Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yes, I'm still here

I realize I've been a bit quiet lately. The problem, really, is that my pictures and I never seem to be in the same place when I have a few moments to blog. I've been working in fits and starts on several things, so I figured I'd tell you about them, and post pics when I'm a) home and b) remember!! The mind is a terrible thing to lose, kids. :)

I finished the blocks for my Simple Abundance lap quilt. I need to find a day to either set up my design wall or lay it out on the dining room table to get a feel for design. Then I'll put it together and I'll have a flimsy ready to go!

I've also been working sporadically on my 2 quilt-alongs. I have perhaps 30 or so blocks done for AmandaJean's 9-patch quilt-along (only 40 or so behind. *sigh*), and a bunch of wonky log-cabin blocks done for John's quilt-along for Old Red Barn Co.--his is the third in their series of quilt-alongs, and you can see the rewards here.

I'm anxiously awaiting the parcel of fabric for my next block for The Beehive, for Belinda. The lucky Aussie girls all have theirs and are busily working already! And since next month will be my month, and my fabric will need to be posted the week before Halloween, I'm finalizing the fabric choices for my blocks. Once I'm sure (like, really REALLY sure), I'll take a deep breath, and then chop it up to send out to the other girls in the bee. They are so darn talented, I cannot wait to see what I get!

Finally, I have scrapped the initial blocks for a gift quilt for a friend's daughter's wedding this winter. I was just terribly unhappy with how the blocks were turning out, and was ready to tear my hair out. NOT the best way to create! I have no doubt that I will revisit these blocks in some other capacity sometime in the future, perhaps put together for Project Linus? But for now, I cannot stand to look at them anymore. Have you ever started a project and then changed enough or learned enough or found something out about the intended recipients that just made it no longer seem appropriate? Yeah, it's like that--all three. So, I'm daydreaming in the meantime. I have until January to get it done, and yes, I DO know it will be here before I can blink. But I have a couple of great, quick ideas that I think will be suitably groovy for a couple in their early 20s, gearing up to move to off-base housing as soon as he's done with his tour in Afghanistan this winter.

Now all I need is TIME!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Swap = SCARY!

So, I joined the autumn swap over at 4SQS, which is actually a winter/holiday mini-quilt swap. It's my first swap.

And I am absolutely stumped.

I've got just about a month until I need to start thinking about mailing it out to my partner. I know just what else will go along with the quilt.

I just haven't got a clue what to do for the quilt itself.

Her style is MUCH different than mine. Do I follow my style? Hers? Meet somewhere in the middle?

Every time I think I have it figured out, I start second-guessing myself. She'd like something Christmassy, and I have lots and lots of Xmas fabrics. No bigger than 20"x20". Stars? Coins? Improv piecing? Something more traditional?

Something tells me I may have several to give as gifts to other people as I work through this, trial and error. In the meantime, I'm back to overthinking. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

More giveaway goodness

You need to go over to the Missouri Quilt Co. blog. Now. Why?


A chance to win a free jelly roll of your choice. (Yes, I said dude.)

Also, it's Jelly Roll Week over there, so there are tutorials and sales as well as the giveaway.

You're still here? GO!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Yup, another giveaway. Melanie of The Fabric Shopper is doing a giveaway of 8 fat quarters from the My Happy Garden by Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud9 Organic Fabrics line to celebrate the opening of her new Etsy shop, Modern Organic Fabrics.

So go over here and check it out!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bee blocks, Quilt Along Blocks...

I spent an afternoon of quality time with my sewing machine today.

I got a great feel for the wonky log cabin blocks for the Old Red Barn Co.'s quilt-along (sorry the pic is a little dark, fall is officially here in the northeast and the sun goes down early!). It was SO much fun to whip these up, very free and soothing. I can see this coming together very quickly.

Once I got on a roll with these, I decided it was time to step it up a bit and tackle my Beehive blocks for Mel. She had such awesome fabric, and wanted traditional-ish (read, not totally traditional, but not wonky) log cabin blocks. So once I got over the terror of cutting into someone else's fabric...

I made this. And I really rather liked it. And there was so much fabric left over (Mel, if you're reading this, you were VERY generous!), that I went ahead made this:

Can you see the little owls? I love the little owls. And my husband loves them. Aaand now he wants me to find them so that I can make HIM a quilt with little owls. Anyone know where I might find some??

Oh, BUT there was still some fabric left, and I didn't want to short poor Mel, AND I was having such fun, that suddenly I had this:

I was running low on blues, so I added in that dark blue print at the top--it has a tiny cream geometric print in stitch-like dashes on it. It seemed to blend well with what Mel had sent me, so I went with it.

Aaaand then this happened:

And then I was really and truly done--there are only little schnibbles left of what Mel sent me, so I feel better that she has some to pick and choose from.

My husband wants to keep them, so I see something like this somewhere in my future work. ONE more thing to the list, yes?

All in all, I feel really good about the bee blocks for Mel, and I hope she likes them, too. I'll have them ready to ship on Tuesday morning.

Busy, with bees!

I have been a very busy bee the last week or so. Work, of course, has been insanity, between interviewing to fill a position, training two new staff members, AND the whole back-to-school/end-of-summer-reading cross over. When I can stop worrying long enough, I actually sleep like the dead, and really, no wonder!

But on the more interesting, crafty side of things, here's what I've been up to...

I got my greedy little mitts on a charm pack and a honey bun of Bonnie & Camille's new line, Simple Abundance. I must tell you that this line is the only one I really spent the entire summer on tenterhooks waiting for. So it wasn't long after they arrived that I just had to dip into them and start playing. Really, the fabrics are so beautiful, I went with simple charms framed with honey bun strips to show off the colors and prints. They come together quickly, and it has felt VERY much like playtime. YAY!

A bit of a sad yay for me--one of the few remaining LQS's in my area is going out. The owner is retiring, so it's not as sad as some closings in this economy. She is down to the last week or so, and everything in the store is 75-90% off. Above is some Kona Pearl Pink cotton, some Amy Butler (I snagged the last yard of it, and literally had to pull it away from someone who tried to take it out of my stack for herself. People are nervy when it comes to sales!!), some Kaffe Fassett dots. All for less than $2 a yard. Craziness.

I also managed to snatch up some gorgeous Hoffman and Bali batiks and hand-dyes. That dark green, I actually took the end of the bolt for an additional 10% off, so I have 4 yards. I have plans for that--keep your eyes peeled in coming months. You WILL see it again! But all of the yardage (I believe it wound up being about 26 yards total. EEK!) wound up costing under $60. How completely insane is that? I cannot tell you guys how shocked I was that there was even anything good LEFT there, let alone such amazing fabric at jaw-dropping prices.

And finally, I've joined in with Quilt Dad and Old Red Barn Co. for their third quilt-along (this is John's first time leading, and he is doing a GREAT job!) of Wonky Log Cabins. John's directions (suggestions, really) are to have strips from 1.5" to 3.5" for your blocks. I snagged 3 Moda Scrap Bags over the summer, and they are anywhere from 2-4" wide without their selvages. I have everything from Holly Taylor to Kansas Troubles Quilters to Polly Minick & Lauri Simpson's new Wicasset line from my bags, so with a few leftover honey bun strips of Bonnie & Camille's Simple Abundance, I think I'm ready to rock! Er, as soon as I've done some trimming and ironing, that is. I am very pleased with the variety of scraps that I got, and even more thrilled that all three actually worked together quite well, color wise. As it dips into the 40s and 50s here at night in New England (don't worry, it's still 80 during the day!), and I start to see the first peeks of fall color on the trees, it makes me think that a wonky log cabin quilt in rich fall colors may be just the thing to snuggle in by the end of the quilt along.

Coming up this weekend, my first bee blocks for The Beehive, and we'll see if I ever manage to iron anything so it's presentable!