Tuesday, February 28, 2006

So much excitement!

It's just been so exciting around here lately! On Saturday we got our new grill/smoker. Do any of you have one of the Big Green Eggs? It takes real charcoal, not briquettes and fires up faster than my gas grill did. Saturday we had steaks, Sunday was chicken and last night I made a pizza on it. All the meals were the best I'd ever eaten that I made on a grill. I love this thing! Apparently these grills have a cult-like following...I can understand why!

This week is Reading in Education week and on Thursday we celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. The students in our class wrote to different celebrities/important people and invited them into our classroom to read. Some responded and are coming in...the Sr. VP of the Philadelphia Zoo, someone from the US Coast Guard and the head coach of Drexel's women's basketball team. For me, our most exciting guest came today...the Phillie Phanatic! He was wonderful with the kids and since he doesn't speak, he acted out the poem, "Casey at the Bat". It was wonderful. Then he got out of costume and came back to talk to the kids. What a great guy he was...we all had so much fun!

Nothing quilty has been going on here. I did finish a few customer quilts, but haven't done much of my own work. Hopefully I'll have time later in the week and then I'll have something to share!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

February Finish #3

Here is number 3...don't know if you can see the Baptist Fans on this quilt. I love how this one turned out, both front and back. Everything on this quilt was a leftover from another quilt, except for the piano key border. The back is an assortment of fabrics that were leftover or just never made it into quilts of their own. I love making backs this way, it gives the quilt such personality!

I brought the class quilt in on Tuesday and the kids loved it. One girl gave me a big hug...just because I told her I brought it in! When we unfolded it she yelled, "I am SO going to win this quilt!" We now have it hanging in the classroom as a little incentive for the kids. This new quilt, I'm not quite sure where it will live. I had originally made it for Katrina, but didn't get it done in time to participate in most of the quilt collecting projects. My guild is collecting quilts for children, so it may go there. Or it can go to the American Cancer Society Kids Camp that I quilt for. I'm just going to enjoy it for awhile before deciding.

Thank you all so much for your comments on the class quilt and my daughter's quilt. It is so nice being able to share quilts in this forum...it certainly has spurred me on to get more quilting done!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

February Finish #2

I feel like I'm on a roll this month! Last night I finished the quilt that I made with the 5th grade class I work with. I brought my sewing machine into school and each child made a block for the quilt. Once the sewing was done, they traced their hands onto the blocks and colored them in. I put the quilt together and was going to have them tie it. However...thanks to Bonnie and Judy I got the Baptist Fans template from Circle Lord and decided to use that. I quilted it yesterday, put on the binding and hand sewed it down last night and now I can't wait to bring it to school and see the kids' faces when I show it to them!

This was the second quilt I did with the Baptist Fans...hopefully I'll finish hand sewing the binding on that one tonight so I can share it tomorrow!

Friday, February 17, 2006

February Finish

Last night I finished stitching down the binding on the 25 patch quilt and this morning I put it on the bed. Yay...I've accomplished something this month! So, here are pictures...the finished quilt, the stash busting back and the quilts on the bed. I discovered when I put it on the bed it's a little smaller than the log cabin. Oh well, it still fits! And it's FINISHED! On to the next project...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Snow Day!

Winter finally arrived and left quickly! The snow started on Saturday afternoon and by bedtime we only had a few inches. But by Sunday morning when we got up, the wind was blowing, we had thunder and when all was said and done, about a foot of snow. It was wonderful!
The first picture is of our backyard, looking across the empty lot behind us, during the storm. The second picture is my poor birch tree, bending under the weight of the snow. That was taken this morning...then I knocked some of the snow off. It looks a little taller now!

I took full advantage of this "bonus day". We had lots of "supposed tos" scheduled for Sunday, but with the snow, everything was cancelled. Since I had just taken a quilt off the machine, I decided to put my 25-patch on and give it a quick meander. Then I took it off, trimmed it, made and stitched on the binding and started hand sewing it. Once it's done I'll post pictures. This one was entirely from stash and I used a lot of big pieces for the back...stashbusting at its best!

Today I broke down and ordered the Baptist Fan template from Circle Lord. I can't wait until it gets here on Thursday! I have a customer who wants them on her quilt...I suggested it just so I could order the template! I have an antique quilt that was machine appliqued by my grandmother that I will use it on also, once I've practiced a little. I may try to make a quick scrap quilt to use it on first.

That's about it from here...time to work on the next customer quilt!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snail Trail

A few years ago, my youngest decided she needed a new quilt because the Drunkard's Path quilt I'd made her when she was little wasn't quite big enough for her bed. I enlisted the help of my friend Mary to make her a quilt. She decided on a snail's trail pattern and I envisioned a beautiful rainbow of color across a white or pale blue background. However, I told Mary to have fun with it and do whatever she wanted...after all, she was making it out of her own stash! I love how the quilt turned out...it's bright, crazy and wild...just perfect for Grace's personality!

Grace chose the borders for it, then couldn't decide on a backing. She asked if I could make the back out of all the fabrics she had been collecting all her life...so of course I did! Sometimes the quilt is on her bed with the pieced blocks up, other times the backing is up. About 6 months ago, Grace was moved out of her purple room into her brother's room, since he is at college. She chose a beautiful sage green for the walls, very calming. We went to Target and bought the Shabby Chic line of bedding and curtains in blue, white and green to complement the room. The expensive comforter was on the bed for all of about 2 weeks...until she missed her quilt and decided that the comforter could live in the closet...she needed her quilt!

I'll have to take some pictures of the Drunkard's Path...it's one of my favorite quilts that I've made!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Dresden Plate

I was just visiting Bonnie's blog and saw her Dresden Plate quilt that she just finished. I have a very similar customer quilt on the machine right now! Mine is newly made, with 30s repros. My customer also wants very traditional, 30s style quilting on it. Here is what I've done so far. I'd hoped to have it done by now, but today was the first day I've been able to stand at the machine all week!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

January Progress...

Well, since Judy asked so nicely, I decided to see what I had actually accomplished in January. Boy, was I disappointed! I did finish the Convergence Quilt and the flannel quilt for the dogs, which got rid of some stash, but were the only finishes I had. I cut and helped the kids sew the blocks for the school quilt, which used stash, I hand pieced my carpenter's wheel and I used a lot of stash making the 25 patch quilt top. I ran into a dilemma with that over how to make it larger without making more blocks, but I've finally worked that out in my mind - now to do it in fabric! Over the past few days I've been doing some handquilting on a fall quilt that I received after a friend passed away a few years ago. Being sick seemed like a good opportunity for some quiet work. Other than that, not much happened! :o( I guess I need to start February with a list of things to do...otherwise I may get nothing done at all!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tonya's Houses

Yesterday, before I knew I had the flu, I decided I HAD to make one of Tonya's houses. So, I fired up my laptop which is next to my sewing table and I followed her directions. I think it turned out cute, although I'm not overwhelmed with the way the roof turned out. The fabrics are all hand dyes and batiks. I think when I'm feeling better I'll have to make a few more. It was a very easy technique...thanks for sharing it, Tonya!