Friday, March 29, 2013

And the winners are...

That's right! The judging is finished, and I got an authentic ribbon in this year's NWA Q.U.I.L.T. Guild's bi-annual quilt show. Hurray!!!
This ribbon (well, maybe not this specific ribbon), but it or one of its identical third place siblings is coming to live at my house, compliments of the baby quilt below.
Yes, that's right. This is Baby Lucy's quilt. Lucy was born on March 5, but has been struggling along without her baby quilt from her great-aunt (yes, that's me!) so that I could enter the quilt in the show. The show is in two weeks, so I should be able to send the quilt on to her soon.
I've tried to take a couple of closeup photos of the quilting that Mom put on this quilt. The judge must have liked looking for the little butterflies...

and dragonflies that Mom added for interest. I know that I've had fun looking for them. They're really hard to photograph, so you'll just have to take my word for it that they're cute. Great job, Mom. It's nice to have a judge recognise and appreciate your efforts.

 And now for Mom's triumph... she took SECOND place...

with her bunny rabbit baby quilt. I do not have a close-up of this quilt, just this photo that Mom sent in with her registration.
Congratulations, Mom!!! Neither of us is accustomed to winning ribbons -  we just like to show off our quilts. But it is nice to have someone professional like them once in a while. And by the way, this judge is with NQA and trains NQA judges.

So, what am I working on now?

Well, I should be binding one of those six or so finished quilts whose stares are boring holes into the back of my head every time I walk into the sewing room... or working on one of my 30+ UFOs that I swore I'd get done this year (does crossing my fingers behind my back when making this oath negate my responsibility to keep it? *Grin*)... or organizing my sewing room... or vacuuming... or cleaning the toilets... or...

But I'm not doing any of those. As I mentioned in a post a few days ago (March 22), I have delved into the realm of kits (thank you Sager Creek Quilts). Since I bought this kit in 2008, I've been very successful at out-of-sight, out-of-mind. But I've run out of hiding places for it, so I've had to start dealing with it.

I completed the first block last week, and this week I added several more completions. Here's last week's contribution.

And here are this week's. Callie, would you please help me with my reveals?
 Oh my. Where's your head, Callie?

Oh! There you are. Thank you, my furry sweet. Very nice pose.
This gold and green with a touch of red is probably my favorite block so far. I love the cream setting. It keeps the whole block nice and light looking.

With this next block, I went a little heavy with the strong colors. While the pattern and the fabrics are provided, I get to chose my combinations. I rather wish I had chosen differently. Thank you, Callie. The next one please?

Ah, yes. a Jacob's Ladder with a twist. I'm sure this block has a name of it's own - does anyone know it? Anyway, I like the way this block turned out. It has strong visual appeal in the center with an interesting, but not too distracting, floral pattern to draw the eye outward.

Here are the first four blocks side-by-side. They will have sashing and corner-stones when I set them. They look rather lonely without my lovely assistant to showcase them for me, but she got bored and wandered off in the direction of the heater. Go figure. 

And a late comer to the party - this interwoven star pattern. It was supposed to have single color outlining the stars, but I've always wanted to try the dual color version of this pattern. It was challenging to try to convert the colors in my brain while laying out this pattern since I had to determine the correct layout before ironing the half-square triangles. The seam allowances had to be ironed in the correct direction to keep everything nesting the way it should. Since the pattern showed the rectangles as all one color, keeping everything straight was a bit challenging that late at night. I should never try to adapt a pattern when I'm up sewing past my bedtime. : )

Since we're having thunderstorms today, I might not be able to do any sewing until they have moved through. I don't want my lovely Janome 6600 blown up by lightning! If I can't machine sew, I guess I'll just have to tackle that growing pile of binding before it topples on me from behind. ; )

Anything to keep from having to load the dishwasher... sweep and mop the kitchen floor... do the laundry...



Monday, March 25, 2013

Please do me a favor...

I had planned on showing some photos of the quilts blocks I made this weekend, but those will have to wait. Instead, I would like for you to click on then click on the play button to see the quilt show photos. There are a lot of photos, but they are SO worth seeing. I am IN LOVE with that zebra!

This is one of my favorite blogs, Ms. Wazoo does some of the most incredible custom quilting I have ever seen. Mr. Wazoo has a machine of his own and does many of the less intensive quilts. I recognized some of the quilts in the show as some that the Wazoos had quilted for customers.

Did you do it? Did you SEE those quilts??? Wasn't that a fantastic quilt show? If you liked those photos, I encourage you to follow this blog. You won't regret it. I swear I'm not on her payroll; I just love her quilt photos. : )

I feel so inadequate now! *Sniff* I think I'll go to bed and dream of lovely quilts. Goodnight.


Friday, March 22, 2013

What I did on my Spring Break...

**Warning: picture heavy post.**
On my Spring Break I did...nothin' much. : ) 
Much like Maxie, I lazed around in warm spots much of the time. Here she is "babysiting" our newest acquisitions.
 Maxie has to prove that she's good babysitter and hasn't eaten her charges... "See, Mom, no chicks!"

Meanwhile, inside the box... Here is what Maxie was keeping safe. A few babies to keep the flock from getting inbred. That warming light you see is the reason the cats are taking turns sleeping on top of the box. Warm bellies!

And outside, in the yard, spring was attempting to emerge. The chickens, meanwhile, have been eating every sign of green they see!

The Golden Wyandotte below was almost killed by dogs last fall. You can barely see the injury anymore. There is just the slightest indention behind her head where her feathers will never regrow. That's one strong hen!
 And in the garden, the daffodils were beginning to bloom...
While in the house, the kitties were beginning to stalk...daffodils, of course!

The fields were turning green - at least the areas without chickens or cows!
The trees were beginning to get fuzzy looking, budding up for spring...
The calves were least those who had their land legs, which the littlest one below didn't yet. This was as close as Mama Cow was willing to let me get. When a mother cow growls, I listen.   : 0

The dogs had plenty to smell on our walks...

Even the spring got into the St. Patrick's Day spirit!

(Another random pasture shot.)

Inside the house, I was attempting to prep a backing for a baby quilt. No luck. A warm ironing board was too much for Sinnie to resist.

So I switched to another stack of projects - three quilts to be bound topped by a stack of fabrics for one of my many UFOs. My goodness, Sinbad sure can move quickly! No luck there either.
Fine. I'll just work on my latest Stashbuster quilt pattern. Yes, I know I'm supposed to be working on UFOs, but I refer you back to the previous two photos. : )
This Stashbuster pattern is due the first Thursday in April. I don't always make the patterns, but I liked this one.
 Each block is 8" finished and I made two at a time. Using 21 fat quarters, I made light-in-the-middle and dark-in-the-middle blocks.

I misread the directions and made 42 blocks instead of 48. I wanted it larger anyway, so instead of getting three more sets of fat quarters to make 48 blocks, I just remixed the remains of the day and came up with different combos to make 20 more blocks and get the quilt to a larger size.

Then it was time to plan a border. I like fancy borders, but the inside of this quilt is already busy. So I decided on a simple wide border instead. I was trying to test drive a small black inside border, but was having trouble with the "help." It's amazing how Maxie is so silky and shiny that she actually has blue highlights in photos. : )
Despite the help, I finally got the two borders finished. The photo below better represents the actual colors of the quilt. Unfortunately, it's still only a large throw in size. It'll have to be used on a couch instead of a bed, although it might fit a twin.  

And finally, my "Rest of the Story" photo. Here's a cute picture of Ladybug eating her breakfast on the outside ledge of the bathroom window.

And here's what's really going on... Maxie, who hates Ladybug with a passion, sits inside the window every morning and tries to intimidate her mortal enemy into forgoing food. Keep trying, Maxie. Ladybug hasn't seemed too impressed by your efforts yet.

Well, I've watched the sun set on my last free day. I still have the weekend ahead, but I always have weekends off anyway, so it doesn't really count. Spring Break is over. : (

I completed the Stashbuster quilt and backing (currently all at Mom's house for quilting), made a backing for a UFO children's quilt, sewed binding together for two quilts (both currently being slept on by Maxie so that I can't sew the bindings on), and started a new quilt. Oh, I didn't tell you about that one, huh? Must be because I still have about 30 UFO's I'm supposed to be working on. This one is not on my To Do List, but it should have been. It's a kit that I bought in 2008. It's the only kit I have ever bought, but I loved both the pattern and the fabrics. I finally started it tonight. Here's my first block. Pretty, isn't it. After five years, it's good to get started on this.

My goodness, it's my bed time (and I have a migraine), so I'm toddling off to join my kitties in slumber. Night all.


Friday, March 15, 2013


Saturday is the last day to turn in our quilts for the quilt show in April. Believe it or not, I'm STILL trying to get the last three quilts ready. I'm sending down eleven for display - six for judging and five for display only. My lovely sister and her equally lovely children brought the last four to me on Monday. I got two of them done on Tuesday since they only needed rod pockets, but the last two and my owl quilt are still in progress. The owl just needs a label, the other two need labels and rod pockets. Guess what I'll be doing this afternoon. : / It's a good thing I get off work at noon on Fridays. : ) 
In the meantime, here are some photos of my Blue Skies quilt that I completed last year. I bragged about getting it finished, but never showed any final photos of it.
Back - I was fortunate enough to find this matching fabric on the discount table at a quilt shop a couple of hours from my home. It's from the same line, but I had never seen it any of the shops closer to me. It was a fantastic bargain at $4/yard, so I bought enough for the entire back. Lucky me!

Close up of front pattern. This pattern is from the 501 Rotary Cut Blocks book by Judy Hopkins. I used the same pattern, but alternated the sky blue and the print just for fun.

Last photo - Ready to turn in after its defurring. All quilts must be defurred before entry in case the judge, hangers, or members of the general public are allergic to cats, dogs, etc. I used a really great mitt that I bought at PetSmart. It's for removing fur from furniture, and it works wonderfully!
So why don't I have all of my entries completely finished yet? Weeeelllll... I find sewing on rod pockets and labels very boring. And I have lots of UFOs that I need to work on, but I couldn't justify finishing another project when I still have three quilts waiting on binding. More hand work. : (
Soooooo... Yes. I did the unthinkable. I started a new project. After all of that hand sewing, I needed to cut something! I needed to choose fabric, and iron it, and measure it, and cut beautiful slices out of it. Something that didn't require hand sewing. : / Something creative! : )
In my defense, this is the new Stashbusters pattern that we are supposed to work on for April. I really liked the simple pattern, so I decided to tackle this one.
 Here are a few of my fabrics sliced and ready for cutting into 1 3/4"  squares, 3" squares, and 1 3/4" by 3" rectangles.

Stacks of squares and rectangles cut and ready to sew. You can see a few of the units sewn together already.

A couple of my competed blocks. Each fabric makes two blocks - one with a light center and one with a dark. The two above are both light centers.
 Here is a completed quilt top as shown by Sager Creek Quilt and Yarnworks when we got our patterns last month. I'm really looking forward to seeing how mine turns out. I have quite a bit more done now since I've worked on it again several more times this week. It's going to be hard to focus on rod pockets with this project beckoning me from my sewing machine.
And finally, my gratuitous kitty photos. Enjoy your heater while it's still cool enough to have it on, babies. Soon spring will turn into summer and the heater will return to the storage shed.
One little kitty...

 Two little kitties...

Three little kitties say "So long! Have a great day!"
Actually, they're just saying, "Zzzzzzzz...," but I'm saying, "Have a nice day!" I'm off for Spring Break this coming week. Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!