Prints Charming, to the 9's

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12 Comments »
As some of you may recall, I've discovered charm packs.  Truth be told, I've been infected with the Charm Pack Virus.  It's not my fault.  I was surfing the quilty web one day when I happened upon Sisters Choice Quilts, where I was told I needed to join the Between Charming Friends Quilt-along.  And having no will power what-so-ever, I did just that.  I even blogged about it here

For those of you who have taken The Process Pledge:  we picked out fabric, then we cut out fabric, then we started to sew.  Then along came my darling daughter's wedding anniversary & the need to fill a very large, blank space on her kitchen wall.  Wouldn't you know, that little quiltlette I was charming along with was exactly the right size to fill the Katie's kitchen wall void.  Instead of waiting for instructions, I barged ahead, put it all together, quilted the darned thing, bound and labeled it.   How serendipitous.  Turned out pretty well, and she LOVES it.  Of course she loves everything I do (grin).  Well, almost everything......

Ta Da!! Finished size: 27.5" x 33".

Not having enough to do, I also joined the 9 Patch Project which started on Karen's blog.  I found a jelly roll of Kansas Winter, by Kansas Troubles hiding in a trunk, and started patching.  The tan, green, burgungy, black and dark gold patch combination will make a perfect cold weather throw for our family room. The idea is to make a patch a day from June 1st through mid-August,  netting about 76 patches; I've got 39 done.  Here is my progress so far:

I'm always looking for ways to make my sewing space less helter-skelter.  Those plastic take-out entree containers make really good storage trays for pre-cut strips; I have them sorted by color.  They stack up on each other very nicely & fit quite well into my Art Bin storage box.      Take 'em out to work; pack 'em up when I've had enough.

The Charm Pack Virus continues to rage.  I've been making myself project packs for Schnibbles quilts.  I'm taking a Schnibbles pattern, doing all of the sub cuts from a couple of charmers, and packing everything up in pastic bags to create ready-to-go project kits.  The Schnibbles work up so quickly they make a great diversion from weighter efforts, and I can manage quilting them myself on Bernie.  With any luck, they will work in happily between other stuff and make great Christmas presents. 

Oh, and Patchwork Penguin, a.k.a. Nancy, got me started reading Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper mystery books.  Funny, light summer fare -- just the ticket to sooth a schnibbled brain -- the books have a quiltish theme without the (sometimes) cloying sweeness of a few of the Elm Creek books.    My favorite quote in the 1st book, Fool's Puzzle is from one of Benni's old friends.  She and Benni are trying to figure out what they ever saw in a particular boy 'way back in high school: "I don't know where my mind was. He kissed like a vacuum cleaner set on thick plush."  I laughed out loud, eliciting stares on the commuter train this morning.  I'll go back to the "good for me" books in the winter.

True Beauty

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1 Comment »
We've all had bad hair days, but this beauty queen lives with no hair days.  This is great story about  an amazing young woman.

You can read about Kayla Martell's story here and discover how her beauty comes from the inside out.   It took her five tries to make it to the top spot in the Miss Delaware Pagent, but she perservered.   She will move on to represent her state in the Miss America Pagent, held in January of 2011.  Can you imagine what this means to the self esteem of a child with alopecia?   Here is someone who is truely making a difference.  Wonder if she quilts too? 

Kayla, you go, girl!!!  

Jump on in -- the patching's fine!

Saturday, June 19, 2010 1 Comment »
Went to the monthly meeting of the Civil War Tribute BOM at my LQS, and the instructor told us about the summer-long 9 Patch Project started on Karen's Blog.   Sounds good to me.  

I'm gonna use parts of an old jelly roll I found lurking in my stash and some tan-ish scraps to make 9 patches that are 6" finished size.  It'll be my leader/ender thing while I'm sewing this summer.    C'mon!  Use up those scraps and do the 9-patch boogie.   It'll be like a free quilt top!

Opportunity Quilt

Thursday, June 17, 2010 1 Comment »
Here is a chance to win a stunning quilt while helping a family heal after a tragic loss.  Pass it on!

Butterfly Kisses Quilt
91 x 91
Machine pieced; custom quilted by Pooregirl’s Quilt Co., McDonough, GA

$1.00 donation per entry requested. Drawing will be held July 12, 2010. Need not be present to win. Tickets are available at the shop or by calling 678-413-1611. Cash or checks made payable to Brian Mahaffey Memorial Fund please.  

Sweet Home Quilt Co.
1004 Green Street SW
Conyers, GA 30012

Like a hole in the head...

Monday, June 14, 2010 3 Comments »
As in "I need this like I need a hole in the head".

I was lurking in the forrests of Quilt Hollow when the urge to charm along with the Between Friends Charming Quilt Along struck.  I don't know what possessed me to do it other than I just love those purdy lil' charm packs  -- that, and all of the heat & humidity here in the great Northeast has gone to my head.  I have virtually no self control when it comes to quilting.  You know, the infamous project-is-always-much-cooler-on-the-other-blogger's-website-syndrome?  Don't lie -- you KNOW what I'm talking about.

I need 2 charm packs, some background fabric, some backing, sashing and binding.   I'm only commiting to the charmers and the background right now:  Oz, by Sanae for Moda, and a random piece of unidentified cream swirly textural fabric I found in my stash.  I think the colors will be good for a nice Fall-ish mini quilt.  Because it's not going to be very big when it grows up, it will be manageable to quilt on my Bernie.

The cutting instructions are here

It's not too late to join in the fun.  We can trade holes in the head.

I Love Staples

Saturday, June 12, 2010 2 Comments »
Or Office Max.  Or any other big office supply store. 

Got the large binder clips to hold my run-away fabric strips (and decorate my wall in the process).  They work pretty well on sets of charm squares too.

Got the old steno pad stand thingy to hold my pattern/instructions next to the sewing machine while I sew.  The instructions stand up nice and straight & don't get lost under random fabric pieces.  Sorry about the glare, but I've also got sheet protectors to keep my pattern pages spiffy, clean & neat.  Those sheet protectors allow me to keep the pages in a binder without having to punch holes in the them (which I always mess up & punch cock-eyed anyway)

Got the notebooks to keep those pattern pages in.  This one happens to be full of basket block patterns I've downloaded from other bloggers (thank you Piecemeal!)  

And the very best of all, I've got two of my favorite books spiral bound!  My friend Kimberley suggested it on her blog when one of her students showed up with her book spiral bound.  Makes the books so much more user friendly!  They did it at my local Staples for about $3/book.  Took all of 10 minutes.

And here's something that has nothing to do with an office supply store, unless you're dying of thirst from all that shopping.  It's a recipe for a Nojito.  Yep, you read it right, a Nojito.  I love mojito's, but I can only handle so much alcohol.  When I'm thirsty, I just want to chug multiple glasses of cold refreshement, so this is a great alternative.   Heaven help us if I belted down 3 or 4 REAL Mojito's!!

You can find Gina's recipe (and a whole lot more) here.  Enjoy!! 

As Hannibal would say.....

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 1 Comment »
"I love it when a plan comes together!"

Sarah, my swap recipient likes her quilt!  And she made a really nice one herself -- check out her blog here.

Really Big Flimsy

Sunday, June 06, 2010 6 Comments »
That went fast!  The daughter of our best man is getting married in August, and I wanted to make a quilt.  Nothing elaborate, but something that went with her brown/aqua/light blue/green color scheme.  I found just the thing in my friend Kimberly Einmo's book Jelly Roll Quilts and More.  The pattern is called Braided Links.  The original size was 63" x 73", and uses one jelly roll, plus yardage for sashing/backing.  The happy couple have a queen sized bed, so I added a few rows of blocks to each dimension,  & used 2 jellies.  After looking at these pictures, I wasn't fond of the proportions of the outside border, so I  lopped off 3.5" on each side to make the unquilted flimsy 90" x 100".   It looks a lot better.

The fabric is Cherish Nature (Deb Strain for Moda).  Using the jelly roll strips made it go together very quickly.  The only change I would make would be to leave out the fabric strips with the eggs -- not my fave.  All I need to do now is piece the back & send her off to the long-armer. 

Here's my dilema, and maybe you can help me decide what to do.  I will have the quilt back in time for her shower.  You all know the cost of fabric, so it's obvious I have a bit of money tied up in this gift.  Do I take the quilt to the shower as a combined wedding/shower gift, or do I spend even more & buy something separate for the shower?  I don't want my gift to be out-of-place large, but I don't want to spend another $40-50 on a shower gift if I can help it -- I certainly can't go empty-handed.  And yes, we are already bringing the usual little "wishing well" items.  Help!

What do you do when it's so stinkin' hot?

Sunday, June 06, 2010 2 Comments »
Why, you put on a stinkin' cute outfit and melt your GG's heart!  Good thing there's been a bumper crop of handsome little men born this year because Miss Madeline Rose is learning really really fast how to turn on the charm!  

She'll be 2 months old on Saturday -- does time fly or what?

Starz for a Star

Thursday, June 03, 2010 8 Comments »

Well, my mini quilt for the Modify Tradition Swap is finished, shipped and delivered. It went to Sarah, (a.k.a. lollybix) in Sheboygan, WI.

Sarah is a wonderful quilter, with an architectural style, so I opted to paper piece some colorful Kaffe Fassett stars on a field of pure white. I quilted the background heavily with a loop-de-loop meandering so that the stars looked as though they were hovering over a field of Wisconsin snow.  

The finished quilt is 20" square; the strips in the stars and the squares around the border are half inch.

Four invisible hanging sleeves complete the back.

And you'll never guess what I called it!