Sunday, February 28, 2010

Broken Promises

Remember how my friend Kim and I promised we weren't going to shop this weekend?  Well, we didn't mean to, but we just had to get some minkee for one of her quilt backings, and then, before you know it, we had hit 3 fabric stores.  But this is all I bought.
I won't share what Kim bought.  No really, we didn't go overboard.  As you can see, these are all necessities.  Except for the patterns.  Oh, and the magnetic pin cushion (okay, not really a cushion, but what else would I call it?) that matches the one in the background. Saturday morning, we had a class on fondant (I'm in love with it!!), and we were already ten minutes toward the quilt shop in Boerne, so what the heck, we drove the remaining thirty minutes to get there.  And then discovered our new lunch place because we always have good luck finding good lunch places when we're together.  Of course, we have good shopping luck when we're together, too.

As you can see, I bought a little pattern for the purse.  I also bought the hardware for the purse, but I conveniently forgot to put it in the photo.  I was dying to make the purse for a gift for a darling five year old's tea party birthday on Sunday.  Charli, the birthday girl is an old soul, so I knew she's love a handmade purse.  And I was right:-)
That's my stinker beside her.
If this were my little bag, I'd put my cords and electronics in it for a road trip (ipod, camera, chargers, ear buds, etc.).  Kim would put make-up in it if it were her bag.

Did you recognize the fabrics?  I used scraps from the heart quilt in the last post.
Extra notes:  
*Kim's daughter Morgan took the photos of the purse (and she took pics of the Laurel Burch quilt, the Halloween BQ quilt, and the Christmas Tree quilt).  She's only 19 and just got her SLR camera for Christmas, but she is already shooting like a pro.  I want to keep her nearby for all my photography needs.
*My sweet husband made the little table the purse is sitting on.  It just moved in the house Saturday, so I have yet to decorate around it.  I was too busy breaking my vow not to shop to decorate my little table.
*I also finished the chirp baby quilt.  I kind of improvised it & just went with it.  It's cute:-)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sew & Tell Friday

I was up til midnight finishing the binding on this baby.  I like the result.
I was planning to use fabric on hand to stash-bust.  But then I bought the charm pack in the pieced border. And then I found the binding fabric.  And my friend Kim, who also made one, pulled out the Love fabric for the inner border out of her stash.
I quilted a large stipple for various reasons.  1.) I'm not experienced enough to do something that looks amazing. 2.) I had to work around all those thick layers and avoid where the seems converge.
And then I gave it a wash and dried it until crinkly.  I love the ruffly hearts.

Have you checked out amylouhou's Sew & Tell?  There are always some neat things to see every Friday.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fabric ISO pattern! STAT!

In the last post, I mentioned that I have some fabric that needs a pattern.  This post is me begging for some input.  Mom, that means you're going to have to figure out how to leave a comment.  Go find the person at work who taught you to use your ipod.

First up we have Girl Chirp.  I loved these fabrics online, but when I got them, they seemed flat, color-wise.  I need to add something to them to add a little more depth.  But then what?  This quilt needs to happen ASAP because my home-girl had a baby 12 days ago, and this fabric is for her.  Cute baby needs cute quilt.  Thinking filmstrip quilt.  But then again, there are some block size panels.  Perhaps I could fussy-cut.  Go to to check this out in better lighting.
Next up, we have Nouveau.  I bought 4 charm packs & 2 yards of the print.  Maybe a half square triangle quilt?  Tossed nine patch with the centers being the print?
And then we have Authentic.  I have a couple pieces of yardage that can go with this.  Or I could order more (I don't think online shopping will violate my solemn vow not to shop this weekend).  I have no clues on what to do with this.  The prints aren't too large, as one might expect.  Maybe Bento Box?
And then I have my peer-pressure purchase.  Okay, so no peers were with me when I ordered this.  And no one that I've seen online has bought this.  But something pulled me toward it.  But those voices have stopped talking to me, and here I am with Dolce, but no idea of what to do with it.  I will most certainly have to buy more fabrics to go with this because my stash is hurting regarding pinks and aqua.  Too much stash-busting perhaps wasn't such a grand idea?  Nah.
If you have any ideas, send them over, please!  I need my goals set by Friday evening.  Fairy godmothers, get out your wands.  (DeDe, this means you, too!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I'm kind of stuck.  I had to toss the ridiculous round robin quilt aside to find something else to work on.  Have you met Peter?  One reason he's so productive is that he sets weekly goals, so I tell him my goals every week...not that he has ever responded, but still, I must tell someone.  Makes me more likely to commit to a plan.  So I tried a little extra goals setting to get me out of my slump.  First I listed all the fabric groupings I had sitting around... fabric waiting on it's fairy godmother to take it to the ball.
Really?  Have I bought that much fabric in the last year or so that I haven't touched?  I honestly thought I had been stash-busting, but when I look at this list, it kind of makes me feel guilty. At least I'm stimulating the economy, right?  I'm just glad I haven't mentioned all the fabric I've bought and actually used in the last year.  I can't even do that kind of math.
And then I listed the quilt tops that are ready to be quilted.  Backings included.
And then I made the listing WIP/UFO's.  And kits I have yet to touch.
Oh, but wait.  As I sat there stuck with all these projects listed on this big sheet of butcher paper, I still couldn't find a single thing to work on.  About that time my husband stumbled into my studio.  He saw the list and my frowny face and quickly tried to solve my predicament by telling me to start with the WIP's & UFO's.  Yeah, right.  That's preposterous.  My friend Kim is coming this weekend for a couple days of sewing bliss, but unfortunately, we have made a little promise to ourselves, our loved ones, and our WIPs/UFOs to actually work instead of shop.  Preposterous. 

I guess I better set some goals.  Do you guys set goals each week, or do you just follow your inspiration?  Do tell.  Every time Kim and I set goals, we shop and buy something else to sew.  Maybe we should just get out our old goals:-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I won my first giveaway!  PinkSuedeShoe had a giveaway, and I won.  Charlotte arrived yesterday in a little nest of batting and fabric strips, cozy as could be.  She's very excited to get out of that box and hang out with me while I work.
Quickly, Charlotte suggested we organize my scraps (she could clearly see I had scrap issues), and she knew just the plan.  Forget my son's toys-- steal his baskets and fill them with fabric.  Novel idea, Charlotte.  I can already tell we're going to be the best of friends.  Thanks so much, Pink Suede Shoe (FYI- not sure if I'm supposed to use real names or blog names.  Either way, I don't want to lead serial killers to your doorstep or anything.).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fantastic Felines

I have been collecting Laurel Burch fabrics for years, it seems.
And at one of our mystery classes about a year ago, we had to bring 20 fat quarters.  So I did.
And then I found a stash of embroidered blocks (OESD Fantastic Felines) I had made a few years ago, so I brought them along, too.
Because they were too cute not to include.
And as it turns out we made "Turning 20 Again," so my little stash worked perfectly.

And here I am a year later finally quilting it.  I used a freehand edge-to-edge that I refer to as "Newton's Whimsical Balls." (don't ask).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

1st Wednesday Swap

 My quilt block for the online quilting bee is on its way to Australia to reside with Felicity.  We received packages with black, white, and red fabrics and were asked to make a 12-inch star block.  I made the Ohio Star block.  Surprisingly, I haven't done this before, but I do love it.  Very traditional looking, which is not normally my style, but I like it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One of the oldest UFO's EVER

 See this mess?  This is what my sewing table looks like when I'm in the groove.  I joined an online quilting bee, and I'm so excited because I haven't been part of an exchange since 1997.  In fact, I just pulled that project out (yes, it was still in my closet!) to finish it.  Some of that floral heap is part of my 1997 exchange.
 If you haven't joined a round robin exchange or a virtual bee, you might consider it.   It's a great way to meet other quilters and try out some techniques that you might have not tried before.  One downside is that not everyone uses the same quarter inch, if you know what I mean.  See the following evening star on the left?  It has no seam allowance, so if you were to put it in a quilt, you'd lose the points.  The one on the right is one with seam allowances intact.
So, when deciding if you want to join a bee, make sure you are a laid-back kind of gal (or guy), or you'll be redoing a lot of work.
But sometimes, you get work that is simply beautiful and exceeds your expectations.  My embroidery is very primitive (translation: it looks awful).  But look at this. 
Yeah, I could never do embroidery work like that!  So, there you have it.  Personally, I love being in exchanges and am so glad I found something that will work for me.  I'm not in any other groups, so I sure have the time on my hands.  That's a good thing because here's the layout for my other red robin exchange.  Yes, that's over 400 sashing blocks.  I better get crackin' on it.

Hey, if it works...

My love of tacos and my love of quilting might have found a way to meet in the middle.  Taco Cabana is my inspiration.

Yeah, it's bound to end up as a quilt.  Love the color scheme.  It's very Hope Valley.  Or Dolce.  Or something.  Have you found any inspiration in weird places?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I played around with fabric Friday night & made a few quilt blocks, but other than that, I have nothing to show you.  I do have a little to tell you, though.  I went to my first guild meeting in probably 12 or 13 years.  I checked out the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild Saturday.  Yes, I was truly inspired.

The presenter was Carol Morrissey, who you might have seen on one of Keepsake Quilting's catalog covers in the the last year or two (the quilt with the turtles).  Seeing her quilts in person has really inspired me to stretch  myself and really make some contemporary artsy quilts.  She dyes her own fabrics, and oh, how I'd love to do that.  If I hadn't just bought a long-arm, I'd be pursuing dyeing my own fabric.  Maybe in a year or two. 

Let's go ahead & talk about my long arm.  It's dead.  Really.  The shop has had it two or three weeks and has been dealing with the manufacturer.  The engineers at the manufacturer haven't seen a problem like mine EVER, so they're sending me a new machine.  It should be at my dealer's place tomorrow, so I imagine it will be ready for me Tuesday.  My husband was real impressed that I was able to wreck my machine in such a short amount of time!  That's nothing.  You should see what I can do to a computer or a car.  I have the worst luck with both, so I'm hoping that the long arm won't be in the same category.

Let's leave sad stories aside and move on.  As for shopping, I was patting myself on the back for all the fabric I haven't bought in the last week.  But then I remembered I bought a bit online.  My teaching partner at work just had a baby Friday (a beautiful little girl!), so I ordered the girl chirp fabric that came out this week.  I have no idea what kind of quilt I'm going to make.  She deserves something divine, though.  I ordered the fabric through, and I'm so impressed with them.  I ordered it one afternoon, and it was in my mailbox noon the next day.  I was so happy, I damn near cried.  I can't wait to place my next order.

I also bought some fabric from sew deerly loved.  I bought some dolce fabrics.  Can't remember which ones, though.  I'll show you when they arrive.  Looking at her fabrics really made me drool.

So, that about sums up my weekend.  My husband I and were quite the social butterflies this weekend.  We went out Saturday night with some friends who were in town, had brunch today with other friends in town, and then this afternoon visited some friends who live on the other side of San Antonio (she was having a free-motion quilting crisis, so we came to assist).  All in all, a perfect weekend.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blue makes me blue

Finally, I finished the top.  And it's huge.  Did I mention it's king size?  The good news is that my blue stash is incredibly diminished.  I'm ready for something fun now.  But before I begin, I'm going to work for a few days on something that's going to use up my navy blues and browns.  I'll show ya in the next post.
Incidentally, I haven't decorated this room yet.  It was a sewing room less than two months ago, so I'm doing well just to have mattresses and bedding.   Yes, that's an end table doubling as a night stand for now.  Oh, and an extra lamp I bought to match the other one in my living room.  Hey, the room may not be decorated, but I've finished a ton of sewing projects.  In fact, I think this has been the most productive couple months of my life, sewing-wise.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good Morning, Sunshine!

The sun finally came out for a bit yesterday, and today is beautiful.  I decided to take out my wonky quilt to get some pictures of it in natural light.  If my kid wasn't cranky from partying last night with our company until 11pm, I'd take it some place a little more scenic for a better photo session.  We've already been to a violin lesson and The Container Store-- I've used up my well-behaved-child-while-running-errands allotted time, so anything beyond this will elicit whining and general fussiness.

So I guess I might as well do some quilting.  I'll catch up with you in a bit.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wonky is the new black

One of my gal pals and I hit the Quilt Haus again this weekend.  Even though I'm stash busting, I just couldn't help but pick up a few things. Like these sweet little doggies.  I'm not even an animal person, but who could resist those little things.  They don't chew on your furniture, they don't leave tumbleweeds of hair in the corners of your living room, and you can wear black when they're around without carrying their hair with you.  The most perfect dogs ever.
And I just had to get some girl scout fabric because I had been thinking about it since the moment it came out.  Or before.  I know just what I'm going to do with it.  More on that after the fact.
And then I saw these Alexander Henry "Lorenza" lovelies sitting together on a table.  Watching me.  And wanting to come home with me to meet my stash.  So I snatched them up and made them mine.
I was so inspired when I came home that I just knew I was going to finish the giant blue quilt.  Oops.  Instead, I jumped headfirst into this beautiful fabric.  After minutes of duress, I came up with a plan-- something wonky.  Something square.  Ah, wonky squares.  When I started quilting many years ago, and ended up with something wonky, my quilting friends made me seam rip.  Oh, have times changed!  For the first time, I made something wonky on purpose.  And I wasn't precise.  And I'm almost over it.
Since I was being experimental, I decided to cut up an Ikea sheet to see how it worked.  I bought the sheet for $14, and although you can't see it well,(because I only finish projects at night and can't wait until the next day to take pics) it's a gunmetal color.  All I can say is, Wow.  That's a lot of sheet.  Go get you one since you can't beat it for the price.
After I get this baby quilted, I'll take real pics outside so you can see what color the fabrics really are.  Oh, speaking of fabric, half of the fabric came from my stash.  Not bad, eh?  Also, I had no Lorenza left-overs, so we can pretend I didn't buy anything right?  Shouldn't there be a clause to fabric shopping that says if you use your fabric within the week (month?) you buy it, that it shouldn't count?

Also, starting to wonder if my comment box is broken.  Mom said she left messages, but they never made it here.  Will you leave me one?  Let me feel like someone's out there?