Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In which my cup runneth over...

Okay, okay, I'm spoiled.  I have purchased some rather lovely fabrics in the past month or so, but all at good prices.  And, after a long dry spell, I've also finally managed to win not one but two blog giveaways!  I already posted about the first one which was a contest on Dee's blog, Dee's Doodles.  She was about to make this Sis Boom quilt and Dee asked her reader's to guess the name her husband came up with for it.  Now I think it is a gorgeous quilt, but (after living with a man with a sense of humor for almost 25 years) I decided to look at it like a man.  The group of three dark pink triangles sort of popped out at me and I guessed, "Radioactive" (you know, the hazard symbol), and I was right.  Here is my prize from Dee -- 5 scrumptious fat quarters from Jennifer Paganelli's Flower Power fabric line, Elizabeth Rose and Loopy Vintage Floral. I love them so much and thank Dee for her generosity with all my heart!

She also added three 5" charms, and it will be fun finding just the right project for them.  Thank you, Dee!

Not long after I won these beauties, I got an email from Lisa over at Sophia Aster, telling me I had won her giveaway, too.  She has a lovely blog subtitled, Modern Style. Vintage Charm.  If those words resonate with you like they do with me, go check out her blog.  You won't be disappointed.  Here is what Lisa sent me -- this pretty tin of charm squares.

It also came with instructions to make the mini quilt on the tin and a CD which includes a color swatch library of the line, directions for a larger quilt, recipes, and more.  The quilt is so cute, I think I'm going to have to make it.  Although this cute tote (tutorial at Sophia Aster) would be great, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lisa!

The only problem with having all this great fabric is that I really should be sewing right now.  But look how many of the books I had on reserve at the library all became available at once!

It has been rather cold yesterday and today, so I may just put on something comfy and crawl into bed with a cup of hot tea and a book.  Oh, dear, after I do the dinner dishes, of course!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mosaic Madness

A Little Controlled Chaos
After much consideration and playing around with seemingly endless ways of arranging color, fabric, and design, I think I am going to go with this version of my original layout (referred to as Option 3 in my last post).  I'm still moving squares around here and there and will probably add another row at the top and bottom (to make it rectangular and not cut off the points of the design), but I'm starting to feel pretty good about this quilt top.  I think I will give it to my in-laws for Christmas.

Road Trip

Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique celebrated their 4th Birthday, so I cheerfully braved Friday night rush hour traffic after work with 3 colleagues for huge savings on fabric. Yes, the quilting bug is growing at work, and it's mostly due to Tobey spreading the excitement.  Tobey is finishing up the handquilting on her Gee's Bend style wonky log cabins (I promise a picture soon) and is gathering fabrics for the Three-ring Circus quilt from Material Obsession.  But I digress.

Bolt is very tiny, but well worth the effort, because the fabrics are FABULOUS.  And they are so nice!  The place was packed, but they were very patient and attentive to each customer and maintained good humor even though the line was snaking around the shop and out the door.  The fabrics were ALL on sale -- some as low as $2 - $4 a yard.  I bought 8 yards of fabric for around $35.  We all bought plenty -- especially one colleague who bought several fabrics plus about 20 yards of flannel for pajamas for Christmas. Here's my haul:

Since returning to quilting last June, I discovered Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom fabrics and fell in love with the Mod Girls line, especially this beauty.  Unfortunately, I never had any -- until now.  I saw this right away and grabbed it.  No one even took a second look at it as I carried it around the shop in my arms, but as soon as it was spread out to be cut, I could hear everyone behind me in line expressing their admiration.

I can't even tell you how much I adore this fabric -- the colors, the design....  So beautiful!  And I couldn't help but notice what a nice quilt top border it makes (see Material Obsession Two, pg. 183).

I also bought some of this Lecien, just because it's so pretty...

...this striped fabric to match something already in my stash, and these bird cages that Tobey thought we both just had to have.  They really are cute.

Not too shabby!

Two Giveaways
Go to True Up for a chance to win this from Kiyohara and Co.:


Also, the lovely blog, Brown Paper Packages, is celebrating 100 posts by giving away LOTS of Urban Flannel scraps -- really cute!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to the drawing board...

Or in this case the design wall (and design floor).  First I removed all of the squares from the wall.  That part was painful!  Then I separated the colors into warm and cool groups (going only by the darker triangles).  I'm now thinking of two separate quilts.

This is what I came up with for the warm, dark triangles.  I think I will add a wide white border, narrow warm border, and another white border.  Then bind with a warm color:

Now for the cooler group.  Get ready to vote.  This is Option 1 (very similar to the original layout):

I did originally remove the purple w/white polka dots (as several suggested), but then decided to sneak two back in.

This is Option 2:

And this is the original layout; Option 3.  I realized later that it wasn't just the lighting that is bad in this photo -- I had my camera on the wrong setting.  Oops!  I would like to say that is the first time that has happened to me, but I would never lie to you.

Please feel free to vote for your favorite option.  Just keep in mind that I'm looking at the overall layout idea and not the specifics.  Whichever one I go for will require lots of tweaking.  For example, in option 2 there are a lot of yellows all clustered down the right side of the quilt that would need to be moved.  For right now, I'm hot, sweaty, and tired of climbing on and off the daybed.  Do you think I can call that a workout?  Which overall quilt layout do you like best?

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

It started out so well...

6" squares of a variety of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, paired light with dark.

Lines drawn, ready for sewing...

Sewn 1/4 inch to each side of line, cut apart, and pressed...

Ready for some trimming...

Nothing like the perfect tool for the job -- a 5-1/2" square ruler.

Oh, the possibilities!

Starting to lay it all out on the design wall, and looking good so far...

Initial layout completed.  It was a little harder than I thought, and I couldn't seem to get far enough away at times.  I had to keep backing up to get a good look at the design, and....

It's just okay.  I want to be in love with it, but I'm not.  I finished fairly late yesterday evening and decided to get another look at it the next day with better lighting, but I left for work while it was still dark and came home late because of an appointment -- still dark.  I have made a few changes since yesterday evening, to even out colors, etc., but I'm still waiting for inspiration. So far, I'm just not feeling it. I welcome any and all suggestions.

In happier news, I finally won a blog giveaway!  Dee's Doodles was hosting the "Almost Peed My Pants" giveaway.  Apparently her husband made her templates to make this Jennifer Paganelli quilt, and he came up with a his own little name for it.  She asked us to look at the quilt and guess what her husband named it.  And I did!  Hip, hip hooray, rah, rah, rah, and Sis Boom bah! Of course, I will show off my prize when it arrives.

And have you seen this?


(Wow!  I didn't really think I'd be able to copy that!)  Anyway, two creative quilt minds (Sarah Fielke/The Last Piece) and Amy Lobsiger (Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts) are pooling their considerable talents to run a dolly quilt program together.  Just think -- monthly quilt patterns by Amy and Sarah! Go see the samples on either blog!  You can sign up at Sew and Sell.  I will be signing up for all 12 months come payday.

Which reminds me that I do have a career other than being overly-critical of my own quilting efforts.  Remember the trip to Bend for the conference when I still sick with the flu?  You know, the trip where we went to Sisters and I bought the Kaffe Fassett fat quarters?  Well, by the time we arrived in Bend late that Thursday afternoon, I decided that I was too sick to go to the board meeting, dinner, wine reception, etc.  It was hotel and bed for me.  The two colleagues/friends that I was traveling with thought that was a great idea, took me to the hotel, bought me medicine, and made sure I got right in bed.  As I lay there all warm and comfy, I decided out loud that it would probably be a good idea for me to skip all sessions on Friday and just sleep all day, then just show up for the Saturday sessions.  To make a long story somewhat shorter, my roommates seemed to go a little crazy and kept thinking up reasons for me to go to the conference the next day, particularly the luncheon.  One of them was so aggressive about it that I think I actually snapped at her a little.  I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't just let it drop and let me stay in bed and recover.  Well, I woke up early and couldn't sleep, so I took a shower and went to the conference.  AND -- I found out why they didn't want me to miss the luncheon.  I was awarded Honors of the Association (heavy plaque and flowers) for excellence in clinical practice, leadership in the field, and contributions to the professional community.  So I have forgiven my colleagues for being so annoying.  They were surprisingly good at it.

Speaking of friends -- remember, Tobey, my colleague and "beginning" quilter who decided to make up some wonky log cabins Gee's Bend style?  Well, she informed me recently that she decided to hand quilt it (wonky style, of course).  I asked her if she knew how to hand quilt.  No -- but she just made up her own way using needle nose pliers to hold the needle (as it is easier on her hands).  She keeps thinking that I am going to be able to teach her about quilting, but I can't keep up with her!

With wishes, true and kind (and quilts that you fall in love with) -- Joan

Monday, October 19, 2009

Paying it forward for Sarah....

Let's have some fun!!!
1. I will make a little something for the first three people who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and it will arrive on your doorstep when you least expect it!
2. I will have 365 days to do it in.
What's the catch? To get a handmade prezzie from me, you have to play too.
1. You must have a blog.
2. BEFORE you comment here, you must post about your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going, and display the Pay It Forward button.


With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A little fun with scraps

Today's missions:  clean out the refrigerator and make a birthday gift.

Okay -- the refrigerator task never stood a chance, so let's just get rid of that right away.  Now, about that birthday gift....

I decided to make some coasters, with inspiration by Cathy/Cabbage Quilts.  A cute gift and a great scrap buster.

They didn't come out exactly how I pictured them in my head, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.  Even though I chain pieced them, I learned a lot as I went along.  I thought they would make a nice, fluffy stack, but they turned out kind of flat:

However, Kaffe's beautiful fabrics save the day:

I used a different backing on each one, and I guess you could say they are reversible:

These coasters were fun to make, and I will definitely do it again.  I have some ideas to perfect my technique a little.  If so, I'll post my results.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fabrics and patterns and giveaways, oh my!

Cathy, of one of my favorite blogs, Cabbage Quilts, mentioned in an email today that she was going to stop by my blog and see what I had been up to.  Not much, I'm afraid, other than recovering from the flu, which started a week ago Sunday. I've been back at work since Monday, but today is the first day I've felt halfway human.  However, I did manage to drag myself to my conference in Bend Thursday afternoon, passing through Sisters, Oregon and making a visit to the Stitchin' Post.  There I treated myself to 13 FQs of Kaffe Fassett fabric (buy 12, get 1 free -- a quilter's dozen?) for my HST value quilt and this cool pattern of diamond shapes.

After returning home, I fell in love with this quilt on Flickr, which is also by the same company, Aardvark Quilts.

The only quilting/sewing work I've accomplished lately has been to prep my Kaffe fabric for the value quilt. I cut the fabrics into 6" squares (some were purchased on Etsy precut) and have paired one light or medium with one medium or dark fabric.  I'm looking forward to playing around with them after they are sewn, cut, and up on my makeshift design wall.

Yesterday was a great day because my Sue Ross BOM block 3 arrived from Australia, and my Amy Butler Love fabrics arrived!!!

I purchased the Love fabrics from Material Gal on Etsy.  I got a great price by preordering, and I love these fabrics more every time I look at them!  Sorry, but I just have to show you every single one:


Paradise Garden

Tumble Roses

Bliss Bouquet



Bali Gate


Cypress Paisley

Water Bouquet

So now, if you love LOVE even half as much as I do, you must immediately go to Amy's blog -- Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts -- and enter her giveaway for eight -- yes EIGHT -- fat quarters of Love. And while you're at it, also pop over to Sarah's blog, The Last Piece, for a chance to win six, yes SIX, honey buns of the Rouenneries line, along with the newly released, beautiful Down Under Quilts 2010 calendar.  Oh, and there will be six winners!  By the way, be sure to spend a little time at both of these blogs.  They are two of my favorites!!!

And speaking of favorite/inspiring blogs, I also recently received this fabric designed by Aneela of comfortstitching, which she designed herself and had  custom printed by Spoonflower.  

Aneela has also created a second Christmas fabric and another one with adorable little girls skipping rope.  It will make you smile.

Now, there's nothing left for me to do, but get back to that sewing machine!

With wishes, true and kind -- and packages tied up with string -- Joan