Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Splurge - Fons and Porter's 100th Issue

I don't normally buy hard copies of quilting magazines, or any other kinds of magazines. There is so much great content online, and the paper waste just about kills me. But every so often, only the real thing will do; one of those times is a beach trip.

Obviously I'm not going to bring my laptop or iPad to the beach, so I splurged in the grocery store when I spied this gorgeous cover on the 100th Issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting. (Confidential to Frances: there was no plastic wrapper.) 

I love the bright scrappy cover quilt, and found several inspirational patterns and pictures inside. One of the surprising urges I felt was to make the apple core quilt on page 20. I've never done much curved piecing, but somehow this doesn't look so difficult.

I'm also contemplating the scrappy quilt contest. Do you have a scrappy design in you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Field Trip: Quilting by the Bay

One of my favorite things to do in Panama City is to visit their gorgeous quilt shop, Quilting by the Bay. It is a bright, busy shop, full of Florida sunshine and sparkling colors.

This is just a glimpse of the wide variety of rulers, tools, gadgets, and other fun stuff!

It has always been a very forward thinking shop; here was the first place I ever saw Minkee, chalkboard fabric, and so much more. They have a huge selection without being cluttered, and the store is organized in a way that flows and leads you through it.

Another thing I really love about this shop is the abundance of samples, especially different looking quilts from the same class, pattern, or kit. You know how sometimes the fabrics or layout in the sample just don't speak to you?   One of the beautiful things at QBTB (in addition to this room full of batiks!) is the samples that show you so many ways of looking at the same or similar quilt.

I didn't purchase too much on this visit, but I did choose a color I hadn't seen before of the Sulky Blendables (remember?) and some fat quarters of novelty prints for a special birthday gift that I'll tell you all about later.  

If you're in the panhandle, ditch the family for an hour and head to Winona Drive.  You'll all have a happier vacation for it.  Trust me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Overheard - Or Technology FTW

After I told Deuce he didn't have to hand wash the 7 (!!!) travel mugs The Pit Boss brought home from the office if they didn't all fit in the dishwasher.

Bear:  But Dad uses alluvia in his coffee so doesn't that attract ants?

Deuce:  Alluvia?

Me:  Truvia.  It's Truvia, not Alluvia.

Bear:  Then what's alluvia?

Deuce:  Some random word you just made up.

TPB:  Well, alluvial plain.

Me:  That's not alluvia.  Alluvia isn't a word.

TPB whips out his phone, types, and reads aloud:  Alluvia is the plural of alluvium.

Bear:  Right, and Dad would never just use one alluvium in his coffee.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

WannaBees Get it Together

On Wednesday the WannaBees got together to check our progress on our group house quilt.  Well, we were supposed to get together, but only Laura, Jodi and I were able to make it.  Although we missed the others, it was so nice to see Jodi’s new sewing room and to sit quietly working together. 

Jodi's kitchen.  The focus "unity fabric" is the vase.
While Laura was embroidering her block and Jodi was appliqueing her second block, I was, unfortunately, unstitching.  And you know how much I hate that.

Laura's fabric choices for the dining room.  The "unity fabric" will be the seat cushions.

You would think I had learned my lesson last spring when I was having so much trouble with the Twin Engine quilts.  You would be wrong.

Yes, even though I vowed never again to use spray baste after the previous fiasco that couldn’t be explained by any other reason, I did it again.  I did it without even thinking of the repercussions or the irreversibility of it. 

I can blame it on haste, trying to get the block done before our get together; I can blame it on my forty-three year old memory, which gets worse by the minute.  After all, my previous machine had no trouble with the spray baste, and I happily quilted many spray basted quilts on that one. 

But the Pfaff, she is a more delicate flower and she likes what she likes.  When I have everything right she is a dream.  When I literally gum up the works, she revolts. 

I had gotten a bit of quilting done before I gave up in frustration.  When I showed Laura and Jodi, they had the exact same advice, advice I was loathe to follow, and I knew they were right. 

Rip it out. 

I pouted and argued and whined, but Jodi simply handed over her trusty Sammi Seam Ripper (have you met?) and went on with the conversation.  So there we sat, Laura embroidering and Jodi appliqueing, both making lovely progress, while I took two steps back.

But I’m so glad I did.  I ripped it out and threw the backing and batting right into Jodi’s trash.  The block itself is barely tacky at all, and I think it will be better when I give it another go. 

Sometimes it takes a good friend to point you in the right direction and sit quietly with you while you do the distasteful task.  Thank goodness for friends like these!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On My Design Wall - Guild Challenge Blocks

Considering that our guild challenge is due in August this year instead of November (so they can be hung in the show) I thought I might want to get my act together.  I had been working on the blocks randomly over the last several months, but they got put aside along with everything else in my sewing room during the remo.

Over the last several days I've been alternating between working on the WannaBees challenge and this one, depending on my energy level and creative juices.  These blocks are perfect for listening to podcasts or stitching a few seams while dinner is in the oven; the bedroom block needs my full attention.

You'd think my 1 1/2" strip drawer would look emptier by now, but it's still pretty full.  The bins of fabric still in my basement are scary.  I could make scrap quilts until the cows come home and I'd have fabric left over.

I really do love these blocks, though, and think they do the story justice.  Here's a quick snap of the quilt in the book, Under the Quilt of Night :

Here's my blocks:

Sunshine and Shadows

Fields and Furrows

Straight Setting

Okay, in trying to decide which setting I like, I'm only just realizing while the photos are loading that I tried all but the one actually in the book.  Time to go lay them out again. 

Here we go:
Barn Raising
I'm not sure I like this one, just because I don't have enough blocks to get the whole picture.  Which one do you like best?  Do you think I need to stick to the book?

P.S.  Thanks to Quilter's Diary for the log cabin layouts. 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Roswell Lavender Festival

Mom and I went back to the Roswell Lavender Festival in June.  It was an absolutely exquisite day - unlike the record breaking heat we had the first week of July, May and June were blissfully cool (for us).

We decided to take the official tour of the house.  It was interesting and informative, but the coolest thing was this:

Remember the June quilt guild meeting post where Ann Hazelwood shared "splashers"?  Guess what they had in one of the bathrooms?  As if it weren't interesting enough that the house was built with a dressing/bath room in the first place!

Among the vendors, we spotted a guy from Art Center West working on a pottery wheel, which led to a discussion about taking pottery classes.  I wonder if it would be a fun, one-time thing or turn into another obsession.  Anyone out there throw pots?  (Is that the correct phrase?  I'm clueless.)

I couldn't help taking a picture of this guy.  Who here reads The BloggessWARNING:  Not safe for work or kids or anyone who is easily offended by profanity or other inappropriate humor.  Also, don't drink coffee while you're reading; you will ruin your keyboard.


Friday, July 13, 2012

He's Quite a Catch

One of the most fun days we've had this summer was a Father's Day family reunion/picnic with The Pit Boss's side of the family. There were babies we'd never met from across the country, cousins we haven't seen in ages, and kids who keep growing faster than I can believe.   The lake and fishing were first in my mind, especially after finding this cute idea on Pinterest from Tidy Mom

My mother-in-law put me in charge of desserts. I decided that a variety would be better than one giant something to feed fifty people! I happened to stumble across Sweetopia's post about making cookies for a virtual baby shower. Not only did I use a few of the recipes (these Nutella blondies are to DIE for!) but Gracie and I quickly became addicted to her tutorials, recipes, and how-to videos.

After watching the tutorial about making royal icing decorations, Gracie drew a fish and then traced over it with royal icing onto waxed paper.  We used them on a round cookie instead of fiddling with a fish shaped cookie cutter, and also added them to some of the cupcakes.  

They were so easy and turned out great.  (Obviously the tutorial I need to read next is about taking good photographs of food.)  We also made some other cookies, including a few hearts for a little fun with TPB's cousin who is newly in love after a life of cynical disdain, and who has mocked our heart-on-the-sleeve romance for twenty years.   Imagine our delight when, instead of being annoyed, she called her beloved over to the table to take a picture of the cookies!

Isn't love grand?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WannaBees Visit A Scarlet Thread

I missed the shopping trip to pick out ugly a unifying fabric for the WannaBees house blocks, but there was no way I was going to skip the field trip to A Scarlet Thread!  I had a generous gift certificate from my in-laws burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas, and the home renovations had kept me from spending it.

I love how they have shopping carts - and Lene needed one!
I didn't take many pictures, but we had a blast.  The store was featured in the spring/summer 2012 Quilt Sampler magazine and had kits, displays, and sales to celebrate.

Aside from the fabric I needed for my block, I also found this adorable pattern by Lazy Girl Designs.  The pattern calls for 10" squares of fabric, so I practically had to buy a layer cake - I chose Bonnie and Camille's Vintage Modern.  It is the perfect size for my phone (even in the bulky Otter Box) and a few bucks.  I made one for Gracie to bring as a birthday party gift with a Target card and some candy tucked inside.  It was a big hit and, on request, I made another one for my cousin, Rachael, for her birthday.  They go together so quick and easy, and are really cute!

My other big purchase was a yard of this laminated fabric.  I have never sewn on this before, and am trying to decide if I really need a Teflon foot.  Suggestions?  They showed the cutest umbrella, but the skeleton alone was pretty pricey.  I still can't get it off my mind, though, so I'm thinking about trying this method from ModKidBoutique.  

I also love that they have a little scrap bin by the register with bits of fabric for a quarter each.  This was perfect for pulling out a few different browns for my bedroom furniture. 

We'll be getting together next week to show off all of our blocks, so I'd better get sewing!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Building the Bedroom - WannaBees House Challenge

Our summer is flying by! I know for some of you it has just barely started, but my kids have been out since before Memorial Day and have to go back to school August 9, so we are on the downhill side.  CRAZY!

You'll be happy to know that I've actually gotten back to my sewing machine.  It still works.  YAY!

I'm making some progress on my WannaBees house block.  Here' what I have so far:

Yes, Allison, it's fused.  I am not of the belief that fusible is just another F word; I am of the belief that applique is a total pain in the neck.  Also, done is better than perfect.

I adjusted my fabrics to include a little more of the gold so the ugly challenging fabric wouldn't jump out and scream at you quite so much.  I think it makes cute lampshades and the pieces are almost the right size to prove Bonnie Hunter's rule that if a fabric is still ugly, you just haven't cut it small enough. 

Next step:  deciding on what stitch to use and how much to stitch before sandwiching.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...