Friday, October 30, 2009

Sew & Tell Friday #4

Get your cowgirl on!!!  It's Sew and Tell Friday!!!  Click on the button and see all the cool completed projects.   I am happy to say I finally finished my cowboy and cowgirl wallhangings.  I kept putting this project off...not because it was difficult...but because I was dreading the quilting.

Cowgirls of the American West

Cowboys of the American West

The above pictures were taken after the quilting and before the binding.  I'm thinking the Florida palm trees and bougainvilleas are not doing much for my cowboy wallhangings.  They are destined for Montana where hopefully they will look more at home.

Most of the time I send my quilts off to a professional longarm quilter, but I felt these were too small and really didn't warrant such special treatment.  Besides, I need the practice.
So I practiced my loops.  I am hoping it gives a cowboy/cowgirl "lasso" look.  I did the loopy thing on all the "seams" in the panel as well as in the borders.  The binding and backing are not exciting...just the same green batik used for the outer border.  I learned quite a bit from this experience.  First:  I need a lot more practice.  Second:  Stop and take a break when I get tired.   Third:  With more practice, I think I can actually get the hang of this free motion quilting. The only thing left to do is sew labels on.

Here is my Moments picture of the day.  Note all the papers under my quilts...the roll of paper towels recently purchased but not put away...dinner dishes....  Rather than editing the photo, I left the mess.  I also left the blurriness hoping to disguise SOME of the mess.

Have an amazing day!!!!  Enjoy your Halloween weekend!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trio of Coins

I pulled out some jelly rolls I've been hoarding along with some extra Kona cotton I found lying around and I think I'm going to make a coin quilt.  I've seen several patterns and examples and love the design.

This group is Jenean Morrisson Picnic Parade fabric collection from Westminster.  I think I'll use these to make Sister#1 a coin quilt.  I still need to pick out binding and backing fabric.

This is Moda's Swanky.  This is for Sister#2's coin quilt.

Last but not least is Moda's Sorbet.  This is for Sister#3's coin quilt.

Actually, I think I'll sew the strips together and start working on the coins before deciding which quilts and Sisters belong together.

I've been practicing my zigzag stitching (practice scrap fabric above) for my daughter's quilt I blogged about here.  I actually sewed three diamonds onto the backing fabric.  It wasn't as hard as I thought moving all that fabric around.  Of course, I started on the blocks near the edges....we'll see how it goes as I move closer to the center.

This last picture is for Amy at A Commonplace Life.  You will notice that I did not zoom in on this picture in order to avoid the messiness.  Trust me it's not the best example of messiness I could come up with...stay tuned...there will be more to come.  You really need to check out Amy's blog here and here where she talks about being authentic when blogging.  After receiving numerous encouraging responses, she started a group called Moments challenging us to share all the moments of the day not just the "perfect" ones.  I encourage you to head over and read her comments.  She makes some very profound and interesting points and does so much more eloquently than I.

Have an amazing day!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday!!!!

My version of Wordless Wednesday:

My mom and I not following the rules....

...on our way to the top!!!!

Have an amazing day!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This and That

I'm almost too embarrassed to show a picture of the waverunner blocks I sewed.  But... I have this thing about including pictures on blog is what I worked on.  So, here are the first few waverunner blocks I made.  I am hoping practice makes perfect, and I have a chance to redeem myself with new and improved blocks soon.

With my daughter's quilt, I'm thinking a no piecing design.  I laid out a wide piece of Moda solid fabric....taped it down like I was going to baste it...pinned all the "diamond" cut outs in what I hope is a straight pattern.  My plan is to zig zag around each honey bun strips together for a border...find a cool green fabric for the backing (you can't tell, but there are green diamond fabrics)....and kick it up a notch with gorgeous quilting (not by me).

Do you think that will work?  I really need to do something about the lighting when I am photographing quilts.  The extra items you see are pin cushions....not extra fabric appliques ;-))  Also, the top and bottom will be trimmed to match proportions.  Have an amazing day!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Circles, Diamonds and Wavy Strips

I didn't get as much sewing done this weekend as I planned.  The family wanted my company so the only work I accomplished was cutting.  I brought my cutting mat, rotary cutters, rulers and fabric into the family room area and cut while watching college football (FSU actually won for a change), NFL football, helping with book reports, listening to flute and harp practice.....

My daughter and sister share the same favorite color, so from the same fabrics I cut circles for my sister and "diamonds" for my daughter.  I took Stephanie's advice and used a CD for making the circles.  I cut the "diamonds" into 4 inch squares.  I had a diamond template, but my daughter prefers the square turned on its point to make a diamond.  Who am I to argue?

Can you tell I am putting off as long as possible sewing my waverunner strips?  I did cut a bunch more today, and I have promised myself tomorrow I will be sewing them.  I actually have to admit that cutting these wavy strips were so much fun.  Assuming I don't completely screw up the sewing, I may never go back to using a ruler again!!!  Only problem with no ruler, is no protection for fingers from the blade.  Ouch...a few minor cuts today!!!

 Even though all I did was cut fabric, there were various techniques involved in each set.  The circles were cut with a 28mm rotary cutter using a CD as a template and a tiny cutting mat.  The "diamonds" were cut the usual way with a 45mm rotary cutter, two acrylic rulers and medium sized cutting mat.  The waverunner strips on the other hand were cut with NO rulers...only a mat and rotary cutter.

The great thing about all this weekend cutting is that now I have tons of scraps (including selvages) AND plenty of stash fabric left over for future projects.  Hmmmmm...more projects to add to my ever growing list of things to make.  Two people have generously agreed to participate in my Pay it Forward.  I need one more.  Click here to see my original post.  Have an amazing day!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Won!!

Look what I got in the mail!!!!  I was the lucky winner of an Amy Butler pattern and four 1/2 yard cuts of her fabric.  Wish Upon A Quilt was one of the sponsors of the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and this was their generous prize.  Thank you!!!!!

I had so much fun checking out their website while choosing my pattern and fabrics!!!  Of course, I found so many other goodies I liked.  I narrowed it down to these.

Honey bun, jelly roll and layer cake!!!  All from Moda's Sorbet line.  Too bad she was out of the charm packs.  I plan to make a quilt for my youngest sister with these.  Enjoy your weekend.  I hope to get some work done on my Waverunner blocks.  See you Monday!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sew & Tell Friday #3

I completed the quilt top and quilt back for the quilt I am sending to Margaret's Hope Chest.  I have blogged about this before.  If you are unfamiliar with this charity, I urge you to click on the link in this post or the button on my sidebar to check out their wonderful organization, and the story behind it.

If you've read any of my previous posts, you may remember the problems I've had with backordered fabric and low quality fabric ordered/purchased for this project.  These issues  resulted in a smaller quilt than I had originally planned.  The animal blocks are from a panel of Robert Kaufman's Animal Party.  Since I did not receive all the panels or coordinating fabric, I filled in with brightly colored "solid" fabric and found two other fabrics from my LQS to use as borders.

My camera has not been cooperating in capturing accurate fabric colors.  The outer border is a cool lime green color, and the inner border is a neat black fabric with wormy lines that coordinate well with the animal block borders.

More camera/lighting issues.  Here is the pieced back.  The center section is the same lime green used in the outer border, and the two outer sections is the same inner border fabric.  The binding fabric is shown in the top photo.  Since Margaret's Hope Chest has volunteers to do longarm quilting, I plan to mail the front, back, binding fabric and batting tomorrow.

Check out all the Sew & Tell Friday projects here.  P.S.  I AM STILL LOOKING FOR TWO MORE PEOPLE FOR PLAYING THE PAY IT FORWARD!!!!  Let me know if you are interested.  Have an amazing day!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waverunner Quilt Along

I signed up to participate in the Waverunner Quilt Along at Bumble Beans.  Yesterday, the first set of instructions was posted.  I'm not sure if my Waverunner button works, but it looks pretty.  Sometimes I have a problem getting the links to work when I copy buttons.  If the button doesn't work, you can click  here to check it out.

Such pretty solid quilt fabric.  This is not my stash OR scraps.  Previously, I have not used solid fabrics for quilting, so I ordered these beautiful Kona cotton fabrics.  Now, I'm supposed to take my rotary cutter and slice into this pretty fabric without a ruler???!!!??    That's what V at Bumble Beans says is the first step in making the Waverunner blocks.  So, that's what I did!!!   Gulp...

I know it's hard to tell, but I DID cut my strips wavy per instructions.  Here are the first strips hanging on the design wall before elimination.  My backing fabric is backordered, so I pinned a printout of the design.  It is from Amy Butler's new LOVE collection.  This is as far as I got today.

I did do a little fabric shopping to supplement the quilt I am making for Margaret's Hope Chest.  If you remember, I had a problem with backordered fabric and lower quality fabric.  I am prewashing the fabric at the moment and hope to complete the quilt top tomorrow.

I am still looking for someone to play along with my Pay It Forward.  If you are interested, click here or leave a comment on today's post.  Have an amazing day!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pay It Forward


It just so happens that I was one of the first three people to click on Sherri's Pay it Forward.   Yeah!!!  I am so excited!!  I am a big fan of Sherri's and consider myself tremendously lucky to receive a handmade gift from her!!!!  So ...  now it is my turn.  Who would like to play with me?  For those who may not know, here are the rules.  I will make a little something for the first three people who comment on this post.  I will have 365 days to do it in.  YOU must have a blog and post your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going.   Let's see who wants to play!!  Have an amazing day!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Has This Ever Happened To You?

I was all set to work on a child's quilt for Margaret's Hope Chest with some Robert Kaufman Animal Party fabric I had ordered online.  I took out the panel of animal blocks and realized that the coordinating fabric was backordered and not in my stash.

I didn't want to wait, so I did something I had never done before.  Went to the local craft store and bought fat quarters in coordinating fabrics.  What could go wrong with that?  I have seen beautiful quilts made from these fabrics.  You don't have to ALWAYS buy the "designer" fabrics....right?!?

I took the panel with me to choose bright, fun fabrics that would look nice in between these animal themed blocks.  The problem arose when trying to remove the stickers from the fat quarters.  What a mess!!!  In some cases, I just couldn't remove all the sticky residue.  Is there some trick to it that I'm not aware of?  Is it just me?  Don't know, but next time, I'll shop at my LQS and trusted online sources just to be sure.

On a fun note, head over to V and Co.'s blog.  She is hosting a giveaway of SEVEN patterns from Kati Cupcake.  They are just too cute!!!  Have an amazing day!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

And the Winner is.....

I love all the giveaways I see in quilting Blogland!!!!!  I have wanted to do one myself, but, being new here, did not think I had enough visitors to make it much of a contest.   However, the Bloggers Quilt Festival changed all that!!!!  So many nice people stopped by and made such wonderful comments!!!!

Therefore, without further ado, I am announcing my first giveaway....and I already have the winner(s).  I numbered all the comments made on my post about the quilt I entered into the festival, and the random number generator picked a number.  (#68 out of 1-78.  Tried to copy and paste but didn't work.) So.....drumroll please....the winner is Amy at Park City Girl!!!!  How appropriate is that!!!!  I am giving away this kit with Moda's Shangri-la fabric by 3 Sisters and Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow's Woodland Stars pattern.  I purchased this at Quilts on Broadway.  They are located in Bozeman, Montana and do an amazing job of packaging their kits.  This one comes in a matching cosmetic-type bag.  Amy, please email me your address so I can get this out to you.

I am having so much fun with this giveaway, that I decided to giveaway two more prizes.  The next prize is two charm packs of Moda's A Little Romance by April Cornell and a pattern for Little Charm Totes by Bunny Hill Designs.  This goes to Sherri of A Quilting Life.  Sherri was the VERY FIRST person to comment on my blog!!!!  Thanks Sherri.  Please email me your address so I can ship this to you.

And the final prize goes to Thelma at Cupcakes 'n Daisies!!!!  I counted all the comments posted on my blog to date, and Thelma has posted the most.  I guess you could call her my most frequent blogger.  She will receive this kit of batik fabrics to go along with the pattern Strippy Squares by The Quilter's Quarters.  Thanks Thelma for all your visits.  I enjoy them so much!!  Please email me your address so I can mail these to you.

I hope to have more giveaways in the future.  Definitely for my 100th post, but since this is only my 26th post, I will have to come up with another idea so I don't have to wait that long!!!  Have an amazing day!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Family Reunion

I am taking a break from quilting and blogging until Monday.  I am heading to our annual family reunion in Mississippi today.  The whole family is excited, as even though it is an annual event, we have had to miss the last two years.  We usually are regular attendees.  I am thrilled to hear that the weather forecast is sunny with highs in the low 60's and lows in the low 40's.  Ready to escape this heat and humidity!!

While we are this topic, I have to share with you the second quilt I made.  This was made for my Granny Harper's 90th birthday.  After assembling the quilt top, I hand stitched photos from past family reunions that I had printed onto photo fabric. (You know, there are family reunions and then THERE ARE FAMILY REUNIONS.  Ours is the latter.  I won't go on and on about it, but suffice it to say that this reunion is totally organized, standing date on the calendar and cabins booked two years in advance.  My granny lived for these reunions.  She's the true family matriarch.  I only mention this to give importance to the pictures from these past reunions.)  As I do most things, this was a last minute brain storm idea so I did not have time for family members to sign blocks or write messages on blocks or any other brilliant idea that came to mind.  So I had everyone email messages to me for my grandmother, and I typed them on pretty paper using pretty colors and fonts.  I made them into cards with pictures of each of them with my grandmother on the front of the card and their message on the inside.  I sewed a big pocket onto the back of the quilt with a button for closing and placed all the cards in the pocket.  After she opened and read all the cards, I had her put them in a special place so that she could then use the quilt as a quilt and not have the pocket bulging.

My Granny Harper loved it!!!  Of course, she would have loved anything given to her, but I could tell she was really proud of this quilt.  She was only able to enjoy the quilt for a short time before she passed away suddenly.  I was so touched when my Dad had the quilt on display at her funeral and so many of her friends made a special point to tell me how much she loved that quilt and how she would bring it to her Ladies Circle and tell them that her granddaughter in Florida made it for her.

My Dad gave the quilt back to me, and it sits on the child's antique rocker that was my grandmother's grandmother's rocker.  How I treasure both!!  The photographs are a little faded due to all the washings....this quilt is definitely used!!!  Excuse my travel down memory lane.  I got a little carried away (lucky for you, I actually deleted several paragraphs of my ramblings).  Have an amazing weekend!!  See you on Monday!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sew & Tell Friday #2

This is my second Sew & Tell Friday.  I am relieved to say that not only do I have something to share, but also it is the batiks quilt that is finally completed!!  Yeah, for me.  I made this quilt for my mom's husband who is color blind and can only see yellows and blues.  I blogged a little bit about it here.  This is basically 34 different batiks (1/3 yards each) cut into strips of varying widths, sewn together into pairs, then fours, then eights, etc. squared into 11" wide blocks, then blocks sewn together, you get the idea.  (After no rain for weeks, it decides to rain today for pictures).

At first, I tried arranging the strips, then blocks, then panels on a design wall, but that gave me a headache, and finally I just decided to sew and piece randomly.  I also did not pay attention to the pattern when it mentioned the size.  I cut all the fabric first...realized the quilt was gonna be WAY too big...mentally changed the I have TONS of batik strips remaining...all different widths!!!  After seeing all the cool pieced backs on Blogland, I was excited to give it a try.  I just took some extra blocks and batiks from another project and started piecing from the middle outwards.  I am somewhat disappointed in the outcome, but I know Ron will like it no matter what.

Remember my weather situation?  I hung the pieced back on the INSIDE of my french doors.  With a little sun coming through, it caused some strange shadows and gave it a stained glass look.  This is not an accurate depiction of the backing, but I think it does look sort of cool.  That dark strip in the middle is a row of extra stripped pieces from the top.

I need some help in naming this quilt.  My daughter (age 10 and trying to hold up the quilt in the above picture) and personal advisor in all things important came up with some pretty funky names like King Neptune of the Sea and King Fire of the Sun; Fire and Ice;  Neptune and the North Wind.  I was thinking more along the lines of Granddaddy's Rainbow since for him yellow and blue basically represent a rainbow of all the colors he knows.  Other thoughts include A Study in Blue and Yellow; Sun and Sky; Seeing the Horizon (the only one my daughter came up with that I like).  What do you think this quilt should be named?

I plan to have this quilted by a professional longarmer.  I am ready to pass it off and get going on some other gifts/projects.  By the way, the pattern is called Boardwalk by Laura Heine at Fiberworks.  If you are ever in Billings, Montana, you need to check out her store.  It is the most amazing quilt store I have ever seen!!!  You can also check out her website here.  As far as I know, she doesn't blog, but she has a cool virtual tour of her store on the website which includes some of her fabric line.  This particular pattern, Boardwalk, isn't representative of what she usually does, which is cool cowgirl chic.  OK...sorry...I digress.  Click on the Sew & Tell Friday link and check out all the projects.  Have an amazing day!!!