Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Here is a cutie for you!

I just finished this baby quilt for a friend who is having her second baby.  Although I like surprises, it sure is fun to know the sex AND the name of a baby when making a quilt.  Yes, this little quilty is quite orange with a dash of red.  The outer border is kona cotton in Papaya.  I love that color!
And I had some more fun with pieced letters using Tonya Ricucci's book Wordplay. 
 So much fun putting a name into the quilt!

 After I got the letters all pieced together, it looked like it said 'cotton' because the crossbar on the T was touching the L.  It was bothering me and some friends that I consulted so I unpicked some center seams and pieced in a tiny white strip.   Aaaaah, much better.  The applique patterns are from a Don't Look Now pattern called Peak Hour.  You must check it out.  I mean it, go there now.  I'll wait.............
                                                     I used the leftovers to piece the back.

 My inspiration fabric.  A Kokka print I got when I went to New York City to see the Red and White quilt exhibit.  It came in a bundle with most of the other fabrics in the quilt. 
 I spent all day saturday at a sewing marathon with some friends.  And thank goodness for that because we are having a mega heat wave here and our air conditioner breathed its last cool breath.  No fooling peeps,  it was 91 degrees in my sewing room and I'm pretty sure the humidity was 112%!!  Thank goodness we are blessed with a swimming pool.  I may have perished Friday without it.  By the way, if you have never been skinny dipping, you really should put it on your bucket list.  You can draw your own conclusions about what made me mention that.  All I'm saying is that sometimes it's just too darn hot to drag a suit on, you just have to strip and JUMP.  (the closest neighbors we have are family and none of them can see our pool from their houses. In case you were worried.)

        So I have a wonderful friend, Chris.  A true sweetie, generous and kind to all.  Would you just LOOK at what she got me!  For no reason at all except that it made her think of me.  She was dead on when she thought I would like this cool retro print.  It's called 'Hoe down' and I am nuts about it.  Right now, I just have it pinned on my design wall like a piece of art.  It's a generous 2 yard piece and I am going to have to make something very cool out of it. 
 I went straight to my stash and pulled out these fat quarters that I knew I had.  Aren't they perfect?  And I hope you're impressed because I plucked them right off the shelf.  I've had them for at least 4 years.  Let that be a lesson to anyone who wonders about quilters and their stash.  Yessiree, we absolutely DO know what we have.  And sometimes we can find it, lol.   If you are wondering, I still haven't found the step stool.  We've decided the only way to find it is to buy a new one and I just don't know if I want to do that. 

Also,  a priority mail envelope is stuffed and on its way to Dortha in Alabama.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Can you stomach a final dose of Olivia's quilt?

I hope so because it is now finished, quilted,  bound, and washed and dried.   The weather is gorgeous this weekend so I took it outside and dragged it around the yard trying to get a good picture.  Not very easy.  For this shot I was standing on a very VERY rickety and weathered wooden chair.  My husband was inside honking on his saxophone so I rapped on the window and asked for some help.

I got my husband to hold the quilt as high as he could.  I really like the side borders I put on it.

 And here's the back.  I have some tie-dye like panels that I used because my daughter and her friends are INSANE about tie-dying.  I like the effect of the sun shining through the borders in this picture.  It's hard to see the quilting here.  I did all straight line quilting, it took a long time.

 I divided the quilt into 4 quadrants,  this is the center.  Then I quilted one quad at a time.

 I know it's hard to see but I just stitched two lines with a 90 degree angle in the center.

 So this quilt is going on an exciting field trip!  I bought tickets for my daughter and I to go to New York City for Quilters take Manhattan. This weekend of events benefits the Alliance for American Quilts.  First we are going to the Friday evening event at Victoria's (of Bumblebeans) loft and then the Saturday afternoon program at the  F.I.T with Marianne Fons and Jay McCarroll the Project Runway winner.  After I bought the tickets, I got an email from Jodie Davis, co-host of an internet TV show, Quilt out Loud.  She said my name had been chosen at random to be interviewed briefly for their show.  Was I interested?  Oy!  How exciting, and scary!  I went back and forth over it then thought 'Oh what the heck, DO it!'   I said yes and Jodie said to bring a quilt that means something to me.  I think this quilt fills the bill.  It's an easy and fun story to tell.  Now I just have to worry about losing a few pounds and what to wear.  Oh gosh, I wish I could get a quick facelift, lol.  Check out those links and think about going if you can.  I can't wait to see  Victoria's loft and I am a HUGE Project Runway fan so meeting Jay is HUGE.  I love his fabric lines.  I don't have any but maybe I should get some so I can have him sign it. 

Looky what I found out front today!  I have been waiting for this Clematis to bloom since Mother's day.  Finally!

I hope everyone is having weather as nice as ours.  G'nite!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My buttons have been PUSHED!!!!!!!

Want a dose of me 'Keeping it Real'?   If you do, read on.

What pushes your buttons?  I have to admit that lots of things can irritate me, but one of the biggest is losing something.  I really try to keep track of my things.  You won't find me running around looking for car keys or my cell phone  well, occasionally I have to call my cell to find it.  Anyway,  I get really irritated when I have to search all over for something.  This past week I lost a folding step stool somewhere in the house.  That's right, you heard me.  I have looked  EH VA REE WHERE!  How could I lose something that big?  Seriously,  I can't figure it out.  I just got it a month or so ago when the new super duper Walmart opened near us.  AND, I remember trying to put it in the broom closet but it wouldn't fit so I put it somewhere else. For days now, every time I walk into a room I spend a few minutes eyeing all the places I may have stashed the step.  There are
 two closets upstairs  that are pretty crowded and I have opened their doors and peaked in all the corners without success.  I know I didn't stuff the step stool in the back of one of those closets but honestly it is no where else. I may have to empty them out......ugh! Every day when I get home from work, I ask my husband if he has found it.  He hasn't and I don't think he's looking any more either.  Meanwhile, I am so irritated about it that I can't STOP looking, even to the point of a couple tears last weekend which made me even more irritated. 
And there's more.  I finally quilted my daughters quilt (the SSP, the Wordplay quilt with her funny list).  I used all straight line quilting in a geometric design (I'll get a good picture this weekend and post it).  First, I used blue painter's tape to mark it.  That was time consuming and a pain because the quilt is big and the tape kept coming loose when I bunched the quilt.  So then I drew chalk lines.  That worked fine but was still time consuming.  If you remember, I'm lazy so I really wanted a simpler way.  Oh yeah!  How about using my seam guide?  The one that came with my walking foot.   Soooooooo, where was it?   Again I started looking all over.  I could picture the Bernina box it came in.  After searching for quite some time, all I found was the seam guide for my Brother sewing machine.  Check out these pictures of how I 'jerry rigged' it onto my Bernina.  Masking tape was involved.

 Can you see how high the seam guide is?  Ridiculous!   Why didn't I just use the Brother sewing machine?  I don't know, I really don't.  I was bugged that I couldn't find the right guide,  so I decided to go looking again, and I poked around in one of those 'crowded' closets. 

                          Ta-dah!!  I found it.  In the box I could 'see' in my head the whole time. 

With all the parts all neat and tidy inside.

See what I mean about having to organize my sewing room?  Since my daughter moved out, I have now put stuff into her closet and I am more unorganized than ever.  More is not necessarily better.  Such as more space.  I have proven my theory that we just 'expand' to fit our space.  Move to a bigger house and you accumulate more stuff/junk.  And then you can't find things, like a bleeping step stool!
Check out this little mess.
 I was reading Marlene's blog and she needed scraps of bright fabrics.  I offered her some and I went poking around my scraps.  Eeks!  I need to get rid of these!  Anybody want some?  I have another priority mailer that I can stuff full for somebody.  I am so sorry but it has to be in the US for the postage to be reasonable.  I did find some pre-cuts that I had put into baggies that I think I will use up to make a quick quilt.
Leave a comment if you want some scraps.  A lot of them are strips so let me know if you do or don't like strip scraps.  I will pick a random number and stuff the envelope for someone on Monday.
Now,  I gotta go look for a step stool.  Do you think a burglar would steal something like that and leave everything else?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Endless Possibilities.

Last year on vacation at the beach, my husband and I stumbled across a cool place on Roanoke Island.  It's called Endless Possibilities and you can read about it here.  Last year I came home with a rug for our powder room.  This year I couldn't resist this rainbow wall hanging.

 It's woven. From fabric. From torn and cut cast-off clothing from local thrift shops!  They have at least a dozen BIG floor size looms in this store!!  And guess what?  Anyone who walks in can have a little sit down at a loom, get a quicky lesson, and commence to weaving.  Every loom has a project started on it and a basket of fabric strips ready to roll.   It was a hot day so ol' 9patch here  took a load off and spent some time weaving away on a piece that was going to be made into a purse.  That's right, they have people who will sew their 'woven fabric' into all kinds of purses and bags  AND they had some clogs too.

I think my red kitchen wall is perfect to showcase this very cool fiber art.
 And this is what sent me over the moon for weaving! You can embellish as you go.  See the buttons?  They were sewn to a strip of fabric before weaving.  Even more fun is when a whole button placket from a shirt gets plopped right in there. 

 I like how these buttons are color coordinated, obviously planned on this piece.

Cool beadwork can be added later, and some are woven in too. 

I love these shell necklaces that were woven in, especially with the yellow shells.
You can't really tell from this picture but there is a polka dot scarf that was put in and they left the ends hanging out the sides since they were finished.  Look at the full size pictures and you will see it.
 It's fun to look close and see the fabrics used in this piece, ugly knit pieces turn pretty.  And there are also yarns here and there.  A bit of fuzzy yarn adds texture.  And I saw some that had cheapo mardi gras type beads woven in or old costume jewelry.  OMG the Possibilities are Endless!  Get it?  Endless Possibilities?  har har  Forgive me but I'm cracking myself up for a minute. 

Oh how I am dreaming of a loom.  I could really put a dent into my scrap basket.  And we have an awesome thrift store nearby.  My cousin used to have a big loom, I think it was her grandmother's or great grandmother's.  She used it a few times when we were roomates to work on projects when she was studying occupational therapy.  I called her to ask about it, thought maybe I could 'borrow' it for a while.  They donated it to a local county museum, bummer.  The larger looms involve quite a bit of know-how and setting up with the 'warp' and all.  I really have to be realistic about my available time.  Honestly,  the last thing I need is another hobby with all of its associated gadgets and goodies and clutter.
  Knitpicks, however, has little looms.  Oh dear!  I already started dreaming about the cool artsy wallhangings I could make.  And 'fabric' for bags and totes!!  Sometimes it's best just to table an idea and see what happens. 
 As my grandmother used to say, 'I'm going to lie down and see if this goes away.'
I hope everybody had a great Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I tried something new!!


The beach was nice.  Lots of relaxation, plenty of reading,  enjoying the sun and the ocean breezes.  Too bad I came home with a bad cold.  I felt tired and droopy so it seemed like a good time to sit and try  hand quilting for the first time.   I have 4 of these blocks I put together a couple months ago.  Postage stamp blocks that I plan to 'quilt as I go'.  Each one is put together with batting and backing.  I machine quilted each of the applique pieces down and only plan to hand quilt some outlines. 

I chose different threads for a scrappy quilted look.  Some perl cottons and a few 12 wt variegated Sulky threads.  The 12 wt was certainly easier to work with but I also like the way the perl stood out more.
Pulling out my scraps, poking through them and fussy cutting was lots of fun.  Messy though.  The floor was COVERED with fabric. 

It was fun to see how many different fabrics I have that I can fussy cut.  I am  obviously drawn to fabrics with funny little motifs.

Aren't these little kids cute!  They are from a Heidi Grace fabric I got at JoAnn's.  Her fabrics are cutey cute cute! 

So here are the four blocks.  I have never tried the 'quilt as you go' technique but I have a plan.  After I get the blocks together, I'm going to add a few more applique 'postage stamps' to fill some gaps. I am giving serious thought to making more blocks.  

Especially when I saw little Mike.  I know I have lots more little friends like Mike who would like to have a spot on this quilt.