Monday, July 30, 2012

Sorting Scraps

Over the weekend our family did what many families were doing...watching the 2012 Olympics on TV.  It's a great family bonding event.  We had a rule of no computers, iPads, cell phones or other electronic devices to distract us from the games.  What I didn't realize is that my husband and daughter would extend that rule to hand stitching and other crafty endeavors.   Luckily for me, after what they considered a painful experience  watching Friday night's Opening Ceremonies the rules were bent somewhat.

So Saturday I pulled out my Sunday Morning Quilts book and a huge bag of scraps and got to work while watching the games.  When I first received the book, I read it cover to cover immediately.  It's awesome!  However, I have been afraid to tackle my numerous scrap bags haven't had a chance to put the sorting section to good use....until now.

Just one bag of many
Scraps on the bed

Just so you know, this is only one of many several bags of scraps I have, but you have to start somewhere, right?!  On page 32, it says "the first step is to dump all your scraps on... the floor...", and let me tell you that was the easiest step ;-)  I ignored (just for now) the part that suggests (if applicable) going through my stash and finding scraps hidden there, etc.  I am taking baby steps here.

Let the games begin
Going through my scraps one piece of fabric at a time, I first separated the fabrics by making a pile of strings, a pile of snippets (smaller than 4"), and then piles of larger pieces (bigger than 4" but smaller than a fat quarter) by color.  Two things soon became obvious:  I've been really good about sorting and storing my selvages and 2.5" strips right away and that most of my scraps are indeed hiding within my stash because the biggest pile by far was of snippets. 

Sorting in progress
Since the snippet pile was so large, I further sorted that pile into two piles:  bigger snippets that can be cut into 2.5" squares for example and smaller snippets to be used for ticker tape quilts, etc. 

I think I need help
 This exercise also made me realize that I may need intervention I simply cannot throw any fabric away. Although, I don't think this is what Amanda and Cheryl meant by "Sort, Store, and Use every last bit of your treasured fabrics", I also sorted and kept those smaller pieces that can't be used for anything but maybe stuffing.   

Treasure hidden among the scraps
While sorting through just this one bag of scraps, I found hidden treasure!  First I found a long strip of leftover binding.  I don't even remember making this, but I'll take it!

Orphan blocks
Hidden amongst the scraps were extra blocks from various quilt projects.  I placed them on the design wall to give you an idea of how many I found.  There were HSTs from the No Worries and Peace, Love and Happiness quilts, patchwork blocks from my son's Beach Bum quilt made many years ago, baby HSTs from the modern siggy swap, quite a few four patch blocks and some 15 minute play blocks. 

Temporary storage
These baskets show my storage in progress:  ticker tape scraps, snippets, bigger scraps stacked by color, and strings.  I still have a long way to go, but I feel good about the progress I've made so far.

What do I do with this?

If only Amanda or Cheryl lived closer to me....I would ask them to make a house call!

Signed bookplate
P.S.  While I was finishing up this blog post, look what arrived in the mail today!

Whoo hoo!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Finish: Ragged Squares

After a couple of Friday's with completed quilts to share, today's finish is very small indeed.  

Four blocks for Margaret's Hope Chest
 Margaret's Hope Chest is collecting ragged squares for their summer Project Hope, and as usual I waited until the last minute to make mine.  I made four blocks - two in greens and two in yellows.

Tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts
I sure wish I had started on these blocks sooner so I had more to give.  These are so much fun to make. Thanks Amanda for the tutorial!

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Really Random: The First One

Cindy's Really Random Thursdays are a favorite of mine, so I'm thrilled that she is inviting us to join in the fun by posting our own Random post and linking up to hers!  So, here goes:  my first Really Random Thursday post.
Sent to me by a witty relative
I'm still recovering from all my traveling and getting caught up on my mail which includes emails and snail mail.  My husband's cousin is known for bombarding our inbox with emails, most of which I delete without opening unless it is specifically addressed to me and includes family photos.  However, this one caught my eye before I hit the delete button.  I don't play video games or knit, but found this to be quite comical!

JB cards for all occasions
My daughter does play video games (but doesn't knit...yet) and invited a few friends over for a laid-back, belated birthday, hang out and play video games sleepover.  While shopping for party munchies at our local Publix, she spotted this huge selection of Justin Beiber greeting cards and was horrified.  Let's just say, she's not a big JB fan.

Good times
She seems to prefer classic rock.  In the car this Van Halen song came on, and I overheard her telling her friends that her mom could sing the entire song and had a special head nodding dance to go with it. She sounded quite proud ;-)

Reality check
My teenager's pride helped ease the pain of receiving my AARP membership card in the mail.  I knew it was coming, but still couldn't quite believe the mailing was addressed to me.
They have the 30 and 40 version as well

Did you read the part about "protecting the rights of all people over 50"?  My eyes constantly seek out the number 50 now.  This book grabbed my attention so much that I purchased it.  I'll let you know if there's anything fun inside.

Keep calm and have a cupcake
All these 50th birthday reminders prompted me to buy a belated birthday red velvet cupcake.  After all, technically I didn't have a birthday cake.  Michelle and I even tried to find birthday cupcakes on Monday when we were together, but the cupcake bakery was closed.
Galactical BBQ
We did have really good barbecue though at the Smok'n Pig.  I ordered 3 Bulls (prime rib sliders) with fried okra as one of my fixings.  My daughter cracked me up when she asked what "fixings" were!  I guess I haven't educated her as much as I should with my southern heritage.

Drive It Like You Stole It!

I'm not sure if I have ever seen an advertisement insert inside a restaurant menu before.  I love the slogan so had to snap a picture, but I'm not giving a car dealer free advertising here so used my cropping tool ;-)

I ran across this picture and remembered that several of you have asked about my labels.  I order them from this Etsy shop.

Baby Leo

You shouldn't be surprised that I am ending this post with a grand baby picture!

How random is your Thursday?  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's Up Wednesday: Workin'

So progress has been made on those new projects I mentioned....

Great granny square block with JP Dance with Me
I'm loving this great granny square block with the Jennifer Paganelli fabric!  This is the sample block which makes me wish I had more JP on hand.

Happy from my sister
My family knew I meant business this week when they saw my Therapy in Session sign on the door!

Block layout
Laying out the blocks as suggested in the tutorial really helped when assembling this block.

Chevron blocks
Not the brightest picture, but almost half of the HSTs have been made for the baby chevron quilt.  I'm using fat quarters from Savanna Bob designed by Thomas Knauer that I purchased on my trip to Washington.

Baby scraps
 Following Ayumi's mini fabric tape tutorial, I put these scraps to good use.  I highly recommend this fun project for those days when you need a quick creative fix but don't have the time or inclination to bring out the sewing machine.

Ready to mail
So what's up with you this Wednesday?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fabric Shopping

I spent five days retreating with my sister Michelle in Minnesota, and we did some fabric shopping together then.  Yesterday, my daughter and I hit the road to visit my sister at her home and do some more fabric shopping, this time in Georgia.

Fabric purchases from Gruber's
Unfortunately, the quilt shop she wanted to show me is closed on Mondays (as was the cupcake place, but that's another story).  After some online research, we decided to visit this fabric store that was new to both of us.  The store front did not look promising; to say there was no curb appeal was putting it mildly.  At first glance, the inside didn't look much better, but after some browsing, we did find some cotton quilting fabrics.  

Fabric store in south Georgia

Actually, the owner was very friendly and helpful.  I know a few LQSs that could learn a thing or two from this accommodating gentleman, and I was reminded to "not judge a book from its cover".  We chatted with the owner who rescues and repairs old Singers.  His store had rows and rows of machines being repaired and quite a few Featherweights and antique treadle machines on display.  While my fabric was being cut by another employee, he showed me how to oil my Featherweight and provided other useful Featherweight information.
Sew and So Fabrics goodies
On our way out the store, we were even given a measuring tape....this guy knows all about "happies"!

I brought a few happies to my sister, and she showed her finished quilt from the retreat.  I took a few pictures with my phone but promised not to show them.  I sent the pictures to her and hopefully she will share them on her blog.   
Fabric store in North Florida
My daughter was thrilled when on our way home I spotted a billboard for another fabric store!

Book and ruler to make pineapple quilts
I ran in quickly just to check it out.  In addition to quilting fabric, they carry a wide assortment of books and supplies for related arts such as sashiko, beading, and painting.  I picked up a few Zentangle books as well as a quilt book and ruler.

Tell me I'm not the only one that has a quilt shop locator app on their phone and thinks every road trip requires a stop to the LQS in the area!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cutting Day

Saturday was our Orlando Modern Quilt Guild Sew Day which is a great time to get together with friends and sew, chat and eat!

Savanna Bop for a baby chevron quilt
There were eight of us in the large library room we are fortunate to use once a month.  Instead of sewing this time, quite frankly because I was too tired to bring my machine, I cut fabric for three new projects.

Sewing fun
There are lots of fun, new Christmas fabrics out there, but I resisted and cut into this 12 Days of Christmas charm pack from my stash.

12 days of Christmas for small quilt
This Jennifer Paganelli Dance With Me jelly roll was fun to finally cut in to.

JP strips and squares
These squares are going to be used for the Great Granny Square blocks.  I think I'll make an extra one for our guild's Block of the Month.

Cutting plays just as important a role in quilting as sewing does, right?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Finish: Slice of Summer

July's Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt is one I started over Memorial Day weekend.

AAQI Slice of Summer
I pieced the top before heading to the beach and completed most of the hand stitching while on vacation.  Slice of Summer measures 8.25" x 6".

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative has put out the call for more quilts.  They will begin the hoarding process soon for November's International Quilt Festival in Houston.  This year's booth will be 50% larger than last year's, and they hope to take 2,000 quilts!

Wouldn't it be cool to see them all on display?!

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You know you are a grandmother when... consider 1,560.2 miles as being "in the area"

 and will drive that far to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with your grandson.

The mileage reading from Points D to E and back to F
Remember the map I showed?  Points D to E was to see Leo.  My husband and daughter picked me up from the airport right after my Gruber's retreat, then we drove to Washington for a day and a half,  then back to Montana to unpack and repack suitcases to then fly home to Florida.  
Talk about your quick trip!

Napping with Leo
It was SO worth it!!!  I fell asleep holding Leo while he slept, so his parents could catch up on their sleep.  I could do that ALL day long!!!!
My daughter catching up on her beauty sleep on the car ride.
We were all tired.  My daughter was on the go with her cousins while I was retreating, so she was exhausted.  I know this because she does not like to nap ;-)

Grandfather time
I did share Leo with my husband....a little when I needed to use the bathroom.  
He was very understanding and only teased me a little.  

I even remembered to hug Leo's parents before removing him from their arms.  
See....I also took their picture....with my cell phone.

I made up for that by asking if I could please offering to change dirty diapers.....that definitely falls in the "you know you are a grandmother when...." category.

For me, another indicator is my willingness to make something 3D like the adorable reversible trousers in this book!

You also know you are a grandmother when you record baby sounds (don't worry, I won't share that) and nag the parents for daily pictures in order to get a Leo fix.   In my defense, I do live far, far away.....