Cat cave

Cat cave

Monday, April 30, 2012

{Small} Ticker Tape Parade

I was going to set this up to post tomorrow, but after hearing that others had issues with blogger lately, I decided to just go ahead and post.  So lucky you. You get two posts today.  Enjoy.

When we had the Table Topper Blog Hop, I made a Ticker Tape quilt in yellow.  I than quickly decided to start making more in other colors.  My plan is to hang them all up together above our bed.  We don't have a head board, so it would be great to put something so cool there.

When I made the first one, it was so simple to just grab yellow scraps.  It's my favorite color after all and all the yellows looked great together.  So today, when I decided to avoid delay making another Swoon block and make another ticker tape instead, I expected it to be just as easy.  It was not.  I decided to go green for number two.  Do you have any idea how many shades of green there are?

 I think it came out okay.  I had a bit of a time with the darker pieces.  I tried to spread them out so there was balance.  Even though these are taken outside, it is overcast and you can't see them too well.
 In this piece I did not include some of my green scraps for various reasons: too dark, too blue green, too yellow green etc.
 The piece with the little red hearts is from the first quilt I made and the green raindrops is from baby B's Jack and Jenny quilt.  Everything else is in between.  That's 20 years of quilting greens people.  I am amazed to see them all together like this.  Amy Butler, Laurie Wisbrun, Sweetwater, and some so old I have no idea who made them.  They didn't always put so much info on selvedges you know.
 And here they are together.  My first and second.  I used a yellow-ish, pink-ish, orange-ish for the binding.  I am happy with how it came out.
So what do you think?  Purple, red, pink, blue next?  So much fun awaits.
Have a great week.

Strawberries!

Just a little extra post today to show what I did with my morning.  I went to do my annual strawberry picking at a local berry farm.  I picked about 10 pounds and spent about 15 bucks.  Great deal if you ask me.  The season started about 2 weeks early due to the crazy warm weather we had.  It will probably end in mid-May too.  You should go pick if you love strawberries like we do.  Wanna see?

just washed

I use this colander every year

I love the aqua with the red

close up...mmmmmm

10 pounds is a lot!

So pretty.
Hope you have a delicious day!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A finish...and Another Swoon Block

I was able to quilt and bind my Hometown Quilt this week, and cross another item off my 2012 project list.  I started this quilt awhile ago.  Just looked and it was back in September.  It was a quilt I saw on Moda Lissa's blog, but the pattern came off of the Moda Bake Shop.  The piecing was fairly quick and easy, and then life got busy so I just folded it up and put it aside.  Part of the reason for that was I couldn't decide how to quilt it.

 I am a bit lazy when it comes to quilting in that I hate the process of marking the quilting pattern.  So I outline, or stitch in the ditch, or do an all over design.  But this quilt needed something else.  So I caved.  I made a template of houses.  It's a pretty small quilt after all, only about 43 x 50.  And I marked the whole thing.
 I used my walking foot and did the bottom lines first, all the way down to anchor the quilt.  Then I used my Bernina Stitch Regulator to free stitch the houses themselves.  The lines aren't too straight, but I don't care.
 I love the effect of the rows of houses...Hometown!  Get it?
 I used the grey scallops from the Ruby line by Bonnie and Camille for the back, with a red boarder.
 And here it is in its just washed crinkly goodness.  A perfect lap size.
                                            Here is the back.

Don't you just love the rows of little houses?  And now, my next accomplishment for the week:

 Swoon block number 7!!! I like this one so much.  It might just end up being the center block in my quilt.  I will audition it there as soon as they are all done.  Only 2 more to go...sew exciting!
Spent most of today helping my oldest daughter to nest.  Looks like baby B will be here sooner than originally expected.  Gotta get that dresser painted and loaded up with cute baby things.
Have a great week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bee Blocks and Swoon

So it's well past middle of the month and I knew I needed to finish up my bee blocks for the Comfort Quilt Bee.  I had one done and the other cut out and started.  Let me just say right here and now, that while I think this block is beautiful, it was tough to put together.

 Here are a bunch of the HSTs I had to make for one block...not too bad, right?
 But then they all had to be trimmed to 2 1/2 inches.  We are talking less than a quarter inch off of each one.  It was making me a bit crazy.  I have issues with fussy stuff like this.  I guess I am just a rebel when it comes to precision things.
 But they did turn out nice and I am pleased with the result.  I have to make the signature block and then they will be in the mail this week.  YAY!

I don't know if I have said this before, but the most important thing I learned in piecing these kinds of things was from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Shorten your stitch length and your squares and points turn out so much better, every time.  No one ever taught me that before.
During the piecing of these bee blocks I said, more than once that they were more trouble than the Swoon blocks.  Which reminded me I need to finish 3 more to have mine done.  So I decided to take a picture of all 6 that are done so far, to help inspire me to get off my butt and finish them.  So here they are.
Hope you have a great week.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Table Top Blog Hop-My Turn!

So if you've been hopping along this week, you know that we have all made small quilts that are displayed in a very cute table top frame, made by Ackfeldwire.  They have so many neat frames and the little decorative top is easily changed out to reflect the season if you wish.  If this is your first visit to the hop, please go through and check out some of the previous days entries.  There is some great talent here.  Now, on to my little quilty goodness.

Originally this blog hop was going to be in February, so I had planned something Valentine's Day related.  I wanted to try paper piecing, and I thought  heart would be pretty easy.  This was my second attempt, but alas, it was to big for what I had planned.  So I made a third one (the first ended up in the trash) and fit it into my quilt.

In my family the movie, The Princess Bride is a
particular favorite and for many years now, my husband has responded to many things I have said with "As you wish" which fans of the movie will recognize as Wesley's way of saying" I love you" to Buttercup.

So I had planned to put this into a small quilt for Valentine's Day for him, as my gift.  I got the heart made and the words done on separate pieces of fabric and put it all together with a red border. 

I have done several pieces of quilting lately with pebble quilting and he really likes it, so naturally, I decided that's how it should be quilted.
 And here it is in all its glory.  He loved it.  I love it.  And it sits in our living/dining room where we can see it all the time.
 This angle shows off the quilting a bit better.  The paper pieced heart is not quilted at all so it stands out.  Then, with it being spring and all, I wanted to make another one.  I recently bought Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg (Crazy Mom Quilts) and Cheryl Arkinson (Naptime Quilter/Diningroom Empire). It is chock full of GREAT scrap quilts.  I wanted to make a Ticker Tape quilt, but not one in a big bed size.  So I made this:
 It started out to be a bunch of colors, but soon I realized it needed to be yellow.  Yellow is my favorite color of all.  I. Love. It.  I now am planning to make more in each color of my scrap bins and hang them as a collection in my bedroom once I get around to repainting it.
 I think it will be quite striking.  In any case, I love it and that's all that matters, right?
Hope you have enjoyed your visit here and hop along to the other wonderful blogs and see what they have to show you.  And a big thanks to Madame Samm for organizing this.  She does have the best ideas.  Here are the other links:
Friday April 20th 

Charlotte (you are here)


Monday, April 16, 2012

May for Me Bingo

I saw this awhile back on Hillbilly Handworks, but I procrastinated until today.  Here is my May for Me Bingo card.  I can't wait to play and see how much fun it is.  I loved bingo as a kid.



(Edited to say: Changing Betty Boop to just Boop and Ghastly Woman to just Ghastly.  I have trouble editing to add a different picture. Sorry Tonya) You have until the 20th to link up to play, so come on along.  It only took me about an hour or so to put this together.
Don't forget the Table Top Blog Hop either.  Lots of great little table top quilts to see all this week and next.

Table Top Blog Hop Begins Today

Here is the schedule for the blog hop:

Monday April 16th


Tuesday April 17th


Wednesday April 18th


Thursday April 19th


Friday April 20th 



Monday April 23rd



Tuesday  April 24th
Syd 

Wednesday April 25th 

My day is this Friday, so I am looking forward to seeing you then.  In the mean while, go, hop, and enjoy all the wonderful table top quilts.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Quilts

I finished up the first two of what I'm sure will be many quilts for baby B.  I have discovered I love making baby quilts because they are so fast and easy to quilt and bind on the machine.  It's almost instant gratification.

 The fist is the Jack and Jenny quilt.  I fell in love with these little donkeys in Wellies from Laurie Wisbrun, available here.  I love her stuff and this one, I thought was great for a boy in this colorway.  It also comes in other colorways as well, like pink.  I have been wanting to try a zigzag pattern and Crazy Mom Quilts did an easy tutorial that doesn't use HSTs.  L-O-V-E it!!  I quilted in the ditch on the blue/grey side, using Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.
 This is the other side of the quilt.  The little Wellies and the Raindrop print in green and a yellow print from Connecting threads that I just love for its brightness.  Bound the edges in the green which works well on both sides, since the donkeys are wearing green and yellow Wellies.
 You can see the zigzag quilting from side A doesn't hinder the design on side B.  Side B was just a serendipitous happening with stripes that didn't work out for Side A.  I love it when that happens.
 Here is a closer look at the Jacks and Jennys marching up hill and down.  So cute!!
 The second quilt is one I saw on Diary of a Quilter blog.  It was made for market, from Children at Play fabrics.  I had trouble downloading the free pattern for the paper airplane, so I drew my own.  I love how this turned out.  This picture doesn't show the embroidered line that indicates the flight path of the airplane.  I added it after this was taken.  But I love this fabric line so much.
The back is some leftover fabric from curtains I did for V's room when they moved out last year.  It is an alphabet print by Sandy Gervais for Moda, called Lollipop, an older line I think.  The pictures were taken on my picnic table, my new favorite spot.  Now I just need to figure out how to keep my shadow out of the shot. Ha!  See you soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No Stitching Sunday

I've been busy, trying to finish up a few things.  But the past couple of Sundays were for yard work.

In the box: rosemary and marigolds
 We put in the stones and some ground cover.  We decided to grow herbs and flowers only this year, and a few tomatoes.  We're tired of fighting the critters and the shortage of full sun light.
 Hubby made me this lovely window box set up.  I love it! It's right outside the bedroom window.
 More rosemary and marigolds.  Vinca in the center bed. Deer don't eat them.  Parsley in the back.
 This is a close up of the cool plants in the window boxes.  They are so interesting looking.
 I also painted the picnic table we built last fall.  A little doodle up one leg.
 We set it on bricks to keep it from the wet ground when it rains.  Love this table.  So proud we made it.
The only stitching was sewing the backing of my sister's quilt.  That is a lot of fabric!!!  Glad it's done.
That's my couch under all that fabric.  It's off to the quilter soon.
Have a great week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Amy Butler and Me

I love Amy Butler.  Her fabrics are gorgeous, her books so inspiring.  But her patterns...that is where we part ways, most of the time.  My daughter wanted an Amy Butler diaper bag for her new baby.  She had purchased the book "little stitches for little ones" about 4 years ago, when it first came out.  Her first baby was a bit too old for some of the stuff, but it is a beautiful book, so she thought perhaps for other babies, or gifts etc.

Now I have made one other Amy Butler pattern.  I made a birdie sling bag when it was first out.  I even used Amy Butler fabrics for it. And I loved it.  It was a more complicated pattern than I had made in a while, and I did take a couple of shortcuts, cause that's how I am.  But it turned out nice.  I knew then that I would not make another Amy Butler pattern for some time, because I am not a patient and careful sewer.  I am okay with that.

But when my daughter asked, I thought, okay, time to get back on that horse.  This time I will do it right and follow all the directions carefully, no matter how long it takes.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I used a fabric the daughter had that she loved, Inspirations by Terrie Mangat for Free Spirit, and bought the lining, a Kona cotton, I think the color was Orange, at an end of bolt sale at the local quilt shop.  The batting and stabilizer etc. was pretty pricy since it took so much.  $29 for all of it.  I had a magnetic snap closure on hand.  So I spent one afternoon cutting out the pieces, and then quit for a week

 I bought the fleece and stabilizers a week later and after sitting on them for a week, cut them out.  Then I decided to dive in.  It took me 3+ hours to iron in all that fleece and interfacing!  I thought I'd never start sewing.  But eventually, I did.
 Once I started, and got the rhythm of the pattern, it began to get a bit easier.  Now let me say right here, that easier is relative to the pattern.  I kept thinking about other patterns I have made, and let me tell you I have been sewing for over 40 years now.  I need illustrations.  I need clear directions.
 This pattern had 23 steps, subdivided into a, b, c, d etc.  and only 3 little illustrations at the end of the pattern.  Well drawn, yes, but with arrows to show several points on each illustration!  Frustrating for me.
 The bulk of the bag was a lot to contend with also.  I bent one needle and countless pins.  I used LOTS of pins on this, which is so not me.  It was like trying to wrestle a porcupine.  And the porcupine won!  If you could have seen the contortions I had to do to get this thing to go through my machine too!
But now, it is done.  I hope she loves it.  Oh, and one last thing: There was suppose to be a cell phone pocket on one side of the bag.  I made the pocket, and before I installed it, I checked to see the phone fit.  Not hardly.  I think the design was for a small flip phone, which she doesn't have.  So I left it off.

If you want to make one of these, go for it.  But at least you have some idea what it entails now.  Lots more stitchy stuff coming this week.
Happy Monday.