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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quilting in 2012

Looking forward to 2012.  Now that my sewing room is better organized and I know what I have in my stash, I look forward to continuing my monthly project outline:

1) Complete 1 UFO each month  - this can mean that I complete a block for one of the 3 or 4 BOM's I started and never finished, I complete a top, I get borders on an existing top, etc
2) Start a new quilt with the caviat that I must finish the new quilt  before starting another
3) Participate in on-line sew alongs and swaps
4) Complete monthly project for my quilt guilds.

At the moment, this list seems a bit daunting, but I am inspired by members of my guilds.  These are some extremely prolific and talented quilters/artist.  I found 2 on-line sew alongs that I will participate in.

The first is from the Craftsy Site - they have a BOM that looks interesting.

 The 2nd is a sew along that has monthly projects that should help reduce my scrap stash.  I have added the button under the TMQG button.  Please feel free to browse.

Those who know me know how this will go.  I will start out full steam ahead and by the 3rd or 4th month, I will lose interest and move on.  So I am depending on my followers and fellow quilters to nudge me along to ensure I complete my goals.

To my fellow bloggers, can you recommend some swaps?  There are so many out there.

Happy New Year to all!!

Happy quilting, sewing, knitting, crafting to all.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Aftermath ...

Here it is Christmas night.  Most of the wrapping paper has been corralled in a trash bag.  Good thing trash pickup is tomorrow night.  The grand kids had a great Christmas.  Chase got a Beebe gun which led to his sister saying "You'll put your eye out".  I understand that he heard this several times during the day.  We had a small but traditional ham dinner between Church and their mom heading off to work.  Their Mom loved her Christmas present.  Me, Chase & Emma were very proud of how well it turned out but we'll let you be the judge.  Any issues you see are window reflections didn't realize it until I cropped just now.

We were very happy that our son was able to get home for 2 whole days.  He leaves out in the morning about the same time we head to Pennsylvania.

Got to get the house back in order and pack for the PA trip.  Next post will be after the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

If you give a Papa a cookie....

Still entertaining the grandkids.  Today we made a present for their mom which did not involve sewing.  The present turned out great but we have to wait until after Christmas to post.  Once the present was out of the way, it was on to making cookies.  I confess ... I cheated and used a premade cookie mix.  We mixed it up, rolled it out, cut out cookies, baked, cooled and then decorated.  Notice the aprons.  They've taken every opportunity to wear them.

There were 2 broken cookies which of course we had to eat.  We had cans of icing with decorator tips, smaller gel writing tubes for outlining and even glitter gel tubes.

See the coffee cups everyone has?  Both kids were complaining with sore throats (and now mine is starting) so I fixed a tea remedy I discovered while in China. It eased the pain but Mom ended up taking them both to the doc when she got home.

And here are the cookies....

Not the prettiest cookies but we had fun doing it.  They don't measure up to Rainbow Robot's cookies but I don't know anyone's that do.  We needed to get rid of one cookie so that I could put the lid on the silver tray.  Each kid grabbed a dish and went straight to Papa insisting that he take a cookie.  You have to know my husband to understand how entertaining the next 20 minutes were.   Once he settled on a cookie (he unknowingly chose one that I had decorated), he declared that he needed a cup of tea.

Emma has been reading "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...", which immediately led to .... If you give a Papa a cookie, he will ask for a cup of tea.  If you give him a cup of tea, he will ask for a spoon.  If you give him a spoon, he will check his reflection to make sure he has no crumbs on his face .... and on and on and on....

It was a fun day but Nana is exhausted and the kids are litterally --- sick & tired.

Next week we will be off to Pennsylvania.  Back to sewing in January.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Entertaining Grandkids over Christmas Break

Only 4 more nights until the big guy arrives!

I have spent this week entertaining the Grand kids since they are out of school.  We have been gathering leaves, twigs, and anything that looks like it would create an interesting design.  The plan for Monday was to do fabric painting and imprints to create our own fabric.  Monday started cold, warmed up to about 52F by noon but the wind kicked up.  The rest of the week is suppose to be wet.  Not a good week for fabric painting since we need to be outside in the sunshine and stillness.  So we will put all those supplies aside until we get a good weather day coordinated with a day out of school.

At the TMQG dirty Santa Swap, Kim Johnson's homemade item was a ball made out of thumbtacks and Styrofoam.  I googled to get instructions.  Looks simple enough.  This became our Monday craft.  Got styrofoam balls & thumbtacks.  Dug out some Christmas ribbon from my stash and we sat down to make the balls.   The kids were excited - at first- and wanted to know how many balls each of us were going to make.

Chase just finished his first ball.  Can you see the excitement?

Emma is concentrating.  Halfway through the 1st ball, both kids were asking if we HAD to do more than 1 each.

The Internet directions say to take a small piece of ribbon and attach to ball using thumbtacks to make a hanger.  These balls get heavy.  A piece of ribbon attached at the top will not support the weight.  Clear packing tape to the rescue.  I covered each ball in clear packing tape.  You really can't tell up close that it is covered with tape.  Then I put saran wrap around to create an area that I could tie the ribbon to them.  I tried to make a bow out of several different Christmas ribbons then hung the balls at different levels.  I later remembered that I have netting but I'm not redoing it at this point.  The results are a perfect redneck Christmas decoration.

This took about 2 hours total.  So we pulled out the things I got to make a present for their mom, only to discover that the main item did not work.  So we went to town.  We will pick this up on Thursday.

Tuesday - Day 2 I let them watch Christmas movies while I made reversible aprons because you have to have an apron to make cookies on Thursday.  Both kids were very happy with the aprons and are ready to make cookies.

Wednesday - Papa is off today so he took the kids shopping with him and then out to lunch.  I'm sure that was an experience to remember for both kids.  It gave me time to upload photos and post to my blog.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we will make their mom's present and then spend the rest of the day making cookies. Will post pictures of their Mom's present.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Projects

Hard to believe Christmas is almost here!  Where did the year go?  Been busy the past 2 weeks with holiday things and sewing projects for the guilds I am in.

Here's the results so far....

Mug rugs for my girlfriends.  We've been having dinner once a month for almost 5 years now.  This ladies are amazing.

Next up ... The Triad Modern Quilt Guild always provides opportunities for homework between meetings.  For December, we could make a homemade ornament for a dirty Santa swap at the monthly meeting.

I used Laura Birch scraps from my Ornament quilt to create a background fabric.  Then I embroidered a redwork manger scene, and finished with stitch in the ditch using gold metallic thread.  I used a layer of temtex inside to provide stability and to hold shape.


And last but not least,  here's the patriotic block I came up with for the quilt of valor project.

Happy sewing, quilting, knitting and crafting to all!!

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Warning: Quilt in Progress

Good evening all!  I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and has sufficiently over eaten.  I know I did my part.

I had the honor of hosting my older sister (Marie) over the Thanksgiving weekend.  We have established a bit of a tradition.  She comes up for Thanksgiving, spends the weekend, we go to the Craftsman's Classic in Greensboro, hit a few fabric stores and spend the rest of the weekend sewing.  She brought a project with her.  A co-worker has commissioned her to do a T-Shirt quilt.

Marie arrived with a sack of the young ladies favorite T-shirts and instructions.  To say that the t-shirts were WELL worn would be the understatement of the decade.  The instructions were simple - include her "favorite" t-shirts and make it big enough for her to wrap up in.  I'm told she's a healthy young lady.  We decided to create 12 blocks in a 3 x 4 pattern with double borders between the blocks using several border fabrics.  We decided that the 1 shirt that absolutely must be in the quilt was not salvageable for a block in a quilt that would be used regularly.  My plan was to add a fabric border and frame it.

The favorite T-shirts were a hot mess.  "Hot Mess" is a new phrase I picked up this weekend.  The prints on these t-shirts were faded, stretched, cracked, stained.  One of these was a simple grey T-Shirt from her college days.  The design was simple -- the college name was written in block lettering across the front of the shirt but most letters were only visible by looking closely under the Ott light.  It was also full of holes - and I do mean full.  This was the one that was destined to be framed.   We started with about 22 shirts, picked 16 that could be salvaged and created 13 blocks by patching, combining, etc.

First task - make those must have shirts usable.  We solved the faded design issue with some fabric paint pens.  After some work here's what we ended up with ...

At the point we were auditioning blocks and borders,  our 3 x 4 plan became 4 x 4 which meant we had to come up with 4 more usable blocks.  We picked up 2 t-shirts that were in good condition but did not fit the overall school theme, and then we had to build 1 more out of shirt pocket logos.  We were still a block short so the framed piece became a block.  Now this particular t-shirt had been cut already with the idea of framing.  Using the fabric paint pens, the logo was restored, bonded a good t-shirt back to the logo to strengthen and cover up all the holes, then put tulle over the top to help with wear and tear.  Used the school colors to build the block but was limited on how to build it because the shirt was trimmed with the intent to frame for hanging on the wall.  Not a great block, but the "absolutely must have" shirt is now in the quilt.

At least 2 hours of moving blocks and deciding which border color to put on which shirt resulted in this top ....

The remaining pocket logos were mixed into a border that will measure 4" finished.  We built the borders and laid them out on my design floor.  I don't have a design wall yet.  My husband bought some new tools this weekend so I expect one soon.

Close ups of the the border inserts before sewing....

By this time it was mid Sunday afternoon and my sister had to drive back to SC.  She has to sew on the final border and get it quilted.  We will be sure to post the finished product.  I hope that we will also be able to post a picture of the young lady when she gets here quilt.

This coming week, I have to work on my dirty Santa swap and quilt of honor block for TMQG.  I'm hoping Santa will bring me a good camera with a wide angle lens for better pictures.

Happy quilting, sewing, knitting to all and to all a good night!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Google Chrome; New Followers ... well almost....; other ramblings

I get so excited when I look at my blog and see that I have new followers!!  I know ... it takes so little to make me happy.  Today I have 11.  I am in the double numbers now.  Then I noticed that I am following my own blog .... TWICE!!   Now that is pathetic.

I have had trouble lately viewing photos in other blogs.  I started using Google Chrome a few weeks ago after researching web display issues I was having with Windows 7.   I am officially ready to make Google Chrome my default browser.  IE is no longer my friend.

Haven't been sewing this week but I have continued to work on cleaning up my sewing room.  What a mess!  A lot of the fabric I have found has me asking myself ... WHY????  WHAT????

WHY - Why did I buy this?

WHAT -- What was I thinking?

It is actually depressing to think of all the money I have tied up in fabric that will end up being donated to goodwill.  I found a ray of hope today.  I bought 2 quilting books with more modern fabric and designs.  I can see potential ways to use some of my ugly, outdated fabric.  I also found some hidden little gems.

My baby sister had the nerve to ask if I had found her sons christening outfit during my cleaning.  I took the outfit after the ceremony with a promised to embroidery his initials and BD on the little outfit.  The kid turned 4 this year and started pre-school.  Yes I did find the outfit.  There's one more UFO to strike off my list!!

Can't leave without posting at least 1 picture.    This is a picture of part of my "cleaned up" fabric stash.

Yummy Christmas fabric.  I stumbled across this video on folding fabric to keep your stash neat from Angie at Cut To Pieces --  I've tried many different ways to organize fabric over the years.  This is the first one I've found that makes sense to me.  It is easy to do and lends itself to on-going maintenance.

Happy sewing...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Finished something, started something, started and finished something!

Retirement has been very busy for me.  I don't understand those folks who get bored.  I haven't had the time.

Finally Finished....

I have been working through my sewing room.  I've been trying to organize my stash to get a handle on what I have and to identify UFO's.  The first quilt I made was a blooming 9-patch.  I finished the top in the class, got it to the quilter (Kim Butterbaugh) for quilting, & dutifully prepared my binding while waiting on Kim to finish.  Got the quilt back from Kim.  That was at least 6 years ago.  Last week I managed to actually sew the binding on.  Now it is on our bed.  The fabric is all flowers and butterflies.  The semi-custom quilting has butterflies mixed in.  I have to make the label.  Think I will call it Field of Dreams.

Started Something New

The ladies presenting the trunk show at The Davie County QG in July were selling kits, FQ, books, tools etc.  I bought a Laurel Burch Christmas kit.  I opened the kit up last week and put the top together.  The sample and instructions called for rickrack for the ornament hangers.  I am not a rickrac person.  I found some funky fuzzy yarn in my stash.  I think it is perfect.  I'm am going to try to quilt this one myself.  Wish me luck!

Started & Finished

Our quilt quilt, Triad Modern QG, is having a Potholder swap at our meeting tonight.  I made 3 before deciding on which to give my secret partner.  

The 1st 2 are made from an adorable pattern I found at a quilt shop in Maggie Valley NC.  The cupcake icing is a pouch for your fingers so that you can better hold a hot pan.

The one below is a block called Grandma's hopscotch.  The block was meant to be 12" so I stopped with the center and 1st surrounding row.  I unwisely decided to make it an octagon (I was thinking snowball).  I was not thinking that now I have 8 mitered corners to do.  I took the binding off and reapplied once.  Still not happy.  Will have to take it off once more.

 Can't tell you which one I am giving to my secret partner until after the meeting tonight.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Post -- Yippee!!

Well hello everyone!  Since I have lived and worked in the computer field for over 20 years, I thought now might be a good time to jump into the on-line world.   Did  I mention that I recently left my job?  Aug 1 was my 1st day of independence.  Hubby says I cannot say I am retired because I do not get a retirement check.  He sincerely believes that I will get bored very soon and go back to work.  Makes me laugh out loud (or ROFL) every time he says it.  I am RETIRED and I have a sewing room full of enough UFO's (unfinished objects) to take me through June of 2012 at least.  I am sure by then, I will have many other UFO's to carry me into 2013.

I have also joined 2 quilting guilds, applied to take the Master Gardeners class in my area which requires that you do community volunteer time, and applied to volunteer at the grand kids school.  Now back when I was a kid, the world seemed to be a kinder more trusting place.  The village really did raise everyones kids.  Volunteering in school did not require background checks and training sessions.  You raised your hand and they put you to work.  Let's table that for another blog post.  I want to get back to sewing.

On Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011, I attended the maiden voyage (meeting) of the Modern Quilt Guild in Forsyth County, NC.  I was so excited to see a good mixture of experienced vs. newbie quilters, young women (translate to anyone 45 or under and several were WAY under 45) vs. those of us who have experienced over 45 years of living.  The energy of the younger ladies was inspiring.  The completed quilts and works in progress were amazing.  I left the meeting with the realization that I need to add more modern fabric designs to my stash.  Of course I began working on this immediately.

Listening to the younger ladies was inspiring.  They are juggling kids & hubby (some people count him as another kid), pursuing masters degrees, blogging, tweeting, flickring, church activities, volunteer activities, etc.  Somewhere, between all of this living, these amazing young women find the time to sew to their hearts content.  Many of them are very new quilters.  They are my newest heroes!  I look forward to getting to know everyone in the guild, to absorbing inspiration and energy from these ladies, and to just having a great time.

The president of the club is Angie from  Check out her blog and her links.  Pretty sure Angie's picture is beside "overachiever" on wikipedia.

Now ... how do I go about getting followers?  Hummm ... I have friends in my address book.  And I need to jazz up the design of the blog.  Now I have homework to do.

Happy sewing!!