Friday, August 30, 2013

Cutter Quilts

Do you have an old quilt that is worn and tattered, beyond repair? I've had some scraps of cutter quilts lying around my studio for some time now. I woke up this morning with inspiration. I added some raw edge appliqué stitched down via machine. Down and dirty! Kind of cute little piece of folk art, huh?

Okay, get back to work now! No more playing! Lucky me, all quilting is playing to me! I spent the rest of the day getting projects organized:

- I cut all the pieces for the next quilt. Check.

- I stitched the binding and sleeve on another quilt - ready for hand sewing. Check.

- I made a label for a finished quilt. Ready to hand stitch in place. Check.

- I gathered the remaining pieces for a small wallhanging. Ready to hand stitch. Check.

Lots of hand stitching ahead - my favorite thing to do.

Other newsworthy events:
1. I found out today that Peggy and I will be doing a Schoolhouse Presentation at Quilt Market in Houston in October. Yay!
2. I had a quilt accepted into the Modern Quilt Challenge at AQS.  Yay!
3. I'll be teaching at the AQS Chattanooga Show in September 2014. Yay!

And football season is here! You can tell by all the traffic around town. Travel trailers are parked everywhere, people are milling about, and excitement is in the air.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Classes!

I spent the weekend developing three new machine sewn classes for my repertoire. Whew! Here they are:

The first class is Machine Quilted Portraits. Of course my sample had to be super duper Cooper! This was really fun and surprisingly fast to make. It measures 8"x10".

This class is Wonky and Wonderful, learning to make an artistic quilt top full of wonky curves and piecing. Luckily I didn't have to make this sample. I made this quilt a few years ago. Do my Birmingham friends recognize this? Have you figured out what is missing?

I made this for a challenge - we had to include some flying geese units. In my usual quest to be different, my flying geese were literal. I cut little geese from plastic and stitched them onto the quilt. I've now removed them.

Ta Dah! Here's what I spent the MOST time sewing. Here's my vest. I tweaked my own pattern a bit, rounding the bottom front edges. I love how it is much longer in the back. And I LOVE the panel in the back done in a contrasting fabric. The leaf shapes are all free motion stitched before cutting out the top layer. I ADORE the texture this garment has!

Who knew I would ever design a clothing pattern??!!! I'm planning to have it printed - it will be my FIRST pattern for sale. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

He Thinks He's a Doxie

Oh dear. Cooper thinks he should be a lap dog like his buddies, Prince and Mickey. This is not good. But he's so sweet!

I have been sewing ALL WEEKEND! Marathon! Exhausted...

I'm developing some new machine classes. So that meant taking a break from my regularly scheduled quilting to make some samples.  That's a new vest above, made in two days. I'll share some good photos when I have them. I need a model. :)

All samples are now completed. Tomorrow I'll try to photograph them and write class summaries.

Here are some pics from our guild meeting last week. Flavin Glover was our speaker on the topic of Demin Mania. She makes really cool stuff from recycled jeans, everything from floor quilts, pillows, stuffed animals, clothing, and tote bags.

Love the hippo!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Spinach Tortellini Soup

Here's a quick recipe to share. I found this on Pinterest, but the link was not good. Luckily the ingredients were listed in the description so I could try it. Made it last night: YUMMY and EASY!

Life has been so hectic lately, so I wanted to find some crockpot recipes that would need no prep time. This is a winner!

Spinach Tortellini Soup

1 bag frozen cheese tortellini
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cans diced Italian tomatoes
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed (lowfat is fine)
1 package fresh spinach

Place tortellini, broth, tomatoes (undrained), and cream cheese in crockpot. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. Add spinach and stir. Cook an additional 5 minutes. 

Serve with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weekend Busy-ness!

I have too many "secret projects" - makes blogging a challenge sometimes! But here's some progress on my self designed vest. I only allow myself to work on this at the end of a day after I've spent hours working on the secret stuff.

 Here are some pics of Daughter 1 and I before we attended a fun football event over the weekend. We had a good time - can't believe football season is almost HERE! I've decided that our life here in Auburn has three seasons to a year: Football season, Baseball season, and Lake season!

And here's a recent pic of my 4.5 month old Cooper. When we got him at the beginning of the summer he was Mickey's height - now Mickey is the size of one of his hind legs. Cooper has learned how comfortable furniture is - I got him this bed to encourage him to stay on the floor. (Not working so great.) He also learned to drink out of the toilets this week - not a good thing. Must keep lid down and door shut!

I'm hunkering down for a day of sewing - what about you?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My New Project (and exciting news!)

What the heck am I doing? I'm making a garment! And what's that I'm using for fabric? T-shirts! I got my Project Runway on and designed a vest. I started with a commercial pattern, but by the time I finished tweaking it I think I can call it an original pattern.

I bought the t-shirts at the local thrift store. I was lucky to find five blue shirts that matched and were actually NEW! I bought various white t-shirts for the lining. I used 10 t-shirts that cost 50 cents apiece. $5.00 total!

Are you familiar with Natalie Chanin's work?  She lives in north Alabama and uses t-shirts or cotton jersey by-the-yard to make garments. Then she stencils fabric paint on the surface of a garment, stitches around the paint, and cuts out the outer layer. Her garments are absolutely amazing! So I decided to try my hand at it.

I traced one of her stencil designs from one of her books onto poster board.

Then I used fabric paint to stencil the pattern all over the vest. (Looks gray here, but you can see below that it's actually blue.)  After the paint dried and cured overnight, I heat set it. Then I attached the white t-shirt lining.

Finally I'm to the fun part! I stitch around each leaf (big stitches) with white button thread.

And then I cut out the center. One leaf down, TONS to go! This will be a long term project, since I need to get back to quilting! But I do hope I finish it before Houston Quilt Market - it would be nice to wear it there.

And now for the news:
I found out last night that my hexie quilt, Mickey Blue Eyes, came in First Place in the Pieced Category of the Accuquilt Go! Have Fun Challenge in Grand Rapids! So THRILLED!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


We're making progress! I took Cooper for both and morning and evening walk yesterday and I'm happy to report that he was a calmer dog. Yay! It's good for both of us. We walked a total of 2.7 miles in the two walks.

Every time he pulls on the leash (often!) I make him stop and sit so the leash becomes loose again. Then we continue. Walking on a loose leash is the hardest thing I've taught him and he doesn't totally get it yet, but he is improving.

His biggest problem during walks is being distracted. He wants to pick up EVERYTHING he sees on the ground, including this beer can. Haha - that's my dog...

Some things he's picked up this week:
1. Sticks
2. Rocks
3. Clods of dirt
4. Worm Jerky (Dried up dead worms - quite a delicacy to Cooper!)
5. Snickers wrapper
6. Flattened dead frog (I pried it out of his mouth this morning)
7. Newspapers (That's not ours, Cooper!)
8. Pinecones
9. Execdrin box (one of the construction workers must have had a head ache)

I know this makes it seem like our neighborhood is LITTERED with stuff - but it's not. The garbage is all in the construction area. Though the worm jerky is everywhere!

I'm sewing away here. I have an new project that I can actually share here - it's not secret! I'll try to get it to the point to photograph later today.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tiring Cooper Out - My New MIssion in Life!

Here we were yesterday on an early morning walk - Cooper and me. This is in a new part of our subdivision, still heavily under construction and a bit messy. Does Cooper walk on the sidewalk or the street? Of course not! He wades through the tall grass in between.

My goal now is to tire him out completely a couple of times a day to dispel some of his endless energy. He broke three flower pots on the patio this week, chewing up the plants they contained.  Hubby installed some temporary (we hope) fencing to keep him from digging holes around our fountain. I hate to wish away his childhood, but I'll be glad when my sweet boy is a bit more grown up!

I've been sewing away, as usual around here. I've got a perle cotton hand quilting project in progress.

I did a good bit of machine quilting this week. Plus I'm still working on my green project - the hand appliqué. Can you tell I love to have multiple projects in progress? I never get bored!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Few Days Off!

Yup, we've been at the lake for a few days. Got back yesterday. Relaxation....

Cooper is happiest when swimming! He was made for the water. He loves to retrieve toys and sticks, no matter how far we throw them.

The daughters came one day and had a fun time.

Hubby got in the act with Cooper, too.

We all enjoyed swimming, boating, kayaking, and a bit of Sea Doo fun. I took along my appliqué project (the green one) and did a bit of sewing. Hubby did a LOT of yard work, which (thankfully) he loves to do.

Today I've gotten lots more done! Plus the appliance repair guy FINALLY came to fix our dishwasher. Yippee! I'd been without it for over 2 weeks!

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Library

I finally visited the city library this week and got a library card. Since I've been a part of the quilt guild here, I've known that the guild hangs quilts at the library, changing them out every month.  I was amazed and pleased to see how professionally they are displayed. The lighting is fantastic and each quilt has a description, as seen below:

Isn't this a beautiful quilt?! There is so much talent in the guild. Before we moved here, I didn't really know what to expect from the guild after being in such a large guild in Birmingham. But we're not so little here! We have 83 members! And they are all so nice an helpful.

I'm working away on an applique project. It's coming along well and I'm enjoying every little green bit!