Friday, March 26, 2010

Janome sewing and embroidery machine giveaway

Sorry I have been missing in action, but the charger for my camera is missing and I have no way to take pictures for a while.  Since text in a blog without pictures is totally dull, I thought I would hold off until I can replace my charger,  In the mean time, there is a fabulous giveaway on the DIY Dish blog.

You can click on the logo on my sidebar to find out all of the details and to see some of their crafting videos.

I hope to be posting lots of photos of what I am working on soon.  Until then, I will be hibernating until I can find a way to charge my camera or get a new one.  

Monday, March 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday - March 15, 2010

The first picture is of the fabrics I am using for a Terry Atkinson (of Yellow Brick Road fame) pattern available free online called Neutral Territory.

The stripes in the pattern are formed by sewing 2 inch strips in sets of 5.  My strip sets are already pieced, but I have a problem.  Apparently, my 1/4 inch seam was too scant when piecing the strips, so my strip sets finish at 8.5 instead of 8 inches. They are supposed to be 8 x 8 before they are pieced to the other strip sets.   I'm trying to decide how to adjust the pattern so it will come out even.  

These are my sewn together strips laying on top of the border fabric.  The one on the right has been cut to 8 inches.  The rest of the sets are folded to approximate the 8.5 inches they would be if I cut them square.  I love the red/black batik and really need to push myself to work on this.

Don't forget to visit Judy L's blog to see some interesting design walls.

Makes me Happy Monday - March 15, 2010

Family events can be stressful.  Whether they are for your family by blood or marriage, it's easy to get drawn into the emotional stews that have been simmering for a lifetime.  The bridal shower I attended on Saturday was no exception.  With all of the crazy emotional turmoil that took place behind the scenes, the bride's mom (my husband's aunt who is only 2 years older than he is) remained gracious and serene (at least on the surface).

Although my contribution to the shower decorations were minimal, she made me feel as though I was a major factor in the success of the shower.  As I left the restaurant, she presented me with one of the centerpieces.  It makes me happy  to know that I have in-laws, rather than out-laws.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Showers - Rain and Otherwise - Saturday, March 13, 2010/ Stash Report Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's a miserable, rainy day outside and is predicted to stay that way until Monday.  Maybe it's appropriate that I am going to a bridal shower today.  My husband's goddaughter is getting married in April and her shower is today.  The family has been in turmoil for weeks preparing for this event.  Although I wanted to help, it has really taken a toll on the time I usually allot for quilting.  I only managed to sew some blocks for my "Downy Quilts for Kids" kit.  My job is to make the decorative shower umbrella.  As tasks go, it doesn't seem like a big deal.  We had a lace parasol left over from my days as a costumer designer for my children's school plays.
I started with 6 "bushes" of  white flowers, yards of 3 different kinds of white lace, and 2 spools of white organdy ribbon. This is what was left.

After removing 64 sprigs of flowers from the bushes and cutting the lace to fit; I hand sewed them to the umbrella.  The small plastic knob at the top of the umbrella was covered by a swirl of lace sewn to resemble a rosette.  I added double strands of organdy ribbon to the edge of the 8 umbrella spokes and sewed single flowers to the ends of the strands.  This doesn't sound like much, but it took days of sewing.  I think the result was worth it.

That's my excuse for not using any of my stash this week.

Used this Week:          0 yards

Used year to Date:    15 yards

Added this Week:       0 yards

Added Year to Date:  24 yards

Net Used for 2010:  - 9 yards

Please stop by Judy L's blog if you would like to see some successful stash busting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Makes Me Happy Monday - March 8, 2010

We have a little summer  house near the bay.  The weather was so lovely this weekend, we decided to make the 3 hour drive and see how things were.  We do have a "house watcher" who visits everyday to make sure no pipes have broken or vandals have broken in.  One year a raccoon family decided our attic would be a lovely place to spend the winter.  Unfortunately, the raccoons were not active during the day when she checked on the house so it took her a while to realize they were there.  Luckily, she was able to call in a wildlife control specialist  to deal with the nuisance.  He trapped and released them a few miles away (in a wooded area near a County park).  He also sealed the vent to the attic so they would need a crow bar or a hack saw to get back in.

We are a short walk from the salt marsh that inspired the name of this blog.  Yesterday as we strolled down the street in the sun, I was thankful for the warmth this special place brings to my soul.  We took these pictures at the bottom of our street.

The pictures do not do the scenery justice.  The sun was glistening on the surface of the water like diamonds.  The air had a wonderful fresh, clean, salty smell.In my mind, I think that's the way heaven smells (with an occasional whiff of apple pie baking in the oven).

Design Wall Monday - March 8, 2010

Finally, after 2 weeks of ignoring my Too Good to Cut Challenge Jambalaya quilt, I made a few more blocks this week.  Even though I loved the fabrics individually, I felt that they looked dull when they were together.  The tones seemed too grey to me.  I had a few blocks that contained blue and decided that was just what I needed to liven things up.  I have also decided to add another row to make it a lap quilt rather than a wall hanging.

I'm sure this will not be the final arrangement, but I do feel the addition of the blue blocks brightens it up a bit.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stashbuster Report Week March 7, 2010

I haven't reported in 3 weeks because I really didn't have anything to report.  This week, I managed to use 6.5 yards and resisted the temptation to buy any fabric.  I have also been rummaging through my sewing closet finding spools that are partially finished and trying to use them up.
Used this Week:       6.5 yards

Used year to Date:    15 yards

Added this Week:     0 yards

Added Year to Date:  24 yards

Net Used for 2010:  - 9 yards

Thread finished for 2010  -  2 spools

Don't forget to visit Judy L's blog and find out how much stash busting everyone else has been doing this week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two More Tops Completed

Although I haven't been posting (I missed the Sunday Stash Report and Design Wall Monday), I have been working on some scrappy donation quilt tops.  I realized that I haven't quilted anything in so long that my quilting abilities have regressed  beyond rusty.  To remedy the situation, I have decided that I am going to put off quilting any of the tops I have finished this year until April and only work on piecing tops.

The new free motion foot for my Sapphire and a new walking foot with interchangeable foot attachments (for stitch in the ditch and omni motion stitches) has arrived.  I have signed up for a  2 session refresher quilting class, March 20th and 27th.  When April arrives, I will be ready with a stack of tops to quilt.with my new skills.

Cheryl at the Naptime Quilter  suggested combining two blocks together to make to make rectangles and then adding the sashing.  I really like the way it looks.  I think it "tames" the scrappiness a little.  Thank you Cheryl I always appreciate your comments.

Sorry the picture of this string quilt is so dark.  I was having trouble getting the flash to work.

I'm a winner!!

I am so excited!  I just received an email from Konda  at the Moose on the Porch blog  that I have won a jelly roll from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Her Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along has just started.  It runs from March 1 to August 2.  Instructions for a new 12" block will be posted every other Monday.   All of the blocks will be made from jelly roll strips and yardage.  Of course,  if you don't have a jelly roll you can pick one out at The Fat Quarter Shop or pull fabric from your stash.

The completed quilt  will measure 58" x 72."  There will be prizes for quilters who complete the blocks.  Let your fingers run (do not walk) over to Konda's blog.  Many quilters have already completed block one and posted a picture on the quilt along's Flicker Group.