Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Favorite Card Game

Not much quilting going on today. I have some free time but just don't seem to have much motivation. Strange. I think I will page through a quilt book or two after this blog that is about as quilty as I can get! Randy came over to do his laundry (usually does every Sunday) and he, Kathy and I played our favorite card game Five Crowns! I even won one game. If you like card games I highly recommend this one. What is your favorite card game? I fondly remember playing Gin Rummy with my grandmother and learning to play cribbage with one of my uncles, but now this game is my favorite. It goes pretty fast and kids about age 8 can play it, so my kids have been playing for years.
I have my number swap all ready to go but trying to come up with a unique hostess gift to add to it. Not sure I will succeed there. Oh I forgot to mention I bought some Soak the other day. Washed all the bed quilts in the past few days and they smell and look great. Soak isn't cheap, but I think it is worth it to make the fabric last that much longer.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A New Starry-Eyed Block




Last night NewQuiltingClub posted the link for

the new starry-eyed block. I used a paisley with red in it (leftover backing from my cousing Crystal's wedding quilt--today is her baby shower and I am giving little Kash who is not yet born a puzzle quilt) and the red is just red. It went together really easily and I like how it turned out. I am really enjoying making random stars as the links get posted. Should make for an interesting quilt down the line. Here is the link if you are interested in the Shooting Star block. You can make it in two sizezs, I made the smaller size. http://delawarequilts.com/BOMs/ShootingStar/index.html


Here is Kash's quilt. We tied it and it has one puzzle piece different than the one we made for Ayla. I love the look of this quilt, but I highly recommend a design wall if you are doing it! I used a portable type wall and every time one of my four dogs would accidently touch it I had pieced on the floor!
Well I better get in the shower and get ready for the shower! Have a great day!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thirsty Thursday and Getting Ready for the Quilt Show!

I decided to follow my doctor's orders tonight and have a glass of wine. Supposedly it helps increase my good cholesterol. I love Lambrusco so it works for me. Notice I am using my new coaster that Flicsha from my Stashbuilders group sent me for being a sewing bee winner.
I told her that I really like the coasters and she surprised me by sending me the pattern for them! Some people really just are so nice, a total stranger and she went out of her way for me twice. THANKS! Today I also went and finished paying for my bus/hotel/etc. to go to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago April 12 and 13th! It will be my first time (I am an international quilt show virgin, GRIN) and even though I don't know anyone going in my group I figure I will make some new friends and I ordered myself a quilting book to read on the trip if the quilters are not friendly (as if!). I am sharing a room with Rose, I don't know her yet but hope we get on okay...at least for one night! Here is an advertisement for the show..the quilt on top looks yummy! I am getting excited, have been saving some money so I can splurge and be guilt free! Some of my online friends (whom I have never met) are going too...so I hope to meet up with a few. I will be carrying my Pickle Posse bag and am trying to figure out how to make a NewQuiltingClub logo (looks complicated to me!) so that I will stand out in the crowd. If you are going to be there and want to meet up give me a hollar! Hope to see you there.

I frog stitched and resewed the third row from the end of the Summer Bargello so it is right as rain now. Here is a pic (are you tired of them yet?) so you can see them all together and fixed. I took them this morning and the sun was not coming out that early. I am still mulling over my border ideas. I got some advice from an online quilter name Deborah and she is going to help me figure out how to get them all into one quilt and looking decent so wish me luck! I am debating if I should sign up for the Bargello Blues class at Quilt U. I know I would like it, but I am going to do Orange Crush and with getting this house sold I don't want to overdue it. I think I can take that class down the road since they do offer it every so often, but I kind of want to take it in April. So trying to resist, but...







Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Great Mail Day and Ideas for my Bargello Seasons

Today was a great mail day as my favorite magazine (Mark Lipinksi's Quilter's Home-don't you know!) arrived! If you aren't subscribing or buying this one you are missing out. It is quite entertaining and always inspires me somehow! This one has a recipe in it for Shrimp Fettuccini with Zucchini that I am going to make after I get to the grocery store. If I deshrimp part of it my vegetarian DD may even eat it, though DS won't touch anything even remotely good. HA. The other awesome thing in this month's magazine was the Quilted Notebooks! Not sure why I didn't think of making some of those--lol guess that is why someone else is getting the big bucks. I have leftover scraps of my son's Love Beads quilt (already batted, backed and quilted, then cut off as the design called for) and I have been saving them trying to figure out just what I could do with them as they are too nice to throw out. I was thinking about making a pillow of some sort, but I asked the 15 year old if he wanted a doodle journal with his quilt leftovers and he said sure! So first I will make him one, should be pretty easy since half the work is done, then I am making one for me and we will see from there. What a fun project!


I am trying to come up with ideas for borders for combining my four seasons quilts into one quilt. I have measured them all and Spring is 28.5 by 22.5 inches, Summer is 33.5 by 18.5 inches, Fall is 35 by 18.25 inches and Winter is 27 by 21 inches. I know I want to add a half inch red border to fall followed by a 2 or 2.5 inch fall border. I am pretty sure I want to add a small strip of solid fabric to summer, followed by a patchwork strip of leftovers from the bargello and the same color outside border. I have not yet decided what to do for Spring and Winter. I could try to do Bonnie at Quiltvilles Braid type border to one of them (if I can figure it out) but especially winter seems hard to figure a border on. I think I need a borders class, lol. If anyone has any terific ideas I would love to consider them! Oh Man I just realized I screwed up the summer design three rows from the right, didn't even see it til now...SHEESH. Will be fixing that!

We showed the house again tonight, we have shown the house 13 times in 23 days or something like that so we have been busy! If only someone would put in an offer. Smile.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Good Mail Day and A Duckie Quilt

It was another good mail day at my house. I got a quilting mag (though not my favorite one...) and I got a prize for my Stashbuilder's Sewing Bee they had this week. Flichsa sent me the cutest coasters that look like they are folded into triangles and then buttonhole sewn in the center. I need to find that pattern for some Christmas gifts! I was actually just thinking the other day that I wished I hadn't packed up all of my coasters because the desk I sit at to sew and to use the laptop is nice wood and I was using my Amy Butler book as a coaster which wasn't thrilling me! So now I have two nice coasters and when I get to AZ I will deem them coasters for my quilting studio! You can see in the picture I got a cute little jack-o-lantern wallhanging pattern and some cocoa and tea too. I definately felt like a winner! What a fun group! I won the drawing (lots of people were drawn daily all week) on Tuesday and again on Saturday so I think I have more prize coming my way, lol. I am happy with just this!
I did get in a little sewing tonight before heading out for the usual Margarita Monday with Kathy and Randy. I used leftover duck and blue fabric (from the mystery Kathy did more than two years ago) and cut up a few yellow and orange fabrics to go with it. I sewed them all together just simple like...
And made a cute little Duckie Doll quilt for my cousin Trisha's daughter Serina who will be 3 this weekend!
Here it is after pillowcasing it....and the backing is cute "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly" fabric.
I plan to add my I love you hand label to the back and tie it with orange or yellow floss in the next day or so but viola a bday gift that any little girl should love!




Sunday, March 23, 2008

Winter Bargello Top is Done!

My seasons bargello for Winter is a top! This one was a bit different than the others with two strips being frogged and reattached, sometimes taking out one or two fabrics as you go. I didn't find it too hard to do but I don't think this one is my favorite construction wise. It went together pretty quickly considering I made a zillion trips to the bathroom all night long...apparently something I ate at the casino buffet. So much for a good Easter dinner! I am so happy to have had some time to sew today. Spring Break is over and back to the grind I go tomorrow. Hopefully my cold improves or I will be having sick days this week--UGH! I am losing my voice and wondering if it is more than a cold...I hate to go to the doctor for me! Night all!

Aaaah Finally Some Sewing!

I got my strip sets all sewn together for the Winter Bargello! I haven't ironed them as you can see and the colors actually are in backwards order--I should have rotated the picture, but you get the idea. I can hardly wait to see what it looks like, but since we decided to be crazy this Easter and go to the casino for gambling and buffet it will wait until later or tomorrow! Happy Easter to those who celebrate!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Fabulous Mail Day AND a Trip to the Fabric Store!



Today's mail brought my new Pickle Posse Bag and Pin! Looks like a great size to bring to Chicago for my purchases. Hopefully a few other Pickles can find me among the crowd too. The other side says Pickle Head and you can get it http://www.cafepress.com/buy/pickle+posse/-/source_searchBox if you want to be a pickle too!

I also got my confirmation for my bus trip to Chicago...I am so excited for my first ever huge quilt show and trip with other quilters. I am saving my pennies for this trip already and plan to just get whatever hits my fancy when I go...I never do that so it is time!






My new pincushion arrived today too! It is the sweetest thing in the world! It is really good sized and the detail on it is incredible. It was worth the twenty I spent on it and made me smile all afternoon! I got it from http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=3988 which was talked about in Mark Lipinski's Quilter's Home Magazine. I looked them up several times since I saw the yellow one pictured in his mag and talked myself out of it til the other day when I decided I NEEDED a pincushion. Apparently Spring fever has hit me in the form of I need to shop or something. Yesterday I got four quilter's charms in the mail (to start replacing my stolen charm bracelet) and again guess who recommended the site? Yep the leader of the Pickle Posse himself! So I am blaming my buys on him, wonder who he blames his on. (Just read in the new mag, on God! LOL) Just kidding Mark...you do have FABULOUS taste!






A few of my online groups are doing 6 and a half inch block exchanges with fabric that represents all the letters of the alphabet. I signed up for one (my very first fabric swap!) so I have N for Numbers. Picture flashed a little hard, but plenty of colorful numbers on there for the kiddies. I will be cutting these up tonight so I can get them all set.










So that brings me to another quilter I admire...Bonnie Hunter! She has been hard at work on a new mystery quilt to be started April 1st. I havent' really gotten into scrap quilting (more like I buy the fabric new and use it to make a quilt then have scraps piling up) but I love her style and know there are more scrap quilts in my future. If you want to play along with the Quiltville crowd she will be posting the clues soon (some info is already up on http://quiltville.com/) and there is a yahoo group deticated to her mysteries too. I am still in the McQuilter stage of my game, so I stuck pretty close to the colors Bonnie is using for her "Orange Crush" mystery quilt. I picked these fabrics out today and will combine that with scraps I already have. No idea how it will all come out, but that is at least half the fun. I also have no idea where this quilt is going or for who it will go to...but somehow they all wind up with a home so I am not too worried about that. I plan to get cutting pretty soon. Also in the mail today was the Easy Angle Ruler needed for this mystery. What a fabulous mail day it was! Oh and I got a 25 dollar gift certificate to Amazon for using my credit card and earning points too! Going to have to look for a quilt book!


I found the right brown for my Winter Bargello quilt too so I can get on that this afternoon too. Thanks to my new commenters...It is nice to know someone is enjoying these blogs almost as much as me. GRIN.





Winter Bargello is Cut

I have had such an awful cold and between that and showing the house very little time for quilting. I did however manage to cut strips for my Winter Bargello for Quilt U. Here are two pictures with one different strip. I like the funky fabric with the blue, green, and brown but it might be too much for winter so for the first picture I took it out and added another blue. I thought looking over the pictures might help me decide. I have to get to the fabric store today to get more of the dark brown since I have a scrap in there and need to get a fat quarter. Which picture do you think will make a better Winter Bargello?


















This is what we look like everyday as we go hang out in the cars with the dogs. Sometimes the youngest son is with us, DD always finds somewhere to go off to so she doesn't have to hang out in various parking lots with us and the dogs. Cross your fingers my house will sell, one gal came through for the THIRD time yesterday. I should think 3 hours in my home would cinch the deal for her. Either you want the house or you don't right? Sigh.















Lots of people have posted about the view from their kitchen window...so here is mine. There is a dog kennel out there so you can see the top of it but then there is a hill with woods and right now Spring is looking rather like Winter but that is what I get to see as I wash the dishes. Sometimes wildlife scampers about. I absolutely cannot wait for some Spring! We were working on yard cleanup since the snow was melting a few days ago, and yesterday we shovelled three times since the snow would not stop pouring out of the sky. I am trying to enjoy it since it may be my last for a very long time! Arizona here I come!
We stayed home last night and watched movies. Saw Enchanted which was ok, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium which also was ok and Awake which was decent too. Nothing to run right out and rent if you haven't seen them, but kept us entertained. Have more to watch tonight too. Haven't done the movie rental thing in a long time! Well, off to eat, clean the house, sit in the car while it shows itself and come home and chill! I am planning to sew the Winter Bargello tomorrow FOR SURE!

Monday, March 17, 2008

My First Experience with Paper Piecing...and Katmandu Arrived!

Here is my first try at paper piecing. It may be my last! The pattern is available at Cia's Palete http://www.ciaspalette.com/patterns/03/4_point_star.html and is a nice pattern . I read up on several tutorials how to do paper piecing, but am not the best at learning how to do something like this from reading...I do much better with an actual person showing me. I have seen this done on Alex Anderson's show, and even thought "oh that doesn't look so bad" which makes me laugh now! I screwed up several different ways and did plenty of unsewing. It really isn't all that hard, but I just don't have a very geometric way of thinking so I had trouble visualizing the size to cut the fabric (sometimes I cut it out backwards--sigh) and a few times I sewed it on in the wrong direction...finally I started pinning on my sewing line and opening it to make sure it was right and that I had enough fabric to cover all areas. I had two of one size and two of another and had to rip out again and try to make two bigger. Not sure if the paper was acutally different size (possible since I may have printed them on different days) or if I just sewed inside the seam on two and outside it on the other two. I was going to start over, but decided to just make it passable for now and move on since I really wasn't enjoying it much. Ta Da here it is.

Try not to laugh...for a first try it isn't THAT bad, is it?
On to the next topic. Many of the blogs I read (and I love to read them!) have been talking about their pincushions and that got me to thinking I didn't even have one! I used to have a tomato but got rid of it when I got my magnetic heart thingy which is what I use every time I sew. I went looking just in case I had kept my boring old tomato though and found this little black and red pincushion with MD on it (my son's initials) that he made me in school several years ago. I have never really used it, but now I plan to find a job for it!

I also decided to splurge and order myself a cute pincushion since I will soon have a quilting studio and will need to look like I know what I am doing (grin) so I ordered an adorable one from http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=3988 but not telling which one yet...you can try to guess what my style would be if you want!
I also got my order of Katmandu fabric designed by my favorite hip guy Mark Lipinski in the mail today! I couldn't decide which fabrics I wanted since I haven't found them in my local shops and only can see them online, so I got crazy and ordered a kit with forty fat quarters and more from Abbi May's Fabric Shop http://abbimays.com/index.php and they look SO GREAT in person! I have no idea if I can even cut them up. One is better than the next and I am glad I get to see so much of it in these fat quarters! I am not sure if I am going to make the BOM kit that I bought from or do other things with it, but for now I will just look at them and wonder at the talent of fabric designers like Mark! If you are not already a member of Mark's Pickle Posse you should really come join us for the fun in our Yahoo group. It is NEVER boring there! I can't wait to see what Mark comes up with next. Oh and Abbi May's gave me a cute little freebie with my order which also made my day! It is to hold needles and buttons and such and I don't have one, so that is awesome too!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week 6 Irish Star BEOW Complete

We drove down to Waupun to visit CJ yesterday, spent the night and I got to spend a few hours with him. Was so nice to see my DS. He surprised me and cut his hair so I barely recognized him. He is doing well all things considered.

I was bummed not to sew yesterday for National Quilting Day, but tonight after some yard work (snow is melting and the tree we had cut down left us quite a mess under all that snow) I got my sixth Star Block Every Other Week completed for my NewQuiltingClub Yahoo group. They are a bunch of fun ladies, very upbeat and positive. I love all the different stuff they have going on even though I only do about an eighth of it right now! Here is my block...



The four patches (and the all the fabric except the green star stuff) was leftover from the quilt I helped Kathy make for her sister. It was her very first quilt and she wanted it to be Arizona-ish. I didn't have enough of the jalapeno left over so I substituted the star stuff. Looks okay to me. I have another block to do (from several weeks ago) but it is paper piecing and I have never done it before. I plan to review the tutorials and try it tomorrow if I don't have a house showing to take up all my time! I had mild migraine yesterday and today, but took some meds and feel SO much better now...not sure why I didn't take one yesterday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Surprise Block

I was feeling kind of blue this evening for no reason in particular. I wanted to get into bed and pull up the covers but it was too early and I hate feeling that way. So...I tried to think about what would cheer me and get the good seritonin flowing in my life...decided to take up the challenge from my fabulous online yahoo group (NewQuiltingClub) and do the Baltimore Blues Block of the Month block one. I love the look of Baltimore Album quilts though I now have a new appreciation for some of what goes into them! WOW! I did the January block from http://www.fatcatpatterns.com/baltimore_blues.htm though I think that one isn't available online unless you make a donation, but the rest are still free on the website as the months come up (they leave them for 60 days I think). This may be my first and last block (pillow? bag? lol) but I did enjoy the work of putting it together. I have yet to machine sew it on...but I thought it would be good practice for the quilt I started from Quilter's Home Magazine awhile back. I have all the applique on that but am afraid to ruin it by machine since I don't have much experience with applique...but you gotta start somewhere I guess. So this is a suprise block since I didn't know for sure I was going to do it. I needed a pleasant suprise tonight. And with the blues, Baltimore Blues it was....
On the upside my honey brought me the perfect cup of coffee tonight, the new wood floor is all throughout the downstairs (will try to get some pictures in the sunlight tomorrow), and the house is CLEAN since you never know when the next showing is!

I almost forgot...the other night when I needed a quick sewing fix I used two orphan blocks from my Weaver Fever quilt and leftover fabric to make a pillow which matches my quilt. I am happy with it though I already found a little hole I need to fix...bed is very coordinated now!

National Quilting Day!


Saturday, March 15, is National Quilting Day.This is NQA's logo, click http://www.nqaquilts.org/NatQuiltDay.html to go to their site for more information about the day and their quilt day activities. I hope to be working on my Winter Bargello, but may be road tripping and have to celebrate NQD on Sunday!

A Question for Readers and My Favorite Easy Quilt!

On my Pickle Road Yahoo group some of us were coming up with six word memoirs. Not sure where the idea originated from, but challenge yourself to come up with one for you. Mine is Tallking hands, curious scholar, resilient mother and I think it suits me.

I am not sure how many readers I have here but thought I would ask a question of you and see how many people respond. I am always curious what people's favorite easy quilt pattern is. I have asked this question of some of my online groups and I keep a list of them in my quilt journal. It is always fun to find pictures of other's favorites and when I need a simple type quilt I can try one. Speaking of which my favorite easy pattern is "A Quilt Called Simple" and you can see the story by Popser about it here http://popser.com/Simplequilt.html and at the bottom of that page you can click to see a photo. I have made one of these for my honorary princess daughter Rachel. It now resides in Norway with her. The pattern is available in Quick Quilts #36 from 2003. She wanted dogs on her quilt, so this has dogs and cats and the quilting is fabulous (done by my longarmer) and in places it says bow wow and meow! I want to make another one of these in the baby quilt size. It is a pretty pattern!

So What is YOUR favorite easy quilt pattern?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Starry Eyed Block from Week Three

I just finished the Starry Eyed block from week 3....I have one more to go and I will be caught up! Though I am sure a few more will be coming along the pike shortly. I used up scraps and partial blocks leftover from the bathroom fish shower curtain quilt! My seams aren't exact enough for me, overall I like this one and it wasn't as hard as the one I just did!
Now I am off to either clean up the sewing stuff or maybe whip up a pillow from two leftover blocks from my bed quilt. I have a pillowform just waiting to be covered!

Starry Eyed Block Five

My online group (NewQuiltingClub) at yahoo is making starry eyed blocks every other week. I am a few blocks behind at this point as they got harder (paper piecing--I have never tried that, and one with a zillion peices) and I had less time. We have been showing our house almost every day (twice tomorrow) and so there is lots and lots of cleaning, running around, hiding dog food dishes and kennels and such (advice was to get rid of pet stuff..we are leaving the cat food, water and box down there is only so much we can do!) and loading four dogs (one blind) into the car or cars and driving around the block several times while people look at the house! Anyway today I finally had a chance to get to block number five! Here is the link to the directions if you want to try it. http://members.tripod.com/~fvqg/07archiv/0507.htm It is a cute block, but I found it hard to get the lines to line up just so on the points. I would not like to make an entire quilt from this block with my sewing skills. I like how cute it turned out..if I don't look too closely at the not quite matched up spots! I have two other star links to get to....so back to the machine!








Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fall Bargello is Complete!



I finished my Fall/Autumn Bargello Quilt today. I am very happy with it...learned alot about precision. I didn't use labels like recommended and I really should have, would save myself some aggravation I think. After you do about six strips you have memorized which fabric is what letter though. I only had to unsew one complete strip as I mostly learned to check the pattern before sewing this time! I did unsew a few places where I wanted it narrower or wider but not too many since I did follow Ruth's directions on how to get a perfect 1/4 inch seam and it really worked! I only did it for the strips though...so I could sew the red fracture fabric downwards, then flip things around to sew the next strip upwards to keep things more square. I should maybe have used it for the 3/4 strips (not just fracture strips) but I didn't think of it until mostly done. They look okay though.

The above picture is how the three seasons look while awaiting Winter which we do next week and the week after. I am thinking about putting them into a quilt with borders (each quadrant made the same size due to the borders since they aren't quite the same size now!) and getting it quilted by my longarmer. What do you think? Individual wallhangings, or a Seasons Bargello Quilt?