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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Resolutions

This was hard to do--list all the projects I have started or at least have fabric packs or kits for quilts that need to be made.  This will make it really hard for me to go to a quilt show and buy something.  Ha ha!  That will never happen.  Anyway, I'm putting this list on the side of my blog and will mark off when they are done.  Do you think making the list itself is a good enough resolution? 

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stylish Hats and Ornaments

Well, now that the holidays are over, I can show everything I've been working on.  First off, my sisters and sister-in-law decided year ago to exchange ornaments each year instead of other gifts - however the ornaments must be hand made.  Here are the ornaments I made.  (Some of these are for my niece and nephews too.)

Here are the ornaments I received.  The wood cut ornament my brother made and the wreath from my little sister.  My older sister made these wonderful family cookbooks (picture to come later) instead of ornaments this year.



Here are some needle savers I made for my art friendship group ladies, Loose Threads.  I didn't get a picture of the wooden reindeer I made for my Material Girls.


Here's the rag quilt I made for my step-daughter.


And on to the stylish hats, my niece asked for hats for Christmas.  When asked what kind of hats, she looked at my sister-in-law and said "Stylish Ones".  Okay - so my mom knitted or crocheted this hat for her.


And I made this fleece hat for her.  (I made the same hat in black for my older sister.)


And my younger sister, Bev, got this hat for her and had it embroidered (along with the apron, a cookbook and spatula.)


But the saddest hat of Christmas was this one.


This is our Jack Russel "The Guy".  He had back paw surgery last Tuesday.  They thought it was cancer and we were looking at amputation or the final sleep, however on the 24th we got the  preliminary reports that the tumor was benign.  Whew!

The saddest part of the holidays for our family was that my mom spent the time in the hospital.  She had a leg infection, and some of the medicine she took effected her kidneys.  She's on the mend and was able to come home on the 26th.  Thankfully it doesn't look like permanent damage on her kidneys.  Now my dad has been having some ear trouble and they think he has Bell Palsey - but his side of his face is swelling and his eye is watering.  He has more test on Thursday. 

Resolutions for 2010 - I have never really done resolutions, but I think this blog might hold me more accountable.  I see some people have projects they want to finish on the side of the blog - thinking of doing that.  We'll see. 

Have a great and safe New Year. 
Sorry this is all centered - can't get it off in blogger for some reason.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Paint Chip Challenges revealed

Every year my friendship group has a challenge.  We usually decide in December or January what our challenge will be and then we reveal the challenges at our Christmas party.  Today was the day of the big reveal.  I gave each person a paint chip with 5 or more colors on it and the challenge was to make a quilt using at least  5 of the colors on the chip, we could add one more color and it must have at least one bead on it.  I took pictures of the finished quilts with the paint chips, however the glare from the camera bounced back on the chip so some are hard to see.  I belong to such a talented girls.

This is Kathy M's quilt and her paint chip.  It was great that her chip matched the fabric line exactly.


 Dear Rita B.  had the pattern, the material and just picked up her fusible to work on the quilt but at bowling that night, she tripped and broke her wrist/arm and it was in a cast for 8 weeks so she was unable to work on it.  We can't wait for her to heal enough to make this beauty.


Debbie V. said this beauty took her 5 months.  I can believe it.  The 9-patch blocks are so very small but what really makes this quilt is is her machine quilting.


Adena's colors were pastel and after playing with several colors decided to use the taupe color as her additional color.  I love the combo - so pretty.  I know that at 8 last night she hadn't even pieced the border - amazing what she did at Cut Throat Quilters last night.



Barbara B. made this garden quilt.  She was one of the few with quite a few colors to choose from and she used  most of them.  She even painted on a few of the items.


Deolinda only had 5 colors on her chip and she didn't even need to use another color.  She hand quilted with the big stitch which gives this a cool look and she used beads and buttons all over.  
Janice M. did NOT like her paint ship and figured she'd hate the quilt.  However, like all good quilters she took the challenge and made a piece of art and she said she really likes her quilt now.  She used all kinds of techniques - folded, pleated,  beaded (which she does my machine).

Elaine forgot her paint chip but she said she didn't think she'd like her quilt since she didn't really like her paint chip either.  I love it and so does she.

Here's my piece.  I hinted at this and showed the paint chip in an earlier thread here.

Anna K. did an amazing job with her piece.  Last Saturday when we did the studio tours, she had the background done and on her design wall which I thought was pretty in itself - but look at this!  Another work of art.  She used velvet for the grapes and some wonderful trims for the vines and all the fabric was shiny and sparkly and so pretty.

Sue was inspired by a postcard she got at the Cambria Pines Lodge of an old barn.  She heard a few of us talking about our latest design book lesson on being inspired by photos so she took on that additional challenge.  The colors are perfect match to her paint chips. 

Diane's beautiful handwork just shines in her challenge.  She's our expert hand appliquer and she outdid herself again this year. 



These three ladies (Pam, Sheila and Lynn-Marie) all had invisible quilts.  They chose not to participate this year but cheered us on.


Carol C. challenged herself to finish some started projects this year instead of starting a new one and she accomplished finishing these 2 very large quilts.

Lunch was fantastic and as usual we laughed and had a good time.  Thank you Diane for hosting us again this year.    We decided to do signature blocks this next year - however we each said what colors or theme we wanted our blocks to be and then we will meet in June to get our blocks.  Then we have until December 2010 to put the blocks together.  What fun!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Quickie


Putting up my Christmas decor today (still not done) and decided this cake plate needed a little runner to go under it so I pulled out my scrap therapy basket and pulled out some white and red 2" squares and started sewing.  This sits at the end of my counter. 

Had a nice and quite Thanksgiving - just my husband and I but we did up the whole meal, even pumpkin pie.  Had it all again today.  YUM! 

All I have to do now is put up my Christmas tree and clean house.  However, I needed my husband here to help me set up the tree and he took off this morning so I could decorate without him getting in the way.  Nice guy, huh? 

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Am I Crazy?

I felt like I had to organize before I started any more projects.  So I took this (a box for each color, a box of Christmas fabrics, a box of batiks, and a box of novelty/other fabrics)

and folded and organized and pulled out pieces that were smaller than a fat quarter, to this...

And with all the scraps....

I cut up into 5", 3 1/2" and 2" squares for Scrap Therapy and this is what I got

to add to all my other boxes of cut up scraps.

So, am I crazy?  Or just organized?  Should I be really crazy and sort by color too?  I unfortunately don't have time for that.  Oh, if you need any squares of a particular color for your scrap quilts, let me know.  I have enough scraps to make alot of scrappy quilts.

I will now start working on the guild's Opportunity Quilt.  I was asked to machine quilt this beautiful quilt - and I AM NERVOUS.  This quilt top is exquisite and it demands custom quilting...and they entrusted that to me.    I will have to take time off to get my Christmas gifts done, and some other small projects. Luckily I wasn't given much of a deadline - they want it by January. 

And just because they are so cute, here are my 3 dogs basking by the stove to keep warm.   Oh, and the Jack Russell automatically goes to the small basket.  He loves it even though he looks too big for it.  It's quite funny especially since the smallest dog goes to the biggest sleeping bag blanket. 


Happy Quilting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm a lucky girl!





This is my custom built cabinet made by my husband and father-in-law.  I had a nice cutting table before but there was so much wasted space under the table, so after much research and discussions with my father-in-law, I asked if it would be possible to put kitchen cabinets back to back on a rolling base and they said sure.  One of the cabinets I wanted had all these flat drawers which I thought would be perfect for all my stamps and scrapbooking stuff - so my mother-in-law said, just get the basic cabinet and Al can custom build the drawers.  (Nice of her to offer!)  So after waiting for a sale at Home Depot for the ready-made cabinets, and the time for the men to make it--I finally have a finished cabinet.  I spent yesterday painting the trim around the edge and the flat cabinet drawers and then it was all about filling it up.  All this stuff was sitting on the floor and it started hiding my quilts on my rack and also I had about 4 or 5 of those plastic iris carts filled with scrapbook stuff.  I have made one side of the cabinet scrapping and the other quilting.  Can I just say how cool this is? 

On a quilting note, I took Barbara Dieges' Twisted Bargello class on Saturday (guild sponsored class) and I finished the inside of the top, it just needs borders and then quilting.  However, I am on a roll for organizing and I plan on going thru each of my fabric boxes (in my other cabinets you don't see and was also custom built by my father-in-law years ago) and refold and organize everything and cut up the smaller pieces into scrap therapy squares.  We'll see.  I did my yellow/browns last night and it was my smallest box and I have a huge file of fabric scraps to cut. 

But for some pretty things- here are my ATC's that I traded at the guild meeting last Thursday.  The theme was cornucopia - fruits and veggies. 


Enjoy your day.  See ya when I finish my next quilt - or maybe when I finally organize all my fabric boxes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Scrap Therapy Quilt finished



This is the Lightening Strikes Twice pattern from http://www.scrap-therapy.com/
I wasn't sure about the pattern from the pictures on the pattern, but when the owner of the quilt shop where I take Scrap Therapy did it, I really liked it.  I love how I got rid of so many scraps for this quilt.  The only material I had to buy was the outer border fabric and the backing (which I got at $4 per yard.).  I think this is a pattern I might even do again.  Makes a good sized quilt and looks more complicated than it is.




And here is one I really can't take much credit for.  I bought the blue work pattern when I went to Massachusetts a few years ago, meaning to make something for the beach house.  However my mother-in-law did a redwork pattern, liked it and asked if I had anything for her to work on.  Plus she wanted a new table runner for the the beach house table so I showed her this and off she went.  She did everything but the quilting and binding.  That I did for her.  I love how it turned out.  Exactly how I imagined it when I bought the pattern.  (By the way, the pattern is called "Out of the Blue" Bluework Seashells by Blueberry Hill Quilt Designs.)

The wedding photographer from Kelly and Chad's wedding in the Bahamas has some of the photos on his blog.  The link is here Sylvan Gentile Photographer   He did such a beautiful job on the photos and these are just the photos on his blog.  I can't wait to see the full portfolio of the wedding.

We had one, yes ONE, trick-or-treater last night.  A cute little devil girl came to our door about 5:30.  We normally don't get any because we live on a street without any street lights, and I tease my husband each year because he buys at least 2 bags of candy.  At least this time it came in handy.  He is responsible for either hiding or getting rid of the remaining candy so I don't get any.

Until my next finished product.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

International Fabrics



This is what I got on my trip to Nassau, Bahama this past week.  We, my husband and I, were there for almost a week for my step-daughters wedding.  I'm glad I can say I saw The Bahamas, but I have no desire to go back.  I did, with the help of my in-laws, find this fabric shop that sells these Bahama Hand Print fabrics.  At $29 per yard for this cotton poplin, these two small pieces were all I could afford.  I think I'll make a nice pillow for Kelly (step-daughter) with these fabrics and I'll embroider their names and wedding date on it as well.  It's perfect because their house colors are aqua and brown. 

It's not that I didn't think The Bahamas weren't beautiful, because it was, but I am not a sunbather and my husband is not a touristy kind of guy so we pretty much didn't do too much except walk around the resort and drink.  It was nice the first 3 days because there were wedding things planned (rehearsal dinner even though there was no rehearsal) and then a meet and greet the first day.  The people of The Bahamas were so friendly and no matter where you were you also got friendly answers.  My in-laws and I got to see the real Bahamas on a bus ride home from the fabric store - we are calling it our great adventure. 

Here's a picture of the bride and groom, his parents, me and my husband.  I have to admit that it was a very humid and hot day.  Luckily every now and then a breeze would come up to keep us all from dying.  The wedding was beautiful and Kelly, her mom and her new mother-in-law did an excellent job in all the organizing.  It was an idyllic setting, casual but beautiful. 

And for the title, international fabrics, I have these to add.  These are the fabrics that my mom and sister bought for me while they were in Holland.  I just asked my mom to get me a yard of fabric.  But look at all the goodies they brought back. 


Such beautiful fabrics.  I just have to figure out exactly what to make with them.  They are so special so the project has to be special too.    Any ideas for these fabrics would be appreciated. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Loose Threads and I'm Off



We had our Loose Threads meeting tonight and we played with the color wheel.  Adena, the teacher among us, made little cards to label our blocks.  The blocks above are mine.  When I had them up on the wall, everybody asked me if they were trains.  I said no, it was a design I picked up from a scrapbook page.  However, looking at them all together they do look like a train.  Adena took then and will make a train quilt out of them.  Love that they will be put to use.  I would just have them in the pile of the other blocks from the other projects. 

Here are the rest of the girls blocks. 

Deolinda and Sara actually made complete tops/quilts with their blocks already.  (Deo's on the left, Sara's on the right.)


Adena (original GREAT design), Grace (boomerange blocks)  and Anna's (own circle design) blocks.  (Oh yes, those are wine bottles in each of the shots.  We do imbibe a bit at our meetings.)

And the best news, we leave tomorrow for the balmy, Bahamas for my step-daughters wedding.  So excited.  Was busy today at work getting stuff done and now after the meeting, I did a little more packing.  I feel very comfortable with our house/dog sitter - I left her enough instructions --I hope I haven't gone overboard.  But,  each dog has their own quirks and with one mostly blind, another partially blind and another very hyper dog, they each need special attention.  Good thing she like dogs. 

So no work to show for a while.  I will miss reading everyones blogs though.  I will have a lot of catching up to do when I get home.