Sunday, December 18, 2011

Date Night Inspired

Motorcycle scarf

Monday night was date night for my honey and me. He took me to an outdoor Christmas light display spanning a 65 acre garden estate. It was gorgeous! Being an outdoor date and the temperatures finally beginning to get cold here on the Southern Gulf Coast, I was concerned about being too cold to enjoy the stroll among the illuminated grounds. Add the humidity of the South with cold air and you can feel it to your bones, at least I can. The temperature was in the low sixties. I decided on a long sleeve t-shirt under a sweatshirt, with a hoodie and a scarf, then we were off.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Shhh, It's a Christmas Gift

Initial applique pillow


This is my first ever fusible web applique project. I've always wanted to try this method of applique and finally got around to it. It was pretty fun. Read along and see how I did it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tool Talk: Needle Threading

Desktop needle threader

There is only one way to thread a needle; put the thread through the eye. Of course this can be done by hand, but my goodness have you seen the tiny little holes in some of those quilting needles? Some can only be seen with a magnifying glass, talk about tiny. And the thread, so thin. What is a person with chubby fingers to do?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

QIP: Disappearing Nine Patch


Time to bind


I finally have my disappearing nine-patch off the quilt frame and ready for binding. After sewing my two and a half inch strips together for the binding, I pressed them in half. I used to just hold them with my finger and then I thought, oh, this cover is soft let's try pinning it. It really worked nicely and saved my fingers from the steam.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Contemplation

Disappearing Nine Patch

Here it is the completed disappearing nine patch, I call it "Contemplation". Contemplation because I have thought on the fabrics for years, not for them to go into this particular quilt but in quilts for other people. Once I got the fabrics home and prepped, I thought they were so pretty I didn't want to cut them.To get over this I decided to cut a piece from each fabric so when this quilt was completed, all the fabric would already be cut and I'd be on my way to making many more quilts. Some of them have been waiting to fulfill their destiny for over seventeen years.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You!


I'd would like to use this weeks post to thank all of the Veterans, men and women, who have served and those who are currently serving to protect our freedoms. Because you made the choice  to serve you make it possible for every American citizen to have the opportunity to live a life determined by their own choices. To you, the American Solider, it is with great gratitude that I say thank you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Twitter and IQF 2011

Tweet Tweet
The super bowl of quilting, International Quilt Festival, is happening this weekend in Houston, Texas. I had plans to be there but due to some conflicted scheduling I was unable to attend. This would have been my first quilt fest. I was disappointed that I couldn't be there, but you know what they say, stuff happens.


I've been following @QuiltFestival on twitter and being apprised of all the goings on in real time via this 140 character or less tweet sensation. I found out through a tweet from@QuiltFestival that IQF had a twitter board at the show and by using the hash tag quitlfestival my tweet would show up on the board to be read by all the festival goers. So I tweeted away and this tweet; "My tweet is @QuiltFestival even when I'm not. #QuiltFestival Isn't technology grand!not only showed up on the board but it was also retweeted by @QuiltFestival itself! To twitter and IQF, thank you for making it possible for me to be a part of this event. Even though I couldn't actually be there, I could still share in the excitement. Until next year when I will be there in person this (my first memory of IQF) will carry me through.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Harvesting Weekend

Friday gatherings
Saturday gatherings



More, more more!

It all started Wednesday, with a sales paper my Maw-Maw saved for me. (For those of you not from the South, Maw-Maw would be Grandmother.) She gets the newspaper everyday and saves me all the coupons. Thanks Maw-Maw! This sales paper was for a local fabric store with great deals and 40% off coupons. I perused the sales paper making a mental list of things I would check out once at the store, the sale starts Friday.









As I do with any trip to the fabric store, especially when a sale is on, I set myself a budget. This is more of  a self control measure than anything, otherwise I'd probably have to bring a trailer to haul all my newly purchased goodies home. I also like the challenge of working within a budget, it's kind of like a game for me, I see how many combinations I can come up with that fit the budget and then pick the one I like most and bring it home. My husband thinks I'm nuts! He says just buy it all, but I can't change the rules of my game. I like the self-imposed restrictions, as sick as that my seem to some, I believe it is part of my creative process.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

UFO Sighting

UFO pile up

Unfinished objects may be bigger than they appear

While I searched for photos to post I spotted a UFO, or a bunch of them depending on how you look at it. In the quilting world a UFO is any UnFinished Object. It seems to be a normally occurring event for most quilters. I made these blocks back in 2005, I was in the mood to make some blocks on afternoon, grabbed a few fabrics that went together and started making strip sets. As you can see I had way more red and blue fabric than I did white. With the left over blue and red strip sets I made the nine patch blocks. Yes, this is one of those times I made blocks with no vision of a finished quilt. After I finished sewing I ended up with eight blue cornered nine patches, eight red cornered nine patches, and thirty six red, white, and blue bar blocks, each with a six inch finish size. I put the blocks away and went on with life.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Make a Nine Patch Disappear

Squaring up a block


It's so hip to be square!

My current quilt in progress (QIP) is based on the block design called disappearing nine patch. It is a nine patch block cut through the center vertically and horizontally to form a completely new set of four blocks. To follow is the process I went through to get this quilt started. I say on this quilt because sometimes I make blocks just to make them with no end result in mind, but that's another story.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stash Building

Some of my stash


Stash away, stash away, stash away all... All the fabric that I can!

I began building my stash long before I started my first quilt. I love fabric! When I began shopping for fabric I had no idea about the quilts it would be used to make. I just knew one day I'd use it in one.

Fabric can get a bit pricey and usually when quilting you go shopping for fabric knowing the design, pattern, size of and amount of fabric you will need already figured out. Not me! Like I've said, I live dangerously in the world of quilting; I don't follow all the rules, I don't like to follow patterns. I buy fat quarters by the armful! I save up all year and I can't wait for the local quilt shop's annual fat quarter frenzy! Yes, I know I can buy fat quarters anytime but I like working within a budget, the not knowing what's going to be available when I get there, the vision of all the bundles laid out before me like a field of fabric just waiting for the good ones to be harvested by me! I shop the remnant bin at the local fabric and craft stores! Nothing has to match, I just buy what I like. I like the challenge of not knowing how the fabric will be used.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Check It Out

Books about quilting from my personal
collection and the local library

Reading is a gift to yourself 

The only thing I like to promote more than an appreciation for quilting is a love of reading. I will stop whatever I am doing to read to a child. Teaching a child to read and helping them develop a love for reading is one of the most important investments you can make in their future. 

A child is never to young to be read to. Read to them before they're born, even when they are asleep they can still hear you. For those with young children in their lives read to them, take them to the local library for story time. Even if they are too young to read a book themselves let them pick their own book, get them their own library card. The library has a great selection of books for all ages. Just having and being around books can help build an interest. If a child asks you to read to them, do it. Nothing could be more important than the five minutes you spend reading to them. You'll never know the impact a single moment could have on someone's life.  Read aloud with the elementary aged child, read the same book along with the upper elementary child in your life. Have your own book club with the pre-teens and teens in your life. It only takes two to get started. Adults, if you are interested in a subject and don't know if you really want to dive into it head first, check out  a young adult or children's book on the subject. They hit the highlights and then you'll know if you want more detailed information. 

You can impress upon others the importance of reading by reading yourself. Volunteer to read at a school library during National Library Week (usually in April) or anytime. Support your local library. Reading is knowledge and knowledge is the only thing that is truly yours that no one can take away.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Makes a Quilt a Quilt



Hand quilting on a no-baste quilt frame


A quilt is an artistic expression of love

I've always held firm that a quilt isn't a quilt unless it is hand quilted. As I have embraced quilting as a full time en devour, I am finding this thought needs to be reconsidered. I have so many ideas in my head that hand quilting will not possible afford me the time to get them all created. I have so many quilts on my list for family members and friends, many I want to do for charity, and also ones for the art and fun of it. I have a dilemma. If I continue to hand quilt I will surely never get all the designs and ideas out of my head and into creation. However, if I don't hand quilt them will I be short-changing someone of what I truly believe a quilt to be?

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Earliest Quilt Memory


Me--The Early Days

It’s amazing what a child’s mind holds onto 
that creates the person they become.

It was mainly red fabric with little yellow and white flowers with black stems. I don’t know who made it, or how I came to have it but I do remember it, my first quilt. I was no more than five or six years old when I received it. I loved my quilt. Then my quilt went away.

I remember the last time I saw my quilt. My little sister, my cousin and I accompanied my parents as they helped my aunt move. The last of her things in the car, we drive off, I saw a man standing there with my quilt in his hands. Why did he have my quilt? I would never see my quilt again.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Sampler


The Chili Pepper Sampler

I love color, the bolder, the brighter, the better.


After my experience with the quilt guild I decided I needed to get some instruction in the how-to of quilting. I had been printing instructions from the internet for years. So much information is out there it became overwhelming. I’d scan articles quickly and print them out to read thoroughly later and never got around to the reading part. I had accumulated a huge binder full of internet instruction.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friendship Starfish

Friendship Starfish Totes


I have a confession to make, I LOVE FAT QUARTERS!


I like to live dangerously in the quilting world. I don’t like to follow patterns for quilts. I’m a rebel! I see a block I like and I get busy making it. I don’t know where I will end up. I just grab a bunch of fabrics from my ever growing fat quarter stash and get sewing. I make as many blocks as I can from what I have selected. When I run out of fabric I take a step back and assess the situation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How Do I...

I'd like to answer some questions I have received concerning joining my blog. To do this, click on the "join this site" button to the right. A window or drop down menu will appear with several choices of how to sign in. You can use accounts you already have. The ones listed are google, which is your gmail account, twitter, yahoo, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Netlog, or open ID.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My First Quilt

Night Song

Oh how I LOVE fabric!! 
I buy dresses with the thought and 
have been overheard saying, 
“That’s going to look good in a quilt someday.”

I had been watching quilting shows for years. I’d been collecting fabric even longer. It was time to finally make a quilt. I came across a quilt guild meeting in my area and decided to see what it was all about. When I arrived a group of about 15 ladies and a gentleman were in attendance. On this night the guild was presenting quilts to a non-profit group for battered women and children. When I saw the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING quilts they presented to the representative, I became VERY intimidated. How could I EVER make something so beautiful! Everyone was so supportive and encouraged me, a quilter wanna be with no clue of how to go about it. A very dear lady whom I sat next to during the meeting suggested six inch squares and the dimensions for a lap quilt. I thanked everyone for their kindness and went on my way. I left feeling encouraged but I would not be going back to the guild anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What "It" Is

My very first sewing machine


I have been given a tremendous opportunity to do whatever it is I have always wanted to do, full-time. For four years now I’ve been asking myself what “it” is. I’ve rediscovered many things that I enjoyed in the past and tried new ones I thought might be fun. My most favorite from my past endeavors are photography and writing, and from the new, baking; yes, I have enjoyed these but they didn’t satisfy me. I thought harder. Maybe I haven’t been asking the right question. The question is:  what have I been passionate about?

pas·sion·ate   [pash-uh-nit] adjective

Having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid. 

I began thinking… What is the first thing I could remember wanting to do? What is the only thing I consistently thought of throughout my life? What do I still think of today? What fills me with joy?

joy   [ joi]  
noun:  
The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something 
exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
 

I thought back as far as I could, a quilt. I always knew I’d make a quilt one day. I didn’t know how or why, but the dream of making a quilt has always been with me. Follow along with me as I embrace my passion.

What you are passionate about will bring you joy.