Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quilt Show, Day Three - College Quilts

Hi and welcome back! I hope you're enjoying your quilt show! Today I have two graduation quilts that I made for the son and daughter of dear friends. This family lives in Ohio and they are ardent Cleveland Browns fans which makes for an interesting rivalry during football season, given the fact that my guys are all all rabid Steelers fans.

When their son Taylor was going off to OSU, I made him this Browns quilt and let me just tell you, working with that neon orange about killed me. Plus, I had severe basting issues and the final product looks wrinkly and baggy. I'm just going to say that I was Celebrating Imperfection!:

Here's the back. I kind of like it better than the front, LOL.

When it was their daughter Alysia's turn to go off to OSU, I made her something a little more feminine. I drew the flower design myself, but our cat, Kong, was also instrumental in the creation of this quilt. (Don't worry, that family loves cats, too.)

Here are a couple of pictures of it on my longarm machine.

And here it is on Alysia's bed at college. All that work on the flowers, and she liked the back! LOL, hey, as long as she's using it, who cares which side is up, right?
I'll be back tomorrow with some more quilt pics. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Quilt Show, Day Two - Wedding Quilt #2

Welcome to day two of my quilt show! Today I have pictures of the wedding quilt I made for our younger son and his wife, Sarah.

They have a painting of a Pacific ocean sunset and Sarah requested that I incorporate the colors in that painting (pinks, golds and purples) for her quilt. I used Bonnie Hunter's Birds in Flight pattern and made it in a queen size.
Here it is as a top:
And here are some pics of it on my longarm. (Even though this quilt was pretty huge, it didn't have the complexity of the Monterrey Medallions quilt, so I got brave and decided to quilt this one myself. I freehand quilted an allover meander and some (pretty amateurish) ribbon curls in the borders.

Here it is, all bound and ready to go
And here's the back, showing the scrappy binding I made.
Thanks for popping in! Come back tomorrow for day three of the eye candy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quilt Show, Day One - Wedding Quilt #1

For day one's eye candy I have for you some pics of the wedding quilt I made for our older son and daughter-in-law. It's a pattern called Monterrey Medallions by Atkinson Designs.

The Monterrey Medallions booklet offers the pattern in several levels of difficulty. In order to make things as stressful for myself as possible, I chose the hardest version, entitled "Challenge Medallion". It lived up to its name, but I do credit working on this quilt with improving my accuracy in piecing quilts.

Even though I had recently purchased my own longarm machine, this quilt was HUGE and I was really scared to quilt it myself. Instead, the quilting was done by Bonnie Hunter - I thought she did a fabulous job!

Here it is as a top:

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it already bound, but here are pics that Bonnie took during and after quilting:

Hope you enjoyed day one of the eye candy quilt show! Pop in tomorrow for day two, and thanks for stopping by!

Thank You

We are probably not going to have Internet access for the next few days, so I have set up some posts to be sort of a quilt show. However, I just wanted to pop in to say thank you to everyone who has emailed or commented kindly about the loss of our Koy. She had been ill for a long time and we had done everything possible - the vet said we were out of options, but anyone who has had pets know that doesn't make it any better. And it's always WAY harder than you think it's going to be.

Anyway, thanks. Hopefully, I'll be up and running (live) in a few days...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Our special friend - our beloved cat Koy the Princess passed away today.
We'll see you at the Rainbow Bridge, Koy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Paper Bag Floors

Today I have one of our more bizarre home improvements to show you. A while back, the vinyl flooring in our foyer/kitchen was really starting to look worn. We also had some parquet flooring in the dining room that I just hated and some carpeting in the living room that I was not overly fond of, either.

Since it was really not in the budget to replace most of the flooring in the downstairs of the house, I began to search around for some sort of quick fix that might last for a year or two. I suddenly remembered reading an article in a magazine years before about a paper bag floor! Of course, I no longer had the magazine, but with the wonders of the Internet, I researched the method(s) like THIS and THIS, and came up with a plan.

First, we tore up the old parquet and the carpeting.

There was adhesive and various other lumpy stuff left on the floor, so we laid a layer of luaun (really thin plywood underlayment) to smooth things out.

We sealed the luaun by painting over it with whatever leftover paint we had.

Now here is where I should have taken more pictures. I did the paper bag part while my husband was at work and it was WAY TOO MESSY to be snapping pictures! I used rolls of brown paper from Lowe's (the kind they roll out to protect your carpet if you have construction going on in your house.) It was a little bit back-breaking, but the hardest part was keeping the cats off it until the polyurethane dried!

So here are some pics of the finished flooring:

Turned out okay, right? I have to say it has held up fairly well, considering it's PAPER! It's been several years now and it still looks pretty good. It did shrink up around one of the floor vent areas, but it's behind the kitchen table and is not obvious. Not bad for a temporary fix!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Eye Candy UFOs

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I have an entire closet full of UFOs. For those of you who don't quilt...NO, I'm not saying there are aliens in my closet (although it's such a mess that anything's possible, I guess.) UFOs are UnFinished Objects. They can't be called "quilts", because they're not quilted!

Like most quilters, I feel bad when I look at my UFOs. They make me feel pretty guilty and they also make me question my sanity, as to why I keep starting stuff and not finishing it. Therefore, let me zip through these real quick. I have my eyes closed, so I hope I'm putting the captions by the correct pictures, LOL!

Heartfelt Welcome (before the borders were added) by Pat Sloan:
Katie's Tulips,also by Pat Sloan. Sorry the pic is blurry:

This is Chocolate and Cheddar by Jo Morton. Can you believe that my dear friend Linda SENT ME THE FABRIC FOR THIS, ALREADY ALL CUT UP AS A LITTLE KIT!! Linda is amazing! I just love how it turned out! (I promise I'll quilt it SOON, Linda!!)

And here's another one, a Nine Patch, made with blocks from an swap with Jo Morton's Yahoo group. Sorry it's blurry, too:

And last but not least, here is a little Nine Patch top I made for Halloween. Maybe it will be quilted by NEXT Halloween. But I doubt it, because after all, by then I'll know if our second grandchild will be a boy or a girl and either way, you know that news is going to send me into a sewing/embroidering frenzy!
Is that all of my UFOs? NO. Is it all I'm showing you today? YES, LOL. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for popping in!

***NOTE*** If you are reading in Google Reader, you are going to see this post twice, for some reason. Ahhh, the wonders of Blogger...I just didn't want you to think I had lost it altogether!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another From the Files

Once again, I have nothing to show for today's efforts! I did finish the backing for Zoey's quilt, but didn't get a picture yet, so I'll show you that tomorrow. I spent the day working on YET ANOTHER surprise, so I can't show you that, either!

It occurred to me the other day that I've never shown you the type of projects I usually work on. All the lime greens and hot pinks that you've seen are a huge departure for me, since my true love as far as quilting goes is Civil War reproduction fabrics. I dug around and found some pictures for you. These blocks are some that I've made from Lori Smith's Pieces of Time pattern.

Some blocks are repeated in the pictures.

I love to do applique, especially needleturn applique.

That's it for today. I'm having some issues with my eye, so I'm going to sign off for tonight. I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully with something to show! Hope you enjoyed the mini quilt show, and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zoey's Quilt Top!

Well, I'm finally done with a project I've been working on all afternoon and I do have to say that it turned out pretty fabulous. YES, there were some bumpy parts...sort of a wart. Unfortunately, since this project is a surprise, I can't show you it yet. Soon, my darlings, soon...

I do have something to show you, though! I finished Zoey's quilt top and snapped a quick couple of pics this afternoon. I was eager to get back to work on the mystery project and I was REALLY eager to get out of the 105 DEGREE HEAT, so these might be the worst quilt pics I've ever taken. Anyway, it will be enough to give you the general idea, although it really is cuter in person.
Told you they were bad pictures. That bottom border really doesn't take a sharp left like it looks.
So that's it for today - I'm ready to nod off as I type!
I hope I'll have something fun to show you tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Warts and All

Before I explain the title of this post and the somewhat bizarre-looking bird above, let me just show you yesterday's total progress on Zoey's quilt.
Not very impressive. Even if you don't quilt, you can probably tell that I didn't get a lot done, given the fact that I worked on it ALL DAY LONG. Why? Because I spent a LOT of time reverse-sewing, otherwise known as ripping out.

First, Foster alerted me to a piecing error. The plaid is sewn wrong-side-up.
Then there were more piecing errors...blocks that were rotated like those in the picture below. This particular type of error happened a total of three times - I guess because I was too obsessed with focused on color placement. In fact, once I got the errors corrected, I still wound up totally ripping apart and rearranging two rows of blocks before I finally made myself STOP.
Now, about the bird...I had a lot of thinking time as I was ripping out, and it occurred to me that bloggers don't seem to post pictures of the 'warts' in their lives. They seem to be spending their afternoons watching their beautiful children (who are wearing handmade clothes) picking wildflowers in a field.

MY life never has been like that! I was more likely to be spending my afternoon in the E.R. because one of our boys scratched the other one's cornea while they were wrestling over a plastic Halloween mask. Or I might be running all over town to find a replacement globe for the ceiling fan after one of the boys broke it while swinging a boat oar at the other one's head.

So in the interest of honesty, I'm pledging to tell you about the mess-ups and mistakes in my projects. If my disasters are pictures-worthy, I'll even stop to snap a pic of it, warts and all. Not every single wart, mind probably don't have that much time. But just enough to let you know that my life is not about lounging in a field.

I got so excited about the whole Imperfection thing that I created a button for my sidebar. Why Celebrate Imperfection? Because it's reality. Mistakes are going to happen and fixing those mistakes helps us grow.

Thanks for popping in! If you're a blogger and you're into reality, feel free to grab a button! As for me, I'm off to work on Zoey's quilt...and hopefully I won't find toooo many more warts!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bright New Beginnings

Don't you just love the hopefulness (and sometimes orderliness) of new beginnings? I have several brand-new things going on today!

First, do you LOVE the brand-new look of my blog?? If you are reading in Google Reader, you'll have to actually go to the blog itself to see any changes. I was very jealous of inspired by my friend Cassie's clean, streamlined look on her blog. Since I can't seem to have an original thought was just muddling along when I first set up this blog, I thought an update was in order. I think it looks cleaner...less cluttered and stressful. What do you think??

And then, what could be more hopeful and cheery than the beginnings of a brand-new baby quilt?! I cut the pieces for Zoey's quilt and you can go HERE to see the awesome pattern! (Thanks so much to the talented Elizabeth Hartman for publishing this simple, MODERN baby quilt pattern!)

So here's a pic of the quilt-to-be. We won't talk about the fact that I made a mistake when cutting and wound up having to cut WAY MANY extra pieces. I had not realized that yet when I snapped the picture, but it's obvious from Foster's disdainful expression that he HAD. Never mind, it's fine now.

And finally, I'm posting really early today because I MAY run up to school to start setting up my classroom. Ms. Zoey is due to make her appearance the week BEFORE I'm supposed to report to school. However, if she decides to make her appearance later than she's supposed to, I might wind up missing the set-up days. I'm trying to plan ahead for the beginning of a brand-new school year.

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have a second, please drop me a quick comment about the blog's new look!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fun Day Sunday!

Today's book is about a quiltmaker, but that's not the best thing about it. The BEST thing about this book is that it illustrates in a beautiful way the joy we derive from giving to others!
First, snuggle up and read the book with your child. This week's comprehension questions might include "Why was the quiltmaker so happy if she didn't have any money?" Your child is sure to have grasped the concept that it gives us great joy to give to others and the joy is doubled if it's something handmade!
And now for the gift-making's Christmas in July!! Since the recipient's name will not appear on the ornament, your child can make a gift for his/her teacher, bus driver, cafeteria worker (whoever touches his/her life!) and store it for holiday gift giving.

I used a rubber ring from a Target prescription bottle (as I did for Zoey's Family Tree), but if you don't have those, just cut a ring out of tagboard. Your child can choose a color of tissue paper and cut a strip. It won't matter if the strip is wonky-looking or if it's even one continuous strip. Let him/her help you wrap the ring...I spritzed my ring with temporary adhesive spray, but you could just hold the tissue on there to get it started:
Have your child to give it a couple of coats of Mod Podge, allowing the ring to dry between coats. (I hung my wet ring from a piece of wire so that it didn't glue itself to the plate as it dried.)When it's dry, the real fun begins! Have your child choose some clip art the recipient. I made an ornament for a hard-working school bus driver, but the possibilities are limitless. Let your child use a hole punch to make circles for holly berries and cut out some little holly leaves...
Let your child choose some clipart -print it on tagboard or on regular paper and then glue it to tagboard to make it sturdy. Help your child trace around an unwrapped ring to get a cut line. Before you cut it, adhere (using temporary adhesive spray) some cheery fabric to the back of the clip art. Then cut on your traced line and use Elmer's to glue it to the back of the wrapped ring!
That's it! Just don't forget to attach something to hang it with. I ran a piece of embroidery floss through the ring before I attached the back.

I hope your child enjoys the book and the activity and is excited about the joy we feel from giving handmade gifts! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Don't You Just Love It...

Don't you just love it when things work out perfectly? I think I mentioned yesterday that the fabrics I'd bought would work perfectly in Zoey's room. Zoey's momma is doing the nursery in kind of a lime/apple and lavender color scheme.
I walked into a store today looking for tissue paper and LOOK what I found!!!
Seriously, could that little tuffet be much more perfect than it is?! (I inserted that link especially for Zoey's daddy, who thought the word "tuffet" was just made up for the nursery rhyme, LOL)

So then I went to the quilt store AGAIN to buy more fabric for the spoiled little princess's Zoey's quilt. This picture is kind of a funny color, but maybe you can see the cute green/white check, almost like a gingham. The lilac with the soft, tiny dots (in the center) is going to be the background for this quilt.
And then, be still my HEART!! Just check out this green/yellow/robin's egg blue/brown leaf print, below!! This picture does not do it justice - it's just gorgeous in person. Now Zoey's momma DID say she liked SOFT yellow, but I think when I cut that print up into smaller pieces, it will add just the zing the little quilt will need. That's the theory, anyway.
And finally, after I ran all over the place in the ridiculous heat, I did manage to come home and make a couple of cute freestanding bees. They are about the size of a quarter...should have had a quarter in the picture so that you could tell. They look fuzzy because they have not been trimmed up yet. They will be finding a home on an embellished onesie real soon.

So that's it. Not too much to show for myself, but I plan to have a big day tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that it all works out perfectly for me, LOL!

Thanks for popping in and don't forget to come back tomorrow for Fun Day Sunday. This week, the subject of the book is one that's close to my heart...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finally, a Finish!

Finally, I have something to show you today! This morning, I went to the quilt store to get a freebie that they were offering - this little zippered thing that unfolds into a tote. Very cute! I got the freebie, alright. I also got this:
Those colors are off. That dark blue is really purple. And I got this:
Oh yeah, and this:

Hmmm, now I'm understanding why the quilt store thought giving out freebies was a good idea, LOL! Well, in my own defense, I DID promise to make Zoey a baby quilt. And the colors were perfect for her room. And they were on SALE. (Well, most of them were, anyway.)

I did actually finish something today, which is pretty exciting, considering I was running around spending money errands all morning. I finally finished the wool felt purse for little "L".

I hope she likes it! I'm making a matching hair clip for her, too. Hopefully, I will manage to finish it a little faster than I did the purse! I'll be putting pics of them both into my Etsy store.
Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment if you have a second! Your comments make my day!