Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Project updates...

The biggest project I have been undertaking over the past few days is cutting and sewing up a sample for the Advanced Beginner Quilting (Steppin' Out) class I am planning to offer over the month of May and beginning of June. This one will take more than the 4 nights that the Beginner's class was; I'm thinking more like 5 solid work nights with a couple of hours of "homework" every week. I had seen a picture of a quilt similar to this in my browsing on the web a year or so ago; it's use of 4-patches is enough to keep it still at a beginner's stage, yet can be considered a bit more advanced due to the HST's (half-square-triangles.) I also plan to demonstrate the Quilting-in-Sections method for those individuals who want to attempt machine-quilting on their DSM (domestic sewing machine.)

DH went to play open-gym volleyball tonight (since we had a bye in our tournament series), so I headed downstairs (UNWILLINGLY if you can believe it!!!----still dog tired! I can't seem to shake it; it must be this poopy, gloomy, rainy, cold weather!) Anyway.......

.....I headed down with intentions of just doing something small; cut and sew up the March block for Beth Ferrien's Now-n-Forever BOM (block-of-the-month) quilt . I needed to see something "finished," (even if it was only two blocks) since I have so many loose ends downstairs. Seriously; I should take a pic of all the projects I have laying scattered all over the basement floor! DoubleDelight is laying out on the main carpet area, untouched in about 2 weeks; Steppin' out is in the main concrete area; the Seven Shirts is hanging on one main wall reminding me it needs batting and quilting; my 100+ Perkiomen Daydreams blocks are scattered next to DD; Oklahoma Backroads is folded up waiting for batting and quilting; Country Spirit, Chloe's Colors, and Scrappy Irish Chain are all laying over the back of a spare matress, all in different stages of quilting, Lake-n-Lodge is also in that stack, basted; March green quilt blocks are on one shelf, and then 8 or so other UFO's are stacked in some kind of order in a spare book case......

*sigh*

When the two BOM blocks were done, I worked some more on Steppin' Out and have most of the rows sewn together, but quit at 9:00 to head up to blog......

Catching up from Monday and Tuesday.....

I know I said in my blog post yesterday that I hadn't been done any quilting on Monday or Tuesday, which is true, but I helped Cassie put together her own special blanket from fleece; one of the simple "cut and tie" blankets. She measured up the fabric and matched the bottom and top up, trimmed up the edges, and then cut slits about an inch apart. The whole project took about an hour and half; she was very excited to sleep with it right away Monday night!!!





Last night, pretty much from the moment we got home from school/work/day care and after supper was finished, I relaxed in the glider with a good book : New Moon, the second book of the Twilight Saga. I'm re-reading it (ONLY for the 2nd time---honest!) Candace and Caitlyn were going around the house with my camera, snappin' pics from their perspective again.


A few other shots they took....... Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A quick hello....

*wave*
hey everyone

I'm alive
But dog tired lately
and not really interested in bloggin' :0(

I've been keeping myself busy with quilting, of course. But I've taken tonight and last night off (again, due to just being tired). Sadly, DH JUST realized he forgot to take care of a down-spout for a customer's house (one he built last summer) and the owner lives out of state; and we've been getting quite a bit of Spring rain over the past two days. Anyway----long story short, 9:00 pm and he just left for the house that is 20 miles away.....*sigh*....I figured this was a good a time as any to put my feet up and check in. I've thrown Twilight, the movie into the DVD player.......*chuckle* You MUST have known I would get a copy :0)

Anyway----hopefully all is going well with you all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Volleyball Night...

I haven't blogged much about my Wednesday night Volleyball team.....but tonight, DH and I are still pumped up from our late playing time (9:00 start!). We've been playing since mid-January, every Wednesday night in a town 30 miles away; indoor league. Years ago, this league was a bit of a joke, but over the last 3-6 years, a good handful of "good" teams have signed up for playing. This year, there are three "top" teams, us being one of them. Last week was the first week of "tournaments," and we walked away with a challenging, yet solid victory over the 6th place team. Tonight brought on the big battle between 2nd and 3rd to guarantee a spot in the Final Showdown in two weeks. We are coming into tournaments in 3rd place, having only lost to the 2nd and 1st place teams. (Makes sense, huh?) :0)

Anyway....when we played the 2nd place team two weeks ago for the last game of "normal season" before tournaments, we kinda got killed! The first game was neck-n-neck: however 24-25, we lost. Then, the wind was out of our sails, and we fell apart! :0(

So, going into the match tonight, I already just had the mind-set that we were going to lose, so I just wanted us to go out and play the best match we could. I'm VERY competitive, and really try to work on my sportsmanship and attitude once the chips start falling against us. BUT, I still struggle and can sometimes be a "sulker" when we start to lose. Hence, I needed to just tell myself that we weren't going to win so I could just enjoy the match. Afterall, I DO follow the motto: "It's better to have played a good game and lost, than not to have played at all."

To get to the point-----We won! In two games, even! 25-23, 25-21. Go figure! We even played with a sub for one of our "manly-girls" :0) (We have a lady who plays like a man---kills; blocks; you name it!) Our sub is more of a defensive player and setter like I am, so we REALLLY had the mind-set of "play to have fun" tonight. We didn't expect a win.

It was FUN tonight! Not so for the other team, unfortunately. Sadly one of the male opponents started throwing in the towel early and "sulking" (hmmm.....that must be what I look like sometimes!!!). It's actually quite embarassing, and I was bummed because it really was fun playing GOOD, HARD volleyball!

Anyway---pictured is Misty May (Turner) who is probably a house-hold name in the USA. I actually watched her play college ball during one of my first years coaching. Little did I know then that she would go Beach, and be an Olympic Champ. Heck, little did I know that Beach VBall would be an Olympic sport!!!!!



On a quilting note: I basted up both sections of Chloe's Colors last night and finished up quilting one of the sections. I may be able to finish up the other section tomorrow evening ??? This weekend, I will be heading back down to Mom's house for Cassie's 2nd weekend of First Communion instruction. However, this time, it'll only be Cass and I; the other two are staying home with DH.
Plans this weekend: start cutting/sewing/writing instructions for the next quilting class I will teach. Deadline for the printing of brochures is April 1st, so I want to make sure I get my ducks in a row to have a sample top pictured in the printing. Ahhhhh!

YES, I know I have vowed not to start anything new, BUT.......... this is "different!" This will probably be a finish before any other of my WIP's see their finish!

Okay----I'm not ready for bed yet; 11:30 pm! So, I'm off to layout a training schedule for my racing events this year. OH!!! Yeah.....got outside running last night! We have had absolutely BEAUTIFUL weather this week!!!!! Anyway, running buddy (Julie) called me tonight and we talked about upcoming races we wanted to commit to. Between the weather and her call, I am pumped and excited to get back on track running!

Alright-----*breathe-breathe-breathe*--------

Night all!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some quick work...

I didn't get any quilting done last night, at least not with the sewing machine. Instead, I grabbed the markers and graph paper and started planning a quilt top for the next "Advanced Beginner" quilting class that I'll be offering during the month of May. Some of my ladies from the Beginners class has shown interest in the "next" class, so......

But tonight, I did head downstairs for two hours. During which time, I finished putting together all the pink double-nine blocks.....





......and sewed together 15 more March blocks, which now brings me to a total of 20.




I am now upstairs watching "Castle."



Boy----I have a lot of projects on that WIP and UFO list! AND, this new class is right on the horizon, so I'll have to put some time into that this weekend.....

One day at a time :0) I can't really say One project at a time, though!!!! :0)

Happy Monday

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It wasn't meant to be---UGH!

Sitting at mom's right now, watching the newest National Treasure movie, NOT QUILTING!

After school yesterday, I entered "warp mode" to get packed up and on the road by 5:30 to get to mom's by 8:30. All in ONE HOUR, I put Cassie on "Shadow-duty" (feed our dog) and then she and Caitlyn were on "outfit duty"; each of them picked out a Sunday-church outfit and two other play-at-grandmas outfits while I packed up clothes for Candace. I threw a load of whites into the washer and folded up a few items that were awaiting in the dryer. After that, I headed downstairs to pack up all supplies I needed for quilting; Stars-n-Stripes, walking foot, quilting foot, scissors, Chloe's Colors, stacks of fabric to piece a backing for CC, two different colors of thread for quilting CC (since I hadn't finalized it yet), the machine, rotary cutter and ruler and batting for CC. I also grabbed the back-up batteries and charger for the camera. I checked my pile many times before thinking "good-to-go." So, 10 minutes later, everything was packed in the car and we were literally bolting out the door. WHEW!

So, the first thing I realized that I forgot was the camera when I wanted to get a pic of the girls last night! Sure, I have the backup batteries and charger, but what good are they without a camera?!?! Okay....minor! No biggy.

Then this morning at 9:00, I headed downstairs to start quilting. I didn't even get the machine out of the case when it hit me-----OH NO! I FORGOT THE POWER CORD! Aghhhhhhhhhh!!! Seriouly Amy! Not more than 5 minutes later, DH called to see how things were going and if the drive down went smoothly. Naturally, I was still fuming at my stupidity of forgetting the power cord! And his chuckling DID NOT help! *NOW, I'm able to chuckle though* Anyway, so I brainstormed and thought maybe Hancock Fabrics might carry a power cord-----yeah, it was a long shot, but what was I to do in a panic'd state that I was in!?!??!?

But----I DID have a moment of brillance! I called my MIL, who THANKFULLY happened to be home this weekend, and she had NO PLANS of using her machine today. So---10 minutes later, I was at the in-laws picking up her Janome to use for the day. Wooo-hoooo! And another 20 minutes later, I was back at mom's sewing away. I worked on putting the final border squares on Chloe's Colors, and then started piecing the backing. By lunch time, I was up for a break, so mom and I took the girls over to the in-laws for the afternoon while we went to town to pick up a few things. Naturally, we needed to stop in Hancock Fabrics. And, like usual,-----BAD IDEA! :0) HUUUUUUUGE sale today! All Absolute Cottons were 40% off, many cottons were 60% off, some fabrics were on a 2.95-3.95 table........HEAVEN! I walked away with my share of goodies (amount undisclosed since DH might be reading this later on) :0) HI HUNNY! Nahhhh, I didn't go overboard, but sure enjoyed sifting through all the selections.

Anyway, back at mom's without the girls, I was able to layout the 10.5" squares that I was piecing for the backing to CC. By the time the in-laws showed up for dinner, I was ready to baste.

And then.......ummmmmmmmm............ looking around the basement............ double-checking the car..........looking in the bedrooms............NO BATTING!!!! Seriously! I KNOW it was on the pile to be packed into the car!!!! BUT, I when I really sat and thought about what I all carried to it, batting was never in my arms!! UGH! One of the girls most likley "played" with it while I was getting other things packed up, and it left the must-go-in-the-car pile. *SIGH!* SERIOUSLY! I just wasn't meant to get very far on quilting this weekend!!!

So, I'm done. I packed up MIL's machine and sent it back with her when she left tonight. And now...I'm out putzing on the net.

I hope to hit the road back home around noon tomorrow which will bring us in the driveway around 3:00. I really should work on my school work tonight so I don't have to tomorrow, but.......need I say that "i jes don't wanna!"

So....Happy Saturday. Hopefully your day has been more productive than mine :0)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh my Gawwd

If you don't recognize this lady, that's probably a good thing! Tonight, rather than heading downstairs, I parked my butt in the glider and worked on a presentation for tomorrow's inservice (that I need to present, duh, right??) Anyway, so DH took control of the remote like he usually does (not a problem with me, REALLY!) and he leaves it on the Bravo Channel which was showing a back-to-back-to-BACK evening of the show "Millionaire Matchmaker.

((*rolling eyes*))

You have GOT to be kidding me!!! I'm sorry, but even now I sit here, chuckling, and shaking my head at what I watched during these three hours. And it's not even so much the guys and the girls that were "dating" that got me rolling my eyes, but it was the HOST! For instance, tonight she was "scolding" one of her male clients to "get over the 20-somethings already! You want the 20-something, air-brushed cover model and they don't exist!!!".......

uummmmmmmmmmm..........


but yet....when I got to the Bravo website to find a picture to post on here......what do I find but a CLEARLY "airbrushed" and "face-lifted-with-wonderful-digital-imagery" picture! HA! It's just kinda goofy and hypocritical. I suppose I just need to say......"to each their own."



Anyway.

The plans are to head to my parents this weekend; Cassie is signed up for First Communion classes in the "hometown" church. Yeah---maybe a bit extreme, taking First Communion almost three hours away, BUT there just isn't a place up here that we've committed to and feel comfortable with. Is that a bit of an excuse?......yes, I'll admit that. Sadly, I will also admit that finding a church just isn't a priority in our life. YET, my mother does do her job to remind me the importance of allowing the girls the opportunity to know a "christian" education, and I DO believe in that as well. So, for the next three weekends, I have committed to driving to Mom's house so Cassie can have her First Communion.

While she is at her classes, my plan is to work on quilting in the basement of Mom's house. Within the next two weeks, I need to finish Chloe's Colors since 4th quarter starts up soon. I really want to have this quilt finished and hanging on the wall when I get the 8th graders back.

Other than CC, the only other quilt that has a definite-must-make-deadline is DoubleDelight for Nikki's (our AWESOME babysitter) graduation.







Oh My Gawwwwwd! There is ANOTHER episode on after this one! That's 4! *rolling eyes*. But the sad thing: ............... I'll probably stay up and watch it. *shaking head, chuckling*

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I ran

therefore I am.
('Bout time, right??!)


And a quick note regarding the workshop today. Ummm.....we arrived, and were informed that "no registrations were ever received, so we cancelled the class."

Ummm.....WHAT??? But, have no worry. I know my handful of workers down at Cesa11 (an educational agency to help support local schools), and they hooked my coworker and I up in a "work-room" with a Smart board and laptop, so we trained ourselves via online tutorials, etc. It was an AWESOME day! WOW! It probably was more beneficial than what the actual workshop would have been :0)

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Monday evening....

Tonight didn't hold anything quilty for me. Rather, it started with some browsing through the Quiltville Chat photos. Wow---there are some GREAT Double Delights out there.....for instance, here is Nancy's (in Georgia) finished quilt. I LOVE her borders......quite simple, YET pieced to keep it interesting....

Then, I spent an hour 'googling' for some "Notebook SMART board" files for a workshop I'm attending tomorrow. I signed up wanting to know more about Notebook, which I have never used. The paperwork for the workshop VERY CLEARLY STATED that this is not a "beginner's" workshop and to bring samples for a "Share" session. GUILTY! (Do you think there are 'signing-up-for-wrong-workshops' police out there???) I've at least attempted to do some homework tonight, AND I roped our JH Science teacher into coming with me. I don't know if he's used Notebook or not either----but *shrug*----oh well! Really, how "bad" is this???? !?!? We WANT to learn and know more about it, AND our District is coughing up the dough to let us attend.

I should be in bed already (pushing 10:30 now), BUT I'm still waiting for a file to download. Yeah......dial-up! UGH! I have another 30 minutes to wait (I've already been waiting 40 min) for a measly 7.4MB file. *sigh* At school, this baby would have been done within a few minutes...(if that!)

At 9:00 tonight, there was a season premiere for a show called "Castle." I have a feeling this will be new show-to-watch for me. It was quite funny; kind of a comedic-police-drama. Any of you remember the show "Moonlighting" with Sybil Sheppard and Bruce Willis? Back in the 80's? Anyway, my DH said he was reminded of that show after watching this one. ("only this chick is hotter.")

Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin are being "threatened" by a snow storm over the next 24-36 hours. Actually, DH and I just chuckled at the weather report. The 7-day outlook showed ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) snow for tomorrow. Seriously! When have you EVER seen a 100% change of snow or rain in a forcast? I guess he's (meteorologist) is pretty confident. Currently, our region is under a Winter Weather advisory while a bit to the north, they are under a Winter Storm Warning. We are in line for 4-8 inches, while just north is 8-12". I'll be watching the news in the morning since; the workshop is about 40 miles south-east, but still in the 4-8" region. Oh yeah....all of this after a TEASINGLY WARM DAY! It was still upper 40's at 5:30 tonight.

Ho-hum....17 minutes left of the download. I suppose I can go and catch up with others'.....

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Satisfying Sunday - Double Delights

After a morning of laundry and tidying up, it was finally time to head downstairs to put some time into the Double Delight. I hadn't cut into any of the pink yet, and I knew my supplies were limited. SO, rather than slicing up the 1.5" inches right away for the Nine patches, I jumped ahead to cut the setting triangles first (step 6, I think?). The remaining fabric was then cut into the 1.5" strips. 130 nine-patches complete.

I really don't know what the time frame was today; DH called me up around 1:00 for lunch and shortly there-after, I headed back down with his permission.

Around 4:00, I headed upstairs to start dinner, at which time I had completed about 4 or 5 of the step 4 blocks. Around 7:45, I was back downstairs to work on some more blocks. THEN, just like Andee, I had to whip up some Double Nine blocks so I could see what the quilt was looking like. Feeling motivated from the layout being on the floor, I headed back to the machine for some power-sewing of the Double Nine blocks......

........and this is where the remaining 17 blocks currently stand. I could have powered through the last 34 seams, BUT I wanted to be sure to blog my updates and I didn't want to prolong bedtime TOO MUCH tonight. See, Andee----that hour I lost last night SURE could have come in handy today! *wink*

As everyone else has said who has made this quilt----It is beautiful and exciting to see it come together. It is amazing how many pieces this quilt has, yet part-by-part, it is manageable.

Candace grabbed my camera this afternoon and went off a-runnin', snappin' pictures again. There were a few cute ones, but many more "delete-able" ones. And once again, Carol, she snapped a picture of the entire wall-hanging this time. She must like it :0)

Unexpected finishes...

Umm....I DID say I was going to work on DD yesterday, right????? Well.............

when I first went downstairs yesterday morning, the Seven Shirts's borders were still laying out in pieces. Rather than picking it all up and moving it to a new location, I just figured I'd get it finished........so I did. By noon, the final stitch was put in place, and now I have another "flimsy" that will await quilting. It is 64" x 76". A nice size.


Hey...where did that term originate? "flimsy"? This is the first time I've referred to any of my tops as flimsies, but I know many of you do........

Once lunch was over, I hung out upstairs, catching up with emails and blogs. Candace fell asleep and the other two were playing nicely upstairs. This really was IDEAL time to head back downstairs to finally dive into some DD work........but....20 minutes later, I was "resting my eyes." *wink* I am KICKING myself for staying up until 1:00 Friday night----I was so tired yesterday! 30 minutes later, Candace was still sleeping and the girls were STILL playing nicely (Barbie's will do that, huh?). Sadly, I still didn't have much ambition to head downstairs. So...........*gasp!*.......I actually dug out the Baby quilt from last summer that I had been hand-quilting. I literally had to blow off some dust.....oh dear!

After an afternoon of hand-quilting, and some machine quilting along the diagonals, she was ready for binding. WOW! After dinner (of FRESH fish that DH caught----yum!), I headed downstairs to sew the binding on. V'iola! An unexpected finish. For Baby is what I have decided to call it.




I have possible plans for this one, all depending on the gender of a coworker's baby that is coming due is April. Although the colors could be considered uni-gender, I still consider this more of a "girly" quilt because of the pink. My school's Science teacher and his wife are having their 5th child; they already have FOUR boys! Holy buckets! I'm hoping for a girl, but........another boy wouldn't be so bad for them either. Afterall, they already have all the boy clothes handy!

When I downloaded all the pics to the camera this morning, I came to realize that the girls must have borrowed the camera on more than one occasion yesterday. Here are just a few of the pics......

Candace was downstairs with me in the morning. I knew she had the camera and took pictures of everything from the movie on the television to her feet while standing on the carpet. Here is a shot she took of the shelf holding my threads. I haven't installed it on the wall yet; currently it is resting on two boxes that hold my 3.5" and 4.5" strips, which are resting on top of a tub that holds some pillow forms. ((Hey Carol---you recognize that wallhanging????--Carol had a giveaway not too long ago and I was given the wallhanging.))

Here is a shot she took of my "folding basket'" ----- ya know, that basket where I stock all my "new" fabric while it awaits washing/folding/cutting/pressing/etc. On the very top are the two pairs of Capris that were purchased a couple of weeks ago.....remember, the ones I bought for ONE DOLLAR.... They are Plus sizes and will provide lots of fabric for some wild colored quilt.

Cassie & Caitlyn took over the camera upstairs. Cassie is feeding her kitty some pizza.......







One of them took this great picture showing our loft view from the living room. That is DH's turkey on the right; pay no attention to the dead plant just to its left. On the left, you might be able to see the Orange Crush Wallhanging through the posts. Also, that "School House" quilt hanging was bought from a local Antique Shop last summer. It is machine pieced, but hand-quilted. The quilting is absolutely beautiful (of COURSE, duh, right??!) You can't tell from the pic, but some of the fabrics have clearly faded from what the originals were and there has been some bleeding of colors onto the muslin, but it's still a beauty.


And here I am, sporting the "no-shower-Saturday" look, working on the baby quilt.


So, today is Sunday. I've already made muffins, tidied up the Kitchen somewhat. DH said he would do up the dishes (he's trying to bribe his way to get fishing again). :0) I need to get some laundry going, and SADLY I have some school work that will need some attention today as well. I would be smart to take care of that first, but I want to get downstairs to FINALLY get some work done on the DD.!!!! Afterall, Andee did NOT lose an hour like most of us in the USA (she's in Arizona where there is NO time change.)

Happy Sunday

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Where to begin......

Holy Buckets! It's Saturday morning! WHERE did this week go????

It started with HAPPY QUILTING Monday, and flew from there......
.......tired Tuesday with only an hour of quilting...
......Wild Wednsesday with no quilting, but lots of volleball
......"Thrilling" Thursday with the family joining me at school from 6:00-8:00 in an attempt to organize & inventory the Volleyball storage
....."Fun" Friday with our school's Game Night where I was asked to referee the "He-Man" volleyball tournament.

So today......will be SEWING SATURDAY! It should also be Soapy Saturday (laundry and dishes!) and Storage Saturday (picking up the week's accumulation of toys in living room), but........can't I wait for all of that until tomorrow? After all, tomorrow is still an "S" day :0)

After spending some time this AM catching up on blogs, I came to realize that Nancy's (Patchwork Penguin) UFO Challenge actually DID have a challenge for January! YIKES! I WILL, I WILL, I WILL catch up on those UFO's, BUT I also have deadlines looming over my head for some of my WIP's. Today, I will work on Double Delight. Graduation will arrive before I know what hit me, and the recipient is TOO SPECIAL to not have this quilt ready. She was just announced as a Co-Valedictorian! Actually, we have THREE Co-Valedictorian's this year, all with 4.0 GPA's. All are females, and all are wonderful students. BUT, even more-so, they all are equally giving to the community, to their school, and all have WONDERFUL morals; patient, honest; none are "clicky"---all treat their classmates with respect. Our Salutatorian is male; great academics and wonderful athlete. I spoke with him yesterday; (it was the first time I had seen him since the announcement), and I asked him about his 3.997 GPA (which basically equates to two A-'s somewhere in his HS career). I loved his response! He said......"*groan* Freshman Civics. I came into HS with the 'I haven't ever needed to study so why start now' attitude and it kicked me in the butt." The reason I loved his response was because I was supervising the 8th grade study hall at the time and it was so GOOD for those 8th graders to hear those words. But then I asked him about his other A-, and he said "Phy Ed." WHAT?!?!??! He merely chuckled and said....."yeah, pretty stupid for me, huh???" Afterall, he IS a top athlete; football, basketball, baseball.

Anyway-----whoa....that last paragraph sure went off on a tangent, huh?
Alrighty then........I'm off!

Andee---better watch out! I may go into overdrive!
OH! AND.........We lose an hour tonight to day light's savings (RIGHT???? I'm not THAT 'out of it', right???? It IS this weekend??)
..... :0( Andee, are you in the timezone that stays the same? Or is that New Mexico? I can never remember. If you don't lose an hour, we'll have to remember that in the long run of things.....
*wink*

Monday, March 2, 2009

I LOVE QUILTING!

Tonight was the last night of the Beginner's Quilting class. During sesison 3, we talked about having a pot-luck for the final class, so we DID! :0) Meatballs, a Chicken/angel-hair dish, veggie salad, tuna salad, and 2 varieties of brownies. DA-LISH! Tonight was a Show-n-Tell of the final quilts; sharing stories of the final steps of completing the quilt. Pictured "up front" is Keri, the School's Community Education Coordinator. She heard through the grapevine that we were having a potluck, so she stopped in (with gummiworms) and chit-chatted. She ALSO is a running acquaintance; remember the marathon post? You can read about her there, having run her half-marathon.

But LOOK at what these turkeys did! How does THIS work? THEY needed to cough up the bucks to take the class, THEY needed to cough up the big buck to buy the supplies, but yet, LOOK at these goodies that were gifted to me! This bag is ADORABLE. Joy used one of her excess blocks and glued it to the front.

....and inside........



.....a lovely frame, cute 'lil pin, and a Quilter's magnet that says "When Life Throws you Scraps, Make a Quilt." Hythe also gifted me a tiny trinket box containing a spool of thread and a personal "thank you" for what I can ONLY assume was for using my backup machine. Crazy lady! I didn't mind it AT ALL!



So, was the class a hit? I THINK so! I sure loved it, withOUT a doubt! And the quilts turned out so lovely!





My first quilting class success **heavenly sigh** They were already asking if (WHEN) I was having the next class........."The Advanced Beginner" :0) We're already talking about getting together in May.

I LOVE QUILTING!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I do solemnly swear....

to NOT start ANY MORE NEW PROJECTS until:
i) My WIP list narrows to TWO (not counting the Now-n-Forever BOM quilt)
ii) My February and March UFO challenges get completed

*giggle*
Whew---this past week or so has really brought on TOO MANY fun projects; I just COULDN'T pass on any of them! But now that I've plunged head-first into the last of the tantalizing quilts (the March quilt) I am now determined to finish, finish, finish.

Calidore is keeping me honest to make sure I get the borders going on the Seven Shirts mystery quilt.
Andee is going to keep me honest by working on HER Double Delight quilt which will challenge me to catch up and finish mine ahead of hers ???!?!?! *giggle* (yeah, yeah---keep dreaming! She's so much further ahead of me)
Nancy (Patchwork Penguin) is helping me be honest with my UFO's due to her challenge.
Alycia's QOV Challenge will keep me pushing to get the Country Spirit finished.
Julie and Angela are keeping me honest (even if they don't know it) to START MY RUNNING AGAIN! Yep--it's March 1st folks. In my mind, that means it's time to start to get back into racing shape. Sadly, I did NOT get outside today; and that blasted dreadmill is.....well....just THAT! A DREADMILL! Ugh! Julie is doing WONDERFUL on her WW! Angela posted some great pics of her February Marathon! Both are excellent motivators!


Finally, some of you have commented that you're not "green" people, and typically I'm not either. I'm more of a "blue" quilter. But for some reason, this March quilt just STRUCK me as stunning! It makes me thing of Emeralds!! I don't think I'll be giving this one away, but ..... who knows?!?!?


What's even more amazing besides what I all accomplished on the quilting front this weekend is what I was able to accomplish on the home front! I managed to power through 8 loads of laundry AND FOLDED IT! And.....Umm....yeah...well....I guess that's it! Gosh, I thought I did more than that! *giggle* ........well...... I did also sweep the kitchen floor----does THAT amaze anyone???? *chuckle* OH! AND!........ I DID manage to get to bed by 10:30 both nights........(not tonight though since it's 10:37 right now)

Okay----that's my cue to get out of here!
Happy Sunday & have a great week!

"March" quilt tutorial

Many members at Quiltville Chat are planning to create a Green Quilt for the month of March. Bonnie's Jared Takes a Wife is the pattern being suggested by Bonnie, but I wasn't feeling up to that quilt. Instead, this quilt (pictured from a 2005 Fons & Porter calendar) has caught my eye. The directions have been long-lost, I'm sure! I found this in a box of goodies from my mother last summer. Here is what I've put together to make this baby though..... I'm simply calling it Shades of Green.


Fabric selections.
Greens: 13 FQ's & and a 1-yard cut that I plan to use for a border
Lights/creams/golds: I started with 8 quarter-yard cuts, but needed to add more. In the end, I think I used 14 quarter-yard cuts (that's 3.5 yards of fabric total)

From each green FQ, cut three 3.5" strips & three 2" strips. (note: you shouldn't need the 3rd strip unless you want to create some sort of pieced border or maybe you'll want some pieced binding???). I was also able to cut a 1.5" strip to toss into the 1.5 strip bins (SOME FQ's allowed me to cut a 4th 2" strip instead of the 1.5". I've set all the extra 2" strips aside for now.

From each of my original light 1/4 yard fabrics (there were 8 of them), I cut one 3.5" strip and three 2" strips. (Yeah, that's half an inch MORE than 1/4 yard, but my lady always allows for a smidge more! WHEW! If yours doesn't, you may need more than the suggested amount listed above in the fabric list.) When I needed to supplement some more, I only cut what I needed. Sorry that I don't have exact amounts here!!! But I'm fairly confident 14 quarter yard cuts will suffice.

From the green 3.5" strips and using the EZAngle ruler, you want to cut 5 SETS of 4 half-square-triangles (HST) from each fabric. (That's 20 total from each fabric). AND you want to cut five 3.5" squares. Cut wisely! I started by cutting the 20 HST's from the strips, then used the "scraps" to cut the squares. I was only left with a small sliver of fabric from the first two strips, and about 2 inches of scrap from the 3rd.


When completed, you'll have 20 HST's (5 sets of 4) and 5 3.5" squares from each fabric. Once you've cut all 13 fabrics, you'll have 260 HST's and 65 3.5" squares. (NOTE: You only need 252 HST's and 63 squares---the extras, I'm setting aside for now until I decide what to do with them.)


Using the 3.5" light strips, cut 260 HST's using the EZAngle ruler. These DO NOT need to be in any sets; complete randomness is they way to go. Again, you only need 252 HST's, but I went ahead and cut the other 8 just to have "matches" to go with the extra green HSTs.


Lay out one set of HST's; all 4 greens match and the lights should be random. (If you elect, go all scrappy with the greens as well! Your choice! :0) ) I'm keeping my quilt somewhat "Controlled Scrappy."





Sew right sides together. One nice thing about laying them out before sewing is you can try to match up notched pieces together. It doesn't always work out though. Press towards the greens, and clip those lovely Dog-Ears!! :0)




Using 25 of the 2" green strips and 13 of the 2" light strips (recall, my greens were cut from FQ's and my lights were cut from WOF), strip-piece together and press towards the greens. (Note: I threw in one more green strip (26 total) to complete the 13th light WOF strip). Subcut strips into 2" pieces; each strip-set should yield 10 cuts which should result in 260 total. You only need 248 for the proposed layout, but again, the more the merrier to be used in the extra blocks or to be used in a pieced border.

Sew into 4-patches, keeping them as random as possible. You will need 124 4-patches for the proposed layout; you'll have a few extra if you've cut 260 subcuts from above.





Using 26 2" light strips, strip-piece together randomly. Note: Before I sewed, I cut each strip in half (to make two 20-22" long strips) just to create more of a variety. Once pieced, press to either side and subcut into 2" sections. Make FAST work here by stocking up the cutting mat and cut away! 260 subcuts should be the result; We only need 256.



Sew into 4-patches, keeping them as random as possible again. There is no rhyme or reason here----go scrappy! You will need 128 4-patches for the proposed layout, you'll have a few extra if you've cut 260 subcuts from above.





Using one set of pieced HST's, one matching 3.5" green square and 4 "light" 4-patches, layout the "light block." Piece and press seams in one direction. You will need 32 Light Blocks total.






Using one set of pieced HST's, one matching 3.5" green square and 4 "green" 4-patches, layout the "Spinning Star" block. NOTICE the placement of the 4-patches! You want the greens to be diagonal-ing out from the center. Piece and press seams in one direction. You will need 31 Spinning Star Blocks total.



Once all the blocks are finished (I have only the 2 samples done at this point), here is my proposed layout. Please excuse the non-completeness of it. I drafted in up on Excel; but Excel doesn't allow me to color triangle-shaped pieces. So, I started hand coloring on the print-out until I had enough to see the pattern, but then I stopped. I think it should still be enough for you to get the idea. At this point, if you have a perfect 1/4 inch seam (I STILL don't, know matter how hard I try!!), the quilt measures 63"x81" before any borders.


Go creative with the border. I am AMAZED at some of the borders I see when reading blogs off the Quiltville group. For example, take a look at Threadbare's border on her DoubleDelight. That is AMAZING!

Okay, this should do it. I've double-read all the steps, and I don't think I've left anything out. Are there mistakes?? Probably! Just let me know if you have questions or if something seems to be incorrect!

Happy Quilting!

July 15, 2009 update
Regina (Bitnbyaquiltingbug) shared her pre-finished layout with me. What creativeness on the color placements of her 4-patches!







Here is a shot of Judi's (in Ohio).
Yesterday morning, I started the day by sewing on the borders for Nancy's (Life is a Stitch) mystery, and also sewed together the bonus triangles to make 24 pinwheel blocks. I see Nancy has posted step 6, but I haven't jumped into that one yet----but I sure wasn't expecting Piano Keys (step 6) for this border. How cute! I'll have to see how I can incorporate these pinwheels with her mystery border suggestion.


Once that was set aside, I plunged back into the Scrappy Baskets and Diamond Stings quilt, which I am now calling Grandma & Catherine. I still had to tinker around with the inner border(s) in order to get the outside string blocks to fit nicely. The difficultly I'm having (had) was that blasted light fabric I used in the string blocks. It's SO THIN, definitely NOT 100% cotton! It was from Grandma's stash and I used up everything that was left over from the OC quilt last year.

Anyway, at this point, it'll lay on the floor so I can see it everytime I pass by. I'm not ready to put on a final border (the fabric shown on the bottom left). I will make this bigger, so.......thinking about what I can do to accomplish that. More blocks? More borders? That's what I have to figure out......

DH shooshed me out the door at 10:00 cuz he knew I wanted to go to the LQS (local quilt shop). (and he wanted to go fishing when I returned).

As always, I ONLY had intentions of visiting and do some window-shopping. Yeah right! I saw a crate of FQ's (10 for $15.00); a BEAUTIFUL pack of greens caught my eye. BUT, dutifully, I placed them back and kept window shopping. Then, I went to the back "clearance" room and saw some lovely creams and golds, but once again I was desciplined and walked away. As I walked and chatted, I walked by the FQ crate again; those greens kept calling my name. So finally.....I caved! Then I figured since I had a handful of greens, I might as well go back and see about those creams and golds. In the end, I didn't go too crazy, BUT I did come home with some beautiful fabrics. The entire time I was picking them, I was thinking about the "March" calendar picture. So, upon returning home, I turned on the computer and played around with a layout (using Excel----I don't have any quilt design software. Excel is limited to what you can do, but it works well enough for me.)

Since then, I have been pressing and cutting and sewing and pressing some more and cutting some more and sewing some more. :0) One thing about buying fabrics from this shop---THEY SMELL SO GOOD when I press them! Her shop ALWAYS smells lovely!

There have been two ladies requesting some simple directions for this quilt, so I'm ending this post in order to put another "tutorial" post together.

Happy Sunday!