Thursday, August 31, 2006

See Previous Post

Here's the September BOM for my guild's monthly drawing that I mentioned in my previous post. Cute li'l guy, huh? I also got all of my pieces for Block 8 of the Birds of a Feather fused and ready to machine blanket-stitch. Hooray--no skinny bias stems to deal with this month!!! Hopefully I will have a photo to share next week. I am having out-of-town company all weekend so probably not much sewing will take place! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, y'all!

A Few Minutes Here, A Few Minutes There

Found some time to finish up the August strip for the Calendar Quilt. You might remember--it's the online group project where we add a strip a day to represent something about that month. Could be a holiday, a birthday, a trip, the weather, fabrics from projects that month, etc. It will eventually be set in a Chinese Coins setting. First picture is the month of August. Next two photos are April through August and January through March. Last photo is how they are stored--wrapped around a cardboard tube. We're gonna need a bigger tube!!! I also sewed up a little block for the September BOM for my guild. If you bring a block, your name goes into the basket. Winner takes all the blocks (or half if we get a large number). I would really like to win these as I think they would make cute spacer blocks or border blocks on a Christmas or wintry quilt. I'm NOT holding my breath though LOL. Looks like I'll have to load the BOM block separately as Picasa is only letting me blog 4 photos.

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hurry Up and Wait

It's been one of those days! I have been waiting on the TV repairman all day (again) and he still isn't here! AAAAARRRGH. Apparently there was a "miscommunication". I heard "between 8AM and Noon" and they are saying no, it was "between 8AM and 5PM." Oh, well, got lots of sewing done. DH wanted a pocket cut off an old pair of jeans and sewn onto an also-old pair of jeans and a patch near the ankles. Wouldn't it be easier to just go buy a NEW pair??? But, no, these are his "favorite" work jeans. Okay, that's done. Got the blocks and rows sewn together for Birds and Roses (working title) and this is a photo BB (before borders). I can't seem to get a good shot of the true colors. I'm thinking about borders now. It's so fun to have a quick and easy quilt in between the Storms At Sea and the NY Beauties (a w-a-a-y old UFO) and the Block-Of-The-Month projects. Something you can actually see coming together in a few days! Hurray for Quick and Easy, I say.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stalling Tactics

I have projects to be working on, I do, I do. Found an adequate red tone-on-tone yesterday at Rustic Yearnings ( a local quilt shop with Sunday afternoon hours--yay) and finished sewing the 49 directional rail fence blocks. They are just sitting on the design wall waiting to be stitched into rows. I found my border fabrics for the Lee's Surrender quilt. They, too, await attention! But I am stalling! Don't know why. I also need to pick up my fabric pack from another quilt shop for Block 8 of Birds of a Feather. The fusible pieces are traced and just waiting patiently for fabric. But what do I want to play with??? Halloween! I found this very cute witch fabric and it reminded me of some witches I made for Halloween pasts. One is a pattern from AP&Q a year or so back. The other is a crayon witch I made several years back. Now I want to make more witches, more, more, more!!! Heck, I may even applique a witch onto my wonky house, who knows? Halloween is really wasted on kids LOL!

While at Rustic Yearnings yesterday, I also saw the complete line of Mistletoe Manor. Wow, talk about beautiful. There is an amazing quilt in the July/August 2006 Fons and Porter mag using this line of fabric. And...apparently it was made using fusible web! It is so very pretty. I did buy a piece of the Mistletoe Manor in a beigy tone-on-tone to use for borders on the directional rail. Will add some simple applique in the corners. Also, kudos to Linda for her great memory!! Yes, I was going to make a Snail Trail out of blacks, greys, whites and teals for older son! But I have since decided to make a paper-pieced Storm At Sea. Finding the dark teals I want is proving to be more difficult than I thought. Must not be the "in" color. That's me--always a season or two behind the times. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Little Stash Reduction Fun

Thursday at my guild's Sewing Bee we worked on further reducing our stashes with a project called Directional Rail Fence. I have had this line of Moda coordinates on my shelf for a lo-o-ong time so was glad to use it for SOMETHING! The colors in this photo don't look very accurate, but it is a nice mix in person. However it is coming together a bit darker than I had imagined in my mind's eye LOL. I was short on the red so will be on a chase this week for a tone-on-tone bright red to finish the strips. Also I am thinking I will need an appliqued border on the dirty tan shade in the birds--something very simple. This will either be a cuddle-up quilt or a fold-and-lay-across-the-foot-of-the-bed quilt or a donation quilt. I will use it as a practice-freemotion-quilting piece also. The pieces for each block are a center piece 10x6 and two side strips 2 1/2x10. The center pieces are for prints that have a direction to them. Each block squares to 10x10. There was an easier and faster way to construct this quilt by cutting strips selvage to selvage, stitching strips, then subcutting---but since I had the bright idea to fussy-cut the bird fabric, mine took a tad longer. But, fun, and forgiving!

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Little Play Time

Long time no blog! Long time no quilty things to blog about!! I did get a bit of time this morning to finish playing with some blocks. The top photo is my first attempt at Tonya's wonky houses. So much fun! I want to add a little embellishment when time permits. I have to credit Pink Chalk Studio for the idea of using skeleton fabric in the door and window. I saw a house on her blog with that fabric and just loved it. Then, lo and behold, there it was at JoAnn's. Yay. I set tilted frames around the outside of the block to make it even wonkier. Ever since I learned how to make tilted frames from a Fons and Porter magazine a few years ago, I have just loved making them and often put them on kids' quilts for a little quirkiness. I thought I would comment on how I put words on quilts. I do eventually want to try Tonya's pieced letters though. For a really quick way to add words or phrases to a quilt, I find a chunky font on the computer that I like. This particular font for BOO came from Print Shop. Then I type the words or letters I want and print them off in mirror image. From there I can just trace them onto Heat 'n' Bond lite, iron to wrong side of fabric, cut them out and permanently iron them onto the quilt or block. They will be oriented correctly. Usually I machine-stitch around them but since I used hand-dyed fabric for the letters, I don't need to sew down the edges. If it were going to be a bed quilt, I would stitch around the edges. I so love Tonya's freeform method of making houses. The second photo is of sample blocks of Storm At Sea. I have decided to make this quilt for older DS instead of Snail's Trail. I will paper-piece it. The one on the left is not PPed and the diamonds were tricky. So I found a PP pattern on the web and will use that. Good thing I opted out of the No Buy August Challenge! 'Cause now I am itching to get out and buy fabric for the Storm At Sea!! Yesterday our guild's Sewing Bee continued the theme of stash reduction and we started on quilts called Directional Rail Fence. All I got done was fussy-cutting my rectangles! But I was glad to make a start as I have had the fabric for years! Will post pix when I actually get some blocks sewn together. Have a question. This morning when I tried to leave comments on several blogs, it kept asking for my User ID and Password. Sure didn't want to put that info out there LOL! Anybody know if that is a new requirement on Blogger? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Did I Really NEED It???

This morning was "run errand" morning--dry cleaners, library, grocery store, etc. I "happened" to pass by JoAnn's on my route and darn car turned in without even asking. And...I did have that 40% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket! I thought about using it for rotary cutter blades or Heat 'n' Bond Lite or thread, but my nosy little self went down the book aisle (always dangerous!) and saw this. I have eyed this book in a couple of quilt shops lately, but declined because the patterns are all traditional ones that I already have. However, I took one last peek through it and had an epiphany!!! Yep, right there in JoAnn's--a brain storm. I saw that this book was an "encyclopedia" of scrap quilts with good ideas for scrap sizes. Since I am on a mission now to get my scraps into usable sizes, I thought this book would be helpful and would be a good incentive to get with it. So I purchased it. The quilt on the cover has been floating around blogland and other internet spots a lot lately and I have been intrigued by it. This may well be my first quilt made with the new scraps o'plenty beginning to sprout in my sewing room. The author calls it Arkansas Crossroads. I had wondered how the pointies got on the outside edges!!! Now I know the secret....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Opportunity Quilt Progress

Today the mini-group continued to design and work on our opportunity quilt for the guild's show. The inner applique border is done---such pop! We debated what we wanted for our outer border and decided we'd like piano keys using scraps from all our twenty-five friendship stars to tie things together. So rotary cutters were flyin' as we cut random 6 1/2 inch strips and stitched them into rows. Many hands make light work, as they say. Hopefully we will have the rest of the borders done and on the quilt in a week or so. Then we have a wonderful long-armer in our group who has volunteered to machine quilt it for us. Hooray. Then bind and label and onto a local shop for a while to sell some tickets.

The chocolate zucchini cake was well-received. I wish I had not baked it quite as long as directions said as I think it would have been a little bit moister. However, the yummy white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream helped a lot!!! Several have asked for the recipe. There is a link to the blog where I found it on my previous post. Go see how that incredible artist decorated the cake top. I didn't attempt that LOL.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fun Postcard Swap

What a day brightener! My postcard arrived from the second round of the swap I am in on an online group. Is this not adorable or what??? The back is just as cute as the front. I decided not to post the back, though, as it shows my address. People say not to allow this kind of personal info on the internet. This weekend I finished sewing the sashing and cornerstones onto Lee's Surrender. I took it to my LQS this morning to try to find a great fabric for the inner border--no luck. I already have a piece I like for the outer border. Will have to make a trek this week to some other shops. I know the perfect fabric is out there just waiting for me!!! Kansas City is experiencing some much needed rain! Hallelujah, a reprieve from watering the lawn! Temperature is down to 73 degrees, too. My kind of August. Thursday is my turn to host the mini-group. The members bring their own lunches and the host provides dessert and beverages. I am trying a new recipe for Chocolate Zucchini cake--fingers crossed. Also found a yummy ice cream--white chocolate raspberry truffle. Hope this will substitute well for frosting. Now onto cleaning.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lee's Surrender Revisited

I don't like the way the color translates on this photo but here is a pic of Lee's Surrender. This morning I cut sashing and corner squares and plopped it back up on the design wall to see how it was coming together. The sashing is navy but looks black from this side of the screen! It is a splotchy Kansas Troubles print that I bought a while back at the "going-out-of-business" sale at a LQS. I had a moment of panic as it looked like I might not have quite enough!!! Whew! Just barely. The little corner squares are from my stash---hooray! See, that reorganization is paying off already LOL! I do love being able to look through the fabrics easily. I am finding it much more pleasant to be in the sewing room with the re-doing done! It is still as small as ever, but at least I can navigate around in there!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Little Progress

The Great Stash Reorganization of 2006 continues. The folded fabrics represent what was left after plowing through all the tubs and pulling out "scraps" --though many of the pieces were really too big to be considered scraps! I didn't have as much fabric as I thought I did LOL! However, I did fill up 7 big white plastic bags with the so-called scraps!!! I would have preferred having the folded fabric with the folds facing out, but none of my shelving options would accomodate that. But at least now I can just flip through the stacks and find what I want. I wasn't very good about taking tubs down before and opening them up and digging. I think I can get so-o-o much better use of the fabric with it out in the open like this. Why, I should be able to get LOTS more quilts made!!! A girls can dream, can't she? The shelving in the other photo holds some project tubs, theme fabrics, etc. The seven bags of scraps await me in the basement. I will cut them into usable sizes for scrap quilts and also donate some of it. I decided that I can work on this off and on and if I still have quite a bit left, it will go to the guild's auction in January. It helps me to have a cut-off date! My sewing room looks so much tidier and cleaner now. It was getting very difficult for me to create in that messy, disorganized space. This afternoon I had lunch with my sister. We also forced ourselves to get in a little shopping! She heads back to work on Thursday so this was our last summer outing. Boy, I wish that girl would retire!!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Bit of Sewing, Too

Had to put this photo in separately from my first post this morning as Blogger was being stingy. Picasa played nice though! This is Block 7 of the Birds of a Feather, the KC Star BOM from Blackbird Designs. I am enjoying this monthly block. So-o-o curious as to how they will show these blocks set. Posted by Picasa

Baby Steps

The stash reorganization has begun! And thank you to my many "cheerleaders" ! This will not be a fast and easy project but hopefully I can go through one or two colors a day. I started with my six tubs of reds and pinks. I still don't have the shelving issue resolved so I may have to do some refolding, but I am shooting for roughly 18" widths after folding. One set of shelves is 18" deep but I'm not sure I will like the fabric there. The big tub is full of fabrics I want to strip out or cut into bricks or squares. That'll be a whole 'nother major task LOL. As I went through the fabric, I became more ruthless as to what I wanted in my nicely folded piles so more and more went into the tub. By the end of the reds I was starting to think in terms of donating scraps!!! My guild always has a "free" table set up so I am sure a new home could be found for at least some of it. I have many, many more tubs to deal with: 6 greens, 4 blues, 2 violets, 6 tans/offwhites/whites, 2 browns, 2 orange/gold/yellows, and 2 blacks. These will all be taken out, refolded, scraps set aside, and piles put on a shelf. Also in tubs: 1 brights, 1 theme, 1 novelties, 1 homespun, 4 flannels/brushed cotton, and 1 quilted cottons. These will probably stay right where they are!!! In huge tubs, I have Jo Mortons and batiks/marbles. Yikes---it is a sickness!!! That doesn't even touch various projects sitting around and fabrics purchased with certain projects in mind. Is there a support group for this??? Is there a 12-step program??? It was fun, though, to re-visit the fabrics. So many had been long forgotten--it's like getting a whole new batch of fabric!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hard At It

No quilty photos this morning :( but progress is being made :) My Block 7 of Birds of a Feather is prepped for machine blanketstitched applique and that is first up on the agenda for today. Also the QST pieces are cut for the side piece of the block and ready to be sewn into squares. Then I am going to DIVE feet first into starting the reorganization process of The Fabric. I have armed myself with Patti's wonderful info she just posted in her blog on how she deals with scraps so that they are ready for quilts. I have also printed off Bonnie's great tutorial on Scrap User's System. Progress is already being made---in my head LOL! I think my big hang-up was what to do with those small pieces that would end up buried in a stack of fabric. This info really helps. Also it will give a use for the Sterilite tubs that I will be freeing up. Wish me luck. Oh, and where is that snorkel???

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not its permanent home, but here's a quick snap of the finished Libertyville, my 2005 KC Star Block of the Month. Finished handstitching the binding down and sewing the label on the back this morning. Always glad to check another one off the list! I completed my calendar strip for July this morning also. You may remember that this is a project I am doing with an online group. We add a strip a day and will have a Chinese Coins style quilt to remember 2006 when we're done. Pretty painless way to get a quilt top. Thank-Yous and Answers. Thought I would take a minute and reply to some comments I've had recently. First, a HUGE thank-you to all who gave advice on re-organizing my stash. I am wanting to get it out of the tubs and onto shelves. I know I will be able to better utilize the fabric once I can SEE it better. I find that I won't always take the time to dig through a tub if I'm not sure what is in there. I am still struggling with freeing up space. I like having notebooks and other resources close at hand in the sewing room, but they really take up lots of prime real estate. Gotta bite that bullet! Also some of you asked about the quilts I had for sale at the garage sale. I will be putting them up on eBay eventually. I was a bit red-faced about that--I sure didn't want it to seem that I was trying to sell stuff off my blog!!! Some asked what I would do with the 5" squares I am swapping with my mini-group. Most of the group had originally wanted to do a charm quilt. I am still not sure how I will use mine. My two top thoughts--as of now--are either a 1000 Pyramid quilt or Broken Dishes. Love both of those! Even if I never made a quilt from the squares, I just really like having them around.