Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's Magazine Season!

Yeah, I know, it's always magazine season. But around the holidays there are extra ones and I just love to look through them for ideas.

On my search recently I came across this one. I have never seen it before, have you? I try to find the annual Christmas ornament issue and now I guess I will have to start hunting this one every year. It has some really cute things in it. Here is my Thanksgiving reading. I have been subscribing to Cooking Light for a few years -- started subscribing on a fundraising subscription drive at my granddaughter's school. I have continued the subscribtion because I really like it. The Martha Stewart and BH&G subscriptions started up when other magazines to which I had subscribed went out of print. Like the Mary Englebreit one. And Country Home. I guess I am glad that they provide something for the rest of your subscription time but I really wonder how they come up with the substitute.

I used to read Martha Stewart all the time -- she is an alumna of the same college from which I graduated -- so it seemed like a solidarity thing. But then I let the subscription lapse. I find alot of the recipes to be for things I would never make. And the decorating is just a little too, too, for me, if you know what I mean. But I liked this holiday issue.

You might notice that these are only covers. I like to only go through most magazines one time and tear out all the things I like for my files. Usually the covers go directly to recycle. But I saved these just so I could take pictures for the blog. I guess that makes me a committed blogger. Tee hee hee. Here is my start on Christmas magazines. I love Country Sampler although I was a bit disappointed in this issue. In fact, they have gone nearly all Early American and don't have as much variety in their home tours as they used to. I am ever hopeful that they will get back to the variety they used to have. The one called Holiday seems to be a combination of what Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Country Living would ordinarily do for Christmas. I guess the magazine business is struggling so they needed to combine efforts. So that must mean there will be fewer special issues this year.

Now these I tend to leave whole for a while. Usually after the season is over I go through and rip them apart, too. And yes, I do get behind on my filing, but I find it much easier to find what I want if the articles or pictures are filed instead of being in huge stacks of magazine. I can never remember which one something is in.

I just love the little house ornaments on the cover of the Quilting Arts magazine. They have linen like bases. I think I may have to make a few of those.

About the only exception to my rip and file technique is American Patchwork & Quilting and my Fons & Porter magazines. Those have lots of yellow stickies sticking out of them with labels for things I think I will make.

"Inconsistency is no disgrace". That is my favourite quote of all time and it is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It applies to just about everything including my magazine habits!

Remember I told you I wanted to finish this quilt for this fall? Well, ta da! I actually managed to do so. It's kind of hard to see here as it is hanging in a hallway. Usually I have a house quilt here. Well, actually, I still do. This one was bigger so I just clipped it and pinned it to the house quilt behind it. Easier and quicker than taking the other one down. This one was supposed to have 3D flowers on each basket but I decided I like it just fine the way it is. It has been a rainy weekend so Mr THQ and I decided to do a little thrifting yesterday. I didn't find as much as I often do, but I really like what I found. Aren't these cute? The pink flower one has a little stand and the circle one has a magnet on the back. Since my sewing table and my bookshelves in my sewing room are all metal, I should have plenty of choices in where to stick it. We found some nice craft books, too, to add to my collection. And what do you know, some Christmas ones, too. Both the Martha and Gooseberry Patch one are part of a series and I didn't have these volumes. I keep a list of all my craft books in my PDA so that I don't buy duplicates. If I ever leave home without the list I manage to double up. I guess I know what I like -- multiple times. I find that books are no where near as inexpensive at thrift stores as they were even a year or two ago so I like to make sure I am getting something new.

Did you ever watch Lynette Jennings on HGTV? I always liked her show. It has not been on for a while though. In fact, I think HGTV is not nearly as good now as it used to be. Oh, well. That knitting book is kind of a reference book. I thought it might come in handy. And none of these are too dated which is nice. I know the bear and chair are a bit out of proportion, but they were both a good find. I have some other bears that will sit in the chair nicely. And it doesn't even need to be painted!

And you can never have too many Christmas ornaments, can you? I like the dark colouring on the bell. And one last find. From my favourite aisle -- the crafts gone bad aisle. Although this particular craft did not go bad at all. Don't you just love Noah and the animals? Kind of like finger puppets. I have no idea where it will go, but there was no way it was not coming home with me!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stash in the stash

You know what that is, don't you? The stuff you set aside in your stash for a special reason. That you then forget.

In general I sort my stash by colour. Well, except I keep my flannels separate (sorted by colour though) and my Christmas and Halloween fabrics separate. Oh, and bright grandchildren-ish fabric is separate, too. And then my modern fabric is separate. And then the special stuff.

As you probably remember I sew mostly on the weekends. But sometimes I have time during the week and I cut. I don't sew because I don't like to turn my iron on if I am only in my sewing room for a short time. Dumb, I know, but there you have it.

Anyway that means I often cut several quilts long before I sew them. And I have learned the hard way that is a good idea to set aside the extra fabric for those quilts until I have sewn them. Because, otherwise I screw something up and need to recut something and, you guessed it, no more of that fabric.

The problem with setting these fabric aside, oh, and other ones that just look great together, is that when I am looking for a fabric I just KNOW I have in the stash I can't find it. Because it is somewhere "special".

Or when I need a particular colour or pattern and go through the ENTIRE stash, except for the stash in the stash and can't find anything.

Well, after that long preamble, let's see what I have been doing. First up is something a bit out of my normal zone. I had seen this fabric line, Wee Wonderland, and liked it. Then one day on the Quilter's Daily Deal the charm pack was really cheap so I bought it. This is the quilt so far. Using the solid sashing is also a little unusual for me. I meant to make it thinner, but oh, well, forgot when I was cutting, so it is a little wider then I intended. (Cue the "Twilight Zone" music -- when I just went to make the link today's deal is a jelly roll of Wee Wonderland!) And yes, it needs a border for sure. I am going to go back on the web and find some of this letter pattern on black for the border. It comes in brown, too, but I really like the black. Then I will get some of this pink stripe and also some in the lime green for the binding. I am not sure which I will like better so of course I need both. So much for the cheap, cheap cheap charm pack!
So since I need to order and receive the fabric to complete this top I decided to dig through the stash for something quick to do and found this ABC panel and several fabrics that go with it. I have had them awhile but remember that I got it all on sale. Isn't it cute? There was a free pattern on the web for the quilt that used it but I didn't have all the fabrics it used so I used something from my stash for the sashing. I added the purple skinny border again using something from my stash and now need to decide what goes on it next.
Here are some possibilities.
Anyway, back to the stash in the stash. While hunting just the right red for this little quilt and not finding it I realized that I had some cool fabrics cut for this quilt. I thought that there might be a good green in that stash.
Well, of course I will not make it in blue as pictured. I saw this pattern in a magazine some time back and fell in love. It was free on the web so I printed it out. I am not sure why I like it so much. It is kind of like a blooming 9 patch and I don't especially like blooming 9 patches.
Well, shortly after I saw this pattern I saw and fell in love with this fabric. There is a shop in Boise called the Cotton Club. It is mostly mail or web ordering but until last year they opened the shop on First Thursday every month as part of downtown Boise's monthly celebration of the arts.
I don't buy alot there because their fabric is not really my style. Lots of Fossil Ferns and batiks. Anyway I used to try to go as many Thursdays as I could and at least look around. They had this fabric. So I bought it for the middle of the quilt. It is a Susan Winget fabric from a line called Kansas Song. No wonder I like it. I love Susan Winget illustrations.
This quilt requires lots of half square triangles. They are finally finished. Don't you like all the fabrics? They look really nice with the center fabric, don't you think? So autumnal. No wonder I dug it out right now!
Lots of flying geese, too. They are now finished, too. Don't look too closely at the ironing board cover. I am brutal on ironing board covers. This one is not very old. You can tell because there are no holes yet. Mr THQ is always on the lookout for covers on sale just to try to keep me going.
Anyway, back to the theme of this post. While I was digging I also found this stack. Don't these fabrics look great together? I remember where I bought them, but boy do I wish I knew what I intended to do with them. I think I will go through my Miss Rosie's books and patterns and see if anything strikes my fancy. I like her stuff alot.
So anyway, I still haven't found the right fabric for the ABC quilt border. But I have decided to sew up everything I have pre cut so I can resort the stash totally by colour. Except for the flannels, Halloween and Christmas. Those deserve to stay separate.
So how do you sort your stash? Do you have a stash in the stash, too?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Really, I have been working on things

but I have been a bit slow to finish much. I seem to be scattered -- you know, working a bit on this and a bit on that. But I finally have some things to share. First up is a crocheted scarf. Doesn't look like much I know. That's because it is a twisted ruffle. Several of my folks at work have been learning to crochet and all their requests for help got me interested in crocheting again. I had this yarn hanging around and this project was just small enough to be quick and fun.

And, yes, that is a little 2 foot ladder with a carpeted top. I don't go anywhere without my 2 foot ladder! And this one is at my cutting table in my quilting room. It makes a handy seat. Ages ago I did the tracing for this Buggy Barn pattern. And made the trees. And set aside stacks of fabric for the houses. And that's all.
I have finally chosen the fabrics to use and put the rest away. Soon it will get cut out. Yeah, soon! I think it will be one of my next projects. See, what happened, is after I made the trees and selected some fabrics I saw this made at a quilt show in Christmas coloured flannels. It looked absolutely terrific. It was used as a tablecloth at one of the quilt shop booths so I couldn't get a picture. It made me want to make it from flannel. So I set aside what I had done.

But sometimes these cut and swap around quilts end up with skinny slivers of triangles and this one certainly has lots of small pieces some of which will be quite small. I think flannel is better suited for larger pieces. And simpler blocks. It likes to shred and stretch so. Bottom line -- back to the original plan. Only about a 2 year detour!

I had made the snowball blocks for this quilt last year right after I saw it on Kim's blog. I decided I wanted to change the words around it (because I am probably the only person on the face of the earth who does not like pumpkin pie) and rather than use wool like she had, use fusible applique. But I wanted my letters to be all different. So I hunted around and found several types of scrapbook letters to trace. Then traced them, ironed them on to my fabric, cut them out, and -- nothing. It sat and sat. I sewed the words on a few weeks ago. Now it is pinned and ready to quilt as soon as I decide how to quilt it. That could take awhile, though, so I though I would share it.
And last year I decided when I was putting away Christmas that I would replace the corner yarn ties on this tree skirt I made way back when with buttons. So I dug around in my buttons, bought some additional green ones, and, ta da, actually got this done BEFORE Christmas. I used my 18 foot to sew on the buttons and only broke 2 buttons and 2 needles in the process. Yup, I am pretty darn proud of myself!
Oh, and I have worked a bit on my fall decorating. Fall is my favourite season but I don't seem to be able to get much done with my decorating. But at least I have done some.
This little wagon is a recent thrifted acquisition. I love the little ceramic leaf the pumpkin girl is holding. It is the only thing I found last year at my favourite Christmas craft fair. It's a keeper, though, I think.
And one more finish to show. In my kitchen eating area I usually have a long skinny quilt hanging as a kind of valance. I took a picture of the one that has been there and of this one when I put it up as part of the fall decorating. But it's hard to take a picture of a window during the day, so you will have to just imagine this as a valance. This has been made a long time too, but not sandwiched and quilted. But now it is finished!
Well, I am off to Scottsdale to teach the AP class. Just when I was getting used to the nice cool fall weather I am heading back to summer! Oh, well, it's only temporary.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Getting around to Sisters

Hard to believe it was almost 3 months ago now. Hard to believe it has been almost a month since I posted. I have no excuse. Well, I do have an excuse for last Sunday, my usual posting day. I was sitting in an airplane all afternoon not getting home from a visit with the grandkids.

Well, obviously, I finally did get home. After running through airports. Then of course my suitcase didn't run, so it didn't make it. Funny how you pack favourite things when you go on a trip and then when your bag doesn't show up you wish you had packed things you don't like much. But my bag finally showed up so I have my favourite things back again. And I did have a good time.

Anyway, back to Sisters. Mr THQ has gotten the first batch of pics off his camera so I have some to share. First up, proof positive that we were really there. Isn't this the classic shot of the Sisters show? Main Street bedecked with quilts.
These are what are called in the biz, "ambiance" pics. We went really early so it wasn't super duper crowded. Still hard to get a good shot sometimes without part of someone in it.
This was actually the first quilt we walked up to. Entered in the youth group. I absolutely love, love, love this quilt. And made by a young girl. Really impressive. I love everything about it but especially the colours. I guess I should warn you I was in a bright colour mood that day so you will see lots of bright quilts.
Here's one of those that I wonder about later. Maybe those big white snowballs looked better in person. I do like the little square border, though. Looks kind of like a filmstrip.
I'm having my customary difficulty tonight getting the pics in order. You will just have to put up with me. It's too hard to fix them especially since my head is stuffy from allergies. Funny day today, the fall allergies hit with a vengeance during our morning bike ride yet for supper we had local fresh corn on the cob. Weird weather this year.
Anyway, back to the quilts. Another ambiance shot. You know, I always thought that all the buildings in Sisters were old but they are not. They have all been built to look like an old western town, though. Guess when I just saw pictures I was fooled. Hmmm. Guess that's the point, now isn't it?
I warned you about the brights. Gotta love the wonky star. I have made only one quilt with wonky stars and I thought it was really hard to do. It usually is that way. Controlled chaos is always harder than regimented and orderly. Interesting, too, with the white background. I notice on lots of contemporary quilting blogs that solids are very popular, especially white. I do like it but am really a cream/ecru kind of person. Besides if I ever wear white I seem to become a dirt magnet. I would think a quilt would get dirty easily, too.
Here is a close up of a pretty cool basket quilt. I like the way the baskets are made of strips. I also love the sashing that is squares set on point. Looks like lots of work but it is really effective.
You can't tell from the picture but those this one was beaded beautifully. It really did glisten and shine in the sun.
I love this one, too. More bright colours. I love, love, love the big dots. And the little dots. You will see some close ups of this one below. Out of order, of course.
Here is a full view of the basket quilt. Interesting how the square on point sashing is mixed in with a big print sashing. I am not sure I had noticed that until I was looking at the pictures tonight.
Here is a nice way to use special squares. I like the hearts, too. And the turquoise sashing.
We were walking around Sisters as they were hanging them up and it was interesting to see that the clotheslines stay up permanently. As they hang the quilts they wipe the dust and grime off them (good thing) and add new clothespins. That's a good idea. Otherwise it could take a long time to get everything hung. It is absolutely amazing how quickly they get everything hung!
Here are a few closeups of the quilt with the dots. Okay, one here and more later. I told you I was having trouble with the order of the pics. Lately I have been totally loving lime green and this quilt has plenty of that in it.
A bullseye quilt. Always a favourite of mine. I have made several. This one has nice colours and I like the pieced borders. Cream and ecru! What do you think of that?
See, the reason there are so many shots of the border of this quilt is that the quilter used all her fancy rarely used zig zag stitches in lots of colours. I think this is probably the best view of it. Isn't that a clever idea? I need to remember to try it.
Close up of the bullseye quilt. You can just see here that there are buttons in the centers. Since I saw this one I have also seen them with yoyos in the centers. I like the buttons better. Because I am a poor yoyo maker. I mean I make yoyos poorly, even with the yoyo maker thingies.
I love log cabins. When I first started quilting I didn't like them at all. Isn't that funny? I like how dramatic the light/dark stripes are and think it looks great setting off the center.
Here is a sort of sampler. I really like all the different elements. I don't think I would ever have put all these things together but it looks great. Lots of work on that center panel. Phew.
More bright colours. This looks like a totally scrappy endeavor. I wish all my scraps looked this good.
There were lots of house quilts at the show and I am a sucker for them. This one is a little different. Hmm, more bright colours, huh? I like it with the black. And I like the little checked sashing. Little checks to rectangles, etc. Nice.
Close up.
Extreme close up.
Here is another house quilt. This one is like log cabins and houses all put together. And I like the border on this one, too. I hope I remember some of these border treatments.
Here is the whole thing. Kind of an Amish sense to it, too, don't you think?
More wonky stars. This time with plaids. Good combo. These are normally my kind of colours. Wow, it looks nice on that blue building, doesn't it?
Well, I've come to the end of today's pictures. This was outside a shop selling lots of quilts. It looked like a temporary shop that was in business just to catch all us quilt lovers. Probably a good business plan! I like the hanging stand. You know I am always looking for ways to hang quilts. And since Mr THQ was with me now he knows how to build one just like it.
Hope you enjoyed the show. There will be more to come. It was a fun day and we took lots of pictures. And I promise not to let a month go by before my next post. It's hard to believe that much time went by. Sure goes fast!