Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I can see the light!

I have to say without a doubt that I have one of the most amazing dh in the world. When we buying a house a few years ago, one of the requirements was that there needed to be space for me to have a sewing room. The house we bought had a room in the basement and I put my quilting room there. It quickly became apparent that it was small once all of the furniture was in, and having young children made it difficult to be down there for any length of time. A decision was made (okay I made the decision) to take over the office on our main floor. It had been put on as an addition to the house as a bedroom so there was lots of closet space. The computer got moved out to our living room and I moved in. I did leave him a small space. The only problem with the room is that it had no overhead lighting so I had to use task lighting. I have an Ott floor lamp and I would move it around as needed. This past weekend my dh put in some overhead lights for me and I can't believe what a difference it has made. It is like a whole new world! Sometimes you don't realize how bad things are until you have it good. My quilting is so much faster now because it is so much easier to see. It has really changed my perspective.

I went to the quilt store last Wednesday. Not for fabric, I went to buy an Angler 2. I find it really helpful to use as my guideline for my 1/4 inch seam. I also bought a ruler holder which I absolutely love. I had bought one a few years ago which was short and only had 3 slots. This one is much longer and has 5 slots. It can hold all of the rulers that I use most often. I did not buy any fabric. However, when I went up to the cash to pay for it, I fell in love. There beside the counter was some charm packs of Aster Manor by Moda. I will have to put it on my Christmas wish list. The line has nice warm browns, soft pinks, creams and red. I have been wanting to make a brown and pink quilt for a long time.

Here is hopefully my last stash picture for a while. These are the fabrics I got on Father's Day. The fall leaves for a tablerunner, the blue/red for a quilt I am saving up to make, and some fat 1/8's for my bits and pieces mystery quilt.

I realized this morning that I can be my own worst enemy. I can set myself up for failure very easily. I am hoping with my new lighting, my new ruler holder, my project busting, and my swap stopping I will set myself up for success in quilting and that success will continue through to other parts of my life.

I hope you have an enlightening day and Happy Birthday to Myra!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap Finale

I got my mini-quilt on Friday. It is absolutely stunning. My picture does not do it justice. Kelly did such an amazing job. She is so incredibly talented. I feel like it was tailor-made for me, even though I gave her nothing to go on. I love how the flowers were done. I will need to learn the technique. Multiple layers of cut out flowers were put together and then held by a button. I love buttons!

My Spring Blossom partner Mary got her quilt on Wednesday. I am so happy she likes it. There is another sign up started for Summer. I am trying not to sign up, even though I have a few good ideas for a quilt. I would rather live vicariously through you! I have two baby quilts to finish by August, a pincushion swap, the Halloween swap and my Dad's quilt to have ready for September. I am trying to remind myself of all of this so I don't enter the swap. I would however recommend it for you. It has been a great experience. The quilts produced for the swap have been incredible. Here is the flickr group if you want to have a look at them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Healthy Quilting Lifestyle

Okay, I did not want to say the D word, but we all know what it is. I need to have a healthier quilting lifestyle. My plan is not to buy any more fabric, or participate in any more swaps until I have a certain amount of projects done. I can only buy fabric if I need it to finish a project where I already have most of the fabric. As I write this I realize I am not sure if I have enough yellow for my 9 patch squares. Of course, I have not quite determined how many projects that will be. This is not a punishment to myself, rather it is an incentive to keep going. I see so many gorgeous fabrics and patterns out there and I would love to have the opportunity to do some of them. I just have too many projects already. It would be easier if I was a stashaholic. In a moment of weakness last week, I admitted to my dh that I have 25 projects organized. Only a few of them are UFO's. Sunday was Father's Day, and we went to see my father-in-law who lives a few hours away. Well, it just so happens that there is a quilt shop 10 minutes from his house. Yes, we ended up there and yes I ended up buying new fabric for a project. They had some fall fabric on for 40% off, and I bought some to make a table runner for my mom. That's part of my problem too, that I am rarely buying fabric for myself so I feel justified in buying it. It does not help for me to be creating more stress for myself, especially when I work full-time, have young children, have a husband who works longer hours than me and is away a few times a month. I saw this quote on this website and I thought it was very applicable "Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along." I do love the projects I have, I just look forward to a bit more spontaneity.

PS. For my friend Myra, the D word is diet.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quilt Qua Giveaway

Quilt Qua is have a wonderful giveaway of 1 Frosted Memories fat quarter bundle. You can enter to win until July 31.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap

It is finished and I am so happy it is! I never feel comfortable with my machine quilting. I keep swearing when there is a class for hand quilting I am taking it, but I have not found one yet. Being uncomfortable causes stress which of course does not help to make the quilt look like the way I want it. I need to have less on my plate and more faith in myself. I do really like it. I called it Spring is Here. It was very difficult to send away, more so than I expected. This is the first swap I have participated in where you are making a mini quilt. Usually when I am making something as a gift, I know the person and some idea of their likes and dislikes. This time I knew very little. Plus when you are sending away something you love so much ( I want to make one like this for myself now) you just hope the person will like it too. I have not commented on any of the quilts that have been done so far, only because I don't know which one is mine and I don't want to say something that somebody could perceive as negative. I must say that I have found all of the quilts to be beautiful. I am amazed and envious at the incredible talent that is out there. Well, on to the next swap!

PS. There are some fabulous giveaways right now. Please check out Ariane's Crafts, Jaybird Quilts and Highway Cottage. They are all extremely talented women.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quilting Retreat Wrapup

My quilting retreat turned out very well this weekend. I also had a few other things on my to do list and those were done too. It is amazing how much you can get done without kids around (though I missed them so much) and now having kids, I am much more efficient with my time. I finished my Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap, did some work on my 9 patch quilt along, worked on my Dad's bento box quilt and got my zigzap quilt top half finished. I also cleaned my quilting room and rearranged some of it. Saturday I did the shop hop. I also cleaned out my children's rooms, went through all of their summer clothes, put away winter clothes and took 4 huge garbage bags of clothes and toys to charity. I had dinners out with my dh and we went to a movie Saturday night. I also got to go swimming, one of my favourite activities.

My dh did see the bags I brought in to the shop hop. While, he is not concerned about the cost he is worried about the toll it takes on me to have so many projects on the go. I have to admit he is right. I am still trying to balance, or should I say juggle all the different aspects of my life. It is not always easy but it is worth it.

How do you balance your quilting with the other parts of your life?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happiness is ....

  • Your children picking out thread in the quilting store.
  • Your son asking for another quilt. This time with dinosaurs.
  • Beautiful charm packs waiting to be made into a quilt.
  • Bonding with EQ6.
  • A quilt coming back from the quilter's, more beautiful than you could have imagined.
  • Fabric.
  • A good book.
  • Wonderful friends (both blogger and non-blogger) and family.
  • A living room covered in scraps by your daughter.
  • An extremely supportive husband.
  • Chocolate.

Shop Hop

Here are my treasures from my weekend Shop Hop. I did not have an opportunity to get to all of the quilt stores. but I did manage to get to quite a few. As I have said before I am a project girl, but as always I do have lots of projects.

1) I got a wall hanging kit. It uses Aviary fabric
2) I bought some Williams Inn fabric to go with a pattern I bought at another store.
3) The black fabric is for my Halloween swap.
4) The burgundy and grey fabrics will be a wall hanging for my boss. She is leaving to move to a different part of the organization and I hope to get something done for her in time.
4)The orange fabric may be for part of my 4SQS colour block. As well I have been collecting oranges to make a quilt.
5) I bought a layer cake pattern which is really cute. They look a little like wrapped presents. It is to go with the layer cake I bought from the quilt show. I have a friend who will be retiring soon and the quilt is for her.
6) The cream colour fabric is one which I have been looking forever for. It goes with a quilt that I have been working on for my mom, but I need some more of it. I was so excited to find it.
7) The reds are for my colour blocks and possibly a Valentine's quilt.
8) The blues are for my sister's quilt and the crazy curves template goes with the larger one that I have.

Finally, I thought the dress pattern fabric was just so cute and the thread catcher is for me. I already have one but my daughter uses it all the time, so now I have my own. Buying for projects is great. It keeps me more focused, but it also makes me feel that I am so far behind. How do you shop for fabric?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Charmed ....

I'm sure! Here is part of the reason, why I have not been in to much of a rush to catch up in the 9 patch quilt along. I splurged and bought myself a few charm packs. These came in the mail yesterday. A month ago, I bought one and really liked using it, until I realized I could only get 4 squares from each 5 inch square. Rather than making it scrappy, I decided with your advice to use yellow in the centre so they look a bit like flowers. Using the charm packs has been a great way to try out lots of different fabrics in one quilt, rather than have to make lots and for little cost. I am eager to start cutting these up and seeing the 9 patches I create with them.

By the way, here is my finished place mat. The fabric is Sunshine by April Cornell for Moda and the backing is leftover fabric I had from a quilt I made for my aunt. It is all the provincial flowers of Canada.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Freedom ...

Sort of. I have no due dates for quilting this week. In many ways my quilting is like a second job for me. I had something that I thought I needed to get done this week, but it turns out I don't. I feel so free, plus I just got EQ6. I could spend the week playing with it. On top of all this my dh is refinishing our deck this weekend and has arranged for the kids to be with my parents. I am going to be having my own quilting retreat and there is a shop hop this weekend! I do however have things coming up in the next couple of weeks. So here is my list for the rest of June. Much like the Spring to Finish I will let you know at the end of the month how I do.

  1. Finish Spring Blooms Mini-Quilt Swap DONE
  2. Finish putting together ZigZag quilt
  3. Do my colour blocks for the 4SQS summer block swap
  4. Start working on my pincushion for the swap
  5. Make a test starry web block
  6. Keep working on my dad's quilt. DONE
  7. Catch up on the 9 patch quilt a long.
  8. Put the binding on my Spring Meadow Quilt.
Not too long of a list, right! ;-) There are still 3 weeks left in June. I hope you are having a great day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Oops she did it again ......

No, not me. My daughter. I had a wonderful weekend. Sunday was my birthday and they were calling for rain here. We decided to be out and about on Saturday and then have a lazy day together on Sunday. Saturday, we went to a tea room for lunch right beside a waterfall. It was a beautiful view. Then we went to a park with the kids. After that we went to a quilt show about 1 hour from where I live. It was fabulous. There were so many gorgeous quilts. They had a tea room as well. Each place had a different place mat and it made me smile, thinking of my place mat which I did finish. I also won a really cute door prize.

Okay, to get to my post title. There was a vendor's market there and because it was a fairly local show I knew some of the vendor's there and had been to a few of the stores. Well, my daughter (who's 4) decided that we just had to buy this fat quarter bundle. The last time she thought that this quilt ended up being made. I had to admit this was beautiful fabric and it turned out to be Christmas fabric called Have a Sheri Berry Holiday. She was quite insistent, and since I have yet to make a Christmas quilt, and since it was my birthday the next day, and since it is so hard to resist someone wanting a quilt, especially my daughter I bought it. Unfortunately, my dh came over just as the vendor was telling me the total.

Sunday was a great day. I got to play games with my kids, do some reading and had some quiet time for quilting while they went out to buy a cake for me. We went to dinner at my favourite restaurant along with my parents. After dinner, I got my presents and I am so spoiled. My kids got me cushions for my patio set, which I really wanted, and my dh got me EQ6!! He had told me there was no more left in our city but that is because he bought the last one. I was so excited and shocked when I got it. My parents got me Fresh by Deb Strain charm squares and the Still Stripping book by Eleanor Burns. I did get a few looks when I asked for it for my birthday. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What a diference .....

a day makes. I took Thursday off. I have been really sick for 2 weeks and decided I needed a day to rest and relax. It was great. I worked on 3 projects simultaneously.

The quilt for my dad. I only have a few more squares to do. No, I will not be giving it to him for Father's Day. Unfortunately, being sick got in the way of getting it done. His birthday is in October so it will be definitely done for then.

I am also trying to catch up on the 9 patch quilt along. Here is what I have so far.

I also started putting my zigzag quilt together. I did something which worked well for me, so I thought I would share it with you. I have an odd shaped sewing room. It is an extension to the house, meant to be an extra bedroom on the main floor. There are two doors going into, as it also has an ensuite bathroom, a large window and 2 closets. In other words very little wall space. I have my design wall set up in the basement. When I first started putting this quilt together, a month ago I ended up getting a bunch of the squares in the wrong place because I was bringing them up a few at a time from the basement. The project then got left for a while because I had other things to work on. This time what I did was took the picture I had taken of the quilt and printed it off from my computer. Now when I have taken the squares off the wall, I have something to refer to do to make sure I have done it right.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What a difference ....

A year makes. Last year around this time I was just finishing up my first guild quilt show. The guild had asked everyone to make something that could be sold in the boutique. I started making a baby change pad based on a pattern by Eleanor Burns. Well, I was so worried about it being perfect, that it became less perfect. It was my first year with the guild and I did not know how well my quilting would look against anyone else's. I ended up not finishing the project. Fast forward to this year. Tonight is my guild's dinner and they have asked us to go green. We are to bring our own place mat as well as dishes. Well I took out the old change pad and pared it down to a place mat size. I was up at 6:00 this morning quilting it. I am not going to get a chance to bind it before the meeting, but I don't care. I am taking it anyhow.

PS. There is a fabulous giveaway over at The Fabric Shopper. You really need to check it out. There is also a great giveaway at at LanieJane.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spring to Finish Finale

Well, here it is June and the Spring to Finish challenge is done. I went over my list from the start of the month. I did get a lot of things accomplished, some that were on my list and some that were not.

  • I got my husband's quilt done.
  • I got my daughter's quilt done.
  • I made a label for my son's quilt that I had finished last summer.
  • I have 3/4 quarters of the blocks done for my dad's quilt.
  • I got the top done for my placemat for my guild dinner.
  • I paper pieced my block for my swap partner.
  • I got my newsletter done for my guild.
  • I picked out 2 possible patterns for my pincushion swap.
  • I participated in the May Day Giveaway.
  • I picked out the colours I am going to use for the 4SQS Summer Swap Block.
  • I have been using my 9 patch quilt along as leaders and enders. I am a few weeks behind, but catching up.
  • I joined the Halloween Spooktacular Swap and picked out my block for that.
All in all it has been a very successful month. Once you start to write it out it is amazing how many things you have accomplished.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Giveaway Day Winner!

Well, we have a May Giveaway Day winner. It is 319. I used the random number generator from Myra from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada has won. I will be contacting to get your mailing information. These are her reasons for quilting,
I am in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and I like to quilt because:
- I like sewing
- I've always been intrigued
- it gives me something to do
- my creative outlet
- I meet some wonderful people
- and I like giving quilted gifts

Thank you all for your incredible comments about quilting. It has been so much fun reading the comments and learning that you are not alone. I love the math in quilting and some of you mentioned that. Some of you also mentioned that quilting is a part of your being and I feel that way too. To all of you nervous about starting, I want to say that we were all there once and in some ways with quilting you always are a beginner. There is so many techniques in quilting, that there is always something new to learn. I wish you many uninterrupted hours of quilting and I look forward to the next giveaway.