Monday, April 29, 2013

Bottom of the Basket

I attacked the rest of the quilt basting this morning, but... oops - ran out out my little brass safely pins. I keep them in a little basket I made from pine needles several years ago. (The pine needles made me sneeze through the process, so I never made another.)

Can you see what was at the bottom of the basket? I little gold heart charm. I have no idea where it came from, but it was a little bit of happy to start the day!

I ran out to Hobby Lobby and restocked my safety pins but never got back to basting - tomorrow I will DEFINITELY finish basting this quilt.

Here's my new little NEON friend.  He was hanging out on the patio today and was smart enough to keep away from the doggies.

I still haven't received my books. Maybe tomorrow????  :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Quilting

After church and lunch, I quilted around polka dots - fun, FUN!

And here's the backside! I'm almost done basting the second quilt top - I'll for sure finish that tomorrow.
And after all that quilty goodness I gave myself a little mani-pedi out on the patio:

I'm good to go for the week!

Now at long last (and with LOTS of help from Daughter 2 - thanks Emily!) I'm sharing a slideshow of the photos I took on the recent garden tour at Lake Martin.  I think you'll enjoy it - I've never seen anything like this garden!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hexie Book at Paducah!

LOOKY! Thanks to Jill for sending Peggy and me this picture of our NEW BOOK on the shelf at the AQS booth at the Paducah show! It's killing me that I don't have a copy yet, but maybe my shipment will come today.

Yesterday I made a stash busting quilt back.  I pulled various blues and browns and kept sewing until it was big enough.

And then the basting began! This is quilt is ready to go under the machine - yay! Today I'll be piecing another backing and basting another quilt. This next week will be all about MACHINE QUILTING!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Back of the Quilt

Here's a shot of the back of the quilt that I'm hand quilting. There are some sections of flower fabric in the border and I'm simply outlining them with the quilting.  One side done.  Three more to go!

I did finish the quilt top I've been working on - machine appliqué, all day!  Now I have two tops ready to be basted. I'll have to piece the backing for one of them - I'll work on that today.  My mother will probably be coming to visit in a week or so and I want to get these quilts ready for hand work before she comes! I don't like to hide away in my studio when she's here - so I try to plan for only hand work while she's visiting. Lots to do before then!

And what else am I doing? Planning the next couple of quilts in my head, of course! I have one design completed (yes, still in my head!) and the other one started!  Gotta finish the ones I'm working on first, though!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One Woman Sweat Shop!

Here I am burning the midnight oil! I finally put down my hand quilting at 11:30 last night. I'm guessing I'll finish this quilt in about a week. I spent HOURS yesterday doing machine appliqué
on another quilt - HOPEFULLY I'll finish that quilt top today. (I finished another quilt top a couple of days ago!)

Yes, I work very long days (and nights) but I LOVE every minute!

We had our FIRST daylily bloom of the year yesterday - oh happy yellow day!

And here's more eye candy. Isn't this an adorable hooked rug?  My friend J made it. She has lovely hooked rugs all over her house - yes, I'm very inspired by them. I really want to make a rug when I slow down a bit...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Sunny Morning to Quilt

I LOVE mornings like today.  The sun was streaming through the windows - lots of natural light! I had three things I wanted to accomplish this morning.

One was to make the binding for this quilt and stitch it down.  DONE!  I still have more hand quilting to do on this one before it's finished completely.

Another project was to carefully remove a pinned-together quilt top from my design wall so it can be machine appliqued.  This took some time since I'd pinned all the way through to the design wall in many places.  But I got it DONE.

Next I had to send out some e-mails.  DONE.

Love the feeling of marking everything off my list!

I spent the afternoon hand sewing with friends - lots of fun!  Tomorrow I'll be working on machine appliqué and more hand quilting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lots of Projects!

How many quilts do you work on at one time? Today I worked on FOUR different quilts! I'm still hand quilting the one above. I've worked my way out from the center and I'm now on the borders!  Yay!

This is part of the guild mystery quilt. I'm doing a bit at a time.

This hexie project is all pinned on my design wall, ready for machine appliqué. And I'm working on the outer sashing for another quilt. It's a juggling act around here...

We had a busy weekend! We spent Saturday on campus attending the A-Day spring football scrimmage and rolling our beloved oak trees one last time before they are cut down tomorrow.

The final roll! I've never seen so many people in one big crowd EVER - more than 83,000!  Wow!

Did you notice anything about that picture of me above??? I got my hair cut BIG TIME Friday! Very short! I still do a double take every time I walk by a mirror - who is that person? But it feels really good and is very quick to style. Gotta love a timesaver!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts!

It was released today!  Yay!  Can't wait to get it in my hands!

If you're going to Paducah next week, look for it in the American Quilters Society booth (and send me a picture!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Hexie Day

Today I made a pile of hexies, the Quick and Easy way OF COURSE!  Relaxing, yet fast.

Yesterday I went on a FABULOUS garden tour at nearby Lake Martin. Amazing! I took lots of photos and if I can figure out how, I'll share a slideshow in the next few days. It can't be that hard, but I'll have to play with it first to make sure it will work.  Stay tuned.

I framed my little art quilt and dropped it off at the store downtown today.  Wonder if it will sell...?  I think they are having a reception tomorrow afternoon and I may try to drop by.

Tonight I'll get back on the hand quilting.  It's coming along very quickly.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Quilting

I realized (with panic!) Friday that quilt guild meets this week and I had not yet done the March assignment for the mystery quilt. Yikes! Saturday morning found me in the studio sewing together bits and pieces. All that cutting in February sure came in handy!

I sewed little units into rows.

And the rows became 8 blocks like this. I likey! I've said before that I'm not a great piecer, so this is good practice for me.

I did some reading on the patio Saturday afternoon while I made seafood gumbo. We are fortunate to have a couple of gas burners outside. I like to cook seafood out there so it doesn't smell up the house. Hence I've been cooking much more seafood since living here! The gumbo was/is DELICIOUS!  I'll definitely make this again before long.

The bluebird was sitting on top of the birdhouse while I was cooking, hoping I'd go back inside soon. By the way, the book I was reading (now finished) is The Basement Quilt by Anne Hazelwood. Anne is also a certified quilt appraiser.  She appraised many of our quilts which are in Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts. Great book, Anne. Of course, now I want to read the others in the series...

It's going to be a busy week around here. This afternoon I'm going to a small sewing group. Tuesday I'm going on a road trip with the Newcomers group to visit a beautiful garden at Lake Martin.  Thursday is quilt guild. Need a haircut BADLY. And I'm still hand quilting away...  :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Woman at Work...

Still hand quilting.....

I think I may add more machine quilting to this one later.  Loving the slow pace.

Other stuff going on:

1.  Went bra shopping today - one of my LEAST favorite things.  Don't think I had much success.  Bought 2.  Wore one a few hours - hate it!

2.  Bought batting today for the quilt top I finished a few days ago.

3.  Update on local art contest:  I found out last week I was not one of the three winners.  :(  BUT, they contacted me this week and still offered to sell my little quilt in the store next weekend.  (I was in the top five!) :)

4.  Just got back from the baseball game.  :)

5.  It's Master's weekend.  Go Jason Dufner!

6.  I'm trying my hand at making Seafood Gumbo this weekend.

7.  Heard today that the new book will be released by April 22!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beautiful Morning to Quilt

Ahh, the pleasures of hand quilting with the sun streaming through the windows...

The birds are chirping and flitting. I'm loving my view out to God's beautiful world.

The roses are blooming.

I hung the hummingbird feeder yesterday.  It's still early for them, but I'm ready when they are...

As I was outside earlier walking around the yard, I accidentally took a picture.  I almost deleted it, but then decided I kind of like it - a softly diffused abstract photo.  Smile.

Okay, now I need to put down this quilt and get some computer work done!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stitching in the Ditch

This is a quilt I basted last week. This morning I got busy and did some stitching in the ditch. In the past, this is a skill I've struggled with.  You would think it would be easy, just sewing in a straight line, but my line was never ever very straight.

This morning I read something on Wanda's blog that made me pause.  She said, "I always told my students to sew at the pace that they can make straight seams, no faster."

She wasn't even talking about stitching in the ditch; she was referring to piecing so that seams match.  But I was thinking about stitching in the ditch!

It worked!  I slowed down my pace, and it made so much of a difference!

Not bad, huh?  It's not perfect everywhere on the quilt, but it's certainly an improvement for me.

Tonight I started adding some perle cotton hand quilting.  This part will take some time, but I do enjoy it.

Cute little kitty!

Before my ditch stitchin', I finished the binding and sleeve on another quilt.  Yay, love a finish!

Monday, April 8, 2013

In the Yard...

It was a GoRGeOuS Spring weekend here!  I hope you had it so lucky, too.  Hubby worked in the yard for ThRee days straight - he loves doing that as much as I love quilting.

Can you find the bluebird above?  This morning he's been building a nest in a birdhouse on the other side of that vertical support.

Everything is beginning to bloom.

We bought a couple of tomato plants and planted them (for me)!  I do adore homegrown tomatoes.  I never had a good sunny spot in Birmingham to grow them, but now I do. 

I did get some sewing done.  I'm made the binding for this quilt - one of the Secret Projects.  I'm in the process of hand sewing it down.  I also designed THREE more quilts - can't wait to start them!

One of the quilts is calling for a very specific color (sort of brown/gray/mushroom) of solid fabric for the background.  Only one fat quarter in my stash.  I ran over to Hobby Lobby this afternoon, not optimistic that I'd find what I needed.  But low and behold, they had it!  Yada, yada, 8 yards came home with me - enough for the backing, too.

Mint for my iced tea this summer.  (Childhood memories here.)

It's another beautiful day today.  The doxies are on the hunt for lizards every time they go outside.  I'm enjoying the view as I sew.  And we're ordering out dinner tonight! It's going to be a great week!

Go check out The Hexie Blog!  Some special news over there!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Yes, today is the Hub's birthday!  Do you like what I got him?  I commissioned a friend to paint this lovely portrait of our sweet doxies.  She really captured them!  You can read more about it here and see more of her work.

Mark is taking the day off from work today - he's out in the yard spreading 50+ bales of pine straw (his idea of a fun day).

I spent the morning in my studio - I basted a quilt top - ready to quilt!  Maybe I'll do some ditch quilting this afternoon.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Remember This Fabric?

I finished my current quilt top yesterday!  Yay!

Then I got out this fabric that I bought a few months ago at Intown Quilters in the Atlanta area.  I spent a chunk of time cutting and now this quilt is ready to sew.

This will be a quickie project.  It will be very MODERN, with lots of "negative space".  That seems to be the buzz phrase in modern quilting these days, so I'm going with it.

And here's LEO!  Daughter 2 adopted him Tuesday.  He's an adult cat and is very laid back and relaxed.  I'm the first to admit I'm more of a "dog person," but Leo actually likes me!  He climbs in my lap and nuzzles my chin.  He's really a sweetie and has put a smile back on Elizabeth's face.  Gotta love that!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sashing Fun

I knew I wanted sashing between the blocks I just finished, but had been wondering what fabric to use, should I do some piecing, what color should I pick....

Then I found these wonderful striped fat quarters in my stash. How perfect!  The stripes are 1 inch wide, so I cut strips that are 1.5 inches to use as sashing.  The three fat quarters I had are all different color ways, but pieced end to end look great together.

From a distance, it appears I have pieced tiny squares together to use as sashing.  Thank goodness I didn't have to!  The color variety works great with this scrappy quilt, too.

I'm almost finished with the top - maybe I'll wait until tomorrow to put in the last stitches...

By the way, there's a new member in our family.  Daughter 2 got a new cat yesterday from the humane society.  Oh, he's very sweet!  Photos later...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Oldie....

Here's a quilt I made YEARS ago, early in my days of portrait quilts.  This is Daughter 1 swimming with her big goggles.  When the girls were little, every summer I bought a disposable waterproof camera and took a few pictures of them swimming in the pool under the water.  Fun times!

I was very productive today.  I finished the last of twenty blocks in the latest quilt AND I started on the sashing.  Maybe I will finish this top tomorrow?  I hope so!  It should go quickly now.

I also started working on a book proposal.  Yes, the NEXT hexie book!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Yay! My Quilt is a Finalist!

I just found out that my little art quilt, The Sun Shines Through, is a finalist in the local contest!  I am beyond thrilled!

There are 10 finalists.  They include a photograph, a few painting, some jewelry, and even a necktie.  I'm not sure when the final judging will take place, but I think it will be during the next week or so.

I'm still making great progress here on all my Secret Projects.  I have the finished quilts on a spare bed and the stack is GROWING!  I'll finish the quilt top for No. 6 this week, and No. 7 is designed (in my head) and ready to tackle - it will be a quickie for sure!

April is sure to be a great month because The Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts book will be out soon!  I'm working on a fun blog hop to celebrate and to get you all lots of chances to win a copy.

We had a wonderful Easter.  I cooked a nice meal - the girlies and their guys came over and we all relaxed and ate together.  Nice day...