Monday, September 29, 2014

Miles of Pillowcase Smiles

Sunday was such a perfect day to spend with my quilt girls making pillowcases for children with cancer.  The organization heading up this wonderful and deserving program is ConKerr Cancer.  The pillow case program is aptly called "Miles of Pillowcase Smiles."  We set up an assembly line and the 3 of us whipped up 23 pillowcases.  We kept up our strength with a wonderful lunch and praline peach pie (oooohh!) and ice cream for dessert.  There is nothing sweeter than good friends, good food and a good cause.  Here is a photo of a few of the pillowcases.  They should warm a child's heart...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celebrating Alba... and Shark Week!

Alba has been our international intern for the past year.  She arrived here from Granada, Spain last September barely speaking English and all of us barely speaking Spanish.  This has been a wonderful year for Alba.  Not only has she learned to speak English quite well, she coordinated lunch and learn sessions to teach us to speak her language. She has tons of energy, is always very gracious and has a warm, friendly personality.  So, she leaves us this week as her internship comes to an end.  She is headed back home to Spain for a few months and then hopes to go to graduate school in Nova Scotia.  She will be missed, but she has promised us that we will not be forgotten and that she will come back to visit every chance she gets.

As part of her internship, she was required to complete a research project and to give a presentation on that project.  Her presentation was on the migration of fish populations in the Atlantic Ocean.  Intriguing stuff...right?  Her presentation was stellar.  So, I wanted to give her a gift that would be unique, funny and a remembrance of me.  I found this really cute kit and pattern online that I thought she would like and of course there are fish.  I initially just thought it was a simple fish on the ocean pattern that was a little over-embellished with some prairie points.  Now if you read one of my previous posts here, I think I said I would never do prairie points again.  But I relented, because well this was for Alba.  I sent a picture of the top to my friend Wendy to show her what I was working on.  She responded saying that the prairie points looked like shark teeth...OMG...they are shark teeth.  I had no clue and everyone that I have showed it to since got it right away.  So I am doubly happy.  I absolutely HEART SHARKS!  It is a small wall hanging - 26" x 26" and it went together fairly quickly.  It is called "Big fish...Little fish."  I plan to make it again using different fabrics from my stash to hang in my office. 

So here's to Alba and to Shark Week...a wonderful combination!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Fun Day Filled with Mystery!

It was a day filled with Quilt Mystery!  A group of my friends got together to participate in Merry Mayhem's one day quilt mystery.  It is usually a New Year's Day event, but I understand that now they pop-up through out the year.   I haven't done one of these in a long time because I could never keep up with the hourly clues and frankly I would get bored.  But this time, I was much more prepared and little bit older and wiser.  The fabric requirements were sent out early, so that you could select your fabrics along with the cutting instructions.  That helped the anxiety.  I was prepared to see this mystery through to the end mainly because the objective was to complete a quilt for Quilts of Valor.  Making and donating one of these quilts has been on my to do list for a very long.  My friend Carrie was the hostess for our group and she was wonderful.  Tables were set up, power cords were plugged in and pitchers of refreshing ice water was waiting for us.  We had good music playing in the background and from time to time, one of us would break out in dance.  We had a wonderful lunch and just enjoyed the quilters' camaraderie.  We all diligently worked on our quilt blocks with the hourly clues.  I am thrilled to report that we all finished our blocks and actually started to put the tops together.  I feel like that I can complete this top for QoV and get it ready for  a worthy recipient.  And we were all pleased with how the mystery turned out.   We ended up with three very different quilts, but all turned out beautifully.  Here are pictures of the completed blocks on the design wall.   I am thrilled about how they turned out.  All of the fabrics came from my stash, so I could make room for a little more and I can scratch something off my long- suffering and ever growing "to do" list.  It was a fun day

Thanks Carrie, Wendy and Daniel.  See you next time.



This is Daniel's rendition of the Mystery Quilt.  He is a genius with color.

I made this one with dark reds, blues and tans.
Carrie made hers with lighter reds and blues.

 You can check out the Mystery Quilt phenom at www.Merrymayhem.com.





Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Triple Finish

Spring has finally sprung (and so has my allergies) and it seems that everyone I know has had a baby, multiple babies, and expecting babies.  And with these welcome family additions, everyone who knows someone who makes quilts wants a quilt for their baby.  Not a store bought quilt, but a real made with love quilt.  So that is what I have been doing lately...baby quilts.  I have made quilts for my granddaughters, but they were not what you would call baby quilts.  They were big enough to wrap themselves up while watching a movie or TV.  One even told me that she thought she needed a new one because she had loved her other ones a little too much.  So the quilts keep coming. 


So, the first 2 quilts are for a set of twins (Jessica and Robert) born to one of my colleagues this past December.  They have been waiting patiently and they are finally done and on their way to the twins.  I get stressed out when I fall behind and I absolutely do not do my best work when I am stressed.  So, there are a few flaws (I am not telling where), but they were meant to be laid on, crawled over  and under and to have the occasional accident.  So I don't think the glitches will matter.  And knowing their Mom as well as I do, she won't care either.  I made them from my extensive Laurel Burch Ocean Songs and Sea Spirits stash.  It was difficult for me to cut into them, but we work for an ocean conservation organization and everyone wants seahorses, whales, fish, turtles and yes, even sharks.  So I had enough to make to make a scrappy braid for both of them and not use up too much of my coveted collection.

















Then my colleague/friend told me that she was pregnant at the first of the year and guess what.  She wanted to commission a quilt.  I don't do commissioned quilts. Its too stressful, so I told her that she had to trust me.  She had seen my other quilts and knew I would do my best.  I struggled with this one more, because I knew the baby's name and gender well before it was started.  She is expected to arrive in less than 2 weeks.  It had to be special.  It hit me one afternoon, while searching for inspiration.  Pinwheels.  So much color and fun.    Of course her room will have seahorses, turtles and fish, so out came the Laurel Burch again with a couple of hand-dyed complements. It was a first for the prairie points and while I like them they drove me nuts.  It turned out great.  My machine quilting leaves a little to be desired, but I am getting better.  Thanks to my friends for their help in getting the binding done.  This is Caroline's quilt and her Mom Amy.





And I am still working on a couple of flimsies...who knows when they will be quilted.  Hope floats and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Playing Hooky

It has been a while since I updated my blog with all of my quilting goings on and I have a little catching up to do.  So, I have been playing hooky with life, work etc., but I also put together a little quilt titled "Playing Hooky."  I like how it turned out.  It was easy to piece and I love fish.  So this little school of fish are all swimming in the same direction except one.  There is always one that "plays hooky."  I am going to embellish it with colored beads and quilt the open space with my interpretation of waves.  It is a cute piece.

In February, my quilting girlfriends and I made our annual trek to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA.  We stay several days and always have a good time.  This was my first year driving and transporting 3 women and all of their quilt gear was a challenge in my little Versa, but we made it.  We saw lots of quilts (I had my camera, but only managed to take the one picture below of one of my favorite quilts); too many vendors to count and good friends that we look forward to seeing every year.

I have tons of UFOs and I am trying to stick to my commitment to complete a few of them before starting something new.  Well April 1st is next week and I haven't quite made the mark, but I have time to catch up.


 
Playing Hooky



 
My favorite quilt at Mid-Atlantic Quilt  Festival





Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year to all of my friends in the blogosphere.  I have been absent for a long while for a variety of reasons...family illness, crazy work schedules and the fact that I have slowed down on working on my projects.  I was just plum tuckered out.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so I needed the break to get rejuvenated and to come out swinging in the new year!  I am working on a couple of things but the main one is my interpretation of a reproduction wild goose chase quilt.  Lots of pieces, triangles, flying geese units, etc.   It's funny because I never liked doing flying geese blocks.  The ones I have done in the past have always turned out wonky.  But I love this quilt, so I looked at videos and did a lot of practicing to get the points perfect. I am sharing a photo of my first couple of blocks.  They are not so perfect but the points are not chopped off and that is HUGE for me.  I am doing it in reproduction fabrics and think I will like the final results.  It is a fairly large quilt -- 64 ten inch blocks -- so it will take some time, but I plan to have it ready by June.

I am also continuing to dabble in modern quilts.  They fascinate me.  I love traditional quilts, but I am exploring the combination of the traditional and the modern.  Anyway I will show some photos and share some of what I have been doing in my next  blog.  I also made twin baby quilts for one of my colleagues and have one more on the horizon.  They all have an ocean theme.

Have a wonderful 2014!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen -- Day Seven

Here is the link to the whole schedule that Debby will be crowning us as hexie queens in the making


Well this is the last day of the Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop and it has been amazing.  Many thanks to blog hop hostess Debby Kratovil for coordinating this wonderful blog hop.  And many thanks to Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt for allowing us the opportunity to have this much fun.   I got a late start do to family illness and thought that I couldn't complete the blog hop.  But I persevered and  was able to start 2 projects from the many projects that I tagged.  Both of my projects were made using tools by Debby Kratovil, our blog hostess.  I used the half hexagon template and the spider web template.  Both templates were beneficial in getting my projects out of my head and put together.

Half Hexagon Template
 
Spider Web Template


Twisted Hexagon blocks
I am making this quilt for my youngest grand-daughter who does not have a quilt yet.  She loves the cartoon "The Dinosaur Train" so I thought I would make her first quilt with some whimsical dinosaurs.  I will add 3 more blocks with the black center.  They were a breeze to put together with the spider web template ruler.

My next project pays homage to the modern quilt movement.  Hexagons are not just for traditional quilts.  The quilt was based on a pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was made with 2-1/2 inch strips and the hexagons were pieced with Debby's Half Hexagon template ruler.  The original pattern called for a piano key border, but I like the clean modern look without the borders.




So starts my love affair with hexies.  I have more ideas than I have time.  Here are today's participants.  Enjoy visiting each blog and remember to leave a comment.  Thanks for joining in the fun!!


Wednesday, August 28
  
   
Marjorie's Busy Corner   
Quiltscapes

Livinbluequilter   (you are here)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen -- Day Five

There have been some absolutely beautiful projects made with hexagons.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  Enjoy Day Five of the amazing blog hop.

 
 
Here is the link to the whole schedule that Debby will be crowning us as hexie queens in the making
 
Monday, August 26 
   
   
 
   
 
  
 
  
 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen -- Day Four



Here is the link to the whole schedule that Debby will be crowning us as hexie queens in the making


Welcome to Day Four of the "Be a Hexie Queen" Blog Hop.  Enjoy!!!


Friday, August 23
 
 
    sarah did it!
  
   
  
  
   
   
  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen -- Day Three



Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop

The fun continues...please remember to leave your comments.  Enjoy!



Thursday, August 22
   
Negligent Style 
   
Sue Mac Seeds   
   
  
   
   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen -- Day Two

I hope you are having as much fun as I am looking at all of the hexie projects.  They are amazing.  Below are the Day 2 participants.  Enjoy!!!


Here is the link to the whole schedule that Debby will be crowning us as hexie queens in the making


Wednesday, August 21
  

   




   
   
  
   

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop

Here is the link to the whole schedule that Debby will be crowning us as hexie queens in the making


Join us over the next week and a half for a wonderful journey into the world of Hexies.  It is quite the phenomenon and I am looking forward to all of the creativity.  You are in for a real treat!   Thanks to our cheerleader Debby Kratovil of  Debby Kratovil Quilts for all she has done to make this blog hop come to life.  She has been wonderful coordinating the schedule, making changes, making more changes and keeping us informed.  Also many thanks to Madam Samm at Sew We Quilt for providing us with the opportunity to strut our stuff.   The "Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop" will run from August 20th through August 28th.  I am scheduled for August 28th.  I will post the list of blogs participating on a daily basis through August 28th, so please stop by each day and cheer everyone on.  They all look forward to your comments.  It's addictive.  Enjoy!!!

Day 1, August 20







    
  
    
   

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Hiatus is over...

I am back at it!! I have been feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with all of the activity surrounding me the past few weeks.  Lots of graduations and "rising up" ceremonies, upcoming renovations at work (ugh!!),  family outings, etc., etc.  And the heat and humidity is just plain awful.   I also entered a quilt in my guild's annual show.  I am a member of  Quilters Unlimited of Northern Virginia - Burke Chapter.  Remember this one...I tried to maneuver away from that overhead light, but I couldn't get it right.  This was a first time entry for me.  I think I can do it again next year.  I already have something in the works.



We celebrated 40 years by showcasing an exhibit of red and white quilts.  They were all beautiful, but here are a couple of my favs..





I signed up for a blog hop sponsored by Madam Samm at Sew we Quilt and hosted by Debby Kratovil. 


I have been doing some sewing and will post pictures as soon as I can get them done.  Thanks to all of my followers for not dropping out on me.  Stay cool!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Let's Talk about Scraps

I love scraps...well some of them.   I mean, I still don't understand how folks can save the little dog ears cut from triangle squares or the real tiny pieces that are sized an inch or less.  I like scraps that are functional and that are big enough to cut into.  I enjoy making scrappy quilts. Putting one together stretches my imagination.   I am a huge Bonnie Hunter devotee.  I don't always complete her quilts, but I love them all anyway.  I don't really have a scrap stash.  I usually cut from yardage or use the fqs, jelly rolls and charm squares.  So when someone says use your scrap stash, I can't because I don't have one.   And, however much I enjoy scrappy quilts, I am not the dig in the bag and sew together whatever comes out type of scrappy quilter.  I have purchased bags of scraps.  Many of them have nice-sized pieces of fabric in them.  And my generous friends usually gift me with fabric scraps, but most are at least 5 inches or bigger.   So, the little pieces are not for me. They make me crazy!  I catch myself sometimes holding onto them because I feel guilty throwing them away.   But I am not going to do that any more.  On the other hand,  I am a very "controlled-scrappy" quilter.  What does that mean?  Well I like using lots of different fabrics in my quilts.  But I kinda control the color combinations, the placement, and types of fabrics used.  Does that still qualify me as a scrappy quilter?   I hope so...I have used as many as 100 different fabrics in one quilt.  I think that is pretty scrappy.  I like a lot of variation and texture and using multiple fabrics helps me to accomplish that quality and look.  I purchased this of bag scraps at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show this past February.  Aren't the colors wonderful and the pieces are pretty sizable?



So for the last 3 weeks, I have been piecing a quilt made with four patches.  The four patches are made with African fabrics, batiks and some coordinating fabrics, many of them made with scraps.  It is very scrappy and colourful, but I also made sure the blocks were placed in a recognizable pattern throughout the quilt top. I have 2 more rows to add.  I love how it is coming together and I think I have enough four patch blocks as a result of this block swap, to make another top. This one is not destined to be a flimsy for long.


By the way, I found some scraps in a few bins that are going to a good and loving home.  Linda, they will be on their way soon.  I have photos of a few more "modern" quilt top flimsies to share with you.  I am still trying to work my way through this phenomenon :0). 

Thanks for stopping by!!!