Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Ready for Retreat

It's WIP Wednesday, and this week I am cutting and pressing in the hopes that I can make the most of my retreat time this weekend.

We're in the final countdown to the quilt show (29 days!), and I have some work to do since none of the three quilts I entered are finished. This one was literally just a pile of fat quarters.

I'm using my new Gypsy Quilter Gypsy Gripper, which I bought this summer. I do think it helps with accuracy and safety. I have never had any aches or pains from cutting, so I can't say if it prevents that.

My goal is to bring all the pieces precut and get the top and back finished over the weekend so I can turn it over to Lene to quilt.

Wish me luck! What are you working on?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Big Daddy's Quilt

Remember the quilt I was working on for my father-in-law for Christmas Father's Day his birthday?

I finally finished it, and we gave it to him last night at a birthday dinner. I couldn't come up with a cute name, so I just called it Big Daddy's Quilt.

When I was first pregnant and we were trying to think of nicknames for the grandparents, someone came up with the clever suggestion to call my 6'5" father-in-law Big Daddy. Deuce couldn't quite say all of that, and shortened the nickname to Big. Now pretty much everyone who knows him through us calls him Big. It sure does suit him - not only is he a big guy physically with a big deep voice, but he also has a big heart! He is so generous with his time and advice, especially for those who find themselves in difficult situations.

I am so grateful to have in-laws I love and who are such a huge part of our family. Have a happy birthday, Big!

Special thanks to Lene for quilting it with my favorite all over pattern for men.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Birds in the Air

My Birds in the Air blocks are here!

Recently one of the Twilters suggested a block swap to celebrate the launch of Frances's book, Birds in the Air. For once in my life I didn't wait to start working on my blocks at the last minute. For once I beat the deadline with time to spare. The waiting was excruciating!

But they're here! The blocks are here and I love them. It is such fun to look through and see the familiar names mixed with the new. My Middle Child and I were choosing our favorites last night - how can you pick just one? - and he couldn't believe the ones from so far away. (Whoops! I must have forgotten the pick of OzzyPip's block from Australia!)

I'm working on a layout now, and think I have one I like. I'm keeping it a little bit of a surprise until the top is together. I keep going back to my studio to look and swap blocks around and then leave it for awhile so I can look at it with fresh eyes, but I think I might have landed on my favorite.

I am so grateful to Tina for organizing and to everyone who participated!

What are you working on today?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Going to Guild - Andi Barney on Modern Quilting

Last Monday was guild night, and our guest speaker was Andi Barney of Red Hen Fabrics and Atlanta North West Sewing Machine Service and Repair (more on both of these coming soon). Andi shared her lecture on Modern Quilting, along with dozens of slides and a stack of quilts.

Of course, she spoke about the use of modern fabrics with traditional blocks, the use of negative space, and the emphasis on the quilting. I wish you could see the detail in the quilting (above). It is just amazing. Andi said she prefers to quilt on a domestic machine, even though Red Hen has a selection of long arm machines that she could use whenever she wants!

Andi also talked about the popularity of text in Modern Quilting, whether printed on the fabric or created with improvisational piecing. This quilt is very special to Andi since she moved to Atlanta without having family in the area.

 In the "Everything Old is New Again" category, can you tell which of these fabrics is an antique feedsack and which is a current fabric? (Apologies to the fabric designer whose name I cannot remember to save my life.)

This was a great program for a fairly diverse audience; some of our guild members are very traditional, others are truly modern, but most of us are all over the map. Andi did a great job of covering the topic in a way that engaged and interested all of us. Thanks, Andi!

We also had a very special Show and Tell quilt made by Lin C for #QuiltsforPulse. Please see the link for more information about how to help. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

I'm a sentimental fool when it comes to patriotism. I get choked up when they play The Star Spangled Banner, especially at little kids' sporting events. I could watch The West Wing reruns daily.* I have more Americana themed quilts than Christmas quilts - probably more than all of my holiday quilts combined. And I still have more red white and blue fabric in my stash.


Two of my favorite post-9/11 fabrics.

So when I saw this viral craft project on Facebook, I had to try it. I cleaned out all of the white bandanas at my local JoAnn's. They were already sold out of all of the red and blues, thanks to a post on their Facebook page and a 10 for $10 sale. Then I went to Dollar Tree after hearing a rumor that they had a red and blue bandana in a set for $1 each, but they only had a few blue ones left.

Finally I dug into my stash to fill in the gaps. It's a little bit addictive, so I made four of them: two matching ones for my mother's double doors, one with the more muslin/repro feel, and one for me. I love how they turned out, probably even more than if I had been able to find all of the bandanas, because of some of the fabrics I was able to mix in. Like this one:

and this one:

But no matter how much I enjoy a three day weekend or a Twilter sew in (#MDSI) or a good barbecue, let's remember what this day is really about.

To all the families and friends of our service men and women who gave their lives, my prayers are with you.

I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing weekend!

*If you are a West Wing fan, you MUST listen to the new-ish podcast The West Wing Weekly! It is a great look back with lots of insider stories and some fantastic guest appearances!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WIP Wednesday - More One Hour Baskets

It's graduation time, and for once I am on top of the gift situation - maybe because none of my children are involved!

This year, all but one of the graduates we know are girls. The boy will just get a card and a check, but I wanted to do something a little more fun for the ladies. I decided to make them each a One Hour Basket, which is a free pattern on Craftsy.

There was a perfectly timed sale on home dec weight fabrics at JoAnn's (50% off!), so I didn't spend a lot and have some leftovers.  These baskets really do take just about an hour. I spent a little more time since I did some light quilting on the exterior of the basket, but I found I could make one basket in about one and a half episodes of The Good Wife on Hulu.

I stuffed each basket with a some goodies: a small first aid kit, some Scotch Removable Mounting Squares, and a few treats.

I've got two down and one to go. Shoutout to The University of Alabama at Birmingham for having a color guide on their website!

P.S. I just visited Kelby's blog and found that there is a new pattern called Friends of the One Hour Basket. I am in love! I have just found the perfect use for the leftovers!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Going to Guild - Becky Goldsmith

Monday, May 2 was guild night, and our speaker was Becky Goldsmith of Piece O' Cake. She came into town and taught an applique class based on this quilt, Welcome to the North Pole.

Her program was largely about using color, which she uses in surprising ways in her quilts. This quilt is called "Tile Tango," and is from the book The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color. Do you notice the block in the lower right corner?

This quilt is called "Button Box," and it's from the book Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way. I love this quilt but am not a fan of curved piecing. I would need a really good reason to make this quilt! But isn't it so cute?

Becky also introduced us to Adobe Capture, and app that allows you to pull design details from photographs. I'll be playing with this more and doing a review once I get to know it better. Do you use it?

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