Sunday, February 28, 2010

Post Olympic Withdrawals

Well, two weeks of tv every night and all weekend long has now come to a close. I kept my commitment of only working on my hexagon project while watching tv and I'm thrilled with the progress I've made. My weekend got a bit sidelined with charity quilts. I finished a big flannel one for the Celilo Cancer Center in The Dalles, OR. I need to turn the binding and hand sew it then off it goes. Paula K. made the beautiful top and I did the quilting.
Them Muriel dropped off a top for the Canadian Military, and so politely asked, "Can I have that back on Thursday?" Of course I replied, chuckling inside. Then she thanked me so nicely and I realized she was serious! *grin*
I got up early and worked on a bit of it prior to the gold medal hockey game, ran downstairs in between periods and then finished it after the game was over.

I love that many hands went into making this quilt and I got the pleasure of quilting it. The backing fabric is so perfect, poppies. So now Muriel has the goal of getting the binding on and delivering this to the group who will make sure it gets into the hands of a deserving military person! They deserve so much more!
Vancouver says good bye to the 2010 Winter Olympics, they say the city will never be the same again, a success on all fronts! Job well done!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making Sense of Hexagons

My quilting goal for 2010 is to work on projects that I've already started.WIPS There were many found and organized when I moved and none of them were ones I was prepared to abandon. Well, OK, there was one or two that made the cut! I've committed to working on my hexagons (see more details here) during the Olympics and I've been faithful to this commitment. There is clarity in this project now, and I've gotten to a place which gives me confidence that I will finish this piece. There were times when I wasn't so sure about that.
Here is my progress, 31 flowers done with the connectors sewn on, 37 flowers waiting for connectors, 18 connectors sewn together, and 19 more connectors to make. That equals to 95 more red hexi's to baste, but there is the Canada/Russia hockey game on tonight, so I should be able to accomplish this tonight.
This picture shows how I'm going to connect the flowers to the red pathways and then how the rows go together. Once each row is sewn together, it will nest with the row beside it.
Log Cabin Update: The start of it all
I've been working on my scrappy Log Cabin and it found a home on the design wall at my work. I know, you're all thinking, Design wall at work? I thought Sharon worked at a trucking co? Well, I do, but we have a huge unused store room and that is were my boss and I have a huge design wall. Anyways, I have had my 144 log cabin blocks up on the wall for a while now, and I've slowly got them labeled and brought home. Here is a peek at my progress.4 rows and 3 rows pinned and ready to be sewn together. Another 5 rows still on the design wall, crying to come home and be with their brothers and sisters!
It's time to go to work, sit and stitch a few minutes today!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lovin' the Mailman

Look what was in my mailbox when I came home from work today?

I have to admit, I did get a heads up that a treat was coming to me, but I had no idea what it was. Thank you Paula, I love it. Red is the theme this month, Valentines Day, the Olympics! and it's my favorite color of fabric. I'm working on a red/cream quilt right now so this will be a nice addition to the mix!

It was a beautiful day here in the Pacific NW. Tonight I'm going to start quilting a charity quilt for the Cancer Center in The Dalles, Paula pieced the top. It's great, all flannels and guy colors. So many quilts are made in feminine and/or kids themes. It will be nice to have a "manly" quilt for them to pass along.

Stitch a bit today

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Flame and Quilting updates

Wow, words can hardly describe the feeling in downtown Vancouver BC, home of the Winter Olympics. I drove up Sat afternoon, then took the transit into the city. Just walking around and people watching was amazing. Here are a few pictures.

Scenes along Granville Street.
Funky chickens??

Paper lantern trees, this was very cool.

More Granville street lantern trees

Our group of friends starting out the adventures.

Yours truly in front of the flame.

This is the picture you get when  you are  not clear with instructions.  " Please take my picture with the torch in the background"  apparently translated to "please make it look like my hat is on fire!"

And finally, the Olympic Torch.  Simply a sight to see.




And on the quilting front, I managed to get my Liberated Amish challenge sewn together. Between quilting for customers, going to Vancouver, and mowing my lawn today, I got the center put together. I know, make a trip to the Winter Olympics AND mow my lawn the next day. Seems strange, doesn't it! My next challenge will be the Liberated Letters! Here's the expert on these letters.

I hit a garage sale looking for gardening tools. I came home with this.
This is the small pile of fabric from the yard sale. The other pile has about 3 times as much. All this for $5. And it's all quilt store quality, I see a green quilt in my future.
I, like thousands of others, follow along Pioneer Womans blog, and last week I saw a cake I just had to make. But I didn't have the right pan. I'm too cheap to go buy a pan for one thing.......but at $.25, yes, a quarter, I bought the pan at above mentioned garage sale. So this is cooling on my counter as I type.

It's time to walk my dog....hope you got to piece something this weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Plodding Along

I've been picking away at different projects so there are not great strides being made on any one thing. I did finish this one last week. Click on the photo for close ups.
Here is a close up of two blocks. They finished out at approx 11" wide and I used a 1" strip, finished at 1/2" for the spacer and did stitch in the ditch along each side. I did the stitching with Hobbs 80/20 batting behind, so I didn't add any when I put the back on and stitched along the spacers. Being a small project, I used 2" binding.
After looking through lots of books I have decided on my log cabin layout. 144 blocks and I've made my decision. I've started to label the blocks and have 4 rows sewn together. This will be my summer quilt, it's going to be a perfect fit for my bed. I'll post a picture when the top is all together.
I've joined in the Liberated Amish quilt blog, you can see it here. I only have small amounts of time at my sewing machine so I've been picking away at these liberated stars. I'm using a pack of hand dyes that I've had for far too long. I'm loving how this project is progressing. The liberated lettering is going to be my challenge, I'm pondering words for this and nothing has struck me yet.
It's Olympic I'm committed to working on my Hexi's. I've had a huge AHA moment, and now I have a handle on the design process of putting the hexis all together. My background is the red and since the weekend, I've got  these three rows on the right trimmed and ready to join together. I want all my flowers to this stage before I do any more joining, this way I can have control over the color layout.
20 down and about 65 more to go. This means I only need to make about 250 more red hexi's.
And on a closing note, Canada's first gold medal on Canadian soil, how spectacular and thrilling to watch. They played it over and over on tv, what a wonderful story about this young man and his family. Spectacular!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Olympic Fever

As an ex Vancouverite living south of the border, it's hard not to get caught up in Olympic Fever. It's right here, in my back yard, even though I now live in the U.S. The torch was going to pass through my little non-discript border town Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. I would be late for work! I got up early and did all the right things. Red jacket? Check! Believe toque? Check! Fresh batteries in camera? Check!
Even the best plans sometimes go array. I arrived at Peace Arch park, which is a 12-15 minute walk from my home. Standing on the hill looking down, I could see the crowd had already started to form and they lined up on both sides of the arch.
I pulled out my point and shoot trusty digital camera, snapped a couple of pictures and made my way down to the crowds

The bright light is not the torch, that's from all the tv crews set up on the other side of the Peace Arch. People politely lined up and made a path for the torch bearer to pass through. After taking these few pictures my camera gave me a warning "Batteries Exhausted". You've got to be kidding me, I just put new ones in before leaving home. Quickly I turned it off, hoping it would have a bit of juice left to capture at least one picture of the torch bearer.
Here is the torch arriving for the cross border ceremonies. Love the hockey sticks in the photo. Yes, it's blurry, it's the best my camera would do with the weak batteries
Here is the U.S. torch bearer taking the flame into the U.S. for several hundred yards.
This torch bearer is calmly waiting to take her turn, she would be running the torch back into Canada and on towards Vancouver.
These ladies? Well, I just had to see if I had one last picture in my batteries. These gal pals are 85 years old and came down from BC to see the torch pass through the Peace Arch. It was a cold morning, it was early. But they put on their Believe toques, bundled up and came out to see this once in a life time event.
Now that's team spirit!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Do you EQ?

I'm a "show me" type of learner and because of this, I signed up for an EQ 6 class at the LQS. I've got the book, I've worked my way through many different graphic softwares and yet I just didn't have the mojo to work through this book and tutorials. The class was great, step by step we created the sample quilt the instructor brought. I'd never make this project, but it's got me jumpstarted with the software. Oh to find all the time to do all the projects I already have in various stages of production.
This is my time to work on projects that I've already started. OK, I did give myself leeway to start one new project as long as it was hand applique. I'm well under way with that already. And then there was the challenge Tonya at Lazy Gal threw out into blogland, the Liberated Amish. I jumped on that one.....and I still have a list of projects that are in various stages of progress.
One such item is my One Block Wonder. I pulled it out this week and just by sewing in very small time frames, I managed to get all the 1/2 hexagons sewn together. I've now stacked them in color groups and it's ready to move to the design wall. Except the wall has 144 log cabin blocks on it that need to be tagged and numbered! One thing at a time.
Here is my stack of blocks all sewn and paired together.
This is a sneak peek at several different color ways that showed up in the blocks.
Original fabric that I used.
I've also been stitching away on my hexi's and doing some hand quilting on a sampler that I pieced a few years ago. Slow and steady and making some headway.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Five Crowns

No, this isn't the name of a quilt block or pattern, it's what I bought for myself. After several years of wanting to take the plunge, I got five crowns across the front of my mouth and I now have a fabulous smile. And I wore red lipstick today to make the most of my first day with my new smile. This is not an undertaking for the meek, it was a huge decision with some angst along the way, but my dentist and the lab did such an amazing job that it was worth it.
Smiling the day away

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekend update

Odds and sods of happenings over the weekend. There is only one finish to show, but I seemed to have poked a dent in several projects, as well as worked on two customer quilts. This is what I encountered when I came up stairs for lunch on Saturday. No, the leather couch and my comfort quilt is NOT the dog bed. But try telling that to this sweet face!

I got hooked on these stitch projects from Primitive Blessings and couldn't put them down until they were done. Karen from Log Cabin Quilter blogged about them and I had to check it out. I've completed the 5 angels, and I stitched them with batting as the lining. Now I have to decide what to do with them.

Here are a couple of close ups.  I used variagated DMC, 2 strands.  I've done a few other blocks prior to these, they are fast and easy.  Perfect for a beginner and the price is right, they are free on the designers website.

On Sunday I pulled out this UFO and assessed the progress. Seems like I started a One Block Wonder, but didn't buy enough fabric. I went back to the original retailer, The Cotton Shop, and couldn't find the fabric anymore. Then one day I was purusing their website and it was back online. I bought a few more yards, stacked it all nice and neat, pinned it and put it away. I cut all these diamonds....
And pieced a few blocks. I have left the stacks of diamonds on my cutting table as I have a rhythm when I sew the 1/2 hexigons together. I do them in batchs and it keeps me organized. I'll poke away at this as it's what I consider "production mode". The real fun of this quilt comes when standing in front of the design wall.
Here is my January finish. I have the binding sewn on and it's ready to gift. I have one more of these runners, which I will keep for myself.

I did a little cooking this weekend as well. A pot of chili using Pioneer Womans recipe. I left out the Masa, I couldn't justify buying a 5 lb bag to use a 1/2 cup in a chili recipe. It was still delicious!
A crock pot of soup for a few lunches this week.
And a batch of cookies for the guys in the shop at work. They keep my car running and I make them cookies!
Lots of little things happened in the sewing room, each one moving me closer to finishes!