Thursday, March 29, 2012

Progress Report on Tops Started in January

When Terry and I got together the last weekend in January, I was working on two projects that I have since done more work on:

The "Posey Patch" top is finished, pinned and ready for quilting. The backing is off white with a pink and green very spread out spriggy not-overly-printy print. For the binding, I'm planning to use the large pink floral print used in the pieced blocks.

On my second project, I got the setting and corner triangles cut and arranged so that they flow down the sides of the quilt.

Pink striped fabric, pink fingernails, pink machine -- happy girl!

The inner border was cut 2-1/2"; the outer 6-1/2"....

Here's how it looks with both borders on -- I still have a lot of leftover fabric from this quilt, so I'm planning to use as much of it as I can for a pieced backing. I like that look and it helps use up all that "extra" fabric I bought so that I would have enough for whatever it was I decided to do with it. I've decided it's much more economical to actually have a project in mind when one is purchasing fabric, but it's a habit I have yet to acquire!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cozy Quilt Shop -- El Cajon CA

I already showed you what I bought on my San Diego trip earlier this month, but here is some of what I taught, saw, loved and took pictures of:

Small class at Cozy Quilt Shop; we only had 5 people in my Trapunto by Machine class -- they worked hard and did fabulous work! Cozy has a large, beautiful classroom with a lot of colorful inspiration hanging on the walls. By "large", I mean that we had 20 people in here with sewing machines and supplies the last time I taught, so it is spacious....

Everybody was working on an 18" square piece; I liked the way this lady framed her feather wreath with an octogon of stippling.

Here's a closeup of her stippling; she got very close to the feathers to pop out the trapunto.

On the wall of the classroom was this Christmas quilt, which is an embroidery block of the month. Wish my local shop would do this! Have to put a bug in Dawna's ear....

Another upcoming class, this one called "Crepe Paper Poppies" taught by Janice Ellertson.

This stunning quilt is hanging over the register -- WOW!

It's also on the cover of the book written by Janice Ellertson and Jodel Yover. Both authors work and teach at Cozy Quilt Shop. It's awesome that Daniella Stout, who owns Cozy, has such talented employees!

This was a quilt on display that was constructed using Sharyn Craig's cutting corners ruler. The pattern is "Twin Peaks", which is the second of Sharyn's Joy of Sets series.

Stripes and polka dots -- what's not to love???

This is another quilt made with the same exact pattern. The sampler blocks accented by alternate blocks in machine embroidery make it look completely different. That's why I love all of Sharyn's books and patterns on how to set blocks once you have made them. Choosing a schematic to set your blocks makes all the difference in the world and helps to distinguish your quilt from everyone else's after you have taken a sampler class. It's also a way to make a quilt larger if you don't want to make more blocks.

Closeup of the piecing: The thread colors in the embroidery perfectly complement the fabrics. A neat idea for making a sampler quilt unique and also making it larger than it would have been with, for instance, a plain sashed setting.

A lot of eye candy here.....can't wait to start the Strip Club project that I bought!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When I Was at Bolts in the Bathtub on Sunday....

Just can't go into Bolts in the Bathtub without discovering something that I absolutely have to have....if you go to their website by using the link and scroll down a ways, on the left hand side you will see their quilt of the month for March, which is called Romance. I fell in love with the fabrics when I was looking at the picture online, so Terry and I had to go in and up close and personally fondle the fabrics. We both loved them and bought the kits; it will be a project that we can do together on our sewing weekends. We're trying to fit in one of these monthly and so far it has worked, but the year is young....

I browsed around and found the print fabric on the right, then started pulling fabrics to go with it. Found three pinks, three greens, a couple of golds and a brown that I thought would work well. Just estimated yardages as I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

The piece de resistance was this great fabric that will be a spectacular border!

Found a book that Terry and I both liked; they only had one copy, so I scored it and Terry ordered one for herself. We don't share books and patterns; we're pretty conscious of the copyright laws and support the reasons why they're there.

I was leafing through the book Monday morning and found "Briar Patch", a pattern that I think will work really well. I'll piece the pattern with all the fabrics I purchased and then sew on an additional border of the great focus fabric. All the colors go with my house, so this will definitely be a keeper quilt!

Only problem was that the above pale gold/cream print is my background fabric; not knowing what the heck I was going to make with all this, I bought 3 yards. Pattern calls for 4! So I'll be going back to Bolts today to pick up that extra yard. What are the chances I'll leave with more than what I came for?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Made SOME Progress This Weekend

My goal was to get the centers pieced on the two quilts I pictured in my last post; however, life interfered -- shopping at the mall and at my local quilt store, Bolts in the Bathtub, became irresistible and all that takes time.

Our original quest at the mall was a booth staffed by Girl Scouts and selling their cookies! Had to have more Thin Mints (which I have to hide from Dan because he inhales them -- if you're reading this, honey, I really didn't buy any and you won't find them if I did). Terry was looking for the peanut butter sandwich cookies, Do-Si-Dos; there weren't any in the booth, but I spiffed her some of mine...

So since we were at the mall anyway, I had to look at and buy some of those fun earrings with feathers on them! They blend in really well with my hair so it looks like my hairdresser added more feathers -- fun!

I got all the blocks done for the first quilt top that I had planned to piece; there are A blocks and B blocks and in the upper right corner of the picture are the setting triangles since this quilt is set on point. I still have to sew a couple more seams on those 10 units.

The blocks laid out look like this....I LOVE the pale seafoam color for the background! I usually choose cream or white for backgrounds and it's nice to get away from that for a change.

Still have to make four corner units; all the pieces are stacked on my Sew Steady table, ready to go. I'm hoping to have a little time this afternoon to get the side and corner triangle piecing done so that all I have to do are the long seams later this week.

And the borders....

Didn't even touch the other one I wanted to do, but Terry and I are getting together in April, right before I teach at Fabrics, Notions & More in Ridgecrest, so there's still hope!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Couple of Piecing Projects for This Weekend

This weekend I get to sew with my friend Terry Wojciehowski. We are aiming for a weekend a month this year and so far it's worked, so we'll see how the rest of the year goes with my travel schedule and both our busy lives. Terry is coming over tomorrow afternoon and staying through Sunday, so that's not a lot of time, but we only stop sewing to eat and sleep, so manage to get quite a lot done.

Last weekend, I taught in two quilt shops in the San Diego area: Cozy Quilts and Memory Lane Quilts for the Legacy Quilt Guild. The Legacy guild had booked me for a Thursday night lecture and a Saturday Introduction to Machine Quilting workshop (held at Memory Lane) and Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilts graciously invited me to teach Machine Trapunto at her shop on Friday to fill out my schedule.

Of course, I bought things at both shops and that is what I hope to work on this weekend:

I saw a sample on the wall made from this pattern by Christina Stiasny, owner of Memory Lane Quilt Shop. I was also eyeing a line of fabric from Benartex that was conveniently displayed on a table between the classroom and the restroom!

So this is one project that I would like to work on this weekend....from left to right are my final border fabric, the stripe for the inner border, the next three in the piecing and the far right pale aqua for the background.

Cozy Quilts is known, probably world wide, for Daniela Stout's Strip Club kits, books and patterns. Every second Saturday, over one hundred quilters come to Cozy Quilts to find out what the new Strip Club pattern will be. There is kind of a teaser ahead of time in that on a shelf near the classroom there will be the bolts of fabric reserved for the following month's Strip Club subscribers. That's sort of what hooked me -- I fell in love with the fabrics reserved for April.

The above fabrics were for the March Strip Club -- somehow I got out of the store without a photo of the quilt top! The pattern is called "Shine" and here is a link to the quilt:

I wasn't totally crazy about the border fabric, so I bought the strip set, grabbed a gold fabric out of my stash for the stars and then went to my local quilt shop, Bolts in the Bathtub, to fill out the rest. The white-on-white polka dot will be the background, the next fabric is the gold print that I pulled from the stash, the next two golds will be the setting triangles where Cozy has the greens, the pink polka dot for the inner border and the fun floral/butterfly print for the outer border. Bought the stripe because I had to have it; don't know if I'll use it as the binding (very optimistic in thinking I'll get it quilted at some point in my life) or just add it to the stash.

Here they are all together.....

So I have two things to work on; guess I'll do some rotary cutting tonight!

Cozy Quilts is located at 2940 Jamacha Road, Suite H in El Cajon CA (ph: 619-670-0652). Memory Lane Quilt Shop just moved to a brand new location at 1626 N. Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon, CA (ph: 619-562-2288).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Teri Asked "What's for Dinner?"

On facebook today, my friend Teri Lucas told us what she was having for dinner -- chicken -- and asked what we all were doing. Since I've done so much traveling lately, this is the first meal I've cooked this month, so I thought I'd give a little more detail:

Asparagus has to be my favorite produce item -- except for strawberries! which aren't quite in season here yet. Right now asparagus is plentiful, cheap and yummy. I put the salmon on one baking sheet, the asparagus on another, drizzled them with olive oil and liberally sprinkled Trader Joe's "Everyday Seasoning" over it all. Then into a 475 degree oven for 11 minutes.

Meanwhile, I had some leftover "Quinoa and Red Rice Stuffing" made from a Williams-Sonoma mix that I heated up in the microwave for a few minutes. Made nice texture and some additional color on the plate. The Valencia CA Williams-Sonoma had boxes of this mix on clearance after the holidays and I bought one to try. Now, of course, I wish I had bought more!

Dan uncorked a bottle of chardonnay and we were good to go!

Here's a picture of the bottle in front of the beautiful flowers that were waiting for me after I got home from my 11 day trip to Texas. I taught for two days at Creative Sewing Center in San Antonio, three days at Sew Contempo in Houston and then did a lecture and a workshop for the Rio Grande Valley Quilters in Weslaco TX. Of course, fabric and great ideas followed me home! I'll be back in San Antonio teaching three days at Creative Sewing Center in September.

The flowers are from Antelope Valley Florist in Lancaster CA -- they do such beautiful arrangements and they last a long time.....

Closeup of the bottle: It's a wine we purchased from Mayo Family Winery on a trip to Sonoma CA a few years ago. We attended a food/wine pairing at the winery tasting room. The food and wine worked wonderfully together and they were very gracious in sharing the recipes. We were wine club members for a couple of years after that.

This is probably a whole lot more than you wanted to know, Teri!

Oh, and for dessert, I had 6 Thin Mint cookies -- can't believe we only bought four boxes this year! Guess Girl Scouts don't set up their booths in front of Trader Joe's stores....

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