Friday, January 30, 2009

4-patch Posey Progress

Alright, time for a break. Been working on this all afternoon and little hungry voices are growing louder in my ear! Thought I'd post a picture, I'm really excited about how it's turning out! :) Thank you for all of your comments last post too - you made me feel all special! :)

Some silly news - Mom & Dad, guess what Abbey did last night at about 10pm at her Nana's? She stuck a popcorn kernal up her nose. (She's following in her sister's footsteps - Kenzie also did this once!) I had to drive over there to get it out, and didn't end up leaving until midnight. (So much for an evening without babies!) The moisture from her boogers (eeeewwww) made the kernal expand, so it came out about twice as big as it went in. Gross huh? LOL* I love being a Mommy. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

4-patch Posey

A woman from our guild showed us how to make this quilt a few months ago...I wasn't crazy about the fabric I'd initially chosen for this project, then I realized I had this sunflower fabric in my stash. I actually pulled it out to make something else, and then it dawned on me that it'd be perfect to experiment the 4-patch posey with. I thought the blocks turned out pretty cool for my first shot at it! :) Here's the fabric I started with...

What you do, is hunt through the fabric and find the repeat - which seems to be tough with some fabrics. For this one there was a lot of space between the flowers, so I was able to find the starts and stops pretty easily. You cut four strips of the print repeat, then stack them matching it all up, and cut the stack into 4 patch squares - each square you cut will have four of the same sections of the repeat, so you can twist and turn the pieces to make a whole new pattern from the print. Isn't that awesome?
I hear people talk sometimes about stack & whack quilts - and I'm wondering if that's another name for this kind of project or if a stack & whack would be something similar but different? Anyone idea?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Little Things

I've cooled down a little since my last post. Lol* I was having a moment. Gosh darnit, and I'll have a moment if I want to on my very own blog. :) Thank you very much! Lol* I'm still upset about my red fabric, but I took Leah's advice and cut around the spots and made something else out of it. I am thinking now that it wasn't the sunlight that caused the faded spots, I think it came off the bolt that way. I just didn't catch it when she was cutting. Oh well, what can you do. :) Live and learn I guess. I'm just going to have to be a little choosier from now on, 'cause I may not be a fabulous quilter (yet! lol*) but I'd like my itty bitty quilts to be around for a little while. I am proud of my little masterpieces! Lol* Even if they aren't fancy. I gotta make my $8 worth of fabric last!!! Lol* A girl on a budget can get a little testy when her fabric money's wasted, you know. Lol* On to other things. :)

I made a few of these little pillows yesterday, and gave one as a gift to a sewing buddy who has been very generous to me. She hasn't received it yet, so I hope she likes it. :) I stitched all the buttons & yo-yo's on by hand - there's no hot glue here! Lol* The little white buttons are a from a jar of gorgeous old buttons my Mother gave me. She picked them up at a sale and was so sweet to give them to me when I was eyeing them in her sewing room. Some of the buttons are very old, some are shiny mother-of-pearl, and some that look like they were pulled from old worn out clothing. I love the look of all those buttons randomly mixed together. :) Makes you wonder about all the places they have been. (Although, some of these buttons may have spent a good amount of time in someone's stinky laundry pile, so, maybe reality isn't as romantic as I like to imagine things...Lol*)

Also made this little yo-yo doodad. Don't know what I'll do with it. I'd planned on adding more to it, and maybe I still will, but for now I'm tired of sewing yo-yo's, so, on to something else. Lol*

Made this block for a guild BOM...I'm really loving the black and white and blue! I was inspired by another lady's black and white block, and I'm so glad I switched my colors. Her quilt is going to be gorgeous. Hope mine will be too!

Oh, and last but not least, my little quilt minus the crappy red* I've promised away many quilted throws, so this is likely to become a gift. ;) Have the back all pieced together, just need to buy batting. Will show it off again when it's quilted & bound. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Late Loser Report, and a Topper

I've done a little bit of sewing, here's a top completed a little late for Christmas. These were Moda charms I bought from Fat Quarter Shop, and I was a little disappointed that they weren't all consistently cut to 5 inches. I shouldn't have assumed that they would be, and being the lazy quilter I am, once I started sewing and realized that they weren't, I just kept going. Not such a big deal with this project, but glad I know now to square them up before I use them in something I really care about. This makes me very hesitant to purchase dye cut hexagons or something of that sort now. On the plus side, there was a bonus 1 and 1/2 charms in the pack.

I'm reporting late again, I know it! Lol* I've had a hectic week so far.

Monday evening my youngest came down with what I think was a touch of a stomach virus.

Tuesday, like much of the nation, I was captivated by the inauguration of President Barack event that was on nearly every television channel for most of the day. That was something to see, let me tell you. I loved that the first words you could see him mouth, after taking the oath, were to his wife Michelle. He said, "I love you". Oh, melt my heart.

Today, my dryer decided it was time to retire. He runs but he no longer heats. So Friday you can anticipate we'll be dryer shopping. :)
So on with my report. I haven't been exercising but hopefully that will come. Isn't taking care of two children and one part-time enough? *sigh* My hips say no. So this is what a girl on a budget eats when she's trying to find her figure least for breafast anyhow.

NO - I didn't eat it all at once Sharon!!! Lol*

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scraps, Scraps, & More Scraps

I'm not the most organized person, but I do make an effort when I can. Since my hours spent sewing are precious and few, about six months ago I decided to give Bonnie Hunter's scrap system a shot. I was a little nervous and skeptical at first - it felt as if I was being wasteful, or destroying possibilities for those scraps. Afterall, that's why I've hoarded two 18 gallon rubbermaid tubs worth. I thought to myself, "I really like Bonnie's quilts, but I don't know if I want all of my scraps to be in "everything but the kitchen sink" type quilts", as Bonnie describes her own style. But then I realized, I don't have to throw everything in if I don't want to. I can be choosey of my scraps. I could probably be more choosey of them if I could see them too. See them all nice and neat, pressed, and ready to be sewn. I began slowly cutting and started paying more attention to what sizes and shapes of fabric different scrap patterns I liked would call for. I have always had this "thing" for keeping the same fabric together - scraps or not. So if I had a 2 x 2 inch square of red floral fabric - you bet I'd keep it with the other 2 yards of that same fabric! I thought - "who knows, maybe whatever I use this for will call for a 2" x 2" square! Then I'm ahead of the game!!! I already have one cut!" Lol* Well, I've let go of that mindset a little bit. If it's smaller than 1/4 of a yard, it's a scrap. Done and done. I still have a ridiculous amount of scraps, lol*, but eventually, I will have a very organized, very usable selection of pre-cut scraps.
I haven't made an incredibly significant dent in my bins yet. It's an on-going thing. I've already raided my pre-cut bins several times to find strips already cut to the perfect size for my project. For me, this seems to work. It also gives me some hope that I might be an organized person, someday!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Autumn Cabins: Log Cabin Block

**Cutting instructions are for ONE block. This quilt requires EIGHT log cabin blocks. This way, if you choose to, you can try the block, and then go back and cut for the remaining seven that you will need to finish the quilt.

From Red:
-cut 1 square 3 1/2 x 3 1/2

From Lights (creams & tans):
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 3 1/2
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 5
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 6 1/2
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 8
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 9 1/2
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 11

From Darks (orange, deep purple,olive green, deep blue, deep brown):
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 5
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 6 1/2
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 8
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 9 1/2
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 11
- cut 1 rectangle 2 x 12 1/2

Monday, January 12, 2009

Loser Monday Report

Ok, just some boring kinda sewing going on here over the weekend. My Father-in-Law & Grand-Father-in-Law put me to work hemming some pants they got for Christmas. Been going through the scrap bin for scraps for the EQ quilts but nothing really exciting to show.

So on to my Loser Monday*...well I'm doing ok. I know, just OK. I had a little bit of a stressful week and did some no-no binging. I've decided that I cannot go without coffee or I just sit on the couch all day and eat doughnuts. And pizza. And chocolate. Tomorrow I'm going to force myself to get up and - ugh - excersise. Did I spell it right? See, I do it so little I can't even spell it. My Mom recently had a stroke and I told her I'd try to eat better with her, so I'm workin' really hard to keep my promise. I've been eating salds with dinner, so we still eat out on busy nights when the girls have activities, but at least try to fill up on lettuce before pigging out on greasy fast food. This morning instead of pancakes and bacon I had oatmeal with sliced apples and raisins. See? I'm not doing too bad. I switched to red potatoes and we even had chicken and ranch wheat wraps for dinner the other night.

All right well I'll keep it short since I have no fun pictures to show tonight. Yeah, that's right, NO before pictures! Lol* We'll see how things go. LOL***

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday Diet Report / Teapot Wallhanging Progress

*I tried to post this yesterday, but for some reason blogger gave me a hard time! So my Monday report is on Tuesday this week! Lol* Sorry!*

Sharon at Red Geranium Cottage, who is always so full of inspiring photos and fun stories, is rounding up bloggers to join with her and commit to getting healthy. Every Monday we're reporting our progress and offering our tips and recipes. Lol* She has asked that we get brave and share our before photos (feeling not so brave right now), and eh-hem...our weight. Really Sharon? Do I have to? Well - I have an excuse for that one...*cough* scale broke. Long time ago. So, I had to throw it out. Sorry. :) What I CAN tell you (feeling very very un-brave), is that I don't wear a size 8 anymore. Sadly, I haven't been anywhere near even a size 10 in a very long time. :( Uh, and about that picture. Right now I'm in my penguin pj's, and those are reserved strickly for Hubby's eyes only, so I'll try and get on that next, or, sometime. When I'm feeling semi-brave. Promise. ;)

So, here's what I worked on last night quilt-wise. I bought this kit in October while on the quilt retreat. My Grandmother gave me a few of her teapots from her collection, and I thought this would be the perfect little wallhanging to display near them. Here's the pattern picture...

and my progress...the shelf scarf is an actual diced up shelf scarf. Isn't that a cute idea?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

EQ Quilt Updates & Some Thrifting

Lookee what I found! :) Isn't this vintage embroidered potholder so cute? My Dad rents a booth at an antique co-op and I can't help but shop everytime we stop to see it. Pardon my thumb there in the picture, lol*, I don't know why I felt the need to put my hand down.

A few updates for those of you following or making the EQ quilts I posted about. I changed the name of "Fall Pinwheels" to "Harvest Pinwheels"...doesn't that sound better? :) I've added a place in the sidebar for each quilt so you can easily find all the instructions needed as we go to sew along with me. Since enough people showed interest I decided to make this a full blown "quilt-a-long". Participate as much or as little as you like. This is on a sort of "as I have the time" basis, but I promise I'll try not to let too much time pass in between instructions/steps.

Here are some buttons for you to upload to your sidebar...there are no requirements to take the buttons, so if you want one grab it! :) You don't even have to be sewing along, you can just follow along if you want. :) You don't have to link back to me, but it's nice if you do. :) If you want to make your button a little smaller, then when you upload it to blogger, choose small for the image size. **Edit** Oh wait, no you can't! Lol* You can choose instead, "shrink to fit".

Also, a note for any of you making Autumn Cabins - if you plan on paper piecing the center star blocks you may want to set aside some extra fabric (in addition to what is called for in the fabric requirements). I am a fairly liberated paper piecer (that's a nice way to say wasteful, isn't it? lol*), so I will give measurements for precut strips, but thats as far as it goes. I just cut a chunk from my strip to fit! I don't have patience for too much fussyness, and I don't mind a bit of waste to achieve a better looking block (minus the stress). For those of you who have EQ, the block is called "Four Patch Variable Stars", and is a 12" block. There are a number of ways you could make this one, and I'll do my best to give you a few options.
Well that's about all for today. I finished a mini quilt top but my kids are fighting in there so I'm off for today. :)
**Oh well, really quick, before I run, I'll drop a plug for the Quilts Through the Pages web ring. We're getting a few members going, but it's always nice to have more! I have a few swaps and things planned for this year, so if you're an Elm Creek Quilts fan, and enjoy making some of the quilts inspired by the series of novels, then why don't you join? I created a blog so we can all post and share our projects... - or click on the Quilts Through the Pages ring logo on my sidebar and check out some of the member blogs. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

A very generous giveaway...

A bloggy friend Elin is having a very generous giveaway. Stop by and have a chance to win...and take a peek at the beautiful Dear Jane she's working on while you're there. :) I'm so jealous... :)

Fabric Requirements for Fall Cabins & Autumn Pinwheels

Well, you know, I just had to name my quilts. For fun, and so you know which I'm talking about when! I liked Fall Cabins and Autumn Pinwheels. I'm sure you can guess by the name which is which...notice a theme happening around here? I sort of have a thing for fall. :)

Here are the sizes including borders and EQ6 fabric requirements for the quilts...I don't really trust EQ, or my own cutting skills, so I plan on gathering a little bit more than what EQ calls for. *These fabric requirements do not include fabric for the back or binding.

Autumn Cabins (EQ estimated) Fabric Requirements
Based on 40" wide fabric
Finished Quilt Size (with borders) 68"x68"
(12" finished blocks)

Cream/Tan (background fabric) - 2 yards

Deep Red - 5/8 yard

Rusty Orange - 5/8 yard

Deep Purple (outer border and blocks) - 1 7/8 yards

Deep Brown (inner border and blocks) - 1 1/4 yards

Olive Green - 5/8 yard

Deep Blue - 3/8 yard

Harvest Pinwheels (EQ Estimated) Fabric Requirements

Based on 40" wide fabric

Finished Quilt Size (with borders) 64" x 76"

(12" finished blocks)

Cream/Tan (background) - 1 3/4 yards

Deep Gold - 5/8 yard

Rusty Orange - 1/2 yard

Deep Purple (border and blocks) - 2 3/8 yard

Olive Green (border) - 1 yard

***If you're following along and/or decide to make one of these along with me, I'll be posting instructions as I go in the sidebar. :) Post a comment if you have any questions and I'll try my best to answer. If you're a "no-reply" blogger, then don't forget to leave an email so I can get back to you! :)

***Update 01/04/09*** Just a note that if decide to paper piece those center stars in the Autumn Cabins quilt, you may want to set aside additional fabric. Same goes with the geese in the corners of the borders.