Saturday, January 29, 2011

A win and a finish!

Sometimes it is so hard to be patient!  At least for me.  Christine over at Auntie's Quaint Quilts notified me that I won her giveaway!  I knew that the package was coming all the way from Tasmania and that would take some time but...I was so anxious for it to arrive.  Guess what arrived this week? 

This package is full of goodies!  Fabric (3 fat quarters) from Lynette Anderson, a Schnibbles pattern - Hot Cross (Miss Rosie Quilt Co.) and Tis the Season embroidery patterns by Natalie Bird! 
Thanks Christine!

I also finished my fence inspired quilt. 
[the little white specks you snow]

I am not completely satisfied with the quilting.
 As I quilted the long colored spaces with straight line boxes, the middle tended to pull in the direction I was stitching.  
Can you see the way the fabric is distorted in the center?  
I never had that happen before but I probably never quilted in such long, straight segments. 
 I used my walking foot rather than trying free motion (thought it would keep the lines straighter). 
Has this ever happened to you? How can I improve on this?  Any suggestions are welcome. 
Anyhow, it is a finish and that means I need to make another quilt square for Queensland. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Productive or not?

Friday Night started with picking up the computer from the Apple Store.  Nothing too wrong just annoying.  Hopefully we found an answer.  Technology....

As soon as we got home, I quickly got started with stitching and finished the binding on this quilt.  

Then I made and added the label.  
Picture is blurred so to keep the secret.

I also finally made and added the label to this baby quilt.

The baby shower is tomorrow...

 I also made another block for Queensland.  I now have made 5 blocks!  I will be making a block after every finish until I have to send them off to Australia.  I better get busy...

If you would like to join in...stop over at Retromummy and visit Corrie.  She is heading up this project-Quilts for Queensland!

That was my FNSI...productive...not as much as I hoped but I'm satisfied.

Here is another something I've worked on and finished but never showed you.  

This was a Quilt Around the Block by Helen at Hugs from Helen.  It was designed for a group of 4, each doing one round.  I just followed along on my own.  I finished the center square and the first border with the hexis.  When Helen posted the 3rd round, I was a bit overwhelmed as the flowers were to go all around. I decided that was too much for me so I added a sample of the stitchery on 2 corners.  And I eliminated the 4th round of stitchery and added a cute coordinating fabric instead and made it into a pretty pillow cover.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Taking care of business

The lace I ordered for the wedding dress makeover came in the mail the other day and I have started to hand stitch it on (in place of the large ruffle along the bottom.)  It is coming together quite nicely.

Here is a glimpse of one of the wedding quilts that I'm working on.  It's all pieced and most of the quilting is done.  The fabric is mostly Sand and Surf by Marcus Brothers with a few additional coordinating fabrics.

After reading on so many blogs about the floods in Queensland and the opportunities to help, I decided to join Retro Mummy in making 12 1/2" unfinished blocks.  The block I decided to make is a simple scrappy block.  Make a 9 patch using 2 1/2" squares.  Then add 1 1/2" border on all sides.  
Sew more 2 1/2 " blocks together and sew around the  block. Easy peasy.  A great scrap buster too!  Won't you join me?

Here are a few of the projects that I'm participating in.  
First is a BOM stitchery quilt from Little Miss Shabby.  The birdie stitchery is too cute to resist! Just trying to decide what fabric to use. I'm in love with the Sunkissed fabric but...

 I'm also thinking of following along with the Bloggers' Block-A-Palooza Waiting for Spring over at quilt dad.  Did I mention that I am in love with Moda's Sunkissed by Sweetwater?  Both of these quilts use Sunkissed but I'm not sure if I want to use it for both.  Just have to wait to find out.  
So in order for me to find the JOY in these projects, I'll just have to follow along at my own pace. 
No pressure.     

P.S. This Friday is FNSI.  Go on over to Handmade by Heidi to sign up. Won't you join the fun!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Extreme Wedding Dress Makeover

 what I've been working on.  It is my girlfriend's dress from her first marriage.  Her daughter, which just so happens to be my daughters best friend, is getting married and wants to wear her mom's dress.  

It was extremely outdated and I don't mean vintage which is now rather popular.  
This dress had lots of ruffles. 
Like....all around the bottom...more than 5 yards of ruffle.

And...all along the bodice...front and back...more ruffles...and a high, lace neck and long sleeves with lace cuffs.

It is definitely from the 70's.  
So here is a sneak peek of the dress now.  It isn't finished. 
The wedding isn't until May so I can't reveal it all yet.

Gone are the long sleeves, high neck and all the ruffles.  
I saved the lace from the neck and inserted into the bodice [a nice sentimental touch.] 
Stay tuned for more of the extreme makeover!

On the quilting front.  
This weekend my DH and I went for a walk in the woods [looking for sticks...but that's another story.

On driving home, I caught glimpse of a fence that I have driven past quite often. This time it caught my attention as a quilt design.  The fence is located in an area where it is hard to take a picture of it.  I found another one that is similar.  

The fence that inspired me didn't have the extras on the top and you could see the cross bar on the bottom [new snow is covering this one.]  

When we got home I got some grid paper and my colored pencils out and drew my idea.   

Here is what it looks like on paper...

I used Kona cotton solids in 7 different colors and charcoal for the background/fence color.  

I really like how this came together...I think I will use the charcoal for the backing too...probably a pieced back with some pieces of each color.  
What do you think?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Catching Up

I just haven't had time to post.  Ever feel that way? I have been trying to keep up reading most of my favorite blogging friends but to actually write a post...haven't found the time.  So grab a cup of coffee/tea as this might just be a long one.  
Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary of my very first post.  I haven't reached 100 posts yet, but I may put together a giveaway.  Check back to find out.  

In the meantime...first up...a surprise in the mail from Gran over at Knot-y Embroidery Lady.  What a wonderful Christmas gift!  Thanks Gran!

Here are some pictures of projects finished and just getting around to showing you.

I finished the fishing game [I showed previously here] with a little drawstring bag I made to keep everything together.  

And this cute necklace that I made for my daughters [only showing one].  The pattern was from here.  

Next up, over at Charming Chatter, the Charming Girl's Quilt Club new theme.  

We are to pick a word for the year.  As Kelly explains, "We're choosing a word the identifies what we'd like to see more of in our lives in 2011 - what we want to cultivate in our lives!  It's a word to reflect on throughout the year - and to help us "live our best life" as Oprah would say!"
I have been having a bit of trouble coming up with MY WORD! The first 2 words I wrote down were savor and perspective. I love the word savor but Polly is using that word.  Perspective just didn't feel right.  A couple more I tried on were contented and delight.  Both good words but not the right word.  So I waited for my word to come.  And it will be...

Joy is defined as

1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.
3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4. a state of happiness or felicity.

It's not like I haven't had joy in my life but I really want to find the joy in every situation...even the hard look for the good.

I want to find joy in moments spent with my family and friends. 
This year we will celebrate the wedding of the first of our daughters to get married.  Although planning a wedding can be stressful, I want to enjoy the process, enjoy the day, and enjoy welcoming a son into our family.  

I want to find joy in quilting/sewing/creating and not feel guilty or pressured into getting this done or trying this or that.  If I want to try something, great!  There is so much inspiration that I can guilt myself into trying/doing everything. I refuse to let that happen.  I want to stitch with joy!  I joined! 

And finally, I want to find joy in rest/relaxation.  Rest is Kelly's word and I love what she has to say about it.  She defines it as a calmness of spirit, a peacefulness soul that pervades all that I say and do!  
I have a hard time not always moving and doing, keeping my hands busy. There is always so much to do/accomplish!  I need to give myself permission to just relax. 
To find joy in resting.   

So there it...
I'll leave you with some pictures of a joyful winter time, spent with friends and family!

And a little saying I found [don't remember where]...

Create Joy and Satisfaction - Feeling good is good for you, so have a laugh, find a hobby or just kick back.

If you want to read other Charming Girl's Words check here.