Saturday, January 30, 2010

An Award!

Thank you, Marie at Hummingbird Treasures for sending me a "Kreativ Bloggers Award"! I'm supposed to post seven things you don't know about me. I've been thinking and thinking about what I want to reveal, LOL!

1. My 30th. wedding anniversary is in February around a certain holiday.

2. I majored in German at college.

3. I cannot make Rice Krispie bars.

4. My favorite food right now is just about anything other than salad/low fat/low calorie anything.

5. Although I enjoy people, I'm really a hermit.

6. My favorite color is red.

7. I like to browse through antique malls.

Last night, I didn't feel creative at all! I worked on the string apron all day and in the end, decided I will need to start over. I'm thinking I will remake the body of the apron into a table topper or wallhanging. I'm just sorry I used so much of my brown fabric in it. I did find some brown fabric I'd forgotten about so I'll have something to put in my second try at the apron. Hoping it looks better this time!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

String Challenge - Week 2

We've been having more internet connection problems lately (new modem on the way) so I'm going to go ahead and post what I've finished so far this week before the modem goes haywire again. My goal is to finish something every week between now and June 30th!

Here's my update:

The blocks for my Chocolate Box quilt are done and and sewn together. Friday I'm planning to add the borders and I hope to get it sandwiched this weekend. Next I'm going to have to figure out how to machine quilt it on my sewing machine. I've heard the experience described as wrestling an anaconda snake and based on my previous machine quilting experiences, I'd agree!

Instead of cutting and sewing on the borders today, I finally succumbed and made these cute strawberry pincushions! I saw the project over on the Moda bakeshop site and decided to make them the string quilt way. Instead of a fabric cap of leaves, I used some felted wool I had available. Making these was kind of addicting and before I knew it, I'd made 7! I'll probably keep one of them and give the other six away but which one shall I keep?

By the way, has anyone else ever used lizard litter to stuff pincushions? OK, its really finely crushed walnut shells and is used in lizard and apparently also bird cages. The smallest bag I found is 10 dry quarts or 11 liters. I highly doubt I will ever use half the bag! Oh, Darlene, how many cups of this stuff did you say you want?

My next project will be a string quilt apron. I had to buy a pattern for this one but will make it the string quilt way. It looks easy but we all know how that goes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

I signed up to be part of the February 19 Friday Night Sew-In that Heidi and Bobbi are hosting. (Click on the brown button in my side bar for more info.) The idea is to commit to working on any project that night and then sometime on Saturday, post a photo of your project. On Sunday, all the participants will be entered in a giveaway!

The question for me is, how late can I stay up without sewing through my finger or making some really bad mistakes on my project?!? Several years ago, I became a morning person and am sometimes awake as early as 3:30 AM!!! That means I'm usually in bed around 9 PM and asleep shortly thereafter. I don't particularly care for this schedule but I usually can't go back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night so I might as well get up. Besides, once the cat senses that I'm awake he MUST be fed.

Waking up so early does have a few advantages. The house is quiet, I make coffee, feed the cat and spend time on the internet. This morning, our internet connection was down so I spent about an hour hand quilting.

So while all the other Sew-In participants will just be warming up to stitch or do whatever, I'll be ready for bed! Sigh. This could be really embarrassing if I have to explain that I didn't get much done because I fell asleep at the sewing machine!

Monday, January 25, 2010

3 1/2 spools

Besides trying to use more of my "Resource Center" fabrics and odd scraps of batting, I'm also trying to use up the spools of thread I've partially used over the years. Lots of pink and blue thread which may be leftover from my crafting days. Last week, I used up 3 large spools and 1 small spool (I'm calling that a half spool.) piecing the Chocolate Box quilt and potholders.

My husband keeps asking me, "Are you actually using anything up?!?" Of course, he's the one who used to laugh about my plans to sew scrap quilts in hopes of using up fabric. In previous years, what that really meant was I'd need to buy more fabric because I didn't have the right colors. I guess I can't blame him for being a little incredulous!

What is kind of surprising to me is that I'm already running out of dark brown fabrics. Today I cut more strips for the "Chocolate Box" quilt and noticed the dark brown fabrics that are left probably equal less than 1/4 yard. Guess I won't be planning anymore projects using dark brown! I have plenty of tan and light brown and almost rust fabrics though. Waiting for inspiration to strike on how to use them!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finally, a strip quilt finish!

Saturday found me hard at work on my strip quilt, making the "last" six blocks and sewing it all together. Well, it's all sewn together but both my daughter and I think the quilt is now too narrow. Good grief, its the "Quilt That Refuses to be Finished"! So I will keep plugging along on it and maybe next week it will be done.

However, in the middle of sewing the blocks and baking cinnamon rolls, I decided to make string potholders! I can't remember when I bought the potholders I'm using now. They're really not bad if you don't mind the faded look, maybe that could be called shabby chic! Also, we'll ignore the burns and fraying edges. Those are just signs of character and kind of go with my cookbook. And yes, in case you're wondering, I do admit my cooking sets off the smoke alarm on a regular basis!

Here are my two "Chocolate Box" strip potholders! This was a fun little project. When I started sewing the strips together for the potholders, I thought I was done with the quilt so I pieced some of the strips together to use them up. I like the scrappy look of it. This project also used up a small portion of the batting scraps I've been saving. Its been a long time since I've sewn with bias tape so the corners aren't as good as they could be but I like the end result all the same!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Here it is!

Here's a photo of my string quilt so far. I made 24 blocks for it today but have decided it needs one more row of 6 to make it long enough. I'd like to add borders but don't know what kind of fabric yet. I found 3 yards of bright pink in my "resource center" that I'll probably use as backing.
If you click on the photo, you'll be able to see the colors better. Lots of old fabric in it, some from the 80's. It hard for me to sew with the dusty mauves that were popular back then! For some reason, I've sewn the blocks together in columns (usually sew together by the row) and will sew it all together on Saturday.

Today, 5 something AM

OK, today is the day to get serious about making the string blocks! I finished another 6 last night for a total of 30 and laid them out to see how many more I'd need to make a throw/twin. I was really kind of hoping I wouldn't need anymore because I'm ready for a finish. However, its really too square to be of much use so I've decided I probably need 24 more. Looks like I need to cut more strips and get to work!

I'll check in tonight with a progress update and a picture, I promise.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

String Progress

Yesterday I made 21 blocks for my first string project! I thought I was just going to make something small (like a potholder) for my first project but its growing into at least a throw size. Progess is a lot slower than I thought it would be because I am matching the first string and the corners. Somehow I messed up on two of the blocks so they may become potholders afterall!

I'm making my blocks out of valentine colors - reds, pinks, whites and creams plus some browns. I know brown is not normally a valentine color, at least not to me, but it looks good in there! I'm finding I have a lot of reds and pinks in my "resource center" so look for a few more red projects after this one.

Sometimes I name my quilts as I'm working on them. So far, these blocks say "Chocolate Covered Cherries" to me but there is one person in my family who doesn't like cherries at all. To her this quilt will be "Chocolate Dipped Strawberries". I guess to keep everyone happy I could name this quilt "Hot Fudge Sundae with a Cherry on Top"! LOL, too many food names for someone who's trying to cut back!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to work on my blocks for the next few days but I am planning to post a photo soon to give you an idea what they look like!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I have not been good.

Today I began sorting through a tub of scraps of fabric which date back 20 years! This includes fabric from my daughter's dresses, my crafting business, attempts at making my own clothing and early quilting projects, probably even some from a few years ago.

It was kind of like an archeological dig. I found layers of fabric scraps I remembered and some I have no idea when I would have used them! There were 1 inch squares and several different sizes of triangles which I've put away to sew together "someday".

I also found strips of fabric one half inch wide and two inches long. What was I thinking I was going to use those for? The worst thing though?!? I didn't throw most of them out. I've kept them for now but if I haven't used them up by the end of June or haven't got a specific project to use them in, they're being thrown out. I hope someone reads this post and reminds me come June!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm creating this blog so that I can share my quilts and a little about my life with friends and other interested people. Last week, I signed up to be part of the "No Strings Attached Challenge" in hopes of using up some of my fabric stash. Every week I plan to post photos and a little description of the projects I'm working on so stay tuned!