April 30, 2007



No, I'm not finished cutting my brown fabrics, but I got way too impatient and had to dive into constructing a couple of the Pinny 'n Pa blocks. It's a good thing I've seen nice photos of this quilt on other blogs and also a real, live sample hanging in a local quilt shop. These blocks do nothing for me! I know I will like them when they all come together, but these 4 together are so blah! Back to the cutting table so I can get more of the blocks together and hopefully improve the look.

I received the replacement border fabric for my Allemande quilt today. It's in the washing machine as we speak, so I hope to get those borders together sometime soon!

April 29, 2007

Orange is the color of the day


Saturday my friend gifted me with this early birthday present - an orange iPod shuffle. Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Teeny weeny and it clips to your shirt. I loaded it with 260 of my favorite songs and there is still room for a few more. It's unbelieveable that something this small can produce such rich, beautiful sound. I smile every time I look at it!


Saturday I was also able to FINALLY pick up my orange quilt. I was getting a little miffed that my longarm quilter has had it since February, but a series of events prevented her from getting to it in a more timely manner, so here it finally is. I wish I was able to get better photos of the beautiful quilting. She used a whimsical floral pattern and a variegated orange thread with a beautiful sheen to it. This is exactly what I had in mind and I am so happy with the results.


The back of the quilt is this flame fabric and it's flannel. So much fun - I just love everything about this quilt and I'm happy to finally have it home. When I flung it out on the floor to show my family, my DD flopped down on and and pronounced "MINE" but I think I want to hang this one in our entry.

I also found the perfect fabric in my stash for binding, but as my luck would have it, I didn't have quite enough for my binding strips. But not to worry, more is winging its way to me as you read this!

I also spotted an orange Volkswagen GTI at the dealership on my way home Saturday, but after coming home and looking up the price on the Internet, that little beauty won't be coming home with me....

April 25, 2007

Still cutting

Creams I finished cutting the cream fabrics for Pinny 'n Pa, now to tackle the stack of browns - I have over 60 fabrics to cut!

LilyvalleyLook at this cute plant I bought at Trader Joe's yesterday. I saw these last time I was there but I was on my way out and didn't have time to go back through the line. I love Lily of the Valley - it's the flower of my birth month (and my daughter's name is Lily). I had no idea that they smelled so deliciously sweet, either - an added bonus! What a nice little pick-me-up for my sewing room.

April 24, 2007

Among the first

Paws This bear paw quilt was my third quilt, although I consider it officially my second, because my real second got tossed after an unfortunate fabric bleeding incident (even though the fabrics were prewashed). This has always been one of my favorite traditional patterns and I still love it today, although I haven't yet made another bear paw. I used Debbie Mumm fabrics, even using some of the border prints in the sashing. I machine quilted in the ditch of the sashing strips and actually hand quilted around each bear paw. The quilting took me over a year to finish (I didn't work on it diligently, though). The quilt is twin size.

April 23, 2007

Jinxed borders


I am beginning to think the borders of my Allemande quilt are jinxed! First I find I don't have enough of the border fabric, which is highly unsual for me because I always buy a little extra. I was able to locate an online shop that still had this print from Moda's Faded Memories line from 2005, which is a small miracle. I ordered enough for a continuous border and the fabric arriived yesterday.

I pressed it and began to fold it on my cutting table to cut the borders, and noticed to my shock a small hole in the middle of the 3-1/2 yard piece. Not a big deal - the hole was only about 1/8" big and I could cut around it if I had to.

Then I discovered the SECOND hole, about 2 inches from the first. This one was 1/2" across and there is no way I can cut my four 6-1/2" wide borders from the piece of fabric and avoid the 2 holes. What a disappointment! I am still waiting to hear from the vendor, although I'm fairly certain she doesn't have another 3-1/2 yards of the fabric. Now I must order again and wait again. So frustrating when all I want to do is finish this darn quilt and get it to my longarm quilter!

Cutting, cutting, cutting

Pinks I'm cutting for my next project and also a distant future project.  Next up will be Pinny 'n Pa done in pinks, creams and browns.  I have the pinks cut and am at work cutting the creams.  I am saving the browns for last since I have more of those than anything.  As usual, I think I am overcutting for this one, but I like my projects to be scrappy and that's what generally happens.

Since there is not much left of each FQ after I cut the pieces, I am also cutting 2-1/2" strips for some future log cabin project using the pinks and browns as well.

April 22, 2007

She's MINE!!!!

Fw I have long coveted a white Singer Featherweight, but have missed out on many ebay and Craigslist opportunities. But Saturday, I was able to make this baby MINE! I found her through Craigslist - the price was right, the seller was close and the machine is in PERFECT condition. The case is in very good condition, no musty smell, either. All attachments and the manual are very nice and the machine sews like a DREAM. I am so happy to have finally found one of these cuties. Doesn't she look right at home?

April 20, 2007

I'm going to be edu-ma-cated!

I haven't taken a lot of quilt classes, mostly prefering to learn myself from reading a book.  But anytime I wanted to learn a technique that I couldn't pick up from a book, I took a class to help.  In the past I have taken the Indian Orange Peel class, a watercolor quilts class (back when they were in style!), stack and whack and also a mystery class.  It has been many years since I've had the desire to take any classes.  This year, however, I am signed up for FOUR classes and I couldn't be more excited!

In May, I will take a Featherweight class through my guild to learn how to service and repair my machine.

In June, I'm signed up for a Peppermint Twist class taught by Jo Morton at this local shop.  I love that pink quilt (scroll down on the web page to see a photo).  Maybe I can actually make friends with applique!  Or I might modify my center and make it a pieced block rather than applique.

And the pièce de résistance...  my IDOL, Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company is coming once again to Washington State to teach 2 classes at the Buggy Barn in August.  Last year I even had spousal permission to go, but I had no way to get there (non driver here) and no one to go with.

Fast forward to my meeting Nicole just a short time later.  When I told her about my missed oppportunity, she said "If it ever happens again, I'll go with you!"  I thought "What were the odds of that?"  But Carrie is coming again this August and Nicole and I have both signed up and are making our plans to meet there for the classes.  A double bonus will be getting to meet Nicole - my quilting soul mate.  We have such similar tastes and have collected a lot of the same fabrics and have made or are planning to make a lot of the same patterns.  I can't wait for AUGUST!

April 17, 2007

Fraternal Twins

Twinz1 Twinz2 These are the baby quilts I made at the second guild retreat I ever attended back in November 1996.  I was expecting my twins at the time, and actually just made one of these bright quilts.  The other quilt was a very demure blue sampler quilt and the consensus of my fellow retreaters was that I'd have one serene and one hyper baby, so I decided I'd go for two overstimulated babies!  I made the second bright one after I got home and ended up giving the blue sampler to my nephew who was born a few months after my boys.

I used Sharyn Craig's Twist and Turn method of setting the blocks and some wonderful hand-dyed fabrics sold by one of my fellow guild members.  I remember spending a lot of time at the bathroom sink trying to get the excess dye out before setting the fabrics into my quilt!

April 16, 2007

Caveat emptor!

I broke one of the cardinal rules of Ebay.  I bought a Singer Featherweight back in January.  I was in a serious funk when the machine arrived and I wasn't sewing at the time, so I didn't even bother to test the machine.  I do believe the listing said it worked.  Well, I tried it out this weekend and - you guessed it - it DOESN'T work.

And of course it's too late to even bring up the Ebay listing to see if it was supposed to work, and I have no recourse with the seller after all this time.  I do feel like the machine can be repaired.  The electrical system works - the light comes on - but nothing happens when I press the foot pedal - so maybe it needs a motor or a new power cord?

I am registered to take a "Care and Repair of Your Featherweight" class sponsored by my guild in May.  I will take the machine with me and ask the instructor what he thinks before I take it in to the repair shop - or perhaps it is something I can fix myself after taking the class.  If nothing else, I have a cute  and very expensive sewing-related paperweight.   :(

April 12, 2007

Swing your partner, Allemande left!

Alle1I completed the pieced portion of Miss Rosie's Allemande quilt yesterday - wahoo!  I made it using Moda's Faded Memories fabric collection.  This project was a long time in finishing - I started it early last year and had to put it aside after it started to drive me koo-koo (sadly, a very short trip).  But my second attempt at assembly went much more smoothly when I relaxed about fabric and piece placement and just grabbed pieces randomly.  What freedom!

I didn't think I would like the finished quilt because I'm not much into pastels, and assumed this quilt would be going to live with my Mom.  But guess what - I love it!  The pictures don't do it justice, for sure.  It's hard to capture this quilt's beauty with my digital camera.

Alle2One little snafu - I was planning to dive right into the mitered borders, but when I went to cut them out yesterday, discovered I don't have enough of my border fabric.  I don't know how that happened, as I tend to overbuy.  If the pattern calls for 2-1/2 yards, I'll buy 3.  But, I'm short and will need to see what else I can find.  I was planning to use the same dark pink print as I used in the big pinwheels, but maybe I'll have to improvise.  The borders will be scalloped after it comes back from the machine quilter, which will be another first for me!

April 9, 2007

Where it all began

First1This should probably be entitled Lisa's Hall of Shame, but I still "sort of" like this quilt, even though the fabrics and workmanship make me shake my head and wonder how I was ever proud of this quilt!

This was a pattern called Winken, Blinken & Nod from an old issue of Quiltmaker magazine - I believe I started this one in 1993 and it was indeed my very first quilt. I cut the pieces out when I had to to be home from work to prep for a colonoscopy.  I used a rotary cutter and cardboard templates.

As it turned out, my colonoscopy went awry, and I ended up having to have part of my colon removed as I had complications following the procedure and the doctors suspected they had punctured my colon. It was months before I got back to this quilt as I recovered from my unexpected surgery.

When I began to actually piece the quilt, I couldn't figure out why none of the pieces fit together correctly.  I checked the pattern in the magazine again and realized that each time I cut out the pieces, I'd shaved off a tiny portion of my cardboard template, making my pieces smaller and smaller with every cut.

First2So it was back to the cutting board with all new fabrics since I had already cut up all the blues, greens and whites from my then meager stash. The second cutting attempt using a laminate template material was much better, but I still struggled with the piecing - see how my centers don't come anywhere even close to matching?  Go on, click the picture to see it REALLY CLOSE - it will make anyone feel better about their piecing, I guarantee!!!

Oh my, I should be ashamed to even show this, but I suppose we all have to start somewhere! And as Darlene and Nicole reminded me, it is part of my quilting history and should be remembered. I also shake my head about my stunning white cornerstones! My original idea was to hand quilt some celestial symbols in the corners, like moon and stars, but obviously that never happened.

But, there you have it - in all its glory. Stay tuned for more from Lisa's Hall of Shame! This is NOT the worst of it, my dear readers, by a long shot!

April 6, 2007

A takedown!

Yesterday's kickboxing class was so much fun.  At the end of the class, we were doing some "real life" stuff and the instructor had me try a move on him.  I didn't mean to, but I TOOK HIM DOWN - he went flying to the mat.  He is a 6'4" black belt in Tai Kwan Do and I am just 5'3" little me - what a rush!  There was hootin' and hollerin' from the gals in class who saw it (including his wife!) and since there were 4 who didn't see it, they all made me do it again and it was just as much fun the second time around.  Ah, the simple little joys in life....

April 5, 2007

And the winner is...

Using a random number generator, I picked commenter #5 to win the fabrics in my March 29 post.  The winner is Kim of A Peach in Stitches.  Congrats Kim and thanks to all of you that played along by leaving a comment.  I love the quilt blogging community - everyone is so inspirational!

April 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Big Boys!

Twins TEN YEARS ago today, my beautiful twin boys were born 3-1/2 weeks early. Here's them sharing a bassinet in the hospital. Now one of them (the one who was born the smallest) is 4'10" - nearly as tall as me! This ten years has just flown by. Happy Birthday Eric and Owen - two finer young men, I've not had the pleasure to meet. Love you bunches and bunches, Mom.

April 2, 2007

Major progress, but I can't show you!

I have less than 2-1/2 rows left to go on my Allemande quilt.  But the rows are too big for my design wall, so as I complete each one, I drape it over my sewing table.  It will be a huge surprise for me to see the overall effect of the rows put together.  I am really loving the process and the look of the blocks as they are going together into rows.  I can't wait to see how it looks when it all comes together, and to be able to share it with you!  SOON!