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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Practice makes perfect

All those little tiny half square triangles, have finally been finished and I am happy to say that the blocks are done. This project would have been much better suited to the block of the month that it was intended to be. Letting things go for 9 months was my own fault, but I am delighted with the end results. Strangely enough that ole saying "practice makes perfect" kept rattling thru my head as I was working on it. I used to hate it when my mother would say that to me. Brought back all kinds of memories of practicing the piano. I learned to hate that, more than life and eventually they gave up and sold the piano. Well ma, I practiced something and I think I am about as perfect as I can get with these little 1 1/2" things.

I have never been a fan of pinning anything. My best friends mother was a seamstress. She would kringe when I was at her house sewing. No pins in sight. She was always so meticulous with her work that I drove her crazy. But I must admit, this was no place to not pin and be as meticulous as my friends mom used to be. It was sure a stretch for me, but the end results made it all worth it. Strangely enough the more I pinned the easier these little guys became. Who knew that a little pin would be so useful??????? By the end of this little exercise in patience, these blocks seemed to stitch themselves together and the pins went where they were supposed to the first time around. Now I am certainly not looking forward to taking on a project of this scope any time soon again. For now I am happy with what I have completed.

In peaking at what Oct 1 holds for this block of the month, I am happy to report that I now get to set these little guys on point and add the the center that is done! Yeah, should be much less pinning!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I have been busy finishing up projects. This is another one of those that I took a class on this summer. I was able to use up some 2 1/2" strips of batiks I have swapped for a few years also. This little treasure "State of Grace" was really fun and fast to put together. It is from Cosy Quilt Designs "Strip Clubbing" book. Ya family, when I told you I was going to the Strip Club you all wondered, didn't ya!

:-) :-)

It's a great little quilt that would be so much fun to get together with a bunch of friends and swap out 2 1/2" strips to make.

My latest project is to catch up with my block of the month Quilt Show quilt. I have faithfully downloaded each month, but never done more than the center block. It's only the end of September right? Well, I am happy to say that have been slaving away on it, and am just about caught up. In another few hours I will be able to proudly say that I am done up thru September. Oh no, October is just days away. This quilt is a "project" to say the least, but I am going to be thrilled with it, when it's done. It is a beautiful quilt with loads of 1" blocks all half square triangles of course. I can say this is the most intense quilt I have ever taken on, but the directions are great, and other than lots of time into it, there is really nothing hard about completing it. Stay tuned for my posting's on this treasure!

Taking time to see what's around you

Do you all find that when you live somewhere and see the same things daily, that they just don't mean much to you? With my longing to live up North, I have forgotten to see some of the beauty that surrounds me at home. The other day I stepped out to feed the cats and I looked across the road to see the sun rising and the most beautiful sight in the fields across from us. You can definitely see that fall is in the air! I was so excited that I had to quick grab my camera. I played with taking a couple of shots of some other things before I had to get in the car and head to work. I have a few ideas rattling around in my head using some of these in art quilts, so we will have to see where this leads me in the weeks to come. There is no time like the present to pick up a camera and see the beauty that is in your backyard too. You might find yourself as surprised as I was!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Here's a little project I just finished up and sent off to a friend. It was a very quick little thing, that turned into a load of fun. If you have lots of scraps, it's a great way to use some of them up. Another one of those something from nothings surprises. I do have to say though, while I was working on it, I was not impressed. It really needs to have all the stitching done before it's personality shows up. What a fun mindless thing it was to do. I need a project like this from time to time. Can you imagine it in Christmas colors with lots of golds/silvers, anything sparkly????? Bright batiks, etc. The sky is the limit with this little gem.

I didn't get much sewing done this weekend. Or any, I should say. I took the weekend to play outside my sewing room. It started with a quick trip to Glenwood Springs to the hot pools with a co-worker. Kelly and I had such a good time with our little girls get away. It was just a 1 day-er trip, but OH so much fun. Nothing better than soaking in those hot pools. She showed me a great little quilt shop up there. I bought a very interesting book on art quilting. I promise to "scare" all of you with some of my playing, real soon. :-) :-)

Then the event of the century was this weekend. A 2 day wedding. Ever hear of such a thing? It was truly spectacular. We took the camper and spent the weekend. This couple knows how to throw a party. They rented 7 big air castle things. One was a velcro wall, then there was a bungie cord thing, loads of slides and games. Go cart racing, movies, bonfires, and on and on and on. It was like being at the county fair, only 10 times better. We played all day Saturday, had a BBQ and pizza dinner, loads of birthday/anniversary cakes for all the Sept celebrations, a movie complete with popcorn, nachos and a candy table (4 to be exact) that had a better stock than any store I have ever seen. I don't think they missed any candy ever made. I was in heaven with my "Big Hunk" and Licorce whips!

The wedding was yesterday. It was a beautiful outdoors ceremony, followed by a sit down dinner for 400. You can't imagine just how beautiful the place was. Fish swimming in the cake table, beautiful lights in fall harvest colors. I didn't want to come home.

A special treat for us all was the personalized label, bottle of Almond Champagne. WOW!!!!!!!! It was the greatest thing I have ever had, and we all got a bottle to take home with us. It was soooooo good. The beautiful pot of mum's and pumpkin will be decorating my porch this fall and be a reminder of the very special weekend wedding. Thanks Jodie and Kelly, you two are the best!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alaska Shop Hop Quilt

For those of you who know me, or read my blog often, you know that my heart and soul is in Alaska. I have never traveled anywhere that is more beautiful and full of wildlife than there. This summer on my travels up north, I came across the shop hop quilt. A commerative for the 50th year it has been a state. A mother/daughter team from Wasilla, (yep Sarah Paulin's town but no connection I am sure) designed this beauty. Mary Thompson and Heather Griffin. I can not tell you just how much fun this was to put together.

I have purchased shop hop quilts in the past only to be very disappointed when, I found the instructions to be very lacking and/or shortages of fabrics. There is a big bag of pieces and the extra fabric for borders and backing under my stairs, likely never to see daylight again!

This is a quilt that definatly is not in that category. The directions for this was so well written, that even a beginner would have little problem putting the blocks together. I love the combination of blocks with the fusible applique. Many play right off the blocks name. Bear paw, Lady of the Lake the tree block. How cleaver. And how about the log cabin block with the outhouse. :-)

Not only was this so much fun to make, it inspired me to work from the front of my longarm for a change and do some freehand work. I am not at all proficient at freehand work on the longarm, but this was just the quilt to get my juices flowing. My mind is seeing more and more design options daily. Now if my mind and my hands learn to work together, I just might be on to something. LOL!!!

Hope you find your inspiration this week where ever it might come from.

Still hoping to get some suggestions for all those nickel squares I posted last week. I am hoping everyone is too busy to post a suggestion, and not that we are all stumped!

Have a great week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Piles of Nickels-Help Me Help Me

I have managed to swap nickel squares,(5" squares) with an online group, for a couple of years now. I have a stack as high as the eye can see, but haven't ever really done anything with them. Well, until a few weeks ago, that is. This little project was from an afternoon sew in, at our local sewing shop. It was a good motivator to start using up some of these things that seem to loom over my sewing area. Too bad it wasn't a really big project though. I have enough squares to make a table runner for most of the free world it seems!!! LOL

I did pick up a book called "Loose Change" that has a really cute quilt it in, made out of nickels. The plan to start on it was in my mind, but then, I got to wondering. What would any of my internet friends do with all these guys. Does anyone have any ideas they would like to share? Please post a comment and let us know. I am sure there are plenty of us, who could use some inspiration. Lets all share ideas, and see if we can come up with something that will ring our bells!

Summer is over and the time is about right to start those fall quilting projects. After all there is nothing better than curling up under a quilt when it is cold to do the binding, right? I love those nights!

Look forward to seeing what suggestions we have for each other. Until then I am dreaming of the chilly nights of binding ahead.

Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. As for me, I spent it in my sewing room. Yep, didn't have to work the holiday for once in a very long time. I did manage to finish up orders for 2 more professional totes, and I finished up my Alaska Shop Hop quilt. As soon as the binding fairies come, and finish that up, I will share photos! hehehehehehe
Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fall Already?

Can you believe it's September already! Where did the summer go?

My goal, the past couple of weeks was to finish up those projects that I started this summer. With the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to clear out old projects before I start on new! With luck that will mean less "PIGS" (projects in grocery sacks) laying around. Notice I didn't say, no "PIGS", that would impossible in my quilt room! :-) Less is the best I can hope for. LOL!!

While I was quilting up a few tops, I ran my embroidery machine. With only a few thread changes and long runs, it was very managable to do while I was quilting.
has made it fun and easy to make great quilt designs on embroidery machines now. What a nice change of pace, I don't have to make sure seam allowances are the same thru out. Happy dance, happy dance!!! After careful consideration, I might want to tone it down a bit next time. This one requires sunglasses if you look at it too long!!!! "Screamin' Green" is it's name! Seemed so fitting.

But I have finished up a couple of quilt tops. Here is one of them. It's from a class I took earlier this summer.

It is the "Island Star" from M'liss Rae Hawley's, More Fat Quarter Quilts. I am pleased to say that every thread in this quilt came from my stash. I had to purchase nothing to complete this. Now that's a red letter day for me, let me just tell ya!

I have also started on my Alaska Shop Hop quilt. I hope to get some photos posted soon. You won't believe how wonderful it is. Great combination of techniques! Hope this keeps you guessing for a day or two!