Saturday, May 29, 2010

Teeny Tiny Nine Patch Challenge Starts Soon!

I'm so excited that so many of you want to play along!  We'll get started in a couple of days, I promise.  We are busy here with the holiday weekend, though there's some sickness around here - Daughter 2 is battling the crud.

I'm using my scraps, but you can do your own thing - it's your quilt!!!  Meanwhile, just think about what fabrics to use.  If you like, you can start cutting some 3 inch squares.  I'll be back in a day or two with a tutorial and all the details.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teeny Tiny Nine Patch Challenge!

Anyone up for a challenge?  A Teeny Tiny Nine Patch Challenge?  I know you have plenty of scraps in your bin, just like I do.  And they're just sitting there, waiting for you to make something spectacular.  Here's your chance to use some of those tasty tidbits!

These nine patches start with two contrasting 3 inch squares.  Yes, you only need two 3 inch squares.  And you'll end up with TWO teeny tiny nine patches!  Each nine patch will be only 1 1/2 inches finished.  I know what you're thinking:  WHOA BABY!  THAT'S REALLY TINY !!

Don't worry - I'll teach you an easy way to do this without working with itty bitty squares.  Remember, I'm not a good piecer, so if I can do it, you can, too.

My goal is to make one set (two nine patches) per day.  It will only take minutes, and over time I should have a mighty pile of Teeny Tiny Nine Patches.

What to make with them?  That's up to you!  Won't it be fun to see the various projects they turn up in - quilts, purses, place mats, who knows?

Are you in?  Leave a comment here if you want to play along.  I'll set up a separate site so we can all share our progress and photos.  No deadlines involved - this is all for fun!  

Monday, May 24, 2010


Here's the piece of art hubby and I bought recently in Greenville, SC.  This is so different from any art we own.  I can't say why we were both so drawn to it, but we were.  I love the simplicity, the colors, just everything about it.  The artist is Cham.
We also bought this fun little guy.  You know I have an obsession with bottle caps.  And he has jar lids, too!  I think he's so cool!
And here's a shot of Mickey helping hubby do a crossword puzzle.  Have I mentioned lately how much Mickey loves hubby?

I've been very crafty this week.  I started a new quilt.  I started a new crocheted afghan - those darn hexies got the best of me - too many loose threads to work in!  And I started the first rug today - the one with the Roc-Lon Multi Purpose Cloth.  Can't wait to show pics of all this fun stuff.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Yummy Dinner!

Daughter 2 made this for dinner a few nights ago.  I am indeed getting spoiled!  The girls have both been cooking for us lately.  This is a Balsamic Tomato Spinach Pie from the latest Pillsbury Bake-Off Cookbook.  You can get the recipe here.  Pillsbury's recipe site is free, but you'll have to register when you go there.

As many of you already know, I've been a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off twice.  These trips have been some of the best times I've ever had.  The Pillsbury folks treat the contestants like queens.  They wine and dine you, and provide wonderful site-seeing opportunities.  I went to one Bake-Off in Orlando and one in San Francisco.  If you've ever thought about entering a cooking contest, this is the one to enter!

As a former finalist, Pillsbury sends me every Bake-Off cookbook.  This year they also sent a few sponsor goodies - a pot holder, and apron, some coupons.  We've made several recipes from the latest cookbook, but this pie is my favorite so far.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Designing a Rug

I've been designing this week!  I mentioned here not long ago that the wonderful folks at Rockland Industries have asked me to design a rug for them using Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth.  I'm usually the type to jump in full force.  But for once in my life, I decided to take baby steps through this process.

So I cut a small piece of MPC to make a sample.  I have some 8" letter stencils.  I traced letters on the MPC so that they touch each other and aligned them in different directions.  Then I used acrylics to paint the negative space around the letters.  I'm liking the way this looks.  Where did I get the inspiration?

...from this painting.

This was in a gallery in Greenville, SC.  It reminded me of letters  in white with the background painted, but a bit more abstract.  We didn't buy this painting, but we did buy another on by the same artist.  I'll share it soon and tell more about the artist - an interesting fellow.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Braiding Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I took a fun workshop through our Guild.  It was called "Colors of Love" taught by fellow member, LeVerne Holbdy-Little.  She makes amazing quilts using African inspired fabrics.
Here she is with one of her works of art.  That's her faithful husband holding the quilt.  He sat nearby during the entire workshop, at the ready to assist her - what devotion!

I loved the beautiful fabrics that my classmates brought.
Here's Lorrie's work in progress.  I can't wait to see the finished quilts. 

We had just returned the night before from our Greenville trip and I was too pooped to gather up my sewing machine and fabric, so I just sat in and watched.  I want to try this soon though!

We looked at another house yesterday.  I feel like Goldilocks - everything we see is either too little or too big.  Or it doesn't have a good dog yard.  Or it doesn't have an open kitchen.  There are a few things we aren't willing to compromise.  Someone is coming this morning to look at our house.  We're not exactly sure what we'll do if our house sells now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Challenge Quilts, Part 3

Here are more of our guild challenge quilts.  Below is "Happiness is Putting the Last Stitches in the Binding."

Cool, huh?  Below is a quilt made by an avid reader.
I do love the use of colors in this one:
And this vase of flowers just makes me happy!

On the home front, we have had another busy week!  Wednesday we moved Daughter 1 (aka Emily) home from college for the LAST time.  Friday she graduated from Auburn University Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Wireless Software Engineering and a minor in Spanish.  That's a mouthful!  Of course, we're proud parents! 

The commencement speaker was Tim Cook.  He actually graduated from Auburn in my class with the same degree I have - Industrial Engineering.  Hubby and I both knew him back then.  Today he is the Chief Operating Officer of Apple.  He's the one who took over for Steve Jobs when he had some recent health problems.  He did a great job.

We also lost the new house this week.  Someone came along with a firm offer, so we had to let it go.  We've looked at several other houses to see if we could find another one we love, but haven't made any decisions.  We knew all along this could happen, so we're not too upset.  It just wasn't meant to be.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Challenge quilts!

Today I'm sharing two of my favorite quilts from the guild challenge - I would love to hang either of these in my home.

First the red chair.  How can you not love this red chair?!!!  It's called "When Happiness Walks in, Offer her a Chair."  It was made by Gerda O'leary.  I do love the folk art quality, the simplicity, and the color choices.  The quilt just drew me in, and I adore it!
And here's "Happiness is Cultural Celebration" by Art Abbs.  He's the husband of Ruth Ann, the maker of the button quilt.  What a talented couple!
Here's a close-up.  I adore these ethnic fabric, and his skillful piecing of those squares from striped fabrics.
Still more challenge quilts to come!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Best of Show Quilt

Here's the quilt that won Best of Show in today's guild challenge.  It's called "Happiness is Always Having a Spare."  It was made by Ruth Ann Abbs, and I think she said she sewed 640 buttons on this quilt!  Whoa, baby!  That's a lot of buttons!  And her use of color is amazing, isn't it?

Here are some close up shots.

A truly beautiful quilt!

I have lots more photos to share from today's meeting over the course of the week, so stay tuned.  As for my quilt, I came home with two ribbons!  I won second place in my category and best hand work.  Fun morning!

Happiness is... A Gaggle of Geese!

Here my finished quilt.  This is so different than the quilts I usually make, so it was a wonderful break from the norm.  Can you find the gaggle of geese?
Here they are, made from template plastic.  I'd planned on coloring them with alcohol inks, but that didn't work so well.  So permanent markers to the rescue.  Then I punched little holes in them to stitch them down.
And TONS of hand quilting with perle cotton. 

I'm leaving in a few minutes for the quilt guild meeting.  And I won't forget my camera!  More from the challenge tomorrow...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Greenville Tour

Things have been hopping around here the past week.  Both hubby and my mother had some fairly major dental work, plus hubby has been very sick with the upper respiratory crud.  Plus, last weekend hubby and I traveled to Greenville, SC to move Daughter 2 home from college.  It was like a mini-vacation for us (except for all the packing and loading).

Our hotel is right beside the river in the middle of downtown.  Greenville has done a fabulous job of revitalizing this area.  There is a gorgeous park with suspension bridges, walking paths, and glorious plants.

We saw lots of ducks and geese.
This pavilion is directly across the river from our hotel.  There is an outdoor stage to the left (see that roof on the far left?) and every time we are there, there is a concert there at night.  This time it was a Christian group.
Hubby and I took a long walk around downtown - I love this sign.  I wish I had some 5 cent Brain Tonic!
We visited a gallery selling local art, coming home with three unique pieces.  I'll share them later this week.  This chair was in the window of the gallery; I think I'm in love with it!
As far as quilting news, I finally finished going around in circles!!!  Yay!!!  Today I sewed on the embellishments and the sleeve, and came up with a name for it.  This piece is for our Guild's challenge and is due Monday.  I think I've mentioned it before:   the theme is "Happiness is...", and you must include some red in the quilt, and two flying geese patterns.  The person in charge stated when she explained the challenge that it could be "your own interpretation of flying geese."  Let's just say that my flying geese will probably be different from most others.  

I'll show my quilt here early in the week, after the challenge.  I can't wait to see the other quilts - I believe around 50 quilts are expected.  I'll take lots of pictures to show later in the week.