Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In Search Of....

Posted by Strlady at 11:47 AM 6 comments
Don't you hate when you have something in mind but are stuck because you cannot find what you need to get started? Or when you are collecting something and you are missing that one elusive item to complete your set?
It's like being revved up to make a cake and realizing there are no eggs in the house, or in the corner store, or in the whole town! Eggs no longer exist!!!

I have been searching for a few things online recently that has led to much frustration. First up was the pattern to a block called Yankee Pride or Snow Crystal. You can see a picture of the block here and here and here.. I think this would be a great block to English paper piece. A hand project to travel with when I get sick of my baskets.

I found the pattern on the Linda Franz' Inklingo site but it's a pieced version... Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Academy vol 4 also has a pieced version...I tend to be on the fail side for imagination and trying to fix something to suit my needs appears more difficult than redesigning it altogether, so I've decided to either use EQ7 to get the templates or just use some quad paper and draw it out. This decision was reached after many agonizing hours, days, weeks dwelling on the lack of pattern for the block.

So, I have resigned myself on a solution to item #1. On to the next item on my list... Henrietta Whiskers. Yes, I know you know who she is. Anne Sutton from Bunny Hill designs had a free BOM on her site in 2011 - Have I mentioned that I have one too many of her applique projects on my to do list?

Especially since I really don't applique!!!! This BOM was so darn cute (like everything she conjures up) I started collecting the patterns to make it. Well, can you believe that I pulled out the pdf files last month and found that I had all the block images and all the PDF files, but one? I had failed to download the instructions for the LAST block!!! Yes, I went to the site that month, grabbed the image she would post with the block and then forgot to download the instructions for that block!  Not the finishing instructions.. oh no, I made sure to grab the finishing instructions. But the last block? Nope. What for? I had the image... ARG!! Ok. Deep breath. 
I rummaged around and found that she does sell the pattern now, so I could BUY the pattern that I already have to get that ONE LAST BLOCK... but, the frugal person in me has told me that Bunny Hill has other patterns I want more (Pumkinville, anyone?) before I break down and buy the one I already have.
I am a bit twitchy on not having this pattern in it's entirety (OCD much?) but I figure that the elements in the block are very similar to the other blocks so I could create my own block to fill in the blank on the quilt.. So, after many agonizing hours, days, weeks, I am no longer losing TOO much sleep over this one... As long as I don't think about it too much, then I get twitchy again. LOL!

So, I now I get to those eggs I mentioned earlier.. The ones that no longer exist, which means you will never eat cake again!! yes. Those eggs.

Do you see how I'm a bit of a fan girl of Blackbird designs patterns? I could put it right up there with my obsession with Carrie Nelson's work, except I can actually MAKE Carrie's quilts - remember my comment above of not doing applique?. Ok, back to the eggs... Well, back in November I placed an order on Pickledish. They are the web home of Kansas City Star quilts, the distributors of Blackbird designs books as well as other wonderful books. On that particular day, they had run a special for black Friday and I was eager to take advantage of it, since I do love me those gals at Blackbird (had you already deduced that?). Come Friday I got online and placed my order. I was looking forward to receiving my book and patterns. I ordered two patterns, Welcome Home and Midnight Silhouette, and one book called You're Invited.

tick tock tick tock... Come December my order had not arrived. I was never charged for the items and outside of my order confirm from the site, I had not received any communication from them... So, I called. It seems they received my order but the order was empty.. a system fail? I restated what I wanted and gave them the order #. At this point my sister had promised to gift me the book  for the holidays, so I canceled the order for the book, but my patterns were hard to find and I REALLY wanted them... the gentleman on the phone was very nice and very apologetic. He said he would place the patterns in the mail at once and said they would not charge me anything for my inconvenience. I was very happy and settled in to wait for my patterns.... tick tock tick tock... They never arrived.

A few weeks ago I went on the hunt for the patterns again since I have resigned myself that the company could care less about their customers and has no intentions of even acknowledging their failure to get an order right. Life is just too short to hassle someone that has shown they cannot be bothered.

I was very very happy to have found the Welcome Home pattern online at 1-2-3 Stitch! I placed the order one week and the next week it was in my hands.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down the other pattern... Midnight Silhouette.

This pattern appears to be out of print and the only way I would ever get my hands on it is if someone already has it, made the quilt or has fallen out of love with it (I know, that last one just might be a long stretch), and is willing to part with it. I don't know why I'm obsessing over this pattern (again, OCD much?) when I have so many other ones to keep me busy for the rest of my life, but I am. Obsessing that is.

If you, by chance, run into this pattern in your journeys or have checked this quilt off your to do list and can part with the pattern, I would be happy to buy it from you. You will be eternally in my debt for saving me from losing more sleep over this one.

That concludes this ridiculously long post on the nature and status of my OCD.

Friday, February 22, 2013

See Jess Sew....

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 0 comments
A new quilter joins the ranks and has started blogging her adventures!
This is Jess. You might remember her from this post.

If you have a moment, go and read her story at See Jess Sew.
I little encouragement is always a good thing. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fly Away Home update.

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 3 comments
Do you remember that movie with a young Anna Paquin called Fly Away home? I always think of it when I make a truckload of flying geese. Thought I'd mention it in case there are other people like me out there... sort of freaky people... like me.
Onto your regularly scheduled blog entry for today...

This weekend I worked on my traditionally modern quilt. 
Lots of flying geese.

Lot's of Gray...

I played around with my sewing machine's stitches to see if I could find one I saw over at Camille Roskelley's blog

Found one that is comparable. I planned on using this one to quilt the piece until my machine died on me over the weekend. That's right, it died. Just stopped chugging along, made a little sad face but refused to acknowledge my attempts of revival... I had to pull my spare... that doesn't have a straight forward stitch to match.  I need to test a few stitches on this 'new' machine and hopefully I can find something I can work with. 

I'm in need of some serious pep talks, so feel free to let me know how you get excited over the quilting process. Tips are welcomed. Going to use my walking foot and plan on doing some squiggly lines on it. I am debating on doing a design on the geese units. Throw out your ideas. 

Anyway. I need to work on the backing. I hate backing. Who decided that you had to make the back of a quilt as interesting as the front? I'm so creatively exhausted with the front I just want to slap on whatever for the back and move on. Then afterwards I look at the fun stuff out there and say, I could have done that... NOT. 

What is the worse part of the process for you? My daughter HATES borders. I don't mind them, but I go brain dead thinking on the backing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A BOM for 2013

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 4 comments
Have you heard that Monique Dillard from Open Gates is doing a BOM? For F-R-E-E!

She has a group of bloggy gals sewing along with her which gives us a peek of the same block made 6 different ways! LOVE THAT!
So, after spending eons looking for the right look, I decided to drag out my Maison de Garance bundle and join in the fun.

Of course I'm late to start but I'm only one month behind - Hey! It's still February so this month's block is not considered late! This weekend I tackled my 'late' block and pulled the fabric for the next one.

Here is block 1, version #1.

Believe it or not, version # 2 is the same block with a different fabric placement.

I'm super excited that I'm able to join in. I need to upload my blocks on to the Flicker page Monique has setup for the quilt.

Don't miss out, if you are on the fence, just go for it.
You can get the info to catch up here: Blogger Girls BOM.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Starting on something different.

Posted by Strlady at 4:00 AM 1 comments
My Quilt Guild has a show coming up in March and the Modern Quilt Guild will be having a special exhibit in the show.
My two worlds collide!! You see the show is put on by my 'traditional' quilt guild. They, in turn, invited the Modern Quilt Guild to showcase their work at the traditional show. Since I'm part of that guild too, I thought I'd participate in the exhibit.
With that in mind, I looked around and found nothing modern enough to be worthy of the show. So.. I decided to make something new. Here is a sneak peek...

Traditional meets modern?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Border, Borders and More Borders.

Posted by Strlady at 4:00 AM 9 comments
My two finishes in January were WIPs from 2012.

I had been dragging along my petite four for about 6 months...

It was missing a border. Two borders actually.
It traveled to New England in August with the potential borders.. one got put on at that point.
Then it went to retreat in November, where the next border was auditioned and failed. Finally, after a few more tries, it went to the January retreat where it was finished! This quilt started a few years ago when I decided I needed a traveling project.. lots of baskets with handles to practice my hand applique stitching. It definitely traveled quite a bit.

My second finish this year did not linger as much as Petit Four but had just as many border auditions, if not more...

I had put on the first border during retreat in November, but I had to wait for some more fabric to continue the trial and error process.

I must say the last inside border was the most difficult since I had used most of the fabrics I had brought to the retreat but I refused to leave with it unfinished!

I'm so happy I worked through that last inner border and was able to finish it.

This is my first FINISHED machine applique project. It really worked wonders on my confidence to tackle more like this. Which means I just might get some use out of the truckloads of Blackbird design and Kim Diehl books I have in the closet!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quilty Friends on Retreat

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 4 comments
It was that time of year! January arrived and my much anticipated quilt guild retreat arrived with it. I say it every year, but it deserves a resell, this retreat is my favorite.

This year was more special than most because my daughter flew in to join me. It was a long weekend (Thursday - Sunday) of quilty friends and inspiration.

Here are a few things I saw...

Can you beleive the above quilt is the result of a round robin? I told the owner that I needed to be part of her round robin group. It is just breathtaking.

This quilt was started last year and it was completed during this retreat. 

Rachel came to retreat for one day but was able to finish her Swoon quilt.

Although Xmas was over, we had a few getting a jump start for this year's quilts.

This quilt was a mound of fabric when it arrived on Thursday. 
She finished the whole quilt during the retreat. I was super impressed.

This is in my life bucket. It the center of the quilt called Phebe by Di Ford. 
I bought the pattern as soon as I saw it because it was a dream quilt.

Seeing someone actually working on it really inspired me to dust mine off.

Then there were our projects...

Nyshma was inspired to finish a quilt that had been banging around in her head for a while. 
The above was what it looked like.

The final quilt. 
She has sent it off to be quilted so it can be put in the special exhibit on Modern Quilting at the Dallas Quilt Show in March.

I actually finished two quilts while at retreat. But I'll leave that for my next post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Last minute finish in 2012

Posted by Strlady at 2:31 PM 1 comments
Thought I'd get a start on the new year before it's over.
Things are finally dying down at work just to rev up soon, but with a bit more breathing room than in December. Even though I was super busy I did have a chance to finish a small table runner before the year ended.

I picked up this pattern back in October (I'm sooo sorry, I forgot the name of the pattern and I don't have it at hand to look at it, but I'll update the post with the name as soon as I can). I wanted to show my woolie sister that the pattern was easy enough for a beginner, but the instructions were actually quite confusing. Not sure how a paper pieced pineapple block can confuse you, but unfortunately it did, so the pattern will be used in my house and not as a sample.

The wool part was done expertly by that same woolie sister who lets me piece to my hearts content while she tackles the woolie stuffus.
Not shabby for an end of the year project.
Next up, January quilt retreat.

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