Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blooming 9-Patch

When my friend Ruth called to ask if I wanted to go to a quilting class with her, I didn't hesitate. Then, she brought over the book she had bought me for the class. Yikes! I was to say the least, "NOT" impressed. The photo on the cover was done in wild big bold floral prints. Not my favorite by any means. I know we all have our preferances, and mine run towards the outdoorsy side. More lodge look for me. I just couldn't wrap my thoughts around this quilt. Even looking thru the book, I couldn't get a feel for it, until I got to the page on assembling the blocks. Ok, now I at least see different colors. So I went thru my stash, and managed to pull together enough fabrics to make this quilt, that I didn't really like at all. The blessing, was that I wasn't going to have to buy any fabrics for it, and I was using up my oversized stash. Class was very fun as always, and I loved the quilt, the instructor showed us, so I got a little more comfortable with the thing. What I didn't expect, was to end up with a quilt that I just love. Now I know that the colors draw me, no matter what the design is, but in the end I really love this pattern. Could it be any easier? Nope! Yet another plus. If you want something truly fun to make consider the Blooming 9-Patch.

Since class, our great instructor Suzie has emailed more photos of different Blooming 9-Patch quilts to me, that are just outstanding. It was an eye opening lesson in looking past the photo and seeing your own favorite fabrics in it. That is a tough one for me. I am a very visual person, and don't tend to see outside the box. But I have to tell you, it's a delightful surprise when you can do it.

Life's lesson 101, don't judge a book by its cover. Once you get past the packaging and see it for itself, things tend to come out much different in the end. Hummmm Who knew that quilting would be such a great teacher?

Let this week bring you something positive to ponder!

On that note, I am packing and getting ready for a very long awaited trip to Alaska. I know most people prefer somewhere warm, but Alaska holds a place in my heart like no other. I am desperately needing a fix right now. It's been almost 6 months since I was there last. Ok the little detail of my youngest son living there plays a part of it too I guess! :-) His birthday is St Patty's day, so I go up to party with him, after all it is every childs dream to have their mother visit every time he turns around isn't it??? I have been busy getting some things done this week to post while I am gone. A special little St Patty's treat, and I promise to share some photos of the beautiful winter on the Kenai Penninsula.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kim's Big Quilting Adventure: St. Patrick's Day Project!

Kim's Big Quilting Adventure: St. Patrick's Day Project!

Check out this blog for a fun little St Patties Day table topper. Looks like it will be great fun, and what a nice tutorial she put together.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quilters tote bag

This week was a busy one. I attended two classes. The first one was the Blooming 9 Patch class which yielded a beautiful quilt top that needs some borders yet. I'll post that when it is done.

The second one was with our little quilt group yesterday. We made a tote bag that is large enough to carry our mats to class and all of our supplies in one bag. This monster is 26" wide and 21" tall. There are a ton on pockets inside and we added even more pockets on the outside. Gail our "great" instructor for the day even had us add little tabs to the top of the sides so if we are carrying anything tall in them, we can velcro them down at the top keeping them from flopping out as we carry the bag. She has such great vision, which was a "must" when it came to constructing these things. The pattern was very hard to follow. The instructions were poorly written at best. This would have definately been a UFO in my stash, had I not had Gail's help putting this together. I'm no pattern designer myself, but WOW, this one needed some help. One of the funniest things, was when the pattern called for us to cut 26', yes foot, long pockets. Now who's got a car that can handle a 26 foot long bag????? :-) :-) Half of us had patterns that called for 2 pockets on the inside, which was needed, and the other half had patterns that called for 1. I was a 1 person! Bless Gail for trudging thru making her bag, and sharing her learning experiences with the rest of us. We ended the day by stitching up the cute little carrying bags for all our sewing supplies out of the scraps. A big thanks to Gail for a wonderful day and a successful finish to this very useful bag. I can hardly wait to fill it with my supplies for next weeks class.

Colorado Quilt Council is bringing in Karla Alexander. I am taking a class for her "Bent out of Square" quilt. We need 60, 9" squares of assorted Batiks. From what I can tell, we stack them, chop them up, shuffle up the pieces and stitch back together. Looks very intersting. The lines are slightly curved, so I look forward to learning some new techniques and tips. I can hardly wait, and will keep you posted.

May you conquer "your" challenges!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I finished my table runner for Feb yesterday. I have to tell you, it
was not my favorite pattern when I first saw it. But then I
remembered that 2 foot tall pile of nickels that I have been swapping
for a couple of years now. So I decided to just get them out and
start to use them. I was stunned at how much fun it was to watch this
come together as I was working on it. I even used a new pantograph
that I had been wanting to play with on it.

One of the lessons I am finding in life is that it is way to easy to
say "I don't like that". Last year I got motivated to loose weight. I
used that ole "I don't like that" saying a hundred times when they
had me eat different foods than I was used to. After all, I did love
the brownies and cookies that replaced my main meals most the time.
Well, surprisingly enough, I found that they really were not as bad
as I was sure they would be. I have found that I do really like, or
I can say "LOVE" grapefruit now, and yes I do love this nickel
patchwork table runner. Even the ric-rac tickles me!

Life is sure a growth experience isn't it? I hope you can open your minds
to all the possibilites life has to offer. The journey is a wonderful one,
and the results will stun you too, I promise!

May your days be filled with wonderful possibilities!

This runner is a free pattern found here:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentines Day

It's almost here. Are you ready? This little wall hanging gives a warm feeling to the cold days of winter. It was very quick and the 6" blocks are a nice size for small projects like wall hangings and table runners. In fact, there is a matching table runner to this, because I couldn't count and cut way more than enough pieces. :-) The receipient of the runner should be getting it in a day or two. So she shall remain nameless. This pattern was from the Uncommon Thread Quilt Guild. They have a wonderful site full of great free patterns. Check them out!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bucket Lists

I was able to wrap up the week with a couple of big finishes. First of all, a co-worker and friend Laurie is running in the Boston Marathon this year. After the movie was released last year, we starting talking about our own bucket lists. This was top on her list. With a little prodding, we convinced her to go for her dream. Since the Boston Marathon is a fundraising event, there was that little matter of the $3000 to enter the race. We have banded together at work, to support her not only from the side lines, but have made a commitment to help her raise the funds for the race. She is racing for Paul Newman's "Hole in the Wall Kids" gang. What a great cause. Thru bake sales and some big ticket items, we are hoping to be able to raise at least 50% of her entry fee. My contribution is this quilt. Monalisa will be donating a gourmet food basket and her services to come to your home and cook a gourmet meal for you. Now that is right up my alley! Someone cooking for me, OH YEAH, baby!!!

Back to that bucket list thing. What's on mine. I have to say starting this blog was one of them, and trying the new things, I keep telling myself I was going to do, is the next. In respect to the quilting world of course. I just can't seem to get enough time to sit in my studio and sew, but when I do, I am in heaven. So I have broke out all those books, that I just "had" to buy for the past few years, blown off the dust and have them all set out. This year I am going to use them. Each and every one of them. :-)

That leads to the other finish this week. Last week I made the great fabric out of my old thread. I saw a wall hanging out of it. Well, this week it happened. One of those books I pulled out was by Laura Wasilowski. If you haven't seen Laura's work, it is great. After watching her on the Quilt Show, I ran out and bought 2 of her books. Fusing Fun and Fuse-and-Tell. She irons fusible web onto her fabrics, then just starts cutting them up. No patterns, nothing to trace. What, is she crazy! I personally have no talent when it comes to the art world. Can't draw to save my soul, which I am told anyone can do. Anyone but me that is! I don't doodle, which is a huge handicap with longarming. But it still intrigued me. Keeping my bucket list in mind, I threw caution to the wind and started in. Well, I tried to just start cutting, but HOW, just HOW do you do that?? So I drew a vase. Good thing I started there. As the height of the piece made the vase look like a midget. Ok, lesson #1, scale. I think I remember that term from my high school art class last century. Once I managed to get that a decent size, I put paper and pencil away and took out those scissors. Yikes, what I really wanted to do was run screaming away, but my mother taught me to never run with scissors! Ok make a cut, don't make the cut, make the cut... It was horrible. Just chopping up fabric with no rhyme or reason, especially when you have no art sense. But after a few chops and some strategic placements, I found a bouquet of flowers growing. Suddenly this was a game that was quite fun. I saw things grow out of this little endeavor, and yes, maybe I did remember some of my high school art class teachings. So hats off to you Laura Wasilowski, your a genius. Who'd a thunk, you can actually make something out of your imagination with a pair of scissors. I urge everyone to give this a try. The one word of wisdom I have to share, is play and play, then go to bed and sleep on it. I thought I had out-done even Michaelango that night, but in the light of the morning realized that there was much more to do. Every little piece of fabric, no matter how minute, makes a big difference. Take the time to play with color and detail. I have much to learn with this, but it was the spark that peaked my interest. And yes the thread cloth has a new found home as back drop to this little art quilt.

May your imagination lead you this week!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Post Cards from Home

I have just finished up some post cards for our service men and women. Victoria a member of the Fun Friendly Yahoo group has a son in Iraq who is working at a hospital there. She has put out a call for our help in making cards for the soldiers who are recuperating. What a wonderful thing to do! Fun Friendly is a fabric postcard swapping group. It is a ton of fun. I have made many good friends there. If your interested in the group, we would love to have you. And if you are interested in helping Victoria with her endeavor, please contact her. Below is the letter she put out to us.

My son is stationed in Iraq for the next 4 months. He is
volunteering to work at the base hospital on his one day off after
working 12 hour shifts. This is his second tour and he volunteered
at the hospital the first time around also. It would mean so much
to the soldiers recuperating in the hospital to hear a little
something from home. I was trying to figure out some way that I
could help the soldiers overseas. And then I thought , why not send
postcards to cheer them up, give a little hope, ease their fears and
let them know that they are not forgotten. So that is why I am
starting Operation Postcards From Home. I have received Joy's go
ahead with this project. I am asking for everyone's help to make
this successful. Please read below for the full details of my plans
for this project. Reach into your hearts and touch a soldier's
heart with your kindness by sending a Postcard From Home. I thank
each and everyone for your help with this project.

1. Make postcards any style and as many as you choose to make(no
postage or envelopes would be needed for these)

2. Address the card to Dear Soldier:

3. Please put FunFriendly someplace on the card.

4. Add words of encouragement, hope, praise, thanks, get well soon,
uplifting thoughts, anything positive.

5. Add your return address if you desire, cards can be distributed
without return addresses, if you wish to remain anonymous

6. Send all cards to me(in a manilla envelope, padded envelope,

7. As I do not have individual names of soldiers, I will mail all
postcards to my son, who in turn will distribute the cards to as
many soldiers as possible in the hospital.

8. I will be collecting cards from February 1st through April
15th. If I can get a contact at the hospital, I may be able to
extend these dates.

If anyone has any questions, please email me at
Please use Postcards from Home in the subject line of all emails.


Victoria, my envelope will be on it's way to you tomorrow. I hope any of you reading this, find it in your heart to help Victoria out. It's a small thing that I am hoping has a big impact on some soldier who needs a pick me up!