August 28, 2007

This one's for you, Kim

Sampler When I listed my ongoing projects yesterday, Kim suggested showing a picture of all my Cinnamon Stars sampler blocks together.  Since I already had them on my design wall hoping to spark some inspiration, I snapped a photo last night.  I realized I'm further along than I thought - only 4 more blocks until I'm finished!  There will be sashing and cornerstones to separate these blocks and I'm sure they will be arranged differently, but here they be.   :)

August 27, 2007


I started quilting in 1993 and have always been a "one project at a time" gal.  Truly.  I could not begin a new project until I had completed at the least the finished top of the current project (hey - a top is a finished project, right?).   I am such a product person, that this really worked for me.  I put one in the 'finished' column and also the exciting new project was the carrot dangling in front of me to get to the finish line.

Fast forward to 2007.   I started the Sampler Challenge with Nicole.  Yes, I am enjoying this project immensely, but it totally goes against my nature to do just one block at a time.  And now this project has fallen behind since we were both out of town and too busy to make a block.  Then I took the Jo Morton Peppermint Twist class in June and added another project to my list, and the list goes on.

I now have 7 projects in progress and truly, the chaos is stressing me out.  Yes, I was reminded that I am supposed to enjoy my quilting and not be stressed, but I need to get a handle on these projects and get back to my Zen.

So my to-do list includes:

  1. Sampler Challenge - I need to rein in the chaos before I can attempt to be creative about putting fabrics together for this.  Then Nicole and I have agreed to finish this up in quick succession, not sticking to our "every other week" schedule.

  2. Jo Morton Peppermint Twist - churn dash pieced blocks, no problem - I have them all cut, I just need to finish piecing them.  The applique is another story.

  3. Opening Day quilt using Roman Holiday fabrics - This will get moved to the back burner.  It's already all cut, so I know it's just ready for the assembly line.

  4. Golden Memories BOM - first three blocks are completed and I'm waiting for September's shipment.  Nothing I can do until that arrives!  I might be able to work on this and ONE other project.  Stay tuned...

  5. Michael Miller Kids' Toile kit - shown in yesterday's post.  My daughter is sweetly nagging me to finish this and it's at the sashing stage, so I will work on it and try and get it completed next and off to the quilter.  Have I mentioned I hate sashing?  And borders?

  6. Jellystone - kit from Miss Rosie's class.  This is the bear paw variation and involves some complicated cutting.  On hold until I finish cutting #7 below.

  7. "Cupcake" - kit from Miss Rosie's class.  I am cutting and sewing strips and then pinning the 9-patches together as I watch tv in the evenings.  Maybe this will be put on hold after all the cutting is done.  Again, stay tuned!

I'm looking forward to the 3-day weekend and perhaps I can at least finish #5 this week and cross one off my list.  I aim to get back to one project again.  Ok, maybe two.  Three at the most....  ;-)

The Loot

I've had a number of requests to share the stash I acquired on my trip to Spokane.  Always happy to oblige....

Toile Before I even made it to my mom's house, we stopped at the cutest little shop in her town, Cottage Quilting.  You would never even know it was there unless you had the inside scoop - there was no sign off the highway.  It was a small shop, but bright and just packed with my favorite Moda fabrics and lots of shop samples.  The owners Roxanne and Kendra couldn't have been more friendly and welcoming.  My daughter fell in love with a kit they had made up and draped over a playpen in the shop.  It was this cute Michael Miller Kid's Toile in a mint and chocolate combination with that curly plush Minkee-like fabric used for the back.  It will be a perfect cuddle quilt for DD.  I was able to get some of the blocks assembled while I was hanging out waiting for Nicole to arrive on Saturday.

Paw These are the fabrics in our kit for the Jellystone (bear paw) quilt designed by Carrie Nelson.

The next photo shows the blues and golden browns that will be used in the setting blocks for the second Carrie Nelson class quilt, working title Cupcake.  I'm working on cutting and sewing the 119 9-patch blocks, so I don't have pictures of those fabrics.


Purples And finally, although I was sure I'd collected every purple fabric in the state of Washington for my future Blackberries & Cream quilt (current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting), the Buggy Barn had some delicious purples and creams that I just had to add to my collection.

August 24, 2007

Meeting Carrie Nelson!

Carrie_4 Nicole and I arrived at the Buggy Barn early Monday for our first day of classes, hoping we could stake out a good seat and vy for teacher's pet.  Into the Buggy Barn walks Carrie Nelson, just like a regular person!!!  Well, of course, she *is* a regular person, but to me and Nicole, she is a ROCK STAR!!!

If you have ever made a Miss Rosie's pattern, Carrie was just as funny, warm, and friendly as she comes across in her charming pattern descriptions.  The classes both days were much smaller than I imagined - only about 12 or 13 students.  This allowed us lots of room to spread out, and also lots of one-on-one time with Carrie - including having her at our lunch table on Tuesday!

Paw_2 The kits that the Buggy Barn put together for Carrie's 2 new designs were fabulous (I heard Carrie say a number of times that she wanted a kit too!) and the patterns were very typically Carrie - tradition with a twist and very scrappy.

The first day we worked on a design she calls Jellystone - a fabulous stylized bear paw.  Here are my first 3 blocks - not much to see, but we spent a good amount of time cutting and didn't get a whole lot of sewing done in the class.

This bear paw was a little tricky, further complicated by the diagram in the pattern which was shaded incorrectly.  Many people in class had trouble getting the paw unit to come out right, including poor Nicole.  She finished her first one, and seeing as how we were front and center, Carrie picked up Nicole's block to show the class, then pointed out that the pieces had been oriented wrong.  Carrie handed the block back to Nicole and said "This can be your humilty block."  Nicole immediately muttered under her breath, "I am NOT having a humility block!"  I wish I had a recording as it was the funniest thing I've ever heard!  Nicole soon got back in a rhythm and I know she completed more blocks than I did!

We were able to get the kits for our Tuesday class and took them home to do our cutting, so we were able to just sit and sew the following day.  No photos of the second quilt because I didn't think you would find my 3 little finished 9-patches very exciting to look at.  The quilt is actually really simple, but the fabric choices and the setting make it very charming.  The blues Carrie used in hers are the fabulous florals from Moda's Chocolat collection, although our kits contained fabrics from the Roman Holiday line.  I'm adding a few of the Chocolat florals to make my borders a little more scrappy.

Since blocks we worked on Tuesday were a gazillion 9-patches, it was a much more relaxed day.  We spent lots of time visiting and talking to our idol.  Carrie's aunt Marilyn was also at the classes both days (she lives in Washington state) and in talking to her, I discovered we used to belong to the same guild, although our paths never crossed.

The ladies of Reardan's Presbyterian Church fixed us the most fabulous, gourmet lunches and desserts both days.  We were truly pampered!  Carrie also had many of her finished quilts on display in the classroom, and gave each of us a new little Schnibbles pattern that has not yet been released!  My quilt shop coworkers are GREEN with envy.

When we packed up to leave on the last day, I was in the hallway of the church and Carrie came out and gave me a huge bear hug and told me how nice it was to meet me.  I have a serious girl crush on Carrie, and also on Nicole - they are both the nicest people ever and I wish we could meet every week and just sit down and sew together!

More update after this weekend when I can get a little more unpacking done and show some of the wonderful fabrics I bought at the Buggy Barn.

August 23, 2007

My fabulous weekend (part one!!)

So much has happened, I don't even know where to begin.  I still can't even compartmentalize yet the total BLAST we had - visiting my mom, meeting Sister's Choice Nicole, taking 2 classes from Carrie Nelson at the Buggy Barn, and of course the SHOPPING!  I came home with one suitcase filled with nothing but fabric!   Lest you think I'm totally out of control, in my defense it was the SMALL suitcase AND it included the 2 kits that we got from our classes.

3girls2 My mom, my daughter and I cannot stop talking about Nicole and what a lovely person she was - warm, funny, elegant.  Just a sweet, sweet lady.  She probably thinks we're all totally insane, as she got a good dose of the chaos that is the Jared family and the small town that is Newport, Washington, where my mom lives.  Thanks, Nicole for being so flexible and such a good sport.  And thanks, Mom, for being such a wonderful hostess.  You may not think so, but both Nicole and I left your house feeling totally pampered and spoiled!

As usual, I forgot to bring my camera for most photo opportunities, and at one point was certain I'd actually lost my camera (although it surfaced when I got home and unpacked all of that FABRIC).  So you will see the same pictures on my blog that Nicole posts because she took them all!  I'm kicking myself for not having a camera when Nicole got pulled over by the local police for driving without her tail lights on because none of us could figure out where in her rental car they were located!

Bottom line - the classes were great, Nicole is no longer imaginary, but a dear, dear friend and I have memories to last me a lifetime!   Now someone please tell me what I was thinking when I agreed to work until 8 p.m. at the quilt store on my first day back at my "real" job too?  I'm going to be one tired puppy tonight!   But I can't wait to tell all the gals at my shop about my experiences too.  I've already gone hoarse from all the talking I've been doing (my husband ought to enjoy that)!

August 22, 2007

Back to earth

These past 5 days have been almost surreal. First, traveling alone with my 7 year-old DD, then finally meeting my dear friend Nicole, who is just as warm and charming in person as she is in emails and on her blog.

We talked and shopped 'til we dropped and I know I have found a lifelong friend.

I will write more and share photos later. But what a fabulous weekend (and then some!) we had. A truly unforgettable experience!!!

August 16, 2007

My disappearing act

YoursignI will be out of town a few days, visiting my mom in Spokane and taking 2 classes at the Buggy Barn taught by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  The best part?  I'm going to be meeting my Imaginary Friend, Nicole!  I just can't wait to meet this amazingly talented woman in person and sew together!!!

August 14, 2007

More fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Bom A couple of months ago, I saw a block of the month program at Homestead Hearth for Lori Smith's Golden Memories quilt.  I'd had the pattern for months and loved it, but the thought of making all those fabric choices was daunting.  Here was the perfect solution for me!  The program was offered in two fabric choices - Kansas Troubles type fabrics or 1800s prints.  Since I've developed a recent love of all things reproduction, I chose the 1800s option.  After waiting impatiently, I got my first kit with the first 3 blocks on Saturday.

As you can see, I was so excited, I made all 3 blocks right away.  I love the fabric choices (even some Jo Morton fabrics!!!), everything was labeled clearly and the pieces were generous enough to be able to square up before cutting for the blocks.  I am very happy and impressed with this project, and can't wait to receive my second shipment!!

August 12, 2007

Where are my manners?

DarleneI realized as I was using it this weekend, that I forgot to publicly acknowledge this wonderful gift that Darlene sent me. One of her cute pincushions - isn't it fun? I love it Darlene! Thanks again.

August 11, 2007

See ya later, alligator!

XmasI finished this fun Christmas panel pattern, Holly Jolly, in nothing flat. But I unfortunately experienced another fabric shortage due to prewashing - the striped border shrunk more than 2" in WIDTH and I had to buy more fabric in order to avoid piecing the border.

On Thursday, our shop was making up kits to go with this pattern and when I said I was just finishing the quilt top, the owner was very excited to have my quilt to hang in the shop. My first shop model!

August 6, 2007

Homework, too?

PinkI didn't realize I'd have homework from the quilt store too!  We were all asked to make 2 blocks for our shop quilt to promote the Quilt Pink event in September.  We're using this free Moda pattern and pink fabrics from our own stashes.  Since there are 12 employees and we needed 25 blocks, I offered to make the extra.

Our shop is also selling little packets for $5 that include a Moda U block pattern and 4 fat eighths of either pink and white or pink and brown fabrics (LOVE the pink and brown!).  Customers will get a raffle ticket for each completed block they return to our shop, for a chance to win a great gift basket.  We hope to be able to construct 5 quilts for the ebay Quilt Pink auction effort.

August 5, 2007

Sampler Challenge, Blocks 5 and 6

Blocks56My partner in crime, Nicole (Sister's Choice Quilts) suggested we pick up the pace of our sampler challenge and begin posting 2 blocks at a time.  This quilt should therefore be finished in no time!  These are blocks 5 and 6, so we are officially halfway there!  I'm using Moda's Cinnamon Stars fabrics, and found that light floral background in the block pictured on the left just last week at a local quilt shop.  It's really fun to come across these older fabrics in the most unexpected places.

Like my new look?

I've been wanting to customize my blog for some time, but being all but HTML illiterate, had no earthly clue how to do it. While chatting with my new friend Nan, she offered that her dear son would be able to help me. I contact Nathan and he agreed to the job. I sent him a photo and he designed my new Stashmaster banner - isn't it cool? And he also made some suggestions how I could customize the rest of my blog with colors and text. I found some backgrounds and dinked around. Do you like the new look? Thanks, Nathan!

August 3, 2007

Buttercream and Figs comes home!

Figs1I need to find a name for this beautiful quilt. I got it back Wednesday from a new longarm quilter I tried for the first time, although I had seen her work on my sis-in-law's quilts. She does beautiful custom work, and I was thrilled with what she did for mine!

She outlined the patches in the pieced blocks, and stitched a beautiful feathered wreath with stippling that looks like berries in the center and around the wreaths. Stunning work, and the price was so reasonable, I'm looking around to see what other quilts I have to send her!


The fabrics I used are mostly from a Moda fabric line that is about 2 years old called Buttercream and Figs, designed by Fig Tree Quilts. I did supplement my FQ bundle with a few other coordinating fabrics. The pieced block is from the Once More Around the Block book by Judy Hopkins - the Vermont block in the 12" size. The quilt finishes about 82" x 82".