Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fabraholism...Hi, My Name is Jenny!

The first step towards beating any addiction (and who's to say I even want to?) is to admit that I am powerless over it. I'm so there! I haven't posted all week because I've been having way too much fun sewing and fondling fabric and even playing with heating elements of all sorts to distort and mutilate textiles to satisfy my illness. It was wicked fun!
First I had a conversation with my wonderful MIL about a cousin whose baby is due next month. I realized that, while each of my cousins' babies have received a quilt from either mom or me, none of DH's cousins have. Oops! The timing has always been a little hairy and we just aren't as closely entwined with their lives. Sooo...I felt it was high time to remedy the situation. In honor of my new fascination with Bonnie Hunter, my introduction to the Easy Angle ruler, and Andi's love of lime green, I decided to make a scrappy Jacob's Ladder with a green focus. Here's the block so far:
On Tuesday I finished whipping down the binding for the Team Tomato prize quilt. Last year for Mother's Day I gave my mom, MIL, and cousin one of those Topsy Turvy Tomato Growers. They had a contest, and Cousin Judy won by a landslide. This Mother's Day her gift will be this cute little tomato quilt and basket (by Dawn, of course) to
gather her harvest. Shhh...don't tell her! Thanks to the Stashbuster poster who suggested the "Just Leaf It" technique of free motion quilting. You can't really see it that well, but it worked perfectly for this little quilt.
On Thursday, Mom and I went back to our Kaleidoscope class. We learned how to make the alternate blocks that really make the design pop. Check out "My Design Wall" on the right to see how this quilt is coming along.
Then on Saturday (yes, my house is a wreck - don't call DFCS on me) I went to an awesome class with Jan Girod from Fiber on a Whim. It was incredible! Calling it a quilting class would be a bit of a stretch - it is definitely in the Art with a Capital A category. We worked with foiling and bone ash, Tyvek, cellophane, organza, metallic mesh, buttons, beads, and all kinds of pretty threads. We had irons, heat guns, and soldering tools generating some serious creative energy. It's not ready for photos yet, but I hope to have it up soon.
Plus Step 2 for Orange Crush has been posted! I'd better get back to work! Have a great week.

Monday, April 14, 2008


So I was reading my friend Kate's blog post about making her own laundry detergent and I couldn't resist trying it out myself. One of the comments she got on her original post was that she has two little girls, and the poster wanted to see how the homemade stuff stood up to a load of boy clothes.

Let me tell you, I put it up against the ultimate in boy clothes - a load of the stuff my husband and sons (ages 11 and 13) wore to play paintball on Sunday in the muddy cold. The before and after pictures say it all:

The clothes came out at least as clean as when I use regular detergent plus OxiClean, if not cleaner. They definitely smelled better. It's not so much a scent, but a lack of scent and a definite clean air smell. Like clear water or fresh air. In fact, I like this new concoction so much that I've been using it for every load, including my delicates. I can't wait to try it on a quilt.

Speaking of quilts, I finally finished piecing my last kaleidoscope blocks based on your voting. Since there were four blocks that were definitely in the lead and I only needed three, I had a tough decision. But when I looked at my original set, there was one that jumped out at me and was way too red (bottom left corner in the first picture). So I took that one out and made the four winners. Thanks for voting! I'll keep you up to date as I work on this quilt.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 11, 2008


We have been having the most gorgeous spring weather. I am enjoying every minute with the fresh air coming through open windows, the bluebirds and friends on the feeder singing to me, and the new flowers that greet each new day.
It puts me in a mood to tidy and clean, especially deck and garage so I can be outside, but it has also spilled into the house and my sewing area. I've decided to keep myself honest in my stashbusting by posting monthly pics of my progress. I didn't realize myself how much I had
done until I looked at these:

BEFORE: (March, 08) AFTER: (April, 08)

I'm embarrassed to post even one "before" picture and there are many more. I can't believe how much has been done in just a few weeks, but believe me when I tell you there is more to do.

I have to give credit for this to Bonnie Hunter's Scrap User System that she shared with us at our March guild meeting. She explains it all (for free!) on her website, plus so much more. I took her directions and made myself a little cheat sheet to keep in a plastic sleeve on my cutting table. The drawers you see under the table have my different sized squares, bricks, and strips in them. The large Basket by Dawn is my favorite and holds the twin sized quilt I am currently hand quilting for my mother.
So you can see that there is hope, even for the messiest of Messies. Open your windows, let in some spring air, and spend 15 minutes folding and cutting and fondling your favorite fabrics. You'll be amazed at what you find and how much more you can accomplish. Have a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Going to Guild

We passed a quilting milestone Monday night. My DD Grace attended her first quilt guild meeting with Mom and me. It was the first time the stars have been aligned to allow her to go - a combination of no school due to Spring Break and a speaker that would hold her attention. Wendy Altman (looking for a link) did a fantastic trunk show that included a sneak preview of several quilts destined for a book. It was a perfect meeting to introduce Grace to the guild. She loved seeing all of the different quilts, the attention from the other members, and the food. That's my girl!

And since Bonnie Hunter was our speaker last month, it was awesome to see how many members began their Show and Tell narrative with the words, "Bonnie Hunter changed my life!" We had more quilts to show than I've seen in awhile. We were bustin' stash, finishing UFOs, knocking out charity quilts, and getting organized in the last month. I showed 6 quilts, including a baseball themed wholecloth quilt for Tiny Stitches that I forgot to take pictures of. Oops!

I'm excited about spending some of our Spring Break sewing together with Grace and getting some more work done organizing my sewing area. Have a great week!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Orange Crush Step One Done!

I had a very quilty day today. I was invited to join a new bee group that has spun off my guild, and we had such a fun and productive morning. I worked on step one of Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, Orange Crush. As you can see, I took the instructions to make it scrappy very seriously!
It was so inspiring to see what everyone was working on. One person is doing beautiful handwork, another is designing on the computer, another was auditioning border fabrics for a stunning quilt top, and a few of us were machine piecing. I could just feel the ideas exploding for future quilts, and it reminded me of a great story about teaching:

"If I have a pencil and you have a pencil, and we share our pencils, what do we have? We still each have one pencil. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we share our ideas, then what do we have? Now we each have two least!"
Don't forget to vote for your favorite kaleidoscope blocks. Only a few more days before I'm going to make my decision on the final three, and the voting is close for 3rd place!
Have a great weekend,
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