Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Sale That Wasn't

I had an errand in Meredith, New Hampshire today, and it being a weekday and fair weather, I booked it the extra six miles to go to Center Harbor where the Mothership store of Keepsake Quilting is located. This photo was from last summer, so there are no flowers in February.

For all of February, Keepsake has had a "Show & Tell" promotion, so if I wanted to play, I was running out of February! I brought in my Sister's Choice flimsey and the clerk's loved it.

They presented me with my 15% off certificate. But it is only good on non-sale items. However, the sale prices from the outlet room are better than 15% off so I was very happy.
I got five fabrics in Civil War selections, mostly Judie Rothermel for Marcus Brothers, half a yard each, except for the red print, which I decided to get 2 yards of. That one is a Nancy Gere for Wyndham's 19th Century Reds.

I just love them all! I also decided to try out one of their specially made Charm boxes for keeping your 5" squares clean and unrumpled. It was $5 for the box which is exhorbitant but at least it is made in the U.S.A. I liked the fact that it has four very small breathing holes on the bottom.

I thought that I could use my coupon on the little charm box as it was regularly priced. But NO! My total needed to be a minimum of $25.00 of non-sale items to qualify for any of the Show & Tell discount. Sigh.

The only good deal was the ten scraps for a quarter each! I had great fun picking out the neutrals and you know what a sucker I am for florals! Bring on the cabbage roses!
At my request, the sales clerk at the register gave me a creamy neutral tie-up strip for my bag. So pretty!!

And I was able to pay cash because I kept it under $35. Not by much, but under!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Next Set of Swaps

Life interferes sometimes with my quilting! But in spite of all the obstacles, I got to do a little squaring up trimming on the next set of Criss Cross Blocks so that they are finished and paired up with their 5" matching nickels for the swap. These were a rich indigo blue that photographs flat black.

They look ever so much better in real life!
I also got a bit of a start on the third set for the same swap, this time in a bright chrome yellow. The pieces are cut out and I'd just begun to sew them when it was time to feast upon Felix's homemade-from-scratch New England clam chowder. Here is as far as I got.

Now, after running Matthew back to campus, I'm too tired to sew! LOL! Never mind. It is all set up for the morning when I'm fresh.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Criss Cross Blocks

March 15th is coming up soon and that is the deadline for the last of the Civil War reproduction swaps of the Criss Cross Blocks. These will be for the "Across The Spectrum" quilt designed by Sherri Bain Driver that was featured in McCall's Quilting magazine in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue. The blocks are a tiny 5" unfinished! I find them very challenging. Here I am making them up with Moda's "Collections For A Cause" Civil War reproduction fabric in a medium sage green. Civil War greens are so muted usually, aren't they?

For the swap, (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nickelswap/) I make a set of eight blocks with matching plain 5" nickel squares and send in 6, keeping two for myself.
I confess that I am becoming a true fabric snob when it comes to the Civil War reproductions! Recently there was a sale on them at Hancock's of Paducah and I got some. When the Fed Ex truck pulled into my driveway, my heart beat a little faster; YES, it was my fabrics!

Aren't they wonderful? I call them, "Imported from Paducah!" LOL! I hope to use them in that medallion quilt that I saw in the most recent Quiltmaker magazine.
My policy on quilting magazines is very simple. I will ONLY subscribe to ONE at a time. That way, I have something happy to look at when I'm waiting in a Dr.s office or waiting for Matthew to come out of a class at his college. But now I also have the Hancock's of Paducah catalogue, too! Wow, it's nice and thick and colorful. Yippee!!!

Thank You!

First, let me thank everyone who did vote for my hearts quilt! One of my friends told me, after I had posted numerous requests for your votes, that such pleas are against the rules and would disqualify me. Sigh. Oh well, thank you anyway!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Please Vote for My "Hearts" Quilt~

Please everybody, vote for my quilt on the Quilting Gallery blog! http://tinyurl.com/6rg38r5

This quilt was made a couple of years ago on Valentine's Day to give to my Husband Wonderful's Aunt Lucy who turned 90 years old. I made up the design using machine applique and Linda Monasky of the Bear Paw Gallery in Alton, NH did the longarm quilting. I was on a NO BUY at the time, so it was all from stash. I made the pattern for the hearts by folding a piece of paper and cutting out that "almost-an-ice-cream-cone" shape. I did a few until I got one that I liked. The red fabric on the back was a piece of rayon plush velvet that was given to me by a friend who knows that I sew. She had been using it as a Christmas store window display for her tanning salon which had to close.
Aunt Lucy is still going strong and she loves her quilt!
Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I enjoyed today with my true love, Felix! And to keep it quilty, here are two new Happy Scrappy Houses!

So now I'm up to ten of these. If you are new to visiting my blog, welcome, and here is the link to Bonnie K. Hunter's instructions for the houses:
Thank you to all of my wonderful readers and commenters! I'm sending you each my mental hugs !!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trimming Up

Yesterday I brought home my version of Bonnie K Hunter's http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/patches-pinwheels.html "Patches & Pinwheels" from my longarmer, Linda Monasky of The Bear Paw Gallery http://www.thebearpawgallery.com/index.html in Alton, New Hampshire. Bonnie Hunter does beautiful FREE patterns with lots of helpful and friendly tips all through her instructions. Thank you, Bonnie!

And Linda Monasky does drop-dead gorgeous longarmer quilting! She did an all over edge to edge meander with two different designs on the two borders. The narrow inner border got a freestyle loop de loop, while the wide chocolate brown border got trailing ivy vines. Linda always respects my budget but makes me look good! Thank you, Linda!

Here is where I wrestled against the breezes and cold temperatures to trim away the excess batting and backing fabric. I chose Cream Rose Cotton batting by Mountain Mist which is a little lighter weight than my usual Warm & Natural preference for this King-sized 92" X 104".

I had to use chairs to hold the quilt in place from the wind gusts and a kneeling pad for my ancient joints!

The backing fabric is a cream and brown wallpaper stripe that I bought as an 8 yard bolt during Joann's winter warm up sale a few weeks ago. It is a flannel but it sure did shrink a LOT when I washed and dried it in the dryer! One 3 yard piece shrank 7". But it looks great and feels cuddly.

Here is a closer look at that pretty quilting that Linda did.

I'm not sure what I'll name this one. Maybe "Calliope Music" would be good because it certainly has that carnival feel to the mood. Maybe you have a good idea for a name for this quilt?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Early Risers

Saturday! I was up very early for me, at 5:30am, awakened by Raven's cold nose bumping my hand to tell me that she needed to go out. She has never had an accident in the house, so I was happy to oblige her. I tried going back to bed but kept thinking of the special Hazelnut Creme New England Coffee that I had set up last night all ready to run through the Bunn coffeemaker in the morning. The coffee won. I poured it through and it was delicious.

Snow is predicted. That will temporarily render my designway wet and messy. Other people have a designwall but I use my driveway. So I worked hard to finish assembling the eighth row of Sister's Choice and pressed and pressed and pressed.
Then I carefully carried it upstairs and auditioned some border selections. Geez, nothing looked right! All the stuff that I had bought to be the borders was sickly. I was working with tans and creams as the inner border with a medium green as the outer. I hated it!
Felix distracted me with a fabulous breakfast of fried eggs with Kielbasa slices and sauted green cabbage and Pillsbury Grands biscuits. As I ate, I'd look over at the quilt top draped over the two rocking chairs. Then I got a bright idea! Try a deep turkey red to work with the green? I tried it and I loved it.
So back out to the driveway to spread and smooth out the top, then I use a steel construction worker's rule to measure through the center length to find the number to cut the two inner borders, then do it all over again for the top and bottom borders. I'm loving how it looks! The pictures do not do it justice because my beautiful warm pea soup green points all look black and the inner border looks brown instead of turkey red.

In the middle photograph the breeze just would not quit playing havoc with the left edge, turning it over to show the underside. Oh well, live on a hill, then there is always a breeze! LOL! I love it in the summertime!
Here is a shot that shows the first of the wide outer borders:
It is a very nice-looking green and cream paisley that is 5 1/2" cut and will finish at 5". It kinda blends in with the asphalt here but it will be wonderful when I get the last two sides sewn onto the top.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sister's Choice Blocks

Gracious, here it is Thursday night already, and I have so very few pictures for you! I've had fun sitting outdoors in my folding chair soaking up the glorious sunshine to fight my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most days I need to bundle up but right in front of the garage there is good protection from the northerly winds. I do a minimum of 15 minutes every sunny day.

 This week I sent out a lot of swaps and was often trying to make the little Gilmanton Iron Works Post Office before they close the window from 11am to 1pm. We are so small that the postmaster, Linda, needs that time to process the mail and there is no one else to mind the counter. The next nearest station is six miles away, so we love our Post Office!
I didn't take pictures of all the outgoing swaps, but here is one of "foliage" prints in 2 1/2" Half Width Of Fabric (HWOF) strips with ten different foliage fabrics in each baggie.
The baggies are new to me; they are the "Snack Size" from Zip Lock and are 3 1/4" X 6 1/2". They fit perfectly! Then I throw all the little snack sized baggies into a big gallon sized Hefty with the zipper. If you think you might like to join the foliage swap here is the group address.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qvwashedswappers/ It is a Yahoo group that you would need to join and we do prewash.
The other project that I've enjoyed working on this sunny week, is my long unfinished Sister's Choice. Bonnie's recent slide show inspired me! http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2012/02/sister-oh-sister.html The blocks have just been languishing in a basket. So I took them out and laid them out on the driveway, aka my design wall. Thank goodness it was not too breezy!
 These were all made from Civil War nine-patch swaps from the Nickel swap group.http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nickelswap/ These were from last year and I want to make two twins from them eventually. This will be the first one. Here is the layout that I liked using a six by seven block layout. The last row never got photographed because the wind started to pick up and toss the blocks around.
I quickly picked them up in order and labeled the stacked rows with a slip of numbered paper pinned to the top block of every row. Today I was pleased to get all the blocks assembled into rows. Tomorrow I plan to dig out my ironing board to press the rows and join them up. But I'm thrilled with my progress! Whee!

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