Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Wrap Up

Posted by Strlady at 8:58 AM 2 comments
Not a bad month on a whole. I got to finish two quilts (not just tops but fully quilted pieces). My most recent finish was Madeline:

but earlier in the month I had quilted and bound Picnic:

Unfortunately my Hidden Star top was not completed The first two rows have been pieced together but I still have several more to go. I have it pinned onto my design wall but will hold back from posting pics until it's completed. I am planning to have it done by the end of the week so it can make it's journey to Maine to be quilted.

I didn't get to quilt my Winter White Schnibble either, but seeing that I DID quilt the Madeline quilt I feel I can call it even on that front.

I also got around to attaching the binding to one of those older UFOs I mentioned in my goals. This one was started back in 2000, and I'm happy to have finally attached that binding (although I have not bound it). Now it's ready to get the final stitches in place and it's closer to being a Finished Quilt.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Schnibble for January

Posted by Strlady at 11:42 PM 11 comments
I mentioned earlier this week that I finished my Schnibble during my retreat. I actually started it the week before the retreat and took the pieces to put together over there.

I chose to do my Schnibble with Moda's Astor Manor line by 3 Sister's. These are so not my colors but for some reason I kept staring at the darn line every time I went to my local shop.

I separated the colors and made placement decisions before I set out to cut.

I pause to interject that I can't say enough how I love, love, love my Fit to Be Geese ruler! I no longer fear making flying geese blocks.

To use the ruler I had to modify Carrie's cutting instructions a bit since I needed to cut my pieces a bit larger than the method used in the Madeline pattern. After I cut the pieces I grouped them together and started sewing

After I sew the geeses together comes the trimming.

and trim

and trim

Never my favorite part but since I would have to trim regardless of the method I used...

I'm happy to do this because I always end up with perfection!

I finished these puppies at the retreat where I finially put the top together.

I liked the way it turned out but I found that some of the star points got lost in the fabric.

I found that I would need to do a more focused quilting design on it to bring out those points. I decided to quilt in some heart in an effort to make it more "Valentine'ish"

I also decided to play with feathers. So the quilt ended up being a bit of an experimental piece.

I think it ended up looking pretty darn nice and if you look at it from afar,
you will think the quilting turned out pretty darn good too!


LOL!! Hey! At least those geese turned out FABULOUS!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drool worthy

Posted by Strlady at 8:40 PM 5 comments
OMG have you seen the new American Patchwork and Quilting (April 2010)?
Just got it this week and there is a pattern on pg 68 that is drool worthy. I was thinking that the only way I would get a good variety of reds and lights and blacks to make the quilt would be if I hosted a Fat Eighth exchange or maybe just a FQ exchange.

Isn't it gorgeous!!

I need to make that quilt. I NEED to make it!! I think I'm going to obsess over it until I add it to my 2010 list of quilts.I'm thinking that I really don't need to make that Fig Tree pattern I have on the list... I don't have the fabric for that one anyway so I can just swap out the pattern... Hmm.. but that one is one of my three Christmas quilts! ARG!

I seriously need some reds, lights and blacks because I need to make that quilt!

Am I making sense? Yeah, my brain went on vacation as soon as I realized that I'm in love with that quilt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Starting the year with a new toy

Posted by Strlady at 5:29 PM 4 comments
I had a little something on my wish list that I had been wanting for many months. I finally broke down and treated myself.

I got a new camera. Well... it's used, but it's new to ME!

I bought myself a Nikon D80 after researching what were the things I wanted in a camera, what brand did I most trust and what I could afford. I then headed to eBay with my wish and stalked the site for several weeks. I finally found one that I felt was in good shape and offered me the best package.

I love the darn thing even though it's huge and weighs a ton. I took the pics from the retreat with that camera. You can actually see the difference from the picture I took with my Nikon S50 (the Rotary Cutter sleeve) and the other pics. Although the pics from the S50 was nice and sharp the ones taken with the D80 seem to be in High Definition!

I just picked up a 50mm lens for it and can't wait to get it. Then I will need to play alot more with it before I can WOW everyone with wonderful pictures. I'm a real money pincher so this was huge for me but I don't regret it. I'm loving my new toy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Retreat and a Finish

Posted by Strlady at 6:31 PM 2 comments
I'm alive but playing catchup is always draining. Mid January was my guild's quilting retreat and I convinced my daughter to come with me. We had a great time but when we got back on Monday evening (it was a long weekend for us) we needed to get ready for our work week. I had 2 days of training which meant I was left with two days for real world work. Friday could not get here soon enough! I needed a vacation from my vacation. Isn't that always the case?

Well let me share a bit about my retreat. The Dallas Quilt Guild has a great bunch of ladies that get together at Tanglewood Resort every January for 5 days of quilting goodness.

Before I left for the retreat I received a little something in the mail that promised to make me the envy of many girls there.

Brenda made this for me and I just love it!
I was so lucky to get mine before she sold out of the kits she had made up.

There were about 80-100 guild members at the retreat. This picture is a glimpse of the ballroom on Sunday Morning. Most of the gals were trickling in after sewing until the wee hours in the morning. I was there until about 12:30 the night before and when I left there were still about 10 - 20 still sewing and chatting.

There are about 7-8 members per table. We were 7 at our table when we arrived on Saturday. The girls were all wonderful and were great company. Lots of chatting and sharing. Everyone was welcoming even when most of us didn't know each other.

Most were just so darn impressed that I had brought my daughter (in the grey t-shirt in the pic above). She was not the first young one to attend the retreat. It seems that the granddaughter of our coordinator had been attending the retreat since she was 8 but this year she was on a student exchange in Barcelona. So, Nyshma was the youngest in attendance.

Her project (Wild Things by Thimbleblossom's Camille Roskelley) was a great success and found her the center of attention many times.

I brought a couple of things to work on. My Schnibbles for January was completed on Saturday and then I started on my Hidden Star project.

I found it funny how my fellow guild members bring everything in their sewing room and the kitchen sink to these retreats. Nyshma and I thought we had over done it when we needed one of the hotel rolling carts to bring in our weekend bag and our sewing supplies but there were ladies that brought bins upon bins to the hotel. They needed the rolling cart just for their SEWING supplies!

I later figured out why. It seems that they don't want to be caught needing anything and not having it at hand. It seems that my hidden stars pattern needed some squares sewn to the corners of a large rectangle. This would eventually turn into sashing stars. I could have used a neat tool called The Angler 2 by Pam Bono Designs that basically lays down some markings that I can follow to keep the sewing line straight without having to mark each and every square, but I forgot it at home. So I was dreading having to waste time marking those darn squares. Well as I was chatting with Kay (our coordinator) it occurred to me that I only needed the center line to follow and I could get those on my machine with a bit of masking tape (which Kay had).

I cut a 1/2" strip of masking tape and marked a line straight through the center.
I then found the correct placement using my ruler and taped it on my machine.

I then used it as a guide for the corner of the piece.

I put the corner of the piece just to the side of the line. This allowed me to sew a scant 1/4" which would compensate for the few threads that are used when you fold the square back over to the corner and allows the resulting half square triangle to lie exactly where it should. No more tracing lines! I had 40 rectangles. Each rectangle had to have squares attached to each corner. That was 160 squares. It would have been misery to have to trace a diagonal line on all those squares.

It was a great time and I got alot done! I also made a bit of a dent on my bank account because I fell in love with a quilt kit that the quilt shop sponsoring the retreat had at the booth. It's a BOM kit and it is gorgeous! Check it out! (Click on the pic for a closer look)

I had to take a few close ups to get a clear look at the quilting because I'm needing this one quilted similarly.

This will be my 2010 Challenge. I will be making the blocks as the months roll by.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Finish in 2010

Posted by Strlady at 9:21 AM 9 comments
Well I got one of my Schnibbles quilted.

It took less time that I thought so that is promising for the other two left to quilt.

After I marked the quilt and pinned it the actual quilting went quickly.

I need to add a sleeve and the label but it's done!
Yeah for 2010!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Year to start anew

Posted by Strlady at 4:10 PM 7 comments
Do I really have to recap last year? I just want to talk about all the good stuff in store for this year!

I am proud that last year I got so many quilts finished. Not just the tops, but quilted and bound and in the hands of people that will love them.

Three baby quilts found thier way to the Corrigan's for their new twins and big brother Ethan.

A Pumpkin Patch was given to the Pumpkin Lady in NH.

The Red White and Blue lays on T-Choco's bed to keep her warm this winter.

The Wallflower quilt my daughter made recieved some quilting and binding from Mom and made it's way to Rochester last February in time to show off her mad skills as the youngest quilter in our clan. A Rag Quilt was finally finished in time to give to said daughter as a welcome home present after she graduated college.

Last but not least, a small table runner got it's borders and made it to NH so it could be embellished and made pretty. Yup! That is 8 quilts that were FINISHED. I also made 3 schnibbles tops that have not gotten quilted yet. I was a busy bee this year and I loved it.

What are my plans for this year? My Goal is to make (Finish completely - from cutting to binding) 12 quilts this year. I already have 11 patterns selected and started collecting the fabric needed to get them done. That said, I have a few UFOs that need some quilting and binding before they join the 'Finished' group so I'm hoping to tackle those as well. Three of those should be heading my way soon since Margaret from Mainely Quilts of Love let me know they have already been quilted.

Since big goals start one step at a time, I'm setting my sights on January.

I'll be quilting and binding two of those Schnibbles from 2009

Picnic (November Schnibble)

Winter White (September Schnibble)

I'm off to my guild's retreat on the 16th and plan on kicking my first Lap Quilt out the door by using the layer cake of Essence I picked up at Houston this year

(It's hidden under all the other stash in the picture)

The pattern I'm using is called Hidden Stars from the book Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I'm adding to the original design to make big enough to hug someone.

I'm also going to make this month's Schnibble:


This is Carrie's sample made using Rouenneries by French General. I'm thinking I want to make it a bit more of a Valentine's day piece so I'm looking at another fabric line. This should be the smallest of the bunch measuring 28" square. Brenda would live it because it would fit on the table for squaring it! LOL!

On top of this I have a few quilts arriving soon that will need to bound before they will be added to the first few finishes for 2010.

It promises to be a stellar quilting year! Wish me luck with my hefty goals this year.

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