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!!


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!!


Snow, Reviews and Great Quilting Weather!

Woke up to snow this morning!!

Ah yes, we woke up to snow this morning and it is still coming down! Now, I realize that for you folks in the North and East who are getting record amounts of snowfall, snow photos are like the last thing you want to see. But, for us Southern folk who don't see snow too often, this was a beautiful sight to see! Of course, we will be sick of it by nightfall when the roads start to ice over and everyone is having wrecks, but in the meanwhile...enjoy!

I wanted to do a product review today for Mary Ellen's Best Press (http://www.maryellenproducts.com/home.php).  This is a nice alternative to starch, and comes in different scents. I LOVE using Mary Ellen's Best Press when quilting or appliquing! This product is also environmentally friendly...and works in nicely if you are "sewing green". You can also buy larger refill bottles and refill the spray bottle...which also makes it an environmentally friendly product. 

Unlike regular spray starch, this product does not flake or clog. It is an amazing product for anyone who sews, or anyone who irons! I even use it when I iron hubby's shirts (you know...those rare times!).  My favorite scent is Lavender Fields, especially when I am quilting baby quilts, since lavender is very relaxing...helps me and the baby!! Right now Hancocks has it on sale for $4.00 (in store only).
I have to get back to working on this latest baby quilt...which, by the way, I am not liking right now. The colors are boring me and the pattern doesn't seem to be working too well. So, back to the quilting room to figure out how to make it work!

So that's it for this snowy day! Stay warm and dry and just sew!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!


Pirate Quilt Update

It's late, but I thought I would give you a long awaited update on the Pirate Quilt. The photos above show the last 3 blocks -- skull and cross bones, Kracken, and the Pirate. (Please note; these blocks need ironing). And as you can see, the Pirate only has a head, scarf, hat and arm at this point, so I have quite a bit of work ahead of me. This week though, I have the baby quilt to work on, so Mr. Pirate won't be getting another arm, face or clothes this week! The Kracken block replaces the block on the quilt pattern of the black widow spider and web (not sure what a spider has to do with pirates!). I made up the block myself, and with the material that I chose, thought it turned out quite well.

I made a trip to Hancock Fabrics today and got some neat things on clearance. Of course, I just went over to find some muslin (can you really have too much muslin on hand?!), and naturally I picked up a few other things I just couldn't resist! One of my finds was a couple of yards of cute fabric -- $3.95 a yard -- that will make a cute baby outfit for my little gbaby, and hopefully have some left over for quilting! Yes, the fabriholic in me definitely came out today! My advice to you sewers and quilters is that if you can find fabric for $2 or $3 a yard...get at least a couple of yards of it...especially if you really like it. I have kicked myself before for not buying fabric that I really liked at such a great price! (I know...!!)

The weather here is cold and dreary, and frankly, I am just a bit tired of it. On the other hand, it is great quilting weather! I have washed and dried all of the fabric for the baby quilt...we'll call it the Nautical Quilt (hint: it has a nautical theme)...so tomorrow I will spend the day ironing fabric and cutting some test blocks for it. Hubby reminded me tonight that I should cut test blocks just to see how everything will come together. I admit that on a previous quilt I failed to do that and pieced the whole top together...didn't like it, scrapped it and pieced another whole top! Whew...talk about a whole lot of extra work and wasted time! Yes, I see great value in test blocks now! Live and learn...

Thank you to my new blog followers! I hope I can entertain, instruct and inform you about sewing, quilting, embroidery and applique! Thank you for your comments too! Keep them coming!

Good night to all...and Happy Sewing and Quilting!


Moon Shot and Sewing Green

Goodnight Moon

I just wanted to share this photo of the gorgeous moon I took one night last week. I got several shots of it, but this one was just the best...enjoy!

So, it's been a couple of weeks since my last post and I have some news to report. First of all, today I received another baby quilt commission from a friend of mine (must finish this quilt in just under two weeks!!). She came over and we had a great time going through fabric and looking at quilt patterns! My friend has now decided that she is interested in learning to quilt and has already picked out her first pattern for her first quilt. I mentioned that the Dallas Quilt Show (www.quiltersguildofdallas.org) is coming up in March and she said she would love to go with me! Naturally, any time anyone shows an interest in quilting, I get very excited!! I also plan to take her fabric shopping in a couple of weeks (yes, the fabriholic in me is coming out!). 

As usual, hubby and I went on our once a month excursion to Barnes & Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com) to check on new issues of magazines. I bought a very interesting magazine called GreenCraft (http://www.stampington.com/html/greencraft_volume1.html) and it is just chock full of wonderful crafting ideas for using recycled materials. There are some purse ideas, and flower pin ideas too. There was even an idea (that I want to try) for taking an old tablecloth (a cute one) and cutting it down to make an apron. In a previous post, I discussed "Sewing Green" and shopping at thrift stores and antique stores for fabric....so naturally, my first thought was that I must make another thrift store/antique store run to find some old table cloths and make an apron!! I thought this was a great Sewing Green tip and wanted to pass it along to you.

Grandbaby News ~ our little darling is sick this week with a cold and sinus junk, so we haven't gotten to see her this week. But, I did decorate a little knit cap for her. Hobby Lobby (www.hobbylobby.com) is a great source for inexpensive baby hats, caps and onesies to decorate, if there is a baby in your life and you have a Hobby Lobby near you. I have just been having so much fun sewing little flowers and cute trim onto these caps! I also ironed on some appliques to a bib for her, and plan to do a couple more...since babies tend to mess up multiple bibs in a day!

I am still working on quilting My Quilt (which is only a temporary name for it). It is a much larger quilt than I am used to quilting, so I am struggling just a bit with it...but since it is for me, I can take my time with it. It won't be perfect (there are, admittedly, a few puckers on the back), but again...this is for me and won't be gong to any quilt show!

As it is already the month of February (!!), I have decided that I had better get cracking on making some summer dresses for our Grandbaby! Found a cute pattern for a summer dress, bloomers and a hat, so I want to make several of these outfits for her to wear during the hot summer months. In Texas, hats are so important for the little ones to wear, because it just gets so blistering hot here and babies' heads are so very tender.

Well, that's about it for now. If you have any Sewing Green ideas, please post your ideas and comments to share...quilting tips too!!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!