Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween . . . . . . . .

I got this adorable mini quilt card in the mail from a fellow quilter!! I've seen these in magazines and thought it would be a fun thing to try. She dropped it in the mail, just like this!!

I've been saving it for today!
I hope you and your families have a happy and safe Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Little More Progress . . . . .

Here's block 2 for my Faceted Jewels project.

I've made all the half square triangles, half of the flying geese and just a few center pieces.

Here's block 1 and 2. This is going to be a time consuming venture. I think I'll be glad to break up my effort with Schnibbles. I'm hoping to get all the pieces for block 2 finished before I start the November Schnibbles. I think that would be a great stopping point. That would just leave assembling the blocks on my To Do list.

I got the most wonderful surprise in the mail today. My daughter sent me "The Pioneer Women Cooks" book! The recipes look great. The book is very appealing to the eye, beautiful pictures and graphics. It's not your usual cookbook. I like it. Thank You Baby Girl!!

Today is Cooper's 1st birthday! He came to live with us very unexpectedly on December 21st. My folks, getting caught up in the excitement of my brother's family getting a Christmas puppy, decided to get one too. Less than 48 hours later they decided they were not up for a pup, so we took him in. Some things are just meant to be. Our dog had passed away earlier in the fall.

Here's Cooper his first week at our house, all 12 pounds of him. It's easy to see why my folks couldn't resist taking him home. When I bought this bed, I naively thought it would last at least a year.

Boy was I wrong, he's now up to 84 pounds. Happy Birthday Cooper!! You make us smile everyday!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Few Good Things . . . . . .

A girlfriend from Colorado stopped by for a visit and brought me these flowers! I thought I would share them with you.

I forget how much I enjoy cut flowers until I'm around them. They sure liven up a dreary fall day.

I won a giveaway, without even trying!!! Just by doing something that comes natural to me.....chewin' the fat or in blog speak, leaving comments. I left the most!!

Rene from Rene Creates had a clever little giveaway for folks who had been visiting her blog. She came up with several ways to win, but didn't tell anyone, just folks stopping by qualified in different ways. I won these fabrics and a pattern from Quilters Quarters. I love the colors, plus batiks are my favorites. If I only had a nickel for every time my report card said, "talks too much in class". Well it finally got me something!!

Rene is a very artistic and creative quilter and photographer. She made this card which came with my goodies. She also has the most adorable blog, cute colors and pretty blue buttons everywhere, go stop by and say "Hi", maybe she's having another secret giveaway!

Rene also sent this Breast Cancer Awareness guitar pin from Hard Rock Cafe! I think I'm going to keep it here on this little batch of fabrics that I keep on my shelves.

Here it is, next to my Lessons Learned Journal, pink weights, and pretty tea cup.

I love collecting little sewing things and whatnots and setting them on these shelves in my sewing room. Several things are from my daughter.

I got these pins right after I decided on my blog name.

There's one daisy in the middle. They set on the shelves too.

A little while back I bought some fabric from Stashmaster who was cleaning out her stash and I bought a kit that came with this purse, with fabric inside!! Isn't it cute. Now you folks who are lucky enough to have access to quilt shops have probably seen this many times, but it's new to me!! I don't know if I'll ever use that fabric, it looks too cute in that purse to take out!!

I did do some sewing today, I made a sampler block of block #2 for my Faceted Jewels quilt. But you're just going to have to come back tomorrow if you want to see it. I'm at my daily picture limit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back To Faceted Jewels . . . . .

When I'm not working on Schnibbles, I'm working on "Faceted Jewels" by Glad Creations. This is the first time I've juggled multiple projects, I'm usually a "start to finish" kind of girl.

Here's the picture from the pattern and what I'm hoping I have when I'm done.

The pattern is made up of two different styles of blocks. In September I worked on making all the parts for block one. Once I finished my October Schnibbles I jumped right in on making the pieces for block two.

Today I made around 100 half square triangles. I LOVE half square triangles. It's probably my favorite block . I make them bigger then square them up to the perfect size. I once mentioned this to a fellow quilter and she said she never made hers bigger! WHAT!! Isn't it funny how we all have our own way of doing things.

Isn't this a happy picture, perfect blocks with all their trimmings.

Isn't this a happier picture? I also LOVE Coke, I allow myself one real Coke a day. I start wanting it around 10:30 but make myself wait until 2:30, or at least 1. Unless I'm having pizza for dinner, then I save it to go with the pizza. I can't eat pizza without Coke, which means I have to plan in advance when I'm having pizza so I don't use my Coke. ( I know, so many rules at my house!)
Isn't this an even happier picture? Half square triangles, their trimmings, real Coke AND Coconut m&m's!!
Have you seen these where you live? They are a limited edition! If you like m&m's and coconut you must try these!! I'm down to a couple of packages, I save them for my special Tuesday sewing day.

Tuesday is my special sewing day because Cooper goes to doggy daycare, giving me a day free of walking, chasing, and entertaining him.
Cooper must have had a good day too, he came home, ate dinner and went to bed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October Schnibbles Supersized . . . . . . .

Cindy Lou Who, meet.....

One Star
Two Star
Red Star
Blue Star

My October Schnibbles.

When this pattern was announced I was a little disappointed, for some reason it did not initially appeal to me, but I went ahead and ordered the pattern. Once I studied the pattern I was excited to make it. I had never made a quilt top that used snowball blocks. Last month I was determined to use my Gobble Gobble fabric, before I even saw the pattern. This month I mulled over my choices after getting the pattern and decided I wanted to go with a red, white and blue theme. I wasn't in the mood to work with those colors, I was more in a fall or holiday fabric mood, but I went with what I thought it should be and am really glad I listened to my inner voice. This is a quilt I would never have made if I weren't participating in this challenge. I am very happy with how it turned out and happy to have it. I plan to use it next summer as a coverlet for my bed. This is quilt # 51.

Additional Note: I increased the block size to 6 1/2 inches to accommodate the size of the center star in the 9 patch blocks and I mostly used leftover fabric from a previous project so this is practically a "free" quilt!

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Fall Fun . . . . . . .

We had a busy but nice weekend. Look at my tree........

It seems to be changing right before my eyes.

I was so busy watching that tree that I almost missed this...
my burning bushes turned and started dropping their leaves before I even noticed.
They are around back and I rarely even look out those windows. I'm glad I didn't miss it all, they are my favorites.

This is my other halloween quilt. I made this one and another one for a girlfriend.

They are quilts #26 and #27.

I don't think this pattern has a name. It's one of those patterns that makes the rounds at quilt guilds and shops with everyone putting their own spin on it. You start with a five sided block, any size or dimension you like, then you add one inch strips around the block until you get a size you like. I went with 12 inches finished. Then you set the blocks how you like. Maybe I should name it "How You Like".

Here's a sampling of the quilting, it has a little bit of everything going on.

You know how I like to use every possible bit of fabric, here's the back.

The quilt is hanging over the bannister for this month.

The fabric is by Maywood and is called "Happy Halloween". If you like this fabric, Lisa at Stashmaster has some for sale, go check it out under Stash Sale Part One.

Saturday morning was Cooper's halloween party at doggy daycare. Cooper decided he wanted to be a football player instead of Garfield. He's a Colt's fan.

They had fabulous decorations and treats for all the animals, two and four legged.

Look, Cooper found another Colts fan at the party!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some of my best work........

Before I discovered quilting, the only sewing I accomplished was my daughter's annual Halloween costume.

Princess Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty. I remember Ashley wearing a white turtleneck under this dress, it was a cold Halloween.
The cutest Laura Ingalls ever!!
Here Ashley was a car hop, but I would not let her wear her skates in the house for the picture!
Garfield - she wore this costume 2 years. Naturally, it was hot both years.
The month I worked on this costume, orange floating fuzz filled the air.
Cooper's thinking he wants to be Garfield this year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My First Halloween Quilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This is my first Halloween quilt. I made this quilt in the fall of 2005. I also made one for my folks and my daughter, they are quilts #5, #6, and #7.

This pattern is called "Sticks and Stones and Nine Patches" and is by Marti Michell from her "Quilting for People Who Still Don't Have Time to Quilt" book.

This quilt is made up of split rail and 9 patch blocks, the two blocks I learned to make in my beginning quilting class. I made 3 of these because I was a beginner and didn't have much direction on what to make, so when I found something I could make, I made multiples.

The fabric is by Moda, "Bittersweet and Boo".

The quilting is an overall stipple design.

I used my leftovers for the back.

If you like the panels and fabric go check out Lisa's blog at Stashmaster - Stash Sale - Last of It. She is selling all the makings for a quilt similar to this or a real cute Halloween Irish chain pattern.

I can't believe how much my tree has changed in just a couple of days! Almost all the leaves have started to turn.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's a New Day ..........

Thanks to all for supporting my right to whine! What a great group you are. So here's my Tuesday post, with a little improvement in the tone.

When I decided to go with my red and blue scraps for the stars in "Cindy Lou Who", the Schnibbles pattern for October, I needed to pick up some gold for the stars and some background fabric for the snowballs. We went through the gold process on Monday. As you may recall, I don't have easy access to quilt shops, so many of my purchases are made on-line. This has always worked out pretty well for me. So I went on-line and found this fabric.

I thought it was perfect, it's like a little party is going on all over that fabric. The colors and whimsical tone suited this project perfectly.

Now before I go any further, I would like you to know that I am not obsessed with designer labels. I like nice things and quality, I feel paying extra for nice things and quality pays off in the long run. I do know that you don't always have to pay a premium to buy nice things.

That being said, I have always bought my quilting fabric from quilt shops. When I started sewing I heard horror stories of quilters spending a great deal of time on a project only to have it turn out poorly or shrink and fade due to substandard fabric. I also noticed on-line that some swaps specifically stated, "No Walmart Fabric" allowed. Now I'm sure fabric at Walmart is like most things at Walmart, some good and some bad. But just to be on the safe side I stick with quilt shop quality fabric. Also, I've been sewing long enough now that I can sometimes pick out a designer's fabric, like Kaffe Fassett, Jenny Beyer, and Sandy Gervais. But so far I've not been driven to buy something just because of the designer. I buy what appeals to me, like the fabric above.

I'm not going to say who made or designed the fabric above, but the company and designer were familiar to me.

So the fabric shows up and I'm ready to get going on my project. When I first saw this fabric I thought it looked a little thin, and it didn't really have a nice feel to it like most of the fabrics I get now. But I didn't pay much attention to that, I bought it from a quilt shop, it was designer fabric and I paid a designer price for it.

After cutting my squares for my snowball block I noticed the following going on,

several threads pulling away from the fabric.
After adding only two squares to this block, which required very little handling, look how much that fabric has frayed!!!

But worse yet, look what happened when I pressed the block...

this 6 1/2 inch block shrunk by as much as an 1/8 of an inch!!! I know fabric can shrink, but I usually work with fabric in widths of 18 to 20 inches. I press and steam the fabric before I cut it, thinking if it's going to shrink, it should be done shrinking before I cut it into pieces. I've made over 50 quilts and have never experienced anything like this. So now I have all these snowball blocks in all shapes and sizes except 6 1/2 inch square. And while I never intended this quilt to be a show quilt, I was giving it a good effort and expected to be able to at least piece and assemble the quilt without this much work. Plus, in the back of my mind, I'm wondering what the effects of this fabric will be over the long haul, through the quilting process and future washings. I really should have switched fabrics, but that is one of the disadvantages of having a looming deadline.

So I'm disappointed but moving on. I know that if the worst thing I can say about my life this week is that I got some shoddy fabric at a high price, then I'm a lucky person. But still I think I deserved better, or at a minimum, I deserved what I paid for. I know for sure I won't buy fabric from this manufacturer or designer on-line in the future. And I think the quilt shop should maybe have noticed something was not quite right, so I'll move them to the bottom of my list. But I am taking the high road and not naming the designer or manufacturer, but I will give you one more look at this lovely fabric.

I said I improved the tone....I'm sticking with the pictures ; ))