Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Checking in on the New Year's Resolutions!!!

It is March 5, 2014 and the year has been moving at the speed of light. I have been pondering about what I promised myself that I would accomplish this year. Yes, the dreaded New Year's Resolutions!!!  Let's see how I am doing thus far?

Resolution #1:  Exercise and Lose Weight
    I think everyone makes this resolution. I know I do every year. Well, my Husband, Jeremy, and I did sign up for a gym and we have been faithfully going at least 3-4 times a week. And you'll be so proud of us, we even have a personal trainer that we see each Saturday morning for half an hour each and then we do our cardio workout. Whether that be taking an Aquafit (water Aerobics) class, Step Aerobics, Zumba (me, not Jeremy), or just plain getting on the treadmill or bikes for 30-60 minutes.  Yay us!!!  Our weight hasn't trimmed down as fast as we'd like but we'll work on our nutrition next.

Resolution #2:  Try or Learn Something New
     Let me show you what I have accomplished so far with this resolution. It has been so amazing!!! I love learning new things!! It's enlightening to the mind and uplifting to the soul to get out of our comfort zones, use our intelligence that Heavenly Father gave us, and discover new talents that we didn't know we had!!!  It's pure Joy and this is what life is all about!!! Try It!!! You will surprise yourself what you can do!!!

   Here is what I have been discovering . . . .

           Sewing pioneer clothes for a Youth Pioneer Trek for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is one thing I do not at all, Sew my own clothes or create clothes from a pattern. So let me show you what I've made.

The Apron is made from two queen size pillow cases sewn together for thickness. I did add pockets which were made out of our old, clean (thoroughly sanitized) fabric shower curtain.
Pioneer Apron over the skirt

The front of the apron over the skirt

The back of the skirt

Male Pioneer Shirt made in 15 minutes
The Skirt is made from a King Size bed sheet found at Goodwill. I was able to make two skirts out of one bed sheet. I found the pattern online for the skirt and the Male Pioneer shirt.  I was so excited to learn how to do gathering. Therefore I learnt two things from one project. Gathering and sewing a skirt without a pattern that you buy at the store.

Close up of Male Pioneer Shirt

Male Pioneer Shirt Close up #2
 The Male Pioneer Shirt was made from a button down dress shirt from Goodwill. I bought a white one and a light blue one.  The instructions I found online. "A Pioneer Shirt in 15 Minutes". Great instructions and the step-by-step pictures were easy to follow and were exactly what I needed.

The Pattern I tried out
 This pattern I did purchase at Joann's Fabric and thought that I would give it a go. Why not?!! I already created two skirts and two shirts on my own. I was feeling ambitious and adventuresome. This is where my sewing skills are lacking. I did pretty good. I was making the dress in the middle. This too, I used a bed sheet from Goodwill as my fabric. I made part of the dress but I made it too big and I didn't know who to fix it plus having to do sleeves. YIKES!!!!

Needless to say the dress is still partially done. It took me too long and it wasn't as easy as the picture looks. I wasn't about to attempt the bonnet. My parents and hubby found two perfect bonnets at the LDS Deseret Bookstore for me. I didn't attempt to make the bonnet from the pattern. It was worth a try though for the dress. Still not a seamstress, I'm definitely a quilter through and through!!!

Resolution #3 Write in my Journal
    Maybe there are others out there who are just like me that have several journals that you've started but never filled up. Are you the start and stop kind of journaler? Oh that is sooo me. Except for one time in my life I was a dedicated journal writer. I was serving an 18 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Adelaide South Australia Mission. I made a commitment that I would write every day in my journal of my experiences, disappointments, struggles, successes, and daily life as a missionary. Guess what? I did it!  I had to catch up on some days a couple of times, but I actually did it!!! I have 3 1/2 journals (full size journals, not the small ones) filled. I mean every line, front and back. I thought that it was such a habit for me to write that I would definitely keep up with my journaling when I returned home and got back into every day living. That didn't last long. :(

But I am trying my best this time round. I keep my journal out where I can see it and I have been trying to write once a week. It's a perfect activity for keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. But I do write during the week if inspiration comes, something occurs that I just can't wait to write it down, or thoughts and ideas that just pop into my head as I read my scriptures or a prayer was answered.  It's a type of genealogy. Did you know it? It's your history for your posterity. Maybe that can be my inspiration to write in my journal.

I am sure there are many more resolutions that I made but those are the ones that I stood out in my mind that I have already accomplished or striving to keep up with throughout the year.

How are you doing on your resolutions? Ponder, rewrite, and go to work on those resolutions. It's ok to adjust and definitely to start over. That's why another day is a great blessing. We get to try again!!!

So go through your resolutions and see how you are doing so far? Not doing so great, start now and GO TO WORK!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Adventure for my Mum and I!!!!

This post is not to demonstrate how to create a certain quilt but to hopefully inspire others to try something new and see what happens!!! Let me tell you the new adventure my Mum and I took this year.

Our adventure began when my wonderful Sister-in-Law posted on Facebook that she had entered several things that she had made, including a photograph that she had taken, into the Coeur 'd Alene, Idaho Fair. She won Grand Champion for a crocheted quilt she made, her photograph won a ribbon, and quite a few other items she entered into their Fair also won. I was so excited for her.

Thank you for inspiring me Mandee. I love you dearly!!!

So I got to thinking. Hey, we have a State Fair here in Arizona, why don't I check out what can be entered in the Fair? So I did just that. I discovered I could enter my very first pieced quilt that I made back in 2005. I also discovered I could enter a quillow that I just completed for my Mum's friend. I researched further, and found I had a 3rd quilt that could be entered under the category, Pieced and Machined quilted. But wait!!! There's more!!! I saw I could send in four photos under the Amateur Small Color Photo category. So I did!!!

Don't go anywhere there's still more!!!!

I stumbled on a handmade clothing accessories category and a hair accessory category. Perfect!! My mum created two sets of fabric flowers just using a candle and polyester fabric. She made two of them hair clips and two other flowers into brooches. I asked if she wouldn't mind if I entered those
into the fair. With a bit of laughter she said sure, why not. Let's just give it a try and see what happens.

Let see what happened when I went to check on our entered crafts......

The Arizona State Fair began on October 11 and ran thru til November 3rd 2013. My Hubby, Jeremy, and I went on a Saturday to see how Mum and I did on our entries. Here are the results...

My Machine Pieced/Machine Quilted Entry: Dutch Windmills pattern

  My First Pieced Quilt made in 2005 at Sun Valley Quilts in Quilting 101 taught by Betty Hahn:

My Quillow that was made for my Mum's friend back in my hometown:

No for my Mom's entries!!!
Fabric Flowers for your Hair:


My Mum's Fabric Flowers-Brooches:

We couldn't believe it!!!! We have never entered our crafts into the Arizona State Fair and look what happened!!! Everything we entered won a ribbon.  I was soo excited I was jumping around at the fair. I was almost in tears. We thought it would just be fun to enter things in not even expecting to win anything at all.. and LOOK!!!! We are amazing!!!!
You are probably wondering, what about your photographs? Didn't you say you entered four photos into the State Fair? I sure did. I received a letter informing me how my photos were judged. Photos that received 11pts-15pts will be displayed. One of photos earned 11pts. I had a 2nd photo that almost made the cut at 10pts and my other two photos received 9pts. I was thrilled!!!
Here are the four photos I entered in the Amateur Small Color Photo Category:
I called this one "This is my Best Side"
A Mallard duck in Victory, British Columbia, Canada

I called this one "Town on Stilts" Ketchikan, Alaska
Taken on our Alaskan Cruise

This is called "Married Man's Trail. This was
also taken in Ketchikan, Alaska
This I called "A Quiet Retreat" This was
taken in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
at their City Park, Beacon Hill Park

The photo that was displayed for all to see at the Arizona State Fair is........
And the Winner is..... "Town on Stilts" Photographed by Cambria Thompson in Ketchikan, Alaska on her Alaskan Cruise with her Hubby Jeremy!!!!
So the moral of this story is simple. If you have things that you are good at making, whether it be food, clothing, quilts, crochet, knitting, fabric flowers and even amateur photography, try entering them into your own County Fairs and State Fairs. You may be just as shocked and surprised as my Mum and I were!!! We had so much fun doing it that we are going to enter things into the fair next year.
Be adventurous and go and try something new!!! Step out of your comfort zone and try it!!! Whatever it may be!!! You will be surprised at where it might take you, what you might love, or you may discover a brand new hobby!!! Don't be afraid, share your talents so others can enjoy them too.
Happy crafting, quilting, cooking, baking, writing, photographing, painting, crocheting, knitting, scrapbooking, blogging, singing, choreographing, drawing, and countless other talents that you all love to do!!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kid Friendly Kreation, The "Knotted Quilt"

The No-Sew Knotted Fleece Quilt

This "Knotted" quilt will be one of the simplest quilts you will ever make in your entire quilting life!!! In fact, it's so simple even a child can do it. Well they could!!! I mean, kids have done it!! No really, they've done them all on their own (with a little adult supervision). I have proof! Take a look for yourself.

   My friend Beth's kids working on their own knotted quilts

Working on her quilt at home.
(Picture from Google search)

Kids in a classroom working on their
knotted quilt project. (picture found on Google search)
As you can see anyone can do these quilts. They are soooo fun and easy. I love them because you can either purchase a kit from Joanne's Fabric, Michaels, even has the kits for purchase, or possibly Hobby Lobby. The kit has everything you need, the fabrics are already cut into squares and the sides are all ready fringed. If you happen to have the Accuquilt cutting system they too have a fringed cutting die to create these types of quilts as well. They are a big hit.

Here are some pics of the what the kits look like. These could make some great gifts, just purchase the gifts, wrap and give to your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, your best friend's kids, secret santa gift or perfect for a white elephant gift exchange. Just to give you a few ideas.
It looks like there are several kinds of kits. Some with just plain solid squares and some with added shapes and designs. Plenty of fun and creative choices.
Everyone creates their knotted quilt differently. The kits have individual squares, some cut 6" squares in all 4 corners, some do 4", some have done rectangles instead of squares out of each corner. Either way you decide, it's right. I have links below to several different ways to create these knotted quilts. It's up to you and your creativity which one you choose. Or take a little bit from each and come up with your own design and instructions.

Printable Instructions



I did not learn from a kit I, myself, got onto YouTube and found several how to videos that I liked and learned from them. So below are a few of the videos that I viewed and thought were the best ones. Of course, you can search YouTube yourself and find one that you like. This will just get you started.

YouTube Video Tutorials

1.  Alex Toys Kit video

2.  Homestead Acres Video

3.  Thatsummer Video

I did not make a knotted quilt for myself. What I did was I watched some of the above videos on how to do it, then went over to my friend Beth's house to teach her boys how to make their own. I chose their fabrics and they did the work. Both Beth and I assisted the boys when needed. There is no need for a sewing machine therefore, it was safe for her youngest son, 5 years old at the time, to make his own. As long as the kids can use scissors they are good as gold!!!

Dinosaurs and Camoflauge!!!!

Dream quilts for boys!!!

Another great thing about these quilts was the project was counted toward a cub scout badge. So he completed a requirement and got his very own quilt out of it. These are so quick and easy. There are so many different colors, patterns, and designs for fleece that you can create some amazing quilts.

Another day of fast and easy quilt patterns. From the "Quilting Kitty"... Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Try a Twist on Triangles, it's Truly Easy!!!

I haven't blogged in quite a while. I have been quite busy with three other non-quilting projects. Changing the color of all our cabinets, creating a fairy house and garden for a co-worker's birthday and turning her desk into pixie hollow, and finally sewing cooling neck bandannas for girls going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Girls Camp. Busy, busy, busy.

Just before I took on those massive projects, two are done and the cabinets are still a work in progress, I did finish a quilt for one of the Sister Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have the LDS missionaries living with us, therefore, I plan to make each one a quilt before they leave our home to their next assigned area. Lofty goal, I know, but they'll remember their time with the Thompson's every time they look at their quilt.

Let me show you my inspiration, the finished quilt, and of course the step-by-step instructions so you can make your own fun with the quilt that I call "Triple Pattern Triangles".

My Inspiration

My Finished Quilt " Triple Pattern Triangles"



 Now for the How To... it's not as hard as it looks!!!!

To begin, I will be honest, it will take some time to cut, press, and sew all the triangles depending on the size of block that you cut in the beginning. The larger the square the faster the project with go.
Choosing your fabric will be strictly up to you and your creativity. I found these fabrics: 

Black and red are the Sister Missionary's  favorite colors so I found both of these fabrics at Walmart. I love Hawaiian prints and I fell in love with the red and black circles, They were perfect. For a different look see the inspiration picture for fabric and layout ideas.

The next step is to decide what size block you want to use. I would not go any smaller than a 5" block but you can go as large as you want... 10", 12", 19" the fabrics the limit!!!

I chose to use a 5" but I think the next time I'd like to do either  an 8" or 10".  If I remember right, I believe I purchased 2 yards of each fabric.

I then cut both fabrics into 5 1/2" strips, as many as I could get out of each fabric.

I then cut the these strips into 5 1/2" squares and kept the fabrics in separate piles. This will come in handy with the next step.

 After cutting the 5 1/2" blocks from both fabrics and placing them into two different piles, I used the Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Company, 1/2 square and 1/4 square triangle easy technique. This technique is amazing!!!!

Take one block from each pile and place right sides together. (Pretty sides facing each other). Then sew a 1/4" seam around the entire block. It doesn't matter which side you choose to sew on. Pick a side, any side. And sew, sew, sew!!! It helps when you have a friend to sew with. This is Caesar, my quilting Min Pin.
Don't forget you can chain piece these to make it the job go even faster.

Your blocks should look like this: 

No comes the magic!!! How to get 4 triangles out of this one square with only two cuts and sewing once time. Alachazoo a mysticalboo and Bibiddi Bobbidi BOO!!!

Magic, you now have 4
 perfect 1/4 square triangles
Let's take this slowly. Take a ruler and place it on the diagonal of your block and make a cut with your rotary cutter using your ruler as your guide. 2nd, Turn your block carefully, to keep the 1/2 square triangles together or you reposition yourself, and cut on the opposite diagonal again using your ruler as a guide. Voila!!! You now have 4 perfect 1/4 square triangles.
I got into my quilting zone that I didn't realize how many blocks I actually sewed and cut into these triangles. I made this quilt up as I went. Once I'm in the zone I lose track of time, what the animals are getting into...

and where they sneak off too...
 oh it's nap time for Caesar.
and how many triangles I actually needed to make. I think I got a little carried away. Nope, I made enough to go 12 triangle blocks across and 17 triangles down. I know it sounds INSANE!!! But remember I used small a 5 1/2 " block and cut those into four triangles. You'll use less if you make your original blocks larger. I also was making this quilt for a tall young woman and I wanted to make sure she had enough quilt to cover her toes.
Look at my pretty pile of triangles!!!!!

Next step: Take a triangle and set the seam. That simply means, grab the iron, and run it over the stitches before pressing the block open.

 Open your triangle with light fabric on the table. We are going to press open all of our triangles.

 Press every triangle toward the dark fabric. This is going to help us when we sew the blocks and rows together. This is a key step in getting all of our points to match up and allow us to easily nestle each block with the next.

 After you press open your block to the dark side you will end up with little rabbit ears on all four corners. We do not want those therefore, we are going to get rid of them.

 Take a small pair of scissors, you could use your rotary cutter and ruler but it's much easier to do it this way, and snip off the rabbit ears.

It should look like this on all four corners. You will have a nifty pile of these rabbit ears after you snip them off every block that you have pressed.

Now you have a perfect square in which to turn any which way you want to change the way your quilt will look. This is the twist part of the title.  You can get a different look depending on which way you turn your blocks. Go ahead, get creative before you sew your blocks together.

 Can you see something that doesn't quite belong on this quilt? Does it look like I made a mistake in my placement of blocks? Look closely!!! What do you see?

 Now it's time to test out your design skills. Lay out your blocks and see what designs you can make by just twisting and turning each block. Lay it out several times until you reach the look you love.  Remember when I said to look closer. I added a second pattern in the middle of the quilt. Let's get a closer look, shall we?

Just turning 4 corners to the center
 I created a diamond.
 Time to sew the blocks into rows. Take two blocks and place them right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam until you have completed your first row. I have 10 in each row. Sew and Repeat.
It's always a joy to have some help in the quilting room. Bremley the Quilting Kitty makes sure my fabric does not fall off the table and that I don't lose my place when I'm sewing blocks together.

Once you have all the blocks sewn into rows, now it's time to sew the 2nd row to the 1st row. Don't forget to lay out your rows to make sure your pattern is still the same. Have a quilting partner assist you with this stage of the project. Note: Bremley the Quilting Kitty is always the perfect helper.
Border Time: I chose to use up some of my fabric from a previous project as the border. I cut a  The quilt wasn't quite large enough even after I had sewn on a 2 1/2" black Leaf border.

 I got my creative juices flowing and came up with the idea to take my 5 1/2" blocks and strips that I had left over and created a second border. It turned out beautifully!!!!

Quilt with final border
. It's finally the size I had envisioned!!!

 The final step was to put on the backing and turn the quilt. I was pressed for time so I didn't use a binding. I found a cute heart fleece fabric from Joanne's Fabrics and put the quilt top and fleece right sides together, sewed a 1/4" seam all the way around.(Except for a slot to pull the quilt through). Sewed up the opening for turning the quilt and it was complete!!!

 I hope this jump started your creative juices and you try out a quilt with 1/4 square triangles. They aren't as scary as they look or seem.
Happy Quilting from Bremley the Quilting Kitty, Caesar the Quilt Tester, and Me, the Quilter!!!