Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!

No. I'm not a "Little Orphan Annie" fanatic.  The title refers to the past week...7 days of rain!

A few times I have have seen short glimpses of blue sky- just like I did this morning when I took my routine trip of taking the boys to school.  But the thick clouds would take over the sky again and bring thunder and lightning along with it.

But this morning...the weatherman had forecasted "Sun" for tomorrow!

It shouldn't be a big deal but we had SO MUCH rain in the last few days.  Area schools have had to cancel because of all the flooding.  We've been fortunate in our area and my boys are very disappointed that they are expected to be at school today!

I'm looking forward to some sunshine finally!

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With the past dreary days, I had been able to stay inside and finish "A Thread So Thin" by Marie Bostwick (third in the Cobble Court Quilt series).  And the quick project that I had posted about more than a week ago is taking longer than I thought.  But I'm still trudging through it. I think it will be a practically tool for me...we'll have to see.

The ladies at my local library were aware that my next reading endeavour was the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer. Knowing that I was a quilter and liked to listen to audio-books while I quilted, they had gathered the three books for me. I guess those are some of the perks when the library director is the mother of my youngest son's bestest buddy!!

Now that I've got my ears busy, I have no excuse but finish that "quick" project!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Okay, I've watched "Scarface" a few times...

I finally found a camera to replace my sick one.  It's a newer version of mine with some upgrades: such as more mega pixels, larger screen, but the zoom isn't as large (I hope that doesn't cause too much of a problem).  This new camera is a little bit smaller in my hands so I feel a little awkward holding it.  That will eventually change once I start using it regularly.

I've got a quick project I want to get started.  I hope to get it finished tonight so that I can use my new camera for the next post!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm a Winner!!

I had just posted about my frustrations at the sewing machine.

Here's a photo of the quilt that was giving such headaches.  I think I'm done with my pity-party!

After I posted my last entry, I found out the I had won a give-away from Annie Smith from Quilting Stash (!

It is a book I've been wanting for a while and now Annie will be sending my one personally!!  This makes my day so much better!!!!!  It almost makes me forget about the problems before...what machine-quilting... ;-P !!

Now I will be anxiously waiting for new gift in the mail!!!


Frustration at the Machine

I now have two quilts ready for quilting.  I have another that still needs to be matched up with its batting and backing, another with the borders still needing placement.  I'm feeling good to know that I'm making some progress! 

So, two days ago, I felt the urge to try some machine-quilting.  I practiced before I initially started.  Didn't feel quite confident with it, but I realize that it will take time. Practice, practice, practice...

Ughhh!!  On the second day, I'm still not getting it.  I think that I'm expecting too much, it's not going to look like it's professionally done.  But my stitches look like chicken scratches.  I've ripped out some many stitches that I'm getting sick of it.

I can hand-piece and machine-piece.  I can also hand-applique and machine-applique.  I've even used curved- and Y-seams with no problems.  I can miter corners, make my own bias tape for the binding, and then attach it to the quilt.  I can make a quilt, from start to finish, pretty confidently.  But I just can't seem to get the groove of machine-quilting!!

-Breathe, in... out... in... out...-

Hand-quilting is an option, but it takes so much time.  All of my other quilts have been finished with hand-quilting, but I won't feel like a well-rounded quilter unless I can accomplish machine-quilting!!

-Count to ten, 1, 2, 3, 4...-

So on day number three, I'm planning to calmly fold the quilt back up and set it aside for a later day.  No machine-quilting today.  I'm going place the border, and I'd like to add that it will have a scalloped edge : ), on that last quilt... and feel good about myself again!

Thank you for letting me rant.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Do I Really Need Another Quilt Project?

I had just finished "The Union Quilters." And as if any of Jennifer Chiaverini's slavery/civil war books, I loved it!!  There were many times where I found myself crying while reading- glad I wasn't reading out in public!  For those of you who are familiar to the story-line: I'm still looking forward for the time when Gerda and Charlotte have it out and tell each other how having Jonathan's love (of both women) had affected them personally.

Jennifer Chiaverini had printed 12 quilt blocks on the inside cover of this book.  She had done the same with several of her books.  Are these blocks from the Loyal Union Sampler quilt? I think it was on Facebook that Jennifer was asked about a pattern book with this quilt and she said that she was hoping to publish one.

So, before I return the book back to the library, I'm going to draft them out in my computer and have them saved for a future project.  With so many quilts ahead of it , I don't know if I'll ever really get to make it.  And this year is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It would be a great occasion to finish the Runaway quilt that I have started!

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I had some bad news from the camera doctor.  The camera can be fixed but the price would be equivalent to buying another new camera.  BUMMER!  But there is always something bigger and better out there, they are constantly upgrading!  So, I will be getting another new camera soon.  Not just for this blog (hate posting without photos!), but I've missed out on tons of photos of my babies!

It's another rainy day and I'm planning to spend the day inside and get some work accomplished!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Recent Project

 I'm bringing to you a few photos of a project that I made for this last Valentine's Day. 

My older son wanted to give his lil' girlfriend some roses for a Valentine's gift.  Knowing what the prices of roses were, especially during that time of the year, I was trying to think of another idea.

I had an idea to make the roses.  When I was little, my mom would have made fabric roses/flowers and attach them to the dresses that she made for me.  I could make that same kind of roses and attach them to a covered dowel rod!

And these roses don't wilt and die!

He ended selecting 6 for his girlfriend and my younger son picked one to give to his teacher.

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I will be taking my camera to the "camera hospital" tomorrow.  So for the time being, I will have to post photos that are already on my memory card or just go without.

I hope that the repair will be simple and cheap!  Hoping to get it back fairly quickly with the boys' baseball starting at the end of this month.  Besides, I just want it back because I love my camera!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some Ninepatch Work

I'm currently doing some tedious piecing for my Reminiscence quilt. It is an applique quilt that has great sashing using ninepatch blocks (it was one of the aspects that caught my eye). I had thought to my self "Real simple. What could easier than making ninepatches?" Right?....
Well, it may be one of the simpler blocks to piece, but I have to make 165 of them! I'm only at about 75 right now!
And it may be hard to visualize from the photos, but each block is only 1 7/8 inches square!

The first 50 were pretty fun, a no brainer. Then it just seemed very repetitive. There will be a total of 825 pieces once I'm finished with this step.

Once all the ninepatches a pieced together, I will be needing to add some half-square triangles to each side. The ninepatches will end up on point.
I'm forcing myself to finish all the ninepatch blocks before I go on. After all this tedious piecing, I'm going to have to move on to something different.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quilt Springfever

Quilt Springfever? What is it actually? For me, it's this time of the year, when the sun is shining, warming up the temperature. I just want to go outside and soak it all in. My senses are awaken, taking in all the sights and sounds that are associated with Spring (especially when we've been cooped up inside all winter)!

And with it, my eyes are open to new quilt patterns and fabrics (at least new to me!). It just seems like that it is always springtime that I break my rule of "not starting new-finish the old." With all my unfinished projects (and I still love them all), I really don't have the time to start anything new if I really want to able to finish anything.

But I have seen a few...

On the cover of "American Patchwork and Quilting" magazine, there is a yo-yo quilt. And don't ask me why, I just love it! And the simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting would be so simple for me to accomplish by machine!!

I located this quilt (Pure & Simple by Sweetwater) while looking for another fabric. I love the colors and the simple square blocks. It just captivates me!!

And I just love-love-love this line of fabric from Moda.  It's called Tangled Threads.  I think it would make a real cute "quilt-theme" quilt.

I just adore this print!

I think I may know what it may feels like to an addict.  Now, I'm having to fight the urge to purchase these fabrics!  It would be so exciting to find all these fabrics in my mailbox!  To lay them out and the see how the colors work together... and to roll arould on them!!!

I've got to hold back!! I know that I simply can't do that! To get the fabric will be crossing the line. Once I'm there, there's no going back!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

A New Read

I'm currently reading the latest of Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt novels, The Union Quilters. I am a slow reader so I'm not any hurry on finishing it. I already know what book is next on my list, the nest book in Marie Bostwick's Cobble Court series, A Thread So Thin (#3 in the series).

And after listening to Mark Lipinski's podcast, Creative Mojo, he had Marie Bostwick as one of his guests. She had announce that her next book, titled Threading a Needle (#4), would be available May 31!! I wasn't in any hurry in any of my reading, but to finish The Union Quilters and A Thread So Thin by May 31.

And I am getting myself psyched up because I was wanting to read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers (form the very popular movie series (Go Team Jacob!)). I've told my son that the books are SO much better than the movies and I was wanting to read all the books before the next movie before Breaking Dawn (the last in the series, I think) comes out in the movie theater.

Now that may be too much! I'll just have to read one book at a time and just enjoy the ride!!