Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FAB Challenge #2

Three out of four FAB's (Pam, Cher and Linda) have received their fabric for the next FAB Challenge. Norma hasn't received her package yet but she e-mailed me not to worry as 'things' generally take longer to reach her corner of blogland!

And this is the fabric...a Moda Tropical Camouflage. IMO, it is even uglier in person :) Our theme this time is 'Summer in Winter' with the challenge piece due at the partner's home February 1, 2009. Seems like a long time away but, believe me, with the holidays approaching...this deadline will probably sneak up on me! The idea I had to create, I have abandon as this fabric just does not work! Good thing I have been spending quite a bit of time surfing the web for ideas :)

I spent some time in the sewing room this afternoon. These poor donation quilt pieces have been on the design flannel for almost 4 weeks! I started sewing the smaller blocks into larger 9 patch continents as this is how I assemble my quilt tops. I believe this in a Mary Ellen Hopkins technique that I saw on a long ago Simply Quilts episode, but I'm not completely sure as I have been assembling my quilt tops this way for a long time :) I know, baby steps but it felt good to be back in the sewing room after a 10 day break :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #39

As pdudgeon at The Egghead's Coop is 'winning the battle' of the stash busting, I feel that I have started to lose ground and the 'battle'. My report follows:
  • fabric recieved in: 3 yards
  • fabric used: 0 yards
  • net fabric for this week: +3 yards (added)

Net fabric for the year: +24.5 yards (added)

I didn't finish anything, big or small. I hope to get back into the sewing room this week and test drive Baby Brother 'left footed'.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Caution...Not Quilt Related...

Are you still with me? This post will have very little quilt content...

First: I had my hair cut for Locks of Love today. DD's hair was 10 inches in June 2007 and mine just finally reached the 10 inch mark! My hair stylist had said that Locks of Love has started accepting hair as short as 6 inches so she cut mine about 8 inches. I hope it still works! There might not be a lot of hair in my pony but, at least my heart is in the right place. :) Besides, growing our hair was something DD and I did together.

Here I am in the rocker with my new hair-do.
Second: I hurt myself...not as bad as a broken leg like Gingy here but, still painful in its own right. While at the lakehouse on retreat, I mis-stepped off the porch (in the dark, I might add) and fell. I had scrapped my knee but didn't worry to much about it. My right ankle started to throb Sunday then I flew home (about a 2 hour flight). Walked through the airport to meet my family, joking about my 'sport injury' and how sewing is a 'contact sport'. Well, imagine my surprise when each day the pain got worse and worse in the foot/ankle area! A trip to the Doctor on Wednesday revealed that the ankle was not broken but I most likely suffered a 'soft tissue injury to the tendon from the ankle to the knee'. The sore area is now wrapped in an ace bandage, elevated as far as it will go and I count the minutes until it is time for the next round of ibuprofen! DH slipped a tennis ball onto the end of DS's walking stick from when he was in 3rd grade Scouts that I am using to get around! I was very grateful that the walking stick had 'not been lost' in any of our moves :) Needless to say, very little sewing/quilting has taken place since I arrived home.

Third and Quilty: If you are interested in a Give Away, Jeanne at Luv 2 Stitch is celebrating her 200th post. She made an adorable stitchery and will sew it into something special to be given to the lucky winner of her drawing! You need to be quick though as her drawing takes place on September 30th.

Here is another cute Give Away: Hanne at Hanne's Quilt Corner is celebrating having her first patterns published! Just leave a comment on her post and blog about it and you are entered! Easy Peasy,right?!

Seems like Christmas is right around the corner :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Projects from Retreat

Here are the projects that I worked on while at retreat last weekend. Sorry for the 'design floor' but I have about 70 6 1/2" squares on the design flannel that I didn't want to take down . :)

First up: A green and yellow rail fence in the Keyhole block setting. I found this setting in The Quilter's Recipe Book by Celia Eddy that I had checked out of the local library. I had already cut my rails at 3.5 inches so I wasn't able to have as many repeats as would have been possible with a 'smaller stair'. This was all of both greens and yellow fabric that I had so I ended up with a staggered set. I like the very graphic-ness (is that a word?!) of the pattern. I still need to add an inner and outer border.

Second: I've been wanting to make a Red /White/Blue QOV for some time now. I cut my r/w/b into strips and took some of them with me. I had seen this Valor quilt by Daniela Stout on her website: Cozy Quilts. It is from her book: The Giving Quilt (the picture is the last one on the page so you will need to scroll down). Again, I like the graphic-ness of the pattern. The girls at retreat said the top star looked 'Superman-ish' so the general consensus was that I should make the second star as close to the first as possible with the strings I had left. Unfortunately, I made one of the lower star points *wrong* and I am seriously debating *frogging* it and inserting a correct block. This one also needs it's borders.

Third and last: I made some Bento Box blocks using 3.5 inch strips. I decided to pair a light with a dark (either red or blue). I had run out of different light 3.5 inch strips so I joined the pairs into a bigger block to transport home. I need to cut some other light strips and make a few more blocks. I may just make this one 'big enough' and skip a border. (sorry...it's a bit fuzzy :) )

All in all, a rather productive weekend filled with friends, fun, laughter, great food, some house problems and sewing! A very memorable time! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's in The Box?

Well, I searched and searched and found fabric in the box! I brought a total of 10 bolts, mostly blenders as you can see from the picture. A black and white to make DS's quilt and Uncle M's quilt. The checkerboard will also go into Uncle M's quilt. Browns, tans and creams for the 4 patches I make to go with the ISPY squares. A medium tan for a movie quilt for the downstairs living room. The green swirls for my niece's birthday quilt, stars for QOV borders and the plaid is for backing on kids' quilts I like to donate. I also brought one spool of rye beige Permacore thread for Valerie and some note cards. All in all, purchases I plan to use in the next few months. I did cut about a yard off the black Moda Marble Mate to wash to go into a quilt I'm working on! Another friend recently upgraded her Gammill Classic with a Statler Stitcher so she gifted me a ton of pantographs that are in her computer now and she wanted to share her hard copies with me! How great is that?! I might even use a different panto than Popcorn. :) I also was gifted the Trip Around the World pattern by my very good friend, who lives in Colleyville...Thank You! This pattern is pretty trick as you construct it using 9 patches and I am all about squares and rectangles when I sew :) very few triangles :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #38

Wow! What a wonderful sewing weekend I had!

Good friends, lots of sewing, lots of laughter, attending an old guild meeting, great food and fabric shopping! I was having so much fun that I only took 1 (yes, 1!) picture! and that was the front door to United Notions...the Moda Warehouse in Dallas. Need I say more? for this past week stash report?!

  • fabric recieved in: +100 yards
  • fabric used: 0 yards
  • net fabric for the week: + 100 yards

Net fabric for the year: +21.5 yards

What I accomplished this week:
  • sewed with friends I hadn't seen in 18 months :)
Goals for this week:
  • find a home for 100 yards of fabric!

I shipped home most of the fabric from the shopping trip. My friend took me to both the Moda Warehouse and the P&B Textile Warehouse! The shopping trip was totally awesome and so many colors! I was on sensory overload! She also decided she need some quilting thread, so we stopped at Dallas Thread to pick some up for her longarm...I was totally speechless after being in the Moda Warehouse for 2 hours then another 45 minutes at P&B that I couldn't even think of what thread I might need for Valerie! She suggest Rye Beige as a blender, so I got one of those. As I unpack my box (which arrived before me!) I will show the Stash Enhancement Shopping I did this past week...

A sneek peek at the box I shipped home :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My bags are packed...

...and I'm ready to go!

Today is the day! Tonight I will be at the Bear Creek Quilt Guild meeting. Wednesday is a shopping day.

The balance of the week, I will be at the Reunion Retreat in Runaway Bay, Texas! (It's about an hour's drive west of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and saw the rain/wind from Hurricane Ike) Isn't that an awesome sounding place to have a sewing/quilting retreat! Thanks so much to Paula for hosting this retreat at her lakehouse!

One project bag didn't make it into the luggage...the r/w/b string blocks. I'll have to sew them up when I get home :)
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Monday, September 15, 2008


First: Talked to my Mom and she, in turn, had talked to Brother #1. Both Brother and SIL made it fine through Hurricane Ike (they live north of Houston) and have decided to evacuate to their daughter's apartment in San Antonio. Their area is without power and they are unsure of when the power will be back on. Brother #1 took his laptop and will be able to work where ever he can find the wi-fi to plug into. Thanks for all the well wishes that helped keep my family safe during the hurricane. They have lived in Texas for over 30 years and I never remember them evacuating before this one. The did try to leave when Rita was approaching a few years ago, but the roads were so crowded that they turned around and stayed hunkered down in their home.

Second: How many projects is too many to take on a 3 day retreat?
Right now, I have 5 bags. I have a funny feeling one or two will be staying home! I don't know if you can tell or not, but I was busy cutting my reds and blues into strips for QOV's and I have one bag with green/gold combination for a Packer quilt. Hey, what can I say? I live in Wisconsin and just about everyone LOVES the Packers :)

Finished Quilted Totes

Just finished the quilted totes...barely in time. I had ordered the fabric Jim Shore Noah's Ark from the Desperate Quilters in two different colorways, a darker blue and turquoise. I love that the arks have quilt blocks on them and the animals have quilts keeping them warm! Did you notice the whales are also a quilt pattern? Perfect for quilters :)
The light never did get better as today is a cloudy day but no rain for us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stash Busting Report Week #37

This past week, I figured out a way to really make those stash yards disappear! Gift the yardage! My numbers are a little inflated as I cut for fq's to gift. Here is this week's report (I'll let you know if any of the fq's come back with me!):
  • fabric received in: 0 yards
  • fabric used: -22 yards
  • week to date: -22 yards

Year to date: -78.5 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:

  • quilted the two Hospice Angel Quilts
  • quilted and assembled two totes
  • made 12 1/2" b/w/bright block for night guild
  • made a birthday card :)

Goals for next week:

  • cut and assemble project bags for reunion retreat
  • sew as many blocks as possible while visiting

I am almost finished with the quilted totes. I need to sew the dowels in place, and make bags for the acrylic bottoms. Hopefully, that will be tonight's project. Pictures to follow when complete and in better light :)

This is the black/white and bright block I made for the night guild silent auction. We were to make any 12 1/2" unfinished block that will be added to others then the whole lot of the blocks will be up for bid. A very neat idea, Cheryl! (I will mail it to you, Cheryl) Since the bright I have in abundance right now is orange...a Halloween-ish colored star. I followed this pattern from Quilter's Cache.

I also made a birthday card for one of my hostesses. Her birthday is a couple days after I leave. Her favorite color is blue...did you guess?! I had seen this postcard on Mary's blog and followed the same idea only I don't have the birthday ribbon to add.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


DH and DD went to the pet store this morning. Please meet the newest member of our family, Oreo. DD had a hamster awhile back (pre-blog) that died and since her 4th grade classroom has a hamster...she's been wanting one again. So far, he seems to like running in his wheel and not eating the wheel like Cinnamon (her old hamster)!
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Saturday Happenings

I hope and pray everyone in the path and effected by Ike are staying safe! My brother and SIL live just north of Houston and were preparing to 'ride out' Ike, so many wishful thoughts are winging their way to the greater Texas and beyond where Ike is leaving his mark. Even as far north as Wisconsin is expecting rain Sunday night as a result of Ike...

Thursday was my first meeting as Chair of the Day Guild. Several of the members spoke to me later and said that I did just fine running the meeting. A few changes were suggested and tweaking will begin to help me perform my job! We had a wonderful speaker, Jean Brew, who brought her trunk show of Sunbonnet Sue quilts and goodies! Sorry no pictures as I was one of the 'walkers' who showed the quilts to the members. After the meeting, I meet my fellow night guild member and passed off the Angel Quilts for binding.

I made this little pouch I found on Randi's blog while surfing. She originally found the tutorial on Debbie Maddy's blog. While I like the little pouch, it won't exactly work for what I want but it is a cutie!

I have been making fabric panels to be made into quilted totes for my hostesses next week. So far only the panels have been quilted. The totes will need to be cut and assembled in the next few days.

I discovered a fast way of stash busting! I cut 12 yards into fq's to gift to my bee friends. The violet is the sate flower of Wisconsin. Cows are plentiful here is Wisconsin. I love ice cream and fortune cookies are because I 'feel fortune' to have all the bee as my friends :) (corny but true)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I volunteered to quilt the two Angel Quilts for my night guild. The quilts are for the local hospital Hospice Outreach Team. When a loved one passes while in the hospital Hospice, the Outreach Team asked for quilts from the local guilds/ sewing clubs to cover the deceased. The quilts are to remain at the hospital Hospice and hand made pillowcases will be given to the survivors with the personal effects of the loved one.

A guild member undertook this effort and supplied the Angel Block pattern for anyone who wished to make blocks then donate them. A team gathered last Sunday to sew the blocks into tops. This week, I practiced on Valerie some more.

This first quilt I did Tuesday using the Popcorn pantograph. I stood on the chair and DD took the picture. The finished size is about 46 x 86.

This second quilt I did today also with the popcorn pantograph. This is on DS's bed as my photographer is in school right now. The finished size is about 45 x 85.

I really liked this red haired Angel as each Angel seemed to have her own personality.

I thought the quilting would show better on an Angel with a darker background, that's why I included her.
Now I will pass the quilts off to two different guild members to sew the bindings on!
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Girl's Day Out

While our boys were at this race, DD and I went to the zoo!

We spied some animals who must have been reading my blog because they were....
All the monkeys were very entertaining, swing on their monkey bars and on their cages.

DD especially wanted to see the kangaroos....
....and I always enjoy the flamingos!
Of special note, on our ride home from dinner another milestone. The Toyota Sienna rolled 15,000 miles and not even a year old!

Stash Busting Report Week #36

The kids went back to school this past week, so I had more time in the sewing room! My report for this week follows:
  • fabric received in: +14 yards
  • fabric used: -19 yards
  • net fabric for the week: -5 yards

Net fabric for the year: -56.5 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:

  • quilted and bound Lake Country Mystery (r/w/b)
  • pieced, quilted and bound JudyL's Wonky Labor Day Challenge

Goals for next week:

  • piece, quilt and bind 4-patch donation quilt
  • make bee gifts
  • make black, white and bright block for night guild
On September 16th I will be flying to Dallas, Texas for a reunion with my bee and Guild that I belonged to when I lived there! I'd best get busy making my gifts to give! :)

Here is the front of the Lake Country Mystery quilt. I think Donna named it, 'Three Block Mystery'. You make the Churn Dash and then the sashing becomes two different blocks, Grecian Square and Farmer's Flight, I think.

I realized when I pieced this patriotic fabric that it was indeed directional vertically. Well, I only brought enough yardage to be pieced horizontally. Next time, I will have to be careful to buy the right amount of yardage!

This is my finished JudyL Wonky Labor Day Challenge. I decided to 'go orange' and bind it in the same fabric as the inner border. I also machine stitched the binding to the back and brought it to the front to straight stitch by machine. I actually like the straight stitch better than the serpentine to finish binding this way.

This is the backing fabric, I used. JudyS. was wondering about it. I had brought this off the sale rack awhile ago. When I buy backing for my kids' donation quilts, I look for bright primary colors with a non-gender pattern (like stars, alphabet or numbers).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Check In

After cleaning DS's bathroom, I was able to sew a few more 4 patches for my next donation quilt. Unfortunately, I used all of yellow #1 and substituted yellow #2. I think I will go back and re-arrange the 4 patches to get a better distribution of the two yellow-green combinations...more of a scrappy look rather than planned :)
I also had about an hour before the kids arrived home from school and decided to start the quilting on JudyL's Wonky Labor Day Challenge quilt. I choose to practice the Popcorn pantograph again. :)
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I was able to make the binding for my r/w/b quilt today and sew it to the front of the quilt. Now it is time to do the hand sewing to the back!
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