Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday Finish

Well, this was supposed to be finished Friday, but I can't seem to leave well enough alone, so it took until just now (Saturday evening) to complete the pieced back for my son's SuperStar quilt.

I knew I wanted to use this one unused star and leftover batiks to piece the back along with a bigger piece of fabric purchased just for this quilt back.  However, when I pulled out that big piece of fabric, it seemed too orange (Gator orange would not be appropriate for a Seminole!), and I headed to the quilt store (OK, I know I said no more fabric purchases, but this was an emergency).

I found this "gold" (think Seminole garnet and gold) that I wished was available when I first selected would have made a nice star point for the front.  The yellow isn't as bright yellow as it appears in the pictures.  This second star will serve as the quilt label.

Here's my daughter attempting to hold up the quilt all by herself....where are my helpers when I need them?  Thanks did a great job!

Here's another picture of the backing.  If you want to see the front of the quilt, you can read this post.  

Any last minute quilting suggestions will be greatly appreciated...a decision needs to be made tomorrow...eek!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Once Again

Yesterday I had several free hours to spend in my sewing room...and what did I do?

Rearranged it....AGAIN!  Working on my son's SuperStar quilt made me realize how much I missed having a design wall.  After measuring certain spaces and furniture, I decided to move this bookcase into the closet and hang a large piece of batting (over the smaller portable design wall) on the now empty area for a makeshift, but larger, design wall.

I need to take a better picture when the area is a bit more picked up, but this gives you an idea of the new look ;-)  I quickly put some WIPs on the liberated coin quilt waiting for inspiration to strike for background fabric...several Dear Jane blocks made before I decided to go with Kaffe all the spiderweb block made for guild house block from Beth patiently wondering when it will play with other blocks...and 36-patch blocks in two different sizes for two different quilts.

My latest 36-patch's rather busy....but I like it! 


Need to get cranking on these...have only made three so far...but pulled out more fabric when I was rearranging the studio yesterday.

Does anyone else out there like to rearrange furniture?  My sister and I used to joke with our Mom that every time we came home from college she had rearranged the living room furniture...guess it's a genetic thing!  I've noticed that I seem to make more family references now that my sister is blogging...can't help myself....hope you don't mind ;-)

Have an amazing day!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday!

Between internet issues and my twelve-year old daughter (who started her own-by invitation only-blog) hogging my laptop, this post is a little delayed.

It's the first Wednesday back home, and my plans are to get a much needed pedicure and run some errands before heading home to sew.  I did get all my unpacking, laundry and grocery shopping done yesterday!  Among items unpacked are the lovely fabrics shown above given to me by a good friend for my birthday!!!!  Notice the lovely handmade card and beautiful dragonfly fabric.

More birthday fabric courtesy of Mom and Ron!  Thanks to a generous "gift certificate" (i.e. cash earmarked for Gruber's) I went crazy in the Kaffe department purchasing prints and shot cottons and other random fat quarters.  I only had a few minutes to pet these lovelies (during a break in quilt retreating)  before they were boxed up and shipped home, so it was fun opening this package and seeing them again!!!

Now to run those errands so I can get to sewing.  How do you plan to spend your Wednesday?

Have an amazing day!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So...all day yesterday was spent traveling.  I probably shouldn't even attempt a blog post for today, but didn't want to mess with the somewhat regular blog posting routine I've had lately ;-)  

As much as I LOVE Montana in the summer, I cut my stay short and flew home earlier than planned.  It's hard being away from home when the entire family isn't husband could only stay a little oldest didn't get to come at all this youngest was ready to go home (after the first day...ha) headed-to-college son missed his friends...all our company had come and gone...and since staying forever (my preference...ha) wasn't an option....I packed up and made arrangements to come home.

  I think it was a good decision, as even though our flight didn't arrive until after midnight, my son and husband were arguing over who got to pick us up from the airport ;-)  My husband said he even missed Max!!!  

Today will be spent unpacking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, going through mail, etc.  The unpacking shouldn't be difficult.  I had two suitcases and two carryons most of which was filled with fabric and jeans.  (I don't know about you, but these days finding a good pair of jeans is almost as hard as finding a bathing suit that fits...ha)

When all those chores are done, I have plenty of emails that require replies, blog posts that are calling to me, and Flickr groups that demand attention.  I did skim Google Reader enough to notice that my sister has a new post...Amanda Jean's quilt along is updated, Michele put her birthday fabrics to good use, Cindy has a new and cool seam ripper.....there's much, much more I'm sure.  I need to go back, read them thoroughly, and share my thoughts ;-)  For the love of Solids swap partners have been assigned...need to update my mosaic...research my partner's likes, favorites, etc....very exciting!

Quilting related posts to come the meantime here's another picture from our photo shoot!  I'm off to do that laundry now ;-)

Have an amazing day!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Photo Shoot

While I had helpers and scenic backdrops available, I decided to go ahead and snap some pictures of my son's SuperStar quilt top.  
{The debate is still raging over sending it out to be quilted professionally or doing it myself....time is running out...a decision needs to be made soon!}

"How many family members does it take to hold up a quilt?" 
 I really wanted to showcase the Spanish Peaks in the background, but I wasn't sure how to do that without getting the quilt top dirty, so I just had my helpers spread out so that the quilt didn't touch the ground.

It was quite daughter gave up trying to one wanted to be seen in the picture.

I've been keeping this completed quilt top under wraps only because I love it so much, and I haven't found a picture that does it justice.  I still haven't, but it has to be shown sometime, right?  

I purposely used two different background fabrics, but the pictures make it look like a mistake.  That's part of the reason I am hesitating to quilt it myself.  I have this idea in my head of how the backgrounds will "flow" together once it is quilted, and I don't want to mess that up...there is so much background to this quilt, and I'm a novice quilter at best.  

The various sizes and random placement of the stars is also planned.  I didn't want the stars to "line up" in rows or columns.  It's harder to piece (at least for me) this way, but I really like the look.  I also wanted the stars to be wonky...but not too wonky....I'm afraid my family might begin to think I can't cut or sew straight ;-)

I had so much fun making this quilt with the different size stars and variety of fabrics, and most of all no set pattern I had to follow.   When I got tired of making stars (or when graduation was upon us), I played around with the layout which changed every time I had to move it from my design wall/floor or Max "helped".  My son is so sweet by continuing to tell me how "legit" his quilt is...and by being so patient while I work on it WAY past the deadline!

I did get permission before showing this one since people are visible ;-)  It's nice to have willing helpers for a change!!!  The quilt top is for an extra long twin bed as my son wants to take it with him to the dorm.  I'll keep you posted on the quilting drama..... the meantime, here are more pictures from our photo shoot that day.....

...and I have hundreds more where these came from!

Have an amazing day!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I did it...

...I went ahead and drank the Kool-Aid...lots of Kool-Aid...even though I said I wouldn't!

I blame it all on/am thankful to (however you choose to look at it) Michele who wrote this post.

First off, I joined For the Love of Solids swap.  This should be interesting.  I'm nervous and excited at the same time!!!  You can see my mosaic above.

I have resisted Pinterest for quite some time now even though I received an invitation to join awhile back.  It hasn't been easy as there have been many temptations, and obviously, I finally succumbed to peer pressure and drank that kool-aid too ;-)  I still haven't quite figured Pinterest out and haven't done much with it yet, but I'm sure that will change with time.  
I did create a Quilty Inspiration board, but that's about it so far.

I haven't taken a drink from The Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long kool-aid yet, and I don't think I will any time soon.  I did purchase the book...just in case.  In the meantime, I will live vicariously through others...especially Cindy who is making all the blocks with shot cottons!

Have an amazing weekend!!!!  

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Just a quick post to show you my second set of 36-patch blocks.

First up is the second postage stamp block made with scraps.

Here's the second 36-patch block made for the quilt along with Crazy Mom Quilts.

I think the quilt along blocks are playing nicely together so far.

I'm having fun working with these 36-patch both sizes!
Anyone else quilting along with AmandaJean?

Have an amazing day!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday!

My Mom is visiting this week and brought these cool "happies"!

These t-shirts themselves appear to be hand-dyed and are appliqued with luscious batik and hand-dyed fabrics.  Even the stitching is fun!

They purchased them at a gift shop near the Rocky Mountain National Park.  I love my dragonfly shirt and  was hoping my daughter's shirt would be too big for her  wanted to steal my daughter's fun flower power shirt.  

Haven't shared a picture of Max in a while.  Here he is recuperating from his grooming appointment....while I find mine relaxing and therapeutic...he seems to return home traumatized and exhausted....but clean ;-)

Hope your Wednesday was wonderful!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Number 36

So last night I made my first 36-patch block for AmandaJean's quilt along...I even added it to the Flickr group...something I have a tendency to neglect.

I did end up cutting into my Kaffe stash, although this block is made from Amy Butler fabric.  I followed Amanda's tutorial exactly, and I am so glad I did.  Her suggestion for making the stitch length shorter really made a difference as well....sure wish I had known this tip earlier ;-)  There were several comments left on her post suggesting alternate piecing methods, but IMHO her method results in a more accurate block.

As a matter of fact, I used this same method in making my first postage stamp size block.  I am making these blocks using Amanda's tutorial for her quilt along, but for these blocks, my squares are only 1.5".  My idea for this quilt is to go with a checkboard layout and scrappy squares.

Here are the two 36-patch blocks side by side.  What a difference an inch makes!  So thanks to Crazy Mom Quilts I will be making various size blocks/quilts during her quilt along and busting my stash along the way!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cutting and Prepping

Still not a whole lot of sewing going on, but there has been some cutting and prepping for various projects.

This makes me feel like I am at least getting something done.  First, I cut some scraps into 1.5" squares for a postage stamp quilt.  This has been on my list for a while, and Shelly recently reignited that interest.

I put my daughter to work cutting newspaper into squares for her string quilt.  She was happy to do this when she realized her other choice was vacuuming, but after a while she did ask me why her quilt was being made out of newspapers.
(Also, if you look closely you can see my son's graduation thank you notes that are still not finished...I guess procrastination runs in our family!)

I decided to go with 8.5 inch squares for the string quilt.  Thanks everyone for your input.  Oh, and I did reassure my daughter that the newspaper would be removed from her quilt before it goes on her bed.

I would like to participate in Amanda's 36-patch quilt-along so have been going through my fabrics on hand.  Other than WIPs and scraps from those WIPs, I don't have much fabric with me in Montana.  Dare I cut into my Kaffes that I am hoarding for a Dear Jane?  Hmmm...I'm sure I can find some other fabric to work with until I go home.

Have an amazing day!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Project Preview

My sewing machine is still in it's little suitcase, so obviously there has been no sewing at my house this week.  However, I have been catching up on some blog reading, trimming pinwheel blocks, and planning future projects.  Maybe you'd like to help me with three of these projects? 

 I've had yards of this Cowboys & Cowgirls fabric for a couple of years now, absolutely love it, but can't decide what to do with it.  I'd like to make a king-size quilt and need help in deciding the best way to feature those cute cowboys/cowgirls.  All I've come up with so far is to combine the "people" fabric with assorted colors of Kaffe shot cottons.  The ones pictured above I just happened to bring with me, but I purchased other colors at Gruber's (thanks Mom for the gift certificate), and they are being shipped as we speak. you like the idea of using shot cottons with this?  Any other recommendations if not?  If so, what pattern would you use?  I've thought of using several horizontal strips of those cowboys/cowgirls with something (but what) in between to separate the strips...or fussy cutting the cowboys/cowgirls and adding colorful 9-patch (or 36-patch, etc.) blocks.  Any thoughts?

Another question I threw out at the Gruber's retreat concerned these liberated coin strips.  The three strips have been finished for months now but were put on the back burner for other projects.  I have them spread out on a Kona gray...or charcoal...really not sure the color.  Is this the best color "sashing" for these colorful strips?  If not, what color do you suggest?

OK...last question...For a full-size bed quilt, what size string blocks would you use?  I have been collecting fabrics and scraps from my daughter's clothes to use in a string quilt for her.  She has requested this purple fabric as the center strip.  Depending on the block size, how wide would you cut your center strip?

Thanks in advance for helping me out with this!  I'm energized to finish up those few lingering WIPs and to get working on some new quilts!

Have an amazing weekend!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peace, Love & Happiness

When flying rather than driving to a retreat, more thought and preparation is needed when deciding on what projects (not to mention machine and supplies) to bring due to space (and airline) limitations.  

Retreat Quilt 2010
At least year's retreat, I only brought one project to work on - my aptly named Retreat Quilt which is a pattern from Material Obsession called Red Centre.  (Coincidentally,  classes for this quilt were going on over in Oregon during this year's retreat.)  I was able to assemble most of the quilt top during that retreat, and this quilt lives with me providing comfort and warmth as well as a reminder of fabulous times and friendships made.

I wanted to do something similar this year in that the quilt made will be a memento of another glorious time retreating with friends.  I gave this project quite a bit of thought and decided I wanted to make another peace sign quilt.  Feeling Groovy was made for a school auction with a 70's theme, and at that time I went with batik pinwheels hoping for a tie-dye feel.   For this one, I went through my fabric stash looking for something that said "Rene'" ;-)  Then, I couldn't find my "pattern" for the peace sign, so I had to redo it... zoomed in on a picture of Feeling Groovy and drew from that...took the opportunity to change it a little bit too...

My quick progress with the Retreat Quilt was helped by the fact that Julie PRE-CUT and GAVE me all the fabric squares needed!  This year, I didn't come close to piecing the quilt top.   As a matter of fact, I'm not sure my retreat friends could even tell what I was working on!!  Most of the time was spent sewing around pairs of fabric squares..cutting them diagonally twice..trimming..chain piecing half square triangles...  {I'm planning a discussion on HST methods in the near future...}

A stack of pinwheel blocks is all I left with (see two photos above), but you couldn't even tell they were pinwheel blocks because I didn't have time to press them. maybe I spent too much time shopping at Gruber's...or maybe I talked too much...but I rather like to think it's because I had to leave really early Sunday instead ;-)  

When I got back to Montana, I pressed open all the pinwheels (need to get me some Best Press), pulled out my handy dandy pattern, and starting arranging blocks in the shape of a peace sign.  That's as far as I've gotten as I've been too busy visiting with Harper's (who brought happies)!

Here's a closeup of a few blocks.  This weekend I plan to start assembling them.  Can anyone guess why I'm naming this quilt Peace Love & Happiness?'s not a rhetorical question...I want to know if the name makes sense to anyone besides, do you know why the name?  Oh, and I am open to suggestions of background fabric to use on this one.

Have an amazing day!!!