Tuesday, September 28, 2010

grumble, grumble... I missed it

I had decided to do Monday postings of what was on the design wall and link to Judy's site.  But Blogger wasn't cooperating.  I never came back after the morning tries to get on.  So, a day late and a dollar short here's what is on the design wall. (although now it is moved to the design sofa??) 
Over at Mysteries for Relay it was a mystery weekend.  We voted on having a table runner.  I really enjoyed working on this smaller project.  When finished it will be going to a newly wed couple.  I'm hoping to put some Halloween fabric on the back so both sides can be put to use.  I believe Marge called it Duck, Duck Goose based on the block names. 

The next mystery is in November and should be lap quilt size.  If you have never done a mystery Marge writes the best mysteries. She gives them as a way to thank folks for making donations to her fund raising efforts for cancer research. Many of the quilts I've finished over the last year or two have been her mysteries.  (And, yes I also have a few unfinished mysteries but they are being worked on.) 

Today's plans center on getting ready to go to a quilt retreat.  I need to review my projects.  I think I'll take more than I think I can make just to have variety to choose from.   And, everyone suggests precutting the fabrics and making kits -- ready to sew. 

So far I think I'm taking: 

  • Trip Around the World -- started at least 4 years ago but still need to sew the strips together before I can start cutting strata. Queen size may take forever to get these strips together because I get bored with it pretty easily. 
  • Carolina Christmas -- started last year as a mystery quilt on Quiltville.com.  I forget what clue I'm up to but I know I quit working on it when I ran out of pieces that were cut and the move loomed.  So, the pieces need to be cut for this one. 
  • Magic 9 Patch -- I have a set of these blocks from a guild swap this past May.  They would be easy to cut and plan the design before I go.  I could organize them and then just sew them together... sounds like an easy project. 
  • And now indecision... do I take my wild dogs and finish the machine applique?  Do I take a paper pieced set of blocks I won YEARS ago? Or what about those bowtie blocks that were on the design wall last week?  I'm still trying to figure out how to place them.  Seeing the picture on my blog made me realize there were some problems with the color placements.  Decisions, decisions. 
I need to make some decisions and cut some fabric. I wonder if I should allow myself to start a new project too? I guess if all the fabric comes from stash that would work... hum. Where is that Terry Atkinson book? And, was this the book that has the quilt I wanted to do? 

I also need to get some groceries in the house and run some errands.  I've got a bunch of blocks to send to Beth for the Faithful Circle Equilters group.  I went wild making these little blocks -- I've done something like 25 of them. The library is calling my name.  Busy day planned and I hope I actually get into the studio to do some cutting. 

It's time to get going this morning.  Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Friday, September 24, 2010

BIG Dog Adventure

And, no,that wouldn't be with Raggs.

Yesterday I put nearly 200 miles on the car rescuing a springer spaniel from a pound in Appomattox, Virginia.  I am a volunteer for Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue so I decided I could take care of this pick up and delivery.  Um, I'm new to the area and don't really have a good idea of how far places are hence the  nearly 200 miles.  I left at 1 pm and didn't get home until 5:45 or so. 

I picked up Boots, an 11 year old springer.  As this was my first transport, I failed to realize all the handsome springers on the web page have already had a LOT of work done on them.  Poor Boots was a mess.  He was filthy and stunk to high heavens. His fur was matted and clumped.  Yet he was a sweet boy under the dirt.  A couple of hours in a car with smelly  Boots was -- yuck.  The feeling that he will make someone a wonderful pet, priceless.

If you want to see some of the dogs currently being offered by MAESSR click on the name to go to their home page.  Click the Dog page and select Available to see some of the sweet dogs currently available.  We got Raggs from them and have been amazed at how well they did finding the right dog for us.  (well, we might have asked for a dog that didn't snore as loudly as I do!) 

Tomorrow is mystery day over at Mysteries for Relay.  (Click the button in the side bar if you want more info.) This is a wonderful site.  Marge writes and sponsors these mysteries as a way to thank people for their donations to the American Cancer Society. You might be able to still make a donation and join in tomorrow.  It's a table runner so should go together fairly quickly.  Here are my fabric choices. It only takes 4 fabrics so "read" from the right side. The 5th fabric is back up as most of these fabrics have been partially used.  And the funny green/rose color in the background is the chair I put them on.
Ok, time to get on the road. (Hopefully the car will not stink today but it probably will. Yuck.)

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Question for You

I'm going on a four day, three night quilting retreat next week with my guild.  I've been on a couple of retreats but was looking for advice.  So help me out by answering any or all of these questions. 

What is the one thing you really like to have at a retreat? 

How do you prepare your projects? 
How many projects do you take? 

I'm all ears and will share the information in a future blog. If you have any other suggestions feel free to share them.

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie

Does anyone know how I got a colored background? I am using an ebook and windows -- the keyboard is small so I keep hitting keys I don't mean to and all sorts of things happen on my pages!  


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to Ruthie

I have a small quilt ready to load on Ruthie today.  Hopefully I'll be done in an hour or so.  And, the best news is it is an old UFO. I hand appliqued a little girl holding a dog about 12 or 13 years ago. (really, that long?)  I took it out a few weeks ago and have added a couple of borders.  Yesterday I pieced a back for it.  The sad part is I had to buy yardage for the borders as I had nothing that would go with it.  I have every intention of finishing her before the end of the month.  I have several small finishes for this month but I did go wild buying fabric. 

I found these fabrics to go with the Million Pieces quilt. These pictures don't do them justice. The one off to the left is a fat quarter and it is more melon/orange.  It was just for fun. 
 These are all from JoJo's Quilt Shop.

I don't plan to finish this quilt until October.  I'm finishing up a few smaller items before I take on measuring and cutting borders for the queen size quilt. 

And because I am still a besotted grammie, here's a picture of Sophia with the quilt her mommy made for her. She looks like she has a tiny smile curling around her lips.

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie

Monday, September 20, 2010

Back to Quilting

I had a great time being a grammie but now it is back to some serious, or not so serious quilting. Here is what is on my design wall these days.  I played with it a bit before I took the picture.  I have a couple more blocks to make before I can make this into a baby quilt. 

I really like making bow tie blocks and if I have nothing else planned as a leader ender I always have some bow tie blocks I can sew on.  I have some batts that are 36 by 45 that I would love to put to a good use so maybe this will be 3 x 3 and end up 36" square. 

Go to Judy's site Patchwork Times to see what is on everyone else's design wall.

And here is a parting shot of Sophia watching a Southern California football game with Grandpa. (She's appropriately dressed in a onesie that says something like I watch Trojan football with Grandma and Grandpa.)

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie who is longing for her Mac to return from the hospital... (so to speak..)

Friday, September 17, 2010

No Sewing -- It's Sophia Time

I'm holding Sophia as I type.
She's looking all over checking out the living room. 
Sophia in the swing.
 I figured the only way to get some good pictures is to take a lot of them. 

I think I'll do it again tomorrow morning too.  The morning light is great in Jen and Brian's house.

I'm actually going to sew for a few minutes before the three of us head out for lunch with Sharon and Kim. 

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's Gone For Awhile, SNIFF

I took my Mac over to the Apple Store this morning.  It will be getting a new top so that the camera will work again.  Hopefully it will get repaired quickly.  I'm not convinced they have a part to use.  They may be taking a part from some place else... hum, can you say cannibalized part?

Since I was out and about I decided to make the most of it and go a few other places. I went to a Memories Galore scrapbook store to find out about taking a digital scrapbooking class.  Hopefully I'll be able to do that this fall. 

And then I went to JoJo's Quilt Store as I was looking for borders for the the Million Pieces quilt. I was able to buy an inner border and an outer border for it.  I'll be working on it when I get back from visiting with Sophia and Brian and Jenny.  

No pictures today but hopefully some grand baby pictures tomorrow.  Don't expect much in the way of quiting stuff for a few days.  

Happy quilting --Bonnie  (I'm going to have to look up where I've saved that nice red signature!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I took yesterday off from quilting and read.  I didn't get enough sleep the night before and we did our first church service with the new choir.  Every church does things slightly differently and we are still getting used to the service.  I was happy to veg. 

Saturday after the normal guild meeting we had a little lesson on making casserole covers.  The directions called for 3/4 yard of pre-quilted fabric.  So I decided I could do it on Ruthie and bust some stash.  Except what fabric was I willing to give up and did anything else match it?  After looking at and replacing at least 10 different fabrics I finally decided to use the leftover pansy fabric from a quilt finished a good 10 years ago. The back side was a white muslin print.  So I threw the fabric on Ruthie and used a panto to meander.  Why a panto to meander?  It was a nice tight little meander that I thought would look good.  And, it did except it was definitely a row of quilting with no interlocking areas. 

It looked fine when cut into smaller pieces but I'm not sure I would use it as a meander for a larger piece. 

Do you have trouble allowing yourself to use fabric.  I find myself quite ridiculous sometimes as I try to pick fabric.  Oh, that is such a great fabric I should save it for.... I so need to get over that.  Surprisingly sometimes I do get over it quite well.  If I would just get through some more fabric I would allow myself to buy newer fabric.  What a thought! 

  Speaking of using fabric rather than saving and fondling fabric, I realized I had a big piece of fabric that would go with my Million Pieces quilt.  The colors are definitely right but I think it is way too busy.  With at least 6 yards I could definitely use it on the back.  I just don't think it will make it as the border. I will be dragging the quilt around with me for a while to try to find the perfect border. And, I think I will want a mini border before the bigger border. I'm hoping I can get the quilt up to a queen 

size.  I am really looking forward to finishing this quilt.  But, it is on the back burner for just a bit now. 

I will be spending a few days up in Maryland visiting Sophia (well, and Brian and Jenny...) but it's all about Sophia right now!  I will take some hand sewing but I doubt I'll get any of it done.  I still need to work on the "A Tisket, A Tasket" blocks.  I pulled one out and got a bit more done and kept saying to myself... spend the time to get the blocks done -- it won't be that hard.  But I still seem to do no sewing after dinner -- or I read.  

The car needs to go in for an oil change and I need to get on to a bit of laundry and then finish the casserole cover.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Finish and a Top Finish

Here is the completed Irish Chain Quilt that was a challenge on Kathy Tracy's Small Quilt Talk yahoo group. I am notoriously slow on finishing these little challenges.  This time I made mine a bit bigger 21 x 17".  I tried to take some staged pictures on the back patio -- not too good with a big shadow down the middle.  Luckily I rather figured that out and put it on this wooden chair.  I love the wood and brick contrasting textures. 

I hand quilted a flower in each white square.  I used a stencil I recently bought and a wash out blue pencil.  Thank goodness it did wash out!  I have no turquoise in the house so who knows where this will live.  Right now it is on a small table in the dining room.  Um, it's such a small table the quilt covers it!  

As of lunch time Thursday, this quilt is actually a top!  It was a quilt along from SmallQuiltTalk.  But the pattern came from Moda Bake Shop.  Check it out h
ere.  It would be fun to do it with bigger 9 patch units.  I might do that some other time.  The lighting stinks in this picture -- what shows up yellow is a nice tan.  I made it with part of a Bar Harbor charm pack.  This is going to go in the same room as the Million Pieces quilt that I am still trying to get the rows sewn together.  I haven't decided on the quilting yet.  I did see one with diagonals that I really liked although I am not great with that on the long arm yet.  And, at about 21" square it seems a waste of time to put it on the machine.  I'll keep you posted.  

Lunch is way over and it is time to head back to the studio.  I'm having fun getting some things together up there. Stay tuned for more tops from the studio . . . 

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How Do I Say It? I Didn't Follow the Plan...

Nope, not distractable me.  I did get quite a bit done yesterday once I started sewing. I just didn't work on the 1800's quilt.  I did get the Million Pieces blocks sewn into rows.

I did get the Quilts for Kids quilt washed.  

I did get the binding machine and hand sewn down on the Irish Chain quilt. It needs a wash before I show it as it still has the markings all over it. 

I did get half of the little border on the old little girl and her dog quilt.  

But 1800's quilt?  Not a stitch.  It didn't even come out of its basket.  

Here's the Quilts for Kids kit quilt on the front porch.  I don't really like my quilts this wrinkled looking unless they are old fashion quilts.  My guess is this fabric was not prewashed hence the super wrinkles.  I know the Warm & White batting was.  Quilted with So Fine, Fleurs panto, Warm & White batting. 

Today I will work FIRST on the 1800's quilt and then sew these rows together.  And, I'll keep pluggin' away on the little girl & her dog quilt.  There is no way I can get it big enough for a baby quilt without doing a lot more and I am so not interested in that. 

Jenny posted a new picture of Sophia on Facebook.  (I stole it from there.)  I am looking forward to visiting them next week for a few days.  Watch out Sophia, Grammie is coming with her camera.  You'll be a super star!  

Weather reports that the 90's are going to give way to 80's with lows in the 50's this week.  YEA!  I am very tired of this hot weather.  I imagine we'll still have some super hot days but for the most part its over.  

On to a little laundry and a bunch of sewing.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Apple Pie Day!

Sunday was Apple Pie Day -- or at least my first apple pie day.  I used golden delicious and granny smith apples to make 2 pies.  One was shared at a party in the neighborhood.  The other one is living in the refrigerator as I type. I need to look at my crumb top as it is getting too stiff.  (Can crumbs get too stiff?) I think I let the butter get too soft.  Next time I'll try to pay more attention to that. 

I've finished the Quilts for Kids quilt.  It will go into the washer after I take my shower.  (no need to deplete my water pressure.) 

Today's Plans:

Million Piece blocks going into rows, still. They will be my ender project. 

1800 quilt will be my main project -- need to get the blocks together into a top. 

Finished hand quilting the Irish Chain -- will need to prep binding and get that sewn on by machine. 

A Back Burner Project -- an old applique of a girl holding a dog.  I batted it up years ago but never quilted it.  I've decided to make it bigger so I can donate it to my guild to use as a charity quilt.  I've bought fabric for a smaller border and then a larger border.  Perhaps something will be done on that. 

Honestly, that is MORE than enough to do in a day.  It'll probably take me all week to get all that stuff done!  I'm hoping for some good finishes this month as I have been buying fabric! Well, only 2 1/4 yards but if I don't have a decent finish that will put me over on the incoming fabric.  The plan is to USE more fabric than I buy or acquire.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Labors

Besides waking up at 5:15 AM with Raggs woofing next to my bed, today is turning into a great day.  The weather has been mild with low humidity... either that or we were up so early it is cooler than what the rest of the day will bring.

Last week before Sharon arrived I was able to whip through the quilting on this little Quilts For Kids quilt.
Sharon and I had a great time together and got lots of stuff done.  I quilted one of Sharon's quilts for a Faithful Circle Quilters Project Linus Challenge.  She originally was going to use it as a backing but decided to get a backing for it and I volunteered to quilt it while she was here.  The blocks are a bunch of different sports -- soccer, football, la crosse, golf.  Each participating member of FCQ got a brown bag full of coordinated fabric that had been donated over the last few years.  Sharon had a lot of fat quarters in the bags she took. 

One quilt made the trip south to be bound and so I could see it.  The fabric was all transportation of some sort or another -- cars, trains and trucks with some road signs thrown in.  Sharon used various road signs to highlight the fabric and continued the motifs in the solid square. Some youngster is going to LOVE this quilt. 

Sharon will be quilting this next one at home.  She had to piece the backing that we bought on Thursday afternoon. 

Saturday we were off to visit a local quilt store before she drove home. 
We were at Quilter's Corner, a great shop in Midlothian, Virginia.  They were having a big anniversary celebration.  We watched demos on Texture Magic, a 60 degree ruler (the one I have recently purchased) and a double diamond ruler.   This very unusual ruler produces a nifty design that is incredibly easy and fast to do.  If you like unusual rulers/techniques check this one out.  

We each made a pillow case for the Million Pillow Case challenge. And, a bit of shopping and a lot of ogling.  A quick lunch and Sharon headed on home.  We're not sure when or what our next adventure will be but  I'm sure I'll be seeing more of her because of coming up to visit Sophia.  I'm looking forward to visiting Sophia for a few days next week.  (And, taking lots of pictures to share.)  

I am ready to get back to my quilt projects for this month: 

• Million pieces quilt will become a top. I'm in the process of putting the blocks into rows.
• 1800's quilt will become a top and be part of a quilt sandwich! 
• Some UFO will be dragged from its hiding place and get worked on. Bought fabric to add to a little applique wall hanging to turn it into a quilt. 
• More than one pillow case will be done for charity.  One was finished and donated. 

So on to the piecing endeavors.  I still need to do the bringing the back  over binding on the Quilts for Kids quilt so that I can get it in the mail tomorrow.  Then I will focus on the Million Pieces quilt and the 1800's quilt.  Lots to do! 

Happy Quilting All!  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Stashbusting Report

August Stash Report

Fabric Acquired: 2 1/2 yards
Fabric Used: 1 yards
Net Fabric Acquired  : 1 1/2 yards

Year To Date Report
Fabric Acquired:  28 1/4 yards
Fabric Used: 29 1/2 yards***
Net Fabric Used:  1 1/4 yards

*** I decided to put my numbers into a spread sheet in Excel and oops, there was a subtraction error in June so my total fabric used is the same as last month.  

But, I am still happy dancing as I have still used more fabric than I bought.  Hopefully I will have a couple of finishes that will help use up some fabric.  Plus I have a couple of pillow cases cut out and will be making and donating.  I've decided that is a really good way to move fabric!  

After looking at last year's statistics I see a few trends going on.  A) I'm not buying any where near what I bought last year.  B) I'm not finishing as many projects as last year.  Or maybe it is because I am making smaller items now so they don't use as much fabric.  Last August my year to date numbers were 81 acquired and 63 used.  I'm quite pleased that I'm not buying as much but I'm not happy that I'm not finishing as much.  

So, what explains these two trends. BUSY year.  Much of April and May was spent traveling. And, then there was that move in June.  August was pretty much a bust sewing-wise.  But, I'll be the first to admit the reasons were fabulous -- visits from friends and family and the darling new grandbaby! 

Here's what I'm hoping will get done in August: (make that September!)
• Million pieces quilt will become a top
• 1800's quilt will become a top and be part of a quilt sandwich! 
• Some UFO will be dragged from its hiding place and get worked on
• More than one pillow case will be done for charity

Sorry for being wordy today.  No pictures to share although maybe I'll get a picture of my stash and add it at some point.  But now, it's on to laundry and cleaning the kitchen floor!  

Happy Quilting All!