Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dare to be Square

What a crazy week we had! First the snow and power outage. Then the company came. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our daughter, Chelsea, and SIL and two grandkids and our niece. Lots of food and fun.

Chelsea and SIL were in Portland for a few days before coming up here and spent a day at Powell's. One of the books she got was this new quilting book.

She brought it in for me to see and I fell in love with several of the quilts in this book. So while the kids were otherwise entertained I got pieces cut out for three of them for Christmas gifts. One for each of the grandkids and one for someone else whose name I cannot mention here. Chelsea wanted to take her book home with her so I promptly got one on order from Amazon and it should arrive tomorrow so I can get started with the sewing.

Yesterday after the kids left, Hubby, my niece and I went and did some shopping. I even got some Christmas gifts taken care of or at least have a plan now.

Today I got two quilts sandwiched and pin basted so I can get them both quilted tomorrow. I also have the bindings ready to go so I will should have at least one done by tomorrow night. With those two and the 3 I cut out from my new book I think I have 6 of my own quilts to finish before Christmas and then I should have two to quilt for someone else. I need to get busy!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A little snow, a little wind, a little sewing

Mother nature has sent a little monkey wrench into our plans for this week. We were getting a bit of snow on Sunday afternoon and when we got home from the airport it was starting to stick. In the morning we had maybe an inch of snow but it was snowing and continued to snow all day with the temps never going above freezing. Our power went out briefly and then for good at about 6 last night. We lit oil lamps and candles and enjoyed the gas fireplace before heading to bed with extra warm jammies. This morning the power was still out so hubby got the generator going and got more gas and propane to keep things warm. We were also without phone and internet for at least part of the day. Not sure how the week will progress and when power will come back but we should be okay and we may just postpone Thanksgiving a day or so! I went out and took a few pictures yesterday and found my Gerbera Daisy valiantly blooming in spite of the cold! Today all the plants on the deck are frozen.

I did get some sewing done yesterday and today (love the generator!) I managed to get this top finished for my son's girlfriend's mother in Korea.
I need to have it done by Christmas time so Peia can take it to her mom. This is such an easy pattern and very quick.

I also got the top of the quilt for my friend Linnea done. It is turning out pretty good but I can't show pictures until the reveal on January 4 so be patient. Needless to say, the lady didn't bring over her quilts for me to quilt yesterday. We have rescheduled for next week sometime. I will have quite a bit of quilting to get done before Christmas but I am looking forward to it.

Just want to end with these pictures from our yard. Remember, it snowed all day yesterday and then the wind started up. It managed to knock most of the rest of the leaves off the chestnut tree. One nice thing is that it blew them outside of the yard because the wind was from the north. The funny thing is that all the leaves ended up standing up out in the snow, like little soldiers! Very funny!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The weekend

I didn't do much sewing over the weekend but it was a busy time! While I cleaned house on Saturday, my sister was hosting the reveal for one of the round robins I have been involved in this past year. She emailed pictures to those of us who couldn't be there. Here are my blocks:We each sent a 'center' piece to be used in our blocks and then requested the colors/style for the blocks. Some included extra fabrics to be used and some said the 'center' piece could be used anywhere in the block. I asked for batik houses made using whatever method the person wanted with the yellow fabric I sent as at least one window. My sister, who was in charge, has put my blocks in the mail so I should have them in a few days and will post close-up pictures of the individual blocks to show the detail. You can see pictures of the rest of the block sets here. Most of us will be starting another round robin shortly. Two are heading off to college next year so are opting out for the next round.

Our son and his girlfriend arrived safely and following a special birthday dinner of jap chae to help Peia feel a little less homesick for her family in Korea, we presented her with her quilt.She really liked it and appreciated our efforts. A little later we shared her Pikachu birthday cake and played some Wii.

Yesterday afternoon we dropped those two off at the airport during a snow shower so they could head to Hawaii and enjoy some warmth! We will miss them on Thanksgiving but look forward to hearing about their trip when we pick them up again on Friday. Our oldest daughter and family arrive on Wednesday so for the next two days I plan to get some sewing done before the big push to get a Thanksgiving meal cooked!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I finished this quilt top the other day.It is from a pattern called Triangle Maze by Debbie of Esch House Quilts. I saw the pattern and thought it would be great for the HSTs I got from my friend.

I came up with a plan for the fabrics in my last post. I saw a quilt hanging at Fabric Depot on one of my recent shopping trips and drew up the pattern with plans to use it for some fabrics I had that needed a pattern. (I still haven't gotten to those fabrics yet!) I thought of that design the other night and pulled it out and I think it is going to be pretty great! I have all the pieces cut ready to sew.

My son and his girlfriend are arriving today and leaving tomorrow for Hawaii so the sewing room will be a guest room and more company arrives on Wednesday. I can bring my sewing machine and ironing board out in the great room next week and work on the pink quilt and also on my friend Linnea's quilt. On Monday I also have a quilter coming over who would like to have a couple of quilts quilted for her. I might as well make that machine help pay for itself!

Yesterday I pulled out my 'triangle drawer'. I pressed and trimmed all the triangles that were already sewn and sewed up some that were matched up already. I was able to make quite a few broken dishes blocks for the next triangle quilt. After the holidays I will get to work on matching up some more of those triangles and clean out the drawer completely! As I was sewing, pressing and trimming I was thinking about how I will put this triangle quilt together. I am hoping to do something a little different but we will see how that goes.

Today I have a house to vacuum and tidy, a sewing room to turn into a guest room and a Pikachu birthday cake to make and decorate!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I think our internet is finally doing okay. I like to think I can live without it but OMG it drives me nuts when I can't get online and do what I need to do! It was most frustrating when I needed it for the business!

I did get the Bento Box quilt binding done so now it just needs a label.

Unfortunately it didn't help me get more done in the sewing room! This morning I finally got to finish off this bag. I am loving this one.
I used the contrasting green zippers and they are so cute! It is hard to send it off to its new owner but then again, I really don't need another bag!

Once the bag was done it was so hard to not work on the triangles quilt but I hadn't received all the coordinating fabrics! I was distracted by lunch with a friend. She just has a 1/2 hour lunch at the local elementary school so I stopped at Panda Express and brought lunch there. She and I have known each other since our oldest were in preschool and we reconnected when they were in junior high marching band together. Her two boys are the same age as my two girls and we alway said it would be awesome if they would get married so we could be co-mothers-in-law. That was not meant to be so we will just have to be satisfied with the occasional lunch!

When Hubby came home he picked up the mail down at the road and brought the last piece of fabric so after dinner I made the last 4 HSTs and got these blocks together. I thought I had it ready to put together until I looked at it on the computer and could see that the red was all at one end so I will relay it out and get the top together tomorrow.
My next project will involve these fabrics.
I want to make a wall hanging/table topper or maybe a lap quilt using these fabrics. I just need a plan!! Any ideas? This will be a thank you gift to my son's girlfriend's mother. The girlfriend is from South Korea and her mom made a beautiful pottery wind chime and sent it to me so I want to make a quilt for her.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keepin' on

I was pretty busy this weekend. I got the quilt quilted and the binding is just waiting for the hand-sewing. I also finished the blocks for the quilt for our Tuesday evening quilt swap done. I might get the top done this week but as that one doesn't have to be finished until January 4 I need to put it away while I finish up a couple of other things.

I also sewed together the triangles that I got from my friend at the retreat. I have them pressed and ready to be squared up. I will get them together in groups of threes but I can't go too much further until my fabric arrives in the mail to finish the blocks off.
Today I had a frustrating day with no internet all morning and lots of call to make but unable to get through to our health insurance company to ask a couple of questions. AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!

I did get the triangles all trimmed up and ready to go. I also got the first package of fabric to go with them but need the other two since I need to make just four more HSTs so I will end up with 48 blocks.

In between calls I also got this tote bag cut out and this evening I got the outside put together. My hope is that I will get the lining put together tomorrow and get the whole thing finished too as long as I get the right length of zipper for the top. I just love the Kiwi zipper on the front pocket!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Top Done!

I had hoped to finish the blocks yesterday but that pumpkin project took more time and energy than expected. I think I got 16 cups of pumpkin to put in the freezer for future use and I used 2 cups to make some delicious pumpkin bread. I think I will be using most of that frozen pumpkin for bread because it is awesome! There was just a little leftover pumpkin that didn't fit in a container or in the bread so I figured I would eat it - you know, it is squash after all. I took a little taste and it was so sweet I didn't add anything and finished that little bit off. I was tempted to take one of those 2 cup containers out of the freezer!

I did get another step or two finished on the quilt blocks but didn't finish them up so this morning I headed into the sewing room and got to work. I had the blocks done by lunch and this afternoon I got them together and added the border and here it is!
Tomorrow I will head to the fabric stores to find a good backing fabric. I don't think I have anything that will work and I don't want to use all the Kona solids up that I used in the quilt for the back. I think I will head up to Port Gamble to check out Quilted Strait. They moved up there this past year and I haven't had a chance to visit the new store.

I few days ago I found this quilt on flickr and I found the pattern and thought this would be a great quilt to make using some of my infamous triangles. This morning as I thought about it more I remembered a batch of triangles I got from a friend at the quilt retreat and thought it would be a great pattern to use for those. The triangles were all from one fabric line so I emailed my friend to get the name of the line. It is Odyssea from Moda so I went online and found some more fabrics from the line and since it is an older line I was able to get it on sale. Once those come I will be hard pressed to work on something else instead of that. But I do have other projects that need to get finished first so I hope I can be good!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Almost Forgot!

Here are the two blocks I made for Pam in QBRR2010. I got them done on Monday and got all the blocks in the mail that afternoon. Nice to get a few things off my list quickly!

Busy Day!

Yesterday morning I just had to get at least one of the blocks for my next quilt done before I headed out for the day. I decided to do two to try out two different methods of putting them together. (Not the best pictures - it was from my phone) It was hard to turn off the sewing machine and head into the shower!

After my shower I got some things together to join the local quilt guild at a charity quilt sew-in. It was a great opportunity to use up some more of my smallest scraps. We are making spider web blocks seen here on Bonnie Hunter's site. Here are the 22 blocks I got finished while I was there.
I took home enough foundation pieces to finish enough blocks for a full quilt. Luckily, there is no deadline to get this one finished. I am hoping I can work a little on it each week to get them done sooner.

After dinner and a little rest time I had enough energy to head into the sewing room and do the first stage on the rest of my blocks. I got those pressed and then laid out my next step.

Once I have my coffee I will head into the sewing room and get to work. My other project for today is cooking up pumpkin. We used pumpkins for decorations at the wedding and I just can't let it go to waste so I will cook them up and get most in the freezer for pumpkin pies and pumpkin bars and pumpkin bread. I am thinking I might even get some pumpkin bread made today.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Building blocks

This past week I got my blocks done for the Flickr Quilt Block Exchange. It is fun to work on someone else's projects so you get some variety.
After I got those four done I got these two fun tree blocks done for Margaret in QBRR2010. I have two more to make for QBRR2010 this morning and then I will moving on to a new quilt that I hope to have done this week.

On Saturday I got the striped pieced quilt quilted and last night I worked on the binding. I should have that done this afternoon or evening so maybe there will be pictures tomorrow of it and several other quilts that I have the bindings done on.

I just need to keep plugging away on all the projects I am working on that have deadlines in the next 2 months. And then do some thinking about Christmas also.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

October Finishes

In spite of going to a quilt retreat in October I didn't get much finished during the month. Of course the big thing was finishing the hand quilting on the wedding quilt. So here is the meager list:

October 2010 Tally

Wedding Quilt
Sharelle's quilt top
120 strip pieced blocks (with my niece's help)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ripping and Stripping?

I spent much of my free time this past week working on ripping apart the blocks that I put together at the quilt retreat that were not the right size. After ripping I pulled out all the little threads, pressing them and then trimming them. They are all ready to start putting them back together. That project was put on hold over the weekend though because my niece Katie came over to enlist my help and opinion and my dining room floor to layout the 29 blocks she got for her birthday last August. This is the layout we came up withShe did the math and handed me pieces to sew together and we got it into rows and then I let her sew the rows together while I cut foundation squares and diagonal strips for a strip pieced quilt for our pastor who is leaving later this month. After her top was together she just didn't think she had it in her to add borders so she started making the strip pieced blocks. We took a break to watch some TV with my hubby and then yesterday she and I had two sewing machines going and got all 120 blocks made! This morning I got up and got those blocks together into a top!
As we were sewing the blocks it just didn't seem like the bin of scraps was getting any emptier! When the blocks were done and all the scraps that fell to the floor were crammed back in we could see a difference though not a huge one. We figured we should have weighed the bin before and after and maybe that would have told the story. Here is what I have left in this bin of scraps - I am pretty sure I have more elsewhere but I am trying to use up this one before I go hunting for more. If I was a more organized person I would schedule my time in the sewing room so that I made a few string blocks each day or week to slowly empty that bin but my reality is that I am more of a binge type sewer!