Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cover Girl

One of my quilts has been given a special compliment....a month long spot as a cover girl!! Well, kind of, anyway.  If a blog can be seen as a magazine, the blog banner as it's cover,  and if a quilt can be seen as a cover girl, then that's the deal!
Remember Peppermint Delight? That's her in the photo above.  Well, I entered her picture into a contest for a spot on the December banner at Stash Manicure. I was so excited to learn that she had won! She's got good company, too.  I hope that you'll hop on over to pay her a visit and check out the other four  bathing quilting beauties. It's a swell blog whose main purpose is to share ways to organize your stash and use it successfully. There's always a good idea being featured!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hope Valley Flimsy

 The hexagon quilt top is all put together.  Yay! !  As you can see, I couldn't stop making those six sided deelies and added some one inch hexies to the border. I think they look like gum balls! Sort of.
 Now to decide how to quilt this fun top.  I don't want to mess it up. Any ideas? Do you think adding the straight-line quilting that I like so much would look good? I really want to love it!

Today, I finished up a couple of blocks for Heidi in the Nittany Block Party.  She provided the fabric and this interesting pattern called  Zig Zag Path. I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scrappy Bee Blocks

Last evening, I spent some time in my sewing room turning out some easy Square- in- a Square blocks for Hannah's month in the KCMQG Scrappy Bee. 

 Hannah requested the blocks to be 10 inches finished, with no more than three rings. 
  Hopefully, her request that the blocks not be "wonky" does not include "off-center" because that's certainly the way this one turned out!
Hannah included the grayish-tan snowflake fabric and asked us to use our stash to create blocks in a lovely grey, yellow, white and light blue color scheme.  It's going to be a wonderful quilt, I think!

 Have you seen this magazine in the stores yet? I tried hard to win one during all the recent give-aways but, sadly didn't. Instead, I picked one up on a recent trip to a quilt shop. There are some fun blocks inside to tempt you....if you need tempting, that is!

 This one caught my eye.  I've been seeing pod shaped blocks all over the Internet lately.
 Here's another using curve shapes.  As you know, I'm being drawn to faux circles lately!
And, if you've been collecting selvages, here's a charming block that would be fun to create.

But don't spend all your days inside sewing. Be sure to enjoy these last days of autumn. Winter's on it's way and the leaf angels will soon turn to snow angels!  

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Quilt Cupboard

Our house is designed with a very open plan and tall ceilings. I've been wanting to find a taller than average piece of furniture to put against the wall near the television to balance out the decor. If I could find something that would also be fun for storing quilts, that would be an added bonus. Last week, after stopping at the DMV to get new tags for my car, I decided to visit an antique store across the street. Right inside the door, I saw this....................................
The conversation across the dinner table that evening went something like this: "Honey, I saw something today that I thought you and I could get each other for Christmas... maybe even early. I think you would really like it and it's something you've been wanting, I know!"

Well, long story short, when we got up Saturday morning, my sweet husband suggested that we go to the antique shop and take a look at that thing HE had really been wanting! By the end of the day it had come home with us and taken up the blank spot on the wall next to the TV. It took some elbow grease to liven up the dry wood with Howard Restor-A-Finish, but now it's true beauty is shining through. The handmade cupboard was built with several quirky details making it a perfect fit of this nut house.


Open the door, and it's all decorated for fall.  I'm pretty excited about having a way to display quilts though out the year.  My honey is really excited about it too..at least he pretends so shockingly well!  
That's one Christmas gift marked off the list.  I love to get him just what he's been wanting!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turkey Lurkey

We had a turkey spend about 30 minutes in our yard this summer.  He's sure hiding now! I was thinking about that bird pecking around in the woods when I created this block for the Calendar of Houses Bee that I belong to.

The turkey was a labor of love, I'll just say.  The only pattern for a turkey that I could find in my books was for a  pieced turkey lurkey that was supposed to end up a 14 inch block or something.
But, the little diagram accompanying the pattern was the just the size I was needing so I measured the little pieces in the picture and made up a mini bird.  It took a while.  But, he's kinda cute, don't you think. (You better say "yes"!)

Inside the house, Mom and the little girl are busy getting the feast ready...just like I should be doing.  Oh, I guess I better go buy a turkey tomorrow since I don't think Tom is coming back to my yard anytime soon!

Outside the house, the wind is blowing and....wait!  Is that snow I see blowing in? I sure hope not! I'm not ready for winter weather quite yet. Are you? 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Border Wars

Are you like me and sometimes have a war going on in your head about whether to add a border to a quilt, and if you do, what should it be? Sometimes, no border is better but other times....  Do you feel a temptation to go the easy route and either ditch a border or just slap on any old thing and call it good, even when you know the quilt needs "something more"to make it fabulous? Surely, I am not alone here! 

My Hope Valley Hexagon Quilt is screaming at me for a border.  So, I spent some time over the weekend coming up with something fun and funky to fit both the fabric and quilt pattern. I'm pretty excited about it, actually, so thought I'd share my progress with you and maybe even some pictures of how I made it......
 Here's a section of one of the borders before I attached it.  You can see that it is made with random angles of the Hope Valley prints on a light grey background. There's no rhyme or reason to the spacing of the triangles
I'm getting ready to sew on the borders and add another little surprise.......  I think I'm gonna like it and am glad that the quilt won the war!

Here's how I made the funky border for anyone interested in trying it.

 First, I cut my Kona ash fabric 6 inches wide and then chopped it up into random lengths. Using scraps from the center of the quilt, I cut triangles in various angles by "eyeball". Some sections have only one triangle and others have a triangle added to each side.

Next, I pinned the triangles RST onto the background, folding the fabric back before I sewed it to be sure that it would completely cover the grey underneath. (Don't skip this part. Guess, how I know that!)

After sewing on the triangle and pressing, I turned the section so the background side was up and using my ruler and cutter, trimmed off the printed fabric even with the background.
The last step is to fold back the triangle onto the front and cut off the background underneath to make a nice quarter inch seam allowance and eliminate bulk.

Here's my finished section.

I continued to add small sections until my border was the length I need. That's it!  So fun to make!  Better run.... I hear my machine calling!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Addictive and Contagious!

I'm not sure, but I might have been infected...........The warning is right there on the package.  How silly to think that I'm immune.  I should have been more careful.

I even put down my fabric and went in the kitchen to clear my head. Wait!  Are those hexagons on the paper towels? Help!! It's just too much. What's a girl to do when her quilty brain keeps telling her that her idea for adding some little hexies to a border for her quilt would be soooooooo great? Would aspirin help? No.  Maybe chocolate.  I'll let you know......

                                            Be careful, though............I'm just sayin!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, Veterans

My brother and sister, who have researched it, tell me that members of my family fought in the Revolutionary War.  
Throughout the generations, many more have served our great nation to protect our freedom. Some lost their lives doing so.
 Thank you to all of the veterans everywhere for the sacrifices you have made. 
                                                                   We owe you a lot!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Home Alone

Circumstances kept me home alone all day for a few days, so.......
when the cat's away, the mice will play!!!

 I started piecing together the blocks for Jennifer's Quilt-Along.  I had the cutting already done so it was quick work to put all the white strips around the 42 charm squares.
I even got a good start on the second round of strips for this square-in-a-square design.  I have a certain person in mind for this quilt and am excited at how it is working up.

Another quilt on my radar screen is the Serendipity Quilt using Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush fabrics. After sewing up the blocks, I began the fun challenge of laying it all out in a pleasing combination.  I tried matching up colors at first, but liked it better when I scattered the colors across the top in a miss-match design.  I even got several rows of squares set together. Oh, how I am loving this so far!  This may be my new Fall Wall Quilt for the living room rod that hangs above my stairway.  I like to change out the quilt there and am wanting some new ones. I wonder if I could finish it by Thanksgiving? Did I say that out loud?
 We rented a movie on Saturday night. I like to keep my hands busy when I'm sitting on the couch in front of the boob tube, so the hexies came out to play.  Since I have all 20 strips together, I began sewing the strips together. Oh man, this will take a while...wonder how long. I sure am glad that I chose to do a smallish table cover and not a large quilt!
I settled on a small running stitch and grey quilting weight thread to sew my hexagons together.  I tried using the silk thread that was recommended at guild meeting a few months ago, but it kept shredding on me, so I gave that up. It did make a fine invisible stitch though. Hopefully, all those paper hexagons will come out without much trouble. I'm counting on it!
Did you get to sew over the weekend?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Exchange

Modern Quilt Guild night is always fun.  Last night was no exception, especially because I was accompanied by a great, invisible, blogging friend who is no longer invisible because I've met her in flesh so I know she's real. Oh, you know what I mean! Linda was in town. We met up for supper and drove to the meeting together. At least, I think we drove.  I was talking so much, that I don't actually remember that part.....and I was the one behind the wheel! Well, we made it there and back in one piece. (I think Linda did have to tell me once that the light was green and I could go now, but other than that......)
Linda had never been to a MQG meeting before...none in DesMoines, she says. Yet, anyway! Read about her experience here.

Guild members got a jump on gift giving with a holiday exchange last night.  Here's what was in the gift I brought....... (The fabric leaves were a hint to the contents.)
I've been sewing with Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush fabrics the last few days. They seemed perfect for a fall gift and since mug rugs are so popular right now I decided to try my hand at making one.  
 On the back, I used a scrap of Deb Strain's fall tree fabric. Short strips of Innocent Crush make up the narrow binding.

 The mug rug measures 7"x 9" and is just the right size to hold a cuppa and a snack! Now I want one for myself! It's a fast and easy project. 

The worst part of the gift  exchange was that we drew gifts by having to reveal our ages.  The oldest went first...the youngest last.  Well, I was almost the oldest...I drew second! The gift I chose was made by the youngest in my little exchange group. And it was a goody!! I'm so happy! Lauren, who is a actively marketing her own fun fabric designs on etsy and is hoping to  get picked up by a manufacturer, made this lovely bag . The striped fabric on the chair, used to wrap my gift, is a strike off that she picked up last weekend at the Quilt Market in Houston.  

I'll be using this bag for all kinds of things.  The Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabrics are perfect for me....even if I was almost the oldest!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cut, Cut, Cut, Sew

My rotary cutter is smokin'!  
I might need some ice to cool it down even!! Whew!!
                                                              Turned to this.....         

                                                                  And this........
                                                               Got chopped into this....
                                                My scissors were jealous so...............

You see that I finally succumbed to one of those darling Oliver + S patterns.  Soooo cute!! I'll let you know how it goes with sewing it up....It looks very well written.

Well, then the sewing machine started whining about needing some attention.....so I made  blocks for the 3 x 6 Mini Sampler Bee. I decided on the faux circle block that I'm so ga-ga over right now.  (I may have to make myself a whole quilt of these, I love them so much!)
 For Jenifer in Colorado, Julie in California, Melinda in Wisconsin, Marlynn in Utah, Solidia in Indiana, and Leslie in West Virginia.  It's always so much fun to see how the same pattern can look so different in all the various color combinations. 

 Now, where is that Halloween candy that my grandsons shared with me?  I need some chocolate!! What are you up to?