Monday, August 31, 2009

Just In Time!

Just in time, at 5:00 tonight on August 31, I finished my August project for Kelly's Charming Girls' Quilt Club. I was able to get the muslin I needed to finish the inner border and just got the borders on today. And, I already know my project for September--a Halloween one. I thought I'd also take this time to answer Kelly's tag...so here goes! First question was your favorite sewing or quilting tip. There are so many...measure twice, cut once is probably the first one I learned. Lately, I've been putting blocks and rows together as soon as they are finished...seems to make finishing quilts a little easier. The second question was to give our favorite time management tip. For this one, my best advice is to always keep a list of things you need to do and always put things on the calendar right away...0h, and remember to check your calendar every day! And finally, if I could go anywhere in the world...Houston Quilt Market...seriously. It won't happen this year, but hopefully one day!

This is my new favorite toy...it arrived last week. I saw it first on Anne's blog and was able to purchase one from her. I love it. I've been busy matching up fabrics in my stash to the fabrics on this Moda Bella Color Card and making my lists...love those lists!

And this is what I'm going to work on tonight. It's another Simple Abundance block; the pattern is by Lori Smith and will have 12 blocks in all when finished.
Oh, and I'll be back tomorrow with our first "Year of Schnibbles" post!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fun!

Sewing and quilting are just fun! They are a wonderful part of my life--not a day goes by that I'm not grateful to my Mom and Grandmother for not only modeling their love of the domestic arts but also encouraging me to try my hand at whatever I wished. Even if my daughters never love quilting as I do (although they've both made quilts this year...so there is hope)...I know they will always know of my love of this great art. I started a few new projects this week; I began two quilts, one applique' project using Simple Abundance (the first block is above), and one with piecing and applique' (sneak peek next week after I've finished the first block).

This is a sneak peek of another project I started this week...Flower Sugar dresdens are all over my sewing room...can't share yet...but hopefully soon!

I made another Mill House Inn pincushion. I like this one even better than my first one; for this one I used Carrie's Courthouse Steps version from her Tuffets pattern.


I also made a couple of Flower Sugar Pincushions. I used my own design for these (a traditional log cabin) and have added them to my Etsy shop along with one of these Pink Japanese Craft Books.


Oh, and I've been working on my August Charming Girls' Quilt Club project. I ran out of the muslin (which I need a bit more of to finish the inner border) and won't get to the quilt shop before the end of the month, so I won't be able to count this as an August finish...but I'm so glad for the motivation...these blocks would most likely still be sitting in a drawer without the quilt club motivation--plus, I'll easily be able to finish this for a September project!
The Year of Schnibbles project is coming along great (if you've just signed up in the past day or two, I'll be getting back to you soon)--I believe we have over 70 members now! Sinta and I have been brainstorming ideas with each other and with our featured quilt shops, and of course we are busy working on the first project which will be announced September 1st.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stress Relief

Last Friday was kind of a busy, stressful day. Nothing major happened, but when you only get 3 hours of sleep (don't know why I couldn't sleep)...anything is bound to cause stress. So I told my older daughter who is home on summer break that I thought some sewing would make me feel better. Off I went to my sewing room to use my little scraps of Mill House Inn to make a Tuffets pincushion (a Schnibbles pattern by Carrie). I had so much fun making this pincushion...I think I need to make more. And the terrific thing about this pattern is that it really does use just small scraps...scraps so small you might not even think of saving them...so don't throw any fabric you love away if you're going to make this pattern! I used crushed walnut shells for the filling (thanks Nanette)! And let me tell you, once you stuff a pincushion with crushed walnut shells you'll never want to use anything else (the best place to buy crushed walnut shells is in the bird section of a pet food store)! Saturday was kind of busy and stressful too...so of course my daughter suggested I go make another pincushion...unfortunately, I haven't had time yet...but maybe today!

One great thing about Saturday was that I got a quilt back that had been away from home for over a year. I'm just going to show a few sneak peaks of a few of the blocks today. After I get the binding on I'll get a couple of people to hold it up outside so I can get a good picture of the whole thing...

The quilt is called Pieces of Baltimore by Pam Bono. And pieces there are! I sort of got obsessed interested in how many pieces were in each block after making the first one. According to my calculations there are 3,600 pieces in this quilt. I finished it about a year ago, and everything I've made since has been a breeze...I guess because I haven't made any blocks since then that have over 300 pieces!



Oh, and here is my Gobble Gobble that I've been playing with. I've wanted some fun Thanksgiving placemats for a couple of years...and I'm finally getting to them!
Now, just a note about the "A Year of Schnibbles" club...the response has been fantastic--I believe we have over 50 members so far! Thanks so much! We are busy compiling lists with e-mails and blogs and working on the schedule of patterns. Sinta has started putting names on her sidebar, and I will get mine up by the end of the week. We have some terrific sponsors who will be offering the patterns and kits as well. We've also had some questions about shipping internationally which shouldn't be expensive at all since Schnibbles patterns are so small and lightweight. Also, feel free to join in even if you won't be able to make all 12 Schnibbles quilts...you can enter in on the months that work for you!
Hope you have a wonderful day...and if you do happen to get stressed...make a pincushion!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Schnibbles Fun and Fun Fabrics!

Well, here is my fun news...Sinta of the Pink Pincushion blog came up with a great idea and invited me to share in the hosting fun of a new blog club! And...it's going to be called A Year of Schnibbles. Anyone who loves these fun little patterns designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company is welcome to join...oh, and it would be helpful to love charm packs and prizes, too! We shared our ideas with Carrie, and she is excited about this club...in fact, she has some great surprises ready for those of you who participate!

Here's how it will work...each month we will feature a different Schnibbles pattern. You get the pattern from your local quilt shop or from one of our featured shops. Make the pattern in any fabric of your choice...pick up some new charm packs...or raid your stash. Finish your quilt by the first of the next month, and we will have a quilt parade of finished Schnibbles as well as a drawing or two for some fun prizes! So...what do you think?! It's going to be a lot of fun! Sign-ups start now until September 1st...at which time we will announce the first pattern!

If you would like to join in, here's what you need to do: leave a comment on this post saying "I'm in" with a link to your blog; then, go over to Sinta's blog and do the same. You can use the "Year of Schnibbles" picture above to add to your sidebar. Then, make sure you come back on the first of the month and comment on the club member's post. When you finish your project post about it and then comment with a link to your post. If you'd like to participate but don't have a blog, that's fine too...just leave a comment and include your e-mail (when you finish your projects, you can e-mail a photo). Also, if you have a really busy month and need to skip out on a month, that's fine too--but there will be a special drawing at the end for those who have participated each month!

Sinta and I will post all club members' blogs on our sidebars and have a Schnibbles parade each month to share the finished quilts with links to your blogs! We will have a drawing or two each month for some really fun prizes and another drawing at the end for our 12-month participants!


Now for a few fun fabrics...some Sugar Flower by Lecien...can't wait to use these...and I might need to get more!


I've been thinking about making a tumbler quilt for quite some time now and recently ordered these fun tumbler die-cuts from Jackie. Of course I had to untie the bow right away and sew them together. They went together perfectly, and made a fun little quilt/topper. Now I'm sure I want to make a larger tumbler quilt!



I've been working on several things this week and have a few finishes, a few near-finishes, and a couple of new things to share soon!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blocks, Fabrics, and Exciting News!

I've been busy sewing for Joanna with the gorgeous fabrics of Mill House Inn...projects I can't share yet! So for now, I'll just have to share a few of the other things I got finished this week. I love Anne's Tisket a Tasket free block of the month quilt, and August's "Picnic Time" is one of my favorites. I still need to find four heart-shaped pink buttons--one for the top of each cupcake and one for the top of the block. I think the ladybug is adorable!

The 2009 Designer Mystery Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop came this week, and I couldn't wait to get started! This month's block was designed by Margot of The Pattern Basket Blog, and it is stunning!

I'm making two blocks each month--one with the Glace' that comes with the pattern, and a second one from my stash of Prairie Paisley, American Primer, and Flag Day Farm.


Oh, and this lovely bundle of goodness came in the mail this week! I had a birthday in July and patiently (well, not really--I wasn't patient at all) saved my birthday money for some Simple Abundance...any guesses on how long before I untie the bundle and start working with these fabrics?
One more thing...stay tuned...some super exciting news is coming to my blog this week! I can't wait to tell you all about it!



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Authentic Bag!

Okay, so maybe I didn't really need a new bag (although I did take my Wonderland bag in the cave at Mammoth--and it did get a little dirty)...but I've been wanting to make this one ever since I saw the Sweetwater Authentic pictures on the Moda website (the fabric designers have a great blog called Make Life Sweet)!!! For months, seriously...I've been waiting to make this bag...and now that it's finished I love it as much as I thought I would. Probably even more...the fabrics are wonderful!

I adapted (as usual) Nanette's wonderful bag pattern (her pattern doesn't call for charm squares). I really wanted the inside to coordinate, and since the yardage isn't available yet, I sewed together jelly roll strips until I had large enough pieces to use for lining. I also used two matching jelly roll strips for the handles and extra charm squares for the interior pockets. One charm pack and 13 jelly roll strips...and now I have a great new bag!
I have a dilemma, though. My younger daughter wants this bag...and she wants it today! She wants to take it with her on a three week trip! But I don't want to give her this one...is that so bad? I told her I'd make another one for her...but I think I need to keep this one--after all, I've been waiting for months.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Family Quilt...And Some Mill House Inn

One of the important projects on my "to do" list is to compose a family quilting and sewing history; I've written to various family members to ask for their input and have recently received wonderful letters from my grandmother and two great-aunts on this subject. The quilt pictured above is a generational quilt started by my great-great grandmother, Emma Acelia Wakefield Fitzgarrald and completed by my great-aunt Joan. There are 86 grandmother's flower garden blocks with each having a yellow hexagon for the center, solid colors for the next ring of six hexagons, and coordinating prints for the third ring of twelve hexagons. When my great-aunt received these blocks upon the passing of her mother, some of the blocks had been sewed in strips with white hexagons in between; however, it was evident that her grandmother had started removing the white hexagons from the flowers. My great-aunt decided to continue removing the white pieces and applique'd each flower onto a 7-inch hexagon of white cotton. My great-aunt wrote me that she has worked on this quilt at home in Iowa and has also carried the blocks with her to work on them while traveling in Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota, Michigan, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, and several other states along the way. My great-great grandmother began this quilt in the 1920's, and it was completed by my great-aunt Joan in 2001. How grateful I am to have the information on this piece of my family quilting heritage!


I've been doing some sewing with Mill House Inn recently...the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous! Recently I completed a wonderful quilt using a jelly roll of this line by Joanna for Moda. I can't share pictures of the blocks or quilt...but I can say that you are going to love it. This is one of those patterns that is not only fun to make but also leaves you wanting to make another when you're finished--it's that cute!


I hope you have a wonderful week and that lots of quilting time comes your way!

Friday, August 7, 2009

August Charming Girls' Quilt Club Project

It's time for my August post for the Charming Girls' Quilt Club sponsored by Kelly. I really appreciated the motivation to finish my July project...and hope to have another finish by the end of this month!

I have 24 blocks that I made last year from the book The Civil War Love Letter Quilt. All of the blocks are made from Civil War reproduction fabrics and have been sitting in a box for several months. I've already added a coordinating sashing and corner post border to each block to make them a little larger (they were six inch blocks to begin with).


My goal for August is to design a setting for these blocks and complete the quilt top. I've had a few ideas but just haven't taken the time to put them together! Of course I have lots of other projects going on right now too...be back soon!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vacation, a Quilt Shoppe, and Good Reading

I got to spend a wonderful four days out of the heat up on Utah's Cedar Mountain in the Duck Creek area. My entire family along with some extended family and friends had a wonderful time enjoying the cool mountain air, fishing, swimming, quad-riding, fun day-trips, and lots of s'mores!

On Saturday a few of us took a little trip over to Mammoth Cave; actually I never intended to go in...I was just going to walk a little ways and then turn around. But after a little while I'd walked so far I figured the way out was probably shorter than than the way back. The cave was completely dark, luckily we had two flashlights to help in our little journey. After we'd gone all the way through the longest cave we found an informational sign. It said 7 species of bats make Mammoth Cave their home--I'd have never walked through if I'd known that to begin with!

Of course I had to look for a quilt shop while in the area. Just a short drive down Utah State highway 89 brought me to Panguitch, home of the Quilt Walk festival each June. Panguitch is also home to The Scrappy Appleyard Quilt Shoppe. I really enjoyed my visit to this shop--each room was beautifully decorated with lovely quilts and lots of wonderful fabrics. I was able to pick up a few fabrics I'd been looking for.


Many quilts in the shop were designed using flowers made from the Easy Dresden tool...they were all beautiful!

While at the cabin I was able to bind three quilts and enjoy some wonderful books. Material Obsession Two is just as wonderful as the first book--it's the kind of book you can look at over and over. I was also able to finally look through the pink Japanese book that has wonderful quilts and sewing inspiration.

The new issue of "Where Women Create" showcases the delightful studios of both Mary Englebreit and Joanna Figueroa along with several other creative women. And the new Piece O' Cake applique' book, Applique Outside the Lines has wonderful designs and inspiration as well. I also spent a little time finishing The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and beginning Three Cups of Tea.
I have lots of blogging to catch up on, e-mails to reply to, and several quilt projects to begin. I can't wait to post some of my new projects! Hope you have a wonderful day!