Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February Wallhanging done

I forgot to post this earlier...but I got February's Button Up wallhanging done. Maybe I'll get March's done by the time March comes and can have it for the whole month! Hmmm, novel idea!Love and kisses to all! :)

Finishing some UFO's!

Yeah baby! I finally got all the bindings on the quilts I got quilted at my retreat...5 more off the list! I need a retreat at least once a month I think.

The first one, "Cottontail" was started over 10 years ago with a friend! I know it's so dang complicated that it took me that long to do it. I finished the top at LAST year's retreat and just now quilted it. Is that pathetic or what? But it's done and off the list and ready to hang for Easter. Whew!
#2 "Tower of Spools"--was part of my Quilt 24 Challenge, my design. I was asked to do a lecture/trunk show on that Challenge at a quilt guild, so thought it would be a good idea that they were all done and quilted, considering the challenge was in 2007! LOL
#3- "Positively Pineapple"- done for a class sample a couple of years back. I wanted to do circles on it on Zoe, but never had the nerve to do it. I've messed up on a few quilts by practicing new things and didn't really want to mess up on this. But decided to go ahead and do it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be to do. The quilting doesn't show well in this picture.
#4- "Spinning Stars" TR-- I showed that to you in the last post--but 'Kathy' is the one who gets credit for quilting it. hahahaha

#5- "Daisy Fields"-- another one of the Quilt 24 Challenge quilts, my design. I used a reproduction prints and wanted to do mostly 'traditional' type quilts, but with a contemporary twist. So I made this asymetrical. I was going to put yellow buttons on the flowers but a friend told me not to because the leaves points turned out well--she said you use buttons to hide flaws! LOL I just thought it would look good to make a flower. I pre-baste my appliques like Ted does. I just don't do well with needleturn. Doing them her way insures perfect points (well most of the time for me).

So, would you put buttons on the center of the flowers or not?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Retreat Report

We had a great time at our retreat last weekend..geez, has it been a whole week ago already? Busy week, but wanted to report on our weekend. After a tense few days when our electric was out for 2 days RIGHT before our retreat had me a bit worried. But it came back on in time to carry on. We have 8 in our small group and we divide up in pairs to do retreats, block exchanges, etc. It was my turn with my friend and we decided to do a cupcake themed retreat. Here's what we placed at everyone's seats. We made cupcake pincushions for everyone. We used those silicone cupcake liners and stuffed a fabric square with batting and then hot glued it in the liner. We put colored pins in them to resemble sprinkles. Then we made kits for everyone to make a sewing machine mat. We got this darling cupcake fabric (Robert Kaufman) and then I embroidered their names on the pocket piece and Cheryl fused cupcakes (leftover from the fabric) on. We cut everything out for everyone and all they had to do that night was do some simple quilting and then bind it. We also made the hugest cupcake pincushion EVER and I forgot to take a picture of them! I'll do it later. Actually I did take a picture of one of our buddies and she was holding 2 of them in a very provocative manner and didn't think she'd want it made public! LOL You owe me Mishelle! We played Bingo, using words that pertained to our group, and played a word scramble and had quite some lively conversations--one was what constituted a compound word. We had little cups with colored M&M's--quilter's pills good for energy for just about everything...seam ripping...decision making, like what color to use....winding bobbins. And we all had mannequin heads and we were to post thoughts about our fellow quilters on them...all good of course!

Evil twin Kathy made an appearance and took over the machine quilting on a tablerunner. She did a very poor job--it was like she had never quilted before! She blames it on doing so much on Zoe that she's out of practice on a regular machine. I say phooey--and SHE is getting the credit for quilting that, not me! I was pretty mad at her for doing so bad and she got back at me and ate all my M&M's! This was one of the Quilt 24 Challenge quilts and will be great in a 'hang 'em high and keep 'em moving' exhibit only! LOL

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stash Busting Week #7

Busy week last week and then I hosted my quilt group's retreat at my house/studio. I so wanted to work on NEW stuff, but with piles of UFO's and a whole stack of flimsies to quilt, I decided to be good and machine quilt all weekend. PLUS, it busted a lot of stash making up the backings and bindings! I really needed that because I went to a quilt store final days where ALL fabric was $3/yard! (no--it wasn't the Kaffe Fasset fabric--darn!). So I had to do something that would counteract that. And it was a very good weekend--although "Kathy" (my evil twin) made an appearance and wasn't very good. But more on her later. :)

Stash IN: 12 yards
Stash OUT: 12 3/4 yards

Stash IN YTD: 22 yards
Stash OUT YTD:31 yards
Net Total: 9 yards

I'm not sure about the totals for the last week, somehow I got all confused--I'm not used to buying fabric that when I have to add it to my totals--it gets me all flustered! LOL So my totals now are accurate. I finally got a little cheap planner and keep it at my cutting table so I can record daily and have a count. I used to do it on an Excel program, but that's in the house and then I'd forget, so this will be better.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shout Out and struggling with my evil twin

First of all--a SHOUT OUT to my friend, Vickie, who is now a featured designer on Moda's Bakeshop --cute little projects using their charm packs, jelly rolls, etc. And now her second 'recipe' is on there. Go check all the darling projects. Congratulations Vickie!!
Second, I've been having a bit of a struggle with my evil twin, Kathy (why Kathy? I don't know, but a lot of people call me Kathy by mistake--maybe it's when her naughtiness flares up??). Vickie mentioned going to a quilt shop and getting Kaffe Fassett's fabric and a lot of other neat fabrics for 50% off!! The whole entire shop is 50% off! Whoa--now that is some sale. So, 'Kathy' starts scheming to make the 1 1/2 hour trip over there to check them out. I mean, that's a darn good price! She had ALL kinds of reasons why it was a good idea. Great price that you rarely see, I LOVE that stuff, great prices, I love it, you know the story. She pretty much had convinced me that it was okay to go over and buy more fabric, because it was a really good price! I was all set to call my friend, tell her to get dressed and we're going on a road trip. Then the real me emerged and told me to get over to that studio and take out ALL the Kaffe fabric I have and figure out exactly where I'm lacking. Well........first there is this little tub--and oh look, a few projects that were started and forgotten about..........hmmm, here are the NEW bags that hubby got for my birthday..............oops, here's that pile I got what? 2 years ago?? And then there is the basket full that I got maybe 4 or 5 years ago? And I need MORE? ROFLOL. Nope, can't justify it. NO matter how I tried, I knew it was wrong, just plain wrong to go buy MORE to store in my room! And now you can understand my need to BUST stash--not increase it!

So, "Kathy" slinked back to the house and then reminded me of the local quilt store that is closing her doors in 2 more days and ALL fabric is $3/yard! I did go for a friend, HONEST! But... I did buy (3) 4 yard pieces for backings. All legal, according to Stashbusters. And my yardage is low--so I feel confident it will get used. So--I guess you can my evil twin won a little battle, but that's more justified than buying more, just cuz. And tell "Kathy" to quit pouting.

Frugal Housewife and Mini log cabins

I stumbled across this site last week and just love it. I certainly fit the description! I'm usually pretty frugal and am trying to be even better. So, I thought I'd join in and whenever I make a post about being frugal, I'll add this button. How 'bout you? Are you frugal?

I have a CLOSET full of beautiful fabric, yet I seem drawn to those little bits of fabric that others throw away! I guess that's where that FRUGAL part of me comes in. I don't like to see waste. I'm done with the Scrappy Diamonds for the moment, I have bins of big strips for my Heartstrings blocks and now any bright colored fabric that comes along that is 1" wide, I snag for my little log cabins. I originally saw this on Melly and Me's blog--as blocks. When I went back to get the link for you, they now have a Scrappy Log Cabin challenge and a tutorial. They do their's by foundation piecing and I'm doing mine a bit different, although I did use their size strips.
I'm not paying any attention to lights/darks or whatever. I'm just putting them on as I pull them out of my little drawers. I found that if I pre-cut the strips into the sizes of 'logs' that I need, I'm more prone to sew on them when I have a few minutes. I got these little drawers and labeled them with the size. I needed one more drawer, so I used a little basket for the 2 1/2" squares for the center and the 2 1/2" logs for the 1st round. I found I can make 2 log cabins in 15 minutes. I much prefer pre-cutting the logs because I have found that you can keep your log cabin 'square' easier. Otherwise you are always having to trim and square it up. If your log FITS your square as you are sewing it on, then you know you are okay. If it doesn't, then you need to check your seam allowances. I've tried paper piecing log cabins, and find them too tedious. I've also tried doing them by laying down the strips and adding the log cabins that way (similar to the Mile a Minute blocks). But you still have to trim them apart. In the way I do them, I can just cut a few logs as I am cleaning up a mess on my table or find a few scraps.
I press each round as I go, to make sure that my seams are completely pressed. I have a TV tray set up next to me with my little travel ironing mat and mini iron. Isn't is cute? It's pink too! LOL (PS...I tried to find a link for it, but couldn't find the same one. I bought mine at a National Quilt Show from a vendor.)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Week #6 Stash Report

Much better! Much, much better! I'm out of the negatives and into the positives as far as busting stash again. I made backings for 3 quilts, and did some bindings as well as pulled fabric for my Wallhanging of the Month, the Button Up series by Joined at the Hip. Next week should be a good one as our quilt group's retreat is next weekend and my goal is to get a lot of the smaller flimsies quilted, and so I'll be pulling more backing fabric. It will be interesting to see how much I get done!

Stash IN: 0 yards
Stash OUT: 12 yards

Stash IN YTD: 10 yards
Stash OUT YTD: 5.5 yards

Friday, February 06, 2009

February's finish

Editor's note: sorry this got posted earlier without pictures. That's what happens when you try to write a blog in the middle of the night.(that darn PMS....gasp! could it be the start of that "M" word??) I thought I was doing a draft and I would add pictures later. Then somehow I hit 'publish' and didn't even notice it, until I got a comment and I wondered what she was talking about! LOL..so, now I will complete this post!
I finally got the FQ Stars quilt finished that I will send on to Alycia for Quilts of Valor. I feel like I'm finally getting back into a routine again. Until I could get settled down, I have just been working on my WISP's--a journal quilt from last year, a bright log cabin and some Flying geese. I work on these a little bit each day. Some of the quilts that are a bit tedious I find are better done in Baby Steps. I don't get bored, but I sure don't make quick progress! I was also working on my Scrappy Diamonds, but I have finally got all 174 Diamonds made. Now to turn it into a quilt! LOL

Today is so warm (well, it feels warm compared to what it has been) and our snow is slowly melting away. I took this picture about 1 1/2 weeks ago and now it's almost gone.I really like having snow in the winter, it makes everything look so much better. Now all the melting snow is exposing all the brown stuff...dead grass, mud, leafless trees. I hope this isn't the last of the snow. I figure if it's going to be cold...we might as well have snow. Now the ice..I can do without that!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A few odd and end vacation pictures

Here I am with two of my oldest grandkids in Paris...they were real troopers! They got around on their little Razors and kept up with all of us. They had duck for their last meal in Paris and even tried escargot, even when I told them what it really was. Of course, the 5 year old thought it was neat that he was eating snails!
I am cleaning up my camera and getting all my pictures in their proper locations and came across a few photos I wanted to share. Ted kept telling me about a house in s'Gravenzande that had a whole side of their garage filled with clocks all from the generations over the years. I told her I wanted to get a photo of it because my dad loves clocks. When I hopped out of the car to take a photo and got to the side of the house, I was shocked! These are shoes, not clocks! She was saying, 'clogs'.!!Anyway, she said that the home has been in the family for generations and when they had shoes that wore out, they hung them on the wall. So, there are many generations of shoes there. The people across the street must have thought I was nuts, hopping out of the car and running down the driveway! They stood watch the whole time!
Isn't this a cool Metro station? It's all tile mosaic and so bright and colorful. If the guys wouldn't have been in such a hurry, I could have gotten more pictures, but as it was, I didn't want to miss the train!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Gone antiquing...

This is a bit late, but wanted to share my finds! My Mom loves to go antiquing and so do I, but I rarely take the time anymore. So when she was here a few weeks ago after my trip, we took a day to head out to the Antique Malls. Actually, what motivated me was an article in the newest
'Quilter's Home" about the Jewel Tea Princess sewing baskets. My mom had one, but she thinks she gave it to my sister (who is not a seamstress at all!), but that's okay. I'll just go get one of my own! LOL So we set out on our search for these sewing baskets. I should know that you NEVER find what you are looking for right away in antique shops--you usually discover them on a random day. But it was fun looking. I have a friend who collects antique quilts and I found quite a few that I knew would peek her interest. So I took photos of all that I found and contacted her. And in the meantime, came across a few other ones that "I" was interested in! One was a wholecloth whitework wedding quilt....in perfect condition. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the Swan motif in the center and the feather wreaths in the corners aren't real pronounced, but still quite visible. The quilting was nice and I decided that I needed it. :) I don't plan on ever making one for myself, so the next best thing is to buy one! And boy--is it ever hard to get a good photo shot of this one! I took about 10 different shots and this is the only one that came even close to what it looks like. I guess that should be my next endeavor, taking some photography lessons!
A few stores down from the antique mall was a cute little home decor shop that was closing in two days and everything was half off. I came across these two quilts and decided the price was right and they were in great condition. The first one is a Boston Commons (if that's not the right name..let me know!) And was in great condition and was nicely handquilted. The bluework embroidery one does show some fading, probably it was on the side of the bed that faced a window. But it was a sateen cotton that felt like silk! And the embroidery was still in nice condition.Unfortunately they weren't dated or signed. ANOTHER good reason to put labels on our quilts girls!
And TA DA!!!! Guess what I found!! Since the antique malls were not cooperating, there is always EBAY!!! LOL The price of them went up a lot, I imagine having a magazine feature them created a newfound interest! I was the highest bidder, so it is now on it's way. It should be here early this week. Woo hoo! And I found a pink one to boot. Isn't that special?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sewing pals...age 8

Aren't these the cutest 8 year olds? One is my granddaughter (in the 'star' glasses--what a ham!) and the other is a granddaughter of a student. I hold regular PJ parties (they must come dressed in PJ's or get fined $5) in which we make different items (usually not quilts--but fabric related) that can be made in a few hours. I try to get different techniques or something in. Well, my DGD wanted to come and my friend asked if she could bring her DGD as well. They hit it off right away and both did an awesome job sewing their pillowcase (the PJ party theme that night). It was so cute at the end of the night, they determined they were sewing pals. And gave each other big hugs goodbye. And then both went home, bouncing off the walls with excitement at what they were going to sew the next day with their new 'pal'. And both got up extremely early in case they would miss it!
The next day was Open Sew and since our GD's were staying with us, I said they could come as well. They collaborated on making purses (where they invaded my supply closet--but my DGD said it was okay since she was part of the family!) and came up with the cutest purses. I forgot to get a picture of them. And then they spent the last hour making Heartstring blocks. I'm close to having enough for a quilt, then I'll make it for QOV. They did such a good job. I was busy helping others and those 2 just worked together, sewing and pressing their own blocks. It just thrills my heart that my granddaughter loves sewing as much as I do! I had to kind of force my daughter's to learn to sew, but they never 'loved' it like I did. Well Miss Special K does! And she is thrilled to find another girl her age that loves it too! I can see many fun days ahead!
This is everyone with their finished pillowcase(s). Notice how they are all covering up their PJ's?

It's such an awesome way to make pillowcases. I've been making them this way for about 10 years. I thought it would make a great tutorial, but then Mary put one up and why duplicate? :) So, go on to Mary's site and see her tutorial of this easy pillowcase.

Stash busting Report Week #5

Ahh...didn't start out the year too well. :( Since I've been gone so much, I haven't used that much and then I took a couple of new quilter's (old friends--new quilters--yeah!) to a quilt store that is going out of business and everything was 50% off. I knew I shouldn't have tempted myself. And of course, she still had some fabric that I so admired last summer, plus a lime green/white gingham in the size that I have been looking for and I broke down. I ended up with 10 yards. Good for me in the older days of past. I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but wish I could have said no anyway. It's over, I'm home for a while and hopefully will start using more stash again! I did finish a large wallhanging and the base unit for it, so I got my finish in for the month. But I already counted that material, and the other ongoing projects were using scraps, and I don't count those used in my reports. They are just too small to count and besides, I'm rescuing them from the trash can and not stash! LOL

I did avoid the Super Bowl Sunday sales--obviously I'm much better staying at home!

This week in: 10 yards
This week out: 0 yards

YTD in: 10 yards
YTD out: 6 1/4 yards
Total busted YTD: (3 3/4 yards) --wow--that's the first time I've ever been in the negative area! Better get busy! :)