Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Up to my ears

I am up to my ears with boxes of sweatshirts to embroider.  While I would rather be quilting, embroidery is still part of my business services and that is what I will be doing the next few days.

Enjoy your days, doing what you want, or should, and again, thanks for reading, I do appreciate it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tie quilt and baby chicks update.

I have the top of the tie quilt pieced, and I am really happy with it.  I have enough tie scraps to make another top, so that will begin soon.  What I like the best are the setting squares.  Along with the ties were several bow ties.  There is very, very little usable fabric in a bow tie.  I was able to cut four, 2" squares from each bow tie.  Those are the setting squares.

And, an update on all the baby chicks.  They are doing fine, Momma hen has now left them on their own, and soon some of them will go to their new homes.  It is fun to look on the lawn and see so many little chicks.

I wasn't able to get all the babies in the photo, but you can see they are all growing up, all in that awkward, ugly stage right now, but still cute.

Happy Thursday everyone, thanks for reading, I appreciate it.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's with Ethan (and Holly and Micah)

Ethan napping on Meme's Urban nine patch :)
I have the privilege of watching my grandchildren on Tuesdays.   The first year there was only Ethan, so I started referring to Tuesdays as "Tuesdays with Ethan".  Now there is baby Holly in my care on Tuesdays also, and not to forget Miss Micah, who is also a part of the Tuesdays mix, since she and her mom and dad are living here a bit longer waiting for their house to be built.

We have our great days where everyone plays nice, everyone naps and things work out smoothly.  Sometimes not so much.  Today, so far, is one of those great days.  And, just to make today even better, it is my son Chad's 27th birthday.  Happy Birthday Chad, you are a great son, and an amazing father.

Baby Holly
Miss Micah
I hope you are having a great Tuesday.  I appreciate your company.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Well, here it is the last day to enter, and thanks to encouragement from other blogger friends, I decided to enter the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  I am entering my Urban Nine Patch that I made with a QAL hosted by Jenny earlier this year.
Urban Nine Patch Quilt.

I did quarter inch cross hatching in each block, and I love the texture it created.

 I have a new love for yellow and grey together, and had been collecting fabrics for a while when QAL started.  Most of these photos are repeats, so I apologize to those who have seen them all before.
I continued the quilting into the border,  

Solid grey backing shows off the quilting in a new perspective.

Now I am going to check out all the new additions to the Festival and be filled with ideas and inspiration.
Have fun looking at all the amazing quilts, and thanks for looking at mine, I appreciate it.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

I doodle, doodle you?


I think I have always "doodled" but now even more.  I doodle on scraps of paper while waiting for whatever, I doodle on my bulletin at church, (gasp)),  I doodle on the back of our mail, and my most favorite is to doodle on my longarm.  This is just fun, there are no rules, and I want to do it more often.  There is a freedom that I don't get when actually quilting, and it seems more fun to doodle than to "practice", but it is essentially the same thing.  I have been so caught up in my tie quilt, that I haven't had any time on the longarm, so I loaded some fabric, and spent some time relaxing in my doodling.  I highly recommend this. 

So, here's to doodling, and having fun sewing.  Thanks for visiting, I appreciate it.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baby Holly's Quilt

This cute little quilt is for my granddaughter Holly.  It was so much fun to work on.  I made this before Holly was born, but that was before I had a blog to share my quilts on. 

 I love the simple lines in the border, to off set the feather swirls.

Alternating hearts and flowers finish off the center panel.

I have been spending all my quilting/sewing time working on the tie quilt, hoping to finish all blocks soon.  It totally has taken over my sewing room, especially my cutting table, with all the pieces spread out in an organized chaotic way.  I just want to keep working on it until I reach a better stopping point.  Then I can 
clean up the explosion it seemed to make, and move on to other projects.

Thanks for visiting, I appreciate it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It was a great day

A Mother's Day bouquet of cookie pops
Actually it was a great weekend.  Our little town has a big parade and picnic day every year, the Saturday before Mother's day.  I have always thought of it as a scene from the movie Pollyanna.  The whole community comes out to either be in the parade, or you are cheering from the sidelines.  Sometimes you may be in two entries in the same parade.  You go down the parade route, wave and throw candy, and when you reach the end, you hustle back to the start line and do it all again.  This happens frequently if you are in more than one community club, or if you are in the marching band and in Little League for example.  It is all so much fun, however you participate.  This year I got to share the tradition with three grand babies, and start an new generation on an old tradition

After the parade, everyone goes out to the park for picnic day.  Talk about a community event.  Homemade pies for sale, a cake walk, hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, petting zoo, silent auction, foot races for all ages of children and adults, bounce houses, snow cones, karaoke, and all sorts of visiting and reunions.  A day to look forward to all year long.

Then today was Mother's day.  I especially love sharing this day with my daughter and daughter in law, and my grand babies.  It is so rewarding to watch my children becoming parents.  I am very proud of them.
That's me with my daughter in law, daughter and grand babies
It was a good weekend, with more cookies in flower pots, and time with my family.  Not much sewing or quilting going on, but I think I needed to step away from my sewing room for a while.  Things should settle down this week, and I hope to get back to work on the tie quilt.  I am at the "middle of it stage" where it is no longer new and exciting, and I am piecing block after block, and looking forward to the next step.  I am still enjoying it, it is just at that stage.

Thanks for visiting, I appreciate it.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cookie Pop Love

I made these tulip sugar cookies for some special young ladies.  These girls were the daughters of my friend, were my children's friends and classmates.  Through the years I have watched them grow up, get married and have their first babies.  This garden of flowers is to celebrate their first Mother's Day.

I know it is a few days early, but Happy Mother's Day to you too.

I appreciate you sharing your time with me.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Tie quilt, prep work finished

I finally finished all the prep work on my bag of ties.  It took a long time, but I plowed on through and finished.  I ironed featherweight interfacing to each tie to stabilize it, then I cut as many strips and pieces as I could.  Most strips are 2" wide, but I made some narrower, and even cut some 2" squares.  We quilters are thrifty, and I just couldn't let any of this beautiful silk go unused.  I have stacks of center points, and even more stacks of strips. 
This is just a small part of all I cut.

And, then I started making blocks.  I am still trying to figure out if I should try to do the blocks and strips by color and value, or just random.  I made my first blocks, trying to pick fabrics and colors that seemed to go together, and contrast, but I don't know if I succeeded, or if it was worth the effort. I made one block just randomly picking pieces, and I think I like it as well or better than the ones I tried to plan.  Any input is welcome.  I know this quilt will be very scrappy and random, and I am usually all about random and scrappy, but right now I am kind of wondering if it is going to work like I had it in my head.
 Red center blocks

Neutral center blocks

Totally random, just picking strips from the piles.

And, totally unrelated, but so exciting, my granddaughter Micah took her first steps today, and hasn't stopped since.  Once she finally took the first couple of steps, she is walking all over the place.  Such a special time.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it,


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Seasonal favorite

Today I took these.....

And made this....

I look forward to strawberry pie all year.  Add a little whipped cream, and I am pretty happy.  There is nothing like the first bite of the first pie.  One of my favorite things.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tie quilt, the plan

I have this bag full of ties that I am using to make a quilt.  I originally thought I would do a string, or strip piece quilt on foundation fabric, but as I was sorting through the ties, I wanted to use a larger piece of the tie in each block.  My son and I played around with the ties, and came up with the idea to use the large end of the tie as the focal point of the block.

If I used four tie ends, then I could use strips to fill in the rest of the block.

This is my plan, drawn on the back of a large envelope in the mail pile.  Oh how I admire those of you who sketch designs on graph paper, with colored pencils, oh so nice and pretty.  Me, well, as you can see, I don't ever usually work this way.  I have to take advantage of inspiration when it hits me. Anyway, here is my sketch, or should I say "rough" draft?  I think I like it, and it uses almost the entire tie.

My first steps were to disassemble the tie, gently lay it open and press, and I mean gently.  These things are so bias stretchy it is crazy.  Often I used the design on the tie to help me know if I had it smoothed out even and not stretched.  Then I ironed featherweight interfacing to the back of the tie.  I work on a teflon sheet, (I think I actually bought a baking sheet, like a silpat wanna be at the kitchen store) so I don't have to worry about getting sticky stuff on my iron.   If the interfacing is larger than the fabric, that is okay, because it won't stick to the teflon sheet.
Here is an opened tie with featherweight interfacing ironed to the wrong side.  With the fusible interfacing, the fabric had more support, and kept it's shape while I worked with it, cutting and stitching.  I still have to treat each piece carefully, but the interfacing makes a huge and wonderful difference.

I made templates using a cracker box.  I do have template plastic, but this cracker box was oh so handy in my moment of inspiration, so that is what I used.  I disassembled about twenty ties to start with, and cut the large center pointed piece from each tie.  Some ties were large enough I could cut two large pieces.  The rest of the tie will be used for the strips, and I'll explain that in another post.

I am enjoying this project, but I can see it will take a loooooog time to complete.  So far I have made pieces and strips from about twenty of the over eighty ties I have to work with.   This is how I have started, and I will keep you posted on progress.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pam's quilt

This is a beautiful little quilt made by Pam, and I totally enjoyed quilting this one.  I enjoy all the quilts I wok on, but I especially had fun with the curved cross hatching.  It seems like I have been doing a lot of cross hatching lately, so I guess I better like it.  I like the order it gives to things, being able to divide a border easily, and make a new design that compliments the design in the other borders.  I used  Ronda's Rulers.  The fabric was Basic Grey, Curio.

Curved cross hatch with feather accents

The outer border
I need to apologize for the next photo of the whole quilt.  I don't know how you all photograph your entire quilts.  I see it done all the time, so I know it is possible.  

I used the curved ruler in each border, but the angles and size changed, so the design changed, but with each design having an arch as the foundation, they all worked together.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thank you Mary

I feel special.  I would like to thank Mary at Addicted to Fabric for awarding me with the Liebster Blog Award.   I am still figuring this blog stuff out, and to have someone notice and "award" my blog makes me pretty happy right about now.  The Liebster Award is given to smaller blogs (those with fewer than 200 followers) as a form of recognition and support.  What's not to like about that?  I have to keep reminding myself that every one started somewhere, and it is the support of other bloggers that helps us all connect and share with each other.  I have learned so much from other peoples blogs, and can only hope that I can give something back.  So thank you  again Mary, and I hope anyone reading this will check out her blog.  She always has something clever in the works, and her machine quilting is beautiful.

What is a Liebster?  

"Liebster" means "dearest" or "favorite" in German.   

As a recipient you are expected to:     
Thank the person that nominated you and link back to them.
·         Present the award to five other blogs
·         Let them know by commenting on their blog
·         Post the award on your blog

As a Liebster recipient I would like to award the following blogs:
Newbie Jen at Closet Quilter
Linda at Razzle Dazzle Quilter
Kathy at Tamarack Shack

I know the guidelines are to pass this on to five other blogs, but I don't yet follow too many blogs, and when I make a recommendation to you, I want it to count.  So for now, there are three.