Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another UFO Finished! Bamboo Quilt

Well, I had such guilt over going into the hole on my Stashbusting efforts, that I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone - as they say. About Festival Time (Houston) in 2007, our Thursday Bee swapped a bunch of Oriental fabrics. From that we made bunches of blocks for the BAMBOO quilt. Well, I've had the top done for some time, and finally got it quilted this weekend. Also used several yards of fabric for the backing & binding, which I will add to my next stash report. I'm just finishing up the binding, so haven't taken a new picture yet. This is the quilt without before I put the borders on it. I quilted it with a gold colored thread (not metallic) but because of all the metallic colors in the quilt, it looks like I used metallic thread.
Did anyone watch Quilting Arts on PBS Saturday? I was glad to see it back on again. Had 3 cool projects, but the last item really got me excited. They used some software (new to me) call Kaleidoscope Kreator. I think this will be fun to play with, as you can take a digital photo or scan some fabric, and then create the kaleidoscope on the screen, then print it out on fabric. No piecing! They have a couple of companion software packages that do other shapes. Definitly think this will be fun to play with.

The other new thing is that I've joined yet ANOTHER Bee. This one is an Art bee, and amazingly there was a huge turnout at the meeting. 17 of us were there with a few more saying they couldn't be there because of Spring Break. We were trying to come up with a name for the group, and from Quilters with an Attitude, Ruth suggested ARTiTude! Next month when we meet, we're going to do some fabric dyeing. Not sure yet what kind, but a couple of the ladies are putting together a program for us and we'll do some hands-on work. At the meeting we talked about doing some resist dyeing, or dyeing with natural elements. Here is a link at Pioneer Thinking that gives all sorts of suggestions of what to use to attain the color you are looking for. Am looking forward to see what we're going to do!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stashbusting Report - March 2009

Haven't done a stashbusting report in a while.... Been pretty busy working on customer quilts, and on retreat I worked on Quilts in Process, namely the Smokey Batik Stars quilt and the Double wedding ring quilt. Those were projects that had already been cut, so didn't use anything from my stash. HOWEVER, I plan to get at least one of those tops done soon, and quilted during March to meet that goal.

Fabric added this month: 12 yards (it was the trip to La Grange quilt show & West Houston Quilt Show)
Fabric added year to date: 15 yards
Fabric used this month: 0 yards
Fabric used year to date: 10 yards
Net fabric busted: <4> yards OOPS Went in the hole!!!!

Guess I ought to get started cutting strips for my swap that is due in May. 9-patch blocks for a new Bee that we're forming to swap scrappy blocks. More on that later.

Bought quite a bit of fabric, but that was over a month AND two quilt shows!!!!

I think I am going to have to start doing a stash busting report on my YARN PURCHASES! I have accumulated some beautiful yarns, (even bought an awesome Ghana woven basket at the WHQG quilt show to keep them in). But alas, not finishing up any yarn projects. Knitting socks is one of my goals for this year, but I also wanted to knit a beautiful shawl for my daughters wedding this fall that will be on the beach in Mexico. So, I've been practicing on dishcloths (or maybe baby washcloths!!).

Greek or Knit talk???

Found this scarf pattern (included on the yarn package) . What a gorgeous scarf. Going to try it, to get the hang of knitting, so that it will feel more comfortable switching back and forth between knit and purl. Actually, did pretty good using the double pointed needles. Can't show you what I did on Nancy's needles.... she pulled it all out. :(

Bought some lucisous yarn at the Yarntopia shop in Katy TX. I think it will make a beautiful scarf for my daughters birthday coming up in April.
Materials:

•2 Skeins of Manos del Uruguay
•US 11 Needles•Darning Needle

Glossary:

•psso-pass slipped stitch over
•P2tog-purl 2 together

Instructions:
•CO 30 stitches
•Row 1: K1, *sl 1, K1, psso but before dropping the slipped stitch from the left needle, knit into the back of it* repeat until there is one stitch left, K1
•Row 2: *P2tog, do not slip stitches off the needle, purl the first stitch again, slip both stitches off needle*
•Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you run out of yarn.
•BO.
•Weave in all ends.
SL=slip. K=Knit. PSSO= Pass slipped stitch over.
Slip stitch from left-hand needle to right-hand one without knitting it.
Knit the next stitch.
Insert tip of left-hand needle into the slipped stitch, pass it over the knitted stitch, and off needle.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Retreat! RETREAT!

I love going on quilting retreats! Just got back from the first of two that I'll be going on this month. Our Thursday Bee (yes - that is the name, thank you very much) went to Camp Allen in Waller County, Texas. It is a great place, all the amenities, and no hubbies or kids! We are all responsible for preparation of at least one meal, and everyone always brings extra, so there is plenty of food, plenty of snacks, plenty of deserts and best of all, plenty of MUDSLIDES - our official drink on retreats!

There were 10 of us this time. Usually, we have around 8, but we are experts at moving the cabin furniture out of the way (into closets and the larger bedroom), getting our tables set up, knickknacks off of the walls (so we can hang design walls), fireplace hearth cleared (where we set up a cutting table), food put away, ott-lites, irons and sewing machines all running. It is fortunate that we are not charged for electricity, and don't have any problems blowing fuses.

Retreat officially starts on Thursday afternoon, but I didn't go until Friday morning. That's OK, I still got a pile of 9 patches done for a swap that is due in May, my Smokey Mountains UFO quilt top nearly complete (need to figure out the borders), a customer T-Shirt quilt top pieced, and significant progress on the Wedding Ring quilt for my daughter that was married in 2001! Also learned how to knit/purl on 2 pointed needles (Thanks Nancy!). Also found out a new way to cast on stitches, and that I had been Purling wrong (thanks Mariet!). Oh, this was Mariets' first Retreat! A retreat VIRGIN! She did fine, was quiet the first day, trying to figure out WHY the rest of us brought so much STUFF (including our rolling comfy chairs).

Michelle 'thought' she knew what she was doing with her half square triangles, but on Thursday night, everybody started re-arranging her blocks, and 'informed' her that she 'would' be making some changes. After seeing a photo in the camera, Michelle saw the error of her ways and changed the layout. It is going to be an awesome quilt. Then she started on a 'typical Michelle' project - a miniature for the Ami Simms Alzheimer auction. She started working on teensey tiny 9-patches, starting with 1 inch strips! Of course, they were turning out beautifully, and no bulk!
Linda G. was at the end of the table chanting her mantra of "Fat, Fat, Skinny, Skinny" as she was cranking out he teensy tiny blocks for her quilt. Now, how many red strips did you cut? (something like 1100) She did complete over a hundred of the blocks (only 300 to go!), Nita finished pieceing her Stash Box quilt top and got a good start on another quilt. Gail finished some charity quilts and then pulled her BLOW quilt out for all to see. This is her first paper piecing project and she is doing a great job - even if she is left-handed - and doing it the way Michelle showed her to do it! We tease Michelle because when she paper pieces, the fabric is on the same side of the printing instead of the backside! (OK, my first pineapple paper piecing was done that way as well! LOL)

Connie put her 'floating' appliqued rooster on the wall and received lots of input on what else to do with her wallhanging. There is now a tree to one side, leaves, eggs, grass, and chickens peeking in from the side (again, many thanks Mariet!)

Once Sunday morning comes, we lay out all the left-overs, including the deserts, and have the best buffet breakfast! We sew a little more, then start tearing down our sewing areas. By 11 or so, we have restored the cabin to it's original glory, and no one ever knows the transformation that went on!

Friday, March 06, 2009

La Grange Texas Quilt Show

Several of our Thursday Night Bee members went to the La Grange Quilt show last weekend. It was a beautiful day and a fun road trip from Houston. These are not necessarily the 'best' quilts there, but these were my favorites. Each had something a little different that talked to me.

This first one was made from wool. The attention to detail was awesome and this was my vote for Viewer's Choice. The outside black triangles were appliqued to the red border. Without gushing too much, I liked about everything about this quilt, and did not understand why it did not have a ribbon on it. EVen the mistletoe on the bottom row - check out the detail.

Now the rest of these are in no particular order, but I'll meniton why I liked each one. This is a tradional Snails Trail, but I really liked the way she worked with the values on this one. The isles were too close to get full pictures, so you don't get the full effect.


This blue one had a neat setting. Don't recognise the pattern, but it could be the way she laid out the light and darks. It was a really striking quilt.
This simple little sailboat quilt. So simple and I just loved it. The colors were nice, and she did a great job fussy cutting fabrics for the sails and the body of the boats. Nice job.
This next one was a really fun quilt. Our Bee buddy that couldn't come with us has a scrub top made with these cats. I thought she might appreciate this quilt! Check out the Periodic Table of Elements in the center of the block and all the cats doing their medical things. Gail - this one is for you. Wish you could have come with us instead of having to go to work!

This simple Carpenters Wheel just talked to me. The 30's colors were just different than what you usually see. The quilting was nicely done and I could see this in my house or even in my granddaughters room!
Now, on the way home from the quilt show, we did stop at 'Gerlines Quilt Shoppe' and 'Around The Block' quilt shop, both in Giddings TX. Both are nice shops, and worth a look if you are on 290. Of course we also had to stop at Buc-ees to get Icees and beef jerky to get us the rest of the way home.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Quilt Show Pictures

This is the other quilt that I won a blue ribbon on. It's a pattern from Bonnies Quiltville website. I call it Waves of Blue because I started it on the Quilting cruise that I went on Jan 2007. I quilted it using the pattern called 'Splash' with blue thread. The red print in the border has little anchors in it.

The other picture is of my buddy Sharon and I with her ribbon winning quilt on the right.

There were some awesome quilts in this show, the Best of Show was a hand quilted applique quilt. IT was beautifully done, and I'm waiting on pictures and will post pictures as soon as I get them back.

This red and green quilt was done by my friend Nita. This was a mystery quilt that she presented at her 70th Birthday party last summer. Several of us made a quilt like this, but I think hers was one of the nicest.

This other quilt was done by Connie B. It is called Nifty Nines, and just about everyone in our Thursday Bee is working on one of these. I think Connie and Nita are the only ones that have actually finished their quilt. Connie, who is relatively new quilter, won a Third place ribbon on this one. It is done in batiks.


Fay School Quilts

Been busy the last couple of weeks finishing up quilts for the Fay Schools in Houston. This school has a gala each year and moms volunteer to get a quilt made for the auction that goes on at the gala as a fundraiser. This first one, I just quilted the top, the mom will add the pictures over the quilting. Did kind of a free hand flame meander on this one.

This next one was for the 4th graders and it has a western theme. This one used iron-on transfers rather than printing the pictures on fabric. Wouldn't suggest doing that again! Boy, one touch with an iron and 'poof' the color is gone! Had a little mishap with one of the pictures, and had to have that one reprinted. Quilt turned out cute with those smiling faces and brands.

The third one was very creative! It is titled Mrs. Lewis Rock Stars. Those are sequined letters. The crazy quilt background is every kind of fabric that you DREAD sewing on! Lames, fur, plastic and sequins! This one was definitly a challenge, and fortunately my good friend Nita has a LOT more patience than I do. She did all the assembly work on this one. This quilt, the DENIM back and batting were quilted separately from the top. After Nita got the pictures attached, I attached the top more like a comforter. Only 2 of the three layers are quilted! It turned out really cute. The moms did an awesome job with the photos. The kids are all singing or playing an instrument.
I didn't get a picture of the other one for the Fay school. It was Gees Bend inspired, but they used beautiful upholstery fabrics. Only problem was that the mom did not sew, so she GLUED the seams for the center part. The pictures that went around that one were sepia toned. I had my doubts at first, but it turned out pretty nice. The quilting on that one reinforced the 'seams' and I doubt that quilt will ever go in a washing machine, so it should hold up.
My buddy Linda did a Fay school quilt as well. It's called SEA SCAPE and is awesome. Yellow submarine with the kids faces in the windows! Really cute.
My other quilting buddy Sharon also does these quilts, and each one turns out TOTALLY different. The moms have such good imagination, but no clue about selecting fabrics or limitations that WE might have working with their ideas. This is the 2nd year I worked on these, and am always relieved when we're done.