Thursday, July 21, 2016

Metro Medallion Finished.

Okay, first off - sorry about the lame presence here on the blog.  I have been so busy!  I can finally breath and hopefully will have more time to spend on here.  But, what a better way to come back to the blog than by sharing a finished quilt!?!

So, I have wanted to make a new quilt for my bed for a while.  My mom made me a beautiful quilt 5 years ago and I have loved it and used it this whole time, but I am up for a change and I decided that Sew Kind of Wonderful's pattern Metro Medallion would look amazing on my bed. I have made this pattern before using the Quick Curve Ruler - it's really an easy pattern and it got easier with each block I made. Don't be afraid of the curves!

Isn't the quilt fantastic? It is huge!  It is 102 x 104 inches which fits my bed nicely - you will see that later in the post. I definitely made the quilt larger than the pattern directions show, but that was just a matter of buying more fabric.  Who doesn't like to buy more fabric?
The fabrics used in my quilt are from several manufacturers and designers.  I just pulled colors that I like and put them together and I didn't write them down, so please don't ask me what each print is...pretty please! ;-)

This quilt took me several months to make, but mainly because I was busy writing my second book which comes out in September - so I was pretty crazy.  It also took me a while longer because I wanted to add the squares on point in the white Metro Medallion blocks.

I ended up changing the shape of the square on point - the original design has a diamond, but I find it easier for me to piece with squares.  So the blue polka dot fabric was a 3 1/2" square sewn along the diagonal line, trimmed and then the inside aqua fabric was a 2" square sewn along the diagonal line and trimmed. I was going to use different colors for the inside square, but changed my mind because it would have taken me a lot longer to place the colors.
As you can see the bright fabric color placement is random, but also on purpose - if that makes sense.  I always lay out my quilt blocks and play around with them to figure out the perfect placement.  I didn't pre-plan how many colors of each block I would make - so that is why I needed to play with it before I sewed the quilt top together.
Originally I was going to quilt an allover design - I know, gasp! - I didn't want to spend as much time as I usually do on this quilt because it was going to be used for my bed. But then I thought a lot about it and knew that I couldn't just quilt an allover design, so I came up with this simpler quilting design.  I threw in some fun custom designs on a few of the medallions like the one above, but for the most part, the blocks were quilted with fast, free-motion fills.

I was able to quilt the fun curves in the navy blue fabric using the QCR Curvit longarm ruler - it was my first real attempt at using a curved ruler and it was fun!  I think I see more curves in my future.  Don't you love the beads in between the curved lines?  I do - the look is just perfect. 

When all was said and done, I did have to go back and add another curved line in the navy blue fabric.  Compare this block above to the picture before this and you will see what I am talking about. Even with all of this - my crazy detailed self would love to redo this project and go to town on the quilting detail, but I am honestly happy with the results. It was a new challenge for me to limit my quilting.

Um yes, thank you diagonal striped fabric for being the perfect fit for the finishing touch on this quilt. Don't you just love it?
Oh, and before I forget - I used Glide thread for the top and bottom and I used only one layer of 100% bleached cotton Hobbs batting.

I love the texture on the back - you can see I tried several different designs - not all of them are perfect, but it was good practice for me since I have been traveling a lot and not quilting as much as I would like. It seriously was a lot of fun.
I started the quilting with this block design above, but I am so glad I decided against finishing the whole quilt with this design - I would still be quilting it!

Okay, so here is my room before Metro Medallion.  This is the quilt my mom made for me and I absolutely love it still!  The colors are exactly what I loved 5 years ago and I still love, but I just needed a change. I think we all need a change every now and again. It was also really fun going to Home Goods and buying new stuff.

I changed out the drapes - they are a lot brighter now and the room will feel brighter.

I also bought new pillows and new bedside lamps.  It really goes well with the quilt.

I love the little details in the quilt top that I will be able to enjoy from now until I have a hankering for a change.  Another 5 years I am sure.

So I made the quilt long enough to cover our deep mattress and box spring. I didn't want to worry about making a bed skirt, so a bigger quilt was the answer to that dilemma.

This picture shows a little of the mattress, just to give you an idea of what I mean about not making a bed skirt.  The quilt, if pulled just right fits perfectly to the frame of the bed on both sides of the bed.

So, here is my room and I absolutely love it!  It's perfect for me.

By the way - it's always this clean.  Hahaha, just kidding!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

My not so "Cinco De Mayo"

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?  Well, I am trying to take that approach to my life because I have realized that I have allowed a little too much negativity to creep in.  So, I am finding joy in the journey and learning to laugh a little more when life doesn't go as planned. So, this is the story of my night tonight, I want to record it for me.  It definitely was better experienced than explained - so forgive me if you don't find it as entertaining as I did. It was a night to remember.

Tonight Clint came to me and said, "Hey Babe, Cinco De Mayo - should we go to a Mexican Restaurant?" I thought about it for a minute because it would mean taking the kids out to a restaurant and I felt like I had been fighting them tooth and nail to get their chores done this afternoon, and rewarding them with a restaurant dinner was a little much. However, this mama chose to get laundry done today instead of anything else and honestly - I hardly think about dinner ahead of time, so I agreed to go to a restaurant because I didn't have anything planned to make.  

We drove away, but first threatened our kids that if they fought in the car, we would drive them back home and they could eat cereal and Clint and I could go on a date. I was really looking forward to that date, but I am happy to say, we made it to the restaurant without any drama in the car. 

We walked into the restaurants crammed little entry with people on both sides and 20 people piling out before us to put our name on the list.  The hostess said the wait was 60 minutes and Clint put our name down, then I looked at her and said, 60 or 16 minutes? As if someone would say 16 minutes on a wait time, but you never know.  The hostess confirmed the 60 minute wait and I looked at my four kids, ages 11,9,7 and 5 and said, sorry - we aren't waiting. So, we squeezed out of the crammed entry of the restaurant and got back in our car, called around at a few other restaurants and picked the one that had the shortest wait time.  

As we were driving we saw a restaurant that we had never seen before, it was a Mexican Restaurant and looked like a dive - so naturally we thought it would be the best place to try out for the first time.  Dives are usually the best food.  So, Clint turned the car around and pulled up to the make shift house/restaurant.  We sat down and put in drink orders, followed closely by our food order.  5 of us got our drinks and it took another 30 minutes for the 6th drink to come out.  We watched as 4 groups of people came in, sat down ordered and got their food before us.  In the meantime, my 5 year old is being silly and crazy - not too much and not loud, just being so annoying and I am sitting next to him.  I am trying to make him laugh and get him to not complain that his food isn't here yet.  My 11 year old is taking in the environment and realizing the injustice of us not having food while everyone around us is eating, the 9 and 7 year old are doing their best to behave, but after an hour they are starting to do boy things - making faces and trying to spit out water from their straws. We did have 2 small bowls of tortilla chips - so yummy, but not enough - I felt like we were scavengers trying to beat out everyone else to the next chip. Did I mention this was a late dinner start for us to begin with?

So, I am watching my watch, the clock just keeps on ticking and after an hour of sitting there and trying to figure out which one of us will ask where our food is, we finally got a hold of a waiter.  I asked him what happened to our food?  Are they still cooking it?  He then tells me that his aunt left and didn't put the order in.  Say, what?  We sat there waiting for our food the whole time and the order was never put in.  The waiter then told us he could put the order in and put us before anyone else and my first thought is, no, sorry.  So, hungry and bummed out we left the restaurant.  Hey, we got free chips, salsa and drinks though. That's a plus, and they were really good chips. 

We started this adventure at 6:15 pm and now it is 7:30 pm and we still haven't had our Cinco De Mayo dinner, but there is no way I am trying a sit down restaurant again with our kids.  So, Taco Bell Drive through it is!  While we are driving to Taco Bell one of our children is crying about the devastating fact that they haven't eaten yet, how hungry they are and the drama was so overwhelming - it was funny.  I just started laughing and had to explain to this child that everyone was affected by what happened and that we were all hungry.  

Once we got to Taco Bell and got sandwiched into the drive through lane, my 5 year old started doing the potty dance.  We made sure the kids all went to the bathroom at home before we left, but then he drank a lot at the previous restaurant and now, it was coming.  Clint was telling him to hold it, but my mother instincts took over and realized the exploding child was literally about to explode.  While in the drive through lane, I got out of the car, pulled my son out and ran into the Taco Bell and took him to the bathroom.  Let's just say he really had to go and peed like a gallon of water that he just drank.  He was happy, we avoided disaster and we go back out to the drive through lane to find that Clint had moved a total of 5 feet.  We were still waiting in line at a fast food place. I couldn't help but notice the two women behind me laughing with me, they watched the whole episode. When it came down to it, it took us 25 minutes to get our fast food Cinco De Mayo tacos and burritos.  

We laughed all the way home, seriously - well, no - I laughed all the way home, while the kids complained and Clint thought I was going a little nutty.  Normally this would have irritated me, but everything went wrong and it was just so funny.  If we would have stayed at the first restaurant and stayed for the wait time, we most likely would have eaten before the time we left the second restaurant.  Also, if we would have let the second restaurant put in our food order again, then we would have eaten before the time it took us to eat our 2 dollar tacos and burritos at Taco Bell.  Needless to say, it was funny - dumb, but funny and I loved that I could laugh instead of get mad.  It made my night so much better. After almost 2 hours, we finally got to eat.

All this for a 2 dollar taco?  Oh, and by the way - my kids didn't like their burritos. Figures.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Still catching up.

First off, thank you so much for your love on my new book coming out this fall!  I am excited for September and I hope you all are to.  The pre-orders are pouring in and I can not thank you enough for your support!  

Okay, so in between Spokane and MQX - which I will blog about later - I had preparations for some of my new classes.  The above picture is for my Wide Open Borders class.  This is such a fun quilting design and the sample was really fun quilting up.  I love it when I can use bright So Fine thread to just play with.  I quilted this sample with 2 layers of Hobbs cotton/wool blend batting and it looks fabulous.  The fabric is Moda Bella Solids white, which I love.

The above sample is for my Smashing Sashings class, also new.  I am teaching these 2 classes as well as 10 others in Canada in the next couple of weeks.  All the info for Sparrow Studioz in Edmonton can be found here and all the info for Whirls n Swirls in Oshawa can be found here.
Looking forward to seeing you there! 

We also celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary as well as our daughters 11th birthday.  She was born on our Anniversary.  Clint and I took a trip together in January to cover our anniversary celebration this year so that we could be here for Lili's birthday.  It was a great day and was made even better with the sunset we had, totally roof worthy. It is a special treat when the kids get to go up on the roof with me. 

Lili was gifted these fabulous shoes for her birthday.  I am trying to convince her friends father that I need my own pair as well.  Aren't they fabulous?

We also celebrated Easter together and I made the kids take a picture with me.  Clint was so good and patient with me as I made him take a million pictures.  It really is so hard to get 4 kids happy and smiling at the same time. 

Until next time!  I hope this catching up is fun for you - it is for me.  I have missed being on this blog. Talk soon!

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Second Book is available for Pre-Order!

Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen 
Okay, so this is getting real.  My second book, Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen was a labor of love, frustration, and down right exhaustion - but, I am happy to say it is in the editing process and is finally available as a pre-order.  It will be available in the Fall - hopefully September - I don't want to jinx myself by giving a specific date.  Y'all know how that went with my first book. ;-)

This new book has 6 original projects with start to end instructions from the piecing to the quilting.  I go over every single line quilted in this book.  I hope it will be a book that you will be inspired by and that will be very useful to you.  The designs are amazing, of course I am a little biased - the one you see on the cover is my "North Star" quilt. I will be giving more details on the book and its' projects when the book comes out, but hopefully this teaser is enough to make you want it! I know I can't wait to have it in my hands.  

So, a couple of things - you can order an autographed copy of my book on sale now and wait for it to come out and we will ship it as soon as we have it by clicking on the link here

Or, you can buy a plain old copy without an autograph from Amazon here.  

It's up to you!  I am so excited!   

Oh, and one more thing, if you haven't had a chance to take my online iquilt course, Quilting Makes a Difference, you should!  It is a fabulous class!