Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Dresden Plate for Brian

I finished my January Modern Bee Block for Brian just under the wire!
Brian sent us wonderful fabrics and a ruler for a Dresden plate block.
He gave us tremendous latitude in our creations.
You can see some of them at our guild blog.

I decided to go traditional this time.

Last year Nicole asked for a Dresden plate and I totally panicked.
I hadn't done one before, so I took the coward's way out
and made it without points.

This year, it's time to be brave and jump in with both feet!

Brian gave us a couple of good links to check out,
and that gave me some confidence.
It wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined.

 Isn't this picture funny with my little blue & white plate underneath my acrylic sewing table?

Here I have sewn the plate onto the background.
I did a simple straight top stitch,
I thought a zig-zag might be too heavy for my smaller plate.

I did hand applique the center piece,
I think it was easier than trying to topstitch.

So what have I learned?
Don't be a coward.
Jump in with both feet.
Try something new.
It's hardly ever going to be as difficult as you think!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Local Fabric Shop . . . kinda . . .

Today was the day we were all supposed 
to shop at our local quilt shops . . .

Well, I had to work . . . in an office.

But . . . this past weekend I was visiting my family north of Boston
and we (I) did a little fabric shopping.

We visited Portsmouth Fabric Company, one of my faves!
Whenever I go north I try to con the family into a trip up to Portsmouth.
(There is a great brewery there too!)

This shop is a distributor for Kaffe Fassett,
so they  have all the new lines, but they also carry all the
golden oldies that I love.

The colors and yumminess are almost overwhelming!
I'm not even going to admit to how much I stocked up!

I usually stick to the fabric, but the quilts caught my eye this time around.

Then I turned the corner and saw a little "show" by this quilt artist.

Beautiful appliqued paintings of scenes under the sea.

I just love these!
And they remind me of a block that Helen did for one of our Bees.

It wasn't all fabric shopping . . .
I saw this lovely little cameo in a consignment shop.
I didn't buy, just taking the picture was enough.

While my aunt and uncle looked at couches at the Crate & Barrel outlet,
I found fabric!  Haha.  I always do!
I got four yards of Marimekko fabric for some backings.
Retail $45.00 a yard.  I paid $5.95 a yard!  Score!

We also did a bit of walking around Boston too.
This is Faneuil Hall with all the twinkling lights.

So while I did buy fabric, it wasn't "local" to me per se.
I'm hoping to do a little of that this upcoming weekend! Hehe.
What are you doing this weekend?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweat Shop Monday

Another successful sweat shop day spent together!
We all had today off, so we decided to spend it together working on our projects.

There is always plenty of silliness!
And no one wants to be photographed!

Gidget wanted to make a larger version of this bag she made a while ago.

It is pretty funny to see our three sewing tables,
cutting table and ironing board set up in my small living room,
but it is very cozy!

Gidget's bag will be huge, 
but she is very pleased with the way it is progressing!

The kid started a new quilt using bali strips.
It is moving along quickly and she is pleased too.
Of course after 5 or 6 hours of sewing,
sometimes a few curse words escape 
and the seam ripper comes out.  Another reason to giggle!

They told me if they had to get their pictures taken, so did I.
Okay . . . hummmm, maybe I won't make them take pictures next time.

Here is the kid's quilt top so far.  
This is going to be a beauty!

And I made pretty good progress on my scrappy trip around the world.
17 blocks so far.

I'm going to keep making blocks and then play around with the placement.
I love this!
What did you do today?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What's Next?

So now that I have finished an old top and it is happily in it's new home . . . .
What's next?

I, of course, I had to try a couple things before I could decide.
Do I want one for me???
Then I have been seeing this Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt-A-Long
ALL over the web, flicker, blogs, everywhere!

So I tried them both out . . .
I do love a good paper piecing project.
I will always love this block, but . . . 
Maybe not this time around.

So then, I had my hand at the Scrappy Trip Around the World block.
I can see how it is addicting.  Easy piecing, clever un-piecing and voila!
A block in minutes.
I believe this block has won for the next project!

So off I set on cutting up fabric and laying out colors.
I need to mix in more large prints, I think it gives it an extra wow factor.
I might just have to be a bit of a control freak and make sure a dark
value color is in the center row.  Does this take the scrappiness out?
We'll see as I progress, I can always mix it up as I go along if I don't like it.

I have decided to take a cut of most of my fabrics for this one.
Here is my yellow/orange pile waiting to be cut.
This is going to take a while . . .
But totally worth it!

Here is a Quick Trip Around the World quilt
that I made for my Mom in 2007.
I used the Eleanor Burns book for this one and it uses the same technique
as described in the tutorial above.  
This quilt for my Mom was done in a Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

I also got a tardy Bee Block done this week.
Going in the mail tomorrow!!

This would make a cute scrappy quilt too . . .
This is actually prodding me on to finish them!
Carrot and stick!!  Hahaha.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Resolution of Sorts . . .

Happy New Year . . .
a few days late.
I'm not one to make resolutions,
I always feel I'm setting myself up for failure.
If it's something I want to do or change,
I should just do it right?  No matter what day of the year it is.

So this year I decided that I am going to finish the tops that I have knocking around.
There are six or seven, and I have decided that I will try to
finish one top for every new project I start.
It sounds confining at first, but really it's about balance.

So here is the first top I have finished this year!
Ha!  I love when  you can say that 6 days into the year.

I started this quilt 6 years ago and lost steam
pretty quickly.

Then a friend gave me this great fabric.
She was cleaning out and gave me lots of great fabric actually.
So this is the first of many of her cast offs you will see.

Seeing this fabric inspired me to finish this quilt.
Also, I have the perfect person to give it to.
He is someone who has helped me greatly over the past year,
and I want him to know how much I appreciate it.

Yesterday, I was in the city for a quilty event.
I got to see lots of lovely women, we laughed, we hugged,
we enjoyed each other's company imensely!
My friend Chris showed some blocks she was working on.
Orange, yellow and navy blues.  
I loved the way the colors worked together.

It reminded me of a "Goldfish" quilt I wanted to make,
and have been collecting fabrics for for the last few years.

So when I went to the City Quilter and saw
this blue lobster in a fat quarter pack, I just knew I had to have it.
And so maybe this will be my "new project"
before my next "old" top.

The other fabrics just jumped in my arms.
You know how that goes . . . 
So are you a resolution maker or not?