Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP :: 2/29/212

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedHappy Leap Day! How exciting to have an extra day in the year.  Also exciting because Psych starts again tonight with a longer episode special for Leap day.  :)  And on another TV note, White Collar ended the season last night with a really good (and slightly shocking) cliff hanger.  Neal finally hopped a plane, leaving us with questions about his past & certainly his future dealings with the FBI. Ack! 

Which brings us to the WIP listing for the week & leaping (get it?) up at Lee's!

Sparkle QAL - basted & ready to quilt. 

Pineapple - Finished!  Just needs a sleeve & a label & a wall to display it. I cross-hatched in the pineapple and did a meander in the border space. The greens are raw-edge appliqued. 

detail of quilting

in progress
Swoon - I widened the sashing by a 1/2" and will add a larger border all the way around so it drapes over the bed a bit. 

no progress
Star dots

in the pile
-Summer Sampler
-GS Quilt
-Hawaiian applique block

-Sunflower applique

There are signs of Spring popping up here - trees budding, daffodils blooming, some trees blooming too. Warmer weather (up to 68 today) and windows open.  I love Spring and always like to see it slowly creep up on you until suddenly wham! here it is.  It's pleasant listening to the neighbors' wind chimes with the windows open.  At work we're really gearing up for April and Quilt Week.  It's going to be an awesome year for the Museum during Show this year - we can feel it.  :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Bites

Finally the weekend! This month has been jam packed with events at work and I've managed to schedule myself into working every weekend for the month.  Today was the last one for a bit and it feels fantastic! Don't get me wrong dear readers, I enjoy my job and have a blast with the GS events, but there's something to be said for not having to set an alarm or have somewhere specific to be.  

This morning I manned a table at the Summer Activity Fair - a place for parents to come learn about what summer activities are available for their children and get ideas.  It went really well - around 100 people came and I had a lot of interest for quilt camp. 

After that, I met up with N and we went to the Empty Bowls event!  If you remember, we glazed a bowl with Rotaract and today was the actual fundraiser.  There were still bowls in abundance to choose from when we arrived and it was fun to see all the different types. The bowl you choose is yours to keep- though it's not likely to be one that you painted.  Once we selected a bowl, it was time to eat!  Local restaurants provided food and I tried just about all of it.  Everything from Chick-Fil-A nuggets, to cornbread, to chili & mashed potatos, to taco salad, Panera bread & more.  Everything was delicious and I'm sure they raised a lot of money which is donated to the Community Kitchen here to help feed the hungry. 

N & I also met up after Mass for dinner & ice cream and we rented One Day from redbox.  It was a good movie, though I wish they didn't have to make it so tragic!  I really enjoy watching Anne Hathaway & Jim Sturgess - always good.

But do you want to know the best part of the weekend?
I have Monday off.  Hooray!  That's 2 full days to play & relax & sleep in and have fun.  I haven't worked out a full plan yet - some of it depends on the weather.  It's supposed to warm back into the 60s on Mon., but the wind has been pretty brutal this week so we'll see.  I know there will be some quilting involved.  I got my I Spy charms back in the mail - everyone picked such great fabrics - so there will be all sorts of things to work on in the next couple days.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

round up

Happy Lent!  today is Ash Wednesday and this year I went to morning Mass before work, instead of in the evening. Usually there's someone ready with a wisecrack about having stuff on my face, but not this year!  Oh no.  This year I had several people at work ask me what happened? what did I do? did I bash my head on the steering wheel of my car? smudge printer toner all over myself?  (no joke!) and they were worried until I explained that it was Ash Wednesday.......and then they got it.  I'm glad they cared enough to worry/ask but it also made me laugh!   :)   [welcome to the Bible belt]  

 I had a great time Saturday with the Girl Scout event at work. The girls make 12-patch blocks with 5" squares and then sew 4 of those blocks together to make a quilt top.  They pillow-turn & tie the quilts & label them and then donate them to a local charity for newborns/babies.  It's always fun and always a bit chaotic with 20-30 girls on 10 sewing machines.  I'm so thankful for my volunteers!  All of the groups got their tops finished, or enough to finish at home and took 7 quilts with them to donate.  Hooray!

A couple years ago I did the photo365 project - taking a photo a day for 1 year as a way to document life.  It was a lot of fun and I managed to actually get a picture for just about everyday - there's only 1-2 holes in my year.  I've wanted to put the photos into a book somehow and just hadn't figured out the details. Until now.  A few weeks ago I spent the weekend arranging my photos into a layout through My Publisher (which I've used before) and working to get the pix from my phone to the computer. I've got them all laid out now and want to go back and check them all for fine tuning before ordering the book. I managed to have pages for each month that record each days photo - what it is/why i took it.  I really wanted to have both elements in my final book and am glad to have it come together.

On a different topic, I have the Just Dance games 1&2 for the Wii and love pulling those out after work to get moving. This week I discovered where the games are located at the library and checked out the Michael Jackson dance experience.  Wow! so fun to play just on my own & I would love to have a 2nd player just to see how it looks with both.  I tried out a couple tracks and admit I need to work on my dance moves. ;)  I have yet to try Thriller and may need to work up to it.  Most of the tracks you can dance as MJ or as the other main dancer depending on difficulty level.  Thriller however, lists hard or inhuman! ha.  Good thing no one can see into my living room.

WIP :: 2/22/12

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking up has been really helpful so far as I'm making good progress on most of my projects!

Sparkle QAL - okay, so the top is complete.  still have to baste this and decide on how to quilt it.  there are some good ideas & photos popping up in the Flickr group!

in progress
Swoon - cut my sashing last night and finalized the layout of the blocks. Onwards!
Pineapple - sewed on the greens and quilted the pineapple itself this weekend. I'll add some looser quilting in the border as well. 

 no progress
Star dots - needs backing so I can baste it. not sure what to use yet, maybe just a solid? decisions, decisions....

in the pile
-Summer Sampler
-GS Quilt
-Hawaiian applique block
-Sunflower applique

I don't have any in-progress shots this week yet.  So instead I'll leave you with a picture of my living room - which is the sometimes quilt storage area!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP :: 2/15/12

Another week on the WIP list!  There's not a whole lot of progress this week so you get a short post this time.

in progress
Sparkle QAL - so this was supposed to be a 4-block mini and then i went to Hancock's.... *grin* Now it's a 9 block small quilt that will be a great fit for my entry wall. 9 blocks finished!  onwards to the sashing.   Fabrics: Terrain & Central Park by Kate Spain, with a couple of random stashed FQs from JoAnn's and Kona Mahogany. 
Sparkle QAL
Swap blocks - I finally got these mailed out and will probably forget about them until they show up at my door   :)

 no progress
Swoon - needs sashing
Star dots - needs backing so I can baste it
Pineapple - greens & basting.  Perhaps I'll get this one in shape in time for when Psych returns in a couple of weeks!

in the pile
-Summer Sampler
-GS Quilt
-Hawaiian applique block
-Sunflower applique

Welp, that's it for today - go on over to Freshly Pieced and get inspired!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

give a little love today

Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth be a liar, 
But never doubt I love.  
~ Hamlet, Shakespeare

Happy Valentine's Day dear readers!  Hope you all got a little love & gave some of your own today.

Last night I went and glazed a bowl for the Empty Bowls project with a group from Rotaract.  It was lots of fun to decide on colors & design for bowls that will be used at an event to fundraise money for the local community kitchen.  At the event, you pay $15 and get to pick a glazed bowl (most likely not your own) that you keep.  Restaurants from around town will be there with food and you get to eat what you want with your awesome bowl.  Last year I'm told there were 900 bowls and it sold out.  This year they made 1,200 bowls and I have no doubt it will sell out again.

We also had snow flurries briefly yesterday that slowly turned into sleet and then rain.  Since it's probably the most snow we'll get this year, it was fun while it lasted!

It's been busy at work - I usually have a lot of GS events this month (2 this week!) and we also have a beginner class running as well.  Thankfully, I don't teach that one; otherwise I'd be at work all night, every night.  I'm also now the keeper of the rentals book for the classrooms and just had the first one call in this week.  Of course, I hadn't yet had the chance to look in depth at it all, but I guess it's true that when it rains it pours.

This weekend I worked to finish cleaning that was started last week, worked out, hit the grocery store & talked myself into going to Hancock's (like that was hard....) and bump my idea of a mini Sparkle quilt into a larger size for my wall.  After finding a good background color & chancing into a fun backing, I came home to work away at the 9 blocks.  I have 6 finished and the rest are cut & waiting to be sewn together.  I'm loving how it's looking so far and must remember to snap a photo of them all assembled!

 For Valentine's Day I celebrated by relaxing and chilling out here at home.  I made Chicken Bono with mashed potato & broccoli and had my own candlelit dinner; with some leftover cheesecake for dessert.  Multitasking was at a high as I got in a short workout while everything was cooking. I had every intention of getting the rest of my Sparkle blocks finished, but ended up reading for a bit and then watching Casablanca for the first time.  I enjoyed it and my favorite character was Louis. Such a sneaky policeman!  I also spotted these floating around - Psych inspired Valentine's!  love it.

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less little than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
~ e e cummings

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP :: 2/8/12

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedNot a whole lot to show this week - it's a bit busy at work right now.  Also, no photos today.  Maybe next time.
:Week in review:
Sat: School Block Reception for all the participants.  We had 94(!) people attend and it was great to have the kids there to receive their certificates & ribbons. They love to see their quilt blocks hanging in the gallery, along with checking out everyone else's block.  This year we had 176 blocks entered, from 17 states! 
Tues: Junior Quilters - I love seeing how 9 kids can be making the same quilt pattern, but each will turn out differently because of their fabric choices.  Best job ever!
Wed: JQ volunteer hours - cutting fabric, sorting, general helpfulness.
Thurs: will kick off my Girl Scout series. 11 girls coming for 4 weeks to make a small quilt.

Phew!  with all of that it's no wonder I haven't gotten much done with my own quilts.

Okay, so this wasn't one of my projects, but it is still a finish! I needed a sample of the quilt that the scouts will be making in their series.  After changing my mind on patterns on Mon., I finally got the blocks together and sewn into a top today. (Nothing like waiting for the last minute).  I ran out of the Charcoal Kona for my background, and it was out at Hancock's *gasp* so I used black instead on 3 of the setting triangles. Gives it a neat look.

Finished all 9 blocks - Hooray!  Blogged about 'em as well here, so I won't repeat the photo.  Next up is the sashing.

Sparkle QAL - hosted by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations and Jeni at In Color Order - I played with some fabric ideas a couple weeks ago for this, but not with any solid intentions in joining in.  Well, once I pulled fabrics, that was that.  I cut my pieces out for a 4-block mini size sparkle quilt and just need to figure out a background.

No Progress
Star Dots - still sitting pretty on my table
Pineapple - waiting for the greens & basting

In the pile
-Swap blocks need to be sent this week
-Summer Sampler
-GS Quilt
-Hawaiian applique block
-Sunflower applique

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Snapshot #9 :: the Swoon edition

 This weekend I finished the last of my Swoon blocks!  Hooray!  I used a fabric bundle from JoAnn's called Seaglass, 3 prints that I don't have a names for and 2 Kona solids, also without ID right now.  I haven't for sure decided on this layout, but it'll be pretty close to the finished top.  I can't wait to get these babies sashed and into a complete top!

The finished quilt will be 80x80, plus a border to make it fit better on my bed.  A quilt for me! They weren't difficult to piece, just time consuming with all the HSTs and Geese units.  There are some great blocks in the flickr Swoon Along group, and these will join in shortly so go check it out.  now.  :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

sew sew sew

Another awesome quilt retreat this past weekend!  It's nice to hang out with my quilty friends in IL and with momm and be inspired by all the great projects everyone brings.  The only guild around here meets during the day so I like having a weekend to be around other quilters and talk shop.  It also doesn't hurt that we get away to a nice resort where there's a great view of Lake Michigan (we were even able to see the skyline of Chicago on the horizon!), meals are prepared for you, comfy beds you don't have to make yourself and lots of good fun.  

All those mug rugs I made were used as favors on Friday night - everybody got one to take home.  I was sad to see a couple of them find new homes, but I can make more.  Each meal comes with a favor planned by momm so we not only go home with completed projects, but also a fun little tool or goody as well.  Mini fabric fortune cookies, a tea cup saucer pin plate, chocolate (of course), cool little key fobs and more!

It was cold and there was a thin layer of snow on the ground, but we got to stay nice & cozy inside sewing away.  The best part was being able to sew all weekend - with no interruptions except when it was time to eat!  This year there were a couple other events/meetings going on at the resort too.  Friday was a murder mystery dinner party and Saturday was a 12 hour paranormal event.  We weren't quite sure what that was all about, but I was hoping to see flashing lights outside!  Instead, C & I entertained ourselves with the Ghostbusters theme song & some great ideas of what would be paranormal about the evening.  

I worked like crazy to get my Swoon blocks together and ended up with 7 out of 9 finished!  hooray!  I have #8 ready to piece together and then have to cut out #9.  I have to double up 1 fabric and wasn't sure which one at first.  It was easy to fall into a rhythm while piecing these together and didn't have to rip much out.  Just a couple seams when I sewed on the wrong side - easily fixed. Once the blocks are finished, I can sash them and then see how much of a border to give 'em so that it fits my bed nicely.  Can't wait!

I also put together a mini quilt to hang in my sewing room.  It was inspired by In Color Order's giant Vintage Star quilt, but mine is scaled down to 6.5" HSTs.  I used all dot fabrics that I collected in Houston and from my stash.  Even the white has dots!  I'm thinking a black & white binding - perhaps a small stripe just to off set it.  

WIP :: 2/1/12

view from inside the sewing room
Wednesday again!  This week has lots of progress due to the awesomeness of winter quilt retreat this weekend.  It was great to spend the weekend with momm & my North IL quilty friends for a third year running.  
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Here's the link up for the week's current projects.  Maybe the projects that have been on stand-by for a year or more will make their way into the lists eventually...

 I spent my time sewing blocks for my very own Swoon quilt.  I got 7 finished and the HSTs & flying geese assembled for #8.  The main fabric pack I used is called Sea Glass - which was fitting since we were at the beach.  Can't wait to get the last 2 finished.

Star Dots
I also pieced together a mini quilt for my wall using all polka dot fabrics. Even the white.  :)  It was inspired by the giant vintage quilt at In Color Order but - obviously - scaled down, so it's around 26".

Still waiting to be finished.

In the pile
-Swap blocks need to be sent this week
-Summer Sampler
-GS Quilt
-Hawaiian applique block
-Sunflower applique