Sunday, July 30, 2006

This may not seem like a very pressing issue! BUT! I am getting ready to reorganize my sewing room. Glutton for punishment. I currently have my fabric sorted by color and inside Rubbermaid-type see-through tubs. They are stacked on shelves (also some in the closet, some on the floor--you get the picture!) I get all dreamy-eyed and wistful when I see sewing rooms where the fabric is "out in the open" and readily available. That's what I want. I think it will help me to use those long-forgotten but wonderful pieces that somehow get lost in translation in the tubs. Right? Okay, here's my dilemma: my fabrics are all different sizes!!! How do you folks who use the "out in the open" method arrange the fabrics so that you can see what you have without the itty-bitty pieces being buried?
On a different note, yesterday I got my 5" squares cut for the Nickel Swap my mini-group is doing and thought it would be fun to reflect back on how we have done this swap. We started in September '05. Each month we all bring 8 stacks of 10 fabrics cut into the 5" pieces. Only requirement is that it be 100% good quality cotton--what you would want to receive. Our schedule: Sept: yellows, golds Oct: oranges, rusts, browns Nov: reds, burgundies Jan: blues, teals Feb: purples, lavendars Mar: pinks, mauves Apr: greens, olives, aquas May: taupes, beiges, off-whites, whites June: blacks, grays July: light backgrounds with prints Aug: multi-color prints and for Sept: batiks, color on color, marbles. What has amazed me is that, so far, I have gotten no duplicates!!! Those little squares are just such wonderful eye candy! I like having them in the sewing room just to look at and think about how nice it is to have friends who like to quilt, like me!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My New Book

Yay, I was able to find

the book yesterday that we are using in Sewing Bee to help with Stash Reduction. It has five great, quicky quilts to make. We are doing the 4-Patch Flip (top picture on the back cover). I will probably not start on mine till a couple (a couple, she says???) other projects are Done Done. I thought the 4-Patch Flip would be a great one to use for a Quilts in Force one. Quilts in Force is one of my guild's ongoing charity projects. We provide quilts for kids in crisis. We hand them out to police officers, women's shelters, children's hospitals, etc. It is a wonderful cause and I try to do a couple a year. Currently I have some adorable Boyd's Bears fabric that I am wanting to use. Maybe the 4-Patch Flip will provide a good setting. BLT Ritual My husband and I have an annual summer ritual. When we get our first ripe crop of homegrown tomatoes, we have crispy bacon, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup and/or mayo sandwiches. We are like two little kids waiting for the ice cream truck as we watch the yummy little orbs turn orangy-red on the vines. Of course, we have to compete with ground hogs, but this year we have managed to come out winners! Lunch today was the BIG EVENT. We tried so hard to savor them, but pure lust won out. Mmmmmm....nothing tastes as good as those first garden tomatoes.

A Little Time For Quilting!

The twenty five friendship star blocks are now sewn together in rows. You may remember that I mentioned my mini-group "volunteered" to make the opportunity quilt for the quilt show! We are designing "on the fly" LOL. We knew for sure we wanted 25 friendship stars to represent that our guild will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2007 and also the friendship star is our symbol. We also knew we wanted to use bright, tone-on-tone fabrics. The next section will be a muted black inner border with appliqued star "flowers", vines, and leaves--using the leftover fabrics from the big stars. The final border--we think--will be that wonderful batik at the foot of the bed. We decided to wait on our final decision on the outer border till we see how the inner border applique turns out. There are 8 gals in my wonderful mini-group. These 5 were the ones I could "bully" into being in a picture with the quilt top!!! Notice how I carefully maneuvered so that I would not have to be in the picture!!! Someone has to be the photographer, after all.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cats Who Quilt

I don't know how folks who do not have cats are able to get any quilting done, really I don't! This morning I set aside a couple of hours to work on the handstitching of the binding down on Libertyville. I got about a half a side done when Natasha decided I needed her supervision. Couldn't possibly get it right without her intervention. A few weeks ago I captured this photo op of Rocky closely inspecting some fabrics I had pulled out of the stash--he is quite particular about which fabrics I use together!!! I am really anxious to get Libertyville into the Done Done pile as it is taking up room that could be used for more projects LOL. Yesterday I had mentioned my guild's Sewing Bee was starting a group of stash-busting projects. The first one is from the book Fat Quarter Five by Peterson. I still need to find the book (hmmm...a trip to a quilt shop this afternoon?). Our first one is called 4 Patch Flip and can be made scrappy or coordinated. While it calls for 17 FQs, most of the gals were cutting the strips across the width of their fabric yardages to make for faster strip piecing. I'll show a photo as soon as I can locate the book. It had some other quicky, scrappy, cute quilts. KC is hovering around 90 degrees right now. DH and I always like to eat a late lunch out on Fridays. He still works (has a small business) but tries to stop early on Friday. I am craving a Southwestern Wrap from a local restaurant called Houlihans. I really wish I could break the Blogger code of where photos are going to land!!! They preview one way and publish another way. Aaargh.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Still Around!

The last two weeks have been unusually busy! When I did get a chance or two to post, Blogger was playing nasty. Garage sale is over and cleaned up from, drs. appointments are over except for a couple, and life is settling back down. I don't have any quilt photos today, but I am sure hoping to set foot in my sewing room---soon. I am heading out this morning to my guild. Fourth Thursdays we have what is called Sewing Bee. Whoever is in charge for the year comes up with neat ideas for us to work on together. For the next few months we'll be doing--ta da-- stashbusters! This morning I will just watch since I missed the regular meeting while in Colorado when they showed projects. This first one is called 4-Patch Flip and calls for 17 FQs. They are to be already cut before we come today. Uh-oh! Since I could not visualize what we were doing without having seen the project, I had no idea what fabrics to pull!!! I am hoping to just get an idea of what's going on, then work on it on my own. This project will probably go on the back burner anyway since I have many, many projects in the works already. LOL I need to do my Block 7 of Birds of a Feather, my 3 July stars from the Jo Morton Scrappy Stars, cut the sashing and border for the auction blocks I won, work on quilts I have designated for Christmas gifts, add to my Calendar Quilt----phew, I'm exhausted! Plus we are working hard on the opportunity quilt in my mini-group. Hmmm, think I should get off this computer???

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

No Quilting Makes Jill a Cranky Girl

Since returning from the mountains, I have had NO time to quilt!!! I have been busy all week preparing for a garage sale with my sister and sister-in-law! Don't want to make a lot of money ,just clear some space in my basement. At least the outside temperature is supposed to take a little dip--from 100s to 80s--on Friday. That should help! Since I have nothing new on the quilting front to post, I thought I'd put up some photos of some vintage quilts that will go in the garage sale. If they don't sell there, they will go on eBay. Gotta start downsizing!!! I could have a great sewing space in my basement if we could only find the basement floor!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Home From the Mountains

Just returned from Colorado! DH and I try to make it to the mountains once a year and they never disappoint! I have had a fascination with the Rockies since my teen-aged days. I think it is because they are so permanent, so spiritual, so so gorgeous! I was able to hit several quilt shops too--always a soul-lifting experience!! I have to admit I did purchase a "few" pieces of fabric, couple of patterns, and some miscellaneous items. These are my "souvenirs" in place of cedar boxes and t-shirts!!! The second photo is a fabric I found in a shop in Colorado Springs. It had been made up into a bag. So darn cute! The shop was out of the black background print of it and the pattern and the kits. :( However, the clerk thought I might be able to find the pattern on their website, which I will try to do. It has funny quilters with funny sayings! I wish I had bought more! Off to catch up on laundry, finish unpacking, and --of course--pet two very love-starved cats!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Libertyville Comes Home

Libertyville was a BOM in the Kansas City Star last year. It was designed by Terry Thompson. It is a mix of pieced and applique blocks. It was so-o-o much fun to work on and I was antsy each month waiting for the new installment to come! I love Terry's designs. They always have an authenticity about them. She and Barbara Brackman are from the Midwest and have contributed a great deal to my knowledge about antique and historical quilts. I finished the top several months ago and sent it to the longarmer in February. Due to her illness and hospitalization, I just got it back today. I had forgotten some of the details about it. I know that I made the binding at the same time I finished the top, but darned if I can find it!!! Oh well, I won't get it bound till we get back from Colorado next week anyway! I DO know where the label is! Rocky approves; Natasha (on the hearth) is still considering... I am trying to upload closeups of the corner blocks but Blogger is playing hard to get. Well, I'll try again later...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Popping In

Blogger is NOT playing nice this morning!!! I don't have a quilty pic to upload but was going to put up a couple of Adorable Kitty pictures. But no, Blogger says "Done" when it really means "Not Going to Happen." So I will try again at a later time. Meanwhile, I am broken out in red splotchy/hivey type things. I have an appointment with an allergist Monday morning at 8:45. I am really hoping for some resolution to this problem!!! Hopefully he can at least help me temporarily as we leave Tuesday at the crack of 6 AM for Colorado!!! Then when I return, I am sure we will start the dreaded testing. However, I am actually looking forward to that---really want to get to the bottom of this ongoing problem.

Enough whining (well, for now anyway LOL). My quilting activities the last couple of days have been limited to ordering from Connecting Threads (a package of those Karen Kay Buckley circle/washer-looking things for applique, and a stencil burner pen for cutting out machine embroidered designs for applique), and printing off quilt patterns from the internet. Not comfortable enough in my own skin (pardon the bad pun) to focus on quilting. Till later.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's Official.....

...I'm not as young as I used to be! I had such a fantastic time with family yesterday, but boy, did it wear me out!! The cleaning, the cooking, the yardwork..but it was so-o-o worth it. We had the traditional, all-American menu: BBQ beef and BBQ chicken, potato salad, baked beans, etc. etc. etc. Desserts o'plenty. After we gorged ourselves to an embarrassing state, we watched neighborhood fireworks till almost 11 PM--way past my bedtime, LOL! But I do so love family gatherings. The postcards pictured are from an online swap. The beach scene is one I sent to a quilter in North Carolina. The yummy strawberry basket one came to me from Nebraska. Such fun! We'll do another one in July.
These three stitchery photos are from my current "Go To" project (one I keep ready to grab and go) called Journey Of the Ark. It is from a kit I mentioned a few posts back. I saw the finished quilt in a local quilt shop and really liked it. There will be nine blocks in all, stitched in olive DMC 934 floss. Then each block is trimmed and framed in a light olive print. The sashing and borders are in a delightful Whimsicals dark olive and barn red floral with small barn red Ohio star cornerstones. I love mindless work like this embroidery. Once I had the patterns all transferred to the background, it was just sit and stitch!! My only problem is... saving it for car time or dentist office time or mini-group time!!! I just want to stitch on it all the time! I think I will need to re-visit the quilt shop where I bought the kit and take a look at how it was quilted. Hope everyone had a little time to enjoy and appreciate their families over the Fourth. Now it's back to the ole' grindstone!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Whirlwind Friday

Yesterday was quite a whirlwind day. Drove to Omaha (3 hour drive up, 4 hour drive back--will explain shortly!!) to celebrate Son #1's birthday and spend a few hours with him. Pleasant visit, even though hurried. The reason the drive back to KC took a little longer? Yep, two quilt shop stops. DH is an angel about that--especially if the shops have "husband benches". I had just purchased a few days back the 2006-2008 Quilters Travel Companion. I love having this book in the car on trips. Without it, I would never have known about the delightful shops in Plattsmouth and Syracuse, Nebraska! I tried to behave (especially now that I am "officially" a Stash Quilter!!!) But I do love to see what is new in the quilting world. I did "need" this little array of tealies! And I found a couple of wonderful Judie Rothermel repros to add to a color grouping I have in my stash. I also got a bit of stitching done in the car on my current "Go To" project. It is a quilt with stitchery blocks (redwork style, but olive DMC 934 floss) done on a wonderful parchment tone background (Michael Miller Fabrics, "Krystal"). I don't usually buy kits but this particular quilt was a shop model in a local quilt shop and I could not resist it. It is called Journey of the Ark and has 9 blocks with light green and olive prints for sashings and little Sawtooth Stars in a barn red for cornerstones. Each block contains two pairs of animals in a very primitive style. I am using 3 strands of floss to give it an even more folk-arty look. I love to have an embroidery project for wait times and TV times, etc. Well, darn it, Blogger is not letting me post that photo but will do so in the future. Very pretty--but hot--day in KC today. I need to do some backyard tidying in prep for Fourth of July company. Stay cool, y'all.