Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I am a WINNER!!!

or maybe a weiner, but that is another story.

I was taking a few moments to read a few blogs that I follow and I discovered that I had been chosen as a winner in a giveaway that I entered!

I am so excited!!! A little while ago, I posted about Abbey Lane Quilts having a give away. They are sending me my 3 favorite patterns from their entire line. Of course, I selected the pattern for those adorable little Abbey Bags!

I also selected Maggie May and My Dear Prudence. Can't wait to get to work on these babies, but now I will have to go on a quest for the perfect fabric!!! What fun!

Monday, March 29, 2010

And for something really different...

I love looking at the quilts that others have made and so enjoy the different quilting blogs, etc. It's interesting how different quilters interpret different patterns and ideas and bring their own personalities into the mix.

These quilts were made by my Aunt. She has sewn longer than I have been alive, but has only recently begun exploring the world of quilt-making. My mom and I took her to the two closest quilt shops and I shared some of my favorite quilt and free pattern sites.

She has really taken the information and run with it. These quilts are magnificent!

The patterns came from moda bakeshop, of course! It's the split 9-patch pattern. The first quilt was made for a dear friend of hers that is undergoing cancer treatments. What a wonderful reminder of friendship and hope. It's made of Mary Englebreit fabrics, which are so bright and cheery. I am sure that it will be a cherished gift.

The following quilt is from the same pattern, with a very different set of fabrics.
This quilt is made of 1930s reproduction fabrics. It also is very cheerful, but in a softer way. I just love it! She is completing these quilts completely on her domestic sewing machine, one block at a time and joining them all together after quilting is complete with sashing strips. Doesn't it look terrific?

Right now, I am generally using kits for my Silver Thimble Club quilts, so I am not actually picking fabrics. I do hope that I can develop my skills at combining fabrics for really dynamic quilts like these.

Hope you enjoyed viewing them!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sewing machines and medical stuff!

Okay, I haven't posted in a while, but I have been really busy. We just wrapped up the first 9 weeks of our second semester and have been dealing with calculating grades, turning them in, and explaining to students how their grades actually reflect their efforts (or lack thereof). Not a lot of fun.

In and amongst this, I have had to have my normal physical, which requires bloodwork. Since I had eaten, they took only my thyroid bloodwork last Friday and then I came back in on Monday morning for my fasting bloodwork. Got a flat tire on the way back to work, but that is another story.

I got a call back that the lab had changed the procedure for how to handle the fasting glucose samples, so I am back to get that re-drawn this morning.

Fortunately, though, the doctor changed my thyroid medication and added another. I am hoping for a spring in my step to begin to happen really soon.

On the sewing front, I have been disappointed to learn that I probably won't get to purchase my sewing machine that I have been waiting on. My current machine is junk and it is getting worse by the day. But, my mom found an older machine that she had that is all metal and works like a charm. She cleaned it for me and checked all of the stitches. It is just a straight stitch and zig zag machine. Nothing fancy or pretty, but it works reliably so I am happy. Better to not spend the money if it isn't immediately necessary.

Well, off to get the blood drawn....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Here it is!

Okay, I realize that it doesn't look like much, all by its lonesome, but this is my second block in the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along that I joined. I took it apart and re-worked it 3 times to get it just right.

There was a time when I would have slapped it together and been done with it. But, I am trying to get a better result with these blocks. So, in honor of National Quilting Day, I only did a little bit, but I did it correctly!

And I did stab myself in the leg with a seam ripper. Nuff said.


Okay, I was excited with National Quilting Day and having a little something quilt related to show for it. I stopped to check out some of the blogs that I follow and WOW!!!

I was so excited when I checked out the bog for Abbey Lane Quilts here. They are holding an absolutely awesome giveaway!!! I am so excited about the little Abbey bags that are a pincushion/snippets bag combo! They are so CUTE!!!

Second prize is patterns. How can you go wrong???

They are also now on facebook and want friends. Hey, I like friends! I like making friends!

Anyway, I think that YOU would love to get in on this, too--so check out their patterns at www.abbeylanequilts.com !

Happy National Quilting Day!!!

So, how do you plan to celebrate?

I have gotten off to a slow start around here because I have been enjoying the lovely, WARM, weather with my family before the rain starts again tomorrow. But, I do have such plans....

I want to put my new Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt block together.

I have fabric to put 6 inch borders on my White Chocolate quilt. I am not in a terrible hurry to do that since I am pretty sure that I won't be able to get it basted until next weekend and once I get a top completed, I am totally chomping at the bit to start quilting it.

I do have fabric that I bought to make a spring time purse with lovely soft colors and huge polka-dots. I might work on that.

But, I will post my accomplishments either way!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The pattern is called White Chocolate, but in this colorway it reminds me of a Milky Way bar. Yummy either way! I altered the pattern layout and alternated the blocks once I figured out to read the pattern to figure out how many pattern repeats should go across and how many should go down.

I could see that there would be some secondary patterning coming through where the design motifs touch when I had them on the design wall during Silver Thimble Club. But, I never realized how many more I would see when I actually had the entire top put together.

Hubby and I laid it on our bed to check size (will need a brown border to make it big enough and allow for shrinkage from quilting and washing) and to just see how it would look. Hubby took the photo from above (standing on a chair, bless him). First, I saw diagonals emerge across the surface and thought that was pretty cool. It was only when I looked at the photo of the quilt that I noticed the large star that comes out. I love, love, LOVE that!

Shop Hop is this weekend, and while I will go by my two usual quilt shops (one participating, one is not), I will look for good deals, but I am not doing the whole Shop Hop thing. That is too dangerous for my budget this year. I am saving and waiting on tax refund to replace my decrepit sewing machine and I could really put that off if I allowed myself to really "do" Shop Hop. I just don't handle temptation well enough! But, next year is a different story!

Anyway, I need either fabric for the borders or for a new backing and I will use the backing fabric I have for the borders. I also need to get started on finishing up one little girl baby quilt and making one for a baby boy. Then, I will wait to see whether the next little one is a girl or a boy. But, no matter what, this will require a bit of fabric! I am hoping that in the 2,000 new 5 yard fabric bundles that are going to be out at A Scarlet Thread this weekend that I can find something to inspire me!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An Update on the White Chocolate Quilt...

(or more proof that I am a ding-dong)

After debating for 3 days over layouts and finally deciding that I wanted to go with the more dramatic, alternating colors, I realize that if I place my blocks with 4 units going across, then I am going to have a square quilt. I am supposed to have a bed sized rectangle.

Being terribly confused, a decided to double check the pattern to see what I could have done wrong since I didn't have enough blocks.

What I did wrong was this: I didn't check the pattern! One glance at the front cover of the pattern answered my question. There is only 3 pattern repeats across the quilt and four going down. I had added a horizontal pattern repeat. Hence, I created a symmetry problem that frustrated me horribly and made me not trust my own judgment.

Okay, I can totally see the whole "questioning of the judgment" thing in retrospect, but not in my decision on layout--only on my lack of ability to refer to the pattern when it is helpful!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Macon Quilt Show

Hubby took me down to the Macon Quilt Show. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing for us, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Everyone was wonderful and I even ran into someone that I knew!This is a Welsh Beauty quilt that was on display. I am in awe of the technical expertise in the hand quilting. The stitches were so evenly distributed that it almost looks like it couldn't have been hand done--but it most definitely was! Love the detail and the time and love that went into it. I voted it my "viewer's favorite."

This is the detail of the border swags. Love the little hearts in them!This is the center detail of the Welsh Beauty. Gorgeous! There were several applique quilts of very similar (sometimes identical) patterns. All were lovely, but it was fun to see how each quilter interpreted the pattern, what fabrics she chose, etc. This gorgeous example had a lovely, sun washed red background. The contrast really made this one stand out from the others I saw.This little appliqued beauty is a folksy one. I love the soft colors. It reminds me of a watercolor of a drawing of an English drawing with hollyhocks and just a profusion of blooms in Spring time.The attention to detail in this quilt was amazing! Every point was sharp, every line crisp. Just fantastic!

I can't make this computer work with me today, so, yes, the above photo is sideways. I really hate that. Please take a deep breath, turn your head to the left and gaze at it. It is lovely and truly different from most of the other quilts featured at the show. This one is called A Tree Grows in Gondor.What amazing detail in this quilt! Little sentences, quotations, and stories about trees and leaves and how they benefit us make up the bark of the tree. Between that and the reference to the Lord of the Rings stories, this made DS12 very sure that this was the very best quilt in the whole show!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Place your vote!!!

These photos were taken today at Silver Thimble Club. I was trying out some ideas for how to set the blocks in my White Chocolate quilt top. Above is set like the example quilt and picture on the pattern.
This one was an experiment. Hubby and I played around with them one night and couldn't decide if they looked nicer with the light background and dark center or the opposite approach. I tried to alternate the settings and it really is a dramatic look and I kind of like it. However, there are symmetry issues with this layout. I can't put a 5th set of long rows on it to balance out the design. I used a kit and can't get more of the fabrics. I am drawn to the contrast it creates, but I do see the symmetry issue. I just can't decide if it bothers me enough to avoid this setting on this quilt.
I could definitely see myself doing another one in the future with this layout, just planning for the extra long rows to balance it out properly.
A wonderful lady at Silver Thimble suggested that I use the first setting and put a chocolate brown border all around to give it that dark look on the outside edge.
I am open to suggestions!

Next Quarter's Silver Thimble Quilts

Okay, the computer doesn't like me right now, so it insists that my photos be out of order. So be it. These are the quilts for the 2nd quarter of Silver Thimble Club in McDonough, GA. We meet at A Scarlet Thread quilt shop. Above is the June quilt in black, white, and red.
This beauty is for May's get together. The bright aqua color doesn't show up as beautifully as it does in person. It really draws the eye. Love it!

This is the April quilt. It is Georgia Hoe Down by none other than our very own teacher extraordinare, Pat Wys of Silver Thimble Quilts. Ain't it a beauty? Very nice autumn colors. Pat even commented that this quilt would be gorgeous on a fall table with gourds and pumpkins.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Uneventful weekend

Other than the huge struggle to get DS12 to let me give him a badly needed haircut, nothing much of note happened this weekend.

Hubby and DS12 went to participate in some bird banding activities.

Hubby and DS13 made and hung a new bluebird box that can be viewed from DS13s bedroom window. This is the first woodworking project that this kiddo has actually participated in fully and not just watched. He is excited to make more. Good, since his Granny and Grandpa really could use more at their house as theirs are falling apart. I am excited that he may find an enjoyable way to learn a few skills.

I began trimming my White Chocolate blocks to see if they are all the same size. Alas, they are not, but several are terribly close. Had to stop half way through that, but....

Got to see two quilt tops that my great aunt made with fabrics from the 40s. My mom finally thinks that my hand quilting might be good enough to let me finish them up so that they can be displayed and not packed away. I am pretty psyched about that. Besides, my mom does fabulous hand work and she doesn't complement that kind of thing lightly. I feel really good about that complement!

I have read term papers until I could scream! Some of them are really, really good this year. I have had far more pleasant surprises than unpleasant ones so far. But, I am only about halfway to two thirds of the way through the first batch. It takes so much time to grade each one. Yuck!

Oh well, off to get ready for a new week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Time travels on...

But, in my mind, it travels even faster! I was trying so hard to get my White Chocolate quilt pieced for Silver Thimble Club. However, I had convinced myself that it was this weekend. Turns out, when I actually consulted my calendar, we meet NEXT weekend. All of this hustle and bustle when it wasn't necessary. Geesh.

Now that I am slowing down with it a bit (okay, I am almost done anyway), I am seeing the little errors that invariably happen whenever I get in too much of a hurry. Sigh. Darn you higher standards! I am trying to fix errors that I would have never noticed before. It won't be perfect, but I am loving it.

It is definitely going to be more perfect than any quilt I have done before.

Monday, March 1, 2010

If at first you don't succeed

Just hit another car, buddy!

No kidding. Today, the boys and I rode to work and back with my Dad. On the way home from an otherwise uneventful day, we were rear ended while sitting at a stoplight. A police officer witnessed the event and pulled over. No real damage to either vehicle and no injuries (Dad's head hit the headrest, but not with any real force). So, all was deemed well and off we continued on our way.

Less than a mile or so away, we pull over in the turn lane so that we can make a left hand turn. Again, we are stopped at a stop light and we watch the truck on our right side make a sudden lurch from a stopped position. You guessed it. He was rear ended also--BY THE SAME DUDE WHO HAD JUST HIT US!!!

If we had not moved into the turn lane, he would have hit us AGAIN!!!

Talk about irony. I'm just glad no one was hurt. Geesh!