Wednesday, October 11, 2006

my lucky day

I'm a little late getting started on the Oct. One hour challenge, but decided to buckle down last night after a class and at least do 2 blocks. While I was sewing, it seemed oddly familiar. I vaguely remember starting a leaf quilt years ago and didn't finish. I had made a smaller leaf quilt, liked it so much that I wanted to make a larger one with larger blocks. So, I got up and started hunting and look what I found! All kinds of HST's already done in the RIGHT size even! The stems were about half done, but everything was cut. And the best part--I had enough blocks to do the smaller version except 2! And I just made 2! I liked the colors of my BG and other leaf colors a little bit better--but this is like killing 2 birds with one stone. I do the challenge AND finish up a UFO that's about 9-10 years old! Woohoo! Now what are the chances of that happening again? I'm so glad that I didn't cut the other fabric up yet. I'll put it away on the shelf to age a little more for another project.
Here are some of my blocks done (they are all done now that I had a big boost!) and I'm testing what I might want in that center alternate block. The 2 blocks I made before I remembered about these blocks have a different background, but I think they are going to be okay. I'm toying with the idea of appliqueing a leaf in that block. That's a real leaf I went out and picked up and stuck up there. I might use leaves from my yard as patterns. I'm just trying to decide now what color BG I want. The tan seems a bit sedate for me. The leaf fabric I am trying out here didn't have enough contrast in my opinion. Although the white is stark, it really has nice contrast. So, I have all month to play yet.

purses and bags and totes, oh my!

Finally--get to post some pictures! Here are some of the purses/bags that I have made these last few weeks. A purse/bag/tote lover, I am, I am!
"Towne Purse", a Lazy Girl pattern. I have made SO many of these purses, they are one of my favorites with all the pockets inside. I modified it a bit to use pre-quilted fabric and made the bottom larger to hold my large wallet (stuffed with receipts--not $$, LOL). I know, it's a spring purse. I had it mostly cut out to do a class demo from before, so when I had another class, I finished while doing the demos. Clever, huh?
This is my Slouchy bag. It's from a new book from Cindy Taylor Oates, Slouchy Bags. I love the old, faded, well worn look of this home dec fabric. It fits over the shoulder, across the body and sits on your hip. I'm hoping to wear it in Houston Quilt Festival. I love wearing a purse that doesn't keep falling off your shoulder. I wore a book bag last year, but every time I had to pay for something, I had to take the whole thing off. A little cumbersome too. So, I'm hoping this one will do the trick. It's about 2" narrower than the pattern and an 1" shorter because I was limited on fabric. I could have pieced some together, but in this case, I had almost enough, so went with it.

Here is another type of bag I'm making with vinyl mesh. I made a bunch of them last year and just got some white mesh and fuschia mesh! I can see the fuschia mesh with black fabric with pink polka dots on it. They are so sturdy. I made small ones to use as "shell collecting" bags. The sand runs right through the bag and all you bring home is shells and not half of the beach!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

time out for purses

I'm am such a sucker for purses/totes--anything that can hold anything, including baskets, stuff from the Container Store, rubbermaid, whatever. And I do not discriminate--I like 'em cheap, expensive, handmade, woven or whatever. It's funny, I could give or take shoes, mostly because I love to be barefoot. But purses are my downfall! And I love making them. I had a class last Thursday on the pink one (a LazyGirl pattern), so I had my excuse to make yet another! And then my cousin sent me some tea stained yummy looking fabrics that screamed "big" and "oversized", like a big, cushy chair.
Darn blogger--won't let me load another time.. :(

Monday, October 09, 2006

A little behind..

I wish my behind were little--LOL. I meant that I was a little behind on my Sept. One Hour Challenge, but the top is now done AND I have the backing all pieced and ready to load onto Zoe, my HQ16. I'm just trying to decide how to quilt it. How did everyone else do theirs? The biggest joy is that I now have an EMPTY space on my shelf where all my darker homespun plaids used to be! This is the last of those plaids! I do have another plaid quilt or two in progress, but I am done with these. I gave the last bits of it after I pieced the backing (2 1-gallon ziploc bags worth) to a student who is just beginning and envies my stash. I don't believe I've ever had an empty spot before! What a great feeling. If I keep plugging away at my stash, it will get reduced to a managable level. I think you need a certain amount to have the variety to choose from, but mine was over the top.
Here is a close up of Frosty Flakes-which I've been plugging away on since August. It was a pattern of Joni Pikes that I had seen in Houston last year, and being a snowman lover, I had to have it. It takes a while to do (all the good ones do, don't they?) and 117 buttons later, I'm done! Binding, label and all.
I also made a purse ( I taught a class on a Lazy Girl purse Thursday) and I always like to have little demos along the way to show the process, it's easier for the visual learners. I end up with lots of purses, oh darn! :) And then I made a slouchy purse from some tea-stained home dec fabric my cousin sent to me. I'll take pictures and post them later. That means 3 off of my Oct. list, now to just figure out how to cross the lines through the finished ones. I finally figured out how to get the list there to start with after a few hours of browsing and reading. I'm trying to keep up! :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Done and Done!

This is one of the reunion quilts I made and this one was raffled off. Thanks to Nancy's blog a while back, I got the idea when I needed a quick quilt for the reunion. It's done, labeled and on it's way to the winner, one of my cousins.
This Tumbling Blocks wall hanging was a class sample I used to teach set in piecing. I took it to my Amish friend (long story--but needed an excuse to take some friends to see her) and her mother quilted it for me. Her mother is aging and unfortunately does not see very well anymore and is a bit shaky now. Mary informed me that after this quilt, her mother won't be quilting anymore as the quality wasn't very good. When she informed me of that in her note telling me it was finished, I just prayed it wasn't awful. As I headed to her house, I thought of the different scenarios of how I would react if it was really bad and should I or shouldn't I have Mary re-do it herself (she offered in her note). Well, when I got there and saw it, it wasn't the best I have seen, but certainly not awful. And is my motive to have a very valuable piece because an Amish woman quilted it? No. I figured it is just a little more piece of history in the quilt and I noted that this was her mother's last quilt due to failing health on my label. So, it's bound, labeled and hanging in my sewing room. It matches so well. :)

Thanks to all who encouraged me to buy more fabric! LOL I did think about it and I went through all my Kaffe fabric and decided that it was okay to splurge on some backing for some of the quilt tops I have made. I am NOT buying for stash sake, but for specific backings. I rarely allow myself the luxury of putting coordinating backings on my quilts. It's just so hard to justify that kind of $$ for a backing. But since it's half price, I thought it would okay to do at least a few backings! I appreciate all the comments and encouragements! There is not a financial need to hold back (after all--I WORK for fabric!), but just being more careful and responsible with my resources AND to relieve a little guilt...heehee. So, Hancocks--here I come!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I shouldn't have opened it

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. I just KNEW I shouldn't have opened that email from Hancock's of Paducah, because looky what I found...

I just came in to get my camera because I just finished 2, yes two! quilts. Okay, so one is a wallhanging, but it's done with label and all. And since my camera was sitting right by my computer, I'll check the email really I'm in a quilter's dilema..I vowed to not buy fabric--and here is one of my favorites for 1/2 price! What great backings for all those Kaffe tops I have done! I am sitting here with my heart pounding and developing a headache because I know what I SHOULD do is not what I WANT to do. HELP ME SOMEONE!! I'm sinking and I need a lifeline! Me and my big mouth...or should I say, happy fingers on the keyboard?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sept. & Oct. goals

Picture on left: "Scrappy Oaks", done in 2002 or 2003. Just thought I'd share a quilt. :)

I never posted my goals for Sept., but here is what I worked on:
1. Ostrich Challenge--finished Round One
2. Frosty Flakes-finished piecing, quilted, bound and is now waiting on buttons. I haven't shown a picture of it yet, because w/o buttons, it doesn't look like much. And it's the last thing to do!
3. One Hour Challenge-Sept.-blocks are done and rows partially assembled.
4. Quilt Pink-designed, cut out and some blocks sewn (with help).
5. Reversible Quilt--I thought I was done with this quilt until I got it home and on the bed. I needed to add 12" width wise to make it work on my bed. DONE!!!
6. Reunion Hatchet Quilt-quilted and the binding on top. Needs it hand sewn on back and labeled.
7. Pincushion/Threadcatchers-finished 4 more and have 1 more to go. I'm putting them in my classroom by each machine.
8. Faithful Friends-quilted, bound, labeled and given to my friend. Oops--forgot to take a picture of the finished product.

And now, sharing my Oct. goals, I'm going to try Starfishy's method of only working on 10 at a time, rotating them when I get bored working on them. Sounds like a plan to me!
1. Sept One Hour Challenge-finish top, quilt it
2. Oct. One Hour challenge-piece blocks and make top to flimsy stage
3. Reunion Hatchet-finish binding and label it--ship it off to raffle winner
4. Quilt Pink- finish blocks, make top to flimsy stage
5. Frosty Flakes-add buttons and label
6. BB (Bias Buddies--my Friday night quilt group) Christmas ornaments--make 16 ornament blocks for Christmas exchange
7. BB Flowers--assemble blocks into top, quilt
8. Bright Coneflower-quilt, bind, label
9. G'ma's Wedding Ring--get binding on--I won't EVEN tell you how old this UFO is! I stopped at the binding because of all the curved edges. NOW is the time to finish it!
10. Baby Tumbling blocks-binding on and labeled

There, I said it in public--maybe that will be my push to buckle down and quit flitting from one thing to another!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sept. and Oct. Fabric Diets

Well, September has come and gone and didn't buy any fabric. (Well, I did, but it was strictly a gift, none for me-so that doesn't count). My cousin was duly impressed with my strong willpower and resolve UNTIL she saw my fabric stash! She then told me I needed to be in a fabric depression! LOL She's right and I've been doing good and will continue again into October. The only difference is that I'm not buying ANY fabric at all. I'm really trying to see how I can adjust and be creative to use what I have.

Now I'll try again for October. Oh, how I wish I could do the same thing with food! :)

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia

Imagine, if you will, a quirky yet romantic mellowdrama replete with young lovers, old flings, intrigue, and celebration. Now combine that with 22 hit songs from the Swedish disco super-group ABBA, a little spandex and sparkle, and you have "Mamma Mia". This Broadway musical has hit Las Vegas by storm, bringing audiences both 1970's nostalgia and just plain feel-good fun. The story takes place on a Greek island where Donna, a middle-aged, free loving, American ex-pat, owns a small hotel and bar. Her 20 year old daughterhas come there to have her wedding, but also hopes to be reunited with her absentee father. Three possible "candidates" from Donna's colorful past are invited to the island as well as her former bandmates Tanya and Rosie. As the story unfolds, the ABBA favorites are crooned, harmonized, and belted out, creating a perfect atmosphere for the story's comic mishaps. Whether you're a disco junkie, a Broadway fanatic, or just want to see a fantastically entertaining musical..."Mamma Mia" is where its at!

Review by Kristine Gregorian

This is how we spent our afternoon--loved it! We saw it for the first time in Toronto and it was just as good. We took our youngest daughter, who is a fanatical music lover, and of course she loved it too. It was fun to see an entire theatre on their feet dancing and singing with the cast (mostly at the end) and they were our age! There were a few popular songs that people couldn't help but slightly singing along and when the whole theatre was doing it, it was like a low hum, pretty funny.

Quilt Pink Day

National Quilt Pink Day was yesterday and my studio was one of the participants. I had friends and students come to help make blocks using Tonya's Take the Leap Challenge. I added a center vase of flowers (not done yet) to represent all those we have known that had breast cancer. I have a few more X's and O's to make to complete it. Of course, getting into the theme of things, I made PINK strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing, pink m & m's, pink kisses, mints wrapped with the pink ribbon, and pink lemonade. My pool boy (aka my hubby--hey, if my cuz can have one, so can I!) made pizzas for lunch. I was pleased with all we got done. I hope to have it sewn and quilted and ready to send off by the end of the month. The deadline isn't until Feb., but I don't want it lingering around.
Please take note of the block on the last row, second from the right. Sue worked so hard on her block and decided to take the Liberated Quilting one more step, her "+" is her version of an X! We had a lot of fun with her and she was a good egg. We weren't making fun of her, just laughing with her liberated quilting fun. They all enjoyed the liberated quilting, although it was hard for some of them to let loose after hearing me ingrain in them to be accurate. :)
They are going to start auctioning all these quilts in February to raise money for the Susan Komen Foundation. Thanks to all who helped me on this effort.