Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Sweet Little Treat

This month I started offering a group project in my MSN quilting group. I post a weblink to a quilting project and anyone can try it. My patriotic pillow from my last post was the first of these projects. The purpose for doing this in my group is that I have many less experienced quilters. This offers an opportunity for them to try something new on a smaller scale. With several people working on the same project, there should be plenty of help for those who may need it.

I have my group project for July chosen. It is a cute little mini quilt from block central. I like that it uses paper foundation piecing for the blocks, which are very simple. I know many in my group have never tried this technique, so I hope they will take a chance to expand their abilities. I made the quilt this week, just to test the difficulty. It turned out to be a quick, easy project. But I wish I would have taken the time to pin the rows together carefully before I stitched them, as my seams do not match up perfectly. Oh well, I really do know better than that. Still, it turned out pretty cute.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Patriotic Pillow

I love the fourth of July. It is by far my favorite non-religious holiday. Every year I want to throw a big party and top it off with fireworks and a bonfire. Unfortunately, most years I don't succeed in getting all three of those ingredients. Still, the holiday evokes a festive party mood in me. So today I finished a little patriotic themed pillow that will sit on my sofa for a nice holiday touch. It has a country, down-homey feel to it, mostly because I used fabrics that I had in my stash. The patern was posted on It was designed as a wall hanging, but I like it for a pillow.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What does this say about me?

YesterdayI finished a wallhanging and decided to hang it in my sewing room. It was while I was hanging it that I noticed something about my quilts that had not really struck me before. I tend to put black and white in alot of my quilts. Especially those that are very scrappy and colorful. It has been totally unintentional.

But just look at some of these quilts that I have hanging in my sewing room in addition to my new autograph quilt.

And a few more that I made that I no longer own.

And I will also admit to having at least one more top ready to be quilted(as yet unphotgraphed) that also has the black and white added to bright scrappy colors.

And I also have a nine patch quilt top in the works that is scrappy nines with black and white pieced sashing blocks. Plus a couple stacks of black and white blocks and black/white/red blocks waiting to be made into tops.

As you can see, there is definitely a trend here. So what I want to know is, what does this say about me? Am I in a rut? Does this show a lack of creativity because I keep adding the same elements into my quilts? Or should I perhaps consider this more as a signature feature to my quilts? All I can figure is that I must really love the effect, because I keep repeating it. And, now that I realize I am doing this, should I make an effort to stop? Or should I continue to just go where my spirit leads me when I work on my quilts? What would you do?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Knocked a couple UFO's off the list!

Got a couple more ufo's done this week. They are small, but finished-yes! Hopefully I will be able to whittle my list down a bit more before long.

1. hole in the barn door quilt(2005)-finished-yea!

2.palm leaf(2005)--layerwd and ready to quilt

3.four-patches and friends(2004)-layered and ready for quilting

4.friendship star quilt(2005)-quilt top, bindings cut, backing ready


7.squishy 2005-blocks

8.Kimono quilt(2006)-blocks quilt-blocks(2006)1 quilt(2006)

11.nine-patch-blocks and setting blocks(2006)

12.cancer block quilt#2-blocks(2005)

13.hole in barn door #2-blocks(2005)- added sashings to blocks and combined with blocks from #24 to make a top .Now ready to be sandwiched:) block swap-blocks(2005)-combined with friendship swap blocks from # 23 into a top-now ready to be sandwiched :)

15.autograph wallhanging-done!

16.sunbonnet sue-blocks(2005)

17.pinwheel blooms quilt-all blocks finished :)- ready to be stiched into a top(2006)

18. Jane's mystery quilt-top(2006)

19.letha's lectric fan-fabrics partially cut, no blocks completed yet(2006)

20.grandmother's garden-quilt top(2003)thinking about sending to long-armer-it's a king size quilt

21.double dutch quilt-fabric washed and pattern gathered(2006)-this one has been set aside until some of the others are finished-maybe next year :( in the barn door wallhanging- done

23.friendship swap quilt- blocks(2006)-combined with star swap blocks from #14. These are now a top ready to besandwiched.

24.block round robin-blocks(2005)-combined with hole in the barn door blocks #13 to make one quilt top now ready to be sandwiched

25. mariners compass quilt-(2006)-finished!

26. ostrich round robin 2006- first five rounds complete-waiting for final round to be announced

27.QYW round robin quilt 2006- is now home. Deciding what to add to it to make it larger in size.

Friday, June 22, 2007

June's BOM progress

This week I have been focusing on getting my June blocks finished for my many block of the month quilts I am making. I am happy to report that most are now finished, with the exception being my buck a block. That I plan to finish this evening. To the left is my pansy applique block for my wooly flower quilt. I love pansys, but am not really thrilled with the design of these flowers.Maybe I should have changed it up a little to look more like real pansys. These at least look a bit like violas aka Johnny Jump Ups. And I love the polka dot fabric.

Below you can see my blocks for the Debbie Mumm garden quilt. I like the blocks. But it was hard for me to add the circle to the centers, because I didn't want to cover up my beautiful job of matching all those seams in the center. Oh well, I am sure someone else will appreciate being able to cover theirs up.

Finally we come to the blockcentral block of the month. I chose again to go with different fabrics in the same colorway for this block. I plan to use these same fabrics again next month. My hope is that I will have a controlled scrappy look when the is finished. All of my blocks have a common tan background fabric, so it should be ok.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today's project

I have been silent for over a week, mostly because I have been preoccupied with family matters. We had two graduates in the family this spring- our oldest from college and our youngest from high school. We held an open house party on Saturday. That took most of my time last week. And today I was finally caught up enough for some me time. :)

I spent the morning at my monthly applique class. I am still working on the block from last month so I can't show you a picture yet. I have some more embroidery to do on it, but it's almost done! Hopefully it will be finished by the end of this week.

This afternoon I made a needle and scissors holder case. I got the pattern for it here. Since I am doing more handwork now, I thought it might be a handy thing to have. I didn't much care for the written directions on this one, but I am a look at the pictures kind of person anyways so it was no real problem.

I had a small piece of hand marbled fabric that I bought in Hawaii that was screaming to be used for this, so I gave my needlecase a tropical, Hawaiian theme complete with a honu petroglyph and a plumeria bloom. The pictures show views of both the inside and outside.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More on The Quilter'sSkip

I wrote a bit yesterday of my participation in a Quilter's skip. It was such a good time. I really do love a good roadtrip. I have sorted through my purchases and the freebies each shop hands out and taken a couple pictures. Today I am going to offer a peek at my new aquisitions.

At the first shop, I got my tote bag which included a packet of Thangles (for making the skip quilt) and a passport for each of the shops to stamp. But somehow my bag was minus the map and directions to the shops. The shop owner suggested I could probably get that at the next stop, I would just have to ask. Yeah, right.
I discovered last night that was not the only thing my first shop forgot to include. She also failed to give me a copy of the block patttern her shop was doing for the skip. It is of course the only one I am missing other than the one for the store I have yet to visit. ARG! Lucky for her, she saved herself by offering a bit of chocolate and an ice cold bottle of water with a nice little bottle cooler wrap for it to boot. That came in real handy later in the day.
But I was only ever able to snag a shop map ( sans directions to the individual shops). And I asked at several of the shops. That was a bit frustruating. It was a good thing I am an experiened road tripper and can find my way just about anywhere. Here is a looksie at the give-aways from the shops along with the tote and passport. I will hand the passport in at the last shop I visit. There is some nice stuff from some of the shops. Besides the water bottle wrap, there is also a nice glasses case, several fat quarters, some charms, thread, a lint brush , tape measure, and a wooden iron , a package of hand sewing needles, and a quilt label. Almost all of the shops offered bottled water and some sort of sweet snack. Yummmm. chocolate. :)
Among the items I purchased are a bucket of red and white fat quarters, some teal fat quarters(eleven for ten dollars- what a deal!), some thirties prints, a wool pincushion kit, a Moda charm tin (Summer in the City) and a quilt pattern that was on clearance. I also got a wallhanging kit that seems to have been left out of the photo. Hmmm...maybe Iam still a bit sleepy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My name is Jane and I am a fabricoholic

I spent the weekend cleaning my sewing room. It had been several months since it had been done, and frankly it was disgusting. I put a good deal of effort into putting things back where they belong and think I succeeded in at least a general sense of order in the room. But the big thing is, I can see the carpeting once again. (Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten it was blue.) I also took a good deal of time and neatly folded my fabrics that I have yardage of. The fat quarters are still a mess, but maybe I will get to them next week. I just wanted the room to be neat and clean, as we will be having an open house this weekend to celebrate my youngest son's graduation from high school.

While I was cleaning my sewing area, I came across a flyer from a local quilt store advertising a quilters skip. It was to start today and run all week. I had not bought the tote bag/kit as I knew I had alot of work to do around the house and yard to prepare for Saturday's open house. Plus I have so much fabric and quilting supplies already, I didn't really need anything else. And where would I put it?

But, this morning, the sun was shining and I was hearing the call of that flyer all the way down in the basement. So I went down to my sewing room, and read about the skip. It took me all of about three seconds to reason to myself all the reasons why I should go. I have all week to prepare for the party after all. And I had never been to seven of the eleven shops. They needed me to participate. And I need to have those shops available next time I need something.

So, I hopped in my shiny red Jeep and took off down the highway without a care in the world. After all, I had some cash, I had my check book, and I had my credit card- what more did I need? As it turns out, I managed to find quite a few things that I needed as I ventured from one store to the next. All those fabrics were emitting magical enticing fumes, overwhelming me with a sense of urgency. I must have these now! At the end of the day, I wrote the last of the checks I had with me, I used up all my cash, and I did put a little on my credit card ( I needed gas to get home after all). I made it to ten of the eleven stores today. I saved the store that gave me the flyer for last. Hopefully I will find time to get there before the week is over. And buy some more stuff that I really don't need. All because Iam a fabricoholic.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A life-long passion

I have been sewing by machine since I was 11 years old. I started by making clothing for myself, and was thrilled with the idea of having clothes that were different from everyone else's. It soon became clear to me that I could not get enough time in front of a sewing machine. If there was fabric and free time available, I was sitting at my mother's machine stitching away. When I went off to college I tried several different majors on for size, but finally realized that I needed to be true to my bliss, and ended up pursuing the clothing and textiles major.
It probably comes as no surprise then when I say that I made a good percentage of my children's clothes when they were small. And I do not believe my kids ever wore store bought Halloween costumes either. They had some of the cutest outfits and I loved that they wore one-of-a-kinds. And I also loved the savings I was able to attain by making their clothes myself.
It was around the time my oldest was 7 that I found the quilt shows being broadcast by my local PBS station. After a week or two of Eleanor Burns and Georgia Bonesteel I was drawn in completely. I was certain that quilting was something I could and should do. And I have been quilting ever since.
I have taught all three of my kids to sew and given them the basics on quilting. But they have not been bitten by the bug as I am. And that is ok with me. They should each find their own passions to pursue. After all, it is the differences of others from ourselves that makes them interesting to us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I love pincushions

I got a new pincushion in the mail from an on-line friend. Don't you just love getting fun mail?
Marlene sent me the pincushion above and I think it's quite nice. I made the one below for her.So I was proudly displaying it for all to see when my youngest son asked me "Don't you have enough pincushions already?". Silly, silly boy. I don't know if I will ever have enough pincushions. I guess they are kind of an obsession of mine. The more whimsical they are, the better!