Monday, May 31, 2010


As we all take off for the family picnic or neighborhood barbecue, let's take a few minutes to remember and honor those brave men and women who gave their lives for our great country. Nothing is more humbling than walking through Arlington National Cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the acres upon acres of headstones truly give one a sense of the greatness of the sacrifices that have been made on our hehalf.

Enjoy your day, quilting friends! God Bless!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Third Schnibbles Finished

It's interesting to think that we can change our minds so entirely in just a very short time. Six months ago, I was vowing never to buy a charm pack or a Schnibbles pattern. My thinking was that I already had waaay more fabric and patterns than I would ever, in a million, zillion years actually make and  use! Also, I thought "what a gimmick! I won't get caught up in this hype, no, not me!!" And last, I already knew I was in total love with the quilts from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company and Carrie Nelson - why would I want to make tiny quilts, when I was dying to make all of her full-size designs? Indeed, I was determined in my resolve.

Then, one day as I browsed through a shop, I saw a display of Schnibbles with "Darcy" hanging there, front and center. Ahhhh, a Pride and Prejudice reference! How cool! I love that book, and all the Austen titles for that matter, but I especially love P&P! I reached for the pattern, turned it over and began reading the description.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that every quilter in possession of any amount of fabric, must be in want of something to make with that fabric. That the quilt should be small and easily made from charming squares is a delight."

OMG!!! I could not get over the absolute cleverness of my quilting idol, Carrie Nelson!! To think that someone would name a pattern after a literary character, and then in keeping with that theme, 'rewrite' the famous first line of the novel for her pattern discription!!! TOO MUCH!!! I had to buy it.

Here are the actual first lines of Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters." 

Pretty cool, huh? Honestly, I should not have been surprised at Carrie's cleverness; I've been reading her blog for quite awhile, plus I own a couple of her older books, so I already had an inkling of her clever and creative nature.

Well, okay, I broke down and bought a Schnibbles, but it wasn't like I was going off the deep end or anything! I bought this one - this one, only - because it was just too cleverly named and described. My English teacher friend Sharon, also a quilter, would appreciate the witty, clever referencing, and we'd just be so smug in "getting" it. This didn't necessarily mean I would be buying more, now, did it?

Can  you see where this story is going?? In the intervening months, I have bought many, many Schnibbles patterns, as well as many, many charm packs (most often, 2 are required to make a Schnibble).

I am converted!

This month's Year of Schnibbles allowed participants a "free choice." Use any Schnibbles or a pattern from Carrie's new book, Schnibbles Times Two. The variety will be immense; I just can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

For me, it just seemed the right thing to do that I make "Darcy." It's the pattern that  started me on my Schnibbles-love. I had 2 charm packs of Moda's Portobello Market, which just seemed perfect for Mr. Darcy. It was a match made in heaven, and even Mrs. Bennett would have to agree.

We are getting close to the May Schnibbles Parade, so be sure to visit Sinta and Sherri, our kind parade masters, to see all the variations of Schnibbles the participants dreamed up this month.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let's Go Shopping

How many times have you heard me say I am going to use up the stash, while cutting back on adding more to the stash?? I know, too many. And yet I continue to fall off the wagon.

Last Friday was a wonderfully quilty day. It began with my Frankfort friends quilting together at JoAnn's house. Lovely morning.

Left there for a meeting with a high school classmate. We are planning our 35th year reunion. Gahh! It worked out that halfway between her and me put me in the neighborhood of Waynesville, OH, home of Fabric Shack!! Yippie!

The stripes are going to be lining fabrics on two bags I am planning to make. They are to complement the feature fabric on the bag, and work really well, I think.

The two blues on the bottom are destined to become yet another bag - this one a messenger bag for daughter Erin. She has a Mac laptop, smaller than my HP laptop, so I will adjust the size accordingly. I bought the fabric with her in mind, and she says I did okay.

The jelly rolls are my first ever purchases of jelly rolls. What do I plan to do with them? Haven't a clue. Why, then did I get them? I have either a charm pack or a layer cake of each of them, and simply bought them to coordinate whatever project happens along for them!

Last, there's that lonely charm pack there. It, too, was purchased to go with another charm pack of the same fabric. If I plan to do a Schnibbles, 2 are generally required, so I'm just planning ahead, don't you know.

Remember I said it was a quilty day? Well, driving home from Waynesville, I got a call from Linda, a long-arm quilter who had Erin's Urban Chic quilt saying that she had it done!!! Yayy! I picked it up on Saturday, and now I need to get busy binding it.

And, one more quilty thing: the retiree in our group is getting a quilt to honor the occasion. It, too, needs binding, and guess who is gonna' do it?? Me! So I must get busy with those and get them checked off my to-do list. Will post pics when complete.

Don't you just love quilty days? Well, there is yet another...I stopped at a WalMart to buy the latest Quilt Sampler by BH&G. I knew it had been out awhile, but hadn't been anywhere that sold it. Ummm, satisfying day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

There Has To Be An Easier Way

The strap is finally in the Grids and Grommets bag, but I am not happy at all with the results. Take a look for yourself...

First, the darn thing is too thick - I think I bought cording that was larger than what the pattern called for. It is so thick, in fact, that it's hard to slide it through the grommets. Second, I need to take the strap out and rethread it - the part that is on the outside should be on the inside...grrrr. Finally, getting that cording into that sleeve was darn near impossible! My fingers hurt for a long, long time after tugging, pulling, sliding, and yanking on it. I would have been wise just to make a strap like on the other bags I made. And this pattern does give that option. I just liked the look of the cording.

So now, what to do? Undo what I've got and rethread it properly? Even though it is thicker than what suits me? Or scrap the whole thing and make a strap to insert?

I do like the looks of this bag, and it works great when pulled out on one side and carried across the body - hands free bag! Nice for traveling, I think.

I'm glad I made this, and I love the fabric and grommets; I'm just not thrilled with the strap...

I have really enjoyed reading all the posts from the bloggers who attended Quilt Market in Minneapolis this past weekend. They share such great pictures and stories. It almost makes up for the fact that they are there, and I am not! I have enjoyed these, in particular: Charming Chatter, Spun Sugar Quilts, and Jolly Jabber.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Porch Beautification, part 2

A week ago Monday, I posted about replacing or redoing the cushions for my screened-in porch furniture. I didn't think I had pictures of the previous cushions, but I remembered some that I'd shared pictures of the porch with my brother-in-law who lives in Florida, and who hadn't seen our porch addition.

Well, anyway, I have some pictures; they weren't specifically taken for showing off the cushions and bench pads, but you might get an idea of what I will be replacing.

The table is missing its tablecloth in this photo, but I had enough of my remnant find to make a matching tablecloth. So, the wicker settee, wicker chair, bench and table were all covered in the same great pale yellow floral remnant. I really liked the look. The blue flower in the remnant matched the rug and long bench, and the pale yellow complimented the coffee table/bench.

And to think it was all such a happy accident!! No planning at all.

Now, I really have to "get cracking" on the redo! I have been focusing on other things, but I really must redirect my focus! Summer is a'comin'!

My focus for now is on my May Schnibbles. I will (hopefully!) have the top finished today. I also need to make that strap for the grommet purse...there's a story coming with that post.

The sun's shining!! We've had 4 straight cloudy, rainy, chilly days - this morning is beautiful!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This Looks Like Fun

I just don't know how people come up with cute little games like this. I have never been so clever as to invent games, but I do appreciate that others can! A bingo game is being sponsored by The Quilt Shoppe. This will be huge fun. Everyone is welcome to participate!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Purse

After making 2 Tulip bags on Monday and Wednesday of last week, I spent part of Thursday and Friday working on a different pattern for a 3rd purse.
This pattern is called Grids and Grommets; it's by Indygo Junction. I bought the pattern last month when I was on the Shop Hop, after seeing the bag made up and displayed in one of the shops. I also bought a pack of grommets at the same store.

The fabric is entirely from my stash, and I cannot identify the maker. It's Provence by Timeless Treasures. Just found a selvage of it in the waste basket in my sewing room! No wonder it looks French -- it is!! It has a very French look to it, don't you think?  If anyone recognizes it, please let me know. It's fairly obvious that I still need to make the strap. The pattern gives two options. One is made of fabric lined with fusible fleece. The other option uses a very thick cording covered with the same fabric as the purse. This is the option I want, but little did I know how hard the cording would be to find! I saw it in the store with the pattern and grommets, but didn't think to get it there. How I wish I would have!

After checking several places in town, and a couple of on-line stores, I stopped in at our local Hobby Lobby this evening. I didn't see it anywhere in the fabric/notions area, but had a last-minute thought to check out the upholstery department. Voila!!! There it was! I got enough to make the handle for this purse, and one more; I bought another pack of grommets while I was there, too.

I should have gone ahead to make the strap this evening, but I vegged out instead. So it is #1 priority for me tomorrow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More Tulip Bags

On Wednesday, Sheryll and Terry came over to make more bags using the Tulip pattern. All 5 of our little group made them together on Monday, and had such good success that we 3 wanted to make another one right away. (Click here to see the bags we made on Monday.)

This was a good thing, to borrow the words of Martha Stewart. By making this pattern a second time, soon after the first go-around, we were able to make them much more efficiently. I know for sure, that I felt a lot more confident in what I was doing on the second bag. Practice really does make perfect, eh?

Sheryll made this fantastic blue bag, with a bandanna-type design. It looks great, and will be very easy to use all summer long!

Terry's bag is made from Lynette Jensen/Thimbleberries fabric. I love it, and Terry was much happier with this second purse than the first one she made.

This brown floral bag is mine. It takes me forever to select fabrics, but I remembered I had a stash of Roman Holiday tucked away in my sewing room stash, and hoped there was enough of one of those to use for my bag. Ta-dah!!! There was! I love, love, love it, and look forward to using it.

These were Wednesday's projects. All completed! Wonderful feeling of accomplishment for all! On Thursday and Friday, I spent part of my day working on a different bag pattern. I will blog about it tomorrow!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

C'mon Into My Sewing Room!

I devoted the summer of 2007 to making my own sewing space and took pictures to record the event.

The pictures were taken in 2007 upon completion of my room, and are small because they pixillate too much if made larger. Back then, I had a different camera. Maybe when you click on them, they will look better.

The room was my son's bedroom, but it was evident that he truly was grown and gone on his own and that saving his stuff was unnecessary. Also, we had begun that terrible habit of putting stuff we didn't exactly know what to do with in his room! To say that it had become a major junk room would be putting it very mildly!! So, with Kevin's much needed help, we cleared the room. He painted the walls and steam-vacced the carpet. I made some very pretty curtains and arranged a workspace that has served me quite well.

A month or so after taking these pictures, I added a design wall, which is in use below. This is a current photo with a newer camera.
 I bought 2 large pieces of wall insulation and used duct tape to hold them together. Then I took lengths of batting to cover it entirely, then covered the batting with white flannel. I used straight pins to secure the batting and flannel to the insulation, pulling them around behind to hide. Figuring out how to attach it to the wall was initially a challenge, but we (Kevin and I) eventually just pounded about 4 nails into the wall and pushed the insulation foam wall onto the nails. The nails were the kind with very little "head," so they pushed right through the insulation. It's been up going on 3 years now, and I've had no trouble with it.
Those 3 photos above are from when the room was brand spanking new. That was then; this is now:

It's a good bit more cluttered now, but this is clean by today's standards. The way I see it, the more one works in a room, the more that room must adapt to the habits of the worker. Having necessary "stuff" around me makes me a more efficient and productive worker. (That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!).

I do love my sewing room, and do count my blessings that we have the space to allow such a grand indulgence. I have, of course, dreams of improving it further, but if I never do another thing to it, I will be able to work out of this space for many years.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Planning Future Projects

Last week I made a concerted effort to clean up my sewing room. Whew!! It had been way too long since last I'd put any real effort into putting things straight. New project tubs were purchased, as were larger tubs to hold the new fabric I'd recently bought. I'll post a couple of pics later this week of my clean space.
What I really want to talk about today is the wonderfully freeing feeling a clean room gives me! My gracious! It's like I finally can think and breathe in there! Just one evening in my neat and tidy space and I was pulling fabrics and sketching patterns and planning big (and small) projects!

1. I've decided which Schnibbles I will make for the May "your choice" parade. Selected the fabric, too!

2. About a year ago I bought a 20" square panel from Flag Day Farm. It's been hanging on my design wall, waiting to be made into something. I've had the notion that I'd do a medallion quilt with it, but it took a clean room to get a really good idea for proceeding. That is what I tried sketching out. I fear this little endeavor will require a fair amount of mathematics --horrors! -- but I think I can work it out.

I listed 4 or 5 simple, standard blocks that I like when I admire quilts. Square-in-a-square, pinwheel, Ohio Star, flying geese, 4-patch (or 9-patch). I think I will just use these favorites as I add border after border around this medallion. The math comes in when figuring out the measurements that will insure that the edges of my border match with the center medallion.

3. I really want to make a Kaffe Fassett quilt - he's got 2 beauties in 2 different books that are primarily blue. I will make one of them - haven't yet decided which it will be.

Yep, there will be some doggone pretty creations coming out of this clean sewing room in the next few days and weeks! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Porch Beautification Project

I have a lovely screened-in porch which is a very inviting place on breezy afternoons. We have pleasant songbirds who provide just the right amount of accompaniment; the woods which surround us offers up wonderful rustling leaves. It's an all-around idyllic setting, if I do say so myself.

But, every couple of years the cushions and pillows need to be updated. Sunshine and weather conditions can take their toll on the crispness and color. I have been to the stores checking out potential options. I'm not really liking what I'm seeing out there. And the prices I've seen on these less-than-exciting possibilities are beyond what I feel like paying.


I think I will make slipcovers for the cushions I already have. I did that the last time I redid the porch, which was the summer of 2008. I found some fabulous sturdy fabric in the remnant area of Jo-ann Fabrics in Chillicothe. It was 54" wide, and a scrumptious shade of yellow with a light blue flower motif. The remnant had enough fabric to cover a settee cushion, a chair cushion, a bench pad and to make a tablecloth! It all looked great, and I wish I had a picture of it to show. Alas, I do not. All I've got is a naked porch in need of some bling!

The aforementioned settee, chair, bench and table minus their finery. They look so bare! I am looking for enough fabric this time to also make some chair pads for the chairs that go with the table.

I need to get in gear! Some nice days will surely be here soon, and it'd be nice to be ready for them! A big glass of iced tea, a hefty summer read, the ceiling fan circulating all the fresh air, the fountains peacefully trickling water -- want to join me?

Monday Morning Accomplishments

The quilting girls from Frankfort got together this morning at Terry's to make bags. They had purchased a pattern called The Two-Hour Tulip Purse by Janice Pope. When we met on Friday, we agreed to have our bags cut out, our interfacing and batting on, and markings made, in order to be sure we would finish in 2 hours. Since all of us were making the "jumbo" size, we needed to have some advance work out of the way.

I managed to photograph 4 of the 5 bags.

This one of fabric from Westminster Fibers is mine. *big grin* I really like it! Notice the polka dot lining. I really like it, too! I am especially pleased that my bag stands up, even the handles. I dislike bags that, when placed on a surface, collapse into a blob. This has enough stiffening in the interfacing and batting that it holds its shape. Now, as it is used, that may change, of course. We shall see, we shall see...

This very springy one is JoAnn's. It still needs to be pressed, but you get the general idea.

Sheryll made th is black and cream bag. Nice long straps, which I will copy on my next one!

Terry's is green - the fabric is Kansas Troubles by Moda. I don't think the color in the picture is very true, actually.

All of us agree that this first bag gave us ideas for slight changes or modifications we will make when we do another one. We are so excited to do a second bag that 3 of us are getting together Wednesday afternoon here at my house to do just that!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Variety on the Agenda Today

It's a weird feeling when one quilt gets finished, and there's not another immediately pressing project breathing down my neck. I actually had 2 finishes last week - Tagalong and Americana Rose, both of which are pictured in the last couple of posts. Of course, I have gazillions of projects in the "idea" stage, but actually none that I'd been working on.

And, because I am hosting the Frankfort quilting girls this coming Friday morning, I am not especially interested in creating new chaos. Actually, I am considering cleaning up some of the chaos that I currently work around in the sewing room. Why on earth would I do this? Because one of those girls asked if maybe the next time I host our group, perhaps we could see my sewing room and stash. Oh my...

I really ought to take before and after shots. Maybe I will. This plan, however, is only workable if I actually produce on the "after." I'm not very motivated. Maybe they will forget they asked. Hmmm...well, I'll let you know how this little drama ends.

Another item on my agenda is the making of the messenger bags. I did one Friday afternoon. Tell me how you like it.

Isn't it pretty?? It is made with Westminster fabrics - I refer to all of them as Kaffe Fasset fabrics, but perhaps it is by one of the others. But I'm pretty sure this is a Kaffe. The pattern I used is from Quilts and More magazine, July 2009 Fall 2007. (correction!)
It went together very easily, and the plan is for me to make one more. Emma selected 2 Kaffe fabrics for one that she wants. I have asked both her and her sister Erin how they would change it, if they could. Erin suggested making a strap with an adjustable feature. She also thought the flap could be a bit sturdier. It does not have any interfacing or batting. Just a lining. My husband actually made a good suggestion, too. He thinks the flap should have it's corners rounded off. In the magazine there is an alternate "look" which does round the corners. Now I need to get busy completing Emma's messenger bag.

Also on my agenda for today is to ask you bloggers and computer whiz-kids a couple of technical questions. Last week, my laptop suffered a major crash, resulting in my losing all documents, pictures, and programs. I had to take the computer "back to factory settings," I was told by the HP help desk, and so he walked me through it. I have gotten over my losses, but I am wondering about a couple of things. I had a copy of Adobe Photoshop that was lost in the crash. I'd borrowed the program from someone, (probably illegal, but I did).

So here's my first question: If I'd been regularly backing up my files to an external hard-drive, would this program be on there for me to recover?

My second question is a two-parter: Would the virus that caused my crash be on that external hard-drive? And if so, will I be reintroducing that virus back into my laptop when I plug it in? I have not plugged in the external hard-drive because of this concern.

I am hoping that some tekkie out there will be able to advise me.

Finally, a friend of my older daughter Erin told me that I should check out the blog of his step-sister. He said he thought the two of us would have a lot in common. He told me this after I'd posted a photo of one of my quilts on facebook. Anyway, I did take a look at her blog, and OMG! She's got the sweetest blog, and we do have lots in common, and I do think I would love to meet her, and when she comes home next time, I hope we can schedule to meet in person!  Here, have a look for yourself! Her blog is Threadheads Unite. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's May Already!

Goodness Gracious! Where on earth did April go so fast? Weren't we just playing April Fool's pranks a few days ago? It's true that time flies when you're having fun.

I managed to get my Tagalong Schibbles entered into the Schnibbles Parade - I will get the hang of this yet! I "get" quilting and related topics, but I seem to fail miserably at "getting" computers, sometimes. And the things I don't get seem to be some of the simplest things. You can look at the parades here and here.

I had a mini-catastrophe last Thursday when my laptop had a crash that warranted a process that took me back to the factory setting. This is a nice way of saying that all new programs, pictures, videos, documents, bookmarks and such are gone. It will take awhile to get things restored. Sadly, some material is lost forever, but I remain optimistic that I can get it mostly recovered.

Here is one more look at the aforementioned Tagalong Schnibbbles entered in the April parade.

It is made with 2 charm packs of Butterfly Garden by Kansas Troubles for Moda. I really enjoyed making this pattern, and am very pleased with the look of the fabric.

The May Schnibbles is a free choice! How exciting is that?? I have quite a few of the patterns, and have an idea of the one I am going to pick. When I make a decision on the fabric, I will tell you all about it.

I mentioned that this was prom weekend for our 17-year-old daughter Emma. Her dad and I were on the kitchen crew for the all-night party, and are feeling the effects of a long night all day today! We got in at 4:15 am! Here is our little girl and her date, looking all grown up!
She reports that it was a fun, fun evening of activities - dinner in a nearby city, the prom, the all-night party.

Now back to quilting and blogging. I have begun adding buttons over there on the right margin. I visit a lot of blogs who appear to have quite a lot of traffic. The buttons provide some interest beyond just what I write and the pics I post. Upgrading, let's say.