Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in an around the world blog hop by my friend Pat from Bell Creek Quilts.  Sounds like fun! 
Thanks for the invite, Pat.
 Pat and I met online a long time ago.  I found out that she had family in Michigan,
 actually not too far away from where I live.  
One time when she was coming to visit her mom we met up. 
 We had a great time!!  We went to the LQS and also went to have dinner at the local hotel.  

In the blog hop we are supposed to answer a list of questions, so I will attempt to do so.

1- What are you working on?

You guys have seen what I have been working on in the last few posts. 
 I had several finishes.  
I made a Tardis quilt top and back for my son.  
I am dropping this off with my friend, Kathy to quilt for me today after work.



He was making fun of me about the coasters I made for my FIL and 
told me he would throw them away if I ever made coasters for him. 
 So *of course* I started on some Dr. Who coasters for him.



I finished some charity quilts and my kitty mini swap quilt too!  
This was my favorite charity quilt, made from all the scraps I had left over from other projects.

 I have been practicing my quilting skills too.  How about those wavy lines??




I am working on a label for my Birdie Stitches quilt. 
 Still need to turn it into a proper label. 
 You know, sew it to another fabric, turn and press?  
Then it will be ready to stitch into the quilt.



I am working on a Secret Stalker swap mini quilt too, but I am waiting for something in the mail before I can really begin.
There is a HUGE idea forming so stay turned for that.

Hubby asked me to make a quilt for a co-worker that is getting married so
here is the beginning of that.
He wanted me to use my Daisy Field pattern.
Their colors are white and cream...huh?
I asked for an accent color and was told blue gray, so the flowers will be in blue-gray and gray.
I am using Lizzy House's white on white pearl bracelets for the background.
I am actually really excited to get to work on this one!



2-How does my work differ from others?  

I'm not sure how to answer that!  
It is probably similar to lots of other people's work.  
I think every time we make a quilt it is uniquely our own. 
 I do what I like and what I can't get out of my head. 
Whatever screams the loudest gets made.

3-Why do I create what I do?

Because I *have* to.  
Seriously. 
 I think I might actually explode if I didn't make things. 
 Quilts in particular. 
 I have been sewing forever.  (My girls told me once I was older than fire).  
I have sewn garments. 
 Maybe because I am not a small size I hated the way they looked. 
 I did love sewing Halloween costumes for my 3 kids.  
They never had a store bought costume!  
I did counted cross stitch for quite awhile and now it's quilting and embroidery.  
LOVE it!

4-How does my creative process work?

I wish I knew!  
Sometimes I can't turn it off and wake up in the night to scribble down an idea or sketch a pattern.  Sometimes I can't get motivated to save my life!  
I like to observe things around me and draw from the patterns I see in nature, 
in my work, at home and in life.  
I enjoy talking with other creative people.  
It seems to inspire and turn on my creativity.  
The internet and Instagram have been BIG influences in my creativity!!

5- Who is Mama Spark?

I am a wife and mother of 3 amazing kids, 2 daughters and a son. 
 I have been married to my best friend for the last 31 years.
I am a scientist at my day job and a wrangler of pets and kids the rest of the time.  
I love to make quilts for friends and family.  
I like to make quilts for charity too.  

We have 4 cats and a dog.  
The cats are a huge joy in my life especially now that all the kids are out on their own.  
My best friend cat, Jack passed away 2 years ago and even though we have 4 I miss him every day.

This is Jack


Our dog Abbey


Hallie (short for Halloween)


Aiden (aka Fatty McFatty)


Mosen (who says mama)


Autumn, who is the only cat besides Jack that comes into my sewing room.



Now that you know about me, 
let me introduce you to the other 2 people that will follow me in the Blog Hop.

First is my friend Sara.  
She blogs over at Growing Stitches.  
Sara and I met online.  
We actually even met in person!  
She lives near my middle daughter in NC, so on my first visit to her we met up. 
We met up with another blogger too and went on our own private quilt shop hop. 
 Sara is a  prolific quilter, very energetic and inspiring!  
She has a new baby and an amazing little man too, but I won't steal her thunder about them.  
Please go visit her on September 22.

Next up is my friend Anna.  
She blogs over at Woolie Mammoth.  
I think it is her sense of humor that drew me to her blog.  
Then I stayed for her amazing work.  
She does a lot of things I find interesting.  
Like her work with wool.  
Her blog is a great one to follow.  
She always has interesting things going on. 
 I hope that someday we can meet up too.  
Eventually I plan on going back to the pacific midwest. 
 I hope you take a few minutes to visit Anna on September 22 also.  

I think that pretty much covers things from Mama Spark's world! 
 If you have any questions, please ask away!!

~XOP~


Friday, September 12, 2014

My Charity Quilts and A Giveaway

I have a few quilts to share with you that I am giving to Mott's Children's Hospital for the NICU. 
 I will link up with both 100 Quilts for Kids and also Finish it up Friday.

First up is one I made a long time ago but just putting it with the donation quilts.  
It is a chenille blanket.  
I love how the chenille came out on this one!


The back on this one is adorable too!  
I used the dot from one if the DS Quilts fabrics.  I love that print for bindings!


The other one is something I made awhile ago too to use up some of the fabric squares I had cut for another quilt.  
It is very sweet.


I got to use this great Finding Nemo fabric for the back too!  
Some "little" will love this!


The last one is a quilt I made using left over squares cut for a different donation quilt.  
I was actually able to get 2 quilts from all the left over squares by adding white squares in between.  That also allowed me to not have to do so much matching!  
My creative process at work!  

This quilt was small enough that I decided to try quilting it myself.  
I had heard of other people using some of their decorative stitches on their machines by enlarging them to use for the quilting.  
That's what I wanted to do.  
So I chose the number 4 stitch on my machine.  
It made a great wavy stitch.  
Those white squares were just begging for something. 
 Not just white wavy lines.  
Does this give you a clue?


I decided to do straight lines making a rainbow across the quilt like this


Autumn thought it was a GREAT idea!


Look at all that crazy texture!


I used a vintage sheet for the back.  It almost makes it look 3D!


I found some left over pink to use for the binding and it worked perfectly!  
I am very happy to have 3 quilts to donate! 
 I have a second one of these quilts to finish piecing and then will use the same backing and quilting to do another one in the future.  


I think I need to pack up my scraps though and 
send a stuffed FRB off to someone that would love to have them!  
If you pay the postage, they could be yours!!  
Tell me what you would do with a big box of scraps in the comments and 
I will draw a winner from the comments next week Friday.  
I have some pretty great scraps but I need to empty the THREE bins I have so I can get to refilling them again.

So that's it, leave me a comment telling me what you will do with them 
(even it you just want to pet them) 
and make sure there is a valid email address for me to contact you at or I will have to redraw.  

I plan to get that box stuffed tonight so maybe I will post some pictures this week too!!!

~XOP~


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A2MQG Charity Quilts

I am the co chair for the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.  
I share this job with my friend Stephanie.  
(who is awesome by the way!)

We have been collecting quilts for the several charities.  
We are trying to stay local.  
The three groups that we are donating to are

Mott's Children's Hospital, for the NICU

The Ann Arbor VA hospital 

Margaret's Hope Chest in Grand Rapids

I thought it would be nice to document the quilts we have so far for donation.  
I have a couple more at my house that are mine and I will be donating them to Mott's. 
 I wanted to use those as my donation for 100 Quilts for Kids too so will post those separately. 
 This is now being run by Heather at Quilts in the Que. 
 You can find information right here if you are interested in donating too!

So on to the photos. 
 Most people did not put their names on their quilts so I can't give credit, but each and every one showed a generous heart by donating to someone in need! 
 I can say from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!  
Your gift will be loved and appreciated!!

In no particular order:



I have always wanted to make one of these Mod Mosaic quilts. 
This makes me want to make one even more!


The front


And the back




This is the front 


And this was the back!








I hope you have enjoyed viewing these as much as I did photographing them!  I plan a drop at Mott's soon.  I need to call the charity director this week to schedule when I can drop them off.

GREAT job members of the A2MQG!!!  You ROCK!!!

~XOP~


Friday, September 05, 2014

Happy Mail Goes Both Ways

I received a wonderful gift yesterday. 
 My dear friends Yuki and Hiro were visiting here with their son. 
 I taught Yuki how to quilt when they lived in Michigan.  
She brought me these really neat covered button kits and even showed me how to use it, 
(she thought I might not understand the instructions since they were written in Japanese!).  
So adorable!


I'm not sure what I will add them to but they sure are cute!!

I also received a book that I ordered in the mail yesterday.  
There are some stunning quilts in this one!  
If you don't have it you should as the photos alone are awe inspiring!  
This was my happy mail.


I also was able to help out someone in need on Instagram that was looking for 5" squares of 
Katie Jump Rope fabric for a quilt.  
I was gifted almost all the KJR that I have so I felt I should pay it forward from what I had received.  Here is what I was able to send to her.


I don't have the whole line so this is what I had large enough pieces to cut a 5" square from.

I was also gifted a fabric many consider the "Holy Grail" of fabrics from a friend. 
 I didn't have a 5" square of it to send, most of the bits I have are not that large.  
I did however have a 4" square so sent it along as a total "surprise" for her!!  
I can't wait for her to receive the package!!


Would you be excited if you received this in your mail box?

Paying it forward is almost as much fun as receiving such a gift isn't it??

I hope it makes her day!!

~XOP~


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Doctor Who?

Yes, that's right, Doctor Who!  My son was wanting a Tardis quilt.  I had no clue.  A what? 
 He showed me exactly what he wanted and then I had to hunt for a pattern.  

"Dear God, please let there be a Tardis pattern so I don't have to design one.  
Thanks in advance. " ~Pam

As proof that He does answer your prayers I was able to find a great one on Craftsy!
Relatively Dimensional by Hunter's Studio.


This pattern was easy to follow and easy to make!
Sam (the designer) designed the words into a FQ on Spoonflower.
Far be it from me to do more work then necessary!!

I bought the panel. 
Actually I bought a yard's worth. 
One would have thought that they would print 4 on a yard.
NOPE
They printed 1 in the middle of the yard of fabric  *sigh*
Epic fail.
So I live chatted them up and guess what?  
They reprinted it with 4 on a yard AND let me keep the original one.

Gotta love Spoonflower!
I ordered my background fabric from them for this.
It was a Dr Who Gallifreyan print and you can find it here.


Now I will show you what I did with this pattern and how things came out so far.
On Friday I got the lantern done.  


Saturday I began working on adding to things and by lunch time had this done.


I did have a few interruptions though.
"No mom, pay attention to meeeee"


I pushed on and got the entire top finished!
I added another 10 inches to the width to make the finished quilt size 60" x 80"


Sunday was on to the back.  
Some IG friends had given or sold me some left overs of their Spoonflower Dr. Who prints 
so I decided to incorporate them into the back.  
This pieced back took me all day!!!  
Now it is ready to go off to the quilter.  
I have some ideas of how I want it quilted so will be chatting with Kathy about that soon!


Close up of the bottom row


And the top row


My goal for September is to get this quilted and bound so it is ready to gift to my son.

I am linking up to ALYOF over at Fiber of All Sorts to help with this goal.

Next up is working on my Secret Stalker swap project for the A2MQG.

What are you working on?

~XOP~