Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome to My Mess

I have deadlines quickly approaching. I went looking for the Ninnie Nines quilt top that needs to be quilted, like now. There it is in the basket under the sideboard, tucked behind the design wall. OK, the backing fabric is there, along with some solid white (that I thought was lost), and backings for three other tops. Why is that paper bag of batik scraps under there?

I haven't found my bowl full of basting safety pins yet. Not in this pile on the piano bench.

Not in this pile of crap on and under the table behind the loveseat.

Not in this jumble of mess on the dining room table.

Which means it's down here somewhere. Yikes!
(Why is that football toy box in the middle of my stuff?)

Keeping it real, folks!

Added 2:20pm: Found the pins!  Remember that bag of batik scraps under the sideboard? Under the scraps, I found the bowl of pins, machine quilting gloves, and all sorts of goodies. Yay!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Quilty Weekend

 I had the pleasure of attending three quilt shows in three days! On Friday and Sunday, I went to the Flights and Fantasies show at the New England Quilt Museum. Karen and I went on Friday, then I went back on Sunday with my husband and my mother to pick up my quilt.

I was thrilled that Karen Griska posted about my quilt on the Selvage Blog. It's her fault that I started collecting selvages!

Sue Reich displayed several botanical quilts from her collection of antique quilts. 

I love the setting "triangles" in the border of this state flower quilt made in 1933.

 This Daisy quilt from c.1930 looks so modern.

My mother was fascinated by the space suits. She doesn't remember seeing them on family vacations to Cape Kennedy and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. 

Bill was excited to see this replica of a Gee Bee R-1 racer. The original won the 1932 Thompson Trophy, piloted by Jimmy Doolittle. Bill's father grew up near the Granville Brothers' factory, and he and his brother enjoyed watching the test flights.

On Saturday, I went show hopping with Karen (Sew Many Ways), Erin (Quilting in RI), and Ellie (no blog). We started out at the Silver City show in Taunton. MA. For a young guild founded in 2007, it was an impressive show! We were happy to meet the maker of the Best in Show quilt, Janet Elia.  
(This photo from my phone is horrible. Please click over to Janet's blog for a better view.)

After lunch at The Best Sandwich Shop, we went to the Blackstone Valley Quilters' show in Cumberland, RI. They had the most wonderful raffle baskets. One was filled with 200 fat quarters! Fabric shopping at Ryco and a quick run through a flea market rounded out our day.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ooh Rah!

I promise this will be the last post about Pete for a while. (My facebook friends will be relieved!) This blog will return to its focus on quilting!

I didn't get a "first day of school" photo this year, but I got a "leaving for the Marines" pic instead!

We met Pete at MEPS in Boston yesterday morning. He was tired (4:15 wake up call), but excited to be processed and ready to go. He gained 15 pounds of muscle since he first went to MEPS last December. The swearing in ceremony was quick, but nice. They asked the boys (all boys this week) to introduce themselves and say why they joined. Pete said he wants to be a warrior. His contract is for MOS 0321, Reconnaissance. We recently watched a military channel documentary about Force Recon that describes them as a clandestine group of nearly superhuman special operatives. We were surprised he didn't say that! (Watch the preview video here.)

This is what my amazing son posted to facebook before he left:

Well, the time has finally come. My epic, life changing quest to become one of America's most elite warriors will soon begin. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far and thank you to those who will be with me down the road. Words can not express how humbled I am to be joining a group of outstanding men and women with such a rich history and profound reputation. Forever shall I strive to maintain that reputation. See you all in three months. SEMPER FIDELIS.

After we said good bye and I cried again, Bill and I walked up to the North End for lunch at Regina's and cannoli at Mike's. Then we headed over the bridge to Charlestown to see the USS Constitution again. Bill has been reading the book Six Frigates about the founding of the US Navy. He was looking at cannons and masts. 

I was looking for every mention of the Marines who served on Old Ironsides. This display says, "Americans aboard shallow-draft gunboats engaged the Tripolitans in savage hand-to-hand combat." Which Americans do you suppose they were? The Marines, of course! There were 270 seamen and 50 Marines on the crew at the time.

The Marines have worn the coolest uniforms since 1797! I bought a hurdy gurdy that plays the Marine Hymn and a magnet and postcard with an image from a Marine Corps WWII recruiting poster.

We got "the call" that he had arrived in Parris Island at 11pm. I was expecting it to be in the middle of the night, so 11 was a great relief. He sounded good, but stumbled on his scripted speech when I yelled Love you!
I joined the Marine Family Network, so all my discussions about Pete in boot camp will happen over there. I will spare you the gory details! I'm off to write my first letter to my recruit.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

432 Triangles

 Ninigret Quilters hosted a fantastic workshop with Marianne Hatton this week. (I'll post more to the Ninigret blog soon!) The title of the workshop was "It Takes Two Triangles" but it really takes 432! 

Since we had cut all the triangles at home, we were able to jump right in. We started with a discussion of fabric selection and values, then we designed our own blocks. The exercises were fun because we got to play with paper and glue before moving on to fabric.

I briefly toyed with the idea of making another T quilt, but I was out voted.

I decided on another traditional block. I'll post the name when I find it. It is called North Wind. I had time to piece 6 of the 36 blocks in class.

Once I got into a rhythm (and stopped sewing triangles backwards), each block took 10 minutes to piece. This represents 6+ hours of piecing.

Then the fun or rearranging began!

In this pic, you can see my piecing guide in the corner. My portable design wall was just the right size to lay this out. 

This last layout is our favorite, but I like the first one, too. I'll soon have another top to add to the to-be-quilted pile!

This was a really fun process. Thank you, Marianne!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday

At the top of the WIP pile is this fun nine patch swap top. It needs to be completed for the Ninigret Quilters show in October. If I can find my bowl of safety pins, I'll start basting soon. When our new mattress was delivered recently, I moved all the quilting supplies out of my bedroom, and now I can't find a whole pile of stuff. I hope it turns up soon!

Next on the list to be done is a baby quilt for my nephew's baby girl due in November. I have a pile of fabric and a pattern ready to go. More nine patches.

Then Pete's quilt will need to be finished in December. He leaves for boot camp next Sunday (sigh) and this will be his graduation gift.

Unfortunately, my Tee quilt will have to wait. 

 As always, it's time to link up and go surfing!

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Craft Book Month

Craft Buds is hosting a blog hop and link up party for Craft Book Month. It's a fun way to see projects from favorite books. I'm jumping in to show you our projects from Anita Grossman Solomon's Rotary Cutting Revolution. It is a few years old, but I'm still being inspired by it.

My largest completed project from this book was a quilt for a friend made with Anita's Arrowhead blocks in April. I had great fun attacking my batik stash in search of the more manly designs.

The pretty pink blocks were my test blocks and certainly didn't fit the theme of the quilt, so they became a Spring table runner.

When my daughter Julia decided to make a quilt for her boyfriend, she chose the Old Italian block from the same book. 

 Her Army boy loves his new quilt! She gave it to him at his graduation from boot camp in July.

 Of course there are UFO's, too. When I bought the book a few years ago, I started collecting striped fabric to make Xcentric and Concentric blocks.

The stack had gotten too large to fit on the shelf, so it was time to start stitching! Don't tell Julia, but I bought another stripe yesterday. (She tried to cut me off!)  I have an idea for how it could be a fun border for this future quilt.

 When Anita visited our guild in August, she taught the Anita's Arrowhead block, so out came my batik stash again.

If you can't take a workshop with Anita in person, her Craftsy class is the next best thing. And you'll get an e-book version of Rotary Cutting Revolution with the class. That's a great deal!

Thanks for visiting. Have fun hopping around the Craft Buds party.

Craft Buds

Friday, September 6, 2013

T is for Tina

Another quilt top is done and added to the to-be-quilted pile*. Yesterday I showed you the center of a new pattern coming soon from Anita Grossman Solomon, Anita's Tee. Today, the top is done!

Anita had given me a roll of her Make It Simpler Fusible Interfacing which I used on the center of this quilt. Anita designed it to control bias edges, so I was hoping it would help contain these blocks set on point.  Following the directions on the package, I cut the interfacing strips to the proper width of the quilt and fused them in place. I think you can see that there was some easing to do to control the bias. It worked like a charm! After fusing, the borders went on perfectly. The top is magically flat and square!

The border print from V&Co's Simply Color line was hiding when I pulled fabric for the T's. I found it when I went looking for a border and it couldn't be more perfect.

I couldn't resist adding small paper pieced T's for the corners. Without them, I would have needed to piece the top and bottom borders, which I didn't want to do on this piece. Oh, and I used the fusible interfacing on the edges of these blocks, too. The interfacing strip is 1.5" wide, which was overkill on a 3.5" block, so I cut it in half.

Isn't it fun when your mug coordinates with the quilt you are working on?

The boy leaves for boot camp in 10 days. He doesn't want us to make a big deal out of it. He views it as starting a new job, but we all know it's so much more than that. Nope. Not crying.

Fun Fact: This is my 600th blog post.

*The to-be-quilted (TBQ) pile is getting pretty tall! Is anyone else in the same boat? Would it help if we started a challenge? Do we need rules and prizes?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sneak Peek

When Anita Grossman Solomon visited Ninigret Quilters last month, she showed us her newest pattern for Anita's Tee. Isn't it awesome? Tessellations make me happy!

The pattern was just sent to Quiltmaker for a future publication. I was lucky enough to get a peek as a "pattern tester." In true Anita style, she has devised an ingenious method for piecing this block.  I've always wanted to make myself a Tee quilt. I drafted it once as a mini paper pieced block, but never actually pieced it. I couldn't wait to get started on this one!

I turned my blocks on point to make the Tees straight.  I used 12 different prints plus Kona Snow for the background. I'm planning to add a couple of borders before quilting this wall hanging for my sea glass-inspired bedroom. (I need to fix that one bad corner at the top of the darker green Tee in the second row from the bottom. It's staring at me!)

Why am I so fascinated by piles of trimmings? They are just so pretty!