Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mother's birthday. Isn't she the cutest octogenarian?

Julia and Pete spent a few minutes at the chalk fair at school today. It's supposed to foster school spirit.

We spotted some blooming spring flowers that didn't get the memo that it is the end of October! And we don't live in Australia.

Pete took this one for me out the car window as we left the orthodontist's office.

It went something like this...
Me: Pete, take a picture of that bush for me.
Pete: Really, Mom?
Me: Yes, really.
Pete: For the blog?
Me. Yes. Just take the picture. A car is coming.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wasting Time

I should be making phone calls, running errands, grocery shopping, or cleaning the house. But I'm not. I'm reading blogs and making these:

I want to make these for every holiday! They are the perfect size to fill with candy or jewelry. Monica's Halloween Itty Bitty Poochie Bags are super cute!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quilt Show Part 2

The whole family drove down to the show Sunday afternoon, but the boys had to rush home for the Patriot's game.

Julia did a great presentation of Quilts of Valor. She demonstrated Heartstrings and handed out QOV cards. Eight QOV's made by guild members were displayed. More than a dozen members participated in her Silver Award project. It was a huge success!

Julia is wearing my rainy day project: a selvage skirt! I saw a photo of Paulette's skirt on the Selvage Blog and had to make one. I'm planning to write a tutorial this week. The skirt was a huge hit at the show, and most of the selvages hold memories for Julia.

Josh had to visit his quilt. He'll be happy to get it back.

One of the founders of our guild, Barbara W Barber, has made a couple of series of people quilts. The latest series was made for a school presentation, so they are kids size. They all have cutouts to stick your face in for photos.

Pete as Harry Potter...

and Honest Abe.
(This kids cracks me up!)
Josh as Hannah Montana and Julia as Dustin Pedroia!

Our guild treasurer is moving to Arizona today, so I organized a signature block collection for her. (Hence the Super Simple Signature Block Tutorial.)
I couldn't just hand her a pile of blocks, so I thought I'd make a fabric box, like the ones in the book by Linda Johansen. I wanted a custom size, which I thought I could manage, but it was an epic failure!
Plan B: The Friendship Bag. It needed this fabric flower with a pin back, so she can take it off the bag and pin it anywhere. Perfect!
Sandy loves batiks, so we asked people to use them in the blocks. It is a wonderful assortment, and I hope she has fun putting them together.

One last show photo: my purchases. I tried to restrain myself because I already spent a lot on quilty things in the past 2 weeks. A guild member is an expert basket maker, and I had to have this one! I bought the fabric from a shop I haven't been to yet, Just Quilts. It's at the other end of Rhode Island- a full hour drive! I'd have to pack a lunch!

Julia and I helped take down the show, and as we left, she said how much she loves Ninigret. The show and the guild feel like home to her. The quilters have known Julia and Pete since they were born. They see Julia occasionally at meetings, but they were surprised to see how tall Pete has gotten. They love the fact that Julia is a quilter.

Well, it was a full weekend. Definitely inspirational. I'm ready to get started on Christmas gifts and stocking up for craft fairs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quilt Show Part 1

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the Ninigret Quilters show, Block by Block.

This is Barbara Smith's 4th of July, from a Judy Niemeyer pattern. I teased you yesterday with just a glimpse of this one, hanging next to my Wildflowers. Isn't it great? This pattern is on my list of things to make someday.

Ellie Coffey is slightly addicted to French Braid Quilts from Jane Miller's book. I love how this one glows!

When I was hanging this Trip Around the World by Fran O'Connell, I wanted to just sneak it to my car! I want to roll around in it. Or eat it! All Kaffe Fassett fabrics. (The yummy log cabin variation draped on the chair is Ellie's.)

Rachel's Quilt by Prue Holton has a lot of Kaffes, but they seem toned down by the addition of the blues. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Rose Koretski made this quilt, Star Treatment, from fabrics she received as a gift from friends when she was unable to take the bus trip to Lancaster because she had shingles. It's a beautiful way to showcase a collection of batiks.

I would have posted earlier today, but I was busy with a new project. Here's a hint...

Tutorial coming soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quilt Show Set Up

Phew! Setting up for a quilt show is quite a workout! I'm sore all over. In just a few hours, we turned an empty old armory from this...

into this! (The ladders are waiting for the last quilt to be retrieved from a teenager's bed and hung this morning.)

If you are in Rhode Island, or anywhere in southern New England this weekend, we do hope you'll make the trip to our show. Julia will be doing a Quilt of Valor demonstration on Sunday at 2.

I took a few photos of our quilts on display. I'll show you more later.
The lighting on Geese in the Forest is horrible.

The Ninigret QOV.

A bunch of Easy Overlay, including my Mini (the smallest one), from a workshop I taught in March.

Wildflowers- even worse lighting.

I worked on a secret project last night that I'm really happy with, but I can't show you until Sunday. Have a quilty weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ready for the Quilt Show

Our guild show is this weekend and set-up starts tomorrow. I'm not sure where this procrastination gene comes from, but I do know I've passed it on to my kids. My quilts are ready to go, but Julia still needs to finish binding the QOV and put a label on it and on Josh's quilt.

I'm so happy that my Geese in the Forest is finished. I love it!
Thank you, Anina, for this fun BOM project!

I wasn't sure how to quilt it, but I knew I wanted an all over random pattern. I doodled on paper until I found the look I was after, then started quilting.

I also finished Wildflowers, from Bonnie Hunter's Weed Whacker pattern. I was really happy with the top and the stash it used up. I was lazy and skipped the pieced border.

The top row (the bottom in the photo) was made from leftover strip pieces cut into bricks and the leftover triangles from the weed whacker piecing. I had a few of these blocks left over from Lily's quilt.

I'm not crazy about the quilting on this one. I realized over the past couple of weeks that I really enjoy machine quilting small quilts, say under 50". But I don't enjoy free-motion on larger quilts. From now on, I'll be farming out those jobs to my friend, Pat. Live and learn.

I made this tessellating hexagon table topper 2 years ago after I saw the Simply Quilts episode with Martha Thompson. We have a mass of bittersweet in the backyard this year, so I plopped a bunch in my hand-painted Italian pitcher from Florence. That's about as far as I've gotten with Fall decorating. Sad, but true.

Sending happy thoughts to Karen.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Girl Scout Fabric!

WOOOHOOO! I've been waiting 10 years for this! Check out the complete line of Girl Scouts fabric from Robert Kaufman. It's so cute! Julia & I can't wait to get our hands on some. Kaufman has some patterns for useful things like a sleeping bag tote, sit-upon and cookie sale organizer (how awesome is that?)!

eQuilter and Alderwood Quilts have most of them. Buy some today! Make them sell out faster than the Boy Scout fabric, so they'll have to print more & more.

Jumping for Joy!

Thank you, Robert Kaufman and GSUSA!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ink-lique' Fun

I took a class today with Sherry Rogers-Harrison and learned her Ink-lique' technique. Fun! It's coloring for grownups! Here is Sherry (on the right) with her award winning quilt, Tribal Fusion. All the black is ink! It is stunning! Go visit her website for more inspiration:

Here is my class piece. We were lucky to be able to purchase the kit which contained a pre-quilted square. We spent the entire day coloring it in with jelly roll pens and identi-pens. Color selection was the hardest part. I used my current kitchen and bath colors. I finished coloring in the last 2 borders, but it still needs a little something.

Look at this gorgeousness made by Leslie, the quilt shop owner. Gotta love those hot fix crystals!

In other news...
I had a bunch of stuff to prepare before our guild meeting on Wednesday. I made my first ATC since March or April. This month's theme was "Creatures Great and Small." I figured a Halloween bat fit the bill. He needs crystal eyes!

Here's the pile of donation quilts that have finally been finished and removed from my house.

They all needed labels, so I prepared a pile of them.

I had to pick these late bloomers before the frost.

I've got less than a week to finish 2 quilts for our show next weekend. I'd better get back to my machine!
Have a fun, stitchy weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Crafting

I've been having fun cleaning out my sewing/quilting/crafting space this weekend. In the process, I found some supplies I had forgotten about and made some quick crafts.

A couple of weeks ago, I started this embroidered piece from Happy Zombie. I finished it into a pillow using an orange remnant I picked up on Friday from Joann's for $2.50. Pete just said he thinks it's creepy, but Julia & I like it.

A few months ago, I bought 1/2 gross of ring blanks from Rings & Things. The rhinestone jewels were pins that I picked up at a consignment shop for a few dollars each. I cut off the pin back, but it needed to be filed flat with a dremel. I love these rings!

Some old and new buttons from the stash and my favorite adhesive, Bond 527, and we have a pile of cute button rings. These were inspired by WhiMSy love. Her vintage buttons are soooo much cuter than mine.

I needed a project to take to Pete's doubleheader yesterday so I grabbed a bunch of t-shirt yarn. Seven innings later, and T-tote Two was complete!

Saturday night, Pete took this photo out of the car window in Newport. We were on our way to see our favorite guitarist, Peppino D'Agostino. It was Grandma's first time seeing him, and she enjoyed the concert as much as we did. We were happy to introduce Peppino to 3 generations of fans!

If I could just stop sneezing and blowing my nose, it would be a perfect weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

BFF & LOL Wall Chat

A couple of weeks ago, Peggy Ackfeld called me out of the blue and asked if I could make some little quilts to hang from the decorative wire hangers that her husband makes. Sounded like fun to me, so she shipped me some hangers.

How cute are they?! Ackfeld Wire calls this new line Wall Chat. Peggy was having a hard time finding someone to take on this challenge. The lovely people at Fons & Porter recommended me (I had a similar design published in their magazine in 2001).

The original plan was for me to make 3 quilts for a magazine ad. Since I finished these two a little earlier than expected, Peggy asked me to ship them to her hotel in Houston, so she could display them in her booth at Quilt Market. Woo Hoo! I wish I could be there in person, but I'm thrilled to have sent my little quilts.

The patterns will be in my Etsy shop as soon as I can get them together. I think I'll try a PDF pattern. The 5" blocks are paper-pieced, with a vinyl pocket pieced in. The pocket allows the flexibility of changing out photos as kids grow.

Thanks, Katie, for emailing photos of Lily and Anna last night. They are the cutest girls ever and perfect in the LOL quilt!
Thank you, Leah, for making free motion quilting look so easy.
Thank you, Peggy, for the opportunity!