Thursday, January 14, 2010


I finally got an ATC finished and in the mail for Kate's challenge. In the process, Gracie decided that she wanted to make one too. Kate was very gracious about how abysmally late they were, and happy to have a new convert to the art.

Here's mine:

Here's Gracies:

And speaking of challenges, I presented our annual guild challenge last Monday night. It was completely and totally inspired by this post from Allison at Within a Quarter Inch. After reading it, I realized that:
  1. I've been dying to make a house quilt. I tried to get the WannaBees to do a group one, but got outvoted.
  2. I've been saying I was going to make a quilt for Quilts of Valor for awhile, but it kept getting bumped to the bottom of the list.
  3. I needed a challenge for the guild that was inspiring without being so specific or out there that no one participated.
Problem solved! (Thank you, Allie!)

Our 2010 CES Challenge is:
  1. Size: any. If donating to Quilts of Valor, please see their website for their guidelines.
  2. Design: must include a home on the front of the quilt. This doesn't have to be a traditional house; it might be an igloo or a bird's nest. Anything you can defend as a "home."
  3. Color: must have a recognizable amount of the color on your paint swatch, chosen at random.
  4. Due: November 1, 2010.
I hope many, if not all, of these will end up being donated to Quilts of Valor. The challenge was well received, so I hope to have wide participation. Feel free to quilt along with us, and send me your pictures so I can share them.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community? What is your favorite charity to quilt for, and why?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grand Plan - Entry Way/Foyer

What a great week to work on the entryways to our homes! Just as the first impression of the space inside our front doors gives visitors a feeling about where we live, starting the New Year off with a deep clean will set the tone for the months to come. Am I going to be scattered and rushing around, always behind? Or on top of things, prepared for what may come?

Of course, it's also time for the annual coat drive at my middle child's school, so cleaning out the front coat closet will help those who don't have one. I'm sure there's a worthy cause that could use yours as well, especially during this colder than normal winter we've been having.

What are your household resolutions?

Monday, January 4, 2010

First UFO of 2010...One More Memory Quilt

It's DONE! Done done. All the way done. With a label.

The quilt I started last year as a 40th birthday gift for my cousin's wife, the one I had to give as just a top and then take back, the one I promised to finish by Thanksgiving and then Christmas, is finally done. It's my first finished UFO of the year, and gives me some breathing room from being Queen of the Stashbusters list.
This was a super simple pattern. I just printed photos and salutations on 4 1/2" squares of those fabric sheets. Then I cut pairs of scrappy 3 1/4" squares, halved them diagonally, and sewed them on. You can use this excellent tutorial for a Square in a Square block, or just guess based on a foggy memory of Geometry and see how many tries it takes before you get it right. (Guess which one I did!) I used the leftovers for a scrappy border, quilted around the squares, and bound it with the infamous bias binding experiment. The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the messages from some of the most important people.

But now it's done. What a tremendous relief. I will be bringing it to guild tonight to collect my bead and then deliver it to its owner. Yippeeee!

Hope today finds you crossing things off your list.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Grand Plans

It will come as no surprise, I'm sure that I have another Grand Plan.

The Organized Home
once again hosts the inspiration and challenge. And, although I inevitably fall off the wagon somewhere along the journey, every little bit that gets done before then gets me closer to having my act together. Some day...some day.

Tomorrow we start gathering our tools. Join me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

ATCs and IOUs

Anyone out there make Artist Trading Cards?

I love Kate's Quilting blog and am completely fascinated by her ATCs, but I have never attempted them before. I had made some fabric postcards, though, and it's really the same idea on an even smaller scale.

So anyway, I signed up to be part of Kate's ATC Challenge. The deal was that Kate sent out 5 ATC bases and a little baggie of bits to "frost" them. The recipient would make up at least one and mail it back to Kate by September. Of 2008. (Oops!) Here's some of what was in my envelope:

Now, in my defense, I did make an ATC right away. I just had no clue what I was doing. In my mind, it was similar to a business card (since that's the size they are) and so I made one that was about ME. Once it was done, I went back and looked at Kate's examples. Not only did I have the wrong idea, but I also put a very dark fabric on the back of this.
I couldn't find any instructions about the back and, in the usual fashion, tabled it until I could figure out what to do. Why I didn't just stick a mailing label on the back and send it off, I don't know. It just didn't feel like it was "right."

Finally yesterday, in the spirit of the New Year, I decided I HAD TO finish at least one. I HAD TO get at least one in the mail to Kate. So I pulled out some fabric and some of the beads Kate had sent and I went to work. I made four simple but cute ATCs and put plain white muslin on the back so I could write my name and city and blog address.

Yes, it's all folded up with a conciliatory fat quarter and spool of variegated thread, ready to go in the mail until...I realized that I was supposed to use one of her bases to send back, not my own!
Now I'm trying to decide if I send the one with the J (which was one of Kate's backs) or one of the new ones or go back to the drawing board to see how I screw this up for the third time.

I hope your day is frustration free!
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