Sunday, February 27, 2011

Focused = Finished

I have finally got my GFG finished. Well, it's finished as a top, it still needs to be quilted, and that is going to be done by hand so it has to wait in line.
 It sure makes my table look like spring, even though it looks like this outside. Yup, we finally got some snow in the NW corner of the US.
We've been in a cold snap for the past week; so much for my spring flowers I planted 2 weeks ago.  I knew I should have taken photos!
Let's hope the bulbs that have sprouted survive these temperatures, we are breaking records for this time of year.
OK, back to my GFG.  It is big enough for my kitchen table and I wanted borders on it. I wasn't sure how to add borders, so I appliqued the center to the strips but left the corners open so I could add the other two sides.  I pressed the edge and handstitched, then finished the applique.  I'm very happy with how it turned out, it's been a long time in the making. I just couldn't bear the thought of setting this aside one more time, so I made it my priority and now it's done.
I was at my Applique group and mentioned that this will be a table topper for my kitchen. One member piped up "oh no, what if someone spills on it" and immediately someone else said, "how would you know!"  I had to laugh, she's right! I figure it's all cotton, it's meant to be used and used it will be.  So if this gets a few washings, I think it will just give it more character.  I worked too long on this to put it away "for good". I'm living right now, I'm good enough for good in my household. And yes, I use my good china and crystal.  So what if it breaks, better than keeping it all perfect in a cupboard!
This last photo is just cute, kitty paws and one dog print in the snow.

Hope your weekend has been full of stitches.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sharing with Others

I have finally got my box ready to post. There are two quilts in here, and both will go to strangers

What a great feeling it was to pack these quilts and kiss them good bye. Not good in the "I'm getting rid of things", but good in the way that these will travel across the country and comfort someone who I shall never meet. I know they need these more than I.
These quilts are going to help an organization that Victoria over at Bumble Beans is working with.  If you want to know more or want to help out by sending off a quilt, you can check it out here.

This black and white star quilt was made as a shop sample and it was folded up in a closet. This christmas quilt was mostly hand pieced and put together by machine. I used it over the back of my couch during the hoiday season. Now both of these quilts will be put to better use, they will keep someone warm on a cold evening. They will provide comfort, maybe hope of a better day, maybe even help someone realize that even though their situation may not be very good, that they know that there are good people out in the world, that good things can happen. I put a lot of optimism in that box, I hope it gets used!
UPDATE: Victoria emailed me that the next event at BASICS will be April 4th, so lots of time to send off a new or gently used quilt. Try it, it feels really good!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Things I have Learned

I've been working on a Grandma's Flower Garden for over 10 years and it has finally got big enough for my little kitchen table. It's at the border stage right now but to get there, I had to remove all the paper hexi's.
During this project I tried basting the paper in from the back so the basting would stay in the quilt. I didn't find I could get the fabric as snug around the paper in this manner so I went back to my regular basting.
I was told to use up those spools of cheap thread that most sewers have kicking around, it made perfect sense to me. Early in my quilting days I didn't know many short cuts and really overdid some things. Basting hexi's was one of these things.

Some of these hexi's had up to 16 basting stitches, and the hexi's are 3/4" in size. It took 3 to 4 times longer to take out those tiny basting and add in cheap thread, well, just not a quick task.
So the moral of this story, use quality hand quilting thread and only take one stitch per side. This will make taking out all those papers a lot less frustrating. Oh, and start taking them out before you get to the end, no need to keep all the papers in the middle of your top while you are adding to the outside edges.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spinning my Wheels

I feel just like the back wheel of this bicycle, going round and around and not going anywhere. I've been working on a lot of projects and none of them have moved to a "picture taking" stage.

I'm still working on hand stitching  the binding of this quilt.
I haven't even started the binding on the blue and cream Pineapple Blossom I posted about a few weeks ago.

And I'm still working on all these projects as well as several hand quilting ones.  I even got sidetracked back to my hexi project, and I'm so close to finishing that I've put my Beyond the Cherry Tree blocks on hold while I persevere, I'm literally 3 flowers to the finish. Then the borders and quilting, but that's a whole separate issue. :-)

I spent Sunday afternoon with my gal pal Muriel and she taught me the art of putting in zippers.  I now have the backs to two pillows.  The front of these are hand quilted whole clothes, so stay tuned for something to be finished in the next while. 

In the meantime, I'm enjoying all my visits to fellow blogger sites, enjoying all the treasures that are being created all over the world.  Check out Dixie's blog to see a fantastic project, this is one of my favorite things that I've seen around blogland lately. 


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rest and Refresh

OK, I went away for a few days and forgot my camera. Here is a short version of the last four days.

After driving south for a few hours on Thursday, I met up with my gal pal at a hotel and casino south of Olympia WA in a small town just off Hwy 101. We both just wanted to get away and relax and visit so we spent the next day at Balance Day Spa in Shelton, WA Facials, massages, mani's and pedi's, some waxing and lunching and finishing up with a shampoo and style. H-E-A-V-E-N!
There was some of this over the weekend.

And some of this...
I managed to put in some time here....
A little retail therapy never hurts!
There was lots to laugh about during our visit, the food was excellent at the hotel and the service we experienced was excellent. There is always some down time in the hotel room, so I even managed to get in some prep work on my Beyond the Cherry Tree BOM.
No big wins in the casino, but it was great to spend some time with my gal pal. And of course we managed to find a few quilt shops in the area!
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as I.