Sunday, February 26, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I took off a couple of afternoons this past week to do a little catch up on housework and do some fun shopping.  My biggest accomplishments were taking down the Christmas tree (don't judge!) and moving some furniture around in the living and dining rooms. Because I was feeling so good about finally getting the big monkey off my back, I spent Friday afternoon having lunch with my quilty sister and then going to Hobby Lobby.  We love that place and rarely find the time to drive the distance to shop.  Armed with a couple of 40% discount coupons we spent a little over two hours wandering, putting "have to have this!" items in the cart and basically touched darned near everything we saw!  We had a grand time.  There was an 80% off clearance section that we searched through pretty thoroughly.  I found sweet ceramic knobs reduced from $5 down to 80 cents that are perfect for the re-purposed baby changing dresser I use in the studio.

 I also picked up a few pieces of fabric that were so cheap I had to put them in my basket.  Nearly everything that I wanted was already reduced so I used my coupon to purchase the new "Quilts and More" magazine from BH&G.  I love that magazine but will do just about anything not to have to pay retail for it!

Quilty sister and I spoke on the phone very early on Saturday morning and decided to spend all day together.     The snow started coming down like crazy on our way to Burkholder's but there was no way to stop two women on a mission!  I had a piece of the clearance fabric from Hobby Lobby with me and I was on a hunt for fabrics to make a baby quilt.  I found these and I think I may be in love.

The focus fabric is the green and pink print just above the pink polka dot. 
It was a lot of fun going up and down the aisles looking for the perfect pieces to compliment the focus fabric. I honestly can't wait to start this little quilt!

I also already had a pink and chocolate toile with bunnies on it that I want to make a couple of runners for the dining room table and hutch.  I found just two so far.  The pink is a really odd shade and the chocolate brown is also a hard one to match.

I think these will work but I am going to continue to hunt for 2 more pieces.

Last on my fabric shopping list was a piece of Kona cotton in a perfect shade of yellow to match some Batman fabric I had picked up.

I am making pillow cases for my grandchildren for Easter.  We have a Batman fanatic in the family!

This has been a wonderful weekend.  It's going to be really difficult heading off to work tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And when I can't sleep

I end up in the studio.  I woke up about 1:30am.  I really thought that if I read I would drop back off to sleep.  Not this time.  I was reading a Lisa Scottoline novel and it was moving along pretty well so I got into the book.  Just when I thought I might be able to sleep I turned off the light and then laid there wondering what was going to happen next in the novel.  So, I turned the light back on and read a few more chapters.  I turned off the light again and then started thinking about things I needed to do at work, tossed and turned and finally gave up.  I made a big pot of coffee and made my way to the third floor.

This past weekend I spent some time moving furniture around the studio, took all of my scrapbook stuff to the guest room and made room for another sewing spot so that I can keep a couple of machines up at the same time.  I also want to get rid of the table I am using for cutting.  It is one of those banquet type, plastic topped tables.  It just isn't a good cutting surface.  I have an old dining room table in the basement that is going to become my cutting table as soon as I remove the leg framing, attach a rectangular piece of MDF and paint it.  There is also a desk in the basement that will become the new sewing station.  It was just too much to tackle in one weekend so I have my projects lined up for next Saturday!

A few of the the non-sewing things I did in the studio were to move all of my scrap fabric and fat quarters into the same corner, fill up a small shelf units with books and favorite magazines and make some new "decor" for the walls.

Isn't the thermostat control for the heater lovely?  By the way, that is a 7 foot tall  bookcase just to the right.  I am ashamed to admit it is completely filled with fabric, pillow forms and batting!

I did do a little sewing and made a pillow case to match the new quilt for the daybed in the studio.

See what I mean about bright and cheerful?!

Now I am off to work on a tote bag for a customer and drink about half a gallon of coffee!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What a difference a little RAM makes!

My "antique" eMachine computer has been running slower and slower and s l o w e r.  First I thought it might be some kind of malware but I have Norton Anti-Virus and all the snazzy stuff that comes with it.  I pulled some files off my start up menu, cleaned the registry and it was a little faster but not much.  I finally decided the old girl needed some additional memory...not unlike her owner!  One gigabyte later and my computer is running so much faster.  I ordered the RAM on Monday from a company in California.  They didn't charge any shipping fees and the product arrived on Wednesday.  Crazy fast!

On to quilty stuff!  Here's a peek at the quilt top for the daybed in the studio.

I have it over the blue and white quilt on the bed now so the shadows you see in the white are coming from the other quilt.
It is ready for the long arm and I really hope I get it loaded this weekend though I may get distracted.  I have  furniture to move up from the basement and some re-arranging to do in the studio over the weekend.  I may have to enlist the aid of a couple of young folks with good backs.  I have lots of plans and only 48 hours.  Wonder how much will actually be completed?!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love, love, love!

I love Color Catchers.  Love them.  A lot.  Here's my red and white zig zag quilt all washed, dried and crinkly hanging over the arm of the couch

Here are the 3 Color Catchers that I put in with the load when I washed it

Because I had no way of knowing the manufacturer or quality of the red squares that were sent to me I knew that I was taking a huge risk even washing the quilt .  Had I not used the Color Catchers that pink would have been all over my quilt.  This product is worth every penny!

I decided on a name for this quilt.  I am calling "Love is all Around".  The red and white remind me of Valentine's Day and the "all around" part is based on the fact that the fabrics came from around the world.  This is my new favorite quilt!

(Linking up to WhipperBerry Friday Flair!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

A sunny day

means pictures! I finally had the opportunity to take a picture of some of the quilts I have worked on lately.  (Can you see the snow on the ground?  For a couple of days it is going to feel like winter!)

First up is a nine patch and snowball quilt that was originally intended to be a shower curtain.

I made this one using leftover pieces of Vienna Nights and the red is from Peace on Earth.  Both are Moda fabrics from 3 Sisters that I fell in love with and went crazy adding to my stash. I hope to quilt this one next week and get it on one of the twin beds in the guest room.

This is the red and white zig zag quilt that started months ago.

The reds were all 5" red squares that were part of a swap.  I just finished putting the outside border on and will quilt it this weekend.  This is going on the long arm and I will quilt with loops and hearts.  I want it on the couch for Valentine's Day so I need to get hopping!

If I get bindings on both of them I will have 2 finishes and they were UFOs.  Slowly but surely I am digging to the bottom of the old project box!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's been a while...

I received a comment from a reader the other day mentioning the fact that I haven't posted in a while and wondering if all was well.  I thought I should post something so as not to alarm anyone else.  I am fit as a fiddle and right as rain (whatever the hell that means!)  I have just been really busy with lots of projects.  I cleaned and organized the studio (making some significant changes in there), painted some furniture (with homemade "chalk" paint) and have worked on several quilts.  There is a stack that just need to be quilted, however, I have not had the opportunity to take decent photos.

The decor in the studio has had sort of a beach theme.  I have lots of prints from both the east and west coasts that I used in there but decided I need a change.  The blue and white quilt (and curtains and pillow covers) are all coming out and I am replacing them with lots of bright colors - predominantly turquoise, lime green and pink.  I have made a quilt using some fun Riley Blake fabrics and white Kona cotton.  It is very different (for me) and has a "modern" vibe.  I have the fabric for curtains and I will piece both a valence and pillow covers.  I bought a lot of new storage containers in turquoise and lime and the studio feels much lighter and brighter.

Hopefully this weekend I will be able to drag the quilt tops outside and do a little photo shoot.  I really don't like posts without photos.  How about you?

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