Monday, June 29, 2009

Shop Hoppin'

The kids and I spent last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings doing the Western Washington Shop Hop. There were over 55 quilt shops that participated in the hop. We only got to 12 shops. My kids were really good, but 12 shops ended up being their max. The kids and I each had a passport that we took into each store and got it stamped. Then I would get a pattern and some of the fabric to make that shop's block (most of the shops sold additional fabric for around $1 to be able to make the whole block) and the kids got to pick out a charm square of fabric. You can see a sample here of what a quilt would look like if you picked up most all the blocks from all the stores. It is really fun to see all the different quilt shops and see what kinds of fabrics they offer. I have a lot of great choices for places to shop for fabric for my quilts!

I really kept it in control with the spending. I bought this t-shirt from Bayside Quilting in Olympia, Washinton. I have wanted one of these for a while and it was fun to shop there for the first time. Of course I had to buy it in my favorite color, red. Don't you love how she is holding a rotary cutter!

Another purchase I am excited about is one that I made at Trains in Tacoma, Washington. This is such a great store but I don't think they have a website so I don't have a link. Donna is the owner and her prices are really good. She has a great selection of fabrics. When I saw her shelves of solids I knew that I had to pick out the fabric for a quilt that Rebekah made that I coudn't stop thinking about!! So I picked out colors I loved and that I felt looked nice together. Then I went looking for a fabric that incorporated those colors for a fun binding. The print I picked is a Kaffe Fassett and I love the look of it.

I am excited to make my 12 blocks from shop hop. My friend, Lou, is giving me some extra blocks she got from shop hopping with a friend that collected blocks but doesn't quilt. And Lou is giving some of them to me! Yay!

Yesterday I sat down and hand sewed the binding down on my braided table runner. Not my favorite part of the quilting process but I like the look of it so much that I suffer through.

And I ran over to JoAnns this morning for some basting spray and the backing for my quilt along quilt. I found the perfect fabric that is cute and has the same colors as the quilt top. Yay! I love it when that happens! Only bummer is there wasn't enough left on the bolt so I will have to piece the back. I am sure I will end up glad it happened this way because I do love the look of a pieced back.

My kids are each working on a paint by numbers kit right now. My daughter finished one yesterday and it turned out so wonderful that we picked up two at JoAnns today. I am off to work on my quilt along quilt.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


My blocks for the next installment of the 9 patch swap...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quilt Along

Last year I spent my birthday in San Diego with my sister and we went to the San Diego Quilt Show. At the show my sister bought me a fat quarter pack of fabric called Rhapsody. I have since added to them and was saving them for something special.

When I read about the Old Red Barn quilt along, I knew I wanted to participate and that I would finally get to use these gorgeous fabrics. Because I am working with fat quarters (instead of the half yards recommended) I changed the block size to a 10 1/2" block to get the most use of my fabric. I had fun arranging my strips for the blocks so that there would be a good variety.

When sewing my blocks together I like to avoid sewing rows. I get bored by sewing row after row and then sewing the rows together. So I sew mine into bigger blocks and then I sew the bigger blocks together. It may not be faster, but it feels faster and that is most important.

I usually lay my quilt blocks out in the family room but I sew in the dining room. It is amazing how that layout you painstakingly worked on can get messed up just one room away. So I take a picture of each block grouping before I sew them together. When I am at the machine I can double check the arrangement on my camera.

Here is my quilt top all done! I love how it turned out!

Now I just need to decide how to quilt it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap

I finished my little quilt for the Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap. I used three fat quarters, all the same print in three different colors, and some white fabric.

You can't go wrong with pinwheels, they are just cute!

I made a little border on two sides. I used a dresden plate template and alternated the three prints. It blends so much it almost looks like I created a new fabric. I like how this little quilt turned out. I hope the quilter I am sending it to likes it too!

And look, my baby's back! I even got to unwrap her. It was like Christmas!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

5th Grade Celebration

My first born is going into middle school next year. I agreed to head up the decorations committee for the celebration of the 5th graders that will be moving on to middle school. She is sad to be leaving the only school she has known for the past six years but is looking forward to what's next.

The party had a Luau theme. I made these cut outs of all the 5th graders. It was a lot of work and I got some help from some other moms which was wonderful. I also got a lot of help from my kids who every day after school would beg me to give them cut outs to work on while I read Harry Potter to them. No problem! I can do that!

We also put up papers that they wrote what they want to be when they grow up and their favorite memories from elementary school.

I have a very sweet friend that let me borrow a lot of her Luau decorations which helped the budget and saved me from a lot of shopping time. I covered the tables in paper and set out crayons. It ended up being a hit and really helped with the younger siblings and even some bored parents.

I must say that I am glad it is behind me now. It was all consuming for a while and a bit of a stress. At the party they had a slide show that showed the kids through the years. It was set to music and I had a hard time keeping the tears in. I am so proud of my daughter and the choices she is making in her life. I am excited for her as she learns and grows and becomes a lovely young lady.

On a side note...we had a visitor in our backyard a few days ago.

A parrot! It was up there talking away which of course got our attention. It visited for a few hours and then spread its wings and flew up over the houses and off into the sunset. Weird...but fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Race

Saturday my family did the Sound to Narrows 5k walk. It was our first time to do anything like this and it was a lot of fun. The kids did great and enjoyed getting the t-shirts and all the freebies after the race.

I would have to say that the coolest part was meeting and getting my picture with Ali Vincent, the winner of The Biggest Loser season 5. I love that show and I loved her and her mom, Bette-Sue, when I watched that season. She is an inspiration for getting healthy and staying that way.

Maybe someday our family will be running the 5k.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bye Bye Baby

I took my baby (Bernina sewing machine) to the doctor and dropped her off for who knows how long. It is just for a check up and to look into a few issues she is having. They are issues that she has always had, I bought her used off ebay, and I have learned to live without them. But since I was taking her in I thought I would see if they could be fixed. It would be so nice to have those features that I have never had since I bought her.

I have had my Bernina for about 5 years (I think) and I have never taken her for a check up and cleaning (sounds like the dentist!). The reason is that I don't have a good back up and it is never a good time to be without a good, working sewing machine. I was explaining this to my friends at my recent retreat as they were gathered around in shock at the full grown dust bunnies living in my machine. Right then and there my friend Mimi said that I could take her machine home with me and it would be my back up so that I could send my baby to the doctor. Can you believe the generosity! I couldn't! I was amazed. A couple days later when she was leaving the retreat she marched over, set her machine down by my side, and said goodbye.

Here is the little beauty that she is letting me borrow. It is a Janome, a brand I have never used. I am enjoying using another machine although I do feel like I am cheating on my Bernina. I am glad she is not her to see it.

I am especially enjoying this 1/4" foot with a guide on it. I don't have one and have always wanted to try one out. I really like it!! I don't think Bernina offers one for my machine but I am not sure about that.

Here is another feature my machine doesn't have. A button that controls the speed of the machine. This is clever, but not for me. I keep it on the fastest speed and even then I wish it were a bit faster. I am a sewing speed demon.

I was at my guild meeting the other day and was sitting with my friend, Ada. I told her that I had taken my baby in (she was one of the shocked quilters at the retreat) and thought I should share this with her so she could get a full nights sleep again. I told her of Mimi's generosity that made it possible. Ada says to me, "You should have told me you needed a back up. You could have borrowed one of my machines. I have 17." WHAT!! I was sure I heard incorrectly. Seventeen machines! Wow! She has since sent me a list of her machines and she doesn't have 17. She has 18. Yep.
Maybe lots of machines is more the norm than I thought. So I am dying to know. How many do you have?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quilt Show - part 9

This was the Community Service area at the show. This is the part of our guild that makes charity quilts and we call ourselves the Joyful Quilters. We give away quilts to numerous organizations, our biggest donation goes to Royal Family Kids Camps. We meet a couple Fridays a month at the Calico Cat.

This is our Small Quilt sales booth. Everything is donated from members of the guild and the money from sales benefits the guild.

This was our Desert Cafe. We had refreshments donated by the guild members for people that came to the show.

This was the Boutique, a place for members of the guild to sell items that they made.

I just have one picture of the shopping. We had a lot of vendors and they were all wonderful.

After I worked on Saturday of the show, I did a little shopping. I spent most of my time at The Quilted B .com booth and I met the owner, Barb. She was so nice and such a wonderful, genuine person. Barb has an online store so I thought I would share it with you since it is easy for anyone to shop with her.

I was drawn to her booth and spent way too long in there trying to decide what to get. Everything was so cute and packaged so cute. She had the cutest kits and fabric bundles. I finally decided on this...

and this...

Then I bought this cute coordinating dot and stripe fabrics at the Quilted Gypsy. I hope to show you soon what my plans are for this.

Paper piecing is my favorite technique. I couldn't help myself when I was in the Seminole booth.

After the show was over I traded one of my washcloth bundles from the Boutique for this cute charm pack. Thanks Amber!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quilt Show - part 8

Remember when I pointed out our featured artist, Mary Allen, and the quilt of her granddaughter? Well here is a quilt using the same technique but in gray scale.

Check out this detail!

Lovely florals with a cute picket fence

This quilt uses a really cool technique. They are just four patches. You cut the fabric from the repeat of the pattern so that your four pieces are identical and then you just play with them until you find an arrangement you like. With this floral she made new four patch flowers. You can see the fabric she started with in the borders. Isn't it gorgeous!

This quilt is machine pieced. The border is hand appliqued and the entire quilt is hand quilted. This is a wedding quilt and all the wedding guests signed it in the bigger cream pieces in the middle of the quilt. It is an incredible investment of time and love from the quilter for her son and new daughter-in-law.

Here is another stunning quilt. She didn't have it judged (we all think she should have) but she did get the President's Choice award from our guild president.

Ah, a classic Double Irish Chain

And another classic Trip Around the World pattern

That's all for the quilts portion of the show. Come back tomorrow for one more quilt show post!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Quilt Show- part 7

A Christmas table runner. It looks like the candles have lit the upper part of the stars. Cool effect.


The border on this quilt is incredible.



Our national anthem is written in free-motion quilting in the stripes. Amazing!


Wool Applique


Are you sick of this yet? I hope not because I have a few more.
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