Monday, May 31, 2010

Jelly Roll Sampler #7

Oooohhh, my aching back!  My husband and I spent yesterday doing yardwork.  I love beautiful landscaping and gardens - but I hate to do it.  So does he.  I wish we did, but we don't, so, we don't do it very often, but a few times a year you must give the outside of the house a little TLC.  It doesn't help that our neighbor right next door's hobby is working in his yard.  I keep telling him...just keep going right - LOL!  So, this is what we accomplished....

We weeded, trimmed all the bushes, put down many bags of mulch, and filled baskets with annuals.

We also found this pretty lilly that I couldn't resist buying....

We also planted some herbs and tomatoes on the side of the house.  I put them in a different spot from last year. Last year, I spent a bunch of money on herbs, vegetables and tomatoes. Not much took...only got a couple of tomatoes but the herbs and other veggies didn't really do anything. Except the mint. I don't think you can kill mint. It creeps and spreads and comes back year after year! Anyone for a mojito! So, I'm hoping changing locations will work for the rest of our little garden. And it's far away from the mint!

To make sure I get a little quilty something in this's my Jelly Roll Sampler block number 7...

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A little late to the party...

But better late than never!  Since I'm currently on a Schnibbles kick, I thought I join in on the Year of Schnibbles.  Sherri of A Quilting Life and Sinta of  Pink Pincushion are hosting.  It started last October and I probably won't be able to catch up, but I'm going to give it a shot.  I've already made Madeline (shown below) which was January's Schnibble, I believe and May's pattern was "choose your own".  I chose Reveille and here it is all quilted and bound - just in time to enter! 

Here's a fun print I found in my stash for the back...

I love that these little quilts by Carrie Nelson are so quick to make.  So, I'm anxiously awaiting to find out what June's Schnibble is going to be....I don't have long to wait!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here’s the roundup for this third week of May Mayhem. This past week was mostly all about Madeline. She’s lovely…

Life got in the way a little bit so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I normally like to in my sewing haven.

Here’s the breakdown of what I accomplished:

Monday – completed two Madeline blocks. 1.5 hours. I had to use a different method of making the geese in this block due to the use of the charm squares. This slowed me down! I really, really like my Eleanor Burns flying geese rulers. However, even if I had the size fabric needed, EB doesn’t have a ruler for the size I needed which was 1-3/4 x 3. So, I just had to suck it up and do it. This method didn’t allow me to be as precise as I can be with EB, but I slogged through and made it work.

Tuesday – another two Madeline blocks completed. I got a little faster – only took 1 hour total tonight

Wednesday – ditto Tuesday

Thursday – this is where it all fell apart – LOL! I got home and a family member had heard some fantastic news about a new job and I spent the evening helping him go over his offer letter. Whew! He’d been (we’d all been) on pins and needles all week waiting to hear. I was so glad for him. So, we had some celebratory wine and all I managed was perusing my new Quilt Sampler and Quilter’s Home mags before I was out for the count!

Friday – Oh my, Friday. We offered to babysit our 11yo grandson while my step-son and DIL went to the Big Apple for a concert Friday night. They have a new puppy. His name is Leo. He so stinkin’ cute, I can hardly stand it. Meet Leo…(this is him on a skate board)

Since Leo is so new to the world I just felt terrible that this little one would be left home alone all night with just folks coming over to let him out now and then. I said, no, really, we’ll take him for the night. How bad can it be?

This is Lilly.

I introduced Lilly in my first post. Lilly’s a diva. While she goes to Doggie Day Camp and is very social, she DOES NOT like her territory encroached on by other doggies (even if they are very, very cute). So, Lilly was not a happy camper. It was tense. All evening long. So, we spent the evening blocking. Making sure Leo didn’t eat anything he wasn’t supposed to and that he didn’t get too near Lilly.  Exhausting! So, all I was able to muster was another 15 minutes or so of quilty magazine reading.

Saturday – coming down the home stretch with Madeline – rest of the blocks finished and put together and inner border put on – about 2 hours

Sunday – Chose and set up pantograph on the frame for quilting the Flying Cranes quilt. And Madeline was completed! (Well, the top anyway). About 1.5 hours total.

Boy, this month is flying by!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I thought I'd join in the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side.  What fun!  There are over 500 quilts posted so far.  Wow, I'm going to have alot of blog reading to do!  My entry is my favorite quilt to date that I've made. 

This quilt was a very long time in the making and I'm not sure why.  In January 2008, I made a resolution.  I was going to work through those UFOs!  I wouldn't be allowed to start a new quilt until I had finished at least two UFOs.  And I had many!  I am notorious for starting a quilt and then putting it aside when the next great quilt comes along!  So, I pulled out all the boxes and bag and looked in the nooks and crannies where I had UFOs stashed and made a list.  There it was in black and white and I was going to be UFO-less!!  (That worked for awhile, but I seem to have gotten off-track in the past six months or so - while I'm not UFO-less, I'm at least finishing what I start now).  I pulled out this beauty that I had started in 1998 - I know because I kept the paperwork from the LQS class that I took to make it.  Thank goodness!  You forget what you were doing when 10 years pass and you have a quilt all cut up and in various stages of together-ness. 

I had forgotten all about this quilt, but when I opened the box I remembered - I LOVED these Robyn Pandolph fabrics (the line name escapes me right now), and the pattern is so pretty.  Why did I never finish this!  Well, after refreshing my memory as to where I was in construction (which took awhile - good thing I had those old class papers!) I realized I was short some of the white fabrics.  Oh no!  What was I going to do - this fabric was at least 10 years old!  Believe it or not, I tracked a piece down - whew!  After I got started, it really didn't take long to finish this lovely quilt.  It's called 9x9x9.  I used a floral pantograph - Daisy Swirl, I believe - that looks lovely with the fabrics, but the quilting doesn't show up very well in the photographs.  It lives draped over my wing chair in the living room.  Everytime someone comes in and asks about it, I tell them this is my favorite quilt.  It just makes me happy.


Click on the Button at the top of this post and have fun looking at some great quilts in the Festival! Very inpsiring!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Mayhem Roundup - Week 3

Pioneer Quilter Kelly, hostess of May Mayhem, mentioned the feeling of “stalling out” last week – I know what she means. I felt like I was going gang busters the first couple of weeks and last week, while I got a lot accomplished when I put it on paper, didn’t feel as productive. While things like moving the machine is a huge accomplishment, and making binding, prepping backings and tracing appliqué, which was most of what I accomplished, is definitely not as exciting as finishing a quilt top and that’s probably why I felt that way. But, all of those things need to get done.

Mon - Made binding for Beach Cottage - 1/2 hour

Tue - Traced applique for Lady Madonna; made Jelly Roll Sampler Block #6; stitched on Winter Wonderland block - 2 hrs
Wed - moved HQ16 upstairs - 6.5 hours!!! That was it for that day - (it took so long because both rooms had to be cleaned out) we went out for happy hour after-LOL, then I came home and crashed! Ooooh, my aching back!

Thu - Trace remainder of LM Applique; stitched on Winter Wonderland block - 45 mins (I was still REALLY tired from Wednesday o:) )

Fri - prepped backing and batting for Reveille - 1/2 hour

Sat - Cut out fabric for Madeline Schnibble; put Reveille on frame and starting quilting! - 3 hrs

Sun - Finished quilting Reveille; prep backing for Flying Cranes quilt and put on frame; make and sew on binding on Reveille; made one Madeline block - 3-1/2 hours

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The monster has landed

What a week!  I still don't think I've recovered from the day long (really, it was over 6 hours) move of the HQ16 on Wednesday.  I took the day off work to accomplish this.  The moving of the machine wasn't THAT big a deal, but cleaning out and rearranging the room it was going into  (my daughter's old room - with a lot of her junk still in it) and unearthing the machine from it's old home downstairs took the better part of the day.  But, whew, it's DONE!  And it feels good!!  And best of all, we got the frame put together right, first try and the machine still sews-LOL!  After that, we went to happy hour at a local restaurant where I had a yummy half-price Cosmo and pizza to ease my aching bones.  I then went home and went to bed!

Here it is in all its glory...

Excuse the bright turquoise wall (the ceiling is lime green) - leftover from my daughter's teenagedom.  I really need to re-paint.  Maybe a soft sage green or something soothing.  Turquoise and lime green is NOT soothing.

I finally fired this baby up today.  I started off small and I haven't quilted in about 6 months.  The last quilt I did was my boss's Christmas gift - this batik Hunter's Star (which he loved - isn't it nice when you give someone a quilt and you can tell how much they appreciate it?)

So, today I popped on Reveille -

I'm starting off easy - I'm just doing a medium stipple in the colored fabric and leaving the white squares unquilted and stitch-in-the-ditch around the border.  I'll finish this up in the morning and then I'm putting on the Flying Cranes.  I wanted to do Beach Cottage next but that awesome backing fabric I mentioned - well, there isn't quite enough.  I'm so mad at myself - if I would just have gotten another 1/2 yard.  So, now I have to order more (which I don't mind but it's the shipping charges that get me - grrr.)  I would just piece borders on it, but it's a bit of a heavier weight than regular quilting cottons, so I'll spring for another piece.

I think I'll do something a little more intricate in the Cranes quilt.  My neighbor has asked me if I'd quilt a quilt for her.  I told her yes, but I need to get my "quilting chops" back a bit since it's been so long.  So, I figured I get a couple of my own done before I tell her to bring her quilt over.  I don't typically quilt for others - I'm usually too afraid of messing up someone's quilt!  I like to make a quilt start to finish, and then sell the finished product. But, since she's a friend and won't expect perfection I said I'd do it (I hope I don't regret it!).

It feels really good to be back in the saddle again!

Ps - my husband is sitting here as I type this post and wants me to tell everyone that he purchase two quilting magazines for me today during his Saturday morning "yard saling" (he always keeps his eye for quilty things).  From 1989 and 1990 - LOL!  They are very small - not full magazine size and not much color inside.  Did they even have rotary cutters then?  LOL!  These should be interesting....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May Mayhem - first week's progress

I had a pretty productive first week in the Mayhem in May challenge.  I quilted every day and got three of my "goals" knocked out.  As I already posted, the Aviary quilt is complete (yay!) .  Beach Cottage top is also finished (the colors look washed out in this photo, it's a lot brighter).....

Ta Da!

I decided to bind it in the inner border dark blue fabric and found I was just one strip short.  Well, that called for ordering another yard of that fabric - LOL!  I was surprised that it was so hard to find - only a couple of places had any left.  Whew!  The shop I found it at (Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe - I've ordered from them a few times and have always had a good experience) also had the perfect backing fabric - Sunshine by April Cornell.

Now, I'm even more excited to get this puppy quilted!

Then, I decided to tackle my first Schnibble.  I was all set to do Madeline.  I sat there with all my Rouenneries FQs and yardage and tried to figure out the pattern (which calls for charms packs) using what I had.  After much pondering, I put it all away and went and ordered two charm packs and some of the inner border fabric.  Why cut into that beautiful stash of Rouenneries when you don't have to (someone stop me, please!)  Those charm packs were hard to find too.  I'll tell you, you've got to be quick to snatch up that fabric, or it will be gone, gone, GONE!

Anyway, with Madeline on hold for a while, I decided to do the Reveille Schnibble.  I knew I wanted to use my stash of POSH by Chez Moi (from Moda, of course).  I have a hoard of that line (bought a bunch of FQs for a particular quilt and then found a shop that was having a blow-out sale on the line - 50% off - so I bought a yard of all they had.  So I LOTS of POSH).  Anyway, this pattern was easier to figure out and I made my own "charm pack".  It was a fun little quilt to make.  I'll probably do another (maybe bigger) some time.  Here is the "middle", before I got the borders on:
This Schnibble was not yet a quilt of the month in the Year of Schnibbles contest (that Sinta and Sherri are spearheading) and this month is "choose your own".  So.....I think I just might join in.  Now, I'd be really late to the game if I do (I believe they started in October), but if the Schibbles all this quick to make maybe I can catch up (or maybe I'm just nuts - LOL!)

Mayhem in May - week one
5/1 - 3.5 hours - worked on Aviary top, cross stitch
5/2 - 2.5 hours - completed Aviary top; cross stitch
5/3 - 1.75 hour - worked on putting bordered on Beach Cottage; cross stitch
5/4 - 1 hr - competed Beach Cottage top
5/5 - 1 hr - made binding for Aviary; pondered  Madeline and Rouenneries
5/6 - 1.25 hours - cut out and began piecing Reveille
5/7 - 3 hrs - worked on Reveille
5/8 - 3.5 hrs - finished Reville top

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Aviary - Success!

Aviary top is complete!  I love it - and I can't wait to get it quilted.  Except  I need backing.  And I need to get the longarm moved upstairs because it's currently buried where it lives downstairs.  But, the top is done and it's soft and sweet.  And too big, unfortunately, to hang in my office.  I always bring my projects in to show off at the office and I did a quick check when I brought it in to see if it would fit in the space I have and it's a bit too big.  Oh well, guess I'll just have to make something else to put there o:).  As I mentioned I trimmed the geese a bit so all the borders had to be fudged a bit and I'm not so good at that kind of math, so it was a bit of a trial and error (and maybe a bit of anxiety that I would ruin the quilt).  But, I only had to take apart one strip set of the outer geese and trim them down a little and resew so it fit.  Whew!

Now, how to quilt it.  I was thinking about just doing a medium meander in white thread but my quilt buddy at work convinced me it needed more.  So, I'm thinking about it.  Maybe a leafy all-over in the borders and center section and continuous curves in the geese?   I'm not good at this part.  I have a hard time coming up with great quilting designs.  I'll give it some more thought.

I received my "prize" from the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along - a "Pampered Pooch" jelly roll!  The fabrics are so did she know I liked doggies???  It is a 30s inspired line and I want to find just the right pattern to make with it.  I'm still tickled that I won!!

I've been keeping up with the May Mayhem challenge so far- we're reporting weekly on Mondays with our progress, so I'll post that here too.  Keeps me honest o:)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Aviary - Success!

Some Mayhem in May!

So, I’ve signed on for the challenge that Kelly of The Pioneer Quilter, one of the awesome quilty/crafty podcasters of the Quiltcast SuperGroup in the Big Tent has put out there.  (Click the Big Tent link and search on Quiltcast Supergroup if you’re interested)  The Challenge?  Spend AT LEAST 15 minutes quilting every day in the month of May.  Now, this generally isn’t a problem for me.  There aren’t many days that I don’t spend sewing at least some of the time.  I get really cranky if I can’t sew for at least a little bit everday (just ask my husband-LOL!).  Now, there are some exceptions.  Sometimes on Friday’s I don’t sew.  On Friday’s I like to go home from work and get my “must do” cleaning done – like bathrooms and starting the laundry.  I hate having to get up on Saturday mornings and do that (I like to sit with my coffee and read my blogs on Saturday mornings).  Then, hubby and I usually have a “date” to meet on the couch at 8pm and eat pizza and watch Ghost Whisperer (yeah, exciting Friday nights). Then, sometimes life gets in the way and there's too much to do - like my daughter's 21st birthday party last Sunday.  Busy day.  But, luckily she only turns 21 once o:)

So, I'm UP for the challenge!  With the challenge, I'll plan to make sure I do some hand stitching at lunchtime if I know I'll have a busy night (I always have some hand stitching in my bag  - currently my LAST (woo hoo!) Winter Wonderland block (Crabapple Hill designs).  And, on other days, I will make sure I put in 15 minutes somewhere even if I'm busy (maybe get up a bit earlier, go to bed a bit later???).

Kelly asked us to submit our goals for the month.  So, mine are:

1.  Finish piecing Aviary Taffy Treats (putting these many borders on is slow going!  Particularly since I'm nervous about the dimensions as they were a little funky to begin with and I trimmed the geese and I don't think I was supposed to.)

1a.  Quilt Taffy Treats.  I want to hang it in my office at work as my "summer" quilt.

2.  Finish piecing Beach Cottage - one more row to go before I put on the borders - yay!

3.  Make a Schnibble! (Not sure which one yet - probably Madeleine)

4.  Quilt the small Christmas wallhangings I made in January (I can do this on the DSM).  I made 3 of the Christmas Ornament quilts (two this size and one smaller).  I saw something similar somewhere on the internet and thought it was so cute, so made up my own.  This one is finished, I still need to quilt the other two.  The other one is a stitchery BOM from Gail Pan called  A Christmas Wish.  It is so sweet.

5.  Get my HQ16 moved to its new home upstairs so I can start quilting that large, and growing larger, stack of big quilts again!!

6.  Finish my Lady Madonna quilt top - I've got the "background" made, now I just have to work on the applique.

7.  Keep up with the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along.

8.  Start my Snowbound blocks (if Hancocks EVER delivers the rest of the Rural Jardin fabric!)

Anything else I get done is cake!

(PS - I may have started a cross stitch sampler two nights ago, but don't tell anyone.  (People will roll their eyes at ANOTHER new project!).  Cross stitch is what I did before I found quilting.  I don't have time for another hobby, but I saw a beautiful cross stitch piece - Shores of Hawk Run Hollow that Heather of the Quilt or Stitch Blog recently finished.  It's beautiful.  (She makes gorgeous quilts too.  This young woman is amazing.  She has 3 young children, and she finishes many beautiful projects, her home looks lovely and she does so much with her children.  Just seems like a nice happy family.  I love her bog.)  So, I pulled some closets apart looking for my bag with my leftover cross stitch stuff in it.  I knew exactly what the bag looked like, just not exactly where it was put when we moved here 12 years ago.  And, I found it!  I picked out a nice, not too big sampler and had all the floss except for one color and started immediately!!  So, I need to do this cross stitch like I need a hole in the head -- see, reading blogs can be very dangerous for me.  I see something and before I know it I'm doing it too!  I do know that cross stitch is lots cheaper than quilting.  The skein of floss I needed - I stopped to buy it on the way home Friday night - it was 39 cents!)

Two pieces of quilty good news this week - first, I mentioned I just joined the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt-Along.  I was a few weeks late in starting, but I quickly caught up and posted my blocks on the Flickr group.  And I won that week's prize!  First time out!  I was tickled pink!  I won a jelly roll - isn't that awesome?!  Now, if that doesn't give you incentive to keep up with the Quilt-Along I don't know what would!

Second piece of good news, I found out from my new bloggy friend Nancy of Blogging, Near Philadelphia that my LQS that which was closing is going to re-open in the same space, only a bit smaller.  They had 3 store fronts and they have been able to negotiate to keep one of them.  I was happy to hear that!

Well, it's now Sunday - I've been trying to post this entry since Friday.  Events conspired against me.  I think I've got it this time though o:)