12/24/10

Snowballs Without Snow and a Little Japanese

Japanese themed wall hanging


Our GBaby dressed up

Back of Japanese wall hanging
Butterflies on Japanese wall hanging
Our sweet little GBaby!!

Gosh, I am soooo sorry that I have not blogged for so long! I have been fairly busy...trying to start a business or two...keeping our little GBaby, who is growing fast...and quilting! Can't belive that 2011 is nearly upon us, and I have so many things to finish for 2010!

Currently, I am making a quilt using the snowball block. This is a block I have been wanting to try out for a while now, so I am pretty excited about how it is turning out! It has been fun to make, and I think the quilt is going to turn out really nice. Here is a link to a snowball block tutorial http://www.straw.com/quilting/articles/snowball1.html... I hope you enjoy making these blocks as much as I have!!

The Japanese theme wall hanging is finished and delivered and another one is on order for February! The Japanese wall hanging (photos above) was a real challenge for me...but one that I really enjoyed in the end. Any time you challenge yourself to do something different, you end up learning so much in the process. For the wall hanging I used an art quilt pattern, but didn't follow it exactly. I tend to use patterns as a starting point and then make the project my own by doing it just a little (or a lot) differently. Are you a strict pattern follower? Or do you use the pattern as a basis for your own designs?

Our GBaby is growing quickly! Our kids are all grown so we tend to forget just how quickly they grow!! She has molars, top and bottom, and can chew most things fairly well now. She is getting tall too!! We just delight in her and love to keep her.

A friend of mine just had a baby boy, so on my design board is a baby quilt...now if I can just find the time to put it on my sewing machine!! The quilt is just a patchwork quilt using 5 inch blocks...a charm quilt of sorts. These are fast and easy to make...and bonus...you use up lots of scraps!

Before we have discussed "sewing green" and lately I have seen a lot of articles on the subject. I get so excited to read these articles, because reusing and repurposing things is a great way to save money, and the environment. Recently, I bought several twin and queen size flat sheets (new and unopened) at a thrift store for $5 each. Sheets are a great source of large amounts of fabric and can be used as quilt backs, cut up for blocks, or embroider a nice design on the sheet and give it as a gift. You can typically find sheets still in the package at thrift stores for a very reasonable price. Thrift stores are a great place to find other sources of fabric...dish towels, duvet covers, bedspreads, long gowns, etc. One article told of a bride who had and all "green" wedding...she made her wedding dress out of a duvet cover, and her decorations were all made of repurposed materials! Wow! How are you "sewing green"? Have you found any good ways to repurpose or recycle everyday materials?

Well, back to the sewing room! I have lots to do, and fortunately it is cold and rainy outside, so it is a great time to be inside!!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!


11/10/10

Fast and Furiously to the Finish!


Close up of panel quilt.


Panel Quilt finished a few weeks ago


Back of panel quilt. Love this batik!


Our GBaby trying on Nana's glasses!









Whew! It has been a busy last few weeks, and I am still working fast and furiously trying to get a couple of quilts done that are due this month. I am working on a blue/gray/white one and an Asian wall hanging. I would ponder the beauty of this last one, however, I haven't the time.

Once again I was not able to attend the Houston International Quilt Show...you either?! Well, not to worry! I just spent a pleasant half hour reviewing photos of the winners from this year's show... and you can too! http://www.quilts.org/winners.html

Hubby and I had a plumbing leak a couple of weeks ago, which forced us to purge some things from one of our closets...mine! Anyway, despite the wet dog smell of the carpet until it was dried out, it was good that it made us look at things that had been stored away for years...things we didn't even realize we had, and things we knew we had...somewhere. We have vowed to finish cleaning out the closets, and as a bonus I have found several items of clothing I plan to cut up and use in quilts....sewing green! My daughter-in-law also gave me clothes from our little granddaughter's first year (I know...time has gone by so fast!) to make into a quilt. That will be a fun project...when I have the time!

Time to quilt! And, is there ever not a good time to quilt?!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!

10/13/10

Another One Down...and Several to Go!

Yes, that's right! I finished another quilt today, ready to deliver tomorrow! Go Quilting Sue!! Not that I am finished by any means...I have several more orders to complete before the end of 2010! But, that is good for me.  It is always very satisfying to be able to check another order off my list...oh yeah...and to get paid for it...even better!

Currently, I am searching out gray fabric for the next quilt. You would think gray fabric would be easy to find...but, it's not so easy. I spent most of yesterday searching through my stash for gray fabric and only came up with 3 fat quarters that I think will work well. And by the way...I rearranged some of my stash to reveal floor space in my sewing room! Wow, if I keep this up, I might be able to actually walk around in my sewing room!! Anyway...gray fabric...not easy to find...so shopping I must go! Fortunately, most fabric stores are having sales this time of the year...so I am hoping to find some nice gray fabric to add to the next quilt project.

Fall is definitely here...my favorite time of the year!! We have had the windows open all day long...very nice! Good quilting weather for sure.

Well, I am off to bed now.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

10/11/10

Polyester Fusible Batting??!! -- Review

So, on the quilt I am finishing up now...as in today or tomorrow...I used polyester fusible batting. Why, you might ask? Well, I have found fusible batting to be a lot faster than pin basting, plus you don't end up with all of those pesky pins weighing the quilt down and pricking your fingers. BUT...while I have used cotton and bamboo fusible battings in the past...Fuis Boo being one of my all-time favs...I am not really liking the polyester fusible batting as much.

There are a couple of issues I have with the polyester fusible batting: 1) it makes the quilt REALLY stiff and hard to push through the sewing machine, 2) well...it's polyester...not a fun medium to work with in the first place, 3) it is a little tougher to needle through, and 4) lint, lint, lint...it produces way more lint than either the cotton or bamboo fusible batting, so I have to clean my sewing machine a lot more often. There...I have vented and feel so much better!! Have any of you ever used polyester fusible batting? What is your opinion of it??

Okay...all vented out now...time to go back to hand sewing on the binding of current quilt. And by the way...I am really liking the way this quilt is looking! The quilt is a panel quilt (no piecing)...so it really has gone together fast and easy! Hubby and I happened to find the perfect backing for the quilt and then digging through my stash...I found the perfect binding fabric...how perfect is that!! :)

Back to sewing.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

10/9/10

Quilting Marathon

Lily rides Grandpa!



Lily in the dirt!

Well, yesterday I had a quilting marathon day! I quilted for 6 hours, pretty much non-stop!! But, I got a twin size quilt all quilted, made the binding and sewed it on...now I just have to hand sew the back of the binding on...and voila...another quilt to deliver! But man, do my shoulders hurt today!! Note to self...when doing a quilt marathon, get up and walk around more and exercise shoulders!!  I have two more quilts to finish in fairly short order, so I know that more quilt marathon days are in my future. How many of you have quilt marathon days?

I started cleaning out my closet the other day and decided to only donate clothing that I couldn't cut up for quilt fabric...sewing green! Now where to store the clothes that will be kept for this purpose??! We are trying to clear our house of things we don't need or don't use. This is going to be a long process for sure!


My what a big stick you have!

So, our little GBaby Lily turned 1 this week! Seems like she was JUST born!! Anyway, we took her and her parents, our youngest daughter and her friend to the park for a picnic (see photos above). We had a great time and despite her bath previous to the picnic, Lily played in the dirt and got rather dirty!! Oh well...babies wash up pretty well!! :)


I am having trouble designing a quilt for a customer...Japanese theme...any suggestions or comments??!! Help!! The quilt is due in November, so it feels like I am running out of time....!!


Lately, I have had an urge to embroider and have a project or two waiting in the wings. Perhaps I will wait for really cold weather to start my embroidery projects?! Just seems like it has been a while since I have done any real serious embroidery...even though I have combined some embroidery in a few quilt projects.


Well, time to get back in the sewing room!! It's beautiful weather...so maybe I will get outside today.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!


Such a sweet face!


10/2/10

Two Quilts Delivered and More to go...


Ouchita National Forest
 
Satisfied Customer!! :)

Back fabric is called "Punk Princess"


 
Pinwheels & butterflies



Batik Quilt - Railfence pattern


Border fun!

Baby Lily-almost 1!
Well, it has been a while since my last post, but I have been pretty busy! Lots to tell this time...so bear with me.

We have been keeping our GBaby some and now that she is walking...well, let me just say, Whew! Chasing her around is a full time job when we keep her, but she is just too cute for words. She will be a year old on Tuesday...she has 8 or 9 teeth...she says "Hi" a lot...and she is on the move! It has truly been a blessed year since she was born.

I did deliver 2 quilts yesterday to, what I believe, is a happy customer! (Photos above) The batik quilt was the more fun of the two quilts...went a little nuts on the border quilting, but had so much fun with it. Currently, I am working on another quilt for delivery soon...and then have 3 more lined up!

Oh...and I almost forgot the best news! Hubby bought me a new Janome sewing machine!! Yep...It is one that has 150 stitches!! I haven't really gotten a chance to play much with it yet, since I have so many quilts to get done...but soon I will have a "play" day!! I am just dreaming about all that I can do with it!!

We have discussed sewing green here before, and my thoughts tend to take me to how to sew green quite often. I am not sure if this is due to the many trips hubby and I take to thrift stores, or the poor economy, but my mind is all over the subject. What are your thoughts on sewing green? How do you sew green? Because I just got a new sewing machine, I will be selling one of my older ones...now I consider this part of sewing green because someone else can get many more years out of using my old machine, instead of it ending up in a landfill. Do you follow my thought process on this one? So, I was thinking of all of the other things in our lives that can be recycled...clothes, shoes, plastic, paper, etc...and was wondering how many of you recycle or repurpose. I saw a sign in an antique mall today that said "Shop vintage and recycle"...how appropriate! I will delve more into the sewing green aspect in a later post...so give me your thoughts on the subject.

We went camping with our daughters a couple of weeks ago...gotta love fall camping...and it was just gorgeous. We had fun and drove through the beautiful Ouchita National Forest in Oklahoma...now who knew Oklahoma was so beautiful!!

Well, it's getting late, so I will sign off for now.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!

8/3/10

Quilting Thoughts

Just thought I would take a quilting break! I have been going gang busters on a commission quilt...trying to get it finished. There is so much joy for me in getting a quilt finished...also a lot of relief! I am always so happy when I can start removing the basting pins and start making the binding. Piecing and binding are my favorite parts of the whole quilting proces...except for maybe shopping for fabric!! What is your favorite part of the quilting process??

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post about last week's thrift store run. In a previous post, discussing "sewing green", I had listed shopping in thrift stores as a great way to purchase fabric for cheap. Well, last week I found a 100% linen long dress for $4, minus hubby's senior discount of 25% = $3! I am talking about 2 yards of nice linen fabric for $3!!

What is all my excitement about? Linen fabric, even with a discount, costs anywhere from $5/yd to $50/yd. I have several projects which require linen fabric, so this find was like gold to me! So don't forget to check your local thrift stores for great fabric finds, especially for specialty or upscale fabrics that are expensive in the fabric store! For instance, a long women's evening gown made of silk or some other specialty fabric will yield anywhere from 2-5 yds of very nice fabric for a fraction of what it would cost in the fabric store. Most thrift stores offer a senior discount one day a week...don't be shy, just ask for the discount when checking out...you might be pleasantly surprised. Men's shirts, dress, casual or Hawaiian, are excellent to buy at thrift stores....they will generally cost between $2-5 each, but will yield between 1-2 yds of fabric a piece (depending on size...I say get the XL or XXL...same price, more fabric). The fabric can be used in any sewing or quilting project. Save money and sew green! Post your comments about other green sewing tips!

Well, back to the sewing room folks! It's been a nice break!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!

8/2/10

Summer Sewing Projects

Baaaa...just thinking of landscapes!

Hi Everyone and Happy Summer!

I know it's been a while since my last post, but I am hoping to keep up on a more regular basis. Some things that have been happening lately: My Mom had a heart attack and surgery...she is fine now; our granddaughter took her first steps and has 7 teeth now (!!); hubby and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary; and I got my first issue of my subscription to Irish Quilting (http://www.irishquilting.ie/Irish_Quilting/home.html)!! Yep, that about covers it!

What are your summer sewing projects? I finished a quilt top, basted the quilt and actually started quilting! Received orders for 2 more quilts and if I hurry I plan on entering the Keepsake Quilting (www.keepsakequilting.com) challenge that ends this month! The challenge is a landscape challenge, and since I really love doing landscapes I thought this was perfect! I have the fabric and the idea...now for the execution and timely shipment!! (That will be my REAL challenge!)

The really HOT part of the summer is here now...and when I say hot, what I mean is 100+ degrees! Today, for example, is 106 degrees here!!! Short of frying an egg on the sidewalk, there is not much that can be done outdoors in this kind of heat...so, I try to stay indoors and sew or just sit quietly and try not to make myself any hotter! It is tough to think about quilting in this kind of heat, much less actually sit under a quilt and work on it!! But, quilt I must! I have an embroidery project in mind, plus I am still working on the last applique block for the Pirate Quilt!

Recently, I have been going through my old quilt books and magazines and trying to weed out the ones that are either duplicates (yep, I tend to buy the same thing twice sometimes) or ones that I know I will never use. This is quite a tedious process since I have to look through everything and then I get interested in something and forget that I am "weeding out". Does anyone else seem to have the same problem?? How do you deal with all of the magazines and books you have on a certain topic like quilting, embroidery, sewing, etc? I would love to hear your ideas! Post your comments.

We have been keeping our granddaughter some this summer and it is amazing to watch her grow and learn. Our kids are all grown up now, so we had forgotten just how amazing babies are to watch and help them learn...the whole world is new to them and everything is so wonderful. To be able to see the world through a child's eyes again is truly awesome and inspiring. We just love the experience...although, keeping her always reminds me that I am no longer in my 20s and Nana has to rest up after a day or two with GBaby!! Hahahaha...that's why child rearing is for the young, not just the young at heart!!

Well, back downstairs where the A/C is working and it's cooler!!

Happy Sewing & Quilting!

6/26/10

Purple Quilt Photos and More...


Well, we have had a busy couple of weeks! We have been babysitting our GBaby Lily quite a bit, and she is so entertaining to watch!! She is crawling and pulling up, so I imagine she will be walking before we know it. We had some friends from Austin come stay with us last night and it was really good to see them...they are expecting a baby boy in December...yes, another baby quilt will be forthcoming for that big event!

Ah yes...Purple Quilt Photos...and here they are!! This was a fun quilt to make...love making pinwheels! I have a few extra pinwheel blocks, so I will have to work them into an "odd patch" quilt (you know...a quilt where you just throw in all of your leftover blocks and make it work!)

This past week I got back to applequeing on my Pirate Quilt...which has been sorely neglected these past months. I am on the final block...the Pirate himself...and am getting pretty excited about how he is turning out. Not sure exactly when the quilt itself will be finished...slowly I quilt...stitch by stitch...!!

Working on a commission quilt now, but so hot in the sewing room most days it is difficult to work on due to the "sweat" factor! It is currently getting up to 100 degrees outside and about 90 degrees in my sewing room! I would have to get up at 0-dark-thirty and sew in order to be cool in the sewing room! Oh well...somehow I always manage to get quilts made during the summer months...heat or not!! How many of you quilt during the summer? How many of you switch to other craft or sewing projects during the summer? Just curious.

BTW...I have a 1937 Singer Featherweight 221 that I am putting up for sale on EBay next week...if you have an interest in it, please post a comment and I will send you more photos. The going price is $275 + S&H. (See photo at the top of this post) The machine works great!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting and Sewing!! :)

P.S. -- Here is a little something to make you smile!!





6/2/10

Sizzling Summer Quilting!!

Well folks, it looks like spring is over and summer is with us! Temperatures here are supposed to soar to 103 degrees on Saturday...yes, already over 100 degrees! Can't imagine what it is going to feel like come August! Summer is not the best time to quilt because of the heat, but I still manage to quilt! Summer is a great time for making tops and then when winter arrives you will have plenty of quilting to do. If I were a more logical person, that is how I would do it...but I'm not, so I tend to quilt all year. Due to the heat, I am having to switch my time in the sewing room to early morning because our A/C is not working upstairs (yep...you guessed it...where my sewing room is) and by afternoon it is upward of 90 degrees upstairs. I am trying to get enough done to be able to go downstairs later in the day to do whatever handwork needs to be done...in the cool part of the house.

Oh...and by the way...the Purple Quilt is finished! Photos will be forthcoming! So glad to have finally finished this quilt...and I think it looks very nice!! Right now I am working on a quick little quilt for my Grand baby Lily...just a cute one piece top and one piece back...not too big, but a good nap quilt. I found some Bazooples fabric at Hobby Lobby (www.hobbylobby.com) and it was so cute that I knew I had to make a little quilt for Lily! The next lap size quilt that I have lined up for commission will be a rail fence quilt using batiks that my customer likes. I am pretty excited about this quilt, and will try to get it finished quickly.

Tell me what projects you are working on this summer...or do you just hang up your needle for the summer and go outdoors?!!

Until next time...Happy Sewing and Quilting!

5/22/10

Fusi Boo Review

Happy Weekend Everyone!

In this post, I have another great Product Review!! Yeah!! Still working on the Purple Quilt and should finish quilting it today...hopefully, it will be ready for delivery next week! Photos coming soon!

This past week was a really good week for us...rather laid back! We had a fun day with our Grand baby yesterday...she is getting so big so fast!! You forget just how fast they grow!!

Product Review - Fusi Boo

I used Fairfield Fusi Boo fusible batting in the Purple Quilt this week and, as promised, I wanted to let you know how it works! In my opinion, Fusi Boo is a really great product and worked just as the package promised. Lay out your quilt sandwich, set your iron on wool with steam and press for several seconds all around the quilt top, starting in the center and voila...your quilt is basted!! Yes, folks, it really is just that simple! No kidding! I had a lap size quilt basted, start to finish, in just over 30 minutes!!

Below are some things I about this batting that I learned and wanted to share with you:
  1. Once you have pressed the quilt top to the batting, flip your quilt sandwich over and press from the back too. This gives you the opportunity to press out any puckers or "bubble" spots, and helps the batting to adhere better.
  2. Do NOT get the fusible stuff on your iron (and I am speaking from experience!) It isn't too difficult to get off your iron, but the best scenario is to not get it on your iron in the first place.
  3. You can, and might want to, double this batting up. It is a little thinner batting than I expected, and while I typically use 100% cotton thinner batting (such as Hobbs) it was even thinner.
  4. When pulling this batting out of the package and unrolling it, it does tend to stick to itself...so use your muscle!
  5. The package recommends washing the quilt once it is finished to remove the fusible stuff. I agree with the manufacturer on this 100%! Definitely wash your quilt to get the fusible stuff out, otherwise the quilt tends to be a little on the stiff side.
So run out and get some Fairfield Fusi Boo and baste your quilt quickly!! If you have a bad back (like I do) and can't bend over for a long period of time to pin baste, then Fusi Boo is definitely your product of choice!!

Well, back to working on the Purple Quilt. Hope you enjoyed my Product Review!! If you have a product you would like reviewed, just post a comment and I will run out and get the product for review.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

5/13/10

Ah Springtime...


Yes, it's definitely springtime...the birds are singing...flowers are blooming...and the storms and tornadoes are in full swing! Last weekend, hubby and I went camping in Oklahoma and got back on Sunday night, just a day before the tornadoes hit there!! Whew!

It really was gorgeous when we were camping...temps were very nice! We went on a nature hike and saw this 100 year old pine tree...12 1/2 feet in diameter and 72 feet tall!! (see photo above) It was truly spectacular! A lot of flowers were in bloom (see photo above), and we saw cardinals and bluejays too! Lots of butterflies and some dragonflies were out catching some sun. The nights were chilly though!

Still working on Purple Quilt!! The top is finished and I have a back almost ready to go...just a bit of ironing and then on to the basting (not my fav part!). I am always happy to get a quilt basted and then on to the quilting part. For Purple Quilt I have bought some Fairfield Fusi Boo batting...just apply a hot iron to it and voila...quilt is basted! (okay...it may not be quite that easy...but almost!).  This batting is cotton and bamboo...and as you all know, bamboo batting is a "green" product because it is sustainable. I have used fusible battings in the past, and like them very much, but this will be the first time for Fusi Boo, so a product review will be forthcoming!!

Before hubby and I went camping, I did manage to finish my "Camping" quilt. It is a patchwork quilt with large patches, an old sheet for the back and minimal quilting. I did not bind this quilt, just used the sew and flip method to make it fast and easy. It was very comfy and fit the pop up bunk perfectly!! (photos will be forthcoming)

This week I have had little time to quilt, but plan to work on Purple Quilt today and hopefully get that finished...um...this month!! As I have two more commission quilts waiting for me to start, I had better get a move on!!

That's it for today! Let me know what you are working on! For next time, I would like to know how many of you embroider??!! I have some embroidery projects and will discuss embroidery soon.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

4/29/10

Ren Fair Photos & Other Musings


Well, hubby and I had great fun at the Ren Fair last weekend! See hubby's costume in the photo above (check out the hat and shirt!!). We drank mead, ate, and saw some shows...definitely got some exercise in! We may be going again, because now our daughters want to go!! Don't think I will have time to make them costumes, but we will see.

There is a nice cool breeze blowing today, so I am sitting here with the windows open letting the house air out. Don't you just love to air out your house?! I love having the fresh air come in and the stale air go out. It just makes the house feel so much better...less stuffy. Now, mind you, on really hot days the A/C goes on and stays on, but I think that the air gets pretty stale just recirculating like that.

Still working on the Purple Quilt...nearly done making all of the pinwheels. Once I am done making the pinwheels, the process should go a lot faster. I love making half squares to make pinwheels! What is your favorite block to make? I am chain piecing the pinwheels to save thread (sewing green!). How do you sew green?

I am getting in the "sewing mood" to sew some summer clothes...not just for my granddaughter...but for myself too! I told you about the 75% off sale at a fabric store near me...well, I went there again last Friday with hubby and bought more fabric! They just had some really nice fabric and at 75% off, I just couldn't resist going back!! So, now I am wanting to make some summer clothes with this beautiful fabric. Sew many projects...sew little time!! :)

Well...it's off to the sewing room for me!!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

4/23/10

Mad Hatter!


Happy Friday Everyone!

So this week, I feel like the Mad Hatter! Why, you might ask? Because I have been hatting my hubby for Renaissance Fair!! This has been a new sewing adventure for me!!

I actually cut out one hat and discovered that hubby's noggin is larger than the pattern (TIP: always measure first!!)...so I had to get new fabric and start over. Hubby came in part way through the cutting process and said he liked the brim from the McCalls pattern and the top of the hat from the Simplicity pattern! Hmmmm...okay! After resolving how to go about this dilemma, I got to work and with gritted teeth and a deep breath, and got the hat made! (Remember, I generally don't make hats!)

Anyway, as you can see by the photos (above) I made the hat and hubby was very pleased! The photos don't really show the color of the hat very well, but it is a green color...very foresty...and the lining is a lovely green that is a bit lighter green, but a very beautiful fabric. The top of the hat and brim are made out of suede. I was very fortunate this week that a fabric store nearby was having a 75% off sale, so I was able to buy the $27/yard suede for only $6/yd!! Now that's a great deal! I have fabric left over of both the suede and lining, so I might just attempt another hat! (I know...let's not go nuts!) The original hat that I cut out (the too small one) will get made...eventually, and then it will be for sale on Ebay!

The quilt I am working on now is the Purple Quilt...so I am working on the purple pinwheels! It has taken me a while to get started on this quilt because the client gave me several different fabrics to work with, mainly all floral in purple and blue. I was having trouble trying to figure out how to integrate everything into one quilt...but problem solved and I am moving along on the project now. I will post photos as soon as I have more done.

Well, it is supposed to rain this weekend, so more good sewing and quilting weather!! Back to the sewing room now! Let me know what you are working on this weekend!!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!

4/17/10

Garment Sewing...a Slight Change of Pace


Howdy All!

The photos this week are of the Renaissance shirt I just finished for hubby. I used Simplicity pattern #4059 (http://www.simplicity.com/c-264-historical.aspx?pagenum=2), and I think it turned out pretty well. Hubby seems to be very pleased with his new shirt to go with his Renaissance costume! Yes...you guessed it, we do go to Renaissance Fairs and we do dress up!! The one that is on nearest to us right now is Scarborough Fair (http://www.srfestival.com//).  We are planning to go on a nice weekend...with thousands of others!! Do you Ren Fest and dress for it?? Post your comments and photos!!

Of course, I went fabric shopping the other day (hmmm...and today as well!!), and purchased some fabric to make hubby the hat from the same pattern. Found the fabric on the clearance rack!! (Tip: always check the fabric clearance racks FIRST!! That way you can probably find fabric that will work for your project a whole lot less expensive!) Not sure when I will have time to make the hat, but it doesn't look too complicated.

Today, I am cutting out fabric for a commission quilt...right now I just call it "The Purple Quilt", as most of the fabric is purple! I have finally located a quilt pattern for it that I am happy with, so time to begin sewing purple! Two other commission quilts are waiting in the wings, so I have a lot on my plate right now. Oh, and did I mention that I might...perhaps...start a consulting job next week if they select me. Which means more $$ for buying fabric, but less time to sew!! Sort of a Catch 22 situation for me!

We had our son and his wife and our Gbaby, Lily, over for dinner last night. We hadn't seen them in about 3 weeks and it was really great to visit. Lily is getting so big now!! She is about to start crawling (see photo). It is so much fun to watch her grow and learn...and she is just the happiest baby in the world!!

Okay...getting off my Granny box!! Well, I will keep you posted on the consulting job and sewing and quilting projects. I feel another product review coming on soon...so look for that!!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!

4/12/10

What's Under Your Needle??

Good Morning Everyone!
It's a beautiful spring day and I am loving this weather! I think I am just a spring person because I really enjoy the blooming flowers and the bright greens of the grass and trees, the mild temperatures, the birds singing in the trees...ahhh...spring is definitely in the air! Pollen is too, but for some strange reason the spring allergies don't bother me as much as the winter allergies!!

So, what's under your needle today?? I am always interested to hear about/see what others are working on. Currently, I am making a shirt for hubby to wear with his Renaissance Festival costume. Yes, we do enjoy Ren Fests and dressing up!! He has everything but the shirt, so that's what's under my needle right now!

This week I have to start on the commission lap quilt...finally chose a pattern! Of course, I will modify the pattern some just because that's what I usually end of doing anyway. I am torn this week between staying in and sewing and getting outside! Perhaps I will take any handwork I have to do outside and get both of my desires sated!!

Because it is spring and spring cleaning is on my mind, I was thinking of organizing and rearranging my sewing room. Of course, I think about this most every spring, but might actually do it this spring! How is your sewing room arranged? Do you have any particular tips and tricks for arranging and organizing your sewing room? Please share with me, and everyone who reads this blog, so that we can more effectively arrange our sewing rooms! Share photos too!!

I hope you have a wonderful day! Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

4/4/10

Batting Review and Other Ramblings

Good evening all! The weather has been just beautiful this weekend, so I am hoping it persists. I love the nice temperatures and being able to open the windows and air out the house. Today, I have a review for you! (Exciting, right?!) And just some other things to chat about.

PRODUCT REVIEW
Today's review is on Bamboo Batting...specifically, Fairfield Bamboo Batting. I used the Fairfield Bamboo Batting for the first time in a baby quilt last week, and I have to tell you that this is probably THE most wonderful batting I have ever used! It is 50% Bamboo/50% Organic Cotton Batting, and has a soft, very silky feel. It is so easy to work with for machine quilting. It is light to medium in weight, about 3/16 of an inch thick, and can be quilted up to 8” apart. You can buy prepackaged, craft, twin, or full/queen sizes. I found it at my local Joann’s store, but you can buy it online as well at www.equilter.com. You can sew even Greener when using this batting because Fairfield donates a portion of the proceeds from their bamboo battings to support environmental and ecological initiatives. I just can't say enough good things about this batting, and will be buying more in the very near future!

This next week, for me, brings sewing and quilting projects. There is a lap quilt for a client to start and a Renaissance shirt for hubby to sew (this has been a "back burner" project for way too long now, so time to get it done!). Also, I have some cute fabric and patterns to sew little summer outfits for our GBaby Lily!! I am going to try to fit the sewing in around the quilting, as I have 3 client quilts on my plate right now. So, despite not having being employed, I seem to stay pretty busy! Hubby will be out during the day working the part-time temp job, which he was laid off from....and then they decided they needed him again!! Yeah!

The AQS Paducah Quilt Show is this month...wish we could go! But, it should be exciting to see the quilts online that win!! Always inspiring to see what other quilters do!!

Oh...we went to see "Alice in Wonderland" for the second time last night. I have really enjoyed the movie so much, and the costumes are absolutely wonderful!! Check out this site...http://alice-kingsley.livejournal.com/ for more on the costumes! I haven't seen any sewing patterns out for the costumes...yet...but I am sure they will be coming out. If you have seen any patterns, please let me know!!

Hope your week is starting off well! Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

3/31/10

Dallas Quilt Show Review & Catch Up

And a bright, sunny, spring afternoon to everyone! March was such a busy month for us...all kinds of things going on...it was pretty crazy, which is why I haven't blogged lately. Between hubby and I we had 2 parents in the hospital, we were both sick, and moved 2 of our children to different towns! Whew! Glad March is nearly behind us and looking forward to a calmer, more peaceful April.


The Dallas Quilt Show was marvelous! Hubby and I had a great time! (Well, I probably had a way better time than hubby). Anyway, I took lots of photos...click this link to view, or the link up above. http://www1.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=1964490012/a=102693306_102693306/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/.
I was sooo excited that the Salem Cutting Mat folks (see one of my previous REVIEW blogs for more info) were there and I was able to buy a bigger rotary cutting mat! Well worth the money. I also bought some fabric and lots of fat quarters (of course). The quilts were beauiful, and so inspiring. I was just getting over stomach flu when we attended the show, so we only went one day, instead of the usual 2, but I am fairly sure that we looked over everything! Can't wait until the next quilt show!!


I finished a comission baby quilt yesterday and delivered it today. I thought it turned out really cute, and it just came together so nicely. (See photos above) I especially love the fabric on the back...so cute! Anyway, now I have 3 more lap quilts to do on comission! But, unfortunately, those will have to wait a bit until I get our taxes done...yes, it's tax time and once again I have waited until almost the last minute! Oh well...once I am done with the taxes, it's back to the sewing room!


Also on my agenda...making some summer dresses for our little gbaby Lily! She is so adorable at nearly 6 months old! We had her for a "sleepover" (or as I like to call it "pajama party") last weekend and we had so much fun! Here is one of the latest photos...isn't she a doll??!!


That's it for now, but I promise to blog again in the next few days, as I have several reviews and other quilting/sewing topics to discuss.


Happy Sewing and Quilting on this lovely Spring Day!!

3/11/10

Dallas Quilt Show

Sorry I haven't posted for a bit, but we had a family emergency and had to leave town. While we were out of town hubby and I both came down with the most horrific stomach flu in history!! Just now feeling "human" again...and relieved to feel good!

Tomorrow the Dallas Quilt Show (http://www.quiltersguildofdallas.org/quiltcelebration2010/default.htm) begins and runs through Sunday. Not only am I very excited to be going to the show, but am also excited about feeling well enough to attend!! I promise to take lots of photos and post them later next week. I know there will be some beautiful quilts, but I am also looking forward to seeing what the vendors have to offer. I am always inspired by quilts that I see at quilt shows, and it renews my love for the craft. And it's not just the winning quilts that inspire me...it's the fact that anyone who quilts can enter their work, and it is all genuinely appreciated by fellow quilters.

Hubby will go with me to the show, as he does every year (yes, he is wonderful!). He loves the art quilts the best. But he also appreciates a lot of the "art" that goes into quilting and admires a lot of the hand applique and hand quilting too -- perhaps that's because his wife loves to do hand applique!! ;) He is always so patient with me while I take photos, look closely at the stitching, and stand in awe of some of the amazing quilts...oh, and while I shop the vendors!! We always eat lunch there and sometimes run into friends.

Well, I am really looking forward to the show and the goodies I will find there. Be back after the show to share with you!! Hope to see you there...in the meantime, happy quilting and sewing!

3/2/10

Sunny Quilting

Today is very sunny...almost blindingly so...and still a bit cold out. But it is so nice to see the sun! Even the kitties were excited!! I am getting over a cold and am feeling better today...I think everyone has or had the same thing in recent weeks, thanks to this bizarre weather we have been having.

Still working on the same baby quilt! Well, I kept my gbaby a couple of times last week and with not feeling well, I just didn't work on it much. I worked on the quilt yesterday, and just have to finish putting the back together and do a little more quilting, bind it, and then...voila..I will finally be finished! In the meantime, I have received a "rush" order for another baby quilt...so the lap quilt will be put on the back burner once again...but it is for the same client, so no big deal.

My camera batteries died, so as soon as I buy new batteries I will post more photos of quilts, gbaby, etc! The Dallas Quilt Show (http://www.quiltersguildofdallas.org/quiltcelebration2010/default.htm) is coming up this month...March 12, 13, 14...and I am getting very excited about going!! Not only do I love to see the quilts, but I love to see what the vendors bring!! I am hoping my favorite cutting mat vendor will be there...although I haven't seen them for the past several years. I have one of their mats that I bought probably 7 or 8 years ago and need to buy another mat right about now.

PRODUCT REVIEW - SALEM CUTTING MATS


Salem cutting mats are, hands down, my favorite cutting mats for sewing, quilting and crafting. As mentioned previously, I have had one for 7 or 8 years and use it for everything. These mats are great because they are truly self-healing, you can pin on them, they come with our without grids and they last a long time. I want a new one, because I need a bigger one! You can roll up these mats and they will lay back out flat! They are thicker than other self-healing mats so you can actually pin patterns or fabric to them. I highly recommend Salem cutting mats to anyone who sews or crafts. Just click on the link below the picture and check them out!

Well, that's it for today. Back to the sewing room to try to finish this baby quilt! Photos will be forthcoming as soon as I get new camera batteries.

Happy Sewing and Quilting! I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!!

2/22/10

Wacky Weather Great for Quilters!

Okay, so we had over a foot of snow week before last...this past Saturday we had our windows open because the temperature was so nice...tomorrow we are getting snow again!! I haven't seen this much snow since I lived in Denver!! This is truly wacky weather! But, I have to say, it is truly the best kind of weather for quilters. When it's cold outside, quilters are snuggled up with fabric and batting inside working on warm quilts!

This week, I am still working on the baby quilt that was supposed to be finished by now, but life happens and just didn't get it done. So, I will be working on that this week...except Wednesday when I will be babysitting my precious grandbaby!

I have another project waiting in the wings for another client and am having trouble deciding on a pattern. She gave me several different purple, light blue and muslin fabrics to work with, but I am not having inspiration about a pattern yet!! Typically I let the fabric "speak" to me and I can usually decide on a pattern fairly quickly, but this fabric is not "speaking" to me!! How do you decide on a quilt pattern to use?? I have been looking through books and magazines, but haven't found what I am looking for yet.

Still working on the Pirate Quilt...but haven't worked on it for a couple of weeks now. I enjoy doing my applique work in the evenings while watching TV with hubby, but it seems that the past couple of weeks I have just been too tired to work on it in the evenings. Guess I will have to work on it in the mornings instead, when I am not tired! If you applique, when and where do you work on yours?

Two events coming up in March that I am very excited about! The North Texas Irish Festival (www.ntif.org) and the Dallas Quilt Show (http://www.quiltersguildofdallas.org/quiltcelebration2010/default.htm). We really enjoy going to the Irish Festival, and our girls love to go with us. I guess one of the fun things about it is seeing a bunch of men in kilts and seeing others dressed up in Irish garb from earlier centuries...and then there is the Irish stew in a bread bowl...and the beer!! We always have such a great time!

I always have a great time at the Dallas Quilt Show and am really looking forward to it. Hubby will go at least one day with me...he enjoys the art quilts...but I usually like to go 2 days. Not sure how many days I will go this year, but we will see. I just love seeing the quilts and taking lots of photos and of course there is the shopping!! The shows are the place to see new fabrics and new items for sale that you haven't seen before. Typically, if there is a a quilt shop or two in your town, they are limited as to the fabrics and other things they can sell, but at shows you can see such a wide variety of fabrics and tools, kits, etc. Talk about inspiration! I get so inspired at quilt shows!! (okay, calming down now...) The show is still a few weeks away though...so I will have to be patient!

Well, back to the sewing room!

Happy Quilting and Sewing!!

2/13/10

Big Snowstorm Aftermath

After the Big Snowstorm the morning was clear and beautiful!
Well, from what I understand, this was the most snow we have gotten in over a century and there it was snowing in 49 of the 50 United States! Wow...now that is a whole lot of snow! I took lots of photos, since snow is rare here and because it was absolutely beautiful. The snow is melting now and it sounds like rain dripping off the roof.

Yesterday, especially with all of the white snow, sunshine and beautiful blue skies, was a wonderful quilting day. Although, I confess I only worked on quilting part of the day, I did get a lot accomplished. I finished cutting and sewing all of the blocks for my current project and after looking at measurements again, realized I will only have to make 6 rows instead of 7! The pattern is for just a regular size quilt and I am making a baby quilt, so the batting is just that much smaller. After nearly 2 hours of cutting, you can imagine my relief of not having to cut anymore pieces!! I mentioned the other day that this particular quilt was boring me, but I have made some changes so that I am much happier with it now...although, am not sure I will meet the deadline, as other things sit on my "To Do" list that must take priority! But, with all of the blocks cut and sewn, now it's just a matter of assembling the rows, sashing and borders...then basting, quilting and...yeah, I'm just not sure about getting it done by the end of the week! Fortunately, I have a very understanding client! :)

Quilting magazines...how many do you have? I have too many! I have been going back through some of my quilting magazines trying to figure out how to store them, how many to keep, etc., and haven't come up with too many good ideas. I have my favorite magazines, which I think I will keep all issues of, and then I have some magazines that might have one interesting article or pattern, but not sure I want to keep the whole magazine just for a page or two. Hmmmm...this is definitely something that I need a solution for. Any comments or suggestions would be quite helpful! What is your favorite quilting magazine?? I would love to hear from you!

Well, off to the sewing room to get some work done and try to stay warm!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!