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, 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, 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 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?