Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Announcing the Halloween See Saw Swap!

I'm hosting another project so soon? Yup. Why, you ask? Well because I thunk up this idea and I want to receive my quilt back in time so it can decorate my great room for the season.

I hinted in an earlier post that this project will be themed for my favorite holiday and now you know what that holiday is. Besides collecting Asian fabrics for my kidlets Asian quilts (another project on the back burner), I collect Halloween prints. I'm a sucker for them and the owner of my LQS actually calls me when the new ones arrive. She makes sure I get my share of the goodies.

What in tarnation is a "See Saw Swap"? It is basically another Mini Round Robin except the quilt will only get passed back and forth between you and one other partner. Total time period: 6 months.

The basics are similar as my Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin but this one will be totally Halloween themed prints/colors:

*You make a center block to send to your partner to add to, but this time it will be 10 1/2" unfinished (bigger to showcase the fun Halloween prints better).
*Your partner will add 1 to 2 1/2" of finished border (a smidgen bit bigger limit this time) in any sort of fashion/style she (or he of course) wants to. She will then send it back to you. As last time, it can be (1) 2 1/2" border, 2 or more skinnier borders, as long as the total added is no more than 2 1/2" finished.
*You will add another 1 to 2 1/2" finished border and then send it back to her.
*Rinse and repeat until the last month when she will send the final version back to you for finishing and enjoying. Finished size of the quilt will be between "20 - 35".

Since you'll only be working with one other person on this mini project, I couldn't call it a Round Robin now could I? So what more accurately describes this one? A back and forth amongst 2 people?

A See Saw of course!

*Your center needs to be in the mail to your partner by the end of Apr (you See).
*She adds to it and send it back (the Saw part) in May.
*You See in June.
*She Saws in July.
*You See in August.
*And finally she Saws in September. You get it back and finish it any which ole way you want.

Sign ups are open until 5pm EST Sunday April 15th. Please email me your full name and address (if you are participating in the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin I already have it). Partner matches will be emailed to you sometime during that following week. As before, you don't have to wait until the 15th to make your center block. Go ahead and do it earlier if you want so it is ready to go in the mail when I send you your partner's info.

Again this is a mystery-ish thing.You won't provide the fabrics you want your partner to use...she is free to use whatever Halloween fabrics she wants (prints or solids).  

International players are most welcome and I'll likely keep folks from certain areas matched up to keep the postage costs to a minimum. If you want to See Saw with someone farther away from you, just let me know. There is no limit to the number of players, there just needs to be an even number for pairing up. Pictures of pieces in progress (once each addition has been completed and it has been received by the other person) and quilts finished can be added to my Flickr page.

So who is into a new Halloween project with me? Don't forget to grab my button and pass the word far and wide. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wonky Rainbow

Don't you just love it when something turns out exactly the way you envisioned it?
This is my center for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin. I pondered a ton about how I wanted this to look and although I considered a bunch of different block designs, I knew from the beginning that I wanted it rainbow colors.

I wanted this block to say something about me as a person and I think I achieved that. You see, for the most part I am a happy gal and I do my best to enjoy life. Yes there are times when I get like this
or like this, but it isn't often. It takes a huge ton of nasty stuff to get me really boiling hot mad.
And since I love things in the colors of the rainbow (a very prevalent theme in quilt blog land thankfully) this mini had to be done in that color scheme. No other options existed for me.

On the other hand, I am not a straight and rigid person. I admit there are times when that is necessary, I am an accountant after all, but if I can be just a bit off kilter I will. I like to keep things unpredictable, outside the box. So that is why the bars of this of this are a little askew, just like me.

When I finished this center last week, I wasn't exactly sure if I was 100% happy with it so I put it on my design wall so I could gauge the way I feel about it every day. Obviously since I am posting about it here and it is now on its way to the 1st person in my group, I decided that I love it. I found that I like the way it looks like it is on the straight and narrow if you just glance at it quickly but if you stop and really look at it, you see the wonkiness in it. I think that sums me up pretty well.

Who knows if my group mates will add uneven borders to try and bring this visually back in line but that is the fun part of this Round Robin. It doesn't matter to me and since each person gets to do what they want with it, what happens will remain a mystery to me until I get it back in October.

I'm not telling which one of the group ladies gets the torture honor of being the first to add to this, she'll know soon enough when it arrives at her door but I'm willing to bet that all the members of my group are contemplating the options when it becomes their turn to add their spin on my Wonky Rainbow.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Minutia About Me - Socks

So today another brilliant idea came to every so often tell my readers something about myself. I find that I like reading quilters non-quilty things about other quilters on occasion too. What did I decide to blog about for my first topic?


You see, my BFF and I give each other fun socks. For special occasions like birthdays or holidays or sometimes for no reason at all. It is just this thing we started to do years ago when we first met and have continued ever since.

Besides I typically wear 2 pairs of socks every day from Oct through April (I have very cold feet), so more socks are never a bad thing to me and if they are fun ones, all the better.

I have a couple of pairs of Halloween socks.
Lobster (and Christmas Lobsters at that) and Crab socks. I LOVE lobster (and king crab too) and she finds me all sorts of lobster shaped things.
Bunches of Christmas socks.
She gave me the gingerbread men and pink snowman ones with the individual toes this year. Those feel interesting to wear. I'm just saying.
I even have quilting socks, though I bought these for myself when I bought the sames ones for her.

(No clue why Blogger insists on uploading this picture sideways)
And these are the socks I wore today. Tells you a bit about where my mind has been all day, doesn't it.
There are more, trust me, but they are the shorty type that are still packed with the summer clothes. Sorry I wasn't up to digging them out today to photograph them. I love my silly socks and I think of my BFF every single time I put a pair on.
Life is short. Ya gotta have fun where ever you can. Why not include your socks in that? I see no reason not to. Do you?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lookie what my girl did today!

While dinner was baking in the oven, I was upstairs in my studio working on the teacher quilt blocks. My little missy wandered up to check out what I was doing (something they do a lot when I'm in there). I glanced up at my machine and saw her attempting to "sew" a scrap of fabric on the old Singer. She learns so much just by watching.

I can't tell you how the sight made my crafting momma heart sing.

Back to work I was going to go but I thought the heck with it. I'm going to take a few minutes and REALLY sew with my girl! I grabbed the 6 charms she was given a few weeks ago when we were at a LQS, hastily cut 3 more that coordinated and off we went.
She wanted "I do-d it" but I convinced her to let me help.
Let me tell you, it was really hard to take these pictures with her sitting on my lap, me guiding her with one hand and holding the camera with the other.

She was very serious about holding the fabric, so much in fact that she wasn't letting it advance. I didn't care one bit how it came out. She was having a blast.
I had her wait the couple of minutes while I ironed the seams, turned around to hand it to her and she exclaimed "I yuv it"! That gigantic smile says it all.
She ran downstairs to show Daddy her "quilt" and kept saying "I zo, Daddy I zo". At a mere 3 years old, I think she has caught the bug.

P.S. I will take this little mini one day this week while she is at preschool, add the batting and backing and do some simple quilting, plus the binding of course. I just can't let her first quilt" remain a UFO.


The Ghastlies are arriving!
Corrie over at Quilt Taffy has some of the new Ghastlie fabrics in stock!

Mere words cannot describe how excited I am. I love, love, love this line and I want all of it. Every single print in every single colorway.

But sadly the budget won't allow that so I will have to work out which ones I can get and how much. One of my dreamy wishes would be to have enough fabric budget that I would never have to scrimp on my purchases. Oh well, that is certainly not my reality.

No matter, I will most definitely be adding the newest ones to my stash and creating some fabulous Ghastlie projects in the coming months. I'm still hoping Madame Samm will have another Ghastlie Blog Hop in the fall and this time I want in on the fun.

In other anticipated next hosting project post is almost ready to release. I just need to finish the button and decide when to make the announcement. Will it be today? Not sure yet. I may just keep you hanging for a couple of more days. I sure don't want to be predictable, now do I?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quilts From My Crayon Box Flickr group

I guess hosting projects means I need a Flickr page for the photos and chats. You can now find it here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The "Un-Round" Robin

The groups for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin are set and everyone has been emailed their list.

I learned something very valuable while setting up the groups. If I did it as a traditional Round Robin, than each participant would mail to the same person each month. Not only isn't that as much fun, but if there are international players, those that ship to them (at least from the US) have much higher postage costs than the others. And that would just not do.

So now I feel that this is more accurately an "Un-Round" Robin because the way I worked it out, each member will still work on a different mini each month but they will also mail the piece they worked on to someone different in the group. And there is no way that the members can figure out where there piece is any point on its journey. More mystery, more fun. I love to keep people guessing. And the master lists are being guarded by Guido!

I ended up with 4 groups. 30 quilters signed up and a couple offfered to do 2 so when all is said and done, we'll have 32 beautiful Modern Minis to show off. I can't wait. Can you?

I'll definitely be hosting another one of these sometime in the future. As i said in my last post, I am most definitely ATO!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh No! I am seriously ATO!

Yup. Guilty as charged. I am seriously

Addicted to Organizing!

The diagnosis is official. I can't help it. It is in my blood. I've been an organizer all my life. Not only my spaces get organized (I like to find what I am looking for when I am looking for it), I've organized parties, charitable endeavours (I even co-founded a local non-profit many years ago that is still going strong) and now I'm organizing fun events in my quilting life.

Just call me "OO" for Organizing Obsessed!

Ideas just pop into my head and perculate there until I work all the parts out. There are not 1, not 2, but 3 projects brewing in my brain for the coming months.

The 1st one will be themed for my favorite holiday. Can you guess which one? Starting in April, details coming soon.

#2 will start in June and also involves a holiday theme.

3rd will be based on my favorite color scheme. It will take place in July.

Blog buttons will magically appear in my sidebar at some point so you might want to keep looking for them for hints as to what I've got up my sleeve.

Hehehe. I love secrets!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A couple of spots are still open for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin

Update: Sign ups for this are now closed. Missed out? Don't worry. I'm sure I'll be doing this again sometime in the future.

A couple of the group members have graciously agreed to do a 2nd round of my Round Robin if I need "extras" to fill the spots. And I have one no reply commenter Elsa who I hasn't sent me her address yet and I haven't been able to get in touch with her so far.

What does that mean for you? It means that I am going to extend the deadline for sign ups just for today. I have to get my want-to-be-sewing self to work and so I can't work on putting the groups together today anyway. There are 4-5 spaces available (depending on if Elsa gets back to me or not. Elsa if you are reading this, please email me ASAP). 

If you want to hop on our wagon train, leave me a comment to let me know and email me your name and address. I'm grateful that a few ladies are willing to do more than 1 but if we can get just a few more to join in, then they won't have to do that extra work. Tomorrow I'm home all day so today is the last call.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sign ups are still open for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin.

The count is currently at 26 participants.

Elsa, Janet and quilternp - I need your full name and address.

Anyone who has already signed up and wants to do more than 1 you are certainly welcome to. Just let me know so that I can mark my list accordingly. I am definitely considering doing more than 1 myself!

Since we are already past 24 (8 per group) we need at least 6 more to join us or some of us to choose to do more than 1. Call or email your friends who haven't joined the party and convince them to jump on the band wagon. The more the merrier!

All the details about this are here and here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Don't miss out on the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin

There is still time to join in on my Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin.

All the details are here and here. There are 23 quilters (including myself) signed up so far. Groups of 8 are needed. We'd love to have more of you join our little party. Get in on the fun and pass the word far and wide in blog land so even more talented quilters hop on board. And don't forget to add the button to your blog. It's right over there on the right.

Sign ups close this Sunday evening so don't hesitate a minute longer! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Last from the NJ Quilt Fest

Here are the last few pictures from the NJ Quilt Fest show.

I'm not happy that the picture of this one came out blurry. I waited a long time for someone to get out of the way so I could take it, but I must have been hurrying. Blurry or not I still had to share it with you.
I can't think of anything to say about this one because my jaw still drops to the floor when I look at it.
This one too. All those tiny pieces! Amazing, truly amazing.
This one is really cool.
Another stunner.
And yet another. It blows my mind seeing what other quilters create.
I like that this Asian quilt isn't symmetrical.
How do folks come up with ideas like this one?
This was a great show and I'll likely go again. There were a ton of quilts that were not traditional and very interesting. My friend is even hooked now and wants to try this, though she is more of an organic abstract sort of person. Given that she is a graphic artist, it will be fun to watch her progress. If you are the the area next year, I highly recommend this show.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More from the NJ Quilt Fest

Here are a few more lovelies to share from the NJ Quilt Fest show.

There are no words to describe how beautiful this one is.
From afar this looked like real stained glass.
It was quilted with the tiniest stippling that I have ever seen.
I wanted to steal this bring it home. I just love it. I think one like this is in my future for sure.
Of course I love, love, love practically anything done in rainbow colors.
Can you say "mind boggling"?
This is the other one that almost ended up stashed in my bag. You see...I collect eggs. All sorts of decorative eggs. And I've made Ukrainian ones myself. I have close to 200 in all. I'll show you sometime, once I get them unpacked. This quilt would have been a great addition to my collection.
The detail in this one is hard to see from the picture but trust me, it is stunning.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Suffering Sucotash!

My machine is acting up AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

I'm pissed. Really pissed. It started 2 weeks ago, on Super Bowl Sunday, as I was enjoying the sewing instead of watching the game ( I could care less).

It started acting strange, kept sucking the fabric inside under the feed dogs and other not nice stuff. I've been swamped and not able to get back to it but I finally took the bobbin cover off, cleaned out all the lint and checked that everything was in good shape, put it all back together again and finally got a chance to test it out late yesterday afternoon.

Some of the very same tension problems that I had last fall are back. The thread kept breaking, something I've never had happen before. The needle broke more than once mid stitch. What in the world is up with that? It isn't liking sewing through seams at all...bogs down bad. All told, a lot more issues than ever before. I've only had this machine 2 1/2 years and it gets light use so I just don't get it. I am beyond fed up but no I cannot go and buy a new one.
This is what I have...a Brother NX 400. Normally I love this machine but right now there is not much love available from me for it. URG! The repair shop is an hour away and not open today so I have to wait until tomorrow after work to get it there. I guess I'll have to set up my mom's old Singer so at least I can get some more teacher quilt blocks done. I'm way behind on those projects and this certainly isn't helping!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NJ Quilt Fest 2012-Part 1

Last Saturday I left the kidlets home with the hubby and drove 3 hours south with a friend to attend the NJ Quilt Fest in Summerset. There was more than a fair share of quilt eye candy and we didn't have nearly enough time to admire the quilts and shop at all the vendors. But I did manage to get pictures of some of the wonderful work there and I want to share them with all of you.

My friend is not a quilter and thought she'd only see a bunch of traditional quilts (so not her taste since she is a graphic artist) but oh was she hugely mistaken. There were art quilts everywhere at this show along with the traditional ones.
This is one of the 1st ones we saw and it took my breath away. Absolutely stunning.
The gradients of color in this were amazing. 
Neat combo of colors, neutral with a bit if pizazz.
The workmanship in this is beyond words.
I really love the colors in this.
Calming yet visually interesting at the same time.
This one took my friend's breath away. She quickly started to like quilting very much.
I don't think I would have thought of pairing green and black like this.
I have more to share in the next 2 posts but I also wanted to show you what I came home with. I behaved myself spending wise.
I found a couple of great red Asian fabrics to add to my stash as well as a terrific pattern that I will use for Jammer's Asian Quilt. Trying to find just the right pattern for a totally Asian quilt isn't easy you know. I think this one will be perfect. 
I also bought this mini log cabin block Halloween quilt pattern. I saw it locally last fall and didn't buy it then (dumb on my part) so I was thrilled to see the same vendor at this show. The bobbin mates...I saw them in a catalog somewhere and have been looking for them ever since. The work terrific by the way. And as a little treat for me I bought these 2 pairs of earrings. The one pair look like quilt blocks, don't they? All told I spent $65. Not bad and I didn't come home feeling guilty.

But I can't help but wonder...there was a lady in the lobby talking to her hubby (I guess) about wanting to "make a big purchase" (many overheard her). She described it and it's features, an embroidery machine that holds 10 spools. I would have liked to hear his reaction when she told him the show special price of $10,000.00. Did she end up buying it? I'll never know. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin is growing fast!

Wow! I'm blown away. Truly. I've only had the post up about my Round Robin for 2 days and I already have 19 quilters who have joined in on my little party.

There is still plenty of time if you want to join too. You can read all the details here.

A few questions have popped up and I want to provide the answers so even more of you will hop on board.

*You will create (1) 6 1/2" unfinished center block. The other 7 members of your group will add borders to it, either simple strips or pieced borders (their choice).

*If you'd like to ask your group members to do something you'd prefer, say putting the center block off to the side, go right ahead. Put a note in with your center block and ask. Want it to have a certain look because it will go in a specific place? Go ahead and mention that in your note .But there is no guarantee they will fulfill your request. Remember it is their choice what they ultimately decide to add to your quilt.

*The completed top will end up between 27" and 34", depending on the size of the borders that your group members add.

 *If group members do decide to put the center off on one side, than up to 4" can be added to the other 2 sides by each group member. Ultimately this should be no bigger than the size listed above.

*Novices are definitely welcome. If you can sew on a simple strip border, you can do this no problem. Want to add something more complicated, go right ahead. Just keep it to no more than 2" finished total. Again totally your choice.

*I was asked what happens if someone doesn't do their part and the quilt never gets returned to it's owner. Honestly before this person mentioned it, this possibility never occurred to me and I really HOPE it doesn't happen. I would hate for anyone to get disappointed and for me to have to send my buddy Guido after the offender. He's pretty rough and tough so just play nice and do what you are supposed to do. He hates sewing machines and likes to send them smashing onto the road from high above. Remember, I have all your addresses! And I am not above letting everyone else in the quilting world know if you aren't a good team player.

*If you decide you cannot complete this after all, let me know ASAP. I certainly understand (and so would everyone else) if something really major happened that prevented you from continuing. I would ask that you send to me the piece you received most recently and I will make arrangements to get it completed. (And no if you are honest about this I won't send Guido after you.)

*Anyone changing their mind before the official start is ok just let me know before March 18th so I can leave you off the final lists.

Any more questions, please let me know. I greatly appreciate all of you that have blogged about this little party on your blogs and have added the button. Keep spreading the word. It is only through the recommendations of other quilters like yourselves that I have "met" so many terrific people and have learned so much in such a relatively short time.

Crafting by the numbers February result

Well I had high hopes to do a lot better in February but a nasty cold that I caught courtesty of my 3 yr old daughter which then turned into a sinus infection that lasted 3+ weeks ruined those plans. I accomplished something crafty 9 of the 29 days, or 31%. Total to date for January and February: 17 out of 60 possible days which works out to 28.3%. All in all I guess I can't complain about my progress, or lack of, considering that I was lucky to be able to stay awake much past 8:30 pm most nights while battling the germs.

Now March is here and I can again set a goal for myself to do better this month. How about you? Does the pending spring give you loads of energy to do more? It does for me.