me know if I can share them
here on the blog?
e-mail photos to:
photokevin@centurytel.net

I PROMISE you, it will make you feel so accomplished
and ready for your next scrap project.....
which may be.........


There's another image from Alycia!

"Sapphire Stars" will measure approximately
70" x 90"
upon completion.

Alright........how about some colors of fabric and yardage amounts?

DISCLAIMER!!!!!!

These are APPROXIMATE yardage amounts!
I will give you an amount that will exceed what is 
actually used, just to be on the safe side.
Again, this is my first go around with hosting a scrap mystery
so let's just have some fun with our scraps here.
I will be offering various piecing options.....
however, if you choose to use the same fabric
for the various colors, I have a feeling
your quilt will turn out somewhat flat in color.
Just my opinion.

Here is the color pallet I will be using:

Bright, brilliant, royal blues!
Approximately 1- 1 1/4 yards






Light to medium blues!
Think baby blues in all different shades of it.
Approximately 1/2 - 7/8 yards






Navy Blue!
Approximately 2.5 - 2 7/8 yards








Yellows......ALL SHADES
Approximately 1.5 - 1 7/8 yards









Reds...........ALL SHADES
Approximately 1 3/8 - 1 1/2 yards











Light Neutrals
Approximately 2 - 2 1/4 yards









1 constant medium gray
Approximately 3/4 yards





Ok, allow me to clear something up you may be wondering about......

We will be using 3 different shades of blue for this mystery.
Navy, royal, an baby blues.
I chose 3 random fabrics in these shades to show you the thing you need to be 
concerned with is contrast between these 3 colors of blue I am using.

With this being said, you may want to change this color scheme up a bit?
I ENCOURAGE you to do this!
You may want your quilt to be
Garnet Stars.......Amber Stars...........Emerald Stars.........and so on.......
I would LOVE to see your versions of this mystery.
Please keep in mind, 3 contrasting colors of 1 color, and don't repeat it
for the other colors in the quilt.

We will also be using the tri-recs tools.
I will be offering easy to follow steps on how to use
these tools.




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





Last week was a really exciting week for me..........

I was able to meet up with THE Bonnie Hunter!!!!!!
She had lectures and workshops all week in Southern California,
and I happened to have a layover in Long Beach, California.
A few texts after I landed, and there she was with her
friend Debi!  It was a pleasure meeting Debi, and I thank her
so much for coordinating our evening visit!
WE! HAD! A! BLAST!
Visiting, talking quilts, and eating ice cream.....how could it not be perfect!
Thanks for the visit Bonnie and Debi!




And............




I was able to be with my Dad and family for Father's Day.
I can't thank my Dad enough for all he does for me
not to mention our family.  I hope to be as good a man
as he is one day!







AND.................

Look what God blessed me with on Father's Day?!?!?!
Meet LILLY MAE!
It truly was God's doing that Lilly came into my life.
She certainly is NO replacement for Gracie Lu......
Gracie Lu could never be replaced.
Lilly Mae has already started making herself right at home.
I can't wait to share her with you all!
She is a Brown Boston Terrier.
She was born on Easter, thus, her name.
She is my little Easter Lilly.
On a side note......My Great Aunt Mae,
who taught me so much about quilting,
was named Lilly Mae.......coincidence?
Hmmmmmmm........LOLOLOL

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