Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fourteen Years With the Same Guy!

Yup! Today is my anniversary! Hubby and I have been married for 14 years today. Of course, when I got up this morning and said it was my anniversary, I had to explain what that was to my 5 year old.
Hubby and I met when we were in high school; I was a lowly freshman and he was a senior, so we did not date then but we were friends. When I was a senior, we both worked at the Piggly Wiggly (such a southern name for a grocery store!) and commuted together to college. That's when we first started dating. We dated for a year at that time but broke up around my birthday. Hubby would probably see fit to point out here that I broke up with him! I didn't see him again for 9 years.
By that time, I had finished my undergrad and graduate work. I was living with my grandmother and working an internship at a clinic in the town where she lived. One day I was seeing a patient at the hospital and ran into him at the elevators. We started dating, and two years later we were married. Fourteen years and two kids later, here we are! We haven't done anniversary gifts in a while but we are going out to eat Saturday night and the kids are staying with his mom. Peace! That's what I get for my anniversary!

It seems like forever since I've posted about quilting but I am busy. We had our guild meeting last night and played 'Strip' Poker so I came home with some strips to use. I've also been working on the Diamond Trails Twin. The center is done but I'm having to rethink how I did it because the drop is either going to be too short or too long the way I planned.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cleaning Bites!

There are some days...you know the ones...where the never-ending laundry truly NEVER ENDS, and the rooms all look as if 40 kids live in them instead of 1 in each.
Days where you feel like if you have to sweep and mop the floor one more time, you may truly scream.

Where, after hearing you state that you absolutely detest when your kids drop things on the floor for the 5000th time, they do it again.

Where you don't remember what your kids beds look like made up because you haven't seen it in so long.

I'm not a happy cleaner; are you?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm Swapping Like Crazy!

Didn't I mention something on my resolutions about participating in a swap? Uh, yeah. Try two so far. and it's only January!
I joined in on the Rainbow Layer Cake Swap over at Distant Pickles and ended up with orange and yellow-orange as my colors. Here is what I'm sending in.
Power Pop orange for my orange choice.
Robert Kaufman Scribbles in tangerine (I think) for yellow-orange. I was going to use the online picture of this but it looks totally orange and that's not how it looks in real life so I took a picture.

My second fabric swap is over at Craftbuds with Lindsay. They are having a polka-dots swap run directly through Sew Fresh Fabrics.
Polka Dot Charm Swap

I have dealt with Peg and Becca at Sew Fresh Fabrics before and they are great! They are doing all the work on this one. All I had to do was order, and then sit back and wait for the fabric to arrive at my door! My kind of swap! Here is my dot purchase for this one.
Moss Ta Dot - Fat Quarter

I really did try not to choose green, but you go with what catches your eye and I just loved this one! Looks like I will have two 'rainbow-ey' sets of fabric coming to my door so I will have to come up with some plans. I do want to make quilts for my other nieces so maybe these and the aqua, yellow and gray charms can fill up those positions!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WiP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Looks like it's that time again! Do you have progress this week? I'm getting there!
I now have three Carpenter Wheels...
a finish (Embroidery 101!)...

and some progress on the Twin Size Girl Quilt (I need another name for this one!).
I put it on my son's twin size bed to get a better idea of how far I've gotten. European beds are narrower and longer than ours so I am correct on the width (US twins are about 38x75 while European twins are 35.4x79). I plan on making two long strips of 2.5" pieced prints to run down each side from top to bottom. Then I'm just going to repeat shorter versions of what you see in the center for the drop down each side. Then I will surround the whole thing with a 2.5" pieced strip border. I like it so far. I hope they will. Especially since I'm making another one just like it in boy fabric!  These will live in the Hague (Netherlands) when they are done. Hubby's cousin's kids will get them (gifts from their Oma, my hubby's aunt).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Promise is a Promise...and A Sale is a Sale

I promised myself that I would start back to work on the Girl Twin Quilt when I finished the Embroidery 101 and made that third Carpenter's Wheel, so...
I figured out that the length needed to be twice what I had already done so I just pinned the part I've finished on the left and started mimicking it on the right before sewing it all together. That will complete the center portion.  I am planning on making two long strips (like the 2.5" ones that are pieced prints in the piece thus far) and I'm going to run them down either side of the center piece. Then I'm going to run shorter versions of the center on either side of that for that drop. I'm still figuring out all the logistics and which way will work best.

Dewberry Lane

As far as the sale goes, check out Dewberry Lane. They are going out of business and are offering 40% off everything. Use the code "GOING12" to receive the discount. They do not sell fabric but they do sell notions, books and stabilizers.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love it When a Finish Comes Together!

Especially when it's a UFO! Embroidery 101 is done! Woo-hoo! I finally got the binding on which was the last thing I needed to do. It's still raining and dreary outside so I'm stuck with inside pics.

I did straight line quilting around the blocks 1/4" from each seam except the insides of the white immediately around the embroidered squares. Those I hand stitched with embroidery thread.

I also finished block number 3 of the Carpenter's Wheel for my personal bed quilt.
I took it on the neighbor's fence at dusk so it's not the greatest pic but I'm loving them anyway! Here are the three I have so far.
I also tried them on my bed so I can start figuring out how I'm going to put these together. I'm trying to decide whether to do sashing and just do a sashing type border (maybe two). The other option I'm playing with is no sashing within and maybe do a thin line around the edge. Then maybe outline the outside of the quilt with pinwheels and white blocks. I may have to draw it out so I can get a better idea. I actually think there is a version of this block in my Quilt Design Wizard so I may be able to try it out there. Stay tuned as I will probably need opinions! Until then, here is how they look on my bed.
"without sashing"
or "with sashing"
I'm also going to have to wait and see about the block with black in the center. I want to make sure it doesn't overpower the quilt. There is brown fabric as well so I think I'm safe.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Love Mailbox Goodies!

I got a little order from the Fat Quarter Shop today! I caught a few things on sale the other day and put in a little order. It all looks so yummy!

The orange Power Pop orange and is for the Rainbow Layer Cake Swap over at Distant Pickles. Still looking for yellow-orange. I may have to go to the LQS. The other two fabrics are for the Boy Twin Quilt. The blue is Blue Magic Beans and the red is Red Porridge Plaid, both from Fairy Tale Friends. The FQS was having a great 50% off sale on these lines the other day and I really lucked out. Thanks to Fabric Donkey for the wonderful tip! Here are all the fabrics I have so far for it.

The request was for bright primary colors so I think I'm doing okay so far.I wanted to have a variety of print types as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WiP Wednesday!

I'm sick but I'm here reporting my progress.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I have completed all the machine quilting for my Embroidery 101 quilt as of yesterday! I just have to bind it and add some hand quilting in the white around each block. I'm going to use the embroidery thread I used in the blocks.

I also finished a second Carpenter's Wheel and cut out the fabric for a third.
I had to lighten it up a lot for you to be able to see the gold flowers in the black fabric. I got stuck taking inside pictures because it's been rainy. I showed these blocks to my hubby and  said they were going in a quilt for our bed. His question was, "Which color scheme are you using?" Yeah, I know, hard to tell they go together yet but they ARE from the same line by Heather Mulder Peterson (I think I said her name wrong in a previous post and, for that, I apologize profusely!) and they will all come together in the end. I really wanted to use that black as a focus fabric and will probably use that block in the center of the quilt. Here are the fabrics I cut for the next block.

I just need to cut out the white and start sewing, though I will probably get a bit more done on my Girl Twin quilt beforehand.
I am also participating in the Rainbow Layer Cake Swap over at Distant Pickles. My colors are orange and yellow-orange. I have this fabric on its way for orange...

but I'm still struggling with the yellow-orange so give me a shout out if you have any ideas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Resolutions, an Update

Very Berry Handmade is having a great little contest which involves making resolutions. My favorites of her prizes are the fabrics; I LOVE Erin McMorris' Summersault, but the Lark by Amy Butler and Gone to Earth by Kate Spain are gorgeous as well! I made and reported my resolutions back on 12/30 but I thought I would reiterate them here.

1. Make one quilt per month
2. Complete at least 3 UFO's in the year. (almost finished with number 1!)
3. Practice more FMQ
4. Participate in at least one bee, swap, etc. (already participating in the Rainbow Layer Cake swap at Distant Pickles!)
5. Participate in at least one quilt along

I also would like to learn to use a long arm quilter, though I haven't quite figured out the logistics on this one yet. I'd like to be more precise with my quilting and I would like to write my own pattern. I already have two possibilities for this but I've got to actually work on it.

I also thought I might add a few personal ones.
1. To become healthier (this one really needs to be to lose copious amounts of weight but I thought I would look at it more from a health standpoint)
2. To maintain BALANCE in my life (this was my focus word for the year so I thought I should incorporate it into my plans!)
3. To have more confidence in myself, whether it be crafty, as a parent, etc.

Oh, if you have time, check out QuokkaQuilts contest. The judges are trying to make their choices right now, but she was just curious to see who the public would pick for it. I'm number 13 if you want to check mine out. Mine sort of has a citrusy feel to it. I may have to take the plunge and purchase it all since I like it so much! If you want to vote for your favorites, here is the voting form and here is the list of entries.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins the Race...Or Finishes the Quilt, in my case!

No, not completely finished yet but I have made some good headway. I am doing straight line quilting on my Embroidery 101 and I have finished all the vertical lines and just started on the horizontal lines.
I'm planning on doing some hand quilting in the white around each of the embroidered squares with the embroidery thread I used so that will take a little more time, but I may go ahead and bind it before I do that. At least when I finish the hand quilting, it will be complete.
Hopefully I'll be completely finished with it within the week. Maybe then I may allow myself to do one more Carpenter's Wheel before working the girl twin quilt again!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Meaning to Being TP'ed!

QuiltJane has a wonderful little contest going right now. It seems that she has decided to look away from all the mug rugs and bags that have overwhelmed the quilty/bloggy world and dress up another part of our environment; the powder room! She is challenging everyone to create a toilet paper roll cover; be creative! She offers a tutorial on her site but I don't think you are limited to just using it! All the rules can be found on her site, but the great prize is a $100 Fat Quarter Shop gift voucher! If you are from Australia, you can also win a gift certificate to QuiltJane's shop or a lap quilt quilted by her; now why do I live in the US?
This contest goes through March 7 so you still have time to jump in!
And as far as progress goes in this household (yes, I know I didn't mention progress before but, what the hey?), I am about 1/4 of the way finished with the machine quilting on my Embroidery 101 quilt! I started yesterday and made it from the middle over to the right and I just rotated it so I can go from the middle and get the left side. I hope you're quilting, Jennifer, cause I may beat you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Swapping and Blogger Issues!

Because you can never have enough fabric, and I have never actually used a layer cake, I decided to participate in the Rainbow Layer Cake Swap Bree and Jennifer are having over Distant Pickles.  Since this is a rainbow swap, members will be provided a color to base their fabrics on. I really like the idea that we are being encouraged to use tone on tone prints for this. I love the diversity of tone on tone; it can give the feel of a solid when needed, but also has the texture of a print.
There will be 20 participants who are each provided 2 colors. All the details can be found on their blog so get over there and check it out if you're interested!

Now about Blogger issues. Is anyone else having trouble pulling up blogspot blogs today? Every time I try to go to any blog that has a blogspot address, the site will pull up for just a second and then the screen goes white. I tried to look it up on blogger as an issue but I don't see anything about it. I was wondering if it was just my computer! Of course, if you ARE having troubles, you probably can't pull up my blog either...ARRGGHHH!!! The irony!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Drank the Water...and I'm Drowning in It!

Okay, so yesterday I posted that I went off plan and started something new that wasn't on my quilty "To Do" list. Then I sort of got sucked in with it. It's all the fault of this little square right here...
(not that it's really small; it's just over 24 inches!). Of course, it looks like this now.
Yeah, I sewed it together. I know. Put me in time-out. See if I care. And I just sealed my fate because here's what I did right after that.

Yeah, that's right! I got another one all cut out and the HST's sewn together. Whatcha' gonna do about it, huh?  Huh?!

Uh, right. I talk a big game but...I am very proud of where this is going though. And I DID get all the mistakes fixed in my girl twin quilt so I'm ready to work more on that! Plus, I think I'm just going to throw Embroidery 101 on the sewing machine as soon as I finish piecing this block together. That way I don't have a choice but to get it done. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WiP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I missed the return to WiP last week but I'm back this week!
Just in case you don't follow me, I have two European twin sized quilts I've just started working on (brother and sister) and I'm this far on the girl quilt. It's being done in Kona bleached white and Dogwood Trails.

I also just noted yesterday that I have just finished pinning my Embroidery 101 quilt and it is ready to be quilted. Hopefully I can squeeze it in and get it done this week.

And guess what? It's January 10th. And I've already blown a resolution. No surprise there. But it wasn't a really bad thing. I had just promised myself I wouldn't start anything new until I finished some other things. Well, except for the two twin bed quilts. Those are commissioned projects so no putting those off.
But what did I go and do last night? Hmmm.... well,... I really need a quilt for my bed..., and I really just wanted to see how it was going to look..., and it's really just a promise to myself that I will make it eventually in the next several months so,...

It's technically not even sewn together yet so it doesn't really even count, right? It's a Carpenter's Wheel I found on Quilter's Cache and the fabric is a half yard bundle of Heather Mulder Peterson's Artful Home I won off Ryan Walsh's site way back in June. I've been looking for something to make with it and I think I found it. Here is a reminder of the fabrics (I found it at an LQS and added some of the lime green prints).
Artful Home by Heather Mulder Peterson
I really think this is going to be a gorgeous quilt and I'm so excited to have something that will end up on my bed! How goes your week?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

UFO Sighted!

So I got motivated and pulled out one of my UFO's. Granted it's a recent one, but it's still not finished.
My Embroidery 101 quilt is now pinned and ready to be quilted!

Disregard the wrinkles; it's pinned, people! I am just proud of the fact that another step has been taken!

Of course, now it's sitting in it's little bundle waiting, but that's okay!
I'm also almost finished with the twin quilt correction. I've been slow to get it done but I will get there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

You Screw Up... and You Learn

Well, I got some work done last night on the Twin Quilt: Girl Version. I decided (for some dumb reason) to cut my white strips the length of the fabric, then cut them down as needed. The smart move would have been to go ahead and cut them all the same length. But no! I did not do that. I started sewing it all together and started realizing that the bottom was wider than the top . I took some measurements and I am not happy. I have pieces that are 34", 34.5" and 35". So this thing is all kind of wonky! I made myself walk away from it so I wouldn't get mad. I will go back and fix it later.
This is what it looked like before I screwed it up. I am going to spend some time after dinner pulling out some seams so I can fix it. Oh joy...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Finally Back on the Horse!

Okay, so it took a while for me to get back in my groove but I finally got back in front of the sewing machine...and my blog! I made another cute little bag. This one is for my daughter. I pieced together the inside with GS fabrics I picked up from the scrap bin of an LQS that I wish were a little more L!
The outside Thin Mint fabric is the only piece I bought off the bolt.
I used three thin ribbons braided (2 green, 1 brown) to make the drawstrings. I didn't realize the overall picture was a little blurry until I downloaded it but if you think I'm braving my daughter's room to figure out what she did with it in order to take another picture, let's just say, "not gonna happen!"  Needless to say, it's cute...she likes it...done!

In other news, I have begun on quilt one of the two European twin quilts I have been commissioned to do. This is the girl quilt being done in Dogwood Trails. Here's a reminder.

I took some advice from Michele on my charmed to meet you post and I'm using this quilt as a sort of jumping off point for the twin quilts.
So far I have a couple of strips done. It's slowly taking shape, but of course I ran out of white! That goes without saying, right?
I know. It's hard to take pics of blocks that are outlined in white! But it will be more apparent when I get the 'in between' and side strips put in.
Yay! Back to quilting!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not a Moment Too Soon...

The children finally went back to school today. It's a good thing. After last night I realized just how bored they were getting.
I got a new game for Christmas from my BIL called Awkward Family Photos. We played it in the mountains...lots of fun. Even my eldest played and really held her own. Yesterday they had our neighbor over to play and, without my knowledge, the eldest decided to take it out to show the pictures to her buddy. At some point while it was left out, all of the pieces were poured on the floor and the game board was torn in half. No, this is not representative of my childrens' usual behavior. I have no idea what happened. The way I found the board on the floor led me to believe that it had been stepped on or something similar. However it happened, no one would own up to being responsible. I was livid. The rule is that you do not mess with items that do not belong to you unless you ask permission. I am pretty sure the youngest did most of the destruction. However, the eldest is in just as much trouble for getting it out in the first place. I am tempted to make them pool their money to buy me a replacement game. Little Man lost his story at bedtime last night and I meant for my daughter to lose her iPod but hubby gave it to her. I'm sure he thinks Little Man did it too but it really is just as much my daughter's fault.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! We got home from the mountains Sunday but hubby was sick and my house was a wreck so I'm day late starting 2012! It seems that many people have posted about their word for the year. Back on December 16th, I commented on Dancing thru Threads about her word for the year. At that time I chose Balance for my word. I have noticed that I have a tendency to throw all my energy into one thing so other things get aovided. So this year I plan on trying to do a better job doling out my time and energies in a better way.
I also have to get my mojo back on sewing. I haven't been in my sewing room since before Christmas and I have lots to do. But I feel it coming back and the plan is to get some UFO's done and get the two twin quilts done by March.
Do you have goals you are striving to reach?