Friday, January 28, 2011

Winner Me??

A few weeks back Darlene over at SewCalGal had a give a way, and what a surprise it was, when I got the email that I had won this adorable pattern. Cracker Jacks - a Fat Quarters Anonymous pattern. Could it be she has been peeking into my windows and decided there would be no one who needed it more than me???    Hummmmm...  
It made my day to find it in my mailbox today. Thanks Darlene, I can hardly wait to start on it.
Blogging buddies are the best aren't they?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Exciting Announcement

I have been so blessed in this blogging world with all the creativity that everyone has shared, that I have decided that it is time to give back a little, if I can. Madame Samm at Stash Manicure, has once again invited me to post next Tuesday February 1. While I can't share too many of the details just yet, I do want to let you know that it will kick off a fun little Valentines day project.

 Along with that I will be adding to it monthly on my blog. My head is so full of ideas that I want to share, that I hope I can get it done in a year. I promise it's fast, fun, easy, and a great scrap buster. Top that off with something that will be usable on a daily basis... Does that peak your curiosity?????  I sure do hope so :-)

Look forward to seeing you all next Tuesday! Did I mention a give away???  Be sure to check out Stash Manicure Feb 1st !!!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Get-A-Way

I would love to tell you that I came home looking just like these folks, but it just didn't happen!!!!  :-) I'm guessing by the looks of the Las Vegas strip, that many have been in  my shoes. Isn't that what paid for all the glam and glitz?? 

It was a fun weekend though, none the less. My friend and I managed to leave our hubby's in the casinos to loose their fortunes as we went quilt shop hopping. We found our way to 3 shops. My favorite of the trip was the Christmas Goose. They had the greatest wool applique quilts there. They also had the cutest Raggedy Ann type dolls with rusted bell hair and rusty nail noses. I managed to keep myself under control, although it was very tough. I came home with only 2 book, a couple of patterns and a fat quarter. Not to bad huh?  :-) Of course there are those special orders that will ship as soon as they come in, but they don't count. It wasn't in my suitcase and I am sticking to that story!!!  hahahahaha
I took this photo from the plane as we were about to land. I keep talking about photo quilting, and I have a ton of them to do, but they never seem to make it in the finished pile. Then there is all that art quilting I want to do. With luck, I will be able to combine the two and maybe just do some small journal quilts. Oh yeah a new goal. Maybe one I can stick to. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nook Color

I have to be the luckiest person in the world and I have a wonderful friend. Last fall when I was visiting her, she bought a Kindle E-reader. It really peaked my interest, but for myself, I wanted something in color. Something I could put all my wonderful quilt magazines on. Black and white was not going to fit that bill, and after some research online I found, Kindle wasn't going to consider a color version.

That was about all I thought about it until 2 weeks ago, then this mysterious box arrived in my mailbox. I hadn't ordered anything???? What the heck!  My good friend Laura, sent me a new Color Nook. She apparently had "not" forgotten what I had wanted.
Barnes and Noble just released this little guy and let me tell you, after playing around with it for a couple of weeks, I am in love! It is perfect for us quilters who can't seem to stop from pattern collecting. I love looking thru magazines, and like a mentioned a few posts back, I have managed to buy some, more than once I was so enchanted with something in them. Well, no more!!!! Not with this little baby. Can you say Digital Subscriptions???  Of yea! They are great. My first one is Quilters World for less than $16 a year. The digital version comes in a PDF file along with any patterns that would require anything printed to complete. Best yet, it gives you access to magazines clear back to 2006 and all their supporting files. I loaded the magazine into my Nook, and kept all the supporting files on my main computer to print out, when or if, I need them. Quilters World is my first stop in digital magazines, but Quilting Arts is going to be next, and any of the quilt magazines I can find that offer a digital version. I love the magazines that come out of Australia, but the postage is outrageous. I am so happy to have another option now. 

If you have any doubt about the color on this guy,
check this out. The screen saver is one of them that
 was preloaded in it. It's perfect for my love of the Pacific Northwest culture. It comes stock with 5G of memory and you are going to soon be able to buy a 16G card. The 2G, 4G and 8G are available now. Pretty cool huh?

I decided that I would make up this cover for it, last night. I dug thru my memory banks from a class I took with Gail Garber. Actually this one is a take- off on her new book cover "Flying Colors".  She taught us how to draft out the curved geese and piece them. I got up this morning and put this together. 

Gotta get back to downloading magazines. This is certainly addictive. Oh, and all those wonderful free patterns online that are PDF files, they can go on there too. I will have a plethora of resources at my fingertips. 
I see much more space available on my bookshelf, in the future. AQS is already starting to sell electronic versions of quilt books!!
Just a little FYI, you can also download music and photos into it. Is that great or what?

Laura, you and I have been friends for over 46 years, needless to say we have been thru everything in our lives together, and I am so blessed to have such a fantastic "BEST" friend!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shakin the dust off

It was almost 30 years ago, that I made up this pattern for my boys when they were little. I was certainly surprised that I remembered where the pattern was. I did a little updating on things, and now I am hearing complaints that their quilts didn't have construction trucks embroidered on them. What can I say my poor deprived boys had to have plain ole teddy bear sleeping bags. It tickled me, that one of them remembered taking the bags with them when I had a knitting machine classes and getting to sleep in the instructors guest room, while I learn to use the machine.Just about the time I don't think they remember anything, they surprise me!   :-)

If you look closely at the cover of this book, you will see that it cost a whoppin $2.00. Does that date me or what? When was the last time you were able to buy a brand new book for $2? I must say that patterns have improved tremendously. This one is written pretty strangely, and you had to enlarge your patterns on graph paper. YUCK.  Luckily, the 30 yr old paper pattern was in an envelope tucked into the book. It held up quite nicely and I was able to pin and cut and put away for the next time I need it.
My little whine of the week, is the price of cotton!!!!!!!!!!!  I haven't been in a fabric store for a month with the holidays and all, but whew, when I went on Saturday, I was in shock. Kona cotton is up to $7 a yard. Wasn't it just $4 a yard a month ago?  If there was ever a time to bust stash, and forget buying cottons for awhile, now is it! I am so glad that I had my coupons with me. I used them all too. For those of you who don't live in the US, I am guessing you thinking, what the heck is she grumbling about!  :-) What can I say, but I guess I'll be on  fabric diet this year. Maybe I should focus on finishing my half started pile like I keep threatening to do!  :-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Beginnings kit

 My "New Beginning's" kit is finished and ready to mail to Australia for one of those quilters who lost everything in the floods. I had enough of not being able to sew myself, so I spent the day moving things around to make room in my studio to get to my machine, and thankfully last night, I was able to work on this project. I have been lamenting over not having my room to sew in, but thinking of those who don't have a home at all now, makes my plight seem pretty insignificant.  I am happy to have heard from some of my Aussie friends that they are ok, but I continue to keep the others in my thoughts and prayers.

I found this great pattern in my Art to Heart "Sew Necessary" book. It seemed to be just what was needed to give someone a fresh start. Won't you please join in and help a fellow quilter in need? Visit the Gum Tree Designers, and lend a hand.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My heart goes out to my Australian friends

 I am sure you have heard of the devastating flooding in Australia by now. Please join me in helping out our Aussie friends, by hopping over to Gum Tree Designers and contribute to their "New Beginnings" sewing kits. As quilters and stitchers we all know how important it is to be able to sew when we need to. Not having the tools when I need them, would be devastating to me emotionally. I'm sure you all can agree. So lets give them a hand up, and help them get back to the things that make their souls sing. We are all in this together and I pray for you Australia!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Miss my sewing room

I, oh so miss being able to be down in my studio stitching away. So I have to do the next best thing. Dream!

I picked up this magazine the other day and was instantly enchanted with it. I have to admit, it is not very often that I find a magazine, that I love everything in. This was a very special find, I though to myself. I drove home immediately and started dreaming of the time I could actually get some of these beauties done.  Then while cleaning up some of my magazines that had started to pile up, what do I find but yet another copy of the same magazine. Apparently I really do like it!!! I am so sad. I do this kind of thing to myself frequently. Anyone have a good idea on how to keep track and not buy what you have already?? Anything short of a brain transplant that is!! :-)  :-)
At least I was able to pass it along to a friend, she hadn't bought it yet! We both seem to have the same disorder, and end up sharing frequently! That's just another reason to have that special quilting buddy.





So there they are. Is that not just the greatest assortment of scrap quilts you have seen? You better get out and get our copy before they are gone. Pick one up for your favorite quilting buddy while your at it too.

If anyone can help me out with combining photos, I would love it. I have searched blogger help, and can't seem to find how to do that. Many of you have some great photos on your blogs, I know it has to be able to be done????? Help me!  :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's a family affair

It's no secret that I have "blessed" many of our family with boxers. But I also made them for my son and his friends last summer. It was quite a hoot watching them react to them. What I didn't see coming, was my son who has never touched a sewing machine or express any interest at all in quilting, making me this photo quilt for Christmas. Here they are, the 3 amigos, with Kim in the middle, pregnant with twins due in March. I am not sure if I was more surprised at the fact that he actually made a quilt or had the courage to get friends together and have someone take a photo of them.

The story of piecing the quilt was hilarious. I shipped  up a machine last year to use when I am visiting. Mike got it out and started sewing, after he got some tips from Kim. Panic set in when he tried to zig zag with the 1/4" foot attached to the machine. Snap went the needle! Kim had to get a baby sitter for her little guy who was napping and she then drove 30 minutes to bail him out of his jam. He we sure the machine was broken and not repairable. Needless to say a needle change fixed things and he was on his way again. But after a few more debacles, Kim gave in and had him over to finish it on her machine. Brave girl that she is!!  My favorite part is where he cut thru to the front of the quilt at one point and fixed it by stitching the bejeebers out of it!  Have we not all be there at one time in our lives, or not!!!  Needless to say this is one of those very special quilts that I will cherish forever!

                                                                                                                                                                        When I tell you I "boxered" everyone up for the holidays I met it. Here are more of the little darlings!

On that note, I am so missing my sewing room. I sure do wish I could walk thru my quilt room. It has power now, but no room to work until the remodel is done!  :-(

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stretching a quilt to fit a California King Bed

Here is a quilt that I made for my son for Christmas this year. I used the BQ pattern from Maple Island Quilts that has been in my file for quite some time. When I first looked at it, the directions seemed so strange to me, that I put in back in the package, and filed it away. When I picked the fabrics for this quilt, that pattern was the first to come to mind. I really needed something that would allow a large scale print to show up. So I dug it out and took the time to read it over. It really wasn't as difficult as I was trying to make it in my mind. There are a lot of different fabric requirements, but that is to accommodate a variety of sizes. Gheesh, when I started the sewing, it was a dream to piece. I have found a new love for 18" blocks. The quilt comes together very fast, which is what I needed especially at holiday time.

 I love matching pillows and shams, but I know he's a guy, and it's not manly to have all that fru-fru on the bed. What can I say, I am not a guy and I like it!  :-) After all it has cars on it, doesn't that count for something?????
I made the matching bed skirt too. Meadow Lyon Designs even had the perfect classic car pantograph to complete things. Not like I could have planned things better, but the pantograph was a perfect fit with the 18" blocks, and I was able to get a complete run without loosing any of the design, either side to side or top to bottom. Who ever has this happen? It was a stroke of luck I know, and I counted my blessings. I am happy to report that my son loved it, as well as hubby, who wishes he had one too.

Now for the stretching part. I have an HQ16 which I absolutely love. My only limitation is that my frame is only 10 foot which is 120 inches. Take off a few on each side and the room to accommodate the actual machine, and I come up a little short for these California King size beds. So I have found that by adding a BIG binding I can deal with that. If you notice my black and red stripes running up and down, that is actually my binding.  After my quilt is all quilted, I  build my stripe set as wide as I need, to get the added width I need. Then I sandwich it with my batting and backing (note: backing only - I cut about an inch wider than the front) and stitch the bottom together keeping those edges even with each other. I then stitch the top of the "binding" I am creating, including the batting layer to the top of my quilt. I haven't had an issue with the extra batting in the seam, but if you prefer you could trim it out. I flip my backing over, iron things all flat, and fold under the extra backing then stitch that down on my seam line on the back of the quilt, it really isn't any different than sewing down a binding at that point. I stitched in the ditch along the color changes to hold he batting in place to finish it off. Voila! I have a quilt big enough for that California King now.

This is not a new trick for me. Here is a Bonnie Hunter's scrap quilt, Pineapple Blossoms that I stretched to fit my bed size. Using up my 2 1/2" strips was perfect for this scrap quilt.  This will give you plenty of opportunity to play with quilt tops now won't it?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Already??

Where on earth did 2010 go. I am sure the calender is incorrect. It has to be, I have not managed to get much of anything done on my PIGS list. The year just can't be over already!!!!  Is there anyone else in the same situation? Gheesh, I need to get my rear in gear. Maybe this year!  :-)

Hope you all had a great new year and are ready for 2011. I hope to make this year the year I get "on" my UFO's. If this mess is any sign of things to come, I have a long way to go. Actually this is not my sewing room, it's the family room next to it. It has long been a source of irritation to me, so I took matters into my own hands and tore it all out. That extra pickup from the trash man (before hubby got home) made for some tense moments here, but all will be well!  :-) It was long over due and now there is no choice right?  :-)
This is actually what my sewing area looks like right now. You can barely see my long arm under the piles of stuff. I have access to my sewing machine, but with no power to the lights as of now, things are difficult. Sewing while holding a flash light just isn't very productive!! So with luck I will be able to get underway in the next few weeks again.

In the mean time, I wanted to share with you the joy that all the boxer shorts brought to the family. Some were horrified, others thought they were a riot.
 It was great fun, all in all.