Sunday, May 30, 2010

Better than a finished top

Two :)

I also finished the backing for the strip tube quilt - 106" x 106" - Glad to have that finished, now I just have to figure out a way to pay to have it quilted *grin*

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day and take time to remember all who are serving our country (and their families who are missing them) and all the servicemen and women who died doing so.  My dad was career Air Force and served in the Signal Corps in Paris during WWII, Okinawa during the Korean War, and also two tours in Viet Nam.  We were very lucky and grateful that he survived without physical harm, but I'm sure he was affected by the things he saw.  He died from cancer in 1988.  He loved his country, was a staunch conservationist and lover of nature, and was happiest in his garden or working outside in the yard.  

It was interesting to watch him try to catch spiders in the house to release them outdoors because he was terrified of them.  He would catch them by putting a glass over them and then sliding a piece of paper between the glass and the wall.  However, one time he was trying to catch one of those scary looking big furry wolf spiders (they are harmless, but don't look it), and it jumped - he fell off the step stool trying to get away from it and ran down the hall, hands flailing around his head the whole time.  Of course, kids being kids, we thought it was hilarious!  Darn kids!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One top done...

I really like daylight savings time because I have time to snap a picture even when I finish something in the evening (like I generally do).  I finished one of the two Odyssea quilt tops using the filmstrip layout from Crazy Mom Quilts - I don't think I'll ever get tired of this layout for square in a square blocks.

Speaking of blocks - I'm a blockhead!  Remember, how I mentioned that I made 80 blocks, well...I only needed 60 *sigh*  It wouldn't be so embarrassing if this was the first time I had ever made these quilts, but it isn't *blushing*  Oh well, I may whip up a couple of matching burp cloths or changing pads with the leftovers.  Hmmm - maybe even experiment with cutting the blocks somehow and seeing what happens.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The thing about working with white... (repost)

Sorry - had to repost this due to spammer comments, so comment moderation is back on.

This morning I hopped up dragged my sorry behind out of bed at 5:00 because Alsley needed to go out. He starts out whimpering, then progresses to whining and fluffing the vertical blinds *clak, clak, clak*, and if that doesn't get me out of bed, he stands next to the bed and barks (and barks, and barks...) So I let him out, made a pot of coffee, sat down with the computer, and visited another 50 Blogger's Quilt Festival entries. Then I decided that it was time to get cracking and finish 80 square in a square blocks that were half finished. The only problem that quickly became apparent was that I was using Kona Snow and this was my ironing board cover. Can you say, "ewwww?"

Do you know what happens when the iron drops one drop of water onto your nice white Kona Snow when your ironing board cover is about a year overdue for a change? You're left with a water spot that is edged in yellowy brown - yuck! When I pulled this cover off, the batting I used to cover the top of the ironing board (under the cover) was permanently attached to the cover. I keep spare muslin covers on hand, but for some reason I let this one go way beyond it's useful life.

Much better!

I finished the 80 blocks now I'm going back to visiting more Blogger's Quilt Festival entries. Happy browsing!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival - Roman Holiday

Every quilt has a story, so here's the story of the Roman Holiday Quilt...

This quilt was blogged about off and on for about nine months, but was actually in the works (in my head) for about two years. Yes, it had a very long gestational period. 

The story goes like this...  In 2007, my best friend and quilting buddy, her sister, one of our friends from work, and I decided to take a vacation in the Pacific Northwest.  We did all sorts of sightseeing, stopping at every quilt shop we saw.  We had heard about one shop in particular that we did not want to miss.  Quilting by the Sea in Langley, Washington which is on Whidbey Island.  We arrived by ferry in Anacortes (the north end of the island) from Victoria, B.C. at three in the afternoon, and Quilting by the Sea is located on the southeastern part of the island.  Google estimates it is an hour and a half drive from Anacortes to Langley.  The quilt shop closed at 5:00.  Are you beginning to see a logistical problem here?

By the time we got our car off the ferry and got on the road, we knew we were cutting it close, so we did what any carload of quilters would have done... we called the quilt shop and explained that we were on vacation from Florida and were driving like bats out of H-E-double hockey sticks trying to get to Langley before the shop closed, and asked them if they would please stay open for us (letting them know that we would also make it worth their while).  We spent almost three hours in the shop - the ladies there were so wonderful, and we certainly did make it worth their while - lol.

At Quilting by the Sea, I found and fell in love with a 40 quarter yard, full width of fabric roll of Roman Holiday fabric by Moda and bought it (along with a lot of other fabric).  However, from 2007 until 2009, I couldn't bring myself to cut it because I couldn't visualize the "right" pattern for it.  There are some large prints in this collection and I didn't want to lose them in the cutting.  One day I was looking at the fabric roll and inspiration hit!  I sketched it all out on graph paper because I couldn't afford to miscalculate. I needed to get a big queen size quilt out of this fabric.  Not having quite enough of the Roman Holiday, one cut from Moda's Shangri-La line was used to fill in.  I decided to cut 6" squares and piece them on point. The inner border and backing were made using Chardonnay Leaves, and the remaining fabric was used to make piano key outer borders.  It was quilted using a curly steam pattern in natural color cotton thread.  The finished quilt measures 105" x 105" - just right.

I also made two sets of coordinating pillowcases, the ones shown the pictures above and these.

...and that's the end of the story...  I hope you enjoyed your visit to my little piece of blogland.

Now, head back to the quilt festival and check out all the fabulous quilts!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival

So, is everyone as excited as I am?  If you haven't heard of this event - it is HUGE and so much fun!  It is always a challenge to pick a "favorite" because my favorite quilts change with my moods, the weather, etc.  However, anyone who has been following this blog for a long time probably won't be surprised at my pick this time.  I got up at 5:15 this morning and started "staging" it - lol.  I want to be able to get a good picture of it in it's native environment.  I hope you all are having fun picking your quilts out for the show and taking pictures - I can't wait to see and read all about them!

Monday, May 17, 2010

...and then Monday took a turn for the better

Look what the mail person brought today

Three yards of thrills - lol!  Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Coloring Garden in Dusk.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sewing...but not Quilts

I have been on a clothes sewing tear.  I finished the tunic made with Anna Maria Horner voile, and I'm very happy with it - so much so, that I'm wearing it to work tomorrow.  Although the fabric has a very slight sheen, it is not as shiny as it appears in this picture - it's a side effect of the flash.

Working with this fabric was interesting and I didn't have any problems at all.  What I did do before I started though was to put a Schmetz Microtex Sharp needle in my sewing machine and thread my machine with high quality silk finish 100% cotton thread.  The sewing went like a dream.  I use microtex sharp needles for quilt block piecing too - I prefer the fine needle (although they do tend to dull much more quickly than regular sharps). 

I like this voile fabric so much that I ordered more - Coloring Garden in Dusk

I also have finished two summer outfits for Em.  I used to make them for my girls when they were little, so it was fun reminiscing as I was sewing.  It was a little strange too - thinking that I was sitting there at my sewing machine half a lifetime ago (I was actually a little less than half my current age) making these outfits for my two little ones who were napping while I sewed.  Seemed like yesterday *gulp*

Monday, May 10, 2010

Finished Strip Tube Top and a Giveaway Win

I just got an e-mail yesterday from Very Mary letting me know that I won some amazing canvas duck fabrics in the most fun, happy, summery colors/prints.  I think some tote/beach bags are in order, although I did consider last night that the fabric would make some awesome pillows for indoor/outdoor use - hmmm.  I have so many projects in the works right now that it's making me a little edgy and fidgety.  It makes me nervous when I feel like I'm overwhelmed and the pile of "to do's" is spiraling out of control.

On that note, the strip tube top is finally finished - the PowerPoint mock up shown in this post was a big help in resolving the borders quandary and I'm not disappointed in the end result.  By the way - I was up on a ladder to get this picture - this top is 95" x 95"

Have a magnificent Monday!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The number of the day is....

391925!  That was the winning number for one of the five quilts raffled off as part of the 5th Anniversary celebration at one of our local quilt shops, and I was holding it!  Woo hoo! 

During the sale yesterday, everyone was given one raffle ticket for each $20 spent on purchases during the sale.  The only condition for winning a quilt was that the ticketholder had to be present with his or her ticket at the drawing today at 1:00. 

Well, remember I mentioned the 5K this morning that started at 7:30?  I woke up at 4:15 and couldn't go back to sleep.  I was so aggravated!  I got up and had my coffee and then swung by to pick up my daughter by 6:30.  We did really well considering the heat and humidity - we both did 13 minute miles :o).  Anyway, I came home after the race and did some laundry and almost didn't go to the drawing because I didn't feel like getting back out into the heat and driving up to the shop, but I forced myself (good thing, eh?).  Here's a picture of the quilt I won - I love Amy Butler fabric too!  It's about 64" x 64" - just right for the couch.

My daughters came over this afternoon to visit and my oldest daughter (who has one more day of clinicals this semester and then is off for a week and a half - yay!) brought me a sweet Mother's Day card and had enclosed several pictures of Abby in it.  Of course, we all sat here and cried looking at them, but they were tears that needed to be cried.

I have done zero sewing today, but I'm okay with that :o) 

I hope all you Moms out there have a wonderful Mother's Day whether you are loving and mothering people children, furry or feathered children, or other creatures.  Have a great day tomorrow!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Okay - the second post of the day... The cute guy in the brown shorts who hopped out of the brown truck just dropped off a package about an hour and a half ago! Check this out!

The ceiling fan was blowing when I took this picture and this Anna Maria Horner Little Folks voile just billows with the slightest breeze.  I'm going to have to be very careful cutting out the tunic top because I seriously have to have a pair of jammies made out of this voile fabric.  It is as light and as soft as silk and would make the most cool and scrumptious pair of shorts and tank to sleep in.  I could just wrap myself up in it.  I want sheets and pillowcases made out of it.  I want ten quilts made out of it.  Do you get the idea that I LOVE this fabric?  I do.

Oh and could this day be any better?  My youngest (and so thoughtful) daughter just brought over the loveliest Mother's Day card, pot of tulips and bag of health food (Ghirardelli Dark 60% Cacao Chocolate Squares) for moi.  She's such a peach!

She also snapped and brought over a few pictures of Em's nap mat with the Paris Cats quilted cover that I made for it...  I just pieced it like you would strips for one quarter of a trip around the world quilt, and then quilted it horizontally using a double needle (easy schmeasy)

Buy 3 get 2 free

Need I say more?  I was at the local quilt shop about 15 minutes after they opened this morning.  I was only late because Alsley decided to go rolling in the wet grass and then in the sand, so I had to give him a bath before I could leave.  It's okay though because giving him a bath was on my to do list anyway (just not first thing in the morning).  It was one of the local quilt shops' 5th anniversary of their store opening, so the owner decided to do buy 3 yards of fabric, get 2 free for the sale - yowzah that's 40% off!

A few weeks ago the owner had told me to hold off buying the batik backing fabric for the queen size strip tube quilt until her anniversary sale - I had no idea it was going to be such a great S-A-L-E!  I needed 8 yards of batik backing and 2 yards of batik border/binding fabric, and considering batiks are usually around $10/yard, this sale was a real deal.  So, did I buy only what I needed?  Of course not!  I also bought five more yards of fabric (that were technically "free," right?  Yes, right) that I had been eyeing.  When all was said and done, I walked out of there with 15 yards of fabric for under $100 including tax - not bad.  Just showing the fabric purchased for the strip tube quilt right now though. Here's the inner border/binding fabric

This is the backing

and I was so inspired that I came home and sewed the bali pop strips together

Now the seams need to be pressed and the pieced fabric sliced across to get 6.5" pieced strips and then we'll have outer borders, but it is over 90 degrees outside and the a/c is cranking right now.  I'll wait until tonight when the sun goes down to warm up the iron.

Getting up early, early tomorrow for a 5K with my youngest daughter in the sticky heat - mornings down here are especially humid and there's generally no sea breeze until later in the day, so I don't know what I'll accomplish tomorrow.  I suspect it will take me about 8 hours to cool off afterwards - lol.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Aaaannnticipaaaaation is making me wait - LOL!  I have that Carly Simon song running through my brain as I'm waiting for two packages to arrive at my house.  First is the Anna Maria Horner voile I blogged about last time.  The tunic pattern I chose is Simplicity #3786 View A using the voile.  I picked the pattern up at Joann's last night - 40% off (I can't believe how expensive sewing patterns have become, can you?). 

The second package is a pattern for a wall hanging quilt that I could probably have figured out on my own, but I had to have it because I am in love with the fabric color combinations.  I don't have a single art quilt (or any other kind of quilt) hanging up in my house.  I am partial to modern art, and even though the blocks in this pattern are traditional blocks, the overall effect is abstract and faaaaaabulous!  It's called Marmalade and Jam.

Oh my!  I almost forgot - I have to tell you all how much I love PowerPoint!  Using PowerPoint, I was able to "try on" some different border options using a picture of the batik strip tube quilt top and an image of the Hoffman Kiwiberry Bali Pop set.  While the scale and colors in the Bali Pop images that I used for this mock up differ from the appearance of the colors and scale of the quilt top image (the bali pop strips for the piano keys appear brighter and much thinner in the image I used than they actually would be), I like the way this looks.  Of all the options, a dark, dark violet inner border gives enough of a break between the quilt top and the piano keys so that they don't compete too much with the top.  I was afraid that piano key borders would be way too busy.  Here is the PowerPoint mock up (almost like having a virtual design wall - lol). What do you think?

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crawling out of my funk

The first of May seemed more like "mayday" to me.  I couldn't shake off the sadness from losing Abby.  Everytime I looked into Alsley's eyes over the weekend it seemed that he was feeling sad too. 

I finally forced myself to do some sewing to occupy my hands if not my mind.  I finished making a quilted nap mat cover for Em.  She will be attending a new school for the summer in a few more weeks and I can't imagine in this hot, sticky climate just slapping a sheet over one of those nap mats for her to try and rest on.  She tends to be warm natured like her grammy.  I didn't manage to get a picture of it (Em wanted to bring it home when she left), but I used some Benartex Paris Cats and two of the dots from Cats Amore fat quarters to piece the top and made the back out of some bunny fabric that I had gotten on sale.  When the bunny fabric arrived, I didn't like the way it felt - it was rough, and therefore, was perfect to use to envelop the back of the mat.  I'll try and snap a picture over this coming weekend.

I ordered a couple yards of Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile fabric to make myself a nice cool tunic top as the summer swelter has hit - almost 90 today and very humid.  I ordered the Diamond Mine Ink fabric because I think it will be dark enough so as not to be too see through.  I'm hoping to be able to wear it to work, but I figure I can always throw on a camisole under it (which would unfortunately defeat the purpose of it being cool and light).

Speaking of summer - here's a picture of my little pumpkin at the beach

Finally, I want to thank you so much for all the kind thoughts and well wishes that we received after losing Abby - you'll never know how much the love and support means to us.