Friday, April 30, 2010

Random Extremes and Obsessions

I've gathered information and lots of supplies! I think I'm ready to make some hexagons. This weekend I'm going to South Bend for Kenton's lacrosse tournament. Two nights at the hotel and lots of sitting during games - I should be able to get started.

I have a whole pile of 2.5" squares left over from last summer's nine-patch along with Amanda Jean. Since I have all those squares already cut I thought 1" hexes would be the perfect thing to try out first.

I printed out templates on three different materials - printer paper, card stock, and freezer paper. Links here and here. I found so many different views on what works best, thought I should just try them all.

But I also just ordered a bunch of 3/4" to make that lovely pillow - I'll give those a try and save all that tiny fiddling. Besides, they were on sale at Cotton & Chocolate, with less than a dollar for shipping!

A trip to Target yielded my first Liberty of London purchase. Couldn't pass up the XLs marked clearance. Thought they would make some cute hexagons.

I'm a total slacker and haven't made any April blocks yet for two of my bees. I set the little packages aside when they arrived and have been mired in daily crazy since then. I promise to get on those!

I feel like all I ever do is taxi the boys to Lacrosse practices and other stuff. For fun I reset my trip odometer last week to see how far I go in seven days.

This is actually 9 days - but holy cow - 258 miles! I haven't even left our suburb! No wonder Becket protests when we have to load up yet again.

Finally, Becket found this in our yard - a little Robin nest. He had to take some pictures.

No, he didn't have to climb the tree. He's standing on the ground! Unfortunately, it wasn't a very good spot, as we noticed today that all the eggs are gone. They must have been eaten by another bird.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I drank the Kool-aid

So I'm going to be on an airplane for an insane 4.5hrs/change planes/6hours. Sure those hours will fly me from my flat midwest home to paradise at the end, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.

I will have and iPod with audio books for Kenton. Caleb and Becket will both like watching movies on the netbook. I also plan on making Becket a little carry-along craft packet. I'm probably delusional that I'll get to do something other than exhaustive preschooler entertainment for ten hours, but then that's what the kool aid does to you.

I downloaded the most awesome Fat Quarterly today....
And now I'm planning on stocking up to make a ton of these...
{pillow pattern in Fat Quarterly by Tacha}

Paper Pieced Hexagons.... Which I know are insanely addictive, I have seen the warnings all over the place.

Tell me, what do I need to know? Best size? paper template material?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Use my stash year : week 17

The back for my shoo fly quilt was pieced this week, and I'm heading in the right direction again!

Busted: 3.667
Purchased: 0
Net YTD: (17.476)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blistered be thy tongue!

{Romeo and Juliet}Today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day here in Chicago, and that has been my favorite line since Freshman year in high school.

More importantly, I have a winner of these lovely fabrics...... Meg - a college student that loves to sew. Send me your address and I'll get these off to you!

Thanks for all the nice words and hellos from everybody! I also found several new blogs to add to my reader.

I have the top and a back pieced for my huge shoo fly quilt.

And a little pile of fun for the small quilt I'll make from the ousted lemon shoo fly block.

I must leave with one more Shakespeare quote - he shouts the best insults: Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe. {Henry IV}

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Ticker Tape Workshop

I finally made it to a meeting of The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild on Sunday. Which is good, since I was in charge of the Ticker Tape workshop!

Jennie was awesome and volunteered to start up that blogger site for our guild so everybody can easily see what we've been up to without joining the official Ning site. Most of the photos here are from Jennie, Susan, and Karen - they did a great job capturing our fun!

So all those quilters in my last post are rummaging through the awesome pile of scraps we brought. I asked the women to being along their scissors, a glue stick, a mini quilt sized piece of solid, and some scraps to share. What better way to bond with fellow quilters than over each others scraps!

I talked briefly on how I made the Ticker Tape Parade for the auction, showed my tiny sample and a few tips on quilting up their mini once it got home. Then we went at it! My favorite comment - it was like the start of a yummy dinner, when all the chatting stops and people are just chewing. We got very quiet as the treasure hunt began.

Some gathered blues and greens, one hunted for black and white prints, Emily has a niece who needs a pink and green creation. (Emily decided to come to the meeting at the last minute, so she just brought her whole, huge scrap bin - it was great!)

I went with the random - I LOVE THAT FABRIC - approach. I did arrange my pile in a color order I liked but am totally unable to commit to a layout so quickly. I was the only one who didn't nearly finish while there. I was busy talking and looking at everybody's stuff, anyway.

I think Mary was done first. She also went random, and did a cool layout. Oh and all the extra scraps at the end were saved by Ebony, our super awesome program coordinator, for a future Iron Quilter event. Like Iron Chef - super cool!

Frieda had the most awesome house shape going - she said she would be adding some threadwork on top. It is going to become a hanging for her front door or entryway.

Jen wins for fasted completed - hers was bound and quilted by Monday! She also has only been quilting for 6 months and her mini is fantastic.

I was surprised that only a few of us had white for the solid. There was essex linen, yellows, blue, pink, greys and black. Susan finished quilting and the extra white stitches really add to the texture on that black background. Super cool.

Check out the links I have in the post for more pictures of ticker tapes and the show and tell. It was a great time - so glad they let me lead this workshop!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Did you see?!?!?!

Amanda Jean pretty much taught me how to quilt - even though she doesn't know it and we've never met :)

Giveaway & Use my stash year : week 16

First, the required accounting of my stash. Still going the wrong way.

Busted: 2.417
Purchased: 6
Net YTD: (21.147)
no, seriously - some day this will be a positive number

And what is this mob of quilters doing? I'll share the fun from our Modern Guild meeting later this week.

Now this little package for you will help me with my stash. Along with gobs of other quilty bloggers, I turned 1yr old yesterday. That first blogger quilt festival really kicked many us into action!

Besides being a log of what I've finished, I've found lots of great, quilty friends! So for you, I have two fabric favorites - a FQ of lime dandelions and nearly a quarter yard of Heather Ross' cute bagged goldfish. It's just a little short on one end, hope you don't mind.

Just say 'hi' and I'll pick a winner on Friday :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fabric Friday

To kind of go along with using the stash, Stephanie had a great idea to have 'Fabric Friday' to LOOK at the stash. This found stack fits in with that perfectly.

A quilter nearby decided to destash her, as well as inherited (from and Aunt and Mom), quilting cottons. I was hoping to luck upon a hidden mine of feedsack prints....but alas it was mostly floral and novelty prints. Although, all very nice quilt shop quality - 10 huge bins worth! This pretty little pile of fat quarters is hand dyed cotton by Cherrywood. And a real deal at $5 for all three yards. They should fit in nicely with all the Kona that has been added recently :)

It was fun to chat with her while I dug through the bins. Wish I had thought to take a picture of the quilt hanging in the dining room. It was the one thing she asked for from her Aunt's estate - beautifully pieced and had wonderful, dense hand quilting. The pattern was quite modern looking but was obviously made long ago.

I have a tutorial/activity to teach at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Sunday, AND that day is my blogiversary. So I'm off to gather supplies and find a fun giveaway for you all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

shoo fly pie...errr...try

Is shoo fly pie even good?  I've never had it, but I'm trying to eat healthy before I'm in a swimsuit in Hawaii, so of course, pie is on my mind!

I finished all four of my super huge shoo fly blocks yesterday, but I'm not sure.   The lemons seemed a little out of place for some reason.  Although I like how it looks in a thumbnail.

I may replace it with a block made from the lime dandelions - second from the left.  At least I'm busting more stash :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Use my stash year : week 15

It was a crazy Kona week. I added large hunks of ash, coal, and stone - as well as some other pretty colors.

"While I was at it" I added some of those bees I love (and a few others).

Best of all, the two large Monaco prints I picked out for my shoo fly quilt arrived!

Busted: 4.972
Purchased: 13.75
Net YTD: (17.56)
some day this will be a positive number!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Panaceia's Mantle

Panaceia is the greek goddess of cures and healing. I made this quilt for my friend Liesl (I love her name!) - she is starting chemo this week to battle breast cancer. It's 53" x 62"

As soon as I heard she was diagnosed, I had to make a quilt. I imagine during and after chemo, feeling tired and chilled, and giving her something cheery to cover up with. Another reason to go with a greek goddess in the name, I got the blue/orange/yellow from an Olympic coach. His uniform jumped out of the TV at me!

I loved Amy's 'Peas and Carrots' the first time I saw it - actually the first thing I ever faved in flickr. It looks so happy! She made her quilt as a kit for the local shop and kindly sent instructions that went with the precut pieces. I modified it a bit to eliminate the boarders and turn the panels into my own little improv creations.

I used all my favorite Heather Ross cuteness - very happy little prints for Liesl. And I experimented with skinny boarders and solids. This block uses Kona school bus and tangerine - my favorite orange combo!

This fishy block has Kona turquoise as the darkest blue. The other two were pulled from pieces I bought before learning to label the cuts. It was also the most improv. I pieced/cut/added/cut/moved....I was thinking about Gwen's philosophy of add some if it's too small, cut some off if it's too big. I love how it turned out.

A bunch of my favorite fabrics, and a new fave. I LOVE the bees and honey comb of Miller's Flora and Fauna.

Originally the sashing was going to be snow, but thought the coal would give it a little more sophistication.

I love the light/dark thing that was going on with the Kona, so charcoal was the perfect choice for the binding!

I quilted it with invisible thread on the top so it wouldn't stand out against either the dark solids or the light prints. I loved every minute of making this quilt!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Two Huge Things

Yesterday I became the parent of a teenager! Yikes!

He didn't want a cake - just his own, huge blizzard. At DQ my husband mentioned that it was his birthday, so she topped it with a pile of whipped cream. She asked if he was 13. My husband replied, 'Yep, did you see the rebellion in his eyes?'

He got roller blades and had fun testing them out inside the house. It's winter here again.

I made a huge lasagna, with double the ricotta and noodles, per Caleb's birthday request. Also managed to get in one, huge shoo fly block - it's 34" square!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Off the Wagon (and onto another)


Just got an email from the Fabric Shack a few minutes ago - $5 off any order now thru the 13th. (Coupon code SAVE5)

This is just a little clip of the damage. I went over two weeks without buying any fabric, I was on a roll....oh well.

I also saw this amazing quilt and am ready to start today. That's what the Monaco prints are for. It's 70x70 - just those four blocks! How cool is that!

Go to Sew, Mama, Sew! for Malka's tutorial.

Others are Working!

I'm still spending a bunch of time online everyday, trying to decide what we'll do while in Hawaii. So most of my free sewing time has been used up. But others have been sewing for me!

I have most of my bee blocks back and tossed them out on the floor together for the first time. I love them! I planned on sashing them all up to about 18-20" square in Kona Snow, but now I'm thinking perhaps a gray?

Look, even the little signature blocks are awesome together! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Ahhhh, Spring Break

a long walk, holding hands the neighborhood DQ

enjoying the sun on your face and the wind blowing your hair

hanging out with brothers