Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WIP Wednesday

If it's Wednesday, then here at Bell Creek Quilts I would be stitching binding down!

I made this little quitlet this morning.

I've been wanting to try Mama Spark's tutorial on how to make a quilted purse (here, here and here). All I have left to do is make the closure loops for the front/back flaps. I have a pin holding it closed in the picture.

Since I made LindaJ her purse goodies, I wanted to make the same for myself! The patterns are the following: Wonder Wallet by Lazy Girl Designs, a tissue cover, and a zippered coin purse (although I made mine a little different than the original pattern). I'm happy to report that all the fabric and even the buttons! came from the stash.

The kids and I are going to the mall tomorrow so I'll have a chance to give the new purse and goodies a test drive and see how it goes :)

It was fun to do a few things for myself in the sewing room!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Do you suppose DD will fondly remember that I always let her make forts with the quilts I made to snuggle with around the house when she is an old lady, like me?!

I was able to get into the sewing room and piece the inner blue border and pink scrappy border onto Pink and Blue Boo today. While I was there, I also made the binding and the backing. Now to load and quilt. Looks like it will be finished well ahead of the August 23rd deadline!
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Monday, July 28, 2008

A Good Start to the Sewing Week

I was able to go into the sewing room and start piecing the border for the Pink and Blue Boo quilt. Most fellow bloggers felt the quilt would look better with a scrappy pink border.
I pieced it the old fashion way by cutting the units 2.5" x 5.0" then trimming to 4.5". As I ran out of one pink, I substituted another pink from the closet. The more...the merrier...right? for a scrappy look?! The result will be a few random pinks in the border that are not in the center of the quilt.

I also made a batch of Grandma's Mystery Muffins. I wanted to try a variation, so I used Spice cake mix instead of Devil's Food cake mix and Cinnamon Chips instead of Chocolate Chips. As usual, I skipped adding the pecans altogether. These are YUMMY! The pumpkin flavor comes through more than with the Chocolate/Chocolate Chip muffin but isn't overpowering! DD and I each ate two when they were warm from the oven :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #30

Well, another week has gone by and I was not motivated at all! I hate it when that happens!
Here is my report:
  • fabric received in: 2 yards
  • fabric used: 0 yards
  • net fabric for the week: +2 yards

Net fabric for the year: -47 yards

What I accomplished this week:

  • finished and mailed the Wacky FAB Challenge
  • began piecing Claire's Birthday quilt

Goals for next week:

  • finish piecing Claire's Birthday quilt
  • begin cutting and piecing guild challenge quilt

I was hoping to accomplish a lot more while DD was at camp but it just didn't happen for me. I was feeling a little 'under the weather' all week and lacked motivation :(

I'm crossing my fingers that this week will be more productive for me in the sewing room :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

FAB Wacky Challenge Revealed

After all the FAB Wacky Challenge packages arrived at their destinations (my package arrived at LindaJ's on Thursday!), the FAB's meet online last night for the official reveal :) It was a fun time, waiting for the opening, reading what was received and then e-mailing quick pictures to everyone to 'see' the Challenge pieces. It is really amazing to 'see' all the different ways each FAB had used the Challenge piece of fabric. (We each received a 1/2 yard of purple fabric that had eight different shades of purple. We were to make something that was not a quilt and use a piece of each of the different shade of purple. We could also add up to two of our own fabrics to complete the project.)
I made LindaJ a wonder wallet to start, a zippered coin purse, a tissue caddy and a place mat purse to corral all her things. The zippered coin purse turned out a little big so she probably could put things like keys and chapstick in there too. :)

I received this beautiful wall hanging from Cher! THANK YOU Cher! Cher cut apart each shade of purple and sewed them back together into rail fence blocks...oh so tiny! She added this wonderful green and pale yellow/purple fabric to compliment the challenge fabric. She was inspired by Billie Lauder's Beyond the Rail Fence when creating my heart wall hanging and see how good it looks in my breakfast nook! Notice how perfectly it fits in the holders! How did Cher know?!

Be sure to hop on over the the other FAB blogs and see the other great Wacky Challenge Gift Pieces! Cher, Norma, Pam and LindaJ (well...Linda's is in this post :) )

We all had so much fun with this exchange! that...two different FAB's are planning (or shall we say, 'scheming'?) for a 'Summer in Winter' exchange. Should be interesting to see what rules and fabrics the gals come up with... :)
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Border Dilemma

I finally finished piecing the inside portion of the pink and blue quilt and now I have a border dilemma.

I was going to use this blue scroll-y fabric on white but after reading Jacquie's post, I wondered if a scrappy border would look better? I have pieces of pink already cut to make a scrappy binding.

Thanks to Cheryl who has passed this sweet award onto me! Cheryl and I meet online through JudyL's blog, only to discover that we live about 10 miles from each other and belong to the same night Guild! What a small world! Cheryl does beautiful crazy quilting that I admire for the absolute intricacies and precision of her work. It just WOWS you in person. I enjoy Cheryl's friendship so much that I volunteered to help her in the guild programs department in the coming year! Thanks Cheryl for this award!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Okay...I concede! I am not the weakest link in the FAB's! But I was the last one to finish then mail the completed challenge piece to my partner.
I should be used to being in last place as I am the youngest of six children and it is my 'normal' spot amongst my siblings :) ......sorry for the wonky picture but it is the only one I have of 'us' as kids and it is in a picture frame and when I had reprints made so long ago, Brother #4 got cut off a smidge...and yes...I am the leaner...looking like I'm trying to push Brother #3 and #4 off the bench...the shadows are in the original picture which was taken in 1962 or 1963.

I was able to clean off the cutting table today and starting pulling fabrics for the next Birthday Quilt. I'm using the Halloween Boo pattern that LindaJ figured out in EQ6 based on the photo here (there is no contact information given to ask about a pattern source...if you know who's pattern this is...please let me know!) but with shades of pink and a pale blue contrast. I want to make this quilt completely from the stash...let's see how I do. Gee, these colors are really not true but you get the idea...maybe I need to sign up for a digital photography class, eh? The August Birthday Girl told Auntie Patti that she likes pink, pink, pink and pink and light blue. She also likes wolves, penguins and kangaroos.

I counted today and I have 16 assorted nieces and nephews between DH's and my family so if it seems like I make a lot of Birthday Quilts...I do! I think March and November are the only months that don't have a birthday celebrated somewhere in my family :)

Happy Birthday to my DH! We are now the same age! until my birthday in October :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's official...I'm the weakest link!

My Wacky FAB Challenge from Cher arrived on Friday afternoon :)

Thanks Cher!

Linda mailed to Pam, Pam mailed to Norma, Norma mailed to Cher, Cher mailed to me and I am suppose to mail to Linda to complete the circle. Linda mailed hers out like three weeks ago, Pam mailed hers out awhile back too, Norma early last week and Cher early last week, too.

FINALLY (yea!) mine went out today :) As soon as Cher's and Linda's arrive at their houses, the FAB's will meet online and open the Wacky Challenges at the same time :)

Lastly, here are the little snippets of the Challenge fabric I have left. I almost ran out of two shades of the purple!

Whew! That was a close call :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #29

This week was a mixed bag as I accomplished some things but others were left undone.
My report follows:
  • fabric received in: 5 yards
  • fabric used: -2.5 yards
  • net fabric for the week: +2.5 yards

Net fabric for the year: -49 yards

What I accomplished this week:

Goals for this week:

  • Finish and mail FAB Wacky Challenge
  • begin to cut and piece Claire's Birthday quilt
  • begin to cut and piece Ugly Fabric Challenge quilt

DD has Girl Scout Day Camp this week, so hopefully I'll be spending more time in the sewing room working on my goals :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

A 'Squishy', the First Cut and a Give Away

Faith, at Nutbud Quilter is going through a difficult time right now. Mama Spark thought it would be fun to send her some 'LOVE Squishies'. Faith is a hand quilter who loves applique and brights so here is the picture of what's in my 'LOVE Squishy'. If you wish to join in, e-mail me or Mama Spark and we will share Faith's snail mail address :)

The FAB's are having a Wacky Challenge and this is the piece of fabric we are working with. The deadline is August 1 (or earlier, if possible). I know that two of the FAB's have their Challenges done and the other two are almost done, so here I am dragging my feet :( I've changed my mind at least a dozen times on what to make...the challenge is to make something for everyday life and not a quilt! and use a piece of every fabric in the 1/2 yard cut. Well, the first cut is the hardest and I've taken the first step...but now to the store as I need a notion I didn't realize!

Are you interested in a Quilt Give Away? Hop on over the The Old Red Barn Company and find out how to enter! I'll be joining in with about 1500 other commentors, so far :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A LindaJ Quilt Show

In June, LindaJ sent me four tops to be quilted for Pam's M2M project.
I'm happy to report that the quilts are labeled and ready to be packaged and shipped to AMOR Ministries.

Let's enjoy the quilt show together!

First up: Pioneer Braid pieced by Linda.

Close up: I used the Happy Times pantograph from Willow Leaf Studio.

Second: 9 Patch Pizzazz pieced by Linda. You might recognize this as a pattern from the FAB's sew-in a few months ago.

Close up: I used the Happy Times pantograph on this one, too.

Third: Strings pieced by Anne B. and Linda

Close up: I used the Double Rose Vine pantograph by Norma Sharp.

Fourth: I've been referring to this pattern as Delectable Mountains by Nancy but I think this setting has a different name (?).

Close up: I used the Popcorn pantograph from Willow Leaf Studio as I 'needed' practice with this pantograph.

Fifth: Strippie by Pat (yes! I had to sneak a few of my own donations into the box!)

Close up: I used the Ebb and Flow pantograph from Willow Leaf Studio.

Sixth (but not least!): CGF pattern by Pat (me, again!) from the June FAB sew-in.

Close up: I used the Popcorn pantogragh from Willow Leaf Studio.

This is starting to sound like a commercial for Willow Leaf Studio but I just really like the pantographs they offer! :)

Hope you enjoyed the quilt show! Thanks to Linda, Anne and Nancy for piecing the quilt tops for me to sew on! :)

I also joined Eileen's Attic's Summer Stash Challenge. Now to make that quilt entirely from stash!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WIP Wednesday

If it's Wednesday, then here at Bell Creek Quilts that means Binding Day! and I won't disappoint!
The current binding is for the 4th (and final!) quilt that LindaJ sent to me to quilt and bind for Pam's M2M project. I volunteered to quilt these tops so I could practice more with Valerie. LindaJ was a sweetheart and sent along the tops, backing and bindings!

BTW: if you are interested, the secret projects from two weeks ago were birthday gifts for Mama Spark. She celebrated her birthday the day after we met last week!

I made her the Holiday Gift Bag from All People Quilt. Mama Spark is a graduate of Michigan State University so I used a little of the leftover fabric she had sourced out for me! I used InsulBrite in it, thinking it could double as a lunch bag but maybe it might be better for a couple of sodas as Mama Spark suggested. She also didn't have any pincushion so I made two! (here and here). I made the pincushions out of University of Michigan fabric and 'stuck' green and white (Michigan State University colors) pins into them. In case you aren't familiar with the state of Michigan, these two colleges share a friendly (and sometimes, not so friendly) rivalry. So now, Mama Spark can 'stick it' to University of Michigan whenever she wants :) I also included a few fat quarters in blue and gold (University of Michigan colors) to replenish her stash.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacation Wrap Up

After being gone for almost 10 days, boy do I have lots to share!

Friday...we arrived at the cottage in time for a quick bite to eat and head into town for the fireworks after lots of hugs and kisses from DD who has been with the Grandparents since June 23rd. to Gaylord with SIL (shopping for swim tops for kids) and stopped into The Ice House Quilt Store. Sadly, nothing wanted to follow me home :(

I did make my first trip into Wimpy's for ice cream so the day was not a total loss :)

Sunday...hanging out on the deck/beach as the kids took turns riding the tube, etc. Daisy had brought 12 new tennis balls with her and she was in doggie heaven :)

Monday...headed downstate to visit with my Mom. As soon as I got there, she hurried into my van and wanted to go shopping. Off to the big box store to stock up on supplies! My Mom is doing much better now. Her health is improving and she gets around very nicely :)

Tuesday...Mom and I headed out on our own mini shop hop.

First up: Monarch Quilts in Brighton Michigan. This store has a ton of brights and I was loving it!
Second store: The Stitchery in Howell Michigan. This store is a Janome dealer so I was able to buy a walking foot for the Janome Gem I have.

Next up: Wendy's Simple Stitches Quilt Shop in Howell Michigan. This shop just opened up in February and it was totally cool...don't let the 'little brown house' fool you. The ladies were very sweet inside and the fabric selection was varied and interesting :) At this point, Mom had enough shop hopping so we went back to her condo to rest up.

Wednesday...I meet up with Mama Spark at The Lake Street Mercantile in South Lyon Michigan! What FUN! Pam is a very energetic and very friendly. I felt like we were old friends catching up with each other instead of meeting for the first time! I was very happy that we have sooo much in common and can hardly wait to see her again! The gals at the store were a little surprised that we had meet online first and it was our first 'in person' meeting as we talked and laughed like long lost friends. Here we are with our purchases. Pam went to town...I tried to control my spending as I was only half way through vacation :)

Thursday...headed back 'up north' and the cottage. DH, DD and the Grandparents had gone to Mackinaw Island and I was on Daisy duty. But of course, I stopped at Caroline's Sewing Room in West Branch Michigan. She had many many patterns there and one just had to follow me home :)

Friday...hanging out on the deck/beach day. DH took Daisy and I trolling in the pontoon. Daisy liked to poke her head through the railings on the boat and I even went into the lake!

Saturday...I headed into Gaylord and went to The Quilter's General Store. It is located in this cute little mini mall and they, too, had a pattern I couldn't resist. The whole town is themed after Germany and even the gas station is decorated!

Sunday...we loaded up to head home! My Mom got DS a Detroit Tiger T shirt as a souvenir, DH sent fudge from Mackinaw Island and I brought a few Ralph Lauren polo shirts at the outlet mall. I think the best thing though was the dirt/road bike that Grandpa sent for DS to practice his road riding skills :)

And what everyone was been waiting for (if you made it through this word-y post), the goods that followed me home!
A little bit of fabric...

A few notions and patterns :)

It was a nice break from the regular day to day activities but now I need to get back into the swing of things around the house :) I'll be the one dusting off Valerie and Baby Brother :)