Monday, October 31, 2011

All was revealed

Only 8 of us were able to be at the reveal but all the blocks were there. It was so much fun watching the blocks going up on the wall  and trying to figure out which ones we each made. 

Here are the blocks I got to take home with me!
My plan a year ago was to use the blocks for place mats but as the blocks went up on the wall I was thinking quilt! Now I just have to get some other projects finished so I can work on it! You can see the rest of the group's blocks on flickr.

Two who will be joining the group for next year were with us on Saturday and we started passing around next year's packets. It is going to be interesting and fun this coming year!

Tomorrow evening is our local quilt exchange reveal at my neighbor's. I am excited to see what my quilt will be like! I guess I had better finish the label on Sally's quilt or I won't have anything to trade! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Getting things ready for the trip to my sister's for our quilt block exchange reveal on Saturday. I will have a series of pictures of everyone's blocks after Saturday but today I can share my plan for the next round robin. You see, not only will we see all of our blocks from the last reveal but we will also be starting our next round robin.

This past year there were 10 in our group and we each chose a 'layer cake' and then everyone made 2 blocks for each person using those fabrics as the packets were sent around over the months.

This year we are each supposed to provide the background pieces for 12.5" Sawtooth Star blocks. We can also provide the star points if we want to. Then we choose what colors/style/theme we want for the center squares. I decided that I want 6 blocks with black star points and whites for the backgrounds and 6 blocks with whites for star points and blacks for the backgrounds so I got those all cut up and put into little bags as sets. Then I had to decide on the centers. I had been thinking brights as I planned and then when I pulled fabrics I found the bright rainbow-y stripe that I used for the grandkids' quilts this summer. I used that in my block along with some pink, green, blue and orange. It turned out pretty cool
until I went to add the star points and discovered that my block was 6.75" instead of 6.5". Instead of tearing it apart to try to make it smaller I decided to just make a different block. I think I like the new one better anyway!
Here is what the first one would have looked like with the points and background.
I haven't decided if I will end up ripping this block to make it the right size or not. That decisions will probably be made when I get all the blocks back and see if I want to make more blocks.

I am sending the striped fabric along also for people to use in their blocks if they so desire. I am also asking that the leftover triangles from the flying geese units be returned so I can use them as I put the quilt together. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up getting other leftover triangles from this project also! Somehow I have gotten the reputation as the person who will take that sort of thing and use it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last one done!

Yes, I finished the last of the 5 Christmas quilt tops.
I also stopped and got some flannel to use for the back and it is currently in the washer. 

I am hoping to get the last bits of Christmas fabrics put away so I can take care of some other projects before I head out for the quilt reveal this weekend. 

The walls and the ceiling of the bathroom are clean and the holes are patched. Tomorrow I should get the sanding done and get things primed so I can do the spray on texture and get the painting done. 

I am already tired of using the laundry/bathroom for showers, etc.  after just two days!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quilt Show Part 2 plus some

I spent last Friday in the sewing room. I got two comfort quilts basted and quilted. I even had one of the bindings finished before I headed for bed. Friday evening we went out for 'date night' and also picked up the paint for the bathroom. 

Saturday I spent several hours at the quilt show. I arrived in time for my first job only to find out I was told the wrong time so I had my hour to look at the quilts, check out the venders and take pictures at the beginning. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and had to use my phone so the pictures are not the best. I mostly took pictures for future inspiration. Here are some of my favorites.

To see the rest of the pictures you can go to Flickr.

I had fun working at the show. I was one of the quilt turners. There were about 20 or more quilts laid out on a bed and as one guild member told the story of each of the quilts another member and I folded them back so the next quilt was revealed. Then I had to hustle over to the raffle table. It was fun talking with the guests as they were filling out their raffle tickets. I really enjoyed getting to know some of my fellow guild members a little. 

I was back at the quilt show as it closed on Sunday afternoon to help take down the quilts and the hangers. It is amazing how fast things come down when you have a huge crew helping. 

Today I spent the day on the road with Hubby fixing appliances or at least watching him fix them since he had an appointment this morning with the eye doctor and had his eyes dilated. This evening I got a little closer to finishing the last of the 5 Christmas quilt tops. I really hope I can finish tomorrow so the Christmas fabric can be put away for a while!

I really need to get some other projects finished like baby quilts, the label on Sally's quilt (the reveal is a week from tomorrow!) and my block for the next round robin - Saturday is the reveal for this past year's round robin and the beginning of the next.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Guild Quilt Show Part 1

But first, a bathroom redo update. The night before last Hubby got the bathroom sink drain all hooked up and it works! Last night he finished the rest of the cabinet work so today I can start loading it up so the drawers from the old vanity can get out of the guest room. He has some other ideas about customization but those will wait. We are pretty sure about paint color but today I will paint a larger area and do two coats of our favorite so we can be sure.

Yesterday morning I headed out to the fairgrounds to deliver my quilts (no one ever called me to drop off their quilts) and help with setting up the show. 

The first job was laying out all the quilt stands and getting them hooked together. At one point we had to call in everyone so we could move one section with one person for each upright. Wish I had a video of that to post! Once things were set-up and straight we started distributing the quilts to their spots. We had great maps but it was so easy to get turned around!

Then the quilts started going up. There are spots for 12 extra long quilts (over 90") and my Out of the Darkness quilt was chosen for one of those spots. The funny thing is, someone else made one from the same pattern and the plan had them hanging back to back but as we were hanging them we made an executive decision to have them hanging side by side for comparison. Here they are:
Mine is the one on the right. The main difference is that she hand-quilted hers and I had mine machine quilted by my friend Deb Barth in Montana.

We had about half of the quilts hung by lunch time and after a quick break for a delicious box lunch we headed back to the quilts and finished the hanging. As the quilts went up it was hard for all of us to stay focused on hanging and not stop to examine the quilts!

Once things were up there were some adjustments. There were also about 4 quilts that never showed up for hanging so we found Community Quilts (charity quilts) to hang in their places. A last check for extra poles or empty bags, etc. and we were done.

There are a lot of great quilts in the show and I will be bringing my camera tomorrow when I will be there to do a couple of volunteer shifts. I definitely need pictures of a couple of great scrap quilts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I don't know what happened yesterday but I didn't ever make it into the sewing room! I did get the garden roto-tilled one more time and finished the mowing so if I don't get those jobs done again this year it should be okay!

I did get the hanging sleeve sewn on the largest of the quilts for the show. I need to finish up the last two today since they need to be at the show tomorrow am between 8 and 9. I got a call from the guild member in charge of volunteers for the show and I am now signed up to help set-up the show tomorrow and then on Saturday I will be turning quilts (not sure exactly what that means) for 1/2 hour and selling raffle tickets for two hours. Then I think on Sunday I have to pick up the quilts again.

My husband had a slow day at work yesterday so he went to work on the plumbing and cabinet adjustments and by evening the new vanity was in place.
Now it isn't totally ready to go. The water is hooked up but Hubby didn't have ABS cement so the drain isn't finished. The top drawer needs one of its rails reattached and the vanity also isn't attached to the wall and the sink isn't attached to the vanity so that we can pull it out when I paint. We haven't been able to find a hickory medicine cabinet, just a mirror so hubby might replace the oak on our current medicine cabinet with hickory. 

Today I plan to get some paint samples to help decide what color we want and then we will start taking everything off the walls so holes can be patched and then I will paint! Then we need a new light fixture, shower curtain, drawer/door pulls, tp holder, etc. Oh, and there will be two new doors and trim that needs to be taken care of. We might have it done by the end of the year!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Snag

So yesterday had its ups and downs. One up is that I finished the 4th Christmas quilt top. I even got a little done on #5. Maybe that will get finished today.
Once that was done I created hanging sleeves for the three quilts heading to the quilt show on Thursday. Now they just need to be sewn on.

I also spent some time outside and got all my berries weeded. The garden is looking good for fall, in fact, it is looking better than it has in years! I am hoping to keep it roto-tilled over the winter as weather permits.

The down came a bit later in the day, after dinner. Hubby and I were discussing the floor and whether we should get new flooring. Hubby said it wouldn't be too much trouble to take out our current 48" vanity and sink so we could put the new one in to make our decision. Famous last words! Got the old one out and there was the requisite 20 years of dust underneath. (A hidden upside to the night was getting the drain cleaned out so our current sink will drain better.) Moved the new one (36") into the room and here is what we  saw...

Yes, 2 of the 3 plumbing components under the sink run into not only the back wall of the cabinet, but the drawers themselves! Very disheartening. We headed back to Home Depot to see if there were any options out there. The answer was no, unfortunately. You can't order a cabinet that is a mirror image (which would work) and they didn't have a 48" option. The two guys helping us did give Hubby some ideas for adjustments. 

We made a stop at Lowe's before heading home just to see if they had anything different. They did have a 48" option but because bathroom vanities/sinks are now a couple of inches deeper than they were 20 years ago that would cause problems with the door trim and would make the bathroom even more crowded feeling than it is currently.

After sleeping on it, Hubby has come up with some fresh ideas that might work for adjusting the 36" cabinet so we will see what comes of that today.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Looking nice

I still haven't finished top #4 but there has been progress in the bathroom. Yesterday Hubby took care of that small leak and then covered the wall with hardy board and with some finagling we were able to get the cabinet in place. Doesn't it look nice?
In the evening we headed into town to get some supplies and decided to pick up the vanity and sink/counter top so we could pick a paint color that will go with it. The top is granite and the vanity is hickory. When the box came off Hubby discovered a few modifications that will have to be made to accommodate our plumbing under the sink. 
We are pretty sure about our faucet but haven't picked that up yet. I am not sure about how the granite will look with our current floor. The color is okay but this is kind of fancy and our flooring is commercial vinyl like you would find in a hospital. It is still in good condition but we are a little tired of it so we might decide to redo the floor too. I think we will be going with a greyish paint for the walls with our usual white trim. Before a final decision is made on paint I will have to get a test sample and put it on the wall.

Today after church and grocery shopping I got everything put into the cabinet that we installed yesterday. It isn't as deep but it is higher so it is about the same amount of space as we had before. We will see if we like how things are placed but I think this will work. 
Since I got the grocery shopping done today and a couple of other errands I hope to be able to stay home tomorrow and get some gardening and sewing done. I got the garden roto-tilled last week and mowed some grass but there are weeds around the plants that should be gotten rid of this week before the rain starts again. I am not sure if Washington's nickname of the Evergreen State has to do with the trees or the weeds!

Friday, October 14, 2011

First Step

We have started redoing the bathroom this week. The first step is to install the cabinet we bought last week. Here you see the shelves in the cubby where the cabinet will go.
I am being kind and not showing you the frightening monster dust bunnies that were on the floor! You see, we have had a fire safe here in the bottom of the cubby for the last 19-20 years. It just fit so it hasn't been out since it was put in there and the dust under there was scary! 

Well, we tried to just slide the cabinet in but it is probably about 1/8" too big so we pulled it out again to think about how to get it in. My hubby decided that taking out the drywall on the left side which backs the bathtub was the best choice. He took that out a couple of nights ago with minimal mess (and he cleaned it up himself!) and this is what it looks like now.
A small leak at a soldered joint was discovered in the process which will be fixed first and then some thinner material will be put over the opening and hopefully the cabinet will fit in and then the rough edges will be covered with trim wood. Maybe by Monday I will have pictures of the cabinet in place. I need to be thinking about paint colors for the bathroom so I am ready when it is time for that step.

Wednesday afternoon during a break in the rain I headed down to the garden to bring in the last of the produce. I pulled all the squash, pumpkin and bean plants and got them hauled off. I also pulled the last of my carrots and the few kohl rabi that grew to a size worth eating. Here is the haul.
There are 5 pumpkins weighing in at 39, 32, 16, 15 and 15 pounds! I am pretty amazed at the size of these pumpkins especially since I planted them and never gave them any fertilizer at all. Just water! I am hoping they will orange up by Halloween so the grandkids can use them for jack o'lanterns. There are 9 acorn squash and one of those is huge! Also got my last picking of green beans. The onions that are drying there were planted last year but never did much until this year. This year's garden produce has gotten me more excited about gardening again and I am looking forward to last year!

Yesterday morning I finished Christmas quilt top #3
and got started on #4. I am looking forward to being done with these tops so I can move on to the next project. I think that will be getting the hanging sleeves on the quilts that are heading to the show and then I can get started on the baby quilts I need to get finished. Two of the babies are already here with two more coming in December.

Yesterday afternoon I headed over to the church and helped tie 11 quilts that will be heading out into the world through the work of Lutheran World Relief. There were only 5 of us working yesterday but the fellowship was wonderful! Just like the quilting bees of yesteryear.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back to business

I came home to rather rainy, wet weather which means I can work in my sewing room. That is, if I get a chance! Monday I had some errands to run which took several hours. When I got into the sewing room I pulled out the quilt that I didn't get to work on at the retreat along with the pieces that got left at home and got started on that. I got all but the border put together. Then my husband and I started doing some work in the bathroom. Just some preliminary stuff, taking out the storage shelves and cleaning things up. We tried to put the new cabinet in but it is a little tight so out it came and we need to do some more thinking and planning.

Yesterday I had coffee with the woman from the guild in charge of receiving the quilts next week. I am one of the receivers for the quilt show and she explained the procedures and we had a great visit about quilts and kids and life. The quilt show is Oct. 21-23 and I am looking forward to seeing 3 of my quilts hanging. 

When I got home I got the borders on the quilt I had worked on Monday.
It is a little different as I used 4 fabrics for the center instead of two and then used one of them as the wider border with no narrow border so the center seems to float. 

I then pulled out the second Christmas top and worked on it a bit. My mistakes on that one continued but nothing too bad, just rearranged the rows a bit. 

This morning I finished off that Christmas top.
Can you tell where I made the mistakes? When it was done I got started on the next one. I have that one fairly close to being done so I should be able to do that in the morning and maybe even start on another before I head to the church to tie LWR quilts with the ladies.


A week or so ago I was contacted via email by Marina and Daryl over at Quilt Inspiration about using photos of my denim quilts on their blog. They were preparing posts about the use of denim in quilts. I gave my permission and today I am featured there! 

I am getting back into the swing of things following my retreat. It was probably one of the best ones I have been on so far. 

I drove across the state on Wednesday and spent the evening and night with my daughter and her husband. We had a lovely dinner of soup and fresh bread followed by pineapple upside-down cake and a viewing of The Lion King. In the morning, following pancakes with some of the plum syrup that Rebecca had made the previous day (it was supposed to be jam but didn't set up), Rebecca and Drew headed into town for a visit to the optometrist. I spent some time playing with my grand-kitten, doing the dishes and showering and then headed over to the camp. I was the first arrival since I was only 5 minutes away so had first pick of tables in the quilting room. 

It was a smaller retreat than some recent ones - only 24 crafters in our room - which was part of what made it such a great retreat. Once all the machines were running and people were talking it just wasn't as loud and overwhelming. You could listen in to conversations around the room and get caught up on the latest news in everyone's lives.

I got going on Thursday morning and by bedtime I had two quilt tops finished.

Now the first one might look familiar as it is out of the same fabrics as the one I made the week before but that one was finished and delivered before I left for the retreat. I had another quilt cut out using this pattern but about one-third of the pieces didn't make it into the bin and were still on the cutting table at home! 

I also brought along that fall top that needed borders that I made last week. I first made another top and then added the borders to both. I was done with those by Friday evening.

Saturday morning I got started on the Christmas quilts. They actually are made like my denim quilts and normally I can put those together blindfolded but I struggled this time. I did have some distractions including a visit from my oldest daughter, the grandkids and my niece. We had good weather so we took a walk down to the lake and around camp to give the kids some outside time. After they headed over to Rebecca's house I still had problems. I just don't know what was going on. I did get one top done thanks to some pressing help from my niece when she came back over that evening. 

I also started another top but didn't get it quite finished at the retreat before it was time to head back across the state to reality.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Heading out

I am packing up this morning and heading across the state to quilt retreat. I get to spend tonight with one daughter and her husband and then I get to spend Thursday - Sunday with my sister and many quilty friends! On Saturday, my other daughter and the grandkids, my niece and maybe my son and nephew will be coming up for a visit at the camp. This means I will be offline until at least Monday morning but hopefully there will be lots of pictures of finished quilt tops!

Yesterday I did finish the binding on the green comfort quilt but forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt before delivery but I might get a chance to get a picture yet this morning.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Finished And Some Not-So-Much

The first finish was the margarita, of course! The owl hat, not-so-much! My laptop seemed much more interesting than sewing on eyes and beak!

Yesterday afternoon I worked on sewing together the rest of that quilt that I had started and set aside. Well, it isn't totally finished as it needs borders but I do like how it is turning out so far.
The pattern is Nova from the book Scrap-Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett. The pattern in the book uses more of an off-white for the background but I wanted more of a fall feel so I used golds instead. I was a little nervous as I was putting it together thinking it wasn't enough contrast but it turned out well which is a good thing since I cut out another one when I cut this one!

My husband and I went out for dinner last night and then stopped at Home Depot for a couple of items. We wandered back to the bathroom vanity and kitchen cabinet sections. We have started talking about redoing our bathroom as it needs some new paint and other updating. I think we are going with hickory cabinets and right now the kitchen in-stock cabinets are on sale and we want a pantry cabinet for the bathroom so I think that will happen before the sale ends and then the vanity and other items will wait until we are ready or it goes on sale!

I was fairly tired last night but after laying in bed for almost an hour I just wasn't sleeping so I got up and headed to the sewing room. In two hours I got a back ready for one quilt so I can baste and quilt it today and then cut out 3 more quilts. That means I will have at least 9 quilts I can work on at the retreat. I might also get the border fabric for the above quilt and have that to work on also (unless I get it taken care of before I leave).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Change of plans

I did go into the sewing room this morning and I did work on that quilt and got to this point...
but at about 1:30 as I was thinking about the person this quilt is supposed to go to I remembered that one time she said she likes green. One of the first groups of fabric I considered was a group of greens but I didn't have a plan. But yesterday when I stopped at a local quilt shop for thread I saw a quilt that was very simple but striking. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of using that pattern with that group of fabrics. As I said, it was very simple - strip pieced rail fence blocks - and it went together very fast! By 5 pm I had this to show for my labors.
I am very happy with this and hope to get it basted and maybe quilted tomorrow but definitely on Monday. It needs to be done before I head to my quilt retreat. If I work hard I might get the other top done too. 

For now, I am going to finish my margarita and maybe finish an owl hat too!

One top done, another started

Got the top of the Christmas Crazy Quilt put together. I had originally planned to add borders but it is already something like 76" square and I didn't want to make a huge quilt so I think I will stop here. Besides, I wasn't happy with any of the options for borders with it.
There is a need for another comfort quilt at church so I got two more cut out and started sewing one. Here you can see the remaining pieces for the one I have started and the extra one in the ziploc bag. I even got smart and added a slip of paper telling me the name of the pattern and the page number and the name of the book it is in so I can avoid confusion when I get ready to sew!
These are the next pieces I will be sewing later this morning when I head into the sewing room. 
I would love to have the top done today but that will depend on many factors! One of which is motivation and another is distractions! Wish me luck!