Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Mail day!

Happy mail! I won a giveaway from Joanne earlier in the moth and it came this weekend!

Its all the parts and pieces to make a red and black tumbler quilt that she used her GO to cut, and she included two borders as well! Thanks Joanne! Can't wait to get started on it!

Other things I have going on... well..
When I got my machine back last week I made these up to use as test sandwiches. They will grow up to become pot holders or big coasters.

I also got an email that my favorite discount fabric store was having a pre-inventory sale, 30% off, so I drug the kids down and got this nice pile.

I have to admit I already had a fair amount of the two Sandi Henderson Farmers Market prints, but.... with the discount these were less than $3.50 / yard. I got out of there with only 10 yards of fabric which I think was showing considerable restraint.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Playing favorites

Today, this is my favorite quilt of all time. I just got it done and am calling it Bricks and Waves.

This is the first time I have used the wavy stitch for quilting, and I think I am in love. It was perfect to off set the squares and rectangles and mimics the lines of the rick rack which is also am item that I adore.

The fabric is Moda Authentic by Sweetwater with a Classic Neutral from Paint Brush studios thrown in which is also used for the backing. The solid squares are Kona Cotton in Bone and the binding is Kona Cotton Black. The finished size is 40 x44.

One last shot... because I am lov'n the green and blue of the tree and sky with the brown fence.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

She's Home!

Yes, the Bernina is home! (none too soon I might add) I cleaned up the mess from the party before taking the picture, but we have celebrated her return and are ready to dive into the items that have been waiting for her since she is the only machine I can machine quilt with right now.

Happy mail day this week when my fat quarter bunch of Early Bird arrived. I am a tad disappointed, though I can't put my finger on why. I have been hoarding the scrapbook paper from this collection for over a year now and had such high expectations for the fabric. I do wish they had included the print on the far left of the papers as fabric, as well as the dots.

Today I decided to make my own version of a Kona color card with what I have and how much of it. If I have a coupon for somewhere and I don't find anything I want/need I end up getting a yard or two of a Kona since I always can use that in something. But, I was going through my solids and found that I had 3 pieces of green grass! With my card in tow next trip to J's or HL with a coupon I will know what I have already at home.

Last, but not least, the final three pinwheel blocks (cue hallelujah chorus). I do love these blocks but I am so happy to have them done! I am going to set them aside for a bit while I catch up on quilting before sashing and completing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

I have this dream every month of being able to participate in the Friday Night Sew In, but till now something has always come up. Last night, dad and the girls decided to watch a video and I decided to sneak off to the sewing cave :)

I was able to complete the two blocks that were almost done as well as 4 more blocks! I now only need three more which are cut out and ready to sew! I hope to get to them this weekend because I just got a call that Miss Bernina is ready to come home! Yeah! I can't wait to start quiting up some of the projects that have been waiting.

Today I am sharing the sewing cave with dd2 who is making some serger edged wash cloths to send for Craft Hope's latest project which is cloths to be used to clean wildlife impacted by the gulf oil spill.

Friday, June 18, 2010

finally something is done!

My daughter asked me to make a bag for her friend's birthday, so I was finally able to sink my teeth into something and get it done! This is the Lickety Split bag by Made by Rae. I have made a couple of these and they come together super easy and the pattern is easy to follow. The recipient is a fan of lime green so my daughter picked the colors accordingly. I made it reversible so I used a pony tail/button closure rather than the magnetic snap I use for a non-reversible version.

I am so happy I have something to share for Sew and Tell!

Meanwhile, the pile increases of projects that are unfinished waiting for the Bernina to come home. I will be set to share for awhile once she gets home!

More pinwheel progress. These blocks are almost done.

These are so cute I just had to share.... FQ I scored at J's the other day! I got two sets using a 50% coupon. This is Merry Mushroom by Windham. Its so very '70's retro!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quilt along madness

When I updated my layout I also updated the buttons I was carrying and got rid of the ones that were no longer relevant. I am still carrying the Pinwheel Quilt Along button because I am still working on the darn thing :)
When I looked in the bin that I had the Pinwheels in I found I had been deluding myself that I was over half way done. In actuality, I had 6 (3 sets) done. I had cut out the rest of the blocks that Rachael provided tutorials for, making a total of 14, and I decided that I wanted 20 blocks total, so I got set up for the remaining blocks. Of course I picked the easiest blocks to make duplicates of, and these are the 4 that I got done yesterday.

All of this came about because I wanted to start on a new quilt along hosted by Crazy Mom Quilts. I have been hanging on to a jelly roll and a charm pack of Hope Valley since they came out and had not found a reason to cut, but this seemed like the perfect project for them. I had also just picked up 4 yards of one of the basket weave prints on sale so I had the backing ready to go!...

only problem is that I could not in good conscience start another quit along when I had two that were in progress (way behind in progress). I rationalized that the postage stamp quilt along was a life long project and I could not be held accountable for completing it. That left the the pinwheels for which I had no excuse other than a loss of momentum.

This left me in a moral dilema that I negotiated as follows: I can start the new quilt along, but, as I had just completed the active project I was working on, the pinwheels went to the front of the line and were now the official project in progress.

Twisted I know, but it works for me :)

Best part is neither required the additional purchase of material!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Changing things up a little

I used the new blogger templates to update my layout a bit. Hope you like it!

I added a couple of new things in the last week as well. One is a link to Unashamed Missions Group web site. Last year my husband went to Honduras with UMG and this year the whole family will be going in July for a 7 day trip that will include construction, medical, kids VBS activities and in general, to make Him known.

We are just completing the required shots. Friday its off to the county health department for typhoid which is the last of them. I am sure I will have pictures to share when we get back in mid July.

In the mean time, I am trying to lose another 10 lbs before the trip. I have 4 weeks to go. In March I decided that I needed to lose 30 lbs before the trip just so that I would feel better and be able to keep up. By the end of May I had reached that goal and determined that it was not unreasonable to target another 10 before the trip. To the end, I linked up with Stephanie and the ladies she has gathered for the Wednesday Weigh-In. They are on week 4 now, I joined late so I am on week 2, but it is great to know others are working on a shared goal and that on Wednesday you have some accountability to report on progress.

Wednesday Weigh-In Challenge

Last item that I have been changing up a bit is my work space. This pictures the 4 sides of my space.

The glass top table is where the sewing machines normally are, but the Bernina is in the shop and the pictures were taken when I was using the Green Beast ... I mean Beauty.

The cubbies share with my scrap booking supplies that have not seen much use lately. I actually took two cubes away from SB and gave to sewing this week. The containers on the top of the cubbies and elsewhere are my in progress bins. I try to keep everything in a single place for a project while I am working on it then if it gets 'shelved' I can get back to it without scrambling.

Don't know if you can tell but the cutting table is tall, work height which is wonderful!. The couch is used by the girls if they are watching a movie (TV is in the cabinet that I closed for the picture), but most times the couch has my projects laid out on it. Right now it has all 4 of the quilt tops/backs that are waiting for the Bernina to return. You can see the ironing board sticking out in a couple of the pictures, but it is at the end of the table and I can set it to be a little extension support when I free motion quilt.

This is where I spend my days when the girl are at school or for the summer at camps. I try hard to not be here if the rest of the family is home, but sometimes its hard to come out of my cave!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fishies and Backlog

Love these little fishies!

My girls are teenagers so I don't normally do much with this type of fabric, but, in the spring I went to a yard sale where I found almost 3 yards of this in a bag with some assorted other fabric scraps for $3.

The bottom 4 are the yard sale finds, and I found some assorted others that went along from my stash.

I decided to make a disappearing 9 patch, a pattern I see a lot, but have never done. Cluck Cluck Sew has several great examples that inspired me to try the pattern.

Meanwhile my stack is growing of tops and backings that are ready for quilting. I got all the stitches picked out of the authentic brick (that's that name today... I keep changing it) so it is ready, again. I also completed both the RWB brick road and the double hour glass. I am super excited to get both done to show you.
The Bernina hosts both the walking foot and the free motion capabilities, so everyone is waiting for her return. And yes... I seem to be big on Rick Rack these days :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good thing she looks pretty

The Green Beauty is one of my prized possessions. I bought her at a thrift shop with the cabinet for under $20. I took her to the machine man who replaced the belt and the bobbin casing, oiled her up, and gave her a clean bill of health. She has been sitting there in the corner for about 6 months now, neglected and unused (other than stacking material on the cabinet) till yesterday when I decided to try her out.... well, I think she may remain lonely and neglected because the Green Beauty is a beast. She is loud.... I mean really loud, and she kinda stinks, that oil machine smell, and she keeps going after I stop! I know that this is a function of physics... but it is annoying.

I still love her, but, I think that actual use will be limited to maybe monthly to keep her moving and just on something like long seams to join backing sections. Actually, to not hurt her feelings, I think that is what I will do is designate her as the official backing machine!

Now to go complete those hour glass blocks. I promised myself to get them done before I go to Joann fabrics where I have a 50% coupon from this weekends paper. I went through my list of projects (above) and identified three projects that are 'on deck' that I need kona cotton for. I figured out how much I need for them. I gathered fabric swatches, Oz, Hope Valley and Make Life and hope that for at least two of them I can use the same color so I can get it as one fabric cut for the coupon.
The bunny was left by my girls, not sure which one, in my little notebook that I carry in the car to make lists on. I am not sure why they decided it was under the jurisdiction of Bunny Law.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Projects in limbo

This picture is first mainly because I do not want the next to be the one that shows up on reader list :) but this will be showing up on one of the projects below.

The Bernina is gone. All that is left of the dust and lint that surounded her. (maybe its good she has gone on vacation at sewing machine repair land so I can/will clean the table) Poor Ott light is just laying there.

Meanwhile I have much work to be done on the wonky log blocks...

The yellow brick road ... but really its a RedWhiteBlue brick road....

ninteen double hour glass blocks done

five more requiring only the last seam...

So who will it be that gets to come out and play? The Necchi that has been in the corner (without her dust cover!!!ooops)

or, what's that? in the cabinet? The one that has yet to be used since being found at Goodwill and taken to be serviced and given a clean bill of health?

Yes! It is time to try out the Green Beauty! Lets see what she can do!
(other than sit there and look pretty)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I love a farmers market!

I need to give a shout out to my friend Christie who kept talking about her fresh eggs and convinced me that I needed to hunt some down. She had been going to the Dallas farmers market, but her vendor of choice was also at the Coppell market so about a month ago she decided to try that and invited me to tag along .... and I have been there every Saturday morning at 7:30 since!

My haul this morning, fresh tortillas and salsa from a local chef, tomatoes (every week I get a basket of 6), peaches, apricots, local honey and fresh range roving eggs.

This week the eggs were brown, last week they were a lovely light green.
Last week I got corn. I have also gotten grass fed beef sirloin steak (or a the hubs called it, a slice of a cow), gulf shrimp & crab & yellow fin tuna, trout & fresh organic cheese

And check out my produce bags! I take my grocery bags with me, ones I made or ones given away at the market once a year like the one in the picture... but I still was stuck with those thin plastic produce bags so I found this cotton mesh and whipped some up! I used the serger so they are nice and clean and wove ribbon in the top for a tie! They make me happy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cheating on the side

Shhhh... don't tell, but I cheated on my red white and blue projects yesterday.

Way back in early March I showed the stack I cut from the leftovers of my Rick Rack Rocks quilt. I took these on vacation and came back with the quilt top all done and last week on the fabric shopping excursions with my mom I got the backing fabric so all was ready. I really wanted to post with Amy's Show and Tell this week so I decided to set aside the RWB and quilt this puppy up.... well that was the plan.

First thing I decided was the the colors were drab and needed a boost, so I decided to add a strip of cream to host a strip of rick rack that again was left over from the quilt that rocks. Figured if it was good the first time, it would work again and I think it does. look at the difference!

So, drabs conquered, I spray basted (actually already done in the pictures above which accounts for the wrinkled look), did straight line stitching on each side of my cream strip and started to meander my way around the quilt. Ha!

First thing off I started meandering in my strip! Not the plan, so I picked it all out, switched sides and meandered again...

....to find that I was skipping stitches. At first I thought it was random and that if I sewed over to secure it would be hidden in the puckers, but then when I stopped I found that it was all over the place! Now I get to pick out thread again, on a fairly large area and I am not pleased. The Bernina has an apointment next week at the sewing doctor and I will put the Nicchi back in rotation, but the Bernina is my only machine that I can free motion on, so this quilt now gets set aside.

The moral here is, as our moms told us when we were small, cheater never prosper... or something like that, so today I am back to work on the RWB projects and will never leave them till they are completed, or at least ready to by quilted and I hope that will be by next weeks Sew & Tell.