Friday, November 18, 2011

Some November Finishes

The one thing I love about flying is that it's a great way to knock out hand sewing (what else are you gonna do at 37,000 feet trapped in a steel can seated in 2 cubic feet of space?)

On the flight down to Orlando I finished this one

And then I got a good start on this one (which I finished while sitting at the hubs' softball games....which explains why my face is not sunburned--I was always looking down, and that my arm is not sunburned in a diamond shape on the inside of my elbow--my arm was bent while I was stitching)

These are patterns from Piece O'Cake Designs Aunt Millie's Flower Garden, and the fabric is also from Piece O'Cake designs. The finished piece will be a four block wall hanging with an appliqued border. The blocks all have a 2-color wheel of fortune in the center that I'll do when all the blocks are complete.  It's hand applique and I'm using DMC Broder single ply cotton thread, which I was loving until I started using Superior Kimono Silk on my Baltimore Blocks. There is seriously nothing that compares to silk thread for hand applique.

Speaking of finishes, Peg Coen from OPAM (One Project a Month) pulled my name as one of the monthly winners for September. She's in Australia so I told her that it was okay to pull another winner and save the postage to the US--I'm in the whole OPAM thing for the motivation--whcih is prize enough for me, but she insisted on sending a prize. I received two adorable is an embroidery project, the other a wool felt/applique/embroidery...both of which I've recently 'dabbled' in and enjoy. Peg also included a sweet little pair of Embroidery Angel scissors in my most favorite color, that matches my studio walls (green). Thanks Peg!

Finally, you are looking at yet another project. At the moment, I haven't a clue what it will be. This is one of our Guild challenges, which is sponsored by Quilters' Confectionery. You get a fat quarter of each of the three fabrics on the right and you've got to use them in a quilt/wallhanging/wearable in a recognizable amount. Quilt/wallhangings have a limit of 160" around the perimeter, wearables can be any size. I bought extra yardage of each, along with the orange/red batik (which makes me think 'Tequila Sunrise' when I look at it) because I actually like all of the fabrics. There is a remote possibility I could make a wearable or a bag or a doll.

The challenge is called 'Orange Blossoms'. Totally subjective. You aren't going to get that from any of those three fabrics on the right. In fact none of those colors appear in an actual orange blossom.  You're judged on use of fabric, creativity, and workmanship. This one's gonna require some serious creativity.

We've also got the 'Big League' challenge...the one that could possibly wind up in an AQS show. This is the Ultimate Guild Challenge. You might remember I wasted a lot of time on 'Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend'  last year only to trash my efforts. I'm not sure I'm in the league to tackle a challenge of this caliber, but I do think about it. This year's theme is to interpret the title of a Beatles song, or a line of a Beatles song in a quilt.(Damn.....I could have saved all those black diamonds from last year's failed effort and done a 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' thing)  It's a great theme, I've just got to figure out a song or a line and how I'd execute it and then assess whether or not I'm skilled enough to compete.

Can I order up 4-day weekends for the rest of this year and the first quarter of next?

Oooh...John Fogarty's on Letterman. Gonna sign off now and rock out. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back from the Beach / Show and Tell

Got back last night (cue sad music). It was lovely to be in Florida in November, even if I did get a bit of a sunburn on Day 2. (I forgot the sunscreen). By the time we got back from the Gulf Coast to SIL's beach house on the Atlantic,I was quite uncomfortably crispy, and  I didn't leave the house without SPF50 on for the rest of the trip.

I tried to blog, but it just wasn't working on the iPhone. I think when I star-2-2-8'd (to update my roaming capability) I screwed things up. Back in the day, you needed to do that with your Verizon cellphone to alert it to the local towers. It seems every time I went somewhere and did that, my signal just got worse (or maybe it was because there aren't any cell towers out in the ocean, which was on one side of me...or maybe because I'm in a concrete house.....). So, I amused myself by doing lots of Facebook posts with photos...sometimes every 5 minutes on a road trip, just so I could see all the places I was posting from be listed on my posts. (I'm easily amused)

I spared the hubs the usual quilt shop hop in Ft. Meyers Beach and Cape Coral area. Dragged him into Michaels for some Christmas stuff...I know, how is it I'm on vacation 1100 miles from home, and I'm shopping in Michaels? They had a great coupon for Fri and Sat, and I didn't want to miss out. He was a trooper about it, and it was his idea to go back on Saturday in between games (I suspect he was sulking over sending a runner in who was tagged out, and just wanted to get away, and the only place he knew how to get to was the shopping center with Michaels in it).

We did our usual Polish Pottery visit to pick up a couple replacement pieces (casualties of the hubs' occasional campaign to be relieved of emptying dishwasher duty...which isn't going to happen) and add a few more pieces (I can't resist, and I've still got a tiny bit of space in my cabinets).

I got to go to a really expensive decorator's warehouse in Orlando (where I spent a whopping $4.00). It cost us at least $25 which is what we'll be fined from the car rental agency once they get the photo ticket of us running through the toll booth without paying. Florida is sneaky like that....they put 2 toll booths on the on and exit is EZ Pass, the other is exact COIN. Who knew???? I've got 20 one dollar bills, but no quarters, and the toll is a buck and you have to pay with coin. And there's 12 cars behind us. What are we suppoed to do? We had to drive through without paying. Of course, the minute we do that, it then occurs to us that now we've got to get off this road and we're looking at doing this again. I find two quarters in my, we're passing exits that are 50 cents. We're set. Then we get off at our exit and it's 75 cents. Seriously!? Fortunately I also had some nickels and dimes to total the toll, otherwise, we would have driven until we found a 50c exit. The place (Margie's Interiors) had some really great decorated trees, and some excellent accessories, but the prices were seriously out of control, and I'm not sure the trip was worthy of the price of admission..

We stopped at The Quilt Place in Rockledge, FL which advertises having 11,000 bolts of fabric. It's a big shop, and they have a lot of fabric, but I just can't buy into 11,000 bolts. Who counted them? How long does it take to count to 11,000? (Sorry, I'm way too math challenged to figure that out). I suspect that someone counted  the number of bolts in some set length of space and then made some math mistakes when trying to compute how many bolts of fabric went into the length and width of the place.  Most shops advertise having 2000 or 2500 bolts of fabric, and this place just wasn't 4-5 times the size of those shops. They are a large building, but they've also got 3 or 4 Gammil long-arms in the place.

They did have a lot of Christmas fabric, so I decided to add a Christmas quilt to this year's ever increasing To Do List.

We drove to Vero Beach Monday and the hubs found a basket of Australian FQs, so I had to come home with a handful.

And this martini fabric just screamed my name.

Just because the vacation is over doesn't mean the fabric fun is. Today, my prize for winning the weekly quilt contest arrived...40 lovely batiks from Moda's Paridise Batiks line. Courtesy of Jojo's Quilt Shop in Elk Grove, CA. (Thanks again everyone who voted for me)the

All that remains is for me to drive up to Frederick this weekend and pick up my sewing machine (which has been enjoying a lovely spa visit while I've been beach bumming it), and I can get to work.

Yeah, I should be able to fit some sewing in between the treck up to pick up the Aurora,  painting the living room, taking the kids to the airport (Jamaican honeymoon), going to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival, making and delivering cookie exchange invites, and cleaning the house....this is a 4-day weekend coming up, right? (I wish!)

Tomorrow it's back to work for me, and after that it's back to other work as well. Welcome home!

I got a lot of stitching done on the trip, and I'll post those photos tomorrow. For now...goodnight, and have a great tomorrow!