Monday, April 28, 2008

April Showers

Well, today is Monday and it's April and it's Raining! So it seems like a good time to show you the postcards I have received this month from my PC pals across the sea. This month's theme was appropriately "showers".

The woman sitting on the park bench in the rain is from Jenny in the UK and the clothesline picture is from Brigitte in France. I just love how we all interpret the theme differently and with different techniques. These ladies are super talented! They really set the bar high every month!!

The kiddies under the umbrella are from Annette in the UK. I love the background fabric and the little 3D flowers! The landscape is from Christine also in the UK. She painted this on Pelmet Villene and the border is Angelina fibers!

And here is my interpretation! If you are one of the PC ladies DON'T LOOK ANY FURTHER IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED!!

I went with an old favorite, Sunbonnet Sue, even she has to deal with April Showers! These are on their way to my PC pals.

This weekend I worked a bit on my borders for my quilt. I should have the top finished in the next couple of days. I also worked on my snowman bluework. I have four blocks done so maybe I'll show those tomorrow.

As is my way, I have overextended myself quiltwise. I have decided to drop out of the Take it Further Challenge. Although I really enjoyed the challenge, I just don't have the time to do it with other commitments. Next up is making valances for my living room and a new window seat cover. The fabric that I ordered came in this weekend. After that, I have a RR challenge to work on as well as a little quilt swap, the mystery quilt I have started, the graduation quilt for my son, and forty jillion other projects!! Oh, so many quilts, so little time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Good to be GREEN

I know that I'm a day late! What else is new?? But in celebration of Earth Day, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank all of you quilters out there for being green! Yup, We are all recyclers even if we don't realize it. Think about all of those scraps that we cut and cut until there is nothing left to cut and add to your scrappy quilts! And all of the fabric swapping we do! And the prizes we offer for free when we don't want or need some quilt related item! And all the bags we make!

I want to give an extra special pat on the back to those Aussie and English gals who hit the op shops and use the shirts, skirts, blankets, and other items they find to use in their quilts. And we can't forget the art quilters who can take just about anything (tyvek envelopes, mesh onion bags, you name it!)and turn into art.

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to extend recycling into my quilting and into my life on this planet, I wanted to share a couple of things that I've been doing to be a greener consumer and quilter and general human being.

1. I've stopped buying paper napkins and gone to cloth. I had a couple of table cloths that were pretty but had some serious stains, so I just cut out the stained parts and used the rest to make cloth napkins. I've since started looking at yard sales and Goodwill ( or as I call it Awesome Williams) for table cloths to use for napkins. We've also cut back dramatically on using paper towels. I keep a bag of rags cut to paper towel size handy and use those instead.

2. Old hand towels and towels that aren't saved for rags are sent to the dog shelter in town. They can always use them and the dogs don't care if they are a little grungy!

3. My shop hop bags are now in my trunk to use in the grocery store. No more plastic or paper bags!

4. I've also been saving my dryer sheets and using them for the foundations for my string blocks. Although they are rectangles instead of squares, they will make a nice quilt and will smell great!

5. After working on my February TIF Challenge, "Blowin' in the Wind", I decided to put the old clothesline back up. I don't use it all the time and for everything but I definitely use it for my sheets and blouses and stuff that I would hang to air dry anyway. I know that some of you live in places where you are not "allowed" to have a clothesline. I don't know when a clothesline became an "eyesore" but that was a sad day. Recently, a gal in our area challenged the covenant about clotheslines and won! Now that it is "chic" to be green, you might want to think about challenging that stupid rule.

6. We also compost our scraps. It's not a lot of work and right now I have a bin full of the most beautiful black dirt to use in the garden this spring. Our town actually encourages composting and gives out free bins to hold your compost. We are greedy! We have three bins going right now!

So here's my Earth Day challenge. Post the ways you help save the planet in your comments here or on your blog! I'm sure there are other little things that we can all do to make this world a greener place!

P.S. Kermit and all the other critters on this planet thank you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finally PIctures!!

My DH finally got a camera, a Kodak Easy Share. I personally found loading the pics from the camera to my computer anything but easy! Well, I guess there is a learning curve.

While Hubby was at Mohegan Sun for a nite out with the boys, I took some pictures of things in progress. Here is a picture of the shams I made to go with the Dizzy Diamonds quilt.

They were pretty easy to make. And can I say that the guys who invented Google deserve every penny they make! Thank you for making one place where I can find everything, including a link to a site that gave me directions to make shams!

And remember the 2nd Round Robin I'm doing?? Well we exchanged our 12 x12 blocks at the meeting on Tuesday and when I saw what everyone had done I was sort of embarassed! My block was lacking and I will admit I really rushed to get it together. So, this weekend I emailed the gal who works on my block first and told her to hold off so I could make another and redeem myself. Here it is! It's paper pieced and then I added the borders with the Japanese writing. I don't know what it says or even if it's words. But I think it looks really cool!

I also have all the blocks together for my summer quilt. The block name is "Rusty's Block".
It goes together super easy but the layout was another thing. I had the layout for a lap and I am making a queen. I finally made copies of the lap layout and cut out all the little blocks and pasted them into a 6 x 5 layout. I'm happy with it. Now to add borders! I also completed 20 9patch blocks for the Mystery quilt that Life's a Stitch is running. This is going to be a twin quilt. I put together about 5 of them and THEN I measured them. Now I haven't done any block piecing in a while so I was a bit surprised to learn that my quarter inch foot is really more than a 1/4 inch. The blocks I made measured 8 1/4 not 8 1/2! Sew, I UNSEWED the five blocks, made an adjustment and then continued on. I guess I should be glad I only had made 5!

I also went out this weekend and bought fabric for new valances, a new window seat ushion (that hides the cat hair better) and coordinating pillows for my living room. I was in need of a new area rug which I bought a week or so ago and as the story goes, once you get one new thing everything else looks old and tired.

Whewww well that's it! My coworker is on vacation for the rest of this week so I will be buried in my office til the weekend. Have a happy week!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lend a Hand

I know I haven't posted since my pictures from Puerto Rico but we still haven't replaced our cute little digital camera. I'm not crazy about our other camera, it's sort of a big ELEPHANT. But we are having guests this weekend and our friend is into cameras so he is going to go with us and help us pick out a new one. I will have pictures next week. Anyway, I do have this to show you!

I came across this gal's request on Nellie's blog. This gal is collecting fabric hands. She just wanted your hand traced on fabric and cut out, no name on it, no embellishments. But you could choose any fabric you liked. I'm not sure what she is going to do with them but I thought "what the heck". I figure it will only take me a few minutes to do this. But, OH, NO!! I wanted my hand to "reflect" who I am. Well, I knew what fabric I wanted (the shamrocks, I mean, I am McIrish Annie ) but how long do you think it took me to find this particular FQ!! LOL, 30 minutes. The actual tracing and cutting took 7 minutes! I think I need to spend some time reorganizing a portion of my stash!

Oh, and back to Nellie. If you have never visited Nellie, please do! She is so talented and I have learned so much from her about color, composition and different techniques. Even a traditional quilter will find her work very inspiring!

So, my hand is on its way to France! Au Revoir!!

I have been sewing.. I have all the blocks together for my summer quilt. I will be adding borders this weekend. As always, I am short on fabric so I need to be creative in putting the border together. I also got a bit sidetracked last weekend. I have made two pillow shams for this quilt, Crazy Diamonds, which I made a couple of years ago for a guild challenge. This quilt is on the bed in the guest room and I have wanted to make shams but you know how it goes. I kept all the extra strips etc. Well, we are having company this weekend so of course, they needed to get done. I have the fronts done and quilted and will put the actual shams together tonight. Of course, company arrives tomorrow! Flames to my fanny!!

I have also started a mystery quilt, courtesy of Kate North (she twisted my arm, I swear!!) through this gal's blog, Life is a Stitch. She is posting the steps every two weeks so it won't be too bad! I'm doing the twin size for a nephew. And speaking of Kate, I also signed up for her little quilt swap and pulled some victims along with me! Right, Dandylion!! Oh well, so much for my New Year's Resolution not to start any new challenges! Oh and I also got my block for the 2nd Round Robin I'm doing with the gals from my guild. We had soo much fun doing the first one that we started another! Oh well, so much for my New Year's Resolution not to join any new challenges! Is there a support group for Challenge Junkies??

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