Monday, May 31, 2010

Finished With Time to Spare!

I managed to finish this month's Applique Affair block with 12 hours left in the month.  I'm not completely happy with my berries, but one of the worst is the one I made using Perfect Circles.  I was so happy to finally get them all finished...and so disappointed when I saw that there were 8 berries on the next My Garden Album block!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Projects

I can hardly wait for this year's Primitive Gatherings BOW to get started!  I have been interested in Florence Peto's quilts for a couple of years and have been dreaming of doing something along the lines of the Calico Garden or Froncie Quinn's "Florrie's Garden" pattern.  In fact, I purchased the Calico Garden pattern and joined Florrie's Gardening Club when I visited Froncie's booth at Paducah this year.  I hadn't even unpacked my purchases from Paducah (okay, I still haven't) when I received Lisa Bongean's e-mail about the new BOW.  It looks like it will be awesome - a mix of wool and cotton with designs based on Florence Peto's quilts.  Lisa is such an incredible designer!  Here's a picture of the first week's blocks from her website: 

From the Primitive Gathering's website:

I should receive the first packet the week of June 7.  I hope it arrives before I leave for vacation - I'd love to get a jump-start on this one!

Another project that I am very anxious to get started on is the new BOM from Ewe-nique Creations.  Unfortunately they don't have a picture of it up on their site yet.  I opted for the wool applique on linen version.  The blocks are Baltimore-style with wonderful embellishments.  I received the first block a couple of weeks ago.  It's interesting in that you quilt the block (linen on batting, no backing) for stability prior to doing the applique.  I hope to prep the background this weekend so that I can get started on that one very soon.

I've got big plans for getting a lot accomplished this weekend!  I still need to start Applique Affair block 19 (I've traced the pattern, but haven't started the block) and to do my prep work for my upcoming classes with Elly.  Quilt Colorado is only three weeks away! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garage Sale, Excessive Heat, and a Bit of Sewing

This weekend was crazy busy!  My sister and I finally got around to having our garage sale.  It was a popular weekend - several local neighborhoods had sales the same day (a couple because of rain delays), so the competition was stiff.  I'm never sure if all the hard effort is worth it.  It does force me to clean things out (especially the garage!), but it's certainly not much fun!  Now I have all the follow-up to take care of - getting all the leftovers picked up by whoever will take them.

The weather this weekend was wicked-hot!  It  was dry for the first weekend in over a month, but the humidity was oppressive.  Today was ridiculous - over 90 F.  I hiope it cools back down soon.  I'd hate to think we completely skipped spring!  We did have a bit of spring-like weather in April but May was cold and damp, so I'm not at all ready for heat and humidity.

I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sewing this weekend.  I finished block ten of My Garden Album:

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.  I used the Floriani stabilizer technique that I learned from Mariya Waters in Paducah.  Not bad, but I think I will try the starch technique next.  I still can't find anything that I like working on more than plain-old needle-turn, but it does seem like placement is a bit more accurate when the pieces are prepped ahead of time.

I also managed to do a little more sewing on the Runaway Mystery quilt.  I am definitely not good at "scrappy"!  I'm still working on the February step...I'm a bit behind, but making progress!  I have the most difficult time putting all the different tans/creams together - it just doesn't look like they should be in the same block, but I have seen so many quilts done this way and love them, so I am going to force myself to stick with it.  Here's a shot of all the pieces:

And one of the first blocks (not sewn, but this is the general idea:

Wow...I don't like that one bit!  This is going to be tough!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I often think that I need to start a journal in addition to my blog - an old school, non-electronic notebook where I can keep track of all the projects that inspire me.  I have made several attempts to keep track of the projects I have started, including those I have only purchased supplies for, but I haven't been very good about keeping them up.  I have never kept track of all the things I want to do - projects in magazines or patterns I have purchased.  Perhaps there is no need to track it all, but every once in a while when I am looking through a drawer I will come across a forgotten item.  I have to admit that I am completely out of control when it comes to adding things to my wish list, even if they are just patterns.  I can't tell you how many projects I have purchased all of the fabric for - complete kits, mind you - and haven't even touched.  It's mind-blowing!

The problem with creating such a journal is deciding how to do it such that it is useful as a reference.  I tend to think electronically, so the first thing that comes to mind is creating a spreadsheet with all of the projects listed.  A spreadsheet would allow me to quickly see what I have and track start and finish (yeah, right!) dates along with other useful information.  I could even save the spreadsheet on my phone and always have it with me.  I've tried something similar in the past, but again I haven't maintained it.  The problem with a spreadsheet is that it doesn't allow me to add pictures (well, I suppose I could, but I don't want list maintenance to become a huge ordeal) or draw sketches to capture creative ideas that flit through my mind.  A good old-fashioned notebook would afford me the freedom to paste pictures or doodle, but it doesn't keep my project list as neatly organized.  So, do I start both - a journal and a spreadsheet?  Or stick with my electronic tendencies and go with a spreadsheet, figuring out how to add in the pictures and details I want to capture?  Definitely something to think about...

Since it seems wrong somehow to post without a picture, I will include one of a pattern recently added to my wish list.  I picked up the pattern at the Chicago IQA show.  The pattern was designed by Bits 'n Pieces and is available on their website.  One of the shops in the current issue of Quilt Sampler has a finished version hanging on their wall that is absolutely gorgeous!  Here's a picture of the quilt from the BnP website:

I would love to get started on this one (and the Blessings quilt, the one from McCall's earlier this year, and...the list goes on!)  I am also excited about this year's Primitive Gatherings BOW.   The pattern is inspired by the quilts of Florence Peto.  I have admired her work for some time and finally broke down and purchased the Calico Garden pattern and joined Froncie Quinn's "Florrie's Gardening Club" while in Paducah this year.  I am very anxious to get started on the BOW version of this quilt, and might just start work on a cotton version as well.  Is it any wonder that I am pondering ways to track it all?!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Catching Up!

I'm spending the weekend - half of it, anyway - at the lake.  I headed down here after Wool Club yesterday and will return home tomorrow afternoon.  I spent all of last night and most of today hooking and doing applique.  I finally finished Applique Affair block five (my April assignment):

My pictures aren't the best tonight - both were taken with the cell phone since I don't have my other computer to download from the camera.  And the fabric bled (again!) so I will have to soak it in Syntrapol when I get home, but I couldn't wait to get it posted.  It seems like it has taken forever to finish, even if it has only been a couple of weeks!

I also hooked my May flowers last night.  The new flowers are the red one (looks pink in this shot) on the upper right and the yellow one.  This month's theme was flowers and I was oh-so-tempted to start another project to explore the theme a bit, but I resisted.  I think it would be fun to make something with small proddy flowers with standing wool circles for centers.  A clay flower pot with a few flowers in it would be fun.  I should design something that would fit that frame I purchased from Anita White.  I also need to hook the pumpkin pattern that goes with that frame one of these days.

I received my first block of the month from Ewe-nique Creations on Friday.  I had completely forgotten that I signed up for that one!  It is really wonderful - wool applique on linen.  I was considering starting another project when I finished the next My Garden Album block, possibly Wildflowers or one of the other new patterns I picked up at Chicago or Paducah, but now I am anxious to start that one!  I hope I am able to spend a lot of time sewing while on vacation in June.  My "wanna do" list just keeps growing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Progress Report & Planning for May

I'll start off with an excuse...I was gone half of April, and didn't accomplish much of anything during either of my week-long trips.  With that said, I did okay for the month, just not quite as okay as I had hoped.  I did manage to finish block 9 of My Garden Album.  For some reason I can't get the picture to post right-side-up, so I will have to take another.

I made a lot of progress on my Sue Spargo BOM block 1, but need to add the finishing touches before I can cross that one off the list.  I did finish my April flowers and made a decision on the background after an initial misfire.  Here's the first one I tried.  I love the splash of color, but the flowers really died in it:

So I ordered a vanilla- colored wool from Rebecca Erb and gave it a shot:

It's difficult to see it in the photo.  It's very light, and the flowers really "pop" on it.  I'm not sure it makes the best background, though, but I hooked enough of it that I really don't think I want to change at this point.  It will end up a little brighter than I originally plannned, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I did make a bit more progress on Bird Party, but didn't get started on the Runaway Mystery project until yesterday, so it can't be counted for April.  I also fell short on my Applique Affair project - block 5 is about half way finished, and the May block has already been assigned.

I didn't get much accomplished this weekend, either, despite having good intentions. I was busy Saturday helping my oldest daughter get ready for prom, and I spent Sunday watching my Cardinals play an outstanding game against the Reds.  Go Cards!!! 

So now for the May list:
1.  Finish Applique Affair Block 5
2.  My Garden Album Block 10
3.  More progress on Bird Party
4.  Hook May flowers
5.  Applique Affair Block 19
6.  Finish cutting and begin piecing Runaway Mystery
7. Finish Sue Spargo BOM block 1 (finally!)

I'm also aching to start a new project... I have been wanting to get back to my Dinah Jeffries patterns and I still haven't started the one from McCall's that I picked up fabric for earlier in the year.  I also acquired several beautiful patterns at Chicago and Paducah, and I received the fabric for the Blessings quilt.  And if that was not enough, the Primitive Gatherings BOW starts next month.  Aaarrrghhhh!!!