Friday, April 29, 2011

A day at the beach

My kids had spring break this week, so we drove down to the beach and spent a few days with my parents.  Unfortunately it was the same days that the rain storms swept through the east coast.  But we did have a small window when it didn't rain so the kids and I headed to the beach with the dogs.

Facing the ocean, the sky was actually pretty clear and the sun was shining hot enough to give us sun burns.  But...

When you turned to look behind you, the gray clouds loomed over the sand dunes.
We stayed for about an hour and a half and then went back to grandma's house where we visited and played games.  Even though the weather was bad we still had a good time on our break.


We got home late last night and today I was inspired to make some beach postcards.
They are for one of the "open theme" postcard swaps I am in.

 I have also finished cutting out my fabric for the Le Petite Challenge for April.
I am cutting it close to the deadline again for this one.  
I sewed two of the quarter triangle squares together and that is all the sewing I have done.  So I know what I will be doing tomorrow.  Luckily the easy part is left.  The hardest part for me is trying to decide which fabric from my stash I want to use.  I stare at my fabric shelves for hours testing out color combinations.  I pull out a fabric and then put it back because I'm not ready to cut into it yet.  I told my daughter, who was watching me and questioning my process, "I haven't had that piece of fabric long enough to cut it yet.  I want to stare at it a couple more months before I make anything with it."  She just rolled her eyes and left me to my madness.  :)



=^..^=

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eggs for Easter

I made these 5 eggs for my Flat Easter Egg Swap at Fabricards.  They are made just like the fabric postcards, and can even be mailed in this shape.  But since mine had some beading on the flowers, I decided to put them in some clear envelopes.  I kept the one in the middle for myself and added it to my Easter Decorations





These are the ones I got in return.

Now I have a basket full of flat eggs.
YAY!!



=^..^=

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4 down 1 to Go

 I finished the quilting and the binding on my Sweet Spot quilt this afternoon.
The shadows strewn over the quilt are from the tree in my backyard. This little bit of shading sure has helped the actual quilting show up better than when I took its picture in full sun.



I only have one quilt left to quilt from my original 5 quilts that I basted on the 21rst of March.  Which is the Pink Zig Zag quilt, but that will have to wait till after I finish the quilt I am making for my Quilt Guild Challenge, which is due the first week in May.  The challenge theme for this year is "9 patch or 9 patch variation".  So I have decided to turn in a very traditional 9 patch and finish up the nine patch quilt I started with Amanda Jean's sew along back in April-July of 2009.  Wow, two years ago.  It really doesn't seem that long ago. Again I am glad for this blog to keep my dates in check.  I would have sworn it was only last summer that I put those 9 patches together into a top.   I don't have any current photos of the top as is, but all it needs now is a thin outer white border and some quilting.  I pan to add the white border later this evening and then I can baste it. Hopefully I can get started on the quilting in the next couple days, that is if my schedule can stay uninterrupted, but with 4 kids and lots of pets, you never know what will come up in the days to come.  :)


The four original basted quilts I completed, plus the two extra I made from start to finish in between, make 6 quilts completed in about a month.  I have to admit that I am impressed with myself for getting these done.   I am not usually that productive, but lately I have been putting all my tasks into my phone using a Task App that I downloaded. It keeps track of all my tasks and reminds me when they are due and when I get close to getting behind. When a task is complete I check it off and it goes off the list. It has really helped me manage my time better.  I enter in every thing that I have or want to do, whether it be work or play.  If I am working on one task and think of something else that needs to get done, I quickly add it to my phone with a completion date and get back to the task at hand.   I feel like I get so much more done in a day than I have in the past by using this simple little app.  I use to keep notes on paper, but they would get lost, or I just wouldn't read them, but since I carry my phone almost everywhere, I have a constant reminder of what needs to get done and when.  I love it. and my fabric stash loves it.  It is finally getting some lovin' other the usual caressing as I walk by.

=^..^=

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Time Fabric Postcards


I've Made several postcards over the past few weeks in between quilting quilts.  Can you tell I really like this green flowery fabric?  I have used it in all of them but one.




This Easter Egg was done using the Iris Folding technique.  But instead of paper, I used fabric.  I sure love the look of these types of cards.  I also made an iris folded strawberry.




Then I used the egg I cut out from the Iris folded card to make new Easter Cards.
I used up some of the left over Easter appliqu├ęs I had left over from previous cards.
So they are all a little different.




Friday, April 15, 2011

Matching Diaper Pouch

 This diaper pouch came together lickety split. It took me less than an hour to complete it from start to finish.  I do believe I was able to make it so quick because I had already made one before, so this time around I didn't have to spend time learning the pattern, which can be found for free here.

I  used the same fabrics from the pinwheel quilt to make the stripes on the pouch.  But instead of using white to exactly match the quilt, I used a yellow fabric for the bottom and linging.  This will get carried around a lot in the bottom of another bag, and I was worried the white would get too dirty so I went for yellow instead.


I sure wish I had one of these when I had babies.  I always had diapers and wipes strewn all over my diaper bag.  This would have kept everything nice and compact. I would have only needed to grab this pouch to have all my necessities for diaper duty.




=^..^=

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pinwheel Baby Quilt is finished.





I got my white batting last night and basted this quilt as soon as I got home.  Then I started right into the quilting.  I finished it up this morning and then hand stitched the binding to the back this afternoon.

 I so love this quilt.  It feels so soft. I love all the white and how all the colors mix well together.
Did I mention it is soft... so soft.  I keep caressing it.
 


While I was out shopping for batting, I found the perfect stripped fabric for the binding.  I hadn't even been looking for binding fabric,  I figured I would use something I already had in my stash, but as soon as I saw this striped fabric I knew it would be perfect for this quilt.  So I snatched up a yard.  I didn't really need a whole yard for this binding, but the fabric was so nice I went ahead and got extra.  I am sure I will find another use for the rest of it.  


I used a nice soft baby flannel for the back.



Can you tell I love this quilt?  One picture wasn't quite enough.


I can't wait to give it away and have it get snuggled by the new baby.


  The shower is Saturday and it sure feels good to have this quilt done two days before it is needed.  Most of my handmade gifts end up getting finishing the night before or in the wee hours of the morning before the event. But not this time.

This time I have two days till the party.  Hmm, I bet I have time to make a diaper pouch in matching fabrics....  



=^..^=

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Endless Summer Quilted

 I had planned to baste and quilt the Pinwheel baby quilt last night, but I didn't have any white cotton batting. I thought for sure I had a small package left, but I must have used it for something else because I couldn't find it anywhere.  I didn't even have enough scraps of white batting to get a piece big enough for the little baby quilt. 

But, while I was searching for the white batting, I did find some nice pieces of beige batting that fit perfect for my Endless Summer quilt top.  So I sewed those batting pieces together and then basted the layers of my Endless Summer quilt together.  I had an idea I wanted to use for the yellow triangle spaces, so I started the quilting right away last night and after doing some quick house chores this morning, I finished quilting the rest of the quilt.  Then while watching biographies on Hulu this afternoon, I hand stitched the binding down on the back.

I like the quilting I did all except in the sashing.  It didn't come out as smooth as I would have liked.  I thought I would be able to make nice smooth even curves if I used the points of the pinwheels and seams lines as base points for my arcs, but I got wobbly and some things got off center as I turned the quilt under the machine.  Unlike other freehand quilt designs, I feel like these wavy lines need more precision for a more smooth profession look.  I almost wanted to rip out all the sashing stitches and start over, but I refrained.  I suppose I will have to break down and actually mark my quilts from now on when I really want precision in certain areas of my quilting.
Free hand feathers are more forgiving when it comes to wobbly lines.  I really enjoy doing those.


 Now I have a nice spring time quilt to decorate the house with just in time to decorate for Easter.   Later on tonight when I go into town, I will pick up some white batting at Hobby Lobby with my 40%off coupon.  I love using my coupon on cotton batting.  After using cotton batting so often lately, it is painful to go back to polyester batting and that coupon really helps bring down the price of the cotton batting I have come to love.  I really like how the cotton sticks to the top and backing.  It really helps eliminate bunching on the back of the quilt when I machine quilt.

I still have those two other quilts I basted a couple weeks ago waiting to be quilted.  One of them fits in nice with my spring decoration too, so hopefully I can get it finished before too long and enjoy it  this spring season.


=^..^=

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pinwheel Baby Quilt Top

I ironed the 68 prairie points I needed for the Pinwheel Baby Quilt last night. I really liked how they looked stacked up nice and neat so I took their picture.  I made them from 2.5 inch squares.

Then I sewed the top together. I am really loving this quilt.  It is so simple yet looks so beautiful and it sews up super fast.  It is definitely a good project for quick baby gifts.  I wish someone I knew was having a girl.  I'd like to make one in pinks as well.  :)



Monday, April 11, 2011

Spending Quality Time with My Rotary Cutter


I have a baby shower coming up soon and I wanted to make a little quilt to bring as my gift.  So last night I took a break from quilting and cut out the pieces for the Pinwheel Baby Quilt featured at Moda Bake Shop.  I also did a little sewing in the wee hours of the night and sewed all the HST together.




While I was at it I decided to cut out another quilt that I have been longing to make.  I don't really know the name of this quilt, but it uses 54-40 or Fight block alternated with a variation of the Cups and Saucers block.  This one definitely has more pieces than the top one.  It is going to fit on top of a twin size bed when it is finished.

Hopefully I will have time this weekend to get this second top together. It all depends on how long it takes me to finish quilting my last two basted quilts and the baby quilt for the baby shower.  Oh, and I should probably throw in some house work this week. My kids keep telling me they don't like sorting through the laundry basket for their clean socks...  ;)



Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm on a roll... 3 down 2 to go.

At first I couldn't remember where I had gotten the inspiration for this quilt. I know I had seen a photo of it on the internet, but I couldn't remember where I had seen it.  Then the other day, when I was re-browsing some of my favorite sites, I found the photo again.  I actually found the pattern in two different spots.  One was on Mary's site, MaryQuilts.com, and the other on Bonnie Hunter's site, Quiltville.   Mary calls hers "16 Patches and Pinwheels", while Bonnie named hers "Pinwheels and Patches".   I call mine FINISHED!  Wahoo!!

I finished hand stitching the binding to the back this afternoon and then took it outside for it's photo shoot.

I did some curved quilting in the off white squares which ended up making circles around the colored squares.  Then I did some wavy swirls in the green border and regular swirls in the blue border.


Monday I will package it up and send it on its way to Tennessee where it will find a nice new loving home.






Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2 down, 3 to go

Last night I finished up the biggest of the 5 quilts I basted a couple weeks ago. This one is so big, I had to drape it over the fence and it's still missing about 3 feet.  It measures 98 x 110.

For the quilting on this one I did some meandering swirls with some leaves mixed in and I used a new type of thread.  For the first time I used a variegated thread from Sulky, and wow, I love it!  It is 12 wt 100% long staple cotton.  The texture of it is so wonderful and it adds so much extra to the quilt.  

 I did have to buy it online though because none of the craft stores around here had any variegated quilting thread.  At first I was worried that the colors wouldn't match what I saw on my monitor, so I was crossing my fingers hoping that the two spools I bought would go well with the quilt, and thankfully they blended right in with the quilt colors.  They were a perfect match for each other.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the day today, I spent my time basting and quilting another quilt for a guild mate.  So technically I really have a total of 6 quilts basted, and tonight 3 are finished.  Unfortunately I can't show the one I quilted tonight until after June 2.  It is for my quilt guild's yearly challenge and those quilts are suppose to remain secret till they are revealed at our Guild Show in June.  But I shall take pictures and when June 2nd passes I will post photos.  It really is a unique quilt.

Tomorrow is Guild Day and I will deliver the three quilts I have finished.
Then tomorrow evening I can get started on quilt number 4.

:)






  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Two newest doodle landscapes

The black and white part of the top drawing had been finished for a couple weeks.  
I finished the black and white part of the bottom drawing last Sunday.
I added color to both of them this afternoon.
 I usually use a box of 8 Crayola colored pencils for these, but today, for the drawing on the bottom, I decided I wanted a few more colors to choose from for the grasses by the stream.  So I broke out my old set of Prismacolor pencils.  Wow, I forgot how nice those colored pencils are.  It has been many many years since I have used them.  I am glad they haven't crumbled to dust while waiting for me to return to them. 

This inspiration for this stream drawing came from Angela over at The Adventures of Angelcat.  In February she was posting beautiful photos of some of her walks around the country side.  I was so impressed with her photos that I used one as my main inspiration for this drawing.