Friday, February 27, 2009

Where did Feb go to???

Mother nature just reminded us here in the NW that we are still in the winter months. Planes were grounded, roads were ice covered and it was 23 degrees when I started my car yesteray morning. What perfect weather for curling up in your favorite chair and hand quilting your latest project.
Staying home and quilting is always a thought that passs through my mind, especially as my nose froze with the first few intakes of cold air. But then reality set in and I headed to work.

So now some quilting photos. I taught a basic Machine Quilting class last Sat and here are the Snowmen made by Janet W. and Betty. They drew their own pieces and are now ready to stitch around their new friends.

These are way too cute. As for Janet's passion, it's hand applique and celtic work. Here is the sample of what she is teaching in April at Calico Country in Lynden WA. I've signed up and am excited to learn this techique on a small project like this.

That's all for today, the sun is shining, I"ve got a full day of sewing planned with my gal pal Muriel on Saturday, cocktails with my non quilty gal pals tonight, it's going to be a great weekend!
Take time to sew, it's good for the soul.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Tisket, a Tasket......

I have finally got the pictures from my camera to my pc. I'm falling behind on the "post a day" that I thought I could do. I think everyone starts out with this idea. I realized I just don't make the time for this to happen. Oh well, I'm just one person in the blog world of millions and the sun will still rise in the morning even if I don't post every day.

This basket wall hanging was started July 2008 at a Jo Morton workshop. There were two reasons why I signed up for this, to get me out of my house for a day and to learn what "back basting applique" was. It was successful on both accounts. I'm thrilled at how this turned out, it was machine pieced and hand quilted. The original fabric/color scheme was NOT vintage/reproduction and well, it's amazing the path these blocks traveled. When it came time for sashing and borders, Jo's fabrics won over anything else. It needs blocked but I love the finished results.

Tuesday night was Piecable Guild night, I love the Show and Tell part the best. It is so inspiring to see other peoples work. Here is a picture of Janet W.'s table runner, Celtic Applique. She has taken many classes in Hawaiian applique and her work is amazing. She is teaching in April and I jump at any chance to take any type of applique class, I always learn something new.

The final rows of quilting went on Norma T's HUGE quilt and it is a beauty. She's lucky I don't have a bed this size, otherwise she might not see it again :-) Her piecing is so controlled and precise, I love working on her quilts.
It's boxed up and going back today. As soon as that was off my machine, I grabbed a hand pieced sampler that I started several years ago, got it loaded and basted, so now I have a few months of hand quilting. At least it's off the hanger in my second bathroom..aka..the batting storage room! And now my next quilt is a beautiful red/white/blue top for a returning soldier. It will be quilted with love!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Get out your sunglasses!

Am I blinding you? Whoohoo, my Vit D count has gone from 11 to the mid 30's, so I'm definitely full of sunshine. Wow, it's Monday already, what happened to the weekend? I worked Sat and then Sunday spent the day playing with my gal pal Muriel. We were both very good, we went to the only open quilt shop, Two Thimbles, but didn't spend a dime. We admired all the beautiful fabric and samples, grabbed the Shop Hop booklet and went for lunch. Now we have the map and address to all the best shops when we have our pockets full of fabric money. Sunday just wasn't one of those days.

I did learn how to put in a zipper. Muriel has the best way for a covered closure for a pillow back out outside pocket on a messenger type bag. I was going to say, "as easy as pie" but let's be serious, I've only made one pie in my life, so it's definitely easier!

Happy Presidents Day, I can't imagine wanting that job for longer than one day :-)

Sew something today!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Full of Sunshine??

Today is the day, I'm going to the Dr to get my Vitamin D results and I'm sure I'm full of sunshine! Have you had your D checked? Why not, it's quick and easy and oh so good for you.

I'm on the home stretch with a small wall hanging that I started last July. Jo Morton was in the Pacific NW and it was a thrill to take a class from her. So many tips and tricks were taught that day, it changed my quilt making forever. I've been hand quilting this project and am now on the binding. Jo uses a single fold binding so I'm trying this method. Makes for a very narrow binding, but it really works on the small projects. It will get finished tonight when I catch up on my tv viewing. I love Fast Forward! I'll post tomorrow when the binding is done.

Here is a picture of a beautiful quilt. My good friend Norma T. pieced this and I quilted it. What a thrill to see our work in Skamania lodge. Mmmm, I miss the Friday night buffet there with Paula K.

When I see this I am reminded of how far we have both come with our skills.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate squares and bars...without the calories.

When I took my first quilting class back in 2001, it was a 6 week "Sampler" class. The supply list said to pick a focus fabric and then pull in other prints to match and voila, you will have the right stuff for your new quilt. When I got to the first class, everyone had these stacks of beautiful florals, all co-ordinated, romantic and oh so pretty! I loved my choices, little prairie prints, bandana prints, calico's, but they were BROWN.The teacher said I needed some additional prints so up to the quilt store we go.....except they don't carry any browns. So I got the only thing they could justify to add to my group and it was a plaid. I didn't like it, but I went could I not, I knew nothing and these women knew "everything". I never grew to love that plaid, but I still love browns. Maybe it's a subconcious love affair with chocolate, but there are no calories in fabric! It was several years later I phoned back to that store to ask the teacher something. I explained who I was and why I was calling and when it clicked; "I remember you, you're the one who quilts with BROWN! Fast forward 7 - 8 years and I'm trying to get a handle on my scraps. After reading Bonnie Hunters website/blog with great interest, I am tackling my scrap bags and guess what, I'm still quilting with brown! So here is my latest project, all done without purchasing a piece of fabric, in fact, I didn't even cut into a full fat quarter and here I have a 54 x 54 top. This came to fruition based on trying out Bonnie's techniques. I am the quilter who never saved the corner triangles that got cut off, too tedious to make sense out of these scraps. Always one to learn a new way, I took her advise and sewed the double seam and saved the trimmings. She calls them bonus blocks. I now have a bag with 144 3 1/2" 1/2 sq triangles, ready for another project. And here is how you trim to perfect 1/2 sqs.

There is a funky corner on the dark side of these 1/2 sq's due to the nature of the mother block they from and it makes things fast for lining up your ruler.

Here is the same spot on the ruler, this matches on every block and makes for fast work with little thinking, it becomes "assembly line" work.

This always matches up to the same spot, so it makes for a fast work. Check that the 45 degree line on the ruler is matching your block.

Trim the right and top sides with the ruler in this position.

Double check your measurements. All you need to look at is this point.

Trim the second side and top and you should have a perfect 1/2 square triangle.

Here is my stack of bonus blocks. I'm sold out on this method, I got a beautiful scrappy top pieced and at the same time I ended up with all these blocks. If I set them in a pinwheel pattern, added a plain setting square and put some borders around it, I'll have a second quilt with very little extra piecing.
Almost as good as chocolate!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Do I have a Signature?

Why I am doing this at 12:46 a.m. is beyond me. Annie is sacked out on the floor outside the door, just waiting for me to step over her and go to bed. I was out tonight at a 50th b-day with a group of long time friends. None of us turned 50! Still a few years to get there. But there is 50+ years of friendship in this picture!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Other Child

I have been feeling like a bad mother, sharing a picture of Miss Molly and not Annie a.k.a. Anna BananaRama the Super Dog. She has been my faithful buddy since Dec 2007 and I felt like she really connected with me this past summer. It has taken a lot for her to rebound from the loss of her dad. She comes to work every day, she even has her picture on the wall of office staff! So here is a picture of her during one of the many snow days we had here in Blaine, WA

And on to some quilting news. I've been working on a scrappy quilt that is FAST and EASY. I started cutting the 2" strips and 3 1/2" squares Friday night and have all 36 blocks completed and ready to be put together. This was done by Tues night and yes, I did go to work Monday and Tuesday. No fabric was purchased for this project and I didn't cut into any pieces that were bigger than a Fat Quarter. There is also a bonus to this pattern, I also have a bag with almost 200 1/2 sq triangles that are 3 1/2 inches, trimmed and ready to be used in another project. These are made in the process of making the large block. Pattern is from and it's called Pineapple Blossoms. A modified Pineapple block but fast, easy and I didn't buy one piece of fabric for this top. The center will finish out at 54 x 54. Borders have yet to be decided on.
Next posting will be a bit of a photo tutorial on squaring up the bonus 1/2 sq triangles that are born from this block. And yes, I'm still working on the layout of this blog. Maybe this weekend? I do want to see some open houses, looking for the house with the "quilting studio" area. Everyone has their priorities when house shopping, mine is a little different, but it's mine!

Take time to quilt today!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to School

If you think you can follow directions without a problem, try taking a 2 column blog and turning it into 3 columns. Just type in the new code, right? No problems, except I can't get any info into the 3rd column. %*&$ An hour later and I"m back to square one. Maybe, just maybe, you will be looking at a 3 column blog by weeks end.

Still trying

I have posted lots of pictures in my Webshots account.

Learning Curve

OK, I just lost everything that I typed. I'm trying to see how to add links to the blog. Let's try this again

Keeping my fingers crossed this time it works.......and I've copied it so I won't have to retype this again. It's just like when I spend 10 minutes typing out an email, and then my pc freezes up and the email gets deleted before I sent it. Gotta love technology, it makes our lives so much better :-)

Small Project with Big Results

My 2009 quilting resolution was to not start any big projects this year. I am currently in the middle of a 30's repro BOM and a mystery quilt from my guild, Piecables, in Lynden WA. I also have other UFO's that will rise to this blog some time throughout this year. So for now, I'm only going to start small projects. How perfect that I got a small Santa Applique on a stand from my gal pal Muriel. I take it home and it has a perfect place in my over crowded house...but Christmas decor doesn't last for the whole year.

A Feathered Star has been roaming through my mind for a while, so I'm thinking, why not make a 12" x 12" block for this rack. As I start looking through one of my books, I got as far as the C's and this is the result of going off in a different direction. I have admired Catherdral Windows and now I can take this off my list of things I'd like to try. And thank goodess for that resolution, after making a 12" x 12" I bow to those who make entire quilts in this method.

Take time to quilt today, I will.