September 30, 2008

October 1st Giveaway

On Wednesday, October 1st I will be participating in the Fall Into Fall Quilter's Blog Giveaway. I will be giving away this fabric basket that I made and the three Jo Morton fat quarters that you see tucked inside of it.

To enter my Giveaway leave me a comment on or after October 1st (not before)about your favorite thing concerning the Fall Season. Any comments that do not include this requirement will not be counted. If you do not have a blog you may still enter this Giveaway, but you must leave your email address with your comment so that I may contact you if you are the winner.

A list of all participants in the Fall Into Fall Quilter's Blog Giveaway are listed here. Make sure to visit them all and enter each of the drawings!

I will be drawing a winner on October 15th!

P.S. You can find a tutorial on how to make your own fabric basket here . Thanks Pink Penguin!

September 26, 2008

Decisions And Being Self Centered

Today I had to sit at the car dealer to have what they call "Major Service" done to my car and have new tires put on it. (Basically it was draining fluids, replacing them etc. but when they call it major service they can charge major prices!) What was I going to do for three hours? I didn't have a hand project that was easy to take along right now, so I took my laptop and worked on a quilt design. I have the EQ5 quilting program that I have always meant to learn it, and be able to use it well. I have done a few quilts on it, but that has been about it. That program is not easy for me to learn or execute. I'm not saying the program is in anyway bad, it just doesn't always make sense to me. I took along a reference book that I bought to go along with the program and decided that I would work on the layout for the log cabin quilt that I have been making blocks for. I couldn't figure out how to draw my blocks in it so I used some that were already in the program that were close to mine. This gave me a good idea of what my finished quilt could look like. If I knew how, I would post a couple of designs that I like, but as of right now, I don't know how. I know it is possible, but not for me today! The log cabin blocks finish up at 4 1/2" square. I played with using even smaller blocks in the border. I like the idea of using off center log cabin blocks to make a curved illusion. Well, the blocks would have to be 2.25" square to do what I had in mind. Yikes! That is a small block! Since I had spent so much time working on the quilt layout this morning I had to try a small log cabin block to see if I even liked it and to see if it was a workable design. I have never made such small block with such small pieces before. Well, I tried it and I think I like it. Talk about some itty bitty pieces! I was able to use some of my very small scraps in those itty bitty places so that of course made me happy. Now to decide what I really want to do with the border. The pattern I am using doesn't call for borders, but it just seems to me that one is needed. So, border or no border that is the question!
I did find a way to speed up the process of foundation paper piecing the other day. I was doing quite a few blocks of the same design. I use to do one whole block at a time. That means after each seam I was trimming up the seam allowance, picking up the iron, ironing the seam, setting the iron down and then do it over and over until the block was finished. This could take quite a bit of time. I found that I could do more of an assembly line while doing multiple blocks. I now sew the seam and while the scissors are still in my hand from cutting the thread away I trim the seam allowance. Setting that block aside I sew the next seam, trim the allowance etc. After I have all the blocks stacked up I pick up the iron and iron all of them at one time. This seems to save a lot of time in the long run. This especially works when doing a log cabin block and you have to stop to think, hmmm light or dark fabric next? I found I made less mistakes to as far as putting a dark fabric where a light one was supposed to go. Are there other quilters out there who do this and I just didn't know about it?

My sewing in the Summer Palace might be at an end for this season. While the weather is still warm enough to be outside, there seem to be enough mosquitoes to suck a person dry of their blood in minutes! You see a couple of weeks ago we had a huge rain fall that gave us about 10 inches of rain over the weekend. My friend Char blogged about this so if you want more details just look here. A river reached record heights and flooded many neighborhoods. The devastation in some areas is just so sad. This morning I heard on the news that a neighboring town has 500 homes that are uninhabitable. My heart goes out to them, and I have helped in ways that I could. All of the water that sat around gave the mosquito population a boost that just isn't funny. It is to cool down in a few days so maybe the mosquitoes population will go back to normal levels. At first I was upset that my sewing days outside might be over and then I remembered the families that can't live in their own houses and have lost all of their possessions. How can I complain about stupid bugs! I felt so convicted and asked God for forgiveness for being so self centered. I have been blessed not to have water damage and because of that I can help those who have.

September 16, 2008

Guild Day

Once again today was Guild day. I had remembered to take a box of flannel fabrics that my Mother had given me to be used with our "Kid's Quilts" projects. I had remembered! I had gotten a box out of the basement! Picture me patting myself on the back. Now, picture me bringing home the fabrics you see in the bag. There might not be as much in the bag as I took, but I still brought fabric back. You see, our guild makes quilts for children who are in group homes, children who are ill etc. We call it "Kid's Quilts". Today was Kid's Quilt day in which after the regular meeting some of us stay and work on quilts. My friends and I were going to work on string blocks. We were told that there were strings and foundations ready to be sewn. Okay, that that was in May. Things have changed since then I guess because we couldn't find them and the gal who is in charge of Kid's Quilts was out of town today. Hmmmm...what do do? I ended up going through some of the fabrics that have been donated to the guild and pulled out small pieces that I will cut into strings and fabric that will be used for the foundations. I will cut strings and foundations and have them ready the next time we get together to sew Kid's Quilts. My friends are doing the same so we should have a nice assortment of strings to work with. Another guild member told me she has saved a bag of strings and told me to come by and pick it at her house. I guess we are in business!

Speaking of my quilting guild, I am the new Program Chairman (or is that Chairwoman?). I have some fantastic fellow members who are going to be on this committee with me, so I will not be doing everything by myself. While I have lined up speakers for church functions before, I haven't done anything like this for the guild. I am sure I am going to learn a lot!

I did stop by the local Quilt Shop today and I have a really good reason! There was a coupon for a free fat quarter if you purchased at least $10 worth of merchandise. Well, that isn't hard to do. I found this neat pattern for a tote bag - boy did I need that! I also found some fabric that called my name. It said, "Buy a half of a yard of me - you need more cheddar color for your stash!" The second fat quarter was free too! The local Quilt Shop is celebrating their 11th year and they gave a free fat quarter to everyone at the guild meeting today. Fun! So, I guess in the long run I took more fabric to guild today then I brought home, so there shouldn't be any guilt there - just a pat on the back!

September 8, 2008

Another Turn On The Quilt Frame

Yippee! I was able to turn the "Monster In The Living Room" down in the frame last night! I am soooo happy! Can you tell? I see the end sight, I will be able to get the Monster out of the living room soon! I don't remember how long of a heading I sewed onto the edge, so I don't know if I will be able to do all of the cross hatching on the frame, but it will be close. I plan on marking the rest of the lines today - oh the end is in sight!
I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we have had lately. I have sewn in my Summer Palace as much as possible. The Fall season will be upon us soon and the Palace will be coming down, but until then I try to take advantage of my favorite sewing place. As you can see I have been busy. I am working on a log cabin paper foundation piecing project and slipping in Civil War Diary blocks from time to time. I love the way the yellow and black CWD block turned out! I haven't trimmed down the log cabin blocks yet, so they will look better when I do. I am doing the log cabin blocks in Civil War reproduction fabrics. It has been great using up some scraps that I can never seem to throw away.

September 2, 2008

Unexpected & Expected Purchases

Today was my first guild meeting for '08-'09. We always take a Summer brake off from regular meetings. A guild member passed away over the summer and her family was selling a lot of her quilting supplies and fabric. I had been wanting to add to my homespun stash and look what I picked up! The price tag for this was $13.00. I can handle that! That was an unexpected purchase.
There is a quilting store in the same town that my guild meets. I hadn't been there all Summer so I decided that I needed to go there to see what was new. I also wanted to pick up a few autumn type fabrics. Well, I found the fabrics I wanted (the expected purchases) and I also found a book that seemed to call my name. It wasn't an autumn inspired book, but a Winter/Christmas book. Well, it was over 90 degrees outside today and the snowman was really nice to look at. The book had to come home with me too. My unexpected purchase. Come Winter I may wish for the Summer weather again, but today cold sounded good!