Friday, September 28, 2012

Mod Pumpkin Mini

 I'm proud to report that I finished two small pieces yesterday. This is the second one.

It is a Paper Panache mystery block that I pieced a year ago.  Have I told you that I cheat? I print out the mystery patterns and color them in with crayons or colored pencils. Then I fit the pieces together to reveal the mystery! Sometimes, I actually pull fabrics and piece up the block. Most of the time, I staple the pieces together and file them for later. I'm glad I actually pieced this one!

For this pumpkin, I chose the Kaffe fabric for the border first and pulled the other fabrics to coordinate. I'm really enjoying the teal vine and chartreuse leaves. The gray in the background is a linen-like blend, but the binding is Kona medium gray. (It was already out!)

I quilted it up quickly with swirly vines in the background and parallel straight lines in the border. I left the pumpkin and leaves unquilted so they pop. I'm addicted to completely machine stitched binding!

Mod Pumpkin Mini
15" X 15"
Designed by Linda Workland
Paper Panache, Mystery Block #62

I'm on my way to our new Hobby Lobby store! I'm so excited!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Picture Perfect

 Here it is, Debbie! My Picture Perfect quilt is complete! Well, almost. I still need to add a label to the back. I'll use the Polaroid camera square that Debbie sent us as the center of the label.

I did some fairly simple straight line quilting, following the tilt of each block. I think it works.
 Here are some closeups of my favorite blocks.  If I didn't point it out, you might not have noticed that I made a mistake trimming up the blue seashell block.

For the back, I could have grabbed a yard of something from my stash, but while digging, I found a small pile of 8" novelty squares. I pieced them together too quickly, and flipped some upside down. Oh, well.

Details for posterity:
49 Polaroid blocks
35 swapped
14 kept for myself
Kona medium gray sashing
 28.5" square

Many thanks to Debbie from A Quilter's Table for organizing this fun swap! It really took off and I don't think she was prepared to be sorting and shipping out thousands of blocks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

All About Pete

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember that last year was all about Julia.  Now that she's happily settled at college, this year will be All About Pete! 

This year is his senior year of high school, so the requisite yearbook photo shoot took place last week. Pete and his girlfriend dragged me through a beautiful, but challenging, trail to get to this spot above Long Pond. I think this is my favorite shot, but he chose a different one for the yearbook. It will need some editing that I'm hoping I can do in PicMonkey because Photoshop scares me.

In the first of many senior year festivities, the senior members of the cross country team were honored last week at their last home meet. What a nice group of kids!
yes, I'm really that short.

 His band, Attractive Dan, played two gigs this weekend. Their talent is amazing! Pete totally rocks and was having so much fun on drums.

grainy iPhone pic

 Now for the most amazing thing...
He competed in his first triathlon!

Swim (1/2 mile)
the arrow is pointing at Pete
 Bike (16 miles)

Run (3 miles)


He placed 2nd in the under 19 year old category!

Maybe this should be his yearbook photo!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Update

 I think I'm a topper. I love piecing quilt tops.  It's the finishing that I have a hard time with!

The red & white top  that I started on Friday was completed on Sunday night. It will be added to my pile o' tops.

I am really happy with the pattern. I think it highlights the red charms quite nicely.  I used up almost every charm that I received in the swap. After the center was pieced, I decided the "star" points needed to continue into the border to complete the pattern.  I like the way it turned out, except it left me with a stray triangle!  I thought about removing it, but my new design consultant thinks it would leave too big of a white space.

I took a break from sewing to attend and volunteer at the South County Museum quilt show. The main exhibit hall is in this beautiful old building.

Our Girl Scout quilt was hanging proudly from the rafters.

This was my favorite view of the day: my friend Sid taking photos of the show on her new iPad!
All in all, a successful weekend!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sewing with Karen

 Yesterday, I spent the day at Karen's house.  If you haven't visited Sew Many Ways, go now! Karen is an organizational master! I'm so lucky to know her and call her my friend.

sorry for all the blurry cell phone pics

For our first sew in, I decided to dig out the red and white charms from the swap Karen organized in June 2011.  I chose the setting last fall, inspired by this quilt.  The white with tiny red dots is a Moda from my LQS, and the solid red is Kona Chinese Red.

At Karen's house, I was able to get all the setting squares done and laid out the top on her dining room table. I forgot to bring a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth to roll it up in, so I had to stack the rows to bring home. I started sewing the rows together last night.

Karen was inspired to dig out some swap blocks of her own. These are Civil War reproduction signature blocks. I won't tell you how long they have been ripening in her stash!

We have a date next week to visit our friend Jackie at her Things with Wings quilt show!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Polaroid Fun

Remember that pile of Polaroid blocks I showed you yesterday? Here they are!

I was so happy to be sewing something new! I swapped 35 blocks and had made 14 for myself which worked out perfectly for a 7x7 layout. It is sashed with Kona medium gray.  Now to decide on borders (or not) and quilting.


Today I'm off for a *sew in* day with Karen at Sew Many Ways!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Swap Roundup

Just a quick post to show you what's going out, and what has come in!

IN: The Picture Perfect Polaroid blocks arrived yesterday! Debbie went above and beyond on this one.  The swap exploded beyond her expectations. Thank you Debbie!

 IN: I received my Summer Scrappy Mug Rug last week from Oh Sew Liz. Isn't it sweet? I love the little extras, too.  Thanks, Liz!

 OUT: The Summer Scrappy Mug Rug that I made for Jan was shipped again! Exactly two weeks after I shipped it out to California, it arrived back in Rhode Island. I did not write out her address correctly (missed a digit in her street number), and back it came. UGH! I shipped it out again, priority with tracking this time, and she should receive it today, hopefully no worse for wear with 9000 miles logged!

OUT: Low Volume Swap charms were shipped this week.

I'm off to play with Polaroids today!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Giant Bulletin Board Tutorial

Before Julia left for college, I had a Tool Time Tuesday inspiration! I thought she would need/want a bulletin board and something large to cover up as much of those cinder block walls as possible. So off we went to Home Depot!

Step 1: Shopping.  We bought a 4'x8' sheet of foam insulation. It is light weight and relatively inexpensive (about $10). As we were wandering around the store trying to find it, a very helpful man asked what we were looking for. When I told him, he asked, "What are you going to do with that?!" I was tempted to answer, "None of your business," but I explained and he led us to the foam.

I assumed that a 4'x8' sheet of foam would not fit in my minivan, so I asked the nice man to cut off 3 feet from one end, which he wouldn't have done if I had been cheeky earlier. That did the trick, but you might need to cut more to fit it in your vehicle.

We also bought a canvas drop cloth (under $10) and a can of spray paint (Valspar Exotic Sea). We already had some Command Poster Strips.

For about $30, we have enough supplies for three large bulletin boards!
You can tell we're in Home Depot from the reflection of the orange shopping cart!

Step 2: Cut the foam to the desired size. Julia's is 2 feet x 5 feet. This is easily done with a straight edge and a utility knife on the garage floor. This left us with two extra pieces: another 2x5' and the 3x4' that was cut off in the store.

Step 3: Cut your canvas a few inches larger than the foam, all the way around. (Iron the creases out of the canvas if your grandmother is watching.)

Step 4: Stretch the canvas around your board and tape to the back. We used teal duct tape! Try to make your corners neat, like wrapping a gift. (This step may require supervision from Grandma and brother's girlfriend!)

Step 5: Take another silly picture! (optional)

Step 6:  Take a break to attend the American Idol concert. Visit with Rhode Island's Erika Van Pelt after the show. (optional but so cool!)

Step 6: Design a border pattern.  Draw it on freezer paper, cut it out and iron it to the canvas. Freezer paper is only 15" wide, so we taped two lengths together. It is waxy on one side and will stick to fabric when heated with a hot, dry iron. This will mask off the part you don't want to paint. If you want a straight border, you could use tape instead.  How about stripes?  Oooo.

Step 7: Take it back out to the garage and spray paint the border. We don't know why the freezer paper bubbled. It may have something to do with the foil layer on the foam insulation. It didn't affect the outcome. (Try to not get spray paint on your new white socks.)

Step 8: When the paint is dry, peel off the freezer paper and reveal a *perfect* border.  There was a little paint leakage under the freezer paper. Perfection is overrated.

Step 9: Embellish as desired.  Julia had the brilliant idea to paint a black line at the edge of the border. It gave the whole piece a Seussian vibe and covered most of the spray paint leaks. (Try to keep your hair out of the paint!)

Step 9: Hang the board in your dorm room using Command poster strips. This was actually our plan B. Plan A failed and the board fell off the wall. So Julia had to rehang it using 5 poster strips across the top and it seems to be holding well. Five strips may be overkill, but we don't want it to fall again. (College students living in dorm rooms need an assortment of command hooks!)

Step 10: Take photos of your awesome new bulletin board in your dorm room. I should have taken photos with the good camera on move in day, but I was too busy trying not to cry. Julia had to take these with her phone.

If you make one, I'd love to see it! Email photos to me at tinastitches (@) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A New Chapter

If you've bounced over from Sew Many Ways

Our family has entered a new chapter. Our amazing daughter is now a freshman at Siena College.

Before we packed up, there was some crafting to finish! We made a giant bulletin board for her dorm room. I'm planning a whole post about it as soon as I get a photo of it hanging in her room.

All this and more was transported in the back of my minivan to her dorm.  Are you sensing a color theme? Do you  believe she packed light? Her roommate brought much, much more!

She's a happy girl!

There is a popular Pin making the rounds on Pinterest about ironing fabric shapes to walls.  Julia had done this years ago with a fabric panel from Ikea, so we know it  works. The night before we left for NY, I cut out letters for Julia and her roommate in their favorite colors.

She had to stand on her desk to iron the letters in the perfect spot! While she was up there, a photographer came in to take photos of the families on moving in day. He said he had been in 400 rooms that day and had not seen anything like it.  He wondered why everyone was not doing it because it was the coolest thing he had ever seen!  Yeah, we're cool like that!

Visit This Thrifty House for instructions. Sharon's post is great!

To get to Siena from my sister's house, we had to cross this bridge. We've called it the Flying Geese bridge since the kids were little. It is actually the Thaddeus Kosciuszko bridge.

After Julia was settled and off to orientation, we had some fun!  Bill and Pete went white water kayaking at Sacandaga Outdoor Center. They had been rafting several times, so Bill's nephew (a guide at SOC) suggested an upgrade to the kayaks.
(I did not go kayaking.  My sister and I had pedicures!)

We're all doing fine so far, but I expect the effects of our new reality will hit me soon.