Thursday, July 30, 2009

Christmas Kiss in July

I have a finish! Yeah! The quilt that had been sitting under the cutting table for years and probably would have remained there indefinitely had my dear friend not seen it and wanted it. It is a Christmas quilt so I quilted Holly in the border. And Poinsettias in the blocks.
Now that it is finished I don't dislike it like I used to. I hope my friend will be happy with it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Goosey, Goosey, Gander

I've been making geese. Lots and lots of flying geese. So I thought I would show you my method of choice. I know there are tons of ways to make flying geese but this one has brought me the most success. First I get my strips cut or in this case I pulled them out of my bin full of 2 1/2" strips. Next I pull out my Nifty Notions Quarter Square ruler. I love these rulers! In case you may have forgot. And I start cutting. First with the ruler right side up I cut out a triangle. I forgot to take a picture when I first started so I already have a 45 degree angle on the end. When I start a strip I usually use the 1/2 square ruler and save the triangle for later. Then I flip my ruler and cut another triangle. These are the geese part of your flying geese unit.
When I cut the sky part of the unit I use my Nifty Notions 1/2 triangle and I use the strip folded in half. This gives me both sides of the sky in one cut.
Here are the geese I still need to sew all laid out. I've made 170 and have about 180 to go. Am I crazy or what. If I'm not now I may be by the time I'm done.
First take one of your geese and place a sky piece on top. Just line up that flat edge and sew. Very slick.
Sew and press open.
Next place the other sky piece on the other side lining up that flat edge again.
Sew and press and there you have a lovely flying geese unit.
Here are a few of the sewn geese.
That become these units.
That become this border.
That go on this quilt.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UFO sightings

I went with Lyn's suggestion of a small red border followed by piano keys around my 45 special. I did this for many reasons one I like pieced borders, two I already had strips cut for the piano keys so I avoided having to do that necessary evil of cutting them all and finally I thought it would look good. Thank you Lyn for your wonderful idea. I love how it turned out. Now I just need to get some batting, find a back and get quilting to move this UFO closer to a finished product. I keep my batting at my neighbors. We share a bolt of the wonderful stuff. We store it at her house because unlike my bustling home with oodles of children and all that in tales she has a quiet home with her hubby and little dog, Tucker. So while I wait for her to get home from work so I can get some I pulled out this Christmas quilt.
I don't really care for it. Not scrappy enough it would probably remain under the cutting table indefinitely but I have a friend that really likes it. So to create some space for me and joy for her I got it out and pinned it good so I can start quilting it.
While I was under the cutting table I also noticed this UFO. A few years back my guild did a nickle swap. This is the quilt I created from that swap. I just need to add a stop border and a pieced outer border.
At quilt guild they say 'finish means freedom' and since it is July. The month when we Americans celebrate freedom. I think I should create a little freedom. Freedom from the clutter under the cutting table. Freedom to start new projects. Freedom to choose from many quilts to snuggle under and share with friends. Freedom from UFO sightings that say 'you really should finish me.'

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back From Cali

Alex and I spent the weekend in Northern California with my sister, Lori's family. We had a great time. We arrived Friday morning enjoyed watching my 5 year old nephew's swim lesson. Now that boy is a fish. Then dropped Alex off at Google, where my brother in law works. Alex thoroughly enjoyed his visit there. While Alex was on the Google campus Lori her three children and I enjoyed the farmers market and the mall. When Alex was done with his tour he watched the kids so Lori and I could go to the Museum of Textiles and Quilts. No pictures were allowed in the gallery but here are a few I snapped before we went in. I love the scrappiness of this quilt. Here is some fiber art they had hanging in the window. You get me and Lori as a bonus in the refection of the window.

And these were in the sidewalk out front. And you get a peek at my toes. Sorry I didn't notice that when I took the pictures.


On Saturday we enjoyed the beach. Alex surfed with dolphins and seals. Lori's kids played in the surf and made sandcastles. Sunday we enjoyed each others company. It was a fabulous trip. Thank you Lori for a wonderful time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Great Zucchini Blunder

This spring I went to the nursery like I always do to pick out my veggie plants. I got peppers and tomatoes. Gotta have my salsa ingredients. I also bought broccoli, zucchini and cucumbers. Or so I thought. Turns out that the nursery mislabeled a batch of cucumber seedlings because I picked out one zucchini plant and two cucumber plants but growing in my garden are three zucchini plants. Now one zucchini plant is enough to make any gardener feel successful. But three is a bit much. Needless to say my family is eating a lot of zucchini. Just when I feel I'm on top of all the zucchini being produced I find more out there. AAAAAAA! I've made zucchini bread

I've grilled it and broiled it.Zucchini brownies are in the oven as we speak.

Anyone have any good zucchini recipes? Or better yet does anyone want a few zucchini?

Monday, July 13, 2009

45 Special

A few years back I took a class from Kaye England. You were to bring 45 2 1/2" strips of fabric and 45- 5" squares of various fabrics. Hence the name 45 special. I was excited for this scrappy class. As you well may know I love scrappy quilts. I loved the class! The rulers that she taught us to use; the Nifty Notions 1/2 square and 1/4 square triangle rulers are my favorites. I use them every time I'm making triangles. I finished all the blocks shortly after the class was done and they have been sitting in a pizza box until this weekend when I pulled them out and started arranging them. Here they are...I'm hoping to finish putting them together today and figure out borders. Anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Snips to Sugar and Spice

I was reciting the poem about what little boys and little girls are made of. You know :
What are little boys made of
Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog tails
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
That's what little girls are made of
When DD asked me what snips are. I told her little bits of things. Well I have a lot of snips of fabric In fact my scrap bags were threatening to take over my sewing room. So I decided to tame them. Taking those snips from their unruly state to a more usable state. Do you think all snips are unruly and that's why little boys are the way they. Can you tame their snips? I wonder. Well the fabric snips I've cut into strips and filled these little bins.Then the smaller snips I cut into squares and blocks. They are neatly sorted into these little bins. Now I've gotten rid of the necessary evil (cutting). Yes that is my least favorite part. If I could make a quilt without having to cut it out first I'd be all over that.
But since there are no elves cutting out quilts for me I have to make my own bits for times when I want to sew and not worry about that little evil of cutting.
After a while I could not stand cutting so I went to a much freer method of just putting similar sized pieces together. I add these to a bunch of raw edge applique little girls I made earlier in the week and here is the result.
Now these snips have been tames to sugar and spice and everything nice. Though I still have snips busy being unruly in my sewing room. But that just makes my life interesting. Just like those unruly snips in my three boys.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence

Am I the only one that makes a quilt, displays it for the season, puts it away for next year and then forgets about it? I was looking for something for my friend and found this little patriotic quilt. I had forgotten about it. It barley made it up for the 4th but I figure it can stay up for the rest of the month. I also found this from an exchange I did several years ago. Each cute little basket is from a dear friend. It now has a home on the wall for the summer season. Hopefully I won't forget about them next year.I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July. I know our family did. We did the children's bike parade Friday night. DD decorated her bike and rode with her friends. They had a great time and everyone got a Popsicle afterward.

We ate pizza in the park and listened to the concert. They had three bands. One did Beach Boys music, another did music by the Monkeys and the finale was a band that did Beatles music. They were all quite good. And everyone had a good time. We got up the next morning to have breakfast in the park and watch the parade. I forgot the camera so sorry no pics. DD made a killing on candy though. Then we went to the quilt show. There were some great quilts. A Dear Jane that was simply amazing. Then hubby took the boys to a car show and DD went to play at her cousins up north which meant I got some independence of my own. I was able to spend the afternoon in the cool of my sewing room. I'll show what I did there later. I want to make a little more progress before I give you a peek.

After the car show and before the barbecue someone was a little worn out. He just crashed. We had a fun barbecue with my brother and his family in the evening. While we waited for it to get dark hubby let off a few smoke bombs. I never knew those could be so amusing. The little kids loved dancing in the smoke. They were hilarious. We also played spoons. And just had a great time together. When it was dark we did fireworks. All in all it was a great day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Package Full of Sunshine

I received a package of sunshine in the mail from Sandi. What a warm and joyful surprise it was. It was all wrapped in this fun Scottie print tied up in red ribbons. How fun is that? Look at this sweet pincushion and needle case. I love the print she used. It makes me smile. And her little felt flower is joyous.
Also included was this journal and trims. Aren't they delightful? I love ric rac!


Last but definitely not least was this cute bag of cards and buttons. Lots of precious little buttons.

Thanks you so much Sandi. You brought a ray of sunshine to my day.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How Does That Happen?

I remember as a girl my mom buying lunch tickets for me and my brother. She put them in a special place where she knew they would be safe and would not get lost. That was the last time we saw those lunch tickets. Somehow the special place was so special she could not remember where it was. She hunted high and low to no prevail. The lunch stay in that special place to this day. I wondered how my amazing mother could do such a thing. Well, now I know.

Let me explain. I finished piecing J's eagle quilt

I went to get his advancement patches. I had put them in a special place. Well I can't find them. They are gone. I feel horrid. I haven't a clue where else to look. I have gained a whole new understanding and more empathy for my mom. I can now see how a perfectly sane and capable person can put things in a special place never to find them again. Now I'm faced with what to do. I don't know if the scout office will give out awards to me. I might end up embroidering his name and when he became an Eagle Scout on the top row and On my honor I will do my best along the bottom. Any thoughts?