Sunday, January 25, 2009

These are the funnest things I ever made. Funnest. Things. Ever. (Except maybe for cupcakes.)(If I didn't cook them.)(Raw cupcakes are hard to beat.)

Ok, these things are like candy. They even LOOK like candy. I'm going to be making big candy circle wheel thingys for a while. I was only going to make nine, but now I think I will make a hundred million forty-seven eighty-thirteen thousand billlion of them. Thanks for the inspiration, Jackie!!

You remember those quilt store gift certificates I got? Yeah, they're gone. I blew the whole wad the next day. (Ain't no grass gonna grow under MY feet!)
(You never know, the quilt store could burn down or something.)
(Or, in a really bizarre twist, I could LOSE the gift certificates.)
(I never lose things. Ever. Except for the other day. And that one other time. And... never mind.)
The ladies at the quilt store laughed at me when I walked in and they said, "Happy birthday! Your husband said you'd be here today." Does my man know me, or what?
(Or maybe I'm just that predictable... nah!)
I got 20 quarter or half yards of ridiculously bright and cheery prints so I could make my "wheelies". Here's some of what's left in the box.
I gotta tell ya, lately, it's been pretty cheerful at our house. If you buy enough crazy bright fabric, you don't even notice that it's a hundred million forty-seven eighty-thirteen thousand degrees below zero outside.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What have I been up to over here...?

I have been busy busy busy this week! I missed the class on the Drunkard's Path, but my mom showed me how to make them on Tuesday when she came to visit. She also traced and helped me cut out half the blocks. It is so much easier and faster than I expected, and I have made 96 blocks already! In 2 days!! If anyone is holding back on trying this, don't be scared- go for it! I do want to make some more- probably 24 more- but I may make it square and make 48 more. I laid out two of my potential patterns and I like the radiating out one the best. The circles are cute, but I like the other better. I used all 30's repros since I had a big stack of them, and also, because they are such cheerful prints, you can't help but be happy while you're working with them. Unfortunately, they don't match my house decor in any way. Maybe I need to change my house?

I love Jackie's bright wheels, which you can see here. So today I played around and made one. I think this will be a practice run, but it's still cute and soooo much fun to make. The colors are not true on here- the green is a bright lime and the purple is almost neon in real life. To make it, I cut a big circle out of a sheet of posterboard, then cut it into sixteenths and ended up with a piece that looked like a slice of pizza. I traced that onto another piece of cardboard and then added a seam allowance and that was my template. Worked like a charm.

I totally impressed my children with my circle-making skills: I can make a circle using a piece of string and a pencil. Who knew? So they each got their own circle to color and stickerize. Good times, people, good times.

Today is my birthday, and I got some awesome gifts: Paul bought me new scissors! Yay! I am probably one of the few women who would be thrilled over scissors, so he really should consider himself lucky. My FIL gave me a gift certificate to the LQS and so did my boys! (I think their daddy may have had something to do with that, because when I opened it, they eagerly asked, "What is it!? What is it!?" I also got a nice mirror from my parents, so now I need to find somewhere to hang it... that redecorating thing may happen sooner than I thought.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yes, I'm alive. (Barely.)

Well, the shopping trip to the big city was sort of a success. I got a lot of fabric for not a lot of money, but I didn't feel good. Sure enough, instead of attending a really fun Drunkard's Path class the next day, I was stuck home with the flu. Gar! That stupid flu bug. It must be finished now, though, as NO ONE in our house has been sick for 3 days! I am probably tempting fate here, but I think it's done with us. (It's a good thing we have so many quilts in our house, because half of them are in the laundry now.)
The owner of the LQS where the class was being held was kind enough to let me have credit for the class towards another one in the future. (Aren't quilters the nicest people?)
Anyway, here are some pictures of my new goodies.
A little bit of Christmas fabric from the 60% off bin- enough for backs:

This pile is for my stash- a few polka dots, some blacks and three just-for-funs:
(Did you notice the white is a tone on tone polka dot? White polka dots on white! Too cool.)
Next some awesome pretties that I have been eyeing up for a while and they were HALF OFF!!! It would have been wrong not to buy this stuff.

This next pile was supposed to be my Drunkard's Path. I was going to do the layout where it radiates out bigger and bigger. I bet no one else in the class did a Hawaiian print one! My mom took the class and I have the templates and stuff so she is going to teach me how to do it.
This was just the cutest fabric I thought. It may end up as curtains in our "retro" (really old and crappy) camper.

Here is the grand stack. Almost up to the seat! These guys are folded wide, too. There are quite a few backs in there.

These are some pretties that I picked up at Goodwill and have slowly been looking for other things to go with them. I am thinking some sort of shabby chic type quilt. Well, in between Joann's and Hancock Fabrics, we hit Goodwill and I found this:
It's a bedskirt so I will get a lot of fabric off of it. It will set off my little cottagey prints PERFECTLY.
During the photo shoot, Sly came wandering through. He is my "old kitty" and does not care for the kids or Paul. He is a very handsome fellow, and is quite large- almost 18 lbs last time we had him at the vet.
I got a few of these blankets at (where else?) Goodwill after Christmas for $4 each, and I am hoping to use them for quilt backs. They are not fleece- they are called microfiber. They are really soft, so I am afraid they may stretch a bit. I needed to make a quick top to try it out.One of the things we could use in this house are some couch quilts that actually match our living room. I made this quilt top up from an Urban Chicks Blossom jelly roll and a sheet. (Sheet was 99 cents at Goodwill!) It's not quite done- I have to add a strip down each side, but it's almost done.
The Blossom line matches our living room colors PERFECTLY.

So that is what I've been up to lately. I do have some other projects started- I made, or attempted to make, some "blanket pants" out of microfiber blankets I got at Walmart on clearance a couple years ago right after Christmas, but they didn't fit well. I got a pattern at Joann's so after I get a good pair made, I'll take some pics of those. I wish I had had them done BEFORE we all got sick as they are super comfy and warm. I did get a couple pair made for Paul to wear hunting under his camo. He is psyched about them because they're ridiculously comfy and warm and, also, won't make any noise under his clothes. (Some clothes rustle when you move, but these don't.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Poor pitiful me!

Sorry for the absence, but the flu has been running through our household. I think we are all done with that now. (I hope!)

Tomorrow I get to take a class at the local quilt store with my mom and my best friend. The class is on the drunkard's path pattern, and I still don't have fabric OR a pattern picked out. So today BFF and I have to go fabric shopping. I just feel so sorry for us. HAHA. (Actually, we are taking my pets [by that I mean children] so I do feel a little sorry for us... or the shopkeepers, anyway.)

Anybody who has a link to a cool Drunkard's Path, please send it or post it in the comments. I am in dire need of inspiration! Thanks in advance!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My first Improv square

Hmm, I knew I had aqua fabric. I had a lot of it leftover from this quilt. Oh, right. My sis wanted one like that so I gave her the whole box of leftovers. I did find one small piece of aqua gingham and some polka-dots, but it wasn't enough. So I did what anyone would do- I made some!

I dig in the scrap bag and come up with... frogs? Well, they're floating in aqua.
Now for some red:
(See that sticker on there? Yep, 25 cents, folks!)

Next I ironed on some fusible web and fussy cut some circles.

In this house, we have so much money that we use it for templates. I used this kind:

But I made one of the circles wrong- oops!

I had to use one of these moneys to fix it:

It sure is a good thing we have so much money around here.

Then I cut out the circles and ironed them on the red fabric.
Next I zig-zagged around each circle with matching thread. I use old magazine pages as a stabilizer. Don't you just love how this page has UNDERWEAR on it? I didn't realize til I saw it on here. Oh, well, at least it matches.Sort of blurry pic, but you can see my big and little circles.
I had one circle left over so I made a little flower out of it. The fabric will fray after washing and be all scrappy and cute!

Here is the finished block!

Now I want to make a whole bunch more. I wonder if I could make polka-dotted polka dots...?

Hey, Belinda, over here!

Belinda wrote a wonderful tutorial for these little stars today and I stopped what I was doing to make one. I have never worked with anything so tiny! What fun. I had to make narrow seams, which was odd for me, and I worry about them coming apart later, so I am going to play around with it and see if I can make bigger ones.
I sorted my scraps from the cherry quilt into red and green, so I see a Christmas quilt somewhere in my future.

Thanks for the tutorial, Belinda! She has been making these cute little stars for a while out of really bright fabrics and promised a tutorial on them a while back, so I have been waiting for it.

This freestyle sort of sewing is something I have not done and would like to explore. Jacquie has started Project Improv and we are going to encourage each other to quit outside the lines and make a couple charity quilts along the way. I think I will make a block for that now while I'm feeling so inspired! Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cherries Jubilant!

This has been a long time coming! I started this quilt around 5 years ago, and tonight (well, this morning I guess) I finally finished making the blocks! It's 3:30 am, and I'm tired, but happy. Right now they don't even look cute to me anymore. LOL! I bet after a little sleep that will change. I need to mess with my layout a little more, or I could just leave it there and let the Committee for Arranging Tops Sloppily (C.A.T.S.) do their magic. ( Ok, I DID mention that it's 3:30 in the morning right?)
For some reason I have had a hard time with this quilt. It looks so scrappy and random, but I put a lot of effort into making it look like that. This one just didn't come very easily. Ah, well, it's the ones that give us the most trouble that we love the best. (Right, Mom?)
I kept taking it out, working on it a little, putting it back, taking it out just to look at it, putting it back. I even gave it to my sister for a while, but she gave it back after cutting some strips. This baby just didn't want to be borned I guess.And now I can clean up THIS mess! Well, to be truthful it's even worse now but I'm not going to bother taking another picture AT 3:30 AM! So 'night all, and hopefully the next post will be a completed top.

Friday, January 2, 2009

So as it turns out, they CAN be too big.

To put this in perspective, we had to take the trim off our doors to get those couches into the house. (They look like love seats next to "Bubba", as I've "affectionately" dubbed this quilt.) This quilt is 111" wide, so I guess I got a little carried away.

Here's the story: we needed a quilt for our bed, which is king size, and has a tall pillowtop mattress, so we needed it to be even bigger than king size. I figured this would do, but it's too big. (Go figure!) The width is actually ok, but it hangs off the end really far. So I need to make it 6 rows by 7 rows instead of 7 x 7.

Yeah, I'll be over here with my seam ripper.

PS- This quilt was my inspiration, along with this. I will post nicer pictures when Bubba is a little less, er, "tentlike".

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutions, Shmesolutions!

Happy New Year! Everyone is so ambitious with all their resolutions and so brave for posting them for the whole world to see! I am not a big one for resolutions. I never keep them, plus I'm sort of a "fly by the seat of her pants" kind of gal, so I don't like to pin myself down... oh, ok, I'm just lazy and I like to start things and not finish them and I don't want to change.

I am not going to set any specific goals, except for one thing: I am going to start labeling my quilts. I have never labeled a quilt before, at least that I can remember, but I would like to start.
I am looking forward to keeping track of my quilting this year, basically through this blog. I have given away a lot of quilts that I don't have pictures of, so I am going to use this blog as a kind of way of keeping track of what I've done. I wish I had started keeping track when I first started quilting. Any newbies out there- TAKE PICTURES AND LABEL THEM (the pictures and the quilts)!!

I did find some pictures today in a box (cleaning- yay me!) so I scanned them in for your viewing pleasure. These quilts were mostly made about 3 or 4 years ago from what I can remember.

This was a wedding quilt/gift for a cousin. They were at seminary and this quilt is made with a missionary theme- there are Bible verses about missions written next to each appliqued square. The applique sort of illustrates the verse, the fish for the "fisher's of men" verse, the corn for the "harvest is plenty" verse and so on. The border blocks are just "cheater fabric", but they were so pretty I based the quilt around those colors. This quilt was sent to a long-arm quilter for quilting. This is the only picture I have of this quilt, but I remember the backing fabric was as pretty as the front of the quilt. I made up the applique designs, except for the corn, so they are pretty "rustic". I had quite a rough time with the world and have several (pretty awful) versions in my orphan block bag.

This was made for a baby boy belonging to one of my friends. I love the bright colors and polka dots. This is tied, so it's not really a quilt.

I have no clue who this one was for. I had totally forgotten making this quilt until today. The colors are much more vivid in real life- my son has a quilt made with a lot of the same fabrics. This is also tied with embroidery floss, so it's more of a comforter than a quilt. When I started out I tied everything, but now I have learned that those "quilts" fall apart a lot faster and I try to either quilt it myself or send it to a long-arm quilter.

This one was for one of my nieces and it was my first attempt at hand quilting. I meandered for most of it and attempted a leafy viney pattern in the borders. I now realize that most people don't meander when hand-quilting, but it did look pretty cool. The poem is hand embroidered.

It's gratifying to look back and see how much better I've gotten. I am hoping next year I will be able to look back through my blog and see a big change for the better. (Also, my picture taking skills have gotten better, along with my quilting skills.)