Thursday, February 22, 2018

I'm Not Crazy, It's Hormones. I Swear

Feels like I'm not getting much done this month.  I went through a big living room rearrangement/ midlife crisis.  Long story short, it freaked out inconvenienced the whole family.  One thing being moved led to another thing needing paint and so on.  Rich said, "Well, if you give a pig a pancake, she's going to want syrup to got with it."  Let's not get hung up on the fact that he compared a dieting woman to a pig and mentions pancakes and syrup at the same time.... Don't you love the quilt cabinet that Hunter made for me?  We really needed more seating during the holidays now that everyone has a plus one when they come over AND... that's how I justified more quilt storage.

In brighter news, I found a fantastic Ott lamp 1/2 off at Joanns!  It even matches my studio.  Score 1 for the pig!

We're almost done with my guild's BOM.  I admit to being bored with this project.  However, I will be trying a cool sashing on the finished project.  So, here's hoping that turns out.  Side note: I misplaced 3 of these blocks along with some glue sticks I was supposed to take to guild for a friend.  Panic ensues, tears are eminent.  I'm ripping the house to pieces knowing that I won't redo those blocks as long as I live.  Rich goes out to the car & brings them in like it was no big deal...  I swear it's hormones.
I FINALLY started this project.  It's been in the planning for a year or more.  My crazy quilt group is doing a theme for our next quilt show.  The theme is "Village", so we can do anything that we want that you'd find in a village.
I chose candy store but it morphed into a gingerbread house.  This is it so far.  I'm weaving the gum drops in front of the house.  The snow on the trees is cut up lace trim.  Then, I did 4" blocks to go around the 12" center.  Wild.  Crazy.  Candy colors... Now I'm thinking, "what was I thinking?"  I may just do white embroidery to keep it unified.  We shall see.
The biggest project has been this t-shirt quilt for Carmen's brother.  Their grandpa was a big John Deere man, I think he had one of the biggest JD collections in North America when he passed a few years ago.  This last Christmas, the family sorted his t-shirts among themselves and Carmen (Hunter's girlfriend) has commissioned me to make quilts out of them for Cole, her mom and herself.  I tried to do a star secondary pattern but there isn't enough contrast in the 2 fabrics, so I just see snowballs.  Bummer.  Not that I think it looks BAD, just not what I was hoping for.
One more thing before I let you go.  Last night I had a moment.  One of those smack you in the head moments.  An epiphany if you will.  I've been catching up on The Quilt Show all month.  Season 5, episode 1.  BAM.  Melinda Bula's work absolutely blew me away!!  That episode aired in 2009, so I know I'm totally late to the party.  Holy Cow!  Check her out!  I must explore this further!!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 6 and 6 2018

 Hello again.  Here we are with the first installment of 6 and 6 2018, hosted by Pomegranate & Chintz and Frayed At The Edge.  January we were supposed to start something new.  Weeeellll, I didn't stop at one new project.  Got a little crazy...  My first new project is Simple Folk by Sarah Fielke she's an Australian designer & has 2 new BOMs for this year.  Both are really cute.  The first month was intense though, we made the applique base blocks (12").
 64 9-patch squares, these are little 3" finished.  She recommends cutting each 1.5" square individually so that you get a REALLY scrappy look.  I agree, that would look fantastic.  However, there was absolutely no way I was going to cut that many 1.5" squares... Nope.
 AND, appliqued the first applique block.  I know, you're thinking these are dark colors for me.  I had a migraine while I was selecting them and there you have it.  I was super uncomfortable doing the applique.  She glues the pieces down then stitches everything together and there is no "pattern block" for placement reference.  Normally, I would do back basting.  This is totally out of my comfort zone.  Which I think is evident in my crappy leaves.  Also, I was very "under the influence" of my migraine meds, so that might have been part of it.  I think gluing is an Aussie thing, Irene Blanck does it as well.  I was just as weirded out by doing Mosaics which may be why it's still in my UFO pile.
 During December's TAS (The Applique Society) meeting, Shirley was sharing a book that she won as a door prize at Baltimore on the Prairie.  It just happened to be a book she'd already purchased.  It's called Baltimore Garden Quilt by Barbara M Burnham.  I chose to do it in ice cream sundae colors.  Inspired by another one of Irene Blanck's quilts.  I don't plan on doing a whole quilt, just a wall hanging.  I don't have enough of the mint green to do much more than 4 or maybe six blocks.  These are 16" finished.
 Actually, I started this in December.  So, really, it's more UFO than new.
 I finished one of the guilds BOMs.  Small 6" blocks.  Only 3 more to go.
Since that wasn't enough, I also started The Quilt Show's BOM designed by Edita Sitar.  She's so talented, how could I resist.  These are 6" and there will be 3 of each pieced blocks with an applique center "barn scene".  I'm using my stash for this one so my blocks are going to be pretty random.
I know, that was more than 1 new project.  However, I'm sure I can still come up with something to share on the other "new" months.  February is a UFO month, so I will try to get something quilted.  Now that the Super Moon nonsense is over, my migraines should go away.  3 days is too much.  The doctors assure me they will go away when I finally go through menopause.  I'm not sure anyone has ever been as excited about that prospect as I am.
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Various Artistic Endeavors of The Mantz'

Well, call me excited.  Rich installed track lighting in my studio last week!  Originally, I just had the tracks and we took out the ceiling fan in the middle.  It only took me a couple days to realize that was a terrible idea and we got a center light to make up the difference.  I'm really pleased.  And, they're dimmable.  Any Fairy Odd Parents fans?  Dim dim dimmidome.

I have to clear something up quick.  I had announced at our TAS meeting that there were 2 duplicate shells in my Clamshell quilt, much to my chagrin.  However, my daughter Sierra set me straight the next day by pointing out it's the same print but different scale!  Woo Hoo!  It's still a proper charm quilt.  I was afraid I'd have to uncheck that box on my quilt bucket list.

 

Here's a project that took SEVERAL weeks.  I reupholstered Hunter and Carmen's bus couch.  They had salvaged a couch from an RV but it was a funky 80's pink upholstery.  So, they asked me to help.  Of course, I couldn't wait to get my hands on part of the bus!  I'm sure once installed, it won't look so thrown together.  Fingers crossed.  This was my first upholstery job other than a standard table chair.  Hunter seemed pleased anyway...
Here he is in his "attic".  You can keep up with his shenanigans at Luckythetinybus.com.
Miss Bethany turned 21 this weekend!  She invited a couple of friends over for drinks and had a Bob Ross day.  Didn't they do great?!

I'm totally jealous.  She didn't think she could paint!

On December 2, Rich and I renewed our vows to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!  We just got the photos back courtesy of Irish Eyes Photography.  I won't bore you with all 177 but here are a couple of my favorites.  If we're FB friends and you have a burning desire for more, I've got 20 some uploaded there as well.

The Mantz'
Heather, Rich, Sierra, Ethan, Bethany, Hunter and Alyssa


Rich & I holding our first professional photo together from 24 years ago.



I did the cupcakes myself.  We had almond raspberry, cookie dough with hot fudge frosting, honey with marzipan bee and non-dairy french vanilla with the rose bouquets.

The M was supposed to be a cake topper but then I never got the courage to do a proper wedding cake.  I made all of the ribbon bouquets that the girls and I held.
Well, since then, I joined Weight Watchers.  Seeing these photos reinforces my decision.  I told myself I'd lose weight after Alyssa's wedding a year ago May.  But, I gained instead.  I eat my emotions, and I'm REALLY GOOD at baking.  REALLY GOOD.  Now, I'm down 10 pounds but I've got a whole lot more to go.  I'm determined that it'll be a different Heather that appears in any upcoming weddings... that may or may not be around the corner.  No hurry guys but you know, a girl can hope.  And, maybe they'll let me make stuff for it... fingers crossed.  But no pressure.

Toodles for now!  My next post will be my first 6x6 2018 update.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Knight's To Remember!

Hello friends, how have you been?  I've got the ick.  It was bound to happen, seems like everyone at work has it.  Just a matter of time.  Any who.  Before I had to go back to my full-time job, (shock! horror!) I tried to get as much of my stitching done as I could.

My mother-in-law Ann commissioned me to make her mother, Jeannette Knight, a quilt.  The photos are of a cross country trip she took last year with one of her other daughters, Cathy.  There's a lot of Knights... I think Jeanette had 10 or 12 children and still has SO much energy!  You can imagine she hasn't had much time to do a lot of traveling over the years.  So, Ann wanted to commemorate the occasion with a memory quilt.  They got some GREAT photos!  Looks like she went to DC, New York, Hershey, PA, they caught a Kenny Chesney show or at least saw his tour bus!  Looked like they had a grand time & I hope she enjoys the quilt for a long time!  I had been putting that off until after the holidays, my December was packed.  I was really excited to use that Cherry Mint fabric, I'm so in love.
 Then Bethany had also asked for a t-shirt quilt with some of her favorite shirts and pajamas from high school.  Her 21st Birthday is the 27th so, I had a goal.  Funny enough, they are the Triad "Knights"!  HA HA  I put the fuzzy jammie fabric up top so she can get the fuzzy touch going when she's cuddling.  This girl has been the same size since the 3rd grade.  Those polka dot pajamas had lasted a LONG time and still fit.  She's just ready to move on, understandable.  That's her behind the quilt, straddling between the recliner and sofa to be tall enough.
Hedwig got a revamp and I'm SO much happier with him!  I used a solid for his book and I got his feathers in the right place!  If I was going to be super picky, I'd put the feather direction going down but there's no way I'm re-doing him a 3rd time.  It took about 2 hours to do the one block!
 I did the Butter Beer block.  I messed up, here's what happened.  I printed a bunch of the pages out at once.  Some have alternate components.  I think I made the Butter Beer with extra books because that block was much longer than the others.  So, I added it to a book only block, thinking that I split that one up some how.  Now, the row will be longer.  Not sure if I need to add some books to each row or remove some books from this line up.  I just looked at the designer's page, the green vine book and the blue lightening book don't belong...but the purple star does.  You can find the patterns at Fandominstitches.com.  You can find any kind of paper pieced geekfest quilt blocks imaginable!  So great!
 And Professor Lockhart's Peacock Feather Quill.
 Decided to reward myself with a book only block.  Paper piecing takes SO LONG!  For me at least.  I almost bought a bolt of wood grain fabric but the only option they had left looked like it had a green tone to it, so I may wait until the perfect color is available.  I think I want a whole bolt so I can do the back in it as well.  Why pay retail for that much when I can get it wholesale and sell what I don't use, right?
 I used a 3M strip to attach my magnetic pin cushion to the wall next to my design board.  Took an embarrassing long time to figure that out!  Very convenient.
 Then, because I'm giving a lecture on Crazy Quilting at the Waterloo Guild in February, I decided to make a pillow out of this crazy block I made a few years ago!  Quick and easy, I felt very accomplished.
I've also been working on the upholstery for a couch that Hunter is using on Lucky the tiny bus.  I will share more on that later.  That was on my list of things to finish before going back to work but it didn't happen.  He's gotten so much done so far and it looks amazing.  Yes, I'm bragging up my kid but he's mechanical like his dad without the ADHD and artistic like his mom without the laziness.  It's pretty great to see.  Check out their blog!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

6 and 6 2018




I know, I know another UFO list but this is new and improved.  I decided to follow along with 6 & 6 2018 with Pomegranate and Chintz (Australia) and Frayed At The Edge (Scotland).  I have been following Frayed At The Edge awhile now and enjoy hearing about her adventures.  The two joined forces and came up with 6 UFO and 6 new projects for 2018.  A nice balance I can get behind!  So, here we go, things to work on in 2018...

1.  President's Challenge due by May: center block completed
2.  Beloved Baltimore: 14 blocks of 25 completed

3.  Bonny Hunter's En Provence: needs assembly and quilting

4  Heather Double Wedding Ring: needs quilting
 
5.  Hungarian Heritage: needs quilting
 
6.  Harry Potter book shelf:  10 blocks complete
I've got a large Baltimore album I'm planning, a t-shirt quilt for Bethany and 3 more t-shirt quilts for Carmen's family.  So, finding new projects will NOT be a challenge!  Maybe you'd like to follow along as well???

Happy Stitching,
Heather

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year's Check In

 Happy New Year friends!  Hope everyone has been able to stay safe and warm.  Once we were finished with Christmas, I jumped in head first into my UFO list!  I was so busy living life before hand, not much got done.  I finished my Heather Double Wedding Ring quilt top!  I love the way it turned out!  I wish it were bigger.  I probably should have done 2 pkgs of the jelly rolls but to be honest, I was sick of making the same block over and over as it was.  So, it's a lap quilt.

I managed to finish a block for the Beloved Baltimore quilt.  Those tiny pieces are killing me!!  I've already got another project lined up that's going to be nice big pieces!  However, I love this peacock.  The sequin tail is a little over the top compared to the rest of the quilt but if anyone can get away with it, it'll be a peacock. 
 I finished the top to my flamingo quilt as well.  I bought this fabric a couple of years ago.  Bethany had declared that the flamingo was my spirit animal and had one tattooed to her calf... so I bought some matching fabric.  I know, I'm a wild one.  Any who, I was following the Turning Twenty block of the month around the same time and decided to do pink & grey.  Apparently, I missed months 9 & 10, so I had to come up with 2 random star blocks to fill it in.  Also, I just noticed that I missed a few points on my friendship stars!  Grr....  Well, 2 are skipped and one is upside down.  Blech!!  Naturally, I was up to 3am doing it.  I should really stop myself and go to sleep before this crap happens.  But, do I care enough to fix it, is the question.  A question for another day.
 Moving on to the Splendid Sampler.  I had 50 done before I decided enough was enough.  So, I did the Hour Glass quilt block in pink and red to set them.  It turned out better than I expected.  This was another project I wanted to be done with but had put in too much effort not to finish.
 Last but not least, I got caught up on my guild BOM stitching blocks.  I do love embroidery!

 The project so far.  4 more to  go.
I did another quilt that I can't share.  It's a commissioned photo quilt.  I'm really happy with it but won't be able to share until it's final recipient receives it.  Just in case she reads my blog, don't want to give out any spoilers!

I go back to work full time in a couple of weeks but still have much to do.  I'll check back in with you before I go back!  Try to stay out of trouble!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Getting Lots of Nothing Done

 I've been hard at work doing a lot of nothing.  But, getting so much of it done...  My first week of layoff, I was able to complete my Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  I love making these blocks but I always hate them when they're put together.  This one turned out better than last year's, but I still felt like some of them went in upside down anyways.



 This button is sideways, she should be facing the wall, not the ceiling.




 This bee is flying upside down...
And so is this butterfly, or maybe he's just dive bombing the flowers.

But, there you go.  It is what it is.  You know I don't care enough to rip it apart and start over.  Maybe next time I'll try making one of those books that I've been hearing about.  On the second week, I finished my Clam Shell quilt.  That was fun. 
 I quilted a little heart in each of the clams.  I did end up finding 1 duplicate fabric while I was quilting.  Dag Nab It!!!  But, it was one of my all time favorite reds.  So, honestly, I'm not surprised.  And, it took me forever to see it, so it can't be that obvious.
 I did a leaf pattern in the borders to mimic the floral pattern a little.  Then, forgot to take to my TAS group for show and tell.  Dag Nab It!




 This really should have been on my UFO list last post.  I had started these Wedding Ring Arcs back in November when I finally got my Heather jelly rolls in.  I LOVE it!!  I even postponed putting them in my store because I wanted to make sure that I had enough for my quilt before selling the rest off.  I bought the above Heather sprig fabric on grey to be my background but when I put them together, I thought the sprigs made it too busy.  Now I'm thinking that it'll be fabulous on the back.
 So, I tried the green dot companion fabric, better but not quite what I wanted.  Pink gingham was a big no...
 The pale grey linen print was JUST RIGHT!  However, I had sold most of it & didn't know if there was enough left over for me!!  AHHH!  I redesigned, making the outer blocks 6" deep, and now I'm good to go!!
 My practice blocks.  I used the green dot for the corners.  Sorry about the bad lighting, you know I do everything in the middle of the night.  I also forgot to cut the background big.  After sewing down the arcs, I'm at 12.25" instead of 12.5"  Now I've got to keep that in mind when I'm trimming down so that my corners don't get too cock eyed on me.  I think I'm going to love this one!
We celebrated my youngest's 17th birthday yesterday with a trip to the theater to see Justice League.  The party continues tomorrow with a trip to the St Louis Art Museum.  My absolute favorite STL destination!  Happy Stitching friends!  If I don't see you before, Happiest of Holidays to you all!!