Monday, March 28, 2011

Happiness and Sadness

We got home a few days ago from a wonderful time with Mickey and friends. Spending last week with our grandchildren was so much fun. We had beautiful weather and made wonderful memories. When we arrived back home, we had some sad news. Rodger, our sweet cat had been missing for 5 days. He never strayed from home and after 8 years, I know he didn't just wander off. Not knowing what happened to him may be the hardest part. This is one of my most favorite pictures of Rodger. While making "Blues Crossing" for Kim's book "Scrap-Basket Sensations" I had finished the top and was auditioning border fabrics. No sooner had I propped these up on the end of my bed, Rodger calmly walked over, laid down and went to sleep. Cats seem to have quilt radar :) and Rodger was no exception.
Here he is up in my studio last summer, "helping" me sew as I worked on my Navy quilt. He always loved to be close, not up in your lap, but somewhere close.
This picture of him as "guard cat" that I took last fall as I was leaving for work one morning will always make me smile. There is still a chance that he'll come home, but I'm afraid something has happened to him. With each passing day, our hope fades. Tomorrow will be one week. Our house is quiet and it doesn't seem real that he's not here. I know in the whole scheme of things, this isn't a tragedy. But he still leaves a big hole in our lives.

Thanks for sharing my sadness,


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hanging Flower Boxes

You might have thought I meant real flowers, but I have a lot more luck with quilts than with real plants LOL!! Here's my newest quilt hanging in the living room - Flower Boxes from Scrap-Basket Sensations. You remember that Northern Comfort was my January quilt - perfect with it's warm dark colors. This quilt feels like spring to me - so pretty with it's soft color. I just love the graphic look to this quilt.
My red wing back chair doesn't do a whole lot for this particular quilt, fortunately it's not really the color it looks like in these pictures and is not so noticeable when you see the quilt in the whole room. I still love it!!
I'll be gone for a while as we are vacationing with our family. Have a great weekend.
Until next time,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The story of my Hexies

I'm thinking it might be time to finish this UFO. I seem to be in the mood to finish some projects that have been buried for a long time. Are these too cute or what?? I know the hexie craze has been all over blogland for quite awhile, but I want to tell you the story about these hexies. In a few days I will be leaving for a place with palm trees and little mice with big black ears :). We will be meeting our grandchildren to spend 5 days with all the characters and wonders of childhood. I have been deciding on a car project (we all know we can't go anywhere without a car project LOL!!) and this project came to mind (Pensacola is about 8 hours from this magical place). Many of you know my PIC (partner in crime) but one thing you may not know about her is that she has MANY (I mean MANY) UFO's. About 5 or 6 years ago she gave me hundreds of these in a bag and said "I will never finish these - do you want them?". Well, being the collector (sounds better than hoarder, doesn't it :)) that I am of course I said yes. The sad part of the story is that they have languished in a box for all these years. But now with the hexie craze being in full swing, these sweet little things kept coming to mind. Being the folk art, Moda girl that I am, 30's fabrics are not my favorite, but who knows?? I seem to also be in a mood to keep jumping out of my comfort zone, so here I go again.
Don't expect miracles, there are alot of these little darlings, and once the car trip is over, I will probably be on to something else. However, now that I've actually committed myself by posting about this, they may grow on me. It's been many years since I've done an ongoing hand project like this. Maybe it's time.....
Until next time, make something beautiful.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend work on UFO's

I am finally seeing some light at the end of this tunnel!! I have been trying to put my studio back in order and finish a myriad of UFO's. Here is my pineapple quilt, ready to be basted and quilted!! Can I hear a big yea!!!!!!! It goes all the way back from here to here. It has been a process and a journey. I think when you go outside your comfort zone, that's what happens. I decided against the blue inner border from a previous post. It seemed too heavy and contrived. I went with this periwinkle blue/purple and then a tiny inset of aqua. The border fabric has so much of the aqua color in it, I wanted to draw that color from the inside to the outside (see last picture).
I called a friend of mine who's an expert on Pineapple quilts and we discussed possible quilting designs. I'm going to play with ideas but I hope to start the quilting soon.
I don't have a backing picked out yet, not sure which way I want to go. I'm still not sure I'm keeping this one, it really almost does glow in the dark LOL!!! But it is growing on me.....

Until next time,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One way to quilt squares

Several days ago I got a question from Jana in Prague. Again I say, how fun is blogging?? It is like having grown up pen pals from all over the world. Anyway, her question was what pattern to use for her son's quilt that was all squares. She mentioned Blues Crossing, one of the quilts from Scrap-Basket Sensations. Here's a close-up of the quilting. By following a very easy quilting diagram, the quilting looks like intersecting circles. It's very easy and very fun.
Here is a diagram of how to quilt this. I've started in the bottom left corner. You quilt an arc to the right to the next seam. From there you just "sway" back and forth from right to left always crossing at the seam lines. It takes a bit of practice to sway just the right amount from block to block, but in the end, no one really notices the slight variations.
When you get to the top, you pivot and sway back down the same seam line, going to the left and then the right (dotted line). When you reach the bottom, you repeat this until all the vertical rows are done. At the bottom right corner, you sway up and start the same thing for all the horizontal rows. This will bring you to the top right hand corner. At this point you stitch each outside block until your reach the starting place. It's as easy as that!! Click the pictures to enlarge them if needed.
I hope this helps, Jana. Good luck and I'd love to see the finished product.
Until next time,

Monday, March 7, 2011

It almost glows in the dark

This quilt is going to be so far out of my normal comfort zone!! It almost DOES glow in the dark!
I am definitely going to use the pink Kaffe for the border, but will cut it width of fabric so the pattern won't repeat like this. What is your opinion about the blue inner border??
I should have this pieced by tomorrow.
So until then,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My brain is spinning

In my last post, I told you how much I love lilacs and how crazy I am about this new line by Brannock and Patek. Well, my brain has not stopped spinning all week!! I have designed a quilt using these two books and combining elements from quilts in both of them to use with Lilac Hill. I am so excited!! Can't show anything yet Do you ever feel like the next quilt you make may be your most favorite one ever?? I've got a few commitments to finish, and then I'll be able to start. I'm still waiting to find some yardage from this line. Let me know if you find some :).
This may be my most favorite part of quilting. I just love the possibilites and the joy that comes from knowing that what I am about to create has not existed exactly like this. That's what hand-made is all about to me. Stay tuned :). Have a great Saturday.
Until next time, make something beautiful,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birthday recap

I love lilacs!! Growing up in Rochester, NY (which by the way, is the lilac capital of the world), we had a lilac bush in our backyard. The first time I saw this line, I went nuts!! It is so beautiful, I can't wait to see the yardage - which I think should be out soon. Anyway, back to my birthday recap. I had a wonderful non-birthday this year. As a leap year baby, this was an off year but it was wonderful beginning to end. Lilac Hill was a gift from my "partner in crime" -I'll let you guess who that is. She is such a dear friend. She was thinking maybe another Schnibbles, she might be right :) I can't wait to start planning....Speaking of Schnibbles, My Little Red is looking just fine in it's new place on my office wall.
The pattern looks different to me when seen from a distance. This really is such a sweet quilt.
And these were given to me by a co-worker, most of them from her garden!! She is our resident office florist :). Thank you Donna for the flowers. I also had 2 carrot cakes yesterday, my favorite!! In my opinion, the cake is there only to support the cream cheese frosting LOL!!
My desk just looks so pretty with flowers on it, makes the work go better, it seems.
Until next time,