Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend re-cap

We had a fun-filled weekend...we rented a couple of ATV's and spent a few hours each day riding those around the Wyoming countryside.  Saturday was a bit windy and cool, so we were chilled to the bone after the ride that day.  Saturday night we went to a barn dance!  It was so much fun...I wish I would have taken pictures.  They had strings of white mini lights strung in the rafters, hay bales around the walls to sit on, pumpkins everywhere...just a perfect setting.  Also there was lots of good music and dancing.  :)

Sunday was a bit warmer when we went out riding.  I only went out part of the day, then hubby found a buddy to go back out with him later in the day.  That meant I had some time in my sewing room!

A couple weeks ago, I found out I needed a quickie baby quilt. (I have a few "boy" tops ready to go, but they know this is a girl!)  I picked up this FQ bundle at JoAnn's...and with a coupon, it was a price too good to pass up.  The quality is decent too.

One day last week (I've already forgotten), I assembled the top using the Yellow Brick Road pattern.  This has got to be the fastest quilt top ever!    It only takes 6 FQs and I think I cut and sewed the top in about 2 hours.

Then Friday (I think), I quilted it up!  The colors do not translate well in these pictures...that pink and green does not look like that in real life.  LOL  I could not get a good picture!

I love this quilting design called "Whole Lotta Love."

Then Sunday, I decided to tackle the binding...and try something I have never done before:  Sew the binding on by machine!  I know everyone has their preferred method of finishing the binding, and I have mine as well.  But I just have always wanted to try machine binding...especially for kids quilts or donation quilts that might get a lot more wear and tear.  Judy at Patchwork Times has a great video explaining her technique and that's pretty much the method I used.

I thought the results were pretty good...I'm sure the more I practice, the better it'll look.

 One thing I really didn't like, was that it seemed to make the edges a bit wavy... 

If you look at my pre-binding photo again...the edges are not wavy.  Anyone know if I did something to make this happen?

All in all, I'm happy with it....I'm sure I'll stick to my usual hand method of tacking the back of the binding down for most of my quilts, but this is definitely an option for other quilts in the future!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two new additions to the family....

This week our daughter, Megan, began a new adventure...she is studying Literature in England!  She will spend the next year working on and completing her Master's Degree at the University of Hull, in Hull, UK.  We are extremely proud of her, of course, and so excited for this opportunity.  I'll miss her bunches...we are planning a trip to visit after the Christmas holidays!

This was taken the day she left...we tried to get a "selfie" of the three of us.  I have not mastered that skill.  LOL
She has lived on her own for a little over 7 years (wow...time flies!) and in that time, she adopted two fur-babies.  So of course, when she asked if they could stay with us while she was out of the country, we couldn't say no.  :)

Actually, if you've followed my blog very long, you have seen both of the kitties before as she would bring them to our house for can see them herehere, here, and here.  They are both very sweet, mellow cats and I know they will fit in very nicely.  Smokey (our cat), is very loving (read:  needy) and didn't seem to mind one bit when these two came in the house.  I'm hoping that the companionship of other cats will help with his neediness.  LOL  Our cat Whiskers wasn't very much of a companion to him.

This is Galaxy.  She has such dark fur, it's hard to get a good picture of her.  Even her whiskers are black!

And this is Broccoli.  Yes, Broccoli...or you can call her Tubs or Tubbles, or Tiny Cat.  She is still a little bit kitten at just about 1 1/2 years old and she used to be the tiniest kitten in Megan's apartment (compared to her roommates cat), now she's a bit "tubby" but still the smallest.

Galaxy is an old pro at "Quilt Inspecting,"....

and Tubbles has taken a few crash courses of "on the job training."

We are still working on the feeding situation...remember, Smokey is supposed to be on a diet.  Can you see him eyeballing Tubbles' bowl?  Yeah, you can imagine what he does if the other cats leave food in their bowl.  This was the first time I got them all to eat at once (Tubbles didn't seem to eat much the first few days...she was the most nervous at her new surroundings).
Today, while talking on the phone, I sat on the bed and all three kitties joined me there.  (Excuse the unmade bed...this is our guest bed and I'm washing the sheets since Megan just left.)  :)    I thought this was so cute!  They really are settling in nicely and I think they already feel right at home.  I know Megan will miss them, but we'll take very good care of them!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Scrappy Trip Around the World

Back in Delaware, I was part of a sewing club that met was called "Cotton Club."  I loved (love!) that group of ladies.  The group was so fun and I am going to greatly miss the fun and fellowship.

Before I left, they gave me a basket of Fat Quarters as a going away gift!  I thought I had a picture of the basket full of them...but I can't seem to locate it now.  :(  But all during the trip from Delaware to Wyoming, I thought about what I could make with those FQs.  Then the perfect idea came to me.  Back when I first joined Cotton Club, they were about to have their annual retreat where they also having a fabric exchange and all the ladies would make a quilt from the exchanged fabric.  I was joining in just a couple weeks before the retreat, and decided I'd skip the fabric exchange as I didn't think I could get it all together in such a short time.  I always regretted not participating, especially after seeing all their pretty quilts!  So I decided, I would use my FQs to make the quilt they made at retreat that year...Scrappy Trip Around the World!  

I did find a picture I took after all the strips were cut...aren't they scrumptious?!

And is my finished Scrappy Trips! 

The border is made from the remaining sewn strip units...the pattern is free on Bonnie Hunter's site and it's a quick and easy one!

I'm enjoying taking pictures on my porch...but it's still covered in debris because they are still working on the roofs.  I tried not to get any pictures of the floor.  LOL

I quilted it with a design called "Happy Times," which I thought was very appropriate because this quilt will always remind me of the happy times I had with the Cotton Club girls!

In case you're wondering...this is the progress on the roof right outside my sewing room.  They were delayed about 8 days because of the heavy rain we've had, but hopefully they'll make good progress this week.  This is the last area they have to finish....all the other areas look done to me.  I felt a bit weird taking this picture, I would have been horrified if they saw me at the window.  LOL

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

this & that

I've been making progress on my leader/ender 9 patches...I have 80 complete and parts of a few more.  I think I've figured out what I'll do with them.  I'll reveal my plan soon!  :)  You can see my box of 1.5" squares is finally dwindling a little....this post shows how full it was a couple weeks ago. 

I also mentioned in that post, that I was running low on the "lights" or neutrals.  So look what a sweet blogger friend sent me!  It was such a great surprise!  These will definitely be put to good use right away!

She also sent me this cute little zipper bag!  Isn't it just too adorable?  Thank you so much Joan!  You really brightened my day!

I also made progress on a's almost finished!  More pictures to come of this one...

I made a little fabric purchase last week, too.  Every year, the Spouses' group does a "basket" auction for their scholarship fund and I've already been asked if I'd make a quilt for our donation.  How could I say no?  :)  Since there will be lots of locals from Cheyenne in attendance, I thought it would be fun to make a Western themed quilt...and I found this perfect little bundle called Horseshoe Trail.  Don't you just love looking at a FQ bundle?  How am I going to take it apart?  Confession time:  I own 2-3 bundles and I've yet to take a single one apart.  :P

I'm going to have to force myself to take this one apart though....the quilt needs to be finished by March, so I have a little time to fondle, er, admire it.  :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Scrappy Irish Chain

Yay!  I finally finished the binding on my Scrappy Irish Chain quilt.  I quilted it back in March or April before the move, but just didn't find the time for the hand stitching of the binding.

I would have loved to have another "photo shoot" outside on my porch, but it looks like this outside today: 
It's been this way for 2-3 days, with no change for the next 2-3 more.  Not complaining...we needed the rain and the cooler temps are refreshing.  Plus my porch is full of debris from the roof repair...they aren't done, so I haven't bothered to sweep up.

This the best I could do this morning for pictures...the lighting is horrible because the house is dark from lack of sunshine!  This quilt is a large queen, so I had to climb the stairs to get a full picture.  Of course, Smokey was right behind me, by the time I got the camera and walked up the stairs, he made himself comfy.

A little better picture on our bed...but you just can't see the full thing.  I'm going to look for shams or darker pillowcases.  We generally don't use shams...but I think in this case, it needs something...

This quilt was entirely a leader/ender project from Bonnie Hunter's book "Adventures with Leaders and Enders."  I so enjoyed this project, I could definitely see myself making another!

A little closer of the quilting.  I love this quilt!  I would say it's my favorite...but I say that about all my quilts!  :)


Monday, September 09, 2013

More UFO progress!

I'm completely motivated to work on "old" projects, which is a good thing...because I have a lot!  LOL  I guess "a lot" is subjective to each person...but for me, I have way more than I'm  comfortable with!  While I have this motivation, I'm definitely going to roll with it!

This isn't a UFO...but I did recently get my machine up and running!  A couple weeks ago, I had a little snafu with the module, but a call to Gammill and they had me fixed up and running in no time.  Whew...thanks Gammill!

The owner of this quilt wanted a little photo shoot on my awesome 100 year old porch, so I was happy to oblige! 

This sweet quilt was made by her 9 year old granddaughter while visiting her grandma this summer!  It's that awesome?  Such great memories for them both and I love to hear of the passion for quilting being passed down to another generation!

An indoor pic, just for kicks...

Here is the UFO I've been working on.  It's called Village Square by Whimsicals.  It was a block of the month from 2010, I think?  This pattern is by far the worst pattern I've ever seen for errors.  It was incredible.  Luckily, my friend Robin was doing it at the same time so we gave each other a heads up when we discovered the errors.

This is what I had in the close to finished!  Why didn't I stick with it?  LOL  (you can see Smokey can't matter what stage the quilt is in...)

Recently, Terry and I briefly chatted about when a quilt lets you know when it's done.  The other day, this quilt top SCREAMED at me to let me know it's done.  LOL  If you look in the picture above, it calls for another simple pieced border and then a solid border.  Well, I know I'll only ever use this as a wall hanging, so I really don't want it much bigger (it's about 45"x55" now).  So guess what...the top is DONE!  I have the backing and the binding ready to go...all it needs is quilting.  While it's still a UFO, at least I have an empty project bin to show for my efforts!  (my unquilted tops are adding up though!)

 Another aspect of living in a 100 year old house...see these "tin" roofs?  This is right outside my longarm room.  The housing management company is replacing them...

They've been out there about a week...and so far most of it looks like this:

But the new roofs are a big improvement!  Not only visually, but there are lots of leaky ceilings due to those old tin roofs.  Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have some finished pictures to show you...even construction guys have UFO's!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you all are enjoying a long relaxing three day weekend.  The temps are dropping here and it's beginning to feel like summer is truly coming to an end.

It was a special weekend for us this Labor Day....our son, Zach was able to come home for a -very- short visit.  But I'll take whatever I can get.  He arrived late Friday night and left before daylight this morning, so we made the most of the two days we had together.  The base's "Outdoor Recreation" center has all kinds of equipment to rent, including ATV's and kayaks.  We rented both those items and spent our days on some beautiful land near Vedauwoo, Wyoming.  Lots of trails and open space to drive the ATV's.  We also took the kayaks on a lake in Curt Gowdy State Park...but I didn't get any pictures of that...I was too scared to take my phone or camera on the kayak for fear that I'd tip over and lose them.  LOL

Remember my last post I mentioned the 2009 Thimbleberries Club project that I needed to finish up?  Well, here is the finished top!  Someone reminded me that the name of this quilt was "3's Company."  I really wasn't thrilled with this project (which is why it sat untouched for so long!), but I am really pleased with the end result.  I also pieced a backing for it and made the binding...all with fabrics from my Thimbleberries "stash."  It's such a good feeling to use up random, leftover fabric, isn't it?  Once I get this quilted, I can finally checked it off the unfinished list!

Of course, I couldn't help myself and started a new project.  It's a quickie though.  :)  Over the summer, Missouri Star Quilt Company was giving this mini template away with any of course I was weak and ordered a couple charm packs so I could get the free template.  But look how cute it is!  You can cut 4 tumblers from one charm with very little waste.

I assembled this table runner from one charm pack.  The problem is, I don't have any coordinating yardage for borders and/or binding.  The fabric is "Snowman Gatherings," I think...or something close to that.  I'll just have to take a quick trip to the local quilt shop and see if they might carry it.  I'm not sure if I'll trim up the edges of the tumblers or try a bias binding to go around those edges. 

I thought I'd share my current Leader/Ender results.  I found myself without a leader/ender project and I just don't like not having -something- going, so I just started to make these mini 9-patches with my 1.5" squares.  This is my all time favorite block, so I'm really enjoying putting these cuties together!  I'm not sure what they'll be used for just yet...there are soooo many ideas out there for 9-patches.  I figure I have plenty of time to decide since I'll likely need a few hundred more for any project I choose.  I'm finally taking Bonnie's advice and pinning them in groups of 10...I have 52 so far!  And you can see my 1.5" bin is still overflowing!  As usual, I'm running low on "lights," so I'm going to have to spend some time in my scrap bin!