Monday, June 30, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 4

I think I mentioned briefly last week that I had signed up for the Doll Quilt Swap. This is the first swap of any kind I have done, and I must admit to being a little nervous. I checked out the blog of my swap recipient and she is quite a talented quilter. It is a little intimidating, but I will do the best I can! I have an idea in mind and have pulled some fabrics from my stash. I hope to make some progress over the 4th of July weekend. It is too hot in Arizona to do a lot of outdoor activities. It is too hot for me even for fireworks, even though there are thousands that wait out in the heat every year. I take the easy way out and watch on tv.

This is one of the quilts that needed only binding to be completed. I finished this last week. I am happy with the results. The fabric was from a few years ago. It was called Willa. This is another pattern from the Evelyn Sloppy book mentioned in my last post.

Here are a couple of close ups of some of the quilting.

Talk to you soon,


Friday, June 27, 2008

Finish Five Challenge

Hooray !

Here is my first "Finish Five Challenge". This is the baby quilt I have been working on. It is a little late, but the baby is not here yet, so to me that is on time.

I ended up cutting back about 2" from the original size of the borders I had added. They were overwhelming the quilt a little.

This is a detail of some of the quilting. I did hearts for the first time in the white sashing. I like how they turned out.

I used my walking foot in the border. For some reason I hate to quilt borders. I think it is the idea of all that space still left to quilt after you have already done so much. This fits the quilt I think. I showed the best corner. The others are not so good!

I am also working on another project. I put it on the back burner a few months ago and kind of forgot about it. When I am finishing projects and doing a lot of borders, bindings and quilting, I always miss piecing. So I pulled this out to work on for a break.

This design is called Double Pinwheel. The fabric is Moda Picket Fences that I got a few years ago. The big fat quarter stack. I am loving this fabric. It is so fun to work with coordinating fat quarters sometimes. You can't make mistakes matching fabric!
The pattern is in this book by Evelyn Sloppy. I love this book. I could make every quilt in here. One thing I have learned lately from blogging is to look beyond the picture in the book. I have always followed the authors suggestions to a T, including color choices. Other bloggers have showed to me it is ok to be adventuresome and change color combos, etc to suit yourself. Elementary quilting to some, but it has taken be a long time to get to this point. So I am pulling out some older books and "rediscovering" some patterns I thought I would never make. It is like having all new books all over again. Do you know what I mean?
This is the quilt as it appears in Evelyn's book. I am not sure yet how I am going to do my borders. My quilt is going to be more scrappy looking thanks to the jumbo fat quarter stack.

Believe it or not I have more pics but I will save them for a later post. Those of you who stuck with my through today's ramblings, well thanks.

Have a great quilting day. I am doing a little quilting today. A little lunch with the girls and a lot of quilting (hopefully) this weekend. 110 degrees here. Good to be inside.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Benji Goes to the Beauty Parlor

Well my little sewing room buddy got one of his quarterly (or so) spa days at the doggie beauty salon, as my kids like to call it. It is really the laundry room turned dog groomers room at a lovely lady named Betty's house. Now I do think Benji looks so cute with his long shaggy locks...

However it is about 110 degrees here now and all that fur is too hot for him, even inside the house. So he gets all groomed and clean for a while. He loves to go there and is so excited to show himself off when I go to pick him up. Here he is looking out the front window of my sewing room. It's hard to believe it is the same dog. I have to keep a chair there so he can be exactly the right height to survey the neighborhood comings and goings. My room faces the street in front of the house.

A dog's life is very stressful isn't it?

I have been doing some organizing in my sewing room. I have started Bonnie's scrap system, but I am only keeping 3.5", 2.5" and 2.0" strips. Here are the 3.5" and 2.5" strips. It is neater, but it kind of stresses me out a little to think of how many quilts I could actually make from just the scraps alone.

These are two patches I have made in the last 2 months from the Leaders and Enders article.

Finally this is block 9 for Crazy Mom Quilts Quilt a Long. This was a little easier block than the last few.

I hope to show a finish in the finish 5 challenge tomorrow. The small baby quilt is done, but I need to take a picture tomorrow.

Off to watch the Bravo show about hair stylists. Maybe there is a bouffant in Benji's future!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Finish 5 Challenge

I have signed up for a challenge called "Finish Five by the End of July". You can see the logo in my sidebar. I found it on Peg's blog. Here is the link to the Challenge info. I have at least 20 or 25 UFOs in various stages that need to be finished. If I can get 5 done by the end of July that would put a serious dent into them. The challenge has at least made me pull out five tops and match them up with backing and binding fabric. At least I am one step closer than I was last week.

Here are the 5 projects targeted.

Number 1
This is a top that still needs borders before it can be quilted. It is a graduation gift for my daughter's friend.

Number 2
This next one is my first and only attempt at a One Block Wonder. I don't think this style of piecing is for me. It is very tedious. But I am going to finish it. This one only needs quilting. It is a small wall hanging size.

Number 3

This is a lovely quilt I finished a few months ago. It is very flowery, all in pinks, yellows and blues from Robyn Pandolph. It is twin sized.

Number 4

This is one of the two Orange Crush quilts I started. This one needs borders and quilting. I have been working on the borders today. This one is a little bigger than twin sized, and will be a gift for a friend. She loves how it looks, so that makes me feel better about finishing it.

Number 5

The last one is a crib quilt made for a friend whose baby is due in September. It is the one I posted a few blogs ago. I will probably quilt this one first since it is so small.

Wish me luck!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Plans

Well DS and DH are off to a baseball tournament, so I have lots of time on my hands this weekend to sew. If I accomplish even a little bit of my plans then it will be a successful sewing weekend.
This is one of the projects I am working on. It is a quilt for a friend of my daughter's for graduation. The only request she had is that I finish it before she goes off to college in the fall. Not that far away anymore. The summer is flying by!

I just finished Crazy Mom's block #8. I am really enjoying the results as well as the pace of this quilt.

My daughter says she is staying in tonight and maybe we can watch a movie together, so that will be fun. I was thinking of Fool's Gold. That is until she gets a better offer. I have two bindings to tack down during movie time.

I also received a package a few days ago from Fabric Depot. It is the first time I have ordered from them, and I will definitely do so again. They have great customer service. I ordered two pieces for backings and they were out of one. They called me and checked if I was willing to substitute which I was. The substitute was better than the original since it wasn't a sale fabric yet. The substitute is on the right.

These are some yummy 1 yard pieces that were on sale. Don't know where these are going yet.

Did I mention that I signed up for the Doll Quilt Swap? More on that later. Oh yeah, and my LQS is having a 25% off sale on everything tomorrow.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Freddie Quilt

Ever since I started quilting and watching Simply Quilts, I have loved bright quilts. I especially love Freddie Moran quilts. I even remember seeing a television show of some type that toured her house.

When this book she authored with Gwen Marston came out I was thrilled, and I have spent many hours pouring over the contents. It is a great book full of lots and lots of quilts and well worth the money in my opinion. Sometimes you buy a book and there about 2 pages you like and you think there went $20.00 I could have used for fabric! Not so with this one.

I finally made my own quilt using some of the steps and ideas in this book. It was great fun, and I hope to make more like this. I plan on hanging this on a wall in my upstairs hallway. I just need to buy some of those quilt hanger thingamabobs. I think my daughter's arms are getting tired.


This is what happened when I tried to put my glasses on this morning.

Not good.

I wear progressive lenses, so I don't need them too badly for distance, but I sure do need them to read, sew, cook or anything else within 5 feet of me.

Needless to say, I have a problem. Luckily I did go and get a new prescription and an eyecheck last week. I didn't order new glasses at the doctor's however because they were outrageously expensive, even with insurance. I have been procrastinating as usual. We have been getting our glasses and contacts at Walmart, but our new insurance is not taken there.

So I did a somewhat frantic search through drawers and coat pockets and old purses and came up with these old over the counter readers. These are all readers in varying strengths from 1.25 to 2.5. My current prescription is around a 2.5. I needed the magnifying glass to read the strength on the eyeglasses!

After a quick (and surprisingly painless) phone call to our insurance, I am off to Target to buy some new glasses. Hope they can do something quickly. I will see if they can fix my old ones in the meantime. Doubtful, but you never know. Now at least I know why you see people walking around with tape on their glasses. I miss mine already, and it has only been and hour.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Orange Crush No Borders

Well here is one of the OC quilts. If I do another Mystery I will remember to not be quite so scrappy. I also managed to put the white four patch rows in the wrong direction. But at least I was consistent in putting all of them in the wrong direction. I am definitely not doing the pieced border. I want to finish this one and chalk it up to experience! I am thinking of doing a pink border. What do all of you think?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Playin' Catch Up

Well my weekend in Prescott, AZ was just what the doctor ordered. We had a great time. Here is my friend Ceil on the right and me on the left. I look much younger and thinner in my imagination.

This is my friend Ceil on the left with our friend Nancy. Nancy was the designated driver for our trip.

I think that Ceil and I taxed her last nerve, but I swear she had fun also! We shopped for arts and crafts on the courthouse square, antiques in lots of cute little shops and ate lots of good food. Ceil was the official trip photographer, so I will hopefully get some better shots from her. The weather in Prescott was gorgeous. Sunny and in the 70s. It is such a nice change once the weather in Phoenix starts to get hot.

Here is the other member of our traveling group. This is Nancy's skunk. She once made the mistake of telling us that she saw a skunk in the Cul-de-Sac one morning. (she is my across the street neighbor) and we haven't let her forget it. Most of us think it was the other neighbors black and white cat. But ever since then this stuffed skunk appears at the most unlikely of times, like when Ceil and Nancy went into the Walgreen's for ice and water and I was left to watch the car.

And then as luck would have it, there was a Quilt Show in Prescott at the local college. We didn't have a lot of time for it, and Nancy is not a quilter, but we did manage to do a drive by and spend about 30 minutes there while Nancy enjoyed the weather outside. It is amazing how much damage you can do in 30 minutes, but I don't need to tell you girls that.

In my defense, they were on sale. It would have been wrong to leave them there at 25% off. My DS loves the funky monkey prints and I have been wanting the Sandy Gervais Fresh Squeezed for a while now. I have been on rather a buying binge lately. It would probably be a good idea to sew some as well.

More later,


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another Mistake, (or an Opportunity for Creativity)

This is block 6 in the Quilt-a-Long from Crazy Mom Quilts. Her block is different because she made hers the correct way. See this, this is how she wanted the block to look. What you see below is my version. Now I could say that I am exercising creative juices here, or I could just tell the truth and say that I screwed up the directions again. So out of 6 blocks so far, I have made 4 right and 2 wrong, but I am not going to rip it apart. No one will know but me and all the rest of the bloggers doing this Quilt-a-Long, and you, so please don't tell.

Bonnie has posted the final step in the Orange Crush Mystery Quilt. I have one of mine partially laid out on the design wall. I am still not too sure about these quilts. I may not do the scrappy borders. I may take the lazy way out and just add a resting strip and a non-pieced border. That option is sounding better by the minute.

This is the baby quilt that I mentioned in my last post. I like how the inside turned out. It is a package of charm squares from Moda's Simplicity. The border is from my stash. I may pull it off and buy some of Simplicity yardage instead to finish the quilt. It is OK this way, but I think it could be a lot better. Can you tell that I am not liking anything today?

I am heading out in the morning with a couple of girlfriends for a weekend in Prescott, AZ, away from the heat. Maybe that will make me less grumpy. There is a quilt show there this weekend, although we are just going to get away from the DHs and DDs and DSs. I will try to remember to take some pics along the way. We will see if we make it to the quilt show.

Now I am off to DS baseball game.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Have you ever wondered...

... why no one ever thinks mom gets tired too. My family was scattered to the four winds all weekend. You know how it is with teenagers; work, baseball, the mall, cheer practice, graduation party, etc. So mom stayed home today to make everyone a nice dinner and do the laundry for DS and DD. They were very appreciative and also very exhausted. By the time I turned around everyone had eaten and gone to bed, including DH! How is that for gratitude? I looked at all those dishes and leftovers and that's when I thought good thing mom never gets tired!

Anyway I feel better after venting that. I did get lots of piecing done this weekend. I finished the Step 5 blocks for the second OC quilt I am making. This one is less scrappy, and so far I like it better. I am looking forward to Step 6 to see how the border will pull it together.

I have had the experience before of not being thrilled with a quilt, only to have the resting strip and border(s) make a huge difference. I like the bright blue with the pinks.

I did block 5 in the Quilt-a-Long from Crazy Mom Quilts Blog. I think this quilt is going to turn out to be really neat. I finished all of the 12 setting blocks too.

Believe it or not I pieced a small baby quilt also for a shower on the 14th of June. I will post a picture tomorrow if I can get one of the sleepy heads to hold it up for me. I tried to take a pic of it lying on the floor, but it did not turn out well. The baby shower is for a friend who is remarried and having a little girl. Her sons are teenagers now. She has lots more energy and patience than me!

Have a good Monday. Thanks for listening.