Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teal We Meet Again - Again

Last Sunday, I actually had a chance to take my Teal We Meet Again quilt outside and take some more pictures.  I'm clearly not a great photographer, and I wish I could rig a way to hang my quilts so they weren't so disproportional, but this photo will have to do.  It's better than the ones taken in the living room - at least I've got a little room to move around.

This quilt has several really fun blocks, and I thought I would show them off a bit.  They make me smile.  Maybe they'll make you smile also?

This Amy Butler block is super fun.  I love the anchors paired with the blue.  Reminds me of the ocean.

And I really love the shoes.  This one is from the swap, and I don't know who made it, but it's totally fun!

And a little Bliss is always nice, don't you think?

And aren't these dress forms just totally appropriate?  (And that's a little lantern bloom for the cross.)

And I have no idea who made this block, but the fabric in the center just pops.  Love it!

And here's a little Tufted Tweets mixed with Central Park for your viewing enjoyment...

And finally, I really liked this diagonal plaid from Ready, Set, Snow.  In fact, I liked it so well, I used it as my binding fabric.

 This style quilt is a great way to showcase fave fabrics, don't you think?  I never thought I would be so jazzed by modern-style quilting, but I have to say that while I still like traditional blocks, they are often just so boring.  Nothing boring about this baby!

And now, I'm really getting cold.  I think I'll go cuddle up in a nice warm quilt.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Resurrected! Another WIP Completed

Several years ago, before I was even a little bit ready to get out of my quilting comfort zone, BD#2 asked for a "tree quilt" - well actually, she wanted a reversible duvet cover with a tree on one side and a "regular quilt" on the other.  A regular quilt, in our lingo, is a log cabin.  I've made dozens of those.  That side was easy, and perfectly straightforward.

But her request for a tree quilt was different.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I opened up an Excel File and came up with this quilt. It's supposed to be a tree.

Does it {kinda} look like a tree?

Anyway, when its life as a reversible duvet cover was over, I took the two pieces apart, intending to make two separate quilts out of them. The log cabin side took awhile, but I finally finished it in the fall.  I call it "Woodland by the Lake."

But  I've never been too sure about this tree quilt.  Can you tell it's supposed to be a tree?  {OK, ok, so I'm a little worried about that - sorry!}

It actually sort of looked like a tree when I looked at it through the view finder of the camera when I went to take the photo.  At least a little bit.

I'm not sure if this quilt will find it's way to some charity or not.  Even if it's not the greatest design - I would never do it this same way now - it will still keep someone warm, right?

But the best part is that it's out of my project basket.  That's three projects out of the basket and into real life this month.

I think I'm actually making progress.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Blockwork Orange - WIP Completed

 I was reading someone's blog the other day, and she commented that it isn't her having too much fabric in her stash that makes her anxious, but all those unfinished projects laying around.  I tend to agree.  I have too many projects in various stages of completion to be truly comfortable starting a new project.

And I have so many projects in my head, just waiting for a few minutes of my time.  I try not to set ultimatums for myself.  I don't like to tell myself, "You can't start anything new until you finish at least one unfinished project."

But sometimes, that is the way I feel.

So, I am proud to announce that I have finished another WIP!  (Everyone, please say, "Yay!")  It is so satisfying to get them out of the basket - sandwiched, quilted, bound, voila!

Last spring, I joined a Flickr block swap aptly named A Blockwork Orange, based on Elizabeth Hartmann's wonky 9-patch lattice tutorial.  I made the blocks, sent them off, got the swapped blocks in exchange, and promptly stuck the fun mail package up on the shelf - too often, never to be heard from again.

But sometime in November, believe it or not, I actually put the quilt top together.  I made mine quite a bit bigger than the original.  I hate to keep tugging at a quilt to try to keep all of me warm, so the size of her quilt didn't work for me.  I like quilts at least 54" x 70" or so. Elizabeth's quilt had 27 wonky 9-patch blocks, plus the appropriate white lattice squares.  This one has 43 9-patch squares and proportionally more white squares as well.  The 9-patch tutorial makes 9 blocks at a time, so I have 2 blocks I didn't use.  Not sure what I will do with those....

Anyway, once I finished the top, I put it back in my project basket where it sat for awhile.  It is so easy to lose enthusiasm for a project when that happens, don't you think?

Last Saturday, I got it out and sandwiched it, but didn't have time to get the quilting done.  And I am purely worthless during the week, and this week was worse than most.

So, yesterday morning, I got up and started quilting.  And despite the interruptions, actually had it bound before I went to bed.

I picked this orange birdie backing from JoAnn's.  I couldn't find a thing at my LQS that I wanted to back this quilt.  This fabric is so fun, it makes me happy.  And it has a very nice hand.  I really like it.

Isn't this cute?
And I picked this cute polka dot fabric for the binding.  Also from JoAnn's BTW.  I L-O-V-E it. 

This is just a happy quilt, and makes me smile.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Last Block

This is the first month of the Sew Fun Bee S-e-w - & - B-e-e - H-a-p-p-y bee (Sheesh, are these bee names really alike, or what - no wonder I'm confused!) and Cindy was the first to be Queen.  She chose the Stargazing block which was really fun to make once I realized I wasn't clever enough to use different fabrics for each point of the star.  You have to follow the directions, though, or you and your seam ripper will get to become even better acquainted.

Cindy really wanted two blocks, but I didn't have time to make another stargazing block (these little guys get to go all the way to Ireland), so I decided to do the next best thing - I made her a simple wonky star block from some scraps in the scrap bin.  This Erin McMorris fabric always makes me smile. 

Funny, I had this block already made when she said her quilt needed more orange.  Too cool.

Cindy, I hope you like them! 

In other news, I'm playing along in craftytammie's shades of gray charm swap but I mis-read the instructions where she said she wanted them in the mail by January 15th so that she could mail them back by the 31st - I thought she wanted them mailed by the 30th.  Oops.  I felt really stupid.  I bought the fabric a couple of weeks ago, so I really didn't have any excuse.  Saturday morning early I got up and chopped charms so I could get to the post office before it closed to get them in the mail.  To try to assuage my guilt, I made Tammie a little gift.  I thought this Prince Charming hexi needlebook turned out kinda cute.

I guess I really need to start paying closer attention to the details, huh?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Teal We Meet Again - WIP Completed

Several months ago, I joined a Flickr swap called Teal We Meet Again.  The swap was to make cross or "+" blocks in red, teal and white.

 I made 10 blocks to swap...

And kept 20 blocks (because I made them the wrong size.)

I got 10 blocks in exchange for the ones I made...  And made another 10 to make the quilt the size I wanted.

And put them together into a quilt that I really, really like.

There are some really fun fabrics in this baby, and every time I look at them, they make me happy.  There are high heeled shoes.  And dress forms.  And Bliss.  And some other random red and aqua fabrics. 

This is a very "positive" quilt (Get it?)

I thought I might give this one away, but I don't think I'm going to be able to part with it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Block Party

Monday was MLK day, and for us bankers, that means a day off.  I sometimes joke that I went into banking for 2 reasons - Weekends and Holidays off.

I spent this holiday making quilt blocks. 
 These two blocks were the January BOM from the Free Craftsy class.  The hostess is Amy Gibbons, and the instructions are easy to follow.  The blocks are very easy and fun, and I even learned a little trick about lining up the sections so that they (mostly) match. 

Then I made 10 Bento Blocks.  Have you ever gotten a bunch of blocks put together and realized that the center block was the wrong size - and therefore the entire block is out of whack?  Well, that's what happened to me. Between the computer and the cutting table the center block gained half an inch.  Consequently, the whole durn block was the wrong size.

Being only somewhat OCD, I took all the finished blocks apart and put them back together.  It wasn't until this morning on the way to work that I realized that since they're going to be sliced anyhow, I could have just cut 1/4" off each side and the blocks would have been fine. More importantly, I would have saved about 4 hours.  Oh well...

I also made a replacement block for one of my swap-mates in the 3x6 bee.  I lost her block
and never have been able to find it.  I was worried that although this block matched her color scheme, she had asked for 30s repro squares and this one really didn't fit that model.  I think the replacement block does better.  Nicey Jane seems retro to me.  Maybe someday I'll run across the lost block and turn it into a pillow or something.

Then I made this ticker tape block for Kritta22 in the Sew Fun Bee.  I've been dying to try this technique ever since I saw this block and this one.  The ticker tape was fun, but I found it a little tricky to get the pieces the right size.  I finally ended up cutting with scissors, which I very seldom do.  Instead of straight stitching, I zig-zagged the pieces onto the background.  I hate the idea of the block raveling apart.  Still, that raw edge look is so popular....  I'm not sure if the circles at the top are dark enough, but I was afraid the fabric would come apart from all the stitching.  It actually started to bow up in the center of the circles.  Anyway, I hope she likes it.

This Garden Gate block was super easy and fun.  It was requested by Alisha in the Fall Bee.

And finally, I completed this Stargazing block for Cindy in the Sew and Bee Happy Bee.  The directions said that you could make it super scrappy by having each point of the star a different fabric, but frankly, I just couldn't wrap my mind around all that scrappiness.  It gave me a headache the first time I attempted the block, and I ended up going to bed early.  Once I decided that I just wasn't clever enough to do it that way, I had a lot of fun with it.

Of course, there was lots more that I wanted to do on the weekend that I didn't get to, but all-in-all, I am satisfied with my progress.  This weekend, I plan to sandwich a couple of quilt tops and maybe even try to quilt them, if Penny Pfaff will cooperate. 

And after 20 years, my Pfaff 1475 finally has a name.  Wonder if it will stick.  Somehow, at this moment, it just seems to fit her.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We Have a Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in my little giveaway.  I'm sorry to be so tardy about posting the results.  Thanks to Mr. Random Number Generator for his help also.

And the winner is:


who is
SewLindaAnnJan 13, 2012 07:37 AM
Follower, Yes I am!

I couldn't figure out how to get the Random Number Generator Widget to show the number it produced in this post.  If anyone has that figured out and wants to share, I'd be grateful.

Meanwhile, SewLindaAnn, I will be sending you an email.  If you would like to send me a couple of your favorite colors and whether you would like a pillow or a bag, I'll get to work and make something special just for you.

Thanks again to everyone who left such kind comments.  I so appreciate knowing that a few folks read my little blog.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy 200-ish Post and a Giveaway

Potholder Pass 10 "Spring" Mosaic

I have been off work this week nursing WH who had rotator cuff surgery last Friday.  You really don't appreciate your shoulder until you can't use it at all, you know?  I thought that I would be able to work a few hours at home every day and then devote some time to all of the creative projects that are in my brain and/or my project basket just waiting to get out.  Well, that hasn't worked out exactly as I had hoped.  Much of my work from home has been spent trying to get connected to the network - frustrating at best.  And honestly, very little has been done in the creative area either. 

Pillow Talk Swap 7 Inspiration Mosaic

And you know how I said that I wanted to NOT do more than one swap at a time this year?  Well, that's a resolution that I am apparently not going to keep.   I signed up for the Potholder Pass swap, and now the Pillow Talk Swap sign ups are about to start.  Pillow talk is my favorite.  These folks do some wonderfully creative pillow covers.  I know that I am really out of my league, here, but I just can't resist, so if I make it in, I'll be very excited.

And, somehow, I got so distracted by the holidays, and the surgery, and whatever else has been going on, I missed my 200th post, which was going to be the occasion for a giveaway.  So., here we are at #201 or #202 (I can't tell if Blogger is counting this post or not).  But not to be defeated by circumstances, I'm going to go for it.

So here's the giveaway.  I hope there's something in here  you will like...

  • Something handmade - I'll make a bag or a pillow, and you can choose the colors.  
  • "Where Women Create", a magazine featuring Marie Osmond, that has tons of eye candy.  It's the Summer, 2009 issue, but it's so beautiful, I can't bear not to share it.  
  • A pattern book by Adorn-It (they make the yummy pink dazzle fabric my 1-hour tote is made from).  Some delightfully sweet patterns here.
  • A rotary cutter book and small ruler
  • A Burda Style sewist's T-Shirt
  • A CD of embroidery patterns  
  • And maybe one or two things I haven't thought of yet.
To win, just leave a comment.  Be sure I have a way to contact you if you win. 

If you're a follower, you can leave another comment for another entry.  Or become a follower - that counts, too.

The giveaway will close Monday night, January 16, 2012 at midnight, so I'll announce the winner on Tuesday sometime.

Good luck - and thanks for visiting my little blog.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Cutest Birthday Cake Ever!

My co-worker is a fellow stitcher, although she prefers embroidery to quilting, but she was the driving force behind what is perhaps the most fun (funnest?) birthday cake I have ever had.  Is this cake not darling?  From a tape measure to thread spools, buttons to pompom trim, and a quilt design complete with Flying Geese borders, this is just a cake to die for.

And it tasted good too.

It was made by Pensacola's very own  - and uber creative - designer bakery, Purplicious!

Thanks to everyone at work for making may almost-birthday a day to remember!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello New Year!

I had hoped this weekend would be super-productive - that is according to my standards of productivity, meaning sewing and quilting - but alas, it was not to be.  I did get the Christmas tree down, the ornaments boxed up and put away, the stuff back in storage, and several bags of stuff to the thrift store.  And I did get the "Christmas Room" more-or-less picked up.

But as for quality sewing?  Well, not so much.

BD#2 had asked for a scripture cover similar to one she saw on Pinterest, and I made it in time to send with her daddy for 2nd Christmas, when the kids and their dad managed to all get together for an evening.  I got to join along via Skype which, while not the same as being there, was certainly better than not getting to join in at all.

This version does have a zipper all around, and is large enough to hold not only the scriptures, but this year's lesson manual as well.

The lovely Bible cover on Pinterest was clearly the inspiration for said gift (OK, I copied shamelessly), and BD#2 and I were both pleased with the result.  So pleased, in fact, that I made myself one.

The reason I bring this up is because that is the only thing I got done this weekend despite my rather LONG list of things I hoped to accomplish with these 3 days.  I certainly hope that is not an indicator of how 2012 is going to shake out.

Happy New Year!