Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

...a wonderful day

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bali Moons

Headed to the quilt shop this morning to hunt for binding fabric for kitchen island runner.  I really hoped to find a batik to match the inner border and cornerstones, but no luck.  Instead, I auditioned several others until I found "the one."  Once home, I made the binding  and sewed it on...Voila'


This will probably be my last finish for this year and I'm good with that. 

I've noticed several people have done collages of their 2010 finishes....hmmm....might be a good project for me to work on :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well I never...ever....

ever, ever, ever....

could have imagined what an amazing quilting job ANGELA did on the Ladybugs on Parade quilt.  Check these pictures out - click on the images to get a really good look at the quilting!

Center

Closed Ladybug

Flying Ladybug

and the best part of all ... look very closely at the quilting :)

I always write Grammy Loves (heart) Emily on Em's quilts, but this time it is quilted in - I love this so much :)

Angela, I can't thank you enough!


Friday, November 26, 2010

A Long Time Coming

First off...A belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I didn't realize that I hadn't posted since the beginning of the month.  It's been a very busy one, and to be honest, a stressful one.  Things at work are crazy, and I'm exhausted. 

We had a very nice Thanksgiving, but I'm always stunned at the time and effort that goes into Thanksgiving dinner and before you know it, everyone has eaten and left.  It's amazing.  I finished the last of the clean up this morning and then decided I was going to do some sewing. 

So today is "black Friday" - the beginning of the hellish commercialized frenzy that is the "Holiday Season." I believe in celebrating the Christmas Season, and I'm having no part of this holiday madness.  The television is off, the CD player is on and I finished putting the Bali Moons table runner top together.  I'm really glad that I made it a little shorter - it is plenty big enough as it is.  Here is a picture of it on the kitchen island.


I think I may quilt this with wavy horizontal lines because it would be easy to do and similar to the whispy clouds that sometimes partially obscure the full moon :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Something Sweet...Is Complete


Six pillowcases to help with some sweet dreams :)

The two green ones are for Em and the others for her half sister and three step sisters (they range from about twelve to four years old).  Whenever her father brings them over to my daughter's house to pick Em up for the weekend, the girls comment about Em's pillowcase collection.  I think she will enjoy giving these as Christmas presents.

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!  I am for sure.  The weather has been perfect - lows in the 40's and highs in the 60's.  I'm sipping my third cup of coffee and smelling the pumpkin bread baking in the oven - mmmmm.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Something Sweet - It's a Treat

Guess what I'm up to? 


I love this Robert Kaufman Sweet Treats fabric - makes me hungry...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

There's a Wocket in my Pocket

Green eggs and ham for breakfast this morning, and I hope the Grinch doesn't steal Christmas this year (only 54 more days - yikes!).  I didn't get a lot of sewing done this weekend, but did manage to make these this morning.


Have a happy halloween and a great week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Since this festival is falling over the Halloween weekend, here is a table topper that I made for my daughter and granddaughter a couple of years ago when Em was a baby.  I had purchased the pattern and fabrics as a kit, but when the package arrived, several of the fabrics (including the border) had been substituted with others. Needless to say, I was very aggravated, but I did a lot of searching online and managed to find and purchase all of the original fabrics.  I was very pleased once the table topper was finished.  We joke that it is a $150 45" x 45" table topper, but Em is enjoying it and hopefully it will be used by generations of family to come. 



This was the first time I had used prairie points along the edge of a quilt project and, in this case they really make the quilt.  It is quilted in a halloween pattern that includes pumpkins, witches, etc.

Off to go trick or treating (all treats - no tricks) at all the other quilt blogger's places linked over at the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Thank you for stopping by :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thrown for a Curve

I ordered a table runner kit from Keepsake Quilting right after the kitchen was remodeled in 2007. The kit was called "Bali Moons" and because the granite I chose was called Black Galaxy, I thought the table runner would create a moon and stars thing on the kitchen island.



Well, I started working on this project two years ago, made about eight blocks, and decided that sewing the curves was just not worth it.  Because batiks don't have as much give as normal woven fabrics, I was beyond frustrated when trying to sew all these curves, so I quit working on this project.  Over the past few months, my best friend and quilting buddy and I have been discussing how depressing it has become to look at all the half finished projects laying around, so I decided to knuckle down and finish the blocks for this project over this weekend or pitch it.  It was not fun, but I pushed through it and finished the blocks.  I cut down the size of the table runner by three blocks though - is that cheating?  Seriously, the finished size as designed is 60.5" x 20" and since I had ruined a couple of the blocks, I decided that 55.5" x 20" is plenty big enough.


I'll work on sewing the blocks together next weekend.

I hope you all have had a great weekend :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'!

Yes, the song from Oklahoma! is running through my mind.  It's in the mid-50's sunny, gorgeous, and best of all, it's Saturday!  Every window and door in the house is open - woo hoo! 

This is just a quick post to do a send-off for the second Filmstrip Quilt made with a Momo Odyssea layer cake.  It is headed to Em's school for a Dinner Auction being held as a fund raiser, so hopefully it will fetch a nice price. 



It is backed with Bistro by Deb Strain (love this fabric - I bought all that the LQS had because it was on sale).  The colors in this fabric coordinated beautifully with those in the Odyssea prints, see?  In this picture you can also see the quilting pattern - water ripples with litle fish - could it be any better?


Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Latest sewing project

I haven't done any quilting lately.  Instead, I have been busy working on Em's Cinderella dress.


I still have to hem it once Em tries it on and then sew a hook and eye above the zipper.  I'm pleased with the costume, but boy was this fabric a pain to work with - slippery and frayed like crazy, plus the sewing machine balked at the sparkly dots on the fabric.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tackling the elephant

In the entertainment center...


under the bed in the sewing room...



in the sewing room closet (hanging backing fabrics since they are 4-10 yard pieces)..


in the closet drawers (note to self: clean out closet - what a mess!)...


hiding in the keyboard drawer of the old computer desk which is now a fabric holding desk...


I spent part of yesterday going through some of my scraps, cutting them into 2.5" squares and 2.5" strips.  I can use the scrap strips to make more scrappy trip blocks for the quilt top I started last summer.


This is probably about four hours of pressing fabric and cutting - seems like an awful lot of time for a small amount of progress, but it is progress. 

I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Putting things in perspective

I spent most of this weekend seething, crying, and generally feeling sorry for my poor self.  I posted about the hassle with the car last Thursday.  Friday the saga continued as I dropped the car off at the auto body shop and picked up a rental car.  It was raining.  It was hot.  I'm so tired of hot and humid.

Friday night I was on the computer and all of a sudden I get a "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert" pop up telling me I have a Unknown Win32 trojan virus.  I couldn't do anything.  No internet.  No Task Manager.  I was livid - seething - so mad all I could do is cry.  I stayed up until after midnight fussing with the computer to no avail.

Saturday morning I machine sewed the binding on the second Slide Show quilt and headed over to my best friend and quilting buddy's house and spent most of the day over there doing the hand sewing.  We had a nice time, but I was weepy while I was over there and when my mother called I was short and snappy (in a bad way).

This morning I was wondering if I needed some medication for depression.  I finished hand sewing the binding on the quilt, but couldn't get the computer virus taken care of, so I was still weepy and angry.  Finally, I turned off the stereo because it was irritating me, sat down on the couch, and took a couple of deep breaths.  Then it dawned on me - I got perspective. 

First of all, the car and the computer are not essential for survival - in reality, they are necessary to maintain my lifestyle, but not for my survival.  My pity party and anger just dissipated when I realized that my well fed duff is parked on a comfy sofa in an air conditioned house, I have a kitchen with refrigerated food, clean water, and I have a healthy family.  If I were a mother in Pakistan in 118 degree heat in a refugee camp watching my children fall ill or worse, then I would have something to be angry and cry about.  Good grief - I am so blessed to have the kinds of inconveniences (not problems) that I have.  So, the pity party came to a quick halt and I quickly said a prayer of thanksgiving for this perspective.

...and obviously, the whole computer issue is fixed.  Tonight I simply downloaded the files I needed onto the
Blackberry, plugged it into the computer and transferred the fix to my desktop.  That's how the virus got cleared up.  Going to bed tonight with a happy heart and knowing that I am truly blessed :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Loveliness of Ladybugs on the Wing

Today started out much better than yesterday :)  This morning I sent the ladybug quilt top, backing and batting off to Angela and so I thought I would look up the term used for a group of ladybugs - so now you know...it's a loveliness of ladybugs :)

Yesterday was a bummer - started out with a real "bang."  I was headed to Em's school for a Grandparent's day celebration and was all excited to see the little pumpkin in action.  I was driving along one of the major roads around here and when I stopped in traffic, the car behind me did not.  If that wasn't bad enough, some of the people driving past the accident were so busy gawking instead of driving that another much worse accident happened right next to ours.  There is a very high concentration of morons on the roads around here.  So my pristine, beautiful vehicle that didn't even have a scratch (and with less than 15,000 miles on it) looked like this


Of course, the driver who rear-ended me was faulted, but when I got to work later and called the insurance company listed on the police report, I found out there's some issue with their insurance.  Again, this is FL, so there is a high likelihood that the insurance card they provided was nothing more than a worthless piece of paper.  So - I'm going to vent here. 

I do the responsible things, maintain insurance, maintain proper distance from the vehicles around me, keep my vehicle in proper working order, don't yak on the cell phone while driving, etc.  Why is it then that I'll likely wind up penalized for being responsible?  After speaking with my insurance company - a well known nationwide insurer, I found out that even though I have uninsured motorist coverage, that this coverage doesn't pay my deductible if it turns out in fact that these people had no insurance.  It only covers medical-related expenses.  Furthermore, the driver appears to be a real dirtbag who doesn't have two nickels to rub together.  So, I'm probaby going to wind up paying out the money for my deductible for a crash I didn't cause. 

I dropped the car off this morning at the auto body shop, and the owner of the shop told me that about 50% of the accident repairs he performs involve a driver hit by someone with no insurance *sigh*

At least I had my Blackberry with me so I could capture the whole experience for posterity.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Already?

Time sure flies when you're having fun, so the saying goes.  This has been a fun-filled weekend for sure.  I had my little Em for awhile Saturday afternoon and we had such a nice time - she is a little dynamo and loves to make up all sorts of stories.  It is hilarious!

The binding for one of the Slideshow quilts has been sewn on.  This one is going to a young Mom with three boys ranging from six-years old to two or three.  She is expecting a little girl in early October, and is so excited (Can you blame her?  Three boys?  That's what I call perseverance!) 



The binding for the second Slideshow quilt has been made, but I didn't feel like doing anymore hand sewing this weekend, so that will have to wait.  The ladybug quilt backing has been finished, so the top, backing, and some batting will be making it's way to Missouri so Angela can work her magic on it.


I also starting making another hushabye tote/diaper bag with some left over charm squares, but I'm done sewing for this weekend.

I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting my sticky dot thimble thingies out

I can't remember exactly what they are called, but my best friend and quilting buddy gave me these sticky dots that are made of moleskin-like material.  They can be used in lieu of a thimble, you just stick them on your finger (they can be used over and over too) and get going on the hand sewing.  They are one of the best inventions ever.  Unfortunately, I don't have the package so I can't tell you who makes them.


The reason I need the sticky dots is because...look what came home from the quilter last night


The two slideshow quilts :)  and yes, I'm using the red Christmas Cheery Circles fabric that's laying on the table for the binding.  By the way, this is the third cut of this fabric I have bought.  Wondering why?  Read the story here.

There's a new project swirling around in my head that I may want to make for the mother of one of my daughters' friends.  Both of my daughters have been friends with this girl since kindergarten.  Her Mom is giving Emily a full size mattress set that has been in her guest bedroom and has been used only a couple of times.  What a fabulous thing!  Since she won't accept money for the mattress set, I'm going to make her a quilt.  Here are some candidate fabrics.


I have to find out what colors she likes though - the colors and patterns in these fabrics are very bold and may not work in her house.  I purchased them quite some time ago, and if they are right, I'll need to get a yard of the olive-ish green fabric to mix in.  I checked the Kona Cotton color card and the peridot green is also a perfect match in case I can't find the coordinate I'm looking for.  My daughter is going to scope out the colors in her home when she goes to pick up the mattress set.

Finally - and most importantly - Angela from Quiltingismytherapy has agreed to quilt the ladybug quilt.  I am so excited because I wanted the green/blue nine-patch blocks quilted with green thread and the ladybugs quilted with matching/blending threads.  The local quilt shop does a great job quilting as long as they can set the computer and just let it go, but that's not what I wanted for this quilt.  Can you imagine green quilting all over the ladybug blocks?  Since Angela does such fabulous quilting and knows just how use quilting to turn a quilt into a work of art, I couldn't imagine handing this quilt over to anyone else.  I want Emily, her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren...to enjoy this quilt so the quilting has to be just right.

Have a great day :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Finished Flimsy

It still needs a good pressing.  This quilt is sized for a full size bed, but here it is on a queen.



I think this will be very cute paired with a white eyelet dust ruffle for Em's big girl bed.  I also have enough of the blue background ladybug fabric to edge a couple of pillowcases to match :)

Here's the backing fabric


I hope it doesn't give her nightmares - lol

Well folks, I hope your weekend was wonderful - signing out ...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's Black and Red and Blindly Flops Around in Circles?

Why a one-winged, headless ladybug trying to fly of course...


Like I've mentioned before, a very sick sense of humor - sorry...

This how the flying ladybugs were constructed.  First, small squares of the green batiks were sewn to three corners of the black ladybug body squares.  The seams were trimmed and blocks were pressed (you can see what a hasty pressing job I did too - check out the top block *blushing*).


Then the same process was done using one green batik square and each red/orange wing rectangle, then one wing was sewn to each body (creating the one-winged, headless ladybug).



Ladybug heads:  This is where the applique' comes in. Before I started these blocks I had gone to the local quilt shop to find out what fusible web would be best to use (since this is my first applique' project).  They recommended Lite Steam-A-Seam2 and let me tell you what - my inexperienced opinion is that this is a great product.  The fusible web is sandwiched between two layers of freezer paperish stuff.  One side peels off fairly easily and the fusible web is more stuck to the other side.  Plastic templates were made for the two different ladybug heads by tracing the shapes from the pattern onto the template plastic, and then cutting them out.


Once the templates were done, the black fabric was washed and dried to remove any sizing and then pressed.  I tested pulling back the outer freezer paperish layers to see which one peeled off easily (but didn't peel the layer off), then traced the fourty-four ladybug heads onto the other paper side that was more stuck to the fusible web.  Then the layer that easily peeled away was removed and the fusbile web side was put down onto the black fabric.  Since it is quite sticky (but can still be repositioned if necessary), it is great to work with.  Then the forty-four ladybug heads were created by cutting on the lines traced from the templates.  A rotary cutter was used for the straight sides and very sharp small scissors for the rounded edge.


The heads were then placed fusible web side down on the green batik after peeling the paper off .  They were pressed according to the fusible web instructions.  I was a bit worried about the web fusing to batiks that had not been washed because there often is some waxy residue on them, but this stuff worked like a charm. 


So, I ran around the curved edge of ladybug heads with an open overlock machine stitch.  Then the blocks were assembled by sewing the heads to the left over wing blocks, and then joining them to the other side of the one-winged, headless ladybug blocks.  Unfortunately, the instructions tell you to sew the blocks together with the seams pressed in directions that are impossible to achieve.  Don't you just love it when you get to the instructions to assemble the LAST blocks and the instructions suck?  I am so aggravated because I'm going to have to clip the seams in half of the blocks in order to assemble them with the seams in the proper position.  I laid the blocks out on my bed just to get a peek though...


Okay - so crappy instructions aside, I like it :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ladybug Population Explosion

This is what was left


after making thirteen of these



When I finished adding the sides and tops to the blocks, I couldn't wait to lay them out as they will be in the quilt with some of the nine patch blocks I made probably a year ago *blushing*



I am a terrible procrastinator.

If you looked at the pattern shown in yesterday's post (here), you will notice that I omitted the red from the nine patch block centers.  Instead, I chose this adorable print for the centers.  I also used only green batik prints for the other eight patches in the blocks.  I think not adding other colors into the mix makes them more appealing.



In my opinion, having red centers for the nine patch blocks competes with the red in the ladybugs.  I like this fabric a lot better.  Now there is nothing competing with the ladybugs as the focus of the quilt.

On a totally different subject, Alsley will be fourteen this Thursday...Fourteen!  Where has the time gone?  It seems to have evaporated.  He is the best dog ever and I tell him so everyday when I give him his breakfast.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

One Little Ladybug

One of Em's favorite books is called "Five Little Ladybugs" and here is the first ladybug block for her Ladybugs on Parade quilt.  I bought the pattern and some of the fabrics in Seattle at Undercover Quilts a cool little quilt shop at Pike's Place Market.  This was the same trip where we made the mad dash to Quilting by the Sea in Langley on Whidbey Island - you can read about our madcap adventure here.


This is my first ever applique'd block

I didn't think my older Pfaff had a blanket stitch - I looked all through the owner's manual and couldn't find one anywhere.  Then I spied the open overlock stretch stitch that looks like a slightly slanted blanket stitch. Since the ladybug heads are curved, this stitch works just fine.  I'm glad I assembled one complete block first because I need to take a narrower seam allowance for the tiny squares sewn to the corners of the ladybug bodies otherwise the heads are going to be a bit wider than the body where it is attached (like it is in this block).  I'm pretty sure Em won't mind though.  That's one of the best things about sewing for my granddaughter - she loves everything I make.  I applique'd all fourteen of the ladybug heads for the closed ladybugs around the center of the quilt, so now I'm in business and can get busy making the rest of these blocks. 

I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend, and that you get to spend some quality time at your sewing machine at some point :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Got My Sewjo Back

I came home from work tonight and went on a sewing tear.  I finished putting together the second slide show quilt top and the two quilt backs.  I had to piece the backs in order to have enough excess fabric for the long arm.  Fortunately, I had plenty of pieced strips and blocks left over to use.  Isn't it great when left over blocks can be incorporated into the quilt backing, so you don't wind up with a bunch of orphans?  I never know what to do with them.  What do you do with yours?


I might drop these quilts off to be quilted this weekend :)