Sunday, November 27, 2011

What was I thinking?

Is it Thanksgiving weekend?  Yep.
Is Christmas coming?  Yep.
Have we just moved into a new house and can only get in half the garage?  Yep.
Do I have way more stuff to put up than I have places to put it?  Yep.
Did I succumb to the Orca Bay Mystery quilt on Bonnie Hunter's website, Quiltville?  Yep!!!

So, what's a quilter to do?  Why, dig through strips and cut some fabric!  And sew and sew and sew.  Starting with 448 quarter square triangles.  I'm happy to be able to use from my 1.5" strips that have been cut over the years.  I did have to dig into my stash for the 1.5" strips of black since I used most (or all) of them when I made two quilts this summer.  So - instead of going to all my blacks, I decided to just cut all the black strips from the same fabric.

And then what to do with all those?  Why make 224 cute little hourglass blocks of course.  They will finish at 2" when the top is done.   Step one...and I'm about 40% done.

But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't spend a few minutes while family was visiting someone else over the weekend to pull out my garbage bag of strings and pull out all the blue strings for Step 2.  It's only 72 string blocks at 3.5" square -- in blue.  It's actually a pretty easy step but after making some practice blocks last nite after delivering son and his family to the airport 2 hours away -- I ran upstairs to see how this would work.  I'm using stationery from my father's business which is old and perfect for this.  It's 25 years old but I couldn't throw it out -- I knew there would be a use for it!  Was I right or what?

So -- I need to get my act together, get the house back in order, take care of leftovers, pick up the toys -- but I'm not gonna!  After church today, I'm going upstairs and sew because the house can wait.  At least for another day....

Did you see the new button on the right of my blog?  Quilter is a great service where almost 1800 quilting blogs are screened and published in one place as thumbnails and you can scroll through them to see what appeals to you.  It's great and worth an icon on your PC, iPhone or iPad so you can peruse all those blogs when the mood strikes!

I hope you're finding time to piece and surf Quilters!  Jan

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do Over ... and I'm OK with that....

I love this quilt -- Kim McLean's Lollypop Trees.  If you've never had a chance to take a peek, it would be worth your while to check it out at Glorious Color.  I knew I had to make it when I first saw it.

Of the 16 blocks, this is the only I've made and I've decided that I love the black background -- but I think I would love it even more with a multi-color polka dot fabric that found its way into my shopping cart.  And with only one block done, I'm not too heavily invested -- unless you consider the countless hours I've spent thinking about it.  Then it's been on my mind for over a year!

I learned a lot from this one block.

  1. I was able to brush up on my skills on my freezer paper appliqué .  
  2. I bought one of those cute donuts of beautiful pre-wound bobbins in a rainbow of colors and can just be happy looking at it.  
  3. I "had" to buy more Kaffe Fassett fabrics in order to have a wide variety to choose from.
  4. I learned a lot about staying true to the focus colors for each block.   For this particular block, it looks like a clown was sick all over the black fabric - there's no continuity to the colors.  The blocks that have been posted on Glorious Applique (site devoted to Kim's patterns) are wonderful and I'm drawn to those that have one or two focus colors.  My block started out with purple and pink and then I got too carried away so I'm actually pleased with the chance to re-do the block and learn from all the things that could be better.  Just more fun with Kaffe fabrics.  

Now -- the hard part is that it has to stay on the back burner because of other priorities!  Alas.

I hope you're finding time to piece -- and appliqué!  Jan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mental Health Weekend!

What a great much fun -- so much laughter -- and so much catching up.  

After being gone from Chicago for two months, two very dear friends came for a visit to see rural Kentucky, do a little quilting, and catch up on our lives.  Skype is good.  Texts are good.  Email is good.  Old fashioned phone calls are great -- but face to face is the best!  So much to show them and so much to do -- along with projects and brainstorming and dreaming/planning.
You may have read a previous post about Whittle's Fabrics.  Just 30 minutes from where I live is a fabric shop like no other I've been to before.  First run fabrics are $3.50-$7.00 per yard because of low overhead, no advertising, lower cost of living.  The selection is not like a quilt shop but if you're looking to build a stash, buy backings, buy neutrals, get some wide backs, pick up a few batiks, love Civil War prints - this is the place for you.  We estimate they bought 122 yards of fabric!  Seriously....122 yards.  And I should mention, I went back earlier this week and picked up about 30 more after "shopper's remorse" set in and sadness developed over not picking up "more" of some fabrics.
 In addition to a little shopping at Whittles, we were able to squeeze in a trip to the Zappo's outlet (2 pairs of boots, three pairs of shoes bought -- all for less than $200); visit Among Friends which is an incredible quilt shop in Louisville KY with so many samples that's it's almost overwhelming -- and a notions wall to die for.  I believe another 20 yards may have been purchased there.  And finally -- lunch at Lynn's Paradise Cafe which is an absolute hoot!  Wonderful food.  A decor unlike most that you've seen.  Good service.  And fun.....before the airport.  Alas.  Too soon they had to wing their way back to the Windy City....without me.

The good news (for me) is that I'm driving up next week to visit and get some long arming done on a Gammill that one of them graciously shares.  I'll have a car load of fabric and a little Featherweight that didn't make the trip back to Chicago so that some shoes/fabric could!

So-my quilting mojo is renewed, I've gotten to see people I care about "live and in person", and I am reminded that friends are friends -- wherever you are.  Acquaintances are "local" and usually stay acquaintances -- friends go with you in your heart, wherever your heart is!

I hope you are finding time to piece and sew and visit with friends!  Jan

PS -- the quilts in the post are relevant only in the fact that these were the ones on the beds that they slept it.