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...