Accuquilt GO! Zoo Animals and a few Orphan Blocks

When I was making the quilt for my nephew, there were a few blocks left over from all the different layouts I tried. In fact, there were enough blocks left over to make another baby quilt. And, whenever I digitize, lots of blocks are created. Altogether, they turned into a cute baby quilt. And the machine embroidery set is for sale and ‘on sale’ in my shop. I also added some elephants to round out the ‘zoo.’ The photo is from my phone and it’s hard to hold it completely still – but you get the idea.

And since the top was 45 x 45 inches, the backing needed some extra width. Thus, I added some quarter square triangles that were cut using the 8 inch finished quarter square triangle die from Accuquilt. And that made a perfect back for this little quilt. Love the way this turned out – I can see using strips of triangles across backs in lots of different ways.

Believe it or not – the blue on the front is the same blue fabric as the back. The light really changes the appearance of color.

And I thought I’d add in a couple of extra photos that are fun. Here are Ezri and Kes at pre-kindergarten graduation. Kes will still be in pre-K in the Fall, but Ezri will be in Kindergarten. Don’t you love those paper hats? They’re like the paper crowns we used to wear when I was a child – what a nice and inexpensive way to “graduate.”

And my husband is building a “tree house” addition to the swing set for the grandchildren. Last summer just before school started, Ezri and Kes were having a conversation as to whether our house (back yard actually) was a playground or a park. Ezri, much more experienced with school, assured Kes that Grandpa’s house is a “park”. 

 

  
 

QOV Challenge Winners

Drum Roll – and we do have winners.

Baby GO!® and five dies – Linda Erickson

Mark Lipinsky Aurifil Thread Collection – Gene Black

Six Month Subscription to Blocks to Die For emagazine – Maryellen McAuliffe

2 yards Blank Textiles Fabric and an Aurifil Samples Thread Pack – Laurie Becker

2 yards Blank Textiles Fabric and an Aurifil Samples Thread Pack – Colleen Branson

Baby GO!® Value Die – Susan Jarsulic

Aurifil Sample Thread Pack – Snoodles, Marjorie Coler, Elise Sell, Janelle Torgerson

If your name is on this list, please email me with your mailing information so that I can get your prizes to you.

And a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated. Your hard work will make a difference in the lives of our service men and women. 
 

Organizing More than Projects

With all the technology we have today, particularly digital photography, we are inundated with photos and files and keeping them organized is a major challenge. Once upon a time I organized my photos by type, e.g., quilts, family, etc. However, the category overlap can make that complicated. Thus, in the past two years, I have organized photos in folders by date. Having photo organizing software like Picasa, PaintShopPro or software that comes with one’s camera is most helpful b/c one can browse large thumbnails from folder to folder to find photos so long as you know the general time frame.

One of the most important things that I do is rename each photo file by date. Most photos have a timestamp that can be seen via software, but one has to actually view the photo individually to see that. Timestamps sometimes get changed when photos are resized or otherwise modified. For me, it is helpful to have the date as the beginning of the filename and then a description of the photo as the rest of the filename. For that reason I use software that renames multiple files in one batch.

For years I used MultiRenamer from PC Magazine, but with new computers and Win7, I decided to look for something new. I love the software that I found and want to share with you. It is free (or you can donate to help support them). I found this software with a google search and and chose it after comparing the many products that showed up in the search.

This software is called Advanced Renamer and the website is http://advancedrenamer.com. I can specify lots of different parameters, select the files I want to be renamed sequentially, and voila–a whole set of files are renamed. It’s pretty nice. Here’s a partial screen shot. The whole screen was too large. It looks complicated with the codes, but really isn’t at all–just type in the base name, click on how you want to sequence (numbers or letters) and check to be sure the file name you want shows up in the right panel. Yes, there are lots of more sophisticated features, but I’m happy with my simple method. Click on the photo below to see a full view.

  
 

Zoo Animals and . . .

It’s always dangerous for me to re-arrange my work area. This morning I can’t seem to locate where I put the two tops that Sherry finished and I wanted to take photos. I sorted everything and re-arranged some things, so I know everything’s there; I just can’t remember where. Will find them today and show you tomorrow.

Last week I took some days just to clean and sort and shop for groceries, etc. Whole Foods had organic blueberries on sale for $1.99 so I got two gallons for $20.00. I put them in the freezer–they will last a long time–and make great smoothies and popsicles for the children.

And yesterday it was back to stitching again. The zoo animals digitizing is done – and now all I have to do is the documentation. Will try to get it finished today. Here’s a preview:

Lion with Satin Stitch

Lion with Satin Stitch

Monkey with Freeform Applique Stitch

Giraffe with Applique Blanket Stitch

 
 

The Cutest Giraffe

You must have known that once things settled down around here, I’d turn the embroidery machine on and play. Yesterday I finally broke open my Zoo Animals die from Accuquilt and made some machine embroidery to go with the die cuts. The embroidery is very simple, as I want these to be quilted, and the last thing a functional quilt should be is stiff and heavy with embroidery thread. Ezri came over to visit (and help), and she pushed the Start button on the machine for every thread change. She also chose the fabrics and the thread colors. We had a lot of fun. The monkey’s finished too (no photos yet). All that’s left to do today is Mr. Lion.

Click the photo below to open a larger image. The one on the right is a satin stitch and the one on the left is my free form applique stitch. After these stitchouts, the smile was tweaked. They’re pretty cute though, you must admit. I’m envisioning a pieced quilt with all the zoo animals and an elephant or two marching in a row along the top or bottom of the quilt.

 
 

UFO Finishes and Quilt Show

What a busy week I had last week. After two months of blogging about Quilts of Valor, I buried myself in other projects for a week and stayed away from the computer. Most of the time was spent with my Mom, my daughter, and my grandchildren. But I managed to get a little stitching time in also.

There were two new grandsons in February and neither one had a single new baby quilt from me. Thus, I made and/or finished four baby quilts last week. My longarm has seen little use the past year, and there’s a whole stack of quilts to be quilted. Someone needs to get busy!

It was so much fun to be actually quilting the tops. Finishing the Quilts of Valor got me started, and now I hope this will be a summer of finishing all those tops. What’s interesting to me after almost a year of doing very little quilting is that it seems that I can now do some of the things that were once so hard for me. Doing freehand continuous curves was almost impossible and now I seem to zip through them with little effort. Not sure what the secret is; maybe I’m more relaxed now than I used to be, not sure why–but I feel as if I can quilt almost anything now.

Here are some photos. I still haven’t done the official photos of the quilts hanging, but you can get a pretty good idea of these baby quilts.

This quilt was made two years ago by my friend Kay. She did the embroidery (because I didn’t even own an embroidery machine at that time). It is finished and will go to a grandson. 

This quilt was made from orphan blocks left over from the quilt I made for my nephew. I added a row of four patch blocks on the far right to make it wide enough. 

The quilting is done with an Aurifil variegated thread. I love the way it looks. 

This quilt is similar to the attic windows quilt. It’s sort of an I spy quilt with the novelty fabrics in the center of each block. It’s a leaders and enders quilt – there are many more blocks just like these. I used a striped fabric around the blocks and for the binding. Have been saving that fabric forever b/c I love it so much. Now it’s all used up and there’s room for a new stripe in my stash. 

I love to quilt freehand swirls and spirals and this border turned out nicely. I didn’t plan it this way, but started out with a swirl and this is what happened. 

And this is the attic windows quilt – in use! Isn’t he just adorable?

 

  
 

Another Patriotic Quilt

The GO! for a Star Quilts of Valor Challenge is closed, and I want to thank everyone for their efforts. Our purpose with this Challenge was to raise awareness and to inspire quilters to work together to create quilts for active duty and veteran US service men and women. Besides the Quilts of Valor organization, there are also other organizations who contribute. One of those organizations is American Hero Quilts and Susan Nixon is very active with the American Hero Quilts program and at the same time she has been a strong supporter of our Quilts of Valor program. I want to share a couple of quilts she has created during the last month for The American Hero Quilts organization.