Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ready at last

I haven't been sewing any quilt projects this week but working on a jacket to go with a dress to wear to my nephew's wedding. And I am happy to say that it is finished! It was a very simple pattern but it did take a few days since I wasn't sewing all the time. The most amazing thing is that after I chose the dress I found that I already had fabric that would match the dress. It does pay to have a stash. I can now share a picture of the jacket with the dress. It is really a relief to have that finished. Maybe I can even do a little quilt sewing tomorrow.

It has been a while since I made any clothes and I have to say it is not as much fun as making quilts. Quilts don't have to be fitted and if you make a mistake, you can always hide it with applique. Not so easy to do that with a dress/jacket/top/pants. Did I say pants? That for sure is one item of clothing I will never make.

We have our small group quilt meeting on Wednesday. My block is finished but the only show and tell I have is some fabric I bought. No finished products, oh my. Can't wait to see what everyone else is working on and to get our new block for next month. Always fun to see what others have done.

I'll be back tomorrow with more pictures.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Art Museum visit

I just got back from a trip to Allentown, PA and a visit to the Allentown Art Museum. I went with some of my quilting friends to see their special exhibit of old quilts. The quilts were pretty amazing. Partly because they are so old and have survived the test of time. No pictures were allowed so I can't show them here. I do wish I could show you the stitching on them. There was one white quilt that had stitches so tiny and close together that your eyes crossed just looking at them. None of us could imagine actually doing the hand stitching on them.

Some of my favorites were the redwork ones. I have always been interested in those and think that would be a great take-along project. There was another one that had been made by a man who cut apart US flags - didn't know that was allowed. It was thoroughly enjoyable and gave us all some inspiration. You know, when you want to stop what you're working on and start something new!

Of course, they had a lovely gift shop and lucky for us, all quilt-related items were 30% off. I think we each found something to buy. A few toile fat quarters for only $2.00 + 30% off. You just can't beat that! I also found this cute little ME tin that will be perfect for small projects. Just need to start some.

Had to share this little zipper bag that was made from tape measures. They are woven and the bag is a great size for little supplies.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have to share!

Just read some great ideas at Rae Ann's Stash Manicure about recycling and stash storage. Some great ideas and terrific pictures. Be sure to go over there and check it out.


Friday, August 27, 2010

The first step

Yes, I did take the first step toward making the quilt. All the fabric is cut and ready to go. I was hoping to get started on Friday but now have another project that is taking precedence. And it is another sewing project.

I am going to my nephew's wedding on Labor Day and finally decided what I would wear. Unfortunately, the dress needs a jacket and I have to make it. The fortunate thing is that I found the fabric for my jacket in my stash. Not the quilting stash but the clothing stash. It is just what I need and a perfect match. How lucky is that! I did have to go digging a bit since it is all behind the quilting fabric now. So, I will put aside the quilt and work on the jacket tomorrow instead. So many projects, so little time.

I just saw a post about Friday Pretties on I Love Pretty Little Things blog so I am posting a few pretties of my own. You should check out her blog. She has some gorgeous pictures from the Farmers' Market. Nature at its best.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A journey (or a quilt) of a thousand miles (stitches)...

I am getting ready to begin. I think I finally chose the pattern and sorted my jelly roll strips so that I can begin tomorrow. It is after 10 so not really the best time to get started. I was home all day today and spent the day catching up with myself. Unfortunately, the sewing was at the bottom of the list. It was a rather gray day but I didn't mind at all. I even kept the windows open all day and while it wasn't cool it wasn't too hot either.

I am finding myself with a mystery on my hands. As those of you who have been reading for awhile know, I did sort and store my stash a few weeks ago. I was sure I had a container for all my sunflower fabric but now I can't find it. You know it is probably right in front of me. I stood in the closet staring at the labels and just can't find it. I have a friend who felt that once she told someone that she was searching for something that something would be found so... since I just told all of you, maybe I will find it. I want to put my new fabric away so it is in the right place. I am trying to stay organized!

Time to get ready for tomorrow. Iron my clothes, etc. and then tomorrow I will take that single step (cutting and then stitching) to make my next quilt.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How does that always happen?

I just got back from my local quilt shop. I went there to pick up my fabric and pattern for the $5-practically free quilt. Each month they give fabric and the pattern for a new block. You pay $5 at the beginning and if you go back with your completed block each month you get the next one free. So... if you go each month and make your block, it is almost free. I wasn't able to go last week so I went today and paid $5 for the new block. So, that should have been it, right?

All of the quilters out there know that just doesn't happen. I looked around and look what hopped into my hand. Some beautiful sunflower fabric for my collection. It is just gorgeous, don't you think? I did get a free pattern when I bought the fabric so that should count for something.

It is a great day here. Much cooler and even with overcast skies, it is lovely. I turned off the AC and opened the windows. At least until it rains. I love it. A good day to sew.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Very impressive

I went to the re-enactment at the Moland House in Warwick Township, PA and I must say I was very impressed. The weather cooperated and it was a great day for families to come out and spend some time seeing what life was like during the American Revolution. There were so many interesting people and displays present. I'm posting some pictures to give you a flavor of the day. And to make you appreciate what we have now. Can you imagine wearing their clothing with no AC. Phew!

The Moland House, sometimes referred to as Headquarters Farm, was one of the places where Washington camped and as their sign reads, did actually sleep there. Love the bedpost in the picture. They had something for everyone there today. The plants/flowers in bottles were all native to the area.

Among the crafters present there was a quilter working on some applique and a woman making bobbin lace. I could have watched her for hours. It was fascinating watching her work and pretty amazing to see that she could work on the lace and make conversation at the same time. The bobbins were really fascinating and each one seemed to be different and have its own story. Lovely! This may become a new collection. Don't you think every quilter should have a collection of lace bobbins?

The couple in the picture are friends of mine (they will kill me for posting their picture) but I have to tell you about her dress. I made it over 30 years ago for the Bicentennial celebration. I wore it to school that year for our celebration and then passed it on. It has been a colonial lady and also Raggedy Ann. While it is beginning to fade it still looks pretty authentic. They didn't get rid of clothes when new styles came out. A lesson for all of us in that...

Friday, August 20, 2010

They just keep making more!

No sewing or quilt shops today but a lovely day anyway. I went to lunch at a Cheesecake Factory but alas no cheesecake. Had a wonderful chopped salad that I really enjoyed. As if that wasn't enough then I went out for dinner as an early birthday celebration for someone who will be 80 in September. The amazing thing is you would never know she is that old if you saw her. We should all be so lucky to reach 80 and be in such good health.

I wanted to share this picture of the little bit of fabric I bought in Atlanta. The shop is filled with bright, happy fabric and I did pick out a few fat quarters to squeeze into my suitcase. I did not realize it at the time but they all seemed to blend together. Might even have to use them in a quilt together. But did you ever buy fabric you just don't want to cut, just in case it isn't the perfect pattern for it? But we also know that they just keep making more... The fabric at the top of the picture is a Kaffe Fassett print I bought there. You certainly can't accuse him of being drab.

Tomorrow I'm going to a Revolutionary War re-enactment in Bucks County at a house that Washington once used as his headquarters. I have friends who have worked hard to open it for tours and I promised to help in the gift shop. If I'm lucky there might be a quilter there!

Lucky me!

It was a perfect weather day here on the East coast. A good friend is visiting from Texas and we decided to head to Spring Lake, NJ for a little shopping and to give her a chance to look at the ocean. She hadn't seen either ocean for more than two years and really needed a fix.

For any of you who live in this area and have been to Spring Lake you know how lovely it is there. The homes are amazing, each one prettier than the last, and they do have some very cute little shops to visit. No fabric shops but still a good day. After lunch and some shopping we drove down toward the water. The weather was perfect and we found a spot to just sit and watch the ocean.So nice and very relaxing.

The lucky me part comes from having the chance to be on both coasts and see the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans less than one week apart. Pretty darn amazing. And, as one friend commented on seeing the pictures - they look pretty much the same. No one was in the Pacific when we were there due to the cooler weather. Not too many were in the Atlantic since it was later in the day and a cooler day too. Can you guess which is which?

The answer - top is NJ and bottom is CA. Did you guess right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home again, safe and sound!

I just returned home from a wonderful extended weekend in Atlanta and LA. I went to Atlanta to attend a wedding and went via Atlanta to stop off and visit my sister and brother-in-law. It was a whirlwind but well worth the trip.

The wedding was on the beach in Santa Monica and was a beautiful ceremony joining two lovely people. I must say that it was fun to be there and especially to listen to their very unique wedding vows. The weather was perfect and a welcome respite from our 90+ weather here on the east coast! Had the chance to drive down the coast a bit and loved seeing the Pacific Ocean. It looked like it might be very cold since hardly anyone was in the water.

Of course I wasn't able to to do any sewing while I was away but when I got to Atlanta my sister and I did stop in at one of my favorite quilt shops there. Did buy just a little bit of fabric. I really was holding back. Had to get my fix by buying a few quilt magazines. I'm wondering if any of you have one favorite that you get all the time and read from front to back? I used to love Quilter's Home when Mark Lipinski wrote it but not anymore. Now I'm looking forward to the new Mark Lipinski's Fabric Trends which comes out next month.

Noticed that someone asked about quilts made using jelly rolls so I thought I would post a picture of one I made last year. This was made for a friend who lives in Texas so I used the blubonnet fabric that I bought a while back.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Almost ready to start - in AC'd house!

Yes, I am happy to say that my AC is back in service. Now keeping my fingers crossed that it won't leak into the kitchen again. But for now, I have air. It did make me realize that going without let me go back to my childhood summers when it was okay to just sit and relax or read because it was so hot. Is it a good thing that air conditioning lets us stay very, very busy?

Anyway, if you can read backwards, you will see that I got the new jelly roll book, Jelly Roll Inspirations. So many ideas to use your jelly rolls. I like the two pictures I posted and will have to pick one to get started. I think I am ready to make a choice. The otherproject can't be shared since the recipient sometimes reads this blog. That will be a secret until finished and given away.

What is your favorite jelly roll pattern? I love how they can be used in so many ways. And I do have my jelly roll sampler blocks to put together too. Hmmm. That is a pattern to think about too. Too many choices.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hot, hot, hot and a great find!

Just when you think it is safe to go back in the water...

I know I didn't have AC when I was growing up but now that we are used to it, it is a bummer when you don't have it. I noticed that my AC was leaking into my kitchen. Oy vey! This happened to my neighbor a few years ago but I think I may have caught it quickly. Called for service but don't know when they will come. I know I'm not the only one with a problem. I think going without AC builds character! At least, that is the story I'm going with right now.

On a happier note, I got the rest of my new windows today. Woo-hoo. I love them. And while I was putting the house back in order I found this yard of sunflower fabric. Not sure where or when I bought it. It was buried in a basket. I guess there is a reason to clean sometimes. (Yes, Carol, if you are reading this, I did say that!)

All I can say is, thank goodness for good windows and ceiling fans. I can make it through the night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ready to start the next project but can't choose a pattern

I am happy to say that I found fabric in my stash that I think will be perfect for the wedding gift quilt I plan to make. This is Moda American Primer jelly roll. I like the various muted colors and think it will be perfect for what I'm planning. (The colors in this picture are not true. I used my Photo Booth on my iMac.) Now I am pouring over my Jelly Roll books to choose the best pattern. Anyone have a favorite?

My cutting table is in the background and you can see it is not being used for cutting at the moment. I have some other fabric I was considering and also a pile of Quilting magazines. I'm trying to go through them and if I don't mark a pattern I want to use, I'm giving them away. Sad to say, most of the magazines I've checked so far do have at least one page flagged. Did I say I plan to live to be 120 so I can make all the quilts and use all my fabric?!!!

I hope to make a decision soon so I can start to sew. It has been a few days.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A quick post and a gentle thought

A friend shared this with me and I wanted to pass it on.

Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made. And give. Give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than how it is shared,... and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace."
~ K. Nerburn

And a gentle picture...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Not exactly a design wall...

I'm not sure where all my time went today. I expected today to be my day at home but I did have to go out to the post office and to drop a return at UPS. Well, that seemed to take longer than expected. I went to two separate locations but the box I had was too big to fit in the drop box. I was so frustrated that I decided to make my stop at Jo-Ann's which was one of the stops on my list. It was a lucky choice since I ran into a friend who offered to drop it off for me at a UPS drop near her. Thanks for saving my sanity, Lynn.

While at Jo-Ann's I did find some fabric for a jacket/skirt or shawl. The fabric is draped on the blue dress. Haven't decided yet. I'm going to a wedding next weekend and another in September and of course that means the never-ending search for the perfect outfit. I have ordered a few things to try and I'm considering going back to my clothes making and make a jacket for one dress I have. I just cut the top off the green dress in the picture and will try to turn it into a skirt. All kinds of plans. Hope one of them works.

But, I did manage to get one block sewn tonight. This is the Dutchman's Puzzle that Dru showed us at our meeting the other night. I think there is no right way to put this together but I think I like the pinwheel that mine made. I like getting these monthly projects finished right away. This is a change for me since I usually work on them the day before! Progress has been made.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No sew day, oh my!

Never did get to any sewing today but it was a great day anyway. I went out to meet a friend for lunch in Peddler's Village. For those not from the Philadelphia area, it is a beautiful shopping area in Bucks County. Too hot to really walk around too much but I did take a few pictures to share. The flowers there always look so pretty. They change with the season and are very well taken care of. One of the shopkeepers pointed out that in 5 weeks, they will be putting up the scarecrows. Hard to believe on this very hot day!

After lunch we went to a few dress shops to look for a dress to wear to a wedding. My friend found, with my help, I might add, a lovely, floaty dress to wear to a summer wedding. It is such pretty summery colors. On the way home I stopped at a friend's house and stayed for dinner. Love those serendipitous summer moments. And I might add, dinner was delicious.

Hope to get back to some sewing tomorrow but do want to share the finished organization of the fat quarters. Now the organizing project is complete. Must get back to planning a few quilt projects too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A delightful evening

Our small quilt group met tonight and there were lots of wonderful quilts, blocks and fabrics being shared. We met at Lynn's house and had the chance to show the quilt blocks that we made from the same pattern. It is so much fun to see how different they all look. Once again we all have our color palette.

After showing our completed blocks we had some general sharing. Cindy showed us a fabulous tee-shirt quilt top that she finished. This is her second one so she is our resident expert. Fran showed us a wonderful blue and yellow quilt she completed for her daughter. The colors and blocks were simply beautiful. I think she said it took her 5 years to finish it. Lynn shared a quilt that had been given to her by another quilt group when she completed her master's program. Blue and green are her favorite colors. She also shared some great fabric she bought on her trip to the southwest. Great colors and patterns.

Now for our homework. Dru brought a completed Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block and gave us the pattern. We even have 3 different ways to make the same block. Once again it will be interesting to see how they all look when completed. By next summer we will have 12 completed blocks, enough to make a completed quilt. I love the low pressure way of making a block a month. It never seems quite as daunting.

Since Lynn is our most experienced quilter we begged her to show us some of her completed quilts. We loved them all. I think I may have promised not to post any but just had to show this one that she paper-pieced for her daughter. Simply wonderful.

Quick note on my giveaway. Two of the winners have already gotten their fabric. So happy that they each got their first choice. I'm still waiting to hear from my last winner - Vivian. So disappointed that you don't have your fabric yet. I will wait until tomorrow evening and if I don't hear back from you, I will pull another name. So... if you commented on the giveaway, you may still be a winner.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A delightful and productive day - couldn't have been more perfect!

I was lucky to be able to stay home today and even had the windows open. It got a little more humid today but not too bad. I know I'll have to give in to AC tomorrow but sure enjoyed the fresh air today.

I started the day with my treadmill and weights so I could sew later on without guilt. The treadmill does taunt me when I don't get on it. Managed to finish two blocks today. One was the 15 minute play. I think I need to go back and reread the tutorial. I'm not really sure that I did it right but I do like how it looks.

My other accomplishment was the last block in the Moose on the Porch Jelly Roll Sampler. I loved this one. It was so easy but I love the block. I put all the blocks together on my "design wall" just to see how they look. Not sure how I will finish it. My design wall is a cardboard tube covered with white flannel that I hang from my wardrobe. Not the best but it works in a pinch.

Since I don't have any pressing deadlines, I took the time tonight to sort through my fat quarters. Did you ever notice how many different ways shops package their fat quarters? Rolled, triangle, folded... I had to try and get them in a similar fold so I could put into containers.

Have to share this new find with you too. I found out that I can have my phone calls displayed on the TV when my phone rings. Great for when you are sewing or in the middle of something and don't want to check who's calling. Hasn't been set up yet but should be in a day or two.