Friday, March 31, 2006

Project Spectrum & this-n-that

UGH I forgot that that was a tiny picture.... This is my red project for Project Spectrum, I only jumped on the band wagon recently - so I had to use an oldie... The next color is Orange & Yellow & that will be a new project! I am going to play along with Tambo.

I am also kind of motivated to work on my scrappy rail fence after seeing Sam's Quilt. You see, mine is black batik with scrapy (Think of a charm quilt becasue I tried not to repeat) batiks and hand dyeds. The blocks are all pieced & pressed & I even started to sew 1 block to another. (I am trying to guilt myself into working on it - if you can't tell.) I already have the purple batik pillow cases....

Which reminds me, I should piece together my wedding signature quilt - so I can send it off to be quilted....

& then there are the I SPY quilts.... & the cat appliques & The log cabin that my friend bought the fabrics for - another tinge of guilt here, not to mention that she asked about it recently & I kind of put it off till after Australia.... OY VEY!

Oh and I am going back to school (American University) starting in July.... So my quilty time will be decreasing. I better get going, huh?

Monday, March 27, 2006

I almost forgot... (Updated 03-28-06)

I picked up a panel of these cats - I know you are suprised.... I want to use them as the center of log cabin blocks - I once saw a quilt that used something similar, but the logs created diagonal rows of color. So the top of one had red while the bottom of another alos had red so that when the two came together they helped create the red row of color. (I think one of the sides also had red - the log cabin layout would be straight furrows) Anyone know what I am talking about? Any ideas on how to do that?

Thanks so much to Mary who found the exact thing I was trying to describe on the back of Clever Quilts Encore by: Susan Teegarden Dissmore. Which is similar but different to the quilt that Jeanne did on February 23, 2006 (scroll down a bit to see it.)

excuses, excuses

I don't even have a good excuse....

I guess you can call this a rut.

Maybe a blue period.

Once upon a time ago, I used my wedding as an excuse - well I'm married.
Then, I wanted (needed?) a new sewing machine - well I have a new sewing machine.
And then, I wanted to have the I SPY charms sorted for the first quilt - well I have them sorted for two quilts and half way sorted for the other two (& possibly a 5th on the way...)

And then there is my travel applique project. Forever or so it seems ago, I pieced the blocks and started to get the cats done. Then I had to get some other things done first.
Now I am prepareing the cats - so I can sew them in airports and on planes in May.

Luckily, I can say that last night I finally prepared 4 more cats - 7 down 8 to go.

I really need to make up lists - because without them I am floundering...

My top 25 quilts to get done... (That list could easily be more, but I want to visit (o.k. locate) my projects before tackeling that list.
Quilty things to do this week - a month is too long of a period for me - I could easily "need" a daily list... But I have yet to even start a list...

I have a quilt visiting a long armer right now - hopefully her return will make me return to quilting.

In the mean time, I am going to a quilters yard sale on Saturday... I need more fabric like I need a hole in my head, but... (I am on the lookout for yardage suitable for backgrounds - Judy Martin's new book, SCRAPS landed in my mail box last week and there are a few patterns that need 1 or 2 background pieces to work...)

And hopefully on the 7th or 8th I will be going to the big quilt show in Lancaster, PA. - Maybe that should be a reward for piecing SOMETHING! Oh that is it, I have resorted to bribing myself...

The dinner party went well, once again everyone liked my brisket :o) The weather is beautiful - I really need to go down to see THE cherry blossoms...

Well it appears that I have gone from having nothing to say to saying a lot...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

broken blogger

De blogger she eeez broken! Every time I try to comment and the blogee has word verification, "Smenita" come up - everytime! (not very random to have the same string of letters that is not a word come up!)

Anyhooo tonight I am going to start a brisket - two days to prepare using my world famous secret recipe, 5 hours tonight & during them I hope to sew something... or to at least prepare an applique or two...

She may be fixed... I am a try try again kind of girl & while checking back I finally got a new string of letters that is not a word to retype! YAY.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Block party

This is my travel project; the one that I worked on on Sunday. I figure if I prepare the appliques that I can hand applique them while in airports and on planes with out having to worry about scissors - even though you are supposed to be able to bring them on planes again. (I would end up with a snarky TSA guy who would give me grief & on vacation, I don't need grief!) There are many ways to applique by hand & by machine. And then again there are several ways still to applique by hand or by machine. This method - freezer paper under - is by far my least favorite hand method, but I thought (& still think) it is the best way for this project. Ya know, sometimes you have to listen to the project.

So at this point, you can seetwo of my three of my prepared kitties. I still need to turn the edges, clip the "ins" and glue the seam allowance to the freezer paper for my other 12 cats.

12 more, but you already did 3, I thought this was a BOM - it is, but I could not decide which color to exclude, so I added three more blocks for a 3x5 layout instead of the intended 3x4 - would that make me a REBEL? (Or would my color choices be what made me a rebel?) I am showing the 4 blocks together so you can see the secondary design - I LOVE secondary designs, which is why I shy away from sashing. That rainbow print will also be my binding (maybe event he narrow inner border) while the outer big border will be piano key using the "solid" scraps. (like the "original" shown below) I have a rainbow kitties flannel for the back! (most of the solids were from my stash and the back was from my stash. Back when I did buy for this project, I only bought the background - a pearly white by Lakehouse (I couldn't find their URL, but a sampling for sale at an online quilt shop can be seen here. BTW The backing for my pink quilt is a Lakehouse hydrangea fabric.) & the star points - they were new at the time. I can admit that the blocks have been pieced for a while - I did the center 16 patches using the "leader-ender" method. The best part - when I pieced the blocks together, the points should still be pointy! I have been terribly lazy about preparing the appliques. :o)

You can buy the pattern at Cottonseed Glory, a quilt shop in Annapolis, Maryland. (It is right near the naval Academy, so don't bother trying to go there when Navy is doing anything sporty...) My layout will be the same with the colors going in a diagonal - just add 1 more diagonal for the 5th color.

On the I SPY front, quilt number 1 has the correct number of charms finally! Quilt number 2 needs a few more it is far easier to add a few that to try to take a way a few... & quilts numbered 3 & 4 have a start - Out of several prints, I cut up to 3 pieces, so it it like dealing cards with some of the fabrics. (Thanks for the idea Starfishy.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sunday Sew-n-tell

My mini-group met yesterday & I brought my travel applique project so that I could prepare the appliques for my trip. I had ten cats freezer papered and trimmed waiting for me to glue stick the raw edge - I only got 3 glue sticked and only two of them thread basted in place...

So what did I do instead for the better part of 5 hours? I snacked on these truely wonderful spinach filled beggar's purses, "showed" two of my wedding gift quilts, shopped (I only purchased 2/3 of a yard of fabric - cats of course...), helped other people shop, snacked some more this time on devilied eggs - a truely wonderful treat!, looked at other "shows", "Told" about my new sewing machine, ate great food - even a suprisingly good "raw" salad dressing & a cake to die for (I am really loving the chocolate and raspberry combo.) with fresh home-made whipped cream.

I then when to my GF's house and traced my final 4 cats and freezer papered them to fabric & went out for Chinese - leftovers for lunch!

I had my camera, but after so long with out it, I forgot to snap any photos & I wanted to show you all my blocks....

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Turns out that for one twin sized I Spy quilt using the stretched stars pattern, I need 234 charms. No problem. I pulled about 400! So I culled & culled again. Now I have about 250+/- a few.

So I need to think of a new way to cull like - no more cats just being cats - they have to be doing something that noone else is already doing, so cowboy cat - you will be removed because I have a cowboy cowboy. After that, I'll have to look for some more comonalities, I guess....

I kind of want to represent the alphabet fully as well, so there are some that have to stay like the vacuum, the juke box, & the x-rayed kitty!) No cats with the Juke box or the vacuum, just in case you were wondering. Luckily, I have several Umbrella prints - so that was a fairly easy cull.

The only good thing is that by the end of my 4 I SPY quilts saga, the last one will use up the "rest" of the charms without my deciding which ones to use!

I counted and recounted far too many time last night!

But RB got to nap in the box with out the charms getting in his way. Rhapsody just looked and shook her head. (& hid under the bed becasue last night was the first night without kitty medicine - so glad to be done with that chore!) She came to visit her mommy when the "quilting" was done & the lights were turned out. Such beautiful purrs.... She must have been saying, "Thank You for not giving me a pill mommy."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Enabler kitty

"What is that?" Enquiring minds want to know. That my friends is my enabler.

From the Dictionary:
enabler (n.)
Function: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior. (There is apparently a very fine line between "Helper" and "Enabler.")

RB Enables me to be lazy and not to sew even though I have a brand new super fabuloso sewing machine. Which by the way is threaded & I have also wound all of the bobbins.)

You see, he is sitting on my cut out ready to sew fabric pieces. (The turquoise is my background, the rest are my I SPY charms. The close-up shows the back of a print that has sand pails.)

He looks so comfy, I can't bring myself to extricate him from the basket of fabrics. (Yes I am wrapped around his tail. All he has to say is "MEOW" & I get him cat food...)

And for grins, in the full shot, the wavy bit in the background (above the cat head), that is my mattress - becasue I know some of you think I am over exaggerating when I talk about my small space.

Maybe I'll sew some tonight? (Or cut - I can't do that with him there either - you may have recognized some rotary cutting tools under the book, under the basket, under the cat.)

The only good part of this scenario is that fact that the turquoise came from my stash & I am ready to use 100% of it!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Helper Kitty

As you can see (& a bit of what you can't see) my new sewing machine is out of the box! yes, that is helper kitties paw. He also rubbed her all over and sniffed her real good. I got all of my doo dads (acessories for most of you) into their properly labeled locations & a pack of needles into what I thought was their spot - it wasn't. (Now I need to tip her over to revtieve my needles...)

What you can't see is that my table is clean except for the machine and her "stuff."

I have yet to thread her or to plug her in as I have a few more flat surfaces to clear first & with my "Grade A" helper that should be NOOOOO problem!

One the quilty front, in Excel I plotted out my chrams... I tweaked the Stretched Stars pattern a bit, but I'll save that for a later installment. >^..^<

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

poppy quilt - passage of time

This is another quilt that was hanging at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. (It was in instructors row, but I missed the maker's name...)

I took the photo because this quilt shows the passage of time - something I just LOVE! Also this is kind if (Wild stretch of your imagination) like an idea that I have for a quilt that I will make once I own a home and know the space that I have to fill.... I want to document the phases of the moon in a quilt, starting with the new moon (A quilted circle on my background) through waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, & half (with quilting completing the circle on each) to a full moon and back through half, waning gibbous, & waning crescent to a new moon (9 "moons" to cover a full lunar cycle.) heavily quilted with stars - I am seeing them as asterisks, pluses, and dashes - so that some appear to be closer than others....

I need to buy a place first, but I do see this as a prominent piece of "Art" in my home - maybe the length of a sofa...

My little bundle of furry cuteness!

Here is RB in one of is favorite locations - a box! One of his nicknames is "Box Kitty." Especially if it is small, but I recently realized that he rarely smooshes into the same box twice, but when he in a box, it is tough to dislodge him - Michael tried, by closing the flaps and by carrying it around the room lifting it up and down. The mere tough of such antics made Rhapsody head for cover! Brand new box - our proofs came in yesterday! (Old book, I am just re-reading for inspiration!)

Thanks for all of the well wished and glad tidings about my new machine! She unfortunately is waiting for my to clear the table (yes, the only table in the apartment, it holds the dish strainer in addition to almost EVERYTHING else from time to time) before she will leave her box. Hopefully this week... I am not ready to see what is on the bottom of the pile! But I do want to do it right (complete with scowering powder) so I am punishing myself with leaving the sewing machine in the box in the mean time.

My Sew-n-Tell mini-group meets this coming Sunday, I know I will not be bringing her there - I have swimming lessons before the meeting (I don't want to leave her in the car by herself while I swim.), so I will only bring applique.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Saturday, What a day....

Sorry for the tiny photo, but this is my new sewing machine. I took the picture off the web page. (Mine is still in the box - I know totally shocking!) She is a Quilt Expression 2046 by Pfaff and you can read all her here: Pfaff. We got her in Annapolis, MD yesterday, which was a beautiful day around here & Spring has officailly Sprung because the Daffodils are blooming!

Now to decide what my first project will be on my new machine.... (Faux Log Cabin for my friend - she bought the fabrics or an I SPY - I have the background cut out for one of them. I am not feeling terribly tempted to work on anything else right now... But the pink background project that I last blogged about is intriguing me more for the scrap generation that anything else - I know - "SICKENING."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This little piggy

A PIG in my book is a "Project in a Grocery Sack." And I own a few... (head bowed in shame) This one is my most recent.... I bought the magazine when I was feeling down... I then really mulled over the cover quilt. Do I want one very similar to the one shown? (I did not think so at the time.) How would I do mine? Oh, I am so tired of doing the same thing.... That one on Finn's blog looks cool... I have a gift certificate, so I can either buy a couple big pieces of batiks for a different quilt that I plan to make to use up my batik scraps, or I can buy to make this quilt... I walked out with fabrics so that I could make mine look very similar to the published quilt. (I bought a few to fill in the gaps at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show & suprisingly a few cam out of my stash!) The floral at the top will be the back & the other piece up there - a plaid - will be the binding. When will I start to cut &/or piece it? Your guess is as good as mine! (The left over pinks and browns together with my shirtings will make another quilt made up entirely of small-ish 1/2 square triangles. Some may also go with my other repros. to become another repro. quilt - maybe baskets...)

Ah back to the reality of "Amy you already have a pile of UFO's without making more!"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

room quilt

Yesterday (o.k. maybe before - I saw it yesterday) Mary postd her favorite quilt from the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show, here is mine! Sorry I missed the title & makers name on this one. There are a few detail shots below. I wish I got more, but on Saturday, there were other people wanting to take pictures & looking at me like I was a quilt stalker! I just LOVE all of the details. I would like to live in this house with this stuff displayed this way...

This quilt kind of reminds me of all of those book case quilts that were soooo popular several years ago -some were really realistic (including the depth of field)while others gave the impression of a book case but lacked the depth... I love the reality of this one, but I know that mine would only give the impression...

This is a whole quilt unto itself on the main quilt!

Check out that cat lapping up his milk - on that FLOOR! Do you see the fringe on that rug?

Look at the detail on this coffee pot, similar details are on the plate above....

WIP Redeux

Wow, a lot of people prefer my first plan(s) all dark with yellow and a mix of light & medium with the blue. While others like the scrappy idea....
I guess this is going to turn out to be a numbers game. Which means that I need about 200 charms for the squares and about 400 for the rectangles (I don't have enough rectangles, but I do have more fabric from which I can cut them.) So if I have 200 darks, I'll do the dark with yellow plan - if not they will both be scrappy!

On the scrappy front, I have two others planned that will be scrappy. Same idea but a different pattern, the other two backgrounds are turquoise and orange & the other pattern is stretched star.

Since I was not completely clear yesterday, those photos are "mock-ups" the stars will hopefully "pop" after they are pieced - you will not see stars in my photos yet (just the star centers).

Finally, I agree that a different color may pop better, but this is a stash quilt & these are pretty much the only pieces of fabric big enough to be backgounds (with the exception of white) for this project - so no changes there! :o)

& I agree when it is all said and done, the novelties will be the main attraction! (They are for me already!)

Monday, March 06, 2006

WIP (work in progress)

Which is better - all darks or a mix? I thought I wanted all darks & by that I meant with a black or navy background. You see I thought the yellow would "POP!" and that would be a good thing. Now I am not so sure... First, it really isn't popping! Second, I only have 1/2 the number of those rectangles that I need for 1 quilt & I want to make two (scroll down to see the photos of that one & similar question) that are similar but different. Finally, while I want it to have a "charm" feel with not two fabrics repeated, that isn't happening! (Thanks two everyone who sent charms or chunks - you may see you fabrc here - if not it is probably with that other 1000 pieces.... Remember this is a 4 quilt project!) Of my own, I generally cut three 5 inch squares - so that every quilt would not have every piece of fabric. Then I looked at what was left and cut the rectangles where I could. (On the bottom row you can see a parrot - I have a different parrot in a 5 inch square - I am sure, a few only became rectangles....)

A. You are probably asking why did she post the same picture twice.... The first one has a mix of dark (black backgrounds) and the other is mostly lights and mediums. Which do you prefer? (The blue squares will end up being stars)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Save me from myself...

Please save me from myself, not only do I want the patterns, I want to buy the kits for these three adorable cat quilts!
(Patterns by McKenna Ryan, kits available through Keepsake Quilting.)

I have had my catalog at the ready... I have justified the heck out of making the purchase... but I am going to Australia in a few months and wouldn't my money be better spent there (on say, FOOD) ? I already have a ton of UFO's, PIGS, WHIMMS, etc. I just bought fabric for a different quilt. That one is pieced - this one is fusible... which is a different kind of purchase that fulfills a different need in my mind. Shall I go on? I can. (For example there is my goal to finish 6 Nickel Quilts - including the 4 "I SPY" quilts that are in progress - Thanks again to those of you in blogville who sent me charms or chunks of novelties!)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This quilt was so timely for me (several photos!)

Another from the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show - that wasn't in the juried show, rather a special exhibit.

"Postcards From a Time Down Under" by: Joyce Paterson of the Mendocino Quilt Artists, part of their exhibit "It Takes Time." Since Michael & I will be going to Australia in May/June & I am a quilter, I would love to something similar to capture our honeymoon. I am also considering something more abstract like Deb's remembrance of snorWALKing. I took several photos of this quilt - not enough to reproduce it perse, but enough to make anyonerealize that my quilt will probably be more like this than absract... Although there is no rule against makeing more than 1 quilt...

I really like the "post cards" and the fact that some of them are the backs of post cards! Not to mention the street signs. (I have/had a photo of one from Germany that was of Frogs Crossing.) And the appliques really complete the picture!

A couple cat quilts from the show...

The quilt was made by C. Holmes in Cordova, TN (In general, I forgot to jot donw the makers name or the quilt title...) I think the truest color is of the "whole" quilt. I liked it so much, I got an "even closer" shot...(so I took out the "close-up" - too much space) Beyond that fact that I love this as a cat quilt, I also love the use of a neutral palette.

The blue cat quilt was part of a special exhibit on "blue." believe it or not, this is a photo of a photo! I love the border & the mischieviousness of the subject. (Mine however, would invariable have "funky fish.") Linda - does that jog your memory?