Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feb - UFO Report

Because I've accomplished very little since my last report, I'm going to make this rather abbreviated:

    Number of Projects at Start: 24
    Number of Project Completed*: 4
    Number of Projects Added: 6
    Number of Projects Unfinished: 26

    * Completed here means finished, re-purposed or gifted.

    Progress This Month:

  • Botanical Shop Hop Quilt - Progress: I got this far:

    Then I stalled, I don't like the blue blocks. I'm not sure what to do, but it will probably involve a lot of time with my stitch ripper.

  • Old Tobacco Road - This is my 'Sew-Between' project. I keep it in a handy basket by my machine and everytime I come to the end of a chain of stiching, I sew a pinwheel together, or a 1.5" Half-square triangle. I love using Bonnie Hunter's Ender/Leader technique. My progress is slow, but steady.

  • Marissa Pinwheels - This is a pattern from Roxanne Carter I am using fabrics from Moda's Marissa line, it was going to be for my MIL, but I made her something else. I think I might have worked on this for about 10 minutes this month! LOL

  • Lap Quilt Swap IV

  • Gabriella's Baby Quilt My cousin had her new little baby girl. Gabriella is ADORABLE, so I HAD to start a baby quilt for her! Unfortunately my camera still isn't back from vacation, so I don't have a picture.

    Friday, February 27, 2009

    I guess in all the hustle of my trip, I forgot to post pictures of the last few blocks I made for this swap.

    These seven blocks were the last I made and mailed out before I left on my trip.

    The swap is over now and it was lots of fun working with such a variety of fabrics.

    It was also fun seeing how each participant interpreted the fabrics and came up with unique blocks.

    I primarily stayed with just a few patterns, but still each block came out so unique. That was very interesting to me as well.

    Six of these were meant to be Bonnie's boxy star pattern. But the Batik block I made rather late at night and for some reason I put the four parts together wrong. I really liked the look of it though and so it stayed.

    The last block was the pineapple blossom, she had several different fabrics to use and I tried to stay within the theme of the rest of her blocks. It should fit in with her quilt top nicely.

    I'll try to make a picture mosaic of all the blocks together if I can.


    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Finally.... I'm Back!

    Actually, I got home on Monday morning at 6am and I was SLEEPY!

    Then we came home to a mountain of mail, a pile of school work, work work, house work and any other kind of work you can think of! Except gardening. We have a very low maintenance yard, thankfully.

    Well, one of the things I came home to were several more blocks on my Lap Quilt Swap IV project.

    So I whipped up a few sashing strips and put them up on my design wall:

    What do you think?

    The pictures aren't all that great, but I was using the camera on my phone because I left my camera at a t-shirt shop on our trip! I had the chance to visit a fabric store while I was away and when my camera arrives safe and sound in the post, I'll put the picture on my blog.


    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Empire Quilters Raffle Quilt

    This has been auto-posted by my blog-bot. Cheers, Dionne

    This quilt is the 2009 raffle quilt for the Empire Quilters of New York City. I think I need tickets!

    The picture is very small. Click on it and it will take you to a large picture where you can click on every block to see its detail and also see the back of the quilt.

    This quilt is BEAUTIFUL!!

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Calendar Block ~ Feb, Week One

    This has been auto-posted by my blog-bot. Cheers, Dionne

    My little guy finished another block in his calendar quilt. He likes this one because it has a tag off his dad's shorts. I don't think this tag is 100% cotton but I think it will be ok.

    Remember my little guy is six years old and quite enjoying this project!


    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    A Day in [my] life...

    This has been auto-posted by my blog-bot. Cheers, Dionne

    This might be a little off topic. Off quilting-topic that is! But here is a little peak into my typical day (when I'm not on a vacay)!

    wake up call (nature sounds alarm clock, birds chirping)

    usually out of bed and getting ready for the day (take shower, get dressed etc)

    If I'm lucky I have 15mins of sewing and some blog time!

    wake up oldest child, then I'm downstairs cooking breakfast. (Oldest likes eggs, middle and youngest like vegetarian sausage with syrup ~ so it's eggs and [veggie] sausage for all) Or maybe pancakes if I haven't been to the store lately.

    Wake up rest of the children and make lunches. Remind the kids not to forget their lunches, homework, coats/jackets, martial arts uniforms etc.

    kisses goodbye, remind oldest child NOT TO MISS THE BUS! (Daddy does getting the kids to school most days ~ if he doesn't you don't even want to see my morning)

    I'm at work. Yes, I'm a working mom.

    Off work and ready to make the rounds. From 3pm to 6pm ( 7pm on Wed/Fri) it's a whirlwind of driving pickup from tutorial, pickup from school, drop off at swim practice, drop off at Martial arts, pick up from swim practice, pickup from martial arts ~ during soccer season it's more.

    Make and eat dinner (I insist on family dinners, even if they get late). Then it’s dishes and homework. Of course, followed by bath time and story time (love reading them those chapter books! Phantom Tollbooth is brilliant!)

    PS - We don't usually eat pizza, but we did in this photograph, which I took standing over my kids, looking down!

    It's bedtime, but somehow it never really happens on time!

    if I'm lucky, sometimes later: If hubby is away for school/work/soccer etc, It's all sewing time for me until I nod off to bed. When he's home, I try to spend time together because the weekends are usually another family filled blur of activities!

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Marlene is a Quilting Star

    This is the second installment of my Quilting Stars all Around series. I decided to do this series in celebration of the wonderful quilters in our communities. This has been such a wonderful experience for me, our Quilting Community is filled with so many wonderful people. This month I'd like to introduce you to Marlene.

    Quilting Background:

    I don’t remember my mother quilting when I was a little girl….but with four kids and a full time job she didn’t have time for that! However, after we were all grown and gone she took up the hobby she had learned as a child and made so many quilts that I couldn’t even estimate how many there were. I have a quilt that each of my two grandmothers made and one my mother made as a teenager so my heritage is obvious. But none of that actually started me on this road. I’ve always made clothes and went through phases of crafts…crewel , embroidery, counted cross stitch, crochet and even a little basic knitting were things I embraced and then, eventually, cast aside. In 1995 my best friend asked me to make her a quilt for her birthday. The fact that I’d never made one didn't matter to her. After all, she said, if you can sew you can surely make a quilt. And so I did….not a quilt I’d like for anyone to see today, but a quilt nonetheless. And promptly fell in love with this form of creative expression.

    Inspiration for me usually comes through either quilts I see in magazines or quilts I see in quilt shops. I rarely use the fabrics suggested in patterns but I rarely change the patterns I buy. My color choices lean towards the sedate rather than the bright so if a quilt is made up in those calming colors I’m more likely to think I want to make that pattern. I don’t care much for geometric shapes but much prefer the traditional patterns. Which is really funny since once upon a time when I was young and crazy I taught geometry! Of course I only agreed to teach geometry so they would let me teach algebra which I totally loved. And which I use all the time in the nitty gritty parts of making a quilt.

    Worst Day Quilting:
    How can there be a bad day quilting? The worst day quilting is better than the very best day not quilting!

    Quilting Regrets:
    I devoutly wish I’d actually seen my grandmothers quilting….or that I could remember it if I did.

    Most Precious Quilting Memory:
    My mother was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor and gradually lost her memory of every day activities. She loved to make quilts but even though I bought her a rotary cutter and mat and ruler she wouldn’t use them. She wanted to make quilts the way she’d always made them, using templates and cutting each piece one by one. The last couple of months of her life she couldn’t do that so I cut squares for her and even sewed a four patch for her to look at – to use as a pattern. She would sit and stitch, every once in a while looking at her needle and the fabric forgetting what she was supposed to do with them. She would stare at first one and then the other and then it would come back to her and she’d take another stitch. Oh what I would give to watch her stitching one more time.

    Favorite Technique:
    That’s like saying which one of your three children is your favorite! I love piecing the best, and I love embroidery the best, and I love appliqué the best! I confess I don’t love the actual quilting the best though.

    Proudest Works:
    I think probably The Great Pumpkin Quilt is probably my best work so far. It’s a hand appliquéd quilt and I do love it. But then there’s the Checkerboard and Rails machine pieced quilt done in brown and teal as a wedding present for one of my nieces, and the Redwork Sunbonnet Sue Quilt made for one of my granddaughters and the embroidered Herbs In My Garden Quilt (not yet quilted!) or Tuxedo Cat or….I guess my favorite quilt is probably the one I finished last!

    What the Future Holds:
    My husband and I have applied to do a three month volunteer mission trip to south Louisiana and, if chosen, will hopefully go sometime in the next year. That’s both scary and exciting. My biggest worry is how long it’s going to take me to cut out several quilt tops to work on while I’m gone!

    Quilting Income:
    Oh my goodness no – it’s all outgo and no income here! I do write two blogs (StitchinByTheLake and A ServantsJourney ) as well as participate in my quilt guild and a smaller stitching group. I sometimes lead a class for my guild and try to make some charity quilts for a couple of groups. And I make heavy contributions to all the quilt shops within a hundred miles of my home, and a couple on every trip my husband and I make!

    Philosophy on Life:
    I love John Wesley’s Rules of Life:

    Do all the good you can
    By all the means you can
    In all the ways you can
    In all the places you can
    To all the people you can
    At all the times you can
    As long as ever you can.

    Wow! Great Sentiments Marlene! Thank you so much for participating. If you know someone who is a Quilting Star, or want to participate yourself, please don't hesitate to email me.

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    My Roadtrip!

    Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

    Tomorrow I leave for my roadtrip and I am very happy to have the break. I will be gone for a full week and I don't know how often I will be able to get to my laptop ~ which I will be bringing with me.

    So I have arranged for some auto-posts. Well just four actually. If I get the chance, I'll post on my trip and keep you updated. I plan to bring back some gifties for a few lucky readers (you know who you are!)

    I hope you all have fun and stitches while I am away!

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Spreading the Wealth...

    ... or is that Love. Well, considering the time of year, perhaps it should be Love.

    Anyhow, you may know how incredibly lucky I've been recently with all my generous quilty mates. It seems I've received one wonderful thing in the mail after another over the last few months!

    I've decided to do a little give back. But I must say, it won't be a traditional giveaway because I'm often over-committed and under-organized! Also, I'm going on a little roadtrip so I don't know how much computer time I will be able to manage.

    So, with that in mind, I thought I would just go ahead and give something away to everyone! Sounds like fun huh? Except that I don't actually know everyone, that's the anonymous nature of cyberspace.

    Therefore, when I say everyone, I mean everyone who publicly reads my blog ~ thank you very much! Right now, today, there are 28 people who are "following" this blog.

    So to you 28 people (you and I both know who you are) please email me your address ~ don't put it in a comment please. If you do this before I return from my road trip, I will send you a little giftie from the trip.
    PS - now if you add yourself as a follower, thank you. But I'm sorry, my pocket book is limited and so only those 28 who are followers as of right now will receive a giftie from me, this time around.

    We can all do something...

    I saw these images, and have heard the news. My heart goes out to the people of Australia and those living in Victoria.

    There is so little I can do from across the globe, but something, anything is better than nothing. If you, like me, would like to help in some way, I have listed a few links:

    • Tia at Camp Follower Bags has started a Flikr group called the Bushfire Quilt Project. She is collecting star squares that measure 12.5" to make quilts to be sent to the recipients in Victoria, Australia. For more information check out her blog at Camp Follower Bags

    • Pip at Meet Me at Mike's has a wonderful list on her sidebar of things you could do. Of course you will find a link to the Australian Red Cross to donate funds but you will also find:

    • She has many more links as well!

    • Melly and Rosie of Melly & Me is hosting a silent auction, with 100% of the funds going to directly to the cause.

    • Handmade Help is another great resource, here Cindy will be listing all the auctions and sales of items from which the proceeds will go toward assisting victims of the Victorian Bushfires. If you have an Etsy shop and would like to donate all or a portion of the funds from your sales, she will list you on her site as well.

    I wish there was more I could do, but if we all donate some of our time, some of our pennies our prayers, good thoughts and well wishes it will add up to some comfort to those who have lost so much.

    The images on this post are from the AP wire.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Look What the Postman Brought!

    Yes, I'm on a role! Would you look at the fabulous package that arrived from Pat at Ooglebloops's World!

    I don't know if Pat sent me these wonderful gifties by chance or by design ~ knowing how much I love tea, but she sent me the most wonderful package. She sent me a beautiful pottery mug by Bay Pottery in Broadway, Va. I LOVE handmade pottery! Also a tea infuser with beautiful beadwork. Now, some of you may know that I am an avid tea drinker. You can never have enough tea infusers, but now I have one that is beautiful as well. This tea infuser is from Peggy Krantz of Chapped Chick.

    And finally, Pat sent me four cuts of beautifully packaged fabrics! In lovely shades of green and orange!

    Thank you PAT!

    And finally, Annie Smith did a wonderful interview with Kathy Brown of The Teacher's Pet . Now Kathy is doing a wonderful giveaway on her blog. She is giving away one of each of her "Take 5" series of patterns - 9 patterns in all - 9 winners. she will be drawing the winners on Valentines Day!
    So head on over to Annie's podcast to hear the interview, and to Kathy's blog to get in on the giveaway!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Lap Quilt Block Swap, Three More.

    Here is my next round of blocks for the Lap Quilt Swap IV (Winter Edition).

    The first of these is for 1Boy1Girl1Kitty. She sent me two packets of batik fabrics.

    I made a churn dash block with the first of these packets:

    The next block I finished was for FlashlyAshley.

    She sent me a lovely packet of blues, greens and browns. I really enjoyed these calming colors.

    I made the same churn dash block.

    And finally for Southern Flower I received two really fun packets of fabric.

    Her first packet had some bright cheery fabric with water, fish, scales, and some really fluid stripes.

    Yes, I made another churn dash block.

    For this swap, I concentrated on making mostly two blocks: a boxy star and a churn dash block.

    I tried to let the fabrics decide what blocks I would make.

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Pieced Letter Quilts

    I must confess, I have a weakness.... no, I don't mean the obvious (fabrics, my children, chocolate) but the weakness I want to confess to today is words.

    Yup, words. As a former English Lit major, it's not too surprising that I love everything wordy, from a brilliantly worded sentence, a fabulous read all the way down to the fantastically wordy quilt.

    What? What's that you say? You say you've never SEEN a wordy quilt? Well, I'm sure you have, but you just don't remember, or maybe realized that there was a sub-genre of quilts called wordy! Maybe there isn't a sub-genre, I probably am the first person to use this term.

    The quilt pictured here is by artist Jill Ault, check out her website Fiber Art

    So, for your viewing pleasure please check out the following links:

    And why are there no pictures of my own work? Well, it's one of those skills I have not yet mastered. Tonya makes it look so easy and wonderful, but I'm still struggling. Most likely it's my own stringent ways that are the biggest stumbling block. Soon I'll have something of my own to post... soon...

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    I'm an Annie's Stash Winner!

    Wow! Talk about a lucky streak!

    Annie Smith of Annie's Quilt Stash had a giveaway that she announced in episode 141

    Annie announced the winners in episode 154 there are 11 winners in all!

    What did I win? This beautiful book, Teapots 2 to Applique by Kay Mackenzie.

    I have been resisting learning applique for years. I enjoy applique quilts, but the idea of attempting an applique project makes me nervous! I guess this is my little nudge to learn how to applique. Pretty apt because I LOVE teapots, and everything tea!

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Progress on my LQS4

    Below are all the blocks I have received on this project to date, including the one I made. I'm going to use a sashing between the blocks and use the pink fabric for cornerstones.

    I just can't decide if I should do a horizontal layout, or if I should lay it out on-point.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Off to the post office

    These are the latest blocks I am sending away. This first block I made for Rita as part of the Lap Quilt Swap IV I'm participating in. I love her fabrics, and really had fun trying to decide what to make for her. She sent everyone similair but different fabrics. Somepeople got this lovely mermaid fabric, and others got some octopus fabric. I really enjoyed the seahorses I was working with:

    This boxy star is also for the Lap Swap Quilt IV project. I've done several of this pattern, it's from Bonnie Hunter's site Again Laural sent out the lovely pink floral pattern I was working with, and some people got the same floral pattern in a beautiful blue:

    This last one is for a star themed quilt. She is doing every block with a red star and white tone-on-tone for the background.

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    Calender Quilt ~ January

    My five year old son and I are making a Calender Quilt together. Actually, he's making it and I'm providing the labor! This is a technique from Pat Sloan's 'My Favorite Techniques'

    You can read more about the project in the POST when we started this project.

    I'm using dryer sheets as the foundation, and each scrap of fabric my son picks out over the course of a week gets sewn into a brick of his design.

    At the end of the first month we have four bricks completed; one for every week. He also added a block that he did at an Art festival almost three years ago.

    So far his favorite block is this one:

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Art Auction Quilt - Part Three, The Construction

    So the children have finished their blocks on the Art Auction Quilt and now we are in the final stage: Actual construction. Another parent and I are putting it all together.

    I love how even the kids that have the same animal totem have come up with a completely different look. In the picture below you can see there are two hummingbirds, three cougars, three owls and three otters.

    The fabric we chose for the sashing has a native american themed bear paw design that works very well with the theme of this quilt. The school fundraiser is March 21st, but there is an advanced preview day where all the classroom art projects will be on display in the school library, so we have about a month to complete the quilt.