I picked up several quilts from the machine quilter recently.  I've got 6 new quilts to bind.  But I think binding is fun so I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with my quilts.
The first quilt I bound was my Row by Row from Lori at Bee In My Bonnet. Thanks to Wendy, my quilt lays flat (or flatish).  I was so happy to lay it out on the floor and see it all completed.
My border is a tad too blue to match the background, but I'm living with that.  And my rows are not perfectly strait (hence it not laying flat).  But I think it turned out so cute anyway.
I like the swirling machine quilting. I think it fits the style and background fabric.
All in all I'm super happy to have my quilt finished and ready to use (or hang).  
You can really see in these rows my curving issue.  But once it is washed, that will mostly disappear I hope.
I love it.  Thanks for doing this Lori.  I am so glad I participated.

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Thanks to everyone that left a comment last week in the giveaway and contrats to the winner of fabric from Donna's Lavender Nest.  The Freda's Hive Fat Quarter Bundle will go to heartsease54.  She commented "Those are probably the exact fabrics I would have picked! How did you know?".  I emailed her and she will receive the fat quarter bundle from Donna and a little package from me.  Donna has the custom fat quarter bundle up on her website if anyone is interested in getting a little bit of fun fabric for themselves.
Donna sent me the Freda's Hive bundle and I've been playing a bit with it over the long weekend.  Donna also included the cute cherry fabric on the right side. Sew cute.  I wanted to do a tutorial with the fabric bundle showing what I had planned to make using the fabrics.  I decided there are so many fantastic tutorials out there available to all of us for free, that I settled on using a great block I found from Jina and Cindy at Riley Blake.  The block is the Sunshine Block.  You can find the pattern here.  And you can view Jina and Cindy's video tutorial here.  I like the play of 2 pinwheels inside a star block.
Instead of white fabric, as suggested in the tutorial, I used Pam's  PKM Love's Bouquet print.  I used the very last of this fabric from my stash.  I think it makes the perfect compliment to the Freda's Hive fabric picks.  
I had a good time making the Sunshine blocks.  It was fun to switch up fabric in different places in the block. I was excited to use Lori's new fabric, too.

I don't know which one is my favorite block yet.  Thanks so much to Donna for letting me do this giveaway and creating my own fat quarter pack.  It was really fun to read everyone's comments.  I hope you like the fabrics I picked out.


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I'm really REALLY excited about the Give Away this week here from Donna's Lavender Nest.  Donna has let me pick fabrics from her store to make a custom Freda's Hive fat quarter pack.  And she is going to let me give the fat quarter pack to a lucky blog reader this week.  Also, the bundle is available for purchase in Donna's online shop.
Donna has really lovely fabrics in her online shop.  I like to call them all "Nanette fabrics", meaning they are all  fabrics I want in my stash and that match the kinds of fabrics I use in my projects.  
See all the cute fabrics in my Freda's Hive pack above.  They are a combination of Lecien, Yuwa, Lori's Riley Blake and Pam's PKM fabric.  You can find them all in Donna's shop.  I really like combining lines of fabric so it was fun to pick from Donna's stock and make my own bundle.
Here are the beautiful fabrics for a closer look.  I really am so excited to have Donna work with me.  If you don't win the Give Away, remember, you can visit Donna's shop to purchase your own Freda's Hive bundle.

I have a project I'm thinking of making with the Freda's Hive pack.  I was considering making a tutorial with the fabric.  But then I thought about several tutorials I've seen around blogs that I've wanted to make.  So instead of reinventing the wheel (so to speak), I'm going to use a couple tutorials from blogs and next week I will post the links for those and start using the Freda's Hive Fat Quarter pack from Donna's Lavender Nest.

Leave a comment here, any comment, to enter the giveaway.  I'm going to add a few goodies from me along with Donna's fabric for the give away.  I'm looking forward to this week.  The give away ends Friday evening at midnight and I'll announce the winner Tuesday, May 28 (after Memorial Day).

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I know it doesn't always appear that way, but at my heart, I'm truly a finisher.  Those UFO projects under my cutting table weigh heavily on my shoulders.  I like to get things done and move on.  I started my Red Herring-bone project last year and I was happy to bring it out and make friends with it again.
I'm not quite sure what size it will end up.  Lately all my quilts are queen or king bed size and that is fine with me.  We will see.  I have lots and lots of red I can donate to this little project.
If you want to know how I'm making it, you can review at my original post here called Seeing Red.  It is a simple way to trend the herringbone pattern with scraps.  Quilts like this are my favorites.  Sew and sew and not worry about points since it is mostly just easy seams.
I'm slightly horrified to show you my Row by Row flimsy from Lori's pattern.  It turned out to be one wrinkly unflat quilt top.  I'm praying that Wendy can make something of it.  If she pulls super tight, there is a chance.  

I'm really an idiot.  Instead of metering out my machine quilting projects, I've muddled about backs for them so when I finally decided and then waited for the fabric, it ended up that I have 5 very full sized quilts to take to the machine quilter.  It isn't going to be pretty when she tells me how much.  But won't it be worth it!?

Tired.  Goodnight

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I'm sorry this is going to be wordy but may be helpful for someone who is considering a change in their current iron.  (read to the end because there is a Reliable iron giveaway tip)

Thanks to everyone for their iron input from this post.  My Oliso iron was dropped and the prongs that make it go up and down stayed permanently up.  So I began my quest for a new iron.  Your comments really did help me.  I was all over the map when reading them.  I was up and down on several different irons and price points as I read.   I had almost decided on a Reliable iron (very top of the line and price point but pretty orange). But, I finally listened to Lynn, whom I trust from a long blog relationship, and to Beth. Kati also had an opinion about the Black and Decker, which I appreciated and considered.  Along the way I also acquired a low end iron from Hamilton Beach, which may or may not be without some value.  Also, I still have an older Rowenta, that has been the family iron for ironing clothes.  This was not kept in my sewing room but I did move it in to my sewing ironing board while I considered options.
Here are the current 3 irons I own.  The Rowenta on the right.  The Hamilton Beach in pretty aqua, and the Black and Decker Digital.   Now, one recommendation that came up multiple times in comments was to shop thrift stores for great buys in irons.  I guess with fabrics and life styles today people really don't use irons much so there is the possibility of a great iron, barely used, that is sitting in a thrift store at an under $5.00 price point.  I'm not the kind of person that happens on stuff like that very often, I will say.  But I know lots of people score like this.
I can't remember how long I've had this Rowenta.  I have had several Rowenta irons over the years.  My favorite was the one with the separate water well.  That model is just too big for my little sewing/pressing area. I originally purchased this iron above for my sewing room at a fairly high price point at just under $100.00.  This iron worked well.  It was again, dropped, over time.  So now you can't add much water without it leaking out.  So it is kind of inconvenient because I feel like I'm constantly putting a small amount of water in it.  Rowentas tend to spit and drip anyway, overall.  I don't like the spout design for adding water.  The iron is heavy enough and gets hot enough.  Also it doesn't turn auto off too quickly, which I like.  But there is no way to completely turn off the iron without unplugging it.  I don't really like that but I know that is how irons are these days.  I've been using this since the death of the Oliso and it works well enough but I'm ready to move it back to the family iron status.
This little Hamilton Beach is so cute.  It is pretty and would be the perfect accessory to any sewing are.  Since I haven't used the iron, I can't say how well it works but I will be trying it out.  My first thought is that it is light as a feather.  And we all know that is a bad feature in a pressing iron.  It also is made pretty cheaply but it is priced under $20, so you may get what you pay for.  However, since it is light weight, it might be good for a someone that doesn't iron much or that would be packing it around from class to class.  And it's cute.  Right.  I'll let you know later how it works.

Same for this iron.  I haven't used this B&D yet, but this was the iron I purchased after the blog post.  It is a mid range in price, which is good, it is digital, which I really like, and seems to heat up lightening fast.  It is a great weight, probably better than the Rowenta.
This is iron gray, which is fine.  But I wish it was aqua.  Why not?  I like how the handle is set up with the buttons and I really like that I can turn the iron OFF!  So many irons now have the auto off, which this one does, too.  But you can't turn them all the way off without unplugging.  With young children in my home, I really like this feature since my iron is set up all the time.  The B&D takes a good amount of water, too.  It took 2.5x  that little water pitcher (came in the box).  Kati had a concern about the holes in the plate.  I'll watch for that.  I haven't really used it much yet, but I will keep you posted.

For all of you looking for an iron, you might check out Sew We Quilt.  They are give out THREE! of the high end beautiful orange Reliable Irons to celebrate Mother's Day.  Head over to this post and follow the instructions to win.  Three is great odds. I'm going to enter, too.  Hey, at the rate I go through irons, I need extra!

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Last week I gathered up all my UFO blocks and I decided to finally make the quilt I had thought about for more than a year now.  I've seen some other quilts like it around blogs, too.  Whenever I would have left over blocks from a project, I would keep the blocks together not wanting to let go of my "extras".   
Shelbie and Whitney helped me figure out the placement of all my blocks.  I was pleasantly surprised with how it worked out.  Some of these blocks are 7 years old and some are just from last year.  Some of the blocks are from past quilts and some are sample blocks to proof drawings.
Since my colors tend to be similar from project to project, it was rather easy to gather them into a cohesive quilt top.  It was nice that there was a great number of the blocks similarly sized.
You might recognize some of the blocks from more current projects.  I put together half square triangles from a baby quilt I made into the blue scrappy blocks above.
I also included my Farmer's Wife blocks that have just been sitting in a box.  Why not?  I probably won't ever finish that anyway and I'm happy to see them belong to a project.
The basket block in the middle was a trial block from a fabric company quilt.  The stars are from my heritage quilt.  The little houses up on the top edge of this photo are blocks I couldn't stop making from Lori's Row by Row quilt.
You'll see lots of PKM fabric.  I fit blocks in and sashed as needed.  I used two prints for sashing to maintain the scrappy look.  Fitting blocks together was kind of like working a quilt puzzle.
The border fabric is a Japanese import fabric in a reproduction feedsack print.  I have been saving it and saving it.  For what?  Why not use it?
I've seen lots of names for left over block quilts like this.  Originally in my head I even named it the ugly quilt.  But I think don't think it ended up ugly at all.  Once quilted, this is a quilt I'm going to put on a bed and use.  It's sort of like a diary quilt and I want to enjoy looking at it.


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