Monday, October 31, 2011

Mom's Birthday

We interrupt this quilting blog for a brief family post...

My mother turned 85 on Saturday and she couldn't be happier (or cuter)!

Julia prepared a double batch of homemade pasta (8 eggs worth)! She's made it a few times before, and this was the best yet! Does that look like enough for 10 people? I hate to tell you there wasn't much left over.

When my sister was leaving yesterday, Mom said thank you and that her presence would have been enough. I thought she said presents!

She was a little confused by the quilt at first. She didn't remember making the hexie flowers all those years ago. When it all sunk in, she got a little teary.

To end our beautiful evening, it started to snow! We were lucky on the coast with only a dusting.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Nonna's Garden

My entry for the Festival this Fall is my favorite quilt of the year: Nonna's Garden.

The whole quilt is only 12" on a side, or 24" widest point to point.

The 547 English paper pieced hexagons are 1/2" per side.

I was really proud of it even before it earned my first blue ribbon! A first place for Best Piecing at my local guild show, Ninigret Quilters.

Thanks so much to Amy for hosting this Festival for those of us who can't make it to Houston!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Finish!

My mother's birthday gift is done, 24 hours early! If you've been following along, you already know that she started the Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks about 20 years ago. Only the quilting angels know for sure how long those poor blocks sat untouched in her UFO pile, then mine.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out! I was worried about the maroon fabric running in the wash, but the quilt and the color catchers came out clean.

I didn't do a ton of quilting because it was a tight deadline and I wanted the quilt to stay soft. Mom liked the way I quilted the flowers in Nonna's Garden, so I did that again here. The quilt finished at 50" X 77"- a long lap quilt for a tiny lady!

I had to wait for Pete to get home from school to hold it up for photos. Too much shadow in the first shot.

The second is better, but the railing is in the way. Oh well, that's as good as it's gonna get.

Does every quilt need a name? How about Nonna's Garden 2? Nonna's Garden Maxi?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Welcome to my weekly status update, hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced. Since I added the WIP page up top, I don't list all the "on hold" WIPs here. It was taking up too much space! We'll just look at what is really being worked on.

Mom's Birthday Quilt: I haven't made as much progress as I had hoped on this one. This Grandmother's Flower Garden is her 20-year old WIP that I'm finishing as a surprise. Will it be done by Saturday? Yes!!

4x5 Modern Quilt Bee: As I was getting ready to put away the portable design wall, I realized that I never showed you all the wonderful blocks I received. I figured I'd better show them to you before the next round starts. I love the colors, except the border on my own block is a little too dark. I'm thinking about playing for one more round so I'll have 12 blocks. But if I'm still having fun, I might do the full year for 24 blocks!

Teeny Weeny Paper Piecing Bee: Sadly, this bee has come to a close. I'm waiting for one last block, then I can figure out to do with these cute 6" blocks.

I'm off to volunteer at church today, and hopefully get a little quilting in this afternoon. Pete starts Driver's Ed today! Eek!

Now, off you go...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fresh Fabric

What is it that draws us to new fabric? In my case, I think it was PMS. I needed to see something pretty!

My online retail therapy started at Fat Quarter Shop and continued at an Etsy shop called Sew Fresh Fabrics. Both orders were placed on Thursday, and both packages arrived on Monday. That's speedy service!

How about some Kate Spain? Terrain charm pack from SFF and the 1/2 yard cuts of Flurry and Terrain from FQS.

And some other goodies. The Lizzy House (Smartly Outfoxed) pack from FQS and the typewriter keys for Julia (Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket) from SFF.

And a fun stripe from SFF that goes with my 4x5 swap blocks. Border or binding, perhaps? I just realized I haven't posted all of the blocks that I received from the swap on this blog. I'll get right on that! In the meantime, you can see everything in the Flickr group. We were Hive 14.

We spent a fun family day in New Haven on Saturday. We had matinee tickets for Fela! which is an amazing Broadway show about Fela Kuti. We don't usually travel that far for a single event, so we left home early enough to visit the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. It has been on our list of places to go for 20 years!

As a former Geology major, I've always wanted to see the infamous "bronotsaurus" skeleton in the main hall. Check that off the list!

This Moa skeleton reminded Julia of Kevin in the movie Up!

I don't know anything about architecture, but I thought this building on the Yale campus was really pretty.

We're soaking up as much quality family time as possible before Julia goes off to college next Fall! We're planning a trip to the Boston Museum of Science in December to see the Pompeii exhibit.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to our two giveaway winners!

#1 is Helen, also known as Archie the Wonder Dog.

Helen will receive the green fabrics and a Christmas tree paper pieced lapel pin.

#28 is Erin, who blogs at Desiring Domesticity.

Erin will receive the pink fabrics and a Christmas tree pin.

Thank you to all of my new followers for joining me on this quilting journey. I hope I can maintain some interesting content to keep you coming back.

There's not much to show today. The applique is done on my mother's UFO/birthday gift and a small border was added. I ironed the backing last night, so it can be pieced and hopefully the quilt will be layered and basted today.

Julia made a skirt to go with her Halloween costume. She bought the carnival mask in Venice when we were there in August, so she wanted pieces to go with it. I found the butterfly wings at Target. She wanted a sparkly skirt that she could wear after Halloween, too, so she made one for under $10! It's a really cool brocade, but it spread silver glitter all over the house from the cut edges. She did a great job dealing with a tricky fabric, and even stitched her first zipper.

While Julia was sewing, Pete was studying. You have no idea how happy this sight makes me! He made the decision to do well in school this year (Thank you, God!), and his grades have improved dramatically. Funny how that works.

Have a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quilt Show Goodies

The Silent Auction of Miniature quilts at the Ninigret show was incredibly successful. The 28 minis made by our members brought in over $900 for two local charities!

This is the one that came home with me! Prue Holton made this little gem from a block print that she purchased in India. She was able to watch them being printed! I think it's a fascinating little piece and I'm so happy to own it!

I was happy that my mini hexie star went home with a friend!
The scrap table was my nemesis at the last show. I couldn't stand to even look at it. It was an unruly pile of fabric bits and pieces. This year, I decided to try to tame it with my collection of large wicker baskets. (I really didn't know I had that many big baskets!)

As I was putting fabric in the baskets, I found some pieces I had to have. Darn. I really didn't want to do that! But how could I leave these behind?

A fairly large piece of hand painted fabric!
A funky green that I need to research.
And a sweet pink polka dot.

Hello? Modern prints in the scraps? And a few of them are full fat quarters!

All for a few dollars in the donation jar!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanks Kate and a Giveaway!

I can't thank Kate Spain enough for posting about my wedding ring star quilt! All the comments have been so flattering and fun, and I'm trying really hard to not let it go to my head.

So for all of my new visitors, I thought I should share more about this Work in Progress.
(I got into more detail than I planned so you might want to skip down to the giveaway!)

My nephew married his long-time girlfriend last March. As soon as they got engaged, Christopher, Jamie and I started to plan their wedding quilt. When two of my nieces got married in 2004, my mother and I made quilts for them, which you can see here. The precedence had been set!

It was easy to select a pattern. It had to be a wedding ring! Jamie liked the Wedding Ring Star with an applique border. I highly recommend Judy Niemeyer patterns. They go together like a dream.

The three of us went browsing on the Fat Quarter Shop website to see what collections appealed to them. The couple picked a few of their favorites. Julia and I took that list with us to the Lowell Quilt Festival in August 2010, hoping to find most of the fabric in person at the vendors. We found a few layer cakes from the list and Fandango by Kate Spain was our favorite. We bought the layer cake and used those pieces to decide on fabric placement so I could buy the yardage needed.

OK, skip ahead several months. All that was done for Jamie's shower was 2 blocks (and a printed mock up of the top) and a couple of pillowcases.

Skip ahead to where things stand now. All the fabric is cut, and I have the pieces lined up on this big plastic tray, ready to go.

Here's one block with the border and binding fabrics. I'm using Kona Snow (oh, how I love Kona Snow) for the background of the blocks and the applique border. Then there will be a wide border of the brown print. The green will be used for applique stems and binding.

I need to make a total of 49 blocks, which I didn't want to piece all at once and risk messing them all up. I can comfortably work on about 16 at a time, and move the pieces I need to this smaller tray.

16 blocks done, 33 blocks to go!

I noticed last week that I was approaching 100 followers and I would need to have a giveaway. It looks like the link from Kate might get me to 100 today!

I just ran down to my LQS for some fat quarters of Fandango for 2 lucky winners. I'll also throw in something handmade, like a keychain lanyard or a seasonal paper-pieced lapel pin, to be made later today.

To enter, leave a comment telling me which colorway you like better, pink or green. Then tell us if you've ever made a wedding quilt for someone. I'll pick two random winners on Monday morning.

Good Luck! And thanks again, Kate!