Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shoe Purgatory

Shoe Shopping 101

Girl:I am going out to buy some shoes.
Him:  What kind of shoes?
Girl:  I don't know, but I will know when I see them.

Comes home with two pair.  Girls are not loyal to their shoes, there are always more out there, and often they are on sale.  

He wants this shoe made by Reebok.  Only this shoe.  
Every other shoe is compared to this shoe and does not measure up.
Reebok makes it in kids, they make it in white.  Not black.
I think we bought the last two pair in existence about 10 years ago.
Ever since, it's a quest to find this shoe - every time he needs new shoes.  
I feel as if I want to buy Reebok, and make them make this shoe again.  I cringe when he needs a pair of shoes.
Tip:  When you find the perfect shoe for you man, buy every pair you find in his size.  He will never like another.  There are similar shoes, but not THE shoe.  Buy them even though they are not on sale!

In sewing news
Finally felt ok enough to sew a little on my new machine.  

There is a learning curve.  So many things are different from my Bernina 440, the presser feet, the bobbin, the way it is threaded, the way you lift the presser foot.  I'll be taking a guide class next week, and in the mean time I'm trying to stick with a straight seam and get the feel of it.  I going to name it 'Sully' from Monsters, Inc. because it is a beast.

Currently we trying to figure out how to notch the hole in my sewing table to be able to fit Sully down into the hole.

I afraid can't wait to quilt something on this!  Sully has 837 different stitches, I am committing myself to use more than the 5 I traditionally use.  

First things I sewed on Sully are bee blocks for 4X5 Winter Round Bee  I have one more to make.

And I added to a block for a small group I'm in Traveling Quilts

What I received

After my additions of Riley Blake Chevrons

Going to the doctor today, I think my cold has evolved to bronchitis.  Yay.  You know it's bad when an hour of sewing wears you out.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Progress is slow

A few weeks ago I had a sinus cold that really drug me down.  Ever since,  I alternate from feeling great days to feeling like poo days.  So, on a good day, I rush around and get many things crossed off the list, knowing that the next I will probably crash.  And I am probably crashing as I do too much on the good days.  It's a vicious cycle.

Now, I'm just down.  I had pat myself on the back for not getting sick for two years, so karma has come around and knocked me off my high horse.  

I did manage one of the 5 blocks I need to make for the 4X5 Bee.  I am now late, but I think I can get a couple more of these done today.  After finally settling on the block - that is the hardest part for me.   It is a string block, and I added the white to come together in the center for a bit more of the color they want as their background color.  

In the Virginia Beach MQG we had a fabric basket swap for our February meeting, using Pink Penguin's tutorial.  

I opted for the larger size for my partner, this is mine with one made from the smaller size pattern.  I like the larger size - you could use it for your fabric trash as your are cutting or to hold your supplies on your cutting table, candy next to your machine.  Or maybe you want the smaller size for that so you don't eat too much.

Here is the super cute  fabric basket I received in the swap, I love that it is different.  The flower is a snap closure.

I have been looking at all the photos from the bloggers at Quilt Con, and trying not to be jealous.  But also thinking, I'm glad I'm not there, I would not have the energy to keep up, and then I would be disappointed.  

There is a quilt show near me this past weekend Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival, not quite as awesome as Quilt Con, but it is right here in town at least.  I am hoping that the show will start moving toward some more modern vendors next year, there were some modern quilts in the show, but largely not.  

And let me tell you that I am feeling so drained that this came - and I barely got it set up, let alone sewed on it.  

This was my Christmas present ordered Nov 9th, it just came over the weekend.  Only a 4 month delay Bernina, way to go with your roll out.  
However, I am sure that I will forgive you as soon as I start quilting with this baby.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stripping Away

I'm in a small group called Strip Quilters, and yes we are stripping.
Making each other a strip or a row for each quilt.  
What were you thinking?  

We have plenty of lead time, thank goodness, because it takes me an eternity to find something fitting for each stripper.

My pass this time around came like this:

Quite beautiful with the brights against the black and white prints.  
The flower row was the starter row and someone else added the stars.
This quilt will belong to Jovanna and you can find all her wonderful Flickr photos here.

I decided to go with wonky bento boxes, colorful centers, black and white prints on the outer rings.

Before quartering.

I made each square 8 1/2" - to finish at 8".  
The blocks turned out chunky wonky bright - just what I wanted.

I'm not sure which way she will have her rows end up - vertical or horizontal.

(this photo is a little out of focus, it's me not you)

This is now off to the next stripper.
I hope Jovanna likes where we strippers are taking her!
If you are interested here was my starter stripper row and here is where I added Row 2 to another stripper. 

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Deer in the Forest Finish

There are not too many things in life that feel better than cuddling under a quilt warm from the dryer.  
I snuggled with my 7 week old grandson yesterday, that was better, but there isn't much else.
I think that we, quilters, have a mission to introduce people to the feeling of a REAL quilt fresh from the dryer.  

One day late last year I was in one of my banks (I go to the bank A LOT, for two businesses, you must know your bankers and tellers!) and through all the chit chat, quilts came up, and I happened to have one in the car (don't you?).  It was Bird on a Branch, which is the perfect sofa quilt.  It is used all the time, like a good quilt should be.
One of the ladies right away, said make me one, how much, I want it to be deer and forest, but not camouflage.  Yay!  Love those kind of people!

So I found Riley Blakes Elk Ridge fabrics which I thought were the perfect match for what she had asked.

She said her husband was a traditional guy, a hunter, but I know her a little and I can tell she leans toward modern.
I worked toward a balance of a traditional block with a modern twist.  And keeping with the forest feel for the fabrics.

I added a few solids, and the reflections deer print was actually a table runner I found by Jay McCarroll Habitat.  I cut it up and used pieces in the quilt.  

The blocks are all random, I did not use any precise measuring.  When I got to the point I wanted to sew a row together I took the largest block and added a bit to the others in that row to get them to the same size.

To make the quilt longer for a good sofa quilt, I added sashing in between the four rows and also the top and bottom.

I backed the quilt with a flannel that was dark green with pine cones on it.  I don't have any photos of the back, but trust me, it looked good!

I use Matilda's Own 50% cotton / 50% wool batting.  I used to be able to get this from a local quilt show, but haven't seen any for two years.  I had a stockpile, which is now almost gone.  I'm not sure where I will be able to find it now.  I love the way it puffs up after washing and feels good and warm from the wool.  

This quilt which was on my calendar for the last month is done, my design wall is free - I am open to all kinds of sewing possibilities!  

Keep Calm & Quilt On!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Quiltstory Feature

Today a quilt I made is being featured on Quilt Story.

Hannah's Sunflower Garden

If you have never been over to Quilt Story you should go pay a visit, not just for my feature (but do that too) because they feature many different quilts across blogland and it is always nice to read about the quilt stories behind each quilt.  They also have a link parties, it's a great site.  

Here is where I posted about making this quilt here and here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bee Business

Finishing up another Bee - Bee A Modern Swapper, due in January, but got it out earlier this week.
Churn Dash blocks using stash.

My blocks from this Bee - Mod Mosaic blocks - looking good together

My last block for the 3X6 Bee Solids Group.  I'm in this group again for this quarter.
Also sent out.

And two angel blocks for Design Camp, these are to represent the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Star - paper piece

And the state of Wisconsin

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

12 Step Blocks

One of my local groups started a project a year ago based on the Twelve by Twelve Challenge.  A few of us had seen their display in 2011 at the Houston Quilt Show and loved the idea of this challenge.  
We called our challenge 12 Steps

For our first year we opted to base our 12" finished squares on a specific color.  Every other month is a new color.  So far we have had 

Don't they look awesome together?
This is mine

Here are two more from the group that weren't there when we took the group photo

Some in the group chose to stick with a theme through their color blocks, like the doorways and trees.  
I thought about that, but ended up doing something different for each block.



A few others with mine

Pink was the next color
These are three together

Mine, just completed a couple of days ago (there wasn't a real deadline, which is bad for me)
I completely copied a mini by my friend Leona and her mini here which I thought was just darling.

Next was Peacock - which I have yet to do.  I am totally intimated by how awesome these other blocks are

And Orange, my block, I don't have a group photo for this color yet.

My blocks to date

I especially like the orange selvage block.  I anticipate a whole quilt in this block, just one more thing added to my long quilt bucket list.
I plan on having all 12 of my blocks together in a grouping on the wall.  Although it will be another year before all 12 are complete.  
This has been a fun challenge, we don't really have 12 participants and a few of us have made more than one for each color to try to get to 12 for each color.  This was just a fun exercise that you could chose to participate in or not.  I love seeing the diversity of the blocks each of us has come up with.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Studio Sweetness

My sweet sweet husband has bought me a sewing chair.

This is what I have been sitting in for the last 14 years to sew.  14 years.  When I told him that, he said, 'Why?'
I had no answer - it was there, it fit, I just don't know.  It just wasn't something I thought about.  Sometimes my back would hurt or I would be stiff, but I didn't make any connections.  It isn't like he hasn't seen the folding chair before.  But he said 'Go get a chair.'



Is that sweet or what?  

New chair means rearranging the whole room.  
My new sewing station.

Two days of moving these tables all over the room to get the right positions.
I had a very large cutting table in the attic.  I didn't have enough space in my last sewing room, so it was stored in the attic.  
I finally decided to bring it down.  The problem with having such a large cutting space is I tend to just clutter up the top.  
If there is a surface, cover it.

When he brought it down there was fabric in the cabinet portion of the table.  I don't even know why, and apparently I didn't really need it because I never missed it.  There were two items that I had sort of missed, and it was nice to know where they are.  I cleaned everything up, and put all my solids in one area.  I know that this is a good place for them, I use them often, so I won't just shove the fabric in there and forget about it.

And I put the smaller solid pieces in the drawer.

Francine / Mochawhildchild on Flickr made me this Joel Dewberry wall hanging in a swap.  
I finally got that up on the wall - I really love it, because she knew I love Joel Dewberry and it matches the wall perfectly.  Also because I've been in numerous bees and swaps with her.  (The wall hanging on the left is from another swap.)

I have a lot of wall space to fill, I'm slow to get things up there.  

I hoard some of my sewing supplies, like plastic bags.  I can't stand throwing them out to a landfill, so I keep them for sending out bee blocks or swap items.  They've just had fabric in them, so they are still good.

Now they are neat and together, I can find them.  I even threw out a couple that had been used a few times or were very small.

Soon, I might be able to show you my fabric closet.  That still needs work. 
I put away fabric and cleaned the floors.  My design wall is empty.  The only thing I didn't do in my sewing room this weekend was sew.
Also, apparently this chair is my birthday present (which isn't until next month)- wish I would have known that before shopping.  

The babies - still without names.