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Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Finishes and What's Up Next


Sunday, I finished the curtain panels for my smaller side window in the kitchen. I worked all day Saturday. My husband helped me hang new hardware and get the panels up. Here is the first window I already had done. 



This is the smaller window on the side. You can also see the new hardware a little more.


Here's another shot of the new curtains up!



I also quilted the next block for my Japanese Modern BOM on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/groups/modernjapanesebom/



Here are my first 5 blocks for that BOM. It's a quilt as you go technique.



I also began quilting a baby quilt I am making for a friend. The first picture is of the back because the quilting shows up more. 


Here is a shot of the front in progress. If you look really close and make it larger, you might be able to see the giraffe on the front. It's quite subtle!



I'm done for the night. I have this quilt, one more quilt in progress and one 12 X 12 to finish by May 18 for the VBMQG. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Off and Running


A beautiful day off in Virginia Beach.  Hubby worked on the yard while I sprayed a quilt-as-you-go block for the Modern Japanese BOM to get it ready to quilt. I actually began quilting on it, in fact.  I am not sure what number this is, but for me it's number 5. I got out of order and confused at some point but I'll get back on track. I layered and sprayed my baby quilt as well. I will work on that tomorrow after work or Sunday. 





Next, I drug out some curtain panels I bought at Ikea around Christmas. I hemmed and hung one set on my large window soon after we bought them but I had inadvertently bought too many large panels. I decided to cut them down to fit a couple of other windows. I took one of the large panels...sliced it in half...




Then I hemmed the sides I sliced and the bottoms. They are lined so it took a little bit to get the casings to work right and finish all the sides. And they came un-hemmed. Now Hubby has another task for Sunday..hang the rods and change out the first ones because they weren't very nice. I'll post another picture when I get the 2nd window hung. I want to make a small curtain for the back door as well. But that will be another day.



Here is part of our bumper crop of Irises we planted a couple of years ago. These are the yellow ones...



And the purples...


Of course, with the beautiful flowers come the lovely dreaded weeds. Today we found a mega thistle in one front flower bed. This sucker is about 24" tall and has maybe 7 blossoms ready to open.




Here's a closer look. Check out those flower pods...




As bad as the thistle is, I can handle that...the poison ivy that is intertwined around everything in our yard is another story! I seriously think we have more than one type but this one I know intimately. Leaves of three...leave them be! 


I hope you all had a day as lovely as ours here, although I hear our relatives in WI had snow yet again today! Enough of that already...it's SPRING...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sew Sunday or not

So I did not figure out how to link with Sew Sunday but I did get my things done! Here's a couple of close-up of the giraffe I made for baby Zach's Quilt. I got it all button-hole stitched down so it won't ravel when it's washed.









Here is the last block I completed for the Modern Japanese BOM on Flickr. Modern Japanese BOM



I used the cool templates I got at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival from Quilter's Rule, the small feather tool to do the outer border on this block.Quilter's RuleSmall Feather Tool .I didn't find any directions Sunday, so this is what I did just messing around. Not too shabby. The straight lines I did with the Line Tamer Template which I love for straight lings.





I got a "stitch" in my lower back a few days ago. I went to my chiropractor yesterday after work and before our dance class. Alas, it is still hurting pretty bad. I may either have to go back or just wait for it to calm down. I haven't had my back lock up in almost 40 years. I sure hope it doesn't now! At any rate, I am taking tonight to just chill out and rest my back. It will probably be Friday before I get any more sewing time. Tonight we're watching The Hobbit!

Keep Quilting...may your lines be straight, your stitches true...and no frog stitching ever annoy you!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another Bag and More on My Latest Quilting

Yesterday I went to the Crafters' social and helped make a bunch of these bags. I didn't have time to sew one for myslf but since I cut one out before the meeting, I made a second one last night. I like how it turned out. These are some fabrics my friend, Mary, gave me a long time ago and I have never used. I threw in a striped Kaffe fabric and some green grosgrain ribbon rather than making a tie and voilĂ©! Another bag done! 







Here's the back



When I got done with that, I made a giraffe for the back of a friend's baby quilt. I saw something sort of like this on a pattern at Keepsake Quilting I think. I can't really remember where so I had to come up with a giraffe of my own. I saw several cartoonish pictures and just sort of drew what I wanted. Isn't he adorable? The back will be cut down after I quilt it so I put it on the side with the Turquoise stripe and figured I could cut down the other side more than this side. Oh, the spot above the giraffe is not really a spot...my iron just decided to steam over-zealously and left a wet spot. I assure you, it's gone but wasn't yet when I took the photo. 




Below is the front of this baby quilt that I completed a couple of weeks ago. 
It's bright with a jungle animal print sprinkled all over. I thought this would be fun for a baby boy. I try to mention where I get my patterns but now I can't remember. Hopefully I did on the first post of the front. It was in a recent magazine but right now my memory escapes me. 




My task today is to get the giraffe stitched on. Right now it's fused but since baby quilts get a lot of wear and tear, I would like to button stitch or zigzag stitch the applique down. After that, I would like to get one more block quilted for my Modern Japanese BOM. You can find this BOM on Flickr, here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/modernjapanesebom/




 When I get done with these and if I figure out how, I'll link to my friend's blog for her Sew Sunday. Don't hold your breath, though. I haven't figured all of that out yet and it may not happen! I am learning a little more each week. I'll get there!






Sunday, April 14, 2013

Zippered Bag Project

Let me begin this post with a little history. In 2007 or 2008 I had a group at the library where I work that I put together to teach how to make a quilt that would be a visual history of our local area. The quilt took the shape of a bookshelf quilt with pictures of the area from long ago and items on the shelves that reminded us of the area. It took the group 18 months to complete the quilt which I finished and quilted.  I would love to post a photo of our quilt but I can't locate a photo at this time.

After we finished this quilt, the ladies wanted to continue to meet. Many of the ladies were not quilters but we all enjoyed a variety of crafts. So, we came up with a name "Crafters Anonymous" and met monthly for a couple of more years. Finally the economy tanked and libraries decided to cut back on adult programming. My group, not wanting to disband, moved next door to the Senior Resource Center where they still meet today without my guidance. I try to make a meeting here and there when they meet on a day I'm not working.

This month, Holly Fox, a local weaver and fellow crafter, is leading the group to make an adorable zippered bag for which she found a free pattern and tutorial online at  http://terryatkinson.typepad.com/atkinsondesigns/2009/06/sock-sack.html (Check out Terry's website to get the free pattern and see her tutorial. Thanks for the great bag, Terry!)

The size of the group this month is about 16 or 17 when normally about 8 come. Knowing that they might need a little extra help, I offered to sew the bag ahead of time myself so I could help if needed. Holly brought me the two samples below so I could see the finished bags.
 

 Aren't they the cutest? Above are the front views and below the backs.
 

Below is my sample. I decided to cut my own fabrics and do the whole thing from scratch so I'd be more familiar with all aspects of this pattern. The fabric I chose is the new Comma line by Zen Chic which I purchased from Pink Chalk Fabrics. http://www.pinkchalkfabrics.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=37_47_867



 And of course, here's the back of my bag.



Live long and prosper, my friends!




Sunday, April 7, 2013

I have been really bad about posting, I know. So far I have few followers so I guess that's okay. I know I need to do more and I am trying. 

It's a  beautiful day in Virginia Beach. My husband and I began the afternoon with our first beach walk of the season with our pug at Dam Neck Beach. It's still a bit chilly with the wind so it wasn't a real long one. Then I slipped in to finish my 12 x 12. 

I also spent a couple of hours helping my hubby weed my blackberries that he has moved. They were under the shade of the neighbor's ever growing Bradford Pear tree which was totally inhibiting their production. Mind you, Rick doesn't even eat them, although he will allow me to put them in our nightly fruit smoothy now that we've gone Paleo. So this is a labor of love for him.  

Yesterday I worked on my Orange 12 X 12 for  a small local group of quilters affectionately know as the Quilt Sluts. I am only 6 12 x 12's behind the pack. In my defense, I do work full time and I have been doing a lot of challenges. I have vowed to back off a few of these but first I need to catch up. 

Here are some pictures first in progress...






The next one is the finished 12 x 12...well all but a label and a title. I have not named this one and I need to do that. If you have an idea, please let me know. 


 

And the last picture is of a close-up of the finished 12 x 12. I am happy with how it turned out. I sort of did this one backwards. I found an idea then painted my background and bird. Then I decided which color I was working on. Next I finished the quilting and backing.





Now I need to decide if I can handle washing my car or sew some more. Seems like a no brainer...poor car!