Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pickin' and Grinnin'

After trying various white marking pencils which never showed up very well on my dark brown background, I went with the tried and true: slivers of soap. The soap glides on so easily and make the marking process much quicker. I mark a couple of rows, then quilt them. Then mark, then quilt. As I was marking the last bit, I realized I put the very first row of loopy feathers in the wrong place. Big oops.
So I spent the next 45 minutes doing this. (This floral is the backing of the quilt.)
Then I ended up with this. Very worth the effort! I marked this area again. This afternoon I plan to finish quilting all the loopy feathers so I can move on to the rest of the quilting.
I brought a doggy bed up to my studio yesterday. Mickey hates to be left behind downstairs.
Good night, Mickey.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poor Pitiful Finger

My finger (victim of the thrifted coffee table) was still giving me fits yesterday. No sewing for me... The bruising has made its way down, turning most of the digit a lovely shade of purple. So I spent the day running errands, one after another. My mom came along - I know she enjoyed the outing. I got her a hot dog at Costco - it was the ultimate feast for her; she loved it! Yes, I had a hot dog, too. Costco hot dogs are the BEST!

I'm sharing the latest update on my March Lollypop progress that I made over the weekend.
Gotta love this Kaffe fabric - see the needle? Too cute!
And a lovely rose topped stem.

I am awake VERY early this morning for some reason. And (YAY!) my finger feels ready to sew! As soon as hubby wakes up, I think I'll hop on the treadmill for a bit, get a shower, and head upstairs to the studio. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quilting Inspiration

We bought these shams for our bed last summer. I was drawn to the pattern, obviously, because of those lovely, loopy feathers. I've never been good at quilting feathers, but these maybe I could stitch since they are perfectly imperfect. The spaces in between the feathers make them seem relaxed, laid back, and less formal than traditional feathers.

My hexie quilt pattern consists of columns of hexies, requiring some long quilting patterns.
So yesterday, I took a long piece of freezer paper and sketched out my own loopy feathers.
Here it is cut out. I did get the quilt basted yesterday, and I'm now in the process of tracing this design on the quilt top. I should have marked the quilt before I basted it - can you tell I don't typically mark quilts? But I'm not going to take it apart now! I'm managing. Hopefully I'll finish the marking today.

I put a coat of stain on my thrifted coffee table, too. While I was flipping it over, it slipped and fell on my finger. Ouch!
By the time I went to bed last night, it was worse than this - it was absolutely black. It throbbed and ached all afternoon and evening, preventing me from finishing my house quilt, or even from doing any applique. I'm happy to report it feels much better this morning and the swelling has gone down a good bit.
Hubby felt sorry for me and helped me cook dinner. It was picture worthy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Start

I started a new quilt last night - made a big stack of these. (Can you see the Dogwood tree blooming just outside the window?) I love the summery colors of this fabric - I've got some nice Kona cotton solids to go with the print.

I also made a good bit of progress on my March Lollypop block yesterday afternoon after church. Maybe I'll actually finish it before the month is over.

As for today, here are my plans:

1. Baste my hexie quilt - I'm ready to start the quilting process!
2. Work on my thrifted coffee table - I need to find my dark stain in the garage.
3. Sew the borders on the house quilt.

Should be a good day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I'd been inside sewing all week, and fun as that is, I wanted to get out of the house for a bit yesterday. I decided to trek on down to the thrift store. It's always hit or miss - you never know when you'll find a treasure. This trip was a big success! I found this adorable toy sewing machine - not that I have any use for it, but since when is that a reason to pass up something cute? It's electric and even has a little foot pedal. Yes, it works! I paid $1.94.

I found this cute mustard purse - only $4.88.
And some Born shoes (this is an expensive brand!) that are so comfy and only $4.88.
I couldn't resist this wonderful little coffee table - I think it may eventually live in my studio. Someone had even stripped and sanded it for me, so it's ready to be stained or painted. It was $14.96.
Have I mentioned I have a thing for tins? I love Fossil tins in particular for their vintage inspired graphic designs. I picked up these 5 for 25 cents each.

Lots of loot for less than $30!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who Says a Partridge Has to be Gray?

The Baltimore Christmas pattern called for a gray partridge. Obviously, I'm funki-fying my quilt!
I finished the partridge in the pear tree block yesterday. Only a week left in March, and I still need to finish the Sue Spargo block (actually I need to finish the February block and start the March block). Plus I need to finish my Lollypop block; last night a basted several pieces in place on this one.
And I finished my hexie quilt top yesterday. I'm giving myself a pat on the back!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


My studio is very oddly shaped. It is a long rectangle with 4 nooks because of the four dormer windows- 2 on the front of the house and 2 on the back. Don't worry, the above photo was taken before The Great Studio Makeover.
Here's the same nook now. The built-in storage stores fabric scraps.
Nook number 2 storage hides batting.
Nook number 3 has a built-in desk which houses my Accuquilt Studio cutter. The curtain hides extra sewing machines - my embellishing machine, my daughters' machines, etc.
Nook number 4 has no built-ins - my HQ Sit-down quilting machine lives here.

Most rooms have four corners that need to be cut in when painting. My studio has 15 corners! No wonder it took me 6 days to paint the room!

I had another productive day of sewing yesterday. I sewed the rows together on my house quilt- just have to add the borders. I also worked on my hexie quilt. Today I will probably finish both quilt tops!!!

Parent update: Now that the weather is warmer, my mom is happier. I'm thinking she may have that seasonal disorder - the one where you're depressed in the winter. The warm weather allows her to get out and take walks, giving her breaks from my dad. So for now, all is well in that situation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

House Construction

Yesterday I cut some white on black strips for the sashing. I decided I like a combination of black on white and white on black - I like the change in value. Decision made, I sewed it into rows. Then I looked in my stack of orphan blocks for cornerstones for the exterior corners. Woohoo! I found some square with appliqued circles that are exactly the right size.
It's moving along very quickly.
Last night I appliqued more leaves to my March Baltimore Christmas block. Sorry for the dark photo. It's very cloudy this morning! 38 leaves! That's a lot of leaves. I have only 3 left to complete. I also basted the main parts of the partridge in place.

A productive day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back to Playing

It was so GOOD to be sitting at my sewing machine today! I played with my house blocks. I cut black on white strips for sashing and laid them out with some tiny nine patches for corner stones. Hmm. Not loving it. Maybe I should try white on black fabric instead for more contrast? Any opinions out there?

I am liking the multi-colored strip pieced set for a border though.
I made another scrappy block with my applique scraps. I threw in a selvage while I was at it.
This is on my design wall to play with later. I found it when I was cleaning the studio. I can't remember where I got it -Lisa A., did you give it to me? I do love it, and I'm ready to do something fun with it! Someone put a lot of work into it, and it deserves to be finished.
I also worked on this quilt today. Almost done with this top!!! A very good day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'm Finally Done!

Here's the before. Messy and yellow.
And here's the after.
And a messy corner, before.
The same corner, after.
Now I'm ready to sit here and work on the quilt draped over the chair. If I can drum up the strength. No, really I'm fine, but a bit tired after this almost month long process. It was worth every bit of it, too!

I have so many quilts in my head and I can't wait to get some of them out - I can't wait to play! Oh, I will be so much more productive now!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Leaves

Leaves are popped out around our yard, and also on my Baltimore Christmas block.
LOTS of leaves!
I spent Thursday evening basting leaves. I still have about 12 more to baste, but I think I'll applique these in place first.
Last night I was too tired to work on them. The doxies were tired, too. Here they are in hubby's lap with their new friend, a teddy bear we found in the garage. (Sorry, Emily, I think it was yours.) We've named the teddy "Rabbit." Long story.

I spent hours painting yesterday. I'm making my way around my studio. I've gone through 1 1/2 gallons of paint so far. I think I might finish painting today. I hope!!! When hubby got home, I helped him paint two walls of the exercise area. Have I mentioned I'm sick of painting? But it is all worth it. The end is near. I should be sewing on my machine within a few days, and we will be able to work out in the new "gym" later today.

This morning we are taking a trailer load of donations to the local thrift store. Then back home again to move the treadmill down to the gym. And then? PAINTING!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pear-fect Fabric

I've been trying to use mostly Kaffe fabric in my Baltimore Christmas blocks. But I couldn't find a Kaffe fabric in my stash that spoke Pear to me. As I was sorting fabric during The Great Studio Makeover last week, I found this plaid. I would have never thought to use plaid for pears, but the pears are small. And the variations in color provide a nice change from one pear to another.
And I love the little speckles throughout the fabric - very pearish, don't you think? The fabric is Marie Kelzer for Westminster Fabrics. I've had it for years!
I spotted this little fellow outside my kitchen window this morning. Spring is almost here!

A special shout out to my good friend, Judy R.! One of her quilts got First Place in Lancaster!!!! And another one of her quilts has been juried into the Paducah show! Congrats Judy!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun Guild Meeting

It's was so good to be back at Guild yesterday. Our speaker was a teacher from a quilt shop in Montgomery. She showed some quilts she made using various templates and products available at the store. She made the hexie quilt top with precut papers - the English method. I love the quilt, but I prefer my own way to make hexies.
The rest of these quilts were made with a 60 degree ruler and jelly rolls.

Pretty stuff!

I'm officially ready to start painting my studio. This morning I've prepared the first wall to paint, laid my drop cloth, and gathered all my supplies. Unfortunately, since we've already started The Great Garage Makeover, I can't find a paint tray for the roller.

So I guess I'll start cutting in. Hopefully when hubby gets home, he can find a paint tray. (It's kind of like Where's Waldo in the garage at the moment.)

Recipe for Zucchini Quiche here today.