Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday To You

As promised, the finished birthday quilt....tah dah!

And the back with my 'signature block'.

My sister pointed out that I didn't have a finished photo of the Maple Leafs of Friendship table cover quilt, so here is that one:
actually covering the table.

So this makes two quilts finished so far this month. The black/white/green is currently in the sewing machine. It's going to be a tedious walking foot with a bit of freemotion job. Hope to have it done by the weekend. Then I've got to quilt Nautilus (which is pinned and ready), and I'm all caught up and can start a new one. Pretty productive summer so far, if I don't say so myself.

Oh, and I tweaked the center block of my group project last night. Instead of making the border be the dusty teal polka dots, I used the star fabric that I used for the smaller circles in the block. I can't wait to see what direction this one goes in.
I've got this weekend and next week to catch things up as I've planned to drop my machine at the 'spa' on the 11th for a well deserved rest and some pampering while I'm in Hawaii. Must get back to work as I have no time to waste.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One Down, Two to Go

I finished the Birthday Quilt, but I don't have a photo tonight. I'll post one tomorrow. Hand sewing binding on is tedious. I don't know what possessed me. I could have gotten away with machine stitching it. It's not as if a 15-year-old would notice.

In the meantime, I set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. this morning so I could get to the early bird sale at the quilt shop in Mt. Airy. 25% off your purchase of fabric between 7 and 8 a.m. While I am trying to save some of my $$$ for Houston, a girl has to sew for the rest of the summer, so I set out on a mission to buy backing and sashing for fabric I already have. Above you can see the fan fabric I bought to go with the Japanese fabrics I bought at my first quilt show. This will be a table runner.

This is going to be shabby chic. I bought these half yards at this quilt shop months ago because I was drawn to the yellow, sage and ever so slight teal/powder blue prints. Today I bought the leafy green background and a peachy border. This will most likely be a gift for someone who's into the whole romantic/shabby chic decorating thing. Or maybe it will be a gift for my friend Anna. A subtle little throw to toss over their brown leather furniture.

At my second quilt show I found these great batik fat quarters. They were practically giving them away. If you zoom in, you'll see that each one has some kind of dots in the pattern, so I was pretty excited to find the right shade of blue batik with dots in it to back this one.

Yesterday was the big batting sale at Capital Quilts. (I stocked up) While I was there I noticed they were cutting fat quarters from this line. I really liked the colors and the prints, so I snagged a set.

After the tedious hours of hand stitching binding, I got to do a fun project. My online quilt group is doing a 5-week project that will result in a 40" square. The center square is to be set on point and include anything that you want to fuse to it. I did circles. Circles are hot (did you hear how I sounded like Paris when I said 'hot'?). Anyway, once I fused them I decided to blanket stitch around the light color ones, and now I'm thinking of cutting my square a bit smaller and adding a border out of the polka dot fabric. I'd almost like to make a whole quilt like this. I don't know what comes next. We get our instructions once weekly. Oh, and the fabric I'm using is Moda Zippity Do Dah.

And while I hate to admit that I am not perfect, above is my finished guild 'badge'. Don't laugh about the embroidery. One of these days I'll have a machine and I'll tear that out and replace it with something that looks good. In the meantime it will have to do. That's our guild pin on the actual block, and the two pins on the ribbon are the only quilt shows I've been to so far. I'm also in an Australian on-line group, and I traded someone in that group U.S. fat quarters in exchange for one of their pins. (I'm starting to feel like I'm at the Olympics! (with the pin trading going on). ) Can't wait until that arrives and I can add it to the block.

Well, I've been up just about 18 hours so far today, I think I'm going to have a little (okay, not so little) glass of Hypnotiq and snuggle under a quilt and watch Saturday Night Live.
More photos tomorrow of the finished Birthday Quilt.
Nighty night!

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Know How Sometimes Strange Things Just Seem To Happen?

Well, last night I never did get back into the studio to sew, so instead I was playing around on the computer and having exhausted my attention span for Pogo, I decided to Google family names. (I do this every once in a while to make sure there's nothing out there that shouldn't be.)

Well, my husband's name (he's a 'III') comes up on an eBay listing for a vintage postcard, so I trot on over to check it out. Apparently his late grandfather and his wife managed a seaside motel back in the 1950s, and their names are listed in the property description as "Operating under new management/Dwight and Jo Entwistle".

First of all, who knew? Secondly, what kind of Karma led me to this card? I wasn't looking for it, it's not something common, and a search today won't turn up another one. It's just one of those freaky things, I guess. A classic example of being in the right place at the right time. How cool is that?

I'm hoping that his grandfather and his wife are pictured in the photo on the card. I can't tell from the photo on the auction page, which I've copied above. (I'll replace it with good photo once I receive the card).

Weirder still? When I was little my favorite book was 'The Pink Motel' about a beachside motel in Florida, much like the one in the photo...which if you notice, is PINK! (cue Twilight Zone theme here)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good Thing I Picked Up Another 500 Safety Pins Friday

As we can see, I've been busy this weekend. Figured out block placement on the Neptune quilt, pieced it sashed it and it hit the pinning table this morning. Phew! Of course, I love it.

And the birthday quilt for my neice was next up for pinning, right after I finished Neptune. I just love how bright and cheery this one is...very teenage girlish.

Now all I've got to do is strap on the walking foot and get to work, but first a break to run out and pick up a dozen crabs and a few sides for dinner, feed the always hungry dogs and then later I hope to get back up to the studio to finish at least one of these tonight.

If only I were 'bewitched' sister came to sew yesterday and left her Bernina 830 Record (and no, I didn't have to twist her arm, thank you) behind since she's coming back to sew next Saturday. A little nose wigglin' and I'd be done!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Yellow Brick Road Was Paved With Good Intentions

We had the 'grandpup' this weekend, and he just felt like hanging out with me while I whipped out this birthday quilt yesterday. What is with dogs and layouts? If it wasn't him, it would have been one of the others, they just have to lay on top of what you're working on and then get all huffy when you want to move the block that's directly under them.

The hubs accompanied me to Web Fabric Saturday and picked up a little 6-pack of FQs that were black with bright prints. I told him to find 6 more FQs that went with it and I'd whip up a throw for our neice's birthday on the 21st. After assuring him that batiks did not go with the bright little modern prints, I was able to sway him to bright stripes and dots.

It started out being a Yellow Brick Road, but I was in a hurry and sort of screwed a little carried away and just kept cutting without reading so I didn't have any strips left at the end. Fortunately, it all worked out and I was able to put together 9.5" blocks from what I had stitched. I'll name it 'Detour On The Yellow Brick Road' or something like that. It's okay.

After work I'll stop and pick up some coordinating border/binding/backing and I hope to knock this out tonight. I'm just going to use the walking foot and ditch stitch in the interest of time.

When it's done, I'll post a photo and some instructions for the screwed up pattern...which I guess is now an 'original'. Ha ha.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Someone posted a comment when I first uploaded my new studio photos asking me to post a photo after I was done working in it. Okay, here you go. This is a photo taken this morning, after I spent last night doing a little quilting and organizing. Yes, I am a neat freak. A clean studio is a happy studio. It takes me all of 5 or 10 minutes to put things away at night and take them out again the next day. Obsessive/compulsive? Not really. Look at it from this perspective...we all cook, but we don't leave everything open and out on the counters because we're going to cook again tomorrow, so why should the workspaces we create in be any different? (It also helps to always have fresh flowers in the room :) )This is a close-up of the lovely orchid on my sewing table. And yes, it is real. This was the second of my orchids to flower for me this year, and this one is stunning. It's been in full flower for about two months now. I think it likes the chi in it's new home. It strives to stay pretty to outshine the fabrics and projects going on in there, and it's doing a great job of it, don't you think?

Oh dear, just as we've left it for a couple weeks, the black/white/green sandwich. I really do love this quilt, but for some reason I keep putting off finishing it.

Oh look! We've found a use for the sewing's the new ironing armoire. Again, number two on my 'Top 10 Things I'm Procrastinating About List'.......painting this armoire white (and then getting an embroidery machine to put inside it Ha Ha!)

My darling husband forked over some really nice long wooden golf tees for me to use to keep my thread spool and matching bobbins together.

And yesterday, at the dollar store, I found these ice cube trays (they make sticks of ice to slip into water bottles) and darned if they don't fit the 'teed up' spools perfectly. So when I'm working on a couple projects at one time, I can just lay out the threads I need in this tray so they're close at hand. Of course, now this means I need to buy the small spools of thread so they fit in the 2/$1.00 trays.....
This past weekend's projects.....The Friendship Star Quilt Guild block. Call me a geek, but I'm new to the guild and I intend to proudly wear my block to the meetings. I just need to find a cool lanyard to hang it from that I can put all my show pins on. Notice the hand embroidery. Whatever. I haven't embroidered forever, but I needed personalization and didn't think I could just walk into JoAnn and ask one of the ladies selling sewing machines if she'd embroider my name on this for me. Anyway, the block isn't too large, maybe 6" x 6". And I used my South African Indigo charm squares on it. Note the freemotion on the muslin. I glued on the teeny tiny piecing in the friendship star, and then I needed to meticulously stitch around each tiny piece when they started to fall off. (Duh! That's what I get for using non-permanent applique glue.)

And, in the spirit of finishing what we start (except for the black/white/green :) ), I've sandwiched and started the freemotion on the Maple Leaves of Friendship table quilt I was testing. I'm going to finish that up tonight because I am itching to start.......
NEPTUNE!!!!!!! Went to the Quilters Unlimited Guild show in Chantilly, VA last Saturday and saw this at the Cottonseed Glory (an Annapolis, MD shop) booth. O-M-G....the colors and the nautical prints are pure fabulosity. And surprise, surprise, it's from Moda. (Moda and me, we've got a thing going on).

Bought the pack of 13 fat quarters, a fantastically simple pattern, ordered some backing and borders from the Tula Pink Neptune line Monday (online sale - only $7.13 a yard), and can not wait to start on this. I think I'm going to bump it up in the queue. (Actually, I think I already subconsciously did, if you pay attention to the threads in the new little ice tray organizer pictured above.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I've Been Slacking

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's Wednesday and I haven't stitched a thing since the past weekend when I finished this top. It's from a pattern I am testing for a group I'm in. I did finish the back on Sunday (and yes, I incorporated my signature block in the center), but I haven't put it together and finished it. Maybe in a day or two, and then I'll post a photo of the back and a better photo of the front (the fabrics on this scream 'October'). I'm going to use it draped over the big coffee table in the family room, which I decorate for fall (lots of pumpkins and leaves and such, I love fall (sigh).)

Saturday I'll be at the quilt show at the Dulles Expo Center so maybe that will inspire me to come home and finish this and get to quilting the b/w/g. Or maybe I'll have fallen in love with some new fabric and will wind up coming home and starting on something new

Decisions, decisions

Oh, went to the Guild meeting on Monday and we talked about doing an Indigo challenge. A few of us have Indigo. Now I need to come up with a project worthy of such beautiful fabric that has traveled across the Atlantic to me. Any ideas?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yes, today's my birthday, but who knew? This one is definitely going in the books for being the worst...ever. Husband is playing softball all night and daughter (who lives up the road) seems to think a 2-line email this morning was sufficient birthday acknowledgement. I know, I should be grateful it wasn't a 2-word text.

It's a sad statement when your best birthday 'cards' came from Coke, Pepsi, Borders, the local radio stations, Sephora and a few members of a Yahoo Group.

I guess this is what happens as you get older. In which case, I can affirm that yes, 'it sucks to get old'.