Saturday, August 29, 2009

Strip Tubing

No, it's not floating down the Ichetucknee in an inner tube with no clothes on! I saw this book called, "Strip Tubing" in the quilt shop a couple months ago and they had an example of the quilt shown on the cover all made up in juvenile prints - it was adorable. So...I have a lot of batiks and could not figure out what to do with them. The quilts in this book are all made by sewing full wof strips together into tubes and then using a special ruler (yes, another special ruler!) cutting them into triangles, mixing them up, and sewing them back together. Sound familiar? Yes, sort of like the funky stripes - what was I thinking? Seriously though, the owner of the quilt shop said that with this ruler, they really do go together very nicely. My thinking is that since batiks are not very stretchy, that they will work very well with all the cutting on the bias. I'll still have to be careful, but they should work better than other fabrics as far as retaining their size and shape goes.

I'm not goint to do the quilt pattern on the cover of the book, but there is another one that I think will be perfect for the variety of fabrics that I plan to use. This quilt is going to be for my oldest daughter. Her favorite color is purple, but since she's 28, I want don't want to overdo it. I think that the variety of purples, turquoise, navy, greens, and golds will be nice. I'm thinking about throwing a small amont of red in just for good measure. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We have a big girl bed

Yes, the bumper pads are now history and so is the side of the crib. My daughter and I converted the crib into a toddler bed. We made it back up with the Angel Houses quilt and one of the pillowcases. We'll see how much sleeping goes on tonight. My daughter still rocks her at night until Em starts to fall asleep, but she was having a hard time lifting Em up and over the crib rail. When she went to the doctor for her checkup earlier this week, she was 37" tall! She just turned two last month. Her Mama is over 5'8" and I think that Em may wind up even taller. My daughter said that when Em came home from school today, she kept looking at her bed, laying in it, asking my daughter to lay down with her, and bouncing on it. Hopefully, she'll do okay tonight.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Roman Holiday Top - Done!

I just put the last border on, so all I have left is the backing to throw together. I'm not ready to spend the money to get it quilted any time soon. The quilt is 105" x 105" so it will be a pretty penny when the time comes. I'm not showing any full pictures of it for now - I want to wait until it's done. I did want to share one of my little old man guarding it though.

I went over to my youngest daughter's house today, and while I was there, I picked up a quilt to launder. I really had not taken any pictures where you could see this entire quilt. It was made for my daughter's baby shower which we had a few weeks before Miss Em was born. My daughter was never a huge fan of pink, but we knew she was going to have a baby girl. I thought that she needed a quilt for cuddling with her new little one, and this one was the result.

I decided to use shades of coral for the darks and shades of celery green for the lights. It's one of my all time favorite quilts.

I backed it with Beatrix Potter striped fabric so that it had a baby element.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretty little piano keys all in rows

I honestly don't know what has gotten into me. I'm usually really, really bad at starting projects back up once I've dropped them. I decided that it would be good sewing therapy to get up and get going on the Roman Holiday quilt that's been languishing since mid-May. I'll just have to trim the blocks because they're on point, put the inner borders on and then the piano key outer borders. Who knows, I might even knock the top out this weekend. Once I get this one finished, I'll be down to three UFO's (and one is a table runner) - not bad at all!

It's amazing what a good night's sleep and a day off from work does for my state of being. All the garbage from the last week has evaporated and I had such a wonderful day. I'm still in my nightgown, there are threads floating around on the floor, and I haven't loaded the dishes from the sink into the dishwasher yet. The pugs have been "helping" me all day long. Every time I lay a strip of fabric on the floor, they come along and fluff it (and of course, since I'm down on the floor, I get kissed right in the face while they're at it). I have to laugh at them, they're such attention hogs, but they're also the best of companions.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pix in the daylight (for a change)

I got home early tonight and managed to snap a couple pix of the Angel Houses quilt in the daylight - still can't really see the difference between the green and the yellow fabrics. Oh well, it's as good as it's going to get. Thanks Allie for the compliment regarding the quilting. They always do a wonderful job, and I think the stars pattern suited this one very nicely.

I'm taking a day of vacation from work tomorrow - really need it to clear my head after one of the most rotten work weeks of my life. I'll see how I feel when I get up in the morning, but I'm planning on getting back to the Roman Holiday quilt. Maybe I'll get it done and be able to send it off to be quilted and have it on my bed in time for Christmas. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Angel Houses

Rats! It figures that it would be dark out when I finished it, but I took some pictures anyway:The back

Close up of the front
The whole magilla (just wish the greens would show up better). I'll try and snap a picture outside when I get a chance.
So what now?
Come back and see. I'll figure it out soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beach Baby 2

I finished the binding last night. I'm really happy with this quilt and like it even more than the first one I did back in April. Now there's some time to spend thinking about what's next.

I'm taking labor day week off of work, and thinking about tackling painting my oldest daughter's room and maybe doing something about making it into a sewing room. I found a used sewing machine table yesterday that folds flat for taking along anywhere. It has a drop down well that the machine can sit in so the sewing surface is just about flat. It's small, but I'm thinking that if I put a card table up against it, I'll have a nice big surface to support a quilt. I'd love to have one of those nice sewing centers with the custom machine insert and humongous sewing area, but I just can't see spending that kind of money. I'd much rather spend it on Em and on fabric.

I also got the binding sewn onto Angel Houses (just barely had enough binding to miter the seam when I got to the end). I'll work on sewing that down throughout the work week, and post a picture when it's done.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On Target

To finish this baby quilt for the shower next Saturday. I went over to my sewing buddy's house today to use her Bernina - it has that wonderful serpentine stitch. The quilting was done in no time. Unfortunately, I left my beeswax and hand sewing stuff over at her house. I always seem to leave something behind. It may have something to do with a couple glasses of Chenin Blanc... While I love my old Pfaff, it does not do a serpentine stitch, so I decided that I need to start experimenting with free motion quilting. I putzed around for about an hour and a half and was able to do some marginally respectable small loops and stars, but I really need a flat surface to sew on if I'm going to take this anywhere.

I normally sew at the dining room table because I can look out at the back yard - it's a really nice view. However, the sewing machine is up on top of the table so there's a lot of drag when I try to quilt anything bigger that a small baby quilt. I'd like to get a sewing table, but the ones I like are too expensive and then I'll have to put it in a bedroom and sew in there. I have two spare bedrooms and could turn either one of them into a sewing room, but I don't know if I'd enjoy being in either one of them for long periods of time - neither one has a really nice view. My youngest daughter's room only has one window, so it would be too dark. My other daughter's room is a really nice size and has two windows -it may be a possibility someday if I decide to do something.

Tomorrow morning I'm picking up the Angel Houses quilt. I'm anxious to see how it looks now that it's quilted.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Branching out into bias binding

I received a call today from the quilter letting me know that the Angel Houses quilt is done, so I'll pick it up Saturday morning as soon as I can get up there. I was so excited that I couldn't wait to make the continuous bias binding out of the pink striped fabric. I have never made bias binding before and was a little bit intimidated by the process. I was going to wait until I could get some adult supervision to help me through it, but thought, "What the heck? I can do this."

In any case, when in doubt, I pull out Maryann Fons & Liz Porter's "Quilters Complete Guide" for help. I followed their step-by-step instructions for making the binding and voila' it came out just fine! It's such a great reference book.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ta Da

The sun was particularly bright (and hot!) this morning. I'm going to try and take some pictures later on this afternoon to see if I can get a better shot.

You can catch a glimpse of the backing in the picture on the porch - it is called Tall Hollyhocks. Perfect since my Godmother's favorite colors are red and purple.

Okay, so I'm going to try and finish the Beach Baby quilt by next weekend and then I can go to something else. I finished the top this morning and decided to add cornerstones to the outer borders of this one. With the addition of 4.5" cornerstones, I successfully avoided having to piece the borders. I think the red adds a little more interest to this quilt than the previous one I made in April.

I should pick the Roman Holiday quilt back up and finish it. All I have left are the borders -geez Louise - I don't know why I'm having such a time getting back to it since I'm making it for my bed. I guess it's just not as much fun as making one to give away. The Angel Houses quilt may be ready at the Quilter for next weekend. If so, I can go ahead and bind it so it will be ready for the big girl when she graduates to her toddler bed. I'm going to make bias binding for the quilt out of the pink striped fabric. It will be my first time - hopefully it will come out okay because the process of making bias binding looks awfully complicated.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Funky Stripes is all done

I finished sewing the binding on Funky Stripes, so I'll take a picture tomorrow. I started working on another beach baby quilt for a shower on the 22nd - got the center pieced and the inner borders on. Not bad considering I didn't start until after 2:00 pm. This one worked out much better than the last one in that I finally figured out how not to wind up with the same charms next to each other. It's a neat pattern called Baby Charms by Straight to the Point. The pattern has you put the blocks on point in the craziest (and easiest) way without having to cut setting triangles and with no waste. You sew a rectangle that is 6 charms wide and 12 long. Then you cut diagonally across from each end to the center on the opposite side of the rectangle. You wind up with a big triangle and two small ones. You sew the two small ones together to make another big triangle and then sew the two big triangles together. *Poof* the charms are on point. The backing for this one will be some psychedelic looking seahorse fabric (not quite as tame as the last one with the fish fabric).

One point that I forgot to mention that may make some "on point purists" cringe though...since your setting triangles are created when you cut across the rectangle diagonally, you will sew across the points of all the charms along the outer edge because you do not have the extra 1/4" that you would if you put the charms on point the traditional way. The way I look at it though, the babies don't care about that :o)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guess what I'm doing?

A little peek at what I'm up to this fine Wednesday evening (moohahahaha).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New and Improved

I've been noticing all the really cute blogs out there, so this morning I went on a hunt for a nice template that is somewhat beachy looking. So, what do you think? I don't think it shows up unless the window is maximized - hmmmm. I also made up the second pillow case to go with the Angel Houses quilt for Em. This one is mostly pink with blue piping and yellow with small white polka dot trim. I thought that two pillowcases are better than one - especially where toddlers are concerned.

I'm making another baby quilt for a shower in late in August (another baby boy on the way). So while I was picking up Funky Stripes and dropping off Angel Houses to be quilted, I did some browsing around and found this fabric with all sorts of adorable bugs. I might go ahead and do another Warm Wishes quilt with these.

I hope everyone is enjoying a nice, peaceful Sunday. Don't forget to leave a comment on Mama Spark's blog to enter in the Bunny Hill Designs $50 giveaway.

5:30 p.m.
I just went outside to put a little water on my basil plant - it is just gorgeous outside (in the shade). Nice onshore breeze and not at all humid which is unusual this time of year. In any case, I looked over and noticed that my Dad's orchid is blooming. My mother and I found this orchid outside my parents' house a couple of years after my father passed away in 1988. The plant was under a big oak tree and had been grown over by ferns. Since my father was very ill the last couple years he was alive, we figured it was at least two or three years old when we found it. In any case, it blooms a couple of times a year and has the sweetest fragrance first thing in the morning when it is most humid out. It's over 20 years old and I've started a new plant from a part of it that I separated. It's like a little reminder of my Dad and a really nice one at that. I've tried to figure out what kind it is, but there are zillions of hybrids and this one appears to be a Cattleya hybrid of some sort.
I also have several other orchids hanging under the oak tree such as the purple dendrobium pictured at the top of my blog and a white one that is also blooming right now. They are wonderful flowers because the blooms last for several weeks and they require almost no care in this climate other than to be brought in if the temps get below about 40 degrees.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Angel Houses and a Great Giveaway

Is this a coincidence or what? I was up until the wee hour (after 1:00) this morning and finished the Angel Houses quilt top for Miss Em. The quilt is for her bed when her Mom changes her crib into a toddler bed later on this month. I got up first thing this morning and finished the backing and had it to the quilter by 10:30! Unfortunately, the picture was taken a little after 1:00 a.m. with a flash and the colors seem washed out (they really aren't) - it really turned out cute, cute, cute! So...for the coincidence part, I read on Allie's Blog this afternoon that Mama Sparks is having a $50 gift certificate giveaway for Bunny Hill Designs (the Angel Houses folks). So, get on over to Mama Sparks' page to sign up and you too could make an Angel Houses Quilt (or any of the other adorable items available from Bunny Hill Designs).

I actually bought some extra Angel Houses fabric this morning to make a couple of pillow cases to go with the quilt too - wish I had known about the gift certificate giveaway. In any case, I could break the bank on these fabrics - they are adorable!

I also picked up my old friend, the Funky Stripes quilt. I like the way it turned out, but I really need to take if off the hanger and inspect it well. I think I like the coral red thread they used to quilt it too. I was a little worried about that choice, being more of the conservative ecru cotton thread type myself. It paid off to step out of my comfort zone this time. I'll post a pic when it is all finished, but it won't be tonight. I'm going to be sawing logs early. zzzzz.

9:25 p.m. Update

Okay - I started playing with the pillowcase fabric and look what happened...