Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Gift Done

I guess it was Nov 2009 I last went to NYC, there are two quilt stores I try to visit when I'm there.  City Quilter is one and Purl SoHo is the other.  Both nice shops with different vibes.  I saw a bag I wanted at Purl Soho, it was in their window.  It was made from Echino Oilcloth and it was simply gorgeous.  Me:  Is that bag for sale?  Saleslady: No, that is for display, but you can buy the supplies and make your own.  Me:  Well, I'm willing to just buy the one already made, how much?  Saleslady:  I'm sorry it isn't for sale, but you really can make your own.  Me:  (inside my head:  hahaha!  just let me buy the damn thing, because I'm sure you think it is super easy, and I will never actually make it) actual voice:  Sigh, ok, where are the supplies?  Oilcloth, it ain't cheap.  But the pattern was on their BLOG, and it was FREE!    

So, $40 later, for supplies for one of those re-useable green grocery totes that you can buy at Target or wherever for 99 cents.  But the pattern was free, so thank you for small favors.   

AND when I printed out the pattern, it was 19 pages long!  Next time I'll just bookmark it!  My tote is on the right, I made it as soon as I got home, because damn, I just spent $40 for a grocery tote, and even though I am prone to purchasing patterns and supplies and letting them sit, even I was like, really?  $40, I'm making this thing.  After making mine, I had leftover oilcloth, because apparently $40 in oilcloth is really enough for TWO bags!  Finally, I am using up the leftover oilcloth, and I even kept the pattern with the oilcloth, which, is so not like me.  I'm giving the new bag to my sister for Christmas.  I think I might have enough left for one more smaller one, yippee, 3!  So, one trip to NYC = $1000 (I'm guessing that figure, I have no idea) - Oilcloth = $40 - 19 pages of paper, photo ink,= $5 TOTALS 3 GROCERY TOTES you can get for $3 from Target.  Merry Freaking Christmas!   

The back that should be a front, pinning this right now (not literally, but when I'm finished here) and needs to be quilted in 24 hours.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!  I hope.

The Front.  
P.S. I love my grocery tote and use it all the time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finally, I can reveal

Myself and a few of my friends belong to Richmond Modern Quilt Guild.  It's a hike, but we go a few times a year.  In July we went to the meeting and the challenge/assignment was round robin with a 6.5" center.  There were 4 of us who could participate, we didn't go back to any meetings until Dec for the Round Robin reveal.  This is my good friend Amy's center.  She loves houses and she wanted a village.  And as you know it takes a village.  

This was the first round.  My good friend Shelley added these, and then she proceeded to say it wasn't good enough.  I told her, you added a Koi pond, can you please shut up (said with the most love and affection).  But I didn't have to go after this round.  

Oh, no, I got to go after this round, with the flower garden and the paths.  These women push me so past my limits.  

All along I wanted to add quilts hanging from a tree to the little village.  It ended with the small log cabin block being the center of the village.  And that is as it should be.  

This was for another good friend, Peggy, after my round.  I loved her simple center.  I was playing with uneven stacked coins at the time and I went with the earth tones for her round.  

I didn't see it again until the reveal, and it is just gorgeous.  I love how we all played on the white and the broken blocks.  

This is Shelley's, after two rounds.  Hers came out the smallest, most colorful of the bunch.  I had added the paper pieced stars and the dots.  I was on a paper piecing kick.  I'm quite over it now.  

And this is how Shelley's ended.  Wow!  We all work so well together I just can hardly stand it!

And finally, my center.  I send the fabrics with my center, but no other instructions.

And, wow!  I love it!  My friends are awesome!  And awesomely talented.  Thank you so much!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And Then There Was None

And finally I have completed the very last of my November Bee blocks.  Now, I'm not sure what to do with all my free time!  (ABahhhh Hahhha).  Not really, it is my month in 2 bees in January, so I have to figure out what I'm doing and make plans.  These blocks are for Alisha with Sew 2 Speak Flickr group.   

I don't think you can tell from the photos, but these blocks are GINORMOUS.  18.5" square.  She cut the white sashing 1.5", instead of the usual 1" with the Mod Mosaic block. I loved Alisha's color combo of purple and grey.  This quilt will be huge!  Can't wait to see it.  

Some of the blocks I have received from my month in the Aqua and Orange Bee.  Also some Ginormous blocks.

I have these fused blocks from a bee this past year, and I had a lightbulb moment one night.  Luckily, when I woke up in the morning I had left the light on.   I had planned for these to be all white with just the houses in the centers.  

Instead I'm adding some Kona solids to frame the little houses.  

I had anxiety cutting down the white, after I had bee mates make these for me, with a requested white or white on white block.  But I would like to use the blocks rather than leave them sitting on the shelf another year, I'm sure they understand. 

This is how the blocks are coming out.  I'm not planning the frames, they won't be the same.  I am liking the effect.  I finished four and then this had to be put away for another day.  I'm supposed to be Christmas sewing.  

I had another lightbulb moment for these blocks.  These are also from a bee and I wasn't sure how to add the purple aviary.  I now have an idea, but it will have to wait for another day.  You know, that Christmas sewing I'm not doing yet.  
This is Peanut, he likes to play under the Christmas tree.  He isn't grumpy, he just looks that way.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bunny Bonanza

I made this quilt a whole 18 months ago.  Even had it quilted all those long months ago, but, umm, since it was for my family, no binding.  I'm horrible at that last step, I don't know why I feel that this step is torture.  

I printed photos of our pet bunnies on paper backed fabric, I haven't washed the quilt yet, so I'm hoping the photos hold out in the wash.  

We had four bunnies, 2 pairs, one passed away last weekend, so I wanted to put the binding on the quilt and put it back out on the sofa.  

With nine photos the quilt turned out square, but it is really just for a reminder of our babies, I didn't work on not making it square.  Also, I was using fat quarters and they were all used up.  

I have just one more circle of flying geese to complete for NuBees November, I am liking this block!  I even found one harder I'm going to try.  

The black baby girl - Pepper, was her name - was the one who passed.  She was bonded with the white bunny - her name is Bandit.  

Now we are trying to get this guy to become friends with little Bandit.  Success?  Looks like it.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Loose Threads

I have a lot of unfinished bee business and projects for this month, well November.  I decided to make the ring of flying geese for my NuBees group on flickr.  This was before all the ER Vet regular Vet and hospital visits of the month began.  So, I'm a little behind.  This is for one of the girls in the group, I'm getting better at the foundation piecing thing.  My first attempt left a lot of holes in the project.

My one desire for the whole entire month was to finish my Modern Christmas Tree quilt top.  The odds were not in my favor.  The block isI ha 15 1/2" square unfinished.

These are Kona solids to go with the Michael Miller Christmas fabric.  The pink is fuschia, the colors don't come out well in the photos.  The light green is a Kiwi color.

The tree in progress.  

These are going to be presents in the intersections.

I wanted to add skewed presents with bows at the bottom.  I made three before I decided to make the bow different.  The top left has the bow I went with.

I finished the top.  Still not photographing well.  It looks much nicer in person. 

This is my friend Meryl Ann Butler's book.  

And this is where I helped her out.  

See, Me!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Like a Good Dessert, it just called my Name

Friday - at rush hour - I had to run a business errand which took me right near (OK, still 15 minutes up the road) to a LQS that sells Kona solids.  I give them a quick check to see what is in stock whenever I'm in the area - or sorta in the area.  

I'm not a big Christmas fabric fan, I have 2 started Christmas quilts, who knows when I'll get back to them, and they don't even require much to finish.  I even cheated once, for my Mom, I put Christmas fabric on the back of a quilt I made her, and told her to just flip it at Christmas time.  Talk about lazy.

This Michael Miller fabric grabbed me the instant I walked in the door.  And even though I didn't want it, and I didn't need a new project, and I am on a Christmas time budget and the fabric wasn't on sale; so, logically I bought two yards.  For punishment I hacked off a chunk of finger with my new rotary blade that I was so enjoying how easily it sliced through fabrics.  Note to self, slices through flesh too.  

I only wanted to use this Christmas focal fabric and the solids.  I brain melded all day Saturday, flipped through books and magazines, looked at flickr, and nothing, not one idea.  But early Saturday morning, I could have held my phone above my head with the little lightbulb app and turned it on, for the idea that popped into my head.  I'm sure this pattern exists somewhere in the quilt universe in some form.  But I really didn't see one Saturday, but maybe I have somewhere, so that is how it came to my mind.

I did a quick drawing, because, this required quilter math, and even though I do books and accounting, quilter math just boggles me.  I still couldn't figure out how large the block was going be when finished.  I just made one and then measured the finished block to figure the final math.  

Preview, more photos later.  

Trudging through the November Bee blocks, not that they are a chore, I enjoy them immensely, I'm just so wanting to work on Christmas projects and the new top, but I know I need to get to these too.  So, I try to do one Bee's worth of blocks before starting something for myself.

Shana who blogs  HERE wanted 'Tripped Out Wonky Stars' for our Threadheads Bee.  I had to add a few fabrics to this second block, I wonked a lot and used up too much of the fabric Shana had provided.  Hope these are wonky enough for her!

Gads!

I have just spent the last 2 hours, and at 4 a.m. until 6 a.m. (and it isn't even Black Friday!) trying to redesign my blog.  I got no where!  Techno illiteracy is a definite handicap.  Can't get the photo smaller, can't get my gadgets on the new template.  Aarrggghhh!  Worse than a mental block trying to think up a quilt block!
I can't even get the blog design back to where it was.
Stay tuned......I'll keep trying.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello Loves

I was remiss, as usual. There seems to be, every month, just that one Bee Block that I didn't seem to get to.  Then I feel like I can't start the next months blocks until I get this one done, or not post photos, so I don't have guilt.  This time, or should I say, last month, it was for Threadheads Bee.  I must say I adore the members in this group, and this block wasn't even hard, I seem to make it harder in my mind.  Then when I get to it, I'm like, oh, well this was so easy peasy.  What exactly was the problem, me?  This purple one is from my stash.  See the little owl peeking out?  Loves!

She is making an I Spy quilt, with all the centers something to find.  Love the color in this one.  I'm a fan of REDS.  Reminds me of Where is Waldo.  

I feel guilty working on the next months blocks when that first one was still hanging over my head!  But, I've moved on.  Guilt can't just keep hanging around when there are more blocks to do.   This is the Spider Web block for Fall Bee, another awesome group.  I like the Spider Web block, it looks complex, but is fairly simple.  I think we should add a little spider in the centers.

I am making slow progress on Jesse's quilt.  I tell myself to make 2 blocks per night.  I did on Sunday, but it can't always be done.  I'm trying not to beat myself up about it, but I also want to finish and give this to his parents.  I also put together more of the grey sashings which will become stars where they join.  

See, progress.  The grey helped so much.   I have 50 projects I want to get to for Christmas,  but tonight I just want to read, so I will push the projects to the side and read my new book I've been anticipating for like 6 months.  Tomorrow the projects will all be calling again, no one else is going to finish them!  I could use one of those little elves that used to help the shoemaker.  Then I can wake up and go ohh, thanks little elves!  Here is a cookie, or whatever the elves got paid in.  It's been awhile since I read that story.    

My friends and I at Quiltapalooza in Houston, TX.  Victoria's Secret Feet (the pink ones with wings) won a prize.  But we are all winners in our own group!  

Do you have a special place?  A place you dream of being when you lay your head down on the pillow?  When I'm not thinking about my next sewing project, or the 50 that are on going, I dream of being here.