April 30, 2008

Here They Are!

I really didn't intend yesterday's post to end up being a tease about photos, but that is the way it ended up. My photo to the left here just disappeared by the time I was ready to write about it, so here it is now! This is my Mother and I showing off the totes I made. I talked about the tote I was making for me but didn't post a photo of it because I didn't want to spoil the surprise when she received her gift. Since I won't see my Mother on Mother's Day I gave her the present early. She likes pastels where I like the darker reproduction types of fabrics. As I made hers I added a little button flap on her bag. I didn't like the way my bag gaped open as I used it so I thought this might help. I will probably add one to mine as soon as I come up with a nice looking way to add it now that the bag has been completed. I think I know how I will do it, now to get it done! The Spring wall hanging behind her was part of a Christmas present I gave her two years ago. I gave her four wall hangings for the different seasons. Seeing her wallhanging on the door reminded me that I don't have mine up. Wait a minute - I might not even have mine finished! Ugh! I had better check!

Here are a few photos from the AQS Quilt Show this year. The first is Diane Gaudynski's quilt that won Bernina's Machine Quilting award. I wasn't able to get a better photo of the whole quilt. There were too many other admirers around to maneuver to a better angle. I have also included a close up look at her fabulous quilting. I love her style of machine quilting and have been fortunate enough to be able to take a couple of classes with her. She is a wonderful teacher and I so enjoyed her classes.

This photo is of the Hand Workmanship award winner. Yikes! What a beauty! The Feathered Star is on my list of quilts I want to make. This was a must have photo for me. What an inspiration! I have a couple more photos that I wanted to share, but blogger won't let me download any more photos right now! Honest! Yesterday my photo disappeared, and now it says I don't have a Internet connection. Weird. So, guess I have left you with another unintended teaser. Sorry! I will try to post the other photos soon!

April 28, 2008

Trip to Paducah

I had a fantastic time at the AQS Quilt Show! My Mother and Aunt went with me so that added to the fun. To the left is a photo of one of the quilt vendors, Quilts Plus from Indianapolis, IN. I love what they have to offer - reproduction fabrics and quilts that have an antique look to them. There were so many quilts to look at and to dream of making someday. The actual quilt show was fantastic as usual. There are always quilts that stop me in my tracks and make me say, "Wow!". My favorite domestic machine quilter, Diane Gaudynski won top honors for her quilt. I had seen photos of the quilt before as it had also won an award at the Houston show, but to see it in person was so much fun. I will post some favorite quilt photos of the show soon.

I didn't buy as much this year as I did last year, but I only had one day this year to do it in. I bought just ONE YARD of fabric. When I told hubby the news that night he said, "Well you bought some patterns or something else didn't you?" Of course I did! I wanted to focus on new patterns, quilts on display in the booths and new products so I didn't spend a lot of time drooling over fabrics. As you can see I did find things to buy. One of them was a new thimble. I decided to try it out and liked it. It fits my finger a better then the one I have been using so maybe my quilting will improve and be faster. I did play with it tonight and I like it, so that makes me happy! The cute stitchery drawings for the days of the week with the sunbonnet girls called my name. I like to do some embroidery, but it isn't my most favorite thing to do. My Mother does wonderful embroidery and she volunteered to do it for me! Yippee!!! Sounded great to me! I bought the blue thread for it. Now to trace off the designs and pass it off to her to complete. Thanks Mom! A fun thing happened when I passed by the Supreme Slider booth. I told the gal demonstrating it (the gal who came up with the product I believe) that I recommend her product to my machine quilting students and they love it. She thanked me. When I asked about the Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers she gave me a package to try as a thank you for recommending her product. How fun is that! They are supposed to eliminate the backlash in the bobbin when changing directions at high speed while doing free motion quilting or machine embroidery. I am looking forward to giving them a try. I will talk about the other items I bought as I try them out.

Well, I downloaded a photo that has now disappeared from my post. Wonder where it went? I couldn't have hit the delete key that many times! Dear Hubby is on the main computer where the photo is stored, so guess it will have to wait until another time. It is a photo of the tote bag that I made and the item that I couldn't post about in my last post. I guess it will have to wait a little while longer now! Sorry!

April 24, 2008

I'm Off

I thought I would make a quick post to say that I am off on a trip to visit my parents. Sweet Hubby is keeping the home fires burning while I get to go and have some fun. My parents live within a few hours drive of Paducah, KY. That means I get to go to the big AQS quilt show! Yippee! I will drive in for one day of the show. Last year I drove in for two days, but with the cost of gasoline I think I will be able to survive with one days visit this year. I will be packing in a lot on that one day that is for sure! I have been busy making a cute tote and a surprise that I can't post yet. I will be posting photos of both soon.

In hunting for a past project yesterday I came across a couple of UFO's. Some of them I had forgotten about. Bad quilter! I will try to keep those in mind while at the quilt show. Maybe that will help keep the credit card in the purse a little easier. Maybe!

April 15, 2008


I want to share my WIP's (Works In Progress) today, but first I want to show what I bought at the quilt show last week in Chicago.

I found patterns that called my name! One is for a quilt that has embroidered flowers over baskets. I have a collection of feed sacks that will go perfect in this quilt, so of course I had to have the pattern. I found three, yes three purse/tote patterns. I won't bore you with the list of all I bought, but yes, I had fun!

Now on to WIP's. Wish I could say all was going well with the lap top tote.

Yesterday after much gnashing of teeth I got to step #11 and was brought to a complete stop. The pieces did not match up in size - at all! I was so frustrated I was ready to throw it out the window and yell, "Good riddance!" I had already checked on the pattern company's web site to see if there were any pattern corrections, and there wasn't. I decided to email the company to see if they could help me. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email a few hours later stating that they were sorry for my frustration. They had emailed the designer and hoped to hear from her today. They also offered me a free pattern from their web site as an apology. Well, I picked out a pattern today and told them of my preference. I am waiting to receive information from the designer. I am purposely pointing out the name of the pattern company and designer in this post. I am hoping to get this problem resolved and then report happily to all what has transpired.

I was really in the mood to work on something that would "work" yesterday afternoon so I started a tote from a pattern that I purchased at the quilt show. Well, it started out fine. The pattern called for fusible batting to be used. I hadn't used it before and thought this was a great time to try it out. Well, the batting isn't the problem, but the dimensions of the batting that the pattern said to cut is. Unless I am reading the pattern wrong, and I never claim to be perfect, the math doesn't match up correctly. I just had my engineer of a husband go over the dimensions and he confirmed that the width was 1/2" off. I will make this work!

This is what the front of tote will look like. I am using Civil War reproduction fabrics. The pattern calls for 5" squares and I had a collection of them already cut for a previous project. Neat! I have learned a lesson. Do not cut all of the pieces for a new pattern before the math is double checked. I cut all of the batting and lining fabrics before I sewed one seam. I guess my bag will just be a little shorter then originally planed for! I liked the finished samples of the bags I saw at the quilt show. I lost count of how many booths were selling this pattern. I just wish I had a heads up warning about the dimension problem.

Editor's Note: In working with this pattern more I believe that the designer meant to have the fusible batting smaller then the fabric pieces to keep the seam allowances free of batting. This would help with bulky seam allowances. If this is the case then the width is correct but the length is 1/2" to long. I will make a note of this on my pattern for future reference - I probably wouldn't remember when I made this tote again until it was too late! Linda was kind enough to leave a comment giving advice about the technique she uses with fusible batting. Thanks Linda!

Now on to a non quilting project! Many of my flower seeds have sprouted and can now be called seedlings!

I am still impatiently waiting for the remainder of the seeds that I planted to sprout. I get so excited to see little plants poking up out of the soil!

April 10, 2008

More blocks and Seedlings

I finally have the first row of my Civil War Diary quilt sewn together. This is a poor photo as I had to pin it to the back of the couch in order to take a photo at all. I decided to piece the blocks together row by row as in incentive to get the blocks completed. I really don't intend to let this project in up in the UFO stack and I hope this helps. Putting the 121 blocks together at the end would seem like a loooooong process. Putting 11 of them in one row at a time doesn't seem as daunting. I will let you know if this is true or not! I am also including another photo of the last blocks I made as I don't think I posted about them yet.

This is my second year of growing flowers from seeds. I would say that in the last three years my love of flowers has increased from having a geranium in the front of my house to having many many flowers to enjoy. Last year I decided to try to grow some of my own. My thinking was that by combining the flowers that I planned to buy along with the flowers I grew from seed would have doubled the amount of flowers I had and my flower garden would flourish. It did, and I had some beautiful results.
I learned a lot last year, and am trying some new things out this year. This year I am going to try to grow the seeds in my basement under some grow lights. Last year I grew them by sitting them in the bay window that has a southern exposure. Many of the plants were very leggy (long and scraggly)and I read that plants that didn't get enough sunlight would do this. I can't control sunny or cloudy days, so I am trying a new way this year. I can't wait for the seeds to start sprouting!

If you have any advise for growing flowers please don't hesitate to comment! I like to reply to all those kind enough to leave a comment on my blog but if you have your email set to "no-reply" it is impossible for me to do so. Please know that I appreciate the time that everyone takes to leave a comment! Thank you!

April 4, 2008

Anxieties Do-Over

In my previous post about the first block on the left, Oh No! I shared my frustration with the Anxieties block from the Civil War Diary book. I had used the wrong fabric in the center square and only realized it after the block was completed. Since I used the paper foundation paper piecing method ripping it out to fix it was going to be very difficult if not impossible. I received many great ideas on what to do with this block and gave them a lot of thought. As you can see by the second block I decided to make another block to replace the first one. The main reason was that I felt the fabric choice for the arrow looking sections wasn't the best choice. I picked a more solid looking fabric for second block. It really is burgundy in color, even if the photo doesn't show the true color. I am happy with the block now! A quilting friend of mine said I should use the first block as a label on the back of the quilt. I just may do that! I have made some progress on the CWD blocks. I have completed 11 in all now, the first row of the quilt. I will be showing photos of them together soon as I have decided to pieces the blocks with the sashing as I finish each row. I think this will encourage me to keep this quilt going and not let it fall into the UFO pile!

Today I cut the fabric for the laptop case pattern that I have had for a little while. While this is great, I read through the directions more thoroughly tonight. Ugh! I have made quite a few bags and quilts in my time and have thought some directions were hard to understand. The directions to to bag could be much better! There are very few diagrams to show what the pattern designer is talking about in the different steps of construction. That usually isn't a problem for me, but I think it will with this one! Yikes! I believe I will be doing my own thing with some of the construction of this bag and cross my fingers that it will turn out well in the end. The green stuff under the fabric is upholstery foam that will go between the main fabric on the outside and the lining fabric. I haven't done anything like this before. I will keep you posted on my progress or lack there of! *G*