Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yesterday I really wished I had a tiara!

Sorrry I haven't posted in a while.  I've been at a low ebb.  My work/life balance is out of whack.  I have felt it for a while.  Last saturday I was so tired I slept in until 2pm.  Boy was I mad!!  I felt like I had wasted so much of my very precious free time.  On Sunday we went to New Jersey to see my husband's family and on Monday I worked 16 hours.  Ugh.  Sorry for whining.  This weekend I have 3 days off  AND I have asked my boss to meet with me to discuss cutting my hours back.  Wish me luck.
So what did I do with my Friday off?  First,  I got together with my little 'friends on the purple couch' and watched the Royal  Wedding.  I don't know how I got sucked into this excitement but maybe it's a way to escape my daily grind.

I couldn't find a tiara to wear so I sat in my pyjamas and had a pretend 'English' breakfast.  Porridge and 'tea' in my pretty teacup.  (it's really coffee, please don't tell.)

How cute are they?  I hope the media stays kind to them.

My husband and I had planned to go poke around a few antique stores.  I told him I had a wedding to go to but I promised to get ready right after the kiss.  I kept my word and we had a lovely time followed by a trip to the library.  I love coming home from the library with books of crafty inspiration and some great reads.  Now if I could get a little more time to enjoy them. 


I have been hard at work on the project that I can't share yet.  Here is a sneaky hint.  I am using solids and playing with Tonya's book.  That's all you get.

Thanks for being patient.  Now go and enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Am I suffering from 'Quilter's Block'?

Welllllllll, sort of.  Check out this little fella.  I will tell you more about him (or her) soon.                                         

My dilemma is that I found myself piddling around with a few different projects, most of which are just playing with blocks.  At a recent sewing marathon, I started chopping up my Lizzy Dish fabric with my Accuquilt Go.  Triangles!  I started sewing them into rows.  Looks ok.

Uh oh, I like this better but it's too late for this fabric.  Maybe with some Pips.  Sound good?                                  

I had cut some diamonds  before the triangles.  How cool does this look?  I really need to make a quilt with these blocks!  So very cool. 

Words can't express.  These have me speechless.  They'll get their own post soon.

I got the fabrics gathered for the back of this quilt but then I stalled.  Just not in the mood yet.

I have 43 wonkies.  I haven't decided how to set them or how many more to make.  I really love them and had so much fun working on them.  Then, again, I stalled.  Ugh. 
I just had a 3 day weekend and I thought I would have plenty of time for sewing.  But I just couldn't figure out what direction to go in.  So I cleaned out some of the kitchen cabinets.  I have a box of mugs and tupperware for the church yard sale packed up.  Just when my weekend hit the home stretch, I got a little bit of mojo.  Or something like it.  What did I do?  I started a brand new project.  It is SO COOL.  I LOVE it.  But I can't show you yet.  It's a surprise for someone and I'm afraid she might check in with my blog.  I will give you a tease though........ I am using a lot of solids and I'm  using a technique from a great book that I got this past year.  I will give you a few sneak peaks soon.
  Meanwhile, how do all of you unblock yourself when you get stuck?  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another New York moment.

When my friends and I spent the day in New York, we did a lot of walking.  After seeing the gorgeous red and white quilts and spending our money in some fun shops, we were HUNGRY and tired.  The four of us who were heading home again on the Megabus had time for a nice dinner before hopping on board.  We did a little texting research and got a recommendation for an Italian place in SoHo.  Perfect, that's where we were!  With the address and our maps in hand, we started walking..............and walking................and walking.   Duh!  We turned on Broadway, not WEST Broadway!  Luckily, while we were on our trek, eagle eyed Stephanie spied this.

How cool is this shop window?  We crossed the street for a closer look and some pictures.

This is a clothing store call All Saints and guess what?  There were walls of shelves full of more sewing machines inside.

A few days after we got home, I saw this.  How cool would it be to be the buyer/collector for All Saints in charge of sewing machines!!

So don't worry, we did find the restaurant.  We had a lovely dinner and relaxing wine then decided to take a cab ride to the bus stop.  Wise decision. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Can I interest you in more 'Red and White'?

I have loads more pictures from the show in New York so I thought I would have one more post of the quilts.  These chairs were in the center of the show. 


 Don't they make you want to gather all your best friends, some cocoa or tea, snuggle up and just have a giggle fest?

Of course one of the facinating aspects of this show was the variety of quilts in just 2 colors.  I was also completely taken with the range in complexity.  Some of the quilts obviously took a lot of time and detailed handwork like this one.

Some are simple but still require skill and time. (sry for the dark photo)

This was in the center of the show and , WOW, was it hard to stop looking at the center. And the beautiful corners!

I loved the red and white fabric here.  And how funny that if I saw it in a fabric store today, I might refer to it as modern!  Forgive me.

I recently stumbled across a topic in blogland about 'dumbing down' quilting.  There are different interpretations of what this means and I don't want to get deep into it.  I was mostly saddened that it sparked so much negativity and gleeful criticism.  I mention this because it was such a treat to see all these quilts, these absolute treasures, together.  From the simple tied quilts to the exquisitely appliqued and quilted, they were each a beautiful work of art.
How about this simplicity?  This was one of my friends absolute faves.  And by the way, the quilting was gorgeous.

And how about the simple designs that have been repeated over and over for hundreds of years?  Houses and boats. Anybody for a day on the lake?  Nuthin fancy here but isn't it so much fun?  Jaunty red boats!  This design is great for a baby or toddler but this quilt was full size.  Am I copping out by making so many smaller quilts?  Hmm, I may need to ponder that.

Talk about a simple block.  I find this quilt riveting.  One of the blogs I follow is Victoria's and she recently made a completely 'drool worthy' quilt with crosses.  Check it out here.  I want to make one of these, it's going on my 'list'.  I already have some color ideas.

Here's a quilt that I have to stop and examine.  Try to figure out how this went together.  Are there two different blocks alternated?  Where does this start?  Or end?    Eh!  Who cares, I LOVE this quilt.

Well, this one caught me eye.  Mostly because I find those critters just plain creepy.  I like the roosters, swans, and horses though.

In the back of the show, there was a cafe where we grabbed a quick brunch and hot drink (boy was it chilly that day and I was underdressed because  I didn't want to drag a lot of stuff around all day).  I couldn't resist these pictures of the quilts from the back.

Even from behind,  this exhibit was just stunning.  Many, many thanks to the Rose family and New York for a fabulous adventure. 
This exhibit may have been once in a lifetime, but if it ever pops up again or hits the road, GO!  Sell the house or kids if you have to, but 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My PIPS have SHIPPED !!!!!!!

That's right people.  I got an email saying that some Sherbet Pips that I had pre-ordered are on their merry way to my mailbox.  I am SO excited.  I feel like I have been waiting forever.  This is the first time that I have fallen in love with a fabric collection before it was available.  The Pips designed by Aneela Hooey have gotten a ton of buzz.  I hope that means that they will be available for a long time.  I really don't want to start another eBay frenzy.
     Now I want to show you something AWESOME!!  My friend, Pat, received a gift from a friend who was in Japan for a while.  Look at this book, it's just beautiful.  Aside from the title and a smattering of French here and there, the book is entirely Japanese.  I can't even read the author's name.  I tried all kinds of searches on Amazon but just can't find this book.

Some of the later chapters look like they are about the author and her studio.  I so wish I knew what the text says.
 There is loads of applique and some embroidery too.  Unbelievable detail.
Looks like she covers the four seasons, right?

There are pages where it is clear that the author is showing ways to vary some ideas such as this one with hairstyles and hats.

I like this page because it shows how you can use the same basic shape and make completely different children through the clothing as well as switching between embroidery and applique.  She also uses an incredible variety of fabrics and materials.  Look at the little hat that looks knitted.  I think it was wool or flannel. There were adorable school scenes with little girls wearing little pleated skirts.  So     darn     cute! 
  There are pages and pages like this one.  Look at all the details.  Seriously,  the curtains,  the fabric she used for the view out the window, the laundry basket, hairbrush, lampshade, scattered clothes........  I'm in love!!!  How about the little crayons?  And that little pillow is 3 dimensional! 
Ok now.  If anyone knows anything about this book, please let me know.  I really really want one.  And I think I would turn myself inside out with excitement if found one in English.  I'm getting greedy aren't I?  Or dreaming.  Now I'm going to be really nice to my friend, Pat, so maybe some day I can borrow this book.  If I were her I would think twice though because I might forget to give it back.  Same on me.  Please don't tell her though.  Now go look at those pictures again and try not to drool on your keyboards!  G'nite!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Two busy weekends!

Last weekend I went on retreat and then to New York City to see the red and white quilt exhibit.  It was a long, full, and busy weekend.  This weekend, my sister Hannah and her husband and two kids are in town from the San Francisco Bay area for a week long visit.  It is so much fun to see all of them.   
I still have lots of pictures from last weekend and I need to take some from this weekend.  Look at these giant roses (and bugs!).  They are all over Park Avenue in New York.  Each block is different.

The exhibit was in the Park Avenue Amory
 and we got quite a hike from the subway to the exhibit.  The Lexington subway stop was closed because of  a downed electrical line or something, so we had to get off and hoof it.  At least we had the roses to look at.
Each and every red and white quilt was something to treasure.  The redwork, oh my the red work!  Beautiful.

And lots and lots of simple yet just stunning designs. 

So gorgeous!  And with only two colors!

This quilting was stunning.

I can't resist a churn dash!  I can't explain it, I just can't.

Do you see it?  Huh, do you?  This quilt was special.

That's right, what a happy surprise!  A little surprise touch of cheddar!  I really love this quilt.  An extra touch of jazz!
I had so much fun with my niece and nephew this weekend.  My niece, Lucy, who is seven  wanted to learn some hand sewing.  I'll show you some pictures of her special project.  Her brother, William (Buddy),  is hilarious and reminds me of my son when he was little. 
I hope you had as much fun this weekend as I did.  Now let's just get through the work week, ok?