Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life Saver!

Okay, so August is my month for the bee.
Collecting fabric since January.
All over Indiana.
Butt side up over the scrap bins in quilt stores.
I.  Am.  Determined.
(and yes, I'm sure it was ugly!)

This is a sample block I made yesterday that will go into the quilt.


Remember these fabrics?




I can't wait to start getting blocks back!

A little known secret about me:
I hate licking envelopes.  (as opposed to Bean who thinks he's in heaven getting to lick them closed)  Ick!
For weeks now, I've been trying to figure out how to secure the envelopes I'm sending in the mail without having to deal with packaging tape (which envelopes me and I get stuck to myself and whatever else might be in the room-I am not coordinated enough to even load and work the little gun you can buy to "help" you).

Okay, so this morning.
D-Day.
Dread Day.
Shipping day.
Thank you Lesly for resending me all the addresses.  Thank you printer for not being compatible with my laptop and for the computer room behemoth that is soooooo ssssslllllooooowwww that trying to print something is like watching mold grow.

When, like a gift from heaven, I remembered the spray bottle I use to wet the boys' hair down for haircuts.  I've relearned a wonderful word.  Frugal.  Which is what I am since I've been cutting their hair for almost 16 years now.  Hubby too.  $40 every six weeks for a year is about $344 more than I want to spend on hair.  Especially when the boys were little and were at the doctor almost every week with something.  You know how it is?  That's a lot of milk.  A lot of cereal.  Prescriptions for antibiotics for ear infections!
LOL


Here they are, ready to go with my new best friend.  Once I got over the mishap of someone who shall remain nameless turning the nozzle to stream, cleaning off my glasses that got sprinkled and flipped it back to spray, I was in business.
In under 2 minutes, they were sealed and my tongue did not have to touch one.
Some things in life do work for you!

Today I'm dealing with a dog who woke up gagging.  Not sure why, but I think she was given something that didn't agree with her tummy.  Hurling doggies.  Awesome.

Bean, who wants to watch Jaws and 12 Days of Terror before we go on vacation to the Gulf.  Who wants a library visit to get books about sharks.  Greaaaaat.

Kids who aren't even up 5 minutes and need to be sat down at the kitchen table for daring to cross the demilitarized zone.  Sweet.

A teenager who's needing to fly.  And needs another transcript copy from the school I just luuuuuuv to go to! 

Hottest day of the week.  Did I mention Thing 2 and Thing 3 spent 7 hrs at the pool Monday and 3 yesterday?  Yes!

Cat who can't seem to find the litter pan and tries to ear my hair and lick me to death if I sit down anywhere near her.

Book on the Great Potato Blight in Ireland.  I like to read while I have breakfast and this morning, the section was on dead people being ripped apart in the streets by wild dogs.  They'd starved and no one had the energy to bury them in the winter.  Nice.

Makes my bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch go down easy.  Yeah.  Really easy.  Not.  Now, every time I eat something, images of a famine ridden Ireland pop into my head and the guilt over having so much while people in other parts of the world don't...


Remember that Love fabric I was going to drive to the LQS and get?  Not so much.  I'm afraid if I leave town, Israel and Iran will be at each other's throats.  Plus, there is that trip to the library I need to make....


Monday, July 26, 2010

IMQG July Block for Chelsea

is finished.
Chelsea asked us to use lots of open space and cream for her ocean themed block.


I apologize for the horrible shot, but it's so dang bright out outside, all my shots looked like the sun had exploded, so I went into the sunroom.


Fell head over heels in adorability for this little gull walking the shore.


This block is a 14 1/2" sq one.  Chelsea, hope you like it!

Did you know how much your kind words and encouragement mean to me!  I love hearing if anyone else is as excited about projects as I am.  Thank you for all your enthusiasm and affirmation for the Aloha block.  I'm working on another center piece and still haven't gotten out to buy more Love.

We spent the weekend in two different states.  A family reunion on my mom's side and a memorial service for a dear friend's son kept us travelling.  Good food and visiting in Michigan with cousins, aunts and uncles and my Grandpa, who at almost 90, still goes bow hunting and fishing on Lake Erie!

July 19th, 2009, a young man was driving home from a day racing, with his dad in another vehicle on the same road.  They believe Zach had a seizure and swerved into a semi.  I remember him as a chubby lil' four year old showing me his playset and then as a teenagaer dealing with epilepsy while making his life work and being a friend to all.  It was encouraging and heartening to hear one man's testimony about Zach's faithfulness in friendship at the memorial service.  His dad works with my hubby and has been a great friend and mentor to him.

You are missed Zach by your mom and dad, and all those who knew and love you still.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Finish and a Twisting Pinwheels Tutorial

If you are interested in purchasing the gizmo, you can go here In Stitches

To start simple, choose 4--5" sq pieces of fabric.  Charm packs are great for this, but I'm adding from my own stash as I go along and cutting 5" sq pieces too.


Lay them out the way you would like them to lie against each other.  Sew together to make a four patch block.


Now, cut two--2 & 3/4"-3" strips of white quilter's choice fabric (or your own color choice) the length of the right and left sides.  Sew the strips on.  Press.


Cut 2 more same width strips (2 &3/4"-3") and sew along the top and bottom.  Press.


Now you have the piece you will cut your twisting pinwheels from.
(the instructions say that "there will be a 1/4-1/3 loss from the beginning size of your project before cutting and the end result using the twister.")

The instructions also have you start cutting from the left, but I started from the right because of work space and comfortableness.

Place the gizmo dead center over lines that intersect on the seams between two borders and the first square.


This is where you make your cuts around the gizmo.  Be careful not to extend your cuts too far beyond the gizmo as you might cut into fabric needed for another square.  The instructions tell you to leave the block in place once it's cut, but I wanted to make sure my cuts went all the way through before I moved on to the next square to cut.  Realigning to finish incomplete cuts isn't hard, but it's not fun either.


Continue cutting on all intersecting seams.  Your four square should now look like this.


Notice all the little squares just perfect for your next scrappy project!  Now, angle the first square you cut so it is straight.  Piece the new block together matching up fabrics into their pinwheel shapes.


Now you are ready to assemble the new block by sewing the squares together.  I press my seams to the side and press one row opposite the other so I can lock my seams into place for nice fits on the seams.  Once all nine squares are sewn together and the new block is pressed, trim off the excess white border and true up your block.



These blocks measure 9 1/2" sq when finished.  To make the larger, center blocks, I laid out a rectangle of 5 x 4--5" fabrics, sewed those together, attached a border and cut using the method above.  Here's a shot of me picking out the fabrics for the second, center block and laying them next to each other to see how they play together.


The center twisting pinwheels block measures 19" x 15 1/2".  You can sew as many 5"sq fabrics together as you'd like in whatever lengths or widths you'd like as long as you put the border around them.

Here is the first center block finished.


And here is the second, center block finished, but only laying on top of the first one.  I need to make a trip to our LQS that sells the Love fabric to continue the quilt.


And another corner block I made up yesterday.


I hope this has helped with the questions some had from the last post.  If you have any more you can post them here, or email me and I will answer them as best I can.

For those joining from Friday Finish, here is what I finished this week.


I'm calling this the "Aloha" block and it roughly measures 36" sq.  Another quilt for our bed in the making.  You can find other great projects and finishes at Amy's blog for Sew & Tell Friday Finish.

Happy Weekend one and all!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Darn the WIP's! Full steam ahead!

Have I ever shared with you I have QADD?  "What's QADD" you ask yourself.
Why, it's Quilter's ADD.
And I think I need help.
But don't do an intervention until this quilt


is finished because I am in love!  After a sever bout of hate!
LOL

I saw this cute little gizmo with KT and I went to a local quilt show.  I didn't purchase it then because I had already spent my paltry fistfull of dollars on fabric.  Last weekend, hubby snookums took me shopping in the town where the shop that sold this little sweetheart lives.


If you already know what this is, you can skip this part.  LOL  This is a template for twisted pinwheels and it's the BOMB!  You use 5" sq pieces of fabric (imagine charm packs here!).  You can sew as many as you like together, as long as they have at least a 2 3/4" border around them all.  You then lay the template on the seams and cut.  On the smaller, corner pieces, I used two pieces of fabric from a Jennifer Paganelli charm pack KT won and two from a Birdie pack she bought me for Christmas.
Isn't she wonderful!

Here is the second center piece of the block being laid out. 


Obviously branching out now from the original charm squares I was playing around with.

This block measures almost 36" sq.  If you're gonna go, go big!

Here is the confession of hate part of the post.
When I made the first two, smaller pinwheel squares, I thought "Huh.  Cool.  Now what?"
So, ever the curious one (someday I just know that trait is going to get me into big trouble!), I decided to put 9 squares total in a border, cut them up and put them back together.
Thought this too was cool, but totally clueless as to what I would do with it or the three other squares I had by now finished.

Tossing and turning all night long.
Hating myself for wasting $8 on a thingamajiggy.
Trying to finagle a way to salvage these squares into something halfway decent that I liked and wouldn't mind having in a quilt.


Here is the middle section of the block.  I really like the way the colors blend, but in disgust, threw it on my sewing table where it landed next to Amy Butler "Love" fabric.
I'm tellin' ya, it was like the hamster ate a brownie and had a Coke for breakfast.  Edison reincarnated in my brain and the lightbulb was burnin' so bright the neighbors called 911 to report a flash of lightening in my house setting the place on fire!


Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit.  And maybe, just maybe not everyone here is as impressed and in love with it as I am.  But "poop" to them!  I like it!  And I'm gonna make more.  I figure it will not take very many of these ginormous blocks to get a quilt top.

What's that?
What about my other wip's, ufo's and piles of stuff to finish?
Who we talkin' 'bout?


Monday, July 19, 2010

Eye Candy!


My garden trolls have been at it again.
This is the quilt hubby and I have on our bed.  It was the first queen size quilt I had ever made and quilted.  The pattern is one I created as I went along.  Using fabrics from Joann's to quilt stores from Indiana to Michigan.


A couple of weekends ago, KT and I had a morning together to spend shopping.  We decided not dine in, but do drive thru at MickeyD's to give us more time oggling and petting fabrics.

These came home with me:


as the start of a stash for a new quilt.  Erin McMorris's Weekends.  Michael Miller Dumb Dot.  Heather Bailey Freshcut.  Amy Butler Midwest Modern.


Heather Bailey Nicey Jane.  Paula Prass Summer Soiree.  Amy Butler Midwest Modern (KT and I split a yard from her online source!).  Anonymous lime green and pink.  Martha Negley Mum Toss.


And some friends that followed them home!
Heather Bailey Fresh Cut.  Amy Butler Love.  Kate Spain Verna.  Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope (thanks to Penny for sharing the love).  And this scrumptious orange daisy print
whose origin escapes me!.  LOL

I finished the back, quilting and binding on the as yet unnamed quilt.  Thank you for all of your suggestions, but the quilt hasn't screamed out "Hey!  I want to be called ........." yet.  I feel like I've brought home a newborn without a name on the birth certificate!  Very unsettling.


Huge thanks to those of you who knew what to call these little square blocks.  Hee hee.  I love learning something new every day!  Setting squares are "Solid, pieced, or appliqu├ęd squares placed between the focal-point quilt blocks to set off a design" from http://wiki.allpeoplequilt.com/page/Setting+squares.

I auditioned several fabrics for the binding, but chose this fabric


in the end.  It's from Joann's and was some hubby love bought for me as a birthday gift!

The back


was pieced using more Wonky Log Cabin blocks without the white sashing in between, more lucious Fresh Cut and a vintage, polka dot sheet.  I quilted it using straight lines to the side of the seams.  Really enjoyed the ease and speed of this type of quilting compared to stippling!



Here's a sad attempt to show the quilting.  Now that I'm almost done, the sun has decided to come out and play.  Sorry, I'm too lazy to take another shot and download it to the computer!  LOL

This week, I will be having a guest poster share his talent with you!
Hope today is a good one and that there's some sewing time for us all in it!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What would you name it?

I am quite the happy camper.
Basketball camp is over.
Javi survived his surgery with minimal swelling and ate pizza Sunday night.
I finished the top to a quilt I started last summer.
I finally figured out how I wanted the back to look as well.
I will be purchasing batting today or tomorrow using gift cards from some very thoughtful family members given as birthday presents.

Now, I just need a name.
Suggestions?

(thank you tall people for helping me get such a great shot!)

This quilt has two firsts for me.  My first wonky Log Cabin blocks coupled with mitered borders.  I used a vintage sheet I had with stripes that compliment many of the colors of the blocks.  The stripes don't match up in the corners like they should, but hey, this is a first and I think I did a darn fine job on them!  LOL  The "whatever you call them, 'cause I know they have a name, I just don't know it" smaller squares are fun pieces of scraps left over from piecing the blocks.

I really scratched my head on the back.  I had the rest of the striped sheet laid out to use, but just couldn't get into it.  I knew I wanted to repeat the theme of the Log Cabin blocks on the front, but didn't want to do the exact same pattern.

I will share this when I get the quilt pinned/basted for quilting.

Aren't my two helpers so tall! 
Bean and Middleman helped make homemade pizza for lunch.
My boys are growing up.

Linking up with Amy for Sew and Tell, Friday Finish.  Last week had some incredibly beautiful finishes.  Sorry if the link didn't work, you can read why on Amy's blog!  lol

Hope you go and support and encourage these gifted and talented ladies with your kind comments!

Happy Weekends to us all!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Okay! Where did I put my Friday Finish post title?

Has it been a week for you too!  I mean a week when you wake up with your car keys still in your pocket because you went to bed so fast after your day was done?
So fast and furious that this morning, you set your breakfast on someone else's dirty plate on the counter top, and didn't care?
So fantastically speedy that you just forgot it's Friday while writing your Friday Finish post?

LOL
Welcome to my world!
I have not done any grocery shopping for this week beyond milk and cereal.
Laundry is lying in the hallway getting tripped over.
The dog has forgotten who I am.
Javi gets his wisdom teeth out today and tomorrow (I think!) is a double birthday party ala Fiesta for hubby muffin's father and sister.

Hubby's week has been just as frantic and fraught with busyness as he is almost never in the office now.
Our weekends are booked solid for July.
We haven't been to the Lakes yet this year.
And in a couple of weeks, we need to defy the Law of Physics and be in two places at the same time.

(insert some David Gilmore here and think peaceful thoughts)
Somewhere in this mad dash of a life, I finished


Marcia's second memory quilt (which most of you have seen, sorry!  lol)  I would love to make one of these for our family someday (note the "not soon" indicated by using a wishful word like "someday").  Hubby sweets and beansprouts have lots of jeans they have relegated to a scrap closet.  Somday.  Wouldn't this be beautiful with the new Dream On?



With a happy, bright flannel as the middle?  I can get into this now, let me tell you!


I also finished Joan's block for June.  I know, I know.  Don't look at the date in the bottom right-hand corner.  I said don't look!  lol  Joan gave us this tutorial to use to make the blocks.  She sent us some of the most delicious 1 1/2" square bits to use!  Plus, we got to use from our scrap stash as well.  And you all know I love scraps.  There might even be a piece of vintage or two in there.  I have another one I need to do, but it is Friday and I did want to post at least something this week!

I was having a fabulous photo shoot in the gardens when a crowd of pteradactyl sized mosquitoes made me do this:


as I was running for cover!  I think these buggers have found a way to mate with vampire bats, they're that huge and frightening!

So we moved to a new location and I got to take a picture of Lydia's block.


She sent us Amy Butler's Love fabric.  I have some of these, but found I'm in love with the green paisley print most of all!  We could use solids from our own stash, but she wanted only straight lines.  Let me tell you, after three days of basketball camp with 15 boys--I couldnt' even see straight, let alone design, cut or sew anything that wasn't going in circles!
But, I persisted and after looking through flickr, came up with a block inspired by-of all things-my calendar.  LOL  I was going to chop up the long, horizontal strips and make them look like the squares for the days where you can write ALL the things you have to do, but like the simplicty of this better.  I think it showcases the fabric better.


There are two incredibly inspirational places you need to go to today to view more lovely blocks and projects:

Friday Finish at Amy's blog and theISQB  blog to see more of the blocks for Joan and what we've been up to this year in our quilting bee!

Off to go look up chipmunk jokes and fill prescriptions for Javi!
Middleman works today and Bean, well, he's just peachy!  Lovin' Life and livin' it to the fullest!

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A.W.O.L.

This is what I have been up to.
Plus basketball camp.
Hubby love being off 4 days.
The 4th of July (three displays, 3 cookout parties/dinners).
Looking for a condo in Gulf Shores.

It ain't easy.
LOL

Life is good.  Summer is fabulous and we're just pluggin' along.  Marcia's other memory quilt is now finished and delivered.  This one was harder to give up than the first one!  My "boys" loved it so much.  I hope Marcia's brother and nephew (who will inherit it) enjoy it and it helps them to remember a very special man in their lives.


Here it is on the fence in all its rag quiltey softness.  Again, a John Deere shirt used to personalize it even more.

Hoping to work on some UFO's and WIP's.
Wanting to take photos of the lucious scraps I've been gifted and what I was naughty and bought!

Hope today is a great one for you with many blessings!