Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hand Applique by Machine

We had a wonderful few days with Beth Ferrier at guild. She has several books out and I was able to attend the first workshop which was from her book "Hand Applique by Machine". This first photo is of the applique all prepared for me to applique it down. It is appliqued to a FQ. I tried it with several other backgrounds but I really like the dark background. This is a black with small white polka dots. The next photo is of the applique after I sewed it down. I actually forgot that there are round berries that need to be done. Guess I better get the dots out and get the berries prepared to applique down.

I am please with the way it turned out. I used hand dyed fabrics by Susan Salter Rice. She belongs to the Allatoona guild and her fabrics are absolutely beautiful. Her tie-dyes are also great. I have one that I plan to quilt as a whole cloth quilt for the next quilt show.

Here is the class watching Beth demo making stems.

After the Saturday class, we met at California Dreaming. I had to work at the shop and close the register so I was a little late getting to the restaurant. Here is a photo of Beth and our program chair, Pam. If you ever get the opportunity to take a class from Beth or to have her come to your guild, I highly recommend her. She is a wonderful teacher, her lecture was great and the quilts are absolutely breathtaking.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Making Screen Bags

Today was the day that I taught making screen bags at our monthly special projects meeting. The first photo is just an overview of the room.

I am not sure how many people were there today but I cut up 4 rolls of pet screen and each person was able to make two bags and I had enough screen left over to give most of the members an extra piece to take home.

The pet screen can be purchased by the roll (36" x 84") from Home Depot or Lowes. I cut it into pieces that measure 12" by 18". Of course the bags can be made any size but this is the size of the one that was given to me and seems to be a useful size.

Here is Mary with her bag decorated with Keyboard fabric. I use mine to store all my cords that I use frequently, like my phone charger, camera cord, MP3 cord, etc. I managed to talk her into giving this bag to me so I am now going to use it for the cords - Thank you Mary!

Here is Dave with his first bag.

And Tina - love the lime green zipper.

Cindy make her two bags and even filled them with stuff. I have lots of other photos but these are a good sampling of what was created.

After the meeting we all went out to lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Tomorrow I am teaching the first class of my beginning machine piecing class. I have both a morning and evening session and spent some time this afternoon developing handouts for the class. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Still cold in Gerogia

It is still cold here and some of the snow is still on the ground. That is very unusual for Georgia. I thought I would post a photo of the quilt on my front door. I had it up for Christmas and decided that since it was a snowman instead of Santa that I could leave it up for the month of January. Of course, at that time I had no idea we would get snow once, and never even thought it would snow twice.
I spent the day working on customer quilts. One was a sailboat quilt that needed custom quilting and the second one was just a meander on a Thimbleberries quilt for the quilt shop.

Bill's best friend had minor surgery today so he was at the hospital with the wife until Mike was able to go home. I decided to make dinner for them so made a chicken/spinach/noodle casserole, salad and buttered rolls. Michael said it was one of the best meals he had ever eaten and asked for the recipe. Of course, I had just thrown a bunch of stuff together and don't think I could make it the same way again. I did save a small amount for me and it really was good. I kind of adapted a recipe I saw Paula Deen make a few days ago.

Then I made a pineapple upside down cake - one of Bill's favorites. It really turned out great.

I just spent an hour or so cutting pet screen into 12 x 18 pieces. I am teaching mesh bags at guild in the morning and the guild is supplying the mesh. I cut up two rolls and think I will stop by Home Depot in the morning to get another roll or two, just in case. It is hard to figure out how many people will show up. I will take some pictures tomorrow of the bats that are made.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Making a commercial

Today was an exciting day at the quilt shop. We were used as a location for filming a TV commercial. The commercial wasn't for the quilt shop or anything related to quilting or fabric, but for an allergy product. Apparently, the premise was that if you take this product, you will feel well enough to do all your favorite things like going to the quilt shop and picking out fabric for a new quilt. They also filmed at the bowling alley that is just behind us. Apparently this wonder drug allows you to bowl and shop on the same day.

Here is a photo of one of the cameramen. There were about 25 people in the crew, along with 2 women that were the subjects of the commercial. They also hired two of the quilt shop staff to be background for the filming. My only responsibility was opening up the shop for them before we actually were open for business. They were supposed to show up at 9:30 and I was there but they were still over at the bowling alley until almost 11:30. They were in the shop for about 1 1/2 hours and managed to clean up and be out of there before we opened up at 1:00.

It was interesting to see how many people and how much equipment they had with them. One of the women (actress?) shops at the quilt shop and belongs to one of my guilds so I guess she is the one that suggested using us as a location.

After all that, the rest of the day was ho-hum. Just another fun day helping quilters pick out projects and selling them fabric. After coming home and having dinner, I went down and quilted for a while on a customer quilt while Bill watched the football games.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow again in the South

We hardly ever have snow and here it is again for the second time in less than one week. It started snowing this morning and snowed almost all day. We had about 3 inches on the ground but thankfully it was warm enough so that the roads never got bad. It is supposed to get down well below freezing tonight and I am supposed to go to the quilt shop early in the morning so I hope everything will still be fine on the roads. It isn't far, but I am concerned.

The above is the front yard when I came home from work today.

Here is the side yard - note there isn't any snow on the driveway. Hopefully we won't get rain and tomorrow it is supposed to get much warmer so everything should clear up.

My beginning machine piecing classes start on Wednesday. I am still working on the lesson plan. The class meets for five Wednesday's and I am still trying to figure out what to present in what order.

Also, our first guild meeting of the year is next Friday and I am working on the agenda. This is the first meeting since I became President. We have Beth Ferrier coming to do two workshops and a lecture so I am really looking forward to meeting her. I did sign up for one of the workshops but have to work on Saturday so will have to skip the second one. I am going to take the "Hand Applique by Machine" class.

I also signed up for a Judy Niemeyer class in February. It has a lot of prep work so I need to get my pattern and fabric selected so that I can be ready for the class. The class project is Rain Drops, which is a beautiful quilt. You can find a photo of it on her website. It uses a LOT of fabric - all batiks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snow in the South

Winter came to Georgia today. I worked at the quilt shop this afternoon and it started to lightly snow. By the time I came home there was actually a little snow on the ground. I have lived in the Chicago area and know what real snow is like but we aren't used to it here in Atlanta.

I just took this photo a couple of minutes ago. It is the deck just outside the kitchen door - real snow! Well, I just went and looked and we have some giant snowflakes coming down. We have a couple of inches on the ground and even the sidewalks have snow on them. Of course, it will be gone tomorrow but it is fun when it happens. We haven't had any snow for a couple of years - if it is a couple more years before it happens again, that will be fine for this native Southern Californian.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Piecemakers Exchange Fabric

OK - here are the fabrics that I got yesterday for this year's challenge for Piecemakers. Each person gave a 10 inch square to each other person. We will all make the same block for each other person, using their fabric.

It is really interesting to see all the different fabrics that people selected for their blocks. I chose a relatively simple block and won't have problems with any of the fabrics but some people are finding it even more of a challenge than others.

The three fabrics above belong to one person. I guess she doesn't trust us to add our own fabrics to her selection.

Cats were a popular theme, along with batiks. At least two people selected Christmas quilts.

The lime green and brown fabric is mine and it really goes nicely with Nancy's that is right next to it.

Here is the last. Now to get organized so that I can make them a few at a time and not wait until my usual last minute rush. The finished blocks are due to be exchanged in July at our Christmas in July party so I do have plenty of time. I bought a couple of great plastic organizers at JoAnn's today and plan to use one to store the fabric and completed blocks. I guess I can't show the blocks as I finish them because some of the Piecemakers actually read my blog so will show them in July.

Christmas Present for Mary

I forgot to post a photo of the quilt that I have Mary for Christmas. It is a flannel wacky devine nine and is beautiful plus warm and cozy. She seemed to be pleased with it.

Next is a closeup of the quilting I did on it. Can't remember the name of the panto that I used but I think it was one by Linda Taylor.

We had guild this morning and I worked on my bluework blocks for Winter Wonderland. I am almost finished with the 3rd block of 8. Just one more snowflake to complete and I will be ready to move on. I think I will do the snowmen having a snowball fight next. It is a larger block but doesn't have a lot of stitching on it.

I would really like to get this quilt made this year and still have the pieced blocks to do along with the bluework ones. Maybe I will take it to work on during the Red Top retreat in March. We are doing a mystery quilt but think I will have time to work on something else.

Wanda finished her Winter Wonderland in red and gave it to me over the weekend to quilt for her. I won't get to it for a few weeks but it should be fun to quilt. After I do hers, I can decide if I want to do something different on mine.

Also over the weekend, I bought a bolt of fabric for the guild challenge for 2008. Every year we have a challenge and this year it is proverbs. The rules are here. I really wanted to do it but I just can't come up with one that I can figure out what to do with. I guess I need to spend some time on the proverb sites and find something to work with.

We have decided on the challenge for this year and it will be announced at the March guild meeting. We will use the fabric as part of the challenge so will have time to get it cut up to sell to the members for the challenge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Piecemaker's Meeting

We had a great day at Piecemakers. The potluck was great and the Krispy Kreme bread pudding was a hit. A few months ago, we had an exchange of small blocks/strips for braid quilts. I decided that I had more than enough unfinished projects and didn't participate. Today, two of the members brought the quilts that they are working on from the exchange.

This one belongs to Jan K. She pieced them in a color-wash way and has the cutest little 3 inch blocks to add next. Some of them are paper-pieced and have lots of little tiny pieces. This will be a great quilt when finished.

The second one is Jan C's. She is using her braids to border a simple quilt. She brought it to ask opinions on. Of course, we all had at least one opinion - I think we confused her more than helping her.

Next, Pam brought a quilt that she designed last year at a Jinny Beyer seminar. It is beautiful and her quilting enhanced it even more.

Here is the back of the quilt. She changed colors of thread and the design really shows up. Her feathers are beautiful.

We also exchanged our 10 inch pieces of fabric for this year's block exchange. I will try to get photos of the fabrics tomorrow. It is really interesting to see the variety of fabrics that each person picked out. Of course, mine is lime green.

The quilt show meeting went well. I think we have decided on the categories for next years show. We will present them to the steering committee at the end of the month.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quilted BNP

I took my Blooming Nine Patch to the quilt shop today for a sample for my class in March so thought I would post a photo of it. I will get another photo when it is hanging in the shop but we didn't have time to put it up today.

We are switching to a new Point of Sale system at Tiny Stitches and yesterday was the first day we used it. Since it was a non-Saturday Sampler day, I thought it would be a good day to start. Of course, that meant that we had one of the busiest Saturday's we have had. Good for business but miserable as a learning experience. Of course, after that, we have no excuse to go back to the manual system. If we can survive yesterday, we can survive anything.

We had a busy day today and 3 ladies that are in my Beginning Machine Piecing class came in and we selected their fabric for the project. This should be a fun class.

Tomorrow, my Piecemaker's bee meets. We are exchanging fabric for this year's swap. This time, we each select our own fabric, cut a 10 inch square for each other person and we trade them tomorrow. We will then take the fabric and make a block for each person. They are scheduled to be swapped out in July. We then have until December to put them into a quilt.

Each of us selected a block to make for the others and only Danielle knows who has what block. We will have a wide variety of blocks when we are done since we have 17 people signed up. I think most of us plan to use our own blocks on the back of the quilt - probably as the label since 17 blocks would be difficult to set into a quilt.

I am going to make Krispy Kreme Bread pudding from a Paula Deen receipe. I am even going to make the Rum/butter sauce for it. I stood in line at Krispy Kreme in a long line this morning. I think it was so crowded because of the after church crowd. Any way, I have two dozen donuts waiting for morning, if Bill doesn't get into them.

In the afternoon tomorrow, we are having a category meeting for the 2009 quilt show. This will be our 3rd meeting. It really takes a lot of thinking and a lot of talking to make sure the categories for the show are fair and reflect the changing times. The two person category has gotten so large that we have to do something about it. We will work on that tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More Christmas Gifts

I have been cleaning my desk and found a package that somehow got stuck behind the mess on my desk. In it was a great package from Carol. We were in an exchange from one of Mary Lou Weidman's Yahoo groups. We were exchanging socks and buttons. Carol ordered a wonderful set of mis-matched socks from Mary Lou for me and I have already worn them a couple of times.

Look at the buttons she sent me - aren't they great! Even better than the buttons is this:

She made me a lime green fuzzy scarf. I love it!

Sampler Quilt

I finally got photos of the sampler quilt for my Beginning Machine Piecing class. I went to the quilt shop to deliver three baby quilts (you can see pictures of them on my webshots) and got this picture then. This quilt has 25 blocks and starts with a simple rail fence and then builds on the skills from then on. The class will meet for 5 weeks and will hopefully give the students a good basic understanding of piecing a quilt.

I quilted it using a new panto called Feather Frenzy. It is a beautiful panto but is very time intensive.

The quilting done in a variegated yellow thread that blends well with the quilt so that it doesn't take over but just shows the texture of the quilting. I am pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

First Four Blocks of Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

I finally got a picture of the first four blocks of the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. Because many of the people in the class are relative beginners, I started with the most basic blocks. I am going to use batiks and white for my blocks and hope that I can use a different batik in each one. Not sure that will happen but that is my goal. I have been going through the scrap basket at the quilt shop looking for batik scraps that seem to be big enough to make a block.

We had the first Executive Committee meeting for ECQG today and it went very well. Several of us went to lunch afterwards and I had great fish tacos - Yum!

Had an employee meeting at the quilt shop. We are planning for our big yearly sale and for the Atlanta Shop Hop in late February/early March. We are also starting to put in a Point of Sale system so that should be a fun time.

I also quilted two small baby quilts for a customer. I have one more to finish so I can deliver them in the morning. Busy, busy day!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Purse class and busy day

I had a busy today today. I forgot to go to get my haircut - I was thinking a few days ago that my hair was getting long and that I had better check my calendar. Apparently I forgot to put it on my calendar. A couple of months ago, I did go on the right day but she had calendar problems and wasn't there. Now we are even. I get it cut next week on Wednesday - wrote it in ink on my calendar!

Mary and I used a coupon and had a Mexican lunch. We only paid $5.99 for both of us and it was pretty good. After that, we had a planning meeting and then I had to teach my monthly purse class. Just got home from that and don't have enough energy to do anything else tonight.

Tomorrow we are having our first Executive Comittee meeting for the guild. This is the first one that I will preside over. I worked on the agenda so hope everything goes well.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Fiber Art Fusion and Allatoona Guild Meeting

Today was a very busy day. First was the Allatoona Guild meeting. This is our general meeting where we have a program and also have a potluck lunch. I made macaroni and cheese yesterday and put in the Nesco so that all I had to do was plug it in at the meeting and it cooked while we met.

We have a couple of new programs going on at guild that are turning out to be very successful. First is a 2 1/2 inch strip swap. We are each cutting 1 yard of fabric into strips. You can get 14 strips from a yard. We are doing a different color each month and this month was red. 29 people brought strips and I swapped them out. It is a simple swapping process and everyone went back with a variety of red strips. Next month is brown.

Last year we exchanged pairs of 6 inch blocks and Tina found a pattern for us to use almost all the blocks. We have a retreat in early March and many of us will be working on this new quilt. It is beautiful scrappy quilt.

The other thing we are doing this year is a birthday club. We have done secret pals for the past few years but interest has been getting lower each year. This year, anyone who wants to commit for a year is in the birthday FQ club. We each gave our fabric preference and have a list of all the birthday members. On your birthday month, each person brings you a FQ, using your fabric preferences as a guide. This month 2 people had birthdays and Phyllis had brought baskets from the goodwill. The FQs were arranged in the baskets and presented to the birthday people. They got over 30 FQs. Wish I didn't have to wait until November.

This evening was the Fiber Art Fusion meeting. I joined this group last year when it was formed but am usually so tired after the first meeting of the day that I don't go. I decided that I really want to participate more in the group and joined a round robin that is starting today. We each covered a 9 x 12 piece of Timex with fabric. The piece gets passed every month to the next person and there are no rules regarding what you can do to it. The sky is the limit as far as embellishments.

Here is my starter. I just couldn't decide what to do to start and finally just fused some of my favorite color of fabric to the piece.

Here is Rebecca's piece. I will always get the next months piece from Rebecca. It is beautiful even without embellishments. I am going to hang it up for a few days before deciding what to add. The color isn't quite right - it is actually more turquoise than blue. Rebecca satin stitched around the edges with a variegated thread but otherwise it is a blank slate. I will post again before I pass it on next month.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas Gifts from my Sister

Thought I would post a couple of the Christmas gifts that I got from my sister Robin. We both love tote bags, pin cushions and any little sewing related items and frequently give each other gifts like that. Look at the wonderful pin cushion that she sent me. It is made from velvet and other fancy fabrics and is even prettier in person than in the photo.

Both Robin and I like to make small gifts and usually make something when we are together. This year I made lots of steno book covers and she made these small sewing folders.

Here it is open. The heart is felt so you can store your needles there. It has a snap instead of velcro so nothing catches your thread. She said the hardest part of the project was sewing on the snap. The pocket is large enough to hold thread, needles and all that stuff.

I am so lucky to have a sister that shares my interests. I just wish we lived closer than California and Georgia. I only have the one sister and fortunately I got a good one! Of course, when we were growing up and I had this pesky little kid around all the time, I didn't think so but once we were grown, it changed.

I have two children and she has one. My son was 6 months old when her daughter was born and her daughter was 11 months old when my daughter was born so they grew up together and are still very close even though they are spread around the world. One in Southern California, one in Northern California and my son in Sweden.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Max got his hair cut

Here is Max at Petsmart just before he got his hair cut. I am ashamed that it took me so long to make an appointment for him. He really needed to have his haircut and always acts like he enjoys being fresh and cute.

Here he is after the haircut. Isn't he cute! Max is a little over 12 years old and weighs about 5 pounds. He is our baby and rules the house.

On a quilty basis, I made the first four blocks for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler this morning. We are holding an Elm Creek Club that meets once a month and today was the day. We were expecting about 5 people but more than 10 showed up. I was going to take a photo of my blocks but Maetha accidentally took my book home. I was in a panic because my blocks were in there, plus the patterns for all 140 blocks. I had organized a book to show everyone how I organize a project like this and when I got ready to go home, I couldn't find it.

Everyone was very excited about this project and spent quite a bit of time deciding on their color scheme or theme. I decided to use batiks. I was undecided about a background fabric and finally got a couple of yards of plain white Southern Belle. I don't think I will use it throughout the quilt but it is good for a start. I can always add some other backgrounds later.

We chose the next four blocks so I will get them made soon. We aren't meeting next month because the first Sunday of February is the Super Bowl and that is the day of our biggest sale of the year.

I will get the book back in the next couple of days and take the photo to post.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Quilting update

Here is the finished sampler for the beginning machine piecing class. I finished it early yesterday evening and then quilted it and bound it! I took the quilt to the shop today but forgot to take a photo of it with the quilting showing. I will try to get one tomorrow,

Speaking of the shop, we started Saturday Sampler today so it was incredibly busy. I am glad I had my camera with me because one of my students came in to show her completed Magical Slice and Dice Quilt. Didn't it turn out great?

Lastly, here are some of the photos of my clue 3 blocks from Bonnie's mystery. I only have about 30 of them done, so still have 50 more to make. I got a lot of them done yesterday by using them as leaders/enders.

Tomorrow is the Elm Creek club meeting and I am going to try to take the first 4 blocks of Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. I spent the evening tonight putting together a notebook with all the patterns in it. We are going to do 4 blocks a month and I am starting with the easy ones.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sampler Quilt

I have been working on this sampler quilt for Tiny Stitches beginning machine piecing class. I am going to teach this for the first time and need to have the sample done for Saturday. It is from Alex Anderson's Start Quilting Book. I think it is important for the students to have a book that they can refer to.

Max (Yorkie) is getting his hair cut tomorrow morning so we will be up early. Petsmart offers early morning appointments for older dogs. I don't want to have him put in a cage and have to wait. This way, we go before the store opens at 7:00am and they immediately take care of him. They charge extra for this but it is well worth it.

After we get home, I will complete the sampler, put the borders on it and get it quilted so I can take it in on Saturday in time for our new Saturday Sampler block of the month. The first Saturday of each month is the busiest day of the month with all the people coming in to pick up their free block. Since this is the first one of the year, they actually pay $5 this time but get the rest of the blocks free if they complete the one and bring it in.

This year we are doing blue/yellow or county colors. I haven't done the blocks for the past couple of years, but I do like the blue/yellow so might start them.

I am also working on Bonnie's mystery quilt using them as leaders/enders while doing the other blocks. I am still only on the 2nd clue and the 5th one came out today. Actually, due to misreading the clue, I am on the 3rd one but still have #2, 4 and 5 to do when I finish these. The blocks are looking good and I will try to take a photo of them tomorrow when more are done.

I did manage to make a coconut cream pie for Bill today. Someone at his work told him about this receipe so I made it. I hate coconut so it was a true labor of love. Besides, I made a mistake and added cream of tarter instead of cornstarch. Of course, that required another trip to Publix to get the cornstarch and start over again. Anyway, he said it was very good. I topped it with whipped topping from the store instead of meringue because he asked for it. He ate a large enough piece so it must have been good.

Making the pie reminds me of when my sister and her husband got married many years ago. They decided to get married in Hawaii and I went with them, along with a friend. They both worked for IBM and a wonderful gentleman from IBM helped them make arrangements. The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time. The IBM man went out, climbed a coconut tree to get a fresh coconut, and made a beautiful coconut cake for the wedding. My sister, her husband and I all have the same feeling about coconut - we HATE it.

What do you do? We each ate a piece of coconut cake! Smiling all the time! When we were asked if we would like a second piece we each said the same thing - it was wonderful but I don't think I can eat any more. It was a miracle that we were able to get the first piece down. That is the only time I have ever willingly eaten something with coconut in it - probably the same for Robin and John. It is a great memory of a wonderful wedding, as long as I don't have to eat coconut cake again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Coldest Day of the Year

It was really cold today. The high for the day was only 30 degrees - very cold for us here in the South. It is supposed to get down into the teens tonight but up to about 42 tomorrow and then back to 60 by the weekend.

I spent the day inside - didn't even go out to pick up the paper and let Bill bring it in when he came home from his weekly breakfast out with his bowling buddies. I spent much of the day cleaning out the refrigerator - not fun but it looks great. We had so much in there and some of it was really, really old. Now it is clean, has non-expired food in it and you can actually find something to eat.

Next, I finally made myself a steno book cover. I want to do daily to-do lists and this is where I will write them down. Hopefully, that will keep me on track better this year.

Tomorrow I am going to Jenny Craig in the morning and need to stop by the shop and set up spread sheets for our new Block of the Months that are starting. Somehow last year, the lists were not all alphabetized and it was miserable to try to find peoples names when they came to pick up their blocks. So, I guess I better get it set up right so I can't complain all this year.

This photo is the pin cushion that Libby made for all the officers and committee chairs as a gift when she turned over the presidency to me. It is really nice - about 3 inches square. The back of mine is a red/gold fabric that reminds me of the quilt we made for her.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I haven't posted since Christmas but have finally gotten rid of my cold and am feeling much better. I had committed to working at the quilt shop on Friday night, Saturday, Sunday and Monday - that was a long 4 days but it is over and I feel fine. I am still easily tired but the cold is gone.

I didn't do much today but got a quilt ready to quilt - will do that tomorrow and worked on a Sampler quilt for a shop sample. Also, I got the new Quiltsmart cell phone purse interfacing for Christmas and want to make a couple of them.

I promise to get the camera charged tomorrow and have a couple of pictures to post.
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