Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Groovy Give Away

Ok, there's this groovy giveaway. I want to win all of the stuff. So, I am upping my chances by blogging about it.

DON'T you dare enter. No way should you even look at the jelly roll, yardage and pattern being given away by Cactus Needle. I am SO NOT making it easier for you to jump over by making the blog title an active link.

Do I make myself clear. Forget you ever read about this rather remarkable giveaway. Thanks.

I'll go back to reading blogs instead of blogging again!

In the White Bag

Enough teasing. Here's the bag and its contents.

•English Paper Piecing papers.
•Cutting templates, 1/4" bigger than the papers.

How cool is that?

What a great hand project. (We all know I have NO hand projects to work on don't we?)

Here's a picture of the pattern. And, couldn't I use the templates to make regular pieced cuts? I'll have to explore that more. This was number 9 and I believe I saw a bag that had pattern 23. These were introduced by an Australian designer at the spring quilt market.

Today I was up early. I'd vacuumed and washed the kitchen floor before we left at 8:45 am.
Hit a store and bought an iron. I will let you know how it works out.
When I got home the dog had had an accident in his crate. YUCK. He's had an upset tummy or something because he NEVER goes in his crate -- it's his bed too.

Puppy got a bath. I got soaked. Two loads of laundry was done. By 1:00 pm I was exhausted. So, I read and napped. Book is finished, day is done.

I hope others got some quilting done. I just about finished the binding on the table runner. Tomorrow I will report my stash usage/accumulation. I know it will be more accumulated than busted! Bummer. Maybe next year I will count something done when it is a flimsie. Probably not, then I wouldn't remember what I had counted and what I hadn't. I will do hand work tomorrow at Wednesday quilters. May finish the socks. Need to clean more of the house too.

Happy Quilting All

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Shopping

This is the stuff I got at Patchwork Plus. (One of this years Top 10 Shops according to Quilt Sampler...) Any way, a very nice lady helped with fabric and yarn. The roll and the cream is wool. Both feel a little loosely woven so I will probably try really hot water to shrink them a bit. These are going into my Bunny Hill block of the month project. (Snowman... chick and I don't know what else.) The front two fabrics are going into the hanky challenge I am dreaming about but not actually working on yet. I didn't get any yarn although what they had was beautiful -- just not practical for a young mom.

The rest of this is from Oh Susannah's Quilt and Gift Store.

How could I resist the "grapes" fabric when we were doing a wine tour? I don't know when I will use it but I am sure it will help me remember the weekend. We had a blast. And I like earrings, especially the polymer clay type.

And the white is interfacing -- hanky project.

The red is actually a batik.

Living in NE Pennsylvania you need jackets a lot. Although I love the sweatshirt jackets I hate how loose they are around my neck. So, e gads, this is a real jacket pattern. I guess I'll make it first in muslin and then see how it looks before committing myself to "good" fabric.

OOOOOOHHHHHHHHH a nice full wine rack. Yum. Of course, I only like about 4 of the bottles. We got one Ice Wine (it's sweet, pressed from frozen grapes, served cold.) And, we got several ports. I loved some of the color combinations on the labels. I may have to reproduce the colors in quilts. Now there's an inspiration for you. The question is would drinking the wine give me more inspiration....

I was up in the studio early this morning hoping I might actually get one more quilt done before July 1. (I know I have acquired way more fabric than I used so was hoping to possibly get more in balance.) I was right back up sewing after my hair cut and errands. Right back after lunch. I was thinking about how odd it had been that last Wednesday at my quilt group the iron had quit working after I used it. Doo doo doo doo. (weird erie music if you can't figure it out from the words!) Yep, you got it. My iron wouldn't heat up. It leaked. I know it has "power" as the red light is on. I just don't have any heat. ARGH. I was ready to iron my backing fabric. And, iron the last seam on the quilt. And, to iron some blocks I was making and... you get the idea.

Tomorrow at 10:00 I am at a store to buy a new iron. I'd be there earlier but I have something else to do at 9! This one lasted about 2 years. Jen gave me one of hers (boy and girl both have irons... 1 too many.) I don't really know how old it was but I was happy to get it.

Oh, you want to see in the pink bag from a few days ago? Check tomorrow! I still have to take a pic of the insides....

Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finger Lakes Part 2

The wine trails around Lake Cayuga and Lake Seneca are very well marked. I had picked up a brochure on each. We figured out which winery had the types of wines we wanted and gave them a try. Some wines were great some were left at the shop!

Here we are sampling a port -- if I remember correctly it was a white port. Very different taste but we both liked it. I am not much of a wine drinker but I do like sherry and ports. I guess that means I like things sweet.

Here's the view from the winery. That is Lake Cayuga in the background. The weather had cleared and the sun was shining. (earlier it had poured rain.)

Look what we found near Waterloo, NY. It may have been in Waterloo but there were so many little towns it was hard to know which one we were in at a time! Yep, an honest to goodness drive-in. We enjoyed rootbeer, fries, burgers and Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

Mac's drive-in with the curb service. They didn't have the speakers to the kitchen like I've seen before but service was good. Food was inexpensive and fine.

As we were wandering around Lake Seneca we passed this sculpture on the grounds of Hobart and William Smith College. How appropriate for a quilter. Well, except maybe a rotary cutter would have been even better! LOL

Although we went to the quilt store before lunch I took the picture after lunch. We sat outside, with Raggs at a great restaurant overlooking Seneca lake. There was a little fence with grape vines on it.

We were happy the restaurant allowed us to have Raggs with us and he behaved very well. Heck, he fell asleep at my feet and didn't pay much attention to what was going on around him, including when lunch was delivered.

We stopped at Oh Susannah's Quilts and Gifts in Watkins Glen. It is a wonderful shop. Check my next post to find out what I bought. Hint: I got a cute little bag that was brand new from spring quilt market in Pittsburgh. What is in the bag?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Road Trip to Finger Lakes area, NY

Reporting in from the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Stopped at Patchwork Plus -- it was in the Quilt Sampler mag this year. WOW talk about a lot of fabric. And some luscious yarns too.

Pat and Raggs hung outside the shop. Hey, I tried to look and buy in a hurry but, honestly, there was just so much to see!

Then we headed to an ice cream shop. Great
soft serve and of course, Raggs wanted some too. Piggy that he is he finished his really fast! Notice the little measuring cup between Pat's feet? We had ice cream in that for Raggs.

We also stopped to do a bit of wine tasting. Long Point Winery was very dog friendly. I had him running around the big yard but he was invited inside. Evidently Long Point employees bring their dogs to work. We took Raggs off his leash and look what he found! Yikes Raggs!

We added some bottles to our wine rack at this winery. Raggs wanted to take home a cute dog dish but we vetoed that idea. He was quite the gentleman.

I have more to chat about but Pat's ready to hit the road and Raggs wouldn't mind it either.

I'll add to my report next time!

Happy quilting all!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Short Quilting Day

Finished today:
Blue Simply Squares quilt. Scroll down to see the pattern. Profits from the sales of the pattern go to Relay. My quilt looks slightly different because I set my squares differently. Here it is before I trimmed it and put the binding on. And, how about a close up. Quilting is ok, but it could be better -- heck it will be better eventually. This was done before the table runner I showed yesterday...

One of the things I need to figure out is consistency of size and shape. After this was done I decided it probably made more sense to do the "petal" things all four at once. I did each separately. And, in fact the top and bottoms were done on different passes. It certainly isn't horrible by any means. I keep trying new things so will eventually have quite a few things in my bag of tricks, so to speak.

Now, I feel my all-over meanders are fine and my easy pantographs are getting decent. More practice is still needed though!

Tomorrow Pat, Raggs and I are taking a road trip to visit quilt stores and wineries up in the Finger Lakes section of New York. Although we used to bring Christy with us when we came up here to see how the construction was going on our house, we've never tried traveling and stopping at, say, quilt stores and wineries, before. We'll keep you posted on how it goes. I looked up restaurants, wineries and hotels on DogFriendly.com Hopefully it'll be easy for the most part.

I've been making a list of things I might like to buy at the quilt store. WAIT -- wasn't I just at a quilt store 7 days ago? How can I really NEED any thing else. Um, I do need a little wool for the Bunny Hill block of the month. (Endless Mountain Quiltworks didn't have any wool.) And, I have a hanky challenge due next month and the colors I need I just don't have. (actually I'm checking on that as soon as I posts this!) And, I have an X Block ruler and I would like a different pattern than the one I have for it. Haven't made it in 2 years.... need I say more? So I guess I might need/want some more stuff. Oh well. It is good for the economy. Right.

I'm off to check my fabs and get the hanky from the challenge.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Quilting

Before I talk about today's quilt group I want to share the fabrics I bought on Friday. The center strips come from a Moda jelly roll by Mary Engelbreit. It was a year old or so but I love the colors. I picked up the yellow that is used as the back drop, two greens and a pink to go with this jelly roll. I'm going to be starting this soon. I've done a sample block and it worked well so time to get going on this.

A group from Wednesday did some dying the other day. Marie did a great job teaching the ladies how to do the dying using jelly jars. Ruth brought hers in to show fanned out in this nice display. I did some dying years ago and haven't used all of it yet. In fact, I've hardly used many pieces. Maybe I should work on those fabrics! Ruth plans to make a paper pieced color wheel with hers. I'll try to get a picture when she's done.

Jeannie was covering this lampshade. It really didn't take her very long to get to this point. She needs to finish off the bottom still but it is almost done. I could do that. And, I might even have a lamp shade I could do it with! But, don't hold your breath. (Hey Kevin, maybe that lamp in the room you use . . .)

I found an old table runner hanging around
in the studio. I had made it years ago. I used a spray to baste it a year ago. Then I didn't quilt it. After trying the panto a week or so ago I decided to try again. Except this time I cut a piece of graph paper and copied a pattern on it. It was in one of the Follow the Line Continuous Line Quilting Designs books. (Can't remember which one.) I had to fuss with the size and placement but it worked really well. I'll show the whole thing when I get the binding on it.

OOPS -- who let this picture in? Truth: the dust is pretty bad on this table. Do I have to clean? I'd rather read or quilt even take the dog out then clean. Every once and a while I get wild and clean the place. But evidently I've been a bit neglectful!

On that picture I will end this.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Whole Cloth Pics

Here's another view of Barbara Tibus's whole cloth quilt... And, how about a closeup of some of her fabulous work.

I didn't get on Ruthie yesterday to practice. But I did finish the binding on the little road quilt. (notice, no pictures of my work in this post!) I also trimmed the blue quilt and made the binding for that. Today I will put the binding on and probably turn it and sew it down by machine. Quilting is so-so on that. Not great but parts are good. Now, the big question is how do you stay consistent? I made ovals in the center of what was essentially a four patch... an oval in each patch. Some are fat, some are skinny, some are long, some are short. None match any of its mates! Perhaps I should have done the little mellon thing -- think of a cantelope piece and take that nice round arc and put it on the side of a block... the mellon thing.

Today I may put an old table runner on Ruthie and try to quilt it. It is actually basted with a spray so don't know how that will work. I'll keep you posted.

I also started working on a challenge quilt for Mt. Laurel Quilters. We were given a hanky to put into a quilt in some way. I'll try to remember to share mine tomorrow. I at first thought I would use the roses printed on it to be roses around my house. I started drawing out my house yesterday and realize I have no idea how I would make this look like my house. There are way too many angles etc. So, I'm back to thinking about what to do.... I still like the roses as part of a house -- maybe just not MY house!

Time to get going. Raggs would like his walk, I would like some breakfast. And it is suppose to be sunny and warm today. WHAT sunny -- we have seen so little of it as of late!

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Long Arm Artistry

Saturday was the long arm group in North East Pennsylvania. Well, that also included New York and usually some from New Jersey too. After getting some good information on binding, gadgets and adding backing fabric if you run out, Barbara Tibus began showing us some info about feathers using her long arm. The ink area was an example of an unusual area that needed to be filled and how Barbara would go about filling it. Evidently I didn't take a picture of the one done of a sawtooth border. Rats.

Barbara entered this whole cloth quilt in a show in New York and came away with a first place in whole cloth quilts. You may want to click on it to see the details a little better. I've uploaded it at a high resolution so you can see the details. She also told us how she went about planning the quilt. I forget how long it took her to do this one but it was in the hundreds of hours. YIKES. I may someday try a miniature whole cloth but I could never do on this size! I will show some more pictures of it coming posts. It's hard to get the photos where I want them with such big files so will hold off on the other pics til a later post.

Hope this has inspired you and filled you with awe. I doubt if I'll get to that level but I know I am getting better with each little quilt I do!

Happy Quilting All

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I've been busy! First my road trip report and then a little bit of the fun I had Saturday.

Five of us met to go out to Endless Mountain Quiltworks in Tunkhannock, Pa. It is a wonderful shop with lots of fabric and lots of variety. If you like Thimbleberries, Amy Butler,kiddie fabric, brights, 30's prints,
reproductions -- you name it, there is some at Endless Mountain Quiltworks. I was able to get fabric that went with my jelly roll although it is not the exact same fabric. All of us helped the economy by buying some fabric! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!) I haven't taken a picture of the fabric but I did take some pictures while we were out and about.
After shopping we went to lunch at Twigs on the main street in Tunkhannock. Yummy food and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

From left to right: Carol, me, Carol, Pat and Ada. How amazing is this -- no red eyed gals amongst us!

And, just so you know I wasn't kidding about our helping the economy here's our bags in the back of Carol's car. Mine is the blue bag. (I am so ecologically sound...LOL)

Saturday I got a call from Ruth before 9 am. Would I like to go to a meeting of a long arm quilter's group that meets relatively close to us. (Ok an hour or so away!) You bet I would! I enjoyed myself thoroughly with a nice group of ladies and gentlemen. And, I learned lots. I was trying to be all ears and eyes but the mouth had a little work out with laughing and chatting. Tomorrow I'll share some fabulous photos from that adventure. As I told Ruth as we were driving home "That four hours flew by." Since she and I met at a Dunkin' Donuts I treated myself to a toasted coconut donut and an orange coolata. Yum.

Today I finished the quilt on Ruthie and will share photos of it soon. Tomorrow I will stay home and sew for a change. I'm about finished with the binding on the little road quilt. Hopefully I'll trim the blue quilt I took off today and perhaps make the binding for it. And, I need to get going on Sarah's graduation quilt from the Sizzlin' Sixties book. My quilt life is full.

Quick question if you've hung with me to the end. I'm going to use a jelly roll on Sarah's quilt. The background fabric is from my stash and has been washed. I am not sure whether I should try to shrink the strips by hand or just use them as they are. Any ideas out there?

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Road Trip

Road trip today to Tunkhannock and Endless Mountain Quiltworks with a group from the guild. Woowee!

Plans for me include:

fabric to go with the jelly roll I have for Sarah's quilt -- borders, binding, a bit more fab to make the quilt larger

look at green fabs

try not to buy any more than what I actually need

Last night I tried one of the "blocks" in Sizzling Sixties to see how my ruler worked since I don't have the flat topped one recommended in the book. Yep, had to make a change but I did get a decent block out of it in the end. I am in love with this book. I was going to make the quilt on the cover but after my practice block I thought it would be more expedient to make one that was considered intermediate rather than advanced. After all, I need to have this completely done by mid August. It will be cool no matter which quilt I do! Click on the link to go to Connecting Threads, then you can look at each of the quilts in the book. (Don't you just love that with Connecting Threads!)

Time to get the road show on the road, so to speak. I'll report back this evening with my goodies. At least, I hope I'll get some goodies!

Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't you love the glamorous picture of Ragg's favorite sleeping position. I left my shoes in for perspective.

He slept, I piddled around getting my zippers on a blue scrap quilt I did a few years ago with Marge. I've already gotten the backing zipped on. It's taken me the whole day to get this far but I am now ready to put the batting on, and then zip on the top.

Oh yes, while doing this I watched the Jane Austin Book Club as a live download from Netflixs. Pretty cool. And, I am in the middle of my 3 or 4th load of laundry.

I guess I haven't goofed off all day after all!

Happy Quilting All.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kindle Thoughts

Last year I bought a Kindle from Amazon. Has to do with living in the country (or perhaps, a more apt term would be the sticks.) I am a big reader of happy ending books (mostly romances save the angst books for someone else.) I use the library a lot but I came from a county with the top rated library in the nation in terms of circulation. (lots and lots of books available -- heaven.) Now I live in an area where the libraries might have 2 books per resident. SIGH. That's not to say I don't borrow from the library -- I do and in fact this pm I'll be picking up 3 books that I have on reserve.

Anyway, I just finished reading the second Virgin River series by Robyn Carr that came out this spring. I had purchased all of them from Borders with discounts and gift cards... oooh free books. My library didn't have the first three -- bummer. So I decided to check for used books through Amazon and Half.com. What an eye opener for me. If I had bought them used at Half.com and paid shipping it would have come to about $19. Surprise, surprise. Buying them for my Kindle at Amazon only cost $15.16. Yep, they give a discount on Kindle books. It's a big discount on hard backs. It's 15 to 20% for paper backs. I tend to only buy the paper backs. And, you can put so many books on the Kindle. It holds a charge for a long time. Plus the books are delivered nearly instantaneously. I find it easy to read on. The biggest draw back? Up front price. I have the original version. Now it is even more light weight.

Enough computer stuff for now... I did get the zippers on Ruthie yesterday. Took me all day cause I was sleepy and took a nap in the middle. Then I was "awake" in the evening and got the quilt I want to put on next ironed and the backing prepared. I'm set to go except today is Wednesday quilters. I need to get going to that. So my little peach pits, time for me to get a move on.

Happy quilting all!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gee Thanks, Hon!

36 Years Together
Pat sent me some lovely flowers in honor of our anniversary.
Hopefully I'll make a decent dinner for him. (LOL)
We decided to celebrate on Saturday night so we could enjoy ourselves without Pat having to get up at the crack of dawn the next day. (shucks, he leaves the house at 6 am...) I would share a photo of our wedding but I have no idea where any are... some things just haven't been taken out of boxes since our move last year. And, some things will NEVER be taken out of the boxes cause we don't have shelves and cabinets available!

I've been working on getting the zippers on Ruthie. I've done two and I have one more to go. Then I will head upstairs to do some piecing in the studio. And, part of that piecing will be piecing the back for the next quilt that will be going on Ruthie. Yahoo. And, this time, this one is one I am not donating. (Unless of course, the quilting totally stinks!)

Happy Quilting All!

Some How This Just Isn't Quilting

Here's what I did one day this weekend. No, I didn't row this shell. Check out the slings it is sitting on!
I used an old curtain to make two of these slings. Not my most favorite sewing but it wasn't all that hard. I ended up making 3 because the first one was too wide. Because these came from a curtain topper I was saved a seam or two!

The interesting part to me is somewhere I have tons more of this fabric. Don't have a clue where it is. Plus, finding this found more quilting fabric (not that I need it but . . . )

And, speaking of more fabric . . . At guild
last night someone
was giving away 2 big boxes of fabric. Being the happy little squirrel that I am, I took away several good size pieces and a few smaller pieces. (My red collection is dismal so I found a few I could put to use right away.)

Today, Ruthie is getting zippers. And, then I am prepping a backing and trying to load a bigger quilt on her. Now, bigger is still a lap size quilt but it is bigger than the crib size quilts I have been doing!

Happy Quilting All!