A Little Retreat

Sharon and Karen, a couple of my Chattanooga friends, came to visit over the second weekend in April. They stayed in a really nice hotel on the beach and we had a wonderful time.

This little quilt was such a big surprise to me — it was made for me by my dear friends in the Chattanooga Quilt Guild. And everyone signed the label. I absolutely love this quilt and especially the sentiment behind it.  It is such a lovely reminder of all the good times we had in Tennessee.

2015-04-13 gift from chatt guild

2015-04-13 gift from chatt guild label

Here we are on the beach. The weather was perfect that day.

2015-04-09 at the beach

These are some shots of the room and how it was set up for quiltmaking.  In the first picture you can see the cutting table.

2015-04-11 03 cutting station Here you can see Sharon and Karen at their sewing tables and the portable design wall cleverly created with a flannel backed table cloth and a few push pins.

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Another view of the design wall. Sharon was working on the wonky star quilt and Karen is making a double wedding ring quilt for her sister.

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They made pretty good progress on their projects and still had time to go out to eat and to visit several quilt shops including: The Florida Key Lime Pie Company, Brano’s Italian Grill, Sew Central, The Quilt Place, and Fabric, Fabric, Fabric.

I didn’t actually work on anything. Well, I took some knitting and got a couple more rounds on the pair of socks I have been working on for about a year, but I concentrated on just hanging out and visiting with the gals. It was such great fun.

Here is the ironing station.

2015-04-11 04 pressing stationThey came by to see the house on their way back up north and became the very first visitors to my little sewing studio.

2015-04-12 sharon & karen

It was so nice to see my northern friends again. I look forward to seeing them again soon. Hopefully next time I will have my guest room ready for company.

First Finish

Here is ‘Anchors Aweigh’ all finished. Well, the top is finished and the binding made. I will send it to my Quilts of Valor group, The Georgia Belles, to be quilted. Nice thought to have started and finished a project in my new sewing room. ??????????

I didn’t follow the pattern exactly — had to add a border to get it to the right size — and I am happy with the result.

The Waiting Game

So we have been in Florida now for 12 days. We found a house that we want to buy, made an offer that was accepted, and got the financing process started. Today was the home inspection, and although it turned up some little things that will eventually need repaired, there were no big surprises  that might persuade us to look for a different house.

I think we have filled out and signed every piece of paper necessary to buy this house untill the actual closing, which leaves us waiting while the paperwork  is shuffled from one desk to another.  That gives me a lot of time to think about arranging furniture and what new items might need to be acquired.

I took this picture of the outside of the house a couple of days ago.

2015-01-16 new house 01b front

When you walk in the front door you see this lovely living room with hardwood flooring, and right through the big sliding window to the screen room in back of the house and into the back yard. This big room, which is 16′ x 17′ is going to be my new sewing room.

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I am having a great time imagining how I will fit all my tables, shelves and fabric in here, and I am sure it will be a great place to play.

There is a nice sized family room which will be our TV room as well as a dining room, kitchen, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.  When we walked in the door we could feel the great energy in this place and knew it was for us.

The closing on the house is tentatively set for February 18th which seems like a hundred years from now, but hopefully things will go more quickly.  Cross you fingers for us. I am starting to really miss my sewing machine.

April

Here is the disappearing nine patch experiment. I guess I forgot to take a picture of it with the binding on, so imagine it with a purple binding the same color as those little blocks in the front. I gave this to Project Linus.

 

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These are the ATC cards I got from the March swap — the topic was “Feet.” This was a challenging one for me and I am delighted with all the clever cards I got back.

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Next is a panel that I quilted. It still is not bound, but when that is done I will give it to Ronald McDonald house.

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Although this is an old qult, the new part of this is that finally — FINALLY —  I got this crazy quilt hung up on the wall. I think I finished it in 2003, so it has been waiting for a long time.

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Here is  the 16th and final block for Pushing UP Spring. Now I need to work on the border and corner blocks before I can assemble this one. I am thinking of going over all the blocks and adding some hand embroidery before I assemble them. I think it would accentuate the big flowers and solid colors. It will probably take another year at my pace, but would be worth it.

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Next is the a green stripey quilt I made at my first Onderful One Fabric quilts class. I have made three quilts in this same style but somehow this one got quilted last. I really like it though. As you probably know, these are made with border print fabric cut and sewn together to make it look like lots of intricate blocks. This is similar to a technique called Hidden Wells where you sew fabric into strips and then cut them the same way. I had about four yards of this striped fabric and ended up using nearly every bit of it. I think I had less than a 12″ square of it left.

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Here is a chair we got at a yard sale that now resides in my studio.  Although it is in like-new condition, or maybe because it is, I have it covered with a throw to minimize the cat hairs that will inevitably attach themselves to it.

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Check out this hexie pin cushion. I think the hexies are 1 1/4″ on a side and this size makes a very nice pin cushion. I filled it with crushed walnut shells.

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I can mark off another one of my UFOs to finish this year. I allowed one month to get all these blocks assembled. I had all the smaller squares together and just needed to put the blue and grey flying geese around the sides. There are 49 blocks and I just finished them last week. Another month will go for sewing the blocks into a quilt top with borders.  I think I am a little ahead of schedule on UFOs this year. Hooray!

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This was my April lotto block contribution – a wonky log cabin. I really like it and plan on making some for myself.

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Finally, I signed up for a paper piecing class where we are making place mats for each of the four seasons. this is Autumn. I don’t have the faces on the scarecrows yet — that will be some hand embroidery. Oh, and of course I am making one for me and one for Raymond.

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Well that finishes last month.  Ok, there are a couple other things, but I have to keep them secret till after guild meetings and such. Check back again to see what I get up to in May.

 

Still Marching Along

Ginormous Tote

At the March meeting of the Chattanooga Modern Quilt guild we had a sew- in and learned to make this ginormous bag. I love mine. It is so big I can carry a couple of big quilts in it or a lot of different projects.  I used a ‘cheater’ fabric that was printed to look like hexagons sewn together for the body and the straps are some really old fabric that I found in my stash that almost perfectly matches one of the hexies in the print. I thought that was very cool. I tried something new with this bag — I used a satin fabric for the lining. I think that will make it a lot easier to put things in and take them out because it will cut down on the friction. ??????????

Janet found this idea at

http://studioloblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/tutorial-ginormous-quilters-tote/

so if you want to see how to make one just click (or cut and paste if the clicky thing doesn’t work).

Pizza Box Blocks

After the Chattanooga Quilters guild missed two meetings because of winter weather, we finally got together in March and got to finish up the Pizza Box Challenge that we had been working on throughout 2013.  Everyone got their pizza boxes back and we got to see the blocks all together.  Here are the ones that were in my box:

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Aren’t they wonderful!

And here they are with the extra ones I made during the year. I wanted to be sure the pattern worked before using someone elses fabrics. That gives me twice as many blocks to play with and this way, I can remember everyone who made blocks for me as well as what blocks I made for others.  This picture shows them lined up the usual way.

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This one shows them arranged on-point. Either way will look very good with a little sashing and a border or two. Right now though I think I like the on point version better. It will take a while to decide on placement of the blocks, but that will be fun when I get to it.

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This was such a fun project. I love my new blocks and am pretty amazed at how much care was put into each one.  They will become a treasured quilt that I will enjoy sleeping under.

I probably mentioned when this round robin began that Lauren wrote a cute murder mystery story to go with the block exchange. Each month she told us about a different potential killer and his or her motive for committing the crime.  It added an extra dimension that kept us interested.  This month the mystery was solved and the culprit was taken into custody. Great job Lauren!

Studio Changes

I had an idea to move things around in the studio and after a couple of days of trying to ignore it I gave in.  Maybe it is that spring cleaning urge.  I switched the cutting table, the design wall, some plastic drawer and ironing board around.   I think it is nice to change things up every now and again, and I am always trying to find that perfect arrangement.  Here are some pictures of the new look.

The ironing board and design wall where here where then cutting table is now.

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The design wall is where some plastic drawers were.

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The ironing board and plastic drawers are where the cutting table and its pegboard of tools were.

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One more look, this time from the door looking in.

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 I think this will work out pretty well for a while — at least until my next idea comes along.

February Accomplishments

Here are a few of the things I have been working on this month.  There are more, but you will have to wait till March to see them. I had some things ready to take for show and tell at the Chattanooga Quilters guild this month, but the bad weather cancelled the meeting.  So after next meeting,  I can share the pics.  For now, this will have to do.

Every month, the Modern Quilt guild has a lottery block challenge.  If you make and turn in one of the designated blocks for that month, you get a chance at winning them all! I really liked this modern twist on the Dresden plate block so I made this version for the lottery.

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Here are the blocks I won!  They are all very different in style and color.  Somehow I have to put them together into a quilt top. I am still thinking about it and it may take a while, but I love them and the challenge.

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This is a picture of my little design wall. The big one is packed away and I am just using the smaller one. My sister gave me this gray checked fitted sheet and I was going to sew it and cut it to fit the PVC pipes that form the frame of my design wall so I could use the lines on the fabric to help make sure the pieces I put on the wall were straight. Turns out I was able to slip it right over the frame without any cutting or sewing.  Cool! I will probably take it down and do the cut and sew thing to straighten the lines a little, but for now, this is working fine.

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February for me is all about Valentine’s day and this year I made new covers for our TV tables. I used leftover pieces from another Valentine quilt and added borders till they was big enough. Then I quilted the dickens out of them, which turns out to be wasted since the fabric is so busy that it doesn’t show well. I left a heart-shaped bit in the center unquilted so it would puff up a little and you can almost see it in this picture.  To finish, I added casings and ran elastic around the edges so they would stay snug on the tables.

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Oh, and I made some changes on my blog pages. I was curious to see just how productive I am during the year, so I went back through my photos and sorted out all the actually finished projects for each year. Instead of making them blog entries, I decided to make a page for each year.   It is interesting to look through the years and see just what got done.

It is also interesting to note that there are fewer and fewer things the further back I look.  Partly that is because I didn’t have access to a digital camera way back then and took few pictures of projects that would need to be developed. Once I got a scanner though and figured out how to use it, I was able to scan smaller things, although the quality of those pictures are not that great. Then again, I started making traditional quilts around 2001 or 2002. Before that (in the early 90s)  it was just crazy quilt projects.  And before that was an assortment of needlework and crafts that I dabbled in for a while.  Nothing has been as captivating and intriguing as quilt making.

I don’t think the pages are complete.  Maybe they never will be. Every time I look through the pictures I have saved on my computer, I notice something out-of-place that I missed, and I add it to the appropriate year’s page.  And I have a few boxes of ‘real’ photos that are packed away.  When I get them out there may be a few more additions to the history pages.

August – This and That

Studio Redo

I moved the studio around a little. I had a nine section cubical in my bedroom closet that I didn’t need after rearranging my clothes (everything I don’t wear often is packed in boxes for the big move) so I brought it downstairs. You can see it against the wall below the windows. I find it a very handy spot to keep all the little things that  tend to clutter the sewing table. This keeps everything at hand, but out of the way.

Then I moved the two cubicles holding the books and magazines from the side of the fireplace to closer to that corner you see in the picture.  This got the treadmill out of that corner and moved the ironing board a little. I think this setup is more functional. The wicker table you see there is in place temporarily while I am working on the paper piecing blocks. It is handy to have a cutting board there so I don’t have to run to the big cutting table every few minutes.

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UFO

At the last guild meeting, I was given a UFO from the stash of a member who is no longer with us. What an honor.  One block was paper pieced and the rest were rail fence blocks. I decided to sew them together like this.  Once I get a backing and quilt it, I think it will make a cute Christmas table topper. there are a few leftover rail fence blocks that I will put into the backing.

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Hexies

This may be the big project I have been waiting for. I saw a picture of a heart shaped by hexies online and realized I could make one. So here is my sample one.  Isn’t it cute! It measures10 1/2″ by 11″.  I am thinking I could make up a bunch of these in different colors. Once I have a bunch of them, I can see how they could be put together. Maybe combining it with other shapes will be fun.

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