Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Humble Pie

Well, every one has their day when they get to taste a little slice of the ole humble pie! Mine came. Our little quilt group had a mystery quilt project, which was snowed out. We got our instructions and worked from home. My first clue should have been when I had to cut out 160, 1 1/2" squares, but oh no, I was so excited to work on my first mystery quilt. Things progressed well, and I thought I was doing just fine, but the very first block didn't want to stay square. RED LIGHT moment, but did I see it? Not!!!

I stitched and stitched and put row after row on, stretching when needed to get it together. I was so in love with every row that was added. The many mini-flying geese were fun to put together, but what????? I was short those little 1 1/2" squares????? I was so careful to count. I chopped up more fabrics and kept going. What I didn't realize was that I had cut way to many of the bases for the geese, so when I was done, I had many many more than I really needed. Oh well, they can go on the back. It will be great! I plug away at the finishing touches and I am still stretching where needed to get things together. Then a big "WHAP" in the head, I stand back to admire my lovely creation only to find that nothing but nothing is square, and it stands out like a sore thumb. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I decide to take it right to the longarm and get it quilted. That will fix it! :-) Not so much. It was a beast to quilt, with all thoses little flying geese on the front and back. The bulk under the hopping foot was way to much, and I ended up ripping out (frogging) as much as I was quilting. For those who are not familiar with longarm terminology, frogging is ripping. Get it Frog---rip it, rip it! :-) Now I am done with this little beauty. I just want it bound and out of my hair, while I have still have hair left! Keeping from tearing all my hair out had become my biggest challenge of the day.

So there you have it. We all have those days and those challenges on our road of life. We can rise the the occasion, or we can just trudge thru and let it go by. Occasionally we probably should rewind and start again, hoping to make a fresh start, which I know is the hardest choice. Did I do that? Oh no, I just trudged thru it. Another one of those darn little life lessons from quilting again! Geesh! Will I ever learn? :-)

Anyway, I am keeping this less than beauty of a quilt to remind me, to stop occasionally and smell the roses, so to say! Screaming thru life doesn't always work out to my advantage. So there you have it, Humble Pie! My favorite is Coconut Custard, where did I go wrong!!!!!

What kind of pie do you love?????

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stack the Deck Again

Like I told you, I just can't seem to get enough of this great technique. I am going thru my stash like gang busters and having so much fun not having to match anything. It is really quite "liberating". Notice I use that word instead of "brainless", but it pretty much is the same thing! :-) At least in my mind anyway! Its a great little treat no matter what you call it.

With all the snow and rain of last week, I had a little flood in my basement studio! ARRRRGH! So working on anything has pretty much been restricted to mopping up the mess and moving things around. It is the first time we have had trouble in years of course and it had to be in my room. So with luck, I will manage to get the carpets shampooed this weekend and things put back together. I hate taking the time from my sewing, but what can you do?

On our little quilt show outing a few weeks ago, my friend and I found a wonderful little pattern for the cutest wall hanging I have ever seen. So there you have it, a little teaser. I am going to try to get that started at some point in the next week. I can hardly wait to share it with you. It made me laugh like I haven't laughed at a quilt in a long time.

Until then, happy stitching, and be sure to look for something that tickles your funny bone.

Monday, April 20, 2009

First "Real" Customer Quilt

I have been quilting for family and friends for awhile now, but I actually did a real customer quilt this week. It was such a treat. I am so honored that my co-worker Rena, entrusted me with her quilt top. It is such a bright and happy quilt. The back is a great plaid that has all the colors of the top in it. A perfect match for the quilt. This was a special project for her. She cut up her prom dress for it. Now that takes courage. She did a great job in finding other fabrics to complete this memory quilt top. What a wonderful way to preserve something so special, and lets face it, if we could get into our prom clothes, would the style be anything we would ever be seen in again???? Speaking for myself, that style went out many many moons ago. :-)

I've done a few memory quilts, mostly with photo's on them. I had a great dream, to write a quilt book one day, with different ideas on memory quilting in it. Even stitched up some samples for this book. Now, it will probably never happen, but it sure was fun to play with. This quilt has brought it to the forefront of my mind again. Now I'm in trouble. More stuff rattling around up there! Never fear though, you most likely will never see this phantom quilt book. :-) So... if I am not writing, what the heck can I find around here to cut up????? Gotta run and do some searching!

May you search for your dreams this week!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Finish

I love finished projects! This one is so bright and cheery. It took me a very long time to warm up to the Brights. I have long been a lover of the Thimbleberry prints and the darker warm colors. Not sure why it took so long to make the leap to the "bright" side, but I so love the looks of them now!

This is from a class with Karla Alexander. For those who have been lucky enough to take a class with her, you know she is an absolute doll! She was a great instructor, and taught me things I would have never guessed I didn't know about using a rotary cutter. Yes there is something new to be learned around every corner, it seems or should I say "seams"!

This quilt was completely from my stash. I love when that happens. Nothing better than seeing something come out of what's on hand. It's like a freebie quilt, so much better than a "I've got a coupon, and it's burning a hole in my pocket book" quilt! :-)

The book for this beauty is called Stack a New Deck. You start with 9 3/4" squares, stack them, free hand cut them, and yes there is a method to the madness, then shuffle the fabrics and stitch them back together. The first set was scary, to say the least, but by the end, I had no problems taking wild curves on. That is truly when it becomes a blast to sew. This was so much fun and fast, that I immediately had to start another of her quilts in the book. Yep it is pieced and quilted and looks nothing at all like this one. I need to stitch the binding down on that, and I will get it posted. I am really feeling inspired now to try out landscape quilts with the stitched strata, and Ricky Tims Convergence quilts. My mind tells me it's much like the same type of technique. Of course my mind could just be plum crazy!!! hehehe

For those of you interested in "Stack a New Deck" there are about 18 different projects in the book and every one of them is very different. All free hand cut and I promise you, will be more fun than a barrel of monkeys! If you have stash like I do, it's perfect.

So what is more fun than monkeys in a barrel to you?????


Monday, April 13, 2009

French Braid

And as I promised the completed French Braid quilt. This was such a fun thing to put together. I didn't imagine it would be as easy as it was. This is the first quilt that I actually went and bought all new fabrics for. That was the hardest part of the entire process. Picking 12 fabrics and a border proved to be a very long process. Thanks for all the great help from the shop employees. I love Holly's Quilt Cabin,here in Denver, where I found these wonderful fabrics. For those who have not tried this yet, it is so much easier than a log cabin quilt, and it is fast. Completely doable in a day! Yeah, I love those kind of projects, where you see immediate progress.

Still need to finish binding my other quilt top and I have yet another on the longarm. Hope to have photos up very soon on those.

Have a great stitchin week!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hoppy Easter! :-)

Not a typo, just thinking about that Bunny coming to visit tonight!

Had to share this little project with you. It is such a perfect size for those who either have little space or little time, but still love quilting. I found this little triple quilt hanger and pattern line at a quilting show here in town. I fell in love with all of them. They are Pearl Louise Designs and each quilt is 3 1/2" x 8 1/2". She calls them "Itty Bitty Quilts for Itty Bitty Places". You can find them at

All these pattern books that I have collected, ran immediately thru my mind. With resizing options, I would be able to work just about anything into something this size. What a perfect way to decorate for the season, or holiday. A fun way to celebrate a birthday with a photo of the birthday person or a small collage of photos. They would take little more than scraps to complete. I have been reading up on art quilting lately, and have started to collect supplies to play with it a little. I am thinking that would be a perfect way to show off my masterpieces when they are done. Sometime down the road of course. The one thing I have managed to learn over time is my first try isn't always the masterpiece that my mind thinks it is!! hehehe

I will wrap up this week by stitching down the binding on 2, yes 2 quilts that I not only pieced but quilted this week. It was a good week here. I love the feeling of finishing up things, and 2 projects in a week is almost unheard of for me.

Hope the "bunny" brings you all the things you love. I have just found the joys of Milky Way Carmels. OK, I confess, I broke into the goodie bag early. Between them and the Dove dark chocolate eggs, I have been a naughty girl this week! But it's worth it, and besides I hear that it's hormonal! I can't be held responsible for my hormones right? :-) :-) :-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

One more week and we can start hunting Easter Eggs! My hunt was this past weekend though. I am just back from a trip down to Pueblo, to a Quilt show. We hunted up some wonderful new ideas and saw some dynamite things. Wow, do those gals in the guilds in Southern Colorado do some great work. The quilting and designs we saw were beautiful. We turned the little trip into a great weekend get away. Rented a suite in a hotel and took our sewing machines along with us. I managed to finish piecing a quilt top from a class I took a month ago, and my friend got her blocks for a stack and whack done. Nothing better than a box of wine, a sewing machine, and friends to pass the time of day. No phone calls or distractions, it was a very productive and fun weekend. I highly recommend it for everyone to try! I promise to share some of the wonderful finds I made in later posts! Just want to keep you in a little suspense ya know!!!

The table runner posted today, is the one I sent off to my Quilted Table swap partner who lives in Australia. It is also from the pattern that the Valentines day wall hanging was from. I just changed up the colors a bit. The bunny is from one of my favorite baby quilt patterns Bees, Bunnies and Bears by Desiree's Designs. It just seemed to fit so well into this runner, that it has got my head thinking about parts of other patterns. If I took this piece of that pattern and that piece of another. Oh wow! I just might be on to yet something else that will make me loose some sleep. My mind seems to like to work best when my body wants to rest! Go figure. LOL!!

Today I am taking a class for the French Braid quilt. It is one of those books that I had to buy years ago, and have done nothing with. I am anxious to see this project by days end.

May your week be filled with good food, great quilting adventures and wonderful friends. Nothing beats it!