Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not looking!

I'm not looking at any more huge fabric sales for the rest of this weekend!
My wallet took a big hit yesterday. There are so many great deals all over the online quilt shops but I spent enough that now I feel a tad guilty. But just a tad. The poor mailman is going to have his work cut out for him when he delivers those packages. There is a lot of fabric coming into this house this coming week.

I did buy with very specific plans in mind. Not once did I buy something just because I liked it. I purchased backings for 7 quilts and with the awesome sales, I averaged $4.83 per yard. Prices like that are definitely hard impossible to resist.

I am soooo excited too! My current obsession fabric is also coming my way.

I took the plunge and ordered my Bella by Amanda Murphy. This will become a quilt for my bed and since it is king size, I had to buy a ton of fabric for what I have planned. I can't wait to finally see it in person. It isn't often that I like every single fabric in a particular line, but this one I do.

To tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I didn't actually spend my money on the Bella fabric. No I didn't steal it and no Julie at The Intrepid Thread is not giving it to me out of the kindness of her heart. I wish. A couple of months back both my mom and my mother-in-law asked me to let them know what I would like for my birthday. Well I decided the Bella fabric is what I want so I used birthday money to bring it home to me. They both chuckled when I told them what I was doing. They weren't surprised at all that I'd want to spend the cash on more fabric!

I'm going to stay away from the computer for the rest of the day. I have plenty to distract me and help control my spending. The paint for the current playroom/future library was acquired yesterday so I'll be busy with that all day, finally turning the plain white walls into something a lot more pleasing. Hopefully I can also sneak in a bit of sewing while the coats of paint dry. There is plenty of laundry to get put away too. And I need to move some furniture around in the dining room. You see, we also purchased a china cabinet and a buffet off of Craigslist yesterday that will get delivered at the end of the week.

All my poor wallet can say today is Ouch!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A new finish - Dots in the Wind

Last you saw of these blocks and this future quilt was during the Dots on Dots Blog Hop. I had completed 6 blocks and had another 6 started. Well life and work, specifically our fiscal year end and all the work that comes along with getting everything ready for the tax return prep done, kept me from getting back to this project. This is where I left off, the remaining 1/2 square triangles sewn together.
A little free time to sew finally came and they remaining 6 blocks were quickly pieced together.
My original plan was to sash them with the various dot fabrics from the blocks themselves, but as soon as I put them all up on my design wall, that plan flew right out the window. These blocks had enough going on and I knew immediately that if I added busy sashing, that the beauty of the blocks would get lost in all the visual chaos.
So what did I go with instead? Well plain white sashing of course. I kept trying to figure out which block is my favorite fabric combinations.
But I'm still torn and hence I declare that they all are my favorite.
The finished quilt top? Oh you want to see it? Why pray tell? It is just a bunch of fabric after all.
Oh Ok. If you insist!

I proudly present Dots in the Wind.
(sorry about the inside shot, it is all I had time for)

I elected to do a brick border in the various fabrics instead and I definitely like the way this turned out a lot better than my original plan. It is 48" x 62". This quilt is so bright and fun and full of color and I just love it. The best part is that I didn't buy one single fabric to make this quilt. Every last bit was from my scraps and stash, including the pieced backing. Yippee skippee for getting an entire additional quilt from leftovers. It will be hard to give it away. Tuesday it will be off to my quilter to work her magic.

Once it comes back and gets the binding completed, I'll be able to get the gorgeous outside photos and the true colors will be more apparent. And if you want to make your own version of this quick to complete quilt, the block tutorial is over at In Color Order, along with all her other tutorials for her HST blocks of the month. I see another one over there that will eventually become another quilt. Like I really need another project to add to my list! 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you get to enjoy as much of your favorite holiday pie as I will be, with loads of whipped cream on top of course.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin Quilt

Now it is my turn for my Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin quilt reveal.
I don't remember what I was doing at the time or just how the idea came into my brain, but 8 1/2 months ago, I created the 1st Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin. When I wrote my the post announcing it I was hoping to get at least a group or maybe even 2 of 8 participants. I was pleasantly surprised that the idea caught on with so many and we ended up with 30 ladies signed on to share in the fun (with 2 ladies doing doubles to round out the numbers).

Once I put the groups together and sent out the lists, it was time I made my own center block. Coming up with this Round Robin idea was the easy part. Deciding what sort of block to do was much tougher.

I pondered for days and days....what colors to use, what block pattern or design to use, go wonky or many choices and so little time to decide. In the end, I decided to create a block that really spoke to who I am and this is what I came up with.
A rainbow of color, my favorite and just a bit off kilter, so like me. It really summed up my personality....when you first glance at me quickly I seem straight and normal  (the accountant part of me) but when you stop and look a little closer, you see that I'm typically just slightly askew. It is such a better way to live....a tad bit unpredictable.

This little block traveled literally around the world! It stopped at 5 destinations in the US including Georgia, Illinois, Utah, Montana, and North Carolina plus it flew across the pond to France and down under to Australia.

It is no lie that when the package arrived back home, I was extremely nervous about opening it. Seeing the return address, I knew exactly what was to be found inside the padded envelope. Being the master list keeper of all the destinations, I knew where each block was on its journey each month but not once did I ever attempt to suggest or influence what my group mates added to my own little quilt. So I had absolutely no clue as to what this would look like. When I finally lifted the flap and unfolded the contents, this is what I found:
Very cool. Very lively. Full of color and lots of visual interest. I don't know which part I like the most. I had originally planned on actually having this quilted and bound for this reveal but as you can see, it currently is still not finished. The hold up? Well I honestly can't decide exactly how I want to finish it. I did decide that I didn't want to finish it just for the sake of finishing it because if I rushed it and then wasn't happy with it, I would be more upset than if I wait to figure out just what it needs in the first place. I've auditioned a number of quilting designs but none are just right. And picking out a thread color isn't an easy task either. So many colors to take into consideration.

So this is going to remain on my design wall for a while where I can admire it. I know from experience that if I let things simmer long enough the right answer will come to me. They always do.

Thank you to each and every lovely lady that participated in this Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. I enjoyed being your hostess and I truly hope you'll all join in on the next mystery mini round robin.

Lisa's Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin quilt

Hi! I'm Lisa Cox. I live outside a very small town in rural North Central Missouri.
I'm rather new to quilting. In fact, last month I finished my second quilt. I'm a total
newbie to round robins. This was my first.
I started out with a block called the Amish Twist. It was supposed to be a paper pieced
block, but I hate dealing with paper, so I put it on thin white fabric. I think someone told
me once that is called foundation piecing? This is a picture of my center block after the
borders have been put on. It never occurred to me to take a picture of it before I sent it
off. LOL

When I received my little block back, tears came to my eyes. You guys ROCK!!! It is so
beautiful! And so many different borders. I was trying to figure out how I was going to
turn it into a wall hanging when my husband saw it. He immediately said how cool it was and
how he thought that it would be great as the center of a quilt for our bed! It is the right colors.
Now, my husband is not into quilts at all. He can't visualize what anything will look like just
by looking at colors or patterns. He has to see the finished product. So for him to say that it
was cool! And that he wanted it for a quilt is amazing.
So, I'll say again. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!

This is a picture of my block with all the neat borders. Sorry for the horrid pictures, but I didn't
have time to iron it after I got off work. I wanted to make sure Michele got this in plenty of time.


Renae's Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin quilt

Hi everyone, I’m Renae. I am a self taught quilter and I LOVE bright colors! I found the tutorial for this Spider Web center block at  A La Mode Fabric and thought it was perfect. Here is my version.
I really love how this quilt turned out.
It is so neat how each addition to the quilt changed it. I really like the addition of the bright green, it really makes the quilt! I haven’t yet decided how I will finish it, I have debated between keeping it a mini quilt or adding large pieces of solids around making it into a larger quilt. I can’t wait to join the fun again when it opens up next year.


Edy's Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin quilt

My simple little block left me months ago ~ so very long to wait ~ and LOOK what came back to me!
I love each border that was added by my partners in this fun Swap. Rachel, Diane, Lisa, Elisa, Samantha, and Celine ~ each one added a beautiful border and so much personality to this quilt. BTW ~ this was my first Round Robin. Many thanks and lots of hugs to each of you.  I love it just as it is BUT I do plan to finish it ~ probably after January when things get back to normal.

I would also like to send a huge hug to our Swap Mama, Michele, for guiding us along, keeping us all in line ... that was not an easy task!
Thank you so much for a truly fun experience! You are terrific!

See you all at the next one...


Charlotte's Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin Quilt reveal

My name is Charlotte and I live in South Florida.  I'm a member of the
South Florida Modern Quilt Guild (and a few other guilds and bees also :-)

I joined the round robin for fun and I love to make mini quilts.

Getting these unfinished mini quilts in the mail each month was an enjoyable experience.
It was interesting to try to figure out what border should come next.
I really tried to do something modern and interesting.
I got inspiration from googling and looking at modern quilts in Flickr and Pinterest.

I'm looking forward to finishing my mini quilt after the holidays.

Following are pictures I took of my center block before I sent it out and the finished quilt.

I also took the following pictures of the quilts I received and then took a picture of my changes before I sent it out to the next person.

Thanks Michele for organizing this round robin!

Cheers! Charlotte

Jane's Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin Quilt reveal

Several months ago I joined a Mystery Round Robin hosted by
Michele of Quilts From My Crayon Box.

The rules were very simple.
You made your starter block...
Here was mine
It was then sent to another member and they added a border. This went on for several months until I received this beauty back in the mail!

I love this so much! The girls certainly captured my style and colors.  At this point I just look at it and pet it and admire it! I believe this will be a wall-hanging to remind me of all the wonderful ladies who added their special touches to this quilt.

A huge thank you to Michele for coming up with this idea and for being our hostess.

If you missed this round, no worries, I hear there will be another in the future.

Again thank you to all the wonderful ladies who helped create this darling mini quilt! You are the best!

P.S. Thank you to Michele for hosting my post as we are on vacation this week

No problem Jane, glad to do it.

Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin Reveal Day!

This is it! The day all of us and you have been waiting for. The day we all finally get to solve the mysteries and see what fabulous mini quilts were created by the members of the 4 groups these past 8 months.
Hosting this event has been so much fun and I can't wait for the next one (which will be early in 2013 btw). I really enjoyed seeing what arrived in my mailbox each month and putting my own little spin on it before sending it on to the next contributor.

I hope you enjoy hopping around to all the great ladies who participated and who have their mini quilts to share with you. Now on to the reveals!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Answer Me This - Paper Piecing Advice

Confession time. It is Sunday so I guess it is appropriate.
Big breath. Come on, summon up the courage. It may not be all that bad after all. Ok, well here goes...

I have never tried Paper Piecing.

There! It's out. I don't have to hide that fact any more. It isn't that I don't want to try it. Honest. I see so many great ideas and patterns all over the web that make me want to run upstairs to my studio to give it a go.
But over the past year, I've been so busy making all those full size quilts and participating in hops, the swap and the round robin that I truly haven't had time to make my first attempt. I do have one more commission quilt that has to be completed soon as it is a Christmas gift and another that I'd really like to also complete in time for it to be a Christmas gift but that one isn't critical time wise so it may wait and be a birthday present instead.

I found a paper piecing pattern that I really want need to make. Something really special for my sisters. We give each other special "sister" gifts for Christmas every year and this idea is absolutely perfect for this year. The one that I found isn't the simpliest of paper piecing patterns but I don't think it is impossible either. And I know that if I can pull off my idea, they will absolutely love it.

Yes I will start with a different, much simplier pattern first to get the hang of it. I'm not totally crazy! But what I could really use from you is the link to what you feel is the best step-by-step instructional place, whether text or video, to guide me along. With so many available on the web, I don't know which one to try.
So bring it on. Tell me PLEASE where I should go to learn the ropes.

A newbie has to start somewhere.

Answer Me This...Batting Scraps

After I finished up my sewing for the night yesterday, I wasn't quite ready to call it a day so I started tackling all my backing/batting scraps trimmed after the quilting was done and before I added the bindings. I had the trimmings from 5 full size quilts there and the pile really needed dealing with.

So while I trimmed the usable bits of fabric and the larger batting scraps, I was wondering and decided to ask all of you....

Just how big of a piece of batting do you save and other than for mug rugs, what do you do with those leftover bits?

Always the one who hates to throw away something usable, I'd sure love to find a way to utilize those smaller scraps instead of tossing them. There are loads of things I can use tiny bits of fabric for, lots of scrap and mini quilts for my wire hanger are just one example, but I'm not sure about the batting bits.

Can ya help a girl out here? 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's almost here!

Are you getting excited? I know that I am! The big Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin reveal day is almost here.

Monday, November 19th is our giant celebration party and the showcase of all the great mini quilts that went literally around the world and back home again.

We had 30 participants in all, 2 people were in 2 groups, so there will be 32 finished mini quilts. Of the 30 ladies that sewed borders and then mailed them off to the next person for the past 8 months, 23 are from the US, 3 reside in Canada, 1 lives in France, 2 are in England and 1 is down under in Australia.

Here is the list of the ladies that will be sharing their mini quilts with you on Monday.
Deonn - Quiltscapes
Wendy - Why-Not-Kwilt
Bea - Beaquilter
Pippa - Pippa's Patch
Madame Samm - Sew We Quilt (hasn't received her quilt back home yet, hopefully very soon)
Celine - Espritpatch
Leslie - Les Quilts
Doris - Made By a Brunette hasn't received her quilt back home yet, hopefully very soon)
Margaret - hasn't received her block back yet, will be posted here when it arrives
Michele - that's Me - right here at Quilts From My Crayon Box

You won't want to miss it. I know that I can't wait to see how they all turned out.

Crafty project - Dry Erase Board

I've wanted needed a dry erase board to help keep track of my quilting projects for a while now. Of course I didn't want any ole boring, plain dry erase board. I wanted a great fabric covered one.

During a few trips to the local craft and big box stores I scouted out the basic boards available to check out sizes, prices as well as construction so that I could figure out what would work for me and how I would make it more Me.

Once I got home, I hunted the web for ideas. There are tons out there. But the one that caught my attention the most was the one that made use of something I already had here at old picture. Repurposing something older and not being used any more is my kind of crafty endeavor.

I started with this picture. It is an old Home Interiors print from many, many years ago that I don't love. My style of decorating has changed so drastically in the past 5-10 years and this just doesn't fit in any more. But now I'm really glad that I held onto it because it is perfect for this project.
One thing I can say about these types of prints is that they are a bit better constructed than the cheapos available most places these days. The back wasn't attached with those flimsy tabs that break off too easily, it was attached with screws. 
This is what it looked like deconstructed. A very heavy back board, the frame which although is plastic it is thicker and beefier than most, the glass and the print board itself, again a bit thicker than usual.
I thought I wanted to use this fabric for the new look but when I tested it under the glass with some writing on it, it seemed a bit too busy and the writing didn't show up so well. 
I auditioned a bunch of other options too.  
Once I chose the winning fabric, I put a couple of coats of Calico Red craft paint over the frame to cover the brown. I was really tempted to use a different color, that I didn't have in house, but since I was determined to not spend any money on this project, I went with what I had on hand.
I cut the chosen fabric 2 inches bigger on each measurement to allow for wrapping to the back side and tested the fit.
This next bit was done inside the garage, with the door open, as the glue I used produces fumes I didn't want inside and is flammable, so no doing this in the basement near the furnace.
I sprayed a mid-heavy coating over the entire back of the print.
Quickly flipped it over and smoothed out the wrinkles and bumps.
The excess was wrapped to the old print/new back side and glued down the same way. Since the edges and corners would be inside the frame and not visible, it wasn't necessary to make them all pretty and perfect.
One more flip back to the front to check for any further adjustments necessary and this was ready to let dry.
Once the glue had fully set and dried, all I had to do was reassemble the entire piece. As you can see in the close up of the corner, I chose the red paint to bring out the red in the small print of the fabric.
Here it is all completed. It is now hanging right above the light switch in my studio, in the narrow area between the door frame and the closet frame. This size fit there perfectly.
Now here comes my big question. I'm not sure about the paint color. I am second and third guessing this. I considered using the blue in the print but I didn't have any paint that color/shade. I also considered white and now that is the color that I'm wondering if I should change it to. For some reason the red isn't singing to me.

So here is where I need your help. Please! What would you do?

1) Leave it as is
2) Repaint it white

The room itself is still the plain white builders flat paint but it will be getting painted after Christmas, once all the craziness of the holidays are over. I've picked out a really pale yellow/cream shade to give it just the barest of color, keep it cheery and not interfere with what I see when I am looking at fabrics.

I'd really appreciate your input here. Hearing what you see when you look at it will help immensly. Thanks bunches!