Sunday, August 28, 2011

Liberated logs and baskets

I have been wondering and trying to decide what and how I was going to  teach my scholarship class at Ogallala this year.  I took two classes from Gwen Marston - Liberated log cabins and Liberated Baskets.  When I was discussing this with my mother, she came up with the wonderful idea of using the log cabins for the basket.  ding, ding, ding we have a winner!!!   I made two log cabins with orange strips (different fabrics in each) and made one yellow cabin.  These were all from the scrap pile that I use to make "fabric" with for my intuition quilt.  I pulled some brown fabric from a stack of fabric that has finally graduated from the pile by the sofa and made it up the stairs and into my quilt studio.  I had thought I was going to use it for squares in the 6 inch square swap from a couple of weeks ago and decided that I didn't want a solid brown.  It's no really solid, but kind of muddled.  I used a different teal fabric for the handles on each of the baskets and sashed it with a brown/orange/yellow/green fabric that for some reason I really, really like.  (I have been on a brown/orange kick for a little over a year now).  I was going to make the border a large strip of that fabric, but decided that it needed a kick.  So, I went through my teal drawer and pulled a fabric that has little bitty silver strips in it.  The selvage says the fabric was made in 1999 so it is a bit on the old side, but I am so glad that I have it because it works perfectly here.  Now to decide how to quilt this baby.  I want to have a completed quilt for my project instead of just a top like last year.   Now that I think about it, the year before I had three - count them - three completed (that means quilted and bound!!)  quilts for my solids class.  Last years wasn't quilted because I couldn't decide . . . . okay, I won't lie, it wasn't quilted because most of my tops aren't quilted. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

See What I Won!!

When I have time, I participate in the Le Petite Challenge over at A Quilting Life and Pink Pincushion.  My goal was to participate every month, but some months I am a lot more busy than others so that hasn't happened.  However, last month I found some time to make the schnibble entitled "George".  It was a monkey wrench quilt and since that is one of my favorite all time quilt blocks, I knew I had to make it.  I immediately ordered the pattern from Quilt Taffy and started looking around at all the charm packs I have acquired in the last couple of years (began picking those up last year for the schnibble challenge with the same two blogs).  I found a couple that I wanted to explore the possibilities of background fabrics that might work with them (and also what I had on hand since I definitely didn't have time to go to a store).  I found two that I kept going back and forth on and decided to wait another day before making that decision.  I put it all aside and worked on a block for 15 Minutes Play.  That's when I found it.  The "George" pattern.  I already had it!!  I could start on this immediately if I wanted and I so wanted to do that.  I picked up the one fabric that was in the lead (in my head - it wasn't an actual race to see who could be made into a quilt) and started cutting.  I cut, I sewed and I finished it in plenty of time to enter it into the parade, but then life got busy and at the  last minute - after checking the blogs to see if the parade had already started, I e-mailed it to Sinta at Pink Pincushion

It's not the best picture, I know, but it was taken quite late at night.  (or, it could be I am a horrible photographer)  I really like that I used a darker blue fabric for my background.  It makes everything else stand out.  The inside of the wrenches are a variety of blue fabrics from the charm pack.  What all this rambling and going on is all about is . . . everyone that entered that parade won!!  I couldn't believe it.  This quilt (okay, top only) didn't win the big prize, but since there weren't very many that entered that month, Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co (who designs the Schnibbles patterns and this quilt) decided that they were all winners and wanted to award us with a layer cake.  YEA!!! 

My package arrived this week, but having a full week of inservice has slowed me down a bit and I didn't get pictures made of the prize until now.  I was really shocked when I received my mailing.  I was a little on the fat side for a single layer cake and the reason for that was . . . it was two layer cakes and a pincushion kit!!  BINGO!!  What a great package to open. 
This first one is Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree and Company

The second one is Maison De Garance by French General
Both are Moda Layer Cakes

This last one is an absolutely adorable snowman pincushion by Primitive Gatherings and designed by Lisa Bongean.  It will finish only 4 1/2" X 5 1/2" and includes everything but the threads to do the embroidery and blanket stitch and the sand to fill it.  (I will also need some kind of fusible, but I have that) 

Needless to say that I was very, very excited about my package and want to say a big THANK YOU to Sinta and Sherri for hosting and coming up with such great challenges and a huge, huge THANK YOU to Carrie for providing prizes each month and especially for this past month.  thank you. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Our Bee Friends Quilt Group got together this past weekend for our third quilt-in of the year.  It was decided several months prior that whoever wanted would cut 149 light and 149 medium/dark - 6 inch squares and trade to make  really scrappy 1/2 square quilts.  I signed up to do this project.  Well, we all know how busy my summer was and I got my lights cut before Thursday night, but not my med/darks.  I took that fabric with me to the quilt-in knowing I had a few hours before we had to trade and I might just get all my squares cut.  Thank goodness one of my friends was a little bit late getting there that night because I finished right as she was walking in the door.   WHEW!!  Just by the skin on of my teeth I got all my squares cut and ready to trade.  However, before I even went that night I had decided that I didn't even want to make another 1/2 square quilt.  I have made one or two of them at other retreats and even though I like the looks of those quilts, I was ready for something different.  I was sitting at the computer working one night and knocked off a stack of papers that really, really need to be filed.  After I picked them up and stacked them again - what?  I don't have the energy or time to file them now!  I have other more important (and fun) things to do - like playing games on the computer or reading blogs - which is probably what I was doing when I knocked that pile over.  Anyway, in that stack was one of those patterns you get in the mail along with a solicitation for a quilt book or new magazine or to join something quilty.  I had saved this one sheet because I liked the look of that quilt.  I wasn't sure I would actually make it, but I could use it as an inspiration.  All it needed were 6 inch squares in light and medium/dark fabrics - hey, we are trading those at the quilt in.  Also, I needed 1 1/2 inch strips.  I have a large box of those since several of my recent quilts needed  that size strip.  I am set!!  In brief, easy terms here is how you get these blocks.  Cut your 6 inch square diagonally once.  Sew your 1 1/2" strips to the cut edges of your block.  Square up your block.  Now, the pattern says to square them to 5 inches, but I have been able to square mine back to a 6 inch block.  Here is what I have put up on my design wall so far . . .

There are a lot of repeats in there since when we exchanged, I picked up two of the same fabric blocks (we went around the table several, several times before we decided to pick up more than two - we were tired after going around about 6 times!)  This will look even more scrappy as I put in more fabrics.  I may have to make a couple of smaller quilts rather than a large one.  We will see how this all pans out later. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The New Year Begins and other things

Back at school for two days and already I can tell that it is going to be an "interesting" year.  I am going to hope for the best, but we will have to wait and see what this year holds.  I am looking forward to my classes and what I am teaching, it's just the higher ups that are causing a dislike. 

Last week, being the only week to have completely off for the summer - no outside work - I planned on sewing, sewing, sewing and I got very little done.  I took a nap almost everyday and was a lazy bum for the most part.  I had lots of dog and me appointments - grooming, vets, doctors, etc. and got the majority of them taken care of.  I have a few more on my calendar for this month and I think the dogs are taken care of for a bit.  I really needed to cut my 300 - 6 inch - squares for our exchange tomorrow night and I got 150 light squares cut and ready to go, but I have to cut my darks tonight.  That may or may not happen.  It is thundering outside and I think I have more than the usual one dog afraid of the storm.  I may have to go back downstairs and cuddle with a couple of them to reassure them that the storm is not going to get them. 

A couple of years ago, a major thunder and lightening storm settled over the top of my house.  Being two story it seemed that it may come through the roof at any time.  This was at 2 in the morning and Taegan, Irish and I were fast asleep.  Then BOOM! BOOM!  BOOM!!!!!  Taegan was up and on top of me so fast that I couldn't figure out what was going on.  I thought someone might have broken in and he was protecting me, but no, he wanted my protection from the storm.  He had never been scared of storms before, but that was a scary one for sure.  Ever since then, if it is thundering or there are fireworks or other loud noises going on outside, he comes running for his momma and either climbs in my lap or sits as close as he can get for my protection.  That one storm really scared him.  He was probably fast asleep at the time and it scared him awake.  So, tonight, he has the other dogs stirred up and every time the thunder booms - not very loudly, but still a boom - he starts barking and the others join in with him.   I think Irish is just telling them to be quiet, since he managed to sleep through that storm a couple of years ago. 

Tonight is the final competition night on So You Think You Can Dance and guess what?  Our Fox station is not working!  BOO!!!!  I was looking forward to watching them dance tonight.  I am hoping that I can watch it later tonight on the computer.  I may have to wait until tomorrow night.  : (  That show is one of my favorite shows to watch. 

Well, so much for my rambling on.  I did take a picture of one of the only things I got made last week.  It is part of a new quilt design.  I had originally planned on this being a two color quilt and I wanted to see what it would look like using scraps.  I also want to see if I could make this block without getting technical and writing out all the directions, sizes, etc.  Because if it didn't work, I didn't want to be out all that wasted time when my time last week was spent . . well, you know, you read all the way down to here, now didn't you.  I love a good nap.  I really like the way this turned out.  I can't wait to make the rest of the quilt or at least a baby quilt using scraps.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Le Petite Challenge - George

Now that I am finished with all of my jobs this summer, well almost - still have to fill out all the paperwork for the externship, but I am waiting on the owner of the restaurant to find some time.  Hopefully on Wednesday this week.  Anyway, now that I have nowhere I have to be, I don't want to do anything.  I am not in the mood to quilt.  It may be that I really wanted to have this quilt top finished and quilted by now, but I just couldn't make myself get in there and baste it so I could quilt it.  Here is my "George" quilt from the Le Petite Challenge.  Featuring "Portugal" by April Cornell for Moda with a blue Kona background.  I don't know which blue though.  I did find some time to work on this in the month of July.  I really like this quilt top.  It's small - Le Petite - but it makes a big statement.  I really need to crop this picture so you don't see the "table runner" next to it. 

That "table runner" was started over a year ago - maybe even two - and since I really don't like to make table runners, I was going to make it into a full size quilt.  However, I only did a bit and got bogged down in stitching all the stars on the squares - I even reduced the number of stars by half - and I never got back to it. When I was pulling batik scraps from off my cutting table and the surrounding area, I found the box that this was in.  It still has all the fabrics pulled and in the box with this top.  I used some of the scraps from this box to add to my block of the month challenge and saw why I haven't worked on it in awhile.  The blocks I have finished are the exact same fabrics that are already in the quilt!  I need to make more stars, add in more batiks and . . . finish this quilt top.  But first, I need to cut 6 inch squares for our Bee Friend's scrap swap.  I need 145 light squares and 145 medium/dark squares.  I know it won't take long to kick those out,  but my cutting table is over run with stuff.  So, I am going to have to cut on my small table - which is okay - but it also has fabric on it from at least two different projects plus leftover bits of George!  Gotta go clean that off.