Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival and Sandy

Thank you to Amy for sending a reminder email about the Bloggers' Quilt Festival! I've been connecting to the internet sporadically since Hurricane Sandy blew through our coastal Rhode Island town. We have been without electricity since about 2:30 Monday afternoon. Fortunately, we still have running water and a gas stove, so we can shower and cook a little. My mother's building never lost power, so I moved some food to her refrigerator.  We are so grateful that all our friends are safe and sound. Restaurants and friends with power and wifi are so helpful! I'm posting this from a Staples hot spot.

It is heartbreaking to see the damage that has been inflicted on our beloved beaches, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the devastation in New York and New Jersey.  Our prayers are with all of you who have lost so much.

On to the quilt!  Almost two years ago, my Girl Scout troop had an idea to make a traveling quilt for when they would all head off to college.  (Like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but with a quilt!) Each girl chose her own fabrics from my stash and a pile of Girl Scout prints that I was hoarding for just such an occasion.  We also dyed our own fabric with Kool Aid in the microwave, so some of that fabric was used, too. The girls all chose their own block patterns, some from books or online sources, and others were original creations designed on graph paper.  The hexie block is mine!

Since the blocks were all different sizes, I "sashed" two sides of each block with Girl Scout prints to make them all the same size.  I was happy to have enough of the green cookie print for the border, but I wish I had not used that same print to sash Maia's pretty paper pieced block in the top row.

The quilt was completed in time to hang from the rafters in the South County Museum quilt show.

I named the quilt Girl Scout Sisterhood! It is currently keeping Liz cozy at the University of Richmond. It will soon travel to Emily at the University of Maine. I can't remember the exact order after that, but here's the rest of the list:
Julia at Siena College in Loudonville, NY
Ashley at University of Massachusetts in Fitchburg
Genevieve and Ashley at Rhode Island College
Catherine at the University of Rhode Island
And back to Maia for her Gold Award ceremony in June.

Thanks again, Amy, for hosting the festival. I can't wait to have power restored so I can visit all the inspirational entries!

Blogger's Quilt Festival Stats
Girl Scout Sisterhood by Girl Scout Troop 554

Completed size: 60 X 75"
 Techniques used: paper piecing, fabric dying
Best Category: Group or Bee Quilt, Throw Quilt
Home Quilted by: Tina Craig, troop leader

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mother's birthday. We're happy to have here here at our house, riding out the storm. At this time, Hurricane Sandy is battering the north east coast of the US. Praying that our family and friends are all safe and sound.

Birthday bouquet from my cousin.

We celebrated mom's birthday all weekend, with my sister and Julia in town! I did a lot of cooking, so I didn't have time to take pictures. Here are the Pinterest recipes I tried for the first time.

Apple Crisp
This was perfect for after the football game.

Butternut Squash Gratin
Yum! We would have liked it better without the onion. My grandmother made a delicious butternut squash. This wasn't it, but it was good anyway.

Autumn Chopped Salad
We all needed seconds (and thirds)! I'm glad I have enough ingredients leftover to make it again.

Pistachio Cake
Pistachio is my mother's favorite ice cream, so I figured she'd like the cake. She loved it! She was wishing there was pistachio ice cream, too, but we thought that would be overkill. Vanilla was fine.

Oh, look! There is one slice left!  I'll stick a candle in it later so we can sing Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tuesday Triangle Table Topper

 Last night, I put the binding on this table runner. It will be my entry in the Rhode Island Modern Quilt Guild all-solids challenge AND the Pink Castle Fall for Solids contest on Threadbias. The design is inspired by Little Miss Shabby's Triangle Toss quilt. I don't have the magazine it was published in, so I figured it out using a block size that would work for a runner.

You might remember that I pulled the fabrics based on this color palette that I created here.

I wanted to do some big stitch hand quilting with some #5 perle cotton I had in the stash. I used gray thread around most of the triangles, but switched to yellow thread for the gray triangles. It was not easy! If you are considering quilting with perle cotton, I would suggest a thinner thread. My fingers are still sore from tugging so hard on the needle to pull the stitches through. Live and learn!

 I also should have spray basted. I always forget that I have a can of basting spray and it works great! It's not the flattest piece I've ever made. The surprising green on the back was purchased years and years ago. I have 4 yards of this horrible poly blend from Walmart that was supposed to be made into a Statue of Liberty costume. (Julia changed her mind about that one!)

 It's not a bad piece, and I enjoyed stepping out of my color comfort zone. I love how the triangles float as if they were tossed onto the background.

Finished size: 12.5" X 36.5"

Linking up with:

Find a Friend Friday

Finish it up Friday

Saturday, October 20, 2012


 Just a quick post before I head out for the day.

It was great to see Jackie this week here in Rhode Island! We met for a quick dinner on Wednesday, where we commiserated about daughters in college and guild politics.  Then my mother and I went to her lecture on Thursday night. Look how cute she is! (And not dorky at all!)

I was busy this week making some paper pieced lapel pins. I'm so lucky to have a friend willing to sell them for me. I'm a horrible business person. I'd rather just sew!

We have some fun weekend plans:
White elephant sale (older folks selling great vintage items!)
Quilt Show at Quilters by the Sea
Marine Corps band concert
Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Pete's best friend

It's time to get started!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fun with Triangles

 Add another piece to the UFO pile! Here is the Tossed Triangle table runner that I pieced on Tuesday morning. Maybe I should call it "Tuesday Triangle Table Topper!"

It looks pretty cool on the end of Julia's bed.

File this pic in the "keeping it real" file. I'm trying to not completely overrun this room with quilting stuff, but there you go. Not too bad yet, but more than I need for today.

In the midst of multiple volunteer obligations yesterday, I managed to get some little paper piecing done. These will be turned into lapel pins later today. A friend of mine (Kate, a very talented basket maker) will be selling them in her booth at the Quilters by the Sea show this weekend.

I'm off to piece more pin parts!

P.S. and F.Y.I.  Don't put your laptop on top of your cutting board, especially if it gets as hot as mine. The heat will warp your board quite quickly! Luckily, mine flattened right out, but why risk it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A New Space

Julia has only been out of the house for a few weeks and I've already taken over her bedroom! It's the perfect place for my new sewing space. It's on the sunny side of the house so I don't feel like I'm in the dungeon. I can spread things out on the bed, the desk is the perfect height for cutting and I bought an adjustable portable table for my machine. When she comes home, I can quickly tuck everything away, back to the basement. The stash and supplies are still down there (safely stored in the dark), so when I need anything, I get some exercise going up and down two flights of stairs. And I have to walk across the hall to use the iron in my room. (My husband, the creature of habit, might have a stroke if I moved the ironing board in here!)

That's an Ikea print fabric attached to the wall with Heat & Bond.

Today I'm working on a table runner in all solids for the RI Mod Guild challenge. It is inspired by Little Miss Shabby's Triangle Toss pattern and I'm using the color palette I showed you last week.

I can't stop photographing these beauties. That's mama near the road.

Have a sunny day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Color Palettes

I've been playing with color palettes and wanted to share what I've found.

I'm sure you're all familiar with Design Seeds. This fabulous site provides seemingly endless color palettes based on gorgeous photos. Here's one of my favorites.

But what if you want to create a palette from one of your own photos? There are several free options out there for that! I really like the Palette Builder on Play Crafts. You simply load an image from your computer and a palette is generated. You can adjust the number of colors and the variety, then save your palette. Here's my little friend again.

Next I tried DeGraeve's Color Palette Generator. On this one, you enter the URL of an image, which means it needs to live online. Pull one from your own website or flickr photostream, or anywhere online. I can't figure out how to save the palette, so I took a screen shot to show you.

Judy featured Chip It! from Sherwin Williams several months ago. This is a great one if you are in the market for new paint colors. It works a little bit like Pinterest in that you can Chip photos online as you surf. The original links are preserved, which is nice. Create a free account and your palettes will be saved. (Again, I had to take a screen shot.)

 I'm sure there are more options out there. Let me know if you have a favorite.

So now what? I started with all this because I need to make an all solids table topper for a Mod Guild challenge. Let's see what happens with this sunrise photo.

Here's my stack of solids, ready to go. Not bad!

Black, Medium gray, Flamingo, Snow, Banana, Brown

Now to choose a pattern. Pinterest and flickr are calling!

Friday, October 5, 2012

DIY Pumpkin Kit

This is an oldie, but a goodie! I wanted to prepare these fun kits for my daughter's new college friends, and I couldn't find a tutorial online that matched what I had done in the past.  So here you go!

 In each kit, you will need:
1 roll of cheap toilet paper
1 fat quarter of orange fabric
12" strip of green fabric or ribbon
Printed instructions (or just explain to your group)
A paper lunch bag to put it all in
(Use the green strip to tie up the bag.)

How to make your pumpkin:

1.  Open up the orange fabric and place it on the table with the wrong side facing up. The patterned side should be facing the table.
 2.  Put the toilet paper in the center of the fabric.  Cheap single rolls work best if you are packaging them in the lunch bags. The double rolls we usually use didn't fit in the bags!

(Did you see the bite taken out of the corner? I used it to die cut the little pumpkin to decorate the bag.)

3. Pull up the corners and edges of the fabric, wrapping the toilet paper, and stuffing the excess into the hole of the paper roll.

Don't pull the fabric too tight.  Leave it a little loose and it will look more like a pumpkin.

4.  Roll and twist the paper bag into a stem and stick it in the center of the roll.

5. Tie the green strip around the stem to look like leaves.

If you are going to make one kit, you may as well make a bunch!  This is a great project for quilt guilds, stitching buddies, scouts and other groups of kids. The first time I saw this, the bag was not decorated. We were all given a bag and told to open them at the same time. We all wondered why we were given a roll of toilet paper!


Enjoy Pumpkin Season!  As I'm typing this, I have a pumpkin bread in the oven that smells heavenly!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WIP Wednesday

 I'm a little late posting today, but here goes...

Finishes: (Yay! I finished two things last week!)

New on the To Do List:
(10) Drawstring book bags for the religious education classes at church.
Table Topper for my friend, Janet. 
Sample name tag for RI Mod Guild.

On Hold:
The Wedding Ring quilt is at the quilter until early November.

Paper pieced lapel pins for fall and winter craft shows.
Ninigret Quilters Guild raffle quilt.
Pile o' Tops.

OK, time to link up! Be sure to head over to Freshly Pieced. My friend Debbie is guest hosting today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Random Fresh Fabric

 It was a fun fabric weekend! I visited our new Hobby Lobby on Friday. I was the first customer at the fabric cutting table! I wasn't looking for anything specific, so I picked up some Sponge Bob, coordinating Kona solid in Lagoon, and a fun stripe. All for 30% off!

Text prints are hot right now, so I picked up the Christmas print at HL. My LQS, Folk Art Quilts, was having a sale this weekend, and I found another great text print there. This one is Hometown by Sweetwater.

More random yumminess from Folk Art Quilts.

The RI Modern Quilt Guild met at Ryco on Saturday afternoon. I picked up more Kona solids for a secret project in Citrus and Bahama Blue. The red ric rac is for Christmas mug mats, and I need the teal webbing to replace the handles on a t-shirt tote bag.  The teal suede lacing was on sale! Maybe Julia can use it.

We've had some daily visitors lately! This cutie is usually accompanied by two other little ones and a mama, but I didn't see mama today. I hope she's OK.

I spent the morning sorting through hundreds of cross country running photos for the high school coach, other parents and the yearbook. I can't believe it is almost 1:00 already.  Time flies when I sit down at the computer!