2/12/2014

The Great Hugs and Kisses Adventure...


Well hello thar!!
I am so EXCITED you came to visit my humble corner of the interwebz!


Before I get to showing you what I made for the blog hob, let me tell you...this was one HELL of a CHALLENGE for me. I'm pretty much a beginner in the world of quilting. I started last summer after finally taking the plunge to get a decent sewing/quilting machine to work on. 

Once I started getting going and popping out one thing after another, my friend over at Every Stitch a Prayer - Bellezza- asked me if I wanted to do a calendar block swap. One block a month for the next year with the first one being made in July (2013) so that we would essentially make a quilt for one another. What a FANTASTIC idea! 
You can see those in the tab above labeled "The Great Calendar Block Swap".

I used it as an excuse to explore different techs and methods of producing blocks. Along the way I completed my first log cabin lap quilt and made my first gift quilt, which can be seen under the tab "Quiltings" along with my other makings.

One person wondered "What is the donate button for?"
Well, once upon a time in a lifetime far far in the past, I use to produce tutorial videos and uploaded them to youtube. Whilst doing that I had some video card and memory issues on the old computer. By that time I had gathered quite the following and some folks offered to send money to help me keep going in that adventure. Enter the donate button! With those folks generous donations, I was able to get a new memory stick (one had gone bad) and continue to produce more tutorials. 
You can see those videos under the tab "A Few of my Youtube Videos".

I don't do so many now-a-days because there is just about everything you could ever want to see up on Youtube now.  I still have a couple folks who still follow the blog, even after the long-long-long hiatus I took from blogging in-between breaking up with the ex and moving out on my own for the first time. Well, that was a year and a half now and being single isn't so bad...except for I have to pay for everything on my own which can be a challenge at times since my job is seasonal. But, that's how it goes. I'm very lucky to have some super supportive and helpful friends. They helped me move out, move in and took me out to eat when I was broke. I. AM. BLESSED!!!

Anyhoo...I tend to ramble so stay with me here...

LOL
"Heart of a Smallish Stature"
First attempt....printed too small!!

I started sewing away and ironically enough, or maybe not so much, the HEART was the HARDEST part. Bellezza was not surprised at all about this. It became a symbol of my still mending broken heart from the aforementioned ex. I was struggling with the heart peice as I still do struggle to open my heart up again to receive love. So, in essence, this became a healing project. I was with this ex for THIRTEEN YEARS before the inevitable "straw that broke the camels back" happened and the shit hit the fan. The relationship was done LONG ago but I was still clinging on to the slim hope that things would get better...and 2012 was the year I finally could hold on no longer. And that's the very abbreviated version of that experience if only to give you an idea of the pain-in-the-arse this simple paper pieced heart was for me. It's not a hard pattern by any means. Everything is already laid out and ready to go! The first printing of the pattern made a pattern to small (I forgot to uncheck the "fit to page"), then my fabric pieces kept coming out too small...even after I had made sure they would fit!! Well fine, okay, thank you universe...I get it! Time to move on!! LOL!!

Okay, so I printed out the pattern...again to the correct size.
THEN...

THEN the border I wanted to add, (which was a bit of a learning curve to make with so many triangles!!!!!), WERE NOT FITTING!!!

Oh!! The madness!!

I took off those coping strips AT LEAST eight times....AT LEAST!

I even went to the library and found a book "Pieced Borders Workbook"  and TRIED to figure out the god-forsaken math from hell! Math has never been my strong suit. I have to sit down, turn everything off...and if there is noise from the neighbors then the earplugs come out. I have to have QUIET so I can sit and have a THINK.

Well okay...so I THOUGHT I had it figured out..and I tried it...and STILL...things were not coming together.

Son-of-a-biscuit!!
And time was ticking...

The more I thought about the math the more anxiety I felt and the worse the numbers came out.








SO I said "SCREW THIS!"

And I put the calculator away. I measured the borders against the piece and figured out the coping strips from that. There was a one inch difference in the width of the twisted ribbon border so I chopped off what I didn't need from the sides. 

KABAM!! 

DONE!!!

After struggling for nearly TWO WEEKS by trying to do it "the right way"....
it was finally, COMPLETELY, assembled!

Drumroll please!!!


Sunny day at last!

Unfortunately the day I took this photo it was cold, cloudy and snowing so no outdoor photos. I turned on all the lights and the flash to really light everything up. If the sun comes out tomorrow I will have to replace this with a sun kissed photo. The pinks look more white on my monitor, but they are pinks. The X is a micro print and the O is a polka-dot print. And I noticed, now, that the heart block that others have done does not have a third row of fetching on the arrow. Oh well. This one is uniquely mine.
There's no way I am ripping again on this project!!

No, it's not finished. It still needs to be quilted and bound, but like I mentioned before....this was a doosy of a challenge for me. So if you feel up to it, bookmark the blog (or follow in your blogroll) and look for the completed quilted piece in the future! I thought I had till the 14th to get that part done...NOPE!

Well, this is my first blog hop after all.
It was a very fun project to work on and I really do enjoy paper piecing.
And I have to say, with all I struggled with to get the top done...
I think I did fairly well, for a beginner quilter. 
Don't cha think?

So I wanted to do a give away for this special occasion. How about a couple fat quarters?
One of the heart print, one of the polka dot and one of the micro pink print?
I don't have anymore of the batik used for the heart on my piece.
Just leave a comment and when the hop is done, I will do a random number generator pick for a winner. :)



Be sure to check out the other ladies who are in the hop for today!

Feb 14th

Lady Soma

Lady Laura Ann

Lady Doris

Lady Rexie
YOU ARE HERE!

Lady Shari

Lady Cherry






Until next time...
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79 comments:

  1. Very colorful! The ribbon border is a good choice for framing these blocks. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog and leaving a kind word ... :) Pat

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  2. Well, that was quite the adventure, wasn't it? The final piece turned out lovely, though, so I think it was worth it! Thanks for the giveaway chance! dezertsuz at gmail

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  3. Nice job...this was a fun hop, so glad you joined in.

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  4. I'm proud of you. You stuck with it and figured it out!!! Good job! After this you can do just about anything. The ribbon border is a nice addition!

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  5. You really did a great job ! Thank you for joining the hop and sharing.

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  6. You did great! All quilting I do is an experiment in learning, figuring things out and having fun! You go girl! Karen

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  7. Wow - You did great! I love the ribbon border. Way to make it work!

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  8. You're a new quilter and you attempted these paper pieced patterns? Good for you, your project is beautiful! I wonder what you'll learn next?

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  9. Superbe, and the border fits perfectly to your XOX !!!

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  10. Fabulous! and I love the border too!

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  11. My first time here and I have to say, I like your style, lady. Your project turned out great, even the border. Your tenacity will always help you through any quilting project. Nice to meet you!

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  12. Quilted or not, your project is really cute!

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  13. I really don't know what to say…your first blog hop, your first attempt at paper piecing..did you enjoy anything about this HUGS and KISSES adventure…? lol
    YOU certainly are colourful I will give you that…and the fact that you actually did do a project that is not an easy one I applaud you for your perseverance…I am almost positive you have many our hearts laughing with you this Valentines DAY…. hugs and kisses to you!

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  14. oh ps…let me know if you would like me to pin your project to our pInterest board….

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  15. Oh sure! I don't mind that at all! I did enjoy it! The challenge is part of the fun even with the math problem! Lol!!

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  16. You can quilt it anytime....it is wonderful!

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  17. Congratulations on your first blog hop and paper piecing adventure. Your finished top is so fun and beautiful. Learning from every quilt is part of the fun. You certainly used this hop as a learning experience. Great job!

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  18. I think you did a fabulous job! I can totally relate to struggling with the mathematics; it's stymied me many times in many different projects. I have yet to really attempt paper piecing because I'm so intimidated lol.

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  19. your colors are wonderful and the border is such a great addition to it. I am delighted to read your journey with it! Great work!

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  20. Your runner is really nice...

    I wish I could have read the story behind it but the black background of your blog hurts my eyes. sorry. :)

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    1. Oh no! I'm sorry. It's hard to find a balance with color text and backgrounds. Thanks for visiting anyhow!

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  21. Your project is beautiful despite all of the misadventures in creating it!

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  22. What a challenging project you undertook. Kudos on your persistence with the border! It turned out lovely, svonfumetti at yahoo dot com

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  23. You did a great job! It seems all that hard work paid off!
    I do hope this was a healing experience for you. Hang in there!

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  24. Great colours. Love the wall hanging. Thanks so much for sharing

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  25. Despite the problems, you have a lovely quilt. Thanks for sharing.

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  26. I think you did a great job. It is very difficult to heal a broken heart, and you were piecing it back together. Maybe it gave you some peace--it sounds like you have had a rough life. That said, quilting is such a therapeutic hobby. I'm glad that you have become one of us. Each of us grows a little with each project. You are doing an awesome job!

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  27. I admire your tenacity to this project. What a great project!!!! I'm glad you shared the emotion that went with it. Yesterday was a hard day for me. It would have been my ex-husband's 63rd birthday. We had only been divorced 7 months when he was found dead in his apartment last July. On top of that, we had a memorial service for one of our church classmates. My first husband and I had lots of ups and downs. I started to leave him at 3 months and HE divorced me at 23.5 years. Last March we thought maybe we could try again. Oh, my! It started out ok and then we took a trip to visit our daughter. I almost left him there. I knew he couldn't get home on his own. Then I almost stopped at a hospital on the way home to drop him off and leave his *&( there. Geez! So, I can empathize with your blight. You did an amazing job on your project and I hope you are able to take small steps forward.

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  28. It is nice to read about the struggles you went though to get to the finish. Often we omit this part and others think everything is a breeze. I like the idea of the ribbon border on your blocks.

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  29. Paper piecing is one of those things that gives you great pride once you figure it out, which you did...great job for sticking to it! Congrats on making it through your first blog hop, too!

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  30. hahahahahaha A girl after my own heart. When it comes to math, I am in complete agreement with YOU!! Heck it come out great without that darn ole calculator, now didn't it!
    :-) :-)

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  31. hahahahahaha A girl after my own heart. When it comes to math, I am in complete agreement with YOU!! Heck it come out great without that darn ole calculator, now didn't it!
    :-) :-)

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  32. Nice! Great fabrics but best of all your border. It really sets it off. Amazing.

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  33. Cute! Sometimes it just takes a little time to get it just right! You did it.

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  34. What a beautiful project... I like the bold and bright colors. Welcome to the paper piecing world, where the sun shines more brightly after a few tears and seam ripping episodes! Yay to you for sticking it out the whole way!! Watch out, paper piecing and blog hops are addictive!!
    Susie

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  35. Great job! Love the ribbon border. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. Glad to see what you made- true perseverance and an example for those of us not willing to try pp! LOVE what you made!

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  37. You persevered and in the end it paid off. The border really complements the quilt. Great job.

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  38. Sorry to hear about you painful situation. They say time heals all. I pray that happens for you, I thought your "heart" looked great.
    Kathy Davis
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  39. Anonymous1:13 PM

    I think you did great for a first time paper-piecing. And I think you should be commended for sticking with it and producing something.

    senstrings (at) yahoo [dot] com

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  40. Love your project. It is so cute. All of your hard work really paid off.

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  41. What perseverance! I really like the ribbon border. It was worth all the frustration to get it right. Thanks for sharing. I will return to see your projected quilted.

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  42. Great job on your first paper piecing project. It's beautiful!!! I love the purple background.

    Thank you for joining the blog hop!
    -Soma :)

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  43. I think you did great!!!!

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  44. Your table runner/ wall quilt turned out very NICE Rexie....despite the problems you with it. Bravo Lady Rexie !

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  45. Congratulations on sticking with this PP project and making it. Your Heart and X and O are wonderful. Thank you sew very much for Hopping...

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  46. Love your effort. Keep it up. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  47. Nice work. Thanks for sharing.

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  48. I like how you made your boarder. That is the coolest dhadebof pink.

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  49. You did a great job with the quilt…the border is a great addition to the quilt. Thanks for sharing!

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  50. Well done!

    jachelno at gmail dot com

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  51. Congratulations on a great finish! I think its lovely! thank you for being part of the hop and for the giveaway!

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  52. Very nice. I love the border too. I had fun reading your blog. Thanks for making me smile this morning.

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  53. You did a beautiful job on your project I love the ribbon border and they are not easy so Kudos to you!

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  54. Yay for you! I think you did a great job! :)

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  55. Wow, for a beginner you did fabulous! I admire people who take up the challenge of paper piecing, I'm still not to that point yet myself. It's very generous to offer up some fat quarters, thank you for the opportunity and for sharing your work!
    ~Brandy

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  56. You are hilarious! Thank you for a very entertaining post. Your project is lovely and for a first timer at paper piecing - you did great!!!

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  57. A lot of hard work to get a healing heart, good job.

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  58. You did a wonderful job on your project. I don't think I could of made that border as I am a newbie also. Thank you for sharing your story with us. bpfrimmer@yahoo.com

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  59. Omg I was laughing at your post, then laughing at your comments about fighting the pattern and everything else. When it was all finished I loved what you accomplished.

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  60. Congratulations on persevering! I think it turned out great!

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  61. Congratulations on persevering! I think it turned out great!

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  62. You did an AMAZING job!!! Goooood Girl for sticking to it!!

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  63. Wow! The ribbon border is awesome! Yep...really like your piece!

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  64. Glad you didn't give up on this quilt, you did a great job! :)

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  65. As I sit her commenting on your project, I have a very large ice pack on my back and one around my neck, so I can sympathize with you! Love your contribution to the hugs and kisses hop and want to thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

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  66. I do believe that these hops are meant to be challenging so that we force ourselves to learn new things. Looks like that worked for you. Great little quilt and I like the ribbon border. Had you not said anything, I'd never have known there had been a problem!

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  67. Great job! For me making something is the best therapy. I sanded down and refinished a (big) piece of furniture getting over an ex once. I did it all by hand and had a lot of thinking time!

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  68. nice job, thanks for the chance

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  69. You did a great job on your borders! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  70. Well done! I really like how the ribbon border looks.

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  71. Great job and very colorful!

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  72. First, I think your project is fun and cute, the borders are pretty cool to.

    Borders are not easy in the first place, I won't tell you how many UFO's I have sitting around waiting for the right border.

    I think that as you grow as a quilter tho it will become easier and you might try some software such as Electric Quilt that will help you do the math for those borders.

    At the same time, blog hops are all about trying something new. I don't think you have to succeed every single time. To me, the challenge is in the learning and growing process.

    I loved your upfront and honest story, and as I've often read on my own blog from comments that people enjoy it when you are just upfront and honest about how easy or how difficult it was. Experienced quilters know it's not easy, but a beginner may not realize how difficult it really is. Best Wishes.

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  73. You did a beautiful job! I really liked how original it is!

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  74. Lovely work wonderful colors,
    thank you very much for sharing!

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  75. Enjoyed your post! You did great!

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