Monday, February 28, 2011

Love those simple blocks

Our quilt group is meeting tomorrow night. We usually have a block to make but last month our meeting was canceled so we were each on our own. As usual, I am down to the wire so I chose to make a very simple block. We seem to have been making stars and mine is a very simple one. This was one of the layer cake quilt-along blocks. It is a disappearing nine patch but with a slight twist. Not all the original squares were 5". I like the variation and will certainly have to remember this one. And it is sort of a star...

We had a gray and rainy day here today but it was certainly warmer. I think it was supposed to reach 60 today and it sure felt like it. Days like this make you believe that spring is really coming. When I went out for the papers this morning. This is what I saw. Don't you think those bags look like spring? I don't think I've ever seen the papers in those colors before. How spring!

Inside the house I'm ready for St. Patrick's Day. I found this lovely runner at the Irish Shop the other day and just couldn't resist. The Kitchen tree is ready too. I was surprised that I don't have as many ornaments on this tree. I think that could have been a bad thing to notice.

I thought I would share this quilt with you. I bought it at a local quilt show two years ago. It was a real find for only $35! They said that most people buy them to cut up and make pillows and stuffed animals. I couldn't let that happen. It is hand-stitched and while it has ragged spots, it is a treasure. No label so I have no idea where it came from. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tribute to Christchurch

 Whenever I read or hear news stories about the earthquake and its destruction, I think back to the trip I took there two years ago. We were only there for a day and night but found it to be a beautiful city with wonderfully friendly people. It was our first stop in New Zealand and we managed to explore it and see enough of the city to begin to appreciate it.
I thought I would share a few pictures I took while there. It is sad to think that so much of this has been destroyed in the aftermath.

Be sure to check this blog, to find one idea to send support and encouragement to the people of Christchurch, which I believe suffered the most damage in the area. She has a simple idea which would be easy to mail when completed.

Two views of the beautiful cathedral that was pretty much destroyed.

No really good excuses but I haven't done any sewing for the last couple of days.  I need to organize, (it's those missing sewing room fairies again!) and then make my one block for our quilt meeting on Tuesday. And then I can dive right in to the baby quilt I'm making.

Have a great week!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Great giveaway - just had to tell you

A quick post to be sure you heard about this wonderful giveaway. Greetings from Geralyn is celebrating her 300th post and is giving away a ton of Mary Engelbreit stuff. Go here

and check out her giveaway and her amazing blog. And if you're in northern NJ be sure to check her store. It is wonderful.

A rainy day here. Great day to sew!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time to re-organize

As you can see from the new picture at the top, I love St. Patrick's Day. I just finished taking down Valentine's Day and getting ready for my favorite holiday. I celebrate being Irish all year long but especially this coming month. The picture at the top is a table runner I made in a class. It was quilt as you go and I loved making it.

And we will start moving from this... this!

The Asian quilt made its way to its new owner. As you can all relate, I held my breath until it was safely there. It was insured but you all know that no one can pay for the time and love that goes into making a quilt. So happy...

Now home safe and sound. Yayyy!

Now I will move on to the baby quilt. My deadline is March 12th, I believe. But then, as you saw, I do my best work under pressure. I may get it finished and wait until the baby is born so I can add the name, etc. to the label. It won't take long to get there once it is finished.

I just watched the episode of Enough Already! when they visited the quilter's home. If you didn't see it, it was pretty overwhelming. The owner was the leader of a Quilts of Valor group and really had allowed it to take over her family room. They cleaned out her room and gave her a fabulous sewing room in the garage. I was salivating at the shelf space and organization. And kept thinking what Peter Walsh would say to me if he came to my house. Frightening thought.

Anyway, before I can sew I think I need to organize and purge just a bit. And that is good news for all my dear readers. As soon as I do that, I must have a giveaway! Stay tuned.

Love cute containers for things. 

I hope everyone has a good night. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pressure helps!

I have a finish! And since I work best under pressure, that is what helped. I finished the Asian quilt for my friend's mother and will get it in the mail to her tomorrow. I can't wait for her to get it. She really liked the one I made for her daughter so this one will be a baby one for her. I used all fan material for the backing since she really likes fans.

I was on a rush to get it finished because they returned to the US today. I have had the material for quite a while but it just never made it to the top of the pile. I was flummoxed once again with how long it takes to hand sew the binding on. It is very relaxing but not when you are in a rush. But it is finished!

I have another win to share with you. I won this darling charm pack from Cathy at Wondrous Woven Magic. It is just too cute. You can check her blog at Be sure to check it out! I sure am one lucky sewer.

Here in the Northeast we are waiting for yet another snowstorm. It isn't supposed to be really big but snow nonetheless. No way to be sure how much since I think the forecasters just love to blow it way out of proportion. 
This fabric should help to chase away the winter. It is called Fresh Flowers - just love those words on the fabric. And the other fabrics in the line are just so happy! 

Did anyone watch the show on the OWN network? Peter Walsh, the organizer, visited the home of a quilter. I didn't watch the whole thing yet but I'm anxious to see what he does with all her fabric. Hmmmm. When is too much, too much?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh, what a day!

The weathermen told us to expect warmer temps today and they were right. It was a sunny day and about 57 degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer and about 67. Spring is definitely in the air. I even saw the geese flying north. It is always amazing to see the unmistakable V formation.
Since my house gets the afternoon sun and the snow is slowly dissipating, this morning I noticed my daffodils beginning to poke up. Before long, they will be in full bloom. It is beginning to look like the groundhog may have been right.

 Since I don't feel like waiting for the real flowers, I have these little flowers in my house. I love the simplicity of them.

And then, I made a quick trip to buy some black fabric for the Asian quilt and look what I found. I thought the greens just shouted spring. And then there is that buying fabric now before the price goes up.

I hope that spring is beginning to make its way to your area, wherever that may be. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love that mailman!

Not only does he deliver the mail, he also brings lovely packages of fabric to my door. Today was no different. Today he delivered the fat quarters I won from Anna Luna at the Crafty Girls Workshop. This black and white and red fabric is absolutely delicious. I love the Eiffel Tower fabric and all the red dotted fabric too.  I'm so very lucky.

The total is 11 Fat quarters. I really can't wait to use them in a quilt. Thank you Anna Luna. Be sure to stop by her website and check it out. I wish I lived close enough to visit her shop in person. 
Take a peek at her blog there too. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine flowers with a twist

These flowers were sent to a friend of mine by her husband. I know, they are not the usual pink, red combo for the holiday but these are even better. First of all, I love the blue but her husband wished her a happy pitchers and catchers report day! She is a huge fan of the New York Yankees so he used the blue and white in his flower choice. Isn't that great!? 

I'm starting a new project tonight. These are the blocks for an Asian disappearing nine-patch. I'm making this for the mother of a friend of mine. She had a fall and quite an adventure in Tokyo so I thought she deserved an Asian quilt. I gave my friend an Asian quilt for her 60th birthday and her mother really liked it. Now she will have her own and believe me, she has more than earned it!

For those of you who weighed in to what happened in 1988 and why did my class make a colonial quilt? The consensus is that the school was celebrating the bicentennial of the signing of the Constitution. And since I have no other idea, I'm going with that. 

And one final thought for the day, they are saying the price of cotton is really going up! Could those of us with a huge stash really be ahead of the game? Do we need any other rationalization for buying fabric now?

Monday, February 14, 2011

I thought it was safe...

I went to my Quilt Guild meeting tonight. Usually it only costs me a dollar or two to enter the raffle, etc. Well, tonight, there was a woman there who had closed her quilt shop and she was selling fabric for $2.50 a yard. Who can pass that up?!! I only bought two pieces and spent about $13.00. I did put one piece of fabric back, even though I really liked it. Aren't you proud of me?

Our speaker tonight was Terry Kramzar. She is a fiber artist and shared some amazing quilts with us. Her sunflowers were absolutely life-like. She shared her adventures as an artist-in-residence in the Everglades and at the Grand Canyon. She had some amazing adventures. Each of these residencies resulted in a quilt.

Now, as my friends and family know, I think that if you start a collection or a craft, you should have all your supplies and/or much of a collection, right away. (Right, Carol?) Well, one of my other crafts is stamping and making cards and scrapbooks. Well, today, the two crafts collided when I got my latest Stampin' Up order. Can you believe how cute these stamps are and they now have fabric to add to that stash? Yikes. Looking forward to creating something with this.

We had a bit of a warmup today and I finally took my Christmas lights off the bushes. Finally. They were even starting to get to me. And I raked up a few leaves that were gathered around my front door. Of course, now there are more there because the wind blew them there. Oh, well. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One quilt top - check!

I finished the top. With everyone's advice, I decided to finish each block with the green and then use the dark blue for the border. The red is in each corner. I am so excited to have it finished and now just have to wait for my turn with the hand quilters. I didn't have a good place to hang for pictures but just had to show it here. I still can't believe that this design started as a mistake with cutting the fabric and became a quilt design that I love. Just really can't wait for it to be all finished so I can give it to the wedding couple.

I do plan to work on the backing so that I'm all ready for my turn. Hope it comes quickly.

I also wanted to show those of you in the cold parts of the country. Spring is coming. When I was at the grocery store today, I bought daffodils! When I got them they were closed up and just tonight they were already opening up. Don't you just love them?

I stopped in at Barnes & Noble today to buy Mark Lipinski's Christmas 365. And of course, it was in with the quilting magazines. Just had to buy the Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine. One of the things I found in there was fabric by Sharon Evans Yenter for In the Beginning fabric. The line is called Housework Whenever. Love it. But especially loved the quote, "A clean house is the sign of a broken sewing machine." Can we all relate to that?!!!

Happy Valentine's Day to all. Hope yours will include some really good chocolate. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Back to the beginning.

I took quilting lessons when I retired from teaching 5 years ago. I had sewn since junior high but only clothes. I thought that the quilt I made in that class was my first quilt but I was wrong. 

In 1988 I was teaching first grade and the whole school had to make a colonial project. I decided to have the children draw on fabric blocks. I ironed over the coloring to make it permanent and then put them together into a QUILT! My very first. We hung the quilt outside our room during the celebration. 

The children were a little disappointed when I didn't let them take it home. No way to parcel this one out and so I kept it for me. So glad I did since I do enjoy this one every day. It is on the arm of the chair I sit in and when I look at it I can remember the children who made it. 

My one problem is trying to figure out why we were doing a schoolwide colonial celebration in 1988. Can anyone think of anything? 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh, Yay! A Quilty kind of day

I found out today why it has been a good idea to have a friend pick up my Saturday Sampler block. Even though I then have to pay $5, it is way cheaper than actually being there and, you guessed it, buying more fabric. Went to Pennington Quilts today, just across the river in NJ. I did get my free pattern and fabric for the next block and as you can imagine, just had to look. They have some fabulous fabric there. The shop is great too because it has so many windows to make it light and airy.

I did buy some random fabric but then also found what I think is the perfect backing for the wedding quilt. It is the Pure line of fabric which I have loved but never could figure a way to use it. I also want to use the blue birds on the other fabric in some way. I love the words and I think they are the perfect way to finish this quilt. I did make the decision about finishing the quilt top. I'm going to use the same green to square up the block. Then I'm going to use the darker blue for the border and red for the binding. I'll work on that tomorrow to get it ready for the hand quilters.

The rooster fabric on the right was 50% off. Just couldn't resist. Also a little taste of Sunkissed. 

On our way home from the quilt shop, we stopped in Peddler's Village to see the quilts on display. It was a competition and the first prizes were definitely the best. It was so nice that they also had a kid's competition too. 

Now sewing resumes tomorrow. Watch for more updates in my next post.