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!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fun play date

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a like-minded friend
(2) celebrating an accomplishment
(3) adding finishing touches

Yesterday my friend and fellow guild-member Deb and I had a very fun play date with scraps - large scraps, small scraps, tiny scraps, strings; ugly scraps, pretty scraps, batik scraps with seams! 

That little rhyme is included, of course, at no extra charge.  

Deb has always liked what I do with small scraps so we decided to put our heads (and our scraps!) together and make scrap/crumb blocks, just to see what's what.

I like the display in Deb's sewing room, it's almost like having a mini quilt gallery in your own home!

She has the same love for bright colors that I do, and you can see how she likes scrappiness in her quilts.  See the mini-quilt at the upper right side in this picture?  That's made from a block she designed a few years ago for a swap.  The fabric really makes the piece, doesn't it?

And those two mola pieces are gorgeous; I'm putting molas on my to-do-someday project list!

So!  This is what we had to work with when we combined our scraps in a great big pile ... have you ever seen such chaos!!?  

Can these scraps be saved???

Yes!  We sewed and talked and sewed some more.  Now this was so funny... somehow we got talking about New York Beauty blocks, and how we were both members of About.com community when there was a group making Karen Stone's NYB blocks.  She mentioned she used to read that particular thread all the time, and when I told her I was one of the regular posters and told her my screen name, she was astonished!

 As it happens she'd see my name all the time and she'd say to herself  "I need to meet that lady, she's very close to where I live!" 

We remembered some of the same people by their screen names... this person had a heart attack; that person had a pet pig that slept in her bed; this person was a nurse and worked at night; that person lived on an island and built a home in Minnesota... this had to be way back in the 2001-2003 time frame!

As time passed, we both gradually stopped visiting About.com because we simply didn't have a lot of time to spend online reading (and responding to) all the comments ... now we spend our time on the blogs, LOL. 

Anyway, we had a good laugh about it; it was a couple years before either of us joined Uhuru Guild, so we hadn't ever met each other. 

We spent about three hours sewing to our hearts content, and ended up with a great assortment of blocks!
I think somebody likes purple!

This is one of Deb's favorites!

What a wonderful play date we had!  Deb was nice enough to lend me one of her Janomes, so I didn't even have to schlep mine over there.  We sewed up a lot of blocks but you can guess what happened... the pile of scraps did NOT go down, or so it seems!   I think if we try hard enough, eventually they will HAVE to yield, but we'll have fun doing it.

Well, have a great Saturday everybody; I think this will be another no-sew day for me - too much else to get done.   Sew forth and sew on til later!

Friday, March 30, 2012

No-sew Thursday

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a tray of cheeses
(2) just-baked cake layers
(3) breakfast at a cafe

Yesterday I pictured myself sitting at my 1970 Singer Touch n Sew, and working on my little challenge quilt til it was all quilted... but sometimes other stuff has a way of pushing to the front!  But it was "good" other stuff, though...

I have a friend who had never been to Wegman's, so off we went to see their store.  We took a slow tour around the different departments so Brenda could see what they have to offer, then we had  lunch from their very large selection of goodies!  Brenda told me she's never made friends with butternut squash, but Wegman's had a chilled side dish made with squash and onions that she tried, and liked!

Of course, we couldn't leave the store without visiting the "naughty" area...

Check this out...
Candy and bulk food by the pound! and pound, and pound, and pound!

And lookit all that chocolatey goodness...

chocolate covered peanuts, pretzels, caramel-peanut clusters, coconut patties...

But I indulged in a few peanut butter cups, since the Easter bunny had his own area...

hold me back!!!

After a quick trip to Costco (since they were across the parking lot), we made our way home, where I had another pleasant indulgence waiting for me....

I won this month's draw in the Scrap Attack Strings QAL show n tell!  Chrissy and Linda of Sew Lux Fabric and Gifts sent me a cute pattern and two gorgeous fat quarters!  I love opening packages, don't you?

It doesn't get any better than that!

Today I have a play date with Deb to play with strings and scraps, so I need to toss together a bunch -- those rascals have a way of creeping everywhere!  

Have a great Friday, sew forth and sew on...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two almost done

Three things to be happy about:
(1) living in the moment
(2) shoe sales
(3) kids swapping lunches

I think progress is a good thing, especially if it belongs to you (me)!  Good progress on my challenge quilt for June, I dismantled it and redid the layout.  All I have to do now is quilt it and it's good to go!  But you'll have to wait 3 months before you see it, anticipation is a good thing too!

I went ahead and finished the inner part of my string blocks, using the wavy design I mentioned.  One thing I noticed (and I'm glad it doesn't matter to me) is that when you use a contrasting middle strip as I did in these blocks, if you use any layout other than having them in an X format, you don't get sharp points.  I like the wavy design but the white tips are blunted where they meet at the top and bottom of each row. 

I pieced these together in a 9-across and 10-down layout, that's a pretty good sized throw especially when I add two borders and I plan to do. 

I pulled two fabrics ... a light one with words for the narrow inner border and a greenish-blue one for the wider outer border. 
The color combo is just fine, but since I haven't cut into these yet I think I'll comb my stash to find some fabrics I've had longer than these.  I got the patriotic fabric at the Hancock's that went out of business in December, I know I have a light (or some other color) that's been growing mushrooms, that I can pull and use for this quilt.  After I do the borders I'll consider this one a flimsy that can languish in my to-be-quilted pile.

I've been seeing a lot of people doing the scrappy granny square blocks and I think I'm getting hooked, I really like that pattern!  Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches did a tutorial on it that looks super easy, so I grabbed some 2-1/2" squares from my box and laid one out, just to see...

I really like it!  Of course if I did it for real I'd use a white background, but I like the on-point shape it'll be when sewn together.  Also, you only need about a dozen of these to make a decent sized quilt, or even fewer if you're making a kid-sized quilt.  So, looks like another scrappy design will be on my to-do list!

Well today it's another run at the basement, I'm only spending about an hour moving things around down there, maybe while I'm doing laundry.  What are you working on today?  No matter what it is, I have it turns out t obe a great Wednesday for you!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

changes, changes

Hi everybody!

I see we have new followers, welcome, welcome - we're always glad to move over and make room for a few more!

I named this post "changes" for a couple reasons... one being the weather!  Yesterday morning when I went out for a walk it was nice out, I even got a shot of a cherry tree in bloom...
this was pretty, but of course it's nothing compared to our trees at the Tidal Basin!

As I was saying, the weather was nice during most of the day, then last evening the temp took a drop and oh boy was it chilly, brrrr!  I knew  it had to be chilly when my heat, which I had turned down to 68, kicked on... I politely pushed it down another notch and put on a floppy jeans shirt.  I'm through with $100+ gas bills for the season!

More changes... you KNOW you're officially a senior when you register at the local senior center!  I went there for the first time a couple weeks ago with my friends Charlene and Pat; Charlene teaches a quilting class there on Thursdays.  So yesterday, since I was out for a walk, I decided to officially register so I can take advantage of what they have to offer.  I was given a very nice tour by Charmin, one of the receptionists. 

There are a lot of nice rooms in the center, including a good sized meeting/snack area.  The room is really large, this is just one side of it.  There's also meeting rooms, a good sized gym... I didn't get a picture of the training equipment because there was an exercise class going on. 
The computer room has 10-12 PC stations, they also offer classes.  They have movies and pot luck on Fridays, and they offer all kinds of trips (I just missed the outing to see the cherry blossoms!)  And here's a nice area on the roof...

If I were into hand projects, I could definitely enjoy shooting the breeze up there before it gets too hot!

I'm going on and on about the center because until I went with Charlene and Pat, I'd never (EVER) set foot inside a senior center .  Please don't think I'm an air head, but in the back of my mind I thought they were a place where people sat around and stared at each other all day long!  Nope - they have Wii Fit, Zumba, line dancing, field trips, brunches, yoga, nutrition classes, bus trips to the casino, a walking club (hey Bonnie, you have to wait a few more years, nyah nyah!)...

I intend to take advantage of what they have to offer, but I need a release from my doctor before I can use the gym or get in the exercise classes.  This one is within walking distance, so that's a definite plus for me!

Now, to get off the blogs and get some housework and sewing done - have a great Tuesday!

Sew forth and sew on

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WeeBee fun

We had another fun time at our WeeBee meeting yesterday!  Here are a few pictures from show n tell, one of my favorite parts of the meetings.  We had two new members join us, one of them loves working by hand.  She shared her Balm of Gilead quilt with us...
I didn't know the balm of gilead was a real plant!  She found a picture and transferred it to fabric with fusibles, and she also outline quilted the plant in red-work fashion.  Here's a closeup:

Isn't that lovely? 

Pat shared her wickedly easy quilt; I think I like hers more than the one I made for my niece! 

Pat also finished a quilt from a crazy patch exchange:

beautiful blocks; I missed that one but I'll be in on the next one!

And of course we had great goodies, as usual...

Good friends, good quilt eye-candy, and good food - always a winning combination!  I'd like to have gotten more pictures but my batteries died and I didn't have extras    :o*(

The weather here is a bit wonky, today is so overcast.  A bit chilly, a bit rainy - but we need the rain!  Have a great Sunday... sew forth and sew on til later.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Four-inch Friday

So, another week has rolled around... I have three more four-inch blocks to show, then I'll only be about 100 behind!




I've also been sewing together my string blocks!  When I posted about them last time I realized I have enough to start sewing them together, so I've sewn 6 rows already.  I'll have to make a few more blocks, but that's a "no-never mind" because they go together so quickly.

My first thought about border treatment is a blue or green inner border - small print - then a larger outer border, maybe scrappy.

This one should be finished quickly, I'm really not concerned about color balance or whatever. 

I had loc maintenance yesterday and I forgot my own rule about having conversations with my stylist!  This time it was all about ghosts and babies found inside walls when houses are being demolished.  But one good piece of info I got from her... I didn't realize (or forgot!) that the new Walmart being constructed at Georgia and Missouri Avenues is a "go" - they're really deep into digging up the area. 

That's it for now, get out and enjoy the spring air!

Sew forth and sew on

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday afternoon x and +

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a nest of blankets and pillows
(2) an ice sculpture
(3) bracing, healthful air

Hello everybody, hi followers!  Yesterday was such a beautiful day... a bit "nippish" earlier in the morning, but the afternoon felt really good!  I met a friend for lunch and a movie in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland;  it was a nice experience. 

downtown Silver Spring, Maryland
This is an area that's very pedestrian-friendly, not only in the plaza but several streets are blocked off on the weekends, just for us happy-feet people!  

Isn't that an interesting bench?  I've driven through this area dozens (maybe hundreds!) of times on an errand to a specific place, but I never TOOK the time to just stroll through there and enjoy all the shops, eateries and restaurants.  I need to stop more and smell the roses - uh, cherry trees!

We saw the new Tyler Perry movie, Good Deeds, and we both enjoyed it... I recommend it if you want to see a "classic Tyler Perry" kind of movie. 

I pieced two more x and + blocks... why is it I don't see problems til after I put the block together?  In this case I'm referring to the brown block at the top... on hindsight it should have been cut as a diagonal!
The salamanders come across as a stripe, so they should be crawling towards the corner.

This is the other one I did...

so this brings my total up to 12 for this project. 

I'm thinking maybe I'll do a 7 by 8 arrangement, and increase the size with whatever border treatment I decide on. 

So that's it for now, have a great Monday!  Sew forth and sew on...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Guild meeting fun

Three things to be happy about:
(1) landscape paintings
(2) pinwheels whirring
(3) a foot massage

Yesterday was National Quilting Day, and we had another great guild meeting - with beautiful weather for it!  Charley finished the second part of her fractured workshop, she makes all those tiny seams look so easy! 

Remember all the free patterns Nadine generously donated to us last month?  Well, Ashley not only took some home, but she made a cute stuffed elephant from one of them!
I like to see resources being used... and look, she interrupted her knitting project to pose with her elephant - a very multi-talented young lady!

One of my favorite parts of every meeting is always the show n tell, I love seeing what everybody has been up to since the last meeting.  Yesterday seemed to be THE day for my favorite kind of quilts - scrap-happy! 

Barbara made this beautiful pinwheel quilt...

Trust me, the picture doesn't do it justice!  I like the border treatment... she used leftover pinwheel triangles, and she also diagonally pieced the outer border to continue on the movement within the quilt.

Adrienne showed us three quilts, and this one was my favorite...
lookit those gorgeous colors - and the back was just as pretty as the front!

And I couldn't go without getting just two more pictures - you ever have the feeling you're being watched??

It was Jeanette's t-shirt that she bought at the Hampton show on our bus trip last month!  I thought it was such a fun shirt!  I like how we get every last drop of enjoyment from our meetings, all the way down to the bare bones...

Now I'm not saying whose plate that is, but her name MIGHT start with S, and she MIGHT be on the membership committee, LOL.

Have a nice Sunday, sew forth and sew on

Friday, March 16, 2012

Four-inch Friday

My oh my, it's been well over a month since I've had a Four-inch Friday!  I sat down yesterday and did a few more, so I'm showing #24 through #29:

#24 - This one got started when I picked up a blue scrap from the floor:




#28 - this one reminds me of a raspberry sorbet


You can see these and all the others on my Flickr pages, I moved the link to the right panel.  Enjoy!

Today is our quarterly retiree luncheon, this time it's pot-luck at a retiree's home.  It'll be nice seeing everyone again, especially the new retirees!  Have a great Friday, everybody!

Sew forth and sew on