Thursday, March 31, 2011

Philly Modern Quilt Guild - Cherri House Event !

I am very excited to attend Cherri House's (of Cherry House Quilts) upcoming lecture hosted by the Philly Modern Quilt Guild

Cherri is the author of City Quilts:
Besides showing her awesome qults she'll also be talking about her use of solids in quilts.  Since I don't use solids too much (except for backgrounds sometimes), I'm interested in hearing what she has to say.  She'll also have her City Quilts book and other patterns for sale.  I've been wanting this book for awhile and I'll be able to get her to autograph it!

The lecture is open to all, so if anyone is in the Huntingdon Valley, PA area on Friday, April 8th, at 7:30pm, and you are interested - feel free to sign up.  We'd love to have a crowd (and we'd love to have some new members too!)  Event is free for guild members/$5 for non-members.  Email to sign up and for exact location.

I'm sure this will be a great event!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ugh....Or, Boy am I Glad THIS One's Done!

I saw this quilt at a quilt show a couple of years ago and thought it would make a great hanging for my office wall.  Looked fairly simple and the batiks were beautiful.  I bought the kit (which included binding AND backing - how cool!) and, of course, it just sat there.  I didn't forget about it, other quilts just seemed more pressing.  I finally decided that I really needed a new quilt for the wall, my usual rotation was boring me.  So, I pulled it out and thought I'll whip this out in no time.  I opened the pattern and saw...paper templates.  What?  Paper Templates?  What, are we back in the 80s????  I don't do paper templates, there's got to be another way.  After perusing all the various rulers I have for making diamonds and angles I determined that, nope, templates it's got to be.  So, okay, I unearthed the little bit of template plastic I had and went to town.  Probably not very accurately.  So, I cut out all my pieces using the templates and a ruler, taking a smidge off the templates from time to time as I was cutting.  Oh boy, that was tedious!  Then, I got to the large diamonds, cutting carefully and I could not get the last diamonds out of the fabric!  Just wasn't going to work, there just wasn't enough.  Really???  Now what am I going to do - this kit is years old at this point, where am I going to get another piece of this batik.  Plus, I just wanted this done!  I wound up piecing the leftovers and was able to eke that last diamond out - and you really can't tell it's pieced. Whew!

Now, to put it together.  All the bits and pieces seemed to go together pretty easily until I got to the rows.  Can you say "bias edges"?!  I think I held my breath through every row.  Between the bias and my maybe-not-so-accurate cutting, it was a challenge.  But it's D.O.N.E.!  And, I'm not making this one again - LOL!

My original plan was to get this one on the quilt frame ASAP so I could get it done and up on my wall.  But, my priorities changed, so it's going to have to wait (besides, I want to quilt some wonky feathers in the black diamonds and I need to brush up on that technique - after all the trouble, I don't want to mess it up!).

These are the items on my list now:

1.  Quilt for my daughter for her birthday (on April 22nd) from these great fabrics I got for my b-day:
2.  A wallhanging for my Mom for Mother's day from Julie Herman's, of Jaybird Quilts, Carnival pattern.  My Mom loved this quilt when we saw it at Julie's trunk show a couple of weeks ago.  She said it looked just like Summer and I knew I wanted to make it for her.
This is one of the quilts using that cool Lazy Angle ruler, so I'll give a little review and blog about my process putting this quilt together.

3.  6 of these placemats for my girlfriend Mary for her birthday in May:
4.  An Easter wallhanging for my lovely daughter-in-law, Raqhel, for her office wall.  Pattern to-be-determined.  She mentioned a couple of weeks ago that for any gift-giving occasion I could give her something quilty for her home or office.  Now, I don't have to give her a gift for Easter, but what more of an excuse do I need?!  She will be covered in quilty-goodness for every holiday I can think of - LOL!

I'm off to a good start.  My daughter's quilt it almost finished.  I should have the top done today and hope to get it on the frame by tomorrow.  I took lots of photos along the way, so I'll blog about the construction of this quilt.  It's one I've done before and it is quick and great for showing off fabrics.

I'm moving just a bit slow this morning...son Bill and I went to the Elton John concert last night in Philly and didn't get home until midnight - WAY after my bedtime.  We had a blast - the concert was fantastic!  Elton sounds better than ever.  Think I'll listen to some EJ while I'm quilting today!

Now I'm off to make some homemade meatballs and potato salad for our "movie night" tonight!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's all in the Presentation!

I'm on another winning streak!.  A few weeks ago I got an email from Thelma from Cupcakes & Daisies that I won her giveaway of a Pom Pom de Paris Charm Pack from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Yipee!!  I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it - the new Brocante Schnibbles pattern (which I also got from FQS - it's very sweet) so I quickly ordered myself the pattern and another charm pack.

So, when my first box came from FQS, I was a little stunned.  I should have put something next to it for size so you could see exactly how HUGE this box was.  I knew it contained just my little charm pack. 
Once I opened it I was astonished to find this beautifully wrapped package...again I should have put something next to it so you see how big it really is.  I just let it sit on my cutting table for at least a week to admire it!  I showed everyone who came by the house - I was thrilled with my beauitful gift.  FQS - you folks really know how to send a package!
I finally opened it and am now admiring this beautiful Frenchness (I'm loving the pink - and I think I spy a bird in there - continuing my apparent current theme of bird fabrics (see earlier post) ....
Next, on my birthday no less, I found out I won these lovely fat quarters from Hip-to-be-Square blogger/podcaster Pam.  Thanks Pam!  I know I have fabrics in my stash to go with these...

I didn't "win" these next fabrics but I have to show them off.  My quilt buddy at work, Lindsay, was visiting a daughter at college and of course stopped by a local quilt shop.  She called me to say they had all of their Amy Butler fabric for 25% and did I want anything.  Of course, I had no idea what I wanted and, also of course, I couldn't tell her "No, I don't need anything" (after all, she took the trouble to call me, right?).  So I told her to pick me out two yards of something that went together and she chose these...
I love them!!  Couldn't have picked better myself.  And, when I asked her how much I owed her, she said "Nothing, consider it a small payment for all of your quilt mentoring."  Wasn't that sweet?  These are earmarked for a clutch bag I saw in the booth when I was working the quilt show a few weeks ago.  I'm not much of a bag maker, but I'm going to give this one a shot because it will look fabulous in these fabrics.

And, just because I finished quilting this recently, I'll show you my Plan C.  I used Prayer Flag (love that line!) ...
and the Fay Feathers panto to quilt it

I would have liked to show you my Beachside Cottage all quilted up...

...which should have been finished last Sunday, but I learned a big lesson .... always make sure you put the backing fabric on the right way so you don't run out of it and quilt your quilt to the leaders...I'll never make that mistake again (I hope!). 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birthday goodies and Charity Quilting

I love that my birthday always falls on or near National Quilting Day - this year it was the day after and I took full advantage (all weekend as a matter of fact - LOL!)

I managed to do some charity quilting....

Here are two blocks I made for quilts for Japan that Beth from Love Laugh Quilt is coordinating in connection with the Quilters Newsletter Magazine quilt drive...
 And I made these four blocks to send to Moda for their Just One Star block drive...
I also got some quilty goodness for my birthday....hubby gave me this FQ pack of purply fabrics that my daughter took one look at and said "Mom, I want a quilt from those!"...

And he also gave me this adorable dog fabric....
I'll have to make something for Lilly from this.  It happens to go perfectly with a stack of doggy fabric I bought a few years ago at a quilt show.  It's probably time to do something with it all.

I also finished the third Birdie Stitches BOM..these blocks are so cute!  The birdie looks a bit washed out in the photo, but he's really there (that's my picture taking skills again)... 
I also finished a wall hanging that I'll blog about later - let's just say I'm glad it's done.

Oh well, birthday's finished for another year...I managed to drag it out from Wednesday night through today - not bad.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Quilt Show and a Quilt Shop

I had a couple of fun quilty weekends lately...last weekend (well, actually it was Thursday and Friday), I spent at the Quilt Fest of New Jersey.  I had a ball as usual.  I did the show most of Thursday, but then I had the great pleasure of helping out in Gina Halladay's Cranberry Quiltworks booth!  She needed an extra pair of hands and I was more than happy to help out.  Most unexpected, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  Here's where I spent a few hours Thursday afternoon and most of Friday....

The only snafu in the whole thing was that, being GPS-less and direction-challenged, I  totally missed the exit to Pennsylvania from New Jersey on the way home Thursday night and didn't realize it until I was a good 20 miles out of my way - in rush hour traffic!  Since it's almost a 2 hour drive to the show from my house in no traffic, needless to say, I was quite rattled by the time I got home.  A glass of wine, a good dinner and good night's sleep and I was ready to tackle the drive back the next morning.  I did make it home on Friday without incident.  I don't think I'll make that mistake again!

Then, this past Friday I found out that Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts (and fellow guild member and founder of the Philly Modern Quilt Guild), was doing a trunk show of her latest quilts on Saturday morning at my new favorite shop, The Village Quilter, in Mt. Holly, NJ.    I immediately dialed my Mom who lives quite close to the shop (and who I drug along on my quilt shop hop a few weeks ago) and invited her to drive me there - LOLOL!  She was more than happy to go with me and we had a blast seeing the demos and Julie's new quilts using this great new Lazy Angle ruler from Creative Grids.  Unfortunately, Julie's patterns hadn't come in yet, but I'm definitely going to get one or two...she's been featuring them on her blog lately if you want to check them out.  Julie handed me her very large, fancy SLR camera and asked if I'd take a few photos.  I sure hope she got one or two that turned out okay - a photographer I am not-LOL!

I also couldn't resist a layer cake of the super cute Max & Whiskers by Basic Grey...the puppies just won me over....

Well, I going to go try and eke out a bit more time in my sewing room tonight before bed - I'm still really missing that hour we lost!!!