Monday, February 27, 2012

finding forgotten UFOs

I'm still working on cleaning up my sewing space. It's a major undertaking. I am going through everything, reorganizing my fabric by color on shelves, donating things (mostly magazines!) that I don't need anymore, getting rid off truly useless things.I am down to the last box or two of fabric! In the bottom of my "red box" I found the pieces of an apron, all cut out and ready to sew! Needless to say, the cleaning came to a screeching halt. Apron sewing took priority!

 And now this beauty is hanging with my other favorite aprons on hooks atop my pantry door! Surely dinners cooked while wearing my new apron will be delicious, don't you think?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gratitude journal

I already shared with you all that my word for 2012 is Gratitude. In addition to wearing my word around my neck, I have been looking for other ways to explore the concept of gratitude. Shortly after I discovered my word (because that's what happens for me. I don't make up a word, it just comes to me!) I created a pinterest board for gratitude. Every day I find more things to pin there, quotes, thoughts, things to be thankful for.

Recently, I discovered a new book by author Debbie Macomber called One Perfect Word. In it, she describes her process for choosing a perfect word for each year. She gives ideas for exploring your word each year and shares some of the words she has chosen over the years and how they have impacted her life. It's a wonderful read and I highly recommend it! Needless to say, I have begun to think about new ways to incorporate my word into my daily life. The first thing I have done is to purchase a small journal with blank pages and a new package of colorful sharpie markers.

 I plan to write many of the gratitude quotes I have found on some of the pages. Beginning with this one...
 Other pages will feature things that I am grateful for. Of course the first one features my wonderful husband and children.
 Every year I use a Mary Engelbreit day by day calendar in my kitchen. I thought this calendar page was perfect to use in my journal. I love her cheerful sentiments and I'm guessing there will be more that fit my theme as the year goes on.

Have you discovered a word to explore this year? It's not too late! What are you doing to celebrate your word? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birdie Stitches Quilt Finished!

Well it's finally done! I just put the last few stsches in the binding about an hour ago. The sun was shining and there wasn't much wind, so I took it right outside to take pictures. What do you think?

I decided to have my friend Diann quilt it with an overall bubble pattern and I'm so glad I did! I love it so much!

I am blogging from my Ipad for the first time. I really hope this works! My laptop is on it's way out. I have had it for a long time, and it was used when I got it, so I guess I've been lucky. Hubby says we are not sinking another dime into it. So, I guess we will be laptop shopping soon! Meanwhile, I will do my best to blog from the Ipad. Do any of you do that? Any tips?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Swap blocks

I really wasn't going to do any extra swaps this year. Nope. Well, just the ones I always do! But nothing extra. And then, it happened. I was at the quilt store when they were giving instructions for the next block swap. I sat in just to hear, not to commit! But, alas, the blocks were to be RED and cream. sigh. RED??? How could I pass that up. So I joined in the fun.

We each chose a different 6 1/2 inch block to make. Then we had to go home and make 98 of them. Yes, you read that right! 98 blocks! 7 blocks for each of the 14 participants. At least I had the common sense to make an easy block. I chose to make four patch blocks.

Last Friday we swapped our blocks. I came home with 98 different blocks! After several starts and stops, I finally drew up a sketch of the quilt I want to make. It will only use 58 of my blocks, but I figure I can use the rest to make pillows and put some into the back of my quilt.

The first thing I did was turn 48 of my 6 1/2 inch blocks into 12 12 1/2 inch blocks. I had so much fun with this! Some of the blocks are simple, some are very busy, some are made up of all the same blocks, some with a variety. What do you think?

I put the brown borders on this collage because that's what color I am thinking of sashing my blocks with. Not sure about that yet, I'm still auditioning some other colors, but I do think I like the brown. I'm going to make the sashing 6 inches wide so I can use some of the other blocks as cornerstones.

I do believe I have been sucked into something new.... there has been some talk about what colors the next swap will be and I have to tell you, it sounds fabulous. Sigh. This was not my plan!

I have a couple more quilts almost finished right now & can't wait to share them with you! I must say, 2012 has started out as a very productive quilting year for me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinterest finds and other stuff

Yikes, it's almost been a week since I checked in here! I have been sewing up a storm.... just have not managed to get things to the blog. So sorry! I will try to do better.

Our Seams like Sisters group had a sewing day on Saturday. Those ladies are so much fun! Look at the adorable cat quilt Alice brought to show us... There were lots of fun projects made that day (did I get pictures of them all? No. I did not. You'll just have to believe me!) and lots of snacks eaten. Diann and I even made a mid afternoon run to the store for ice cream. Because quilters need ice cream, right? Even if it is pouring rain. Oh, and there was a dance break too. I wish I had that on video (Joellen does!).

Ok, so who else is hooked on Pinterest? Come on, fess up! I know you are! Here are just a few of the awesome projects I have spotted on there recently...

I couldn't get that quilt block in the upper right hand corner out of my head! So I found the tutorial and gave it a try this morning. Oh my gosh, it was so easy! That block looks so complicated. It starts out as 2 four patches (I used 5" squares) and you end up with 2 blocks (mine are 7 1/2 inches finished) like this...

What have you found on Pinterest (or elsewhere?) lately that you want to try?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

what I'm up to

I've been making lots of new baby blankets for my shop.... I was part of an awesome pincushion swap at The Quilt Asylum. This is the pincushion I made... And these are the adorable pincushions I came home with!

Stephanie made these fantastic little mice. Check out the yoyos on their backsides:

I've been working away at pressing and folding more of my stash. The shelves are filling up!

I'm looking forward to a sewing day with my small group, Seams like Sisters, on Saturday. Hope you've been finding some creative time too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day is coming

My online scrabble buddy and good friend, Helaine, sent me these awesome Valentine's Day suckers and some peppermint bark for the holiday! yummy! Check out the Valentine suckers, made with little candy canes, melted chocolate & sprinkles! Awesome.

truth be told, I took these pictures several days ago. The candy stash has diminished since then. Just sayin....

Today Ally prepared Valentine goodies for her friends. Chocolate dipped strawberries and pretzels....

Don't they look yummy too? Lucky for me, they are all tied neatly in cellophane bags ready to deliver. No chance of Mom taking a nibble. This is a good thing!

What are you doing for Valentine's Day this year?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

a quilt finish

First off, I have to ask. Is there a website you all use to edit your photos? For free, I mean. Because I have been using Picnik to edit mine for months, but now they are shutting down. I guess if you use Google+ it will be available there, but honestly, I do not need another social media site to keep track of (sorry Google+, I'm sure you're wonderful). I don't have a fancy camera & I'm not a fabulous photographer, but Picnik has always allowed me to make my photos look good. What to do? Hoping you all have the answer.

Anyways, today I finished up this sweet baby quilt...

I used Villa Rosa Designs "Gypsy" pattern and a layer cake of Moda's Berenstein Bears fabric. I love how colorful and happy it turned out! Also, this is the first decent sized quilt that I have quilted myself on my Janome. I used straight lines, on the diagonal, 1 1/2 inches apart and I think it turned out pretty good! I do think if I am going to attempt to quilt anything bigger than this I need a quilting machine with a bigger throat. Hmmm.... maybe it's time to start researching? I mean, I love my basic Janome, but there are some things I could do better on a different machine.

Here's the back of the quilt:

Who knew that I would get such a sunny, gorgeous day to take pictures in the middle of February? This is my kind of winter...

Monday, February 6, 2012

ticker tape blocks 13 and 14

so, the colors for our February ticker tape blocks were assigned on Friday, and by Saturday afternoon I had them done! mint green and pale blue. Not two colors I have a lot of in my stash I must say. This took some digging and some imagination.

several bluebonnets fabrics made it into my pale blue block. And I love the pencils!

Mint green was tough. Some of mine are very pale, others a bit dark, but I think it works altogether.

Ten more blocks to go...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

another UFO finished

I've been working every day at tidying up my sewing space. I'm totally reorganizing the space, switching things around, so it's taking a while. One thing that bothered me before is that all of my fabric was in plastic tubs in a closet where I couldn't see it. So, little by little, I am folding and sorting my fabric and putting it onto my bookshelves (which means that my magazines are all piled on the floor waiting to be sorted into the plastic bins, but I won't show you that mess!)

Here are my shelves so far.... While I am cleaning, I keep finding unfinished projects tucked here & there. Instead of storing them away, I am trying to finish them up as I go! Today's project was a birthday gift LAST YEAR! I did do all the piecing a year ago, but since then it has been waiting patiently for me to quilt and bind it.

Here's my problem. I need to take a machine quilting class. I love piecing but have never really learned what to do next. I have a walking foot AND a darning foot, I know the basics, but I need to learn more. Well, I have decided that I should just barge ahead with some of the smaller project and straight(ish) line quilt them on my machine. I'm really happy I went ahead and finished this one up in time for Valentine's Day!

The pin cushion is for a swap at The Quilt Asylum in a couple of weeks and the basket is from my basket making days. I just thought it looked cute for the photo shoot. Wow, it's only Wednesday & I have already finished up my "One Thing" for the week! What are you working on?