Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mar - UFO Report

Goodness, has another month already come to a close?! I didn't get near as much done as I had hoped, do I ever?

Here's my month summary:
Unfinished Projects at Start of Month: 26
Finished Projects/Quilts this Month: 1
Projects Added this Month: 1
Unfinished Projects at End of Month: 26

I finished my Art Auction Animal Totems Quilt. But that was a foregone conclusion, because I had a hard fast deadline on that one! I really like that one, and I save some fabric to make a little wallhanging for me.

I know I shouldn't have added any projects, but I couldn't help it, I had the opportunity to take a workshop with Bonnie Hunter. She doesn't get out to the west coast for workshops that often. In fact, she said she isn't going to be doing another west coast workshop until Road to California in January 2011!

So I took this workshop and started a Star Gazing quilt for my middle daughter. She picked out several Moda fabrics from the 'Sweet' line. Pictured above are four completed blocks.

Active Projects:
I am actively working on the following projects:

  • Lap Quilt Swap IV - This is a swap quilt that is AWESOME! I only did a few of the blocks but others have done so much more.

  • Gabriella's Baby Quilt - This little baby was right on time, but I wasn't!

  • Star Gazing - From Bonnie's workshop, it will be a twin size.

Year Averages:

    Time Passed: 3 Months
    Avg. Proj Finished per month: 1.7
    Avg. Proj Started per Month: 2.3

Clearly I'm starting more than I am finishing! This must stop.

Ok, my goal for April is to finish THREE quilts and to add NONE!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My 'Bee in the Bonnet' pattern arrives

...and in high style!

You'll recall I won the giveaway at Lori's website 'Bee in the Bonnet' and then bragged about my math skills shamelessly here on my blog!

Not only did I get the wonderful Apron Club pattern, I also received severl large squares of vintage fabric (already know what I'm going to do with those!)

I also received a beautiful pincushion. PLUS I also received a HUGE Hershey's kiss... MMmmmm, chocolate! AND a yo-yo maker!

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Not so Cute Creation

This project came from The Cute Book. My son took a look at the book and decided that he absolutely had to make the frog and the two polliwogs (One with legs named Mr. Tad and one without legs named Mr. Pole) for his teacher. This was all because he had just done his spring fest at school ~ his teacher was a frog, and he was a polliwog without legs.

The Cute Book is a japanese project book with REALLY, REALLY SMALL projects that are very cute.

Only problem is that not only are they small, they are designed for hand-stitching.

I am definitely not a hand-stitcher, and I'm not so good with small, dainty anything.

I enlarged the pattern and even then, it was pretty small.

Also, the eyes are designed to be white on both sides, but that didn't make any sense to me so I made them green on the back and let my son pick out the fabrics: blue for the eyes, pink for the dress, light green for the body.

In the end, my son wanted me to try to change the mouth to put it into a smile and I think it changed the look a bit too much but oh well. I'm sure his teacher will like it fine.

I think we'll try another project from this book, but I'm going to enlarge it by maybe 500%

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Fabulous World of Printing on Fabric

I was recently looking over my New Years Resolutions ~ or should I say, sniffling over them and my dismal progress.

Well, perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic. I tend not too take things too seriously as a matter of fact. However, I was planning on learning MANY new techniques this year, at least one a month. And that has just not happened!

However, I finally got my rear in gear and grabbed a DVD off my bookshelf I've been eyeing lately. It's called Lynn Koolish Teaches You Printing on Fabric and is part of the At Home with the Experts series which I absolutely adore!

I hadn't even taken the cello wrapping off, so it was just like getting a brand new gift. Now I must say this DVD is just jam packed full of information.

I love this DVD! I have absolutely no experience at all with printing on fabric. But with Lynn Koolish's calm, reassuring manner and clear step-by-step presentation made these techniques instantly approachable and non-threatening.

Lynn takes the viewer through the entire process at just the right pace. Instructions begin with very basic information about printers and inks, and progress all the way through how to electronically manipulate and enhance your own photos to create unique quilts and other projects.

She even demonstrates how you can scan objects to use in making wonderful collage-style works of art. Now, I really feel that I could jump right in and begin having fun and getting creative.
The DVD also includes a tour of Lynn's studio ~ which I love, a gallery of quilts made using many of the inkjet printing techniques you just learned, and a printable Quick Start Guide PDF with tips, techniques, and Photoshop Elements basics. The guide is a great accompaniment for people who like to have things written down as well as the visual lessons.

Now you know I am a big fan of DVDs for learning, so I highly recommend this DVD to anyone who wants to learn about this fascinating process.
I can't wait to start putting all my new knowledge into practice!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Day with Bonnie

If you haven't heard me talk about Bonnie Hunter on this blog before, either you are a completely newbie to me ~ in that case WELCOME! or you are just skimming the words and only looking at pics ~ in which case you aren't reading this now, so... oh, well.

I recently had the opportunity to spend the entire day with Bonnie at a workshop hosted by the Washington Stars Quilt Guild in Olympia. Yes, I did have to drive 2 hours to get there, and yes, I did have to wake up at 6am to make it on time, on my day off. But it was well worth it.

The workshop was her Star Struck workshop and she had several copies of her book, Scraps & Shirttails: Reuse, Re-pupose, Recycle! The Art of "Quilting Green" with her.

Bonnie was great with so many tips and tricks, as well as funny stories. She also just hung out and chatted a lot with us. The ladies of the Guild were also so very nice. It was great to hang out and sew with everyone, especially considering I didn't know anyone. You'll see everyone's work taped to the wall, I love seeing how different fabrics make the same pattern look so different.
My work isn't pictured here, I forgot to take a picture of it! And actually, I left several of my blocks taped to the wall, I had driven half a mile when I suddenly realized I had left something behind and had to turn around to get them!
A few of the guild ladies and Bonnie were all going out to dinner between the workshop and the evening lecture. They were kind enough to invite me along, however, my dear sweet husband had a very challenging day with the children (who are very well behaved) and I figured I ought to get home. After all, I got about 5 calls that day (not all from him mind you)

But as soon as I pulled into the driveway, he was all smiles ~ "Oh, you should have stayed. We're fine, go back, have fun," he says.

"It was in Olympia, I can't." I'm devastated, I could have stayed. Why didn't I ask to see how things were going!? I'm kicking myself mentally at this moment!

He turns and looks at me incredulously, "You drove two hours for a quilt class?!" Then he turns to walk in the house. "You should have stayed."

I should have stayed.

If you have the opportunity to go to dinner with Bonnie Hunter ~ go!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Auction Success

The School Fundraiser finally came and the Animal Totems Art Quilt that my friend Seda and I made was finally auctioned off.

There are several "levels" of auctions actually. There are two silent auctions, the first for items donated by parents and local businesses.

There are always great items here because we have so many big companies in the area. Microsoft always puts up lots of their latest gadgets, one year there were several Zune Packages, Adobe has many, many software packages as well, I always like their Adobe Photoshop Software! And Amazon.com hosted an entirely separate auction called the 'Bid-O-Gram' which included their new Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation). I have the original Kindle and I LOVE it!

Then, of course, each of the teachers host an event that you can bid on. One third grade teacher would take your child to the zoo, stuff like that. There was also the perfunctory 'Principal for the Day'

And then it came time for the live auction. Now we don't live in the same neighborhood as Bill Gates, who is across the highway from us, but our school really puts a lot into this auction and it's held at the Westin every year. It's a big to-do, with everyone dressing up.

We had the local news anchor hosting the auction, a really nice guy with perfect hair and teeth! Among all the art projects there were big items, like a weekend for 8 at a lakeside cottage, a trip to Chicago for four to see the Oprah show live. That was the top bid actually, many, many ladies wanted to go to the Oprah show!

Our quilt was thrown in with all the other items in the live auction. There was one other quilt that was made this year, but the rest were things like benches, where the kids did tiles, and some really lovely artwork. I wish I would have gotten more pictures but I was volunteering during the event and my shift ended up during the live auction and dinner! (what lousy timing!)

Because of that I didn't get any pictures of the girls walking the quilt down the stage and our local anchorman celebrity talking about how wonderful it was.

But, we did get the second highest price of ALL the art projects! Someone paid $1800 for our beautiful quilt!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Got a Bee in my Bonnet

And it's a good thing!

Nanette at Freda's Hive introduced me to Lori Holt's wonderful blog Bee in My Bonnet. I love this blog because Lori gives little stories and interesting inspirations behind all her patterns! I LOVE that kind of stuff!

So recently Lori hosted a giveaway. The information she gave was:

Here are the only clues that you get;
1.The yo-yo's each finish to about 1 1/2" each.
2. The quilt measures about 100" x 85".
3. There are 6 scallops (pointy ones, you know what I mean) on each side, and 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.

If you've read much of this blog, you might know how much I get nervous about Quilt math (Tamara had to "listen" to me whine about the math on Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight quilt pattern, which I backed out of and Tamara finished beautifully, assuring me that the math really wasn't difficult at all!)

So, back to the story, I pulled out my calculator, did a little math and came up with a number that sounded good to me. As I was posting my answer, I realized that I hadn't taken the scallops into consideration. So at the last minute I did some mental calculation and came up with a new number, 4200...

I was 6 off!

This might be a bit of a boring story for you, but I am so impressed with myself. I can't believe I was so close. And of course this wasn't sheer chance, this was my brilliant mastery of math! Ok, so maybe it was a bit of chance, but my feeble math did help me get close.

Back to the Bee in the Bonnet, Lori is sending me some wonderful 10x10 vintage fabric squares, a fabulous pin-cushion (which I was just lamenting to my daughters that I sorely need), and one of her fabulous patterns! The most difficult part was that she actually let me choose!

Now, I had a really hard time picking out a pattern and my first choice ( Comforts of Home) is not yet available, so look for it in May! After that, I had a difficult time choosing, all Lori's patterns are homey and nostalgic. They remind me of a warm, safe childhood and all the things I hope my children think of when they grow up and think of their childhood (which I am living now).

I finally chose Apron Club. All the pictures here I lifted from Lori's website, isn't that quilt fabulous!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Singing Quilter

A friend emailed me this link to Cathy Miller:

Check out her website and her blog

Cathy Miller writes music and sings songs about quilts and quilting. You can see her in the video above with Tricia Sherman on an episode of the Great Canadian Shop Hop.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spectacular Site

I took my three children to the Art museum. This is the first time I have attempted to bring them because of the large glass display by Dale Chihuly.

As soon as we walked in we saw this Spectacular Site!

This entire meter-maid vehicle is quilted. Even the wheels are quilted.

The artist is Paul Margolis and he entitled the piece: 'I Imagined Myself as a Meter-Maid'

If you see my daughter pretending she is a meter maid you get the idea of the size.

I couldn't find a website for the artist, or I would add a link here for you.

He also had these pair of quilted flip-flops on display as well.

My children were incredibly well-behaved, throughout the entire walk through of the museum. They especially enjoyed the altered book display. This display was amazing, there was a full size Buddha head that was carved from several Manhattan White pages, as well as several intricate carvings inside the pages of different books.

My children were careful, interested and really really well-behaved, until we got to the Quilt display on the third floor.

This exhibit is titled 'American Quilt Classics, 1800 - 1980' and it was my ultimate purpose of taking the trip in the first place.

We arrived at the display and all of a sudden they lost their interest, started wandering around aimlessly. It was rather funny actually, but in the end, my oldest hustled the other two down to the interactive art table and I had a few minutes to peruse the quilts alone while my children created their own artwork.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Making Costumes - Polliwogs and Frogs

I really haven't made many costumes. A few here and there for a Halloween or two, but even then, not much. So when my son's teacher asked me to come and help sew the class costumes for their Spring Fest, I thought it would be fun.

We all showed up in the pre-school classroom on a Saturday. Only one other mom had her own sewing machine and knew how to sew. Our teacher brought one that she had borrowed but after fixing the tension for her numerous times she decided that sewing wasn't for her. I felt bad for her because I know how frustrating it can be when the tension keeps messing up, this was her first time attempting to sew something and I don't think it made a great impression. She also designed the costumes, and I think she had more fun with that.

So the other mom's cut and glued dots on the frogs (in the interest of time we decided to glue the dots, otherwise us seamstresses would be there until midnight!)

While we manned the machines and completed frog and polliwog bodies, stitched up bellies and made adorable feet and hands for those frogs that needed them. The polliwogs didn't need hands, and only those children who elected to be polliwogs with feet needed those.

The show went off without a hitch! The pre-school classes all got to vote on what song they wanted to sing. Our class chose Polliwog in a Bog. The Kindergarten class did a really fun and ambitious version of the Jackson Five's ABC.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Little behind on Cam's Calender Quilt

We're a little behind on our Calender quilt, but last night we finished another block.

This one is being proudly displayed on my little guy's lap.

He is already getting a little anxious about when his quilt will be finished, Uh oh, it's only March!

Perhaps we won't have a full 52 bricks in our calendar quilt after all!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Gabriella's Quilt

As I sat by my sewing machine the other day, I asked myself how I could be this far behind in making my latest baby quilt. I mean really, it's not as if the stork just dropped her off un announced!

We had 9 blissful months (well blissful for me because I wasn't the one with morning sickness!) to prepare for this little bundle of joy!

And she is just adorable!

AND she needs a quilt!

But here I am, stitching away like a mad woman, while she snuggles in a blanket that was not made by me. Ok, so I'm not actually that obsessive. I feel much more strongly about giving Gabriella a baby quilt, than I do about my cousin (Gabriella's mommy) actually using the quilt.

But, no one will get the chance to use it, if I don't finish it!

See all that white space on my design wall. That is primarily supposed to be pinwheels. Why, oh why do I always make quilts with those darn Half-Square Triangles!

If you remember the Christmas quilt I finished late in December (just in time actually) That is the same pattern I am doing here. Only with that quilt I used several fabrics and on this one, I'm only using three flannel fabrics.

Let's hope I finish this before little Gabby turns one!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Queen of Swaps is at it again!

As you might know, I participate in A LOT of swaps!

It's one of those things that I just seem to find myself doing. Kind of like the way some people eat potato chips.

You sit down with a bag and before you know it you're grasping at the salty bottom and 2000 greasy calories are sitting at the bottom of your tummy, just waiting to be converted into bum-fat!

Well, for me, swaps are the potato chips and before I know it, I am involved in half a dozen or more!

Participating in all these swaps can be both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

There are lots of rules I live by, and NEVER EVER break when participating in swaps. That has made my life WAY easier ~ at least in the swap world.

Here is my number one rule:

  1. Never participate in a swap if you don't really like the swap "Theme"

In other words, if you don't have any great desire for a Christmas quilt, don't participate in a Christmas swap. It's just not worth the effort or stress.

Alright, that might not be the most important rule, but it is a good one!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Calling All Apron And Vintage Linen Enthusiasts!

As you may know a few days ago I posted about a cool new book on Amazon called The Kitchen Linens Book

Well I recently received a very gracious email from EllynAnne Geisel, author, regarding some online giveaways that you might be interested in. I already have the book thanks to a kind friend, but I know you love giveaways as much as I do. So you might be interested:

  • LuLu's Vintage - The giveaway is for two autographed copies. Leave your vintage kitchen linen comments on her blog and two winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 17th
  • The Secret Stitch Club - The giveaway is for The Kitchen Linens Book, and a lovely apron, repurposed from a vintage kitchen curtain. The apron has sweet embroidered flowers along the bottom and is finished off with red ric rac and a cute red gingham ruffle. Just leave a comment and make sure they have a way to get in touch with you. If you want to be entered twoce, blog about this giveaway on your blog, then come back and leave another comment and you'll have another chance to win! You have until next Wednesday, March 11th 11:59pm to enter.

Also, if you are interested, she is doing a book tour (including Seattle on Monday, April 20, 6-8 p.m. at Rejuvenation and Lake Forest Park on Tuesday, April 21, 7 p.m. at Third Place Books Bothell ) For a full schedule, check out Ms. Geisels blog at Apron Memories

Other books by EllynAnne Geisel include:

The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort
and Apronisms: Pocket Wisdom for Every Day

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shadow Quilting

On my trip I learned a new technique called Shadow Quilting. I had never heard of it before, but I found the technique very interesting.

  1. Take a line drawing of your design.
  2. Trace the 'parts' of your line drawing onto the dull side of a piece of wax paper and cut out the pieces.
  3. Iron the pieces of wax paper onto the fabric of your choice, shiny side down.
  4. Cut out all of the pieces of your design and arrange them onto your background fabric.
  5. You should have a full sandwich of the backing, batting, background and design pieces.

    So far so good, nothing surprising.

  6. Then, you place a piece of shadow fabric over the entire design.
  7. Here is where you have some choices to make. You can take the color coordinated threads and hand quilt an outline of the design pieces. That's it, leave the background un-quilted. Just bind and done. That's how most of the samples I saw were finished; not my choice.

    Of course, I deviated I thought it was just a little dull for my taste. So...
  8. I machine quilted the background and outlined my design in corresponding colored thread.

It's not my best work, but it was fun to learn a new technique. In the end though, I really didn't deviate all that much did I?