Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stash Report - October 31st

I'm back on the NO FABRIC wagon again, trying hard to stick to my guns about not buying any new fabric until next year!  I'm also trying to start some new projects to use some stash, but we've been so busy on weekends this month that I haven't had time to putter much in my sewing room.   So for this week the stash report shows a little out and none in: 

Used this week =  0.4 yards
Added this week = 0 yards
Used Year to Date = 36.1 yards
Added Year to Date = 356 yards
Net Used for 2010 = (320.0) yards

Moving very slowly in the right direction.  The 2008 BOM quilt only needs one last set of borders.   But I'm behind in my 2010 BOM projects, I really need to get those blocks done.  Right now next weekend looks completely clear, so I may have my own quilt retreat.  It will be my last chance before I have to get serious about holiday stuff. Maybe with that block of time, I'll have a chance to start a new project! 

Check out Judy's Patchwork Times to see the wondrous stash busting going on globally.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2010

The Fall 2010 Blogger's Quilt Festival is going on at "Amy's Creative Side".  This is the fourth festival, but the first I've joined.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the quilts, especially since family obligations this year kept me from going to any quilt shows. 

I have several favorite quilts, but decided to post "June's Tulip Garden".   My husband asked me to make a quilt for his mother.  She loves tulips and plants a yard full each fall to enjoy at Easter.  So,  I wanted to make her a quilt with tulips. 

The Inspiration
I had seen a couple of block patterns in some of my quilting books.  But none of those were exactly what I wanted, so I designed my own block.  I ended up with four different 10" blocks featuring 2 tulips of varying height.  Each block had 30 pieces.
The blocks
I can only say that I must have been temporally insane when I started this project in 2006.  My original idea was to put the blocks together in rows, just like a garden.  That would have required 49 blocks total. 
The First Plan

Two years of effort resulted in completion of less than half the blocks needed.  I took a hiatus to work on another project due to "tulip fatigue".   It was pretty obvious a different setting was required if I wanted to finish this quilt in my life time (much less my mother-in-law's).  So the final version of June's Tulip Garden" became a reality (with only 35 blocks). 

June's Tulip Garden
My husband gave his mother the quilt Easter Sunday 2008.  I wasn't sure how she'd take it, not everyone appreciates the effort. She was thrilled.  The quilt was on her bed before we left that Sunday and it's still there 2 years later.


The quilting was done by Lesa Foreman of The Corner Sew and So.  It's hard to see in the picture, but it includes loops and swirls along with some very cool dragon flies.  I learned a lot from this quilt, it was the first that I designed completely myself.  I also learned how satisfying it is to have someone appreciate your efforts.  The look on my husband's face when his mother opened the package is a memory I cherish.  Though it was probably the most painfully drawn out project I've done, it was so worth it in the end. 

Thanks for letting me share one of my favorite quilts.  Enjoy the festival!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Favorite Things Friday - October 29th

It's not quite Friday here yet, but it's late enough on Thursday that I can think of it as being already Friday.  (Oh yeah, it's past my bed time as you can tell, the mind is mush).  

In this house lives a very caffeinated coffee drinker, a testy tea drinker and a cool kid hot chocolate drinker.  So mugs are a hot commodity in this house.  Since Halloween is coming up this weekend, I thought I share with you a few of my favorite mugs.

Kiddo (yes at times I think there are three of her)
Me before coffee

Me after coffee (I wish)

My (skinny) guy

I use these year round, not just for Halloween.  They hold enough coffer to get me jump started in the morning and enough hot tea that I'm not up every 5 minutes warming up more water. 

Check out Mrs P.'s Quilting in My Pajamas to see other Favorite Things. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Wall Monday - October 25th

Is it Monday already?  It's the last Monday in October!  That's just about as scary as the the thought that Halloween is next Sunday!  I've already bought goodies for the trick-or-treaters.  Have you? 

We got home about 8 PM last night from our fall foliage tour of Missouri,  As reported in yesterday's stash report, I did do some quilt shop touring as well. Had time to add on one more vertical border to the 2008 BOM before we left, but that's not enough to make it worth while posting a photo.  The design wall is not empty, the purple and yellow blocks ares still up, but no real progress on those either.  Some progress was made on the "traveling project" this weekend.    I started an English paper piecing project back when kiddo was in soccer, it kept me busy while she was attending those hour and a half practices.  It's also been the basketball practice and swim practice project.  Maybe I'll actually have it done by the time kiddo gets out of high school (gives me about 6 years to get it done).  These blocks also do duty as "the long car ride" and "early morning don't want to wake up anyone project" when we visit family. 

At any rate, here's what I worked on this weekend:

Just for fun, here's the other completed blocks. 

These will go back into their travel box for now. 

Go check out Judy's Patchwork Times for other design wall eye candy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stash Report - October 24th

I've been off touring around Missouri this weekend.  Kiddo is on fall break, so we took the opportunity to go see some lovely fall foliage, ride bikes on the Katy trail and visit our favorite winery.  And of course, I had to visit a quilt shop along the way.  I've been so good the last couple of weeks, sticking to reading blogs when I'm on-line.  Deleting the emails from Connecting Threads and Hancock Fabrics with notices of sales without even looking at them.  This week's stash report reveals the sad truth:

Used this week = 0.4 yards
Added this week =  11 yards
Used Year to Date = 35.7 yards
Added Year to Date = 356 yards
Net Used for 2010 = (-320.4) yards

I've wanted to stop at Bittersweet Quilts for a very long time.  The shop has a billboard that can be clearly seen from the northeast bound lanes of I-44 just before you get to Joplin, but we've usually been in too much of a hurry to get somewhere else to take the the 6 mile detour onto Highway 86.  Since we weren't in a such a hurry on Thursday, my guy suggested we stop.  How could I refuse? 
It was a scenic drive, as advertised in "Quilter's Travel Companion".  In fact we stopped at the Reding's Mill Bridge just off Highway 86 to photograph the stream and lovely fall foliage.

Bittersweet Quilts is a small shop, but it is packed with fabrics.  I didn't think to take any pictures of the shop.  The only excuse I can offer is that I've been so deprived of fabric therapy that any and all rational thought was overwhelmed by the sight of all those bolts of fabrics.  The shop has a wonderful selection of batiks, tone-on-tone, Asian, and either Thimbleberry or Kansas Troubles (sorry I don't normally work in that color palette, so I don't pay much attention to that part of any shop).  Unfortunately, I did find some lovely gold on red, gold on gold and gold on black that really had to come home with me. 

My thought was to pair these with the fat quarters I reported here.  Other than a vague idea of how these would work together, I don't have a plan in mind.  I need to get busy and come up with a design.  Let's see if I can get back on the wagon and make it to the end of the year with no additional fabric purchases! 

Check out other stash reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Favorite Things Friday - October 22nd

Oklahoma has an average temperature of 65 F (18 C).  But you have to consider that highs in August are about 110 F (43 C) and in January, the lows are often 20 F
(-7 C).  Autumn  is often one of the most comfortable times of the year, with temps in the mid to high 60's.  It has been warmer than that this year.  But even so,within the last week or so the leaves have started to change.  The cooler temps coupled with the yellows and reds of the changing leaves make this my favorite time of year.

The last picture I took this afternoon, the others photos are from last year.  When I asked my guy if he liked the last shot, he asked me where I had taken it.  After I gave him the answer he asked, "You do recognize the poison ivy in that shot don't you?  I sincerely hope you weren't wading in the brush to take that picture."   Did I?  I honestly can't remember how close I got.  And no, I didn't recognize the poison ivy (yes, I'm a born and bred city girl).  Wonder if that is why my face is itching?  Oh, surely not!  I really do love autumn, maybe just not all the pretty leaves. 

Jump over to Quilting in My Pyjamas to see other "Favorite Things". 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Design Wall Monday - October 18th

What is it they say about best laid plans?  This weekend was pretty much a bust in terms of sewing time.   I had a migraine headache on Saturday, which lasted most of the day, but eased off Saturday evening and I was able to sew a bit.  Thank you to everyone who expressed sympathy and get well wishes.   I was completely recovered on Sunday, but we were off to a swim meet with kiddo.  We left about 6:30 AM and didn't get home until about 3:00 PM.  Add in the few loads of laundry that had to be run and it was later than I had hoped before I got up to the sewing room. 

I finished one set of borders for the 2008 BOM.  Which is currently spending a lot of time on the sewing room floor so I can measure for borders. 

Not the greatest picture, there is not a lot of room to get a good angle.  I did get the second set of borders cut and partially assembled, but not attached.  Maybe this week, I'll finally finish this one up.  

I usually make up a name for my quilts, for the label if nothing else.  Since I'm getting close to finishing this one I'm thinking it needs a different name than "2008 BOM".   Any suggestions?  I'm drawing a bit of a blank on this one.  Some of the names I've come up with a are pretty lame.  If you name your quilts, how do you come up with them?  Do you have a formula for coming up with a name, or does it just come to you?

Time to get ready for the day job.  Check out what else is posted on Design Wall Monday over at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stash Report - October 17th

Not as much sewing going on as I had hoped this week.  I spent most of Saturday in bed with a migraine headache, but I'm feeling almost normal now.  The migraine put a major crimp in my sewing time for this weekend.   I did get one set of borders on the 2008 BOM and a couple of the purple and yellow blocks done.  Best news, nothing in this week.  So here's the final numbers:

Used this week = 0.5 yards
Added this week = 0 yards
Used Year to Date = 35.3 yards
Added Year to Date = 345 yards
Net Used for 2010 = (309.8)

I hope to get some sewing done this afternoon.  The strips for the second border on the 2008 BOM have been cut, just need to sew them together and onto the quilt.

Check out Judy's Patchwork Times to see who has busted and who has not.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Favorite Things Friday - October 15th

Well it's Friday in Australia even if it's only Thursday evening in Oklahoma.  So I'm on Quilting in My Pajamas' time while writing this blog.  You can pop over there for more Favorite Things (and it really is Friday there). 

My favorite things this week reside on my desk at work.  I have flowers to brighten my day:

I have a scrappy fabric heart hanging on the wall to inspire me:

And finally, I have Mr. Piggy to make me smile:

All gifts from kiddo.  She's 11 now and would probably be embarrassed to know that I'm still displaying things she made in 2nd grade on my desk.  I guess I won't tell her they will probably stay there even when she's in collage.  What are your favorite things this week?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Project Lust (Or How to Update Your UFO List)

I've been a really good girl this year in terms of quilt finishes.  I've finished all the new projects I started (well not quite, I still need to bind the one day mystery quilt from back in July, but I'll get there).  The other two projects I started this year are BOM's, so those are WIP's in my book.  Plus, I finished up 5 quilts from my UFO list, including the two oldest from 2001 and 2002.  I'm ready to start something new!

It's like I've been on a new quilt diet. You know how that works, no new projects till you clean out the old.  But now I want to do everything!  I've already pulled fabric for the Layer Cake Quilt Along over at Moose on a Porch Quilts (fabric choices are here).  Now Judy over at Patchwork Times is starting a mystery quilt on Oct 19th.  Bonnie Hunter is starting also starting a new mystery quilt called Cotton on Nov 19th.  I also have a couple of quilts that I've been working in EQ7, an Asian theme for my niece (fabric choices posted here) and some designs for an Oklahoma State University themed quilt to donate to the kiddo's school auction.  I do have a day job and the Holiday's are coming up!  Decisions, decisions!  I really, really want to do all of them! 

Well it's time to go to work, I'll have to contemplate the future of my sewing life another time. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Design Wall Monday - October 11th

Another busy weekend with volleyball games (here in town for once) and Fun Night at school.  I also had some machine problems, I did get them worked out, but I probably lost a good hour of sewing time.  Finished sewing all the rows together on the 2008 BOM and started on the borders, but didn't get very far.  Finished one more block of the purple and yellow scarp quilt (which I've been assembling as a leaders and enders project).  Since the 2008 BOM (shown here) is too big for the design wall, I put all the purple and yellow blocks back up. 

So nothing new to show, just a little progress.  

Check out other design walls over at  Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stash Report - October 10th

This week the stash report is a  good news, bad news type of deal.  The good news, nothing in this week!  The bad news, not much in the way of fabric out.  I only finished two of the purple/yellow scrappy blocks.  I've been working on sewing together the 2008 BOM quilt, and I've already counted all of that fabric.  So here are the numbers for this this week: 

Used this week = 0.2  yards
Added this week =  0 yards
Used Year to Date = 34.8 yards
Added Year to Date = 345 yards
Net Used for 2010 = (310.3) yards

Only one more seam to sew on the 2008 BOM quilt and I'll have all the rows assembled.  Then I'll be able to add the borders and maybe even get the back pieced.  So next week's stash report should look much better in the fabric out column. 

Wander over to Judy's Patchwork Times to check in on all the stash reports.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Other (or Another?) BOM

I like BOMs (block of the month).  My job over the years sometimes required a lot of effort and with a family that needs me too, time for quilting was at a premium.  I found I liked BOMs.  It was the one "class" the local quilt shop (when we had one) would offer at night.  Plus no matter how crazy life was at work or with kiddo's soccer, basketball, school, church schedule, I could usually find enough time to finish one block a month. 

The only problem with BOMs is that you have to figure out how to set them once you finish them. I struggle with that part of the process.  It took me the better part of a year before I decided how to set together my first completed BOM.  That seems to be a trend.  I've posted about the 2008 BOM project (here and here) that I'm finishing up and that also took me a year to figure out.  I have a second BOM from 2008 that I also need to finalize a design for.  In looking through my stash, I found a BOM that I intended to start when we lived in TX, but never did.  It was a "Buck-A-Block" program that was sponsored by the quilt shop.  Most of you have probably done one of those programs, where you go in on a designated day of the month, pay a $1 and pick up your little baggie with the fabric strips in it and the pattern for the block.  I was able to get all the baggies, but I never started the project.  That was back when I thought you could only work on one project at a time.

I pulled out all those little baggies earlier this year and started on the blocks.  I have about half of them done.  Enough so I can start mocking up the final setting.  Since it takes me so long to decide on a final design, I thought I should start now.  Maybe by the time I finish the blocks, I'll know how I want to set them.  I bought fabric for the border and fabric for setting the blocks when the shop started the BOM.  So started playing with those fabrics to come up with a setting in EQ. Here are a couple of potential settings. 

The dark green and the medium blue do match colors that are in the block fabrics, but I'm not sure that they really go with the blocks.  These two were the fabrics chosen by the shop for their setting, which was a simple straight set with sashing and cornerstones.    I'm wondering if I should do something lighter.  So I played with a lighter blue print from my stash.  Not sure I have the right color yet, but here's how that might translate into a final setting. 

I probably need to rescan the border fabric.  It has a large repeat (of TX blue bonnets).  I'm not happy with how that looks in EQ, so that may also need to be reconsidered.  But I'll play with a scan of the larger repeat first. 

I'm pretty sure I want an on point setting.  Do I keep the dark green, do I keep the border fabric?  I want at least a queen size quilt.  My SIL and family live in TX and love all things TX.  So I'm thinking this quilt may end up with them.  So I'd like to keep the blue bonnet border fabric. Though I suppose I could use the blue bonnet fabric for the backing.  Have to consider that.   I'd also like to use fabrics from my stash to finish this one up.  My stash report could use some significant withdrawals!

I'm only half done with the blocks, so plenty of time to decide on a path forward.  Any suggestions? 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

This week's favorite thing is a tradition.  When kiddo was about a year old, I switched jobs.  It was one of those things where I had to take the transfer or I didn't have a job.  The new job required a 2 hour/day commute (an hour each way), plus I often had to work long hours.  Sometimes 12 hours a day and often 6 days a week.  It was not one of the more fun times in my life.  Thankfully, my guy's job was not nearly as demanding as mine and he could pick up the slack with kiddo.  But after about a year of working those kind of hours, my toddler didn't want anything to do with Mom.  That hurt.

So I started "Girls Night Out".  One night a week, I would get home in time to pick kiddo up from day care.  Just us girls would go out for dinner (usually pizza, tacos or IHOP), then we'd go to Target for some serious shopping.  It allowed me to take care of some errands, but we'd schedule a significant amount of time to hang out in the toy section or look at the books.  It wasn't always the same night of the week, but I made it a point that we did it once each week.  It became a time we both looked forward to, because we just hung out.  It's amazing the conversations you can have with a 2, 3, 4 year old at dinner or while they sit in the shopping cart.

I have had several different positions since that time, none that required quite so many hours per week.  Even so, we've kept up the tradition. We've moved so Target has now become Walgreen's.  But we still do pizza a lot, but we go to the little Italian restaurant in town, not CeCe's.  Now that kiddo is 11, Girls Night Out is our night to talk girl stuff like clothes, boys, and growing up.  We also talk politics, religion and sometimes a lot of the time we just get silly.  So this one night is something we both try hard to keep on the schedule each week even with our busy lives.  I try to take pictures sometimes, kiddo is not always cooperative.  But I think those are often the most fun photos. 

Do you have a favorite family tradition?  Something that you do each week?  Check out other Favorite Things over at Quilting in My Pyjamas.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making a Layer Cake to Bust Some Stash

Only in quilting can you talk about making a layer cake to reduce something!   I decided to participate in the Layer Cake Quilt Along being sponsored over on the Moose on a Porch's blog.  So I spent some time last night rummaging through my fabric tote bins looking for the accent and border fabric.  I bought a layer cake a couple of years ago to make a quilt for kiddo's school auction.  I had quite a number of squares left over after the quilt was done.  Turns out I had bought some yardage from the same collection, so that will be the border.  Finding the accent was hard.  Nothing really seemed to work well.  I'm going to try white as the accent and hope it's not too stark against the darker fabrics.  The layer cake and border fabric are a from a fabric collection called Patti Paisley. 

So that's one new project that will run into May of next year.  I have two BOMs that should finish up at the end of the year, so it will be nice to have something else already started.  Everything for this project will from the stash, which if you've been looking at my weekly stash reports is definitely a step in the right direction.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday - October 4th

I'm still working on the 2008 BOM that I posted last Monday (Design Wall 9/27).  We had a lot going on this weekend.  Kiddo had two volleyball games in Tulsa.  Afterwards my guy and kiddo wanted to hang around the book store for a while (I did get in a quick trip to one of the quilt shops as yesterday's stash report showed).  So we didn't get home until very late afternoon.  Then I had to do a lot of laundry on Sunday.  So I didn't get as much sewing done as I would have liked.  I did finish sewing all the 2008 BOM blocks into rows and have some of the rows sewn together, but I still have a lot to do before I can put borders on that quilt. So no picture this week as it looks pretty much like it did last week. 

I did finish two more blocks for the purple and yellow scrap quilt that I posted a couple of weeks ago (Design Wall 9/13).  They are up on my design wall, so that's my photo this week.   I'm really beginning to like how the blocks for that quilt are coming together.

I may not have much on my design wall, but I am working on the layouts for a couple of quilts in EQ.  I was working on those a lot in the evenings after work last week, which is one more reason I didn't get much sewing done.  I'm off this Friday as kiddo is out of school.  Maybe I can sneak in some sewing before she gets up.   

Hop over to Judy's Patchwork Times to see what everyone else has on their design walls.  It's probably a lot more than I have!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stash Report - October 2nd

I've been recording my stash additions and subtractions all year.  But I guess I haven't really been paying attention to the numbers.  This is my third publicly published stash report and in all three there have been additions to my stash, with only very minor withdrawals.  It's time for a ban on fabric purchases, at least till the end of the year.  

Moving on, here is this week's stash report:

Used this week   =  0 yards
Added this week =  18 yards
Used Year to Date =  34.68 yards
Added Year to Date = 345 yards
Net used for 2010 = -310.5 yards

What did I add?   A set of 14 gold fat quarters.  I have this idea for a black and gold quilt.  Not sure when I'll get to it, but I have this really beautiful black and gold fabric that is just begging to be used. 

Last is a set of Asian prints. 

My niece loves Japanese and Chinese art and culture. I found this beautiful geisha fabric (below) a couple of years ago (the color is a bit bright in this photo, it does match the blue in the blue floral above)

I've been trying to design a setting to use this panel, but everything I came up with wasn't "fun" enough (based on my daughter's input).  About 2 months ago I finally came up with a concept the appears to meet the "fun" requirement, but I need a number of Asian prints which will coordinate with the panel.  Not sure this is going to work.   We'll have to see how the full mock up in EQ comes out.  

Check out Judy's Patchwork Times to see how everyone else is doing with their stash reports. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Objectives (A Quilty To Do List)

About this time last year, I realized that I'd only completed a grand total of 2 quilts for 2007 and 2008 combined.  And if I stayed on the same track, I wouldn't do much more for 2009.  After thinking about it a bit, I came to a couple of conclusions.  First there was no thought being given to what I really wanted to do in terms of quilting and second I wasn't taking enough quilting classes   To address the first I started making a monthly "to do" list.  Putting the list together helps me think about what I really want to get done in my sewing room.  I rarely finish the list, but it seems to have helped my productivity.  I finished 3 quilts last year and 6 so far this year. 
So what are my objectives for October? 

1.  Complete October blocks for Seeing Stars and Texas Blue Bonnet BOMs
2.  Finish the 2008 BOM top
3.  Piece the back for the 2008 BOM project
4.  Decide on design for school auction quilt
5.  Cut fabrics and start piecing the school auction quilt
6.  Bind the pink mystery quilt
7.  Use "leaders and enders" technique to work on the purple/yellow scrap quilt
8.  Decide if I want to participate in the "Layer Cake Quilt Along" being sponsored by Moose on the Porch Quilts

A "to do" list seems pretty logical way to get more done, so why the thought about taking more quilting classes?  If I look back, I finished more quilts in 2005 and 2006.  At that time I lived near a very "quilter with a day job" friendly quilt shop.  They offered a lot of classes that I could attend and I attended a lot.  So I was starting a lot of new projects.  We moved a few years ago and no I don't have a local quilt shop where I can easily take classes (the closest is about an hour away).  I realized that I wasn't starting very many new projects since I wasn't taking any classes.   So  I've been looking ways to take "classes" on line.  This year I'm doing a BOM sponsored by Country Junction and I did a mystery quilt sponsored by Planet Patchwork back in July.  It's a way for me to get interested in starting new projects, plus I get to see what everyone else is making.  My favorite part of he quilting classes is to see what everyone starts out with and how a project turns out with all the different fabric choices.  So I like those on-line projects where everyone shares photographs of their progress. 

So back to the "Layer Cake Quilt Along".  I have a layer cake that I bought for a school auction project, I used some of it, but still have a lot of squares left.  How do you think this would work for the "Layer Cake Quilt Along"?

There are other fabrics, but this shows the color range and type of patterns that are in the layer cake.  Not sure what I would use for an accent, beige maybe?  Dark brown?  Any thoughts?