Friday, November 25, 2011

Catching up on some swaps

I decided to wrap up this year with my monthly Bee swaps and then take a break in 2012.  I have a pile of UFOs that really need to be finished.  But I still have some blocks to make and here are some reccent finishes.

This was my November block for my partner in Block Swap Adventure.  She wanted card trick in any colors so I used some DS Quilts Picnic and Fairgrounds fabric.  I really love this line.

This block was totally improved. I focused on the teal color and found scraps from my scrap box.  I then improvised the pattern I think I'll call garden star.  This was for my October partner.
This is a view of my new design wall.  I finally got so frustrated with the tiny fleece one.  I was at Joann's and noticed the felt was on sale.  I bought 2.5 yards of a 90"' wide light blue felt.  Notice I now have room to leave all of my Bee blocks at the top.  I love it!

Keep dreaming...Colleen

Beautiful basillica in Asheville, NC.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving! 
 I know I am thankful for another year of life behind me. 
 I didn't mention it earlier in the month but November 5th was an important anniversary for me.  No one else seems to remember it anymore but me.  It has been six years since my last chemo.  I survived that horrible time of uterine cancer that robbed me of years of my life and killed my future children.  Sometimes the pain of loss hits me. 
 But I am thankful for my life, my job, my home and my family.  And my cute cat Kalli.
I hope everyone has a great day with family and friends.  Me I'm off to make zuchinni bread-yum! Then to mom and dad's for fun day.

I know I've been silent for the last week and a half.  As a teacher librarian I've been dealing with a book fair and not a lot of sewing.  The last two days I've been making up for lost time and have a lot of sewing to blog about.  Also my trip to Asheville two weeks ago.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

Georgeous golden leaves of the ginko tree.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mini quilt party

Did you know amylouwho is having a party!  A mini quilt party! 
So I thought I would join in and share a recent swap finish.  Why is it I'm always sending my favorite finishes to others?  Ah such is the way of a quilter!
Have you seen this loveliness?
And this loveliness?
This is fabric the first DS  Quilts (Denise Schmidt) line, Picnic & Fairgrounds, found at Joann's.  Some of us are alittle obsessed with Denise Schmidt fabrics at Joann's.  So obsessed we have this flickr group to discuss and share it.  And there are two other lines since this one was released last spring.

We DS Quilts devotees are so obsessed we decided to do a DS Quilts Doll Quilt swap using just Picnic & Fairgrounds!  I was all gun ho to use my Kona Ash for the background and made these little squares and tried them.  I liked it alot!
However when I posted to the group I got lukewarm response so I tried it against a white.
Everyone like this version, but I wasn't thrilled so I put it away for a while.  I felt like it didn't represent me. I designed new quilts in my graph pad. Finally as the deadline approached I was hit with inspiration.  My paper pieced stars!  I love making them!  I have been doing them since I first used them as a border for a round robin quilt in 1994.  Set the original part on point and put a star in each corner!
I love how it turned out! (though I still want to do it in ash).  The yellow was just right for setting off the  center.  I decided not to put an outer border on it.
When quilting I don't draw out lines or think to far ahead.  I guess I just(forgive the cliche) let it speak to me.  If you look closely in the center I did a series of squares with narrow and wide widths between.  In the center I turned the squares on point.  I had fun quilting around the stars too.
I used a darker blue and red small scale print to bind it.  I love using these clips to hold the binding in place!
I think it turned out pretty great and my partner really liked it!

Don't forget to go back and check out all the mini quilts at the party!

Keep dreaming...Colleen

This is the DS Quilts doll quilt my partner Leona sent me!  It's awesome!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A block for Bailey

October was Bailey's month for Let's Bee Together swap. 
  She wanted a Mod Mosaic block based on Oh, Fransson tutorial.  She sent some wonderful fabrics and the sashing strips precut.  I can see where it would take practice to make these blocks.  It is not an easy technique but fun!  Great way to use up scraps.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

Half of the blocks that will be in the Star Trek quilt for my Dad. 
It is my next project.  They were from a 1995 swap.  Can you name what they all are?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A sweet little finish

Isn't it amazing how sometimes you have a piece quilted, are attaching the binding, and it just doesn't look quite right?  But, the moment you get the binding finished it all of a sudden looks perfect!  That's how it was with my sweet little finish.  A potholder for someone secret in the Triad Modern Quilt Guild.  We will give them to our secret partner on Tuesday at the meeting.  Part of that exchange is telling of the journey.  That's why I love swaps of smaller items.  They are a great way to stretch your skills, practice ones you have just learned, and try something new. 

This potholder took me on a little journey.  I pulled out one of my Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips charm packs and carefully choose some squares to cut up.  One of the things my partner said she liked was red and white so I focused on those prints.  I added the red and gray prints too.  I added some small hst to the corners of two of the squares.  I love these prints! 

Now it was square and didn't look 'right' yet.  So I decided make it round after seeing Sarah's pot holder in the Triad Modern Quilt Guild's flickr pool.
I love the hand stitching she did in the center! 

I have this old metal strainer I throw keeper scraps in when I'm sewing.  I just turned it over and cut around it.  I then had to decide what to put on the back.  This red and white print from Bonnie & Camille's Bliss-another favorite collection- was perfect!
I then used some more of the Free Spirit Dogwood Gray I used to frame the 9 patch on the front as binding.  I also added a little hanging tab with a scrap of Sherbet Pips.  It folds under nicely so you don't see it unless you need it. I really think it turned out cute!  It has two layers of thermal batting which was the only real requirement. 

We had 15 people sign up for this first swap experience.

I can't wait to see all the others! 

Keep dreaming...Colleen

Thanks for the kind words on Cary-cat's passing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Foto finish-Photographers choice

This is Cary.  aka Cary-cat and Scaredy Cary.
Isnt he beautiful?  I love this picture of him.
He was found as a tiny kitten by my sister's neighbors almost two years ago.
  His name is Cary because the neighbors backyard cat (they have a front yard one too) used to carry Cary around . 
 He came to live at my mom and dad's and became one of my dad's babies.
  He also became the bain of their other cat Jasmine's (Jazzy-girl) life. 
 After all she is the queen. 
Cary was coming into his own. 
 He had even recently beat up the neighbors cat instead of being beat up himself.  He was no longer quite so Scaredy Cary.  He even started to pose like Jasmine.

Well some one ran over Cary Friday and killed him. 

He was so sweet, going through those terrible wild twos and chasing squirrels every where.  I think the worse thing is that the person did not even stop and call my parents to tell them.  Just hit him and left.  My parents live in a nice neighborhood and this happened a couple houses down.  How could someone do that?  Thanks for letting me share Cary with you.  Im tearing up as I write this.  I want to leave you with a cute little video of Cary-kitty.
New Cary kitty meeting the family.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

My own kitty angel-Opus whose grave Cary was buried near.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A few finishes

So I'm still dealing with the aftereffects of the crud.  And trying to get caught up on swaps.  I had such a great schedule for the the last week and a half that is totally blown.  I was supposed to start on Christmas presents in November.  Oh well.  So first up is the Sewingly Yours BOM.  If you do your block and bring it to one of the meetings on the first Tuesday of the month you get your next block kit free.  The initial cost is $10.68.  If you miss you have to pay again.  So here is the second block.  They are in batiks.
Can you tell I had to pice the center block.  Note to self plan for each piece of fabric before cutting.
And here is the first two blocks together.
I like learning different techniques for making the blocks.

I also was able to finish my DS Quilts Doll quilt.  I machine quilted it on my Babylock Sofia. 

I'm still learning how to use it correctly.  It is really sensitive to needle and thread.  I'm still learning.  I did a lot of straight line and out line quilting.  I like the graphic quality.
I bound it with a dark blue and tiny roses print.  The hairclips can be found in the quilting notions setting.  They are great for holding the binding even on larger quilts.

And here is the completed Ds Quilts Doll quilt!  I really like it!  And now to send it on its way to its new owner.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

DS Quilts loveliness. 
Doll quilt and Let's Bee Together August blocks.