Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for my two youngest. I always love the start of a new school year--it seems like such a good time to get organized and set new goals...and it means the start of my favorite season, FALL, is near. I spent the day recovering from all of that driving last week, and I did 5 hours of housework along with having the washer and dryer running continuously from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.! So...I decided that I deserved to have a little time to sew in the afternoon and evening. I finally made one of the little bags I've seen here and here. I used some of the "Pop Garden" line by Heather Bailey as well as some "Ginger Blossoms" by Sandi Henderson. I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it out. I was nervous, as I'd never made a bag before, but the directions were fantastic. I can't wait to make a few more! My younger daughter who is usually skeptical of my projects even said, "Wow, Mom, I think you could make me a purse someday!"
I also make this table topper (it's only 24" x 24") out of a "Woodland Bloom" charm pack. I think it will be really cute once I get a fun border and binding on it...I just have to wait until the yardage of this line is in the shops.

And I made one more block from the Civil War Love Letter quilt book. So today I'll spend a little time getting organized and then get right to work on Christmas projects and swap projects!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back Home...

This will just be a quick post--I'm happy to be home after about 18 hours of driving in four days! I'm glad I went--I didn't get to spend much time helping my daughter get settled at school last year; this year I enjoyed helping her move in, walking around campus, looking around the town and enjoying the beauty. Above are some photos from the horticulture gardens. We were there at mid-day and didn't have a chance to go back later when the lighting might have been better--these were my best photos.

These two pictures are from the most wonderful store, Porter's in Rexburg, Idaho. For such a humble exterior, you would never know what treasures are inside! I didn't really know what to expect when we arrived--I just knew that they carried quilting patterns. They had a wonderful quilting fabric, notion, and pattern selection, along with florals, craft items, home decor, etc. We got lots of ideas just from looking around. Also, the store went on and on and on, taking up almost half the length of a city block!
School starts Monday for my high schooler and middle schooler...then I'll get my sewing room organized and get to work on some projects. I have the Stitcher's Angel swap and Chookyblue's Secret Santa swap that I'm working on (along with Christmas presents for family and friends)! I have great ideas for both swaps, and I'm enjoying peeking at the blogs of my partners!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Almost Fall...

Okay, so this is NOT how my cutting table typically looks. What has been going on??? Well, my two college students are home and are both getting ready to go back to school (both moving into new places as well). Along with all of this, I have been watching the Olympics until the wee hours of the morning, sleeping in, and always trying to play catch up. It is worth it, though--I have always loved the Olympics, especially the gymnastics...and then this year I had to watch all of Michael Phelp's eight races! I still vividly remember watching Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci, and then Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller, Keri Strug, and more. This year Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin have been amazing. And there are always inspiring stories about athletes from all nations...I just love the Olympics! One good thing about all of this television watching is that I have gotten a lot of stitching done as well as several bindings sewn on quilts!
This collage I entitled "Reading Material." I'm taking a road trip to take my daughter back up to school in Rexburg, Idaho. I'm going to stay with her a couple of days to help her get moved in, and this is my stack of inspiration I'm taking with me to read in the evenings. I'm not looking forward to all of the driving, but I can't wait for the weather, and maybe I'll find a couple of quilt shops along the way!

So, it's finally here...Cotton Blossoms by Bonnie and Camille for Moda...from the pictures on-line, I was sure it was going to be a favorite of mine. I couldn't wait for the yardages to get to my favorite shops, so Iordered a "Charming Jelly Cake" from the Fat Quarter Shop...the fabrics are even more gorgeous than they are on-line. Now I just need to make a list of projects I want to do with them and figure out what larger pieces I will need!

I did finally finish block 3 of the Mystery Designer Quilt from the "Peace on Earth" line by Moda. I love each new block, and the patterns are designed beautifully!
Well, that's about it for now...I've got lots to do to get ready for this "road trip;" I hope to have some fun pictures to post when I get back. And then...fall will be within our sights...I'm so ready for the temperatures to drop, even if only at night. And my fall quilts...I can't wait to get them out.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Rain...and Quilting Stuff too!

I just had to take this picture from my front porch the other night (Wednesday August 6th to be exact). I love rain, and since we rarely get any it seemed like taking a picture of it would prove to me that it really did happen. I was so excited for the rain that I didn't even mind losing power for about an hour...the kids and I sat on the back porch and just watched and enjoyed.
Here is a scrap quilt I made with scraps from the quilt I showed on my last blog post. I'm now busy working on a scrappy back to go with it. This is my first Christmas present project...it's for a family member who has been hinting for a lap quilt...

Oh, and I won a give-away since I posted last...I had no idea how many give-aways there were on the quilting blogs. People do give-aways to celebrate their blogiversary, their 50th post, their 100th post and so on. Anyway, I won this fat-quarter of the Heather Bailey Pop Garden line from the Quilt Taffy blog...the first thing I've ever won!

I'm almost caught up with my Noah's Ark stitcheries. I should get lots of stiching caught up over the next two weeks since I love watching the Olympics; hopefully I'll get a few quilts bound as well. I really like how these fabric borders bring out the colors of the embroidery. I'm using a new Moda line called Portobello Market...and I'm loving it.

And finally, I have quite a few quilts I'm trying to get done to donate to the Humanitarian program--I got this one done the other day, and my oldest daughter is going to tie it for me. I bought this fabric years ago to make a blanket for my oldest son...then it was going to be for my youngest son (who is now 13)...and since I procrastinated so long in making it, it will be off to somewhere in the world, hopefully to give some warmth and comfort to someone in need!
Have a great day!
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Great Day!

I got this quilt back from my quilter today...I had just stopped into her shop to pick up some thread, and she had it ready for me. As soon as I got home I got the binding sewn on by machine; I hope to do the handwork and have it on the wall by tomorrow! This quilt is a Teri Christopherson pattern called "Rose Red." It was my first attempt at machine applique'. I was able to take a class from Teri last September in Layton, Utah at the Utah Quilt Guild 2007 Quilt Festival. Teri was a super nice person, and she gave an amazing lecture and trunk show at one of the luncheons. I had never even attempted machine applique' until I took her class, so I'm very grateful to her for giving me the confidence to try out the technique. Machine applique' has opened up a whole world of new projects to me--especially fun, whimsical things that I don't want to dedicate the time to do with hand applique' methods.
Here I've tried to show a close up of the amazing quilting...but the picture doesn't do it justice!

My Halloween quilt is finished and ready to be quilted. I really love the colors in this quilt!

I finished up two more Civil War blocks last weekend. The one on the bottom is paper-pieced. I'm also adding borders now to the blocks--thanks to one of my friends who came up with the setting idea.

And last, but not least, my second block is done for the Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery Designer block of the month. Number three should be arriving in the mail pretty soon! Happy weekend!
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