Summer has finally arrived in my neck of the woods, and I’m pretty happy about it. Even though there is a chance of a pop-up thunderstorm almost daily, for the most part the sun is shining and the weather is extremely warm. Which makes for some really nice pool time.

Clear cool pool water

My little rubber duck has his shades on and floats quite contently while he monitors the temperature of the water. He is one cool duck! 🙂

This summer I am giving myself permission to enjoy the little things – an hour in the pool, swinging on the front porch watching the birds, or even reading a book. Doing so has allowed me to be much more productive when quilting and also much happier. Life is way too short to be stressing over my job, and I find that taking some ‘me time’ out of my day makes me a better person to be around. I hope you are enjoying some personal time too!

Last week I finished a customer quilt I had spent several days working on. I was happy when it was done, and really happy that my customer seemed pleased when she picked it up. She’s entering it in a local quilt show this week and I hope she does well.

There’s a lot of quilting in the quilt – stitch in the ditch and echoing a lot of the shapes in the fabric. But it’s difficult to see all the quilting because of the busy-ness of the prints and the blending thread color. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say I have more than 25 hours of stitching time in this beauty!

Cheryl Sparks top quilted by Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts

Cheryl, the lady who pieced the top, did an outstanding job on the top. The fans in the blocks have been meticulously fussy cut and stitched back together to look as if it’s one piece of fabric. Talk about patience! I’m happy to quilt a top like this – don’t think I would *ever* make one though. I’ll let the professionals do that kind of detailed piecing! LOL

Cheryl Sparks top quilted by Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts
Check out the piecing in that center block!

You can see what I mean about the fussy cutting a little better in the picture above. In the center block if you look at the inside of the fan you can just barely make out the blades of the fan. And then there is a curved red sashing piece on the outside and inside of the fans that finishes at 1/4″ inch.

Crazy!

Crazy good!!

I used rulers and my ProStitcher to complete Cheryl’s quilt. I learned a lot about combining designs and editing them in the Art & Stitch software. It’s pretty exciting to take a couple of designs and turn them into something else that is exactly what I needed for the blocks. There’s a lot to learn about these two powerful programs, and I’m always so excited when I figure out how to do something new with them.

In addition to spending time in front of the longarm, I’ve also been making test blocks for a quilt that might become a Cooking Up Quilts pattern. (This is where the ‘does size really matter’ question comes in.)

I designed a quilt in EQ8 and liked the way it looked. Until I made a couple of the blocks.

Here is Block A:

Pattern Design by Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts

It finishes at 12″ and I like the way it looks. It’s a log cabin style block that shows off the print in a really cool way.

And then there’s Block B:

Pattern Design by Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts

Yuck.

Even though it looks good in my electronic drawing, in real life the proportions of this block are all off. So….it’s back to the drawing (and cutting) board. Which is a bit irritating because I’ve made 11 of these already. So I’m going to get my seam ripper out, take the blocks apart, do a bit of redesigning, and make these blocks again. A pain in the behind, but I want this quilt to look as good as I have it pictured, so it will be worth it in the long run.

I don’t know how much quilting I’ll get to do this week – we’ll be spending time with family for the Independence Day holiday. I’m looking forward to playing with the kiddo’s, they are sooo much fun! But I know I’ll have withdrawals if I don’t get to sew something, so you know I’ll be sneaking in a little stitching time…

But her teeth are clean! 🙂

Now it’s time for you to share the projects you’ve been working on for Main Crush Monday. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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