Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye Bear

As 2011 comes to a close, it's time to say goodbye to my longtime buddy, Bear.  Bear passed on in mid-November and is finally free from the pains of his illnesses.  We spent nearly 17 years together and as anyone with pets knows, he was a part of our family. 

His loss was very tough for me and a lot of times I still think I hear or see him around the house.  I still look around to see if he is going to "rearrange" my quilt blocks when I lay them out.  He always did think he could do it better than me!  But he will always be in my heart and I know he is in a much better place now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12/26/11

This is more "off" the design wall - finally!!  My sister and I started this baby quilt many months ago for a brand new niece.  It's tough to work on a quilt together when you live far apart.  And procrastinate.  So this is what I was doing on Christmas Eve.  Machine quilting a zig zag quilt with a cozy flannel backing.  I did get it finished (thankfully it wasn't huge).  We gave the quilt unbound.  Now my sister has it and will do the binding.  And now my "design wall" is a little emptier!  I couldn't show this quilt earlier because it was a gift.  One more quilt up there I can't show, but that will be done in a couple of weeks.  I'll get a nice clean picture of this one once the binding is finished.

It's the last Design Wall Monday of 2011!  Check out what other people have on their design walls at Judy's blog.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas to everyone!  Life's been super busy, but I hope to be blogging again very soon.  I wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12/05/11

I have been in kind of a sewing slump lately.  But I needed to get some projects ready for class, so I cruised the internet for inspiration and the dawn of an idea took place.  After playing around in EQ7, I came up with a great quilt and then was totally motivated to get working on it.  There were so many different ways I could go with the colors that I started to get stuck again.  Finally I put my hands on a fat quarter pack of batiks that were ear-marked for another project that won't be happening any time soon.  In no time I had my pieces all cut (shown above).

Then I had to decide how to arrange them.  These are the corners of bigger pieces layed out on my "design ironing board".  Now I just need to do some piecing and it will be done in no time.  It's amazing how much you can get done when you get motivated!

Be sure to check out all the Design Walls on Judy L's blog and get motivated like I did!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Handmade Holidays 2011

I can't believe I've been so busy at work and home that I forgot that Handmade Holidays began on 11/01/11 over at Sew! Mama! Sew!  Every day in November they have lists of tutorials, recipes, project inspiration and prizes.  Every year I love to check in and see what they have for us.  It's lots of fun and I've found some great tutorials there.  Go check it out and don't forget to go back to the posts that have already posted so you don't miss anything!!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Design Wall Monday 11/07/11

Foundation paper piecing never looks like much before the sections are all sewn together.  Above is what I am currently working on.  Not very exciting!  It will eventually be a Dear Jane block.  It's another one of the simpler ones.  I really need to start on the difficult ones so that they are not all left to the end.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what everyone else is working on this week!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Stash Busting - Week 45

I finished the project from Mystery Mondays (pictured above) and I'm super happy with it!  Unfortunately, I rushed through the binding and as a result, I'm not really happy with how that part turned out.  But it's done.  I haven't finished a project to completion for quite a while and this has really motivated me.  It was just a little side project in between the other things I'm working on, so it's kind of a bonus piece.  All of a sudden I have a cute table topper that's completely finished.  I chose to do it in a Halloween theme, so I probably should put it away until next year, but I think I'll leave it out for a while so I can admire it.  It's fairly small, but I think I'll count 3/4 yard out of the stash.  That's probably a little generous, but it motivates me to bust more stash!

Fabric in this week:  0.00 yards
Fabric out this week: 0.75 yards

Fabric in this year: 38.75 yards
Fabric out this year: 8.75 yards

Go to Judy L's blog to see how other people are doing!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Dear Jane F3

I also finished F3 this weekend.  This was a fairly simple block, so I thought I'd use a directional print fabric for it.  Wouldn't you know I flipped two of the outer triangles and got them going the wrong direction!  So I had to pull those off and make new ones.  In the end it looks like it wouldn't be noticeable becuase they are so small, but at least I know they are correct now!

Dear Jane C10

I have two completed Dear Jane blocks to share today.  This is C10, which was in pieces in yesterday's post.  I had a heck of a time putting this together.  I had to take out several seams and re-sew.  It seems pretty straightforward, but sometimes you just have days like that.  I think it turned out wonderfully - well worth the effort.  I scan my blocks in a scanner to get these pictures, and the only thing I don't like about that is the shadows it puts in the block.  It looks wrinkly with dark spots, but the real thing looks great.

One more block to follow shortly!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/31/11

On today's design wall is a partially complete Dear Jane block that I am foundation piecing.  The sections are not laid out in the correct order in the picture above, but I'll get them back in order before I put them together.  I have a few DJ blocks that are nearly complete, so I'll have some finishes to show shortly.  

And finally I also have the finished top of the Mystery Mondays project.  It's a cute candle mat.  It turned out a lot different that I thought it would and I love it!  I'll quilt it just a little and bind it and it will be a completed project.  Hey, I can even finally count some fabric out of stash when it's done!  I haven't been able to do that for a while!  It's Halloween themed, but I won't have it done today.  It was so quick and easy that I might make another one.  We'll see.

A new Mystery Mondays project starts today, so I might just be too busy with that one to make another one of these.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what's one everyone else's Design Walls!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/24/11

I missed posting last week, but I'm still working on the Mystery Mondays project.  I think we must be close to finished now because I only have a couple of pieces left to sew.  I'm pretty sure I know how it's going together, but you never know.  I haven't printed out the latest instructions yet.  I also worked on a Dear Jane block over the weekend, but I didn't grab a picture of it.  It's still in a lot of little pieces at the moment.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what is on everyone else's Design Walls!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stash Busting - Week 43

I went to the Pacific International Quilt Festival today.  I have tons of pictures that I'll hopefully get posted this week.  I actually did not buy very much fabric at all!  The only fabric I bought was some fat quarters for my Dear Jane quilt.  My personal rule for my own stashbusting is that I will not count any DJ fabric as stash.  It is dedicated to this particular project and technically not in my stash.  Once I use the fabrics, the scraps will be stash, but I'm not getting that detailed yet.  The rest of the things I bought are actually all gifts, so I won't show them here.  I'm really happy with the fabrics I chose.  They will fit into my quilt perfectly.  I could see that the prices of fabrics are really starting to increase.  Most of the fat quarters were about $3.00 each, which is about $.50 to $1.00 more than usual.  I hope they don't go up too high!  I haven't bought fabric lately because I've been using mostly stash, so this may be old news.

There were a few other fat quarters that I wouldn't have minded getting, but they were only being sold in bigger pieces, so I passed on them.  See how strong I am!!

As for this week, I'm counting nothing in, but unfortunately nothing out.  Hopefully I'll get some things finished soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hanging with Alton Brown

Okay, so we weren't really hanging out, but we did get to meet him at a book signing for the final book of recipes from his show Good Eats.  The Food Network show has just ended after 13 years, but he says there are two episodes that have not aired yet.  One should come out around the holidays and one probably around Valentine's day (on dark chocolate).  The re-runs of his show is currently running on the Cooking Channel.

There were tons of people at the signing.  We got our tickets a while back and were lucky enough to be one of the first 100 people, so we were guaranteed a seat.  The rest of the people (I think there were another 100) had to stand.  He spoke a bit and then answered lots of questions from the audience.  He's just like you see him on his show, very funny and real.  It sounds like he's still got a lot of things going on so even though Good Eats has ended, we'll still be able to see him a lot.  Lance asked him if there would be any more Feasting on Asphalt shows, but Alton says Food Network doesn't plan to do any more.

All in all, it was a great evening and really fun to meet someone I've admired for a long time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/10/11

Just one lonely block on my design wall today.  It is last week's step from Mystery Mondays.  I'm all ready for today's clue.  Other than that, not much sewing going on these days.  I'm having trouble getting motivated.  I will be inspired soon enough, though.  The big PIQF quilt show starts this week and runs through Sunday.  I go every year and come home raring to sew!

Be sure to check out Judy's blog to see what everyone else is working on!!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Alden Lane Quilt Show 2011

A couple of weeks ago, my Mom, sister and I went over to the Alden Lane Quilt Show in Pleasanton, CA.  We try to go every year and this year was wonderful as usual.  What was even better was that it was not sweltering hot like in the past few years.  In fact, it was a little breezy and even started to sprinkle while we were there.  I took a bunch of pictures, but didn't get everything.  The wind was blowing the quilts around a bit, so pictures were difficult.  The Quilt Show has a great slide show that must have been taken the day before because it looked sunnier and the quilts weren't flying.  Check it out here.

There was an interesting color challenge that a group made.  I took pictures of those that I'll share soon.  I don't want to bog the page down too much with pictures.  I'm already looking forward to next year's show!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/03/11

I'm all ready for today's Mystery Mondays step!  I pulled my fabrics this weekend and did all of the cutting (shown above).  It's a small project, so it didn't take long.  As usual I was torn about which fabrics to use from my stash.  My first thought was to go Christmas, but I actually have very few Christmas prints in my stash.  Then I saw this Halloween fabric that I bought several years ago.  It has a real vintage feel to it that I just love.  I've been hoarding this piece with no real plan for it.  I only needed a 8 1/2" square, but maybe I'll also use it for the back.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what is on everyone's design walls!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 09/26/11

These are what's on my design table today (other than my cat).  I'm making more snapped coin purses that I had in last week's post to give away in class tonight.  The flat one needs snaps and hand sewing and then just one more to make.  I tried some piecing on them to keep them interesting.  Here's another link to the tutorial.  Once you've made one, they go pretty fast.  I probably took more time choosing fabric than making them!

Check out Judy L's blog to see what everyone else is doing!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why Can't I Get Any Work Done?

Is it any wonder why I can't get any sewing done?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mystery Mondays at This & That Blog

I just heard about Mystery Monday's created by Sherri Falls from This & That Patterns.  Now I know I have a lot on my plate right now, but it sure does sound fun.  She will post steps to mystery projects every Monday on her blog.  This past Monday was the first step of the first project - a table topper.  The steps are not extensive.  This week is just a supply list so far (next week cutting instructions).  What a great way to use of some stash!  She's got a great blog - lots of recipes and projects and ideas.  Go check her out!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 09/19/11

The only thing I have left on my Design Wall (Table) is this little coin purse I made this weekend.  I had a quilt block there but it looks like I didn't get a picture of it.  I saw this on Pinterest and just had to try it out.  Here's the link to the tutorial.  I was just testing out the pattern and decided not to take the time piece mine, but I really like to look of the pieced front.  I think it turned out great, but the snaps I bought are really tight  It takes a lot of effort to unsnap them once they are snapped.  If I actually used it as a coin purse, I think the coins would go flying.  I don't have a lot of experience with snaps, so I didn't know which ones to get.  Perhaps a different style of snap would be a better option for this.  It can be used for anything - the tutorial shows it being used as a mini sewing kit.  Very fun!

Check out Judy L's blog to see what is on everyone else's Design Wall.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stash Busting 2011 - Week 38

I've been so good lately.  I've hardly bought anything at all this year, and nothing in the past few months.  But then I went into Joann's to pick up something non-fabric related - and it was all over.  I had a 20% off coupon in hand - and it was for the entire purchase including sale items.  So first thing when I walked in, there was some Halloween fabrics, and they already on sale.  With the double savings I couldn't pass it up.  I got a yard of a really cute print that had replicas of vintage Halloween postcards.  Then I grabbed a half yard of the orange and black stripe.  No telling when that would come in handy!  I don't really have any Halloween prints in my stash, so you know, I had to remedy that.  Then after doing the rest of my shopping, I just had to get a yard of a print that I look at every time I go in the store.  It is a really nice wispy floral that just speaks to me for some reason.  I figured if I didn't get it now, it would be gone next time.  So there's my big splurge.  :(

I didn't do much sewing.  I started on a little coin purse that I'll show tomorrow.  I also made a block for my class tomorrow.  I can count those two things out at 1/4 yard total.

Fabric in this week:  2.50 yards
Fabric out this week:  .25 yards

Fabric in this year:  38.75 yards
Fabric out this year:  8.00 yards

Go to Judy L's blog to see how other people are doing!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 09/12/11

I've been battling a bad head cold for a few days and I think I'm finally winning.  Unfortunately that means I lost most of my weekend.  I have the preview night for my quilting class tonight and I had to get the last of my projects and supply lists ready.  Above is the Disappearing Four Patch project that I sewed together on Saturday, but was unable to get the borders on yet. It came out a lot smaller than I had anticipated.  30 seemed like a lot of blocks, but they only finish at 8" square, so it's fairly small - I'd say smaller than a twin.  I can either put a few borders on it or make more blocks.  I haven't decided yet.  Maybe a pieced border would look good.  We'll see.  It's a work in progress!  I do love the look of this pattern.  If I make it again, I'll probably start with 6" squares instead of 5" squares and maybe make it less scrappy.  That way I can still make the same number of blocks, but it will come out bigger.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what is on other people's design walls!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Lunch Fun

Lance and I both happened to have the day off today, and we heard that there was going to be a food truck event in the parking lot of the Hiller Aviation Museum right here in nearby San Carlos.  Actually, they will be out there every Wednesday through October 26th.  We watched the Food Network show The Great Food Truck Race last year (Season 2 is currently running), and Nom Nom Truck was one of the finalists.  We heard they were going to be there, so we decided to head over.   

They served amazing looking Banh Mi on the show and I couldn't wait to try it.  And I was definitely glad I did!  The grilled pork was to die for!  It started at 11 am and we got there shortly thereafter, but the lines were starting already.  There were several trucks there, but Nom Nom was definitely the attraction.  The line got very long, but we got there before the worst of it.

We also got a Panini from Speedy Panini, which was also great.

And Lance got a fish taco from Streetz Eatz which he said was also good.  All in all, a fun little lunch excursion on a lazy day off!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 09/05/11

I've been working on a Disappearing Four Patch quilt in an effort to use up some of the charm packs that I had in my stash.  These ones are more scrappy than the ones that I usually see.  I wasn't sure of the dimensions to use and I think if I made it again, I'd make the middle strips a little narrower.  Or else I would just start with bigger squares in the four patch.  Above I have nine blocks laid out, but the finished project will have 30 (five blocks across and six blocks down).  The blocks are all made.   I had set them aside because I couldn't decide how I wanted to set them, and was considering sashing with the same width as the strips in the blocks.  Today I twisted and turned them different ways and took pictures of each and when I viewed them it was clear to me that this was the best layout.  It also happened to be my first plan for the layout.  I ended up wasting a bunch of time not knowing how to proceed, and I should have just gone with my first plan.  Oh well.  I got my runner finished in the meantime.  And it will take less time to sew them together without sashing!

Check out Judy L's blog to see what is on everyone else's design walls!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Stash Busting 2011 - Week 36

I finally got my fall table runner finished.  Well, the top is finished.  I have some other things to work on before I can layer it up and quilt it.  But at least now I can count the yardage out of my stash.  This one was very scrappy and it was difficult to calculate, but I think conservatively I can call this two yards used.  It might be a bit more, but I can't tell at this point.

I am proud to say that I haven't bought any new fabric in quite a long time, so Zero yards added!!

I have another project that is moving right along.  The 30 blocks are already made - I just need to decide how I want to put them together.  This will be on my design wall post tomorrow.

Fabric in this week: 0.00 yards
Fabric out this week: 2.00 yards

Fabric in this year: 36.25 yards
Fabric out this year: 7.75 yards

Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 08/29/11

I have a couple more pumpkins on my design wall today.  The one on the left was already complete last week.  I made another pieced block on the right and an applique block in the middle.  This one still needs to be stitched down and then trimmed (the block is oversized right now).  I also have two leaf blocks (not shown) that will be part of this project.  The applique pumpkin is a little plain, so I might add some embroidered lines to give it a little definition.  Unless I run out of time!  This one is coming along nicely.  I think the thing that is taking the most time is figuring out which fabric I want to use for each part.  I guess that's the hazard of having such a big stash - too many choices!!

Check out Judy L's blog to see what other people are working on this week!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday 08/22/11

I have pumpkins on my design wall today.  I'm designing a fall-themed project and I made the first one as a six inch (finished) square, but after it was finished, I decided that it was a little too small for what I had planned.  So I started over and made another one at a 7 1/2" square. This should work out much better.  I had also forgotten to mirror the image the first time around, so I fixed that on the second one.  I lucked out and this pumpkin block was already in my EQ7 software, so I didn't have to design it from scratch. I have a second block just about finished already.  Other than today I haven't done much sewing lately, and now I feel really motivated to get this project finished.  It helps that I cleaned my sewing area yesterday - so nice to have room to work!

Check out Judy L's blog for more design walls!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday 08/15/11

I haven't done much sewing in the past few weeks.  Just too darn tired and also the computer issues have kept me from sewing and posting. However, I realized that I have only one short month (less than that actually), to get my projects together for the Fall session of my quilting class, so I started getting some work done.  I've done a lot of planning and designing, and now I think I'm ready to roll.  I pulled a bunch of oranges from my stash (above, right) to start on a fall themed project (I see pumpkins in my future!).  The only actual sewing I was able to do was to put together the four quadrants of my color wheel, which is not a class project.  I need to put some borders or something on it to contain the bias edges while I figure out the rest of the design.  My plan is to sew a little every day after work and see how much progress I can make.

Check out Judy L's blog to see what everyone else is working on!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday 07/25/11

Not much sewing happened this week.  I made progress on the project that I started here.  It's funny that I had pulled piles of fabrics and I only needed to use a small triangle from each one.  Now I just need to put these quadrants together to make the block, which will finish at 12" square.  I made it on a whim, with no real idea of what I would do with it.  It was just something that I had wanted to do for a while and frankly I didn't feel like working on the project that I had in progress at the time.  I really like how it is coming out and it is possible that I'll make this the center of a larger project.  Maybe I'll add rows of blocks all the way around in a medallion setting.  We'll see.  The fabric I ordered for the borders of last week's quilt arrived, so I guess I'll be working on that next.

I had a little scare recently when our computer died.  We are very diligent about backing up our data, but when we tried to recover it, we found that not all of the files were being backed up.  Specifically, the files were I keep the patterns that I write.  I estimate I've written over 40 patterns in the last 5-6 years, and I was starting to panic.  Fortunately Lance researched and worked very hard and we found that we were able to pull the hard drive out of the computer and plug it into a reader and recover all of the files.  Whew!  I think I'll be saving a copy of my files in the "cloud" from now on.

Be sure to check out Judy L's blog to see what is on other people's design walls!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 07/18/11

I actually have a design "wall" today!  This one was too big for the table.  My sister and I are working together on a quilt and here's how far we got in one day.  I just love the zig zag quilt.  It's so impressive looking, and yet so simple to make.  We'll be squaring off the sides (no setting triangles) and adding a couple of borders.  Working together worked out really great. We both cut and I sewed with she pressed and pinnned and did the layout.  I had made this quilt once before shown here, and I didn't realize that we ended up with the same colors as the first one until my sister pointed it out after it was sewn together.  Funny how that happened!  Now to choose borders...

See what others are doing on Judy L's blog!