Monday, June 30, 2008

When Good Ideas Go Bad...

Saturday was the FAB's Cyber Sew-In Day, which coincided with JudyL's Quilt-a-thon. Great, I thought...a 'two-fer' with the FAB's and report in with Judy...little did I know what laid ahead for me :)

SATURDAY was Cher's turn to pick a pattern and challenge fabric, if any. With some help from fellow FAB, Linda, a design was drawn up and e-mailed out, affectionately called 'CGF'. Now this pattern was real similar to a pattern of Thea Jerak, Four on the Floor, that I've been wanting to make. Even had fabric pulled, imagine that! So I started measuring and cutting, oops! need a tad more focus problem...big box store to the rescue. Well, take a look at the other FAB's bright and cheerful tops (both finished and in process). Cher, Norma, Pam and Linda's (trust's cute and bright..she e-mailed the pic out...will link when she blogs about it :) )
EDIT: Linda posted her CGF top here.

Now, here is my quilt, finished at 41 x borders added.
Bad idea #1: using vintage WW1 airplanes as the focus fabric...reminds me of war and shooting people :(
Bad idea #2: first time using the Popcorn pantograph from Willow Leaf Studio. Lots of tight turns...never did find a rhythm. I had read somewhere in blogland (sorry...forgot where) that the popcorn pantograph reminds her of clouds.
Bad idea #3: looking for cloud fabric for backing, not having enough and piecing it. Reminds me of water...see where my thoughts are taking me?!

At about 3:00 pm, I was wishing I was doing something other than the popcorn twist when the power blinked off...then stayed off. Wish granted. No power, no quilting, no sewing, no TV, and napping seemed like a good idea then :)


Thought I would make a bag to go with the Birthday quilt (yet to blog) since it will be in the Jeep at the cottage. I've been wanting to make the Jiffy Tote (picture and pattern)and this was an excellent time to try it. Really!

Bad idea #1: only had 30 inches of focus fabric...made the smaller bag.
Bad idea#2: read the directions very quickly.
Bad idea #3: didn't refer back to the written directions...just plunged ahead using the diagrams.
Bad idea #4: did my 'own thing' on the handles...need I say more?!

Here is the result:
The focus fabric is inside this bag!

The quilt doesn't fit into the bag!

No more focus fabric!

Curious George is just in the picture for the cute factor :)

I'll blog about the Birthday quilt soon as her family reads my blog and would hate to give away the surprise! Yet another idea that didn't turn out as my vision...

When do you suppose I will have a Good Idea That Stays Good?!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #26

Wow! Half way through the year...amazing, isn't it?

Here is my report:
  • fabric received in: 2.5 yards
  • fabric used: 8 yards
  • net fabric for the week: - 5.5 yards (used)

Net fabric year to date: -51.5 yards

What I accomplished this week:

  • quilted and bound a birthday quilt (yet to be given)
  • quilted and bound 3 of Linda's M2M quilt tops

Goals for this week:

  • quilt and bind last M2M quilt

WooHoo (Pamspeak for cool)! I've used just a little over 50 yards from stash! I'm halfway to my goal of 100 yards of stash used!

I'm going light on the goals this week as we are heading back to Michigan for a 10 day stay at the cottage and to reunite with DD, who has been visiting with Grandma and Grandpa since June 23rd! I was hoping to start on some other projects, too but I guess those will be put 'on priority' when I return :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Check This Out

While I was trolling along in blogland today, I stopped by Vicky's LA Quilter's blog.

Guess what?! She is at 500 posts! What an inspiration!

...and is hosting a give-away! She giving away a jelly roll from The Fat Quarter Shop. If you follow Vicky's blog, you know it is one of her favorite places to shop, day and night :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just a Tease

Almost done with the quilting on LJ's 9 Patch Pizzazz. Just giving y'all little snippets of the progress on LJ's M2M quilts...I'm using the Happy Times panto from Willow Leaf Studios again because it was on the table and all set up...easy peasy...right?

Question: How do you know it's time to change out the pantograph?
Answer: Every time you do a portion of the curve, you see the Calgary Flames (hockey team) logo :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Well, here I am and it's another Wednesday. What do you suppose I'm doing in the sewing room?

Did you guess...binding?! You are absolutely right! This will be a birthday gift for another (read 'different') niece. This is a true UFO. I pieced it last Fall and when I called my wonderful long-arm quilter, she had stopped taking quilts in since her husband's cancer had returned. She was spending her time going to various doctors' appointments and labwork. She called me last December and said she was taking quilts in a few at a time and did I want her to quilt this quilt? At the time, I told her that I thought it would be best to spend as much time with her spouse as possible and the quilt could wait, I would just be early for the birthday. Well, here it is six months later and I'm just now quilting and binding it. I guess, out of sight...out of mind :) and I think the birthday is some day this week *grin*

Last night I loaded one of LindaJ's M2M quilts and started on it. I'm using the Happy Times panto from Willow Leaf Studio. It is good practice for a panto I haven't used very often.

Lori from Dakota City Quilter sent me a wonderful package that was waiting for me on my return home yesterday! Inside was a sweet note, a very cool batik with rainbow hearts and a scissors leash for when I'm working with Valerie. That scissors leash is absolutely wonderful! No more hunting for snips to clip those pesky threads! Thanks Lori! You ROCK! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Our Whirlwind Weekend

Friday morning, we left home and after 7 hours in the minivan...we reached our destination!

The traditional dinner at The South Lyon Hotel. This time we had 15 members of my family present to eat.

Saturday was the graduation party! Here is the happy high school graduate...

...and here is the happy college graduate.

I had one more graduation quilt to give, but I only saw her on Friday night. I was going to give her gift on Saturday at the party but she didn't make the trek across town for the party. I left the last one with my Mom to give at her party in July (which we won't be attending...sad to say there will be no picture).

Sunday, we visited the cemetery where my Dad is buried.

On Monday, we dropped DD off with her grandparents for a 10 day stay and DH, DS and I headed home.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #25

Well, this was a good week for me as I concentrated on finishing up the last of this season's graduation gift quilts.

My report for this past week follows:

  • fabric received in: 1 yard
  • fabric used: -10.5 yards
  • net fabric for the week: -9.5 yards (used)

Net fabric for the year: -46.0 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:

  • finished piecing, quilted and bound last Graduation quilt! (yea!)

Goals for next week:

  • quilt a birthday flimsy (it's been a UFO since last Fall...originally it was to be a Christmas gift but now the birthday is just around the corner :) )
  • work on quilting LindaJ's M2M flimsies

Looks like Valerie and I will have to opportunity to do some serious bonding :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Graduation Time

We are off to Michigan to see a few of the graduates from my family!

Congrats to R. on her graduation from Michigan State University, P.C. on his graduation from South Lyon High School and A. on her graduation from Lake Orion High School. Belated congratulations to G. on his graduation from Western Michigan University last December.
Where has the time gone? I remember each of the nieces and nephews as diaper clad babies :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby Comes Home

Imagine my surprise when I received a call yesterday letting me know that Baby was all done with her check-up and ready to come home! DD and I drove out to the 'Baby Hospital' and picked her up. She is all snug with her cover waiting for my return. Thankfully nothing major was wrong. The Doctor changed the needle and adjusted her tension a bit. He didn't mention anything about an excess of lint build up but I had just cleaned out the bobbin area last week.
Becky at The Quilting Booklady is having a Birthday Give Away. Her birthday is Monday June 23rd. To enter, you need to post your favorite book, tell why you like it and if you made a quilt from this book...include a picture.

Well, I thought about this and I have lots and lots of books yet no certain book came to mind. So I e-mailed Becky and asked if I could bend her rules a tad. Her vote was "YES!" blog about the authors you like and here I go...

One of my favorite authors of quilt patterns is Bonnie of Quiltville. She is so very generous with her time and talent and ideas. I have made many of her patterns, both to give as charity and as gifts. Thanks Bonnie!

I made about 4 of this star strippie. Donated 3 to the old school, 2nd grade class and 1 to the Women's Shelter.

I also 'played with' the vertical setting. very cool looking.

I made this Bright Bricks and Stones for me! It is my cuddle quilt in our family room!

I made this Blue/Gold/Yellow Strip Twist for one of the Graduates.

I made this Pineapple Blossom in Green and White for another one of the Grads.

I made some Maverick Stars.

This is my take on Bonnie's I SPY A FOUR PATCH. I must have made 4 or 5 of this style quilt and I still have a bin full of 6.5 inch novelty squares waiting patiently for their turn in a quilt top. I have sent quite a few(like 4 or 5...right Pam?) to Pam's M2M project.

Another one of my favorite authors is Mary from Making Scrap Quilts from Stash and Mary works tirelessly for the HeartStrings Quilt Project and shares many inspiring quilts. Thanks Mary for sharing all you do with us all!

My most recent finish is her Double 4 Patch Easy Version for yet another Grad in the family.

I have made string quilts. The purple went to a family in crisis here at home.

This Black and White went to Pam's M2M.

I have made many of Mary's Quickie Strippie.

I was just commenting to SueR at North Winds Quilting that I feel that I have abused this pattern. It is such a joy to make, works wonderful with kid friendly prints and is great practise on Valerie. The first two strippies were preValerie and here are a few post Valerie.

Well I don't think I have a picture of kitty biker strippie complete.


The most recent strippie.

Some of the quilts here are recently made but some are also vintage...made awhile ago. I hope you can understand why Bonnie and Mary are my favorite quilt pattern authors!

Last of the Graduation Gift Quilts

I did it! This Green and Beige Beauty is the last of the graduation gift quilts! That makes four for this season...well...since March, really. One nephew graduated in December 2007 and I didn't find out until after the fact.

I used Mary's Double 4 Patch--Easy Version(pattern here) and when I was getting ready to piece, Alycia shared her pattern, intended to be a Quilt of Valor. Alycia actually did 5 or 6 posts on how to assemble her quilt top together. I used Alycia's idea for the border since I had 5 out of 8 pieces cut and it was 9:00 pm on Sunday night and no quilt stores were open to run to and get border fabric! I quilted it with the Trailing Vine panto from Willow Leaf Studio. I actually do have other pantos but I always seem to be pulling this one out of the drawer. Look for it again on an upcoming top that needs quilting. I just need to find the perfect thread! A big "Thank You" to DD who is my quilt photographer. I had to stand on a kitchen chair and this quilt was still dragging a bit :)

I hope the Graduate likes it :) when DS saw it, his comment was something about how BIG it is...measures 65 x 80. and that is a BIG quilt for me to make :)

I think this qualifies into Hanne's Summer Challenge as the 16 patch blocks are made up of 2.5 inch strips. I didn't use a Jelly Roll as the fabric came from the stash (I whispered that word...stash...)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I brewed my half a pot of coffee, pulled out a big mug, took my favorite pain med, put on my favorite shirt...

... and started at hand sewing the binding back on the last of the graduation gift quilts. I know a few bloggers who find this part of the quilt making to be very relaxing but...not me!

Today is my Mom's Birthday. Happy Birthday Mom. I do believe that she is celebrating her 57th anniversary of her 29th birthday :) It just amazes me how she stays 29 when it has been a spell since I celebrated my 29th birthday and I'm the youngest of the 6 kids :) This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents. It was taken in Florida about 1994 or 1995, a few years prior to my Dad's passing in 1997. DS digitized it for me, so that I could share it here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where, O Where Has My Baby Gone?

Since I named the long arm, Valerie...I thought that my Brother sewing machine should also have a name. Her name is...Baby! That's right as in Baby from Dirty Dancing fame. Baby Brother...has a nice ring to it for a girl sewing machine!

I ask you, "How sad is this"? This is Baby's usually working spot in the sewing room aka dudgeon.

I have dropped her off at the Brother Dealer where she followed me home last year to do her annual Baby well care checkup. There isn't a whole lot going on with her except some intermittent tension issues when I use the serpentine stitch to sew the charity bindings down. Her pick up date is Friday June 27th.

Good thing I will be traveling during most of the time Baby is away :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

5th Container Found in Sewing Room

Sweet P. has just about reached her 300th post and so ends the hunt for various containers around my sewing room. Many bloggers have shown their beautiful and inventive ways to store thread. I'm afraid my thread storage is neither beautiful nor inventive. When DS was a small boy, he collected many, many Hot Wheels cars and guess what?

Small thread spools fit perfect in each slot! I believe I brought this 'Hot Wheels car carrier' at the local Meijer's store while I lived in Michigan. I have looked in other discount-y type stores in their Hot Wheels section but haven't been able to find more. Well, DS has about 7 or 8 filled with cars...but where would I stash his cars if I stole one?!

Stash Busting Report Week #24

Okay, here we go with this week's report:
  • fabric received in: 3 yards
  • fabric used: -5 yards
  • net fabric for the week: -2 yards

Net fabric for the year: -36.5 yards

What I accomplished this week:

  • made 40 guild give-aways
  • pieced, quilted and bound Dolphin Strippie
  • pieced blocks for next graduation gift quilt
  • sewed label onto my group's QOV

Goals for next week:

  • finish the graduation gift quilt!
  • deliver the QOV quilt to the guild member who is in charge of our project

We will be going to Michigan on Friday...the graduation party is on Saturday. Why? oh, why? do I never seem to leave enough time to get things done?

And because everyone like a little eye candy, here is my group's finished QOV. Thanks to Irene and Debbie who were my team members and thanks to Donna who volunteered her long arm machine quilting time and thread! You ladies ROCK! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

4th Container Found in Sewing Room

Sweet P. has me going on a scavenger hunt to find different containers in my sewing room. I print off lots, and I means LOTS, of quilt-y type information from the web and other sources. I made this basket about 10 or 12 years ago. This basket is the first place the papers go before they are filed. I think of it as a landing strip, er basket for all those papers! Hey FAB's, did you noticed I dyed the reed purple for the inner basket?! and what pattern is the most current in the sewing room?! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Sigh of Relief with this Finish

A week ago Thursday when the flooding rains began, the power blinked off and on in the wee hours of the morning. I had not unplugged Valerie and was beginning to wonder if any damage had been done to her motherboard. While I had tops here to quilt, there wasn't one that I was willing to 'sacrifice' in case Valerie had serious damage done. So I decided to piece a Mary's Quick Strippie quilt. On Wednesday, I cut the strips. I 'tweak' Mary's pattern a tad and cut the focus fabric at 7.5 inches to get the length to approximately 60 inches. On Thursday afternoon, I pieced the top. This afternoon and evening, I quilted and bound this quilt. I'm happy to report that Valerie was working just fine and I haven't seen any ill effects from the power on/off. I quilted it with the Ebb and Flow panto from Willow Leaf Studio. It was the first time I used this panto and I really like the coverage. I even took a picture from the back so you could get an idea of the quilting. On the other hand, my Brother is having all sorts of tension issues with her decorative stitches. Better the Brother than Valerie as the Brother Dealer is closer than the Gammill Dealer :)

Lynette's Give Away

Lynette is having a give-away of her rework pattern stitchery on Monday June 16th (her time). Hop on over if you are interested in entering to win her stitchery pattern.

3rd Container Found in Sewing Room

Sweet P. is collecting pictures of unusual containers found in sewing rooms across blogland.

This isn't either exotic or unusual but it gets the job done of corralling all sorts of things from pencils, pigma pens, 6 inch ruler, my quilting log (where I keep track of the Stashbusting Efforts), seam ripper (or two), bag of goodies that came with my Brother sewing machine, a stray sailboat block from a row by row block exchange, pin cushion, 1/4 tape, scissors, list of current projects (I love crossing items off a list as I complete them :) ) and the list can go on and on...
I believe it's original purpose was to hold silverware in a drawers...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Few Rag Quilts

Sue R was asking about how I went about making rag quilts since I recently cut up a bit of my batting scraps in order to make more rags quilts. The following are a few of the rag quits I have made, unfortunately my picture taking skills haven't seemed to improve with time. Please excuse the 'wonky' (and downright bizarre) pictures. Thanks.
This rag beauty was entered in the 2006 Bear Creek Quilt Guild show...theme 'Black and White and Red All Over'. It now lives with Brother #4.
This rag goofball was a coffee theme. It lives with my favorite sister (I only have she's my fav sister :) )
Why I took the picture sideways I have no idea!

Another black and white rag but it centered around some teacup fabric I found. SIL#2 is a tea drinker and it lives at her house.
One thing about giving rag quilts as gifts, it truly is a gift that keeps giving because as it sheds more and more threads, my family thinks of me...LOL. I have also used homespun plaids, Brownies Scout themed hearts, and butterflies to name a few. I considering cutting back into the florals to make a floral rag quilt...but I'm not quite ready to make more floral quilts. :)