Thursday, September 29, 2011

Next Up . . . . .

I'm back, did ya miss me?

So really, how long did you think it would be before I started another red quilt after finishing my Red and White Tribute quilt, a year, a month, one project . . .

If you figured not very long at all you would be right, James River Blues is done and this is the project that will be consuming my time for the foreseeable future.

This pattern is Door County Cherry Baskets and is in the book Summer Gatherings by Lisa Bongean and Carole Charles. (Lisa is The Lisa of Primitive Gatherings fame and her blog header is this basket quilt!)
Door County is in Wisconsin and I spent last week in Wisconsin, checking out quilt shops and visiting with friends, so I thought this would be a great time to work on this quilt. Although, technically, cherry picking time runs mid-July to mid-August in Door County Wisconsin. I'm a little late with my cherry picking.

I pulled all the fabric for this project from my stash, so you know what that means, YES, it's a free quilt!!

Here are my background fabrics.

I'm going with over 100 different fabrics in this project and it took days and days to cut all my pieces. Now I'm on to the assembly portion of this project. (finally, hurray!)

And here's my inspiration block! The pattern calls for 99 blocks, I don't think there's that many cherries at my house, I'm thinking maybe I'll be needing a few fewer baskets.

I have some pictures to share of my Wisconsin Shop Hop and am still pushing for an official name change for Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Company's Schnibbles pattern Bibelot. I stand by my original notion that this pattern should be named "T" Stands for Thelma. I'm not sure what it will take to get this done but rest assured I'm on the job!!

Stop back by for further updates!!

( Hey Sinta - there's no room on this bandwagon for any other "T" names!! )

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Farmer's Wife Sew Along

I'm not coming to close to keeping up with the Farmer's Wife two blocks a week sew along, but I am making some blocks every now and then.
As a reminder, the fabric I'm going with is French General for Moda.

This fabric is the sashing I plan to use, and this square is 6 1/2 inches, the size of the blocks in the Farmer's Wife Book. I'm going with 4 inch finished blocks.

I'm also making my blocks in numerical order.

So this is number 13, Buckwheat.

This is number 14, Butterfly at the Crossroads. If you look real close, you'll see a butterfly in the center of my block. The only butterfly on that fat quarter of fabric!

Number 15, Buzzard's Roost ( I don't think that's a buzzard, but at least it is a bird!)

And number 16, Calico Puzzle.

So that's 16 down, only 95 more to go, you don't count the 4 blocks I want to make again because I don't like them. But I won't remake any blocks until I get all 111 done. Maybe the ugly blocks will grow on me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

She's a Winner!

Over the weekend I entered a few quilts in a show that was sponsored by a guild 45 miles from me.

When I attended the show I was thrilled to find this ribbon on A La Mode (Lifetime Quilt # 66)

Every now and then I'll run across a blog where folks wonder if their quilts are good enough for a show, or if they should enter their quilts in a show. And this is what I think about that, while I was excited to see that blue ribbon on my quilt, I also enjoyed seeing my other quilts in the show and talking to folks about them. Plus, I really enjoy seeing what other quilters in my neck of the woods are making. I would have been happy with my experience even if I didn't win a ribbon. If you've never entered your quilts in a local show, I think you'll be surprised by the sense of satisfaction you'll feel just by seeing your quilt hanging in the event hall with other quilts.

And if you're worried because a few points are missing or or a seam or two don't match, relax, there are too many things to look at for anyone to notice that type of thing on one quilt, you're the only one who notices those things on your quilt!

I've never been associated with the planning or running of a quilt show, but it looks like a lot of work. If a group is going to take the time and effort to sponsor a show, I think it's nice to recognize that time and effort by entering some quilts. The ribbon was just icing on the cake!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No Longer Singing the James River Blues . . .

I finished up James River Blues!

I really should give this quilt a new name, but sometimes, once you start calling a project by it's given name, it's hard to come up with a good nickname.

I sure enjoyed working on this quilt. Most of the time I like a challenge when I'm sewing. I'm retired and appreciate a little cerebral stimulation during my day. But sometimes I also like to sew simply for the fun of it, and that's what I need the last two weeks and this project fit that need perfectly.

I didn't even struggle with my #1 scrappy rule, no like fabrics touching. I guess because I had so many different fabrics.

This is Lifetime Quilt #74 and my 10th finish this year.

I used the pattern James River Blues by Paula Barnes for Bonnie Blue Quilts.

This quilt finished at 72" x 72" and has approximately 1,728 pieces.

I can hardly wait to see this top quilted, I think it will really bring this project to life.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Basket is Full . . .

Wow, I can't believe it's Friday already!

I've had a week of juggling car repairs, jury duty, doggy daycare, and my running schedule.

But I also have a basket full of James River Blues blocks! I should have a flimsy come Monday.
We're in for a wonderful fall weekend here, I'm ready to sit back and enjoy it.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

Monday, September 12, 2011

JRB and Winners!

Can you hear it, it's the sweet sound of contentment emanating from my sewing room.

It's like a retreat, except it's going on in my sewing room, no drama, no math, just simple sewing and trimming.

I'm ready to make some James River Blues blocks, everything I need is right here. I'm making 144 blocks and have decided to make 72 blocks with a random assortment of browns and blues. Of the remaining 72 blocks I plan to make 36 all blue and 36 all brown.

I think this will help with the scrappy look I want when I'm ready to throw 144 blocks on my design wall to get that perfect combination. (You know know rule, no like fabrics may touch!)

I sure enjoyed reading all the Schnibbles comments on my last post. Bec suggested using Sweetwater's Hometown for Full House, I like that idea and may just copy it! And I think Gretchen said what I was thinking but just couldn't put into words, " They are so addicting and a perfect way to get a wonderful fabric line out of your system. You know those lines that you just gotta have but don't really need a big quilt made of it."

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your Schnibbles stories with us. We are a wonderful assortment of Schnibbles lovers, I'm pleased to be in such wonderful company!!

I'm also glad to know that a few folks agree with me when it comes to the name on this pattern, I may have to start an official campaign of some sort, stay tuned for updates!

So here are the winners:

Nancy E who has made 6 Schnibbles and left a comment on 9/9 at 5:55 am.

Paulette at Sweet Pea Quilting and Creations who has made only 2 Schnibbles, even though she has plenty of wall space. I think there are more in your future Paulette. Paulette's comment was left on 9/9 at 9:05 am.
Kristen at Meadowbrook who is struggling with Honeycomb but not giving up on Schnibbles! Kristen left her comment on 9/9 at 6:44 am.

I'll let you know what Schnibbles they pick!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Schnibble'n Along . . . .

Are you a Schnibbler? I'm a Schnibbler!

Schnibbles are mini quilt patterns that use a couple of charm packs and a little yardage to make an amazing work of art and are the brain child of Carrie Nelson at Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

Two years ago, September 2009, Sherri at A Quilting Life and Sinta at Pink Pincushion started a little sew along called A Year of Schnibbles. (I know, can you believe it's the second anniversary of the "Year of Schnibbles!) ((I wonder if anyone besides Sherri and Sinta has participated each and every month, they deserve a legacy prize, or at a minimum, to be the first in the parade!))

I had only been blogging for a few weeks and was so excited to get to participate in my first sew along. The first Schnibbles for the sew along, "Winter White"!

Since that time I've made 4 Schnibbles, maybe I should say I used 4 Schnibbles patterns to create some quilts.

Carrie's "Winter White" finished at 34" x 34", mine, named "Eat More Pie" finished at almost twice that size! (see Lifetime Quilt #51 for more detail on "Eat More Pie")

Next up was "Cindy Lou Who", which finished at 33" x 33", I made my blocks bigger and added a few. (see Lifetime Quilt #52 for more detail on "One Star Two Star Red Star Blue Star" or click here to see the finished quilt on my bed)

I did make "Good Fortune" exactly as called for in the pattern but surrounded it with "Madeline" who I enlarged. (Lifetime Quilt # 59)

The main reason I kept tinkering with the patterns, besides the fact that I'm a nut who always has to be just a little different, I didn't have any place to hang those mini quilts. And even though I have 7 or 8 quilts stacked on one bed, one on top of the other, they are still bed quilts and serve a purpose. I just couldn't talk myself into making little quilts, even if they were adorable, if I didn't have any place to put them.

And it drove me crazy, what a great way to use up scraps, to experiment with fabric choices, to learn some new techniques, by making Schnibbles.

And while I was able to resist making Schnibbles, that didn't stop me from buying the patterns. They are like candy to me, a real treat! I love reading them, love finding out how they go together, love the math that makes up the designs. They're better than a Sudoku puzzle. Plus they are portable, I stick one in my purse and read it when I have a spare minute. I actually left Nash at the dentist's office. When the receptionist called to tell me I had left it behind, and wanted to know where she could buy the pattern, I just gave it to her. Once I've figured out the "man behind the curtain" I'm pretty much done with them. It's like those find the differences in two pictures puzzles, once you've figured it out, you're ready for the next one.

Well all that's changed! This summer I replaced the bedroom outfit in my guest room.

And I intentionally didn't order a mirror to go over the dresser, I'm filling that space with Schnibbles! What a perfect place to hang mini quilts, that dresser stretches out 66 inches long and Schnibbles usually run less than 40 inches square.

I just got the latest 6 new Schnibbles patterns in the mail and can hardly wait to make them all!

One of my favorite things about Sherri and Sinta's sew along is the monthly parade, where all the projects for that month are revealed. I just love seeing the same pattern made with different fabrics, I am always in awe of the projects that are in that parade and the fabric combinations that folks use. Well Carrie has created her own Full House Parade, click here to see this pattern using 4 different families of fabric and two different pattern sizes! House blocks in quilts always appeal to me, I have a few houses in a Thimbleberries Christmas quit, but this one is better, a whole little town!

This pattern is called "T stands for Thelma" I'm not sure why the cover says "Bibelot", the back of the pattern says bibelot is "a small object of curiosity", I'm not small but I am sometimes an object of curiosity. I'm going to make "T stands for Thelma", I hope you do too.

This is "insert snappy title here", maybe we could call it "Bibelot" and get the right name on "T stands for Thelma"

When I make this quilt I'm gong to hang it like this, because I think this is the way it's meant to hang.

"Summer Day" out of light, bright fabric, how about Fall Day out of Sandy Gervais, or Winter Day out of Countdown to Christmas or Spring Day out of Fig Tree, the possibilities are endless!!

These are the last two of the latest Schnibbles patterns, I've yet to read the directions but just know Carrie has come up with a clever way to make these complicated looking quilts go together easily.

Sinta and Sherri have decided that September is quilter's choice month. We can make ANY Schnibbles pattern we choose, I've been waffling on my choice for days now and have still not made up my mind. But as soon as James River Blues is done I'm starting on my Schnibbles, you'll just have to come back by to see which one.

I sure hope you participate in this month's Schnibbles parade too. To give you a little incentive I'm giving away 3 Schnibbles patterns of your choice to 3 folks who leave a comment or send me an email. New, old I don't care, which ever patterns call your name they will be coming to your house.

Any comment about Schnibbles will do, like how many you've made, why you've not made any, why you like Schnibbles, why you don't, your favorite (my favorite is Picnic) just share a little Schnibbles trivia and you're in. You have until 5 am, CST on Monday, September 12th to leave a comment, I'll announce the winner later that day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Embracing Fall. . . . . .

This past Labor Day weekend I met up with my daughter at Disneyland in California.

Here's just one of the many things I like about Disneyland, one evening upon returning to our room, I found these guys, who beat me to bed but were happy to see me.

My daughter and I met at Disneyland to run the Disneyland Half Marathon. You may remember we met in February and successfully finished the Princess Half Marathon at Disney World in Florida.

Running a race at each park in the same year qualifies you for the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge.

We did it! Two half marathons (which equals a marathon just separated by 6 months really!), two different states, two different Disney parks. We could not have asked for a better race day, the weather was perfect.

This little adventure was my daughter's idea, I'm so proud of both of us, training and finishing the races was nothing but fun.

So here's the hardware we earned, the Princess Race medal on the right, the Disneyland medal on the left, and in the middle, the Coast to Coast medal for finishing both races in one year.

Besides just looking for something fun for us to do together, we decided to run these races after hearing about a doctor, in Indianapolis, who collects medals from runners and then passes them on to patients "struggling with much harder races". But it was this sentence in the article that moved us to action, "kids especially enjoy the Disney medals". So our medals are heading to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. I hope a little girl somewhere feels like a princess when she wears the medal I earned for the Princess Race and that other children will smile and be happy to wear the other medals. I get to keep the ribbons, that's good enough for me.

For more information on Medals for Mettle or to locate a chapter near you, click here.

Since I wasn't home Labor Day weekend, my end of summer To Do's were postponed until now.

Packing up the summer flower arrangements, quilts, and my most favorite summer knick knacks; my colorful daisies and Fun in the Sun table arrangement.

I would be sorry to see them go if it weren't for two things, one, I'll get them back out next year and two, putting up summer things means one thing, it's FALL! My favorite time of year.

I love fall for a host of reasons but I'll share two with you,

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins and Pumpkin Spiced Latte's from Starbucks . . .


I love football, I root the loudest for the Colts, but I'll watch most games on TV and like several teams. Tonight the Saints play the Packers, two great teams representing two great cities. At 8:30 ET you'll find me in front of the TV with this . .

Evening Bloom, my applique project....ah fall, what's not to love!!

Tomorrow we're talking Schnibbles, be sure to stop back by!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

James River Blues Update . . . .

So I'm plugging away on James River Blues by Paula Barnes for Bonnie Blue Quilts. I'm enjoying the drama free fabric decisions and the fact that I can just sit and sew, no thinking, no planning, no math. It's very relaxing.

Although I do have to admit, most of you know me better than I know myself.

The first thing I did when I started my project was to make my test/inspiration block. I always make one block to double check my math and get a feel for assembling the pieces before cutting out all the fabric.

Well, when I got that block together it was a shade too big for my liking, so I shrunk it down an inch. I know, I know, I told you I wasn't going to make any changes, but you were right and I just couldn't help myself.

So here are some strips, waiting to be cut and pieced to make around 300 four patch blocks.

And here's my stacks of pieces for my hst units. I'm using the Easy Angle by EZ Quilting to cut the units, I don't think I'll ever go back to drawing that line down the middle of a square and sewing on each side of it. I do however still make the units bigger and square them up, even though they come out fairly perfect using that tool every time, I don't think I'll ever give up on that.

Now that summer's over and I'm done traveling for awhile, I'm hoping to make some serious progress and complete 3 more projects this year. Each year I have a goal of making 12 quilts, one per month. I don't know why, there's nothing special about the number 12, but that's a goal I set each year and last year I missed it by one, I think I'm going to make it this year, James River Blues will be my tenth finish for this year, it's looking good!

Friday, September 2, 2011

That Quilt Holder . . . . . .

Every time the stand I use to photograph my quilts makes it into a picture on my blog I always get a few questions, like "what's that quilt holder"and "where did you get that quilt holder" . . .

Here's the picture that generated the last group of questions.

Well that quilt holder is one of the most handy things to have around for photographing my quilts. It sure has been nice to take pictures whenever I want and not when my last quilt holder, Mr Cupcake, was available. Plus, he could never get them perfectly level, and then after only maybe 20 shots would start complaining about the quilts getting heavy. Our lives sure have improved since I got that stand.

It's really not even a quilt holder, it is a backdrop support used for photography. I bought mine here. Mine's by EOS Lighting but lots of folks make them. I've had mine for probably 5 years, it was a birthday present from my father-in-law. I noticed they've gone up in price since I got mine.

Here's everything you get, two stands, a pole to hold the quilt, some clips and a bag to store and carry it all. It stretches out and up to accommodate all sizes of quilts, even kingsize, and it's very sturdy. I've used it outside and so far, it's never blown over.

The clips do a great job. I think the thing I like best about this holder is that it's very easy to assemble and hang a quilt all by myself, anytime I want.

So the next time my quilt stand makes it into a shot, I can just point folks back to this post instead of looking it up and finding that website every time..... sometimes it takes me awhile, but I do eventually come up with a good idea.