Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

I was busy all week working on my mini log cabin blocks, but I'm not reporting that stash until they're all finished, and I have six left to make for my little 36-block quilt. I also finished quilting my Christmas quilt, It's a Wrap, this evening, which makes me very happy!

I'll be loading another quilt on the frame this week, binding the Christmas quilt, making the rest of the log cabin blocks, and spending some time working on the projects on my Power of Ten list.

For the Stash Manager's Report, nothing in, nothing out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Giveaway for Machine Embroiderers

Serena Smith at Embroidery Treasures is hosting a giveaway for machine embroidery enthusiasts. The offer is for these four magazines. Plus she has an interesting site! You have until August 31 to enter the giveaway.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Carolee's Tea

This morning I worked some more on the binding for the snowman quilt and finished it this evening. This is the third flannel quilt I've made, and I really like the flannel, but it's a bit more challenging to do the quilting and binding because of the thickness of the layers. This pattern, called "Under the Stars", is by The Rabbit Factory.

This afternoon was our tea at Carolee's house. Tables were set up in the garage with this lovely collection of china tea cups and treats for the tea.

We had some time before the presentation to see Carolee's extensive gardens. A tour through her gardens is a lot like a trip to a Botanical Garden--there are just so many varieties of plants. Her sun garden extends clear across the front of her house and around to the side. In the back are two shade gardens, and two more shade gardens on the other side of her driveway. Of course Carolee devotes quite a bit of time every day working in her gardens, so it's a wonder she still finds time to quilt.

The presentation by Sandra L. Hatch, editor of Quilter's World magazine, was an insightful look into her career as an editor and quilter that has spanned 28 years so far. She has an impressive list of magazines and books to her credit, as well as a large body of work as a quilter. Behind her, there were stacks of quilts on the tables, many of which were quilts she's made over the years for magazines and books she's edited. She had a large number of Christmas quilts and charming gift bags. She mentioned that she has 29 people in her family, and each family member has their own gift bag, which she fills every year at Christmas. I believe Sandra said she has recently resigned as editor of Quilter's World due to creative differences, but she will retain her position as technical editor.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

This morning I finished hand sewing the binding on two sides of the snowman quilt, and I expect to finish it tomorrow. I started that quilt at a workshop in March, so I guess it will qualify as a WISP for this month's One Project a Month Challenge.

I loaded the Christmas quilt this morning and quilted about half of it. I was tempted to use my favorite red-white-green variegated holiday thread but decided I'd rather look at the blocks more than the quilting, so I'm using gold thread, which blends pretty well. The pantograph I'm using is Tannenbaum from Willow Leaf. It's an easy pattern, but I can't seem to get in the groove with it.

With the two quilt backs, I used up 7 yards from the stash this week and added some yardage from the quilters' yard sale. Here's the Stash Manager's Report:

Fabric used this week: 7 yards
Fabric used year to date: 81-3/4 yards
Fabric added this week: 10-1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 190-3/4 yards
Net used year to date: -109 yards

Tomorrow Carolee is having a tea at her home for our large quilt group. It will be outside under the shade trees where we can also admire her extensive gardens. The featured speaker is Sandra Hatch, who is the editor of Quilter's World magazine. I heard that she operates that magazine out of her home here in Maine.

I checked out the Quilter's World web site and noticed you can purchase a digital magazine subscription. Has anyone else tried this yet? I recently bought a digital subscription to Creative Knitting magazine, which gave me access to two years' worth of back issues online. They were all available as pdf files that I downloaded to my computer. I imagine Quilter's World does something similar. At least it will save me some space on my bookshelves, which are pretty full.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Progress on the Snowman Quilt

I finished quilting the snowman quilt last night, and I am thrilled with how well it turned out. I really wanted to use this stars and loops pantograph, but I was still undecided whether or not to quilt through their little heads. Finally my curiosity got the better of me, to see how it looked that way, and I like it just fine. In fact, the more I look at it the better I like it. I wouldn't hesitate to quilt through appliques again, even though some folks will probably tell me I shouldn't. Are there really any rules in quilting anymore?

Tonight I'll get the binding machine sewn onto the quilt, and I'm going to try get my other Christmas quilt loaded tonight and quilted tomorrow. The theme of the quilt is Christmas presents, so I'm quilting Christmas trees on it.

More Christmas in July Photos

Shopping with Helen this morning made me remember that I forgot to post the rest of the photos from our Christmas in July workshops last month. Helen has a lovely big home out in the country, and we actually had two sewing days out there this summer, the first of which was the Christmas in July one. Helen has a big covered porch that wraps around three sides of her home, so we sewed outside all day long and had a buffet table too for snacks and lunch. We ate a fabulous pot luck supper on the porch on the other side of the house too.

This is the porch on the side of Helen's home. Wouldn't you just love to laze around out here all summer long, sipping mint juleps or something?

What's a quilters' get-together without Show and Tell? I thought I had more photos, but I must have already posted them, so here are just a few more. These are Barb's adorable little pincushions. Barb has a thing about pincushions--they're a favorite of hers. No pattern for these, Barb just dreamed them up because she's clever that way.

And here is Kay's Christmas project she worked on. I really liked this one a lot.

Quilter's Yard Sale

Earlier this week one of our local quilt shops sent round a newsletter advertising a Quilter's Yard Sale today, so three of us decided to take a ride down to Freeport and see what they had. I wish I'd thought to snap a picture of it, but folks set up their tables and chairs with their wares for sale in the parking lot behind the quilt shop, just like a regular neighborhood yard sale.

I thought it was a brilliant strategy for the quilt shop to host such an event. It was hot and awfully humid this morning; and as quilters got done with their shopping or had enough of the heat, they wandered into the quilt shop to cool off, and then they'd buy a few more things. I added a jelly roll and a pattern to my shopping bag. Outside, someone had the foresight to set up a grill for hot dogs, so after we cooled off sufficiently we went out and bought a hot dog and chips, sat in the shade, and ate.

There were only about a dozen sale booths, but there were some fabulous deals to be had. I picked up 4 yards of flannel, a piece of a Hoffman Christmas fabric, a Carol Doak book, a latte tote bag kit, and a couple of scrap bags, one in batiks and one in neutrals--all for about $20.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Word to the Wise

When was the last time you stopped and thought about all the cool stuff you keep on your computer--quilt photos, family photos, software you've downloaded, tax files, business files, and so on--and what the consequences would be if you lost it all?

Two of my friends recently had major issues with their computers that rendered their data files inaccessible. They were able to recover all or most of them, which was good, because some of those files were irreplaceable.

Folks, if you haven't backed up your files lately, get yourself an external hard drive or some CDs and take the time to back them up. Make it a habit to do a back up at regular intervals, depending on how often you use your computer. I need to make myself do this as well. I checked, and the last time I backed up my hard drive was last November, so I sat down this evening and did it. I have an external hard drive, so I click and drag everything I want to keep, and it didn't take nearly as long as I anticipated.

Don't procrastinate--do it now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

So I'm a day late. Actually I'm a couple of weeks late. But first, a weather report. Here in Maine, June was the fifth wettest month on record. July was the second wettest month on record. So far, this summer has been the wettest on record in 138 years. Really.

It's taken all summer, but summer has finally arrived. Saturday was hot and humid, and yesterday we probably hit 90 degrees. Today was hot, sticky, and miserable; and tomorrow will be more of the same. I'm not complaining, mind you, because I know other folks have been hotter and for longer. Okay, wait, I am complaining. I hate this weather! It's why I moved up to Maine--to get away from it! I like cold weather so much better! On the up side, the lawn finally stopped growing, and I probably won't have to mow it all week. By Thursday we'll be back down into the much more reasonable 70s. Come on, Autumn!

Well, let's see, last time I did a Stash Report was July 26. I haven't accomplished anything significant in my sewing room, but I did work on my September Sun blocks. It's a 36-block quilt with 4 different blocks. The blocks will finish to 11 inches, and I've been kicking myself because I didn't redraft them as 12-inch blocks. What was Jinny Beyer thinking when she designed a quilt with 11-inch blocks? On purpose?

Over the last couple weeks I made two more pillowcases, used up about 3 yards of muslin for a quilt sandwich to play with a couple of new pantographs, and I bought a couple yards of one of my favorite green batiks to replenish my supply. Here's the Stash Manager's Report:

Fabric used this week: 7 yards
Fabric used year to date: 74 3/4 yards
Fabric added this week: 2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 180-1/4 yards
Net used year to date: -105-1/2 yards

No apologies, no excuses. But, hey, I'm less behind than I was two weeks ago!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Christmas in July

We had two Christmas in July workshops last month, and this was the project I worked on, the one called "It's A Wrap!" I put the last round of borders on and finished the top this evening.

I liked this quilt as soon as I saw it, and I really enjoyed working on it. It was a fun way to use bits and pieces of my favorite Christmas fabrics that I've collected over the years, and I might make another one sometime and use up a few more.

Credit where credit is due: quilt design by Mary Ann Meador, Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2008

The Tacoma Lakes Quilters' Christmas in July workshop was held at Koleen's studio. I think there were about ten of us in attendance, and mostly we ate and socialized. I did get a start on my quilt, but I think only about three of us actually sewed. We had a great Show and Tell though. Too bad most of my photos were blurry. Here are some of the better ones.

Pauline made this lovely sampler. It wouldn't have occurred to me to put these colors together in a quilt, but I rather liked it and thought the colors worked very well together.

Some time before I joined the Tacoma Lakes group, they embarked on a group project called "Fool Around Fun". Sorry, no idea where they got this quilt pattern from. A number of ladies in the group made the quilt, and all the quilts appeared together at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild state show in July as a separate exhibit. I love how different they all looked. I think Margo has a picture of all of them on her blog.

Bea was the winner of the May Block of the Month blocks and assembled them into this interesting top.

BarbD showed this adorable little quilt top. I knew she hadn't appliqued it, because Barb doesn't applique. But she does embroider by machine, so I thought they were embroidered. Well, she still fooled me, because it's a cheater panel that she added borders to!

Koleen got a top finished too. A simple block with a stunning impact and gorgeous colors.

Kayleen made a pair of patriotic tablerunners using the same pattern I used for the one I showed you here, but she oriented her log cabin blocks differently. This was also a group project, and I managed to get in on the tail end of this one. I don't know why Kayleen's quilts remind me of the Confederate flag.

Tomorrow I'll put up a few photos from the other Christmas in July workshop. I think there were a couple of other ladies that actually did work on a Christmas project, but I only got a picture of one of them.