Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pay It Forward & Food for thought...

Okay, if the recipients haven't gotten theirs yet, they should have them today so I'm probably safe in showing them to the rest of you. I decided to make sewing machine mats for everyone. I just love them and plan to make one for myself when I can find the time. They are so cute, but can also really help keep the noise down caused from the vibrations on tables. And the pockets in front are very handy as well. You can make these with two FQs. Just baste, quilt and bind. Then fold over one end, sew down both side and add two more lines of stitching to create the pockets. I have to give credit where it is due...Melinda has one that I've been eyeing forever and it was my inspiration. Thanks, Melinda!

Now, a little food for thought and feel free to share your opinions. What do you do when someone asks you what you think about their quilts and it is really terrible? Do you lie? Do you find something ambiguous to say and hope they'll take it with a positive note? Do you just tell them flat out what you really think? Do you tell them the truth only if they ask? Does it matter how well you know the person...perhaps a good friend you might be more honest with? And do you apply these same rules for areas outside of quilting?

For me, I tend to find something positive to say but I don't lie to them. I've been told, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I don't always subscribe to that, even if it is wise advice. However, if someone is struggling with their quilt and let me know they aren't happy, I might use that time to make positive suggestions without saying what it is that I might not like. It goes the same whether it is a dear friend or someone I've just met.

Now, do I apply the rules for other areas in my life? Well, honestly, I guess that depends. I usually try to keep my mouth zipped. For example, there is someone sort of close to us that dyes their hair red. I'm not against red hair, but this color reminds me of Bozo the Clown. And while I've seen this very shade on others and it was beautiful, not so with this person. But, you know, it isn't my hair so why hurt their feelings. If they are happy with it, then let it be. If it were my husband though, I'd be honest with him (not that he has any hair, but that's beside the point) because I know he really would want me to tell him the truth. So, I guess unlike quilting, I vary the rules a bit.

So, why do the rules vary? I suppose because I think of quilting as an art form. And art should be appreciated whether it is your style or not. The good Lord has given us imagination and creativity and for the lucky few, talent. One should create art for the pleasure it gives them, not in an effort to please others. So, then the next question that forms in my mind...what others areas of life should I consider as art?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Addictions, Pay It Forward and a Giveaway

Well, I finally finished my Pay It Forwards. I'll post a pic in a few days, but I want to give the recipients a chance to received them first.

I have two new addictions, as if I need to have any at all. The first is an online game, Patchworkz. Check it out at your own risk. Just don't blame me if you get stuck in your computer chair.

The second one is Facebook. If you already have a page there and are a quilter, feel free to add me as a friend. If you don't have a page there, check it out...lots of fun and a great way to connect with others. There is also a fun application (Lil Green Patch) where you "give" each other plants (not real ones, just adorable images). It is a cute activity that helps fight global warming by saving rainforests. So, in the spirit of trying to improve this world we live in, I'm going to hold a drawing/giveaway. For each plant I'm given, I'll put your name in for a drawing. I'll choose three names and each person will receive their choice of my three patterns. Just make sure when you send me a plant, to let me know that you are participating in the giveaway.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tired Tuesday

I actually went to bed several hours before I normally do and I'm still tired today! Oh well. I have lots and lots to do today, so no time for relaxing.

Here is a pic of our recent BOM at the guild. It looks like applique, but it is actually pieced. It was pretty easy even though I was nervous the whole time. I didn't want to make a mistake and have to start over.

And this a picture of a quilt I made for a little one. I hope he likes it. I used my friend, Beaver's new pattern, "Toadly Ten". As soon as she has an online source to purchase it, I'll be sure to post a link.

More pattern news...I'm officially "international" thanks to a great new store in New Zealand! Country Dawn Quilting & Patchwork is a cute online store that has quite a bit to offer. They even have a variety of kits for Sassy Sixteen and The Jelly Maker's Cabin. They also have a wonderful selection of fabrics. And for all of you not from New Zealand, be sure to use the currency converter provided for you on the site. Go visit and tell Sue that Kimberly sent you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ostrich- Round 5 & New Pattern Info

It took me quite awhile, but I finally finished the fifth round of my Ostrich...Plain Jane. The top has grown to 62" so far and I've only done 5 of the 6 rounds. However, I have yet to "stick my head in the sand" for a round, so I could call it completely done. The sixth round, Grand Finale, is supposed to combine two parts from previous rounds. However, I have yet to be inspired to know what to do and also the top looks "done" to me. I'll continue to give it some thought and I'm totally open to suggestions, so feel free to share your 2 cents.

Okay, a bit of news on the designing front...I'm teaming up with a friend and local artist for my next pattern. Jill Eugena hand-dyes some of the most beautiful fabric! So, I'll be using her fabric in my next cover quilt and we may even put together some kits. It will still be awhile before the release of this one as I have so much to do before then. I won't bother sharing the list as it is overwhelming. But if I can manage everything in a timely manner, I'm hoping for an early October release.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wordle Fun

I found this bit of distraction on sew create it. Thanks Jane! Go to Wordle to try it for yourself.

As for me, I've been working on two projects simultaneously...Ostrich: Round 5 and Gentry's birthday quilt. I hope to have some pics tonight to share with you, but there really isn't anything to look at right now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Halloween Candy

In May, I took Melinda's Wrapped Candy class. It was great! I decided to go with a completely different look and make "Halloween Candy". I haven't decided on the inner and outer borders yet, either fabrics or even colors. I'm totally up for suggestions. I'm also thinking about doing some applique. This is great pattern though, be sure to get one if you don't have it.

BOM Updates

This was the June's BOM. We used a "new to me" applique method. You sew two pieces of fabric together with water soluable thread, leave an opening, turn right-side out and soak with your spray starch (which will disolve thread and give a great stiffness), iron/dry and then the two pieces will come apart leaving you with two applique pieces, mirror images, with the seams perfectly tucked under. Thank you, Tanja, for teaching us this one!

Here are two of the tops made from the previous BOMs. I am always amazed at how they come together!

Now, this month is called Stars, Stripes and Circles. It looks to be a bit challenging, a pieced circle that looks like applique. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Congratulations, Pat!

Woohoo! My sweet friend, Pat Vargo, just acquired a LQS. I know that having your own quilt shop is a dream that many of us share and I'm so pleased to see Pat's dream come true. If you are ever in the area be sure to stop by The Quilting Barn for a visit. I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Twisty Cakes Class & Fun with Judy

My class went so well! The ladies were all wonderful and I loved seeing all of the great twisty blocks they made. I thought teaching from 9:00 to 4:00 might be a bit long, but the time just flew by so quickly. I could have easily continued on until late in the evening. I hope to make another digital scrapbook page after our next meeting, when I plan to get some pics of their "Twisty Cakes" quilts, in whatever stage they are at. Aren't the graphics on the "page" cute?! They are from a wonderful site that offers free digitial scrapbook kits...Shabby Princess.

I've been very busy lately and have lots of pics to show you, but I can't quite yet.

I'm working on another pattern and have made two tops for it, neither of which will be on the cover, so I need to wait to show you those.

I've also tested out a quilt pattern for a friend, it is so easy and super fast. But I need to wait to be able to show you that one until she has a store or something else set up for orders.

Now, there are a few things that I can show. My step-mom, Judy, has taken up quilting and is flying with her progress. She has made at least two more tops, possibly full quilts, since then but I don't have pics of those yet. This a pic of her first quilt, made entirely from flannel charms, it is gorgeous! She got the kit when we went to Paducah.
She also got some interesting fiber scarf kits. Here are some pics from the one she and I made for me.