Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Meaning to Life Support

Change out the wine for diet coke or beer and this would be perfect.
Enjoy your day and be careful what you say!   :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Backing Up a Little

I mentioned Claire's quilt in a previous post and have decided that I really should share a bit of a back story here. Claire and Ann came to visit for a couple of days, one of which I had a class (All Boxed In) already scheduled. While planning the visit, Ann and I had decided to give Claire the option of taking the class and making her own quilt. She decided to do it, so in order to bring her up to speed, I cut all of the fabric for her and made a few blocks.

Claire was a natural and did a really nice job finishing up the blocks and putting the top together. She even seemed to enjoy the pressing.

We took the quilt to Kare's house in order to use the HQ16 to quilt it. The machine can be quite daunting, especially for someone who has just pieced their first top, so Claire asked me to quilt it for her. I did, but she was responsible for helping load the quilt and reposition it each time a new pass was to be made. She also unloaded it from the machine and made and attached the binding.

Do you notice in the picture above that Claire is attaching the binding to the back of the quilt? She decided that she wanted to finish this quilt sooner rather than later and that meant machine stitching the binding down and not hand stitching it. (I think that was a good choice!) She did a very nice job, even on the corners and here she is adding a decorative stitch to the front.

I think she likes her quilt! What do you think?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I've had lots of projects up on the design wall lately but not all of them have been mine. Here's what up there now - Gateway to Paradise by Little Louise Designs. I really like this quilt done in batiks, but I also had this 20 strip pack of yellow and grey fabric and I decided that I needed to use it. It was perfect since this quilt calls for jelly rolls, bali pops, or similar pre-cut strips, but it only uses 20 strips. I'll make another quilt, probably using a bali pop, but I'll make it larger.

Here are a few other projects that have made their way on the wall during the last couple of weeks.

Jerry's first quilt before borders.

Auditioning borders

Connie's quilt after learning how to sew on a binding. (Oops, it's sideways.)

Connie and her beautifully pieced quilt. (Click here to see what Kare said about quilting Connie's quilt.)

Here's Claire's quilt.

And Jerry's Framed Rectangles quilt ready to sew into rows.

Also making their way to the wall, but of which I don't have pictures available right now, are Donna's Maple Leaf Log Cabin quilt, Ann's patio cushions, the chenille blanket I made for Lynn and my modified 1600 quilt. Whew.....the sewing room has been a busy place.

I did make some organization changes that I just LOVE. Check out my notions corner. I have to admit, though. This pictures makes me realize just how much of a ruler wh*re I really am.  :-(

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

Hiatus is Over

I guess it's time to start blogging again after a short hiatus. It's been bugging me that I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but obviously not enough for me to do anything about it. :-)

So, what have I been doing you ask? Well, I've been travelling a bit and busy playing hostess to some relatively new quilters. and loving it.  First off, Jerry and his friend (and now my friend too!) Connie blessed us with their company at the end of June. That was followed up by a visit from Ann and Claire, and then just Ann, and then Ann and Jerry, and then just Jerry. I had a blast, and boy did some sewing and quilting get done - mine included! Oh, and Nikki and family were here for a long weekend.  :-)

Sadie likes to help Quinn brush her hair and I love these two pictures. Quinn is a really good big sister and lets Sadie brush her hair. I guess Sadie kind of struggles with the height difference though.

Let's back up here a bit. Remember when I was in Burr Oak for the Sisters' Weekend? I talked a little bit about it here, here, and here. The Sisters' Weekend extended to family time that was discussed here and we had a blast! Within a couple of days of our return from Burr Oak, Jack and I travelled to Washington Island, Wisconsin for a week.

I'll break the sharing from our travels and "goings on" into a couple of different post. If I don't do this, this post would be pretty picture-heavy and you'd probably get tired of reading.  :-)

Way back in January, Jack read about an amateur radio operator in Wisconsin who has a wonderful ham shack filled with LOTS of old radios and he wanted to see the place. After a bit of searching around online, Jack found George's (W9EVT) website and the rest is history! We arrived on the island Sunday morning and stayed in the apartment of Greengate Farms, the  rental property that George's wife Susan runs. The apartment was over a garage and even though it was small, it was perfect for the two of us. It didn't take long for both Jack and I to realize that we could live in a small space. We really don't need a four-bedroom house.

That dormer is for the bedroom window.

Here's the stairs we used to get to the apartment.

The Greengate website has some great pictures of the inside of the apartment (as well as the other rental possibilities) and I think you should check them out. I know you'll just drool over the last picture, which is the view of the lake from the apartment. Even when it rained, it was a wonderful sight.

Of course while Jack was playing radio,

I sewed. Being spoiled and having lots of room here at home made my temporary sewing digs a bit challenging at first, but it all worked well. I had my machine set up in living room. 

While the cutting and pressing was done in the bedroom.

We didn't spend all of our time playing radio and sewing. We spent a lot of time on the beach, climbing the lookout tower

and checking out the local points of interest, including Sievers School of Fine Arts. Oh my....... I would love to return to the island and take a few classes!

Sadly, we left the island Thursday late morning for our trip home. But Jack and I often talk about our time there and feel certain we'll return - maybe to take a class at Sievers!  :-)

Our return trip was pleasant and rather uneventful until we were about an hour from home when we drove right into a major storm. Wow, was there a lot of rain! On a positive note, I saw a complete double rainbow. I've seen complete rainbows (you know, when the rainbow stretches clear across the sky in one long band), and I've seen double rainbows, but I've never seen both rainbows complete. It was absolutely beautiful, and of course the camera was in the back so I didn't get a picture.  :-(

Even though we were sad to leave the island, Jack and I were anxious to return home. Friday night Jack and his friend Dave were going to make some final decisions about Field Day, and Jerry and Connie were coming up for the weekend. I'll share more about that in a future post. Soon, I promise.

I may even get around to showing some of the projects on which I've been working.  :-)


Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Well, the Summer Solstice is still up in the design wall, but so is a new project that I started Friday. I am in the middle of quilting this so please forgive the somewhat crappy picture.

This is fairly small, only about 35" x 35", but I love it! I first saw a similar project on Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts' blog, where she was featuring Laura Jane Taylor, who made the original project.  I knew I would be making this someday and well, someday was Friday!

You can't tell from the picture, but I am quilting it with concentric circles. I think I'll just continue the circles into the borders because I really don't want to stop the movement. I'm using Superior Threads Smoke MonoPoly thread in the top and Superior Threads Sew Fine #411 Black in the bobbin. You can see the quilting on the back really well. Maybe I should have taken a picture of that. I will when it's finished. Another really cool thing about this quilt is that all the fabric came from my stash. YEAH!!

I have a goal for this week. (I know, goals - what a concept!) I would like to get the binding on the Carolina Crossroads quilt, because I'd like to finish it and be able to give it to Nikki and Zach when they're home next. I've made a tentative decision to add a very small red piping at the same time I attach the teal binding. I've felt like it would be missing something and be kind of boring if I just added the teal binding. I'll play a little bit and then decide.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times; but be prepared to find at least one project that will take your breath away. I always do!  :-)


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stash/UFO Report

So I'm finally getting around to my Stash/UFO report. Where does the time go?

Anyway, I finished the binding on the Amazon Star quilt and my Fiesta! quilt. Here's a quick picture of Fiesta!

I'll get a better picture soon, but I still have Summer Solstice on the wall and that's the best place to take a picture. Actually, I haven't touched that quilt since last week! I did however, work on something else (new) and put that up beside the Summer Solstice. I should have finished one before starting the next, but you know how it goes.  :-)

So, 10 UFO quilts have been completed in 2012 and 13 new quilts have been completed. It sure is nice to have them DONE, DONE, and DONE (pieced, quilted and bound). I also finished the top of another new quilt and since it's small I am going to try to get that quilted and bound by the end of the week. Wish me luck!

Check out what other quilters have done with their stash.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Recent Fun

The last three weeks have been very busy and I'm finally getting around to sharing some pictures. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the annual Girls' Weekend at Burr Oak.

Here's Mom checking out the sparrow clothes pins that Pat gave me. They are adorable - Mom and the clips!

Speaking of birds, there is a hummingbird feeder that hangs right outside the kitchen window. Every year we enjoy watching the birds and this year was no exception.

I even snapped a picture of two birds enjoying a drink at the same time. Can you see the reflection of my camera in the top right? I think that's funny.  :-)

Speaking of enjoying a drink...While out one afternoon, we made a quick stop.

And we SCORED!! (At least Pat did; but she's nice and shared.)


To read more about the Sister's Weekend, check out this blog post, and this one. Here's another one too. There was some sewing done that weekend, but more importantly, we just enjoyed each others' company. I'd share more, but I have to be careful. We have a rule that what happens at Burr Oak, stays at Burr Oak.  :-)

I hope you get the enjoy some quality time with your siblings!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Design Wall Monday

It's Monday and that means I get to show off what's on my design wall!

This is Summer Solstice (a Judy Niemeyer pattern) done in Kaffe Fassett and batik fabrics. I bought this kit while I was at Tennessee Quilts for the Judy workshop back in March and April. I still remember walking into the shop on Wednesday late afternoon (the day before the workshop began) and seeing this sample. Even before Mary and I could ask where we should put our things I knew I wanted to make this quilt! Since this was the quilt on which we would be working on the first day of the workshop, I had already cut out the fabric for my version; but I really wanted to make this quilt with these fabrics. I was excited to see that they had kits for sale, and gobbled one up right then and there. I can't believe it has taken me this long to start working on this quilt! In case you're wondering, yes, they still have kits available on their website. Here's a direct link to the kit. :-)   It sure looks different than my original version doesn't it?

I'd like to say that the quilt will be finished in the next day or so, but I really doubt it. I have a class tomorrow and a couple of other pressing projects so this might have to go on the back burner. :-(  Either way, I'll keep you posted on the progress.

I did some quilting over the weekend and got two UFOs quilted. They just need trimmed and bound. YEAH!! I'll show you the front after they done. I know, I'm a tease.  :-)

I'm also finishing up the binding on the Amazon Star quilt and my goal is to complete that tonight because even though this quilt is for Jack, it will hang in the quilt shop for a little bit to help sell the kits they made up. This will return home in the Fall so we can use it on our bed.

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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stash Report - Sort Of....

It has been so long since I posted that I actually had to think for a second when I typed my password! That is so sad.

Anyway, as you can see from the title of this post, I am posting a modified stash report. Since it's been a while since my last report (you can see it here), I started thinking about how I feel about them. I know when I started them about two and a half years ago that I really wanted to do them so I became a more conscious fabric shopper. It was not uncommon for me to buy fabric just because I liked it; and since I didn't know how I was going to use it, I bought a lot of it and a bunch of coordinating fabrics. That would have been fine, but I wasn't using what I was buying. Well, that's not exactly true. I would buy, start a project and them put it away because something new and shiny showed up that I just NEEDED to work on. Of course, I know you can figure out what has happened. I have a bunch of projects that have been started, neatly packed away, ready to be completely. Ok, maybe they are so neatly packed away, but they are packed away.

Anyway, I have made a concerted effort to complete projects and think I've made some great progress over the last few years. Here's last years ending stash report and 2010's year-end report. In 2010, I didn't keep track of UFOs or completed new projects but I know I did a fair amount. It doesn't really matter, I did these reports for me and they have done exactly what I wanted them to do. They have made me a more conscious shopper and quilter.

So, why have I not regularly posted stash reports since May 13th? Well, I guess it's because I've been busy and/or lazy. But I also feel like I don't have the NEED to do it regularly. The reports have done exactly what they were supposed to do and I will post sporadically, or as needed. It's kind of like a diet or healthy eating plan. When you first begin, you really need those meetings/check-ins, etc. to keep you motivated and on track; but once you get going you feel more confident and just need a refresher ever once in a while. Now don't get the wrong idea. I really am not seriously dieting, although I should be. I just see similarities.  :-)

Anyway, over the past month or so, I have purchased just a few yards of fabric and all of them have specific projects in mind. A few of them have been worked on, but not all. I have finished some projects and have twelve projects that are ready to be quilted right now, nine of which are UFOs. I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones that I have unpacked and plan to quilt soon. 

Will I continue to post reports? Yes I will, but probably not weekly and I think the focus has changed. I find the UFO reports more important to me now than the fabric buying and using, so that is what I will mainly report.

Do I have a goal for completing UFOs? Sort of. I want to priotoritize the UFOs and go from there. One that is ready to be quilted is for Nikki and I finished the borders back in May but haven't done anything with it yet. THAT is precisely what I want to stop! I want to follow through and finish projects. Why did I set this aside and not quilt it as soon as the borders were added? I'm guessing that I didn't have a backing yet, so it got set aside. That's what's dangerous. I really am a "out of sight, out of mind" kind of gal. Maybe seeing the stack of "To Be Quilted" tops will inspire guilt me into finishing them.

The Report:

UFO's Completed in 2012 - 9
New Quilts Completed in 2012 - 12
Quilts Ready to Be Quilted - 12 (9 UFOs)
                      (Of course this number is subject to change when I start opening storage bins!)
Quilts Ready for Binding - 1 (being worked on now)

Stayed tuned for updates!

Check out stash reports by other quilters by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.