Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Mystery Top Together

In March, Marge of Delaware Quilts and Mysteries for Relay gave her mystery participants a Super Duper Easy quilt mystery. Well, it was a super duper easy quilt but it was really time consuming. I got nearly all the pieces made on the day of the mystery. So I kept plugging away on it. One thing I wanted to do before I got serious about this move was make these pieces into a quilt top. During the last few weeks I've been getting the rows together and yesterday I finally got all the rows sewn together. I haven't taken the time to iron it ... and I probably won't until I decide to finish it. I'm thinking I'll finish the stars on all four sides. It was a great way to use up stash. But for now its packed up. Next mystery is scheduled for late July... and I plan to be ready for it!

Here's a little bit of eye candy. Jen wanted to make a table runner for a friend. Brian designed it, Jen produced it. Jen and I basted it when we were down last week.
And, for those of you who are Ragg's fans ... Pat and Raggs were waiting for me at one of the "rest" stops. We are all pretty tired of driving. We've been up and down between Virginia and Pennsylvania about three times in about 5 weeks. Plus another two trips for me between Rhode Island and the MQX show and Maryland for FCQ's show. I'm happy to stay home for a few more weeks even if I will be really busy.

Tomorrow's plans include quilting a charity quilt. And, maybe I should get another box packed. I've done about 3 so far. Hum, I probably need to speed up the packing some also. But my distraction (fun) with sewing is coming to an end tomorrow. Bummer, but I'll be much happier if I pack my own sewing stuff! And, I'll know what's where when I get to the other end.

Happy quilting all!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Natural Fauna

I missed this this morning while I was snoozing away...

He was on the street next to the house. Pat was sitting on the front porch reading his email when this guy strutted his stuff. I wonder if there was a female nearby...

I have spent the last couple of days working in the studio. A couple of boxes got packed. (of about a million that will be needed...) Janet of the FCQ Equilters suggested I keep a list of what is in the boxes to make it easier when I set up the studio again. So I have been doing that. I was not happy to figure out that I bought another boxful of yarn in the two years I've lived here. Well, maybe only 1/2 box of yarn cause I stuffed a half done sweater in the last box and I know it moved here in the same state it is leaving in!

I almost have the most recent mystery quilt from Mysteries for Relays done. It is going with me to Wednesday sewing group to be finished. I have 11 rows needing ironing and sewn together. Then I can quit on that one. I just wanted to get it to top stage. I haven't decided about borders yet.

This antique quilt was in one of the houses we looked at. That particular house was bigger and had great walls for hanging quilts. But with bigger comes bigger price tag. We decided to go smaller. Hey, we're suppose to be downsizing at this time! I'll miss the great space for hanging my quilts though.

Time to get going -- breakfast, pack a lunch, pack my supplies and get to sewing with my friends. And, to take something for this head cold that is starting. YUCK.

Happy quilting all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Week Passed?

I was shocked to see a whole week has passed since last I wrote... Parts of it was busy, parts not so busy.

On Wednesday we drove back down to Maryland and stayed at J & B Bed and Breakfast and dinner for that matter. Jen and Brian are always so accommodating. Raggs got to stay and play with Kona. Thursday we got up and traveled the rest of the way to Powhatan. Where we had lunch at a fabulous Mexican restaurant. Sorry, can't tell you the name but can tell you we've eaten there twice. (Did I mention we really like Mexican food?)

Our plan that day was to go through the home inspection. Yikes, he was thorough but we were very happy to find out there wasn't much wrong with the house that couldn't be fixed fairly easily. I spent time measuring things and doing a little mental furniture placing. I recorded colors in my little notebook.

For the most part I like the way the house is decorated. Most of the rooms have borders at the top of the room. Here's one in one of the guest rooms. I'm not so happy with this room with its rose carpeting. The border will have to go . . . eventually. The carpet won't be as easily replaced as it is new. However, I think I have a quilt that will work with the color.

This is the border in the other guest room. (Our kids like to come together hence, the two guest rooms.) I don't have any quilts that will match this room. One of the walls is painted red, if I remember correctly. I like it so maybe a new quilt will be forthcoming.

One of the things that sold us on the house was the rooms upstairs. Two bonus rooms, one already set up as a studio or craft room. That blue thing in the middle is a cutting table. What looks like a red wall is actually painted corkboard (a couple of pairs of pants are hanging in front of it.)

Here is a corner workstation with a built in place for a sewing machine. (Yep, a checkbook was left out on the desk while the home was being shown... strange.) And, notice the peony in the vase. There is a beautiful peony plant in the yard and probably a dozen rose bushes. Wash those vases, I'm going to have flowers in the house again!

And, then there is this nice long row of shelves. A place for everything and everything in its place. Well, that is the plan at least. However, there are no closets so everything will be in sight.

I have begun packing up a little in the sewing room with the type of storage in mind. I have mixed feelings about all of these built ins. I like to have two sewing stations available. I want my big board up somewhere. And there isn't much room for that. And, I know with this much surface space available I will probably cover it several times over. But, I tend to keep my fat quarters in short baskets so this will be perfect for them. I'll have to decide whether I want my yardage in here or whether it will be on my shelving unit in the other room. Ruthie will be in the other room with the shelving unit. One of the things I like about that is my fabrics are at eye level. Yikes, it might be too tall. I'm not sure it will work here because the walls bend (so to speak.) And, I'll need to pay attention to how much sun comes in and at what times.

One thing I know is I will need to live with the room for a while before I know whether it is wonderful, workable or needs some modification. It does provide a wonderful amount of storage although not necessarily where and how I like it. But, I am adaptable.

Our return to J & B's was uneventful. We were there in about 2 hours, 45 minutes even at the end of rush hour. Raggs had behaved himself. (Phew, I was worried about that.) Friday we drove off to PA to get serious about this move. I am still sewing... hey, a girl has to have some fun. I've packed a few boxes. Luckily we don't have to pack the whole house. I just want to pack my studio so I know where things are when we unpack. I've also been going through boxes of papers from when I was a Media Specialist. The recycling bin is seeing a lot of that stuff. I am keeping some papers and books that would work for young story times. You never know what I will feel like doing in the future.

Now it is time for breakfast and to begin another day of sewing and packing. Hopefully more packing than the three boxes already done.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Featuring Sharon's Quilts

Just a quick post -- I should be organizing and cleaning the house.... but I'd rather quilt or blog.

Here is my quilt buddy Sharon's queen size Trip Around the World. She did a great job on it. It was machine quilted by Maria O'Haver.
It had a prominent place at the recent Faithful Circle Quilt Guild show in Maryland. I was working membership desk across from it on several different occasions. It certainly got its share of ohhs and awwws. It was fun to listen to all the positive comments on it.

I've showed this one before but this shows off the pinwheels very well. Unfortunately, the color is subdued in this photo -- it is brighter.

My goal today is to put some stuff away and do a bit of house cleaning. Then I am gathering some stuff I want to take to my guild meeting tonight. Plus I might do another block of the month for that group, although this will be my last one.

Happy quilting all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

35 days and counting

News Flash:
Pat and I Are Moving

Pat's was downsized from his job in August. So we thought, ah, early retirement, start a little business, do a little woodworking. All was good. Except, he's a high energy person. The economy is tuff so people weren't spending money on hiring tests and human resources consulting. And, we wanted to move closer to the grand baby (ok, and our kids too.) It'll be about 2 and a half hours away.

Part of the traveling I've been doing has been up and down to Virginia while he interviewed and I got an overview of the area. We didn't want to end up in a really rural area again -- I wanted to be able to get to stores easily (if I wanted to) and have other quilters nearby. We were looking north and west of Charlottesville but that was ending up as over an hour commute to Dillwyn, Va. We went down again last week. (As in, I got home on Monday, rested Tuesday and was in the car again on Wednesday!) Thursday and Friday we looked at houses in Powhatan. Look due east on the yellow line from the red star. It is supposedly 45 minutes away. Hopefully he'll find a few short cuts. (Thanks to Map Quest for the map.)
We have a contract on a house. And it has a craft room/studio already set up. And a room for Ruthie. (I'm sure the real estate agent thought we were bit weird when we said we needed a big extra room or two.) It seems a bit smaller than our current house until you count the two upstairs rooms.

So now I need to get in gear. I have a top secret project to work on. I have a quilt I want to get done so I at least have a finish in May. I have some 9 patch blocks to make for a guild swap for a disappearing 9 patch. I will be packing my stash myself as I have it folded and arranged by color. Notice I did not say NEATLY arranged. I've been plundering it as of late so it has gone a bit a stray. And, I need to put stuff away so it is easier to pack. Don't worry, I am NOT packing the house. We hire nice people to do that. (But, unfortunately, I have to unpack the house...)

When I decided to post about our move I decided to use a count-down to the move as the headline. I was shocked to realize we're moving in 35 days. Some how 5 weeks sounds so much longer than 35 days. I'll be posting but probably not a whole lot. I'm about out of battery for my lap top and my top secret project is calling my name.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Could be a new addiction

While in Maryland and working at the Faithful Circle Quilters show, I attended a demo on using wool felt. I've been putting a few pieces of wool on my A Tisket, A Tasket baskets and really like the texture and dimension it gives. Sandy McDonald gave the demo on Wool Felt Applique. She also donated two beautiful pieces to the Silent Auction. I was eyeing this one and made a rather large price jump in hopes of winning it. Sigh, not to be.

And close up . . .

Sandy has designed some wonderful pieces. I like the modern look of this. Just the circles are in felt and then that part was bordered. (Well, maybe the black backing was felt too... Hard to tell here. ) Hum, neat idea.

And, she has made some traditional ones.

A nice welcome wall hanging . . .

Here's one of her current projects...

So on my drive home after that week I went out of my way to go to a shop that carried the wool. I now have a nice beginners collection and a pattern. Except, life has gotten in my way and I won't have any time to do anything for a while.
Sigh. Maybe later in the summer. Sandy thanks for all the information and sharing your wonderful wall hangings.

Not much stitching being done today. We're off to the big city to do a little shopping and have lunch out. Later I'll be volunteering at the library for the first time in a month. I hope to do a little computer testing before I go. Hum, maybe I should get going rather than surfing the web...

Happy Quilting ALL!

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Eye Candy from FCQ Show

Here are some more pictures of quilts from the Faithful Circle Quilt Show. This quilt was made by some of the members of the FCQ - EQuilters. It has been donated to raise money for breast cancer research. It's all hand quilted -- and definitely a WOW job of the hand quilting!

I was working with Stephanie and Peg hanging quilts in one of the smaller rooms during set up. Stephanie made this for breast cancer research also.
And here's a close up of the block. I asked her how much she would sell it for -- $500 as that is how much her quilts usually go for when they are raffled off. Not bad but I guess my grandbaby won't be getting it.
Here's another really cute baby quilt. Some lucky baby must really love this quilt!
A shower is being planned for Jen in a month or so and I can't figure out what I want to get for her. Or make for her or .... sigh. I have a few weeks to figure it out.

We have been traveling so much recently I'm not getting anything done. Well, I am close to finishing another block of A Tisket, A Tasket. I think I have three flower centers and the embroidery to do. Perhaps on Wednesday when I go to my Wednesday quilt group I can claim it as completed. I'm hoping to fire up Ruthie again and get a charity quilt and one of my smaller quilts done. We'll see. Today I've spent too much time on the computer. Time for lunch and then to the studio.

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Eye Candy From Faithful Circle Quilters Show

Here are a few quilts that were hung at the Faithful Circle Quilters show last weekend. I am very sorry I didn't write down who made the quits. Rats.

I thought this was a really cute way to highlight novelty fabrics. And, come to think of it, I think I have this pattern and have made a quilt with it. Hum... How easily we forget!

These 9 patches were from when I was vice president of FCQ. I got wild and set them with snowball blocks not really thinking how big the quilt would be. It just about hits the floor all around on a queen size bed. It's in the "yellow" guest room. And, it's been slept under many a time. The quilting was done by Maria O'Haver. The color is off in this picture probably because of the flouresent light that was right above it. And, darn, you can't see the gorgeous quilting Maria did on it. (This was finished at least a year before I got Ruthie...) Notice that some of the 9 patches have dark corners and some have light corners. That really gives the quilt a different look -- more motion.

These three pieces were done in a workshop presented by Frieda Anderson. I believe they were made from kits that Frieda supplied. And done by three different people. I'm pretty sure the top one was done by Sharon Rhoton. What is really interesting is Frieda does just about everything with fusible web. The shocking part is the binding is done with fusible web also. Why not use fusible on the binding of small quilts? I doubt these were any bigger than 12" square.

I'll try to post a few more photos of quilts over the next few days. I didn't do a great job of taking pictures there but I have a few more to share with you.

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Delayed April Stash Usage Report

Because I was down in Maryland (and I forgot to take the information with me) I now admit to my April, 2010 Stash Report. OH NO > I went shopping big time in April!

April Stash Report
Fabric Acquired: 13 1/4 yards
Fabric Used: 1 1/8 yards
Net Fabric Acquired: 12 1/8 yards

Year To Date Report
Fabric Acquired: 22 1/8 yards
Fabric Used: 19 1/4 yards
Net Fabric Acquired: 2 7/8 yards

On to my excuses -- I was out of town 13 nights during April. Although I have quilts close to quilting, I didn't get any quilted during the month except a 14" miniature. I do have a cute string quilt ready to go on Ruthie but I think I'll wait a while before I actually get to it. And, I'm going to hunt around and see what else I can finish up quickly so I have some more finishes.

Pat and I stopped at Sauders on our way back up from Virginia two weeks ago. I kinda bought some fabric for the princess.... and some for the string quilt mentioned above. Maybe it is time to use some of the fabric for the princess...

The quilt show was fabulous. Over 300 quilts were hung and what a variety -- some beautiful art quilts, gorgeous Baltimore Album quilts, traditional pieced, purses, jackets. The quality of the pieces was amazing. The colors were spectacular. I overheard many a person walking out with oohs and ahs on their lips as well as praise for FCQ. If you live in the Columbia, Maryland area this is, without a doubt, a very dynamic group. Come join us. Yep, I continue to maintain my membership here.

Ok, enough self-congratulation. I drove home today after spending last night with my daughter and son-in-law. Of course, I couldn't help getting side tracked just a little. I went to Needle-N-Pins in Frederick, Maryland to buy some wool felt to try a felt project. There was a wonderful felt wallhanging for Easter in the Silent Auction. I really would have liked to get it but the price moved up pretty steeply. The gal who made it also did a demonstration so I decided to try it. (Plus the wool felt will look good in a few places on the A Tisket, A Tasket quilt I'm still working on. I'm almost done with one more block of it.

And then I went to PhotoScraps in Eldersburg to buy some stamps for rubber stamping. (As if I don't have enough to do!) Both stores are very inspiring.

I really controlled myself at Needles-N-Pins as they had wonderful quilt fabric also. Once I take a picture of my stack of wool felt and the design I'm going to do I'll show you those purchases. I also got a new wallet pattern by Atkinson Designs. I've had my eye out for this little wallet for a while. I'll make a couple and see how well I like it. (Darn, it sure doesn't use very much fabric, does it?) (This picture is from Atkinson Designs.)

Raggs and Pat were happy to see me home. Now I suppose I'll have to start cooking again. Tomorrow I finish putting everything away and veg out all day. That is sit around and not do very much! Or at least I think that is what I'm going to do.

Time for me to get to bed. I'm totally worn out.
Happy Quilting All!