Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Looking for Opinions

As I've mentioned many times before, I'm really trying hard to work on existing projects, but the time has come to start a new top.  Not because I'm itching to move on to something new, but because my gal pal and I are taking a class to learn how to use Companion Rulers and Tri Rec rulers.  Here is the pattern we are going to be making. Traditionally it is made with 2 blues and white. But since I'm not traditional, and I'm currently working on a blue quilt, I'm trying to decide between two options.
This first one is bright and completely off track from the original design, but I thought the black, pink, and white would be great for the all over and then throw in the bright green and fuchsia in the two focus blocks for some punch.
Here is my second choice, green as the dark background, scrappy reds for the light and then the tan/creams for the light blocks. This might be nice for the holidays?
Either way, I have the fabric on my shelf for both color ways. This makes starting a new project ok in my books, at least I've not gone out shopping for the fabric. There will be left over pieces from this that can end up in a 54-40 top, so I'll end up with two tops in the same color way.
So let me know, which colorway would you like to see make up in this pattern?

Even though I've been on a fabric diet, I just can't kick the book addiction. Here are two new ones for my collection.....and there are a few more still in the mail.I love the books with the vintage quilts. I have so much respect for the art quilter and the pattern designers of our time, but really, the quilts in these books just make my heart sing!
And with this book, you can figure out any block pattern your heart desires. This is a must have for all quilters. The vast amount of block patterns are amazing.
Sew let me know what you think? In the pink or in the red?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Backyard Braggin'

This is my first summer in my new house and I've struggled to find people to work in my yard. No, I don't need my lawn mowed every 2 weeks for $40.  If I was going to spend $40 every two weeks on upkeep, someone would be scrubbing my toilets while I was out walking around in the grass and sunshine! After contacting 5 companies, and getting no return phone calls, I finally went out to the shop at work and recruited two young, strong men who were thrilled to work for extra money.

I printed off the instructions from Pioneer Woman's blog on how to build raised garden beds. I gave the instructions to the guys a week in advance. First mistake was thinking they would read instructions. I forgot about men and instructions. The instructions were excellent, and with PW writing them, there was lots of photos.  The guys arrived at 8:02 a.m, Wow, on time on a Sunday morning! I had all the wood pre cut, all the tools ready to go and after helping hanging around, I thought I best get back inside and quilt.  No sooner had I got into the rhythm of quilting when one of them came by for me to see the finished boxes.  I walked out, took one look and burst out laughing.  Then I said "so I guess you didn't read the instructions, and now that you have left over materials you are wondering what is going on?"  Yes, they admitted they didn't read the instructions, so my garden boxes were one board high instead of two boards high.  At least they brought the papers with them, so after looking at the pictures, they assured me they could fix this. And right they were.
Someone didn't do the correct math, (me) while at the Home Depot so I was short one board. I wanted 2 large beds 4 x 8, and one small. 4x4; so this is what I've ended up with.
The job still needs a bit more time invested into it. The compost bin is being torn out and I'm using all that for the beds but will still need to bring in a bit more dirt. Plus I need the gravel to go around all the beds. It looks so much better, it's cleaner and going to be easier to maintain. I've reduced the garden by at least 1/2 and that's a good thing. However, I'll be growing $10 carrots by the time I pay for this whole endeavor! ;-)
And while this was going on outside, I was inside doing this.
Don't you just love this quilt!
Alas, it's not mine, but I did get the pleasure of working on it for a few days, it sure cheered up my studio!
Muriel, it's back to you next weekend.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Seeing Some Progress

I somehow missed this photo last week and I wanted to post it. Muriel did such a beautiful job on this quilt and since she hasn't got her blog up and running yet, I get to show off her work over here.
Here is a flimsy finish. This was the G.O.T. (Gathered over Time) swap I participated in and I got all the setting triangles cut and sewn and the top is now together. I'm currently marking it as I'm going to hand quilt this with a traditional Baptist Fan pattern.
What a great selection of fabrics, there are no repeats in the 9 patch or the setting squares. Swaps are excellent for this.

Since that is now off my design wall, I pulled this WIP out and have got to work on it. I have all, almost all  the blocks pieced.  This quilt is for my nephew.  He wanted blue and silver.  Since there isn't much out there for grey/silver fabrics, I went with the scrappy creams. Plus I wanted all the bonus 1/2 sq triangle to use in a future project.  So far I have a bag of brown/cream and now a stack of blue/cream.  The next one is red/cream and I have a pile of greens just waiting to get cut into strips for one last top of this pattern.  It's from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville, check it out!  I love her site.

One of my local quilt shops was donating a percentage of their Sat sales to Relay for Life, so I had to make a trip over there.  A quilter can always use a yard or two of green batik, right?  And I finally bought myself a Hera marker.  For some crazy reason, I pulled out this WIP this week and started hand quilting it.  It's not like I don't have a sampler on the go and the above mentioned second hand project I want to start.....geez
I'm sewing Sunday, whoohoo

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Relay for Life Season

It's that time of year again, when people all over the place are gearing up for their local Relay for Life.  Last year I was invited to an event close to home, but I was still in recouperation mode from my cancer surgery. I was roaming around blog land yesterday, and came across this raffle quilt.

Wouldn't you love to win this quilt? Well, if you check out Lisa's blog by clicking here and put your $2 on the table, you can have your name entered to win. After doing this, wander around Lisa's blog, Bear Hug Quilt Works and see her award winning quilts.
Imagine winning a quilt done by this quilter with the proceeds going to such a great cause. I don't know anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer. Show your support, it's only $2!
Feel free to blog about this quilt, it can only help get the word out!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Quilt Show Winners

I spent the day Saturday with my gal pal Muriel. We met up at the Tradex center in Abbotsford for the Sewing and Quilting Expo. There was a lot to see and plenty of fabric and notions and gadgets to purchase. We both stayed strong and left the show with NO bags in our hands, and no, we didn't get purchases shipped home. ;-)
Here are photos of the winning quilts. I wish I could tell you the catagories, but it was a bit confusing, everyone was looking at the ribbons, and then trying to figure out which ones went in which catagories.
All pictures are clickable for closer viewing.

This one was chosen Best of Show
Machine pieced, appliqued, quilted with some hand quilting added around applique.
This is my quilt that is being donated.
My favorite, the quilting was well thought out and varied throughout the quilt.
Love the graphic nature of blk/wht/red.
Great use of color and batiks.

I stuck to my plan of continuing on existing projects, hence the lack of purchases.  There was plenty to get inspired by and I did go home and have a great evening of sewing.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Addicted to Applique

Since the taxes won out, I managed to take several boxes, bags and folders of paperwork and reduce it down to this. These three years are now boxed up and stored away, hopefully to never see the light of day again!

The 2nd Tues of the month is our guild meeting, Moonlighters, in Bellingham, WA and our speaker this month was from The Applique Society. This group is based out of WA and has chapters all over the world. Check here for a chapter near you.
Some beautiful work was shown from different members.
All types of applique are encouraged, and Loretta Bilow touched on a process that I'd never seen before, appliquing from the back of the project.
After hearing this presentation and seeing that a group meets on a weekend in my area, I just may have to join in the fun!

My quilting goals for 2010 are finishing projects that I've already invested in. This was a Mystery project from Piecables in 2009. I was feeling pretty smug about only having to purchase 4 yards of fabric for this complete project, backing/border/binding included. Then I finished the quilt and was disappointed with the finished project. There just wasn't much interest going on.

After quilting it this weekend, yes, I snuck in one of my quilts between customer tops, I LOVE how it turned out. I used a large, (14") Anne Bright panto and burgundy thread. This is going on my bed as soon as I get the binding on.

It's sew good to be sewing instead of taxing!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What to do??

Quilt or do my taxes.
Blog or do my taxes,
Mow the lawn or do my taxes,
Applique or do my taxes.
OK, you know the taxes won.  At least the dog got walked so I had to get out of my pj's on Sunday to do that.  Not bad for 4:30 pm.  I started at 9:00 a.m. with my coffee and Bailey's and  finally went to bed at 9:30p.m.without my taxes finished. 
But today is April 14th and Tim the taxman has all my paperwork, whoohoo.
I just need to sign the returns, yes, you read that correct, plural, but I"m all caught up with the exception of writing the check to the accounting office.  There will be no check writing to Uncle Sam, I hope!
So tonight is a sewing night

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pushing Paper

It's down to the crunch, my paperwork has been submitted to the accountant and now he needs the rest of it.  I knew it all wasn't there, it never is with me.  But rather than go to a lot of work sifting and searching, I decided to get an exact list of what I am missing, so now I have a target of what I'm looking for. I'll be fondling paper and not fabric this weekend.
But don't feel sorry for me, I went to a guild meeting last night and it seemed like a very good group.  My gal pal Muriel is a member and I'm taking a class with her next month.  It's a bit of a drive, almost an hour, but it's only once a month.  I just might take the plunge and join next fall.
Tonight I'm going to help my gal pal Lisa celebrate turning the big 40 and we are doing it here, at Frederico's However, in order for me to go there tonight, I needed to go here today! So I've just returned from Macy's, a big bag in hand and I'm now prepared to hit the town tonight. I just don't dress up anymore and did a little too much purging on the closets.
So much for pushing paper today. I've laced up my runners and am taking my dog out for a walk, it's just too nice to stay inside.
She needs fresh air and exercise too!
Sew for me this weekend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time Flies

There's been no blogging, no quilting, no piecing and I still don't have my taxes done! What is going on here besides nothing, you ask? I'm trying to figure that out myself as I see it's been a full week since I last posted.
OK, I did drive 800 miles in 3 days on the weekend. Some how I also managed to gain 6 pounds in 5 days at the same time. hmmmmm
And I did "help" with a finish on a top. Here is Paula K's top that she has been working on for over a year. Yes, life gets in her quilting time too, just like the rest of us.
Fussy cut centers for the churn dash blocks, each one 12.5" square.

The fabrics for this were purchased several years ago in Sisters and Bend OR. The border striped print is not available for love nor money and her center kept growing. When I arrived Paula had the top completed except for the borders. After a few scratches on paper and a little bit of calculations, we came up with the corner blocks to fit the width of the border.

The top was not going to get a border trim as this is big enough for a full pillow tuck, but after we got the sides and bottom all finished, we had this one extra strip that was a partial print from the border fabric, it fit right across the top, so voila, a border on all four sides. Now my fun begins because I brought this home to quilt.
I also got a little spoiled this week, after all, it was Easter.
 Are these not the cutest chocolates you have seen?  They are called Ladybugs. OK, see note above, 6 lbs in 5 days......
Beautiful soaps made in Italy, and the box. Well, I'm one of those who think packaging can never be too nice and I'll save this box for years to come.
Perfume, just in time for spring.  I now have a new scent for the season.  It's soft, it's pretty and I love it.  I might not fit into my jeans, but I'll sure smell good!
Sew something today,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let There Be Light

It's amazing what $110 and a boss with electrical knowledge can do for your sewing room. After he put this light in his wife's sewing room and I went over and saw it, I knew I had to have one. This was what my boss did for me after work yesterday.
There are no shadows now when I am pressing or cutting, the colors are so true and clean, I just love this. They are Daylight bulbs in this fixture and I'm sure I'll be wanting two more in my longarm room.
Look at the colors, no editing was done to this picture, just taken with my point and shoot digital.

Here is the result of the shop hop Deb and I did on Friday. Since I am trying hard to use up what I have, I decided to purchase only beiges while on the hop. I knew each store would have a wide variety to choose from, so I budgeted for each store. I know you don't have to purchase something every shop you stop at, but since this was a local hop, and I haven't been supporting the shops much this year, buying at all the stops worked for me. Now I have a nice variety to use in two scrap quilts that are works in progress.
Behind these stacks is a small piece, my first attempt at Liberated Stars.
Below is a "work in progress" that has hit a stumbling block. I love to applique and just don't know what to put in the pot! Well, flowers of some sort, but I'm just blocked with this project. I guess it will have to sit a while longer.
I'm ending this post with my binding picture, finally, I'm finished 800 inches of binding. Whew!
Both quilts are already packed in the car, ready to be delivered tomorrow afternoon. I sure hope I have room for everything, I'm taking the company pick up truck to bring home some furniture. I'll have room for that in the back, it's all the quilts that I'm taking with me!
Happy Easter to all, enjoy the celebration!