Thursday, January 29, 2009

I was going to say

that I really don't have any Valentine's Day quilts to show. But I realized that if we are talking hearts then I am in business. I love hearts and stars and decorate with them everywhere. Here are a few hearts from the master bedroom and bathroom. Just ignore the naked pillows, okay? I should have thought of the shams before I took the picture. Oh, well. You might recognize this quilt as a Buggy Barn pattern.
Mr THQ made a shelf and rod thingie for me over the bedroom windows. I filled up the shelf with things I like and made the valance. This heart design is from a Nancy Doan pattern. She is local.
We have one of those big corner tubs. Mr THQ put up some old moulding over the windows. Here the same hearts hung ungathered from super cool red heart hooks. I am garland impaired -- never know where to put them. I stuck this one up on the hooks right after I got it and there it still is. We recently put up the corner shelf. I haven't decided what to put on it yet. Guess I should have done that before I took the picture, too.
This is one of those little skinny windows over the shower. I didn't have anything on it until I realized last summer that everything on the wall opposite the shower was totally faded. This one has eyelet trim because I didn't have quite enough of the striped background fabric. I even went back to the store where I had bought it 3 or 4 years ago. They didn't have any more. Imagine that! So there you have 3 variations on the heart theme.
This heart sits on the end of the window shelf. My company was expanding at one point and moved some of us into office space carved out of a dying mall. This was left in our "office store" and I consider it a great prize. It was always on top of my kitchen cabinets but a year or so ago I bowed to my daughter's insistence that it didn't belong in the kitchen and moved it here. I don't think she considers it the prize I do.
Maybe for next year I will make an "official" Valentine's Day quilt.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Finishes for 2009

I think I already told you that sandwiching and pinning is the only part of quilting I don't especially enjoy. So I tend to save up a bunch of tops and spend a day doing just this part. Now you know how I spent last Saturday. I do this on my dining room table. When I bought it many years ago at an estate sale in Connecticut I was told it had come from a private boys' school. It has doodles drawn on it and carved into it so I figure a few pin nicks and scratches just add to the patina. That way it will be more valuable when I take it to Antique Road Show.
I usually sandwich and pin until I don't have enough pins for another quilt. Close enough, don't you think? I use a staple remover to close the pins. I still manage to prick a finger or two and bleed on at least one top. Here is my stack of ready to go quilts and wall hangings. Over the next few weeks I will try to concentrate on the quilting and not starting anything new. Yeah, right. What really happens is I quilt a couple then go back to working on a top that is started. Then in a sudden burst of something or other I quilt top after top until they are all finished. You can see on the top that I was going to have a new Halloween wall hanging this year. Oh, well, it will be ready for next year.
Ta da! This is my first finish for 2009. Since I joined the One Project a Month Challenge I decided I better finish something and this was left over from my last pinning marathon. It is from a Whimsicals pattern.
Then, realizing that the Super Bowl is fast approaching I pulled these fabrics from my stash and put this together. Our party hosts recently had a baby girl. The ballerina fabric is left over from a quilt I made for my granddaughter a couple of years ago. This pretty much uses it up.
So 2 finishes in January! Woo hoo!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Planning a LITTLE Pillow

So I spent last week travelling for business. Cleveland in winter!!! Luckily the winter weather did not interfere with my flights. The only issue was 2 seeing eye dogs on one crowded regional jet. This is the view from my hotel window. I grew up in the East but have spent many years now in the West. This is Eastern style woods. They just look so different from the woods in the West. I think it looks really pretty with the snow.

Before I left I went thrifting so I could accept the assignment from Kim at I found a really nice 100% lambswool XL sweater from the Gap to make my pillow. While I was gone MR THQ felted it for me following my instructions to the letter. Can you believe it was an XL? It now measures 16" at its widest point. I will be making a LITTLE pillow now, won't I?
It is really soft and fluffy just a little little!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Valentine's Thrifting

I don't do alot of Valentine's decorating. I am much more into the fall holidays than the spring ones so I go all out for fall, Halloween, and Christmas. But I have found a couple of cute Valentine things (and lot's of Easter ones -- just wait and see) at my favourite local thrift store. One of the coolest things I have found lately is above in it's Valentine version. Below you can see it in it's winter version.

This little box was in a big plastic sack with lot's of different lids. Someone had gone to alot of trouble cutting out all the pieces and painting them just perfectly. I am always attracted to the wooden crafts aisle. I call it the crafts gone bad section. It's always fun to see the things people attempted, weren't satisfied with and donated. I love the quirky and primitive so I find lots of things to love in that aisle. But this particular thing is just so cute and so perfect it's hard to imagine anyone not liking it and donating it. Maybe it was a gift that the recipient just didn't get. I don't know, but it's my treasure now. I will share it with it's different seasonal tops through the year.

Here is another item I recently found. Another wooden craft.

And another. I am a sucker for bears as you will discover. This little bear apparently had a bow or something around his neck because there is some glue residue there but he is just fine without it I think. And he goes perfectly next to my Theodore Roosevelt bear!

Still Too Many Distractions

For some reason I don't seem to be able to settle on what I want to work on. Usually I am so anxious to get started on things I can't work fast enough. I thought maybe I would do a little kind of pastelly wallhanging using some old Mary Engelbreit fabric I had. So I dug through my pitifully small amount of light coloured fabrics -- mostly leftover from making things for my granddaughter -- and made these little 9 patches. Once they were made I didn't like them with the Mary fabric. So that's not the next project.

Then I thought I would start on a Buggy Barn quilt I had pulled fabric for a few weeks ago. So I made the trees but didn't feel like moving onto the houses.

Then I realized that for weeks I had been walking over a rolled up pin basted quilt from my last basting marathon. Making the sandwich and doing the pinning is the only part of quilting I am not too fond of so periodically I devote a whole weekend to sandwiching and pin as many quilt tops as I have pins for. And I have alot of pins!!!

Since I joined the One Project a Month Challenge I finally decided to quilt this quilt and get my first finish for 2009, But first I was confronted with all this "stuff" that somehow ended up all over my table.

So now it's time to do a little clean up. Be back soon.,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can this quilt be saved?

So, this is one of the things that distracted me this weekend. Last year when I was a lurker I silently participated in this quilt along on crazy mom quilts I chose the background fabrics and the two border prints that go with it on purpose. I chose them because of this quilt.

This quilt is the result of a Saturday Sampler at my LQS a couple of years ago. I love, love, love this quilt. It is one of my all time favourites. And the main reason is the combination of border prints I used. I was trying to relive the moment I guess.

So this weekend I decided to see if my stash held the perfect replacement sashing. Here are a couple of alternatives.

This is a mini red check that comes from Joanne's. I have used this check for backings and bindings many many times. It's the sashing on the SS quilt, too. So perfect for so many things. What do you think? Is it perfect for this?

Here is a kind of denim stripe like railroad engineer dungarees but a finer stripe. If you look closely you will see I used it on the SS quilt too. Still trying to recreate the magic I guess. Any better?

Here is another blue candidate -- kind of a grid design. Believe it or not I have the least amount of blue in my stash but somehow I managed to find two possibilities for this purpose.

My next step is to disassemble the blocks and sashing while watching tv at night. Guess I will fall behind on the crossword puzzles again. Otherwise this quilt will become a "wadder", a term that I found on a sewing blog that so perfectly expresses this situation.

Can it be saved?

Monday, January 12, 2009

One would be wrong

One would think that with all those quilts cut and ready to go that it would be easy to get started. One would be wrong. None of them seemed to be just right. But it had been a long time since I have done a Thimbleberries pattern and the nice big size of the blocks and the pieces finally moved this one to first place.

I mostly sew weekend mornings from about 4 or 5 (yes, I know. We get up early at our house) until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. In the winter at least. When the weather is good bike riding cuts into the quilting time a bit.

So despite being extremely easily distracted all day Saturday I got all 12 blocks finished this weekend.

I decided all the blocks would be the same except for the backgrounds. The pattern reverses the triangles and the bars in the blocks on half the blocks but since the fabric was originally planned for a different quilt I had to make some changes based on how much of that grey dot I had. I do alot of scrap quilts so it is nice to do something planned and orderly for a change.

Next time I'll show you some of the things that distracted me.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finding Hidden Treasures

So surely one of the rewards for organizing is finding things that weren't exactly lost, but off the radar. I was way too neat putting these cut quilts away and hiding them from myself. Just one problem with this one -- neatly organized and put away, but no indication of what pattern it is. I am sure I thought I would be getting to it right away. Hmmm.

I know exactly what pattern this one is. Not what I originally intended for this fabric but at least I put the book with it and even marked the page!

I did almost as well with this one too. The book wasn't with it but I included a note. This one was a kit I bought at a quilt show from my favourite out of town shop. I don't usually buy kits but the ones this shop puts together are always wonderful.
Look, another one with a note. I love the novelty RW&B print. One more quilt for the flag room.
And even one more. I saw this quilt at a local show a few years ago and my companion knew she had the magazine it was in and sent it to me.

Enough of the organizing. Time to get serious and turn on the machine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Organizing 2009

Always around New Years there are articles everywhere about getting organized. They are so common they pretty much guilt you into cleaning up and organizing something. After reading so many I realized that many of the things I use all the time in my quilting room were hidden away in drawers and things I hardly ever use were front and center and ready to go.

So I spent some time doing some reorganizing and rearranging. And when I did I found several stacks of fabric that had been chosen to become a specific quilt. Some of them even had the patterns for that quilt with them! So I alternated my organizing with cutting and cut out the pieces for several quilts. Here is one of them all ready for sitting down and sewing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let's Get This Show on the Road

Enough of lurking and only leaving the occasional comment! Over the last year I feel like I have gotten to know so many bloggers and learned so much by reading everyone's posts. It's time to jump in and start contributing.

So, to start this off, here is a little bit about what to expect. First, irregular posting. My work life often interferes with my real life. I am sure many of you can identify with that issue!

Second, quilting is sure to be my favourite subject since it is my favourite thing to do. Throw in a pretty serious addiction to decorating and thrifting and a recently revived interest in cross stitch, and this will be a bit of a mixed bag.

I am going to be learning blogging by blogging but if you all can do it, I can too. So I hope someone stops by and see you soon. I've already got some projects started I want to share.