A fantastic friend...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yesterday after work I was having a rough day. One of those, get a Diet Coke and some m&m's and go for a drive on some slow-driving back roads. So you can imagine my absolute delight when I got home and found THIS is my mailbox from my friend Becca:
That's right! Bonnie Hunter's Scraps and Shirttails! But wait! It gets better! I opened it, and LOOK!
(Sorry, that pic is a little blurry, but I was in a hurry. A blurry hurry.)

So, of course, I had to whip up a little thank you! I won't reveal it just yet, but I will give a sneak preview!
So stay tuned for more details! I can't wait to share this little project with ya'll!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Accomplished tonight: One gift for a special friend. Details tomorrow.

Sleepy Sampler Saturday...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

(Note: It's freezing here!! I'm on my porch in a knee-length skirt and polo shirt and I need a quilt wrapped around me!! Whoever heard of 68*F weather in the middle of August?!)

Today has been a sleepy kind of day. I have a mile-long list of intentions, but no energy yet to go get-em. I'd really like to get a couple more blocks made on my sampler.... Yes, the Queen of WIPs is taking on a sampler. Am I crazy? I have wanted to do one for awhile now. I think it would be the best way to learn new techniques bit by bit. I tried designing my own…but didn’t think it would look very good… Plus, there are lots of “mega sampler” pattern books out there—Amish Circle, Dear Jane, Dear Hannah, Civil War Diary, Civil War Love Letters, and Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler, just to name a few. I’ve checked all these out over the last year or two, wishing I would dare to take on such a project.

Confession: I am often easily intimidated and overwhelmed. So while I was evaluating these books, the pieced triangles in Dear Jane intimidated me and the nothing-but-foundation-patterns in the Civil War quilt books intimidated me. As a long time reader of Jennifer Chiaverini’s books I knew about Sylvia’s quilt and was intrigued by it, but didn’t seriously consider it until I found the newly published pattern book at my public library.

So, back to this confession of mine. This intimidation often spills over into fabric…I often find that I can’t bear to cut fabric in my stash out of some paralyzing fear that I will waste it, ruin it, or otherwise put it into something that ultimately will never be finished or will be ugly. I can’t bear to cut up all this beautiful fabric in my stash… but I definitely want to USE it!

So I think from now on I will post "Sampler Saturday" posts, and show you my progress. So, here's what I have from last week:


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It's what I get for not using a pattern.


Last night I completed the top and bottom pieced border (the picture above) for the baby quilt ... only to discover ... when I laid it out ... that the side borders will be all wrong.

By one-half inch.

So tonight, I ripped.


And ripped.


And ripped some more.


And now tomorrow, I have to take these strips and whack off that one-half inch.

At least it's fixable, right?

Giveaway Round-ups

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kerri at lovely little handmades is giving away a frame from The Green Pickle, and throwing in a red and aqua charm pack! And I'm with Kerri, I love the little birdie frame!
Heather at a la mode fabric is also having a red and aqua charm pack giveaway (she calls them coins though...is a 6" square a coin, not a charm?) Anyway, check her out--her blog is super cute too and her quilts are colorful!
Rachel at p.s. I quilt is celebrating The Quilt Shoppe's two year anniversary by having a giveaway...a $50 gift certificate! This one ends August 23rd.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Working on the pieced border for the baby quilt today... Coming together quite nicely! I love string piecing- it goes so fast!

My Sewing Machine

A late entry to the Sew, Mama, Sew meme:

What brand and model do you have?
Kenmore 19001

How long have you had it?
I truly don't remember when it was purchased but it was sometime before 1997.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I don't remember (as it was a gift from my parents and was purchased over a decade ago), but I would guess around $700?

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I have sewn quilts, purses, pillows for my couch, curtains, clothes, just about everything.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew a moderate amount, but I don't think the machine gets a lot of wear and tear. I'm not using it for hours upon hours everyday. (Yet.)

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I like my machine. The embroidery technology is a bit old and clunky, but I don't use that much anymore anyway. And no name for my machine. If I had to come up with one on the spot, I'd call her Trudy.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
The stitch lock feature. I love using it, but boy, those locks are hard to rip out!

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
The embroidery technology, like I said. It takes these clunky, expensive cartridges that you can't even buy without special ordering them from Sears, and it doesn't allow for fancy monogram styles. That, and it sure is heavy!

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
I don't remember any exciting stories...sorry!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Compared to what else is out there, no I wouldn't. If I needed to buy a new machine, I wouldn't choose this one as a replacement.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Decide what kind of sewing you are interested in and what kind of sewing you will be doing the most. If you don't care about embroidery or monograms, don't spend extra for a machine with that feature.

Do you have a dream machine?
A Bernina 830. Hey, dream big, right!? But seriously, any machine with a stitch regulator and some good monogram embroidery features would be a dream for me.

FabShop Sale

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are you ready for the FabShop BlowOut Sale??

Lots of shops, lots of deals!

Bundles of bolts...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here's a question for you fabric lovers out there....

When you go to a fabric shop, let's say a big box store like a Jo-Anns or Hobby Lobby, do you ever fall in love with every stinkin' bolt off the shelf and want to get a quarter yard or half yard of practically everything in the store?

Okay, maybe not every stinkin' bolt. But more than, oh, say, 4.

What do you do? Do you not care and just carry 8 bolts up to the cutting table? Or are you like me and get anxious and think that you're going to look crazy and what about that poor girl who has to re-shelve all these and what about that other woman who might want to see these bolts too and what if you don't have a cart, because then you know you can't possibly carry all these bolts in your arms, and, and, and.....

your head explodes!??!

Does this worry anyone else? Or should I just assume that's what the store is there for and continue on my fabric indulgence spree?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I am so aggravated...last week I checked out a couple Fons & Porter Love of Quilting mags from my public library, and I scan/copied some of the patterns I liked. I have a way to scan them as PDFs and save them on my USB stick. It saves each page individually and then I merge them into one big file with CutePDF Pro. Which is easy...if the files are still on your USB stick!!!

This morning I went to work on it and to my dismay, there wasn't a trace of the files on my stick. Bummer. At least I can still check the magazines out of the library in the future...and it wasn't like there was any pattern that I was absolutely in LUV with. But still! Bummer!

And you know what else is a bummer? I took pictures of my two little 9 patch blocks that I sewed last night, and I left my memory card at home on my dresser!

Can I get a do-over this morning?

A real, live, real-life, quilting, blogging friend!

I love when something wonderful and unexpected happens...Like adding an old acquaintance from church onto your Facebook friends...and discovering that she quilts...AND has a blog! She and I were in the same Sunday school class at Clays Mill Road, and it looks like we both started quilting around the same time! How weird, wild, and wonderful is that? It was pretty amusing last night--at the same time I was posting on her wall "Hey! I didn't know you quilt!" she sent me a chat message "I didn't know you quilt!" and we talked for a few minutes.

So while this discovery has me missing my old church and my old friends again, I'm so excited to know someone else who quilts and blogs! She is going to a Bonnie Hunter workshop this weekend--which is just crazy to me, to actually talk to a live person who knows who Bonnie Hunter is. I know, I know, I'm sure someone at my LQS would know who Bonnie is, but I'm just too shy and intimidated to talk to them. I'm too shy and intimidated to join my local guild too, shame on me, I know.

Anyway, other than that bit of excitement to share with you, I don't have much else. I didn't get around to sewing any last night; my husband and I went out soulwinning with our church and by the time we got home and ate I just felt like piddling around online and going to bed. And with church tonight, I probably won't sew again until Thursday night. Here's my ever-growing To Wanna Do List:What's on your list today?

Double Irish Chain

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I had a very productive night last night. It must have been that McCafe iced mocha I tried--blech! I am not a coffee drinker, and I discovered that no amount of ice or chocolate can change that...but I had a free coupon, so all was not lost.
Anyway, in about 2 hours I turned this stack of blocks:

Into this:

It is twin size. I have to add a border and then it will be ready to baste and quilt. Just planning to do some grid quilting on this one...still haven't had time to sit down and figure out and play with freemotion quilting. I'm making this one for someone very special as a surprise. I love surprises!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

A couple weeks ago I was in Louisville with my mom and visited Among Friends for the first time... Great store, lots of moda pre-cuts and a really wide variety of fabrics. The store is bright and really well-arranged. The most amusing part of the store was what I'm calling the "Oh brother, my wife/mother is in a quilt shop...this will take awhile Lounge"--they have a couple couches, children's books and toys, and a television set up for those poor husbands and kids that get dragged along against their will!

Well while I was there, I finally broke down and bought the Recess, Wee Play, and Look and Learn charm packs. I've been looking for these for awhile. (Yes, I know I can order them online, but...I haven't let myself order fabric online yet. That could be a credit card disaster waiting to happen!)

I'm not sure what I'll use them for just yet. Mom is a teacher and I know she loves the ruler fabric ...

And I would love to make a cozy lap quilt for her. Heather recently finished a quilt that has some of these fabrics in it and it looks great.

I didn't get to sew any this weekend because we spent Saturday caulking and sealing our driveway. I was the official caulk-smoother-outter and that stuff is nasty. It's like, really thick toothpaste. Oh, the joys of home ownership.

We also went to Boston Market for lunch. That was GREAT. It was our first time there; I had some coupons from BzzAgent and it was so delicious. Just like a home cooked meal. The prices were reasonable too. Seth called it an "upscale KFC" which... I can see what he means. But KFC doesn't make sweet potato pie like Boston Market does. Yum-E.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Start a blog and then buy a house.

It will be months before you settle down enough to start blogging again.

I have some fun quilting projects on the line and will post pix soon. One is a baby quilt for my sister-in-law. I'm not using a pattern, but I'm going off a picture of a pattern cover... We'll see how it turns out... I wanted to create something that used charm packs, and specifically these Peek-a-Boo and Funny Babies charm packs by Amy Bradley for Moda:

Love it! Love it love it love it, so much that I may just have to make two quilts, one to give and one to keep!

I am also finishing the top of a double irish chain quilt that has taken on a life of its own... Why it has taken me 3 months to get this thing pieced is beyond me, especially considering that I used the quick and easy strip piecing method from my Fons & Porter magazine!

Hopefully I will post more often and be a quilting blogger. It's tough when you work full-time though. I have adored so many bloggers and it amazes me how they can quilt, raise children, AND keep up their blogs. I'll have to work on this!!