Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Schnibble (and a make up)

It is rainy outside today. Doesn't feel much like summer. I am glad I wasn't tempted with a sunny day since I shackled myself to the sewing machine so I could finish my Schnibble by today's deadline. We had a choice this month between Plan C and Short Story, two of Carrie's cute Schnibble patterns. I went with Short Story since it is a pattern I have wanted to make for a long time. I wanted it to be big so I can snuggle under it. I used my new design wall A LOT for this project and it was so handy. I even used it to take pictures of the finished top since it is too wet outside for an outdoor photo shoot.




I had fun pulling fabric from my stash for this quilt. I pulled from the blue, yellow, orange, green, and brown stacks on my shelves. I am using a lot of my hoarded fabric and it really is more fun to put it in a quilt then to just pick it up and pet it now and then. The background fabric is Kona white.


I also recently finished a Schnibble that should have been finished months ago. I don't even remember which month it was but I know it must have been a busy one for me not to have finished the quilt. It is a nice baby quilt size and that is what it will probably end up being since I have so many friends expecting a baby right now.


This marks the end of A Year of Schnibbles and I had such a good time and won some awesome prizes! Rumor has it they are going to do it another year with some changes to the rules. I can't wait to see what Sherri and Sinta have cooked up for the upcoming year. If you have sat on the sidelines this past year I encourage you to jump in and participate. It is a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Birthday Giveaway

Today is my birthday and I have made it a little tradition of having a giveaway on this day.  So go ahead and leave me a comment and you will be entered to win some goodies.  I haven’t finished putting them together yet but don’t worry, it will be good!

I am also excited that I got a head start on my Charity Quilts for My Birthday goal of 40 charity quilts by the time I turn 40 years old.  Since I figured out that I needed to make 8 quilts every year for the next 5 years and I already have 2 made and donated, I would say that I am ahead of the game right now.  You know who else is doing awesome on her goal is Em from Em’s Scrapbag.  Great job, Em!    

I also wanted to show you what my husband got me for my birthday because I am so excited about it.  I have always wanted a design wall but we really don’t have the space for one.  But now I do! 

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Now here is where the magic happens…

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Isn’t that the coolest?  It is called a Vanishing Design Wall and I saw it advertised in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and pointed it out to my husband.  The design wall is retractable and fits up inside the shelf.  The best part is that you can leave your blocks on the design wall and they stay put when you roll up the wall.  It is so handy! 

The TLC Custom Quilt sign is a gift from my sister from years ago.  I had an online custom baby/toddler bedding business with that name.  I had to close it due to problems with my back and I couldn’t keep up with all the orders.  My husband suggested putting it up there and I really like it.  The little quilt on the design wall is my Doll Quilt Swap 9 quilt top.  The deadline is fast approaching and I need to get it quilted and bound. 

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave me a comment if you want to be entered in the drawing for some goodies!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cruisin'



My husband and I recently got back from an Alaskan cruise. It was our first cruise and we had a wonderful time. We left out of Seattle which was very convenient since this is where we live.


The trip was celebratory for a few reasons. One reason was our 14th wedding anniversary. The other reason was that my husband finished the last of many grueling professional exams. I am so happy for him that he doesn't have that hanging over him anymore. I have two sisters that also live in Seattle and they each took our kids for half of the week. My kids had so much fun with their cousins!! My sisters spoiled them rotten and sent me texts and pictures of all the fun.
Being on a ship out on the water was so exciting and fun. The ship was so big and fun to explore. We stopped in four ports. Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria B.C.


We didn't do any excursions on our trip. We felt like the cruise in itself was exciting enough. In each town we explored, geocached, went hiking, and hit the town's quilt shop.


Alaska is beautiful and we enjoyed the beautiful views. But above all we enjoyed a week long date together. It was so nice to be alone and to be able to give each other all our attention. We had so much fun.



We took dance lessons, ate yummy food, played ping pong, ate yummy food, watched movies under the stars, ate yummy food, enjoyed a comedy show, ate yummy food, watched a magic/illusionist show, ate yummy food... you get the picture.



They treat you like you are important people on the cruise and believe me, I could get used to that! One of the days in the middle of the week we cruised up Tracy Arm fjord and at the end is this incredible glacier. It is huge which you don't realize until you see the little boat in front of it. (click on the picture below to see the boat) I was amazed at the ice blue color of the glacier. It was breathtaking.



My favorite port was Ketchikan. I loved Creek Street with all the shops on stilts in the water.



And the rivers were so thick with fish you could have reached down and grabbed one.



I love this view of our ship towering above the buildings. It really shows how huge it was!




Like I said, at every port I found a quilt shop. My plan was to get a little fabric at each shop to make a quilt that would remind us of our trip. The fabric in every shop was very similar which made this easy.




At the first store I looked around and saw that all the fabric was very Alaskan wildlife, wilderness, etc. So I made a plan to do a bear paw quilt (there are lots of bears in Alaska) and I would feature lots of the Alaskan wildlife and colors of the water, trees, and rocks there. I have always wanted to make a quilt for my husband and told him that I wanted to make this especially for him and asked him to help me pick things out that he liked. It wasn't easy for him and he felt unqualified but I loved having him help design this quilt. He really wanted a fabric that showed the Northern Lights so we picked one out for the border. He also picked out a packet of native pictures on muslin and asked if I could put them on the back. I could have started singing, I was so excited that he was getting involved.


One other crafty thing is that I made myself a wrap around skirt for the trip. I really like how it turned out and it was fun to wear.



I am having a hard time getting back into life after being away. I feel blindsided that the kids are going back to school next week. I have been in denial and hoped that summer could last forever. It also doesn't help that I got my copy of Mockingjay and can't put it down. My birthday is tomorrow so watch for another post because I like to give stuff away on my birthday!










Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Round Robin

I am really enjoying this round robin that I am participating in through my quilt guild.  It has been challenging and fun.  Remember this one that I had to have done by the end of July?  Well, I didn’t add my part until a day before I had to pass it along.  This is very much not my style so it was hard to get motivated and hard to come up with something that would go with the style. SBS

I ended up adding a border with little blocks in the corners that look like wrapped Christmas presents.  I love that block and was excited to get to make a few.  I hope Mary Ann likes my addition to her quilt.

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Here is my next and last round robin quilt to work on.  This one is Susan’s and it is so beautiful.  Susan started with a square of that pretty print in the middle.  I love the little baskets and the appliqued border.  I am thinking about doing a flying geese border.  We will see.  

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In October (I think) will be the big reveal where we will get to see everyone’s quilt tops plus our own.  I can’t wait!!  And it won’t just be our group.  I think there are about four or five other groups that are participating too.  Mine started out like this…

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I can’t wait to see what everyone has added to it.  I will make sure and take my camera that night so you can see all the round robins too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Secret Project Revealed

I have had to keep quiet about this for over a year and I am so excited to finally get to share.  Over a year ago Anne Ida of Quiltoholic contacted me and asked me if I would like to be part of a special project for Jennifer Chiaverini.  Yep,the Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilt novels and one of my favorite authors.  I got to meet her in person at the Sister’s Quilt show years ago AND her publishing company picked my quilt to be in her Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler pattern book.  That was a very exciting moment for me. 

Anne Ida asked and I said YES.  She asked some other quilters too.  We were each asked to remake the cover of one of Jennifer’s books into a quilt block that ended up being about the size of a regular piece of paper.  While we were secretly quilting, Jennifer was writing.  We made the covers of the first 14 books in the Elm Creek Quilt series (currently there are 16).  We all sent our blocks to Anne Ida in Norway and she pieced the top.  Then Val in France did the long arm quilting and also ended up delivering the quilt to Jennifer while she was in the States recently.  The quilt turned out so beautiful.  I love how Anne Ida put our signature blocks in the border on the front of the quilt.        

Book cover quilt

Here is the book cover I was assigned and my interpretation of it on the right. 

winding ways Book cover quilt block

I heard that Jennifer loved the quilt and even had a place in mind to hang it.  In her office where she writes.  Now how awesome is that!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

9 patches

I joined a 9 patch swap over at Julie’s blog, JulieKQuilts

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We could choose to swap 6” blocks, 3” blocks, or both.  I decided to go with the 3” blocks.  The fabric requirement is Civil War Reproduction fabric, which I have none.  Well, besides my Dear Jane fabric which is quarantined and only to be used for that quilt.  So I had to go fabric shopping.  I know, poor me.  I went straight to the Civil War Repro section and after much consideration I decided to go with these two beauties.  A blue paisley and a coordinating dark red.  I think my 9 patches will be very pretty.    

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I am going to use a fun and fast method for making my 9 patches.  I did a tutorial on this method a couple years ago here on my blog.  I am going to repost that tutorial so you can try it too! 

 

Originally posted May 30, 2008

I learned a different way of making nine patches from my friend, Nan, while I was at my retreat. It is a really fun way and I think this is how I will be doing them from now on. They seem to be more accurate and maybe even faster!

Ok, so start with two 4 1/2" squares. One light and one dark. (you will be making two nine patch blocks at the same time)

Put them right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam on opposite sides of the squares. (no, I don't usually sew with bright orange thread. I just used it so you could see the stitches)


Now your going to cut your square into three equal pieces. Each piece should measure 1 1/2". (make sure your cuts are parallel with your stitches)

Take the two sides that are sewn and press the seams towards the dark fabric. Then lay your strips out like this.

Now sew your third strip to the other two. Make sure you are sewing a light, dark, light block and a dark, light, dark block.

This is what your two blocks should look like so far. Right now you have two rail fence blocks but we are going to keep going so we can have two nine patches.

Put your blocks right sides together making sure the strips are going the same way. Here is where the pay off comes for pressing your seams towards the dark fabric. You can fit those seams together like a puzzle. Now stitch your 1/4" seam on opposite sides of the block.

Just like before, you are going to cut your block in three equal parts,1 1/2" each.

Press your seams. Now your ready for the last step. Aren't you excited!

Sew that last strip onto your block with a 1/4" seam. Then press.

Ta-Da!! Two cute little nine patches that will measure 3 1/2". (3" finished)


Here's a view of the back of the blocks.


This is a great way to use up your scrap fabric. There are so many cute quilt designs you can make with nine patches. And you can use this method for any size nine patch you like. Let me know if you try this method and what you think of it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Camping

I love camping.  It is one of my favorite things to do as a family.  I love the smell of a campfire, cooking out in the open, hiking, and making smores.  I love that we get to spend time together without all the distractions that seem to pop up at home.  I love it all.  We usually take one long camping trip every summer.  This summer we went to the Olympic National Forest

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I loved being surrounded by all the gorgeous views.  We took lots of hikes and saw many fun things.  Like this deer that walked right by us and didn’t pay any attention to the fact that my kids were squealing about it.  Or maybe it was me that was squealing, I don’t remember.

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On the same hike we saw the deer we also saw this huge patch of snow.  I love how it is shaped like a heart. 

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We also saw a black bear while we were driving up to Hurricane Ridge to go hiking.  He ran across the road in front of our car.  It was too quick to get a picture but it was so cool.  We were all glad to have seen a bear from the car and not on a hike!

I think my favorite hike was Cape Flattery where we got to see views like this. 

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And for you Twilight fans, we camped about 30 miles from Forks (no we didn’t go there) and went on a hike through a forest near our campsite that looked like they could have filmed the movie there. 

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We also took some time to explore Port Angeles.  We walked around and visited the shops there.  I even found a quilt shop and bought myself some fabric.  We came across this mural being painted.

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My kids were in awe (both aspiring artists) and talked with some of the artists that were working on it.  One of the artists asked my kids names and proceeded to paint their names into the mural.  It was so cool!  Both their names will forever be on a tree trunk of this mural.  How fun!

It is always good to come back home even though there’s always a mountain of laundry to do after a camping trip.  I hope my kids are forming good memories from these trips and that one day they will want to take their kids camping too.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap

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My sister designed this button for the swap.  Isn’t it cute?!

I feel very lucky to be in the Doll Quilt Swap this round.  Especially because so many people wanted to be a part of it that they held a lottery to pick the participants.  We all waited anxiously to see if we got in.  I did a happy dance when I found out I got in.  You should have seen it.  It was awesome. 

When you get your partner’s name for this secret swap, you start stalking right away.  That is one of the best parts of the swap.  You read their blog, stroll their Flickr photostream, and check out their favorites.  Before I show you what I decided on for this round, I want to show you what I have made for past partners. 

Click on the links to see the original post and more pictures of each quilt.

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DQS7

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DQS4

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That was fun!  Ok, so this round my partner seems to like patchwork and linen.  So I took this fabric…

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And I fussy cut it into these…

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Then I looked through my stash and pulled coordinating brights (and then some) to make these…

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Then I put them together and added some borders.  So here is my quilt top for DQS9!

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I want to mention that my inspiration came from this post over at Joan’s blog Wishes, True and Kind.  She does a great little tutorial so you can make your own Bright Hopes blocks.  Now I am deciding how I am going to piece the back.  I will let you know when I decide.  Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me!

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