Saturday, January 31, 2009

Went Shopping Today

I've been house bound for the last couple of days and I guess I could blame part of it on the weather but if the truth be known, I just wanted to get some projects done and others the snow was my excuse.

Last night I spent time preparing and cutting my background fabric into the 12 blocks that are required for the Bunny Hill Designs BOM that started this month. While I was doing that, I decided that if I was doing one for me, why not make another at the same time for my best friend Lucie? Although we are great friends, our tastes in colors, styles and decorating are very different. Lucie's tastes tend to be more modern while mine, never mind lean...ARE country/primitive. Well, I had the fabrics for mine but didn't have much of the froo-froo stuff in my stash to choose from. So, to make a loooooong story short, I kinda twisted my DH's arm a little and he drove me (and the dogs) to my favorite quilt shop called The Running Stitch a short 65 miles away. Tooooooo many dollars later, here's some of what I purchased...

a charm pack of Moda's new Gypsy Rose line by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts and some Mettler fine embroidery cotton thread for the applique stitching. This is the thread that the gal who I took the back basting applique class from recommended, so my collection has started. I'll probably add a few more colors each time I go til I have them all.

I also bit the bullet and purchased...

a light box. This has been on my "need to get" list for some time now as tracing applique patterns on my patio door at night just doesn't work. I also purchased some background fabric for Lucie's quilt so my plans for this evening are to get hers cut out in order to be able to work on both simultaneously.

On the way back from the "big city", we took the dogs for a long walk on a nature trail that we frequent and stopped for lunch. All in all, we had a nice DH, me and the fur babies.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Center is Done!

I'm not going to lie and say it was a "piece of cake" but last night I finished piecing the 10 blocks that make up the center of my Primitive Garden BOM. Whew! I just love the look of wool appliqued on cotton and am so happy with the appearance thus far. I still have the first border to complete which will be the same as the sashing strips, but I think I'll put this to bed for awhile, or at least til the first of the 4 outer border kits arrive. Just 4 more and then the BIG hand quilt or have it machine quilted?

But I'm happy that is one more thing I can now strike off my "TO DO" list, for the time being anyway, and move on to my next project...the free Bunny Hill Designs BOM. I have all the fabric picked out for the elements to be appliqued and am almost ready to proceed. I just need to cut out the background blocks from the fabric I purchased the other day and it's a go.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

12" of the White Stuff!

It started snowing yesterday morning at around 7:00 a.m. and it was still coming down at 10:45 p.m. when I finally turned out the last light and went to bed. This is what our backyard looked like this morning just after daybreak. The fence is 5' high, so this gives you an indication as to how much snow is actually resting there, providing a white fluffy blanket to shelter my perennial gardens asleep below. Needless to say, I didn't even poke my head outdoors til this morning. Freshly fallen snow is pretty, indeed...from the inside looking out.

Having said that, I did manage to get more work done on my Primitive Garden BOM quilt. I'm finding that assembling the 10 inside blocks is a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together as there doesn't appear to be any directions on how to go about it. I took photos of each of the 10 blocks...yep, I finally figured out how to use the camera. Some of them have the pieced half square triangles on them and others do not. This is a part of the construction puzzle...much like a Rubic's cube...which I was not too terribly good at either.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get some of the blocks pieced together before the day is done.

And without further ado, my sewing machine beckons!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Great Day to Stay Indoors

My class yesterday was wonderful! I learned a bunch of new things which I hope to be able to incorporate in my future applique endeavors.

According to the news and weather forecasts, we are expecting a foot or more of snow to fall today. Thank goodness I don't have to go out anywhere so I don't even need to conjure up an excuse to spend the better part of the day in my sewing room. I'm still working on piecing together my BOM. Because it's a sampler and each block is a different size, I'm finding that the process is not as easy as I thought it would be. Patience, I know.

Just before Christmas, I received a call from my friend Barb who is a professional longarm quilter to say that my quilt was ready. Barb had my quilt since May and I told her when I dropped it off that I wasn't in a hurry and to do it when she could fit it into her schedule.

When I saw the project in the June 2008 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, I fell in love with the design. (Remember, magazines come out a couple of months before the actual issue month just in case some of you are wondering how she could have had my quilt in May when this was in the June issue. )

I knew it was going to be a challenge for me but I was determined. It took me 10 days to cut and piece the quilt and I did make some changes along the way to the original design. Here is the final result...

The pattern is called "Sweet Retreat" and was designed by Holly Holderman of Lakehouse Dry Goods. In her design, Holly had included some large floral setting squares which I opted to leave out. I don't know whether the next photo will show the wonderful quilting job that Barb did, but here's a closer look...

Prairie points, now what the heck are those? After much consternation I decided to give them a try because after all, I did spend all that time cutting out 156 - 2 1/2" squares. I found them a bit labor-intensive to complete but the final result was worth it...

I also added some narrow color coordinating borders to frame the quilt as I felt there was just a tad too much white...

And that's it! I love the quilt and it was definitely worth the effort.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...It's off to class I go!

I'm so excited because today is my first applique class. I absolutely love stitching by hand and needle turn applique, but today's class teaches the back basting method. I am basically a self-taught quilter but, thanks to all the blog tutorials out there on needle turn favorite being Carrie's...I've been able to proceed on my own.

Must get going as I still have to gather my supplies together. Updates on the class to follow...

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Primitive Garden BOM

Yikes! I think I've figured out how to add a photo that I scanned and saved on my computer.
This is the BOM that I'm currently working on that I mentioned in my previous post. Don't you just love it?
I'm up-to-date and have completed the 10 blocks that make up the center of the quilt. Yesterday I prepared the 206 half square triangles and am now ready to start piecing the sashing. My goal for today is to try to get the center pieced together in anticipation of the arrival of the first of the four outer borders.
To be continued...

Getting Started

Here's my first attempt at blogging. I've enjoyed reading so many of your blogs that I decided to give one a try. With the help of a friend, here I am.

I'm really machine challenged, especially with computers and all related paraphernalia. I bought a digital camera...I'm embarassed to say...about eight years ago, and just opened the original box this morning and am charging the battery as I type this. I love to look at all your photos so I thought I'd better learn about this new "machine" in order to make my blog interesting too!

I've always loved quilts, especially antique ones. My job involved a lot of travelling and throughout the years, I've been fortunate to amass twenty-two of them which I interchange on my beds on a regular basis. I made a vow that when I retired I would try my hand at quilting and have found that I'm absolutely hooked!

I started quilting a little over a year ago. During that time, I think I've managed to conquer the fear of my sewing machine. That "machine", which my husband bought for me as a birthday present in 1997...was still in it's original box as well. I guess Bernina's are like Maytags, huh?

I've made maybe a half dozen quilts since then and will show you pictures of them as soon as I master my camera. I am currently working on a BOM from Primitive Gatherings, a Lisa Bongean design entitled "A Primitive Garden."