Friday, March 26, 2010

Sewing Weekend at My Mother's House

Sewing is so much fun.  It's so rewarding when you create something pretty or beautiful or cute.  You had all these pieces of fabric and you put them all together in a pleasing way.  It's even more fun when you do it with a friend.  And it's faster!!  And then you come up with something like this baby quilt: 

This is the project that my friend Kim and I started a couple of weekends ago.  We were at a sewing day at our friend Sue's house.  Sue's first grandbaby was due anytime during that last sewing day, so Kim and I were racing the clock, so to speak.  Kim and I got the center of the quilt top made during our sewing day at Sue's. 

In between that sewing day at Sue's and the sewing weekend at my mother's house (sleepover involved!), the baby boy arrived!!  I hear he's pretty darned cute.  I've seen some photos and he looks pretty cute to me. 

Then we got together at my mother's house for sewing weekend with finishing the new baby's quilt first on the list.  Kim measured the center of the top, then measured and cut the borders.  Then she stitched the borders to the quilt along with the four-patch cornerstones.  Isn't this top just the cutest? 

But wait!!  We're still not done.  It needs to be quilted.  That was my task.  First, you layer and baste.  The back is this fun duck fabric!! 

We decided that I would do a free motion, free hand loopy quilting pattern.  We wanted it to be whimsical.  After all, this baby was born into a fun loving family with a great sense of humor. 

I practiced a bit on my muslin square until I got the hang of it.  Then on to the real quilt.  Here is a photo of the quilt with the quilting in progress. 

Quilting requires concentration.  You must pay attention to what you're doing or you get something you don't want in your quilt.  It requires all other thoughts and distractions to go away for a while.  You also have to remember to breathe!  And relax your shoulders.  Every so often, I lost track of what direction I wanted to go with my loopy swirls.  A little break, a look at what I had, then off I went again with my machine and my thread and that little quilt.  Then a while later, the quilting was done!! 

But wait!!  There's more!  The quilt needed to be bound.  The kit came with this fun turquoise fabric.  Kim stitched the binding on the front of the quilt, then turned and hand stitched it to the back.  Kim is fast!! 

More pictures of the fun quilt.  Doesn't that great blue binding just set off all the rest of the colors in the quilt!? 

Kim quickly wrapped the quilt and Sue arrived later and in time to unwrap it, inspect it, ooh and ahh appropriately, then rewrap it for the parents to unwrap it once again.  I hear tell that Sue took it to the baby that evening after sewing time and he fussed on it.  I hope he likes it better after he gets used to it. 

Way too much fun making quilts.  Quilts for babies.  With friends. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fabric Giveaway!!

Who doesn't love FREE fabric?!  Here's your chance to win a Verna jelly roll and 2 yards of fabric to go with it.  It's being offered by Burgundy Buttons through Park City Girl's blog here.

Have fun looking!!  And I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll win.  But only if I don't win.  :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I LOVE Baseball! It's Spring Training!

It's an annual thing here in southern Arizona.  Alas, this is probably the last year for spring training baseball in Tucson.  So sad for those of us who love baseball and love sitting in the ballpark in March.  But, for me, one afternoon last week was bliss.

An afternoon at Hi Corbett Field watching the Colorado Rockies play the Kansas City Royals.  Thanks to my friend and former co-worker Bill who provided the ticket for me to go. 

Is this the same Brian Anderson who used to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks?  I don't think so, but our group never reached a definite conclusion. 

And for the fans of Troy Tulowitzki: 

My friend Bill and I thought the duel between outstanding pitcher Zack Greinke (reigning American League Cy Young award winner) of the Royals and Tulowitzki of the Rockies would be fun the watch.  In Tulowitzki's first at bat, he hit the first pitch with a huge CRACK of the bat.  The ball rocketed into the outfield.  So much for that battle. 

In Tulowitzki's second at bat, there was indeed a battle.  Tulowitzki hit into a force out, but he hit it hard.  He is also very reliable at shortshop.  Rockies' fans will enjoy watching him play again this year. 

The Rockies' pitcher Jeff Francis was successful in the three innings he held the Royals scoreless. 

The day started out sunny and cool.  Then it got a bit warmer and I questioned my decision to wear my warm undershirt under my long sleeved polo shirt.  Then the clouds moved in later and blocked the sun.  While others around me talked about how chilly it was getting, I was feeling pretty smart and pulled my fleece jacket up around my shoulders. 

There I was.  Happy as a clam.  Sitting in the (mostly) sun at the baseball park watching baseball.  Sigh . . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

What's Next? How about some Threadplay?

Well, you know, you finish a project.  Then you need another project.  Me?  I have plenty of unfinished projects.  I mean PLENTY.  We won't be counting those because it would be very embarrassing. 

Anyway, here's my plan for what to do next (among other "next" things):

This is a project that I started in Libby Lehman's class called Two for One Threadplay.  The class was presented at Quilting in the Desert in Phoenix in January.  It was WAAYY too much fun.  I wanted to try all the techniques that she showed us and I wanted to try all of them NOW!! 

We did satin stitching.  Then some free motion satin stitching (that's the stitching that looks like it's having a bad hair day in the above photo).  Then some decorative stitches to go around the edges of the applique fabric.  Then some bobbin work by putting perle cotton or Razzle Dazzle thread by Superior Threads in the bobbin and stitching from the back.  Then I couched some funky yarn down using monofilament.  What a great class that allowed for a whole day of just experimentation.  The time just flew by!!  

So here I am on my own now to try some more of these techniques.  Here's my satin stitching using King Tut thread, also by Superior Threads.   

"Now is a good time to do something you've always wanted to do. Being a little impulsive is a good thing." David Critchfield, owner of Mission Peak Soap.

So, what are you trying these days?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

FINISHED!! Baby or Toddler Quilt

A while back I showed photos of this quilt nearly done.  Well, now it's really done (except for the label)!  Isn't it about cute!? 
The fabrics are Woodland Wonderland by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit and Westminster Fabrics.  See it here.
The pattern is Rectangles from Fons and Porter Easy Quilts Summer 2008
It was a nice pattern.  I just love it when measurements are accurate and instructions are clear.  I also love that for most of the patterns in the Fons and Porter magazines, they give several size options.  While I could figure it out for myself, it's so refreshing to have had someone else do the math for me! 
The fabrics are fun and whimsical.  And so not my style!  I loved working with them, though.  I loved the colors and the cartoonish designs grew on me. 

If you like this quilt, too, it's for sale now in my etsy shop here.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sewing Day and Baby Waiting

My mother and my friends and I have this great sewing day get together.  About once a month or so, we get together at someone's house for a sewing day or weekend.  We work on our own projects or we work on something together and eat, then sew some, then eat some more and, well . . . you get the idea. 

Our friend Sue is expecting her first grandbaby any day now and we were a bit nervous about having sewing day at her house this past weekend.  But baby waited and still hasn't arrived yet.  But friend Kim and I got into the baby mood with this project. 

Sewing rectangles.

Sewing more rectangles . . .

This goes together quickly when two are working together!  By the end of the afternoon, this is what we had.

It will get some borders (more white) and four patch corner blocks.  Duck fabric for the back and blue binding.  We think it's very cute.

It's a pattern called Scratch by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  The fabric is a Moda fabric designed by Sandy Gervais called Objects of Desire.  We cut up charm packs to make this quilt.  We took out all the high heeled shoe fabrics since we don't know whether this baby is a boy or girl. 

The grandmother to be was working on this project:

And my mom was working on this pretty purple pillowcase (try saying that three times fast!)

And we thank the baby for waiting on us to get this far . . .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I'm not a cat person except when I visit other cat people.  Cats love quilts. 
Especially when they're not quite sewn down yet.  And they can still "help" you with the layout. 
Visit rikrak's blog here to see her new cat and the cat stories shared there.  She thought she was a dog person and that it was an either/or proposition.  See what she learned about herself . . . and cats. 

Hummingbird Stitchers Quilt Show

A couple of weekends ago, I attended the Hummingbird Stitchers Quilt Show in Sierra Vista, Arizona hosted by the Hummingbird Quilt Guild.  It's always a fun and inspiring trip.  This year was wonderful, too.  Here are some photos that I took which just don't do justice to the marvelous handmade quilts.

This was called Fractal Spiral and it was made by Linda Erickson.  It won Best of Show.  Wonderful use of colors and fabrics.  It just invites you to stop and look at it.  Then look again . . .

This is one of my favorites.  It is titled Cornucopia and it was made by Norde Sebens.  Hand appliqued and hand quilted!!!

This was very popular!  It's a quilt made to reflect a map of Cochise County, Arizona, the county where the quilt show is held.  It was made in 1995 by members of the Cochise County Historical and Archealogical Society and the Sew Peaceful Guild.  It hung in the vintage and antique quilt section.  It won a Ranger's Choice Award at this year's show.  It's chosen by the Arizona Rangers, who provide nighttime security at the quilt show!  They are there to guard the quilts.  They ought to have a say about which quilts they like!

And I'll leave you today with this wonderful, delightful detail from another Norde Sebens quilt.