Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP :: 9/26/12

Here's a look at what I worked on this past week.  I needed a break from wrangling J's quilt through the machine so I pulled out some fabric scraps and made a few blocks!  Head over to Freshly Pieced to check out all the other great WIPS!

I'm thinking of using the Granny Square block for my JQ kids; which meant I had to try it out first.  ;)   I cut my squares at 3" instead of 2.5" and like that look best.  It'll be a great block for the girls to work on their precision sewing. I may need to make a few other 'samples' just to be sure I have it right.

Then I pulled out my Modern Blocks book and started flipping and marking pages of blocks to try.  I started with a fairly simple one - Boxed In - and really enjoyed putting it together from my scraps.  This would also be neat as a super-sized block for a baby quilt/wall quilt. Oh the possibilities!

I then pulled out the templates Momm made me for drunkards path blocks and finally tackled curve piecing!  No pins, no fear - I just started zipping them through.  I think the hardest part is cutting out the pieces.  They went together really quick and I love how the design possibilities are endless.
I wanted to make a butterfly block, but realized too late I had sewn too many curves and didn't have enough squares.  So I made this layout instead - I love it!   It might become a pillow or maybe just a mini quilt to hang on my wall.  [yes....I like that idea]  :)

in progress
-J's quilt:  still quilting

other projects
-roman stripe blocks
-FMQ sammies

Sunday, September 23, 2012

sunday snapshot #12

It's been such a nice first Fall weekend.  Cool temps, sunshine and some quilt time!  Here's a peek at some blocks I mixed up.  Finally succumbed to the Granny Square block, though I cut my pieces at 3" to start so it'd be a little bit larger.  Then a block from the Modern Blocks book and my first ever curved seams!  I ended up with this layout instead of my original plan, but love it.  Enjoy readers!   [side bar:: C this double post day is for you ;]

meet me in St. Louis

Snaps & I played tourist in St. Louis the other weekend as that was our 1/2 way point to meet for vacation (by loose standards anyway...).   We fit in as much as possible and had a blast - of course!  I've been there once before in high school, which was during the pre-digital camera days.  crazy.  It was fun to be back with such a good friend & new camera technology.   :]

view of base from the top!
First up was the Arch - photos outside and then taking the tram ride up to the top.  It's only a 4 minute ride up and you get to know the other people riding in your car really well since it's a tiny space for 5 people!  We also took a river cruise on the Mississippi aboard the Tom Sawyer boat.  (I was really hoping we'd get the Becky Thatcher instead).  Tried the toasted ravioli - a signature St. Louis dish - delicious.

  A hot air balloon festival/race was in town which sounds exciting; until we made the mistake of driving into the park to try and find somewhere to park.  There were hundreds of cars parked everywhere, more cars inching around to catch a spot and chaos in our car since we had no clue how to get back out!  It took a bit of time to drive around the park, finesse a 3 point turn and work our way back to the highway.  After catching our breath, we stopped in at The Fountain for ice cream martinis and were not disappointed.  Great recommend for a fun treat and the drinks/ice cream were so so good and much desired after the park chaos.

Day #1 continued as we headed to the City Museum for several hours of sheer fun & amazement.  Thanks Snaps for putting this on the list, by the way.  ;)   This place has indoor and outdoor adventures waiting to happen including 3 story slides, a school bus driving off the edge of the roof and a ferris wheel on the roof!  Check it out for yourself.  We caught a gorgeous sunset as well.  After we tried out the great slide and decided to head out - the fire alarm went off! so we called it a night for sure.

Day #2 included Mass at the gorgeous Cathedral and lunch & catch up with K.  Then we were off to the Budweiser brewery for a tour, glimpse of the Clydesdales and free tastings.  I tried Bud light lime which was good and Shock Top lemon shandy which was really nice too, even though I'm not a big beer drinker.

 Day #3 was our last chance to find some of the other signature dish - gooey butter cake - also delicious.  We found a coffee shop with multiple flavors of the cake to start out the morning before heading for the zoo.  It was overcast most of the weekend with decent temps and no rain - until Snaps packed away her raincoat! Then what started as a light drizzle at the penguin house, turned into a steady rain by the time we admired the big cats & gorillas. 
The rain ended our fun at the zoo and then it was time to put Snaps back on a plane home.  On the way back home, I stopped at White Castle for lunch as it's been years since I've had it. Tasty!  A fab weekend adventure and we're already planning ahead to the next one.  :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

color play

I love having short work weeks and longer weekends! I've got some things to do yet around the house before I'm in full vacation mode, but it seems less like work when on the brink of vacation!

To fully kick-off the fun I'm joining in on the mosaic contest Softly Against Black over at Stitched in Color.  I love playing with fabrics and designing mini bundles - who wouldn't?!

So here are my 2 entries [so far].  Go over and check it out for yourself!

Mini mosaic #1:

Mini mosaic #2:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WIP :: 9/5/12

I totally missed out on this post last week - Wednesday zipped right by me.  The strap of my watch broke the other week and I'll admit that it's a bit harder to check my phone for the day of the week along with the time.

Hard to imagine that it's September even though it gets darker earlier now.  If you have kids or teach kids and want to know a way to get them into (or continue) quilting check out this post for a fun contest.
Here's what I'm linking up over at Freshly Pieced today!

I finished my Christmas quilt!  It's all bound, labeled, washed & photographed.  I am so glad to have a quilt to pull out and snuggle when it gets cold.  Love it.  I even found a nice evergreen bush to give the picture a wintery touch.  :)

The pattern is called 'sweet pea' from Camille Roskelley's book Simplify.  I used a layer cake instead of charm squares to make it larger.  The side stripe was to make it large enough for snuggling.  I pieced the backing from Christmas/holiday fabrics I had in my stash.


in progress
-J's quilt: got this baby basted and am currently quilting it.  Lots of straight lines and DVDs of Road to Avonlea to keep me going on it.

-Roman Stripes
-FMQ sammies

no progress
-GS quilt
-Summer Sampler
-swap blocks (just laying around for now :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

school block challenge

This is a Public Service Announcement especially geared for those who teach or have kids preK - 12 grade.  You've been warned.  ;)

Each year hundreds of kids across the country participate in the School Block Challenge contest. Many are introduced to quilting & fiber art for the first time and many return year after year.  Co-sponsored by  Moda fabrics, the kids get to create a quilt block using 3 challenge fabrics and have their blocks exhibited in the gallery at the Museum.  So exciting & inspirational!

Okay, so if you're interested check out this link for the SBC contest.  Or pass it on to someone who might know some younglings that may like to dabble in quilting. All the details including the challenge fabric for this year, rules and last year's winning blocks are in the link. 

Okay, PSA is over - but I do hope some of you are encouraged to share this with your own younglings/students after checking it out.

Monday, September 3, 2012

buzz notes

I did promise you an update after Kidz Day - didn't intend for it to take so long.  Kidz Day was a hit!  We had 851 people show up throughout the day and there was a constant flow of younglings through the hands-on crafts.  I planned an Olympic theme and we had several activities to coordinate with that along with balloon animals, outdoor games, story telling & song, and lots of sunshine.  It was a lot of fun and it's nice to be 2 for 2 in such a big event.  :)

I managed to snag one of the first copies of the Hunger Games from the library and finally got to watch it last night.  So, so good.  I thought it was a good book-to-movie adaptation.  I may need to watch it again before returning it though.  I also watched This Means War - also good!  Fun storyline and funny movie.  Of course, you can't go wrong with Chris Pine either.  ;)

the canary!
The other week I went with a group from Rotaract to a minor league ball game in Carbondale.  The team is called the Miners, and they had several mascots: an ol' time miner, a rat and a canary.  It was fun to be at a ball game again with friends.  We won in extra innings too!

quilting away
I've been working on J's quilt this week too - got the backing all pieced together and basted fairly quickly.  It was briefly interrupted by the tornado warnings Saturday night.  It's the fastest way to ruin thunderstorms and much needed rain though, and am glad that it wasn't too bad.  I've started quilting it too and boy, straight line quilting can be just as complex as free-motion. 

In between the rain clouds I got outside to take pictures of my finished Christmas quilt too!  I'm so glad to have a quilt all bound and crinkly well before the holidays.  :)  It'll be nice to curl up with it and a cup of hot chocolate this winter.

It's been a relaxing holiday weekend - I especially love sitting on the balcony and watching the hummingbirds.  They have been going crazy this past week - lots of chattering, dive bombing and the sound of lightsaber wings.  

Hope you've had a good end of summer Labor Day wknd!