Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home again, Home again!

Retreat is over, boo hoo! Once again it was fantastic. It was so nice to look at these pretty daffodils that Margaret brought along.
We went to Camp Hebron in Halifax, PA. This is our workroom, everyone has a different way of setting up their workspace. There is lots and lots of laughing and goofing around!! I must confess that my workspace is messy. I tend to unpack everything and just plunk it all around. I waste a lot of time moving things around and looking for tools etc.

It's important to keep the coffee mug near at all times. Camp Hebron is wonderful because they have coffee, teas, juices etc available to us at all times. Yay!

Now this is an interesting workspace. So tidy. Hmmm? Whose is it?

Wow, this is more of the same space. Everything in its place. Who could be so neat?

I can't take it! Look at this! I must admit to a fascination with this phenomenon. Mostly because it belongs to my crazy friend, Kathy. I don't think she will be offended to hear me say that she's the last person I would expect to be so meticulous. She's wild, she's crazy, she's a free spirit with a fabulous and creative sense of color and style. Check her stuff out at her blog, here. One thing she does that I'm going to try for the next retreat is pack each project separately. She will pull out one project at a time and pack it away before she moves to the next one.

My friend, Cheryl, went shopping at the LQS on Saturday and found this crazy cat fabric in the middle. It inspired her to make a quilt for herself.
All of our retreats are planned and organized by Nancy. We can't thank her enough. Here is the quilt she worked on. It's not her usual style but how gorgeous!
How about this beautiful Gee's Bend quilt that Pauline made? I just love it.

My friend, Pat, finished this up. I love the focus blocks!

I have had this pattern at home for a few years and I've been afraid to try it. When I saw one of the retreat members with this on the wall, I was inspired. I'm going to get going on this soon.

This was made by my wild and crazy (and VERY tidy) friend Kathy. She made the center fabric with the cone flowers using Shiva paint sticks and rubbing plates. So pretty!! I told you she was creative.
Hi Diane!! She drove us for ice cream on Saturday. Mmmmm. Nutty milky way was my favorite.

Another of Kathy's quilts, Orange Zinger made with selvages.
Yup, you guessed it. Here's Kathy (in her trademark Sock Monkey pj's) standing in front of the New York beauty blocks she was working on. They are just stunning.

Wondering what I worked on? I got to work on a UFO. This was a guild block swap that ran for 12 months. There are 12 sets of 9 batik blocks that we swapped making up the center. We also swapped extra rectangles for the borders. I didn't like the border in the pattern so I did this instead.
I have been inspired lately by Judy Laquidara's quilts, especially her borders. I imitated her with this border and I designed the corner blocks. I'm really proud of this quilt and I'm trying to decide whether or not to quilt it myself. It's pretty big and there's nothing worse than wrecking a lovely quilt top with shoddy quilting. I have a friend in our guild who does wonderful longarm work and I'm considering giving her a call. I'll keep you posted on my decision.
I hope your weekend was as good as mine. Now let's all have a great week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pumping up the inspiration!!

OK! One down. I have to admit that the actual crocheting took longer than I thought it would. I think that my yarn is a little too thick and my crochet hook a little too small. I will definitely make more of these pillowcases but maybe not as many as I thought I would. Guess where I went today?! Yahoo, the AQS qult show in Lancaster! Boy was it big, I think I only saw half of it. There was a shuttle to a second center that I just didn't get to. I blew through my budget with gorgeous Cherrywood fabrics. I also got some heavy cotton Sulky threads for my upcoming foray into handquilting. And I got a very straightforward and cool book on fabric dyeing and other techniques.
Here are only some of the very cool quilts from the show.
I always think it's wild how I can see something that I believe I can make, and then I turn a corner and.....................

see something that is out of the question. Never in my lifetime could I ever even come close
to making something like this.
How cute is this quilt!!

So colorful and playful!

This is so much fun to look at, always finding something new.

Some of these butterflies were 3-D.

Maybe it's the simplicity but I just love this quilt. It soothes me.

One of these days I'm going to make a quilt with uneven edges. I like this one.

I have also been thinking about making something with a shear fabric on top and this quilt is fabulous. It really makes me think of the winter we just got through.

I think this was called Ice Storm. I really love looking at it.

Tomorrow morning I am off to retreat. I'm all packed, the machine and fabric and lots and lots of other goodies are already in the car. I am meeting friends for breakfast on the way. I have a UFO all packed up as well as a WIP. I usually take WAY more than I need but this time I think I showed a lot of restraint. I'm going to admit something.....I have been on a diet for over a month. I haven't cheated once and I've had some good results. But I gotta tell ya, there is the most fantastic ice cream place near this retreat center and I AM GETTING SOME!! I might even dream about it tonight. Ice cream is my favorite food group, I love it more than chocolate! Have a good weekend! I'll tell you all about my fun time next week.. Love you, bye!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hanging my head in disappointment.

So my plan this year was to thin the crap out of my sewing room. Finish some UFOs, weed out fabric that no longer appeals to me, get organized. All this to enable me to feel less 'weighed down' and more free to make what I want, try new things, and really enjoy my passion. So what did I do last Saturday? I came home from the Wild Threads Meeting with someone else's crap! Here it is, the cause for my disappointment in myself. A Christmas runner started it.
Then this fall runner with coordinating fabric jumped in my bag. Oh look, a spring runner!

I am wondering what happened to the summer runner. Or maybe this is summer and I'm missing spring, lol.

After my runner frenzy, I really lost it. I have NO idea what to do with these six cat blocks but they are so cute that I brought them home.

And what the heck should I do with this? I think I grabbed it because I like homespuns. If you look close, you'll see it's pretty 'rustic' (i.e. wonky).

Oh please save me from myself!!! I even brought home some xmas fabric and one 12 in. xmas block. Good grief!
So what do you think I should do with this cr..... um loot? I can finish the runners quickly. Then what? Gifts? Giveaway? What would you do with them?
Most desperate of all, what to do with the homespun item?
I await your creative direction. Yours in shame, 9patchnurse

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The 9patch homestead had been invaded!!

That's right! Ladybugs. This is one side of our bathroom window.
And this is the other side. There are also ladybugs on the ceiling, the floor, and in the bedroom. We get them every year, always upstairs in the master bath and bedroom. I guess it's better than ants! I know that gardeners like ladybugs and I read somewhere that you can keep them in 'suspended animation' by putting them in the freezer. I tried that once. I put a baggy full of ladybugs in the freezer. Shoulda told the rest of the 9patcher family! Poor little frozen ladies were crushed by a bag of frozen mixed vegies.
Has anybody been following the 'crochet along' at You Go Girl? She's having a tutorial on making pillowcases and crocheting a lacy trim around the edges. This is my work so far. I made two pillowcases and used cotton yarn to blanket stitch around the edges. On Monday, we'll get the next step..... crocheting!! I don't really know how to crochet but I'm hopeful that I'll muddle through. Check out the tutorial. The pillowcases have a nice flap to cover up the end of the pillow. I think I'll make more of these as gifts. Maybe my niece, Lucia, would like one for her birthday.
The Wild Threads had a meeting tonight. It was our UFO (and other quilty stuff) swap. I took one UFO, the pink dahlia, lots of fabric scraps, some larger fabric pieces, a bunch of blocks from swaps, as well as some quilting books. I promised myself that I would NOT bring home any UFO's. I broke my promise. One of my friends brought A LOT of UFO's. I brought home several table runners and a few small things. I'll show pictures in the next post. I think I can finish these things lickety split. They'll make nice gifts and maybe even a giveaway or two. By the way, I ended up bringing home quite a bit of my fabric scraps that weren't taken. I think I'll take them to retreat next weekend and see if anyone wants them. OMG!! Our spring retreat is next weekend! I can't wait, it is SO much fun. And there is an AQS quilt show in Lancaster the day before to help me get pumped up. Yes!!! Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I have to work tomorrow, waah. Ta ta for now!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm Back!

My computer woes have been solved! Thank you Mr. 9patch!! This little lady lives on my design wall. She came in the corner of an apron panel I had. Some day I will put her on a pillow or something.
Here is a view of the threads I've been dealing with all week. I finished getting rid of them yesterday and I am now halfway through handstitching the binding on the chicken quilt. Yay!!!!
I think the baby likes chicken!

Ok. How do I store my stash and organize my sewing space? Wellll, I have a lot of room for improvement but I do have a few things that I like. These basket units are from Ikea. They are very affordable and are on casters. I put my 'Big board' sewing surface on top of two of these units and now I can move it all around. I also put my cutting tabletop on two of these units. Yep, casters for that too. I like to move things around a lot so casters are my very good friends.

These CD units are my absolute faves!! This is three in a row. The shelves are adjustable so I can put larger cuts of fabric up there as well as fat quarters. I really like to be able to see my fabric, it gives me inspiration.

More Ikea! That lower basket (Longerberger laundry basket won at a bingo!) holds neutrals. The striped bin has UFO's. The blue bin ....... Oh good grief! I couldn't remember what was in there so I just looked. Last week I did a tiny bit of organizing and put most of my solids in there. Then, for no good reason, I apparently put my unfinished xmas BOM on top. The ridiculous thing is that I was looking for solids yesterday and couldn't find them. Duh!! I wanted a solid purple for binding the chicken quilt. I ended up using a purple and dotted batik.
The white bins are full of fabric, lots of bright FQs. The drawer at the bottom is scraps. Lots and lots of scraps. I haven't even opened that drawer in MONTHS. I think I might put them all in a bag and take them to the Wild Threads swap next weekend.

OMG, another basket unit on wheels! This one is full of odd junk like my glue gun and some photos, cords etcf. On top is my Brother sewing machine and behind it my Viking. I made the cover for my Brother in response to a guild challenge. The theme was house and we could make anything.

I just started doing this. Putting extra bindings around toilet paper rolls. Perfect to have on hand for little projects or scrappy quilts. I know I have more bindings, I just have to dig them out of the scrap bin that sits under my cutting table.
OK, that's it for now. Darn that Daylight's savings time, I lost an hour this weekend. Just when I got a little of my mojo back. Toodle-oo everybody!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I had some pictures to post and couldn't get them uploaded. It says it is due to an internal error, whatever the heck that means. I really don't like to post without a picture. I'll try to be entertaining..... hmmmm......eeehhhh......welllllll.......let me think a minute.
I was going to show you a picture of all the threads hanging on the chicken quilt. When I machine quilt, I used to backstitch to secure the threads. This time, I don't know what got into me, but I decided to knot and bury the threads. But, good grief, on the sashings I have 102 stitching lines!! That's 204 starts and stops. I'm an idiot. So that is what I've been doing today in between household chores. I went to and caught up on my TV shows while doing this. What do you do with your threads? This is a serious pain in the neck.
I also had a cute picture of our little kitty, Ms. Puff. She is so stinkin' cute!! And so darn cuddly.
Amy of Park City Girl has a nice blog. Today she is having a giveaway and you just have to leave a comment telling your favorite summer activity or game when you were growing up. It is so much fun to read the comments that people left. One comment reminded me of those potholders you make with the loops and the loom. I used to make them! They were lousy potholders but I loved making them. My cousins, siblings, and I were a pack of five kids running wild on the farm. When we reminisce, we all agree that we're lucky we lived to adulthood. One summer, whenever there was a big rain, we headed to the stream that runs across the entire farm. We would jump in and ride it all the way to a bridge. At the bridge, the stream went through 2 concrete drainpipes to a pool of water on the other side. Holy smokes!! The current was nuts and the drainpipes were half full at least. It is a miracle we didn't hit our heads and drown. But we sure did have fun surfing that wild torrent.
Cross your fingers that I can figure out what is keeping me from uploading pictures. I don't know where to start. Oh yes I do!! My hubby!! Have a great day everybody, adios!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sorry!! I didn't forget I have a blog!

So sorry to be such a lazy blogger. I guess daily life has just gotten in the way. I have almost finished quilting my chicken quilt and hopefully I can show it to you soon. I'm trying to decide whether or not to wash it when I'm done. It's pretty big for a wallhanging but not exactly soft and cozy for snuggling. All of the applique makes it a little stiff. Below is another applique quilt without purpose. I made it years ago and have learned a lot since then. The center is VERY stiff. Whatever fusible I used was heavy duty! My original plan was a medallion quilt, when I realized how stiff it is, I downsized to a wallhanging. I have just the spot for it too. Then, I pieced the border, it's a little wavy, and I stalled out completely. If you look close, you will see that I even made piping between the outermost border and the pieced border. Anyway, I have zero interest in finishing this. In 2 weeks, the Wild Threads are having a UFO swap. Anything in our sewing rooms that we don't want, including UFO's, is hitting the tables and up for grabs. I'm going to take books, magazines, fabric, patterns, and this pink dahlia. I will probably take some orphan blocks too. These blocks, however, are staying with me. They have been languishing almost as long as the dahlia, but I still have lots of interest in finishing them. I predict they will be seeing some sewing machine action this spring. I have been thinking about finishing them individually and hooking them together somehow. Maybe buttons and tabs, or grommets and ties. Just not sure yet, but the first step is to stitch down the applique. I really like these flowers. When I first worked on them, I made an extra of the coneflower block and made it into a small wallhanging to donate to my guild's Quilt Bingo. I was kinda hoping to win it.
All right, back to the chickens! Cluck cluck and see ya later!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who needs fabric?

Don't you just love the 'American Jane' fabric line?!! Want a chance to win some? Go to Little Scraps of Happiness and comment for a chance to win. (I should warn you that I'm feeling lucky,lol)