Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stocking Swap Check In

WHEW!!!!  Hopefully the rest of you have been hard at work on your Stocking Swap.  I only have one more item to make - the travel sewing kit - why did I add that one in this year???  Oh, yes, because I desperately need one.  My zip tab bag is just not the correct image for a quilter.  I need something a bit more . . . quilted . . . snazzy . . . edgier. . . (did I spell that one right?  It doesn't look right) . . . less plastic-y.  Yep, that is why I added that into the mix this year.  A travel sewing kit.  Hmmm.  I am going to google (again) for some ideas on what I want to make for this.  Since I am off the entire week of Thanksgiving (YEA ME!!) I plan on getting this item made and everything finalized. 

How about you?  Do you have the majority of the items made?  If you are participating this year, give me a shout out either on here or my e-mail and let me know.  If you shout out here - it will go to my e-mail also.  It's almost time to swap!   I need to know who all is joining in on the fun by December 1st.  I will put all the names in a hopper and draw them out, send you the name of the person you are to send to (and address, etc.) then between December 13 and 15th you need to either mail or deliver your package. 

It's always fun to get this box of goodies - either by mail or in person depending on who and where your swap person lives.    It's fun to see what the other person made and what fabrics they used.   What their favorite book is or what kind of mug - remember that one from back in January?  I made several mug rugs so I need to decide which one I am going to package up and give away.  I can't wait to see what comes my way. 

So, as I write this, I am trying to figure out several things . . . 1.)  Do we (me and you and you and you) want to do something next year?  (I usually only do the Stocking swap in even number years)   If so, 2.) what do we (see above reference) want to do?  Would you be interested in doing a swap of items - just not as long or as intense as the Stocking swap?  Hmm.  Send another shout out!!! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

An Extra Posting Found!!

 
just saw this one left in the bin as a draft.  So, two in one night is great! 
 
I ran across a jelly roll of this wonderful fabric and just had to have it.  It is another design by Michele D'Amato.  (My black jelly roll quilt is from fabric by her, also)  My students didn't want to be in the picture, but this one just couldn't figure out how to hold the quilt and not be in there.  I told him I would delete him out, but I didn't do it.  LOL  He will just have to be in the picture.  I thought I wanted to applique something - a flower or leaf - on here, but my mother repeatedly made comments about how beautiful the fabric was and if I was going to do something, then maybe I should do an outline of a flower.  That way more of the beautiful fabric would show up.  This one is all in browns from espresso to cream.  I did a small light border, a larger leaf print border and then added a small border of dot fabric.  This is the first quilt I have made where the outside border is the smallest or equal to the smallest border.  Apparently this was all the rage in Arkansas last year.  I will definitely do this again on another quilt.
 
 
Anytime I go to the Country Store in Lovington, NM or see them out at quilt shows, I am compelled to purchase their brown bag specials.   What is a brown bag special?  It is, of course, a brown bag filled with 6 different fat quarters.  You don't know what you are getting, but just that you are getting 6 fat quarters.  Oh, yes, the good part is, they only cost $5.00!!!  What a bargain!  I can't pass this up.  Last year on the shop hop I challenged everyone in my group to purchase a bag and make something using only the fat quarters found in the bag.  Below is my little project.  I knew they kind of went together, but was worried about the turquoise and the floral print clashing too much.  By cutting up the floral fabric into smaller chunks and putting the turquoise between two other prints, I think I have neutralized them enough that now they go together.  I would like to add some borders, etc. but for that I will have to get some more fabric of some kind.  Since I waited a year to get this one together - I made the square in a square pretty quickly after I brought the bag home - I guess it can wait around a little bit longer until I decide what - and what fabrics - I want to add to it.  

 
I got bored one day and picked up my box of 1 1/2" blocks and started sewing them together.  When I got it to a size I was happy with, I pressed it all out and saw a 2 1/2" strip that had come as a "sucker" from the latest shop hop so I sewed that all around, trimmed it up a bit and put it on the wall.  In the next few days I decided that it needed something else.  I pulled out another box of blocks - I think these were about 3 or 3 1/2".  Sewed and added them as borders. put another 2 1/2" strip around it all and called it good.  Put it on the design wall and walked away.   Then I got the great idea to turn it on point.  Pulled out the 5" squares, put a 3" border around and yep, I am liking how this is turning out.  Stay tuned and we will see where else this one goes.

 
one last note - at retreat I was looking at what one of my friends was working on and was surprised to see she was quilting this little beauty.  It's my Divide and Conquer pattern.  That was a pleasant surprise.  She is going to add the red/hot pink strip as binding and was showing it to me when I commented on the quilt.  It's beautiful!!  So much fun to see your patterns made up by someone else. 
 
 

Paintings and Kaffe Blocks

Life has been very busy and I haven't had time to take pictures and get on here to show you what has been keeping me busy.  Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a private Wine and Canvas party where we painted the picture below of what I call Tata's and Tutu on a Hanger.  I think I made the boobs way too big, but that is real life for me.  I wasn't really impressed until I took it off the easel and thought, this isn't as bad as I thought it was. 
 
 
It is sitting on top of a shelving unit along with another private party Wine and Canvas I did back in May.  I don't know if I posted it on here or not, so please bear with me if this is a repeat.  This one is Paisleys and Posies.  They were fun to make and I really want to make many, many more in the future.  

Here they are together with all the stuff that adorns the top of that shelf right now. 

 
I have been doing a bit more than painting this past week.  I also put together the blocks for my KFC Exchange Group blocks for October.  This one is called Mrs. Lacey's Choice and was a lot of fun selecting the fabrics to use in this fun block.  I love the way the fabrics work together to create the patterns.  I can't wait to see more of these blocks put together. 


I don't think I posted last months KFC blocks so here they are.  Ignore the ugly carpet, but I had forgotten to take the picture of them on the design wall and had to quickly take one to post on the group page. 

The cold front is blowing in so it's time for me to get in a nice warm bed.  I will soon try to post the other things I have worked on during my little bit of down time, retreats and just playing around. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Week - Utter Chaos

Okay, I just deleted a long and rambling account of my crazy (or as I like to call it, because it was super crazy, - my cra-crazy day).  I was reading it over and making sure it all made sense and thought, nope!  you don't really want to hear all the nonsense and stuff that went on today - tea spilling all over my desk and floor and papers - students wanting stuff from me right and left - how do mom's do it?  Oh, yes, they only have 3 or 4 kids wanting things all at once, not 15-20.  I swear, I think they all got together and decided to ask questions all at once.  I even threatened to scream at one time and a student told me to do it.  I didn't this time, but I have before.  It gets their attention and makes them realize they are driving me crazy.  I had about 60 work related e-mails all wanting me to send something, fill out something or just post something.  Some even wanted me to do some things next week!!  Then there was a fire drill!  (our second one in two weeks.  Are we going to have one every week?)  How do they expect me to teach these two dual credit courses in the 15 week semester we have before Christmas and get everything else we do in there done?  I only have 13 weeks left and I haven't even started the course work yet.  It's a good thing some of this was taught in last years classes and I can just re-fresh their memory on part of it.  I hope they retained it! 

When a sub walked into my kitchen to get some ice about 2:45 this afternoon, I was talking to a maintenance man about my pilot lights (that is a totally different story from earlier this week), while I was trying to get the tea in my room cleaned up, get the students papers turned in, the video re-wound - the machine kept kicking it back out, the mop washed out, the pantry stuff put away, the food out of the fridge, lids for the coffee/cocoa cups for the kids,  and everything else done in that last few minutes before the students left, because I had to leave within a few minutes after them to go downtown to turn in some paperwork, I just had to laugh. 

Okay, I know I told you I wasn't going to tell you all of what happened and I didn't.  Truly.  This was just a little bit of the chaos that happened today.  I didn't even leave school when I planned, but did make it downtown to turn in the paperwork before the end of the day.  However, leaving the building, the heavens opened up and poured.  Yep, that about sums up the kind of day it was.  Actually that was just a part of how the entire week went.  I hope next week goes much smoother. 

On the bright side, I did manage to make another chicken pin cushion and a little bag from just playing around in the studio.  I hope to spend several hours in there this weekend de-stressing from this past week.  That is after I roast the 25 pounds of Hatch green chili's I got at Bountiful Baskets tonight.  What was I thinking????? Anyone want a pound or 5 of green chili's?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Kaffe Blocks and Angry Birds Pillow cases

I received two more blocks in the mail this weekend and now there are 8 total.  Since my sewing machine is in front of my design wall, it makes it a little hard to put up the blocks so please excuse the wonkiness. 

 
They are looking really good together.  I think I will sash them - at least a small sashing to break them up a bit since there is such a variety of fabrics going on there.  I worked on a couple of things in the studio today.  I couldn't really settle down and get busy in there. The only thing I got finished were these super cute Angry Birds pillow cases.  A friend of mine had to go to Carlsbad to pick up a package she had won in a recent shop hop so another friend and I tagged along.  This cute Angry Birds fabric was calling my name and just had to go home with me.  I pulled fabric from my stash to finish the cuff and flange and I think I may have to put these on my bed tonight.  OR I could save them and give them as a Christmas present for someone special.  (I have no idea right now who that special someone might be, so more than likely they will be making an appearance on my bed in the near future.)  

 
I did get the blocks all sewn from another project I started at our last quilt in and purchased some more fabric in Carlsbad to make a border and back for an almost finished top, so those hopefully will be making an appearance on the blog soon.  Now it's time to get in bed since I have to be up early for school.  Having Labor Day so soon after we start school, really messes with my head and system.  It would be so nice to be able to sleep in tomorrow, also, but alas, that is not to be. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Blocks, Quilt Tops and More

I showed a picture of the first block earlier in the month, but here are my two blocks I made for my KFC Block Exchange group. The blocks are starting to trickle in and I thought I had taken a picture of the other two that Pat had made for me, but unfortunately, I didn't have it on my camera.  (might have taken it with my phone or tablet.  I will have to check and see.)  As soon as I have 6 + blocks, I will post another picture.  I might have to sash this quilt so the blocks stand on their own, but  I will think more about that when I get a few blocks up on the wall. 
 
 
One Friday on a Missouri Star tutorial, Jenny showed how to make little chicken pin cushions.  I have seen these pin cushions all over the place for many years, but have never made one myself.  Until now.  Below is my chicken pin cushion (or will be after I stuff it) without her tail feathers.  I totally forgot about that part of the video.  This one is made with leftover made fabric from the blocks I have made in my KFC Block Exchange group.  When I get to a point where I don't know what I want to work on, or am trying to avoid something that I need to do, I pull out some scraps and make some fabric to use in a project.  I had already used some of this made fabric in another project, but had enough to cut out a couple of squares. Check out the Missouri Star tutorial and make one for yourself.  I will definitely be making a few more of these to give as gifts.

 
 
Speaking of Jenny Doan, early in June, I went to Arkansas to visit with family and got to attend a Jenny Doan trunk show with my mother and take one of her quilt classes with my sister.  Paige and I worked really hard and fast and made many blocks in the short time we were in class.  We had a great system going and were cranking out the blocks.  I didn't realize that Jenny would be leaving at noon from this "full day" bring your own lunch class that I had signed up for.  Apparently everyone in the class knew and some had made plans to stay there the rest of the day and sew and some left at noon to go do other things (some even had to go to work).   Since the teacher was leaving, Paige and I decided to leave pretty soon after she did.  So, I packed everything back into my car and went back to my mother's house.  I left all the blocks I made in a tub until yesterday when I decided to get them out and finish putting them together.  I had already started sewing them into rows during the class and had two rows sewn together and another completed and ready to add when I pulled them out of the tub.  30 blocks!!  Can you believe that we made 30 blocks (31 really) in about 3 hours time?  We did!!  Did I mention we had a system going?  It was fun.  Paige said I was the better sewer and kicked me off the cutting detail at one point  That didn't hurt my feelings - I had previously been kicked off another cutting detail many years ago when my mother, a friend and I made my bulls-eye quilt.  (I can't free cut a circle out of a square of fabric to save my life. They were more a fat football shape)  When I put the remaining blocks together, I only had to make one more "dark" block to make the pattern work.  I have two leftover "light" background blocks and they may have to go on the back somewhere.  This is probably a crib size quilt (about 45 X 52 or so) and I wasn't sure what fabric to use for the outer border.  I auditioned about 10 different fabrics and only two of them made the cut and I wasn't totally sold on either one of them.  I am glad I chose and stuck with this one.  It makes the quilt cheery and fun. 
 

 
The only other thing I am going to type about tonight is the little quilt that is to the right of the exploding block quilt.  That is made from trimmings from a company in Australia, Umbrella Prints.  They have a challenge every March - June and they send you (for a small fee) a packet of fabrics and you have to make something out of it.  I didn't learn of the challenge until late and by the time my fabric arrived it was toward the end of school when I got very busy, so I never put anything together until now.  Here again, like making fabric, I just pulled things out of the packet laid it out on the table and started sewing bits together.  Where I thought I might be going with the fabric and design, doesn't even show up here since I cut that up and sewed it all back in.  It looks like I was making a couple of log cabin pieces, but I only made one.  I was crossing my fingers on the border because I wasn't sure I would have enough fabric to go all the way around.  I am really enjoying this little piece and can't decide how I want to quilt it.  Either by hand with pink pearl cotton or by machine with pink or khaki thread.  Oh, yes, these fabrics are linens or have a rough feel to them so hand quilting may be a bit much, but it might just add some fun if I big stitch.  Until I decide, I will enjoy it on my design wall. 
 
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kaffe Blck Exchange Blocks

I have been doing a little bit of sewing - FINALLY!!!  It is almost time to go back to school and I am in a bit of a panic mode to get in the studio and sew.    I knew I really had to get going on these paper pieced blocks for my KF Block Exchange Group.  There are 9 - 10 people in a group and we have three groups going on right now.  Each person has a month and must post his/her block pattern choice along with any fabric directions they have by the first.  Then we have one entire month plus a10 days to get the blocks made and in the mail.  (they must be posted by the 10th).  Now we all know that things happen and in the case of the June blocks .  . well,  I made them within a few days of the pattern being posted.  That was good.  I took them to show my quilt group and then I  wanted to show my mother so I took them to Arkansas planning to mail them from there, but I didn't. When I came back home I forgot all about them.  Hey, they were made and done, on to new things.  By the time I remembered them, they were already late.  I finally got around to putting them in the mail - I took the envelope up and weighed it so I could be sure and get the correct amount of postage on there and sent them off.  Well, a few days ago - 7 since I had mailed them off - they came back needing more postage.  WHAT???  That was why I weighed it out in the first place.  They went back in the mail this week with more than enough postage on them so, we will see if they make it there by Monday.  (I am hoping they arrived either today or tomorrow, but Monday at the latest) 
 
Now that June's are taken care of - it's time for July's blocks.  Below are the two blocks I made for the July person.  I should have paid better attention to the orange fabric and made sure the entire star points were from the orangiest part of that fabric and not let those other colors intrude. but that is how it came out and I think it adds some character. 
 
 
This next one has better contrast.  I used some unusual and older KFC fabrics in these blocks so maybe no one else will make the same fabric/color combinations.  They turned out well and I can't wait to see them with all the other blocks to see how they stack up.  I may have to offer to re-make the first one if it clashes too much with her other blocks.  (that gray/green background may be too weird)

 
I am the August person.  I had been thinking about what block I wanted to request and had planned on writing up some instructions, but then I realized it was the first of the month and I needed to post something within the next 30 minutes and I panicked.  I fell back on my second favorite block - Goose in the Pond and just sent everyone directions/access to the tutorial here on my blog.  I told them they could use any fabric combination as long as they used three different fabrics.  I hadn't had time to make an example one - hey, August creeped up on me! 
 
Tonight, I finally got around to making one block using my pattern - someone else has already posted a picture of their block they made and it looks great!  Here is one of mine.  I realized after I made it that I used the same warm/cool placement that I requested from last years Bee group.  I guess I just like that combo.  I have already pulled fabrics for the next one and I am mixing it all up!  Even though in person it looks a bit busier, I like how this one looks in the picture.