Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I just got in my splurge package today.  I have been waiting a couple of weeks for it to get here and it finally has arrived!!!  What am I talking about?  guess - no not really, I hate when people do that to me.  I usually end up saying something outrageous or the first thing off the top of my head.  Which 60% of the time is a correct answer and then they get mad at me for knowing their big secret.  So, I won't do that to you.  I splurged and ordered some fabric from Spoonflower.  I had designed some fabric a couple of years ago on there and I always get their e-mails about their fabric contests.   Robert Kaufman has set a challenge for the next fabric designer and they are down to the the top eight designers.  I was reading the posting about one of the designers, Heather Dutton, when I saw the most wonderful fabric.  Of course I like the fabric that she entered into this contest, but the fabric that the bag in the blog posting was made from is - me singing here- wonderful!!  I wanted some of that fabric.  So, I decided to get me some.  At $18.00 a yard it is a big - big splurge for me.  Me, who very rarely buys fabric for full price, wanting one yard for what I usually get 4 or more yards for?  YES!!  I splurged.  Not only did I purchase that fabric, but I purchased several fabrics.  I was on a roll!!!

Do you see the fabric with the large 0's?  That is the fabric I wanted to begin with.  The two fabrics to the right were also in her collection so I purchased them to go with this fabric.  Then scrolling through the Spoonflower website, I found this wonderful letter/number fabric that just called out to go along with these other fabrics.  It may or may not make it into a quilt with them, but I really love the modern look and the colors - chartreuse, citron, charcoal on a gray and white background - wonderful and crisp.   However, It needed something else.  So, off to through the website for another color to help bring these all together and give it another pop.  How about some salmon? 

It has some of the that same green, some charcoal and now some pinks and salmon.  OR what about adding this one?  Sorry I don't have it all laying out together so you can see that this one works, also.

A soft salmon color and those dark charcoal grays.  This one is lovely in person.  Again, those letters.  I have always been drawn to letters like this on trays.  Whenever I see them I have to touch them and run my hands over the top of the entire tray and pick up several of the letters feeling them (okay, fondling them).  There is something wonderful about it.  That may be why I was an engraver off and on for over 12 years.  I was drawn to those trays of letters that - oops, spill if you aren't really careful.  I have spilt the tray of metal letters a couple of times in those twelve years. Back to the fabric.  Since I was going to splurge, I might as well get some of the fabric that I designed. 

It also has some of those same colors, chartreuse, charcoal, salmon, but it also has some design flaws that need to be worked out.  You can't read all the saying since some of the blocks overlap each other.  Then when you reverse it, the lettering is reversed - oops - you would have thought I would have seen that on the website before I had it printed out, but no.  I was too wrapped up in the fabric.  Oh, well, back to the drawing board.  The last fabric that I got by Diane Fraser, does not go with anything else I purchased, but it was a recent winner and it just kept drawing me back to see it over and over again, so I purchased a yard of it, also.

Each bird is about 8 3/4" tall and are in a dusty chocolate brown on a pale blue background.  Simply gorgeous.  I don't know what I am going to make with this one either, but like I said, it kept calling my name so I had to have a yard of it. 

All of this fabric is printed on Kona so it has a wonderful feel weight to it.  I will wash them this weekend so if sometime in the middle of the night I decide to make something wonderful, it will be ready for me and whatever project I dream up.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Round Robins

I might have said this before and if I have repeated myself too much, I apologize, but my Bee Friends Quilt Group's newest project is round robin quilts.  We have done this a few times in the past, but it has been more than 10 years since we last challenged ourselves this way.  I love working on round robins and I love the challenge each new quilt presents.  Here are the two latest ones I have worked on.  The first one with the brown star in the center, I was supposed to add squares.  I planned and debated about whether or not to make 9 patches or just single squares or four patches.  Once I decided on making four patches, I then worked on the pattern within those four little squares.  Below is the pattern I came up with to bring more light fabric and some teals into this quilt.  It has one more round to go and has already been turned over to the next player for an "anything goes" border. 

I am the last one to add to the quilt top below.  In my "anything goes" border, I knew that I wanted to add some more of that "pink/salmon" fabric to help bring more color into this very dark quilt.  The first pink border was one of my fabrics that I volunteered during our last quilt-in.  However, I didn't have enough of it left to add a larger (or even smaller) border.   I found a fabric that is similar in tone and value to the first fabric and in the picture and in real life, it works really well.  So well that I wished I had more of it to just put an extra large pink border.  That was not the case so I needed to find something else to put on the outside.  I also didn't have enough of the gold fabric (another one I donated at the quilt-in), but didn't really want to detract from the awesome way that fabric shines in this quilt.  So, back to the fabric bag that came with this little quilt.  Hmm.  It is all upholstery fabric and most of it is cut into 4 inch squares.  I lay out a few of those squares and decide, nope that is not the way I want to go.  However, there was a piece about 14 inches wide - give or take curved edges - that I could possibly use.  Thank goodness I was able to square it up and then figure out how wide I could make this border with the fabric I had available.  Of course, I made the first cut too small.  I wasn't even thinking!!  Thank goodness I could piece it together and make it work.  Even though this is really a simple addition to this quilt top, it really finishes it off and that is what this round is all about.  It is a really rich and elegant quilt top and I can't wait to see how she finishes it off and whether she makes a wall hanging out of it or keeps on adding to it to make it into a larger bed spread.  (or even a table topper) (because, beside the pink and the gold fabric - everything else is upholstery fabric)

Okay, that is it for the night.  I have to be at school for a meeting extra, extra early so I better get into bed right now!!! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mostly about school stuff

The table runner is quilted and the binding is attached, but I just need to hand sew it down on the back side for it to be a done, completed, marked off project.  Thank goodness, that one was fast and painless.  I will post another picture when it is totally completed. 

Today was the last day for the restaurant to be open for the year.  A little glad and a little sad.  Everything turned out great, even though the guys were slow and tedious about their food and were totally focused on getting their items done and didn't help out until they were finished.  We really could have used their help since I had 4 girls out sick!!  Oh, well, life goes on and Kaylee did an amazing job as waitress to ALL the tables by herself.  At one point she had 4 small tables and a large - 8 top table!  She was amazing! 

Now, all we have to do is finish cleaning tomorrow, finish up making the chicken salad for Saturday, prep for the banquet for 100 people next week, take finals and oh, yes, clean, clean, clean!!!  It will still be a busy week and a half of school.  It's coming up a whole lot faster than I expected.  If I hadn't said yes to the last two things, we would be done except for the cleaning and finals part.  This is what I get for being nice and helping out friends and co-workers. 

It's getting late and I am tired.  Maybe tomorrow I will be able to get into the studio to work on some round robins. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Busy BEE weekend

I am picky about the purse I carry.  It has to have an inside zippered pocket and I like little pockets on the outside for my keys, phone, cords and it has to have a shoulder strap!  That's a must.  It also needs to be large enough to carry all the stuff I need and my tablet.  However, I don't want it so large that I load it down and make it too heavy for me to carry -which happens a lot!  So, needless to say, when I find a purse I like, I carry it for awhile.  I am not one of those that changes purses with every outfit I wear.  I have one purse and that is it.  My blue purse has served me well for the last year, but the hook that holds the strap to the purse has been coming undone for the last 3 months.  Not alot at first, but lately, ding, and it just falls off my shoulder.  So, it's time to get a new one.  (did I also say that most of my purses come from Target?   I am cheap that way)  So, off to Target to find a new one.  I go through the racks and nothing catches my eye.  I fix the hook and on to another day. week.  Well, no more.  I have to have a new one.  I trudge back to Target and . . . pick up a fairly cute purse, put it on my shoulder, no, not that one.  Next.  No.  Next.  There.  A cute natural linen with raspberry faux lizard straps and trim.  However, it doesn't have any outside pockets.  That is not good.  It's the only one that catches my eye and I have to have a new one NOW!!  So, home it goes.  (well, of course, it first goes into the basket and then I pay for it before I take it home, duh)  I transfer all my stuff and there isn't a pocket for the keys or for all the cords that go with the phones, tablet and i-pod.  I knew that, but I didn't want the ugly boxy purse and I know I can make what I want if I just would do it. 

After using it for a couple of days I decide that I have to have a little bag for the cords because every time I take something out of my purse, a cord is attached to it and comes out, too.  Sometimes with other items attached to the other end.  To the drawing board.  After making the first bag too tall and skinny, I made this little bag.  It currently has the cord for my traveling docker that I take with me quilting.  It's a cute bag, but not as cute as the little black and white and hot pink bag in my purse.  (sorry no picture at this time).   I think this is going to work - maybe - those ribbon ties might drive me crazy, too.  I will let you know.

At our workday Saturday with my Bee Friends group I worked on my chicken quilt.  I got the fabric made for the top border and then added some red fabric to set it.  Now I can't decide what else to add.  I don't think it's finished, yet.  I love him even though his right wing is flipped upside down.  I have thought about going in and fixing it, but it's not square and if I take it out I will create another problem. The bottom is behind the ironing board.  Sorry you guys get to see the boxes on the top and the mess on the ironing board.  However, I have rigged a wonderful place to hang a top I am working on.  You really can't see it very well, but I have a red yard stick that I have bulldog clipped my quilt top to and then I have set it on the top shelf of my storage shelves.  The top hangs down and covers up all the other boxes and I am able to figure out what else I need to add.  I do have a flannel wall, but it has a quilt top on it that I can't move yet.  So, this is my improvisation.  OOPS!  it's thundering here so I don't know how much longer before Taegan - my scardy dog - will hold out before I have to go downstairs and lay on the couch with him.  I guess I will type faster. 

I know I whined about making a table runner, thanks for listening by the way, but I have made the top part of one.  I know!!  I was totally shocked myself.  My friend, Gerrie, made one of those jelly roll quilts where you stitch the strips all together.  Then she put on some applique flowers and stems.  Gorgeous!  Then, at BEE, Saturday, my friend, Kathy, had some Moda candy bars she won and was asking about putting them together in that same fashion to make her table runner.  I think it's a great idea, but that isn't what I want to do for my table runner.  I don't know exactly what I am going to make, but not that.  Well, today, I was putting away some of the items I cleared off the cutting table yesterday morning in my attempt to avoid deciding what to work on at BEE - another story - and came across a piece that I made with the intention of cutting it up and creating blocks out of it for another quilt.  I looked at it and decided it needed a black border.  Then it needed some flowers.  I really like how this turned out so far - not quilted yet - and I may have to keep it for myself.   I just attached it on top of the chicken quilt so I could take a quick picture. I can't wait to quilt it. 

Alright, I know this has been a bit long, but I really worked on several items fast and furious this weekend so I wanted to share with you one last thing.  We have a door prize each month at our BEE.  If you win the prize for that month, it is your job to supply the prize for the next month.  We have been doing this for the last 3 or 4 years now.  We have also had the tradition - a bad one, in my opinion - to keep the same gift sack for the entire year.  Whoever wins in December, changes out the gift sack with a new one for the next year.  I don't know who started this or even why we do it, but we have done it this way for at least 3 years.  Well, this year, we have kept the same sack as last year.  We have had this sack for a year and a half!!!!!  It is time to retire the sack.  So, since I won this month, I told them that I was going to make a bag/sack that could be part of the gift or it could be passed around (over and over)  The deal will be, if you decide to keep the bag, you will have to make another bag to replace it.  If you don't want to make a bag, then this bag - or the bag your gift came in - has to move on to the next person.  I measured the current gift bag and this new one is the exact same size as the one we have been passing around for a year and a half.  Below are two pictures of the new bag. 

I really like it.  I have a few adjustments to make if I am going to make it again, but it works for my first try.  Okay, the dogs are all barking - even though I don't hear any more thundering.  gotta go sleep on the couch!! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May Stocking Swap

I have been fighting with myself to get on here and write this posting and tonight I finally won.  I hope all of you have been better than me and have already started your May project, the table runner.  I have not.  I don't know why I chose to put a table runner in my list of 12 items to make for this swap, but I did and now I have to live with my decision and make one.  I am not afraid of making a long skinny quilt or a table runner.  I made a table runner a long time ago as part of a challenge and gave it to my mother.  When she packed up to move to Arkansas, I got my runner back.  The challenge was to make something using the orphan block you were given (mine was the 7 sisters block in the middle) I used gold lame in my quilt to give it some sparkle and it is even hand quilted!!  Oh, My!!!
In big stitch with some kind of gold thread.  I remember that it was really hard to work with.  It really is a nice Christmas quilt that needs to be put out this year, if I remember and if I decorate.  However, this quilt will really class with my hot pink tree and my lime green tree.  This just isn't my Christmas colors that I use at my house.  Tooooo traditional for me!! 

Okay, now you know that I have made and can make a table runner.  I have even made a skinny quilt

that, if it was longer, could be used as a table runner.  My problem is, my table is always full with other stuff so table runner is not wanted or needed.  (I don't really like them!!)  Not to say that on your table it doesn't look wonderful.  I love looking a pictures of tables in other people's homes that are set and have their runners proudly displayed running down the middle of their tables.  I have a squarish table and right now it is covered.  Literally covered with fabric and clean clothes.  Both of which are folded neatly, but just can't find the way upstairs and into their rightful places.  (okay, the fabric needs to be washed first and that is an entirely different posting!)

So, what I am whining about is the fact that I need to make a table runner for this month.  whine, whine, whine. 

I have googled several table runners and I see them out there all the time, but not one has jumped off the pages and said, "MAKE ME!!"  and I truly think that is the problem here.  (okay, it's not the only one, but it is a portion of the problem) I just need to be inspired.  So, if you are working on your table runner or already have it finished - you over achiever, you - OR if you have some you really like and think might be fun to make, send me the URL so I can check it out and maybe my creative juices can get a kick start and I will be inspired to make a runner for this month. 

I am up to 6 blocks finished for the Color challenge over at 15 minutes play and if I can get a good picture this weekend - too dark here since it's RAINING!!!  (we haven't had this much rain in almost two years!) (I mean - we got almost as much rain in the last 24 hours as we had gotten combined in the entire 12 months of last year!!!) I will try to lay them all out and take a good picture of each block this weekend.