Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I try to remember to be thankful every day of the year, but I'm not always successful, so this day is really special to me because it makes me pause and think about my life and the wonderful people and things in it.

I feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

My family is amazing!
Yep, grandchildren can be loud, but the sound of them knocking on your bedroom door in the morning, wanting to come in and jump in bed and chat or play makes up for the screaming that happens in the afternoon. (I especially look forward to it because they live 4 hours away and I don't get to hear it often enough!) I love the fact that I can always, and I mean always, call one of my sibling, at any time of the day just because I miss them and want to talk. It truly is a good feeling to know that you can always depend on someone to help you when you need it. Mom is still going strong and is a great role model for good living. Jack there are no words to describe your role in my life! I love you! Thank you. Nikki and Lynn - wow, what can I say? I am so proud of you both. Being your mom has made my life complete. Sheryll, Linda and David - you three are amazing. Thanks for making me feel welcome and allowing me to be part of your life. And by the way, you have great kids!!!

My friends (including my internet friends), are great and I often feel like they are a part of my family. I love celebrating the good times, and I feel honored to be with you during your struggles and times of need. (For you quilting friends, thank you for the inspiration you provide me when you share your ongoing projects, finished quilts, and creative ideas. You are truly all artists, whether you believe it or not!)

My co-workers are terrific, and I volunteer with the some of the most caring and giving people you will ever meet.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being part of my life and allowing me to be part of yours. (Of course, my family doesn't really have a choice now do they?) :-)

I hope you enjoy your day and that peace, love and happiness follows you always!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've been doing something kind of dangerous. I've been organizing cleaning my sewing room. It's dangerous because whenever I do that I find projects that I had started and then put aside for some reason. Usually it's because I saw a new project that I just HAD to do. (Can we say, shiny objects, new fabric, or new patterns are distracting to me?) Anyway, I found this interesting "Tub of Joy."

In an attempt to find something to have ready for my design wall today, I decided to work on whatever was in this tub. Seriously, how hard could this be? It's just a small tub and there's not much in it!
Well, I found a bunch of Raw Edge Christmas Bullseye blocks that I've started to put together. I knew that I didn't want a large quilt from this, maybe just a throw so this is what I came up with part of the blocks. I'll add a border or two and that'll be done - hopefully in time for Christmas.

I decided this quilt was big enough because I got bored with the layout. :-) (Does that ever happen to you?) Anyway, I started to experiment and came up with three different layouts for the remaining blocks.

Here's my plan. I'll make the two smallest pieces above (the ones on top) into pillows and the other one as a wallhanging. I'll put all of these in the spare room and give it an Asian/Christmas flare for my holiday guests. What do you think of my plan? Would you find that inviting or confusing?

Also in the "Tub of Joy" was a set of 24 blue and red log cabin blocks. These were pieced a long time ago (I can tell by the fabrics) and I know they've been pulled out, looked at, and put away MANY times over the last few years but no more. It's their time! I've tossed them on the design wall and this is just one layout (using only 16 blocks), but I'll play with them and make my final decision and sew them together.

I doubt that I have fabric in my stash that matches any of these, or at least not enough for borders, so I'll probably just quilt and bind this.

Speaking of stash fabric. I won't be counting any of this in my stash reports because I had decided that if I work on UFOs, the only fabric that I would count is what I add to them, such as borders and backing. I'm planning on keeping record of my UFOs next year and crossing them off the list as I complete them. I know a lot of you already do this, but I never have. Conceivably, I think I could work of only UFOs and have a full year of sewing ahead of me! :-)

Check out what other quilters have on their design wall today by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stash report - Weeks 46 and 47

This is sooooooo sad! I knew that my stash report was going to be really out of whack because I bought the fabric for the Judy Niemeyer time study class that I'm taking from Sue Wilson (see below for more details) and I hadn't used any fabric because I've been organizing and working on memory quilts. Well..... since I bought 18 yards of fabric (YIKES!!!) I made 8 pillowcases last night. I needed to use at least 1 yard or else I would dip below the 100 net used mark. (Is it safe to say that I'm a little competitive?!?!) Anyway, I made 8 instead of just 1 or 2, just for good measure - and I wanted to give myself some lead way for next week :-).

The Judy Niemeyer class that I'm taking (with my friends Kare, PJ and Vaughn) is being taught from a friend of ours, Sue Wilson. Sue is a Certified Instructor of Judy Niemeyer Quilting and she's doing a time study. Since this class is a time study, it was by invitation only and I'm thrilled to be included. Here's are a couple of pictures of the quilt. The first quilt was made by Batiks Galore in Joshua, TX

This second quilt was made by Quilters Market in Tuscon, AZ.

And finally, the third quilt was made by Time Treasured Quilts in Houston, TX.

Here are my fabrics:

Isn't it amazing how fabric choices change the look of a quilt? I was with Kare yesterday as she was picking fabric and she picked pinks and greens. (It's going to be gorgeous!) I LOVE it when I take or teach a quilt and everyone has completely different fabrics. (One time I taught a class in which all 12 of the participants had the exact same fabric as the sample I had made. UGHHH.)

Anyway, more about this quilt. It will not be available in stores - it's an exclusive pattern available only to Judy's certified instructors (10 of them) or certified shops (12 of them) scattered throughout the United States and Canada. This is a Technique of the Month project and when we have completed this quilt, we will have learned all of the techniques that Judy uses in her patterns. We don't meet again until Dec. 2nd, and I promise to keep you posted on the progress - or if I've changed my fabric selection:-)

Here's my stash the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 8.0 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 254.75 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 18.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 147.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 107.00 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Found It!

I found the Piping Hot Binding Tool! It was in the tub that I took to my friend's house, along with the small sample I make using the tool when I took a class from Susan Cleveland, way back when she was at Lake Farmpark. Go figure!

Now I have to call my friend and explain why I didn't think to look for the tub before I called her. Do you think I can get away with saying that I just wanted to say "hi?"

A "DUHHHH" Moment Can Be Good

Have you ever spent over an hour looking for something, knowing exactly where it should be, but for some reason it's not there? Well, I just did that. I went directly to this drawer to get my Piping Hot Binding Tool by Susan K. Cleveland so I could review the procedure before adding piping to the wedding ring quilt. (Mind you I haven't even layered this quilt yet, but I wanted to prepare for the piping. Actually, I don't feel like layering the quilt and I'm using this "be prepared" idea as an excuse and so far it's working.)

As you can see, the cording is there but not the tool! I haven't used this tool in a long time, but I was sure that I put it back in this drawer. Why would the cording be here, but not the tool? I looked in all the drawers of this little unit - twice - but it wasn't there. I started looking around the sewing room and NOTHING!!! I made a mess, but didn't find my tool.

Now here's the good part. While I was looking (and making a mess), I decided that I might as well organize some of this stuff so it won't be such a pain to go through the next time I misplace something. :-)

Did I find the tool? No, but I think I may know what happened to it. I know that I took it to show a friend how the tools works because she was thinking of buying one, but wasn't sure and wanted to try it first. Well, that's the last time I saw it, so I've placed a call to her to see if perhaps I left it there. She's REALLY organized and I'm sure she'll find it right away, if it's there. Of course, that means I have to plan a trip to Westlake to pick it up, but I'll worry about that later-once I know she has it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday

There's lots going on here, and unfortunately not all of it's quilting. I have a number of project that need attention so I have three things "on" my design wall today.

I finished the top for the wedding rings quilt. (Does anyone else still have Halloween quilts up, or is it just me? Also, don't you love the feet that many quilts seem to have when we take pictures of them?)

I have to add the embroidery, quilt and bind it. I think I'm going to add a red piping when I do the binding. I was just going to bind it in red, but I think that will be too much, so I think just a sliver of red next to black binding will be perfect. I'm going to be using some gold metallic thread to quilt parts of this and I can't wait to see how that turns our. Cross your fingers. :-)

I laid out 26 of the 30 hexagon blocks that I have done just so I could take a look at it. I'm really liking how this is turning out.

I'll be adding half blocks to the sides and filling in with white hexagons rather than applique this to a background like I did with this wallhanging. I know this will take me a while yet, but I know I'll have some "hand work time" soon and I wanted to get excited all over again about this project. I'm not setting any goals here for completion time, but I'm hoping to be quilting this at the next sisters' weekend in June.

Here are the "waste" triangles from my scrappy 16 patch and x block quilt.

I decided to keep these and make them into half square triangles for a miniature project. These will finish 1" and I'm not sure what I'll make, but I'll think of something. I've been sewing these as leaders and enders and I'll continue to do so until they are all done. The scrappy 16 patch and x block quilt is all sewn into rows and I've started sewing the rows together. Next up, the borders. I've been playing around with that and will make my final decision soon. Check back soon for pictures of that!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stash report - Week 45

I had hoped to get more done, but then again, I always hope to get more done. I added some more blocks to the scrappy 16 patch quilt but I already counted that fabric in last weeks report. I did make up my mind on the Wedding Ring quilt and I'm very pleased with how that is turning out. I hope to get the top completely done today, but it's such a beautiful day so I might end up outside instead of quilting. :-( The good news is that there was no fabric added this week!!!

Anyway, here' the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 5.50 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 246.75 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 129.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 117.00 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun Pictures

As promised, here are a some pictures from the weekend. Nikki and her family were here and even though there was a lot going on, I found some wonderful photo opps. Proud Grandma Warning: There are lots of pictures that made me smile, and I hope you enjoy them. If you're a proud grandma, post your pictures and I'll check them out.

Take a look at Nikki's Halloween pictures. Nikki made her costume as well as Quinn's and they turned out great. Lynn also made her's and I think it looks wonderful, especially since she's wearing a skirt, top, and bed skirt from Goodwill! Check out everyone's hair. Love the look, guys! :-) Here are two of my favorite pictures.

Here's a couple of my Halloween pictures. Quinn was a cowgirl at Zach's family gathering Saturday night. The outfit was one that Bella had worn for a dance recital and Quinn looked great in it. For some reason, Quinn LOVES to sit on the stairs. Here she is with Lynn and Ty.

It's hard to believe, but Sadie is 3 months old. Isn't she adorable?

Quinn was helping me make cookies Sunday morning.

We kind of had an accident.

Whoever says that a shop vac is not a kitchen appliance has not tried to bake with a 2 1/2 year old assistant!

I have a great video of Sadie telling me all about it, but I can't get it to load here. UGHHHH I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm such a proud grandma, and it's not just because Quinn reads quilting books! I just know she's going to be a quilter. :-)

Just like most quilters, Quinn loves her notions. Look at what she can do with empty spools.

Of course, Quinn loves her hats and found one to wear this weekend!

Ok, I guess you're probably tired of all the pictures. I know Sadie is.....

Design Wall Monday

Here it is Monday again and I don't have the Scrappy 16 Patch X Block quilt done yet. It's not on the design wall or even on the design floor anymore, but I haven't quit working on it (A.K.A. another UFO). I HAVE finished the additional X blocks and I'm working on the scrappy 16 patches so nothing has changed regarding this quilt and I figured that there's no reason to post a picture. If you want to see it, go the last Monday's post. Now, just imagine that this quilt is going to be two rows wider and longer. Also, it will have a small inner border and be finished with half blocks making up the outer border. Maybe I'll have a new picture next week.

Here's what I do have on the design wall:

This is a small "trial" version of the quilt I'm making for a wedding gift in December. (This is an adaptation of the Wedding Rings pattern by Seams & Dreams.) Since I've decided to make this a throw, I played around with some layout options in EQ and this is what I've settled on. There will be some embroidery in the quilt, although I'm not sure where yet. I want to put the bride and groom's names and the wedding date on the quilt some place.

I showed this picture to Quinn and she said "oh, nice." I think I like her critiquing skills. :-) By the way, I have some great pictures from the weekend with the girls and grandkids, including one with Quinn reading a quilting book. Hopefully I'll get them posted yet this morning.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by checking out Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.