Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

Giving thanks is what this season is all about. Thanks to our troops who work tirelessly to keep us safe, at a great deal of risk to themselves. To the selflessness of their families who never know when or if they will see their love one again.

To our friends who deal with our crazyness and our families who allow us the time to follow our hearts when they really would just like a hot meal from time to time and maybe some clean clothes!  :-)

 To this wonderful online community, I've had the pleasure of stumbling on. My blogging buddies have given me more inspiration and shown me more eye candy than my mind ever thought it could absorb. And yes! the many sleepless nights, when I couldn't drag myself away from the computer screen - just 1 more blog...

I really couldn't be more blessed, and I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


 I had the pleasure of seeing "Shrek the Musical" at our preforming arts center the other night, and it was spectacular. I can't tell you when the last time was, that I laughed that hard. It is a perfect show for all ages. Take some time if you get a chance to see this show, you won't be sorry.

Now back to my sewing room and finish up those Christmas projects!  I have been working on them, really I have...


Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Time

Well, the count down is on. Soon the ovens will be cranked up and the pies and turkeys will be cookin! The beginning of our eat-a-thon holiday season!  I feel my thighs expanding as I type!  LOL!! 

I have finished up my little fall quiltie from Kaaren over at The Painted Quilt. It's Autumn Blessings from her First Friday Freebie. If you have never visited Kaaren, treat yourself to a visit. She is so creative and sharing of her talents with us all. And for those who love Raggedy Ann's there is a block of the month that will knock your socks off. I was all caught up on my months till this last month, and Christmas projects got in my way, but I will be back on track real soon, I promise Kaaren!

Make sure that you check out the Christmas Quilt Show over at SewGalCal's. There are some incredible bloggers with fun things to share. Just clink on the link of the right side of my blog, grab a cup of coffee and prepare yourself for motivation to keep us stitchin for many moons to come!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I will be thinking of you all while I work my 16 hr day that day. It's all good. No cooking or cleaning for me this time around!!  And better yet they cater Thanksgiving dinner to us who have to work. So it's really a win-win for me and my pay off is that I don't have to work any of the other holidays! :-)

Enjoy your day! Don't over stuff yourselves!! :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Blog Hop

The weather outside is frightful, but holiday blog hopping is delightful! And timely too. It's just weeks away now, and time to really put ourselves in high gear and get those projects finished up. I have no doubt that as I look thru all the wonderful blogs, that I will find more inspiration than time will allow. But there is always next year, right?

I would like to share my most recent finish. It's from 'Tis the Season Quilts and other Comforts by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks. Click on the title for a link to Amazon. :-)  I first saw this beauty on our quilt shop bus tour in September. Having collected nickel squares for years, I was thrilled to find a way to use them. The blocks in the pattern were slightly larger, but a square is a square and it all worked out great. I love fusible applique and the buttons on for the holly berries just add that magic touch. There is plenty of time yet, to whip up one for yourself!

I love this book so much that I decided that I needed to make a Christmas quilt for my bed this year too. "To All a Good Night," and I am hoping that it will be finished so I have visions of sugar plums dancing thru my head under my new quilt!  We will see, I am slaving away finishing up my gifts right now too!
I am sure you have all seen the "Mug Rugs" that are wildly popular in our bloggy world. I just finished a swap at Aunt Pitty Pats and am looking forward to getting my package in the mail. This little guy is "Not" the one I sent along to my partner. Until I hear that she received things safe and sound, it will remain a secret! :-)  :-)  But I did make up this one for a class sample and will be teaching a class Dec 12th at Wooden Spools Quilt Shop if you live in the Denver area. It's sure to be tons of fun and just in time to finish up those last minute gifts! If you haven't made one of these, you have no idea how much fun your are missing. The magic little 6"x10" size makes it fast and easy. Gotta love those kind of projects. Whatever your project is, be sure to post it. I am sitting right here waiting to see what you have been up to! A big thanks to you - SewCal Gal for hosting a great Christmas Quilt Show!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's a Wrap

I just had to take advantage of spending a Sunday afternoon at our newest quilt shop in Denver, so my friend and I packed up our stuff, and took an It's a Wrap Basket Class. (I found this photo from class on facebook, thanks Wooden Spools) 

The supplies to do this have been in my studio forever, and I had even made a basket long ago, but symmetrical it wasn't! While the technique really is easy, for me a class with instruction, tips and secrets, makes all the difference in the world. It was an added thrill to find such a wonderful group of gals to spend the afternoon with. Every one's baskets came out beautifully and I think we all inspired each other in the process.

Here is my finished basket from class

And it's first counterpart "the" really symmetrical one!  LOL And why is it, that I would decide to pick out the most difficult thing in the book for a first project????

 Now for the fabric. This was given to me by a friend a few years back. She thought it was the most horrible thing she had ever seen and was thrilled to "dump" it on me. As everyone who reads my blog knows, I love the outdoorsy look and the colors were wonderful to my eye. At least I thought till I got home with the stuff and decided she was right, it was pretty horrid. So it sat on my shelf collecting dust. Until---It's a Wrap called. If I say so myself though, torn up into 3/4" strips and wrapped on clothesline then stitched down, it's not bad at all. So there you go Deb, I used it and it came out great! 

This reminds me of a Quiltville's Bonnie Hunter Quote. If a fabric is really ugly, then you haven't cut it small enough. She swears that every fabric has it's place, but the uglier the piece, the smaller you need to chop it!  :-) Now that's some food for thought!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another PIG done

I am finally getting back to my game plan, of actually finishing some things. I drug all my unfinished projects out earlier this year, only to stack them in yet another corner and "not" do anything with them. Gheez, even the best layed plans can fail. How does that happen??? 

But yesterday I put the finishing touches on this very old "PIG" and we can check Calendar Cats off the list and consider it done. This one is so old that I have even managed to loose the book now! So, I really don't have much to tell you about it, other than it is really a cute little thing completed. If I remember right, part of the issue was finding all the cat eyes. That was a challenge, until last spring when I was in Alaska. I found a shop that was clearing out a huge bag of the things, cheap! So now I have eyes for quite a few of these quilts and no pattern to be found! Doesn't that just figure. LOL!!

I have even cleaned out my book shelves and still not found the darn thing. But all was not lost, because in two weeks our little quilt group is having a garage sale. Get this, no money changes hands, you just take your quilt things you no longer want or use and put them out for someone else who might want them. We all get to shop each others "stuff" or "crap-ola" as I prefer to call it!  hahaha  I seem to have quite a few bags of my treasured Crap-ola, to take along. Bonus!!! I have room on my bookshelves now.   It's a great way to trade away things you really don't want anymore, and pick up some new things in the process. What doesn't manage to find new homes will be donated to a quilting organization of some kind. Sounds like everybody wins on this one. Better yet, we pot luck, so I am looking towards some great grub while I shop! Yum Yum!

On that note we had a new place open in Denver this week. Wooden Spools quilt shop. We went to visit the other day and were very excited with it. They have a pretty unique concept. They purchase your old fabrics that are in good shape (fat quarters or half yards) for $1 a pound then resell them for $5 a yard. You get rid of your stash you will never use and someone else gets great fabrics for a good price. All nice quilt shop quality fabrics. I spent a fortune the other day on fabric, while my friend cleaned up on brand new yarns that they bought for a song from a closing shop. All the savings get passed along, and it's fun to look thru things. We had such a good time that tomorrow, we are taking an "It's a Wrap" class there. Watch out for a new project soon, if all goes well that is!

And yeah, I know my book shelf is great, and my fabric shelf is exploding! Guess I better start sewing some more.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The jury is in - Ramblings on fabrics...

 The avid "raw edge" appliquer that I am, I have often wondered just how much difference, my using Fray Check or Fray Block on the pieces would really make. Most of my things are art quilt type of things that would never get washed, but there are those occasional other things, that would likely find their way into a washer from time to time. So I set out to find out just what the differences are.  

                  Here are 3 blocks. The top one has had nothing put on it and as you can see, there was quilt a bit of raveling on the applique pieces after 1 wash.

From what I can tell, there is very little difference between the Fray Check and the Fray Block. I switched a couple of years back to Fray Block. I wish I could tell you why, but I really don't know now.  There might be a tiny little amount of extra fraying on the Fray Check block, but I am not sure if that isn't just from the difference in fabrics. The more solid rusty orange fabric is a top quality quilt shop fabric, while the brighter, checked orange is a JoAnn's fabric. It shouldn't have held up as well in the wash, but I am not seeing that result.
So what I have come up with after this little experiment is, that both seem to do the job they were designed to do which is good news for us! It's my opinion that all raw edge applique should have something used on it.

This got me to thinking about fabrics. It seems that quilt shop quality fabrics can in fact be as subjective as any other fabric in quality. It's my humble opinion, there is a time and a place for all fabrics regardless of the price point for that fabric. I love going into quilt shops and seeing everything they have to offer, but the $$$$$'s can be a big factor, in a project. Personally, I feel that not all JoAnns' or Hobby Lobby fabrics are a lower quality either. So for myself, I am happy to use a "mixed bag" in my projects. After all, originally didn't they chop up old clothes and piece them back together to make something to keep warm with? I know there are precious few that survived and they are "treasures" like no other. My projects will likely not last an eternity, but neither will I, and for me it's the journey I took creating it, that is more important. If it gets used up till it's no more, than it lived a good life! So no matter what our means or purpose, there is something for everyone and room for all, in our quilting world.
 Go out and create your personal treasure!! Then share it with us all.
There is "NO" better inspiration than that!