Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quilts and Cookbooks

The Quilt is Done

The raffle quilt is done and we are selling tickets!!! Lynn and I are participating in the Cleveland Breast Cancer 3-Day walk again this year and since we EACH have to raise $2200, we are raffling off the quilt shown here. The quilt measures 81" x 99" and is machine pieced and quilted. All of the fabric used is quilt shop quality fabric. The drawing will be held October 18th, which is right in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. If you'd like to purchase a ticket e-mail me and we'll take care of you!

In case you aren't familiar with the 3-Day event, this is a 60 mile walk over the course of 3 days. We walk 20 miles each day, camp out for 2 nights and even though it is rough, it is such an emotional and amazing experience that I didn't think twice about walking again this year. Of course I think that the most challenging part of this entire thing is to raise the $2200, especially with the economy the way it is right now. Besides this raffle quilt, Lynn and I are having a fundraiser garage sale. We are asking for donations of unwanted items so that we can sell them and put the money earned into our fund. We have been getting a few donations, but could always use more. We are trying to clean and price items as we get them, and so far we are keeping up pretty well.

If you'd like to make a donation directly to our fund, you can go to our personal fundraising website provided by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. This site is secure and allows you to make a donation online. Go to www.08.the3day.org/goto/JoanneHubbard Just click on the DONATE NOW button and type in Joanne Hubbard from Ohio when it asks for the partipant's name and home state and you're all set. THANKS!!!

The Cookbooks are Published!!!

I am really excited because we picked up the Strawberry Cookbooks a couple of weeks ago and the timing is perfect! I think the book looks great and for $12 is a bargain. Sandy did a great job getting everything finalized for this project and I am just thrilled to see my name on the front cover!

Troy Mills Farms is my sister-in-law's farm. My brother John (who died unexpectedly in October of last year), Ellen and I had talked about this cookbook a couple of years ago and I started to gather recipes and experiment. It wasn't until Sandy said, "Hey, how about getting that cookbook published" that things started to get done! Anyway, there are 110 recipes in the book, all strawberry, and they have all been tested. Some of the recipes even have low fat or low calorie options added to them! There are a lot of interesting facts about strawberries included, some pictures, and even a few beautification recipes, like facial scrub and pedicure cream. Now I guess we just have to wait for the berries to ripen so we can get cooking and have smooth hands and feet!!!

The Sudoku Quilt

I made this quilt for a class that I taught in Lakewood at Kathy's Creative Sewing Center. The class was about color (value, intensity, etc.) so I made all of the puzzle fabrics a shade of green. The students followed suit and one used blues, one used purples, one used reds and the last one used a mixture of colors (and fabrics - cotton, silk, tapestry, etc.). Two of the students were relatively new sewers, one was a new quilter and the fourth was quite experienced in all forms of sewing, especially clothing alterations and construction. She was working on quite a few prom dresses and wedding dresses during the two weeks of class. She is very talented and my talents really pale next to hers. We had a very good time, sewing. laughing and enjoying each others' company. They all have suggested some other classes that they want to have, including the toothbrush rug. I told them lots of stories about Kare and now they can't wait to meet her!! No pressure there, right?!?

Pink Lemonade

This quilt is for a class that I am teaching at Sew Little Time. This quilt is from Eleanor Burns' Quilts Through the Seasons. I think this is the fifth quilt from that book that I have taught. I really like it when I can make a lot of quilts from one book and I know that customers like it also. If I spend $28 on a book, I sure do feel like I've gotten my money's worth if I make at least two or three of the quilts. I really like this quilt. Of course, I didn't use the lighter fabrics that Eleanor Burns did, but I like my colors. Below is a close-up of one block so you can see the fabrics better. I like that touch of purple in the center of each block. Of course I fussy cut those!

To quilt this, I stitched in the ditch around the center block and the two red flying geese units. I also stitched in the ditch around the small green squares that created a chain across the quilt. I stitched a small meander in all of the background areas. I had fun with this quilt and wouldn't mind making another one, only I would make it larger. I usually only make a lap or twin quilts for class samples, but I usually make at least a queen for home. Lately I have been making all king size quilts, but find that I have a hard time quilting them. Kare has reminded me that I am supposed to be at her place quilting those, so I guess I can continue to make them and expect to get them quilted. YEAH!!!

Speaking of king size quilts, I have one that is ready for binding. I was hoping to get it sewn on before we went to Chicago, but that didn't happen. Maybe I can get to it tomorrow. I also want to finish the border on my scrappy, bright Pineapple Blossom so I can get that quilted, and I still have not decided on the final border for my Carolina Crossroads. I guess I better get my butt in gear and get busy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Goals, Smoals

Well, so much for my first goals! I was very busy today and when I started to inventory my projects, I got side-tracked. The good side of that is that I got two quilts quilted and one binding is half done! I'll take pictures and post them as soon as the binding is done. The quilt that I'm in the middle of binding is the one that I am going to raffle off as a fundraiser for my 60 mile walk in August. I should have had this done a long time ago, but since it didn't happen, I'll get it done now and do my best to sell tickets! No crying over spilled milk or late projects!!!

Even though I didn't get my quilting organized, I did work on getting the basement organized. We are having a fundraiser garage sale June 11th and 12th so I was in the basement going through some boxes of holiday decorations, etc. to see what I haven't used for a couple of years and what I'm willing to get rid of. I'm pleased with the outcome so far, although we need a lot more stuff to make any money. The re-organized basement will also be a storage for some of my lesser used quilting supplies and fabric. I am trying to figure out a better system for storing fabric so that I can bette see what I have in my stash. I'm thinking that shelving in the basement might be the answer. I'll still have my tubs of fabric and works in progress in the sewing room, but I'll also have fabric downstairs. I'm thinking that I'll put my batting down there also, since it is so bulky.

Jack and I have a luncheon tomorrow and we probably won't be home until 1:30. I also have to work from 3-7. I've been trying to exercise and walk every day as preparation for the 60 mile walk, but it sure does take time. I shouldbe walking 5-10 miles a couple of times a week, but there just never seems to be enough time. I have to buckle down or I'll be paying for that come August!

A Goal

I've set a goal for myself! I want to get all of my pieced tops quilted by the end of summer. I first have to make my list and then prioritize. There are some tops that I know I will never quilt myself, so they will have to be sent out for quilting. I have quilted some king size quilts before, but I don't generally find that fun and end up frustrated and not very happy with the finished product.

I know that I already have backings ready for some of the quilts, but I've just put them aside thinking I would get to them later. What that really means is that I found another project that I just HAD to do and the quilting was just going to have to wait.

After I have the quilting done, my next goal will be to finish or decide what to do with my UFOs. I have been working on them, but I still have some. I've been really good at using my stash for any new projects and I know that a couple of my UFOs just need borders added, but that I don't have enough fabric to do that. I know that in order to finish some of the UFOs, a trip to the fabric shop will be needed. Oh darn!!! Anybody want to join me?

I have a couple of quilts that I can use for our guild challenge quilt. We had to use a fat quarter bundle or multiple fabrics from our stash. There were a couple of other requirements, such as it had to be at least 24" x 36" and at least one of the border fabrics had to be used in the body of the quilt. My black and white quilts pictured in an earlier post both fit the challenge rules, and they were both completed after the challenge was issued. I have pieced a couple of other tops since the challenge that could work, but I doubt that Ill get them quilted and bound before the June meeting. I guess that trying to get them done is another goal for me. Even though we only get the $10 prize for one quilt, what the heck, I'm going to try to get more done. What did I call this earlier..."finish up mode?" I think I want to finish things up so I have to go shopping for more fabric and notions.

I've been playing around on EQ and have come up with a couple of new projects that I want do. I'm going to try to be good and wait until I get some other things done. Who knows, maybe getting these quilts done will allow me to give some quilts as Christmas gifts.

I read a cool blog today. http://quiltingcowgirl.blogspot.com She's pretty fun and is having a drawing to celebrate her 300th post. What a cool idea! Since I'm new at this, I'm a far cry from 300 posts, but maybe I'll do something special for my 100th post. Check out her blog!

I'm running errands tomorrow, but hope to get some quilting done as well. I should have most of the evening to get my list started and organize my projects. I'll post my progress soon and perhaps a picture of the "Need Quilting" and "UFO" piles. I'm also sure I'll have at least one "What the heck did I do" quilt and will have to decide if it's worth keeping. Wish me luck!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Busy Day!!

Today was pretty busy. I got home much later than I had planned last night and it was after 10:oo PM when I started baking the 10 doz. cookies needed for the bank order. It didn't take too long to get the cookies done, but I was on the computer until after 2:00 AM. I had to have the cookies delivered before 9AM, so I didn't get up until close to 7AM.

I made 4 different kinds of cookies and was prepared to make 5, but I had exactly 10 dozen with the 4 kinds. The bank doesn't usually care what kind of cookie I bake, except during major holidays when they want at least 1/3 of the order to be cut-outs. I don't mind making the cut-outs, but I don't like to frost them! Fortunately there were no cut-outs requested for today's order.

After I delivered the cookies, I had to get some paperwork done here at home (pay bills, etc.) and I had a couple of packages to get ready to mail. I did a quick "pick up" cleaning of the house and then I did some mending and a small amount of sewing. I had to be at work a 2:00 and I wanted to make a couple of stops on my way in. I worked until 6, stopped to see Nikki and Quinn and then came home to spend the evening with Jack watching the baseball game. It was another good game and we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. Lynn was at the game so we kept looking for her on TV. She and her friends were on the last time they were there, but I didn't see them. While they were on the way home, a friend called them and said he had recorded the game and he saw them. Pretty cool! Fortunately they were doing anything stupid like picking their noses.

I have a guild meeting tomorrow, but I am going to go work out first. I want to be there by 8 so I can get home and shower before the meeting. We are supposed to sew after the meeting, but Idon't want to take my machine and I don't have anything ready to bind or have any other hand work. Maybe I'll go find something to cut out. Decisions, decisions!!! I know, I'll start a new black and white quilt!

Black & White Doesn't Have to be Boring!!

Yesterday I mentioned that I have been in a black and white phase, so I'm posting a couple of pictures. The picture to the right is a variation of the crazy 8 pattern. I love the "controlled scrappy" look that the quilt has. I have always admired scrappy quilts, but I guess that I am too much of a control freak (I know, I'm just a freak!), but I always worry that fabrics next to each other won't "work." Over the past year or so, I've made a number of "controlled scrappy" quilts and I have been working on a couple that are a little less controlled. Sometimes it is difficult, but when I find myself trying to match fabrics I put it aside and work on something else. Not only don't I get frustrated, I also don't get bored!

The quilt to the left is one that I call 4 Patch Deception. It looks like there is sashing around the 4 Patch but actually, the sashing is sewn into the block. It is actually a variation 9 Patch, not a 4 Patch. I love the bright yellow in this! I also like the toes peeking out of the bottom of the quilt.
As you can tell from the photo below, it is really hard to find good help these days. I doubt that they thought I would keep the picture, but of course I did and I can't wait to tell them that I posted it here!

The quilt below is one that I did as a test pattern for someone from stashbusters. This is the small version, minus the final border which is solid black. I have finished this top, but need to quilt it. I will post a picture of the finished piece soon. I started the large version of this, but I haven't gotten much further than the first red and black border. I have everything ready to finish it, but just haven't gotten around to it. That one should finish about 100"x 100". Like the touch of yellow in the 4 Patch Deception quilt, I like the red in here. I could easily see these quilts all together layered on a bed.

Actually any of these quilts would work for our guild challenge quilt, although this last one was started before the challenge was issued. For the challenge, we had to take a fat quarter bundle or fabric from our stash and create a quilt no smaller than 24" x 36". We could add one background fabric and if our quilt has multiple borders, at least one of the fabrics in one of the borders had to have been used in the body of the quilt somewhere. All three of these quilts fit the challenge requirements, as the fabric all came from my stash. I started to collect black and white fabrics after I made a photo quilt for someone who wanted only black and white fabrics. I really liked that project and that was what got me going on these quilts. I still have quite a bit of fabric, so I know I'll make more. Maybe I'll add purple to the next one!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We're a little strange here, but I'm getting stuff done

Well, we are big baseball fans here and we love the Cleveland Indians. We also like to play guessing games, so what better way to do that than to have a "Name That Junk" quilt. The object is to look closely at the "junk" and see if you can match it up to the Cleveland player or coach. This wall hanging was done as a gift for Lynn's very good friend Amy, but we sure did have fun with it! I'm thinking that another one might be in order soon - one that we can keep here! I recently taught a class on how to make a photo quilt and was tempted to ask Amy if I could borrow the quilt. I decided that might be "pushing it a little, so I showed some rather conservative quilts instead.

We watched the Indians beat the Yankees tonight and that was fun! It was a good game, frustrating at times, but fun nonetheless.

We are also Ohio State fans and I was asked to make a quilt for another fan. I was told that I could do whatever I wanted, as long as the quilt was in Ohio State colors, was a lap quilt and not too "over the top." Do you think they saw the (Name That Junk Quilt?) I love it when I am given some direction, but not too much when I'm making a quilt for someone else. Here are some pictures.

Anyway, the quilt is ready to go to its new owner tomorrow (actually it is tomorrow). The front is a log cabin pattern in scarlet and grey, and for the back I pieced the "Big O." I think it turned out pretty good. I did an allover meander for the quilting (red in the red area, and grey in the rest).

I pieced the backing for 1 queen and 2 king size quilts tonight. I have the batting ready, so now I just have to get them layered and I'm ready to go. I have a couple of other tops that are ready to be quilted but I have to decide my backing and quilting design. Maybe it's the weather, but I am in the "finish it" mode. Perhaps if I get these quilts done, I can give some of them away for Christmas gifts. I know that at least one of the tops was originally made with the intention of being a gift. Obviously that didn't happen. Maybe this year!

I've been playing around with my new camera and the photos that I have stored in the computer. The camera is pretty easy to operate and I think the pictures are pretty good. I have taken a few pictures of quits that I am working on, and I'll post them later. When I was playing around with the photos in the computer, I realized that I don't have them organized and labeled very well. Hopefully I will get to that later today and post some other pictures. I have kind of been in a black and white phase and I have 3 or 4 quilts to show that.

I got the guild minutes out today, and of course the e-mail accompanying them was pretty wordy. I think that I do that just because I can, even though I know if annoys some people. I feel that by doing that, I don't have to send a newsletter because the e-mail says everything that a newsletter would. I guess that basically I am too lazy to do both! Oh well.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Evening Sky

Did you see the sky tonight? I thought it was so beautiful that I had to take these pictures! I especially like the one with the trees.
As you can tell, I bought a new camera. I couldn't believe how many times in the past 5 days that I wanted to take a picture, but didn't have a working camera! Now I just have to remember to keep the thing with me.
Jack is in Philadelphia visiting his daughter and her family. I wish I had been able to go, but because of work and class commitments, I couldn't. Hopefully I be able to get there soon.
Nikki. Lynn and I went to my friend Stephanie's house tonight. Her neighborhood is having a garage sale tomorrow and she invited us over for a preview. We picked up a couple of books, a baby stroller and a couple of odds and ends. I haven't seen Stephanie in a couple of months so it was nice to see her. We got caught up while Nikki and Lynn were "shopping".
I have to work tomorrow from 7:00 - 11:00AM and then I have to go to Sew Little Time. I am supposed to teach a T-shirt Quilt class, but since my work schedule changed, Rachel will teach until I get there. Hopeully I can leave work right at 11:00, but my guess is that it will be closer to 11:15.