Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Mystery Solved...

It's 5 pm and I've been at this QTMysteryQuilts mystery since a little after 8 this morning. I've completed all the blocks. Clue 11 is the layout. I'm out of steam for awhile so here's a pic of some of the blocks laid out on my wall. I really like it. Thanks Ann for letting us do this mystery. I impressed myself with my color choices. AND, that's 5 yards gone from my stash without even considering borders, backing, and binding which I haven't chosen yet.

I'm going to relax now and do something other than sewing to stretch my back. The problem is my cutting table is lower than it should be and that's where I cut and press. And, I don't think I have the right chair height for my sewing machine. So now I have an achy back. Ah, well such is life.

After I rest a bit, I will either sew the blocks together, OR start Bonnie's Double Delight. Either way I'll be working on my Double Delight tomorrow.

We've still got almost seven hours left in 2008. Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Anxiously waiting..........

I'm anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning to start on these NYE mysteries. I doubt I will be up at 5 am. That's the problem with being on the West coast. Ann Smith will post her first clue at 8 am EST, way too early for me. And, Bonnie said she will post her first set of instructions when she gets up which could be as early as 6 am EST. Yikes, that's 3 am here in CA. Sooooooo, I will just have to be behind everyone else.

Went to JoAnn's today to pick up a quilting stencil with my 40% off coupon and walked out the door with 12 1/2 yards of fabric. I usually don't buy fabric at JoAnn's because I prefer the LQS quality, but they hit me right as I walked in the door with their Christmas fabric 70% off. How's a girl to resist? This is actually the better quality stuff from Cranston and Cotton Classics normally $8.99 a yard so I just had to buy it. Just had too! Excuse the poor pic, I took it with my phone.

In the meantime, my mom was poking through my stash the other day looking for light blues. She couldn't find any. When I asked her why, she informed me she wants a light blue and white wall hanging for her bedroom. Since her Birthday is on the 11th, I guess I better try to put something together. Good thing I don't go back to work until next Monday. I think I'll make a Carpenter's Star with a small border around it. That should be easy and will look great. The photo above is one I made for the center of another quilt that we are slowly working on at Quilts Your Way. It went together pretty easily. I'll do it in two shades of blue with cream as the background.

That's all for tonight. Can't wait for tomorrow and the mysteries to unfold.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I've signed the Stashbusting pledge for 2009!

Okay, I've signed Judy's Stashbusting pledge for 2009! I did it and I don't regret it. In fact, to show how serious I am, check my previous post from Friday. All the fabric for the two mysteries I'm doing for New Years is pulled from my stash. No new purchases!

I am a fabricaholic. A new one maybe, but a fabricaholic just the same. I don't have a huge stash but let's just say it's starting to creep from under my bed to under any space that an underbed storage container will fit (chairs, cabinets, you know what I mean), and now it's creeping into the garage.

Why do I buy fabric? Well I have to say I rarely buy fabric at full price. There is just no fabric I love enough to pay $10 a yard for. I will pay that much if I find the perfect piece for a special purpose but that is rare. I do buy fabric:

- Because the price is so good, I can' afford not to.
- To match something that I can't match from my stash, but that is rare also.
- And, just because I need to feed my habit. (Most often)

The reasons I want to join this Stashbusting effort are:

- I have some fabric that I really don't know what to do with that I bought early on in my fabric buying. I want to use it up. It's just not really my style now that I've been quilting awhile.
- I want to make room for more fabric.

I know, I know, that last one goes against my pledge. But, you have to understand, when I first seriously got back into quilting a few years ago, I bought everything I liked or that caught my eye. Now my stash is filled with this fabric and not enough blenders, tone-on-tones, and range of colors so I really can shop my stash everytime I start a new project.

So my goal is to get rid of the stuff that just doesn't work for me any more. That will mean some serious planning to figure out a quilt (or quilts) that will use this stuff up. Here's just a little pic of what I'm talking about. This is my bin of crazy wild fabric that is desperately looking for a project.

Oh, and there is more, this is just a sample.

Well, I've done it. Publicly committed to using my stash and to finding a quilt home for these wild and crazy fabrics.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting Ready

Happy Day After Christmas everyone. I spent the day getting ready for two New Year's mystery quilts. I was delighted to wake up this morning to find that Bonnie is surprising us all with a new mystery to start on New Year's Eve day, Double Delight. Of course, I'm going to participate. Here're my fabrics that I pulled all from stash. I'm also going to pull 1.5" strips in neutral or pink since Bonnie dropped the hint in her fabric requirements.

And, then, I'm also going to do the QTMysteryQuilts Yahoo group mystery, also on New Year's Eve day. Of all the other mysteries out there, this one sounded most interesting to me. I think because I haven't done one of Ann's patterns before and I only had to choose four fabrics.

Now, with this quilt I have to pre-cut the fabric and pre-sew a bunch a half square triangles. I'll work on that tomorrow.

I think I'm also getting my interest back in Bonnie's Old Tobacco Road mystery from earlier this Fall. I had a bunch of the pieces cut, and then lost interest. Maybe tomorrow I will sew all those little tiny HSTs together and see how far I get.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saw this on another blog and looked interesting. Here goes. The things I've done are in Green.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - SHHHHHH
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone - no, knock on wood
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited Brazil
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Lake Michigan
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mark and Billeejeanne!

Today is my son's 38th Birthday. Unbelievable. Do you know what that makes me? Anyway, I'll spend today with him and my grandkids and then stay the night while he goes out to dinner with friends. Can't get better than that.

It's also my DSIL's birthday today though she doesn't like to celebrate it. Happy Birthday Billeejeanne! We'll celebrate with her on Christmas Eve.

It's a beautiful, clear day today with the temp hovering at 48 degrees. I know that warm for most of you out there, but here in the Bay Area, that's COLD. Not much quilting going on for me today, but maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baking is Done, Presents Wrapped...

Finally, Whew. Just finished my holiday baking. And while the cookies were in the oven, I finished wrapping the last gift. I'm ready. Which is good because I will be watching my grandkids for the next two days and I wouldn't get this stuff done while they are around. All I have left to do is make my broccoli rings for Christmas Eve, but I won't do that until Tuesday night.

Back to quilting. I've ben on a mission to get some of my tops ready for quilting. So, the first one out is my Orange Crush. I put the borders on a couple weeks ago. I just barely had enough of the purple to give it a 3 1/2" border. But I really like it. Here's a pic with the borders.

I've sandwiched it together and gotten some of the straight stitching done on it. I also used transparent nylon thread to outline inside the orange crosses. Not sure if I like it or not. Too subtle for me, but I didn't know what other color to use. Now I just have to figure out what else I want to do on it. It is so busy, it doesn't make any sense to do anything fancy.

Another picture I want to show you is of the six blocks from the Quilts Your Way Christmas in July swap. We only had six participants this year but I think the blocks are fantastic. I'm looking forward to putting a quilt together with these.

That's it for now. I'm on vacation until January 5th, so I'm determined to post at least once every other day about my progress on my quilty projects.

Happy Holidays Everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wow, I can't believe it's been over two months since I posted here. But, the reality is, I haven't touched my quilting in just about that long. I'm definitely starting to go into withdrawal. I was traveling most of October and it took me almost two weeks to get back to normal once I got home. So here it is almost Thanksgiving. I'll try to post some pics of my travels to Belgium and Paris once I get time to go through the 800 or so pictures I took. I'm one of those people that just have to snap multiples of everything.

I really like posts that include photos, of something, just to hold my interest. So, since I haven't really sewn lately, the best I can do for this post is to show you what I've received in the mail from my quilty friends at Quilts Your Way. And, I've learned a new trick. Embedding a slide show in my blog.

The first twenty blocks are the ones I made for all the swappers in our Squishie Swap this year. The second batch are those blocks that I received from each of the swappers. Hope you enjoy them.

I was also in a Tea Pot Block swap, but I haven't taken pictures of those blocks yet.

I promise to post more often now that life has settled down a little. I'm actually looking forward to the long weekends coming up around the holidays. I've got some tops I'd really like to get ready to be quilted. So keep checking back on my progress.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A little off topic...

I know this blog is all about my quilting adventures. But, I want to use this medium to get the word out about an issue very important to me: Say NO To Violence Against

UNIFEM has a campaign currently to get One Million signatures on their site: by November 25th, which is the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women.

I ask anyone reading this post to click the link at the top of my sidebar and add your name to the list. By getting the word out, we can make a difference.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Old Tobacco Roads Mystery

I couldn't resist another one of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts. I haven't even finished the borders on my Orange Crush yet. Sheesh, another UFO to add to the stack.

This weekend Bonnie is hosting another mystery, Old Tobacco Roads. I started on Part 1 on Friday night. Here's what my controlled scrappy four-patch units look like.

I certainly don't have all 182 4-patches done or even finished cutting them. But I'm slowly working on it. I really needed to spend yesterday getting my granddaughters quilt to the sandwich stage, which I did. More later today.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm back...

I can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted. I've barely kept up with my Quilting forum posts, let alone actually touched any fabric. Well I did say August was going to be a busy month. But this weekend I'm back at it. Here's the quilt I made for my Granddaughter's seventh birthday, which on the 16th. I designed the front around some fussy cut princesses.

I pieced the back using Kimberly Camou's Sassy Sixteen pattern and a bunch of girlie FQs.

I buried a hidden message for her using a piece cut from a valentine F8th one of my quilty friends sent me.

I've got it all sandwiched together so now I just need to do the machine quilting. So that's what I did today. Come back tomorrow and see what I'm up to next!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A new skill?

So I decided to try hand quilting. I really need some handwork to do when I'm away from my machine and thought hand quilting would be great. What the heck. I can sew a running stitch, right? Not so easy as it looks. I fumbled and fumed and threw away my first attempt. Here's what I just finished. Not to bad from a birds eye view, but don't get too close.

Now I know I can fill all those blank spaces with some curves that I was afraid to quilt on the machine. I had a terrible time getting my first stitch to be the same size as the rest of the stitches on the needle. I tried everything but that first stitch is tough for me. I tried in the hoop and out of the hoop, I tried different needles and putting the thimble on different fingers. Nothing worked. So I guess it's practice, practice, practice for me.

Any suggestions for a newby hand quilter?

Pardon the picture quality. I took them with my iPhone. I also sent this post from my email account. But I had to edit the post to get the pictures to not be at the top of the post. I still can't figure out how to avoid having to move the pictures everytime I post.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This weekend I made a lot of progress on my projects.

First, I put together my Orange Crush top. I decided on the borders too. The inner border will be the light purple and the outer border will be the dark purple from the stars. I have to see if I can find more of the fabric, otherwise, the inner border will be 1.5" and the outer border will be 3". That's about all I can squeeze out of the fabric that's left over.

Next, I finished the Sassy Sixteen baby quilt I've been working on for my friend's new granddaughter. Parker was born on July 3 so that's not bad. It's only 11 days late. The quilt is actually for my friend to use in the crib at her house.

The first pic shows how I quilted it. I used the serpentine stitch on my machine to do a diagonal grid with wavy lines. It really turned out nice, IMHO.

Lastly, I finished 7 more blocks for the Quilts Your Way Squishie Swap. That's 12 out of 20 that are due the end of August so I'm ahead of the game at this point. You can see pics of all 12 in my gallery.

In addition, I started working up my granddaughter's birthday quilt. I cut all the pieces for another Sassy Sixteen in princess fabrics. She is a little princess who will be seven in September. I also started playing with making some Diamond in a Square string blocks to use up some of the huge amount of strings I've accumulated over the past couple of years.

Pretty productive weekend for quilting at my house. But then with my grandkids in Louisiana until the end of the month, I don't have a lot of distractions at the moment. My weekends will start getting busy again very soon. So I'm savoring all my quilting time right now.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Thought this would be an appropriate day to post a picture of the little table runner I made three years ago. This went together in just a little over a day. I got the idea from a magazine that used this pattern in a larger wall hanging size quilt.

Since we are not going out until much later this afternoon for a bbq, I get to spend the day sewing. I promised myself I would work on the Squishie blocks from the Quilts Your Way Squishie Swap this weekend. I've got about 20 blocks to make from the F8 cuts everyone sent to me. The finished blocks have to be mailed out by the end of August and I just know I'll be in trouble if I don't get most of them done this weekend. I'll post pics as I progress through the weekend.

To make it more interesting, I've made a deal with myself. As each block is completed, I get to work on my Orange Crush for a bit before starting the next block. That way I get a bunch of things done.

Have a great long weekend everyone!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Orange Crush Progress

I pulled out my Orange Crush last night and cut the orange and turquoise squares. The threw them all up on the design wall to see how those blocks were going to look with my purple stars. None of the 3.5" squares are sewn together yet. I guess I just haven't been too sure about this one so far.

Turns out I like the orange a lot. I couldn't decide between the two shades of turquoise for the center square so I put both up on my wall. Looking at them in the picture I think I like the darker of the two. Much more rich in color. The lighter color is actually marbled fabric so it takes on different shade depending on where it is cut.

Maybe I'll start sewing some together today after I get the Sassy Sixteen quilt sandwiched and ready for quilting.

So far this month here's my stash stats:

67.5 yards in; 8 yards used; net 59.5 yards added stash.
But how could I not purchase fabric on my Lancaster County trip!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sassy Sixteen, Crib Size

Today I finished the top of the baby quilt I'm making for my friend who is about to become a grandmother for the first time. She wanted a crib quilt for her house in pastels. I don't do pastels well so I had to add the rose color for some interest.

I used Kimberly Camou's pattern, Sassy Sixteen, and then found that it was really too big for a baby quilt so I took off one column and one row and now it is the perfect size (42" x 54"). Plus I have enough blocks left over for a second quilt. Here's the finished top. Just need to do the sandwich (groan) and the quilting. Does anybody out there like sandwiching and basting??? Or is it just me...

I used the fabric packs I got at the Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA. It's the Simplicity line from 3 Sisters for Moda. This top went together in just few hours. I'll definitely be using this pattern alot. Thanks Kimberly.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Memorial Day Mystery Quilt Still a Mystery???

I just realized that I hadn't posted the finished top from the Memorial Day mystery. Here's a photo of my completed top. I really like it.

It is Father's Day today. So Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's out there.

My Dad has been gone for many years. But my son is a Dad now, so I'll be off to his house in a little while to visit him and my grandkids before they head off to their other Grandparents in Louisiana for a six week visit. Not only is this great for my son's inlaws to spend some good time with the kids, but since there is no day care during the summer, it takes care of the child care problem as well. I will miss them, but I can't complain since I get to see them any time I want with little effort.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eye Candy

Well, I'm back from my trip to Pennsylvania and Lancaster County. What a trip. I absolutely loved the two days spent among the Amish. I learned so much about these interesting people. Not at all how they are portrayed in the movie Witness.

But most interesting of course were the quilt and fabric shops. I took so many pictures and have so many ideas for quilts I now want to make. Not to mention, I brought home 65 (yes SIXTY FIVE) yard of fabric. I was shocked when I added it all up. But the prices were just so great. At least 30% less than any of the fabric shops here in the Bay Area.

Here're some pics of my purchases.

I couldn't resist these fabric packs from the Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA.

These are fabrics from the Simplicity line by 3 Sisters for Moda. Perfect for a baby quilt I need to make for my friend's new granddaughter who arrives on June 30th. I think I'll use the Sassy Sixteen pattern by my online quilting friend Kimberly Camou.

The next group is every color I could find of the Fusions 7 line from Kaufman. This is my very favorite blender fabric. I bought at least a yard of each color.

I couldn't resist adding to my slowly growing collection of Batiks. These are mostly fat quarters with two 1 yard cuts.

And, these are some fabrics that just reached out to me begging to come home with me. I couldn't resist.

The last bit are the final fabrics I need to make my Granddaughter's princess quilt for her Birthday in September. I think I'll use the Sassy Sixteen pattern for this one too.

Now all I have to do is figure out where I'm going to put all this fabric.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Mystery

I just can't resist the mystery quilts. QuiltBug is holding one tomorrow, Memorial Day. I've decided to stay with the Christmas theme as shown in the fabric requirements. I've got some really nice Christmas fabric that I've been saving for just the right project. Here are my fabrics.

I had trouble choosing my medium and medium-light, so I took pictures of a bunch of different combinations and then converted them to black and white. That made all the difference. The fabrics I thought would play well together, were all the same value in black and white. I will have to do this more often. Here's the pic in black and white.

So now it is all cut and I'm just waiting for the mystery to start at 6:00AM Pacific Time. Don't know if I'll be getting up that early. Maybe I'll make the second clue at 7:00AM. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

OC Steps 2-4

Finally, I'm a bit more caught up. This evening I finished step 2 and 3 and got everything cut and stacked together to complete step 4. Had to decide whether I wanted the light or dark purple to be the star. I think the light purple. I'm exhausted so I'll sew the blocks together tomorrow.

Here's Step 2

And here's step 3

And here's step 4 in position, but new sewn together yet.

I'm making only half as many units as required because I don't want a full size quilt. Unless of course I love it and want to make more units. Such indecision!!

So here's my question for everyone. Am I the only one that seems to have trouble positioning pictures when I upload them? I put my cursor in the place where I want the picture and it always ends up at the top of the entry. Then I have to drag it where I want it but of course it doesn't go exactly where I think it will. So frustrating.

I'm tired and going to bed now.