Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tropical Puzzle

Remember these??

They became this.

Let's move back a little to take it all in......

Then the sun shined on down and changed things.

Interesting to see how the lighting can so dramatically change the coloring of things.

Thank you to Jack and Zach, my quilt models for their assistance.

The pattern is called "Athena's Puzzle" and its from Blue Underground Studios.

I'm calling mine "Tropical Puzzle" for the colors I used. It reminds me of the Carribean Islands.

Go sew something.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

I go Black Friday shopping every year.......its a ritual, like eating mashed potatoes with LOTS of gravy with the turkey. This year, Amy told me about a very special Black Friday event at Material Girls. If you arrived between 12:00 to 12:15 am, it was 30 percent off almost everything in the store.

Hard to resist huh??? But I had to think about this one.......Material Girls is an hour and half drive from my home. And I had to be at my usual Black Friday stores by 4am......which meant there was no going to bed that night for me.

So I had to think about it.......and guess what??? The lure of fabric and quilty fun won out and away we went! Besides Amy, Tricia, Lisa, and Georgia went along too.....and so did Georgia's son Ryan.

I brought along Swedish Fish, black licorce, and a 6 pack of Mountain to keep that sugar level up!!

And it was the right choice!!!! I found some fantastic fabric and had lots of fun!!! They held drawings for the first person who could show whatever the requested object was. Guess who won a door prize for a tattoo on the ankle and pix of a quilt I had made??? Good thing I have the I-phone cuz I was wayyyy quicker scrolling through my photo gallery than the other two ladies who ran up.

Then there was the shopping......check out these pretties!

Now I seriously lack whites in my stash cuz they are ususally mega boring. So when I found these...

I bought them up!! Lisa had shown me the squirrel fabric a few months ago and I loved it so. Then I found some and bought a whole yard. You never know when you'll need some fabric featuring a squirrel right?!

And I bought these too.....

Fun!!!!! But wait, I saw this realllllly cool shirt hanging up. In fantasic floral fabric. I drooled.....and I pondered cuz I NEVER sew clothes anymore. But the coolness factor won out.

Can't wait to sew this up and wear it to work!!!! Maybe in time for the holidays????

Finally there was this one was.......different......very very different......

So different it was ugly.

And I love the uglies.......

I bought the whole bolt.

It was like 3 or 4 yards of the stuff.

This morning Amy send me this picture.

Enough said about my taste in fabric.

Have a good day!


Friday, November 26, 2010

How to have fun at a retreat- part three

Gobble, gobble, gobble......hope you are not sick of turkey yet. Today is going to be the last installment of how to have fun at a retreat and it bring us to one of the key decisions for a retreat......What to bring!!!!!!

I always like to bring too much stuff for two reasons. First, I under some delusion that I will actually be able to get it all done. Maybe if I did not spend so much time on the socializing and eating parts of the retreat, I would get more done but where is the fun in that! The second reason is in case I get bored working on one thing, I can switch to doing something else.

Following my usual plans, I packed LOTS of stuff!!!!!! And I even got some things done!!!!

I pieced these house blocks together last winter for Bumble Beans. She was collecting blocks to make into quilts for the homeless shelters.I missed the deadline for turning in the blocks, darn. BUT I still could turn in a quilt for the project. So I finally got it all pieced, quilted and bound! It is going to ship out this week. I am going to send two other quilts along that I finished up. Hopefully they will be keeping people warm soon.

Another view but you can see my new orange Crocs too!

Then I finished up the snowball saw that before but here it is again.

And that took care of my tops. Then it was time to finish up some piecing on projects that have been sitting around a while.

I started these blocks about a year ago, made a few, and then pushed the whole project aside until now.

Now I love the blocks in this quilt and the colors so I really have no idea why I kept putting it aside. One of the mysteries of life I guess. But I sewed away at the retreat.......

And finished up all the blocks. They came out smashing!!!! See the one block in this picture, so much fun!!

No time to sew them all together at the retreat BUT when I got home, I laid them all out and finished the top.

You'll have to wait for a photo though, too rainy today for taking one.

And yes, those are stickers on my sewing machine. I added some bling......

Then I tried some of Bonnie Hunter's tricks. I had read in her book about using "enders and leaders" to start and end your stitching. You start and end your project with pieces from a different project. Alot less thread waste and long ends to deal with using this technique.

 I thought I would give it a try......and I had a really good project to do it with.

I have 300 plus of these things to sew together. It is veryyyyyyy boring to do these at once so doing them little by little while working on something else at the same time has worked out great. I have about 50 of them done so far.

Near the end of the retreat, I was getting tired of sewing so I spend a few hours cutting up all my batiks scraps into the sizes of blocks that Bonnie uses in her Enders and Leaders book. She has a new one coming out soon and showed some of the quilts from that book at the recent Flying Geese guild meeting.

They were fabulous!!!!! And now I got my scraps ready to roll when the book comes out.

Now when I was done cutting all these up I had a pile of little bits and pieces left......


Toooooooo pretty to just toss. So I asked people for ideas.....and one gal suggested using the strings to fill those hollow ornaments you see at Christmas time.

Great idea!!!!!

So I chopped them up a little confetti!!!

And mixed it in with some strings......

Ta dah!!!!! Fabric salad!!!!!

Now to find those hollow ornaments!!!

Before I head off, let's have a show of many of you are Black Friday shoppers?????

I am!!!!!

And this year I found out a quilt shop got in on the fun!!!!!

And that's a tale for next time.....

Have a great day!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to have fun at a retreat- part two

One of the key parts to any retreat is........the FOOD!!!!! Think chocolate and lots of it!!! And I am not talking about the food the retreat place is serving, I am talking about what people bring to share. The Southern Comforters had some great food. See??

Apple Pie!!!

And I made these.....

Peppermint Patty Brownies

Then there was the chips.......I LOVE chips!!!!

Here's a view of the whole spread.....

Making you hungry???

Let's just say at 2am when the munchies kicked in, I was covered.

What's your favorite food to bring to a retreat??????

Now I actually did do some sewing when I was not goofing around or cruising the snack table.

I finished up this snow ball quilt.

A group of us made the blocks during a charity event with my guild. I put it all together and quilted it. Now its going to the Joann. She LOVES to do binding.

Me, I get the cold chills when some says binding by hand. Not on my list of preferred activities.

Here's the back side of the quilt, isn't it fun!

One more installment this week of how to have fun at a retreat and then on to new topics!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to have fun at a retreat- part one

I had a great time at the Southern Comforters retreat this past weekend. My friend Amy invited me to go and it was a barrel of laughs! Amy and her buddy Shelia are learning sign language and they got to practice on me. I taught them all the naughty signs you never learn in a class, snicker snicker. Lot of other ladies at the retreat got in on the fun too.

There are a few secrets to having fun on a retreat I thought I would share with you over the next few days. Plus I can show you what I managed to get done! The first key ingredient to a great retreat is great friends!!

I met Amy two years ago at a class I was teaching and we hit it off immediately. She decided to make a clothes line bowl but it got a litttttttttle too oval......

And somehow became known as the "bucket helmet".

Or here's a flash back to the 80's........"Blossom", remember her hat???

It was sooooo big, the two of us could it under it......

Note my sock monkey pajamas, it was kinda late at night.

We also played some dice game which involved having to ante up with fat quarters.

See the pile of fat quarters in the middle just waiting for a winner!

PS, it wasn't me.

So that's the first step to a great retreat, and if you don't know anyone, that's ok too!!! Cuz quilters are friendly folks just waiting for an excuse to blab, chill, and fondle your fabric. By the time you leave, you might know tooooo much information about some folks!

Stayed tuned for the next installment of retreat fun!


Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm heading on retreat today!!!! And guess what?????? When I was taking a class with Bonnie Hunter this past week, I asked her when she would be heading back home. And she goes......well this weekend I am going on retreat with the Southern Comforters, and I scream!!! Cuz you know what, I am too!!!!!

Isn't that exciting!!! My friend Lisa wants to hide in my suitcase and come along......she took the class too. See the lovely letter she made......

And I really covet her sweater!!! It's a great shade of yellow.....and really makes me want to go out a buy a case of Mellow Yellow soda, remember that commerical "mellow yellow makes you feel so good so fast, right down to your toes!".

I got to hurry along and pack up the car before heading to work. But I need your help!!!!

How do I quilt this top??????

And a few notes, I hate echo quilting, so that is not an option. And I don't mark tops (unless its a grid).

I really just like to do things free any ideas what I should do???

Have a great weekend!!!!

Me and my peppermint patty brownies are heading to the car!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Class with Mary Lou!

I had lots of fun taking class with Mary Lou!! And I picked up some good tips......with the most important one being about what Mary Lou calls "light giver" fabrics. These are fabrics which contain light, medium, and dark values all within one print. They help draw your eye into a quilt and give it some zing!

This print is a good example of a light giver.....

Mary Lou also talked about using a variety of prints....dots, stripes, plaids, tone on tone, large scale, etc to create interest within the quilt. Good to know I have been on the right track all these years!

The goal of the class was to begin making a self portrait. Mary Lou starts with the borders NOT the quilt center when she makes a quilt. So that's where we started too.

Now I have a hard time following directions sometimes.......a real hard time. So Mary Lou wanted us to start off making a wonky churn dash block for our border. But I have always loved her flower borders and reallllllly wanted to have a flower border for my quilt.

So I asked her if it was ok for me to make a flower instead.....and she said yes!!!

She suggested starting with an easy I picked out some scraps.

And added the background background is a purple polka dot print.

And my flowers were born.

The technique for making these is really loose. It's alot of free cutting and then fitting it all together like a jig saw puzzle. After I made these I had to make my favorite flower......the cone flower!!

I had so much fun making it......gonna make lots more of these in a variety of colors. That's another thing Mary Lou mentioned, that you don't have to have your colors true to the real thing. Hmmmm, maybe some green cone flowers!

I made a whole bunch of flowers in two days.


I made a little bird too......he's really cute. Might make some more of those.....

Then I worked on my game plan for the quilt center. The first thing to do was make a list of 30 things about the "star" of the quilt. Since I'm the star, I had to write about myself.

Then you narrow the list down to the 6 things you think are most important. Mary Lou said you always end up adding some more as the work progresses so leave some space.

Then you  make a's mine.

I really struggled to figure out how to make a sitting on the ground me. Those legs gave me a tough time. So I asked Mary Lou for some help......

She's really good at drawing!!!  I'm going to make the kids sit down and try sketching them so I can get better.

I have alot more flowers to make before I get to the quilt center, so I have time to refine my sketch and practice drawing more.

Tuesday is class with Bonnie Hunter and then a retreat this coming weekend. These past two weeks have been a festival of quilty stuff!!

Loving it!!!!

Have a great day!!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween Revisited

Halloween has come and gone but pictures last forever. A few of my favorites.....

Pumpkin picking!!!

The resulting jack o' lanterns!

All dressed up and looking for treats!

The cub scouts had a Halloween party so I made cupcakes.......

Since it's for Halloween, I decided to try making spiders to go on top......

First the body.....

Now to add some legs.....

And of course some eyes!!!!

I thought they came out pretty good and the cubs ate them all up.

These two helped with the licking of the bowl......

I have been cutting, cutting, cutting these past two weeks. I decided to get all my novelty scraps and cut them into a useable size. I want to make a snowball quilt AND a spools quilt with them.

I have boxes of novelty scraps so it is taking a while to get this project done.

I'm also dividing another giant box of scraps into strings and crumbs for a class I am taking next week with Bonnie Hunter.

BUT this week!!!!!! This week I am taking a class with MaryLou Weidman!!!! I can not wait and will post lots of pictures from the class. I promise!!!

Have a great day!!!