Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Bag Full of Scrap Goodies

Hello...I have been away for a while.  There has been too much going on to go into detail, but I am working on projects, every chance I get.  I am also keeping up with blogs and newsletters.  And speaking of newsletters, I was reading the newsletter from Delray Fabrics and they were having a give away. Tula Pink has a new collection called "Bumble."  They were giving away the scraps left over from a couple of small projects.  I left a comment and guess what...The scraps are pretty sizeable.  I have a couple of projects in mind but nothing decided yet.  The colors are really soft and blend really well. They are beautiful.

And I guess everyone in the quilt world knows that Bonnie Hunter has revealed the new mystery quilt for this year.  It is called "Grand Illusion" and the colors are based on the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.  If anyone has seen the 80s movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, the movie was filmed at the hotel. 
I have about 15 Bonnie Hunter UFOs and flimsies, but I took the bait again.  Bonnie says this one is not as intense as "Celtic Solstice" but we will see.  After many false starts, I came up with a collection of fabrics that I plan to use based on her color selections.  I like controlled scrappiness, so I won't be using as many fabrics as suggested,  The first clue will come out on November 28th...Let me know if you plan to join in.  Here are my color selections:
I think there may be a few pieces in the Bumble scraps that will go well with this collection.  I will audition them all to see what works. 
The weather is changing here.  Maybe I will get something finished!  Until next time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Miles of Pillowcase Smiles

Sunday was such a perfect day to spend with my quilt girls making pillowcases for children with cancer.  The organization heading up this wonderful and deserving program is ConKerr Cancer.  The pillow case program is aptly called "Miles of Pillowcase Smiles."  We set up an assembly line and the 3 of us whipped up 23 pillowcases.  We kept up our strength with a wonderful lunch and praline peach pie (oooohh!) and ice cream for dessert.  There is nothing sweeter than good friends, good food and a good cause.  Here is a photo of a few of the pillowcases.  They should warm a child's heart...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celebrating Alba... and Shark Week!

Alba has been our international intern for the past year.  She arrived here from Granada, Spain last September barely speaking English and all of us barely speaking Spanish.  This has been a wonderful year for Alba.  Not only has she learned to speak English quite well, she coordinated lunch and learn sessions to teach us to speak her language. She has tons of energy, is always very gracious and has a warm, friendly personality.  So, she leaves us this week as her internship comes to an end.  She is headed back home to Spain for a few months and then hopes to go to graduate school in Nova Scotia.  She will be missed, but she has promised us that we will not be forgotten and that she will come back to visit every chance she gets.

As part of her internship, she was required to complete a research project and to give a presentation on that project.  Her presentation was on the migration of fish populations in the Atlantic Ocean.  Intriguing stuff...right?  Her presentation was stellar.  So, I wanted to give her a gift that would be unique, funny and a remembrance of me.  I found this really cute kit and pattern online that I thought she would like and of course there are fish.  I initially just thought it was a simple fish on the ocean pattern that was a little over-embellished with some prairie points.  Now if you read one of my previous posts here, I think I said I would never do prairie points again.  But I relented, because well this was for Alba.  I sent a picture of the top to my friend Wendy to show her what I was working on.  She responded saying that the prairie points looked like shark teeth...OMG...they are shark teeth.  I had no clue and everyone that I have showed it to since got it right away.  So I am doubly happy.  I absolutely HEART SHARKS!  It is a small wall hanging - 26" x 26" and it went together fairly quickly.  It is called "Big fish...Little fish."  I plan to make it again using different fabrics from my stash to hang in my office. 

So here's to Alba and to Shark Week...a wonderful combination!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Fun Day Filled with Mystery!

It was a day filled with Quilt Mystery!  A group of my friends got together to participate in Merry Mayhem's one day quilt mystery.  It is usually a New Year's Day event, but I understand that now they pop-up through out the year.   I haven't done one of these in a long time because I could never keep up with the hourly clues and frankly I would get bored.  But this time, I was much more prepared and little bit older and wiser.  The fabric requirements were sent out early, so that you could select your fabrics along with the cutting instructions.  That helped the anxiety.  I was prepared to see this mystery through to the end mainly because the objective was to complete a quilt for Quilts of Valor.  Making and donating one of these quilts has been on my to do list for a very long.  My friend Carrie was the hostess for our group and she was wonderful.  Tables were set up, power cords were plugged in and pitchers of refreshing ice water was waiting for us.  We had good music playing in the background and from time to time, one of us would break out in dance.  We had a wonderful lunch and just enjoyed the quilters' camaraderie.  We all diligently worked on our quilt blocks with the hourly clues.  I am thrilled to report that we all finished our blocks and actually started to put the tops together.  I feel like that I can complete this top for QoV and get it ready for  a worthy recipient.  And we were all pleased with how the mystery turned out.   We ended up with three very different quilts, but all turned out beautifully.  Here are pictures of the completed blocks on the design wall.   I am thrilled about how they turned out.  All of the fabrics came from my stash, so I could make room for a little more and I can scratch something off my long- suffering and ever growing "to do" list.  It was a fun day

Thanks Carrie, Wendy and Daniel.  See you next time.

This is Daniel's rendition of the Mystery Quilt.  He is a genius with color.

I made this one with dark reds, blues and tans.
Carrie made hers with lighter reds and blues.

 You can check out the Mystery Quilt phenom at

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Triple Finish

Spring has finally sprung (and so has my allergies) and it seems that everyone I know has had a baby, multiple babies, and expecting babies.  And with these welcome family additions, everyone who knows someone who makes quilts wants a quilt for their baby.  Not a store bought quilt, but a real made with love quilt.  So that is what I have been doing quilts.  I have made quilts for my granddaughters, but they were not what you would call baby quilts.  They were big enough to wrap themselves up while watching a movie or TV.  One even told me that she thought she needed a new one because she had loved her other ones a little too much.  So the quilts keep coming. 

So, the first 2 quilts are for a set of twins (Jessica and Robert) born to one of my colleagues this past December.  They have been waiting patiently and they are finally done and on their way to the twins.  I get stressed out when I fall behind and I absolutely do not do my best work when I am stressed.  So, there are a few flaws (I am not telling where), but they were meant to be laid on, crawled over  and under and to have the occasional accident.  So I don't think the glitches will matter.  And knowing their Mom as well as I do, she won't care either.  I made them from my extensive Laurel Burch Ocean Songs and Sea Spirits stash.  It was difficult for me to cut into them, but we work for an ocean conservation organization and everyone wants seahorses, whales, fish, turtles and yes, even sharks.  So I had enough to make to make a scrappy braid for both of them and not use up too much of my coveted collection.

Then my colleague/friend told me that she was pregnant at the first of the year and guess what.  She wanted to commission a quilt.  I don't do commissioned quilts. Its too stressful, so I told her that she had to trust me.  She had seen my other quilts and knew I would do my best.  I struggled with this one more, because I knew the baby's name and gender well before it was started.  She is expected to arrive in less than 2 weeks.  It had to be special.  It hit me one afternoon, while searching for inspiration.  Pinwheels.  So much color and fun.    Of course her room will have seahorses, turtles and fish, so out came the Laurel Burch again with a couple of hand-dyed complements. It was a first for the prairie points and while I like them they drove me nuts.  It turned out great.  My machine quilting leaves a little to be desired, but I am getting better.  Thanks to my friends for their help in getting the binding done.  This is Caroline's quilt and her Mom Amy.

And I am still working on a couple of flimsies...who knows when they will be quilted.  Hope floats and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Playing Hooky

It has been a while since I updated my blog with all of my quilting goings on and I have a little catching up to do.  So, I have been playing hooky with life, work etc., but I also put together a little quilt titled "Playing Hooky."  I like how it turned out.  It was easy to piece and I love fish.  So this little school of fish are all swimming in the same direction except one.  There is always one that "plays hooky."  I am going to embellish it with colored beads and quilt the open space with my interpretation of waves.  It is a cute piece.

In February, my quilting girlfriends and I made our annual trek to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA.  We stay several days and always have a good time.  This was my first year driving and transporting 3 women and all of their quilt gear was a challenge in my little Versa, but we made it.  We saw lots of quilts (I had my camera, but only managed to take the one picture below of one of my favorite quilts); too many vendors to count and good friends that we look forward to seeing every year.

I have tons of UFOs and I am trying to stick to my commitment to complete a few of them before starting something new.  Well April 1st is next week and I haven't quite made the mark, but I have time to catch up.

Playing Hooky

My favorite quilt at Mid-Atlantic Quilt  Festival

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year to all of my friends in the blogosphere.  I have been absent for a long while for a variety of illness, crazy work schedules and the fact that I have slowed down on working on my projects.  I was just plum tuckered out.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so I needed the break to get rejuvenated and to come out swinging in the new year!  I am working on a couple of things but the main one is my interpretation of a reproduction wild goose chase quilt.  Lots of pieces, triangles, flying geese units, etc.   It's funny because I never liked doing flying geese blocks.  The ones I have done in the past have always turned out wonky.  But I love this quilt, so I looked at videos and did a lot of practicing to get the points perfect. I am sharing a photo of my first couple of blocks.  They are not so perfect but the points are not chopped off and that is HUGE for me.  I am doing it in reproduction fabrics and think I will like the final results.  It is a fairly large quilt -- 64 ten inch blocks -- so it will take some time, but I plan to have it ready by June.

I am also continuing to dabble in modern quilts.  They fascinate me.  I love traditional quilts, but I am exploring the combination of the traditional and the modern.  Anyway I will show some photos and share some of what I have been doing in my next  blog.  I also made twin baby quilts for one of my colleagues and have one more on the horizon.  They all have an ocean theme.

Have a wonderful 2014!