Monday, April 27, 2009

More Mail!

This has been a good mail week for me! Nanette brought along some of her Japanese magazines and books a couple of weeks ago when we met for lunch. I loved them! Of course, I can't read a word of Japanese, but the pictures were so inspiring! When I got home I ordered one magazine and one book...nothing like Nanette's collection...but enough to get me started! They arrived this week, and I've been reading them (well, really just looking at the pictures) ever since!

I also ordered my first fabric from Superbuzzy...fabric with hexagons, of course! On the same day the books and fabric arrived, another package arrived from Stephanie thanking me for her giveaway prize (of course no thanks was necessary). Now I can make Dresden blocks with the Easy Dresden template she sent! I can't wait! Stephanie has made some wonderful Dresden blocks here and here...and Vanessa has made this one that I love! You'll be seeing some new Dresden blocks on my blog soon!


I also wanted to share this great tip I received from Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. She suggested taking this book in to have the binding cut off and a spiral binding put on! It only cost a little over $4 to have this book re-bound...and now it is so much more user-friendly-- I can leave the book open to the page I'm working from and it will stay flat!



I'll be gone for a couple of days...headed off for a short trip to northern Utah to attend a Women's Conference. I'll be without my machine, but I'm taking LOTS of hexagons and handwork to keep me busy!!! Hope you get to sew today!

A Couple More Finishes!


Yes, I finished it, and the binding is ready to go as well (although I wish I'd cut the binding on the bias--that would have given an extra fun look to the finished quilt)! Heather's Double Takes 3 made this quilt a snap. I've figured out that one layer cake will make three baby quilts using this pattern. I'm going to calculate the yardage for setting triangles, the outer border, and binding and be ready the next time I see a cute layer cake for kids!

This quilt is definitely going at the top of my "to be quilted" stack. I didn't realize how much I was going to love this quilt until the blocks started coming together! I've always loved Mary Engelbreit...and "Baskets of Flowers" definitely says "summer" to me. Using the cream floral print for the setting triangles provided just the right amoung of contrast...and I love the green check binding with the outer border. This quilt finishes at 57 by 67 (I changed up the border from the pattern) and will be great to have out in the family room this summer.



Another project I tackled this weekend was a bag for younger daughter. I used the Amy Butler Swing Bag pattern but made it patchwork (and left off the bow---younger daughter doesn't like big bows)! (Sidenote: younger daughter just read this and says her dislike of bows stems from the fact that I always made her wear huge hairbows in elementary school). She loves purple but has been loving aqua lately as well. I wasn't sure if she really liked it or not...but she took it to school today, so it must be okay!



Hopefully I can get a few more finishes in before the end of the month...wow, can you believe it's almost May?!!! Happy Sewing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Three Things...

First up...32 blocks in less than 3 hours...start to finish! This is why I love Moda Layer Cakes!

Aren't these wonderful fabrics?! I'm using Heather Mulder Peterson's pattern Double Takes 3. It was quick and easy and fun! Now I just need to get these blocks together!
Second--you...must...buy...this...book! My copy of Material Obsession came (and a day early at that)! There is so much inspiration here...and so many quilts I want to make! And they just announced on their blog that Material Obsession 2 just arrived in their store!


And finally, I won a giveaway...Belinda of Brown Dirt Cottage had the best idea...for her hundredth post giveaway she randomly chose three readers from previous posts to send packages to!

Everything was wrapped beautifully! She must have realized I love working on Christmas projects because she sent a Christmas book along with the fat quarters, thread and ruler. Oh, there was also a package of Post-It tags...they're already being used! Thank you Belinda!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tagged!



First of all, the photo. I can't do a post without a photo...and since I don't really have any digital photos to go along with today's topic, I thought I'd post some of my favorite fabric. It's Glace' by 3 Sisters for Moda. I have a Dessert Roll I won in the Moda FabricMatcher contest back in December. I love this fabric...I unroll it every so often and can't wait to start sewing with it when the line is available in June (I already know what I'm going to make). Anyway...I've never been officially tagged before, but I always thought it would be kind of fun. And when you get the chance to be tagged by Heather Mulder Peterson...and to receive a copy of her new book that will debut at spring market...you go for it! So here are seven randomly honest things about me that you probably don't want to know...

1. I've lived in four states, Texas, Nevada, Utah and California; I was born in Houston, Texas...no wonder I love Moda!!! I've visited the northwest, the midwest, and have traveled from Nevada to Florida in a car...but I've never been to the northeast!

2. When I was ten years old I saw Nadia Comaneci in the summer Olympics and decided to take up gymnastics! I practiced very hard, and in high school attended a gym with mostly 20 somethings. They were all really nice to me even though I was younger, and they helped me perfect my back handspring and other stunts I'd been struggling with. Although I at first thought they were college students...I later found out that they were all dancers on the Las Vegas strip!!!

3. I worked at Cloth World for two years while in high school (later bought out by Joann's)! I remember when rotary cutters first arrived in our store. I demonstrated the cutting ability of those first Olfa blades without ever imagining I would own one (or five) some day!

4. My favorite candy in the whole world is "Vanilla Nut Cream" by See's. My mom usually buys me a pound each year for my birthday and for Christmas. On several occasions I've eaten the whole pound in a 24-hour period!

5. I never sit still. I'm always busy and never bored; I rarely watch television. Sometimes this drives my terrific family crazy...especially my wonderful husband. When I do watch t.v. it's usually the Today Show, the Olympics, or American Idol. And, I've always made the time to sew; when my four children were young I did all my sewing late at night, really late at night!

6. At the age of 24 I'd already earned my Bachelor of Arts in English and had three of my four children. Back then I was sewing for wedding parties as well...those were busy days!

7. I really, really, really want to go to Quilt Market one day! Really. I can't imagine anything more amazing in the quilt world!

So, if you've stuck around to the end...here is what I have in mind. I can't do what Heather did and give a fabulous new book to several of you...but since I'm nearly done with my Pay it Forward gifts...I'd like to send on a small gift to the first two people who leave comments and also do a "tagged" post! If the first two people would e-mail me after they've posted...that would be great!

The Story


Well, I haven't finished the wallhanging yet, but I have decided on the most beautiful buttery yellow polka dot to use to frame the blocks. I've applique'd one and am busy working on the other two. I mentioned the other day that there was a story regarding these blocks that were made by my great-great grandmother, Emma Acelia Wakefield Fitzgarrald who lived from 1865 to 1936. Emma was the fifth of seven children and had six brothers! I'm sure much of her sewing as a young girl was household sewing to keep her brothers clothed! I asked my grandmother what she remembered of these blocks, and she proceeded to tell me some of her memories. My grandmother recalls seeing her grandmother sitting at the end of the table in the dining room working on these Dresden plates; the light was always good at the end of the dining table. When I asked her about the fabrics my grandmother told me how she got many of them. Emma and her husband Alfred Clark Fitzgarrald never owned a car. Once a week, Alfred would hitch up the team and take the eggs and cream into town to sell them. After that, he would go to the dry goods store and purchase fabric for Emma. He would buy enough for a new dress or apron and get extra for her quilting! I thought this was the sweetest story! I also learned from my Grandmother that Emma never quilted her quilts herself...she did the piecing and then sent them out to be hand-quilted!
I've also been working on my hexagons! I now have five completed flowers with Aviary fabrics...I love these and have finally decided how I'm going to put them together!



But thanks to some wonderful inspiration from this blog...I've also started another hexagon project! I'm working on hexagon diamonds with my Cotton Blossoms fabric!



The center hexagons don't show up well with the background I've set these on, but these are gorgeous blocks. Now these...I have no idea what I'm going to do with them...but I love making them! And luckily for me, even thought the Great Hexagon Quilt-Along blog was full...they've opened a sister blog which I was able to join; the hexagon inspiration on these blogs is wonderful!


Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival


I intended on joining in on all the fun of the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Park City Girl...but I just couldn't decide on a quilt!!! Finally I decided on this one...and it does have a little story!

This is "Garden Patch" from the Kim Diehl book Simple Traditions. I changed it up a bit and didn't do the applique in the outer border. Instead I made it the perfect size for snuggling! A friend of mine had made this quilt, and when I realized I had the pattern I went home that day and started cutting! I worked on it practically night and day and had it finished in less than 24 hours.

Of course you can make this quilt by strip piecing, but I had a lot of charm packs that I wanted to use...so most of my strips were only 5" long! I think one of the reasons I love this quilt so much is that I used all of my Shangri-La by Moda in it...I love that line (wish I still had some)! Another reason I love this quilt is because of the nine patches...my first ever "quilt" project was a set of two nine-patch pillows I made when I was about 11!


After making this quilt it took me a year, yes a full year to wash it...I was afraid of the colors bleeding. But I finally just threw in a color catcher and went for it...and it was fine!!! I have so many things I'm trying to get finished this week...including a fun idea for Moda Honey Bun strips! Hope you get to sew today!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Get-Together!

Saturday I was able to travel to beautiful, sunny St. George for a "bloggers get-together" with Nanette of Freda's Hive, Nedra of Cactus Needle Quilts, and Dawn of Piece and Love. Nanette was in the southern part of the state visiting family, and since Dawn and I live only an hour away, we arranged to meet for lunch, "quilt talk," and a little shopping! Nedra's home is beautiful and is set right against a gorgeous red hill.

Nedra had a wonderful lunch ready for us when we arrived; she served salad, fresh salsa with chips, and a delightful southwestern chicken dish. For dessert we had a chocolate pudding cake with ice-cream. After eating, we were anxious to talk quilts. Nedra has beautiful, breath-taking quilts in every room, and has a wonderful pincushion collection that I really enjoyed seeing; she also is an accomplished needleworker and has created many beautiful samplers.


Just a couple of Nedra's striking quilts...I should have taken more pictures...but I was truly enjoying looking at everything.

Not only did Nedra prepare lunch, but she also gave each of us one of her lovely potholders with the most beautiful embroidery. She included a vintage fabric for each of us--we all thought of making at least a few covered buttons out of the vintage cloth. Nanette brought each of us some of her waffle-cloth dish cloths and some Caldrea countertop cleaner (which smells so delicious that you want to clean)!


Of course we had to take a group picture; Nedra's son was our cameraman! Pictured from left to right: Nanette, Dawn, me, and Nedra.


We spent some time in Nedra's wonderful sewing room...(again, I should have taken some pictures)...and then we browsed Nanette's Japanese books and magazines for quilt inspiration. (Nedra took some great pictures that are posted here).


Then we were off to shop...we visited three quilt shops in St. George and had a great time visiting for the afternoon. I had a wonderful time...thank you Nedra, Nanette, and Dawn!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Little Bit of This and That

I've been working on a variety of things this week. First I finished Heather's block for the Mystery Designer Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop...I got several extra blocks this month from the scraps. And this is block eleven...one more to go--it's going to be one gorgeous quilt!

I've been making some of these little bags with my Wonderland scraps...and I've been reading this issue of Australian Homespun...I think I'm hooked on this magazine...does anyone know the cheapest way to get a subscription here in the U.S.?

I also decided to finish something that's been on my list for a long time...years. I'm not sure why I haven't completed this project before--probably because I've been hesitant about applique' in the past. I've posted about these blocks before; they were made by my great-great grandmother, Emma Acelia Wakefield Fitzgarrald, sometime before she passed away in 1936. I was drawn to work on these this week after seeing Stephanie's post and Lori's post. My grandmother called yesterday, and I excitedly told her I was finally finishing these blocks into a wallhanging. My grandmother proceeded to tell me the most wonderful story about these fabrics...I wrote it down on several Post-It notes, scribbling every detail I could. I'll share the story with you when I finish this wallhanging (hopefully early next week)!

I have some bindings to do...and a fun quilt day in St. George planned for tomorrow...more on that later too!
Oh, and the giveaway...you're probably wondering about that! I was very overwhelmed with the comments...I didn't expect so many; I truly enjoyed reading every comment about quilting goals and visiting the blogs that were new to me! After figuring in extra chances the 210 comments turned into 348--and that didn't include choosing the two posts to give additional chances to the readers who commented on those posts! I used the Random Number Generator from 1 to 50 and post 39 was chosen (November 17, 2008); then I used it for posts 51 to 100 and post 57 came up (December 3rd, 2008). This gave 40 more comments 5 chances each-- 200 more (I'll probably re-think this next time)! I drew from the 200 first...and the random generator was a low number--3--and Stephanie won that drawing! Then I drew from the 348 and #118, Julie won! So Stephanie...if you'll let me know which prize you'd like, then the other will go to Julie...and of course I'll e-mail you both as well!
Have a wonderful weekend...and I hope you get lots of sewing accomplished!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inspiration

One of the reasons I love blogging so much is the inspiration I receive from other bloggers...today I'd like to share some of that inspiration with you. Karen of Sew Many Ways is a blogger that has inspired me since I first found her blog a little while back. She is organized and talented...and you will learn something from her every post. She recently had a giveaway of vintage fabrics from 1963 and 1965 which I was lucky enough to win! My package came yesterday...not only did Karen send the vintage fabrics, but she also made me a wonderful gift!

Above are some photos of the fabrics along with a photo of how cute everything looked all packaged in the box. Below are some pictures of the necklace Karen made for me. On one side is a great pocket that I can use to store the hexagons and/or papers; on the other side are two compartments: one for a thimble and one for small scissors. Isn't this the greatest invention? I'm planning on working on my hexagons tonight...and I can't wait to use the necklace!

I also recently won a giveaway over at Mel's. Mel had a wonderful giveaway in order to raise awareness of autism and funds to donate to research . Jane of Jane's Fabric and Quilts donated a gift certificate from her shop, and my fun polka dot fabrics and Recess charm pack arrived along with some great buttons Jane added to the package! Mel and Jane are also two bloggers who are a great inspiration to me!

I love to look at quilting books and magazines in order to get inspiration for my projects. Fresh Vintage is a "new to me" publication that I just received. Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts ( Fresh Figs) has been having some special sales for people who follow her on Twitter...so I ordered Fresh Vintage for a discount! I absolutely love this publication...it contains patterns, recipes, short articles on quilting techniques, and tons of inspiration...for the price of a pattern you'll receive a mini-quilt magazine! I'll definitely be ordering all of the future issues!



Another thought on inspiration...a few months ago, shortly after I started blogging, I started an inspiration journal where I sort of "scrapbook" ideas I get from magazines. I cut out pictures of quilts, fabrics and linens, buttons, quotes and anything else I find inspiring or that might give me an idea for a future project. It's been a lot of fun and helps me remember ideas that I otherwise might have forgotten. Here's a sample of one of my (not completed) pages--I still have some empty spaces on this page to add more ideas.

What inspires you? Do you have any ideas for remembering project ideas and quilt inspiration? Have a wonderful day...and I hope you get to sew! (I'll be back on Friday to announce winners of the giveaway)!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Home

One of my favorite quilts came home last week! I know I've blogged about this quilt before, but that was before it was quilted. I sent it to Vivian of the wonderful blog Quilts with Love. I'd been reading Vivian's blog for quite some time admiring her quilting when I discovered we had a mutual friend...just a short while later, and my quilt was on it's way!
I'll just share a few pictures since I know I'll have to share one more when I get the binding on later this week...but imagine my delight when Vivian blogged about my quilt...you can see her post here (scroll down to see my quilt...but don't miss reading what the first quiltmaker did with one of her quilts--she had a wonderful idea)! Vivian's quilting is gorgeous....actually it's breathtaking! Thanks so much, Vivian!
I'm having a great time with the giveaway; I'm trying to respond to each comment, but it is a little slow going. I'm enjoying seeing some new blogs, and actually the best part has been reading everyone's quilting goals. Your goals have given me new ideas and some great motivation!
Have a great week!

Friday, April 10, 2009

100!


This is my one-hundredth post...I can hardly believe it! Blogging has been wonderful...it started out as just a way for me to journal my quilting adventures...but it has become so much more! I have learned so much from all of you, and have been inspired every single day! I'm grateful for everything I've learned over the past nine months and for your wonderful comments and ideas! And so...a giveaway...but before I get to that...a couple of things to share. Above is what I did with my charm pack and 3/4 yard of fabric of Wonderland by Moda. This is Nanette's Mixed Bag to Quilt pattern...I just adapted it to a charm pack. I love this bag, and I LOVE this fabric! I'm definitely going to need more Wonderland...because I have some more great ideas for it! Also, I have three wonderful quilting books I've just added to my Etsy shop (link is on my sidebar). They are wonderful books (I recently bought a book by the author which is a compilation of the three and so don't need these anymore), and I've listed them at a great price!




So, on to the giveaway. My "theme" for the giveaway is "a few of my favorite things." The first giveaway prize is definitely one of my favorite things...Nanette's Mixed Bag to Quilt. I've made this one in Flights of Fancy by Paula Prass for Michael Miller Fabrics. This is such a wonderful bag...I don't carry anything else anymore (I've now made three for myself and this one for the giveaway)!


Here are the front and back views:



Another one of my favorite things is Patisserie by Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts. So, I've made a small bag with some of my honey bun strips and inside of it will be a cute little Moda Bake Shop Box roll of Patisserie (there are 10 honey bun strips in this roll).


Here's the way to play: leaving a comment on this post will get you one chance; if you are already a follower you get two additional chances, and if you become a follower you get one additional chance. If you do a blog post about my giveaway, then I'll give you three additional chances. And...to give some extra chances for my regular readers and commenters (I got this idea from Belinda of Brown Dirt Cottage)...I'm going to randomly draw two post numbers...and everyone who commented on those posts will get five additional chances per comment! So there it is...I think it will be fun...just let me know in your comment about following and posting...and I'll get to work on a spreadsheet to keep track of everything! I'll announce the winners on Friday the 17th of April. Oh, one more thing...I'd like to know where you're from, and at least one of your quilting/sewing/crafting goals. I'll start..."My name is Sherri, and I'm from Nevada. I currently have over 20 works in progress, and my biggest quilting goal is to start designing my own patterns!" Have a wonderful Easter...and good luck!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break!

My kids are on spring break this week, and while I should be doing some "spring cleaning" I've been doing some "spring sewing!" My new American Patchwork & Quilting finally came...yesterday...and I'm loving every page! I also love Anne's new "A Tisket a Tasket" block for April! Anne's designs are delightful...my block isn't quite complete...I still need to get a button for the bunny's collar and a bow for the little chick. Most of the fabrics are from Moda's "Sweet" and "Swell" lines...but the small yellow polka dot that I did the chick out of is from Anne's line "Angel Houses."

This week I finally finished my "Golden Memories" sampler quilt (over a year in the making)...there are 32 pieced blocks and 31 log cabin filler blocks which all finish at 7 1/2" by 7 1/2". There is also an outer border that finishes off the log cabin borders around each block. This quilt is designed by Lori Smith; I've done a few of her designs and have loved each one--her patterns are well-written. I need to buy my outer border and binding fabric...I can't believe I didn't get it when I got the other fabrics! Since I used mostly Civil War reproduction fabrics I should be able to find coordinating fabrics rather easily.




Oh, and I'm busy trying to finish up the giveaway gifts...yes gifts...I can't just have one prize. One of the prizes might just be made out of these fabrics...


Eileen and Nanette had the wonderful idea to share Easter pictures from our younger days. I don't remember exactly how old I was in this picture...but I know it was before 3rd grade (we'd moved from this neighborhood by then). And this is actually a picture of the picture which is a Polaroid glued into a scrapbook. But yes, I had my Easter bonnet and gloves, and I know I had white shoes and socks. The dress was a lovely lavender Dotted Swiss; I remember my Mom making it for me, and me thinking it was the most beautiful dress in the world. I'm even wearing my Easter Bunny pin...it was a favorite, but I'm not sure what ever happened to it.


Oh...and here is a wonderful post I read recently from Laurie of Minick and Simpson . It has me ready to turn a Moda lunchbox tin I have into a sewing kit like hers! Well, I hope you're having a wonderful week...I'll be back next time with post 100!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some Projects from the Weekend...



I got to spend quite a bit of time this weekend working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks...I have four now...and I love working on them. I especially love working with the soft colors of Aviary...there is something very soothing about this fabric.

I'm definitely hooked on hexagons...they are so easy to take anywhere...although my younger daughter said I embarrassed her today working on them at the orthodontist's office. Of course, I didn't think I was embarassing at all!


Those stars and flying geese I showed the other day are coming together. This is one of those projects that was never on my "to do" list...and yet I couldn't stop working on it! I only started making the flying geese to test out the tape (from this post) that I'd put on the back of my flying geese ruler. I remembered that the pattern "Opening Day" by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company had a lot of flying geese in it...so I started working on this adaptation shown on the back cover.

I had some extra star blocks that I'll use on the back...although I think the star with the scrappy four patch is my favorite...I wish I'd put it on the front of the quilt!




Have you seen Moda's Wonderland by Momo? I just got this charm pack today, and I love this fabric...there's just something about it! It's kind of retro, yet it's modern; it just says "fun!" Pictures don't convey the "personality punch" this fabric delivers...and I can't wait to make some things out of this line! Stephanie made a really cute bag using a Wonderland charm pack that I love...I have a few ideas of projects for this line...it's just so hard to decide!

I've also just finished putting the pieced borders on a quilt I've been working on since February of 2008; it has thousands of pieces, and it feels great to be nearly done...I'll share some pictures soon. Today I get to judge quilts for our county fair...that should be fun! I'm also trying to finish the grand prize for my 100th post giveaway...two posts to go! Have a great day!