January 25, 2010

Quilty Dropout!

Center I'm hearing Frankie Avalon singing "Beauty School Dropout" from Grease in my head as I write this post.

Last fall I signed up for the Red and White Snowball Challenge and also the Year of Schnibbles.   I realized pretty early on that I wasn't going to find the time to work on my snowball quilt.   I love the pattern and have all the strips cut to make it someday (and a recipient - I'm making mine blue and white and my daughter is already in love with it).  My first dropout.

I kept up with the first 3 Schnibbles quilts, and I really enjoyed making them.  I skipped December's because I didn't have the Tuffets pattern, nor did I have the time to make any.  When I saw that Madeline was the January Schnibbles, I was excited because I had everything to make it and I really love the pattern.

I've spent most of January working on Toulouse, which I absolutely love.   Every step of the way, I have absolutely LOVED working on this quilt.  And that feeling - that joyful feeling - is what quilting is all about for me.  I work two jobs, have a husband and 3 kids and very limited time in which to sew.  So I made the decision that I'm going to quilt for ME, not to be entered in a contest or to try and keep up with the other quilters in Blogland (do you ladies ever sleep???).

I will enjoy seeing everyone else work together and finish their amazing quilts, and will probably have more than a few pangs of envy that I didn't make each month's project, but for me to be happy and fulfilled, I need to work on projects of my choosing, so that's what I intend to do.

January 18, 2010

I love a 3-day weekend!

Toulouse Even though I spent one day working at the quilt store, I still had plenty of free time for sewing this weekend.   I finished all 9 Goose in the Pond blocks for Toulouse.   All my sashing strips and 9-patch cornerstones are finished, so it's just a matter of assembly.   I may finish my first 2010 quilt before the end of January!

January 10, 2010

Late to the party

Toulouse1 My blogging friends Nicole and Thelma have already blogged about the Toulouse quilt that all 3 of us are making, but I wanted to wait until I had some actual progress to show before I wrote about it.   I do have all my block components finished, and now I can set to work to build the blocks for this quilt.  Don't you love them?  I am using Maison de Noel fabrics designed by 3 Sisters several years ago.   If I had known back then how much I would love this fabric, I would have bought bolts of it.  Toulouse has oodles of 9-patches and is surrounded by a flying geese border.

Toulouse2 I really love these corner stars that appear in the border.   Like all Miss Rosie quilts, there are a lot of different design elements in this quilt, and it makes it interesting and fun to make.  I often talk to customers in the quilt store who are intimidated by Carrie Nelson's patterns.   If you are one of them - please don't be!   She takes simple quilt shapes like stars, 9-patches and flying geese and turns them into something fabulously complex looking, but easy to assemble.  I promise - Carrie walks you through every block, every step of the way with a great sense of humor, too.  No wonder so many of us love her patterns!

I am not one to make resolutions - either for some behavior I need to change in my life or for the year's quilting accomplishments.  I'm more of a "magpie" type of quilter - I work on whatever beautiful fabric or pattern catches my eye at the moment.  So for me to plan out my projects a whole year in advance would be setting myself up for failure.

Still, I do have a goal for 2010, and that is to make Christmas quilts to display in my home during the holidays.   I made this decision in November, during day 11 of the Cross County Blog Hop - a day that featured Christmas quilts.   I have none!   I need some!  I've been searching for Christmas quilt patterns ever since.

Oct This weekend I was at a quilt store that I seldom visit, and found this great pattern, called O' Christmas Tree designed by Nancy Murty of Bee Creative Studio.  If you visit my friend Thelma's blog, she just finished a quilt - also called Oh Christmas Tree - also a tree made of squares - 1" finished squares that is.  Her quilt is beautiful, but no, I don't see myself strip piecing 4,950 squares to make that quilt, although it is very pretty.

The pattern I chose is a very interesting design.  It's comprised of 6 rows, each row containing 5 blocks with various combinations of 9-patches, flying geese, half-square triangles and squares, and you end up with a fabulous tree that measures 60x69.   It looks like it will be very interesting to collect fabrics for, and also very fun and interesting to piece.

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!


Happy 2010 everyone!  Did you do anything fun or crazy to ring in the new year?  Lily and I certainly did - we participated in the Polar Bear Plunge in Seattle at noon today!   It was a balmy 51 degrees in Seattle, with a water temperature of 46 in Lake Washington.

Here we are, pre-plunge - that's me on the left and my friend and instigator behind us doing this stunt, Cecilia on the right.

Out I won't show the unflattering picture of my flabby backside in a bathing suit running into the water, but here we are, running out after dunking ourselves to the neck.  Lily at first hesitated and did not want to go further than her knees, but I convinced her she would only feel cold for a second, and truly - once you start running back out, you warm up immediately.

Postplunge Then we hit the shore and got into our fluffy bathrobes.  Cecilia is a 4-time Polar Plunge veteran and knows all the tricks to doing this.

And of course, the whole reason we did this - for the cute patch!   What a fun and invigorating way to ring in the new year!  We hope to make this an annual event!