Friday, October 28, 2011

Welcome Sew We Quilt Friends!!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you liked today's tutorial. Be sure to send thanks and smooches to Madame Samm! What an incredible ride!!! If you haven't been there yet, head on over to Sew We Quilt right now!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shopping with Jenn, and other fun stuff.

It's occurred to me that I haven't posted much about quilt projects lately. Most of what I've been working on has been for other people (bee blocks) or super secret (revealed on Saturday) or totally top secret, (to be revealed much later.)

But, I do have a few things to show you...

A few weeks ago I met my friend Jenn for a day of fabric shopping in Amish Country, near Lancaster PA. The town is named Intercourse. Go ahead. Giggle. Get it out of your system. I expected to find a lot of civil war repro stuff (which I did) but they also had bolts and bolts of modern lines. Tons of Moda. And, the prices were great! Here's my loot:

If that wasn't enough to make me giddy (close to 15 yards worth), Jenn also gave me a pile of scraps and some figgy pudding yardage, just 'cause she's awesome! I had to dig into the scraps. This is now a pillow top for Katie Cakes (maybe a Christmas present.)

Still more scraps made their way into coffee cozies and a Farmer's Wife Block. Still others worked their way into my super secret project (stay tuned for Saturday!)

 I still have quite a bit left. But, had to put them away to get to some other projects.

And now to my bee blocks. These are from my 3 x 6 bee-mates. I think I have about 30 "black and white with a splash of bright" blocks now. Plenty for a quilt top. A good project for 2012!

And these are the blocks from my 4 x 5 modern bee. This is my first round, so just the starting point for quilt later next year.

Surely I've done some other things. They may still be in the cave. Or, maybe I just need to sew more!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hi Pumpkin!

Never too old for a pumpkin patch picture.

Quilt Wrecks

Do you know about Cake Wrecks? This is some serious lol stuff. Literally. LOL. So funny. My sister in law, Andrea, told be about them (Jen and john) a couple of years ago. Well, turns out, they just came out with their new book, Wreck the Halls, and are on a book tour that stopped, in all places of Pikesville in Baltimore which is like 10 minutes from my house. Andrea, being all cakey like she is, came up from Reston to be part of the festivities. And festive they were! Elena, from Charm City Cakes brought a cake wreck of her own (which we got to eat later, yum!)

Jen and john did a little slide show, a little slap stick, a little song (no dance). It was hilarious. Part of the fun was a contest. The audience was invited to create a previously featured cake wreck in miniature cupcake form. Andrea entered last year and came in second. This year, she was in it to win it. This is her entry:

If you can't quite tell what it is (what, it's not obvious?) this is a cesarean cake complete with afterbirth. Duh.
And this is Andrea with her WINNING! cake wreck:

And this is Andrea with author Jen and Andrea's winning cake wreck and Andrea sporting her new Cake Wreck Apron! Way to go, Andrea!

And now to the quilty part.

After a really fun afternoon, my mind kept going from Cake Wreck to, of course, Quilt Wreck.

Can there be such a thing as a quilt wreck? Yes. I think so.

Exhibit A

This is one of the very first quilts I made. I'm not so much a heart fan, so don't know why I made this. Are you enjoying the stunning variety of cranston prints? Fancy! Let me zoom you a little closer on the binding:

Yup, that's bias tape all right! A bit yellowed from age. Check out my awesome hand stitching skills! (BTW, that would be the hanging loop.)

Here's another Quilt Wreck for you:

Wait, you say. That's not a wreck. It's a stunning, vintage, hand pieced and quilted diamond thingy.
And I would agree with you. Except it's been turned into this beauty:

A Quilted Vest?!  What?? Awesome! Perfect with red sweat pants. (Thanks for modeling, Katie!)

(Disclaimer: I did not wreck this quilt. If anything, I saved it. I purchased it in this form at a garage sale several years ago. And no, I have never worn it. At least not in public.)

So, there you go. Two Quilt Wrecks. Got one to share? Email it to me (email addy in my profile) and I'll feature it on my blog!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flood Update

A few weeks ago I posted about our basement flood. Here are some before pictures of my quilt cave:

Here's what it looks like now:

And here's my temporary cave ~ above ground!

I'm slowly moving stuff upstairs, because I have a feeling it's going to a loooong while until things are back to normal (or maybe even back to better!) downstairs.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Mug Rug ~ A tutorial!

I love the look of white pumpkins in fall decor. A nice departure from all that orange! Originally, I came up with this mug rug tutorial for a guest blog post  for Sew We Quilt at the end of the month. But then I got thinking, maybe everyone will be over pumpkins by then and making a bee line to valentines. Oh wait, there's another holiday in there somewhere, right? Anyway, I came up with a new idea for that blog post (look for it October 29th!) and can show you this one now. It's super easy. You can make one this afternoon!

Here's what you need: Scraps of cream fabrics.

Scraps of green fabrics:

And all the usual suspects (batting and backing 10 x 12 should be plenty) plus some binding fabric (I made single fold binding, cut it 1.5" wide, and needed about about 40 inches or so. Again, I used up scraps.) BTW, if you're super observant, you'll notice those long strips are more like 10.5 inches long. When I drew up the dimensions, I screwed up a bit. 9.5 is the correct length!

Let's get sewing:
Sew the center up log cabin style, adding sides first, then top and bottom.

Next, we're going to add triangles to the corner, to give it a pumpkin shape.

On the wrong side of your fabric, draw a diagonal line down the center of your 1.5 inch background squares.

Line up the squares on the corners of your pumpkin unit, and sew on the drawn line.

 When you're done, it should look like this. Press your corner out. If you like, you can trim out the back layers.

Next, sew the stem unit together.

And add to pumpkin unit.

Add the borders:

And your top is finished! Now, make your sammich. (You can see I added a couple of little cross stitches to be fancy. Totally optional!)

Next, quilt as desired. I did a simple in the ditch quilting around all the "logs" on the pumpkin and on the stem.
Add binding (I chose single fold binding. Cut at 1.5 ", fold over 1/4" and press, then sew unfolded edge to quilt as usual. Bring binding around to back and hand sew ~ I always hand sew my bindings. I like to do it!)

You're done! A pumpkin mug rug! Which would go so nicely with a pumpkin latte, I think!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Out takes

A few months ago we went to a craft fair in Annapolis. One of the vendors was a photographer who had a lot of cool shots of Washington's landmarks. He mostly had photos, but a few were photos on canvas. Hubby was intrigued. "How do they do that?" I'm thinking, "That's so 2009. Whatever." But then I got to thinking, Aha! Gift idea. And through the magic of groupon, I secured a nice 16 x 20 photo on canvas for cheap. My groupon expiration date is rapidly approaching. So, a couple of weekends ago, I subjected my kids to a photo shoot. Can't show you the real deal yet. Hubby is a follower. Hi honey! But here are some out takes.

Kyle, you so funny.

Yeah, it's cheesey.

Blue steel.

Almost a family photo.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deer Cafe

Last night, two bucks stopped by for dinner. They ate and left before I could grab my camera. This morning, these doe came for breakfast.

I like to think that this conversation happened:

Doe: Where'd you two go last night?

Buck: Oh, we tried this new place over on Esgarth. Great food, really fresh. Nice atmosphere. You should try it.

Doe: The girls and I were planning to have breakfast together tomorrow. I think we'll give it a go.

I know that some consider the deer a nuisance. I invite them. Their quiet, gentle presence makes me smile.