Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just a Little Batting

You know how you can go into a grocery store for one item and come out with a whole bag or two? That's what happened yesterday when I went to pick up some batting at Quilting Bits and Pieces.

I've had an embroidery pattern for a little while that I wanted to get started when I have some time this summer (car trips, waiting during swim lessons, etc). Everyone at the quilt shop is so nice and Nan helped me pick out the background fabric I needed. She suggested I decide on the red fabric I wanted to use so I could match my thread color. I picked out these Rouenneries fabrics by French General for Moda. I've had my eye on them didn't know where I'd use them. They are so beautiful and of course there wasn't much left on the bolt so I went ahead and bought what I needed for the quilt top. I'm set now with yet another project.

I need to stop now. Seriously. Especially after I ordered some scrap packs from Etsy yesterday. Okay, definitely finished for a good long while! I've got so many projects in the line up but I'm enjoying it so much!

Anyone else have a project they are working on specifically for the summer? 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Finish

Meet Big Monkey. He was a gift for my daughter from her Aunt Viv (my mom made him for her). He's so well loved that I've had to restitch his tail, an arm, and an ear. The other arm was the latest appendage that needed to be reattached but he'd been hanging around my sewing table for a while now. Patiently waiting. So he's my first finish for Spring to Finish. I was up late last night and also got quite a bit accomplished on the charity quilt. So...progress.

We've had rain, rain, rain lately. So we found a break in the storms to do some splashing with friends on Friday. Don't you just love kids' rain boots? I'd love a pair with red and white polka dots!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

She'll Be Back!

I just went to AmandaJean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts to see if she had any new Flicker photos and saw the surprising announcement that she'll be blogging again soon. Sooooo happy to hear that. She's the first quilt blogger that I followed and I was so sad to see her blogging come to an end.

To celebrate this wonderful news, I'm sharing the red and aqua quilt top that I finished at my retreat in March. AmandaJean provided the inspiration for this one.

I had so much fun working with these colors and I love the layout. Not loving the block with stripes. I wasn't about to try to match the stripes but it still bugs me a little.

This quilt top was my big accomplishment at the retreat. You can see one of the sewing rooms here. We had a snow storm while we were at the retreat and enjoyed the view all weekend. We even saw deer running across the dam.

My sewing station was just down the sidewalk in the next building. It was kind of nice to get some brisk fresh air on the way to and from "The Big House". I'm so lucky to have such a nice group of women to get together with while we quilt. Looking forward to the next one in the fall already!

Project Plume Update

The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild met last week and the big reveal of everyone's Project Plume quilts was so exciting! I had a heck of a time getting mine quilted but finally figured out that my machine is preferring one type of thread at the moment. (Thank goodness my mom answers my frantic emails and is my connection for this thread!) I think my favorite part of this is the pink binding. It really pops off the brown. 

This is only the second quilt that I've quilted myself. I used spray basting and pins last time and this time I only used pins. I think I will probably try the spray again. I got a bit more puckering this time but perhaps you won't be able to notice after I wash and dry it. And I'm sure a little more practice would help. I used a wonderful tutorial that Jacquie put together at Tallgrass Prairie Studio where you use blue painters tape to guide your quilting lines. Worked like a charm!

Isn't the fabric on the back beautiful? I love that bird! I started this project with the idea that it would be a gift for someone special but I'm not sure I can part with it. At least not yet.

Shea over at The Empty Bobbin has a few pictures of the fabulous creations that some of the guild members came up with. I find it amazing that you can give a group of people a charm pack and have them pick out a 1/2 yard of fabric to go with it and get so many beautiful quilts. I swear I can't sleep at night when I get home from a guild meeting after seeing all of the talented quilters share their projects!

Many thanks to Tula Pink and Moda for making this challenge possible!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Signs of Spring

Without a doubt, Spring is my favorite season. I love seeing the first daffodils and tulips popping up and the redbud trees full of blossoms. My sweet girl picked out this strawberry plant and we have been enjoying tiny berries every few days.

Sharing these strawberries with Jenna triggered a childhood memory. As a very little girl there was an area with trees beside my house where we had a clothesline and a swing. Under those trees grew a patch of wild strawberries where tiny, tiny berries grew. I remember being so surprised to find them growing there.

Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio is hosting a Spring to Finish Challenge. We set our goal of items to finish by May 31 and reward ourselves at the end. I love having a deadline. It really motivates me to pick things up even for just a few minutes when normally I might think I don't have time to work on something. I plan to finish a Downy Quilts for Kids project, binding two quilts, and repair Jenna's beloved sock monkey (he has a dangling arm). My reward is going to be a little fabric shopping. I have in mind a pack of Basic Grey Eva fat quarters if my local quilt shop still has them at the end of this challenge.

Check out all of the details at Tallgrass Prairie Studio. If you haven't read Jacquie's blog yet, you are in for a treat. It's full of inspiring projects and some great tutorials. She's also contributing on Sew, Mama, Sew! this month with some great information for both beginning and experienced quilters.

Every spring for the last few years I've looked forward to the Kansas City Shop Hop and Jenna has helped me hop around Kansas City since she was one. This year I gave her a little pocket money in case she came across something she wanted. These were her selections along with a handful of buttons. She has a few ideas for what she wants to make with them and I'm so excited that she is enjoying fabric and taking an interest in sewing.

This spring day has brought a great deal of rain so perhaps I'll get a little sewing in today. And I can't wait to share my finished Project Plume.


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