Monday, August 29, 2011

After the Storm

What a weekend.  So much destruction all up and down the coast.  Our beaches, our cities, our bridges, our homes.  We have been here before, during hurricane Fran.  I never knew before then, that a hurricane could cause so much damage inland.  So when they said Irene was coming I felt a bit of fear, deep down inside.  I didn't really acknowledge it.

Now we were lucky here in Chapel Hill.  Hardly any rain and wind for a few short hours, but it was scary.  We sat on our front porch for several hours and watched the wind blow the trees around.  Every time the wind began to gust, my husband would stand up and look and I would stop what I was doing and watch... until it stopped again.  I was sewing yo-yos for my yo-yo along.  I kept that up for about 3 hours straight.  It was a way to pass the time until it was over.  A way to calm the nerves.

I was able to sew almost 50 yo-yos during that time.  When it was over... this was all the damage:

a few leaves

one small branch

This was a far cry from the many trees of Fran's wrath.  The next morning, the light looked different from all the leaves that blew away.

But also because summer is almost gone.  Fall is around the corner now.  I hope that we don't have another weekend like this one. 

I also packed up my Bernina and took her to the shop for a tune up  It was way past time for it.  I will miss her and use this time to finish up some hand sewing that I need to do.  If all else fails I will make yo-yos.  I still have 685 left to do you know.  And she'll only be gone a week.
Bye.  See you soon.  And of course I have tons of ideas jumping in my brain right now to try, but I have to wait until my Bernina is home again.  Then we will create again.

Have a great week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And then there was one

So after some fast and furious sewing today, I decided to post about the great napkin project.  After seeing a post over a year ago on Purl Bee, my daughter thought she'd like to make a bunch of napkins to use at her wedding.  Afterwards, she could use them in her home.  We decided to do lots of different fabrics (because who can decide?) in sets of 4, 6, 8 and one set of 12 for Thanksgiving and such.

So we bought fabric every time we found some we thought would be good.  Now we had lots of fabric, but hardly any hemmed up and no idea if we had enough.  So we finally had a napkin cutting party and got them all cut to see what we had.  I think this was in late January.  I began hemming, a few here and there.  I had lots of time until October.  We simplified some of the ideas from decorative stitching to just plain hemming.  There were 97 napkins here folks!!

She took one set to top stitch with embroidery floss and the rest I had at my house.  There are 2 sets of 4 that are double sided with rick rack around the edges.  There is one set of 6 that she started to embroider a flowering vine on.  It was also double sided.  After 2 of those she was ready to give up.  They were taking way too long to finish.  I told her to leave them and I would see what I could do.
Now they are all done but one, and I have started the embroidery on it.  Should have it done in about a week, in between everything else and work.  I cannot begin to tell you the relief at having this so close to done.  As October looms, I am feeling the time crunch. 

I have other projects too, you see.  Like this one with Crazy Mom Quilts:
blocks all done, so I can breathe.
And I finished my August Birdie Stitches block.  So here I am, feeling pretty good about myself.  Uh oh, what's that?  V needs pants for the wedding...and he wants a bow tie too?  No sweat, Grammie can do that easy peasy.  There's a tutorial on Dana Made It for boy pants.  Here's the fabric:

A nice linen from Joann's...on sale too!  So I'll just be going now.  Got to draft a pattern and get sewing.  I am glad I never lack a project to whip together.  How boring would that be?  One last shot of those napkins....
Have a great week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Check out this product

Over at Lily Pad Quilting they are having a give away of a great product that fuses together batting scraps so you can use them for your quilts and other projects.  Snoodles has tested this product (as have about 100 other quilters) and gives it a happy thumbs up.  Go here to check it out.  It is worth it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Journey Begins With a Single Stitch

my first quilt
Last week I got to thinking about my quilting Journey.  Now the quilt above is actually my second quilt.  My first quilt was a small 36 inch square wall hanging that took me about a year or so to complete.  This quilt is queen size and took just as long.  How did I get here?

I was long fascinated with quilts and how pretty and colorful they were.  I loved how they were made from scraps or old worn out clothing.  I always said I would like to make a quilt some day.

I began by checking out books from the local library on quilting.  At that time, there weren't a lot in the library.  Georgia Bonesteel had written a couple about her technique of lap quilting.  This is quilting blocks or small sections of a quilt separately and then later, putting them all together.  It makes quilting portable.  Since I thought all quilts were large bed size quilts, I thought this was a great idea.

I studied her method avidly for awhile and then finally drew on graph paper, my idea for a quilt.  We lived on Amelia Island then and so I had to wait until we drove to Jacksonville to shop for fabric.  I loved calicoes and there was only a Hancocks to shop at, so it was what I bought.

can you tell how worn it is?

I didn't prewash...the green bled.

my "signature"
I cut with a rotary cutter, since the technique was explained in the book.  I was able to make the blocks fairly quickly, sewing on a card table in the corner of our bedroom.  I used muslin for the back, and double the batting for a full "fluffy" feel and look.  I hand quilted each block and ended up adding the extra border to make it fit the bed.  By the time I finished it, I was worn out.  But happy to have done it.

Looking back, I can't believe I picked this design for a first quilt and all the other crazy things I did as a novice, with no one to ask whether It was right or even if it was possible.  That has been my method ever since, so when I say I am self taught, I mean it.

There were so many quilt blocks I wanted to make, so my next quilt was a sampler.

my signature in the block

another queen size
This was 3 years later (1996) and I had learned a lot and even taken a class or two to try out some techniques.  I also took a hand quilting class to learn to correctly do the hand quilting stitch.  Lordy when I think back to that first quilt and all I didn't know.

This is where my journey started and I am planning to document all my quilts with their full stories.  I think it will be nice to remember, any maybe some day someone else would like to know all this stuff. 

But now on to my weekend.  I finished one more block, did some yo yos and napkins.

I think this makes 18

I cut out lots more strips for blocks

I am saving the selvedges...planning a give away.
Now for the count: quilt along blocks-22
                               yo yos-171

Such good progress!  Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Birthday Wednesday

It's my birthday and so I'm gonna toot my horn...woohoo!  Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the best chocolate cake and frosting recipes ever.

And thanks to my wonderful husband for the beautiful flowers! 
Have a great day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just Peachy

So one of the things I love to do when I'm not quilting, is to bake.  And when summer fruit is in season, why not?  So yesterday, I baked.  I bought a bunch of peaches on sale and all I could think of was pie.


It came out very nice.  And after dinner, we dug in, after adding some vanilla ice cream.

I did do a bit of sewing over the weekend.  I was able to get some more of my 36 patch blocks done for the quilt along  I am participating in.  I did a few yo-yos and then, because I have been wanting one, and I needed some instant gratification I made a mug rug. 

Now this flowery fabric I have had for a long time.  I am sure I bought it at my local quilt shop, but I have no idea when or who the designer or manufacturer are.  I do know I love it and have used it sparingly over the years.  I wish I could have a big piece of it, but I am sure I only bought a quarter yard at the time, maybe a fat quarter.

I love it!
So here is the progress on the  quilt along:

I have 5-6 more strip sets cut and ready so soon I will have more.  I need 36 blocks to make the size I want.  I am having so much fun with this project.  I am really taking a walk down memory lane with all the different fabrics I am using.  Some I haven't seen an 10 years or more!

A quick update on the yo-yos...I have 147 done!  And on the napkins for the wedding project I have 78 done and 19 more to go!  I think I might just make it.
Have a great week!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Camp Grammie

This week is the week every summer that the daycare V goes to is closed for vacation.  In past years we have taken family vacations during that time.  This year, though, we are not doing that and so a creative network of days has been assembled for his care and entertainment.

the official camp t-shirt
So I have him two days......so Camp Grammie was born.  We made t-shirts.  This picture was taken by V.  Not bad for a 5 year old.  We are working on arts and crafts and we made cool cookies!

This is a continuation of the weekend's theme for his birthday, the rainbow!  I made him an Epic Rainbow Cake with the recipe from Whisk Kid.  It is without a doubt the coolest recipe ever.

the baked layers

icing in between

looking good

tasted yummy!
It was a great party and a great weekend!  Very little sewing happened, but that's okay too.  I did make some progress.  I'm up to 115 Yo-Yos and 65 napkins down, 32 to go!!!  And now that it's August, there's another Birdie Stitches block to be done as well
Have a great week!