Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kenny's Flea Market Finds

I have a second installment of Kenny's Flea Market Finds.  Along with a bunch of great items for our daughter's new digs in the city, he found a few very cute figures with a quilty theme (and luckily he only brought one home with him - I really am running out of room!).

This one is a winter scene of two little boys sledding with a very cute puppy with a mini log cabin quilt as the backdrop.  No, it's not a real log cabin quilt, but a very realistic "cheater" that is actually quilted around every teeny little log! The quilt measures 6"x6", so you can imagine how small each log is. On the back the label says it's from The Amish Heritage Collection.

Here's a close up of the mini quilt:

Now, where to put it?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green!

So this secret quilt that I'm working on?  Well, it's green, very green. Here are the fabrics I'm using...

When we came home from vacation, we had an invitation in the mail to the wedding of friends of our son & daugther-in-law.  Of course, I have to make them a quilt!  But I only have one month - the wedding's the 2nd weekend in October.  So, I figured I'd better get moving (and choose a fairly simple pattern). However, I had absolutely no idea what colors the bride and groom like, if they like traditional or modern. Nothing.  I'm at a loss.  So, son & daughter-in-law say the groom likes green and the bride likes wild and crazy.

So, green it will be!  But, I thought about it and realized I've never really made a green quilt.  Hmmm, did I even have that much green fabric?  A quick peruse of my stash showed I have plenty of green fabric!  (Did I really think I didn't - LOL!)  Then while cruising the internet, I saw a Square-in-a-Square quilt and thought "that's it!"  It'll be quick and I can use lots of different greens to make it interesting. 

I'd like to use one of these two fabrics for the border.  I'll wait til the middle's done before I decide.  Oh, and the "wild and crazy" for the bride?  I'm going to do a smaller SnS block as a label and use 4 different wild colors for the outside.

Here are some of the blocks I've finished so far...

I found this great tutorial for making the S-N-S blocks from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site.  They're coming out perfectly with just a smidge of waste.  I'm using the Easy Angle to cut the triangles.  Love this thing!  I have a smaller one, but went to Jo-Ann's to get a larger one - on sale for 50% off

and while I was there I saw this perfect green already-made binding - that I got for, yep, 50% off!  What a timesaver!

So, my sewing room is awash in green fabric, but the top is coming along! I just have to find a great backing. Hopefully I can find something at the PA National Quilt Extravaganza this Friday (I am so psyched for this quilt show!!). If not, I'll still have time to order something online.

Oh, I really hope they like green o:)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Charming Girls Quilt Club - September/October Goals

I'm still running behind  I meant to post this at the beginning of the week and now the week is almost over!  Our Charming Girls September/October Goal is:

How did Kelly know that I really need this goal right now?!  There is one really important quilt that needs to be quilted in this time frame, but I'll be blogging about that soon.  But, there is a huge pile of quilts to be quilted.  I just counted them - there are 26.  Now, there's no way I'm going to make even a small dent in the pile these two months, but I am challenged to spend more time at the quilt frame and less (well, a little) time piecing. Besides the stack of quilt tops in the closet, the are three tops hanging over the quilting frame....

That includes Madeline there on the right, with backing and batting all ready to go!  On the left side is Cameos with Joy Luck next to it.  I don't want my quilt frame to become just a big hanger like so many treadmills/exercise bikes - LOL!

I've already posted some recently completed tops, but here are some others in the pile that I haven't shown.

This is what I call my "French Toile" quilt.  I should take some closeups, the toile is beautiful (I am partial to toile in any color though).  This was inspired by my quilting buddy at work.  She designed and made one and I just loved hers so much, I wanted to do one too.  Luckily I had LOTS of the toile, because when I first cut out the middles, I did not cut them on point.  So, guess what?  I'll be having two French Toile quilts - LOL!  By the way, she hasn't quilted hers yet either o:)

This one was my first (and probably only) attempt at Hawaiian quilting.  I had the orange/green fabric for years waiting for just the right project. And this was it!  Again, this was one of those huge applique pieces like Lady Madonna, only this was one big applique instead of a bunch of little pieces which made it a bit easier.  I'm just going to do echo quilting which I think is pretty traditional. 

So, my goal for September/October is to quilt the important new quilt being made along with Madeline and one other quilt.  That's three all together.  If I get to more great, but I don't want to over commit!  Besides, I just started the super-secret quilt on Sunday, so I've a got a little ways to go to finish the top.  More on that soon!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Charming Girls Club Report

I can't seem to catch up after vacation.  Between work and home I've been swamped since we came back and I realized I hadn't done my Charming Girls Club report for July/August. 

I am relieved to have completed my goal of finished the applique on Lady Madonna!  Woo hoo!  There were lots of pieces to fuse down and the challenge was getting them all even.  I think I did an okay job.  I had to work on my living room floor because I don't have a table big enough to lay it out.  You really need to  be able to see the whole top to make sure things are somewhat even.  Then, I had to transfer it to do the fusing.  Which meant pinning all the pieces down.  I decided to work on my dining room table to do the fusing because even though I have a Big Board ironing board, I really wanted to work with as much of the top showing as possible.  And that worked pretty well.  This part was a major project - it probably took about 3 hours or so to place and fuse all the pieces.  Alot of that was working on the floor - oh, my aching back!

Then, came the task of satin stitching all those pieces.  I normally love machine applique.  But, manhandling the entire quilt top through the machine while doing it was a bear.  And the pieces kept coming up on the parts I wasn't stitching, so I kept having to re-iron.  As I mentioned before, I went with Wonder Under instead of my usual Steam-a-Seam 2 to save money for this large project.  I probably didn't fuse it properly as I'm not used to working with it.  But, it's done and the memory of the pain is receding - LOL.  Now, to quilt it. Not sure what color thread to use.  I can't use all black because it wouldn't look right in the white blocks and white probably wouldn't look right on the black blocks.  So, I'll probably switch back and forth - that's a whole other headache, so this one might sit in the ever growing to-be-quilted pile for awhile.

Part of July/August's goals was Self-Care.  I chose exercise as I really, really needed the motivation.  So how did I do?  Not as well as I would have liked but better than if I hadn't had the goal.  I was able to get in about 15 minutes of weights and leg work most weekday mornings. Unfortunately, cardio was relegated to just weekends.  I just can't seem to get up any earlier to get a good workout in (and I really can't get to bed any earlier - hubby and I are "early retirers" as a friend recently mentioned - I just need a lot of sleep!).  I am still working on that.  So, this will definitely be a continuing goal!