Wednesday, April 30, 2008

no pictures of my doll quilt

Sigh. My Four Seasons Spring Doll Quilt is finished. I put the binding and the label on today, just in the nick of time. I am going to miss this pretty little quilt when it goes on to its new home.

I wonder if I am the only one that has the same issues with swaps and exchanges that I do: I fret and fuss over what I am making to the point of nearly driving myself insane. I have been on the receiving end of swaps that were less than thrilling or which had a less than satisfactory outcome(not in the last few years, thankfully!), so I always worry that I will not meet the expectations that the recipient has.
Same with this doll quilt swap. I spent a LONG time deciding what to make, I wanted to make sure it was 'good enough' and that it would make the recipient happy.
Then I started making it, and ugh. Not so great. I tried really hard, but I knew it wasn't gift quality work so I trashed the project.

Last week, I rethought my plan and came up with a new idea. Much simpler, but more achievable. Better to send a more simple pattern in a technique that I am comfortable with than something more complicated but not as well done. I went back to my stash and took out the fabrics that had been calling to me all along as 'spring'. I just a few hours, the top was complete.

I am very happy with the result: scrappy bow ties done in 1930's reproduction fabrics. To me, these fabrics scream spring in their pastel colors and little florals, dots and geometric patterns. And those little 3" bow ties, well, they are just so cute I can hardly stand them. Now I think I have to make one just like it for myself!!

Unfortunately, I can't share a picture at the moment. The battery in my camera is dead, and I cannot find the little plug in thing that I need to recharge it. DH can't find his camera. Sigh. I'll have to buy a disposable camera tomorrow to get some pictures before this quilt gets mailed off to its new home. Once I get that all set, I'll share the pictures with you. Trust me, it is cute :-)

I am off to a retreat this weekend. I have most of my stuff together, but I still need to gather a few items. I know that i have too many projects packed, but I'm not sure which ones will strike my fancy while I am there.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CT Quilt History Guild Program

The other night, I was finally able to attend the meeting of my quilt guild, and there was a very interesting program. Our speaker was Carla Bue, a member of the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild (of which our chapter is a part) from Granby, CT. Carla was one of the organizers of the Connecticut Quilt Search Project. This book was the result of the CT Quilt Search, and several of the quilts she showed us are in the book.

Her family has lived in the Granby, CT area since the Revolutionary War era, and there were several very prolific quiltmakers in her family. Many of those quilts are still in her possession, in the home her ancestors built in 1830. Many of the fabrics used in these quilts were produced in a local mill in that part of CT.

Not only did Carla share the history of her family and the quilt makers, she also showed us a number of slides and many of the actual quilts that have been passed down thru the generations. Here are some of the quilts that she shared with us.

Unfortunately, I was sitting in a part of the room where I could not get great photos, but theres is still enough inspiration that it is worth looking at them anyway. The first picture with the pinwheels and string blocks is my favorite, but the Underground Railroad quilt top is a close second!! The thing I have to mention about the log cabin quilt is that these blocks are SMALL, maybe about 5"!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just finished, and out the door already

I'm on my way to deliver my two latest projects, just finished last night and this morning. Thing One's very close friend, M is having big time major surgery at Yale tomorrow morning. This is the first in a series of cranio-facial surgeries that her parents have been anticipating and planning for since soon after her birth. Since so many of the quilts I make are donated to hospitalized children, it seemed only natural that I would make M a quilt to comfort her while she is hospitalized. This scrappy bowtie quilt is the third (and final) from a huge pile of scrappy bowtie blocks I received from a swap that I participated in probably around 1999-2000. I had always intended to keep this quilt for myself, but I am sure that M will love it.

On the back of it is a piece of fabric that I tie-dyed last summer. I hate piecing backings, and most of my quilts are just a hair too wide for a regular width of fabric. So last summer I bought lots of 108" wide white cotton at Walmart, and I tie-dyed lots of 54" wide pieces for backings...the price was good and no piecing necessary. Plus I had lots of fun doing it. I plan to do another dying session sometime this summer.

I also whipped up a horse pillowcase for M to use as well. A couple years ago I made pillowcases as party favors for Thing One's birthday party, and the kids went wild over them...they all loved them. Months later, M's Mom told me that she won't use any other pillowcase but the one I made her, so again, it seemed natural to make her a new one. Thing One picked the fabrics for this.

Finally I am showing you the shoes that Thing One was wearing while I took these pictures this morning. These shoes just will not die! LOL. Thing One got these shoes as a birthday gift from one of her friends, and she just loves them. Any of you Mom's, Grama's or Girl Scout leaders looking for a quick and easy project to do with a girl might want to pay attention to these shoes...they are simply an inexpensive pair of flip flops and strips of polarfleece cut the polar fleece in strips and just knot them around the straps of the flip flops. Aren't they adorable??

and thats not all

hmm...I think I reached a post length limt or something? It wouldn't let me add more to my loooong update post.

Well, lets see if I can remember the rest without forgetting anything or losing my place:

*I have been working on my 150 4 patches for Bonnie's Orange Crush Mystery Quilt

*I made a house block (finally) to send to Bonnie.

*With inspiration from Tonya, Gwen and Freddy, I made my first two wonky baskets. I am anxious to get to making more of these soon.

*I have been trimming some scraps into specific size pieces that I will need for the project 'kits' I will be bringing to the retreat NEXT WEEKEND (woo hoo!!!!).

In the midst of all that, I somehow screwed up something with the sewing machine that I use at the cabin. I can see thread wrapped around the inside parts of the thingy-ma-bobber in there, but can't get rid of it with my little tweezers, so I have taken the machine to the repair man for a little TLC.

And I have completed one more project, which I will show you all tomorrow, after it comes out of the washing machine. It is an old UFO that I am happy to have completed, and it will be landing at it's new home right away.

Long Overdue Update

Hello People! I've been enjoying the wonderful weather that we have been having here in Connecticut the last week or so. My Forsythias are blooming in full force and looking great. This picture was taken one day before they really got bright and gorgeous. Of course with everything blooming like crazy now, Thing Two is suffering terribly from his allergies, and the worst (the oaks) have not started to cause the worst of his misery yet.

On the quilting front, I received my gorgeous Four Seasons Doll Quilt Swappackage from Sharon recently. Thank you so much for the wonderful package, Sharon!!! Not only did I get this lovely quilt, but she also sent an adorable pincushion and a lovely fat quarter and a fabulous book that I had actually been searching for since one of the Norwegian quilters had mentioned it...perfect choice!

As far as the quilt I am sending for the Four Seasons Doll Quilt Swap, the top is finished and I am ready to quilt it, but I am OUT of batting!! Well, I have the yukky polyester kind, but a doll quilt needs a thing batting, so I need to go shopping tomorrow!

I've been picking around the edges at lots of unfinished projects, nothing is finished but several things have seen noticable progress.

*I trimmed some log cabin blocks in an effort to get that project moving forward (80 blocks needing to be assembled into a top).

*I made a few dozen crumb blocks in an effort to use up some scraps during the stressful recital week when I needed something totally mindless to sew.

* I have been working on my pay it forward gifts (one is finished, the second is nearing completion, and the third is lost somewhere in the mess of my sewing room).

*I finished a bunch more hats (31!) for the NICU while watching movies with my husband.

* My Scrappy Bargello is almost together, but still waiting for borders.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coming Up for Air

Sorry readers, I have not been absent by choice....things have been crazy here, but there is good news:
THE DANCE RECITAL IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am on my second day recovering from an exhausting week, and unlike the aftermath of the dance recital most years, noone in my house is sick. I will be back tonight or tomorrow with a full report of what has been going on in my absences (I did do a small amount of productive sewing).

OH, and on a more important note:
MY SPRING DOLL QUILT has arrived safely. Sharon in Alabama sent m a beautiful quilt, which I will share with you in my next post. THANK YOU SO MUCH, SHARON!!!!

Need to go file the taxes today, run a kid to the orthodontist, clean the house, empty out the van, take the backup sewing machine for service, buy some groceries, make a few phone calls and tackle the mountain of laundry, then I'll be back to sewing and blogging. And I won't have to run the kids around to dance class continually (well, at least until spring/summer classes start in two weeks!LOL)