Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Rug Finished!

I finally finished my Basketful rug! It's a bit sad that it took nearly the entire year to hook it. I suppose I did take time to work on my baskets and the blog rug this year, but I really need to pick up the pace if I ever plan to make a dent in the pile of projects I have already started or plan to start in the near future. I'm back to working on the Illinois postcard now.

I'm really looking forward to the new year of wool club and all of the projects I will be inspired to start (yikes!). I am also looking forward to getting back to starting my Baltimore, hopefully later today. I'm minutes away from twelve glorious days of vacation - I hope to get lots accomplished!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Block #5 Finished!

I'm excited to report that I have finished block five of My Garden Album with two weeks to spare! Only four left and then the piecing... If I recall correctly, the border is pieced, so it shouldn't be too much work to finish once the applique has been completed. I am in love with these blocks - the colors are beautiful!

I found a suitable yarn to bind my Basketful rug and got a pretty good start on it yesterday. I hope to finish and give it a second steaming by the end of the week. I'm so excited by some of the ideas that Nola threw out for next year's wool club that I know I will be starting new projects at a frightening pace next year. I'd like to get Basketful and the Illinois postcard knocked out before I start my first project of the new year. Can I get that much accomplished by Jan 9?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rethinking my Baltimore

Well, I guess it's a good thing that I didn't get very far on my first Baltimore block before deciding that I just don't want 18" blocks! Of course, I didn't throw my work away - it's tucked safely away just in case I change my mind again! I may decide to start with a different block... I'm not sure that the first one I selected will lend itself to a 12" version. Although I made the decision over a week ago, I spent most of my sewing time working on block five of My Garden Album. I am close to finished - a few bunny parts and leaves and I will be caught up once again.

I finally finished hooking my Basketful rug. Now all I need is to find the right color yarn to bind it with... Everything I have on hand is too light. Hopefully I will be able to find something to do the trick at Nola's this weekend. I've moved on to hooking he Illinois postcard rug and feel like I am making decent progress on that one. I'd love to get it finished and get back to the one from Anita's class. I love that one!

Hopefully I will have a picture or two to show some progress this weekend - if trying to catch up with Christmas shopping doesn't get in the way!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beginning my Baltimore

I finally started a "true" Baltimore Album quilt. I have been doing a lot of reading since attending Baltimore on the Prairie. Although I have always loved the album quilts, listening to Jan Carlson's presentation really got me hooked. The more I learned, the more excited I became! So I was particularly excited when Katie and I decided to revive the TAS group with a Baltimore slant...which leads me to starting my first Baltimore Album quilt. The process of getting started was a slow one - prepping the background (Moda's Bella Solid in bleached white), choosing the pattern to start with, tracing the overlay, and selecting fabrics for the first flowers. I originally had planned to do 12" blocks, but after learning that true BA blocks were much larger, I decided to go big. The background fabric looks ridiculously huge at 22" square. I think the finished block will be around 18". I didn't get as far as actually sewing anything today. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

I have managed to keep up with My Garden Album yet again. I finished block four yesterday. I had stopped by Homestead Hearth on my way home from the lake on Monday and was told that the next one had shipped, so I was very anxious to get it done before the mail arrived!

I'm also continuing to work on my baskets. I have six completed, I believe. Only 285 left to go! They are fun to work on and are pretty simple, so they make a good "on-the-go" project.

It's back to the rug for the rest of the night - I'd really rather applique, but I'll never make my self-imposed deadline if I don't get on it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Need a vacation...

I'm sorry to say that I don't have anything to show for the last couple of weeks... I've been busy dabbling in lots of things, but haven't had time to finish a single one. I recieved block four of My Garden Album shortly after posting block three. I've got a pretty good start on it, but will really have to buckle down over the next week or so if I hope to finish before the next package arrives in the mail.

I did have a bit of a break-through yesterday. I decided how I would do the bottom of the "Basketful" rug and found a "close enough" match to the wool I ran short on, so everything is now in place for me to finish that one off. I just need to wash the new wool, pull a few strips from the completed leaves, and mix things up so it looks like I planned it that way. I'll be SOOOO glad to have this rug finished! I'm dying to get back to some of the other projects I started this year.

I'm really looking forward to our upcoming Baltimore album TAS group and can't wait to get going on my first block. I think we are going to go with a wreath to get started, and I have found a wonderful wreath in a pattern I recently received from the Maryland Historical Society. Now I just need to decide whether to go with the Moda Bleached White or Kona Snow for background. I'm leaning toward the Moda. Perhaps I should order another bolt...

I'm also very excited about Nola's plans for next year's wool club. It sounds like she has lots of ideas to really get our creative juices flowing. I am already thinking about a couple of things I would like to do. Oh no - more projects!

I'm very much looking forward to being off work next week. The stress of not knowing what the future holds is starting to get to me. It's tough to stay motivated. I'm really itching to fly the coop! I'd love to head down to the lake for a quiet, no errands required mini-retreat. Perhaps I can get away for a day or two next week before the holiday madness begins...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Keeping Up!

I managed to finish block three of My Garden Album before receiving block four...so far I am keeping up with this one! Who knows how long it can last...I have so many new projects I am aching to start that I am bound to get distracted and lose the race.

I need to choose a 2010 project for my Primitives Yahoo group. I am really interested in beginning an album quilt, and I would also dearly love to reproduce an antique applique project. I also have a burning desire to start at least one of the Nancy Page quilts - I just can't decide whether to start with the leaves, the birds, or the laurel wreath. Of course, none of those are very primitive (although the "rules" don't specify that the project has to be prim), so I am considering a few others that fit the bill a little better. I'd love to get started on Wedding March, and also would like to do the taupe quilt from Homestead Hearth. I also purchased all the fabric to make a log cabin with applique - again, not very primitive, but I'd like to get it done. Decisions, decisions! Thankfully I have a few more weeks to mull it over...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wishin' I could be in Houston

Watching all of the exciting posts from Market and Festival makes me wish I had followed through on my plan to go to Houston this year. It turns out it's a good thing that I decided not to go, as my assistance is needed here, but I sure feel like I am missing out on all the fun! This is the toughest time of year from a quilting and rug hooking perspective - nothing of any magnitude planned until rug camp in February and the quilt shows in April. It'll be a long winter!

Once again, I have gone off the deep end and started yet another new project. It's so hard to resist when you see all the wonderful patterns and fabrics out there! This one is the basket quilt from "When the Wind Blows", another book I picked up during the shop hop last weekend. I am using Brannock & Patek's Blessings fabric, a new Moda line that just hit the shops. I started with a layer cake (also picked up during the hop), but now need to order lots more. I finished the first basket last night - only 290 left to go!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shop Hopping

I've managed to make it to five of the Country Shop Hop shops, although my plans had to be changed a bit last night due to the torrential rains that hit Missouri. I was only able to visit one shop on my way down - Love to Sew Boutique in Osage Beach, MO. There I found a wonderful rendition of a Smith Street Designs pattern. The shop owner is making the pattern in blue-teals and yellow greens instead of the Thimbleberries-looking sample on the pattern cover. It was gorgeous! I also snagged a cute free pattern for a Dresden plate table runner and the new Dresden book that I have been wanting to pick up for a while.

I headed up to Versailles, MO to Linda's Cotton Patch this afternoon. I love Linda's shop, especially all the wonderful Japanese taupes. I left there with a few more pieces that I couldn't live without as well as a couple other odds and ends I needed. I then headed to Stover to visit the three quit shops there. I found the "When the Wind Blows" book I had been looking for - spent more than I would have on Amazon, but I really wanted it now... I also picked up a few of the new "nutmeg" Hoffman batiks. I'm starting to collect for the Falling Leaves pattern. I decided it calls for autumn colors instead of the brights I was thinking about. I then ofcused on collecting a bunch of Civil War repros for the basket quilt I am so in love with. The prices were certainly right! I will need some shirtings or other old-looking neutrals for the background. I'm toying with the idea of heading up to Mexico on my way home tomorrow. I know they would have them there.

Tomorrow I will definitely visit the shops in Greenview and Camdenton. I won't be able to make it to the shops that are further out west, but may stop at another shop or two as I make my way home.

In between all the shopping and driving, I did manage to finish block six of my Summer's End project. I'm hoping that block three of My Garden Album is waiting for me at home. I'm ready to switch back to cotton for at least a few days!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Inspiration Overload!

I didn't exactly end up starting the new quilt last weekend, but I did buy the fabric. I actually did start one of the quilts I was thinking about - Dutch Treat - but for some reason it just didn't "grab" me. I really struggled to find a block that I was interested in starting with, and then half way through appliqueing it I decided that I just wasn't all that excited about pursuing the project. I threw the block away and removed the project from my mental "to do" list, clearing the way for things I really am excited about, like "Everything But the Kitchen Sink". I started that one this weekend, using the background fabric I purchased for the Dutch Treat quilt. I haven't made a lot of progress, but like my colors so far. I've decided to do brights rather than 30s. I have enough 30s quilts either in progress or on my "wanna" list. Here's a peek at the colors so far:
I am planning to make my way down to the Ozarks this weekend to participate in the Country Shop Hop. I won't be able to make it to all the participating shops, but will be able to get to about half of them and might stop by a couple others along the way. I don't need a thing - definitely no new projects - but I haven't done a hop in a while so it sounds like fun.

I have made an effort to get back to my Basketful rug this week. My goal is to have it completed by Oct. 24. Perhaps if I take it (and no applique) with me to the lake I can make some progress!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back from Runaway

Well, I started out with the best of intentions, but completely changed my mind once I finally sat down at the sewing machine! I began working on some of my UFO projects on Tuesday and just couldn't talk myself into moving my machine up to the Mexican Star classroom. So instead I spent the entire retreat in sit & sew and ended up knocking out four of my Sweet Annie's BOM blocks and 26 pages of half-square triangle paper for another project that's been sitting in a pile in the sewing room for longer than I can remember. I didn't end up getting nearly as much handwork done as I had hoped, but I'm not at all surprised. In the end, the Mexican Star pieces came home in a bag in the same state as when they left here. Another UFO, but one I can tackle in the convenience of my sewing room.

Here's the latest Summer's End block:

I finished my second My Garden Album BOM block before leaving for Runaway but didn't get a chance to post it:

Between BOP, a new Yahoo group I found, Runaway, and a stop at the Cotton Patch quilt shop in Woodlawn, IL, I have been inspired to start numerous new projects. I plan to start at least one new one tomorrow. Now I just have to decide which one!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Preparing for Runaway

I finally got my act together and started getting things ready to head to Runaway Quilters this week. I'm taking the "Mexican Star" class. I guess I need to update my list of projects with all the new things I have started over the last couple of weeks...

While not a very good picture (my shadow is in the way!), here's a shot of the beginnings of my Runaway project. It's hard to see the colors in this photo, but I've gone with purple and teal. The background fabric pulls it all together, honest!

I also plan to take my Civil War repros and shirtings and try to make some headway on sewing the 20+ pages of triangle squares I've had sitting on top of the cabinet in my sewing room. It's funny how much we tend to think we can accomplish in a few days, isn't it? I keep thinking I need to prepare another wool applique block in case I finish the one I am working on, and I debated whether to cut more of the fabrics for the repro quilt in case I finished all those triangle squares. Chances are I won't even finish the current wool block and will end up working on my Mexican Star in sti & sew. I'm going to do my best to be really productive...we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer's End Block 4

I'm continuing to plug away at my Summer's End BOW project. I finished block four shortly before leaving for New York & BOP last week. I prepped block five and took it with me to New York with high hopes of getting it finished on the trip. I might have actually gotten it done had I remembered to pack a needle! I was so bummed - it's not like you can readily get your hands on a chenille needle in midtown Manhattan.

Inspired by Kathy Delaney's class and quilt at BOP, I pulled out my Hearts and Flowers blocks last night. I started the project with my applique group in 2006, when I was very new to applique. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did a pretty decent job on them! I have nine blocks finished, but had started a tenth one to replace one I wasn't too impressed with. I don't think I ever planned to make all twelve - I was shooting for nine. After close inspection, I have decided that I need to redo the flower on one of the blocks, but the other seven are in good shape. I think I will try to get the new block finished and the flower reworked over the weekend, and then set my sights on designing a setting. I think it needs something on the border, but I'm not sure what yet. I like Kathy's Celtic hearts, but don't think I want to commit to quite that much additional work...I want to finish this one in time for show & tell at BOP next September!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baltimore on the Prairie

I've been busy lately - it's hard to believe I haven't posted in three weeks! I just returned from the most wonderful quilting event - the innaugural Baltimore on the Prairie applique conference. How wonderful it was to spend three and a half days completely immersed in applique! I took a class from Kathy Delaney. The block we worked on is actually the BOP logo, so I am particularly excited to finish it. Although I have had classes with Kathy a couple of times in the past, I did learn new things and really enjoyed myself. The evening programs were lots of fun and very inspirational. I added several projects to my mental "to do" list after seeing all the beautiful work presented by the faculty and students. One project that really grabbed my attention was a Baltimore done on a black background. It was really striking! I know that I already have way too many applique projects in the works, but I just may have to start a Baltimore...

Here's a picture of the BOP faculty taken at the last evening program:

The faculty included Jan Carlson, Jeanne Sullivan, Nadine Thompson, Nancy Kerns, and Kathy Delaney. Also pictured is Tresa Jones, the co-director and organizer extraordinaire. Everyone did such an awesome job planning and executing the event. It was truly outstanding! I'm anxiously awaiting the information on next year's program - I can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Garden Album Block Done

Just a quick update this evening - I finished the first block of My Garden Album, my latest BOM endeavor. I've turned my focus to my Botanical Tiles blocks and am nearing completion of the first one... I may have another picture to post tomorrow!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Awesome Find in NYC

I spent the past two evenings trying to figure out the garment district. Last night I wandered into a few fabric stores but didn't make any purchases. I got a late start, so a number of the ribbon & trim stores I passed were already closed. Tonight I was able to head out a little bit earlier and went a slightly different direction. Boy, did I hit the big time! I found M & J Trimming, the biggest ribbon store I have ever seen! I found a huge selection of hand-dyed silk ribbon... Of course, a LOT of it had to come home in my suitcase! The good news is that it doesn't take up much room! Here's just one section of the store - there's so much that I can't get it all in one shot:

And here's a shot of the awesome collection of silk:

It's going to be hard to resist going back when I'm here in September!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Retreat

I spent the past weekend retreating at Bed of Roses with one of my all-time favorite applique teachers & designers, Dinah Jeffries of Garden City Gateworks. I have been trying to get her to come to the St. Louis area to teach for years, and finally my persistence paid off! We spent the weekend working on various "body parts" for dimensional flowers. Her quilts are absolutely gorgeous and her work is incredible! I was really shocked to learn that she doesn't trace her pattern onto her background, nor does she trace her pattern onto her fabric - she wings it! We had a wonderful weekend and learned a lot. I am so excited to work on her "Botanicals" quilt. I nearly finished the first block at the retreat. I'll have to take it with me to New York so I can stitch the rest of my flowers down.

I also made a little progress on my first "My Garden Album" block. The new BOM started last week. It's a great pattern and the fabrics are fun - lots of different colors and prints - but it pales in comparison to the Botanicals blocks. I am really, really hoping to keep up with this one. I lost that battle on "Applique Affair" - I'm hopelessly behind on that one. I always start with such good intentions!

I'm off to New York for the rest of the week. I plan to pack plenty of applique to work on but probably won't get much done. I am hoping to get over to the garment district if my work schedule allows. I've heard that it's really something to see!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Progress Report

It's interesting to look back on the last picture of my Basketful rug and see how much I actually accomplished over the weekend. I had high hopes of really knocking out most of the rug over the weekend - who was I kidding? I put in a lot of hours and there's still a long way to go, but I definitely did make progress.

I'm counting down until the next retreat...Only a couple more days! We'll be back at the B&B, but this time with a teacher that I have been wanting to take a class from for years. I still need to make a decision on a background and perhaps wind a few more bobbins to add to my thread collection before I'm ready to go. I haven't decided what project to work on prior to the class - my wool, my new BOM, or even the cutwork, which is one of the teacher's patterns. Decisions, decisions!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Summer's End Block Finished!

Instead of spending the day doing something on a machine, I sat at the machine and did handwork. No wonder I never get anything done! I did manage to finish block three of the Summer's End BOW.

I really should press these blocks before I post them, but I'm always so excited to have one finished that I can't wait to get a picture! I will have to start prepping block four tomorrow so I can get a start on it at bee Tuesday. I don't know how many weeks are left in the program; all I know is that I am hopelessly behind!

I really hope that the new BOM from Homestead Hearth arrives this week. I'd love to get started on it (yes, I am totally crazy!). I'm also dying to get a start on either Falling Leaves or Laurel Wreath from my Nancy Page patterns. I need more time!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Weekend Projects

Yesterday was a good day. I spent about six hours working on my Basketful rug. Too bad it doesn't look like I spent six hours on it - the background just seems to go on forever! I did do a couple of leaves, but mostly spent the time trying to fil in the upper left corner. We're going to the lake to hook next weekend...wonder if there's any chance I could finish it? I would love to be able to move on to another project.

It really doesn't look like there's that much left, but when you look closely you see that it's probably half the rug.

Unfortunately, today hasn't been that successful from a productivity standpoint. I tried to start my Turning Leaves quilt using machine applique. I used King Tut variegated thread and really didn't like the result. I think I will either need to do invisible machine applique or go back to the original plan of hand appliqueing it. Of course, if I add it to the hand work list, there's little chance it will ever get done!

Tonight I worked on block three of my wool applique project. I botched the positioning of the center star badly, and it all but fell apart when I took it off and tried to redo it. I think the best bet is to find some wool in a similar color and start over. A couple of the star points are just threads now. Very sloppy!

I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be a little less frustrating...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday again...Bummer!

The retreat was wonderful, and I was about as productive as a person doing handwork can be. I lost the photo of my blocks that I took Saturday night, so I'll have to remember to take another this evening. I managed to finish 20 blocks on Saturday and another 10 or so yesterday. I need 224 total, so I still have quite a way to go! I'm enjoying working with the 30s fabrics - it's such a huge change of pace for me.

I decided to start on my Turning Leaves quilt, too. Why not? What's one more UFO? I originally thought that I would do it by hand, but after thinking about it this weekend, I think I will try machine applique. I have some beautiful King Tut threads that will look great with my bright fabrics. I have so many hand applique projects in progress and plan to start so many more that it seems crazy to add that one to the list.

I began to prep Summer's End block three when I got home last night. Hopefully I can get some of the wool cut out and get it started after the baby shower tonight.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Retreat - Day One

We had a great time yesterday and the food was wonderful! I didn't get nearly as much done as I thought I would (as usual), but I did manage to finish block two of my Summer's End block-of-the-week. I am headed out in just a few minutes for day two. I'll be working on my drunkard's path today. Hopefully I can make a dent in that pile of blocks!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One more day until retreat

I'm really looking forward to our retreat this weekend. Although I am not spending the night, I plan to take advantage of as much of each day as possible to try and get something accomplished. I'm not sure what that 'something' will be, though! I prepared a bunch of the drunkard's path blocks - enough to keep me busy all weekend - but have been thinking that I should take along my wool applique project in case I need a diversion. I finished prepping block two last night. I'm getting so far behind - I think I received the 7th one yesterday! Then I started thinking that I would really love to start working on the Turning Leaves quilt. I've been wanting to make that one forever! I can't decide what colorway to use, though. I'd like to make it bright - I'm not ready to do another fall colors quilt again, although now that I think about it, it might make a nice wall hanging to accompany my Autumn Jewels. I'd love to do blues and greens, but I am afraid that it wouldn't have enough color to really "pop". Decisions, decisions!

I need to do a little shopping tonight anyway - my gift certificate is waiting for me at The Quilted Fox, and tonight will be my only opportunity to use my Jackman's coupon. Perhaps something will catch my eye, and I can add another UFO to my list!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

So many projects, so little time!

It seems like every time I turn around, I find another quilt or rug that I can't wait to start! I have started six rug hooking projects already this year, but have only finished two so far. Well, one of them isn't completely finished, but the hooking is done. I don't know that I can even count how many quilting projects I have started or purchased fabrics for. I have finished one - my Autumn Jewels quilt I started at Runaway in 2007. I am actually keeping up with the Bunny Hill block of the month project, but other than that I continue to fall behind on the many block of the month (and now block of the week!) projects I have subscribed to.

So what's the next big project? I have started a drunkard's path in 30s fabrics and have purchased some of the fabrics for the cover quilt on the current issue of Fons & Porter magazine. Although I have fallen in love with the look of the 30s fabrics, I think I need to do a bright quilt to appease my husband's tastes. I think the bright colors will work with the pattern...I can't wait to get started on it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One down (almost)!

I finished binding my blog hook-along rug last night. I still need to sew the tape down, but it's far enough along to be able to get my pictures off to Gene Shepherd for possible inclusion in his article. I enjoyed working with the proddy and would like to do something else dimensional in the future.

Now I need to focus my attention on getting my rug from camp finished. I have two new starts coming up in the next five weeks, so I'd love to get something else off the list. I'm continuing to try and get at least a wall hanging finished for the quilt show. It's starting to look like I won't be able to get the big quilt quilted in time. I'm a bit disappointed, but maybe I'll learn my lesson and actually get a few projects finished before the 2011 show!

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Much Inspiration!

I'm trying to settle back into work after a week plus of inspiration overload... I attended the IQA show in Chicago a week ago Saturday and then headed to Paducah on Tuesday. Both shows seemed more crowded than usual, particularly Paducah. It was so busy on Wednesday that you could hardly move in the main exhibit hall. The quilts were absolutely gorgeous this year. Applique is definitely "in", and pieced backgrounds are becoming increasingly popular. I really love the look of a pieced background. One that I particularly loved was something similar to a sawtooth star - the center was a solid square...I'm not sure what the real name of the block is - in neutrals.

I purchased tons of fabric and quite a few beautiful patterns in Paducah. I was sucked in by Primitive Pastimes in Chicago (again!) and ended up buying three more wool applique kits. I still haven't touched the two from last year! I'm particularly anxious to get started on the cutwork pattern I purchased from Dinah Jeffries.

I finished my inspirational week by attending wool club at Nola's yesterday. This month's wool was a beautiful blue/jewel-colored spot dye. We chose colors for my upcoming scroll class and discussed possibilities for Anita's class in June. I'm leaning toward choosing a crewel pattern for that one. My colors will likely be very similar to the ones I chose for the scrolls. Of course, I can't think about the fact that I am starting TWO new rugs in the next month and a half.

My goals for this week are to deliver my Faceted Jewels quilt to Jackie and finish the prodded flower basket. Oh, and I plan to send in my "Cash Dash" form to the state. Wouldn't it be nice to find out they owe me enought to purchase a longarm?!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Making Progress

I actually managed to be somewhat productive tonight! I'm still slightly irritated with myself for starting yet another rug this week and for signing up for the wool applique class tomorrow. Not to mention the fact that I am thinking about signing up for yet another rug class this summer. This will be a record year for me - more rugs started than ever before! I actually may be on pace to start more quilts than ever, too. I'm completely out of control!

I finished the last of the center blocks for my Faceted Jewels quilt tonight. Much to my dismay, I wasn't able to check off another step on the pattern. There are about 30 more partial blocks that have to be made beofre step 7 is complete. I hope to get back to it tomorrow night...after the applique class, of course!

I'm thinking that I may design a 9 block (or possibly 4 block) Baltimore album-style rug for the class with Anita White. I think she'd be great with something like that and I think I would enjoy it more than working on that Emma Lou pattern I found in my stash.

I hope to do a little more organizing tomorrow. I want to start moving things to the basement but there's still a lot of cleaning, moving and planning necessary before I can completely move in. I haven't decided what all will go down there - I need to spend a little more time planning, but that cuts into the quilting & hooking time! Of course, there are a few other things on the "to do" list, too. Hmmm....how much longer do I have to get those taxes finished?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crazy Quilting & Rug Hooking

Wow - I can't believe it has been over a month since I posted! Of course, a lot has happened over the past few weeks. I've started a number of new projects - I think it's time to rethink (and perhaps expand) my lists.

I spent the week of Feb 9th taking a class on crazy quilting at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. The class was absolutely wonderful! Judith was a fantastic teacher, and I really appreciated and enjoyed having the ability to focus on a single project all week. I'm so used to the 6-hour workshop that you leave with little more than a block or two.

Last week was our 2009 Toddhall rug camp. Our teacher this year was Cynthia Norwood. She was wonderful! She was really a lot of fun and we learned so much about antique paisley shawls and creating antique-looking rugs. I am working on a really fun pattern - the flowers are a bit on the modern side, yet I am hooking it in really primitive, old-looking colors. I can't wait to finish it!

In addition to the above, I spent several days in New York City and had a chance to visit The City Quilter. What a fun shop! I also attended a retreat at a little bed and breakfast in Collinsville, IL where I worked on the first two Bunny Hill BOM blocks. I still need to complete the embroidery, but the applique was finished just in time for the release of block #3.

I am starting yet another rug in a class at Nola's this week, and attending a wool applique class on Saturday. I really need to stop starting all these new things and focus on getting a few quilts finished for the quilt show. June will be here before we know it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Creative Juices Project #1

I managed to finish hooking my chairpad/table mat in only a couple of evenings. I still need to steam it and finish the edge, but I'm excited that I finished the hooking so quickly. I'm already thinking about another diversion - this one a bit larger. I know I shouldn't, but it is oh so tempting!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I'm deviating from the plan already! I went to a "Creative Juices" class on Monday at Nola's studio. The project-of-the-month was a hexagon chair pad. We brainstormed different ways one might fill a hexagon, including diamonds ("lonestar" look) and tumbling blocks. I like the idea of hooking log cabin squares in tumbling blocks, but doing it as a chair pad would be a bit tedious. I decided to follow Nola's original plan and use the diamonds for my project. I chose a seven shades of blue/teal for my color pallete. I got a pretty good start on it on Monday, and spent several hours last night and tonight filling in the diamonds. I had hoped to knock it out this weekend, but that's probably not going to happen. Between the Creative Juices classes Nola is planning, my upcoming camp, the Anita White class, and another rug Nola is teaching that I fell in love with, I think it is safe to say that I am not going to get my original list of rugs done this year!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Finish!

I actually managed to finish my first project of the new year! Of course, it was mostly finished in December (or perhaps November?) , but I needed to finish sewing the binding tape down. It doesn't have a label, but I'm still counting it!

Facing Reality

So, it's time to face the fact that I've fallen short of the first goal I set for 2009. Only one day left before the "Creative Juices" class and I haven't finished stitching tape on the basket rug or even come close to finishing the Illinois rug! I have been working on the Illinois rug up until last night, but I'm only about two-thirds of the way done. The method I am using to hook the sky really slows me down.

I've decided to switch over to the Fraktur rug for a while I'm less than half way done with that one. The teacher of that class, Susan Feller, contacted us to ask for photos of finished projects for possible inclusion in an upcoming book. I'd love to be able to finish in time for possible consideration. I think it means having it done within the next month or so.

I have been working on my Faceted Jewels quilt and am making headway on that project. I am hoping to have that one completed, including quilting, in time for the quilt show. Hopefully I will be able to list it as my first completion for 2009.

I did manage to add another project to my ever-growing wish list yesterday - an X-block project. One of the demo-day teachers at the LQS had made up the "Venetian Tiles" pattern with horizontal black "lines" instead of the vertical light lines shown on the pattern cover. She had used scraps of reds, blues, golds, and greens for the colors in the quilt, keeping them all together in each block. Hard to describe, but really striking. I may use this for my retreat project at the end of February. Of course, that would mean taking one of the others off the list. Hmmm....decisions, decisions!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Work...Sigh!

It was difficult to get back in the work groove this morning. I was rather enjoying my temporary life of leisure. I spent a little time working on my Faceted Jewels quilt project yesterday and again after work tonight, and also worked on the Illinois rug both days. I'm actually progressing pretty quickly on the Illinois rug. Not so on the Faceted Jewels quilt. There's a lot to that project! I need to do a better job of taking notes when I stop working on it for a while. Every time I pick it back up I have to spend a half hour trying to figure out where I left off.

I'll have to try out the new camera and post a picture of my works-in-progress in the next couple of days. My short-term goal is to complete hooking the Illinois rug and finish sewing down the binding tape on the basket rug BEFORE I take Nola's "Creative Juices" class on January 19. It would be very exciting to complete two UFOs before the end of January - what a great way to start the year!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My List for 2009

I'm trying something new for 2009 - working to focus my efforts on a select group of projects in an attempt to see them through to completion. I have to have variety - no way I can limit myself to one quilt and one rug at a time, and absolutely no way can I avoid starting new projects until others are finished. Instead, I have come up with my "top 10" quilts and "top 5" rugs to focus on in 2009:

Top Ten Quilt Projects

1. Applique Affair BOM
2. Elegant Garden
3. Joy's Garden
4. Feathered Friends
5. Sweet Annies' BOM
6. Tile Tango I & II
7. Faceted Jewels
8. Holiday Sampler
9. Disappearing Nine Patch (batiks)
10. Dear Jane

Top Five Rug Projects

1. Baskets
2. Illinois Postcard
3. Fraktur
4. Jumbo Star
5. Paisley

I may start another BOM next week, and if so will have to eliminate one of the listed projects to accomodate it. As a project is completed, it can be replaced with another. If nothing else, it should be fun to track progress over the year and see where my time goes...