Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mariners in a Pickle

This is one of my personal quilts that I pieced and machine quilted.   It was a multi year project because I found that I really had to be in the right mood to deal with all the paper piecing.  Most of the time it was an enjoyable project, but like so many of the things I do, it was just so big.
Just off the quilt frame, still need to trim the batting and bound the edges .
This is called Mariners in a Pickle, and  was in an issue of Fons and Porter quilting magazine, September/October 2008.   When I finally finished this quilt, I was absolutely positive I wouldn't make it again, and in one of my rare purging and cleaning episodes, I got rid of the magazine.  Maybe it is a good thing that you can't check it out because you would find out how very unoriginal my color choices were.  I deliberately copied  the colors that were in the quilt in the magazine. It looked good to me, and at the time these colors were way out of my comfort zone.  Now, these colors seem to be what I am drawn to
This quilt is 112" x 112"  I had to put my bed on risers so it won't drag on the floor.  It is the largest, and most difficult quilt I have ever made.
Close up of quilting

I am still working on the grey and yellow curved nine patch, hoping to finish it soon.  Saturday morning  I will be a judge for the 4H Fashion Review.  After that I am planning on working on the grey and yellow and maybe, finish the quilting.  I am ready to be done with it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sewing, but not quilting

First off I want to thank all of you who follow Jenny's blog, and came to check out my blog.  Your comments and encouragement mean so much to me, and I thank you all.   Quilting is on the top of my passions list, but I also love sewing, especially for my grand babies.  Today I made two little back packs for my granddaughters.
Micah's Chicken Backpack
The first one is for Micah, because she does love her chickens  I had some yellow nylon, I don't even know if you would call it fabric, but I had it, and it worked well for this project.  The beak is felt, the eye and cheek are ultra suede.  I did a satin stitch for the legs.
Holly's Bunny Backpack

For Holly's backpack, I made a bunny out of some faux suede that I bought on clearance and had in my stash.  I used ultra suede for the nose and eye.

This pattern is Kwik Sew 3687.  The pattern shows three variations, an owl, chicken and an elephant.  I made up the bunny, and I think you could make almost anything you wanted.  

I am patting myself on the back with this project because, first, I got them done, and second because I didn't buy anything new to make them.  I am really trying to use what I have, and not just keep adding to my collection.  Recently, I went through all my fabric, stashes, hidden bundles, kits and pre-cuts, and folded, sorted, labeled, and was able to get a good grasp of how much fabric I have.  I have a lot of fabric.  I know there are many others with collections much larger than mine, and that is alright with me, if it is alright with you.  I am just looking at what I have, and what I intend to do with all I have, and hope someday to use it all.  Hahaha, quit laughing at me, it is a good goal.  I know there are bolts of fabric in my future, but for today, I did well and used what I had.  Go me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back to quilting

before quilting
What a difference quilting makes.  I started this quilt with a quilt a long hosted by Jenny, and am anxious to have it quilted.  Here are some photos of the quilt before and after quilting.

After quilting
I love the definition that the quilting gives the block, but  I don't know why I started with 1/4" cross hatching.   Once I started though, I  had to keep going with it.  This quilt is twin size, and I am about half way through the quilting process.  Hopefully I will make progress this afternoon, though progress is measured slowly with this one.

On a non quilting subject, tomorrow I am planning to be sitting in a theater watching The Hunger Games.  Totally loved the books, listened to them all, and the first one three times.  All the previews and clips I have seen for the movie look so
good, and I am so excited to see it.  Opening weekend may be too crowded for me, but hopefully early Sunday afternoon will be a good time to go.  So excited.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Micah

Today is my granddaughter Micah's first birthday.  First birthday's are such a milestone.  An entire year, so many changes, growth, amazement.  You all know what I'm talking about.  I love celebrating special occasions, and as Micah grows I hope I am part of making her birthdays, and other events memorable.

To celebrate this first, Micah's dad requested a chicken cake, so  I made her a hen cake with several mini cupcake chicks.

"fake-cake" pop
Since it was her birthday, I wanted to let her, and her parents have the fun of a babies first birthday cake eating experience, but Micah's parents do not feed her sugar, so we had a bit of a hurdle.  I came up with the "fake-cake pop"  This was made the same way you would make a real cake pop, or cake ball, with just a few changes.  I used a piece of whole wheat bread, pulsed it in my Magic Bullet until it was just crumbs, mixed in a little butter, and then pressed it with my hands to make a ball.  It looked more like a meatball than a squashed piece of bread, but after I covered it with colored cream cheese "frosting" it looked  like the real deal, and Micah loved it.
She seems to be questioning the ingredients in her "fake-cake" pop
Happy Birthday Micah.  Your Meme loves you!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Me, sister Ruthann, my Mom, and  sister Jan

Today is my mom's birthday.  I wish she was still here to share my life with.  My mom was the driving force behind me that made me a good seamstress, which led to my love of quilting. My goal was to sew clothes that she thought I bought.  I fooled her many times.   

It is often difficult for me to get past the last two months of her life which were a nightmare of hospital procedures, tests and complications.  Sometimes all of that is still so raw.  But that was just two months of an eighty eight year life, and I want to focus on moving beyond the last two months, and thinking of the good times.  

This post will not be biographical, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge her life.  I wish we could go to breakfast and order eggs benedict and then grab a McDonalds chocolate sundae together.   

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rainy day, quilting day

We are finally getting much needed rain, now that it is almost spring.  I usually don't mind the rain, sometimes even like it, especially if what I really want to do, and need to do is stay inside and quilt.  Rainy days and quilting are a good combination.

I am working on the yellow and grey quilt, and am enjoying the process of quilting this one.  Good thing I am enjoying it, because I am doing a lot of detail quilting on this one.  As each hour passes, and I am still on the same row, I sometimes ask myself why?  Why, why, why, would I choose to do so much quilting on what was suppose to be a quick project to start the re-vamping of my sewing room?  This quilt with it's yellow and grey colors, along with a yellow striped window treatment, and a closet door curtain hopefully will refresh my sewing room.  Anyway, back to why I am doing so much quilting on this quilt.  Because I can.  I love it, I love heavy quilting, and I don't often get to do that much work on customers quilts.  I want to challenge myself with new techniques, try quilting styles I haven't done much before.

I love putting in the ear pieces of my I-pod, turning on my audio book, and guiding my machine through the lines, loops, circles and curves of quilting.  It is sometimes hypnotic.  That is where I am with this quilt.  Still loving the process, and the results that I can see, and looking forward to the end result.

So, let it rain, and let me stitch.  I hope you all are enjoying whatever weather you have today, and are doing something you love.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day

My family loves Pi day.  Both my grown children and their spouses are involved with math, so they have come to embrace March 14 as Pi Day.  A great reason to get together and make and eat all kinds of pies.
Tonight we will start the evening with Chicken Pot Pie, and finish the evening with Berry Pie, Squash Pie and Boston Creme Pie.  Seriously, the Boston Cream Pie is a cake with filling and chocolate, but because of it's name it is on the menu.

I made Pi day onsies for my granddaughters just to add to the celebration.  My grandson also has a Pi day shirt, but I do not have a photo of him in his shirt yet.

Besides all the pie baking, and onsie making I am still quilting.  I am working on they yellow and grey curved nine patch.  I finally feel like I have a handle on what I want to quilt on this, but what I want is very ambitious, and time consuming.  I will post some progress shots soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meet my Harry Potter

I would like to introduce you all to my various family members, one at a time, from time to time.  For my first introduction, I chose one of  my dogs, Harry Potter.  Harry is a Hungarian Puli, and he is now 10 years old.  Until recently Harry and I competed regularly in dog agility, traveling across country many times, and often to Canada.  For a variety of reasons, I think our agility days are behind us.  Harry and I now spend our weekends at home, and we are enjoying that.

Harry Potter  
Harry Potter's hair naturally grown in "cords" which are basically dreadlocks.  I tie his hair up on his head to help keep it out of his eyes.  For so many, many reasons, Harry is incredibly special to me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Curved quilting

Curved nine patch quilt on longarm getting quilted
I am making a "Curved Nine Patch" quilt, using the Quick Curve Ruler and tutorials by Jenny at Sew Kind of Wonderful.  Grey and yellow are my new favorite colors, and the foundation of a sewing room make over. Note my new yellow lamp in the background.  I have all the foundation stitching finished, and now can do all the fun and more decorative stitching.

Jenny's new ruler allows you to cut accurate curved pieces that go together perfectly.  Jenny's tutorials are clear and easy to follow.
"Urban Runner" made with Quick Curve Ruler
The "Urban Runner" is the pattern you receive when you purchase the ruler.  I admire Jenny's quilting,  so I quilted this in a very similar style to hers.  I made this runner with some satin fabric, and realized too late that I should  pay closer attention to how I turned the pieces of cut fabric.  You can see a few places on the quilt where the satin was turned the wrong way, so the sheen is different that the rest of the quilt.  Bummer.  While I am not happy with this mistake, I won't worry about it any longer because I made this from left over fabrics, it is just for me,  it was a practice for sewing curved pieces, and....I won't do it again.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I started a blog!

Well, this is a first.  My first blog, and while I realize the chances of someone reading this are slim, I am still a bit nervous.   I wanted to have a blog for several reasons.  First of all I love searching blogs and getting inspired, entertained and connecting with other people.  I want to have a journal of sorts, a place to voice my thoughts, and hopefully meet some new friends.

My intent is to post about my life, and that also was my initial hesitation in starting a blog.  What is it in my life that I think others would be interested in?  I have no idea.  So, back to the original goal, a place for me to journal my ideas, projects and to stretch myself with something new, blogging.