Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Next New Crazy

Yes, that is what I call some of my projects.  I get fixated on something and, like a dog with a bone, I don't let go.  I think it borders on addiction?  What do you think?  Do you need your stitch fix on a daily basis?  I admit it, I would need a 12 step program to get quilting out of my life. Or a very hot man!
This is a pre stamped piece from Minnick and Simpson. It came in other colors, but of course I gravitated to the red. I've had it for a few years and it's an on again/off again project and it's great to have a hand quilting project that can be picked up any time.
It's on again. This is the perfect pick up project for doing hand work while I catch up my my TV. I must get all those summer programs watched and deleted as all the new fall shows are starting up this week and I certainly don't have time for that much TV.

I like that I can grab this piece, roll it up and drop it into a tote and I've got a project for "one the go". I need one for this weekend.
Do you have a "take along" project always ready to go?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mystery Fruit

I got busy Sunday morning and picked a bowl full of these.  Do you know what they are?
Here you can see the size of them. Smooth skin on the outside and seeds inside.
They grow on this crazy tree that takes over this whole area of my yard and deck.
There are gobs of these clusters underneath the draping branches.
The branches grow so long and curl around anything they touch, even growing back on itself.
Have you guessed what this is yet?
Now you know, Kiwi's.  Yes, I have kiwi's growing in my back yard in the Pacific NW.  You need a male and a female tree together, and I have loads of fruit this year.  These are not the fuzzy, large ones we see in the stores, more like the size of a cherry tomato, and the skin is smooth.  I eat the whole thing.

I'm busy working on customer quilts this next while, but hope to sneak in a little time to finish my little Hallow'een boot banners.  1 is completed, 1 is ready for binding, and I have about an hour on the last one.

Welcome to fall, it's arrived here in the NW.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sew Fast

I've had this quilt top rolling around in the back of my mind ever since I saw the cover of this Country Living July/Aug 2011. This came out right at the time of the Infinite Variety Red & White show in NYC. Even after seeing 651 R & W pieces at the show, this one has always occupied a corner of my mind.

My Dad was coming to visit a couple of weeks ago so I scurried to get the spare room all tidied up. This entailed sorting through a stack of quilting magazines.  In the process of doing this, I ended up in my sewing room making a test block!  RJR solids in French Vanilla and Saffron.  *edit* I missed the color name.

I've written out a road map for this quilt, I am making 6" finished blocks, the sashing will be 3" finished, the inner border will be 3" and the outer border will be 8". This means I need 256 - 2.5" cream squares and 64 center squares.

Thank goodness for innovation and Accuquilt and Fabric Etc in Bellingham. It cuts 5 - 2 1/2" strips and you can stack your fabric 8 layers deep.
Flip them around and run the tray through the cutter again and voila, you have 240 perfectly cut squares. I am making the 1/4 sq triangles using Thangles, super accurate.  Wow, like that, and I have my quilt almost all cut out.  Seriously, this is amazing and Carol rents time on this machine for anyone.  She has lots of dies to choose from.  Check it out for your next project, it just might be the trick to move your  project forward.

When this is finished, it will be about 100 x 100.  Unless I decide to not add borders. But I like borders.  I'll probably end up with another 100 x 100 quilt.  But wouldn't this 2 color block make a great baby blanket?
This will be a long term project, one of those quilts that you can work on at any time for just a few minutes,   a perfect time filler or leader/ender block sitting on the side of my sewing table.

Fabric Etc was hopping while I was there today, everyone looking at new projects.  What new project did you start this weekend?

Friday, September 21, 2012

When Friends Call....

....we rise to the occasion. Here is my help for a friend who is helping a friend who is helping a friend. It's what we do.
I hope the colors work, it's so hard with seeing them on the computer screen.
We've all been there, tough times, for each person it's something different. I remember reading about our problems, how if a room full of people got to put their problems in a pile and exchange them, we would take our own problems back.
Speaking of friends, I have to share my four legged kids, I went to bed the other night and shortly afterwards, got up to check on something and this is what I discovered.

How could one disturb this scene?

I hope you all get to visit with a friend this weekend, they are our strength in life.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finally! Beyond the Cherry Tree

My pictures aren't that great, but it's past my bedtime and I will take some better ones later this week. Yes, I'm doing the happy dance. All four borders are attached to the 25 blocks in the center.
I put my initials at the center of the top.
The side borders are similar to the pattern, but I did my own thing on the top and bottom. I added some birds to the bottom as well as grape clusters.
I'm very happy that I added purple to the borders, I think it adds a little something.

I must get to bed, it's a work day tomorrow. I've been working on other peoples quilts this weekend, but I was so close that I had to do the final embroidery and add the final border before bedtime.

There is a little bit of finishing in the corners, nothing an evening of TV would solve.
Hope your weekend was as exciting as mine!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One Stitch at a Time

I got a phone call last night.  It took me a minute to recognize the voice. OK, got my head into the conversation.  She talked about drawing for the quilt.  I'm thinking, what quilt? Let me rewind the story.

Last year I got a call, could I quilt a quilt?  and my response was.....I'm not taking any new customers, Oh..ok...., sure...., it's for a fund raiser?  ok......Veterans Motorcycle group? raising money, raffle quilt? Sure,  Ok,  I can do that.

The top was a t-shirt quilt with Harley Davidson Tshirts and military references all put together with sashing.  I had just become a US citizen, so I had the Pledge of Alliegance in my packet of paperwork, and I thought I'd write a few words in the sashing;  Never Forget, United We Stand, these were a few of the phrases throughout the quilt.  I handed it off to the owner and, honestly, I'd forgotten all about this quilt.

Then the phone rang last night.  We made $3300 net profit for Homeless Veterans in Whatcom County, says the voice on the other end of the phone.  Their group all took turns schlepping this quilt all over on rides throughout the NW, diligently selling tickets, quietly raising monies, hoping to make a difference with winter coming.  The funds go to purchase socks, hats, mittens, blankets.  All the things that we have in abundance in our homes, all the things many veterans don't have.

It came time to make the drawing. 

One guy really wanted the quilt so he bought $100 worth of tickets.  Karma at its best, and he won the quilt.  In the room was a young girl who clearly had been going through medical treatments.  She commented how much she loved the quilt as she wrapped herself in it.  The winner then announced, Well, then you can have it!  OK.  That's all I have for Sept 11th and I think it's enough said.

We CAN make a difference, one stitch at a time........

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Regrouping JT2

I came off night shift this morning at 6 a.m., got a few hours of zzzz's and made my way to our JT2 meeting at Fabric Etc. this morning.  It was a time for me to regroup and get back on track with this project so I did not want to miss this meeting.  Thanks ladies, I'm feeling so much better about my Red & Cream JT2. 

Here is Tracey's feathered star.  She got inspired from my FS block with cheddar and added a little to her eggplant and cream quilt.  Her work is second to none, you can see the pride of her work in every stitch.  This is going to be an amazing 2 color quilt.
Oh, and as for organized? She is packing her whole quilt in a binder.  Block by block along with the pattern in plastic sleeves, I don't even dream about being that organized, I am thrilled my blocks and patterns are in the same box!

Here is Tonya's beauty.* *updated bad link, sorry**  She's using scrappy shirtings for the background and it's looking fabulous. She has a lot more blocks made, but these are the few she put on the wall this morning. I'm sure you will all be seeing more of Tonya, she's passionate about quilting and her stitching is excellent.

Here are my blocks. I'm missing pieces for both the first and second section. I just didn't know what those blocks were.

Love how this is coming along, I made a list of the pieces I need to complete the first section.

The second section is also lacking a few blocks. All ok, as now I know what to work on. I'm going to add/delete blocks, and I'm not putting the sections together until I see the whole quilt. I have an extra feathered star 15" block, two pineapple blocks, and I know there are a few others that I'm not going to make.

I got busy this afternoon, my group gave me the mojo to get on it and have gotten all my FG caught up, finished one row of checkerboard, and got all my sections pieced for my Lone Star block.  I pinned where the seams intersect, and basted that short section.  Once I checked them, I put in the final stitches.  I had to redo a few, but it was worth it.  Two color quilts are not very forgiving, so piecing this block has taken some time.  Slow and steady wins the race.

**good grief, and I called her Cathy at our meeting**  Karen  Carol is working on her pink and brown combo, but didn't have her blocks up on the wall.  I guess I kept her too busy helping me regroup, thank you Karen   Carol

I have to show this panel, I purchased it a few weeks ago, and today I showed it to Carol.  She blamed it on me as she headed to the cash register with a panel in her hand.  Lead me not into temptation, I can get there myself?  hehehe.  Hey, I just showed her, the rest was her decision.
But it's beautiful.  Very painterly (is that even a word?) and I think a little bit of big stitch w/perl cotton will turn this into a fabulous door banner.  It can go up Sept 1, take it down for a few weeks at Hallow'een, back up Nov 1 and keep it there until Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, it's a keeper.

I hope you take some a quick trip over the Tonya and Tracey's blogs, Tracey is just getting back into posting, but they both has pics of the recent quilt show in Bellingham, WA.

What do you need to regroup?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Recovery

My little Annie girl was at the doctor this morning, waiting on his doorstep for half an hour before they opened, hoping that Dr Berry would be able to see her.
Annie was his first priority when he arrived to work. He seemed to have an idea of what was wrong with her and with great apprehension I left my sweet baby in the care of the professionals. They pushed everything aside and got right to helping her; a sense of urgency was apparent.

Four hours later the Dr. called with the news. Most of it's good, but it also came with a "time will tell" prognosis. She had an abscess in the back of her mouth going up behind her eye. He was able to clean it out and in the process, Annie also got her teeth cleaned and 3 extractions. None of her problem was a direct link to her teeth. I am so glad I did not wait any longer to take her in, but given that I'm on the night shift, I was watching her rapid decline through the night and was terrified that this was the beginning of the end for my sweet dear hound.

Many vet are highly skilled, as are all the techs that work with the dr's. But it's more than that, it's knowing that these people are looking at my dog with as much love and care in their voices and eyes as I have in mine.

She is home now, she headed right to her water dish and drank like no tomorrow. I fixed her a bowl of kibbles, softened with hot water and she licked the bowl clean. This is the first intake of anything in over 48 hours. She's right back to her happy, bubbly self. Now let's hope that after the 30 days of antibiotics have run their course, that the situation does not return.

She is such a sweetheart.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Could've or Should've

I should have done yardwork/housework or I could have spent time in my sewing room. Using the "could've" takes all the guilt out of doing what you really want to do, not what you're expected to do. So....I could have been doing housework/yardwork, instead, I spent time in my sewing room.

Whenever I go to a quilt show I always like to wander through the vendor area. I'll admit it, I try to not buy more projects right now, I've got plenty in boxes and drawers and bags.  Well, I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. But vendors go to a lot of work to come to a show and set up their wares, and you can see things that might not be at your own LQS.  I couldn't resist this kit.
After pulling out the fabric from the kit, I shopped my orange and black resource drawer.
Then I shopped at Fabric Etc, my LQS.  Love the spider web print, it was perfect for the toes.
Then I tweaked the pattern and instead of making a table runner, I did a single boot and made a door banner.
I also made quite a mess......
because I ended up making this.  I couldn't stop at just one.  I've done these using fusible and will machine applique all the pieces.  On small pieces like these, the applique also serves as the quilting.  It was a generous kit, I really did not add much fabric.
I could have been working on this.  Border #4.
What could you have been doing instead of sewing this weekend?

Hope everyone is getting to work on what they want to this long weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quilters Delight

While on my short vacation in The Dalles, my gal pals and I wanted to have a day of sewing.  I called the shop in town and Carrie was thrilled to have us come spend the day with her. 

We arrived bag and baggage and got busy.  Both of my gal pals got a good jump on projects they are working on and me, well, I just bounced around most of the day. 

If you are travelling on Hwy 84 through the Columbia Gorge, you MUST stop at the cutest quilt shop.  It's called Quilters Delight and is owned by Carrie.
Don't you just love the brick walls for a backdrop?  This shop is so unique, you walk into the space and you are in a hallway with all these little rooms off to each side.  They are all open to the back so you don't feel crowded or closed it. 
This was a BOM she was offering. My photos look like her shop is all 30's but she has something for everyone. Lots of samples, and she has a feature quilter hang a trunk show in the main hallway, so you never know what you are going to see when you stop by.
Although I only got to meet Carrie briefly, she is a wonderful shop owner, so stop by and tell her I sent you!