Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stalking the Mail Carrier?

I'm with Ruth, there is something magical about a visit home. I usually talk to my mother everyday as I drive home from work. Sometimes it is about important stuff and sometimes about nothing at all. And while my parents only live about an hour away I really don't get to see them all that often. Well this last week I have missed my daily conversations with my mom because she has been down in TX on her own magical visit home. But my mom called me today for the airport just to let me know I hadn't updated my blog and she needed something to read while she waits for the plane. Sorry mom while you've been gone, I've been busy stalking the mail carrier. See March was my month to send out fabrics for the Bee-Stitched bee and the Fussy Cut bee and everyday I've been fighting with my husband over checking the mail so I can see if I have any new bee blocks.

These are the blocks that I have gotten back for the fussy cut bee so far. My original plan with this quilt was to randomly place the log cabin squares in a sea of white. Inspired by this quilt of Ashley's I thought it would look nice with this type of block as well. Now seeing how many blocks I have and how widely they vary I am thinking about just sewing them all together with no sashing or anything and just letting them run one into the next so you can't tell where one stops and the next one starts. I still have more of these blocks coming so either way it is going to be a pretty big quilt.

Of course these pretty little numbers from the Bee Stitched Bee can't get here fast enough. After seeing these pictures of Rita's and Corey's I knew I wanted one of my own. It's looks like a lot of you feel the same way because I have seen this block popping up as inspiration and the requested block all over the Bee Block page. I have recently found a love of gray though and I thought this would be the perfect quilt to showcase that. I am so happy with the results so far. Every time a bee member post one of these to the group pool I have to fight the urge to jump up and down like a two year old. Well I am off to attempt something new that I just can't seem to get out of my head. I'll tell you about that project after I figure out if it is going to be a success or a total disaster. Also up on the sewing table are Spider Web bee blocks, paper pieced blocks for Kristian (guess I can't put those off any longer) and I need to make a sample block and lock in my choice for April in the Modern Tradition Bee. Seeing as how fabric needs to go out next week it should be a good challenge. Hope you enjoy your weekend and have fun creating.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Things I'm Glad I Learned From My Daddy (Part 1)

Happy National Quilter's Day! I thought I would start my day by going to some new local quilt stores I had never explored before. Don't get to excited I didn't buy a single thing and with the exception of one store they only further solidified my opinion that the locals do not believe in more modern quilting or that anyone under the age of 50 should participate in the craft. On my way home from the quilt stores since I hadn't bought any fabric I thought I would treat myself to a grilled portabella mushroom sandwich. It is amazing though today I didn't get to enjoy it. After standing in line for over an hour for a sandwich, yes I know I'm crazy and I should have left but after 20 minutes in I was committed. I went out to the car and programed in my next stop on the mini tour of quilt shops backed out of the parking space and hear this strange noise. Immediately I knew I was in trouble. Scuff Scuff, oh no you have got to be kidding me right. Sure enough my tire was flat as a pancake. Now might be a good time to mention the road in front of the previous store was closed for construction and I had to make a minor detour and park in the parking lot next door. So I did what any sane person would do. Pulled over into the flattest part of the parking lot and called my husband. Nope he was fishing so no answer there onto step two. I looked around to see if anyone was going to help me. Did I mention the sandwich shop where I was at was slam full of people and the front lawn was covered with people having picnics and enjoying the weather. Nope no one. So I went to the trunk got out my spare tire and jack and started jacking up my car. I thought for sure at this point someone would realize what I was doing and would offer to help. Nope, one guy even sat in his car right beside me and I'm not sure but I think he was taking notes so he would know what to do if he ever got a flat tire. Needless to say I had the spare tire on and I was putting the lug nuts back on before anyone offered help. Thanks to that guy though because he did put the lug nuts on and jack the car back down. After all of that my spare was flat too so I had to creep down the road about two blocks to get air in the spare. Of course I made it home safe and sound and when my husband came home he took my tire to have it plugged but all in all it made for an eventful day. I was so thankful that my dad had taken the time a long time ago to teach me how to change a spare tire. I never actually had to use that knowledge until today but I was glad to have it. Who knows if I had to wait on the kindness of a stranger I might still be sitting in the parking lot. So ladies if you have never changed a tire and don't know how have a dad, husband, boyfriend, friend, sister, or someone show you how to do it soon. You just never know when you might need that knowledge.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What Does a 1/2 Yard Look Like

I'm just going to go on and say it. I am not a Heather Ross fabric junkie. I know a lot of people who spend endless hours online looking for these hard to find Munki Munki prints. I know how they feel because it took me forever to find the small bits of Flea Market Fancy that I have. Well earlier this week I saw that had the Mendocino collection on sale for $3.95 a yard. Well I had been thinking about ordering some of the bright pink seahorses anyway to go into my spider web quilt but I hadn't been 100% on it. I figured at this price I would order 1/2 a yard of a couple of prints and give it a try. So I got my package and here is what I got:

My first disappointment was in finding the strips I ordered weren't in the bad. Instead I had 1/2 a yard of Kelp Forrest. It's that dark brown one. Okay not big deal I think and I call them. Unfortunately they are sold out of the strips but I got a store credit and I get to keep the Kelp Forrest. I know from a group that at least three other people received this same substitution. I didn't originally order the kelp Forrest because I didn't see it listed on the website.

I read some dialog throughout the week on how great is along with a few negatives. This is only the second order I have placed with them and the first time I didn't really notice a lot of the things that were pointed out to me because it was an order that my mom and I placed together and it was shipped to her house. (Mom I remembered it was the pink City Girls fabric) This time I noticed. The website boast of a minimum of an extra inch in every yard cut. Well when the ends are crazy crooked I would expect them to do something like this. The plus is they know it is a problem and they plan ahead of time to fix it. The bags look like they just threw it all in there. Well I haven't ironed these fabrics yet so, yes you can see from the photos they are pretty wrinkled and they were quite disheveled in the bag. But really what does a 1/2 yard cut of fabric look like? I have order 1/2 yards in the past and that is exactly what I got. In this case I was only charged for 1/2 yards in all of these prints but you can see I received much more. The ruler in this photo is a 23 inch ruler for reference. The smallest piece at the top measure 20 inches. AMH has a few prints that have now made it to the 50% off select over on so I am already planning my next order.

Monday, March 15, 2010

All Hallows Eve

I got fabric in the mail today from Lesley to make blocks for March for the modern tradition bee. We are making variations of Granny's Flower Garden, be sure to check hers out they are awesome. But the hubs is sick and I really haven't slept for what is now going on hour thirty something and I don't want to mess them up so I am coloring instead. I have a few variations floating in my head and I am waiting for them to peculate, but I'm a little slow today.

April is my month for the modern tradition bee and this weekend I spent a little bit of time looking at blocks. As soon as I saw this one I was hooked with one of those I need to do something like this moments.

Typically I'm not drawn to something this traditional but in this case I even love the fabrics they used. What I'm not so keen on are those triangles there in the corners. I love that they filled up that space with the dark fabric but after working with some very frustrating triangles this weekend I thought you know turning that into two 1/2 square triangles and a solid square would really make a whole lot more sense to me. I looked at some other variations of this block just to be sure I really liked it and well while they didn't reach out and grab me like this one I still found them very appealing.

But I really think I like the corners on the other one better just made using a different method. The original is also for a twenty four inch block which is huge so I am doing some math and trying to resize it to around 12.5 inches. So I am coloring and trying to work out the details in my head.

I even know what fabric I am going to use. For my birthday back in October I bought a fat quarter bundle of this line. And since Camille (don't you love her style) is coming out with a new line at market in May I have to use this one so I have a reason to replace it. I think that is how it works, right?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 4 Pinwheels

I've been having a lot of fun with the different pinwheel blocks for the quilt along that Rachel is hosting. Last week's block was by far my favorite so far. I just really like the look of the pinwheel within the star. this week the scale of the pinwheels was pretty large again. The blocks were pretty easy to make and went together really quickly. I had plans to get a lot of house work and a lot of sewing done today but I got distracted by a nap in the hammock so I will have to make up some of that ground tonight. It was just so nice to be able to sit outside and it was so pretty after all of the dreary weather we have been having lately.

I think the fabric choice for this quilt along might be one of the things that i love the most. It has been really neat to see all of the combinations come together. This week I realized I had already used a lot of my blue fabrics from my layer cake but not many of the brownish gray or the greens so I choose fabrics for those colorways. Maybe not my favorite of all the fabrics but I think it will give the depth and diversity that this quilt needs to be successful in its design. It is a little hard since I don't really know where this quilt is going or how the blocks will end up but I am trying to just relax and enjoy the process.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sneak Peak

Remember all of those little stacks of happiness that I had a few weeks back. Well they were mailed off and most of the members of my team have gotten them in their hot little hands. One of those bee members finished hers up already which made my day yesterday. I think I love this block even more now than when I picked it out to start with. I am also so glad that the white fabric didn't work out because I think the gray was defiantly the right choice here. I love the way it makes the colors pop without the starkness of the white. I love how a few of the small blocks appear to be fussy cut. I don't know if that was intentional of just luck but I love it none the less.I am really happy that there are so many fabrics and colors in this quilt because it will make it so beautiful. I am gushing with the excitement of seeing more of these beauties finished and posted on flickr so I can look at them everyday. And then jump up and down because this is going to be my quilt. My very own quilt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pinwheels Week 3

So the hum of the sewing machine has been pretty absent around here for about two weeks now. While I did a little bit of sewing two weeks ago after the quilt show and a few stitches here and there in between for the most part I have been feeling the anxiety of being away from my machine for to long. So tonight after dinner I sat down determined to finish up the week 3 pinwheels for the sampler I am doing with Rachel over at P.S. I Quilt. It is amazing to me that simple blocks can sometimes be the hardest. I am loving the combination of the buttery yellow with the hunky dory and I am glad that I decided not to use white. But I have been struggling a bit with the bulky seams and getting a good match on all of my points. They aren't all as crisp as I would like. I think this might be my favorite block so far. Because I love the way it is a pinwheel hiding inside of a star and this blue combination is really neat to me. I have a feeling I am going to need to get some more of this fabric line soon. Shh don't tell my husband.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Lunch Date, A Change in Plans, & A Pinwheel or Two

WOW! Do I have a lot to say today or what. I hope you have a cup of coffee or your pick of poison because you might be settling down for a while to hear all of this. Let's start with Saturday. I had an amazing lunch date with DeeRoo and her amazing family. I'm not sure who had the best time but I know I really enjoyed meeting her and her wonderful sister (who I might mention is a great resource for technology and blog questions, don't hate me I'm just putting it out there) and mother. We meet at the Quilt Show in front of the Webfabrics booth (lets just say I think I might have paid her salary for the next month or so) since Dee works at that store (don't mind if I call you Dee, do you?). Then we exchanged goodies and I got a real treat bag full of all kinds of scraps from Delores, Dena Wayne, and Stephanie Allgood. Thanks ladies! Where was that bag when I was cutting all those three inch squares. Guess I have to find another great scrap busting pattern. Dee does that make you an enabler? Are you going to the races? Dena I'm sorry you missed it but hopefully you can make it next year. Followed up with lunch at Cracker Barrel where we had good food and good company.

Next up a change in plans. You know how you have your mind set on one thing and it never works out. Well when I was planning my star quilt for Bee Stitched I really wanted to use gray instead of white but the only gray my local quilt store had was slate and it was too dark and too blue. I settled on quilter white from P&B. Last night as I was getting everything ready to go into today's mail I ran out of white. So at lunch I ran back to the quilt store to get more, guess what they were out of this time. Yup you guessed it no more white. And nothing even close to what I had bought. I mean they had muslin and blends and all sorts of white on white prints but no plain white quilters cotton. Oh no that would have been too easy. So on my way back out the door as I was trying to think what to do next I noticed the kona wall looking much fuller so I walked over and wow they had gray. Not just gray they had ash, medium gray, dark gray, slate, and something else which was in the gray family but whose name escapes me now. I settled on the medium gray and now I have my packages ready to go in the mail tomorrow and I am a happy camper because I got what I wanted to start with. I love the way the bright colors pop with the gray.

And finally, yesterday was spent mostly babysitting but while she was napping I did manage to finish three out of four of my pinwheel blocks for weeks one and two of the pinwheel sampler quilt along over at Rachel's. I am using Honky Dory and a butter yellow. I had the yellow from a previously failed plan and I thought I was going to be using a lot of white in my two quilt bee quilts so I thought the yellow matched nicely and would be a nice touch. Well I have eliminated white from the first of those two quilts and if they had, had more than 6 yards of the gray I might have eliminated it from the second one as well. I guess one white quilt is a necessary evil though. And I do like the way it looks.

Overall I am happy with these blocks. The point is off on one of them which is frustrating but since I don't have the full layout of the quilt yet I don't want to remake it just yet. I hate the thought of buying another layercake for just one square so I am going to just wait a bit and see what I have left at the end.