Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Little Diversion

I'm still procrastinating on starting the Mariner's Compass quilt. I wish I knew how to use those Electric Quilt programs so that I could plan it all out there.

Meanwhile, I had an itch to make something quickly and ran across some batik squares of African Dancers
that I bought in the vendor faire at a quilt show many years ago.

I decided to pair that with some african fabrics from my stash and make a wall size quilt for my ETSY shop.

It was a simple little diversion. I framed the batik squares and some of the african prints.

I used full size blocks of the other prints.

I pieced a backing.

Today I will layer, pin baste, and quilt it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Layer Cake in The Mail!

I didn't think that this fabric would be available until March or April. It made it's debut at Quilt Market and someone there showed swatches on their blog (thank you anonymous blogger....I forgot to thank you). Last week on the Quilter Blog Roundup I saw the swatches again and someone was selling jelly rolls and layer cakes. Wa-hoo....I was on that like a cheap suit.

And, look what the mailman brought me today!

Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey for Moda. If you want to see more photos of the fabrics in the collection Sherbet Pips, you will find them on her blog, "comfortstitching".

I have not yet formulated a plan....but I shall. After all, I waited for months before cutting into Flea Market Fancy and have just used the last of that collection. I'm patient.

Meanwhile, I have some paper-pieced mariner's compass blocks and mariner's star blocks that need to be made for quilts in blue (2). And a quilt for my other granddaughter utilizing Seattle Mariner's colors (don't ask!).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another One Ready to Go...

My young neighbor from across the way came by to show me his 4 new "hot wheels" and his new shirt. He also showed me his newest ninja moves. I love that!

I asked his mom to help me show off this finish before I send it off. This pattern "Georgia's Quilt" I bought from Red Pepper Quilt's Etsy shop. She had written about it on her blog and I thought I'd like to make it one day.

When my grandaughter Ashley said that her favorite color is pink, I immediately knew what quilt I'd make. I think there is about 35 different pinks and creams in this one.

I will ship it out tomorrow.

I wanted to do something different on the back so that she could show either side on her bed and get 2 looks from one quilt. I like it too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Binding Finished Friday.....ready to go!

I finished stitching the binding on this quilt Friday, then I got sidetracked making a baby quilt.

I just need to wash this, dry it, admire the soft crinkliness of it and send it off.

This is a wedding gift.

I used the last of my Flea Market Fancy fabrics making it ~ I had been hording them waiting for a special project and this was it.

I hope they like it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just a little detour....

My hairdresser Tracey is having a baby, and I thought I had time, but when I saw her yesterday afternoon it was clear that she's further along than I thought.

She told me her last work day is the 29th of this month....so I set aside all that binding I was hand stitching and put together a baby girl rail fence quilt.

I got it pieced and got most of the quilting done before I went to bed, and when I got home from running errands today, I finished it.

Tomorrow it gets washed.

I have the binding finished on one of the quilts, so now I'm back to start on the other.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Binding, binding, binding.....

Sewing the binding on two quilts today.
Once it's on, I can pick up this handwork to do in the evening while the TV watches me.

I know a lot of quilters have learned how to stitch down the binding by machine, but I am not one of them. I can sew it on by machine, but must stitch it down by hand once it is folded over to the back side of the quilt.

There is something pleasing about doing this last little bit by hand. My grandmother, the first quilter I was aware of, used to piece by hand. She and the "Ladies Aid Society" used to meet and hand quilt their quilts at a large frame set up in the living room during the winter, and under the black walnut trees out in the side yard during the summer.

Although I was taught to hand piece, I abandoned it quickly and wouldn't be a quilter today if I hadn't learned to use a rotary cutter and my sewing machine.

So, when I hand stitch the binding on my quilt, it is an homage to my Grandmother and I am satisfied.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Loveliness in the Mail.....

I love getting packages in the mail.
Even if I am expecting them, they always take me by surprise.

I ordered these dishtowels from Pony and Poppy on ETSY.

The talented Amy Stone makes lots of different things from paper, cloth and ink....go take a look and be prepared to treat yourself.

I love these and my time in the kitchen will be cheerier (is that a word?) now that these will be there.

When I was making lots of quilts, I sold on ETSY under the name Tenderoni Quilts and one day I hope to get back to stocking the store with projects. I like patronizing ETSY as a buyer too. And as you can see, I always feel like I hit the jackpot when I receive my purchase!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Baking

Okay, so I haven't gotten back into the zone on my newest quilt yet.

I've gotten a little sidetracked with the holidays, which seem to have crept up. I have some holiday baking to do so I got online and ordered a new toy. A food processor will make quick work of all that mixing and chopping ~ and I have gotten too used to doing without one. The FedEx guy (still in shorts even though it's only about 40 degrees today ~ go figure!) delivered it today.

I'm making Almond Biscotti.

That lovely little tool helped me put it together and get it ready for the oven in less than 5 minutes. Uh huh....that's what I'm talkin' about!

These other pictures were just because.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Who Needs Words?

A Picture is Worth a Thousand......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for all of you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Still in the Zone, Just in a Different Way.....

Getting ready to work on some new quilts that require a new skill set means practice, practice, practice. So there is not much progress on the actual quilts because I haven't really started them.
I'm still in the reading and learning phase.

So, first things first....I needed to reorganize my workspace so that I could do the extra steps necessary when paper piecing. So I got a little worktable to put to my right at the corner of the sewing table
so that I can press and trim as I go.

I also found the neatest iron ..... I love it because it is heavy and I don't feel like I really need to press down. It is hot. It has burst of steam when I need it for actually ironing clothes and getting a good crease in things. It is big so that I can really press fabric in a snap.
Did I mention that I love it? I do. Hamilton Beach I love your iron!

I'm practicing on some simple paper piecing projects.
They probably won't end up in a quilt....but I'm learning some stuff I wouldn't have learned without practicing and would have been really sad to learn while working on my actual quilts....so, it's a good thing.

This paper piecing stuff requires new and unfamiliar tools as well as new ways of looking at the block. Sort of working backwards and feels like I'm guessing at whether the fabric will actually cover the
shape when it's stitched in. A little crazy making for this quilter.

I now have a selection of tools from which many quilts could spring if I get enthused, which at this point I am not. Still, my niece has made her request and I love this girl to pieces so I want to meet her expectations and challenge mine.

So, in the midst of all this preparedness our city had it's annual quilt show sponsored by the local quild. I didn't take a single picture and spent more time looking through the vendor section than the show. Yet, there were some stunning quilts.

Luckily I found a picture of one of the quilts that really caught my eye. It is an image of the sugar skulls that signal that it is Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. I love those images and this quilt was outstanding in person....sparkly, embellished, and so well executed it got my vote for best in show.

And, so today I work on some more practice blocks while Maya stays alert at her post. Checking the view from her ever-vigilant post for any stray leaves that might bounce across the lawn or heaven forbid an errant squirrel come into the yard setting off a race from the slider in the living room to the big window in the bedroom.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Save On Rotary Cutter Blades.....!!

Wilma in North Carolina posted something on her blog that I couldn't hardly believe....she found blades at Harbor Freight that looked like they would work in her rotary cutter and they were about a buck apiece! Click HERE to see them. Wilma, bless her heart, did the field research for us and ordered them. Yep, they work. Just fine.

Why then, have I been paying about $25 for a pack of 5??

The cost of quilting fabrics and quilting accessories (tools of all sorts included) is through the roof.
Why? Because they can and because they know we will pay it.

Thanks Wilma, I'm going to Harbor Freight. There's one about 4 miles from my home. (You can also order them online....even with postage you'll save a bundle.)

I guess I'm drawing a line in the sand.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Ready...

After looking closely at this book and realizing I haven't a clue....I've decided to choose a simpler mariner's compass and have ordered yet another book! The technique in this book is so alien to what I know or what was taught in the class I took, that I don't know how to "translate" it.

Maya is snoozing while I make all these decisions about the how-to's.

I needed some input from my niece Ann about her color choices for
this quilt. She sent me some paint chips in colors they like and I told her I'd take them into consideration and might add one or two.
I like the colors she selected. I've chosen a pale gray for the background and the center medallion will feature shades of blue with touches of pale gold and some burgundy. The frame will be a variety of water/ocean colors from deepest blue to palest seafoam and all points in between in the storm at sea pattern. I'm excited.

But, I need to practice paper piecing, so I've chosen some simple blocks to play with. Also, since this quilt will be slow going since every bit of it will be a learning curve for me, I've decided to also work on another quilt at the same time. That too is something I've never done before. I usually just plow right through a quilt before starting another.

Nothing like changing up the way I do things, is there?

My fabric has all arrived and I'm pleased with the choices and the editing of it all. I had very little blue in my stash and now that's not the case.

Also, the library has located the books on disc I requested and I picked them up yesterday.

Wow! It looks like I'm ready.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I love this event! I never seem to have a quilt to share, though.....so this time I'm going to show
a quilt I've shown here on the blog before. It is the simplest design utilizing fabrics that have been in my stash since I moved back to the United States. I made it for my cousin who is an artist who once teased me about my passion for quilting by referring to it as "making hotpads".
I hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wow! Everyone's Busy!!

I've been reading Amy's Creative Side blog and visiting quilters who are taking part in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Wow!!! There are some amazing quilters who have been hard at work.

Please go check it out.

For my part, quilting is on hold for a week or so.
I have been doing some homework in preparation for my next project.

These two books tell it all.
I'm really moving outside my comfort zone ~ but I'm excited that I'll practice a new technique that may open up design possibilities for me.

I'll also be working in "blues" which is the one area in my stash that is sorely lacking....so I've been online ordering fabrics and they are heading my way. It's always exciting to get squishy packages in the mail.

This project will be slow going for a while, but I'll take pics along the way.

How are you being challenged?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quilting Done, Binding On ~ A Finish!!

Wow!! It's been a good month. One quilt top and quilt back to the long arm quilter (see posting here) and this one completely finished!

60x60" throw started and finished in the last 10 days. Wooo-hoooo!

I have plans for the next one, but since I haven't done much but sew in the last 30 days, my house is a mess.

I'm going to take a quick break to clean the house and get things ready for my next project.

Mariner's Compass!
Paper Pieced!

Never say never......I said I'd never do one, but my niece has decided that is what she would like and so that is what she will have.

I'm actually looking forward to it.
note: I just noticed a huge mistake in this quilt.....first one to spot it and make a comment gets a squishy surprise in the mail. LOL

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nothing to show yet....

The rows finally got sewn together and today I will be sandwiching it. I got sidetracked with some other little projects and errands. Back on task today, though. Stay tuned!

Update ~ it's nearly midnight and after some other distractions, I was able to get it on the table, pin basted, and ready to go. If all goes well tomorrow, I can start machine quilting it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coming Along Nicely

I started listening to "The Christmas Quilt" when I started making the pieced blocks for my current project. It is one of the Elm Creek Quilts novels that I had heard about and so I ordered it from the library. It kept me entertained while I was at my machine and today I was able to get the backing sewn together and get all of the rows sewn for the top.

I also was able to finish this book.

These are the completed rows pinned to my design wall and ready to be sewn together.

I hope to get that done tomorrow.

I have another book to listen to ~ Jodi Picoult's
"Change of Heart". It is a long one and will be considerably more complex than the book I just finished.

If I am able to make good progress tomorrow I may be able to get the quilt sandwiched too. I'd like to get it quilted this week and get the binding stitched on by the weekend.

I have amassed a considerable amount of orphan blocks, patches and strips from many projects and would like to find them a home. If you know of anyone who might like scraps....drop me a line or comment here and I will pack one of those post office one price mailers and ship them off. I really don't have room to store them here and hate to just toss them.

So, what's going on in your world?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The usual.

Cutting up some fabric to make 4.5" squares.
And cutting some to make 2.5" strips.
Sewing strips together and cutting again.
Chain piecing to make 4 patch blocks.

Busy, Busy, Busy....