Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Halloween quilt is JUST what I've been looking for!

It's boring to read about why someone hasn't blogged in ages.  I mean, just blog already, right?  So I will.  Once I've gotten back in the swing of things I'll write a little about the life changes around here in the last 3 months.  Suffice to say I have LOTS of time to quilt these days  :/

But enough of the boring...have you ever done a Halloween quilt?    Whims and Fancies is hosting a 31 day, Paper Pieced QAL.  And I have just the thing for it!!

I bought a nice fat quarter bundle of this fabric...mine has about 22 FQ's in it, but can you believe I can't find a single picture of the entire line??  It's called Matilda by Cosmo Cricket.  I got it from The Fat Quarter Shop for a song after Halloween last year.  70% off, I think.

I couldn't believe some of the blocks the host has designed, and can't wait to see the Something Wicked blocks.  Here is a  peek at one I found on her fb page:

OMG ... how does she think that stuff up??

So, want to join me in this?  I think it would be just as cute done in scraps chosen for their color and not the print, but I have been waiting for just the right idea to cut into this fabric and I'm excited. (I even bought 3 yards of that cute "Boo" fabric on the black background, above, for a backing ;)  How about you?  Wanna join me?  Check out their facebook page today, and hit Like to get notifications for the QAL!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I can't be the only one, right?

I know I'm not the only fabric addict in blogland who is checking her email at regular intervals, hoping I'll see a "Congratulations, you've won the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!" subject line.  There have to be a lot of us.  Everyone who spent the last 5 days filling in their name and email address - and deciphering those alien passwords - is hoping for a little Summerville...some Amy B....some Lucy's Crab Shack, for pete's sake!...to make it's way into their stash, lol.

In other news, I have a new master bedroom quilt.  Well - the makings for one, anyway ;)  2 Jelly Rolls and 2 Charm Packs of Salt Air made their way to my house recently.  I'm going to use them to make this quilt, from the Moda Bakeshop.  What do you think?

I'll have to send it out to a long-arm quilter, but I'm still pretty excited.  Who knows...maybe I'll have some Lucy's Crab Shack to add to it???

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Almost a month...

I won't go too deeply into why it's been almost a month since my last post.  If you read my last post, you know I've had issues with my laptop...suffice it to say said issues were not solved as I thought.  Turns out the tech who came to work on my laptop didn't actually DO anything!  He turned it on and it seemed to boot up fine, so he left it with my work partners as 'fixed'.  When it did the exact same thing (completely failed to boot) 3 days later, I brought it back in and it was at that point that they told me exactly what the tech had said.  I lost my religion and lay on the floor screaming and kicking had an itty bitty tantrum until the tech place decided I just needed a complete overhaul of my laptop.  Even then, I realize they didn't replace the non-charge holding battery.  Interesting that I heard last night that HP is having to lay off 27K workers.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, just because one machine was down doesn't mean the sewing machine was.  I'll start with my most recent, and then put up a few more posts with the things I've worked on in the last month (gifts for Chrysalis flight I'm working...more on that later...and also some teacher's gifts, a (nother) pillow for my (other) daughter, etc.)

Here, though, are some bee blocks for April.
First off, my Wonky Bee contribution for Leah Marie.  She sent the fabrics - aren't they a pretty color combo?  We were assigned a certain number of big or medium size blocks to make.  I was told to make 4 large blocks.  Then all of us where to use the scraps to make small blocks that I assume she is  using as a border or in the backing.  I think this is going to be a beautiful quilt when it's finished!  I took the pics on a makeshift table my kids have been using on the property, for various summer projects.  It was very clean at the time since the last project was bubbles, before the night's rain, lol.

These are for CeLynn, in Colorado, for the Stash Bee.  I'd never done those Gothic windows before.  Glue stick, on my fabric??  But I was impressed with what a clever idea it was!  I actually liked doing it a LOT more than I expected.  I suspect a colorful pin cushion is in my future.

Finally, for the Beejeebers Bee, this semi for Melissa at Happy Quilting .  She is making a Father's Day quilt and requested semi trucks, half driving right (like this) and the other half driving left.  I decided to do a car carrier.  I liked how it turned out, but felt bad when I realized she had a deadline for making it and I was late.  I hate being late.  I did put a little bribe gift in with her block, in hopes that she doesn't throw me off the bee (she is the bee mama, to boot!)  I shall just have to prove to her that my bee-ing 'out of the loop' was an abberation by being my normal prompt self for the rest of the  year and hope that she lets me play along again in the future :(

Have you all been crazy busy with the SewMamaSew Giveaway Day??  There are a million (okay, several hundred...that's a LOT, right??) giveaways going on and most are for really terrific stuff.  Here are three favorites, to get you started if you haven't already.  They were later entries, so even if you did all your entering the first day, you may want to go back for a second look!

Cindy at Spin the Bottle has some gorgeous Denise Schmidt fabric FQ's PLUS the new Lisa Lam Bag Making Bible to give away HERE

And Steph at Adventures of SavyGirl has a dozen super yummy FQ of colorful Anthology prints HERE

Finally, the Quilt Barn is giving away the whole Riley Blake Chevrons FQ Bundle HERE

See you soon.  I promise ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back from vacation...

I'm back from our vacation to Panama City, FL (actually have been for over a week)....I didn't want to come back.  It was amazingly gorgeous, and the perfect temperature.  It even did the decent thing and rained on the third day - just when we were sunburned and needed a day out of the sun.  Wasn't that sweet?  :D

Anyway, the day we got back my laptop died, and since it's not technically mine (I didn't steal it - it's provided to me free of charge by my employer) I had no say in the urgency with which the repair was handled ;)

SO, I have lots and lots of catching up to do, but will pace myself.  Tonight, I want to share the fruit of my 11 year old daughter Trinity's first sewing lesson.  It went well and she was terrific!  Here she is showing off the three travel Kleenex covers she made as a gift for her teachers
She was pretty proud, lol.  I'm gonna be back tomorrow with the really cool prize I won in the Greater Atlanta Shop Hop.   Cuz'  - ohhhh yeah - I am totally a winner,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who DOESN'T love a zombie bunny???

How cool is this?  How can you not love zombie bunnies?

I have no idea what I might do with this, lol, but I couldn't stop myself from buying a quarter yard just because :)  What would you do??? (Edit: I found this on the sale table at Red Hen Fabrics, in Marietta GA...I'm sorry I don't know the name of it, but it wasn't on the selvedge and since it was my first stop I was rushing just a teeny tiny bit)

I bought a few other things on the Atlanta shop hop this weekend.  I really enjoyed the weekend - not only getting to shop at 10 different shops, but spending 2 days shopping with my 2 daughters - it was wonderful.  We found that about half of the shops just treated it like any other day, but the other half really put time and thought into it, which made it a lot of fun.  It really seemed to affect the attitude of the staff.  The ones that worked hard at making it seem like 'a day at the country fair' got the advantage of having a fun day, lots of laughter, and very satisfied customers.  The others?  Well, I did bring home fabric from every shop, hahaha.  Here is a little more of our haul..

some pretty blues and greens

a multi my daughter liked

A little good fortune...

And 4 more Wrenly prints to add to my pile :)  I got more, but will come back tomorrow or Thursday to talk about these and the rest of the fabric, too!  See you soon....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Free stuff, anyone??

There are a few fun giveaways going on right now - tons, actually.  But here are a couple you may want to check out.

First is a Nicey Jane charm pack from Dianne over at From Blank Pages  .  One charm each of 39 of the 40 prints (she was missing one ).  If you win this, I'll beg any leftover scraps off you, lol.

Next is the cool Blog Hop Party.  Click on the link for a boatload of awesome giveaways!

I've got a few sewing things done, too...one is this

It was pressed, but the cat had designs on it overnight.  I think it was a pillow of some sort for our cat Boo Radley.  So please excuse the generally dishevelled state.  It's BOM #2 in the current Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild BOM.  I didn't catch the fabric line's name, but I'm feeling kind of meh about it.  Don't hate it, and absolutely don't love it.  Nice to sew with, though.  If you know the name, let me know.

Okay, run on over and start commenting to win those giveaways!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh my gosh, look what I've gone and done...

Can you tell what it is?  And - possibly more importantly - what it's made out of?  Ignore the little lights.  I draped it over a string of fairy lights to photograph it, lol. 

If you guessed that I made a 1600 jelly roll quilt of of my vary favorite, Moda Swanky Jelly Roll....well, you would be right.  If you further guessed that my 11 year old daughter Tia insisted that THIS was the only type of quilt she wanted made out of that jelly roll, then you should get some sort of special genius prize.  Some insane person who looks remarkably like me promised her that she could pick the type of quilt she wanted made with that jelly roll.  It kind of killed me to just sew that all together slap dash like that.  But it's been a couple of weeks now and I'm coming to terms with it ;)  I bought some gorgeous aqua cuddle fabric for the back (it's like you skinned kittens to use on your quilt back, but without all the hoopla and PETA complaints)

Plus, I'm going on the Greater Atlanta Shop Hop this coming weekend (Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! more about that next week!) and I'm going to tote that quilt top around with me (yes, yes, I'll iron it first) and find some kind of fabric to use in the borders and I'm thinking hard about what to do with those borders.  I'm thinking maybe some little pinwheels and maybe some prairie points out of solids that match the colors in the quilt.  What do you think?  Oh, by the way, the white squares only look like they are all lined up in this photo...in reality they are scattered all throughout the top.

 I've been working on all kinds of fun little things lately.  One of my favorite and - curiously - most challenging, was this cute patriotic star for my Stash Bee Queen Cindy (from Spin the Bobbin).  She is making her month's quilt for Quilts Of Valor.  Have you checked it out?  If not, click the link and take a look.  It's a wonderful organization that makes quilts to send soldiers that have been 'touched by war', wounds seen and unseen.
Here is a close-up.  I realized afterwards that this has sailors in it, and there might not be many sailors in the desert, (oops!)...but I don't think they'll hold it against me :)  I'd like to make a second block for her this week before I send it off, but I'm working up to it.  For some reason, this simple little paper -pieced block caught me ripping out seams several times.  Maybe my  mind was just wandering.

I've also started a new project (like I needed to do that, lol) making asterisk blocks from a tutorial here.  It's a Scrappy Asterisk block, and I liked the idea of having a little stack of white squares sitting next to my machine, and just grabbing one when I have a little time and making up one block in one color, until little by little I'll have a rainbow quilt of asterisks.  Here is a blue block, but it's just the inner part of the block, not finished yet.  I actually forgot that there is an outer part, hahahaha...so luckily I've only done two of these so far, and can easily make the outer part of the block with some of the same scraps then move on and remember to make both parts in the future.  I don't know why this pic looks fuzzy - it's clear on my camera.

I made 2 pencil pouches with some pretty linen (I love sewing with linen) and some blue/purple scraps.  I'll get (un-fuzzy) pics for next time, promise. 

Months ago I bought 10 yards of white fabric, and have finally seen the end of it...I haven't used it all up, but I realized while cutting these blocks that it's time to buy some more since it won't last much longer.  Lucky for me...did I mention that I'm going on the Greater Atlanta Shop Hop this coming weekend ;)??  I have a little mental list for things I want to watch for:
     1. Borders for the Swanky quilt
     2. Good quality white yardage
     3. More of the Wrenly line, but Valori Wells (I have12 FQ's, but want some of the other prints)
     4. Some yardage from the Flea Market Fancy line.  I ordered a FQ bundle of ALL 21 prints, and it came YESTERDAY !!!  My breath caught while I was typing that.  I'm not even kidding.  I'm a total goofball.  But I want a few of the prints in yardage for quilt backs.  I might also swing by JoAnne's to see if they have any DS prints that would do the trick for a little less.
     5. One spool of fancy thread.  I've only used Coat's and Clark up till now, and want to try some Aurifil or Sulky.
     6. A layer cake of something I like.  I haven't used one before.  

Now, I can't afford all that, so will get some and report back with photos after the weekend.  I'll also let you know if - as planned - I win the shop hop grand prize of ten different $100 GC's.  One for each shop on the hop.  I have every intention of winning that.  Hope your weekend is as fabulous as mine - see you soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

ripping it out, sigh....

Okay, I'm working on the BeeJeebers block for March.  It's going to be so pretty.  And it's driving me nuts, because it's late and I shouldn't be doing this and making all these mistakes.

I finished my "grey goose" pillows.  I love love love them.  I even love the backs, lol.  And the zippers!  The quilting is kind of crappy amateurish but that's because I'm crap at free motion quilting an amateur. 

It's hard to tell, but I quilted more than just the spirals - I quilted the center star, too.  I'll try to get a better photo of it in the real, true daylight before I send it off to Asa.  Here are the other two pillows I made for him, with their backing fabric.

I quilted these with abstract sort of lines across the face of them.  I think it goes with the sort of oriental feel I was trying to give them.

Isn't the back pretty?  I actually got that fabric at (gasp!!) Walmart.  Back about 18 months ago they decided to get rid of the bolts of fabric they carried - then about a year ago they decided to get rid of their pre-cut fabrics that they'd replaced the yardage with, and went back to bolts of fabric, lol.  But during the sell-off of the pre-cuts, I spentt about $50 on over $500 worth of fabric.  Not designer obviously but I was pretty careful to get only soft, designer-feeling fabric along with some canvas yards for some projects.  This backing was one of the fabric pre-cut yards.

And this is the block I tried to design.  Is there already a block out there just like this, that any of you know about?  The color is off here (I'll get a better photo tomorrow) but it's actually a really nice combo of fabrics.  I screwed up the outer purple fabric and didn't have enough to make it right - so as a result I had to tweak the outer squares to make them fit right.  But I really wanted to get it made, to see it, so went ahead and finished it.  I'll make another that isn't screwed up.  And unfortunately I know it isn't modern - and the stimulus for coming up with a block was a challenge to create a modern block - so fail.  Still and all, it was fun.  Okay, I'm going back to my ripping out of BeeJeebers stitches now.  Thanks for the nice excuse to get away from it for a while ;)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

If I do say so myself...

Is this not just too stinkin' cute???  I absolutely love it.  It's a block for my Wonky Bee.  The Queen Bea (not a misspelling, her name is Bea, lol, although she pronounces it Bee-uh :) sent the pretty fabric out and requested a house on the block along with 'something else'.

 I LOVE my something else!!!

I also put some stitching in the windows after I photographed them...I forgot until I saw the pic!  The color is bad in the photos...I don't know why - I took this one below just a half hour before.  Sigh.

I also finished the stitching on the Chinese checkers block, but will take a photo tomorrow in the light.  And I designed a block, I think... at least, I haven't seen it anywhere else but you can't really say you 'designed' a bunch of squares and lines together, can you?  I read what my friend Sunni had to say on her blog about this subject earlier...well, what those commenting had to say really, not Sunni... and agree that there really just isn't any such thing as a new block left outside of those picture type paper-pieced blocks.  Still, I'm kind of liking it and even if it turns out there are quilts full of the block out there I still think I like it.  I'm going to piece one together tomorrow and I'll post it.   Tomorrow I'll also be working on the BeeJeebers March block - a gorgeous scrappy HST star - and an equally gorgeous red, white and blue paper pieced star for my friend Cindy who is queen bee of the March Stash Bee.  I'll be back to report on how it all went tomorrow night. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Honey, I'm home!!

I've been gone - did you miss me?  I could blame it on a lot of things.  My children have, despite our best efforts, become those awful offspring who want to excel in everything, participate in everything and - as a result - drag their parents to everything.  My sewing time is being severely stressed by soccer games, basketball games, chorus and honors chorus, math-fest, science Olympiad, 4-H project achievement and field trips to every educational destination in a three state area!  I mean, come ON people...I have pillows to make!  Quilts to bind! Bees to keep up with!

If that weren't enough, my boss actually seems to expect me to work each day, and my husband has been hinting that hot meals in the evening would be appreciated.  And to round everything off, we've had not just one, but TWO rounds of severe storms in the last 10 days that knocked the cable/internet out for days at a time.  What's a girl to do?

But I'm back now, and despite my disgustingly talented kid's shenanigans, I do have a few things to show for my time spent AWOL from blogland.

When last we spoke, I was working to try to finish my Unwinding Stitches quilt (isn't that a clever name?  It's the Unwind pattern from Jaybird quilts, using Malka Dubrawsky's line Stitch in Color).  It looked like this:

Unfortunately, you are going to have to believe me when I say that once I got it quilted and bound, it looked gorgeous.  You have to believe me because being the genius I am, I finished it and took it straight to Intown Quilts to drop it off.  I won't have it back until mid-April, but I promise to take some photos then!  I used these the fabrics below for the back and binding.  To quilt it, I used lime green thread to stitch 1/4" inside each individual piece of the white stars, then did a medium sized stipple on the colored parts.  It really is lovely.  Take my word, lol.  If you happen to live in Atlanta and will be dropping by Intown soon or during the Shop Hop at the end of this month, you can even see for yourself!

You might remember that I made the quilt to participate in a challenge the shop had going, where they asked that you buy a pattern and fabric from a current line, along with anything else you needed for the quilt (thread, batting, specific ruler, etc) and then bring the completed quilt to them  to be displayed during the annual Shop Hop.  In return, they were offering 100% of your purchase price back in the form of a store gift certificate.  Sold!! My bill had come to $86, and I brought my 11 year old daughter Tia with me to go completely crazy do a little shopping.  She has recently developed an interest in quilting and learning how to sew.  Here is some of the loot fabric we brought home:

Washi!  Isn't it pretty????   I fell in love with it when the designer, Rashida Coleman-Hale, brought the line to my first Modern Quilt Guild meeting and talked a bit about the journey of bringing a design from the inspiration of  her kids washi tape designs to the finished product.  See that one on the bottom right, the charcoal with bright washi tape all over it?  That's my faaaaavorite.  Love it!!  Next up...

Wrenly!  (It was a "W" kind of day) By Valori Wells, it has lots of pretty colors AND birds.  Can't go wrong there.  I'm actually pretty sure I'm going to buy some more of the line while shop-hopping in 2 weeks. Because having played with it for a little while, I want.it.all.

I needed these dots for February's BeeJeebers bee block.  The queen bee, Lindsay, asked us each to make a block for a "Family Game Night" quilt.  I chose Chinese Checkers - hence the dots .

And I bought littttttle bit more of the Stitch in Color.  When I made the Unwinding Stitches quilt, (hahahahaha...I love that name...I'm such a dork) I cut vewy, vewy carefuwwy - and got enough blocks to make not one, but TWO quilts. Well - almost.  I was one lousy block short.  One 6" block!  So this little group of 1/8 yards became the one final block needed.  I haven't put the quilt together yet, though, since I don't have anyone in particular to give it to and have a lot of other projects going right now.

I just adore this fabric.  I have no idea what I'll do with it, but had to have a little FQ of it.  I did buy a few yards of a pretty oatmeal colored linen while I was there, too (no photo)...so maybe a zippered pouch??  Anyway, that's most of what we got at Intown.  My partner in crime daughter got 2 or 3 FQ to add to her cute little stash, but I'm not sure where they are so can't take photos.  Okay.  On to what I've been sewing!

I've made two of these - the borders have been sewed on since I took this photo - for a set of pillows.  My son has a new apartment that is sort of minimalist with black and white and some bright spots of red.  So I I thought these might look good on his new red couch.  I'm working on something kind of cool for the back and  I really hope it comes out the way I envision it...more on that later.

This is for another set of pillows for the same son.  I used these Kisses and Hugs pillow tutorials from Esch House, that came out around Valentines day.  This is (obviously) the kiss.  They will both be backed by that grey and black and red and white fabric you see at the top of the shot.

And here is the Hug.  My son has a sort of Asian look going on, so I thought these fabrics carry that through, a little.  I'm not sure how I'm going to send them.  Money-wise, I'd like to provide the pillow inserts for the pillows (they are each about 18" square.) but shipping -wise that would be a pain in the butt and a waste of money, too.  I will probably send them along with a little money to buy the inserts, I guess.

I made 2 Railroad blocks for a charity quilt the guild is putting together.  It's for a rescue home for victims of sexual trafficking in Atlanta - Wellspring.  My daughter worked for another home like this that will remain unnamed here, because I wasn't all that impressed with either their practices or their use of being a "Christian" business without seeming to have any discernible Christian values...but Wellspring seems like the real deal, and they do a lot of good work.  They have enough rooms for 24 girls, and the guild is taking on the task of providing quilts for each of the resident beds.  I want to make one of those.  The charity quilt above, though, is the kind that they will raffle/auction to raise money, and it's scrappy with a different fabric for each block.  It looked great all set out on the table at the guild meeting - can't wait to see it quilted up!

 Here is the second one - I love this fabric.  Do you recognize it as the long -searched-for binding for my rainbow batiks quilt?
Tia and I also went to the grand opening preview of Cottontail Quilts, in historic downtown Kennesaw, GA.  It's in the most amazing 100++ year old home, just a block or so away from the depot.  I actually teared up a little, imagining confederate soldiers the same age as some of my sons, standing on the platform of that depot, going off to war.  I'm not sure how old the house is, but wondered if a boy from that family could have been standing there, too.  They were having door prizes, and Tia won a rather expensive book on machine and free motion quilting.  It's a nice book, but I think she was disappointed - the people who had won before her had gotten fabric bundles and jelly rolls.  I think she had her heart set on a jelly roll, to get her little stash started ;)  Still, she found a project in the book on the way home that she thinks she can manage.  

Above is a photo of about 1/4 of the line waiting to pay / check out at the shop!  It loops around in a U here in the photo, then stretched back down a hall and into another room!  The owner was running the register and seemed very nice.  More telling, though, was the fact that I heard 2 of the employees confiding to people about how impressed they were with the owner, and her ethics and pricing practices.  I like a shop with more of a modern selection, but for just about anything else I don't think you could go wrong with Cottontail.  Check it out if you are anywhere nearby or passing through.  It's only about 3 minutes off of I-75, just north of Atlanta.  Google will give you directions :)

I'll be back tomorrow or Friday to talk about the 1600 quilt I'm making.  It's kind of freaking me out that I'm using THIS fabric/jelly roll to make it - but I'd promised my daughter a quilt out of that jelly roll, and the 1600 is the quilt she had her heart set on.  

See you soon - I promise!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Anyone have a baby girl / granddaughter on the way?

I couldn't believe when I saw this...usually $270, the Denyse Shmidt baby crib set - quilt, bumpers and pillow sham - in pink "no strings attached" design is on clearance, only $50.  Makes me wish I had a baby girl to buy for!!

I am finishing up my FMQ of the Unwind / Stitch in Color quilt tonight.  During breaks I've been playing with some Circle of Flying Geese paper pieced blocks, working with some color ideas and a small wandering swirl of geese on the back...pics of that soon.  If it comes out like I envision it, it will be fantastic!  I've been working on a few other things too and I'll try to update on those tomorrow if possible.  Until then, here is a look at my first item done as part of the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild.  It's the first of a 4 block BOM, called Shooting Star.  I had a lot of fun making it. The fabrics are from the Habitat line by Jay McCarroll , donated by Free Spirit Fabrics.  They feel lovely and soft. The background is Kona, I think it's either Sand or Natural...can't remember which.  The block itself was easy and went together well.  The tutorial for it was very well written!  I can see this as a part of a cool star quilt, can't you?

Hopefully I'll be back soon with the finished Unwind / Stitch in Color quilt :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Have I mentioned how much I love these??

    I finished my Almost Harry, Almost Hermione and Almost Ron pillows last night...just minutes before it was time to wrap them and give them to my daughter for her 11th birthday celebration.  She loved them.  And I love them, too...I'm so excited with how well they turned out.  It was SO much better than Id' even hoped!

 Almost Harry ...oh!  I learned a new embroidery stitch to do his glasses and scar!!  It's called the Whipped Running Stitch (it's the second one from the top on that link).  It was really fast and easy, and it looks so nice and smooth.  I'll never use any other line stitch again, lol.

 Almost Hermione

And the last one, my sweet ginger Almost Ron. 

I added a lining of Bella Snow to all of them, and a hidden zipper in the bottoms...see?

And finally, one last peek at what I'm doing for the rest of the day...

And off I go!!  I'll see you when it's quilted ;)