Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Thanksgiving adventure.

I hope you and yours had a lovely Thanksgiving! For only the second time in my life, we left Fort Worth for Thanksgiving. The only other time was in 1999 when my husband and I went to Paris and then to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to visit his sister who was living there at the time.  My husband skied, but I was pregnant with our daughter, so I didn't get to ski the Alps.

Thanksgiving gang in Colorado
Last week, we went to South Fork, Colorado and skied Wolf Creek. That's our gang above without my husband who was taking the photo. My daughter was the only kiddo, but she was a real trooper. The guy in the middle with the white snowboard is my brother and his sweet wife next to him (in blue) is giggling behind her board.  The couples on either end are friends.

Thanksgiving in Colorado
The weather was absolutely beautiful for skiing. Wolf Creek had received over 100" of snow and the entire mountain was open.

Thanksgiving in Colorado
The last day I tried my luck on a blue run. That was a big deal for me, because I'm a bunny slope kind of girl. The view from the top was breathtaking. I did wipe out four times on the way down, but no yard sales and I was able to get myself up and keep going. I hadn't fallen until our last day and I knew it was coming. I wish I had wiped out the first day and gotten it out of the way so I wouldn't have been such a scaredy-cat. I think I had more fun after I finally fell!

I also wish I had more photos, but we were about two hours from home when I realized I'd left my camera behind! I was so upset! We've got a few phone photos like the ones above, but I'll have to rely on my unreliable memory for the rest. Wanna hear some good news though? Guess what I dug out to work on during the drive there and back? The hexagon charm quilt. It's been hibernating, but I may have rekindled my desire to finish that beast. I'll save the grizzly details for another post.

Containing the Hot Mess
On the drive home, I also drew up a layout for the Hot Mess Plus and X quilt from my last post. I worked on the actual quilt this afternoon and I like where it's going. I think I have a layout that will contain the chaos, but still lets the scrappy goodness sing. I'll share more later. Right now, I need to clean up my room. I'm having aplaydate tomorrow! My sweet friend, Steph, is coming over to sew for the day. Life is good.

Friday, November 18, 2011

An Imprudent Post

I'm coming to my own conclusion that maybe I actually am The Uptight Quilter.  I don't post very often because I hate to post without thinking hard about what I'm going to say and wondering if anyone actually cares and making sure the photos look just so.

Well, not today!  Welcome to my imprudent post.  This post has no forethought whatsoever.  Other than the fact that I thought, I should post something and I should take some photos and upload them for the post.

Here's what's happening currently in my sewing room.

DS Quilts - Daisy Mae
I bought some of each of the 19 new DS Quilts Daisy Mae prints for Joann. They don't feel as nice as the Fairgrounds and Picnic fabrics, but I really like the prints and was able to stack some coupons and get them for 50% off.  I think they are worth what I paid for them.  I'm not a pre-washer when it comes to quilting (to each his own, don't hate on me), but I think I'm going to pre-wash these to make sure they aren't going to bleed or develop crazy off-grain issues and I want to see how they feel after washing.  Has anyone pre-washed their Daisy Mae yet?

Farmers Wife Blocks
I worked on a few more Farmers Wife blocks. I'm going the template route, but I've been measuring the templates and just cutting my fabrics to size. I'm making notes in the book and on my templates of the sizes so I can just refer to the sizes and cut. It would seem like their would be more trimming involved, but I trim anyway, so it doesn't seem to be adding any extra time to constructing the blocks. I'm still using the templates for the unusually shaped pieces. 

Farmers Wife Blocks
Here are the four blocks I did this week.  I would tell you their names and numbers, but since no planning went into this post, I didn't take notes and bring them to the computer with me. I think one of them is called Friendship.

Swoon Blocks
I cut into my DS Quilts Sugar Creek, Picnic, and Fairgrounds and started on a Swoon quilt. I LOVE the huge blocks!

Last Saturday, I moved my rotary mat, iron and scrap bin into the TV room and cut like made during the TCU vs. Boise State game.  Go Frogs!  My thought was to cut out pieces to take on an upcoming trip and assemble on my newest toy...

Hello Kitty!

into super scrappy x and + blocks. But, I can't decide if I like these blocks. OK, well, that's not completely true, I like the blocks and I love the bright busyness. What I'm undecided about is if these blocks break so many rules that people will look at this quilt and think, "Ugh! What a disaster! What a waste of fabric!" I think it's a bit of a hot mess, and I think that's what I like about it!

And that's what's happening in my sewing room today. Happy Friday y'all!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sew to Swap Blog Hop

If you've been following the Sew to Swap blog hop, I'm sure you've seen some great previews of this gorgeous book.  I'm still so thrilled that Chrissie asked me to be a part of this lovely book and I'm honored to be in the company of the talented folks who also contributed to this book.

I mentioned to you in a previous post that this book is beautiful.  The illustrations by Ariel Eldridge are stunning.  I wish I had some of these to hang in my sewing space!

Chrissie's directions and clearly written and she includes everything you need to know about getting into sewing swaps.  The book also features a lot of great general sewing information which I think makes it perfect for the beginner and more advanced sewers alike.  Topics such as fabric grain, choosing fabrics and colors, pressing, and rotary cutting are covered in detail.

Throughout the book, there are little sidebars called "Ask the contributors" with answers to a questionnaire we were asked to complete.  For some reason, most of my answers came across as kind of, well, anal-retentive.  If you know me personally, I'm sure you know I'm not really as uptight as my answers make me sound.  At least, I hope that's the case.

Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, I attended a quilting retreat with some of my awesome quilting friends from the Dallas MQG and the Fort Worth MQG.  I think they got a real kick out of me reading my answers aloud in my snobbiest voice and they got some serious mileage out of my "snacks while sewing" comment (above).  (I did notice that John and Nettie aren't into sticky fingers either, so I'm in some good company.)  But, it was just too funny at the retreat when Angie tore into a big bag of jalapeno Cheetos right next to me.  Ah, good times!  I was debating using this new header for my blog:

I'm glad I could provide them with a few laughs.  I doubt they are finished with me.  ;-)

I was able to participate in four projects in the book. 

The hexagon table runner 
That's my orange hexie at the top and on the book's cover. 

 The curvy block swap
My block is in the lower right corner of the quilt, 

and it also go a really nice full-page photo!

The scrapbuster swap, which was really fun.
My block is the middle right of the photo above.

 And, the wonky siggy swap.

My wonky star made it into another full page photo!

If you are thinking that after this fabulous book tour, you don't even need a copy, think again!  This book is a must-have for your sewing library.  So if you haven't ordered your copy yet, I've got good news!  You can purchase Sew to Swap now for just $14.99 ($10 off the retail price!)  Visit the Martha Pullen Online Store and enter SEW2SWAP at checkout to receive the discount*!

Thank you for stopping by on my blog hop day!  If you haven't visited all the hop stops before mine, use the list below as a tour guide.  Visit those you haven't and stay tuned for ten more days of previews and tidbits about the book!

November 7 Lovely Little Handmades
November 8 
Stitches & Scissors
November 9 
Cluck Cluck Sew
November 10 
My Three Sons
November 11 
Twin Fibers
November 12 
Stitchy Quilt Stuff
November 13 
The Creative Juices of Ariel
November 14 
Texas Freckles
November 15 
Quilt Dad
November 16 
Artsy-Craftsy Babe
November 17 
Little Miss Shabby
November 18 
A Cuppa and a Catch Up
November 19 
A Quilt is Nice
November 20 
A Little Sweetness
November 21 
House of A La Mode
November 22
 I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts
November 23 
Little Bit Funky
November 27 
In His Grace

*Offer expires Nov 30, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. Special Price in US Dollars, for items that are “in stock” only. Martha Pullen Company reserves the right to correct pricing errors.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Quilt Market in Houston

I've been exploring the idea of moving my little sewing studio/school out of my home and into a retail location.  So when I found out my my friend Michelle, of Urban Spools, was headed to Quilt Market in Houston, we decided to go together.  Market seemed like a great place to explore the reality of a brick and mortar existence.

I thought I'd share what really caught my eye at market with you.  There is so much to see and I while did feel like much of what was being introduced felt like more of the same, there were some very exciting fabric lines that I can't wait to add to my stash and some really inspiring booths.

  Free Spirit booth
Does it get any better than this sofa at the Free Spirit booth?  I've pined for some patchwork furniture from Squint in the UK for years and that's what this reminded me of.

Free Spirit booth
Yes, um, Free Spirit... I'll take two, please.

Free Spirit booth
And while you are shipping over the sofas, go ahead an add these pillows and cushons too.  Just beautiful!

Parson Gray Booth
This is the handsome booth of David Butler, Amy Butler's husband. His new line is gorgeous!

Parson Gray Booth
I saw a lot of indigo blue and ikat at market and his line was a beautiful twist on the trend. I love that quilt and I think lots of men would too.

Amy Butler's Booth
Amy's booth next door was equally amazing. Her new line is called Lark and I don't think it will disappoint Amy Butler fans.

Amy Butler's Booth

Amy Butler's Booth
The designs and colors in Lark were really fresh and the collection has a really happy feel.  Amy and David Butler are one of those picture perfect couples; it was fun to get to see them in person.

Just down from the Butlers, was Anna Maria Horner's booth. On the sofa, left to right, are Elinor Peace Bailey, Anna Maria, and Denyse Schmidt. Yes, I felt like I was in the presence of fabric royalty.  

Anna Maria had some beautiful needlepoint canvases (on the wall at the right).  Her booth was beautiful!

Seven Islands Booth
The Seven Islands booth (Prints Charming, Echino, Kokka, Melody Miller) was drool-worthy. Above is the new line from Print Charming for Kokka called Daisy Chain.

Seven Islands Booth
I'm going to need some of this line.

Seven Islands Booth
And, I LOVE this bag pattern!

Seven Islands Booth
This is the new Melody Miller (Ruby Star Rising).  Pretty cute stuff!

Krause Booth
There's the new Sew to Swap book at the Krause Publishing booth!

If I had to pick one favorite new fabric line from market, it would have to be this one.
Moda Booth
Yes, it's Malka Dubrawsky, but no, it's not hand-dyed.  It's Malka for everyone, it's Malka for Moda!

Moda Booth
This line is completely amazing! The colors are crazy bright and beautiful. I absolutely LOVE this line.

Moda Booth
There was one original Malka in the booth and there's just no way to do this quilt justice in a photo.  The colors are spectacular.

Well, that's my quick, quilt market recap.  I took about 300 photos and uploaded some of the best to a flickr album you can find here.  I also have some great photos of quilts from the show, but I'll save those for another post. For now, I'll just let you drink these in!  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And the winner is...

I hope you got some great gift ideas from the 12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Hop! What an awesome hop Jennifer put together!

Now for the information you are looking for... the winner of the $25 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate is...

comment number 106, which belongs to...

Congratulations, Bente!  I've sent you an email, but feel free to email me if you don't see mine first.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the blog hop!