Friday, February 18, 2011

Tearing it up over Texas Tears




BARBARA BRACKMAN!!! Do you see my fist???? I am shaking it at you !!


When I found the Civil War Block website, I should have just stuck to reading the wonderful history and pictures you provided.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I had to start making the blocks. What's one little old block a week?? I looked at this as an opportunity to improve my piecing and well, I am a sucker for CW repro fabric. Well, at first, I was nervous but after a couple of weeks, I was staying on schedule and I had not had any real problems.

I had NO trouble with Kansas Troubles. Though I expected it with all these little pieces and the others went together fairly easily.


BUT TEXAS TEARS!!! I had met my match.


I have learned over the last 6 weeks to wait til a couple of the other gals participating have done the block and then I go check to see if there are any pitfalls to avoid. There are soo many awesome piecers out there that I figure I'd leave it to the experts ( like Lillian) to iron out the kinks, so to speak.

So I started Texas Tears last Sunday. By the time I was done with the first block I was tearing up. I had cut the inner block down to 5 1/2 as suggested but when I was done the block measured 8" instead of 8 1/2'. Hmmmm...

But not to be deterred, I recut the block and started Round two.

Really Barbara , 1 7/16ths !!

On the second round, I cut the strip 1 1/2" and did not cut the block down but squared it up and used a scant 1/4 inch. When I was done, I was ready to tear out MY scant 1/4 inch of hair! (BTW, yep, my hair is growing back!!) Although this time it measured 8 1/2, I realized I was going to lose my points all around once I put the blocks together. But I decided that two shots was all this northern girl was gonna take at Texas Tears.


So here it is Texas Tears ala Annie.



After that tearful adventure, I was happy to move on to the Log Cabin. Thank you Abe! I needed an easy block after Texas.







Friday, February 11, 2011

I love a good swap!

I love quilting swaps! I've signed up for mini quilt swaps, charm square swaps, postcard swaps-I'm a sucker for a swap. So when the Quilting Gallery had a Mug Rug swap, I decided to join in. I thought the concept was cute and handy for me and my DH since we love a nice cuppa and cookies while watching TV. Plus I had some super cute novelty fabric which has been kicking around for years and was perfect for this swap. For those unfamiliar with mug rugs, they are like quilted coasters but longer about 10 x 6, just big enough to put your coffee mug on plus some space for a couple of cookies.


I received my swap partner's name and decided last Saturday to spend the afternoon making mug rugs. IDEALLY, you are talking about a couple of FQs worth of fabric and some batting for pair of mug rugs which was the swap and I figured I'd whip up a couple of extras for myself. A nice little project, maybe a couple of hours.


However, HERE'S THE REALITY !!!

ROUND ONE:


My initial idea was to make two blocks framed side by side. This fabric was too dark so I ditched it.


ROUND TWO:

I liked this combo! The red and white check gives it a diner feel~but of course I cut the novelty fabric too small and the frame too wide and the two block idea was dropped. The red and white check was overwhelming the novelty print. This ended up in the Orphan Block bin.

ROUND THREE:

This next size worked out great! But it had been a week since I had read the requirements of the swap and I went ahead and zigzagged the edges which was a no-no. The edges had to be bound or enclosed. So I decided to try to add bias tape all around. A DISASTER!! Did not like the finished look of that. So I took it off and decided the zig zagged mug rugs would live with me.

ROUND FOUR:

Finally, after approximately SIX hours, here is the finished mug rug ( there are two) which will go to my partner who lives in Florida this weekend with some added goodies.




Oh, and here is the pile of scrap from making FOUR mug rugs.

It seemed so simple! LOL~























Saturday, February 05, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Last weekend we finally got to New Jersey to see our dear, dear friends. We usually see them 5 or 6 times over the summer but this past summer things got bumped around a bit and it has been SEVEN months since we have been together. As it turned out, we were all available this weekend which happened to be my Birthday weekend!! So we headed south to celebrate Christmas and my birthdday Jersey style.


Robbin made this lovely cake for me. I love the ? mark. Might as well keep everyone guessing! They overwhelmed us with presents and goodies. We went out to dinner Friday night and drank lots of wine. Saturday we got together to devour Susie's homemade sauce and stuffed shells and exchange gifts.



We stayed at Susie and Ronnie's house. She is the ultimate hostess with the mostest! Our room had a birthday banner and a lovely little basket with nice smelly soaps and lotions. She is also an unbelieveable cook.
Here I am with my gals, Susie, Robbin and of course, Miss Ellie-the bestest dog in the world!

And here are the hubbies- Susie's Ronnie, my DH, Bob, and Robbin's Vinnie. They basically sat there all afternoon drinking beer and watching music videos.
The weekend passed too quickly !


When I got back home on Sunday, a box had been delivered. I have to say I have THE BEST SISTER IN THE WHOLE WORLD!! My sister, Kathy, who lives in Florida, sent me this gorgeous Coach bag and wallet for the summer. It is the perfect size, perfect handles and perfect color. I would never spend $$$ on a bag like this (cause I gots to buy quilty stuff) but I've lusted over hers for years. So enuf of this SNOW, bring on summer!!!




Snowing again today. But my new saying is

A SNOW DAY IS A SEW DAY!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Rhode Island Quilt Retreat


I am back to report about my quilting retreat in Rhode Island which was two weeks ago. Time does fly! We left on Thursday evening because snow was predicted which gave us an extra evening to sew. Nothing wrong with that! This group has been going on retreat for almost 1o years now. It is lots of laughs, wine, food, fun and of course, sewing.


As I posted last time, I had high aspirations of working on three projects. But the reality is I only got to one project. However, it has been a UFO for -count 'em - SEVEN YEARS. The Underground RR top is done! This dates back to 2004. In fact, the teacher of the class was on retreat with us. Good thing cause I needed help with the pieced border!!

Oh, and I did work on my scarf with the self striping yarn. This is half done and I am in love with it! Right now it looks like a reallly loooonnng sock or a pretty striped snake. I have another skein to make a matching hat.

We also made this cute little snapbag as a fun class taught by Sara. She is one of the founding members of our guild and 82 years young. You may have seen this bag around blogland. It has cut pieces of a measuring tape in the top to open and close it.



Of course, we did some shopping. I spent under $100 for the weekend which compared to most was frugal. Here is a picture of a darling pattern I had to have. This is going to be a great spring project. I have to order the black and white fabric for the handles which really makes this pop!


Quilt til you wilt!!!