Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Disease?

I am afraid I have a very serious disease? I have spent many hours during the last few days sorting through my stash and cutting fabric for a project. I am drowning in fabric - HELP. I can not make myself throw fabric away. I am cutting pieces as small as 1 1/2 inch square as I have a really neat quilt that uses pieces that small. The project I am cutting for uses 1 1/2 inch and 2 1/2 inch squares and I want the project to be scrappy so I am trying to make all 120 blocks different fabrics. And I am trying to challenge myself to not use any blue fabric. Blue is my favorite color and I seem to use it in most of my projects so of course I have a huge blue collection. And of course I do not have them all sorted and organized so it means sorting through many, many totes of fabric. I am having fun but I am wondering if I am the only one with this disease. A self diagnosed prescription is to not buy any more fabric unless I really, really, really need it for a specific project.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Iron Caddy

This was my project yeterday afternoon. It is called Caddy Pad by Sister's Common Thread. It is an ironing pad that folds up to carry an iron. I have seen these patterns before and finally decided I needed one. I had a little difficulty figuring out part of the pattern. Thanks to my husband and his advice we got it figured out. I am looking forward to using the caddy for classes and retreats. As a matter of fact I am going to our family quilt camp this weekend and am really looking forward to it. I had hoped to do some project packing yesterday but that just didn't work out. Why is it that when you have time to sew on weekends the days go so fast? Oh well, back to work today and hopefully this evening I can start some packing. I did make up a list of what I want to take to work on.

Some of my retreat projects

I thought I had better share some the of projects that I worked on at the retreat last weekend. I don't want you to think I am a slacker! Actually, I finally remembered to take some pictures. These blocks are part of a block of the month from Sandy D's Quilt Shop from a few years ago. Of course I am behind, but am picking up speed a bit. I used fusible web and now am machine appliqueing the pieces. I use my Janome 760 because I really like the button hole stitches the machine makes. Then I pull the threads to the back, tie then off, then weave the ends under some of the stitching. That is the tedious part of the job but I really like the way it looks.

I also finished a few more tote bags. These bags were made with the fruit lady fabric and I will be "gifting" them to some special people.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby Shower Gifts

Tomorrow I am going to a baby shower for our niece Michelle who is expecting her first baby. She and her husband have decided not to find out the sex of their baby until the birth. I like that. A cute little poem was included in the invitation asking us to give the baby a book instead of buying a card. I had this little book panel so I made this book up this afternoon.

I made this baby quilt this week and am very happy with the way ot turned out. I always say that I am strictly a pattern person, but maybe not. I had these little panels that I thought would be cute in a baby quilt. I took them to the Quilt Shop to buy coordinating fabrics. I machine quilted this quilt. I hope the momma and the baby like it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Great Quilter's Retreat

My husband Steve and I attended a Quilter's Retreat last weekend. This was Steve's 2nd time attending this retreat and I have been there 7 o 8 times. It was so nice visiting with many old friends, making new friends and spending quality time with my hubby and my sewing machine. My machine was acting up so I used Steve's machine (one of my older ones). He spent most of Friday working on my Janome 760. It is not perfect yet but is working a lot better. Then on Saturday he tried working with the little scanner be bought to scan photographs onto a memory card, then later move them to the computer and a cd. Well, he had lots of problems getting the scanner to work so he put it away. He had taken a box of T-shirts that he wants to use to make a T-shirt quilt so he got those cut up. Just on a whim I threw in the fabrics for this 10 minute table runner he had bought during the summer. He made this table runner for a family member. I had fabric for 2 Christmas table runners so he also made those. I finished putting together several small tote bags for a craft show to be held in December. I also got three sides of the piano key borders done before I ran out of fabric. Then I did some machine applique on some flower Blocks of the Month that I probably started 4 or 5 years ago. When I machine applique using the button hole stitch I use a self threading needle to pull the threads to the back, tie them off, then snake the threads through some stitches to hide them. It is a tedious project but I like the way it turns out. Thank you to Sylvia and Delphine for hosting a great retreat.

On another note I have had some women tell me that they would not share their quilting hobby with their husband. I am enjoying sharing quilting with Steve and I feel it has some advantages. He has been interested in quilting for a very long time and he has been to many quilt shows and lots and lots of quilt shops. I don't have to explain or justify expenses as he knows what quilty things cost and why I need them and what they are used for. He has his own rotary cutter, scissors and fabric. In fact he has quite an extensive stash of fire fighter fabric that he has been collecting. I have found some patterns for his fire fighter fabric and I always get the same comment, "But then I would have to cut my fabric!" I love it and I also remember when I had that same thought. We both have totally different interests in techniques and projects so it is interesting. I have absolutely no interest in making T-shirt quilts so while at the retreat he got some advice from women who had made the quilts. I also have no interest in photo transfers and he has figured that out and made several wall hangings using the photo transfers. He puts many hours in at his job in the forestry industry so he doesn't have alot of time to quilt right now but I see it happening some day. Today he is hunting as this is opening day of white tail deer season here in Hillman.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quilt Donation

Remember this little quilt? I made it from blocks made by our grandson's parochial school class. It sold at the Annual Fall Gala fundraiser auction for $110.00. I was very happy. I talked with the Mom who bought it and she said her daughter (a student in the class) was sleeping with it but she wanted to get it hung up on a wall to preserve it.

On a different note yesterday was a very rainy day and the only thing I had planned to do all day was sew. Well, we all know that plans don't always work out. One phone call in the morning and my plans were all changed. All is well and I am not going to go into details but it was a stressful morning. And what do quilters do when we are stressed? Well, I went to a Quilt Shop and had a good time. Our niece is expecting her first baby and the baby shower snuck up on me so I am in a rush to get a baby quilt done for next weekend. I had an idea and just needed a little more fabric for the project. And I found exactly what I was looking for at the Quilt Shop. And I was also able to get an adjustment from my chiropractor. Then I came home and did a little sewing both before and after dinner. Today is open sewing at Guild and I am all packed and ready to go. Tomorrow my husband and I leave for a 3 day Quilt Retreat. I have most of my sewing projects and supplies packed and I have laundry going this morning. The rain has stopped and I can see a little bit of blue sky. It is going to be a great day. And as a finale we have our family craft night tonight so I am looking forward to that too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Block of the Month

This was a Block of the Month from Guild probably 4 or 5 years ago. I pulled it from the shelf last week to see how far along it was. I discovered that I just had to do a little hand embroidery and then put the blocks together. Thanks to some rainy weather and a little free time I was able to get the blocks together. It is laying out on my living room floor right now. I do that quite often so I can enjoy seeing my projects. As I was talking with a friend on the phone last night I discovered that I have a couple of blocks out of order. But you know what? I am not going to make any changes, aka unsewing. I like it the way it is. I cut several strips for a piano key border. They are 2 inches wide and 5 1/2 inches long. I am going to a retreat this weekend so will sew the strip borders together there. I know I have several more UFO's in my sewing room and plan to work on them this winter.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Quilter's Retreat Center?

On Wednesday I was on a mission for Michigan Quilt Network. My partner in crime Sandy suggested that we meet at Sunshine Quilt Shoppe in Oscoda. I told her that was a perfect idea. On my way to Oscoda I drove through the little town of Greenbush. I noticed a sign along the side of the road that said, "Resort For Sale - Let's Make A Deal." Well, that set my brain just a spinning for the rest of the drive to Oscoda. I could buy that resort and host Quilter's Retreats. It would be a great time. My mind was going 100 miles per hour thinking about projects, classes, demos, acitivites (you get the idea?) And when we didn't have quilters we could host family reunions and I am sure the current owners have a clientele list. On the way home I decided to pull into the driveway. There is a circle drive with the house in the middle and 7 cabins across the driveway of the house on one side and 7 more cabins on the other side and it is all on the shore of Lake Hurron. The cabins looked like they were pretty good sized. There was no building for quilters to gather and sew but it did look like a very large room on the back of the house. The mind started spinning again. Then I started thinking about things like a mortgage, we haven't had one of those in over 20 years. And I can't even imagine what the property tax bill would look like. And there is no way I want to be that far away from our kids and grand kids (two hours). So it was a fun dream/fantasy while it lasted.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where Does The Time Go?

Sometimes it just seems like time flies way too fast. I always have good intentions of keeping up with my blog postings but for various reasons it just doesn't seem to happen. Sounds like my quilting lately too. I am so glad that I was able to go to a retreat a couple of weeks ago and was able to bond with my sewing machine as I've hardly seen it since I got home. To tell you the truth I don't really know what I have been doing to be so busy, except it seems as though I have spent a lot of time on the road. This is an extremely busy week. But ...... as part of my road trip today I was able to visit two Quilt Shops. It was great to visit with the owners and employees and even a former Thunder Bay retreater Paulette. And yes, I did make a couple of purchases. Hopefully after the dinner dishes are done tonight I can get a little sewing time in. And tomorrow is our monthly business meeting at Guild so I need to get some things ready for that. What have you been doing lately?