Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Year of Schibbles February - How Long Does it Take to Make a Schnibble?

On February 1st, the day Sinta and Sherri announced the February Schnibble, I placed my order.  When did the pattern arrive?  February 22nd.  Not a happy camper.  But, I wasn't going to let that stop me - I was determined not to flake out on only the second month of AYOS and finish this Schnibble!!

The pattern is I.S.T.H. (that means, Insert Snappy Title Here - designer Carrie Nelson just couldn't come up with a name).

So, how long does it take to make this Schnibble top?  Nine and one-half hours over 5 days.
Drawing the line for HSTs on the wrong size squares is NOT a time saver!
 For the stars, I used A Breath of Avignon charm pack.
Then decided to pull from stash for the borders and setting triangles...

I decided the scrappy squares middle border didn't do a whole lot for me, so decided to go with one piece of fabric.
So, I made it with a few days to spare!

Check out the AYOS Schnibbles parade on March 1st on Sinta and Sherri's blogs!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Random Bits

This weekend we had a blizzard.  Well, it was almost like a blizzard for about an hour.  My husband has been laughing at me all weekend when I'd ask people "did you see the blizzard?!"  It was the closest we've had this very bizarre "winter".  It was fun because I knew it wasn't going to last.  My kind of snow - doesn't stick to anything!  Lilly and I went out to run around in it for a little bit. 
We (well, my husband) bought a new car this weekend!  The color is called "Alien" - LOL!  Sounds weird, but it's actually a really nice shade of metallic green.   This was an inevitable purchase my husband has been putting off for way too long.  We dumped so much money into his old Sonata this past year to try to keep it running and then it got totalled two weeks ago.  Luckily, no one got hurt and he got more money for it than he thought which was good.  This is when I am glad we pay for good insurance!  We also traded in our Jeep that he used to haul his crap items when he sells at shows.   So, we had to get something with some capacity, but at a economy price (not only on the purchase, but gas, repairs, tires, etc.)  So, he got a Kia Soul.  We really like it so far.  And, he loves the fancy stuff like the bluetooth - which he actually got to work all by himself (a techno-geek he is not).
So, while we were running around Saturday, back to the dealership (twice) to retrieve things he left in the Jeep (I think the salesman thought he was stalking him - LOL!), we went to lunch in Doylestown and, how 'bout that - we're right next to Sew Smart!  See how I maneuvered that - ha ha.  I only purchased some fusible fleece (too boring to even take a picture of) and 4 yards of a white-on-white background fabric for my brother's wedding quilt.   It was hard to get a good photo, but it's very elegant.
And, because my bag was way too white, I threw in this charm pack of Pezzy prints they had on the counter....I missed these prints the first time around, so now I feel better that I have some...
 I also got started on the quilting on this large HST quilt.  I'm using the Fay Feathers pantograph.  I'm really happy with the way it's turning out.
And, now the weekend's over.  It went too fast, but they always seem to. Luckily, I have no obligations after work this week, so I'll be sure to get my sewing fix in every night!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Daisy Chain Sampler

A couple of months ago, I fell in love with Kristyne's (from Pretty By Hand) version of Alicia Paulson's (Posie Gets Cozy) Daisy Chain Sampler...

Alicia's original version is done with crewel wool and is gorgeous, but it was Kristyne's softer version with this beautiful palette of Cosmo floss that really caught my eye. 
I do have all 300-some colors of DMC floss (cross stitch was my "thing" before I found quilting), but this was a special project and I decided to splurge.  I had heard how awesome the Cosmo floss was and how fabulous it is to sew with.   I got mine from Thimble Creek.  The floss is about 3x more expensive than DMC, but I still only spent about $15.  So, the verdict?  It's nice but I'm not sure I'm noticing much of a difference yet.  I guess I'll have to do a stitch test - stitch a line with Cosmo and then with DMC.  But, the colors are gorgeous and I'm happy I'm working with them.

Next, I hunted for a soft, creamy background in my stash and found this piece.  I marked it with a Frixion pen so I would be sure that none of my marks would show after stitching (I just have to resist the urge to iron the piece before I'm done - LOL!)
Here's where I am so far...
Some detail shots.  I'm not great at embroidery, but I'm sure I'll get better after completing this sampler...
I have to fix the "circle" at the end of the E, it's not as round as it should be, so I'll go back and fix that and then finish stitching. 
Look at G - what a fun letter - all French knots!  I love doing French knots.
I've never done some of the stitches, but that's what makes this sampler so much fun!  Every letter is something different.  I know I'll be making more than one of these!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Personal Sewing Retreat

Two weekends ago, we had our PMQG mini Sewing Summit and last weekend, I had my very own personal sewing retreat!  Hubby and I went to the beach for the weekend.  Back in December when we were here, I accidentally left my wedding ring behind.  We knew no one would be back anytime soon, so we decided to come down near Valentine's Day, retrieve my ring and have a relaxing weekend.  With no guests to entertain this time, I brought my machine and a few projects.

I did some dishes...

And I Swooned a little...

The problem with sewing other places is when you do things like throw a stiletto in your bag instead of your seam ripper.
But I learned you can rip seams pretty well with your curved embroidery scissors!  (I forgot my 1/4" foot at the mini Sewing Summit  - I had my open toe foot on the machine and forgot to change it).

A little rant...
Even if you are not making a Swoon, you may have heard about the very tight cutting requirements when using FQs.  There is no room for error, or less fabric than a full FQ.  So, when your FQ has almost an INCH of selvedge, well, that's a problem!
I also did a bit of work on my embroidery project (which I'll blog about next).  It was a very productive weekend - and with views like this, very relaxing too...

Lilly had a good time too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scrappy Dresden Plate Quilt-a-Long 2

I'm just cranking out these Dresdens!  I think I'm a bit addicted.  They are so much fun - and I'm really enjoying the hand stitching.
True to form, I hadn't bought enough background fabric when I bought the fabrics last year.  When I realized it, I ran to my computer to see if I could still find some.  I think I found the last two yards left!  Whew!  Allegro Fabrics came to my rescue.  And look how cute...love when you get your fabric order tied with ribbons and looking like a little gift.  (Besides, I get to add to my ribbon collection.)
I see more Dresden plate quilts in my future!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

PMQG Sewing Summit

Last Saturday the PMQG held our first (and I hope annual!) mini "sewing summit".  It was a great day and we had a great space to work in thanks to one of our members ...

Here is my set up...
We even had a couple Featherweights with their very own tables - very cool!
The day ran from 10am-5pm and consisted of two workshops, free sewing time and lunch.  The first workshop (darn, no photos, left my camera by my sewing machine and didn't feel like climbing over folks to get it) was a color theory class by member/fabric designer/quilt pattern designer Jessica Levitt.  Jessica brought stacks and stacks of fabrics (which I wanted to hide and take all of it home with me - that girl has a fantastic stash!) for us to play with.  Jessica lectured, showed examples on a big screen and had us break into groups and do a number of hands-on activities with fabrics and paint ships.  We were given stacks of fabrics and we were to sort them in value order - harder than it sounds! With the paint chips, we were to find all of the colors of the color wheel.  It was fun!  Great workshop - I learned a lot (and I have studied color theory before).

The afternoon workshop was with Sujata Shah who taught a class on curved or "organic" piecing.  I had never met Sujata before - I would love to take another class with her.  Before she taught us her technique, she showed us a number of examples of quilts she had made.

This was a technique workshop - no real pattern.  I didn't get a whole lot done, but got the gist of it and think I understand the technique pretty well.  This is what I got done during the afternoon...
You can see the gentle curves.  I think I'll keep going on this to make it a bit longer and then I'm thinking of using it as a background for some applique.  I'm sure the PMQG blog will have photos of more pieces done by members in the workshop.

All in all, it was a great day.  I love getting together to sew with friends.  I'm looking forward to our next guild sewing night!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bargello Quilt-a-Long Week 2

I finally got back to my Bargello table runner.  Oooohh, this makes my head hurt.  I guess trying to follow the bargello pattern while simultaneously trying to half listen to a tv show and download all of my music and photos to transfer from my PC to my new hand-me-down Mac is not the best way to go about it.  You (well at least I) need all of your faculties focused to do this properly.

So, I'm half done...

The reason I am only half done:  You also need to pay attention when you are sewing all of your strips together for your second tube that you sew them in the same order as when you sewed the first tube together.  And if you don't, hope that you realize it before you cut all of the 2.5" strips, or you'll be ripping out three seams on every stinkin' strip.  Don't ask me how I know.  
More next week.

Here's some more eye candy for you.  Last weekend we got together with some dear friends to have "our" Christmas (a little late this year!).   One of the gifts Jamie brought me came all the way from Japan!  He was there on business in early December - only for 48 hours - but made it a point to go to a quilt shop and bought me a yard each of these beautiful Japanese fabrics!  The selvedges even have Japanese characters on them (but I forgot to take photos of them).  I was thrilled with these!

And look at this cute little bag (I love cute bags)
I've already got a couple of ideas for these beauties!