Friday, July 30, 2010

Shopping in the Mountains

Right on the edge of Estes Park, in a non-descript strip mall, stands a wonderful shop.  
Cottage Bliss is a darling store selling top of the line fabrics along with lovely things for your home, music, inspirational gifts, quilts and more.  It's a small shop, but if you plan a visit, be sure to allow plenty of time to browse.  And, if you must bring along a certain family member who is NOT interested in shopping............well, there's a place for him/her as well.....right outside the door!

He/she can enjoy the mountain air outside while you breath in the aroma of fabric inside! 

Cottage Bliss has a good selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Some of them came home with me!  I found some fun charm packs too! If you are making a trip to Estes Park, be sure to hike on over to this quilt shop and the two others in town.  You won't be sorry!

(I'm not making this stuff up!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fresh Air!

Here's  my view from the rock I'm perched on.  Ahhh....the air is so fresh and clean, not to mention COOL, here in Colorado where I'm vacationing.  Every morning this week, I've been privileged to sit and meditate with this gorgeous view right outside the cabin door. Here's what I see if I look back.......
Mr. Lollyquiltz is enjoying his perch on the little cabin deck. I wish that we could stay forever!

We've made lots of hummingbird friends this week.  One rascal, called a Rufus hummingbird, has a game of dive bombing us as we sit on the deck. He apparently thinks that the feeder is meant only for him.  He's so fast that I can't get a good picture, but trust me, he is the brightest orange/red bird I've ever seen...almost neon!  This Ruby-throated hummingbird is beautiful too.
Lest you think I would go on vacation and not think about quilting, I'll show you what I'm working on when not hiking or sightseeing. My collection of dotty hexagons is growing!
It's an 11 hour trip home to Missouri so there will be a lot more of these babies by the time I arrive! I'm making two of each fabric...all spots with a sprinkling of stripes and checks. I've cut down my original thoughts on quilt size and have decided to make a tablecloth for my breakfast table.  I figure I need around 400 hexies....I've got a ways to go!
In the meantime, I'm going to take a walk down the road for another look at this darling cabin.  It's so, so cute and situated right next to the river. If I had a lot of money, I'd leave a note on the door saying that I would sure like to buy it! Look, they've already chopped all their wood for winter...............
                                           I'd never have to leave!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Give-Away for #50!!

I just passed 50! Did you notice? Probably not....but I did!  Not 50 years, silly (that happened a while back....that's all I'm saying). I meant 50 blog posts....and in my book, that's a reason to celebrate!! So................I thought it might be time for another give-away. Here's what I got, that you might like..........
                                           Some Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt.

Here's how it will work:  There will be two prizes.  To enter, just be either a follower or a reader and leave a comment telling me so as well as your favorite summer treat.
The give-away will close at midnight on Saturday and I'll draw two names on Sunday.
The first name drawn will get 4 FAT QUARTERS OF HOPE VALLEY.
The second name drawn will win a CHARM PACK OF ALL THE HOPE VALLEY FABRICS.
I've had a lot of fun with this blog since I began in March.  Several of you have become great invisible friends.  I'm looking forward to getting to know more of my quilting buds! Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Oh, and my favorite summer treat.......Breyer's Natural Vanilla ice cream with fresh raspberries on top! Mmmmmm.... What's yours?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Road Trip!

It gives me a headache, sometimes, trying to figure out how much fabric I need for a quilt, or how many strips I need to cut, or how many squares I can cut out of those strips!  Perhaps this fabric I found on a recent road trip will help with my math skills.  It couldn't hurt....and isn't it cute!
But here's the real prize....................................
an old wire basket I found at an antique store in St. Joseph, Missouri.  It is filled with the fabric for a new project.  I decided to take a little drive to Stewartsville, just down the road a piece from St. Jo.  I'd heard and read about Country Expressions, the quilt shop owned by the mom of designer, Tula Pink.  What a treat that shop turned out to be. I'll be wanting to return again and again. No wonder it was one of Quilt Sampler magazine's top 10 shops in 2008! Displayed around the shop are many lovely quilts including, not a few, by Tula.  One, draped on a bed as I entered, caught my eye. Tula, herself, happened to be working that day, so I asked a few questions about the Cartwheel Quilt....(like, is it appliqued?). "No", she said. Okay then! I've been admiring several wheel quilts around the Internet, so decided to go for it! I was determined to get all the fabrics for the wheels from Tula's store before I left. After making my choices, I motioned her over for approval. Whew!  She said she liked them! After cutting the fabric for me and telling me to look for her new line coming out in October, Tula went back to her regularly scheduled program of making fabulous stuff!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm Singing!

One of my favorite online stores for fabric is They have great prices and fast service. I've never been shorted even a smidge of fabric; in fact, the cuts are always generous.
The fabric selection is lovely and bountiful. A newsletter comes to my virtual mailbox every week or so featuring a designer and fabric selection at a special price, usually a certain percentage off. My fabric appetite is always whetted by the many material selections tantalizingly  displayed. To top it off, they have "give aways" with every newsletter:  a $20 shopping prize for the Blog Link of the Week as well as a $50 shopping spree for one lucky winner who has logged in during the week.
Recently, Lollyquiltz was chosen as the Blog Link of the Week.  I was so excited, as it is the first time I'd ever won anything in the virtual world (and not because I haven't tried!). Not only did I get to pick $20 worth of fabric for free, but I enjoyed lots of new visitors to my blog after the winner posting!
Because I know you are about to faint with anticipation at this point, I will put you out of your misery and show you what I decide to spend my prize money on.  Are you ready?  Here it is!....

Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner

This Designer Sampler contains eighth yard cuts of every fabric in the line. The packaging is so cute that I can't bring myself to take it apart yet, so just keep thumbing through the fabrics dreaming about a project.

Even though I had to spend a little more than my alloted prize, it is so worth it!

I feel a little like Kermit singing about Miss Piggy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anniversary Crosses

The Cross Quilt is finished! I ran it through the washer and dryer to highlight all the puckered goodness of the Warm and White batting.  Kona and Moda solids in green, aqua, yellow and white blend together for a fresh looking summer quilt.
The random quilting was fun and fairly quick to do on my machine.  Every once in a while I made a little blip in the quilting line creating what I'm officially calling my Organic Quilting.  I am loving how it texturizes the surface.....especially with this liberated style of quilt block.
The blocks themselves are fun to make. I created a tutorial, if you are interested in making some for yourself.  The blocks in this quilt all vary in width but are the same 10.5 inches high. To put the quilt together, I Iaid the blocks all out in rows of similar length, then beginning with the shortest row, I started sewing the rows together. I subtracted a little off of some of the blocks so that each row measured the same as the shortest. My quilt has 6 rows and is approximately 60 inches square.
The back is almost as fun as the front, I think.  Using leftover solids, I pieced two strips with narrow yellow pieces between green and blue. You can't see it in the picture, but I used the lower whitish strip on the edge as my label.  I loved the way that looks and may start doing that on all my quilts instead of sewing on a square in the corner as I usually do.
I found a wonderful, soft aqua print for the main backing.  The textured quilting really sings on the simple backing.  I love it.....and will definitely be using this quilting style again.
Picking a binding color was not the easiest decision.  I contemplated piecing together scraps of all the fabrics from the front.  Another idea was to piece together just the yellows as a flash of color around the edge.  In the end, I settled on ash grey Kona that I found in my stash.  I think it makes a nice finish to the edge of the quilt, keeping the crosses from falling off the edge, yet not competing with anything.
I couldn't be happier with the final look of this quilt.  I am so glad that I joined Joan, Heather, Jennifer and Amy in this project.  Be sure you take a look at their awesome quilts too.  The quilt is going to a happy home......Today is my daughter and son-in-law's 5th wedding anniversary.
Happy Anniversary, you love birds!! Hope you like this gift of love!
This is a picture of a picture, but aren't they a beautiful couple! I can't believe that it's been five years already.  I bet they number two is due to arrive in a few short weeks!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I've officially jumped on board the Hexagon Bandwagon!  See! I'm using spots, checks and stripes from my stash. This is going to be my "car" project (one of them) during our Colorado vacation.  To make the lap sized quilt I'm envisioning, I need to make 540 of these critters and then sew them together.  Can I do it?
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....O wait. That's a train, not a band wagon.  What is a bandwagon, anyway?
I've also been busy quilting the Cross Quilt.  Remember that quilt? I have a deadline as I want to give it to my daughter and her husband as a 5 year anniversary gift.  I'm doing something different with the quilting....I call it "organic" quilting. Just straightish lines with little blips once in a while.  I'm excited to see how it turns out...hope they like it!
Here are the blocks that I received over the last few weeks for one of my Virtual Bees called 3X6 Sampler Block Party. My colors are green and turquoise.  The participants could send me any block of their choice in my colors.  I'll be adding these to the 6 that I received for the first quarter.  The 3rd Quarter of this exchange is just getting started and I'm again using the same color range in hopes of putting all the blocks together into one quilt.
Meanwhile, Marble's Mole Catching Training continues.  And, I've also been nominated for  the Best Grandmother of the Year award! (hee, hee!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Thread Stash

Do you follow the SewMamaSew! blog?  You should.  They have neat stuff!  A few days ago there was a challenge to blog about your thread stash.  Great idea, huh? Here are my thoughts on the lofty subject of thread!!
  • How did you select colors for your personal thread collection? I buy lots of neutrals and sometimes have gotten "sets"
  • Do you always match the color perfectly to your project? My main colors to sew with are white, cream, black, beige, grey. I find that they blend with most fabrics especially for piecing quilts. When sewing clothes, I do more "matching".
  • Do you ever use contrasting thread? Not that often
  • Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread? Well, it starts out that way, but if my bobbin runs out toward the end of a project and I don't want to take the time to "fillerup" I might substitute....have been known to sew with crazy colored bobbins at times, actually!
  • What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors? That's the wonder of grey and beige....they blend with everything!!
  • Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread?Go with the best you can.  I try to use all cotton. My favorite thread is by Connecting Threads. It is wonderful thread at a very good price.  They often have sales also.
  • Can you show us a picture(s) of your thread collection? Oh, yea......

  • Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)? Thankfully, that habit is reserved for fabric alone!
  • Do you “invest” in thread?When Connecting Threads is having a sale I have been known to stock up.  See all those beautiful colors?  They came as kits.  I'm not sure that was my wisest shopping though....How often do I use purple? Uh, never?
  • What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.) Besides my all purpose threads, I also have machine and hand quilting thread and some rayon threads for my embroidery machine (which I seldom use). I also have some elastic thread and embroidery thread.  Hm mm....I guess I like thread, don't I?!

Friday, July 9, 2010

How I Lost My Marbles

Last Friday, for around an hour, I'd say, I lost my marbles. Yep. Completely forgot who I was.  When I came to, here is what I found living under my roof!
You might think this is no big deal, unless you know me and then you will agree.  Carla doesn't do cats. It all started when the neighbor revealed that a stray cat had given birth to four kittens in her garage.  When she called on Friday to offer me one, she used the word "hunter" in describing the mother cat.  Then came the clincher...the mother had actually caught a mole. At the word MOLE, I was hooked.  Did this woman realize that our yard evidently is the vacation home for all the moles in Missouri.  We've tried everything to get rid of them...except a cat.  Hmm....maybe this is the answer.  That's how we got Marbles. (His name really started out as Marble because of his coloring, but the grand kids added the S, and the irony of it doesn't escape me.) I'll keep you posted on the mole population!! Meanwhile the kitty has to grow up fast so it can get busy outside and earn it's keep!
In more sane news, look what the mailman brought recently!  My package of vintage linens!  
I couldn't wait to tear open the box to see what goodies I was getting in exchange for the 36 fat quarters torn from the vintage bedsheets and pillowcases I'd snagged at the Thrift Shop and mailed out for the exchange.
Most of the linens were really fun and in good shape. A few didn't quite measure up to my expectations and will be regulated to rags (to mop up Marbles' milk?). Aren't these pretty?
Here are my favorites among the summery and soft.  I'm still contemplating what to make....So many ideas to consider.
This one really made me smile!  It is just like the pillowcases that I bought with my mom's
 S & H Green stamps in 1970 to use in my college dorm! I couldn't believe it! Very fun!!
Meanwhile, Lula and I are teaching the kitty how to catch moles. Oh, look, he's chasing a fly! I think we have a hunter!! Talk to ya later!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cherry Oh! Wordless Wednesday

OK. Just a few words.  The Cherry Churn Dash quilt is one that I made with my quilting friend, Jan Anderson, during one of our weekend sewing marathons. We each made two alike of six different blocks and then traded blocks with each other, putting them together for "friendship quilts". As you can see, cherry fabric was our theme.  My cherry tree supplied the cherries, Pillsbury, the crust, and I added the sugar and love! It was yummy!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Red, White and Blue!

Stopping at small antique store located along a country road near Wichita, Kansas, I spied a stack of quilt tops.  My friend, Jan, and I quickly ran walked over and sorted through the tops.  Getting more excited with each, we tried to keep calm and not draw attention to our found treasure, especially when we saw the price tags. What?!  You mean these gorgeous tops are only $20 each!! Un-believe-able!!  How many should we buy?  Maybe we should get them all! Now, just stop. That would be so selfish.
Realizing that we would need to get the tops quilted, in the end we each settled on two tops, leaving at least four or five behind.  Many times since, we have questioned our decision as we thought about the "deal"we passed up. Someone else was probably just waiting for us to walk away so they could scoop up the rest! How unselfish stupid of us!
My friend, Sherri Dolly, beautifully quilted this antique Ocean Waves top. There are so many different fabrics among the perfectly hand pieced triangles.  I wonder if the quilter cut up shirts and dresses to get enough red, white, and blues for the design.  Sprinkled though out are some green, tan, grey, black and even a few pinks.  The color placement seems a little random.....and antique modern quilt......I love it!

Happy Red, White and Blue Day!  Be safe.