Monday, November 30, 2009

Grumble, Grumble

I was working on something a little springy. I should not have started when I was so full I could hardly move. Plus, this is major-accuracy-needed piecing. Unlike the improv minis I've been doing for the last couple of months!

Luckily, I bought an Aviary honey bun for no real reason a few months ago. I totally screwed up EVERY set of three I originally sewed together and had to start over. At least they're pretty once done!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 is Fun!

I had big plans for a new table Thanksgiving table runner. But it won't make it any further than strips.

We're too busy having fun being four today!

Happy Birthday little buddy

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mini eleven: Figgy Wreath

The last one! My sister in law decided she wanted to keep the snow man mini , so I only needed to make one for my Mom (to make up for the extra mini I kept!)

I've had this paper piece pattern (I've bought several of her patterns - love them!) in my quilts-to-do file for quite a while. Now they're popping up everywhere and I thought it would make a pretty Figgy Pudding wreath.

Since I didn't need to keep with the vertical and fits-the-chair thing like all the others, I was able to make this guy a bit bigger at 18" x 15". My mom really liked the brown Christmas tree one, so I went with the dark background for the paper pieced geese.

Knowing I was making it for Mom, I used two of her favorite prints. The poinsettia and that wonderful red damask pattern.

I had to sneak in just a few more Munki Munki snowmen. They look at home with the strips on the back.

Mark finished up all the pictures of the Advent Tea. Here's a link to his SmugMug page if you're curious what all the tables were like.

Now, go look at the cool pattern Julie just put up with my beloved Figgy Pudding. I have plenty for extra fabric to make my own. And I was just thinking that this would make a great charger for the settings for next year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

OK deep breath

I head out for the morning run to the grocery store. My route takes me past the 5th grader's school.

There are 2 ambulances, 4 huge fire trucks, and firemen on the roof. Little bit of a freak out there! I, along with all the other moms that saw this as they ran their morning, pulled over and decided if we needed to have a major panic attack or not.

It turns out - not. My son's class was partying it up in the grass - doing the macarena dance. There was a fire in the boy's bathroom, put out and contained. But now there's smoke and water damage. The kids were all loaded onto buses and sent to my 7th grader's school where they will hang out in the gym and be fed some kind of lunch. A dream come true adventure day I'm sure!

I went over to enter for some Flea Market Fancy goodness. You should, too. I feel better now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Fabric mmmmmm

Well, to fill the void of a big project done, I found several fat quarters and a few patterns that needed a home. I must be thinking spring, looking over that collection.

If you have ever made a quilt from children's artwork - let me know. I have committed to making **FOUR** auction quilts, due in late February/early March.

Three are preschool, but I'm most worried about the one for 80+ 5th graders. How to have them make some cool fabric to use in a quilt, without it looking lame, and that adults will bid on. That's the question!

I made a flickr gallery (cool new tool!) with some ideas once the artwork is gathered.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spray N I love thee

I feel like I survived! That was one crazy weekend. It started with the 11 year old's Lego birthday party. I quickly made some Lego cakes - nicely tinted frosting. That nice frosting color was strangely attracted to their ears, shirts, carpet.
As I'm sure you can guess, I used the Spray N Wash more than once this weekend. The table quilt was on the receiving end of a server that doesn't know how to pour coffee. I think I was in shock for a second.
It all came out after two runs through the wash with the stain treatment (and a color catcher in the mix just to be safe). It looks like new - even better, now that it's all crinkly and soft!
Luckily I didn't wash it before the tea. It went from about 77" square to 73". That would have been a bit short on that 66" banquet table! As it was, I think it sat perfectly. Guess I'll have to make a new one if I do another tea!
My sister in law Laura (left), Mom (right), and I went over to the club at 10:00 Sunday morning to start setting up. I was worried about how the chair backs would come together. But they went quickly and perfectly.
A huge part of the fun is spending the time setting the table and chatting with the other women doing theirs. Things went so smoothly, we even had time for a yummy bowl of soup at the golfer's restaurant downstairs.
My Grandpa made that little stool the dog is on in high school - early 1930's.
My husband is a hobby photographer, so he came with his nice lenses and special flashes to get some good photos in the strange ball-room light. He was grabbed by so many other women, that he ended up taking pictures of all 28 tables. Once he has them all cropped and loaded on the SmugMug site, I'll add a link for those who are curious. This is one I took with my little camera of a candy cane table that I loved.
My table was in the front row, just to the side of center, right next to the priest's table! So we had a good view of the singers. Fr. Tom commented after the tea that all the women at my table were lucky to have been going home with the little quilts. He enjoyed looking them over. That was nice.
I did get a new name while there - a large number of women dubbed me "over-achiever". And it was fun chatting with several who were quilters themselves. One was sure I had sent it out or had a long arm - nope.
All my invited friends seemed to have a great time, and I think they liked their little quilts. A most wonderful day!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finished Tablecloth Quilt

I am done! This quilt will be the table cloth for my event this Sunday - at 77" square, it will just cover the top and the stars will hang at the edge. Hopefully any spills will land in the white area, for easy bleaching later! I'll be using it as a lap quilt after Sunday.

As I was lamenting how long it took to make one pass of stipple across the edge - after all those fun, fast minis - I came up with a plan. I quilted the double hourglass center on the diagonal, like a stained glass window. Then concentric squares in the boarders. The remaining stippling was super easy, and I lucked out with no bunchy wrinkles on either the front or back!

Speaking of the back, I used the Dvala Ikea sheet and love how it quilted up. Don't know what the shrinkage will be, I haven't washed it yet. So close to the day, I think I'd totally lose it if the washer ate my quilt!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

mini nine, mini ten....and more!

Last evening I committed to making two more of these Figgy Pudding mini quilts. But that's my own fault.

I'm in the final bits of preparation for the big event on Sunday, and that meant getting the seating plan done and deciding who gets to take home which quilts.

There was much moaning and wailing as my husband and oldest laughed at the spectacle and wondered why I was doing this in the first place! Because it's fun, that's why. Please ignore the meltdown I'm having, thinking about all these little quilts leaving.

So, I talked to my mom and sister in law and suggested that I could make their favorites again, and I would assign two more of my favorites to their seats. That way I can keep three of these little things that I just CAN. NOT. part with, and they get a totally custom mini. I think they're OK with that - or they heard the hysteria in my voice and agreed so as not to upset the psycho.

Mini nine is 'Whirling Skaters', from my whirlygig love. I made a 2.5" wide template so that I could easily cut each piece from a jelly roll strip.

I thought this fabric looked like it had been twirled on already by lots of happy skaters!

Mini ten is a small, shrunken portion of the free pattern that Moda had with the Figgy Pudding line. Totally lazy, I didn't want to do the quilty math to get the tree sections the size I needed. So I just drafted it to scale and paper pieced it. That worked out perfectly!

My new thing on this quit was to use an invisible thread. I didn't want any more busy swirls in the dark background, and I though a dark thread would be too distracting in those pretty, light blocks. It went much better than expected - I thought I'd have lots of breakage and tangled messes. Not a one!

The sun is finally out today, so I should get some good pictures of the table cloth quilt. I'll also be spending some quality time with my little quilts that will be leaving. I have to make sure I don't embarrass myself on Sunday by tackling the women as they go.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Aussies only

Want to trade for some fabric?

I want - no NEED - this book

Halt's Peril
Ranger's Apprentice S.
By John Flanagan

The whole family loves this series. John Flanagan came to our city, and he's as wonderful as the books. Fun, witty, great adventure.

Two Rangers and a Skandian - Halloween 2007

The US publisher is three or four books behind Australia, and they only come out every six months or so. I have ordered all the past books, and am not willing to wait another couple years to find out what happened after the last book's cliffhanger.

I can order the book from Fishpond, but I thought it would be more fun to trade a similar dollar value of fabric with somebody over there. Anyone interested?

mini eight: colors

I showed my Mom and Dad the Snippets quilt I did a while ago with two turnovers. My Dad especially liked it - the even geometry of the layout appealed to him as much as it had to me. So, I had to make a mini version for my tea table.

It was actually a bit easier - I find half square triangles from squares nicer to deal with than starting with triangles to begin with.

My mom helped me out and hand stitched the binding on this and one other quilt. She got attached and has claimed this as hers!

I have the big tablecloth quilt done, but need some non-gloomy weather to get good photos. I know I'm nearing the finish line, besides the fact that I am totally unable to come up with a good name for this little quilt, I went out and bought a bunch of fabrics and patterns for some new projects! I'll share those later this week, too.
(I turned off these comments since I keep getting spammed on this one message!)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

mini seven: gnome

Why, hello there! A sweet little gnome and his mushroom

Snail pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein

Visited by a friendly woodland snail.

I wanted to do at least one paper pieced quilt, and with the gnome thing I had going so far, these cute guys were the obvious choice.

Once again, Figgy Pudding (with a linen mushroom stump and random stash white) I created the creatures, then played around until I could get them to look like a quilt. I really like the little windows-onto-the-woods thing I ended up with.

It's about 14"x16.5" and I don't know if I'll be able to give this one up!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Shhhhh don't tell the kids

I ate five of their Halloween candies this afternoon.

I had to. Really.

After the near-instant gratification of quilting ten minis, this large table cloth feels like it will never end. I am not above bribing myself.

Besides, the Reese's were totally calling my name.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Soul-filling inspiration (and mini six: windows)

I think that captures how I feel about what Jacquie, of Tallgrass Prairie Studio, shares with us. For the blogger quilt festival she gave a wonderful peek into her creative process. Go check it out if you haven't already, also read the end to that story, then come back.

The second quilt I ever made was inspired by her wonky log cabin tutorial. The greens didn't turn out quite as I expected, but I love all those happy pear blocks.

I am constantly inspired by all her amazing improv quilting - so it's a bit ironic that I'm totally copying that which I love for being so original. I'm hoping that as I go along, I'll gain the basic experience necessary to start improvising on my own. Actually making all these minis in such a short amount of time has even helped a bit.

I wanted to create the windows of pieced strips that I loved in Jacquie's 'Snippets' quilt. I think she would be proud of all the chopping and rearranging I did to make these windows work on my tiny 13"x17" quilt.

I really like the texture of linen on the past quilts I've made, so I used some natural linen here. And the pattern of the fabric I chose to bind the quilt seemed to compliment the stripey red and teal windows.

I worked in one more creative soul with Aneela's adorable spoonflower creations - a snow globe

and snowman ornament.