Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming Soon

This arrived in the mail late last week. It's my registration packet for the MQX show in April. It is suppose to be fabulous for long arm quilters. And, for those of you who aren't there are still lots of non-long arm classes available. Many teachers have classes geared to those who quilt with domestic sewing machines (dsm). I am looking forward to going. And, I'm making a list of things I want to buy. Top on the list is more thread. (Heck, I've got a whole rack full of thread but I never seem to have the color I want.) My plan is to replace colors I've used up like red and than add some colors I don't have. And, then there is the cotton versus poly thread question. I think I've finally gotten the tension balanced and apparently I am having as good of luck with cotton as with the poly. Hum, what to do, what to do!

I've been keeping at Heidi's quilt. Here are some little floral motifs I've done where the blocks come together. (Anything that screams orange is most likely red.)
Here are the arcs I am making over the red (yea, it's really red) sections. I am going to be turning the quilt 90 degrees and then go the other way on the reds and get the borders also. I was hoping to take it off Ruthie today so that I can repin it tonight. But, I'm finding myself pretty tired. We'll see how well my feet recover.

I am almost done with the binding and the sleeve for Plaza del Sol. I need to take a picture after it is finished. I am entering it and some other quilts in Faithful Circle's quilt show. The show is held in Columbia, Maryland on April 29, 30 and May 1. We usually hang 350 to 400 quilts if I remember correctly. Several vendors come and we have a great Peddler's Table. (another thing I am trying to do -- organize what I am putting up for sale.) We also have a great Silent Auction where members donate items to be sold for our education program. If you need more info leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll let you know the details.

Time to get back to Ruthie. Lots to do before the day is done... or to do tomorrow... Happy Quilting All!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cold Snap but Quilting Continues . . .

Yes, we are having a bit of a cold snap after the 73 degrees on National Quilting Day. So a nice warm quilt would be great. Here's what's going on:

Now on Ruthie: Heidi's pineapple quilt. You can't see it in this picture but the paisley border has been quilted. Today I tackle the black piano keys.

At the Milford Guild meeting Wednesday night we heard from Michele Scott and her trunk show/lecture Quilt as Desired. She has some wonderful, vibrant quilts. Check out her website Needless to say I succumbed to some of her beautiful fabric. (Hey, I had decided I wasn't going to the Lancaster AQS show so that big temptation was under control. Plus 7 fat quarters for 10 bucks? That was really just prudent shopping!)

Remember that "bumb" from a few posts back. Um, yes, I am planning and scheming... but will wait until we know more about the bumb. I must see how the brilliant yellow Jen gave me years ago will go with these. Hum, may need to make several quilts. And, yes, I'm thinking little girl here. Sorry Jen...

And just so you know, I'm not stopping at quilting. Look what I fell for. (I had seen this pattern a while ago but wasn't quite as motivated then as I am now that there is a bump in the works.) Jen picked the green -- so the plan is to have this for Christmas. I'm being good and not starting it yet. Well, as of this minute I haven't started it but who knows what will happen as of tonight. (Note to self... don't forget to sew the binding on Plaza del Sol...) This cute pattern has preemie size up to 6 months. It is knit from the top down and the size of yarn and needles are altered to make the different sizes.

This is a Leisure Arts pattern with two sets -- hat, bonnet, blanket and sweater. And, as I said knit from the top down. This is so darn cute. I love the little leaves around the neckline. Hum, I wonder how it will look in Christmas green? I'm not really fond of the green shown. We were thinking a nice lilac for a girl. But, we don't know so the green is what it will be.

I've spent too much time goofing off today. Time to get back to Heidi's quilt. Ruthie is warmed up and ready to go. And, better yet, I even know what design comes next.

Note at the end of the day since I didn't get this posted earlier in the day ... I used my new pouncer and a stencil to mark the piano key border "l's" and they came out great. Well, if it worked for that border, how about another stencil for another border? Found a nice wave that fit perfectly. It is so easy to mark with the pouncer so I marked it and sewed it pretty quickly. I will be turning the quilt 1/4 turn to get to the other borders. I'm pretty jazzed about this pouncer. Look for photos in the near future.

Happy quilting everyone (and knitting if you like it too!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Jenny came up to spend the week with us last week. Brian was out of town and Jen was on spring break/furlough from the university. We spent one day shopping for maternity clothes and a lunch out. Here she is with the dogs, modeling the "bump." Kona enjoyed her visit but looked worried every time Jenny left the room. Last time she visited she stayed a couple of extra weeks cause J and B were going on a trip.

One reason Jen came up was to use Ruthie to get the quilting done on a friend's wedding gift. She used the butterfly panto and it came out great. I love how forgiving that panto is especially for newbies. Some pantos look wacky when done -- well, I'm not a pro yet so hopefully some day they won't look wacky.

We went to A Stitch in Time so she could get the backing for this quilt. I got the scraps. Her sewing room will be turning into the nursery so she isn't keen on lots of scraps. And, she calls me when she needs extra scraps anyway. (hum, do I need to report those scraps??)
I think she did some work on the one below but I can't guarantee it. Jen was motivated and sometimes went up to the studio while I was totally lazing away.

We took this photo as she was loading the car to leave. When Pat and I came back into the house. Oh no. She had left the other quilt on the chair. Thank goodness for cell phones. She' d gotten no more than 5 minutes away before she turned around to get it.

Have a quilty day all! Happy Quilting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

National Quilting Day

It was a gloriously warm and sunny day as I drove off to participate in the Milford Valley Quilter's National Quilting Day. It is the first time I've ever gone to a planned event for Quilt Day. (shoot, is it Quilt Day,
Quilting Day, Quilter's Day??? does it matter, really? NOPE.) I arrived about 15
minutes late due to 1) not being able to find my sewing kit and 2) it was farther away than I thought and Map Quest gave ridiculous directions!

We all were given a kit and then made these cute little muffin pin cushions. I was going to use some of my own ribbon to put on it.

Jackie was there with goodies from A Stitch in Time.
I decided I had to have a new book about something that was mentioned in the last post.... but I won't tell you here and give it away. And, I got a charm pack of a Moda fabric line I like. I'm hoping I can make some nice pillow cases to go with the quilt in one of the guest rooms out of some of it. That is unless I can find the left overs from the quilt which is somewhere in the studio but isn't jumping up and shouting -- here I am!

We had a lovely lunch and an assortment of home made goodies for dessert. During much of the day there were drawings for door prizes. And, yours truly won a nice prize. A panda fabric panel with two go-with fabrics. There were some instructions but I'm sure I'll do a little bit more involved quilt of some sort with it.

After lunch there was a wonderful show and tell. I will be posting some photos from that over the next few days. The drive home was beautiful as I followed my table mates out and it was much faster getting to the freeway. And, the temperatures were in the low 70's. Lovely. We still had about a foot of snow on the garden -- mostly because of the snow blower.

Here's what I've been working on:

Plaza del Sol -- is quilted and the first side of the binding is sewn on.

Knitting project is done and needs to be washed.

Heidi's backing and top has been ironed and is ready to be loaded on Ruthie.

Late this afternoon I pulled out an old 4th of July quilt project. It is ready to be machine buttonhole stitched. I thought if I got going on it again there would be a good chance it will be done by late June in order to hang it.

The last thing I've been working on is gathering up all the little left over pieces of batting I have hanging around. One of the gals in the Milford Valley Guild makes pillows for cats (I assume cats in a shelter.) So I will be giving her a huge bag of this. Ah, the feeling of throwing something away with NONE of the guilt.

The weather has changed -- mid 50's and lots of rain. But Pat found daffodil leaves poking out of the ground -- some through the snow even. Yeah. We should have a beautiful display of yellow in a few weeks. (Phew, that means the critters didn't eat the bulbs.)

Hope you have had a quilty day. Happy quilting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We interrupt this blog . . . for an Important Announcement

Pat and I were given a nicely wrapped box by Jenny and Brian a while ago. And, when we opened it this darling onesie was in it. I figured out immediately what was meant by it -- it took Pat a minute to tumble to what was going on. Yippee! We're going to be grandparents some time late in August. (we've been so good not letting the info slip until given the go ahead!) So I am now dreaming of little sweaters to knit, a nice quilt to make, may be an outfit or two to sew. (Yes, I would sew clothing for a grandbaby!) Hum, now we just need to know what variety of baby will be moving in with Jen and Brian.... perhaps a lovely lilac for a girl and a nice blue for a boy.... And, if you are wondering about the reference to Trojans -- Pat and I both went to the University of Southern California so of course we are still great fans. I can just see Pat and baby snoozing through football this fall.
These blocks are the latest request for the FCQ Equilters. I was very good about getting them done early. They went in the mail yesterday and they aren't due until the end of April.

Hum, what else have I been doing?
lots of playing on the computer.... biggest time waster there is although, honestly it's fun for me.

shopping for maternity clothes and a bit of fabric ... Jen's in town.

quilting on Plaza del Sol ... I'm going to turn it so I can do the side borders.

helping Jen quilt on Ruthie ... she brought a quilt to finish the borders and quilt. She's loaded it on Ruthie and made one pass so far.
finishing a book ... The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil.

almost finishing a knitting project ... I've another 1/2" to knit (or until I run out of yarn) to finish it. Of course, now the weather is too warm for the hood.... but there is always next year.

housework ... not so much. Seesh, every time Raggs goes out he gets soaked and there are wet paw prints all over the floor. Maybe after Jen and Kona go home I'll tackle the floor a bit.

It's another beautiful almost spring day here. The sun is shining, snow is melting. I think I'll be sewing away in the studio. Jen will be quilting on Ruthie, and Raggs, Kona and Pat will be doing their things. Near perfection overall.

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where Did Four Days Go?

I can't believe it's been four days since last I blogged. I'm retired, so I don't have that many commitments. So what have I done over the last four days that I didn't blog?

One was tracking the snow melting by the elephant on the patio. This photo was taken a few days ago. We can now see his base although there are many inches on the ground still. I think the sun must have warmed him up & the snow surrounding him melted. A big rain is coming this weekend so maybe the snow will go when the rain goes. Of course, when we get off our little mountain there is much less snow. There were just patches of it on I-84 as I drove to the library yesterday.

Wednesday was my regular stitching group. Here is some great eye candy to share. This quilt was made by Marie while she was visiting her sister in the west. She made it in a week, including two pillowcases. All is done by machine. You can find the pattern in the April, 2010 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

These pillowcases make me want to do some cute matching pillowcases for our guest bedrooms. It will be fun to see how Marie quilts this one.

Ada won this as a kit at the guild's Quilter's Day Out last fall. She did some swapping of colors (she added those great greens). She was looking for ideas on how to finish it cause she didn't like the directions. We voted for a simple 1 1/2" border & then the larger border. The pattern showed some horizontal strips at the top and bottom but they really didn't add any thing except inches. If ya know what I mean!
I am still hardly working (as opposed to working hard) on A Tisket, A Tasket. I have the most involved block almost ready for stitching. The block has three black-eyed susans in the basket. Each flower has six or so pieces to applique. I've been avoiding it like the plague. I gave myself a stern lecture and said if I leave it for the last I'll never finish it. Surprisingly enough, I listened to myself! So I've almost got the little pieces ready to go. I'll work on it one of these nights and then start stitching.

Wednesday night I had a great lesson on applique by Linda M. Poole. I'll share the little project with you later. And, it was really appropriate since I am working on the A Tisket, A Tasket blocks.

I'm off to the studio to see if I can make some progress on Mystery for Relays Mystery #13. It is called Super, Duper Easy & will be given tomorrow. I hope it is that easy too. I've picked the main, dark color. I've picked a lighter background color. I need to cut those and then I get to pull scraps for the mediums. I love using those scraps up! I could also sew mystery 12 blocks together but I doubt I'll get to those. There's always a lot of variety in the studio.

Happy quilting everyone!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pinwheel Party

If you visit this blog directly rather than through Google Reader or some other reader you might notice that really nice button with pinwheels. I've jumped into another little project. If you visit Twiddletails you will be able to join the Pinwheel Party also. So here's the deal - every week Anina will be posting a pinwheel block for you us to make. The block instructions are free the first two weeks after being posted. If you miss one you can actually buy it, if you need to. After 12 weeks all the blocks will be done. She will be posting the borders and sashing the 13th week.. So, Blogetts, do you want to join me? I figure I can squeeze one block in a week. I'm sure you can too. Of course, I am already a week late. And, I don't have my fabric picked out. And, it uses 3 YARDS of backing. I may have to buy that much yardage. But, come on we can do it. Sign up. Join me.

I don't think I've shown you a picture of the finished New Years Eve 2009 Mystery. Taa dah!
That yellow and purple sure isn't very subtle is it? Hum. I like this little quilt. And, the pattern is great for setting off special fabric.

Here's a close up of one block that you can actually see the quilting on it. I tend to like light quilting rather than lots of quilting. So, of course, I quilted lightly. I may have to go back and add a little quilting in the purple/yellow sections next to the focus fabrics. I was thinking of appliqueing mittens there or perhaps just using 2 strands of
embroidery floss to stitch a mittens there.

I have gotten pretty good at those little oval shapes around a block. I use a ruler to do those. I haven't been brave enough to do it freehand yet. Well, actually on one of these I did and wasn't pleased with the out come. So, back to ruler.

The Plaza del Sol is coming along again. I hope to have it finished tomorrow. I've been rather lazy the last few days. I've been trying to finish a knitting project -- it is a hood to wear when the weather is bitter cold. I figure I'll finish it and winter will have already ended. But, it will be ready for next winter. And, I used some of my yarn stash. (Yes, I have yarn stash...) It would have been great the nights we walked Raggs and it was 15 degrees out! I think next up on the needles will be another pair of socks. I'm going to try knitting two socks at once. I'm pretty sure I bought the correct needles last year. I know I have two more skeins of sock yarn. I should be good to go.

Next up on Ruthie -- Heidi's pineapple quilt. Pictures to come when it's being worked on. You can see one of the blocks here. Oh fudge, I can't find it and I am pretty sure I posted one of the blocks. So, hold your horses and I'll put pics up when I get it loaded. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll actually be starting on it.

I'm off to finish listening to a book on my mp3. It will drown out the dripping of melting snow. Tomorrow's plans include finishing Plaza del Sol. Let's hope I actually DO it.

Happy Quilting All!

Hey, did you see I learned how to do a strike through?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Moving ... backward

Are you sick of snow photos yet, or maybe snow? I am. But woke up this morning to another inch or two on the ground, in the trees, etc. Thought you might enjoy the snowy wonder of trees with snow...

I loaded Plaza del Sol on Ruthie and did a row of quilting -- Monday. Tuesday I was hot to trot and before lunch I finished the bobbin.

I worked my fingers to the bones -- each of the piano keys had a cursive "l". I did some more curves on the inner border and got through half a row of the stars and stippling when I ran out of thread. Popped a new bobbin in and did a test. Yuck -- loopies on the bottom. Checked what I had done before -- ACK more loopies. I never checked when I started in the morning. WHAT was I thinking? All afternoon and well into the night I was speaking frog -- ripit rip-it. And, I'm not done.

Today, I'm leaving to go to the Wed. Quilters -- as soon as I finish this, change shirts (oops, cottage cheese on the front just looks so tacky!), pack a lunch, gather my sewing... you get the picture. Ripit will commence this evening as I really want to finish this quilt. I took it off the rollers so I'll let you know how easy it is to get it back on without wrinkles. Luckily I am not having to take out all the quilting I did on it. And, let this be a lesson to ME -- check your work frequently!

Happy Quilting and Dreaming of Spring

Monday, March 1, 2010

Feb Stash Report


I'm happy to announce I have used more fabric than acquired for the second straight month this year. Here are the current statistics.

February Fabric Usage Report:

Fabric Acquired: 1 1/2 yards
Fabric Used: 3 3/8 yards
Net Fabric Used: 1 7/8 yards

Year to Date:

Fabric Acquired: 3 3/4 yards
Fabric Used: 10 1/2 yards.

NET FABRIC USED to date: 6 3/4 yards

By this time last year I was already acquiring more fabric than I was using and it remained that way through the rest of the year. Hope springs eternal that I will continue to USE more fabric than I acquire.

And, to help myself along, I am off to quilt Plaza del Sol which will use a nice hunk of fabric! March might be a great month!

Happy Quilting All