Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting OLD...

Usually I write about quilting, sewing, shopping..etc... but today I have other things on my mind (what's left of it!) Al and I went out for coffee to a small place not too far away. I was chatting with the waitress as I stirred sugar into my coffee... she refilled Als's cup and as I'm stirring I look around and ask "where'd my coffee cup go to?" YEEAAAHHH...... This seems to be a trend lately. I hunted for about 10 minutes for my glasses ...asked Al if he'd seen them.. "on your head" was his reply. He's very good natured about all of this. He just laughs and rolls his eyes. It's probably just my age or maybe it's the weather but my knees are killing me today. They always creak but today there's a double creak... well.. sort of a creak, crunch, Take a step, creak, crunch. And if I'm doing the stairs?!.. it's creak, crunch, snap... creak, crunch, snap... Then when I get up from the sewing machine, I can't stand straight... at least not right away. So here I am, walking away from my sewing room, half bent over.. creak crunch creak crunch creak crunch snap... If you look up the word decrepit and see a picture of me, don't be surprised! Just an old quilter, falling apart at the seams....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stitching up some new placemats

What a nice day today was to work in the sewing room....bright and sunny but cold, cold, cold. This morning I stopped at the quilt shop to pick up some fabrics and battings I needed to work on projects. The first thing I did was make up a bunch of new placemats for the kitchen. I wanted something contemporary and also wanted to use this new coffeepot fabric I picked up at Hearts to Holly. This is the pattern I made about a year ago..they were stitched up in Thanksgiving fabric back then. I think I'll make one more set... something bright to go with my Fiesta china. A while ago I made a set in some spring Lakehouse fabrics: These are so fast and easy since there's no binding, no handsewing and no quilting (unless you want to).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finished up my Blue Strip Scrap Quilt

It feels so good to be finished with a project... check a BIG one off the list. :) This is my Blue Strippy Scrap Quilt that I started after seeing that my boxes of blue fabrics were overflowing. This helped... a little.. It's amazing how much blue I still have and I didn't buy A THING! I love bues, always have, so I suppose that's why I have, oh, maybe six bins of it. There's the navy box, the royal blue box, the medium blue boxes (2 of these), the light blue box, the aqua box, the turquoise box, the blue plaid box, the blue solids container, the blue civil war and Americana box... okay, maybe that's 9 or 10 boxes of blues... but it's down from what it was!

And this is my finished Central Park cosmetic bag.. I was leaving for the party and had forgotten to take a pic so it's wrapped but you can still see it. The bag wasn't really the gift, although everyone love it. The real gift was inside... yummy chocolate gift certificate, glass nail file and cuticle cream.
I used a little ric rac in the seam between the top and the bottom (found it in my box of old trims). The buttons on the right of the bag are stacked... a creamy white one with a nice swirl texture and an orange button with a little crystal imbedded in it. They were the perfect addition to this.. think I'll make myself one this week :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Playing in the sewing room

My sewing room resembles a childs play room at times... I have Dr. Suess books, dolls, bears, stuffed animals, a childs rocker, wooden toys, a rag rug... among other things. I decided it was time to make myself a mug rug since I've done one for everyone else (well, kind of my daughter's idea) and so this is mine, which fits in with my child's theme... kind of a doll quilt mug rug:
I had leftover pieces from a quilt I call "my quilt"... it's a quilt I'm slowly making using just fabrics I love, blocks I love, applique I love... and it will be all mine when it's done. A while back I did some tiny patches to put in the quilt and then changed my mind so these became my mug rug. It'll go perfectly in my bedroom some day when the "my quilt" is done.

Today's project will be a cosmetic bag for a white elephant gift exchange I am attending this evening with my sorority sisters. I'm making the bag and then putting in a glass emery nail file (these are hand painted by a lady up here and they're so pretty) and cuticle cream plus I'm also adding in a gift certificate to Kilwins Chocolate (mmmm..who doesn't love chocolate?). These are the fabrics I picked up at the lqs this morning to make the bag out of. It's Central Park, one of my favorite new lines:

Aren't they yummy? And here is a pic of my favorite quilt shop...took it the other day when we were starting up Hearts To Holly's new blog. See that quilt hanging on the back wall... It's from Me and My Sisters and we now have kits for it. I cut up a bunch the other day using the Me and My Sister's pattern and Moda's Happy collection plus some from another new collection. Wouldn't that be a great quilt for a grad? If you'ld like a kit, just call Sue at her shop (number is on her website) She can send you one out.
And this is my Just One Star to be sent to Moda. Sue at Hearts to Holly is giving out fabric to make these stars and will be sending them into Moda all at once. Have you done yours? They're super easy and a worthwhile project. If you want to find out how you can help the Quilts of Valor project, click here:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And the saga continues....

Okay, so I listened to my husband and daughter (who also thought that it was too busy) and split apart the red and cream quilt. I went to the lqs and bought a couple of yards of a deep beige to calm everything down. Cut the squares for between the blocks of mostly red, then the side triangles, then the corners... stitched MOST of the top together... and am not loving it. :( It's not bad but I just don't love it like I did before splitting the quilt up.

SO, my daughter (the above mentioned one) comes to stitch with me today and sees the first of the two quilts ..the one that is mostly red. She doesn't like it. Says she saw my blog and thinks I should have stuck with the first one .... AHHHHH!!!!

I told her she was one of the deciding factors for why I didn't make the original quilt and now have two. And my husband of course... who came in and saw the new one laid out on the floor and said he still doesn't really like it... but then he says.."I don't really like red"... Well, I'm SEEING RED!!

Moral of this crazy story (no the story isn't done yet but here's the moral anyways) ... Listen to your heart. You know what you like and what works for you...

PS: Anyone want to come over and help UNsew a quilt? It's looking like that is what I might be doing... And looking at the comments on this blog, everyone out there agrees that the first was the best.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Quilts

The story starts out with a charm swap with the ladies at Block Central. We swapped red charms and I joined in even though I had lots of reds... what's a few more red squares. It is one of my favorite colors. Then I joined the cream charm swap, then the red strip swap, the cream strip swap....I put the reds and creams all in one box with the idea that one day I'd make a red and cream quilts. Well, we were all chatting about red and cream and found a really cute one on I love her quilts... she has such a great eye for color. I decided to make this one:

That was many swaps back and in the meantime I've started ...oh... lets just say LOTS of quilts.
One day, I was curious (curiosity killed the cat and almost the quilter) about how many UFOs I really had. I started pulling them all out.. Out of boxes, off of hangers, in the cupboard, on the shelves. When the list was done I had counted about 29. This isn't counting the boxes and stacks of fabrics that are organized and waiting to become quilts (let's just ignore those for now). Since I was VERY embarassed at the high number I decided to start getting to work on finishing up some of these. The first one I grabbed was this red and cream one. I started making the double four patches once again and was pretty far along so I laid them all out on my sewing room "design" floor.
Al came in to see my progress and said it was WAY to busy... sometimes I ignore his opinion and sometimes I listen to it. This time I thought he might be right so I played with the blocks. I took away all the mostly cream ones and left the mostly red ones. This is what I had:

Then I laid out the cream ones:

Well, I found I like these each alone more than combined... I may have to add plain red blocks in the mostly red one and plain cream blocks in the mostly cream quilt but it looks like I'm making two now instead of one... so after all this work to get my ufo list down, I now have one more UFO! Now the question is.. do I continue to work on my ufo list KNOWING what could happen or just give up and go shopping for fabric? I agree... time to shop :)
The End

Finishing up a swap

We're doing a mug rug swap on Scrappy and Happy. We send two mug rugs to a secret partner... spring themed. These are the two I made and am sending out tomorrow. I sure hope she likes them. After I finished I realized that I used a white background... not the best for setting tea and coffee on.. oh well, live and learn.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcome a new blogger

My favorite quilt shop (also my local one) is Hearts to Holly. You've probably read about it in my blog... She carries lots of great fabrics, has tons of cute patterns AND is going to be in Quilt Sampler in the Spring/Summer issue coming out in May. Well, as of today, she's also a blogger here. I hope you'll all stop by and say "Hi" and follow her. She plans to put up lots of pictures of incoming fabrics and patterns to get our creative juices flowing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring is coming, right?

By the looks of things up here in northern Michigan, Al and I have come home MUCH too soon. This is a picture I took on the way out to breakfast a few mornings ago. Yesterday looked pretty much the same, except add a little freezing rain and ice... yeah... Why did we come home?...

Well, the good thing is it's perfect quilting and sewing weather. I spent the morning in my sewing room sewing up a few blocks for our favorite block swap with the ladies at ScrappyandHappy. We are making "Bright, spring" blocks. This is one I made up this morning... not sure if it's out there somewhere but I'm calling it the "Charlevoix Four Patch". I picked out this fabric on the way home from Arizona with my Oklahoma friend, Jenell. With this "dead of winter" feel outside, it's a cheerful burst of color.

The bright pink in this is a Kona called medium pink. I picked up a few new solid fabrics since I will be joining a Kona solid swap. I bought Espresso, ash and grass... try saying that three times..LOL. The Kona ash is a fantastic color... one of my favorites. It goes so well with all the brights and clear colors. The lqs says they'll be getting in a bolt of it. :) :) I'm planning to get about 5 yards of it to put aside for a quilt that I want to make AFTER I finish up at least one UFO. Keeping myself in line (sort of).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Great Green Goodie OR The Green Rabbit :)

Trina's GREAT GREEN GOODIE has arrived so now I can show you what I made her. This is a wallhanging for her kitchen. We had to use mostly green fabrics for this surprise swap and could make anything for the kitchen or sewing room. I had some wonderful cucumber fabric and a bit of lettuce fabric so I thought a green bunny would be the perfect applique to use with those pieces. And bunnies are so "springy". The bunny came from a book by Darcy Ashton that my bought for me a few years ago. One of these days I would like to applique a whole group of these furry fellows for a child's quilt using 30's repros.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Something Green... but what?!

Today I'm working on something green. I can't say what it is or what it's going to be or who it's for CUZ IT'S A We're doing a Great Green Goodie Swap at scrappyandhappy.. a wonderful yahoo group (formerly block central). We make something that is mainly green for a secret partner and mail it out to them this week. It has to be something for the kitchen or the sewing room. I'm making one goodie for each room.

So, what else am I up to? Well, as Em from Hearts to Holly says, I'm coughing up a lung. This darn cold that has hit me twice is still hangin' on in the form of a nasty cough. I sound much worse than I feel. Al wants me to go to see the doc but... well... if you know me at all... that's not happening :)

The other thing I'm dealing with is the loss of my 1/4" foot... sniff, sniff, sniff, sigh... Somehow the thing fell off sometime between Arizona and Michigan. I checked all my bags, the truck, the garbage, the sewing room floor... EVERYWHERE... but no luck. There's a possiblity that it's in Arizona on my BIL's laundry room floor. Might have knocked it off when I was packing it up. SO, I went online and ordered a new one from Ebay... be here Monday or so. That means I have to stitch the WHOLE weekend with out it. Going to have to use a piece of masking tape till then... oh, the injustice of it all :(

Finishing the baby's I-Spy quilt

I made the 64 block, stitched the rows together then finished the top but Jenn and I decided to make the quilt a bit bigger. It's 48&q...