Saturday, April 30, 2011

Update on WiP Wednesday Resolutions:

At the end of WiP Wednesday this week I kind of came up with some resolutions:

"I think I'm going to have to take a stand. I MUST finish something before next week's WIP. My goals are:
1.    finish random reflections top
2.    quilt road to spring
3.    inhale, exhale, repeat,..."

Well, I have an update! I can cross off number 1! Woohoo! One thing taken off my list already!
Plus, I have my Road to Spring quilt pinned and ready to quilt.

Whew! I love that I have that feeling of progressing toward a goal. A COMPLETION goal, that is. And I guess I've done a lot of number 3 as well, just trying to get finished. Next goal, quilt Road to Spring and make my secret project for me. Oh yeah, and my daughter keeps asking when I'm going to make her bike basket. Sigh... at least I never lack for something to do!

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Here Comes the Bride...."

Totally off the subject of quilting, has anyone been watching the royal wedding? I didn't watch a lot, but I had to see them on the balcony for the kiss. Very sweet. It got me thinking just what other historical events have occurred in my lifetime. I did a little online research to come up with a list and I was surprised at how much I remembered. I only listed the things that I actually remembered happening (that may say a lot about my age, oh well).

Nadia Comaneci receives 7 perfect 10’s at Olympics for gymnastics

Elvis found dead
Star Wars movie released

First Test tube baby
John Paul II becomes Pope (I remember when they were deciding who would become Pope, they let smoke come out of the little window. Dark smoke meant no decision; white smoke meant they decided.)
Jonestown Massacre

Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island

John Lennon assassinated
Mount St. Helens Erupted

Assassination attempt on the Pope
Assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan
Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana
First woman appointed to Supreme Court (Sandra Day O'Connor)

Challenger Shuttle explodes
Chernobyl nuclear accident
USSR launches the Mir space station
Iran-Contra scandal

Fall of the Berlin Wall
Exxon Valdez spills oil on coastline
Student massacred in China’s Tiananmen Square

Nelson Mandela freed

Operation Desert Storm

Riots in Los Angeles after the verdict from Rodney King

World Trade Center bombed

Oklahoma City bombing

Unabomber arrested

Hale-Bopp comet visible
Princess Diana killed in car crash

Torrential rains and flooding in the San Francisco area (this was my honeymoon, sigh…)
President Clinton impeached

Fear of Y2K bug
JFK Jr. killed in plane crash
Killing spree at  Columbine High School

al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001

I kind of lost my steam at this point in the list. I was very pregnant with my daughter when al-Qaeda attacked. I was working in a school as a speech pathologist and was standing in the preschool room when it happened. Luckily the teacher did not have kids that day. I just remember being so stunned; I had trouble processing that it was happening here, in the U.S. It's amazing where we've come since then.

As far as the wedding goes, a friend of mine told me she heard Harry was going to live with them in their new home. British royalty is really coming into the new age, huh? They sound like regular people!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The One that Got Away...Well, Make that Two!

When you've been blogging as long as I have (a whole two months!), you forget if things got posted or not. Well, after WiP yesterday, someone commented how they liked the green; blue and green specifically. I thought, "Well, she'd love the quilt I did for my mom." And it dawned on me. I never posted it. See I've only really been quilting about 6-8 months. Sure, I helped sew a few tops together for some memory quilts, but that was several years ago and those quilts were tied together. Plus, they all had the same design (big blocks with sashing). A friend invited me to join her quilting guild late last year and I have been quilting ever since.

My first 'real' quilt endeavour was one for my daughter. The quilt she had on her bed before came from Kohl's and was showing signs of wear already. Plus it had pink. Lots of pink. And her walls are pink. And her curtains are pink. I'm not really into pink. So I created a Turning Twenty quilt for her. She still got pink, but I tried hard to incorporate a lot of other colors as well. Did I mention she has a full sized bed? Yeah, what was I thinking?  I actually showed up at one of our Saturday Sewcials thinking I would just work on quilting it myself. HA! Yeah, that didn't happen. The other sweet ladies just looked at me with kind eyes and said, "Oh no, dear. You might want to start with something a bit smaller. And practice on the donation quilts." So I set up with a long arm quilter in the guild to perform some magic on my beauty and, VOILA!
I love how she quilted it. And my daughter loves it, which is all that really matters anyway. I was telling Linz that my daughter wouldn't allow me to wash it when I finished it. It went straight to her bed. Recently I mentioned to her that they get all yummy and crinkly when they run through the washer and dryer. She finally let me wash it, then promptly curled up in this "warm from the dryer"quilt. With 80 degree weather outside. Yeah, well, like I told Linz; my kids are snugglers.
Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, green and blue. I chose two small jelly rolls to make this quilt for my mom for her birthday last month. Hmm... it just dawned on me that I never emailed Jamie Mueller (the designer) to show her my version. I'll have to do that. Where was I? Oh right, right. My version. Here it is.
I loved the colors for my mom. They made me think of the ocean, which she loves. I happened to notice the name of the jelly roll; surprise, surprise, it was called 'sea glass." How cool is that? I made sure I put a label on the back to indicate that it was for her birthday and from me (my very first label; no, I still haven't put one on my daughter's which is deplorable!). 
As I said yesterday, I don't think I've made anything yet that doesn't have some green in it! I think the back is my favorite part. Anyway, I decided that I would quilt this one myself. It's a lap quilt so I figured I could do it. I had practiced some straight stitching on a couple of donation quilts so I just went for it. I wanted to be able to say that I did the whole thing myself, for her. And I did. Are there mistakes? You bet your sweet watusi there are mistakes, but that's okay. Cause my mom loves it, and that's all that really matters anyway, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday #5!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I hope you all have been busy. I know I have. I was especially busy last night trying to get dinner ready. Two children decided they wanted to ‘help’ cook which delayed dinner by about an hour. I don’t mind when they want to help; I just wish I'd known ahead of time so I could have allotted enough time to get everything done!
Anyway, on to the progress! And don't forget to check out everyone else's progress over at Lee's.

Ongoing Projects:
I have been working on two borders for the charm quilt. I decided I wanted to use the fabric I have instead of buying more, but the taupe color wasn't long enough to fit the length of each side. So I decided to do a little finagling with some blocks out of the other remaining fabric to extend it. It will now have the long piece of taupe down the center with one pieced block, then one taupe block on each end. There will be a pieced block in each corner. I will then add a second border out of the brown with tiny flowers.

I got farther along on my random reflections quilt. Last week all of the strips were still in groups of five and hadn’t been sewn together yet. I now have four completed rows that are sewn and pressed! Woohoo! I also have stacks of strips done and ready to be sewn for the remaining two rows.
I have a feeling I'm going to have to work out a couple of puckers I saw when I hung it up. Nothing horrible though.

I completed the travel bag for my daughter which I posted about the other day. The outside was just some 'almost' canvas I had but the inside is cute with chocolate brown and multi-colored flowers. She absolutely loves it and already used it to go to grandma's house.

I got about 3 more blocks done on my string quilt. I think this one is going to be my "slowly but surely we'll get there eventually quilt." Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

New Projects:
Okay, so I totally wasn't going to add anything new to my plate. "No Way," I said! "Too much already going on," I said! Then I saw something I wanted to try for me. Not saying anything else but, here's a picture of the fabrics I already had in my stash that I was going to use for it:

They don't exactly match (those little circles are closer to black than brown) but they won't be seen as much. I may add another fabric to the mix as well.
And I haven't totally made up my mind but, I may change what I was thinking of doing with this fabric:
Twin fibers is having a new quilt along that I may cut up these beauties for. Hmm, more green. I'm seeing  a pattern here. I sure do use a lot of green. In fact, I don't think I've made anything yet that doesn't have at least a little in there. It's my anchor color!

Completed Quilts awaiting quilting:
On the Road to Spring quilt: (I originally said I was going to get this one done by the quilter but I’m still debating. I only straight line quilt and I really wanted to have a few hearts on this one).

Completed Quilts awaiting binding:

On Hold:
Fancy Stripes quilt 

This week's stats:New projects - 1  (what am I thinking?!)
Completed projects - 1
Currently in progress – 6 (one just may be changing; no cutting has occurred yet, so we're safe!)

I think I'm going to have to take a stand. I MUST finish something before next week's WIP. My goals are:
  1. finish random reflections top
  2. quilt road to spring
  3. inhale, exhale, repeat,...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Check it Out!

A new quilt along is starting over at Twin Fibers. It looks like this is the week for cutting so there is still time to get in on it at the beginning. I was thinking about it but may have to start late. I am determined to get some things finished before starting anything new. I've finished two complete rows on my Random Reflections quilt, and I'm finishing the first border on my Charm pack quilt (seen on the same post). The border is taking longer than I would have liked because I'm doing some piecing. I didn't want to have to buy more fabric so I'm using what I have with some little 4 patch blocks. I'm also still working on my quilting vocabulary so if I use the wrong terminology, please forgive me! A lot of times, if I'm doing things on my own, I just do what I like. I don't necessarily know what it's called.
The kids and I got started on the new Craft Hope project today; bracelets for Russian orphans. I have participated before with one of their previous projects and it always warms my heart.
I had a multitude of supplies so we didn't need to pick up anything. We've made SWAP pins for Girl Scouts so we used a lot of those supplies.
Both my kids really got into it. We are shooting for filling that shoe box in the top middle of the picture. We'll see how many get done before they're due.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Calling All Crafters!

Please check out Craft Hope for their new project! This is an orphan outreach in Russia by sending in handmade bracelets. Easy-peasy! Bead bracelets, hemp bracelets, fabric bracelets, you name it. This is a great way to encourage your children to be charitable as well. I love this site anyway but this outreach is cool because I can get my kids into it as well. I hope you and yours find a way to reach out to those in need.


My mom has an obsession; books. We were at her house for Easter weekend and I was reminded of just how many books she has in her house. I started to take pictures of all of them but I didn't want to be obvious. Here are a few (a very few).
The bottom part behind the doors is full as well.

On this particular bookshelf I found some goodies.

The set on the left is called American Country in which I found a book called Country Quilts. It's really more a history of quilts but it was very interesting. The set on the right is called Stitch by Stitch. It's from 1986, though I think many pictures are more reflective of the 70's. Some were funny because I recognized some actors. Like this guy...
I know I recognize him but I can't think of his name. It seems like he's a Soap opera actor, maybe British?

I did have fun looking back through the old books though. Even though I consider myself a more modern quilter, I really got inspired by several of the quilts in the Country Quilts book. These are all beautiful examples:
I love this one. It's an Amish quilt called Broken Star, and though it looks new, it's from the 1920's.

I love finding things that inspire me to create. I actually created a new pattern this weekend while I was at my mom's. Someone else may have created it before; but, for now, it's mine.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope you and your families had a wonderful Easter! He is risen!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quilt in a Day and Easter Plans

Pat Knoechel spoke at our quilting guild meeting last night and she was very informative. She was also very entertaining. It's interesting how someone can provide loads of information, but they still have to be a good teacher/speaker, or you're not going to get any of it. Pat did a great job and I picked up several tips for future quilts.
The family and I are headed to my parent's for Easter weekend; what are your plans? I'll miss my Indigo Bunting I just saw in my yard for the very first time the other day. Hopefully he'll hold down the fort until we get back.
I hope he knows, no parties allowed...

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Easter Bunny, a Bag, and More!

It's almost Easter! Are you and your family doing anything fun? I prepared my daughter for a trip to my parents house by sewing up a new travel bag for her. It was primarily based on this bag, but with modifications.
It's not as stiff as I would have liked. I only added lightweight interfacing. I wanted medium weight but couldn't find any. I wasn't sure I wanted heavyweight, but now I'm wishing I had. She loves it so it doesn't matter, but I will be using heavyweight on mine (since I want one too!). It's holding it's shape fairly well for a reason...
It's holding a case of Girl Scout cookies! Actually that shows off that it's a fairly good sized bag!
Here's a shot of the liner:

I think the liner is my favorite part! I almost wish I'd done the outside in this print. Very cute. I personally chose a different print for mine. Since I used this primarily from stuff in my stash, I'm linking up here!

I did a little shopping the other day and started picking up a few things for a future bottled rainbows quilt, but I also found a print for my bag. It would be the lime green on the left. 
I added a pocket on the inside, but I'm thinking I may add a large side pocket on the outside of mine. I've also seen them done with piping but I'm not sure I want to tackle piping.
So I think I'm going to do some work on my random reflections quilt today. My quilting guild is having a guest speaker tonight; Pat Knoechel of Quilt in a Day. I'm excited to see what she has to show us.

I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Making Do With What You've Got...

I really want a quilt design wall. And I will eventually make one. But for the moment, at least, I decided to make do with what I had. I was cleaning up my crafting/sewing area Tuesday and noticed a blank canvas I've had for about 3-4 years. It came in a two pack; the other one was used to create this:
It's just a cute painting that is currently hanging in her room; a combination of big letter fonts on the computer, contact paper, and various acrylic paints.

So I have this second 16x20 canvas I decided to turn into a mini design wall. I was all prepared to show how I did it with a picture tutorial, but none of the pictures showed up in the computer. I took that to mean that I was being told (divinely!) that there are already a ton of quilt design wall tutorials out there so I decided to post them for your information!

1. vinyl tablecloth window hanging from sewmanyways
2. large portable wall from sewmanyways
3. small portable wall from sewmanyways
4. Eleanor Burns has a quilt in a day design wall near the bottom of the page
5. youtube video for how to make one

Anyway, here's how mine turned out:
It's small but I plan on using it as a small idea wall when I finally put up something bigger.
What kind of design wall do you use?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday #4!

There were several "non-quilt" projects this week, but I still got some sewing done overall!

Ongoing Projects:

The charm quilt hasn't changed. The Spring quilt is closer to being done. I finally decided to to take it to the quilter instead of trying to do it myself. I want specific things on it which I know I can't do with me only being able to straight line quilt.
New Projects:
I got started on this quilt; yet another from KarriLyne of Freckled Whimsy.
I got a lot farther along than I expected. I really need some better light down in my work area.
I also started and completed one bike basket for my son (though I have not completed one for my daughter).

I did start a travel bag for my daughter using this tutorial as a starting point (there will be many modifications). I am trying to take pictures along the way so I can post my modifications here.
I wasn't really concerned about being matchy. I wanted to do this without having to go out and purchase a lot more supplies. However, I have run out of interfacing so I don't really have any choice but to make at least one run. Unfortunately, there are no Hobby Lobby coupons this week so I am going to make a run to Joann's. I wish it were closer. But I thought I'd check out the Denyse Schmidt fabrics while I'm there. Do you know that I've had several fat quarters from her Katie Jump Rope line but had no idea they were by her? I bought them at the local quilting store (when they were still open!) but I just bought them because I liked them. I think that's why you should purchase things anyway!

Completed Quilts awaiting quilting:
On the Road to Spring quilt
Completed Quilts awaiting binding:

On Hold:
Fancy Stripes quilt 
String quilt (not really on hold but I didn't get any work done on it this week)
This week's stats:
New projects - 2 (bike basket and travel bag
Completed projects - 2 (boy's quilt & one bike basket)
Currently in progress - 7 (this number doesn't even seem to go down even when the 'completed' number goes up!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Contests Everywhere!

There are contests on many blogs as we speak. Check them out! Lindsay and Mary at craftbuds have a great list here.
Good luck!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tinkering and the Design Process

 So I've started work on this quilt for my sister. She will be the big 4-0 this year! We won't discuss that she's my little sister. No, that would mean I'm older than 40 which is not up for discussion. Anyway, I've gotten about 6 blocks done so far so I've got a bit to go but doing well so far. The only problem was that there were only 4 patterns in the jelly roll so there won't be a lot of variation but I think it will be okay with the strip sizes being different.

I've also been playing with this design.
I finished coloring in all the border squares but wasn't completely happy with it being just squares. So I added some triangles which resulted in some pinwheels.

I'm still not totally sure I love it so I'm playing with some erasing which would do this:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One down, One to Go!

Okay, so I only got one bike basket done but I have a perfectly good reason why I didn't finish the other one. The one I did was for my son and I'm glad I did his first. He is only 5 so his didn't need to be too big.
It fit perfectly on my son's bike but appeared a bit small on my 9 year old daughter's bike. I am currently messing around with enlarging it a bit. That was the delay in getting hers put together. But I plan on getting hers done this afternoon. After a party. A birthday party. At a jump place. Woohoo. Well, maybe I'll take my quilt design book so I can at least color and sketch while they have fun!

And I want to thank Anna for her fabulous tutorial. After I finished and got a good look at it, I took back all the bad words I said about you while trying to iron on that (insert fairly descriptive term here) double sided interfacing! I still want to try to find a way to attach it BEFORE you sew everything together.
Hope everyone's having a nice weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Today's To Do List

I've already gone fabric shopping (I did not find what I wanted but, of course, found some more for something else!) to help complete the borders on my charm pack quilt. I ended up buying material to make my son this bike basket. It's been in my favorites list on my computer for a very long time and it's time to do it. I have plenty of girl fabric with which to make one for my daughter; I just needed some for Little Man.
Speaking of Little Man, we had an injury the other day.

He was practicing baseball with his dad who was pitching balls up toward the house. He went up on the porch to pick up the 'balls that got away' and got tripped up on his sandals coming back down. Little Man, meet sidewalk. Sidewalk, meet Little Man. And it had to be on the face, right? I've been trying for 5 years to prepare myself for life with a boy. I'm still working on it.

Anyway! My plan for the afternoon is to make two bike baskets for two rugrats. If I have time after, I plan on finally printing my quilt label for the pink 'Spring' quilt so I can finish it. I may even try to start working on the Random Reflections quilt or do some work on my String quilt.

What are you planning on doing today?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Showers and the Design Process!

Baby boy quilt is complete! I finished it about 30 minutes before I had to go pick the kids. I then had to fly over to the school where they were having the shower at 2:45. Talk about timing. But it is quilted, bound, given, and loved. That's the best kind!

Also, I was very inspired by Rebecca's wonderful Design portion of her online quilting class she posted this week. I had been keeping a notebook and even went so far as to purchase a graph book so I could sketch some ideas. Not that I really planned to have any ideas, but you never know. Anyway, I was in a local yogurt shop with my kids the other day and was taken by the color scheme. They used lime green sofas, and purple painted walls with white textured sections to create a striped effect. Around the yogurt dispensers they had used purple and blue/light blue tiles that resembled this:
I was very drawn to the color scheme and I liked something about the look of the design of it all as well so I started sketching. I'm not done yet but it's sort of looking like this so far:
I haven't finished the outer edge and I'm not sure if would go completely solids on this or if I would incorporate some prints. If I did do prints I would probably do something like a tone on tone like the purple I used in the laptop computer bag on my Flickr stream. That bag actually uses the same color scheme as this quilt design so it's been hovering in my mind already anyway. I wish the colors showed up a little better. The center of each block is actually blue with purple and lime green as the other colors. I was thinking of a little Kona Snow as the white but maybe something a little brighter white. Still playing with it right now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday #3

I actually got some work done this week so I'm excited!

Ongoing Projects:

The main portion of my charm pack quilt is finished. I bought some border material which I need to wash. Also, even though I said I would finish the back of the Spring quilt last week, it didn't happen. So it really needs to stay in ongoing until I get it done.
The boy quilt is currently on my sewing machine being quilted so no other work can occur until I finish that.  Done!
I also got a few more squares done on my string quilt.

New Projects:
I know I shouldn't until I finish some of the others, but I got a jelly roll and some Kona cotton in maize to do this quilt on Moda Bake Shop.
Also, I haven't done anything with the black/white and green quilt I brought up last week.

Completed Quilts awaiting quilting:
Boy's quilt  (actually made myself sit down and finish the quilting this morning)

Completed Quilts awaiting binding:
Boy's quilt

On Hold:Fancy Stripes quilt 
This week's stats:
New projects - 1
Completed projects - 0
Currently in progress - 7 (I've really got to stop adding to this list. However, the boy quilt HAS to be done ASAP because the shower is tomorrow afternoon)

A question to anyone who will respond: when you give quilts as gifts, do you wash them first? I was just curious. I've only done 2 so far for other people (although most of the ones I'm working on are for others!) and I did not wash them first. It just made me wonder.