Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quilt show goodness - a perfect day

Blogger is temperamental again, so I hope my pictures show up!

For those of you who guessed that my "Dots" came from a copier machine - you're right!  It sits down the hall from my office and I must use it a couple times a month, but I couldn't tell you the brand name.  Isn't that odd?  Well... maybe not.  We have lots of different brands; the agency isn't allowed to have a sole source for copiers and printers.

We had a really great time at the Mid-Atlantic quilt show on Saturday, we wish there could have been more time, more time, more time! It's a challenge to do it all in just six little hours!

Here, Deb Tucker is demonstrating her V Block ruler...oh man, do I need more rulers??

When she saw my camera, she interrupted her demo to strike a pose for me! She's wearing a pink button with the logo WWDD? [what would Debbie do?] it was so cute, I thought I got a close up of it, but I didn't.

So what did I do?  I couldn't resist buying three of her rulers!

I haven't included a lot of quilt photos ... sometimes I'd get so busy taking in all the details that I'd never think about a picture and besides, it's just plain impossible to do some of them justice with a photo.  I did get a shot of this one by Sauda Zahra 

Carol and Sauda - your quilts were awesome!


Time for lunch!  
We met up with some of  the African American Yahoo quilters at the buffet.  We recognize each other by these ribbons...

After that short pause, back for more quilt viewing...

I thought this round robin was interesting (it a "row" robin).

But somehow we got distracted again by the Merchants' Mall...

I bought this pattern and some resin beads from Handloom Batik.  I wanted to pay with my debit card, and this precious lady didn't have a machine so she told me to take the things with me, then send her a check when I got home!  I didn't want to do that; I had checks in my wallet so I wrote one right there.  Bless her heart!

This is the rest of my purchases - see, Charlene!

I got the green and rust FQ bundles for my guild's mystery quilt challenge from Web Fabrics.  The other FQs were reduced and I liked the colors so I got em!  The two 1-yard pieces of African fabrics wanted to come home with me too.  I found Word Play Quilts at Dover Street booksellers so I picked up a copy. 

With the exception of doll needles and tweezers, that's all I bought - not for lack of trying though!  In our wanderings we saw a booth with oodles of Kaffe Fassett fabrics in fat quarters and half yard bundles.  I wanted to find them again and get a few pieces, but by that time Tammie phoned that the bus was waiting ... we still had 3 minutes left, shoot!

So we got on the bus (Renea and I were the last ones, bleeh!) and we headed to the Golden Corral for dinner. 

Joanne ate like a bird...

Renea and I ... didn't. That's all I'm sayin' about that! 

Well, that's it for this year's quilt show... on the bus ride home there were movies if you cared to watch, followed by an instructional quilting dvd.  I fell asleep.

All in all, it was a wonderful day, spent with great friends!

Now, about that dollar...

After we got back, I dropped off Pat and Felicia.  As Pat was getting out of the car I noticed a soda bottle in the street and I was making sure of it's location so I wouldn't run over it.  Then I said to Felicia, "Is that a dollar in the street??"  She said, "it sure looks like it!"  Quick as a bunny I jumped out to see ... sure enough it was a whole dollar, imagine!  It can't get much better than that  ;o)

Sew forth and sew on til later   

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The end of a perfect day...

Three things to be happy about:
(1) fond memories
(2) pursuing a hobby
(3) planning an outing

This put an exclamation mark on a perfect day yesterday:
Now you're wondering what a dollar bill has to do with a perfect day?  I'm a bit tired right now, but check back tomorrow and I'll tell you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Foto-Finish Saturday - Dots

Today's photo-finish theme is "Dots."

Can you guess what this is a close-up of??

My guild is giving a bus trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia, today - see you there!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Where I live, from 9 til 5

Actually, since I work 10-hour days I live there 6:15 til 5:00 - here's my clock to prove it:

I hung this quilt just outside my office:

The walls are metallic(?) so they're great for hanging my quilts with those magnetic clips.  I made this wall hanging as a challenge when I was a member of PM Patchwork guild.  I named it "8th Hour" because I was rushing to finish it "not quite" at the last minute - not at the eleventh hour but pretty close!  This was one of my first quilts; if I were to do it today I'd do a few things differently, though.  

These two little ones are in a corner of my office:

You've seen the butterfly before, but I don't think I've ever shown the one on the right.  It's a simple arrangement of a square-in-a-square (or diamond-in-a-square).  An attempt long ago to use up some of my scraps, not knowing the unspoken rule about scraps - that they multiply when you use them!

And here's a view out my window -

It was quite overcast yesterday, so you really can't see too much in this shot.  There's a duck pond with a fountain, a little snow on the ground, plus the added attraction of the reflection off the window!  Those parking spots are reserved for visitors and moms (and dads!) dropping off their kids for daycare; employees park in the garage beneath the building.  If you look really really close at the bottom of the shot, reflected off the window, you'll see part of my Altoids tins collection.  It's quite extensive - I'll show you those another time.

Well, today is loc maintenance day, sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

10-minute blocks - how easy is this??!

Hi followers (and visitors), I'm glad to see you! *waving*

If you've seen this video before, enjoy it again!

This would be a great pattern for a quick community service quilt -- or shoot! for any quilt. Thanks to Charlene for bringing this to my attention!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another snow no-show day

My iPod is working okay now, it's the craziest thing!  The battery exhausted itself to within 2% power in a matter of hours, even though I didn't have it on.  So I recharged it, then I crossed my fingers and turned it on... and it was okay!  Now I can listen to my Audible downloads.

We dodged the snow bullet again yesterday. They were calling for 2" to 4" of snow but we only got 1/2" to 1" where I live, yaaaay!  That wasn't much snow but beneath it there was ice, trust me.  BUT... OPM gave Federal employees the option of taking unscheduled leave or unscheduled teleworking, so... I teleworked.  This gave me the chance to make one of my favorite stick-to-your-rib breakfasts – oatmeal!

I use 1/2 cup oats from the super-gigantic box of oatmeal from Costco (2 bags in the box), a couple dashes of cinnamon, 1 tsp Splenda brown sugar – and here's the secret: apples!  I bought a lot of the Jonathan's when Giant had them on sale last summer; partially cooked them and put them in the freezer.

I put everything in a 1.75 qt pyrex bowl, add about 1-3/4 cups of water and nuke it for about 10 minutes.  I know that sounds like a long time but for some reason I like how creamy it turns out... I hope I'm not destroying any essential vitamins!

And here you go - a good stick-to-your-ribs bowl of oatmeal!

"Patty D" made that pretty mug rug for me; she's a member of my guild and bee.

And now, because you've been so patient and read this far, you should get in on this great giveawayThe Fairy Gardener Quilts Too is having her first giveaway, and the fabrics are gorgeous.  So go, leave a comment (become a follower, why don't ya?), and good luck!

I'll have more quilty stuff to share later, but for now, sew forth and sew on...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

They say the first one is the hardest...

Well!  I had another doll workshop day yesterday with Yetunde and Jackie, and I must say it went very well indeed.  We didn't finish our dolls but we made enough progress that we can finish on our own.  There were a few challenges, trying to keep the important parts aligned and getting the wire into those little fingers, but I think the finished product will be worth it. 
This is mine, isn't she a cutie?  She has her legs, hair and head wrap...

I just have to attach her arms and decide on a dress style.  And... I just might make her a wee pair of underpants!   Hide that cellulite, girl!!!

I meant to take pictures of the process, but I didn't remember my camera until I was half-way to Yetunde's house and I didn't want to turn around.  She should have more photos on her blog

Until later, sew forth and sew on...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mon-day, holi-day, lazy-day

It's President's Day, a Federal holiday - yes!!  So why am I up at 5:30 a.m.??  Habit.

Yesterday I did a test-drive of a cloth doll workshop at Yetunde's house with Jackie; today we'll finish it up if we decide to meet.  It was fun, but those little rascals take a lot of stuffing elbow-grease!

Not much sewing progress, but I made a couple more blocks for my brown bag challenge quilt, using those little blocks I made that I didn't like:
They're actually pretty cute; the fabric had to be used, so I put the "rejected" parts in the middle and built the block around them.

I'll probably do more sewing later, but on Saturday something happened to my iPod and it won't play...


Also, I recharged the battery but it looks very low, as if the iPod has been running non-stop.

 So now I can't listen to my stories while I sew...


I've had it over a year but I'm going to see if Apple will do something for me, I hate problems!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another fun guild day!

What a fun day we had at guild meeting yesterday!  There's always a very high level of energy in our meetings, everybody has a great time.  The only blip on the day was the power failures - and wildfires - caused in part by the very high winds.  There were wildfires yesterday!  Wildfires just don't happen in the DC area.  I could smell the smoke when I got home last night.

Because of the power failures, we weren't able to use our sewing machines but that didn't keep us down!  I  shared lots of fabric from Judy at the Container Store.  And this is just what would fit on the table!

In a comment on my post yesterday someone mentioned she didn't know the Container Store sold fabric -- nope, they don't!  One day about a year ago I went to purchase bins for my fabric and I got talking with an employee (Judy), mentioned I'm a quilter and needed a certain style for my fabric.  She said she was also a quilter!  At that time she had some extra stuff she didn't need and offered it to me, which I took to the guild.  Then, last Wednesday she called me - a year later! - and offered me more stuff.  It turns out she'd moved into a smaller place, wasn't quilting anymore, and wanted to free up that space.  So, ta daa!  Lots of fabric to share with my guild buddies.

After the meeting a bunch of us went to The Fabric Peddler for the new BOM kick-off.  This year The Fabric Peddler's BOM is In the Beginning designed by Debra Gabel.  Don't pass up these beautiful blocks! On the Fabric Peddler site, click on Quilt Patterns - BOM and order yours!

If you've been to a quilt show lately chances are you've seen kits for those gorgeous postage stamp quilts?  Well, Debra is the designer.  I didn't get a great shot of this one. 

Her new book, Quilt Blocks Across America, just came out (check it out at http://www.zebrapatterns.com/).  I grabbed one - it comes with a CD and I like it that you can mix and match the patterns.  For example, I can remove the dogwood blossoms from the North Carolina background and substitute the cardinal from Ohio!

After the demo we all bought fabric that we just had to have!  OMG Nadine just got in a shipment of Aborigini fabrics that will make you drool!!  I don't know if it's on her site yet, but you should check anyway.  :o)

After all that "hard" work -- general hilarity at the guild meeting, great demo by Debra (and shop-til-you-drop) at The Fabric Peddler -- it was time to eat!  Eight of us trekked over to the Outback for more girlfriend fun.  I had the tilapia...

Pat had shrimp and Felicia had the lobster tails.

These ladies are nuts!  Felicia had nabbed some of Nadine's home-baked brownies from the Fabric Peddler that she coaxed our waiter (Andre) to try -- then she told him there was something "special" in them!  There wasn't, of course, but you should have seen the look on his face!

Well, that was my Saturday, all-in-all it was a quilty-guildy day.  I've said before it's always great getting together with my guild buddies, yesterday was no exception!  This afternoon I'm off to Yetunde's house to test-drive a doll class she's teaching soon at my Bee, then the guild.  

Sew forth and sew on til later! 

Blogger is acting unctious this morning, so you'll have to do with my "plain" name -


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Foto-Finish Saturday -- Love

Barbara at Catpatches has a weekly Foto-Finish challenge, and this week's theme is "love".

I made this quiltie for my guild's 2010 "quiltie of the month" for February - the theme was "Love is in the Air."  The couple were fussy-cut from yardage that I bought just because it intrigued me, with no idea what I'd do with it.  But look, I used it!!  A small piece, anyway.

I remember getting the background fabric on a shopping trip to Lancaster last year.  I think the XOXO really adds fireworks to that kiss!

Well, it's my guild meeting day - two workshops and lots of fun in store!  A nice employee at the Container Store in Rockville gave me some fabric that she doesn't think she'll use anytime soon.  I'm taking it to the meeting to share with everybody... I love opening packages, don't you?

Sew forth and sew on...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Border decisions

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a tissue when you need it
(2) complimenting yourself
(3) making a to-do list

I definitely need a tissue right now... the temp is pushing into the 70s today and it feels very humid right now, which is affecting my sinuses.  Definitely jacket weather!

I've been poking at my Brown Bag quilt, and I discovered I don't like some blocks I made (see them here)... but the fabric is used, so I have to re-purpose it.  I took one apart and incorporated it into a border block:
See that strip right in the middle?  I like it better in it's new home!

I decided to use a panel I made as a stand-alone piece (see it here) rather than creating a bigger wall hanging ... trying to decide on a border treatment.  I like the idea of the skinny inner border and I like that particular fabric, but I can't decide on an outer border:
I have a large collection of ethnic fabrics in my stash, so something should call out to me!

Then I tried it with just the one border, only wider:

But I think it needs a little more color; this looks a bit boring to me!  If I go with the black-and-white inner border, I'll try something with a bit of yellow, red ... maybe a bit of orange or even a pieced border.  We'll see! 

Well, today is a going to be a running around day... I need to get my car washed, I can't put it off any longer, the birds saw to that!  Then meeting Judy at the Container Store at 9:00 to pick up fabric, to my doctor at 10:00 for a check up and blood draw (I want my coffee!!).  After that it's on to iHop for breffus (no pancakes, I promise!), then to JoAnn's or Hancock's for poly stuffing since I have a coupon.  And since I'm already out that way, to Costco for a few items.  Then ,on the way home I might swing by Greater Harvest bread company to get something for tomorrow's guild meeting.   Maybe  ;o)

That's my day, I hope yours is a good one!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hidden treasures

Four things to be happy about:
(1) accidental inventions
(2) taking the train at night yeah right
(3) chocolate cupcakes
(4) broken-in jeans

Yesterday the weather was really great, and today should be near 70.  Come on, Spring, I'm ready!!

While puttering around in my sewing room I found a little box of crumb blocks, left over from making this quilt, which I've called A Star Is Borne:
Here are a couple of the blocks close up:

And the leftover crumb blocks:

When I counted them, I was pleasantly surprised to find I have 100 -- yes, 100! blocks.  They need to be trimmed to size, then I can find them a good home in a new project!  One of the great things about these blocks is that used some ugly fabrics in them.

And now, visit Jill's blog (Jillilly Studio) for a great giveaway; it closes Friday!