Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beginnings



I love beginnings!  Fall, with the change of seasons and the start of school, is one of my favorite times of year.  And Fall will arrive in just a few short weeks. Although I'll be busier than I was this summer (well, maybe--it was actually a pretty busy summer here), I seem to get more done when I'm on a more regular schedule.  My youngest started his junior year of high school yesterday; school also started at the local community college where I'm teaching two classes this semester.  So yesterday was kind of crazy, but I have big plans once we settle into the rhythm of it all.  I have some new fabrics that I can't wait to sew with.  Some of Sandi Henderson's new Secret Garden arrived the other day with more on the way soon.  The medallion print (above right) is one of my favorites...there's just something about it!  Of course there's just "something amazing" about this whole collection--can't wait to start sewing with it!


I was also able to recently acquire some of the new  DS Quilts fabrics thanks to a wonderful blog friend! Once again, this fabric is gorgeous, and I was happy to see that it coordinates with the first Denyse Schmidt line released at Joann's.  I think there might be a print or two I'm missing from this color way, and then I know there will also be some other colors that haven't shipped yet.  I'm not sure what I'll make with these yet, but I know I'm going to use some in my scrappy stars project.



I'm not sure if I've shared Emily's Going Coastal (for Michael Miller fabrics) on my blog yet, but it's another line I love.  I saw it at spring market and immediately thought of several projects that would be perfect with this fabric line.  Since then I've thought of a few other projects I want to make with it--I just need the time! I really have enough projects lined up to keep me busy for quite awhile. And here's where the whole "beginnings" theme comes into play: the start of a new season is the perfect time to step back and re-evaluate.  I like to go over my lists every now and again and make new ones.  I've decided it's okay if everything on the last list didn't get finished; often I have something new that has "struck" me that just has to be made now (before something that seemed to be a "must do" even just a few short months or even weeks ago). And that's why beginnings are so wonderfully refreshing--and one of the main reasons why I love this time of year.  Okay...I'm off to re-do those lists! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your wonderful comments--they really are encouraging and inspiring, and I so appreciate them.  I haven't been very fast at responding lately but promise to do better.

Also, congrats to the winner of the Sew Obsessed giveaway, Staci, I'll be sending you an e-mail!





Saturday, August 27, 2011

Little Bits and Pieces




This week I did some sewing with little bits and pieces--a.k.a. scraps from my stash!  It really gives you a great feeling to make something from parts that could have been just thrown away.  The star block above was made completely from scraps from my "Swoon" quilt.  All of the half-square triangles came from the cut-off parts of the flying geese blocks, and the squares came from the left overs after cutting the original pieces for "Swoon."  I'm going to be able to make quite a few of these star blocks and can't wait to see how many I'll end up with (pattern is from the cover quilt of the October 2011 American Patchwork & Quilting).



I also had a chance to sew block #3 from the FatQuarterShop Designer Mystery Block of the Month (designed by Carrie Nelson)!  I had quite a few bits and pieces left over from making this block, too...



So I made two Farmer's Wife blocks from the scraps!  Block #22, Corn and Beans, is on the upper right.  I used 24 half-square triangles for this block, and  8 of them were left overs from the FQS block!  Block #16, Calico Puzzle, is on the bottom right.



I also made block #15, Buzzard's Roost (lower left).


The Buzzard's Roost and the Calico Puzzle blocks also got finished up for my Flurry version.




I'm getting pretty nice stacks of Farmer's Wife blocks...even though I'm a long way from finishing...these little stacks are starting to give me a sense of accomplishment.


And all of this from little bits and pieces!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Finish


Well, my Denyse Schmidt "Swoon" quilt is ready to be quilted. This is probably my last big finish before school starts next week, so I was glad to be able to get this project wrapped up!


I think I finished up my last quilt for the summer.  Immediately after finishing it up I ran outside to get a photo.  I ended up putting my "make-do" block right in the middle--I think it ended up being my favorite one! (The photo is kind of dark since the sun was already starting to set).


So this morning I snapped another photo...and hopefully it's off to the quilter soon!

Also, Quilted Works is having an amazing $200 gift-card giveaway if you are on Facebook.  Click on the Giveaway tab on the left side of the page to enter!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Last Weekend...



 (Just a little family vacation stuff here at the beginning...if you want, you can scroll down to see my latest "sewing" finish). In my last post I mentioned we went away for the weekend.  Well...this is where we went...


The University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals, the Fiesta Bowl, and a recent SuperBowl.  Actually, I'd never seen, let alone been inside an NFL stadium before this weekend...


I was pretty amazed at how big the stadium was!  We weren't at the stadium to see the Cardinals play, though; my son (who just might love football as much as I love quilting) was playing in the Sollenberger Classic, a two-game event which pitted the Arizona 5A state champions (Chaparral) against the Nevada 4A state champions(Bishop Gorman) and the Arizona 3A state champions (Show Low) against the Nevada 3A state champion runners-up (that would be us--Moapa Valley High School)!


We were excited to win our game 28-26--it was a very exciting game which kept us on edge  until the last minute.  My son scored two touchdowns for our team, including the game-winning 32-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter!


This was one happy group of boys and fans! It was the first time in history that a Nevada team beat an Arizona state championship team at this annual event (Bishop Gormon went on to become the second Nevada team to do this later that night)!


 It took me a while to get his attention...but here's my not-so-little son...still smiling!


I had quite a bit of hotel-time the day before and the morning of the game...it was great to finish the Sarah Jane stitchery I started earlier this summer.  I was thinking about framing it, but right now I'm leaning towards making it into a pillow. Either way, I love this little project.  I can't wait to start another one of her designs. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sew Obsessed--Giveaway



I just returned home today from a fun weekend trip.  I wasn't able to take my sewing machine, but I did finish some handwork I started earlier this summer (I'll share that soon).  For now...how about some fun cupcake fabric?! 

To Enter the Giveaway for a yard of this Michael Miller fabric GO HERE!

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments on my Swoon blocks...hopefully I can get things organized around here quickly; I need to tackle my in-box as well as get some photos posted from my recent little finish. Be back soon!







Friday, August 19, 2011

Swoon Again!


Well...here they are..all 9 blocks.  It was kind of cloudy out this morning, so the lighting isn't the best...but outside was the best place to show the blocks together.  This is going to be an 80 x 80 quilt once sashing and borders are added.


I finished block 8 and block 9 yesterday.


Block 9 might be my favorite combination. But really--I heart them all!


I just can't wait to set these together and get this quilt to the quilter.  I really love this quilt.  And it was just as fun to make the second time!

Oh, and AQuiltingLife now has a Facebook page...It's up and running, although I still have a lot more to add.  If you're on Facebook there will be a terrific giveaway there soon...just sayin'!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Charming and Cheerful Sighting!





It was fun the other morning to find this on one of my "go-to" blogs--Quilt Taffy! I was reading along thinking, "Hey...I think that's my Charming and Cheerful Bag..." and it was!


Des made the cutest version I've seen yet (I might have to copy her)!  I love the Prince Charming fabrics in this bag! It was so fun to see her version, and her post was a lot of fun to read, too...now I want to make another one!



Thanks so much Des for letting me use your photos!  And actually...I will be making a few more of these bags soon myself...I'm going to be teaching a couple of classes on this design in the near future...can't wait! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Detours...



This weekend ended up being all about detours--quilting and otherwise.  Let me explain.  The first detour was a planned detour.  I've been saving all of the cut corners from the flying geese blocks of my Swoon quilt.  I've been stitching them together, and they trim perfectly to make 2 1/2" half-square triangles.  I have a plan for them already, and while it has been a detour to finishing my quilt more quickly, it will be great to have them all ready to go for another project. Saturday, I had the goal to finish two blocks and then to cut out the remaining two blocks.



My planned detour was going along perfectly until it suddenly seemed that I was trimming a lot more from my hst's to make them a perfect 2 1/2".  After trimming about 8 larger-than-normal half-square triangles I realized I was actually trimming half-square triangles needed for Swoon into pieces for project #2.  I was devastated.  Swoon doesn't leave a lot of scraps, and I had no idea how I was going to finish the block I'd just cut into smaller pieces.


Here's one of my Saturday blocks ready to be sewn together...


And here's the other block ready to sew.  This is the block with the above-mentioned problem.  Do you notice anything different?



I decided to improvise for 3 of the 4 corner sections.  I had some left over blue fabric from one of my other Swoon blocks that I used to make the additional blue triangle sections--they're not the same print--but are from the same color family. But then there was the problem of coming up with some more of the dot fabric. 



That's when I remembered about my Flea Market Fancy stash...look at the similarities.  The Denyse Schmidt Joan's fabric is on the left, and her Flea Market Fancy piece is on the right.  I figured I could substitute the FMF, and it wouldn't really show up once the quilt was finished.




So here is the block again...from a distance I don't even think many people will pick up on my "substitutions." And I was able to keep on schedule.  Well...until the household detour we had here at home Saturday.  I don't want to bore you gross you out with the details, but I'll just give you two words...."septic tank."  Needless to say, I didn't get the other two blocks cut out.  Everything is running smoothly (pun intended) here now, though, and I hope to finish Swoon on Monday!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

P. S. Winners for the Shabby Fabrics gift-certificate giveaway can be found here.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Contrast



I worked on a couple more Swoon blocks...I just love the contrast in this one...it's one of my favorites!



But I love this block, too.  It doesn't have the bold, striking contrast of the first block, but there is definitely enough contrast in this block to "make it work."



I have 5 blocks finished now (2 more are cut and ready to sew, yay!). You can kind of see how big they are...these are laid out on a full-sized bed! I love how the blocks are looking together; it's fun to see this quilt turning out exactly how I imagined it would.  I think the perfect way to finish this quilt will be a scrappy binding made from left-overs!



I worked on this weeks Farmer's Wife blocks too.  Talk about contrast...I'd forgotten how small the Farmer's Wife blocks really are!

 

This is block #54, Kitchen Woodbox.  I had a lot of fun with this one! My friend Lori shares her method for making this block here.

 

And this is block #10, Bowtie.  Another simple block.
 

Here are the Fig Tree versions...

 

Kitchen Woodbox.




And Bowtie.  The plan today is to make two more "Swoon" blocks and cut out the remaining two.  I'm really trying to hold onto these last days of summer...before everything gets crazy busy again!  Thanks so much for stopping by!