Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yoo hoo! Soliciting opinions!

Lend me a hand will ya? I want to make a quilt for someone. I have this pattern for a quick and easy star quilt. I decided to use some of my Cherrywood fabrics and some black and whites. I really can't get on board with how the center looks. This is distracting. I think the darker triangles stand out too much in the center. So I took them out. I'm still not happy with the triangle action here. It still distracts me.
So I rearranged the triangles so the center would be 4 squares instead. Much better, I think. But it's a big plain center there. I could try to do some fancy-ass quilting there (not really my forte, but I could try).

OR...... I could put some applique in there. I could use the bright Cherrywoods and put something there. You can barely see the basket of flowers here, but I could enlarge this pattern and try something. So what do you think? I'm not making this to be a wall quilt, I was thinking more a sofa size. What would you do? Sadly, I don't really know the colors or dcorating style for where this is going. It's out of state and I'd like it to be a surprise. So help me out please. And by the way, such an easy pattern, I think I'll make a couple more.

And I am still serving penance for my shopping spree. I haven't let myself even open the Go box yet. First I had to finish this quilt for the Home Basics group in New York. I'll get it in the mail tomorrow. I snagged a spot for my guild's retreat this coming weekend so I think I'll use the Go to cut up lots of fabric to take with me. Then I can really get some stuff done.
Oh yeah! Santa's workshop is open for business!
Share your thoughts on the star quilt, you know you have some.
Have a groovy week everyone!

Friday, October 22, 2010

What have I DONE?!!

I am grounded. In time out for irresponsible behavior. Sitting in the corner thinking about reckless spending. Hanging my head with hints of buyer's remorse. There will be an appropriate punishment as soon as I figure it out. I will enter the quilter's confessional soon but maybe I can generate some goodwill with some savvy additions to the stash. My guild had their quilt show last weekend and I was able to pick these up for $6.
That's right, you read it right. Just $6 for over 13 yards of fabrics that are perfect for backings. Piecing backs is a chore for me and most of my larger pieces of yardage are fabrics that I love too much to use for a back. So this is smart shopping, right? C'mon, say yes, help me out. I've been so naughty.

Okay, I am inching towards the confessional. Still thinking of what the quilter's equivalent of a zillion Hail Mary's is. The fish had NOTHING to do with this. I'm just trying to distract you. I got it recently for a pittance at Pier One. I just had the family room painted. The walls are pale aqua and the fireplace is bight red! I saw the fish and knew it would be perfect on the mantle. It was on sale and had a little scratch on the tail fin, so they gave me 20% more off! Then the nice lady pulled out a brown marker and made the scratch disappear. Woo hoo! Okay okay, I digress, and stall, and otherwise try to avoid the dirty truth. The fish sits upon my shameful secret. Just keep in mind..... IT WAS ON SALE.

I didn't plan this, I swear. JoAnn's had batting by the yard half off and I needed to stock up. I went to get only batting. I just wanted a little peak at the Accuquilt Go. And see if they had the tumbler die that I seem to be obsessed with. I have NEVER seen the Go on sale, EVER! And JoAnn, bless her heart, marked it $100.00 off. I do not lie. One hundred smackers off. Now let's keep in mind that this will help a lot of people out.
Can't decide what to get Lisa for Christmas? Yoo hoo, get her a new die for her Go.
See? The Go itsself was just too expensive to put on my list so I made it possible to put the accessories on it. Not so foolish huh?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's baloney Lisa. You splurged, admit it. Swallow that bitter pill and face the music.
So if you have any ideas for ways to redeem myself, please help. I don't like this panic feeling of fiscal recklessness. Do you ever think, 'just great, what if I drop dead and my family is stuck with all this crap' ? I need to get some good use out of it soon.
I am thinking I need to commit to some charity and gift quilts. Just yesterday I took this quilt to work to give to a friend of mine for her mother. Her mom is very ill. So I need to get some more 'just in case' quilts into the queue. And I'm almost finished my scrap quilt for Home Basics.
How about I see how many quilts I can make for xmas gifts? I just found out that there is one spot open for retreat, don't you think I should go and try to redeem myself with some hard core piecing of tops?
Enough whining right? My plan is to concentrate on awesome holiday sewing and in January, I will sew charity quilts like there is no tomorrow. Busting stash and making charity quilts. I WILL overcome this blot on my sensible reputation!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Finally! I know I kept you waiting a long time but, seriously, wasn't this worth the wait? Circa 50 organic cottons from Birch Fabrics!! I find it so hard to take my eyes off these. They are pricey, I'm warning you. Luckily my mother gave my hubby and I some anniversary cash to spend in the Big Apple. It made it possible for me to snag some of these without too much guilt. (psst-the other day Mom asked Jon what he got with his share of the $$. He said he didn't know. ooops! I swear there is still some left, but that cello he was trying out at the Sam Ash store just wouldn't fit on the bus with us.)

Birch Fabrics are so cool!! They have awesome selvages, almost 2 inches wide! I just love the birdies in their logo and the houses too!

I got a couple of the companion prints. One of the photos, I just accidentally deleted and the original in on my husband's computer (remember the whole Geek Squad hospital etc?) You can see a smidge of it on the edges of this photo and later with my blocks. I really like it, it's kind of a greenie yellow color with Flintstone type boulders on it. Meanwhile, this one is fun too. These colors are bright but a little muted. I find them very intriguing.

What do you think? Did Rob and Laura Petrie live in a house like this? Oh gosh, I know I just dated myself big time. Please tell me that some of you watched the Dick van Dyke show. Please!!

I just played around and put some blocks together. Then I measured them and not ONE SINGLE ONE of them was the same size. Good grief. You wouldn't believe how indecisive I can be when it comes to settings.

I also got these at The City Quilter. The fabric was labeled cross weave or something like that but I think it looks like shot cottons. I got the perl cotton to do some rustic hand quilting. Everyone needs to now take a moment to ROFL. I have never done any hand quilting but over and over again I make plans to do some. Oooooh ha ha ha!! Maybe, just maybe, this time I mean it. They had so many colors of this perl cotton, I wanted them all.

I also snagged this pack of charm squares. So cheerful.

Doesn't it make you feel like you just wandered into the sock department for pre-teen girls? Look at all these fun brights.

When we walked around SoHo, we found a place called Pearl River Mart. I could have gone nuts in there but it was the first store we had gone in AND I knew anything I bought would have to be lugged all over New York and then carted home on the bus. That helped keep me under control, but what a fun store. Luckily they had a nice little bench for the husbands to sit on. If you wanted fabric, you had to find a store employee who would write up a receipt, then you got in line and paid for it, then you went back and they would cut the fabric. Interesting system, but it was worth it to me. I got these two yards of oilcloth. I am going to try to make some folios out of it for xmas gifts. Seems like a good idea. I hope it works better than this did.

And I also got this at Pearl River Mart. It's 100% cotton and about 60 inches wide, great for backing, yahoo!

I think it's time for Santa's workshop to open and start stitching gifts for my friends, co-workers, and family. I definitely need to start looking through blogland for ideas. If you see any good ideas, please share. I am ready to get busy!! Boy do I regret not going on retreat with my quilt guild this fall. Foolish mistake, foolish!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting in some piecing action.

I am feeling productive this weekend! Look what I made from scraps and leftover 4 patch blocks I found. I signed up to participate in a scrap swap at the 15 minutes blog. While I was sifting through my oodles and oodles of scraps, I found lots of 4 patches and strips of muslin and 30's prints. So I spent a few hours yesterday and put together this top. When I finish it, I am going to send it to Home Basics in New York.It's not huge but it's nice for a baby or young child. I love making crib sized quilts, they are so much easier to quilt. Not intimidating at all.
I also dug this out. If I slap some borders on it, I'll have another finish soon.

More!! I should dig through my scraps more often. About five years ago, I went on a medical mission to Peru. We did surgeries on children way up in the Andes Mts. I made and collected 80 quilts to take. Here are some leftover blocks from that. I cut TONS of strips in different widths, made a bunch of strip sets and then played around with them. I still have lots of strips left so I think I'll have some playtime soon.

Look at those points in the center. Pretty good job, huh? Sometimes I impress myself, ha ha.

Then I found these bowtie blocks. I made these just as I was becoming intrigued with quilting. I saw an Alex Anderson 'Simply Quilts' episode that featured this block. So I scrounged around the house until I found some fabrics and made these. Soon after, I took a Stack n Whack class at the local Jo-Ann's and that was the end of any free time for me. All of my spare time from then on has been spent sewing or thinking about sewing. I think I need to make a few more bowties and make a crib quilt from them. I love modern bright fabric but also love these old classic block designs. Aw shucks, it's Sunday evening and I need another weekend for playing. Have a great week everybody! And guess what? My baby (laptop) has been discharged from the Geek Squad hospital. I'm back in business blogging. Woo hooooo!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Let's talk......New York City!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Megabus!! For making it so easy and frugal to get to the Big Apple and not have to worry about parking. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back. I knew that if we could conquer the subway system, the whole city would open up to us. We bought unlimited ride cards and took off. With my indestructible NYC map in hand, we hit the pavement. I'll tell you about this little cutie at the end of this post.Friday was rainy but we were prepared with umbrellas, and we headed for the Folk Art Museum. I don't want to say I was crushed, but I sure was disappointed. They have an exhibit on women's art (lots of quilts you know!) and it was closed for some renovations or construction. It's an open and airy space and I was able to see some of the closed exhibit from the stairwell. I tried to take a picture of a lovely quilt and a security guard told me I couldn't. Bummer!
Friday evening we went to the West Village area and saw the Flying Karamazov Brothers. What a lively area that is with New York University so close by. We felt so safe and enjoyed walking through Washington Square Park late at night. Saturday was all about taking the subway everywhere, seeing, eating, and shopping.

Sunday was checkout day, and I was starting to get tired. (I had a crazy work schedule the week before) We poked around some flea markets and went to Madison Square Park where they had a very cool 'flea market/crafts/art festival' type area. And that is where I got this! Have you figured it out? A necklace full of little felted wool balls! It is so fun to play with. I can wear it just as a necklace or (check the first picture) double it and make a choker. The little balls make it easy to tangle and keep it place. I have to admit though that I needed help getting it off, lol!

Well folks, I think you are looking at my favorite new accessory. I went out with two of my cousins the other night and I picked through my closet until I had an outfit that would go with my new feltie necklace.
It's time to return this computer to it's charger. (I borrowed it from my hubby) I hope when I get my laptop back from 'surgery' that they were able to salvage the photos in it. I put all of our New York pics on it and foolishly didn't back them up. Dumb, huh?
Sorry if it seems like I'm teasing, I really will show you the fabrics I got, very soon. I just had to show off my feltie first!
Enjoy the weather today! Autumn is so fleeting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sad news, :(

My new laptop, only 6 mos old, is ill. He has been admitted to the Geek Squad hospital. Poor puddin has a bad hard drive but rest assured, it is still under warranty. It may be a week or longer before he is discharged, boo hoo! I am sad to be without my precious laptop, but I did get more done without him. I spent most of yesterday piecing this back for my Halloween quilt. I sure don't like piecing backs, but I had so many remnants of Halloween fabrics. Here it is.
I love this fabric. I only used half of it. I might want more some day. (although I don't know how many Halloween quilts one person really needs.)
I had a bunch of Halloween charm squares left over from a quilt I made for my nephew last year. So I threw them in.

And here it is! Pin basted and ready for quilting. The finished top. I am really pleased with it.

The spiders are my favorite even though they were the most trouble. Seventeen spiders with eight legs each. Yeesh!!

I promise I will try to post some pictures of the fabric I got in New York and the quilt I've started making with it. Good night. Be sure to kiss your computer. You never know when you will have to do without.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Big Weekend!!

Mr. and Mrs. 9patch just celebrated a fabulous milestone. Our 25th wedding anniversary! Can you guess where we went to celebrate? Oh yeah, we had a fun, fun, fun weekend in New York City. Friday morning Jon and I hopped on a Megabus and set out for our big adventure. We caught the tail end of the big rain and our umbrellas came in handy, but we didn't let it stop us. We had our map and a serious determination to learn the subway system. What a blast, we can't wait to go back. On Saturday, we did some sightseeing since neither of us had ever gone to the Statue of Liberty. The ferry was fun, the view was gorgeous, and the most hilarious thing of all happened at the end of the ride.
You can't tell from this picture but the ferry was ROCKING like crazy and the crewmembers had to stop letting people off. I had just LEAPT onto the gangplank and made it to the dock when they stopped everyone. You can see my hubby on the far right waiting his turn. As the boat rocked with the waves, the gangplank banged and flopped around like crazy.
I was with another wife on the dock waiting for her husband and we were giggling and waving at the boys. We stayed at the Roger Williams Hotel and it was lovely. Can you guess why I picked this hotel? As soon as I saw the pictures of the rooms and each bed had a beautiful quilt, I booked us in.

All of the decor was bright and colorful and modern. Check out this cool light in our room. Can you see our little terrace? I was very excited about that. We were on the 14th floor and the views were great but you had to stand and look over the high wall. I guess they don't want us to fall off.

This was our view. It's either Madison Ave. or 31st St. I'm not sure which.

Check out this carpet! It's in the hallway outside of our room. Hmmmm? Some quilty inspiration don't you think?

So we totally used the subway system, never took a cab, and did lots of walking. We went to see the Flying Karamazov Brothers on Friday and then saw Laura Linney in the play, Time Stands Still, on saturday. Loved them both. We poked around Soho, went to Ground Zero, and I managed to visit TWO quilt shops. The City Quilter was just wonderful and I got some lovely solids there, and Purl Soho was the source for some great organic cottons. I also got some very cool stuff in another Soho shop. I'll share photos of my loot in my next post.

Twenty-five years ago I married a wonderful man and I would surely do it again. Seriously folks, he went to two quilt shops and waited patiently while I hemmed and hawwed (? is that spelled right?) over my purchases. He did get to spend some time playing in the Sam Ash music store, but not as much time as I spent fondling fabric. I've been catching up on the laundry and housework but have found a little time to work on my Halloween quilt. The applique rows are time consuming but the spiders are so cute. I will catch you up on my progress very soon. And very very soon, I plan on chopping into some new fabric and popping out a new quilt. Believe it!!