Friday, June 29, 2012

Asking for Help....

I don't usually utilize this forum to talk about personal things.  But tonight, I have a request.  My husband and I had an office in Colorado Springs for over 15 years.  I still have friends there.  Many of them, and those in their community, have been affected by the wildfire that burned over 350 homes.

Do you have a spare quilt to send me to help the families displaced by this event?  It is something that I care deeply about; I care about hurricanes, and tsunamis, but I know people who are affected by this.  I am always happy to help out with cancer quilts, hospice quilts, quilts for the Quilts of Valor program, but I KNOW Colorado Springs.  I spent 15 years traveling there several times a year.  It is such a beautiful town; it always filled me with joy to see the "frontier" in skies, great air, a wonderful "small town" atmosphere in a great space.

If you could help, please let me know via a comment.  I am looking for children's quilts and "comfort quilts" 45 x 60 in size, if possible.

Thanks for listening to me; my heart hurts for entire communities shut down by the effects of this fire.  Maybe I'm getting off my duff and doing something for a small community, but it makes me feel good to do something where I actually know people who will benefit from it.

Just leave me a comment if you have something to contribute and I will send you an appropriate address.  Guy and I will quilt any tops you send us and send them on to Colorado.  Thanks so much for listening.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Where has a week gone?

It has been a terrible week for quilting/sewing progress.  We did get to the Shenandoah Valley Quilters Guild show in Bridgewater, VA, this weekend, and saw some lovely quilts, many by good friends of mine.

I did get one small project accomplished, on a day when I felt like sewing, and not fighting fabric, cutting, organizing, or cleaning:

Remember my Salt Air charms?  Well, I had a lot of four-patches and strips of solids left, so I made a nice summer table runner:

Guy quilted it, and it needs a binding.  Maybe that will happen this morning.  It's beautiful here today.....60 degrees and low humidity.  I think that's gonna change later this week, though.

Have a wonderful day....I'm hooking up with Connie at Quilting by the River for Linky Party Tuesday.....go visit and see what everyone else is working on. 


Monday, June 18, 2012

Design Wall Monday......It's been a slow week....

I just didn't have the inspiration to get into my studio much this weekend.  Lots of things going on here, plus beautiful weather and some gardening to be done.   But here's what I did work on:

I got 12 of my Little Monkey blocks done.....all 30s and 40s fabrics and some repros.  I inherited a bag of old dress scraps about two years ago; they are perfect for this pattern.

I also got the June Sew Red for Women block finished:

It's the "woven strips" block in the upper left corner.  I can see that twelve of these will make a lovely sampler quilt. 

I finished one of the flying geese borders for my mariner's compass, and am appliquing my Dazzling Dresdens to background blocks.  I'm using YLI silk thread and loving just doesn't show.

I also got three quilts bound, but that makes for a sorta boring watching grass grow.....which is another thing we have around here.  I'll leave you with a photo of the view from my sewing room:

I'm sort of like "Mary, Mary, quite contrary".....I can sit at my sewing machine and literally "watch our garden grow."  We had squash three times last know what that means don't you?  Waiting for cucumbers, but harvesting something almost every day.  The blueberries have been incredible, we only have 6 "active" bushes, but we've picked more than 4 quarts already and more are ripening.

Have a great Monday....we're getting some rain here today, and I've got to trek into NoVa for some appointments, the dentist, and dinner with my should be an interesting drive on I-81 and I-66.......stay dry, friends.....


Monday, June 11, 2012

Work in Progress......a Weekend of Paper Piecing

I've been flirting with doing some paper piecing, printed out some New York Beauty patterns from EQ7, did a practice piece with some scrap fabric, and then found a Mariner's Compass pattern from Cindy Edgerton that I forgot I had bought. 

This was a good project for someone who hasn't done foundation work for a while, because the base pieces were fairly big, and Cindy gives great cutting directions for fabric pieces that allow for a bit of leeway.

I've got the center medallion done:

I spent most of Saturday morning organizing my batiks, so I could start this project without totally destroying my batik bin looking for matching colors:

I got all my flatfolds in one bin, and my fat quarters, 2 1/2-inch strips, and charm squares in a drawer.  It's so much easier for me to make decisions when I can see everything laid out in front of me, especially with batiks, that have so much variation, even within colorways:

I bundled up all the odd scraps and threw them in a plastic bag for string piecing, applique, etc.

I'm always happier in my sewing room when I've made some attempt at organizing before I start a new project.  Do you like to "clean up" before you start something new?  I should be so fussy about my house......... 

Today I'm piecing flying geese borders:  smaller pieces, lots of pressing, lots of trimming.  It's a pain, but I keep reminding myself that the accuracy that results makes me very happy.  This is another exercise in patience for's the opposite of power-sewing 4-patches and 1/2-square triangles.  It's a good way to start the week.

Have a good day today; if it doesn't rain I'm going to get my swim in this afternoon.


Friday, June 8, 2012

What I've Been Up To.....

I've been pretty quiet this least here in Blogland.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!  When I was little, my mother did not like it at all when I was too quiet.  It usually meant I was doing something "inappropriate".....and with scissors.

I was the "scissor child".....I cut off the straps of my Mary Jane's because I wanted flats like my big sister; I cut off the sashes from my sister's dresses because I was mad at her.  I cut out a big motif from the lace tablecloth in the dining room because I thought it was "pretty"....and I cut out a whole square from my mother's crocheted granny square afghan because I wanted to see how it was put together.  Frankly, I don't know why I could always find the scissors when I wanted them......I would have locked them (or me) up tight!

I'm still doing "inappropriate" things with scissors, but at least my fascination seems to have found some direction.  Although these days, I can do twice as much damage twice as fast with my handy-dandy rotary cutter! 

When Deanne Moore Quill of  Creative Sewlutions came to visit me this spring, she let me pick this Shenandoah pattern from her stash:

I had a beautiful piece of Hoffmann fabric in my "orientals" was the challenge fabric from 1999 or so.  I've kept it all these years searching for just the right pattern to cut it up for, and this seemed to be it.  I'm pretty happy I played with my scissors on this one:

"A Little East of Shenandoah"

It was a challenge keeping all those narrow sashings straight, but it will pay off when Guy gets around to quilting it.

I continued my little exercise with Dresdens this week.  Here's what I have so far:

I have three more to piece from the sections I cut out, and my background fabric came last week, so I can get my blocks cut and start working on the applique.  I love to do these by hand; it's so satisfying when they're finished.

While I was cleaning up my studio (when aren't I cleaning up my studio?), I came across a pack of 1930s-style applique blocks that I won in a silent auction a few months ago.  I've decided I really didn't like the patterns, and was sorting the pre-cut fabrics to add to my "retro" bin when I got inspired.....the sizes were perfect for more "little monkey", a little scrappy work got started, too:

I'm going to work with a more controlled palette this time, and I'm putting those little white 1 1/2-inch squares in every block for continuity.  You can blame this one on Bonnie Hunter (again.....!)

Were you ever just a little "too quiet" as a kid?  Come on, you can 'fess up!  Let me know what got you in trouble....time and again.  I sometimes wish my Mom was still around to say,  "Kathleen Ann, where are you and what are you doing?"

Have a great weekend......Nationals are in Boston this weekend, so we'll have lots of baseball to keep our evenings exciting....


Friday, June 1, 2012

A Summer Picnic Tablecloth!

I finally got around to working on my "Ugly" fabrics from the In The Bag "Ugly Fabric Challenge" .  I got the top and backing done, and Guy is going to quilt it when we get home from our little "road trip" this weekend:

It's big enough to be a tablecloth on our veranda table, or a summer table-topper in our dining room.  I'm calling it "Picnic at Grandma's House" since it has a lot of 40s and 50s fabrics in it.  It was fun to be faced with designing something from someone else's fabric choices.  My favorite print that Pam sent me was this cute pattern that I used for all of the four-patches:

We're off to the Quilter's Unlimited show in Northern Virginia this morning; then a little shopping and dinner with friends.  Tomorrow we hit DC to see the Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta (with a Dierks Bentley concert thrown in for good measure), and on Sunday we're headed to the Eastern Shore to see our kids and (hopefully) have some seafood:   it's blue crab season, baby!

Hope you have a great weekend.....time for a little handwork in the car, I think!