Monday, December 10, 2012

The Printed Bolt

Last spring at a quilting retreat I met two lovely ladies behind The Printed Bolt blog.
The focus is on fabric design.
 Each month they post a challenge for designers and then the designers have to create a print that supports the months theme.
 
 
It is really fun to watch and they have a great line-up of guest judges who have the final say on who wins for that month.
 Some of the judges this round are Amy Butler, Kathy Mack, and Rashida Coleman-Hale.
 Then like most competitions, a designer is eliminated until there is a winner.
 
It is a lot of fun to watch and see all the designs, plus they often do a giveaway. 
Which, is the point of this whole post!
Last summer I won (this was actually the first thing I have ever won) a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. I was so excited to win and to win $50!!

The picture above are the spoils of that win. Many of which are now in my low volume quilt, my current WIP. I also have been collecting Dr. Seuss fabric and I grabbed a few solids. The orange dot will go in a polka-dot quilt as soon as I find the perfect pattern for it.

I am still loving this win! Have you won anything lately?


 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

The View From Here

When I moved rooms I was lucky enough to get a nice window to sew under.
When it was warmer I opened the window and reveled in the fresh air.
 I picked up my machine Friday night and feel so much better now.
 I am back to work on the low volume quilt. 
 
 
It started to snow last night and did not quit all day.
 I was able to sew and watch as the snow drifted down to the ground. 
As I sit at my machine below is my view.
 
 
Thick flakes fell all day long and by 4:00 school was already 2 hours late.

 
I love being snowed in!
 
What is the view from where you sew or do your making?
 
 


Thursday, December 06, 2012

What a fine Mess

Last month or so, after two and a half years of holding, I came to the sad realization that my junior in college no longer needed her childhood room.
Its been three summers since she lived at home and seems content on her own and coming home for visits. Previously my sewing and creating space was a shared space along the back wall of a small family room. Here
 
 
I asked her many times if she would mind if I moved her bed to the family room and used her room. We had already utilized part of it for office space. She Insisted she was fine with it. So the move began. We spend most of our time on the upper level of our split home as it is, and there was something about the trek down to the family room that inhibited my drive to sew. Maybe it was the proximity away from the kitchen. (food is an important element in sewing energy)
 
 

The only dilemma is, this new to me space, is also home to my school things, books, tutoring manipulatives, the things I have collected for my one day classroom. This limits my space a bit but I am working on it. Eventually I will show pictures, alas right now it is a bit of a mess.
 


So this room, for the most part, revolves around one thing.....Gretchen....my sewing machine. But as I posted yesterday, she locked up in the middle of creating the blocks below. How is it that finally I have the space I have wanted for a long time, the desire to create and FINISH a bunch of projects and she up an quits. We are not on speaking terms right now.

To pacify my grief, and I really grieved, I bought some fabric. I love those cuckoos. The pretty green is for a someone really near and dear to me and I have a special something I am making out of it.  That is when Gretchen decides to man up and return to her rightful post. The numbers will be added to my stash of fabric for the quilt below.


The blocks above will be part of a low volume quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts via Crazy Mom Quilts. I cannot say enough about this book! I absolutely love it. There is not one project that I am not inspired to make. I have a lot of books and this is my favorite. My machine guy (I can call him that) said I could check on Gretchen tonight and see if she is better. Cross your fingers, I have a lot of work to do!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

 
Last month my niece came for a visit to do some sewing, she inspired me to get busy on a few unfinished projects. This quilt has been gathering dust for a very very long time. It has waited patiently for just the binding. It is a very basic courthouse steps pattern.

 
I didn't really like the quilt anymore so I neglected it. I know. Sad.


This is the only quilt I have done with a poly bat and you know, I really like the lightweight feel of it.
Below is the pieced back, I think I like it more then the front. It is really a hodge-podge of leftovers from the front including strip piecings.

 
I now find it kinda charming. This was about the second quilt I ever made (how many quilts ago now?)

 
Then I finished these... my sons colored these many years ago and I finally located them, put a "fabric frame" around them and bound them up. I think they are circa '04.

 
That year I had all my daycare kids color these on fabric and I quilted them and gave them as parent gifts. 10 of these later I neglected my own kids' work.

 
Finally, there is this guy. He is from my primitive d├ęcor loving days. I still think he is great. He is done with needle turn applique, something I used to do a lot of. I love his straight arms!

Phew it is dusty around here. It is like someone has neglected this space for too long. I will not claim to be that person but ....I honestly cannot believe that so many months have passed. Two seasons went by without a word.

 
I have been working on things, although I had a sewing machine failure this summer and again last night.

 
I took Gretchen, my machine, to the fixit guy who agreed that this is ill timing to loose ones gift maker.

 
I was able to squeeze out these blocks last weekend, I feel like the background is too busy. what do you think?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daisy Sale Quilt

For my mother

Click on the pic for a closer look
Once upon a time there was a great department store based out of Minneapolis MN called Dayton's. If you are from the mid-west, you may remember it. Dayton's was my mom and my 'go to' store. I do not know how other daughters bonded with their mothers but we bonded through shoes, Guess jeans, Laura Ashley linen dresses, and Gunny Sax. All to be ooooed over at Dayton's. From the time I was in fourth grade, till I graduated, my mother came up with the idea to give each of us, still at home, 'our day'. We got to pick the place to go with in reason and spend the day with just mom. My brothers choose to go to places like the airport, I always wanted to go downtown in Minneapolis.   
The Back

When I was in 7th grade, my mom surprised me with a weekend in that very place. It was about an hour from our southern Mn country home and so different from the small town I lived in. We stayed at the Downtown Hilton and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. We ordered room service and I ate my first Monte Cristo sandwich at the Magic Pan. Still one of my favorite eats, yet none has ever tasted as good as the one I had that weekend. We spent the day wandering around the sights and sounds of the 'big city' and Downtown Dayton's. On that weekend, it was Dayton's annual Daisy Sale. I remember the large banners with huge daisies painted on them flowing from the ceiling of the majestic store. It was there that mom bought me a red cotton drop waist mini-skirt dress with yellow and green bias tape sewn on the skirt. My first mini.  It came with a multi-colored cloth belt to be worn loosely on the hips. This was a long way from my brother's hand me down red corduroys of 5th grade.

Mom and Me
As I look back -that weekend has held a special significance,
especially on the cusp of the tumultuous teen years,
 it did indeed solidify a mother daughter bond
 that has held through the years.


This year she is 75 years old, she is beautiful, wise and one of my best friends
 I made her this quilt and it is called, Daisy Sale.

To see a picture of this beautiful, extrodianary, woman go HERE, pictures by my super talented niece whose blog of captured moments is worth the trip.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Spent a lovely Easter at my niece's new house. They have only been there 4 weeks and the house was all put together and ready for the family for Easter...WOW.


For my great nephew who is also my Godchild, I made hime an 'Easter' backpack.
 I followerd this super easy tutorial, it went together very quick.
I filled it with treats and he was pretty happy with it.


I also made a little art portfolio to go with it.


I am kinda lovin the peachy button.


The portfolio was inspired by the little drawing pad that I found at JoAnns for a $1.
I winged the pattern.
Making a slot for the paper pad,
a clear pocket for dry erase game cards,
and a place for crayons.


Now that I look at it all I think I accomplished a lot in 2 days.
If  you remember I made this for christmas for my great niece.
My sister wanted a few for gifts.
Alas, my machine broke while
 So a few months later.....


I finished them. I made her four because I wasn't sure what she wanted.
I just knew she wanted 'boy' fabric. She took all four.
I guess they were what she wanted.
 Love sisters.
After a whirlwind sew-feast and a holiday my
house looks like a hurricane hit it.
With that I must clean.
What is on your Monday agenda?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Swoon Block

I feel like I accomplished something with this block.
I also may be a tad shy of being a patient quilter.
There are a lot of steps to this bugger not that that is bad it just challenges my need for speed.
 I have to agree with Ellen in that there are some
confusing elements to the pattern. I was even prepared for that and still
managed to get turned around.


Here is block number one.
Somewhere in my attempts at this block I decided
a little chocolate would do nicely (besides it matches the block)
in the form of a


a deep dish cookie. I have two different sized mini muffin tins
from my muffin craze of '93 hence the two different
depths of cookies.
I used the basic cookie recipe and then
scooped them into the muffin tins.
I like the wrapped ones and think they would make
a splendid gift for a lucky person.
Namely me. Haha


Yeah they are good enough to put on a pedestal. So that's what I did.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I think I have decided on Swoon thou I am not crazy about the name. It bugs me a bit.
Perhaps it has been a bit overused in the blog world. (in my humble opinion) But I degress....


This has been a slow subbing week.
 A short week at school will do that.
So yesterday I chipped away at the layers of mishmash that had collected
throughout our house whilst listening to Pandora.
I finally made my way to my machine and
began to chip away at my unsightly pile of UFO's when
the husband called and suggested I should get groceries,
except I heard.....
"go to the fabric store to find fabric for that quilt you have been talking about,
oh and pick up some food"




Not a problem, I decided on gray for the background, safe and comfortable.
Retrospectively I wished I'd have gone with the
 bubbly yellow and black on the top of the pile.
Ah well I have 5 yards of gray so that will have to do.
Eldest son came with me pointing out every ugly fabric ever made
and suggesting hideous things that I should make him from them.
He also wants me to make a quilt that is as soft as the shreds of one
 his gramma made when he was a baby.
If only fabric came as soft as it becomes after years and years of washing.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Swoon Quilt

I will stop going on about Retreat soon- I promise. But first I wanted to show you Ellen and her quilt. It is Swoon by Thimble Blossoms and is pretty big on Flickr right now
( I am sure I am the last to have discovered this).


I love the colors she chose.
Click on the picture for a better look.
Ellen has this amazing ability to make colors and pattern work.
 Plus she is a hoot to sew around!!


Honestly, when I first saw that yellow background, I was skeptical, but seeing it together-
it was amazing. I wish these pics did it justice.
Alas, they are all I have.

I am now the proud owner of this pattern
 but am so stuck on what to do for the background color.
A lot of quilters used white. I don't want to go that route for this quilt.
I was thinking a grey with black/gray/ blocks and red for pop.
But I should probably go a little more scrappy for the blocks.
And I want to come out of my color zone.
What do you think?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oliver

As I type this he is nestled under my feet.
He was my graduation gift.
Oh he loves me.
Pretty much just me.



He is cute and sweet and is constant.
He may even speak French.
He does speak fluent Wookie especially
when he Really wants something.
That sound....click here,
choose Chewbacca, then the Aargh-arghoo.
Did you do it?...yup that is how he sounds.


Sometimes he's naughty.
Sometimes he knows it.


Sometimes he just looks silly.
Always he loves me
Always I love him.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Three Year Quilt

Finished!

Oh this neglected baby, I put the top together in May of 2009, and then folded her neatly and set her aside so I could find the fabric for the borders and sashing. Which I did the following summer and then they sat again waiting patently. And wait they did.


Until I finally put the boarders on and created the back last summer. Then I loaded it up along with a ton a few other UFOs and off to Retreat we went. I pinned and quilted it at Retreat.


Since I so wisely left my binding fabric at home I finished that this week.

 

I am a bit of a binding purist, I love to sit and sew on the binding by hand. However, at Retreat I watched as a binding was attached by machine using 1/4 inch Steam a Seam. I wanted this baby done so I gave that a go.



I learned a few things with the process but am pleased with the final result.


The Particulars:
Quilting: stitch in the ditch using Aurifil thread
Binding: Kona cotton Sour Apple- machine attached
Fabric: Flutterby by Tula Pink- 2 charm packs
 And the Three Year Quilt is done.....check.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Return from Retreat..... the sequel


I thought I would share my Retreat purchases.
 It is an interesting phenomenon to have a store right next to where you are sewing.
I did not need the store, I brought tons from home. None of this I would normally go to the shop to purchase unless I needed it. Plus, I have been on a strict fabric diet since the Christmas binge. Ahem. Above is the montage of what I got.
 Below is our name tags, seriously how cute are they.
 I am telling you there was not a detail left out.


So remember this picture of my sister in her pizzeria get up-previous post?
She was selling sealed pizza boxes of fabric and what-nots.
She had them stacked on a rolling cart for Pete's sake.
Being the sucker I am a for a grab bag and knowing that the contents of each box exceeded the price. I bought one.
Many of us did.
Many of us succumbed!
There was a point when the other girls exclaimed warnings about said sister,
 "Do not look in her eyes"


Above is the contents of my pizza box, however, not the original one i purchased.
I scored this bunch through a shrewd trade with another quilter who envied my score of a civil war jelly roll and coordinating pieces. I am going to turn this bunch into kitchen towels and may hap be the envy of the neighborhood.


This lovely little bit of randomness I just couldn't resist, besides it was a frenzy when the shop declared a 20% off sale from 3:00-3:30.
 The bandwagon was loaded baby and I got on.


The Dr. was also in the house and I was really excited because I really really wanted this when it first came out but missed the boat and at 20% off.... Oh the glee.

There was all this cuteness sitting around the place
made from the patterns they were selling. I just could not
resist the tea cozy and the hot pad.
 It was a hoot I tell ya.


And last but not least this little tip.

 Upon arrival we each received a goodie bag filled with lovely little necessities like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, nail files, chocolate etcetera. Plus these little toe separators. Then
my sister (the one in the chef hat :) gave out tips periodically at our meals.
One was to use these little separators for bobbin thread.
 I love it.
 It it quick, cheap and easy...Perfect

I am hoping that for tomorrow's episode I will be showing what I actually accomplished,
since I cannot show the belly laughs - there was many-
and the enduring conversations- so great-
I will stick to the few things I actually produced-ish.

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